Old Boys' Association
The Old Boys’ Association organises many activities including football, golf, bridge, table tennis, together with annual Founders' Day Dinners in Bury and London in May.
Membership is open to all leavers - regardless of when they left the School - and costs £25.00.
To become a member, simply download the OBA Application Form and send it together with your payment to Sharon Blakelock, OBA Membership Secretary, Bury Grammar Schools Development Office, Farraday House, Bridge Road, Bury, BL9 0HG.
President: Patrick Newton
Chairman & Treasurer: Bill Ullathorne (1972 Leaver)
Secretary: Luis McBriar (2013 leaver)
"Sanctas clavis hic fores Aperit", canamus;
Optimum nos plurimi Semper aestimemus;
“Here the key opens Sacred doors", let us sing.
May we always value most what is best;
Mr Derek Calrow OBE
It is truly fitting and appropriate that, in the week that we achieve our £1million target, we can honour and pay tribute to a gentleman who has supported the School in so many ways over the years.
The whole BGS community was delighted to congratulate Derek Calrow, Old Boy and ex-Governor, who was awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours list for his charitable and political work. Derek is a true supporter of both Bury Grammar School and the wider Bury community and you can read our tribute to Derek here.
Dr Ian B Fallows - School historian and BGS Old Boy
Bury Grammar School is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dr Ian B Fallows, Old Boy and author of the definitive history of the School.
Bury Grammar School is indebted to Dr IB Fallows, JP, MA, PhD for his documentation of the history of the School which is published in his book Bury Grammar School - A History c1570 to 1976.
Dr Fallows was given a Kay Scholarship to Bury Grammar School in 1934 and became Vice Captain of the School, later going to Emmanuel College, Cambridge
where he gained a First in Classics. As the culmination of his career in teaching he became Headmaster of Batley Grammar School until his retirement in 1981.The
research for, and the writing of the School's history took five years, during which he completed a PhD at Leeds University.
Dr Fallows, 96, passed away in June in Yorkshire after a year of declining health. He was married to Marjorie Fallows (née Coates) and, following her death to Win
Fallows (née Mortimer). He outlived both of his sons and leaves two grandchildren through them and two stepsons through his later marriage to Win.
The School have flown the flag at half- mast in tribute to this remarkable historian and Old Boy. A full obituary is published below from his stepson David Coates.
Obituary: Dr. Ian B Fallows J.P., M.A., Ph.D
My stepfather, Ian Benjamin ‘Ben’ Fallows was born on May 10th, 1924 in Bury Lancashire, the only child of a Scottish mother and a father who was a schools inspector from Shropshire.
Ian described the moment on March 10th, 1934 when, still aged only nine, he stood before the imposing figure of L.R. Strangeways, Headteacher of Bury Grammar School, to be interviewed for entry to the school. “If ever there is a determining
moment in one’s life then that was mine” he recalled. He was awarded a Kay Scholarship to the school and went on to become Vice Captain.
Displaying a talent for modern and ancient history and Latin he gained an open scholarship to Emmanuel College, going up to Cambridge in 1942 to study classics. Despite this being the middle of the war, he described his time at Emma as being
some of the happiest years of his life.
Most of the undergraduates in Ian’s year were called up for service at some point and Ian recounted the day when he and the only other boy from his school year at Bury, then at Christ’s, went for their medicals. For reasons that were never clear to him Ian did not pass and so returned to his studies. His friend from Bury never returned.
Ian left Cambridge in 1946 having completed a PGCE and soon took up a teaching place at Bradford Grammar School. After a few years he moved on to join the staff at Nottingham High School. Teaching history and classics in the school sixth form, he stayed in Nottingham from 1950 to 1964. It was during this time that, during one of his visits home in Bury, he met Marjorie Coates and they were married in June 1953. They had two sons, Chris who was born in 1955 and Simon who arrived in 1959.
In 1964 Ian was appointed Headteacher of Batley Grammar School in the West Riding of Yorkshire and it was here that he was to spend not only the rest of his career but also the remainder of his life. Despite originating from the other side of the Pennines, Ian soon established himself as a respected figure in the local community. He joined the local Rotary Club, an
organisation that he was to serve with dedication for the next 55 years, serving as President on two occasions. He also became a magistrate and was a member of Probus.
However, it was Batley Grammar School that was his main passion and he was to dedicate his entire career to it as Headmaster. Founded in 1612 the school had a rich history, with notable alumni in Joseph Priestley and Sir Titus Salt, and in 1978 the school became independent under Ian’s stewardship.
But it was the boys that passed through the school that truly benefited from Ian’s guidance. It was always with a feeling of envy on my part that, even at 96, Ian seemed to be able to recollect not only the name and background of every boy who
attended the school during his time there, but also seemed to know what they had gone on to do and still seemed to be in touch with a great many of them. When news of Ian’s failing health became known in his last few months I was able to read out well over a hundred messages to him from old boys, with a similar number of tributes being made after his passing on the Old Batelian’s website. They variously called him The Boss, Sir or just IBF.
Sadly Marjorie passed away in 1981 and Ian was then to re-marry two years later to my mother Win, who had been widowed some 11 years previously. Somewhat confusingly Uncle Ian was now my stepfather! They were to remain happily married
for 29 years until my mother’s death in 2012.
Ian retired from Batley Grammar School in 1986 after 22 years as Headmaster but, as expected, he did not slide into a gentle retirement. While continuing to contribute as a magistrate, Rotarian and serve on the board of governors of a few other local
schools he also found time to research into the history of several institutions based in Lancashire and Yorkshire.
In 2001 Ian published 'Bury Grammar School - A History c1570 to 1976’ which is the definitive guide to the history of his alma mater. He gained his PhD from Leeds University and in 2008 published ‘William Hulme and his Trust’. After several years studying in archives and libraries across the UK, Ian became the leading expert on William Hulme, a 16th century Lancastrian gentleman whose will established a modest trust that, by owning land in what would become central Manchester, would go on to generate much wealth that would benefit Brasenose College Oxford and endow several schools in Lancashire.
He also had a creative side and was an accomplished pianist and enjoyed a lifelong love of carpentry, a skill he learned as a child from his father and uncle, making many of the items of furniture in his home. In his later years he taught himself
mandarin Chinese, particularly enjoying the art form of calligraphy.
Sharp as a tack to the end, Ian passed away peacefully in June 2020. He is survived by his two stepsons John and David, a granddaughter Kate (daughter of Chris), a grandson Brian (son of Simon) and two step-grandchildren Jenny and Tim. However, his legacy lives on through the many hundreds he helped along in the course of their
David Coates, 2/2/2021.
Mr Richard Marshall, Headmaster of Bury Grammar School Boys, 2013-2017
It was with great sadness that Bury Grammar School heard the news of the passing of Mr Richard Marshall, former Headmaster of Bury Grammar School Boys, at the age of 48.
Mr Marshall joined the Boys' School in 2006 as Head of Chemistry, after which he progressed to the role of Academic Deputy in 2008 and then Second Master in 2010. He was proud to lead Bury Grammar School Boys for four years from 2013 to 2017 as our 38th Headmaster. Richard will be missed by many within our community.
Bury Grammar School lowered the School Flag to half-mast as a sign of respect for the passing of our former Headmaster Richard Marshall.
The whole school community extends our sympathy and condolences to Richard’s family at this incredibly sad time.
Lieutenant Colonel Geoffrey Bennett TD BA, 1931 – 2020
We are deeply saddened to inform you of the passing of Geoffrey Bennett on Wednesday 4th March 2020. Geoff was a much loved and respected Old Boy and Master.
Geoff's funeral was held at Rochdale Crematorium on Thursday March 19th at 3pm.
The following piece has been written by Patrick Newton and we attach a picture and an amusing story regarding the 2nd X1 1959-60 sent in by OB Jeff Gosling.
Later in the year the School intends to hold a Memorial Service at the Bury Parish Church followed by a Reception at School to celebrate Geoff’s life and his contribution to BGS and the CCF. Details will follow.
Lt. Col. Geoffrey Bennett has died in Bridge House Elderly Persons’ Home, Bury, at the age of eighty-eight.
Geoffrey had been both pupil and Master at Bury Grammar School Boys. He had enjoyed an outstanding career at the School as a boy, which culminated in his appointment as both School Captain and Senior Cadet during his final year of 1949-50.
After graduating in Classics from Birmingham University in 1953, Geoffrey was commissioned into The First Battalion XX The Lancashire Fusiliers, serving mainly in Germany. He retained his military career after National Service, and served with The Fifth Battalion XX The Lancashire Fusiliers, a Territorial unit, from 1955 to 1967. He remained deeply involved with the Battalion after retirement.
Geoffrey re-joined the Bury Grammar School as a member of staff in 1958. He was a popular and a highly respected Schoolmaster who gave unstintingly of his time to a wide variety of School activities. Most notably, he commanded the Bury Grammar School Combined Cadet Force from 1974 to 1990, and was Master-in-Charge of both First and Second Eleven Football Teams during a long career in School sport.
Geoffrey retired from teaching in 1991. His wife, Mary, pre-deceased him, and it is his daughter, Patricia, and her family, that we send our deepest sympathies.