Janus

December 1996


The Newsletter of the
Woolverstone Hall Old Boys Association

Editor: Roger Friend

2 Fleetway, Thorpe, Surrey, TW20 8UA, UK (Tel 01932 564432)





EDITORIAL

I enjoy looking back through old correspondence, files, publications, school memorabilia etc and I am sure that many of you also enjoy it. Why not share items that you may have, amongst those forgotten collections put in the attic for posterity, by donating them to the archive? The correspondence that Ken Radford (Berners 66/73) presented, reported in the last Janus, included a letter to his mother confirming that he had been accepted at Woolverstone, school reports and notices that he had removed from notice boards during his stay, giving a documented record of his time there.

The last issue of Janus prompted a good postbag, probably the best ever, from around the Old Woolverstonian network. I am particularly indebted to Peter Silvey (Hansons 66/73) for his highly amusing 13 page letter, with photos, of which you will see several references. It is always a pleasure to hear from OWs and it has the added benefit of bringing in some cash and a few more standing order mandates. Keep them coming as the OBA does need a cashflow to maintain its viability. Graham Lassiter (Hansons 50s), who has been enjoying winter temperatures around 19 celsius, managed to get a couple of donations from the ex pats but would like a few more. He suggests that our motto undergoes a change to reflect the financial situation, Nisi Librum Vanum (Without cash all is in vain). Would a classics scholar care to confirm the translation?

Leslie Johnston, housemaster, assistant head and one of the founding fathers of the school, is not very well following surgery and has been in a nursing home. His daughter Meroe wrote to say that he was 81 in August but that he still managed to "wolf down cake and chocolates". I know that I speak for you all when I wish him a speedy recovery.




RADIO 4

Chance of a Lifetime, a thirty minute programme on Woolverstone Hall is scheduled to be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 FM on Friday 20 December. The producer and the researcher, Sue Summers, cousin of Keith Pittel (Corners 59/66) and sister in law of Rudi Eichler (Johnstons 55/60), have interviewed several OWs. They have also visited the school and seen the display and the archive.




HOT NEWS

Nicholas Evans (Johnstons 73/79) became a father for the second time on 13 September, to a daughter Ceri Morgan. His brother Phil Evans (Johnstons 70/77) wrote from Canberra and included a couple of newspaper cuttings. One from the Sun-Herald was the first page of the results of the 14km Sydney City to Surf race, in which there were 45,000 entries and 38,433 recorded finishes. Phil says that he is sure that the first OW over the line was John Dawlings, who was 72nd and well ahead of the only other known OW, Phil himself, who finished 1,270th, within the hour but about 12 minutes after John. There must have a large bunch finishing at about the same time as Phil and the timekeeper used speed writing to record the names. Phil appeared in the paper as EVNS PHILIP! John Dawlings also won the New South Wales veterans half marathon on 29 September. Does Fred Walmesley (Johnstons 50s), a good schoolboy distance runner, still compete in Australia?

The other cutting was from the Canberra Times of 4 August, entitled Writers and Their Rooms, which featured Alan Gould talking about his study, a sparsely furnished room, which holds no association that it has been the site of memorable achievement. Alan said that he and his family moved to the house in 1987 and that he has completed six or seven books here, including his most successful novels to date, "To the Burning City" and "Close Ups". He is quoted as saying "When something is finished, you have that glowing exhilaration that all that demoralising work as it began, and the thrill of the last third of the race, is now over".

The name Jonathon Dynevor (Hansons 66/73) appeared on the closing credits of Prime Suspect 5, a whodunnit based in Manchester. The credit was spotted by Mrs Peter Silvey. Can anyone confirm, or deny that it was our own Josh Dynevor? In the meantime, spotted by Simon Wright (Halls 69/76), Steve Singleton (Halls 69/76), who lives on the banks of the River Deben in Woodbridge, has played in two charity gigs at the local Seckford Arms. Simon reports that he is "most definitely an amateur", but what does Steve play at these gigs?

John Zeffert (Johnstons 70/77) wrote to say that he had bumped into Sean Kelleher (Hansons 69/76) a few years back and recalls that he was coaching Streatham and Croydon Rugby Club. He went on to remark that Adrian Thompson (Johnstons 71/79) is still excelling at the Middlesex Sevens, but he does not know what became of Martin Offiah, although he does recall he was a useful and pacey fast bowler! He thinks Martin did not play for Essex at county level, but that Graham Barlow (Johnstons 60s) was a brilliant cover fielder and left handed batsman, who played for Middlesex and England. (Richard Daish has sent in a correction to say that Graham Barlow was actually in Halls, 1961-196?. Thanks, Richard.)

Mike Farbrother (Halls 55/62), recently retired from the Metropolitan Police, is still busy as a non executive director of a health authority, with his involvement in several charities and as chairman of the local amenities committee. In addition he cares for two boisterous dogs and two less than energetic donkeys. He mentioned that through a mutual friend he arranged for Sir George Martin to listen to some tapes that of original work that John Percival has recorded. It is fine recognition of John's talent that George expressed his appreciation of his music. Wendy, if you have any of surplus copies of John's records, Fred Moughton would love to add them to the collection.

John Dye (Hansons 54/61) is on a sabbatical following his move into semi retirement and a promise to travel extensively. He has left to spend six months in India and he will then be going on to Australia and New Zealand. He plans to return via the USA in 1998 after spending Christmas 1997 with family near Melbourne. He intends to look up as many OWs as he can on his travels and it is hoped that he will relay details of any meetings.




QUESTIONS ANSWERED

In response to Jill Mayer's question about her dad's nickname, Peter Silvey (Hansons 66//73) recalls it being "Buster Bloodvessel". It comes from the apocryphal anecdote when tightening a lathe or vice, he exerted himself that little more to ensure that it was completely secure, when a blood vessel on his forehead ruptured. Can anyone confirm this story?

Fred Moughton (Hansons 51/57) recalls his nickname was "Sandy", a name used by all the boys - but not to his face.

Dave Lewis (Halls 55/60) agreed that Sandy was his nickname due to the colour of hair, but added that as most pupils did not know his first name he was also known as Harry Hanson.

Another recollection of his nickname from an unnamed source (Only cash will make me divulge that source! - Ed) was "Hands Off". Are there any more nicknames to add to the list?

The Orangery, Fred Moughton recalls from 1950, was an out of bounds dilapidated area, now used as a refectory by Ipswich High School. It was never in use while he was there but it did become a dormitory for Berners House in the late 50s. Bridget Richardson says that the enchanted place Jill recalls was the Grotto, which when she first saw it in 1953 was still full of rocks and ferns and mystery and certainly a place to enchant a child. However, all too soon it had to make way for a new development, more in keeping with a modern school.

Harvey Angel (Hansons 64/71) read with interest the reference to his remembrance day poppy. Did he have it?

Of course and, first used in 1967, it is now in its 30th year. He used to write each year on the back, but after 20 years he was running out of space. He says the story about saving money was intended as a wind up and over the years it worked well. He did not wear it this year as he presented it to the WHOBA archive, offering the option to pass it on to John Dawlings, but being a national treasure it was thought unwise allow it's export. Finally Harvey sent a cheque to cover his subs. (After picking myself up from the floor, I raced to the bank to pay it in - Ed)

Peter Silvey wrote in response to John Martin's reminiscences that there was a "not so secret society" known as the Mad Hatters. He believes had tea parties centred on the cricket pavilion and scorers hut and that they were responsible for the canoe arrangement. Does anyone know about the Mad Hatters or care to admit to membership? Better still dare anyone shed some light on their rituals? Peter also recalls the skeleton hanging from the rugby posts that misty morning and the terror of one of the kitchen staff. He thinks it was "one of the better WH wheezes and a jolly good jape!!". John Dawlings also remembered the skeleton and like Peter doesn't know who did it but did agree that it was "a brilliant idea". He was not aware that it was clothed in a sailors uniform and John Martin's knowledge of such things does make him somewhat suspicious.

Colin Ferris also recalls the incident, does not know who did it but he thinks that they chose the perfect night for it. By the time hundreds had trailed past the fog was lifting enough for the figure to become visible, still swinging disconcertedly in the light breeze, but it remained sufficiently obscured by the mist to look more realistic than it would have done on a clear morning. There was some speculation as to who it might be but nobody thought of making a closer inspection.

Colin is unsure of whether this was callousness, fear, the assumption that it was someone else's responsibility or, and probably most likely, that boys were not allowed on the grass!

Michael Volpe (Halls 76/81) responded to the rugby piece in the last edition and said the team included his brother Sergio. He thought the afro bearer could have been a "chap called Siefri" whose nickname was the rather politically incorrect "Frizzle" but it could also have been Cyril Offiah. He followed this up by saying that he could not leave the subject of rugby without blowing the trumpet of his year, the 76 intake, which lost only three games in the whole of their stay. He puts one loss, against Culford, down to the fact that their side had "14 year olds with whiskers and what looked like steroid induced physiques". He said that they lost 18-14 but spanked the same side the following year by 50 points.

With regard to the 50 promised by Nick Collins for Neil Clayton's address, his brother Sean says not to fall for the "I'm waiting for a postal order" ruse. He went on to give details of where he might be contacted, including Ladbrokes, the Rose and Crown, the Skinners Arms and the Kings Head.




ROY HANSON

Fred Moughton (Hansons 50/57) remembers Roy as a "strict but fair" man, who showed tremendous patience, especially in his woodwork classes. Fred admits to being "absolutely hopeless with wood" but Roy was always encouraging despite the rate at which Fred ruined pieces of wood. He also remembers evenings spent in the Hanson home, located in the west wing of the main building. In particular he ran handbell ringing sessions teaching groups of boys how to play. Fred cannot vouch for the quality of play achieved but the lads did enjoy the suppers that followed!

Peter Silvey remembers having a respectful affection for Roy Hanson, even though he was no longer housemaster by the time he arrived. He was well known for a high standard of workmanship in the metalwork shop and for a wry sense of humour. He ran the Go-Kart Club, to qualify for which Peter and Paul Baker (Hansons 66/73) undertook to build their own kart under Roy's guidance. Presumably the intrepid pair never gained membership because they failed to finish it, despite the countless times they attempted to cast a wheel in aluminium, constantly melting the metal, making the moulds, pouring and taking the moulds apart only to find yet another partly formed wheel. Roy's usual instruction was "start again".

However on the odd occasion that they did something well, Roy was "never slow to tell you and thereby boost your confidence and self esteem".

Sean Collins (Berners 67/74) has a 14" engineering vice in his garage, painted in psychedelic colours to match his axle stands and trolley jack. Sean is of the opinion that Roy would not have been too impressed, but whenever he uses it he hears a voice that barks "Don't set that metal too high in the vice, Laddy". Sean says that whilst the equipment may upset people's engineering sensibilities, the methods with which it is used prove that Roy's admonitions and demands for "good safe practice" have remained with him.

Eric Coates (Corners 58/64) had lunch with Jill Mayer (nee Hanson) and her husband Laurie, who reads the news on Sky television. To prove that Sky is broadcast live Eric asked Laurie to wear a yellow tie when he next broadcast. Eric said he did sport a tie with yellow in it. Was it coincidence?




MICHAEL WATTS

Colin Ferris remembers Michael, although he was never one of his classroom students he was in his tutorial group. Before the group met for the first time, they were instructed to come in through the front door and turn left at the hole in the wall. The assumption was that this was a Welsh expression meaning an open door, but on arrival they discovered they had to actually clamber through a hole in the wall. A frame and door were installed a few days later. Colin said that this seemed to set the tone of informality and humour which characterised all subsequent meetings.

He went on to say that Michael had a very pleasant tenor singing voice that Barry Salmon managed to persuade him to use at school performances, particularly of Bach. He always modestly said that his sister had the family singing talent, but then his sister was the internationally acclaimed contralto, Helen Watts.




SILVEY v HALLING

Peter Silvey reported several developments in this dispute, but before going into detail he observed that John Dawling's attempts to set himself up as judge was amusing, especially since he wrote from a country which developed from the world's largest penal colony and remarked, "I'm surprised that he has the nerve to proffer himself as an arbitrator in a matter of common justice". He went on to recall that John's nickname at school was Bottle, which he presumed was a not too subtle reference to his liking for a Tolly Cobbold product which is packaged in one. Is there anyone out there that would like to comment further on this?

Arnie Halling paid a fleeting visit to London and his brother, Siggi, thanks to his sense of fair play, tipped off Peter. Arnie was surprised when confronted on the doorstep of his brother's house by his Nemesis, but not too surprised to react. He bolted for the kitchen window, at a speed that shocked Peter, as the once sleek figure has been spoiled by years of soft living and a diet of fast food.

Peter is convinced that Arnie would have made it but for the fact that his bulging pockets were heavily weighed down with years of accumulated loose change, retained for buying his round in the hope that the embarrassment of counting out the pennies will prompt those with him to settle the bill. (Do I see Halling v Silvey looming? - Ed)

Peter arranged for back up by asking Paul Baker along to corroborate his version of events. However, unprompted by Peter, Arnie confirmed a hazy memory that Peter thought had been induced by over enthusiastic consumption of Champagne and brandy cocktails 23 years ago. After the 1973 new years eve celebration, a time central to Silvey v Halling, the four OWs present in Moscow, Peter, Arnie, Paul and Jonathon (Josh) Dynevor, retired to their adjoining rooms. The pairings were Peter and Josh in one room with Paul and Arnie in the other. During the night there was a battering on the door, that was louder than Josh's rendering of Little Boxes, accompanied by a slurred request to be admitted. Being in the land of the KGB and fearsome women athletes, there was a certain caution in Peter's desire to open the door.

He is unable to adequately describe what he encountered, but suffice it to say that Paul Baker, recently of the 1st XV and the 1st XI, stood there sporting a tartan Tam o'Shanter, a pair of leather gloves and nothing else. Peter went on to state that he then understood why it was apparent that his nickname had been Dick. (I would have though that the low temperatures of the continental climate might have........ Ed) He asked to be let in as Arnie had locked him out of their room.

Peter appraised the situation and declined to let him in. Paul then weaved along the corridor, bound for who knows where. On Arnie's recollection of this event, Peter was quick to pounce and state that his admission was proof that he was present in Moscow, something he had strenuously denied until this point. Peter was able to back this up with photographs and Mr Halling saw that the game was up.

He offered an out of court settlement in the form of a trip to a local Indian restaurant with Peter, Paul, Siggi and his father, Charles Halling.




MISSING

Three copies of the last edition of Janus were returned. Mr P Bond is now "not known" at Carisbrooke Grammar School on the Isle of Wight, Mr A Robinson has moved from Hollycroft Cross, Ipswich and Mr G Dutton is no longer at Woodside Road, Sevenoaks. Can anyone supply the current whereabouts of any of them or information on their tenure at Woolverstone?

Sean Collins has asked for an APB to be broadcast for John Gornall (Corners 67/74). Please report any sightings. Sean does not say whether he is dangerous or if he should be approached with caution. Nick Sykes (Berners 73/79) recalled several of his contemporaries and asked if Raoul Chandrasakara and Trevor Wistow (both Berners 73/80) were still practising medicine at the Royal Free Hospital.

Robin Boot ( Orwell 67/72) was in the same form and house as the Brooks referred to in the last edition but his name was David Brook (Orwell 67/74). Robin heard on the grapevine that he had joined the RAF - Royal Air Force not the Red Army Faction! John Zeffert, however, said it could only be Mark Brooks (Orwell 70s), a good friend from their days in Zambia in the late 60s and that Stan Cunnington (Johnstons 70/75) was a "lovely fellow, the irreverent son of a vicar". Who is right and where are they now? John,a building and civil engineer, was one of four brothers; Nick (68/73) works for John's company, Torven (72/79), an archaeologist, and Tamar (74/81), an IT high flyer with Texaco. The address list includes a T Zeffert. Is it Tamar or Torven? Send details of the missing addresses.

John asks where some of his contemporaries are now. The names he mentioned are Tahia Mirza, Toby Radford, Mick Ayres, Wally Whiteman and Henry Cole. As next year will be the 20th anniversary of their leaving Woolverstone would they and any other contemporary like to join John for a reunion?




THE HORSE

Lesley Ellis, secretary of the Woolverstone Hall Racing Syndicate, wrote to say that the horse, affectionately known as Winnie, has been sold to a good home. She has undergone a career change as she is now a riding horse (or should it be rocking horse? - Ed). Lesley went on to say that "we had a lot of fun out of her and I am very pleased that she is to be well looked after, and I am sure that John (Percival) would have been just as happy." Whether as much fun has been had by all those OWs that lost the housekeeping backing her, only the mailbag will tell. Does anyone have a final observation on Winnie that should be included in the next Janus?




QUESTIONS POSED

Peter Silvey asks whether anyone recalls the name of the English teacher who was tall with reddish hair and lived in one of the master's rooms in Orwell. He wrote, produced and directed, a la Kenneth Branagh, his own play called, Peter thinks, Rendezvous at Ravensbruck. It ran alongside the Tom Stoppard play, the Real Inspector Hound, directed by Neil Clayton and assisted by the celebrated Mark Wing Davey (Orwell 59/66).

Legend has it that Jimmy Cotterell (Orwell 62/69) has the distinction of never being on the losing side while playing rugby at Woolverstone and this included house matches. Is this hearsay correct and is it unique or would someone care to claim a similar record? Can anyone confirm or refute this? John Dawlings wrote that the 318 for, 24 against record (Janus, August) stirred a memory of Jimmy Cotterell's under 14s in about 1964 achieving 600 for and only 17 against, which would appear to show a trend that the legend could be true.




SNIPPETS

Alan Fisk (Corners 59/66) wrote to say that a two page article appeared in the News of the World's Sunday magazine about one of the courses he runs. It was entitled "Writing Erotic Fiction for Women" but Alan was not the tutor. He went on to remark that he "was sure that other WHOBA members have appeared in the New of the World, but only in the news pages". Does anyone care to admit to an appearance or give details of a friends appearance?

Fred Moughton wrote to David Shepherd, who was quoted in Cambridge Pride (Janus, August). He was Head of English at RHS Holbrook and he said he knew a lot about Woolverstone Hall, as a former colleague at Elizabeth College, Guernsey was a housemaster at Woolverstone and also "because the boys used to come along and take the lights out of the RHS rugby team at regular intervals". Who was that housemaster colleague?

Ken Radford is a landscape gardener based in Redruth, Cornwall. In tandem with his business, he runs therapy gardening sessions for handicapped youngsters. They have found out that Ken was at Woolverstone at the same time as Ben Onwukwe, currently appearing in London's Burning, and as they are fans would like to write to him. Ben, please write or phone with a contact address to which they could write.

Derek Thornbery is kept busy with a series of talks that he gives to a variety of organisations. He has 8 in his diverse repertoire, which includes 40 minute addresses on Norwich Cathedral, where he is a guide, canoeing in Europe and rafting in South America. He has delivered a hundred this year.

Dave Lewis (Halls 55/60) remembered Dave Coe (Johnstons 55/62), with whom he played cricket for the Old Boys team in London. He does not know where he is now but he recalled that Dave also played football for a Sunday morning team called Cross Keys, that included Dave Dibbin, Richard Waughman, Alan Suffling and Mick Taylor. Who else turned out for Cross Keys and was it exclusively a WHOBA team?

Still on sport, Ken Radford mentioned that Richard Marshall (Corners 66/73) was a schoolboy England athletics international, who ran the 400 metres and as a 17 year old he skied for England. Are there any other double international OWs out there?

Peter Almond (Corners 60/65) sent a cutting from October edition of Country Walking magazine, which features a 6 mile walk in an article called Special Brew and the caption "Treat yourself to magnificent views over the Orwell, then explore Woolverstone Park and the pretty village of Chelmondiston". It commences with some information well known to many OWs "This walk has one of the best known starts in Suffolk for beer lovers (a few OWs could be classified as such! - Ed), the Butt and Oyster". Much of the walk will be familiar to cross country runners and the time of 3 hours for the 6 mile route will be familiar to those that stopped off at the Butt on the way.

Peter also sent a cutting from the Daily Mail Weekend magazine of 28 September which featured "7 things you never knew about Neil Pearson". This descriptive title obviously does not apply to OWs as the first fact was "Neil's acting skills emerged while at a state-run boarding school". Neil has certainly been busy recently with television appearances in Rhodes and Drop the Dead Donkey as well as a political satire, Crossing the Floor. What do you in your spare time, Neil?

Colin Ferris saw the dramatisation of Ian McEwan's Cement Garden when it was shown on Channel 4 and noticed that the director of photography was Stephen Blackman. He said that there had been a boy of that name in Halls, of a similar vintage or a couple of years senior to Ian. He asks if it is the same person?

Fay Presto wrote to say that in the space of a week she had entertained guests at Geoffrey Archer's pearl wedding, where she met John and Norma Major, and then performed at a fund raising event for Chris Smith, Labour MP for Islington South. Fay asked if this made her a tactical entertainer. She also had a spot in the BBC 2 series, Stuff the White Rabbit, which gave a fly on the wall experience of some of her work.




ARCHIVE

Phil Evans (Johnstons 70/77) sent two copies of Poetic Licence, one numbered 14 and the other with no identifying marks other than the title. However they were probably produced in the same scholastic year as they both contained works by R Bryan 6/2 (Hercule Friend? - Ed). The editorial panel of no 14 was Andrew Campbell and Ian Bryant. Ian Saul and Sigurd Halling edited the other. Can anyone date them from this information and is there a historian out there that can give some background on earlier productions? Phil also sent the 1976 athletics sports day programme and the Spring Term 1975 calendar, when P Everson was head boy and R Poyntz was captain of rugby. Who knows where they are now and what they are doing?

Richard Davies (Halls 60/69) wrote to say he was no expert on WH ties but that the plain blue tie with the wolf's head motif was a prefects tie not a colours tie. He went to say that in the 5th and 6th forms he wore a plain blue tie and the diagonal striped tie was for blues. John Dawlings said there was a knitted tie with horizontal blue and yellow stripes for juniors, diagonal striped tie for intermediates and, agreeing with Richard, that the plain blue tie with a wolf's head was for prefects. The colours, not blues, tie was blue with pairs of diagonal yellow stripes. They seem to have covered all eventualities between, but does anyone want to add to this or dispute any of it?




RECENTLY REUNITED

Graeme Alexander (Johnstons 63/70) was put in touch with the OBA via Colin Ferris (not Paul Ferris as reported in the last edition - Ed). Graeme, who writes that he has reached the height of 5'5", almost, is a doctor and academic at the University of Cambridge. He is married for the second time and "has bred successfully twice (at least) and is still interested!" His major professional interests are liver disease and alcohol (there could be one or two OWs that might be worth a consultation! - Ed). Can anyone see the connection? He says he has never been good at keeping in touch with people but he did divulge the locations of Marcus Lynch, Chris Collis and Mark Dempsey. Mark is the only name on the current list, so it is hoped that by the next issue Marcus and Chris will have responded with news to pass on.

Simon Wright wrote with the current whereabouts of Diderick Plant. He works for a computer company in Milan and lives with his wife and daughter in Monza. Derek Thornbery met Chris Nial at a rugby match at St Josephs in which Chris' younger son was playing. It is hoped that a response will be received form them both which will be reported in the next Janus.




ROYAL HUNT OF THE SUN

This production prompted a good postbag and Colin Ferris wrote that the play about the Spanish conquest of Peru was staged in 1968 and was produced and directed by Neil Clayton. It starred Tony Mitton (Johnstons 62/69) as Atuahalpa, leader of the Incas, and, he thinks, Louis Parperis as Francisco Pizarro. It had an "unusually large" cast and extra staging at the side of the assembly hall to represent the Andes. Sean Collins remembered that "Piggy" Underwood was co director and he thought that Ben Onwukwe was one of the cast of thousands. Robin Boot remembered the leading role went to Mike Walling.

Graham Syrett (Berners 64/71) played a minor role in the production and still had a copy of the programme, which he enclosed and is now in the archive. Graham, whose CV includes locksmith and a career in banking and finance, being a victim of the recession is now a painter and decorator. Trading under the name Berners Services (Wonder where he got the name from? - Ed) he points out that special rates would apply for old pals.

Michael Volpe has spoken to the much pursued Neil Clayton, who supplied him with some names in the cast list; Cornish, Rayner, who now runs BBC Scotland, Carlile, now known as Peter Alexander and currently appearing in Buddy, Curran, Lynch, Cowling, Pullin, Owen, Walkers R & P. There was also Jean Jacques Roussel, who was an excellent pianist who later played for Elkie Brooks and Cat Stevens. Michael reported that Jean Jacques died sadly a couple years ago. Neil Clayton said that he remembered always having to deal with the conflict between school plays and rugby commitments. Michael had to withdraw from playing for Suffolk one year as he had the lead. Which play was it?

Joan Cockayne worked on make up, which included covering Tony Mitton with applications of a vile smelling brown liquid (No suggestions as to what it was are needed! - Ed). As she sponged it on it started to drip off and he whole operation seemed to take ages. Joan and her husband, Norman, were involved in many of the productions during their 13 years tenure. She asks if anyone remembers the dramatic offering for the birthday celebrations, with musical score by Barry Salmon, librettist Jim Hyde, produced by Neil. All was going well until a few days before the dress rehearsal, when more and more understudies were being used in the play and the orchestra, because flu was rife. Two days before the dress rehearsal Neil went down with the virus and it was cancelled. Did it eventually get staged?




CONFESSION

Sean Collins recalls a time that he, Chris Elliott and John Gornall were caught setting off fireworks in the headmaster's garden and were sent to Mr Bailey. On hearing the evidence, they were pronounced guilty and were sentenced to two strokes of the cane.

Being a "decent sort" he allowed the condemned men to select a cane from the collection in the cupboard. Amongst the Latin primers, confiscated contraband and chalk dust, there was a long thin length of bamboo, a shorter wider (less damage on impact) cane and a drumstick. They chose the drumstick, but "nice old Mr Bailey" was not amused and administered six strokes with the long whippy cane.

Sean went on to say that it was "a great tribute to George Bailey that they could even think of injecting humour into a disciplinary situation. He ran a very happy school and no-one really did anything more than puerile naughtiness." He added "Nearly all of our transgressions had an element of humour. I think the Bailey family can be proud of the model environment he created in 64 acres. I wish there was such a place that I could send my children to."




REUNION

The question of the appropriate form for a reunion prompted several ideas. Derek Thornbery opted for a buffet lunch, as midday is better than evening for those that have to travel. He also thought that reunions for a particular year were a good idea. Simon Wright suggested the Butt and Oyster, which can dine 60 to 70, or one of the watering holes in the Ipswich area. Fred Moughton thought that the Roy Hanson memorial dinner was a good idea and John Dye preferred to have a pint, or so, and a pie.

Michael Volpe does the marketing and PR for a big opera season at London's Holland Park. Next June he will be launching the biggest season yet and he said that it might be an opportunity to have a drink, see an opera and meet old friends. He will offer reduced prices on the ticket price of 20. He believes that for an all in price of about 40 per head, after the performance the reunion group could move to the Belvedere Restaurant for dinner. All those interested write to the editor. Finally if anyone is interested in "some superb sponsorship" Michael would love a call.




MUSIC

There has been no response to the request for information on OW recording artists. Surely this modesty is not an OW characteristic! Meroe Wilson (nee Johnston) said that she had heard Ian McCulloch at the sink while washing up and doubts that any recording by him would have been a masterpiece! Fred Moughton would like copies of records, with an OW input, for the archive, or CDs if they have recently been cut.




EPILOGUE

Following Peter Silvey's success in the recent Silvey v Halling case, he feels the time is right to reveal that he has some very interesting photographs of a German holiday spent with Michael Walling, a former head boy. If there is anybody desperate for a Chinese meal, Michael's whereabouts can be swapped for one. Over to you.






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THE END