Saturday, 25 January 2020

Dave Reynolds - LVI Mod, 1959–60

Dave Reynolds has sent in this wonderful photo from 1959. 

"When I was in the lower VI form (LVIMod) I snatched a some of shots, with my ancient camera. The prints were lost in a house move decades ago and I thought the negatives had gone as well, but they have now been returned to me by my ex-wife, who must have been having a bit of a clear out. The quality is frankly terrible. They’re all I have.
I must emphasise that the image quality falls well below the sort of quality we expect from modern devices. For what they’re worth, here they are.

The group shot was taken atop one of the air-raid shelters that were still a feature of the school playing fields. It was forbidden to try an enter these and anyway the entrances were locked or blocked. It was possible to peep inside and just make out a jumble of old desks and other academic detritus.

In the back row, from left to right, I can identify Roger Brine, then a don’t know, part hidden behind him, then Giles I think, stooping under the 'NOTICE’, then Mike Hill, a don’t know, Dave Wise (wearing ‘FILLETS’ sign) (with a don’t know hidden behind him), Steve Rhodes (looking to his right), followed by three more don’t know/can’t remembers. Seated or squatting is Chris Holman. The various posters and pieces of printed matter were probably items ‘taken' as souvenirs.

We mainly knew each other by surname in those days, so some of the first names are not known to me.

LVI Mod, 1959–60
Archard Mick
Brine Roger
Burns Terry
Chadd Ray
Durell Phil
Frost Chris
Giles Dave
Hill Mike
Holman Chris
Mytton Graham
Ockenden Dick
Porter Vic
Pow Chris
Reynolds Dave
Rhodes Steve
Wise Dave

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Laurence Howell writes from Alaska

Here is an email written by Laurence Howell to Richard Mant recently. It is published with permission.
Anchorage Alaska, December 10th. 2019
Dear Richard –
I doubt you will remember me (!) , as I wasn’t an avid Rugby player but still recall you as my favorite form master and seeing photos of the Silver Washed brought back a smile –
I think the last time I saw you was on the stairs to the form room, and I think you had just announced you were engaged – it’s a little foggy!
I was an the first of the unwashed from Woodcote secondary and moved to Purley much against my will and it was a tough time academically to be upheaved. I know talking to Anthony Short who you may remember as head boy, that getting into the new “comprehensive” processes’ whist maintaining the history and qualities of Purley Grammar must have been difficult to pupils and staff alike.
I really didn’t shine at all there and really it wasn’t into my 20’s I guess that I become more of an academic – talk about a late developer!!
The broads trip I remember with you was driving your Land Rover back down after the trip, and we got rear ended somewhere in London – You were concerned about Simon Jarman and myself  first, but on finding we were unhurt got out of the Landy, walked to the back and talked to the driver whose bashed in front was gently hissing and steaming – it was a short conversation – you inspected the back, got back in, and said “only knocked the mud off the tow hitch from the last climb, but he came off far worse” – with a chuckle.
Wandering and tacking up the Yare and Bure and other rivers, reefs and or out,  remains a highlight of my time at Purley, that and Bens...thank you.
I left Purley in 74 after O levels, joined BT (or the Post office) apprenticeship scheme and worked in Purley and Croydon telephone exchange, but then my life took a solid 90 degree bend and I was seconded to the Natural Environment Research council and spent a number of Winters and summers in Antarctica, contracted with the British Antarctic survey doing communications and earth sciences, then still on secondment joined Sir Ranulph Fiennes Transglobe expedition and helped up in the North Pole area.  Back to BT now in Croydon, then transferred to the International satellite side of the business up in Scotland where I was based off and on for near 15 years.
Later in 82 I was asked to return to Antarctica due to some fatalities, and it was just at the waning part of the hostilities.  Since then I have continued to work as Base commander or science officer with Sir Ran, and another Croydon local, Dr.  Mike Stroud on probably 20 more expeditions, and as a consultant or purveyor of harsh environment radio systems for the military or science groups .
We just celebrated the 40th anniversary of the start of the Transglobe expedition at a reunion at the Royal Geographical Society...and we continue to plan and execute more daring doos though we are all getting a little creakier.
Ive been with this oil company now for coming on 35 years, and now aged 62, and though I hold the BLUFF card high, apparently no one can read...  Ive managed to live and travel in some very interesting countries over the period, but Im now wheels down here in Alaska, and think this is where we will stay – Im married to a local girl Sheri whose grandparents were early homesteaders here. We are at grandchild no 9.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

3rd form basketball tournament result 1969

A gem from the past - I hope Ian Froggett gets to read this. He probably cannot recall ever playing basketball and even less outscoring the Oxford Basketball Blue Paul Masters.

Fas et Patria

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