OPA Newsletter July 1997
OLD PHAROSIANS’ ASSOCIATION
New Series No. 72
LIST OF CONTENTS
NEWS OF THE ASSOCIATION
* Officers and Committee Members
* Committee Meets
* Our Benches Live On
* Pharos Lodge
* Archivists’ Corner
* Cricket – Old Pharosians versus The School
* Notice of Annual General Meeting
NEWS OF THE SCHOOL
* Combined Cadet Force
* News in Brief
* Parents’ and Friends’ Association
* Pharos Enterprises
* Making Music
* Changes to the Dining Hall
NEWS OF OLD BOYS
* Members still Living and Learning
* Kent Village – Diary of a Wanderer
* Missing Addresses
* Steve Talbot
NEWS OF THE ASSOCIATION
OFFICERS AND COMMITTEE 1996-97
PRESIDENT: Rev.Dr. Michael Hinton
212 The Gateway, Dover CT16 1LL
PAST PRESIDENT: J.R. Booth
641C Loose Road, Maidstone ME15 9UT
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)
AUDITOR: Neil Beverton
HEADMASTER: N.A. Slater
STAFF D. Murray
REPRESENTATIVES: M.R. Grant
HEAD PREFECT: Sebastian Gough
E-MAIL ADDRESS: Pharos@dgsb.demon.co.uk
Your committee continues to meet regularly to consider ways in which the association can support the school.
Some money has been spent on local history books for the library, and £450 has been donated to the music department to buy a tenor saxophone so that pupils can learn to play this instrument.
We have also paid for a CD writer which can be used to copy CDs and protect the originals from wear.
Enquiries are being made about some more Honours Boards for the school as the originals are becoming full.
Gordon King and Ken Ruffell attended a thanksgiving service for the life of Glen Louis Watt at Southwark Cathedral in January.
The committee will meet again on Thursday 20 November at 7 p.m.
OUR BENCHES LIVE ON
The oak benches our Old Boys bought and provided at Ebbw Vale live on, we are assured. Peter Haley, in a letter from Ebbw Vale to Keith McInnes (see News of Old Boys), says he is able to confirm that the four oak benches are still on the site of the Garden Festival, with plaques saying they were donated by one-time evacuees with Dover Grammar School for Boys. Keith had written to Peter because he was worried after he heard that some benches from the Garden Festival site had been thrown on a back of a lorry and taken away. But in his letter Peter says these were soft wood seats and not the specially treated hard wood benches from the former evacuees.
In his letter Peter says the cafe at the old Festival site has been taken over by Rock Eagle and a major development of the site is now under way. The site, just outside Ebbw Vale on former industrial land, now has its own radio station (Valleys Radio), broadcasting on the medium wave – but only on half output at present. The Friends of the Festival park were still busy organising events as well as helping a local charity (The Vision Foundation) being set up on the site. More than 80 per cent of the shops on the site were now occupied by well known stores. There’s to be a French-themed cafe and a Little Chef Restaurant. Some of the rides and entertainments being prepared for the old Festival site would not be ready until early 1998, says Peter in his letter to Keith McInnes.
The Pharos Masonic Lodge was formed in 1950 by a number of the school’s teachers and a group of old boys. It now has some 55 members and, although it was at one time exclusive to past and present members of staff and old boys, it is now open to others not directly associated with the school.
The Lodge meets five times year, on Saturdays, in Dover. The Master for 1997/98 is Geoff Terry and his two Wardens are Alan Copp and Vincent Simonis.
If any readers would like to join the Lodge and require further details please contact the Secretary, John Cooper (1955-62) on Dover (01304) 822273.
THE ARCHIVISTS’ CORNER
Greetings! There was a very good response to the request, in the last Archivists Corner, for archive material and for storage space in which to put it. Past President Tom Beer has undertaken to provide a three-drawer filing cabinet. The sixth form boater-band, donated by Bill Collard, intrigued me as it was said to date from 1946, the year I joined the School. As I have no recollection of them being worn I can only assume that, on my entry, things started to go down hill! Does anyone have a photograph in which a boater is featured? It would be good to have one to go with the ribbon. John Borrett tells me that boaters were introduced about 1934. I would like to thank all those who have sent me items for the archives.
We are still trying to identify all those featured in the School on the Hill (dating from 1965) and the Nativity (dating from 1959) videos and help is needed. If you think you, or someone you know, can assist in any way please contact me.
The Pharos magazines, which started some three years after the School was founded, provide a wonderful record of life at the School. The first issue, which comes from the Ladywell era and is dated Christmas 1908, contained reports on sports matches and on each of the forms plus various items of a more general nature. This was the format to be followed for many decades. It appears there were separate forms for the girls and boys from year 1 to year 5. It is interesting to note that whilst there was a report for every one of the five girls forms, for the boys forms II and IV No Notes to hand is recorded. This would have been no surprise to the anonymous author of the final entry in the Pharos:
Dear Sir, I think one of the great difficulties in the way of The Pharos, is that it will have to be run almost entirely by the Girls School. Can you imagine boys writing magazine articles? The idea is absurd. Yours faithfully, A GIRL.
One wonders if this was a spur-to-action put in by a teacher!
The three remaining forms were VIa and VIb, which were mixed, and VI- PTs (Pupil Teachers).
Unfortunately we do not have a complete set of the Pharos Magazines in the archives (see below) but all the earlier missing copies are available in the bound volumes stored in the Headmasters study. It would be both much safer and more convenient to have a copy of all the magazines available in the archives.
The following Pharos magazines are needed to complete the set held in the archives; numbers 1 to 31 inclusive, number 32 is the December 1919 issue. Numbers 33 to 40 are also needed . Number 41 is the December 1922 issue. There were three issues per year. The next missing issue is number 95, the December 1940 copy. Also needed is number 99, June 1944. Finally, the July 1974 issue is needed. If you have any of the missing copies, or know of anyone who might have them, please let me know.
We are still busy working on identifying those in the year School photographs. Those which are giving particular problems with naming the pupils are 1924 (could be 1923), and 1933. If you can help, or there is someone you know who might be able to assist, please let me know. There are many other year-photographs to be dealt with so, if you can spare some time to identify people from your era, you would be most welcome to join in the task.
Finally, as will be seen elsewhere in the Newsletter, Mrs Hope A Croucher the widow of Old Pharosian S Charles Croucher (1931-36), has kindly donated a number of copies of their excellent book Kent Village (Memoir Diary of a Wanderer, part one). The School and St Margarets-at-Cliffe feature prominently in the book, copies of which can be obtained from the School at a cost of £3.50 (plus a donation towards postage and packing).
CRICKET MATCH –
OLD PHAROSIANS VERSUS THE SCHOOL
The school’s 1st XI cricket team took revenge for last year’s defeat when they beat the Old Pharosians in their annual match on 9 July this year.
Unfortunately, we were short of a couple of Old Pharosians for our team, and we were grateful to sports teacher Malcolm Grant and Year 8 pupil Dean Scoggins – surely the youngest ever “Old Pharosian” – for stepping in and helping us out.
The match was played on a hot and sunny afternoon.
Mainstay of the Old Pharosians’ innings was John Sheather who made 43 before being caught by Matthews. John Shepherd had scored 11 by the time he was bowled by Searle, Daniel Bowley made 8 but was caught by Towe (bowled Padfield), Tony Wellard was caught by Beeden (bowled Castle) for 2, Mick Palmer knocked up a useful 17 (caught Matthews, bowled Goodburn), Richard West fell lbw to Johnson for 6, Steve Durrant was disappointed to be out for 5, bowled by Johnson, and Alistair Gardiner was more than disappointed to be given out lbw by Padfield for 0. Dean Scoggins was not out 5, Malcolm Grant was caught by Towe, bowled Padfield, for 0, and Jack Kremer added 10 before being bowled by Searle.
There were 9 extras, making a total of 117.
The 1st XI got off to a shakey start with Jon Spence being dismissed for 4 (bowled Gardiner), and John Castle being run out for 3. But Ian Matthews played an excellent innings and was 1 short of his 50 when he was bowled by Grant. Chris Searle was another run out victim for 24, Gary Beeden was stumped by the quick reaction of Palmer (bowled Wellard) without scoring, and Paul Johnson fell victim to an excellent catch by young Dean Scoggins (bowled Wellard) for 4. Johnson hit it hard, fully expecting to double his score at a stroke, but Scoggins held it well deep in the field. John Brothwell (27) and Paul Padfield (2) were not out when the 1st XI achieved the winning run. With 5 extras, their total was 118 for 6, with less than four overs to go. Bowling figures showed that Alistair Gardiner had taken 1 for 24, Tony Wellard took 2 for 30, and Malcolm Grant – more at home with the ball than the bat – took 1 for 7.
It would be good to see a full Old Pharosians team next year, so if any OP cricketers of some ability would like to volunteer, Mick Palmer (01304 825472) would be pleased to hear from you. The match usually takes place on the second Wednesday of July, starting at 2.30 p.m.
Sports teacher Steve Bailey has come up with the following idea which will be discussed by your committee at a future meeting.
As many of you will know, the pavilion on the lower field is a memorial to the former pupils of our school who died in the second world war.
The pavilion has suffered from vandalism in the past, and although there is some damage to the outside of the building at the moment, it is the inside which requires some attention to make it more suitable for those who use it.
There are no showers, it is in a poor state of decoration, and the electrics, fixtures and fittings need a good deal of attention. An additional problem is that for football matches, there is no separate room for the referee to change in. In these enlightened days of equality we have some female referees who come to our school to take control of matches.
As the Old Pharosians have such a close connection with the pavilion, and bearing in mind that our annual football and cricket matches are played there, we have been wondering whether there is sufficient interest from old boys to help improve the facilities.
One suggestion is that we might like to form an Old Pharosians cricket team which plays a few friendly matches, not just the annual game against the school’s 1st XI.
If anyone is interested in forming such a team – or if there are any willing volunteers to help carry out improvements to the pavilion or providing the materials for improvements – please contact Steve Bailey at the school.
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 27th September 1997, commencing at 11a.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 (Denis Weaver)
– Secretary (currently P.J. Harding)
– Assistant Secretary (C. Henry)
– Treasurer (I.D. Pascall)
– Membership Secretary (R. Gabriel)
– Newsletter Editor (T.A. Sutton)
– Archivist (P. Burville)
– Auditor (N. Beverton)
– Committee Members
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
COMBINED CADET FORCE –
STILL FLYING HIGH!
The two remaining sections of the CCF continue to flourish. Unfortunately, the Navy section had to be closed because of low numbers. Pupils from Astor School and the Girls’ Grammar School join with our boys in the RAF and Army sections.
In April, cadets took part in a six-day adventurous training camp at Okehampton and Dartmoor which included a pony trek, kayaking, mountain-bike course, rock-climbing, abseiling, an assault course, caving and a navigational exercise on the moors.
Head prefect Richard Berridge is one of two boys who have been awarded an RAF Flying Scholarship this year. Here he reports on the scheme.
The RAF Flying Scholarship scheme provides a 20-hour course of flying in light aircraft, primarily to encourage young people of high calibre who are keen on a career in the RAF. The scheme is open to students in full-time education (male and female) and to members of the Air Training Corps and CCF.
The national competition for a place is tough, and those selected are few and far between. Selection takes the form of an aptitude test, medical examination and an interview. The aptitude test measures the ability to handle multiple inputs and high stress levels, but really just consists of hyped-up computer games.
The medical examination is very comprehensive, all sorts of weird measurements being taken along with more usual tests and checks on the eyes and dentition. (One of the more unexpected tests was for our urine pH??!!!). The interview is a real grilling, with the interviewers trying to catch you out by softening you up before pouncing suddenly.
Training is given at selected clubs around the country and covers 20 hours flying, including up to four and a half hours solo, together with instruction in ground subjects such as radio communications, human factors in aviation, air law and navigation, meteorology and technical aspects. All of this is completely free. The award of a Flying Scholarship neither implies that the award-holder will subsequently be accepted for flying duties in the RAF nor carries any obligation to join the RAF.
The school’s CCF has a good record with the FS scheme. I won a place last autumn and did my training over the Easter holiday. I did my first solo flight on Easter Monday – what an incredible experience! Sebastian Gough has also won a place and should be doing his training during the summer holidays. This kind of success rate, with two people from the same contingent winning a place in one year, is exceptional. We also have two or three year 11 pupils currently applying to the FS scheme, and several year 10 pupils are expressing an active interest.
As well as being an incredible experience, the FS scheme is useful throughout life regardless of whether the recipient actually joins the military or not.
The award of a Flying Scholarship is proof to universities and employers of a person’s potential, the experience strengthening, as it does, that person’s ability to think clearly (particularly under stress) to be independent and to act in a mature fashion.
NEWS IN BRIEF
An Old Pharosians’ Association tie has been presented by President Rev Dr Michael Hinton to Brian Haines, Head of Classics, to mark his 25 years’ service to the school.
Pupils raised £1,714.33 at this year’s Lenten Appeal, dividing the money between a day centre for cancer sufferers at the William Harvey Hospital, Ashford, the Meningitis Trust, and Global Care which deals with refugee and orphaned children in Rwanda.
Representatives from the three main political parties were invited to speak to sixth formers (both from our school and the Girls’ Grammar School) in the run-up to the General Election. Among those who visited was Gillian Shephard, who was then the Secretary of State for Education and Employment. Dover’s new Labour MP is Gwyn Prosser, whose daughter Sian was head girl of the Girls’ Grammar School a couple of years ago. He is due to visit the school soon.
Pupils have been on two expeditions for their Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards, one to Yorkshire and the other to Llangenny in the Black Mountains.
The French A Level group visited Paris earlier this year, and also visited the Blockhaus in Eperleques and the Belin biscuit factory in Calais, returning home with free samples and some rather attractive protective gowns and caps!
The Upper Sixth history group visited the battlefields of the Somme.
Links continue to thrive with Collège St Pierre in Calais with exchange visits taking place in Years 7, 8 and 9.
The school has joined a new drugs initiative which has been set up by Kent police and other agencies. It is designed to crack down on drugs while trying to offer support to those who find themselves caught up with illegal substances.
The swimming pool should be filled in by the end of the summer holidays. The maintenance bill had become too prohibitive, and the annual swimming sports are now held at Dover Leisure Centre.
The school has received a £6,600 grant to help improve security of the site. New railings are being installed. Another £1,200 is expected for additional security measures in the coming financial year.
Mr. Clive Fieldwick (Head of Design and Technology) is retiring through ill health in the summer of 1997. Mr Ernie Riley, who has been teaching modern languages, will also be leaving.
On the football field, we won the Dover Schools under 19 cup final with a 4-3 win over Astor. It appeared to be the first time the school had won the shield since its inception in 1908. One of our goals was scored by our goalkeeper, Tim Falconbridge, with a huge kick from his own area. The ball took one bounce, gathered topspin and powered into the Astor net.
The school has been running five teams in two division of the Dover Table Tennis League this year.
We expect 107 boys to join Year 7 this September, although the numbers keep changing as boys move in and out of the area.
PARENTS’ AND FRIENDS’ ASSOCIATION
The PFA has some new officers. Jill Tutthill has become chairman, and Sandra Wright is the new secretary. They have taken over from Paul Hough and Tim Moseling respectively. Tim was a pupil at the school from 1965-73 and his son Simon leaves the school this summer after taking his A levels.
Jill – wife of Graham Tutthill (1960-65) – follows in the footsteps of her father-in-law Leslie Tutthill who chaired the Parents Association in the 1960s when Graham and his brother Keith (1957-63) were at the school.
Jill’s grandfather Hubert Nye (1907-10), father Ken Nye (1937-1940) and brother Keith (1969-1976) were also pupils at the school. More about them in a future edition of this newsletter.
The PFA continues to provide valuable support for the school in a number of ways, chiefly fund-raising, but also by providing refreshments at various occasions.
The association is paying for blinds for the school library to help keep the sun off the books, and off the boys!
As reported in the last newsletter, a group of sixth formers ran a Young Enterprise Company called Pharos Enterprises and produced a cassette tape of the school’s music. One side contains items by various music groups within the school, and the second side is last year’s carol service at Charlton Church.
In accordance with the terms of Young Enterprise, the company ceased trading in July, and handed over the master copy of the tape to the Parents’ and Friends’ Association so that they could continue selling copies and raise funds for the school. The tape is £5, and can be obtained from the school by sending a cheque for £5.75 (including postage and packing) made payable to the PFA.
John English (1966-73) has been elected a Parent Governor at the school. He is currently the head of the geography department and a housemaster of a senior boys boarding house at the Duke of York’s Royal Military School. He has two sons at our school.
He takes the place of parent Norman Gilliland who resigned earlier this year through pressure of work.
The Rev Graham Batten has also resigned as a governor, and moves are being made to find a successor.
The musical life of the school continues to thrive, and two concerts have been presented during the summer term.
The first was the Choral Concert at Charlton Church when former pupil Peter Futcher (tenor) was among the guest soloists who joined the school choir and the school brass ensemble to perform works by Vaughan Williams, Gabrieli, Mozart and Haydn.
Three weeks later, Music for A Summer Evening provided the usual variety of items from the school’s various ensembles and individual musicians. Both were a fine tribute to the work of the school’s director of music, Richard Davies, and music teacher David Harding.
CHANGES TO THE DINING HALL
Do you remember the school dinner times when we used to sit around tables of eight (or was it 10) in the dining hall, with a prefect at the head of each table, and the staff at tables at the end? The prefects dished out our dinners, carefully dividing the food into equal portions, and then we waited – hopefully – as each table was called up in turn for “extras”. The youngest on each table usually had the job of wiping the table clean with a wet cloth which often became quite disgusting as it gathered a mixture of scraps and spillages!
The dining hall walls were decked with photos of past football, rugby and cricket teams. The noise became louder and louder, echoing around the high space above our heads until it became too much, and a member of staff would bang the table with the nearest utensil to hand and demand silence. And all for the princely sum of one shilling a day (it was probably less than that in previous years).
It will come as no surprise to know all that changed some years ago. A self-service style cafeteria was introduced, and many more boys now bring packed lunches. And the dining hall itself is about to change, too. All that wasted space is to be put to good use.
As more boys enter the school each September, the demand for extra classrooms grows. So, when the summer term ended contractors moved in, and a mezzanine floor will be constructed during the holidays to provide up to three extra rooms. Having been unsuccessful, yet again, in attracting any capital grants, the school is having to pay for the work. Around £90,000 had been set aside, but it is hoped the work can be done for less than that.
So when the new term starts in September the dining hall will look quite different, and we will have enough rooms to accommodate the extra pupils for another year or so.
NEWS OF OLD BOYS
PHILLIP BUSS (1933-1942)
Phillip became a national hero in the 1950s, during the Korean War, when he was serving as Drum Major with the Gloucestershire Regiment – the Glorious Glosters – fighting Chinese communists. When he returned home, after nearly three years in a communist prisoner of war camp, he taught music at Archers Court School in Dover, went into politics and became Chairman of Dover District Council.
He died, aged 72, from cancer 48 hours after being taken ill and going into the East Kent Hospice.
During the bloody Battle of the Imjin in April 1951 his regiment held up the massive 83rd Chinese Army for three days in order to give their American allies time to regroup. As the enemy swarmed over the rocky hillside along the river bank they played bugles to rally their forces.
A Glosters officer suggested they should retaliate by playing their own bugle calls and Drum Major Buss volunteered to do so. He climbed onto an outcrop and, despite bullets, sounded all the bugle calls in the British army – except Retreat. The Chinese were so mystified they pulled back to their own lines. But they came forward again and eventually over-ran the Glosters, many of whom (including Philip) were captured and marched off to captivity.
The battle is commemorated in a painting by Ken Howard, that hangs in Gloucester Cathedral, depicting Phillip’s bravery playing his bugle under a hail of bullets.
We extend our sympathies to his widow Sheila and their five children.
JOHN EDWARD ELLIS (1947-55)
John joined the school in 1947 from St.Mary’s primary school, returned to our school to teach, took early retirement and died in April.
Ken Ruffell recalls that John was a Prefect and House Captain; Captain of the cricket 1st XI and Vice-Captain of the school’s soccer team. When he was aged 15 he played cricket for Kent schools against Middlesex. As a soccer player he was a very intelligent goalkeeper, and one sports day he won the 100 yards sprint.
After leaving school he spent the years 1955-59 at the University of Exeter where he played cricket in their 1st XI and received a degree in geography and a Teacher’s Certificate.
Returning to Dover he taught at Astor school and then at our grammar school where he became head of the geography department until he took early retirement in his early fifties.
John continued his interest in cricket through his collection of Wisdens, and in meteorology by statistical study of weather patterns. He donated an annual prize for geography for presentation at the school’s junior prizegiving.
John died on 8th April this year while he was working in his garden at Whitfield. There were five members of the school staff at his Barham cremation to remember and respect their former colleague.
GEOFF DAMPIER (1945-1948)
Geoff Dampier who died in February this year was at River school in January 1942 when he took the 11-plus examination at Canterbury. One of his classmates at River was Denis Weaver. Denis joined our school in Ebbw Vale but Geoff did not come to us until January 1945 after the school returned from Wales.
He soon became a keen member of the school’s army cadet force and on leaving school, after taking school certificate, he underwent his National Service in the Royal Air Force. Following his spell in the RAF Geoff went into business, did well with Roneo and then with Constructors Office Equipment becoming the latter’s London manager with his office in Park Lane.
He made the wise choice to vacate London and return to Dover where he joined Denis Weaver’s business in the mid-1960s. He then lived at Archers Court Road at Whitfield. Life was saddened for Geoff when his first wife Doris died, but he later married Margaret. We can do no better than to quote his old friend Denis who says “Geoff was one of nature’s gentlemen, loved and respected by all who came in touch with him. He will be deeply missed and mourned by so many”. We offer our deepest sympathies to Margaret.
JOHN PITTOCK (1924-31)
John, who had retired about twenty years ago, had been headmaster of Cranbook (Kent) primary school for 27 years. His widow Mona, of 3 Wheatfield Way, Cranbrook, writes to say that John died on 17th January this year.
MEMBERS STILL LIVING AND LEARNING
TONY BRADLEY (1945-52)
has also moved home, and now lives at Morland House, Sheepstead, Marcham, near Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX13 6QG. One of his neighbours turns out to have served in the RAF parachute school at Abingdon with Peter Hearn, another Old Pharosian of his year, who had a very successful service career, ending up as Director of Physical Education for the RAF.
“Peter and I were in Upper Sixth Arts together and were indeed two-thirds of the class, the other member being Malcolm Edwards, who went on to study French at Nottingham. I am hoping before long to be able to meet up with Peter – the last occasion on which I saw him was on a Dover street one morning well over 30 years ago!”
DAVID CLOKE AND EDWARD COURTNEY (1984-91)
left the school at the same time and both went into medical training but at different universities.
David has spent six years at Nottingham, including two years pre-clinical lectures, three years clinical training and a year in between working for his Bachelor of Medical Science degree. He achieved a second class honours with distinction in his final exams this summer, finishing in the top eight of the 140 in his year. For part of his degree he carried out a research project into head injuries.
In September he will start his pre-registration year as a house officer at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
David played American football while he was at our school, starting at the age of 14, and playing for teams in Canterbury and Folkestone.
He gained his Full Royal – the top sporting honour – at Nottingham University, having played for Great Britain students, and he now intends to coach the university team in the coming year.
Meanwhile, Edward went to Leeds University where he took a five year course, and he has now completed his first pre-registration year. He is off to Hull to concentrate on obstetrics and gynaecology.
ALAN EDGINGTON (1941-48)
Alan, now retired after seven years (mostly on night duty) as a Borstal Officer at Dover, is able to spend even more time on his passion – angling. Alan is President of the Dover Sea Angling Association and he will be playing a major role in hosting the World Shore Angling Championships in the Dover district in October. He and his association members are expecting teams from up to 22 countries, including Brazil and South Africa, to be fishing from local beaches. But all the fish caught will be placed in buckets of sea water, measured by the judges, and then returned to the sea – all in the cause of conserving dwindling fish stocks.
STEVE GROOM (1974-81)
Among those who have contacted the school by e-mail in recent weeks is Steve Groom (1974-81). He writes:
Just noticed there is an e-mail address for the Old Pharosians so thought I’d “come in from the cold”. I’ve really enjoyed receiving the newsletter for the past 16 years, but have not written in the past. E-mail is so much easier – just the process of composing a note, and no messing around with paper, stamps and envelopes!
I have fond memories of the time I spent at the school, particularly in the engineering workshops under the tuition of Mr. Maurice Smith, but in the end my career moved away from engineering to computing.
Since 1981 I attended the University of Essex and graduated in computer and microprocessor systems. Married in 1984 to Jacquie. Joined British Telecom for a few years and moved to The Netherlands in 1986 to work at Fokker Aircraft near Amsterdam. Started working as a computer consultant. After five years in Holland and one daughter, moved to Switzerland. We now have two daughters – the eldest is starting her fifth year in September (equivalent of first year secondary). Jacquie is working as a motor sports journalist for the FIA covering their global GT series this year.
Enjoying living and working on the shores of Lake Geneva. Still as a consultant for large scale computer systems. Work on the internet as a hobby.
Does anyone have any news of the following Old Boys: Chris Payne, Keith Richards and Jonathan Griffiths.
Steve can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
KEITH McINNES (1941-47)
Keith, in a long and interesting letter, revives memories of wartime days spent at the school in evacuation in Ebbw Vale. Keith, whose address is 57 Mount Hill Road, Hanham, Bristol BS15 2QT, has been visiting some of his old haunts down in the Valleys. He writes “Where I lived in Cwm the Miners’ Institute has been rebuilt but the snooker tables are still the original ones from fifty years ago, refurbished of course. Price of a game £1, not 6d. The local Marine colliery has been closed down with just the winding wheels mounted over the old shafts. The steel works, as such, are no more but still finishes off work on metalwork that comes in from elsewhere”.
Keith says he saw a photograph in one of the Sunday newspaper supplements, relating to a fellow who trained race horses on a mountain. He says he immediately recognised the Domen up above Ebbw Vale. “As soon as I saw the landscape I knew where it was. I didn’t need to read the article to find out”, he says.
“My one bad memory of our school was getting the cane from Spud Slater at Ebbw Vale. It was because of a stick-throwing incident in which I was involved with others. After the caning I was all colours of the rainbow. If that had happened now I would have sued him for assault – and won”, adds Keith.
Sadly Keith is a sufferer of osteoporosis – brittle bone thinning – and he says he used to be 5 feet 10 inches tall but is now 5 feet 2 inches. His mobility is limited. “I do have the situation under control now, although I look a bit of a bent old ………”, he adds.
BILL NEWMAN (1938-1945)
Bill has this year been elected Chairman of Dover District Council, the local authority responsible for more than 100,000 people.
Born in August 1927, he lived at Eythorne and in 1940 was evacuated to Ebbw Vale with our school. After call up in the war he served in the Royal Navy (1945-48) as a supply rating, and then read Economics and Politics at the London School of Economics, where he obtained his B.Sc(Econ) degree, and later gained his M.A.(Philosophy of Education) at the London Institute of Education.
He began teaching in 1953 in Tottenham and returned to Dover in 1960 where he joined the staff of Archers Court Secondary School, from there taught at Sandwich Secondary School and in 1983 until 1988 was on the staff of Astor Secondary School.
Bill was elected to Dover District Council in 1987 and, after chairing the finance committee, was elected this year Chairman of the Council. He was a member of the Charter Trustees of Dover, served twice as Deputy Mayor and twice as Town Mayor of Dover. In 1994 he was elected Chairman of the Cinque Ports Mayors’ Association. Bill was Chairman of the Labour group on the District Council 1996-97.
He is married to Jean and they have three grown-up sons – William (an eye surgeon), and twins Mark (a computer consultant) and Michael who is teaching.
His hobbies – when he’s got time – are camping (especially in France), reading and enjoying life with a good bottle of wine!
THE REV BRYAN OWEN, (1959-1964) and member of staff (1975-87)
who with his wife had been involved in the aftermath of the Dunblane tragedy – they had a son at the school – has now moved to Surrey.
“Following three years working for the ecumenical movement in Dunblane, and partly as a result of the tragedy in which we were heavily involved, I was offered the parish of St Mary’s, Cuddington, in the diocese of Guildford.”
He is also Churches Adviser on Albanian Affairs and has been kept fairly busy as a result of the disturbances there this year.
“I have written a booklet on Albania to be published by the Council of Churches for Britain and Ireland in the summer and have been director of a medical charity working in Albania since 1991.”
Mr Owen’s new address is St Mary’s Vicarage, St Mary’s Road, Worcester Park, Surrey KT4 7JL.
DR. MARTIN RUCK (1979-1986)
Martin has made frequent visits to Dover to design and operate the lighting for the Dover Operatic and Dramatic Society shows.
On leaving the school in 1986, Martin went to Oxford to read physics for his BA degree. He returned to Oxford to become a Doctor of Philosophy in astra physics and worked for the Royal Astronomical Society.
He is currently an editor with Elseveir Science Publications in Oxford.
After being in charge of the lighting for DODS for many years, he has now called it a day. His last show for them was South Pacific in May. He has also been the lighting director with Abingdon Operatic Society, and helped with a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at a school at Witney.
A member of the school choir both when he was at the school and after he left, Martin sings with three main choirs in Oxford, the Methodist Church Choir, Cherwell Singers and the Oxford Voices, and some smaller groups, taking part in several concerts a year.
As if that isn’t enough, he has just taken a GCSE in Italian, and keeps up his piano and organ playing activities.
Also involved in the DODS production of South Pacific were Martin’s father George Ruck (1946-1953) and Stephen Yarrow (1976-83).
George, who was Mayor of Dover in 1975-6, retired in 1993 after 35 years as a teacher at Astor School.
Stephen has been musical director for previous DODS productions and also does some oratorio work for local choral societies. He is a partner in Forwood’s Music at Canterbury, and one of their best customers is Prior Park College in Bath, where the director of music is Roland Robertson (1975-80).
Phil Janaway (1944-52), who retired as deputy head of Astor in 1994 after 38 years at the school, is president of DODS.
COLIN SMITHEN (1957-1964)
Colin, born in July 1946 at South Alkham, retired in May as Head of Corporate Office with Dover District Council after 31 years in local government. He was in the school choir and after leaving worked for the Institute of London Underwriters before joining Dover Rural District Council in 1966. He remembers his recruitment caused a row that was reported in the Dover Express! He went on to work for Folkestone Borough Council, and Eastry Rural Council before joining Dover District Council in 1974. He was Clerk to the Charter Trustees of the Town of Dover from 1988 until the creation of Dover Town Council in 1996.
He was awarded a gold medal by the City of Split in Croatia in recognition of humanitarian works and another gold medal by the Republic of Croatia in recognition of helping to provide a fire engine.
Colin is also active in his village of Capel where he served as a member of the parish council (and its chairman), chairman of the village hall committee and chairman of the village school’s governing body. Now he hopes to find time for his hobbies – riding and wood turning.
His father William Smithen and his own son Paul Smithen are also old boys of our school – three generations!
RICHARD G. SPEAR (1940-1947)
Richard, who now lives in British Columbia, in the spring paid one of his occasional visits to Dover. He has had a varied career – Palestine Police, conscript in the Royal Tank Regiment, Customs Waterguard, and then into commerce, retiring as a senior executive of Chesebrough-Ponds International. Since retiring he’s worked as a volunteer with the International Executive Service Corps in the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Egypt, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Jordan, Panama and most recently Turkey.
While in Dover he popped in to see “old boy” Bod Bowles, “mine host” at the Louis Armstrong where he’s been for more than quarter of a century. Richard and his French-born wife Jeanne retired four years ago to Peachland in the wine-growing Okanagan Valley, of British Columbia.
ANDREW STUCKEN (1977-84)
Andrew has been working for the Dover Express in recent months as a sports reporter. He is also in the process of founding a translation agency. Since leaving the University of East Anglia in 1988 with a degree in Modern European Studies, including a year spent teaching English in a German grammar school, Andrew has taught in a wide variety of language training organisations.
PHILIP STUCKEN (1979-86)
Philip, brother of Andrew, is currently on a PGCE at Cambridge University and aims to be teaching geography from September. After leaving the University of Nottingham with a degree in geography in 1989, Philip went on a 15-month world tour. He then worked in the pharmaceutical sales industry, based at Cardiff, before returning to Kent in 1995.
TERRY SUTTON (1940-1947) and GRAHAM TUTTHILL (1960-1965)
have co-operated in the production of a film featuring the changes that have taken place in Dover over the last seventy years. Terry wrote the script and Graham performed the music that introduced the film, now on sale “at good bookshops”. The video, called Summer Holidays, was shown for the first time at Dover Film Festival in March. The video was produced by Phil Heath of Dover’s Heathwood Studios. Terry has been script writing for Dover films for more than a quarter of a century and Graham for the last four years.
JONATHAN TODHUNTER (1983-90)
Jonathan, who left school in 1990, is off to work in Singapore and he wonders if there are any OPs in that part of the world. If so he would like some addresses. His address is 13 Lang Road, Crewkerne, Somerset, TA18 8HQ.
What’s he been up to since leaving school (where he was very much involved in the music department with Adrian Boynton)? He went off to Reading University to study music and education and after four busy years there he left in 1994 (with a 2.1) moving to Somerset as a class teacher and music co-ordinator at Milborne Port County Primary School. Since he arrived there he has started his own Chamber Choir which performs regularly in south west England. He’s also conducted the Yeovil Choral Society for a year. “I guess the Boynton influence is hard to get rid of”, says Jonathan.
All this has come to an end because now he’s off to Singapore for two years as Assistant Director of Music at the Tanglin School, the premier British-type school in Asia with 1,500 children on its books. Good luck!
GARY VIRTUE (1975-76)
Gary came to our school from Archers Court School, Whitfield for his final year. Since leaving school he’s made a name for himself as “Mine Host” at local hostelries. He and his wife Beverley run the award-winning Crown Inn at Finglesham near Deal and now he has invested around £100,000 in bringing the closed Park Inn, Dover back to life. The Crown Inn has been judged by the White Cliffs Country Tourism Association to be the Best Pub in the Dover district for tourists and his restaurant at the pub won a national award. The Park Inn, opposite Dover police station, was due to re-open in July.
KENT VILLAGE – DIARY OF A WANDERER
Copies of a book by S Charles Croucher (1931-36) have been donated to be sold for school funds.
Charles wrote Kent Village as the first part of an autobiographical narrative. It began as an exercise in memory to record some highlights in a varied and interesting lifespan.
“A few years earlier, Charles suffered serious injury in a biking accident which resulted in stroke and language loss, thus ending a second career as a teacher of three foreign languages and translator,” said his widow, Hope. “So the exercise in memory grew into Diary of a Wanderer.”
The real narrative starts from when he was five, separated from his family and sent to a distant village to live with a widowed foster parent. His childhood from that point, school days and early job experiences centre on St Margaret’s, the focus of his story.
There is a whole chapter on his time at what was then the newly-opened Dover County School, and he recalls that he won one of just three scholarships granted at the school in the academic year starting September 1931. The other two were Gimbert, son of a Dover bus driver, and Furlong, from Shepherdswell.
Charles wrote of his many detailed memories of life at the school, including his daily routine to catch the school bus, the brisk 20 minute walk from the Market Square to school, and the special occasions such as the formal opening by the Duke of Kent.
“The new county school was probably the best equipped in the country at the time,” he recalled. “I wish now that I had taken more advantage of its academic features and less of its recreational facilities.”
He wrote fondly of some of the staff, including Ferdie Allin (Latin), Thomas Watt (French) and Ernie Froude (maths).
The book ends at the outbreak of war, and he had also written a further book about his active war service in the Royal Navy, and another book on India. Charles and Hope were nearing completion of parts five and six in the series when he died suddenly aged 73.
Mrs Croucher has generously donated 100 copies of the book to the school, and these are available at £3.50 each. We are extremely grateful to her, and no doubt many old boys – particularly those who were at the school in the 1930s – will enjoy reading it.
The books are available from the school. We would be grateful if you would include a donation towards postage and packing.
Every time we send out copies of these newsletters, there are unfortunately a few members who don’t receive them, because we don’t know their addresses.
Can anyone help with the whereabouts of B.E. Argent, C.F. Askie, B. Bechet, T.V. Burley, S.J. Colman, A.D. Cripps, A.D. Fisher, K. Gill, R.S. Harman, A.J. Knott,
P. Jubb, E.W. Lister, T.W. Lucas, A.J. Mercer, Sgt P.A. O’Flaherty, L.C. Segol,
J. Palmer, C. Paddock, J.F. Relf, D.J. Russell, D.J. Thurston and A. Willows.
Steve Talbot (1971-78) had never visited the school until July this year when he was invited back to present the medals at sports day.
Steve still holds the records for 14 events – and no-one came near to breaking any of them again this year.
He first became interested in athletics when he was about 14.
“I was playing rugby on the lower field with a good friend Nicky Harbour (1971-76) when I grabbed the ball out of his arms and ran to the line. I dropped the ball instead of touching it down so it didn’t count as a try. But I realised nobody could catch me. That was the first time I realised I could run fast.”
The records he then set which are still unbroken are the year 7 200 metres (27.5 seconds) in 1972, year 8 1500 metres (4 mins 20 secs) in 1973, year 9 long jump (5.96 metres), 100 metres (11.8 secs), 200 metres (23.8 secs) 400 metres (53.5 secs), 800 metres (2 mins 4.9 secs) in 1974, year 10 400 metres (56.4 secs), 800 metres (2 mins 12.9 secs) in 1975, open 1500 metres (4m 08s) open 100 metres, (11.3), 200 metres (22.6 secs) and 400 metres (50.8 secs) open 800 metres (1 min 55.9 secs) in 1976.
That year he was ranked number one youth for the 800 metres in the country and went on to be picked for the Olympic junior squad in 1980. He was trained by his father John Talbot who had also been a pupil at our school (1942-47).
Steve was one of the first pupils at the school to take computing at O and A level, and went on to Leeds University where he gained an Honours degree in computerised science.
He has worked for various companies and spent two years in America and some time in Paris. Returning to this country he became a lecturer at Napier University in Edinburgh, being involved in several European research projects and publishing two academic papers a year on computing.
In 1995 he was awarded an honorary Research Fellowship at Edinburgh, supervising PhD students.
He now runs his own computer software business, Objx By Design, based in Brighton, with most of the work being done in London. He lives in Henfield near Brighton, is married to Lisa and they have a two-year-old daughter Sybie.
Steve described being invited back to the school to make the presentations at sports day as a bigger honour than all his achievements at school.
Only one record was broken during the day. Ricky Stanley, aged 12, from Aylesham, achieved 21.90 metres in the year 7 discus. The previous record, 21.34, was set by Roger Watson in 1981.
For your interest, the oldest record still standing is 13.25 metres for the open shot set by K. Curran in 1950.