New Series No. 56
Thou hast most traitorously corrupted the youth of the realm in erecting a grammar school; and whereas, .before, our forefathers had no other books but the score and the tally, thou hast caused printing- to be used; and, contrary to the King, his crown, and dignity, thou has built a paper-mill.
From Shakespeare’s King Henry VI, Part II, Scene 7
M. H. Smith Esq., 68 Minnis Lane, River, Dover. CT17 0PT,
Philip Harding, Esq., 6 Monins Road, Dover. CT17 9NX
Ian Pascall, Esq., 45a Bewsbury Cross Lane, Whitfield CT16 3EZ
K. H. Ruffell, Esq., 193 The Gateway, Dover CT16 1LL
R. Gabriel, Esq.,. Dover Grammar School for Boys, Astor Ave, Dover. CT17 ODQ
After a six month-period of gestation the Newsletter appears each July and January, assembled in the hailstorms of June and then the recovery period after Christmas and New Year.
Between 600 and 700 copies go into the post, quite a few to faraway places. Material is assembled under three headings: News of the Association, News of the School and News of individual Old Pharosians.
In-house production is made possible by skills of the school secretarial staff, by much goodwill and toil in and around the school.
There was a special act of goodwill in the preparation of this July issue. Editor wanted an improved cover and the committee told him that Bob Adams, printer and Old Pharosian, was the man. The matter was discussed between editor and printer. The latter said he would produce 700 covers for each of the next six issues. When editor murmured something about cost, the printer waived such matters aside and expressed his pleasure at being able to be of service to the school.
This issue contains articles observing the 50th anniversary of the outbreak of the last war and the school’s departure to Ebbw Vale. All of you will recognise the article by Mrs. Booth as “written from the heart”.
When John Le Prevost becomes President on 16th September, the Annual Dinner in the evening may have special appeal for those who survived the war and evacuation. Of course everyone is welcome from prefects to past masters.
Accompanying this Newsletter is a paper about the Dinner: and it might be an idea to send that back now so as to book the date and help the organization.
Friday 7th July at Crabble, 6 pm. Cricket. School v Old Boys Bar open in the pavilion after the game.
In the summer vacation the school choir sings services in cathedrals as indicated in the Newsletter: notably in London on Wednesday 9th August at 5 pm in St Paul’s and Monday 4th September at 5 pm in Westminster Abbey.
Saturday 16th September Old Boys Day
Annual General Meeting, Soccer and Dinner.
NEWS OF THE ASSOCIATION
OLD BOYS DAY SATURDAY, 16th SEPTEMBER
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Association will be held at the school on Saturday, 16th September 1989 at 11.00 am. Coffee will be served from 10.30 am.
- To read the notice convening the meeting
- Apologies for absence
- Minutes of the 1988 A.G.M.
- Matters arising
- Treasurer’s Report
- Secretary’s Report
- Election of Officers and Committee. The Committee will propose that Mr. John Le Prevost, vice-president for 1988-89 be elected President for 1989-90 with Mr William Fittall, Vice-president, 1989-90.
- Any other business.
Philip Harding, Hon. Secretary.’
ANNUAL SOCCER MATCH
The annual soccer match against the school 1st XI will be played on the afternoon of, Saturday. 16th September at 2.30. Any old boy wishing to play should contact Mick Palmer. 12. Hazeldown Close. River. Dover. CT16 ONJ.
ANNUAL REUNION DINNER
This year’s Dinner will be held in the School’s Great Hall on Saturday. 16th September. The bar will be open at 6.45 pm for Dinner at 7.30. The enclosed invitation gives details of menu and price.
Wives/girlfriends are always most welcome and your early reply would be very helpful.
The incoming President. John Le Prevost and your committee wish to observe that 1989-90 is the 50th anniversary of the outbreak of the last war and the school’s evacuation to Wales.
Many Old Pharosians who recall those momentous years may be glad to meet with others who shared those very special experiences. The Headmaster of the Ebbw Vale school has been invited and is able to come so he. our President and Headmaster will speak with recognition that time must be left for people to circulate and meet friends.
Members of staff, past and present, and representatives of the Prefects’ Room and Parents’ Association are being invited.
You would be helping enormously if you would indicate your intention to come to the Dinner as soon as possible. Caterer sets limits to the number he can serve. Tickets will be sent in response to your replies.
If you were in Ebbw Vale. during the war it would be of interest if you could indicate the period of time when you were there.
THE WELSH CONNECTION
THE SCHOOL’S DEPARTURE TO WALES
The decade of the 1930’s was not a particularly happy one. In 1929 there had been a collapse on Wall Street that destroyed confidence in the commercial and industrial world so that unemployment and hard times were widespread.
In Germany Hitler’s mob-oratory was telling the German people of the injustices done to them and promising that “heads will roll”. He came to supreme power and marched into The Rhineland, then Austria, then Czechoslovakia. He had modernized his armed forces while we cut ours and young men in our universities pledged themselves to peace. Our Prime Minister, supported by the French, told Hitler that if he marched into Poland we should be at war. He marched and in September 1939 the sirens sounded and we dug trenches, joined civil defence and tried on gas masks.
Toward the end of the summer holiday in 1939, the school staff were recalled to Dover to receive from London expectant mothers who were to be billeted in East Kent villages. Air raid shelters for our boys were dug into the chalk above the school and are still in use as storage space.
During the winter Hitler gathered his forces for a Spring offensive which proved that concentration of modern armour with air support could penetrate thinly widespread defence lines with out-dated equipment and last-war ideas. By a miracle the British army was rescued from the Dunkirk beaches, using a fleet of small boats, many of which returned to fill Dover harbour. The triumphant German army advanced along the Channel coast and France capitulated. Invasion of Britain was threatened and authority decided that Dover schools should go elsewhere.
The headmaster. Mr. J.C. Booth, and his deputy, Mr. W.E. Pearce, told staff and boys that the school would parade on the quadrangle on the following Sunday morning. Mr Booth had army, and Mr Pearce naval experience so that planning was efficient. Each person was limited to one suitcase of a size that the individual could carry, as well as food and drink for the day.
A long file of boys and teachers, Mr. Booth in the lead, walked to the Priory Station, where we were glad to see our sister school who were to travel on the same special train. Boys were placed in the front of the train, the girls in the rear part; and between the two were the teaching staffs to prevent any fraternisation. We knew not where we were going. We trusted that the engine driver probably knew.
Senior geography master Mr. L.W. Langley and his very junior assistant observed the passing landscape and were able to tell any who cared to listen that we went through the south-western suburbs of London then across Salisbury Plain and then under the Severn tunnel to stop at Newport in Monmouthshire. Here the girls’ school got out and spent their war-time in Caerleon.
Our train continued in the evening through a Welsh valley. We were used to living in the Dover valley, but this Welsh valley was steeper and deeper, with coal mines, waste tips, factories and rows of terraced houses.
On arrival at the head of the Ebbw vale we were met on the platform by emotional Welsh people who felt we had come from the line of battle. They were more than willing to welcome us into their homes. The best looking and smaller boys were quickly snapped up. For some reason, the present writer was among the last to be placed but the whole dispersal was effected and the school in a few days settled to its war-time life in Ebbw Vale.
THE SCHOOL IN EBBW VALE
The present writer spent only three or four months in South Wales. I lodged at first in Beaufort above the head of the valley, so that the school was reached by running down over the slag tips left by ancient iron workings. Later I was asked to transfer to Cwm, beside a coal mine, separated from the school by the whole length of the Ebbw Vale steelworks. No doubt these works were engaged in production of national importance so the prospect of air-raids or saboteurs dropped from the skies justified the exercise of wartime precautions.
The rest of this account is largely drawn from the memories of Mr. Arch Coulson who was in Ebbw Vale throughout the school’s stay there.
The school alternated week by week in its use of the Ebbw Vale County School buildings. In one week we would have the buildings from 9 am to 1 pm and the Ebbw Vale school would teach in the afternoon: and in the following week we would have the school from 2 pm to 6 pm.
No one can over-emphasize the problems and achievements of Mr. Booth in this wartime situation. His tact and consideration maintained excellent relationships with the host school. He and the staff did their best to arrange walks and games and worthwhile use of time outside the time-table. Mr Booth’s honesty in the matter of rationing was legendary in the valleys. When, as was inevitable, some boys were asked to leave their lodging. Mr. and Mrs. Booth took a house far larger than they needed and they made a home for displaced boys. Mr. Pearce, himself of Welsh origins, gave steadfast support. Mr Langley became well known in the valley as a singer at concerts and for his work in Beaufort for the Church. Mr. Baxter delighted in learning the Welsh language and did his best to gather news of Old Pharosians at war. He also struggled to maintain war-economy issues of the Pharos and the Old Pharosians’ Newsletter.
The school army cadets enrolled more boys than ever before. The band became well known and much used in the valleys. A link was established with “Dad’s Army”, at first known as the Local Defence Volunteers and later as the Home Guard. One of their duties was to mount road-blocks and see that everyone had their identity card. On one occasion a somewhat pompous local dignitary was stopped as he drove up in a large car. “I am Thompson of Ebbw Vale” was the assertion. “I am Menter of Deal” was the boy corporal’s answer “and can I now see your identity card please”. Mr Coulson had taken a store of rifles and ammunition so training in the corps must have helped many young men who left school to go into the Forces. Inevitably, the news from Old Boys included casualties from far away places.
In the summer of 1944 as war in Western Europe advanced from The Normandy beaches across France and the Channel ports were cleared there were thoughts of returning home. Relationships in Ebbw Vale were still extremely friendly and Mr. Coulson remembers a dinner given by the local “Dad’s Army” to the school detachment, an occasion when Mr. Booth made a splendid speech, as indeed he must have done en several similar occasions. He was able to return to Dover to look at the school buildings which, in occupation by the Women’s Royal Naval Service. had suffered little or no damage. The school returned to Dover in January, 1945, at first to the premises in Ladywell where the school had started in 1905. At Easter the school re-entered its own buildings to find the laboratory benches still covered by experiments hastily abandoned in 1940.
The work of re-establishing the school was undertaken by Mr. Booth with the constantly reliable and sound support of Mr. Pearce and the rest of the staff, some of whom retired but were replaced by younger men who gradually returned from war service, glad to exchange uniform for an academic gown; and anxious to pick up the threads of life in such peace as boys in a school will allow.
The following article on the school’s evacuation to Ebbw Vale was very kindly written at the editor’s request by Mrs J C Booth who did so much to help her husband, the headmaster, during the most difficult time in the school’s history.
Evacuation to Ebbw Vale. June 1940 – December 1944
In early June 1940, Dover Grammar school for Boys had one week in which to prepare for evacuation. During that time I took my 3 year old son and my 5 week old baby to stay with my father-in-law in Staffordshire. No one knew the school’s destination so I did net know when or where I would see my husband again. At the end of that week I received a telephone call from him in Ebbw Vale. After a month I took the children to South Wales and there we stayed until the end of 1944
It had been difficult to find somewhere for us to live. For the remainder of that beautiful summer and during the first winter we rented rooms in Beaufort. Unfortunately when it rained the water came up between the flag stones on the kitchen floor so that we had to walk on duck boards. Our landlord and his family entertained us royally on Christmas Day.
It soon became obvious that a base would be needed where a boy could live if he found it difficult to settle, sort himself out after some slight misdemeanour, or even recover from illness. We found a furnished house in Beaufort Terrace, Ebbw Vale, and stretched it to include 2 or 3 more boys. This became our home. Everyone seemed contented except the youngest member of our own family who protested noisily day and night for the first year of his life!
A variety of boys came and went. It would be easy to fill a page with anecdotes concerning them but they might recognise themselves and that would net be fair. I do remember a young boy walking from Cwm one Sunday afternoon to face my husband with the question “Please sir, do I have to go to Sunday school?”
It was wonderful how the boys adapted to the situation considering how suddenly they had been uprooted from their homes and they were naturally worried about their parents in Dover.
I am so glad to have an opportunity at this stage to pay a tribute to foster parents. Imagine this town, which had been through a very hard time, suddenly confronted by this horde of boys. With only a few days notice I they were being asked to take them into their homes, not just for a holiday, but for an indefinite period. Fortunately for us they were a warm hearted people who were net afraid of hard work.
Without them nothing would have been possible. Of course there were misfits on both sides, but most difficulties were ironed out with a little give and take.
Their generosity was recognised publicly at the end of our stay.
It is always difficult to give growing boys enough to eat and it was even mere so on coupons. Eventually a British restaurant opened which provided some mid-day meals. Many parents tried to supplement the rations and I also remember a huge basket of luscious cherries coming from our fruit farming friends in Kent. This we took across to the playing field for a share-out.
It wasn’t easy getting used to the climate. According to our doctor, moving from sea level to a higher altitude had an adverse effect. There must have been quite a lot of pressure on the doctors with the increase of population. Dr Stein looked after our whole household without thought or mention of payment. When pressed for a bill before our return he presented one for £12! I remember him with gratitude.
Recreation could be a problem in the winter. There were a few church clubs, but the younger boys could hardly go out in the blackout.
No television, no record player, not even a snooker table; how did they exist? At home we tried to set aside Saturday evening for games with even the Headmaster’s homework out of sight. Any picnic arranged by a small stream during the summer would be spoilt by the mountain ponies demanding our food.
The ponies could be frightening. They would suddenly go on the rampage coming to rest on a piece of rough field behind our house. One pony gave birth to a foal there providing an extra biology lesson for the children coming home from school.
Many of the boys went home for holidays. This was their parents’ wish and responsibility. We were then able to take a short break ourselves.
For two successive summers we went ‘over the mountain’ to a small village in the Usk valley called Llangynidr. It was not far away as the crow flies but the contrast with Ebbw Vale was unbelievable. Our hosts filled us with produce from their garden and from their farming friends. On Sunday evening we sat in the garden watching people come down the hills from their farms to the little chapel behind the cottage, where we joined them for evening service. It was utter peace and remains a treasured memory.
But back to Ebbw Vale and the real world. For two years the Ebbw Vale County School had allowed us to share their premises on a shift system. Our boys then moved to Pentwyn House a large building which stood in its own garden. When the boys returned from holidays they needed time to settle again, but they worked hard and many successes were achieved which gave great joy.
We were always delighted when parents or other friends came to see us. Miss Gruer, the Headmistress of the Girls’ Grammar School would sometimes come from Caerleon for the day. Canon Brown from Buckland Church visited the school and lunched with us. We picked the fruit from the hill’s and introduced him to bilberry pie.
I still remember waiting for a bus to go into town when a neighbour called to me, “They have landed.” It was D-day.
At the end of term in December 1944 I went to Ebbw Vale station to see the departure of the school for Dover, leaving me to follow later. I wept, but I did net knew then that I would weep again when I saw the state of Dover.
My husband had returned home many times to report to the Educational Authorities on our welfare and to visit Canon Elnor who was the Chairman of the school governors. Just before Christmas he made his last return through the Severn tunnel to collect me and the children. now aged 7 and 4.
We were to spend Christmas with David and Mona Jones and their family at New Tredegar, foster parents who had moved there from Ebbw Vale. They were among the many people who had shown us great kindness. Mona and I, both widows, remain friends until today.
In his last report at Speech Day, November 1959, my husband speaks of the ‘unforgettable experience’ of evacuation and also what a privilege it had been for us to know so many boys personally. To me, at this time, it had seemed that the school became an extension of our own family.
The evacuation of the school was a tremendous emotional upheaval for the boys and their parents, it was a great responsibility for all the staff and it was a real challenge for the people of Ebbw Vale. In the end it was a triumph for human relationships.
FROM THE COMMITTEE ROOM
6th March. 1989
The Diamond Jubilee Trust. A balance of £368.62 remains. Maurice Sayers, a trustee, says there is no reason why this balance should not be transferred to the school. The only other trustee will be approached to give his consent and the balance will then be passed to the Headmaster for the benefit of the school.
Peter Burville presented a most logical and carefully considered report of a sub-committee dealing with the Association’s financial future. After much comment the matter was deferred for thought and review at the next meeting.
The treasurer reported that Association assets were: £4300 in Building Society and £127 in Lloyds Bank.
The Newsletter editor reviewed the processes involved in the present state of “in-house” production with its advantages of lower cost and greater control. He invited suggestions and spoke of his desire to improve the presentation. Useful ideas were raised and will be pursued.
The May Ball on 13th May would be priced at £10 per ticket.
The date of the next A.G.M. was confirmed as 16th September and everyone was delighted to learn that William Fittall has agreed to allow his name to go forward for election as Vice-president, 1989-90.
The proposal for an evening cricket match early in July was approved. There was healthy discussion of the less healthy state of games in state schools.
COMMITTEE MEETING ON 11th May.
The cricket match, Old Boys v School. was fixed for FRIDAY 7th JULY, 6pm at Crabble. Jack Kremer is making arrangements and would welcome names of Old Boys who would like to play. His address is 37 Old Park Hill. Dover. The Old Pharosians will arrange refreshments for the teams and all old boys are welcome to the pavilion bar after the game.
The next Newsletter will be posted before the end of June. will all members please check the POST CODES on their addresses: and please send any amendment to the Membership Secretary. Roger Gabriel at the school.
All arrangements for the May Ball were in hand. About 160 tickets had been sold for the Dinner and Dance at £10 each. This would cover costs and a raffle would make a profit.
OLD BOYS DAY, Saturday 16th September.
11am Annual General Meeting
2.30 Soccer Match
6.45 for 7.30 Annual Dinner
The incoming President, Mr John Le Prevost accepted the idea of a Welsh Theme to commemorate the 50th year since the school departed to Wales. Mr Ruffell would write to the Headmaster of the Ebbw Vale School to invite him and his wife to come to the Dinner.
The editor reported that Mr Bob Adams, Old Pharosian, had generously offered to print covers for the next six editions. The number of members had risen to 667 and Philip Harding hopes to send a membership list to all members in 1990.
Peter Burville outlined plans for a data-base for the archives and it was agreed that he and Sidney Wenborn should proceed with this project.
Headmaster spoke of the need for a steel cupboard to house school records and he agreed to quote a price at next meeting. He also spoke of a new atmosphere of a competitive nature in regard to falling rolls and funding on a per capita basis.
The next committee meeting would be on 16th November.
LONDON REUNION AT THE DOVER CASTLE INN
23rd May 1989
Those Present: RegColman – Headmaster
Maurice Smith – President
Ken Ruffell. – Newsletter editor
Reg Payne – former master
Bill Collard 1941-47 Brentwood
Ian Fenwick 1945-50 Hornsey
William Fittall 1964-72 Putney
Ken Lott 1945-53 Reading
Mike Marsh 1945-53 Uxbridge
Rudy Mercer 1935-38 Broxbourne
Gerald Plater 1945-50 Benfleet
Will Watkins 1930-38 New Malden
Louis Watt 1930-39 N5
Ivor Weeks 1944-48 Maidstone
Denis Gibb 1932-37 Chessington
Transport strikes and near-tropical temperatures kept down the number attending but in no way reduced the pleasure of meeting established friends. Everyone is very grateful to Denis Gibb for keeping this pleasant occasion available to members. Headmaster and President spoke about matters of interest and Ken Ruffell reminded members that:-
WEDNESDAY 9 AUGUST at ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL
5pm Evensong might be the last but one occasion when the school choir sings in such an emotive setting.
WARTIME IN DOVER
A letter has been received from Mr Mark Smith, historical researcher asking people who were in Dover in the second world war to contribute their memories.
The editor of this Newsletter will send a copy with our account of the departure of the two Dover Grammar Schools to Ebbw Vale.
But there are probably readers with experiences of living in “Hellfire Corner”, of work with police, ambulance. ARP, fire or Home Guard: or even the every day problems of rationing, shell fire and air raids.
The research material will be built into the Heritage Centre, to be called “The White Cliffs Experience”.
Send your memories to the Curator, Dover Museum. Ladywell, Dover.
A DATE TO NOTE.
The school choir will sing Evensong in St. Paul’s Cathedral at 5 pm on WEDNESDAY 9th. AUGUST. – Don’t miss this. The editor keeps telling you it is an experience of a high order. Come and see and hear for yourself and meet a few friends afterwards in the Sir Christopher Wren.
Headmaster has asked the editor to let all Old Pharosians know that they are always welcome to call at school and write their names in the Visitors’ Book, perhaps with a note of some of their activities.
The editor would find this a source of NEWS without which there can not be a NEWSLETTER. If you are not within easy reach of the school, please do write to the editor.
It may be interesting to recall the Staff of the first thirty years of the School’s life and to realise that there are only two living members who taught at the Frith Road premises at that time.
The first decade 1905-15 or the Priory Hill/Ladywell era saw the arrival of Messrs. Whitehouse, Tomlinson, Thomas, Darby, Coupland, Wheeler, Standring, Tunnell and Clatworthy.
The second decade 1916-25 or the Ladywell/Frith Road era brought to the School Messrs. Allen, Allin, Baxter, Constable, Evans, Francis, Frouds, Langley, Pascall, Pearce, Slater, Uncles, Watt, Willis and the well loved Miss Rookwood.
Whilst during the third decade 1926-36 or the Frith Road/Astor Avenue era the School was joined by Messrs. Archer, Coveney, Coulson, Davies, Hazelden, Healing, Kendall, King, Ockenden, Robinson and Rothwell.
These are the people who laid the firm foundations of the School which weathered under Mr. Booth the trials and tribulations of the war years in Wales and the difficulties of the post war years and which now goes from strength to strength.
E. H. Baker
The editor is very grateful for letters received from Harry Blackford, Bill Collard, Dr. George Curry, Denis Gibb. Rev. William Kemp, Mrs McNeil, Leslie Ovenden, Rev. Bryan Owen, Reg Payne, Dudley Sanders, Leslie Steggles, Dr. David Thomas, Jill Wright and Mrs M Wilson.
NEWS OF THE SCHOOL
Kenneth Best (1955-77) died in his sleep on Monday 6th February.
Readers of last January’s Newsletter may recall that an old boy had written a letter saying “I also reflect on the musical breadth and sensitivity I owe entirely to Mr. Best”: and Mrs Booth can be remembered saying “The singing of Mr. Best’s choir is out of this world”. His carol services were so moving that I felt within me “I shall not hear anything as beautiful for a whole year”.
He got on very well with Mr. Booth who appreciated what Mr. Best was doing for music in the school.
Old boys will remember that music was taught in the draughty open spaces of the great hall until Mr Colman provided the splendid music room that gave Mr. Best so much pleasure and opportunity.
He retired because of ill health but he was able to continue as organist and choirmaster at St. Mary’s and then at Folkestone Methodist Church.
At his funeral were several representatives of the Kent Organists. The school was represented by the Headmaster. Mr Boynton, Barry Crush. your editor and a sixth form boy of musical talent, Mark Fletcher.
The service at Hawkinge Crematorium was taken by Canon J Dilnot who was a boy in the school during Mr. Best’s time as Director of Music.
As long as there is music in the school he will be remembered.
Old Pharosians with long memories will recall Mr. Taylor, borough organist who taught in the school. He was followed by Mr Willis, then Mr. Best and now Mr. Boynton. Only one reader will recall that Mr. Whitehouse came to teach us singing – he cheered us up”.
The editor assumes that old boys have a continuing interest in the school as it is today. Headmaster produced the idea that the senior boys should be free to express their views on the subject. The deputy head prefect has set out his views in prose and another boy has written a poem that will revive memories in many who have attempted to persuade examiners to award a pass, deserved or undeserved.
Retrospect by Andrew Burns, Deputy head prefect.
As I look back on my seven years at the school. I realise that the essential ‘spirit’ of the school is the same now as it was when I arrived, and has probably remained the same since the school’s foundation.
Since my first year, the school has offered me so many opportunities to further my experience; and I think that the enthusiasm for extra-curricular activities is among its greatest attributes. Music has been a great testimony to staff enthusiasm, while Drama demonstrates the wealth of true zeal among pupils. To attend a public performance of a school play is to rediscover the essence of the place. Notable changes in the school, as in the superbly equipped Computer Room and the Science and Engineering departments, represent the need to keep up with the times. But the school also tries to maintain old standards of behaviour which hopefully create a better environment in which to work. The School Council and, more recently, a Sixth Form Committee have done much for school life, particularly for A level students. The highlight of the year for these two student bodies is the ‘Lenten Appeal’ week which consistently raises huge sums of money for charities of our choosing.
Much of my sixth form life has been as a prefect, a very rewarding experience: and I have come to see much more of the working of the school this year. I have had the joy of helping to organise and participate in a number of school events and I can say that they have all shown the school in its best light. I recommend that if you can attend some events you will capture some of the present warmth of the school, while recalling many of your own experiences when you attended this remarkable establishment.
The Examination (Loosely based on Keats’ ‘Ode to a Nightingale’) by Colin Jervis, Middle Sixth.
My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as for the table-top I grope;
No vain desire for doing well remains –
To live the next three hours is my sole hope:
I had no single moment’s peace last night.
As every troubled hour, my mind beheld
All Hamlet’s speeches, Browning’s endless verse
In constant, mutual fight.
And subjunctival latin verbs expelled
By absent-mindedness; The student”s curse!
O, for a moment more to once re-read
The detailed facts of Caesar’s final fate!
Yet strangely. ’tis relieving to concede
Intentions to revise come now too late,
As, staring deskwards with sporadic breath,
Vibrating hand, and doubly-visual eye,
The knowledge comes that what is done is done.
Just as it comes in death;
Then, roused from glazed, vague, gaze I wonder why
The others write:- The end’s begun!
I cannot see one question I can do!
My desperate eyes the hostile paper range
And read a second time – a third – fourth too,
Somehow convinced the awful choice will change
But no change comes. ‘The pen scrapes out its script,
Quite independent of the brain’s behest,
And then it dawns, I quite ignored some clause
Into the question slipped.
Which renders useless all those facts expressed,
The time thus spent, and that now, as I pause.
Forlorn! Forlorn! The times slips by too fast,
And yet each dreadful minute seems so long!
The teacher-guards distractingly stalk past,
And every clock-tick clangs out like a gong.
Stop now! This trial at poetry is poor,
How can I hope with words alone to show
The bitter fears which in exam rooms lurk?
As easy is it for
A stranger with his sweeping glance to know
From three hours’ frantic scrawl, two years hard work.
END of TERM ASSEMBLY 22nd March 1989
CHESS seems to be active in the school, which means that a teacher is giving time and training to the young.
The under 13 school team played a lot of matches and reached the semi-finals of County Championships.
The under 16 school team had played 3 matches and defeated Dover College.
Representative ties are now awarded for chess.
RUGBY The U12 XV Captain reported that the team was trained to “run with the ball so that nobody got cold”.
Played 6 won 5 lost 1 Points for 132, against 30.
U13 XV P 5 W 2 L 3 Points for 102, against 93.
U14 XV P 4 W 2 L 2 Points for 74, against 73.
“Next year was viewed with optimism”.
U15 XV P 6 W 4 L 2 Points for 118, against 116.
“Improved on last year”
1st XV P 7 W 5 L 2 Points for 119, against 56.
The Inter-house rugby competition for the Ebbw Vale Cup was won by Park House who also won the Cross Country competition.
SOCCER There is now a master in charge of junior games.
In local school competitions the school U 14 XI lost in the final 2 – 0 and the U13 XI won their match.
Headmaster referred to the school’s Ebbw Vale Cup and the school’s stay in the Welsh valleys between 1940 and 1945.
He had visited the Ebbw Vale school and seen a plaque in their Sports Hall recording the Friendship between the two schools.
The Spring term had been short but busy. The next term would start on 11th April when school assembly would begin the day. This was to comply with legislation and, after staff discussion, the morning lessons would go on until 12.45 with lunch at 1 pm.
Advice was given on the need for revision in the holidays for those facing GCSE and A level examinations.
Headmaster felt that boys had conducted themselves well in recent busy weeks with school plays and concerts, the Lenten Appeal and school journeys. He hoped this good conduct would continue on the buses and trains taking boys home for the holidays.
|Bruce Luckhurst||St. Hughes, Oxford|
|Andrew Burns||Downing, Cambridge|
|Bruce Mann||Girton, Cambridge|
|Laurence Woodward||Clare, Cambridge|
|Neil Ottoway||Trinity Hall, Cambridge|
|Colin Jervis||Peterhouse, Cambridge|
are all hopeful that their A level results will be sufficient.
Bugsy Malone and Pravda.
Bugsy Malone is set in New York during the gangster days between the two world wars. The players were junior boys and girls from the two grammar schools and the talent had been used to great advantage by the producer, director of music and the choreographer.
Senior boys and girls tackled ‘Pravda’ a sophisticated play with a Fleet Street setting and undertones of moral and political issues.
Again, a variety of accents were successfully offered. But one has to ask – do we all enjoy the accents of down-town New York, or South Africa or Australia? Can schools do something for spoken English before the youth of today adopt the twanging nasal notes of “Neighbours”?
It is good to know that teachers will still give vast amounts of their time to bring utterly worth-while experience of theatre to the young.
A Sunday evening concert was given by the Betteshanger Colliery band whose blend of youth and experience gave pleasure in a well varied programme. There were ,vocal solos by Jean Lewis, who so often sings delightfully at concerts in the school, and piano solos by Arthur Hart, international pianist, now doing some teaching as well as practising on the grand piano in the hall.
31st January Piano Recital by Arthur Hart
Perhaps Dover has never before heard a recital of this calibre.
This young American pianist recently was placed second in a Chopin competition in Warsaw and immediately following this recital he was off to Vienna by invitation to take part in a Schubert competition.
The first half of his programme consisted of major works by Schubert, perhaps the pieces he will play in Vienna.
The second half offered some pieces described as avant-garde but concluded with Vallee d’Oberman by Liszt.
The audience demanded encores and he returned to his beloved Chopin.
We hope that before this issue of the Newsletter we can report his success in Vienna and his establishment among the great pianists of today.
17th May Piano recital by Arthur Hart On this occasion the recital was entirely of the works of Beethoven.
One was left wondering that the mind of the composer could create such musical expression of human feeling and that the pianist could express by understanding and dexterity his own rendering of Beethoven’s works in all their variety.
This world-class young pianist has, during his time in Dover, been to Chopin competitions in Warsaw and a Schubert competition in Vienna, where he was placed fourth. He now goes to a Beethoven competition in Vienna. If he wins we may not hear him again in Dover but we wish him every success and trust it may be our good fortune that he passes this way again.
28th February A concert performance of Trial by Jury and Cavalleria Rusticana in St. Mary’s Church, Dover and on 5th March in St. Mary’s Church, Walmer.
The concert was in the sequence of ambitious presentations toward the end of the Lent term each year. Trial by Jury was included as light supplement to the impassioned story of Sicilian imbroglio. Gilbert and Sullivan will always be popular if not performed too often: and the Cavalleria Rusticana could justify its inclusion in the programme by its setting at Easter in some distant year of the last century.
The principal singers included two Old Pharosians and other well known and respected local “friends of the school”, all of whom seem ready and pleased to give of their talents in school enterprises. The orchestra seemed to be larger than ever, involving more boy and girl instrumentalists than previously. The massed ranks of the choir were also largely formed from young people benefiting from new musical experience.
The conception, training and successful achievement of this ambitious programme was, as ever, the end product of the energy and skill of the director of music. Great demands are made of everyone involved: for example, the headmaster’s secretary word-processed for nine hours to produce the programme which included every word that was sung.
22nd March 1989 A Musical Sequence for Passiontide in St. Mary’s Church.
Nothing could be more appropriate to Holy Week than Stainer’s Crucifixion. This was preceded by organ music; played by Scott Farrell, Songs by Jean Lewis and Mark Fletcher, Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus, sung by the school choir: and a new Missa Brevis by Patterson sung by the Chamber Choir. A couple of Bible readings and Ireland’s ‘Greater love hath no man’ brought us to the interval.
After which Stainer’s Crucifixion, including several familiar hymn tunes totally suited the mood of the approach to Good Friday. The director of music said that the choir had managed only two or three rehearsals which is a testimony to the excellence of his teaching and the high achievement of the boy and girl choristers.
The two soloists were both Old Pharosians,
Mark Fletcher (1981-88) and
Geoffrey Horton (1966-71).
A class of French boys from the College of St. Pierre, Calais, visited the school to tryout some specially written exercises on the school’s computers.
The two schools arrange exchanges for second-year classes four times a year.
On their recent visit 23 boys enjoyed their computer lesson and then visited Dover’s Roman Painted House and the Old Town Gaol.
SENIOR SPORTS DAY
This was held in the lovely weather that prevailed at the end of May.
The individual champion was Nick Charnock who won three events including the high jump at 1.74 metres (just below 6 feet). Astor was the winning house.
Two boys in the school Under 12 XI have been selected for the Kent Schools Cricket Association Under 12 Squad. They attended the indoor cricket school at Canterbury during the winter where Old Pharosian Chris Penn was coaching.
CATHEDRAL SERVICES to be sung by THE CHOIR of the DOVER GRAMMAR SCHOOLS
Saturday 22nd July 3.15 ROCHESTER
Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th August all services at COVENTRY
Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th August ELY
Wednesday 9th August 5pm ST. PAUL’S LONDON
Monday 4th September 5 pm WESTMINSTER ABBEY
MR. ADRIAN BOYNTON
The above programme during the summer vacation is indicative of the energy, devotion and achievements of Adrian Boynton, the school’s Director of Music.
He came to the school in 1978, virtually without previous teaching experience. Now, after eleven years, he is moving on to become Director of Music at Roedean School.
He has directed the music of ‘Oliver’, ‘My Fair Lady’, and ‘West ‘Side Story’: he has, with help from the Friends of Music, maintained a flow of concerts which have raised, funds to buy instruments and finance the many needs of the music department. Each Easter term has seen a major production, of which the ‘Dream of Gerontius’ is the most memorable’.
Over 200 boys, at anyone time, have been learning instruments.
Because we have an organ, so rare in State schools, seven boys have achieved the standard of A.R.C.O. Boys have carried their musical talents to Cambridge, other universities and the Royal College of Music in London.
Adrian has covered the full range of music from jazz through theatre music and chamber concerts to church music, which is probably his first love. He has been organist at St. Margarets and St. Mary’s churches:
He has directed the music, for the annual production by the Dover Operatic Society. Concerts have been provided for all manner of societies and worthy causes. The school Christmas concerts and services have become much loved by the Dover musical public. Life in Dover will seem rather dull without him. We wish him well and shall watch his further career with the utmost interest. Those of you who live in Rochester, Coventry, the Eastern counties or London may be well advised to hear the school choir in your cathedrals.
Major William Hall Harvey (1926-30) died, aged 75, in February at Ahrensburg, West Germany.
L.W.H.N. Hookham (1917-21) died in March. He was before retirement a Trinity House pilot. He was a life member of the Association and lived at Sandwich.
Leslie Hogben (1925-32), former senior legal executive at Bradleys, died in December. He was at school and in Shepherdswell well known as a local footballer and cricketer.
Frank Quinnell (1925-27) formerly of Canterbury, died in February at Brookland in Romney Marsh. Those who knew him best spoke of him as “a lovely man”. He was intending to marry and bring his new wife to the next Old Boys dinner.
Terry Sutton (1940-47) The Dover Express dated 31st March, 1989 carried a profile of Terry, the paper’s deputy editor, in appreciation of his sixtieth birthday after forty years of service to the paper. Norman Sutton his father, spent 45 years with the paper, 15 as editor before he retired in 1964. No one knew more about the people of Dover than Norman and the same may be said of Terry today. Terry has been Secretary and President of the Old Pharosians Association. He is still a committee member and when he can attend meetings his contributions are very much to the point. He is a member, often an officer, of the following Dover institutions: the Round Table, League of Friends of the Hospital, Carnival committee, Channel Swimming Association, the New Dover Group, East Kent Union of Journalists. Guide dogs for the blind and the Dover Rotary Club. He is a governor of the Dover Grammar School for Girls.
There is a nice comment: “We used to turn away advertisers to get more news in the paper – now it is sometimes the other way around”.
He is said to be the first to arrive in the morning, often as early as 5 am. The Editor of this Newsletter was given a lift one Sunday morning of deep snow as Terry went to his office before 9 am. The evening commitments for journalists are notorious and Terry promises that now he is past the sixty mark he is going to try to relieve the pressure.
A cheerful photograph at the top of the Dover Express article suggests that Terry enjoys his job the essential pre-requisite of a job is to be well done.
Referee: D. Elleray (Harrow) (1966-73) From the Observer’s soccer correspondent’s account of Millwall v Arsenal, 11th February:
Adams was lectured by the referee after two early fouls.
Thomas was booked in the 50th minute for helping himself to a handful of Briley’s shirt and Rocastle followed him into the referee’s book five minutes later for something he said about the standard of officiating.
The referee wore a lapel microphone as part of the filming of OUT OF ORDER to be screened as evidence of the relationship between players and referees.
Dick Bolton (1948-55) has been doing some much appreciated design work for Canterbury Cathedral.
George Curry (1927-36) our president in 1987-88 was on a tour of France giving his presentation of the works of Dickens as many university centres when he suffered back trouble which doctors identify as the result of a trapped nerve” He is back at his home in Florida and we wish him a full and speedy recovery.
Alistair Gardiner (1951-57) is engineer in charge of Dover’s biggest building project, the £14 million pound heritage centre.
When at school he was noted as a rugby player and swimmer: and in the sixth form as a scientist.
He and Ken Marsh followed Barry Crush to Queen Mary College, London to take a B.Sc degree in engineering.
He has worked on many projects in the UK and abroad and when he read of the plans to build Dover’s heritage centre near the Market Square he contacted Bovis and secured the appointment.
Now aged 51 he plays cricket for Northbourne and hopes to assist with coaching at the Dover Rugby Club.
Tim Harris (1969-76) took a Geography degree at Bristol and wished to be ordained but was persuaded by his bishop to first work for Christian Aid, as he has been doing in London. He and his wife are now going to Israel to work with Quakers for two years.
Phil Hart has decided to set up his own catering business, assisted by a grant from the Enterprise Allowance Scheme.
Phil Houghton (1976-84) as a photographer for the Dover Express and has been awarded a prize for the best picture of 1988. Over 1500 photographs were submitted from all parts of Britain but the winning picture showed an old lady who sometimes wanders around Dover with all her worldly possessions in plastic bags.
Philip Janaway (1943-52) head of the Lower School at Astor was voted to be the favourite teacher in a Dover Express competition.
Those of us who have known him since his school days will heartily support the commendation. His production of the Dover Operatic society’s ‘Ruddigore’ was widely praised. How does he find the time?
Nigel King left school with A levels in biology, maths and physics, intending to become a doctor. However he turned to accountancy and graduated at Middlesex Polytechnic in finance and accountancy, proceeding to take final exams with the chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
His elder brother Paul is also an accountant and has been promoted as a cost accountant with British Coal.
Ron Knott (1943-50) wrote to express happy memories of his time at school when Mr. Booth was headmaster in Ebbw Vale and Dover.
He qualified as a Chartered Quantity Surveyor in 1958 and recently took early retirement from the post of Building Economist with Essex County Council. He now lives at 12 Chalklands, Sandon, Chelmsford, CM2 7TH.
A. W. Lyons (1925-35) sent back to school for the archives his Lucas-Tooth medal. The school possesses the shield and now has the medal bearing the years 1929, 1930, 1931 and 1932. The shield and medal were awarded after competition among Cadet Corps in the area. It is reported that ‘Trunky’ Lyons was the Drum Major in the years quoted above.
After leaving school he played soccer for the Old Pharosians XI in the local league. He has recently been a frequent visitor to the Annual Dinner and other occasions from his home in Sandwich.
Paul McBride (1977-84) has obtained a 1st class B.Sc in Anatomy at Edinburgh University.
Louis Martin whose home is at Eastry is an army apprentice with R.E.M.E and will pass out as a technician with special interest in helicopters.
Bill Newman is the new mayor of Dover, officially installed on June 5th. He went with the school to Ebbw Vale and he married a Welsh wife.
Their three sons all went through the school, William, now 27, is a doctor, Michael a teacher and Mark a partner in a firm of computer consultants.
After four year with the school in Ebbw Vale he joined the navy and then trained as a teacher. He taught in Archer’s Court, Sandwich and Astor Secondary Schools, retiring last summer. In the 1970’s he took an M.A. degree in philosophy at London University.
His outlook is unfailingly cheerful and he frequently comes to the Old Pharosian dinner.
He will join a list of other Old Pharosians who have been mayors of Dover, John Bushell, George Ruck and Philip Buss come to mind and no doubt there have been others. The three named above, like Bill Newman were all teachers.
Rev Bryan Owen (1959-64 and 1975-87) former teacher at the school and now Curate of Herne has been appointed Rector of St Aidan’s Episcopal Church, Clarkston, Glasgow as from May 1989. His wife is a minister of the Scottish kirk. Their daughter, Catriona, was born in 1988. His new address will be: St Aidan’s Rectory, 8 Golf Road, Clarkston, Glasgow. G767LZ
Alan Sensicle (1954-60) works at Dungeness B nuclear power station.
Andrew Sims (1970-77) was a sixth form geographer and geologist at the same time as Dr David Thomas. Both went on to Oxford, Sims as a geologist and Thomas as a geographer. Andrew Sims obtained a 1st Class honours degree in 1980 and went to Glasgow to work in the North Sea oil business.
Later he moved to Leeds where he has taught in the university and obtained a Ph.D for research in Carboniferous sedimentary rocks of N.W.
England. He now has a geological consultancy business in Leeds.
Richard Spear (1940-46) lives in Wingham, Ontario, Canada but when he spent a couple of weeks in Dover recently he naturally went to see Wingham, Kent where his grandmother once lived.
He was on his way home from Egypt where, as in many other less developed countries, he was with a party of American business men who have given their time and experience voluntarily to advise on business technology.
Simon Stanley has passed out from Naval College as a midshipman. In from his training he visited West Germany and Scandinavia and he is now appointed to HMS Ark Royal.
A FINAL THOUGHT
Arch Coulsort (1928-71) taught continuously in the school longer than any other master. Members of the Association and the School join in expressing our deepest sympathy on the recent death of his wife, Jennifer. Arch continues to live at 1 Pavilion Meadow, River, CT17 ORJ.