OLD PHAROSIANS’ ASSOCIATION
New Series No. 58
Officers of the Association
An end and a beginning
Mr Colman’s retirement – Concert, Dinner and Final Assembly
Mr Colman’s letter
Plans for the future
NEWS OF THE ASSOCIATION
Old Boys Day, Saturday 15th September
Notice of AGM SOCCER MATCH DINNER
From the Committee Room 9th March, 11th May
Archive Data Base
Missing Addresses and Correspondence
NEWS OF THE SCHOOL
Romeo and Juliet
The Art Department
The Modern Languages Department
The Lent Charity
NEWS OF INDIVIDUAL OLD BOYS
OFFICERS OF THE ASSOCIATION
|President: J.||Le Prevost, Esq., Flat 2,
Whitewalls, Cannongate Road,Hythe, Kent. CT21 5PX
|Secretary:||Philip Harding, Esq., 6 Chestnut
Road, Elms Vale, Dover. CT17 9PY
|Treasurer:||Ian Pascall, Esq., 45a, Bewsbury
Cross Lane, Whitfield. Dover.
|Editor:||K.H. Ruffell, Esq.,
193 The Gateway, Dover. CT16 1LL
|Membership Secretary:||R. Gabriel, Esq. Dover Grammar
School for Boys, Astor Avenue,
Dover. CT17 ODQ
AN END AND A BEGINNING
“What we call the beginning is often the end and to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from”.
At Easter, 1937 by a life-styling largesse of luck I was Mr. Booth’s first appointment, I did see Mr Whitehouse once: and heard much about him from staff-room tales about the legendary “Freddy”, a Napoleonic figure who took charge of the Dover County School for boys and girls from its birth in 1905 and moved it from Ladywell to Frith Road during the first world war: and then almost at once began to plan its removal to Astor Avenue in 1931. He died soon after his retirement, perhaps burned out by his life’s work. He had set standards and the school had style in the 1930’s.
This year we are recalling that in 1940 when the British army in Europe escaped from Dunkirk, Mr and Mrs Booth took this school to Ebbw Vale and brought it back four years later. The end of war was the beginning of better times, of slow recovery. Mr Booth retired in 1959, a year in which five state scholarships testified to academic achievement.
He was replaced by young Dr. Hinton whose whirlwind blew through the place for eight years before moving elsewhere, as whirlwinds do. He swept us into a new age.
The end of this active period, when we and Dr Hinton learned much from each other, brought us to the beginning of the headship of Reg Colman, steeped in the tradition of good schools. He once said to me at an early stage of his twenty-one years as headmaster – “Ken, I have come to spend the rest of my working life in this school”. This is precisely what he has done and most of us will have enjoyed his eternal kindness, generosity and personal consideration.
As with Mr Booth, his ending has been marked by high academic success when achievements across the broad range of subjects have culminated in five places gained at Oxford and Cambridge; and many other boys have been enabled and encouraged to continue their learning elsewhere.
This is what grammar schools can do. Boys and girls from varied backgrounds, young people with sufficient ability and the necessary character have doors opened to infinite possibilities. To this truism the Old Pharosian membership of some six hundred and fifty members of all ages will readily testify. The ending of their time at school was the beginning of new opportunity and, in many cases, a deepening affection for the place that had served them so well.
RETIREMENT of the HEADMASTER
Wednesday 4th April
given by past and present members of the school arranged by Adrian Boynton, the school’s former director of music. This well attended and much enjoyed concert ranged from one or two young performers to experienced experts of Old Pharosian vintages; and from instrumental solos to the Jazz Group, the Chamber Choir and a Concert Band. At the end a presentation of books and vouchers was made to Mr Colman with flowers for Mrs Colman. Three hours of music of quality made a most enjoyable evening.
Thursday 5th April 1990
About 180 people filled the school hall for this very special occasion. The company included the Rev. Dr. Michael Hinton, the previous headmaster here; governors, members of the parents association, former members of the teaching staff who travelled considerable distances to attend, the present staff, representatives of educational administration, the prefects, committee members of the Old Pharosians Association and many ladies.
The deputy headmaster, Neil Slater, presided and made a splendidly witty speech, throughout which ran the affection and admiration we all hold for our departing headmaster.
Further tributes were spoken by John Le Prevost, President of the Old Pharosians Association and by Mr J Barnes for the Parents and Friends Association.
The Old Pharosians and School Staff, past and present, gave Mr Colman a computer; and the Parents Association gave a coffee table. There were flowers for Mrs Marjorie Colman, to whom Neil Slater had paid due tribute in his speech.
Mr Colman spoke with his usual fluency, expressing his devotion to this school, its staff, a term he meant to include not only those who taught but all who by their labours kept the wheels turning. But of course, above all, the Headmaster spoke of the boys who in his 21 years had passed through the school to become men, citizens, husbands. In expressing his thanks to all around him he justly singled out his secretary, Mrs Cheryl Woods, for her constantly helpful and efficient service to him and the whole establishment.
The arrangements for this memorable evening had been made by an ad hoc committee of teachers and Old Pharosians. It was a great occasion from sherry at 7 p.m to “Forty Years On” around 11 p.m.; from major speeches to some imaginative gestures of affection, the whole reflecting the high regard felt by all who have enjoyed the good fortune to know and to work with Mr Colman.
before the Easter vacation
6th April 1990
Captain of teams reported on rugby football U12 XV spoke of “original enthusiasm”. They had played 3 matches and won 2.
U13 XV had a good season, playing 3 games
U14 XV played only 2 games
U15 XV had only one game, which was lost
1st XV reported poor attendance at practices.
The season began with two heavy defeats, two cancellations, a narrow loss followed by a victory. At end of term an enjoyable match had been played against the Old Pharosians who won by 30 points to 26. Representative ties were awarded to 8 boys and Colours badges to 4.
The Cross country Powell Cup race had been won by Astor House.
The master in charge of junior games reported that in the Dover Schools finals the 1st form XI lost 3-O but the 2nd, 3rd and 5th year teams all won their competitions.
Performing Arts ties were awarded to nine boys. The term had seen a junior presentation of Treasure Island and a senior production of Romeo and Juliet.
THE LENTEN CHARITY
By various means £1200 had been raised.
MEMBER OF STAFF LEAVING
Mrs Madden was departing after notable work in the English Department and in the production of the play ‘Treasure Island’.
THE SCHOOL’S FAREWELL TO MR COLMAN
Mr Neil Slater described how Mr Colman had for 21 years devoted his time to the school, the first to arrive in the mornings and often the last to depart after evening meetings. He had ever been loyal in defence of the school and individuals, caring for the whole person, for integrity as much as academic achievement.
There had been widespread concern over his recent heart operation but with the support of Mrs Colman he had made a good recovery and looked forward to retirement.
The deputy head prefect expressed thanks to the Headmaster and presented gifts from the school. These included a silver tray, silver coasters, a bottle of unknown contents and a cut-out model of a bear in academic dress.
In his reply, Mr Colman spoke of his exciting and rewarding time over the past years. He thanked the school “from the bottom of my heart” for the privilege of being among so many boys and teachers; and he walked through the hall to cheers and happy laughter from an upstanding school showing respect and affection.
Dear Old Pharosians,
Ken Ruffell has very kindly agreed to allow me to use the Newsletter to offer my thanks for the tremendous support which you have given me over the years.
I have often said, and I mean it, that Old Boys are my sternest critics. This must be so because even if they do not offer comment on the school, myself or the staff, the very success of their lives reflects directly on what we have done. It’s very difficult to measure the success of past pupils because it is certainly not necessarily reflected in the importance of their positions, still less in their wealth. I can only judge by the fact that they come back, happy to talk to present pupils and staff which suggests that they look back on their School with pleasure. I find it particularly pleasant to come upon Old Boys merging easily in all manner of activities, – in drama, in music, in games, in the CCF and sometimes directly in the classrooms. Furthermore very senior Old Boys are prepared to give up their precious time to preserve the traditions of the school by making its archives readily available and by mixing with parents at many of our functions.
These quiet but most valuable endeavours are matched by the significant contributions of the Old Pharosians Association itself. In particular, past Presidents have chosen to make particular contributions in their years of office. They have travelled the world to enlarge the community of Old Boys, made it easy for visitors to be courteously received, and for some to find memorabilia of their time at the school. In this respect, your President has given every support to the continuation of this fine tradition. To all this, I must add the very considerable material support which the Association has given to a wide variety of activities especially in music, games and outdoor activities. The Old Boys Prize remains the most coveted award.
Now that I have retired, I know that I shall find interest and a welcome all over the world, wherever I can bring news of the school. My wife and I look forward very much to enjoying meeting these friends. We also look back with pleasure and acknowledge the privilege which we have shared in being associated so long with so fine a school.
Government has been reorganising education. First GCSE replaced O level and CSE. Then a national curriculum was decreed with tests to measure individual progress at various stages from 7 years onward. Most of the changes added to teachers’ burdens; intermittent strikes have occurred and damaged good-will. There has been a sad reduction in school games in state schools.
The latest change is known as LOCAL MANAGEMENT OF SCHOOLS.
Central government makes grants to local authorities, in our case Kent County Council, who gather rates, now the Community Charge. By these two ways Kent has money for education. Hitherto the county has made money available to schools through divisional area offices. Now the money is to be allocated directly from county to each school on a formula; and expenditure will be controlled by the school governors who will, no doubt, in most cases endeavour to meet headmasters’ wishes.
Formula funding, i.e. more funds for more pupils, has come at a time when birth rates and school rolls are falling. Places of education can only live by attracting students. To some extent, generally covertly, schools have competed to attract students. Now the competition has come into the open in the form of newspaper advertisements proclaiming virtues and offering places. This is a new development in the state school system. Emphasis is often aimed at attracting sixth form students for whom more money is available.
Formula funding has involved calculation of an average teacher’s salary. So experienced teachers over the age of forty have become expensive luxuries and have often been offered, and have accepted early retirement on favourable terms. Pensions are not paid from school budgets or county finances.
By formula funding a global sum of annual expenditure is calculated for each school. This has to pay for teachers, books, equipment, building repairs and upkeep. New buildings are still financed by local authority. Within narrow limits, the annual sum allocated for the present year will continue for the next four years.
Governors, who include at their deliberations the head teacher, assistant teacher representatives and parents, have to make the financial decisions. Within a school a deputy head or a computer expert becomes the bursar. He may have to watch over a budget in excess of a million pounds, perhaps two millions in a large school with a sixth form.
Some head teachers welcome the greater control “within the school family”. Formerly they had to ask local authority for permission and for funding. Now they may feel they can get jobs done under their own initiative, in less time at less cost. There is no doubt that additional burdens are being borne, such as increased fund-raising to balance expenditure and maintain standards. Every state school is a neighbourhood school so some are advantaged in fund-raising opportunities; and in finding governors of wide experience and judgement.
Government has decreed what shall be taught, how it shall be taught and examined: now self-government of finance has been added. The changes have come thick and fast: and the change of diet has not proved readily digestible. The teaching profession is not very happy at present and it must be hoped that time will prove, as ever, to be the great healer.
PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
At this time there is little that can be reported.
Mr Neil Slater is Acting Head and is making an impact. He was present, as was Mr Colman at the Old Pharosians Committee meeting on 11th May.
Consultations are proceeding, mainly between Area Education Officer and the governors. Decisions have not yet been reached.
NEWS OF THE ASSOCIATION
Notice is hereby given that the ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the Association will be held at the School on SATURDAY 15th September 1990, commencing at 11.00 am.
1. To read the notice convening the meeting
2. Apologies for absence
3. Minutes of the previous A.G.M.
4. Matters arising
5. Treasurer’s Report
6. Secretary’s Report
7. Election of Officers and Committee
– President: the committee will propose that William Fittall, Vice-President 1989-90, be elected
President for 1990-91
– Vice President: the committee will propose that Reg Colman be elected Vice-President for 1990-91
– Assistant Secretary
– Newsletter Editor
– Committee Members (the two retiring members are T. Sutton and A. Gunn)
8. Any Other Business
ANNUAL SOCCER MATCH
An Old Pharosian XI will play against the school at 2.30 on Saturday 15th September. Any Old Boy who would like to play should contact Mick Palmer, 12 Hazeldown Close, River, Dover. CT16 ONJ.
An enjoyable rugby match was played on the last Wednesday of the spring term. The Old Boys defeated the school by 30 points to 26.
THE ANNUAL REUNION DINNER
15th September, 199O: 6.45 for 7.3O
A separate sheet of paper giving details of the dinner accompanies this newsletter.
These are times of change of great consequence to the school and the dinner gives opportunity to meet with friends of times past and also to learn of impending developments for the future. Ladies are always very welcome and if we have a company of 150, about one third will be ladies.
Most age groups of Old Pharosians are represented.
The accompanying paper gives details of the menu which, by request, includes the option of a vegetarian meal.
You are of course welcome to make requests about the seating plan. The earlier you reply, the more helpful you will be to the organisation of the evening.
Committee meeting, Friday 9th March
Your committee met with William Fittall in the chair due to the absence of John Le Prevost who was recovering from an operation.
Treasurer reported that the Association’s assets were in excess of £5000.
Much discussion turned to methods of attracting school leavers to join the Association. Headmaster suggested a letter to all leavers and their parents: followed by addresses to leavers before they took their final examinations and at the supper for school leavers at the beginning of July.
The school’s computing system was discussed in the light of its use by Peter Burville and Sidney Wenborn in their work with an Old Pharosian data-base. Committee members had been able before the meeting to see the equipment and have the procedure explained.
Looking into the future, consideration was given to Old Boys Day on September 15th, the retirement of Mr Colman and possible developments in the nature of the school and associated possibilities.
Committee meeting on 11th May.
Before the meeting began the President, John Le Prevost, spoke of the sad circumstances of the death of Colin Jervis and all present stood in thoughtful silence. In accordance with wishes expressed, a contribution was sent to the charity designated.
The President thanked members who had kept him informed during his recent illness and he said how much he had enjoyed the dinner of farewell to Reg and Marjorie Colman. Mr Colman thanked the Old Pharosians for their support to the school and himself during his headship.
Membership stood at 636 and assets about £5250.
Roger Gabriel who teaches computing and handicraft in the school is an Old Pharosian who serves as membership secretary. He is leaving on promotion in the summer but is willing to continue as membership secretary and by linkage from computer via telephone to computer to keep in touch with Mrs Woods, the headmaster’s secretary. This continuing link will be invaluable to Association membership and publication of the Newsletter.
Mr Colman was proposed as Vice-president of the Association (1990-91), the nomination to proceed at the AGM in September. He said he would be delighted to be Vice-president (1990-91) and President in the following year unless changing circumstances in the school gave rise to personal difficulties.
The changing plans for the school’s future could not be discussed at length as discussions were moving slowly, but decisions might be made during the present summer term.
Recruitment of school leavers to the Association was discussed. Sixth form boys had been given copies of the Newsletter and had been addressed on behalf of the Association. Further Newsletters and personal invitations would be made at the school leavers’ party.
In making plans for the 1990 Dinner on 15th September the committee gladly agreed to provide an alternative vegetarian meal as had been requested by an Old Pharosian correspondent.
ARCHIVE DATA BASE
As you may have noticed, in the January issue of the Newsletter, plans have been prepared to provide the Association with a (computer) data-base holding information on the vast range of archive material which your Archivist, Sid Wenborn, has in his charge. The purpose of this note is to tell you of the progress, made so far, and to seek your support and help.
The data-base will eventually hold information about each of the items in the archives, which range from copies of the Newsletter and Pharos, sports photographs and School play programmes, to things such as the School standard yard. When Old Pharosians visit the School they will be offered the opportunity to ask questions of the data-base. For example, they might wish to know whether there are any photographs in which they, or an old friend, featured. Perhaps they may be interested in some event on which information might be held – the data-base will be able to tell them whether there is relevant material in the archive (and where it is held). In addition, the data-base will be available to the School, as a teaching resource, which can be used on project work associated with academic studies.
We have now reached the stage where the data-base has been designed and implemented, by A-level student Paul Morris, and a start has been made on the huge task of putting the vast amount of information onto the data-base. At the moment only Sid Wenborn and I are working on it, so progress is slow. Thus, the first request is for volunteers who could come and help us at the School. It is not necessary to be computer literate, as they say, but it would help-or perhaps you would like the opportunity to work on a computer system. The work is very interesting and it directly helps the School and the Association.
There is another way in which assistance can be given. Can anyone proved us with copies of the following items, which are missing from the archives:
Pharos Magazines : pre DEC 1922
JUN 1944 to FEB 1947 (inclusive)
Newsletters: pre 1968
If you can help in any way please contact one of us:
|Mr S Wenborn
88 Minnis Lane
|Dr P J Burville
St Margarets Bay
Old Pharosians v School
Friday 6th July 6 pm on the School ground
If you would like to play please get in touch with
Jack Kremer, 37 Old Park Hill, Dover. CT16 2AW
19th June 7.3O pm
Annual contest at Red Lion, Charlton Green.
Old Pharosians v Old Girls Association.
All comers contest followed by sociability.
The editor would be glad to learn of the addresses of any of these members:
Readers will have noticed that by means of overprinting on the envelope we hope to bring our address list up to date.
Correspondence has been received from
Edward Armitage (former music teacher), Derek Aslett, Ted Baker, Clyde Binfield, Peter Burville, George Curry, S. Disbrey, Denis Doble, David Elleray, Jack Kremer, Bill Marshall, Gordon Miles, B.S. Neill, Peter Piddock, Roland Robertson, Terry Sutton, Keith Tolputt, Frank West-Oram and Michael White.
The editor expresses his thanks for the help given by those who have supplied NEWS without which the NEWSLETTER could not justify its title.
NEWS OF THE SCHOOL
Romeo and Juliet
Thank heavens there is still a young schoolmaster willing to go to the time-consuming trouble of introducing the young to a production of Shakespeare, an experience they will never forget. Reading and studying Shakespeare in the classroom is often very dull work: seeing a quality production can be the key to appreciation: but acting is the experience that opens the treasure chest where infinite riches may be found.
The public will not come in droves to see a school Shakespeare and costumes are enormously costly. So in this production, apart from some provision for the ladies, waist-coats doubled for doublets.
Rightly or wrongly, a modern producer often rejects the proscenium arch. So this play was acted on the hall floor, backed by ingenious scaffolding and curtains, a presentation which served the play well. The audience sat on raised platforms which gave everyone a fine view and a fair hearing. Music, choreography and sword play added to the action: the lighting was always helpful, and essential to an open-stage production.
What matters to most of us is the spoken word, the poetry and the story. The first words from Friar Lawrence announced that here was a voice: and his name on the programme proclaimed him to be a German, a visitor to the school. Mercutio was cleverly inventive, an actor making the most of his part. The same could be said of Capulet who showed the required seniority that became the head of a noble family. His servant Peter added welcome humour, often acting without words which is clever, making the most of a minor role. The two principals, Romeo and Juliet, had worked hard to master their demanding roles and they sustained the action of the play.
The main cleverness must be credited to the producer who persuaded a large number of boys and girls to form a happy team who presented a Romeo and Juliet which kept the audience quietly attentive. Moreover he converted the hall into a theatre which, as far as I know, has never been attempted in this way before – and I have been around the place since 1937.
There was a very clever and enjoyable presentation of “Treasure Island.” There is self-evident talent in the lower part of the school which is being fostered by Michael Thomas, helped by Elizabeth Madden and Jim Goldthorpe.
The local press described the production as a show with a bang. Indeed the pyrotechnics were distinctly audible and effectively stunning.
DAVID WILLOUGHBY played the part of Professor Higgins in a memorable production of the musical ‘My Fair Lady’ some years ago. Now, 22 years of age, he is a professional actor who played recently at the Marlow Theatre, Canterbury.
SCHOOL MUSIC has been greatly helped recently by the kindness of the Girls Grammar School. The headmistress and Mrs Dunn have allowed some of our instrumentalists to continue their preparation for examinations at Frith Road and several boys took part in the Girls School summer concert.
Wednesday 11th April in St. Mary’s Church, Dover
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth: and God saw that it was good. The heavens are telling the glory of God: and God said – let the earth bring forth the living creatures after their kind: and God created Man in his own image.”
In due course (Part 3) Adam and Eve appear and sing – “Ye creatures all extol the Lord; Him celebrate, Him magnify: His praise for ever shall endure. Amen”.
These familiar words, and many more, were sung quite splendidly by four local soloists of great experience; and by a choir assembled, trained and conducted by Adrian Boynton, accompanied by an orchestra of boys, girls and professional musicians. As ever, the creator of this musical occasion was Adrian Boynton, still much attached to the musical life of this town.
As your correspondent gathered in several hundred pounds at the door from music-loving Dovorians the irrevant thought occurred that a Hubble telescope, said to be the most notable cosmological advance since Galileo, was about to rise above our atmosphere and perhaps propound a new version of the Creation story. What will the heavens be telling to the men of Cosmology? KHR
THE ART DEPARTMENT
An exhibition of drawings, paintings and prints by 6th form students during the past 25 years was shown at the Gulbenkian Theatre, University of Kent at Canterbury early in May.
The editor is grateful for the two screen prints of drawings produced in this Newsletter.
The Art Department has this year encouraged and achieved two publications for which boys have done most of the work.
The LUX NEWS is a “paste and scissors” exercise whereby extracts about the school selected from the local press are assembled, photocopied and displayed.
There is also a solidly bound YEAR BOOK with photographs of many aspects of the school’s present life. The whole has been professionally printed and published. Boys obtained sponsorship to keep the cost down to £6. Copies may be obtained from the headmaster’s secretary.
MODERN LANGUAGES DEPARTMENT
Christopher Watts and Justin Allen have both been offered university places to study languages; and are through to the second round of the national Young Linguists awards competition sponsored by many companies and organisations across the country.
SCHOOL TRIPS ABROAD AND AT HOME
During the Easter holidays a soccer party went to Valkenburg in Holland: another party visited Leningrad and Moscow: some boys went to Spain: and others went to Dartmoor.
THE LENT CHARITY raised over £1300 partly by direct giving and in part by eight boys and two girls who pushed a bed round Deal in the good cause of Cancer Research.
NEWS OF INDIVIDUAL OLD BOYS
Colin Brice who lived at Whitfield, died suddenly in January.
Roger Cuff (1950-55) a life member of the Association, was drowned while on holiday at Lanzarote in February. He was a stalwart of Dover Rowing Club and a member of the yacht club. He was captain of the rowing club for fourteen years and had won many prizes for sculling.
He had worked in various health departments of Dover Council in recent years and will be very sadly missed at work and on the water.
Colin Jervis (1982-89) His body was taken from the River Cam on 5th May. AT school his academic record showed Grade A in every subject he took in the GCSE and A level exams. Mr Colman described him as the most brilliant student for many years. He was a prefect, active in dramatic work. He was a member of the St. Andrew’s congregation at Buckland. When he left school last July he became a Life Member of the Old Pharosians Association before proceeding to Peterhouse, Cambridge to read English Literature.
Readers of the Newsletter published a year ago will remember his very clever, quite remarkable poem about examinations. If you have retained a copy and can read the poem again you will observe evidence of the pains of self-doubt.
At Peterhouse all seemed to be well with his studies. He wrote a play which was produced at Downing College by Andrew Burns, a fellow Old Pharosian. However, the onset of examinations at the end of his first year filled his mind with alarm. He was allowed to go home without taking the exams. But he returned to Cambridge, deeply troubled by a sense of failure. The result is expressed in the first sentence above.
At a school assembly in the following week Mr Nigel Horne, who taught him English, and Mr Brian Haines, his teacher of Latin and Ancient History, prepared and led a service of remembrance. The funeral was at St. Andrew’s Church on 18th May, at which the school and Old Pharosians Association were represented. His mother spoke most beautifully and movingly to the Dover Express. To her and other members of the family we all extend our utmost sympathy.
Wing Commander E. H. B. Martin (1923-31) The editor is grateful to Frank Martin (1931-37) for permission to print the following information about his brother who died at his home in Tiverton on 28th February.
Ernest featured impressively on the Honours Board when he left to go to the Imperial College of Science in the same year that I began at the school.
We shared some talent for the Dramatic Society, which has been passed on to Ernest’s son, Michael Sharvell-Martin, a professional actor quite well known on TV.
Our parents were very active in the Parents Association, of which my father was Hon. Secretary for many years.
After being initially a physics master at Taunton’s School, Southampton, Ernest spent his life in the RAF.
In 1940, a few weeks after Dunkirk, a small motley fleet put into Southampton bearing survivors of the 51st Highland Division who had not been taken prisoner by the Germans at S. Valery en Caux, and included Rodney Tye, Ian Weir, Robin Haydon and myself, all from the Territorial Kent Yeomanry. I was able to contact Ernest who took the four of us out to a meal, and then promptly applied to join the RAF. With his qualifications in physics, he joined the highly secret radar organization and was posted to, of all places, the Dover station. When this was put out of action by enemy bombing, he erected a temporary mobile station on the Old Dover Road at Capel.
I am afraid we took up membership of the O.P’s rather late. I came, with Rodney Tye, to the dinner a year or two back, and had been hoping that, as soon as Ernest had recovered from cataract operations on his eyes, we would come together to a dinner. Alas, this was not to be.
I remember meeting Bob Unstead at the dinner I attended in 1987, and he asked after Ernest. “He was one of the nicest chaps I know” he said, “I always tried to copy him”. I think he was speaking for many.
Jack Pascall (1940-45) aged 61, died in April. He was honorary secretary of the Hereditary Freemen of Dover and for many years had been an instructor at the Seeboard training centre at Whitfield.
We offer our sympathy to his son, Ian, our very professional Association treasurer and all the family. Both father and son have played in recent Old Pharosian cricket teams.
Letter from Derek Aslett (1969-76) capped by Kent County Cricket Club and now living in Western Australia.
My family and I have been here for eighteen months now and have settled in quite well. We have a house five minutes walk from the river and we have a pool which makes summer a little more bearable. Land is becoming short, especially close to the city. Many people are sub-dividing their quarter-acre blocks, which is encouraged by the authorities in the interests of good public transport.
The “bush” can be extremely beautiful, especially on the south-west of the state where there are huge tracts of forests. Wine is now a big industry in that area and is becoming famous world-wide. Economically, Australia is struggling a little bit, mainly because it does not have a strong manufacturing industry. Most luxury items have a foreign label on them.
The weather is certainly excellent. Winters are especially good. A typical winter’s day is very much like a good spring or autumn day in the UK. However, summer can be unbearable for six to eight weeks. The year before we arrived they had thirty consecutive days with temperatures over 1OO° F. At night there is no relief as it is difficult to get the heat out of the house.
I consider myself lucky that I have been able to play cricket at a high level in England. It has given me many opportunities, one of which has been to play cricket here in Australia. Conditions, opportunities and facilities differ enormously between the two countries. I should say that without a doubt the main difference lies in opportunities for youngsters, and Australia leads by a long way. Every park and school ground has at least two artificial nets. I can’t think of one in Dover! All club cricket here is structured in such a way that it is possible to advance from 4th grade to Test cricket in one season. This is clearly a great incentive to youngsters who can see quite easily the ladder to Shield and Test cricket. Every cricket club has a junior section, of which there are normally three or four teams. There is also an under 23 inter-club competition that is held when the seniors are not playing. Each club has a coach who runs practices held religiously on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Because club cricket is the basis for Shield cricket, Shield cricketers have to play for their clubs when not in Shield matches. This also applies to Test cricketers! It is not unusual to play in an ‘A’ grade game where half the players have 1st class experience.
Many clubs have the services of English professionals, of whom Chris Penn has been one of many.
Clearly, Australian club cricket is well structured to provide everyone with the opportunity to make the best of their ability. More importantly, every player is given an equal chance to play for State and Country.
English cricket does not have a solid structure. Opportunities are extremely limited, and unless one has been to a school with good facilities and enthusiastic schoolmasters it is almost impossible to reach one’s potential. You will generally find that county cricketers have either been to public school or have had fathers who have played themselves.
It is a wonder that England can produce top-flight cricketers at all. It is possible only because county cricket clubs devote a lot of their time to development of county 2nd XI players. Essentially the difference is that the Australian 1st class cricketer learns his trade at club level, whereas in England he learns it at a county 2nd XI level.
Finally, because Shield cricket selection is based on club performances it is possible for older players to graduate from club level upwards. Peter Taylor, currently playing for Australia, is such an example. When first selected for Australia he had played only a handful of games for his State: and in fact had been left out of the State side at the time of his Test selection!
In England rarely can the ordinary club cricketer be exposed to high class players and when it does happen it can be dangerous when a player like Chris Penn plays the occasional club game.
However, English club cricket has certain qualities. Club teas are a joy, and the occasional all-day game with the extended lunch can not be rivalled. Such matters are not treated as of any importance in Australia, a great shame from my point of view! The bar is part of the English after-the-match scene: and I feel that one of the beauties of cricket is the chance to meet people. English grounds can not be rivalled in these matters. What can be better than playing at Crabble on a fine summer’s day – or at Canterbury. Many Australian grounds are unfortunately set on huge expanses of open park.
I shall not mention too much about Australian TV coverage. Adverts at the end of each over and listening to Ian Chappel and Tony Greig trying to string sentences together is enough incentive to turn the channel and watch “Neighbours”.
For me, give me an Australian Grade game to play on a Saturday: but on Sunday invite me to play at Crabble with an extended lunch and tea and afterwards a couple of pints of bitter in the bar. Nothing could be better!
Trevor Beney has become one of the youngest Group Captains in the RAF and has been posted to America. He will spend two years in liaison duties in Washington. He got his early taste for flying in the school RAF cadet section.
Captain M Bodiam an expert on local shipping has been defending the safety of Channel ferries against recent charges of insecurity.
Dr. J.C.G. Binfield (1950-58) is head of the department of history at Sheffield University and he met Lord Cockfield when that distinguished European came to read a paper on “The Balance of Power; Brussels and Westminster.” Clyde Binfield reports that the paper was first rate, powerfully argued and delivered: sharp, with a very dry but most effective wit.
Dick Booth (1951-59) is now Divisional Staff Inspector for Schools for the Southern Division of the Department of Education and Science. The Southern Division, of course, includes our own and other schools in the Dover and District area.
Lee Brankley has been awarded a Master of Science degree from the Cranfield Institute. At school he was captain of the 1st XI at soccer. He went to Coventry Polytechnic where he studied materials technology and gained a B.Sc degree. At the Cranfield Institute he studied materials engineering and he has worked with British Steel and Duracell Batteries for whom he now works in Crawley.
G. A. Caulfield Kerney has spent some years at sea since leaving school but he is now back in Dover working on the cross channel ferries. He remembers with pleasure his lessons in the technical department.
Chris Dench has been commissioned to write an opera in Melbourne, Australia. He studied music at Southampton University for one year, then worked in London record shops for three years before going to the City University for two years. He became a free lance composer in 1983, living and working in Berlin. His wife is a concert flautist in Australia and Chris has now joined her there.
Clive Deverson (1975-83) went to Queen Mary College, London to study microbiology. He is now completing his work for a Ph.D at the University of Kent at Canterbury. He contributed to the musical programme at school on 4th April.
Denis Doble (1948-55) very kindly wrote to the editor from Kingston, Jamaica where he holds an office with the British High Commission. He writes enthusiastically about the recent England tour in the West Indies. He expects to stay in Kingston until the end of this year and then move “who knows where” at the dictates of the FO.
Alan Edgington (1941-48) works in the harbour area and gives an immense amount of time to the Dover Sea Angling Association, mainly controlling their competitions which sometimes involve a night spent on the breakwater. In his last year at school Alan was Captain of Soccer. Results were read at Monday morning Assemblies and on one occasion he told the whole school they should examine all their football boots for nails which could damage footballs, then in very short supply.
David Elleray (1966-73) wrote in January. At Harrow school for some years he has been head of the geography department and in charge of the 1st soccer XI. He continues to referee some 1st Division games and has been an official for Juventus v St. Germain. At Harrow he is to become a housemaster, a very demanding and responsible post that he describes as exciting.
Richard Gretton (1965-73) has a Research Fellowship at the University of Sussex. He will be in contact through his research with Mr Mermagan, former teacher of history at Dover, now teaching in Berkshire. Richard continues to live at Goudhurst and plays village cricket.
John Hopkins on leaving school got a 1st class degree in geology at Swansea; and the oil business has taken him to many parts of the world. However a homing instinct brought him and his family back to Dover where he is a consultant for oil firms. For a time he was on the Channel Tunnel project where he worked with Stuart Warren, another geologist from the school.
Bill Marshall (1975-82) continues his musical interests by playing for the Malcolm Sargent Choir which raises funds for children suffering from cancer. He has travelled with the choir to St. Peter’s in Rome and cathedrals in Florence, Siena and Pisa. This year he hopes to go to Belgium, Jersey and perhaps Salzburg and Paris. He is working for Butterworths, publishers and has moved into the editorial and production side where he is managing a department which publishes Halsbury’s Laws of England. He is clearly full of enthusiasm for his progress in publishing.
Frank Martin brother to the later Wing Commander E H B Martin, can remember playing Miranda to our President, John Le Prevost’s Prospero in 1936. He has seven years wartime service in the army and another fifteen subsequently in the Territorial Army. In wartime he saw active service in France, North Africa, Sicily and Italy, where he was wounded shortly before the end of hostilities. After the war he was attached to the British Embassy in Prague where he met his future wife who was Czech. They could not return to that communist-dominated country until 1983, an absence of 35 years. During the was he was a Field Artillery Officer but in the Territorials he was in coast Artillery and was the last battery commander of the Dover Harbour Defence Battery. In peace time he was manager of the National Westminster Bank in Hythe where he and his wife now live.
Louis Martin (1982-87) has successfully completed his two year apprentice course at Arborfield and is now prepared to enter the REME. He is now an Aircraft Technician and has gained a provisional BTEC Diploma in engineering and achieved Apprentice Tradesman RSM rank. He has represented the Junior Army at swimming and water polo. He has been given the Award of Honour as the best apprentice. The College at Arborfield says it would welcome other boys of Louis’s calibre.
Gordon Miles (1973-80) has been promoted to the rank of Assistant Manager at the Brighton Corporate Banking Group.
B. S. Neill (1972-80) joined the Dover branch of Barclays bank when he left school and later gathered experience at three other branches. In 1988 he married and moved to the Bank’s Regional Office in Hayward’s Heath, leaving there in 199O to take up his present position as Corporate Manager at the Hove Business Centre.
Bill Newman is making a wonderful job as Town Mayor. His cheerful good-will and interest in all that goes on in the town, his affection for the place and interest in its history and the well being of the people are self-evident. His wife is always with him at the town’s events and adds her own cheerful friendliness to all the many people they meet. Bob is the latest of the several Old Pharosians who have been Mayors of Dover.
Chris Penn (1974-81) had a few words with your editor before play started on the Folkestone ground. He usually opens the bowling for Kent but it was with the bat that he had his most exciting success. On a Sunday at Llanelli Kent needed to score 22O and when Chris Penn came in they needed 54 from 3 overs and then 21 from the final over. After 7 had been scored Penn hit two sixes and a boundary for a win that took them to second place in the Sunday League.
Andrew Sims (1970-77) is now a geologist with Clyde Petroleum based in Malvern. He is married to a geologist he met in his time at Oxford and they now have a daughter.
Richard Spear (1937-40) Two 61 year old Old Boys of the school climbed to the top of Mount Nebo in Jordan and remembered the time when former headmaster Mr J C Booth told them in lessons how Moses first saw the Promised Land from that spot. Terry Sutton and his French-born wife Dany were in Jordan as the guests of Richard G Spear and his French-born wife Jeanne. Dick spent his business life engaged in international sales and marketing and, now retired, is working in a voluntary capacity with the American-based charity International Executive Service Corps. The Corps offers the services of retired executives willing to travel abroad, in a voluntary capacity, to assist developing nations. Dick has carried out missions to Dominican Republic, Colombia and Egypt. Now IESC has appointed Dick to be their country director in Jordan. He and his wife, a former opera singer, are living in Amman, Jordan. His address is 68 Abdullah Bin Omar Street, Shmeisani, Amman, Jordan. When not globe-trotting they live in Wingham, Ontario, Canada.
Philip Stucken (1977-84) has departed on a world tour after graduating in geography at Nottingham University. He plans to travel via Delhi, Kashmir, Katmandu, Bangkok, Singapore, Jakarta and Bali to Australia where he hopes to find work to fund the return journey, which could take him through China and Russia.
Keith Tolputt (1973-79) is in process of moving to Oslo for the summer. He is taking one year’s unpaid leave from Foreign Office work to join his fiance who is a secretary with the British Embassy. He will work in the consulate for a short time but will seek other work until they return to be married in September. Absence on honeymoon is most acceptable grounds for apology for absence on September 15th.
David Wilmshurst (1973-80) has married a Welsh lady and has a baby boy (Lewis) born in December. David is training to be a teacher at a Portsmouth college.
David Wright (1975-82) has trained to be a teacher at Worcester College of Education and is now teaching in a Junior School in Maidstone where his musical abilities will be a great help. He took part in the concert at school on 4th April.
Stephen Yarrow (1975-83) has assumed many mantles of his former master, Adrian Boynton. He is choirmaster and organist at St. Mary’s Church and also Musical Director for the Dover Operatic Society whose production of “Kiss Me Kate” was a great success.
Philip Janaway (1943-52) produced “Kiss Me Kate”
Bob Winter (1934-41) is President of the Society and a couple of other Old Pharosians took part in the production which is so much a part of Dover’s annual calendar of entertainment.
Friday 18th May at 2.15 pm COLIN JERVIS
In his life at school and at Peterhouse, Cambridge he seemed on his way to spectacular success. So thought his tutors. But he thought otherwise and, perhaps disorientated by the bright lights of his talents, he chose a way to “that undiscovered bourn from which no traveller returns”. Buckland Church was filled with some who came from Cambridge; masters, boys and old boys of the Grammar School; people from the world of music and drama; members of St. Andrew’s and the London Road Methodist church. The great number of people testified to their feelings of sympathy and loss.
Monday 21st May at 12 noon DON NICE
A requiem mass had been Don’s expressed wish. He had chosen the hymns, the incense and ceremonial rites. In his youth Don had been a games player of note. Then in wartime went into the RAF and travelled widely. When peacetime returned and jobs were scarce Don worked in the Kent coalfield and became a deputy. But after a few years he took an opportunity to become laboratory technician at DBGS. He was a very good technician, one of the long line of good men in that important post. But Don was so much more, always willing and able to repair anything for anybody at any time. He retired to care for his very ill wife until she died. Long before his retirement and for all his years thereafter he was as invaluable to St. Andrew’s Church, Buckland as he had been to the school. He was devoted to St. Andrew’s, welcoming people to the church and meeting every requirement he could see; an invaluable, irreplaceable right-hand man for rector and people.
To every end there is a beginning: and these Newsletters will continue to try to inform you of the beginnings and endings brought about by the chances and changes of this school family’s life.