Sunday, 6 January 2019

OWT101 January 2019


From: Dennis Duggan
Date: Sun, 6 Jan 2019 at 14:54
Subject: OWT101 January 2019
To:



OLD WYVES' TALES 101

FOR WYVERNIANS 1919-76

EDITED BY DENNIS J DUGGAN, ROCK COTTAGE, BROOK STREET,
WELSHPOOL, MONTGOMERYSHIRE. SY21 7NA
TEL 01938 555574   07804 520730  
JANUARY 2019



EDITORIAL   Preparations for our annual reunion continue apace.  It will be business as usual, no point messing with what has proved to be a very successful formula.  We have two excellent speakers lined up - John McAngus (1955-60) and Bob Childs, a teacher from 1976 to 2009.  You will see the obituary section has a large number of entries, alas we are all becoming older.  It is a sobering thought that people who were 71 in 1998 (my age now) when we held our first reunion, are now 93!

FROM SIMON PARTRIDGE  1966-72   (Continuing Simon's CBS memories - Ed)  I passed all seven of my 'O' levels in stages between June and November 1969.  As already mentioned, I was excused History, and fate punished me as I was destined to teach the European Reformation..  I left the army cadets, having succumbed to the prevailing views of the military held by certain sections of the current youth culture.  I probably thought tht growing my hair and listening to the Grateful Dead would do more to enhance my street cred than remaining in the ACF.  I am sure that Captain Tong was not happy with my decision and my father, in his role as Military Correspondent of the Leicester Mercury, was far from impressed.  However, as a father he respected my decision.
I had enjoyed the fifth year, but considering my peers were a year younger than myself I was hardly a leading academic.  Travel to school was no problem as I took the No 51 bus, and providing JDA was being conveyed to work in the family VW Beetle all was well.  If not, and you wanted to enjoy that final cigarette before alighting at Downing Drive, you had to sit well behind him.  The return journey was more important and complex.  It entailed letting all the school buses go, as they went directly into town, as well as the first No 67.  The next No 67 went down to the shops, turned left into Welland Vale Drive then left onto Spencefield Lane.  At the next stop the young ladies of Evington Hall Convent (Now St Paul's Catholic School) embarked, hopefully including the girl of my dreams.  For three months I was content to dream and then we spoke.  Another three months passed, and we stepped out together.  The highlight was a night out at a hop in Charles Keene College.  After a further three months I was given my marching orders on the grounds I was too weird - there were no ill-feelings.  Good came out of it, as one of my friends met his future wife after I had arranged a meeting with the wrong girl.
A job was important  (£10 per week then is £118 today) and during the summer holidays in 4 Alpha and the fifth year I worked for Craven the Builders, Saffron Lane.  During the summer of 1969 I took great delight in taking leave of my mother with the words, 'Goodbye, I'm off to Bastard's,' though the correct pronunciation was Bustard's. where I was helping to refurbish the factory on Frog Island.  This was the time of the fortnight's industrial break, then a return to school for two weeks (some hope after the 'O' level exams) then a further four week holiday.  I was the victim of an industrial accident, being hit on the head by half a brick while helping shovel rubble onto a lorry from both sides.  There was blood everywhere, but my thick army cadet shirt absorbed most of it.  Health and safety?  Hard hat?  All I heard was a chorus of 'Simple Simon says chuck a brick on my head' to 1968's 1910 Fruit Gum Company tune.  Academically I was never the same again!
It was a hot summer, and the Isle of Wight Festival featured the great Bob Dylan, backed by The Band as well as Leicester's finest, Family in support along with Gypsy  (Formally Legay)  The following summer, 1970, found me serving petrol for Fosse Motors in a bid to finance travel round Eurpoe with Ian Sharpe.  In order to develop his son's French, Peter Luketa's father found him work in Paris as a painter and decorator.  But more important to us was the accomodation, which provided us with a base and a tiled floor to sleep on.  It was in Auteuil, close to the Bois de Boulogne.  I was to return there in 2016, as this arrondissement includes the finish of the Paris marathon.  The films MASH and Woodstock were shown in English with French subtitles  (The final instalment will be in the next OWT - Ed)

FROM TIM RIGGS  1952-58 (OR 59)   Reading OWT100  I was interested to read the item from Paul Healey which referred to a boy being hung out of a window of the top floor.  This is a story I have told my children, but secretly doubted my memory was accurate.  Can anyone corroborate the story?  I associate it with a particular teacher, who shall remain nameless  (Here is my reply to Tim - Ed.  I first heard this story c1963/64.  I remember it because I incorporated the idea into one of my compositions, aka an essay, and a fellow pupil accused me of copying the idea from real life.  But did it actually happen?  Who knows if it is apocryphal or not, but there is no smoke without fire, as they say.  I always imagined it was done by one or more boys, as surely no teacher would be so irresponsible...?)

FROM DAVE WAIT  1958-63   Let's go back to school for a while, don't all rush at once.  Find the new bus pass, pink this time, satchel packed with last term's homework and a few rounds of well-done (black) toast, pens, pencils, bottle of ink, blotting paper.  I think that's everything.  Hang on, we've got sport today.  Blue shorts, red Bradgate shirt, football boots, and by the look of it half the pitch!  Anything else?  Might as well take a few comics, I can hire them out to subsidise my pocket money.  The comics bought in a fair bit last term, 3d a read sounds like a good deal to me.  Time to go, it's ten past eight.  I should just catch the 8.15 bus.  If I miss the No 18 I can always cross the road and get the No 60.  It's a bit further to walk, but never mind. 
Here comes the 18 along Cort Crescent, I'm just in time.  I wonder if my mate Stan will get on at Gallards Hill, the next stop.  Yes, there he is, looking about as happy as I feel.  We discuss what homework we should have done during the holiday, and how much we can make on the new comics.  Before you know it we are in town, the bus drops us at the clock tower.  Then it's a short walk across Charles Street and to Lee Circle where our huts are situated.  Across the road is the main building in Clarence Street, we move there in the second year.  Before we reach Lee Circle it's caps on, we don't want a detentionon the first day back.
Five to nine the bell goes and the day begins in earnest.  But first there's morning assembly.  No doubt Remo will be on the prowl, looking for 'volunteers' to read the lesson.  First up and it's maths at 9.25 with Mr Mercer.  We do prime numbers.  I did not understand the logic then, and still don't.  Next is a double period of English with Chas Howard.  At ome point we have a fifteen minute break.  Time for some toast, and a little bottle of milk - or a couple if someone doesn't want theirs.  Last lesson before dinner is French with Mr Sweet.  I'm glad I washed my hair last night.  Mind you, he'll still get Brylcreem all over his hand.
Dinner time at last.  I wonder what cordon bleu efforts we have today?  I am a server this week, which means queuing up at the hatch for the serving and taking them back to our table.  The meal is my worst nightmare.  Scrag-end of steak with onions (the majority of it is onions) mashed potato, last year's cabbage - or is it the year before that?  Pudding is not much better either.  Sago, or frogspawn as we call it.  Forty five minutes later and hungrier than ever, we emerge from the dinner hut.  After a roll call, to make sure no one has died, we are free to amuse ourselves until afternoon lessons.  First stop is the tuck shop, where there is usually a long queue after dinner.  A packet of KP salted paeanuts is 2d, and a bar of Palm chocolate covered toffee 4d, fills a bit of a gap.  Still feeling hunger pangs, it's time to sneak off to Bayliss' cake shop on Charles Street.  Here you could buy a bag of stales for a tanner (6d)  On a good day you would get three cakes, two cream and one custard.  Then back to school in time for the bell which heralds afternoon lessons  (To be continued - Ed)

OBITUARIES   From Geoff Wright  1957-62Bill Lally (1951-58) passed away July 3rd 2018 after a short illness (Motor Neurone Disease)  We were both members of Dorridge U3A.  Bill did stirling work on the committee and had a range of activities: opera, table tennis, pantomime.  We did not know each other at CBS, and only found out later we were fellow pupils.
Richard 'Dick' Lawrence (1934-39) passed away December 19th 2018 aged 95
Roy Howard (1932-?) born December 9th 1921 passed away November 25th 2018, peacefully at home with his family.
From Simon Turrell (1963-70) I am sorry to report the death Ian Ward, who passed away in 2018 following a long illness.  Ian attended CBS 1964-71, and went on to study Town Planning at Leeds University.  Ian was latterly Head of Development Control at Blackpool Council.
From Andy Howes 1957-60   Last week (October 2018) I saw a headstone in Wigston cemetery, it was inscribed Andrew Donald Radford, a lovely uncle, brother and friend, 4th April 1943-14th September 2017 'etc.  I wondered if Andrew was Stephen's twin brother, they were in my year at CBS.  It was Andrew who transcribed the school song in manuscript form in the early days of Wyvernians, it was recorded and played by Tom Horton  [My nephew - Ed]  I contacted Stephen, here is his reply.  Sadly my twin brother, Andrew, died on 14th September 2017, after a short illness.  He was 74.  We were at CBS from 1954, when we moved from Coventry.  I left in 1959, but think Andrew stayed on in the sixth form.  From there he went to Coventry Training College to study music.  He was a brilliant pianist and organist, and later obtained his LRAM (Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music)  He is sadly missed.

Philip Berridge (1938-43) passed away 20th October 2018, aged 91. 
From Geoff Kitchen  1953-59   John Arthur Phipps  21st September 1928 - 17th October 2018.  A local resident who we knew quite well, and his wife recently confirmed he was at CBS.  He was an accountant, and they lived in the area south of London for a number of years.

FROM STEFAN WOZOWCZYK  1965-72  
Mr Wardle could be terribly intimidating. He taught us Geography in first year, Religious Instruction in the third year, filled in with History and just about anything else when a teacher happened to be away. Alas, he could not teach us Classics which was no longer on the curriculum. But, in the sixth form he taught us Economics. And, all of a sudden, here was a teacher who was human, and treated you like one. I think there are members who will know what "Economics" meant. "You are not here to become Economists. You are here to get an A-Level. And you will do so." You studied Economics if you couldn't find a third subject.

In the first lesson, Wally asked us what subjects we were studying. There were only one or two who were doing "sensible" things like English, History and Economics. I was doing Maths, German and Economics (!). There was a boy I shall call Rosemont. Wally got to him and Rosemont announced that he was studying Art, Economics and RI. Wally, behind his desk, eyes down and rubbing them as always, finger wagging, said: "Rosemont. What do you expect to do with your life studying Art, Economics and RI?"
Rosemont didn't have time to reply. We had a wag in class, Ian T——. His repartee puts Robin Williams to shame. So Ian pipes up, instantly: "Paint parnd notes on the collection plate, sir."  Wally cracks up (can you imagine that?). He says: "T——, come to the staff room at playtime and I shall give you thruppence for a Mars Bar from the tuck shop."  I was one of the boys hanging round the corner when Ian knocked on the door. He got his thruppence. He went on to establish a very successful window-cleaning business. I don't have any idea what A-Levels he happened to be studying.
On another matter, I can confirm that Fred Hutchinson was indeed a jockey.  He lived somewhere outside Leicester.  The boys in his workshop noticed something began appearing at the back of the room.  First there was a base, then a framework, then wheels!  Next a wooden body and roof were attached, and we realised it was a beautifully crafted horse box.  As far as I know, Fred was not a racing man, and you could occasionally surpise him cleaning and polishing his shotguns.  Some boys might remember the Wolseley 4/44 which stood next to his creation.
Fred played in the staff v boys rugby match around 1969.  We boys were so bad that a team of chimpanzees could have beaten us.  But Fred was special.  He was so sportingly incompetent we fell down laughing, and I'm sure that is the reason the staff won the match.

FROM ALAN MERCER  1959-63  (Teacher)    One sports day, I think between 1959 and 1962, we noticed something strange about the results of the 200 yard, 400 yard, half-mile and mile races.  Runners were finishing in the order of their starting positions.  Obviously the staggers had not been measured properly.  We pointed it out to Mr Gimson, but as it was well into the afternoon he said there was nothing we could do about it and we continued until the end.  Several undeserving winners went home to proud parents, others to very disappointed ones.  Perhaps our editor could have covered himself in glory  had he been in Lane 6.  (See the And Finally entry - Ed)

FROM KEITH SMITH  (DATES UNKNOWN)  (My apologies to Keith, this item should have appeared in the July OWT - Ed)  I read Chris Lowe's item on the internet regarding his time as a teacher at CBS, and would like to comment.  I know that memories fade with time, but can I point out that Elbow Lane was not 'an old Secondary Modern School' but the former Gateway Girls Grammar School.  I would also respectfully point out that we had a Cadet Force at CBS long before Chris came on the scene.  When I joined it was very active under Mr Newton, and several of us enlisted for extra training on Thursdays with the RASC Brentwood Road ACF.  There we had extra shooting practice, which was good for me as I was in the Tetrathlon team under Bill Mann, and we got to drive Bedford trucks round the parade ground!  We also went on regular camps, and fired our own Lee Enfield .303's at the range in Kibworth, the rifles being kept in the school armoury at the rear of the gym, and sat for NCO exams.  After Mr (Captain) Newton left, Mr Berry took over.  He was also a Captain in the Royal Army Education Corps.  We all attended an annual regimentl dinner, in uniform, in the school hall, with Mr Bell in his Major's uniform, also the Chairman of the Governors.  I left the ACF during my last year in the sixth form.

FROM CHRIS HOWE  1958-65  
Dave Wait and our editor reminded me of a couple of things. It's a while since I wrote anything, so I hope I am not repeating myself. Like you Dennis, my wife also went to Eyres Monsell Junior School. She then went to King Dicks and then to Boots as a librarian. Yes, Boots had a private library then. I went to nearby Montrose after a year at Marriott Road. I lived not far from the Grace Road ground and one of the "dares" before being old enough for CBS was climb over the fence to explore the ground's air-raid shelters on the Milligan Road side. By candle-light of course, kids couldn't afford torches then. Like you I was not a great sports fan and skived off whenever possible. In the 6th form I had this off to a fine art, shooting out of the side door, across Humberstone Gate and down to the Odeon Cinema to catch the number 24. One day I just missed the bus and with brain in neutral I walked up to Belgrave Gate to catch an alternative. Who should drive by but Mr. Lawrence my physics teacher. He stopped and gave me a lift and on the way to Grace Road discussed my penalty. Now I did have a bit of influence with him as he lived on Aylestone Drive, which runs into Milligan Road and I regularly took his young son fishing with me. The punishment was to join the 1st eleven cricket team. Not to play but to make the tea and sandwiches. By then I had met the boss and she had Wednesday afternoon off and knew how to make sandwiches. So, it worked out quite nicely. We have been married 50 years.

I did learn to swim before CBS. Well, keep afloat in the water with a crude free style. Reading Dave Wait's account of Tiddley Dum, just after my shower this morning, I had just practiced what he taught us about drying off. Always scoop the water off the body with your hands before using the towel. I still do it every morning! The other thing about Vestry Street was learning the breast stroke by following the cockroaches in the water. I don't mind cockroaches, before Marriott Road I had been at Verdala School in Malta and they had lots of roaches in Malta, there still are! We had a big one called George in the bathroom at HMS Nelson and I remember the Surgeon Captain at HMS Daedalus was scared to death of them. My lifelong interest in creepy crawlies was fostered at the Home Life Exhibition in Granby Halls by George Cansdale, the TV zoo man. He put a boa around my neck. In the early 80s, when based in London, I ran an exotic pet shop in Portsmouth as a hobby and would collect specimens from dealers near Heathrow. Even the Admiral would come into my office to see my latest horrors. I even collected giant millipedes at Dakar airport on my way back from the Falklands. My 15 minutes of fame involved a tarantula stolen from my shop. Cliff Michelmore interviewed me about the theft on TV with a similar tarantula crawling over my hands. He was surprised I had never handled one before.

FROM IAN CRICHTON  1962-69   I was flattered you saw fit to include my ramblings in OWT100, but unfortunately there was a typing error.  This made my remark about the movies which accompanied the school films rather puzzling.  It should have read ROMANOFF and Juliet, not Romeo and Juliet.  They were the famous Ealing comedy The Ladykiollers and the Peter Ustinov film Romanoff and Juliet.  The latter was based on a Shakespeare play, but which one escapes me!!  (My sincere apologies for this careless error on my part - Ed)

FROM PETER BROMLEY  1970-77   It was at the very end of my time at CBS when we went co-ed, and the school introduced us to girls for the first time.  Perhaps not universally welcomed, but the transition brought with it a raft of new and positive attitudes regarding how to deal with both genders.  Before this, the school had the feel of Tom Brown's Schooldays - how it would have felt when my father attended 1927-35 or, I warrant, more so.  What struck me from day one were the walls holding board after board of alumnae, clearly I was walking into history.  There was a structure, and some masters still wore gowns.  But even then the system of naming classes proved  that changes were possible. 1M (Bill Mann) 2B ((Headley Butterfield)  3L (Geoff Lickess)  4H (Fred Hutchinson)  5KW (Ken Witts, there was already a W in play)  That I recall this after all these years is a sign that, Tom Brown or not, the set-up at Downing Drive was sound.
The loss of Mr Bell, and subsequent replacement by Mr Wood, had an inevitable impact on the whole school.  Very different characters, they both led stable teams, and I always believed that to be the reason for success.  We were gifted an oversize Henry Moore painting, this was placed on the balcony wall of the main hall.  I was never a fan, clearly a Philistine in waiting without a cultured bone in my body, but I know what I like.
Another big event was the building of a new design block.  With co-ed status on the way preparation was needed for new subjects such as cooking (sorry, home economics) and these would require a building with a very different profile.  At the time it was literally ground-breaking (Sorry!) and years ahead of the modern techno structures prevalent in today's school rebuilds.
I was particularly interested in Simon Partridge's piece about Carl Jayes.  As as England Schools 'keeper he acquired celebrity status, and went on to make far too few appearances for Leicester.  But that is the nature of the game.  What should be remembered, though, are the other Old Boys who went on to great things in many fields, not just sport.  Michael Kitchen, an actor who played the King in the original House of Cards.  David Blount, also an actor in school productions, including a masterful MacBeth before joining the BBC as a sound effects Foley artist.  In sport, names such as Lineker, Heskey and Paul Dempsey, Irish footballer and sports presenter, also bear witness to a school able to represent otself in the wider community.  It prepared us for life, to be the best we could be and also self-reliant and confident.  In support of this, witness the school song.  I never did Latin, but its opening  is Vivat Crescat floreat, apparently correctly sung as Wee Wat, not Vee Vat.  Its words have retained, for me at least, a poignance even fifty years on.  And when in later years we cast, our thoughts anew to schooldays past, will we not feel new love as men, recalling what she gave us then.
In short, yes we do - and not just knowledge -  Let it live.  Let it grow. Let it flourish.

FROM JOHN BLAIKIE  1955-62   (Excerpts from John's annual round robin from Australia - Ed)  We've had a busy year with charity work, keeping fit and golf.  In March we celebrate 50 years in Australia, so we will visit Sydney with our friends from the boat, then go to Canberra to celebrate a 40th birthday.

AND FINALLY   I don't think I ever took part in a sports day, always arranging never to be good enough to do anything except sit in the grandstand at Grace Road and watch the proceedings.  My lack of interest in any form of sport has followed me through life.  I have never enjoyed team games or athletics, and to this day I am unable to swim despite repeated attempts to learn.  I cannot float, and as soon as I let go the rail down I go!  The only sport I did not mind was cross-country, either at Rushey Fields or doing circuits at Grace Road.  The Rushey Fields route took us past the turning to Oakland Avenue, on the other side of Melton Road.  I always wanted to live in that road, and in 1980 we purchased No 9.  We lived there until 2002, when we moved to Welshpool, and it broke our hearts to leave that house.  If we could have taken it with us, we would have done.

Dennis J Duggan
January 6th 2019

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Sunday, 7 October 2018

Fwd: OWT100 October 2018




OLD WYVES' TALES 100

FOR WYVERNIANS 1919-76

EDITED BY DENNIS J DUGGAN, ROCK COTTAGE, BROOK STREET,
WELSHPOOL, MONTGOMERYSHIRE. SY21 7NA
TEL 01938 555574   07804 520730  
OCTOBER  2018

EDITORIAL   Welcome to the centennial edition of Old Wyves' Tales, though it is no different to the issues that have gone before.  OWT had humble beginnings way back in 2000, when I first went on-line and began to collect e-mail addresses..  The first ones were more like irregular rndom jottings, which slowly evolved into the format you all know so well.  Material keeps coming in, though as someone noted after so many years perhaps some of the memories might not be 100% accurate!  Who knows... 

FROM SIMON PARTRIDGE  1966-72   (Continuing Simon's memoirs - Ed)    In academic work I was slipping, as I had been caught up and overtaken in French, which I had started age seven.  Maths was becoming a mystery, though I was holding my own in RE and geography, two subjects in which I was destined to do well.  That was mainly because I did not want to get on the wrong side of Ken Witts, nor die at the hands of Brian Scott.  The following year was fifth form, and crunch day duly arrived with the Rev B Scott reading the mock 'O' level scripture results.  He spoke in his dry, languid drawl followed by silence or the word library.  When he had finished the room was half empty, but I was still there.  That was an achievement, as in common with most of my fellows I could never read a single word of the encouragement or advice scrawled in the margin or at the foot of my work.  A little extrovert and unpredictable at times, Brian was a highly intelligent and caring priest who was brave enough to discuss seminal issues in order to encourage thoughts about life's serious side.
Returning to 4 Alpha, the trip to Stratford was to see Eric Porter playing the lead role in Marlowe's Dr Faustus.  This was significant, as Porter had starred in the previous year's (1967) The Forsyte Saga on TV.  More importantly, the Lord Chancellor's powers over censorship were to end.  However the RSC prematurely decided that the vision of Helen of Troy should be portrayed with complete accuracy, which was very exciting for us at the time.
The evening of 19th February 1968 saw Pete Luketa and myself in Filbert Street's double-decker stand as Leicester City went 2-0 down in the now-legendary FA Cup 4th round replay against Manchester City.  But Messrs Fern, Nish and Large managed to bring about a 4-3 victory.  Moving on, Sunday 21st September 2014 saw City beat Man U 5-3 at home.  I watch Sky Sports in the gym, and during the first half I ran a leisurly four miles, but during the second half covered six!  Once home, I e-mailed Ian Ross in the USA to say I had seen nothing like it since the 1968 replay.  Ian replied that the replay had taken place on a Monday night, and the drizzle never stopped - he was right.  Ian was at the Filbert Street end with his dad, and with almost 40,000 there had been moved to the pitch-side wall for a better view, along with other youngsters. 
Form captain in 3 and 4 Alpha, and probably the fifth form, was Carl Jayes.  He was fair, reliable, intelligent, well respected, unassuming and good at sport.  4th February 1972 was the fourth round of the FA against Leighton Orient, and Carl's debut for Leicester City following his signing in 1971.  Prior to this, whilst at school, Carl had been playing, on a Wednesday afternoon during sixth form games, in the then Football Combination League.  This comprised of mainly reserve teams from the First Division.  In addition to this were Carl's seven appearances in goal for England Schools, for which he ironically alternated with Mark Wallington.  I was behind the Filbert Street goal at the Leighton Orient match.  An innocuous-looking shot from the right found Carl too far off his line as the ball sailed into the net.  The disappointment was vicarious for all who knew Carl, as they realised his inclusion in Leicester's roster of goalkeepers would be a brief one even if it did read Banks, Shilton, Jayes...  Goodness knows how Carl must have felt.
The following month Jimmy Bloomfield signed Mark Wallington from Walsall for £30,000.  This was initially to understudy Peter Shilton, but from March 1974 he was first-choice keeper following Shilton's move to Stoke.  The Sleaford-born Wallington went on to make 412 appearances for Leicester, ever-present for six successive seasons.  Carl remained with Leicester, making five further appearances, until the end of December 1974.  That was followed by loan spells with Peterborough United until in 1977 he transferred to Northampton County.  Up to 1980 Carl made 68 appearances, after which he sought a career with the Northampton police force.
In 1960, the late Lawrie Simpkin, who was to become my step-father, joined the Leicester Mercury as chief football writer, becoming Executive Editor prior to retirement in 1988.  His job involved contact with local and neighbouring police forces, which was of special interest as his son was a police officer.  Lawrie said of Carl that he was regarded as a highly competent and well-respected police officer.

FROM DAVE WAIT  1958-63   (Part 4 of Dave's reminiscences - Ed)  For swimming we were marched across the road to Vestry Street baths.  The whole thing lasted for about an hour.  The chap who took us for swimming was known as Tiddley Dum, Tiddley Dum, because for the first couple of years he would make us hold onto the bar and move our legs up and down to the shouts of Tiddley Dum, Tiddley Dum, TIDDALY DUM.  I think he must have once worked on a Roman galley, beating out the rhythm for the slaves on the oars. 
For cross country we went to Rushey Fields by bus, and changed in primitive huts.  Then it was a three-mile jog on a circular route which took us along part of Humberstone Lane.  Part was through a wooded area with a stream at the side.  Once there was a delay when a group of Teddy Boys blocked the way, letting odd ones through when their name was called.  A few of the braver ones became fed up with this, and pushed a couple of the Teds into the stream.  Time for a sharp exit!  I think that particular cross-country was completed in record time, and the teachers were surprised to see us back so soon. 
We soon learned the short cuts.  One involved hiding under a bridge, waiting for the leaders to return, then tag onto the end looking suitably out of breath.  During the severe winter of 1962-63 we used to go to Grace Road by bus then walk back into town in a crocodile.  Fair enough, but as we passed Walnut Street there was a chance to catch a No 60 bus home, which some of us did.  Obviously there was no roll call, because we never heard another word.
Grace road was where we played cricket, and where the annual Sports Day took place.  Cricket involved all the gear - boots, white flannels, white jumper, white shirt.  That's all I have to say on cricket.  I loved it than about as much as I do now!  The only plus point was the chance to play five-a-side football if you had not been picked for one of the cricket teams.  It was Rushey Fields for football, where there were two pitches and an adjacent stream.  Most games finished with the ball having been in the water at least twice.  They were the old leather type, so when wet were like a medicine ball.  None of us had long necks, because our heads had been knocked into our shoulders.

FROM STEFAN WOZOWCZYK  1965-72   I an new to OWT, and am gradually working my way through the archive.  Flo Willan features prominently, but I haven't come across the following tale so far.  Flo's  teaching about reproduction  (my penis reached the top of the board, etc) is well-documented.  In 1969 some boys were old enough to know what he was talking about, leading to sniggers.  'The penis is inserted into the vagina...'  More sniggers.  'The sperm is passed by ejaculation into the...'  By this point the boys at the back of the class were in fits.  'You boys.  Shut up.  As soon as I mention sperm, out it comes.'  I'm sure these lines were well-practiced over the years.  I imagine Flo returning to the staff room and saying, 'Yeah, I did the sperm joke again.'

OBITUARIES   Geoff Wright (1957-62) passed on the sad news that Bill Lally (1951-58) passed away July 3rd 2018 after a short illness  (Motor Neurone Disease)  Geoff writes: we were both members of the Dorridge U3A.  Bill did sterling work on the committee and had a range of activities - opera, table tennis, panto.  We did not know each other at CBS, and only recently discovered we were both ex-pupils
Trevor Dixey (1956-61) passed away August 2018.  Geraldine Dixey writes: Two years ago Trevor was diagnosed with Mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer.  Ironically he had never worked with asbestos.  I know he enjoyed OWT, he had many fond memories of the school.
Keith Bramley  (??-1951)  Keith Wright writes: that Keith Bramley preceded me to Birmingham Medical School, and initially I had digs with his former landlady.  So I always looked up to him, even though I saw little of him as he was three years ahead of me and would have been attending hospital practice when I was a pre-clinical student at med school.  Like me, Keith did not return to Leicester, but after National Service (and maybe further hospital appointments) became a GP in Southampton.  I gather that Jerusalem is to be sung at his funeral, which had been the school anthem until at least 1954.  As I imagine the occasion will be at a distance from Leicester the pronunciation of both countenance and chariot should be without the Leicester U, which used to send Bill Sykes mad.

FROM DEREK COLE  1950-58   Referring to Dennis Biggs' tribute to Ron Smith, I agree his lessons were never dull.  On one occasion he referred to me as 'the boy with the greatest fund of totally useless information it has ever been my misfortune to teach' - something I have dined out on for years!  I remember he encouraged me - and others, I'm sure - to look at historical events and not merely ask WHAT happened but WHY.  Although I went onto university and read a modern language, history has always remained an interest.

FROM IAN CRICHTON  1962-69   I can confirm two blockbusters shown as an accompaniment to the school films for Alan Pykett.  They were the Ealing comedy The Ladykillers, and the Peter Ustinov Romeo and Juliet.  The latter was based on a Shakespeare play, but which one escapes me!!  Like your goodself I can dismiss the Rats Eyes description discovered in the Daily Mail by Dennis Biggs, though cannot express it as eloquently.  Foxes is a relatively recent term, only coming into common parlance when Leicester won the Premiership a few years ago.  In our day the team were known as The City, and before that The Filberts and The Fosse.  No doubt some people will take the Daily Mail report as gospel, and the information will be passed down the generations in much the same way we accepted everything we were told as soon as we entered CBS.  It wasn't long before we came across Wally, Ken, Flo, Sadie etc and we never questioned anything about them.  For example, lads of my generation will forever view Jock Gilman, our esteemed PE instructor, as an early version of Del Boy selling second-hand cars.  That brings me to Mr Hutchinson (I eventually managed to complete a slightly crooked pencil case)  Dave Wait repeats the oft-quoted remark that Bunny was also a part-time jockey.  Can anyone verify this, or was it an allusion to Ron Hutchinson, the great jockey of the fifties and sixties and probably second only yo Lester Piggott?

FROM TOM WILLIAMSON 1946-5I   What was the connection between a wyvern and City Boys' School?  I was asked that question recently.  I have lived in various parts of Africa since 1955, working as a police officer and private detective, and for Rio Tinto, the British mining group.  I have been in Swakopmund, Namibia, since 1959, when I was transferred from Zimbabwe by Rio.  Life here is very pleasant, and there is still a strong German influence, it having been the German south west African colony for many years.  Greetings to any former classmates or teachers, though I think we are pretty well extinct by now!

FROM PAUL HEALEY  1960-65   A couple of comments on OWT99.  Dave Wait and Stalag 14.  If that was on the upper floor it was my classroom, which had big sash windows.  Is it a figment of my imagination, or did someone actually hang a boy out of the window by his ankles?  And if so, did the boy's head appear in the window below?
And Bill Sykes, the Man U fan who said he knew many of the players.  He taught us French, and played the organ.  Is it true he wrote the school song, most of which I can still remember including the Latin chorus?
StefanWozowczyk mentioned Wally Wardle, the robe-wearing head of Elbow Lane.  He had a little room on the landing, and you went to him for new exercise books.  Wally would count the pages of the old one to check that none had been torn out.  I lived in Aylestone, and Wally must have lived close by.  One weekend I bumped into him at the top of Wigston Lane, with his small child on a rein.  I don't know which of us was more embarrassed.  There was a bullying incident at Elbow Lane.  The bully was a big lad, and Wally picked a bigger lad and held a boxing match in the gym.  Spectators were banned, though I'm sure some watched from the rooms round the gym as the doors had glass panes.
Finally, I spent a nostalgic day at Grace Road earlier this year for the Leicestershire v Notts one-day game.  The playing surface was a lot better than in our day!

FROM ANDY BOURNE  1965-70   I loved Simon Partridge's recollections of the Ten Tors Challenge.  I think I might be the Andy Bull referred to.  I was the guilty party in the loss of the tent, which I believe fell off my pack when jumping or wading through one of the many peat bogs.  It was probably badly strapped on.  I remember sheepishly receiving rollockings from everyone, as we calculated that even trebling up in the two-man tents we were one too many.  I heroically volunteered (was told)  to be that unlucky man.  I slept fitfully in a polythene bag in torrential rain, and woke soaked through from leaks and condensation.  I never did get my medal or Duke of Edinburgh certificate, having left school rather quickly.  This followed advice from John Atkins and Ernie Bell that I was unwelcome in the sixth form.
I also have memories of the Brecon camp, but am amazed that Simon can recall the name of the pub!  One evening half a dozen of we 14/15 year olds were drinking in there.  Zager and Evans In The Year 2525 was on repeat play on the juke box.  We had a great time, drinking and playing three card brag and  darts.  Staggering out of the pub we were attacked by a large group of local lads.  They had got wind of our presence,and prepared an ambush.  No one was badly hurt, but black eyes and hangovers were on parade the following morning.


SIMON'S REPLY TO THE ABOVE   I am sorry for the error with Andy's name, especially as his father was picture editor at the Leicester Mercury at the same time as my father was deputy news editor.  My father always spoke very highly of Harry Bourne.  In the ACF Andy was actually known as Henry, perhaps after his father but more likely, I believe, after his grandfather Henry W Bourne, who was made editor of the Mercury in 1926.  I know for certain the pub was The Blue Boar, not just because Google confirms it is now Brecon Rugby Club but because I was the one who was banned!

FROM GRAHAM MORTON  1949-56   After reading about the school films in OWT99, my mind went back to that time.  In 1955/56 I was taking the first steps in making the film.  Mr Bell brought the idea from Whitgift School, Croydon.  I was given an 'X' order to purchase a process-paid film from Young's, Belvoir Street.  He had purchased a 16mm camera, which made the project expensive.  Mr Bell must have been concerned, as he recruited Ken Witts as projectionist for a paying audience.  He introduced the first film himself, Alec Guinness in The Man In The White Suit (1951)  I don't recall the exact date, but it must have been 1956.  Perhaps Frank Whitelam can confirm my memory.
Incidentally Frank's father (also Frank) was my father's Best Man and Connie was a bridesmaid to my mother.  As children our families used to picnic on Coop farmland, beyond where Judge Meadow is now.  At this time Mr Bell lent me to Mrs Plewman, the city's drama adviser, in order to make a short film of a junior school production centred round a large cart.  The film was in colour, and shown by a proud Mr Bell to a meeting of city headmasters.  It needed several showings for the childrens' parents.  This must have prompted the use of colour film for the section showing characters in King Lear.
Almost at the same time, during my activity with another film project, I met Archie Orton, a renowned Leicester headmaster.  Later he offered me a post at Moat Boys' school to teach biology to fill the gap when Clive Burrows went to Rushey Mead as headmaster.

AND FINALLY...   Prior to my time at CBS I was at Eyres Monsell Junior School.  Once a week we went by corporation bus to Knighton Fields Road swimming baths - that would be 1958/59.  Many of my contempories could swim, and they loved the sessions.  But my parents had never taught me to swim, and my first visit to the Knighton baths was not a pleasant one.  The teachers treated it as an afternoon off, and left us to it.  Week after week I spent my time clinging to the rail, ignored by everyone, so made no progress at all.  In fact I came to detest the weekly swimming lessons, and on one occasion I was physically sick with worry.  So understandably I did not relish the regular visits to Vestry Street, where the previous process was repeated.  My main problem was, and still is, that as soon as I let go of the rail I sink!  By the fourth year at CBS I was an accomplished forger of occasional excuse notes for swimming, PT and games.  My master stroke was to create a permanently excused from swimming note, on the grounds the chlorine brought on my asthma.  Jock Gilman never queried my fake notes, though with hindsight it is difficult to believe he was taken in by them.  But whatever, for my final two years I was allowed to sit on the balcony at Vestry Street and never had to enter the pool again.

Dennis J Duggan  1959-64
October 7th 2018

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

OWT 99 July 2018




OLD WYVES' TALES 99
FOR WYVERNIANS 1919-76
EDITED BY DENNIS J DUGGAN, ROCK COTTAGE, BROOK STREET,
WELSHPOOL, MONTGOMERYSHIRE. SY21 7NA
TEL 01938 555574   07804 520730  
JULY 2018

FROM SIMON PARTRIDGE  1966-72   (Continuing Simon's memoirs - Ed) Joining the ACF in 4 Alpha was something I had craved, and thoroughly enjoyed.  Prior to Simon Tong the corps was commanded by Captain Chris Lowe, Head of English.  He had the occasional assistance of (Lieutenent?) Brian Scott.  Chris Lowe moved on to be Head of English at Wyggeston, Headmaster at the Princess of Wales School, Oundle, and Legal Officer to the Secondary Heads Association.  Besides publishing an English compendium in conjunction with John Gates he had been, like Mr Bell, called to the Bar and was a non-practicing barrister.
During May of that year there was the Ten Tours expedition over Dartmoor, led by Eddie Gadd.  It possibly included Geoff German, Andy Bull and maybe Clive Cirtin(?) and Phil Murray(?)  Teams of six in the 14-16 year group had to navigate their way over a thirty five mile course to ten check points, each at the top of a Tor.  This had to include an overnight stop.  We had prepared well, and in Eddie Gadd we had a natural leader who inspired confidence when spirits were low.  He was able to anticipate problems and implement the best solutions.  Saturday was straightforward, but on Sunday we were faced with strong winds and driving rain which made navigation difficult.  We used a prismatic compass to take bearings, and spent a few hours trying to locate a track to the finish.  It was wet and cold and for long periods we were up to our knees in muck, which probably explained the loss of a tent.
We eventually reached the road, a remarkable achievement as it was easy to stray off course and travel in the opposite direction to that intended.  The last few miles prefigured scenes from MASH, released two years later, with military vehicles, regular soldiers, medics and helicopters.  These were involved in the search and rescue of teams who would not finish within the allotted time of thirty five hours.  We were the only Royal Anglian team in our age group to finish.  Lieutenant Tong was well pleased.  Then followed a hot shower, half a pint of draught Courage and the endless drive from Okehampton to Leicester via Northampton.
Easter 1968 and 1969 saw the annual camp at Derring Lines, Brecon, ostensibly to complete the requirements for a Duke of Edinburgh award.  Both times it was cold, and after almost fifty years both events have blended into one.  Cadet A went AWOL and was eventually located in Newport, Shropshire.  Officer A was reduced to using the vernacular, having been told the search helicopter was costing the army around £1,000 per hour.  Two regular soldiers had recently perished in the Black Mountains, and because of this Regular Soldier A was tasked to go over survival skills again, emphasising the need to pay attention.  Cadet B was banned from the Blue Boar, Brecon.  Cadet C put on a pair of trunks and a woolly hat to see if the survival bag really worked.  It did, and the following morning he watched us struggle to pack the frozen canvas tents.
One team of six managed to reach their destination by 11am, having hitched a lift from a mountain rescue worker driving a minibus.  One afternoon we killed time by walking the eleven miles from Story Arms to the Brecon camp along the highly dangerous A470.  Risk assessment my *****, but at least it was downhill.  In June and December 1968, four months into the fifth form, there was the completion of Cert A and a stripe.

FROM DAVE WAIT 1958-63   (Further CBS memories from Dave - Ed)  One of our classrooms in Stalag 14 overlooked an alley, with a pub roof directly opposite.  It was a regular occurrence to ask the landlord if he would retrieve a satchel.  I tried asking for a pint, but he didn't want to know. On one occasion our teacher was delayed, and a riot was taking place.  Desks were piled up by the window overlooking the alley.  The teacher, when he finally arrived, asked what was going on. 'Someone has fallen out of the window, sir.' The teacher turned white, making him look more like a licquorice allsort than usual.  He was not amused by the joke, and homework for the day was doubled - or would have been if anyone actually did it!  Once, a relief teacher took the class for French.  I say once, because we never saw him again.  We played him up almost as soon as he entered the room, and he decided to stamp his authority.  'You, boy.  What's your name?  Take five lines, I must behave in class.'   Everyone burst out laughing.  'Who, sir, me sir?'  'Yes, you, boy.  Take ten lines, I must behave in class.'   This continued throughout the lesson, with the last boy hitting the jackpot of one thousand lines.  Phew, I thought I would never finish!
Poor old Bill Sykes, in between popping pills he taught us French.  He had a more effective way of dealing with wrongdoers by issuing a slap, though in my case he sent me out of the room.  Looking back I feel rather sorry for Bill.  He wasn't a bad teacher, and was near retirement.  There were some teachers we did not dare to play up, even breathing too loud could be treated as an insult.  Mr Sweet, who took French, had the habit of walking up and down between desks.  He would suddenly ask a question in French, place his large hand flat on your head and swivel your face round to his, then repeat the question.
Mr Hutchinson took us for woodwork and metalwork, and was also a part-time jockey.  I got on really well with him, even though it took me a whole term to finish a dovetail joint.  I never progressed to metalwork, whether that was because I always took so long to complete a project I cannot say.  Perhaps that was the reason he let me run errands, including fetching his lunch from town.  But the only time I had the cane was from Mr Hutchinson.  I held the door shut so he could not get into the workshop, but my cunning plan failed.  He exerted more pressure on the door, and I did niot have enough time to return to my place before he came in.

OBITUARIES   Derek Needham  1946-53.  Passed away January 19th 2018 aged 83.
John Smith  1951-56.  Passed away May 2018.
Stuart bailey  1965-67.  Transferred to the sixth form from King Richard III school.  Stuart was Chairman of Leicester Civic Society, and involved with local heritage matters.
Les Oswin  1935-39.  Passed away June 25th 2018.  Les was a frequent contributor to OWT, and a staunch supporter of Wyverninans

FROM KEITH WRIGHT  1958-65   I read Mr Chris Lowe's account of his spell at CBS on the web site, and noted you chipped in with a few comments.  I know that memories tend to fade, but Elbow lane was not 'an old secondary modern school' but the former Gateway Girls Grammar School.  And we had a Cadet Force long before Mr Lowe came on the scene.  When I joined the Cadet Force under Mr Newton it was very active, and on Thursdays several of us joined RASC Brentwood Road Cadet Force for extra training.  We had extra shooting practice, which was good for me as I was in the Tetrathlon team under Bill Mann - and we got to drive Bedford trucks round the parade ground!  We also went on regular camps, fired our own Lee Enfield .303's at the range in Kibworth and sat for NCO exams.  The rifles were kept in the school armoury at the back of the gym.  After Captain Newton left, Mr Berry took over.  He was also a Captain in the Royal Army Educational Corps.  We all went, in uniform, to an annual regimental dinner in the school hall, with Mr Bell in his Major's uniform.  The Chairman of the Governors was also in attendance.  I left the Cadet Force in my last year in the sixth form.

FROM PAUL HEALEY  1960-65   (Paul makes refernce to the severe winter of 1962/63, when we were bussed to Grace Road and walked back into town - Ed)  Your final comment item in OWT98 rang a bell with me, as I lived in Aylestone and did the same thing.  I waited until the line did a snake round a bend on Aylestone Road, then did a runner up one of the side roads.  Very effective!
Reading John Lowe's piece, I did not realise that John Leaman (he was a year or so ahead of me) had been killed in a car crash.  I have fond memories of John, he captained a very average second or third eleven cricket team.  If my memory is correct, he was one of the older boys, together with (?) Geary, to go on the trip to Paris.  I think it was led by Mr Whitbread.

FROM ALAN PYKETT  1959-66   Very many thanks to all those involved in arranging the latest reunion, a highly enjoyable occasion as always.  As we know, this was the twenty first reunion and I remain an ever-present.  I am sure there are others who share this record, apart, of course, from our marvellous committee.  Prior to the reunion I did what I do every four or five years, and that is to watch the whole of the school film.  As it lasts for six hours I begin at the start of the year, viewing thirty minutes each week, finishing in the week leading up to the reunion.  I find this gives me an added appetite for the event, and of course the lunch!  As the film covers 1959-66 it encomasses all my seven years at CBS, and naturally those are the years I find most interesting..  I also enjoy the years leading up to my arrival, though have to say the years after my departure don't do a great deal for me.  Perhaps that is a natural phenomenon. 
I remember attending all the film nights, accompanied by my mother.  The school film was shown, followed by a full-length feature film.  I am struggling to recall them, but two might have been The Lavender Hill Mob and Operation Amsterdam.  Perhaps someone can come up with other titles.  Roll on OWT 100, with possibly some guest contributors.

FROM DENNIS BIGGS  1949-56   The most inspiring master from my time at CBS has to be Ron Smith, our history teacher.  His lessons were always interesting, and he kept us awake and on our toes the whole time so there were no dull moments.  I managed to obtain a Distinction in 'A' level history thanks to his efforts.  In 1 and 3 alpha we had Spiv Beaumont for history, he was quite a flamboyant character.  The other history master I recall was Mr Bufton, who was Deputy Head, but I can't recall if there were any others.  We began with English history from 1066, concentrating on the Tudor period and 17th and 18th century European history.  Surprisingly there was no teaching of 20th century history, which I understand is now taught more widely.
I was intrigued to read in the Daily Mail that Leicester citizens are called Rateyes, after the Latin name Ratae (ramparts) for the early Roman settlement of Leicester.  I have never heard this expression.  The name I associate with the city is Foxes - has anyone come across it?  I remember a school trip to the Roman pavement, and the site of the Jewry Wall.  We received a book called Ratae for the coronation, but my copy disappeared when my parents left Leicester in the mid-sixties.  Since then I have visited numerous Roman sites, the most impressive being Jarash, in Jordan, and Pompeii  (Ah wuh born un brung up in Leicester un ah cun say av nevver erd uh Rateyes - Ed)

FROM JIM HENDERSON  1953-60   Referring to an earlier query, I can say that Mr Baum was indeed a former teacher at CBS.  He was my first German teacher, though I cannot remember when he left.  I enjoyed this year's reunion enormously.

FROM LAURIE FORD  1962-66   Thank you to you and the team for putting on another excellent reunion, which prompted me to jot down some random memories.
First day, sitting in the Hall, heard the name Ford called for 1B.  My report at the end of the first term showed I had apparently ended up in the wrong class, there was another Ford who had gone to 1A.  My report had me in De Montfort House, not Bradgate, and age incorrect by three months.  In addition, my parents felt the comments did not represent their son.  The school was contacted by my dad.  They realised what had happened, but I remained in 1B, which was fine by me.
The embarrassment the first time I wore my school scarf.  A sixth form scarf had been purchased in error.
The record club in the hall at Elbow Lane during lunch time.  At some point it was closed down, and when it reopened you needed a pass to attend.
Handball at lunch time in the upstairs gym at Elbow Lane.
The Elbow Lane library, which held a surprisingly good selection of books.
Second year (2B) classroom with its own yard which was good for cricket.
This classroom also had large cupboards and some members of the class - Wagstaff being the main culprit - would hide in them.  Usually this was during a Bill Sykes lesson.
Lunch times at Elbow Lane.  A prefect at the head of each table in charge of serving, with two lads appointed to assist.
Playing football in the Elbow Lane yard after school.  Always played OK there, but put me on the pitch at Grace Road and I was useless.
The bus rides to Grace Road and Rushey Fields.
Rushey Fields for cross country.  I seem to remember the changing rooms were even grimmer than those at Grace Road.
Vestry Street baths on a Friday morning.
The Dess, a magazine started by 3B under the guidance of form master Bill Gates (English teacher and Leeds United fan)  Handwritten, and printed on a duplicating machine.
Le Copains, I think its French equivalent, under the guidance of Geoff Elliott (French teacher and rugby fan)
I was given a bus pass, and still have it.  The move to Downing Drive meant I lived more than three miles away from the school.
The 1963 Christmas concert.  An excellent band, sixth formers I guess, played The Cruel Sea, by The Dakotas, which had been in the charts.  In that same concert some of us, complete with wood and cardboard guitars, mimed to the Freddie & The Dreamers hit You Were Made For Me.  Chris Issitt was Freddie.  Others incuded Phil Selvidge, me and possible Steve Pinchbeck.  Apologies if I have missed anyone.
When I was in the third form I was asked to play a badminton match against the teachers.  This was at Elbow lane on an afternoon during half term.  I had been really looking forward to this, but to my horror the caretaker (Arthur?) refused to let me in as I was not in the senior achool.  It still rankles.
The power of the third form prefects at Elbow Lane, with their red and white metal badges.  Can't remember if I was one.

FROM DAVE POSTLES  1960-67   I wonder if we could manage a checklist of which teachers wore gowns, and why.  Role models?  Sense of achievement?  Conformity or non-conformity?
With reference to rugby union, I seem to recall that Eric Bann went over to that dark side with Leicester Tigers before the sport was accepted at CBS.  But I remember him as a basket ball player in the Humberstone Gate gym.

2019 REUNION   The date is Saturday March 16th, if you want to make a note.

FROM STEFAN WOZOWCZYK  1965-72   Mr Wardle could be terribly intimidating.  He taught is Geography in the first year, Religious Instruction in the third and filled in with history and just about anything else when a teacher was away.  Alas he could not teach us Classics, as it was no longer on the curriculum.  But in the sixth form he taught us Economics, and all of a sudden here was a teacher who was human, and treated you likewise.  Some members will know the meaning of  Economics.  You are not here to become Economists.  You are here to obtain an 'A' level and you will do so.  If you could not find a third subject you studied Economics.
In the first lesson, Wally  asked what other subjects we were studying.  Only one or two were doing 'sensible' subjects like English and History, I was doing Maths and German.  One boy, let's call him Rosemont, announced he was studying Art and RI.  Wally sat behind his desk, rubbing his eyes as always.  Rosement, what do you expect to do with your life, studying Art, RI and Economics?  Rosemont had no time to reply before the class wag, Ian T, piped up, Paint parnd notes on the collection plate, sir.  Hard to imagine, but Wally  cracked up.  T, come to the staffroom at break and I shall give you threepence for a Mars bar from the tuck shop.  I was one of the boys hanging round when Ian knocked on the door.  He got his threepence, and went on to establish a very successful window cleaning business.  I have no idea what 'A' levels he was studying.

AND FINALLY...   Alan Pykett's mention of the film nights certainly brought back memories.  I think I only went to one, as given my dodgy reputation I did not feel it wise to encourage my parents to vist the school any more than necessary.  Thus I often 'forgot' to mention such things.  But in my first year they did attend, and I'm pretty sure the film was Carry On Nurse.  It came out in1959, so the date would fit.

Dennis J Duggan
July 17th 2018

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Fwd: OWT 98 April 2018






OLD WYVES' TALES 98
FOR WYVERNIANS 1919-76
EDITED BY DENNIS J DUGGAN, ROCK COTTAGE, BROOK STREET,
WELSHPOOL, MONTGOMERYSHIRE. SY21 7NA
TEL 01938 555574   07804 520730
APRIL  2018
EDITORIAL   The annual reunion took place on March 17th at Clarence House.  It was pretty much business as usual, though numbers were slightly down on previous years.  We are all getting older, and I know that half a dozen people could not be there because they were either waiting for an operation or recovering from one.  And one or two long-distance members were, understandably, deterred by the possibility of more snow.  Before lunch we had the AGM, followed by the raffle.  Age UK had reserved the whole building for us, and over sixty people enjoyed an excellent lunch. Our grateful thanks to the Age UK staff, particularly Anthony, who pulled out all the stops to make sure the day was a success. After lunch we had two excellent speakers, John Sweeney and Alan Rudge, followed by free time.  By 4pm it was all over, including the shouting.  There has been some very positive feedback, and it is clear that many people particularly enjoyed the opportunity to speak to their former teachers.  It was especially nice that Dr Arnold 'Doc' Burrows was able to be present, thanks to his son, Simon.  And sincere thanks to Brian Screaton, John Offord, Frank Smith and Stephanie Duggan, without whom there would not be an annual reunion!!

OBITUARIES   Andy Marlow tells me that Paul Philip Lewin (1930-37) born July 17th 1918, passed away peacefully on Monday July 27th 2015, aged 97 years.  Paul was the City Boys School Captain 1936/37, and was a former Headmaster of The Manor School, Cambridge.  During World War II he served in the Royal Navy, and wrote a book about his life titledOutrageous Sailor.
John Batterbee (1949-56) passed away December 12th 2016
Dave Voce (1959-?) passed away March 2018
Ernie White (1952-57) passed away recently
Stewart Smith (1936-41) passed away February 17th 2018
Ron Brewin (1958-63) passed away March 5th 2018
Roger Povoas tells us that his brother, Graham, passed away during July 2017 after a short battle with cancer.  Graham was aged 75, and will be remembered for his prowess at football and cricket.
Keith Duguid informs me that Mick Morgan (1958-63) passed away recently, exact date not known
Graham Johnson heard that Harold Ernest Baum passed away recently aged 91.  It is possible that Mr Baum was a former teacher at CBS.

FROM SIMON PARTRIDGE  1966-72  (Continuing Simon's memoirs - Ed)  My first faux pas occurred during a cover lesson with Fred round in a circle, boys, Hutchinson.  He asked me to stand next to my desk, which I took to be an invitation to stand on my desk, so was sent to the woodwork room.  I remember him once lockng the doors in order to set the sights of a .22 rifle.  It was in a vice in the metalwork room, with the dividing doors open with the target at the far end.  The sights were spot on.  Bunny was not only a legend, but a master of field sports.  Rumour had it he held an MA in English.  He had a TV secreted in a tool cabinet.  In Year 5 I went to the workshop to see someone.  There was no sign of Mr Hutchinson, but the tool cupboard was open and the TV was broadcasting racing from Oadby and he was parading his mount in the paddock prior to racing.  Bunny may not have been a top jockey, but he was a competent point-to-point rider.  In addition he was a good boat builder, the pond under the library being a vital part of the sea trials, so there was no risk to him or Jock Gilman whilst out fishing.  Whatever I made in woodwork tended to become smaller, thus a coffee table was only suitable for a doll's house, a pencil box for toothpicks, and so on.
Unable to draw or paint, even by numbers, I nevertheless came top in art during my first term.  Pete Miller asked us to produce something modern and abstract, black and white with an optional use of balsa wood.  This put me ahead of Graham Chorlton who, according to Google, is currently Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Coventry University.  Graham left CBS to study Fine Art at Cambridge.  His pencil drawings of engine blocks and crankshafts were so accurate they seemed to leap off the page.  He could also play chess with Stuart Fortey without a board or pieces.  They would exchange gambits in a corridor whilst waiting for a lesson.  Stuart was highly intelligent, and could explain maths to the less numerate classmates.  He liked zany humour, sich as Kenny Everitt, and The New Vaudeville Band and the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band.
Pete Miller once explained why oil paintings are so expensive, using the example of one of his own works hanging outside Mr Bell's study.  He rued the fact that he had gifted the painting, as his work was becoming more valuable as he became better known.
The following year's highlight in 4 alpha (1967-68) was a cruise on the SS Uganda, starting from Genoa on March 15th.  Billeted in one of the Van Diemen dormitories I had been elevated to Dormitory Prefect, a role I took very seriously.  I decided to model myself on a combination of Mr Bell and Captain Mainwaring, the consequence being I was referred to as the Dormitory Defect.  My primary sin was one of omission, and failing to intervene when one traveller had his bunk shifted to a couple of coffee tables whilst asleep.
Highlights included entering Malta's Valetta harbour, and an example of Turkish coach driving from Antalya to Perga.  We were told we were the first cruise ship to dock in Alexandria after the Six Day war, the knock-on effect being that some exhibits from the Cairo museum had not yet been returned from their sojourn in the desert.  The pyramids were amazing, the camel rides frightening and the poverty humbling.  Empty coke cans were at a premium, as flattened out they could be used as roof tiles.  Long, thin tree branches held together by ropes were used as scaffolding.  We sailed through the Santorini caldera, the captain told us the sonar confirmed the volcano was still very much active.  The Parthenon was impressive, but what remains in my mind is the stop on the road bridge to look down on the Corinth canal.  Venice was likewise unforgettable, the Lido formed the backdrop to Visconti's Death In Venice.
We had preparatory lessons in school.and lectures and lessons at sea.  It was clear from Mr Bell's detailed and never-to-be-forgotten discourse on the war in North Africa that the Desert Rat's visit to Alexander and Cairo was seen as a home-coming (To be continued - Ed)

From Steve Zanker (1961-1968) 
I have enjoyed reading past issues of the Old Wyves Tales, thanks to brother Dave passing on an electronic copy. I have been tempted on a number of occasions to make a contribution, never actually getting as far as putting finger to keyboard – until now, that is  .Richard Wakefield’s hilarious telling of the Tale of the Nameless Stool struck such a vivid note with me that I feel compelled to reply. Some sort of open floodgate may follow, so be warned. Being part of the same 1 Alpha squad as Richard, I remember this incident well. Wally Wardle was such a presence in a bizarre sort of way that he must have left imprints on the memories of many of the boys fortunate or unfortunate enough to incur his wrath. Richard mentioned the gaze, but I recall the closed eyes, hands folded approach which just told you that something was afoot – somebody was for it. Great sport! This was an approach to problem solving that we had not come across in the genteel world of the junior school.  I was more fortunate than Richard on this occasion as I did my usual trick of lagging towards the back of any such queue, hiding in the masses and I completely missed sight of the offending item as we were whisked along the row of cubicles. In fact, I recall not having any idea what we were supposed to be looking at until we returned to the classroom, by which time, stoolus offendingus had grown to the size of a whale, according to some of ‘the boys in the know’ anyway. You just couldn’t make it up.  And just for the record – it wasn’t me!

FROM PETER GRUDGINGS  1936-41  (Petr's handwriting is not terribly clear, so I hope I have transposed the item correctly - Ed)  I telephoned John Harlow, who lives in Bath, but he could not hear.  His wife thought I was conducting a scam!
Does anyone have any information on Fred Marlow - is he alive and well?
I wrote to Stewart Smith and learned he had cancer.  He was having treatment.  I have heard nothing more since mid-February  (See obituary above - Ed)

FROM STEVE MELLOR  1960-66   (Steve did not originally intend this item for publication, but he agreed it could be printed so long as I toned the content down a little.  I hope you agree it is very funny - Ed)  Mid-sixties, high noon.  Word was getting round that trouble was afoot, so Ernie Bell sounds the alarm - DING DONG.
Meanwhile, back at the annexe, Sheriff Wally Wardle and Bill Sykes, his deputy, strap on their shooting irons in readiness for the afternoon patrol.  Wally spots a stranger at the gate, it's an embittered ex-pupil armed with a bag of stales from Bayliss's bakery.  He hurls a scone at Wally, who drills a hole through the scone with his sixgun and it drops harmlessly to the floor.  'Mount your bike and get out of Elbow lane,' barks Wally and the hapless boy scuttles away.
Cut to the music room, where Bill addresses the throng as he sits at his beloved piano.  Two fingers of red eye are balanced on the top.  'Mee, mee, mow,' he croaks and the boys repeat it reluctantly over and over again.  'OK,' shouts  Bill,  hitting the ivories with all the force he can muster, and the room erupts with song. 'Vivat, crescat, in eternum floreat...'

FROM DAVE WAIT  1958-63   (The second chapter in a series of 5 - Ed)  I can't  recall that much about my first day at City Boys, so at this stage I will say a few words about the teachers.  Of course they played an important role in day-to-day school life but not all of it was on the teaching side.  They provided a lot of fun, and in some cases terror.  The Headmaster was Mr E J W Bell, whose nickname was obviously Ding Dong.  The only time he spoke to me personally was the day I left.  'You're a new boy, aren't you?  Welcome to the school.'  He certainly took an interest in his pupils, or so they tell me.  The Deputy Head was Mr Remington, known simply as  Remmo or Remington Shaver.  He used to take morning assembly, and was very strict.  He had a terrifying habit of walking round the hall picking boys at random to read the lesson.  Almost all the first-year boys had bad backs caused by slouchng in their chairs as they attempted to make themselves inconspicuous.  No one dared sneeze or cough lest it attracted his attention.
For some reason we had two Deputy Heads, the other being Mr Wardle, or Wally to his friends.  Not that he had any friends, at least amongst the boys.  Wally  took my class for geography, and was a bit of a snob.  When he learned I came from a council estate, and dropped my aitches, he proceeded to make my life a misery.  He had a way of picking you up by the sideboards, and if he saw you playing football in the yard would point out how much your parents had paid for shoes.
The chemistry master was Basher Brewin, so-called because if you got something wrong he would bash you.  We had the last laugh when an experiment went wrong and a splash of acid landed on his bald head.  But he was a good teacher, and I obtained some of my highest marks whilst in his class.
One of my French teachers was Bill Sykes.  He took pills for angina, which we did not realise at the time, especially when he had a strop on - which was most of the time.  One day he had the task of overseeing the lunchtime roll call in the main hall.  When he asked us to put our chairs away everyone removed them from the hall and they were scattered along the corridors. Remo heard the commotion, and swooped this way and that looking for the culprits.

FROM CHRIS LOWE 1964-68   (Chris Lowe was head of English.  The following was originally written for Chris's grand-daughter as part of his memoirs.  More can be found on the Wyvernians web site under the Other Documents section of the Memorabilia page -Ed - or view it directly CLICK/TAP HERE)  I don't know exactly why Mr E J W Bell (known as Ernie  to the boys, Johnny to the staff but Mr Bell to his face) offered me the post as Head of English.  It may have had something to do with the fact that he had been Deputy Head at Trinity School, Croyden, some years before my arrival as a teacher, and had been an army officer and keen to start a cadet force and promote sport!  As he did not enquire about the way I might lead the department it could not have been that I had wowed him by my exciting vision of teaching English.  Anyway that was that, and I became Head of English at a prestigious grammar school at the age of 24.
During my reign at CBS the number of boys going to Oxbridge, and indeed other universities, grew and the rest of the exam results were kept up to standard.  I inherited three potential Oxbridge scholarship candidates - John Leaman, Philip Drummond and David Winter.  John obtained an Exhibition at Keble College, Philip a Scholarship at Oxford and David a Scholarship at Cambridge.  That was much to the relief of me and Stan (Berry? -Ed)  In succeeding years they were followed by others.  Sadly John was killed in a car crash whilst at Oxford.
I suppose my most famous pupil was Michael Kitchen, who became a star of the Royal Shakespeare Company in the seventies and eventually starred in the TV series Foyle's War.  He was a marvellous actor even at school, and a natural for RADA where he went at eighteen.  His style was, and is, to play himself then subtly transmogify that into the character he was playing.  It is very understated, but brilliantly done.  One day Mary (Presumably Mrs Lowe?) and I  took the fourteen-year-old Michael to the RSC costume department in Stratford On Avon to choose a pile of Shakespearean costumes for the school play.  I don't suppose it had any dramatic effect on him, but it did to us!  We have followed Michael's career with great interest and he was kind enough to meet your daddy, Simon, backstage at the National Theatre when he was but a slip of a teenager.
Until September 1965 the senior school was in Victorian buildings in Humberstone Gate, right in the middle of the city.  The first and second years were housed in an old secondary modern school in Elbow Lane, about a mile away.  It was equally Victorian, and on its last legs.  We teachers either had to walk or drive there.  On Wednesdays the head would take junior school assembly at Elbow Lane, taking with him the prefect who was to do the obligatory bible reading.  On one memorable occasion the head and prefect were on the stage, and the prefect went to the lectern.  Normally the relevant page was marked and usually the prefect had a note of the chapter and verses.  Except this time he did not, and neither was the marker in place.  Sod's Law was at work.  The prefect looked round wildly at the head, who being ex-military strode across the stage, opened the bible and pointed.  The prefect began to read Ezekiel Chapter 23, which is about two sisters, Ahola and Aholibah, who committed whoredoms very often with many men.  It goes on and on in graphic detail.  What compounded the embarrassment was the fact the prefect had not been told where to stop, and the poor boy ploughed on and on to the end of the chapter.  Read the chapter and imagine the scene...  Two hundred or so 11-13 year-olds, a dozen hard-bitten teachers, a begowned headmaster and a red-faced and blazered 17 year-old prefect gripping the lectern and wishing the floor would open up and swallow him.  It could have been a scene from a TV farce!
It was one of a number of amusing episodes occasioned by dear Johnny Bell, who strove so hard to make 'his' school the one of choice.  An impossible task really, given that Wyggeston Boys was an ancient and revered school plonked next to the university campus.  He was an ideas man, and got anyone else he could to do the actual graft.  He appeared to consider me sufficiently young and malleable enough to aid him in his PR work.  He knew I was in the TA, and cajoled me into starting the Cadet Force.  He thought all the best schools played rugby, but unfortunately CBS was a soccer school and eventually the alma mater of Gary Lineker, no less.  I drew the line at rugby, but when a young rugby-playing teacher jouned the staff he was persuaded to start the game  (To be continued - Ed)

AND FINALLY...   The recent snow made me think back to the harsh winter of 1962/63, and a harmless dodge I thought up.  Rushey Fields and Grace Road were out of use for several weeks, but that did not entirely excuse us from exercise.  Each week we travelled to Grace Road by Leicester Corporation buses, then walked back into town along Aylestone Road.  My family lived in South Wigston, on the Fairfield Estate, and my bus to and from school was the  87.  That went along Aylestone Road, and it seemed pointless for me to walk into town only to return by bus shortly afterwards.    Jock Gilman, and probably a second teacher, headed the crocodile so there was no one in authority bringing up the rear.  Nor was there any form of roll call.  My ruse was to make sure I was at the very back of the crocodile, and as soon as we turned onto Aylestone Road it was a simple matter to pop into the first front garden we came to and hide by the gate  Then, after a couple of minutes, I made my way to the nearby bus stop and was home nice and early.    Simple, but effective!

Dennis J Duggan
April 17th 2018