- Page 06 - April 2003 -
- Page 06 - April 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.
|Roger Adcock (JRGS 1963-68) reports on "The Middle-Aged Posse" - 1967/8's 5G...|
We met again on April 23rd 2003 at The
Surprise pub at the school gates to stare in wonder at what happened over
the past years, after parting company on 8th July 1968. Ten of the class
of 31 appeared on the night - only John Willsher turned up two days early
on the Sunday (wrong date; right pub!)
We had messages of greetings from Neville Graham (the "G" in 5G) now retired and living in New Zealand - his full message is included below - Geoff Spiller living in Singapore, Mick Richardson from RAF High Wycombe, Gary Day Ellison from Dartmoor in Devon, and Roger Williams in Oxford.
On disbandment 5G numbered 35
and, by luck, we are in touch around the world with 23. In touch are
Email received from Neville Graham, our form master in 1967/68:
I believe you are having the 'get together' at The Surprise next week,
with a few of the other 'old men' of 5G. Maybe you could read these few
lines from me if the opportunity arises?
"As you may know, I have spent the last 34 years in NZ and a lot of water has passed under the bridge for all of us. The old photos were a great help in recalling you all and I can honestly say that I had not forgotten a single face, although I can't say the same about names! As for the recent 'mug shots' - mine included - WOW! You can perhaps imagine how old they make me feel!
"Roger has been pestering me to tell him my age, so I will announce to you all that I became a septuagenarian last October. My two sons tell me I am now officially 'a wrinkly.' I hasten to add that I don't feel old and I am grateful for that. The only scars of life I carry I suppose are two Hip Replacements caused by wear and tear above and beyond the call of duty.
"I want you to know that I look on my time at Ruskin as some of my 'halcyon' years. It was a fine school. The staff worked hard to maintain high standards in good manners and behaviour as well as academic achievement. I have no doubt that J. C. Lowe was considered a 'square,' even in those days, but I found him an excellent boss and a real gentleman. I can remember him waxing lyrical after a staff cricket match, with the immortal words: 'You know, Graham, one can live a life-time of experiences, walking to and from the wicket.'
"It is terrific to hear how you have all fared in the 'battle of life' after leaving school and, like most teachers, I feel privileged to have been associated with you in some small way. Hopefully I may meet up with one or two of you if I ever come to UK again.
"Have a great night on the 23rd." >>previous email
Roger Adcock, April 2003 Email
|Paul Winter (JRGS 1959-62) delves deeper into the photo album...|
I had a quick look through my old negatives, and found about 15 strips that may or may not be relevant.
Here are three representative photos (click on thumbnail to download a larger version):
1. "Prefect's Photo," with head boy Herbert Kitching in centre, Murray and Trevor Lowe on the right, second row down. Peter Allen is on the top row - a typical pose, holding his jacket importantly! Peter went to Hull University with me, and was in the same lodgings for the duration. He stayed on for a Physics PhD and we lost contact - last heard of in the States, I think.
2. Class Photo with Mr. Thomas; I was in 5T - the year was possibly 1960. I am second from right next to Johnny Le Vine, far right. (He also logged on Friends Reunited.)
3. This picture must have been taken in 1962, since the boys were my year, and not made Prefects until the Upper Sixth. I think Johnny Le Vine is directly under Alan Bailey and next to Peter Allen (beneath and to his right) - all positional references looking at the pictures.
I never made the exalted height
of Prefect - I was made a cycle warden - later upgraded to Vice Prefect!
However, the Fifteen Society made me a member by invitation, and I was
particularly proud of that honour bestowed upon me by the demi-Gods of the
Upper Sixth in 1961!
Paul Winter, April 2003, email
John Cobley (JRGS 1958-65) adds:
Seeing the picture of Mr. Thomas reminded me of a long forgotten activity.
When I was in form 1P ("P" for Mr. Peasey) in 1958, Mr. Thomas used to
teach us italic script handwriting once a week during a lunch break. This
class was voluntary.
(JRGS 1956-62) adds: I know all the faces in the Prefect's Photo,
but annoyingly cannot help
Peter Wilson (JRGS 1956-63) adds:
[Paul Graham had suggested to Peter that the latter was pictured on the right of Paul Winter's third photograph - ML.]
Yes, indeed it is! I even recall the photos
being taken. I can put names to quite a few. I can see Pete(r) Lyle,
footballer and high-jumper from Beta House. (I think he joined the RAF.) I
recall that Colin Bateman was the school's number 1 goalkeeper and Peter
Lyle the number 2.
Photograph 3: Back Row (L-to-R) Herbert Kitching hoisted by Alan Bailey (left) and John Stewart (right). Standing L-to-R are John Brightwell; UNKNOWN; Peter Allen; UNKNOWN; Bob Wenn; Peter Wilson. In front are Robin Clark(e); UNKNOWN; "Haggis," with glasses on crookedly; and three other UNKNOWNs.
|Maurice Lees (JRGS 1964-71) has unearthed some unsettling images...|
|Paul Winter (JRGS 1959-62) signs in as our second Alumnus school master...|
I just chanced upon the Ruskin web site
www.FriendsReunited.com, and discovered a blank space with my name on
it in the staff section!
Paul Winter, April 2003 Email
|Maurice Lees (JRGS 1964-71) recalls the U-Stream and Mr. Rees...|
[See below for a fascinating image that Maurice supplied of Windmill House, Upper Shirley Road - ML.]
I was at JRGS from September 1964 until the end of January 1971. I appear in the 1964 and 1967 school photos, but not the 1970 one - I wasn't there very much in the last term, preferring to work at home or in Crystal Palace library.
The only benefit I gained from the U-Stream was the chance to add another A-Level in a hurry, and then work for eight months before going to college.
My memories of JRGS are a bit like the curate's egg. The Sixth Form was marvelous, as was the 15 Society. My fondest memories are of Mr. Murray and Dr. James. The period up to O-Level, however, was pretty grim. The nadir was having Mr. Rees as my form master in 5U and O-Levels as well - what a combination.
Like Roger Hall, I currently work for BT's Computing Department, based in Croydon.
Maurice Lees, April 2003 Email
|Mel Lambert (JRGS 1959-65) has been foraging on the bbc.co.uk website...|
And now for something a little different... having become addicted to streaming audio from the BBC Radio internet site - spending my mornings here in California enjoying such delights as "The Afternoon Play" and "PM" - I have been looking at other areas of the BBC Radio website.
Recently, I came across a
section dedicated to "Radio
Fun," a favorite comic of the Thirties, Forties and Fifties. I thought
I'd share some of the images.
©IPC Media. All rights
Mel Lambert, April 2003 Email
|Nick Goy (JRGS 1963-70) recalls bulb planting and nature study lessons...|
What a truly amazing website. It's just like
being back at the old school; sad that it's gone.
Nick Goy, April 2003 Email
|Dudley Wolf (JRGS 1943-47) has unearthed an early sketch from Shirley...|
Having alerted Dudley to a feature of page 8 on the March 1948 school magazine that mentioned his mural at the original Scarbrook Road site, he replied:
I didn't realise how famous I was at the time! I believe that I had left to join the Art School before that magazine was issued - otherwise I would have had the cutting framed and preserved for all time! A little puff from the past!
Another snippet: I believe that on the site of the "new" school before it was built there stood a large derelict house with a sort of tower. We hooligans used to clamber all over that house at all hours of day and night after a glass or two of cider at "The Surprise."
I did make a water colour sketch of the house, which I enclose. Click on the image left to download a larger version.
I have no idea if the house had
a name, or whether any of it was renovated. I have never visited the JRGS
site there since it was built, and didn't take any interest in the
development of the new school. It may jog someone's memory. Maybe there is
some other trespasser of yesteryear who trod those echoing and deserted
rooms? The tower is behind the chimney.
Dudley Wolff, April 2003 Email
Mike Marsh (JRGS 1949-55), who took the delightful images of the new Shirley Road School during construction in 1954/55, responds: As far as Windmill House is concerned, I’m afraid I have no knowledge at all of this or the local area at that time. I lived a few miles north of the new school, still in Shirley but actually Monks Orchard.
My stamping grounds did not include Upper Shirley until I joined the Shirley Scouts (29th Croydon) and then that was only really included the occasional foray out to Shirley Hills, plus a camp site at Addington and such like. It was not until I started seriously "girling" with girls from Shirley itself, as distinct from some earlier exploits with those from Monks Orchard, that I needed to find woods, nooks, dark lanes and quiet places etc. etc. that I opened out the exploration of the area.
The woods south of Shirley
Church come to mind as do those around Corkscrew Hill and other places I
cannot really remember, apart from Shirley Hills, of course. But as these
activities did not really develop until about 1954 or so, I guess that
Windmill House had already been demolished by then. So I’m afraid that I
am about as useful as a chocolate teapot for this query!
S. Feates (JRGS 1943-49) responds: I also remember playing in a
derelict house immediately after the war in 1945, and which preceded the
school. I have consulted historic maps. The attached copy from 1872 seems
to show the large house as "The Ferns" - immediately opposite a brewery!
The small buildings immediately in front of The Mill, presumably, were the
miller's home and materials stores. They have the correct type of
Lambert (JRGS 1959-65) adds: A fascinating book entitled "Croydon
in the 1940s and 1950s," published by the Croydon Natural History and
Scientific Society (ISBN:0-906047-09-9), contains on page 24 a map of
locations where V1 Flying Bombs ("Doodlebugs") fell in Croydon.
Lees (JRGS 1964-71) adds: "Croydon in Old Photographs," by Stuart
Bligh (ISDN 0-7509-0739-8) contains the attached photo of Windmill
House. Click on the image
left to download a larger version.
Mel Lambert offers: This view is looking south across what became the JRGS Mill Pitch leading to the bottom gate and hence to Oaks Road and the Sports Ground; the staff car park would be added to the left.
Derek Charlwood (JRGS 1958-64) adds:
Regarding the Windmill House and Sandrock Hotel, I don't remember the
house, but The Sandrock had a snack bar at one end, with its own entrance
straight off the street. I think that boys were not allowed to use it, but
for a while my mother worked there, and I had to call in on my way home to
Dudley Wolf ties a bow on the project:
Bingo! That's the place - complete with the tower. That beautiful lawn had
certainly turned into wild shrubs and overgrown trees by the time of our
"visits." Fascinating outcome. Anyone know who had lived there? Maybe they
were "bombed out" by the doodlebugs, if the map is to be believed.
More Archived News/Events have been moved here...
Please send any messages and memorabilia to
©2021 JRGS Alumni Society. All Rights Reserved. Last revised: 01.01.21