OPA Newsletter January 1994
OLD PHAROSIANS’ ASSOCIATION
New Series No. 65
NEWS OF THE ASSOCIATION
The Annual General Meeting
Cricket match, School v Old Boys
Soccer match, School v Old Boys
Annual Reunion Dinner
Present and future of the school
The Founding Headmaster, by G. Curry.
Gift to the school
Comment by an Old Pharosian
Two specially interesting life stories by
Ian McInnes and John Waller
NEWS OF THE SCHOOL
School Music Summer concert
Concert of sacred music
Restoration of the school library
NEWS OF OLD BOYS
Obituaries Mr F L Kendall and others
Other Old Boys
OFFICERS AND COMMITTEE 1993 – 94
Founder: Mr F Whitehouse, M.A. (Oxon) 1905-36
President: B D Crush
39 Eythorne Road, Shepherdswell, Dover. CT15 7PG
Vice President: G L Tutthill
21 Orchard Drive, River, Dover. CT17 OND
Past President: R C Colman
Ivy House, Great Mongeham, Deal. CT14 OHH
Secretary: P J Harding
6 Chestnut Road, Elms Vale, Dover. CT17 9PY
Assistant C J Henry
Secretary: 40 Crabble Road, River. Dover. CT17 OQE
Treasurer: I D Pascall
Karibu, 45A 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
88 Minnis Lane, Rover, Dover. CT17 OPT
Auditor: V J Alcock
Committee: M J Palmer
P J Burville
M H Smith
Headmaster: N A Slater
Staff D Murray
Representatives: S Callacher
M R Grant
The Head Prefect Matthew Wilkinson
Fellow Old Boys,
This is unquestionably a time of ‘great change’ – many longstanding beliefs and standards are being questioned, challenged or changed, some maybe for the better and some unfortunately for the worse. No exception has been made in the case of education! As our school approaches Grant Maintained status and deals with the plethora of ‘new ideas’ abounding from Government and society, can I call on all Old Boys to lend their support? How? Just by being there! Perhaps in our numbers, and by the many and varied experiences which we can bring together, we can make our own contribution to the ‘stability of the ship while new sails are being unfurled’ (often in uncharted waters).
The editor has agreed to enclose a further copy of this letter and application details with the newsletter and I would ask you to please pass them on to a ‘non member’ with encouragement to join (and photocopies to others too-please!)
SIGN HERE BOYS – AND WHERE IS YOUR CAP!! (That dates me – doesn’t it?!)
I was unable to attend the Reunion Dinner in September due to a family wedding; and Graham Tutthill, as President elect, kindly gave the address. Can I thank Reg Colman again for his two years in office and pass on thanks on behalf of all members to our hard working and dedicated committee (Phil Harding, Colin Henry, Ian Pascall, Roger Gabriel, Ken Ruffell, Sid Wenborn, Peter Burville, Maurice Smith to mention but a few)?
My sincere thanks for electing me as President of the Old Pharosians Association and wishing you all a very happy new year.
P.S. Don’t forget to sign a Deed of Covenant form!
THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
held in the school library at 11 am on 18th September, 1993.
Before the meeting commenced members appreciated the preparatory work of Philip Harding and Maurice Smith.
President Reg Colman was in the chair throughout the meeting and to commence proceedings the members stood in silent memory of the recent deaths of Arch Coulson and Bob Winter.
Reg Colman then explained that the committee had invited Barry Crush, as Vice President, to become President at this AGM but owing to a family commitment that had arisen he could not be present.
Members present ranged in ages from some who entered the school in 1926 to Mark Tillyard, the present Deputy Head Prefect.
1. The notice convening the meeting was read.
2. Apologies for absence were received from:
Ted Baker, Philip Ewer, Herbert Madams, Malcolm Grant,
Philip Harding, Denis Weaver, John Le Prevost, Mrs Turnpenny, Bill Kemp (this year being the 70th anniversary of his entering
the school), Frank Kendall and Matthew Wilkinson.
3. Minutes of the previous AGM had been placed on the tables in front of members and were approved with appreciation of the services of Philip Harding who had, as ever, to go to the games at Harvey G.S.
4. Treasurer’s Income and Expenditure account for the year ending 31st July, 1992 was placed before members and can be found in this Newsletter. Treasurer Ian Pascall, F.C.A., spoke of substantial gifts ranging from £100 to £400 that had been received and 47 covenants that had been undertaken. There must be many other members who “meant to do something about this but had never put pen to paper”. The surplus for the year stood at £1541, the best that treasurer could remember. Treasurer was intending to transfer some £5600 of our capital into a Charities Investment Fund earning interest at 5½% net of tax. The care and expertise of our treasurer were greatly appreciated.
5. Election of Officers and Committee members
The names and addresses of Officers and committee members for the current 1993-94 year are to be found at the beginning of this newsletter.
Reg Colman had enjoyed his two years as President with full support of Old Boys and the school. He looked forward with pleasure to remaining as a member of committee. He commended Barry Crush as the next President: and Barry sent his apologies and regrets for his enforced absence on this day. Reg also commended Graham Tutthill’s election as Vice-President. Graham is a parent governor, a local journalist and a vigorous church worker among his many commitments. Graham expressed his thanks for the honour of his nomination and election.
Vic Alcock offered his services as auditor as Bert Stone felt he could not continue to serve. Bert was thanked for his many years of service as auditor.
The efficiency of Philip Harding as secretary was appreciated as a great source of strength to the Association.
The treasurer had led us through a very difficult time when our income had to be augmented if we were to serve our main purpose in support for the school.
Our membership secretary had brought along a new, complete, up-to-date membership list of our 686 members. For each issue of the Newsletters he produces addressed labels that greatly ease the editor’s problems.
Peter Burville spoke of the work done by archivist Sidney Wenborn and other helpers. Peter Dale, teacher of computing in the school, gave every assistance and in return the school boys could use the Database which could be useful for A level projects. The Old Pharosian Newsletters were a very valuable source of information which could be stored and cross referenced.
The meeting was glad to note that the three present staff representatives were willing to continue as committee members.
Two places on the committee were left vacant: with a resolution that we look to the younger generation.
Any Other Business
The school’s headmaster, Neil Slater, spoke of developments in the matter of the school’s future. This is of such consequence and concern to members that it will be found elsewhere in this newsletter. This will enable the review given at the AGM to be up-dated as matters progress.
When chairman invited headmaster to speak of the school’s needs at this time, the head spoke of the pressing need to refurbish the school’s great hall. This had been deteriorating over many years and, with replacement of curtains, would involve expenditure of many thousands of pounds. The Parents Association were prepared to be involved in this immense project.
The school’s director of music did not wish to proceed with the notion of robing the choir, but he would like £600 to buy from Steinway a device for moving their grand piano by means of a rolling device which could save damage to piano, hall floor and boys’ back muscles. He would also welcome £300 for purchase of compact discs for teaching purposes.
He produced a music calendar for the school year 1993-94 which is printed elsewhere in this newsletter.
The names of those present at the AGM included:
Reg Colman, Graham Tutthill, Neil Slater, Terry Sutton, Maurice Smith, Arthur Tolputt, Keith Tolputt, John Simmonds, Willian F Hall, Mark Tillyard (deputy head prefect), Keith Goodwin, Christopher Gill, Ken Ruffell, Vic Alcock, Lionel Bish, Denis Gibb, Dick Standen, S Julenlord, John Borrett, George Curry, Fred Rhodes, Ian Pascall and two staff representatives, David Murray and Stephen Callacher.
The meeting closed at noon and some members went to see a display of some work done by computers in storing details of Old Pharosians.
CRICKET MATCH SCHOOL v OLD BOYS 2nd July 1993 at 6 p.m.
Pascall b Andrews 16
Corless retired 86
Sheather b Andrews 6
Durrant c Goodacre b Durrant 28
King not out 22
Cairns c Brothwell b Durrant 0
Palmer run out 7
TOTAL 180 for 5 wickets
Andrews 2 for 71 Durrant 2 for 38
Andrews c Palmer b Hall 23
Parker lbw b Hall 3
Wratten c Corless b Hall 0
Ellender b Sheather 17
Porte b Hall 0
Jaenicke c Palmer b King 19
Durrant c Durrant b Corless 25
Brothwell not out 6
Allison not out 1
TOTAL 94 for 7 wickets
Hall 4 for 4 King 1 for 12
Sheather 1 for 4 Corless 1 for 5
Neither side went home defeated on an evening of superb weather. Next year the intention is to play on Wednesday 6th July starting at 2 pm and playing into the evening. If you would like to play write to Jack Kremer, 37 Old Park Hill, Dover. CT16 2AW.
School v Old Boys Soccer Match 18th September 1992
This season’s match for the Andrew Kremer Memorial Cup produced an identical ending to that of the previous year with the school scoring a last minute equaliser to earn a share of the trophy. The Old Boys had taken a 3-1 lead into the last quarter of the match but were just unable to hang on as the School team’s customary advantage in fitness enable them to pull back to 3-3.
The Old Boys were represented by:-
Matthew Robinson, Chris King, Clive Towe, Simon Jones, Neil Beverton, Steve Price, Jeff Vane, Mike Luchford, Dave Palmer, Phil Moore and Raul San Emeterio.
An interesting and rare feature of this year’s match was that the Old Boys’ team contained the father (Mike Luchford) of a son in the School team (Justin Luchford).
THE ANNUAL DINNER
in the school’s great hall on 18th September 1993
There was a good gathering of Old Pharosians and their ladies. Some had travelled considerable distances to the present and with sherry in hand some old friendships were renewed.
Fillet of plaice stuffed with prawns in white wine sauce
Roast turkey and vegetables
Cheese and biscuits
The head prefect proposed the loyal toast
Graham Tutthill, newly elected Vice-president, proposed the toast to the school. He has been actively involved in defending the school’s right to remain where we are and seek Grant Maintained status. His speech recalled various incidents in his days at school and all present appreciated that he had been thrust at a late stage into his duties for the evening, duties that he performed extremely well.
Headmaster, Neil Slater, in his reply spoke of his admiration for the late Arch Coulson, whose two daughters were present and had endowed a prize for computing in memory of Arch’s extremely long membership of the school staff. Headmaster, of course, spoke of the school’s recent struggles, successes and hopes all of which will be described and up-dated elsewhere in the Newsletter. He had been able to increase the number of teaching staff, with notable added strength to the games and PE side of school life. The school library had been restored to the room that had originally been designed for the purpose. Mr Sewell had undertaken charge of this laborious task. The library would be opened by George Curry on Wednesday 6th October.
During the evening Reg Colman proposed a toast to Mrs Turnpenny who had come to the dinner in recent years but on reaching her 100th birthday had decided to stay at home with her memories of the school in its earliest years.
The rest of us sang with increasing conviction the truth in the words of Forty Years On.
Committee Meeting at the school on Thursday 18 November
President Barry Crush was in the chair: also present were the Vice-president G Tutthill, the Headmaster and twelve members.
Apologies were received from R Colman, T Sutton and P Harding.
The President welcomed two new members, Chris Gill and Keith Tolputt: and introduced the Head Prefect, Matthew Wilkinson.
Matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting. The suggestion that robes be purchased for the choir had never been favoured by the director of music but he strongly urged the provision of castors for moving the grand piano. This would cost £598 and be carried out by Steinway. this provision would be in line with our charitable status and was agreed unanimously.
Bernard Harrison’s film “The School on the Hill” was suitable for transfer to tape. Two options were offered. To buy the master at £25 and make our own copies. Or let a Dover expert keep the master and supply copies at £5 each which we would sell for £7.50 to cover costs and be of some benefit to the school. This latter was proposed by P Burville, seconded by S Wenborn and passed unanimously.
The school leavers’ Dinner and Ball had been successful and warranted the committee’s financial support and the individual generosity of one of our members.
President thanked the Newsletter editor for the July edition. Ken reported that owing to printer’s failure through machine failure to deliver on an agreed date, over 700 copies arrived when Ken was away and the workload of putting Newsletters in envelopes and posting fell on Philip Harding and his parents. When payment was offered to the printer he felt that in the circumstances he would accept no charge for his work. Reg Colman had written a letter of thanks.
The January edition was in an advanced stage of readiness due to word-processing by Mrs C Woods, the headmaster’s secretary. A particularly interesting autobiography by a pupil of Ebbw Vale days who was a “Bevin boy” and went on to become a mining engineer with international reputation had of necessity been reduced in length for the Newsletter but would, if author agreed, be made available to the school archives.
Membership secretary Roger Gabriel’s computing expertise is of immense value but its accuracy can only be maintained if members inform Roger or other officers of any changes of address.
The date for AGM and DINNER was set for 17th September. The seating arrangements for the dinner would make every attempt to seat members with other contemporaries.
The archivists reported on their work of cross-referencing from the data base.
The future of the school was addressed by the headmaster who bears the main burden of the day. This subject is brought up to date elsewhere in this Newsletter.
The choice of a Vice-president for 1994-95 was postponed to the next meeting on 17th March, 7 p.m. at the school.
Under any other business the committee unanimously agreed to a request by Malcolm Grant that a football costing about £30 and a cricket ball costing about £12 be provided for the annual matches between school and old boys.
Head prefect said that the making of a school video was still under consideration. The committee wished to be supportive.
The meeting closed at 8.45 p.m.
PRESENT and FUTURE OF THE SCHOOL
A year ago the school was emerging from doubt and difficulty. Kent Education Committee are among the poorest payers for education in the country. A table ranking local authorities in order of expenditure divided by number of pupils placed Kent 40th in a list of 43 authorities. In our school there was a backlog of repair work to the value of £220,000 waiting to be done. Rain leaked into the Great Hall.
The government’s Ministry of Education offered grant-maintained status whereby schools were freed from county control and freed to manage themselves. County of Kent adopted a neutral attitude. “Go with our blessing” they seemed to say. Manwoods and Simon Langton chose this course, as did the St. Edmund’s Roman Catholic school in Dover.
We had fought off absurd suggestions from Kent education officers that we should move to a place called Castlemount where discouraging buildings were surrounded by a steeply sloping wilderness with a promise of one artificial pitch for possibly 1,000 students. Parents of children who formerly went there had voted with their feet and emptied the place.
So we held on to what was our own and had to choose between remaining under Kent control or seeking grant-maintained status to run our own affairs. At County council elections the majority who believed in the values of grammar schools lost their majority to be replaced by county councillors and officers with other views. This seems to have strengthened our intent to go to central government for finance and greater independence.
The Dover grammar school for girls has suffered internal difficulties, and, after long deliberation, they have chosen to stay as a girls grammar school under Kent County Council.
Up on our hill we now have a new headmaster and new governors. Mr Slater has got the bit between his teeth; parents and governors are united in determining the way ahead. The necessary voting procedures have gone the way we wanted. When parents voted on the proposal to seek GM status 530 of the 600 who replied were in favour. In accordance with regulations, our application to the Ministry has been printed in the local press and is re-printed in this Newsletter. The proposals were drafted by Mr Slater and agreed by the governors. An inspector from the ministry called to look at the school and on his departure said “A formal school but open and friendly with a sense of the future”.
There will be objections from County and possibly from local high schools. But the intention is to take in some 90 pupils. This latest intake, all of whom gave this school as their first choice and were recommended as suitable for grammar school, amounted to 78.
The answer to our application could be in time for April when the financial year begins. If the ministry has too many applications the answer could be delayed to September.
There is a new spirit in the school. the teaching staff has been increased: their names and qualifications appear in this Newsletter. Advanced level exams produced some outstanding mathematicians. We have printed the list of boys going on to university. The GCSE examinations for boys aged 15-16 were pleasing across the wide spread of subjects.
This term soccer is the main game. The 1st XI is undefeated and several boys play in county teams. Music, instrumental and choral, is in good hands. A play was presented before end of term.
You remember the curtains in the great hall. Were they brown or grey or some undesirable shade between those two colours? They have gone and are now replaced by new red ones that look so well in our refurbished hall. They seem to represent the new confidence shown by headmaster, governors, teaching staff and the boys for whose benefit these operations are conducted.
The Founding Headmaster – A Highly Personal View
As a schoolboy, especially in the very junior years, my memories of FW are comparatively few. He seldom appeared at Ladywell – Mr Langley was our headmaster, with Miss Rookwood as a featured and admired auxiliary. Once we arrived at Frith Road, Mr Whitehouse did enter the scene, but impressions of him had to contend with those made by a rather awesome array of ‘new’ Masters – not to mention that vivid janitorial personality, Sergeant Major Coombs. Many of us, I believe, first saw the Head mostly as one who shared the latter’s interest in cleanliness and good order. Some of our number were sure to be halted by him on his rounds and told to tidy ourselves up. Caps developed a special importance in our lives, and it became no surprise to see his small figure stop to gather up the odd scrap of paper. Did we, in those distant days, really consider ‘Freddie’ to be a greater figure than ‘The Bront’ or ‘Ferdie’ or ‘WEP’ or ‘Tommy’ Watt? (Others of my generation will readily add to this list.) After all, we were quite ignorant of his efforts – in our interests, be it observed – at that distant seat of power, the KEC at Maidstone; and so focused were we apt to be on day-to-day matters that we hardly cared about the progress of the great New School his vision and energies were shaping across the valley. When in time we moved to that White House on the hill, he began to loom larger. Everyone now knew where the Head’s study was, and we saw him, obviously held in high respect by the other dignitaries, at the very centre of the important opening ceremonies. On Speech Days, over which he presided with great aplomb, we began to worry less about our own parts in the proceedings and to actually listen to some of the things that were said, including his own observations. He might still appear in the corridor to tap with his keys on the glass window of a noisy classroom, but now he was obviously much more than a mere disciplinarian. Still later, as sixth formers, some of us were privileged to visit his home for tea and saw that he had a charming and devoted family. We were, perhaps, too much on our best behaviour to enjoy his hospitality, but already we regarded him as someone we would like to know better and were beginning to comprehend the importance of his role in our lives. At the wrench of school leaving, we might feel the loss of some other of our mentors more keenly, but we certainly hoped we left in his good books. While it was sad to learn that he had died so soon after his retirement, by this time we were rather busy making a start at a career and then surviving, if we were lucky, the long-expected war. To a majority of us, Dover and the School became distant places, to be missed in varying degrees, and, as we grew older still, to be evaluated with some detachment. It was only with the arrival of a degree of maturity that we could appreciate the scope of his achievements and recognize his lasting influence, direct and indirect, upon us. Who had assembled in Dover – and held together on our behalf – that wonderfully diversified and talented teaching staff? Who could offer them, in the depressed thirties, a worthy setting in which to teach and guide us, their pupils? Who had, as we later learned, fought tooth and nail throughout his career to give the Dover area a place for the secondary education of boys of which any county, or indeed any country, could be proud? It was the remarkable Fred Whitehouse, Master of Arts (and of diplomacy), a true Founding Headmaster, to whom my generation of Old Pharosians, and many another, owe much, and whose lifework is so worthy of praise and of preservation.
GIFT TO THE SCHOOL
of the scroll recording the award of
FREEDOM OF DOVER TO MR FRED WHITEHOUSE
The framed certificate recording this honour to our founder and first headmaster was presented to the school by his daughter, Mrs R Sandiford.
This lady made the offer to your editor who, with approval from the President, took the piece to be restored professionally at a Fine Arts Studio in Castle Street.
It was then shown to the Association’s Annual General Meeting on the morning of 18th September and accepted with pleasure. It was on show at the Dinner in the evening and accepted by the Headmaster for him to place in the school.
The award was made to our founder in recognition of his life-long services to education in the Borough
Comment by an Old Pharosian about Mr Whitehouse:
“I could not have gone on to college had he not obtained a grant from the KEC: and that was eight years after I had left school. For me his influence has spanned 70 years.”
FIFTY YEARS ON by Ian McInnes
June 2nd, 1940 was a lovely summer’s day. My brother and I got up very early for, although it was a Sunday, we had to be at the Dover Priory station ready for an 8.30 a.m. departure. The Dover schools were being evacuated, Dunkirk and Operation Dynamo were over. Hundreds of thousands of our troops had been rescued and had passed through Dover during the past two weeks. The German Army was just 21 miles away and my father and his Cross Channel Ferry “Autocarrier” had now slipped away and were “at sea”. A tearful Mum said goodbye to her two sons as our separate trains took us away to our unknown but hopefully safe destinations. None of us knew when or if ever we would met again as a family. Most certainly this was a day never to be forgotten and one when our lives and futures were irrevocably changed.
By evening we were in Ebbw Vale, Mon., and Eric Brooker, a class mate and I were billeted with the family of a colliery overman who worked at Marine Colliery, Cwm, and was known in the village in hushed terms as “Mr. Bugger”. This kind household received the princely sum of 7/6d for each evacuee but we were treated as one of the family.
I had never been so close to coal mines and miners before. Although the Kent Coalfield pits were only a few miles outside Dover I had had virtually no contact with the industry until now. Within a few weeks, a number of us made up a school party and had our first underground visit at Marine Colliery, a pit that I was to visit professionally some 25 years later to pass judgement on its R.O.L.F. unit (remotely operated longwall face).
After 3½ years as an evacuee in a Welsh mining valley, my engineering studies took me to a London college where we also “enjoyed” Luftwaffe bombing and in 1944 the arrival of the VI’s or Doodle-bugs. In no time my wartime crash course was over and I went home to our undamaged house in Dover to even more VI’s whilst I awaited my call-up papers, hopefully to be commissioned in the R.E.M.E. The arrival of the letter from the Ministry of Labour was a bigger bombshell than any of the Luftwaffe’s. I was conscripted into the coal mines. I was to become a “Bevin boy”. I was dumbfounded and my mother distraught as her first born, a college student was going down the pit to become a coal miner.
The four weeks primary training for underground work was undertaken at Chislet Colliery, near Canterbury. My first working career pay packet was £3/12/6 and my lodgings were in a thatched cottage in Sturry, the one time mediaeval port for Canterbury. My training complete, I transferred to Snowdown Colliery enabling me to live at home and bus out to the pit each day. Life as a miner and civilian in Dover was now almost back to normal. The shelling of the town from Cap Gris Nez had ceased thanks to the liberation of the Pas de Calais region by the Canadian Division, some of whose members I was to meet on their home patch some thirty years later. The completion of the Canadian’s difficult task had stopped the launching of the VI’s such that all that remained in East Kent of the German war offensive were V2 rockets passing overhead on their way to London, whilst the Allied armies continued to fight their way across Europe, over the Rhine and into Germany. We still had rationing but the extra that miners got, such as cheese, helped fill the snap-tin each day.
Both Snowdown and Betteshanger worked under extremely difficult conditions, working a seam at a depth of 3000 feet with water and temperature such that your boots eventually filled with sweat that had run down your body. Minewater “rained” on you through the roof.
When the war was over and Nationalisation only weeks away I arranged to transfer to the Nottingham coalfield where I was employed at the bottom of the downcast shaft and in the big freeze up of 1947 I experienced bitter conditions that made me glad to get back to my lodgings in a Nissen hut, shared with many miners on various shifts.
One evening a profitable visit to the mining department of Nottingham University College got me accepted as an undergraduate for October 1947.
Life as a student at Nottingham was a pleasant change to getting up at 4.15 am to catch the 6 am shift bound underground. Before long I met an undergraduate studying English, one Audrey Chedgy, the daughter of a Radstock miner and to facilitate our courtship I used to spend the long vacation at No. 29 Waterloo Road, Radstock. This enabled me to work underground at Norton Hill Colliery with the additional benefit of paid vacations and gaining qualifying face-time experience towards my mine manager’s ticket. After our graduation, marriage and the birth of our first son we moved out of the Notts. coalfield back to Somerset and No. 29 to enable me to complete my professional training in the eight remaining Somerset pits that then comprised the No. 8 Area of the S.W. Division of the National Coal Board. This was a busy time. Each day I would cycle to Old Mills Colliery, Audrey would cycle to her teaching job at Coleford and Nan would look after our son.
A career move to Wales in 1953 found me working initially in the Mardy horizon mine in the Rhondda Vach followed by a move into the Cynon Valley and ultimately to Mountain Ash from where I was able to cover the Aberdare Area and eventually the whole of the 88 pits in the S.W. Division, including those still left in Somerset. Professionally this was a time full of golden opportunities that presented themselves for the initiation and follow through on a number of major projects. Domestically, Audrey and I also completed a number of major projects with the arrival of three more sons and one daughter and the building of our own first real home on the side of the mountain at Cefnpennar, looking down on to Mountain Ash.
Coalmining unfortunately has its black times and moments such as the mid-morning explosion at Tower Colliery in 1961 when a methane explosion killed 11 men working a room and pillar district in the Nine Feet seam. Then there was the ultimate horror of that misty morning when, at 9.20 am on Thursday 21 October 1966, the No. 3 tip at Merthyr Vale Colliery slid down the mountainside on to the village of Aberfan overwhelming the junior school, killing the pupils and their teachers in their classrooms. Some 144 persons died in that village that morning, over 120 children, the loss of a generation. In the nightmare scenario that followed, the dayshift at Merthyr Vale Colliery was brought back to the surface from underground, some men to work with their bare hands, to grub through the black slurry looking for their own children. Rescue teams were there in short time and before the day was out some 2700 Coal Board employees were employed in the sad and mind numbing recovery and clear-up process. Few of us, if any, will ever be able to forget that harrowing day and its aftermath.
Before the year ended I and my family were on the move again, this time to Doncaster, where I had ten pits producing 10 million tons per annum and employing over 21,000 men.
At the end of 1969, without any liaison, Lord Robens and I left the NCB during the same week. At this stage I had just completed 25 years in the British coal mining industry and was looking for a change. I joined Powell Duffryn, a mining consultancy organisation and thus started some 15 years of globe trotting looking for coal. First it was out to the Argentinian Rio Turbio drift mine located almost in Terra del Fuego. At this latitude with the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans only some 100 miles apart, I quickly learned how the Roaring Forties had earned both their name and respect.
International coal had now become my forte, so in 1974 I found myself in four feet of snow in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia. On returning to London it was decided that South Africa offered BP coal many opportunities so I shuttled back and forth to Johannesburg until mid 1977. We paid the same wage rates to all our workforce, according to skill and ability only.
Having found that the southern hemisphere was extremely pleasant during the UK winters, I also made forays into Australia where BP Coal bought seven coal mines in New South Wales. I also worked in America’s New England. Then the Rockies called again and in September, 1977 we once more experienced their winter conditions. The mine temperature once fell to minus 54° Centigrade.
Christmas 1979 saw me home again before the 1980 decade set the whole world coal market changing. The fear of a world shortage of oil had disappeared and an excess of coal production left only two markets, namely Japan and Western Europe. It was a hard task to sell good coal at a worthwhile profit. So the next three years saw me travelling the length and breadth of Europe trying to convince steel works and power stations that our coal was best and just what they needed.
In September 1984 I decided to take early retirement from my company and set up my own coal consultancy. Travels to Australia, USA and European countries have continued. But there is now a world surplus of power from other sources than coal and in September 1989 I decided to retire, a decision that has been reinforced by later developments in the industry. Maybe in the next century when oil reserves are low and prices high there may be a future demand, with new technology, for British Coal.
Selections from a letter written by John L. Waller, PO Box 1284, Grand Bend, Nomito, Ontario, Canada.
On a recent visit to Dover in May I visited the Old School and made it known to the Lady there that I wished to join the Old Pharosians as a Life Member. Apparently I was accepted and I paid the £20 requested.
At that time I was privileged to see the records regarding the Old Boys war services. I was quite shocked to find that so many of them never returned; very sad indeed, as an ex-member of the RAD (Burma campaign) I realised the sacrifices made by so many of the “Dover Boys”.
I was not a very good student. I had lost my father in 1915 and my mother was left with seven children but gave us all a good education. She was a midwife and at least 3,500 kids were born with her delicate and loving hands.
I had an engineering career starting in 1930 in London. By 1938 I was a Technical Officer at the Air Ministry but volunteered into the RAF in 1942 and was commissioned in India, flying DC3 and Liberator planes often on anti-malarial spraying.
After the war I opted out of the Air Ministry and made my way to Canada and the U.S.A. where I took up engineering again with a spot of Nuclear Power Station designing. Two and a half years were spent designing plants for a hospital in Korea.
All in all I thank God and by all means my mother for sending me to the Dover County School. At 79 years of age I’m in good shape and fit: and that is something to say for the discipline Mr Whitehouse instilled into us all.
I promise, God willing, to see you at the Dinner in 1994.
Yours from an Old Dover Shark
John L Waller.
NEWS OF THE SCHOOL
LEAGUE TABLE OF SCHOOL EXAM RESULTS
Schools are ranked according to the percentage of those aged 15 at the start of the year who achieved 5 or more
GCSE passes in grades A to C,
approximately the old O level standard.
Rank order in Kent %
8 Folkestone School for Girls 97
24 Harvey G S 92
27 Dover G S for Boys 91
29 Manwoods 91
31 King’s School, Canterbury 90
33 Dover G S for Girls 89
King’s School, Canterbury 25
Harvey G S 15.5
Folkestone School for Girls 15.2
Dover G S for Girls 13.3
Dover G S for Boys 12.4
An additional piece of very good news has been received, in that Peter Futcher has been awarded a choral scholarship at Magdalen College, Oxford. He is an organist and flautist so his musical education owes much to the teaching of Mr Richard Davies. Peter has been coached in singing by Jean Pearson, a mezzo-soprano very well known in Dover’s musical life. Peter has for many years been a chorister at St. Mary’s church.
If the Advanced level results can be regarded as outstanding for some candidates and reasonably good overall, the GCSE results were exceptional.
Of 612 subjects taken
148 were awarded Grade A
180 Grade B
171 Grade C
All of the above 499 can be regarded as roughly equivalent to the old ‘O’ level passes.
There should be some very good Advanced level achievements in the years ahead.
The boys who have this year gained places at university are listed at the end of this Newsletter.
HIGH ACHIEVEMENTS IN MATHS
Tim Spence has obtained five A levels all at Grade A. He passed in maths a year ago and has now added A level grades in pure maths, applied maths, physics and English.
He had previously obtained 10 GCSE passes all at Grade A.
He is going to Waltham College, Oxford to read maths and is being helped by a Dubris award of money for the next three years.
David Thomas also obtained five A level passes at Grade A with two distinctions. The Associated Examinations Board has revealed that David was in the top five in his maths exam. He is going to Warwick university to read maths, operational research, statistics and economics.
On 22nd July there was a concert of music for a summer’s evening in the school hall, a traditional pleasure at end of the summer term. Boys gave solo recitals on clarinet, trumpet, saxophone and violin. An Old Boy showed his great skill and sensitivity in a flute solo: and the DBGS Jazzmen contributed to each half of the programme. Mr Richard Davies demonstrated the excellent condition these days of the school organ which has been reconditioned: and other teachers showed by their musical talents and their goodwill that they supported Mr Davies in all he is doing for music in the school.
A choral concert in Charlton Church, Thursday 30th September at 8 p.m.
The Vivaldi Gloria and the Fauré Requiem
This concert of well loved sacred music was eminently successful, from the welcome at the door by polite prefects to the last notes of the Requiem. Most seats in the main body of this large church
were occupied, a tribute to the growing reputation of Mr Richard Davies.
The choir consisted of boys all in their school uniform, one or two so small they could scarcely see over the top of their choir stalls. The bigger boys, a couple of Old Boys and five or six teachers created a balanced choir that met the demands of so vast a building. The soloists were guests, mostly professionals. The baritone and organist came from Canterbury cathedral.
Richard Davies conducted with quiet sensitivity. That such a high standard of performance could be achieved within a fortnight of the start of the autumn term must be a matter for amazement and congratulation.
THE JUNIOR PRIZEGIVING
Wednesday 6th October at 2.15
This is always a very pleasing afternoon from the polite greeting by boys at the door to the last notes of the school hymn. Half the hall is occupied by guests and parents: and the other half by boys in years 7, 8 and 9, aged 11 to 14 years. Among the guests are head teachers of primary schools who come to see the progress of their former charges.
Headmaster gives an informative talk on the school’s present and future. Thereafter the programme is run by boys who give reports on their activities, interspersed with musical items and readings from their own creative writing.
The lady Mayor of Deal presented prizes and certificates. The certificates were awarded for ‘Effort and achievement’, ‘Academic excellence’, ‘Positive attitude’, ‘Significant academic improvement’ and ‘Outstanding sporting achievement’.
Young boys read reports on Environmental Studies, Music and the C.C.F. which included flying at Manston, Sailing, a week of Adventure training in the Lake District and a 25 mile walk. The boys looked remarkably healthy: all were in school uniform: the boy who received the cup for RAF cadet excellence had burnished the shine on his cadet boots to reflect his pride of achievement.
Friday 19th November at 7.30 p.m.
Principal Guest : Professor A W Bradley
Emeritus Professor of Constitutional Law at Edinburgh,
a Barrister and an Old Pharosian
There were preliminary hospitalities in the Library while parents of prize-winners assembled in the great hall to the playing of organ music. Boys sit on the right hand side of the hall, parents on the left. At 7.30 all are asked by Kelvin Carter, who arranges these occasions, to be upstanding as distinguished visitors make their entrance. Everyone admires the new curtains, coloured a deep red. Head prefect bids everyone a welcome and we settle back for headmaster to give his report.
He has been able to increase the teaching staff, the boys have had academic successes. The CCF is being run mainly and efficiently by parent volunteers.
We wait to hear about Grant Maintained status. Parents are supportive, as are governors. Our application has been published and sent to the Secretary of State with prospect of a reply, we could even start in April. We wish to run our own admission procedures. In such times of change, says headmaster, the Old Pharosians are guardians of the school’s traditions.
The deaths of Mr Kendall (1931-65) and Mr Coulson (1928-71) are remembered (see our obituaries). Mr Coulson’s daughters have endowed a prize for Computer Technology.
An inspector had come to look at the school and had commented on “A school that is formal but open and friendly”. We like that.
A string group played some Bach, we had some spoken words selected from Chaucer: and then Peter Futcher, who has been offered a choral scholarship at Oxford, sang a couple of baritone solos. On these occasions the piano accompaniments are played quite admirably by Mr Lodder.
Professor Bradley came on stage to distribute a lot of merit certificates, GCSE certificates and middle school prizes. The GCSE 16 year olds did very well this year. WE deal only with grades A to C and in many cases add stars, presumable for some celestial distinction. One boy, Stephen Durrant, passed in all ten subjects, every one starred. Professor Tony Bradley had a handshake, a smile and a word or two for each and every boy who received an award.
After more music and spoken words there were further awards, this time for Advanced Level certificates and Upper School prizes. The Ian Bird Cup for outstanding service to school sport had to go to Paul O’Brien who played in the England Under 18 Soccer team in international matches.
The 1st XI soccer pitch is now on Upper Field.
Then it was Tony Bradley’s turn to address the company. He recalled memories of his own time at school in the 1950 decade: and then spoke of his own subject, the Law.
Most of us encounter Law only in relation to houses and wills. But we were assured that public law protects the individual from the state. Law changes and evolves, as does society. Public state-provided education is the foundation for good citizenship and is the legal right of every citizen. We have no written Constitution but Commonwealth and other states have based their laws and human rights on the Westminster model. Our speaker was optimistic in his belief that education for all was beginning, and would continue, to improve life for all under the law.
We feel sure that Professor Bradley would willingly defend any individuals wronged by over-assertive authority.
It was good of him to find time to return to the place of his own early education.
In a public speaking competition in Deal, with 13 schools taking part, the judges decided that the school’s head prefect, Matthew Wilkinson, gave the best speech of the day.
He is studying biology, chemistry and maths with statistics, all at A level. He has already passed in art and design and is taking a course in philosophy.
£350 was raised for Menzies ward at Buckland Hospital.
The 1st XI is having a very successful season and is at present at the top of the East Kent Schools Under 19 League.
Six boys have played for the County A side. The game against Harvey G.S. was reported by them to be a hard fought 1-1 draw: and Borden G.S. were defeated 9-0.
The school’s 1st XI now plays on upper field, recognising that the two pitches on lower field were restrictingly narrow.
There is a new young master, trained at Loughborough, who is strengthening the PE and Games side of school life.
THE SCHOOL PLAY
DARK OF THE MOON by Howard Richardson
Location: Southern USA
Time: in the past when there were witches.
Thank goodness the stage and proscenium arch were used, the new richly red velvet curtains opening and closing to focus attention on the magic of theatre.
A play starts by setting the scene, introducing the major players and the plot. Accents and the unfamiliarity of witches mixing with humans made opening scenes rather perplexing. On the evening I was there no one applauded the end of the first scene. The audience were trying to work it all out.
The middle of the play developed interestingly and the village community at a hot gospel service was very well done.
In the end the contest between good and evil, humanity and witchcraft had to be determined for the young lovers. I gathered there was not a happy ending. The dark of the moon had overcome the light.
Mr Richard Sewell chose and directed the play, devoting many hours and infinite skill. The boys and girls from the upper parts of the two schools enjoyed their acting opportunities and the back stage crews moved fast to keep the show rolling. Costume, lighting and music were good as a result of much care. Every one involved will be grateful to Mr Sewell for his direction of this interesting play with a difference.
RESTORATION OF THE SCHOOL LIBRARY
In the post-war years as numbers in the school rose above 700 and space was at a premium, it seemed a sensible economy to merge the libraries of Astor School and our own in their building. This was never a success in practice and in present circumstances both schools have amicably agreed that our own library shall be restored to its original intended home. This very strenuous operation has been achieved by Mr Richard Sewell and his helpers. The room has been re-decorated in a way that highlights the lofty splendour of the room, designed in 1931 to be the school library. Headmaster rightly says that this is symbolic of the school’s present character and aims.
The mildly ceremonial opening of the restored library was in the hands of George Curry, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus, on the evening of 6th October. The Parents Association provided wine and food to encourage conviviality. George made a gift of some books and gave a selection of his dramatic readings from Dickens, readings that he is asked to render in English departments in universities world-wide.
In any school there are two main power houses for learning. These are in the staff room and the library, both now much more suitably accommodated in our school.
NEWS OF OLD BOYS
Ron Bowls (1926-35)
I am informed by Eddie Crush that Ron died on 26th October at his home in 112 Flynn St., Port Macquarie, NSW 2444, Australia.
At school he had been Senior Prefect, in 1st XI cricket and many other school activities.
In the army he was promoted major in 1943 and was then the first Colonel at Staff College, Quetta. After service in Africa he became an officer in the Intelligence service, Ministry of Defence, Australia.
J.F.W. Collins entered the school in 1925 and we hear that he died on 28th April, 1993.
G.H. Coulter (1926-33) died on 30th August. At school he was an outstanding sportsman, being Vice-captain of the school 1st XI soccer and in the 1st XI cricket, 1930 to 1933. On leaving he worked for the SE Kent Electricity Co. in Deal but later, in 1946, transferred to a bank.
B.D. Crust (1933-35)
We know that he left the Dover area and continued his education at Maidstone Grammar School and Medway Technical Institute.
His father was KEC District Secretary in Dover and there were two brothers in the school.
Major R.W. De Ath (1929-31) died on 6th November, aged 77 years. He had retired after service with the army Small Arms School Corps at Hythe. He lived at Cresswell House, Lea, Malmesbury, Wiltshire. He had a cancer operation in June and steadily became weaker until death was a merciful release. Mrs De Ath wrote that there was a wonderful service in Malmesbury Abbey where he loved to worship.
He left a box marked “Athletic Medals”, some from school and some from army days. When young in 1936/37 he was in the R. Sussex Regiment on intelligence work in the Jordan troubles. He served in the Second World War and eventually left the army in 1967. He and his wife enjoyed retirement working for local charities and helping with equestrian events at Badminton and Gatcombe.
He remembered Miss Rookwood and his days in Ladywell and Frith Road. He was the bugler when the Duke of Kent opened the school buildings at Astor Avenue.
Mrs De Ath sent to the editor an apparently new Old Pharosian tie.
G.E. Fox (1925032)
During the war he engaged in mine-sweeping in the Thames estuary and NW Europe. He was a Lieutenant in the R.N.V.R. and was awarded the D.S.C.
After the war he became Deputy head of Hurstmere Boys School and Head of an Evening Institute. When he retired he lived in Sidcup.
FRANK KENDALL, M.Sc (1931-65)
An appreciation by KHR
He was born in 1904 and went to Cambridge University where he read Natural Sciences and gained an M.Sc degree.
He came to Dover Grammar School in 1931 and lived in lodgings on Priory Hill. When I joined the school in 1937 I had the good fortune to join Frank in the same lodgings. In his good natured kindness he adopted an elder brother regard for this very new young man on his first appointment. I remember him telling me that the first £1000 of capital was the hardest to save. Since my salary was then £20 a month I readily believed him. He played the flute in his room and in the school orchestra: he played tennis and coached that game in the school. He was a keen supporter of the League of Nations.
However, war came, Dunkirk fell, the school went to Wales until we could again return to the School on the Hill and renew friendships.
Frank soon became the Senior Chemistry master who could, in the nature of his character, always hold the attention and respect of his students. He was quiet, careful, considerate, and many of his students went beyond graduation to take a Ph.D and achieve rewarding careers in industry. Many remained in correspondence with him and visited him to the end of his days. When he retired at the age of 60, he taught part-time at the Girls grammar school where he made new friends.
When Frank lived at Guston with his wife they regularly attended Guston church. He continued to find friendship in Freemasonry and after moving to Suffolk he annually made a return visit to Dover to meet friends.
By kindness of Rev. John Philpott, Old Pharosian, some of his friends met in Guston church on Sunday afternoon 21st November to remember one of life’s gentlemen. He was a scholar, teacher, musician and a good man without affectation.
May he rest in the peace he deserves.
Professor William Wallace Robson (1935-41)
died in Edinburgh on July 31st, aged 70.
He began his schooling in Leeds before joining Dover County School and moving with the school to Ebbw Vale. From there he went as a scholar to New College, Oxford in 1941, reading English under the guidance of Lord David Cecil. He graduated with First Class honours and was appointed to an assistant lectureship at King’s College, London before returning to Oxford in 1946 as a tutorial fellow in English at Lincoln College. He engaged with many famous writers of his time in literary criticism; and moved in 1970 to a Professorship at the University of Sussex, from which he later moved to Edinburgh. He travelled to many universities and established a world-wide reputation for literary criticism. His health deteriorated and he retired in 1990, surviving only for three more years and leaving a wife Anne and two sons.
The editor is grateful to two Old Pharosians, Eric Croft and Terry Sutton, who contributed the above information about so distinguished an Old Pharosian of the 1940’s.
Mr Michael Salter (1951-53)
taught modern languages in the school. He had been educated in London University and Grenoble and with us he taught French and Spanish. He was enthusiastic about films and ran a film society. He declared his wish to become an inspector of schools and achieved that objective for most of his working life.
The Reverend Canon Allan Simper, M.A.
Vicar of St. Mary’s Church, Dover
who died on 24th October, 1993.
He was a governor of both grammar schools and of St mary’s Primary school until illness compelled him to resign. His own education had been at a grammar school, Gonville and Caius college Cambridge and Cuddesdon Theological college. From 1964 to 1970 he was chaplain at Dover College: and he served in various church appointments until he came to St Mary’s in 1985.
It was a joy to listen to him on Sunday mornings. One felt that in all his working and walking through the week he had gathered ideas which he could hang on a peg taken from the readings appointed for the day. His words were never stale and repetitive, always kind and understanding.
His illness caused him great pain and he said finally to his bishop “I have learned something more about the crucifixion: and I now hope to learn more of the resurrection.”
On 2nd November at 11 a.m. in St Mary’s Church, the Rev. Dr. Michael Hinton celebrated a Requiem Mass attended by a large congregation of parishioners and representatives of other churches and denominations. The funeral service and committal at 2 p.m. filled every available space in chancel and nave. The lifeboatmen carried out his coffin, followed by his widow and family, for whom no words of sympathy can suffice.
Dom Martin Symons, O.S.B.
died on 22nd August 1993 in the 58th year of his age,
the 34th of the monastic profession and the 28th of his Priesthood.
He had been a founder member of a monastery in Ghana where he became Superior and Novicemaster. At the time of his death he was a member of the community at St. Augustine’s Abbey, Ramsgate. We are indebted to Dom Kenneth, O.S.B. for this information.
Dom Kenneth was the celebrant and preacher in St Mary’s, Dover on Sunday morning, 26th September.
Eric Twist (1920-25)
died at Carmel, California on June 4th, aged 83. He was born in Dover and he was, said the Times “unusually for those days, a grammar school boy”. He went on to Pembroke College, Cambridge where he was awarded a double first in English Literature. He then switched to Psychology and achieved another first, with distinction. He went to the USA in 1933 and was so appalled by the Depression that he became politically active and he plunged into a study of long-term unemployment. Then came the war when he treated psychiatric casualties. He also served on War Office Selection Boards, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In the post-war period of reconstruction he helped found and develop the Tavistock clinic which remained his main centre of work for many years. From 1966 to ’83 he worked in the USA where with characteristic energy, despite ill-health, he continued his writing until the last weeks of his life, writing that will be completed by his widow.
When at school he was captain of Town House in 1925 and a member of the school cricket team.
Bob Winter (1934-41)
died in Buckland hospital on 20th June.
The later part of his time in the school was spent in Ebbw Vale. When he left he trained at Goldsmith’s College to be a teacher: but in 1944 he joined the N.W. Kent regiment and was attached to the Ghurka Rifles in India with the rank of Captain.
Returning to this country he began his teaching career in primary schools, teaching in St Mary’s, then at Sibertswold, followed by a headship at Capel and finally head of Astor primary school for the finest twenty years of his service until retirement in 1988. He undoubtedly had a strong influence on people in the area. He continued to widen his influence as a governor of St Richard’s R.C. primary school.
In the musical activities of Dover he was prominent for virtually all of his life, beginning as a choirboy in Buckland church and ending as a tenor in the choir at St Mary’s. As a tenor in the post-war years he flourished in leading roles of the operatic and dramatic society’s productions, while his wife worked continuously behind the scenes in the care of costumes. Bob was a committee man, chairman and president, guiding this successful society through its problems to successful productions.
Bob’s interests and activities included Freemasonry in both the Peace and Harmony Lodge as well as the Pharos Lodge. He had served as Master and later as Almoner.
Cricket was yet another activity that he enjoyed, playing for the Dover Cosmopolitans. He was a reliable medium-paced bowler and a conversational fielder in the slips. He was chairman of the club committee, in which capacity he chaired monthly meetings which secured the club’s administration. For very many years Bob master-minded the evening knock-out cricket competitions that were a popular part of Dover’s summer sporting pleasures.
Bob was a past President of the Old Pharosians Association and for many years a committee member. In view of all that has been said above it will not surprise anyone that he could manage to be present at only one place in any one evening.
We extend our sympathy to Olive his wife, Susan his daughter and other members of his family. We shall all miss him very much indeed.
E.C.V. Wraight (1920-27)
The editor regrets that there were errors in the obituary notice printed in our July issue.
Mr Wraight died on 20th April and had no connections with the RAF. He trained as a chemist and was M.R.P.S. He subsequently became a manager with Boots and spent most of his working life at the Broadstairs branch until he retired. He was a well known member of the community and highly respected by all with whom he came into contact, both by nature of his profession and his social activities.
NEWS OF OLD BOYS
Sid Willcocks (1955-62) has written with suggestions for a gathering in Dover for those who were in the school around his time. Anyone interested in the idea should write to Sid at
18 Lone Pine Drive
Dorset BH22 8LS
or phone 0202 897824
One suggestion is that Old Boys of the 1950’s period should have a table or tables at the annual dinner next September.
Simon Bannister (1970-73), a schoolmaster and member of Dover District Council, joined Terry Sutton (1940-47) in the mayor of Deal’s six-strong team in abseiling down the 140 feet deep shaft of the Grand Shaft at Dover’s Western Heights to raise funds for the Army Benevolent Fund. It was a busy week for Terry. He helped judge the Best Pub in the Dover District for the local tourism association and a few days later judged the best fancy dress group in Dover’s annual Publican’s Walk organised by the Lions on Dover sea front.
Bruce Bilby (1931-40)
was on holiday on a South African beach with his wife when he met Alan Philpott, newly retired from the Harvey Grammar School where he was once an athletic boy who became their games and PE master until retirement a year ago.
Bilby’s name is on our Honours Boards as a scientist. He became a Professor at Sheffield, specializing in crystallography. He is a life member of the Association and Alan Philpott reports that Dover G.S. was discussed with great affection.
Adrian Boynton (1979-1990) arranged and conducted a concert in Dover’s St. Mary’s church on Sunday evening, 18th July. The performers were Elizabeth Weaver and Jean Lewis (sopranos), Donald Lloyd (Bassoon), the Dover Invitation choir, the Milton Keynes Chamber choir and the Dover Invitation orchestra. The main items on the programme were Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto and a Magnificat by the contemporary composer, John Rutter. A large audience enjoyed a splendid musical evening.
left school some three years ago to study medicine at Newcastle. He is attached to the department of neurosurgery with special attention to head injuries. He reports that people who have suffered severe blows to the head in Newcastle are a very interesting group of individuals indeed. David would be willing to help any of our school leavers who are going to Newcastle, particularly if they are entering the wonderful world of medicine.
Peter Davey called at the school and spoke of the 1930’s and, in particular, the teaching of Miss Rookwood who laid foundation stones for later learning. He lives at 36 Melville Road, Falmouth, Cornwall, GR11 4DQ.
Michael Davidson notified us of change of address to Sklavounou 11 Kalipolipoli 18539 Piraeus Greece and reports that he is now happily and presumably permanently re-settled in Greece teaching P.E. and French in English College on the coast just south of Athens.
Dr A D (Bill) Dewar
wrote very kindly to correct some totally inaccurate information about himself in the last Newsletter.
The truth is that, after 37 years, he retired as senior lecturer in physiology and as an Honorary Fellow at Edinburgh University. He is also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, Scotland, which is associated with his extra-mural activities involving historic buildings, including the restoration of a castle and an old Kirk in Perthshire.
Canon John Dilnot
is Vicar of the Church of Saint Mary and Saint Eanswythe, Folkestone. He wrote in July and paid tribute particularly to Mr Gordon King. John recalled that his uncle, S Dilnot of the 1920’s had been taught by Billy Baxter and others who had spent so many years in the school.
Alan Duffy who lived in Dover until 1974 has become head teacher at Bilury Primary School near Cirencester. He is married with two children.
Alan Ellender (1924-35)
is a life member of the Association and was the first boy to follow his father into the school. Alan’s brother Peter was also followed into the school by his son, Reggie. Alan lives at 77a Boughton Lane, Maidstone.
Reginald A Ellender (1925-38)
qualified as a teacher and became the Senior Assistant at St Mary’s Higher Grade school in Folkestone.
His father was in the school in its earliest years, 1905-12. In 1915 he volunteered for service in the first world war and was awarded the Military Medal for Valour near St Julien. He was badly gassed but was eventually released from hospital and he went on an expedition to Russia where he died and was buried in the British War cemetery in Murmansk.
His name is on the school’s War Memorial window to Old Boys who gave their lives in the 1914-18 war.
Extract from the OBSERVER report of the match between Liverpool and Everton before 38,000 spectators on 18 September:
It was announced in the morning that the first monthly Carling No 1 award had gone to David Elleray, whose sensitive refereeing of the classic match between Aston Villa and Manchester United was considered a signal contribution to the Premiership’s health. But Elleray could not use a loose rein on this one. Before half an hour had passed he had cautioned Ebbrell for taking his turn to foul Clough from behind, and Whelan for a double-barrelled assault on Ebbrell.
Scott Farrell has been appointed assistant organist to the cathedral in Ipswich. When Adrian Boynton was taking the school choir around so many of the English cathedrals, Scott Farrell gained experience of playing on the finest organs in the country and he has now achieved his ambition to be a cathedral organist.
is Senior Fellow in Bangor University and frequently goes on lecture tours to North America and Japan.
K.W.S. Garwood (1938-43)
He went with the school to Ebbw Vale and remembers the kindness of Mr and Mrs Booth: and then on to Goldsmith’s College, at that time in Nottingham, where he became President of the Union. After a spell as a teacher he moved into Teacher Training in Sheffield. His next move was to Milton Keynes where, as Principal, he could arrange for students to work with the Open University. He obtained a Doctrate at Sheffield and spent some years as Principal of a Teacher Training College at Swansea. Then, for family reasons, he and his wife went to Melbourne in Australia where he worked in the Institute of Higher Education. He has now retired and returned to Britain with a home in St Margarets Bay. He can now give time to his interests that include psychology and amateur radio.
He feels strongly grateful to our school, as did his brother who developed as a linguist but, alas, died in 1981.
Philip Janaway (1943-52)
deputy headmaster of Astor School, has long been active in the Dover Operatic and Dramatic Society and is now elected to be their President.
In July we heard that John Le Prevost was in Wm Harvey Hospital for heart surgery.
Keith McInnes (1946-53)
wrote in November, with reminiscences of Ebbw Vale and the post-war years. He has spent his life in the printing and publishing business and is to retire next summer.
went from school to the University of Wales at Bangor and graduated with a First in Applied Biology in 1989. He then joined a company involved in the post-harvest technology of fruit, work that has taken him to very many parts of the world. He is married and lives in the Vale of the White Horse in Oxfordshire. He first met his wife on a school trip to Bulgaria.
Extracts from the local press reports of a Vauxhall Conference league match on 4th December at Crabble…..
The 18 year old England schools international was the pick of the home midfield on the day.
Surely it will not be another twelve months before this young man gets his next chance at first team level.
Fleeting moments of creativity came in the first half when O’Brien distributed with confidence and showed a willingness to take players on.
Tim Dixon also had a good game.
Rowland Powell (1936-42)
lives at 14 Berkeley Drive, Penarth, South Glamorgan and wrote in September seeking details of the school’s departure to Ebbw Vale, on which subject he was preparing an article for a local magazine.
Robert C Smith (1977-84)
took A levels at school and continued his education for two years at Brighton Polytechnic where he gained an H.N.D. in production engineering. “After an extended job search” he joined a firm of Scientific Instrument manufacturers as Production Planner. He is still with this firm now as their Final Test and Installation Product Engineer: and in this capacity he has worked for long periods in Germany, Poland, Taiwan, Spain, U.S.A., Ireland, Switzerland and Portugal. When in the home country he continues his sailing interests, often crewing for his brother Adrian (1973-81).
Dr David Smithard B.Sc., M.B.B.S., M.R.C.P.
is a consultant at St Mary’s hospital in Sydney. He trained at the London hospital in Whitechapel and has been Senior Registrar at St Thomas’s hospital for the past year. He specialises in the treatment of strokes and has lectured at seminars in Switzerland and Scotland.
Richard Spear (194–46)
was with his wife and Terry Sutton in St. Mary’s Church on Sunday 5th December.
His new address is 4482 Ponderosa Drive, RR2 S 35 C5, Peachland B.C. Canada VOH 1XO
Martin Symons, O.S.B.
died on 22nd August aged 58, in the 34th year of Monastic profession and the 28th of his Priesthood. He had been a founder member of the Kristo Buase Monastery in Ghana and in time became their Superior and Novicemaster The news of his death came from St Augustine’s Abbey, Ramsgate.
Dr R.G. Thorp (1953-61)
wrote in July and again in August. We could mutually enjoy looking back to his time as a 440 yards competitor in the school athletic team. His school interests in French and Music still find expression through the Chester French Circle and as a viola-player in the Chester Philharmonic Orchestra. He is also a member of a church choir.
He has worked as a research chemist with ICI at Runcorn for 16 years, after a post-doctoral spell at the University of Chicago. In 1984-5 he did an M.Sc course in Information Studies at Sheffield University and he is now Section Head for Information Science with Shell Research Ltd near Chester, though he makes fairly regular return trips to Dover.
Les Wilton (1941-46)
wrote from his home in 50 Willow Lane, North Featherstone in West Yorks to express his support for the school’s intent to maintain its standards and its never ending search for academic excellence.
Sid Willcocks (1955-62)
sent a Fax message to school requesting the words of Forty Years On. Headmaster’s secretary, with her usual efficiency, supplied the need: and the following Fax message acknowledged receipt.
Sincere thanks for the words requested and the prompt response.
Watching the fax emerge made me think of my days at the school and the antiquated telephone system. Mr Booth and Dr Hinton had a long trailing lead descending from the ceiling to their antique vintage phone!
Yet another memory: having to knock at the staffroom door and try to see inside when it opened. The fog caused by cigarette smoke had to be seen and breathed to be believed.
However, all in all, I have very fond memories of the school.
Do tell the present head that an Old Pharosian is Head of the largest Primary School in Dorset.
C J Wilson
who lives in New South Wales wrote in July and gave us his new address 3/28 Russell St, East Gosford, N.S.W., 2250, Australia.
He is a Captain with QANTAS airline and flies mainly on the Sydney-London route. He describes the latest plane as a gigantic flying computer, rather different from the Tiger Moth he learned to fly in the school CCF. When stopping in Singapore he often meets John Goodban.
Darren Wilmshurst (1976-83)
is now a Business Banking Manager for Lloyds bank based at Ramsgate but covering all the seven branches in Thanet following reorganisation. He spends most of his time visiting customers at local branches or business premises.
Being Treasurer of the Dover Operatic and Dramatic Society he understands the need to review subscriptions so he signed and sent a new membership form.
David Winter (1983-88)
On leaving school he spent two years at the South Kent College in Dover where he took a B.Tech course in business studies. His exam results earned him a diploma and a place at Essex University, where he studied economics and government. He graduated this past June with a B.A. 2.2 degree in the above subjects.
At school he had played rugby and at university he added soccer and cricket to his rugby. He has twice played rugby for the Old Boys against the school.
In August he joined the Kent Police as a probationary constable stationed at Canterbury.
Correspondence has been exchanged with
E.H. Baker, G. Curry, M Davidson (Greece), Mrs M Dorth, A.D. Dewar, B Dewar, Canon J Dilnot, A R Ellender, P Ewer, G Graham,
A J Houden, Ian McInnes, Keith McInnes, S P Matthews, J Morecroft, Miss L V Kay, Rev W F Kemp, Mrs P M King, Mrs V Madams,
Mrs J M E Neville, Dom Kenneth O.S.B., S Overy, Rev B Owen, D Page, Mrs G Peachey, R Powell, J Schroder (Karlsruhe), R C Smith,
Dr R G Thorp, S Thorpe, G L Watt, J.L. Waller (Ontario),
S Willcocks, D Wilmshurst, C.J. Wilson (New South Wales,
Mrs C Winter, Brigadier W.M.E. White.
David Cloke who is reading medicine at Newcastle, ran in the Great North Run to raise money for the Brainwave Trust, the high dependency unit of neuro-surgery at the hospital in Newcastle. He completed the 13 mile run in 1 hour 45 minutes and has raised £100.
THE CAROL SERVICE
of nine lessons and carols in Charlton Church 16th December 1993
More people than ever in recent years came to this traditional presentation of the Christmas story in carols and in readings. The congregation filled the nave and spilled over into the side aisles.
The most loved of the Christmas carols were sung, with a few unfamiliar ones, even one by the dreaded Mathias. Some of us had come in time to like his ‘Sir Christemas’ with its culminating shout of joy. This year’s music must have been planned months ahead. How the choirmaster must have worked with the choristers: and how, on the night, they sang for him and for each other.
The boys who read lessons, from first year boy to head prefect, went for clarity and audibility. Adult readers gave us understanding and interpretation, ranging from a parent, the Old Pharosian president, then Mr Kelvin Carter, the Chairman of governors, deputy head and finally, with all standing, St John’s words on the Incarnation read by headmaster.
From the sense of expectancy before service as candles were lit in the chancel; from the small voice singing the first verse of Once in Royal David’s city to the final notes of Glory to the new born King one felt grateful to Mr Richard Davies fro his enterprise and skill. The co-operation and goodwill of so many reflect the spirit of the school as it enters a year of such significance in its history.