and some poignant email correspondence between Kester Roberts and the late David Roberts in Japan....
I thought the attached photo of the Priceans who attended annual CCF
camp at RAF Ternhill in 1959 might be worth a place in your archive.
Names (as far as I can remember) are L to R,
David (Nobby) Crosby-Clarke Mike Smyth Blair Oliphant Tom Clague Gomer Skym John(?) Randall David Ellis Flt.Lt. Louie Chapman
??? ??? Kester Roberts ??? Ron Vinall ??? Sgt. Marcus Miller Camp fire fighter(!)
GREAT SENSE OF HUMOUR AND MY SECOND FAVOURITE
MASTER. GREAT AT EXPLAINING NEBULOUS LITERARY THOUGHTS. QUIET LUNCHTIME
TOPER AT (WAS IT?) THE SUN WITH HYLTON, H-JONES ETC
Garton: "Gunga". Maths, botany. First master I had, form 2B, 1953.
Thinning ginger hair, reputation as a stickler but didn't seem too bad. The formclubbed together and bought him a Xmas present - box of Maltesers and a fly deflector for his car bonnet.
INCREDIBLY STILTED AND POMPOUS MASTER, AND EASILY GUYED IN CLASS.
Hilton: Tom. Chemistry. Often popped out of the lab for a fag and returned
to find a fog. Avuncular. Had one of the first sleek Vauxhall Velox's,
often seen outside the Sun Inn.
I WOULD HAVE LIKED TO HAVE HAD HILTON AFTER THE 4TH - BUT I WENT INTO VI
ARTS THEN. HE HAD A BREADTH AND SENSE OF HUMOUR WELL ABOVE THE AVERAGE, AND ONCE HELPED ME ALMOST UNCONSCIOUSLY AT A VERY DIFFICULT TIME. HOPE I CAN SEE HIM AT THE NEXT MEETING.
Howard-Jones: "Taffy". History. All seeing, on account of eyes which looked
in different directions. Could be made to laugh, e.g. when he described the
Kaiser in the Balkans having his sword drawn, "and what was he going to
do with it?" , Tregunna shouted out "cut rhubarb". This was when rhubarb
was the fashionable funny word. Drove a black Morris Oxford.
DIDN'T LIKE QUESTIONS OUTSIDE THE SYLLABUS - AND WAS NO LEADER OF MEN ON
FIELD DAY. MODEL FOR APTHORPE - HIS DRILL WAS LUDICROUSLY DIGNIFIED.
'BEST-OFF' MASTER - HAD A HOUSE OVERLOOKING THE CREEK. DIDN'T HE BUY AN
UPMARKET WYVERN AFTER TOM BOUGHT HIS STANDARD VELOX?
Howe: "Isiah", allegedly because one eye was higher than the other.
Taught RI. Slightly shabby appearance, but well liked.
MY CLASS WAS ALWAYS RATHER AFRAID OF HIS TEMPER, BUT HE WOULD EASILY GET
LED OFF THE SYLLABUS AND I REMEMBER A LOT OF FUN TIMES WITH HIM.
Iredale: "Dog" (inevitably). Physics. Seemed young and dynamic.
Motorcycled to school on a Francis-Barnett. Took photos of the form at work; proud
of his boys.
I THINK HE CAME IN 1957, AND I LEFT IN THE SUMMER OF 1958. SEEMED TO BE
A NEW TYPE OF TOUCHY-FEELY MASTERS (LIKE THAT PT MASTER (THOMSON?)). OLDER BOYS LOOKED DOWN ON HIM, I';M AFRAID
Royds-Jones: Ted. Known as "Wick" for his tales of
in Wick, Scotland. Doubled as the curate at the parish church of St. Peter
and Paul. My first lesson from him was RI, where he explained the meaning
of grace, but he mainly took physics. Often abandoned lessons with the
excuse "I must go and bury somebody" and cycled furiously off across the
school field. A true eccentric, but full of energy, appearing on "Jim'll fix
it" in 1984 to go gliding at the age of 80. Made me put my finger in a mains
socket to see if it was live (it wasn't) - claimed his fingers to too dry and
chalky to tell. Bulldozer knocked down the end of the temporary wooden
physics lab (the Wick hut) as he was lecturing.
WE CALLED HIM 'THE WICK' BUT I NEVER KNEW ABOUT THE SCOTTISH ORIGIN OF
THE NICKNAME. USED TO CHANGE HIS TRUNKS (NO JOCKSTRAP) IN FRONT OF YOU ON THE SPORTS FIELD
Shaw: Bert. Deputy head. Latin and Geography. A bit on the firm side;
an establishment figure. Rarely seen without his chalk dusted black gown.
BURNT OUT CASE BY MY TIME, HAD BEEN A BIT OF A CRICKETER BUT HAD A GAMMY
KNEE, LAZY IN CLASS AND HATED QUESTIONS - I'LL NEVER FORGET HIM PUTTING
ME DOWN ONCE ON A VERY SENSIBLE QUESTION; NEVER ASKED HIM ANOTHER QUESTION.
HIS FAVOURITE TERM OF ABUSE WAS 'SILLY ARSE!'
TO BE FAIR WHEN I WAS ONCE UMPIRING AT SHORT LEG, HE CALLED OUT 'GOOD
CALL' WHICH BUCKED ME NO END - BUT HE WOULDN'T LET ME UMPIRE COLTS...
ONCE HE ASKED ME IN FRONT OF THE SCHOOL HOUSE SOCCER TEAM WHY I WAS SUCH A DUFFER AT SPORTS (I WAS A PREFECT AT THE TIME). I SAID IT WAS PROBABLY
BECAUSE I HAD NO EXPERIENCE OF GAMES BEFORE PRICE'S, AND NOT ONE SECOND
OF COACHING IN ANY SPORT IN THE 8 YEARS I WAS THERE. HE WENT BERSERK AND
TRIED TO CUFF ME...
Siney: Bill. Tall, freshman. French lessons a speciality. Short fuse, but nice with it. Accidentally smashed his fist through the wooden partition alongside the roomful of noisy form 5B lads when attempting to restore order. Blushed furiously when revealing his first pair of glasses to
VAGUELY REMEMBER THE NAME...
Smith: "Smudge". Maths/ additional maths. Slight figure, grey
walked with a limp supported by the wooden partition. Too kind for proper
discipline, except when pushed to the limit, when he announced that "if anybody else starts talking, Smythe will get a detention" .
NOTORIOUSLY SOFT MASTER, NEVER TAUGHT ME.
Thacker, HRT. English, and an enthusiastic grammarian. Used to brutally
bash boys' bonces with the largest book he could find.
MY ABSOLUTE HERO FROM IA TO THE FIRST YEAR SIXTH, GREAT TEACHER AND
AMAZINGLY WIDE KNOWLEDGE, AND SO FUNNY! BUT HE WAS INCREDIBLY VICIOUS
IF SPURNED, AND WHEN I DECLINED TO ACT AS PACING HORSE TO OXFORD FOR AN
OLDER BOY HE DID EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO INJURE MY OWN CHANCES THERE. LONG A HATE FIGURE...
Thompson: Willie. Young, fit PT instructor + English. Possessed a ginger
suit, and became known as a hairy angora trouser enthusiast (H.A.T.E.).
Gave Nobby and me "Good" for PT ability and diligence, despite us skiving
off every lesson during the whole of one term.
TOUCHY-FEELY FROM LOUGHBOROUGH SCHOOL OF PT (AND LAUGHABLY PROUD OF HIS CERTIFICATE). GOOD PREPARATION FOR ARMY PE SADISTS.
Gosh! I hope all these negative feelings coming out are therapeutic, for
me if not you.
Keep in touch
Apologies for the long message.