JRGS News Archive Page 92
JRGS Alumni Society

Archived News/Activities

- Page 92 - May 2019 -

JRGS Alumni Society


 Richard “Tom” Thomas (JRGS 1957-64) reports on Reunion Planning Lunch...

A total of 15 Alumni and guests attended the John Ruskin Informal Reunion Lunch at The Surprise gastro pub on 2nd May, 2019. The lunch was held to initiate planning for the JRGS 2020 Reunion, which will celebrate the Centenary of the Foundation of John Ruskin Schools in Croydon.
   Co-organiser Ian Macdonald (JRGS 1958-65) welcomed the attendees and in doing so explained that Anne Smith (JRGS/JRHS Teacher and Principal, 1970-99, and Governor of John Ruskin College) would speak after the lunch to outline progress at John Ruskin College, while Sally Obertell, Director of Marketing Relationships and Communications at John Ruskin College, would outline the initial thoughts that John Ruskin College had about their Centenary Celebrations.
   I reminded everyone that our lunch guest, Polly Sandeman, was the daughter of the late Reginald Whellock (JRGS Biology Teacher 1946-56),and that her father had been due to present awards at the 2015 Reunion. Sadly Reg passed away the day before that event, just a few days before his 101st birthday. The day before the Reunion, Polly had also fractured her wrist but, with great fortitude, attended to present awards at the 2015 Reunion in place of her father. (I stated that I hoped Polly would find it much easier to each her lunch today than it had been for her with her fractured wrist at the 2015 Reunion!)

Attendees comprised:

Mike Allen (JRGS 1952-59)

David Metz (JRGS 1962-64)

Geoff Boyce (JRGS 1958-65)

Sally Obertell, Director of Marketing, Relationships
and Communications, John Ruskin College

Graham Donaldson (JRGS 1962-69)

Michael Rutt (JRGS 1959-64)

Mike Etheridge (JRGS 1963-65)

Polly Sandeman, daughter of Reginald Whellock
(JRGS Biology Teacher 1946-56)

Peter Goulding (1958-64)

Anne Smith, (JRGS/JRHS Teacher & Principal 1970-99)

Ivor Kinsey (JRGS 1958-63)

Richard "Tom" Thomas (JRGS 1957-64)

Anne Macdonald, guest

Ken Woolston (JRCS 1934-39)

Ian Macdonald (JRGS 1958-65)


The attendees enjoyed a very good lunch in the comfortable surroundings at The Surprise. During lunch, Mike Etheridge (JRGS 1963-65) circulated drawings showing the school buildings in Tamworth Road and Upper Shirley Road. The drawings had been produced by the Croydon Council Structural Engineers who used to be based in Taberner House.
   Anne Smith’s report - included below - was well received by the attendees. Sally Obertell followed Anne’s presentation with a report - also included below - of the initial thoughts of John Ruskin College on its Centenary Celebrations, and the integration of the JRGS 2020 Centenary Reunion with those events.
   Pete Goulding (JRGS 1958-64) hoped the Rock/Blues Group of Ruskin Alumni that played at the JRGS 2015 Reunion would be able to play at the 2020 Reunion. This suggestion received unanimous support.
   The actual Centenary Date of the foundation of Ruskin Schools in Croydon will be marked on Sunday 12th January, 2020. However, Mike Allen (JRGS 1952-59) suggested that holding a Reunion early in the year may suffer from weather and transport problems. These factors and the early onset of darkness may deter some Alumni from attending. Further discussions suggested that a date at the end of April or beginning of May 2020 would be better.
   Sally Obertell, Anne Smith and Geoff Boyce (JRGS 1958-65) made early points regarding encouraging Roy Hodgson (JRGS 1958-65) to attend the Reunion, and a number of the Alumni added to these. Further attempts would be made through various channels to attempt to achieve this goal. Sally, Anne and Geoff also made suggestions about publicising the 2020 Reunion and Celebrations; these were discussed and added to by the Alumni. Geoff also suggested that a commemorative medallion could be struck and presented to Alumni attending the 2020 Reunion.
   Discussions followed about displays at the Celebrations, regarding John Ruskin and related school topics, together with presentations that could be made. Graham Donaldson (1962-69) said that he would be pleased to contribute with a presentation.
   A meeting at John Ruskin College will be arranged for June, attended by Kevin Standish, the Principal of John Ruskin College, Sally Obertell, Ian Macdonald and myself. In the discussions following lunch, the point was made that Ian and I would need to delegate some actions; this matter is expanded in the note at the end of this report.
   The planning discussions were brought to a close at around 3:30pm. Ian and I thanked the attendees for their support in attending the lunch and engaging in the planning discussions. Thanks were given to Anne and Sally for their presentations, and to Mike Etheridge for taking photographs of the lunch and the attendees include below.
   Note: Ian and I would be pleased for Alumni to submit any thoughts they have regarding the JRGS 2020 Reunion, and to suggest contributions they can make to researching topics, creating displays and/or making presentations. The plan is to have the displays present at John Ruskin College for their planned events, in addition to being key elements of the JRGS Reunion. With regard to the delegation of actions mentioned above, volunteers will be needed to carry out relevant research of historic archives such as those of local newspapers and at Croydon Archives, amongst other supporting activities.
   It is likely that such volunteers would be welcomed onto the Working Partly being set up by Sally Obertell or a possible sub-committee. The establishment of such will be discussed at the proposed meeting Ian and I will attend at John Ruskin College in June.

Anne Smith's Presentation:

In 2017 several factors led the Sixth-Form College governors to decide that the operation would not be able to survive financially for longer than three years, unless:

   a) Things changed massively for the better, or

   b) A sugar daddy could be found.

The factors which led to this decision were:

   a) Demographics had led to a reduction in the number of 16+ year olds, which would not start recovering
      until 2020-21

   b) Croydon Council’s allowing all secondary schools to open sixth forms

   c) Croydon Council’s reducing the existing 14+ contract with John Ruskin by three quarters without warning
      or explanation

   d) The government’s changing the rules on apprenticeships which further reduced numbers of apprentices.

The governors therefore decided to look for a partner college or group of colleges to help us out by virtue of their greater numbers. This process was taken over by the FE Commissioners, who made it clear that the governors would have the final say but that they could ensure reduced funding if the decision was not seen to be the right one. The FE Commissioners made a list of interested parties and the Governors made a short list. After visiting the college (one group withdrawing at this point) the shortlisted parties made presentations to the Governors who selected as their partner East Surrey College in Redhill (about 20 minutes’ drive away except in the rush hour).

Our reasons for choosing East Surrey were:

   a) East Surrey is a college which has massively improved, especially financially, over the last few years,
      and is not out to asset strip

   b) It has a large 16-19 group of students although of course it has adults as well. It wants to enlarge
       its adult offer including Higher Education courses

   c) It is not too large, though larger than John Ruskin

   d) It already has a partnership arrangement with Reigate College of Art and the Academy of Contemporary
      Music in Guildford

   e) It takes 20% of its 16+ intake from Croydon

   f) It understood from the first that though JRC’s future was untenable it was currently solvent, and had just
      had an interim Ofsted visit confirming that it, like ESC, was categorised as Good.

We merged on 1 February, 2019, much to the annoyance of some Croydon Councilors, who thought we should have gone with Croydon College. Both colleges retain their location, their name, and their independent character although, of course there will be changes as time passes. The changes will be expansion changes and not reduction changes. The colleges, with Reigate School of Art, now operate under the over-arching name of South Orbital Colleges/SOC, and are operating more as a federation than as a takeover. Four of the JRC Governors were taken onto the new Board of SOC, along with the two staff and two student governors; next year there will be one staff and one student from each college.
   It was decided before the merger that there would be one Chief Executive of the new body, who would also be the Principal of East Surrey College/ESC. Rather than compete with Jayne Dickinson, the Principal of ESC, Mohammed Ramzan decided to resign as Principal of JRC, and left at the end of the Autumn Term 2018. This was designed to cause least concern to the staff of JRC, and was successful, as Mohammed left at a time when staff do leave, rather than carrying on until the eve of the merger. Tracy Edwards, JRC’s Assistant Principal, took over the leadership for the month until the merger, when Kevin Standish came from ESC to be the Principal of JRC. He did so with enthusiasm as he is a Croydon boy, having been educated at Selhurst Boys, and is enjoying the post. Tracy had only been Assistant Principal for a short while so she had no desire to compete for the post; she is effectively now Vice-Principal but has kept her old title so that she does not seem to have gained unduly from the merger.
   The Board meetings are held alternately at ESC and JRC. The first meeting at Ruskin started with a tour of the college for those who had not been there before. They were very impressed with the cleanliness and general upkeep of the college, and also with its potential as it starts to grow again. There are advantages in Ruskin that don’t exist at East Surrey; for example we have five science labs and they have only one, and our provision for our 14 year olds is good and secure. They also have things to offer, amongst them the agreement with Reigate School of Art that anyone who is recommended by tutors will be automatically accepted for a degree course – this will now be extended to JRC students. There has been quite a lot of visiting to and fro already, both of staff and students, which encourages the feeling that though separate we are also part of a larger body.
   Finally ... Kevin Standish is very keen indeed on the Centenary Celebrations and that they should be held at the college. He sees them as coming at just the right time to celebrate this new chapter in the college’s history, and to attract new students. He is keen to get Roy Hodgson (JRGS 1958-65) to come along, and any other alumni who have done really well in their careers, to encourage present and future students. I thought of Steve Kember (JRGS 1959-63), Lennie Lawrence (JRGS 1959-66) and Bob Houghton (JRGS 1964-66) but there must be people who have done well other than footballers! Well, of course there are - your webmaster for one. Kevin feels that even if people can’t come they could perhaps send a photograph and career title …
   On a personal note, Grace Marriott and I – she is a governor too – are off on holiday from September 21,2020, for a fortnight. We would both be mortified to miss the jubilation, especially me, for whom 2020 also marks the fiftieth year of my association with John Ruskin, as I started teaching there in 1970. So please do count us both in.

Sally Obertell's Presentation:

Can I firstly thank Tom and Ian for their hospitality and their very warm welcome. It was very interesting to listen to wonderful experiences from the past, and I am looking forward to hearing more in the future, especially during the course of the celebrations.
   With relation to the forthcoming Centenary celebrations the current staff and students at the College are very excited. As I mentioned at the lunch, these are some of the following suggestions that we have considered so far:
   • Having banners outside the College to announce the forthcoming centenary

   • Countdown on social media platforms/ websites – weekly? Monthly?

   • Internal celebrations for current students

   • An open day/weekend at the current John Ruskin College site for current students and alumni- possibly
     in January. This could involve celebration afternoon tea, cake, tours of the college, exhibitions and
     artifacts and footage from the past, current and past students talking about their experiences, alumni
     band? - borrowing artifacts From Kathryn Street library in Croydon to display.

   • Press releases leading up to the event

   • Display of past principals photos/paintings

   • Possible souvenir?
   • Communication concerning the event might involve a press release, emails to alumni, invites via social
      media, setting up an Eventbrite page on websites where people could register their interest.

Obviously these are only initial considerations and we welcome ideas from all of you so we can ensure that we embrace both the past and present history to reflect as much of the 100 years. I am intending to set up a working party of people who are interested in assisting with the planning, from the current staff and students and members of the Alumni.
   The intention, now as requested at the lunch, is to set up a future meeting with the current Principal, Kevin Standish, Richard Thomas, Ian Macdonald, Anne Smith and myself in June, at a time to be decided in order to continue discussing plans for the centenary celebrations.

Richard "Tom" Thomas, Shrewsbury, Shropshire. May 2019 Email


 Mike Etheridge (JRGS 1963-65) secures images at JRGS Reunion Planning lunch...

The lunch on 2nd of May at The Surprise pub in Shirley went very well; a full report will follow.
   Here are images of the key attendees
. Click on any thumbnail to view a larger version.

JRGS Reunion Planning lunch JRGS Reunion Planning lunch JRGS Reunion Planning lunch

Your correspondent ...

Co-organiser Richard "Tom"
Thomas (JRGS 1957-64)

Co-organiser Ian Macdonald
(JRGS 1958-65)

JRGS Reunion Planning lunch

JRGS Reunion Planning lunch

JRGS Reunion Planning lunch

Former teacher/principal
Anne Smith (1970-99)

Sally Obertell, John Ruskin
College's marketing director

Attendees with Mike
 Allen (JRGS 1952-59)

JRGS Reunion Planning lunch

JRGS Reunion Planning lunch

JRGS Reunion Planning lunch

Settling down for
pre-lunch drinks...

Mike Rutt (JRGS 1959-64) and
David Metz ( JRGS 1962-64)

Mike Rutt (JRGS 1959-64)

JRGS Reunion Planning lunch

JRGS Reunion Planning lunch

JRGS Reunion Planning lunch

Ken Woolston (JRCS 1934-39)

Ivor Kinsey (JRGS 1958-63)

Pete Goulding (JRGS 1958-64) and Geoff Boyce (JRGS 1958-65)

JRGS Reunion Planning lunch

JRGS Reunion Planning lunch

JRGS Reunion Planning lunch

Mike Allen (JRGS 1952-59)

Polly Sandeman, daughter of
former JRGS Biology Teacher
Reginald Whellock (1946-56)

Sally Obertell, John Ruskin
College's marketing director

JRGS Reunion Planning lunch

JRGS Reunion Planning lunch

JRGS Reunion Planning lunch

Former teacher/principal
Anne Smith (1970-99)

Graham Donaldson (JRGS 1962-69)

David Metz (JRGS 1962-64)

JRGS Reunion Planning lunch

JRGS Reunion Planning lunch

JRGS Reunion Planning lunch

Anne Macdonald, guest

Time for dessert ...

Any preferences?

Michael Etheridge, Sanderstead, Surrey. May 2019 Email

Mike adds: One additional memory from the Reunion Planning Lunch at The Surprise. When I arrived the only former student I recognised was Ian Macdonald. However, the place names on the meal table meant that I was sitting next to Pete Goulding and Geoff Boyce, pictured above.
 Having listened to their school anecdotes, I realised they knew students I had known, including Charles Held and, of course, Roy Hodgson. I thoroughly enjoyed their company but just could not remember them.
   However, some days later after seeing the report on
The Mill, I recognised them on their 1964 photograph, shown immediately below.
   Today, I had a look at the whole of the 1964 school photograph and was surprised to see -
as shown right - that I was standing next to Pete Goulding, who was next to Geoff Boyce, who was besides Charles "Chaz" Held, and Roy Hodgson was placed below us. Almost spooky after  55 years!
   Incidentally, I did not know Peter and Geoff at Ruskin. As I remember it, when the 1964 photograph was taken there was little order in who stood next to who, other than the youngest sat or stood beneath the oldest. The fact that I stood next to Pete and Geoff was pure chance. Since then I have remembered their young faces in the 1964 photograph, but never knew their names.


 Geoff Boyce (JRGS 1958-65) shares three images from his Sixties schooldays...

Here is a trio of new images for the alumni. On the left are three of the 1958 intake who went on to teach in local schools: Myself, to Ashburton, Sylvan and Addington; together with Pete Goulding (JRGS 1958-64) to Ashburton, John Ruskin and Selsdon; and below is Roy Hodgson (JRGS 1958-65) to Selsdon (and a few other things beside).
   The photo is extracted from the September 1964 school photograph. Pete Goulding and I were in the Third Year VI - having been "U-Form" boys - while Roy Hodgson was in the Upper VI.
   Pete left at Christmas 1964. I hung around - occasionally - until the spring half-term holiday in February 1965, when I received a letter from Mr. "Joe" Lowe asking where I was and had I actually left. And, if so, to come in and shake his hand and leave formally, or else attend regularly. (I’d already procured an unconditional offer at the University of Kent at Canterbury to read Social Sciences.)
   I elected to leave and start work in an insurance company office on my 18th birthday, 15th February 1965, for a salary of £485 per annum. I’d returned to school in the autumn of 1964 after getting two A-Levels, to take English A-Level that Christmas. I failed that miserably but still got a place anyway at Eliot College, University of Kent at Canterbury. I never looked back. [More from 2012 JRGS Reunion.]

   The Rover comic from 12 April 1958 is one that I am sure we all read regularly - good schoolboy stuff.
   Click on either image to view a larger version.

JRGS Alumni - 1964The Rover - 12 April, 1958

This snippet shown below is part of a panoramic school photograph taken on the morning of the 18th September 1962 in the Pete & Geoff - 18 September, 1962school playground when lessons were abandoned for the whole morning. It shows good examples of typical "Rock 'n' Roll Era" hairstyles; I am on the left with Pete Goulding on the right.
Click on the image to view a larger version.
   According to my 1962 Letts Schoolboy Diary, afterwards a number of us in the Lower VI rushed straight up to the caff on Shirley Hills for a plate of chips, invisible through layers of brown sauce and tomato ketchup. (Excellent value for a shilling.) Later that week we were all given free cups of tea at the cafe in gratitude for our continued patronage. "She's Not You" by Elvis Presley was #1 in the hit parade at the time, but we were happy enough to be treated to a first-class rendition of "Nut Rocker" (B. Bumble & The Stingers) played on the cafe's rickety old piano by Mike Balme (JRGS 1958-64).

   Pete and I have been pals for 61 years - he was the best man at both of my weddings. He is staying with me at the moment - one of his bi-annual trips to Blighty from his home in Thailand - and we will be attending the informal lunch at The Surprise later today [02 May] to assist in the planning of the celebrations for 2020. I persuaded someone to snap us together. Here it is, with Pete on the left and myself on the right. Click on the image to view a larger version.

Pete & Geoff - 02 May, 2019

Geoff Boyce, Croydon, Surrey. May 2019 Email


 Your webmaster discovers several paperbacks about his schoolboy interests...

As mentioned in past contributions, I'm building a small library of books about key developments during my teenage years. These three paperback books published by Shire Library, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing, focus on Dinky Toys, British Motorcycles and the declining fortunes of our Automobile Industry.
   Click on any thumbnail to view a larger image.

Shire Library Shire Library Shire Library

 The cover shows pre-WWII models
sold at Christie's Auctioneers

 The cover shows a 600cc Norton
 Dominator 99 from 1961

 The cover shows the UK's first
moving-track assembly line
Shire Library Shire Library Shire Library

As the publisher's website explains: "Dinky Toys were introduced in 1931 as 'Modelled Miniatures', and these delightful die cast metal toys, which instantly became bestsellers, still give pleasure to both children and adults. More than 1,000 different subjects were modelled, mostly transport related; they include cars, vans, lorries, busses, trains, military vehicles, aircraft, ships, and figures. Using colorful illustrations, David Cooke explains the history of Dinky Toys, which were also masterminded Meccano and Hornby trains. This introduction to one of the best-known and-loved ranges of toys is ideal for both toy collectors and for those with a nostalgic interest in the toys of yesteryear."
   I recall buying these three tomes from the curiously well-stocked bookshop at Kew Gardens, of all places, during recent visits to the UK.
   Here are two images from the early-Sixties of the layout I built in the bedroom at my parent's council house in New Addington. The base comprised the cutout over the staircase from the ground floor to the first floor, and is covered by some cardboard roads that had US-style, left-hand drive markings. The cars and lorries are a mixture of Dinky and Corgi models. The three BBC outside-broadcast vehicles seen on the right - a camera platform, production center and extendable antenna - were a Christmas present from my parents, I recall, and were finished in the traditional Beeb green livery with grey accent.
Click on either thumbnail to view a larger image. Left-hand with labels | Right-hand with labels.

ML's Dinky Toy Layout

ML's Dinky Toy Layout

And here, just in case they are of interest, are images of three vintage Dinky Toys from the Fifties and Sixties: No. 27B Halesowen Farm Trailer and No. 686 Field Artillery Tractor (lower); plus Bedford Dust Cart (top).
   Click on any image to view a larger version.

Vintage Disky Toys from Mathcbox International

With a more recent No.  972 Supertoys Coles 20-ton Mobile Crane that I purchased a decade or more ago from Old Boys Toys in Windsor for, I recall £50; it's probably worth a lot more now.

Vintage Diskey Supertoys Coles Mobile Crane

Finally, these are four contemporary Dinky Toys made in China by the firm's new owner, Matchbox International, but reportedly based on original moulds from the Meccano factory in Binns Road, Liverpool. Note that the Heinz and Radio Times vans share the same 1950 Ford E83W body; the Dinky Toys van is based on an Austin A40 10cwt body and the Sharp's Toffee van on a Commer 8cwt body.

Contemporary Dinky Toys made in China
Contemporary Dinky Toys made in China

Mel Lambert, Burbank, CA, USA. May 2019 Email

Richard Winborn (JRGS 1961-68) adds: I still have my collection of Dinky Toys and Corgi Toys stashed away in boxes in my bedroom - including the Bedford Dust Cart shown in the photo. I keep promising myself that one day in my (very busy) retirement I will get them out, along with my large Hornby '0' gauge train set, and play with them again!

David Anderson (JRGS 1964-1971) adds: The paperback book 1960's Childhood Moon landings, The Kinks and the 1966 World Cup by Derek Tait (ISBN 978-1-4456-3762-4 "Sixties Childhood" by David Tait| £8.99 | Amberley Publishing) might well be of interest to our webmaster and other alumni. The cover is shown right.
   I owned Tri-ang model railways as I couldn't afford the superior but expensive Hornby Dublo ones. I had a first-generation Scalextric with smelly rubber track that warped badly. I moved onto Airfix Motor Racing, which had rigid but slippy polystyrene track, then the later Scalextric Plexitrack. This was a sort of vinyl that could be - as its name suggests - flexed. There was a craze for building your own slot cars from Revel or Airfix kits or making a brass chassis from a kit by RiKo (Richard Konstamm) and fitting it with a blown clear plastic body painted on the inside.
   Me and my JRGS school friends used to go to Priors Model Shop (long gone) right by the Croydon flyover and run our cars on the pay-to-run track they had there. This would have been about 1966. I still have copies of Miniature Auto and Meccano Magazine from the period. I can vividly recall the smell of overheated hand controllers and our rewound motors that went like stink (literally) for a short time then burnt out!
   I think I spotted the Airfix 00 scale Footbridge and Dockside Crane on Mel's photos. These kits cost two shillings and were an inexpensive way of adding to your layout, I had lots of them and still have the signal box, modelled on Oakham in Rutland, which I believe is still there. A lot of the old Airfix kits are still available (google Dapol), as are the Superquick card buildings. I never did find them quick at all!
   When our webmaster is next in England, he should try a visit to the Brighton Toy and Model Museum and also the Amberley Chalk Pits Museum, where they have a big shed full of old TVs, radios and all sorts of domestic appliances that the alumni might remember. Basingstoke's Milestones Museum has parts dedicated to the Fifties and Sixties, as well as a penny arcade with slot machines that we used on the pier in Brighton or at Mitcham Fair. How did we find pinging a ball bearing around a maze to try to get it in a hole amusing? Things have moved on a bit I think. You know when you're getting old when vehicles you once owned or rode in are in museums and buildings you once went in have been demolished and redeveloped.

ML adds: David Anderson is indeed eagle-eyed. The footbridge over the roadway and the crane mounted on the garage were made from Airfix kits. I never got around to painting the grey plastic, but the size fitted well with the 1/43rd-scale Dinky and Corgi toys. I don't recall where I got the decals I added to the crane.


 Bob White (JRGS 1959-67) has been reading Lenny Lawrence's autobiography...

Published in 2009, the autobiography of Robin Michael "Lennie" Lawrence (JRGS 1959-66) makes for fascinating reading, especially if, like me, you are still playing soccer. Co-written with Kevin Brennan, the 198-page book details the life of this highly esteemed football manager, coach and former player. He is currently employed as a First Team Management Consultant for the League Two side, Newport County.

Lennie Lawrence autobiography - 2009 Lennie Lawrence autobiography - 2009

Click on either the front- or back-cover images to view larger versions.
   According to Wikipedia, Lennie only appeared as a semi-professional player for Croydon, Carshalton Athletic and Sutton United, before transitioning into coaching in 1978 as caretaker manager of Plymouth Argyle. He went on to manage Charlton Athletic before managing Middlesbrough during their debut season in the Premier League. Later spells with Bradford City, Luton Town and Grimsby Town followed before ending his managerial career with a three-year stint as boss of Cardiff City. Reportedly, he is one of a select few managers to have managed over 1,000 games; since 2005 Lennie has worked at a number of clubs as either part of the coaching staff or in a "Director of Football" role.
   In January 2011, he was appointed assistant manager at Crystal Palace, to support the new manager, Dougie Freedman. Although in October of the following year Freedman became manager at Bolton Wanderers, and Lennie was named as a The Eagles' joint-caretaker manager with Curtis Fleming, within a week he rejoined Freedman at Bolton.
   Available from Green Umbrella Publishing, the autobiography with a forward by Sir Alex Ferguson, costs £14.99 | ISBN 978-1-906635-90-7. A Kindle version is also available from Amazon

Bob White, Ashfield, Massachusetts, USA, April 2019 Email


 Roger Fuller (JRGS 1951-56) reports sad death of Vic Bivand (JRGS 1951-56)...

Vic BivandMy eldest son, my wife Anne and I attended the funeral on the third of this month in Whitstable of Vic Bivand, pictured left at the JRGS Reunion in September 2009. Vic and I were at Ruskin together from 1951 to 1956. He was the most popular boy of our year and the best all-round sportsman in the school. He starred at football, cricket, basketball and athletics. He was, incidentally, popular with the staff, including Mr. "Smut" Smith, Mr. Warne and others, in spite of testing them and their patience further than one imagines possible.
   Vic and I lost touch within a year of leaving school and only in 2009 - through the auspices of Brian Thorogood (JRGS 1951-56) - did we renew our friendship. We started meeting regularly for a drink and lunch in London, and started visiting him and his wife, Joyce, in Whitstable a couple of times a year. Vic was a generous host and much loved by three generations of my family. He will be much misse

Roger Fuller, Basingstoke, Hants, April 2019 Email

Mel Lambert (JRGS 1959-65) adds: Back in September 2007, Roger Fuller shared some fond memories of his long-time friend. They related to music master Mr. Hancock who, because of his short sight and thick glasses, was nicknamed - probably by Vic Bivand - as "Squint." "Like a number of his colleagues, 'Squint' wore a gown in class," Roger recalled. "Some of the worst behaved class members, including Bivand and myself, would use chalk to play a game of noughts and crosses upon his gown as he moved around the room. Cruel sport, but daring as we saw it. That was over 60 years ago. Wrong it may have been, but happenings such as these were a part of what actually made schooldays the happiest of one's life."


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