FROM TONY INGHAM 1953-58 Now, here's a funny thing! Having been retired for some time I am at last, between jolly intervals amusing the surgeons of North Worcestershire, able to scan the mass of literature, music etc amassed by any good Wyvernian. And, like many others, I am interested in my ancestors and been compiling a family tree (more like a forest now) This has been made more difficult because I have not lived in Leicester since 1961. I opened Andy Marlow's history of CBS, and note that our editor and founder called an inaugural meeting during 1998 at The Harrow, Thurmaston. No doubt that meeting took place in the lounge, as the bar would not have been suitable. Now, here's the funny thing. Decorating that room for many years, and certainly when the meeting was held, are photographs of how the place looked in the 1800's. One view is of the front, the roof thatched, with three members of the licencee's family standing outside. Over the door is the usual nameplate and licence, which identifies the licencee as someone with the name BARR... but the last part is obscured. Many years ago I identified the two women as, almost certainly, my great-grandmother and great-aunt, with a male member of the family surname BARRASS, which matches the nameplate detail so far as can be ascertained. The conclusion to this mammoth tale is that even in those pioneer days, a member of part of a future pupil's family was there, watching over proceedings for boys to come. I have not finished reading Andy's book, but no doubt will find other claims to fame as on page 105, where I am there in glorious black and white with old classmates Brookes and Boneham in 1958, and also at the 2002 reunion (I don't have much recollection of the 1998 meeting at The Harrow. The venue was chosen because it was within walking distabce of our house in Oakland Avenue - we did not own a car in those days - it had a good car park and the landlord was very helpful. One thing I do remember my visit to the gents. I had made myself a name badge, and a fellow at the neighbouring urinal said something like, 'Oh look, it's Paddington Bear.' - Ed)
In the early 70's Mr.Bell had started a 6th form Squash group on a Wednesday afternoon for their games period, and in a staff meeting asked for help. At college I saw many students going to the Leicester Squash club, but there was no way I could afford to go. So I told him I had never played the game, but would love to try. He suggested I should join him after school next Wednesday for a game. This I did and he proudly produced his special ball, very squashy! Never having played before I found a little book of how to play. It talked about domination of the "T" and reverse angle shots etc. We played a game, it did not last long, and the rallies were short. I won easily in spite of the squashy ball. I realised later the head did not want long rallies, which happen with a normal ball. Next week, I was master i/c squash and continued to be for several years. Project Technology: This was one of the holiday courses I attended at Loughborough University. It enabled me to introduce Electronics to the school. Initially it was a one-year CSE course. and provided they obtained a grade-1 pass this was equivalent to a C grade GCE. Little money was available, however being a member of Project Technology I had permission to collect electronic scrap from Harwell atomic energy station. At that time whole Labs. were being decommissioned, and I was able to go to their scrap yard and load the car and roof rack at £2.50 a cwt. Over the years I made 3 or 4 trips. I think all our labs. benefited in some way. Meters, small components, circuit boards, clamp stands (some brand new) CRO's and even a portable Geiger counter etc. The boys enjoyed the course, including the practical, and usually obtained a grade-1 result. No other schools in this area were doing this study, but some in the south were. A few years later, the "A" level Physics course contained an electronics option, & this proved very popular. It was probably about this time Mr Remmington told me another little unknown fact. I had long since given up teaching Chemistry and Maths to the lower school to be replaced by 6th form Physics and Maths for Biologists, which was essential for those also taking Physics. He said for some years now he had found great difficulty in drawing up the timetable. In fact the only way it seemed to be possible was to fill my TT in first! I will leave you to imagine my thoughts!
The year we changed to the new school at Evington our son Peter joined as a 1st former. I was against it, but he was very keen, particularly after he and his sister had climbed the ropes in the gym in the old building during the holidays. When I joined as a pupil in the first year, Mr Bufton's oldest son was in the second year and later his youngest son also came. In fact I was already teaching John Lawrence, my head of departments son. My wife Mary was presented with the job of making a fencing jacket. Peter had joined the school fencing club. She was a keen needle worker but the material was so tough she had sore fingers for several days later and said "never again". Speaking of my wife Mary, perhaps I ought to point out, after doing her teacher training course, her first post was at Wyggeston Girls teaching Physics, before she returned to teach at her old school Newark Girls. In 1952 when he appointed me, did Mr Pedley know about my about my fiancée? I do not know. Just one more fact about our school roots. My mother was an old Newark girl (probably 1908-1914) and I think wanted the become a teacher, but she had to leave to work at Faire Brothers and eventually became one of the first comptometer operators in Leicester.
My ramblings are now more or less where I started. So you will perhaps realise I am a true-blue Wyvernian ( even DeMontfort House man & boy). We have a large terracotta plaque with a Wyvern on it alongside our front door. I realise now if I taken notice of my grandfather none of the above would have happened. I have 3 grandsons, so I am very careful what I say.
AND FINALLY... Many thanks to thosw Wyvernians who were kind enough to send us Christmas cards, that was much appreciated. We hope you will understand there are too many for us to respond to individually. The layout of some OWT might look a little strange. That is because when I cut and paste e-mails, some of them seem to upset the system and sometimes I cannot return to the original format. As always contributions are needed for the next OWT. I have two in hand, both from contributors to this issue so they have been held over
Dennis J Duggan Jnauary 1st 2015 Pupil 1959-64
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