Percy Jackson News

Glynn Court RIP. Died 25 May 2018, aged 94.

Teacher of German & French PJGS 1953-1957

Few members will remember Glyn as he did not stay long with us. He was a Somerset boy and the West Country drew him back after only four years in Yorkshire. His widow tells me he was recruited by ‘Chas’ Elliott who was holidaying in Minehead in 1953!

His university education was interrupted by army service in WW2, where he served in India and Burma. He took part in some of the famous river battles in Burma, including the Battle of Sittang Bend, 26-27 July 1945, the last action fought by a British battalion in WW2. He remained an active member of the Burma Star Association.

After PJGS he continued teaching in grammar schools in the South West. A brilliant linguist and with an encyclopaedic knowledge, he became BBC Radio ‘Brain of Britain’ in 1973. He was involved in local politics and for many years was a member of Somerset County Council. In February 2018, long after retiring, he was awarded the title of Honorary Alderman. He stood twice for MP (Lib) in the West Country, 1974 and 1979.
We were glad to welcome Glyn and his wife Clare to the 70th Anniversary reunion in 2009.

80th Anniversary Great Success

Attended by 200. There was an Enjoyable programme incl historical slide show, 1960s music and an Elvis contribute. Super facilities at the Warmsworth Holiday Inn. See images below, more photos can be found at the Percy Jackson Facebook page.


Percy Jackson Pens.

Former pupil Allen Kaye is producing pens made from wood we managed to salvage from Percy Jackson’s. Allen suggested the idea of him being able to produce some items in wood if any could be salvaged. After consulting Wates who were in charge of the buildings they looked for quality pieces of wood within the building and a suitable source was found to be the stairs near the stage, these were removed and saved for Allen. It was thought that these were made of Mahongany, but Allen now thinks they may be Iroko wood. It was planned that the oak doors at the main entrance would also be saved, however this didn’t happen. Allen has used this wood from the hall to create these beautiful pens which are a unique memento of the school, they are in limited supply due to the finite amount of wood and Allen’s ability to produce them, so to avoid disappointment get your order in early, at the time of typing only eleven are available. The profits from each pen will be split between helping to fund this site and Charity, so please support us by purchasing them. Please go to the shop Page: click Here


The only other wood that we managed to salvage was one of the flagpoles. It was intended that one was going to be re-erected opposite the school entrance in the grounds of Northridge School, however the flagpole was damaged during removal and was thought unsafe so they were kind enough to let Allen have it, it is thought to be made of Douglas Fir, it is hoped that this can also be used to produce some items, Allen is experimenting with this at the moment. We hope that we will have something available for sale soon, so keep visiting the site.

It was with sadness that we heard the announcement that former Percy Jackson Head Of History Bill Cavill has passed away. He was appointed head of history in 1967


Doncaster Council’s Report on the school is now available to view online



Recently I was contacted by ex-PJ pupil Ken Dickson who offered to create a Facebook site where ex-pupils could post questions, get in touch with old schoolmates etc. I am very grateful for his offer and the site is now online, it’s still in it’s early stages so it might have a few glitches but I hope that people will use and support it, so why not pop along today and post a message. If you don’t have a Facebook account setting one up is easy and straightforward. The link is at the bottom of the homepage or simply use this link: CLICK HERE


The pens have proved very popular, each one is hand-made by former pupil Allen Kaye and they are selling as fast as he can produce them, currently we are out of stock, but Allen is hoping to produce some more in the near future. Last week Allen visited me and I presented him with a cheque for £135 towards his local charity which helps adults with special needs, so the sale of each pen is not only helping fund work on the archives but also helping good causes as well.


Today I was contacted by former pupil John Riley who now lives in New Zealand, he was a pupil at the school between 1949 and 1951. He has sent some memories which I have added to the memories page, but he would also like to contact his old friend Stanley Doyle.

So if anyone has any information regarding Stanley could they contact me and I can pass it on to John.


Doncaster council commissioned WYAS (West Yorkshire Archeological Society) to prepare an archeological report on the school which was published several weeks ago. After ex-pupils viewed it they noted some glaring errors. Eventually Janet Kitson Roberts managed to convince Andrew Mowforth of Doncaster Council to allow us to add an errata list. This has been a real strain on Janet as she is in poor health, not only is she noting errors, but also trying to locate the correct details which can make Miss Marple’s job look easy by comparison. If anyone has any information regarding the dates and uses of buildings behind the gym near the sixth form block for Adwick School and the building which formally stood where the new boiler room was, could you get in touch. Time is running short


For the past few years since the announcement that Percy Jackson School was to be demolished, negotiations have been taking place regarding a permanent memorial for the school. It was suggested that the New Outwood Academy school would include something similar to a Memorial Wall that some other schools have. Janet Kitson Roberts has been making great efforts in this quest and I have done my best to obtain materials and support her. I managed to salvage the flagpoles & the railings from the entrance to the school. Sadly the flagpole was too damaged to be reused and so the wood will be used to make items for sale. The railings were badly damaged during removal, but I retrieved them and they were later collected by the academy, however since then there has been no word on any memorial and one has to wonder how much enthusiasm Outwood has for this project. However be assured neither Janet nor myself will curtail our efforts to ensure a  proper fitting memorial to the school is created.


We have a small number of pens available for sale, so if you would like one, don’t delay, contact us as soon as you can.


Sadly it was reported that former Percy Jackson teacher John Fay passed away on the 17th December, he was 86 years old.  He was a local lad being born at Stainforth and after studying at Manchester & Oxford he taught Latin at several schools one being Percy Jackson  in the 1960’s .  After leaving  he became  headmaster at St Thomas Aquinas in Sunderland  in 1969 and then moved to  Carmel School in Darlington where he was very popular. Former pupil John Moorley had this to say of him.

"John Fay taught me Latin at the Percy Jackson Grammar School, near Doncaster, from 1962 to 1966. We were a lively bunch and he kept us all engaged with his good humour despite the relative dryness of the subject and the timetabling which was exclusively in double periods.  Many of the scripts concerned stories associated with Roman Gods.  My fondest memory was asking Mr. Fay “How did people know what was the Gods were doing?  What was the source of their information?”  Mr Fay replied “Well - the Gods just told them”. I have always remembered Mr. Fay with fondness and gratitude,

John Moorley

An Obituary appeared in the Northern Echo, you can read it via this link:

You will be sad to learn that Edward Whiteley passed away last Sunday evening in Basingstoke, with heart failure. He was 85. I have attached his photograph.

He was born in Huddersfield, but his family shortly moved to Doncaster. He spent the years during World War 2 at Percy Jackson grammar school. In his leaving report of 1945, Mr Field, the headmaster, described him as: ‘An excellent student . . . he has shown particular interest and aptitude in Art and I have every confidence in recommending him as a student of Architecture. He is quiet and gentlemanly in manner and is of excellent character and conduct.’

In 1949 Edward began his career in London with Hening And Chitty of Gower Street, then with Dex Harrison in Kensington. He received his DiplArch from Leeds in 1951 and was elected an Associate of the RIBA the following year. He won a Hoffman Wood architectural scholarship in 1950, enabling him to study architecture in Europe in 1951 and again in 1954, during his National Service.

In 1959 he moved to Windsor, joining Edgington Spink & Hyne, where he would become a partner in 1964 and later, senior partner. He lived in Kings Road with his wife Beryl, in a house he himself designed. He was appointed domestic architect of St George’s, Windsor, responsible for the Deanery and the adjacent apartments of the Garter Knights. He was a Friend of St George’s Chapel, and a life member of the YHA. He became a magistrate in 1973, a position he held for sixteen years. In 1994 he moved to Basingstoke and we had been together ever since.  

Notable buildings of his included the RHM headquarters and the YWCA hostel in Windsor - both demolished recently, much to his horror. He also designed the Edinburgh Gardens housing scheme, the Pine Lodge Thames Valley hospice (both in Windsor) , a house for the headmaster of Harrow School, and Fulbourn Hospital in Cambridge.

As a student, he had measured Brodsworth Hall in Yorkshire, with accurate drawings. He returned there as a visitor in 1998, and offered the drawings to English Heritage, so that they could restore some badly eroded limestone carvings as part of a comprehensive restoration of the building, including the original owner's monogram. In appreciation, English Heritage awarded him life membership.   

Edward suffered a heart attack in Paris in 2004, but seemed to recover well. Eventually, though, this, combined with the other difficulties of old age, caught up with him. But he put up a brave fight to the end, always keeping a keen interest and enthusiasm for what mattered to him: visits to concerts and the theatre, and membership of a local weekly play reading group in Basingstoke.

Edward Mitchell

PS: In 2011, Mr Whiteley signed a petition to save the original Woodlands building. I have just seen in your website that it was demolished in 2013. I am only glad that he never learned of this mindless and wanton act of vandalism.  (EM)    

Edward Whiteley DiplArch, ARIBA

Robert Oliver RIP

It was with sadness that we  have learned that that Robert Oliver has passed away in hospital on the 16th March following complications from heart surgery, he was 88 years of age. He apparently lead an active life, attending a weekly quiz at which he was very successful. Mr Oliver was Geography master at Percy Jackson and continued to teach there after it became Adwick School and I remember him from my time at the school in the late 1960’s early 1970’s. He will be mourned by many ex-pupils who I’m sure will remember him with affection. In later years he attended many of the Percy Jackson reunions and enjoyed meeting ex-pupils, many of whom he had made a great impression upon (no doubt some in more ways than others). He will be greatly missed.

John Fay RIP

Bert Beaumont

Former Pupil receives BBC award

Congratulations to Bert Beaumont from the PJGS Alumni and Associates.

Appearing on Look North, Bert Beaumont, aged 72 years, was presented with the BBC 'Get Inspired Unsung Hero Award for Yorkshire' on 2nd December 2014.

A keen footballer at school, Bert has spent the last 48 years coaching boys and girls at Basketball for 2 nights per week and at weekends. He has coaching commitments with Darfield Dunkers.

Bert attended the PJGS 70th Grand Reunion in 2009.                                          Picture copyright Janet Kitson Roberts

Appeal Fund

A big thank you to everybody who responded to the appeal for funds for this website. Since the site was started I have funded it via sales of school related items and made up the difference from my own pocket but due to poor sales over the past year I was left to fund the full amount myself, so I asked for suggestions via our Facebook site and Mick Bannister responded by setting up an appeal for funds which has just raised £150, truly amazing, this will fund the site for the next three years. I cannot even start to express my gratitude to all those who have contributed and especially to Mick Bannister for setting up the appeal. I also wish to thank all those who took the time to write me words of encourage, your comments have meant a lot to me.


Wednesday 27 July 2016

The reunion of Almost 50 ex pupils from the 1959 intake which was organised by Bernard Warner at the Three Horse Shoes in Doncaster was a great success made even better by the glorious weather.

Many thanks to Bernard Warner for organising the event and to Jim and Sue of the Three Horse Shoes for the food and hospitality. Although unwell I managed to pop along with my partner Rosy and I’m glad I did for it was lovely to meet up with some old friends and to hopefully make some new ones. It was nice to catch up with Janet & John Kitson Roberts who had also brought along a couple of the original school bells which they had rescued from the demolition and which they intended to sell to raise funds for the website which was very kind of them. Janet and John are great supporters working alongside me to try to save the school and later to help me salvage what we could from the wreckage. I also met up with Gary Goodlad again and had a very enjoyable chat.

Below is a group photo of some of those who attended.

Photograph Copyright  John Kitson Roberts

Group Photograph Copyright Gerald Sables 2016

John Kitson Roberts took this rare photograph of Rosy and myself  at the reunion, I’m sat down because I wasn’t well enough to stand. We avoid being photographed together like the plague, Rosy isn’t mentioned on the site until now, but she really is an unsung hero. Although she didn't go to Percy Jackson, (far too young) she fought hard to save the school, going to meetings and berating councillors, she has often had to take on my workload whilst I have dedicated myself to the Percy Jackson website and archives, so I want to take this opportunity to thank her for all her efforts, for without her I assure you there would have been to website, as everybody with sense knows behind every successful man is a woman, well ok…I’m not successful but I must have done something right to deserve her.

Professor Raymond Hide 1929 - 2016 CBE, ScD, FRS.

It has come to our attention that former pupil Raymond hide passed away on the 5th September. Raymond was a pupil Percy Jackson from 1940 to 1947. He went on to have a very distinguished academic career as a physicist

Raymond who was born on the 17th May 1929, became a Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford and, since 2000, Senior Research Investigator at Imperial College, London.

In 1947 Woodlands boy Raymond “Spike” Hide, the School’s first State Scholar, entered Manchester University to read physics and then went on to get a PhD at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (SR), thus starting a distinguished research career in academic and government laboratories in the UK and USA, including several years as Professor of Geophysics and Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A Fellow of the Royal Society (since 1971) and Member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (since 1996).

 You can read more about his achievments on wikipedia:

Raymond Hide Memorial Service

Jesus College Oxford, 19 Apr 2017

From a report by Colin Straw (PJGS 1956)

Also attended by Mike Jackson (PJGS 1943)

The service in Jesus College Chapel, led by the Chaplain the Revd Dr Megan Daffern, was a really fitting tribute to an exceptional man. All that, plus I was very proud of having been to the same school. There was indeed something special about the Percy Jackson Grammar School and Spike must be at the top of the leader board.

We met up with Mike Jackson and his wife Beryl after the service and had a good chat about times at the old school. This continued back at the hotel, as were both staying at the Oxford Spires. It was amazing that so many teachers he had (1943-50) were still active during my school years (1956-63).

Colin Straw & Mike Jackson

Alderman J W ‘Jimmy’ Lane.

Founding father of PJGS.

We were recently contacted by the owner of a long case clock, trying to identify its original owner, given on the inscription as Alderman J W Lane JP.

Ald Lane was instrumental in the founding of PJGS and was chairman of the school governors from its foundation in 1939 until he retired in 1958. He attended every Speech Day during his tenure and, of course, the school house ‘Lane’ is named in his honour.  

[In the group photo (1943 Formal Opening) Jimmy is middle of second row.]

(Our gratitude to Ken Cooke for the above news item)

I am sad to report that our old school mate Roy Cromack died on Friday 10 November 2017 at the age of 77.

For several years he had been struggling with a serious heart condition, which finally got the better of him.

After PJGS he took a degree in maths and physics and spent the greater part of his career as an Education Officer with the RAF, retiring in the rank of Wing Commander.  He was already a very keen cyclist at school and was able to carry on training and competing at national and international level whilst in the RAF.  A great highlight was his membership of the UK cycling squad at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico.

Back home, his more lasting achievement perhaps was his setting a new British record for the 24 hour Road Trial.  He rode 507 miles, a record which remained unbroken for 28 years.

After being out of contact for some 45 years, Roy joined our Anglo-German series of reunions in 2004 and we have met up almost annually since.

Roy leaves a wife Barbara, two adult children, three grandchildren and brother Geoff.

Barbara informs me that the funeral will be on the 30th November at York Crematorium (Bishopthorpe) at 11:40 hrs and afterwards at the Marcia Hotel, Bishopthorpe.  The family would be pleased to see old school friends.

Best wishes

Ken Cooke

Roy Cromack

This goblet was made as an experiment by Allen, it was produced from the surviving flagpole, however he feels the wood is not suitable for this object. He has been kind enough to give it to me and I feel extremely privileged to have this one off piece.

Ron Cockroft MC died 13 July 2018, Age 99                                                

Teacher of PE & Games at PJGS from 1949 to 1968

I am very sorry to report the death of our Games & PE teacher Ron Cockroft. He had been in a nursing home in Knottingley for three years. In the early hours of this morning he suffered a heart attack and was

transferred to Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield, where he died peacefully a few hours later.

He was in his centenary year and would have reached his 100th birthday on 9 October this year. Many messages of affection and respect have already appeared on our PJGS Facebook site.

He is sadly missed. Please inform your PJGS contacts.

Ron Cockroft Obituary

William Ronald Falshaw Cockroft was born in 1918 and grew up in Barrow-in Furness (Lancashire, at that time) and attended the local grammar school.

He signed up for military service at the outbreak of WW2 and served until 1946. He was commissioned in June 1940 as an officer in the Royal Armoured Corps. During 1944-45 his unit of Churchill tanks advanced from Normandy across the Rhine to the Ruhr. He was awarded the Military Cross in France in June 1944 and was demobbed in April 1946 in the rank of major. His tank unit formed the guard at the signing of the Armistice on Lüneburg Heath. In civilian life he was always reluctant to discuss his military award and forbad people addressing him as Major.

Back in civvy street he trained as a PE teacher at Carnegie College, Leeds. He married Connie, a teacher and later head teacher for many years in South Elmsall, and embarked on his career job as boys’ PE & Games teacher at PJGS in September 1949.  He stayed on after PJGS became a comprehensive until retiring in 1978.

As a teacher, he was known for his discipline which was not always appreciated at the time, but he was scrupulously fair – a ‘builder of character’. He didn’t expect a class of super athletes but he did expect every boy ‘to try’ and to give his best. Laziness in a boy was his pet hate. He encouraged inter-school and regional matches and events, which meant he gave a lot of his private time to training school teams and accompanying them at matches.

From the early 1960s he led or assisted many walking trips and holidays to the Lakes and Dales and also abroad. He was popular with staff colleagues and some of the younger ones appreciated him as mentor.

He had a long retirement, still enjoying walking and, increasingly, his garden. Sadly, his beloved Connie died in 2010. He died just three months before his 10th birthday. Ron will be missed my many. He leaves two daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchilden.

The funeral will be on Wednesday 1 August 2018, 10:45 hrs at St Josephs RC Church, Moorthorpe, South Elmsall.

Army captain 1944

Staff Photo 1958   

Reunion Sept 2009

Ken Cooke 20 July 2018

Read Roy’s story on the Cycling Stories website:  


Janet Roberts has written a brilliant article of one of Percy Jackson’s most famous ex pupils the world famous cyclist Roy Cromack.

Read it via this link: URL:

Ticket Price: £25 per person. Dress: Smart casual.

Tickets available from: Howard Rimmer:  

e-mail , Tel: 07734 443904

David Read MBE

‘Top Brass’ plans to Attend PJGS Reunion in September 2019

Askern boy, David V Read, plans to attend the 80th Anniversary Reunion on 28th September. He joined PJGS in 1945 and played cornet for Askern Colliery Band.  After leaving school, he joined the Regimental Band of the Welsh Guards and pursued a highly successful career in the brass band movement.  A talented soloist, he has appeared with the Grimethorpe Colliery Band (renowned for the film ‘Brassed Off’) and with the Black Dyke Band.

He became a conductor and a top level adjudicator of brass bands. In 2009 David was awarded the MBE for services to music. He is looking forward to the Reunion on the 28th September at the Warmsworth Holiday Inn.


A passing reference to Percy Jackson’s is included on the Outwood Academy Adwick page of Wikipedia, but we have felt that an individual article was warranted.

With encouragement and support from Janet Kitson Roberts (1959 entrant), Ken Cooke (1950 joiner) prepared and submitted a feature on PJGS, but it failed Wiki’s “notability” test.  However they said it merited merging with the Outwood page and this has now been done.  By searching for ‘Percy Jackson Grammar School’ you will automatically be directed to the Outwood page and get the encyclopedic entry for PJGS.

Good news for all who want to refresh on the Old School, especially for those unaware of our Face Book and website pages.

Died age 79 on 17 Jan 2020 after a short illness.

John was in the languages stream to 0-level and took pure and applied maths and physics at A-level, going on to a maths degree and a master’s at Durham University. He was a keen sportsman.

He became a teacher and head teacher and was knighted in 2003 'for services to education'. He held advisory positions in education at national level and was visiting professor at Queen Mary UC, London.

He was the founder, in 2008, and director of Partners in Excellence (PiXL), a group of schools focusing on improving GCSE results.

Thanks to  John Hudson  for bringing the obituary to our attention.

Sir John Rowling RIP. PJGS 1952-1959.

George died on the 4 March 2018 at the age of 102.

After leaving PJGS he taught at the Derby Grammar School, Bolton, Lancs.

He had the reputation of being academic and somewhat aloof. His lessons were brief and he referred you quickly to the text book. He did not suffer fools gladly! His A-level pupils, however, say he was friendly enough and had a sense of humour. For A-level problems, he always reverted to the equation: P = mf.

John Hudson (1946er) has found the obituary for Mr Horsfield in the Bolton News 20.3.2018.

George E Horsfield RIP. PJGS Maths teacher 1948-1960.