The Old Dyssean Society's Website

The society is no longer in existence but this website is allied to the Diss Grammar School Facebook group.

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Listings - Teachers and Others
                        including anecdotes.

... and facts as well.

Here you can find information about the teachers and other staff  who worked or helped at the school.  No particular order yet, just as it arrives, I will re-organise on a timeline basis later.

Use your browser's FIND/SEARCH facility to look up a name – this is usually 'ctrl+F'.

The anecdotes are generally posted anonymously.  
N.B: Comments may have been made when attidudes, school and social expectations, and behaviour were different from the current day.

Dates key:
spacer spacer


  a known date span
  a known start date
  a known finish date
  a known year but unknown start and finsh


Here's a link to ALL the images of teachers and staff stored on Google Photos.

Head Teachers:

 Name  a.k.a.  Subjects Years  
Francis Taylor and
Rear Admiral Alfred Hugh Taylor

Francis Taylor   Francis Talor

A H Taylor   Rear Admiral Alfred Hugh Taylor  

The original portarit is in Diss Corn Hall.


  Francis Taylor donated the land for the original school in 1908.

Rear Admiral Alfred Hugh Taylor was a school govenor for many years.

Mr Ernest E Thompson

Ernest E Thompson (DSS headmaster 1914-1916) - killed in France WWi 16th Oct 1918 aged 34.  Thanks to Sally Lee for tracing him.



Anecdote – Ernest Thompson:  RIP 
One of Diss Secondary Schools earliest headmasters, from 1914 to 1916.
Killed in WWI in France 16th Oct 1918.   He was a second lieutenant.
See Diss Express and Commonweath War Graves Commision CWGC.
CWGC in memorium (.pdf).
(Thanks to Sally Lee for the research). 

Ernest Thompson     

Ernest Thompson (label)

Mr Charles Hugh Gray
Charles Hugh Gray (headmaster) 1930s
  Headmaster 1919-39  
Anecdote – Charles Hugh Gray: (d: Jan 1963  RIP  )

Info from Penny Harley, Archivist, Robert Gordon College, Aberdeen, via Andrew Farrier.

Address: 46 Seaview Terrace (or sometimes referred to as View Terrace)

later 80 Union Grove
then 22 Chattan Place
Entered RGC Sept 1889 aged 11
Left Dec 1896
Classes IId, IIId, IVd, IVa, Classical 1, Cl 2, Cl 3, VII 3
Record He appears on the Prize and Merit List as follows:
1891-2 Algebra
1892-3 Geometry
1894-5 Greek, History, Geography, Trigonometry
1895-6 History, Geography, Latin, Algebra, Trig, Arithmetic, Dynamics

He entered the competition for a bursary and was one of 34 boys awarded a "Foundation by Presentation". This meant that he received free schooling for 4 years.

The family had to provide certain financial information so that he could be considered for a Foundation:

Born Cults 25.12.1878
Parent Mrs Louisa Gray
Present school Church of Scotland Normal School
Grandson of a Burgess of Guild of the City of Aberdeen
Father (William Gray, formerly Commission Agent) insane
has £110 invested, also possesses shares, value £4, none of which is presently available
Total earnings of family: 13/6 per week
Children at home 6 (3 male and 3 female) - of whom 3 are not earning. Ages 7 to 17

As well as the prospective pupils sitting an entrance exam, the Governors considered all the particulars of the family. When they had drawn up a short list they would visit the boys in their homes.

There's more to come, watch this space.

(Thanks to Andrew Farrier a great nephew of this headmaster)

died Jan 1963.


Mr Wray

Props Temp Head, d/Head, Chemistry, Physics

Mrs Rosalie Evans

  Head Mistress, English Lit

Mr Gilbert H Fairs

Beefy  Headmaster
Mr John Babington
 Mr John Babington 1947 - GC OBE

Mr Eric Pursehouse

Mr Eric Pursehouse 1949.


Money-bag Mansion Headmaster, Maths, Geography

Anecdote – Eric Pursehouse: (b:1899 d:1964  RIP  )
"Money-Bag Mansion"

A comment by Eric on a boys school report (maths) "He has ability which he is determined not to develop."

" Diss is fatherless by this man's dying:

And not Diss only; over the whole earth
Men thrive and work in whose lives he gave birth
To logic of wisdom, scorn of lying
The world condones, that cowardice, those tasks
Done less well than in one's power to do;
Scorn of self gain; mean-ness that always asks
More than it gives; he did not fear the new,
But served and taught and live the sound, the food,
Looking for all these in all things, in all men,
All children; himself a maker, made them
Becom creative, talented, he would
Laugh his great laugh, sing finely, carve a stool,
But work patiently; be himself, our school."

 - S G Thickness

Phillip Clarke writes - "The Grammarian" (something else that my father rescued from DGS around 1985-1987) and in it the headmaster writes "As December 18th approaches, and with it my retirement, my mind naturally looks back over the years to September 17th 1929 when I first joined the School staff". The magazines editorial says "We say goodbye to Mr Pursehouse this term."


Mr Anthony C Norfolk
Mr Anthony C Norfolk

Alfie, Alf

"Alf", any ideas anyone his name was Anthony so Tony might have been more appropriate.

Headmaster, English,   Current Affairs 1960-77  

Anecdote – Alfie Norfolk:

"Mr Norfolk replaced Mr Pursehouse as headmaster in, I think, about 1960 when we were in the First Form. He was just Mr A Norfolk, no one knew his Christian name (we were allowed to say that in those days), so someone said it was probably Alfie and it just stuck."

Wxxxs're about as much use as a carburretor on a tea urn, now get out of my sight' ... "

"Mrs Ives and Alfie gave me a telling off for disgracing the uniform - my crime eating chips in the street in uniform!!!  Ah the good old days."

"Best comment I had was from Alfie Norfolk, my brother and I had both left school a while and were walking through Diss one day when Alfie passed us saying "You boys, why aren't you at school?"  Ian managed to blurt out that he'd left two years ago!"

From The Dyssean Vol 8, N° 1, 1962:

I can find no reference to 'unerring tube".

Mr A C Norfolk was with the 'Chindits" in the army during WWII. Click an image to enlarge and get more information.




Miss Rosmary Palmer 

Rosie Palmer 1975

d/Head (girls)

Anecdote – Rosie Palmer:

"I got into Miss Palmers' bad books too. Those days when you could pay 50p and wear what you wanted (home clothes) to school for the day. My god what was I thinking? Turned up looking like a Marc Bolan groupie reject and she sent me home! I dont blame her looking back."


Mrs Hilda Patterson
Mrs Hilda Patterson 1961 aka Hilda, Ma Hoots

Hilda, Ma Hoots, Hatpin

"Hoots", Hilda and Hoots were both Scots.

d/Head, Chemistry -1948-68

Anecdote – Hilda Patterson:

"The first lesson on the first day at DGS was chemistry with Hilda, she kept talking about 'suit' and I really did not understand till much later when I realised that she was talking about was soot (Norfick v Scottish y'ken).  Never did get the hang of chemical formulae either."

From The Dyssean Vol 8, N° 1, 1962:


Mr Reg G Patterson
1949 Mr Reg Patterson 1949.
1961 Mr Reg Patterson 1961

Hoots, Reggie

"Hoots", Hilda and Hoots were both Scots.

Chemistry also ATC,
Diss 1070 squadron
Miss Downing/Mrs Ives
Mrs Catherine Ives 1961
  French (d/Head (girls 1939))

Anecdote – Mrs Ives:

"If she was nasty, she was nasty to everyone, she did not pick and choose.  I am told she was sympathetic towards me due to my poor eyesight, can't say I noticed it myself."

"Ahh ! Mrs Ives luckily she retired when I was in the 2nd year !!!"

"Mrs Ives and Alfie gave me a telling off for disgracing the uniform - my crime eating chips in the street in uniform!!!  Ah the good old days."

From The Dyssean Vol 8, N° 1, 1962:


Mr Geoffrey Daniels
Geoffrey Daniels 1972 aka Dewberry (Dubrie)
 RIP  (8th Nov 2015)

Dubrie (Dewberry), Harpic

Dubrie, Dubry or Dewberry (Norfolk/Suffolk accent thing).
I've been informed that a dewberry is a drop on the end of your nose.

Harpic, 'Clean round the bend', after a well advertised toilet cleaner of the era.

Divinity, History, helped with games

Mr Daniels:
"Eye GS had just merged with Diss GS and Dewberry was reading the register on the first day for his class (5th formers) - '... Nicoli, Pratt' - at which point someone is reputed to have called out 'Dewberry, Cnut' or some such other angle-saxon King."

"2nd July 2012 - Mr Daniels still alive at 89. Living in Bexhill on Sea. Ordained deacon in C of E 1973 and then priest 1974. Moved to teach in Sussex in 1974. Daughter Elizabeth, was at DGS."

"8th November 2015 - Elizabeth Daniels reported that her father Geoffrey Daniels died yesterday, 8th Nov 2015, in Sussex,  he was 92.  A priest for 40 years  R.I.P ."

From The Dyssean Vol 8, N° 1, 1962:

Mr Reginald Wright
Mr Reg Wright 2008

Reg or Reggie PE, Art, Geography 1954-1983

Anecdote –Reggie Wright:
"I knew he was old when he taught us in the late 1970's but maybe there is something in exercise being good for you!  Well done, Reggie!"

"A good man who showed me (female) how to run with spikes!"

"He wasn't my favourite teacher by any means, I don't think it was him, I just didn't like sports, especially ball-games and as for boxing ... "

From The Dyssean Vol 8, N° 1, 1962:


Mr James Govier
Mr James Govier 1947
 RIP  (b: Aug 1910 d: Dec 1974)

James Govier:

See Eye Grammar Old Students' Association site.

"I (female) got locked in the art room cupboard with him once and poor chap was terrified.   Mind you in my innocence I didn't see how it would look to others."

Mr Andrew Stratfold

Andrew Stratfold 1972 aka Fred Andrew Stratfold 1972 aka Fred


Jock, Fred

Andrew Stratfold:

"I used to sit at the back left of the class in French and Mr S often lobbed the board rubber at me, one time I skillfully dodged it and it broke the side window... I got the blame for that too.... Alfie Norfolk said I shouldn't have moved."

"Fred Stratfold what a legend, opened my mouth to say something in French just as he was throwing a piece of chalk at IanH which I promptly swallowed! Don't know who was more shocked him, me or Ian!"

"I got into Mr Stratfolds bad books one year... whilst travelling up to Yorkshire to see my dad I left my suitcase at Norwich station around 1976. Caused a massive bomb scare (IRA was very active at that time) and closed the station for hours. Stratfold's son was coming back from Uni and was delayed by HOURS. He knew it was me who caused it, oh how the blackboard rubber flew after that!  LOL!  I'm pretty nimble, so he never got me with it hahaha. Tears later I saw him at the NEC, he was selling candles, I was buying... that was interesting!"

" - he also made us sing the spelling of 'vieille'."
"Yeah v - i - e - i - double l - eeeeee"

Here's Andrew "Fred" himself telling his story:

Strtafold memories

Click to enlarge.


Mr Richard Parker
Mr Richard Parker 2005
RAB, Hairy, Fiddle, The Crab

Richard Parker:

"...and I'm no longer cowering behind a bunsen burner on a stool to kill anyones buttocks... hoping that he doesn't pick me to answer a question!"

"Nice, tidy, single file queue."

"This bloke made me a biologist, Ms McGuire made me love it."

"Mr Parker had a camper van? Cool dude! He was a real character - I liked that."

"Yes it [the camper van] was green. Claude [a skeleton] got to go camping in South Devon one year and got confiscated as he was freaking out the kids on the campsite."  "yeah sitting upright in the passenger seat, arm propped on the window sill one time too....."

"... called everyone "Specimen" and always carried a bit of fern poking out his breast pocket. I used to volunteer as a lab helper in lunchbreak and remember discovering a box labelled "broken elastic bands" in the lab cupboard."

"He was actually a good teacher and knew his subject inside out. Every lesson included practical experiments too! That lab of his was a real treasure trove!


Mr Robert Lewis
Bob Lewis 1969


Anecdote – Bob Lewis:
"Hanging valley's - Dee-ferential dee-nudation, differential denudation."

"Mr Lewis was a fantastic teacher. He made it all seem so eeeesy!"

" 'Is your loaf underdone?' Mr Lewis's witty pun when I gave a wrong answer in geography class."

" geography quotation of all time - 'Warm wet winters with wet west winds' still comes in handy when discussing the mediterranean weather."


Miss Ann Fewkes
Miss Ann Fewkes 2011

  History -1971?
Anecdote – Ann Fewkes:

"One of the best - she made history interesting. She was also my Brown Owl, Guide Captain, Sunday School Teacher and had a genuine interest in young people. Miss Fewkes certainly influenced my early life."

"I actually used to get 'A's for history with Miss Fewkes. Something virtually unheard of for one of the class thickos so she must have been a good teacher."


Mrs Wolpin

Miss E Smith
Miss Smith 1964 aka Boudicca

Boodikka (NOT Boudicea), Granny, Old ma Smith

"Boudica" or Boudicca, she drummed into us that it was 'Bo-dikka' not 'Boo-da-see-a'.

English, History 1960s

From The Dyssean Vol 8, N° 1, 1962:

Miss Constance Watson

Connie History, English (lit) 1960s

Anecdote – Connie Watson:

"... some of us rather rudely wondered how much of it she was teaching from personal experience."

"Connie Watson...bonkers !!"

From The Dyssean Vol 8, N° 1, 1962:


Miss Margaret Pascoe

Andrew Stratfold 1972 aka Fred
on the right.

PE, Games 1960s

Margaret Pascoe:

"...loathed me too - feeling was mutual. Still shudder at the memory of the showers and being forced to go back through if we were too quick."


Mr James Killick Jimmy
Groundsman / Caretaker

Mr Colin Mills
Colin Mills 1972 aka Budgie


"Budgie", anyone ?, c'mon old Eye people.


Colin MIlls:

"Thought Mr Mills was a genuinely nice man, but he couldn't quite get me to understand algebra."


Mr Dave Dwerryhouse
Dave Dwerryhouse 1975

Mrs McGuire/Vaux

  Biology, Maths    
Mr Challoner


Anecdote – Mr Challoner:

"Art was the worst, couldn't draw for a toffee but soon discovered that anything with a massey ferguson tractor in it got a decent grade with Mr Challoner!"

Mr Hirons
Mr Hirons 1975

  Physics -1975-

Mr Hirons:

"think he gave up on me I never could get all that gravity stuff..."

"He was a really fun - he did have a cool Harley after all!"


Mr John Blagden
John Blagden 1964 aka Bloggs

Maths, Physics, School Trips

John Blagden:

"... and Mrs B arranged a fabulous trip to Switzeland in the mid 1960s. Train to Dover, then ferry, then train throught France to Switzerland then narrow guage railway to 'Disentis'. We then learned to ski and drink rum-punch."

"Skiing in the Dolomites on Monte Zoncolan with Mr & Mrs Blagdon and Mr Stratfold. Circa 1979. It took an hour on cable cars, chairs and button lifts to reach the peak and all day to ski back down! Had a fantastic time taking breaks in all the huts on the way down for coffee and cake. The Grappa blew my head off. Mr Blagdon's son was there too (can't remember his name but a nice guy) I was stunned when he told me his Dad used to be a jet fighter pilot, flying Vampires. Rather different from the guy I knew as a teacher, driving to school in his Reliant 3 wheeler..."

"We had Mr Blagdon for maths and I appreciate he was a genius but he never shared any information with me - maths just completely phased me."

From The Dyssean Vol 8, N° 1, 1962:


Mrs Jill Blagden
Mrs Jill Blagden 1961

  Domestic Science, School Trips

From The Dyssean Vol 8, N° 1, 1962:


Mr Jones


Mr Jones:

"if brains were dynamite boy, you wouldn't have a enough to blow your hat off."

"Told us wonderful anecdotes about his years spent in Canada. Superb teacher given me a lifelong love of Maths." (we don't have too many of these anecdotes yet).

"He also told us about fitting chains to tyres so they could get traction in the snow, not exceptional stories I know. But there was nothing better than getting a teacher to go off topic in order to avoid doing any work!"


Mrs Goodwin

Miss Irving

Madam Mayhew

Mr Thompson

  French, German, Music -1970s-
Miss Lambert

Mr Norman Hart
Norman Hart 1975


"Sooty", reasons ... 1 - he had quite dark skin, 2 - he went about like he had some old bloke's hand up his a**e.

Geography, Careers    
Mr Peter W Knight
Mr Peter Knigh Mr Peter KnighMr Peter Knigh 1975

Physics, Maths

Anecdote – Peter Knight:

"An excellent teacher who inspired me sufficiently to read Physics at University."

"I remember waiting to go into Pete Knights' physics class and xxxx explaining his theory that atoms were 4 dimensional. I thought "This will be too much for Pete"; I was right ... he retreated into his cubby hole to drink some meths after xxxx proposed his theory to the entire class."

"... Mr Knight, who always licked his chalky fingers and looked like he had rabies!"

From The Dyssean Vol 8, N° 1, 1962:


Mrs Irene Howard
Irene Howard 1975

  Domestic Science, Needlework    
Mr Burrell

Mrs Dylis Wynn-Jones
Dylis English 1959-76

Anecdote – Mrs Wynn-Jones:
"Miss Fewkes told me she had no idea of Mrs Wynn-Jones' christian name even though they were in the same school for around five years. All the female staff, even in the staff room, called each other Miss or Mrs whatever! Another world."

"And yes, I did get a good grade in English - to my complete surprise... my highest (O-level) grade, in fact.   She musta larnt me better than wot I thort!"

From The Dyssean Vol 8, N° 1, 1962:


Mr Godfrey Batley

  Caretaker, Woodwork    
Mr Robert Aberdein
Mr Bob Aberdein 1961 aka Oboe




"Oboe", he played the cello (classics) and clarinet (jazz) during woodwork lessons.

Art, Woodwork, Technical Drawing


From The Dyssean Vol 8, N° 1, 1962:


Mrs Hunt

Mr Graham Ramm

Penguin, SFG
Technical Drawing
Mr Hill

Larry Grayson

"Larry", his voice had a slight tremolo, after Larry Adler the harmonica player. Correction - Nigel Barber tells me it was after Larry The Lanb's voice.

Mr N Hart

Sooty Geography    
Mr Dave Harris

Anecdote – Dave Harris:

" - a genius who loved to challenge us to ask him any word in the dictionary and he would (always) provide the meaning?"

Mr Roger Deakin
UEA Archive
Roger Deakin 1975
 RIP  Obit:

Freaky, Coostics

"Coostics", before he arrived music at DGS was piano and violin, he brought it the acoustic guitar.

English, Music

Anecdote – Roger Deakin:

"Was the most inspirational teacher; I had him for English A level and he changed my life."

"Great teacher, great choice of books in lit.  Really opened our heads up by debate.  Don't think I would have gone on to study law if it wasn't for his input in language for me.  Bless him."

Mrs Holton

Anecdote – Mrs Holton:

"... only thing I remember about Mrs Holton was a small dark haired, monotone voiced lady barely visible at the front of the class ..."

Mr J C Jones Casey Maths, Physics, Geography

Mrs Irene Barker


Anecdote – Irene Barker:

"Mrs Barker's English lessons were something else... she actually treated us like adults, although you wouldn't wanna mess with her! Scary lady! I do recall her teaching us more about Troilus & Cressida in 3 lessons than others had taught us in a whole year for A levels."

"Mrs Barker really let me down. She told us we could write a story about 'anything we liked', so I did a Stephen King-esque piece.  Mrs B held it up to the class as a 'piece of filth', which to be honest I took as a compliment.  She then took it to Rosie Palmer and they called my parents in.  I expected much more of her :-("

Mr Ken J Barrell (pron Burrrelle)
Ken Barrell 1975

Harry Divinity (RE), Histiry, English

Ken Barrell:

"He taught General Studies in 6th Form. I couldn't stand his voice (it was too soft and used to make me sleepy!), so I opted out of General Studies and took O Level Art instead!"

'He apparently bored a class rigid by getting a guitar out and singing various songs! I must admit I liked him, a good teacher."

Mrs Norfolk

She taught German in the 'Turret Room'. German 1968-69
Mrs Howard
  Domestic Science Food Nutrition/Needlework

Miss Jane Thorpe
Jane Thorpe 1964


  Domestic Science -1960s-


From The Dyssean Vol 8, N° 1, 1962:


Miss Irving

Miss Lambert

  PE (Hockey), Divinity    
Miss Fuller

Mr MacPherson

  English ?    
Mrs Grover

Mrs Clark

Mrs Holton

Mrs Westover

Mr Batchelor

Mr J C Barnes
FMr Barnes 1961 aka Barny

Barny French and Latin    

From The Dyssean Vol 8, N° 1, 1962:


Miss Sheene
Mr Barnes 1961 aka Barny

Miss Watkins/Barnes

PE, girls    
Anecdote – Miss Watkins/Barnes:

"Miss Watkins married Mr Barnes and we were constantly getting her name wrong."

From The Dyssean Vol 8, N° 1, 1962:


Mr David MacMullen
English Lit, Latin, New Testament Greek, Music, Maths

Miss Hilda Crammond

Miss Sybilla Gratiana Thicknesse

Gracie, Camel

"Camel", her brand of cigarette.

History, Divinity
Mr Clifford Day

Miss Doreen Wallace (Mrs Rash)

Miss Warburton

  Domestic Science
Miss Dixon
  Matron for boarders at Uplands, Walcott Rd, Diss.
Miss Mabel Cole

Mr Benjamin Sasada
 RIP  (d: Jan 2017)
  Taught at 'Uplands', 6th form college. (?)  -1970s-
Mrs F E Sharp

Mr Norman Charlton-Burdon

  English, Music
Mr E D Lusted

English,  Latin
Miss M E Davis

Miss Johnson

  Domestic Science
Mr C A Cornwell

Maths, Choir
Mr Michael Browne

Mickey, Larry
Maths, Physics  1955-61
Mr H I Jones


From The Dyssean Vol 8, N° 1, 1962:


Miss Fuller

Mr Hills

Miss Curnock/Ellis

  RE, Geography

Anecdote – Miss Curnock:

"Lovely Miss Curnock, I always remember her cloggs, she was a big fashion hit next to Mr Stratfold's flowing black gown!"

"She was one of the first people I saw to have the trendy perm that Abba were sporting at the time."


Ms Button

Mrs Jean Ray 
 RIP  (Jan 2016) Obit:

Mr Mathienson

Willie Baxter
(as he resembled the character from the Scots Porridge Oats TV ads)
English Lang & Lit

Anecdote – Mr Mathieson:

"When Mr Mathieson first arrived at the school we had him for English Lang and Lit.  His opening words were 'We're not going to waste two years on English Language. I'll start teaching it two weeks before the O level exams, and I guarantee you'll all pass". He did and we all did, and it gave us extra time in Eng Lit, which again helped us all. Top teaching!"

Mr John 'F C' Smith   Caretaker
Stanley Carlton

  Bus driver - Simmonds

  Bus driver - Simmonds    

  Bus driver -    
Bob Ruddock

  Bus driver -    
Old Bob

  Bus driver -    
Sid Sharp

Mrs Hilton

Mr Kirk

Miss Graves

Miss Nunn/Moore

  Biology, Domestic Science
Anecdote – Miss Nunn/Moore:

"I liked Miss Nunn, I sat in front of our fifth form lessons for biology.
She taught sitting on top of the front desk ... "


Mr Eric Moore
Mr George Edwards

See 'The Dyssean' 1957, Vol 3, N° 1, pg 16 on his retirment.
Miss Constance Folkard

  History, Art
Mrs Hare

Miss Taylor

Mrs Sheare

Miss Morton   Music
Dolly Porter   Cook
Miss Wright

  French -1951-
Miss E Davies

  History, Art 1954-  
Mr Wrathmell

Pip Lusted

Mr Brown

Mrs Leigh

Cuthbert P Cook

  English 1949-52   
Miss Sweeney

  French  -1975-  
Andrew Hines

  Head Groundsman  -1975-  
Miss Uttley

  French  -1976-  
Mrs Woplin

  History, Divinity  -1970-  
Miss Winifred Martin

  French, German  -1970-  
Fraulein Schitt

  German assistant  -1969-  
Mr K Jones

  Chemistry  1968-  
Mrs Lockwood

  Domestic Science -1968  
Mrs Angell

  Domestic Science  1968-  
Mr L R Bee (part time)

  Maths, Physics 1963-  
Mlle Nourisson

  French Assistant 1963  
Mr Ireland

  Physics -1954  
Mlle Vuillermet

  French Assistant -1958  
Mr Bailey

    1950 ?  
Untitled Document

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