OPA Newsletter February 1970

New Series No. 17

February 1970



President: K. H. RUFFELL, Esq.

H. R. SLATER, Meadow Cottage, Sandwich Rd., Whitfield, Dover

Rev. W. F. Kemp, The Rectory, Denton, Canterbury, Kent


"7th July, 1969 Sidney Frank Willis RIP." This terse announcement in the local newspaper conveyed to many Old Boys the sad news of the passing of a well-loved teacher and friend for nearly fifty years. A kindly man, a pleasant man, appointed to the Staff during the Great War, he returned in 1919 as Senior History Master to assist with Music and was for a period in charge at Priory Hill. In those days Mr. H. J. Taylor, the Borough Organist, was a part-time Music Master at the School, but with his departure in the mid-twenties Mr. Willis assumed sole charge of the School Music.

How he belied his nickname when he became enthralled in the conducting of the School Choir. With the strong support of Mr. Whitehouse he was responsible for the purchase of the first gramophone to assist in the instruction of Music, for the formation of the School Orchestra, and finally his ambitions were realised when in 1932 the School Organ was installed and dedicated. Generations of Dovorians will long recall his steadfastness to Sunday worship during the many years he was Organist at St. Mary's in the Castle, new St. James's and latterly at the Parish Church of St. Mary's. He was an active member of the School Cadet Corps and the Staff Cricket Team. His skill and patience made the School music distinctive.

The delights and pleasures he afforded to so many (even those lacking a musical ear) will always remain very pleasant memories.


Gentleness is the quality of strength.


Since my life has been involved in this School for more than thirty years and in so many different ways, I am deeply honoured that the Old Pharosians should elect me to be their President, and I thank all who had any part in my election.

I also express my gratitude to those who responded to the new idea of a lunch, as a variation on the annual dinner and so helped to make the day, for me, memorable and enjoyable.

An Old Boys' Association arises from a sense of fellowship, from a bond of experience shared. But the fellowship has no cutting edge unless it serves some useful purpose. I am sure that Old Boys wish to help the School and share its work.

I have a suggestion to make that may appeal to some Old Boys. There must be Old Boys in almost every profession, calling, trade and industry; and many would be willing to correspond with and advise boys who are considering a career in their particular line.

The careers master at School welcomes this idea, and anyone willing to place his experience at the service of the School could write to the Headmaster, the careers master or to me.

There is some current up-turn in Old Pharosian activity and I hope that, between us, we may make some useful contribution to the Association's Jubilee Year.


Journey to the top of the hill for inspiration and new perspectives, but remember life is lived in the valley.

It is with regret we record the passing of the following Old Boys:—R. P. Coates (1910-12); W. Prescott (1918-21); M. Clayson (1923-26); C. G. W. Lewis (1919-25); K. Keen (1953-58); H. J. Burt (1926-33); C. Grilli (1920-24).

19th JULY, 1969

Although the due rituals of tossing were performed, by gentlemanly agreement, the Old Boys batted first in the pleasant warmth of an English summer's afternoon. Experienced batsmen were soon pushing unhostile bowling to all parts of the lower field, and only a periodic willingness to miss a straight one made possible some progress through the batting order. By tea-time some 180 runs had been collected for 8 wickets and the players joined those already in the enclosure round the pavilion where tea and talk were available. The willing assistance of the ladies was much appreciated.

After tea the School batted with skill and some determination against bowling and fielding of far greater experience. The sole question at issue was whether they could survive until 'stumps'. The last man came in with nine balls to go, after which the bails were hurriedly removed to prevent the intrusion of defeat into so pleasant an afternoon.

The Old Boys team, in approximate batting order, was A. Edginton, who scored 40 and kept wicket; W. Nadin 50 plus; J. MacFarlane; J. Morgan, who threw to the top of the stumps from all corners of the field; R. Durrant; W. Ratcliffe, who travelled from Essex; A. Brown; P. Salter; R. Winter, a veteran of these matches; and the Rev. W. Kemp, to whose good natured direction of affairs the afternoon's success was largely due.

We look forward to seeing you at next year's match on Saturday, 11th July, 1970 on the lower field, when the Junior School Sports will also be in progress on the upper field.


Miss Rookwood moved to an Old People's Home, "Millmead", Millmead Road, Cliftonville, Margate, on the 7th January, 1970. The decision has given her much thought. We know she will lose much of her privacy but we hope that this will be compensated by the gain of companionship, attention and the knowledge that there will always be assistance available to attend to her needs. She has realised for some months the change had to come but it will still take time for readjustment. Maybe come the Summer months she will welcome a visit from Old Boys (still young to her) and a drive round the country lanes of the County she has adopted and given her life to for over fifty years. Who knows, the end of the journey could be lunch or tea in her beloved Dover.



The 27th September, 1969 will be recorded as the day on which the Association made history. For the first time we dispensed with the Annual Dinner provided by outside caterers and we enjoyed a first class Lunch prepared in the School Canteen by our own Staff.

Of even greater significance we were graced with the attendance of our ladies, who brought added charm and gaiety of colour. An interesting feature in the dining room was the display of messages from Miss Rookwood, D. W. Cornelius (Malawi), John White (Singapore), Michael Feast (S. Africa), Lester Borley (W. Germany), Ian Watt (California) and Richard Blackburn (Kubalia).

After the customary appetizers at the Bar, Old Pharosians proceeded to the Geography Room for the AG.M. at 11.30 a.m. The meeting commenced with suitable reference by the President (Mr. T. E. Archer) to the loss sustained by the passing of Mr. W. E. Pearce and Mr. S. F. Willis. We stood and paid our respects in silence but with memories spanning sixty years.

The minutes were read, the Treasurer's and Secretary's Reports were presented and favourably received with suitable thanks to the Officers for their valued services during the past year. How welcome it was to have a Treasurer's report in such lucid form. The revised Articles of Association were adopted after comments on commas by the legal and editorial experts. Mr. K. H. Ruffell was proposed as President for 1969-70 and installed with unanimous and enthusiastic approval. Dr. J. W. Menter was elected Vice-President and the re-election of the remaining Officers was a formality. C. Henry and R. W. Winter joined the Committee following the resignation of E. Maynard and A Tolputt. "Any Other Business" was brought to a sudden end by the President closing the meeting at 12.30 with a request to adjourn to the Bar in the Diningroom and rejoin the ladies.

To see over 100 Old Pharosians, Ladies, Staff and Guests seated for a four course Lunch gave pleasure to all present, and it must have been gratifying to our President who had devoted so much of his time and energy to ensure a successful day. The meal was first-class and the Association is grateful to all who assisted in the preparation and serving of the Lunch. The attendance comprised all decades of the School's existence. The strong Science contingent was most noticeable. The President's proposal of the Toast "The School" was frequently punctuated with applause as he referred to many past and present members of the Staff and his exposition of latitude and longitude. What pleasure it gave to have the company of so many distinguished guests, and particularly Mr. and Mrs. Booth. The Headmaster replied on behalf of the School and reported how impressed he was with the vigorous life blood running through School in all its many and varied activities, and expressed his gratitude to his predecessors, particularly Mr. Whitehouse for his foresight in planning the School.

We then rose from our seats to proceed to watch the Soccer Match or to yarn with friends we had not met for many a year. It was noticeable how many seemed loathe to leave the diningroom which they had never entered before. By 2 goals to 1 the elders managed to assert their superiority in a game played in the finest spirit and admirably refereed by a qualified official, the junior of them all, aged 15.

A fine day, an excellent function, a memorable occasion, and those who were there will surely wish to return another year. Of those who were absent, many were remembered and enquiries made as to their whereabouts-come this year and you will say "Why did I not do this before?"

The following were present at the Annual General Meeting:T. E. Archer (President), K. H. Ruffell (Vice-President), J. C. Booth, R. C. Colman (Headmaster), T. S. Walker, B. W. Denham, I. W. Bird, W. H. Jacques, K. Best (Staff), H. R. Slater (35-43), E. W. Pudney (14-20), E. H. Baker (22-30), N. V. Sutton (08-12), G. R. Plater (12-16), G. L. Tuthill (60-5), B. A Robb (43-8), R. J. Mitchell (60-7), D. C. Sharp (32-7), D. V. Slater (62-9), A S. Lewis (16-26), P. A Slater (35-44), C. W. Kemsley (64-9), M. A Palmer (59-66), J. H. Morecroft (21-25), W. F. Kemp (23-30), R. G. Durrant (61-8), B. L. Argent (45-50), D. Grinsted (17-22), D. Weaver (39-50), W. J. Ratcliffe (47-53), C. C. Bailey (42-49), C. J. Henry (45-9), M. G. Sayers (39-42), R. J. Winter (34-40), A H. Tolputt (34-40), L. R. Bish (36-41), E. Maynard (42-7), N. Moorcroft (15-20), S. J. Wenborn (28-36), J. Pascall (40-6), M. Durrant (Head Prefect). They were joined at Lunch by the under-mentioned together with many ladies:—The Mayoress of Dover, The Chairman of the School Governors, the Divisional Education Officer, the Chairman of the Parents' Association, the Editor of the Dover Express, G. L. J. Bailey, L. J. Bach, C. Hart, B. H. Harrison, D. J. Lilley, E. C. Mantle, R. Mercer, A Phillips, T. A Sutton, H. R. Watkins, and the following members of the Staff, A E. Coulson, A A Coveney, C. Gloster, W. G. King, P. Piddock, P. Slater, M. H. Smith, R. N. Woollett, E. H. Yates, R. E. Hogg.


The Headmaster has promised an article on the new educational proposals for a future issue.

Hair Cut, Sir. Apologies to the member of the Staff who was recently mistaken for the Head Prefect. Must be our age.

"Pharosians" Basket Ball Team will welcome members. Please contact Mr. A O. Elliott at the School.

We understand that the gift of a Presidential Chair will soon be a reality.

The Headmaster "We must succeed with each and every boy". One yardstick of your success, Sir, the numbers joining the Association on leaving the School.

Best wishes to "Doc" Hinton for an early and complete return to health. Congratulations to you both on Number Five.

The Editor (E. H. Baker, 24 Downs Road, Maidstone) would like to receive up-to-date information from you for the News Letter. Write NOW.

Bill Ratcliffe took a Bank Team to play the School Soccer XI in September. An enjoyable game was won by the School 1-0.

BOOK the following events at the School.

Saturday, 14th March, 1970—SPRING FAIR.

Saturday, 21st March, 1970—0ld Boys RUGBY Match.

Friday, 15th May, 1970—MAY BALL.

Friday, 22nd May, 1970—Senior School Sports.

Saturday, 11th July, 1970—0ld Boys CRICKET Match and Junior School Sports at 2.30 p.m.

Saturday, 26th September, 1970—ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING at 11.30 a.m. LUNCHEON at 1.00 p.m. Old Boys Football Match at 2.45 p.m.

STALWARTS (continued)

Alfred H. Gunn (1916-24). He has a long record of activity and Office in the Dover Operatic Society and the Dover Players, an interest shared by his wife. A Jeweller, he has shops in Worthington Street and the Market Square and his son David (1947-53) assists him in the business. A Past Master of the "Pharos" Lodge, he presented the trophy cupboard at the back of the School Hall. A Fellow of the Gemological Society of Great Britain and Ireland and winner of the Ogden Memorial Prize. A Past President of the Dover Chamber of Commerce and the Dover Rotary Club. President of Our Association in 1961 and for many years an active Committeeman.

Archie S. Lewis (1916-26). Remembers Frith Road School when the Armistice was declared in 1918. He is now Managing Director of the family building business which he joined on leaving School. Founder-member of the "Pharos" Lodge and a Past Master. A regular member of the London Road Methodist Church where he assisted at the Organ for nearly forty years, and is Treasurer to Trustees. Secretary of our Association 1947-50 and President in 1955.

Raymond A. Cook (1908-14). A Lieutenant in the 1914-18 War. Secretary or Treasurer of the Association 1923-37. Inaugurated Life Membership. For many years with a firm of Florists, now a Company Director. Governor of Kent College and of National Children's Home. President of Dover Free Church Council. Past President of Dover Rotary Club. For over forty years his greatest friend was the late Mr. W. H. Darby.

Kenneth H. Ruffell (1937- ). Joined the Staff of the School direct from University in 1937 and was the first appointment made by Mr. Booth. Old Pharosian Footballer and Cricketer, Committeeman, President 1969, Cosmopoltan, Churchwarden, member of Dover Players—on and off stage. Equally at home with his elbow on the bar of the 'Local' or taking a mixed party of pupils on a Field Study Expedition. Geography, Geology and Sports Master. Will always be remembered as one of the Great Servants of the School and his enthusiastic and unflagging support of the Association. Seems to be endowed with perennial youth and never failing charm.


T. Vardon (1959-67) has been elected to a Scholarship at Lincoln College, Oxford in his third year. During the vacations he plays the Organ at River Church.

F. Woodbridge (1964-8) was a side-drummer in the RAF. Pipe and Drum Band at the Royal Albert Hall Festival of Remembrance 1969.

H. J. Yates (1961-6) has obtained B.A Honours Degree in Fine Arts at East Anglia University.

B. Mobley (1964-6) now a 2-Lt with RAO.C. at Munster, after service in Jamaica and Cyprus.

P. Clare (1962-6) has obtained 1st Class Honours Degree in Chemistry at East Anglia. Hopes to study for Doctor of Philosophy at Liverpool.

C. Curry (1927-36) is Associate Vice-President of South Carolina University where he is Professor of History. Spent three months lecturing in Australia. Recently associated with the production at St. Margaret's-at-Cliffe of the film David Copperfield.

D. F. Clayton (1941-6) appointed sub-manager Lloyds Bank, Dover. Married with two children, is a keen member of the Dover Camera Club.

R. Bolton (1948-55). Captain in the Royal Artillery. Since ]962 has served in Cyprus, Denmark, U.S.A and Canada (where he met Maurice Linton, a Pilot with Support Command). Now attending Staff Courses at Shrivenham and Camberley.

Rev. Canon J. Clayson (1917-20) has resigned the benefice at Bisley, Glos. Since 1965 a Chaplain to the Queen's Household.

D. Cart (1958-63) after obtaining a Degree in Chemistry and Zoology has been teaching at Kisumu, Kenya. Hopes to obtain a M.Sc. Degree.

D. Fleming (1958-65) has obtained a Bachelor of Law Degree at Cambridge. Teaching for a year at Chicago University of Law. Represented Trinity Hall in the T.V. programme" University Challenge".

F. G. West-Gram (1926-33) recently called on Miss Rookwood, He is in the Technical Service Dept. of I.C.I.

J. Laslett (1917) has now retired to Royston, Beach Road, St. Margarets Bay.

J. P. Sutton (1945-52), P.O. Box 2372, Khartoum, Sudan. Obtained Bristol Engineering Honours Degree. Worked on the new tunnel under the Clyde, Port extensions at Lagos, and now consultant engineer for the construction of a new bridge over the Blue Nile.

L. Borley (1924-29) appointed first director of the new Scottish Tourist Board. Was manager of the British Tourist Association in West Germany. Acknowledges his debt to our President for his early inspiration in the broad horizons of Geography.

S. L. Flood (1928-34) has been appointed Town Oerk of Romsey, Hants.

R. O. Dixon (1963-8) is serving with the R.A.F. Played for the Station Band (Cosford) at the Royal Tournament.

S. D. Riley (1954-62) called at the School in December to say he has taught Divinity for three years at Beverley Secondary School, New Maiden. He is going to Ridley Hall, Cambridge, to undertake a three year course of training for Holy Orders in the Church of England.

F. Conley (1957-64) is going to Ridley Hall a year later than Riley for the same training.


Two teams, Pharosians I and II, compete in the East Kent Basketball League against other clubs; mainly from colleges and army units.

The Teams are made up of senior boys, masters, who are of course honorary members of the Association, and Old Boys. At present Old Boys playing in the teams include J. R. Pond, A Revell and B. Stevenson, R. Crisp and A O. Elliott, the School's P.E. Staff, are much involved in the matches, the whole enterprise being due to Mr. Elliott's enthusiasm. The Old Pharosians Association has this year made a small contribution to the expenses of the Club.