Congratulations! You've found oldsexonians.com This is the website of Sexey's Grammar School, Blackford.
Viewing tip - if you want to enlarge the size of the site slightly, hold down the Ctrl key and use the scroll mechanism on your mouse. If you don't have a scroll wheel, use Ctrl and the + Key instead - don't over-do it though, or the pages will scroll 'awkwardly'. ( Pressing F11 will also get rid of the Browser bars at the top - this makes a big difference!)
July additions - 'Iolanthe' production (1950's), Brent House Reunion (Past Reunions),
Hello, my name is Martyn James and if you were at Sexey's Grammar, Blackford during the '60's and early '70's you may remember me as 'Bunt'. I attended the school both as a boarder in the early years and as a day pupil until I left. I actually finished at Sexey's in the summer of '71 and worked in fairly meaningless employment for the best part of two years - character building, though!
In 1973 I started a teacher training course at St Matthias College in Bristol. After four years I came out with a reasonable degree and started teaching locally at Berrow Primary School. Since then, I've either taught in Somerset or North Somerset schools. A few years ago I was fortunate enough to get early retirement (I was an ICT coordinator at a Junior school) and I'm now enjoying supply teaching a few days a week.
On my occasional 'day off' from teaching, my mind occasionally returned to my time at Sexey's and memories came flooding back. It dawned on me that if past memories of the pupils of the Grammar School era weren't recorded in some way, a really important part of the school's history would be lost. With my background in ICT and a keen interest in photography, the construction of a website became an easy decision.
I'm well aware that a few histories of the school have been written previously and this website does not try to emulate them. In the main, this site is about past memories, thoughts and feelings and tries to give the reader a real feel of what it was like to have been a pupil at the school in years gone by - if the site goes just some of the way to doing that then I will be more than happy with it.
Well, it's time to say ' Welcome to Oldsexonians.com' - here at last! Firstly, I'd like to say a huge 'thank you' to all of you who have taken the time and trouble to send in your memories and pictures of your time at Sexey's. I'd also like to thank all of those who have let me come into their homes and let me interview them personally. Thanks must also go to 'the school' itself for allowing me to study the Sexey's archives and also take photographs around the site.
Your many, excellent contributions have formed the 'first phase' of the Oldsexonians website. This phase of the site is especially important as it provides a 'skeleton' for future contributors to build the main 'body' of the site on. It provides the names, events and reminders about what went on at Sexey's when it was a grammar school. These initial memories will hopefully act as a prompt to others to send in their own anecdotes and memorabilia, which will then go on to form the next phase of the site.
This 'second phase' is perhaps even more important than the first, as it relies on a further raft of contributions which will be needed if the website is to be regarded as a success. The new contributions should then, in turn, go on to generate even more new memories and so on. It would be such a pity if the website doesn't develop further as it's certainly got off to a very pleasing start.
It is, therefore, very important that we all 'spread the word' about the site - I'm well aware that there must be very many 'old sexonians' who have no access to a computer, no interest in IT and probably have no idea at all that this website even exists. If you know of an ex pupil who falls into this category, then please make them aware of the site - arrangements can be always be made for them to send in their memories using more conventional means.
The next phase of the site will actually include at least one new section, quite shortly. This section will be called 'The Blackford Floods'. This subject is particularly poignant, as it is coming up to the 40th anniversary of the floods later this year (2008) - I hope to have it ready just before then. Hopefully, as the site develops, other new sections will appear, from time to time.
Constructing the site has, on the whole, been very enjoyable and it's been a real pleasure and a privilege to read and type up your past memories and to see your personal photographs and memorabilia. One aspect in particular though, has been very frustrating, namely the number of people who failed to respond in any way to the many emails I've sent them. I used the class lists on Friends Reunited to make an initial contact and still had a very small proportion of replies and acknowledgements - I suspect that some people may have changed their internet provider over the years and not updated their email address with 'Friends'. Personally I can't see a lot sense in going on to Friends Reunited if you're not willing or able to converse with anyone who makes contact with you. Hopefully, when the whole site goes 'live' and everyone can see the sort of 'everyday' memories that the site is composed of, they'll feel happier about making a contribution.
On a positive note, many people have really gone out of their way to provide me with lots of information about their time at the school. I know that scanning, taking and sending photos, copying files to CD etc can be really time consuming but I'm sure you'll agree that the end result has been really worthwhile. (If you don't presently have those IT skills, the website is a really good reason to try and learn them!)
I would just like to apologise and give a special thanks to the few people who have sent me pictures etc that I've not actually used. This has been either because someone else has sent me same item in better condition or that, quite simply, I haven't got round to using it yet - a number of items fall into this category.
With regards to the website's longevity, I'm totally committed to keeping the site online for many, many years to come. My son, Edward,(who actually shares his 21st birthday with the site's launch date, 1/5/08) has pledged that he will keep the site going long after my time - which, hopefully, won't be for a very long time yet!! Seriously, it does mean that the memories and pictures that you've contributed, will be seen by future generations to come, giving your great, grandchildren a unique insight into what you got up to in your school days - there's a thought! Needless to say, for that to happen, your memories have to be on the website in the first place, so you know what you must do….!
The website itself is a very simple affair in terms of its layout with no 'whistles and bells' just text followed by pictures followed by text -there are one or two 'links' but on the whole, even a complete beginner should be able to navigate it easily. With regards to some of the historical content of the site, which appears in the early sections, I would like to acknowledge the Sexey's archives, the 'Sexonian' magazines and 'Hugh Sexey Church of England Middle School 1899-1999' by Hazel Hudson as useful sources.
As you look through the site, please remember that these are people's memories from quite a long time ago and that the passage of time can play tricks on all of us. If there are any glaring errors, please feel free to email me so they can be corrected.
Needless to say, the whole of the site's contents are copyright and copying of text or photos is not allowed. People have entrusted me with their memories and therefore I feel I'm not in the position to give permission, even if I wanted to.
Privacy Statement - Rest assured that if you contribute to the site, your email/postal address will not be released to others without your permission. Well, it's time for me to sign off now and say 'Happy Reading'. I hope the site brings back many happy memories for you all - if it does, please send them in!!
Martyn James (2008)
If you have any comments to make about the website or any school-day memories/pictures you'd like to send, please send them to me at