- Page 75 - Jun 2014 thru Sep 2014 -
- Page 75 - Jun 2014 thru Sep 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.
Tony Childs (JRGS 1947-53) reports on an important birthday for Reg Whellock...
I received a phone call this past Friday
from Reg Whellock (JRGS Teacher 1946-56), pictured right
. Last week he had his
hundredth birthday, and next week will be moving from Sutton into a home in Shirley.
As the Alumni probably know, sadly his wife Doreen died during the
past year and Reg has been living on his own.
Tony Childs, Godalming, Surrey September 2014 Email
Karl Smith (JRGS 1945-51) adds:
Many thanks for the news about Mr. Whellock - my best wishes. I remember
him well as the Biology teacher at Tamworth Road, where he shared the
prefab lab block with Mr. "Percy" Pearman. They also shared the
same Lab steward: Mr. McGrath in my day.
Elisabeth Smith (widow of venerated teacher Charles
E. Smith) adds:
Thank you for the really interesting and detailed latest addition. Our
son Andrew will be particularly pleased to see it.
Karl Smith (JRGS 1946-51) recalls teachers from school life during the Forties...
Before the 1939-45 war, my father worked
for Imperial Airways at London (Croydon) Airport. Yes, London Airport
was grass and the one runway was uphill towards Purley, and downhill
when the wind direction reversed. Aircraft flew more slowly then and a
headwind shortened the take-off run considerably. Post war there was
excellent proof of that when an Anson taking off downhill crashed into
one of the hangars. The pilot suffered broken legs, I believe.
Karl W. Smith. CEng., FRAeS, Heckington, Lincolnshire September 2014 Email
Mel Lambert (JRGS 1959-65) casts back half a century to our Sixties school life...
-- 50 Years 0n | Memories from Summer 1964 –-
With a tip of
the hat to Alan Bennett, and his seminal work Forty Years On, I
thought that it might be interesting to cast back a half a
to see what The Alumni were up to during the summer of 1964.
Mel Lambert, Burbank, CA, USA, September 2014 Email
Paul Graham (JRGS (1959-66) adds: Fifty years ago!! I wish I had our webmaster's ability to recall what I was doing that summer. Did I even have a summer holiday job? I don’t think so. My parents went on holiday in a similar way to yours most years, and by chance I still have some black and white photos from a Brownie box camera that I took on holiday in Cornwall in August 1964. Click on either thumbnail to view a larger version.
We stayed at a B&B in Perranporth – the first year we’d ventured outside the south or south east coast. I recall we stopped at Stonehenge on the way down on the A303 in Dad’s Ford Cortina. Did we have any work set by our schoolteachers – I expect we did but I don’t recall any details. I can imagine Puncher Pearce setting some.
John Byford (JRGS (1959-66) adds:
Roger Hall (JRGS 1959-67) and I had planned the expedition to
North Wales with ruthless efficiency. We would catch the London to
Holyhead coach from the Victoria Coach Station, stay three nights at
Capel Curig Youth Hostel, building up our fitness with low-level walks
in that part of Snowdonia before a 12-mile hike over Pen-Y-Pass to the
youth hostel at Llanberis. And so on for two weeks at other youth
(JRGS (1959-67) adds:
I think that somewhere lurking in my attic is a black and white photo of
me albeit somewhat thinner than I am now. These photos were not taken
with a Kodak Brownie 127 (?); instead, a generous Father Christmas had
bought me a Kodak Cresta 2. This camera took 120 film and had a slide
with additional close-up and yellow-filter lenses. And I had got a
flash-gun attachment – but you had to replace the bulb with each flash.
I was always in the forefront of technology hence a subsequent career in
(JRGS (1959-66) adds: I recall that Roger and I also went to
Snowdonia in early 1964 - Easter, I think. We went with his brother in
law Martin (can’t remember his second name), who taught languages at
JRGS for a while. We travelled up in his A35 van and stayed at a couple
of youth hostels. I have a picture somewhere and will try and dig it
Graham Donaldson (JRGS 1962-69)
adds: I don’t think there was anything too remarkable about this
Summer, and the accounts I’ve just read tend to bear out that the
weather wasn’t very good!
Derek Charlwood (JRGS 1958-64)
adds: 1964 marked my leaving from JRGS, after taking O-Levels. I
had been in 5T (Mr. Thomas), our classroom being the technical
drawing room. I knew I hadn't passed my GCEs, and had an interview with
British Rail, where I was given the option of waiting for my results or
sitting their own entrance exam, which I opted to do. I scored over 90%,
and found myself reporting for work on 17th August at British Rail,
Central Division, Line Manager's office at Essex House, one of Croydon's
The widow of Robert Evans (JRGS 1958-65) reports on his subsequent career...
ML notes: Vanessa Evans had emailed asking if The Alumni would like to receive her copies of JRGS school photographs from 1958, 1960, 1962 and 1964 which, as result, are currently on their way to my sister, who lives in South Godstone, Surrey. (I plan to collect them on my next trip to the UK.)
My husband Robert T. Evans went to JRGS in the 1950s and
'60s; he was born in 1947 and died in 2005. While sorting out the loft I
found four school photos of pupils; if anyone wants them please give me
an address to post them - or they will be sent for recycling!
And I have also located him in the top row of the 1964 school photo shown below
After his schooling - I'm not sure when he left JRGS - Robert became a lawyer. He first worked at the Inland Revenue - inheritance tax - and sat the bar exams while working there; Robert was called to the bar at Gray's Inn in Michaelmas Term 1972. He then moved to the accountancy firm of Ernst & (Whinney) Young. After that, Robert moved to charity law (NCVO).
Paul Graham (JRGS 1959-66) adds: I think Robert Evans left JRGS in 1965. He was in 5F in 1962-63 doing O-Levels, and while in UVI Arts passed Economics, History and Geography A-Levels in 1965 - at the same time as a group of us, including the webmaster.
ML adds: According to Wikipedia, Ernst & Young (EY) is a multinational professional services firm headquartered in London. In 2012, it was the third largest professional services firm in the world by aggregated revenue. The firm dates back to 1849 with the founding of Harding & Pullein. The current operation was formed by a merger in 1989 of Ernst & Whinney and Arthur Young & Co. It was known as Ernst & Young until 2013, when it underwent a rebranding to EY. And NCVO, or The National Council for Voluntary Organisations, based in London, "champions and strengthens volunteering and civil society, with over 10,000 members, from the largest charities to the smallest community organisations."
Tony Almond (John Newnham 1957-61) recalls Sixties life in New Addington...
I’m not sure whether any of the JRGS Alumni have been back to New Addington in recent years, but my impression as an old-Addingtonian - like our webmaster - is that it’s not a very nice place at all nowadays. It seems that the “Addo Army” influences life there in a none-too-pleasant way. Very sad, as it was a rather peaceful and pleasant suburb 50 years ago!
I think that many of New Addington’s problems date from when it
came under the control of the Greater London Council. The Fieldway
Estate was constructed, but the build quality was nowhere near as good
as that of the older parts in which we both lived. A majority of the
people who moved into Fieldway came from less salubrious parts of London
and many of them were not particularly nice people. I once discussed the
estate’s problems with a couple of friends who were Metropolitan Police
officers and the essence of what they told me was that the Met were
quite happy for any number of London villains to be living there, as
they (the police) knew where they could usually be found, when
Tony Almond, Staines, Surrey (formerly, of course, in Middlesex) July 2014 Email.
I was last on the Estate in December 2013 – admittedly only briefly and
to look in at the new Lidl store where The Cunningham/Addington Hotel
used to stand, and to see the shops along the Central Parade. The crappy
weather had kept most people indoors, and I didn't drive through
Tony Almond replies:
Sadly, I think “dismal” just about sums it up. And you’re entirely right
about the build quality of Fieldway. A couple of years ago, when a young
girl was murdered on that estate, the police searched the attic of a
suspect’s terraced house. Unsurprisingly, they found that they could
search all of the attics in the terrace at the same time – there were no
Phil Cowlam (JRGS 1951-58) adds:
I date back to the school being in Tamworth Road and we had Croydon to
roam in. Whitgift School was still in the Centre and the smell of
freshly roasted coffee emanated from George Street. But all that has
changed and gone the middle-class politeness which made it a decent
town. The daft Overpass and even dafter Underpass had not been inflicted
and the magnificent Davis Theatre welcomed illustrious world performers,
such as the Basie Band.
(JRGS 1958-62) adds:
Reading the piece on New Addington brought back memories for me (and my
wife Maureen, who lived at 1 Stowell Avenue when the webmaster's family
lived there). We went back a few years ago to re-visit old haunts.
Didn't like it!
Paul Graham (JRGS 1959-66) adds: I don’t have any particular knowledge of New Addington, but Tony Almond is unfairly knocking the GLC. Although the GLC was in existence when the Fieldway Estate was built in 1968, it was Croydon Borough Council that planned it.
ML adds: Apparently, the term "Addo Army" dates from an article published by the Croydon Advertiser in December 2011 about the Croydon Riots that occurred the previous August. Ward councillor George Ayres claimed that New Addington residents had lost faith in the police during the riots and were forced to take the law into their own hands. Giving evidence at the riot's formal inquiry, Ayres explained how hundreds of locals – calling themselves the "Addo Army" – went to New Addington's Central Parade the day after the riots because they had no confidence in local officers to protect the area. "Residents in New Addington feel isolated from the rest of Croydon," he said. "It is a place where there is a strong sense of community and they very much have their own identity. They do not feel like they are part of the Croydon community."
Elisabeth Smith (widow of venerated teacher Charles
E. Smith) adds:
I was saddened, but not surprised, by the recent correspondence. In 1947
my parents and I were visited fairly regularly at weekends in Beckenham
by two German prisoners of war who were unable to be repatriated to
their inaccessible homes in the Russian sector. They were then working
daily installing the foundations of the two blocks of flats at the top
of the hill in New Addington, which have remained as an eyesore ever
since, despite occasional proposals in the Council that they might be
Paul Johnson (JRGS 1966-73)
passed the old school site in Shirley only yesterday, as I have to often
visit my Mum with Alzheimer’s. She lives in Woodside, a stone’s throw
from where I grew up in South Norwood. Although I never lived in New
Addington, my grandparents did, in Goldcrest Way. I think the truth is
that everywhere has changed, and rarely for the better... or are we
just grumpy old men? I know for absolutely certain that there’s no way I
could return to living in Croydon – certainly not in South Norwood.
Anderson (JRGS 1964-71) adds: It is interesting reading about how
Croydon has changed. I used to live in Thornton Heath and now live in a
pleasant part of Hampshire. I now have no need to go back to Croydon,
and won't be anytime soon. (Ever!).
Mel Lambert (JRGS 1959-65) unearths new images of the school demolition...
Mel Lambert, Burbank, CA, USA, July 2014 Email
Mike Etheridge (JRGS (1963-65) adds: Sad pictures, and what a surprise that Taberner House in Central Croydon also is meeting the same fate, after being officially opened in 1968. Does that make its lifespan about the same as JRGS? And the Taberner House demolition news came some months ago prior to the building of the new Bernard Weatherill House on the site of the Fell Road offices, which had now been demolished. Staff moved into BW House less than a year ago and the contract to demolish Taberner House commenced in January 2014, I think. To date, the building has been over-clad with white protective material (see image left) but all the floors still remain intact (right). It will be demolished floor by floor - obviously starting at the top - and will be replaced with four high rise blocks of flats, including one block taller than Taberner House.
Mike Marsh (JRGS (1949-55) adds: Having watched the new school buildingd being built in anticipation of its opening in 1955, it saddens me to see its demolition, especially when one realises that its predecessor in Tamworth Road is still standing!
"Sprout" Young (JRGS 1950-55) adds: I
have just noticed the comments from Mike Etheridge and Mike Marsh about
the demolition of Taberner House, Central Croydon, and JRGS. in Shirley.
Mike Etheridge is quite close with his “lifespan” comments. Taberner
House, I believe, was completed in 1968 and is being demolished now in
2014, making its life 46 years, whereas JRGS in Shirley was completed by
December 1954 and, I believe, demolished in 1992, making a span of 38
ML adds: Current discussions for the next JRGS Reunion seem to be focused on an event for 2015, which is the 95th Anniversary of the foundation of the original John Ruskin Boys’ Central. Next year will also mark the 80th Anniversary of the school moving to Scarbrook Road, the 70th Anniversary of the school becoming a grammar school, and the 60th Anniversary of the school moving to the Upper Shirley Road site. The choice of a suitable venue - something more formal that a local pub - also is under consideration.
Cliff Cummins (JRGS 1956-62) adds: It's a while back now, but I believe the JRGS Demolition Reunion held in 1991 was possibly organised by the [Library Resources Manager] Barbara Room, together with some of the surviving masters. Former teachers present were Charles Smith, Martin Nunn, Anthony Hasler, and maybe more. Ex-pupils I remember attending were John Carter, Peter Maguire, David Short, Stuart Smith, Ken McSteen and Bob Hawkins. (I think that's him in the photo on the wall bars below left.) Click on any thumbnail to view a larger version.
As for souvenirs, although we were not invited to secure any I managed the secretary's door nameplate, as well as the Classroom 4 nameplate of Mr. Tryon, who taught Modern Languages:
An attempt was made by someone who shall be nameless to take an Austin Seven engine which, apparently, was used to give instruction on Car Mechanics. I also picked up Mr. Lowe's personal copy of the programme for the April 1960 JRGS Junior Dramatic Society's performance of Toad of Toad Hall, which is already accessible on the website.
Elisabeth Smith (widow of venerated teacher Charles E. Smith) adds: I know my dear husband was heartbroken to have so many happy memories "rubbished" like that, and found it particularly galling that the venerated name was then transferred to the school in Addington Road, which spent years spoiling its reputation, before then changing its name again.
Anne Smith (JRHS/JRC teacher/principal 1970-99)
adds: Barbara Room moved from being a secretary to
librarian in time to mastermind the organisation of the new library at
the Selsdon location. She left Ruskin shortly after I did as the commute
journey from Sussex was a long one, but has recently returned to help in
the revamping of the library/resources area, opened by the Skills
this term. I think Barbara is still offering a couple of days a
Barbara Room (JRHS Library Resources Manager 1976-2005) adds: With regard to the Demolition Reunion, I don't really have very much more to add. As the Learning Resource Centre Manager, I did indeed have custody of all the archive material and my role was to help put everything out on display for that evening.
Following that evening, what
was left of the archive and memorabilia was taken by Brian Lancaster
(History) to Croydon Central Library and safely deposited in the Local
History Dept. where, as far as I know, it remains to this day.
Mel Lambert (JRGS 1959-65) reports on BBC TV news item about Roy Hodgson...
I wanted to alert Alumni living outside the capital to an
interesting news item from BBC London TV regarding England football
manager Roy Hodgson (JRGS 1958-65) and his Croydon origins,
including his attending our school.
Mel Lambert, Burbank, CA, USA, June 2014 Email
ML adds: As The
reported on Friday 21 June, England's 2-1 defeat to Uruguay means we
have exited the World Cup at the group stages for the first time since
1958, after Costa Rica beat Italy 1-0. FA chairman Greg Dyke has
confirmed that Hodgson - pictured left - will remain as England manager until the end of
Euro 2016. With two years left on his contract, Hodgson said after the
Uruguay defeat that he would not resign.
A full list of archived News/Events Pages can be found here.
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