OPA Newsletter January 2000
OLD PHAROSIANS’ ASSOCIATION
New Series No. 77
Sir Robin Haydon, one of the school’s most successful old boys, died on 1 December aged 79.
He enjoyed a spectacular career culminating in his death-threatening post as British ambassador to Dublin.
At school he was a house prefect, a member of the school swimming team, captain of the School 1st XV rugby, and house 2nd XI football and cricket teams. He sang in the School Choir, served on the Pharos Committee, joined in the Debating Society and the Dramatic Society and was a Lance Corporal in the Cadet Corps. He later became President of the Old Pharosians. A full obituary appears in this section of the newsletter.
LIST OF CONTENTS
NEWS OF THE ASSOCIATION
* Officers and Committee Members
* Presidents Message
* The Annual Meeting, Football Match and Dinner 1999
* Let There Be Light
* Archivist’s Corner
NEWS OF THE SCHOOL
* Walter Robertson
* Bryan Quinn
* Changing Status
* Exam Results
* Staff Changes
* Prize Givings
* Service of Nine Lessons and Carols by Candlelight
* News of the School, gathered from the “First Thursday” Newsletters
NEWS OF OLD BOYS
* Members still Living and Learning
NEWS OF THE ASSOCIATION
OFFICERS AND COMMITTEE 1999-2000
PRESIDENT: Rev. John Philpott
Bewsbury Cross Lane
PAST PRESIDENT: Tony Bradley
Marcham, Abingdon, Oxon
VICE PRESIDENT: Phil Janaway
73 Lewisham Road
Dover CT17 0QG
SECRETARY: Philip Harding
6 Chestnut Road, Elms Vale
Dover CT17 9PY
ASSISTANT SECRETARY: Graham Tutthill
21 Orchard Drive, River, Dover CT17 OND
TREASURER: Ian Pascall
Karibu 45A Bewsbury Cross Lane
Whitfield, Dover CT16 3EZ
MEMBERSHIP David Murray
SECRETARY: Dover Grammar School for Boys
Dover, CT17 0DQ
NEWSLETTER Terry Sutton MBE
EDITORS: 17 Bewsbury Cross Lane,
Whitfield, Dover CT16 3HB
21 Orchard Drive, River, Dover CT17 OND
ARCHIVIST: Peter Burville
Seagate, Goodwin Road
St. Margaret’s Bay, Dover CT15 6ED
COMMITTEE: Reg Colman (to retire 2002)
Tom Beer (to retire 2002)
Mike Palmer (to retire 2001)
Barry Crush (to retire 2001)
Roger Gabriel (to retire 2000)
Maurice Smith (to retire 2000)
Graham Tutthill (to retire 2000)
AUDITOR: Neil Beverton
HEADMASTER: Neil Slater
STAFF David Murray
REPRESENTATIVES: Malcolm Grant
Dr Alan Jackson
HEAD PREFECT: Michael Crebbin
ADDRESS: www.rmplc.co.uk/eduweb/sites/dovergramboys/index.html <http://www.rmplc.co.uk/eduweb/sites/dovergramboys/index.html>
E-MAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>
I am sure Old Pharosians will be delighted to have news of the new Sixth Form Centre, an exciting development which will greatly enhance post-16 education as the school enters the 21st Century.
Headteacher Neil Slater has kindly provided some notes on the progress of the building improvements to which the OPs committee has donated £3,000 from its funds to provide lockers for the Sixth Form Centre. It was also agreed at the meeting to invite old boys to make personal donations towards furnishing the centre, and perhaps have plaques bearing their names attached to items.
Mr Slater writes: The new Sixth Form Centre is the next step in many years of planning and phasing of work to improve the school buildings. The last time the school had as many pupils as it has now there were six mobile classrooms on site and we shared our Library with Astor School and had a classroom there too. When the school roll was small, the mobiles were taken away and the Library returned to its original place. Then we set out to make the school larger and to accommodate the additional numbers in proper classrooms constructed within the main building, this being a very cost efficient way of doing things.
We were very fortunate that the school had been constructed in such a way that there was room for a complete new floor over the kitchens, dining hall and workshops. Already advantage had been taken of this to construct a drawing office over one of the workshops. The main problem at that time was that the Quadrangle was leaking large quantities of water into the spaces below. The first phase was, therefore, to cure that problem,. At £100,000, the Quadrangle was sealed and resurfaced with quite a bit of concrete work needed on the structure. The railings were renewed at the same time.
The second phase was to construct a floor over the Dining Hall to create three new classrooms. In fact two of these have been left undivided as one room until now.
The third and fourth phases are being carried out as one project, made possible through a grant which came to us as a result of the rise in the school roll. A floor is being constructed over the kitchens and another over the remaining workshops, hence completing the flooring right from the tower through to the other end of the building. A second staircase tower is also being constructed outside the workshops to link the field and changing rooms, workshops, the new floor and the Quadrangle. The space over the workshops is being devoted to Computer Rooms.
The next room along, over part of the dining hall, is allocated to Economics and Business Studies. The remaining four rooms are to be a Sixth Form headquarters, three being Sixth Form classrooms and the fourth a Sixth Form Centre. There will also be a Sixth Form Tutors Room.
The Old Pharosians have kindly agreed to furnish the Sixth Form Centre with much-needed new lockers. Each sixth former will have his own locker which will be tall enough to hang a coat and to keep books and sports kit. The sixth form area should be in operation this month (January). This will be a significant step forward in the facilities being available for sixth formers. The whole project is due to be finished at the end of February, but there may well be delays if the weather is bad.
The next major phase in the improvement of the school is to refurbish the changing rooms and gymnasium and to provide an all-weather playing surface outside. Finance is now earnestly being sought for these.
As well as the works described above, the faces of the school overlooking the Quadrangle were last year given a major facelift and are now painted light grey and have new windows.
THE ANNUAL MEETING, FOOTBALL MATCH AND DINNER
Those attending were Tony Bradley (1945-52), John Borrett (1927-35), Peter Burville (1946-51), Bill Collard (1941-47), George Curry (1927-36), Roger Gabriel (1966-72), Phil Janaway (1943-52), David Murray (staff), Mick Palmer (1959-66), Ian Pascall (1967-74), Rev. John Philpott (1955-63), John Le Provost (1927-36), Neil Slater (Head Teacher), Maurice Smith (staff 1959 to present), Richard Standen (1932-38), Terry Sutton (1940-47), Arthur Tolputt (1934-40), Graham Tutthill (1960-65), and Denis Weaver (1939-40 and 1942-50).
The Reverend John Philpott, vicar of Whitfield and Guston, was elected President. John, at the school in the mid-fifties, is also chairman of the governors of Dover Grammar School for Girls. Elected vice-President, and President-elect, was Phil Janaway who, until his retirement, was deputy headmaster of Astor School. Phil, a member of Dover Rotary Club, is vice-chairman of the governors at the girls school and President of Dover Operatic and Dramatic Society.
One of the talking points was the future of our school in the face of early moves, in some parts of the country at least, to abolish grammar schools. Members of the association, at the meeting, pledged financial support from association funds, if necessary, to fight any moves to abolish Dover Grammar School for Boys. The annual meeting also agreed to devote up to half the associations reserves to provide additional facilities at the school. Main idea is to spend the money on providing the furnishings for a sixth form centre being established.
John Philpott, taking office, paid tribute to barrister Tony Bradley who he was succeeding as President. He recalled that Tonys father David was chairman of the governors of the school when he was there.
Other officers elected were: Phil. Harding (secretary), Graham Tutthill (assistant secretary), Ian Pascall (treasurer), Dave Murray (membership secretary), News Letter joint editors Terry Sutton and Graham Tutthill, Dr Peter Burville (archivist), Neil Beverton (auditor) while Tom Beer and former headmaster Red Colman were re-elected to the committee.
Treasurer Ian Pascall, a chartered accountant, reporting on the financial position said association funds at 31 July amounted to £7,892 with income during the year at £2,617. Deficit on the years activities amounted to £676 but that was after spending £950 funding equipment for the school, £640 purchasing special ties (for selected pupils), and a £75 grant helping a school leaver to work in Africa.
This year’s annual football match for the Andrew Kremer Memorial Cup was an unusually low-scoring one with the School scoring the only goal of the game after only two minutes. After this, chances were few as both defences dominated in what was nevertheless a very absorbing contest. The Old Boys were represented by Matthew Robinson, Chris Alcock, Simon Jones, Dan Johnson, Paul Henwood, Stuart Dodd, Jason Oliver, Simon Gretton, John Spence, Gary Beeden, Jamie Sadler, Alan Tingey, Tony Tingey and Martin Waller.
THE ANNUAL DINNER
Superbly organised once again by Maurice Smith, the dinner was held at the school in the evening and attracted a few more members this year. Maurice said the association would like to see even more next year.
The new President, the Rev. John Philpott proposed the toast to The School to which headmaster Neil Slater responded. Mr Philpott recalled his days at the school in the mid-fifties when J.C Booth was headmaster to be succeeded by Michael Hinton (who was present at the dinner) as the schools third headmaster. I had by this time entered the sixth form and greatly admired, albeit secretly, Michaels visionary leadership of the school which included staff who had been appointed before his birth.
It was Michael who demonstrated to me what I still believe, that faith is a matter of both heart and head. And that to embrace the one does not mean you have to suspend the other. The gift of faith remains a genuine possibility for 21st century humankind, said Mr Philpott.
He congratulated Gordon King (who was also present) on reaching his 90th birthday and recalled that Mr and Mrs Ken Ruffell celebrated their golden wedding in the summer. Mr Philpott spoke of the pleasures of remembering days at the school. It nourishes the roots of our being and that is good. So we come to these occasions to remember but not to wallow in sentimental nostalgia for the past, said Mr Philpott who added that the school had a bright future. The association, he said, needed to attract school leavers into membership and fellowship of the Old Pharosians.
Mr Philpott said those at the two Dover grammar schools would stand shoulder to shoulder to preserve the future of the schools. I hope in your own spheres of activity you will all do what you can, within the law of course, to make your voice heard on this issue. Theres no money for change and yet if change took place parental income would determine parental choice, said the President.
In response the headmaster spoke of the changes at the school resulting from the ending of its grant maintained status, changing to a Foundation School. It had resulted in a considerable reduction in funding. Now, once again, the school had to go to Kent Education Committee to obtain the money to carry out improvements. But, he added, rising rolls had helped overcome the financial cutbacks.
The headmaster revealed that for some time they had been asking parents for a voluntary contribution of £10 a year to help with their sons education. About half paid up, he said. Despite the reduction in money available they had been able to give the school building a face lift by exterior painting and by the installation of some double glazing. They had also been able to increase the number of teaching staff while other building work was in progress. The headmaster said the school had a shopping list of further improvements including the purchase of a new minibus, more computers, vandal-proof goalposts, more painting and furnishing a new sixth form centre.
LET THERE BE LIGHT
Pleasant surprise for former headmaster The Reverend Michael Hinton when he and his wife Jean were visiting China in the autumn. They popped into a Protestant church in Beijing and they heard a tune they immediately recognised. “As we walked into the Beijing church the people were practicing a hymn to the tune Moscow, to which we sing ‘Thou whose almighty word’ with its refrain ‘Let there be Light.’ “Was it a coincidence that we were to be greeted in a Chinese church by the music of the school hymn?” Mr Hinton commented in an article in local newspaper Dover Express.
This was also one of the hymns sung at the New Year’s Eve service, in the grounds of Dover College, to mark the start of Dover’s Millennium celebrations. Mr Hinton was among those who took part in the service and the music group was led by Graham Tutthill.
Greetings! The big news from this corner of the school is that the new computer, given to the school by your association, is proving a great boon in our attempts to organise the archives. Alan Rogers (1950-55), who is a laboratory technician at the school, has done an excellent job in putting a quite powerful system together which the staff and boys use as well as your archivists.
The transfer of information from the old system (Dataease) to the new (Microsoft Access etc) seems to have been successful, with the help of ex-teacher Peter Dale (1988-96) and we are getting up to speed on the new facilities.
During the coming year we hope to set up a database interrogation facility so that visitors to the school can make enquiries on the new computer about the information we have in the archives. Perhaps at some date in the future we will be able to set up a similar capability on-line (on the Internet) so that people will be able to see what we have from anywhere in the world.
With all the material that is being donated we need to process things quite effectively otherwise the in-tray gets ever more full!! Ted Baker (1922-38) has kindly offered more material for the archives – to be collected from Moretonhampstead in Devon next time I visit my son William (1983-86), who lives near Ivy Bridge.
Maurice Smith, who joined the teaching staff in 1959, handed over more material for the archives including photographs and the design for the school flag (see News Letter January 1987).
Bill Collard (1941-47) kindly donated his good copy of the school July 1946 panoramic photograph, taken on the quad, in exchange for the archives somewhat poorer version.
In addition he has identified about 20 per cent of those in the photograph, which is most helpful, with the suggestion that more names are to follow.
Finally, during some personal researches I have found several references to early (pre 19th century) Grammar Schools in Dover. If anyone has come across anything on such schools I would be delighted to hear about it.
I am quite sure that my English teachers, Messrs Mittins (1946-52) and Murphy (1946-76), would not credit that Burville has made a contribution to the Oxford Dictionary. This arose from the same research project in which I found a reference to the term master-at-arms, at the Public Records Office Kew, in the Muster Book of HMS Dolphin dated 1732, whereas the dictionary previously credited Smollett with its earliest usage in 1784.
Hoping you all successfully survived the Millennium experience,
NEWS OF THE SCHOOL
WALTER ROBBIE ROBERTSON
The funeral service took place on Thursday, 6 January of our Chairman of Governors, Councillor Walter Robertson, known to us all as Robbie. He had been a good friend to our school for a long time, having served as a Governor for more than 20 years.
Born and educated in North London, he left grammar school to begin work with a fuel company at the age of 17. In 1938 he joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and went to sea in the cruiser HMS Curlew. In 1940 his ship was sunk by the Germans in a Norwegian fjord but he was able to swim through the icy seas to a float from which he was picked up. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander and was also appointed an instructor with the Free French Navy in Chatham.
Robbie represented St Margarets on Dover District Council for 22 years, and was chairman of the council from 1981 to 1984. He was active in many of the village organisations and was a parish councillor for 27 years. He worked as a sales executive for fuel merchants in Dover and in the 1960s was Commodore of the Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club in Dover. He was president of Dover Chamber of Commerce for two years in the 1970s. Robbie was also on the governing body of Portal House School in St Margarets, he chaired Dover Probus Club and had been chairman and president of the local branch of the Dover and Deal Conservative Association.
He had served on various committees of our governing body and most recently he was chairman of the Premises Committee. He was among those who met the OfSTED inspectors earlier this year to talk to them about our achievements under Grant Maintained status, and our plans for the future. In September, when Robin Terry stepped down as chairman, Robbie was elected to succeed him, and he was at the Governors annual meeting in October.
Robbie was a great supporter of the school, and attended as many of the school events as he could. He would normally have been at the schools Service of Nine Lessons and Carols at Charlton Church in December, but was unable to attend because of illness. He died in Buckland Hospital on 19 December, aged 82.
Bryan, who had been head of science at the school, died in October aged 61. Living at St Margarets with his wife Margaret, he joined the school in 1969 and took early retirement some 20 years later. As well as being head of science throughout that time, he was also appointed head of third year, he organised some of the games teams, and was among the staff who took the boys on canal and skiing trips. He was a chief examiner for biology in particular, and science in general, for some of the examining boards at A level. Bryan had done some supply teaching at the school since his retirement, and was among those who went back to the school a couple of years ago when boys who joined the school in 1969 held a reunion.
The school’s legal category changed on 1 September 1999 when DGSB became a Foundation School. The governing body was re-constituted and the number of Governors increased from 17 to 21. Parent Governors Alan Bostock and Graham Tutthill (a past chairman), Teacher Governor Alistair Gardiner and First Governor David Spink retired from the Governing Body at 31 August. New governors who joined on 1 September were Parent Governors Eunice Collins, Ian Munford and Barbara Stubbs, Teacher Governor Françoise Lloyd, Staff Governor Marion Pardoe and Co-opted Governor Susan Couchman. There are two vacancies. Robin Terry retired as chairman, and Walter Robertson was elected his successor, with John English as vice-chairman. Sadly, as reported above, Robbie died in December. If any old boys of the school – who live locally – would be interested in serving as a governor when a vacancy arises, please let the school know. The move from the Grant Maintained sector based on national criteria to the Foundation category based on local criteria under the LEA has meant a drop in the schools income as inevitably the LEA has retained a percentage which would previously have come direct to the school. In addition there seems to be an emphasis on bidding for everything through the LEA under a new Standards Fund with no apparent guarantee of receiving specific incomes from one year to the next. The budget decrease is dramatic, from a forecast income two years ago of £1,629,779 to a budgeted income of £1,457,983 for 1999/2000, some 10% lower than planned. The need for the Governing Body to raise additional external income becomes ever pressing, particularly as the National Lottery bid failed to materialise.
At the start of this school year there were 652 pupils at the school, including 118 in the sixth form.
At Advanced Level the overall pass rate for summer 1999 was 94% as compared with 90% for 1998. The proportion of A and B grades for summer 1999 was 34% as compared with 37%, and the average point score per candidate was 22.1 in 1999 as compared with 21.9. The best individual performances were those of Christopher Buckden and Richard Warren who both achieved four A grades. Christopher is studying Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College and Richard has gone to Warwick University to study Chemistry. At the end of the summer term 75 boys left the school, 49 from Year 13 (37 going onto higher education and 12 entering employment) and 27 from Year 11.
The overall pass rate in GCSE grade C and above in five or more subjects was 94% as compared with 95 % for 1998, and the proportion of A and B grades was 59% compared with 61%. The best individual performances were those of Arnab Banerjee who achieved six A*s, two As and two Bs and Mark Long who achieved five A*s, four As and one B. Excellent results were also achieved by four Year 10 pupils, two Year 9 and one Year 8 who took their French and German GCSE examinations. Nicholas Hayward and Edward Smith achieved A* grades with Giles Barrett and Paul Witty achieving A grades in French. Paul also gained an A grade in Latin. Marcus Wilder (Year 9), Aaron Murray (Year 9) and Jonathan Stubbs (Year 8) all achieved A*s in German.
At the end of the summer term the following members of staff left: Mr Noel Boardman, Mrs Maria Clarke, Mrs Kate Curtis, Mr Jeremy Duke, Mrs Sylvie Dukes, Mr Alistair Gardiner, Rev. Dr. Charles Hill and Mr John Moore.
The new staff are:
Mr Andrew Burkert (mathematics), Mrs Julie English (part time teacher of science),
Mr Jonathan Gaskell (history and games), Mrs Jennifer Jung (mathematics), Miss Hélène Martin (modern languages), Mr Jeremy Michaels (part time teacher of physical education), Mr Keith Onions (physical education and sports studies), Mrs Adele Owen (design and technology), Mrs Lesley Taylor (English) and Miss Samantha Fuller (science laboratory technician). Mr Ernie Riley has re-joined the staff as part time teacher of modern languages and Mr Stephen Thompson has become a full time teacher of art. There are now 41 staff, nine of whom are part time.
A petition against selection has been triggered in Kent, and the school is currently waiting to see whether enough signatures will be gathered to force a ballot. Representatives from our school attend meetings of the Support Kent Schools organisation which has been set up to campaign for the survival of grammar schools. The Old Pharosians’ committee decided at their meeting in November to include a leaflet about SKS with this newsletter for your information and possible support.
The traditional guest evening has now been divided in two, with the first event, concentrating on the sixth formers who left at the end of the summer term, held one Friday evening in September before they set off to university. Head teacher Neil Slater said the school was particularly proud of these students because they had the best A level results ever, the highest points score ever, the highest overall pass rate and the highest average point score per exam. Mr Slater made special reference to former head prefect Nick OBrien who had also been a very good leader of the School Council. He is now at the University of East Anglia studying Law.
Mr Slater said the boys and girls grammar schools, as well as now using the same entrance tests, had the same academic values, and the co-operation between them would help with the sixth form changes and the curriculum development. He thanked the staff for all their work, and praised them for coping with 29 major government initiatives last year.
The principal guest was the Old Pharosians’ President, the Rev. John Philpott, who told former pupils, parents and guests of the threat to all schools in the area from the campaign to end selection.
The evening included musical items.
Prizewinners were: John Talbot prize for Practical Computing, Stuart Whitewood; German, Alexander Wilder; John Tomlinson memorial prize for maths, and the Chemistry prize, Richard Warren; Pfizer prizes: maths and physics Stephen Moloney, chemistry and the Hubert Hopkins Prize for physics, Christopher Buckden, biology, Oliver Lansley; French, Nick OBrien; economics, Philip Disbrey.
Clatworthy prize for classics and the geography prize, Mark Doel; Bulow music prize, Sam Donaldson; Bulow prize for English literature, Steven Perkins; Senior music prize, Ian Banks; history and the Jubilee Prize for Endeavour, Russell Trewartha; Clatworthy Prize for Classics and the geography prize, Mark Doel; maths, Gavin Devereux.
Martin Broom memorial prize for special endeavour, Oliver Lansley; Robert Michael Brown Prize for RAF Cadets, Mark Gabriel; Old Boys’ Cadet Prize, Max Hayward; Nigel Pointer prize for special endeavour, Neil McDonald; Staff prize and the Sports Studies prize, Tom Scrivener.
Headmaster’s prize for work on the School Council and the Town Mayor of Dover’s prize for Good Fellowship, Nick OBrien; Ian Wallace Bird Cup for outstanding service to school sport, James Durrant.
Old Pharosian, and former chairman of the governors, Robin Terry presented the prizes and certificates at the GCSE prizegiving, held on 2 November, when he told those present that education was not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire. Congratulating the boys on their achievements so far, he told them that education did not finish when they left school or university, but continued into their careers. When you go for an interview for a job, ask about the training opportunities and look for ways in which you can improve your education, he said. Go on learning all the time.
The prize giving included musical items by the schools Jazz Group, and a rock band called Kanister, as well as a piano solo by Fabian Trevelyan, and an organ prelude by Director of Music Richard Davies. Head prefect Michael Crebbin gave the vote of thanks.
Prizewinners were: Pfizer prize for technology, the physics prize and the Frederick Ashman memorial prize for mathematics, Arnab Banerjee; Roy Sutton memorial prize for English, Nicolas Pillai; JE Ellis geography prize, David MacMillan; Patrick Elworthy memorial prize for French, Andrew Chalkley; German, Kemal Ozkoruyucu; Tunnell memorial prize for history, Tom Parkin; art, Thomas Reay; Sidney Clout music prize, Whitehouse memorial prize for PE and the biology prize, Fabian Trevelyan.
Thomas memorial prize for chemistry, Adam Stennett; Alec Coveney memorial prize for design technology, Stephen Garrett; Lewis Robert Kennedy memorial prize for design technology, Christopher Wright; John Talbot information and technology prize, and the certificate for outstanding service to music, Jonathan Pascoe; Haydon-Watt prize for innovation, Mark Long; Ross Arnold and John Carey memorial trophy for cross-country running, Tom Parkin; Combined Cadet Force Contingent Commanders prize for initiative and enterprise, Gary Thomas.
SERVICE OF NINE LESSONS AND CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT
Once again the school musicians maintained a high standard at this inspiring service, held at the Church of St Peter and St Paul, Charlton, on 15 December. Under the Director of Music Richard Davies, and with his assistant Paul Baldock at the organ, the school choir and brass ensemble were excellent. Choir carols ranged from Creator of the Stars of Night, and Sussex Carol, to Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day, and A Babe Is Born by William Mathias. Our President the Rev John Philpott was among those who read lessons at the service. Afterwards we gathered in the church hall for coffee and mince pies.
NEWS GATHERED FROM THE “FIRST THURSDAY” NEWSLETTERS
The Combined Cadet Force RAF Section visited RAF Northolt for their annual camp. Cadet Michael Weatherley was lucky enough to visit the Guernsey with 32 Squadron, the Royal Flight. The Army Section went to Warcop, Cumbria, for their annual camp. In October, cadets undertook a tough but rewarding leadership course attended by cadets from all over Britain. Lance Corporal Victoria Blanchflower, from our cadet unit, walked away with the award for best overall cadet on the junior course. The RAF section came within the top five at the Southern Counties Ground Training Competition, winning the drill aspect of the competition.
A Level History students from Year 13 took part in the Sixth Form Conference at the National Army Museum, Chelsea, in December, students in Year 11 and the Sixth Form who have been studying the First World War went to Ypres as part of their studies, Year 10 pupils the Somme area, and Year 8 visited the Science Museum and National Gallery.
The contact with College St Pierre in Calais continues with various links and exchange visits.
Years 10 and 11 students are taking part in the Barnardos Business Scheme along with 150 schools around the country. Each school is given a £120 start-up loan with the challenge to turn it into a £500 net profit, the proceeds going to the charity. They have been producing CD clocks at £4.50 each.
Meanwhile Year 12 students have formed a Young Enterprise Company called Enteract and have already held a success disco for year seven and eight pupils from both our school and the Girls Grammar School. A similar event is planned to mark St Valentines Day.
Unwanted spectacles have been collected at the school for Vision Aid Overseas.
The school library has been benefiting from the various schemes which provide free books and computer equipment.
The music department has presented a number of concerts at lunchtimes and after school, with many ensembles and individual instrumentalists taking part.
Collections for the St Lawrence Hospice in Cernavoda, Romania, have now topped £1,000.
The schools 1st XI football team had a fine season, although not quite up to the standard of last season. They finished in the top three of the East Kent Schools League for the fourth time in the last five years. They lost 5-2 to Maidstone, 1-0 to Bordon, 2-0 to Queen Elizabeth School, 1-0 to Harvey and 3-2 to Astor, but beat Maplesden Noakes 3-1, Tonbridge School 12-0, Norton Knatchbull 5-0, Simon Langton 3-0, Rainham Mark 3-2, Oakwood Park 3-2, and Tunbridge Wells 3-1. Our boys gained revenge over Bordon in the second round of the county cup beating them 1-0, but were beaten 4-0 by Maidstone Grammar School in the third round. The Prefects beat the Staff in a football match early in the autumn term, but the staff won the revenge match a couple of months later.
The school has six teams in the Dover Table Tennis League and house matches also take place in Years 7, 8 and 9. New tables are needed as the sport gains popularity within the school.
NEWS OF OLD BOYS
CAPTAIN ROBERT GEORGE (BOB) BORTHWICK RE (retired) (1927-34)
Bob was born in Charlton, London on 9th May 1915 and died peacefully at his
home in Dorchester, Dorset on 31st October 1998. His children Tina and Ian
“Bob was the son of a marine engineer and his early life was spent in Dover with his brother Sangster (W.S. Borthwick) and sister Betty. Following his higher’s at Dover Grammar School for Boys, Bob joined the army in 1935 at Aldershot, where he met and married Winifred – Wyn (Jackman) in 1938. He was in active service early in the war, and was evacuated from St Marlo, one of the last Royal Engineers in the rear guard of the British Expeditionary Force. Bob subsequently served in Singapore and North Africa where he was captured at Tobruk in 1942. He spent four years as a prisoner of war in Stalag IVB, Muleberg, Germany, and was released in 1945. Bob committed his POW memories to paper in a manuscript entitled “A Door into the Dark”, which is a great eye opener to his children and his five grandchildren. Bob continued his career with the RE’s after the war and served abroad in West Africa, Malaya and Hong Kong, before returning for a stint at Horseguards, and retirement in the rank of Captain in 1960. He then began his second career with the UK Atomic Energy Authority originally at Winfrith in Dorset, and finally at the Culham Laboratory in Oxfordshire. In 1980, Bob and Wyn returned to Dorchester, Dorset, where he had designed and built from scratch their retirement home.
Wyn died in 1991 and Bob, with his typical determination, strove to overcome this loss. He became involved with the Cancer Relief Charity, the Joseph Weld Hospice, and was President of the local Probus club. Bob retained a close interest in the school and was a committed Old Pharosian up to his death.”
JEREMY JEZ FOX (1966-73)
Talented actor Jez Fox died suddenly in the early hours of Saturday, 8 January, three days after his 45th birthday.
He started showing a talent for drama while at school and took part in the performance of Richard III in 1972. He also played in the schools rugby 1st XV.
Jez, described by his friends as a larger than life character, had belonged to St Margarets Players for 25 years appearing in or producing nearly 100 shows and plays, from panto to music hall, comedy to serious drama.
His first role with the Players in 1974 was as a professor in the panto Tom, Tom The Pipers Son.
He was said to have injected humour into any production, and was usually the instigator of backstage pranks. His colleagues said he was a natural actor and comedian with an uncanny resemblance in his younger days to Marty Feldman. He had a real talent, ability and versatility.
The cast got their own back in one production, however, when he was playing a ships captain in the play The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew. As he swayed across the stage holding onto a ships mast and sail the backstage crew drenched him with two buckets of cold water!
He was due to appear as Abanazer in the Players pantomime Aladdin in January.
In the 1970s he stood for Parliament as a candidate for the Silly Party, and appeared on national television with his slogan Be Sensible – Vote Silly! Although he had a list of manifesto promises, including free toilet rolls and pet food for OAPs, he had a serious aim. I want to gain more votes than the National Front and make them look sillier than me, he declared. And he did! He lost his deposit, however.
Female acquaintances of all ages learned to try to avoid him in Dover town centre where he would drop to one knee and serenade him, often in tune, with such songs as Rambling Rose of the Wild Wood, or If I Could Plant a Tiny Seed of Love in the Garden of Your Heart. He was also in a band, called Harry Helmet and the Large Portions.
He worked for many years at Dovers Eastern Docks and was a shore loading office for P&O Stena Line.
Jez was also a regular at the Louis Armstrong public house in Dover, and he is thought to have been walking home from the pub just before midnight on 7 January when he collapsed in Maison Dieu Road. He was rushed to hospital but died in the early hours of the following morning.
A post mortem examination has so far failed to identify the cause of his death, and an inquest has been opened.
GORDON V. GRAEME (1928-1933)
Gordon Vinson Graeme, Honorary Recorder of Dover for the last 15 years, died in September after a long illness.
He was a remarkable chap, being one of the few people to achieve the transformation from a naval rating to a Deputy Circuit Judge. After being educated at our school the qualifications he achieved allowed him to enter the Royal Navy as a writer in 1937, aged 20.
He served on HMS Warspite in the Middle East and at Narvick during the war and then on the staff of the Admiral of the Nore Command at Dover, as a chief writer. Nearing the end of his 22 years naval service he read law by correspondence course in his spare time and, despite a series of serious illnesses, qualified as a barrister in 1958.
On retirement from the Royal Navy he joined Chambers in London where he practiced for 22 years. He was elected chairman of the Kent Bar mess and, in the early 1970s, was elected a Recorder and later a Deputy Circuit Judge on the South Eastern circuit, an appointment he retained until 16 years ago when he retired, aged 66.
Since then he had been involved in the family businesses in the Medway area. He lived at Wigmore, Gillingham. In his appointment as Honorary Recorder of Dover, a post going back centuries, Gordon was regularly in the town until his final illness and he was always eager to hear news of his old school.
He is survived by his wife Dorothy, three sons and one daughter to whom we extend our sympathy.
ROBIN HAYDON (1929-37)
Sir Robin Haydon, one of the school’s most successful old boys, died on 1 December aged 79. He enjoyed a spectacular career culminating in his death-threatening post as British ambassador to Dublin from 1976 to 1980.
He was President of the Old Pharosians and Terry Sutton, his “minder” during the dinner when Robin took the chair, recalls two strangers sat in at the meal. They were his armed detectives who had earlier searched Terry’s car to make sure it was not booby-trapped! When asked at the re-union who these two strangers were, Terry made up some cock-and-bull story that they were old boys who had spent only a few years at the school!
At school, he was a house prefect, member of the school swimming team for which he received an award of merit, captain of the School 1st XV rugby, house 2nd XI football and cricket teams, was a member of the School Choir, Pharos Committee, Debating Society and the Dramatic Society and served as Lance Corporal in the Cadet Corps.
A very full obituary of Sir Robin appeared in the Daily Telegraph on 3 December and we reprint it here.
SIR ROBIN HAYDON, who has died aged 79, had some difficult assignments in the course of a diplomatic career which ended in Dublin, where he was British Ambassador from 1976 to 1980. His predecessor in Dublin, Christopher Ewart-Biggs, had been murdered just outside his house, and there were to be several attempts to murder Haydon too. Once he was saved only by the solidity of the walls of Dublin Cathedral which withstood an attempt to blow him up as he and his wife attended the Armistice Day service in 1978. Haydon was unaware of the attempt at the time, but during those few years in Dublin his life was dominated by the danger of assassination, so that he and his wife had to be surrounded by the most elaborate and intrusive security arrangements. All this he accepted with courage and fortitude. He was also, though, a tough man and well-suited to tough situations. With his burly, athletic 6ft frame and craggy features he was just the sort of person that anyone would like to have on their side in a tight spot. Walter Robert Haydon, always known as Robin, was born on May 29 1920 and educated at Dover Grammar School, from where he went straight into the Army in 1939. He was commissioned in the RA and served in France, India and Burma, where he was for a time with V Force, operating behind Japanese lines. With the return of peace, Haydon was recruited somewhat haphazardly by the Foreign Office and posted as temporary vice-consul in Turin. From there he went on to Sofia, where he was provided with an unwelcome opportunity to demonstrate his ability to think quickly. He and a diplomatic colleague were arrested on spurious charges by Bulgarian security officials, who refused to release them until they had signed some documents, probably intended to compromise them. The colleague was surprised to see Haydon signing; but when the papers were then passed to him he saw they had been signed “Stan Laurel” – and added “Oliver Hardy”. Haydon was accepted as an established officer in Branch B of the Foreign Service in 1950, but his performance showed that he clearly merited promotion to the senior branch of the Service, and this took place on his appointment as First Secretary in Khartoum. Then came Haydon’s chance to shine when he went as public relations officer to the British Mission to the United Nations in New York in 1961. There he won the regard of Sir Patrick Dean who, on becoming Ambassador in Washington, asked the Foreign Office to give him Haydon as one of his counsellors. By the end of his term in Washington, Haydon had acquired a high reputation and he was brought back to London in 1967 to be given one of the most testing jobs in the middle ranks of the Service: head of the news department and Foreign Office spokesman, in succession to Donald Maitland. George Brown was then Foreign Secretary, and Donald Maitland was to be his Private Secretary. Thus for the mercifully short period of Brown’s incumbency, Maitland and Haydon loyally strove to protect their master from the consequences of his own failings, while suppressing, so far as they could, their own inevitable embarrassment.
After a successful stint in the news department under Michael Stewart, Brown’s less volatile successor as Foreign Secretary, Haydon was appointed High Commissioner to Malawi, not an easy assignment at the time of Dr Hastings Banda’s autocratic and idiosyncratic regime. To his surprise, and somewhat inconveniently from a personal point of view, he was recalled from Malawi in 1973 after less than two years, to be Chief Press Secretary at 10 Downing Street, when Edward Heath was Prime Minister. But when the Heath administration fell the next year, Haydon was ousted by the incoming Labour regime and their supporting cast of public relations officers. This was rough on Haydon, who was doing his best as a loyal civil servant. However, the Foreign Office offered him the High Commission in Malta, and in the event that suited him well. He made a good job of a tricky situation as High Commissioner, and would have been content to carry on in Malta but for the unexpected final appointment to Dublin.
Haydon was a straightforward man, utterly fearless and downright in his opinions. He was a sound judge of people and was much liked and respected by his colleagues.
He was appointed CMG in 1970 and KCMG in 1980.
In retirement, Haydon was very active. He was director of group public affairs at the Imperial Group from 1981 to 1984, and was then a director of Imperial Tobacco from 1984 to 1987. He was also a member of the Reviewing Committee on Export of Works of Art from 1984 to 1989, and he became a governor of the English Speaking Union. While serving Labour Governments loyally when still a civil servant, in retirement he devoted a good deal of time and energy to supporting the Conservative Party. It pained him to observe the wrangling and infighting in the party in the 1990s. Robin Haydon was sustained by a very happy marriage to Elizabeth (née Tewson), whom he married in 1943. They had the great misfortune, though, to lose both a son and a daughter in accidental deaths; Elizabeth’s death in 1988 left him bereft. As a widower, he spent a good deal of time at the Travellers’ Club, where he had a very wide acquaintance and where his reputation as a raconteur stood high. He was also supported by friends in Malta, where he usually went in the early summer, and by his surviving daughter.
DAVID TERRY (1961-66)
David sadly died from a very rare form of cancer on Boxing Day aged 50. While at school, he was a form captain and played for football XIs throughout his time here. He was also a member of the junior and senior gymnastics team, and serving with distinction, particularly at trampolining.
When he left school, David joined the Merchant Navy, and visited Hong Kong. But after six months he decided a life at sea was not for him, and he joined Lloyds Bank, working at their branches in Folkestone, Dover and Deal. He then transferred to Lloyds private banking department and went to work in London. The family moved to Tunbridge Wells.
He was a high flier and became involved in much of the banks important financial business. He also trained new recruits at a teaching college. Just before his death he was working on government schemes.
In his spare time he played squash, golf and badminton, and also enjoyed gardening and DIY. He received treatment for cancer at St Thomass Hospital, London, but it was such a rare form of cancer they had only seen one other case like it.
David and his wife Marlene had two daughters, Nataline and Janine, and we extend our sympathy to them.
STILL LIVING AND LEARNING
Stephen Durrant achieved his Masters with Honours in Geography and International Relations, at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. He is staying at the University for one year as he has been elected President of the Student Association of St Andrews for 1999/2000.
At the University of Leicester, Jonathan Clark achieved Class 2:2 Bachelor of Science in Chemistry/USA, Martin Petts achieved Class 2:1 BA in European Studies and Richard Spink achieved Class 2:2 BA in Business Economics.
The following old boys have graduated from the University of Kent at Canterbury. Andrew Berridge BSc with Honours (First Class) in Computer Science with a year in industry; Stuart Deveson BSc with honours (Lower Second Class) in Chemistry; Tony Goodwin BA with Honours (Lower Second Class) in Public Administration and Management; Paul Hearn BSc with Honours (Upper Second Class) in Mathematics; Adrian Stewart BSc with Honours (Upper Second Class) in Social Psychology; Stephen Wills BSc with Honours (Upper Second Class) in Biochemistry with Cell and Molecular Biology.
Timothy Donovan achieved a BSc 2:1 in Geology with Oceanography at the University of Southampton where Nigel Swain achieved a Mchem 1 in Chemistry.
At the Kent Institute of Art and Design, Scott Wakeley and Matthew Borle successfully completed the BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design. Scott is studying for a BA (Hons) Degree in Time Based Media at the Kent Institute in Maidstone, and Matthew is at Kingston University studying for a BA (Hons) Degree in Illustration.
MIKE ASHBY (1970-77) wrote from Billericay (where he moved two years ago) to tell us of his change of address. A chemistry graduate from Exeter University, he started a teaching career in London in 1982 and moved to Liverpool in 1987 where he taught in Knowsley and the Wirral until 1998. Now in Billericay, he teaches at the Central Foundation Girls school in Mile End, East London. He says he would be very interested in any arrangements for a 30-year reunion of the class of 1970 this year.
PAUL ASHBY (1978-84), Mike’s brother, is a qualified gemmologist and has worked for a variety of jewellers including Garrards and Aspreys. He is now a manager for Simmonds Jewellers in Kent, and has recently moved to Whitfield with his wife and young son.
TED BAKER (1922-1925)
Ted was unable to attend our annual dinner this year but he wrote to the editor with memories of past dinners. In 1930, he writes, I attended my first Old Boys dinner, on the top floor at the Frith Road school. There were about 20 of us present but F.W (Freddie Whitehouse) provided each one of us with a bottle of beer. In 1931 the dinner was in the new school at Astor Avenue. Few Old Boys or staff possessed their own transport in those days, although Billy (Baxter) tore round on his motor cycle. WEP (Pearce) and OMR (Miss Rookwood) were the first to come to Astor by car. Until 1939 the dinner was held at the Grand Hotel, overlooking the Granville Gardens, or at Farley Woodhams in King Street. After 1945 dinners were at Igglesden and Graves in the Market Square, Cafe de Paris at New Bridge or at the Dover Stage off Townwall Street. In 1965 to celebrate the schools 60 years and the presidency of Mr Booth it was decided to hold the dinner at the school again. Due to Mr Booths efforts, and the committees, the event for men only was a great success. Since then all dinners have been held at the school with the 1969 event being a midday lunch.
With more and more Old Boys possessing transport the school was accessible for an evening function. From 1969 all members were requested to be accompanied by their ladies and the event has been more enjoyable and popular.
During the inter-war years the Association was strengthened because all members of the Old Boys first and second cricket and football teams were required to be members of the Association. The cricket 1st XI included several staff members (F.F. Allin, J. Slater, T.E. Archer, F.W. Ockenden, J.C. Booth and Ken Ruffell among others). Prominent Old Boys in the cricket XI were Norman Sutton, George Plater, Fred Greenstreet and Lionel Browne. They were a strong XI and played Dover (containing several Old Boys) and local regimental teams. A weeks tour was made to the Isle of Wight annually, in August.
DICK BOOTH (1951-1959)
Dick, son of former headmaster JC, is the author of a book just published about the runner Gordon Pirie. Published by Corsica Press at £16.50, the book is titled “The Impossible Hero” and Dick says it’s a biography of “Puff Puff” Pirie. “Pirie, you will remember, was the inspirational and pioneering runner in the 1950s, but always awkward. Hence The Impossible in the title,” says Dick who adds he’s had an interesting four years talking to Pirie’s friends, family and fellow runners.
Dick’s mother Anne, who, with both sons, was with the school in Ebbw Vale, still lives in Dover and is always interested in our school’s activities. She celebrated her 95th birthday in December.
Choristers from Dover were among those who attended the wedding at Milton Keynes of Adrian Boynton, former Director of Music at our school. Adrian married Jillian Britton at the Milton Keynes City Church of Christ the Cornerstone, where he is in charge of the music, and she is a member of the choir. Members of the Dover Chamber Choir, representatives from the Dover Operatic and Dramatic Society and some of the local soloists went to the wedding.
Adrian composed much of the music for the ceremony, including the introit as the bride arrived, an anthem and a choral piece, and he conducted some of the music. Also taking his turn at conducting was SCOTT FARRELL (1982-89) who is now assistant director of music at Ely Cathedral.
The evening reception included more celebration music, and afterwards Mr and Mrs Boynton left for a honeymoon on the River Danube, where they planned to visit other operas and concerts.
Not surprisingly, guests arriving at the church 45 minutes before the service was due to begin found Adrian still rehearsing some of the music!
RICHARD COUCHMAN (1958-63)
Richard, 52, was one of the scores of passengers badly hurt in the Paddington rail disaster in October. He leapt from a window to safety as a fireball swept through the train carriage in which he was travelling. Surgeons operated and put skin grafts on his hands which were badly burnt. His face and hair was also burnt.
After taking his O levels at our school, Richard went to Welbeck College, where he took his A levels, and Sandhurst. He rose to the rank of Major in the Royal Corps of Signals.
He has been living at Caversham Wharf in Reading, overlooking the River Thames, for the past four years, and was a regular passenger on the Paddington train, travelling to work at his office near Liverpool Street. He had previously been managing director of an American Telecom company but left to take a similar position with Opta, a company which provides the top professional football clubs, and the Internet, with detailed information about players and their performances. He has lived and worked in Texas and South Africa, and made visits to various other countries in the course of his work, including Norway, Sweden and Finland.
He has three daughters, Katy, 17, Stephanie, 25, and Josephine, 27. His father, Stan, still lives at Alkham.
Our President wrote to Richard after the accident, sending the best wishes of the association for a continuing and full recovery.
Richard wrote back: Many thanks for your card and your warm and kind thoughts. It was a pleasure to be remembered by my old school and it has prompted me to make the effort to re-establish the link with the Old Pharosians. I am quite often down in the area visiting my father so I could attend functions that you may have from time to time.
My personal career and life has been varied since I left the school, having been a professional army officer and then a businessman. It would be interesting to meet up with my contemporaries, and to offer help to the school where I could.
The accident was pretty awful and quite a shock. I was in the first coach of the Great Western and suffered burns to my hands and face, and am very lucky to be alive. The hospital were incredibly skilful and have repaired the damage to my hands to suych an extent that, in time, I expect to have almost full use of them again. I am now in a period of convalescence and will be back to work in the New Year.
JEFF GREEN (1980-85) has moved from Dover to Wolverhampton, where he has just taken up the post of Parish Youth Worker, having spent three years at Bible College. After leaving school in 1985, he started working for NatWest Bank in Sandwich and later moved on to Folkestone, Walmer and Canterbury. Jeff resigned in 1996 and went to Mattersey Hall Bible College where he recently graduated with a degree in Biblical Theology. He started as Parish Youth Worker on 1 September 1999. Much of his work involves going into schools (primary and secondary) taking assemblies and helping out with PSE and RE lessons.
BRIAN HALL (1948-53) describes his present life as one of semi-retirement, living in Bramhope, near Leeds. As Ken Ruffell’s home is now also in the Leeds Bradford area, an evening of mutual reminiscence was readily arranged.
Brian described a memorable part of his career with the Atomic Energy Authority on the weapons programme during the late 1950s when, as a young budding scientist, he took part in some of the early weapons trials in Australia. He attributes his success in being accepted for the post to Mr. Ernie Large who taught him how to French Polish, a technique he passed on to his interviewer Ieuan Maddock, later Sir Ieuan, Warden of St. Edmund’s College, Oxford!
On leaving school, Brian went to Durham University via Northampton College of Advanced Technology (London), now City University, where he won the Physics Prize presented by the Worshipful Company of Skinners, for which he blesses the training of W.E. Pearce. He recalled with pleasure the exemplary general education as offered by such teachers as Bob Murphy, Reg Payne, Bernard Denham, Gordon King and others. He was delighted to hear that Mrs. King (no relation to Gordon), the chief dinner lady, was still alive and cooking!
Brian joined the Government Communications Bureau in London in 1960 as an Electronics Engineer where he worked in a variety of posts until he left in 1992 to run an electronics company in Leeds. During his later years in government service he was privileged to work as the principal co-ordinator of technical programmes with many European countries and still retains many links with his European colleagues. In his “semi-retirement” Brian was elected Chairman of the Leeds Branch of the NSPCC where he now presides over some 30 or so ladies – his toughest job yet!
Our evening of memories ended with tributes to the late Bill Jacques and Bernard Denham for their teaching of Mathematics. KHR
CHRIS HOWITT (1980-87)
Chris, a keen amateur photographer was selected as one of the 12 finalists in a national competition during the summer. He has entered the competition, run by the Radio Times and the BBC television programme Countryfile, for the past five years. There were previously a number of categories, and for the past two years some of the winning entries have been used in a calendar which has been produced to raise money for Children in Need. He has sometimes seen his pictures on the screen and the judges have always made encouraging comments about them. Chris, who works in the finance department at Dover District Council, had a photo he took in the Lake District selected for a calendar in 1998. Instead of the usual categories, for the latest competition there was just one theme, the Changing Face of Rural Britain. Chris explained: I trawled through the pictures I had taken over the past 12 months but didnt really think I had anything I could enter for the competition. But a couple of weeks before the deadline, I got up early one Saturday morning and went to the cliffs above Samphire Hoe (the area of reclaimed land at the foot of Shakespeare Cliff). As the sun came up, I took a shot of the cliffs, with wildflowers in the foreground, the harbour in the distance, and the new A20 road winding down across the cliffs to the port. I thought it typified the theme of the contest, and fitted in with the dawn over Dover for the Millennium. More than 2,000 entries were received for the competition and Chriss picture was among the 12 to be included in the 2000 calendar. The judges were top photographer Patrick Lichfield, Radio Times picture editor Theresa Eagle and programme presenter John Craven. They picked out one winner, who has been presented with a National Trust prize, but all 12 pictures were printed in the Radio Times, with readers being invited to phone in to vote for their favourite. The overall winner and their partner won a 10-day holiday to Ecuador and the Galapagos. I have always been interested in photography, but apart from reading a few books I have never had any formal training, said Chris. I started with an Olympus Trip camera which I had just before I went on a school trip to France. Then I bought a second-hand camera from a friend, and I now have a Nikon N70. I enjoy taking landscape pictures, and I like walking, so I always take my camera with me.
MIKE LANGLEY (1963-69)
Mike, a marine engineer has moved ashore after 28 years at sea to become technical manager with P&O Stena Line. The promotion for the father of two from Shepherdswell follows service on board the P&OSL Kent and the P&OSL Calais. After leaving our school, Mike began his career as an engineering cadet with P&O general cargo division. He enjoyed a deep-sea career and then joined Townsend Car Ferries as fifth engineer officer in 1974. He worked through the ranks to become chief engineer and senior chief engineer. Mike is currently studying for an Open University honours degree following the Institute of Marine Engineers study profile. I am looking forward to extending my marine engineering and management experience from a different perspective and to supporting my colleagues at sea, he said.
DAVID PEARCE (1963-67)
David arrived at Dover Grammar School in 1963 when his father’s work moved to Dover. He joined the 5th form (5L he thinks), with Mr Denham as form master. He left the Upper 6th in 1967, and went to Lincoln College Oxford in September that year, where he studied Engineering Sciences.
He writes: “Unfortunately my direct links with Dover ended at that time: my parents moved to Bristol and many of my friends moved away around the same time.
After finishing my engineering degree I spent 3 further years at university doing a research degree, and joined the electricity industry in 1974. I joined the PowerGen company in 1989, and am still with them, at their Power Technology Centre at Ratcliffe near Nottingham. I have been involved in many things, but am predominantly concerned with the performance of power station steam plant, and with renewable energy applications. This last aspect neatly matches a lifelong interest and involvement of mine with wind energy.
“Outside work my eldest daughter Susan has just started as a student at Brighton
University, reading geography, and my wife Liz has begun a PGCE teaching course.
We currently live at Long Clawson in Leicestershire, the village being a hotbed
of Stilton cheese manufacture.” David’s e-mail address is: Dave.Pearce@PowerTech.co.uk
JOHN PHILPOTT (1955-63)
The Reverend John Philpott, vicar of Whitfield and Guston and our new president, was the guest speaker and distributed the prizes at the school sixth form prize giving in September. John, chairman of the governors of Dover Grammar School for Girls, commented on the rekindled move to do away with grammar schools and associated selective examinations. He recalled the same moves were being made when he left school some 35 years before. Yes, he accepted, the two Dover grammar schools were selective but not elitist, welcoming students from every kind of social background. And the process of re-organisation would fail to receive proper funding, argued John. It would seriously disrupt the education of all students at secondary school level and could lead to back-door selection of the worst kind.
ANDREW RENOUF (1971-75)
Andrew, who aspired to deputy head prefect under Phil Harding, sent an e-mail to say he always looks forward to receiving each copy of the newsletter. Andrew left DGSB to attend Thanet Technical College at Broadstairs, but left after six months to take a post as a Royal Household Footman at Buckingham Palace. During his four years of Royal Service, he accompanied the Queen on the Jubilee Visit to Australasia in 1977, and then to the Arabian Gulf in 1979. During this time he met and married his wife. He left the Palace in 1980 to work for the Salvation Army in London and in the USA. In 1981 he moved to Plymouth and in 1982 joined the IT department in the dockyard at Devonport. In 1987 there were large numbers of redundancies due to privatisation, but he was not affected and since then has become senior Database Administrator, maintaining the company’s main database. He and his wife have two daughters.
NICK STEVENS (1969-74)
Nick, with more than 20 years experience in the cross-Channel ferry industry, has been appointed route manager for the Hoverspeed fast ferry service between Folkestone and Boulogne. His roles in public relations with ferries over those 20 years have included service with Sealink in London, Folkestone and Dover, previous work with Hoverspeed, and two years at Dover with P&O European Ferries. A year ago he rejoined Hoverspeed, in the public relations department, at Dover with special responsibility for the fast ferry service between Ostend and Dover. Nick, who lives at Hawkinge near Folkestone, is particularly pleased with his new Boulogne responsibility because his father Gerry was British Consul at the French port and in charge of the Sealink operations on that route in the 1970s and 80s. In his new role Nick is also responsible for the port of Folkestone, owned by Hoverspeeds parent group Sea Containers.
HUGH STYLES (1985-91)
Hugh, of Dover Road in Sandwich, is having a lot of success in sailing. He and a friend from work at British Aerospace race a six metre long two-man Tornado catamaran with which they won the Italian national championships. With seven years international experience Hugh, a member of Downs Sailing Club at Deal, snatched silver in European youth competitions and has won other UK and world titles including the 1997 European championships in the Laser class. Now he and his sailing companion have their eyes fixed on the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
DAVID TORR (1960-67)
David has been working for Philips (the TV and light bulb company) for the last four years or so, running a business unit in the company responsible for “cable modems” – modems that work on cable TV systems and are MUCH faster than the sort that use telephone connections – and also cable telephony products – that let you make phone calls over the cable TV network. Early last year the company decided to focus on the US market so David and his wife Doreen moved to Atlanta in October 1998.
He writes: “Atlanta is a sprawling city of 3.5m people – its been very hot (90+) for the last month or two and quite humid, so not pleasant for going out. American houses are huge by comparison with the UK and Australia – Doreen and I feel quite silly in our large place but there are no small houses around. Doreen has been doing a lot of work for a charity, making clothes and blankets for needy new-born and premature babies.”
David says they could be on the move again about now, either to “Silicon Valley” (south of San Francisco) or to corporate headquarters in Eindhoven in Holland.
David and Doreen’s daughter Alison, 27, and son Peter, 23, stayed in Australia when their parents moved to America. Alison works in Melbourne as a marketing manager for a Canadian office-products company. Peter, who gained a double degree in Computer Science and Philosophy, worked briefly for a Melbourne software company but then took a job with Microsoft and moved to their headquarters in Seattle.
David gets to travel a lot in his job. He is a keen bird watcher and usually takes his binoculars on business trips!
His e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>
MRS LILY TURNPENNY (1905-12)
Our oldest Old Pharosian, Mrs Turnpenny has now lived in three centuries, and is due to celebrate her 107th birthday in February. She was one of the first pupils at what was then Dover County School, and went on to obtain an Honours degree from Bedford College, London, at a time when university education for women was in its infancy. She still maintains an interest in the school and we send her our best wishes.
MATTHEW and DANIEL WILKINSON
Matt (1987-94) and Dan (1989-96) spent the summer performing to capacity audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, taking part in Steven Sondheims musical Assassins, a show that intriguingly interweaves the assassination attempts on various American presidents, including Lincoln, Ford, Reagan and, of course John F Kennedy. Matthew co-directed and played Charles Guiteau who shot dead James Garfield in 1881, while Dan doubled on keyboard and saxophone and, in the final scene, produced an electrifying performance as Lee Harvey Oswald. The production, which received rave reviews and four-star billing in the Scottish national press, brought together musicians and performers from the brothers respective universities. Matt is studying for a science PhD at Cambridge and Dan is working towards a Masters Degree in music. Although frequent performers in numerous choirs, orchestras and drama groups, this is the first time in six years they have worked together on stage. Dan, who gained an honours degree in music, has, over the last three years, performed in numerous musicals including Chess, City of Angels, Crazy For You and 42nd Street. Last year he was the musical director for the universitys smash hit production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Although Matt is a zoologist, and is soon off to Japan to research pterosaurs, he has found time to perform in numerous shows and dramas including principal roles in Guys and Dolls, Return to the Forbidden Planet, Salad Days, Chess and King Lear. For three years he played leading roles in the Cambridge University Gilbert and Sullivan Society, and last summer he directed HMS Pinafore at the prestigious Minnack Theatre hewn out of the Cornish Cliffs near Penzance. Both brothers said how much they enjoyed the experience of performing together at the festival, and are looking forward to further collaborations in the future.
ALBERT SUNY WILSON (1963-68)
As reported in the newsletter in January 1999, Suny was on death row in the Philippines after being convicted of rape. He protested his innocence and said the girl had been pressured into making the allegation as part of an extortion bid. He protested his innocence and throughout 1999 a campaign went on to clear his name. Just days before Christmas the conviction was quashed, he was released and he flew back to Heathrow to be met by his daughter, Denise, who lives not far from our school. Despite his ordeal, Suny says he would like to return to the Philippines to help other prisoners he believes should not be on death row.
CHRIS WILSON (1951-58)
Chris writes: “I will do my best to fill you in on what I have done since leaving DGBS. In my case it is certainly “Forty Years On”, plus a bit! It was very nostalgic to see the Old School again, it is about 20 years since my last visit. I was staying at my mother’s home in Deal on one of my stand-downs between flights (more about that later), and I had some spare time. An added bonus was that it was Cadet night, so I was able to see how much, or how little it, it had changed since I was in the CCF. First thing that impressed me was how smart the uniforms were, nothing like the uncomfortable serge ones we had to wear. The second thing was that it had members of both sexes. On the down side it seemed a pity that in terms of numbers it was much smaller than in my day, but I suppose this reflects how the young people of today regard the Armed Services. As to the School itself, nothing appears to have changed too much, the Staff Room appears to have moved, but the Science Labs still look (and smell) the same. Overall I still got the feeling I had just stepped back forty-odd years in time.
“I left the School in 1958. It was with great interest that I read an article in one of last year’s Newsletters about the RAF Flying Scholarship Award for CCF cadets. I was fortunate to be the recipient of one of these awards whilst a member of the School CCF, RAF Section, in 1958. This started me on my long career in aviation, although at the time I had no idea how I was to travel, both literally and figuratively. I started my Flying Training on Tiger Moths at Rochester Airport. I soon found that flying in open cockpits in March was very cold and not for the fainthearted. I completed 30 hours flying and was issued with a Private Pilot’s Licence, and this was before anyone in my form had got a driving licence! I am often reminded of those first few flying hours when I am on approach to London Heathrow airport, having just flown a 747-400, with about 400 passengers, for 13 hours all the way from Singapore non-stop. The approach path passes very close to the Isle of Sheppey, around which I had to fly on a navigational exercise. I remember at the time being worried that I might get lost and disappear into the North Sea!
“In December I joined the Royal Navy to train as fighter pilot in the Fleet Air Arm. After flying Piston Provosts and Vampires, I got my Wings in June 1960. Operational training followed at RNAS Lossiemouth in Scotland, where I flew Seahawks, Hawker Hunters, and finally the Supermarine Scimitar. It was in this aircraft that I did my first deck landing on HMS Victorious when I joined my first Squadron. Very exciting to say the least! Then followed a year-long cruise to the Far East, including celebrating my 21st birthday in Mombassa, Kenya. This was the start of a very interesting, but short, career of naval flying. Postings to Malta, HMS Hermes, HMS Victorious (again), and finally RNAS Losiemouth followed.
“However, in 1966, with more Defence cuts looming, civil aviation looked like the right career path. At the time Qantas Airways were recruiting in London, and as I had already visited Australia and liked it, this seemed the way to go. I was lucky enough to be offered a job, so I, along with my wife and two children, arrived in Sydney in January 1967 to join Qantas, and where I have been ever since.
“I started as a Second Officer flying Boeing 707s, and was promoted to First Officer in 1973. I transferred to the Boeing 747s in 1976, and was promoted to Captain on them in 1986. In 1990 I again transferred to the long range 747-400 (a flying computer!) which I am currently flying. Qantas has a world-wide route system and over the years I have flown just about every one. One of the more interesting ones is flying to Buenos Aires from Sydney via Auckland. The route goes very close to Antarctica, and then over the Andes into Argentina. That is the sort of geography lesson even Ken Ruffell could not teach me.
“By choice and for family reasons the route I fly the most frequently is Sydney-London. I do this about every four to five weeks, and as I get a three-day stand-down in London, I almost always come down to Deal to see my mother, brother and grandchildren. All this travelling will end next August when I retire at the age of 60. Forty years on certainly has flown by in more ways than one. It will be the end of a career spanning 43 years and 23,000 flying hours. The Cadet Officer has asked me to return to the school and give the cadets a talk on flying. Please let him know that I most certainly will do this in the not too distant future. I will be in touch with the School.