• Picture Penzance is free to join and use. So why not join our community. As a member you can upload images, add comments, participate in our contests and connect with like minded people.
    All the best,
    Halfhidden (founder member)

  • Why not log in or join for free? Members don't see adverts on the site ;)

Humphry Davy School


As there is a thread for Lescudjack School which I can't join in on ( :mad: ) as I am too young ( ;D ) I thought I would start one for Humphry Davy School. I am not sure when this school was created, perhaps someone could fill me in? I attended in between 1985 and 1990 in the "golden years" when there was still a lower site, when draughty, smelly Elliott Huts were used and when there were plenty of teachers with some character left. Many who taught at Lescudjack and the Grammar Schools were there. Does anyone who went to Humphry Davy have any memories of the staff, buildings and lessons of your day? What is it like now in the "modern era"?


Staff member
Hi Denanmaor.... I was still at Lescudjack when the changes went ahead. I think my last year (1981) when Lescudjack became Humphry Davy lower site, but I'll check up on that for you.


Staff member
I know a few people that went to Humphry Davy....And I'm sure that many would become involved if they knew that they could communicate to their long lost school friends...through this website...even though they went to different schools...what do you think??
let us know....much appreciated. Sparky.


September 1980 was the first term of the newly-merged school - "I know, cos I was there" to quote someone or other.


Staff member
Yes I can confirm that BoP is correct. I've spoken with Mr Owen who told me this.


I was at Humphry Davy from 1976 - 1980.
Bill Smith was the headmaster then and Mr Harvey was deputy head. It was still pretty "old school" in those days, with lots of canings dished out. We dreaded being sent to Mr Harvey for punishment as he was much more strict than the head, and had a selection of canes. He was fair though, and a good teacher, and it was not unknown for him to let you off if he'd "had a good breakfast." It was pretty tough on the teachers in those days, as the punk era was in full flow and rebellion was rife. Of course I thought I hated it all back then, but looking back I think the staff were a good bunch really and there were some great characters. Here are the staff members I remember:

Mr Mason
Miss Close
Mr Mostin

Mr Blackler
Mr Berriman
Mr Johns

Mr Quixley
Mr Connybere

Mr Treglown
Mr Frankie Hull
Mr Chris Gonninan

Mr Brown

Mr Matthews
Mr David Thomas
Mr Alan Thomas

Madame Rose (french)
Mr Melio (french)
Mr Bennett (latin)

Mr Cooper

Mr David Giddings
Mr James

Mr Reggie Watkiss
Mr Praed

Of course I've forgotten many. Maybe someone can fill in the gaps....
I was there from 1972 - 1979. Some more names for you;

Art - Mr Rex Burfield

Languages - Mr John (JAG) Grover (French)
- Mr Roger Ainsworth (German)

Maths - Mr Bill Burnett

English - Mr Rowe
I was there from 1950 to 1958.
Mr Craske Rising was Headmaster.
Herman Otto deputy head
Pop Whiteman Geography
Jim and Ben Batten
Mr Mostyn and Mr Mason
Mr Harvey was my form teacher and a real gentlemen as were most of them
Another one whose name escapes me had a favourite expression "Lose a mark"
Joe Pasco
Jeff Monro French ( and unofficially sex education )
Bung Waller Chemistry
Donald Behenna Music
Mr Petters Physics

Frank Hull who is now a teacher was a fellow student

I still have my old report book. It doesn't make for reading to be proud of !

Those were the good old days when teachers were allowed to discipline and we respected them. I got my share of canings and well deserved, but they didn't scar me for life.

Happy Days

Anthony Willis Admission Number 3010, House Trelawney


Major Contributor
I remember there was a woodwork teacher in that circumstance; please when replying to this question, make sure that the name is correct and any events surrounding that event are also correct, as we do not want to attract unwelcome attention or to upset any relatives or friends.
Couldn't stand Jarvis (math, geography).....Kept running out of chalk 'cos he threw it at one & all. Charley McCarthy (art) was one my favourites Great bloke.


Major Contributor
sandpaper? Not in my day. Plain old chairleg plus stays, as used by Michael Bentine in later years as a stage prop for a great sketch. It was to my memory only slammed down on the desk. I do not ever remember seeing it come into contact with a boy's head or hand, etc. Threat was usually enough. It was only Jammy Jervis that used contact as a weapon of choice, mostly the chalk board block or a piece of chalk, which occasionally became lodged in the ear. One classic occasion was when it damaged an already weak ear of one pupil (a friend of mine ) and the Head was less than pleased.


Active Member

I too was there 72 - 79 and recognise a lot of the teachers mentioned. Most, if not all had nicknames (some have been mentioned already), but here's the others I can remember:

'Perry' Mason
'Piggy' Mostyn
'Noddy' Blackler
'Trigger' Treglown
'Butch' Matthews
'Tiger' Thomas
'Scroggy' Giddings
'Hairpin' Rowe - English
'Jukebox' Jory - Music
'Speedy' Rudlin
'Spider' Burnett
Basher' Burfield
'Jerry' Fitt
'Muggins' Witheridge - Physics

Anyone remember any other staff nicknames?
Still in the seventies..Tin Ass Astin (Metalwork)
Zak Lynch (Divinity)
Hairpin Rowe was mostly Latin by the way
Ernie Guard (although he was really Eric I believe)
Fitt was occasionally Gyppo or Gyp-Fitt too
Strange how some had nicknames and others didn't
Don't think I remember any for Bennetts (Latin+Classical Studies), Goninan (Chemistry), Johns (maths), Todd (French, German), Harvey (deputy Head and a bit of biology), Ainsworth (German), Berryman (Maths), James (History), Pooley (Geog), Coneybeare (Geog), Tarbet (English), Ridge (English),.... And I believe it was always just MISS Duncan (music).
Last edited:


Active Member

During one gym lesson at HDGS in the 70's, a lad in our year slid down one of the long benches and came a cropper as there was a splinter jutting out and ended going up quite deep into his upper thigh/buttock. He took some ribbing for it, but that had to hurt. He was carted off in an ambulance from memory.

Another lad ended up with a spiral fracture in his leg during games and he too was carted off by ambulance.

After one swimming sports day, a group of us stayed on and a lad jumped off the upper walkway (the level the changing rooms are on) and landed on my back as I was swimming. And yep, I too was carted off by ambulance.

Health & Safety would have had a field day ....

Any accidents happen to you or someone you knew while you were there?


Major Contributor
Don't remember any actual accidents, that had any consequence - it was my lot falling over, falling in gravel which embedded itself in my knees (still have some pits now), wall scrapes ... mostly it was on the end of some bully's fist. Kicking my satchel around (that was Ben Batten). But there were a couple of nasty pieces of work that took delight in dragging me around. I managed to learn from my grandfather just how to deal with such horrors. At some point I grabbed their hands, fingers locked, and found a pressure point on the back of their hands..... with two hands it was possible to overturn this brute so he eventually sat in a puddle of mud, to the instant amusement of all watching and to the embarrassment of said bully. Dusting down his pride, he set off towards me at full throttle. I was a fast runner, it has to be said, I could out run him, so then when he had reached full speed, I nipped around the corner, stopped and shoved the pedal extremity out, and over he went. It did neither his uniform, his hands or his pride any good at all. It quietened down after that, but was still a bully. Until one day the Medic came, and at the sight of a needle he fainted ... that was that. End of bullying. Happy Days.
Last edited: