OLD PHAROSIANS’ ASSOCIATION
New Series No. 57
…….and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Luke Ch. 2 v 14
J. Le Prevost, Esq., Flat 2, Whitewalls, Cannongate Road, Hythe, Kent. CT215PX
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
During December Mr Colman informed the Governors of his retirement with effect from Easter, 1990.
He had hoped to stay for another year to reach the compulsory retirement age of sixty-five but he was subject to medical pressures.
He loved the job, was always among the first to arrive every morning and ever willing to be present at evening meetings. He will be remembered, above all, for his great kindness. He made this school his life’s work. His wife Marjorie has supported him in every way and all who know her admire her immensely.
Historians may rank present changes in education alongside those of 1870, 1902 and 1944. Falling birthrates and new governmental direction are compelling a tumultuous wave of changes which no school can view with the folly of a latter-day Canute.
But wave-power can be used if controlled. There will be immense changes in this school in the years immediately ahead. The Newsletters will try to keep you informed.
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
Dear Old Pharosians,
I am grateful to your Committee for giving me the opportunity to become more closely involved in the Association and to be able to experience what has changed and what persists in the School that has had such influence upon all our lives. William Fittall has joined me as Vice aad President-elect for next year and I cannot speak too highly of the support and guidance given to me by your Committee.
Particularly the Association should recognise what towers of strength your Secretary, Philip Harding, your Treasurer, Ian Pascall, and your editor, Ken Ruffell, are – they have guided so many Presidents through their term of office. I am grateful to them all.
It was of particular interest to me to meet our present Headmaster. Having had no contact with any of the Headmasters since the late “Freddy” Whitehouse, it is fascinating to see that whatever new and seemingly foreign changes have been forced upon curricular and physical forms, the essential spirit of effort and relationships remain the same under Mr Colman’s guidance. It is a great privilege to be reinvolved in such a current of strength after so many years – “40 years” is a mere memory now – even for a brief spell. We are delighted to see him back at work, and hope our appreciation of his efforts in these critical days will help him to handle the stresses that beset a modern Headmaster.
It was good to see old friends and to meet new ones at the Annual Dinner. Our guests were the Headmaster of the Ebbw Vale Secondary School and his wife. His amusing and sympathetic picture of his boyhood memories and life in Ebbw Vale then and now formed a fitting subject for the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of World War Two. Of course at my age, one becomes more aware of the changing ratio of the membership – the old ranks reveal growing gaps and the new swell in number. But the evidence in our Association activities of a continuing stream of values seems to me to justify any effort we can make to ensure that the Association continues to maintain the essential concentration of gratitude for the past, encouragement of the present and exciting hope for the future.
I hope, during my year of office, with the help of your Committee, to do what I can to facilitate that future. We need strength of numbers, means and resolve. I would like to see our numbers, at present 626, rise to the 1,000+ mark. Your Committee is exploring ways and means of encouraging leavers to join as early as possible in their post-school lives. Such increased memberships will assist in assuring a safe financial basis for our work in keeping members informed on a regular basis – we continuously refine the production of our newsletter, address lists and notices: but of course costs escalate. Could I ask you, even if you already have life-membership to consider lifting the level of your personal contribution. Regularity of a small increase as your career develops would provide a very sound basis for our future planning. That is where the third element, your resolution, lies.
I take every opportunity and pleasure to represent you at school functions. I heard John Mummery make a brilliant contribution to the Guest Evening early in November, when he and his wife were guests of honour. I hope to read a lesson at the Carol Service in December.
Greetings to every one of you for a successful entry into the 90’s.
November 1989 John Le Prevost
The Association has two main purposes. First, to link together what the present headmaster calls “the continuing family” of the school with its generations past, present and still to come: and secondly, to be of service to that family, that school.
Every family has its history: and in this present 1989-90 period many of us look Back across half a century to the beginning of the second world war.
In September 1939, motivated by the spirit of that time, your editor joined the Dover Special Constabulary and, between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. on one wintry morning each week before going to teach and until we went to Wales, was posted with a colleague outside the gates of the Eastern Docks, presumably to watch for Germans coming ashore. Fortunately my colleague had a car in which we sat drinking hot coffee and talking until the windows were so steamed up that a visiting German would have had to knock on our windows to ask the way. Our spirit was willing but performance rather amateur.
In that autumn of 1939 the German army overwhelmed Poland and in the early summer of 1940 broke through westward to defeat France and drive the British army from Dunkirk.
This school went to South Wales for four years: and now in this January 1990 issue of the Newsletter the present headmaster of the Ebbw Vale school, which then hosted us, has written an – article on “Ebbw Vale, Then and Now”. Also at the editor’s request, Sir Clifford Jarrett, C.B.B., a former President of the Old Pharosian Association, has written of the early war period as seen from his desk in the Admiralty, London.
For most of us who lived through the war years – and perhaps also for those who have come after – this was the period of greatest consequence in our lives. Hence the choice of words to head this Newsletter.
Sir Clifford Jarrett remembers.
In the early months of the war I was the head of the political section of the Military Branch of the Admiralty Secretariat.
This was, in effect, the Admiralty’s Foreign Office and the work was both interesting and very varied. To begin with we devoted a lot of effort to watching out for German breaches of international law, with the object of building up a case for a reprisals Order-in-Council which would justify us under international law in interfering with neutral trade with Germany.
We were also interested in doing all we could to frustrate German seaborne activity. I was involved, among other things, in a scheme to limit the activities of Dutch coasters which we suspected, probably wrongly, of spying on British shipping movements in the Channel. Somewhat later on I asked as secretary to a Committee which produced plans to ensure that the Norwegian merchant fleet remained available for carrying British trade.
This was necessary because the Naval Staff had in mind an operation to mine Norwegian territorial waters, so as to force ships carrying iron ore from Narvik to Germany out onto the high seas where we could legitimately arrest them and seize their cargoes as contraband. Nothing came of this scheme as the Germans got in first by invading Norway.
The hours of work were very long and I lived in the Admiralty building in one of the rooms normally used by the resident clerks. Life was not very comfortable: but at least I and my colleagues dined well. The blitz had not started but few people ventured out at night, so that the restaurants found their food quotas more than ample. I had sent my family away to North Wales to escape the bombing which arrived later in full measure.
At that time Winston Churchill was First Lord of the Admiralty and he had to go along the corridor past my room to get from his office to his official residence in Admiralty House. I often heard him going past, singing quietly to himself: and I remember that he was very fond of “K-K-K-Katy”. When he came back to the Admiralty as First Lord he wanted his office to be fitted out exactly as it had been when he was there in World War I and he was particularly pleased when his favourite lampshade – a hideous contraption in green silk – was unearthed, still intact though pretty grubby, in the vaults of the India Office.
The article that follows was most kindly written at the editor’s request by Mr Mostyn Phillips, headmaster of today’s descendant of the school which hosted our school from 1940 to 1944.
The poem at the end was written by a member of a debating and literary society that met in an Ebbw Vale pub during the war and subsequently.
Ebbw Vale: 1939 and 1989
The population of Ebbw Vale (including the villages of Beaufort, Garden City, Tyllwyn, ‘Waunlwyd and Cwm) in 1939 was 30,000. The community was beginning to recover from the traumatic experiences of the inter-war years, with prolonged depression of the steel and coal industries, which were the major employers in the town, and the particularly devastating events of a 7 months’ miners strike in 1926 followed by the explosion in the Marine Colliery on St. David’s Day 1927, when 52 miners were killed. The years 1936 – 38 saw the re-opening of the Richard Thomas and Baldwins steelworks as one of the most modern steel-making plants of its day, with good canteen and excellent first-aid facilities. The community also benefited (in advance of most other parts of the country) from having a local Workmen’s Medical Society which provided free (but contributory) health services and anticipated the National Health Service set up by Aneurin Bevan, the local H.P., in 1948.
Education was provided by 13 “all-age” schools for children up to the age of 14. In addition there was a junior technical school, opened in 1934, with 120 boys receiving technical training to equip them for work in the steelworks (when open), and the Ebbw Vale Grammar School for youngsters who passed the scholarship examination at 11.
Leisure was a matter of self-provision. An open-air swimming pool, near the Grammar School, was built by the town’s unemployed between April and August 1930 and had a length of 100 feet and a width of 40 feet. In addition local soccer and rugby teams were fervently supported even when pitches in a narrow valley were not easily available and disused coal spoil tips such as those near the Marine Colliery came into regular use as pitches. (An erratic kick would send the ball down the tip into the river running along the valley bottom, whence it had to be fished out!).
When war broke out in 1939 there was great concern lest the steelworks should be a target for German bombers, and very effective arrangements were made for blacking out the entire works during alerts. (Subsequently a search of German war records revealed a photograph of the works taken by a reconnaissance plane from great height in December 1940).
In fact the only bombing occurred on one night in September 1940 when a stick of small bombs was hastily dropped by a returning German plane along the Ebbw Vale/Tredegar hilltop causing no casualties or damage except to a bungalow near Waunypound to which thousands of sightseers swarmed the next day.
Today the population of Ebbw Vale stands at 24,000. The picture of depression has returned with the closure of much of the steelworks. At its heyday in the 1960’s the works employed 12,000 people. Now the workforce comprises about 1800 workers – in what is now really a tinplate factory. The picture has worsened in the last month with the closure of the Marine Colliery at Cwm and the dismissal of 800 workers. The local council has made strenuous efforts to attract industry to the town but many of the firms who enter the area are small, often vulnerable to the whims of economy, and likely to disappear as quickly as they came. Hence Ebbw Vale has high unemployment, around 20% of the workforce. This has meant a migration out of the area and a steadily ageing population.
Yet it remains a stable and resilient community. The town is on the edge of the Brecon National Park and close to some of the loveliest countryside in the British Isles. Because the cost of living is cheap, notably housing, there is an increasing influx of English people attracted by these factors.
The Gwent L.B.A. has published proposals which are likely to result in the closure of Glyncoed and Glanyrafon (the former Grammar School building) Secondary schools and the establishment of a tertiary system from 1992.
At the moment Ebbw Vale is already being transformed by preparations for the 1992 National Garden Festival which will be held here, and which is expected to bring 2 million visitors to the town over 5 months. In the 3 year build up about £56 million from the public and private sectors will be spent on the town. Already the bottom (“heavy”) end of the steelworks has been demolished and the spoil tips associated with the works have been landscaped. When the festival is over the site is expected to be sold off for about £7 million for redevelopment, with more then 300 homes, a business park and offices. Half the site, mainly on the slopes, will remain open space.
The Festival has given a great fillip to the community and, we hope, augers well for the future.
Vale of the turbulent waters
Where ‘Ebbw’ in beauty once ran.
Glory of Nature’s rich bounty,
Despoiled by the mandate of man.
Haunt of the hawk and the blackbird,
Idyll of mountain and glen,
Heart of this once lovely valley,
So torn by the striving of men.
Lonely white farmhouse on hillside
Caressed by the golden hued dawn,
Nature and man in communion
Before the machine age was born.
The scars were the heritage left us,
Dark emblems of uncaring greed
Of those who ravished the valley,
And left it to mourn and to bleed.
The wounds and the scars are now healing,
And a brighter horizon appears
As beauty returns to Glyn Ebwy
That once was a valley of tears.
ANYONE FOR EBBW VALE?
1990 is the 50th anniversary of the evacuation of the school to Ebbw Vale and a number of Old Boys have expressed an interest in making a commemorative pilgrimage back to “The Valley” during the year. Anyone who would like to take part should get in touch with BILL COLLARD, 3 CRESCENT DRIVE. BRENTWOOD, CM15 8DS who is prepared to co-ordinate such a trip if there is sufficient interest.
It is envisaged that the visit would take place over a weekend in late Mayor early June: and might include contact with Ebbw Vale Grammar School contemporaries: visits to 1940’s haunts: a walk on the Domin Faur: contacts with the various churches and a Reunion Dinner on the Saturday night.
NEWS OF THE ASSOCIATION
THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
16th SEPTEMBER, 1989 at 11 a.m.
George Curry, Maurice Smith, John Le Prevost, Peter Burville, Sid Wenborn, M. Fenn, Fred Rhodes, Bernard Harrison, Denis Gibb, Terry Sutton, Bob Cain, Dick Standen, Bill Collard, William Fittall, John Barrett, Mick Palmer, Bob Winter, Alfred Gunn, Reg Colman, Neil Slater, Arch Coulson, Ken Ruffell, Ian Pascall and Roger Gabriel.
were received from E. H. Baker, Ken Lott, Arthur Tolputt, Frank Kendall, Louis Watt and William Burville.
MINUTES of last year’s AGM were circulated and approved.
MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES
Headmaster reported that boundary fencing had been repaired and the pavilion had suffered less damage than in previous years. A new type of roofing was being considered, as well as a burglar alarm. The road from lower field to the school was in a bad state, liable to cause accidents and might have to be closed.
All these matters now had to be financed by the school.
was, as ever, presented with professional clarity. Covenanted income showed a slight increase but subscriptions were reduced because fewer school-leavers had joined the Association. This was partly explained by the departure of GCSE boys in May and by boys who had taken A levels in July. Maurice Smith had written to some seventy annual payers and received only six replies. Only six school-leavers left cheques for life membership. Headmaster suggested that a Newsletter and personal letter be held in readiness to be given to each school-leaver in 1990. Covenants had been taken out by 37 life members and 11 annual subscribers.
On the expenditure side the Newsletter costs had been reduced by in-housed production from £595 in 1988 to £347 in 1989.
When questioned about the War Loan Stock to a nominal value of £100, real value nearer £30, the treasurer admitted he had no idea where the certificate might be held.
The surplus for the year of about £364 was satisfactory though far below the quite exceptional previous year’s £942 surplus. The association’s assets stood at £4.596.52.
The Diamond Jubilee Trust Fund was in process of being closed and treasurer would soon transfer the remaining balance to headmaster.
George Curry spoke of the interesting history of Share of May Ball Profits. Headmaster said that in his present state of health he was advised to avoid stress: but he thought a transfer similar to that made last year could be expected.
The meeting expressed appreciation for the treasurer’s excellently presented report. Thanks were also expressed to Bert Stone, auditor.
In accordance with custom, Philip Harding’s duties as a schoolmaster caused him to send his report, which was well received with appreciation for all his utterly steadfast administration in the interests of the Association.
Philip referred to the work during the year by Maurice Smith as President, Roger Gabriel as Membership Secretary and by other officers and committee members. Membership totalled 626 of whom 490 were life members.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Maurice Smith spoke of the support he had received in his year as President and invited members to elect John Le Prevost as his successor.
The insignia of office were transferred with acclamation and the new president spoke of Maurice’s year of loyalty and hard work.
William Fittall was elected Vice-president
Philip Harding Secretary
Ian Pascall, Treasurer
Colin Henry Assistant Secretary
Roger Gabriel Membership Secretary
Ken Ruffell Newsletter Editor
Sid Wenborn Archivist with Peter Burville to assist him
Messrs Horne, Murray and Gabriel as Staff Representatives
Bert Stone as Auditor
and Bob Winter and Maurice Smith as Committee members for the next three years.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Mr Coulson suggested that funds be made available to purchase software and spread sheets for use in the school computer department where work was being done for the Association. The matter was referred for committee consideration.
Terry Sutton raised the issue of prizes given by the Association. Headmaster said that the whole question of prize awards would be considered by parents and staff representatives. The use of Leney funds, along with other comparable resources, would have to be considered.
Bob Cain brought the meeting to an harmonious close by referring to the deep pleasure received by the singing of the school choir in Westminster Abbey and by expressing his thanks to the officers for the Newsletter and their continuing care for the Association.
COMMITTEE MEETING, 16th November 1989
Matters arising from minutes of previous meeting.
Headmaster would welcome discussion with a group of committee members on changing conditions in school life: and he will provide guide lines for such discussion.
Tom Beer has provided a flag pole for the school.
A folding machine is needed for production of the Newsletter and any other purposes. The committee asked headmaster to see if the Parents Association would share the cost of about £500.
Treasurer reported that the residue of the Jubilee Trust Fund, a little over £400 had been transferred to the school. Association assets included £4,901 in the Woolwich Building Society and £288 in Lloyds Bank.
The Old Pharosians Cadet Prize was increased from £20 to £40.
The Newsletter editor raised various ideas for the next issue and these seemed to meet with approval.
Peter Burville and the Association archivist reported on their plans to provide a database for archive material. A sixth form boy, Paul Morris, was preparing the database as a project for his A level work.
Bill Collard spoke of an Ebbw Vale week-end. Details are elsewhere in this Newsletter.
The President ended the meeting with carefully thought out proposals for revision of the Association constitution and methods of operation. These proposals were guide-lines for future consideration.
The next meeting will be on FRIDAY 9th MARCH, 1990.
THE ANNUAL DINNER Saturday 16th September 7.45 pm for 8.30.
About 130 people attended, ranging in age from school prefects to the totally adrable Mrs. Turnpenny who was in the school at its foundation in 1905 and is now more than ninety years young.
This very special year, 1989-90 would be the 50th anniversary of the outbreak of the second world war and the school’s departure from Dover to the Ebbw Vale in Wales.
The school at that time was in the hands of Mr. J.C. Booth and Mrs Booth. So everyone present at this dinner was delighted to have in their company Mrs Anne Booth and her two Old Pharosian sons.
Also present “as Mr Mostyn Phillips, headmaster of Ebbw Vale’s Senior Comprehensive School who, with his wife, brought the authentic flavour of Wales to the occasion. He had been five years old when the association’s present Newsletter editor was billeted on his family. He had been a student at the Ebbw Vale County Grammar School of which, in the course of time, he had become the present headmaster with a staff of whose current members one third had taught him in his boyhood. He maintained that schools of varied types and locations shared the common purpose of imparting the highest values to the children in their care. Mr Phillips presented a gift of books about Ebbw Vale to the school.
John Le Prevost as the Association’s President thanked Mr and Mrs Phillips for coming such a long distance to be our very special guests” He spoke with feeling about Mr Colman’s very recent operation in Guy’s hospital, of his miraculous appearance in Westminster Abbey where the school choir sang evensong: and his evident equally astonishing appearance among them at this dinner.
Everyone present by their acclamation showed their warmth of sympathy and affection for their headmaster. The president read a quotation from T.S. Elliott which expressed the notion that on returning to one’s former school there were differences but only in appearance, not in substance.
Headmaster, in replying to the toast to the school, said that he drew strength from Mr Fred Whitehouse, the fighter for his school, Dr Michael Hinton the administrator and Mr J.C. Booth who, with the gentleness of a peacemaker, led the school through war and brought it back stronger for the experience. The Booth family had meant so much to boys in exile, as had Mr W. E. Pearce, “what a man he was”, with something of Welsh fire in his teaching and living.
Headmaster thanked all who had surrounded him with their good wishes in his recent hospital experiences.
CRICKET School v Old Boys Friday 7th July 1989 at 6 p.m.
Your committee arranged the date, the only day for weeks when it rained. Maurice Smith and Colic Henry arranged refreshments.
Jack Kremer collected a team of Old Pharosians. Malcolm Grant produced a school team.
The match was to be at Crabble but a downpour made the ground unfit. So everyone piled into their cars and went to the school ground for a game limited to 20 overs for each side.
The Old Boys batted first and scored 149 for 4 wickets in their 20 overs. The main scorers were John Corless (49) and Mick Palmer (45).
When the school batted they were bowled out for 87 off 18.5 overs. Every member, except one, of the Old Boys side had a bowl.
Jack Kremer is willing to raise an Old Boys XI next year and he feels that a Friday evening game is the right idea. Opinion is divided whether the game should be at Crabble or at the school.
The Old Pharosians cricket team included Bert and Jason Wall, Mick Palmer, David Hudson, Alistair Gardiner, Ian Pascall, Tim Padfield, John Morgan, John Sheather, John Corless and Jack Kremer.
Without Jack Kremer’s good work the game would not have happened.
Every cricket-loving Old Pharosian will hope that the fixture will continue far into the future.
School v Old Boys Soccer Match 16th September 1989
Despite a stiff wind and heavy rain during the first half which made conditions difficult for players and unpleasant for spectators, the annual soccer match proved an extremely entertaining one. With the elements in their favour in the first period, the Old Boys led 1 – 0 at half time but this appeared an insufficient advantage in the conditions which seemed to be confirmed when the school team got well on top in the second half and scored twice in quick succession to take the lead. However, towards the end the Old Boys somehow managed to find a ‘second wind’ and score an equaliser, meaning that for the first time since its inception, the Andrew Kremer Memorial Trophy was shared by the two sides.
The Old Boys were represented by: Peter Norris, Chris King, Andy Running, Lee Swinerd, Duncan Tucker, Neil Beverton, Steve Blake, Ramon San Emeterio, Dave Palmer, Nick Robbins and Andy Hedgecock.
OLD PHAROSIAN VISITORS TO THE SCHOOL
You are always welcome and you are asked to sign the Visitors’ Book.
Some recent signings include:
Bob Galvin (1962-71) 73 Sandwich Road, Whitfield.
William Hardy 25 The Street, Sholden, Deal.
Robert Bryan (1947-50) 35 Pendle Road, Clitheroe, Lanes
and three indecipherable entries.
CORRESPONDENCE and other communications have been received from:
V. J. Alcoa, B. H. Baker, Dr. George curry, William Fittall, Denis Gibb, Dr. H. Hopkins, Mrs Marjorie Hopkins, Philip Janaway, Mrs Merrill Johns, Jack Kremer, Rudy Mercer, John Mummery, Bill Ratcliffe, H. R. W. Watkins, Louis Watt and F. Seely.
The editor is grateful.
NEWS OF THE SCHOOL
From the Dover Express in July
School of success
As the finals results start coming in from universities, polytechnics and colleges from all corners of the country, Dover Grammar School for Boys has been counting up their successes.
One of the most notable is that of Andrew Kenchington who has just been awarded a first class honours degree in engineering from Cambridge, where he also won an athletics blue.
Other successes include: Jeremy Carter with a first in physics from Southampton, Stephen Cass with a lower second in art from Manchester Polytechnic, Chris Cook with an upper second in natural science from Durham, Duncan Gregory with an upper second in chemistry with physics from Southampton, Edward Parsons with a first in civil engineering from Kingston Polytechnic, Christopher Richards with an upper second in political and modern history from Brunel, John Meredith with an upper second in English from Newcastle, Stephen Moss with an upper second in engineering from Cambridge and Michael Thorne with an upper second in microbiology from Bath.
Other news from the school is that David Scopes has been chosen as next year’s head boy. His deputies will be Jonathan Todhunter and Garry O’Neill. David has already won a place a the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth.
Advanced Level Passes.
The school produced a 90 per cent pass rate with 48 passes at Grade A Seventy boys achieved A level successes. Four boys passed STEP papers which are additional exams set by Oxford and Cambridge universities: Andrew Burns (who in the last issue of the Newsletter wrote his impressions of the school) passed in English literature, Ancient history, Latin and Pure and applied maths.
Colin Jervis (who wrote the poem about despair in the exam room) gained A grade in English literature, Ancient history and Latin. Neil Ottaway passed in Chemistry, Applied maths and with A grades in Pure Maths and Physics.
Lawrence Woodward passed in French, Pure Maths, Physics and Grade A in Applied maths.
Colin Jervis will read English at Peterhouse, Cambridge.
Twin brothers, Paul and John Grigsby, both obtained four A levels and are going to Welsh universities.
GUEST EVENING 10th November 1989
As autumn gales bring down the leaves it is customary for schools to report that their conduct and achievements are good.
Headmaster began with a courteous welcome for members of his staff who had gone to their “enforced rest” but retained their interest sufficiently to be present on this occasion. Headmaster spoke of current changes, whereby the Headmaster had become Managing Executive: admission to the school was governed by administrators: and subjects to be taught were decreed by government.
On the academic achievements front, Head could report a 90% success rate at Advanced level exams, with 48 passes at Grade A.
Forty three boys who wished to enter degree courses had all obtained the grades they needed and proceeded to higher education.
In a wide variety of games played in the school, four boys had represented their country in soccer, sailing, gymnastics and swimming. The school choir’s achievements in singing services at so many of the country’s great cathedrals was a comparable matter of pride. School journeys were increasing in range through western Europe and, next year, to Russia.
Headmaster had two stories to tell that were meaningful. He had to give a boy a good dressing down for some misdemeanour and at its conclusion the boy turned round at the door and said “Good to see you back, sir”. A first year boy wrote on 26th September: “I know you have been ill so I am sending this get well letter. I like your school. The assemblies are fine. There is no need to worry. I would give your school an A plus”.
While Lady Mummery was distributing certificates and prizes, showing interest in every recipient and his award, I passed a cursory eye over the boys. They seemed bigger than aforetime: perhaps school dinners are better body-builders. There was maturity and confidence: together with somewhat cynical reluctance to show pleasure or pride in achievement. There was loud applause for the Jazz Group. Hair styles varied, mainly conformist but some highly original.
A quarter of the Old Pharosians will be pleased to learn that The House Challenge Shield was won by Priory House.
In his summing up of his reminiscences of schooldays in the 1950’s, the Honourable Mr Justice Mummery paid his tribute to the character and formative work of Miss Rookwood. Then, in spite of her attentions, an early report expressed the view that “the improvement in his hand-writing has exposed the deterioration in his spelling”. In the sixth form stages Mr Lister had told them to “learn your Latin”, meaning that the factual, basic groundwork of any subject had to be mastered before judgements and decisions could be made. Educational opportunities made possible informed and intelligent choices. In this part of his address the learned judge held his audience in that attentive silence the schoolmaster only occasionally knows. His final observation that the sadly faded curtains in the hall were the same as in his rather distant days gave opportunity for his exit line “Curtains for me”.
Adrian Boynton had very kindly travelled from Brighton to arrange music for the evening: and two poems, written by Colin Jervis, now at Cambridge reading English Literature, showed spectacular talent. One of the poems is printed elsewhere in this Newsletter.
THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE MUMMERY
John Mummery, whose family farmed at Coldred, was in the school from 1949 to 1957. He has paid tribute, as do so many old Pharosians, to the excellent groundwork laid by the teaching of Miss Rookwood; and to Mr. Lister in the sixth form where John studied Latin, French and History.
He gained an Open Exhibition in Modern History to Pembroke College, Oxford, where he read Law. He is now an Honorary Fellow of the College. But before going to Oxford he did two years of National Service in the army.
At Oxford from 1959 to 1963 he gained the Winter William prize for Law and he then was admitted to Gray’s Inn where he was called to the Bar in 1964, becoming a Bencher in 1985. From 1981 to 1989 he was Treasury Junior Counsel and now he has been appointed a judge of the High Court in the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand.
On November 10th, 1989 he came to the school as Guest Speaker and his wife Anne presented certificates and prizes. He has long been a Life Member of the Old Pharosians Association.
ASSEMBLY AT END OF THE SUMMER TERM, 1989
The Under 12 team captain spoke of the enthusiasm “in spite of the state of the top field square”. The team had played 5 matches, won 4 and drawn 1. In a match against Manwoods the opponents scored 126 and the school team 123 for 7 wickets. Two boys had represented a Kent XI for their age group.
The U 13 XI played 5, won 3, drew 1, lost 1.
The U 14 XI reported that their seven preliminary practices had been well supported. One boy had played for a Kent U14 XI and three were in a Dover Schools XI.
The U 15 XI reported good performances but “some boys showed preference for outside clubs to school matches”. They had played 4, won 2 and lost 2.
The 1st XI had in Folwell an experienced cricketer who plays for the Dover Club and the Kent Schools XI. The team had played 5, won 3 and lost 2. The captain spoke of the very pleasant atmosphere in the match with the Old Pharosian XI.
The cup for House Cricket was won by Priory.
There had been some inter-school matches with good performances by 1st and 3rd year boys. In the school sports the 1st year boys had set several new records.
Frith won the senior athletics cup. The House Championship Shield for all sports – Priory 291½: Park 282½: Frith 244: Astor 232 points.
Headmaster spoke to the assembly about three departing masters.
MR BEST was a young master who had a good relationship with boys in his teaching of mathematics. He was a games player with ability and enthusiasm who was moving on promotion to the Duke of York’s School
MR BOYNTON had been vigorous and generous of his time in his desire to offer a very special quality of music. He had succeeded in achieving a God-given music of outstanding excellence, for which Roedean school would offer new challenges and achievements.
MR MAURICE SMITH had shown the utmost care for boys in their personal achievement, both in teaching and in the care for their conduct and character.
Gifts from the school were presented to Maurice who read to the boys a passage from Paul’s Epistle to the Romans which begins with the words “God has given us the ability to serve people well”.
Maurice expressed his intention to come into school on one evening a week to be helpful in the workshops.
He wished to shake hands with each boy as the school filed out of assembly; and he ended with the words “May God bless you all”. A man of his quality will be very sadly missed.
JUNIOR PRIZE GIVING IN OCTOBER
The Dover Express called this a DIY prize day. Boys from the 1st to 3rd years read work that had been selected as creative writing; while others entertained with musical items of their own making.
A senior boy conducted the school choir. Adrian, thou shouldst have been with us in this hour to enjoy your inheritance.
The Art and Design Department published a pamphlet setting out the aims of an art course as an introduction to a summer exhibition.
Evening classes have been held throughout the year giving A level students the chance to draw or paint from the Life model.
Art History is taught, including visits to galleries, frequently in London.
Three members of the second year sixth have gone on to art courses at colleges.
The creative arts are seen as an integral part of the curriculum at all stages of the school.
SCHOOL MUSIC 19th July 1989 THE VERDI REQUIEM
The richly deserved standing ovation that ended this performance reminded me of a night at the Proms when I was a student in London. The audience would not let Sir Henry Wood go home until he took a final call wearing his overcoat.
As when Adrian performed this work five years ago, Charlton Church was filled to over-capacity. The choir must have numbered close to a hundred voices. The four soloists were the same as in 1984 and they sang with the utmost sensitivity. Among the orchestra of some professionals and many talented amateurs it was possible to select the cello playing of Victoria Pritchard of the Girls Grammar School and the percussional expertise of schoolboys in passages portraying the Wrath of God.
Adrian conducted with depth of feeling that ranged from the tenderest request for eternal peace to the agony of despair in death.
The tumultuous ovation at the end was for all who took part, soloists, orchestra and choir, but mainly for the director whose musical understanding and drive made possible such a wonderful, memorable evening.
26th July MUSIC FOR A SUMMER’S EVENING
This miscellany of music became a farewell concert for Adrian Boynton, a representation of what he has done for music in this school.
The choir sang from their cathedral repertoire and the chamber choir, grown in numbers and expertise over the years, successfully presented their most difficult pieces. In contrast, and most interestingly, some very young performers made their first solo appearance before a large audience: and some compositions required by the new GCSE were played and admired.
Instrumentalists, soloists who have sung under Adrian’s direction in Dover’s musical life, orchestras and jazz groups all were applauded with equal enthusiasm as the evening approached its finale, a clever composition by the chamber choir in tribute to the maestro and “I’ll see you again” by the massed performers. Never has there been such a farewell, nor one so richly earned.
The admiring musical public filled the hall and joined the headmaster in expressing thanks and every good wish to a young man devoted to his music who has done so much here in the past eleven years and will no doubt move to further opportunities in the future.
EVENSONG IN ST. PAUL’ S CATHEDRAL
It was my pleasure, together with a couple of other Old Pharosians, to be present on 7th August in St. Paul’s when the choir of the two Dover Grammar Schools sang Evensong. Some of you may have been present on the following day. My apologies if any of you went on Wednesday 9th August. Hopefully, some of you may have been in Westminster Abbey on 4th September.
Arriving an hour before the service, one heard the choir being assailed into exactitude. One wondered how long they had been subject to this fine tuning and whether they would be exhausted when they would be required to give of their best.
Not a bit of it. There is a joy in quality of performance, just as much for singers as for listeners.
They sung Psalm 40 beginning with….. I waited patiently for The Lord and continuing with….. and he put a new song in my mouth: followed by Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis.
As an anthem the choir sang “Let the people praise thee, O God” by Mathias. The prayers included one for the Dover Grammar Schools and other places of education and learning.
The deportment and appearance of members of the choir was, as ever, perfect. Together with their musical achievements, they must have presented to the vast throng of tourists in the cathedral an impressive representation of the young people of this nation.
Have we seen the last of these impressive and deeply moving occasions with the departure of Adrian Boynton, to whom is due so much credit and gratitude.
Jonathan Todhunter of the school sixth form has previously been assistant organist at Walmer Church but has how taken Scott Farrell’s post as organist and choirmaster at St. Margaret’s.
The following “psalm” constructed with affection and sung with practised skill gained over recent years, was much enjoyed at Adrian Boynton’ s farewell concert.
A.M.D.G. represents Adrianus Mirabilis Deo Gratias
V4 his very clean finger….
Adrian conducts with his hands and woe betide any singer whose attention has to be drawn to the “clean white finger”
V10 Scott Farrell, ARCO, the organist does not escape reproof.
V14 Hr Haines is the school Latin master.
Main Chant 1. Honour our Maestro all ye lovers of music.
Render unto Adrian all homage and praise!
2. For he is gone to make his ways known unto the peoples of Sussex
And lo!, The Chamber Choir skippeth like little lambs,
3. The Voice of the Maestro will speak dynamism to his captives in Roedean
Yea, his glory will descend even upon Hurstpierpoint, Lancing and Brighton.
4. The might of his baton will rule with a spirit of discipline, and his very clean finger will verily become as a rod on the backs of the feckless.
5. And the clouds will drop fatness on bass and tenor.
Yea even until they cry for mercy.
6. He will not spare the flat or tremulous; his wrath falleth equally upon soprano and alto.
Even the treble, though his knees knocketh together, he will not be spared.
7. He condemneth the putrid; he who bangeth the piano lid in vain Bringeth plagues on the unready.
8. He will correct them with five hour rehearsals, endless repetition, lack of slumber and sustenance.
They shall walk forth as in a trance.
9. And he who neither slumbers nor sleeps
Counteth them miserable specimens lacking true vitality.
10. He subdueth the mighty orchestra with his baton,
And smiteth the stops of the Farrellites making them cry aloud!
11. So that, by Jove, when his concerts endeth
His audience may cry, “Glory!”
Minor Chant 12. Lo, the photo-copiers of the Maestro grind exceeding long and the output thereof empties the coffers,
Though he sayeth, “But a Skerrick!”
13. Likewise the phone-bill of the Maestro bringeth tears to the eyes of the Colemanite
And there is gnashing of teeth at County Hall.
14. Groans of discontent were heard in the land of the Hainsites;
And Boris the Viper was stricken with boils in divers regions.
15. Hear ye, oh Roedean, the voice of Dover,
That you may know the ways of the Maestro and repent!
16. List unto the Chamber Choir, the Orchestra, the Band of Jazz and the Friends of Dover Music,
And prepare the way for the One who cometh as your Judge and Master!
Gloria in major chant.
Glory be to the Maestro
And to the baton and to the very clean finger.
As it was once in Dover, is now and shall be at Roedean, World without end, Amen!
The School Carol Service Charlton Church 20th December. 1989
Adrian Boynton returned to Dover on 9th December so this service was prepared in about ten days. The quality was as high as we have enjoyed and loved in recent years.
The choir was reduced in number by restriction to trained experts. some quite young, several of Old Pharosian status and others from our sister school in Frith Road.
The music was mainly, as we would wish, on familiar traditional lines, controlled by the flowing arms and pointing fingers of the director of music. The readings, praise be, were from the authorised version, fully understood and learned from our mothers’ knee. Our President, John Le Prevost and Past President, Maurice Smith, both read lessons. Prince Charles would have approved.
The congregation of parents and musically minded Dovorians were present in good number on perhaps the wettest night of the year and held their breath in silence as their tribute to the quality of this celebration of Christmas.
THE COMBINED CADET FORCE
Two cadets of the RAF section have earned their wings. Cadet Flt. Sgt. Garry O’Neill earned his navigator wings after a two week course and Sgt. Julian Crush attended a course at the Thanet flying club, paid for by the RAF. Both boys, the latter a member of a well known Old Pharosian family, hope to join the RAF.
Under-officer David Scopes and Coxswain Ian Clarke will be going to the Naval College at Dartmouth.
The next item of news will surprise former cadets of ancient vintage. For the first time in the 50 year history of the corps a girl is not only a member but has become an NCO. Fifteen year old Kirste Webb of the Girls Grammar School, daughter of an Old Pharosian, who became an ordinary seaman last July has been promoted a leading seaman. She has won proficiency badges and been on a week’s course at Portsmouth and a two week RN course on power boats. She hopes to take an engineering degree and enter the WRNS.
NEWS OF OLD BOYS
NEWS OF INDIVIDUAL OLD BOYS
Kevin Black (1975-82) is the new President of East Kent’s Junior Chamber which provides training opportunities for young people to develop business skills. He is employed in the Dover Market Square branch of the National Westminster Bank.
David Brewster (1960-67) writes that he spent seven glorious years in the school when Dr. Hinton was headmaster. David went through Christ Church College at Canterbury. He has been a class teacher, a deputy head and is now head of a new school. He also finds time to be churchwarden at Charlton Church.
R. B. Bryan (1947-50) called at school on December 1st. He moved from this school to Maidenhead Grammar School and then took an engineering apprenticeship at Farnborough. He entered the aircraft industry at Hamble and then took a post-graduate course at Cranfield. For a time he worked on aircraft engines at Rolls Royce and then in 1969 began teaching engineering at what is now called Lancashire Polytechnic. He is enthusiastic about singing with a male voice choir and clearly enjoyed his return to his school and to south-east Kent.
Sons of Mr and Mrs Kelvin Carter
Jeremy (1978-85) has just been awarded a B.Sc 1st class degree in physics at Southampton University together with a studentship to enable him to study and research for a Ph.D in laser technology.
Simon (1972-80) teaches at a school in Wotton-under-Edge in Gloucester’s Cotswold country where he is head of Information Technology and also teaches English.
Ian (1974-81) is a lieutenant in the Royal Navy working as Air Traffic Controller on board an aircraft carrier. He lives in Dartmouth with wife and son one year old.
Andrew (1976-83) took a B.Sc in Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia; spent a year as a parish assistant in Canterbury; followed by a year working at a crypt in Leeds, a refuge for homeless men. He is now at St. John’s College, Nottingham studying for the priesthood.
Chris Cook (1979-86) whose mother formerly taught English in the school. has gained a 2i degree at Durham and has joined a company of accountants.
Scott Farrell. A.R.C.O. (1982-89) who, under Adrian Boynton’s training and direction, has played on the organs of all the cathedrals the choir has visited, has gained an organ scholarship for a Bachelor of Music course at The Royal Holloway and Bedford New College in Egham. Surrey.
Simon Harrison now 20 years old, has won awards for being the best student on a thoroughbred stud and racing business management course: and has landed a job at the Mill Ridge stud in Kentucky. U.S.A.
M. Hopkins (1923-30) phoned to say that he, and other Old Pharosians. went to St. Paul’s on Wednesday 9th August, as advised in the previous Newsletter. I urged that he, and others, try to be in Westminster Abbey on 4th September.
Timothy Johns (1977-84) has been an executive officer in the Civil Service at the D.T.I. in London: but in September, after a month travelling in Europe, he began as a trainee accountant with a multinational advertising company. Training lasts for nine months and he will be based in Knightsbridge.
Christopher Joslin (1982-89) the head prefect until he left school in July has self-financed a nine-month world trip by working in the docks during the summer. His journey will include Australia, New Zealand and Malaya. A farewell presentation was made to him by the parish of St. Margarets where he has been organist.
Martin King (1954-57) the son of Mr Gordon King, lectures on man-made fibres in the University of Manitoba. He is often consulted by industry and his work involves a good deal of travel. In his spare time he looks after a soccer team.
Ken Marsh (1948-57) runs his own business in Civil Engineering Contracting with a very impressive turnover. He gave up cricket two years ago when he considered that hand and eye were not working together at all times.
Miller Anthony (1952-58) and Simon (1979-86)
Anthony, now 47 and his son Simon, aged 21, both graduated at Canterbury on the same day. Anthony is a senior scientific officer at Buckland Hospital and gained his Master of Philosophy degree in microbiology: while Simon obtained a B.A. Honours degree in English and American studies and has entered Christ Church teacher training college.
Chris Penn (1974-81) has played regularly for the Kent XI when not troubled by injury.
He has usually opened the bowling and the captain has worked him pretty hard, though frequently allowed him a rest from Sunday matches.
Batting at number 8 or 9 has given him little chance to build an innings.
Kent finished near the bottom of the county tables.
Bill Ratcliffe (1947-53) has had a career in banking that should encourage school-leavers who choose banking. On leaving school he entered the National Westminster Bank in Dover’s Market Square. After one or two moves he entered the bank inspectorate and, based on the Place Vendome in Paris, he travelled widely in the bank’s service. In recent years he has been manager of a branch in London but he is now again in the Place Vandome as Deputy General Manager.
Jack Ravensdale (1931-39) has sent to the editor for forwarding to the school library a copy of his latest book “In the steps of Chaucer’s pilgrims”. It is a beautifully produced book, clearly described and very fully illustrated, setting out to portray the journey from Southwark to Canterbury as seen on foot and from the air. The copy for the library is inscribed “For Dover Grammar School for Boys – in gratitude”. The library also has Jack’s previous book “The Domesday Inheritance”. Both books are masterly expositions of what are today called Local Studies.
Martin Ruck (1979-86) has graduated from Oriel College, Oxford with a B.A in Physics. He has started a career with BBC Television, maintaining and operating equipment in the studios.
Richard Soppitt (1984-89) has graduated from Birmingham University with a degree in medicine. His wife has qualified in nursing. They met on an educational cruise arranged by the school in 1982. We schoolmasters know not the end product of our endeavours.
Terry Sutton (1940-47) completed 40 years with the Dover Express and his employers presented him with a video recorder. Terry was described as “the best ambassador the Dover Express has ever seen” and all of us agree with this richly deserved description.
Now in his sixties, Terry was further appreciated when at a Council meeting he was called forward by the chairman to receive a presentation in recognition of his honest reporting and active participation in community life.
Adrian Vine (1974-81) has graduated as a Flying Officer at RAF Cranwell. He was in the RAF Cadets when at school and joined the RAF as an airman before becoming a corporal and getting into Cranwell at the third time of asking. He expects to become an air traffic controller.
Frank (F.G.) West-Oram (1926-33) quite by chance met his contemporary Fred (F.J.) Rhodes at an AA conference in London in October on “Motoring and the Older Driver”. They spent an enjoyable day together, both contributing to the discussion.
Frank retired from ICI at Northwich. Cheshire, in 1974 and is now well into his third career since then, as an independent researcher and consultant on road safety. He is a regular motorcyclist and pedal cyclist.
At the conference, he was representing the Pedestrians Association, on which body he has been national Vice-Chairman.
Fred (1926-32) was representing the Pharos branch of the National Federation of Retirement Pensions Associations, of which he is the member representing Kent and Sussex of the executive committee. His wife Dorothy is National President.
David Willoughby now has his Equity membership card. In October he begins a six month tour of theatres and schools with a Theatre Education Company called SNAP. David and his brothers own a house in Balham and Timothy Johns has been lodging there.
Bob Winter (1934-41) has taken over the Presidency of Dover’s operatic and Dramatic Society from another Old Pharosian, Denis Weaver who has held the office for very many years and has been very busy in the past year with Rotarian activities. Stephen Yarrow, another Old Pharosian is musical director and George Ruck is vice-chairman.
Stephen Yarrow (1975-83) was a student under Adrian Boynton who proceeded to study at the Royal Academy of Music where he became a Licentiate and an ARCO in 1985. In October he followed Adrian Boynton as organist and choirmaster at St. Mary’s Dover and as Musical Director for Dover’s Operatic Society. In November he wrote a letter to the local press telling the city fathers they should spend at least £20,000 on a new organ for the Town Hall.
Ken Alcock (1935-41) died on 16th June, aged 65, after a long illness. He was a noted games player at school before the war, during which he served in the RAF. In the ensuing peace he trained to be a teacher and taught at Astor School, where he remained until he retired in 1981. He gave splendid coaching and administrative assistance to Dover Boys Soccer and Dover Schools Athletics. He played a lot of cricket, soccer and rugby for local clubs. Sadly, in his fifties he suffered heart trouble and further complications led to a steady decline in health. Up to the time of his death he was living at the home of his sister in Dorchester where he had been nursed with the utmost devotion. We all extend our sympathies to Vic, Alan and Joan.
John Bushell (1927-34) died in June after an illness caused by multiple sclerosis that he endured for at least seven years, during which time his wife cared for him with the utmost devotion. He was in the army from beginning to end of the second world war: after which he trained to be a teacher and taught mainly at St. Edmund’s school.
As a member of the Labour party he became a Councillor in 1953, an Alderman and finally Mayor in 1965. For a time he was interested in Dover Athletic Club and Chairman of the Dover Football Club. We extend our admiration and sympathy to Mrs Bushell.
David Dawkins (1949-56) died of cancer on 4th June. He was a lecturer at Brixton polytechnic for about twenty years.
Francis Leslie William Eade (1925-33) died 30th August, aged 74 years. He was the school’s Senior Prefect, a member of the 1st XV as well as playing soccer and cricket. He was active in the Cadets, in dramatics and the choir, a cellist in the orchestra, a member of the Pharos committee and was the school meteorological observer. He went to Oxford, St. Edmund’s Hall with a State scholarship and a K.E.C. Higher Exhibition. He read modern languages and had a successful career in hospital administration.
We offer our most sincere sympathies to Mrs Eade.
Rev. W.A. Law (1915-20) died at Maidstone on 19th October. He had supplied useful information when the school history (1905-31) was being written.
Luke Sanaster (1973-78) was killed in a car accident near Naples.
With friends he had driven to Italy to attend a wedding. After leaving school he had gone to a College of Technology studying motor mechanics and he then entered the commercial property business.
Neil Vaughan (1976-82) died in a collision with a lorry on Dover Hill, Folkestone during September. Police believe he lost control of his Suzuki when coming home from work in Hythe.
The previous Newsletter ended with news of the death of Mrs Coulson. Again we have to express our sympathy to a master of long service to the school, Mr W.G. King (1934-71) whose wife Elsa died on July 17th, 1989.