Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mr Morris - Headteacher 1953 - 1960

Reginald Morris - headteacher 1953-1960
Mr Reginald Morris was head teacher at the City of Coventry School from January 1953 to November 1960.

Thanks to John Tearse for this cutting
Mr Morris was a pupil of King Henry V111 grammar school in Coventry and attended Dudley Training college. Before college, however, he was an unqualified teacher in Coventry 1928 - 30. On leaving Dudley College, he joined the staff of Frederick Bird Boys School in Coventry as a qualified teacher. He joined the City of Coventry Boarding School for boys (then still known as Wyre Farm Camp School) in 1940, becoming a senior Assistant in 1944 and headmaster in 1953 on retirement of Mr B. Martin. Mr Lowe was Mr Morris's deputy head, followed by Mr Lambley in the late 1950's.

Mr Morris was a keen sportsman. At one time he played Rugby Football for Coventry and Cricket for Coventry and North Warwickshire Club. He also had captained the cricket club at Cleobury Mortimer.

Sadly, Mr Morris collapse during a performance at the school's annual dramatic production, a one and half hour operetta called "The Great Bell of Burley" by Dr Armstrong Gibbs. About 200 parents of the boys traveled to the school at the weekend to see it.

Mr Morris is the tall figure centre back


This obituary is from The Boarder (School magazine) Issue 4 1961

After a second attack of coronary thrombosis, Mr R T Morris, headmaster of the City of Coventry Boarding School, died at the age of 52 years on 29th November 1960.

Mr Morris came to Cleobury Mortimer with the first party of boys from Frederick Bird school in June 1940.

He was a very keen sportsman and coached the school's cricket teams for many years. He, himself, had played cricket for Coventry and North Warwickshire and Rugby Football for Coventry and North Warwickshire. After coming to Cleobury Mortimer he captained the local cricket team for several seasons.

He was appointed Headmaster in 1953 but before this he was a House Master, and countless will remember his firm but just discipline and his pride in the good name of  'Earlsdon'. During the period of his headship, the school changed considerably. the most important events were the purchase of Wyre Farm Camp by Coventry LEA and the acknowledgement of the school as a fully recognised secondary boarding school with a flourishing GCE stream.

No one can doubt that a major contribution to these changes was the tremendous drive and enthusiasm of Mr Morris. a man of strong personality, he was passionately interested in his school and fiercely proud of its reputation. He expected the best from the boys and staff and was not satisfied with less.

Whatever the future of the school, whatever its successes and improvements; a great debt will be owed to the man who made this possible - RTM.
Also taken from the same magazine -
"Mr Len Smith, on behalf of the visitors (at the 21st Birthday of the school) then informed everyone that he looked forward to beating the school X1 in the afternoon's Cricket match and spoke of the RT Morris Memorial Cup, a new trophy to be presented to the boy who put up the best performance in a match against old boys."

And from the Editorial - " Since the publication of the last issue of the Boarder, the school has suffered the loss of its headmaster, Mr RT Morris. in the autumn term, at a performance of the school play, Mr Morris collapsed and three days later died in Kidderminster General Hospital of coronary thrombosis. His death came as a shock to all; the school had rested on his broad shoulders; the boys had come to regard him as a father figure deserving respect and reverence.."
John Albert Clarke (who was there 1947 - 48 with his brother Allan in Radford House) recalls the school in the 40's when Mr Morris was there -

The dorms were all named after Coventry districts.  The headmaster was Mr Martin. The teachers included Mr Lambly, Mr Langley, Mr Morris (Deputy Head), Frankie Jones, Ivor Jones, Daddie Hatfield, Mr John Lowe, Mr Davies, Mr Simson. We were there because dad and mum split up, but we loved it during the hols when the kids came for holiday. We got to wait on them and no lessons.  Some of the lads I remember - Norman Hartly, Tiggy Bold, & the character of all time - Toastie Davies. Wow - happy days,? or were they ???? Why was he so remembered -  he put a live shell under the line where the cleobury flyer was due to pass. None of you would remember that train -  would you !??

In 1953 Mr Morris became headmaster, on the retirement of Mr Martin, with Mr John Lowe as Deputy Head.

Michael Billings, who was there 1955-1958 recalls -
Mr John Lowe - deputy head

I was in Radford and then Dudley. Teachers at the school at the time were Mr Lowe, Mr Morris, Mr Lambley (House Master of Radford), Mr Tinsella, Mr Thorne, Mr Francis (First teacher), Mr Ridley(2nd teacher), Mr Stirland, Mr Clarke(3rd teacher) and Geoff Oxendale (House Master of Dudley) ...
At the time i was at school these were the only two females we came in contact with other than the maids in the dining hall, the seamstress, matron and sister and the bursars secretary. It was worth joining the dance class to be able to dance and chat with the girls...

Mr Ridley used to have dance lessons in the hall and Vera Jacks used to attend along with the seamstress' daughter.

Mr Morris was the headmaster and Mr Lowe was the deputy head when i was there. When Mr Lowe retired Mr Lambley became deputy head.I have all my school reports from 1955-1958.

Trev Teasdel Mr John Lowe (who deputy head during this period) became headteacher at Willenhall Wood Junior school, which is the school I was at until 1962. Mr Lambley replaced him.

Rosemary Webb Rehill  I remember Derek and Daphne Lambly well. They lived next door to us in the bungalow on the main driveway. They had a son but then they moved on. The Williams moved in after that when Ken became deputy.

Peter Lee  I was in Radford house when I first went there in 1954. you forgot Tinsolow the PE teacher -  the little ex comando. 

David Partridge My first Head, Mr Morris, died in my first term, November 1960. Mr Lambley became acting head 'till the following September when Mr Rowlands came.

Peter Lee  Do you remember the Major and his Rolls shooting brake. I was in Gosford house before I left in 1957 .

Michael Billings Peter, I remember the Major and his Rolls shooting brake and his secretary Dilys.The Rolls would be worth a small fortune today.

George Forrester Does anyone remember a Mr. Shannon? About 1958-60 time. He used to stand in the middle of the dorm and read scarey stories at bedtime. I remember him as being a bit scarey himself!

Photos of the school pre-60's

1 comment:

  1. I remember Derek Lambly well, not a nice bloke I recall. In the dining room on one occasion he hit a boy so hard - knocked him to the floor - shouting "Get up - get up so I can knock you down again" - another of his catch phrases was "God help you cos I wont" - yes, he did live in one of the bungalows in the drive next to the Bursar - Signed "the Original M28"