JRGS News Archive Page 64
JRGS Alumni Society

Archived News/Activities

- Page 64 - Oct thru Nov 2010 -

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) recalls Sixties issues of the BBC's Radio Times...

As a confirmed addict to the various BBC Radio websites - anybody familiar with US broadcasting will instantly understand my dilemma - I listen regularly to Brian Matthew's Sounds of The Sixties, which is broadcast live on Radio 2 each Saturday morning and available for seven days on the BBC website. The show offers, in BBC-speak, "The hits of pop's golden years with the Chronicles of the Sixties." Groovy Platters, in other words.
   In recent weeks the Sounds of The Sixties page has contained vintage copies of Radio Times front covers from the Sixties, shown here for your delight and possible delectation. (Incidentally, for many years Matthews hosted that perennial Sixties favourite, Saturday Club.)
   For me, these images brings back a slew of school memories. Click on any thumbnail to view a larger version.

"Radio Times" from the Sixties "Radio Times" from the Sixties "Radio Times" from the Sixties "Radio Times" from the Sixties
"Radio Times" from the Sixties "Radio Times" from the Sixties "Radio Times" from the Sixties
"Radio Times" from the Sixties "Radio Times" from the Sixties "Radio Times" from the Sixties "Radio Times" from the Sixties

©2024 BBC. Courtesy of Radio Times. All rights reserved. These images are reproduced here solely for editorial review.

Mel Lambert, Burbank, CA, USA November 2010 Email

Ian Macdonald (JRGS 1958-65) adds: For your parallel delectation try the Tropical Glen website, which take you to Playa Cofi Jukebox - it's free and has many different music genres/years back to the Forties. You can play the tracks in the background while working  on the computer - as I am doing right now with C&W. There are even featured artists and separately oldie videos.
  What more could a man ask for - replies on a postcard, please. Enjoy.

Mike Beaumont (JRGS 1955-60) adds: I like the Radio Times covers. Simon Dee... whatever happened to him? Keep up the good work.

ML replies: Sadly, former radio and TV disc-jockey/interviewer Simon Dee died last year, aged 74, reportedly of bone Simon Deecancer. According to Wikipedia, Simon Dee - born Cyril Nicholas Henty-Dodd on 28 July, 1935, in Ottawa - auditioned for British Forces Radio while stationed in Baghdad with RAF Intelligence as part of his national service. In 1964 he joined the pirate radio ship Radio Caroline; his was the first live voice to be heard on the station. He was given a job on the BBC Light Programme in 1965, introducing a late-night show on Saturdays. After Radio 1 opened in 1967, he introduced the Monday edition of Midday Spin and sometimes presented Top of the Pops on BBC Television. The same year Dee, pictured right, began his early-evening chat show Dee Time on BBC-TV. He had cameo roles in several films, including The Italian Job and Doctor in Trouble.
    Due to a disagreement between Dee and the BBC over salary demands, in 1969 he left the corporation. Subsequently, he was offered a two-year contract with London Weekend and began a new series in early 1970. But, because of creative differences, LWT terminated his contract after only a few months.
   Hence started a sad decline. Having alienated both the BBC and ITV, Dee virtually disappeared from the airwaves. He signed on for unemployment benefit at the Fulham Labour Exchange, eventually taking a job as a bus driver. He also appeared in court, and in 1974 served 28 days in Pentonville prison for non-payment of rates on his former Chelsea home. In the late Seventies, he was signed to appear on Reading-based Radio 210, but never made it to air. In the late Eighties, he hosted Sounds of the 60s on Radio 2.
   At the time of his death in 2009, Mark Linsey, BBC Controller of Entertainment Commissioning, said of Dee: "Simon was an iconic figure within the entertainment industry and shaped the face of entertainment chat shows in the 1960s and was one of the leading presenters of the time."
   Also see this Daily Telegraph obituary.

Tony Almond (John Newnham 1957-61) adds: Many thanks for the nostalgic memories generated by the Radio Times covers. Did RT ever cost only 5d an issue? Strewth, it's £1.30 now!


 Martin Preuveneers (JRGS 1958-65) reports on an Alumni Gathering in England...

During a recent trip to London, I met up with several JRGS Alumni at The Magpie pub in Sunbury-on-Thames.

London Reunion - November, 2010

Pictured here are (left-to-right): Mike Balme (JRGS 1958-64), myself, Peter Curtis (JRGS 1957-62), John Turner (JRGS 1958-65) and Bob Hawkins (JRGS 1958-64). Click on the thumbnail to view a larger version.

Martin Preuveneers, Alameda, San Francisco, CA November 2010 Email.


 Geoff van Beek/Downer (JRGS 1962-69) reports on a recent book project...

As a result of The Mill website, Gary Day–Ellison (JRGS 1962-69) and I have struck up a remarkable friendship – he and I were in 5G during 1967/68 more. My wife and I visited Gary and his wife, the illustrator Sandy Nightingale, and are due to visit them in Devon again for a Dickensian Christmas.
   Recently, Gary was asked to design and art direct a major new illustrated book: The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films by Doug Adams, showcasing the work of the film's composer, Howard Shore.
   The official UK publication day took place at Chappell of Bond Street in late-September, where crowds of Tolkien Fans had come to hear the authors discuss the project and have their books signed. Doug recognized Gary and called him to the front for introduction and a spontaneous round of applause from the people that had packed themselves into the premises. Gary was asked to speak about his design approach, and then invited to join Adams and Shore signing books for happy fans.
   To celebrate the launch of the new book, a very special spectacle followed the next evening in front of a sell-out audience at The Royal Albert Hall. The London Philharmonic Orchestra, plus a choir of some 250, performed the full score to The Return of the King, with the film shown on a huge screen backdrop.
   The fact that they sought out (and tracked down!) Gary for such a prestigious project is an amazing achievement that he himself is too modest to report to The Mill. You can read Gary's account of this and other professional exploits here - there is also a link to his website.
   I know that his teacher at JRGS, Mr. "Vic" Gee – as well as his sixth-form art room contemporaries – would be very proud of him. This one certainly is!

New "The Music of the Lord of The Rings" book by Doug Adams Book signing of  "The Music of the Lord of The Rings" at Chapells

The new book by Doug Adams.

Book signing at Chappell of Bond Street: Adams, Shore and Day-Ellison.

Royal Albert Hall, with London Philharmonic Orchestra

Official launch at Royal Albert Hall, London, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra playing
music live during a full screening of
The Return of the King, with conductor Ludwig Wicki.

Gary Day-Ellison during  film screening at Royal Albert Hall

Gary Day-Ellison standing in the Royal Albert Hall with the film-projection screen in the background.

Geoffrey C. van Beek, Rotterdam, Holland, November 2010 Email


 Paul Graham (JRGS 1959-66) recalls school teacher Reginald Whellock...

Further to the recent report from the Second Ruskin Reunion, in which Tom and Ian told us of the surprise visit by former JRGS biology teacher Reginald Whellock, I have looked further into his career. Reginald B. Whellock was born in September 1914 in Croydon, Surrey, the son of Harry Samuel Whellock, shipping clerk and engineer, born 2 May 1882, in Bermondsey, south London. His mother was Minnie Charlotte née Baldwin, born 12 Jan 1886 in East Malling, Kent, and later a housemaid in Upper Norwood, Lambeth, south London. His parents married in Bromley in 1913. His paternal grandfather was Henry Whellock; many of his direct Whellock ancestors were River Thames lightermen.
   Mr. Whellock lived at Cranbrook Road, Thornton Heath. As a child he attended Ingram Elementary School, Thornton Heath, and then Selhurst School from 1926 to 1932, before obtaining a BSc at University College, London. In 1936 he was appointed as biology teacher at King James VI Grammar School, Knaresborough, Yorkshire, and, aside from WW2 service in the Royal Navy from 1940 to 1945, taught there until 1946.
  He married Doreen T. Kitching in Knaresborough, Yorkshire, in 1942; the couple had two children: Pauline M Whellock, born 1946, in Knaresborough, Yorkshire; and John G Whellock, born 1947 in Croydon.
   Mr. Whellock joined John Ruskin School in September 1946, as Head of Biology, living in Shirley, and later in Sanderstead. He also ran the Film Society. He is mentioned in two issues of the school magazine: March 1947 (page 2) and December 1956 (page 7).
   He left JRGS in July 1956 to join Wandsworth Comprehensive School, London, as Head of Science, and was later appointed head teacher of the McEntee Technical High School in Walthamstow, London. In September 1967, he was appointed head teacher of the Greenshaw Comprehensive School, Sutton, London, and retired in 1979.
   He also had a career as examiner and writer of biology textbooks.
   A fascinating interview with Mr. Whellock appears within a ZIP file accessible from the Old Croydonians website.
   Our thanks to Steve Palmer, former student at Selhurst Grammar School for Boys, and now webmaster for TheOld.Croydonians.org.uk, for permission to link to the file.

Paul Graham, Iver, Bucks, October 2010 Email.

ML adds: Within his fascinating interview, Mr. Whellock writes: "In 1946 a job came up at John Ruskin in Tamworth Road, which was by then a grammar school. We moved into a house in Shirley in January 1947, near St John’s Church. I used to cycle because you couldn’t buy a car in those days unless you had a reason for it, or needed it for business. I eventually got a second-hand Ford from the owner of the Shirley Poppy.
   "At Ruskin I was Head of Biology and I was there for 10 years down in Tamworth Road. Then they moved up to Shirley, by the windmill near Shirley Hills. The architect designed the Biology Department and the garden and the pond all around my requirements, whereas in Tamworth Road I was in a pre-fab. I had a good time there. I wrote my text book, which was a great success.
   "In September 1946 when I started in Croydon I had a phone call from Dr Boyd of Croydon Polytechnic. Would I teach the equivalent of A-Level in Biology or Zoology? So I taught there two nights as week for 17 years.
   "In 1946 I saw an advert for Matric Examiners in Biology, London University. The Chief Examiner turned out to be one of my chief friends from University, Alan Dale. I decided to write my book: General Biology. I wrote it for my pupils at Ruskin. One day a book traveller from John Murray turned up, and he noticed this and said could he take it and see if they were interested? They called me to John Murray and said very sorry, we’ve decided there are too many biology books in our list at the moment. I daren’t go to Alan Dale’s publisher, Heinemann, because he was there. I was competing with him, I tried English Universities Press. I got a call up to see this young fellow, about 24 he was, tall blond fellow, little desk in the corner of a big office. He said, “I’m sorry we can’t publish this” and sent me a letter of rejection – and his name was David Attenborough. I met Attenborough many years later at a dinner at the Royal Society rooms and he apologised to me! Then a traveller came from Harraps and they published it.
   "One of the French masters used to deliver cars at weekends for the Americans; Hillman Minxes to Paris, Berlin, Warsaw, Madrid. The Americans would come over, run them for six weeks and then they had to be brought back and sold, second-hand, in England - and he had to find drivers to do it. I went to Paris and brought one back.
   "When I left Ruskin I went to Wandsworth Comprehensive School – everyone told me I’d committed professional suicide by going to a Comprehensive School. I was Head of Science - I had 21 teachers, or lecturers, six lab assistants and 13 labs/lecture rooms."


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