Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Mike Davies' funeral

Mike Davies' funeral will be at 3pm on Monday 5 November in the East Chapel at Croydon Crematorium, organised by Tandridge Borough Council in the absence of any so-far traceable next-of-kin.  However, the Rev Malcolm Newman (ex Purley Boys) has volunteered to preside.  

Any ex-pupils or staff  are welcome to attend.


Moss 1B 2B 3B 4W 4W L6R L6S U6S said...

I am sorry to read of Michael Davies’s death. My memories of him are only fleeting, but as no one else has commented, my contribution may be better than nothing.

I had a fairly ghastly time at PGS. In 1972, when Mr Davies first came to the school, I was in the never-to-be-repeated L6 Remove, re-taking an assortment of GCEs, including English Literature. The teachers had a pretty low expectation of me – an expectation I happily fulfilled and which also was reciprocated! Yet Mr Davies was excellent. One of the set books was Pygmalion, and his impersonation of Eliza Doolittle’s accent had us (alright, it may only have been me) howling. He was also keen to pick up on clever jokes – especially those which involved some degree of word-play. This was one of the few occasions at PGS when a teacher actually inspired me to want to learn something – and I did!

After L6R, I stayed on at PGS for two more years, but Mr Davies never taught me again, and our conversations were restricted to greetings when passing in the corridor. Was he Head of Lower School or something similar?

Some ten years later, I was a Police Sergeant at Caterham and came across Michael – although I can’t remember why. (No, he wasn’t in bother.) I think he lived alone in one of the houses off Valley Road. He appeared surprized (maybe even concerned) at being recognised, but we chatted and smiled, and promised to meet again sometime. Of course, it never happened, and, having moved to North Yorkshire in 1986, I never met him again.

I am aware that as an epitaph this is fairly scanty. Yet, from a very mixed bag of PGS memories, I will fondly remember Michael as one of the few teachers whose teaching and company I appreciated at the time. For me, that’s rather important.

John Francis Moss (1967-1974.)

Anonymous said...

From Paul Timblick (1978 - 1982)

I was very saddened to hear of Mr Davies' passing. As Cross-Country Captain for two years and general running nut, I came as close to 'knowing' him as any other boy, but he was not a man who'd ever lower his guard over personal matters, despite our numerous long runs over the Downs, including Christmas Day! He struck me as a loner, but also a gentleman with strong principles, a decent teacher without the melodramatics and madness of some other Purley Boys' masters, and most importantly, he was a bloody good runner!

I regret not trying to track him down. I imagine he had countless stories to tell from the fell-running days, but he never liked to talk about those times; perhaps there was some bad blood there. Fell runners from his day were extremely serious about their sport and internal divisions (over professionalism) almost destroyed the sport in the 1970s. I really hope he didn't carry any of that anger with him to the grave.

Mr Davies was inspirational and those bulging, mud-spattered calf muscles will not be forgotten!

Rest in Peace.

Fas et Patria

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