JRGS News Archive Page 08
JRGS Alumni Society

Archived News/Activities

- Page 08 - Jun thru Jul 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.


 Derek Falkner (JRGS 1954-61) has unearthed some documents from the Fifties...

I have just been told of the presence of the JRGS Alumni web page and have to confess I found it absolutely engrossing. I attended JRGS from 1954 to 1961. What was the reason for demolishing it? Lack of students? Change in educational policy? [Both - see recent news item - ML.]
   I've dived into my "memorabilia" box and come up with a couple of documents for the web page: a Speech Day programme from 1958, and a programme from the Organ Dedication held on 20th July, 1955.
   These documents are shown below:

Speech Day 1958 page 1 Speech Day 1958 page 2 Speech Day 1958 page 3 Speech Day 1958 page 4

Speech Day 1958-page 1

Speech Day 1958-page 2

Speech Day 1958-page 3

Speech Day 1958-page 4

Organ Dedication 1955 page 1 Organ Dedication 1955 page 2 Organ Dedication 1955 page 3 Organ Dedication 1955 page 4

Organ Dedication-page 1

Organ Dedication-page 2

Organ Dedication-page 3

Organ Dedication-page 4

Click on any image to download a larger copy.
WARNING: these are reasonably large JPEG images; each one is between 120K and 220K bytes.

JRGS School SongAnd I noticed that the words of the school song seem to have changed since I left. Where is the mention of "sinew" in the version on the web site? [See my update - ML]
   The word "body" pales by comparison! I've attached my copy of the original words; click on the image shown left to download a larger version.
  Thank you for putting together a wonderful resource. It brings back so many memories - having to wear school caps on the way to and from school (unless you were in the Sixth Form and could wear a boater instead), bulb-planting days (we had so many burned-out bulbs on the school stage that we held our own "'bulb-planting"), and the day Mr. "Percy" Pearman demonstrated the properties of hydrogen and oxygen in the presence of an electric spark. (We had to evacuate the entire wing and had the rest of the lessons on the grass outside.)

Derek Falkner, Kingston, Ontario, Canada email

Peter Wilson (JRGS 1956-63) adds: I knew Derek Falkner - we had a mutual school-friend called Tom Craggs. (Tom definitely wore a Boater in Summer - I have a photo somewhere of him wearing it!) Derek also had a very pretty sister called Hazel.
   Derek, Hazel and their parents lived in a cul-de-sac just off Wickham Road. (I bought a house a few roads away, West Way Gardens, and lived there from 1969 to 1985). At one time Hazel went out with a John Ruskinian called Tony Hills who also lived in Shirley - wonder what happened to that romance?
   Tony was a superb ballroom dancer and could also play clarinet well - nice chap. I know that Derek's Father lived to a ripe old age although I believe his Mother died much earlier.
   Keep up the good work.


 Brian Dunning (JRGS 1947-52) has uncovered some school images from 1950...

I have now found the photos that I referred to below. I must have had a "senior moment" when I said I could not scan the photos. My son Steve lives 20 minutes away from me and is an IT Consultant with a major company; his house is full of computer equipment and he has scanned these three pictures.

1950 School Photograph

The staff, from left-to-right are as follows: Charlie Chinnock, Woodwork; Mr Richardson, French; Mr. Hancock, Music; Miss Hickmott, French; Mrs. Garwood, School Secretary; Mr. Cracknell, English; Mr. Alexander, Maths; unknown; Mr. Gee, Art; Mr. Chaundy, Physics, unknown; Mr. Lowe, Headmaster; Mr. Smith, Maths and PT; Mr. Cresswell, English; after that my memory gives out.

This panoramic photo, as you will see, was taken in June 1950 and, apart from the pupils, features all the staff including the school secretary/nurse. I am front row fifth from right.

JRGS School Cadet Force

JRGS School Cadet Force

This photo of the school cadet force shows the entire unit with Captain Alexander (centre left) and Captain Babcock (centre right).

This second picture of the school cadet force shows the drill squad doing arms drill on the march to music.

Click on any image to download a larger copy.
WARNING: these are large JPEG images; each one is between 120K and 300K bytes.

Brian Dunning, July 2003 email

Cliff Cummins (JRGS 1956-62) adds: I can supply some more names for the panoramic photo (from left): 16. Mr. Pearman, Chemistry; 18. Mr. Pearce, Maths ("Puncher"); 20. Mr. Peacock, Geography ("Pad").

Brian Dunning updates the staff caption: Miss Hickmott is the teacher sitting on Mr. Hancock's left. Next to Miss Hickmott is the school secretary, Mrs. Garwood. My wife also identifies Miss Hickmott as she also taught her at Ashburton School after Miss Hickmott left John Ruskin.
   With my detectives skills acquired over 31 years, I describe Miss Hickmott as then aged late-Forties, proportionate build, height approx 5 feet 4 inches, greying naturally wavy hair, sallow complexion with rather sunken eyes with dark rings around them. She never wore make-up of any description whereas. Mrs. Garwood was round faced and wore bright red lipstick at all times.

Mike Marsh (JRGS 1949-55) adds more names: I can identify (from left-to-right): Mr. Chinnock, Mr. Richardson, Mr. Hancock, Miss Hickmott, Mrs. Garwood (secretary), Mr.  Cracknell, Mr. Alexander, Mr. Griffiths, Mr. Gee, Mr. Chaundy, Mr. Myers, Mr. Lowe, Mr. Smith, then the one who looks familiar but I cannot put a name to him at all presently, Mr. Whellock, Mr. Pearman, Pierre Francou, (French Assistant), Mr. Pearce, Mr. Culcheth, Mr. Peacock and Mr. Brooks.


 Paul Graham (JRGS 1959-66) has been reading a new book about Shirley...

Images of England


I thought that some of the Alumni might be interested in a new book, entitled Images of England: Shirley and Addington, written by Raymond Wheeler, and published by Tempus Publishing. The book costs 11.99 (+ 1 post & packing in the UK).

   Tempus Publishing Ltd. can reached at +44 (0) 1453 883300 or sales@tempus-publishing.com.
   Click on the image left to download a larger copy of a review written by Brenda Hawkins of the East Surrey Family History Society (of which I'm a member).
   For more in the East Surrey Family History Society visit their website.
   Although I have no email address for Brenda, you can message the Chairman, Rita Russell.

Paul Graham, July 2003 email


 Brian Dunning (JRGS 1947-52) recalls teachers from the early Fifties...

I was a pupil from 1948 until 1953. The headmaster, as we all know, was Mr. Lowe, but the only other masters my fading memory recalls are:

  • Mr. Hancock, our Music Master, who had a "sit-up-and-beg" Ford Popular and gave me
    the occasional lift to school;

  • Miss Hickmott, our French Teacher;

  • Mr. Cresswell (English Master?);

  • Mr. Babcock, Physics, and Captain in School Cadet Corp;

  • As was Mr. Alexander, Mathematics.

   I, somewhere, have a panoramic photograph of the entire school, which must have been taken about 1951/2 and is about three feet long, plus photographs of the school cadets giving a demonstration of army drill to music.
   Unfortunately, I am unable to send attachments on my antiquated computer about which I know very little.

   I often wonder whatever became of some of my old school chums, such as Harry Isles and Andy Anderson, both from West Wickham. If anybody has any knowledge I would be pleased to hear it.
   I will forward more inane trivia as I begin to recall it.

Brian Dunning, July 2003 email


 Terry Weight (JRGS 1959-65) is off to a new job with Shell in The Hague...

On the 1st July, I am starting a new job with Shell in The Hague. My boss managed to piss me off so I looked and found this job. (Not bad at 55!)

   I will be working for Business Improvement at Shell. This is a head office internal consultancy that offers a range of programmes to Shell businesses world wide. The largest programme is Shell Sigma; their version of Six Sigma, which may mean something to some of you. I am to be the methods adviser for the whole programme - i.e. the senior theorist.
   My partner Jacqui is leaving her job after 31 years so it will be quite a little adventure for us both. I lived in Germany for three years once before and thoroughly enjoyed the experience so I have good expectations.
   I will take your good wishes as read; if you all replied with such good wishes my email would give up the ghost. I will continue to use this email for a while yet.

Terry Weight, June 2003 email


 Nick Goy (JRGS 1963-70) has been investigating the fate of the school organ...

I have located a reference to the school organ that was installed at the Shirley Road site during the mid-Fifties. Founded by the British Institute of Organ Studies, The National Pipe Organ Register lists the location and physical description of important instruments throughout the UK. Click here to reach the relevant page from the NPOR directory.

   One thing that's confusing is the Survey date: 1989. Was JRGS a Sixth Form College then? And the Grid Reference is definitely John Newnham, Selsdon, and not Shirley. (Check this at multimap.co.uk.)

   I contacted the current College Estates Manager at John Ruskin Sixth Form College. Unfortunately, they didn't say that they hadn't got an organ - just that they didn't have ours! I don't remember John Newnham having one (let alone one built in 1956). When their kids joined us in Lower Sixth, they were amazed that we had such an instrument.
   Here are the details of the JRGS Organ to be found in the reference mentioned above [(c) 2000 The British Institute of Organ Studies]:

London, Greater, Croydon John Ruskin College [G00513]
Grid ref: TQ3365

Survey date: 1989
Sixth Form College

Date 1956 Builder Bishop & Son, London; made of older work

Stop type:    Draw stop
Pedal board: Radiating & Concave
   Swell to Great
   Swell to Pedal
   Swell Octave
   Swell Sub octave
   Great to Pedal


Key action

Stop action

Compass low

Compass high

Notes Enclosed

Blowing: Electric







2 combos to Swell







2 combos to Great







Balanced Swell


Department Stop Name Pitch  


1 Bourdon



2 Bass Flute



3 Open Diapason



4 Dulciana



5 Clarabella



6 [missing head]



7 Principal



8 Flautina



9 Violin Diapason



10 Rohr Flute



11 Geigen Principal



12 Fifteenth



13 Mixture



14 Trumpet


I thought that I'd ask Croydon Council about the exact date of the school's move to Selsdon, and the final demolition of the Shirley site.
   My research has revealed that the Ruskin site on Upper Shirley Road was demolished in 1991. John Newnham School closed in August, 1987, and became part of John Ruskin V1th Form College. (The latter become a college on 1.9.86.) Because building work had to be done at the John Newnham site, students stayed at the Ruskin site for quite some time. They fully moved into the Newnham site around 1990, with the demolition taking took place in Spring 1991.

Nick Goy, June 2003 email


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