JRGS News Archive Page 65
JRGS Alumni Society

Archived News/Activities

- Page 65 - Jan thru Mar 2011 -

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.

 Mike Etheridge (JRGS 1963-65) reviews a new book about our Summer Game...

"Streatham and The Summer Game" by Colin HuttonFormer JRGS pupils who played for Streatham cricket club - and other JRGS Alumni members - may be interested in a new book written about cricket in Streatham. The following summary of Streatham and The Summer Game, written by Colin Hutton, was sent to me by John W. Brown of The Local History Committee, The Streatham Society; included below is a short historical extract.

   John Brown writes: "I am a member of the Local history Committee of the Streatham Society. Colin Hutton has advised me of your interest in his book Streatham and The Summer Game - A History of Cricket in Streatham 1731-2010 and the Streatham Cricket Club.
   "As you are aware you and your brother are mentioned in the book and there is a picture of Ron in a 1959 team photo. There are a number of other team photos of his era featured in the book but the names of the players are not given as they are unknown. Any help you or Ron can provide in helping us identify these players would be very much appreciated.
   "Unfortunately, because of the cost of the book we only have a very limited number of copies for review purposes which have been sent to the major Cricket Magazines.
   "However, I have much pleasure in providing details of the book below and would be most grateful for any publicity you can give to this title on the JRGS website and among any former members of the club with whom you may still come into contact."

   The image shown below dates from 1885; click on the thumbnail to access a larger version.

Ilustration from "Streatham and The Summer Game" by Colin Hutton

Streatham and The Summer Game
A History of cricket in Streatham 1731-2010 and The Streatham Cricket Club
by Colin Hutton

Cricket has been a popular game in the town since at least 1731 when a local Streatham side challenged Clapham to a game on Streatham Common with a prize purse for the winner of 11 guineas (£11.55p).
   George Williams, the licensee of the White Lion pub, captained the side and also provided refreshments at matches which were attended by his "flying squadron of Red Caps".
   On Monday 5th May 1806 the Streatham Cricket Club was formed at the Horse and Groom public House. Membership was originally restricted to 40 players, who each paid an annual subscription of five guineas (£5.25), thus ensuring that the exclusivity of the group would be limited to the gentry who could afford the membership fee.
   However, those poorer members of the parish were still able to enjoy the game with a number of local teams being formed by the less affluent residents of the area.
   In January 1807 a further meeting was held at the London Tavern to revise the rules of the Streatham Cricket Club and iron out some problems which occurred during its first season. It would seem that some of the players had been coming late to the crease as it was decided that those members attending the game after "Half-past Three o'clock by the President's Watch, shall forfeit Half a Crown (12½p)." Other members had adopted a colourful presence before the wicket leading to the introduction of Rule 15 which states "Any Gentleman playing in coloured Jackets, Breeches, or Pantaloons, shall be fined Half a Crown; Nankeen or White may be worn at pleasure." To encourage each player to give of their best, the club decided that each member on the losing side should pay two shillings (10p) into the hands of the Secretary for every game lost. No mention is made as to what purpose the money accruing from fines should be put, but needless to say the preparation of the pitch and the refreshment of the players would have been considered worthy causes.
   For almost 80 years the club played their home fixtures on Streatham Common, where the wicket was roped off to protect the surface of the pitch from the public. The club subsequently moved to their own ground, which occupied a site now covered by Gracefield Gardens, named to commemorate the great cricketer W. G. Grace, who played there on a number of occasion at the turn of the 20th century. After the First World war the club moved to a new ground it shared with the Streatham Rugby Football Club at the rear of 159 Brigstock Road in Thornton Heath, which today is the home ground of the Streatham and Croydon Rugby Club.
   Over the past 40 years Streatham CC merged with a number of local sides, amalgamating with the Streatham Wanderers CC in 1973, the Old Hollingtonians CC in 1977 and lastly with the Marlborough (1870) CC in 2003, since when the club has been known as The Streatham and Marlborough Cricket Club with its home ground at Cox's Walk, Dulwich Common.
   Many members of the Streatham Cricket Club have played for Surrey, including Kingsmill James Key, who captained the Surrey County XI from 1894-99. Another member of the Streatham Club, the great sportsman C. B. Fry, was so admired internationally that he was invited to become the King of Albania, an offer he politely declined. Streatham CC can also count a former Prime Minister among its past players, as John Major played a couple of games for the Streatham Colts in 1960.
   Streatham and the Summer Game is profusely illustrated with over 230 old photographs and illustrations, many of which show players in late Victorian and Edwardian Streatham.

ISBN 978 1 873520 79 6 | 148 pages with 230 illustrations and three maps | Published by The Streatham Society | Priced at £15, plus £1.25 postage and packing from The Streatham Society, 125 Thornlaw Road, West Norwood, London SE27 OSQ. Cheques should be made payable to The Streatham Society.

The JRGS pupils I remember who played for Streatham Cricket club in the Colts and Senior teams are as follows:

    • Steve Kember (JRGS 1959-63)
    • Bob Houghton (JRGS 1964-66)
    • Martin Loveday (JRGS 1959-66)
    • Colin Powis (JRGS 195x-6x)
    • David Guscott (JRGS 1963-65)
    • Colin Bateman  (JRGS 1957-63)

   There may have been other JRGS cricketers from different eras that also played for Streatham without my knowledge.
   I am quite pleased that the book has been written and would suggest that it is an important historical document as it reflects not only on the game of cricket but the local community in the past. Milton Wilds, a former head teacher in Perth, Australia, was surprised to read that cricket in Streatham commenced before the Captain Cook’s discovery of Botany Bay and the establishment of the white community in Australia.
   On the front cover photographs I recognize the old wooden pavilion that was demolished when a new stand was built at the Brigstock/Frant Road ground. I also recognize the score box that was constructed by my brother Ron and his friend Del Dredge, an architect who also designed the building.
   My earliest recollections of the Brigstock Road ground are visits with my twin brother Peter when we were about four years of age. Our mother would often bake cakes on a Sunday morning to take to the cricket ground where we would watch Ron play in the Sunday "A" cricket team. After the matches my twin brother and I would be treated to glasses of Ginger Beer whilst Ron would spend time in the club’s bar, from which we were excluded.
   The most enjoyable games we watched were the matches against the Lord’s Taverners, charity events attended by entertainment stars. It was in the old wooden pavilion where on a Lord's Taverners event that my twin brother and I were introduced to and shook hands with the Bedser Twins, Alec and Eric, both Surrey and England cricketers.
   I still have an autograph book which was signed at a later Lord's Taverners event in about 1957 by the following (some signatures I cannot read):
    • Tony Fayne and David Evans - impressionists.
    • Eric Sykes
    • Tony Britton- actor
    • Humphrey Lestock (from Whirligig - children’s TV)
    • Ian Scott Brown (Surrey CC secretary)
    • L Shackleton

   I had no idea that former prime minister John Major had played for the Colts team in the Sixties, and was not aware of W. G. Grace playing at the Streatham cricket ground, presumably when it located in Brigstock /Frant Road in Thornton Heath where Streatham Croydon Rugby Club are the sole users. That said, Croydon Korfball Club has played summer tournaments there in recent years.
   W. G. Grace is pictured in the center of this image taken in 1902at the Streatham Cricket Club ground in Pendennis Road, Streatham. The club moved to Frant Road, Thornton Heath, after the First World War. Click on the thumbnail to access a larger version.

Ilustration from "Streatham and The Summer Game" by Colin Hutton

   I was certainly aware when I worked for Lewisham Architects that W. G. Grace had played cricket at grounds located in Catford, which is not surprising since his family lived in Mottingham after moving from the Bristol area where W. G. was born. There is an extensive cricket pavilion now used as a children’s crèche located on the site of Catford County Primary School in Penerley Road, Catford. The school was built on what must have been an extensive cricket pitch where I understand W. G. played in the past. In 1975, when I joined Lewisham Council, we played our inter-departmental cricket games on the Council’s sports ground at Marvels Lane, Mottingham, another ground where it was reputed that W. G. had played in past and, of course, was very near to where he lived.

   Sadly, in 1979 it was decided to build over 300 council houses on the site and I was given the job to carry out the electrical design. The council architect was Robert Owen, and John Laing and Partners were the builders. After the houses and flats were built a community centre was constructed on the remaining land and this was later called the ‘W. G. Grace Community Centre’. Eventually, the management of the building was taken over by Lewisham Housing and I received a phone call from a senior manager who wanted some minor extensions to the building’s security system to be added.
   Following agreement on these issues she then explained to me about some bizarre happenings at the premises. Two female cleaning staff had complained of hearing tapping noises in the hall of the building as if someone was pacing about and tapping a cricket bat on the floor, when in fact there was nobody in the hall (WG?). Also when they cleaned the hall they had sensations they had been grabbed from behind, again when there was nobody else in the hall. Apparently none of this happened if there were men in the building! In the end, the cleaners decided when they entered the building to lock the entrance door behind them before they started work. They also agreed to always acknowledge each other if they were passing whilst cleaning the building’s rooms which were located off an L-shaped corridor.

   On one specific evening one of the cleaners (Cathy Webb) complained that her colleague had passed her without saying anything, but her colleague claimed she had not passed her! It was at this stage the cleaners decided to involve the senior housing officer in the proceedings. The senior officer explained to me that she was invited over after dark into the kitchen of the building by the cleaners, where they made themselves coffee. After a short while the shutter between the kitchen and the hall started to rattle violently even though there were no windows or doors open, so the three women ran out of the premises!
   Some investigations of the site were subsequently made at the Hornimans Museum in Forest Hill and it was discovered that in the Middle Ages 11 women were murdered on the site. The building was later exorcised and I understood some years later there had not been any further problems.
   I trust this will be the only ghost come poltergeist story on the JRGS website unless we agree to haunt the houses on our old school site in about 50 years? I would add that I did not witness or experience any of the above mentioned happenings myself.
   These illustrations are courtesy of The Streatham Society. All rights reserved.

Mike Etheridge, Sanderstead, Surrey, March 2011 Email.


 Steve Saunders (JRGS 1968-75) recalls the 1976 school production of Salad Days...

As mentioned in a recent contribution from Dave Preston (JRGS 1968-75), Salad Days was produced in the summer holidays of 1976, and featured most of the main cast members of the previous year's successful Oklahoma! stage show.
   The music master, Mr. Vernon Rees, managed to get permission for a motley collection of us to use the school stage and hall during this time - even though most of us were no longer pupils. Some of the cast had started organising the show during the summer term, when other members were away finishing their first year at university. (That explains the last-minute Cast Changes sheet, which shows that I played The Tramp, substituting for Mr. Rees.)

   Below is a collection of images from that 1976 performance of Salad Days. Click on the thumbnail to view a larger version.

   Jeanne Perrett is the girl on the phone (playing "Lady Raeburn"), but she didn't attend JRGS/HS - I think she was a friend of Vernon Rees. So too was Peter Leach ("The Inspector") in the bottom photo.

   The girl with the Gussett Creations bag (with "PC Boot") and in the family scene near the bottom is, I believe, Lindsay Medhurst (playing "Aunt Pru" and "Rowena"). The father with the FT is Richard Mayer ("Timothy's Father"). The hairdresser and mum with the teapot is Joanna Dunn (playing several parts, including "Timothy's Mother," "Heloise," "Bishop" and "Anthea"). The girl at bottom left could be Trudi Kimish (playing "Fiona," and "Assistant"). Can anybody help identify other cast members?

Salad Days- Andrew Warner as "PC Boot" Salad Days -  Lindsay Medhurst as "Aunt Pru" Salad Days -  Jeanne Perrett as "Timothy's Mother" Salad Days - Chris Aston as "Uncle Zed"

Andrew Warner
- "PC Boot"

 Lindsay Medhurst
- "Aunt Pru"

 Seated: Jeanne Perrett - "Timothy's Mother"

Chris Aston
- "Uncle Zed"

Salad Days - Nigel Balm and Paula Cook Salad Days - Nigel Balm and Paula Cook

Nigel Balm and Paula Cook - "Timothy" & "Jane"

Nigel Balm and Paula Cook - "Timothy" & "Jane"

Salad Days - Julian Chenery and Chris Aston

Salad Days - Richard Mayer as "Timothy's Father"

Julian Chenery and Chris Aston - "Fosdyke" & "Uncle Zed"

 Right: Richard Mayer - "Timothy's Father"
Salad Days - Trudi Kimish as"Fiona"

Salad Days - Peter Leach as "The Inspector"

 Left: Trudi Kimish - "Fiona"

 Peter Leach - "The Inspector" - with Andrew Warner

And here are some additional black and white images from the 1976 production of Salad Days. Again, can anybody help identify cast members? Click on any thumbnail to view a larger version.

Salad Days - TBA Salad Days - TBA  Chris Aston - "Uncle Zed"



 Chris Aston - "Uncle Zed"

Jeanne Perret - "Lady Raeburn" Jeanne Perret - "Lady Raeburn" Salad Days - TBA Salad Days - TBA

Jeanne Perrett
- "Lady Raeburn"

Jeanne Perrett
- "Lady Raeburn"



Left: Andrew Warner - "PC Boot" Andrew Warner ("PC Boot") with Peter Leach ("The Inspector")

Left: Andrew Warner - "PC Boot"

Andrew Warner ("PC Boot") with
Peter Leach ("The Inspector")

Steve Saunders, Twickenham, Middlesex, March 2011 Email.

Anne Smith (JRHS/JRC teacher/principal 1970-99) adds: These images certainly bring back memories! I taught Julian Chenery and Richard Mayer, and remember Paula Cook and Joanna Dunn. Hey ho!

Jeanne Perrett (JRHS 1974-75) adds: Jeanne Perrett - 2010I have just seen the wonderful photos of Salad Days - brilliant!!!
   Actually I was at JR, but only for a very short time to re-take an A-Level. I was also in a production of Oklahoma! there - also great fun; I was Aunt Eller in that.
   I think Salad Days happened after I had left and, as suspected, at Vernon Rees' request. He wasn't actually a "friend" as such but since he had done Oklahoma! I knew him from that production. Salad Days was a very happy production - these images have brought back great memories. I still often sing to myself the song "We're looking for a piano... A piano? Yes, a piano". PLAY MP3 File

ML adds: I located Jeanne Perrett (pictured right) after a Google search of the internet, and an email to her literary agents. As I discovered, Jeanne has a BA Hons degree in English Literature from the University of Sussex, and has taught English for over 25 years. She is also the author of several international course books for children, as well as EFL material. Currently, Jeanne lives in Greece with her husband and their four children.
   As coincidence would have it, in 1976 there was West End production of Salad Days, lyrics by Dorothy Reynolds and music by Julian Slade, at the Duke of York's Theatre, London, starring Elizabeth Seal and Sheila Steafel.
   Below is a copy of the program from the John Ruskin Dramatics production of Salad Days, courtesy of David Preston (JRGS 1968-75). Click on any thumbnails to view larger versions. And here for a combined PDF.


JRGS "Salad Days" program JRGS "Salad Days" program JRGS "Salad Days" program JRGS "Salad Days" program JRGS "Salad Days" program - last-minute changes

Steve Saunders adds: I have located a copy of the program to the 1975 production of Oklahoma! Click on any thumbnail to view larger versions. And here for a combined PDF.

JRHS "Oklahoma!" program JRHS "Oklahoma!" program JRHS "Oklahoma!" program JRHS "Oklahoma!" program

I recall that we did a matinee for the lower school, who came over from the old Shirley Secondary site, and three evening performances. I was "Jud Fry", the (terribly misunderstood) baddie. He only wanted to be loved. Julian  Chenery as "Curley" started the show wandering from the back of the school hall singing "Oh What a Beautiful Morning'. (Julian now runs a travelling drama company called Shakespeare for Kidz. Maybe he has more memories.) Jeanne Perret played "Aunt Eller".
   The handguns were Sports Department's starting pistols. The woodwork master, Mr. Smith, fashioned wooden Colt 45 dummies that slotted over the top of the pistols. Being ever-so-mature Upper Sixth Formers, we were allowed to carry the guns around during the performance until a Fourth Former grabbed one backstage, and it went off. Miss Plummer, the girls' sports mistress (I think), promptly took possession of all the guns and handed them out to actors just before their scene.
   Graham Bignall (who played "Will Parker") and I used to sing at the Croydon Operatic & Dramatic Association (CODA) in Purley during our Sixth Form years. Always a bit of a showman, Graham is now running a recycling company.
   I have no photos this time, I'm afraid. During this production, I was working on Saturdays on the Boot's photography desk in the Whitgift Centre, saving up for my first SLR: the wonderful Zenith-B. It was built like its Soviet compatriot, the T-34 tank (and weighed about the same). An absolute bargain at £35, including camera case. I still have it, and it works! Sadly my five-year-old Canon died a year ago; it's now cheaper to buy a replacement rather than repair it.


 John Graney (1962-67) reports the sad death of Eric Webster in New Zealand...

Eric_WebsterOn 2nd Feb 2011 Eric Webster (JRGS 1962-67) died in a tragic accident on his land in Aongatete, New Zealand. He was my friend for more than 55 years. We both came from New Addington and started at Castle Hill Infants School on the same day. We went through Castle Hill Juniors and JRGS in the same class. We played up, played the fool and we laughed and laughed and laughed usually at the silliest things (like the sounds of words spelled backwards). 1965 image.

   Neither of us excelled at school. I left without applying to join the Sixth Form. Bill, as I have always called him - and can't remember why - left the Lower VI after only two terms.

   We both served as officers in the forces. I was a lieutenant RN an a short service commission and he finished an illustrious career in the RAF as a Wing Commander having joined in the ranks. After coming off flying duties Eric specialised in Air Traffic control and at one time was the manager of the Red Arrows aerobatic team.

   We were both at the 2009 Reunion, where Eric missed out on the prize for Furthest Travelled Alumnus because we were in the yard quaffing ale and yarning with Danny Moore (JRGS 1966-67) when it was announced.

John Graney, Brading, Isle of Wight. February 2011 Email

ML adds: Eric's youngest son Robert Webster has provided further details of the farming accident: More | More


 John Byford (JRGS 1959-66) catches up with the football careers of four Alumni...

A quartet of former John Ruskin Grammar School boys have been in the football news recently.

   Steve Kember (JRGS 1960-65) was appointed Chief Scout of Crystal Palace Football Club in December 2010. He'd been working in a part time scouting capacity for the club for several years.

   And Steve has been joined at Selhurst Park by Lennie Lawrence (JRGS 1959-66), who was appointed Assistant Manager in January 2011. Lennie Lawrence is one of a select few managers to have managed over 1,000 games.

   Not such good news for Roy Hodgson (JRGS 1958-65), who parted company with Liverpool Football Club on 8th January 2011 after a less than successful period as manager.

   And the current Indian team manager, Bob Houghton, is an old JRGS schoolboy - he came to Ruskin for A-Levels, either 1963 to 65 or 1964 to 66. There is more about Bob's career on Wikipedia. If I remember correctly, it was Bob that recommended Roy Hodgson for a coaching role in Sweden.

   Crystal Palace FC's new owners have also announced plans to move back to Crystal Palace from Selhurst Park, which was the club's original home when it was formed in 1905. The team played at Selhurst Park until the outbreak of World War One in 1914, and have been there since 1924.

   At the start of WW1, the club was evicted by the government - to make way for the Admiralty - and Palace was offered several locations, eventually electing to play war-time matches at the Herne Hill Stadium, then the home to West Norwood FC. Much better known as a cycling track, Herne Hill Velodrome is still in existence, although threatened with closure by its landlord, the Dulwich Estate.

   In 1917 CPFC moved to The Nest, when the previous occupants, Croydon Common, folded. Palace played there until 1924, during which time they won the Division 3 championship in its inaugural season (1920/21).

John Byford, Camberwell, London, January 2011 Email.

Mike Etheridge (JRGS 1963-65) adds: Just to confirm that Bob Houghton joined JRGS from Ashburton school in 1964. He was at Whitehorse Manor Junior School at the same time as me, but a year younger. He played in our school football and cricket teams a year early in 1957/58, and then probably captained both teams a year later.
   Bob was a great character and had very supportive parents. I can remember visiting his house in South Norwood with my twin brother to practice cricket in his garden. Bob had a proper cricket net with concrete base, which was excellent.

   Here are two images taken at Whitehorse Manor Junior School of the 1958 football and cricket teams. Click on either thumbnail to view a larger version.
   In the football photo, Bob Houghton is second on the left in the middle row, with me behind on the left, and Alan Durr (JRGS 1963-65) behind on the right.
   In the cricket-team photo, Bob Houghton is sitting on the extreme right of the front row, with me behind on the left. Behind on the right is former Dulwich College pupil and Harley Street  surgeon Dr. Peter Gravett, our scorer. This was the year we won the Foss Cup at Addiscombe Cricket Club.

Whitehorse School Football Team - 1958
Whitehorse Manor Junior School Football Team - 1958
Whitehorse School Cricket Team - 1958
Whitehorse Manor Junior School Cricket Team - 1958

John Byford replies: Cracking photographs, Mike. I haven't seen one of those old footballs for years. They were awful when wet; head the ball and you'd be out cold for a minute or three.


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