Don McIntyre (1961-65)................."I was intrigued to discover your Old Boys site and reminisced at length over some of the names appearing at the 2002 Reunion. I was the 1st XI goalkeeper and was frequently called into action by the Old Boys on the same day and usually in 'brass monkey' conditions since goalies were in short supply at the time. I would attend the Red Lion meeting point with wet and muddy attire and face the might of someone else's 5th X1 at the tender age of 16. My cat-like agility of those times must be credited to my mentor Rob Vaughan (Lev Yashin). School contemporaries included Terry Gazzard, Roger Johnson and John Vaughan. I am very interested in attending the 2004 Reunion"
F. Victor -Lee-Own (1962-69).................................After I left Shene I went to Manchester University and received a BSc in Biological Chemistry in 1972,and a PhD in Medical Biochemistry in 1975. I then spent a year in the US at the University of
Southern California, in Los Angeles, and the NIH, in Bethesda, before returning to London for a British Heart Foundation award, working at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London. In 1979, back at the dawn of the Thatcher era, Johnson and Johnson offered me a position with their Ortho Diagnostics subsidiary in New Jersey, and I accepted and moved back to the US. Over the past 27 years I have worked in Diagnostic, Biotech, and Pharmaceutical companies all over the US and also back in Europe, but since 1990 returned and remained resident in New Jersey. I married Joan in 1983, and we have 2 boys: Geoffrey now 22 and in his final year of college studying business and economics; and Robert, now 17, and he will be entering college in September to study engineering. I am starting a new job on May 1st. I will still be based in New Jersey but I will be working for an Austrian company representing them all over the US, expanding the sales base from its present concentrations in the NE and California. This is a bit of a change for me, after working in labs for over 30 years. But with more of my working life behind me rather than in front of me, I want to take the opportunity to do more of what I enjoy rather than what others want me to do. I'm hoping to retire in the next 4-6 years, when Robert has finished college, but haven't decided where to settle down. The US is attractive but has disadvantages, likewise the UK. I've kept in touch with Colin Sullivan and others from the 62-69 era since Colin started an e-mail group, and a few years ago I attended a memorable evening at the Sun Inn in Barnes. I don't visit London as often as I used to, but have every intention of keeping up ties with SOGs.
Paul Perton (1962-67)..............This weekend, I will have been in South Africa for 32 years - ironically, I arrived on St George's Day in 1974. I left the UK because the government of the day was fighting with the unions, we had electricity only occasionally and I was only allowed to work three days a week. On top of that, I had recently qualified (I am by profession a lighting engineer) and my employers were using the prices and incomes freeze of the time as an excuse to not increase my sales engineer's salary of £1200 a year (and a car which I was required to fund out of my own pocket).
I came to Johannesburg in response to a job offer of £3100 a year and a fully paid for company car. I was promised - and received - an additional 10% increase for just getting here and starting work. It wasn't a hard decision to make.
In 1982, I became self-employed and remain so to this day. I run an industrial marketing agency which can be viewed at www.peripheral.co.za and at 55 am fortunate enough to be able to work at my own pace and spend the rest of my time gazing out at False Bay which laps at my front door.
In short, life has probably been unrealistically kind to me. With the utmost good fortune, I undoubtedly made most of the correct decisions along the way and today enjoy the pleasures of a wife of almost 30 years and two extraordinarily creative children - adults actually.
Doubtless, some of my skills and abilities were garnered at Shene. I took a sombre, slow drive past the school last year while I was in London. I couldn't get out and look because there was nowhere to bloody well park, but it's best I don't go there...
Surprisingly, the core of the school looked much as it did when I walked out in 1967. There is a huge extension which I took to be a gymnasium, but at a casual glance, not much had changed. I could swear I heard Jack Fairhurst yelling at the choir and Reg Brigden still dispensing his rough-handed style of teaching. I can clearly recall a number of incidents at his hands; most notably him hitting a boy because his handwriting sloped the wrong way. I kept as far away from him as the seating in class permitted. In fairness, I do have to recall both French teacher McLaren (first name lost in the mists of time) and woodworking-supremo "Butch" Bullard. I still remember and speak French quite well - even to the extent of making myself understood in downtown Hanoi last year. My O level in Woodwork has brought me a clear skill in furniture making, which I pursue to this day. You can see some of the results at www.outofthewoods.co.za
The fact is that I've never regretted leaving. I am in reasonably regular contact with some of my school chums and they occasionally with me. I fear many of them are finding life more challenging than they would have chosen for themselves, yet have no other options. Which just about closes the circle - I'm back to my comment about sweeping aside history, knowledge and experience in a headlong rush for whatever is the next big thing. Despite a reasonable scholastic achievement - it got me into tertiary education - and running/playing rugby/soccer for both house and school, I was only awarded my house colours the day I left at the end of the fifth form. I have no doubt that the school and it's teachers were just as pleased to see the back of me as I was them.
The Web site is a good step and you should try to enlist as many old boys as contributors as possible. The walk-through? A good idea too, but a huge amount of work and one which will demand considerable bandwidth in use. In the UK, bandwidth is not an issue, but in countries like this one where investment is prioritised elsewhere and broadband isn't freely available, downloading a 0.5Mb Web site over a dial-up connection is a definite no-no.
Trevor Day (1962-1969)....................Left Shene summer of 1969 to read Maths at Exeter ... lasted one year [was ill in the second term] .. so became postman on 13th July 1970 ... switching to Telecoms in October 1970 ... and been there ever since.... spent 6 1/2years working in Holland for BT [1996 - 2002] ... where I improved my Dutch to a great extent ...
Thus still working for BT [since 13th July 1970] ... only a few years to go ...
... married to Coby (Jacoba ... nee Plomp) on 2nd April 1977 and we have three children ... Thomas (28.10.80) finished a PhD at Warwick (Chemistry ... Carbon nano-tubes ... ) then became a chartered accountant [KPMG], Anneke (20.4.82) finished her Masters at Warwick (Film studies ...) and is a Qualified Teacher and now mother of Eden Rebekka Perling Day [our first grand-childe] ... and Anneke and Jon are married; so she is a Sissons and no longer a Day and then Edward (12.2.85) finished at Drama School [ALRA] in London ... has been Hamlet [in Italy] and several other things and more recently King Lear and Fool [which had to be a puppet] for Aug'12 after a recent successful 2-years at Le Coq theatre school in Paris [ended Jun'12]. His acting keeps him busy.
I played Rugby for London Welsh from 1969 - 1975 or so ... not the 1st's ... what with 15 internationals in the first team..?... or so it seemed ... ... a church chorister (from October 1957 until recently); studied for Lay Ministry [Reader] in the Church of England [licenced Oct'07] then trained for ordained ministry at STETS [2009-12] ... ordained Deacon 30 Jun 12 at Bristol Cathedral [SSM curate working in Highworth and Blunsdon] ... qualified as a netball umpire in the early 1990's [don't ask ...] ... and have completed the Nijmegen Marches [de vierdaagse] 21times ...(I'll let you know what that's all about if you ask nicely ... but it entails walking 160 or 200km in 4-days).
Updates Sep12 ...
30 Sep 07 ... took early retirement from BT
6 Oct 07 ... Licensed as Lay Minister in Church of England
Sep 09 ... started three year training course leading towards Ordained Ministry as a Non-Stipendary Minister [C of E]
30 Jun 12 ... Ordained Deacon
late Sep 09…… diagnosed with Larangeal Carcinoma ...
Operation in Early October [Biopsy] on my vocal cords ... then second op later in Oct. to remove 30% off both Vocal Cords ...
November 3rd op. to get into the muscle under the right vocal cord and then laser treatment. Now looking much better. Next visit not until 25th March 2010 ... after which another small op and then another tweak in 2011 ... now it's OK.
9th Jan'12... heart stopped ... they pumbled me and electrified me back and fitted a STENT ... all now seems OK.
John Young (1968-72)................I stumbled across your website whilst reminiscing about the "good old days".
I started 1st year at Shene in 1968. A couple of teachers I remember were Ron Friggens (who I noticed with sadness had recently died), he terrified me into learning and Miss Wryde (correct spelling?) who was every adolescent schoolboy's fantasy. She used to sit on the window sill with her feet on the chair giving the whole class an eyeful of her legs.
French was never the same after that.
I was pretty sporty at school and was a member of various football rugby and cricket teams. In 1972, I was wrenched away to a foreign land (Scotland) by my parents. My father was a Scot and wanted to return home. I left Shene and have never returned.
Upon leaving school I became an engineering officer in the Merchant Navy and spent 10 years doing and seeing things that most people can only dream of. I still love travelling. The shipping company I worked for folded and I decided to leave the sea. I worked for a diving company and a meat packing factory.
Since 1987 I have been the Engineering Manager in a research establishment. I still live in Scotland and have married three lovely Scottish Lassies (not at the same time). I have two fantastic children from my second marriage and two stepsons.
I would be grateful if you could send me a copy of the 'old boys list' to see if I could identify some names from the past. Strangely enough I can still recite the register list from my final year at Shene.
John Tinker (1965-67)................Thanks for your letter. I am indeed an old boy of Shene although I only entered the school for the last two years of my schooldays in the sixth form from 1965 -1967.
By all means include my email in the list of old boys. I have very clear memories of my time at Shene but have not kept in contact with anyone from that time. For some reason I kept my old school reports and the magazines for that time and have often wondered what happened to some of those I remember.
After leaving I acquired a Physics Degree from Surrey University where I developed an abiding interest in Cosmology which then studied at Kings College London. This naturally led me to join the civil service from where I took early retirement in 1994.
Lived in London until two years ago when we came down here to Exeter.
Although I never went back to the school my father, when he was in his 70's and 80's, used to teach Beekeeping there when it ceased to be a Grammar school.
Robin Bextor (Shene Intake of 1965) taken from Wikipedia, the free encylopaedia
Robin Bextor (born 11 October 1953) is a British television producer and director. He is the father of Sophie Ellis-Bextor.
After education in Richmond, Surrey, England, and at the University of Reading, he joined Thames Television and then the BBC, where he produced and directed documentaries and entertainment programmes, including That's Life! and a number of music and comedy shows. During this time he also made pop promotion videos for such bands as Bad Manners, Bow Wow Wow, and Bucks Fizz.
In the early 1990s, he became head of arts at TWI before joining the Man Alive group as a director.
He directed Edward on Edward, a documentary in which Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, told about King Edward VIII. He was next involved in a raft of Royal programming, including the creation of the Crown and Country series and the direction of Windsor Restored.
As director of programmes for Ardent, he steered the company to its first profit, but left to pursue several major projects, including films with Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, and Paul McCartney.
He has since made programmes with his daughter, the singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor; the French band Air; The Damned; The Stranglers; and UB40. He directed the cult short film Norfolk Coast, featuring Susannah York and Jean Jacques Burnel.
He has won several major TV and film awards, including the Columbus award for The British Schindler, shown on ITV in 2005, a BAFTA and the New York Film Festival best documentary award.
Martin Overton (1965 – 1972)………………………I attended Mortlake County Primary School, where I passed the 11 plus and went on to Shene Grammar. My twin sister Leslie (boy’s spelling, but is a girl!) was unsuccessful at the 11 plus and went to Hertford Avenue School for Girls which was adjacent. I usually walked to school with her and her friends, which I later discovered to much impress some of the teachers, who mistakenly thought they were my friends.
The school uniform included a cap, which we had to raise in thanks to drivers who stopped for us at the zebra crossings. After the third form we no longer had to wear the caps.
The annual intake was about 60, divided into two forms, East and West. I was in West, and I still keep in touch with some of my form mates. Ian Newton (Piglet), who was my best man when I got married to Lydia in 1982. (Lydia, nee Huckin) went to Richmond County Grammar School for Girls 1963 - 1968 and still occasionally attends reunions). Roland Earland (Lugflap), Bob Lawson, David Van der Cruyssen (joined in the lower 6th), Martin and David Jalili also joined in the 6th form.
R C Bullard (Woodwork and T.D.) was my house tutor - I was in Hood House (red), the other houses being York (blue), Fife (yellow) and Temple (green). The Headmaster, Graham Rawlings (Plug) usually addressed assembly with his eyes firmly screwed shut - were we so awful? His Deputy Head was Ron Friggens (Physics). I met Graham and Ron in later life. Graham, when I was invited to join the local Barnes Rotary Club, and he as a past President attended my induction to wish me well.
I also met Ron some years after leaving school, when I dated his daughter Louise. I approached our reintroduction with some trepidation as he had a fearsome reputation and had been the primary source of discipline at school. Indeed, he had spotted me playing Billiards in the 6th form common room, banned me and caused me to write a letter of apology to the Headmaster. At this later meeting, he was certainly less fearsome but I was still very wary.
The other teachers I recall were Jack Fairhurst (Art). Jack had presented the school with an Art Trophy. Very modern and abstract carved/drilled from a block of metal. It stood alongside all the silver cups and shields on display in the hall. Unfortunately we were burgled and only the Fairhurst Trophy remained!
“Snowy” White taught English. He was getting on in years and had once presented the same lesson to us two classes running. Reg Brigden taught English and Latin. Dick Fash taught PE. He was the only teacher to slipper me for talking.
Mr. and Mrs. Grice taught French (Mr. Grice), German (Mr. Grice), and Biology (Mrs. Grice), Mr. Black taught Chemistry, the only lesson held in the girls school. Mr. Free (Jiffy) also taught Physics.
One afternoon a week we had games - usually held at Barnes Elms in Barnes. We had to make our own way there by bus or bike if we had cycled to school. It was Rugby or Cricket according to the season.
Shortly after joining the outside toilets were closed and moved inside and a new Gymnasium was built. Here I enjoyed Badminton. With the fitting of braces on my teeth, I was excused from rugby and went sailing and canoeing at Ham Gravel Pits instead (run by A C Bullard). During Woodwork, some boys built canoes which they then used at Ham.
As I was about to leave there was talk of the school becoming either a Comprehensive or a 6th Form College. In fact, it became a mixed school with girls joining and education only up to Fifth Form., Tertiary education for A levels etc, being provided elsewhere.
Ally Shaw (1967-72).............................. On leaving Shene, I joined my father’s cigarette vending business. In 1987 a friend introduced me to the London International Financial Futures Market in the City (lots of coloured jackets and shouting) and I was immediately hooked. The buzz was addictive and I started trading early in 1988. The markets are now all traded electronically, so I trade from home and enjoy it but miss the excitement of the trading pits.
I’m married to Frederique who is French but in many ways is more English than a native Londoner and we have two girls, Amandine 18 and Justine 15.
We live in Kingston and keep in close contact with Robin Bextor and Mark Rayner
Paul Cumner (1965-71).................I left school to join the Met Police until 1985 when I left the UK to seek a new beginning in Perth, Western Australia, when my life REALLY began..........and I've had so much fun since.
Now divorced (sign of the times) with 2 daughters, one in Bournemouth and the other in Oslo !
I will be in London during April, 2007 visiting said offspring and my mum who still lives in Kew.
I work in the air-conditioning field, handy as it's currently 40 deg and approaching the end of our summer !
Phil Peace (1964-71)..................After Shene I attended University of Southampton from 1971 - 1974; Chartered Civil Engineer 1979; Construction Marketing and Business Development
After leaving Sheen Primary School in !964, I was admitted to York House and was greatly influenced on the Sports Pitch by Dick Fash. Dick suggested that aspiring rugby players should see how it was done when we were not playing for the school by popping down the road to Rosslyn Park........I have been going to the Park ever since.
At a recent players reunion, I was told by Dudley Wood (former Secretary of the RFU) that Dick had sadly died. Dick had a brother called Mick/Mike and, if my memory serves me correctly Mike used to visit the school in an e-type jag. I believe Mike worked in the media,
I captained the Under 13s Rugby, Football and Cricket teams and there is some cine film of our rugby training taken on the pitch at the school in the Autumn of 1964 which I would dearly love to see and transfer to DVD !
Players such as Alan Rees, Paul Wymer, Alan Smith, Glen Carwithan, Mike Bailey appear in this film: the list is endless.
I can remember taking 8 off the head vs Llandovery College and we lost 0 - 63. Can't remember who my props were but the balls were heavy with dubbin and very difficult to kick.
Around that time I used to watch a member of the First XV, Colin Johnson, practicing his goal kicking. Colin was a 60's version of Jonny Wilkinson !
In 1966 I got the autographs of all the England Soccer World Cup Players the day before the Final when they trained at the Bank of England Ground. Sadly the autograph book is now lost.
My twin brother, who sadly died in 1997, joined me at Shene in that year from St Mary's. He had failed his 11 plus but my father persuaded Plug and the Education Authorities to let Tim join me. He was a very competent Cricketer and I still have the original scorebooks of his games for the First XI in 1970 / 71. We bumped into Robin Bextor at Surrey CCC several years ago.
Tim used to work with Bob Lawson on disco enterprises and we both kept in touch with Mike Bailey in our post Shene years.
I still see Andy Shuttleworth at Mortlake Station. We were 5 when we went to Sheen Primary.
I now live in East Sheen with Christine and we both work in the Construction Industry.
Paul Flewers (1966-72).............................I went to Shene in September 1966, obtained five O Levels, and left in January 1972 after making a mess of the first term exams in the Lower Sixth form. I worked in the civil service as a clerk until September 1991, when I went to the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (University of London) to do a History BA, which I passed with a first-class mark. I returned to the civil service until made redundant in May 1997, returned to SSEES to do a Social Science MA (1997-1998), which I passed, and then a PhD in history (1998-2001), which I successfully completed. I worked at King’s College London as a help-desk clerk until resigning this April on account of ill-health. I hope to have a book based on my PhD, The New Civilisation?: Assessing Stalin’s Soviet Union, 1929-1941, published this year.
Bruce Williams (1967-?).................................I worked for some years in the USA and also shorter spells in Singapore and France. These were after graduating in Economics and French in 1978 and an MBA in 1980. I am 51 and today work part time as a Business Consultant specialising in bulk commodities and bulk logistics. I do still travel abroad quite a bit, but also take plenty of time off!
Looking back it it today, I think we were all lucky to get the quality of education provided by Shene, particularly as it was free of charge. Few modern fee-paying schools will provide as good an all round education.
Ian Cox (1967-74)....................................to David Richardson on 22.3.08............
You won't know me personally but I (Ian Alexander Cox) am an old boy of that great Grammar School for Boys.....Shene Grammar. I always liked the way it was spelt differently to East Sheen...always seemed to make it that little bit different/special.
I got to hear about you and your web site from my elder cousin, John Staples. He was there from 1952-58 and I was there from 1967-74 and I have a younger brother (William (Bill) John Cox) who was also there when it metamorphosed into a sixth form college. Not for the better might I add. I was moving into the Upper Sixth the year it became a sixth form college so it was less disruptive to my education....I came away with 8 O levels and 3 A levels...but they were never good enough grades to get me into University.
I have so many fond memories of my time at the school...being a keen sportsman it was my kind of place with so many of the staff being male, welsh and very much into their rugby/sport!!!!
I certainly recall our trip to Russia via East Germany, Poland and back via Finland and Denmark....I had prepared scrap books but unfortunately never saw them again once I lent (!) them to Mr Ormerod. I still have slides of the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie and also a cine film some where!! What I remember most about that trip is being woken up on the Russian border by guards, pushing machine guns into our faces, whilst the bogies were changed (different gauges back then to stop the Russian people getting out rather than preventing foreigners getting in)...and two individuals who screwed the emblem off the side of the train that we were travelling on and carrying it in a suitcase throughout Russia..and some of the older pupils getting rather tipsy on vodka.....
I have been on the web site and noticed an entry from a John Young...I believe we were quite close friends at the time before he went back to Scotland.....if it the same John Young that lived in Elm Bank Mansions....a blast from the past when I read it.
Hope that's enough for now but I have plenty of stories....I certainly remember Miss Wrydes' legs...first lady teacher we had at Shene I believe ...... and the day we spread across the playing field trying to find Dave Nicholls' (one of the Sports Teachers) contact lens...and we found it!!!!!
Andrew Duff (1964-71)...........................................
Rummaging through an old ‘phone book to check an address for my son today I came across details of a reunion that John Webster organised in 1985 and was prompted to ‘google’ the old school. Jolly good website; been lost in memories for an hour or so (getting ‘old and maudlin’ I expect). I left Shene in ’71 (probably to the despair of Ron, Plug et al) and drifted into advertising (where I used to bump into Nick and Andy Crisp, class of '63). Having always enjoyed history (thanks to Ted Burton) I started teaching at the National Army Museum, ending up qualified and now teach teachers for a living (Plug will be turning in his grave – poacher turned gamekeeper and all that). I was one of Mac’s scouts and have maintained a lifetime’s involvement with the movement to this day. Anyway, enough of my waffle, keep up the good work.
Allan Lee (1965-73)......................
Stumbled across your site by accident this evening -
I was at Shene Grammar from 1968-1973 and was part of the first entry into the short-lived Shene Sixth Form College. I noticed John Young who was in my class has written on your site - John and I were in the same class, and, slightly bizarrely, like him I can remember the registration list. Goodness knows why!
After leaving Shene I went on to study electronic engineering at University College London, and, after working as an audio/studio engineer, I drifted into production and eventually ended up as a producer and presenter in local radio (both commercial and BBC). I bumped into my legendary old English teacher Brian Weedon one day when visiting my parents and told him I was working as a radio presenter, and he chuckled and told me he knew I'd come to no good end! In 1990, I moved on to work as a producer and director with BBC TV. I met and married my wife Annette when we were both doing the breakfast show in local radio, and in 1996 we decided to emigrate, with our baby son, to New Zealand. We've been here 15 years now, and I'm news editor
for an organisation which runs four national radio and TV networks. We
celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary next year.
I look back on my time at Shene with great affection, and often wonder what happened to some of my classmates. Funnily enough I know one of them, Paul Wheeler, ended up as a TV director. We were friends at school, but lost touch after university and I only found out that we had been doing similar jobs at the BBC after I had left the corporation. I look back now and realise what brilliant teachers were on the staff at Shene - I've already mentioned Brian Weedon (and not a day goes by when I don't thank my lucky stars I had such a passionate English teacher who managed to knock the rudiments of English grammar into my head!). I remember Mr Free and Mrs Agar
who inspired me enough to go into engineering which led to a broadcasting
career which has taken me around the world; and I'm sure Mr Black despaired
that any chemistry would stick in my head longer than half an hour.
I'd be interested in seeing the list of old boys - if you want to add me to it, then feel free. I entered the school in September 1968, and left the
fifth form in 1973, before entering the Sixth Form College in September
1973. I was in form 1 West to start with and stayed with the "west" side of
each year. I was in Temple, and my tutor was Mr Fash (who I suspect never
actually worked out who I was!).
I enjoyed looking through the site - well done for compiling it!
Paul Waterson (196 -196 )………………………… (in an e-mail to David Richardson - 12th September, 2011)
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.
Please pass on my very best wishes to former classmates.
Keep up the good work.
David Mitchell (1969-75)................I was in the intake of 1969, leaving in 1975 (lower sixth) for reasons unconnected with the school. I stay in touch with a few guys from those years, and would be interested in seeing the excel spreadsheet. I can update it with the whereabouts of quite a few characters from my time there.
In some ways a long time ago but in others just like yesterday.
I did not excel at Shene academically, which I regret. I did excel at primary school and post Shene I achieved A-level success, a degree and became a Chartered Accountant, and now a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. I own a couple of moderately successful businesses, have a lovely wife and 3 great kids, living in a wonderful Cheshire village. Not quite sure why I didn't click at Shene but the experience has stood me in great stead for 40 years and I am grateful for the that period in my life.
Stephen Bell (1965-72).....................Dear David................I know you have emailed me in previous years and I have not been able to attend. However, I would be very pleased if it were possible to attend both the lunch and the tour of the school on the 29th October. An old friend Richard Battey is planning to attend and it would be good to see some others from the past. If it is ok please let me know where to send the cheque for lunch at Twickenham rugby club.
Best regards, Stephen
Derek Huff (dates unknown).................Mr (Snowy) White was my tutor, Hood House. Jack Fairhurst for art (actually my dad now 90 also 'Derek' was a student teacher under Mr Fairhurst at Shene much earlier). Had the inspirational Mr David Nichols for music, I still play in bands probably thanks to him, Mr Free for Physics, I remember his lessons and the old physics lab with great fondness, hopefully I'll catch up with him in Oct. I remember Mr Ball (maths). I put a big dent in the side of Mr Bull's dinghy at Thames Young Mariners once, Brian Weedon (English). Mr Rawlings was head. Mr Friggins was deputy, how could he be forgotten? .
I went into Lower Sixth just as the school became a Sixth Form College, came out with Physics and Mathsx2 A's got a degree in Electronic Engineering at Chelsea College London Uni, worked for a while then started my company 'Integrated Design Ltd' in 1985 (www.idl.co.uk
) based now in Feltham. I live in Esher, married with two great kids one now at Uni the other doing GCSEs.
Bruce Williams (1967-74)
................. Thanks for the update on REUNION 14. Whilst (as you know) I was overseas at this time, it was good to read the information and see the photos. I have looked at photos from the recent years and in particular note the presence of former masters at certain reunions, notably Brian Weeden (English teacher, form master for class 14 in my day) Alan Stephens, Geography and had class 11 until this was converted into a language laboratory and John Free, Physics (not sure if he had a class of his own). All 3 of them were teachers during my time at Shene – 1967-74. Alan Stephens was very keen on Rugby which he also taught and Mr Free was a cricket man who coached us at same for a year or two.
I also note the death of teachers from my era in recent years, notably Ted Burton (History) and Mr Winter – History and Economics. You also reported on the death of Ron Friggens a few years ago, who was also Physics and deputy head from 1967 to Mr GP Rawlings.
Whilst I cannot see any contemporaries of my own year at your reunions, I did recognise Ron Oliver and Robin Bextor from the class of 65, having played against them in House Matches and with ‘Ollie’ for the First XI. Graham Reynolds turned up at one or two of the reunions and there was one such in my year but am not sure if this is the same guy. I heard from Ian Cox of my year a while ago, who was in touch with you, but he evidently does not attend these reunions.
Incidentally, I did Latin ‘O’ level being brilliantly taught by Reg Brigden (I got A+) and can happily report that he never laid a finger on me, let alone a slipper. Actually we got on so well that he even called me Bruce on occasions, instead of the normal Williams... Perhaps the practices at Shene had changed slightly from your year to mine with corporal punishment being generally more frowned upon by the end of the 1960’s?....
Ray Hill (1964- ?).................I can vaguely recall my time at Mortlake County Primary, where I must have worked quite hard and was usually near the top of the class but frequently beaten back by one or two smarter boys and about three smart girls. I remember the head’s name, Mrs Weait, and one class teacher a Mrs Coppins. Anyway in June 1964 we did 11 plus. I thought I had done reasonably well and the marks looked promising but got placed at Mortlake County Secondary. About two weeks later my parents told me I had to change school and I therefore ended up at Shene, reporting to One East and apparently also in something called Temple House. I guess another person had failed to arrive so I got their place. I remember my first morning in mid’ September. It was damp, cold and foggy and I was promptly on the rugger field without a clue what to do, having never seen that funny elliptoid “ball” before in my life. I think a chap called Paul Glynn mentored me through the first day or two, so I at least knew where to hang my coat, where the various classrooms where and how to get lunch.
English was run by “Snowy" White, the only thing I can remember was the Eagle of the Ninth being a set book. Maths was by “Bert” (Burrridge) who started to indoctrinate us in that well known Arabic art (torture to some) of Al-Jabr. We had history run by a bloke who used to come in and tell us what chapter to read and then promptly disappear to the staff room to smoke his pipe. Geography was by “Rocket” Stephenson, French was by “Phil” Grice, Art was by “Jack Hey Ho” Fairhurst and sport was “Dick” Fash of blue and silver Austin Healey 3000 fame. After settling in I ended up the year in the mid rankings, which I think exceeded my expectations and I probably felt quite smugly optimistic. In the second year a whole bunch of us got hooked on aviation and we took telescopes and binoculars to school to plane spot during breaks, I recall being excited when we found out that Kosygin was coming to a summit in an exotic Russian turbo-prop, which we anxiously waited to see. On that subject, trying to study and particularly do exam’s was constantly interrupted by the roar of Boeing 707s at 2,000 feet on final approach to Heathrow. I do also remember a blind part time music teacher and his wife who most of us shamefully treated very shabbily with our primeaval herd instinct as we pressed the boundaries of youth. At third year I opted for the Science Track and had “Ron” Friggins for physics, “Molly” Grice for biology and I think it was Mr Black for Chemistry. “Chas” Charles was teaching us math’s by then and we also finally got a decent history teacher called “Rump”, but I cannot remember his surname. By that time “Weedon” was doing English. My main friends for a few years were Alun Jones and Mick Petit, although used to meet up with other to fool around on Barnes Common. I did quite well in the main but in the 4th year the family moved to the far reaches of Twickenham due to distance, I lost out of school contact with my friends and started to lose interest in school. I was also very aware of Vietnam and particularly the whole Cold War thing so got quite demotivated about the future which wasn’t helped when “Plug” Rawlings told me that I would never fulfil my lifelong ambition of being an RAF pilot because of my eyes. It was a defining moment which in retrospect could have been handled differently, but he was right of course. My whole game plan from year one was to get enough O-levels to join the RAF at sixteen. That was probably naive, but in any case I wanted to leave school as soon possible in order to become what I thought would be independent. This was also coupled with counter-culture thinking which arose from the stupidity of MAD (mutually Assured Destruction). In 1969 my life at Shene unfolded and this was coupled with a motorcycle accident and a broken leg. All that in the middle of O-levels, so few people ever saw me again. A few teachers invigilated a few exams in the hospital bed, all of which I failed and probably would have anyway, but I did at least leave with a worthwhile clutch of qualifications which easily opened doors in my early working years. Funnily enough I was so embarrassed about that final year that I didn’t even have the nerve to go in and collect my exam certificates.
On the whole Shene was a positive experience, but did not initially help me define a successful early career path. However it later helped me see the world with a far broader vision. This I was able to exploit at key points later in my life to close my working life moderately successfully. In my forties I managed to pick up some further education with the Open University and got reasonably well through a few third level physics course, I can firmly say that without the experience at Shene my eyes would have been totally blind to that sort of activity. I also say that I learnt a lot of morality there, despite sleeping through RE. Although not religious I do think that current education does not seem to teach community morality very well and is a major mistake in our multi-cultural society. Despite living through the cold war I am very thankful to have succeeded through life in a relatively prosperous period involving information technology from 1977-2011. My big wish is that we could cure property price inflation so the younger generations can aspire to and achieve that basic necessity. Lord of the Flies and Animal farm which were set books at Shene contributed a large part toward the way the I now feel the country and world in general has been deplorably run since 1946. Maybe too much education is sometimes dangerous.