Lydney Grammar School Magazine - Summer 1958
transcribed by Veronica Howell
THE MAGAZINE OF LYDNEY GRAMMAR SCHOOL SUMMER 1958
It was with a sense of almost personal loss that the School heard of Viscount Bledisloe’s death on July 3rd ; so intimately had the School’s history during the 50 or so years of its existence been connected with him, that it is not easy to realise that we shall not again see that familiar figure or hear that familiar voice at the School’s public occasions.
Lydney Secondary School, as it was called in days gone by, grew out of classes that were started at the Lydney Institute and one of the sponsors of those classes was Viscount Bledisloe. In 1908 when the school received its Articles of Government and a Governing Body was set up, it was natural that Viscount Bledisloe should be elected Chairman. a position which, with the exception of his years in New Zealand, he continued to hold until his death. He saw the School expand to its present size from its small beginnings in the buildings which still house our laboratories. He had given the land on which the original school was built, so he assisted its growth by subsequent gifts of land for buildings or for playing fields.
Valuable as were these generous gifts, they are only part of the story. The most striking quality of Viscount Bledisloe in his relationship with the school was his deep, genuine, and unfailing regularity of his attendance at School functions but also in the zeal and thoroughness with which he pursued enquiries about the School or its pupils. So far from becoming fixed or conservative in his views as he grew older, he displayed at all times a remarkable liberal and progressive outlook; educated himself in the old classical tradition, he fully understood the large part which science must play in the curriculum of a grammar school today and warmly supported its claims. He was similarly enthusiastic about attempts to improve facilities for technical education and was particularly pleased at the recent introduction of a technical course.
Fortunate is the School which has such a man as founder and benefactor. We shall remember him with gratitude for all that he did for the School. What better way of repaying the debt we owe him than by trying to prove worthy of the high standards which he set both for himself and for others?
Both Mrs Hughes and Miss Elmes left us during the school year: Mrs Hughes went to Hong Kong; Miss Elmes got married and went to live in Bath, where she has taken another teaching post.
After Christmas we were pleased to welcome Miss A. F. Evans, who previously had a post in industry. We wish to congratulate her on her marriage: she returns to the school as Mrs. C. Evans
Our thanks are also due to Mrs J. Protheroe, who took Mr Lawrence’s place, during his temporary absence, to teach English.
At the end of the Summer term we were sorry to lose Miss Green, who is going to a school in Harrow. During her two years’ stay in Lydney she did much good work both in school and outside it. She made many friends and takes with her our best wishes for the future. She is being replaced by Miss M. Boulton.
Another newcomer is Miss J. Goulding, who takes Miss Elmes’ place as Games Mistress.
We hope that Mr Lawrence will return to us in the new year, fully restored to health.
Examination Successes in the general Certificate of Education (July 1958)
J. H. COOK: Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Physics
J. B. DAVIES: Chemistry, Botany, Zoology
D. A. HOULT: Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Physics
J.P. ISLES: Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Physics
N.W. MARSHALL: Physics
D. G. MARTIN: English Literature, Geography, History
R. B. REISSNER: Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Physics
B. D. SIMMS: Chemistry, Botany, Zoology
D.M.G. SMITH : Botany
R. H. SM ITH: Physics
N.E. THURSTON: English Literature, Geography, History
D. W. WAITE: Physics
T. C. WINTLE: Chemistry, Botany, Zoology
ANGELA COUCH: English Literature (distinction), French, Latin
JEAN HARVEY: English Literature, French, Latin
HEATHER HOLMAN: English Literature, History
ANNE LIGHTFOOT: Physics
KAY NASH: Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Physics
FRANCES TRIGG: English Literature, History
‘ORDINARY LEVEL’ (Fifth Forms)
Passed on nine subjects:
K. WATKINS, JEAN FRECKLETON, FAITH HOTCHKISS, JUDITH POWELL, LESLEY POWELL
Passed in eight subjects:
G. HAYWARD, C. JONES, PEARL PAGE, MARION VIRGO, PATRICIA WATKINS
Passed in seven subjects:
D. BENDALL, G. BURBIDGE, H. HARPER, G. PROBERT, CATHERINE BRADFORD, ELIZABETH PRICE, DIANE SAUNDERS, BARBARA WILLIAMS.
Passed in six subjects:
C. DAVIES, GLORIA COWDELL, WENDY HOWELLS, MAUREEN NOLAN, JULIE PEPPER.
Passed in five subjects:
D. HALE, M. JAMES, P. KNOWLES, G. ROBINSON, B. SATURLEY, PAMELA DYALL, JANNETTE MILES, JEAN SAVAGE.
Passed in four subjects:
D. COX, P. ELLIOT, M. PARTON, R. POWELL-TUCK, D. PRICE, WENDY CHADWICK, MARGARET DREW, THERESA LAWRENCE, JUDITH LOWE, SUSAN ROBERTS, MARGARET WHITE.
Passed in three subjects:
C. BERRY, R. CAWDRON, G. E. NELMES, W. C. NELMES, J. SIMPSON, B. STUMP, MAVIS JONES, PATRICIA PHELPS, PAMELA RICHARDS, BRENDA TURNBULL, GLENDA WILLIAMS
Passed in two subjects:
D. HYETT, K. WAKEFIELD, BARBARA BAKER, IRENE BAKER, EILEEN BEARCROFT, JEAN EVANS, JANE PARRY, NATALIE PERRETT, EVELYN SKIDMORE, BARBARA TUFTON.
Passed in one subject:
D. BENNETT, B. PARKER, M. RONAN, MAUREEN HADDOCK, IRENE RANDFORD, PATRICIA SCOTT, PATRICIA TURLEY, YVONNE TURLEY.
The following Sixth Form pupils also obtained ‘passes’ in various subjects at ‘O’ Level:
D. BUMFORD, M. FOX, J. GODWIN, M. LETHEREN, D. McKERNON, F. REECE, ANNE BUCKNELL, DOREEN NASH, PAMELA SMITH, JUNE WADELL, MARY WILLIAMS.
PRIZE LIST (1957-1958)
IL T.JENKINS, I.ROWLEY
IG JUDITH NELMES, R.H. MARROWS
IS JENNIFER PHILLIPS, SUSAN WALES
II Alpha B.KNIGHT, S.THOMAS
IIA K.JAMES, ROSEMARY BARNDEN
IIB VERONICA BAKER, LYNN FEWINGS
III Alpha MARY CHAMBERLAIN, P. THOMAS
IIIA J. WILCOX, I.G. SMITH, EVELYN STOKES
IIITC B.J. BROWN, SANDRA SHERGOLD.
IV Alpha G.CAPPS, L.JEFFS, HILARY WILDIN
IVA G.HORRITT, B. GARDNER
IVTNC R.LEWIS, CHERRY CAMM
VI General SYLVIA BRACE
Sixth Form Subject Prizes
English: ANGELA COUCH
History: D. G. MARTIN
Physics and Maths: R. B. REISSNER
Botany, Chemistry, and Zoology: D. B. SIMS
Leadership Prizes: J. P. ISLES, JEAN HARVEY
Burch Memorial Prize: ANN LIGHTFOOT
Charles Clark Cup: T. C. WINTLE
Dramatic Prizes: D. B. SIMS, J. H. COOKE, PATRICIA FRYER
Music Prize: D.A. HOULT
Reading Prizes: Senior: D. SHUKER, PATRICIA FRYER
Intermediate: R. MORRIS, ANNA PROBERT
Junior: C. TAYLOR, JOSEPHINE HINDS
Bledisloe British Empire Prize, 1958: GRAHAM ARTHUR SMITH
This year, the girls’ hockey seemed doomed from the start, for although hard work was put in at all the important practices, nothing could stop the Asian ‘flu epidemic. It hit the team hard, and as the Saturday matches drew nearer ‘our defences went down’. The opponents, in many cases, were in the same predicament, and many matches had to be cancelled.
Our second enemy was the weather. Out of 21 fixtures, nine had to be cancelled due to rain sodden pitches. Of the matches played, four were won; 6 were lost; and two were drawn; 25 goals were scored for the team and 24 goals against.
This year the 1st X1 took part in the Inter County Schools’ Hockey Tournament at Bristol. Out of four matches played, three were lost and one was won.
Hockey colours were re-awarded to Sylvia Brace, Elizabeth Pitt, Denise Hopkins; half colours were re-awarded to Evelyn Southall, Jean Freckleton, Jean Harvey, Gillian Ellsmore, Dianne Bateman, Jean Evans, Alma Parfitt; new half-colours were awarded to Doreen Nash, Judith Powell, Natalie Perrett, Pauline Smith, Hilary Wildin, Mary Williams.
May 3 - ..Bell’s G.S.
May 10- ..East Dean ........Away Won 9-0
May 17- ..St. Julians ......Away Cancelled
May 31- ..Denmark Road .....Away Lost 0-9
June 7-...Ribston Hall .....Away Lost 4-5
June 14- .Larkfield ........Home Lost 4-5
June 28- .Dursley ..........Home Cancelled
July 5- ..Pates ............Away Lost 0-9
As in previous seasons the standard of school tennis was greatly affected by the lack of hard courts, but our grass courts were in much better condition this year.
Although the results became rather disheartening towards the end of the season, we enjoyed all the matches, and were fortunate in that only two had to be cancelled. The season finished with a most enjoyable match against the staff which resulted in an overwhelming victory for the staff.
Colours were re-awarded to Jean Harvey; new colours were awarded to Norma Baghurst; half-colours to Elizabeth Pitt.
JEAN HARVEY, Captain
The School Sports this year took place on a very wet afternoon in June. However, despite the poor conditions, three girls’ records were broken.
In the Senior Group M. Nolan set up a record with the time of 12.9 seconds in the 80 yards hurdles, and in the Javelin, S. Brace broke the previous record with a throw of 93 ft. 4ins.
Another new javelin record was also set up. This was in the intermediate group, where P. Cole threw 79ft. 9ins.
There was also keener competition this year in the House Athletics and our thanks are due to the House Mistresses and Captains for their coaching on many training evenings after school. It was unfortunate after such hard work that the sports should have been marred by such disappointing conditions.
Several girls were entered for the Gloucester and District Sports meeting. Four of these girls went on to the County Sports held this year at Cheltenham.
Colours were re-awarded to K. Nash and D. Hopkins, new colours to S. Brace, M. Nolan, N. Perrett, H. Holman and A. Bradley.
SYLVIA BRACE, Captain
The 1st X1 did not have an outstanding season. This may be partly accounted for by the bad weather which severely curtailed both matches and practices.
I think, however, that it is significant that of the two games played against schoolboy sides both were won by a convincing margin. Probably the best matches were those against the Old Boys’ X1 and against Gloucester City. To hold a full strength Gloucester X1 containing several county players to a draw in the first half was quite an achievement.
The defence was usually sound but the forwards often tended to waste opportunities provided for them. Thurston, Davies and Smith generally played well and were given useful support from several of the younger players who should form the nucleus of next year’s X1.
Finally I would like to thank Mr. Thomas and Mr Parfitt for their continued help and advice throughout the season.
T. C. WINTLE Captain
Opponents ...............Venue For/Against
Gloucester City .........Away Cancelled
Beachley A.A.S ..........Away Cancelled
Old Boys ................Home Cancelled
Cardiff High School .....Home Cancelled
Gloucester Civil Service Away Cancelled
Crypt ...................Home 4 1
Gloucester City .........Home 1 3
Old Boys ................Home 0 4
Beachley A.A.S. .........Home 0 1
Cardiff High School .....Home 3 1
Cheltenham Civil Service Home 1 2
Kings ...................Home 3 0
BOYS’ RUGBY 1957 - 58
The record of this year’s first XV again compares very favourably with
that of past seasons. Of the eleven games played only one was lost, and that
to a very strong Marling School side. Without defeat at home the school’s
ground record was extended to six years.
Two victories stood out when the City of Bath and Belmont Abbey, both old rivals, were well beaten. Our first fixtures with Cheltenham G. S. also proved to be a hard battle. The team as a whole was generally well balanced, although the forwards sometimes lacked the fire and vigour of some of their predecessors. Isles, Long and James however formed an excellent front row whilst Smith was always prominent in the loose.
The Colts and Junior XV’s again enjoyed good seasons and this augurs well for the future.
The School achieved what must be a remarkable record when, for the second successive year four pupils played for the E.S.R.U., A. Imm and Turley for the under 15 group against Wales and Isles and Wintle for the over 15 group against Wales and France, Wintle captaining in the second case.
Representative honours were gained by A. Imm, D. Imm, Turley, Wilcox and Haddock in the under 15 Gloucestershire group, and by Davies, Wintle and Isles in the over 15 group.
The continued high standard of rugby throughout the School again reflects much credit upon Mr Parfitt and also Mr Barlow who does a great deal of hard and sometimes unrewarding work in the Junior School.
T. C. WINTLE, Captain.
FILM SOCIETY, 1957- 58
Although during the last term there was no meeting of the Society owing to
the pressure of examinations, we had several meetings earlier in the year.
The first film was “The Third Man” starring Orson Wells which was
followed later in the term by a comedy called “A Day to Remember” starring
Stanley Holloway. Also this year we showed, in conjunction with the French
Circle, a French film called “Mr Hulots’ Holiday” which I
think was enjoyed by all.
The attendances this year were very good, especially at the first two meetings, and I should like to thank all those who have supported this Society.
I hope that someone will be energetic enough, and keen enough, to continue this Society in the future.
JAMES. H. COOKE, V1 Sc. A
THE DEBATING SOCIETY
It has been particularly difficult this year to arouse interest in the activities
of the Debating Society, and as a result, only two debates have taken place,
the first was a “Balloon Debate” the second of a more serious nature,
the motion before the house being: Britain has become the 49th State of America” Both
were well attended, and if next year’s committee can produce enough controversial
subjects for discussion, the Debating Society will, I hope re-establish itself
as a worthwhile and entertaining School activity.
ANGELA. A. COUCH V1 Arts A
THE FRENCH CIRCLE
The Society has completed another successful year, its activities arranged
by a committee of six, representatives of the senior forms. A School party
visited France for a fortnight in the summer of 1956, and there was the usual
programme of events during the following school year. A French film “Mr
Hulot’s Holiday” was shown in conjunction with the Film Society;
in February the annual soiree provided as always, a very French, and very happy
evening; in March we visited Churchdown to see Moliere’s “Le Bourgeois
The French Circle owes its success, I think, to its well-ordered programme of activities-activities which are becoming traditional in the School. We must thank Mr Stokes for the energy and organising ability which have created such an entertaining and worthwhile Society.
ANGELA. A.COUCH, Secretary
614 SQUADRON A.T.C.
As usual the School A.T.C. Squadron had another successful year. Cadets Elliot
and Babb obtained their ‘A’ and ‘B’ Gliding Licences,
and Elliot was recommended for a Flying Scholarship. In the realm of sport
the squadron provided the nucleus of the Wing Rugby XV, and D. Smith was chosen
for an International Trial, but had to withdraw owing to injury. Cadets also
took part in Cricket, Swimming and Athletic competitions, M. Letheren being
prominent in the last.
Highlight of the years was the annual camp at R.A.F. Kinloss. in N.E Scotland, where a very enjoyable week was had by all. The programme laid on included flying over the Highlands, and the North Sea, and visits to Inverness and Loch Ness.
Other visits were paid to Staverton Airport. R.A.F. Stations Innsworth, South Cerney, Lyneham and Seven Springs Rifle Range.
Two ex-cadets have gained further honours for the Squadron. R. Haddock has
been selected for training as a pilot, and T. Adcock is now flying Canberra
F./Lt. Thomas, and all those who put so much work on our behalf, work which I can assure them is greatly appreciated by all cadets, should feel justly proud of No. 614 Squadron. A.T.C
F./SGT. J. ISLES
614 IN SCOTLAND
This year cadets from 614 Squadron attended Easter camp at R.A.F. Kinloss
in Scotland. This camp proved to be a great success. It was interesting to
be able to cross the border into a country that we hear so much about and yet
few of us have the opportunity to see. It was perhaps more enjoyed than most
camps because of the great amount of freedom and good organisation.
The journey itself took more than twenty hours, and although much of it was during the night the more interesting passage through Scotland was in daylight. The crossing of the Forth Bridge and the short sight of Edinburgh and Aberdeen, where we changed trains, were of particular interest, besides the beautiful countryside.
There were about 150 A.T.C. cadets at camp in Kinloss. We were divided into sections, so that there was greater mixing between the squadrons, and the chance to make new friends. There was a well-organised programme, with tours of the surrounding countryside. One of these tours was to the famous Loch Ness. During the visit we went over Urquhart Castle, supposedly a favourite haunt of the ‘monster,’ and although there were many cries of ‘the monster’ from the battlements, no-one could claim to have seen anything mysterious swimming in the Loch.
There were the usual lectures by various R.A.F. personnel on radar, maintenance,
air traffic control, etc., and also the main attraction, flights in Shackleton
aircraft, in which some were more fortunate than others! Unfortunately for
us and in some respects for the R.A.F., we were unable to hold an exercise
which had been planned to take place on the sand dunes. Instead a lively battle
broke out between A.T.C. squadrons. But this somehow seemed to be in the true
spirit of A.T.C. Camps.
J. K. BO WEN, V1 Sc. A.
THE SCHOOL CHESS CLUB
What a pity that more boys and girls do not take advantage of the School Chess
Club. Meetings are held after school, once a week, during the Autumn and Spring
Terms when Mr Pitt kindly gives his time and ability to teach and encourage
us in this profitable and fascinating game.
Unfortunately, last year attendance was very poor, averaging about six, so it is not surprising that we lost our match to Cardiff School in the “Sunday Times Schools’ Tournament”
The Club has history. It was founded in 1934 and in 1936 membership numbered twenty-four. The first match was played by a School and Staff team against a team organised by Mr.B.J. Emery which included his son and the Reverend Dr.T.A. Ryder.
In 1936 the Lydney Chess Club was formed by Dr Ryder, Mr Emery and Mr Pitt. Many of the School players in this and the club competed in the North Gloucestershire League.
The outstanding player at this time was Mary Burch, then School Captain.
Our School Club was re-started after the war, and 1958 – 9 is our Silver Jubilee Year. Let us celebrate it with many new members, so that matches may be played and won.
Last year the delicious teas of new bread, jam, and Chelsea buns had to be stopped with so few members to consume them, but we hope that with renewed interest these can soon be re-started. Do come along!
R. PILBEAM, 1V ALPHA
MY DREAM HOLIDAY
I think I’ll go abroad this year
And spend my holiday
In some far distant country
In a most luxurious way.
Perhaps I’ll go to Italy,
Or Switzerland, or Spain,
I haven’t quite decided yet
How long I shall remain
I’ll stay at all the best hotels,
Have lovely clothes to wear,
And come back looking fit and tanned
From sea and mountain air.
I see it all within my mind;
Good food, fine days and sunny.
The only thing I can’t see yet
Is how to find the money.
BARBARA WHITE 1VA
“She” rules our life. “She” dictates to us when we
should go to bed, when we should get up.
We rush out of the house at the last minute, by her orders; “she” has been telling us to hurry.
We hurry home at dinner-time, losing all the enjoyment of our meal, because “she” is standing over us. We have plenty time to get to school, “She’s” done it again, we think as we arrive late. More impositions I suppose!
We come home, settle down to homework, and father goes out into the garden, only to be called in by “Her” to listen to the “Archers.”
It is time for supper. Now we must go to bed because “she” says so.
Oh, I wish someone would break that clock!
PEGGY BATEMAN, 1V ALPHA
THE BERKELY POWER STATION
Berkeley’s fame once arose from its mediaeval castle and its association
with Edward 1, but now it is doubly famous for its nuclear power station and
here we have a blending of the modern with the ancient.
When I used to read about Atomic Power Stations I little thought they would ever have such a direct bearing on my life. The windows from the living quarters of our house all face Berkeley. And one day we noticed some unusual flags on the Lydney side of the river. Of course it aroused our curiosity, then followed a ship from the site of the power station directly towards these flags. This happened regularly with every tide and from then on things have begun to grow apace. We could see a giant crane, said to be the biggest in Europe, and then three more joined the site. Next we noticed the red skeleton of the huge building in the background and we later learned it was the administrative block. In time this was obscured by a huge circular structure.
This might have been a highly secret project as far as the government is concerned but to us it is anything but secret. In fact the noise of the pile drivers has given us many a wakeful night, and has been so annoying that one person had the audacity to ring Berkeley Police Station to ask the police if they would tell the pile drivers to stop their driving as it was the middle of the night and she wanted to sleep.
A few weeks ago we had the opportunity of learning of its progress from closer quarters, when my father was invited with a party of engineers to look over the power station. He regaled us with stories of having seen the biggest this and biggest that, of the thickness of the concrete walls and the depths of the foundations and of the inevitable mud.
He has another invitation to visit the station when it is completed and I hope he will be able to take me with him, then I can see the real cause of my sleepless nights.
SUSAN SPRATT, 1V ALPHA
Who has seen the waning moon
Sailing o’er the bay?
Her soft light on the water Forms a silver way
To heaven; to the multitude of stars
That twinkle up on high
And adorn their black robed monarch
As the Queen of earthly sky.
Who has seen her gentle smile
On homelands here below?
A pale and guardian angel
Who controls the waters’ flow.
Wistfully she gazes here
And turns to a fairy wonderland
The turmoil of the sea.
ELIZABETH HOLDEN 111 ALPHA
ST. BRIAVELS BREAD AND CHEESE CEREMONY
The inhabitants of St. Briavels used to pay the Church Wardens one penny every
year to buy bread and cheese to be distributed to the villagers who came to
church on Whit-Sunday evening, and according to tradition, the giving of these
pennies and the distributing of the bread and cheese gave the villagers the
privilege of taking wood from the Free Woods or Hudnalls.
These rights are said to have acquired in 1216, but during the Commonwealth they were taken away. King Charles II restored them again in 1665.
Until 1840 the bread and cheese was distributed from the tower into the Churchyard, but then the Church ceased the distribution because the recipients were so unruly.
The parishioners then took over the distribution and collected the pennies to pay for the bread and cheese. For a time distribution was made from the moat wall and then from the Pound Wall as it is today.
Superstition has grown over the years and it is said that the bread and cheese will never perish. Miners and quarrymen still carry pieces of bread and cheese today as lucky charms.
KENNETH STARR. 1VA
My cat is big and furry,
His coat is black and white,
And all the hunting that he does,
He does it in the night.
His eyes are large and yellow,
They sparkle in the night,
And if I were a little mouse
I’d scamper off in fright.
JOHN WEARE. 1S
ALL FOR JESUS
The lilac in the garden’s growing,
The stream upon its course is flowing,
Birds up in the air will sing,
While church bells in the distance ring
In this paradise so small,
Surrounded by a garden wall
Of Trees, coloured in changing hue,
So many there are, but so few,
VALERIE GEORGE 1L
ART WITH CRAFT
“Anything boys can do, girls can do better,” said my sister.
She had just appeared from my father’s workroom. I thought she had been
making pottery, but she was carrying a wooden structure under her arm. She
displayed the object, a magazine rack for her room, and I had to admit (to
myself) that it wasn’t bad at all. However, my masculine pride was offended,
so I just laughed scornfully, and walked away!
All morning I could not forget her jibe, and, when mother had gone shopping, I wandered into the kitchen. Bake a loaf? Could I? Of course, nothing to it. I’d show her!
I put some yeast with warm water, mixed it in a bowl of flour, then put it by the stove to rise. Soon the mixture was up to the top of the bowl.
I turned it out on to a marble slab, and began to knead it. As a wonderful vision of a golden crusty loaf rose before me, the dough fell to a deflated mass. Never mind! It would rise again in the oven. I shaped a large round, and put a small round on top of it. Twenty minutes in a hot oven should do it.
It was a terrible failure, the top had caved in, and it was has hard as stone. I left it on the table, and wandered into the garden. My sister’s friend was there with a bunch of anemones for my mother.
“Please take them in”. I said. “I’m going for a walk”
I arrived back to find everyone home, and tea laid. My sister rushed forward.
“It’s wonderful!” she cried. “I take back all I said.”
In the midst of the table stood a grey pot, filled with vivid anemones. My loaf had reached the dining room table, camouflaged.
“Oh well,” I said, “Anything girls can do, boys can do better!”
JOHN THURSTON. 1G
One often reads about fabulous banquets, but I wonder how many people have
actually partaken of one, particularly one in a large Parisian hotel.
Arriving at the hotel we were cordially greeted by the doorman, and after divesting ourselves of our overcoats we were led through a maze of soft-carpeted corridors, up a gilt staircase, through more corridors and finally we emerged into a magnificent room. Glittering chandeliers hung from the ornate ceiling, white marble pillars blended into a background of muraled walls, and in the centre silver cutlery glinted on precision tables.
Still in a dream I was brought back to reality-for I was really there-by an immaculately dressed waiter, who carried a tray of drinks. I chose one warily, for we had been warned that this would be ‘some banquet’ and that unless we were discreet about what we consumed we would never ‘last it out’.
Soon we were all seated at the tables and waiters were filling the first of six separate wine glasses provided per person. Seated between two French boys, I valiantly tried to make conversation, but I was rescued by the arrival of the first course.
Over an hour, and four courses (and four different wines) later we were still going strong. But what’s this? First one and then another of our party staggered up from their seats, gently swayed in the heavy atmosphere, and then slowly meandered out of the room. Perhaps too much chicken, duck, Dover sole cooked in wine or a host of ‘unknowns’-which tasted delicious had disagreed with them. Or was it ‘Les Vins?’
Finally it was time for the speeches, and accompanied by the pop of champagne bottles, they were duly delivered. I am afraid I don’t remember them, or the singing and dancing afterwards, for it took all my powers of concentration to keep myself awake and in an upright position. It was the early hours of the morning before several ‘sleeping beauties’ were rudely awakened from their slumbers, and led, dragged or carried back to our own hotel. It certainly was a banquet I shall never forget!
J.P ISLES V1 Sc. A.
Long ago people valued highly things, which we take very much for granted
today. For example, if in the 15th century a man could leave two beds in his
will then his social rank was thereby increased.
In the 15th century there lived in the village of St. Briavels, a man named William Hopkyns who had a wife, Elizabeth, and they had two sons, Thomas, the elder, and William; they also had two daughters, Agnes, and Margaret. In his will he left his best bed to his wife and his other bed to William. At his wife’s death the best bed was to pass to Thomas. These beds were tester beds hung around with curtains and their value lay chiefly in the hangings. The other items in his will were as follows:-
To his son Thomas he left, four oxen, four cows, and forty six sheep. All his free lands, etc., in “Broakewere or Howelfield or St. Briavell.” Six ounces of silver, and a mazer, probably one of his most prized possessions. A mazer was a large bowl with a lid made from maple wood. It was used at feasts and holidays to hold the wassail drink.
This also shows the difference in values between articles then and in the 20th century, because I do not expect many people have ever heard of a mazer before.
To his son, William, he left twenty oxen worth £10 and two-thirds of ‘Close Stuff’ probably the present Close Turf Farm in St. Briavels. The remaining one-third went to his brother, Thomas, who was to hold it for twenty-four years.
His daughters were to receive twenty marks in gold or silver and ‘ten marks for their clothes and other things necessary for their marriages.’ A mark was worth 13s. 4d., so they were likely to be eligible brides!
He left his wife six spoons, five cows and half of his household while she lived. The other half of his household was to be shared among his four children when they came of age.
From this one example of a fifteenth century will it can be seen how much times have changed and with them the values of personal possessions.
PAMELA JONES. 1V ALPHA
SIGNS OF RAIN
The hollow winds begin to blow,
The clouds look black. And very low,
The soot falls down, the spaniels sleep,
The spiders from their cobwebs peep;
Last night the sun went pale to bed
The moon in halos hid her head;
The boding shepherd heaves a sigh,
For, see, a rainbow spans the sky,
The walls are damp, the ditches smell,
Closed is the pink-eyed pimpernel,
Loud quack the ducks, the peacocks cry,
The distant hills are seeming nigh,
Low o’er the grass the swallow wings,
The cricket, too, how sharp he sings!
Puss on the hearth, with velvet paws,
Sits wiping o’er her whiskered jaws,
Through the clear street the fishes rise,
And nimbly catch the darting flies.
At dusk the squalid toad was seen
Hopping and crawling o’er the green.
The frog has changed his yellow vest
And in a russet coast is dressed.
The mellow blackbird’s voice is shrill,
And sings his song with greatest skill.
Look, see yon rooks, how odd their flight
They irritate a gliding kite,
And seem precipitate to fall
As if they heard a piercing call.
‘ Twill surely rain, I see with sorrow
Our jaunt must be put off tomorrow.
SYLVIA JAMES, 111 ALPHA
GAGA THE GRUB
William the pear was as proud as could be,
He lived on a branch at the top of a tree;
And around him were ladies both charming and fair
Who longed for a smile from that very fine pear,
But one, sweet and rosy he seemed to like best,
She always looked shy when his favours he pressed,
And others, less lovely, admitted with sighs
That Winifred seemed pretty sure of the prize,
But on a tree near, Miss Victoria Plum
So jealous was feeling, she looked very glum;
She hoped that with William she might stand a chance
And frowned upon Winifred’s budding romance.
And then in her heart that was hard as a stone,
Her rival she made up her mind to dethrone;
And she plotted with Gaga the Grub, who agreed
On poor little Winifred’s beauty to feed.
So while on the treetop she peacefully slept,
Right into her core the assassin soon crept;
And Winifred’s beauty began to succumb
To that terrible gnawing and ache in her ‘tum,’
“ Aha!” thought Victoria, smiling with glee.
“ Now William will scorn her and love only me,”
But all her dark plots were of little avail,
For all his thoughts were of Winifred, fragile and pale.
He sent for a doctor, a pixie named Pip,
Who jumped in his motor and just let it rip;
And, quite understanding the ‘innards’ of Pears,
He removed the grub promptly and kicked him downstairs.
Then Winifred’s beauty revived until she
Once more was the loveliest pear on the tree;
And as there was no further delay,
They arranged for a wonderful wedding that day.
The bride was a beauty, in soft pink and green,
And William was happy to make her his Queen;
To come to the wedding the bees were delighted,
And just a few wasps-who were not invited.
And throughout the orchard each apple and cherry,
Each damson and plum helped the pears to make merry;
All but jealous Victoria, nursing her spite,
Till she withered away-and it just served her right!
ANNA PROBERT.111 ALPHA
THE ADVANCE PARTY
…… ..What are these,
……… so wilde in their attire,
That look not like th’ Inhabitants o’ th’ Earth,
And yet are on’t? Macbeth, Act 1, Scene 111
On Saturday before School Camp was due to begin twelve tough looking characters,
under the leadership of Mr Barlow, arrived in Saundersfoot. As they surveyed
the empty field, soon to be covered by a sea of tents, a fine drizzle began
to fall. Consequently speculation as to the next three weeks weather was ripe,
and several ‘experts’ voiced their opinions as they unloaded the
lorry, which had brought the equipment from the station.
The most pressing jobs, such as the erection of tents to sleep in, and perhaps most important the erection of a small marquee as a ‘cookhouse,’ completed, all but three of the party trooped into the village. Nothing had changed- except perhaps that there were a few more people about- and the Fair was there again.
Early next morning even those with muzzy heads had had breakfast by 7 o’clock and were hard at work. We were split up into groups and each was accompanied by its own particular ‘music while you work.’ There were dull thuds, as on one side of the field picks and spades dug into the peaty soil. But from the other side could be heard the jarring clang as a pick struck a bed of stones. Suddenly a triumphant voice announced to all that they had found a new “Wall of China” Not to be outdone the ‘peat’ diggers the discovered a ‘fossilized Roman Belisha Beacon.’ (Actually it was an old tin can, but no one had the heart to tell them.) As the morning passed the diggers gradually disappeared, but as in the melodious tones of Mr Barlow’s voice announced ‘Grub up’- everyone sprinted for dinner. After dinner some tents were put up, and then ’one and all’ retired to a game of cricket-under advance party rules.
By mid-day Tuesday everything was ready for the main party, and we took time off to relax and swim. At the signal for dinner everyone seemed keener than usual, perhaps the thought that this would be the last chance for a few weeks, that we would be able to have dinner unaccompanied by the noisy chatter of little (and big) boys and girls, was foremost in their minds, or was it the promise of a steak or whole liver each?
Yes, the main party would arrive the next day, and that meant washing and shaving, and civilised clothes, and good manners! Gone would be the nice peaceful atmosphere. Although a few were very reluctant to shave off their patiently grown stubble, others showed surprising keenness to spruce themselves up. Why? Someone , who suggested that it might be because some sweet little lady would be arriving on the morrow, was promptly drowned in a bowl of shaving water. Yes even these tough men have their weaknesses.
But if you ever go to School Camp, when you arrive and find everything ready, spare a thought for those who toiled under a burning sun, or laboured through a cold damp drizzle, to make camp just what it is.
J. ISLES. V1 Sc.A.
The lonely schooner riding high,
Her rising masts reach to the sky,
The setting sun, with colours glowing,
Her outlines silhouetted showing.
The ship is to the ocean pinned,
Because she is awaiting wind,
The ship she is as if embalmed;
For in the ocean she’s becalmed.
I. ROWLEY. 1L
My Father has been known to say,
And really should know better;
His head just empties of ideas
When he has to write a letter.
My Mother now picks up a pen,
To’ drop a line’ she settles down;
And in the twinkle of an eye
Six pages’neath that pen have flown.
To write this verse has been a struggle,
Quite obviously I follow Dad:
I can’t write more because I’ve reached
The last sheet of the writing pad.
The time is 11.30 p.m. I am tired out, but I must write this to get it out
of my system. Otherwise I shan’t sleep at all.
Tonight I was taken to a “Catch Feminin” at the Casino. It was horrible. I wouldn’t have missed it for worlds-it was certainly an experience-but thank Heaven we don’t have them in England. It was supposed to be a Judo match, with four women fighting in pairs; it was more like all-in wrestling. One woman in particular (a German) was very virile, and they all returned to the cave-man stage during their bouts. I have never seen anything so disgusting.
They do it in a kind of boxing ring, with a hard, sprung floor. Naturally they threw each other about, that was expected, but they became so mad with each other that they completely lost control-although we did occasionally see a really skilful hold. The referee, a man had quite a time of it. The German was inclined to start on him if he intervened, and most of them would bite him if he got in way.
The last match (between the German and the Frenchwoman) was particularly beastly, probably because it was the keenest. The German was very strong-horribly muscular!-and the Francaise quite small and very supple. The latter was definitely the better opponent of the art, but hadn’t as much brute strength. Of course everyone was supporting her- and not only because she was French: her self-control was much better than that of the others, and she was the only one who fought cleanly. We never saw her bite or kick. The German really looked ‘uninhibited’ when she was angry- which she always was. The little Frenchwoman won, though no-one expected it, but she collapsed as soon as the fight was over; I think the German came out of it better than she did.
But what a life for a woman! I suppose that must be how they spend their lives-just trying to kill other women. For there is no doubt about it; if one of them had killed another she wouldn’t have cared in the heat of the moment. Afterwards maybe. I think it was the fact that they were women that nauseated me. Had they been men I might not have minded so much- I don’t know. Anyhow, my French friends never turned a hair.
MARION VIRGO, V ALPHA
The pain was beyond all comprehension. To him his body wasn’t a living
organism but a pool of agony. Something heavy was lying across he feet and
legs. His left hand didn’t move when he jerked his muscle. He didn’t
realise there was no muscle to jerk. There was something in his right hand.
His mind wandered, out of control.
The first gun he had ever had was a water pistol. He was given that when he was three: and for three days it had given him glorious fun. He could remember standing behind the front door soaking his Dad when he came home from work. Yes it was fun in those days.
Still the pain continued. He moved his head from side to side trying to find a more comfortable position, but his head was the only part he could move.
At seven he was the proud owner of a “cap gun”. Parents, aunts, uncles, dogs and cats shuddered at the noise and the resounding echo. Eventually the upkeep of this gun proved to be far beyond the limits of his meagre allowance. He was getting accustomed to the pain now, the throbbing in his left shoulder didn’t worry him now, but you could still see the pain he was suffering by the perpetual wincing of his face and the short, sharp intakes of breath. His mind still ran on.
A gun an Aunt gave him on his fourteenth birthday, in his hands became a lethal weapon. It fired pellets and with one accurate shot a young kitten became, as our American friends say, the container of a bellyful of lead. This he buried at the bottom of the garden, and covered the hole with the rabbit hutch. He was proud of his kill and he boasted about it to his pals. Somehow wind of it got back to Dad and the gun was locked away in Dad’s drawer. He felt sure that Joe had “split” and he would ”poke him up” after school. However, with kids that age, enemies of today are friends of tomorrow when a sweet is in the toss.
At fifteen the left school and became apprenticed to a joiner. The first thing he bought with his wages was an air gun. He was up before the magistrate several times before they sent him to a remand home.
Here they taught him to live without guns: he was pleased to be free from the fear of being “stuck up” one night as he came home from work, just because the terror of a gun had passed from him.
He remembered how he thanked a prison officer when he was released.
“ Ta everso, Mr Slade” he said “for what you’ve done for me, you know” he went on, “guns was to me like drugs is to some people: once you get your hands on’em you can’t get ‘em off. A gun made me feel stronger than me mates”.
Mr Slade cut in reminding that most people live without a gun. A very simple statement but to him it was the voice of God.
The shook hands and as he went out through the gate, Mr Slade turned around smiling; he knew the lad would go straight given a reasonable chance.
Outside the gate he fell back against the wall. A tear formed in his eye. He was glad to be out and he knew the responsibility that lay ahead of him and his duty towards Mr Slade. He was determined to stay out of trouble.
Six months after being released he was called up. After being taught to forget guns he was now being instructed to use big guns, powerful guns, deadly guns. In some ways he regretted it, but he had regained the feeling of self-confidence. “Funny” you may say but it did. God made him like that and therefore no reform school was meant to alter it.
As he hung on to the last threads of life, he thought of a proverb, one of many but one that proved to be the star in his life.
“ Those who live by the sword die by the sword.”
His mind repeated it over and over again. God! He had known that proverb for years but only now was he finding out the meaning. But then it could never happen to him: but it was, wasn’t it? Yes it was, but then he was still alive!
Quick fleeting thoughts flashed through his mind. Why did the Army want him? Why should he and not anybody else die fighting terrorists? Would he go to Heaven or Hell? What made him say that: he had never thought about religion in his life before now. But why now? Why did people invent stupid proverbs?
His head fell to one side. All signs of movement ceased instantaneously. He now looked relaxed.
The gun fell out of his right hand.
R.S. MORRIS, 1VA
The first thing that I can distinctly remember is hurtling through dark and
dreary underground passages, through eerie, glistening caverns, and when I
at last gushed up into the warm sunshine, and heard the sweet singing of birds.
On and on I went, spraying the yellow cowslips along the bank; rushing through cool, dew-drenched meadows; babbling over sparkling pebbles, and always gurgling and laughing my gay song to myself. I raced the birds, the lambs, and felt free and strong. Faster, and yet faster, I swirled, twisting and turning through undulating fields, until I tumbled into the great flowing river, with its foaming weirs, and shining shingle.
Gone was the clearness of the shallow stream; now came the slimy banks, and murky depth, the dirty coal barges, and the smoky factories, with smelling wharf, foul with the odour of drains.
Speed was not mine as I skimmed along, but then the tide caught me in its overpowering arms, and took me back, until it gave way to the current, which eventually swept me into the sea.
All is at peace now; I am almost lost in this infinite ocean. I can just hear the waves breaking on the shore, mingled with shrill, happy cries of human children. Soon, I will be taken up by fog and mist, dropped to the earth again, as rain, and once more travel the long exciting journey to the sea.
SYLVIA GRAHAM, 11A
NEWS OF FORMER MEMBERS OF THE SCHOOL
Mary Morse has been awarded a scholarship to the Lighthouse Settlement and
Bryn Mawr College, University of Philadelphia, together with a Fullbright Travel
Gillian Edmonds has obtained a degree in English with Honours at Durham University.
Pat Morris has obtained a degree in History with Honours at Manchester University.
Ruth Bullock has obtained a degree in Physics with Honours at Bristol University.
Lyn Thomas has obtained a degree in Engineering with Honours at London University.
Ivor Price has obtained a degree in Chemistry with Honours at Cardiff University.
Gerald Hayward has obtained a degree in Engineering with Honours at Leeds University.
Graham Williams has obtained a degree in Pharmacy with Honours at Leeds University.
Brian Lewis has obtained a degree in Botany with Honours at Bristol University.
John Jarvis has been elected President of the Students’ Union at Birmingham University.
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