Albert John (Taffy) Richardson (1945-48)...................................A Welsh born off-spring of a Welsh mother and English father I had spent the war years on my Uncle's farm at Trelewis, Glamorgan and was to return to Sandycombe Road, Kew Gardens with a pronounced Welsh accent. I had been at Grammar School at the John Lewis School, Pengam and was to encounter Eddie Roberts at the bus stop on my first day. He thought I spoke in a peculiar manner and the feeling was shared........ I thought he sounded a bit strange too. I was dubbed Taffy very quickly as was my brother David (Text Editor of this Site) who naturally became Taffy Junior when he arrived at the School in 1948. I was the smallest boy in the School and recall being spoken to by Alan Bloxham who offered me his services as a minder if I ever needed them. I never did. I was to ask Arthur Terry what the word 'facetious' meant and managed to evade the piece of chalk that came hurtling my way. On a non-academic note, I was to fall off my bike at the bus stop in Upper Richmond Road near Cliffords Bridge being busy ogling a bird in the bus queue at the time. There was no lasting damage to either bike or rider.
Michael Barnes (? - ?)..................................who now lives in Ontario, Canada.................."For the interest of anyone who attended the School between 1948 and 1952 during the period when HHS was the Head, the only person I have been able to maintain contact with has been Michael Battley, now resident in Leigh-o.n-Sea.
I became a Head Teacher, designated a Principal here and when I retired I was serving in a French Immersion Public School. I started writing in the 60's and am now author of over 40 books, mostly on Northern Canada but some on Police work. Since 1995 I have been a Member of the Order of Canada for literature. For a chap who saw his first published work in the Richmond and Twickenham Times in 1946..and that just a letter to the Editor...it has been a considerable step-up.
Right now we have had several weeks of severe cold and, in the words of the old Hudson's Bay Company salute, I extend to all Old Boys...................May You Winter Well"
Derek Cleveland (1946-51)............After spending two terms at Gainsborough Road School I took the 11 plus again and this time was granted an interview which I passed. I was offered a place at Sheen and started in September.
Teachers that spring to mind are: Mr. Shephard (Headmaster and affectionately known as Creep), Mr. Bacon (History), Mr. Terry (History and Sports), Mr. Chisman (Chemistry, Mr. Ryder (Biology), Mr. Brigden (Latin and English, Mr. Goodbourn (Geography), Mr Hyde (French), Mr Maclaren (French), Mr. Shackell (Woodwork), Mr. Fairhurst (Art) and Mr. Smith (Music).
The School was divided into four houses: Fife (Yellow), Hood (Red), York (Blue) and Temple (Green). Competition was fierce for the cups to be won for studies, football, cricket, swimming, athletics and chess. Each year consisted of two forms, A and B and rivalry between these was also intense.
Our first year was spent in two classrooms at the Hertford Avenue Girls School which also housed the Biology laboratory. The problems with this arrangement were minimised due to the fact that the masters taking the next class could be seen approaching from the main school.
When space became available in the main school we were shipped back there. We still had to run a gauntlet to the canteen in the girls' school at lunchtime It was worse when the snow was on the ground and we were pelted and not allowed to fight back against snowballs (some of which contained stones)
Since this was a period shortly after the War we were encouraged to have a small allotment behind the main school.
I joined the 1st East Sheen, School Scout Group, ably run by Mr. Shackell and Mr. Maclaren. We met on Friday evenings after school using the Woodwork Room as our Headquarters. The highlight was the two weeks summer camp, preparations for which started in early July. These included getting equipment packed and ready for the railway to collect and transport. At Easter we also had camps mainly in schools and Youth Hostels in Wales or the Lake District. Our scouting activities around the Richmond district were what we considered the best. We won the Camping and Scoutcraft Competitions on many occasions.
Times were changing by the time that we came to take final examinations. Matriculation had ceased and been replaced by the School Certificate with grades which changed regularly.
Roger Paveley (1947-52).....................David, Many thanks for your recent circular regarding the Reunion lunch in October, and my apologies for a rather long delay in replying. As you will note from the above address, the letter almost took a round the world trip to reach me. Although we still have an apartment in South Africa and use that address for local mail we are now spending most of the year in Germany. I would suggest that you use the address in Germany for any future communications.
At this stage I do not think that I shall be able to make it to the Reunion 2005 gathering. I know that this will mean missing out on a rare opportunity to revive old friendships, long since gone dead as the years and distance separated our divergent lives. Last year, when my brother, Tony, told me about the idea and gave me a copy of the contact list as it then existed, I was amazed at how many of the names I had completely forgotten. Additionally I had difficulty putting faces to many of the ones that I did remember. Presumably the ravages of time and stress will have blurred the features of most of those to the extent that recognition amongst first-time Reunion participants is a bit of a hit and miss affair.
After a lifetime spent in shipping and marine engineering, I retired fully last year. The initial intention was to return to our roots, and settle in UK. Maureen, my wife, is originally from Glasgow, so it seemed natural to try Scotland first. We have enjoyed many holidays over the years meandering around all parts north of the border, and decided to look thoroughly in the areas around Perth and the Borders. Eventually we came to realise that far too many from other more southerly parts of UK had already been ahead of us, driving up house prices to the point where value for money was disappearing rapidly. It was at this point when friends in this sleepy little backwater of N.W Germany told us about a property in the village where we had spent 4 years while I worked for consultants at the Emden shipyard of Nordseewerke GmbH. After a couple of trips to sort things out, we ended up buying, and moved here at the end of February. Hopefully for many years to come we will join the swallows, flying south to CapeTown for a few months to avoid the northern winters, and return each Spring.
I wish you and the rest of the “old boys” a successful Reunion, and hope you will be encouraged to repeat the idea in future years, when I would certainly make the effort to coincide a trip to visit family with the date of a Reunion.
Traton (Arthur) Brown (1943-48)........................in a letter to David Richardson..........The teachers that I can recall might still have been struggling to impart knowledge to numbskulls like me, when you were there. They included the Headmaster, Mr. Shephard and Messrs. Bacon,Hyde, Kirkby, Woods (Timber Willy), Bryant, Burridge and MacLaren. Mr Green took Chemistry, and Mr. Mercer who also ran the Chess Club of which I was a member. We used to play matches, home and away, against Twickenham Grammar and Chiswick Grammar.
I can also remember the following form mates: John Ellis, John Felix, Joe Caira, Des Stuckey, John Reekie, my cousin Terence Brown, Roy Chambers, Brian McDermott and Dudley Tibble. R.E.A. Brown known as Dickie was also there. We were colleagues in the Chess team and used to work it so that, when playing other schools and the captains had tossed for choice of colour (black or white) Dickie, who preferred to play a defensive game, played black whilst I always played white being more more attack-minded. He was unfortunately killed in a flying accident in the Fleet Air Arm. Dickie's brother was also at Shene and was known as 'Carrots' because of his mop of ginger hair. I was to learn later that Roy Chambers was wounded in action against the Mau Mau in Kenya.
These were the days of National Service and I elected to serve 5 years. I was to meet Peter Goundrell, another form mate at RAF Yatesbury during training. I have for a long time been known to my acquaintances and family as Percy.
A sixth former at the time was Jack Parker, AAA Champion 110 yards hurdles. He was a boyhood hero of mine along with Denis Compton and Bill Edrich.
Mike Bettles.........Congratulations on website. It looks very good. Can`t say the same about John in his "before" photograph! Thank God no-one has got one of me at that age although I believe there is a panoramic photo of the whole school that I appear on. Luckily my Mother seems to have disposed of that at some time. Look forward to catching up with lots of other things and memories that are probably best forgotten!
Norman How..........Congratulations on this new super website, Taffy and John. I was really amused to find a photo with a very scruffy, smaller me on it...!! Marie (my wife) reckoned I hadn't changed much......!! In the History I was intrigued to learn that HHS and Mr. Terry had been around from 1927. Mr. Hyde was the wonderful guy who spent around two hours of his evening time trying to persuade my parents that I wasn't a dead loss and would make it at University. I reckon I owe him a lot. (Did he know it's possible to be a dead loss and still make it at University...?). Hope I might make the 2004 Reunion.
The following photograph will be reinstated in the new Photo Gallery in due course
Here is an old school photo sent to John Olrog by Dudley Maynard. (see him at Familiar Faces in the Photo Gallery). The cameras in those days were pretty basic.
Back Row: Barry Bannister, John Neale, Peter Cheney, Alan Rogers, Jack McEnery, Mike Webb, Selwyn Thomas, Mike Bettles, Alan Hillman, Dudley Maynard, 'George' Stephens, Timothy Goldring, Derek Corless
Front Row: John Hasselgren, Tony Nicholas, John Olrog
Tom Smith (1946-52)............I write in appreciation of the efforts of David Richardson and John Olrog in organising the gathering at the Golf club. What a good evening..! I seemed to meet so many fellows I was with at Shene, partly because I had been involved with two class years. I reached Upper Five A on the occasion of the very first instance of GCE O level when I was 15 but at that initial set-up of GCE there was a ruling that candidates had to be 16 years old. I never established whether this was a County Council Education Committee directive or a demand of the Examination Board. This was to affect some half dozen of us.....Michael Mockridge, Gerry Wall, Trevor Griffiths and the late 'Tich' Skinner all chose to go into the Sixth Form straight on to A level but I was less confident of my academic ability and chose to step back a year to ensure that I took O levels. Thus I had another set of classmates......and this was how I dropped into John Olrog's form, sitting next to him in fact, during that last year I had at School.
It was interesting to see how some ex pupils didn't look a day different although others were not immediately recognisable. No mistaking John (except that he has gained height since leaving School....!) nor Gerry Forse, Michael Battley, and Gerry Wall. I failed to identify Dick Strevens (great change of height, here) and also Lionel Parker. It amazed me how well some matters were remembered. Michael Battley immediately enquired "Did you get around to racing motor cycles...?" (I bought my first motor cycle when I was 15 and had obviously talked of hopes of racing them). My answer was "Yes, for 9 years."
There are a few school memories that have stuck in my mind (don't ask me why), the first of which involved John....I didn't get the chance to remind him at the Reunion. This took place in the Geography room where John and I sat next to each other, second row back, in line with the door. I can't recall what John had originally done to upset Mr. Goodbourn but he was told to remove himself from the room....."You are being silly, Olrog....get out...!" John complied with the request slamming the door behind him. Gore, who was standing at the side farthest from the door and beyond the dais on which stood his desk, reacted with great speed and bounded across the dais in a couple of huge leaps like a 'triple jump' competitor and opened the door while John's hand was still in mid-air after having released the handle. John was grabbed by the scruff of the neck and hoisted back into the room. "Why did you slam the door, Olrog..?" was answered with astonished temerity by "It slipped out of my hand, sir"..........The final scene....."Well get out again and, this time, make sure that it doesn't slip out of your hand.......!!!!!!". I wonder whether John recalls the incident.....??
Mr. Bryant, the English master also has his place.....At the end of each chapter in our text books there was a list of words from which sentences had to be constructed to illustrate their meaning. Doing this orally, Mr. Bryant called upon Peter England to answer for the word 'avenue'. His solution was immediate....."when did you last avenue hat..?" A verbal trip through Gray's Elegy had arrived at the line 'some village Hampden born to blush unseen' and Mr. Bryant enquired of the significance of Hampden. Ian Cave was to offer 'the Hampden roar'..............For those who do not follow Association Football, in those days Hampden Park was the Scottish equivalent to Wembley Stadium and home to the Scotland national team and the sound generated by 130,000 fans was considerable.. Mr. Bryant was to sigh in despair that his pupils were more mindful of soccer than our great literary ancestors. Nevertheless, I am sure that Cave's contribution is what has made me remember Gray's Elegy almost in it's entirety.........!
Mr. Bryant had no better fortune with his recitation of Goldsmith's Deserted Village when he came to: 'the bashful virgin's sidelong looks of love, the matron's glance which would those looks reprove' ....and had to listen to Peter Chaney who advised all and sundry that his girlfriend was also a bashful virgin who was always bashing him with her handbag.....!!!
Other correspondents have mentioned the teaching of Latin.......! Reg. Brigden's teaching aid was his belt, doubtless remembered. But it made him, in my opinion, the best teacher at Shene and I only mastered English through Latin. I well remember Brigden entering he room at the first lesson of the two year run-in to O levels....."There is a homework timetable on the wall but take no notice of it becase I will give you homework EVERY night. Each day I will list 6 irregular verbs whose principal endings you must commit to memory. You will be tested on them the following day. Anyone who fails will get 3 strokes of my belt...." I saw to it that I never received such additional 'turoring'.
I went into engineering on leaving School and went to evening classes to do A level Latin when I was awaiting National Service call-up. The call-up came before the exam.....but the teacher was nowhere near Briggy - didn't have the same methods. I can still readily translate any Latin Motto. I was to meet Briggy again a few years after leaving school. My brother and I obtained Saturday employment to earn pocket money in a bicycle shop in Shene from which Reg. bought a moped. We kept in touch for many years with the shop owner and one night in late 1956 he asked us to go to Briggy's home in Jubilee Avenue, Twickenham to repair a puncture. This was the time of petrol rationing which arose from the Suez crisis. The Brig was doing well on his ration from the very high MPG of his moped thus paid us in much valued petrol coupons. I believe that he ultimately got a post at Twickenham Tech (almost on his doorstep) when it became a 6th Form College.........
I am looking forward to your 2004 omnimum gatherum
Ron Edwin-Scott (matriculated in 1950)..............I had 12 and a half years in the RAF flying Canberras as a navigator and followed this with 25 years as an (Australian) Air Traffic Controller in Australia and Papua New Guinea. I took early retirement on my 56th birthday in December, 1989.
I celebrated 44 years of marriage in February, 2003 and have 6 grandchildren the eldest of whom was 12 on Christmas Day. I am a Rotarian, Freemason, Lay Assistant in the Anglican Church and an enthusiastic lawn bowler
Rev. Dick Strevens (1946-53) .................I'd like to pay a personal tribute to HH Shephard as the founder Headmaster of the School...............Aided by mature and settled staff he was to set the tone of the School...hard academic work......good behaviour and courtesy. In my view, looking back well over 50 years, he had a spiritual, and I use the word in it's widest possible sense, influence upon the School as he gave us an appreciation of the deeper things of life. I owe him a debt of gratitude that I can never fully repay and I treasure the letter he wrote to me for my Ordination to the Priesthood on 29th September, 1963.
Mike (now a respectable Michael) Collett (1944-50)...........................Editor's Note...........Mike has provided team photographs of the Football 2nd X1 and Cricket 1st X1 both from 1950 and these are in the Photo Gallery....... Dick Congdon is included in the photographs and inspires the following from Mike.
"In my last year at School playing for Hood House I took 6 wickets for 2 runs against Fife, 5 for 15 against York and a measly 2 for 15 against Temple. Not bad...13 wickets for an average of 2.77. Hood duly won the cricket and I got hold of the School Magazine the following year, by which time I had left school, itching to see my name in print only to find that Dick Congdon's recall was that Hood had won the cricket due mainly to some fine bowling by David Head. Of Mike Collett..nary a mention....! 53 years on and I still remember being slighted. Ah, well.................pride comes before a fall...
The ever-present Arthur Terry in the photographs reminds me of once having a History homework returned by him with zero out of twenty and the single word CASTELFIDARDO scribed across the pages. I didn't know what it meant then and still don't. Can anyone enlighten me, please....? Editor's Note........Mike has been advised from this Office that this is a town in Ancona, Italy on the Adriatic and was the site of the defeat of the Papal army in about 1860 thus a significant area during the risorgimento under King Victor Emmanuel 2nd. He has subsequently come up with the little known fact that it is also well known for it's connection to the accordion.......!!!!!!!!. An additional Editor's Note......................I thought everybody knew about CASTELFIDARDO........!!!!!
The other master of blessed memory was Mr. Mac. We have now lived in France for eight years and were it not for Mac's hard work our life here would not have been half as enjoyable. He inspired confidence whereas Les Barfield, on the eve of the 1950 Matriculation Maths exam undertook to eat his hat if I passed.........I did pass.....but he never did eat his hat......!!
Dennis Keene was the youngest pupil at Shene on our arrival (both from King's School, Kew) in 1944 and I was the second youngest. What a claim to fame......!!"
Ralph Stone (1942-49).................................Since leaving school I have lived for most of my life in Africa, to begin with in what used to be Rhodesia now Zimbabwe and for the last forty-two years, in Cape Town, South Africa. I am married and have a son and daughter.
I cannot remember exactly when I became a pupil at the School but I do remember that I started off in Form 2C and, after a term, was promoted to 3A. I stayed in the A stream throughout but, due to ill-health, did very badly in 4A and, at the request of my mother (she went to see Mr. Shephard) repeated the class. After that I did quite well and matriculated in 1948. I left to emigrate to this part of the world after having had about six months in the 6th Form
In your list of Masters I noticed that 'Mr. Gardner' is listed as an English teacher. Actually he was Dr. WH Gardner (D.Litt) and an expert on the Victorian poet Gerard Manley Hopkins. If you look up WHG on the Internet you will find him linked with GMH and similarly GMH is linked to WHG. WHG and his family emigrated to South Africa circa 1947 and he became a lecturer at the Natal University College. Later he was appointed to the Chair of English at the University of the Orange Free State. I mention all this because as 'Mr Gardner' he sounds like a nobody whereas he was in fact a fairly prominent academic. (Editor's Note: Dick Strevens has also mentioned WGH's connection to GMH and the entry is now amended).
Another name that I noticed was Major JW Kirby. I think that 'Kirby' should actually read 'Kirkby'. (Editor's note: Now amended) His main subject may have been English but when I was at the School he taught me German. The poor man had great difficulty keeping order in his class, possibly partly due to the fact that the German language was a source of great amusement to many boys. I can remember him chasing a boy around the desks whilst the rest of the class was making such a racket that eventually Mr Shephard made an appearance in the doorway. That quietened things down immediately, of course. Mr. Kirkby's nickname was 'Vulch' short for vulture and on the occasion of a Mock Election at the school a poster appeared at the window of our classroom (pasted onto the outside of the glass but facing inwards) exhorting the boys to 'Vote for Vulch'. There was great hilarity when he had to send a boy to take the poster down.
I spotted one or two names of ex-pupils who had attended the 2002 Reunion that rang a bell but, as we used only surnames in those far-off days, I cannot be sure that they are the same people. PD Smith for example. Is he the Smith who used to play the piano on alternate weeks to myself for the hymns at Assembly..? If so I would love to hear from him. Is John Ellis the same Ellis who used to come top of my class time after time.....? The only definite contact I have is with Edward Steers. We communicate by e-mail now and again and, of course, I visit him if I am in London but I haven't been there for some time.
Surnames of boys who were my colleagues at the time include Johnson, Martin, Llewellyn, Stuckey, Storkey, Raymond, Gunddrie, German, Chambers, Metaxides and Ralph. I should like to track down any of these.
Editor's Note...........see also Ralph's Piano story later on this page
Raymond Argent (1941-46).......................For County Scholarship entry from Richmond primary schools preliminary examinations were held during the Winter term. Successful candidates were then sent for the Final examination held at the County School on a Saturday in late March 1941. This examination covering various subjects lasted until late afternoon under the supervision of the Headmaster Mr Shephard.
I discovered that I had been successful in an an announcement during morning assembly at Darrell Road School. and following the school joining instructions I was kitted out with the uniform at Faith Bros. the school outfitters in East Sheen despite wartime clothes rationing. The School emblem was a Tudor rose with the letters R & ES mounted above which was worn on the blazer.
In 1941 there was a two form entry sytem.....one for the scholarship boys and the other for fee payers. In that first year there were about 18 boys in my form. I noted that morning assembly took longer than that at primary school. When the school had assembled the Headmaster made his entrance and was joined in the procession to the stage by five senior masters. In addition to the hymn and prayers the lesson would be read by a prefect. Once a fortnight details were given of marks gained for work, form by form, a commendation given for obtaining 140-159 marks out of 200 and a high commendation for 160+ marks. Commendation earned 1 point for one's school house whilst highly commended earned 2 points. A caution for bad work would lead to the loss of a point. The School was divided into four houses...Temple, Hood, York and Fife and meetings under the guidance of the Housemaster were a regular feature.
Various organisations and societies existed. The Army Cadet company of which I was a member, met on Fridays after school as did the air scouts. I think the land scouts met mid-week. Masters were the officers in the Cadet company and I recall that Mr. Kirby was a Major and Dr. Gardner a Lieutenant. Mr Shackell was the Group Scoutmaster in the air scouts and Mr Maclaren a scoutmaster in the land scouts. I was also a member of the Geographical Society who met weekly under the guidance of Mr Goodbourn.
Punishment was, in the main, by detention after school but more serious offences meant Saturday morning attendances. School lunches were provided in a dining hall situated in a building on the far side of the Hertford Avenue sports fields. The building was occupied by Mortlake Girls Secondary School their play area also doubling as the parade ground for the Army Cadets. I remember the lunches being of good quality and quantity considering the wartime restrictions on food. My favourite dish was cheese and potato pie of which there was always a second helping. The dining hall layout consisted of rows of trestle type tables each seating 25-30 boys with a master sitting at the head of each table....the food being served on to plates at that end and passed down the table. Grace was always said by a master before lunch. The cost............5d per day...........about 2p now........!!
During the War years school life went on as near normal as possible. Savings Stamps were on sale on one day a week and special efforts were made during National Savings weeks i.e. War Weapons Week, Wings for Victory etc. Speech Days were held as usual when masters wore their graduation gowns instead of the plain gowns normally worn during school hours. There were occasional interruptions caused by air raids and particularly during the summer of 1944 at the height of the V1 offensive... a time when boys were expected to prepare all the text and exercise books required for the day's morning and afternoon session so that in the event of an alert a quick move to the shelter was possible. If night air raids continued over a certain number of hours, school opening time was delayed until 10am. Each class had an allocated underground shelter in the school grounds.
Boys were encouraged to manage their own allotments in the school grounds.
Discipline and good manners were always maintained and you would be expected to raise your cap when meeting a master in or out of the school grounds..