JRGS News Archive Page 76
JRGS Alumni Society

Archived News/Activities

- Page 76 - Sep 2014 thru Nov 2014 -

JRGS Alumni Society

   

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.

RGS Alumni Meeting - 26th October, 2014

From left: John Byford (JRGS 1959-66), Mel Lambert (JRGS 1959-65),
Paul Graham (JRGS 1959-66), Jane Graham and Merelyn Davis.

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 it 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.)
   The subject of Crystal Palace Football Club came up in as everyone had read reports in several UK newspapers that Josh Harris, owner of the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia 76ers, has contacted CPFC's board with an interest in purchasing the South London club, and hence become the sixth American owner of a Premier League side.
   I had also called John about the best way to secure tickets to see Palace or another London club during our brief visit, since Merelyn has become something of a fan of league and international football - or "soccer" to those of us living in the US - and this writer has not been on a terrace for more than 40 years. It seems that unless you book way in advance, or are willing to pay extraordinarily high prices to a tout, such a practice is unviable. Maybe next trip?
   However, we were all saddened by the recent passing aged 71 of singer/songwriter Jack Bruce, best known for his bass playing with the Sixties rock group Cream.
   As can be seen from the following images, I also took the opportunity during my two-week business trip to revisit the New Addington housing estate, where I lived from 1951 until I left university in 1971, to take some pictures of the recently opened Lidl store on the site of the former Addington Hotel at the top of Lodge Lane. Click on any thumbnail to access a larger version.
   A flash gallery of several images of the New Addington estate is here, showing not only the Lidl store but also the storage area in back of the Central Parade row of shops; Market Day stalls within the parking areas; The 99p Store, which replaced the vintage F. W. Woolworths shop; the Iceland store on the site of the original Coopers/Fine Fare supermarket; a large Aumex Pharmacy; the New Addington Food and Wine shop at the south end of the Parade; plus various social services and recreational buildings.

Addington Hotel  - 1965 Lidl Store in New Addidgton, pictured in October 2014

The Addington Hotel in 1965,
later renamed The Cunningham.

The site now boasts a small development
of flats next to a Lidl store.

Lidl Store in New Addidgton, pictured in October 2014 Lidl Store in New Addidgton, pictured in October 2014

Closer detail of new Lidl store in Parkway.

The store is located next to a petrol station.

   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.
   I was also pleased to see Charles, third row back, above the "19" of 1965 date of the school photo. Doubtless our children will be pleased to see that one day.

  

 Maurice Whitfield (JRGS 1959-66) recalls the Fifties Monks Hill Estate prefabs...

Arcon floor planI've 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 version.
   My earliest memory is looking up from under the dining table through lace curtains at an autumnal afternoon sun. I must have been just two years old. The memory comes back as if to be like a brown sepia picture. It checks out because the back door and window of our 63 Tedder Road was, in fact, west facing.
   The prefabs I remember were all the same design in Tedder Road, Shepherds Way and, I think, also Warren Avenue. Our family left it in about 1961 to move to Farnborough Avenue.

Maurice Whitfield, Bexhill, Sussex. October 2014 Email

ML 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 were provided.
   Prefabs ("prefabricated houses") were developed to address the UK's post–World War II housing shortage. The wartime Conservative government addressed the need for a 200,000 shortfall in post-war housing by building 500,000 prefabricated houses, with a planned life of up to 10 years. Today, a number still survive, a testament to the durability of construction methods only envisaged to last a decade.

  

 Mel Lambert (JRGS 1959-65) reports sad death of headmaster William Patterson...

Bill Patterson, fourth headmaster of JR SchoolIt 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.
   According to John Rowlands MBE, an economics and business studies teacher at the school from to 1966 to 2009, Mr. Patterson’s funeral will take place at St John’s Church, Shirley Church Road, on Tuesday, 14 October, 2014, at 11.00 am. There will be no crematorium service; family flowers only, although donations are welcomed to the Alzheimer’s Society.
   Last March Peter Oxlade (JRCS 1940-44) reported that Mr. Patterson had been suffering with Alzheimer’s disease, but was being supported throughout by his wife Phyllis and family. “There were times when Bill had to go back into hospital for treatments,” Peter reported. “And there were times when he had to go into Respite Care just to give Phyllis time to recover enough to have him back home to be looked after. Recently, Phyllis had a fall and fractured her hip bone and had to spend time in hospital. Even then she made strenuous efforts to get herself released so that she could have Bill back home to look after. That, in my view, takes courage and love of a very special kind.” More
   Bill Patterson served in the Royal Air Force and became a flying officer as a pilot in Bomber Command flying, amongst others, the famed Avro Vulcan bomber. “I remember him telling of the time when the Squadron Officers Mess was to hold a party - probably to celebrate St. Patrick's Day - and it was decided that original Guinness beer should be available,” Peter continues. “Bill was instructed to fly to Belfast, purchase a few crates of the liquid, and bring it back safely in time for the party in the Officers Mess. Bill did just that! It makes a nonsense, me thinks, of the phrase ‘Just going out for a drink’!
   “Bill was also a former captain and president of Shirley Park Golf Club; his presence there in those capacities was much appreciated by us all at the club. The after-dinner speeches were a real pleasure to listen to.”

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!
   You should add to his biography that he was a county player for rugby and played for the RAF in cricket. (Or I may have got them the wrong way round! Anyway, he was not only a sports lover but also a very good player at both of those sports).
   I recall once being in his room when he and a governor - can’t remember who - started talking about sports injuries and ended by rolling up their trouser legs and comparing ruined knees. Needless to say I modestly withdrew.

 

 Maurice Whitfield (JRGS 1959-66) reports the sad death of Dorothy Tyler...

Dorothy Tyler - 1949I was saddened to come across the obituary for Dorothy Jennifer Tyler MBE in The Times and other papers, and whose two sons attended JRGS in the late-Fifties. What a great lady - she is pictured right in 1949; image courtesy of Press Association. 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.
   As many of us know, Dorothy was the mother of fellow alumni David Tyler (JRGS 1958-63) and Barry Tyler (JRGS 1959-64), both Ruskinites. I remember Dorothy very fondly. More
   In the autumn of 1959 it was ordained that I was to own a pet dog for passing my 11-Plus, and so set off to choose one fromBarry Tyler in 1963 a newly arrived litter at my pal Barry Tyler's home in Ballards Way, Addington Hills. On bringing it back home my father decreed that the puppy should be named "Ruskin"! Cringe-worthy to me then but the name stuck. He went on to live for 17 years - the dog that is not my father - making that reluctant but final visit to the vet in 1976. (My father managed better than a further 17 years and is, in fact, still going strong and playing golf at nearly 90.)
   I remember David, but especially Barry Tyler from way back at Gilbert Scott Primary School. Like his mother, Barry was a very good sportsperson - he is pictured left in the 1963 JRGS Cricket XI - and I remember also something of a champion to the smaller and more tormented among us. Alfie Whitfield - 2014If I remember rightly, I last saw him playing drums for a well-known blues band at a teachers training college dance in the early Seventies. [Possibly, Evil Ways/Urchins, mentioned on Wikipedia - ML.]
   Incidentally, we moved from South London to Bexhill four years ago, after my then newly acquired partner Debbie unexpectedly produced a son. I didn't see Alfie Whitfield - pictured right - coming at my age, but suddenly realised what I had been previously missing. Despite my ferocious loyalty to Croydonia the prospect of battling for decent, local school places there was terrifying. So we moved to Bexhill where the schools and children seemed very nice.
  
It is, in fact, the south coast's best kept secret - very, very pleasant. And Alfie has just started at the local Chantry School.

Maurice Whitfield, Bexhill, Sussex. September 2014 Email

 

 Ian Lints (JRGS 1954-59) recalls school life in Fifties and former school pals...

Ian Lints - 2014

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 Roy Hodgson.)
   I am also looking for any contacts for boys that started at John Ruskin in 1954. I am in regular touch with Roger Floyd, who is now living in The Peak District, and Peter Campion, now living in Canada. Another person in our class was Tony Cocklin. I met him about 20 years ago when he was the spokesman/PR man for the chairman of now defunct British Caledonian Airways. I may also be close to tracking down Bill Hoskin, who was in class of '54.
   Of my former school pals, I am particularly interested in contacting Brian Hurn (JRGS 1954-60), who lived in New Addington as a boy and latterly in Thornton Heath. We played in the same soccer and cricket teams. I lost contact about 15 years ago; he had a younger brother, named Peter. Derek Faulkner was also in my class - perhaps he too is contactable? Both Brian and Derek were in my class throughout my school career.

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.
   The surgery is a long process but all going well; I'll be in the boot another month and then on crutches for a while. Normally, I am still very active with cycling and sea kayaking. I am six foot and 85 kgs, which is heavy for ultra-distance running. I did about 50 marathons and a dozen or so ultras plus a hundred miler. It was fun at the time but now I am paying the price. I have had op on both feet. Just connective tissue worn away.

 
 
I have also managed to locate Bill Hoskin, who was in class of '54. He lives in Durbanville, outside Cape Town, and we have exchanged mail. Recently, I met up with Bill for the first time in 56 years at my home in Cape Town - we are pictured together in the image shown below left. In the black and white pic shown below right I am eighth from the left in the top row; Bill is immediately behind Mr. "Puncher" Pearce. Click on either thumbnail to view a larger version; we are circled in white.

Bill Hoskin and Ian Lints Bill Hoskin and Ian Lints in the 1958 school photo

Bill Hoskin (left) with Ian Lints

Section of 1958 School Photograph

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 "R".
   The badge has three small eyelets on the back. Can anyone tell me whether this was a cap badge, blazer badge or what? And how did it fasten to the apparel, given that is has three eyelets, not just two which would suggest a split pin. Do your Alumni members know whether it was a general issue, or perhaps one worn only by prefects or the like?
   Sorry to ask so many questions, but as an old Croydonian myself, it is of special interest to me – although I went to the Old Palace Grammar School also in Croydon; I left in the early Sixties. I would be interested to hear if anybody knows anything about the badge. Click on the thumbnails to view a larger version.

ML notes: Also shown below are images of several school caps dating from 1930/1 that are held in The Croydon 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.
   "The other dated cap is in the more traditional plain colours but states "A1931" - as can be seen in the more detailed photograph. It is believed that this may have been awarded for football or another sporting activity - although there is no proof of this theory. Clearly there is also a plain cap for the non-sporting boys.
   "The badges on the traditional caps are made of metal with the school motto on them. Note the use of the letter "v" in Age qvod Agis - instead of the later "u" - as was conventional in those days."
   Note that the color of the central "J" in Pamela's badge in red and that in the lower images it is yellow. Might this designate the corresponding house colour of the cap's owner? As I recall, Alpha House's color was red, Beta House was blue, Gamma House was yellow and Delta House was green. And perhaps the A1931 legend refers to the JRCS “A” football team from 1930/31?

School badge - rear School badge - rear

Front view of Pamela Rogers' cap badge.

Rear view of cap badge, with three eyelets.

School caps - image 1 of 2 School caps - image 2 of 2

Three school caps located in the Croydon Archive.

Close-up of various school caps from 1930/31.

Pamela Rogers, Redruth, Cornwall, September 2014 Email

Bob Wane's prefects capMel 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 prefects."
   As Bob recalled in 2003: "I arrived at John Ruskin in September 1945 from Norbury Manor Junior School by way of a 16/18 tram to West Croydon (fare 1d). The walk down Tamworth Road, past the sweets warehouse of Barlowe & Parker (later to have an infamous connection in respect of the murder of P.C. Miles) revealed a somewhat sombre building with a high brick wall surrounding the playground with lavatories on the far side. On the opposite corner in Tamworth Road was the tuck shop. Just inside from the entrance gate were the steps from which the whistle was JRGS Prefect's Cap -2014blown at 08:50 and 13:50 to announce start of school. We had to line up by form and then march to our classroom.
   "The school had about 330 pupils, with an intake of about 60 each year. We were allocated to one of four houses: Alpha (red), Beta (blue), Gamma (yellow) and Delta (green) and given the appropriate sash to wear at sports events." More.

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.
   The red and gold piping was for prefect's caps and the ordinary caps were without any piping. I can also confirm that the badge has three eyelets but, as mentioned previously, only two were used.

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.)
JRGS prefect's cap from late-Forties JRGS school cap from late Forties

Vintage JRGS prefect's cap from the late-Forties.

Close-up of regular school cap from the same era.

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.
   I remain very prejudiced about school uniform and don't like the current approach that allows children to wear any old thing when off on trips. OK, it makes sense when strenuous or dirty activities are involved, but it makes identification easy when otherwise out and about as an organised group.
   During my time at the school, we made school visits to the Science Museum, Aldwych Theatre (to see Michael Redgrave as Macbeth when that was our School Cert set book) and to the Ford Works in Dagenham. I cannot remember any others but these have stuck in my mind for quite a few years.
   BTW: I knew a couple of Pamelas at Old Palace School some time ago. I went out with a Pam Martin from Old Palace and there were quite a few others there at that time. There used to be quite an interaction between the two schools, including combined dance classes outside of normal school hours. That, of course, resulted in quite a few relationships.
   JRGS was virtually next door; Tamworth Road and Old Palace Road in Croydon were geographically very near one another. Each one was barely 100 yards from Reeves Corner - do the Alumni remember the big fires during the riots in Croydon [during August 2011]?
an update
: Since sending the pictures I've looked again at the website, in regard to the prefect's badge. I'm pretty sure they were all the same, not with different house colours. Bob Wane - whom I remember from school and our being on the same maths degree course later - is right in stating that house colours were Alpha = Red; Beta= Blue: Gamma=Yellow and Delta=Green. These were used on school ties and, when they were first introduced, we were given gummed labels for our exercise books. We believed they were intended to identify house colours but, again 70 years on, memories are a bit vague, I seem to recall that they were taken back to be used for subject identification. House colours were reserved for sports teams, etc. and inter-house competitions.
   I still have an Alpha House tie, and also an Old Boys' Association one. The latter particularly is a bit tatty by now; I'll try and take a picture or two.
   I note, too, that I cited Mr. "Ali" Barber as a music teacher - I cannot think where that came from because the image I have is of Mr. Hancock. My apologies.
   Just as info, I remember Bob Wane used to use a power-assisted pedal cycle for college travel; it had a 48 cc OHV engine with pull-rod valves; Lohmann I think. As far as Bob was concerned, there were only four of us on that degree course: Bob, Jim Foord, a Syrian named Mohammed Adnan Hamoui, and muggins. I wonder what happened to the others? I lost touch because I switched to Mech. Eng. when the concept of pure numbers, probability, etc. became too much for me. Applied Maths (for engineering) has been much more up my street, with fluid dynamics becoming a specialty.
   Mind you, I didn't enjoy physics at school very much - not like Maths.

Bob Wane replies: These are very interesting updates from Karl et al. It's surprising what info a humble cap badge can generate!

Karl Smith adds: 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.
   All school uniform was sold by C. Hewitt & Son in Church Street, Croydon.
JRGS school tie from late-Forties JRGS house tie from late-Forties

JRGS Old Boys Association tie from late-Forties.

School tie from same era; red stripe is Alpha House.

   

 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.

New Addington in 1946

New Addington in 2014

The New Addington estate in 1946, showing
the start of the Central Parade.

New Addington in 2014, with a dramatic population
expansion, plus the Fieldway Estate to the north.

Central Shirley - 1938 Central Shirley - 2014

Shirley in 1938 looking south, with Shirley Road
to the right and Wickham Road in the centre.

Same basic view in 2014, showing the JRGS site opposite
Coloma Girls' School, and Trinity School (centre-right)

Central Shirley in 1938

Central Shirley in 1938

Shirley in 1938 looking south-east, with Wickham Road in the centre and Shirley Church Road running east.

Shirley in 1938 looking south-west, with Wickham Road
in centre and Upper Shirley Road leading south.

   Dating 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.
   Aerofilms Ltd was an air-survey company set up in 1919 by Francis Lewis Wills and Claude Grahame-White, and eventually purchased AeroPictorial and Airviews collections. In 2007, collection was acquired by Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS), English Heritage (EH), and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW) from Blom ASA.
More

Mel Lambert, Burbank, CA, USA, September 2014 Email

 

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