Web Page No 2344
11th February 2017
Firstly I apologise for the poor quality of the pictures of the teachers
Top Picture: Ken Wells
Second Picture: Traction Engine
Third Picture: Stationary Engine
Forth Picture: Harold Bennet, June Blitz and Jill Coggan
Fifth Picture: Step by step metalwork Book Three
Ken Wells Metalwork Teacher
It must have been about 1957 that Kenneth Wells joined Court Lane Secondary school and in 1972, whilst he was the metal work teacher (although he did originally apply for the job of woodwork teacher, so it makes one wonder had Mr Bennett, our woodwork teacher decided to move on and then changed his mind?) wrote three simple text books under the general title of Step by Step Metalwork. Book Three only contain two basic projects with a couple of extensions but most of the items in this book were covered in the metalwork classes at school. The items covered are:- How to make a stationary toy steam model and how to make a toy steam traction engine. Unfortunately, by the late 1980's, changes in both the Health and Safety Laws and in the current education system's curriculum requirements at that time meant that both of these models had to be stopped being made in the schools workshops.
These models were always made in class as school projects which meant that they were all made to very differing standards and finishes depending on the ability and skill of the boy who was making it. During these metalwork classes the boys had to follow the basic design that Ken issued but they were allowed a little leeway when it came to painting and decorating their model engines.
These three metalwork books are still fairly easy to find on eBay and other such sites and are regarded by many as both great fun and a good addition to a toy steam collection. Unfortunately, after a short illness Ken Wells died in 2008.
The items covered in Book Three were:-
The model Slide Valve TE Stationary Engine
The Traction Engine
A Twin Piston Chain Drive Traction Engine
The Traction Engine
A Twin Piston Chain Drive Traction Engine
I myself was never very good at manual crafts and the only thing that I can remember making in Ken’s metalwork lessons and taking home was an electric porch lamp which had a whitewashed jam jar for its glazing panel and was eventually mounted by our front door at home. I never progressed onto a metal coffee table as Griff and several others did and so never got on to making a steam engine. Apart from the health and safety aspect of the classes, I wonder if the hard pressed Education Authorities today would be able to afford the raw materials required to run such workshops or would the pupils have to share materials and make one between two or three?
For woodwork the teacher was Mr Harold Bennet and I had no more luck in woodwork classes than I did at metalwork although I do remember taking two items home. The first was a teapot stand involving the cutting of a cross halving joint, this is an item long disappeared. The second was a coffee table, rather misshapen and a little wobbly but it still exists and is at present hidden away in the back of my loft!
Not being of the practical type these lessons gave me grounding in hand crafts which to some extent I have used throughout the rest of my life.
Looking in on school life today it appears that the craft subjects we took are now long gone off the timetable. I doubt if there are many state schools with woodwork shops and metalwork shops and I would imagine that both needlework and cookery or domestic science classes have gone by the board in this day and age. Maybe it was thought that we post war teenagers had to be taught the skills of life in a practical way.
Although not a good chippy or metal worker I can still hark back to those days when we were taught these things and draw on the experience that those classes gave us. I even did cookery for one term whilst the girls had a go at woodwork.
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On this Day 11th February 1960-1965
On 11/02/1960 the number one single was Why - Anthony Newley and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was not listed and the box office smash was Some Like It Hot. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was EMI's last coarse-groove 78 rpm record was issued.
On 11/02/1961 the number one single was Are you Lonesome Tonight? - Elvis Presley and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was
Hiding Place (AR) and the box office smash was One
Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur
were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 11/02/1962 the number one single was The Young Ones - Cliff Richard & the Shadows and the number one album was Blue
- Elvis Presley.
The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office
smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's
money was worth £12.89 and Hawaii were on the way to
becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was
Unknown Sean Connery cast as 007 in Dr No. Ipswich
On 11/02/1963 the number one single was Diamonds - Jet Harris & Tony Meehan and the number one album was Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & the Shadows. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was Liz Taylor films Cleopatra.
On 11/02/1964 the number one single was Diane - Bachelors and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Steptoe & Son (BBC) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was Malcolm X visits Cassius Clay's training camp.
On 11/02/1965 the number one single was Tired of Waiting For You - The Kinks and the number one album was Rolling Stones Number 2 - The Rolling Stones. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and
United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. Manchester