Memories of the 1950s

good and bad

By Dr Barry Dufour

Sunday 23rd July 2023

I was at Garth from 1953 - 1957. The only bad memories I have are of the art teacher, Mr Bishop, very lazy but famous as an illustrator for the Eagle comic.

I did not like the practical stuff - Mr Hardin in woodwork - who thought it was very funny to call me 'Duffer' (my surname is Dufour) - Mr Crocker in metalwork. The other teachers were fantastic. Mr Jenkins, who taught me RE and then went off to be a missionary in South Africa, also started to teach me the piano, after school. Mr Morris, a strict but kindly headteacher, persuaded Carshalton Tech to take me at 15 years of age - you could not do GCE until 16 - so sec mod kids missed out. I loved my time at Carshalton Tech. At Garth, one of the English teachers said I had potential as  writer. 

I had chronic asthma until 14 - and was seen as the school nerd and swot but my asthma went at 14 and I discovered I could run - I was in the county championships for 80 yards hurdles (as it was then), sprint and relay. I then became a hero amongst the other boys!

There was so much care and kindness amongst most of the staff. I am now 80 and in between times from Garth I have become a professor, taught at three universities in the Midlands (De Montfort, Leicester, the University of Leicester and Loughborough),  written lots of books on education (put my name online to find out about me) - and I am still working - writing several books on teaching and education. Please contact me if you wish to talk about the old days - or about the new Harris Academy that seems to have replaced Garth.

Dr Barry Dufour

This page was added by Dr Barry Dufour on 10/02/2024.

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