The fourth John Ruskin Grand Reunion was held on Saturday 6th October, 2012, at
its usual venue with tours of The Shirley Windmill. As before, the event
at The Surprise pub function room was open to Alumni, teaching and other
staff members who attended at Tamworth Road or at the Shirley Windmill
site up to 1991 - plus their spouses/partners.
| 2015 Reunion
Co-organisers were Ian Macdonald (JRGS 1958–65) and Richard "Tom"
Thomas (JRGS 1957–64).
Ian thanked Tom, who was absent through work in Australia, for none the
less organising much of the meeting, even sending printed name labels.
Webmaster Mel Lambert (JRGS 1959-65) was both thanked and
congratulated on running the very well-presented website that brought us
Anne Smith, former principal and now a governor of the
current John Ruskin College, spoke of the development and changes that
the school underwent and the different types of pupils attending. As the
senior female ex-staff present, she was presented with a bottle of wine.
Next to speak was Martin Nunn, a geography teacher for 16
years until 1973, who related some embarrassing moments, involving
unruly and violent pupils and a misguided experiment in allowing smoking
The finale to the speeches was performed by the indefatigable 98
years-of-age Reg Whellock, biology teacher from 1946 to 1956,
with visual aids of the signed congratulatory card from Queen Elizabeth
for his and his wife Doreen’s 70th Wedding anniversary, and cuttings
from the local Croydon Advertiser newspaper. He recited a poem on old
age, though himself seemingly immune to its effects. He spoke of
royalties from text-books he had written, one of which, rejected by
David Attenborough, was used to support his children through their
university years. He signed a copy that John Turner (JRGS 1959-65)
had brought along. As by far the oldest male ex-teacher, Reg received
a bottle of wine. (His wife, Doreen also graced the reunion with her
Ken Woolston, who left JRCS in 1939, received a bottle for being
the senior ex-pupil. The last bottle, for being the furthest travelled,
went to Peter "Pedro" Goulding (JRGS 1958-64) from Thailand, who attended
with Geoff Boyce (JRGS 1958-64). Both Peter and Geoff later met
up with Dave "Chod" Quickenden (JRGS 1958-64) and John Turner for
the first time since 1965.
Frazer Ashford took the main photos accompanying this article and
Ian mentioned that, due to the input needed to organise the reunions
and the falling off in numbers, perhaps the next reunion should be in
2015 on the 95th Anniversary of the school. He aired the suggestion from
Anne Smith that perhaps the present site of John Ruskin College on
Selsdon Park Road, South Croydon, might be the venue. Catering could be
arranged, and parking was available. Attendees were asked to fill in the
feedback forms to indicate their feelings on this and other aspects of
Kent Sadler provided the Mill Tour for a sole visitor, other
attendees having visited in previous years.
Tom and Ian were thanked by all for organising the reunion. |
This Is Croydon news item1 |
News item2 |
Sadler (JRGS 1969-76)
adds: The reunion is always good
fun, even for a latecomer such as me ('69-'76). It is only a shame that
very few of my years come along (if any!).
Although I only showed one attendee round on the Saturday, Sunday
got its revenge by providing over 160 people coming for our last open
day of the year – a rather busy afternoon!
Geoff Boyce (JRGS 1958-65) has
provided a picture of five old
"U-Boys" from the same 1961/62 class - amazing! Click on either
thumbnail to view full-size version. "A brilliant afternoon!" he
"I took along my Letts Schoolboy's Diary - shown right - and reminded my former
classmates of their 5U timetable! The two timetables for 5U from 1961-2
are the same. The red initials on the lower page indentify the
teachers: M for Mr. Murray, R for Mr. Rees, T for Mr. Tryon, K for Mr. Cripps, W for
Mr. Woodard, C for Mr. Chaundy and S for Mr. Smith, etc.
"On the next page is my timetable for the autumn term 1962 in the
Lower VI Arts. I'll sort out some more pages for The Alumni. I'll have a
look at my 1961 diary too. And I'll see if I can dig up photos I took of
Mr. Rees teaching us the ablative absolute in Room 11.
"Incidentally, I actually left JRGS during my Third Year Sixth at
the spring half-term of 1965. Mr. "Joe" Lowe wrote me a letter saying he
had not seen me for a while. Would I either care to make an appearance
or come back and shake his hand and leave formally?! Since I'd already
been offered a place at UKC - University of Kent at Canterbury - to read
sociology, I left forthwith and got a job. (At UKC I was part of first
intake of brand new university, one of the seven 'plate-glass
Left-to-right around table: Bob
1958-64, Geoff Boyce (JRGS
(JRGS 1958-64) -
always known as
"Chod" - Pete
and John Turner (JRGS
caught on the left of the
picture is Mick Poore
and I had not seen
the others since the 1960s," Geoff offers.
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.
Kent Sadler (JRGS 1969-76), Anne Smith,
Teacher/Principal, 1970-99, TBA.
Gathered Throng listen
attentively to reunion
Anne Smith, English
(JRGS 1958–65) and Anne Smith.
JRGS Teacher, 1946-56.
Members of 1961's
5U, also pictured above.
Ian Macdonald presents
"Senior Female ex-Staff
Award" to Anne Smith.
JRGS Teacher, 1957-73.
from Queen Elizabeth II.
Croydon Advertiser article.
Reg Whellock receives
"Oldest Male ex-Teacher
Ken Woolston receives
"Senior ex-Pupil Award"
from Ian Macdonald.
"Furthest Travelled Award"
from Ian Macdonald.