OPA Newsletter February 1998
OLD PHAROSIANS’ ASSOCIATION
New Series No. 73
LIST OF CONTENTS
NEWS OF THE ASSOCIATION
* Officers and Committee Members
* President’s Message
* This Year’s President Denis Weaver
* And our Vice President – Tony Bradley
* Were you There?
* Archivist’s Corner
* The Annual Meeting 1997
* London Reunion 1998
* Calling the Year of ’69
NEWS OF THE SCHOOL
* Carols by Candlelight
* Junior Prizegiving and Guest Evening, 1997
* Back in the Melting Pot
* News of the School, gathered from First Thursday Newsletters
NEWS OF OLD BOYS
* Members still Living and Learning
NEWS OF THE ASSOCIATION
OFFICERS AND COMMITTEE 1997-98
PRESIDENT: Denis Weaver
Weeford House, Common Lane,
River, Dover CT17 OQZ
PAST PRESIDENT: Rev Dr. Michael Hinton
212 The Gateway, Dover CT16 1LL
VICE PRESIDENT: A.W. Bradley
Marcham, Abingdon, Oxon
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 D. Murray
SECRETARY: Dover Grammar School for Boys
Astor Avenue, Dover, CT17 0DQ
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. Margaret’s Bay, Dover CT15 6ED
COMMITTEE: M.J. Palmer (to retire 1998)
B.D. Crush (to retire 1998)
AUDITOR: Neil Beverton
HEADMASTER: N.A. Slater
STAFF D. Murray
REPRESENTATIVES: M.R. Grant
HEAD PREFECT: Richard Berridge
E-MAIL ADDRESS: Pharos@dgsb.demon.co.uk
It was a very pleasant surprise to be invited to stand for election as your president for this year and I feel very honoured to have been elected at last September’s AGM. This honour has started me thinking about the purposes of having an association of ex-pupils which in our case goes under the title of the Old Pharosians, though none of us can claim to be as old as the Roman Pharos which we can see so clearly from the school across the valley on the White Cliffs of Dover.
I see us as having two main reasons for existence: firstly to help ex-pupils to keep in touch or re-establish contact with each other; and secondly to help the school, its present pupils and staff.
On the first count, we have a membership of some 700 and this excellent twice-yearly magazine publishes details of current school events and of news of old boys which is eagerly read by members. In my year of office I should like to extend the membership and propose that with the next issue of the magazine we shall send to each of you a list of members who are roughly contemporary with the time you spent at the school. This will enable you to contact old friends and also to suggest to us names and addresses of old boys who are not members so that we can invite them to re-associate themselves with the school. Until you get the paper work with the next issue in July, make a note in your diary of the names of old school friends so that you can be ready to send a list back to us for us to follow up.
Secondly an increased membership will be able to help the school even more. Most of this help will be financial and your committee has decided that we do not need to keep a balance of over £8,000 when the school is calling out for more funds. We have resolved to buy various items of equipment for the school to use up about half of our balance and the first tranche was authorised at our meeting in November. We shall be calling on members to help directly in this by increasing the number of members.
You may recall that Ken Ruffell was editor of the news letter for many years but handed over to Terry Sutton and Graham Tutthill last year. Ken joined the school as a geography teacher in 1937 so has been associated with us for sixty years. Your committee has resolved to commemorate this remarkable achievement of service to many generations of boys by erecting a plaque at the back of the Great Hall.
At our dinner last September we had a visitor, Peter Hayward, who is not a former pupil of the school but he had written and compiled a book of the experiences of East Kent children as evacuees mainly to South Wales in the last war. Many of these recollections are from Old Pharosians who were evacuated with our school – probably many of them known to you. The book, Children Into Exile, has 232 pages with many illustrations and costs £12.95. It can be ordered from bookshops or direct from the author: Peter Hayward, 4 St. Albans Downs, Nonington, Dover – please add £2 for packing and postage. Peter himself was evacuated to Wales at the age of two in 1940.
I wish you a successful 1998 and look forward to your response to the initiatives mentioned above for the benefit of the Association and the school.
THIS YEAR’S PRESIDENT DENIS WEAVER
Denis joined the school in September 1939 in the Prep/Trans Form in which Miss Rookwood looked after boys of 8 to 11 until they joined the first form. There was virtually no school that first term until the air-raid shelters were built. Then in May 1940 the school was evacuated to Ebbw Vale but Denis went to an aunt in Suffolk and attended five different primary schools before gaining a scholarship to the school which he rejoined in Wales in September 1942. After three years in the sixth form he left in 1950 and pursued a career in horticulture before returning to Dover in 1956 to help in the family printing and stationery business. In 1972 it merged with Buckland Press which until then had been run by former Old Pharosian President Arnold Stanway.
His interest in drama, picked up at school, took him into Dover Operatic and Dramatic Society where he chaired the committee which organised Son et Lumiere at Dover Castle in 1961. For twenty-one years he was president of DODS to be succeeded by Old Pharosians Bob Winter and now Phil Janaway. He served on Dover Borough Council 1968/70 and was appointed successively to several local school governing bodies including our own of which he was chairman for five years in the 1980s. He was chairman of our neighbouring Astor School for twenty-three years until last September.
He was invited to join the Rotary Club of Dover in 1964 becoming president 1973/4 and District Governor of the 72 clubs of Kent and East Sussex 1983/4. He was appointed a magistrate in 1968 (when Tony Bradley’s father was chairman of the Dover Borough Bench) and now serves as a court chairman. For five years he was chairman of the Kent Branch of the Magistrates’ Association and for twelve years a member of Council of the national Magistrates’ Association. He is also a member of the Dover panel of General Commissioners of Income Tax.
He is married to Liz and they have a daughter and three sons, two being members of the Old Pharosians.
AND OUR VICE PRESIDENT – TONY BRADLEY
Tony Bradley was at the school from 1945 to 1952 when his father was chairman of the governors. He took the School Certificate (the equivalent of the current GCSE) two years earlier than his contemporaries and gained seven distinctions and one credit. After taking his Higher School Certificate from VI Arts he went to Cambridge to read law and was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court in 1960.
After being a lecturer at Cambridge 1960/8, he was Professor of Constitutional Law at Edinburgh University for over twenty years. His energies were not confined within the university as he was a visiting professor of public law at Florence in 1984, chairman of the Edinburgh Council for Single Homeless 1984/8, on a Social Security Appeal Tribunal 1984/9, a sub-committee investigating police powers 1985/9, the Wolfenden Committee on Voluntary Organisations 1974/8, the committee of inquiry into local government in Scotland and a committee reviewing local government in the Scottish islands. Readers may also have seen him on television when he was called upon to comment on constitutional issues.
He was called to the bar in 1989 and now practises as a barrister. When he left Edinburgh he lived in Richmond but has now moved to the country to Morland House, Sheepstead, Marcham, Near Abingdon, Oxon OX13 6QG where he lives with his wife Kathleen. They have three daughters, one son and one grandson.
Tony will take over the presidency of the Old Pharosians at the AGM at the school on Saturday 26th September and hopes to see a large number of his old school friends at the dinner in the Great Hall that evening.
WERE YOU THERE?
Psychologists want to know from you the long-term effects of wartime evacuation if you were among those at the school who suffered that trauma in 1940-44!
Dr. Stuart Rusby, a psychologist carrying out research at Birkbeck College at the University of London, is seeking the help of any Old Boys who spent some time in evacuation in Ebbw Vale during the last war. He would appreciate their help in a written survey of their perception of any long-term effects of that evacuation.
“This would include those who were evacuated while at their primary schools and I am interested in a range of evacuation periods from a few months to some years,” he says.
The survey he is conducting is to be carried out by postal questionnaire and Dr. Rusby can be contacted on his answer phone (01428-607723), requesting a questionnaire or by writing to Dr. Stuart Rusby at the Department of Psychology, Birkbeck College, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX.
Dr. Rusby says replies to the questionnaire can remain anonymous but he would be happy to be contacted after the main survey to follow up on certain themes in the respondent’s life history.
A summary of the main findings of the research will be available at the conclusion of the study, he says.
Greetings! Once again there was a very good response to the requests made in the last Archivist’s Corner.
Donald Dewer and William Kemp have done a quite splendid job in identifying people on the 1924 School photograph. In addition Mr Dewar sent me a photocopy of a 1923 School photograph! The Reverend Bill Kemp kindly entertained me at his home where he talked with great affection about the School, its masters and pupils. On the subject of boaters Mr Dewar wrote that his brother Albert, with Jack Ewell, got permission in 1932 or 33, as a mark of distinction and superiority, to wear boaters. This could well have been the start of the rather short-lived use, by the School, of that type of headwear.
Ian Fenwick came up to the School and gave us a framed 1950 School photograph. It is hoped that this will be hung in the reception area where there are already year-photographs for 1924 and 1994. This would give a photograph from the time of three of the five Headmasters, that is Messrs Whitehouse, Booth and Slater. It would be pleasing to have a full set of five photographs. Any offers for the periods covered by Dr Hinton and Mr Colman?
Gordon Graeme sent in a photograph of the Meccano Club, which was organised by Mr Coulson, as well as a Pharos Magazine from 1936. Most of those featured in the photograph, of about 1928, have been identified but there are still a few boys to be named.
Moving on to more recent times, Ron Chatburn sent me programmes and an audio tape of some of the School drama productions his sons were involved in at the end of the seventies and the beginning of the eighties.
At the annual Reunion Dinner, Peter Hayward donated to the archives a copy of his book Children Into Exile (The story of the evacuation of school children from Hellfire Corner in the Second World War), which contains the reminiscences of several Old Pharosians. Incidentally, the annual dinner really is a most enjoyable affair, which I strongly recommend, even if only to sing Forty Years On – each year it seems to have more relevance for me!
Maurice Smith has given us a lot of material – as a teacher at the School for many years he is a source of both archive material and much information. One particular item that he donated recently was a pair of audio tapes made at the Whitehouse reunion (March 1988).
There has been significant progress on the archive computer database as a sixth former, Chris Odell, has undertaken, as an A level project, to transfer the database from its present Dataease environment to that of the Microsofts Access. We hope this will help significantly with the work of entering data onto the system and also make searches much easier for both the casual visitor to the School, seeking information, and your archive team. Also, the database will be more available for the School to use in computer studies, should it be required. They would only work on a copy of the database, of course! At the moment your data-entering team is getting behind with the task of processing the records. If anyone would like to help us they would be most welcome. Monday morning is the normal time that we come up to the School – about once every three weeks. Recently John Le Prevost and Bert Stone paid us a visit and helped with identification of people on photographs.
The School Museum. Can anyone help with tracking down the museum and its contents. Was it at Frith Road as well as up at the new building? I cannot recall any reference to it when I was at the School immediately after World War II.
Finally, returning to the subject of audio tapes, does anyone know the whereabouts of a tape recording of the reminiscences of Mrs Turnpenny, Alf Gunn and Norman Sutton? I am told boys from the School carried out the exercise in which the three worthies spoke about the School but where is the tape – perhaps in the museum?
THE ANNUAL MEETING, 1997
The meeting, held on Saturday 27 September, was attended by old boys whose time at the school ranged from 1927 to 1974. Present were Michael Hinton (President), Denis Weaver, Neil Slater (Headmaster), Peter Burville, John Borrett, John Le Prevost, Bert Stone, Tony Bradley, John Booth, Denis Doble, Dave Murray (staff member), Ken Ruffell, Ian Fenwick, Mick Palmer, Maurice Smith, Ian Pascall (treasurer) and Terry Sutton who was asked to take the minutes.
Among the list of apologies was one from Mrs Turnpenny, now aged 104!
The meeting began with the President, Michael Hinton, asking all to stand in memory of John Ellis (former Old Pharosian and one time member of staff) and Norman Kaufman (former member of staff) who had died since the last AGM.
Treasurer Ian Pascall submitted a written report on the financial position which showed that in the year under review (to July end 1997) there had been a deficit of £117.72. Subscriptions were down from £425 in 1996 to £277 although covenanted income showed an increase. During the year £1,703 had been spent on equipment for the school, including £450 on a saxophone. Assets stood at £8,643.59 (£8,753.31). It is one of the objects of the Old Pharosians’ Association to “engage in activities which support the school”.
President Michael Hinton thanked the officers and committee for their co-operation during his year of office and the Headmaster for the use of the school for meetings. He welcomed the new President, Denis Weaver (1939-50), chairman of Buckland Press, who then took over the meeting. Tony Bradley (1945-52), a barrister and legal book author who had been in 6th Arts for a time with Denis Weaver, was elected vice-President. Others elected were: Hon Secretary – Phil Harding, Assistant Secretary – Colin Henry, Hon Treasurer – Ian Pascall, Membership Secretary – David Murray, Archivist – Peter Burville, News Letter Editors – Terry Sutton and Graham Tutthill, Auditor – Neil Beverton. Maurice Smith and Graham Tutthill were re-elected to the committee. Staff members to serve on the committee were David Murray, Malcolm Grant, Steve Bailey and Alan Jackson.
Ken Ruffell reported attending a memorial service in London to former President Louis Watt and invited subscriptions to a Louis Watt memorial fund which has been established in London.
Archivist Peter Burville gave details of his strengthening team of helpers and the work they were carrying out, and invited any others with long memories who could help identify people depicted on a wealth of pictures he was receiving. He again stressed the need for filing space to accommodate all the information coming in.
Tony Bradley and John Booth agreed to try to organise another London re-union in the City, possibly in the Spring (more details later in this News Letter).
Headmaster Neil Slater gave an update on the progress of the school with the completion of the first phase of a re-building plan that created more teaching space for the increasing numbers joining the school. He also gave a run-down on the Government’s latest White Paper on education and its possible implications for selective schools such as Dover Grammar School for Boys. He pointed out there were only 160 grammar schools left in the UK of which 39 were in Kent.
In the afternoon, the annual football fixture between the Old Pharosians and the school’s 1st XI proved to be a one-sided affair with a strong Old Boys’ XI overpowering a school team weakened by injuries and work commitments.
The Old Pharosians won the Andrew Kremer Memorial Cup outright for the first time since 1991 with a final scoreline of 10-0.
The association was represented by Matt Robinson, Paul Castle, Chris Alcock, Colin Smith, Simon Gretton, Paul Henwood, Kristian Allen, John Murphy, Jason Oliver, Dan Bowley, John Stonebridge, Paul Padfield and Alan Tingey.
At the dinner in the evening, new president Denis Weaver recalled he was just eight years old when he first attended the school in September 1939. The school was closed until the shelters were built, so he started in January 1940, and in May 1940 was evacuated to Suffolk.
“I came home for the school summer holiday and endured the first lot of shelling in August 1940. When River School was re-opened in 1942 I took the scholarship as it was called then, and I was successful and went to Ebbw Vale to join the school in September 1942.”
Denis was in Middle One, under Spud Slater, occupying half of a church hall, and he recalled asking for extra exercise books so that he could do more homework!
The announcement of D Day, the return to the school, and a “mock” election at the school in which Denis stood as the Conservative candidate – and lost severely – were all treasured memories.
“If you wanted good marks from Miss Rookwood you had to include something religious in your essay,” he said.
He played the wicked uncle in Aladdin, produced by Mr. Hyde, but on one occasion there was no lamp to rub. John Talbot saved the day, dashing to the physics lab to get it.
Denis spoke of the two-week trip he made with 30 boys, and Gordon King, to Copenhagen, and he recalled how he tried to learn to play the organ, but was surpassed by vice-President Tony Bradley. It was he and Tony who marked the red and blue stripes on the spines of books in the school library.
“I enjoyed the sixth form,” said Denis. “We had a campaign against the local education authority’s decision to paint the beams in the hall, and as a result only those that went one way were painted. The others were left.”
He confessed to conducting the orchestra “with disastrous results”, and being a disaster in acting.
Denis left school in July 1950, his education having spanned three decades (1939 to 1940 and 1942 to 1950). He avoided national service, and returned from London to help in the family business. In 1970 he joined the combined board of governors for both boys’ and girls’ grammar schools, and in 1980 the boards separated to form two governing bodies.
Proposing the toast to the school, Denis spoke of the purpose of the Old Pharosians’ Association. “It brings together old school friends and their teachers, it’s a good excuse for a good dinner with our ladies, and it’s good to support the current staff and pupils – and to reminisce!” he said. And he stressed the vital role the association can play in helping the present pupils.
Denis paid special tribute to Ken Ruffell (present at the dinner, as always, with his wife Barbara). Ken was appointed to the school by JC Booth in 1937, and has now completed 60 years association with the school. He has corresponded with old boys and former staff around the world and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the school and its old boys. A plaque is to be provided to mark the service Ken has given to the school.
The dinner also marked the launch of a new book telling what it was like for the young people of East Kent to be evacuated during the war, torn away from their parents and homes to make the long journey into the unknown. The book, Children Into Exile, has been written by Peter Hayward, a former Ministry of Defence official who lives at Nonington. Peter Hayward was at the dinner and presented a copy to head teacher Neil Slater for the school library and another to Peter Burville for the Old Pharosians’ archives.
We are having a membership drive in 1998 to try to recruit more old boys of the school to join the Old Pharosians. For just £5 a year, it really is a very worthwhile way of maintaining links with the school and supporting the present staff and pupils.
Many attempts have been made over the years to keep in contact with boys as soon as they leave. But joining the association is not the top of their priority list when they are setting off to university and starting out in the working world. It is usually 20, 30 or even 40 years on when they recall their school days and wonder what’s happened to all their old school friends. By then it is sometimes too late to track them down. We have tried to persuade recent leavers to join the association by offering them five years’ subscription for £5. We hope this will take them through their time at university and into their chosen careers, and that they will then continue their membership at the annual fee.
But there are thousands of old boys who have slipped through the net over the years, and we are sure that each Old Pharosian must know at least one who has never joined.
Enclosed with this news letter is a membership form and we would be grateful if you would pass it on to one such person. If you know more than one, please feel free to photocopy it and send the copies to as many as you can! And why not ask them to submit a potted history of themselves at the same time which we would use to update their school record and publish in the news letter.
The forms should be returned to the membership secretary, David Murray, c/o the school. The more members we have, the more money we would have at our disposal to help provide the school with extra facilities and equipment.
LONDON REUNION 1998
Following the successful reunion in London in 1996, there will be a further reunion in central London on Tuesday, 19 May 1998 at 5pm. Both the headmaster, Neil Slater, and association president Denis Weaver expect to be present, and the exact venue will be announced nearer the time. Even if you are not able to attend association events in Dover, this will be an enjoyable opportunity to meet old friends again and to catch up on news of the school. A modest charge for refreshments will be made.
If you wish details of the reunion and a booking slip sent to you nearer the time, please send your name either to Tony Bradley at Morland, Sheepstead Road, Marcham, near Abingdon, OX13 6QG (phone 01865 390774, fax 01865 390775), or to John Booth at 641c Loose Road, Maidstone ME15 9UT (01622 746271).
CALLING THE YEAR OF ’69
A reunion is being organised for all those who joined the school in September 1969.
Ian Blaskett, Paul Reeves and Phil Blackman were three of about 100 boys who came the school that year, and they have come up with the idea of trying to find as many of their former school friends as possible. Ian has already traced around half of them, but would like to hear from any others who were in his year.
Both he and Paul have worked in the freight department of Stena Line for many years. Phil runs the sub-Post Office at New Bridge, Dover, and sticks the stamps on all the envelopes for these news letters. They decided to organise a reunion now because they are all turning 40 this year and it seemed a good opportunity to get together and recall old times.
The event is being held at Dover Rugby Club on Saturday 28 March and anyone who is interested should contact Ian on Dover (01304) 225903. His address is 45 Manor Road, Dover CT17 9LQ. He would like to hear from any of the 1969 entry even if they can not attend the reunion.
Our apologies for two errors in the last edition of the news letter.
The Rev. Graham Batten has not resigned as a governor of the school. He has been given leave of absence for a year.
David Cloke (1984-91) studied at Newcastle University, not Nottingham.
NEWS OF THE SCHOOL
CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT
President Denis Weaver represented the Old Pharosians and read one of the lessons at the school’s Service of Nine Lessons and Carols by Candlelight at Charlton Church on Wednesday 17 December.
Several other old boys joined the choir for the occasion and the music, as always, was of an extremely high standard. Matthew Wilkinson (1987-94) was the soloist in The Three Kings.
JUNIOR PRIZEGIVING AND GUEST EVENING, 1997
Councillor Bill Newman (1938-45), chairman of Dover District Council, presented the prizes at the Junior Prizegiving in October.
During the afternoon’s programme, pupils performed a number of music and spoken word items, including poems which they had written. Reports were also given on various aspects of school life.
During his speech, Cllr. Newman said: “Dover Grammar School for Boys is a centre of excellence. Never let it be anything else. At times I feel I have become a bit of a mystic, particularly when I hear the old boys’ song Forty Years On. I immediately go into reverse gear, time goes backwards. Forty years on? It seems only like yesterday when in school blazer and shorts, I sat with my friends in Middle One – I never aspired to Upper One. I can see their faces clearly. I remember the head prefect Louis Watt standing here. He had a very good, authorative voice. School can have a great effect, not only with the opportunities it provides, but it can give your life added meaning, deep values and great riches.
“As students of this school you all become members of a great tradition, not exclusive, but open to all who will join, a tradition that not only brings understanding, opportunity and enrichment to our own lives, but enables us, through our contribution to learning and knowledge and our respect for our neighbour, to give hope and help to those less fortunate than ourselves, to illumine and enrich some of the dark corners of the world.”
Cllr. Newman said he owed a lot to this school, which his three sons also attended. Michael went on to Imperial College, Mark to Jesus College, Cambridge, and William to the London Hospital Medical School.
“Sir James Menter, at the end of his address at the Guildhall, London, celebrating the bi-centenary of the London Hospital Medical School some years ago, greeted my son, who was then president of the Students Union, with these words: `Young man I have been most successful in my life, to reach this most eminent position. I know you too will be successful. I wish you success and every happiness for the future. For you are the future and what an exciting future it will be.’
“I know that those words can be just as well said about all the students present here. Congratulations on your excellent achievements.” Referring to the school motto, Fiat Lux – Let There Be Light, he told the students: “You are that light. You are the hope for the future.”
There was much admiration for what Steve Talbot (1971-78) said during his speech at the school’s Guest Evening in November on the theme What Is Success? So we have reproduced some of it here for the interest of those who were not able to attend the event.
After thanking the school for inviting him, Mr. Talbot said he had only made it to such an occasion once before and that was nearly 25 years ago when he received his one and only merit certificate for academic achievement.
“I have a confession to make. I was never very good at languages and I happened to sit next to the second best boy at French. Consequently my exam results were twice as good as the year before and half as good in the years after.”
Mr. Talbot congratulated the Headmaster, staff and students on making it to number four in the published list of academic achievement – beating the girls’ school in the bargain.
“What is success and how should we measure it? In the case of the school’s performance there will be many here, including myself and members of staff, who will be a little reticent in receiving acclaim based on league tables. But we do not live in a perfect world and while these tables may not give a fair picture of those less equipped schools they represent a very public ranking for an institution and so cannot be understated or forgotten. So I think it is safe to say this represents a deserved measure of success for this school.
“But the success I want to talk about is the success that we grapple with in our every day lives. The success that we wrestle with when we look back on what we have achieved. The inner success that truly defines us, the success we will be remembered for by those closest to us.
“Many of you who know me, at least by name, will do so for my athletic prowess here in Dover and at this school in particular. In my current more portly guise this may be difficult for some of you to imagine and even more difficult for me to understand. But none the less I am very proud of what I achieved but more so for what it meant to me. I started to be good at sports because of the racism I experienced, not just at this school but generally in this town. I was one of three black students at this school. In varying degrees we all suffered at the hands of some of our fellow students. My athleticism was a release from this. Suddenly I was Steve Talbot the runner and not Steve Talbot the nigger.
“This kind of bullying both at school, in this town and elsewhere will always be around. But the extent that it takes hold and grows is a factor of how much we allow it to.
“The success from my athletics, for me, was not any of the accolades, medals and badges that I may have won but the chance to define myself in my own terms and not be defined by the racism that I experienced. It was a chance for me to reinforce my own identity. It was the development of an inner strength, of self-belief, and inner confidence that I was better than the racist name-calling that I experienced so often. And so it was the inner success and not the outer success that was the most important.
“Some years ago when we lived in Edinburgh, I remember a conversation that took place, probably in the bar, after the degree results had been published. One of the students, looking a bit disappointed, said, `I got a 2.ii’ at which point her friend was heard to say `At least it wasn’t a 3′. Well I left this establishment to go to Leeds University to study for a degree in Computational Science, and I graduated with one of those thirds. I always knew I was better than the result suggested, not because I was a brilliant academic, but because I always knew I was a good applied software engineer.
“I published my first academic paper within two years of graduating with no changes whatsoever. I managed to do it because of my own self-belief. The big success in this paper was on the outside being in print in a reputable journal but the bigger success was knowing before it ever got into print that it was a worthy piece of work for me.
“From 1981, when I graduated, to 1985 I went through several jobs and then came one of the biggest events in my life, my mother died. I was 25 years old and starting to enjoy life as a young professional and looking forward to the days when my mum could stay with me and I could cook for her. Alas, that is something which I will never have the opportunity to do. Perhaps there is a hidden message there for all the boys – when you are professional, take your mother with you and cook her a good dinner! That year, 1985, was the year in which I had to grow up fast. Coming to terms with the death of a parent is never easy. They seem like an institution that will be around forever and their mortality comes as a shock. It certainly did for me.
“I went to the USA to live and work for two years. It was a bit like a time machine for me. Time stopped and allowed me to come to terms with not having a mum. Career wise it was the best and most successful move I had made but the inner success was a fierce self-reliance born on the ashes of my mother’s death. That self-reliance was based on a perspective view of success. A view that incorporates self-belief, inner confidence and inner strength. They are all facets of the same diamond, a diamond that is hewn from a feeling of self worth, regardless of what happens publicly; the honours we may win, the accolades we may receive, the money we may earn.
“I came back from the USA in 1987 to start a Masters Degree. Alas I never really got
into it and left Edinburgh University at the end of the first term. But during that term I got very involved in South African politics. I became president of Edinburgh University Anti-Apartheid, a post I held for two years.
“During that time I met my wife to be, Lisa. We met at a political meeting. A Namibia Support Group meeting. To be honest I don’t think many people even knew where it was. So Lisa and I had a common political baptism and a common goal to see the liberation of Namibia and South Africa. A group of us worked very hard on South African issues. We founded a scholarship for South African students at the university. We started a Student News Service, which reached out all over the world. Indeed at a time when very few people could get stories into or out of South Africa and China the SNS did it in spades. Copy was written up and faxed or emailed and re-faxed and re-emailed all over the world.
“During the same period I started as a lecturer at Napier University in Edinburgh. But this period was dominated by my ventures into the world of South African politics. The achievements, the SNS, the scholarships, the raising of awareness are all successes that outstrip those in my professional life. And yet without the grounding professionally and academically I could never have contributed in the way that I did. And so the successes were intertwined. I gave many speeches, spoke in debates, picketed and organised along with my colleagues of that time. One speech I gave, in Stirling, stands out from all of the others. The ANC had no one to speak and so they asked me to speak in their place. The Lord Provost of Stirling was sponsoring a Nelson Mandela birthday party and wanted a speaker who would also cut the cake. I spoke and reduced the Lord Provost and many others present to tears by telling stories of what happens in South Africa to black people in times of trouble. What made that speech work, what moved the Lord Provost, was not the words but the utter belief and emotion that made them come alive.
“To open one’s self, to show emotion, to show we are vulnerable is not a sign of weakness. Far from it, it shows great inner strength. My involvement with the struggle for freedom in South Africa was almost certainly born out of my grief for my mother’s death. It gave me an opportunity to express that grief by helping her country, and the pain that I felt at losing her gave rise to the emotions and the vulnerability that is needed to change people’s hearts. When South Africa gained its freedom I was bound for industry and a less political life.
“For someone who got a u-grade in their French O-level and who wrote all about an escaped bear from a circus in their translation exercise when in fact it was all about a window cleaner, the last place anyone expected me to go was France. I came home from work one day and asked Lisa how she felt about moving from Edinburgh to Paris. It was one of her dreams come true. This entailed learning to speak French, something that I had so nobly failed to do so far.
“Again it’s down to inner confidence. I knew I could do it if I tried hard enough. I don’t claim I speak very well or understand very much but I improved enough to feel comfortable as a tourist rather than a worker. For me it was a success in as much as I survived what was a hostile environment for three years, although, socially, this invariably was based on an unparalleled ability to turn the entire room, full of French people, into English speakers at the drop of a hat.
“We came back from Paris to have our baby daughter and to be nearer to our respective families. On the 5 March 1995 Sybie Alexander Ross-Talbot was born. A healthy 7lb 7oz baby girl. The apple of her daddy’s eye.
“During the same time my career took off. I started ObjX By Design Ltd and within two years started Push Technologies Ltd. Push Technologies was founded in August and is already a multi-million dollar company.
“Sounds like a success doesn’t it? But the greatest success was building a family and taking the time to enjoy it.
“A poster adorns a friend’s wall. Across it is written the following:
`When you are old and grey.
Will you be remembered for the house you lived in?
Will you be remembered for the yacht you owned?
Will you be remembered for the car that you drove?
Will you be remembered for the salary you commanded?
Or will you be remembered for the role you played in the life of a child?’
“For me this is my success. The way I want to be remembered when I am no longer of this world will surely be how my daughter talks of me.
“So what is success? Success is subjective. It is different for everyone. But true success comes from inside out and not outside in. The students receiving prizes here today are clearly successful. They are, quite rightly, receiving acclaim for their success. But I put it to you that every single student in this school is a success and have their successes. They may not be self-evident, they may not be here to receive public acclamation but in their own way they are successes. This school is a success because of every student who graces it and every teacher who has taught here. So let us not forget those who are not here. Those students who have not won prizes are still to be encouraged and nurtured on their way to greater success.
“When I was here in the summer for Sports Day I found a student in the corridor, a young chap distraught for having been disqualified. I tracked him down on the upper playing field during the afternoon and we talked and I told him words to the effect that he should go out there and show them what he could do. He didn’t win his next event, although I think he would have broken the world record and not just one of my records had he continued at the pace he started out at. No, winning was not the success that he craved. What he craved was an expression of how he felt, channelled into one lap of such intensity. He had his success and much of my admiration that day. He was as true to himself as he could be and that was his ultimate success and that is why I admired him as he crossed that line after the winner but with a very big grin across his face.
“I’d like to end by leaving you with an embellished quote from Hamlet by Polonius, which for me sums up what I have tried to share with you this evening:
This above all to thine own self be true. And it must follow as the night the day thou canst not then be false to any man (or woman).”
Headteacher Neil Slater revealed that he had found an old computer punch tape at the school from the 1970s, with Steve Talbot’s name on it, and he handed it back to him.
Steve Talbot has presented two new prizes named after his father John Talbot who was a pupil at the school from 1942 to 1947.
John Talbot sent this message for the prize giving:
I want to add my congratulations to the whole school for the obvious success it is achieving. Such achievement must have come through hard work, a fine Headmaster and a dedicated staff. It it 50 years this year since I left the school without any examination passes, but having been influenced by another generation of fine teachers, amongst them J.C. Booth, W.E. Pearce, O.M. Rookwood, Ken Ruffell and of particular importance to me Tim Hyde. I would just like to speak to those who, like me, take little or nothing by way of academic success away with them this year. Don’t for one moment think it hasn’t been worthwhile or that you can’t do what the tortoise did in outpacing the hare. Today measures only the performance to date, and important as that is, it doesn’t tell of what might come.
Good luck to all of you, staff, pupils and parents alike. And a special good wish for the future to the winners of these awards.
Daniel Dyer received the John Talbot prize for practical computing, presented to an Upper School student, while Stephen Moloney received the John Talbot information and technology prize, presented to a Middle School pupil.
Other prizewinners were: Whitehouse memorial prize for RE, Adam Man-Cheung; Martin Broom memorial prize for special endeavour, Michael Roberts; Old Boys’ Cadet Prize, Daniel Dyer; Contingent Commander’s prize for initiative and enterprise, Mitu Islam; Nigel Pointer prize for special endeavour, Oliver Lansley; Staff prize, Jonathan Coates; Headmaster’s prize, Mark Eade; Town Mayor of Dover’s prize, Sebastian Gough; Ian Wallace Bird Cup for outstanding service to school sport, Jonathan Coates and Daniel Holdsworth; Ross Arnold and John Carey memorial trophy for cross country running, Alan Tingey.
Upper school, Pfizer prizes: physics Sebastian Gough, chemistry Jahred Haq, biology Jonathan Coates; AE Coulson memorial prize for computing, Daniel Dyer; EC Large memorial prize for design and technology, Haydon-Watt prize for innovation and the John Tomlinson memorial prize for maths, James Kelly; Bulow Prize for English literature and the economics and business studies prize, Ben Morgan; French, Robert Linkin; Clatworthy prize for classics, Jonathan Rowing; communication technology prize, Alan Roberts; Bulow music prize, Paul Callanan and Robert Hackett; senior music prize, Jonathan Robinson; geography, Chris Regan; art and history, William Flack; Hubert Hopkins prize for physics, Andrew Russell; maths, Jahred Haq; chemistry, Sebastian Gough; sports studies, Daniel Holdsworth.
Middle school, Roy Sutton memorial prize for English, Nicholas O’Brien and Steven Perkins; JE Ellis geography prize, Michael Crebbin; Patrick Elworthy memorial prize for French, Christopher Birmingham; German, Steven Perkins; art, Russell Trewartha; history and physics, Ben Parkin; Sidney Clout music prize, Stephen Moloney; Frederick Ashman memorial prize for maths and the biology prize, Richard Warren; Pfizer prize for technology and the certificate for outstanding service to music, Ian Banks; Thomas memorial prize for chemistry, Stuart Taylor; Alec Coveney memorial prize for design technology and the Pfizer prize for maths, Colin Swain; Lewis Robert Kennedy memorial prize for design technology, Mark Doel; certificates for outstanding service to music, Sam Donaldson and Alexander Wilder.
The school’s Jazz Band and Big Band provided some of the entertainment at the Guest Evening, with solo items by Michael Wells (piano) and James Parker (trumpet). In addition, Nicolas Pillai and Andrew Tempest read a scene from “The Rivals” by R.B. Sheridan, arranged by Mr. Mike Thomas (head of English).
BACK IN THE MELTING POT
Our school faces an uncertain future again following the Labour victory in the general election last May. The publication of the government’s White Paper on schools in July, followed by a more technical document in August, made it clear that Grant Maintained schools, such as ours, will cease, and the local education authorities will resume some control.
In April this year, the amount of grant we receive will be based on Kent County Council’s figures, and in 1999 the money will come from KCC again.
The head teacher and governors have already responded to requests for consultation from the government, particularly on the mechanism for any ballot which might take place on the future of GM schools.
Headmaster Neil Slater told guests at our prize givings: “Once again the existence of grammar schools has been brought into question. Our expansion looks at risk, to say the least. We could become a foundation school, still own our building and employ our staff, maintaining a degree of independence.”
All these changes come at a time when the school is enjoying the benefits of becoming Grant Maintained.
September 1997 saw another 107 boys join the school in Year 7, bringing the school roll to 590 – many more than had been forecast by the county council when discussions were taking place about the future of the school less than a decade ago.
We are still the smallest grammar school in the county, but growing fast. In January, boys who want to join the school in September 1998 took our own entrance tests and/or the Kent test and we expect to admit more than 100 again. This will take our total numbers over the 600 mark the first time for many years. The smallest year group, the 1991 intake of just 63, will take their A levels this year, leaving the school in the summer.
In August, we were included in a Parent Power supplement published in the Sunday Times which listed the 50 best schools in the country.
The construction of the new classrooms over the dining hall was completed during the summer holidays providing us with accommodation for the increasing number of boys in the school. This has been achieved by installing a mezzanine floor, which has also improved the dining hall. We would like to carry out a similar scheme above the kitchens which would provide more classrooms and form a link between the new rooms above the dining hall and the sixth form common room half-way up the tower.
The derelict swimming pool was finally filled in and cleared away during the summer holidays. The toilets, gym and changing rooms still need improving.
NEWS OF THE SCHOOL, GATHERED FROM THE FIRST THURSDAY NEWSLETTERS.
Three of our current sixth formers have been offered places at Oxford University (subject to A level results) this October, Tim Courtney to read chemistry at Exeter, David Mannall to read geography at St Hugh’s, and Tom Marsh to read mechanical engineering at St Edmund’s.
In November the school hosted the Dover district round of the English Speaking Union Schools’ Debating Competition. Jonathan Spence and Jonathan Slaughter, of Year 13, represented our school. Winners were Chaucer Technology School from Canterbury and the Duke of York’s, although our two speakers gave a good account of themselves and Robert Dunstone, of Year 12, was an excellent debate chairman.
Following a highly competitive selection weekend, head prefect Richard Berridge was chosen for the Fulcrum Challenge, a leadership development programme. Set up by British Airways, British Airways Authority, London Gatwick, the Scientific Exploration Society, the Education Business Partnership and the Institute of Directors, it is for the benefit of pre-A level/GNVQ students with the aim of developing the required skills for the business and social leaders of the future. Richard is spending part of the time in India in January 1998, working with the tribal people of the Koli tribe on the salt pans and visiting schools. He had to raise £900 towards the costs, and the Old Pharosians gave him £100.
The London Mozart Players visited the school in September, working with our musicians and then giving a performance.
An Autumn Concert was given in October, and a lunchtime Jazz Concert was presented in November by the DGSB Jazzmen and the Big Band who also took part in a private function for the British Diabetic Association in December. Musicians from the school were guest performers at Dover Music Centre’s Christmas Concert in Dover Town Hall in December.
The Parents’ and Friends’ Association has been busy as ever, organising very popular wine and wisdom evenings. Their latest event was a barn dance and American Supper on 31 January with music being provided by Desperate Measures.
At GCSE, 99 per cent of boys gained five or more Grade Cs or above, and at A level the average point score was 20.1. These figures put us well up in the league tables.
Some Year 9 pupils took part in an art competition organised by the Festival of Dover Committee. They had to design a sculpture on the theme of New Horizons – Global Experiences. We won the third prize of £100. Thomas Reay, Timothy Andrews and Peter Allum were particularly praised for their work.
Students from Years 9, 10, 11 and 12 produced 20 life-size clown paintings for the Demelza House children’s hospice charity ball at the Stour Centre, Ashford. The designs were worked out by our students and produced in acrylics on thick card and watercolour paper.
Pupils, mostly from Years 7 and 8, have taken part in an art contest open to all primary and secondary schools in Kent. The brief was to design a logo and leaflet for Age to Age Clubs, an organisation that makes educational links between the younger and older generations. The top four entries were all from DGSB.
Art students from Years 10 to 12 visited the Tate Gallery in London in July, and in December art group members of Years 11, 12 and 13 visited the National Portrait Gallery and Hayward Gallery in London for an enjoyable insight to modern and classic art.
Mr. Clive Fieldwick retired in July after 17 years with the school. He came to us from Bethany School in Goudhurst where he taught technical drawing. Before that he taught at schools in Hastings, Bath and Tunbridge Wells and also worked at schools in Zambia for three years.
He has been succeeded by Mr Peter Jennings who has become head of design and technology. He has been teaching at Folkestone School for Girls, and formerly taught at Kings’ School, Grantham, and had a period working as an artist. Mr Jennings is an aeronautical engineer and qualified at Loughborough University. Mr. Robert Turner has joined us as a part-time teacher of information technology having retired from his full-time post as head of information technology at the North School in Ashford. His degree in Information Technology is from the Open University.
Mr. Ernie Riley retired from his post as part-time teacher of Modern Languages. He had previously been head teacher of Castlemount School in Dover. Mrs. Sylvia Dukes and Mr Anthony Lascelles have joined the school as modern languages teachers. Mrs Dukes, who originates from Brittany and qualified at the University of Rennes, taught at the Sir William Nottidge Technology School in Whitstable. Mr. Lascelles, who qualified at Queens University in Belfast, has previously taught at Dover College.
Miss Dolly Thompsett, a part-time teacher in art, also left in July after a year at the school. She has moved to London due to family commitments, Mr. Stephen Thompson has joined us as a part-time teacher of art and games. He came into teaching after working as an arist since qualifying at the University of Sunderland. He has previously taught at the Harvey Grammar School in Folkestone.
Dr. Joseph Donnelly left at half-term and has been replaced has head of economics by Mr. Gary Philpott who has come to us from the British School in Jordan.
Combined Cadet Force activities during the past six months have included an army section camp at Leek in Staffordshire, an RAF section camp at Benson in Oxfordshire, a training weekend based at the school, shooting practice on the new automatic scoring system range at Hythe, and target practice and an annual range day at Hythe Ranges.
In the District Cup football competition, the under 19s drew against Archers Court and won the replay 4-3, Year 11 beat Walmer School 1-0, Year 10 beat Sir Roger Manwood’s 2-1, and Year 8 beat St Edmund’s 5-0.
In the County Cup 2nd XI competition a goal in the last two minutes of extra time led to a 2-1 defeat for our team at the hands of Charles Darwin School.
Other match results: 1st XI – Dover 1 Howard School 3; Dover 3 Simon Langton 1; Dover 3 Archers Court 3; Norton Knatchbull 3 Dover 4; Dover 4 Astor 2.
Our table tennis players put up a good performance in the Kent Schools championships at Folkestone with the A side getting through to the semi-final. The school now has six teams (comprising boys, friends and staff) in the two divisions of the Dover Table Tennis Association league.
NEWS OF OLD BOYS
We learned with deep sadness that former teaching staff member Norman Kaufmann had passed away suddenly, but peacefully, on 7th September, aged 77.
There were so many who attended a Thanksgiving Service in the parish church of St. Margaret’s at Cliffe on 15th September that extra seating had to be found. All the pews were filled by his many friends among seafarers, the bowls club, Freemasons and fellow teachers, past and present, from Dover Grammar School.
Norman’s wartime naval service was often based at Dover and involved him in very active operations around the south coast. After the war he trained to become a teacher and went back into the Royal Navy as a “schedy”. He was eventually attracted to Dover in 1973.
Inevitably he taught navigation in his maths and science lessons. He was the first RN officer to obtain one hundred per cent in navigation. He took charge of the Combined Cadet Force and we have photos of Norman in full naval uniform, with a row of medals, as he accompanied the Duke of Kent on inspection of their ranks.
He retired in 1985 and filled his time with many varied interests. He continued with the CCF, only retiring as an active member a year ago, to look after his wife who had a stroke 17 months ago.
He was a regular worshipper at the 8am Communion service at the lovely St. Margaret’s church. He was active in several associations, including the RNA, bowls, and freemasonry. His skills included gardening, making model railway engines and cabinet making.
At the thanksgiving service our school was represented by Headteacher Neil Slater; Michael Thomas who has given good service to the naval cadets; and former teachers including Mrs. Golding, Gordon King and Ken Ruffell.
Norman’s wife Ruth and their family must have appreciated the service, so admirably arranged and conducted by the St. Margaret’s vicar, ending with the words: “Go forth upon your journey, Christian soul” spoken as the family left the church on their way to the crematorium.
JAMES ADAMSON (1984-86)
We hear from his family that James died from cancer and we extend our sympathy to his parents who live at Victoria Road, Kingsdown.
SCOTT GALVIN (1990-95)
Scott was one of two men who were killed in an accident on the Dover to Deal road in the early hours of Friday 19 September. He was 18 years old and lived at Sandwich Road, Whitfield. He worked at McDonald’s restaurant at Whitfield. He left the school in 1995 after gaining 10 GCSE exam passes and went to college.
GRAHAME HOUSE (1967-74)
Grahame was killed in an accident on the A2 near Whitfield just before Christmas. He was 42. He worked as a freight clerk with P&O European Ferries in Dover, and died when a coach, bringing him and 13 of his work colleagues back home from their pre-Christmas party, was involved in a crash with a lorry.
Grahame lived at Farthingloe Road with his wife Joy and their three children, Jodanna, Rochelle and Devin.
When he was at school, he lived at Attlee Avenue, Aylesham, where his parents still live. He had worked with Townsend Thoresen, dealing with Customs manifest documentation, before transferring to P&O.
He was a keen footballer and played regularly for Dover Dynamos in division one of the Dover Sunday League. Friends and team-mates have been devastated by his death. The funeral service took place at Barham Crematorium on New Year’s Eve.
As a mark of respect, flags were flown at half mast on all the P&O Dover-Calais ships, the company headquarters at Channel House, and at the Eastern Dock entrance after the accident.
Three other passengers were seriously injured in the accident, and the other nine suffered minor injuries.
Bill Lister, a teacher at the school from September 1949 to December 1969, died in Nobles Hospital, Isle of Man (close to his birthplace) on Saturday, 13th December. He joined the school as senior history master and was dedicated to teaching. A number of his pupils obtained Oxbridge scholarships.
For much of the time he was at the school he shared, with Ken Ruffell, the privilege of managing the school’s first and second football teams. In addition he commanded the Naval section of the school’s combined cadet force. He also played football for Dover once or twice after completing his war service.
Both his sons, Roger and Jeremy, were at our school and his daughter Junemary was head girl at the Girls’ Grammar School in her final year.
FFENNELL PEPPER (1939-46)
Born in West Langdon, Ffennell was among the pupils who spent most of their school days in Ebbw Vale, during the war-time evacuation to Wales, though he did go home for school holidays and saw the Battle of Britain!
For his National Service he was in the Royal Engineers and then took up teaching at the Methodist School in Deal before doing teacher training at Goldsmiths College in London. It was there he met Audrey, a fellow trainee teacher. They qualified in 1950, married and set up home in Deal.
Ffennell taught at St Paul’s School in Canterbury 1950-54, and then spent 10 years at The Powell school in Dover where he became very much involved in primary school football. Under his coaching Powell’s football team won the Burton Cup several times. He also taught cricket and played for Tilmanstone Colliery Welfare. For seven years he was vice-chairman of Dover Carnival Committee, represented West Langdon as an independent councillor on the former Dover Rural District Council 1957-59 and was the youngest councillor to serve on the authority at the time.
He was appointed chairman of Dover Schools’ Football Association in 1963.
While serving as deputy headmaster of Stanhope primary school in Ashford 1964-68, he took a Diploma in Education at London University. He became headmaster of Hothfield primary school in Ashford in 1968 and was well known for his interest in sport and organising the annual pantomime. On the day he retired in 1989, pupils and parents lined the road to throw flowers as his car passed. His wife said: “When he came home, the amount of flowers thrown into his car made him look as if he had come from a wedding. He was a very well-loved man. He always had a sparkle in his eye and a kind word for everybody.”
Living at Bethersden, he was Vice-President of Tenterden Lions Club and president-elect for this year, he belonged to Ashford Probus Club and was secretary of Shadoxhurst Gardening Club.
He died on New Year’s Day at the William Harvey Hospital. He and his wife had a son Martin, daughter Lindsay and five grandchildren.
LINDSAY REGINALD PHILLIPS (1915-23)
Lindsay, who was born in 1905, died on 14th September at his Bognor Regis, West Sussex home at the age of 92. He entered our school in 1915 and became Head Boy and Editor of the school magazine. In 1923 he was awarded an Exhibition to Cambridge and a Kitchener scholarship, the latter ensuring that he could take up his place at Cambridge where he read English and Theology. Lindsay intended to go into the Church but, being too young to be ordained, he took a teaching post at Forest School, Snaresbrook.
Scruples of conscience against subscribing to the Thirty Nine Articles, and pleasure in teaching, caused him to change his mind and he remained at Forest School for five years. He then spent 14 years at Watford Grammar School, five years at Forest Emergency Training College, a year teaching in three secondary modern schools and finally 17 years at Bognor Regis Training College where he became principal lecturer in religious studies, retiring in 1970.
Always a keen supporter of the Kitchener Scholars’ Association, in 1978 he became its chairman. Lindsay enjoyed wonderful health until December 1996 when he was diagnosed as having prostate cancer and bone cancer. His widow Edna – they were married 49 years – says Lindsay always retained his interest in our school (through the magazine).
PETER WHEELER (1963-71)
Peter, who lived in Whitfield, became a music teacher after leaving school and spent the last three years teaching in Iceland.
He had taught in Chichester and previously had been organist and choirmaster at Ashford Parish Church.
In the summer he went on holiday to France and Spain and contracted Legionnaires Disease. He died in hospital in France in August, aged 46. Cremation took place in Sussex and his ashes were interred in his mother’s grave at Whitfield Churchyard. The service was conducted by the Rev. John Philpott (1956-63).
MEMBERS STILL LIVING AND LEARNING
PAUL S FRIEND (1986-93) has been awarded a B.Sc degree with Upper Second Class Honours in Mathematics (European) at the University of Leeds.
ANDREW GRAY (1987-94) was awarded a B.A. degree with Upper Second Class Honours in English at the University of Southampton.
DANIEL J ODON (1992-94) gained a B.Eng degree with Second Class Honours in Engineering (General) at the University of Leicester.
ALASDAIR WOOD (1987-93) was awarded a B.Sc degree with Combined Honours in psychology with philosophy (Maj-Min) at the University of Leeds.
ADRIAN SPINK (1987-94) graduated in July with a 3rd Class Combined Honours degree in mathematics and computer science.
At the University of Reading, DAVID R HEARN (1987-94) was awarded a B.Sc degree with Second Class Honours (Division 2) in psychology, and ANDREW E MARSH (1987-94) was awarded a B.Sc degree with Third Class Honours in computer science.
At the University of Warwick, ANDREW P MARSHALL (1987-94) graduated with a B.Eng degree with Upper Second Class honours in civil engineering; SIMON A REDFERN (1987-94) was awarded a B.Sc degree with Second Class Honours in mathematics, and PAUL D WILLIAMS (1987-94) was awarded B.Eng degree with Third Class Honours in computer systems engineering.
At the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of London, DANIEL P McCANN (1987-94) was awarded a B.Sc degree with Second Class Honours (Upper Division) in chemistry, and ANTHONY SPICER (1987-94) was awarded a B.Sc degree with Second Class Honbours (Lower Division) in mathematics.
TED BAKER (1922-30)
Ted, 67 years a member of the Old Pharosians’ Association, writes from Newton Abbot in Devon to say he always looks forward to the arrival of the magazine. It was 75 years ago that he joined the school at Ladywell (soon we’ll have to rewrite Forty Years On). “The item in the magazine regarding boaters interested me but I think they were worn before 1934 by prefects and members of the VI form,” says Ted who believes Alf Gunn is the longest serving member of the association.
CHRIS COOK (1979-86)
Lieutenant Cook is now serving at the Royal Naval School of Educational and Training Technology at HMS Nelson, Portsmouth, where he works as a computer based training officer. Having recently transferred to a longer 16 year commission, Chris has been recategorised as an Engineer Officer, in the sub-specialisation of information systems.
His successes in 1997 included being awarded a NATO medal for his service in HMS Ark Royal off the Bosnian coast in 1994, and the award of an M.Sc. with Distinction in Mathematical Sciences from Portsmouth University.
Chris has recently become engaged to Josephine Mecrate-Butcher, a marketing manager with the British Tourist Authority.
His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. He writes from his home in Godalming, Surrey, to send the Old Pharosians his very best wishes.
BILL DEWAR (1923-34)
Dr. A.D. (Bill) Dewar was appointed a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his work as a Trustee of the Menzies Trust, responsible for the long-term restoration of Menzies Castle near Aberfeldy which is his ancestral clan property. Lester Borley CBE, a neighbour of Bill in Edinburgh, spotted the news item and said Bill would be far too modest to let the News Letter know.
(Editor: It would be interesting to know how many Old Boys have MBEs, OBEs, CBEs, and KBEs and other assorted honours – let the Editors know).
VICTOR FRYER (1919-21)
Victor, now 88, writing from 45 High Street, Sixpenny Handley, Salisbury, points out he’s not paid any subs lately and would like to rectify that situation. He recalls he won a County Scholarship in 1920 and was at our Ladywell building for a year before moving to Bristol late in 1921. Records show he was usually top of his form and a good miler. But he remembers being caned by Gerry Thomas, who ran the prep. school. Victor retired 28 years ago from the banking professions. For fifty years he did voluntary work transcribing print into Braille on a computer on behalf of the RNIB. One of his proudest memories is being invited to Buckingham Palace to be thanked for this voluntary work.
PETER FUTCHER (1987-94)
Peter has made his first CD recording, conducting his chamber choir, The Academic Scholars, in a recording of English choral music. The CD, price £10, is available from the school office.
STEPHEN GARLINGE (1969-76)
Steve, born in Bridge and who lived for some time at Adisham, now owns and runs a family hotel in Llandudno. He was “discovered” by Dover District councillor Cynthia Terry (mother of Robin – chairman of the school’s governors) while on holiday in North Wales. She selected from the tourist board’s accommodation list the White Court Hotel in North Parade in Llandudno…. and found Steve was the owner. She praises the service she received and adds that Steve moved around the country after leaving school doing a variety of jobs including the general managership of Debenhams at Canterbury. Eight years ago he ended up at the White Court Hotel. “He is a super chef de cuisine and prepares all the excellent main meals himself,” writes Mrs. Terry. (OK that’s enough advertising – Ed)
KEITH NYE (1969-76)
Keith has carved out a career in the insurance world since leaving school to join Orion, in Folkestone, as an A level trainee in general insurance. He had progressed to commercial motor superintendent by the time he moved to the City of London in 1983 to become a City motor underwriter. He joined the Prudential in the City in 1984, becoming section manager in motor, personal and then commercial business.
He joined MGI (Municipal General Insurance) in Guildford and when the account was sold he moved back to London to join GAN in 1992, working just 200 yards from where he had started nine years earlier. In 1993 he joined with others to set up an office for Chiyoda in Egham, where he is motor fleet underwriter with responsibility for the company’s European commercial motor operation. He qualified as an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute in 1982 and is now a Chartered Insurer.
Keith has always been interested in music making, and was an organist at the Methodist Church in Dover when he lived here. Throughout various moves he has continued his involvement in church music, as assistant organist at Vale Royal church in Tunbridge Wells, then as organist at Crowborough, and now as choirmaster and deputy organist at Godalming United Church.
While at school, Keith was a member of the RAF section of the Combined Cadet Force and went gliding at West Malling and flew Chipmunks at Manston. He is still interested in flying and often takes to the air in a six-seater light aircraft belonging to a friend.
He and his wife Maureen have two children, Hayley, aged 12, and Ben, 10, and they live at Meadowside, Water Lane, Enton, near Godalming, Surrey GU8 5AG.
WILLIAM PARSONS (1959-66)
Bill sends his greetings, from Finland, to Mr. Ruffell, Mr. Smith, Mr. Slater and Mr. Tutthill. “God bless you all.” He says that as he sends his message it’s minus five degrees outside and (much to the delight of his daughter Pickle) it’s snowing. He is teaching at the new EU Internet Workshop in Vantaa City for out-of-work 18-25 year old business school students.
His address is Datanuts Workshop. Pdhkindrinteentie 41 Fin-01710 Vantaa, Finland.
JOHN PEALL (1960-67)
John, a Dover Justice of the Peace (JP), has this year taken over the chairmanship of the governing body of Astor School from another Old Pharosian. Our President Denis Weaver, also a JP, retired from the Astor School chairmanship and handed on the reins to John who left our school in July 1967. He went to Gloucester College of Art, Cheltenham and later to the South Bank University to read Town Planning. He was employed by Kent County Council and is currently area planning officer in the planning and technical services department of Dover District Council. As well as being a magistrate and chairman of Astor he is also a member of the Board of Visitors at HM Young Offenders Institute at Dover. His wife Anita is the special educational needs co-ordinator at Astor primary school while son Matthew is reading B.Sc. geography at Greenwich University and his other son Christopher is in his final year of A Levels at Astor School.
JOHN SILKSTONE (1958-60)
John writes to Maurice Smith recalling his arrival at the school and has memories of other members of staff including Tom Archer “he of the fearsome reputation”. He also recalls Messrs Denham and Ruffell in a production of Hamlet? at Dover Castle. He used to make the daily train trip from Aylesham to school and there were often times when the Aylesham boys had to stay behind after assembly to be investigated over some alleged “incident”. His family emigrated to Australia in May 1960 so he completed almost two years at the school. In Australia he completed his secondary school education in 1964, had a number of jobs but in the last ten years has worked as a freelance writer-publisher of newsletters (“watch out editors”), corporate profiles, newspapers etc. He and his wife Dorothy also run a secretarial/typing service.
John’s address is PO Box 150, Toowong Qld 4066, Australia (E-mail email@example.com).
COLIN SMITHEN (1959-64)
Colin was awarded the MBE for services to the community in the New Year Honours. As reported in the last edition of the newsletter, Colin, 51, who lives at Avondale Road, Capel, recently retired as a local government officer.
He has been chairman of Capel Parish Council for the past 15 years, and has also been involved with cubs, scouts, the village school and the village hall committee.
Born at Alkham he went to the village primary school and then the grammar school.
He worked in insurance before joining local government in 1966, serving with the former Dover rural, Folkestone, Thanet and Eastry rural councils, and transferring to Dover District Council on re-organisation in 1974. He became head of corporate office and personal assistant to the chief executive. He was clerk to Dover Charter Trustees for eight years, was elected to Capel Parish Council 16 years ago, and served as a school governor for five years being chairman of the governors for most of that time. He was chairman of the village hall committee when the new hall was built.
But he was also very much involved with humanitarian work in Dover’s twin town of Split in Croatia, and organised several convoys of aid there following the division of the former Yugoslavia. He lectured on British local government at Split university and arranged visits to England by students from the university. He was awarded the highest honour the City of Split could bestow – a gold plated replica of its Coat of Arms, which equates to the Freedom of the City, and is not usually presented to people from outside Split.
Colin witnessed three devastating fires on the nearby island of Brac which had no fire engine. So he launched an appeal to raise money to buy a second-hand fire appliance, fully equip it and deliver it to Brac. In 1996 Colin was presented with a gold medal and certificate for his work to assist the fire service in Croatia.
He said he was “over the moon” with the award of the MBE.
“I have never regarded any of the things I have done as being work. I have thoroughly enjoyed my work with Dover District Council, Charter Trustees and here in Capel, and this is an added bonus.”
DARREN WILMSHURST (1976-83)
Darren is the manager of Lloyds Bank group of branches in the Guildford area with three branches and five sub-branches. There are about 140 staff and as head of the Personal sector he’s responsible for 30,000 customers. It’s one of the five largest groups in the South East. He was an active member of Dover Operatic and Dramatic Society – spurred on by Bryan Owen’s teaching of English and Drama – and was interested to read in the magazine of Martin Ruck’s progress. Darren wrote to say he was sorry to miss DODS production of South Pacific.
His address is Fir Tree House, Glen Road, Grayshott, Hindhead, Surrey.
It’s been panto time again throughout the country (oh yes it has!) and that’s meant a busy time for at least two Old Pharosians.
ANDREW SLADE (1986-93) took the spotlight as Dame Trot in the Deal-based Guild Players’ production of Jack and the Beanstalk. Andrew made his debut on the stage at a very early age. He was just 18 months old when his mother Penny was in the cast of a play and a child was needed for the plot. So she took young Andrew along. Two decades later, she was among the audience when the curtain went up on the first night of the panto. Andrew, who is 22, thoroughly enjoyed himself. As a young lad he always liked dressing up for fancy dress parties, so he relished the challenge of becoming Dame Trot for the five performances at the Kilshawe Theatre in St George’s Hall, Deal. He had seven costumes ranging from a nighitie and dressing gown to a Brownie uniform!
He has been with the Guild Players for four years and the panto was his third appearance. In the past he has played a country bumpkin in She Stoops To Conquer and a rich American tycoon in The Boy Friend. Apart from his first encounter as a baby, Andrew’s interest in amateur dramatics grew during his days at our school when he usually took part in the plays. He went on to study for his degree in business administration and languages at university in Hull and is now working as a trainee consultant.
Andrew also finds time to do voluntary work at Deal hospital where his mother is a senior physiotherapist. For many years she served as a parent governor of our school.
Meanwhile KEVIN WOOD (1962-70 and his wife Helga had their work cut out throughout the year as they staged no less than four professional pantomimes at Christmas. And before the curtain went up on any of them, Kevin was already planning for the 1998 panto season!
Kevin runs his own production company, Kevin Wood Productions and Helga designs and supervises the making of the costumes. They have to make about 20 costumes for the principal characters and fittings are held throughout the year. Helga has 25 years’ experience of this type of work.
Kevin booked Danniella Westbrook, best known as Sam in EastEnders, and Lewis Collins – Bodie in The Professionals – for the title roles in Beauty and the Beast at Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre. There were more than 50 performances and by Christmas more than 36,000 tickets had been sold, resulting in box office receipts of more than £350,000.
He also staged Snow White at Dartford, Jack and the Beanstalk at Stevenage and Cinderella at High Wycombe.
“We work more than a year ahead, so we have been looking at the 1998 pantos for some time already,” said Kevin. “Once we have chosen a title, we decide on the script and which songs to include and I talk to agents to book the best stars for each role.”
Auditions for the juvenile chorus are held, giving some 20 local children the chance to work alongside top stars.
RECEIVED BY E MAIL
JOHN CATT (1962-69)
John suggests (and the committee is now considering this idea) of distributing this News Letter by E Mail for those who prefer to receive it that way. Says John: “I would favour this. For one thing I wouldn’t be faced with the storage problem as I tend to keep the Newsletters. I could probably get half a century’s worth on one zipped floppy.” His address is JohnCatt@overflow.com.
ALAN NOAKE (1979-86)
On leaving school Alan did a four year degree in Mathematics and Computing at the University of Glamorgan with a one year placement at Pfizers in Sandwich. He worked six years with a large London software house working for blue chip clients (including Buckingham Palace). This was followed by a six month sabbatical travelling through Thailand, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA. He’s now returned to the Dover area and set up his own software company Wisdom Solutions Ltd. He’s also walked the 270 miles Pennine Way.
Others Alan knows of include: David Brookes (1979-86) with Lloyds Bank in London; Rodney Dampster (1979-86) chartered accountant with Mercury Interactive in Gillingham; Antonio Aitken (1979-86) maths teacher at Sutton; Leslie Lane (1979-86) a Harvard Business School graduate and now management consultant for Bains in San Francisco; Matthew Lorimer (1978-86) solicitor in Slough; and Richard Goodwin (1980-87) with the Met. police.
And Alan’s address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
ANDY POPE (1981-88)
Andy has been living in the Philippines for the last four years. He went there for a break before heading for Hong Kong, but got so involved he’s remained there. He’s become a scuba diving instructor for Asia Divers and now manages the business, a job he loves. Sea water temperature 28°C. He would like to hear from anybody who remembers him at school. His return path is: email@example.com.
CHRISTOPHER SHAW (1972-79)
Christopher qualified as a doctor in 1985 and has been through surgical training since. He started his career this year as a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, employed by the East Yorkshire Hospitals Trust, based mainly in Hull. His particular specialities are hip and shoulder injuries. He and his wife Elisabeth have two children Alex and Kate and they are now all living in a village between Hull and York.
His full address is Highgate Barn, Highgate, Cherry Burton, East Yorkshire HU17 7RR or: firstname.lastname@example.org.
KARL WOODGETT (1984-91)
Karl contacted Roger Gabriel about registering on the system and adds he is willing to give any advice to current boys thinking of applying to Oxford, in whatever discipline, or those thinking of going to Exeter University where he spent four happy years. Karl’s address is: email@example.com