Derek Peasey (JRGS teacher 1956-59) recalls a visit from Richard Baker...
to the July 1957 JRGS
School Magazine that Paul Graham (JRGS 1959-66) scanned for the
website, mention of Richard Baker, BBC-TV newsreader, pictured left,
jogged my memory.
ML adds: Richard Baker presented the very first BBC-TV news bulletin on 5th July 1954, behind a filmed view of Nelson's Column. [more]
Derek Peasey, Stevenage, Herts, June 2007 Email
Peter Wilson (JRGS 1956-63) recalls playing Second Witch in "The Scottish Play"...
Further to the
Dramatic Society programmes for the 1960 production of
William Shakespeare's Macbeth and the 1961 production of
Nikolai Gogol's The Government Inspector that Paul Winter
(JRGS 1959-62) scanned for the site, there I am - Second Witch
in "The Scottish Play," a part I remember well. Great fun!
Peter Wilson, Guernsey, Chanel Islands, June 2007 Email
John Byford (JRGS
1959-66) adds: Amongst the lights, properties and stage
staff list on the dramatic society programmes for The
Government Inspector and Macbeth is one "J Reid".
This is none another than Jamie Reid, famous for his
design of the sleeve for the Sex Pistols first album.
Maurice Whitfield (JRGS 1959-66) recalls school life in the early-Sixties...
a few of us came to JRGS from Gilbert Scott Primary, where my
strongest memory is of the day my baby-boomer size class of 44
taken outside to watch an eclipse of the sun. I also recall
watered-down ink in inkwells, morning milk and an egg-and-spoon
race on a stifling day. The year, I believe, was 1954 (we were
probably aged six or seven). In the photograph shown
left, in addition to Andrew Robertson and Derek
Charlewood, I have remembered another face of a fellow
Alumni. Second row down, fourth from right is Peter Baynes.
I am to be found second row up, second from left. Click on the
thumbnail to view a larger version.
Memories of Mr. Des May, Mr.
"Vic" Gee and Mr. "Fred" Field
"Gentlemen, it has come to my attention that homosexuality, yes, homosexuality, has become rampant, I say RAMPANT, in the sixth form!" "Joe" pronounced in an assembly once, with John George camping it up like a demented Kenneth Williams at the massive school organ, which he played brilliantly. "Ooh, hark at her!" the sixth form responded as one! Any news of John from anybody?
Demolition of the school buildings in the early-Nineties
A week or two before demolition I was passing [the Upper Shirley Road site] so I sneaked a look inside a vacant John Ruskin School. I hadn’t been near for 20 years. Incredibly, it had remained pretty much unchanged despite its re-invention as a Comprehensive and, incredibly, there was that same old epidiascope and those torn black window blinds in the Geography Room.
Waves of nostalgia flowed thick and fast. It was like time travel! The desks were the same! The rooms were the same. But everything was smaller than I remembered. There was the sixth-form corridor, and where Mr. Maggs with his hook held back the hungry dinner queue. The quadrangle and music room.
I sensed someone’s heavy breathing behind me, in through the mouth, out through the nose. Oh no, it’s "Rhino," I thought.
"What do you want, mate?" It wasn't "Rhino" ("I'll have you know, boy, I taught Dixie Dean to drive a jeep!"). It was a workman. I explained my presence, but was made unwelcome and escorted out. Health and Safety you see.
As I left, I soaked in in all I could. [more]
Life after JRGS
Maurice Whitfield, Woodside Green, London SE25, June 2007 email
Terry Weight (JRGS 1959-65) adds:
I loved Maurice's list of
memories - so what happened to that lovely drink 'Fling'?
Mike Blamire (JRGS 1956-57) adds: I attended John
Ruskin briefly in the autumn of
1956 and the spring of 1957 before emigrating to
Like Maurice Whitfield, I also attended Gilbert Scott School,
and immediately recognized Peter Baynes in the photograph he
provided. I may be wrong, but I think that Peter is the fourth from
the right in the second row from the top - pictured right.
John Peet (JRGS teacher 1961-65) spots a news story about Timothy Workman...
I noted in The Times today [14 June] that the Senior District Judge, Timothy Workman, sitting on the trial of Sir Stephen Richards, is a former pupil of "Ruskin Grammar School, Croydon." It does not give his dates but no doubt some Alumni members will remember him. His first job was as a probation officer 1967-69, so he may have been around in my time!
John Peet, Guilford, Surrey, June 2007 Email
ML adds: According to an recent story on the TimeOnline website describing a case at Bow Street Magistrates’ Court , London, Timothy Workman began his career as a probation officer in inner London from 1967 to 1969 and then qualified as a solicitor, rising to partnership in a firm in Maidenhead, Berkshire, where he now lives.
Incidentally, the website story covers the fate of pro-hunting campaigners who had invaded the House of Commons chamber, and were convicted of a public order offence. The eight men, including Bryan Ferry’s son Otis, were spared fines of up to £1,000 each and instead each given an 18-month conditional discharge. District Judge Timothy Workman ordered each of the accused to pay £350 towards prosecution costs. He made it clear he did not believe that they were likely to re-offend, but if they did they could be brought back to court for the original crime.
And the case that John mentions above concerns a Court of Appeal judge from Wimbledon, Sir Stephen Richards, being cleared of twice flashing a commuter on a train from Wimbledon to Waterloo on 16 and 24 October. Lord Justice Richards was charged after a female commuter followed him from Waterloo station to the High Court, and took pictures of him on her mobile phone. [more]
Does anybody recall Timothy Workman?
Roger Adcock (JRGS 1963-68)
adds: There is more about Timothy on the
Alan Wilson (JRGS 1957-62) affectionately recalls former teacher Ronald Pearce...
Mr. Pearce spent months with the
sixth-form Maths group - a select band - patiently getting us to
work through a series of equations. At the end he triumphantly
informed us that we had worked out Kepler's Laws of
Interplanetary Motion from first principles! Brilliant - what a
confidence boost that was.
Alan Wilson, Box, Wiltshire, May 2007 Email
Derek Peasey, a JRGS master from 1956 to 1959, discovers The Mill website...
a brief note to congratulate all concerned on a superb web site.
I had not seen it before and have enjoyed looking through its
pages, to which I shall return. I particularly valued seeing the
school photo from my short time at the school, 1956-59.
Derek Peasey, Stevenage, Herts, May 2007 Email
Harold Fish (JRGS 1951-56)
adds: Thanks to
all concerned for the Derek Peasey news.
Mel Lambert (JRGS 1959-65) reports on an Alumni Meeting in Kings Cross...
In early-May, three Alumni members from the mid-Sixties gathered again at a hostelry in Central London to catch up with each others' lives and losses, and repair for a very acceptable meal at a local fish restaurant. Click on this thumbnail to view a larger image.
Accompanying us that evening were Paul's wife, Julie, and Mel's "chum" - we are still searching for a alternative to the ambiguous "partner" - Merelyn Davis, who took this image.
The pub was The Skinner's Arms on Judd Street, just south of the Euston Road, where the three of us had met up several years before. The Skinner's is one of John's local haunts - he works not far away at the British Library - and the journey from our rendezvous point, Russell Square tube station, was made all the more pleasant by the sight of some interesting architecture along the way.
After suitable liquid refreshments we adjourned to the North Sea Fish Restaurant on nearby Leigh Street (pictured right), a journey undiminished by an accompanying rain squall. The fare was delicious - rock salmon, lemon sole and cod dinners with mushy peas and pickled cucumbers, a passable white wine, followed by several deserts - and the company sublime.
As coincidence would have it, I recall wandering these same streets some 40+ years ago while attending the London School of Pharmacy on Hunter Street the year after I left JRGS as a lab technician. I journeyed from the family home in New Addington via a 130 bus to East Croydon, British Rail to London Bridge and thence underground to King's Cross, a trip that took me between 90 and 120 minutes, night and morning. It was a pleasant enough sojourn in the spring and summer but not, sad to relate, during the autumn and winter of 1966, my one year at LSP.
My apologies to other London-based Alumni for failing to alert them of this last-minute gathering, but my planned visit to London after attending an Audio Engineering Society Convention in Vienna was only for four days. There is always next time. (And please excuse the possibly arcane style I seem to have adopted in this missive; I have just completed a marathon five-hour re-viewing of BBC Television's outstanding 1995 production of Pride & Prejudice, starring Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet and Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. Jane Austen's literary prowess is obviously having a - hopefully temporary - effect on me!)
Mel Lambert, Burbank, CA, USA, May 2007 Email
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