Geoff van Beek/Downer (JRGS 1962-69) displays his considerable artistic talents...
No schoolboy magazine, comic or even
website, is complete without cartoons....
A note about the Mr. Lowe caricature: if
you say his first name quickly, it even sounds like a product from the
British Rubber Co. Ltd.
Geoffrey C. van Beek, Rotterdam, Holland, January 2010 Email.
Mike Etheridge (JRGS 1963-65) adds:
Excellent cartoons from Geoff, the sort of thing my youngest son has
done in the recent past at Riddlesdown School by request.
Mike Marsh (JRGS 1949-55) adds:
With regard to "Puncher" Pearce's blackboard:
John Byford (JRGS 1959-66) reports the sad death of Michael Gibbs...
Michael Gibbs (JRGS 1960-67), died at home in Amsterdam
on December 23rd, 2009, aged 60, after a long illness. Michael
- pictured left in 2005 - grew up in New Addington, attended Fairchildes Primary School
followed by seven years at John Ruskin Grammar School. He went
on to become a leading European sound poet, an eloquent writer
on digital art, an accomplished translator from Dutch into
English and an important figure in European small press
publishing. He was also a very good person who will be deeply
missed by his family, and friends throughout the world.
Life after JRGS
Michael read English and American Literature at the University
of Warwick. He found it stimulating, not only for the heated
differences of opinion with his English tutor - one Germaine
Greer - but also for the contact he had with other visionary
poets. During his time at Warwick Michael started Kontexts,
a magazine of visual and concrete poetry. First published in
1969, a total of 10 issues were published until 1977, by which
time Michael had moved to the Netherlands and was publishing
other poets. Realistic as to the potential difficulties of being
able to live solely on income from writing and publishing, he
quickly learnt Dutch, initially teaching English as a foreign
language and becoming an accomplished translator.
John Byford, Camberwell, London, January 2010 Email
Bob Wane (JRGS 1945-53) seeks news of former schoolmates Rigden & Smithers...
It is somewhat nostalgic to read
the various contributions from Alumni old and new. Pity we
cannot get more "old" contributors. I have recommended the site
to some of my old school chums, but they seem unwilling to take
it further. C'est la vie!
Bob Wane, Bedford, Beds January 2010 Email
Ernie Clarke (JRCS 1935-39) adds:
I can sympathise with Bob Wane. I've been waiting for some time for
just a word from any pre-WW2 students - but nothing comes!! So I'm
nearly 86 now - but I can still hope.
Tony Childs (JRGS 1947-53) adds:
I agree it would be nice to hear from some more of our (pre-Windmill)
Bob Wane replies: Great to hear from you and thank you very much for your response. I thought I was the only oldie left! Yes, it would be great to hear from some others and I would include Alan "Nunc" Webster to the list.
Paul Graham (JRGS 1959-66) unearths a vintage article about Roy Hodgson...
recently came across an old article on Roy Hodgson (JRGS
1958-65), dating from 1996, but of interest in view of his
current success with Fulham FC, and also because it has a fair
bit about John Ruskin school.
Paul Graham, Iver, Bucks, January 2010 Email
David Preston (JRGS 1968-75) unearths a music program and his school reports...
I have discovered a number of old
documents from my days at JRGS, including this program for the John
Ruskin Dramatics production of Salad Days, which includes
a sheet of last-minute cast changes for the night I went.
ML adds: Steve Saunders (JRGS 1968-75), who appeared as The Tramp, reports that the production was staged in the summer holidays of 1976, the year after he and Dave Preston left the school. Producer was Mr. Vernon Rees.
I have also unearthed copies of my various school reports from the first year/1969 through my fifth year/1973. I can't decipher a lot of the signatures. I seem to have started quite well, but went down hill until the 5th form O-levels. Click on any thumbnail to view a larger version. And here for a combined PDF.
David Preston, Brisbane, Australia. January 2010 Email
Peter Hurn (JRGS 1967-73) adds:
I had a look at the Salad Days programme to see whose names I
recognised. I left in 1973, and I can recognise one name from my year -
Julian Chenery - and one from the year below: Peter Ward.
Which would suggest this production was held after I left - i.e. in 1974
Anne Smith (JRHS/JRC teacher/principal 1970-99) reports an MBE for John Rowlands...
John Rowlands, who retired from
John Ruskin in July 2009 after 43 years service, was awarded an MBE in
the recent Queen's New Years Honours List. The citation read: "John Rowlands,
Economics Teacher, John Ruskin Sixth Form College, Croydon, London. For
services to Education." An ex-pupil master-minded the award.
Anne Smith, Croydon, Surrey December 2009 Email
Roger Adcock (JRGS 1963-69) adds: The Alumni might also like to see news reports of John Rowlands' MBE in The Croydon Guardian and TimePlan websites. John was one of three teachers to be included on this year's New Year Honours List.
David Scovell (JRGS 1967-74)
adds: John Rowlands was the best teacher I ever had. He
taught me in Commerce to O-Level and Economics to A-Level. It was the
most useful education that I could have had in later life and it was
enjoyable to go to lessons. When there was an issue he was the only
teacher that I could talk to.
Graham Donaldson (JRGS 1962-69)
adds: In case the Alumni haven't seen it, there was quite a
prominent article about Mr. R's MBE in a recent Croydon Advertiser,
John Heath (JRGS 1969-71) adds:
John taught me "A"-Level economics from 1969 to 1971.
Mel Lambert (JRGS 1959-65) attends an Alumni Meeting in Coombe Gardens...
During a whirlwind visit to England to
celebrate the holidays with my family, I managed to squeeze in a trip to
Croydon to meet up with some members of The JRGS Alumni. Our chosen
venue was Coombe Lodge, not far from the former JRGS school location on
Upper Shirley Road; the discussions ranged wide and far, encompassing
the current status of secondary education, the fate of the former school
premises, and our hopes for the future.
Mel Lambert, Burbank, CA, USA, December 2009 Email
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