OPA Newsletter July 1993
OLD PHAROSIANS’ ASSOCIATION
New Series No. 64
LIST OF CONTENTS
The Photo of the Founder
Officers of the Association
President’s letter about Association finances
The Founder: Mrs Turnpenny
Sir Clifford Jarrett
Mr E H Baker
Memories of Schooldays by S C Hambly
NEWS OF THE ASSOCIATION
Notice of AGM on 18th September, 1993
Soccer match, School v Old Boys
Annual Reunion Dinner
Report of Committee Meetings, 18th March and 4th May
NEWS OF THE SCHOOL
Music and the Carol Service
End of term assembly before Easter
Items of News of Old Boys and School
NEWS OF INDIVIDUAL OLD BOYS
News of individual Old Boys
Recent developments in the Present and Future of the School
OLD PHAROSIAN NEWSLETTER
New Series No. 64 June 1993
Officers and Committee 1992-93
President: R C Colman
Ivy House, Great Mongeham,
Deal. CT14 OHH.
Vice-President: B D Crush
39 Eythorne Road, Shepherdswell
Dover CT15 7PG
Past President: W R Fittall
55 West Hill Road, London. SW18 1LE
Secretary: P J Harding
6 Chestnut Road, Elms Vale, Dover
Assistant C J Henry
Secretary: 40 Crabble Road, River. Dover
Treasurer: I D Pascall
Karibu, 445A Bewsbury Cross Lane,
Whitfield, Dover. CT16 3EZ
Membership R Gabriel
Secretary: 229 St Richards Road, Deal CT14 9LF
Newsletter K H Ruffell
Editor: 193 The Gateway, Dover. CT16 1LL
Archivist: S J Wenborn
Committee: M J Palmer
P J Burville
M H Smith
R W Winter
Auditor: A G Stone
Head Teacher: N A Slater
Staff D Murray
Representatives S Callacher
M R Grant
Head Prefect K Goodwin
We are all glad that the School has emerged from yet another administrative crisis. The Kent Education Committee has abandoned its plan to require the two Dover Grammar Schools to merge on a totally unsuitable site and thus to solve Astor High School’s accommodation problems. Yet another review of secondary education in Dover will now take place.
This success revealed a powerful wave of support for our School from all sorts and conditions of people. They expressed confidence in the School’s leadership and staff in that the pursuit of excellence in work and games had produced and would continue to provide well-balanced, active young men of integrity. This required a lively, able and thoughtful band of teachers and the delight of extensive playing fields.
Given these resources, I am confident that the numbers of pupils will rise. This factor, rather sadly, is directly related to the School’s income and financial management is therefore a key issue.
The Old Pharosians’ Society exists to support the School in every way including the purchase of essential equipment. Beyond this, however, the Newsletter provides the link which binds us together. To sustain these costs, your committee has considered and enacted some financial improvements guided by our assiduous Treasurer. We were moved by the need to raise income but also to encourage new members especially from amongst those who are about to leave.
Ken Ruffell has detailed the changes. All existing commitments are, of course, honoured but I hope that we shall be able to find ways to increase our income and then to invest in the preparation of young men for the tough world my generation has created.
The new financial changes are again printed for consideration by members.
There has already been generous response by some members.
1. That no new Life Memberships shall be offered; other than by purchase at 25 times the annual membership rate.
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.
Mr F. Whitehouse, M.A. (Oxon), 1905-36
In recent years of turmoil over the school’s future, proposals have been made to remove us from our present buildings and fields. Other proposals in which we could be interested were ruled out on grounds of cost: proposals that would have been disastrous have been firmly rejected: proposals whereby we stay where we are have now been approved by our Governors and high authority.
Impending possibility of loss of our impressive buildings and excellent fields have roused in many of us an enormous respect for the achievements of our first headmaster, Mr Fred Whitehouse, who was headmaster from its foundation in 1905 to his resignation through ill health at the end of 1936. In his time as headmaster he shared rather shabby premises in Ladywell; moved to Frith Road in 1916; and then crowned his achievements by gaining our Astor Avenue establishment in 1931.
Some memories of the “great little man” have been contributed to this Newsletter. They will not only be read with interest: they may awaken a determination to hold fast to that which is good. Among boys of today these memories may induce an awareness that what they now have has been built over the decades: and that by their present actions and attitudes the place should not be let down and, if necessary, should be defended and sustained.
MRS L.V. TURNPENNY
The Association’s President and Editor were delighted to be present at Mrs Turnpenny’s celebration of her 100th birthday on St. Valentine’s Day, 1993.
The editor has been further indebted to Mrs Turnpenny for agreeing to recall her memories of Mr Whitehouse in the school’s early years, 1905 to 1912, when she was a member of the Dover County School for Boys and Girls, Headmaster Mr Fred Whitehouse, M.A. (Oxon).
Apparently Mr Whitehouse had taught in a London school after leaving Oxford and before coming to Dover. His appointment in 1902 was as Director of Education for Dover, with his object the solution of problems arising from the Education Act of that year. There were in the town several establishments offering what could be called secondary education, mostly operating in and around Ladywell. Out of these diverse institutions there appeared on 11th September, 1905 for the very first time the words ‘Dover County School for Boys and Girls, Headmaster Mr F Whitehouse, M.A.’ He devoted his life until the end of 1936 to the development of the school for boys.
His morning assemblies in Ladywell and throughout subsequent years elsewhere showed his devotion to Christian principles. He attended St. Mary’s Church on Sundays and he taught Scripture in weekly classes throughout the early school’s life. He also taught singing and Mrs Turnpenny recalls that he was “very happy and he cheered us up.” “Mr Whitehouse was always very kind to me.”
Mrs Turnpenny was the first pupil to gain a scholarship to university and to graduate. But others obtained bursaries that enabled them to go to Goldsmith’s college or other teacher training establishments.
Mr Whitehouse was concerned to impart social training in what we might call “middle class” values. Appearance and behaviour mattered, both in and out of school. Boys wore their school caps in the street and raised their caps when they met a teacher. One Old Pharosian has recalled that Mr Whitehouse said to him ” a gentleman does not eat an apple in the street.” Mr Whitehouse arranged dancing lessons before the Christmas parties.
He presented his school to the town, most notably in the annual prize-giving in the Town Hall. The staff wore academic gowns over evening dress: the hall was filled to overflowing.
Mrs Turnpenny recalls helping with teas as school games fixtures developed on the Crabble ground. Mrs Whitehouse was actively involved with parents and other wives of the staff. Mrs Turnpenny remembers repairing Mr Tomlinson’s gown which was well known as a thing of shreds and patches. When in 1931 the school was moving to Astor Avenue the fund-raising to install an organ in the Great Hall was monumental.
As indications of the Whitehouse image of his school, he chose Harrow’s “Forty Years On” for his own school, as well as the command ‘Fiat Lux’. The Old Pharosians Association was formed in the autumn of 1914 with Mr Whitehouse as President until 1938 when he died. His persuasive voice at Maidstone effected moves from Ladywell to Frith Road and then to Astor Avenue. These are the buildings and fields we have inherited and come to value when Kent recently strove to move us elsewhere. In 1931 a royal prince opened the new school. Mr Whitehouse deserved no less.
He died soon after resigning at the end of 1936. He had worked night and day for his school and health had suffered in the 1930’s. Mrs Turnpenny believes that after he had given up his school he no longer had the will or the strength to live.
From: Sir Clifford Jarrett, CBE, KB. (1920-28)
I entirely agree with the idea that Mr Fred Whitehouse should be known as the Founder of the Grammar School. As time goes by I realise what a great little man he was. I particularly admire the persistence and energy with which he beset Maidstone, seeking support for his Grammar School. I still have the liveliest memories of him as a person.
He used to take us for scripture and he spared no effort to make his lessons as lively as possible. I have an enduring memory of him describing St. Paul’s appeal to Rome. Freddie stood bolt upright and, putting a T square over his shoulder, strutted around declaiming “Civis Romanus sum”. It was undoubtedly he who got the school firmly established and recognised as a centre of learning. We all owe him an enormous debt. I remember particularly that there were 7 or 8 Old Pharosians at Cambridge in about 1928 and we invited him to a dinner. I am sure the occasion meant a great deal to him as it did to us.
I wish you every success in your campaign to stay at Astor Avenue.
Others may speak more eloquently than I but I am proud to have known him so well as Master, Employer and Friend over two decades. In 1921 as a boy aged 10 at St. Martin’s School I remember Johnny Hunt saying “We have an important visitor tomorrow” and then arrived this small man in a dark suit, bowler hat and umbrella. A year later I was to be interviewed by him and Mr Molyneux (his friend from Hythe School) for a Free Place Scholarship. During my first year at School I was at Ladywell and only saw the Head when I went to Frith Road for school dinner four days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday – Wednesday and Saturday were half days for lessons). I always feared he would correct me for my dress (a button undone or cap at an incorrect angle) or for running, not walking, in Frith Road. In those days boys were expected to wear the School cap in term and holiday time and were impressed that it was an honour to do so.
He was a devoutly religious man. He taught most Forms during their one R.I. lesson each week. On the terminal report R.I. marks were usually the lowest. He was a Church Warden at St. Mary’s. He was a firm but fair disciplinarian and expected the same standard from his Staff. Many will remember the sudden tapping of a corridor window with his pen knife: hence he was known as “Woodpecker”. A kindly man, his generosity was known only to the recipients. A prominent Freemason in the Corinthian Lodge, he used his Masonic connections to assist many in times of sorrow and need. He and Jo Slater were instrumental in raising £50 each year to support a School bed in Dover Hospital.
The employment situation was worse in the late 1920’s than today, and it was with trepidation but relief that I followed the excellent Mabel Hopkins as his Secretary in 1930. I found that he was a fair employer, 101% devoted to the School and unsparing in his efforts for his boys. Nothing but the best was good enough for the School as was shown by the Guest Speakers on Prizegiving Day – Viscount Burnham, Dean Inge, Lord Willingdon, etc – and the opening of the School at Astor Avenue in 1931 by a member of the Royal Family, Prince George, later Duke of Kent. All these were obtained through his friendship with Major J.J. Astor M.P. He was Hon. Secretary of the Astor Works Training Scheme in Maison Dieu Road, the forerunner of all Further Education Training Schemes.
He was an historian and patriot. “Land of our Birth” was always sung on Speech Day. We remembered at Morning Assembly the Anniversary Ascension Day, and special services on the days of the funerals of Queen Alexandra and King George V. I feel he would have been a leading figure in National Heritage and the Dover Society if alive today. He was respected by his peers and was for many years the Secondary Schools Headmasters representative on the K.E.C. and its Sub-Committees. He was a co-opted member of the Borough Library and Museum Committee.
He was a family man and could always rely on the total support of Mrs Whitehouse. She was a lady of great patience for frequently he was late for meals when occupied at School. He was proud of his children. My great aunt worked for Burketts the Bakers (later Holmes Morris) in Biggin Street and she told me how before World War I he used to push his eldest daughter in her perambulator to the shop and was so happy. It was a great tragedy to him and his wife when the young girl was taken from them, and maybe this is why he felt so sincerely for others in their time of stress. He was to find joy again in the arrival of Rosemary.
He was small but great. He built the School from its birth in 1905 to its exalted position in 1936 when he retired. He was a first class administrator and he gathered around him probably the finest teaching staff in the County. He would go to any length to promote the School or to assist his Old Boys, and he delighted in showing them the new school buildings. When I moved to K.E.C. Head Office in 1939 he was still mentioned with awe although he retired in 1936. He was on holiday in Switzerland when he had to return prematurely due to a heart attack but this did not diminish his efforts on behalf of the School. Two years after retirement heart trouble was to hasten his departure with pneumonia.
A Midlander by birth, his personal moment of pride was the receipt in Dover Town Hall of the Honorary Freedom of the Borough.
As the years pass I appreciate more than ever the feat he accomplished in founding the School, in erecting two new Schools, and earning the undying respect of his Old Boys. He was the Founder and time does not dim the memory even if it be Seventy not Forty Years On.
S.C. Hambly (1934-41) B.Sc. (Eng.), M.Sc., C Eng, MTEE
Spring Hill Farm, The Ridgeway, Manorbier,
Tenby, Pembrokeshire, SA70 8LQ
DOVER COUNTY SCHOOL FOR BOYS
After failing the entry examination I went to the School because my parents at the time of the 1930 slump managed to find the term fee of £4.4s (£4.20p). My father had set up a business selling various Oil products including R.O.P. (Russian Oil Products). He faced some trade hostility because of the source of this fuel, and I know for certain of one instance when fuel from a Shell or BP company was delivered by someone who in my father’s absence took advantage of my foolishness as a supervisor to cheat him by short delivery.
The Staff at the D.C.S. included for me unforgettable personalities including Mr S.F. Willis, known to us as Weary Willie who laboured to give us an understanding of European history, but more important for me, took music lessons in which we had to sing some of the glorious melodies from Borodin’s Prince Igor. We were made to listen while he played Beethoven sonatas, and he made us sing notes as called for by a left hand splayed to represent the five lines of a music stave and a righthand finger on a line or space.
A.B. Constable took us for Chemistry and from his outline was known to one and all as Bucket, our written work coming back time and time again marked in red with “Show to me, ABC” implying a personal interview in which our many faults would be taken apart. He was cheerful, fair, and he knew his stuff – we respected him.
W.E. Pearce put the fear of God into us and some Physics, the best nick name we could find for him was “WEP”. He and other senior staff organised my passage to take up an apprenticeship at British Thomson Houston, Rugby. Amid all the organisational problems of the school evacuation to Wales they managed to set up a whole laboratory of practical work for myself as the only candidate for the qualifying examination (Inter Engineering) to start the London University Electrical Engineering Degree course at Rugby Technical College.
Prior to that time, we had indulged in a kind of sporadic warfare with the Ebbw Vale Grammar School whose premises we shared. Laboratories with a D.C. mains supply made it possible to draw terrifying arcs from ‘illegal’ circuit connections, and the connection of the water main to the laboratory gas main had some surprising consequences. One sin for which I shall evermore have to do penance was the retuning of the piano in the Assembly Hall (the Tin Tabernacle) so that a finger traversing the keyboard from left to right would generate a tune. How Mr Willis managed to play a recognisable morning Hymn I shall never know.
Another member of staff held in respect and affection was known as Spud because of his unusually well-developed nose. Mr Slater officially, was a History man. French from Mr Watt, in class rather serious and sombre, I don’t believe he was ever given a special name. It was not until we went on some trip with him that I realised that behind this sombre face was a man full of wit and good humour. He had a son at the School.
English Lit. from Nunc, otherwise W. Uncles, a kindly soul tending a little on the plump side. I believe he left teaching for the Church; I hope our Form was not too much the cause.
Returned from retirement Mr Harvey one day was moved to ask if I had ever done any mathematics, and set me alight with jealousy of those in the class selected to start Calculus. I made up my mind that what they could do so could I, and was later admitted to the fraternity.
Another mathematics teacher, Froude, gave me mental hiccups when he said how surprised we should be that when a string of numbers are added, the total remains constant regardless of the order in which the addition is done. Mathematics was regarded then as a bit of a Black Art: it was thought safer not to give Froude a nickname.
William Llewelyn Langley gave us Geography and the memorable comment that Ireland should be towed out into the Atlantic and sunk. In political terms he qualified as a thoroughgoing right winger. I had no sympathy with his occasional philosophical comments but he did try to do his job for us and I will have his name on the roll of honour with the others, with Miss Rookwood, Mr Coveney, and two persons usually seen only from a distance, the Head teacher Freddy Whitehouse , later succeeded by J.C. Booth. I had only one meeting with Freddy Whitehouse when he was on a tour of the school and found me hiding in a toilet trying to avoid compulsory sport.
I went from Buckland Infants School, to an Elementary School near Beaconsfield Road where on Boat Race day I got beaten by my classmates for wearing an Oxford colour and later the same day was beaten up again for wearing a Cambridge colour; then to DCS; where I never knew my good fortune.
NEWS OF THE ASSOCIATION
OLD BOYS DAY
Notice is hereby given that the ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the Association will be held at the School on SATURDAY 18th SEPTEMBER 1993 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 recommendations on Finance
7. Election of Officers and committee
– President: the committee will propose that Mr Barry Crush shall be in office for 1993-94
– Membership Secretary
– Newsletter editor
– Committee members (the two retiring members are
8. Any Other Business
THE ANNUAL REUNION DINNER
Saturday 18th September 1993
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 evening.
Soccer match School v Old Boys
Saturday 18th 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 18th March, 1993
Reg Colman presided over a good attendance of members, including three of the school’s masters as well as the head prefect. The Treasurer and Membership Secretary were unfortunately unable to be present.
Before the meeting began members learned with sorrow that Mr A E Coulson had been rushed into Buckland Hospital and was not expected to live through the night. He died next morning.
Minutes of the previous meeting were approved though there were queries which were dealt with under matters arising in the main agenda.
Treasurer sent a written report which stated the present assets as £786 located in Lloyds bank and £5599 in a building society. Treasurer referred to possible advantages of moving money into a charity account which would yield 6% interest without tax deduction. Members felt that we needed to keep some funds available to help the school. When headmaster was asked if he had any present need he said that the Director of Music was asking about the possibility of purchasing robes for the choir which might cost as much as £1000. President undertook to phone treasurer and arrange a meeting to discuss further these money matters.
Newsletter editor reported that the recent possibility that we might lose our buildings and fields that had been gained for the school by Mr Fred Whitehouse in 1931 had given renewed appreciation of that first headmaster’s immense achievements in establishing this school. Editor asked approval for the idea that the Association should recognise Mr Fred Whitehouse as FOUNDER and his name and title should appear in Newsletter and on headed stationary. This met with approval though President felt the matter should be subject to correspondence with Kent. Editor would seek articles remembering the FOUNDER from members of Mr Whitehouse’s time for publication in the next Newsletter.
Editor reported that the previous Newsletter had been well received both in content and presentation. There had been a good return flow of correspondence, often with generous financial giving.
The AGM and Dinner, as well as soccer match, on Saturday 18th September were discussed and will be taken further at the next meeting.
Headmaster Neil Slater spoke about progress in regard to the school’s future. He was in optimistic mood and the developments are reported elsewhere in this Newsletter.
Much thought was given to approaches that could be made by the Association to school leavers and more will no doubt be advanced at next committee meeting.
Members were glad to learn that the film “The School on the Hill” made by Bernard Harrison in Dr Hinton’s time had been found and video copies could probably be made if requested.
The next meeting was fixed for May 4th at 7 p.m.
COMMITTEE MEETING on 4th May, 1993 at 7 p.m.
The President, Mr R C Colman, was in the chair; others present were B D Crush, P J Harding, C J Henry, I D Pascall, R Gabriel, K H Ruffell, S J Wenborn, P J Burville, M H Smith, T Sutton, three members of staff D Murray, S Callacher and M R Grant, the head prefect K Goodwin and the Headteacher, Mr N A Slater.
An apology was offered for Bob Winter who was in the William Harvey Hospital.
A letter was read from the daughters of Mr A E Coulson, telling that a prize had been endowed in his memory.
Treasurer Ian Pascall presented an interim statement showing that we had received Income Tax repayment of £52 because of our charitable status; and subs and donations amounting to £944, including a number of substantial sums in recognition of the announced problems and reorganisation of our finances. Two Newsletters each year cost us a little over £600. As capital we held £700 in our bank and £5600 in a building society.
Our bank was intending to make charges and decision was made to transfer £5600 into a Charities Investment account yielding at present 5.65% without tax deduction and permitting withdrawals.
Papers inviting members to take out standing orders and covenants would accompany the July Newsletters, with every hope that members would respond to the new financial arrangements coming into effect on 1st August 1993. Our President’s letter in this Newsletter invites your support to enable this Association to continue its purpose of supporting the school in all the changing scenes of its present and future life.
Newsletter editor spoke of the intention to make members aware that in recent months we had come close to losing the buildings, fields and status bequeathed to us by Mr Fred Whitehouse. The July edition would give prominence to establishing again and perhaps for all time a due recognition to the school’s Founder. Photographs were being assembled representing times past and successes of the present generation. Editor was pressed to increase output of Newsletters to 800 copies so as to supply existing 670 members and school leavers and teaching staff.
Membership secretary, who does such invaluable work by maintaining membership details on his computer, repeated his previous offer to supply a membership list to any member who sent a large, stamped, addressed envelope. Please inform Roger Gabriel or other officer of change of address. Send your news to the Editor.
AGM and Dinner on 18th September were discussed and details are set out elsewhere in this Newsletter.
Archivists reported on their continuing work that has now been gathering momentum over the past four years. Their accumulating data base is of use to sixth form students and will be available for interested members on 18th September. The archivists’ final remark was “We quite enjoy ourselves you know”.
Head teacher Neil Slater spoke of the school’s intention to shape its own future. Up-to-date comment will be found at the end of this Newsletter.
Somewhat late in the evening, under Any Other Business, the Head Prefect asked for Association support for a Dinner and Dance being arranged by school leavers of both Dover Grammar Schools. Grey heads among the listeners were astonished by the scale, cost and risk of the venture. However, the young man stood his ground and in the end the Association agreed to pay for the band with £100 from our fund and £50 from an individual generosity. We gathered that the girls, with understandable enthusiasm, had already raised £300.
The request for robes for the school was met with a suggestion that we be prepared to offer £300 if the Parents Association will do the same, leaving the Director of Music to raise some £400 by concerts and other means.
There was some discussion of making a video from the film “The School on the Hill” made by the late Bernard Harrison in Dr Hinton’s time.
Everyone will be delighted to learn that School and Parents are hoping to share equally in refurbishment of the school’s Great Hall.
It had been a busy evening.
Old Boy’s Meetings and Reunions
All Old Boys of the School qualify for admission to the Old Boy’s Lodge – The Pharos Lodge 6967 which meets at the Lodge premises in Snargate Street on the 3rd Saturdays in October, November, January, March and April. We welcome enquiries from interested Old Boys to the Secretary, Mr ‘Bill’ Skelton, 105 Old Folkestone Road, Aycliffe, Dover.
This year’s Master is Mr Brian Harber and his Wardens are Andrew Lewis and Mr Frank Fisher.
Our Old Boys’ Lodge offers you a very warm welcome and would be pleased to meet you at any time.
NEWS OF THE SCHOOL
A Spring concert – Thursday 25th March 1993
This was a further most enjoyable demonstration of the quality of instrumental teaching and talent now in the school. The variety of instruments included violin, cello, piano, trumpet, organ, keyboard and flute as well as clarinet and various saxophones played by the Jazzmen.
Advanced level music is now taught in association with the Girls Grammar School so we had a piano solo from Sophie Man-Cheung. We now also tend to have a boy from Germany and Christian Gratzke played a Polonaise in C Minor that Chopin would have admired.
The head prefect, Keith Goodwin, hopes to go into theatre lighting and his contribution to the presentation of the concert was well judged and helpful.
There was an interval for sociability and refreshments. No charges were made but at the exit was a retiring collection for department funds.
On Thursday 13th May the School Choir and musicians gave a concert in Charlton Church as part of the celebrations to mark the centenary of the church’s consecration. The choral works performed included Handel’s Zadok the Priest and Haydn’s Little Organ Mass, and instrumental interludes included a Handel Flute sonata and a Haydn String Trio.
Forthcoming musical events to be presented in the Summer Term 1993 include a choral concert to be given in mid July, when the School Choir plan to sing Vivaldi’s Gloria and Faure’s Requiem. Details of the date and venue for this concert will be announced shortly.
On Thursday 22nd July at 7.30 p.m. in the School Hall there will be a Concert of Music for a Summer’s Evening when the programme will feature the school Jazz Band and Barbershop Singers.
Looking ahead to the Autumn Term, a Recital on the Organ in the School Hall will be given by Mr R Davies in late September or early October. Many Old Pharosians generously contributed to the Diamond Jubilee Organ Appeal which put the organ in excellent repair in time for its sixtieth birthday (the instrument was inaugurated on 28th September 1932). It is planned to present a Recital every year at about this time to celebrate the organ’s birthday. Details of the 1993 event will be available shortly.
The term will end with the annual Service of Nine Lessons and Carols by Candlelight, to be sung by the school choir in Charlton Church on Thursday 16th December 1993 at 8.00 p.m. The Service will once again follow very traditional lines and it is hoped that many will join us on this occasion.
Old Pharosians are most welcome at all school concerts. Readers who wish to be informed about the school’s musical activities are invited to write and have their names added to the Music Mailing List. This will provide them with advance information about all school music events.
Kent Schools Football Association is highly organised, largely by their efficient secretary, Philip Harding of the Harvey Grammar School. Philip is also, as you know, secretary to the Old Pharosians Association. There are league and cup competitions for 1st XIs, 2nd XIs and all ages down to first year boys.
In our school the 1st XI has for at least 15 years been looked after by Mr Steve Bailey who has had much success in the past two years, in part because of the skill and influence of Paul O’Brien, whose photograph appears in our central pages.
Paul has played in our 1st XI for the past three years, as captain for two years. He has been selected for the Kent Schools XI and his name was forwarded to an English Schools squad at the famed Lilleshall sports centre. Ninety boys were seen and soon reduced to sixty, then to thirty and finally to 18 who form the England squad, Paul among them. He plays on the left side of the mid-field line and he has played this year in three international matches, against Ireland in Dublin, against Austria at Middlesbrough and at Eindhoven against Holland. His reputation is known at Charlton Athletic and he intends to complete his Advanced level studies in geography and history. Applications on his behalf have been made to colleges of education so professional soccer or teaching will provide his career opportunities.
Kristian Allen captains the school’s third year team and the Kent schools under 14 team. His name is linked with Chelsea F.C. and no one can tell where his talents may lead him. His photo is also in our centre pages. Latest news is that Kristian has been called up for an England trial for his age group.
The 1st XI, in ability and appearance, owes a lot to Mr Gardiner, Old Pharosian, who gives of his time and experience to a newly enthusiastic group of cricketers. In a county competition they beat Dane Court School but lost to Harvey G.S.
Increased demands on teaching staff many of them ladies who make their own contribution to school life, have made more difficult the task of Mr Malcolm Grant, the sole remaining teacher of Physical Education in the school. He has been helped by Major Hoeren, an enthusiast for English and Transatlantic sports, and now by Mr Scott Gardiner who came to Dover as Project Manager for the Dover Heritage building and has given up construction of buildings for education in some of the best senses of that much misused word.
Final Assembly at End of Easter Term
There is a pleasantly relaxed atmosphere about the last afternoon of any term. In hall a lighting crew were dismantling equipment under direction of the head prefect. He was not throwing his weight about but the job was completed in time. A grey suited senior scholar came and played the school’s piano until the director of music came to the organ and began gently to quieten the arriving hordes. Silence was established before entry of headmaster.
Year 7 XV well attended practices
Year 8 XV In one match they were at half time losing 10-0 but in the end they won 15-10.
They won 3 of their 4 matches.
Under 14 XV Won all their three matches, on two occasions scoring 50 points.
Two boys have played for Kent Under 14 team.
Year 10 XV Lost both matches
1st XV Lost matches against Duke of Yorks, Langton and
Bethany School but beat Dane Court. Some boys have played for Kent. The Ebbw Vale house cup was won by Port House.
CROSS COUNTRY RUNNING
The Powell Cup race was won by Castle House.
Medals were presented for winning local competitions.
Paul O’Brien has been playing for Kent and also in the England squad against Ireland, Wales and Switzerland. In the holidays he will play for Kent in the annual schools soccer Festival.
A group of 37 boys are going to Holland in the coming holidays to play four soccer matches.
The C.C.F. had already gone for Adventurous Training on Dartmoor.
The school was told of the decision to seek Grant Maintained status. A letter and a booklet had gone home to all parents and an accompanying questionnaire should be returned on the first day of next term, Monday 19th April.
Items of News of Old Boys and School
Mrs L V Turnpenny, at the school 1905 to 1912,
celebrated her 100th birthday on 14th February, St Valentine’s Day, having been born in 1893. Reg Colman, your President, and Ken Ruffell, your editor, were privileged to be present at some of the celebrations and to see among the many messages a telegram of congratulations from royalty.
Elsewhere in this Newsletter you will have read Mrs Turnpenny’s memories of our Founder. She joined the school department on Priory Hill when she was 12 : and stayed to complete her sixth form studies in the boys’ school when the girls were compelled by Kent to separate. From success at school she went to Bedford College in London where she graduated. She was in Dover during both World Wars and has very clear memories of all her long and interesting life. She continues to keep house for her son John who brings her to Old Pharosian annual dinners. No one can, or ever will, rival her in “memory long”.
The essential history of Europe
was a TV programme in January featuring Dover’s close links with Europe. Morning assembly was shown with the boys singing their school hymn: and a history lesson, a football match and other activities were filmed.
The school Art department
mounted an exhibition of their work in Deal library during March. A variety of media included drawing, silk screen and lino cut printing as well as graphic design.
The school combined cadet corps
were presented with an award for an annual cleaning operation applied to the River Dour.
Memories of Boyhood
Your editor has been delighted to receive letters and photographs from Gordon Graeme, R E Smith who lives at Marden in Hereford, John Le Prevost and others. At the moment of writing there is uncertainty over the printer’s ability to reproduce photographs mellowed by age but every effort will be made to show a young Mr Llewellyn Langley and his juniors amid the cast of “William Tell” in 1924: and another showing Miss Rookwood’s junior school production of “Much Ado about Nothing”, Act III scene 3 at Speech Day, 1928. The photo shows from left to right, Richard Hayward, George Curry, Philip Foad, “Granny” Graeme, John Le Prevost, Humphrey Harman and Ivan Pengelly.
Gordon Graeme adds that his early experience on the stage at school may have helped in his career at the Bar. George Curry would equally testify that school drama added richly to life’s pleasures.
Photograph of Miss O M Rookwood and her “Trans” form in 1923 is so clear that I shall be very disappointed if it is not printed. It was sent by R E “Dick” Smith: and younger readers should know that from the beginning of the school in 1905 to outbreak of Second World War in 1939 the school had a junior section consisting of a Preparatory Form, boys aged 8 or 9 and a Transitional Form for boys aged 10 due to enter the senior school at age 11.
These forms were taught mainly by Miss Rookwood and her boys had no option but to learn. At the latest stages of Miss Rookwood’s life she would be frequently visited by men who called to thank her for the excellent foundations she had established for their careers.
There is also available from R E Smith a photograph of a very smart Cadet Corps parade on a Sunday at Frith Road when the Corps received the Lucas Tooth Shield and then marched to church.
Returning to boys of the present day, there has been success in this year’s UK schools Mathematical Challenge, organised by a Birmingham University lecturer.
100,000 young people between 11 and 14 years took part. Thirty boys from this school took the tests, 21 gaining certificates and 3 gained gold awards. Gold awards went to only the top 6 per cent of the entries so this result was indeed excellent.
DOVER CHARTER TRUSTEES
Two Old Pharosians holding Offices of dignity in the town,
Mayor Bill Newman and Recorder Gordon Graeme, have for the second time led the processions of the Dover Charter Trustees at all the main ceremonial occasions such as at Mayor making, Remembrance Day and church services.
NEWS OF INDIVIDUAL OLD BOYS
CORRESPONDENCE has been exchanged with:
E H Baker, K Black, L Borley, A Boynton, Mrs M Bradley,
Lt C B Cook, G Curry, W R Fittall, Mrs Gwen Gower (Nee Pearce), D Gibb, G Graeme, P Hughes, Sir Clifford Jarrett, Mrs P M King (nee Nowers), J Le Prevost, Dr J Langley,
M Longley, K J Medgett, K Newing, J Newman, J Mitchinson,
J Parry, D Richardson, B Skelton-Foord, R E Smith,
K Tolputt, T Vardon, D Weaver, D R Wellard, F West,
Dr J Williams, P Wilson and R Winter.
Mr A.E. Coulson, B.Sc.
Arch Coulson was born at Erith in 1905. He went to Erith County School where he was a successful athlete and achieved a place at Imperial College where he took a Physics degree.
He came to Dover County School in 1928 to teach maths and physics. He became an officer in the school cadet corps under the command of Major W.E. Pearce. In 1939 he became Head of Maths and Major in command of the Cadets. In that capacity he and some cadets were able to help some of the soldiers returning from Dunkirk. In the pre war years he had played a good deal of golf with Tom Archer and Billy Baxter. It has been said that they sometimes were in their cars and off to the course behind the Castle before the bell had stopped ringing to end afternoon school.
In Ebbw Vale the cadets and masters formed a unit of “Dad’s Army”: but everyone was glad to return to Dover where the physics labs still showed experiments that had been left standing at the departure for Wales in 1940.
When Dr Hinton became headmaster in 1960 he gave Arch Coulson every encouragement to develop his interests in computing which became his main interest in his later years. He retired in 1971 but took his computing skills to the University of Kent where he became a member of the Senior Common Room and he visited many countries on behalf of computing at the University of Kent.
He was a member of the British Computer Society and a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics.
He always had a welcoming interest in Old Boys when they visited the school: and he was President of the Association in 1978. He was so kind as to tell your present editor that he had two extra happy days in each year when the Newsletters arrived. As years advanced he suffered much illness of body but no relaxation of mind and spirit. His electric chair carried him around River and into River Church on Sundays. Although he could only get around his house and garden with a zimmer he could get into his car to drive to the North of England.
However, on 18th March 1993 the Old Pharosians gathered for a committee meeting were saddened by the news that Arch had been taken into Buckland Hospital and was not expected to last the night. He died next morning and the funeral service on the 26th in River church was attended by his two daughters, Angela and Gwyneth, by many members of his family and his friends from the school and the River community. To his family, from his friends we offer our sympathy in the departure of a very clever and genial man.
Major-General Eric Cole, CB., CBE
Eric Stuart Cole was born in 1906 and died on 19th December, 1992, aged 86. While at school between 1919 and 1923 he lived at the Duke of York’s School where his father was bandmaster. On leaving school he passed through Sandhurst before being commissioned in 1925 into the Royal Corps of Signals. His early service years, 1928 to 1935, were spent in the Egyptian desert where he invented equipment that proved very useful in war to the Long Range Desert Group. On returning to UK he was involved in the Dunkirk evacuation and subsequently became Chief Signals Officer in Mountbatten’s Combined Operations. He was involved with Airborne forces and became Chief Signals Officer in Italy and later in Greece. Post-war service was in Washington and Southern Command before in 1958 he became Director of Communications at the War Office.
After leaving the army in 1961 he joined electronics firms as a consultant director and became internationally known as an amateur radio buff.
Throughout his life he was an outstanding games player. His prowess at school can be seen in soccer and cricket 1st XI photos. The story is told that after one soccer match tea at Frith Road, Mr Whitehouse found ‘Sally’, as he was known, playing the piano in the school hall and smoking a cigarette. FW promptly suspended him from the school team for the rest of the season.
He played cricket three times for Kent in 1938 and regularly for the Army and Combined Services. In his time in Egypt he was an army light-heavyweight boxing champion.
In his later years he was President of the Army Golfing Society and won the General’s cup on four occasions.
He was extremely modest and shy, although with a dry sense of humour. He married in 1941 but his wife died in 1986.
A final thought. Mr W E Pearce returned in 1919 from service in the First World War. In that year E S Cole entered the school and stayed for four years. Did he receive his enthusiasm and skill for wireless from that great teacher?
The Rev. J Arthur Binks (1922-31) died aged 80 last October as was noted in our January Newsletter. We have since learned more of his ministry in South India and elsewhere. In 1936 he went to the Madras District and quickly learned to speak Tamil. Throughout all his ministry he was ably and lovingly supported by his wife Doris. Returning to England in 1970 he served in the Huntingdon circuit and at Papworth Everard before retiring to the Dover area.
Victor Bullen (1921-29) died on 9th April at the Pilgrim’s Hospice in Canterbury. He was about 82 years old and had worked with British Telecom. When at school he was in the 1st XI soccer.
Michael Hedgcock (1945-50) died about three months ago.
Dr Hubert George Hopkins (1924-31)
It is with a deep sense of loss that I write to inform you of the death of my old friend Hubert George Hopkins. He died on April 13th after a short illness following a heart attack. I first met Hugh, as he was always known, about 1930 when he was House Captain of Country House and I was on the carpet for having missed a Saturday afternoon practice. I next met him when he came to work at the Radio Research Station at Datchet where I was already working. We maintained contact ever since then. Hugh retired on June 30th, 1973 after a distinguished career in the National Physical Laboratory of which RRS was a part. The NPL became the Radio and Space Research Station and later the Appleton Laboratory. For his contributions to the war effort in this country and in the USA he was awarded the American Medal of Freedom and an OBE. After his retirement he maintained his scientific interests as a translator for the Transport and Road Research Laboratory, Crowthorne and as a recruiter for the Scientific Service.
He will be greatly missed by a wide circle of friends around the world. He leaves his wife Marjorie and a son John. Their elder son died in 1991. R.E.B. Hickman (1926-33)
E.C.V. Wraight (1920-27) of Broadstairs, to which he had retired after service in the RAF, died on 20th July, aged 84. He joined the Association in retirement and always said that he was pleased to receive the Newsletters.
NEWS OF OTHER OLD BOYS
KEVIN BLACK (1975-82) wrote to the Association’s Membership secretary to notify that he had moved to Aylesham. He also sent news of himself and friends so we record the information for everyone’s interest.
Kevin has worked in Natwest branches in Sandwich, Canterbury and Dover until he is now an Assistant Manager in the Canterbury St Dunstans Street Branch. He has been President of the Canterbury Junior Chamber and records that he has developed two new favourite pastimes, skiing and public speaking.
R E (Bob) MOON is Kevin’s father in law who went to Wales with the school and now lives in Herne Bay, having retired last year as Regional Controller for Courts the furnishing firm and can now find time to work on his golf.
PAUL D SMITH (1975-82) works in Lloyds Bank, Ashford, is married and living in Folkestone.
STEVE PERKINS (1976-82) is manager of Price Records shop in Canterbury. His brother Chris uses his artistic skills in London and Robin, a younger brother has an adventurous life as a despatch rider in London.
DAVID THOMAS (1978-82) is an estimator with the Wiltshire firm in Canterbury. He is married and lives in Dover where he has spent the last sixth months building a stable.
BRIAN THOMAS (1979-82) is Manager’s assistant at Natwest, Canterbury.
RICHARD HANSON (1978-82) is also a Manager’s assistant at Natwest branch in Walmer.
SIMON HANSON – Richard’s younger brother is a stud farm manager at Lyminge.
Brief notes are added informing that
GREG FOSTER (1973-79) is at Natwest Business in Canterbury
JOHN SHEPHERD (1975-82) is with Hoverspeed
PETE RYAN (1975-82) is a librarian with Kent County Council
LES HURFORD (1975-83) is with Sealink at Ashford
LESTER BORLEY (1942-49) after retiring as Director of the National Trust for Scotland, went on a tour via SE Asia to Australia and New Zealand. His ten years as Director was rewarded by a CBE (just as the Empire comes to its end). He continues to live in Edinburgh and has become Secretary General to a federation of 300 Heritage bodies in 30 European countries.
ADRIAN BOYNTON (1978-90) divides his musical energies between Louth Grammar School during the week and the ecumenical City Church of Christ the Cornerstone, Milton Keynes at week-ends. The school produced “My Fair Lady” and has strong musical interests.
LAWRENCE BRIGGS (1961-68) now 43 years old, has been awarded Les Palmes Academiques by the French government for services to their language by teaching, advising and arranging exchanges. The award was presented at the French Embassy in London.
The editor recalls that a similar award was made to Mr Baxter, to his great pleasure, as he approached the end of his teaching in our school.
CHRISTOPHER COOK (1969-86) now aged 24, has passed out as a Lieutenant Instructor Officer from the Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth.
He had previously graduated at Durham in mathematics and computer science: and has worked as a management consultant and accountant. He has given voluntary service at the counselling centre at Wormwood Scrubs prison.
He is now at HMS Collingwood at Fareham where he will teach electronics for two years.
DR A D DEWAR (1923-34) Professor of Pathology in the University of Edinburgh, and well known for his work on treatment of stammering, has been made a Fellow of the Scientific Association of Scotland.
Recorder GORDON GRAEME (1928-33) has been awarded the MALTA GEORGE CROSS FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY MEDAL. This was awarded to servicemen who took part in the defence of Malta in 1940 and 1941 which was then under siege and attack. Gordon Graeme served in the battleship HMS Warspite on convoy runs into Malta.
REG HICKMAN (1926-33) I am glad to see that the school still plays Rugby football since I was one of those responsible for introducing the game and was the first Captain of Rugby.
I started work at the Radio Research Station at Datchet, a part of the National Physical Laboratory, working on such projects as the early days of radar under Sir Robert Watson Watt. During the war I was with GEC at Coventry until bombed out, and then at Bradford in the telecommunications department, working on radio receivers and transmitters for the RAF. When the Bradford operation closed down at the end of the war I moved back down to Slough joining RCA Photophone in the heady days of re-equipping cinemas around the UK with sound film projection equipment. I eventually became the company’s marketing manager. For some time I had developed an interest in technical writing. You might find in the school library a book I wrote just after the war called Magnetic Recording Handbook although by now it is greatly out of date and has probably been removed. From RCA I made my next and last move. This time into full time technical journalism as Editor of a monthly trade journal called Radio and Electrical Retailing. I retired in 1980 as Managing Editor of a small group of technical journals. My main hobby in my retirement is classical music – listening to it, not performing it, unfortunately. I have a band of friends who meet fortnightly at my home to listen to selections from my library of over 500 tapes and CDs. My bosom pals at school were Bill Dewar, who I believe became a professor at Edinburgh university; Dicky Allen, son of Mr Allen, a master at DCSB, who became a veterinary surgeon down in the west country, with both of whom I have lost touch; and Bill Bailey who became managing director of, I think, Mond International. Bill died some time ago. My memory these days is not what it should be but members of staff I remember are Freddie Whitehouse of course, who once gave me a wigging for having been seen out in the town not wearing my school cap; WEP Pearce (WEP) who taught me what little physics I still remember; Constable (known for some reason as Bucket, who had two sons at school Big Bucket and Little Bucket); Baxter; Uncles; Watt; Tomlinson (known somewhat disrespectfully as Bront, short for Brontosaurus); Darby; Froude.
Address: Quendon Cottage, Marsham Way, Gerrards Cross, SL9 8AB.
PATRICK HUGHES (1945-49) is Director of Finance for TRW Canada Limited at St Catharines, Ontario, Canada.
DR KEITH HUMPHREY (1973-80) has a French wife and a three year old daughter who is proving to be bi-lingual to an amazing degree. He lives in Maidstone but works in Leatherhead as a research scientist for the Paper Industry Research Association. His job takes him to many parts of the world and he has just returned from North America where he visited paper mills and lectured at universities.
FRANK KENDALL (1931-65) who taught Chemistry in the school to the benefit of so many boys – and girls – continues his retired living at Cornwallis Court, Bury St Edmunds and comes to Dover in April for gatherings of the Old Pharosian and Corinthian Lodges.
DR D J LANGLEY (1957-63) a life member, was lost but is now found at Braemar, Downton Road, Salisbury. SP2 8AR
MARCUS LONGLEY (1971-78) was head prefect in his last year and went to Oxford to read history. He has moved from Aberystwyth to Barry, South Glamorgan and has been awarded an M.Sc (Econ) by University College, Cardiff. He has started on a new job as Strategic Planner for the Welsh Health Planning Forum which is so impressive that Mrs Bottomley was recommended, unsuccessfully, to set up a Health Planning Forum for England.
KEITH MEDGETT (1979-86) has worked since leaving school for the General Accident Insurance Co. and is now an Inspector and in April took his final examinations for Associateship of the Chartered Insurance Institute.
He reports that his father, Neil, is still active in Nonington cricket club though no longer as player and captain.
His brother Ian (1983-91) is half way through an HND in Rural Resource Management at an Agricultural College that is part of the University of Plymouth. He also helps on a voluntary basis with the White Cliffs Project.
JEREMY MITCHINSON (1978-85) studied Civil Engineering at Liverpool University and obtained a 2.1 Honours degree. While there he met Helena, a fellow student reading Law, to whom he is now married.
He joined a firm of Civil Engineering Consultants in Warrington in 1989 and is still with them working for a qualification as Chartered Engineer. The whole of 1992 was spent with Norwest Holst at Manchester Airport constructing a multi-storey car park.
After marrying in 1989, he and his solicitor wife gained a son, now 2½ years old.
GEORGE MONK (1971-79) was in school on 21st May after teaching in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. More recently he has taught at Berkhamsted School. He specialises in teaching the sciences.
JONATHAN PARRY (1968-75). On leaving school he spent three years reading history at Pembroke College, Cambridge, followed by the next three years lecturing in history at King’s College, London. He is now back in Cambridge as a University lecturer in history and a Fellow of Pembroke. He has just finished a book on ‘The rise and fall of Liberal government in 19th century Britain’ to be published by Yale University Press.
Jonathan would be glad to be of help to any boy interested in Cambridge entry.
ANDREW SANGSTER went to Kings College in London and took a BD degree. He has been a chaplain at Eton but is now a headmaster at Glebe House, Boundary Road, Hindhead.
HAROLD SMITH (1929-37) very kindly sent us a clear photograph of Miss Rookwood and her “Trans” form of 1923, when presumably Harold’s elder brother was in that form. Until 1940 the school had a form or forms of boys aged 8 to 11 years. For a time Mr Langley was in charge of this preparatory department located on Priory Hill.
Harold has written:- I distinctly recall my brother handing me over to Miss Rookwood in charge of the “Prep” form. Early years were spent at Frith Road with a short time at Ladywell. This period was full of many fund raising activities for the Organ Fund. Then came the long awaited move to Astor Avenue where we thought we were in a palace or perhaps a castle and soon we had the great excitement of the official opening.
Leaving the school in December 1937 I took up an Engineering Apprenticeship with the English Electric Co. The war years were occupied with tool design for bombers, tanks and submarines, and part-time study. After graduation I was appointed to the Staff of the Brighton Technical College which evolved into the Polytechnic and now the University of Brighton. I retired from the Headship of the Department of Mechanical and Production Engineering in 1981. During my time in teaching and research a number of Dover boys graduated in Brighton, perhaps most notably Len Culver, later Dr Culver of Imperial College.
Address: 72 Graham Avenue, Brighton, E Sussex, BN1 8HD.
RICHARD “Dick” E SMITH (1921-29) On leaving school he served an apprenticeship at Southern Railway’s Ashford works. He studied and gained a degree in Engineering in 1935 and started teaching first in Derby and subsequently at Rugby and Farnborough. He became a Principal in London until retiring in 1972. He and his wife have celebrated their Golden wedding with their three children and eight grandchildren. Present retirement home is in Penhope, Marden, Hereford HR1 3EN.
DAVID THOMAS (1970-77) has just been made a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography at Sheffield University.
DAVID WELLARD (1952-59) wrote from New York where he works as a Director, Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs for the International Pharmaceuticals Group (known in Kent as Pfizers). One son is in University and another in Junior High. David Travels a lot as the firm operates in 30 countries and from time to time he manages to return to East Kent.
DR JOHN WILLIAMS (1934-42) wrote a long letter rich in memories of Freddie Whitehouse, Miss Rookwood, of school dress and war-time evacuation to Cwm in the Ebbw Vale, after watching soldiers landing at Dover after the rescue from Dunkirk.
John left the school sixth form to go to Imperial College of Science and transferred to Guy’s until he qualified in 1949. He eventually was appointed Consultant Physician in Sidcup and served in that capacity until retirement in 1990. He lives in Chislehurst and enjoys his golf, garden and family.
PETER WILSON (1973-80) wrote to let us know he has moved to 20 Castle Avenue, Hythe, Kent, CT21 5HD. He came to the last Carol Service and found it very impressive. He works in Folkestone as Team Leader of a computer compartment designing computer systems for Dawson UK Ltd who deal as ‘middle-man’ between publishers and clients, usually libraries and academic institutions. He recently broke his arm on an Ice Rink – “there goes my chance of qualifying for the next winter Olympics”. He has a nephew in the school.
TERENCE VARDON (1959-67) went to Lincoln College, Oxford from 1967-70, spent a year at King’s College, London and returned for the 1971-2 year at Oxford. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Associate of the Royal College of Music and Associate of the Royal Historical Society.
He is Principal of North Leamington School with over 1000 pupils between 12 and 19 years: and a part-time lecturer in mediaeval art history and music at the University of Warwick as well as lecturing at other universities.
Your editor met him in the swim pool of Dover Sports Centre and Terence is now a member of the OP Association.
THE FUTURE OF THE SCHOOL
After the Christmas lull in controversy there was a January renewal of cross-fire, mainly in the local press.
County, on grounds of cost, gave up the possible move of the two grammar schools to a new greenfield site at Whitfield: and supported a scheme thought up by the area education officer for moving the two grammar schools to the empty Castlemount school and grounds, leaving our present buildings and playing fields to Astor School. The Astor head described this as “exciting, offering us the opportunities that we deserve.”
Mr Neil Slater spoke of the very inferior buildings and site at Castlemount. He offered £13,000 to the Girls Grammar School to meet costs of the present sixth form cooperation.
The Boys Grammar School governors had their own internal difficulty. The chairman, Mr John Barnes, was a minority voice urging that the Castlemount scheme was worth further consideration. He was replaced as Chairman by Mrs Dawson, though Mr Barnes continues as a governor.
Two public meetings followed, the first at the Boys Grammar School, attended by parents, teachers and others who filled our great hall. The lady chairman of Kent Schools committee presided with fairness and firm control. The County Education Officer had been busy with his calculator and he foresaw difficulties for grammar schools as technical schools and colleges increased their intake. He was followed by the local Area Education Officer who wished to find a use for the Castlemount school and site that had been abandoned and lay heavy on his hands: and at the same time he could meet the demands of Astor School.
The first speaker from the floor was Mr Alistair Gardiner, a fully qualified constructional engineer of great experience, an Old Pharosian life member now teaching technology and games in the school. He had harsh words for Castlemount: and produced his own drawings for a proposed sixth form block that could be built above our present buildings but on our land, a scheme that would accommodate the two grammar schools on this site. Your editor and Maurice Smith gave their views on the strength and excellence of our school on its present site. It was unfortunate that your President, Reg Colman, was in Egypt at this time but he wrote a letter which was read to the meeting. A vote among parents gave 85% majority in favour of staying where we are.
Next evening at the Girls Grammar School arguments continued on comparable lines, i.e. that staff, governors and parents were inclined to stay on their present site.
There was an interesting development when a parent said that he wanted a grammar school education for his child: but at a Roman Catholic primary school strong pressure was applied for him to send his daughter to the R.C. Comprehensive St Edmund’s school. A headmaster of another primary school wrote on this matter saying that he was totally opposed to any such pressure.
Before the end of the meeting at Girls Grammar School, the Area Education Officer said “I can see that Castlemount is a dead horse”. Your editor went home much relieved.
The Girls Grammar School had been visited by an experienced head teacher of the Grant Maintained Dartford Grammar School for girls. She spoke of the freedom from bureaucracy when handling your own finances, a freedom which helped in forward planning. She foresaw that by 1996 grammar schools of the size of the Dover grammar schools would each have an annual expenditure of around a million pounds. Manwoods grammar school at Sandwich has obtained Grant Maintained status.
Governors of the Boys Grammar School have decided to follow Mr Neil Slater’s view that the time has come to be masters of our own destiny and not wait for County to decide what shall happen to us. It may be that recent County Council elections reinforce this view. Our governors have set the wheels in motion by asking parents to vote on these intentions. Governors of the Girls Grammar School wish to stay where they are under County authority. This need not prevent a continuation of cooperation between sixth forms.
There is a present very welcome upturn in numbers in our school, the total now exceeding five hundred. We believe firmly that very few parents reject the offer of a grammar school place. There is ample evidence of high academic achievement. These Old Pharosian Newsletters report continued active developments in the school’s games, cadets, music and drama. The school has decided with courage that the way ahead lies in going to central government for its financial resources. K.H.R.