…a site for ex-FPGS students


The Grammar School : A Secret History

Just a quick word to say that the BBC are currently re-showing their excellent  series on BBC 4 TV.

Part One can be viewed here on the BBC iPlayer, with Part Two here.

This is the story of the golden age of the grammar schools in the 1950s and 60s and their sudden demise. They gave talented children from modest backgrounds like Michael Wood, Neil Kinnock and Edwina Currie the chance to go to the very best schools in the country. This revealing history explains how and why the grammar schools were suddenly phased out by the very people who had benefited from them.




Back home

While I arrived back home in Spain a couple of weeks’ ago, I have been unable to do anything on-site due to my main computer monitor not functioning properly.

That’s all OK now so I can start doing some updating on the FPGS site when I get the opportunity.

Thanks again for your patience.


A new site; A new home

Well, after an absence of almost four months, the Firth Park Grammar School Web site is finally back! I really thought it such a shame to deprive everyone from such a treasure trove of information that I hold here. It would have been such a waste of effort and time after all of these years.

You’ll probably have noticed that the site is not exactly as it was before but we’re back nevertheless!

Also, you will have noticed that there is no ‘.co.uk’ attached to the site name this time… this is to both save money and hopefully make it easier to put things right should they go awry again (hackers permitting!)

Other than FPGS site news there have also been big changes in my own life since this site disappeared form your browsers with me deciding to purchase yet another house in France. I bought it (much smaller than the previous one more than eight years’ ago) because sunshine isn’t everything and I became bored with doing very little in Spain. The Spanish house is still there, of course – in fact I shall be going back there for the winter in three days’ time – but I feel a little more fulfilled in my life actually having a physical project & personal challenge to undertake.

Because I shall be spending the next few months in Spain this will allow me time to try to organise the FPGS Web site into something similar to how it was before. You’ll notice that there is presently a dearth of images on-site. I hope to remedy this just as shortly as I can… but please don’t stress me too much about this. I shall do what I can, when I can.

In the meantime I will be giving you site updates and other interesting reports as I did before.

I hope that you will be able to find this new site quickly and easily. I have already sent out a few emails * to people with whom I have been in touch over the years (do you realise that it’s over ten years ago since I started this site?!)… I hope that you will be able to pass on the new Web address to other interested people, namely :


And finally, it’s good to ‘see’ you all again !


* Please note that the emails that I have thus sent out have been rather impersonal and have therefore included no names as such. This was to save time !

Here we go again!

After yet another hacking to the site I am now seriously wondering whether to continue with it. This is today’s state of the Internet when organisations hack into others’ sites with the idea of promoting their own ideals… such is the case with a fanatical religious group which have all but spoiled the school site recently in their hacking attempt, and for what? For nothing… other than to mess things up for me and others.

I am presently away in Italy and will be here until early June, so there absolutely nothing that I can do on the site for the upcoming weeks until I return home to my main computer. With the point of view that it’s also costing me personally money to keep the site up & running (only 5 pounds in money has been donated to the site in its ten years of existence!), I really feel that I cannot continue, thanks to what again has happened.

I will of course post something on this page as to whether I wish to continue, but as it stands at the moment I do not wish to have yet further problems in the future due to people’s stupidity as I just do not have the time (or patience).

Thanks for the total of five pounds which was donated to the site to keep it running these past ten years or so, and also to people’s past interest.


1942 Entrants’ Reunion

The class of ’42 are holding their 70th anniversary reunion in Sheffield in early September 2012. If interested in attending, please contact Ken Stringfellow on: 0114 230 4063 or email him at: casyhes@hotmail.co.uk for further details.

” If you started the great adventure of a Firth Park Granmmar School education in September 1942, then please make contact AND COME AND CELEBRATE “.


Ex-FPGS pupil book launch

The official launch of the book: ‘Headlong into Pennilessness‘ by an ex-puipl of FPGS – Michael Glover, will take place at 18h00 on 30 April 2012 at the Sheffield City Hall. This date is the 47th anniversary of the first concert that the young Bob Dylan ever gave in Sheffield.

A chapter of Michael’s book is devoted to that and other great Sheffield City Hall concerts of the 1960s. All old Firparnians (and others) are welcome to attend the launch.

Up-to-date information is that the above date and time is correct. However, enquiries may be made to the following email address: neil@allcreditmedia.com

The Grammar School: A Secret History

An excellent short mini-series of two programmes has just started on BBC4 TV in the UK:

“The Grammar School: a Secret History (BBC Four) was only secret insofar as it asked lots of people who might not have been asked before what going to grammar school was like. In other words, solid, oral testimony where someone has taken the time to ask the right question to the right people, rather than spending 20 minutes in front of Google. As a result it cut through much of the romanticised poppycock that is spoken about grammar schools as part of the never-ending education debate (one that grammar schools helped create).

This was the first of two hour-long parts and it made stately progress from discussion of the initial ideal – giving the very best education to Britain’s brightest children, however humble their background – to the more mottled reality. There was the good (grammar schools imbued loyalty, pride, courage and excellence; five consecutive prime ministers can’t be wrong) and there was the not so good (the 11+ left many children haunted: “I have no recollections of which questions I got right but I have forever of the ones I got wrong,” said one woman). And, as the film rightly showed, many children who didn’t get into grammar school did just fine, too.

Episode one took us to the beginning of the Sixties. We now await the crowning irony of what came next – the phasing out the grammar school system at the height of its power by the very people it benefited the most.”


Part one can still be viewed on the BBC iPlayer with Part 2 being shown on BBC next Thursday 12 January 2012.

Addendum: The BBC iPlayer is viewable by UK nationals up to seven days after transmission. However, I am sure that the station will repeat this excellent mini-series at some point in the near future.