Monday 4 October 2021

Fwd: OWT112 October 2021

TEL 01938 555574   07804 520730  
     OCTOBER 2021

   This has been booked for Saturday March 19th, at Clarence House.  You might like to make a note of the date, though what the situation will be in five or six months' time is anyone's guess!!

AN APPEAL   Last month I put out an appeal for a suitable place to store the collection of CBS memorabilia, but unfortunately this has not borne fruit.
Therefore Brian and I decided we had no choice but to rent a small storage unit in South Wigston, at a cost of £30 per month inc VAT.  Wyvernians does not have any regular income, though we do have some funds to cover booking deposits and special contingencies etc.  However they would soon be depleted if they are used to pay for storage.
So we have come to an arrangement whereby Brian and I will each pay £10 per month, with the balance coming from the funds.
We feel this unique collection must be preserved in a suitable environment, otherwise there is a risk it will deteriorate further.  Certainly my own storage situation is far from ideal.
Should any of you feel able to contribute towards the storage costs that would be much appreciated.  We guarantee that any monies received will be ring-fenced for the purpose, and a full record will be maintained.
If you feel able to help, please make out a cheque to Wyvernians and post to Mr B Screaton, 25 Cambridge Road, Cosby, Leicester. LE9 1SH.  The amount is entirely up to you!
If you wish to donate by bank transfer, the sort code of the Wyvernians account is 40 32 04, the account number is 41516485, and the account name is just 'Wyvernians'. Please include your name as the payment reference and email Brian at so that he can look out for your donation.

FROM BRIAN SCREATON 1959-65   The reprinted hardback edition of Andy Marlow's book 'City Boys' School, Leicester - The Story of a Grammar School' has sold extremely well, with copies going to Wyvernians all over the country and even one to Florida.  Initially we had ten printed as an experiment, and these sold out almost immediately.  Another twenty were ordered - the printers actually supplied twenty two at no extra cost - and these have also sold well.  Comments on the book have included 'Looks fabulous; A very impressive product; Lovely quality; A very enjoyable read.'  At the time of writing (June 22nd) there are just nine copies remaining.  If you would like to secure a copy before they sell out please contact or phone 07770 413228.  The price is £35 plus £4.20 postage in the UK.  (Only a few copies remaining, there will not be any more! - Ed)

   (Continuing Ken's memoirs - Ed)   The fifth year: After spending most of the year in the 'B' stream I was now mixing with others who had a leaning towards the sciences rather than arts.  This meant we were to take the three science GCE 's, rather than the other group who would take two general science papers.  The aim was to obtain enough GCE's to allow me to stay on in the sixth form.  I needed to drop some subjects to improve my chances of achieving that goal.  The year did not yield any major memories.  I was still one of the smallest boys in my year and still sporty.  I played for the school.  My strong friendships were with Mike McLoughlin, Ron Turner, Bob Greaves, Geoff Pullen, Johnny Walwyn, Frank Smith, Paul Vaughan, Ian Hamilton and Derek Seaby etc.  Did they feel the same?  My overall position in class was nothing to write home about, but it was clear the sciencies were something that was meant to be.
First year sixth 6S3   We were joined by the alpha stream students, so the competition for a good class position was stronger.  At this point those that needed to do resits were given a restricted science syllabus to free up time for study.  My group was 6S3, with about ten or twelve boys.  We were all together for some lessons, and for those I sat at the very front alongside Paul Vaughan.  He went on to do well.  I bumped into him in Liverpool, when I was working there, and he told me he was a dentist.  I remember going on a scary tandem ride with Paul!  Sitting at the front was probably a good move, as I was not able to hide, or make a nuisance of myself, thus losing concentration.  For some lessons we went to different classrooms, rather than the teachers coming to us.
Our classroom was close to the canteen.  There were two sittings, so no time to waste.  There was no fighting for places, as we had a set seating plan.  Everyone congregated outside, waiting for the teachers and prefects.  We could see the backs of the derelict houses in Clarence Street, typical two-up two-down terraced type with a yard and outside toilet, which were sometimes used for target practice
Biology lessons were taken by Flo Willan.  I did not get on too well with him, but he taught me how to spell.  On occasion I would write soluable instead of soluble which made Flo very uptight.  One day he gave me fifty lines:' I must write soluble, not soluable.'  It worked!  Otherwise my memories of the year are vague.  But I do recall Johnny Vaughan arriving in a pair of cowboy boots which were definitely not regulation school uniform.  But at that age we were trying to push the boundaries with the dress code and length of hair.  But we were grown up enough not to need to wear a school cap.
My academic position did not improve as we entered 'A' level studies.  I had just scraped enough 'O' level passes to be allowed to stay on.  I regard this as the next crucial event in my life.  So what were my passes?  Maths, physics, chemistry, geography, biology.  Resits added French and English language.  The sixth form was split into three broad classes.  The elite in 6S1, with aspirations of Oxford, Cambridge or London.  6S2 had aspirations of a good red-brick university - Sheffield, Leeds, Birmingham.  The remainder, which included me, were in 6S3.  I believe the basic intention of the 6S3 curriculum was to teach us enough to obtain passes at 'A' level.
In some ways the situation was similar to 4B, where generally speaking I did not come top, but neither was I at the bottom.  I did excel in a couple of subjects and those gave me confidence to do better.  Streaming can sometimes be beneficial, and I believe I would not have progressed so well in 6S1 or 6S2.  I resat French in August of the first year and passed.  But I failed English, and failed it again twice or three times.  Why was that the case?  I could read, I could speak, my writing style was good.  But I had trouble expressing myself on paper.  Incidentally, I believe that being taught to write with an italic nib should be compulsory in schools.
My parents convinced me to have extra tuition in English, as there was little chance of obtaining employment without this basic requirement.  It worked, though the tutor told me I was handicapped by my surname.  Apparently that meant my essays would always be amongst the last to be read by the examiners, so would have to be something special to attract their interest.  A crazy theory in reality.  My essay was on the lines that education in nuclear science needed to be increased if the UK was not to be left behind - or something like that.  That was a hot topic in the mid-sixties, with nuclear testing by the Americans and Russians going on.  Research into nuclear power for energy was also being carried out. Whether the topic, or an improvement in my writing, was to be credited I will never know, but the benefit of additional tuition was clearly evident.
As an aside, after my first year of training after university I ended up handling tiny balls of uranium, packed them into silicon carbide tubes then passed an increasingly powerful electric current through the tube until it glowed red-hot.  Fact ot fiction?  Definitely fact. 
Back at school I was trying to learn, concentrating on the subjects I loved - plus the necessary English, of course.  Not having to do biology, geography or history was a bonus.  I began to excel, but tended to be side-tracked into behaviour I am not proud of.  One lesson was mechanics, taken by Dicky Diack.  Our classroom was at the top of the school, overlooking an alley and a pub.  Those on the back row would sit back in their chairs, balancing on the rear legs against the wall.  Occasionally a boy would deliberately drop a pen, or a compass.  On bending down to pick it up he would grab a neighbour's chair leg and send him flying.  Sometimes there was a domino effect, or a chair might be broken.  On more than one occasion the broken piece would be thrown out of the open window into the alley below.  The equations associated with speed, distance and acceleration could have been put into practice on those occasions.  Mr Diack was very precise in the way he delivered his lessons, and prided himself on his accuracy at the blackboard.  His approach suited me, as I could clearly see how equations could be manipulated to suit the problem.  I'm not sure if it was Mr Diack or John Lawson who asked the question: There are two cats sitting on a tin roof.  Which cat will fall off first?  Answers on a postcard, please, or to save postage the answer is, the one with the mu.

FROM KEITH SMITH  1958-65   I note that a Dave Parkinson passed away in South Africa recently; my condolences to the family.  Although we were at CBS at the same time I did not know Dave, but he must have been the only other Wyvernian living here apart from myself.  Not sure where.  Stuart Brown mentions the cadet force.  We actually found out that the No 2 Lee Enfield 303's were not in fact decommissioned, they still had the firing pins.  The bolts were kept in the school safe, with the rifles in the armoury at the back of the gym.  As an NCO I was assigned one of the rifles, and we took them to the range at Kibworth on Sundays for shooting practice.  We also fired in competitions against other cadet forces there.  We had a bren gun.  The record for stripping down and reassembly was, I think, thirty four seconds!  We never fired it at school, but did fire one at Glen Parva Barracks.

FROM ANDY HOWES  1956-59   (I was very interested to receive this contribution, as I remember the incident very well.  It would have been 1965. Obviously I have not mentioned the culprit's name!  It's a small world and no mistake - Ed)  You mentioned you worked at Furse Wholesale Ltd, which was near to the police box in Woodboy Street.  In the mid-sixties I had already been in the city police for a few years, and one day I attended a local department store where a shoplifter had been detained.  The guy worked at Furse Wholesale, and after arresting him and preparing the paperwork I accompanied the offender to his home.  That was usual, not only to verify their identity and abode, but also to see if there was other stolen property on the premises.  I examined a large garden shed, and was astonished to find almost as much stuff in there as there might have been in the Woodboy Street premises!!  I can't remember if that was a separate charge or just 'taken into consideration'. The guy was certainly dismissed.

FROM MARTIN POTTER  1965-72   I was not looking forward to my first day at CBS, thanks to my last junior school teacher.  Contrary to her expectations I had passed the eleven-plus exam, and her words of encouragement and congratulations were as follows:  Sometimes, Martin, it's better to go to a secondary modern school and do well, rather than a grammar school and do badly.  With this ringing endorsement playing on my mind I arrived at Downing Drive in a state of agitation.  Further, I was concerned about finding my new classroom, and my way round the school in general.  I need not have worried, as no one else knew where they were going - it was the school's first day in this brand new building, and general confusion reigned.
Having scraped through the eleven-plus I naturally found myself in 1B, but this was a blessing as the form teacher was the inspirational Geoff Elliott.  It was in no small part that due to his efforts, in the next year I was assigned to form 2A.  My acute aversion to maths was a problem, not helped by the second year maths teacher who provided another of those quotes that stay with you and must remain uncredited.  Let's face it, Potter, you're no good at maths.  With hindsight, my response should have been, Let's face it (name with-held) you're no good at teaching it.  My claim was upheld by the fact that in my third and fourth years, with the help of the incomparable Tony Baxter, I attained mid-table respectability in the end-of-year exams.  Sadly, in the vital fifth form, a change of teacher saw my enthusiasm and grades plummet accordingly.  My feelings about maths were echoed by Simon Tong when he once appeared for his English lesson bearing a new-fangled device known as an adding machine.  He joyfully declared, This is my answer to the maths department!'
My main interest was biology, and my commitment was rewarded with a coveted seat on Flo Willan's back bench.  He cannily allocated seats according to test results, with the lowest-scoring pupils seated at the front where he could keep an eye on them.  As I had no interest, and little ability in physics and chemistry, I was not able to take biology at 'A' level and had to settle for languages instead.  I originally began German lessons under Geoff Elliott; at the outset he was faced with the daunting task of teaching us which prepositions took which case.  His method consisted of pounding the knowledge into our heads by making us spend a large part of the lessons chanting lists of words.  This was so effective I can still remember them all to this day: fur, um, durch, bis, ohne, wider, gegen, for example, take the accusative case.  I could go on...
One's favourite schoolday recollections often involve misbehaviour of some kind.  I remember a high point of the school week was the appearance of the detention list, viewed by miscreants such as myself as a roll of honour.  Much respect would accrue to those with the more novel and inventive transgressions listed under Reason.  I never understood what Ken Witts meant when his reason for listing me was Shooting the gravy, but there was no appeals procedure so I had to do the time.  I briefly attained legendary status when my name appeared because I had Set fire to the school bus.  The incident was nowhere near as dramatic as suggested - I had merely put a match to a small piece of paper whilst on the bus, and at no point was there any danger of a conflagration.
One of the best co-ordinated instances of questionable behaviour in which I was involved took place during a lesson given by one of those unfortunate teachers who perhaps should have considered a different career path.  Someone had the bright idea of re-enacting an advert current on the TV at the time.  A schoolboy bit into a Crunchie bar, and because of the crunchy nature an earthquake ensued which toppled buildings.  A volunteer whose desk was at the front of the class was provided with said confection, and at the appointed time he took a bite.  This precipitated the earthquake, which saw most of us crash to the ground taking our chairs, desks and belongings with us.  The lesson was disrupted for a considerable time until order could be restored.

OBITUARY   From Howard Toon  1951-58   I am sorry to report the passing of John Stevens (1951-58) on June 11th 2021.  He died in hospital from cancer in the digestive tract.  John was gifted with an ever-present smile (A true it-is-good-to-be-alive smile) and quickly earned a nickname which stuck with him through his time at CBS - Smiler Stevens.  He was a practicing catholic, which came to my attention in the first few months as he was excused attendance at morning assembly.  That aroused my curiosity about catholicism.  In November 1958 John stood as my sponsor when I was confirmed as a member of the catholic church, and served as best man at my wedding in 1961.  Life took us separate ways, but I tried to contact him, without success, as my sixtieth wedding anniversary approached.  Eddie Blount, another Wyvernian, with whom John had played cricket for the Soar Valley Cricket Club over many seasons, kindly advised me of John's passing.  I was able to meet his son, Ben, at the funeral at Gilroes, June 29th 2021, and it was he who told me that John had spent his last few weeks in hospital so would have been unable to join in any celebration.  May his soul rest in peace.

FROM STEFAN WOZOWCZYK  1965-72   German 'A' level, June 1972.  Three papers.  I was hoping for a grade 'C' but ended up with a 'D'.  I know why, but let us start with the language paper.  Translate into German first.  I didn't find it easy then ,and it's even harder now.  'She stooped for her handbag...  I could have sworn...  She had been a little tipsy..(etwas besoffen?).  She gave Janet a cheque...   Her voice was a little hoarse...  She watched the barrier...  Looked into the compartment...  She was determined  to...   Fellow students who went on to study German at university tell me this was hard, and more suited to tertiary education.
The translation into English seems to have been OK, though I had to guess at die Karosserie klapperte.  I probably guessed at something like chassis.  Fifty years later I have no idea what die Karoserrie klapperte means, but my wife tells me it's a swear word I use when life has abandoned me, everything's a disaster, a flight is cancelled or a train is late.  Oh dear! - die Karosserie klapperte!
Now, and this is why I ended up with a 'D', we come to the German Lit paper.  Gawd.  Fontana's Frau Jenny Treibel (Not read)  Urfaust  (ZZZZ, also not read)  The University of Leicester German Drama Society put on a few performances, but I fell asleep.  Meyer's Der Heilige (About half read)  Durrenmatt's Romulus der Grobe (Which I enjoyed) and Frisch's Andorra  (Which I also enjoyed)
Describe in detail the significance of the Gretgen relationship for Faust.  Yes, well, should be able to make up some plausible general bosh in answer to that.  But in detail, and when you don't know a single quote?
And now, oh my.  Either (a) What picture of social attitudes does the author present in Frau Jenny Treibel?  Or (b) Analyse the character of Professor Wilibald Schmidt and estimate his importance in the novel.  Right, it's going to have to be (a) because I have no idea who this Wilibald bloke is, or what he does.  So, what do we know about 19th century social attitudes in Germany amongst the mannered classes?  Because it is, after all, a novel of manners.  How do you say that in German?  Might score a point if I could fit that in.  We do know that Jenny displays embonpoint.  That's a new one, it's the same in German as in French. In fact it's the same in English too.  Might come in handy for a crossword one day.  Furthermore, embonpoint was admired in Jenny Treibel's time.  That's all I know about social attitudes in 19th century Germany.  Could we build an entire essay around that?  OK, here goes...  Coming next, Economics 'A' level 1972.

FROM JOHN BENNETT MBE  1956-63  I recently purchased the hardback edition of Andy Marlow's book, and it certainly brought back memories of my time at CBS.  I was glad to see mention of the trip to the Olympic Games in Rome during the summer of 1960.  I was fifteen at the time, and still remember many details.  Besides the sports mentioned, we went to the equestrian dressage, and in the stadium watched the legendary Herb Elliott race in the 1500 metres.  What I can't recall is whether we saw a heat, or the final where he set a new world record.  On the return journey we stopped at the Swiss town of Brunnen, on Lake Lucerne, for a few days.  It was in the most stunning position, and the water was icy cold.
In OWT111 Terry Desborough mentions the Drama Society productions, in particular Cymbeline.  I played Cymbeline, and I have to say that my recollection of Michael Kitchen's accident differs from Terry's. I thought he cut his hand on a sword during the fight between Cloten (Kitchen) and Guiderius and needed medical attention so could not continue.  We certainly had to improvise when Cloten failed to reappear.  Andy's book also mentions that some of the Society's productions were taken to Krefeld, Leicester's twin city in Germany.  I particularly remember A Midsummer Night's Dream (I played Helena, my first female part) and School For Scandal, where I played Sir Peter Teazle.  We were given a fantastic reception.  After one of our first performances the audience began a slow hand-clap, which we thought denoted disapproval.  But we soon realised that was not the case, as the clapping became faster and faster and ended as tumultuous applause.  Alas I did not continue my acting at Oxford, but the experience gave me a lifelong passion for the theatre.  This culminated in nine years as a governor of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, three years of which I served as Chairman.

FROM ROGER POVOAS  1956-64   Terry Desborough writes about Cymbeline and School For Scandal.  I was in both productions.My recollection is that I was the person who caused the cut to Michael Kitchen's forehead, the scar can still be seen when he appears on TV.  I have to say I thought it was Tobias and the Angel, not Cymbeline, but it's not important.  I vividly remember taking School For Scandal to Krefeld.  I stayed with a family called Schwieterng, who lived in Osterath, just outside Krefeld.  I recently looked up Gerd, the son, on the internet and discovered he runs a successful architect's business in Krefeld.  But I feel I am now too long in the tooth to contact him!  We acted in the Stadt theatres, and it still amazes me that we that we performed in front of full houses of German people whilst acting entirely in English. 
I remember John Waley very well - he was a very fast inside left and dynamite when teamed with Trev Jones.  I wonder what happened to Dick Smith, the centre half who had trials with Arsenal.  And what about Fred Embury and Smacker Day?  I did come across McInemy (not sure of the spelling) many years after leaving school.  He was a witness in a case at Leicester Magistrates Court, where I was representing a person not connected with his case.  I think he had a successful scrap metal business.  Then there was David Needham, who again excelled as a footballer.  He went on to play for Notts Forest, or Notts County, as a professional. 
I was in the same form as Davenport.  He was very annoying, because not only did he excel at cricket and football but he was always in the top four or five academically.  I think it was a case of jealousy, or envy!  Sad to note his passing.  Anyway, it's good to hear about our contemporaries and, as an example, on the eve of the FA cup final I received an e-mail from Roger Gandy.  He is not only a Wyvernian, he was also a near-neighbour during my childhood.  He emigrated to Australia, and lives in Sidney.  We have exchanged memories, which I found very rewarding.  He tells me he is still in contact with some of his schoolmates.  Maybe I can get him to write a contribution to OWT?

FROM MARK HAYLER  1958-64   As senior prefects we were required to read the lesson at morning assembly for a week.  The required passages were posted in the prefects' room.  I had no great liking for the task.  First, the readings could be excruciatingly long, so I would leave out the odd verse, or even whole chunks, to shorten the ordeal.  Second, the other prefects had picked a key 'disruption' word or phrase.  This resulted in a group cough, chair shuffling, crossing legs etc.  So the trick was to find the word or phrase and leave it out.  If it coincided with my passage cull, so much the better.  No one noticed - except Sadie Thompson, who wore a perplexed expression because his chosen passage made no sense.  One Friday morning after assembly, I returned to the biology lab, that holy-of-holies for the chosen few  ie 'A' level biology students, and announced, 'Thank f*** that's over.  Flo Willan rose from behind his enormous lab bench to ask, 'Has it been a bit of a trial?!'

FROM ALAN PYKETT  1959-66   I have been giving some thought to my CBS academic career, in particular the different paths offered after the fourth year ie arts (languages) or science.  You have to forgive me, but as stated previously I had an excellent year in 4A, taking the form prize and doing equally well in languages and the three sciences.  Thus a decision had to be made, and I chose languages and entered 5L.  'O' levels were taken at the end of the year, and I was successful in eight out of nine subjects.  Then another decision.  Do I stay on to take 'A' levels, and if so which subjects?  Despite my father wanting me to bring some money into the household he relented, and I moved into 6A1.  There was never any question of me going to university, so my father would only need to wait another two years before I began earning!  I chose French, German and history.  I had always enjoyed the two languages, and had a good history 'O' level.  After two years of hard graft I sat the exams and passed all three.  However, did I enjoy those subjects in the sixth form?  The two languages contained a literature element, which meant studying five books in each language over two years.  This had not been the case up to 'O' level, which had consisted mainly of translations and essays, which I had enjoyed.  But did I enjoy the literature element?  Regarding history, again it was different.  'O' level was mainly remembering facts, which I was good at, but for 'A' level one had to make reasoned arguments about historical topics, something I struggled with.  But I scraped a pass.  So did I make the right decisions?  Looking back, perhaps I would have taken scripture instead of history.  But what would I have chosen on the science side had I gone down that route?  I think I would have chosen biology, chemistry and mathematics, which might have meant a more enjoyable two years in the sixth form.  Having got this off my chest I will end with one issue that has always bugged me - the choice which had to be made at the end of the fourth year between German and geography.  I chose German, thereby giving up another favourite subject.  That said, I really enjoyed my seven years at our great school.  On a different subject, I commenced full-time work on 18th July 1966, aged eighteen, and retired on 31st may 2006 at the age of fifty seven.  I only had one employer, albeit with several name changes.  I did not earn one penny before beginning work, and not earned one penny since retirement.  Am I a little unusual in that?  Polite answers only, please! 

FROM GERRY JOHNSON  1956-64   I have been scanning copies of the Wyvernian from the early sixties, and came across this prime example of the irreverance at the time.
During the autumn term of 1962, a school party visited Stratford on Avon to see Peter Brook's production of King Lear, with Paul Scofield in the title role.  This was a widely-acclaimed production.  The Guardian theatre critic saw it as exceptionally fine production - the most moving performance of the play I have seen since the war.  And in 2004 The Daily Telegraph published a survey in which RSC actors voted for the greatest Shakespeare performance in history.  The winner was Paul Scofield's King Lear.  The Wyvernian critics (Messrs Graham, Pickup, Leaman, Geary and Milton, saw it differently.
The production was unusual, if not strange  - Geary
Dramatically unsound and lacking a sense of purpose  - Pickup
The Lear of my imagination was a great man, brought low by two scheming daughters.  But Peter Brook seemed to view Goneril and Reagan in a sympathetic light, apparently thinking their attitude to their father is, to a great extent, justified - Geary
The result was that the production fails to maintain a dramatic cohesion - Pickup
The resultant play was hardly Shakespeare's King Lear  - Graham
There wasn't much praise for the cast either.
Paul Scofield grunted his speeches in a monotone - Milton
The poetry was completely disregarded - Pickup
Lear marched about in Wellington boots, wearing an old motor cycle coat - Pickup
Tom Fleming as Kent was uninspiring.  Diana Rigg as Cordelia did not seem to have the right spirit.  The King of France was welcome to her - Leaman
Brian Murray as Edgar did well to change his accent three times; from nobleman to beggar, to Zommerset back to nobleman, in a part obviously written for Peter Sellars - Leaman
It was only James Booth as Edmund, every inch a cool, ruthless and unscrupulous schemer, Alex McCowan as The Fool and Clive Swift as Oswald (Hilariously effeminate) who were praised.
The trouble with Stratford tragedies is that minor characters are so good they are often more interesting than the major ones - Leaman
Overall Brook and Scofield have been intolerably self-indulgent, and this production became their King Lear - Shakespeare only coming a poor third - Milton
So no punches pulled here, then!!!

AND FINALLY...   And what about my own school career, which has been well-documented in OWT over the years.  For the benefit of newer readers, here is a summary.  First year was an unmitigated disaster, including truancy.  I was demoted from 1 Alpha to 1A.  Then I was demoted further to the B Stream, and the second year was a little better as I found the going easier.  But basically I was my own worst enemy.  By the third year I had settled down, and did just enough work to satisfy my teachers and parents.  Year four was not too bad, and apart from a prediliction to avoid any form of sport (Though I did not mind cross-country) I kept out of trouble.  The fifth year was a happy one, spent in 5F.  This was a small class of (Forgive me)  no-hopers, and little or nothing was expected of us.  Thus some lessons, especially those by Ken Witts on Friday afternoons, were almost fun!

Dennis J Duggan
October 4th 2021

Wednesday 14 July 2021

Fwd: OWT111 July 2021

TEL 01938 555574   07804 520730  
     JULY 2021

REUNION UPDATE  We delayed the 2021 reunion from the usual date in March to one in September. It was hoped things would be better by then, but given the current situation that seems unlikely to be the case.  So regrettably there will not be a reunion this year, but we are already looking ahead to March 2022.

EDITORIAL   This OWT might be a little shorter than usual.  That is because material is in short supply again, so if you have any relevant memories please consider sharing them.  I have held over excellent items from Martin Potter (1965-72) and Kenneth Ward (1959-66) so there will be something for OWT 112.

OBITUARIES   Stuart Brown  (1956-61) informs us that Dave Parkinson passed away last year in South Africa.  He had lived there for a number of years, and was in electronics.  Stuart received the information from Dave's cousin, Ian.  It is believed he was at CBS circa 1956-61.
Jim Henderson (1953-60) informs us that Anthony (Ivor) Holyoak (1953-59) died in May.  Ivor was a keen cricketer, and a very loyal friend to all who knew him.  He had a remarkable memory, and could always supply information that others had forgotten.  He will be greatly missed.


I recently published a book about Cosby, the village where I live. It has sold very well, both to village residents and to former residents from all over the UK and the rest of the world. It has also put me in touch with many interesting people, one of whom, by the name of David Cobley, lent me a family history that his late father William Henry Cobley had written. William was born in Cosby in 1907, and attended the village school, of which Mr. E H Severn was the headmaster. I will let William take up the story now, from his memoirs:-

In 1920, some new educational arrangements came into being, which would enable County School children to sit the eleven plus examination and, if they passed, to be allocated to Leicester schools; Wyggeston, Alderman Newton's or City Boys, or Alderman Newton and Newarke for girls in addition to Lutterworth Grammar School. Mr Severn, the headmaster, therefore encouraged as many as he thought stood a chance of passing to sit for this exam. Although I was older than most, (I was now twelve years old), I was sent home to ask if my parents wished me to enter. I remember as I went through the shrubbery to Portland Street I was hoping for a "no" answer, but it was "YES", so I sat for the exam, passed and was allocated a place at the City Boys' School.
I started at this school in September 1920 and it was a new and rather frightening experience. In the first place I did not know Leicester at all, and then I had to walk to Narborough to catch the 8.03a.m. train, which meant getting up at 7a.m. as against 8.a.m. at Cosby School. However, I found on the first morning that there were more than myself going to City Boys on the train and soon I made friends. We did our best to reserve a compartment for ourselves by crowding against the windows to give the impression that it was full. I had a three monthly season ticket provided by the Educational Authority which enabled me to make as many train journeys as I liked, not merely to school.[William also used the season ticket to go and watch the County Cricket team matches at their ground which was then on Aylestone Road.]

The City Boys' School was in East Bond Street using the buildings erected jointly as a church and school by the Presbyterians and Independents in 1708. The school, City Boys, was formed by the splitting up of the Newarke Boys' and Girls' school in Newarke Street, the girls going to their new building in Fosse Road. This new arrangement took place in 1920 and I wondered why some of the older boys still wore Newarke caps.

We had a blazer and cap with a Wyvern badge. First- and second-formers also wore knickerbockers but blazers were not compulsory, so most of us just wore caps.

It was very different to see our teachers in their gowns and the headmaster, Reverend Francis Gater in a mortar-board. School started at 9.a.m. until 12.30p.m. and 2.p.m. until 4.30p.m. In the dead of winter, the boys from the country were allowed to leave to catch earlier trains. My train in the winter was 4.25p.m. and I left at 4p.m. to catch it. In the summer it was at 5.10p.m. which meant that I did not reach home until 6p.m. to have my tea and do my homework. In the winter if I was the only one to get off the train at Narborough (and this happened often as some of the other schools did not give this early facility) I was a bit fearful as soon as I left the last light in Littlethorpe and plunged into the darkness of the country lane. This was more so as I had to pass the cemetery and the ghostly tombstones on moonlit nights. Boys from the country and those who lived a good distance away from the school were allowed to bring sandwiches for dinner or simple meals such as homemade pies which could be warmed up, or an egg to boil. There were no other facilities and no canteen; these were unheard of at this time. I was fortunate to be able to go to Aunt Fanny's and Uncle Arthur Cobley's for dinner. He kept a corn and forage business with a shop on Welford Road, just beyond Marlborough Street. I took sandwiches, but often they boiled me an egg and sometimes I shared a meal with them.

Our sports ground was on Regent Road, which we shared with the Wyggeston Boys. We had to move however, when the Wyggeston Girls' School was built on the site. We then had a field next to the railway on Aylestone Road, owned by the Freemen of Leicester, where the Electricity works are now. We had to move again to the playing fields off Canal Street, Aylestone, where we alighted from the tram car at Cat Lane, now called Hall Lane. The fare was one penny. I played at outside left for the form football team and also played with the cricket team.

We had a full half day for sport and this was anticipated with pleasure particularly so if the morning lessons had been algebra or trigonometry. One form of initiation for new boys, which you were able to avoid if someone put you on your guard, was to be sat on the drinking fountain in the yard and feel the gush of water round your behind and down your legs; fortunately I escaped this. For art and music lessons we went to a large room in Bond Street Congregational Church buildings which was just across the road.

For physical education we went to a room, I think in King Richard III Public House, where we were put through our paces by Sergeant Coleman, but this did not last very long. We then went to Archdeacon Lane Baptist Sunday School, which had a very large room where we had a vaulting horse, but precious little else in the way of equipment. To get there involved a walk of half a mile down Butt Close Lane and through the slum district and I remember seeing a horse brought out of the front door of a house. Some of the houses had stable type doors; that is in two pieces. Our physical education was just a matter of using the vaulting horse, a little bit of drilling and was supervised by one of the ordinary teachers, not a specialist. For woodwork and metalwork we went to the Technical College in the Newarke. You can imagine how, without supervision, we dawdled along, and this cut the lesson short, as it would not start until we were all present. Our music consisted of a little bit of theory and singing under the aegis of a teacher, commonly known to us as 'Indiarubber Jesus' on account of his flabby cheeks and dreamy mode of speech.

Discipline at the school was strict but the head was a compassionate man. Several places were out of bounds to us even after school or at weekends. One of these places was a sweet and paper shop about fifty yards from the school, which had a display of bawdy postcards in the window. We always went slowly past this shop to see what we could decipher at a long glance. On Saturdays I often went to Leicester with my pals from the village and they would call in the Market Place to the booths cooking and selling sausages. The smell was
tempting, but was out of bounds to me as I was wearing my school cap, which we were asked to do on all occasions.
The school was split up into houses for competitive purposes, with a prefect from the sixth form in charge and the house was named after him. I was in Elton house with, I think, a blue ribbon. This chap was not very popular. I remember an occasion when we were waiting for a teacher to turn up and we were making a lot of noise, when this prefect came in and started throwing his weight about; when he was bashed by one of the biggest boys we all cheered. I can only remember one sports day when we competed House against House in athletics, and this took place in my first year on the sports ground in Regent Road. I suppose it was because of the long distance from the school and the unsuitability of those other sports fields compared to Regent Road that these events were terminated.

I left City Boys in December 1923. I was sixteen. I read the newspapers for advertisements offering work. These were few and far between. I went to Leicester on a relative's lorry two or three times a week looking in shop and office windows for advertisements, to no avail. There were more than a million out of work. However in June [of 1924] Dad heard that a grocer, Harry Knight, in Narborough, required an errand boy. I went to see him and started there and then on ten shillings a week, and, because of my education, the promise of a possible job in the offices of his suppliers, Roberts & Roberts Ltd.

In 1925 William Cobley did indeed get the job with Roberts & Roberts Ltd who were wholesale grocers and provision importers, based at 88 High Street in Leicester, with a warehouse on Freeschool Lane. They also had branches in Melton Mowbray and Northampton. William worked his way up from office boy and eventually became Chief Cashier. In 1946 he moved to the Benson Shoe Co Ltd where in 1961 he became Company Secretary and a Director. William passed away in May 1999 in his 92
nd year.
My thanks to David Cobley for the loan of his father's fascinating memoirs, and also to Mike Ratcliff for magically changing the relevant pages of the memoirs into a word document, thus saving me many hours of two-finger typing. My book about Cosby is available at if anyone is interested.

FROM PAUL HEALEY  1960-65   Please tell Steve Mellor I was nicknamed Higgs, but for some reason that fell away when I left school.  Thinking about the refernce to the ABC&D of house names, I used to be able to recite the register of our class (2A to 5A)  It has just amused me to think we could have been the only register to start with an A (Abel) and finish with a Z (Zanker)  Little things...
The following is an extract from an e-mail from Paul to Steve Mellor - Ed.   Great to hear from you after fifty seven years.  Ouch!!  I left school in 1965 after six disastrous weeks in the sixth form.  Ding Dong and I agreed it would be in both our interests.    I did an OND in building at Leicester CAD with Chris Allen, then went on to do a degree in surveying at Brighton Poly.  I spent thirty seven years with the Laing Group in the UK, Venezuela, Spain and Portugal, and the last fifteen years with Laing Homes/George Wimpey before retiring early.  Then eight years with Laing O'Rourke two days per week before retiring.  For the past nine years I have had a small consultancy business working with two companies.  The only other old boy I am in touch with is Ed Featherstone, who was a year ahead of me.

FROM BRIAN COPE  1954-62   The reference to Wally Wardle's appearance surprised me.  I thought his face was designed as a helpful reminder of the earth's climate, though we were never sure whether the tundra or savannah were to the fore.  But now I prefer to think of him struggling to escape from a fighter plane after sending a Messerschmitt down in flames.  Life on Aylestone Road must have seemed fairly tame by comparison.  WAG Pace contributed more to my enjoyment of music than anyone else.  He must have heard that my family had acquired a Dansette Major, and that I was not a fan of American music.  He gave me many of his old 78's, including the Busch Quartet playing Brahms, and Heifitz playing the Elgar violin concerto.  He might have hinted that Bartok was worth a look.  Anyway, it got me going and my dear parents were forced to set aside Just A Song At Twilight for the wilder shores of Bartok.  What a pain I must have been.  At least,  as my dad said, it's no worse than that b****y Elvis Presley!
Apart from my dad, the other folk we layabouts on the language side must have driven mad were the science staff.  First, we were suspicious of anyone in a long white coat, who we assumed to be crazy or plain evil.(it was the time of cheap sci-fi movies and The Quatermass Experiment on our 9" Pye TV)  The physics lesson I remember most was when Keith Hill and I held Dave Lawrence back to discuss the existence of God.  Dave L would probably have rather spent an alcohol-free evening with his mother-in-law, but he managed to keep a stright face while we were putting the universe to rights.  Chemistry was a complete mystery, seeming to consist of writing down stuff we couldn't give a damn about anyway, interspersed with the odd whizz-bang which failed to impress.  Why we should be excited that a + b changes colour, or produces a mini bang baffled me.  The next night, November 5th, we would be firing rockets out of milk bottles at the Collegiate Girls next door.  On November 5th we were roaming the Serengeti.  Next day in the chemistry lab we were staring at moth-eaten old lions in a zoo.  As for biology and Formaldahyde Flo, he seemed content if you managed to answer fifteen double-barreled questions each week, though we did occasionally wonder whether all the pickled exhibits were legit or whether this mild-mannered gent was a serial killer!  The overwhelming effect was of being stuck in a pharmacy with an inscrutable proprietor.  I realise we were struggling on the nursery slopes, but alas we never saw beyond all this to stand upright - let alone ski off-piste.  (It was only a rumour that Wally was a fighter pilot, it was never substantiated.  We read a lot of war comics in those days, which no doubt gave us the idea - Ed)

FROM WALLY PAYNE  1953-58   I read OWT keenly but seldom have anything worthwhile to submit.  Thanks for the reminder about the CBS book, I will take another look at my copy.  Re Wally Wardle, I always fancied myself as a cricketer, specifically with the bat, right up until Wally took over the coaching of my year.  Appalled to see me playing perfectly decent defensive strokes, to what I considered to be good balls, he would invariably shout: Hit out or get out, boy.  So I began to hit out-  and often got out - when really I should not have done.  I continued to play until I was a very senior opener indeed, but never quite managed to shake off the thought of Wally shouting from the boundary each time I played a straight bat.  Long after leaving school I was sometimes asked if I had ever played for any decent sides.  I was always delighted to confirm that I had spent five seasons playing my cricket at Grace Road.  How was the enquirer to know that Grace Road was our school playing field?

FROM BRIAN SCREATON 1959-65   The reprinted hardback edition of Andy Marlow's book 'City Boys' School, Leicester - The Story of a Grammar School' has sold extremely well, with copies going to Wyvernians all over the country and even one to Florida.  Initially we had ten printed as an experiment, and these sold out almost immediately.  Another twenty were ordered - the printers actually supplied twenty two at no extra cost - and these have also sold well.  Comments on the book have included 'Looks fabulous; A very impressive product; Lovely quality; A very enjoyable read.'  At the time of writing (June 22nd) there are just nine copies remaining.  If you would like to secure a copy before they sell out please contact or phone 07770 413228.  The price is £35 plus £4.20 postage in the UK.
Here are photos of the book in hardback:

FROM DAVE WINTER  1959-66   Like, I suppose, many another former pupil, I look back with shame to the way we behaved during our weekly music sessions in our first two years at CBS.  Ragging, or playing up, nowhere near covers those gleefully riotous sessions.  Later I noticed the music for the school song was by Mr H Sykes, with words byMr J Gimson.  And when the occasional opportunity arose for him to sit at the fairly small organ in the hall it was clear he was a brilliant organist.  Several pupils accompanied the hymns at morning assembly, but none could reproduce the majestic sounds like Mr Sykes.  Many years later I noticed a set of songs set for a competitive music festival were by H H Sykes.  I made a mental note, but did nothing to follow up the discovery that he was a published, and prolific, composer and arranger.  Only after the nostalgia button was pressed by OWT110 did I Google Mr Sykes.  Harold H Sykes generates various links, one of which leads to the web site of The British Music Collection.  A number of his songs are listed here, together with the message: No information about this composer is available.  If you are able to provide further information please e-mail Sound and Music.  If any old boy reading this could respond it would, I think, go some way to making collective amends towards a teacher whom we treated so badly, and who deserved so much better  (I have a copy of the music and words for the school song,.  It is headed 'School song.  Words by John Gimson.  Music by H H Sykes, MA Mus Bac. FRCO. CHM.  Approx 1968, copied from a rough manuscript by Andrew Radford')

FROM TERRY DESBOROUGH  1958-65  I was in the school's Drama Society and a request came through from the Leicester Drama Society for extras for their production of "ulius Caesar, so I put my name down. I thought I would look good swanning around dressed in a toga with, maybe, a golden laurel wreath or such. However, when attending the first rehearsal I found what they really wanted were Roman soldiers. Well at that time I was a skinny white-faced Leicester boy.  So I was designated sixth spear carrier on the left. This was not the most challenging role I was to play, that is until we came to the end of about act three. My colleague and I were to carry the dead body of Brutus from the stage (there were a lot of dead bodies that had to be removed at the end of that scene). My colleague was a bit more muscular than me and we both started to try to drag the corpse from the stage. He was a mature man of extremely large proportions and we couldn't drag him an inch. So, in order to get him off the stage, he would help by propelling himself with his upstage leg, hopefully out of view of the audience. It always reminded me of the death throes of a damaged spider.  The costumes were hired from a theatrical costumiers and had seen much, much better days. We wore a sort of kilt with a sort of breast plate in a fetching black and silver colour. The sides of the breast plate were held together with what should have been laces. Old bits of string, raffia, wool and rope and heaven knows what else were the mode employed to lace up our garments. I went to the wardrobe department to request a better pair of laces and was given the perfect long laces to tie my breastplate. I was so pleased, until the next performance when some thief stole my breastplate and left me with one tied up with old bits of string, raffia, wool and rope and suchlike. Good luck to him - he is probably a millionaire by now. This was one of the first times I wore theatrical makeup, which is quite expensive. We were given 5 and 9 to apply to our face. Heaven knows what 5 & 9 were but we slapped it on. As there were lots of exposed arms and legs it was considered too expensive to apply 5 & 9 everywhere so we had to stand in a tin bath of what could only be described as old gravy and rub it on the exposed areas of our bodies. The streaky effect was most impressive.  Another time I "acted" in Cymbeline.  I had a speaking role. I was Doctor Cornelius, a Physician and Philosopher and had to be aged up. At the time I had beautiful brown hair (now I am a silver fox!) so it had to be aged which meant putting loads of talcum powder in my hair. The trouble was as I strutted about the stage great clouds of white smoke appeared above my head so I looked more like The Flying Scotsman puffing across the stage than Doctor Cornelius.  To me the play was incredibly boring until the last night of the week's run. There was a sword fight in the last-but-one scene and this had played out very well during the week. I don't know whether it was last night enthusiasm or perhaps some illicit alcohol, but the leading actor playing Cloton was soundly whacked on the head and knocked out. He was immediately rushed to the Leicester Royal Infirmary and, in the final act, he was referred to in the past third person. He became quite famous later – he was Michael Kitchen.
I don't know how but I joined the Drama Society. This was a bit strange because I was so shy. Anyway one of the first plays I was in was Androcles and the Lion. I played Metellus and my pal played Lentullus, who were a couple of young bucks out on the town. Anyway, it was a very small part in the production.  I was a very ordinary, skinny average height, and Lentullus was a lot smaller and skinnier than me. We were more like Jules and Sandy than a couple of young bucks. In the play he went up to the glamorous leading lady in order to "get off". After a few words he came back to me and I said "You didn't get much out of that. I told you they were brutes." This caused the audience to erupt with laughter – catching all of us by surprise.
  I also acted in "School for Scandal" which toured Germany. We played at four destinations – one of which was the Munich Opera. The back stage area was so large – the doors to the outside at the back of the stage were immense about forty foot high and eighty foot wide; really impressive.  Happy days at City Boys.

FROM STUART BROWN  1956-61   I can't remember why, but I joined the CBS contingent of the Army Cadet Force.  Quite a few of us were in the cadets.  We had training sessions on Monday afternoons, but can't remember if it was every week or alternate weeks.  Captain Berry, a teacher at CBS, was in charge.  We used a room on the ground floor at the rear of the Humberstone Gate building.  Some old Lee Enfield .303 rifles were kept locked there.  They were decommissioned, but complete, and we stripprd then down for cleaning then reassembled them.  They were used for drill practice in the Hill Street playground.  On some Monday afternoons we were taken to the Territorial Army Centre on Blackbird Road, where we had shooting practice on the indoor range.  We used .22 rifles belonging to the TA.  I still remember the smell of baking bread from the nearby Frears & Blacks bakery on Abbey Lane.  A couple of names I remember are Dave Parkinson and Brian Abbott.  There is a few seconds footage in the school films (1956-62 edition) of the cadets marching in the Hill Street car park.  We did a comedy sketch in one of the concerts, must have been around 1959/60, when we were dressed in our cadet uniforms.  It seemed to go down well, though I can no longer recall the content.  I think I have all my facts right, but if anyone can add anything feel free to do so.

FROM JOHN WALEY  1955-62   I was saddened to hear that Robert Davenport passed away, in Adelaide.  Robert, who I never knew as Bob, was a good friend and team mate.  We lost touch in 1962, when I went to university in Liverpool  (The Fab Four, Gerry & The Pacemakers etc)  From there I moved to Toronto, where I have lived since 1967.  It's interesting to hear that Robert could remember every last detail of his cricketing career, but virtuslly nothing about his football exploits.  Ah, the selectivity of memory.  Robert was indeed a member of the 1961/62 football first XI, which swept all before it.  The forward line was particularly potent: Robert Davenport, right wing; Pete Wright, inside right; Trevor Jones, centre forward; John Waley, inside left; Neal Lampard, left wing.  I have long since lost any evidence of that great season, but there must be a record somewhere.  Otherwise my unsubstantiated ravings will be scoffed at.  For example, Trevor Jones was a prolific goal scorer, but did he really bag ninety three goals?  Perhaps it was thirty nine?  I can't recall Robert's cricket performances for the school, but I do recall our knockabout  sessions on Victoria Park.  We played on a surface close to London Road, literally a stone's throw from that fine Leicester watering hole The Old Horse.  I often wondered what became of Robert, also Bill Pickup, who was my best friend at CBS.  I have visited the UK regularly over the years.  I'm a big fan of Leicestershire, and especially delightful Thrussington, where I still have relatives.

AND FINALLY...   My own career.  I left school in August 1964 with two 'O' levels, French and English.  As I was not a practical sort of person it was clear I would end up as office fodder, which is what happened.  After a few unsuccessful interviews I obtained a job as trainee stock control clerk at Furse Wholesale Ltd, Woodboy Street.  I did pretty well, and by 1969 was assistant manager.  In 1970 I was promoted to branch manager at the Lincoln branch, and for a year I had digs in that city.  Unfortunately I had been promoted beyond my ability, and after twelve months I was given the option to resign, or be transferred back to Leicester.  I chose the latter option, and apart from a brief spell in 1974/75, when I worked at County Hall for a while then moved to Electrical Conduits, Morledge Street, another electrical wholesaler. After about six months I was headhunted back to Furse Wholesale (Though it was called something else by then) where I stayed until taking early retirement in 2002 aged 55.  Stephanie and I then moved to Welshpool.  Although all my jobs have been mundane, I consider myself fortunate to have (mostl!)y been content with my lot.  Stephanie and I married in March 1976.

Dennis J Duggan
July 14th 2021

Wednesday 7 April 2021

Fwd: OWT 110 April 2021

TEL 01938 555574   07804 520730  
     APRIL 2021

   The mention of Andy Marlow's book about  CBS in this OWT prompted me to have another look at my own copy.  It really is a magnificent effort.  If you have your own copy do have another look, particularly at the introductory pages.  As Cliff Dunkley says, it is perhaps not really a book suitable for reading in a couple of sittings (Though that's what I did!) rather it is a valuable historical document for research.  Either way it is a jolly good read.

   Reading the piece by Paul Healey (Is that Higgs?) a thought crossed my mind a mere fifty four years after leaving CBS.  The four houses represented the first four letters of the alphabet.  Was there any significance in this, or simply a coincidence?  (Abbey, Bradgate, Charnwood, De Montfort)

   Mrs Jenny Downes informs me that Dave Downes  (1954-58)  Passed away November 11th 2020 after a short illness - not Covid.  "For those who may remember Dave, they will know he was quite a character, who will be missed by many."
Arthur John Larrad (1942-47) recently passed away aged 89

FROM TERRY DESBOROUGH  1958-65  The Perils of Being a Dinner Monitor
  Having been fed lunch every day at school as a young pupil I had no idea what was to unfold.  As I became a member of the sixth form I was granted some privileges – little did I know what horrors were to befall me!
At lunch time we trooped across the back yard of Clarence House to a large asbestos shed which had been converted to a canteen. There were about fourteen tables, each seating twelve expectant hungry personages, some of the hierarchy but mostly lower plebeians. On each table sat a master with a sixth former next to him at the top of the table. The sixth former, at this time I was one of them, went to the serving hatch to take possession of the Manna from heaven, usually in the form of a tray of something and two tureens of something else. I found through experience that a tray of something was a Godsend to me, as I had to distribute some sort of pie cut into equal portions – a doddle. Then I had to dollop some sort of vegetable from each tureen onto a plate and pass it to the plebeian on my left for him to pass it on all the way round the table until the it reached the master. There it would stop, until my next ministration was completed and sent to the next hungry plebeian. This continued until all the hungry plebs were given something to eat, BUT NOT YET. The food was by now cold, but we had to say Grace. Then we could tuck in. It wasn't bad food. My absolute nemesis was, instead of a tray of equal portions, a third tureen which contained an unknown amount of food. It was usually something like braised steak. This was a tureen full of gravy with an unknown amount of something lurking at the bottom. I remember my first attempt at serving this unknown quantity. I started off by spooning out a portion of meat. I thought that there would be twelve equal portions of braised steak. So, on I went giving what I thought was a portion of braised steak. After about four servings I suddenly realised there was very little steak left, so I had to reduce the amount I was serving. After two more servings all I was left with was some potatoes and some gravy and that's all the rest of the table had for dinner, including the master and me. I am sure that four pupils, myself and the master, were hungry all day after that.

I don't know how it happened, but I drifted to the kitchen and helped the ladies in there to clear tables, wash cutlery and generally tidy up. I remember they held a special dinner for a swimmer who came in after doing his training at Vestry Street baths. One day the ladies were putting the trays back into the insulated containers to return to the kitchens and found they had not served a whole tray of lemon tart and were concerned they would be in trouble for this. It was about to put it into the pig bin when I said I could eat it, which I did – all of it!!

Happy times at City Boys School.
  I stayed on in the sixth form awaiting my entry into university (The Royal Veterinary College) spending most of my time in the biology laboratory with Mr Willan. He was always known as Flo Willan but not many people realised this was because of his signature – RFL Willan – he curled the last letter so it looked like an "o".  I spent most of the time in the last year trying to prepare sections of onion roots with a purple stain to show mitochondrion, or some such component of a plant cell. All I managed to do was stain everything else purple. I could have been Emperor for the amount of purple on my clothes and the furniture around my desk.  Anyway, happy times.

FROM DON HURD  1944-52   The editor's mention of being knocked unconscious by a football reminded me of an incident when I was at the school.  I was never very keen on soccer, either as a player or spectator, but on one of the weekly sessions at Grace Road I was put in goal.  Most of the play was at the other end of the pitch.  It was a chilly day, and I trotted about to keep warm, slipped and broke two fingers.  I think that was my only sports injury - and I was nowhere near the ball!  Sorry to hear that Ivor Bufton has passed away.  He was good at soccer, and was, I think, in the school team.

FROM KASH SAHOTA  1974-81   I started at CBS in 1974, and having Indian parents English was not spoken much at home, so I probably had some catching up to do.  I believe our English teacher for Years 1 and 2 was Ged Holden, though he might just have been filling in.  He was easily distracted, and in the warmer months he spent a lot of time in the cricket nets.  I can't say his lessons were not fun, because they were, but after the Year 2 exams I found myself in the remedial class for Year 3.  The teacher was Mrs Tozer (nee Land)  Good progress was made over the next three years, and I ended up with an 'O' level and CSE1 in English Language and CSE1 in English Lit.  Not bad!
For many years I used the same barber, Lawrence from Hairdesign, and when he retired in 2014 he invited his longstanding customers to a farewell bash.  There were probably twenty or so there, on a long table in the restaurant.  We began chatting, and it turned out there was an ex-teacher from CBS from the 1970's.  YES, it was Ged Holden!  Having recovered from the astonishment, I must admit I gave him some grief over his teaching methods.  I'm not sure he appreciated it, but it had to be done!

FROM BRIAN COPE  1954-62   Sorry to report that Bob Davenport died last June in Adelaide, where he had lived for many years.  We remember him as one of the finest cricketers the school produced.  He recalled every run scored, and where he scored it.  Bob was the first to score a century for the school and, had we had full day matches, he would have scored many more.  In terms of technique and temperament he was a nonpareil.  He was also a fine footballer.

FROM JOHN 'JAKE' BLAIKIE  1955-62   I have just learned from Brian Cope and Dave Atton that Bob Davenport has passed away.  This sad news is somewhat sobering, as it was someone from my exact era.  I knew Bob was in Adelaide, because Brian was in contact with him some years ago on an Ashes trip.  Dave Warburton was also in Adelaide, and Jim Gilfedder in Alice Springs.  I recently discovered John O'Grady in remote Eastern Victoria, and Ian Neill is still in Canberra.  Brian makes reference to Bob's outstanding cricketing abilities.  Brian should remember my stunning one-handed catch to dismiss Fred Embury off Bob's bowling, but will prefer to remember my failing to repeat that feat against Davenport.

FROM DAVE ATTON  1955-62   (This message was originally sent to Brian Cope - Ed)  I did not know Bob Davenport as well as you, and essentially our paths crossed in that one 1961-62 football season.  Bob was two years behind you, and one behind me.  The concentration, discipline and tenacity necessary to be a good batsman, when garnished with a layer of flare and creativity topped off with extreme competitiveness, made him a fine cricketer.  Did he captain the crickes first XI the year after you?  I also remember Bob had a sense of humour and a willingness to laugh, even giggle, when his funny bone was tickled.  These attributes he brought to the football First XI.  Although not fast for a right winger (Contrast Lampard on the left wing) his strength, stamina and creativity contributed massively to that fine season in which you and I were privileged to participate.  I did correspond with Bob once, years ago.  Unlike his cricket career, of which he 'remembered every run and where he scored it' he claimed no detailed recollection of his contribution to that splendid football season.  It was clear where his sporting passion lay and, possibly, why he chose Adelaide (Don Bradman connection!)  PS:  In Andy Marlow's fine book there are photos of Bob on page 126 and 139

FROM DENNIS BIGGS  1949-56   Our form master in 1949, in 1 Alpha, was Spiv Beaumont, who also taught us History.  He was a flamboyant, handsome character with swept-back hair and flowing gown, just as I pictured teachers from Tom Brown's Schooldays  or the Jennings books.  I think he left after my first year.  Our French teacher was Mr Nockels, and I recall joining a school trip to Paris with him.  We stayed in a boarding school near Versailles, which was memorable for its smelly plumbing.  Of course we visited all the sites, including the top of the Eiffel Tower, which was very exciting just a few years after the war.  This began my love affair with France, and the French language, and a couple of years later Bob Gregory, Brian Clay and myself undertook a cycling tour of Northern France, ending up in the outskirts of Paris.  It was quite an adventure, and we were pretty brave to do the journey with little money and clapped out bicycles.  In fact our parents should be commended for allowing us to go on such a trip aged only fourteen or fifteen.  I doubt this would be allowed today.  My memory is hazy after so many years, but we stayed in in some pretty basic youth hostels on the way from Dieppe, Chartres, Orleans and Evreux.
After taking my 'A' levels I joined Jones & Shipman, machine tool manufacturers, of Narborough Road South, as an apprentice, and was fortunate to spend one year at an associate company in Strasbourg.  This was a wonderful time for me, as I was able to study part time at Strasbourg University to perfect my French and enjoy the freedom to taste Gallic life to the full.
In 1955 I took the entrance exam for Exeter College, Oxford, for Modern Languages, but was unsuccessful.  Still, I spent a week there experiencing university life.  Later Mr Brushe told me there were only two places for ninety candidates, so I was not too disappointed.  Later I went to Birmingham University to take Economics and Russian, which launched my later career with the trading arm of Guinness Mahon Merchant Bank.  I spent almost five exciting years travelling in Russia and Eastern Europe, doing deals for major turnkey projects for the Bentley/Mellor Bromley Group.  This was a dangerous time to work in the area, and I had a number of hairy adventures behind the Iron Curtain which made life somewhat tricky at times.  In 1967 I married and had to give up this risky life, so joined Molins of Deptford SE London, manufacturers of cigarette-making and packing machinery, as their European Sales Manager.
Later I worked for Baker Perkins, Peterborough, manufacturers of food processing machinery; Babcock & Wilcox in their construction machinery division; Neil and Spencer, manufacturers of laundry and dry cleaning machinery.  I spent the final twelve years of my career working in Germany, so had an enjoyable life travelling the world as an international bagman.  Now I have the opportunity to travel at a more leisurely pace.
Our German teacher in 3 Alpha was Mr Goddard, who hammered the basics of German grammar into us.  Later we were taught by Mr Hantuch, who I am ashamed to say the class tortured mercilessly for the problems resulting from the aftermath of the war.  Eventually Bill Brushe took over, and we were able to settle down and learn the language at a higher level.  Before beginning my apprenticeship I undertook a solo cycle trip through Belgium and Luxembourg to Germany.  I particularly remember the journey along the Moselle valley from Trier to Koblenz and along the Rhine to Cologne.  It is a journey I want to undertake again, but at a leisurely pace by car - once the travel restrictions are lifted, of course.  It is a wonderful part of the world, whch I can heartily recommend.
When I finished my apprenticeship, and before going to university, I spent a year working in Nuremburg.  This was arranged by British Cellophane through the Leicester Chamber of Commerce.  I would like to express my thanks to Leicester Council for giving me a grant towards my university studies, and to state I feel the present system of student loans is very unfair compared to the free university education we enjoyed.
In 1949 the Headmaster (The Beak) was Mr Crammer, his deputy was Bud Fisher.  Both left after my first year, to be followed by Messrs Pedley and Bufton.  I was in Bradgate House (Red) our Housemaster was Johnny Jeeves.  The house system was more prominent in those days, when we had house assemblies and there was rivalry in sports - particularly soccer and swimming.  I was sorry to read of the recent passing of Ivor Bufton, I recall him as a Prefect in my early years.  At the ripe old age of 82 I find it strange how much of my CBS education I can remember, along with the names of nearly all my classmates.  We have lost touch with so many.  Now, sadly,  Bob Gregory, Richard Thomson, Graham Morton and John Page are the only contemporaries I connect with at the reunions.  How nice it would be to find other classmates who have disappeared off the radar.  I hope to attend the 2021 reunion, if at all possible.

When I joined Wyvernians I recalled I might have memorabilia from my schooldays in my attic; so checked and found I had several copies of the Wyvernian school magazine from 1962 to 64 (my 6th form years) and a cricket diary I kept of school matches for the same years. I thought my diary account of the staff/student cricket match in 1964 might be of interest. Here it is.
"Mr Lawrence, winning the toss, put the school into bat. Davenport and Evatt began well, forcing away the bowling, particularly of Mr White. It took the cunningly flighted leg breaks of Mr Lowe to dismiss Evatt (for 24) and Davenport (22) followed quickly, a victim of the persistently accurate Mr Thornton. Moore batted fiercely for 27, attacking all the bowling and was unlucky to be run out. Ball (5) and Leaman (2) took a great deal of time for very little and, in contrast, Hanson's 13 was off one over. My last wicket partnership with McCullough produced 25 runs, bringing the score to 159. The successful staff bowlers were Thornton (3-48) and Lawson (3-48) with Lowe's three overs yielding 3-26. 
The staff innings began very slowly. Mr Mann took half an hour for his 5 and Mr Palmer snicked his way to 36. After a brief flourish from Mr Kierney (7), Mr Lowe and Mr Lawrence's partnership promised to be dangerous. Mr Lowe seemed to tire, however, owing to Mr Lawrence's enthusiastic quick singles and, attempting to hook me, he stood on his wickets and out for 19. Mr Lawrence was well caught by Ball shortly afterwards for 16. When Mr Lawson's off stump was removed by a furious delivery from Moore it seemed the staff would lose, but resilient batting by Mr Thornton (19) and Mr Scott (9) saw them bat out for a draw. Most of the student bowling was by Johnson 3-43 a
nd Moore 3-46."  Having played for the school for three years, I also made notes about some of those I had played with. Here are some extracts. 
"Brian Cope for his wit and ruthless approach to cricketers, if not to cricket, the curve of his arm in his delivery and the bite of the ball as it pitched – matched by his bite of a meat pie in the Cricketers after the game. 'Fred' Embury, the solid keeper with a reputation for safety and an appeal that many a county stumper would envy. Geoff Pullen, who took Fred's place in '64, with his athletic dives to stop the impossible and mistakes to let go the easy ones. Stephen Hunt for his easy run up and contrasting eccentric deliveries. 'Bugs' Bayliss for his unconventional approach to the game, his filthy flannels, his queer run up, his capacity for beer, his accuracy and his sightless batting. John William Graham Tomlinson – 'Tommo'- for his matchless self confidence, his speed, his machine-like run up and delivery, his powerful batting and his precisely thrown darts. Bob Evatt because he didn't much like the game yet was so good at it. Bob Moore for his fearsome beamer which swung in at your head so late. Craig Shelton for his uninspiring batting, his far too fast throws to the wicket yet his likeable eccentricity. But most of all Bob Davenport for his silky off drives, his Bradman-like cut and his seeming impregnability in the nets (at least to me). Yet he never seemed set early on and his singles were those of a beginner. I always believed he never got his dues. As a batsman I felt he should not have been fallible early on; it wasn't fair. As a captain he was hard done by having a team none of which came close to his abilities. He should have been hounded by the county, begging for his services. It was such a waste, there should be need for him to do anything else but play cricket.'

I recently heard that Bob had died. You may gather from what I wrote in my diary that he was an excellent cricketer. 'Dave' Lawrence who managed us all, himself a high quality club cricketer, recognized this in what he said about Bob in the Wyvernian at the end of the 1964 season:

'Davenport's four seasons with the 1st XI have made him one of the most mature of schoolboy cricketers…..One of his most pleasing performances of the season was against our local rivals Gateway, when he scored his maiden century, believed to be unique in the history of the school and he is to be highly congratulated upon his achievement.'

But for me, Bob was also a friend who I spent time with outside school. We played knock about cricket with others on Victoria Park; we downed a pint or two in city pubs with 'Bugs' Bayliss and sometimes Brian Cope, then returned to Bob's to play three card brag, served cheese and ham sandwiches by his mum till the early hours. I lost contact with him when we left school, which I regret, but remember him fondly. He was good mate.

The piece by Stef Wozowczyk included in the last newsletter triggered a few memories for me as Stef and I were in the same year.  He mentions his friend of the time, Nick Weston, who again was part of the 1965 intake (the first year at Downing Drive) and this reminded me of a common link the three of us had.  It was certainly not an academic connection as my studying was woeful compared to theirs. It was Rugby that brought us together, when the game was first introduced to City Boys by Geoff Elliott.  He initially started a first XV in 1965 and it wasn't until 1967 that a third year XV was formed, which is when the three of us took up the game. Nick Weston I remember as an agile scrum half whilst Stef was a bit of a flyer at centre or on the wing.
As is widely acknowledged CBS was a football school, and a very good one at that, so the introduction of rugby must have been quite a
challenge for Mr Elliott. I believe he had one hell of a fight to get the one pitch sanctioned on the playing field let alone the task of convincing boys to play!  Having only started in the 3rd form we took some fearful beatings in the initial years against other schools that had already been playing for 2 years, but by the time we arrived in the sixth form we held our own against most teams, with the exception of Wyggeston who were always very strong. By this time, Mr Elliott had moved on and the mantle of Rugby master had been picked up by Mac Bryan, and it was Mac who also inducted a number of us into club rugby at Westleigh RFC.  It turned out to be the start of what has proved to be a life-long love of rugby for me.

FROM KEN WARD  1959-66  (Continuing Ken's memoirs - Ed)  There was no improvement in my academic status as I moved from 3B to 4B. This move was accompanied by a move to the main school in the Leicester City Centre where I was to spend the next 3 years. The building was very old and I remember very clearly the stone steps on the main stairway that were worn away with age and the canteen (grub hut) that was a left over from the second world war or so it seemed. I cannot remember too much about the times in the fourth year apart from I believe this is when I started playing chess seriously, and my classroom was next to the staff room and not far from the headmaster's study. I do remember one incident which meant I had to go to see the headmaster with my parents. At the time I did not know why, so I was petrified. I'd had a day off school because my dad's car broke down returning from a journey and I did not make it to school the next day. My mum must have written a note which had said I was out all night and didn't get home until the early hours but hadn't given the whole story. So Mr Bell thought I was out on the tiles. In those days the teachers and headmaster were keen to ensure that students at their school trod the correct path outside of school as well as inside, and I think to some extent really cared. 

In the sixties SHE stood for the opposite sex and not for the actions during the laboratory practicals. I remember clearly two episodes in the old chemistry lab. Wooden benches, high stools and chemicals in glass bottles with glass stoppers. They were all there, nitric acid, sodium hydroxide etc. On this occasion I had my eye on the concentrated sulphuric acid – not the ordinary sulphuric acid!! – it had to be concentrated. What does it smell like, I thought? I took the bottle from the shelf that ran along the bench and took a big sniff rather than wafting the fumes over the bottle as we were taught. I gave a big gasp as I knew something was wrong, and as I exhaled there were fumes coming out of my mouth. Fortunately after two or three breaths the fumes had disappeared before the teacher came into the room. Those few seconds were very long indeed. On another occasion one of my classmates - I think it was Andy Barnes (Barnsy) made some nitrogen triiodide (which is easy to make with iodine crystals and ammonia solution) If I remember correctly when the nitrogen triiodide solution dries on the work top it becomes explosive! During the lesson, when the work top was tapped it gave a 'crack' – bit like the noise made by the cap-gun, which were all the rage in the sixties. The teacher was wise to the noise and quickly homed in on the culprit. He went over and ran a sheet of paper over the surface with the result of a large 'crack'. Not sure if it left the teacher with a scorch mark on his hand or not.

W.A.G. Pace was a great geography teacher. The undertone of 'wag wag wag' could be heard as he entered the room. It was not in any way mischievous but a warm welcome to a really gentle person. I recall the stories he used to tell about being at school in London. He recalled the time when bananas were being imported to the UK through the local docks and how he was given the role of 'banana skin monitor' to prevent any slip accidents. Maybe this was the birth of S.H.E. Mr Pace sometimes had a quick 20 questions at the start of his lesson. Mick McCloughlin and I used to sit together at the back of the class. We would normally cheat – and come close to the top of the class. Most of the class knew but Wag didn't, or he turned a blind eye. I was a bit miffed one day when Mick out-cheated me. I got 19 and he got 19½. In Class 4B I believe I had turned the corner. My results were getting better – in the sciences – although still had a problem with the arts and languages. Mathematics was probably my favourite class as I was always in contention with Derek Seaby who later on went on to read mathematics at university somewhere - I think London.

There are times in your life when fortune comes along as I said earlier - the key parts in your life when a particular event has helped you along the way. If this event had not come along where would I be now? The first event was just passing the eleven plus exam and then, secondly, being accepted into City Boys.  At the end of the year in Class 4B we'd had our usual end of year exams, but one morning the headmaster came into the classrooms and called out a small number of us to take another exam without warning. No modules, no late night or early-morning revision. No, just get your pencils, erasers, log-books and your arses and go immediately to the main-hall. I remember nothing of the exam or the results, but later found I had been streamed into the fifth year science stream, called 5S. This may have been the third good fortune.

FROM PAUL NEWCOMBE  1959-64   Thanks to Kenny Ward for letting me know how I got the nickname Spook.  I always thought it was because it rhymed with Newc, but I understand the logic.  Happily the girls liked my ghostly look.  I do remember the black eye given to me by Kenny during one of our fights.  My weight and build have not changed much in the fifty seven years since I left school in 1964, and I am fortunate to still play tennis and golf.  I gave up cross country and skiing several years ago to preserve my knees.  I enjoyed cross country at school as it was an afternoon out, but there was always a big problem by the name of Johnny Offord, who I could never catch.  There was some consolation when a teacher caught me smoking in the air raid shelter at the annual sports day.  He gave me a choice: run for Charnwood House in the relay, or be reported to Mr Bell.  I chose the former, and to everyones surprise Charnwood won the relay, with Abbey in second place.  Several articles have mentioned Jock Gilman.  I could not swim, and on my first visit to the pool Jock told me to jump in at the deep end, keep to the edge and try to swim the full length of the pool.  I thought he said to keep to the edge in case I got into trouble, but actually it was so Jock  could hook me with his pole.  Seriously, he hooked my shorts and yanked me up at least four times when I sank.  Before I reached the shallow end I had learned to swim, and never got hooked again.  I also recollect going into a fenced yard across the road, during breaks.  There was nothing to do there but hang around  (I think it was called The Pen - Ed)  I have a memory of listening to the radio, in particular the Cassius Clay vs Sonny Liston fight on February 25th 1964.

Many have mentioned the Bayliss' stale cakes.  I was very lucky to meet my uncle, who was their window cleaner, at Bayliss' every day around 7.45am, to collect a box of stales to eat or sell.  My entrepreneurship did not begin with stale cakes, previously I had a sideline in the second year selling cigarettes and magazines.  That ended when the caretaker shopped me to Mr Wardle as I would not cut him (The caretaker) in on the action.  Mr Wardle raided my desk and confiscated the stash and cash.  Needless to say Mr Bell was not impressed, and marched me round the city to every place where I had bought the fags and mags.  He let the owners/managers know in no uncertain terms that it was illegal to sell such things to under-age kids.  He even confronted the owner of the amusement arcade where I did odd jobs after school.  A guy there sold cigarettes that might have fallen off the back of a lorry.  I think he was more angry that I had purchased the stuff whilst wearing school uniform.  One of the smoke shops was by the clock tower and sold exotic brands such as Black Russian and Turkish perfumed cigarettes.  These were the most in demand, in singles or twos.

Does anyone remember when the shoe representative came to Elbow lane?  I think it was Brevitts.  They wanted volunteers to wear a new line of shoes so they could analyse the wear and tear.  I picked the pointiest pair of black leather winkle pickers in the sample case and proudly strutted round the school yard.  Several days later Mr Wardle collared me  made it clear I was not to wear those shoes to school.  I did not appreciate school, and could not wait to leave.  Being one of the youngest I actually left at fifteen, just before my sixteenth birthday, after taking 'O' levels.  Mr Bell had told me that I would either spend my life in prison or be a successful business man (Just before he caned me for the cigarette sales)  I chose the latter path, and looking back the routine, discipline and work ethic really did provide me with a solid foundation for later life.  To the school, and the teachers who did not give up on us, I say thank you.  I hope the pranks and the trouble I caused, in and out of class, were not too disruptive.

FROM KEITH WRIGHT  1948-54   Around 1953, when teaching American history to the Science VI, Chas Howard rermarked, 'If you want to be a Duke or an Earl in the United States you need to be christened with those names.  Sixty seven years on, through export or exile, a real Duke and Duchess now live on the US West Coast.  Given due patience a Prince and, one hopes, a Princess, will be added to this outpost of the royal family.  That's a turn up which could hardly have been anticipated all those years ago  (I don't normally print anything political or controversial in OWT, but as there is a tenuous CBS link I have included Keith's contribution - Ed)

FROM STEFAN WOZOWCZYK  1965-72   With regards to membership of Wyvernians I don't think it really matters which school site you attended.  Indeed, I would like to hear what happened to others in later years.  Where are the girls?  I didn't know what a girl was until I was eighteen, Spencefield Lane notwithstanding.  For me it was all about the teachers, some of whom had a longevity stretching over two or even three sites.  They had nicknames which changed from one generation to the next.  What say we compile an index?  Those teachers will surely not mind.  I can remember most of ours, and none are offensive.  I'm surprised that no one has pointed out that Bob Gregory, and his Morris Minor, lived on Glenfield Road next door to Engelbert Humperdinck.  Perhaps we could add this kind of thing to the web site and facebook as a list of teachers, with mini biographies.  Very old Wyverninans had best get writing.  Allow nothing insulting, but fun-poking allowed.  Who did, or did not, spend an entire woodwork lesson being taught how to play shove halfpenny?  Wally Wardle stories would probably be the longest entry and I think he'd like that - he did care for us as a teacher.  We could have an ANON section for classic stuff which needs to remain uncredited.  'Wozowczyk, you are nowhere near as clever as you think you are.  You are a cretin.'  I was very young, and had to look up 'cretin' in the dictionary.

FROM ALAN PYKETT  1959-66   Another excellent edition of OWT to which I would like to add three comments. Firstly, just to confirm the four houses and respective colours, certainly for the years I was at the school, were Abbey (green) Bradgate (red ) Charnwood (yellow) and De Montfort  (blue)  I was assigned to Bradgate. It is difficult to say which was the best house during my time as they all excelled in different ways from sporting to academic. However I would say Charnwood, but that is pure speculation. Secondly, one of your correspondents, I believe, mentioned looking at old exam papers. I have retained all twenty one reports from the school (three per year) and the "O" level and "A" level examination papers which we were allowed to keep. In particular, if I look at the "O" level paper for mathematics, which I did pass, I cannot now understand the questions let alone answer them! Incidentally I still have my four reports from Charnwood Street junior school. These were only issued annually. For some time I kept all my exercise books from City Boys but then disposed of them, which is a source of some regret, but storage may have been a problem. Finally, a very interesting article from John O'Grady. Although I don't think John stated which form he was in during the first year I am fairly sure it was 1B, the same class as myself. My theory is also born out by the masters he quotes with their respective subjects. For the record I can add Chas Howard (history) Chalky White (English) Bill Sykes (French) Bob Dennis (general science and form master) and Jock Gilman (PE) Wally Wardle, in addition to teaching geography also took the woodwork class that year.

 AND FINALLY...   Wally Wardle is often mentioned in OWT.  Like him or loathe him, Wally was such a character he left an indelible mark on all who knew him.  He lived in a detached Edwardian house on Aylestone Road, almost opposite Middleton Street.  When I joined CBS in 1959, Wally cycled to and from school on a push bike, and one morning this led to a rather alarming  incident.  As many readers know, at the end of 1959 and early 1960 I played truant several times.  On one occasion I fancied a change from the town centre, and alighted from the No 24 Corporation bus at the junction with Saffron Lane and Aylestone Road.  I had just crossed over to Raw Dykes Road when I saw something which struck terror into my twelve-year-old heart.  Wally was pedalling steadily from the direction of the gas works, though the slight incline had slowed him down.  There seemed no escape, no cover, but then I noticed I was standing next to a green GPO telephone cabinet.  They are still about, so you will know what I mean.  There was just enough room for me to squeeze behind it, and I crouched down, shut my eyes and prayed.  A few seconds passed, though it seemed like hours, and nothing happened.  I risked a peek, and was relieved to see Wally  and his bike receding into the distance.  Miraculously I had got away with it!  By the time we moved to Elbow Lane Wally had graduated to a c1956 New-Look Hillman Minx, no doubt purchased via Jock Gilman at Mates' Rates.

In 1961 my family moved from a council house, 5 Tamerton Road, on the Monsell (No one referred to it as Eyres Monsell) to a private house on the new Fairfield Estate in South Wigston.  13 Norfolk Road to be exact.  This meant a change of bus route to and from school, and the best option was the No 87 Corporation bus.  The terminus was a five-minute walk away on Sturdee Road, opposite The Exchange shops.  The route went along Aylestone Road, past Wally's  house.  One morning he was at the stop opposite Wigston Lane, so the Hillman must have been in dock.  The bus was almost full, and from the top deck I had a grandstand view as Wally stepped onto the platform.  To my delight the conductor held up his hand, and I heard him say, 'Sorry, sir, we're full.'  How I loved that moment, his face was a picture.  Incidentally it was widely held that his mottled complexion was the result of burns suffered when his fighter plane was shot down during the war - which in 1959 was still a vivid memory for many people.  We boys knew all about it from our comics, so the theory seemed plausible.

Dennis J Duggan  April 7th 2021