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Headmaster retires - 1971

Loughborough Monitor - 19th February 1971

This was the year Mr John (Jack) Briers, headmaster of St Bartholomew's school retired. The following two articles appeared at the time:

Worst building - but pupils are best behaved

Headmaster Mr John Briers, due to retire at the end of this term, has been teaching in the worst school building in Leicestershire for 17 years. But he reckons he has helped to educate some of the best behaved children in the county. Ever since he was appointed headmaster of Quorn Junior School, Mr Briers has joined in the campaign for a new school building - and ironically, his retirement has coincided with the announcement of a replacement plan.

"I shall never teach in the new school," he said this week, "but I am delighted for the children that they will be having a modern building at last."

He recalled the days when pupils sat shivering in their overcoats because classroom heating was inadequate. Buckets were always handy to catch the rain from leaking roofs. And he must have trekked about 6,500 miles back and forth to the village hall for the juniors' school dinners over his 17 years. "But I have had great fun here over the years," said Mr Briers, " and I have had a loyal teaching staff to help me create a happy atmosphere for the pupils."

Parents have always been welcome in the headmaster's study and one of the school's claims is that not one of his pupils has ever appeared at juvenile court. Achievements on the academic side are important to Mr Briers, too. He is proud to have put seven boys and girls on the road to university places which they took up in 1967. Last year two former pupils achieved first class honours degrees.

"I believe that children can be made or marred at this stage of their education," he said. During his years at Quorn, Mr Briers has seen many changes. He is particularly pleased with the development of sports and music at the school. His pupils have won every cup for which they were eligible to enter for in the sporting field, and several juniors are at present studying for violin, clarinet and flute examinations. Soon after his retirement Mr Briers plans a holiday to Kampala, where his son works. Then he will settle down in his home at Woodhouse Lane, Quorn, to take up gardening - his favourite hobby.

Mr M V Morton, at present deputy headmaster of Hall county school in Glenfield, will succeed him as head.

Loughborough Monitor - 2nd April 1971

The night the headmaster got the cane

It was the night when 200 schoolchildren saw their headmaster get the cane: Mr John Briers had been invited on to the state during Quorn junior school's end of term concert, to receive his retirement presents. And he was ceremoniously handed the last thing he expected - the bamboo cane usually kept in a corner of his study!

Entering into the spirit of the thing, Mr Briers said he had not over-used the cane during his 30 years as headmaster of the school. But he would regret the day when legislation meant a ban on corporal punishment.

He had always maintained that Quorn children were well-behaved and easy to control. They joined in the happy atmosphere at the school, although the buildings were outdated and unsuitable.

Tributes to Mr Briers were made by his staff, former pupils, Professor D Freshwater (chairman of Quorn parish council), and Quorn vicar, the Rev Robin Everett. Greetings telegrams were read and Mr and Mrs Briers were handed presents from villagers and schoolchildren.

But the proudest moment of the evening was when Mr Briers watched his school orchestra playing for the packed audience at Rawlins community college hall. Music was a subject he had personally introduced to Quorn school, and his 10 and 11 year olds were now tackling violins, flutes and clarinets. Earlier in the concert, the tiny tots delighted the audience with their "conversation pieces", including rousing songs from a gang of pirates, a piece of prose from Indians paddling their canoe, a teddy-bears' picnic and a "Lion hunt."

See also Artefact 1585 and Artefact 2401 for more details of Jack Briers' retirement.

 missing information Missing information: Do you have any photos of Mr Briers that you could share with us? Also, the two articles are contradictory with regard to his length of service. Was he headmaster for 17 or 30 years?
Please email us at: team2022@quornmuseum.com
 Submitted on: 2010-12-20
 Submitted by: Kathryn Paterson
 Artefact ID: 1071
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page

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