David Mann (1956-62)......I spent two years in the 5th Form to be told by Plug that my brains were in my feet and although I was invited to trials with Fulham and QPR, I was not asked to sign on, hence Shene Old Boys misfortune. I am married to Karen (Alan Bloxham was my best man) and our daughter Charlotte (11)is a county standard swimmer (Dorking SC) and could progress even further. Lived in Sheen from 1973-1978, Kingston from 1978-1980, back to Sheen 1980-1987, then married and on to Worcester Park from 1987-1994. Settled in Dorking in 1994. Currently self employed running a travel retail sales consultancy after being made redundant by Allied Domecq in 1999. Spent over 30 years in the duty free liquor business....... What else would you expect of me....? Played for Shene Old Boys for over 30 years, and the Old Boys League 46 times, now a level 5 referee still officiating 2/3 times a week and recently took the Arthurian League Vets Cup Final at the Bank Of England. I mainly referee in the Arthurian League, players as committed, but far better educated and generally no problem at all. Honoured to be manager of the Old Boys League Rep Team for 6 years 1995-2002, played 50 matches only lost 8. Excellent to see the efforts made to establish the web site and all success to it.
David's update on 7th March, 2008..........................
I am still a senior Referee on the Arthurian League, whilst never attaining much academically at Shene School, I now hob nob it with the Old Boys of Eton, Charterhouse, Harrow, Westminster, Lancing, Winchester, Tonbridge etc, Players are as committed, but accept decisions more easily.
Still working from home, though really wishing to retire, get Charlotte off to University then I can think about it.I have spent most of the evenings during the last 10 years ensuring Charlie gets to swim training firstly at Dorking and the past 4 years at Guildford City, the top club in the South East Region of UK.
David Cavill (left 1960)...................My time at Shene was spent enjoying myself. I do not remember doing a great deal of work and I have been lucky enough to have worked very little ever since. That is not to say I have not been busy but I have been fortunate in that when I got bored with anything I stopped doing it and either gave it to someone else to do - or just stopped doing it.
I started late and scraped a few O levels and went into the sixth form. Most of that year I spent stage managing the three plays we put on that year and messing about in the woodwork shop. Shmoo was replaced by the appropriately named Roger Woods who was a great inspiration to me - as was Geoff Peel (who pushed me into being one of the first batch of people of people completing the Duke of Edinburgh's Award) Rocket Stephenson and Plug. I left to go to Teacher Training College. I wanted the maximum holiday and the minimum work and woodwork seemed to offer the best of all worlds.
I qualified and went to teach in Walton on Thames for a year and then, when I got married, moved to March in Cambridgeshire and did four years with a skyline that was entirely devoted to a far horizon. I was interested in photography and ended up as the press photographer for the Cambridgeshire Times - as well as teaching. We had wonderfully long lunch hours and on one occasion I took the photographs for a wedding while our RE teacher took the service between the morning and afternoon session.
Then on to Oxfordshire where I realised that I could not teach woodwork all my life and began to become involved in in pastoral care. I became a Year Tutor at various large comprehensive schools but by 1986 my business interests and my dog judging career were taking up so much time I had to choose one or the other. I chose the dogs and animal care.
For eleven years I managed the country annexe of Battersea Dogs Home at Old Windsor. Shene certainly taught me how to lead a flexible life!
I now live in Ham halfway between where I was brought up (Kingston) and where I went to school. I am involved with the English Speaking Union, I am a member of the Savage Club (the Kennel Club won't have me because I insist on swimming against the stream) and I eat and drink a lot.
What a wonderful life..............................!!!!
Peter O'Brien (1950-55).............................. (see Peter in Photo Gallery)
Married in Sheen in 1967 to a local girl Vivienne Harmer and, because of high house prices in Sheen, settled in the Tolworth/Surbiton area. Joined Castrol International in London and moved to Highworth (8 miles N of Swindon) when Castrol moved HO to Swindon in 1970. We have a married son and grandson and a married daughter.
I took early retirement from Castrol 6 years ago and am a Governor at Swindon's 6th Form College, Secretary & Treasurer of Highworth Running Club and a season ticket holder at Swindon Town FC.Still in touch with Old Boys David Lines and Colin Enderby on a regular basis.
Christopher Cooper (1952-58)...................My memory stretches back to the last years of HH Shepherd, deceptive but perceptive Headmaster. We were fascinated that he was also an expert on slugs and snails and we had vivid fantasies of what he must have been doing with all his little creatures out of school hours (counting them, naming them, feeding them?) In those days the lovable, white haired old gentlemen was affectionately known as Creep and the school his Academy. Editor's Note: HHS had an innate capability for appearing out of nowhere at the commencement of, or during, a pupil's misbehaviour. When word got round of his imminent retirement we got very interested in all the visitors to the school and listened for rumours. It wasn't long before we heard that a man from a Naval learning institution had been appointed and there was a frisson of fear and trepidation when one senior boy reported seeing a man with vivid red hair entering the school with a cat and nine tails hanging from his briefcase. This rumour spread like wildfire and some of the more unruly boys made efforts to mend their ways before the new era of terrible punishments began. I well remember the much awaited day when Mr. Rawlings (who later became "Rawplug" thence "Plug" for short) was due to make his very first appearance in the morning assembly. There was an unusually tense silence as we heard the fast click, click of his metal heeled shoes coming along the marble corridor. Over 300 pairs of eyes were straining to see what he was carrying on that first morning. Bets had been laid as to whether he would be holding the cat and nine tails or not and how long it would be. To our relief there were only a couple of books and a few papers. With his gown billowing behind him he sailed in to front the stage with his four stern housemasters backing him like sentinels. These were Mr. Hyde (Popeye)", Mr.Bacon ("Bill") Mr.Goodbourn ("Gore") and Mr.Burridge the mathematician, known as "Bert".
Thus in 1953 a new era had begun, not as fearsome as some had expected, but one which brought some significant changes: The spelling of the school name changed from Sheen to the older form :Shene. The outside toilets got a roof at last(yes, all the toilets were outside!) Lunches at the girl's secondary school next door began to the great amusement and satisfaction of all concerned. Editor's Note: This had started prior to this, trust me..!! I remember long files of boys being marched through the girls playground to the dining room every lunchhour. In those days most schools in London seemed to be single sex ones. How things have changed!
Physical punishment was still very much in evidence and an invitation to visit the Office of HHS usually culminated with the dreaded cane. Some teachers had their own form of punishment. The fearsome Latin teacher Reg. Brigden ( known to us as "Reginald Rubberneck") had an outsize plimsoll which he ceremoniously placed at the front of the teachers' desk whenever he entered the lesson. He wasn't called Rubberneck for nothing as his long sinewy neck seemed to allow his head to turn 360 degrees and spot misdemeanours quicker than any other teacher.
Music was at a very low ebb in the 1950's. I remember the hapless Mr. "Stringy " Smith trying to teach us the next week's hymns and also the rudiments of Do, Re, Me. This wasn't very successful as he had an unfortunate habit of involuntary spitting. Whether the naughty boys or the strain of the singing affected his saliva glands or not, one will never know, but there were gales of laughter whenever someone was hit by Stringy's spit.
As the Rawlings era progressed some became a bit more audacious and hatched a plan to sing in the final assembly : "God Shave the Queen", to see if anyone noticed the new version. When the fateful day came some of us who had been pressganged were decidedly weak at the knees. To our great relief the staff must have been too tired to notice it and the travesty passed without comment. Many bottoms were spared the stick.
In our final year or two most of us rose to Prefect status complete with lapel badges. The top scholars would get their names written on the Honours Board in gilt to show they had gone on to Universities. Lesser mortals had to be content with being Captain of House or distinction in sports competition. We parted amicably in those balmy days at the end of the 1950's. Little did we realise what enormous changes and challenges would meet us in the coming decades as adults.
George Thomson (1951-54).........................David, Many thanks for your kind letter pointing me to the Old Boys website. Reading it brought back many memories - talk about a blast from the past..!!
I wondered how you managed to obtain my mailing address but after reading the list of attendees at the Reunion there are some names of people there that I recognise and no doubt that was the source of the information.
Once again many thanks for your letter and I will continue to look up the website in future.
Rob Vaughan (1951-59) ......................(Rob appears a few times in Shene Sportsmen in Photo Gallery).....................The general economic situation had improved by the early 1950's and Mum no longer had to sew the school badge onto the most serviceable jacket. Blazers were becoming universal and the prefects even sported pale blue braid on their lapels. Rationing was nearly a thing of the past although 'You've never had it so good !' was still some way off. Milk, if not 'gold top' was plentiful and ice cream vans were now in evidence.
'Sandwich boys' who did not take lunch at the Girls School had time to wander down to the confectioner's at the foot of Wallorton Gardens or visit 'R. Atkins' on the Upper Richmond Road. 'Ratters' was more popular since queuing there afforded the chance of a quick squint at his dubious publications. Both shops, which amazingly still exist, were in receipt of competition but not for long.............
A rival had appeared at the gates of the upper playground on Park Drive. In those days the Royal Mail and the GPO respectively had fleets of smart red and bottle green vans. The contraption which appeared one lunch time was only similar in size. Otherwise it looked home made, was a three not four wheeler and of a a mauve hue. On one side it had a serving hatch and on the other was written...'Louis' Ices'. A curly haired, small man scrambled out and joined his tubs of ice and scoops in the back from which he began to proffer wafers, cornets and oddly coloured lollies for a couple of old pence. He was immediately dubbed 'Lick Lap Louis and began to do a reasonable trade over the next few days.
On his arrival at about 12 50pm the cry would go up 'Lick Lap, Lick Lap' and a queue would form. One lunch time it gradually became more boisterous and those unwilling to wait longer or without the requisite twopence decided to rock the unstable jalopy which began to sway. Louis was thrown to the floor of the tiny vehicle in a sticky heap with his wares and, once recovered, he sought an audience with the Headmaster who was just arriving back from his lunch time walk on Palewell Common where he daily observed species of flora and bug. Louis left unhappily and at the end of assembly the following morning HHS gravely made reference to a complaint from the ice cream vendor and advised the School , in sonorous tones, that the mobile parlour would only resume if behaviour improved in it's vicinity. (Editor's Note: Dick Strevens remembers the occasion well and HHS is reported to have said "So I am placing out of bounds the itinerant ice cream vendor's machine")
Briefly this was achieved but the temptation to rock 'Louis' Ices' rather than purchase them proved too great and after a few more shakings he disappeared towards Palewell Common for ever in search of a less hazardous environment undoubtedly less profitable.
We had to seek our comforts elsewhere in what the new Head was wont to refer to as 'The Village'
and more from the prolific Rob Vaughan......... about David Potts and Mr Blacklidge
'Potty and 'Blacky.............This incident sometime during the interregnum of 'Bill' Bacon as Acting Headmaster after the retirement of HHS and the arrival of Mr. Rawlings, the future 'Plug', concerned two characters separated by almost half a century in age and had nothing to do with snooker. Mr. Blacklidge was the long serving PT master from pre-war days who would roll up very punctually three days a week in a large, ancient, red snorting horse of a roadster festooned with 1930s AA and RAC badges. He would park by the Library before greeting Mr. Sheppard or Mr. Rawlings with "Headmaster!" in the style used by the local comedian 'Professor ' Jimmy Edwards in 'Whacko'. The immaculately turned out 'Blacklegs', a real fruity colonel of a man, in trench coat and trilby in Winter, regimental tie, blazer with pocket handkerchief and sharply pressed flannels in Summer would then change into a blue track suit of soft material or a black waterproof outfit ready for action.
The Hall could never have been described as a modern gymnasium but there were wall bars, let down ropes, a vaulting horse and the dreaded beams. Many of us were not keen on these items of torture and constantly asked 'Blacklegs' if we could play football. He would ignore these pleas and demonstrate 'press-ups' and other stretching exercises, becoming more florid by the minute and would be requested to do it all again when some innocent seriously claimed that he had missed the demonstration or could not get his legs flat..........."Simple, my boy....Now it's your turn!". For a man in his late fifties his agility and fitness were amazing.
David Potts of 3A, one of the 'Kingston Mob' of the 1951 intake, was rather less athletic and slightly bulky. We had persuaded him to become a reasonable right back but he preferred chemistry, doing his own experiments in his desk where he also had the occasional smoke. He could infuriate the most patient of pedagogues and - nomen est omen - frequently lived up to his name....
One fine day we were pleasantly surprised to see 'Blacklegs' had not put up the gymnastic equipment but was dribbling an ancient football across the Hall. At last we were on for some indoor 'footie' or so it seemed. He appeared to be on the verge of picking teams when he was called into the corridor.
"Hold on to that ball for me, my boy!" he said to Potts.............................. He had hardly turned his back before 'Potty' turned into Frank Swift and punted the ball from hand and it sped like a rocket into the gallery above the back of the Hall. 'Blacklegs' returned within thirty seconds...................................."Give me that ball, my boy"..........................."I can't, it's gone"........................."Gone?...what do you mean it's gone...?".... no doubt thinking that it was being hidden behind someone's back. "Tee hee, it's gone" said 'Potty' who sometimes slipped unwittingly into Billy Bunter mode.
'Blacklegs' was by now beetroot of face and ordered 'Potty' to go and find the ball wherever it was, not noticing some thirty boys in a state of collapse or that the culprit had now slipped out of the Hall. There was a brief and embarrassed silence broken only as the leather whistled past the head of 'Blacklegs' and bounced on the Hall floor. With the agility of the former England goalkeeper 'Blacklegs' plucked the ball out of the air and locked it in the Hall cupboard.
"Start running on the spot" he ordered, not noticing that 'Potty ' had rejoined the back line. The latter saw that we had had it for the day as far as indoor football was concerned, and remarked..............................."Sorry, Blacklegs"......................."What did you say, my boy?"...................................."Oh, sorry, sir"........................"Never mind, you couldn't have played football anyway, none of you are fit...!"
No doubt Mr. Blacklidge found life easier at more normal Grammar Schools on the other two days of the week and the young men of Blackheath Rugby Club were undoubtedly more responsive to his expertise during the evenings.....................
Richard Simms (1952-59).........................................I re-visited the Website, David, with great interest and enjoyment. It is wonderful that you have taken such considerable time and trouble to pull so much together. It is interesting to note how much affection remains for the old School and (most of) the masters. I certainly share it. It is also interesting to note that I was not the only one that has taken a little trip back to East Sheen to see the old School.................. or at least the buildings.
I don't know if I told you or not....Alan Kingwell and I went to see Ron Friggins (the Physics master) and his wife. They both made us very welcome indeed and seemed genuinely pleased to see us. It was intriguing to learn of his experiences and catch a glimpse of life from the other side of the fence and it was great to be able to say "thank you" and tell him how much we appreciated what he had done for us. I wish I had shown more appreciation for the masters at the time.
Dick Lee (1953-61)...................................I took a look at the list of those who attended the Reunion in 2002 and, off the top of my head, I'd guess that I knew at least half of the group. I will do all I can to come to the Reunion in 2004. It would be great to see you all.......
I stayed on in the 3rd year 6th Form......Mr. Rawlings ('Plug') felt I should stay on to be School Captain and improve my "A" Level results. They were actually worse the second time around.
After attending the University of London (Northern Polytechnic) from 1961-64 and graduating with a degree in Chemistry, I left for the USA with every intention of going back to the UK which I did in 1966-68 but was to decide that the USA was the place for me. I am involved with two companies Value Innovations, Inc. (I'm their President and Chief Executive Officer) www.valueinnovations.com You'll find a photo of me on the Site. I am also the Managing Director of EdgeGuard International Ltd www.edgeguard.com
I married Lin in 1966 (an American) and we have two daughters, Sonja 34 and Alyssa 32 who are both married. We all live in the Greater Denver Metro Area in Colorado. I am still very proud to be a Brit and am a 'Resident Alien' in the USA. You can catch up with Dick on his Company's website http://www.valueinnovations.com
Jeremy Chapman (1957-61) Congratulations and many thanks to David and John for setting up this fabulous Website. I thoroughly enjoyed the Reunion of 2002 and will definitely attend the next one in 2004 at Foxhills.
It was particularly interesting to read about my old best chum, Dick Lee, School Captain in my final year and the last time I saw him was when I ran him out (judging a run was never my strong suit) in an OG cricket match. I knew he had gone to the United States and was really pleased to see that he had done so well. I often went to his home in Barnes for tea with him and his widowed mother when we were in the Sixth Form. He was probably the one who made me feel most at home after my Dad moved down from a job in Scotland.
I was to stay on for a third year in the Sixth Form to play cricket, table tennis, chess and take part in drama productions (I don't remember doing too much work. !) and also support the football team every Saturday morning. I joined the Buckinghamshire Advertiser in Amersham as a trainee reporter and moved on to become Sports Editor of the Middlesex County Times at Ealing. After a row over being paid insufficiently to write and edit the the Film Page in addition to writing and sub-editing 40 sports stories a week I stormed out but instead of playing cricket all summer as planned, wrote off for a job in Fleet Street. Much to my surprise as I had no daily or evening experience in the provinces, the late Daily Sketch took me on (probably because I was cheap). After five very happy years there as a sports and racing sub-editor the staff merged with the Daily Mail and being the youngest without family I was paid off. After a year on The Guardian I joined The Sporting Life and was to stay there for 27 years being deputy to five different Editors during that time and was Executive Editor and Golf Correspondent before I managed to get the Bible of horse-racing closed down as well in 1998......!! Since then I have worked as a freelance golf writer for the Racing Post, Golf International and other magazines, have written books and parts of books and also compiled odds for bookmakers on golf tournaments throughout the world.
I married a beautiful German girl, Christa in 1968 and we are still together after 35 years having produced two stunning daughters, Sarah ( a TV presenter on attheraces, a dedicated racing channel) and Stephanie, a biochemist. Fortuntely they take after their mother with their looks. With any luck they will both be married during the next 12 months and life will be a lot less expensive. I live in Walton on Thames and recently renewed the acquaintance of Roger D Smith, a recently retired solicitor who lives just around the corner. We were both members of our pretty successful chess team and he and his younger brother Graham were two very solid chess players.
Many of my happiest recreational moments before discovering golf came with the OGs for whom I played for a couple of years while still at School and thereafter until work too me away from the area. I was astonished at the Reunion that so many old school and OG colleages looked just the same as they did when I last saw them 35 years before.......
I gave up regular cricket in my 20s only to play since for the Daily Sketch and the Sporting Life. The great Ken Barrington, our cricket columnist at The Sketch, ran me out in one match because I was scoring faster than him...........at least that's what I told myself at the time.........!! Golf has been a great passion since........I got down to single figures for a time...and I've been lucky enough to have played with many of the greats in Pro-Ams...Tony Jacklin, Lee Trevino and Nick Faldo among them.
It's been a great life and, at 61, I hope there's plenty more to come........
Editor's Note......3 years later and this is what Hugh McIlvanney had to say about Jeremy in the Sunday Times of 23rd July, 2006
"Not every champion in action at Hoylake this weekend is swinging golf clubs. Jeremy Chapman, of the Racing Post, would shy away with a shudder from any suggestion that he is the Tiger Woods of golf tipping but he has enough extraordinary success in the game's betting market to make most other professional forecasters seem the equivalent of public course hackers.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the week in which this column chose to add its tiny salute to the plaudits showered on him has seen a blight descend on his selections, His strongest advice for punters in the Open was to have two points each-way on Vijay Singh at 16-1 and 1.5 on Phil Mickelson, with recommendations for taking a minor interest in Padraig Harrington, Luke Donald and Angel Cabrera.
Singh and Harrington were dumped out of the tournament at the halfway stage, Donald barely survived the 36-hole cut, Mickelson is hopelessly out of contention and only the small stakes on Cabrera remain alive. So Chapman is entitled to suspect the influence of the McIlvanney curse, which many have credited with being able to keep Pegasus out of the frame in a Folkestone seller.
But it would require a lot more retaliation than the bookmakers can hope to muster to inflict a noticeable dent in a record whose overall excellence is conveyed by one remarkable statistic: in the eight years he has been counselling Post readers, the tips aimed at naming the winners of tournaments show a profit of well over 1100 points.
Though the best of the Post's racing analysts can have the bookies running for cover, the editor of the paper, Chris Smith, acknowledges that Chapman is the outstanding tipster on the staff.
He has been strengthening his reputation since he joined as an established asset after the closure of The Sporting Life, where he had worked with distinction since 1971. At the Life his promotion of golf bettng was so active and effective that he likes to think of himself as the godfather of the growing enthusiasm for wagering on the sport.
He says his guidance is rooted mainly in experienced interpretation of both a player's current form and the man's achievements on a specific course, with the implications of what he has done lately always carrying more weight. Some of us, however, cannot avoid feeling there is an element of mysterious inspiration at the core of a method that has enabled him over the years to land outrageous coups for his followers.
Operating on the basis of identifying several golfers as appealing investments, he has three times picked a 100-1 winner. All kinds of tournaments, from majors (he gave Mark O'Meara at 40-1 to win the 1998 Open at Birkdale) to pro-ams, have received the Mystic Meg treatment.
His favourite hunting ground has been the Pebble Beach Pro-Am on the California coast and it was there in February of this year that his tipping reached a supernatural level of prescience. In a field of 180, the season's biggest, he put up four names and three of them finished first, second and third: Arron Oberholser won at 33-1, Rory Sabbatini was runner-up at 50-1 and Mike Weir completed the tricast at 33-1.
Afterwards, Simon Clare, of the Coral bookmaking organisation, said: "It is undoubtedly one of the greatest tipping performances of all time." With characteristic temerity, for the very next event Chapman advanced Sabbatini as a probable winner and he duly came in at 40-1.
Fortified by a long history of such amazing results, the 64-year-old seer and his disciples can well afford to absorb a few hits at Hoylake."
Rob Steggle................Fascinating website, it has updated me on what happened to the old pile after I moved away in the mid 60's. It has certainly survived many changes.....pity nobody could come up with a better view of the buildings than that awful entrance. (Editor's Note: It's about the only recognisable view left...). Is the greenhouse on the end of the Biology lab still there? I helped to build that, laying bricks, glazing and sealing the thing - and growing freesias in the first year. Never had any success with 'em since.
Rod Saar (1954-57)..............After A levels I joined the RAF graduating from the RAF College, Cranwell as a navigator in 1961. I had an enjoyable 20 years in the RAF, flying in the Mediterranean and based in Malta, instructing at the RAF College, doing a short stint at the British Embassy in the Congo, adjutant of Experimental Flying Department at RAE Farnborough (with opportunities to do trips in Hunter and Lightning fighters), Special Forces unit based in Berlin working in East Germany (I was made persona non grata by the Russians and collected an MBE by way of consolation).
On leaving the RAF as a Squadron Leader I joined IBM and spent the next 20 years as the Managing Director of a number of subsidiaries of IT companies (British, American and German) visiting more than 30 different countries which included very contrasting places..Moscow, Tel Aviv, Johannesburg, Mumbai, Singapore, Jakarta, Bangkok, Saigon, Peking, Las Vegas, Seattle etc.
I retired just over 2 years ago and still do some work as a Non Executive Director and Consultant.
I have fond memories of Shene Grammar and remember teachers Rawlings, Burridge and Chisman but can only recall the name of one person in my form. This was Pearson who was a maths genius doing A levels when the rest of us were doing O levels. A year ahead of me was a chap called Maddox. In my last couple of years he always pushed me into 2nd place in the Annual Cross Country Race around Richmond Park.
My parents left Kew for Orpington in the year I left Shene which meant I was to lose contact with my contemporaries.
Ian White (1956-63).............................I've just visited your brilliant Website and it's brought back those memories and names I actually recognise. I must dig out (from somewhere) my old school panoramic photos..........you know...those where the camera starts at one end and by the time it has arrived at the other end some comedian has been photographed twice............and, of course, the Scout camps...I didn't particularly excel in anything but enoyed school tremendously. and was in the Scouts under 'Mr Mac' and have fond memories of Friggie, Chalkie, Rubberneck, Shmoo, Rasher, Rocket, Chippie, Green. Turner, Goodbourn et al.
I was there when they installed the mosaic to the right of the front entrance and extended the stage on to the North end of the school hall. I also remember Chemistry in the Girls School in Hertford Avenue and the House Captains' Common Room at the end of the Biology Lab.
Peter Flewitt (son of Paul) (1958-65)..........I've just found the Site - very scary.....! I'm another ex-pat and living in Geraldton, West Australia. I was a keen follower of the Old Boys soccer team for a number of years both then and thereafter so it was good to see photos of Rob Vaughan (I'm in touch with his brother John), Alan Bloxham, Eddie Roberts, Morgan Reynolds and some others at the Reunion.
I came to Oz in 1980 after several years as IT Manager at Moulinex in the UK and sort of wandered my way around the country as an IT contractor until the end of 2003 when I retired....................the last five years at a major winery which was handy.........
I doubt I'll get to any Reunions but you never know. If anything is known of the whereabouts of Neil Heath, Steve Austin, Paul Hudson or Malcolm Rylance I would be pleased to hear. They were all in my school year.
Editor's Note: See a later contribution from Peter
Tony Giles (1958-65)....... Tony is the son of Hugh (deceased 1981) who was a keen Shene Old Grammarians footballer /cricketer and former SOG Chairman
When I left School after a mediocre A Level performance I had a stint in France working as a salesman in a Department Store and found my way to Hong Kong where I still live. I joined the Hong Kong Police (later the Royal Hong Kong Police) and reached the rank of Chief Inspector taking invalid retirement in 1988. I am now the Editor-in-Chief of Marketplace Publications Ltd.
I cannot claim to have emulated my father's prowess as a sportsman but won a few medals for swimming following my mother's example
Roger Houghton (1957-?)................I was born on 7 November 1944 and grew up, like so many of us, in the years of post-war austerity. All in all, my recollections are of a very happy childhood and, in any event, I’m still growing up!
The Primary School Years I started school at EastSheenCountyPrimary School in 1949. I sat next to Stan Crockett who I still see today.
In 1951, at the age of 7, I contracted polio. How I contracted this dreadful disease is a mystery. There had been something of an epidemic in parts of the country since the late forties and swimming pool closures were quite common. Thankfully, no-one else in my school or, to my knowledge locally, were affected.
I can remember one night, just before Christmas 1951, as vividly as if it were yesterday. My father had been sleeping in my brother’s bed in the same room because I was feverish. My brother slept in the spare bedroom which probably prevented him from being infected. I wanted to visit the bathroom in the middle of the night but I was unable to move my legs. Dad lifted them over the edge of the bed and stood me up. I went down like a sack of potatoes!
Few houses had telephones in those days and I believe Dad went to a public ‘phone box and dialled 999. I can remember the ambulance arriving and we were taken to WestLondonHospital at Hammersmith (which is now an up-market block of flats!). I remember vividly the blood-curdling screams of a child coming from beyond my cubicle and recall thinking “I hope they’re not going to do to me whatever it is they’re doing to her”.
Into Hospital It took some time for them to diagnose my illness but when they did, I was transferred to WestMiddlesexIsolationHospital at Isleworth. What a terrible night that must have been for my parents. It was bad enough for me, of course for although I can remember the nurses as being very kind, the sight of the iron lung next to my bed made me shiver (or, rather, it would have done had I been able to move!). Fortunately, the infection stopped just below my chest so I did not have to endure long spells inside the iron monster. The “ward” consisted of a number of small rooms with glass partitions (to prevent the spread of infection) and I can remember lying there looking along at the other poor souls on either side, some in a worse condition than me.As soon as I was no longer infectious, I was transferred to Heatherwood Hospital at Ascot. Here was a long ward, Sister’s office in the middle, with boys to one side and girls to the other. There must have been about 20 beds on each side.
Opposite me and my fellow victims, was a row of about 10 very strange looking beds. They were wooden framed with several adjusting wheels, enabling them to be tilted into a variety of positions. I discovered that these were children who were suffering from tuberculosis. Every morning and afternoon, a stern looking man with a trolley would appear wielding a large needle. He injected these poor kids with a drug called streptomycin, which was extremely painful. I prayed that he wouldn’t come near me! Ironically, one of these children came from Railway Street (now Westfields Avenue) in Barnes. Although I haven’t seen him since, I can still remember his name, David Bush.
At one end of the ward was a large school-type clock and one day, at about noon, we were all told to be absolutely silent for one minute – not easy for some 40 children! It was the day of the funeral of King George VI. I wrote a letter to my parents (visiting in those days was one hour on Sundays only) telling them that “…the King was burrid at Winzer”. Mum & Dad kept that letter and I have it today. It still brings a lump to my throat after all these years.
My treatment consisted of massage, exercises and being held in a large steel tank full of warm water to try to achieve a response from the muscles in my legs and right side. My parents were warned that I would probably have to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair. They didn’t reckon with my father!
As soon as possible, which was after some six months, Dad persuaded the doctors to allow me home where he and Mum would build on their good work. I can remember thinking that Dad was hard at times and didn’t understand that I couldn’t always do what he told me. We had a few heated exchanges! What I didn’t know until Mum told me in later years was that it broke his heart to push me the way he did but he knew it was the only way to get me through it.
We can’t choose our parents. I was not just incredibly lucky. I was blessed.
Back to School I eventually managed to walk reasonably well and after an absence of about a year, I returned to school. The illness had affected severely the thigh muscles in my right leg and the stomach and back muscles on the right side. The result was that my spine began to curve, leaving me with a pronounced limp which steadily grew worse.
All my school friends were incredibly supportive. I was given a healthy start in races, sufficient to enable me to compete, sometimes successfully. Due to my limp, I was given the nickname “Hoppy”, after Hoppalong Cassidy who was one of the cowboy heroes of the time. Far from being upset by this, I seemed to revel in the celebrity status.
The curvature in my spine became so pronounced that I had to wear a steel brace. This comprised a steel rod at the back and a wide, hard leather belt around the middle. It was extremely uncomfortable and I don’t think it did me any good at all. Then came a breakthrough.
One of Dad’s colleagues had read in one of the newspapers of an operation which was being pioneered in the United States to correct curvatures of the spine by means of a bone grafting technique. Dad approached the doctors at WestLondonHospital where I attended weekly for physiotherapy. At first they refused to entertain the procedure, partly because this surgery was still under development but mainly because it could not be considered until the patient was at least 12 years old. Until that age, the body would not be sufficiently strong to withstand what was then a major operation.
Dad, however, would not take no for an answer! Eventually, he persuaded them to refer us to The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital at Great Portland Street in London where we met Mr James and Mr Manning, the only British surgeons who were then qualified to carry out this surgery. They agreed to perform the operation after I had reached the age of 12.
In the meantime, I had to take the Eleven Plus exam. I don’t know whether the Examination Board were sympathetic to the fact that I had missed a year’s schooling but I managed to scrape through on the second interview and won a place at Shene County Grammar School for Boys. I am eternally grateful to those gentlemen for giving me the chance to experience a fine school. I am only sorry that I failed to reward both them and my parents with better academic achievement.
The spinal surgery would mean an absence of a full year from school and so it was decided that I would not start the new term at Shene in 1956. Just as I was about to be admitted to hospital, however, my Grandfather died and so my admission was postponed for a couple of months. The HeadmasteR, Mr Rawlings (“Plug”) suggested that I might like, after all, to attend school at the start of the term to get the feel of the place and the curriculum. I started in form1 West, the Form Master for which was Mr Peel, who I remember as a kind and gentle man.
Into Hospital – Again I was eventually admitted to The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital at Stanmore where the operation was carried out in November 1956.
The hospital is at the top of Brockley Hill and the journey by public transport was something of a nightmare. Dad managed to buy a car after I had been there for about four months which made their journey easier. Visiting times were half an hour on Wednesday evening and an hour on Sunday afternoon. They were rigidly enforced! In all the time I was there and whatever the weather, Mum & Dad didn’t miss a single visit!
I was to spend 9 months in a solid plaster cast which went from my neck to my knees and in which a panel was cut from the back to perform the operation. There were some painful and unpleasant experiences, as might be expected with surgery of this magnitude. My abiding memory, however, is not of the unpleasant times but of the birth of skiffle and rock & roll!
We had a record player in the ward and parents and nurses would bring us records (78’s in those days). I served my time as ward DJ and still play many of those recordings today, albeit on CD. The artists included Pat Boone, Bill Haley & The Comets, The Platters, Lonnie Donegan, Frankie Vaughan, Tommy Steele and, of course, Elvis Presley. Prior to hospital, my musical experiences had been Saturday childrens’ radio programmes, such as Uncle Mac and records such as “How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?” This was indeed a magical transformation!
One of the nurses was going out with a member of a skiffle group called“The Vipers”. They used to visit the ward periodically and play to us. One of the group was Wally Wyton who in later years became a presenter on childrens’ television with Muriel Young and puppet characters called “Pussy Cat Willum” and “Ollie Beak”. Wally had heard of my love of pop music and the guitar.
One evening, after they had played for us, he came over to my bed. He was confronted by a rather scruffy 12 year old boy lying flat on his back in a solid plaster cast and there he stood clutching this very expensive guitar. He and one of the nurses doubled the blankets over the plaster and he laid his guitar across my chest. He put the first finger of my left hand on the top E string at the first fret and told me to hold it down and strum. “You’ve just played G7”, he proclaimed. He moved my finger up to the third fret, I strummed and he said “Now you’ve played G”. Wow! That was easy! I was hooked.
When I came home, Mum & Dad had bought me a record player – remember the Dansette Major? My grandmother gave me the money to buy a guitar and off we went to Selmers in Charing Cross Road where I bought my first guitar, a Hofner Cello model.
Following my discharge from Stanmore, I had to wear a steel frame for six months to allow the remaining torso-supporting muscles which had been dormant for so long to strengthen. This comprised a heavy steel bar at the front and two steel bars at the back, all joined by a steel ring with pads for my chin and the back of my head. It had a wide, hard leather waist band with double fastenings. I had to return to the Outpatients’ Department in London every 6 months for X-rays and to have the frame adjusted. Playing the guitar would be somewhat difficult for a while. How would it affect me when I returned to school, I wondered? The school, however, was one step ahead.
Shene Grammar – At Last! On learning that I would be wearing this cumbersome frame which would make it difficult to look down at the desk top, the woodworking class of 1956 were tasked with making me a specially adapted desk. This was basically a standard desk with an elevated frame at the back in which was fixed a hinged easel with a pen tray at the bottom. It worked a treat and I was very grateful to all my old chums who contributed to its design and build.
Returning to school was not an easy experience. For a start, I had had virtually no education during the previous 12 months and found concentration difficult. I was also with children who were a year younger than me and the difference seems more acute at that age. It didn’t last long and I soon made new friends.
The big passion in my life was football. I first went with my Dad to Chelsea in 1954 and absurd as it might seem, I think I harboured a deep ambition that one day I would be sufficiently fit to play for them. Most of my energy at school and at play was spent trying to be physically equal. Sadly, this affected my academic performance. After achieving only three O Levels in the fifth form, I was faced with the prospect of remaining there for another year, this time with people who were two years younger than me.
This, of course, was the start of what came to be known as “the swinging sixties”. Outside school, all my friends were earning and had scooters or motor bikes. I decided to call it a day. Mr Rawlings was, I believe, sympathetic to my circumstances. I remember him saying to me “Well, Houghton, with a bit of effort you could have started your career half way up the ladder. Now, you’ll have to start at the bottom. It will be hard work but I wish you luck”.
He was right. It was hard work. There was also some fun along the way and I have few regrets. I don’t think that one appreciates all that is sinking into that grey matter during school years, regardless of academic success. I am forever grateful to Shene and all that it gave me.
Paul Meakin (1954-58).............................In about 1963 I received an invitation to express interest in joining the proposed Shene Old Grammarians Rugby Club. The initiator presumed that a number of Old Boys had played rugby at University or College. I learned to play rugby in my first year in the Navy and had more success in this than soccer so I responded and waited eagerly for a reply. Some months passed until a letter arrived informing me that I had been the only person who had responded and as it was not likely that the two of us would be in town on the same weekend it would not prove possible to make up a team.
I went on to have some minor rugby success in both the Royal Navy and the Royal Australian Navy as well as coaching juniors and refereeing in Australia and New Zealand.
Have there been any other Old Boys involved in Rugby Union, the game they play in heaven.
Editor's Note: I always understood that 'Plug' Rawlings had introduced the School to Rugby Union. Alan Bloxham tells me that the Old Boys ultimately fielded two fifteens for some years but the Section is now no more. Shene Old Grammarians is now an 'open' club and still puts out soccer teams. Apparently the Rugby lads still meet socially.
Paul: Here's the answer from Bill Holmes (1958-64)......................I was interested in reading Paul Meakin's notes regarding the Rugby Club, maybe this will jog the memories of a few people. In the Summer of 1965 with the prompting of Dick Fash the following, all names to conjure with, met and agreed to form a Club with everything geared to kick-off in September 1965. Hugh Coulston, JohnSallis, Max White, Brian White, Graham Hale, MikeKendrick, Mike Fash, Phil Shuttleworth, Brian Clymer, Roger Morgan,Wally Browett, myself as Captain and a few more. Apologies to any not mentioned but age and memory isn't a good mix. Wally was despatched to the London Fixture Exchange and returned with a 90% Card for the season and we were committed.
The Club never set the world on fire but I think that over the years everybody that played enjoyed themselves.
Alan was correct we ran two sides from around the early seventies and for a couple of years in the early eighties managed to put out three. It became increasingly difficult to bring in new blood theGrammar School being closed in the Seventies but the Club hung on until the early nineties when it finally folded. After we stopped playing Roger Morgan and myself took up the whistle and in different ways made our impressions on The London Society...,we both enjoyed the 'poacher turned gamekeeper' role.
Some of the old stalwarts do still get together at various times and locations and guess what we talk about .....? the "Old Days", of course Again apologies for missing out some names but they were good times.
All the best to everyone connected.............................
David Lovejoy.........taken from the website of the Northern Rivers Echo published in Australia....................
Between Dark and Dark
By David Lovejoy
Echo Publications $22.95
'Walk between dark and dark', wrote the poet Robert Graves, 'a shining space/with the grave's narrowness, though not its peace'.
Echo co-founder, David Lovejoy, makes clear that his life, too, has been anything but peaceful, despite a good deal of it being spent in the calming - and arguably narrow - thrall of an Indian guru.
Born in Britain and adept at languages, literature, chess and, as it would later transpire, savouring the pleasures of the counter-culture, he was accepted into Oxford University and managed a BA with minimal effort.
His student days began with beer and graduated into plenty of drugs and rock 'n' roll, although too little sex for his liking, and his tales are highly entertaining, peppered with musings about flatmates, a beloved Jaguar XK-120 roadster and his admiration for the 'three Roberts' - the poet Graves, Fischer, the American chess grand master, and Bob Dylan.
However, this troika was soon replaced in his affections by the singular Maharaj Ji, whom he still follows, perhaps with some reservations.
His first contact with Indian mysticism came in 'a small basement flat in West Kensington' where a visiting representative of the guru held a meeting called 'satsang - company of truth'.
Later he saw a picture of the true master, 'on a little altar with candles and incense', and was amazed to find he was just 12-years-old.
This non-Maharaj Ji believer - despite having travelled extensively in India - finds it hard to see how the insightful Lovejoy became so besotted with the guru and so deeply enmeshed in the sect's Divine Light Mission. Yet he did, firstly in India, where he stayed at their ashram, and later in Sydney where he founded an inner city HQ and helped establish the DLM's once-strong presence in Australia. He even worked with their centres in the US and UK.
Yet amidst a lifestyle both peripatetic and devoted he found time to hone his chess skills to a high level, taking out a state title, before relocating to the Far North Coast in the mid-1980s. Here, with his inimitable colleague, the late Nicholas Shand, he founded the Brunswick Valley, now Byron Shire, Echo, and later, the Lismore, now Northern Rivers, Echo.
David Hackett (1955-1962).................................................Thanks for the list. There are a few people on it who were my contemporaries at school and a few others I remember from playing football and cricket for the Old Grammarians.
I was part of the 1955 intake. We had Mr Peel as the form master, although I do not recall him having a nickname.
We used to have Mr Shackell ( Schmoo) for Maths., Harry "Gore" for geography, Mr McLaren for French and,of course, the dreaded Reg "rubberneck" Brigden for Latin. I seem to remember that he had a hard rubber ball in the sleeve of his gown and used to knock eight bells out of the head of anyone foolish enough to misconjugate their verbs. Revenge was sweet. One nameless victim extracted retribution by emptying a packet of Refreshers into the fuel tank of Mr Brigden's moped and got away with it. Jack Fairhurst also tended to be physical, accusing you of being a liar if you could not reasonably reproduce the still-life subject (usually a plaster moulding of part of the anatomy) to his satisfaction. His penchant was for pulling hair, until he actually relieved a student of a good handful of his. I also remember the form being given ‘the pavement artist’ as the subject and, to a boy, guess who was depicted?
School prepared us well, from an academic point of view, but as a preparation for the wicked outside world, we led fairly sheltered existences. There was no formal sex education apart from Ken Turner's embarrassed descriptions of the genito-urinary systems of the rabbit and the occasional illicit copy of Health and Efficiency which always attracted what seemed liked thousands, just outside the Chemistry lab.
Recording the local climate came under Harry Gore's jurisdiction as part of "A" level Geography, which I took and, for a while, I was responsible for taking the daily readings from the Shene weather station.
Every day the school instruments would tell me that, regardless of season, it had dropped to 20 degrees below the previous night with a daily maximum of close to boiling point. Furthermore it appeared to rain at least 2 gallons of rather foul smelling yellowish rain every day!..........I would add that the liquid appeared ,strangely, to have been filtered through the human kidney before entering the rain gauge.
I suspect others had similar experiences..................
I gave up in the end , taking my reading from the Daily Telegraph.
And who was it who removed a tent from over a sleeping group of School Scouts during a practice camp on the girls' school field, one weekend?
I stayed at Shene into the 6th form and became House Captain of Temple. I also played football, cricket and basketball for the school. The football team of 1961/2 was particularly successful, regularly scoring 7 or 8 goals per match, and conceding very few. The team had no fewer than 7 members whose names were David (David Gray, David Drury, David Mann, David Nathan, David Head, Me and I think, David Turner (or possibly Healey).
In my last year I was introduced to the Old Boys Football club, playing for the 3rd team. The appearance of some team members before kick off came as something of a surprise, dressed in duffle coats and smoking Senior Service. The Old Boys also introduced me to the pleasures of drinking Watney's Red Barrel at 4.30 on December Saturday afternoons in The Red Lion Barnes, with all the curtains drawn and one 60 watt bulb lit.................
When I left school, I joined a large Life Assurance company. I left after 20 years and established my own practice in the Financial Services industry. I am now semi-retired.
I have some photos of the school football team for 1961/2, the senior prefects for the same year and the school cricket team for 1962. I will put copies in the post.
It was nice to see pictures of Dick Lee, a contemporary, and Eddie Roberts with whom I used to play cricket and football for the Old Boys.
Geoffrey Bowyer and the Cantanti Camerati (taken from the Website)
About the choir
Cantanti Camerati was formed in 1968, is based in Richmond upon Thames and rehearses under the auspices of Richmond Adult and Community College. The choir specialises in unaccompanied music of all periods, especially English partsongs and madrigals. Concerts are presented throughout the year and the choir is involved in musical exchange visits with Richmond's twin towns of Fontainebleau, Konstanz and Richmond, Virginia.
Cantanti Camerati has performed in many and varied venues ranging from the Purcell Room to Australia House, where they were invited to give the first performance of Three Choric Hymns by Malcolm Williamson, the Master of the Queen's Musick. Another memorable concert was a tribute to the Oriana Madrigal Society at the Wigmore Hall in 1985 which was favourably reported in The Times. Musicians from The Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall, have featured in a number of concerts, including appearances at The Royal Star and Garter Home, Richmond, and St Martin-in-the-Fields. Performances have frequently been given in country properties of the National Trust, especially Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire.
About the musical director
Geoffrey Bowyer was accompanist to Cantanti Camerati in 1970 and became musical director in 1974. He has sought to model the singing style of the group upon his choral and accompanying experience with The Oriana Madrigal Society which was directed by Charles Kennedy Scott.
Geoffrey was a Sir Frederick Bridge degree scholar and a Bonavia Hunt piano scholar. He won the Ricordi Prize for Conducting and the Maud Seton Piano Prize at Trinity College of Music. He was awarded a Mark of Distinction at the Institute of Education of London University for his teaching. His later experience included teaching at the Royal College of Music Junior Department in addition to being Senior Lecturer in Music in what is now the Twickenham Campus of Brunel University where he now accompanies the Ballet Rambert School. A Fellow of the Royal College of Organists at the age of 21, he regularly deputised at the Guards Chapel, and appeared at a televised Remembrance Day service from there. In 1988 he was awarded the degree of Master of Music, specialising in performance, from the University of Reading. He conducts several choirs, notably Teddington Choral Society, and is organist at St James's Church, Hampton Hill, where he has recently supervised expansion of the Bishop organ to include new pipes.
Peter Cox.................tells us about the Tuck Shop where he helped create the concrete steps with the assistance of Bill (correct Christian name apparently) Millar
...........The tuck shop was under the stairs (the stairs nearer the front entrance), at least that was the doorway in for those running the shop. Boys were served at a window in the tuck shop that opened out into the little quadrangle between the staff room and the hall. The window was quite high, hence the need for concrete steps and a handrail. Bill Millar's father ran a hardware store or builders' merchants in White Hart Lane and he supplied the materials. At one stage the tuck shop was also under the stage of the new dining hall/stage on the end of the main hall, boys being served from a little door opening out onto the playground near the coke heap, but I can't remember why it moved there, I think it was only temporary.
Richard Jones (1957-65).............Reading through the Intakes, I realised I hadn't put my two bobs' worth in................
David and I have been corresponding over the past few years, commiserating over Fulham's performances and pointing out the sporting successes of England and Australia - at least the Ashes are back where they belong, and still two matches to go.
The site and David's contact list has been a valuable link for the OGs. There's certainly more information on it than Friends Reunited, although that too has been invaluable in maintaining contacts, if only people would respond. Regrettably I haven't made it for the reunions - perhaps 2007 - but have appreciated the photos and familiar faces.
Life since Shene - four years at Kingston Poly with a law degree at the end of it and a determination not to follow my classmates and become a solicitor and to make a positive contribution to the community - I became a Company Secretary. I retained my link with the OGs through the rugby club, as Secretary and spent most of my time in the 2nd XV. I must have stepped awayfrom the club in the early 70s as I was asked to reply to the "Toast to the Guests" at a number of RFC and Association dinners. I remember. if somewhat hazily, the Rugby Club Easter tours to Bournemouth, Wimborne / Wareham ?, Lowestoft / Great Yarmouth ?.
In 1972 I met my wife-to-be, Jennifer in Iceland - as you do - an Anglo-Oz doing the big European trip and headed to Australia to get married , travel through Oz, NZ and US before settling back in UK. Didn't make it past Melbourne - I had an offer of a job within 48 hours arriving in Perth and have been here for 33 years. Jennifer and I have two daughters - Sian, 29 and BJ 26, both heavily committed to environmental sustainability and both very widely travelled
I did return to the law - second law degree at Monash, with the exam on Australian Constitutional Law on the day after the Governor General sacked the PM - as a corporate lawyer with one of the big life companies, before being appointed as Group Secretary for Mobile Oil Australia. That was followed by appointments as Group Secretary of ANZ Bank and until August as Head of Compliance and Governance Integration with the National Bank.
I have now retired and we live on a four acre block in the hills 180km out of Melbourne, overlooking Wilsons Prom and Waratah Bay. We spend our time planting trees to revegetate the block with trees and bushes indigenous to the area - 2000 in and 600 to go, which is a challenge in the drought conditions hitting Oz. There are massive bush fires raging through the mountains a couple of hours drive north of here - no danger to us - touch wood - but the skies are covered by smoke blowing down.
I still do a little consulting work, but its amazing how quickly you get out of touch once you leave work. I'm involved in a number of submissions to Government and regulators by the Chartered Secretaries Australia - described once as the Secretarial mafia - having been National Vice President of the Institute and an Australian member of the Institute's International Board.
With the move into the country as a sea/tree-changer, this is a new life after 33 years in the big smoke of Melbourne. I'm getting involved in the local community and hope I can apply some of my knowledge to help out.
In a small way I think I've managed to enrich my time since leaving Shene
Paul Hudson B.Sc, D.Phil., FAIP, Comp. IE Aust., FAIM, FAICD (1958-65)........................ As someone who when he left Shene GS in 1965 also effectively left the district to become, as it turned out an international corporate citizen, I would like to congratulate John Olrog and David Richardson for establishing this web-site enabling the diaspora to reconnect.
In the intervening 42 years, I have worked and lived in Southampton & Oxford as well as New Jersey, USA; Coimbra, Portugal and Melbourne & Sydney, Australia.
Presently I operate my own investment business utilising Australia's generous superannuation legislation to enjoy a comfortable retirement in the near future.
Being 'down-under' in Melbourne, for the second time, possibly provides a romantic view of the past in the Northern hemisphere; certainly as I approach my 'third age', nostalgia creeps inexorably into mind regarding those days under the protective wing of Mr G.P. Rawlings.
Shene GS was a crucially formative stepping stone for me to enrich my time to come and yet I so nearly rejected it and it me.
Three boys moved from the Holy Trinity Primary SchoolRichmond to Shene in the Autumn of 1958 - my mates and I must have been an unruly gang, and fortunately Ihave obliterated the memory of most of the havoc we wrought on Richmond when we were not playing cricket or football. Or so it must have seemed to Mr G P Rawlings who cut a fearful figure each morning at Assembly huffing on his spectacles and cleaning them with a large white pristine handkerchief as he inspected his brood.
Soon it became clear he and other Masters viewed my mates and I as an 'unholy trinity'from Holy Trinity,and eventually a canker to be removed from the School for its greater benefit. Although I doubt I would have agreed at the time, his judgment was probably quite correct.
So it was that in the autumn of 1960, having been bottom of the class for the last two years, and with my two mates expelled, I moved into 3rd Form with a final warning of expulsion and with much pain in my nether regions. Just under 5 years later I emerged with 8 O levels, triple A's at A level, experience of being a Prefect, School Chess Captain and the Buckhurst Mathematics Prize.
This enabled me to obtain a 1st class Honours degree in Physics at Southampton University and then join William Jefferson Clinton as one of the few postgraduates entering University College, Oxford in 1968. Clinton failed to obtain a degree and returned to the USA in 1970 to Yale and found Hillary Rodham who will probably be the next US President - Clinton was compensated nevertheless with an Honorary Doctorate in 1994. I however avoided political office (and other controversies) and did receive my Doctorate in low temperature solid state physics (mainly the thermal properties of gemstones) much to my wife's delight.
For those of you who remember Jill who I was dating throughout most of the Sixth Form, she tragically died in 1991; we have one son Andrew who not surprisingly is a Human Rights lawyer working in New York.
I then embarked on an academic research career in Oxford followed by a Research Chair in Low Temperature Physics at the University of Coimbra, Portugal before joining the Physics Dept at Monash University, Melbourne in 1974.
We moved to Sydney in 1978 where I became a R & D Project Manager and spent the next 10 years managing R&D and technology including its commercialisation (covering robotics and genetic engineering) before returning to Melbourne as Managing Director of a technology/consulting company. Thence I spent 10 more years operating three such companies including my own and became more of a businessman than a technologist.
I will always be eternally grateful to the exemplary teaching of Burridge, Charles, Friggins and to the 11 Plus Grammar School system; not only has its demise prevented us from giving something back to the School but many pupils like myself would not have succeeded so well in a comprehensive system.
I have so many fond memories from nearly 50 years ago at Shene GS but I will close reminiscing on two humorous incidents, if you will forgive me returning to the persona of a schoolboy.
The first was when Mr GP Rawlings came very close to apoplexy inspecting his brood from the balcony one morning at Assembly because amongst that magnificent hirsute carpet of pupils, one bald head shone at him for no good reason. Never was a bet so misjudged!
The second was during Geography with 'Harry Gore'; as he chalked on the blackboard, the chatter from the class became too much for him and he wheeled round bellowing..'Every time I open my mouth, some fool speaks!'.........I believe my double inguinal hernia was caused that day through repression of laughter!
That those teachers having recently experienced WWII, could be so professional and sane was such a credit to them and such a potential benefit to us.
Doug Pinchin (1959-?)........................ Since the following extract from the Web Doug has co-produced the following West End Shows with Richard Douglas.
Children Will Listen..... A 75th Birthday Tribute To Stephen Sondheim
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, October 2005
30th Anniversary Gala Production of Side By Side By Sondheim
Novello Theatre, May 2006
Follies In Concert
London Palladium, February 2007.
Having studied for a post-graduate qualification in marketing Doug worked for a number of years as a Marketing Executive where, amongst other things, he gained what was to prove to be valuable experience staging promotional events in major London hotels that involved such challenges as turning the Grosvenor House ballroom into a fairground and the ballroom at the Royal Garden Hotel in to a space station.
After this Doug decided to develop what had started as a spare time interest into a business and became an antiques dealer specialising in late 19th and early 20th century ceramics, particularly the wide variety of products made by Royal Doulton. He became an authority on this subject writing several books, editing a specialist magazine, lecturing and was a director of the company, which launched the first Doulton Collectors Fair in the United Kingdom. This was held at The Park Lane Hotel in London.
More recently Doug has put the experience gathered during his marketing days together with his life-long interest in the theatre to good use by becoming involved in the world of entertainment initially working with Richard Morris on many television shows and then as Stage Manager for Court Productions where he worked on productions of Don Giovanni, Madame Butterfly and The Marriage of Figaro as well as their open-air spectaculars starring, amongst other, Charlotte Church, Lesley Garrett and Marilyn Hill Smith.
Doug now divides his time between his antiques business and Richard Douglas Productions.
Brian (Ocker) Hughes 1952-57 (written May, 2007)..............As I tap the keyboard, summer has arrived in Hong Kong with a relative vengeance and so I will be off to Vancouver BC in a few weeks. Since retiring in '97 this is what I do.
But going back 55 years, I spent 5 years in East Sheen travelling in from Ham every morning.
For no particular reason last evening I thought I would see what information there might be on some web site or other and thanks to people like you I was still reading away, past 0130. Far too late for a young lad like me !
Regrettably little of my peers except a few mentions of attendance at the reunions.
Going through quickly I picked out Champion, Kingwell and Osborne plus Bannister but he was more your vintage . He was a near neighbour of mine in Ham.
So there we are another to add to the list. In all these many years, mostly spent in Hong Kong, I have come across but one former pupil and he was there for 2 to 3 years maximum. This was Burley junior , younger son of the Cornish biology master who didn't particularly like Shene and returned to fame and fortune to his native parts. The son , I believe, is now retired to Malaysia.
You mention China in the list of places where SOGs can be found. Does this include Hong Kong ? I'd be pleased to have any names or they can contact me if that is preferred.
In more general terms, anyone visiting Hong Kong is welcome to make contact especially from my joining year of 1952. I'm prepared to buy them a coffee, beer, even a lunch or dinner at the HK Cricket Club or HK Club depending on circumstances ! I'll be happy to advise any holiday maker or business visitor. All you need do is ask !
That'll do for starters. My thoughts on the educational system in England and elsewhere for that matter, can be kept for later. Comments on teachers similarly. However most or that which I read seems to concur with my thoughts...!! But to finish on a positive note just last summer I was happy to mention Mac's name as the man responsible for me being able to address the invited guests at my daughter's wedding. She married a Quebecois and so a few paragraphs in French seemed to be the right thing to do. Much to my surprise I was complimented on my accent ! His wife is so right he was probably the best teacher at Shene when I was there.
I'll leave it there. I guess I'll be hearing from one or two curious former class mates or maybe a flood.......we'll see.
Sincere thanks to you and your colleague for the effort in compiling the website etc. I should be over in the Twickenham area for my annual visit, probably September. When is the next Reunion?
Richard Simms (1952-59) ......in addition to his earlier effort...........
You may recall, David, that one of the Shene Old Boys that had escaped your impressive tracing efforts was Brian “Ocker” Hughes. This summer, Brian resurfaced in Hong Kong via Friends Reunited and I thought you might like to have news of what followed.
He has lived and worked in Hong Kong for many years although is now retired. The great news was that he was planning to visit England in September and, inspired by your school reunion successes, we decided that it was a good reason to organise a mini-reunion of those traced from the class of 1952 that we could reach.
Trying to find a date that suited everyone was impossible and, regrettably, Alan Kingwell, Robin Jones, Ken Dyckes and Victor Champion were unable to attend in the fairly narrow time slot available. However, seven of us made it from far and wide and were able to meet for a most enjoyable and interesting pub lunch at The White Cross by the river at Richmond. A bonus was that Kish Sadhvani who lives in Los Angeles was able to join us by arranging a 24-hour stopover in England on his way to a business tour in India.
It was good to learn that the bodies may have changed but not the people inside them: we still had much in common. None of us had seen Brian Hughes for more than half a century but apart from his distinguished appearance, it would have been easy initially to believe his memory had gone. When asked the simple question, “What were you doing on 18 June 1967?” his memory failed him completely. David Osborne knew. Even I knew (David had told me previously) but for Brian, the whole day was a complete blank. In fact, he had been playing Epsom Athletic as a member of Ham Cricket Team and his picture has been on the wall of The Legless Frog (formerly The Hand and Flower) on Ham Common ever since. A bit like horse brasses and copper bed warmers, I suppose: atmospheric treasures on a pub wall hinting of what life was like in the old days. We need not have worried about Brian’s memory, though, he turned out to have amazing recollections of people and events at Shene.
I attach a photograph, courtesy of the pretty barmaid. (This can be seen in the Photo Gallery at Familiar Faces, Part 8.......Ed.) Regrettably, Kish had to leave for a meeting in London before anyone realised that we hadn’t taken a photograph so he escaped the critical eye of the camera. As Kish pointed out he was the only working man there. How the roles have totally changed since Shene!
From left to right, it is me doing an impersonation of my grandfather, Jack Westlake, David Osborne, John White, John Shackelton and Brian Hughes. Don’t be fooled by the coffee cups in front of John Shackleton and Brian. You don’t get your picture proudly displayed in your local pub for half a century by drinking the odd discreet cup of coffee.
The end was marred by a demeaning level of incompetence in trying to divide the bill by seven. Fortunately, in John Shackelton we had an ex-banker and eventually he took charge and told us what to each put in the pot. Surprisingly, when the pot was counted there was a surplus of £15 but I suppose that is how bankers make their money and old habits die hard. John wasn’t embarrassed though (another banker’s trait) and immediately declared a £2 dividend for everyone and we all felt grateful and marvelled at his clever way with money.
If anyone else is considering a mini-reunion, do encourage them to do it. Its great fun but they must take a calculator with them or remember how to use their mobile phones as one.
The 1952 intake exchanges correspondence in October, 2007
Alan Kingwell has come up with these two photos (Editor’s note….you’ll find one in Sportsmen at Shene Part 9, the other in Familiar Faces Part 8), How did he manage to get into so many photos? I don’t think I have ever seen a school photo that doesn’t include him centre stage looking pleased with himself…………..Richard Simms
Reference the photo of the Shene Hockey XI 1960 - a sideways version of this already appears on the Shene OB website under 'Sportsmen(?) Photos'. However, for the record the occasion was the annual hockey match against the Richmond Girls which we won 1 - 0 after a very physical game. We were awarded the - H.V.De Courtney Slurve Cup -for our efforts. I think the Cup was Rob Jones' idea in 1959.
If my memory still serves me the team are as follows L to R :-
Back Row : Richard Lee, Anthony 'Fuzz' Hughes, Ray Waterson, Alan Kingwell, Phil Grice, Colin 'Prick' Prower, Rob Walton & Rory O’Sullivan.
Front Row: Jeremy 'Ollie' Chapman, Kishoo Sadhvani, Gary Chamberlain, Rob Steggle & Hugh Coulston.
Seemingly, the annual match was held only twice. At one of the matches, John White was in goal and Kish believes he captained the team. Presumably, that was in 1959, the year prior to this photo. John and I were gone by 1960.
The other photo (fifth form, I believe) includes six of the recipients of this email, L to R:-
David Osborne, Vic Champion, Anthony Brockett, Kenny Dyckes, John Shackleton, Alan Kingwell, Robin “Spud” Ware, Rob Jones and Keith Tidy.
that you have four pens!
John (Brian) Staples (1952-8).......................After school I worked for the Marine Department of Esso Petroleum. In 1973 went to South Africa to ship South African anthracite world wide. In 1982
Sort your tie out, David O…..and stop boasting established own business in Far East importing coal from South Africa and Australia. Lived in Seoul, Korea for 10 years. Now retired in England. Whilst at Esso played football for Crystal Palace under 18’s, Brighton Reserves and Sutton United. In 1961 Played cricket against Pakistan under 23 test team. Bowled Pakistan Test captain Saed Ahmed and was bowled in turn by Intikhab Alam.
C. Bryant. I think he was the boy who put his hand through a window at the front of the school and severed ligaments etc. in his arm.
Bill Cavanagh and I were close neighbours about 4 years before we both joined the school in 1952. He was member of the ATC. I was in touch with him for a short time after leaving school but then lost contact. It is very surprising that he became a pilot in the RAF.
John Corby was not only very tall but very strong. I snapped both bones in my left arm just above the wrist playing football for the school first team in February 1957. When I saw my hand hanging off the end of my arm I almost fainted. John picked me up in his arms like I was a small baby and carried me to the touchline to await the ambulance. Mr. Malcolm was the teacher refereeing the match. He telephoned my mother to say that I had had an accident and was in Richmond hospital but gave her no details. She was too shocked to ask him. She rushed to the hospital thinking that I had been knocked off my bike on the way back from the match and was relieved to find that I had ‘only’ broken my arm.
Eddie Fuller. I swopped my stamp collection with Eddie for a pocket watch which was completely useless to me. To this day I have no idea why.
David Haines was my best friend at school and we remained good friends thereafter. He lost an eye at work in about 1962. He was best man at my wedding in 1964. However, his being single with myself being married meant that we soon lost touch. I have tried to find his whereabouts in recent years without success.
Ron Humphries, like David Haines, a good friend both at school and thereafter. We played football together for Sunday morning teams.
Michael Humphries. Younger brother of Ron and a 1952 intake.
John and Ian Pardington lived next door to my Uncle inThorne Street, Barnes. I played football and cricket with John after we had left the school.
My Uncle was Alex Mackie and when I was a small boy was told that he had been a footballer. He was always just one of the family and just another uncle as far as I was concerned. All my uncles and older cousins played football/cricket to a good standard so the fact that he had played football was not special.
When I went to Shene School my mother asked Alex for some football gear and he came up with a white shirt, black/blue shorts, socks and shin pads. I am sure it was the same in your day but other than school matches we played ‘colours’ against ‘whites’. I must have played dozens and dozens of football matches at Shene in Alex’s white shirt.
About 15 years ago, long after Alex had died, I came across a book with reference to him playing for Arsenal, something I never knew. It appears that he was brought over from Belfast by Arsenal as an 18 year old in 1921, made his debut in 1922 and for the next 4 years was the regular right back playing with many famous personalities such as Charlie Buchan etc.
However, Herbert Chapman the recently appointed manager decided to buy another right back and bought Tom Parker from Southampton and made him captain. In due course Alex was transferred to Portsmouth for what in those days was quite a large fee. At Portsmouth he played in the 1929 and 1934 Cup Finals. He was the regular right back for 7 years. Altogether for Arsenal and Portsmouth he played over 400 league and cup matches, all league matches in the old first division. He was also an Irish International. A recent Portsmouth F. C. publication says that he was the best right back ever to play for Portsmouth.
I eventually acquired a book relating to the history of Portsmouth F.C. There was a large photograph of the 1934 Cup Final with Alex in the front of the photograph waiting to be introduced to King George V wearing ‘my’ white shirt. I am told that the photograph in question hangs in the Portsmouth Board Room. Portsmouth played against Manchester City, Frank Swift, Matt Busby etc. and had to change from their normal blue shirts.
Alex had actually given my mother his full set of Cup Final gear. Alas, the shorts, socks and shin pads had gone long ago and the information about the shirt arrived too late. When I separated from my first wife in South Africa, not knowing its history, I left the white shirt in the wardrobe. Years later when I found its history my ex wife had already thrown it away. I have in the past few years acquired a considerable amount of memorabilia on Alex, books/photographs/newspapers/match programmes/cigarette cards etc. as he was a huge star in his day but what should have been the most treasured possession probably ended up being worn in Soweto.
Thus for many years the football fields of Shene School were graced by a shirt that had been worn in a Wembley Cup Final.
Harry Pitt. Another close friend. We also played cricket together after we left school.
Danny Quirk. Lived near David Haines and Ray Walton in Barnes. I think that he worked in a bank after he left school. Shocked to see he has died.
Mr. Rawlings, the Headmaster. In February 1958 took exception to my criticism of him driving too fast and dangerously into the school through the boys waiting in front of the school for the bell. In retaliation he insisted that I cut my hair short and wear baggy grey flannels instead of my 16” tailored trousers. As I had passed GCE’s in the main subjects the previous year I opted to leave the school instead. I carried on playing football for the first team until the end of the season although no longer a pupil at the school.
Roberts. I am sure he appears in many of the team photographs and was one or two years older than myself. Cannot identify him from the many Roberts listed by you.
John Smallworth. I think he was the boy who was sitting on the wall of a coffee shop in Richmond who fell backwards and fractured his skull and died.
Geoffrey White. Part of the group comprised of David Haines, Ron Humphries and myself. He came into the school a few years after us from Wales when his father got a job at Hawkers in Kingston. He lived in Princes Road, East Sheen and after getting married in 1964 moved to Reading. Lost touch with him in the late 1960’s.
Robin Clark (1951-56)............................The photo that I found on the web was one entitled "A School XI 1954". I am the one sitting centre front row next to Ray Theodoulou. On my left (facing) is Harvey Chew - apparently now deceased according to your records. Also, I can confirm that the tall chap at the back is David Wills - also possibly deceased - I am not too sure about the others not identified. As you mentioned, I was very involved in sport - especially cricket - and was selected to play for Surrey Colts whilst at school. I was sad to hear also that Rob Vaughan had died - he was obviously quite involved with the "Old Boys".
The chaps that I seem to remember were : Chris Buckerfield who was famous for his boxing talents (a good chap to be friendly with!) plus big Dave Wills, Michael Clarke (we sat next to each other which led to a lot of confusion when needed!) and Ray Theodoulou who was very talented both academically and sportswise. I lived near Geoff Roberts and was last in contact with him via his address in Browns Road in Surbiton. I was living in Tolworth and had a lengthy bus ride on the 65 to Richmond and thereafter a 33 up to school. Gave me a chance to do homework en route.
As far as my own "travels" since leaving Shene Grammar School, I can summarise them:
1956-59 Worked in London doing accounting work
1959 (June) Joined the British South Africa Police in Rhodesia (to see a bit of the world). Served for five and a half years ending up as a Detective Sergeant. Resumed my commercial career in Rhodesia and in 1968 qualified as a Chartered Secretary.
1980- relocated to South Africa with an executive position in a large food group.
1985 - Commenced operating my own Accounting/Tax/Property Management business which is still functioning.
I am married and have three children and six grandchildren - all of whom reside relatively nearby.
We live in the lovely Kloof area of Kwazulu Natal which is situated app 30 kms from Durban and many lovely sandy beaches. Also, about 100 kms away are the Drakensburg mountains .
On a recent visit to London, I visited the old school premises over a weekend. I was able to walk around the buildings as they were obviously doing extensions etc on site and the gates were open. Certainly brought back a lot of memories.Had a ride through Richmond Park - the scene of the old "cross country" races in that freezing weather!!
Vernon Thompson (1956-62).............................................Well, time has certainly enriched some of us - Just found the website. Great work. Names like Schmoo, Gore and Plug belie the preparation they gave us for venturing out into the wide world. And from your website it is obvious that many of us did - and had a wealth of experiences doing so since attending that great school.
I was at R&ES from 1956 to 1962. I am a dual citizen and have been living in New Jersey USA for the last 21 years. I have been married , annulled, divorced and widowed and at the ripe old age of 64 am engaged to a beautiful Texan girl.
On leaving school I studied at the Regent Street Poly (where I played with the original Pink Floyd band - Sigma 6), spent 6 years on staff at the LSE, became a managing director of a publicly owned subsidiary at 28, Joined Guinness as IT planning manager and then was sent to the USA as IT manager for USA and Canada for a three week project which lasted 7 years!
I have travelled extensively, including trips to the Galapagos, digging up Mayans in Mexico, Ecuador Costa Rica, and South Africa (my favorite) many times ( even got on the jolly old Concorde twice). Our last major trip was on the maiden voyage of the Queen Victoria last December.
I would love to get in touch with some of the old gang - in particular:
Guy Pharaon, Bevis Hutchinson, Ingram Wilcox, Paul Mulberry, Roger Dornan, Neil Bass, Ken Waring, John Springhall.
If you could help me locate any of my old buddies it would be greatly appreciated.
I see there is a reunion scheduled for October this year. I hope to make contact with some of them there.
Tony Clements (1952 - ?).............................Green J T was in my intake. One of the masters (Phil Grice, as I recall) took an evil pleasure, when calling the morning register, of saying "Green, John Thomas" (much childlike sniggering in class) and then moving on to "Green, P E" which was Peter Edward but he never bothered to say the name in full. What's happened to either of them I know not. Peter had, at the age of 9, fallen from an apple tree and broken his left elbow and was unable to straighten his left arm beyond a right-angle. A tall 'gangly' boy, I remember.
One sad omission is Graham Mills, 1954 intake. I never knew him at school (don't frat with older or younger boys!!) but we met about 5 years ago down here in Somerset. He had married a local Sheen girl and had ended up living very happily near Honiton, running an Antiques business. We met through my clock restoration/repair hobby when he needed some work doing on a long-case clock and we started up a close friendship. He, very sadly, died 2 years ago following a year's ineffective treatment for colon cancer.
James Wood (1953-58).......................................................................
Names I recall:
Pop Hyde (French), Plonker (Physics), Mildew (English Lang.), Chalky (English Lit.), Dimbo (PE), Taffy (R.I.), Gore (Geography), Shmoo (Woodwork), Blackleg (Sport), Rawlings (Head Man), Burley (Biology), Chas (Maths), Cheese (Chemistry)
Tusker Damant, Martin Day (left and went to St Pauls), John McNamara (last I heard he joined BP as a trainee officer in their Merchant Fleet), Eddie Fuller (joined the Paras and was killed in an unfortunate accident), John Ingleby, J. Thomas (went in to the motion picture business, I think). There were many others but their names escape me.
One of the nicest people I have ever met. Survived WW1 and told me some frightening stories of life in the armed forces at the time. I owe my present ability to speak French to this inteligent ,kind and gentle man.
A realist who made sure you understood something without insinuating that you were sub normal. I always enjoyed his lessons.
Mildew. So called because of the moustache he suddenly appeared with. A good teacher with a sense of humour.
Chalky White. Could not understand why I detested Shakespeare. (and still do). Made me learn by heart “ I come to bury Caesar not to praise him “ etc. (I have never had occasion to use it since). Chalky had eyes like a hawk and could hit a boy, not paying attention, with a piece of chalk at 30 paces. He once threw a board eraser, I think by accident, and fortunately missed. The mark was on the wall for many years.
He and I did not get along.
We wound up Taffy at every lesson. I remember once when every one in the class spoke in a broad Welsh accent and he never said a word! Another time we asked why Communists MPs all came from Wales. It took him about 3 lessons to clear this one up. (one of them came from Scotland). He used to run in to the lessons shouting in his Welsh accent “Kwi-ert, Kwi-ert I must ‘ave Kwi-ert”.
I never found out how he obtained this name. I remember going by coach to Box Hill to see the sandstone outcrop and when we arrived the form above us had carved, in the outcrop, in huge 5ft. letters “GORE”. It did not seem to register with him and he completely ignored it. I felt sorry for him. He was a good teacher and generally well thought of.
He was very good at his job.
He had a problem with me because the only sport I did was full bore rifle shooting with the Air Training Corps. (I was a natural shot and represented my ATC Wing at Bisley . Subsequently I was awarded the Bronze medal in The Young Officers and Airmans competition at RAF Bisley whilst doing National Service).
Although he knew I had never played cricket he put me up to bat one day and the first ball hit me in the face and knocked me out.
The next morning, as my face was all black and bruised, my mother took me to Hospital for an X-Ray. I had a broken nose, smashed cartlilage etc. Later in life I developed serious sinus problems caused, I am told by the medics, by having been hit in the face by a cricket ball.
Unfortunately he and I never saw eye to eye. He was probably a very good headmaster and certainly changed the school.
An informative and helpful man who knew his subject well.
A no-nonsense teacher who knew his subject and for the most part did a very good job. The sixth form took the mickey out of his size and even suggested that he wore a school cap on the bus , because with his legs not touching the floor when he sat down he could travel for half price.
Cheese. Very good teacher who had a short fuse but also had a sense of humour.
The later Years
I left Shene the same day as I finished O levels as I had been accepted for entry in the Royal Canadian Air Force. I was due to emigrate to Canada in the following September so started a temp. job working in a Department Store. Unfortunatly my father was taken seriously ill in the August and I could not leave the family until October when it was too late to start the RCAF intake.
I decided against the RAF as at this time the service was being cut and prospects were a little bleak. So I joined the Management Training Scheme of a large retailer and was appointed Buyer of electrical appliances in a Department Store 18 months later. I loved it however. When I was 20 the Government re-introduced National Service and I went from £1800 per year salary to 18 shillings a week. I celebrated my 21st Birthday in the NAAFI at RAF Bridgenorth and ended my National Service as an Air Electrician on Victor Bombers. Sadly my father died whilst I was in the RAF. Shortly after leaving the RAF I was asked to join the RAF Reserve forces and spent a lot of time as small arms / shooting instructor to ATC cadets eventually being made C.O. of a local Squadron.
On return to Civvy Street in 1962 I stayed in the retail business for a couple years but then joined an Italian white goods manufacturer / importer as Sales Manager. I stayed in the industry and when I retired I was Logistics Director/ Assistant M.D. for a large European Manufacturer.
I was married in 1963 and we are still together with 3 children and 6 grand children.
We have a house in Brittany where we try to spend most of the summer returning to Cheshire in the winter for the comfort of central heating, friends and family.
Richard Walton (1959-1965)..........................
When looking through some old family photos I came upon the attached which may be of interest to some. The picture was taken during a school skiing trip to Solden in Austria in April 1965 - just before I sat my A-levels!
Editor's Note.....you can see the photo in Familiar Faces Part 8
If my memory serves me right depicted L-R are: ?Peter Donnison(1959 Entry), Dick Fash (Games Master), Julian Ingleby (1958), Myself - Richard Walton (1959) and ? Casey (1960). I recall there were a dozen or so of us on the trip ranging from 4th form to Upper sixth, accompanied by Bill Hill and Dick Fash - the upper sixth members were Roddy Doubble, Julian Ingleby and myself.
One incident I remember from the first evening was Bill Hill ordering a dry martini at the bar, Dick Fash and I were standing next to him and kept stum while the barmaid dutifully poured 3 drinks to Bill's chagrin and our profit.
Roger Allingham-Mills (1959-66)....................I have just drifted across the website, all on account of wondering where we all went and what we did and are we still kicking.
If I remember correctly, any records that I might have are in my house in England - I normally reside in Berlin, and still work just outside.
At this time I have a question - when and where is the next reunion ? For 2009 hopefully (Editor....more like Spring, 2010)
I need to read the website more closely and hopefully this will trigger some memories.
I seem to remember Doug Pinchin as being about 2 metres tall if it is the same chap - I think he lived in Richmond.
Thinking back they were strange times. From Bill Haley and Tommy Steele to the Animals and Beatles and Rolling Stones. Caps had to be worn in the early years and when out on the street tipped to the headmaster (Rawlings) or else !
There is half a chance I still have one of those old school photos taken with a clockwork panoramic camera - the sort, that if you were quick you could run from one end of the row to the other and appear in two places on the same picture !
Paul Meakin (1954-58) (see also Paul's previous contribution)...........................Lunch at HertfordRoadGirlsSchool dining rooms was generally served at tables seating 8 boys with two senior boys at the head of the table who were responsible for order and the serving out of meals. One lunch time a very delicious trifle was served up and the two greedy grubs in charge managed to serve only about one half of the trifle to the six juniors leaving one quarter for each of them. Then they started to argue over who had taken the bigger of the two portions. In next to no time, much to our dismay, one of the grubs had upended his bowl over the other lad with a remark like, "well you have it all now!"
I also remember that when the new headmaster joined he started a new fad, that of eating like an American. Plug would use his knife to cut up his meal and then use his fork in the right hand to eat with. I don't know where he learned those bad manners. It certainly wasn't in the Royal Navy!
I can only remember a few class mates from my time at Shene. Merv Webster, whose father was a police Inspector in Richmond and vaguely recall a John Corby. He was over 6 feet tall and an excellent athlete. I think his mother was a widow and he lived on North Worple Way beside the rail line near to the bus depot in Mortlake.
Michael Walsh (1953-58)..............................At Shene I wasted much of my time kicking balls around, stealing from the tuck shop and cheeking the poor benighted Harry Goodbourn. Some prat – me not him. Subsequently I wasted even more time – 5 years – at HullUniversity. Then I got a job writing about sewers on a technical magazine which my friends called “the lav mag”. That set me up for a long stint writing what many judge was more sewage - on the socialist weekly, Tribune. Worse followed – television. I freelanced as a reporter for the BBC in the 1970s, was offered jobs on two BBC current affairs shows but was blackballed by British Security. In those days every on-screen face in BBC news and current affairs had to be vetted by a Spook. Those, like me, who didn’t pass muster were given what was known as a “red Christmas tree” and told to sling their hooks. I ended up with Granada Television making deeply reactionary programmes for a show called World in Action.
In the 1990s I went freelance and in the 2000s started writing books. I am married to an Australian former actress, have a gorgeous step daughter and live (not spectacularly) in Notting Hill.
Clive Morris (1952- ).......................
Names I can remember in my year are:-
Three of my cousins also went to Shene:
Keith Bedford – deceased
John Burford - died in the 90s
Bob Inman - relative of Melbourne Inman billiards player.
Just a short note of my life since leaving Shene.
I studied with a hope of becoming a marine biologist but by the time I started my first year in the sixth form it was clear no jobs were available. Rather than waste time and my parents money, I decided over the Easter Holidays to leave school and seek employment.
During my fifth year and the start of my sixth year I was Assistant to the Biology Lab Assistant – Mike Forsgate was called up in 1957 and spent nearly 2 years in Cyprus sending hundreds of lizards and snakes to me to keep for him. We were both nuts about natural history.
I was always fair at technical drawing so applied for and got a job in an Architects office, and began evening school in the September. Called up in 1959 and served my two years in the Royal Army Pay Corps learning all about payroll and taxation which would be useful in later life. Ended up coding army personnel records for loading onto the Army’s computer.
Out of the army joined the architectural office in Soho of a friend I had made in my first office, and started at Regents Street Polytechnic where I completed a 10 year evening architectural course finally qualifying in 1971.
Moved in 1970 to a famous practice on Richmond Green where I stayed for the next twenty years becoming an associate partner. In the meantime I married Joy in 1972 who I had met sailing on the Thames at Teddington. Mike Forsgate was my best man.
In March 1990 the practice collapsed and I was out of work, computer aided design was coming in and no one wanted a 50 year old architect, even one with CAD skills, so it was time for a change.
After two years out of work I finally got a position as Co-ordinator of Volunteers at The Royal Horticultural Society Garden at Wisley. Here I worked directly for the Curator doing many jobs besides the one I was employed for, these included designing small buildings within the garden, landscape designs, small garden designs, photographing flowers and overall displays, mapping all the plants in the garden using total station surveying and CAD drawing programme linked to the botanical data base.
Decided to retire in 2001 and moved with Joy to Dorset where we had been coming on holiday for many years.
Barry Selwood (1954-59)..........................
I was a pupil 1954 to 1959 in the time of GP Rawlings and finally left after retaking some O levels in Jan 1960. My parents decreed my sister and I should not go to university but work fulltime and earn money to assist the family budget . Presumably I am one of the 2000 on the Excel list.
I became a trainee building surveyor and eventually qualified as a chartered surveyor in 1967. Now live in Bournville near the chocolate factory and there has been no contact with the OGA since leaving school.
I worked about 3 years in my home town of Kingston upon Thames , 4 in the City of London, married and spent 4 years in Exeter, brought up my family for 18 years in Nottingham, divorced and then have happily lived /worked for the last 20 years in Birmingham.
Now that I am retired it would be good to make amends and meet up again to recall memories of schooldays.. The website tells me the school currently occupying the site is very different from the school we knew.
Peter Donnison (1959-65).........................
I have been looking at the 'Old Boys' website, taking me back 50 years to my time at the old school. I was at the school from 1959-1965, leaving after my 'O' levels, deciding that I would rather find work and earn some money, rather than staying on for my 'A' levels.
The memories flooded back, especially to 'Plug' Rawlings, where it seems that I had a season ticket to his office, and the cane. Also, the PE and games teacher, 'Taffy' Davies, was very handy with the slipper. I was in 'Fife' house, and remember the sports days and inter-house football matches very well.
My particular friends were Iain MacGregor, Brian Roddis, Roy East, Ian Pocock, Roy Phillips, John Munslow and David Cooke (before he emigrated to Australia). I went on a school trip to Athens, Crete and Delphi in 1962 (or 1963), where we took a train to Genoa, then went by ship around Greece and the islands. It was a fantastic experience, and was probably the reason that I decided to work in travel, and journey the world.
I thought that I should mention, that my name has been put against a photo of a school skiing trip to Austria, but unfortunately it is not me.
Thanks for bringing back the memories. Keep me in touch with any further Reunions. I would love to meet up with some of my old mates.
Paul Waterson (1953-1960)……………………Many thanks for keeping me up to date with news of many old friends not forgotten. Sadly.I will not be able to attend the next reunion as I am still active professionally and also travel a lot with the excuse of visiting my partner's family in different parts of the world.
Have completed 40 years in Spain where I found my niche. Would be delighted to offer info to any Shene OB's on travel, gastronomy etc. if required.
I was Captain of Fife House and Captain of Athletics, representing Surrey in Athletics in the All England Championships 1958 and 1960 (long jump) and Surrey Football 1960 (left wing) for which I was awarded the Shene Silver Medal.
Robert Steggle and Jerry Chapman were among my contemporaries. Stewart Treherne was a great mate with whom I frequented London Jazz clubs, raiding his older brother's record collection. I also got into some mischief with Doug Smith and Rick Emptage who lined me up with some tasty totty.
Did part time work in pubs while still at school. Can't recall studying very much but had a great time with a certain aptitude for languages which is probably why I ended up in Spain.
David Mann knew my Mum and I would like to pass on my regards to all these guys if they appear at Reunion 2011
Peter Flewitt (1958-65)...................
Editor's Note: also see Peter's earlier contribution.
I noticed this a while back and decided it was too small to worry about, but my pedantic nature will not allow it to disappear, especially as I live in Oz.
The Tasmanians have been known to get very cranky when the Apple Isle is left off the map of Australia, and who can blame them. So I guess they'd be thrilled with the SOG home page which lists them as being a separate country without even having seceded. Australia does in fact have a small history of secession, with the remnants of a 1930s secessionist party still operating in West Australia and Hutt River Province, north of Perth, claiming to be an autonomous entity ruled by King Leonard. It has its own stamps, currency and passports and representatives in a few countries around the world. It is open to visits if you are ever in that part of the world.
Anyway, I don't know how difficult it is or even if it is worth while amending the home page. Just thought I'd let you know.
Hope you are travelling well and sad to see the recent death of Chris Roebuck.
N.B. Currently in the early stages of reunion 2 with John Vaughan and Don Macintyre next year.
David Richardson note: Tasmania which had a mention on the Home Page is, of course, an Australian state and I've quietly removed the reference to it. OK, Peter...?
Michael Rush (1950-5)…………I arrived at Richmond and East Sheen Grammar School (as it then was) in September 1950 as a 13+ entrant, having previously distinguished myself by failing the 11+ not once but twice! Apparently, I was what was termed ‘a late developer’! I therefore went straight into the third form, my form master being A.I.F Malcolm, otherwise known as ‘Mildew’ – I think from the colour of his jacket. I took my O-levels in 1955, but in the run-up to them the then careers master, ‘Pop’ Hyde, visited all the parents of the O-level boys to discuss possible careers. At this stage, I had planned to train as a secondary school teacher via training college, but ‘Pop’ told my parents that I should consider university. This possibility had not occurred to me or my parents, but the advantages of taking a degree were clear and that became my goal, still with the intention of pursuing a teaching career. I took three A-levels – History, English and Geography – and began to explore university degree programmes. However, one difficulty I faced was that National Service was still in place and entering at 13+ meant that I had a maximum of two years in the 6th form rather than the common possibility of three. There was no UCAS system then and separate applications had to be made to each university concerned. In the event, I passed my A-levels and was awarded a County Major Scholarship – awarded on the basis of A-levels but activated only on taking up a university place. My problem was that my History A-level was one grade below the conditional offers I had received from the universities to which I had applied. In short, the necessary finance was available, a university place was not.
National Service quickly materialised and I served two years in the RASC as a clerk-administrator stoutly defendingA ldershot and Farnborough from the threat of the Soviet Union. During National Service I re-took History A-level, improved my grade and applied again to university. No offers were forthcoming, but I had taken the precaution of also applying for teacher-training at the College of St. Mark and St. John, then located in Chelsea. I was offered a place at ‘MarJohns’ and all set to go – indeed, I had actually received my grant cheque, when a last minute offer to read for a general degree in arts arrived from the University of Sheffield. I decided to accept, even though a general degree was not my original choice, which had been History and Politics. More problematically, I had to study a modern language in the first year. I chose French, which I had not studied since O-level and, although it remains a mystery to me, managed to pass and proceed to my second year. In the meantime, I found that, dependent on first year results, it was still possible to be admitted to the Honours School of History and Politics. I thus ended up with a degree in History and Politics and did well enough to go on to PhD in Politics. After two years as a full-time postgraduate, I was appointed a Lecturer in Politics at the University of Exeterand eventually awarded a personal chair, but that is another story.
I have many memories of Shene, not least of the two headmasters I encountered. The first was H.H. Shephard, a small, quiet and gentle man who moved silently around the school (hence his nickname ‘Creep’) He ran tight ship, emphasising hard work and courtesy and on fine days could be seen wending his way back to Richmond through Richmond Park twirling his stick like Charlie Chaplin (provided he saw no one was looking!). His successor, G.P. Rawlings (‘Plug’), was a more volatile character, but very supportive of individual pupils. Other masters I remember were ‘Pop’ Hyde, of course, ‘Mac’ McLaren, both excellent language teachers, A.E. Terry (‘Arthur’), who further spurred my interest in history and ran the 2nd XI football team (of which I was a member), Geoffrey Peel (‘George’) and ‘Snowy’ White, both inspiring English teachers; and H. Goodbourn (‘Gore’), widely feared but fine when you got to know him. The upper and lower sixth arts forms were sufficiently small to enable them to share a classroom. Though taught separately, this had the particular advantage of allowing both levels to get to know each other well and be mutually supportive. Much effort was put in by staff to help in the choice of careers, especially for those who hoped to go onto to university, not only would-be Oxbridge candidates but others too. I owe a great deal to the encouragement and support I received at Shene and it holds many happy memories for me.
I remember quite a few people from my time at Shene, both staff and pupils. The school had a massive impact on my life. After my first year at Sheffield I joined Michael Shaw and David Sturt, with whom I was in the 6th form, on a tour round Europe. All three of us used to go to the WhiteCity to watch athletics and Mike and David got tickets to various events at the Rome Olympics. I took a student flight to Rome at the end of the Olympics - I heard the national anthem for one of Britain's few gold medals (Don Thompson - 50 km walk?) as I was coming in by bus from the airport! They had hired a car in Franceand we went the long way round back to Calais, viaSan Marino,Ravenna,Venice,Innsbruck, Liechtenstein,Switzerland, and back across France!
However, having lived in Exeter since 1964, I have lost touch with most of those I knew at Shene.
Dudley Ward (1950-57)................I was awarded a flying scholarship in the Air Training Corps when sixteen years old and was given my private pilot's licence a year before I could have my car driving licence. I annoyed Mr. Rawlingsby coming to school on a motor cycle.
After a brief career flying in the R.A.F, I decided it was not for me.