- Page 96 - February thru April 2020 -
- Page 96 - February thru April 2020 -
Your Webmaster reports the sad death of H. A. "Peter" Otway (JRCS 1938-42)…
It is with a very heavy heart that I record the passing
of Henry Arthur McRae "Peter" Otway (JRCS 1938-42) who, according
to his son, Mark Otway, died peacefully on April 26 at his care home.
Mel Lambert, Burbank, CA, USA; April 2020 Email
David Anderson (JRGS 1964-1971) reports on books & websites about Croydon...
If anyone finds themselves with time on
their hands during the current totally unprecedented circumstances, the
Internet may help to ease the boredom and Cabin Fever (let alone any
David Anderson, Southampton, Hampshire; March 2020 Email
Graham Donaldson (JRGS 1962-69) reports on Sixties transport in Croydon...
The continuing in-home quarantine - no going out apart from food shopping (if you can find any left) - has given me the opportunity to have a grand tidy up, which has unearthed a few gems. I include here extracts from leaflets produced by London Transport for the conversion of Croydon's two trolleybus routes - 654 and 630 to motorbus operation; these documents must be quite rare now. Click on any thumbnail to view a larger image.
As recounted in my
Croydon Routemaster book,
Route 64 was unusual in
that it featured in both trolleybus conversions. The first extension,
via Norwood Junction to Elmers End Garage (peak journeys to Eden Park),
was probably unnecessary and only lasted three months. I suspect
(although I have no proof) that it only happened because the bus planners
thought the trolleybuses were the usual 70-seaters, whereas they only
seated 60 because of safety concerns regarding longer and heavier
vehicles on Anerley Hill. Surplus RTs were used in
this conversion because Routemaster/RM production had yet to get under way.
Mike Briggs promotes a book written by his grandfather, an original JRGS pupil…
It seems that the audio recordings uploaded in early 2004 of my late grandfather, Alfred L. Stacey, who was one of the original pupils at John Ruskin Boys' Central School, are no longer functional. [ML adds: These files will be replaced ASAP.] Incidentally, I was amused to note the warning below the recordings that "It may take a couple of minutes to access and download each file via a 28.8 KB modem" - thankfully the technology has improved somewhat since then!
The alumni might also be interested to know that a manuscript written by my grandfather will finally be published next month, on Friday, 24th April, 2020, entitled The Trail Beyond The Toadstool. First published in the our school magazine, my grandfather developed a passion for writing at JRGS and, in addition to prose, became a prolific writer of verse, including writing verses for greeting card companies.
The Trail Beyond The Toadstool by A. L. Stacey, recounts a
magical journey involving sprites, goblins and fairies, that unfolds one
boring Saturday morning after Pat, the female protagonist, kicks a
Mike Briggs, Paris, France; March 2020
While researching via Google Maps The Camberwell Submarine, a Brutalist building in Lambeth, I noticed that just to the east in nearby Camberwell there is an open space new to me but which I must have driven past many times while travelling from New Addington to Central London. Ruskin Park, just off Denmark Hill in Camberwell - and within the London Borough of Lambeth, South London - opened on 2 February, 1907, with an area of 24 acres; in 1910, 12 acres was added on its south-west side. The following images were secured in the mid-Fifties or early-Sixties.
As might be expected, the park was named after John Ruskin (1819–1900),
a poet, writer and a champion of diverse green spaces, as well as of the
Arts and Crafts movement, who lived near the open space. Reportedly,
during World War I, recruits of the 21st Battalion, London Regiment
(First Surrey Rifles) and based at nearby Flodden Road in Camberwell,
trained in the park.
Connection to Pink Floyd
"All the guys were in high spirits at the time - Syd was performing
cartwheels - but quite laid back," Prime recalls. "After some slightly
more formal shots I experimented and came up with these images." Colin
Mel Lambert, Burbank, CA, USA; March 2020 Email
(JRGS 1951-59) adds:
Alumni may be interested to know that John Ruskin's
parents are buried in the churchyard at St John's Church, Shirley Church
Road, near our school former site on Upper Shirley Road. Close to the
church's east window, the grave was refurbished a few years ago by the
Ruskin Society, which visited from Coniston -
Brantwood, the writer/poet's long-time home, is on the
shores of Coniston
and held a short service and talk in church, noting the Ruskin crest and
inscriptions on the memorial. It is now a Grade II listed monument.
(JRGS 1959-66) adds: I took the
following pictures 18 months ago in Ruskin Park, while doing a South London walk. It’s still a nice
little open space, not as well known as it might be, and very close to
where John (Byford not Ruskin) lives. It has associations with
By the way, Earl’s Sluice is one of London’s forgotten, and largely now underground, rivers – like the River Fleet and the River Tyburn. The Earl’s Sluice goes north west through Camberwell, Walworth, Burgess Park and Bermondsey to The Thames at Rotherhithe near Greenland Dock, combining with the River Peck on its way. I was walking the route at the time. The Earl is the 11th Century Robert Fitzroy, Earl of Gloucester, whose land the sluice river went through, and who first used it as a drainage channel. I have also walked the River Wandle, from South Croydon to The Thames at Wandsworth.
Rodger Holcombe (JRGS 1959-64) reports the sad death of Robert "Bob" Hoffman…
I have been asked by his family if The Mill could announce the death of Robert "Bob" Hoffman (JRGS 1958-1965),
who died on the 8th of February after a short illness. The funeral will
be held at Beckenham Crematorium on Thursday, 27th February
at 14:30, for those who might want to attend.
Rodger Holcombe, Burgau, Western Algarve, Portugal, February 2020 Email
Paul Graham (JRGS 1959-66) adds:
remember Bob Hoffman from several drama productions, including Mole in
the play Toad
of Toad Hall by A. A. Milne, based on Kenneth Grahame's
Wind in the Willows. A program for the JRGS Junior Dramatic Society
performance in April 1960 can be seen
Cobley (JRGS 1958-65) recalled the
with some interesting images.
Peter Hood (Selhurst Grammar Alumnus)
reports: Bob Hoffman's funeral was a quiet family affair
attended by his daughters, grandchildren, brother, former wife and a few
old friends. A poem was read and tributes were given by his daughters
and brother. The very traditional Christian service at Beckenham
crematorium was followed by a wake at Bob's local - The Chancery
in Bromley Road.
adds: Thanks to Roger
Holcombe for sharing the sad news about Bob Hoffman. While I do not
remember Bob as a fellow student, I do remember him as "Mole". In fact,
ever since the picture I have carried in my head when reading Wind in
the Willows to my children and grandchildren has always been of
Bob's portrayal of Mole.
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