The Third John Ruskin Grand Reunion was held between noon and 6:00
PM on Saturday 17th September, 2011, at The Surprise pub
function room, with tours of The Shirley Windmill. The event attracted a
total of 42 former pupils, teachers and their guests.
Some attendees were from the Tamworth Road
site and had finished their schooling before the outbreak of World War
| 2012 Reunion
Our thanks to co-organisers: Ian Macdonald (JRGS 1958–65) and Richard "Tom"
Thomas (JRGS 1957–64).
Martin Nunn, geography teacher for
16 years until 1973, related tales from his initial acceptance as a
master, highlighting Mr. Charles "Pad" Peacock's resilience and
fortitude in teaching after becoming blind, and Martin's own
uncharacteristic smoking a cigarette in class in front of pupils at end
of term (with the aim of warning of the dangers of smoking).
Martin was followed by former English teacher and principal Anne
Smith, who told of the thinking and political machinations behind
the formation of the new John Ruskin Sixth Form College at Selsdon on
the former site of John Newnham Secondary School.
Last to take to the floor was the redoubtable Reginald Whellock,
biology teacher from 1946 to 1956, author of three text books and an
amazingly fluent speaker at age 97. He entertained all present with
lamentations about the poor standard of current science teaching and
reminiscences of his days at Ruskin. It was most heartening to note that
at least half a dozen of his former pupils were present, as was Doreen,
his wife. Both had just returned from a driving holiday in Yorkshire.
(Doreen informs us that her husband's driving license is due for renewal
at age 100 years!)
After the presentation of bottles of choice red wine to Anne Smith as
the most “senior” female ex-alumnus or staff member, to Stan Yates
as the furthest travelled, and to Reg Whellock as the most “senior” male
ex-staff or alumnus, Tony Skrzypczyk (JRGS 1968-75 & FOSW Secretary)
kindly provided a guided tour of the Mill - always a popular option and
event highlight. Martin Nunn sold souvenirs from the Mill shop. The tour
had started in good weather but ended in a downpour without dampening
Mel Lambert's distinguished efforts in setting up and continuing to
run The Mill website received the grateful thanks of members.
Frazer Ashford (JRGS 1962-69)
secured the following images at The Surprise pub next to
the former JRGS school site on Upper Shirley Road. Click on any
thumbnail to view a full-size version. Click
here to view a Flash version.
unknown, Melvyn Crabbe,
Anne Smith, Principal, 1970-99,
unknown, Mike Marsh (JRGS
1949-55) & Peter Marchant (1949-57).
Left-to-right: David Metz (JRGS
1962-64), Cliff Cummins
(JRGS 1956-62), Bob Hawkins
(JRGS 1958-64) and John
Turner (JRGS 1959-65).
Left-to-right: Martin Nunn, Reginald Whellock,
a biology teacher from 1946 to 1956, and Richard "Tom" Thomas
Malcolm Derrick (JRGS
1966-74) and Andy Stevens.
Left-to-right: Mrs. Doreen Whellock, Sheila Yates,
Stan Yates (hidden), Reginald Whellock and
Left-to-right: Martin Nunn, Richard "Tom" Thomas
and Anne Smith, English teacher/Principal, 1970-99.
Former geography and RI teacher Martin Nunn was at the
from Sep 1957 to May 1973.
Gathered Throng listen attentively to reunion co-organisers,
Ian Macdonald (JRGS 1958–65)
and Richard "Tom" Thomas.
Many ex-Ruskins who wished to attend were
unable to do so because of holidays or weddings. This was one reason Tom
circulated a questionnaire seeking views as to date and frequency of
future reunions; comment is sought on a future format and venue.
PDF Form; please return your comments to
Richard "Tom" Thomas.
This is Croydon notice
Marsh (JRGS 1949-55) also took some images, which can be found
right is former biology teacher, Reginald Whellock,
now aged 97 years young. Click on the thumbnail to view a full-size
As Mike recalls: "Peter Marchant is seated next to me in the
above photograph. I was pleased to meet up with him again after all
these years. Peter only heard of the reunion by chance this year, or
else he could have come last year. I went through school with him
although Peter did rather better than me, staying on into sixth form. He
was in the CCF (combined cadet force), then went on to Sandhurst and
spent some years in the army. He finished up as a manager of a gin
distillery in London. Peter lives not far away from The Surprise
- the last I saw of him after the reunion he was walking home up the
hill in the rain! (He could, of course, have been heading for a bus
"I am also to be seen in the last picture with Peter. The chap in the
bottom right corner is Ron Hayle, who was at JRGS the same years
as me, I think. Peter Townsend started before me by a couple of
years; I am pretty sure that's him towards the left side with the
"In the other images, the lady in pink seated near Reg Whellock
is Mrs. Doreen Whellock - they have been married 69 years. It
looks like Reg got married somewhat later in life, aged 28, since he was
born in 1914. I'm afraid that cannot name any of the others.
"Ron Hayle lives in Exeter, I think, although he is moving to
Weymouth; he was a lab technician. He now lives on his own. It was Ron
who brought Reg Whellock into The Surprise last year when the
latter turned up after most people - including myself - had gone home."
An interview with Reg Whellock from the Old Croydonians website for
ex-Selhurst pupils can be found
Paul Graham (JRGS 1959-66)
also profiled Mr. Whellock in a recent