OPA Newsletter July 1983

New Series No. 44

July 1983




W. E. Collard, Esq.


Philip Harding, Esq., 6 Monins Road, Dover


Ian Pascall, Esq., 36 Willow Waye, Eythorne, Dover

Editor: K. H. Ruffell, Esq., 193 The Gateway, Dover CT16 1 LL

The editor is grateful for all news sent to him.

As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. Proverbs XXV, 25.


The Annual General Meeting will be held at the School Staff Room on Saturday, 17th September, 1983, at 11 a.m. Coffee will be served from 10.45 a.m.


  1. To read the notice convening the meeting.
  2. Apologies.
  3. Minutes of the Annual General Meeting, 1982.
  4. Matters arising.
  5. Treasurer's Report.
  6. Secretary's Report.
  7. Election of Officers and Committee for 1983-84. There are several retiring Committee members.
  8. Any other business.

Philip Harding, Hon. Secretary.

At 2.30 p.m. on the same Saturday, 17th September, there will be the usual soccer match. Any Old Pharosian wishing to play should write to M. Palmer, 12 Hazeldown Close, River, Dover CT17 ONJ.


This year's Reunion Dinner will be held in the School Hall. The bar will be open at 6.45 p.m. for sherry and dinner is at 7.30 p.m. Price is £6.50. A choice of wines will be available at the bar. Wives/girl friends are always very welcome and early application is advised. Please send the return slip and your cheque (made payable to Old Pharosians) , to Colin Henry, Lachine, Byllan Road, River, Dover (tel. Kearsney 3764) not later than 10th September.

The only speakers will be Tom Beer as the incoming President and the Headmaster.

This will leave more time for people to circulate and meet friends.

Old Pharosians who are not members of the Association are very welcome at the dinner.

Representatives of the Prefects' Room and the Parents' Association are being invited to attend.


The school choir of some fifty voices sang Evensong in Westminster Abbey on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of Easter Week. At all three services parents and old boys were present but on Friday most of the congregation in the Quire were associated with the school and its music.

By their bearing and performance the choir gave us all pleasure and pride. As an anthem at the end of the service they sang Te Lucis Ante Terminum, an evening hymn that faded gently into the beauty of silence.

At a reception afterwards in the Abbey's Jerusalem Chamber, most kindly made available by the Dean, the Presenter said that the choir in no way fell below the musical traditions of the Abbey. The Dean spoke of the history of the buildings and hoped that the choir would come again next year.

Our own Bishop of Plymouth came up to the service and read one of the lessons. After the reception, attended by old boys and their ladies, parents and senior boys, a few remained to wash up the glasses and the Bishop showed a safe hand with a teacloth. In this way a day to be remembered came to a most friendly conclusion and we went home enriched by the excellence of school music under the direction of Adrian Boynton.


At 5 p.m. the school choir will sing Evensong in St. Paul's Cathedral.

When the choir sang recently in Westminster Abbey a reception was arranged after the service. At the reception were Old Pharosians and their ladies, parents, masters and senior boys. The service and reception gave much pleasure and something similar can be arranged on 10th August.

St. Paul's Cathedral has no room appropriate for a reception but tentative arrangements have been made with a nearby hostelry, the Sir Christopher Wren, only fifty yards away in Paternoster Square.

The manager is prepared to let us have without charge a very pleasant bar for our private use between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. if sufficient people are interested. These arrangements should be confirmed or cancelled by the middle of July.

So I should be very grateful if Old Pharosians interested in such a gathering would drop me a line.

K. H. Ruffell, 193 The Gateway, Dover CT16 1LL.


The book Fifty Years On has sold well and all two hundred and fifty copies have now gone.

The records and cassettes under the title Music of Dover Grammar School for Boys have now sold enough copies to cover the original cost of about £1700. Copies have gone to Old Pharosians in New York and Australia. There are plenty of copies available for purchase.

Denis Gibb has very kindly undertaken to help organize future London Reunions in the place of Lester Borley who initiated and continued these pleasant meetings until his recent appointment as Director of the National Trust for Scotland.

Nominations for Vice president:

Dr. K. Lott, Lecturer in Chemistry at Brunei University, has agreed to be nominated by the committee for Vice president in September, 1983 and as President in the following year.

Mr. D. M. McNeill, retired airport engineer, now living in Deal, has been invited to accept nomination to follow Dr. Lott.

The School Organ repairs, to a total cost of £3000, are being met equally by the Old Pharosians and the Parents' Association.

The period for repayment has been reduced from seven to five years. The Old Pharosians have paid £300 from their Jubilee Trust Fund and are holding £1200 in readiness for four future annual payments.

Work on the School Organ proceeded during the Christmas holidays.

From the Treasurer—Subscriptions

Annual subscriptions of £2 are due on 1st August. We shall be grateful if you will pay as soon as possible and, in addition, also ask those members with bankers' orders to ensure that these are updated to the current subscription. Life Membership is £15 and we should like to thank those longstanding life members who have sent generous donations to our funds. As you will appreciate, our life subscription investments barely keep the cost of servicing membership in balance now that investment rates have fallen.

Ian Pascall, 36 Willow Waye, Eythorne, Near Dover.

Guest Evening at the school is to be on Friday, 11th November, when the speaker will be Commander Jelly who was chief medical officer during the Falklands operations.

The Old Pharosians' Committee will meet on the previous evening.


The date is Saturday, 9th July, starting at 2 p.m.

OLD BOYS v. SCHOOL RUGBY MATCH, Thursday, 24th March, 1983

Someone very boldly arranged for 1st and 2nd XV matches to be played. Brian Burr for the Old Boys and Malcolm Grant at school assembled players and two good-hearted games were completed.

The Dover R.F.C. very hospitably made the Crabble ground available and, until a springtime downpour of sleet drove spectators from the field, there was a fair number of interested people present. A few of the players had rather whiter hair and wider waistbands than in their schooldays but something approaching sixty players enjoyed what for the boys was their last game of the season. For one or two Old Boys it was their only game of the season, but both O.P. teams won their matches.


Ernest Charles Large, Born 1912. Teaching at D.B.G.S. 1946 to 1977. Died 12th June, 1983 Ernie Large's sudden death due to heart failure will bring shock and grief to all his former colleagues and students, as indeed to all who knew this truly exceptional man.

He could not have lived far from workshop and water. He has described how he came for interview by boat. His first home in Dover was a yacht in the harbour and he soon established a school sailing club which he administered with characteristic attention to detail. During his time in the school he and his students built fifty boats.

There is no substitute for enthusiasm, however quietly expressed, as a source of inspiration and the club grew in membership, in success at regional and national levels, even at international level among devotees who had left school.

If you walked into the workshop or classroom where Ernie was teaching you knew that the processes of teaching and learning were operating in an atmosphere of pleasant human relationship. The tools in the cupboards are exactly as he left them, tidy and in perfect order. The craft department today is in the hands of good men who know how richly they have inherited.

His retirement has been typical of the man. He has at times returned into school when need arose. He and Moya moved into a flat high above the sailing area where he could survey operations and go down to lend a hand.

From his office in the flat he has done splendid work as secretary to the Kent Schools' Sailing Association and as Chief Sailing Examiner for Kent. Booklets on sailing have been produced, culminating in a publication on Advanced Sailing Proficiency. He has been hard at work on a Kent Venture Boat, fitting out a canal barge to be used by young people. As a warden for yachting in the Youth Opportunities Scheme, this lean, sun-tanned man has been a busy figure on the summer scene along the waterfront. He has now crossed over the water and our hearts go out to Moya and to those good men who will pick up his work, sustained by his example.



Notebook at the ready, I attended last assembly at the end of term. There were references to the choir and instrumentalists and to the production of Julius Caesar. Head reported that over one hundred parents had visited the school with a view to entry in September and many had spoken of the politeness and disciplined attitude among the boys.

Among the major games and pastimes, cross country running seemed to be flourishing. Over five hundred boys ran in the Powell Cup race. I learned from other sources that Headmaster got round the course, so did two lady teachers.

Among the rugby reports, the captain of the U13 team informed that they had "caused many opponents to panic". The 2nd XV hoped that the match against the Old Boys would continue and then some bulky fellows went up to receive 1st XV badges and ties.

Boys facing public exams were urged to revise in the vacation: and masters went down to the buses to see that a modicum of decorum should grace the dispersal.



On Wednesday, 2nd March an Evening of Music was given in aid of the Lenten Appeal to assist handicapped children. The sum raised was £100.

The evening began with first form boys performing in public their first steps of instrumental accomplishment. There followed an astonishing variety of vocal and instrumental, solo and group performance, crowned by Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saens. These few words can give no impression of the sensitivity and quality of the performance of this work. We are all enjoying a musical education.

Saturday, 19th March, in the School Hall

A recital was given by visiting pianists, a French horn player and a soprano, accompanied by Adrian Boynton who also directed the Chamber Choir of boys and girls from the two grammar schools.

Standards of performance gave immense pleasure to an audience of musical devotees and money raised will be devoted to purchase of instruments for young musicians in the school.

Wednesday, 23rd March, in Charlton Church

A musical sequence for Passiontide had as its main work Stainer's Crucifixion. Some said they had never heard the choir sing better and the soloists contributed splendidly to an experience that lingers in the memory. Among those present were many lovers of music in the town whose links with the school are slight but who know what to expect from a conductor who so sensitively draws the best from all under his direction.

The school's Lent appeal raised £1,100 which has been spent on equipment for handicapped children at a Dover primary school.

The Spring Fair arranged by the Parents' Association raised more than £2,200, most of which will be spent on a new electronics laboratory.

Alan French, a teacher in the school's geography department has gained a Ph.D. degree.

Heavy snowfalls in East Kent caused the school to close completely on 9th February. In Mr. Booth's time there was an occasion when he told the assembly that the school would be without oil fuel unless a tanker arrived before end of afternoon school, in which case the building would be closed. The tanker struggled up to the school on the hill at a quarter to four.

Fourteen-year-old Damian Napier had a part as one of the Baker Street Boys on BBC TV. The series has been sold to U.S.A., Canada and West Germany.

Sixth Form successes:

Stephen Yarrow has gained a place at the Royal College of Music.
Andrew Griggs has been awarded a Flying Scholarship.



George Curry (1927-36), wrote from his home in Florida before departing to Australia and New Zealand to give lectures and readings. In August he will be taking part in the Edinburgh Festival.

V. G. Ellen, I.S.O. (1927-33) died on 10th April, aged sixty-six. He was a retired Principal Collector of Taxes in Dover, then Mill Hill and later in Winchester.

Keith Forward, M.B.E. (1934-40), Divisional Education Officer at Dartford, died in December.

A. G. Gooding (1905.Q9) writes extremely interesting letters with reminiscences of the earliest years in the school's history. He intends to visit Dover this summer.

Fred Greenstreet (1915-22)., at the age of 79 is still making boots and shoes in Victoria Crescent, Dover and recently made riding boots for Princess Anne.

Dan Grinstead (1914-23) and Marjorie celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on 29th April.

Raymond Halke (1928-31) with his wife to help him, runs an independent cinema know as the Raymar in Maidstone district.

George Harrow (1921-23), a former Secretary of the Association, celebrated his golden wedding on 26th December, 1982.

J. V. Horn (1921-27) was very ill early in the year and we send all good wishes for his recovery.

G. N. Plews (1922-301 wrote to express regret at the death of I. C. Austin. They were both in the Changi Prisoner of War Camp, Singapore as were Ian Watt and another O.P. named Bloomfield.

Edward Stow (1941-47), an Income Tax Inspector in London, died during April, 1983.

George Took (1908-11) is now 89 years of age and maintains his interest in the study of birdlife.

W. J. F. ("Frank") Wellard, O.B.E., B.Sc., F.I.E.E. (1918-25) died in Buckland Hospital last, December, aged 76. He won a Kitchener Scholarship and studied engineering at Imperial College, London. He joined the Air Ministry and during the war served with the R.A.F., attaining the rank of Wing Commander. One of Frank's leisure interests was bookbinding and Mrs. Wellard gave his press, suitably inscribed, to the school art department.

On 13th May Mr. and Mrs. Bill Moore brought Mike Saunders to visit the school. Mike lives in Melbourne and is to send us some account of life there. Headmaster very hospitably invited Mr. and Mrs. Tapley, Rev. William Kemp and Mrs. Kemp and several others to join a lunch party that went on from noon for at least three hours.

Post war

Michael Ashby (1970-77) teaches chemistry at a comprehensive school in Camden, London.

Ian Carter
(1974-81) received the Duke of Edinburgh gold award before going into the navy after passing out from Dartmouth.

Michael Deal (1974-81) is reading History, Politics and Economics in his first year at Reading University. In the summer vacation he works for the Kent County Cricket Club on their various grounds.

Peter Fry (1959-65), proprietor of a jewellery shop in Biggin Street, Dover has been so successful selling Seiko watches that he won a trip to Japan to self the manufacturing end of the business.

Nigel Hopkinson (1969-76) is in a computer firm in the Victoria area of London and brother Richard is at Leicester University.

Stuart Kay (1959-65) is deputy head of a primary school at Horton Kirby, where he enjoys playing in local cricket.

Keith King, Ph.D. (1966-73) is senior scientist at Chester Research Laboratory. He recently married a Cheshire nurse.

Richard Lakin is a member of the Kent Youth Orchestra and is studying at the Royal College of Music.

Stephen Madge (1968-76) is moving in September to St. Martin's School, Northwood as Director of Music. He will also teach geography throughout the school.

George Monk (1971-79) has qualified as a graduate teacher and will be teaching science at a school in Maidstone.

Graham Morris (1966-73) is a civil engineer working in London for British Rail and living in Lyminge.

Melvin Morris (1973-78) is an electrical fitter with Seeboard.

Stephen Mummery (1966-73) teaches geography and geology at Gunnersbury. He is developing his interest in the school's technical resources, including computers. He was an enthusiastic cross country runner at school, still does ten miles each day, and competes in the London marathon.

Andrew Mummery (1967-74), also has a geography degree and is teaching in a middle school at Lancing.

Lt.-Col. Colin Newby (1945-49) was awarded the O.B.E. in the New Year's Honours list. He joined the army aged 15½, and served at first in R.E.M.E., subsequently in R.A.O.C. He has served in Iran and is at present in Hong Kong.

A. P. Oxford (1972-78) is teaching science at a school in Lenham, Kent.

Jonathan Parry (1968-75) is now a Fellow of Peterhouse, Oxford, where he teaches History.

Trevor Pearce (1968-75) is enjoying life in the Police. He is now a Detective Sergeant and when first promoted was the youngest of that rank in Kent.

David Philpott (1947-54) attended the service In Westminster Abbey. He lives in Newport, Gwent and for ten years has motored daily over the Severn Bridge to a school in the Bristol area where he is Deputy Head.

Billy Plews (1971-75) of Aylesham was voted player of the year (1982) by Folkestone Football Club.

Brian Stevenson (1963-66) is a Flight lieutenant and team leader of the R.A.F. Falcons parachute display team, falling at 180 m.p.h. from 12,000 ft. to 2,500 ft.

Peter Sweby, Ph.D., (1969-76) is doing mathematical research in Los Angeles at the University of California.

Barry Wilmot (1966-74) is teaching geography in a comprehensive school at Sanderstead in Surrey.

Andy Young (1974-79) is on the staff of the Sports Centre and has played soccer throughout the past season for Dover F .C.

From the Kent County Cricket Club Annual Report, 1982

It would be surprising if 1983 did not see the establishment of two more promising batsmen, Laurie Potter and Derek Aslett. Aslett played in fifteen first class matches for an average of 31.69 and it was a delight to see him bowling his leg spin against Sussex. Hopefully we will see more of his bowling in 1983.

Chris Penn looks a fine prospect as an all-rounder and is to be congratulated on playing for the Young England side and being chosen for a Whitbread Scholarship

Both these young cricketers spent the winter in Australia. On the day of going to press both are playing for Kent against Sussex.