TO GRAHAM – from his friends of Price’s School
As we have heard, a man with many interests, but running through his life were memories from our school time at Price’s. He joined in 1956, exchanging his canary yellow cap of Lysses for the dark blue and silver Lion of Price’s.
New boys were allocated to one of 4 Houses in some arcane system, but not with a Hogwarts type ceremony. Graham joined Westbury.
Like the rest of us, he worked through the unique traditions of the Trust School. Our progress was noted in the ‘Lion’ magazine every term. Basic mentions were in SALVETE when we started, VALETE when we left, and EXAMINATIONS RESULTS as they occurred - then ’O’ and ‘A’ levels, plus University acceptances – limited in those days.
Graham achieved further mentions – the Latin prize in the ‘O’ level year of 1959, and for appearances in House Teams for cricket, and especially hockey where he was Captain of the Juniors. These sporting activities involved extra attendances on the school’s sloping gamesfield, so we viewed with admiration but not envy! ‘
Mentioned, not by name, but by inclusion in the report of another Geography expedition with Mr Chaffey - in early March 1961. An ambitious week based at the Malham Tarn Field Centre. Dubbed by us – malHAM, Gateway to the north. Our dismay at the wintry weather in Yorkshire, was only tempered by the presence of another group – from Skipton Girls Grammar School. We remained in contact for some time.
Eventually reaching the pinnacle of VI Arts, We Form-mates bonded which has endured through our lives. While most of us have moved around, working & living, Graham kept in touch, here from Fareham. In a professional capacity, he acted twice in selling successive homes to my parents. My mother was heard to say – “what a nice man” – high praise from her.
In our retirement years, we have seen more of each other. Exchanging & supporting through medical afflictions, and other challenges which come with these years;. Particularly, the loss of Graham’s wife, Jan, now nearly ten years ago.
On recent Remembrance Sunday, I was pleased to join with him & others in the Prices Old Boys Society reading -out the list of fallen of Fareham at the Trinity Church Memorial Service. Something, he had done for several years.
I had this note from another Old Pricean just 2 days ago.............
“He was one of those people who cropped up every ‘now and then’ through life, and who I was always pleased to see when we encountered each other. Sad that he has gone”.
Our last lunch meet, was on December 15th, & Graham, a raconteur, always entertaining, was bubbling with his recent activities – and plans for the year ahead..
Graham, enthusiastic, trusting, good-hearted.
After 66 years of friendship, his sudden passing, is ???????, leaving an empty seat at our table.
Graham - We miss you.
I thought that you'd be interested in the fact that I participated in the Lying-in-State walk to pay my respects to our exemplary late Queen Elizabeth II from the milling crowds of Southwark Park, Bermondsey right through to the utter silence of the Westminster Hall setting 2 weeks ago today commencing at 2 pm and exiting onto Parliament Square at 5.30 am the following morning, fortunately enjoying the warm daytime sunshine of the early miles, although a stiff breeze off the River could prove cutting along some of the more open stretches of the South Bank, so thankfully it remained dry throughout, unlike one previous 24 hrs.
Not that we were pre-warned of constant halts in our progress along the route, only being informed by the media of the queue's timeframe ( eg. 3 or 5 hrs at the time of my managing to book a return Nat. Express coach from Fareham) supposedly to allow time for those ahead to de-congest and make quicker headway. For instance, having passed the HofP on the opposite bank, we were stopped on reaching Lambeth Bridge, our crossing point, for 45 mins while apparently the W. Hall's floor was being washed and dried at 3 am and, once over the Bridge, before entering the Victoria Tower Gdns (where many a political interview is filmed) another 20 min. halt to enable the coffin guard-of-honour was relieved to allow for rehearsal-time ahead of the State Funeral only 2 days later, a total nearing 3 hrs stationary.
Unfortunately, I had a heavy fall in the 5th and last 20-30 row 'Snake' (N/S parallel 'obstacles') but 4/5 stocky types rushed-in to put me back on my feet but after a decent breather, I couldn't locate my wallet in my suit jacket and despite, a search, a mature volunteer Boy Scout did take my details in the event of its being handed-in. This accident, due to a combination of oncoming tiredness/lack of fitness immediately preceded an armed-guard security search as per airports today, then all conversation suddenly ceased as we climbed the long, steep staircase before turning L. to witness the culmination of our journey, the quite overwhelming 3D-like panorama, familiar from our TV pictures but enhanced many times in the reality of the sheer colour and grandeur yet virtual stillness centred upon the tall central coffin mounting that we all had experienced to faithfully thank our loyal Monarch for her decades of dutiful service. Of course,we all had only brief seconds stationary to convey our thoughts but everyone almost without exception took a parting look back at the never-to-be-forgotten scene as they climbed back up to external ground level as natural daylight was beginning to flood the scene as the crowds resumed discussing their loaded impressions to last a lifetime.
I had been accompanied throughout by a Finnish PR girl. Alisa, successfully working in London for 3 yrs, I heard and I learned more abut her country and the long national border with Putin's Russia prompting swift entry into the protective NATO Alliance.
And of my wallet? Nothing, of course, but I blagged a bus journey across to Victoria and got them to duplicate my already-self-postponed late-night return coach to Fareham where arriving lunchtime, I instructed my Bank to stop my cards - "Yes, Sir, replacements will be with you i n 5-8 working days"
Well, Michael, those 8 days were up yesterday!