Sunday 7 October 2018

Fwd: OWT100 October 2018



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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

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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

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

Saturday 27 January 2018

Fwd: Fw: OWT 97 January 2018

TEL 01938 555574   07804 520730  
EDITORIAL   Thank you to those who have responded to the reunion invitations.  This year we celebrate twenty years of Wyvernians.  We have two provisional speakers lined up, but oneof them  cannot commit because of uncertainty over times and dates of the Leicester City v Arsenal match.  The other, Bob Childs, has kindly volunteered, but as he has spoken to us at least twice before he would be more than happy to give someone else a chance!  So if you are willing to speak to a friendly audience for about fifteen minutes please get in touch.
OBITUARY   Dr John Edward Batterbee (1949-56) passed away peacefully at Eastbourne General Hospital on December 30th 2017.  Richard Thompson (1949-56) reminds us that John was Head Boy 1955-56.
FROM SIMON PARTRIDGE 1966-72   (Continuing Simon's reminiscences - Ed)  February 2015 was the last time I visited Leicester, and in the absence of any surviving family we holed up at the Beaumont Hotel.  This was well-placed for both Ryan Adams, the king of alt-country, and the remains of the king who was prepared to exchange his kingdom for a horse.  De Montfort Hall was very plush compared to the first time I went there in November 1966 for The Beach Boys, Lulu, David and Jonathan.  Sounds Incorporated were also on the bill, but I cannot remember them.  But I do remember being gob-smacked to see Good Vibrations played live as well as watching a mini-skirted Lulu trying to come to terms with a bar stool.  My last visit was in March 1972 for the late Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band, but I appreciate they were an acquired taste.
Walking along New walk and University Road you cannot fail to notice the Fraser Noble building.  It reminded me of Simon Noble, who like my brother and I transferred at thirteen from Stoneygate Preparatory School, then on London Road.  His father was Vice-Chancellor of the university, and they lived at Knighton Hall, so we always thought that Wyggeston would have been a more obvious choice.  Seven to thirteen years were not happy times for me.  For a start, Barney Presho, the headmaster at Stoneygate, announced with glee to my parents that I had failed the entrance exam.  Unfortunately he had overlooked the fact he was married to my father's sister, otherwise we could not have afforded private education for we boys.  Nevertheless I enjoyed a torrid time in an era when a proprietor or head teacher woud do all they could to show they in no way favoured their own families.  Older boys did transfer directly into the 6th form at CBS, and this became more prevalent as time went on. Others  also arrived from the private sector. One such was Simon White, from Trent College, Nottingham.  He was the son of Gordon White, of Gordon, White and Hood, architects in King Street.  Simon is singled out here because he had a blue  Reliant Robin, the only boy I recall who had the use of a car - albeit a three-wheeler. 
On my first visit I was in awe of Downing Drive, with its absence of Dickensian changing rooms and primitive toilets.  The canteen seemed to serve Egon Ronay-type meals, with no congealed fat on the plates.   My mother accompanied me, and the visit was a success though some of my spelling seemed strange.  Mr Bell deemed me to be a thoroughly decent chap on the basis my father worked for the Leicester Mercury.  Likewise Andy Bourne, as his father also worked for the local newspaper.  I had been assessed by an LEA educationl psychologist at his Welford Road office, and until quite recently still had the letter confirming I was suitable for a grammar school education.
The second visit, on the first day of the 1966 autumn term, was seriously embarrassing.  My mother had commandeered the family car, and I arrived with the knowledge I only knew one other person.  We entered the school, and I thought we must be late and everyone was in assembly.  Things became worse, and I was in a panic because apparently I had the wrong uniform - black instead of green!  The helpful receptionist pointed out we were in the wrong school, we should have been next door!  It was a relief when my mother left me on my own, but I was puzzled to learn that 3 Alpha was actually a second-year class.  The only person I knew was Peter Luketa, he was also in my class.  I sat next to John Rabone, who was also a new boy.  His family had been obliged to leave Malawi, having moved there when it was Nyasaland.  John was very occasionally absent because of Malaria, the problem being the vaccine rather than the actual disease.  One day he was absent, and we learned why from the Leicester Mercury.  His father had been killed the previous evening whilst crossing Uppingham Road.  I will never forget the complete helplessness I felt, and did know what to say or do.  I will always remember the look in his eyes.  He went on to study English at Exeter, then taught TEFL in Japan at a school established by his brother, who was a talented exponent of martial art.  I think John is now teaching at the University of Nottingham.
Simon Tong, the form teacher, was also new.  The staff were sensitive to my transition so assimilation went well.  Peter Luketa and I were both choristers at St James the Greater, London Road, as was Richard Chatham, three years my junior.  Brian Carruthers, a couple of years older, was a server.  When in church there was always a cheery smile from Bill Mann, owner of a light blue Standard motor car, who lived nearby. 
Geoff German and Zulu Anderson - I'm not sure, but while Geoff was a lot brighter and more hard-working than me, he could likewise have been touch-and-go for 'O' level French.  Like me, he was a Baxter Boy in 'O' level maths.I was top in history for the term we had to complete a project on the Leicester to Swannington railway.  In year five I was excused History 'O' level on the grounds the twentieth century was too complex and hard work for me.  Needless to say, Geoff went on to excel in the subject and read History at Hull.  Peter Luketa was reading Modern Languages there at the time.  Peter, I think, went on to big things with HSBC European banking.  It was agreed that Peter had a superb collection of rock, blues and R & B albums during his school days.  I recall him raving about an eponymous album by an unknown band called Led Zeppelin.
Geoff was possessed of a self-depracating sense of humour, and one of the kindest people you could hope to meet.  I was concerned about my indolence, Geoff was always in a high state of alertness.  He did not use joined-up writing, he wrote fast and neatly using individual letters.  Mrs German was instrumental in finding me a job at The Wigston Stage in 1971, after I had left school as quickly as possible.  I worked for Dims Inns full time to fund expeditions to Canada and America.  Geoff became a role model and in 2012, having stopped smoking in 1986, I ran cross-country for Wales in Belfast.  Thus I gained my first, and so far only, international vest.  I don't apologise for blowing my own trumpet.
As I have mentioned, conditions at Downing Drive were a world away from my past experiences.  I soon realised that Science was going to be a struggle, though other subjects posed no difficulties apart from German with its irregular plurals.  However I could sing, which kept me on the right side of Mr Gimson during my first year.  Inevitably, in time, I would begin to struggle as my peers were academically in the top two percent of the population, but there were no airs and graces and generally we all got on well.  Simon Tong was new to teaching, and clearly the business of learning had come easily to him.  This aided his progress to a couple of headships and the position of Director of Education for the Diocese of Salisbury.  He organised a trip to the RSC for The Taming of the Shrew, where the cast included Roy Kinnear.  His performance as Baptista alone was worth the ticket price  (To be continued - Ed)
FROM RICHARD THOMPSON  1949-56   I was interested in Brian Cope's reminiscences of the inter-school debating Society. The society didn't start till after my time at the school, but I do know a little about two of the participants Brian mentioned.  The History teacher from Gateway must have been David Bond, an old Wyvernian whom I knew because he was the elder brother of my friend Paul  Bond (CBS 1950-1955). David left CBS just before I started in 1949, so his dates were most likely 1942 to 1949, or possibly 1941 to 1948.  I saw a lot more of David when he was Liberal candidate in the NE Leicester bye-election in the Summer of 1962 when he came a close second to the defending Labour candidate (Tom Bradley, who later joined the Social Democrats) and the poor showing of the Conservative may have inspired Harold Macmillan's ruthless cabinet reshuffle of that year. Alas, David died quite young - in the 1980's so far as I can recall.  Brian also mentioned a Wyggestonian, Garth Pratt. I believe that Garth's political career got no further than being adopted as prospective Liberal candidate for Rochdale, a position from which he was later displaced to make way for the now notorious Cyril Smith!
FROM KEITH  DUGUID  1958-63   Sorry to hear of the deaths of Mick Morgan & Bob Rhodes, both in my year.   About 50 years ago I was in Torquay on the beach and Mick Morgan came out of the sea after a swim, a bit of a coincidence, and we had a little chat.Bob Rhodes who  I`d seen a couple of times in the last 5 years, usually in a supermarket, and I`d told him of the reunions,  but he was adamant he wasn`t interested!  Both died too young!
FROM ALAN WATERMAN  1936-41   Thank you for sending me the latest news from my old school. I will be 93 next July but the stories from other scholars bring back memories and names like Jeeves (French) and Bud Fisher (maths ) and Mr Crammer (Headmaster) as if it was just a short time back. The houses were Abbey (Green) Bradgate (Red) Charnwood (Yellow)  and De Montfort (Blue)  Best wishes to all ex City Boys Grammer School students. 
FROM DAVE WAIT  1958-63   1958 was to be a turning point, though I did not realise it at the time.  I was still only ten when I left Braunstone Hall Junior School that summer.  The end of term meant saying goodbye to a lot of friends and a few enemies.  But more important it meant the end of school for eight weeks!  For the first few weeks the sun shone brightly, but gradually the clouds of uncertainty began to roll in.  One of the first indicators of change was the remark, 'I suppose when you get to grammar school you will be a snob and think you are better than us.'  That remark made me determined never to forget where I had come from, no matter where I ended up (Or down)  The final part of the holiday was spent kitting me out.  I had obtained my first choice, CBS, and been provided with a list of everything required for my first term.  This included school uniform complete with cap, satchel, football kit, cricket kit, maths kit - no calculatore then!  Latin dictionary (never needed) short grey flannel trousers down to the knees (first years not allowed long trousers)  Because I lived more than three miles from the school I had a bus pass, renewed on the last day of each term.
It was daunting to realise I would not know anyone, as only two pupils from my junior school had passed the eleven plus.  Looking back I am pleased I took the exam on one of my better (brainier) days so did not have to go to an 'ordinary' school.  In some ways it did set me apart, but I hope it never made me superior to the plebs.  That makes me sound rather a snob, but I still drop my aitches and say gardin instead of garden.  The fateful day came all too soon, the walk to the bus stop was akin to walking up the steps to a gallows.  At the first stop, Gallards Hill, a friend from primary school boarded and I saw he was wearing a CBS uniform.  Joy of joys, at least the two of us could be miserable together.  With our caps on it reminded me of that old song The sun has got his hat on, hip hip hip hootay  To be continued - Ed)
FROM RICHARD WAKEFIELD  1961-68   I am sure that all of us who spent time at Elbow Lane under the majestic leadership of the esteemed Mr J E Wardle, Head of that Parish, will recall his tried and trusted approach to problem solving.  In the event of information being required to identify and apprehend a culprit for one of the many infringements to school order perpetrated by the inmates of the school, he would visit the appropriate classrooms and distribute small scraps of paper to all concerned.  He would intone in a low drawn-out voice, which is impossible to give due credit to in print, something along the lines of "There has been an incident (insert details of the incident) Write down what you know of it and return your slips to me immediately".  The good man would then disappear to his lair half way up the stairs towards the old gym and study his papers, after which a suspect would be arraigned or more papers would be issued soliciting more information.  Now, as a slightly craven 1st year I was somewhat daunted by this process, always feeling that I may well somehow be targeted however innocent I was...
One day, in our form room, which sadly afforded no view of approaching staff members or indeed of the Supremo himself, we were shocked out of our normal stupor by the vision of the man sweeping majestically between the rows of desks, his cape billowing in his wake sweeping pens, rubbers and whatever acoutrements were in the way, onto the floor.. He stood at the front, fixed us with his eyes. We were aware of the scraps of paper in his hand, but this time he did not distribute them...
He proclaimed, 'Something has happened. Form a line and follow me."  We were dumbfounded.  He swept off at a pace which would not have disgraced Yusain Bolt, with 30-odd first-formers panting along behind. Where were we going... why... ?  These thoughts flooded our innocent young minds.   We were surprised when we stopped at the entrance to the first-year toilets.  He told us to walk through the toilets and look in the cubicles.  To our horror what we witnessed that day would affect us profoundly, for there on the toilet seat lay a stool.  We were hurried back to the classroom, sat down, given the papers and told, "Now, you have seen what has happened.  Write down on the paper what you have seen and what you know about it" Now look, we were 11 or 12 years old., he really should not have been so surprised at some of the comments he received.  I'm not sure, but I believe the culprit was never identified and taken to task about it  (I vividly recall this incident, not least because the stool was a prize specimen, tinged with blue)  {To be continued - Ed}
FROM MICHAEL CAPENERHURST  1947-51   Plwase accept my apologies for absence at the reunion because of distance from New Zealand.  I would have had the fish and chips, I still miss the English version.  Here we tend to have thin slices of fish in soggy batter, it is an hour's drive to the best one.  Fish and chips and pork pies are what I look forward to on my trips to the UK, plus the roast beef and Yorkshire pud.  I have been making my own pork pies for fifty years.  I  made about twenty last year, but have not attempted fish and chips.  Finally decided this will be my last year at work, it will see fifty years with my present employer and sixty seven years since I walked into TN & FH Briggs Tannery, Waring Street (Off Melbourne Road) Leicester.  Two years' service in the RAF, the rest in leather.  One good thing came out of walking along Waring Street, I met my future wife there as she walked to school.  We were married for fifty one years before she passed away.
AND FINALLY...   Dave Wait's item made me recall my final days at Eyres Monsell Junior School in 1959.  My recollection mirrors Dave's, a carefree five weeks or so of holiday then the reluctant acceptance of what lay ahead.  Buying the uniform and the other bits, and wondering what was in store.  Life had been very cosy at junior school, with kindly teachers and home for dinner  (We never called it lunch) and I was savvy enough to know that a drastic change was afoot.  The dreaded morning finally came, I left our house in Tamerton Road and walked up Glenhills Boulevard to the Pork Pie roundabout.  The Corporation No 24 bus left from the top of Saffron Lane and deposited me in Bowling Green Street.  It was the first time I had been on a bus by myself.  Of course I had been shown where the school was situated, and knew I had to walk down Clarence Street to the Lee Circle huts.  Every morning there was an egg lorry parked in Clarence Street, on it was written The hens lay, the cocks crow, but we deliver the goods.  Funny what we remember.
Dennis J Duggan
January 18th 2018