Diamond Anniversary

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Please contact Adrian Hartshorn on Email or 07739463771 for info

No tickets on sale at Guide Post

Diamond Anniversary Exhibition at BBEC

Details to be announced shortly

Buttershaw School - My Story

School Reunions

Buttershaw School - My Story

by Adrian Philip Hartshorn

My life is chronicled in my eAutobiography Stick Around which I update when I get the inspiration with recalled memories, new ventures and images.

At the start of 1956 my parents Charles and Mona heard about a new secondary school being built in Buttershaw the first to be built in Bradford to satisfy the Education Act 1944 and baby boomers. Comprehensive education was coming. Did it work? Well it did for me.

Adrian 13I secured a place at the school and arrived on the first time of opening its doors on Monday 3rd September 1956. There were only 100 approx pupils and a handful of teachers and staff. At the end of the first term there was about 300 pupils with 12 teachers. All activity was in the teaching block as the rest of the school was still being built. The playground was the park. Builders and pupils criss crossed each other constantly with no bother, no H&SE jobsworths then.

Because it was the start of the comprehensive venture and to try to make sure it worked all the teachers were highly educated with the majority university graduates - an unknown then in secondary education. Previously only the grammar schools' had graduate teachers. In fact all the teachers had been 'head hunted' from the elite schools' in the county. The head Mr Cooke B.Sc was a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. I was in great hands. The initial intake was 11 to 13 year olds. I was thirteen and allocated to Form 3WR teacher Mr R Whittaker. You will see photographs of the class and others on the site.

With the help of the staff I found out I was more academic than sporting though I represented the school at athletic meetings' as I was quite a good sprinter. Due to my short-sight which required wearing glasses I could not take part in football or cricket. I was an avid sports watcher though of the school football and cricket teams. From this I was inspired by Mr Allatt to put my organisation skills to full use by organising support to away matches for the various teams. I would plaster the school corridors' with posters' advertising details, of how to support the teams,. Most times our support would outnumber the home teams. My organisational abilities would come in useful many times in my life.

My education continued well and you can view a report here. At the end of term 1958 I was due to leave at the then school leaving age of 15 but as I was bright my parents said I should stay on at the newly established sixth form of 8 pupils. At the start of school year I was appointed Head Boy. At the end of the final term along with two other pupils I sat the GCE (General Certificate of Education) '0' level examinations in Engineering Drawing and Practical. I was the only one successful in passing. Therefore, I hold the distinction of being the first pupil at the school to pass an external examination. I left in July 1959 and started working life as an apprentice engineer at Low Moor Alloy Steelworks, Bradford.

School Reunions

In 1981 I noticed an article in the T&A by Jean Dunn re the possible reunion of pupils to celebrate the schools 25th anniversary. Jean nee Madden was the schools' first Head Girl. I contacted Jean with an offer to help. One of our first jobs was to visit the school where we were warmly welcomed and they had all the original registers ready for us. We sourced addresses which we contacted. The reunion was held at the Windmill in Wibsey with a fabulous turn out.

More reunions followed in 1986 and 1996 again with fabulous turnouts.

I started organising the Big One in 2005. I thought it should be prestigious so decided on the Cedar Court Hotel. Its location and facilities were ideal. I contacted the core base of ex pupils with the details and they all said they would be there. I put a piece in the T&A. At the time the only social media site was Friends Reunited where I posted an invite. To cover anticipated costs I set the cover price at £25. This did cover costs and the surplus was gifted to the school.

In March 2006 I thought it would be a good idea to get to meet some of my former school mates for a drink. So I first contacted Kay (Smithson) Robinson who I met at the Raggalds then others. It was decided to set up a regular meet on the second Wednesday of the month from noon at the Raggalds. I am pleased to say these happy occasions still now take place but the venue is now the Crown, Horton Bank Top. Nowadays we are known as the Buttershaw Raconteurs.

Back to the Big One; Not many tickets were sold at first and I thought my deposit and guarantees to the hotel may be in jeopardy. I started to circulate a newsletter with school memories that attendees sent me. I was also inundated with school memorabilia from ex-pupils'. I have donated this to the school to form part of their diamond celebration exhibition they are hosting in 2016.

Well all of a sudden ticket sales took off 50, 75, four months to go and the 100 sale came up. The hotel told me the room capacity was 120 and all the bigger rooms were booked. So the cut off was 120. However, the total on the night was 143 with many last minute booking hopefuls having to be told Full House Tonight. I am pleased to say the evening was a fabulous success. The attendees were from every continent and all ages, a table of original teachers and two tables' full of 2006 pupils and teachers. The Lord Mayor was there and highlights included some fabulous speeches and concerts by the Maurice Magson Barbershop Quartet and a mini school orchestra. Everyone attending said they had had a fabulous time and could not wait till the 2016 reunion. See

Adrian 72So roll on the Diamond Anniversary on Saturday 24th September 2016 at the Guide Post Hotel, Low Moor. The venue is booked with a buffet and disco. Extras' will be added during the year. The cover charge is the same as 2006 being £25 each. Any surplus donated to the school. No objection to bringing a non school partner. Special room rates are available. The capacity is 150. I have already got 58 confirmed bookings so if you don't want to be disappointed book now. Looking forward to seeing you on the night unless you fancy a meet in the Crown beforehand.

'With acknowledgement to the assistance given over these last sixty years by ex pupils/teachers, the present Headteacher Mr R B Hughes and not forgetting the forbearance of my family with my hobby They all have one thing in common the greatness of Buttershaw School '