OPA Newsletter July 1996
OLD PHAROSIANS’ ASSOCIATION
New Series No. 70
LIST OF CONTENTS
NEWS OF THE ASSOCIATION
* Officers and Committee Members
* Report from the Committee
* Ken Ruffell
* Notice of Annual General Meeting – 12th October 1996
NEWS OF THE SCHOOL
* Membership on the Internet
* Our Link with Dunblane
* Service of Nine Lessons and Carols held on 20th December 1995
* Spring Concert held on 20th March 1996
* Forthcoming Events
* News of the School,
gathered from the “First Thursday” Newsletters
* Play performed at the Festival of Dover
NEWS OF OLD BOYS
* Members still Living and Learning
With Ken Ruffell’s retirement from the editorship after seventeen years at the helm, this is the first Newsletter to appear under composite management. Your Committee hopes that, in the absence, as yet, of an obvious successor, its stop-gap arrangements will not ruffle too many feathers. Much of the credit for its production and despatch lies with the school itself and especially, through the good offices of the Headmaster, with the secretarial staff. I hope that, in the interests of trying to sustain the flavour of our six-monthly link, you will forgive this postponed extension to January’s President’s Letter.
My own earliest memories are not of Dover but of Ebbw Vale, to whose improvised hospitality the family was obliged to move in 1940. While those evacuated away from their families were first introduced to a shift system as members of Dover County School, I was first introduced to the siesta habit at Glyn Coed Infants’ School – the boys under blue blankets, the girls under pink blankets, or, sadly, under neither if you weren’t considered clean enough. I remember, too, detours on the way home to avoid the local bully, twice-on-Sunday treks up the hill to the chapels of Beaufort, the intermittent company under our roof of boys unhappy in their billets, and the fire-watching rosters attached to the front window. Our own school’s staff were then known to me not by their subjects but by the locations of their temporary residences.
Little, however, had prepared me for the most startling experience of all: the sight of Dover when first encountered on a morning visit from Shepherdswell after our return 51 years ago. The bigger the building, the greater the wreckage seemed to be. To an impressionable child’s eye the Burlington Hotel was in a state never matched by newsreel or press photograph. Yet this was home and somehow or other Dover recovered from the Blitz, teams of men were drafted in from other parts of the country to repair and renovate houses – in our street’s case from the Otter Valley of east Devon – and after a few months the school, now the County Grammar School, returned to its premises on Whinless Downs.
Since then intermittent growth in numbers, swings in the nation’s economic fortunes and priorities, and trends in educational thinking have at times placed a variety of strains, both physical and emotional, on the school and its buildings. During the 1980s confidence appeared to be especially depressed at the time of dissension and tragedy in the ferry industry, the closure of the collieries, and the uncertainties raised by the imminent Channel Tunnel. I therefore like to think that recent signs of increased buoyancy at school, including an upturn in the annual intake, reflect some recovery in the neighbourhood at large.
The admirable range of the school’s activities is well reflected in its monthly “First Thursday” Newsletter, and many of these activities seem more purposeful than years ago. Budding actors are still enjoying the peculiar camaraderie behind the scenes of drama productions and singers are still delighting in the remarkable ensemble cultivated by a succession of Music Directors, but Saturday friendlies on the lower field have long since given way to Wednesday league fixtures, and organised groups now travel much further afield than they did forty years ago.
No longer can Upper(!) One, as I recall, beat Lower (or was it Middle?) Two 7-6 on Leney’s Three on a Saturday. On one occasion I was involved in a match between a Chess Club XI and a Stamp Club XI played on Leney’s One in such driving wind and rain that the entire farce of a game was played in the top south-east corner of the pitch!
Still, a recent “First Thursday” refers to the whole school watching the staff defeat the prefects by 5 goals to 3 (or 4?): doesn’t that ring a bell? It also reminds us of the Concert of Music for a Summer Evening, apparently much to be recommended, in the School Hall on Wednesday 17th July at 7.30pm, a fitting note on which to end both these thoughts and the Summer Term.
After 17 years of devoted service as editor of the Old Pharosians Newsletter, Ken Ruffell, aged 82, has decided to hang up his pen but will continue to serve the Old Pharosians in other capacities.
No-one could do as much as Ken and so, for that reason, the editorial chair has been occupied for this edition by two. And as they are both working journalists you can guess that chair is a little cramped!
Graham Tutthill (1960-65), chief reporter of the Dover and Deal Extra, and Terry Sutton (1940-47), who is still working as a journalist although he retired from the Dover Express two years ago, have taken on the task so carefully performed by Ken.
Terry and Graham, both former Presidents of the Association, aim to retain the link between members and the school so admirably achieved by Ken. But they will not be able to answer the many letters in the same way as Ken. Letters, which should be sent to the school at Astor Avenue, are however still welcome.
A tribute to Ken Ruffell appears later in this Newsletter.
NEWS OF THE ASSOCIATION
OFFICERS AND COMMITTEE 1995-96
PRESIDENT: J.R. Booth
641C Loose Road, Maidstone ME15 9UT
VICE-PRESIDENT: Rev.Dr. Michael Hinton
212 The Gateway, Dover CT16 1LL
PAST PRESIDENT: G.L. Tutthill
21 Orchard Drive, River, Dover CT17 OND
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 T. Sutton
EDITORS: 17 Bewsbury Cross Lane,
Whitfield, Dover CT16 3HB
21 Orchard Drive, River, Dover CT17 OND
ARCHIVIST: P.J. Burville
Seagate, Goodwin Road
St. Margarets Bay, Dover CT15 6ED
COMMITTEE: M.J. Palmer (to retire 1998)
B.D. Crush (to retire 1998)
M.H. Smith (to retire 1997)
T. Sutton (to retire 1996)
J.D.B. Borrett (to retire 1997)
R.C. Colman (to retire 1996)
AUDITOR: Neil Beverton
HEADMASTER: N.A. Slater
STAFF D. Murray
REPRESENTATIVES: S.J. Callacher
HEAD PREFECT: Sebastian Gough
INTERNET E-mail: http://www.demon.co.uk/dgsb
REPORT FROM THE COMMITTEE
Your committee continues to meet on a regular basis to conduct the business of the association.
We have been concerned that as the association is a registered charity, we should ensure that sums of money from the association’s funds are used for the benefit of the school. At the latest committee meeting, held in May, the head teacher gave us several suggestions for such a donation, and he is now having talks with our officers about what would be most appropriate. The committee has agreed a donation of around £500.
The head teacher keeps us informed of what is happening at the school. We have been concerned to hear about problems connected with the deterioration of the structure of the quad. The railings are in a dangerous condition, and part of the quad has had to be roped off. The drawing office beneath it has been closed because of rain penetrating the ceiling and rotting the floor. Bids have been submitted to the authorities for funds to carry out the necessary urgent repairs, but so far without success. The school is now deciding how much of its own money it can spend on putting these matters right before applying for emergency grants.
On a brighter note, 110 boys are expected to admitted to Year 7 in September this year, bringing the school roll to about 575. There will be a slight increase in staffing.
Talks are currently taking place on the provision of sports facilities at the school, and it is hoped that money may be raised within the school to fund the renovation of the tennis courts. The cost of maintaining the open-air swimming pool now seems to be out of proportion to the benefit derived from it, and the pool may be filled in and the area used for other sporting activities.
Work continues on the school archives, and those involved are grateful for all the information, documents and photographs that come their way. All the boys on the 1994 school photograph have been identified and will be logged in the archives for future reference. Another major project is to identify as many people as possible who appeared in the 1965 film “School On The Hill”, and archivist Peter Burville would be pleased to hear from anyone who can help.
If you are writing in with any information for the Old Pharosians’ – change of addresses, details about old boys, or items for the newsletter – please write c/o the school so that the information can be channelled to the right person.
The next committee meeting will be held on Monday 11 November 1996 at 7 p.m.
MR. KEN RUFFELL
by Terry Sutton
It was in the summer of 1946, with ex-premier Winston Churchill calling for a United States of Europe and Dover still in ruins after the war, that I first saw Ken Ruffell. This tall, bronzed, good looking Army officer was returning to this school – our school – after some six years war service. He was already a legend among us schoolboys. Since then he has served the school so well in many posts, and continues to do so now. I went along to Ken’s sea front flat in Dover to discover more about his life.
Ken Ruffell was born in 1914 and, living in the outer suburbs of London, he recalls going down into the coal cellar when German Zeppelins flew over on their bombing missions.
When he was five his mother took him to a Church of England primary school where he learnt his tables, the Ten Commandments and respect for teachers.
Aged 11 he transferred by scholarship to Hampton Grammar School and to this day there are books on his shelves bearing the date 1556 and the school’s motto Praestat Opes Sapientia – Wisdom is Better than Wealth.
“My own translation as a schoolboy seems to have been ‘Games matter more than academic learning’,” says Ken who adds his academic progress could only be described as average for a grammar school.
Ken was appointed deputy head prefect, captain of athletics and played in the school’s soccer and cricket teams.
Following the financial crash of 1929 times were hard and they were difficult days for finding a job. Luck was needed, says Ken, and luck came his way.
There was a prep school in Hampton and the proprietor told young Ken he had a form of eleven year old boys who had gained grammar school entry and required occupying for the summer term. How? Cricket was suggested and that seemed just too good to be true for job-seeker Ken. “It was a delightful experience …..and I was paid too,” he recalls.
That classroom experience spurred on his idea of becoming a schoolmaster so he decided to apply for a place at university.
“My grammar school headmaster was consulted and gave me full support. The school had funds that had grown since 1556 and the headmaster persuaded governors to make me sufficient grants to help my father pay university fees,” says Ken.
He obtained a place at University College, London while still living at home and surviving on a bun and an apple at midday.
Geography was Ken’s main subject while his second was economics – at that time not much taught in schools. One of his most interesting lecturers was Hugh Gaitskell, later leader of the Labour Party.
Ken Ruffell obtained a 2nd class degree and after graduation his next aim was to get a Certificate of Education which he did after a year-long course.
“So, in the summer of 1936, I was a qualified teacher. But without a job. Many applications, hopes and disappointments were my lot until the following Easter.
“Mr. Darby (at Dover County School), bless him, decided to retire and I saw the advertisement for a junior geography master at the school.
“The school secretary told me that 190 men applied for the job for which pay would be £20 per month. Five of us were interviewed by headmaster Mr. J.C. Booth and we talked as much about cricket as educational theory.
“Mr. Booth wrote offering me the job and my joy was unconfined. My gratitude continues to this day”.
So at Easter 1936 Ken Ruffell joined the staff of Dover County School for Boys where he was immensely impressed by the Great Hall, by the school buildings, and playing fields.
He was also impressed that senior boys were well dressed and polite, prefects in summer could wear straw boaters with school colours while all other boys wore school caps which they were required to raise when meeting a master in the street. Teachers wore gowns, including Miss Rookwood who exercised disciplinary control while laying down life’s educational foundations for boys aged from 8 to 11.
Young Mr. Ruffell came under the guidance of Mr. Langley who called him “my boy” until Ken, then aged 23, was well into his fifties.
On his £20 a month salary Ken recalls he even had enough to finance his cricket, including the Old Pharosians’ cricket tour of the Isle of Wight under the captaincy of Norman Sutton. And when winter came there was a place for him in the Old Pharosians’ footballs team playing in the local league.
But these idyllic days were not to last. The dark clouds of war were on the horizon. Conflict began in September 1939 and not many months later German armour drove the British and French forces into the sea at Dunkirk.
In the late summer of 1940 Ken Ruffell decided to join up in the Forces.
“I was conned to sign on by a Welsh recruiting officer with a promise of a commission in his regiment, the South Wales Borderers. When my papers arrived I was directed to the Royal Armoured Corps,” says Ken.
He’s reluctant to talk about his long war service but he served in the Royal Tank Regiment, mainly as a wireless officer with the rank of Captain.
When the war in Europe was over, Mountbatten asked for his regiment, the 43rd RTR, to be increased to 1,100 men and to go to India for acclimatisation and then to pursue the Japanese home. The dropping of the Atom bomb relieved Ken and his comrades of that dreaded duty.
“In the months waiting for a boat home I came to know more about the Indian people, their poverty, their climate and their many problems,” he recalls.
He was demobbed as Captain-Adjutant of the regiment and returned to the school in 1946, where I first met and soon admired him.
His experiences in India had increased his interest in returning to the geography room. The subject was undergoing great changes and there was fresh thinking in most branches of the subject. Films, film strips and coloured slides were fast superseding the cranky epidioscope of pre-war days.
Dr. Michael Hinton replaced Mr. Booth as headmaster in 1960 and he gave opportunity and encouragement for many new ventures – for instance he enabled Mr. Coulson to bring the school into the new computer age.
Reg Colman followed Dr. Hinton and continued to support departmental enterprises. His own initiative was arranging for the Duke of Kent to visit the school in September 1981, half a century after the previous Duke of Kent had opened the present buildings.
“I have good reason to speak of Reg’s generosity and kindness for in the second year before I was to reach retirement age there came a vacancy for a deputy head and I was enabled to end my time in the school with that distinction,” says Ken.
“In 1979 I reached the age of 65 and so I accepted all the due farewells and fell into the vacant chair of the editor of the Old Pharosians’ Newsletter.
“I have been glad to retain that link with the school and the men so many of whom I had known as boys. I took over the task from Mr. E.H. Baker whose interest in the school continues to this day.
“Now, aged 82, I can see that through my teaching life and in retirement everything has been made possible by the unfailing support of my wife, Barbara.
“I am now handing over the editorial duties to others and I wish them the same pleasures in the office that I have enjoyed,” said Ken.
Ken Ruffell’s commitment is not only to the school. He plays an active part in the Dover community and is the current chairman of the Dover committee of Christian Aid where the hon. secretary keeps him on his toes. The secretary’s name – none other than Dr. Michael Hinton! NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Notice is hereby given that the ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the Association will be held at the School on Saturday 12th October 1996, commencing at 11.00a.m.
1. To read the notice convening the meeting.
2. Apologies for absence.
3. Minutes of the previous AGM.
4. Matters arising.
5. Treasurer’s Report.
6. Election of Officers and Committee
– President (Rev. Dr. Michael Hinton)
– Vice-President (Committee’s proposal: K.H. Ruffell)
– Secretary (currently P.J. Harding)
– Assistant Secretary (C. Henry)
– Treasurer (I.D. Pascall)
– Membership Secretary (R. Gabriel)
– Newsletter Editor
– Archivist (Committee’s proposal: P. Burville)
– Auditor (N. Beverton)
– Committee Members (the retiring members are T. Sutton and R.C. Colman)
7. Any Other Business
Coffee will be served from 10.30 a.m.
The annual football match between the school’s 1st XI and the Old Pharosians will take place at 2.30 p.m., and the annual dinner will be held at 6.45 for 7.30 p.m.
A booking slip is enclosed with this copy of the newsletter. Please fill it in and return it AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
NEWS OF THE SCHOOL
MEMBERSHIP ON THE INTERNET
The school now has a page on the World Wide Web. If you would like to visit this site the address is http://www.demon.co.uk/dgsb. It is hoped to include material from the newsletters and the archives in the near future.
Watch this space.
The school would like to start a register of Old Boys on the net, which could be used as a teaching aid. If you would like to take part contact the school at: Pharos@dgsb.demon.co.uk
The membership secretary would also like to hear from Old Boys on the net at R.Gabriel_ste@ukc.ac.uk. Plans are now going ahead to set up a Pharos user group for past and present DGSB pupils and we would be grateful if any Old Pharosians connected to the internet would send their e-mail addresses to us for our records.
Students in the lower sixth form computer studies group have constructed a school world wide web page which is designed to give publicity to the school’s involvement with IT and to be a digital prospectus which can be read from anywhere around the world. The aim is for the students themselves to be responsible for keeping the school’s web page up to date.
“We have tried to keep a balance between a factual approach to the school and a personal view,” said one of the students Alex Ridings. “Our initial design is lifted from the school prospectus and the sixth form prospectus. In future months we would like to include more pictures of the new common room, classrooms and the grounds.”
Members of the Year 10 GCSE German group are putting together information about the school in German as part of the home page on the net.
The school has been on-line with the internet since Christmas, and interest has spread throughout the school. Staff and boys are making use of this new facility to obtain NASA satellite pictures, German and French news sources for language courses, and university materials for the upper sixth history group.
Contact has been established with Mary Basson, the Academic Dean at the University School of Milwaukee, in Wisconsin, USA, and she is enthusiastic about a twinning project between USM and DGSB. At the end of the autumn term the lower sixth computing group sent a message containing brief details about themselves to USM. In the spring term, Mary nominated some of her upper-sixth computer students to take part in the project by exchanging e-mail with our pupils.
They are now using e-mail to correspond with each other and there has been an exchange of learning about our respective school systems. Eventually they hope to set up studies into joint curriculum projects and consider more global issues.
The Parents’ and Friends’ Association has agreed to provide some of the finance needed to fund the internet connection.
For further information you can e-mail the school on Pharos@dgsb.demon.co.uk
OUR LINK WITH DUNBLANE
We were all shocked and saddened by the events at Dunblane, and, in common with most other schools throughout the country, we have reviewed security at our school as a result, and we have made some changes.
But we have a special interest in Dunblane. Among the parents at the school are the Rev. Bryan Owen and his wife, the Rev. Katy Owen, who are now among those trying to re-build the spirit of the community following the school massacre.
Mr. Owen, a member of our association, was a pupil at DGSB from 1959 to 1964 and then taught English and was Head of Drama here from 1975 to 1987.
He is now a member of staff at the Scottish Churches House and his wife is chaplain at Stirling Royal Infirmary where those who were injured in the attack were taken.
On the day of the tragedy, Mr. Owen joined other parents at the school gate waiting for news of their children. Mrs. Owen went to the casualty department at the hospital to comfort victims and their families. Their own son, four-year-old Stuart was at the school, but was not in the class directly involved.
Mr. and Mrs. Owen appeared on the special BBC Television “Songs of Praise” programme broadcast on the Sunday following the tragedy.
We remember them in our thoughts and our prayers as they continue to help the community cope with the effects of the tragedy.
THE SERVICE OF NINE LESSONS AND CAROLS
HELD ON 20TH DECEMBER 1995 IN CHARLTON CHURCH
This much-loved traditional celebration of Christmas grows from strength to strength, as is clearly shown by the congregation of parents and friends of the school who now fill the church.
Credit must go to Richard Davies, the Director of Music, who arranges the order of service with much forethought for readings, choral pieces and congregational singing of the familiar carols. He has, in the relatively few years he has been here, built a choir ranging from a front row of the youngest trebles to the back row of teachers, senior boys and one or two Old Pharosians.
It will be of interest that among the back row was Matthew Wilkinson, head prefect two years ago, and now at King’s College, Cambridge. Two days later he could be seen and heard reading a passage in the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols broadcast from that college where he is studying Natural Sciences.
SPRING CONCERT – 20TH MARCH 1996
This concert is always a delight, for both its variety and quality of music. And it also indicates that Spring has just about arrived!
It started with the Brass Group playing Four Dances, followed by a piano solo by Glyn Martin, and then two songs by Ben Freebury, including one he composed for his GCSE music examination, accompanying himself on guitar and tapes.
Organist Paul Tutthill was among those performing for the first time, playing Leighton’s Fanfare, and James Parker played a trumpet solo.
Sebastian Gough – now the Head Boy – is no newcomer, of course, and we have been delighted to watch his musical progress through the school. He gave an accomplished performance of the fourth movement from Franck’s Sonata in A, accompanied by Mrs. Gillian Greenacre.
It was rewarding to welcome back former pupil Philip Spendley who only took up singing in the sixth form, but is now making good use of his talent. His contribution, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, was accompanied by Paul Hearn.
A new school ensemble, the DGSB Big Band made their first public appearance, playing the theme from The Lion King, and a James Bond Medley.
In the second half the Woodwind Group were followed by a fine piano solo by Daniel Wilkinson, and a superb and intricate clarinet solo by Paul Hearn.
An organ solo by the school’s director of music Mr. Richard Davies added to the success of the evening, and the ever-popular Jazz Group played in the first half and provided a lively finale to the second half.
It is pleasing – and encouraging to the young performers – to see an increasing number of people attending these concerts, and we hope this trend continues.
The annual cricket match between the Old Pharosians’ XI and the School’s 1st XI takes place on Wednesday 10th July at 2.00pm. Spectators will be very welcome.
The annual meeting, football match and dinner will be held on Saturday 12th October 1996.
Music events –
The next Choral Concert will be held in Charlton Church, Dover on Saturday 29th June at 8.00pm
Music for a Summer Evening takes place on Wednesday 17th July at 7.30pm in the School Hall
The Service of Nine Lessons and Carols will be held in Charlton Church, Dover on Wednesday 18th December at 8.00pm
If you would like more information about these events please ring the school.
NEWS OF THE SCHOOL,
GATHERED FROM THE “FIRST THURSDAY” NEWSLETTERS
Mrs. Linda George joined the school staff in January as Librarian. She has considerable experience of running school libraries in London.
Approximately 150 cards, prepared in the school’s art department, were sent to orphans in a Romanian institution, and a letter of appreciation has been received.
The C.C.F. arranged a sponsored walk in aid of a Life Hygience Chair at Buckland Hospital and raised £350.55. The contingent has acquired five hand-portable radios which are currently under test, and has received adventure training equipment.
Any boy participating in the Duke of Edinbugh’s Award Scheme may apply to the C.C.F. for a loan of this equipment.
Three members of the RAF section went on a visit to RAF Brugen during the Easter holidays.
The Year 7 soccer team beat Simon Langton 4-3 in freezing conditions in the third round of the County Cup, but were beaten in the next round. Good performances are noted by junior boys in the district cross-country championships.
Despite the wintry weather 133 of the 146 expected candidates attended at the school to sit the entrance tests one Saturday morning in January. The school had closed early the previous day because of the snow.
Jamie Fagg (Year 7) appeared on ITV’s Terror Towers.
A group of 21 pupils and three staff went on a week’s ski-trip to the Valais region of Switzerland, and a group of sixth formers visited Paris as part of their A level coursework topics.
Craig Ruffles (Year 10) won gold and bronze medals when he represented England in an international judo competition against Holland, France and Belgium.
The 1st XV recorded an excellent 52-2 victory against Simon Langton in the first rugby game of the season. Gareth McCarthy, Adam Husk, Ben Parkin and Tom Scrivener have been picked to represent the Kent Club’s under 15s rugby team.
A lunchtime taster course in Russian started in March, courtesy of one of the year 11 parents, David Courtney.
An exchange has been set up with the Kaiser-Karl-Gymnasium in Aachen, Germany, and pupils studying GCSE German will be able to take part in a visit to the school this year, run in co-operation with Dover College.
A visit was made to France by A level students to compare the range and prices of computing equipment.
The boys took part in a wide range of activities during the Lenten Appeal Week and raised £1746.90. The money was split between the Teenage Cancer Trust and the Demelza House children’s hospice.
More than 30 boys in the junior part of the school had poems accepted by the Poetry Now Young Writers 1996. A book containing their work, called “Carousel Kent”, was published in May.
Mitchell Bryant (Year 7) won the Key Stage 3 category of an art contest in connection with the Festival of Dover.
In the District Cup Football, Year 7 beat Sandwich High School 3-2, Year 9 lost to Castle High, Deal, 3-2, Year 10 beat Sandwich 9-2, Year 11 beat Sandwich 5-1 and Year 8 beat St Edmund’s 6-0.
The twinning with Collège St Pierre in Calais continues with exchange visits by Years 7, 8 and 9 and their penfriends
The history department organised several visits including one to the Imperial War Museum in London.
During Easter, members of the C.C.F. took part in adventure training at Crowborough Training Camp in Sussex and the R.A.F. section spent a week at RAF St. Mawgan, a helicopter search and rescue base in Newquay, Cornwall.
Jonathan Brothwell, aged 16, won a gold medal (team prize) in the World Junior Sea Angling Championships in Holland.
The annual Staff v Prefects football match ended in victory for the staff team, which included maths assistant Hayley Langley.
New cricket nets are in use on the top field. The school’s 1st XI beat Queen Elizabeth’s, Faversham, in the first round of the County Cup.
Dan Holdsworth and Jonathan Coates played in the Kent Under 17 rugby team and Dover Rugby Club U17 seven-a-side team which reached the final of the prestigious Kent Tournament.
Dan captained the Kent Under 17 XV B team against Surrey which Kent won (Dan scoring a try and a conversion). He was then promoted to the senior side, Kent U17 XV A team, for their match against Herts, which Kent again won 30-0.
David Tilbee (Year 7) was voted Player’s Player in the Dover Table Tennis Association.
Unfortunately this year’s Summer Ball, due to have been held in July, has been cancelled. It is hoped to organise the event next year.
Different groups of A level students visited the Dungeness B Power Station, and P&O European Ferries’ information technology department.
School meals charges are increasing to £1.20 a day in September. (Remember when they were five shillings a week?!!)
A ski-ing trip to Evolene, Switzerland, is planned for Easter 1997.
A number of boys achieved good results (including four firsts) in the South East Kent District Athletics Championships. Daniel Trenowden and Michael Roberts (both Year 9 boys), represented the Invicta East Kent Club at the Kent County Athletics championships at Crystal Palace. They both beat their personal best times, competing in the 1500 metres event, and both qualifying for the final. Daniel came third in the final, running close to a national grade two standard.
Chris Bailey won the Kent Junior Table Tennis League.
PLAY PERFORMED AT THE FESTIVAL OF DOVER
A play, written by the school’s English and drama teacher Michael Thomas, was given its premiere at Dover Castle in May as part of the Festival of Dover.
Set in 19th century Deal, My Love Is Drowned In The Far Off Seas drew on accounts of daring and dangerous rescues by local lifeboatmen from ships stranded on the Goodwin Sands.
The action concentrated on one night as the lifeboat was launched. The women of the community waited patiently for their men to return at dawn, and the young son of the coxswain prepared for a new career in Africa.
The cast of 12 young actors, five boys and seven girls, ranged in age from nine to 20 and were drawn from regular members of Dover Youth Theatre.
This is the first time they had presented a complete play and it was one of the most challenging pieces the students had attempted.
Performances were given at Dover Castle, Wingham Church and Shepherdswell village hall.
Michael Thomas’s wife Marie Kelly-Thomas is one of the directors of the Dover Youth Theatre Project which was formed in January 1995.
Several boys from the school belong to the project and give regular performances at various venues, including street theatres and a specialist workshop on Shakespeare and the musicals that have been based on his plays. Year 7 pupil Jonathan Howlett has been awarded the Mayor’s Prize for Drama.
NEWS OF OLD BOYS
JOHN MORECROFT (1918 – 1922)
former Fleet Street journalist, died at his home in December, aged 88. John started his journalistic career on the now-defunct Dover Chronicle and went on to Fleet Street where he joined the national newsagency, Press Association (PA). His shorthand note was legendary for its accuracy and prime minister Winston Churchill used to ask PA for John to cover his public statements because he always got it right! He usually covered cases at Number One Court at the Old Bailey including the hearings associated with the Christine Keeler affair.
In the evenings he attended dinners and, as well as reporting the speeches, jotted down the speakers’ jokes and anecdotes, which he subsequently published in a book.
In his retirement, he used to sit in at Dover Magistrates Court, and he also attended pottery classes. Several of his friends are now the proud owners of items he made for special occasions, such as weddings or the birth of a child.
Alf Gunn, who was at the school during the same years as John, attended his funeral service at Barham. The OPs were also represented.
ROBERT GROVE (1933-1939)
died last year after suffering from Alzheimers Disease and a series of strokes. His widow Elizabeth, writing from Kew, says he retained an interest in the school until the end.
who taught Maths at the school from 1983 to 1993 has died.
MEMBERS STILL LIVING AND LEARNING
LESLIE ABBOTT (1925-1932)
lives in Malaga in Spain. After law school he spent four years articled with a Dover law firm, qualifying as a solicitor and became a partner. He joined the Forces serving in the RAPC and was commissioned in the Royal Artillery, later transferring to the legal division of the military government in Germany. He retired to Norfolk in 1980 but it was too cold so he and his wife went off to live in Southern Spain in 1985.
JONATHAN AYLEN (1962-1969)
has been teaching Economics at the University of Salford for more than 21 years and has established links with industry in that area. His work was awarded a £5000 prize, presented by the Secretary of State for Education. Judging was by Dr. Norman Thacker and Dominic Harrod, so both judge and prizewinner were Old Pharosians and former students of Economics in the classes of Gordon King.
ASHLEY BAKER (1982-1990)
of Whitfield, graduated from the University of Ulster, is now teaching English to Japanese children in Wakayama and is about half way through a three year contract. He’s visited Hong Kong, China and plans to visit Singapore and New Zealand.
DAVID BEAN (1976-1983)
has gained an MSc in Micro-Electronics from Brunel University and is now a Research Fellow there designing microchips. His brother Clifford (1969-74) is a manager of Guy’s and Lewisham Hospital Trust. He began his training at Buckland before psychiatric nursing at Guy’s. Another brother Anthony (1979-86) is with the Drugs Squad in Dover Customs.
A. EDWARD CADMAN (1929-1937)
served in the Royal Navy, reached the dizzy heights of Surgeon Rear Admiral in the Naval Dental Branch, retiring after 35 years service as its Director. He was awarded a CB (Companion of the Order of the Bath) and is now enjoying retirement, in pretty good health, at Solent House, Solent Way, Alverstoke, Gosport. “Caddy” was deputy head prefect and captain of Maxton House in those pre-war days and before he went off to train at Guy’s.
BARRY CRUSH (1948-1956)
who worked for Dover local authorities for 26 years, has retired as Principal Drainage Engineer. His job for the final four years was to supervise the design and construction of main drainage works in Deal. Barry, a former President of the Old Pharosians’ Association, lives at Shepherdswell. He completed a degree in Civil Engineering at Queen Mary College, London before working for contractors at home and abroad. He is now coming towards the end of his service as a parent governor at the school.
DENIS DOBLE MA (1948-1955)
served in the Royal Air Force, and in the Diplomatic Service since 1965. After many overseas appointments he is now Consul-General in Amsterdam.
ROBIN FILE (1978-1985)
and Sean McCann are young musicians progressing up the charts. Robin, of Nonington, and Sean, of Guston, are guitarists in the Manchester pop group, Audioweb. The four-man group has cut its first single, called Sleeper, and were featured on television on New Year’s Eve.
JONATHAN HASSELL (1981-1988)
has been awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree by the University of York. He has joined the staff of a London-based computer company as a technical author.
FRANK HOLLAND (1946-1951)
is now the accountant working for a company that runs a Dover night club. He’s had a varied career ranging from a junior in the contracts wages department at Tilmanstone Colliery, worked in most of the four Kent pits (now all closed), through the year-long strike by Kent miners, to the days when senior Kent officials flew from Manston to attend meetings at the area headquarters in the Midlands. He recalls those flights with the early days of catching the pit bus early mornings and the long walk to Tilmanstone! Frank is a member of Dover Rotary Club of which David Hannent (1957-1964) is the President and several other old boys are members.
KEITH MCINNES (1941-1948)
In a long letter from his home in Bristol, Keith admits he could not get away from school fast enough in 1948, tells of his career as a photo-engraver and how the industry changed over the years. He relates the conflict with big boss Robert Maxwell and how, at the end of an industrial lock-out, he questioned the man. He remembers the journey with the school to Ebbw Vale in 1940 and of his retirement from work in 1994. And how he’s been back to Ebbw Vale to see the site of the garden festival, the old school buildings in the town.
SIMON MILLER (1979-1986)
of Temple Ewell, was teaching at St. Edmund’s School in Dover but has now taken a teaching post at the Maru-a-Pula school in Botswana, Africa. He spent ten years in Africa as a child.
JOHN MORRIS (1963-70)
is now a successful lawyer in Hawaii with an office overlooking the harbour. His old sailing friend Jonathan Aylen of Salford keeps in contact.
STEVE MOSS (1978-85)
Steve is a software consultant working in London, and has sent his new address for anyone who would like to keep in contact with him. It is 1 Norcutt Road, Twickenham, TW2 6SR. Home: 0181 755 1745; work: 0181 977 6044; mobile: 0973 635 183. You can also contact him by E-mail: Steve_Moss@msn.com
KEITH PARFITT (1973-1975)
who transferred to our school from Archers Court and went on to read Archaeology at university, is revealing much of Dover’s hidden history. He’s the project manager for the Canterbury Archaeological Trust (CAT) and gained national fame when he was the first to recognise artefacts that led to the discovery of the 3,000 year old Dover Bronze Age Boat. This year he was leading a team digging up Norman and medieval artefacts in Dover’s Townwall Street.
PETER PEARCE (1928-1934)
lives in Goring-by-Sea, has been reading the history of the school and hopes to visit the school “to have a closer look” in the near future. He recalls lessons in the old technical school, at Frith Road and finally at Astor Avenue. He was there when the Duke of Kent officially opened the “new” school. He recalls “Old Ma Rookwood” and words to Fiat Lux –
Long ago when cruel foemen to our Island came,
Picts and Scots and Danes and Norman envying our fair name,
From the Castle Heights the warder gave the wild alarm,
Light the beacon, blaze the Pharos, Dover bids you arm.
Listen through the ages ringing,
Hark the Dover men are singing –
Fiat Lux, Fiat Lux”
Today we would get reported under the Race Relations Act!
MAURICE SAYERS (1939-42)
Many people have been grateful to Ken Ruffell for his guiding hand on their work, but Maurice Sayers has a special reason to be grateful.
While he was at Barton Road Elementary School he won a scholarship to Dover County School, as it then was, and he also sang in St. Andrew’s Church Choir.
The invigilator for the written exam was Ken Ruffell, a prominent member of the same church in those days, and just before the end of the exam, as he walked past Maurice’s desk, Ken put his finger against a sum which he could see Maurice had obviously made a mess of. Maurice looked at it, corrected it, and reckons he scraped into Lower 1 by that one mark!
Maurice retired as a solicitor in April this year, after more than 50 years with the firm of Stilwell and Harby.
Evacuated to Wales with the school in 1940 he became homesick and left school in July 1942 aged 13 and started as an office boy at Stilwell and Harby. Maurice was not paid for the first few months because of his age, but received one shilling a week bicycle money.
He rode his bike into Dover every day, sometimes with bombs and shells flying around him, and he still has a tobacco tin full of bits of shrapnel that nearly hit him.
Maurice used to run errands, take money to the bank, queue up for cakes, do the shopping for his bosses and stoke the boiler.
He then became clerk, writing up court registers, issuing summonses and collecting fines.
Maurice served in the army from 1946 to 1949, returning to the office and becoming deputy clerk in the Magistrates’ Court, and then taking over the clerk’s duties.
Studying at home in the evenings he obtained enough GCEs by correspondence courses to enable him to be articled at the age of 27. He qualified in 1961, at the age of 32, joined the firm as an assistant solicitor a year later, became a partner a year after that, and Senior Partner 25 years ago.
Maurice has practised in the local courts for many years but since 1978 has concentrated more on the general practice.
Maurice was placed in the dock by one of the prison officers at Dover Magistrates Court for his final appearance as magistrates and solicitors paid tribute to his work.
In his spare time, he played football for Buckland Rovers before joining the army, enjoyed playing rugby, and has been captain, secretary, chairman and then president of Dover Rugby Club. “Probably my proudest achievement is passing the Rugby Union’s Coaching Award Scheme at the age of 50,” he said. “It meant many hours study and practice and to me meant even more than passing the Law Society’s finals.”
He was a member of Dover Rowing Club in the late 1940s, a founder member of Dover Sailing Club which later amalgamated with the Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club, and Dover Swimming Club of which he was captain for a few years in the 1950s.
He has been President of the Old Pharosians’ Association, Dover Chamber of Commerce and the Kent Law Society, and chairman of several other organisations including the Alkham Valley Society.
We wish Maurice and his wife Pam well in their retirement.
RICHARD SPEAR (1941-1946)
is now a Canadian subject, a retired sales and marketing expert and serves as a volunteer with the American International Executive Service Corps. He has had eight assignments around the world in the last eight years – including Santa Domingo, Columbia, Egypt, Jordan (where he was the country director), South Africa and back to Jordan again. He’s just declined other appointments – to Kenya and Zambia. He still makes occasional visits to Dover.
ROSS STAFFORD (1965-73)
in June brained his way through to the semi-final of the BBC Mastermind contest. Former teacher Mr. Gordon King, who watched the programme, remembers Ross in his sixth form economics class. Ross was an easy winner with his selected subject, the English Civil War.
ANDREW STEVENS (1978-1985)
has joined the international newsagency Reuters in London after three years as Sports Editor of the East Kent Mercury at Deal. After leaving school he read English and History at Newcastle Poly, taught English in France and Spain and had a spell as a copywriter with travel specialists Saga at Folkestone before embarking on a journalistic career.
PERCY STROUD (1931-36)
writing from Richmond, North Yorkshire provides interesting details about former members of the school and expresses surprise that such a “small number” of old boys are members of the Old Pharosians’ Association. He looks forward to these Newsletters.
CHRIS STUBBS (1967-1974)
trained to be a teacher, but joined Townsend Ferries and has just been promoted to P&O European Ferries’ Purchasing Manager at its Dover headquarters. In this job Chris’s annual shopping list includes 1.5 million bottles of whisky, two million bottles of other liquor products, half a million bottles of wine, five million pints of beer, 800 million cigarettes, three million eggs, two million sausages……and 350,000 bars of Toblerone! Not overwhelmed by this, Chris has taken on the task of race officer for the national Topper class sailing championship at Deal this summer.
Other ‘old boys’ working for P&O European Ferries include Brian Cork (Dover-based Freight Director), Dave Finnis (Marketing Intelligence Manager) and Nick Stevens (Public Relations Manager).
STAN SURZYN (1956-1964)
living at 8 Chandos Road, Buckingham, has been enquiring at the school about his contemporaries. There’s his address, contact him!
DR. NORMAN THACKER (1954-1960)
wrote to Mr. King telling he left the school to join the LSE and then spent three years at Shell-Mex and BP Ltd. He then taught at the City of London Polytechnic (now London Guildhall University) where he is on a part time basis, approaching retirement to a cottage at Kingsdown.
TERENCE VARDON (1959-1967)
is Headmaster of the King Henry VIII School in Coventry, his third headship. He lectures in medieval, renaissance and baroque art, literature, architecture, and music for the University of Warwick. He studied organ music in the Netherlands and in Germany and frequently gives recitals. Terry is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an Associate Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. In what spare time he gets he is working on the history to St. Radigund’s Abbey. In May he gave an organ recital at Dover College, an event organised by The Dover Society.
DARREN WILMSHURST (1973-1980)
is now manager of Lloyds Bank in Godalming with a staff of 50 or more. His previous post was in Thanet where he still lives, commutes at weekends along the “dreaded M25” and during the week is in lodgings in Surrey.
KEVIN WOOD (1974-1978)
born in Deal, is making a big impact on the Kent theatrical scene. Over Christmas he was busy producing pantomimes, two of which were at the Marlowe, Canterbury (Jack and the Beanstalk) and the Orchard at Dartford (Cinderella). Kevin, who comes from a theatrical family, read social sciences at Nottingham University before establishing The Channel Theatre Company in Kent. He has presented Mystery Plays at Canterbury Cathedral and at Birmingham Cathedral.