Monday, 23 July 2018

Tuesday 23rd July 1968

Tuesday 23rd July 1968 was a day of sadness for some as time was called on 'the Class of 68' and the strapping 18 year olds prepared to face the big wide world outside the gates of Purley Grammar School.

The day dawned damp and cloudy, in keeping with the rest of that turgid summer, but the planned cricket 6-a-side competition went ahead in the morning. This was followed by a last lunch in the Junior Hall, appropriately spam fritters, and a final assembly and rendering of Hymn 350, 'Now Thank We all our God', in the Main Hall, led by the Revd Bernard Holt and accompanied by one of the school music maestros, Ian Curror and David Brookshaw. Then it was farewell to friends and colleagues over the past 7-8 years, and a sad final walk to the bus stop to catch the 4.13pm 190 bus to Coulsdon and home. We had one last evening of drinks and a singsong at Parson's Pightle to look forward to, but our time at Purley was now well and truly over!  

What have we all done over the past 50 years, who made their fortune and who didn't? For some, we are about to find out as 'the Class of 68' hold a 50 year reunion in central London in late November. You can be sure that the restaurant will be full of reminiscing about Stachak, Vic Gilbert, Arthur Jewitt, and the games of ludo in Room 9. Watch this space for a full report before Christmas!"   

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

A gem from 1991 for the end of Term

Happy Days ( you might have another opinion )

Monday, 2 July 2018

Les Blythe and the Cricket team 1980

Neil Baker - Looks like Wayne Pascal front row 2nd in and possibly Brian Parkinson middle front row ? summer 1980 ?

Adrian Price - Yes, Bryan Parkinson middle front. David Ottewell on his left. Recognise others but names escape me. My year at PB so 79/80 ish

Rod Bird - 80/81 Les Blyth, B.Row Stephen Kelly, F Row Carlton Lee, Andrew Tubb. Andy Tubb

Neil Baker - - Nope rod....not kolten Lee Defo Wayne Pascal...

John Sutherland and the Rugby team - 1984/5/6 ?

Some comments on the names and date above - author in bold text

Jeff Sweetman 5th Year team. About 1986 I think. Alastair Montgomery holding the rugby ball. Warren Potter 2nd from the right back row


Paul Robinson More like 1983/4. Amongst others: Chris Manley, James Skinner, Warren Potter, Andy Agard, Nigel Harper, Campbell Kilpatrick, Alistair Montgomery, Dave Hoskyns, Paul Robinson, Andy Speller.

Mark Ellis Middle row, far left. Geoff Reynolds?

Simon Porter Not sure, James Skinner, Warren Potter, Ian Roberts, Geoff Reynolds, Andy Agard, Ian Lambert?, Michael Royal, Nigel Harper, Simon Jones, Ellsworth Russel, Campbell Kilpatrick, Alister Montgomery, Dave Hoskyns, Paul Robinson, Speller?

Alister Storey Bottom left Simon Jones bloody madman!

Sunday, 1 July 2018

David Bottomley cricket memories

David Bottomley has this wonderful memory of a cricket match back in 1983...

click the photo to see it full size.

I can remember playing in this match very clearly.

It was nearing the end of the summer term in 1981 and Jewitt had somehow made its way to the final of the 4th year House cricket competition.

We had no right to be there. The team - largely made up of enthusiastic but talent-free playground sloggers – had stumbled its way through the first two rounds, pulling off miraculous victories against Birchall and Wight by defending ludicrously low scores of around 20 runs.

Although we gave ourselves no hope against Dorsett – the favourites, with their line-up of what seemed like half of the school team – we were determined to give it our best shot.

It was a glorious summer day. Exams were over, the long holiday was looming and the mood was carefree.

Mr Sutherland conducted the toss and Richard Orr, Jewitt’s captain, called it correctly. He elected to bat first, as we did for the first two matches. Why break a winning formula, especially against the likes of Dorsett? Better to give them something to chase rather than let their talented batsmen smack our journeymen bowlers all over the place to set an impossible target.

And so we started. Could we pull off another upset?
I loved playing in the House competitions.

I was an enthusiastic but not hugely talented sportsman. As far as representing the School was concerned, my skills allowed me to play for a woefully bad rugby Second XV– and that was it.

That was why the House competition was such a joy – there was so much more satisfaction to be had playing in matches that mattered rather than meaningless games lesson face-offs or playground kickabouts.

And having the chance to play competitively in sports which I had little experience of - such as hockey - was a thrill.

It was even a pleasure to take part and not do terribly well – which was what happened more often than not in the first two years of my school career.

Jewitt – led by the affable but not hugely inspiring Mr Mitchelmore – always seemed to finish in fourth place. We weren’t especially good or bad at anything, it seemed. Not blessed with many outstanding sportsmen, we tried hard, but never achieved much.

Which is why the occasional first place was so fantastic. What could be better than a group of fairly talentless lads pulling together to work as a team that was capable of more than the sum of their parts?

However, when I reached the Lower 6th, something miraculous happened: the also-rans of Jewitt became all-conquering juggernauts. For the next 2 years, we seemed to win everything.

I’m not sure what happened.

Some of it was undoubtedly down to Mr Thomson, who replaced Mr Mitchelmore as our House Master. Mr Thomson was an incredibly nice man, whose infectious enthusiasm generated a certain confidence among the Jewitt boys.

Part of it was also getting into the winning habit. Success breeds success, and the more we won, the greater our self-belief.

There were many highlights in those final two years, but the one I remember most clearly was the final of the 6th year rugby competition.

Jewitt had made its way imperiously to the final where we played Birchall, the other hot favourites. Both teams had their share of school players – we had the likes of Martin Bazley, Alex Montgomery, Allan Curtis and Gareth Oliver, while Birchall had Howard Jones, Brough Slatter, Gary Steele and more.

It was an incredibly tight, low-scoring match, with the decisive try coming very late on when (I think) Roy Shivmangel breached the Birchall line.

When the final whistle was blown, the satisfaction was huge. A moment of sporting ecstasy that lives long in the memory.
Back to the final of the 4th year cricket competition, and somehow Jewitt had amassed a decent total.

Our 62 runs was more than twice what we had managed to score in either of the previous rounds and gave our bowlers a chance.

Very early in the Dorsett innings, we got the wicket of school captain Mark (?) Porter. At that moment, we thought we were going to win. “We can do this,” was the collective cry.

But Stuart Kilpatrick stayed resolute, occupying the crease and quickly picking off the runs. He took Dorsett past our total with plenty of overs to spare.

Were we disappointed? A little, for sure.

But there was also great satisfaction to be had in knowing that we had done far, far better than we should have done.

Is there anything sweeter in life than the unexpected sporting success?

Fas et Patria

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