- Page 05 - March 2003 -
- Page 05 - March 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.
|Neil Henderson (JRGS 1964-71) recalls an April Fools Joke and "Dear Parents" letter...|
Here is a scanned copy of my newspaper cuttings from "The Times" of 1st April, 1971, when a group of us in the Upper VI chipped in to place a couple of ads, one in the property columns to advertise the windmill for sale with staff and a grounds man (i.e. Perce, the caretaker!), giving the school's 'phone number. And a second ad in the personal columns wishing all the staff a happy April Fools Day.
With those clippings is the one from an issue of "The Croydon Advertiser" published a few days later padding out the story.
Click on the individual images
to download a larger version of the montage, and close ups of the relevant
Shown left is a scan of the "Dear Parents"
letter that Mr. Lowe sent to the parents of new boys in May 1964, the year
that I joined JRGS.
Neil Henderson, March 2003 email
|Colin Taylor (JRGS 1959-64) recalls the late Ian Green (JRGS 1959-63)...|
Please note that Ian ("Iggy") Green died in
the 1982. I found this out when, in 1988, I was organising a reunion based on the JRGS Football XI
shown at the foot of the 5U page. I was ringing round everyone and tracked
down Ian's mum. When I asked her how I could contact Ian, she told me
about his death. He left a wife and child.
I remember Ian as a nice guy who was good at sports. Fourteen of us attended the reunion and a good time was had by all. I didn't manage to catch up with everyone in the photo, and some extras joined us at the bash.
The JRGS Football XI photo was taken, if I remember correctly, by Sid Bishop, who assisted in running soccer and cricket matches against other schools. Many of us travelled many miles in Sid's car to and from matches, etc.
Sid had no formal connection with JRGS; he was a grounds man at Mitcham Common and just loved helping out. Sadly, Sid died many years ago but I am sure many ex-pupils will remember his generosity and transport. I still have a treasured copy of the photo. I remember Sid had a Hillman Californian in two-tone green, I think, before he got the Consul 375 in light cream.
The new photograph shown here dates from August 1963. I think that a couple of the guys were only in the photo because two regulars were away that day. I think it was taken at the Westminster Bank sports ground in Norbury which, I understand, is now a housing estate. Click on the image left to download a larger version.
Can anybody name the boys in the photograph? I know the names of all but two.
Colin Taylor, March 2003 email
Cliff Cummins (JRGS 1956-62) responds: I remember most of the cricket team, because I used to umpire quite often after I left JRGS. I had an old blue Austin A50, which I used to transport some of the cricket team around.
I was sorry to hear about Ian
Green, although I didn't know him very well. Also sorry to hear about Sid
Bishop too; he was a very generous man with his time.
I hope this helps.
Paul Graham (JRGS 1959-65) adds:
I was very sorry indeed to hear about Ian Green's sad early death.
Even after all this time, I can still remember him as a really nice
all-round guy. He would have enjoyed this JRGS website and chatting with
Terry Weight (JRGS 1959-65) adds:
Thanks for the news about Ian Green. He and I were very good friends -
I went to his house many times; sad that he died so young. Why did we all
let our contacts that were so frequent for six years die so quickly once
we left school?
Derek Charlwood (JRGS 1958-64) comments: The cricketer bottom right reminds me of a boy called Peachey - first name unknown - but I may be completely wrong.
Ian Macdonald (JRGS 1958-65) adds : Peachey's first name was Richard, and his middle initial J.
Bob White (JRGS 1959-65) add: The cricketer pictured lower-right is me!
SOLVING THE MYSTERY: Back row: John Melton, Robin Lawrence, Rodger Holcombe, Derek Powis, Peter Baron and Barry Tyler. Front row: Colin Taylor, Martin Loveday, Brian Dyer, Ian Green, Steve Kember and Bob White.
|Frank S. Feates (JRGS 1943-49) has unearthed a post-war staff list...|
I find the Alumni website fascinating, and
it brings back many happy memories.
I attach a copy of the staff
list for 1947, which covered most of those who taught me. I lifted it from
the magazine on the website, but have copied it since it includes a number
of names not in the listing. Click on the image
left to download a larger version.
Frank S. Feates, March 2003 email
|David Wheeler (JRGS 1945-53) has unearthed another fascinating image...|
I came across this old school photograph while sorting through some forgotten papers. It is of the all-junior school play from 1947, entitled "St. George and the Dragon," and based on the old Christmas mumming play. The cast was drawn from a mixed third and fourth year class. Click on the image left to download a larger version.
From left to right: playing the role of the Doctor is David Benson; Father Christmas is Robert Jones; St. George is David Wheeler; The King of Egypt is Ivor Matcham; his daughter, Nylon, is John Benstead; The Dragon is Yours Truly; the Turkish Knight is Richard Wright; while the Jester is Harold Bailey.
David Wheeler, February 2002 email
|Norman Day and Mike Marsh offer some thoughts about gym teachers...|
Reviewing the recent email exchanges about masters, Norman Day offered that the majority of JRGS games masters tended to be disliked.
"I suppose mainly due to the discipline that was demanded to actually get goal-huggers like me animated. After all, Mr. 'Smut' Smith was much feared in the games arena, but was an excellent form and maths teacher - perhaps the best I had, certainly the most memorable."
Regards, Norman Day
Mike Marsh (JRGS 1949-55) responds: In response to Norman Day’s comments, I would say that Mr. Smith, alias "Smut," was very tough, often rough maybe, but certainly, in retrospect, for those of us who have subsequently been in the forces at least, he was recognised as what I always believed he had been, which was a Naval PTI.
Anyone who has been through the
Forces training programme developed what might be described as a love/hate
relationship with the PTIs and the DIs - for those not having been
privileged to have been in the Services, that is a Physical Training
Instructor or a Drill Instructor. Whilst they were bawling you out or
otherwise shouting you down and calling you all the names under the sun,
at the same time making you do all manner of unimaginable physical things,
you absolutely hated them. But when it was all over and you went out with
them down to the pub or the NAAFI at the end of a course, they were the
best chaps on the planet and you absolutely loved them - great blokes, the
salt of the earth. I think that this was how "Smut" came over.
I have no knowledge at all of Mr. Smith’s educational qualifications (except that I never saw him wearing a gown and always assumed from this that he did not have a degree) but it must be remembered that, at the end of the war, a great many men came out of the services having done a great job in the main in whatever field they were employed, to keep this country as we would like it to be and then having to find a niche for themselves on their return to civvy street. For many this would have been either a return to, or a start in, the teaching profession, often utilising the skills and trades learned in the Services.
I know that the PTIs in my service days were very fit men themselves who trained us to become fit and disciplined members of the Force. I remember also one occasion when I was home on leave towards the end of our basic training period, which is where these guys worked upon us, and walking along the road feeling so fit, upright and great, that it was really noticeable. At no time before or since, have I ever felt so fit and well. This was due almost entirely to the work of the PTIs and DIs at RAF Bridgnorth.
Do the members today truly remember Mr. Smith as an ogre... or a strict teacher? Do we in retrospect truly think of him kindly or otherwise? I know that I was usually, during my time in school, in some fear and trepidation at the very thought of his lessons, but now I think of him rather differently and have done so for many a year. One of the more memorable teachers at JRGS, I think.
Mike Marsh, Sudbury, Suffolk, March 2003 email
Roger Hall (JRGS 1959-64) recalls Latin lessons from the mid-Sixties...
I have been spending more happy moments
browsing the site and came across Derek Smith's
memories of learning
Latin with Mr. "Beaky" Cornwall. And what memories they are. I think I
recall Derek sometimes asking "Beaky" to spell a word as Derek recorded
his sayings and, just occasionally, "Beaky" would start to do so
And remembering that Annex and the Friday afternoon lessons, can you recall the exquisite enjoyment we got out of winding him up when we had to translate "And the maidens beat their naked breasts with their hands..." after Persephone or someone was carried off to the underworld?
Actually I have a lot of sympathy for "Beaky." When he started, he
used to try to present Latin in an interesting way, reading us extracts
from books about the Romans and trying to be nice. But we weren't, were
we? I guess it
I got 2% at my Latin O-Level mock. I got my name right but the date
wrong, and no marks at all for the timetable of the 130 buses that passed
as I gazed out of the window during the exam.
Roger Hall, Caerphilly March 2003 email
Neville Graham, a teacher at JRGS during the Sixties, brings us up to date...
Neville Graham has been exchanging emails
with Roger Adcock (JRGS 1963-68), about his days at the school - in
particular while serving as form master for 1967/68's famed 5G, of which
Roger was a proud member. Neville retired 12 years ago after 20 years of
teaching in New Zealand.
Hi Roger. What a surprise to hear from you after all these years! I had a call from the old school (Linwood High, now Linwood College), but was not at all sure of the nature of your query!
Digging deep into the memory
bank, I did of course remember you immediately: dark hair, strongly built
lad, energetic and keen - how's that for a good report?
C. E. Smith and I send each
other a note at Christmas - he complains about the standard of soccer in
UK and I complain about the lack of progress here! Tony Hasler has also
kept in touch but, sadly, so many of the old staff have passed on.
Hi Roger. Many thanks for the emails. Yes
indeed, the web sites are very good. Quite an emotional experience after
all this time! I had a browse this afternoon. I'm afraid that 33 years in
NZ has dulled the memory somewhat, but it was great to see the progress
that has been made in recording the history of the school.
I doubt if my story will be of much interest, but in case any of the old 5G are curious, herewith a summary of my family's happenings after emigrating.
In July 1969 my wife Pat and
our two sons embarked on the RMS "Aranda", Shaw Saville Line, for the
six-week cruise to Auckland - stopping off at Las Palmas, Cape Town,
Durban, Fremantle and Melbourne. The total cost of our trip was £10 which,
I am ashamed to say, I have still not paid.
Sadly, I can only remember the
names of Paul (?) Jeseph, Geoff Cattle - Harper and goalkeeper - Frith and
Chris (?) Winter, who, many years later, I bumped into on the ski slopes
near here at Mount Hutt! But they were a wonderful Lacrosse team, learning
a new game and were a great credit to the school.
Neville Graham, Christchurch, New Zealand, March 2003
Derek Benson (JRGS 1962-67) can identify several of the Lacrosse Team shown the above pictured (left-to-right):
Standing: Nigel Tams, UNKNOWN ,
John (Bugs) Brooks, UNKNOWN, Pete Jessop, Geoff Cattle,
More Archived News/Events have been moved here...
Please send any messages and memorabilia to
©2018 JRGS Alumni Society. All Rights Reserved. Last revised: 01.01.18