OPA Newsletter July 1992
OLD PHAROSIANS’ ASSOCIATION
New Series No. 62
The front cover drawing was by Paul Tatlow of Upper Sixth (Year 13) and arranged by Kelvin Carter and Paul Skelton
OFFICERS OF THE ASSOCIATION
President: R.C. Colman, Esq.
Ivy House, Church Path, Mongeham, Deal Secretary: Philip Harding, Esq.
6 Chestnut Road, Elms Val~, Dover CT17 9py Assistant Secretary: Colin Henry, Esq.
Treasurer: Ian Pascall, Esq.
45a Bewsbury Cross Lane, Whitfield, Dover CT16 3EZ Editor: K.H. Ruffell, Esq.
193 The Gateway, Dover. CT16 1LL Membership Secretary: R. Gabriel, Esq.
St. Edmund’s School, Old Charlton Road, Dover. cr16 2QD Archivist: S. Wenborn, Esq.
Auditor: A. stone, Esq.
all the above officers and the head teacher, Neil Slater, Esq.
the head prefect staff representatives Keith Chambers, David Murray and one other to be elected by the staff and other committee members M. Palmer and P. Burville (to 1992) T. Sutton and R. Gabriel (to 1993) M.H. Smith and !L Winter (to 1994)
List of contents
NEWS OF THE ASSOCIATION
New Proposals for Association
Finance Notice of AGM
Soccer match, School v Old Boys
Annual Reunion Dinner
Committee meetings, 20th March and 14th May 1992
Memories of G.E. Cheeseman, 1918 – 20 of Michael Davidson, 1956 – 64 and of some cricket masters
The Head Prefect’s article on Changing Times
Future of the School Education in Kent
NEWS OF THE SCHOOL
Drama Music and the Carol Service Assembly at end of the Easter term
NEWS OF INDIVIDUAL OLD BOYS
Obituary, Mr Normal Woollett
News of individual Old Pharosians
Ebbw Vale and other late news
NEWS OF THE ASSOCIATION
OLD PHAROSIANS ASSOCIATION COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS ON FINANCE
From The President
It is unusual for the President to ask for space in the July edition of our Newsletter but your Committee has had a series of meetings to discuss finance. I am sure that you will agree that it is the Newsletter which holds us together. Dramatic developments in the near future will make this even more significant.
The proposals, which we have agreed, are intended to increase our resources so that we can meet rising costs, recruit new members and retain the loyal and active support of generations of Old Pharosians.
If you have views, do please write to me at the School or come to the AGM on September 19th, or both.
My very best wishes Reg Colman
Our Treasurer has produced a financial statement which showed that in the six years from 1986 to 1991 subscriptions, donations and covenanted income had fallen from £1251 to £438 and total annual income had reduced from £1575 to £1232 Annual Newsletter costs had risen from £778 to £925 Surplus of Income over Expenditure had fallen from £797 to £307 and now income from interest rates is reducing.
Following much discussion at two committee meetings agreement was unanimous that the following proposals be placed before the Annual General Meeting on 19th September 1992:
1. that no new Life Memberships shall be offered;
2. that existing Life Membership shall be honoured with retention of all existing rights, e.g. receipt of two newsletters each year;
3. that school leavers be given all rights of membership of the Association for their first five years at a cost of £5;
4. that existing members who paid for membership, often a long time ago, be now invited to make out a Standing Order to their bank for £5 per annum, with the added possibility of covenanting.
OLD BOYS DAY
Notice is hereby given that the ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the Association will be held at the School on SATURDAY 19th SEPTEMBER 1992 commencing at 11 a.m., coffee from 10.30.
1. To read the notice convening the meeting
2. Apologies for absence
3. Minutes of the previous A.G.M.
4. Matters arising
5. Secretary’s Report
6. Treasurer’s Report and discussion of recommendations on Finance
7. Election of Officers and committee – President: the committee will propose that Mr Reg Colman shall continue in office for 1992-93 – Vice-president: the committee will propose that Mr Barry Crush be elected Vice-president for 1992-93 – Secretary – Membership Secretary – Newsletter editor – Archivist – Auditor – Committee members (the two retiring members are M. Palmer and P. Burville)
8. Any Other Business
THE ANNUAL REUNION DINNER
Saturday 19th September 1992 6.45 for 7.30
A separate sheet of paper giving details accompanies this newsletter. Most age groups of Old Pharosians are represented and ladies are very welcome, usually forming about one third of the company. You may make requests about the seating plan. The earlier you reply, the more helpful you will be to the organisation of the meeting.
Soccer match School v Old Boys Saturday 19th September at 2.30.
Any Old Boy wishing to play should write to or phone Mick Palmer, 12 Hazeldown Close, River. Dover. CT16 ONJ. Phone: 0304 825472.
Committee Meeting, 20th March 1992
Mr Reg Colman presided, others present were P Harding;
C Henry; K Ruffell; I Pascall; S Wenborn; K Chambers;
D Murray; P Burville; T Sutton; M Smith; The Headmaster Neil Slater and the Head Prefect Andrew Champion.
Apology was received from W Fittall.
Minutes of the meeting on 7th November were approved after one amendment, the word ‘dismantled’ replacing ‘demolition’ in the President’s motion concerning the War Memorial cricket pavilion. Minutes of a further meeting on 3rd January were also approved. Details of these two meetings were published in our previous Newsletter dated January 1992.
Ken Ruffell reported on progress with measures to preserve the pavilion. A Dover firm had made two boards bearing the words “This building is a Memorial to men who died in the last great war, 1939 to 1945. Please treat this building with the respect it deserves.” Perspex covers are protecting the boards. School governors had approved this project; children in Astor Primary School had been spoken to about the matter; and the two boards were now in position.
Agreement was reached in committee that the next step was to clean away graffiti from the walls and remove all rubble and rocks from the area. Methods were discussed and school representatives present undertook to find labour.
Mr Slater added that the governors were willing to find money for complete re-roofing, probably using metal. £1000 of insurance money was available and further funds would come from school resources.
Ian Pascall, our treasurer, produced with professional skill a statistical review of the Association’s income and expenditure from 1976 to 1991. Income included subscriptions, covenants, profit on dinners and interest from invested capital. Expenditure was mainly on Newsletters and gifts to the school. Surplus of income over expenditure was declining in recent years. Treasurer drew special attention to our income from subs and covenants which had fallen from £1251 in 1986 to £438 last year.
Present assets stand at £5400.
After much discussion of suggested causes and remedies, conclusions were reached that
(i) rights of Life members must be continued:
(ii) but Life Members should be invited to top up their original payment by making voluntary payments, preferably by annual direct debits:
(iii) there should be encouragement for school leavers to join the Association by offers of 5 years’ membership on payment of £5.
These radical, remedial actions should be discussed again at the next committee meeting on Thursday 14th May.
Newsletter editor reported that the stock of covers given by Bob Adams was exhausted and a new cover with a drawing by a pupil of Mr Kelvin Carter was in preparation. There had been an interesting flow of return correspondence after the last issue. We now send out in excess of 650 copies, each two issues in recent years costing between £340 and £600. The next Old Boys Day on 19th September was discussed with reference to AGM, soccer match and Dinner. Patterns of recent years were likely to be followed though price of the Dinner would have to rise from £9 to £10.
Archivists reported that they were engaged on a “long enjoyable slog” and that their data base is now available for use by computer students in the school.
Under Any Other Business discussion of membership led to a gift of £50 to one school leaver with special needs.
Great pleasure was expressed by the committee at the news that Barry Crush had accepted their invitation to allow his name to go before the next AGM as Vice-president, with a view to succeeding Reg Colman as President in 1993.
Committee meeting, 14th May 1992
Reg Colman presided, with headmaster Neil Slater and Messrs Chambers, Gabriel, Harding, Pascall, Ruffell and M H Smith also present.
The cricket pavilion was discussed. Boards announcing the War Memorial status of the building were in position and a squad of boys had undertaken a major cleaning operation, with more to follow. Headmaster undertook to look into re-roofing. Possible use of the ground for payment by local cricket clubs was considered.
Membership secretary reported further progress with membership lists, copies of which can be supplied readily on request.
Arrangements for the Annual Dinner were made. The price would be £10 and requests for tickets should go to Mr M H Smith. Full details are on a paper accompanying this Newsletter.
Headmaster spoke of the present and future for the school.
His views are included in an article on the Future of the School printed elsewhere in the Newsletter.
The main discussion of the evening turned to the Treasurer’s review of our finances and the inadequacy of life membership subscriptions to meet rising costs from falling revenues.
The remedial action approved nem con by the committee for proposal at the AGM is fully detailed elsewhere for your careful consideration and due response.
LONDON REUNION at the Sir Christopher Wren on 19th May 1992
There were present Reg Colman, Neil Slater, Ken Ruffell, Reg Payne, Lester Borley, Tony Bradley, George Curry, Ian Fenwick, Denis Gibb, R. Mercer, Gerald Plater, Christopher Shaw, John Tolputt, Will Watkins, Ivor Weeks and Ken Marsh.
There was something to eat, something to drink on a hot summer’s evening and plenty to talk about. Denis Gibb had taken a lot of trouble to arrange the gathering and those present expressed their thanks to him. President and headmaster spoke about the Association and the School. A most pleasant evening had been enjoyed by a company of good companions sharing a common interest.
THE WAR MEMORIAL CRICKET PAVILION
You may recall that on the end of the previous Newsletter, January 1992, there was a report of a committee meeting on 3rd January when decisions were made to remedy the dreadful condition of the pavilion. Good progress can now be reported.
Two notice boards with the wording agreed on 3rd January have been made at a cost to the Association of £150. One was taken to Astor Primary School with explanation so that local youngsters knew more about the building. Both boards are placed on the pavilion and so far have been respected. A representative of our committee attended a meeting of the school governors who agreed that the pavilion should be preserved and renovated. Some finance is available but it will not suffice for thorough replacement of a very damaged roof.
On a recent Wednesday afternoon your editor and Maurice Smith masterminded about six senior boys who worked cheerfully and well to clear the walls of chalk graffiti and remove all rocks and other debris from the roof and surrounding area. Caretaker will produce a solvent material to deal with paint daubed with dubious artistry on parts of the building.
The interior of the pavilion is in excellent condition owing to re-painting after some vandals set light to the place some time ago. The electrics are in good working order. The calendar for the present summer term shows a cricket programme much more full than in previous, recent years.
There are matches against Duke of York’s, Manwood’s, Harvey and other familiar opponents. Some of this good news may be due to the help given by Old Pharosian Scot Gardiner to Malcolm Grant in coaching rugby and cricket. We would like to think that renovation of a ransacked pavilion may also have had an influence.
MEMORIES of G.E. CHEESEMAN (1918-20)
My eldest sister, Hilda, was in the Pupil Teacher class taught by Mr Whitehouse early in the century. Mrs Turnpenny may remember her. “Freddie” Whitehouse was a very prim and proper person. I remember walking out of the school gates into Frith Road just as Mr Whitehouse was leaving his house opposite. He crossed the road and said “Cheeseman, when a gentleman is walking down the street, he is NOT eating an apple.” That was in 1919, and I have never eaten an apple in public since that time.
Mr J J Slater was my form master. He taught History and was very good with “aids to memory”. For example, when we were studying the Napoleonic wars it was important to remember (I have forgotten why) the towns of Toulon and Toulouse. Quite easy, just think of Frenchmen’s trousers. Mr Slater was House master of Maxton House and when batting at cricket practice he replaced the bails with pennies ‘to encourage the bowlers’!
Mr W W Baxter taught French. He must have a good memory, for when my son was grappling with some point of French grammar, he said “Come, come Cheeseman. Even your father could do that. ” Mrs Clatworthy taught us English. Homework frequently consisted of committing to memory notable speeches from Shakespeare. She was firmly of opinion, as she often reminded us, that Elizabethan was the finest period of the English language and that the words and phrases in common use gave the written and spoken word an authority and dignity now lost. The King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer have remained unchanged for centuries because of their effective presentation. So when reciting such works remember to speak effectively and show the full impact of the drama. One day I had to recite a passage from Hamlet, “And now my blessing with you”. But midway I was interrupted. “Cheeseman, you are not in the Old Vic now.” I replied “No sir, but neither am I reading the Second Lesson.” That cost me a visit to the Head’s study. Mr Whitehouse was appalled: you can guess the rest.
A Scot arrived from the Highlands. I think his name was Mr Allin. We all thoroughly enjoyed Hamlet and particularly Macbeth with him.
Mr Tomlinson was a large, heavily-built man with a very deep voice. I remember him saying “Now boys, I want you to take your mental coats off and get down to it.” In those times it was usual for masters to wear cap and gown when teaching.
Mr Tomlinson’s gown was a disaster. He had a habit of tearing vertical strips in it and tying knots in them to emphasize the point he was making.
Mr WE Pearce returned to School before he had any civilian clothes. So certain small boys were thrilled to be taught by a Naval Officer. Mr Pearce made the first wireless set I had ever seen. The BBC had yet to be set up but we listened to morse from ships at sea. Mr Pearce subsequently wrote several school text-books.
Mr Darby taught geography and Mr Francis was the Art teacher. His favourite medium was charcoal, with which he was very accomplished. His drawings of birds in flight were marvellous. But for most of us, charcoal was a messy disaster.
Mr Thomas took us for various Science subjects. He later took charge of the Junior school in Ladywell.
Mr Taylor, the Borough Organist, took us for Music. He had some difficulty in maintaining order during the lessons but nevertheless we gained an appreciation of good music.
Mr Pascall was our PT instructor. No discipline problems here: he made us sweat.
Mr Coombes was the caretaker and general handyman. Whenever he appeared, youthful voices at the other end of the corridor would declare “Here he coombes.” Finally, a personal word. I attended the st Mary’s church service to mark the 50th year of the new school buildings. The church was full to capacity, with a congregation of the boys of the school, their parents, Old Pharosians and friends of the school. I noted with interest that at one point we were to sing the hymn “Christ is our cornerstone, On Him alone we build.” Whoever drew up the Order of Service must have known that this was a favourite of Mr Whitehouse, if not the favourite.
But I had a shock when the hymn started. The sound of those hundreds of youthful voices singing that hymn was so impressive, so vivid, that in a flash I was back in Morning Assembly more than sixty years before, and I must admit to a tear or two.
MICHAEL DAVIDSON (1956-64)
Extracts taken with his permission from a letter written in Italy to the editor in February.
Having done a fair bit of travelling and seen the inside of various schools in one country or another, I appreciate even more my years at Dover Grammar.
When I left DGSB I went to st Luke’s College, Exeter and trained as a teacher of Physical Education and French;
taught two years in Bridgwater, Somerset; and then moved to Montreal where I stayed for the next twelve years. My first assignment was in a bi-lingual school (English and French) where I taught PE and both English and French as second languages. I loved my time in Canada and launched into several projects. I helped produce and taught the demonstration lessons in a film on ‘Educational Gymnastics’ produced by the National Film Board of Canada and McGill University, Montreal, which is still being used in training colleges throughout North America. I was also the coordinator for a mass demonstration of rhythmic gymnastics and dance involving 2,500 children celebrating” The Year of the Child.” From Canada I was able to travel quite extensively to South America, Mexico and the Caribbean, as well as frequent trips back to Europe, during which time I developed an interest in Greece and was determined at all costs to move there. This I finally succeeded in doing, having sold up in Canada, cashed in my pension and given up my job with the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal.
For the first year I lived in Athens and did some casual teaching of English and travelled around the country.
During my second year I began to look around for something more permanent and ended up by buying a small bar on Skiathos, one of the most beautiful of the Greek islands.
It was quite a successful little venture but the life style was not conducive to a long and healthy life, being a little like going to a party every night until 3 a.m., 7 nights a week, 5 months of the year. The bar itself was very ‘English pub’ style complete with paintings of the White Cliffs, Dover Castle and st Margarets Bay. After two years of this hedonistic and rather wild life I sold the bar, came back to England briefly and then moved to Central Italy as I have a small house there. I managed to find a job as Director of Studies in a local language school and settled down for four years. I had met the authors of the travel books “Cadogan Books” and I have updated their books on Greek Islands, Spain, Thailand, Paris and two books on Italy. I have just finished these marvellous two years and the immediate plans are to go off to Greece again for another book. As the last update was Tuscany and Umbria, by a stroke of good fortune I have ended up where my house is so I am back home for a while.
My thoughts often stray back to school days and the recent discovery of some old school magazines has brought back even more memories. I read yesterday the write-up of the Nativity Play we were in: and who can forget the little French Nativity play we put on as 2nd formers with Mr Woollett? The dove of peace (a stuffed seagull) placed in the crib by Mr Payne caught fire. I can still hear the choir singing “Il est ne le Divin Enfant” as wisps of smoke began to appear from the seagull’s tail feathers, resting on a powerful lamp in the crib. We were lucky to have such a choice of activities at school and I remember we used to throw ourselves into them with enthusiasm.
THE CRICKET MASTERS
Some memories of the editor’s time as games master, roughly 1948-64.
The Under 12 XI was in the caring hands of Sandy Pitceathly, a veteran of unquenchable enthusiasm. At the start of each summer term there would be a crowd of applicants hoping for a place in the school team. Every bowler attempted to bowl fast and a wise disposition of the fielders would be to position five long-stops. Once a team was chosen, the members were disciplined. Each batsman as he came to the wicket wore his school cap and was under orders to touch his cap to the umpire and say “Middle and leg, please sir!” Sandy Pitceathly had an understanding with his captain. If Sandy raised one finger it meant that the bowling was to be changed at number one end: two fingers raised required a change at the other end. I never knew the signal for a change at both ends.
The Under 13 XI was in the hands of various masters so no special characteristics have survived.
The Under 14 XI was for very many years coached and umpired by Bernard Denham. He had an understanding and love of the game that he passed on to his boys who made a lot of progress in his hands. He was often helped by Reg Payne.
The Under 15 XI was in the care of Norman Woollett. This was the time in a schoolboy cricketer’s life when a few blossomed as very good cricketers. There was a Dover Schools Cricket Association which fielded a selected team to play other areas in Kent. Derek Aslett and Chris Penn graduated from Dover schools to Kent schools, South of England and English schools XIs and so they came to the notice of the Kent County Club.
The 2nd XI was for triers who wished to play cricket but had not been chosen for the 1st XI. Bill Jacques was in charge, very much in charge. A boy who failed to turn up for weekly practice without previous excuse got the sharp edge of Bill’s tongue. I recall one match in which the school team batted second and one boy who was soon out decided he could slope off home. On Monday morning the error of his ways was pointed out with a vigour that had been mounting like a volcanic eruption over the week-end.
The 1st XI gave me much pleasure. We had lunch hour practices during which some boys worked on the wicket. Mr Booth allowed me to catch boys arriving before 9 a.m. and to divert them to pulling the heavy roller instead of going up to prayers. We called it work experience for which reward could be expected in heaven.
The new War Memorial pavilion was enormously appreciated by ourselves and our visitors. We played some week-day games against men’s touring teams who some times commented on the beauty of the ground. At the end of the season we had usually won slightly more than we lost, which is just the way results should work out. Many of the 1st XI colours caps were taken into local club cricket and it may well be that those caps are still stowed away as occasional reminders of afternoons in the sun until Whinless Down cast its evening shadow over the field.
K H Ruffell
THE PRESENT HEAD PREFECT
You readers can think back to Head Prefects of your own time at school: all sterling fellows, each in his own way.
The present holder of so pre-eminent an office in school life has been coming to recent meetings of the Old Pharosian Committee and has contributed valuable views on the school as it is.
He is to read chemistry or natural sciences at Cambridge and has ambitions to move into research, possibly geared to industry.
He performed the duties of chairman at the last November’s Guest Evening, concluding with admirable initiative by thanking Mr Carter for his excellent arrangement of the evening. He is said to be successful in keeping the prefects up to their duties.
He has represented the school at cricket, athletics and rugby: and taken part in soccer and swimming. Drama is very much a major interest.
He has been with school parties to France and Russia.
His father is prominent in the Old Pharosian Lodge.
Your editor asked Andrew to spend some of his Easter holiday writing an article which he has entitled
It is now seven years since I became a member of Dover Grammar School for Boys, seven years which, beforehand, I was sure would seem like a positive eternity but which, in retrospect, have absolutely flown by. Those years have obviously seen a marked change in me, but I think it fair to say that the school itself has undergone somewhat of a transformation in that time.
Admittedly, the buildings and grounds are much the same today as they ever were, but I firmly believe that it is those present in a school which determine its character and not its environment. If one considers that when I joined in 1985, R.C. Colman was Headmaster with N.A. Slater as his deputy, Senior Master was I.W. Bird, N.S. Horne was Head of Sixth Form, with M.H. Smith as Head of Middle School, J.B. Quinn as Head of Third Year and Mrs J. Golding as Head of Lower School and that, of these seven, only one remains (and even he in a promoted capacity), I believe this indicates a distinct change in management and direction. However, this is only to be expected as the school enters a new era, with different problems to face. For, not only has it been affected by the reforms in education as a whole, but this is a period in which the very existence of the school itself is being called into doubt. Having already fought off the threat of a move to Castlemount, D.G.S.B. now faces the prospect of extinction in 1995, should the proposed merger with the Girls’ School go ahead. However, having had first-hand experience of the new management at work, I am confident that thy are more than able of leading the school in these times of difficulty and uncertainty, wherever they may have to carry out those duties and whatever the sex of their pupils. We may all feel assured that the future of Dover Grammar School for Boys is in safe hands.
But, as my stay at school nears its end, what of the memories of the old place which I shall take with me through university and beyond? For me, it is the special occasions which are easiest to remember, drama productions in which I have been involved, occasions on which I have represented school, house or form at sport, guest evenings and prize givings at which I have been present, the school photograph, and those days on which bad weather, whether snow or hurricanes, has forced the staff to send us all home. However, I am sure that once I have left and these occasions gradually fade from the memory, it is the common occurrences, the everyday events which form the basis of the school, which will seem more significant. Staggering around the Elms Vale cross-country course once a week, trudging in and out of assembly daily, queuing in anything but an orderly fashion outside the dining hall at break and lunchtimes and those little mannerisms which every teacher possesses and which every pupil notices, all of these appeared to be insignificant at the time, but it is these and others which go towards creating the very atmosphere of the place. And there can be no doubt that such a school has a great responsibility, for it is during the years which a boy spends here that his whole personality is shaped and determined. As has been said frequently before, the purpose of such a school is not only to produce young men well educated in a variety of subjects, but, more importantly, it is to turn out young men who are ready to take their place in society. And so, having taken me in as a bashful eleven year-old, the school sends me out to face the wide world a more confident, more qualified person, more able to think for, and hopefully fend for, myself. Long may it continue to do the same for others.
Andrew Champion, Head Prefect 1991-92.
THE FUTURE OF THE SCHOOL
The school governors have extended for one year Mr Neil Slater’s tenure of the office of headmaster. The Girls grammar school governors, to the surprise of their teaching staff, have appointed as head teacher a man who has been deputy head of the Tiffin Girls School at Kingston on Thames. The General Election has come and gone: and as Secretary of State for Education we have John Patten, formerly a Professor of Geography at Oxford and well known to some of our Old Pharosians.
Neil Slater says there is little movement at the moment as we await developments. He expects admissions in September to be in the low seventies. Numbers in the sixth form are very pleasing and merging timetables with the Girls School continues successfully.
In some areas there has been a “stampede” to obtain Grant Maintained Status but this may no longer be a money spinner.
There are at least two Old Pharosians on the school governing body in whose hands lies the controlling influence of the school’s future.
Some information on EDUCATION IN KENT Kent County Council’s gross income 1992-93 is £1212 millions Expenditure on education is £549 millions This expenditure is an increase on last year of £59 millions partly because many more sixth form students are staying at school.
Kent has 132 secondary schools in which there are 92,042 pupils and 5,696 teachers an average of 16 pupils per teacher £2419 is the average cost of each secondary school pupil
Local Management Most Kent schools now manage their own budget, a burden and challenge for head teachers and governors.
Area education officers, in our case with an office in Folkestone to serve South Kent, give support to schools, advising on transport, free meals, admissions and appeals.
There is a training scheme for governors. Careers work has been greatly increased.
Youth and Community Personal development is encouraged by international exchanges and the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme in which Kent is a national leader.
In response to the European Common Market and the opening of the Channel Tunnel, Kent has appointed a European Projects Officer to co-ordinate the many European links which most Kent schools have with mainland Europe.
Just before February half-term there were three performances of a play “Obeying Orders”, written and directed by Mike Thomas, head of the school’s department of English and Theatre Studies.
One gathered that the piece had been amended by general consensus of opinion during the course of rehearsal and production. As usual, girls from our sister school contributed to the quality of performance which was on the hall floor, giving space for action but not helpful to the audience.
The large number of players performed admirably and the back-up crew were kept busily efficient throughout the piece which ran for about an hour.
Mr Richard Davies is now fully settled in and is producing a flow of music as a result of his very full programme of teaching.
On Friday 3rd April there was an evening concert in the school hall that offered instrumental performances by the school orchestra, jazz and pop groups and a variety of soloists.
On Saturday 4th April a concert was given in Whitfield parish church, a building which in part goes back to Saxon times and where Old Pharosian the Reverend John Philpott is vicar. The orchestra was well balanced with two teachers, a couple of Old Pharosians and boys of varying ages. Matthew Balston played flute solos which showed both his feeling for the music and the love of his instrument. Sebastian Gough, a young virtuoso on the violin, will astonish audiences in years to come.
THE SCHOOL CAROL SERVICE is on Wednesday 16th December at 8 p.m. Please note the change of time. Last year’s service was on well-loved traditional lines and Old Pharosians within reach of Charlton Church are recommended to join the congregation which increases as reputation is gathered.
END OF TERM ASSEMBLY Easter 1992
This was a lovely, warm Spring day and a lot of soccer with tennis balls was being played on the upper field.
The school assembled at 1.15 in preparation for an early departure.
Order and silence were established before entry of headmaster.
Rugby Captains of Rugby XVs read their reports.
Year 8 (1st year in the school) The team was keen to practise – but only one match was played and won. “It is hoped that next year more fixtures can be arranged.” Year 9 Two matches, both won.
Year 10 Three matches, won one and lost two.
1st XV David Goodacre, the captain, spoke of poor attendance at practice. The team had played 9, won 5 and lost 4. He expressed thanks to Mr Grant who had attended all practices even if the team members had not.
Soccer There had been successes in local competitions.
Swimming There were two experts in Years 9 and 11 who had been successful in County championships and local galas.
Cross Country Running Two boys ran in the S.E. Area Championships. The Powell Cup race was still being run.
~ The school had two experts who were winning medals in this sport.
HEADMASTER’S REVIEW of the TERM spoke of constructive efforts in drama and music. The Lent appeal had raised £1945 for charity. The CCF had that morning departed on Adventurous Training in the Ullswater area: and a soccer team was departing to play matches in Europe.
Four are off to Oxbridge
Stephen Cleverley has been offered a place at St Edmund’s Hall, Oxford, to read biochemistry, Kevin Holdstock intends to read maths at Downing College, Cambridge, James Watson hopes to study Jurisprudence at St Anne’s College, Oxford, while head boy Andrew Champion will be studying natural sciences at Selwyn College, Cambridge.
All four are now studying hard in order to gain the highest possible grades in their A level exams this summer.
NEWS OF INDIVIDUAL OLD BOYS
Obituary Norman Woollett (1954-76)
Several of us went to Margate Crematorium to take farewell of Norman on 25th February.
He was a very good schoolmaster. He was born and educated in Portsmouth, proceeding to London University to graduate in French, German and Latin.
He then taught in the Strand School, London before having wartime experience in the Army Intelligence Corps. He served mainly in the Middle East where he learned to speak Turkish in the course of his duties.
After the war he returned to the Strand School and while living in Greenwich met Eileen. They married and because she wished to continue her profession as a chiropodist in Thanet, Norman sought and obtained a post in Dover Grammar School.
He taught French and German with quiet thoroughness and took many parties of boys into Europe. He looked after the Under 15 cricket team with the same conscientious care that he gave to his lessons.
When he retired he continued to play golf and to give time and attention to local interests. Very many friends from the Pegwell Bay and Thanet area joined with us to express our sympathy to his wife.
The school is indebted to him for his steady service in and outside the classroom.
In the past six months has been exchanged with:
E.H. Baker, L. Borley, A.W. Bradley, G.C. Cheeseman, W.E. Collard, A. Cripps, Dr G Curry, M. Davidson, R.J. Dilnot, J. Forwood, W. Fittall, D. Gibb, K. Gill, M. Gravener, R. Gretton, W. Halfpenny, A.J. Hayden, M. Hicks, M. Hughes, Rev. W.F. Kemp, P. King, K. Marsh, T.W. Pearce, A.R. Perry, J. Le Prevost, P. Prescott, W.J. Ratcliffe, L. Steggles, T. Sutton, F. Tapley, W.F. West, L.F. Whelton, W.M.E. White and P. Wilberforce.
The editor is grateful for information received.
News of individual Old Pharosians
Leslie Abbott (1925-32) lives in retirement at Fuengirola, Spain. He was at one time secretary of the Old Pharosian Association. His name has for years appeared at the head of our alphabetical list of members. We have for many years sent Newsletters to Spain. Now we also send to Portugal, France, Italy, Germany and Denmark.
E.H. Baker (1922-38) had an operation in the early part of this year and was making a steady recovery. Then his recovery was abruptly put back by a road accident when he was on his way to hospital in a hospital car. He suffered whiplash and arthritic injuries but Ted says he can still count his blessings. His interest in all news of the school is undiminished.
Lester Borley (1942-49) recalls that he joined the school in Ebbw Vale 50 years ago. He returned with the school to Dover and proceeded to University College London where he read geography and anthropology. He was active in Union affairs. He found employment with the English Tourist Board, for whom he worked in Germany and the United States.
He returned to live at Henley and was a President of the Old Pharosians Association. He moved to Edinburgh as Director of the National Trust for Scotland and now intends to retire next year after a job of which he writes “I can not truthfully think of one dull day”. He has recently been made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society as well as receiving the degree of Doctor of Letters from the Aberdeen Institute of Technology. The school’s department of geography basks in the reflected glow of these achievements and offers its warmest congratulations.
Adrian Boynton (1978-90) is now organist and choirmaster at the new ecumenical church at the centre of Milton Keynes.
He was seen on the television screens on Saturday 14th March when the Queen was present with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Cardinal Hume and other dignitaries for an inaugural service. The organist was Scott Farrell while Adrian conducted choir and a brass ensemble. Adrian is also teaching at Louth Grammar School in Lincolnshire and he still has a flat in Dover so his car clocks a few thousand miles in a year.
Tony Bradley (1945-52) was mainly an historian in our sixth form and went to university to read Law. Eventually he became Professor of Constitutional Law in Edinburgh but now he has decided on a change and is a practising Barrister, living in Richmond, Surrey. Many Old Pharosians will recall that Tony’s father was Chairman of Governors for our school from Mr Booth’s pre-war years until the early years of Mr Colman’s time. He was always immensely respected in Dover. Tony has edited since 1986 a quarterly journal, Public Law:
and since 1988 has taught a human rights course for an American summer school at Salzburg. He seems to do much writing and lecturing as well as practising at the English bar.
Andrew Cripps (1974-81) wrote in February from British Columbia. Since leaving school he has lived in Cambridge, Reading, Victoria B.C., Rotterdam, Zurich, Darmstadt and now Vancouver. After taking an M.Sc. degree in computer science he has been studying for a Masters degree in philosophy and his thesis is nearing completion. He is looking for a job in computer science in British Columbia where he intends to stay for the next few years.
George Curry (1927-36) continues to travel the world with his Dickens presentation and on November 27th he is to perform in st. Mary’s parish hall for the Dover Society who are inviting the general public to be present.
Richard Dilnot (1940-45) went to Ebbw Vale and returned to Dover with the school. He joined the army and became an officer in R.E.M.E., but after serving for ten years joined Sainsbury’s and worked in their transport department until he became transport manager for the Wales Gas Board. In 1976 he became their controller of purchasing and supplies, a member of their management committee for six years. He retired last April but keeps himself active as a business director for Gwent health so he remains rooted in Wales while keeping a soft spot for East Kent.
John “Floss” Forwood (1937-44) Somehow he lost touch with the Association, though always a life member. Now restored to active membership he admits to fond memories of his four years in Ebbw Vale, still to this day maintaining links with the family in whose home he was billeted. After a war-time commission with the R. Engineers he joined local government services at various places until settling as Borough Engineer in Malvern. He was later designated Director of Technical Services to the Malvern Hills district, an area rightly described as “370 square miles of beautiful countryside”. Now retired, he has consultancy status with duties as church organist to keep life actively interesting.
He is one of the numerous Old Pharosian organists, though in his case he developed his abilities on a harmonium in the Libanus chapel behind the Ebbw Vale school. He recalls that in that chapel school assemblies were often held.
Wayne Halfpenny (1975-82) has moved to 5 Donnington Gardens, Reading. He graduated in Dentistry from King’s College, London in 1986, becoming Registrar in oral surgery in 1989.
Since then he has been studying medicine at Charing Cross and Westminster hospitals with a view to specialising in Head and Neck Surgery. He has two more years of study ahead.
Peter Hearn (1948-56) has published another book, though not this time drawing on his experience in the SAS where he pioneered free fall parachuting. He was in the school after the end of the second world war and went from school to Hull university where he did plenty of flying and 400 metre hurdling. In the RAF he became a Group Captain in charge of the parachute training school at Abingdon where he now lives in retirement.
Michael Hicks (1970-77) proceeded on leaving school to Queen Mary College where he studied economics and graduated with a 2.1 degree. He went on to pass chartered accountancy exams and is now a senior audit manager in a City office. He lives at 30 Mornington Road, Leytonstone, Ell 3ilG.
Keith Parfitt came to the school’s sixth form bringing a wish to be an archaeologist. He studied appropriate subjects, including geology, and went away to graduate as an archaeologist, in which capacity he has found much to discover in Dover. Never has Dover been more upturned than now, particularly in Bench Street where the base of a tower, once part of the Town Wall, has been uncovered.
G.R. Perry (1971-78) was Deputy Head Prefect before leaving to go to UMIST to study Engineering Manufacture and Management. He qualified as a Chartered Engineer but has returned to his main interest in mathematics and is working in London with intent to qualify as an actuary.
Bill Ratcliffe (1947-53) wrote in April from his home near Paris. He enclosed a paper proclaiming that his neighbouring cricket club at the Chateau de Thoiry were the champions of France in 1991. The Natwest Bank have appointed Bill as their General Manager for France, his office being at 18 Place Vendome, 75001 Paris.
Frank Tapley (1919-26) On leaving school, Frank entered the world of banking in Lombard Street, and soon obtained the Certificate of the Institute of Bankers. He played rugby at East Grinstead and joined the Territorials, as did many young men in the 1930’s. When war came he went to an Officer Cadet Training Unit and was commissioned into a Heavy AA Mobile Regiment. His war service ended when he was a Captain in the R.A. He had been posted to the Iceland Force from 1947 onward until recalled to shoot down flying bombs over S E England. Returning to banking in North Kent he opened a new branch at Rainham and was branch manager until he retired in 1969. Bank managers generally become treasurers of local charities, in Frank’s case the League of Friends of Medway Hospitals. In retirement he became actively interest in Art, took lessons and was a prizewinner in an International Amateur exhibition in London. He has sold over forty water colour pictures. Frank married Marguerite, daughter to Mr J Tomlinson who taught mathematics in the school with such distinction from 1904 to 1938 and became deputy headmaster. At the head of the present Upper School Prize list is the John Tomlinson Memorial Prize for Mathematics, a prize endowed by his daughter, Mrs Frank Tapley.
Leslie Steggles (1945-48) retired from Harwell laboratory some three years ago, both he and Peter Hearn live in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.
Dr. D.G. Thomas (1970-77) lecturer in geography at Sheffield university, has been to India at the request of government to advise on treatment for arid areas. David’s field studies for his doctorate were in the Kalahari desert and in a recent Newsletter we reported that he had been in East Africa on a United Nations consultative operation.
Frank West (1924-30) wrote to express a wish to join the Association although 62 years have passed since he left school. He was made most welcome.
L.F. Whelton (1941-46) was in the Navy for twelve years before settling in North Featherstone, West Yorkshire, first as a local government officer and then as a teacher of maths in a large Catholic comprehensive for twenty years. He has a list of useful activities that keep him occupied in retirement. He wrote about the ethos of a school in its familiar buildings which he had attended and which formed part of the background to his life when his home was in Hamilton Road, just below our school.
Brigadier Michael White (1924-32) wrote in January. He had previously visited Dover to meet the Dover Sea Angling Association, of which he has been a member for seventy years, having joined as “Master White” in 1922. He also recalled the splendid wickets prepared by groundsman Mr Chadwick who must have done wonders with a natural field taken over in 1931.
Peter Wilberforce (1947-54) lives at an address that includes “By Oban, Argyll” where they have “copious rain”. Our correspondence has included geography, geology and the study of nature in the wild. Local crime tends to be rather petty and the police seem to know the few tearaways. Marks and Spencer shopping is done twice a year in Stirling 86 miles away.
Laurence Woodward now 20 years old and in his final year at Selwyn College, Cambridge studying maths, is preparing to travel to South Africa where he would teach in a Zulu School. The project is administered by the YMCA who will provide accommodation and a small food allowance but Laurence will have to provide everything else, including travel to South Africa, the costs being at least £1300. He is seeking money to fund this enterprise and the Old Pharosians have made a contribution.
On June 18th, fifty years on from our evacuation days in Ebbw Vale, a small group of Old Boys and their ladies gathered for lunch at the Garden Festival Wales, in the valley between Ebbw vale and Cwm. The weather was, thankfully, fine, though a little dull and gardens, developed on the old steelworks site at Waunllwyd looked beautiful.
The lunch brought to fruition an idea promoted by Peter Prescott a year earlier, that Old Boys might like to make some tangible contribution to the Garden Festival. It would not only mark 50 years since evacuation, but would also show our appreciation for the welcome we received in the valley in the 1940’s.
Almost £1100 was collected from interested Old Boys, all of whom are listed at the end of the story. Two names might be highlighted from the list; Mrs Booth who wrote a charming letter of encouragement with her cheque, and whom many of us remember for her care and support when we first arrived in Ebbw Vale; and Bernard Rampe, sadly now no longer with us, but in whose name a donation was made “because he would have wished to join in”.
The money collected paid for rustic wooden bench seats to be placed in the Wetlands park area of the Festival. This will remain as public open space, for the benefit of local people after the Festival has been cleared away. Each bench carries an engraved brass dedication plate, with a full colour rendering of the school badge.
The excellent lunch – with a Welsh flavour to it – was shared with a group of contemporary old pupils of the Ebbw Vale County School (most of them ladies it must be said!) who had also contributed to the provision of seats, placed side by side with those of Dover County School. The Dover group was welcomed by Mary Jenkins and Stella Hughes (nee Yendall) and Peter Prescott spoke briefly for the visitors.
The whole party of sixty people in all, gathered for a formal photograph after lunch, before climbing (or riding, for those beginning to show signs of anno domini!) to the Wetlands to see, sit upon and photograph the seats.
As the group later broke up to head for home it was the general consensus that it was a great day, enjoyed in marvellous spirit by people, mostly now pensioners, whose paths first crossed because of war some 50 years ago. And it clearly was not just a crossing of paths since three of the Dover wives present were old pupils of Ebbw Vale County School.
The thanks of those who organised the event are due to the following who contributed so generously to the project:H. Avery; C.C. Bailey*; M.J. Bax; R.S.N. Bax; E. Baker; T.W.E. Beer*; P. Belsey*; Mrs Booth; R. Cain*; L. Castle*; D.F. Clayton; J.E. Collard*; D.F. Crouch; R. Dilnot*; P. Ewer; G. Evans; V.A. Forwood*; D.Q. Harvey; R.L. Hussey*; F.K.E. Imrie; R. Langford*; I. Mclnnes*; K.A.G. Mclnnes*; R. Morecroft; D.S. NurneYi P.D. Post; M.J. Pursey; K.H. Ruffell; the late B. Rampe; T.A. Sutton; F. Seely; J. Simmonds*; P. Slater*; R. Slater; R.G. Spear; M.J. Sayers; E. Simpson; J. Tolputt*; M. Tolputt; F. Whelton; I. Weeks*; J. Williams; D.G. Weaver.
Those marked *, plus R. Winter and R. Gladish were present at Ebbw Vale on June 18th.
A commemorative card, signed by all those present at the lunch, plus a copy of the plate attached to the seats is to be lodged in the School Archive at Dover.
Bill Collard and Peter Prescott
THE PHAROS LODGE
Old Boys Reunions
All Old Boys of the school qualify for admission to the Old Boys Lodge, The Pharos Lodge 6967 at Snargate street, Dover.
We meet on the third Saturdays in October, November, January, February, March and April. We welcome enquiries from Old Boys to the Secretary, Mr W Skelton, 105 Old Folkestone Road, Aycliffe, Dover.
This year’s Master is Mr Peter Champion and his Wardens are Brian Harber and Andrew Lewis.
Our Old Boys Masonic Lodge welcomes you all.
BILL NEWMAN is again to be Dover Town Mayor for the coming year. On Whit Sunday, according to ancient custom, the new mayor robed and walked in procession from the Town Hall to St. Mary’s church, the Mace being carried by the Town Sergeant before him.
Bill was in the school from 1938 to ’45 and his occupation on leaving us recorded as “Awaiting call up”.
However, he went to London University and obtained a B.Sc in Economics. He taught at Astor School and then at Sandwich where his cheerful good nature was a valuable asset in dealing with retarded children.
Two sons, Michael and William, have been through the school, both with distinguished records and achievements after leaving.
It is a special honour for Bill Newman to be elected for a further term of office. We congratulate him, wish him well and rejoice that there is another Old Pharosian Mayor of Dover
DIAMOND JUBILEE ORGAN RECITAL
On Saturday 26th September at 7.30 p.m. a Recital will be given on the Organ in the School Hall by Mr Richard Davies.
The concert will mark the sixtieth anniversary of the installation of the organ in 1932 and the completion of the restoration project to which many Old Pharosians have generously contributed. The recital will be followed by refreshments and a special programme booklet giving a full history and details of the organ will be available.
A warm invitation to attend the concert is extended to all members of the Association.