JRGS News Archive Page 69
JRGS Alumni Society

Archived News/Activities

- Page 69 - Nov 2011 thru May 2012 -

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.

 Reg B. Whellock (JRGS Teacher 1946-56) recalls his successful career...

JRGS Staff Photo - 1954I like the staff picture on The Mill website for 1954, shown right. I am seated in the front row on the extreme left-hand side. Click on the thumbnail to view a larger venison.
   I also see that the webmaster has added a recent picture of me taken at last September's JRGS Reunion, shown below. Both of these images were secured, I notice, by the same former schoolboy: Mike Marsh (JRGS 1949-55). As far as I know, I am the only teacher featured in that 1954 staff picture who is still alive.
   In case the Alumni is interested, here is some updated information on my career. Paul Graham (JRGS 1959-66) also profiled me in a recent posting.

Reginald Baldwin Whellock, BSc, MA, CBiol, FSB. Listed in Who's Who in Education
Reg  Whellock - September 2011• My very successful textbook General Biology was based on my teaching notes, and published by Harrap in January 1955.
• Examiner : London University. Advance Level Zoology and Biology.
• Cambridge University. Chief Examiner for 15 years.
• Oxford & Cambridge. Visiting examiner for Practical Biology and Zoology.
• Dept of Education. Committee member checking marking standards of eight exam boards for AL Science Papers.
• I ran courses in Biology for Cambridge in India (2), Uganda, Kenya, Malaysia (3).
• Head of McEntee Technical High School, Walthamstow, 1963-67
• Head Master who created Sutton's first Comprehensive School, Greenshaw High School, 1967-79, in competition with six Grammar Schools.
   One year when at Ruskin I was Chairman of the Croydon Branch of the Incorporated Association of Assistant Masters. I was well known to the staffs of Whitgift, Selhurst and Ruskin - a great advantage.
   About 1960 the London County Council (LCC) appointed me as Assessor to the Education Committee of the London Zoo.
  As an aside, I wonder which Saint Lambert our webmaster is connected to? If you look in the Oxford Dictionary of Saints you will find eight with the Lambert name. I went to Munster in NE Germany to visit the church of St. Lambert. Prisoners were put in iron cages and pinched to death with hot tongs. Then they were hauled to the top of a tower for the birds to clean the skeleton!
   I had a friend in Sutton, Gordon Lambert, a solicitor whose forbears owned the Lambert snuff mill on the Wandle. Any connection, I wonder? Perhaps Mel knew that Sir Walter Raleigh had a snuff mill on the Wandle when he lived at Carew Manor in Beddington?
   This year in Croydon we are celebrating the centenary of the death of one of Croydon's greatest sons, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, who wrote the famous Song to Hiawatha.

Reg Whellock, Sutton, London, May 2012 Email

Tony Hollands (JRGS 1952- 59) adds: Congratulations to Mr. Whellock on his longevity. He was the only master I managed to avoid during my school career. I hated the smell of formaldehyde or whatever it was permeating the biology lab. It served to confirm my concentration on the Arts and languages, so in a perverse way he contributed substantially to my career path as did many of the staff of fond memory.


 John Byford (JRGS 1959-66) reports on Roy Hodgson named as England manager...

Most of the UK media had taken it for granted that Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham Hotspur manager, was an automatic choice for the post and there was surprise that someone the media - and, in particular, the tabloid press - had not considered as a successor for the previous incumbent. But unlike Mr. Redknapp - or indeed every English manager - Roy Hodgson (JRGS 1958-65) comes with international experience. While manager of Finland he was often seen at Selhurst Park watching one of Crystal Palace's players.
   Prior to managing Finland, Roy's career included bringing a dramatic improvement in the fortunes of Switzerland, in 1994 taking them to their first World Cup since 1966 and to 3rd in FIFA's world ranking.
   Roy has been mentioned on several previous occasions on this website, Ian Macdonald (1958-65) wrote of Roy's achievements as a linguist and he was spotted in the cast list for Toad of Toad Hall (April 1st and 2nd, 1960) appearing as a ferret (or was it a stoat?). Ferrets are mighty fine animals compared to the ruthless hounds of the UK tabloid press and we wish Roy all the very best in the appointment.
   An interesting article on Roy (despite a couple of errors) by a fellow Palace fan in Inside Croydon, can be found here. And here is a link to an article from This is Croydon. An extract: "When asked why John Ruskin [Grammar School] has nurtured four top football coaches, Hodgson once joked: 'It must have been something to do with the windmill and the lack of girls' schools in the area'."

John Byford, Camberwell, London, May 2012 Email

 Peter Oxlade (JRGS 1940-44) adds: I was pleased that England has appointed Roy Hodgson as their football manager. I do remember a contributor to The Mill making some comment by a fellow alumni who had met with Roy Hodgson outside Selhurst Park and at that meeting Roy asked if "Old Smithy was still about"' (or words to that effect).
   Roy has had a huge success in the football world and richly deserves to have earned the opportunity to end his career right at the top to his profession.

John Walker (JRGS 1958-65) adds: 1960 JRGS School PhotoI'm attaching a snatch from the 1962 JRGS School Photo. Roy is pictured far left, middle row, while I am far right. Others in the clip include Alan Clark, top row, far right, and John "Sid" Young, immediately to his left. Click on the thumbnail to view a larger version.
   I was in Roy's class for most of his time at Ruskin, though hardly a close mate. It was a surprise to me when he made it in football, professionally, because although always a decent player, the best footballer in our year was Jamie Reid (now an internationally recognised artist, and creator of the Sex Pistols artwork), and the stand-out player of the generation was Steve Kember. Roy, if I remember correctly was just okay, in the school team.
   At the time, JRGS was the only grammar school in the Croydon area that played football, rather than rugby. The results were impressive; within a few years producing not just Roy and Steve, but also Lennie Lawrence and Bobby Houghton.
   I was in school amateur-dramatic productions with him and remember Roy in his later years at school as a very sharp dresser - a well turned out mod, who sported Crombies and Ben Sherman shirts, when they were status symbols, for the sartorially conscious. He also had quite eclectic interests in music; for Sunday Times - 06 May2012some reason I remember his affection for Timi Yuro - quite unknown to the rest of us then, in the pre Radio 1/pirate and commercial radio days.
   I didn't keep in touch with Roy after we left school, although did write to him in 1997, when he had become manager at Blackburn which, like Palace, was in the Premier league at the time. In the pre-Friends Reunited era, I offered to try and arrange a reunion meal/drink in Croydon when Blackburn played at Selhurst, as it would have been the 50th birthday for most of our year cohort. I guess he's still thinking about it, as I've yet to receive his reply!
   Although I have spent the vast majority of my life in England, I was born in Scotland, and consider myself a Scot. So, I can announce that, as a result of Roy's appointment, I will be supporting England for the first time, in the Euros!
  Good luck, Roy. If the welcome your appointment got from the red tops is anything to go by, and the unrealistic level of expectations many English football fans have of their country's chances in international tournaments, you'll need it - and a very thick skin.

 Ian Macdonald (JRGS 1958-65) adds: I have scanned a profile of Roy Hodgson published in the Sunday Times issue of 06 May. Click on thumbnail shown right to view a larger version. Text and layout ©Times Newspapers Ltd 2012. All rights reserved.


 Jane Garland (JRHS 1976-80) is hoping to reconnect with former school mates...

I am an ex-student of John Ruskin High School (1976-80) and I have recently returned to work at the present John Ruskin College as Careers and Employment Adviser. I am keen to make contact with other alumni to involve them more closely in the life of the present college, inviting them to attend events and possibly tap in to their career knowledge and experience to benefit current students’ career planning.
   My email contact is jane.garland@johnruskin.ac.uk | 020 8651 1131.

Jane Garland, South Croydon, Surrey, April 2012 Email


 Mel Lambert (1959-65) reports the sad death of Roger "Wally" Walters...

Roger "Wally" Walters - September 2009

Roger "Wally" Walters
at 2009 Reunion

Sadly, Roger "Wally" Waters (JRGS 1955-60) passed away on Wednesday, 18th of April, in Australia. As his family members write: "Even though we knew the day would finally come, it is still such a shock to us that we will never see him again, hear his voice of encouragement or feel his enormous warm hugs."
   A service celebrating his life took place on Thursday, 26th April at 1.00 pm in Christ Church Lavender Bay, corner of Walker and Lavender Streets, Lavender Bay, North Sydney.
   Wally had requested that, instead of flowers, donations be made to support the Lung Cancer Foundation and Lung Cancer Support Group that helped him through his challenge.
   A JRGS pupil from 1955 to 1960, Wally was winner of the "Furthest Travelled" Award at the 2009 Ruskin Reunion, journeying to Shirley from Coffs Harbour. Des May Meeting.

Mel Lambert, Burbank, CA, USA April 2012 Email

The Walters Family in Australia adds: Thank you all so much for all the kind words, condolences and funny stories that you have sent through to us. Dad has been a part of so many lives, it has been wonderful for us to share in them over the last few days.
   We will be wearing something in the shade of lavender to show our support of Lung Cancer Awareness for the service on Thursday. If you wish, we invite all those who can attend to also join us in recognizing awareness by wearing something lavender you may have in your wardrobe.
   A number of people have requested information regarding how to make donations as Dad had requested that people do not send flowers. They can make a donation if they would like to The Lung Cancer Support Group, which helped Dad through his challenge.


 Mel Lambert (1959-65) reports the sad death of former teacher Charles E. Smith...

Charles E Smith - March 2005

Charles Edward Smith,
March 2005, aged 92

It is with a very heavy heart that I report the passing on Sunday 11th of March of former JRGS mathematics and senior sports master Charles E. Smith, aged 99.
   Born on 16th November, 1913, CES served at JRGS for a remarkable 36 years, from 1942 to 1978, teaching mathematics and physical education. A full profile can be found here, in which Charles writes: "I consider that it was a real privilege to have had the opportunity of teaching at John Ruskin, and I cherish my memories of that rewarding and happy time."
   CES graciously provided personal messages for the 2009 and 2010 JRGS School Reunions, which were conveyed to the alumni by long-time friend and colleague Peter Oxlade  (JRGS 1940-44).
   As Mr. Smith wrote in 2010: "
My memories of my time at Ruskin are many and varied. I have been so privileged to pay some small contribution to the development of so many boys (and latterly girls) in their journey from young people to adulthood and to see how so many of them have been so successful in their chosen careers."
   His son Andrew has advised The Mill via Peter Oxlade that the funeral service originally scheduled to be held on Thursday, 5th of April, needed to be postponed. His mother, Elisabeth Smith, remains hospitalised - although she was on track to be discharged imminently - and hence could not attend the planned service. It was hoped that a reschedule service of remembrance can be held once Elisabeth is fit enough.
   Apparently, Elisabeth overbalanced and fell in hospital, breaking her wrist and hurting her back. Consequently, she has been moved to Woolwich, where she will undergo further surgery. Report of Memorial Service.

Mel Lambert, Burbank, CA, USA March 2012 Email

Peter Wilson (JRGS 1956-63) adds: So many of us will have our own memories of Mr. Smith - he gave us "standards' which we could live by in later life... and we did.
   He treated us like responsible adults - at a time when we were far from that - on the basis that we would respond by behaving responsibly... which we did.
   He insisted that I should take O-level Pure Maths when I was 14... and his judgment was correct... I passed!
   R.I.P. dear friend... and very sincere and deep sympathy to his family.

Graham Donaldson (JRGS 1962-69) adds: Very sad news - the end of an era indeed. I'm sure we'd all hoped that it would be "X = 100" in November, but it was not to be.

Anne Smith (JRHS/JRC teacher/principal 1970-99) adds: Very sad news; somehow one thought Mr. Smith would go on for ever. My thoughts are with his wife Elisabeth.
   I think that mixed teaching mellowed Charles a great deal; the girls were never frightened of him, and found his temper amusing! What they knew was that he was really concerned to help them if they found Maths difficult.
   In meetings, he was one of those people who puts up with those who have to speak at all costs, and when they have run out of steam utters a sentence or two which encapsulates the subject under discussion. For the aware it was daunting to be put in one's place - fortunately not everyone was aware!
   I saw Charles in a different light through his involvement with Surrey Schools Cricket; my son played for them and in due course for England Under 16s, and I went to see him play at Eton. There was Charles, clearly respected and enormously popular, smiling all over the ground!
   Certainly I doubt if anyone who passed through his hands has ever forgotten him!

Tony Hollands (JRGS 1952-59) adds: My abiding memory of Mr. Smith - and one I have shared with family and friends many times - was as a first former shivering at the Croydon Baths. He pointed at the water and said "SWIM" and, by God, I did. He ranks as one of the major influences in my school career and life following.

Clive Whitehead (JRGS 1950-52) adds: It was with great sadness that I received the news of Mr. "Smithy" Smith's death at 99. I visited him with Peter Oxlade some five years ago and it was a most pleasurable and unique experience. No doubt there will be many kind things said about him at his funeral.
    I still recall that evening and "Smithy" telling us how he met his wife Elisabeth at a dance. It was the song "Some Enchanted Evening" that did the trick.
    It was a privilege to know him both as a pupil in the early 1950s, and later in the mid-60s as a staff member. He was both a friend and a gentleman. One rarely meets people in life like him.

Elisabeth Smith adds: No doubt The Alumni will be surprised to hear from me. Peter Oxlade has been so wonderfully helpful for a long while.
   I must thank you all most warmly for all the interest The Mill gave Charles for years via Peter's help, and also for the way in which the webmaster passed on the news about him this year. Of course, I miss Charles after our 53 happy years together, but I can only be glad that he is in a better place now.
   I returned home on Thursday after spending a long while in successive hospitals since 1st March. It is glorious to see the garden full of joyous Spring flowers, as I had seen only the tops of various trees from the fourth floor window at times. I look forward to being able to go out there when my wrist and hip, which were broken, allow it.
   I was pleased to speak with Peter this morning after a long gap. He sounds the same as always, but tells me he and Joan are not well. It's anno domini again, I'm afraid.
   I'm really sorry that it seems as though the webmaster has not been able to persuade someone else to give him the chance to unload some of the JRGS workload. They probably feel that he do it so well that they'd disappoint the readers!


 Roger Fuller (JRGS 1951-56) make an appeal for a very worthy cause...

Roger Fuller's /Great Wall of China Trek Appeal

Later this year I will be in China trekking six to seven hours a day along the Great Wall on behalf of the Alzheimer's Society. Naturally, I am seeking the maximum sponsorship possible and would like to use the JRGS website to let alumni members know about this worthwhile and appropriate cause.
   I have developed a four-page PDF file that can be accessed by clicking here, or on the thumbnail shown left. The A5 leaflet contains full details of the Alzheimer's Society, my trek and why I am doing it. It also contains sponsorship details, including the secure JustGiving.com web page for internet payments.
   I hope that the JRGS Alumni would consider the appeal, and  possibly give it their personal support.

Roger Fuller, Basingstoke, Hants, March 2012 Email


 Paul Graham (JRGS 1959-66) recalls Geoff Boyce, now an educational activist...

Croydon Reports - Winter 1995

Recently, I received a clipping from the Winter 1995 issue of Croydon Reports sent to me by a Croydon friend about Geoffrey J. P. Boyce (JRGS 1958-65). Click on the thumbnail shown left to access larger version.
   There are several references to Geoffrey in the JRGS School Magazines: July 1960, page 9, page 15 and page 16; April 1963, page 8; July 1965 page 7; and July 1966 page 8.
   Geoff was brought up in Shrublands; his family subsequently moved to King Henry's Drive in New Addington. He studied for a degree in Social Sciences at Kent University from 1965 to 1968. He taught at Addington High, and remains active in union work. He is also mentioned in This Croydon: Croydon Teachers Strike; and Selsdon/Addington High School.
  Geoff was a year above me, but I remember him from school drama productions. Other alumni might recall from him New Addington, and maybe the 1958 JRGS intake.

Paul Graham, Iver, Bucks, February 2012 Email.

John Cobley (JRGS 1958-65) adds: I remember Geoff Boyce well. We were in the same form for four years: 1P, 3U, 4U, and 5U. Geoff, Dave Pearce and Peter Goulding were always in each others' company.
   Geoff had a sharp wit and a very sarcastic bent; his comments could be withering. I recall that Mr. Woodard, our English teacher, had a soft spot for Geoff. I remember being in JRGS plays with Geoff: Toad of Toad Hall and Dr. Knock. I think Geoff is listed as a cast member in the programs for these plays. [ML adds: Geoff Boyce played The Rat in Toad of Toad Hall and Mr. Mousquet in Dr. Knock.]

Ian Castro (JRGS 1958-65) adds: I remember Geoff quite well - as well as I remember anyone! We were in the same U-form for several years.

John Turner (JRGS 1958-65) adds: I remember Geoff very well, as the tough guy in 3U to 5U, along with Pete Goulding. I think there were a number of playground brawls - bundles? - but I don't want to slander him.
   I also remember Geoff in The Toad of Toad Hall and Dr. Knock. I thought he might have turned up at the first JRGS Annual Reunion, when so many of us from that form were there in 2009.

Bob Hawkins (JRGS 1959-65) adds: I too remember GB quite well in much the same way as John Turner - as one of the tough guys - and also as one of the victims of Mr. Rees' physical abuse of erring Latin scholars. I remember him too as the first classmate to turn up with a copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover when we were in Alan Murray's class, and also as a raconteur on the subject of an adventurous girlfriend of his called Theresa from New Addington. (The last two recollections are not unrelated.)
   But I think Geoff became one of the many pupils to develop a friendship with Alan Murray in adult life. I remember Mr. Murray talking about Geoff with great affection.

Geoff Boyce (JRGS 1958-65)  responds: I retired from teaching in December 2009, having clocked up exactly 40 years' service.  I now work part-time from home in Addiscombe as the Senior Casework Officer for the Croydon Teachers' Association (NUT), representing teachers in trouble and negotiating on behalf of Croydon NUT members with the local council.
   I was much amused by former classmates' comments! Unfortunately Dave Pearce died in December 2011 - Pete Goulding flew back from his home in Thailand and we both attended his funeral.
   I remember being very daring and taking my life in my hands in the third year, and taking photos of Mr. "Rhino" Rees writing on the blackboard for a lark - must dig the photos out of the loft. There are lots of other funny memories, including helping out in the tuck shop with "Bon" (RI teacher, Mr. Richardson) and Ken Maggs - known to us as "Iacobus Cornus" or "Hooky Jim". I still have my Letts schoolboy's diaries back to 1961 with my timetables in them.
   Pete and I are in regular touch even today. In so many school photos we are seen standing together with our Elvis Presley haircuts. Many of our memories involve activities that would probably earn us an expulsion or an ASBO this century but, by and large, our villainy went undetected - except when we were caught by Percy Eagleton the caretaker while "jousting" with the towel rollers in the bog, armed with boxes of chalk lifted from a chemistry laboratory and making an unholy mess. Four of us were taken to Mr. "Joe" Lowe and given the choice: either help the caretaker after school for an hour every night for a week (an early form of community service) or have "The Whack". It goes without saying we all chose the community service to a man.
   And one thing led to another. We were shifting chairs in a cupboard off the dining hall on one of the evening sessions when Mr. Howden (history) walked by. We were out of sight and began singing the theme tune to the western TV series Cheyenne, starring Clint Walker (Mr. Howden's nickname, because of his puny build). We were given a nasty imposition - copy out text from a book onto two pages of foolscap by the morning! Punishment at compound interest!
   I don't believe we were that tough as working-class kids from a council estate at a predominantly middle-class school but there was a fair amount of bullying down to us. I do remember holding trials of fellows who committed some imaginary offence - the verdict was inevitably guilty and the punishment invariably the "elephant treatment". This involved holding the prisoner down on a desk while the class pummelled him with their fists in a crescendo of laughs and pain! Sitting next to "softies" on sausage and chip days was a regular sin as well.
   Because we were in the "U" stream we tended to socialise with Herberts a year older than us a fair bit. Whatever happened to "Lup" - John Lupton - with his fresh pack of 20 Senior Service every day and his fashionable cutaway collars - loads a money? ("Lup" - "loadsa money" - is a quote from the 1990s Harry Enfield comedy TV series.)
   I also remember Theresa, a girl from the New Addington estate who was somewhat "adventurous" for her age. When teaching in New Addington many years later I was often approached by youngsters saying: "'Ere, Sir! Did you know my Nan?" It was sometimes difficult to be honest when the reply should so often have been: "Listen, sonny, we ALL knew your Nan!" My inspiration and role model for womanising in those days was a New Addington lad a year older than us - Roger Pigg - known as "Bean". I'd love to hear from him.
   In the interests of accuracy, I studied Social Sciences, specialising in Sociology, at Eliot College, University of Kent at Canterbury. Afterwards, I then took a PGCE at the Institute of Education, University of London. I am an accredited Worker's Companion under the provisions of the Employment relations Act 1999, but I choose not to add WC to BA and PGCE!

Anne Smith (JRHS/JRC teacher/principal 1970-99) adds: I remember finding Geoff Boyce and Pete Goulding's names in the Ruskin Punishment Book when I only knew them as teachers at Ashburton; they were beaten in the second form for some crime that does not exist today - it was either "horseplay" or "tomfoolery"; I forget which. No wonder both went on to become much loved teachers!
   And a happy belated birthday to Charles Smith too! Without him I'd never - I think - have been called "Ma Smut" on first joining the staff!


 Rosemary Crabb reports the death of her brother David Martin (JRGS 1954-61)...

David MartinThere’s a lovely photo on The Mill website of my late brother, David Martin (pictured left), taken on a field trip in 1960/1961.

   Since The Mill seems to be well supported by former JRGS pupils, it may be of interest to some of David’s old school friends to know that, sadly, he passed away earlier this year aged 67, leaving behind three daughters and two granddaughters.

Rosemary Crabb, Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire. November 2011.

Cliff Cummins (JRGS 1956-62) adds:  I remember Dave Martin very well. He was a couple of years older than me, but very kind and friendly, and I have never forgotten that. I believe he was involved in the ACF.
   I have never seen him since leaving school and am so sorry to hear of his untimely passing.
   I offer my best wishes to Dave's sisters and family.

Rosemary Crabb replies: I’m 10 years younger than David but I remember some of his friends from school, the army cadets and the Olive Tree (where he worked in the evenings in his late teens) – Tom Shaw, Ian MacDonald, Duncan Smith, Ralph May, etc. All knocking on now - aren’t we all? - but they remain teenagers in my mind’s eye.
   I don’t immediately recall Cliff but I may well have met him as a child – there always seemed to be a stream of David’s friends around – many more than the names I remember.
   And I have to say that Ruskin Alumni have a very good website.

Ian Macdonald (JRGS 1958-65) adds:  I remember David Martin, who lived near us at Compton Road, Addiscombe. I also know Rosemary and Liz, David's other sister (and a local JP until she retired last year).
   I also knew David from the Army Cadet Force - his dad "Pop" Martin was the shooting-team coach.

Tom Shaw  (JRGS 1957-61) adds:  I am sad to hear of Dave's death. (Yes, to us he was Dave, as opposed to David.) I lost touch with him some time after leaving school but remember him for his great personality and cutting sense of humour. He was a bloody good shot too!
   Duncan Smith was over from New Zealand and I believe he visited him in the summer. My condolences to all.


A full list of archived News/Events Pages can be found here.

The content of this web site is provided for educational purposes only, and is subject to change without notice. The JRGS Alumni Society makes no representation about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the content of this web site, nor the results to be obtained from using any part of such content.

Please send any messages and memorabilia to webmaster
©2024 JRGS Alumni Society. All Rights Reserved. Last revised: 01.01.24