Issue No. 19 Autumn 2001
The Chairman's Swan song, and a VIth Form Outing!
Old school friends' website ‑ again ‑ www.friendsreunited.co.uk
Reunion for Dorkinians of the 40s, held at Denbies ‑Sheila Sandford
Dorkinians to the rescue! ‑ Sheila Sandford
Lest we forget ‑ Memorial Plaques, and Memoriam Book
Amy Langridge, this year's ADA Bursary Winner, "Living the Ashcombe spirit"
Hebe Morgan had a nasty fall, but wants to create joy where she can!
David Knott continues to work ( and paint) on Tobago
Old Dorkinian Football Club ‑ Peter Mills
EDITOR'S ODDS & ENDS
The School has long been noted for its musical activities, so it is appropriate to have to report two swan songs in this edition! Mike and Rosemary are standing down, both having made very significant contributions to the Association. The membership will surely show its appreciation on 13th October.
A sad note comes with news of the death of Miss Barter in May ‑ there is a brief report from Sheila Sandford who attended the funeral, but there must be members who would like to write appreciations in time for the next edition in Spring 2002?
Also our thoughts go to Sheila Bowers whose brother Geoff has just died at the age of 81. Geoff did not go to our school, but he was closely associated with it owing to his musical talents, and he will be fondly remembered by many Old Dorkinians as a great entertainer, singer and jazz pianist.
This year's ADA Bursary Winner, Amy Langridge has come up trumps with an article written before she has had the chance to spend the money! We will still expect to hear how it was spent, Amy.
Hebe Morgan seemed to encourage publication of the story of her nasty fall, and she is of course a writer, so we hope it does not appear too insensitive to reproduce the email sent to Rosemary ‑ we'll blame Rosemary, and wish Hebe a quick and complete recovery. And, talking of recovery, it is good to hear that Peter Weller is feeling much better now, having put on a stone ‑ just half a stone to go to reach his "fighting weight"! Also, he has stopped smoking.
David Knott has not only given us two very interesting articles, but has already tried to book his place at the October Reunion lunch before the menu has been discussed!
Congratulations to Peter Mills on his AFA award, and to the ODFC on its continuing success.
The saga of Fisher versus Quantrell continues, with Geoff wondering why Gordon has brought this up 60 years late ‑ has defeat rankled all this time! Geoff writes:
"To be fair, Gordon's recollection is not quite correct. As I recall, Gordon started at the Grammar School in the first form whereas I joined in the second form with the scholarship entry at age 11. On Sports Day in 1941 there was a 60 yard sprint for under 13s which I won. Gordon and I also entered under 14 races and 1 finished ahead of him in both 100 yards and 220 yards. I distinctly remember the 220 yards event which was run round a bend but not in lanes we just lined up in a straight line. I was fortunate to draw the inside position, and when the starter's whistle blew I went straight into the lead and led round the bend and down the long straight until about 20 yards from the finishing line, when the "big boys" Alick Fowler and Hugh Higby came past to take first and second places.
I think it was about this time (at age 13) that Gordon joined Dorking St. Paul's Athletic Club (alas no longer in existence under this name), and the following year he beat me in all the under 14 events to become Junior Champion, and subsequently a star athletics performer.
I note that Gordon is still setting records being well into his 70s and having a 10 year old son!"
What memories these old chaps have!
Last ‑ but not least! ‑ we welcome all the new members, listed separately.
David Mountain August 2001
65 Broadhurst, Ashtead
Surrey KT21 lQD
Tel: 01372 273227 Email: David.H.Mountain@BTInternet.com
The Ashcombe School celebrates 25 years at the end of September, in a "low key" manner as John Gent mentions in his 'Bit'. Please contact John if you are interested.
ADA Golf ‑ the next fixture we hope will be arranged for Spring 2002. If you are not a regular participant in these enjoyable events, please contact Harold Child as soon as possible.
REUNION/AGM ‑ Saturday 13th October 2001. Papers accompany this newsletter.
November 7th Old Boys' League v Cambridge University ‑ Pixham. Lane, 2.15pm
November 11th and Memorial Gates‑ please note that if you wish to observe the 2 minutes' silence at our recently rededicated Memorial Gates, the site will be open from 10.30 am with the help of Robert Miller, who will also be arranging for a wreath to be placed there on behalf of the Association.
COPY for next Newsletter to the Editor by 1st March 2002, please.
From the Chairman
This is my swan‑song as Chairman [does anybody remember "The Silver Swan" which the Madrigal Society sang at DCGS, circa 1949?] as I stand down from the post at the AGM in October. I shall no doubt utter a few further words at that meeting, but I would like to offer my thanks to the membership for the support they have given myself and my Committee colleagues over the past three years. Together we have achieved a good deal and I believe the Association now to be at least in equally as good health as it was at the beginning of the period. Another nostalgic look back! Does anyone remember the absentee books that one form member had to keep and hand in to the Headmaster once a week? I was the monitor for Upper VB, and I remember a note in my book signed by Trefor Jones saying "How many times do I have to tell you, the word "beginning" has three ns two in the middle and one towards the end". That's how I learned to spell "beginning"!
The Doc Morgan fund has grown to a reasonable sum and is still open as we continue to negotiate a suitable award with the School. It would still be good to present the award at the AGM but what with Summer holidays etc. we might not quite make it. On the issue of raising the subscription, as noted in the previous Newsletter, your Committee has decided to proceed with this as from the next Association year, starting 1 September 2001. Although one member felt a couple of pages should suffice for the 'letter to keep within present subscription levels, the consensus was that present standards should be retained, albeit at increased subscription. However, included in the proposed increase is the ability for the Association to award Bursaries to two School students per year, which the Committee believes to be both acceptable and appropriate. Thus from the School year 2001‑2, it is likely that two £250 Bursaries will be awarded on a regular basis.
One ambition which I have not achieved in my stint as Chairman is that of setting up an archive for the safe keeping and retention of Old Dorkinian artefacts. You may recall that the Committee talked to the Dorking Museum on this but, while they were very co‑operative, we perhaps need to get all our own ducks in a row before proceeding further. Thus, I have told the Committee that, as I look like one, I would be prepared to become the Association's museum piece! In other words, I would be prepared to hold and catalogue any artefacts which members may wish to put into the safekeeping of the Association. Watch this space, we will see how it progresses!
Finally ["thank goodness" I hear you mutter], I must make a serious challenge to the 1960‑1970 Dorkinians to come forward as volunteers for the Committee. Membership is not an arduous task but with those standing down this year we look, at the moment, like going into next year two short. The future of the Association must rest with you "newer" people; if you do not come forward, it will cease to exist. The warning and the challenge are there! Best wishes to all.
Upper VI [Science] Outing ‑ Fifty‑one Years On
On 25 July 2001 four old Codgers [sorry "Dorkinians"] assembled at Temple Golf Club in the heart of beautiful Berkshire for a round of golf, almost exactly 51 years from the last day of term of their Upper Sixth year. All were fit and sprightly despite one with a recent hip replacement, one with a gammy knee, one with water‑works problems and finally one who couldn't play golf. A best ball foursome was played in which Roberts took on Ashcombe and Craven. Several hours and a few lost balls later they drove triumphantly up the eighteenth [buggies had been provided] having reflected at length [as they let other golfers through] on the virtues of DCGS. Unusually, as memories served them, Roberts managed to get home first, two and one, despite the efforts of the House's non‑golfer to make it otherwise. Gallons of lime and soda were later drunk to put back the liquid losses suffered from sitting in the buggies, and, after a lovely meal, beers were taken and toasts were drunk not only to a superb day but also to the excellence of the establishment that brought them together in the first place. (In the absence of a photo, which anyway would not have enabled all our readers to identify the players, let it be known that our generous host was David Everett, and the other impaired lives were John Campbell, David Mountain, and of course Modest Mike; this listing is not necessarily in order of handicap or other disability! ‑ Editor).
New members keep coming in ‑ 16 since the April Newsletter went out, including another one this morning, just as I was finalising the list of updates. Many of you are busily recruiting, and the results are impressive. I hear of a number of others who are intending to join, but haven't quite managed to put pen to paper yet.
At the lost count, there were only about 20 members in arrears with their subscriptions. You will know who you are from a message in this mailing. Last year's system seemed to work well, and I am repeating it this time. Subscription forms will only go out to those who need to pay. The rules are .. don't pay unless you get a form ‑ do pay (immediately) if you do. Subscriptions paid by cheque or cash are due on SEPTEMBER 1st standing orders are payable on December 1st. Work it out for yourself ‑ you know it makes sense!
Our genial editor kindly asked me for my swan song, and this is it. My turn has come to hand on the baton; not before time, some will say, who have seen my efficiency level drooping recently. I have enjoyed being Membership Secretary, with all its contacts with so many people. I apologise to all those whose entries are STILL wrong, but I have taken ages over it this time to get it as near right as possible. Next April's list should have all the dates reinstated which so mysteriously disappeared lost time. And if you have 'May' or 'June' in your name, I trust it won't come out as a date again. If it does, blame John Gent, not me!
See you all at the Reunion in October. Rosemary
Ron Thompson lonely?
Ron Thompson lonely?
Some of our members really travel the world in their efforts to cam a living! An e‑mail was recently received from Ron Thompson, last heard of in Bangkok, Thailand. He has just been posted to another job ‑in Hanoi, Vietnam this time! As he is settling in there and feeling a little like a fish out of water, he would love to hear from old friends and his new e‑mail address is:
He is also struggling with temperatures in the 120s which makes our recent 90s sound quite cool ‑ though some would disagree with this!
Further to the notice in the Spring Newsletter about the new website,
I have been very pleased to see how rapidly this site has grown since it was launched at the end
of February ‑ it now has over 28,000 members!
Of greater interest to all of us is the fact that the number of Dorkinians
has increased dramatically and I do urge you to have a look at this site.
Through it I have two personal successes to record ‑
Dorita Lydury who left in our third year to move to the West Country
and Peter Denly who was also in my class at Primary School!
(By the time you read this, I hope they will both have joined ADA!)
I have had no contact with either of them for over 50 years!
Has anyone else caught up with the post?
If you haven't already, please do have a look on
AN IDEA CONCERNING DORKINIANS OF THE 40s
It all started last September when Lionel Rose suggested that he and I might try to organise a Reunion for our year, i.e. the 1947 intake. I said that illness had meant I missed so much time in the third form, that I had to stay down a year and wondered if we could also include 1948. Further discussions revealed that we also knew quite a lot of folks from 1946. This then was our nucleus ‑ and so it all began! We set ourselves a target of forty to make the event worthwhile.
At the October Lunch and AGM, Lionel handed out letters seeking interest in the project and by early December he had a good number of names and addresses. Here I must pay tribute to Lionel's sterling work and latent detective qualities in tracking down many people from very scant information! Some of our supporters at that time gave us further names to contact and by January, and after many telephone calls, Lionel had a list of some 60 people to whom were sent the details, with a reply deadline of 6 February.
By that date, any fears we had about a lack of support were totally dispelled! We even had enquiries from overseas as the word spread! The lengthy phone calls continued and these were mini‑reunions in themselves!
Inevitably some of you who read this will feel that you have missed something ‑ and for that we apologise. However this was "a private function" supported by your Association but not organised by it, and Lionel and I relied heavily on word of mouth to make contact with so many people with whom we had lost touch. A great number who came were not members of A.D.A. and, in fact, had not heard of it. So if you feel that you could have qualified as "an immediate post‑war Dorkinian" but did not hear about the plans for April 2001, we offer our apologies but hope you will enjoy reading the following brief account of this special day. Similarly, some who knew about the Reunion but ignored our letter or could not apply for tickets for various reasons, may now realise what a treat they missed!
Reunion for Dorkinians of the 40s
held at Denbies, Dorking on 28 April 2001
Ninety‑four people, the majority of whom started at DCGS in 1946, 47 and 48, gathered at Denbies on 28 April to renew old friendships and catch up on each other's lives.
Well ‑ what a splendid day we all enjoyed! The buzz of happy chatter pervaded the lovely Garden Room at Denbies as people greeted long lost contemporaries!. Many nostalgic thoughts were awakened as chance remarks sparked off our memories. Many brought photographs and time was spent in trying to identify all the people in them! It is a sad fact that at this stage of our lives, in our 60s, we suddenly realise that it would have been so very helpful to have written the dates and names of people on the backs of all our photographs ‑ but we're only human and we were confident when the photographs were taken that we would remember all the details in 50 years' time! Some old copies of the School Magazine, with its distinctive blue cover, were seen, and someone even had the courage to bring their old School Report!
We were delighted that Miss Coney, who taught at DCGS for 35 years, was our Guest of Honour and she was presented with an arrangement of flowers Miss Secretan (now Mrs. Taylor) came with her husband, John, and this gave us the opportunity to acknowledge her recent award of the MBE for services to sport in Surrey Schools. She too received some flowers. Mr. Bradshaw (now 96 and as bright as ever) joined us too, and all received a warm welcome from the former students of Dorking County Grammar School. In addition we were glad to have with us two daughters and one son of former members of staff, namely Anne (Bradshaw) Lewis, Gillian (Hayter) Evans and John Woodman.
People had come from all over the country, some making great efforts and combining the Reunion with a weekend away. We were particularly pleased to welcome guests from the USA, Australia and South Africa. Additionally, we felt on more of an equal footing now with a few of those "that we used to look up W' (i.e. the prefects or idolised sportsmen!!) in those early years at school.
Half an hour had been allowed for the pre‑Lunch reception but was insufficient time with so many people who had so much to say to each other! However Lunch was not long delayed and people sat at small tables of six, which meant that they could all talk to each other quite easily. And they did! Following Lunch, everyone was able to mix and mingle and they all enjoyed themselves so much that it was quite difficult to bring matters to a close!
Everyone had been given a "package" containing a list of those who attended and other useful information, including a note about the proposed "Doc Morgan Award". This particular piece of paper had a number on it. Miss Coney (former Head of French!) was invited to think of a number and announce it in French. The person who could interpret the number correctly and produce the paper to prove it, could claim a bottle of Denbies wine! There was rather a long pause after the number was announced and Miss Coney could be heard, uttering in familiar tones, "Come along now ‑ you learned that in the first form"! The lucky winner was found ‑ and it was Joy Lucas, now Mrs. Trunkfield from Sussex.
Following this, people began to drift away, still chattering nineteen to the dozen and, unfortunately, having to venture out into a terrible downpour ‑ but this failed to dampen our spirits! Someone was heard to ask, "When's the next one?" ‑ there is no answer to that at the moment! But perhaps you, dear Reader, would like to organise it? If so, Lionel and I will be happy to give you our support and would look forward to attending.
On a personal note, Lionel and I would like to say how touched we have been to receive over forty letters and messages of appreciation following the Reunion ‑ it made our hard work doubly worthwhile ‑ thank you!
Some familiar faces at the Reunion can be found on the following pages!
Miss Norah Barter
We regret to report the death on 9 May 2001 of Miss Norah Barter, after several years of declining health. She had taught at the Grammar School, where she was Head of English, for thirty years from 1944 until retirement in 1974.
She is survived by her sister Joan who taught at Ranmore School for many years so, with this connection and the fact that they lived in Ashcombe Road, it was fitting that the funeral service was held in Ranmore Church. The Association was represented by Maureen Meier and Sheila Sandford from the Committee and by Sheila Bowers. Former staff members Miss Dorothy Keenor and Mrs. Jo Taylor were also present. Another Dorkinian connection was provided by the organist, Christopher Pratt.
At the suggestion of Miss Joan Barter, a donation in memory of Miss Barter was made to Age Concern on behalf of the Ashcombe Dorkinian Association.
Dorkinians to the Rescue!
(a true story)
One day in mid July I received a Fax at 4 pm. Nothing unusual in that ‑ except that 1 had not been trying to book seven rooms in France for a Tour by Dorking Cricket Club the following week! There was insufficient detail for me to contact the sender to alert her to the fact that her message had reached the wrong destination. The recipient's name and telephone number were not shown.
A phone call to a colleague on the ADA Committee produced the Old Dorkinian Cricket Club contact, David Wilcockson. He was most helpful and supplied the name and number of the Secretary of Dorking CC. Left message on answer machine.
By 7 pm, there had been no response. Looked at Fax again ‑ it commenced "Dear John" and yes, on the bookings list, there were two Johns ‑ but they had rather common surnames and the local phone book did not yield any bright suggestions! Suppose the Dorking Cricket Club Secretary was on holiday and would not get the message in time? ‑ I tried a different tack. Searched the bookings list for a couple of unusual surnames and hoped the phone book would be more helpful. Success! Well moderate success ‑ again I had to leave messages on the answer machine. I tried the third and last number, a Dorking number this really was my fast hope. A charming lady answered the phone, was somewhat surprised at my story, but took my telephone number ‑because her husband was at cricket practice!
About 9.30 pm everything happened! The Cricket Club Secretary phoned back but had no idea who John was! The Dorking gentleman called in response to his wife's message and, much to my relief, he knew at once who John was! He'd get John to ringme.
Five minutes later, John rang ‑ and the mystery unravelled. His telephone number is very similar to mine and the sender had obviously not checked the fax confirmation as to where her message had gone! Furthermore, it transpired that John lives in the next road to me!
All that remained for me to do then was to leave another message on the Oxshott number to say "mystery solved", forward the Fax to John's ex‑directory number ‑ and consider a career as a private detective, safe in the knowledge that the Dorking Cricket Club could enjoy their tour and would have somewhere to lay their heads at night!!
John Gent's Bit
The ADA Bursary
Once again this year we had a very high standard of applicant for the Bursary, making it very difficult to select a winner. All four who applied had a very high record of academic achievement as required for the Bursary, as well as being highly motivated in various nonacademic fields. What I have written below describes only a small part of their achievements but it does give you some idea of the high standard of candidate which we interview.
Louise Appleton achieved straight A's in all the 10 subjects she took for her GCSE, with distinctions in six of them. In addition to her academic ability she has found time to gain her Duke of Edinburgh's Award at bronze and silver levels and is now working towards her gold. That is apart from her music, as well as her sporting prowess in hockey, occasionally captaining the school ~and in tennis, where she plays for the Dorking Tennis Club's 2nd Team. Louise is taking a year out to travel to Costa Rica on a conservation placement, and to Australia to work on a farm, before returning to commence her studies in Veterinary Science at Bristol University.
Caroline Le Breton achieved five distinctions in her 12 GCSE subjects and has gained bronze and silver in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and is currently working towards her gold, She also won the Baden‑Powell Trefoil Award and still finds time to study the flute. Caroline has been a senior prefect and was this year's Head Girl. In that role she has been an ~able representative of the School, leading meetings and was on the Committee for the Charities' Week, which has supported the redecoration of Romania's only children's hospital, which she visited in July. Caroline is intending to read modem languages at Durham University.
Aaron Robotham, the brother of one of last year's ADA Bursary applicants gained eight distinctions in his 10 GCSE examination results and currently bowls for the Westcott 1st Cricket Team. He also has found time to get his Duke of Edinburgh bronze award. Aaron has been conditionally accepted at Christ Church College Oxford to read Physics.
Amy Langridge impressed the Bursary committee particularly by her range of interests and activities including football, cycling, horse‑riding, film‑making and acting, in addition to gaining her GCSE's in 10 subjects. However it was the very severe trauma of a family bereavement and her subsequent achievements both academically and in the newly formed School Mentor System which particularly impressed us. She became the 6th Form management co‑ordinator for the Scheme which assists students who may be experiencing a variety of problems including family problems, bereavements, friendship or schoolwork problems etc. Amy's care for others was recognised by the School in awarding her our ADA Prize last year. She is anticipating going to Derby University in the Autumn to read Media Studies.
It was Amy's determination in overcoming adversity yet still maintaining a high academic standard which decided the Committee to award the Bursary to her. Well done, Amy! We look forward to hearing from you in the future. In fact I am assured by David that we already have a contribution from you which is printed elsewhere in this Newsletter.
The £1 million Sports Hall is still on schedule to open in January 2002. Mr Webster tells me that he will be inviting local residents who live in Ashcombe Road for a preview, so that they will be able to see inside the building which is effectively "on their doorstep".
Ashcombe School Silver Jubilee
The Ashcombe School celebrates its Silver Jubilee in September, having been formed in 1976. It has been decided to keep the celebrations "low‑key" , which will probably take the form of a self-funding buffet at the School at the end of September. Those interested, please contact me.
An Unfortunate Increase
Unfortunate but necessary. As intimated elsewhere in the Newsletter we are finding it increasingly difficult to keep our costs down. The Newsletter is well received by everyone, especially in the new format. But the inclusion of photographs which make it that more interesting together with the folded A3 format and the twin‑stapling, mean that the printers have to take extra care in its production and charge accordingly. Even though we have tried different printers the costs are still increasing.
We would appear to have two main alternatives: either to decrease the Newsletter in quantity or in content, or to increase the Association's subscriptions. You will recall that we now have two "full" Newsletters which have increased to over 20 pages and an Autumn Newssheet, The committee has decided that regrettable though it is, we should pursue the latter path.
We have also been considering whether we can increase the number of bursaries. On a couple of occasions over the past few years the quality of candidate we have interviewed has been so high that it has been difficult to decide on who should be awarded the Bursary. Fortunately our economic situation in the Association has been healthy enough to enable us to award two bursaries.
The committee feel that increasing members' subscriptions will not only solve the problem of the additional printing costs but will also enable the Association to award two bursaries as the norm rather than as the exception. Of course if only one applicant is worthy of the bursary only one will be awarded.
Regrettably therefore, commencing our new financial year in September we shall be increasing subscriptions to £10.00 per person and to £15.00 per couple. Students in full‑time education or for two years after leaving school will still be granted free membership.
LEST WE FORGET
The interest which the refurbishment of the Memorial Gates generated last year is still continuing.
There are two Plaques in the entrance foyer of the School listing those who perished in the two World Wars.
Photographs of those Plaques are shown below.
The Great War 1914‑1918
E J Arthur L T Furnival P R Nicklin
S G Boorer S Gardiner O J Pullen
B P Collins R J Harman S E Reeves
A N Cousin G Jerome H N Verrells
W P F Cupror W H Kay E Vialls
D H Denham A Lipscomb O Withers
F J Eveleigh W Jeal F Woodman
R T G Farindon H T Nicklin A M Thompson
P J E Pierce
The World War ‑1939‑1945
M L Arnold B R Cushing W Luff
E G Baker I R Fraser C Maynard
R D Baple A G Gardiner M F Mills
D A Bond J Gorsten M J Norgate
G A Brett G M Head D Northfield
J I Byrne A J Holden P V Read
F A Collins R E Holt R Teede
R J King
We are hoping to produce an "In Memoriam Book dedicated not only to those on the Plaques and others who perished, but also those who survived. There must be many of you with personal memories as well as those recollections which may have been told to you by others, be it family, friends or acquaintances.
As you can see from the Plaques there are 25 names of "Old Boys and Masters‑ of the old Dorking High School (for Boys) who died in the First World War (the Great War), and 22 "Old Boys" who died in the Second World War. In case the pictures are not entirely clear I have typed the names alongside.
It is sobering to look at the names and realise that two of the young men on the first Plaque were probably brothers. And what of A M Thompson and P J E Pierce who apparently have been added to the First World War plaque after all the others (which are in alphabetical order). Which of the names were "Masters"?
The first thing is to determine whether the list is complete. It is quite possible that there were others associated with the School who also died. Both plaques refer only to males but the Co (Grammar) School has always been co‑educational and 1 wonder if there were not women/girl killed as well.
The next thing e would like to do is to start producing the "In Memoriam " Book as describe above. Please could you write suitable epitaphs, memories or even sober anecdotes which you may have so that we can commence preparing the Book. Mike Dobson, our outgoing Chairman has kindly offered to act as editor and all contributions should be sent to him.
LEST WE FORGET
Amy Langridge, this year's ADA Bursary Winner, "Living the Ashcombe spirit"
It is said that your school years are the best years of your life, although, at the time you feel that they will never end, that teachers are your worst enemy and homework is more painful than seeing the dentist. However, now my time at 'school' is at an end I find myself almost lost without it. Twinned with a great sense of accomplishment is one of sadness, knowing that I will have to move away from the security and familiarity of Ashcombe walls, my friends and my teachers, whom I also regard as friends. Nevertheless, the memories of my 8 years at Ashcombe and the achievements I have made will stay with me forever and I hope to share some of these with you in this article.
Throughout my time at The Ashcombe School. I have tried to be as involved as possible in both my studies and school life in general. I enjoyed all my A‑Level subjects which included Sociology, Media studies, Theatre studies and General studies, however I particularly enjoyed Media studies and wish to pursue a degree course in this subject area. Even though I endured a lengthy time in depression due to my Father's illness and then his death when I was in year 10, I always felt the need to do well in my GCSE 's and to continue participation in school activities. I take pride in the fact I have participated in every annual school production, either on stage or behind the scenes, expressing my desire to entertain people. My passion to entertain also took the form of playing football for the sixth form ladies team, where we reached the semi‑final of the Surrey county cup. I am also proud of the fact I was head student organiser of the Senior Citizens Christmas party. This involved designing invitations and letters, collecting presents and organising transport.
The Ashcombe school has given me much more than an education, it has helped me grow as an individual. My time in the lower years of the school were somewhat difficult, as identified by staff and other pupils alike. The difficulties I had experienced led me to want to help other pupils who were experiencing difficulties either at school or home. This role began when the concept of a school mentoring system was announced. The role of this mentoring system is to help pupils to help pupils. Two students from every year group starting from year eight to lower sixth, would visit tutor groups and help any students who preferred to talk confidentially to a student, rather than a teacher. I was put in charge of the student side of the mentor system, I would help any students who felt that a problem raised by a fellow pupil was too difficult for them alone to handle, I would also be in charge of informing the heads of lower School and year seven of any updates or serious information which may need their attention. This role progressed to a more permanent involvement, with year seven in particular. I organised a couple of year assemblies on the subject of charities week, helped arrange lower sixth helpers for a trip to the Spectrum leisure centre and participated in tutor group sessions.
Charities week would always be a time of great excitement for me lower down the school, therefore when the chance came along for me to help organise it in the lower sixth, I jumped at the opportunity. I particularly enjoyed organising a Line Dancing evening, and a western show in the afternoon with the co‑operation of my fellow students in my Theatre Studies group. I really loved the atmosphere of the school at that time, subsequently that year we raised a massive total eventually stopping at above £4,000 for charity and the school's Romania fund. Moreover, what was really wonderful about all the money we raised during that week, was that I had the chance to put some of it to use on the Romania visit. I have taken the opportunities provided by the school to visit many overseas countries. This has not only been great fun, but also very educational in terms of furthering my knowledge of other societies and cultures. This was particularly true of the trip to Romania where a number of sixth formers, including myself, refurbished a section of the main hospital in lasi and assisting in other aid work to help those less fortunate than ourselves. This project continues with as much success as it has in the past.
The school gives many students the opportunity to help others, not only on such a large scale as that of Romania, but also in terms of other pupils in the school. With the experience I gained through being Sixth form management co‑ordinator of the school's mentor system, I wanted to help out on a more regular and personal basis. It was then I decided to assist lower school reading and literacy programmes in my spare time. This included coaching a reading programme known as 'Toe By Toe' and working with various computer programmes set up by the school to aid literacy and pronunciation skills. I enjoyed this very much, but when the time came to stop the reading sessions in order to commit myself to A‑Level study, I kept myself in touch with the lower school pupils by attending and writing up the minutes for school council meetings.
I will undoubtedly miss the Ashcombe, but I hope to commit myself to my University life the same way as I have done there. Having finished my years at Ashcombe I strongly urge other students to make the most of all the great opportunities the Ashcombe school gives each and every pupil. Not only in the region of sport and theatrical events, but the opportunity to visit other countries, understand other cultures and most of all, to help and understand the other students who surround you. Making the leavers' video for my year allowed me to create my own tribute to my time at Ashcombe, and give my friends a memento of our times together, Hopefully it will remind them of what the Ashcombe school has brought out of them, as much as it reminds me of what my time there has done for myself.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Ashcombe Dorkinian Association for allowing the chance to write this article. I would also like to thank them for awarding me the Bursary which shall help me greatly when I start University in September.
Hebe Morgan wants to create joy where she can!
I have been 'hors de combat et de e‑mail' through having fallen off the loo and suffering a compound double fracture of the bones of my lower left leg. The scene of my agony has given a good many people a few moments of hilarity, and one should create joy where one can.
The serious facts are that last Tuesday night I wasn't well, but survived until Wednesday morning. I was very shaky when I got up at 8 am, and fainted while on the loo, landing up mainly in the bathroom. The ambulancers were unable to get a trolley into the bedroom, so I was eventually carried out in a canvas sling to the ambulance. It hasn't been quite as much fun as one would expect.
I came home from hospital yesterday. Derry was in a terrible state, but is getting better now I'm here. Helen. did marvels during the week, looking after him, and we were expecting Fiona and kids from today for a fortnight of the school holiday, but she developed a mild flu, and can't come for several days. Meanwhile we have discovered an amazing amount of back‑up for people who fall off pedestals ‑ nursing, meals‑on‑wheels, you name it, and a treasure trove of gear like tall chairs and wheel chairs and crutches and so on. And as befits the oldest of the family, I have a walking frame. I shall be off my foot until late August, and they expect that it will not be completely well for about 6 months.
I've just had an invigorating session with a nurse, who has washed my hair and become a great comfort generally. I'll keep in touch once I get back to the computer, which is a bit beyond me at present. Stareh* has done this one for me.
*Stareh is a grandson ‑ one of Helen's boys
David Knott (1944‑61) continues to work (and paint) on Tobago
Tobago is a pretty and relatively undeveloped island. Its topography is unusual having a coral plain at its south‑western end rising to rain forested hills in the Northeast. I came to it in 1954 having left our School in 1951 and taken a degree in Estate Management at London University. Being I suspect the only candidate to answer an advertisement on the College notice board I was offered and took a job managing an Estate on the island. I travelled out to Trinidad on the final voyage of a coal fired tub called the SS Ariguani, celebrating my 21st Birthday on route. From Trinidad you travelled to Tobago by Island Steamer or on 3 days a week by DC3 landing on a grass strip at the extreme west of the island. I stayed for a day or two at the Robinson Crusoe Hotel in the company of two remittance men and a fugitive from an outraged husband in Nicaragua.
The Estate I was to manage lay at the north‑eastern end of the island on Man O War bay opposite the village of Charlotteville. I drove the 30 miles to Charlotteville by Land Rover which I parked in the police station yard and walked down to the beach. I had discovered by then that the final part of the journey was a 2 mile boat trip across the bay or a 4 mile walk round it, up and down a mountain footpath. Arriving at the Estate I found that the house sat on a promontory pointing into the bay. It was called "Hermitage" having been named no doubt by some humorist with personal experience of the location. No road, no electricity, no telephone, no water except from the roof, plenty of dramatic scenery and boundless natural beauty. Apart from work, fishing and reading were about the only things to do. Meanwhile the owner who had interviewed me in London was living at the Queen's Park Hotel in Trinidad. He was a great raconteur. He also was a bit cranky and had bought the Hermitage Estate because he had calculated that Tobago was the only safe place on the planet in the event of nuclear conflict. He had seemed quite sober in Knightsbridge; however at the Queen's Park in Trinidad and at the Robinson Crusoe in Tobago he breakfasted on Gin and Orange (freshly squeezed) and then settled down to a steady diet of whiskey and water (no ice) until bedtime. It wasn't the 'A' bomb, it was his liver that got him 6 months after I arrived and he now rests quietly in the Scarborough Cemetery. His wife was an elderly English lady of great charm and exhausted means. I stayed for two years to help her with the Estate until it could be sold. I moved down to the middle of the island to look after more Estates growing cocoa and bananas for "Vesteys" who were looking for cargo to fill their boats.
As a farmer's boy I had no difficulty fitting into an agricultural pattern of life. I was the President of
the Tobago Agricultural Society and had great fun organizing the Annual Agricultural Show and
judging the field garden competition which involved walking all over the island each year. During
this period I found time to marry a Trinidadian and we had two sons. They lived in Scarborough
where she had a business whilst I lived in a house on the Estate in Roxborough. In 1965 I joined a
commercial and plantation company their lands in Trinidad and Tobago and selling much
of it. At the same time we began developing one of the Tobago properties on which we built the Mt.
Irvine Bay Hotel and Golf Course together with its other resort developments.
Having worked for many years in agriculture, the Government in 1986 appointed me a Director and then the Chairman of the country's Agricultural Development Bank, which greatly broadened my experience of Agriculture and of politics in Trinidad and Tobago. Since 1990 I have returned to my profession as a Valuation Surveyor travelling all over an island with which I am totally familiar and with people with whom I am totally at ease. Whilst retirement is an option I have a new family and plenty to do, so I continue my work.
I did A level art school and won art prizes. Miss Rigby was disappointed but not heartbroken that I did not take it up as a career. In the early 1980's I considered retiring and thinking I would have nothing to do I took up my brushes and returned to the easel finding great pleasure and satisfaction in painting again. I had a successful exhibition in Trinidad in 1987 followed by showings of my paintings in Washington D.C. and in a National Exhibition at the Commonwealth Institute in London. My next exhibition was held in 1998 and although we have rebuilt our house and my studio I can find little time for painting, but I am working on it.
David survived Hurricane "Flora"!
On Monday morning 30 September 1963 1 awoke to a steady downpour of rain. Heavy vertical stuff from an indigo sky such as you only get in the tropics. 1 spent the morning in the cocoa fields with as many of the workers as had braved the weather. I got home at midday for lunch and to listen to the BBC news followed by a local weather forecast that advised small boat owners to pull their boats out of the water because high seas and heavy rains were expected.
My house stood on a hilltop with a view of the surrounding cultivation and the estate buildings. I looked out across the valley and noticed that whilst the heavy rain was abating the wind had got up and was increasing in force by the minute, whipping the mango trees to and fro and laying the bamboo stools flat. In no time at all the wind was blowing frenziedly from no particular direction stripping the trees and filling the air with a green blizzard of leaves. Branches began to break, then limbs were tom off and small trees became uprooted in the turmoil and sailed away on the wind. Looking down into the yard I saw the wind pick at the edge of the first sheet of galvanised iron on the long main drying shed. It slid it under the second, drew them to the third and gathering them with all the rest to the end of the roof like a pack of cards, hurled them into the air. By now I had decided that no one was going to be taking small boats out of the water and that we were in a hurricane. Together with my cook and gardener we retreated to a small room under the house we thought less exposed. It had french windows which we kept closed by holding seat cushions against the glass. By 2.30 the wind died.
We went outside and looked around in a rather bemused way being quite unprepared for the scene of destruction which confronted us. The clouds were lifting with a warm gentle breeze and the sun was hying to shine weakly through a slight haze bathing everything in a curious golden fight. 1 looked out to sea. A great wall of water was advancing upon the land, mountainous waves were driving towards us, the caps swept off and sucked into the air as atomised spume. Time seemed to stand still ‑ no build‑up this time. The second wind struck us a sudden blow with a force impossible to describe. The branches of the two large Wild Tamarind trees in front of my house were tom out like a hand pulling the heart out of a lettuce. The wind got stronger and impossibly stronger pouring in through the broken windows in our sanctuary and up the staircase, filling the house with watery air. The pressure built up in our ears, the bolted doors flew open and still the pressure mounted fill the house could stand it no longer, blowing the roof upwards and outwards folding it back on itself like a hinged door. As the roof exploded the ceiling burst down upon us filling the house with a spray of mist, dirt and years of bat shit.
The wind died about 4.30. I went up into the house ‑ everything was soaked in stinking brown water. I emptied the fridge, put on my boots, took a bottle of water and a bag and went down into the yard over the fallen trees. All the roof timbers were gone and the smaller buildings had collapsed. Luckily none of the workers or their families had been hurt but all were disoriented. We had storerooms below the concrete floors of the works buildings which were dry and which they could occupy and gather their possessions into.
My family was 17 miles away. I set out to walk to Scarborough as the dark set in. The sky began to clear and a weak moonlight helped to identify the obstructions on the road, fallen coconut palms and fronds and large trees, galvanised iron sheets, poles, power lines and telephone wires and building debris. 1 fell in with a gang of stranded workers also making the walk home. They soon left me at a brisk pace that I recognised not to be mine. It turned out not to be theirs either as 1 passed them three times when they had paused for rest and rumshop refreshment and 1 never saw them again that night. Arriving at Scarborough about midnight 1 found it in total darkness. Our home had lost its roof but I found my family safe for which I thanked God.
Hurricane Flora, of the approach of which we received no warning, was a category 3 storm with wind speeds of 150 mph or more. She damaged other islands, went on to Hispaniola and then to Cuba, criss‑crossing that island three times and doing more damage than President Kennedy and all the USA could have dreamed possible. They determined never again to name a Hurricane "Flora".
The previous hurricane struck Tobago in 1874, and the one before that in 1790. The destruction and resultant human misery are distressing to behold. Happily the island is a little south of the Hurricane belt and is visited infrequently, once per century. Now that we get hurricane warnings we prepare for storms that pass us by!
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MOLE VALLEY NOW? Robert Miller reports
Will War Memorial be out of bounds?
Concern is mounting over the state of Leatherhead's War Memorial in North Street, near Bull Hill, after drunks and homeless people moved on to the site, using it as an open toilet and leaving rubbish, beer bottles, and bedding.
The Royal British Legion and Mole Valley District Council are to consider keeping the memorial locked all the time so that anyone sleeping there would be trespassing.
New hotels proposed for Leatherhead
Leatherhead may get two new hotels if the current planning applications for a budget hotel on the site of the derelict Bull Hotel, and a similar type of hotel above the Swan Centre are successful. This news has been welcomed by residents and businesses in the town as it is felt that the overall prosperity and image of Leatherhead would be much improved.
Serious antique fraud in Dorking
Antique shops, Noel Collins, Norfolk House Galleries, Gallery 11, and the King's Arms, in West Street, became impromptu television sets during May. This was for an episode of 'The Bill' (ITV) entitled 'The Value of Nothing', about a serious fraud, which will be on our screens this autumn. The crew brought their own extras, so there were no opportunities for any budding actors from West Street to show their talents!
Something to crow about!
Keeping Dorking's history very much alive is important to Lana Gazolet, of Headley, who breeds rare chickens including the famous Dorking cockerel, known historically as the `five‑clawed' and as the emblem of the town, featuring on its coat of arms.
Dorking was famed for its poultry, which was once farmed in huge numbers locally and sold to nobility in London. The Dorking cockerel won its class in the first poultry show organised by the Zoological Society in London in 1845. It has been closely associated with Dorking Football Club, known as 'The Chicks', formed in 1880.
A Dorking cockerel bred by Lana won first prize at the Poultry Club National Competition in Warwick last year, and has since fathered 25 chicks.
The Dorking Museum makes history
In June, Lord Hamilton of Dalzell was guest of honour at the anniversary of Dorking Museum, 25 years after his father declared it open to the public. This event coincided with its being awarded Registered Museum status by the Council of Museums, Archives , and Libraries.
End of a legendary drunk!
Frankie McCormick, a familiar face around Dorking for more than 50 years, died in his late seventies at the East Surrey Hospital in May.
For all this time he was a regular nuisance, amassing more than 200 convictions, and countless terms of imprisonment. Banned from every public house and off‑licence in the town, there seemed to be no shortage of volunteers to buy him drinks!
He resembled a character from the Wild West, with flowing locks and a goatee beard. But he could often be a serious nuisance, and an embarrassment, especially when he stood in shops bellowing incoherently and swearing. When under the influence of drink more often than not he would cavort in the middle of the road waving his arms about and shaking his fist at the traffic.
The Dorking Police Station in Moores Road flew the flag at half‑mast for his funeral as he was so well known to all the officers!
New plaque for the tomb of a former Prime Minister
The tomb of a former Canadian prime minister, Viscount Richard Bennett, who spent his final years in Mickleham and lies in St. Michael's churchyard, is due to be restored with a new plaque, clean up, and coat of paint thanks to funding from a Canadian organisation responsible for the country's heritage.
Ralph Vaughan Williams ‑ statue unveiled
Here are photographs following up the reference in the Spring Newsletter ‑ pictured in the left hand photo are Adrian White, of Denbies and Biwaters, the benefactor, the second Mrs. RVW, the architect (name not supplied!), and Peter Seabrook, chairman of MVDC, with the newish Dorking Halls reception and bar area behind.
OLD DORKINIAN FOOTBALL CLUB Peter Mills, Press Secretary
The inclement weather conditions last season, to which 1 referred in the Spring
Newsletter, eventually relented to allow the completion of all outstanding league
fixtures by the end of May! Here we are then, at the beginning of August, with pre≠
season training already begun, looking forward to the start of the Club's 72nd A season.
The First Xl, under new captain Tony Wright, enjoyed a good season emulating the previous season's 4th place finish in Senior Division 1, the highest position they have ever reached in the Old Boys' League.
The Reserves retained their place in Intermediate (South), but the Third XI were relegated from Division 2 (South). The Fourths, after two successive promotions, finished in a comfortable top half position in Division 5 (South), but the Fifths were relegated to Division 8 (South).
At the Club's Annual Meeting in June, Tony Wright was re‑elected Club Captain together with Hugh Cannon as Chairman and Richard Sharpe as Secretary. We are delighted that veteran player Martin Hewish was elected captain of the Fifth XI to rekindle enthusiasm and purpose throughout the side.
The Club are looking forward to hosting the rescheduled representative fixture against Cambridge University at Pixham on Wednesday 7th November at 2.15pm.
The Old Boys' League is set to embark on the most radical changes to its constitution since it was formed in 1927. In a recent joint statement the OBL and the Southern Olympian League announced agreement to progress discussions with a view to merging. It is the intention to complete negotiations in time for the new merged league to operate from the beginning of the 2002‑03 season.
The Club regard the proposed merger as an exciting opportunity to strengthen further the reputation of AFA football to maintain those standards of sportsmanship and hospitality long treasured by member clubs.
The Club welcomes supporters, especially to their main Saturday fixtures at Pixham listed below; come and enjoy the games and the after‑match hospitality,
15 September 2nd Tiffinians Res (F) 03 November 1st Minchendenians
22 September 2nd Wilsonians Res (F) 10 November 2nd Thorntonians
29 September 2nd Suttonians Res 17 November 1st Glyn OB
06 October 2nd Shene Res 24 November 2nd Wilsonians Res
13 October 1st Manorians 01 December 1st Chertsey OS
20 October 2nd Wokingians Res 08 December 2nd Suttonians Res
27 October 1st Suttonians 15 December 1st Isleworthians
You are invited to visit the Club's website www.odfc.org.uk where the names of the current officers are displayed together with the Club's history, action photos, fixtures, and results. Results can also be obtained on LWT Teletext p477 late on Saturday evenings or on Sunday, and in 'The Times' on Monday.
Peter Mills (1938‑46) receives AFA Award
Our ODFC Press Secretary, who in the past has been club secretary and chairman, and has been a vice‑president since 1964, is shown receiving the Keith Busby Memorial Award from the AFA President, Colin Sharp, for "outstanding service to AFA Football".
In 1996, Peter was awarded the AFA's Medallion for 50 years service to football, along with Derek Rattenbury and Ron Peters.
The Club remains the only one of some 300 clubs affiliated to the AFA that has had its members honoured in this way.
OLD DORKINIAN CRICKET CLUB to the end of July 2001 ‑ Dave Wilcockson.
After a bright start to the season with six wins by the end of June the team has now lost six games because of rain and six more on the field. The best victories were at Oakwood Hill and Holmbury St. Mary, and at home to Blindley Heath.
Barry Woods has been the most successful batsman scoring 106 at Blackheath, 69 at Woodmansteme, and 85 in the first tour game. Paul Bradford hit 83 at Holmbury St. Mary and Andy Fry scored 76 in the charity match in June. On the bowling front the best analyses have been by Barry Woods (6‑40) v Bookham, Dave Wilcockson (6‑41) v Reigate Priory, Marcel Abrahams (6‑17) v Holmbury St. Mary, and Andrew Culton (5 ‑ 17) v Burgh Heath.
In April, Lou Riches, the club's popular fixtures secretary, died. He had played for the club since 1976. A special match was played at Meadowbank on June 30th to raise funds for Lou's favourite charity. On a warm afternoon the Sunday side scored 191‑9 in 40 overs and the Saturday team were all out for 177 after 36.1 overs.
The latest overseas tour was at the end of July to Germany where the team performed well by winning three of the four games played. The highlight was the win over Krefeld where tight bowling and fielding as well as consistent batting produced a 2 wicket win. The other victories were by ‑ 14 runs and 1 run, but Bruggen were victorious by 9 wickets. The tour awards for best batsman and bowler went to Barry Woods and Andrew Culton respectively.