The Moseley School of Art Association
MEMORIES OF MOSELEY (Written anonymously - by former teacher Ted "Moggy" Mason)
A small number of children from a school for disabled students came to Moseley for a morning visit, entering through the back door. There is a very small step at this point, and this proved quite an obstacle for one boy who had to be carried over it. That is how disabled some were. They came into the metalwork room and were immediately adopted by the students who showed them exactly what they were doing. The big moment for me when one Moseley lad gave one of the visitors a hammer and invited him to have a go. He placed a silver bracelet on the vice and the visitor smashed the silver bracelet to bits. They then laughed and laughed, for me a wonderful moment. The bracelet, and all the work that had gone into it was wrecked, but every one was happy! I had a letter trom one of the visitors to thank us for our efforts. I asked how the letter had been typed so perfectly when it was impossible for the person to control his arms. I was told that a board with holes above the typewriter keyboard had been used, and a stick was held above - when by accident it came to the right letter it was pushed down and a letter printed. It had, apparently taken two whole days to type.
We decorated Ward J2 at Selly Oak Hospital for Christmas one year. It was a ward for very ill elderly men. The ward was duly brightened I remember a large cartoon train going all the way around the walls. We also gave them a radio set. It was our fist year boys that did the job and entertained the patients with their endless chatter. We were told that the bed nearest to the door, which had screens all around it, was not to be approached because the patient was dying and was not expected to survive the morning. From behind these screens laughter was heard. One of the first year scamps couldn't contain his curiosity and was talking to the old man and had revived him. The nurses were amazed and overjoyed.
Does anyone else remember the trip to the World's Fair in Belgium in 1958? We organised a day trip, by air! It had never been done before and the Birmingham Education Committee had to have a special meeting to approve it. All went well even the BBC TV followed our progress. We had our own charter aircraft. It was a mixture of the years and of boys and girls. The exhibition was fabulous. All countries contributed. Going up a long flight of steps to the Russian Pavilion we were handed a programme in English. I asked how did he know that we were English and the reply was because of our baggy trousers! One small lad asked my wife whether she would like a cup of coffee. The answer was yes. We wondered how he was going to get it not speaking any French or Belgian. We were sitting on a bench. He walked to a nearby cafe straight into the kitchens and they were so amused that they gave it to him and he came out triumphant. Emboldened by this he then proceeded to obtain "cluck cluck and chips".
I had a passport made out for thirty four students, we could only take thirty three, the extra one was in case someone dropped out poorly. This caused a delay at the customs. You were only allowed to take out of the country one thousand pounds each at the time. This meant that the passport gave us one thousand pounds more allowance than the number of students. I asked whether they would like to search us for thirty four thousand pounds and that ended the argument.
On arriving back at Elmdon there were four hundred people waiting for us. I had to pay the equivalent of fifty pence to have the runway lit and the customs and police woken up to receive us. Prices have changed a little since then.
The Moseley School of Art Association is an association formed to:
- promote and maintain, through exhibitions, reunions and other means personal contact between all former pupils and staff members of the Moseley Secondary School of Art, Moseley Road, Birmingham 12 England- promote the restoration and continued maintenance of the Moseley School of Art building, and
- to promote the activities of members who are active in any of the fields of art and the crafts, by means of publicity, sponsorship and procurement of artist materials at discount rates
© Graeme Llewellyn Collins 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
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The Moseley School of Art Association 2003