- Page 76 - Sep 2014 thru Nov 2014 -
- Page 76 - Sep 2014 thru Nov 2014 -
Lack of space prevents our including the following
items on the main News Page, but here are some interesting
events/comments from the past several months.
Mel Lambert (JRGS 1959-65) reports on a JRGS Alumni Meeting in Richmond...
On Sunday 26th of October, three alumni met in Richmond, Surrey. My partner Merelyn Davis, Paul Graham (JRGS 1959-66) and his wife Jane, together with John Byford (JRGS 1959-66), assembled at the Orange Tree Pub across from Richmond railway station, and then relocated to Carluccios Italian Restaurant next door, which is where the image below was secured by our waiter. Click on the thumbnail to access a larger version.
Jane Graham looked slightly the worse for wear
after her fall a few
days earlier while out walking, having fractured her wrist and scraping
the right side of her face as she fell. But she was in excellent spirits and
joined in the mainly Ruskin- and football-centric discussions. We are
all looking forward to next September's planned JRGS Alumni Meeting at the
Sixth Form College in Selsdon, to celebrate not one but four key
events: the 95th Anniversary of the school's opening as a central
school on Scarbrook Road in 1920; the 80th Anniversary of the
school moving to Tamworth Road in 1935, the 70th Anniversary of
becoming a grammar school in 1945; and the 60th Anniversary of the school moving
to Upper Shirley Road site in 1955. (More details of the reunion will be
emailed to Alumni during the coming weeks.)
Reportedly, The Addington Hotel opened in the 1930s and during the Second World War was often used by the pilots from the nearby Biggin Hill airfield. The Cunningham is said to have opened in 1981, with the first pint being pulled by John "Cats Eyes" Cunningham, a test pilot and RAF night fighter ace during World War II who was credited with 20 kills, of which 19 were claimed at night. Unused for several years, the building was leveled in mid-2003 for safety reasons after a reported arson attack, and following the land's sale to Lidl in anticipation of its new use as a retail food outlet.
Mel Lambert, Burbank, CA , USA, November 2014 Email
Elisabeth Smith (widow of venerated teacher Charles
E. Smith) adds:
I've really enjoyed all these latest additions to the JRGS website,
especially the webmaster's own photo at the beginning, and the picture
of the comely building I remember at the top of Addington Hill. What an
ugly, shapeless replacement was there.
Maurice Whitfield (JRGS 1959-66) recalls the Fifties Monks Hill Estate prefabs...
come across a floor plan of the Monks Hill Estate prefab that
several of us Ruskinites grew up in. The ARCON! Does it ring a
bell for anyone? Click on the thumbnail to view a larger
Maurice Whitfield, Bexhill, Sussex. October 2014 Email
adds: According to
Wikipedia, the Arcon was an asbestos-clad variant of the
earlier Portal - a steel-panelled experimental bungalow named
after the then Minister of Works, Lord Portal. It included a
prefabricated slot-in kitchen and bathroom capsule with a
pre-installed refrigerator. (The proposed rent was 10 shillings
a week for a life of 10 years.) Developed and constructed by
Taylor Woodrow, the Arcon has a longer projected life than the
Portal, but also came with a higher cost of construction. Some
39,000 were constructed through the programme. Apparently,
Arcons were so well fitted that the only furniture necessary
were beds, kitchen chairs, lounge seating and floor coverings.
Chain-link fencing, a gate and a coal shed built with corrugated
steel from Anderson Shelters and brick front and rear walls also
Mel Lambert (JRGS 1959-65) reports sad death of headmaster William Patterson...
is with a heavy heart that I report the sad death of William R.
Patterson, the fourth headmaster of John Ruskin School from 1973 to
1990, age 83.
Mel Lambert, Burbank, CA , USA. October 2014 Email
Anne Smith (JRHS/JRC teacher/principal 1970-99) adds: I’m so sad to hear of
Bill’s death; we worked together at John Ruskin from the time he joined
the school until he retired, and he was always a joy to work with. He
would always listen to staff or pupils, and I always felt that when we
did not agree at least I had had a fair shout!
Maurice Whitfield (JRGS 1959-66) reports the sad death of Dorothy Tyler...
was saddened to come across the obituary for Dorothy Jennifer Tyler MBE in The Times
other papers, and whose two
sons attended JRGS in the late-Fifties. What a great lady - Dorothy was the only female
athlete to win Olympic medals either side of the Second World War, and
Britain's first individual Olympic medallist in women's athletics. Born
on 14 March 14 1920, she
died on 24 September.
Maurice Whitfield, Bexhill, Sussex. September 2014 Email
Ian Lints (JRGS 1954-59) recalls school life in Fifties and former school pals...
I was in the first ever 3U class
at John Ruskin School. It was a disaster for me as I was far
more interested in sport and ended up leaving with just three
miserable GCE O-Levels. With a slice of luck and a smidgen of
hard work I have ended up in a fortunate position. I ended my
career as CEO of one of South Africa's largest travel
conglomerates - see the image right. (Incidentally, our webmaster must have been
at JR around the time of the esteemed English Football manager
Ian Lints, Cape Town, South Africa, September 2014 Email
an update: Suddenly I found that I have a lot of time on my hands. I had a
recent ankle replacement operation and I have been immobile for a few
weeks. I became on a mission and it is surprising what I have turned up.
Peter Hurn (JRGS 1967-73) adds: In that 1958 school photo, my brother Brian Hurn can be seen on the top row with fair hair, fifth to the right of Ian Lints inside the yellow circle. I was two at the time! But it’s amazing how many of those teachers I can recognise immediately.
Former Old Palace pupil Pamela Rogers unearths a vintage JRCS cap badge...
I have had in my possession for many years a badge about which I had
great difficulty discovering its ancestry. I have just seen a picture of
the badge on the internet and it is a John Ruskin School badge. It is an
enamel badge, about 3.5 cm in diameter, consisting of an outer black
circle with the motto Age Quod Agis in gold lettering around the circle,
inside the circle are two capital letters: "J" and superimposed on that an
Also shown below are images of several school caps dating from 1930/1
that are held in
Archives, and were photographed in June 2003 by Nick Goy (JRGS
1963-70). "They appear to be special in that two of the three appear
to bear the year date," Nick wrote at the time. "The white one -
although it doesn't look very white in these photos - was worn by a
member of the School Cricket Team. One of the school magazines from the
period states that this was the case.
Pamela Rogers, Redruth, Cornwall, September 2014 Email
Mel Lambert (JRGS 1959-65) adds:
Back in February 2003, Bob Wane (JRGS 1945-53) supplied an image
of his former prefect's cap, shown right; click on the thumbnail to view
a larger version. Mike Marsh (JRGS 1949-55) pointed out: "Caps
were plain black for ordinary mortals; the red with gold braid was for
Bob Wane (JRGS 1945-53) adds:
Yes, indeed, it's the very same badge that is on my prefect's cap.
Curiously, looking at it again, I have noticed that the "J" is
red!! So maybe they were random colouring. I have provided a new image
shown right: click on the thumbnail to view a larger version.
Karl Smith (JRGS 1946-51)adds: This sounds like the prefect's badge from my era: 1946 to 1951. It was worn in two places: on the blazer lapel; and on the red panel at the front of a prefect's cap. I still have a cap and badge, as can be seen below; click on the thumbnail to view a larger version. (I think those same badges can be seen on lapels in the 1950 school photo that's on the website.)
Also shown is the standard
cap. Not wearing a cap out of school was a breach of rules which, if
reported by a member of staff or prefect, could lead to a detention.
Bob Wane replies: These are very interesting updates from Karl et al. It's surprising what info a humble cap badge can generate!
Here are additional images of the JRGS Old Boys Association tie and our
familiar school tie. The one on the right with the wide stripe is the
school tie; the red stripe indicates Alpha House. Sorry about their
condition but the are "rather old". Click on
the thumbnails to view a larger version.
Mel Lambert (JRGS 1959-65) discovers some vintage images of Shirley...
Trawling through the Internet, I came across a number of vintage images of Shirley taken in 1938 and New Addington taken in 1946. The aerial photographs on The Britain from Above website come from the Aerofilms collection that includes some 1.26 million negatives and more than 2,000 photograph albums. Click on any thumbnail to view a larger version.
from 1919 to 2006, the Aerofilms collection offers a detailed picture of
the changing face of Britain in the 20th Century, and is said to include
the largest and most significant number of air photographs of Britain
taken before 1939. The collection includes urban, suburban, rural,
coastal and industrial scenes.
Mel Lambert, Burbank, CA, USA, September 2014 Email
A full list of archived News/Events Pages can be found here.
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