Brian Thorogood (JRGS 1951-56) shares more school memories...
Further to my John Ruskin acceptance
document, signed by my
father, all new pupils were also sent a letter from Mr. Lowe on correct
school uniform dress. In it the headmaster suggested that two uniforms
be purchased by parents, one being for best wear occasions. Because this
cost was beyond the means of my father, and probably most other
families, it was hardly adhered to, considering that we had to be kitted
out with PT and games attire - football boots, cricket shirt and slacks,
Brian ("Bone") V. Thorogood, Willowbank, Wick, Scotland KW1 4NZ, November 2006.
Harold Fish (JRGS 1951-56) reflects on his schoolboy days...
I was at JRGS from 1951 until 1956. Most of the
time my form teacher was Mr. "Rhino" Rees though we did have
Peacock for one year. A far as I can remember, the classes I was in were
1951/2 1R, 1952/3 2R,
1953/4 ??, 1954/5 4P, 1955/6 VR. My family left Croydon to live in
Lewisham and I had to change schools. I did A-Level French, Spanish and
History and went, somewhat late, to Bristol University. Below is a full
CV. I am still living in Bonn, Germany.
● Mr. "Knacker" Neale for organising regular coach trips to the Old Vic in London, which kindled in me a love for the theatre and indirectly lead to my being one of the three judges for The Irish Times Theatre Awards in 1999.
● Mr. "Rhino" Rees put the fear of God into us all and, at the same time, gave many of us the feeling that we were really worth something.
● The same thing can be said of Mr. "Puncher" Pierce. For three years I had problems with Maths and all the time he just said "relax." When I did, O-Level was a real doddle.
I taught Spanish for three years at the Bristol Cathedral School and developed a variation on Puncher's '"treatment". It was very effective in helping to keep discipline! And as I finished up studying French and Spanish a big "Thank you" to [JRGS French teacher] Mr. Bernard Fisher. I did catch up with him in Liverpool at one point. He was delighted to see someone from JRGS and had no problem remembering my name, surprise, surprise!
Harold Fish OBE, MA
Harold Fish, Meßdorfer Strasse 208, 53123 Bonn, Germany +49 (0) 228.966-9036, October 2006 Email
Brian Thorogood (JRGS
1951-56) adds: I was intrigued by Harold's article, which was posted
to me by Paul Graham [JRGS 1959-66]. I didn't know Harold, who was in the
other class in the same year group, but a photo might help. Could Harold
maybe identify himself out on the 1952 school photo on the website? I
should also point out that Mr. "Rhino" Rees only joined the school in January
1952, so Harold wouldn't have had him as form teacher for at least the
Harold Fish replies: I'm grateful
for Brian's comments. Memory alone is a most dangerous thing to rely
upon! I think what happened was that I had Mr. "Rhino" Rees for three of
the four years of Latin and was confusing this with "Rhino" as class
teacher. I have no memory of who my very first class teacher would have
been. The year we had Mr. Lawes for Latin was really memorable in that
he and I and a few others in the class were real "Goon Show" fans and
the first minutes of the Friday lesson were always spent evaluating the
previous night's show.: One day I arrived late for class, was about to
apologise and explain my lateness when (celedipus pedibus) Lawes said
"Ah Fish, take off that gas stove and sit down."
When I started teaching at Mainz University things started to explode. I teach contemporary Irish Studies and to be able to have immediate read access to the daily Irish newspapers and their archives opened up a whole new dimension.
On top of that comes the ability to distribute within seconds to the 40-50 students documentation that was considered appropriate.
This brought about the need for a new skill: How to determine which bits of all the relevant data were really useful. There was a serious danger of overload for the students.
Enough! It is interesting to note the lack of 1945-60 students who
have made contact with the site. Only Brian from my exact period has
touched base formally, and we were in the parallel classes!
Paul Graham (JRGS 1959-66)
adds: There are a number of ex-pupils in Brian's form who have
contacted The Mill, including John Costello, Roger Fuller
and Les Peagam. Maybe Harold recalls some of them?
Mel Lambert (JRGS 1959-65) visits the John Ruskin Sixth Form College...
While on a flying visit to England in mid-September, following a broadcasting convention in Amsterdam, I took the opportunity to investigate the fate of a mural that graced the wall at the Upper Shirley Road site, and which was rumoured to have been transferred to the new JR Sixth Form College in Selsdon.
I met with Louis Strover, a member of the college staff, and explained what I was looking for. It seems that the mural did not survive the transfer from Shirley into the former John Newnham Secondary School building, but there is a wall within the administration corridor that contains a number of portraits of former head teachers. These are reproduced below, along with other illustrations. Click on any thumbnail to view a larger image.
Brian Thorogood (JRGS 1951-56) has unearthed his parents' Letter of Acceptance...
Half a century ago my proud parents received the attached letter from Croydon County Education Committee notifying them that I had been granted a place at JRGS. Click on any thumbnail to view a larger image, and here to view a three-page PDF version.
My father was asked to complete the attached two-page form - it had to be signed by my father, and not my mother, aside from extenuating circumstances. (But this was 1951, after all, before the modern era of sexual equality!) I should point out that these documents were sent to me recently by my sister in Canada, who found them amongst other papers left by our now-deceased parents. However, neither of us can explain the non-returned form.
Brian ("Bone") V. Thorogood, Willowbank, Wick, Scotland KW1 4NZ, September 2006.
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