Friday 7 January 2022

Fwd: OWT113 Jan 2022

TEL 01938 555574   07804 520730  
     JANUARY 2022

EDITORIAL   We would like to thank everyone who responded to the appeal for help with funding storage costs for the memorabilia collection.  This is now safe and secure in a storage unit in South Wigston.  To make best use of the funds Brian booked one of the smaller units, which led to a cull of duplicated and surplus items, and these were offered to members of Wyvernians.  This resulted in the sale of several copies of The Wyvernian magazine, along with most (if not all) of the unframed panoramic photographs.  The framed panoramics from 1920/23 had become of limited relevance today, as all the people have passed away.  But they are still of immense historical interest, and I am delighted to inform you that, thanks to Brian, they are now on permanent display at the Unitarian church in East Bond Street.  The building has links to the very beginnings of our old school, and there is  a permanent history display.  It is wonderful to know we have been able to make these photos available to a wider audience one hundred years after they were originally produced.
A Message from Brian - The last two copies of the CBS history book are still available, it is unlikely there will be any more.  £35.00 each + £4.20 p & p = £39.20.  To order phone me on 07770 413228 or e-mail
I want to thank all those who made generous donations to the 'Storage Fund', which now totals £900.  Two Wyvernians kindly set up standing orders of £10 per month, which will pay two thirds of the monthly storage fee of £30.  So we shall only have to dip into the £900 to the tune of £10 per month, meaning it should last us about seven years - although this will reduce if the fees are increased at anytime.

   Most of you will know we have booked Clarence House for March 19th, which is still ten weeks away.  We have no idea if the reunion will be allowed to go ahead, and if it is permissible whether there might be a limit on numbers.  At the moment we in Wales are limited to thirty.  We also need to consider if enough Old Boys to make it worthwhile would be prepared to attend, as all are elderly and many have underlying health problems. It is very frustrating, but all clubs and societies are in the same boat.  All we can do is see what develops over the next six weeks or so.  The alternative is to postpone until, say, August or September when things might have returned to some normality.  Watch this space!  Feel free to let me have your own thoughts.

REF PETER ROBINSON  (1955-60I hear that Peter is still working as a photographer, and has recently created a web site showcasing some of his work over the years.  This mainly relates to football, hence the address  You might like to have a look, especially if you are interested in football.

FROM GERRY JOHNSON 1956-64   I note there have been some mentions of Roger (Fred) Embury.  I have kept in touch with Roger since he left CBS in 1963 to embark on his teacher training.  I had the privilege of being his Best Man when he married Ann in 1970, and attending their golden wedding anniversary in 2020.  Roger kept wicket and played in goal for the first teams in 1962 and 1963, and was applauded for both in The Wyvernian reports.  He took up his first teaching appointment in 1966 at Forest Hill School in south east London and taught PE and geography.  He then went on to Pershore High School, Worcestershire, where he became Deputy Head before retiring in 2000.
Roger continued to play cricket for several years at Pershore Cricket Club, but played less football after leaving school.  He explained, 'I rested on my laurels after saving a penalty taken by Maurice Hallam.  That was when the school team played an annual game against the Leicestershire County Cricket team - after all we played our matches at Grace Road!'  Instead of football Roger took up running, and competed in several marathons including London.  He cycled from John O' Groats to Lands End, and did the Three Peaks Challenge.  That is Snowden, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis in twenty four hours.  He claims all this must have been done under the influence of Jock Gilman!
Roger now lives near Broadway, but has retained his Leicester links via his Foxes season ticket.  But why Fred?' Well, those of a certain age may remember a comedy actor of the time called Fred Emney.

FROM STEFAN WOZOWCZYK  1965-72     The two Advanced Economics papers were taken on June 6th and 7th 1972.  I was not looking forward to them.  In OWT109 I wrote that my mother had thrown away lots of my school memorabilia in her late stages of dementia.  Yet I have all my A-level papers and, this is the point - she kept all my economics notebooks.  Why?  I could have had a laugh over maths and German, but economics?  Here we have a Wally Wardle alert.  Because he got me through.  I was hoping for an A,C, D, which indeed I got, but the D came in German for reasons explained in OWT109.  The C came in economics!  Having been through the papers, I see there are a lot of 'mathematical' questions.  That was my subject and, I suspect, why I got what I considered a high grade.  But Wally  didn't just teach economics.  He taught those of us who wished to know how to write English too.  Adaption I wrote in an essay on inflation. 'There is no such word, it is adaptation.' In one essay, for reasons now lost but probably something to do with seventeen-year-old obtuseness, I changed from Roman font to italic. 'What is the meaning of this, boy?' In another essay, Theory of Distribution, my notes show that MRP=Price x MPP, which might be fine if you know the meaning of MPP.  But there is also something called ARP, and my notes shed no light on this.  But we had to draw a graph of something which is now mysterious.  I got my ARP's and MRP's misspelled, and they came out as APR and MPR.  'It is not April, and there is no such month as Mprch, boy.'  So I think it was partly Wally's economics, and partly his teaching me to write, that got me through.  Other teachers also did that, but strangely it was rarely the English teachers.  J D Anderson was another stickler.  What would Wally think now if he looked in my dictionary and saw adaption sitting on the page?  It's a word I have always refused to use, so I did learn something.

FROM DAVE POSTLES  1960-67   A couple of points relating to OWT112.  Whilst it is true that technically it was necessary to decide in 5A between German and geography, it was permissible to take German formally and geography informally, which is what I decided.  It involved taking only a couple of classes with WAG Pace, otherwise it was just private study from the text book.  As for French literature, I recall only two of the five texts: Moliere (J-B Poquelin) Les Femmes Savantes, with a brief diversion into L'Avare with George, and A Chamson, Les Hommesde la Route.  Incidentally, January 2022 marks the 400th anniversary of Poquelin's birth.  In retrospect, I wish I had been more attentive to Les Hommes.

AN APOLOGY   Ken Ward points out that I omitted a very important word (SMALLEST) from his contribution in OWT112.  The question was: there are two cats sitting on a tin roof.  Which cat will fall off first? Answer:  the one with the SMALLEST mu.  Mu is the coefficient of friction, so the cat with the SMALLEST mu would slip off first.

OBITUARY   I have heard that Eric Orton passed away, but have no further details.  Eric was a teacher when I was at CBS, I remember him well.

FROM ALAN PYKETT   I am enjoying Ken Ward's memoirs very much, but must point out an error and will be surprised of other readers do not pick up on it.  It concerns classes in the sixth form.  Ken states the three classes were graded according to ability.  This is incorrect.  6S1 and 6A1 were the first years' sixth form, irrespective of ability.  Following on, 6S2 and 6A2 were the second year sixth forms.  There were also 6S3 and 6A3.  I suspect these were made up of pupils who had taken their 'O'levels after four years, and 'A' levels after six years instead of five and seven respectively, having no doubt come through the Alpha stream.  I suispect the final year for them was preparing for entry to Oxbridge, where most were destined to carry on their studies.

KEN'S RESPONSE   Alan is correct.  I was definitely in 6S1 and then 6S2, as witnessed in a form photo.  I was keen to say that 6S1 and 6S2 were split into groups, depending on the potential for further academic progression after secondary school.  My memory, which has some flaws, put me in Group 3 (But it could have been Group 2)  I believe my timetable was set to allow me not to take on extra non-science lessons in an attempt to maximise 'A' level grades.

FROM STEVE MELLOR  1960-66  Steve writes:This is not exactly a school experience, but it does involve a ex-pupils.  Andy has approved the article.
 Reading Andy Howes' article in OWT112 reminded me of an occasion when we were visited by the Leicester Constabulary, of which Andy was one of the team on this occasion.  In 1976 I returned from a two-year stint of contracting in Oman with a bulging wallet and not much idea what to do with my earnings, or myself.  This was a long, hot dry summer and, as I had taken to frequenting the French Revolution wine bar in the city centre most evenings, it made some sense to invest in  it.  So I became a 49% shareholder.  The bar was situated in a small cul-de-sac, Granby Place, almost opposite the old Picture House cinema and behind Elizabeth the Chef bakery shop.  We ran on a club licence, enabling us to stay open way after pub chucking out time, and whilst our ambience and good food attracted some Leicester 'celebrities' it also attracted some less savoury characters, as they could carry on drinking after the pubs had closed.
This less desireable element did cause more than a small amount of trouble, and by the middle of the year we had experienced a few rather serious situations.  These included a melee with some USAF airmen from Alconbury, and a man who tried to force his way in brandishing a shotgun!  Inevitably such activities led to a visit from the police on the evening in question.  We were quizzed on some of our practices to avoid proper club rules, such as providing on the spot membership for anyone handing over a cash payment (illegal) as well as failing to follow established disciplinary and control practices (We simply employed our own muscle)  Andy approached me and suggested that, to avoid becoming too deeply implicated in the issues raised, I should fade into the background or leave - Andy being a cousin of mine.  I informed him that, as co-owner, I was prevented from doing this.  He and his colleagues proceeded to inform us of the dubious nature of all those who had fallen foul of the law - well over 50% of those in the place at the time!
Such visits were repeated on a number of occasions for the rest of the summer - without Andy - persuading several clients to stay away, but the final nail in our coffin was a visit by the Fire Department.  We were informed the numbers present far exceeded what we were licenced for, as was the case with most discos and clubs back then, and any further transgressions would result in us being closed down.  Keeping to the legal limit killed the atmosphere, as well as being financially unviable, so later in the year we sold the business to a man who had been involved in nefarious IRA activities.  He was certainly not the type the police would have chosen!  I left Leicester shortly afterwards so don't know how things went, but the next time I was in the city the place was closed down.

FROM KEN WARD 1959-66   Second year sixth, part one   (Ken's memoirs continued.  I am splitting this contribution into two parts - Ed) At this point I was to move a fourth time., but this was to a brand new school in Downing Drive on the other side of town.  As I write this next part of my experiences the 'new' school has been demolished whilst the original building is still standing.  They don't build them like that any more!  Don't get me wrong, it was a great improvement but with a mixture of ups and downs.  The Vestry Street baths were a loss, but the great expanse of green grass for soccer, rugby and cricket more than made up for it.  The building with history was replaced by nice airy classrooms, a glazed gym and laboratories.  Another good point was the already-established girls' school next door, and during break we could chat with them over the fence.
My journey to school, now by two buses or six miles by bike, was a negative, but it would only be for one year.  I don't recall it being a problem, nor do I remember missing the school bus into town and having to catch a Corporation bus which would result in a lateness mark.  It also meant we could not hang around with friends at the end of the afternoon and grab a coffee in the small cafe in Charles Street.  Nor could we visit the bakers to see if they had any half price 'stales'.  This is when education was becoming serious.  This was the time you took your 'A' levels.  I had chosen to take maths, physics and chemistry.  Would this change of environment and travel have an impact on my learning?
I remained in the lower grade of 6S2 with about a dozen others.  Although I believed I was progressing well I would often get a knock back, especially when I thought I was a bit of a know all.  One of my favourite teachers was John Lawson.  Throughout my time at the school he was my physics teacher and football coach.  On many occasions I offered enthusiastic answers to his questions.  I was always spontaneous, and tended to be quick off the mark.  This might have been a fault or a good point, I don't know which.   On many occasions he would reply, 'Ward, a great answer but wrong - full credit, but no marks.'  I have used this mantra in design meetings throughout my working life.  I think most people found it funny, not insulting.
I owe my career to John Lawson.  One day, during a physics practical, he asked if I had made my choice of university.  I said I didn't think it was for me, and I would probably work in a bank.  He said I should still apply, then decide later on.  In the ensuing rush to decide how to apply, I had little time to choose exactly which subjects and universities.  A short meeting with Mr Bell helped me with which courses and universities to select, but that was it.  There was no further discussion, and no time to conduct any research as to what was entailed.  So, thanks to John Lawson, I applied.  Once the UCAS form had been completed the challenge had been set  (To  be continued - Ed)

FROM MALCOLM SAVAGE  1963-70  (This item is copied from our facebook page - Ed)  Just to say I will be seventy years of age on February 5th, and would like to send good wishes to all my old classmates who will also reach seventy this year.  Roger Feam, Tim Lynch, Michael Mann, Stefan Kanieowski, Phil Perkins, Michael Walsh, Mark Giles, Stuart Blackman, Rod Waterfield, Steve Peberdy, Andrew Newton, Tony Rawlinson, Paul Disney, Denis Hubbard, Tony Parkinson, Tim Bastock, David Varney, Les Brewin, Keith Edwards, Snowy Thornton, Tim Souter, Steve Papworth and not forgetting my brother Pat. 

AND FINALLY...   After Brian had arranged for the storage unit, Stephanie and I needed to move our share of the memorabilia to South Wigston.  Brian suggested we meet at a midway point for lunch, and we chose  The Hartley Arms at Wheaton Aston.  Whilst we were loading our car the previous day we thought we saw a little mouse.  But a search did not reveal anything, so it was put down to imagination.  Most of the items had been stored in what we call the Top Shed, and admittedly I had come across mice in there on a couple of occasions.  Anyway, after a most convivial lunch we transferred our goods to Brian's car, and went our different ways.  Next day Brian got in touch to say he had unwittingly transported a family of four mice to Cosby!  They were released into the garden, and hopefully they settled in well after their adventure.  But on a serious note, it does show it was the right decision to arrange for safe storage.

Dennis J Duggan  1959-64
January 7th 2022