JRGS News Archive Page 14
JRGS Alumni Society

Archived News/Activities

- Page 14 - Feb thru Mar 2004 -

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.


 Steve Lillyston from Malory School recalls several ex-JRGS teachers...

Iím an old Malory School pupil. I see we had a number of your masters who kept us in shape from time to time (Mr. Clark, Mr. Warne, etc). But I also see from your list of school masters that you also had a Mr. Sharrock, who joined Malory as Deputy Headmaster in 1963 (I think). He left us in 1965 (half way through our Pure Maths A-Level), and the chap we ended up with was nowhere near as talented as Mr. Sharrock so I failed to learn anything from him, and ended up passing Pure Maths solely on the basis of what Mr. Sharrock taught us. He was a great maths teacher, and was badly missed by us all.

   Malory Comprehensive was built in 1958, based on the knights of the round table, and pulled together the boys and girls from a couple of schools that were closed down, as well as new first formers like myself. It was located in South East London off Downham Way, about a mile from Grove Park railway station. I was in the second yearís intake, and attended from 1959 to 1966.
   We had a few JRGS old masters try to knock some sense into us. Hylton J. Clark was Housemaster of Lancelot House (my house); Mr. Warne was head of Languages and Housemaster of Galahad House; and Mr. Sharrock was Deputy Headmaster. (I think he was also head of Maths, but Iím not too sure on that.) Mr. Sharrock wasnít with us long which, as I said, was a real shame because he was such a wonderful teacher. We all admired and respected his quiet strength, as well as his attention to detail.

   Mr. Clark was the greatest! He turned me around as a young man, and Iíve a lot to thank him for. Actually, I did thank him last year when I attended a Malory reunion in Bromley. I found Mr. Clarkís address in the phone book and wrote him to invite him to attend the reunion. He attended and, I think, had a good time. We certainly all enjoyed seeing him again. He was in quite good health, despite being in his early Eighties, still living with his wife in Bromley. He used to love to travel, but finds that difficult now at his age. That didnít stop him getting along to our reunion, though, and enjoying a glass or two of Englandís fine ale. He also stopped smoking that awful pipe of his some years ago, for health reasons.

   Funnily enough, I loved Maths, English and French. I didnít have the privilege of being taught by Mr. Clark, but I understand he was very good. But I was taught French by Mr. Warne and Maths by Mr. Sharrock, and both were excellent teachers.

   I now live in New Zealand, where Iíve been most of my adult life (1970-90, 1994-present) with a four-year break between 1990 and 1994 when I lived with my ďnewĒ wife in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. I used to work for Tandem Computers based in Santa Clara (in the heart of Silicon Valley). Weíre retired from the computer game, although I help out managing databases and web sites for local organizations and friends, but we also run a small self-contained cottage. (Our site is currently being restored as our server was located in a building that just burnt to the ground, but Iím assured the site will be up and running by tomorrow!) Our home is in Greytown, which is part of the South Wairarapa district of New Zealand, famous for its wines (Pinot Noir, especially). Iím a member of Rotary as well as being involved with a number of other local community organizations.

   Iím happy for anyone to email me; Iíd love to know where Mr. Sharrock is, as Iíd like to thank him as well.

Steve Lillyston, Greytown, Wairarapa, New Zealand, March 2004; email.

Paul Graham (JRGS 1959-66) adds: When I taught in junior schools in the Forest Hill/Catford area of SE London in the mid-Seventies, Malory was one of the secondary schools our pupils used to go to, but I had forgotten its link to JRGS. Nice comments about the ex-staff. I cannot find Hylton Clark's name in my phone book, but if Steve supplies his address I will gladly write to him.


 Mike Briggs supplies images of his grandfather and a fascinating certificate...


Further to the audio clips of my grandfather, Alfred Leslie Stacey, relatives have now been able to locate both a copy of a certificate and also a photo.
   The photo shown left dates from 1927, a couple of years after he left John Ruskin Boys' Central School, while the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce Certificate of The First Class in Economic Geography, awarded on May 1923, is shown right. Click on the image to download a larger version.

In downloading these images you acknowledge your agreement to the following terms, under which they are made available on this Web site:
The copyright in these images is held by M Briggs. These images have been made available under license for the personal use of people accessing the Web site of the John Ruskin Grammar School Alumni Society, and may not be edited, modified, republished, sold, leased, rented or used for any commercial purpose without the written permission of M Briggs. ©2022 Mike Briggs. All rights reserved.


 Mike Etheridge (JRGS 1963-65) recalls our strong cricketing heritage...

Although the Etheridge family doesn't have any photos of the Streatham Colts cricket team from the Sixties, we have got some junior school cricket pictures that date back to the late Fifties. These photos include pictures of Bob Houghton and Graham Fentiman; I may also have pictures of the senior Streatham 1st Cricket Team, which would include Steve Kember.

   Other Ruskin lads who played cricket for Streatham Colts (based then at Frant Road, Thornton Heath) I did not mention were David Guscott and Colin Bateman. (A year or two ago I read a cricket report I think in the Daily Mirror written by a Colin Bateman - could it be the same chap?)

This photo shows the Croydon School cricket team selected from various primary schools. It was taken in 1958 at Addiscombe Cricket Club, Sandilands, following the cricket final between Whitehorse School - the victors - and South Norwood Primary.

   The picture also appears below on page 22 of the 1959 "How's That?" magazine.

   Ex-Ruskin school captain Graham Fentiman can be seen at age about 11, centre front, and Ruskin's Bob Houghton at age 10 in the back row second left, next to my twin brother (capped first left). The other capped player (capped for batting performances) is John Wells, a particularly gifted cricketer who died with about 30 other Lanfranc School pupils and two teachers in the Stavanger Air Disaster of 1962, when their Vickers Viking charter aircraft hit a mountain in bad weather. (Colts wicket keeper Trevor Condell also died in the crash).



Staying with the cricket theme, I have scanned some of the pages from "How's That?" - Croydon Schools' Cricket Association magazine from 1959. Page 1 - right - shows that Mr. Charles "Smut" Smith was on the committee for Croydon Schools Cricket.

   Although I have scanned the magazine front cover in black and white to keep the file size down, the border is red, as are the words "How's That?" The speech bubble is pink.



On Page 8-9 (left) - a mention of J. Oliver from JRGS.


On Page 14-15 - Bob Houghton is featured.



On Page 20-21 (left) - M. Etheridge, A. Durr, R Houghton are featured.


On Page 22-23 - Graham Fentiman is featured here.



The cover of the following year's edition of "How's That?" - Croydon Schools Cricket Association magazine - 1960 - is orange, and shows Lanfranc/Streatham Colts wicket keeper Trevor Condell, who died in the Stavanger Air Crash.


On Page 6-7 - JRGS and D. Oliver are mentioned.





On Page 10-11 (left) - JRGS loses final; Graham Fentiman takes eight wickets for 35 runs; Bateman and Noakes get mentions.


On Page 12-13 - Mr. Lowe gets a mention, I think, for Croydon School Masters X1 on page 13.



On Page 18- - Bob Houghton is featured. I don't know why I'm promoting him, because the last time I saw him, which was in Allders department store, he seemed to purposely blank me.

   He was a lad with great confidence and sporting ability. Once, while watching the Primary Schools Football Final in 1958 (Benson versus Shirley Church of England), held at Crystal Palace's Selhurst Park football ground, he managed to spit from an upper stand right in the middle of an adult spectator's bowler hat on the level below - without detection!


Finally... while looking for the cricket photos I found this picture of a pike I caught on the Sussex Ouse. A friend phoned The Angling Times, and my picture, complete with 1970 Buddy Holly-style thick rimmed specs, appeared in the paper - probably my only claim to fame!

   If anyone wants the rest of the "How's That?" magazines scanned please let me know.

Click on any image to download a larger version.

Mike Etheridge, March 2004; email.

Roger Adcock (JRGS 1963-68) adds: A most interesting development and excellent content from Mike.

   The Stavanger air disaster affected so many around Croydon - I was talking just before Xmas to an old Croydon buddy who lost a brother in the event.

   The following is an interesting site on the dreadful disaster; the image left is of The Lanfranc Memorial in the Mitcham Road Cemetery, which was dedicated in May 1962.

ML adds: On 9th August 1961 a chartered plane carrying 34 schoolboys and two teachers from the Archbishop Lanfranc Secondary Boysí School crashed in a storm off the Norwegian coast. According to The Croydon Advertiser in December 1961: "The Mayor of Croydonís Lanfranc Memorial Fund will be used to build a £5,000 sports pavilion in the grounds of Lanfranc Secondary School." A preliminary report of an inquiry commission stated that no technical failure was discovered in the aircraft or its equipment.


 Grant Harrison (JRGS 1959-66) discovers some more Army Cadet Force pictures...




Two are of an ACF Colours Ceremony held in the school playground that I described in a previous news item. The pictures are quite remarkable since they show the whole company lined up in front of the school, and then a march past with a full military band leading. I don't think the school would have seen anything like it before or since.

   The pictures must have been taken by my late father, although the memory of the occasion is pretty dim.

  The other picture (below left) is of a fishing party on The Thames, circa 1962. Left to right are Michael (Jack) Horner, Roger Taylor and Bob Seward.

   I still see Bob regularly down on his farm in mid-Devon. We were very good friends. We went camping around Europe a couple of times, with a group of others, and I was his best man in 1970.

Click on any image to download a larger version.

Grant Harrison, January 2004; email.

Robert Seward (JRGS 1959-63) adds: I was aghast when I saw the photo of the 1962 fishing trip that Grant dug out - I can remember the very day. (I actually fell into the river!)


 Martin Loveday (JRGS 1959-66) recalls his post-JRGS musical experiences Ö

Many thanks for your unexpected letter [from Paul Graham; ex-JRGS music teacher Ian Butterworth had supplied a contact address]. A lot of the names have a familiar ring about them but I have to admit I'd be hard pushed to put a face to any of them - but I've a terrible memory these days!

   Some years ago when they closed the school I attended a reunion at John Ruskin - it was organised by some enterprising person (whose name I've forgotten and has now moved to New Zealand, I believe ) who managed to get together most of the members of the football and cricket teams. Mr. Smith (the Sports and Maths teacher) was there - it was a good evening but I'm not sure if all that nostalgia does you any good.

   After attending the Royal College of Music for four years I got a job in an orchestra in Lisbon, where I also studied the violin for a couple more years with a Russian teacher. On returning to England I got employment with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and then the BBC Symphony Orchestra. There followed a spell in Dublin as leader of the Radio Orchestra, and then I rejoined the BBC as leader of the Concert Orchestra. I held this position until May 2000 when I had a bit of an accident with my right shoulder - this forced my retirement from the BBC and from any form of professional playing. I now do a little teaching and coaching at various places (including the Royal College of Music).

   About 18 months ago I surprised myself (and the doctors!) by starting to play tennis again - something I do regularly now. Although we still live in London we are hoping to move to the country later this year.
   That's a brief resume of the story so far! Look forward to more news on the website.
Martin Loveday, London, February 2003; email

Paul Graham (JRGS 1959-66) adds: Great to hear from you. You're dead right about putting faces to names. Mel Lambert and I have been working on this on and off since we made contact again about two years ago after a 30-year gap, and still we find it difficult. However, the page on the website for our 1962 5U class might jog a few memories. Any chance of an up-to-date picture as well?
   Nice to learn about what you've been up too. Have you kept in touch with any of the "missing persons" from the 5U list?

   Good news to hear that your accident hasn't meant the end of your music career. Hope the move to the country goes off well. If you ever get a spare moment, a small article on the music scene at JRGS, under Mr. "Spike" Hancock and then Dr. Terry James, would be really valuable.

Martin Loveday replies: Just for the record I'm married with one son. I can't help you with info on anyone else from 5U - the only contact I've ever had was when I went to the reunion of the football and cricket teams when they closed the school.

   The website was a real trip down memory lane. You've done wonders to get it this far. I will send you a snapshot when I've found something suitable (i.e. one that makes me look youngish).

Mike Etheridge (JRGS 1963-65) adds: Nice to read Martin Loveday's letter regarding his success in the music industry.

   Martin played cricket for the Streatham Colts team during the school summer holidays with other Ruskin lads such as Steve Kember, [Colin] Powis and myself in the mid-Sixties. On one occasion when Martin was batting particularly well, one of the cricket managers (Frank Skinner, Snr.) suggested to me it was a shame that Martin was so pressurised by his mum to practice his music, as it probably had a detrimental affect on his cricket progress! Both she and Martin obviously knew what they were doing.

   I assume that the Bob Seaward mentioned in [a recent email - see above] is the same chap from the U1V Science Alpha class of 1965. I have checked my speech day program for 1965 and his name is not mentioned though. I'm sure I remember Bob as really cheery lad with a laugh almost the equal of Biff Byford's.

   My brother in law, like Bob, also owns a property in mid Devon. The place used to function as a farm and includes a listed Devon Longhouse, four barns and a couple of fields. (Dare I mention that the Secretary for the Mid Devon Hunt lives next door?)

   The property is located on Dartmoor just beyond Chagford, a Stannary village. We normally visit the place each year for a holiday. It would be amazing to think that Bob could be mucking out his cow shed and doing all his other chores in the same locality.


 Mike Marsh (JRGS 1949-55) supplies an image of the Ruskin Memorial in Cumbria...


I thought The Alumni might like to see this picture of Ruskin's memorial "By a mountain lake", in Coniston of course.
   It is not my picture, but permission to use it is granted from the originator - Ann Bowker. Click on the image to view a larger version.

   The simple memorial of Borrowdale slate was erected in October 1900 at Friars Crag on Derwentwater. John Ruskin (1819-00) had many associations with Keswick, saying once that the location was a place almost too beautiful to live in.
   More information is available on the Cumbria website.

The inscription reads:

"The First Thing
Which I Remember
As An Event In Life
Was Being Taken By
My Nurse To The Brow
Of Friars Crag On

  Mike Marsh, Great Cornard, Sudbury, Suffolk, February 2004; email.


 Colin Wood (JRGS 1961-68) has reincarnated the old school song...

While I agree that everybody has done a superb job with the JRGS site, do you know what would make it even better? The music of the school song playing in the background. I have prepared a soundtrack from memory. Let me know what you think, chaps.

   The original words were written by Mr. G. E. Manning with the accompanying music by Mr. Joseph Norton Hancock. As the March 1948 school magazine reported: "The song is an exhortation; a call to shake off apathy, to capture the faith that inspired men like John Ruskin. Mr. Hancock's music is stirring and spirited, and fits the words admirably." [more]

   I am still trying to contact Dr. Terry James to see if he has a copy of the music. Meanwhile I had a play around at the weekend, dredging my poor old memory banks, and I produced a recording that I have embedded in the attached Flash Movie file. The original MP3 and WAV files are quite a bit bigger, but I can supply them if anybody wants them - I might redo the recording if I do get the music sometime soon.

   The music files are the results of a multitrack recording - mainly keyboards but some brass too. The problem is I'm still not sure if it's true to the original score. Perhaps visitors to the site can decide whether it fits with their recollections?

   By the way, in case anybody is wondering why my website is called Ruskin House and why I have used the Windmill logo, here's the story. I called the house Ruskin House when we moved here partly because of my school connections, partly because the road is called Windmill Avenue, and partly because my late father went to Ruskin College, Oxford (which is just a few miles from here). It all seemed to fit nicely.

The Flash file should start to download automatically; there might be a slight delay before you hear and see anything, particularly on slower dial-up connections. (If you do not have access to a suitable Flash Player, visit the Macromedia web site.)

Colin Wood, February 2004, email

John Cobley (JRGS 1958-65) adds: Quite priceless to have the musical accompaniment! It, of course, intensifies the emotive impact of the song no end.

   The one thing I do remember was that when Mr. "Spike" Hancock played the organ the stops came out for the last verse, and that the very last line of the last verse was "pumped up" for emphasis; I think that the entire very last line was repeated with chords in a higher register, to climactic effect. Do you recall this?
   I also recall that each boy had a blue, hard cover, pocket-sized hymn book (Ancient and Modern?) in which the words to the school song were on a sheet pasted inside the back cover.
   Thanks for your effort.

Derek Charlwood (JRGS 1958-64) adds: Well done on the school song, but does anybody else recall the hymn "God be in my Head" which, according to my somewhat shaky memory, was sung at the end of every assembly, often very half heartedly?
   Whenever I hear it now it takes me straight back to the school hall!


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