JRGS News Archive Page 24
JRGS Alumni Society

Archived News/Activities

- Page 24 - May 2005 -

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.


 Derek Charlwood (JRGS 1958-64) finds himself in various school photos...

19631960I have located myself in the 1960 and 1962 photos.
   In 1960 (left) I am on the right hand side of the teachers as we look at them, on the 4th row from the bottom. If you find Mr. "Beaky" Cornwall, and the lady in the white blouse (don't remember her name), I am immediately behind the 3rd and fourth boys to her left. The third boy has his arms folded, the fourth has his jacket wide open.
   In the 1962 photo (right) I am on the left hand side of the teachers, this time on the second row from top (promotion!). If you find the same lady, this time wearing a pale jacket, I am immediately behind her right shoulder (actual right - not as we look). I have a shock of blondish hair, standing fairly upright.

Derek Charlwood, May 2005 email


 David Anderson (JRGS 1964-71) visits the Upper Shirley Road school site...

I was in the Croydon area recently and dropped by the old school site with my digital camera on 8th of May. I took some shots of The Sandrock, The Surprise, the views around The Mill (which was open and dressed for VE Day) with the housing estate. I wanted to provide pictures of the present day area that can be compared with photos of the school when first built and under demolition, which are already on The Mill website.
   I kept the windmill in most of them as a reference point. I have a shot of the entrance to the lane going down to Oaks Farm from Oaks Road, which we used to use to get to the playing field and pavilion. I have seen a photo of this somewhere taken about 40 years ago and the way in which all the trees and shrubs, etc. have grown is amazing. I also took some shots of the old pavilion, which is still there! It does, however look rather sad and isn't improved by some railings and football dugouts just in front of it. The playing fields are just the same except there are no cricket sight screens.

School site 2005 School site 2005 School site 2005

The Sandrock pub.

Sandrock pub and shops.

The Surprise pub.

School site 2005

School site 2005

School site 2005

School site view from Coloma side of Upper Shirley road of where the School hall used to be.

 View from bus lay-by across Upper Shirley Road to school site somewhere around playground entrance gate area.

View from Coloma side
across to school site.

School site 2005

School site 2005

School site 2005

Less radical changes
at Coloma School!

Pedestrian crossing outside school. Not quite as famous as the one on the cover of The Beatles' Abbey Road, but more familiar to many of us.

View up Upper Shirley Road
from bus lay-by.

School site 2005

School site 2005

School site 2005

View looking Northwest. The trees mark The Mill quad/Mill pitch boundary.

Postmill Close entrance to housing estate uses the old entrance to school staff car park.

The Mill with a house on site
of the main block.

School site 2005

School site 2005

School site 2005

View North with a house where the main block used to be.

View North-East (approx) to where the school hall & music room used to be.

Windmill sails -
for artistic interest only.

School site 2005

A Panoramic (merged) image of the above shots with the view looking roughly North.

School site 2005

School site 2005

View looking South-southwest (approx) from where the dining foyer area used to be.

Oaks Lane from Oaks Road. This was a route down to the games fields and pavilion. Greatly increased foliage from 35+ years ago!

The Sports Pavilion. A few changes in 40+ years. Bushes grown, some boarding up. No flagpole. Generally run-down.

School site 2005

School site 2005

School site 2005

The Sports Pavilion. Railings and football dugouts have been added. Building to the left appears to have been added but I don’t know when.

The Pavilion. Compare with photo of this same area in “The School Tour”.

The Pavilion Exit for boys. “You have two minutes to get changed and get out of the building!”

JRGS Alumni who live on the other side of the world or have not been to the area since the demolition may be interested - and possibly a bit shocked - to see the transformation that happened at the school site. There is, apparently, simply nothing left of it apart from the line of trees where The Mill quad area adjoined the Mill Pitch. There is also the low retaining wall where the staff car park joined the footpath on Upper Shirley Road, just down from The Surprise.
   Surely a stone or plaque would be appropriate to record the one-time presence of the school? Postmill Close would have been better called Ruskin Close. But too late now.

David Anderson, May 2005 email

Derek Charlwood (JRGS 1958-64) adds: David joined JRGS in the autumn after I left in the summer, so we don't know each other, but I am impressed with his excellent photos. They raise one or two questions for me. What is on The Mill Pitch site now? And who uses the old games field in Oaks Lane?
   My father used to work for Bennett's Coaches, which had its yard in the lane that ran down between The Sandrock pub and the newsagent - long gone, I should think - and my Mother worked in the cafe that was part of The Surprise, on the left hand end as you look at it. Superficially at least, neither of them appeared to have changed in 40 years!
   Thanks for the photo reminiscing.

David Anderson replies: I am glad that you enjoyed the photos. Had you any idea that the school site had changed so much?
   The replies to your questions are:
>> The southern limb of Postmill Close that goes down to where The Mill Pitch used to be now services - guess what? - more houses. There is no part of the site that does not have something built on it.
>> The Sports Pavilion was not in use on the day I was there. The fields were mown and look used. There was no one around at all. Not being a Croydon resident I am not sure if it is used by another school or even if it is still used. It does look as though the boys end might be used. The other odd building to the left of it might be the current changing rooms.
   Sorry I cannot answer the question but someone may come up with this information if you cast your net wider.
   Strange to think I can remember us all being accused of kicking a hole in a door in the pavilion and being made to stand in silence on the games field until someone owned up. After a long wait we were let go as no one did. It wasn't anything to do with us. Look at it now!

Roger Adcock (JRGS 1963-68) adds: Has anybody noticed how smart The Sandrock now looks in the latest photo compared with The Mill's very first entry from Christmas 2001?

Sandrock 2005

The Sandrock pub, December, 2001.

The Sandrock pub, May 2005.

 Chris Horrobin (STHS 1959-66) offers us some remarkable images...

ML writes: Chris Horrobin, a former student at Stanfield Technical High School, Burslem (near Stoke and Newcastle-under-Lyme), has supplied some useful artwork for The Mill site. Our sincere thanks go to him for his kindness and patience.

I've just come across the John Ruskin memorabilia site, and thought you might be interested in the way the Stanfield Technical High School memorabilia site has organized the display of its old Panora panoramic pictures. It only takes a little patience to make one picture from multiple scans.
   While rebuilding a troublesome PC there was a lot of time "watching paint dry". So, to stop myself falling asleep, I finally stitched together all the JRGS 1950-70 panoramics while I was in the swing of it.
   As you can see, the scans were of varying suitability to join together but most were better than expected.
   A current technique uses just the images from the middle portion of the scanner window - and lots of overlap is needed for joins. Many scanners have a consistent distortion, or exposure gradient, so each picture slice must be taken with the same physical position. I usually apply a moderate pressure with a large book to make sure they stay flat during the scan.
   I hope these pictures help enhance the JRGS site; click on any thumbnail to download the master file.
   Warning: These are very large JPEG images; each one is between 1.2 MB and 2.2 MB.
   You can make a reasonable facsimile of the panoramic pictures on Epson Panoramic paper. You can usually fit two half-size pictures on a single A4 width 30-inch sheet.

 1950 - Three sections of a single scan that  slotted back together, although someone is missing from right end.

 JRGS 1950

1950 Original size - compression 20 - file size 1.3 MB


1952 - Insufficient overlap to avoid an obvious join, but that is the least of the aesthetic problems!

 JRGS 1952

 1952 Original size - compression 40 - file size 2 MB

 /JRGS 1952

 1952 Wide view reduced size - compression 10 - file size 1.3 MB


 1954 - Odd-shaped pieces needed walls and windows reconstructing.

 JRGS 1954

 1954 Original size - contrast +10 - compression 10 - file size 1.2 MB


 1958 - Joins seamlessly

 JRGS 1958

 1958 Original size - compression 10 - file size 1.3 MB


 1960 - Joins seamlessly

 JRGS 1960

 1960 Original size - compression 40 - file size 2.1 MB


 JRGS 1960

  1960 Wide view reduced size - compression 20 - file size 1 MB


 1962 - Not enough overlap to avoid obvious joins; some stripes missing altogether.

 JRGS 1962

 1962 Original size - compression 40 - file size 1.9 MB

 JRGS 1962

 1962 Wide view reduced size - compression 10 - file size 1.3 MB


 1964 - Joins seamlessly

 JRGS 1964

 1964 Original size - compression 10 - file size 1.3 MB


1967 - Not enough overlap to avoid an obvious join

 JRGS 1967

 1967 Original size - compression 40 - file size 2 MB

 JRGS 1967

 1967 Wide view reduced size - compression 15 - file size 1.3 MB


1970 - Not enough overlap to avoid an obvious join

 JRGS 1970

1970 Original size - compression 30 - file size 1.6 MB

 JRGS 1970

 1970 Wide view reduced size - sharpened - compression 20 - file size 1.3 MB

Incidentally, Burslem is one of the six towns that forms Stoke-on-Trent city. The city created its three post-war non-denominational grammar/high schools from existing ones in Longton, Hanley and Burslem. These schools then migrated by 1960 from their respective town centre Victorian buildings to green-field campuses - just like JRGS.
   I also noticed a nostalgic reference to your school song in one of the JRGS articles. I am attempting to get our old school hymns recorded with an "authentic" boys school sound. That's a harder task than I expected. Our old music master says that the boy treble choral tradition went into rapid decline after 1970.

Chris Horrobin, May 2005


  Roger Adcock (JRGS 1963-68) locates images of the Upper Shirley Road site...

Here is a map from Streetmap.com that locates the Post Mill address. An icon at the bottom of the map on the website also offers photographic aerial photos of the current JRGS site, as shown below.
Map Data
©Collins Bartholomew 2003. All rights reserved.

This enlarged aerial view from Cities Revealed shows the Post Mill development (centre) and Coloma School's new extension (right). [Images ©The GeoInformation Group Ltd, 2000. All rights reserved.]

Map 01 Map 02
Map 03 Map 04

David Anderson can also use these images to see the houses now built on the Bennett Yard (and which I walked beside on my way home from school).
   And all the old fellows can use the Streetmap site to look up their old home addresses and see if it has changed. (You can also purchase high-definition prints from this site.)

Roger Adcock, May 2005 email

Mel Lambert (JRGS 1959-65) adds: Using Photoshop I have taken the central section of the aerial view shown above and developed the following image that identifies key local landmarks, and also superimposed onto it (as best I can) a layout of the planned school buildings from the early Fifties.

JRGS site

JRGS site


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