A reminiscence of THE PHAROS DANCE BAND OF 1930

by Frank West-Dram (1926-33)

Donald Sharp, piano and leader/arranger; George Magub, violin; Marino Capelli, cello; Bernard V. Gutsell, Frank Eade and Frank West-Oram, ukelele/banjos; Ernie Martin and Martin Hearn, percussion; Mike White, manager, organiser and conductor; the Lewis twins, Gordon and Douglas, contributing piano and vocal duets; Frank Eade, reserve pianist.

There was, of course, no amplification in the style of today but the band performed in the Town Hall, notably at an Organ Fund Bazaar.

Mr. Froude, mathematician and lover of classical music, on one occasion intervened to instil a sense of rhythm. It was a bit like the Archbishop of Canterbury conducting The Who.

Fred Whitehouse once asked the band to play for the hymn at morning assembly. After one verse he stopped them, saying, “We will now try it without the ukulele business.” The whole school was falling about at these antics. The band was never asked to play again!

A reminiscence of EBBW VALE

I was playing in a cup football match held between Buckland and Country on Frenchies’ field at Ebbw Vale during the time of the miners’ strike.

During the game the ball was stolen by a crowd of striking colliers. Bill Collard, who I believe was in goal for Country at that time and was a big fellow, went to retrieve the ball. He was immediately knocked down and out by one of the offenders.

Mr. A. B. Constable (“Bucket” to us) who was the referee, managed to get the ball back and told the mineworkers what he thought of them in no uncertain terms. By then Bill Collard was back on his feet and the game continued.

Reminiscences from Mrs. E. M. KING

now living at Pharos, Scottsway, Riverhead

I came to the school in 1945 to organise the feeding and cleaning arrangements ready for the boys returning from Wales, staying until the autumn of 1955.

I well remember Mr. Best making a request that the cleaners should not polish the organ stool.

The immediate post-war years were very happy ones for the kitchen and domestic staff – as they were an integral part of the school life. Despite the continued rationing until 1954 we fared very well. The atmosphere was good.

We looked forward to Prefects’ Dances and the Old Boys’ Reunions. One year the guests overflowed into the kitchen to feed. Another highlight was the formation of the school Pharos Lodge, No. 6976.

For good measure there were always pants to be repaired when some boy had experienced a ripping time on the Quad railings!