- Page 20 - February thru March 2005 -
- Page 20 - February thru March 2005 -
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.
Dudley Wolf (JRGS 1943-48) recalls a school game - "British Bulldog"...
A flash of school memory came to me in recent days: 'British Bulldog'. I
have images of a 'rough and tumble' sort of Rugby game without a ball.
Dudley Wolf, March 2005 email
1959-65) replies: Yes,
we played a lot in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Particularly when I
was about 12 and in the St John's Ambulance Brigade. Schools tended to
frown on it because it could get rough. I wasn't a particularly physical
youngster, but enjoyed the game a lot.
Brian Thorogood (JRGS 1951-56) recalls school religious instruction...
During my time at JRGS we did not have a permanent teacher of divinity
or comparative religion; and I cannot remember hearing of any boy taking
O- or A-Level GCE in such a subject. In the 1950s, R.I. was taught as an
adjunct by other masters on an ad hoc basis. Mr. Culcheth took us
once a week for a single period in the second form. He taught by
archaeological explanation, and linking the great flood to findings of
an “ark” in the Mediterranean basin. I sensed that most boys were
skeptical of biblical tradition. On one occasion Mr. Culcheth was
talking on David’s demise, in the Royal household, with the King’s wife.
I put up my hand and asked him what “being familiar” with a woman meant
– quite innocently of course! Roy Scott sitting behind me tried to
whisper to me, much to Mr. Culcheth’s embarrassment.
Brian (Bone) V Thorogood, Willowbank, Wick, Scotland KW1 4NZ, March 2005
Kathryn Vincent (JRHS 1982-89) recalls pupil/teacher/writer Allan Cubitt...
I was interested to read Roger Adcock's
on the website, including a clipping from Radio Times about Allan
Cubitt's version of "Sherlock Holmes". It is of particular interest to
me as I was taught English Language and Literature by Allan during my
time as a pupil at John Ruskin, during the late 1980s, and am now the
Personal Assistant to the Publishing Director of the Radio Times
magazine here at BBC Worldwide!
Kathryn Vincent, March 2005 email
ML adds: Kathryn has also promised a short item about her days at John Ruskin. "It was quite an interesting time," she relates. "I was in the last year to 'graduate' from Shirley High up to John Ruskin - we would attend Shirley for the first three years and then move over to Ruskin for the final two (and beyond) - which subsequently meant it was the beginning of John Ruskin Sixth-Form College and the move up to the old John Newnham site."
Peter Oxlade (JRCS 1940-44) recalls the genesis of the Sixth-Form College...
The photograph shown left was taken on 21 July, 1992, to celebrate the completion of the new John Ruskin Sixth-Form College school building in Selsdon Park Road. The gentleman in the centre is Sir James Hamilton KBE, MBE, a Whitehall mandarin of some sort, I believe. The others are members of the Governing Body and Staff.
As I mentioned in a previous item, JRHS headmaster William Patterson asked me in 1987 to become a governor at the new site in Shirley. I was also a founder member of the Governing Body of John Ruskin College, when in 1991 it became a Corporation. At that time Mrs. Anne Smith, who had joined the school from Selhurst Grammar School for Girls in 1971, and was a long time English Teacher at JRGS, became Principal, having taken over at Shirley from William Patterson in 1990. Anne Smith left in 1999; in 2010 current holder of the post of Principal was Tim Eyton-Jones. [more]
Peter Oxlade, February 2005 email.
Roger Adcock (JRGS 1963-68) adds: You can see John Rowlands - our old JRGS Master -
standing at the rear (second from left). And I think he is still there!
Could be an interesting contact for information abut the school.
Ian Castro (JRGS 1958-65) recalls 1961's 5U and physics in the sixth form ...
I've been fascinated to read the recent
clippings and also to see the Vintage 1962 5U photos and details. This
must have been 1962/3? If anyone comes across the equivalent for 1961/2,
I'd be even more fascinated that must have been my year in 5U. We had
Mr. "Rhino" Rees as form master both that year AND the previous - it was
reckoned a difficult form, but I don't recall who the bad boys were!
ML adds: Ian Castro is now Professor of Fluid Dynamics and Deputy Head School of Engineering Sciences at the University of Southampton.
Ian Castro, Southampton, March 2005 email.
Mike Etheridge (JRGS
1963-65) adds: I was sad to read about John Adkins' death as
recorded by Ian Castro on the website. I thought that John was a really
nice chap, and I was always amused by his classroom wit.
Martin Preuveneers (JRGS 1958-65) adds: I remember Ian Castro – in fact I was in the same class as him for a number of years. I also remember John Adkins as quite a young physics master in the 60s - that is probably because it was 40 years ago! But was unaware that Ian had married into his family. Ian was a really bright guy, and also a talented piano player of classical music.
Ian Castro responds:
John Adkins was indeed a committed Christian (as am I and my wife, his
sister). He ran an interdenominational Bible class in Norbury, one of
many Crusader Classes around the country, for many years. While still at
school (Trinity Whitgift) he started to run summer camps for (largely)
unchurched boys; this eventually became Croydon Camps, to which quite a
few Ruskin lads went. That's where I first met his younger sister - she
was a cook in John Peet's quartermaster' team! Both John Peet, Tony
Davey and Martin Nunn were all involved in Croydon Camps for many years
- also Tony Hasler for a few years. At its peak, some 600 boys (and
girls by that stage) went to summer camps in North Devon and/or North
Wales, from Ruskin, Selhurst, both Whigifts and other schools, including
eventually one from Wolverhampton, where John Peet moved to teach after
leaving Ruskin (he now lives in Guildford). The organisation continues
to this day, although under a different name and at a somewhat lower
Etheridge continues: Having
read this latest information from Ian I now have recollections of
posters around Ruskin school advertising a summer camp, I think, at
Croyde Bay. The posters had illustrations of a sand yacht, which I
presume someone at Ruskin school had built, and at the time were going
to test on the beach as part of the holiday fun. Can anyone confirm
this? I think the yacht builder may have been Tony Davey, who I can
still envisage racing around Shirley in his Triumph Herald car with a
huge grin on his face!
Yes indeed. We ran up to four or five sand yachts simultaneously on
Saunton Sands throughout the summer, as one of the numerous Croydon
Camps activities when at Croyde - each camp lasted eight days and at the
peak there were five of them each summer (with, eventually, a girls camp
as the central one). Keeping all the yachts serviceable was a nightmare
- they were "stored" in the dunes over the summer and many overnight
servicing trips were needed, often involving Messrs Adkins or Davey
(and/or others) driving down the beach at dead of night to reach the
store, and working by tilly lamp for what seemed like hours.
Goy adds: I've been
around here such a long time, the chances are like ancient monuments
I've been passed by! For what it's worth, I was at Girton [College,
Cambridge], reading Classics from 1968-71; I then did a PGCE
[Postgraduate Certificate In Education] from 1971-2. After that I taught
at a comprehensive in Bury St Edmunds, and then at St Mary's in
Cambridge. My name was Corke, then Gull.
Paul Graham (JRGS 1959-66) adds: I have found a picture of sand-yacht racing at Croyde: page 26 of the July 1965 school mag. On page 27 is the Christian Union report. On page 26 of the next issue (July 1966), is another CU report, again mentioning Croyde as well as Mr. Davey and Mr. Peet.
Charlwood (JRGS 1958-64) adds: Without wishing to bore too many
people about the summer camps at Croyde Bay, I attended one camp, in the
early 60s, and I am sure I remember that some of the senior boys
manhandled one of the teacher's cars - a Mini, I think - across the pit
that held all the food waste, so that the front wheels were one side and
the rear wheels the other. We were also woken late at night and did some
form of chase game in the dark across the dunes, returning for a
Terence Morris (JRCS 1942-50) recalls a letter to Mr. Lowe sent 50 years ago...
ML writes: Recently, while reviewing several images secured during a visit 15 month ago to The Croydon Archives, I recalled a letter dated August 1955 from Terence Morris to Mr. Lowe (seen left), informing the headmaster of his recent success in securing a PhD degree from the University of London. [more] Curious to know more, I searched google.co.uk for the subsequent career of the newly qualified Dr. Morris, and also to let him know about The Mill website. Professor Morris picks up the story...
I was quite fascinated to get your email,
not least to see a letter that I had written nearly 50 years ago! Very
embarrassing - I am just astounded that Mr. Lowe thought to keep it.
John Christopher Lowe was a complex man. He did his MA thesis on
Wordsworth at Birmingham, and came to us from being Senior English
master at Wallasey Grammar School. His daughter became a Probation
Officer, as I recall.
Possible origin of the John Ruskin school name
Regarding the name chosen for our school in 1920, John Ruskin was not the original. It had been
Coleridge- Taylor, the distinguished musician born in Croydon and who
had lived in a large house in Brigstock Road, Thornton Heath. His name
had been rejected by the Education Committee because of his racial and
social origins. His father was a doctor from Sierra Leone, but who went
back to Africa, leaving his mother to bring him up with his stepfather.
There was, therefore, both the suspicion of his being illegitimate as
well the fact of his being part African, notwithstanding his enormous
success as a talented composer – he put Longfellow’s Hiawatha to
music – but also his contributions to African folk music. Instead, they
chose John Ruskin. (As a boy Ruskin, apparently, used to visit an aunt
in Middle Street (off Surrey Street) but otherwise the nearest he lived
to Croydon was Herne Hill!)
Terence Morris, Hampshire, February 2005 email.
Paul Graham (JRGS 1959-66) adds: The Alumni might also like to review the following items that appear elsewhere on the website:
>> An article by Terence Morris on page 21 of the June 1945 school magazine, describing a vivid VE night.
>> An interview with Terence Morris on page 31 of the May 1969 school magazine.
Although racism could
easily have played a part in the decision to name the new school in 1920
after John Ruskin, rather than Samuel Coleridge Taylor, Ruskin had at
least as good a claim as the musician, because his mother's family did
come from Croydon, close to where the school started off, and he visited
it a lot. Plus his parents are buried at Shirley. In fact, John Ruskin
lived at Denmark Hill (just south of Camberwell where ex-JRGS alumnus
John Byford currently lives), not Herne Hill.
Dudley Wolf (JRGS 1943-47) adds: At last here is a contemporary who can remind me of some of the names I have long forgotten! There is a chance that Terence Morris will remember me although he was, I believe, a year or so ahead of me. I left Ruskin in1948 at the recommendation of Mr. Gee to go on to the Croydon Art School to become the next Leonardo - at least, maybe, an architect as my maths/physics were also quite strong. Neither happened.
at Art College was cut short by my parents' insistence that I did my
National Service ("To make a man of me"). During that two-year period,
my horizons changed and, with marriage then in prospect, an income was
the first priority upon leaving the Navy. Successive jobs in publishing,
designing ads, etc. led to greater interest in things advertising and
PR. This led to a five-year period resident in Switzerland, working
first for Nestlé, then for Caterpillar. Since 1965 we have been living
in Wolverhampton, where I got a job with Alusuisse for nine years, and
then started my own business. I am only now beginning to wind down.
John Byford (JRGS
1959-66) adds: Professor Morris and Paul Graham are both correct.
John Ruskin moved to 28 Herne Hill (it's the name of a road as well as a
locality) when he was four years old in 1823.
John Byford checks out the house, as promised: The plaque is in the front garden of number 26 (one of a pair of houses). I walked past the house earlier this afternoon; the plaque is quite near the road but you'd miss it if you didn't know it was there. It is an old version of the plaque, i.e. it's not blue.
An Obituary: Arthur Reed (JRCS 1939-44), who passed away in January...
Regular readers of The Times of London will be familiar with the name Arthur Reed, who for many years served as the newspaper's air correspondent. He covered the start of the jet age, which led to mass air travel, and the introduction of the supersonic Concorde, shown right, into service.
According to an obituary published in the paper's 27 January issue, Arthur Laurence Reed was born in Norwood, South London, on 17 February, 1928, and was educated at John Ruskin School. "He was 17," the obituary continues, "and the war was not quite ended, when he applied for a job on the Surrey Times at Guildford. When he replied 'Yes' to the question 'Can you ride a bike?' his career as a journalist began. It was interrupted by two years’ National Service in the RAF as a radio operator. After spells on the Portsmouth Evening News and two years with the Press Association reporting from the House of Commons, he joined The Times as a reporter in 1961."
"Reed was appointed air correspondent in 1967 at a time of intense rivalry and development in aviation, accompanied by much Government hostility. The goodwill of the British air correspondents was eagerly sought by the world’s airlines and plane makers, for they were a long-lived group, whereas aviation ministers averaged less than three years.
"What the senior correspondents such as Reed wrote about civil aviation prospects and the qualities of rival British, American and French civil and military aircraft had much influence on government decisions. Lord Marshall of Knightsbridge, until recently the chairman of British Airways, said of him: 'Any report or commentary appearing under Arthur’s name, most notably in The Times, was compelling and instructive reading for all of us in the industry. He has earned an honoured place in the history of modern aviation.'
"Reed was not impressed by the anti-Concorde attitude of some of his rival air correspondents. He believed it was aviation’s logical task to seek to provide ever faster travel. His enthusiastic description of Concorde’s first passenger flight to Bahrain on 21 January, 1976, was the lead story. He enjoyed recording that Pan American and TWA, who had shortly before led the stampede of 14 airlines to cancel their 70 Concorde orders, had their subsonic jumbo jets’ takeoffs delayed by Concorde’s ceremonial departure.
"Five months later he was
among the 75 passengers on Concorde’s first transatlantic passenger
flight, which travelled faster than a bullet, and reduced the journey
from London to Washington to less than four hours, or half the time it
took then - and now - for subsonic jumbo jets to make the crossing.
"Arthur Reed also found time to indulge his sense of humour for many years by writing and appearing in the annual pantomime for his local dramatic society at Merrow, near Guildford. He is survived by his wife Muriel, and by a son and daughter."
All quoted text ©2005 Times Newspapers Ltd.
Our thanks to Chris Bennett, archivist at The Croydon Archives, for bringing this item to our attention.
Does any member of The Alumni recall Arthur Reed? Please feel free to contact the webmaster.
Mel Lambert Burbank, February 2005 email.
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