- Page 09 - May thru Aug 2003 -
- Page 09 - May thru Aug 2003 -
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.
|Mel Lambert (JRGS 1959-65) catches up with some interesting reading...|
who's as fascinated as I am about the history and development of a
region of Greater Croydon that was so influential during our school
years is sure to be interested in the new book, Images of England: Shirley and
Addington, written by Raymond Wheeler, and published by Tempus
Click on either graphic to access a larger-format version of the front and back cover.
"Images of England" is truly a fascinating book; lots of wonderful black&white images from the past two centuries, with individual chapters on Shirley Park, Wickham Road, Shirley Church Road, Upper Shirley, Ham Farm, Monks Orchard, Spring Park, Addington, New Addington, and Coombe. Highly recommended.
Mel Lambert, Burbank, California, USA, August 2003 email.
|Peter Wilson (JRGS 1955-63) affirms his admiration for Judith Durham...|
I recently produced and presented a special feature, "The Judith Durham Story," on BBC Guernsey. My 55-minute feature went out yesterday morning [August 25, 2003] and has been very well-received. I'm receiving emails from around the world saying listeners liked it.
website currently has a
picture of Judith Durham in headline position, and a link to a special
profile. Visitors can then access the audio feature.
Because of limited space the audio link will only be there this week - up to the end of Friday, I think - after which BBC Guernsey will take it off.
Someone even rang the station live on air this morning to say how much he enjoyed it, especially the post-Seekers numbers which he'd never heard and thought were better than her Seekers numbers.
Peter Wilson, August 2003 email
|Roger Adcock (JRGS 1963-68) has been corresponding with teacher Neville Graham...|
Greetings - I thought you might appreciate a little update from Neville Graham (my 5G 1967 form master).
Nev, now 70, has lived in New Zealand with wife Pat for 34 years, having emigrated in 1969. Nev has written to me to let me know that they have decided to open a new chapter in their lives and emigrate AGAIN - but this time to join both sons living in Perth, Australia.
Previously, Nev & Pat have spent several months in Perth on holiday; they are obviously are bitten by its charm and wanting to be with their family of two sons.
They fly out to Sydney on 7th September.
The plan is to travel to Perth by The Indian Pacific Railway, one of the world great train journeys.
The Adventure that spans Australia: Sydney - Adelaide - Perth
As the name implies, the Indian Pacific gives you two oceans on one of the world’s longest and greatest train journeys. [Click here for more details.]
But most of their cruising will be across the vast continent of Australia. From the spectacular Blue Mountains to the treeless plains of The Nullarbor, where the train travels the world’s longest straight stretch of railway track (478 kilometres), they will see unique landscapes unfold and spot a fascinating array of wildlife from the comfort of the lounge or your cabin.
The journey from Sydney to Perth covers 4,352 km and in either direction they’ll have three nights aboard the great train. There are many things to see along the way as they cross this vast continent. And they can get up close and see many of them when they enjoy an optional off-train sightseeing tour.
The great train offers these tours during scheduled stops at Broken Hill, Adelaide, and gold-rich Kalgoorlie. A remote outpost on the Nullarbor Plain called Cook - population 2 - presents a further opportunity to stretch their legs.
All along the Indian Pacific route, they must keep their eyes peeled for a sighting of the magnificent Australian wedge tailed eagle, the symbol of this great train. Its massive wingspan of up to two metres will make it easy to spot in a clear desert sky.
That leaves Nev nicely placed to see the two opening games of the Rugby World Cup, having taught us chaps, then the sporting wonders at Linwood High School Christchurch as Head of PE.
Nev, now retired with two hip replacements, is otherwise in the rudeness of health after a lifetime of sporting activity.
LEFT: Neville Graham pictured during a Masters-v-School football match, March 1967.
Staying with the theme of sports, the first of England's Rugby World Cup games starts 12th October versus Georgia, then 18th October versus South Africa, both in Perth. [Click here or on the graphic right for more details.]
Having left New Zealand, Nev writes to tell me that he is still supporting "The All Blacks" to play England in the final on 22nd November, but that he will have to get back on the train, because the game is to be played in Sydney!
We all wish him well on his new life adventure.
Roger Adcock, August 2003 email
|David Wheeler (JRGS 1945-53) recalls life at Tamworth Road...|
I think what I remember the most when I first entered the school gates was the sight of a large brick air raid shelter with a reinforced concrete roof, taking up a large space in the front playground. There was also a large, thick, brick blast wall covering the ground floor entrance at the left hand end of the building. The demolition of these two structures a few weeks later provided much entertainment during the breaks from lessons. Especially noteworthy was the crane that used a large steel ball to break up the concrete roof of the shelter. The rest of the demolition was by manual labour using pneumatic drills and sledge hammers. Once the debris were removed, the whole playground was resurfaced with bitumen.
During the winter, PT was still held in the playground on occasion, with us in just shorts and plimsolls, while Mr. Smith was clad in a thick roll-neck sweater and long trousers. He would tell us that if we exerted ourselves enough, then we would soon warm up. He was a master that I feared in my early years but, as I matured, I started to admire and respect him. He was my form master in my Fifth year and was very popular with his students then.
Talking of sports, I suppose many ex-students of that time remember having to cycle, or take the 654 trolley bus to the Duppas Hill recreation ground where the school sports ground was located. I remember that the Selhurst Grammar School sports ground was adjacent to ours. Not being particularly good at anything sporty, my contribution was to assist Mr. Pearman provide the afternoon teas at the weekend cricket fixtures.
I remember the fund-raising events to provide for the Organ Fund for the new school, a building that I was only to see as a visitor, and I remember, before owing a bicycle, walking along Frith Road and Surrey Street, up the steps through the Grants Arcade to catch my bus to Addiscombe from Katherine Street. Walking along Frith Road, I would pass the basement level of Kennards Department store (now Debenhams) with its penny arcade. Many was the time I went in to try my luck on one of the machines, only to have to walk home having lost my bus fare.
Happy memories indeed.
David Wheeler, August 2003 email
|Stephen Turner (JRGS 1958-62) bring us up to date with his career...|
[In a recent email exchange, I has asked Stephen to refresh my memory regarding the location of 1 Stowell Avenue, the former New Addington home of his wife, Maureen Dick. I remembered it being on the corner of a green that ran round towards Windham Avenue, directly opposite my parent's home at Number 8 - ML.}
You are right about 1 Stowell Avenue being on the corner of the green... exactly. In fact Maureen thinks your father may have taken one or two photos of us the day we got married. The photographer was late at the church and fetched up at 1 Stowell Ave, where we had our reception, and took the formal photos on that famous green.
We have a couple of extras
taken from across the road, maybe by your Dad?
We went to Jakarta in 1968,
Kuala Lumpur in 1971; London then Malta in 1978; Jakarta again in 1983;
London then Consul in Seattle in 1990; Deputy Head of Mission in Hanoi
1995; Deputy High Commissioner in Dhaka 1999; and now Consul General for
New Zealand in Auckland from 2002.
Stephen Turner, Auckland, August 2003 email
|Roger Adcock (JRGS 1963-68) recalls Army Cadet Force membership...|
Correspondence was a little quiet here for
the summer, but good to see new contributions of late.
Roger Adcock, August 2003 email
Mick Richardson (JRGS 1963-68) adds:
Ah, the ACF. I remember it well. Captain Maggs... square bashing... a
Summer trip to Munster Barracks in Germany. Travelling on the Harwich/Hook
of Holland Ferry on the windiest, roughest night for years!. Carrying a
.303 Lee Enfield (without the bolt, of course) - I wonder if you'd get
away with that these days? I think not!
|Stephen Turner (JRGS 1958-62) recalls a popular little ditty...|
Idly playing with Google.com, I stumbled
across the fascinating JRGS site, and tried to find anyone I had been to
school with - Mick Noakes was the only reference, and that only in
passing. But a great effort - thanks.
"We sing little songs
in assembly each day
... They rant and they
An aside: in 1966 I married Maureen (Dick) of 1 Stowell Avenue, New Addington. She remembers Mel Lambert [who lived at No. 8].
Stephen Turner, August 2003 email
Frank S. Feates (JRGS 1943-49) adds: Mr. Smith was at John Ruskin during my time. In 1949 I went to evening classes in Inter BSc Maths at Birkbeck College. Lo and behold... Mr. Smith was also doing the course. I never queried his motives but, as far as I know, he never followed through to the BSc.
Peter Wilson (JRGS 1956-63) adds:
I recall the "Ditty" as being...
|Colin Peretti (JRGS 1955-60) gives a cheer for New Addington...|
Having lived in Oz since the mid Sixties - I
was a New Addington boy up until then (but don't hold that against me) - I
can assure Peter Wilson [contribution below]
that The Seekers are still very popular in Australia.
Colin Peretti, South East Queensland, Australia, May 2003 Email.
Peter Wilson (JRGS 1956-63) adds:
Glad to know that The Seekers still have
their following in Oz - I know they did their "Last Ever" (but this time
it looks as if it really is) Tour in Australia in March of this year. Did
Colin Peretti go to any of the concerts? I think there were 22 spread
around various locations. I had looked at going, but my other half was in
hospital in early March so it wasn't realistic for me to be 12,000 miles
(JRGS 1959-66) adds: As
a former New Addington habitué, I thought that I'd research the musical
career of JRGS Alumnus Ivor Aylesbury, mentioned above by Colin Peretti. I recall that The Silkie were touted as England's answer to
American folk groups like Peter, Paul and Mary. Also managed by Brian
Epstein, members of The Beatles were reported to have helped The Silkie
record its version of "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" at about the
same time as The Fab Four's own version was released on the Help!
|Roger Hall (JRGS 1959-64) recalls a favourite Chemistry Master...|
Hmm, Mr. "Percy" Pearman and his explosions. I remember him exploding acetylene and leaving a huge sooty patch on the ceiling, much to the annoyance of the lab assistant who spent the rest of the term trying to clean it. We would all have to crouch behind the lab benches as did "Percy," whose hand would appear with a lighted taper and... boom!
His anecdote was that when he was a boy they had acetylene bicycle lamps, which periodically exploded. "And when you came out of hospital, you would buy another one."
Or the other occasion when, not wearing his glasses he asked "boy" to give him some dilute hydrochloric acid. Puzzled by the resultant reaction, he asked "boy" to check the label. "Oh dear, sir, it's concentrated nitric acid." At which point "Percy" hid behind his bench, crying "Out of the lab for your lives, boys... out of the lab for your lives!"
And do you remember how he was often asleep when we came into his lesson? We would all creep into his class to avoid waking him so that we wouldn't have to work. But he always stirred and woke up. Hmm, don't suppose it was his technique for getting a quiet controlled class?
I have always thought that he was one of the really good masters at JRGS. Happy memories.
Roger Hall, Cardiff email
Mel Lambert (JRGS 1959-66) adds: As many of you will recall, I worked with Mr. Pearman as Chemistry Laboratory Technician for the year after I left JRGS, 1965-66. He was truly a kindly soul, although he needed to distance himself since I was only a few months removed from being a schoolboy.
As I have mentioned elsewhere,
one day I cut my right hand to ribbons on a piece of brittle glass tubing
while attempting to poke it into a rubber bung. "Percy" came into the
Chemistry Lab just before first class began - must have been after the
morning school assembly - and caught sight of me, my hand and the blood
splattered all over my face. He sat me down, ignored the pupils streaming
into the Lab and took care of business. He bandaged the fingers as best he
could - I had slashed down my thumb and several fingers, as well as
thrusting a glass shard through my middle finger! - and packed me off to
Croydon General Hospital on the bus for an X-ray to check for embedded
glass, 12 stitches and bandaging. I caught merry heck from Mr. "Joe" Lowe
when I returned. But "Percy" was very solicitous and explained that glass,
as it ages, becomes very brittle... and to be more careful next time.
(JRGS 1956-63) adds: I remember Mr. "Percy" Pearman well. He was
my form-master one year in the Sixth Form. I remember him saying that we
should all act like men and not like boys... and if by then we "knew one
end of a woman
from the other" then it was nothing special. "We all do, chaps," he said.
I met her after each of the four concerts I attended, and was invited backstage at Bristol. Last week I flew into London and spent about an hour and 40 minutes with her on Wednesday afternoon, chatting away and recording an interview at her hotel.
Now, come on chaps - at least those of you of my generation; I was 60 on Friday (yes, I'm 22 days younger than Judith Durham) - wouldn't you still give almost anything to spend that much time with Judith?
She's petite, slim, graceful, with charm, poise and is a real lady. Gone is the slightly chubby 21 year-old from 1964, but she's still that same young girl at heart. Her face lights up, those eyes sparkle and the long brown hair is as lovely as ever. She still sings every bit as well as when she was 20. (Maybe even better as she now has more confidence.) Her piano playing is great too.
Every bit a lady - and such a lovely person too.
Derek Falkner (JRGS 1954-61) adds: Don't forget that Mr. "Percy" Pearman's cat knew more chemistry than any of us! "Percy" also had a habit of aiming a piece of chalk at the mouth of any boy caught yawning in his class.
Fortunately, he was not a very good shot.
Terry Weight (JRGS 1959-65) adds: I too remember Mr. "Percy" Pearman well. He always kept his chalk in his mouth. I remember quietly (but not quietly enough) offering him a light. He was happy to play along with the joke!
Good for "Percy;" Chemistry was fun!
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