Brunts Grammar School Sports Teams

My father, Islwyn Thomas, was a P.E., Games and Maths master at Brunts in the late 1940s and early 1950s.  The photographs are of the various teams he was involved with at that time.  He was also a very good soccer player himself and would have had the chance to play professionally for one of the Welsh clubs had it not been for WWII and subsequent injury.  He was able to play for Brunts Old Boys in the Midland Amateur Alliance and was captain of the M.A.A. in several matches.

In the late 50s and early 60s he was the trainer/coach for Mansfield Boys and they were very successful under his guidance

He was also a very keen cricketer and again played for the Old Boys for many years.

My father, Islwyn (Taff) Thomas is on the right. He still has some hair, so this could be late 1940s - I have no way of knowing the dates of these photographs except where a football has the season written on it!
This I assume to be the Staff hockey team. Mr Sanders is on the far left - he was a co-writer of the School Song. His co-writer could be two places right from him, but I forget his name. Dad with a lot more hair is next to him so this could be 1947/48. The debonair looking chap in the white shirt (2nd from right) could be a Mr. Bradbury
Dad is in the middle at the back with the hat on.
Obviously 1950. The guy kneeling (front left) is "Osh" Smith. He was my Maths master at QEGS when I was in Shell L (1st year) 1958/59.
On the far left is Mr. Fox, the groundsman. He was always known as just "Fox", he didn't want any title for some reason even when he came for tea at home. He made wonderful honey and lived out Ravenshead way not far from the Hutt Hotel.
1950 again. As the headmaster is there in the centre, perhaps this is the 1st XI. Someone might know.
"Fox" back left. Don't know who the other teacher might be.
As would be expected, some of the boys in the football teams are also in the cricket teams.
The Staff cricket team 1948(ish)! Dad has hair!

Comments about this page

  • Ah, thank you Ian. Gilbert Thomas!! Well, he was always ‘Taffy’ to us (respectfully). He certainly was pressed into service to assist with games lessons during the 1960s. Happy memories.

    By Rob Bradford (13/11/2020)
  • Ah, Rob Bradford, you have the wrong Mr. Thomas. My dad was at Brunts 1947 – 1953. The Mr. Thomas you write about was Gilbert Thomas the geography teacher and double bass player. Dad and “Uncle” Gilbert taught at Brunts at the same time until 1953 and both were Welsh, and we knew Gilbert and Peggy, his wife, very well – nominal aunt and uncle.

    By Ian Thomas (03/03/2020)
  • My oldest brother David is in quite a few of these football and cricket. He is a fair haired chap and in the cricket photos often on the back row far right. He later captained the cricket team and was deputy head boy in about 1952?
    He was still playing cricket well into his 50’s and coaching youngsters including I believe the young Gus Fraser and Mark Ramprakash who lived in that area.
    After University he lived most of his adult life in Pinner , and died when relatively young (68) I was with two of his sons a few days ago.
    Brian (Osh) Smith taught me (or tried to ) maths at QE’s.

    By Roger Tagg (14/10/2019)
  • I started at Brunts in 1963. Mr Thomas (affectionately known as ‘Taffy’) was a wonderful teacher. He really ‘understood’ boys and how to control them in the right way. So many masters at Brunts were very fierce and forbidding.

    Not so Mr Thomas. He kept perfect control with a mixture of easy, natural authority mixed with wit and humour. We simply respected him and liked him. I often wondered why he regularly assisted at games lessons…now I understand. He was actually a far better coach than head of boys’ PE / Games Peter Sansom. As well as other subjects he also taught me for Geography at Brunts.

    Was there no end to his talents? He also played double bass in the highly competent octet who provided regular ‘live music’ for school assemblies. I particularly have fond memories of excerpts from “Eine Kleine Nachtmusic” and “The Capriol Suite”. If memory serves, he lived in a house quite close to the school not far from Windmill Lane. Great post. Great teacher.

    By Rob Bradford (14/09/2019)
  • Second photo, staff hockey team, bottom right, Miss Spolton.

    By Alan Mellors (04/05/2018)
  • Today I was cleaning an old photo frame of my mum and her brother. I took off the back and found underneath Brunts Old Boys F.C. team photo from 1924-25 with my grandfather as captain J.E Lee. This may be to early for your father.

    By Peter (30/12/2017)
  • In the Hockey team photo the person in business suit is Fred Oakley, Senior Master. Harold Rosen, Headmaster and lyricist for the School Song, is top right on the photo of the (standing)1948-9 football team (Mr Fox is top left). Powell is to Atkins right, Lewin to his left, and Duckworth behind Lewin’s left,

    By Alan Brailsford (01/06/2017)
  • In the 1948-9 football team I am seated behind our captain, Geoff Aktins. I also remember Ball (goal) Tony Croft (r.winger) and Powell. Staff cricket team:Bradbury,Mobbs, Bishop,?, Gates (Back row) Gibbs, Hawley,?, Fox (middle row),Sanders, Palfreman, Thomas (front row)

    By Alan Brailsford (29/05/2017)
  • On the football photo obviously 1950 but below 1958/1959 I recognise an old friend, front row second right name Brian Smith. I believe he went to a college in Buxton as headmaster and lost his young son in a tragic accident. Does anyone know if he is still with us ? 

    By Derrick foster (11/02/2016)
  • In the second photo down, the man in the white shirt, second from left in the back row, looks like Mr Gibbs. The debonair man is Mr Bradbury. The co-writer of the school song was (I believe) a Mr Rosen, but I think he died before I started in 1953 so I don’t know if that’s him in the photo.

    Also, in the bottom photo, second from the left on the back row looks like Mr Mobbs. He was a popular maths teacher and also a good singer. He was a big man (to put it kindly) and his car reg no. had the initials GBM, which we used to joke stood for Great Big Mobbs.

    By David Brelsford (15/01/2016)
  • Photo 5 Osh[Brian]Smith kneeling, he lived near me in Woodhouse as did Arthur Spencer.

    By To Sheadm (14/01/2016)

    Second photo down, the man in the hooped shirt at far right looks like Joe Stocks. And yes, the tall man in the white shirt looks very much like Mr Bradbury.

    In the bottom photo, of the cricket team, top left hand corner is Mr Bradbury; immediately in front of him is Mr Gibbs; and in front of Mr Gibbs on the end of the row is Mr Sanders. Also, fourth from the left on the back row, with half his face obscured, looks like Mr Stocks.

    I know Mr Stocks and Mr Sanders were both good cricketers.  Mr Sanders died whilst I was at Brunts (1953-58) and Mr Stocks died in the early sixties. Mr Gibbs was deputy headmaster when I was there. He was a good teacher. We liked Mr Stocks and Mr Sanders; but Mr Bradbury was a tartar!

    By David Brelsford (Not yet approved)


    By David Brelsford (12/01/2016)
  • Photo 6, front row 3rd from right, Brian Smith.

    By Tom Shead (08/01/2016)
  • Photo 7, Lad in suit is Arthur Spencer later Reverend, Methodist Church he will be 81 and still about at the Trinity Methodist Church in Mansfield Woodhouse.  Ian! I attended Chesterfield Rd Technical College night class for keep fit etc run by your the mid 50s. He was a super chap, strong as an ox and well liked by everyone.

    By Tom Shead (07/01/2016)
  • These photographs take me back many many years. Although the names of most escape me, I recognize the faces of those I played with or against during my school days at High Oakham. It was 1946/7 when I played in the Mansfield Boys Team.  I believe the lad third from the right seated and wearing glasses in photograph, I remember very well. I used to play alongside him in the Mansfield Boys Team, and if my memory serves me right, in the Bradder street team also. He used to wear those glasses when playing. The name Smith comes to mind..

    By alan curtis (05/01/2016)

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