JRGS News Archive Page 11
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- Page 11 - Nov thru Dec 2003 -

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.


 Mike Marsh (JRGS 1949-55) has been rummaging through his photo album...

Blue Pool

I don't think that I have sent The Alumni these pictures before. I must admit that they are not very good though.

    The originals are quite small, about 3" x 2", so it is difficult to get much out of them now.

   There is one of Mr. "Smut" Smith knee deep in snow taken in Switzerland in 1952 (upper left) with a chap called Hopker behind him. "Hoppy" and I used to go cycling together. (Of all the pictures I took on that school trip there are only two or three with any people on them!)

   The other one is of me and Hoppy at The Blue Pool (bottom). I forget where the Blue Pool was now, maybe Grindlewald? You might see someone on the one of the Blue Pool itself but they are rather far off! (There is one with Mrs. Garwood in dark shadow as well, but I did not bother with that one).

   The trip stayed at a hotel in the village of Aeschi near Lake Thun.

   Click on any image to download a larger version.

Mike Marsh, Great Cornard, Sudbury, Suffolk, December 2003; email.


 John Cobley (JRGS 1958-65) recalls three Drama Society productions...

In hopes of jogging a few memories I submit for your diversion three programs from plays produced by the JRGS Dramatic and Junior Dramatic Societies during the early Sixties, as well as some interesting images from two of these productions. Of course, with Ruskin being an all-boys school, boys were required to play the female roles. I remember being quite at ease with my cross-gender casting in Toad of Toad Hall, having been taken regularly as a child to Christmas pantomimes where it was a tradition that some characters where played by actors and actresses of the opposite gender. (Later in life the appeal of cross dressing just wasn't there.)

Click on any image to download a larger version.

Toad program

Programme for "Toad of Toad Hall"
Performed First and Second April 1960.

A first-hand account of the production, written by John Rivers (who played Badger), appeared on page 9 of the July 1960 JRGS School magazine.


Toad of Toad Hall , full cast:
Back row (left-to-right): R. A. O'Leary (prompt); David Pearce (correct spelling here - see autograph on "Dr Knock" programme); John Cobley; Jeremy Salter; John Walker; unknown; Stanley Mason; Geoffrey Boyce; Clive Thompson; John Rivers; Robert Hoffman; David Tidd; Ian Castro; Steven Smith (?); Peter Wilson (?) Front row (left-to-right): unknown; unknown; unknown; Geoffrey Nicholson (horse); unknown; unknown; John Turner (?); unknown. (Which one in the front row is Roy Hodgson?)

Toad of Toad Hall scene:
(left-to-right): Jeremy Salter; John Cobley; and David Pearce.

Toad of Toad Hall scene:
(left-to-right): Clive Thompson (as Toad); and John Cobley.

Programme for "Dr Knock" (24th and 24th April, 1961).
On the back of the programme the director Mr. A. C. "Fred" Field has signed (in red ink, top left).
The Dr Knock programme was printed at the John Ruskin Press, in four colours no less. In the previous year one programme (for Macbeth, 1960) was printed by Heath Press, Thornton Heath, whilst the other programme (Toad of Toad Hall, 1960) was also printed at the John Ruskin Press.

Dr Knock, full cast:
Back row (left-to-right): R. A. O'Leary (prompt); Robert Hoffman (?); John Walker; Richard Hayward; David Pearce; David Tidd; Stanley Mason; Richard Phillips (?); John Cobley; John George; and Martin Streeter (?) Front row (left-to-right): John Turner (?); Geoffrey Nicholson (?); Geoffrey Boyce; and Peter Goulding.

Dr Knock scene:
(left-to-right): Peter Goulding; Geoffrey Boyce; John Cobley; and John George.

Dr Knock scene:
: David Tidd (Dr. Knock); and John Cobley (Farmer).

Programme for "Macbeth" (1960).
With, interestingly, Paul Graham listed as Third Apparition.

See review published in the April 1961 JRGS School Magazine, pages 20, 21 and 35.

John Cobley, San Francisco, USA, December 2003; email

Derek Charlwood (JRGS 1958-64) adds: Thanks to John Cobley for the photos. As I reminisced in an earlier email, I was "the car!" As a small boy I had to hide behind the car and turn the wheels and shoot water into the air using a syringe/pump contraption to simulate a breakdown. The wheels were operated by a rope pulley, but it was difficult to keep the wheels turning at a uniform speed as it was all hand operated, and my arms got tired and I had to change position several times. I can still hear Mr. "Fred" Field hissing from the wings. "The wheels, boy, turn the wheels!"
   I helped backstage on some other plays, but sadly do not remember which ones, only that whilst a rehearsal was going on on the stage, some of us back stage staff were listening to a radio broadcast of an England football match when Johnny "Budgie" Byrne of Third Division Crystal palace was making his debut. I think that it was Mr. "Fred" Field that caught us, and we escaped being sent back to lessons by the skin of our teeth.
I can remember walking about on the lighting bars above the stage hanging on to the ropes. Really quite dangerous and in today's safety-conscious world it would be definitely forbidden.


 Mel Lambert (JRGS 1959-65) has been visiting the Croydon Archive...

Croydon Archive


Tantalized by the recent visit by Nick Goy (JRGS 1963-70) and Paul Graham (JRGS 1959-66) to the Local Studies Library and the Croydon Archives, I thought I'd take a look myself during a whirlwind visit to England in late November with my partner Merelyn Davis.

   As required, I made an appointment with the Archivist, Chris Bennett, pictured left with this writer, and settled down to a fascinating afternoon of leafing through some of the JRGS documents held by the Croydon Archives. (Click on image to view larger version.)

   In particular, I spend time with Mr. Lowe's School Record, a scrapbook of his time as headmaster, in addition to the official Log Book and other documents. I will report later on the images I secured from the visit, but here is one that I find particularly intriguing. The picture below left probably was taken in Spring 1964, when my then Lower Sixth form master, Mr. "Harry" Green, organized a field trip with an Upper Sixth biology group.

  With help from John Cobley & Paul Graham, I think we have identified the participants:
Back row, left to right: John Ashby Turner; Paresh (spelling?) D. Gajjar; unknown; Peter J. Hylands ("Pudge"); I. A. Eastwood; Terry H. Rabbitts; John D. Wheal; Harold Dunton; Graham J. Fentiman (with shovel); David Farnsworth; Peter Thompkins; and Derek Smith. Front row, left to right: Malcolm Bayly; Mel Lambert; unknown; Roger Searle; John P. W. Rivers; Martin Preuveneers; Russell Ead; and Graham Telfer.

Mel Lambert, Burbank, California, USA, December 2003; email.


 Mike Marsh (JRGS 1949-55) recalls Mr. R N Alexander...

Mr Alexander

The attached photo of Mr. R N Alexander (Mathematics) was taken at the "new" school in Shirley, just before he left in 1955 to serve as headmaster of Arlesley/Stotfold Secondary School, Bedfordshire.
   Sadly Mr. Alexander died on the 17th of May, 1970. "A meticulous teacher, firm disciplinarian, a man of independent but fair judgment," wrote Mr. Lowe in the 1971 JRGS school magazine. [more]

   Click on the image to view a larger version.

Mike Marsh, Great Cornard, Sudbury, Suffolk, October 2003; email.


 Stephen Cruickshank (JRHS 1977-81) has scanned the 1981 Sixth Form photo...

1981 School Photo

The enclosed Upper-Sixth Form photo of Year 1981 (May) would be good to see on The Mill web site. The only teacher is Mr. John Rowlands, seated in the middle of the bottom row.
  I attended the school from Shirley High and did three years, followed by two years in the Sixth Form. I don't think it was known as a College at that stage, but quite a number of pupils came from other schools to do their Sixth Form at JR.

I am not in the picture as I missed the photo session due to one of my school colleague's car breaking down on a fish and chip shop run.

Click on the image to view a larger version.

Warning: This is a large 620KB JPEG image.

Stephen Cruickshank, November 2003; email


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