JRGS News Archive Page 30
JRGS Alumni Society

Archived News/Activities

- Page 30 - March 2006 -

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.
   

 Ian Butterworth (JRGS/JRHS master 1963-80) offers school choir photographs...

I have dug out some photos that were taken of the School Choir & Orchestra conducted by Dr. Terry James in March and May 1971; they might proved interesting for the website. The choir ones were taken at the old St. Matthew's Church in Croydon near Croydon College, which was demolished shortly afterwards!
   Click on any image to view a larger version; updates are welcomed.

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JRGS school choir pictured
at the old St. Matthew's Church, near Croydon College.

Back: (left to-right) Martin Nunn, Alan Murray, Turner
Middle: Cook, P. Hindmarsh, West, C. Moss
Front: Charlwood, Neccles, Lewis, Hunt.

Back: Norman, Morin
3rd : Chenery, Redman, Till
2nd : Trimnell, Kinch,
Holt, Walker
Front: Jennings, Parsons, Aldiss.

Back: C. Aston, R. Keable, Patridge
Front: Fonseca, Simpson, Dickson.

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Dr. Terry James conducting the 1971 School Orchestra & Choir in the school hall. Members include R. Keable, P. Davis, G. Aukland, D. Saunders, Savoie, Shaw,
C. Price, Perry, C. Wigley, Johnson, Wilson, P. Standfield, S. Till.

Dr. Terry James

Ian Butterworth, March 2006 Email

  

 Mike Etheridge (JRGS 1963-65) shares various images of Fifties/Sixties vehicles ...

With reference to the image of the vintage Ford Zephyr that appeared recently on the website, I thought that the Alumni might be interested in seeing some photographs I secured late last year in Bromley at a gathering of some favourite cars that date back to the Fifties and Sixties. Click on any image to view a larger version.

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Pair of Austin Healy
300 convertibles

The left Alpine contains some parts of my Mk5 Alpine GT stolen and wrecked in 1981. (Pictured: my youngest son Robert.)

Early Ford Consul convertible

Pair of MG Midgets

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MG Magnet

Vauxhall Cresta - front view

Sixties Cresta - rear view

Vauxhall Victor - rear view

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Fifties Vauxhall Cresta

Fifties Cresta - rear view

Sunbeam Tiger V8

BMC Series A engine

The Bromley Pageant of Motoring is held each year at Norman Park. Anyone that has a pre-79 car is allowed, with an admission ticket, to bring their car to the site and park free. I have always found the event to be very relaxing and entertaining. There is a great range of cars, lorries, buses and military vehicles on show, and a range of new cars for sale/viewing, etc.
   By the way, the black Vauxhall Cresta shown above is similar to a car owned by my brother in law - his was top of the range and two-tone coloured.
   When I was younger I was quite a keen mechanic and would always tackle car repairs, including replacing engines clutches, etc. At one time or another I have owned or worked on a range of lovable rusty old British sports cars, including a Triumph Spitfire, Vitesse, GT6, MGB and Sunbeam Alpine GT.
   The latter maligned Sunbeam Alpine ("Diana Dors Mobile") was my favourite. Although prone to rust, it was very well constructed and very easy to work on. The Alpine's 1,725cc engine needed to be more powerful; this was obviously recognised with the V8 Tiger version.
   At some time or another my Alpine had been disguised as a Tiger with the metal horizontal stripes. Unfortunately, in 1981 it was stolen from outside a restaurant in Crayford and subsequently side wrapped around a box steel barrier in Thamesmead.

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 My Alpine GT Mk5 before...

... and after being stolen.

 And the worst for wear

Triumph Spitfire - with fish

These pictures shown the before- and after-crash views of the Alpine plus my old Spitfire, which was also wrecked in a crash. On the bonnet of the Spitfire is a 4lb salmon trout that I caught on the Sussex Ouse.
   The extra picture is of my 1966 Alpine GT Mk5 looking the worst for wear after about five years of ownership and needing a respray. It was shortly after the picture was taken that I had the engine re-built after a spark plug central electrode had fallen into cylinder three. I also had to remove the wire wheels and fit standard wheels and hubs after one of the wire wheel splines had worn out.
   By the way, the young lad on the right of this picture - Paul Holyhead - is the current owner of the white Alpine shown above; it's a small world! I have got to know Paul very well, and gave him all my Alpine spares when he became a car mechanic. Paul now runs his own business and at one time had three Alpines in various states of repair - no doubt we will visit the Bromley Pageant again this year.
   And here is a further selection of pictures from the Bromley Pageant; they include a Tiger V8 engine and an Alpine converted with a Ford V6 engine.

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AC Cobra convertible

Another AC Cobra

Allard - front view

Allard - rear view

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Alpine with Ford V6 engine

Various Austin 7s

Ford Popular

Jaguar

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Rover jet turbine

Singer convertible

Talbot

Tiger V8 engine

   Help in identifying the exact models of Allard, Jaguar, Singer and Talbot shown here is welcomed.

  And here, for your delight and delectation, is a final two dozen images from the Bromley Pageant -again any help in identifying these fascinating vehicles would be welcomed.

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Unidentified model

Ford Carpi - front view

Ford Capri - rear view

Triumph Roadster

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De Lorean

Cadillac Eldorado - front

Cadillac Eldorado - rear

... and a towed boat

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Aston Martin

1959 Ford Fairlane

1957 Ford Fairlane

Unidentified Bollide - front

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Unidentified Bollide - side

V8-powered hot rod

Ford Mustang

Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight

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Unidentified Chevrolet

Turbocharged V8 engine

1933 MG L2 Magna...

... and just to prove it

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1933 Austin Seven

Unidentified Audi

Vauxhall Victor

Austin Seven convertible

Mike Etheridge, March 2006 Email

Anne Smith (JRGS/JRHS teacher & SFC Principal 1970-99) adds: Have any of The Alumni ever been to Malta? Certainly up to about 15 years ago, all the cars and buses on the island appeared to have been exported from used car lots in England in the Fifties. I was there for a conference and there were enchanted cries of recognition from conference members who recognised the cars and buses from their childhoods.

Mike Marsh (JRGS 1949-55) adds: If we are collecting pictures of old cars, I attach a shot (shown left) of my father's Mk1 Ford Consul in which we toured Scotland on our honeymoon in 1962; my wife, Jean, is beside it.

MM car1MM car2The other - shown right - is of Jean again, with her parent's car: a Ford Prefect OHV model after it came to live with us in 1986. The car was bought new in 1960 and Jean and I went "courting" in it in 1961 around the Midlands.
   After Jean's father died her mother took it first to the Isle of Wight to live, then up to Scotland. We took it over when Jean's mother was too old to drive and our son drove it back down here for us. Jean drove the Prefect around Suffolk for about 10 years before selling it.
   Today it often appears at local Old Time Rallies looking rather smarter than when we last owned it! And with a different number plate; the one in the picture is the original, which we sold to give some cash to Jean's mother.

MM car3And in reply to Anne Smith's comments above about Malta, I attach a picture, shown right, of an old Bedford bus taken at Famagusta on Cyprus back in 1958. The island used to get all its old buses shipped out from UK and ran them on well after their UK's "use-by" date. I think they drove them into the scrap heap in the end! It was amusing to us to get on a bus with is destination board suggesting it was going to Brighton, Redhill or some such. And there we were thinking we were off to the beach at Famagusta instead. Incidentally. we were only allowed to use buses or taxis run by the Turks and not those by the Greeks.
MM car4   The other picture, left, was also taken in 1958 on Cyprus and shows me in the padre's Morris Minor. It was a bit of a bonus to go out with him because he could conscientiously not wear a gun (being "of the cloth") and we would go with him wearing his pistol instead of carrying a heavy old Lea Enfield .303 rifle or a Sten gun. This latter was a lot lighter to carry, okay at close quarters but significantly useless at any greater range! Since we had to be in fours, the other two chaps drew the short straw and so still had to carry their bigger weapons.

Mel Lambert (JRGS 1959-65) adds: Lurking behind the Austin Seven convertible shown above is a vehicle that I have not seen for close to 40+ years: a two-tone Morris Eight convertible, shown right. This is similar Image125to the two-door Series E saloon model that was our first family car - my parents favoured a collection of Panther- and Sunbeam-powered motorcycle combinations; times were hard - until the early-Sixties when they could afford four wheels rather than three.
   The Morris Eight was produced during the late-Forties as a forerunner to the Morris Minor. Early models featured a side-valve 998cc four-cylinder engine, which was rather underpowered for such a solid chassis and body. But it was far more comfortable than a draughty sidecar!

A final word from Mike Etheridge: Interesting that Mel's parents had a Series-E Morris - so too did my oldest brother, Ron (75-years young). He tried to get Image126me to drive the Morris but I failed miserably. Eventually heImage127 got me an Austin A30 for 25, which I drove for about 18 months after I passed my test. It became so rusty that you needed to wear Wellingtons to avoid having your feet soaked when it rained. The car did have its good point(s) though - a starter handle that was ideal if the battery flattened, as it often did. It had no heater or windscreen washer!
  The A30 van is pictured left on the banks of Loch Lomond; show right is the front cover from a 1955 A30 "Seven" Owner's Manual.
   It has not escaped my teenage lads notice that Wallace of "Wallace and Grommet" fame drives an A30/35 in their latest adventure, "The Curse of The Weir Rabbit" - draw your own conclusions!

  

 Raymond Brett (JRGS 1959-66) discovers the website via FriendsReunited.co.uk...

This is quite a website on John Ruskin School. The photo of the School Football XI, taken about 1961/62, certainly brought back memories.
   When I left John Ruskin Grammar School I went to Madeley College of Education - one of the 10 physical education colleges - and then taught PE and Mathematics at Alleyn's School in London for one year. At the end of that year, in 1970, I emigrated to Canada and ended up in Calgary. After a year of working up north in Seismic, I got a job at a private sports club called The Glencoe Club as a lifeguard and swimming instructor.
   That was 35 years ago and today I am the CEO of the club. I worked my way up through the organisation at various positions. The Glencoe Club is Canada's largest private sports clubs with 300,000 square feet of facilities including squash, badminton, fitness, indoor tennis, bowling, curling, skating and two swimming pools. We also own a 45-hole golf club. I have been very active in sports particularly running and have run 20 marathons including Boston, New York and London.
   My competitive running days are now behind me, but I still jog, swim and mountain bike and in the winter I am an avid skier. I am married to Cathy, for 25 years, and have two children. A daughter, Cadey, is 21 years old and she is away at college doing management. My son Tim has just turned 18 years and is finishing high school.
   I will have to study the website some more to catch up with some of the people.

Ray Brett, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. March 2006 Email

Terry Weight (JRGS 1959-65) adds: It's good to hear from Raymond. I remember very many happy games of football for JRGS with Brett - which is how I think we always referred to him - running around like mad at left half (age!). Obviously, he has not yet stopped running! How long does it take to play a round at a 45-hole golf club? I think my wife would give up on me.

  

 Chris Green (JRGS 1955-59) recalls school life in the late-Fifties...

It is raining outside, a typically tropical downpour... bored with work, and not a lot to do in Bali since the bombs went off last October. So I decided to have a look at John Ruskin Grammar School in Google. I was delighted to see the article on corporal punishment and the register that Mr. "Joe" Lowe kept.
   For those who remember, one was sent to the headmaster's office where we were required to wait. After some considerable time the reprobate was called in and his crime read out to him from the punishment book. Comments were solicited and the sentence revealed - usually a four or a six. The "criminal" was then required to bend over a table and read the crime while Mr. Lowe selected a birch with the correct swish. The punishment was then administered... and it bloody hurt.
   Thus my years from 1955 to 1959 were not times to cherish. At that time, we were surrounded by a motley bunch of teachers. The RI teacher, whose name escapes me, carried a plimsoll in his back pocket, which he beat us with. I remember I laughed when the word "circumcised" was read from the bible - that hurt.

   All right, I was not a model student and hated school - and probably deserved beating - all the same it was Dickensian. I'm glad we put the potato up Mr. Lowe's Morris Minor exhaust. The final straw was when some malcontents got into the school and painted the doors with graffiti. They broke into Mr. Lowe's office, ate his biscuits and drank his sherry. He hauled me in for that one and, for once, I was innocent. I got expelled just the same.

   Overall, the school was an excellent seat of learning but it utilized the seat of pain too much. I never went back, and now I'm 61 - I don't regret a thing except for laughing at Mr. Peacock for being deaf and old. He was a nice man.

Chris Green, Bali, Indonesia. March 2006 Email

Terence Morris (JRGS 1942-50) adds: I recall Mr. Lowe's introduction of "School Rules" when he arrived from Wallasey Grammar School in 1945. They were more complex than anyone had even seen; more like a set of modern-day European directives.

[ML adds: Professor Morris - an acknowledged criminologist - also pointed out that, in his original email, Chris Green had referred to the article on "capital punishment," instead of what he meant to state: "corporal punishment." Which explains the lack of a gibbet at the Tamworth Road and Shirley Road sites. My error.]

Anne Smith (JRGS/JRHS teacher and Sixth-Form College Principal 1970-99) adds: What I remember about the punishment book was the two crimes for which boys were often beaten and which do not even exist in schools today: they were "horseplay" and "tomfoolery". Corporal punishment fell into desuetude shortly after the admission of girls to the school but, by default, not as at a local school by decree.
   The announcement that boys would no longer be beaten at Ashburton School was followed by an outbreak of lawlessness which only stopped after a couple of young masters dealt out summary and illicit punishments at the back of the school! Ruskin was more circumspect.

ML adds: While Anne might be too modest to mention it, her 89-year old father, Ernest  Millington, recently published his autobiography, "Was That Really Me?" According to a summary on amazon.co.uk, "Mr. Millington was an active and radical politician from an early age. He joined the short-lived CommonWealth Party and became a reluctant Member of Parliament in 1945; to do so, he left the RAF where he had become a Wing Commander in Bomber Command."
   His formal education ended at 16, but he went on to become a teacher in some of the toughest classrooms of inner city London. "From the vivid accounts of piloting Lancaster bombers to anecdotes about the legendary figures of Atlee's Government, this book offers readers of all ages a personal portrait of Britain in the 20th century," the reviewer offers.
   Published January 1, 2006, by Fultus Corporation; paperback, 192pp. ISBN: 1596820764.

   

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