Chris Rook (JRGS 1961-68) reacts to school memorabilia found on The Mill...
I have enjoyed the JRGS web-site for many years, and am
truly grateful for our webmaster's commitment to it. It must have soaked
up many hours, but I guess from the content it has been a labour of
I was at the school from 19661 to 1968, and I am convinced it was the best period ever. Of course, many would say the same thing and we all have something in common; the fondness with which we look back on that time; and the regret that we didn't realise then what a privilege it was to be taught by such charismatic teachers. The alumni know them all well, so I will resist teaching you to suck eggs.
I happened to be driving past the school as it was being demolished and, without fear or trepidation, I clambered over the rubble and made it into the foyer. I recall vividly how the staircase to Mr. "Joe" Lowe's office ended abruptly and there on the floor was a framed photo of HM The Queen. I think I shed a tear. The only souvenir I could rescue was a cutting of the pyracantha that maybe the school caretaker Percy Eagleton had grown next to the front entrance. I grew a robust bush from it, and it's still going strong.
I only went to one JRGS Reunion and, thank God, Mr. "Ego" Murray was there, along with Martin Nunn and a few others. Of course, "Ego" didn't remember me and, truth be told, he didn't have a reason to. Mr. Nunn, on the other hand, was a mine of useful information. And he had even salvaged many of his old work-books; and there we were all recorded, sins and all. Another fascinating artifact was the "Corporal Punishment Register"; yours truly appeared in it twice.
I was overjoyed to see myself and many contemporaries in the 1967 school photo. I wondered if our webmaster could put me in touch with the current keeper to see if a copy can be purchased. It would give me hours of fun putting names to faces.
Thanks once again for the alumni's selfless devotion to this fantastic collection of memories, photos and information - much of which I never knew. Needless to say, if there is a 2020 Reunion in the pipeline, I would be delighted to help with the organisation.
Chris Rook, AnyTown, AnyCounty; July 2019 Email.
Mel Lambert (JRGS 1959-65) adds: Regarding our school photographs, Panora Ltd.'s negatives were deposited in 1986 with the Documentary Photography Archive (DPA) by the firm's managing director, who had sold his business but retained the negatives. These date from September, 1968, to July, 1985; earlier negatives have not survived. Panora Ltd was subsequently dissolved in 1989. DPA is an independent registered charity whose collections are now housed at The Greater Manchester County Record Office.