Issue No. 21 Autumn 2002
Friends Reunited ‑ what a brilliant source for new members!
Membership Subscriptions ‑ due by 1st September if NOT payable by S.O.
Denbies accommodation ‑ a new feature
Doc Morgan Award ‑ Report ‑ fund closes 30th September
Hebe Morgan ‑ Australian TV brings back memories of the air raid shelters
Mike Dobson ‑ 52 years on, playing at golf with other 'Old Codgers'!
Mike Dobson ‑ in his role as Archivist
Joan George ‑ Pupil meets Teacher after 50 years, by chance!
Lionel Harris ‑ 'surfaces' via
Janet Burgess ‑ responds to the Editor's persuasion!
Janet Mountain ‑ Derby Day written in 1950
Derry Godden ‑ "is so out of touch" ‑ not really!
Hilary Orrom ‑ waives her right to free membership!
Sue Roberts ‑ 'a younger member' with many memories
Robert Miller reporting on Mole Valley today ‑ including the visit of TRH!
Old Dorkinian Football Club ‑ Peter Mills
Old Dorkinian Cricket Club ‑ Dave Wilcockson
EDITOR'S ODDS & ENDS
We are just coming up to the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Association following the remarkably successful Grand Reunion in 1992. With our membership hovering between 300 and 400 we have not realised our original ambitions. However, we have established a good base, and in view of the recent influx of new members largely thanks to the Friends Reunited website, we can hope for a bigger base which in turn will help our financial position, enabling us to maintain (or even improve!) the quality of the newsletters, and possibly increase our Bursary commitment (which is our main contact with the current School leavers).
This Newsletter, No. 21, is my 20th as Editor ‑ I only assisted with the first one ‑ so surely it must be time for someone else to take over and put a different slant on Ashcombe Dorkinian matters?
It would also be very helpful if we had a 'librarian' to compile and maintain an index so that we can refer to back numbers more easily; perhaps someone could offer to put all our previous copies on cd‑rom, to be available to members on request, at a price?
We welcome all the new members listed on page 3 (no saucy pictures? ‑ but it may not be page 3 by the time Sheila Sandford has edited the Editor's offerings!). I shall indulge myself to the extent of giving a special welcome to 2 of my contemporaries from whom I have not heard since 1950 something ‑ Lionel Harris, who explains himself later, and Audrie Skinner, who was known to us at School as Audrey Lawson. Audrie (who has taught music in every kind of school imaginable!) says she owes her whole career to Doe Morgan for his influence and encouragement, and she is so glad that she found out about the Doc Morgan Award in time.
And while on the subject of the School's long history of musical success, Sarah Ioannides, who is not (yet) one of our members, has been appointed the assistant conductor, (the first female conductor), of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Sarah, who is 30, studied music at Oxford, and played in the National Youth Orchestra
We record with sadness (and with tributes) the deaths of Eric Jeal and David Jones, and of Roy Tunstill who was not a member but was well remembered by many of us, and might have been about to attend the Reunion/AGM this year after much persuasion by his brother Denis.
We are also sorry to hear of the death in July of Joyce Day's husband, Ken.
Peter Redwood and Peter Weller are both recovering from illness, while Patsy
Cottrell has at last arranged to have her hip done! ‑ scheduled for September 3rd (what
a day for those who remember about WW II!). Patsy is not sure about attending the
Reunion, but we promise to treat her carefully if she does come.
Those who have left the School in the past 38 years that he was there may be interested to know that Colin Grundy, head of science, and much involved in school sport, has just retired.
Mike Dobson has been busy since he stood down as chairman last October. He has just published a book "Wings over Thurleigh" describing the aeronautical research undertaken at Thurleigh< Airfield during its time as the UK primary aeronautical facility from 1954 to 1994. It gives a fascinating history, with many photos (which I could appreciate more than some of the text!), which must be especially interesting to those who have worked in aviation. In various roles, Mike was involved with the research throughout that time, taking the top job from 1981. We are delighted that the School has agreed to accept a copy of his book for the Library.
Incidentally, I drew Mike's attention to a treasured car registration number which caught my eye (by pure chance, honest, 1 as I don't spend my time trawling such areas of the press!), but Mike spurned the opportunity of getting DOB50N at a mere £100,000! He's happy to continue with his present registration which includes MDD.
Colin Burgess tells us that he has three Queen connections at present:
1. Following the aftermath of September 11th the QE 11 is not doing very good business so Colin and Elizabeth are having an 18‑day cruise in September on the QE H, including a visit to New York, at about 40% of the usual cost.
2. Tickets for a concert in HM's back garden ‑ they were all given their own personal cool bag containing a picnic and a half bottle of champagne.
3. A reunion of Queen's Scouts for those who earned their award prior to 1962.
Sheila mentioned that Dorkinians came up as Darwinians on her computer spell check ‑ at least that's a try - whereas my computer has no thoughts to offer!
Finally, my thanks to all you helpful contributors, and especially to Sheila Sandford, who not only contributes good copy but also does much towards the production.
David Mountain August 2002
65 Broadhurst, Ashtead
Surrey KT21 1 QD
Tel: 01372 273227 Email: David.H.Mountain@BTlntemet.com
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SUBSCRIPTIONS by cash/cheque by 1st September (S.O. subs payable 1st December)
DOC MORGAN AWARD FUND closes 30th September
REUNION/AGM ‑ Saturday 5th. October 2002 ‑ papers enclosed with this Newsletter.
REMEMBRANCE DAY ‑ Memorial Gates open from 10.30am on Sunday 10th November. Robert Miller will be arranging for a wreath to be placed on behalf of the Association and we hope for a good turn out from Committee and Members.
COPY for next Newsletter to the Editor by 1st March 2003, please.
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ADA Bursary 2002
Congratulations to this year's winner of our £250 award, Katherine Wilson, who has secured A grades in Biology, Chemistry, and Geography, and will begin her studies next month at The University of Wales College of Medicine.
Also congratulations to another applicant, Larissa Neve, who obtained the required B grades in Sociology and Media Studies to confirm her place to study Sociology, Culture, and New Media at The University of Surrey, again starting in September. Larissa has a career as a journalist in mind, and has, without any real persuasion from the Editor, agreed to take on a role of 'Junior Correspondent' for the ADA ‑ we look forward to hearing from her from time to time.
New Members who have joined A.D.A. during 2001/2002
We extend a warm welcome to thirty‑one new members who have joined during the year from 1 September 2001 to 17 August 2002:
Ray ALEXANDER 1948‑53
Joanne (nee Ramsell) BACKSHALL 1975‑81
Graham BOOTH 1947‑50
Robin BOXALL 1947‑55
Robin BUTEUX 1959‑66
Sybil (nee Harrison) BUTTON 1948‑51
Christine (nee Wilson) CHARLES 1951‑56
Roy CLACK 1951‑56
Peter DENLY 1948‑53
David DOBSON 1949‑56
Ashton (Ash) EMERY (South Africa) 1948‑55
Mike FARQUARSON‑ROBERTS 1959‑66
Nigel FREEMANTLE 1968‑75
Geoffrey GOLDSMITH 1948‑54
Lionel HARRIS 1943‑50
Ted HAZELDEN 1949‑56
Vivienne (nee Mitchell) HEELEY 1954‑62
Michael JARVIS 1950‑57
Jane (nee Goldsmith) MATTHEWS 1947‑55
Ed MUNN 1948‑55
Erich REICH 1946‑48
Peter RICE 1966‑73
Dorita (nee Lydbury) ROY 1947‑50
Reg RUSSELL 1947‑51
Joan (nee Young) RUTHERFORD 1948‑52
Audrie (nee Lawson) SKINNER 1943‑51
Chris SMITH 1959‑66
Tony THOMPSON 1946‑5 1*
Sue (nee Fowler) TIMMINS 1959‑66
And a special welcome to this year's Bursary Award applicants
Larissa NEVE 1995‑2002
Katherine WILSON 1995‑2002
Please notify the Secretary, Sheila Sandford, of any errors or omissions. e‑mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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This site is continuing to reunite many Dorkinians!
More importantly for A.D.A., we continue to receive
a number of enquiries as a result of the entries
under The Ashcombe School and Dorking County Grammar School
We take this opportunity
to give a warm welcome to many new members
who have joined us as a result of visiting the Friends Reunited website!
Where are they now?
We are glad to report some modest success with tracking down people mentioned in the Spring edition! A.D.A. has its network too, but admits that it cannot quite rival Friends Reunited!
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Yes, it's that time again!
Thank you to all those who responded to the reminders sent out in the Spring that their subscriptions for 2002 had either been overlooked or they had not paid at the new rate. For those who did not respond, this will sadly have to be their last Newsletter.
A big "Thank you" to all who have signed up to pay their subscriptions by Bank Standing Order. These payments are due on 1 December annually and payment by this method makes life much more straightforward for our hard working Treasurer!
If you have not been invited to pay by this method or have decided you will now join those who already do so, please contact the Treasurer at the address below for further details.
However, if you wish to pay by cheque, we would remind you that cash/cheque subscriptions are due on 1 September annually. If this applies to you, on receipt of this Newsletter, would you please send your cheque direct to the Treasurer at the address below.
Thank you everyone for your co‑operation!
Subscription rates remain at £10 per annum for individuals, £15 for Joint Membership and free membership for school leavers/students.
Mrs. Maureen Meier Old Forge House, 318 Lower Road, Bookham, Surrey, KT23 4DU
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Enclosed with this edition of the Newsletter, you will find various papers relating to the A.G.M. on Saturday 5 October 2002.
As usual, coffee will be served from 10. 15 a.m. and there will be an opportunity to catch up with old friends. We look forward to a good attendance which will be an encouragement to your Committee.
The Secretary would be especially pleased to hear from anyone who is interested in serving on the Committee. The Committee usually meets in the Dorking area four times a year and concludes with Dinner together which is always a very jolly occasion!
ANNUAL REUNION LUNCH
My very grateful thanks go to all who responded last January by expressing interest in the October Lunch. This was a great help in planning the event at a new venue.
Inevitably it is difficult for anyone to look into the crystal ball ten months ahead, and I would especially like to express my appreciation for the courtesy shown by those who let me know promptly that they were no longer able to pursue a booking. This, in turn, has helped me to make contact in reasonable time (i.e. not during the week before the event!) with those who were on the waiting list.
If, reading this, you realise that you missed the opportunity to stake a claim for a seat at the Lunch, do give Sheila a ring or send an e‑mail to express your interest ‑ it is possible that there could be three or four places available if you hurry!
email@example.com or 01372 ‑ 372 936
This might be useful information if you are coming to the Reunion Lunch!
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DENBIES England's largest vineyard (to quote them!)
Have converted the old farmhouse into Bed and Breakfast accommodation.
They offer five comfortably furnished en‑suite double rooms with tea/coffee making
facilities, TV and trouser press.
Free on site parking
Regret no pets
For further information, please contact:
Farmhouse B & B, Denbies Wine Estate, London Road, Dorking, Surrey, RH5 6AA
Telephone 01306 ‑ 876 777 www.denbiesvineyard.co.uk
"The Doc Morgan Award"
When I took over the organising of this Award, I did not realise how difficult the final decision would be in endeavouring to please everyone. To date we have collected nearly £1200 (including £250 from the Association as agreed at the 2000 AGM), which amount has a bearing on the final Award.
We have received many varied suggestions on the form the Award should take ‑ from a one‑off bursary to sheet music, electronic equipment and various instruments. In the end, we hope our decision will reflect our memories of the man we seek to honour.
Doc (in my day known formally as Dr. Moore‑Morgan) was an inspirational teacher, a conductor of choral music (his passion) and a formidable pianist, with the ability to infect us all with his enthusiasm. The School does not possess a duet piano stool, neither do they have a podium. So we feel it is fitting for A.D.A. to purchase a suitable stool and we intend to have a podium (with suitable plaque) made by a local cabinetmaker. We hope to present them to the School at the end of the year.
In conclusion, here are a few comments I have received from former pupils ‑ they say it all.
"Doc gave me a marvellous grounding in music, particularly choral music, encouraging me to listen to classical music and communicate this enjoyment to our children and grandchildren"
"His indefatigable enthusiasm for singing benefitted us all. As I left school, Doc said, "Don't give up your musical interest. Music is not just a profession, it is with you all your life. "
'I still cannot but recall him playing the piano before Assembly, especially when I hear the Op. 32 Rachmaninov preludes. "
"Choral music does not have to be restricted to Grade 8 singers.
"Music was everywhere in the school. "
"I owe Doc so much. He helped shape the entire course of my life, which has been a very happy one.
Finally, in view of the timescale outlined above, there is still just time to contribute to this fund if you would like to do so.
1 would be pleased to receive any further donations by 30 September 2002, after which date the account will be closed
Please send your cheques (made payable to The A.D.A.) to
Mrs. Maureen Meier,
Old Forge House, 318 Lower Road,
Bookham, Surrey, KT23 4DU
Eric Jeal (1922‑27)
Derek Jeal wrote to us in May from Wadebridge in Cornwall to tell us that his father had died peacefully in his sleep on 14th May. He had suffered from cancer for the previous 14 years, but had done very well to enjoy life until the latter part of last year when further cancers were diagnosed.
Sheila Sandford remembers Eric attending one of our early ADA lunches held in the School canteen when he brought a pot of his own honey and donated it as a raffle prize. Eric, who had a long career in teaching, contributed again later when he wrote a piece for the Autumn 1998 Issue, No. 13, which is repeated for those who have 'mislaid' their copies or were not then members:
"Your letter prompted me to look back over the various Newsletters, and like Virgil's hen, proved difficult to get out of, and an hour of nostalgia ensued ‑ leaving the washing‑up still on the bench!
It seems that Jim Spencer and I are the only High School boys left. I never knew the Ashcombe Road school, although my younger brother did a couple of years there.
A.J.Rivett (Johnnie!) was the Head in my time. Norman Squier was deputy, and together with E.Griffiths and C.Goffin, transferred to the new building ‑ but Mr. Squier shortly afterwards became Head of Chelmsford, and during the war I learnt he committed suicide. Strangely enough that news came to me when in the course of Air Force duties I met Ted Turner at Gatwick while delivering radio equipment. The only other Dorking acquaintance I met was Frank Snushall (I see Mrs. Snushall is a member) when we were on a course at Cranwell.
But all this is old history! I'm not quite as old as Mr. Bradshaw ‑ I trail him by 4 years."
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Roy Tunstill (1943‑50) ‑ a tribute
There is no doubt that the austerity of the immediate post war years helped to engender a spirit of comradeship at DCGS. Many of us rode bikes to and from school and Roy's route involved a long stretch of the Dorking Bypass, part of which we negotiated together. How I admired his tenacity and determination in the face of quite severe attacks of asthma.
Our friendship was cemented by being paired together for Physics practical experiments. This involved writing up our results, usually at Roy's house, and thanks to his skilful interpretation of the data we usually gained high grades. I have him to thank for a Physics A level.
Roy's statistical ability was also put to good use as scorer for the School Cricket Team. He was the Bill Frindall of his day, and hopefully the school archives bear witness to his skill. Roy also made a significant contribution to the success of the Old Dorkinian Football Club over a number of years, playing for the 2nd or 3rd teams, being Hon. Secretary from 1954 to 1965, and being elected a Vice President in 1965.
In business Roy enjoyed a successful career and was writing computer programs at a time when many of us thought that a floppy disk was a spinal complaint.
Roy was very much a family man ‑ a daughter and five sons bear witness to this. He was a film buff and a jazz aficionado. Altogether a rounded personality and a loyal friend.
Michael Pearson (1946‑51)
David Jones C.Eng., M.I.Struct.E, 1935‑2002
A Personal Tribute from Tony Thompson
Having known David since we were both about 5 years old is some sort of qualification to say he was a good friend of mine and is now sadly missed. We had the privilege of growing up in Dorking in days when to roam the local countryside for hours was not cause for our parents to worry. Much time was spent with David and a few others exploring the area, climbing trees, and revelling in mucking about in any stream we came across. David was always cheerful, adventurous and good company. It was no doubt our early ears in the lovely surrounding countryside that contributed to his love of wild flowers, walking and photography which in time led to a passion for holidays in Austria which he and his wife June shared for many years.
We both attended Powell Corderoy Primary School and went on to Dorking County Grammar School in due course. On our daily walk to the Grammar School we collected Roger Sansom (now resident in Canada) who always thought of us as The Three Musketeers. With only two days' difference in our ages, it was inevitable that David and I later did our RAF National Service square‑bashing together.
lan Fraser, another contemporary, recalls the three of us as teenagers singing "When the Saints go Marching In” on our way to the Arundel Arms pub for a drop of cider and a few games of bar billiards. Neither of us can recall what we sang when we came out of the pub! My particular memory of those teenage years is that David introduced me to the beauty of North Wales and Anglesey on more than one holiday together. I still remember our first walk to the summit of Snowdon which in those days seemed quite an adventure.
David's subsequent successful career as a qualified structural engineer and the setting up of his own consultancy business were considerable achievements. It became obvious that in his career he made many new friends who held him in high esteem for his professional ability and his integrity. (Editor's note: We can confirm this, having talked to our youngest Committee Member, Anthony Lockwood [at school 1983‑7] who has followed in his father's footsteps by using David's professional services from time to time)
More recently, as a spin‑off from this, his advice on building matters was freely and expertly given to his old chums, as lan Fraser and I will happily testify.
I've never heard a bad word spoken about David and yes, he is much missed.
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Hebe Morgan (Blake, 1939‑47) ‑ Australian TV brings back memories of the air raid shelters
We have been watching the 4‑part TV programme, The Finest Hour. I wonder how many viewers have realised that in the 3rd episode the brief scene of children going to the air raid shelters took place at DCS. The cameras were facing the girls' entrance at the back of the school, and there was a scurry of students entering the shelters. The final moment was of two teachers closing the corrugated iron doors. One teacher was Miss Burton, who was then my class teacher; the other woman I was unable to place.
I well remember the occasion. We were told there would be a film crew present, the fire bell was rung and we all took off ‑ I believe we used to get everybody into the shelters in 3 minutes. I can recall seeing a cameraman standing with a camera on a tripod on one of the shelters. It was all a marvellous break from routine! But of course it wasn't a real air‑raid warning.
We all expected that it would be on Movietone News the following week ‑ how naive! Many of us duly went to the cinema, in case. But it disappeared without trace. Years later I mentioned it to someone and was told it had been done for the American market as propaganda. Whatever the answer, there it was on my screen last week, and although I couldn't locate myself among the throng, I know I was there! Who else remembers it?
Fifty‑Two Years 0n.
Almost exactly one year on from their first venture [see Issue 19 of The Dorkinian] the same four old Codgers again shambled across the hallowed turf of Temple Golf Club to their waiting buggies to begin another House Match, Ashcombe and Craven versus Roberts. A better‑ball foursome was played which was won on the 18th by the "Ashven" team to square the series one all. On the basis that waiting a further year to play the decider might be risky, a further encounter has been planned for September. The day at Temple was as superb as ever, with very pleasant playing conditions despite the significant thunder activity happening further to the north. Once again we were hosted by David Everett who organised a delightful lunch for us prior to teeing off, and a most excellent dinner in the evening. The camaraderie was just as if it were the last day of term and we still delighted in recounting the same old stories and memories of School that we had listened to so many times before. It is very easy to wallow in the past when that past is so wallowable! A picture of the Codgers is included to obviate the need for identification as all are instantly recognisable! (John Campbell may well be, but I am not sure that readers will recognise me at the right hand end, under my hat ‑ Editor). Ah well enough nostalgia, I must get out and start to practise for the September encounter!
I have been reminded by the Editor that a piece on archive progress is necessary although little such progress has been made. One or two members have sent photographs to me but little else has happened. This has led me to think [as others before me] that it would be good to have a complete collection of all the "official" School photographs which have been taken throughout the years. Most such photographs have related to either the representative sports teams or the Prefects and therefore the record would be only of the more sporting types and more senior pupils, However it would be a start. If any member can offer such photographs perhaps they could advise me of details before sending actual photos; this would help the duplication problem. Photographs can, of course, be scanned and returned intact.
Changing the subject, those of you who attended the gathering at the Memorial Gates on 11 November last year will be aware that we now have some information on most of the Dorkinians who lost their lives in the two World Wars. It is the intention to incorporate this information into some kind of Memorial Book together with some personal memories which one or two members have sent me. If anyone has any relevant information in this area, it would be most welcome. As far as School artefacts are concerned, if anyone has anything that they would wish the Association to hold for posterity, 1 would suggest they let the Committee know in the first instance.
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50 Years on Teacher and Pupil become Neighbours in Wales
Joan George (Duffield, 1943‑50) who has recently moved to 44, Moorside Road, West Cross, Swansea, SA3 5EY, recounts a remarkable coincidence:
"Shortly after my husband and I moved from the Cardiff area to Mumbles, Swansea, my neighbour kindly offered to help with local information. Needing clarification regarding refuse collection and the significance of bags of different colours etc., I was invited to coffee with my new neighbours. We talked about places where we had previously lived, of which Dorking emerged as one in common. I mentioned that I had been a pupil at the Grammar School and they said they had both taught there! It then dawned on me that I was talking to Miss Joyce Sander who had taught me Botany and Zoology in the Sixth Form for Higher School Certificate. She had inspired a life‑long interest in plants and trees for which I am ever grateful. It emerged that her husband is John Fowler who taught German in the School.
So, we become next door neighbours 50 years on, and 200 miles west of Dorking!
Lionel Harris (1943‑50) another new member thanks to Friends Reunited.
Lionel has given in to pressure to tell us a little about himself, having 'disappeared' from our view about 45 years ago! Modestly he offers 'a few snippets for a space near the back page', but I think we can do a little better than that.
He says that the "potted history" supplied is a sheet specially concocted for occasions when he was scheduled to make a presentation, and is 'not suitable for this vibrant, resonant, Tatler like publication'. Was he always a bit of a flatterer?
After graduating with an engineering degree in electrical power in 1954 from King's College, London, Lion joined Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Company in Chelmsford, where he worked on high‑power radar, vhf broadcast television transmitters and closed circuit TV designs.
In 1960 he joined CEGB where he had design responsibility for the first hvdc power link connecting the English and French grids. He remained with CEGB in various capacities before founding his own enterprise, Compunalysis, working for CEGB and for the National Grid Company. It appears that Lionel still lectures on a wide range of 'electricity' matters, and computer simulation (chiefly in the field of physiology) at a time when most of his contemporaries have retired to their hobbies.
Sadly, Lionel lost his wife two years ago after a long illness requiring much support. He has two children by an earlier marriage ‑ a daughter who is a paediatric psychiatrist in the Portsmouth area, and a son who did a BA in European Studies and has taught in Spain, been a journalist, and now runs an impressive green grocery business in a small Surrey village.
His memories of school contemporaries are too numerous to mention here, (apart from Keith Verran with whom he has renewed contact), but may surface at the AGM/Reunion in October! He still has the Roberts Memorial Prize to remind him of DCGS ‑ what was that awarded for? Perhaps Ken Pearce could tell us, as he won it the year before.
Janet Burgess (Mountain, 1946‑53) bounces back and comes to the rescue of her big brother
The editor (my brother!) was looking for fill for the next newsletter, so here is my contribution!!
After over 30 years' residence in various parts of Canada ‑ from Vancouver and the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia to Oakville, Scarborough, Pickering and Newcastle in Ontario ‑ I moved to Cobourg five years ago and it has proved to be the best decision I could have made. The bungalow I bought needed a little TLC, but the mature garden and a lovely view of Lake Ontario across the road more than compensated for the required hard work.
Cobourg is a lovely historic town with a population of approximately 16,000. The many heritage houses and large mansions, mostly built by Americans who moved here many years ago for the air but who long ago returned home, give the town its appeal. There is new development going on all the time and we are well supplied with churches of most denominations, a large enclosed mall and several "big box" stores. The most outstanding building is the stately Victoria Halls which is used today as the town hall as well as being the stage for various shows and concerts. Works of art by the many local artists are on display in the upstairs art gallery.
The large park bordering the beautiful sandy beach is the envy of Northumberland County and we are entertained on summer evenings from the bandshell by a local, and very good, brass band. We are blessed with three golf courses, a lawn bowling club, two sets of tennis courts, baseball diamonds (of course!), soccer fields, a YMCA with Olympic size pool and the very picturesque harbour which gives shelter to the active yachting fraternity. Sounds like paradise? Well, we do have snow and lengthy winters!
Only one thing has marred this little paradise! In October 2000 I was afflicted by a very rare autoimmune disease, polyarteritis nodosa, (I was apparently the fourth case in a million). This disease affects the small and medium arteries and can involve kidneys, skin, intestines and joints. In my case nerve involvement caused muscle weakness and severe pain, and also loss of feeling in my hands and feet. Many months of unusual symptoms had not been diagnosed and it took a blood test to hasten my journey to the hospital for a two‑week visit! Suffice it to say, it was a very close call for yours truly! Neighbours, friends and bowling buddies provided me with food and support every day for three weeks when I returned home, and now, some eighteen months later most of the feeling has returned to my hands and feet, and muscle atrophy is being dealt with. It's wonderful what the support and generosity of friends and a little stubbornness of spirit can do to heal a sick body. I count myself fortunate to have recovered about 80% of my health. Yes, life's grand if you don't weaken!
Summer is slow starting this year, but the hummingbirds have returned from the south on time and the orioles and goldfinches are busily emptying the feeders, which need to be filled daily until mother nature takes over! The beautiful red cardinal calls regularly at 5: 1 5pm for his feed of sunflower seeds and today I had a rare glimpse of an indigo bunting with its glorious blue feathers.
Perhaps 1 shall make it to a meeting or even a strawberry tea one of these days!
It is the Editor's prerogative to include a little nostalgia by printing the following from the July 1950 edition of "The Dorkinian" (the school magazine):
'.........Tomorrow I may be
Myself with Yesterday's seven thousand years.'
But today I feel that the crowds shout and the horses toil for my pleasure alone.
Far up on the green undulating Downs, as the last triumphant notes of a blackbird trilled gaily through the air, to die away over the seemingly endless plain, I wander along the straight, flat course, soon to be echoing and re‑echoing to the thunder of horses' hooves. A few early arrivals stroll lazily towards vantage points, chattering excitedly and laughing, shattering the quiet stillness, sending startled rabbits to their burrows and indignant birds over the treetops to seek a more appreciative audience.
Soon, brightly coloured charabancs begin to draw up and numerous cars and bicycles trail disconsolately along the roads, while hikers walk merrily past. Already bookies have placed their stands and chalked up the first race, and milling around, religious agitators plead with them in vain to turn from their sinful ways and warn hard‑working men not to waste their hard‑earned money.
A noticeable tremor runs through the expectant crowd as the time for the first race approaches. At last, echoing across the field comes the long awaited "They're off!" A glimpse is caught of bobbing heads in scarlet, blue and yellow; the crowd rises on its toes and cranes its neck eagerly towards the course: the winner is announced and the crowd stampede to get their winnings.
When the time for the big race comes round and the horses have paraded past the stand and are approaching the starting post, a tense hush hovers over the crowd, to be shattered by the now familiar cry as the gate is lifted and the horses race over the turf, neck‑and‑neck for the first furlong, where they are lost to view behind the broad shoulders of the man in front. There is no "pity for a horse o'er driven" but only anxiety for the few shillings to be won or lost.
Many relax after this race or thread their way towards the fair or an ice‑cream man (both being there for the express purpose of taking their winnings). Above the roar of the crowd comes the familiar sound of the fairground; the sound of the bumper cars and the loud cries of the attendants at the coconut shies, rifle ranges and hoopla booths. After spending all their winnings, the holiday‑makers wend their way home, tired but happy, all windblown and dusty, although the grey top hats are still to be seen, stiffly erect on the heads of gentlemen upholding the tradition of the original Derby.
The coaches come to life and once more the road is obliterated by slowly moving vehicles and the quiet of the surrounding country is broken by motor horns and bells. The Downs, green in the morning, are now covered by pieces of paper, blown playfully about by the wind. Once more, comparative silence fails over the course, interrupted by an occasional neigh from the paddock.
The holiday makers have now had the thrill of watching horses panting for them: the jockeys, the enjoyment of feeling the good rhythm of a sturdy mount beneath them; but most important on a day like this, the bookies and the managers of the fair have made enough to enable them live comfortably until another such day. So even they leave in a very cheerful mood.
'For what is worth in anything,
But so much money as 'twill bring?'
JANET MOUNTAIN (IV)"
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Derry Godden (Lancaster, 1960‑67) kept meaning to write to us, and now has!
As it happens I stayed in Dorking a couple of weeks ago. We were on our annual "See the family" trip to the UK, and Dorking seemed a good stopping place between Dover and Winchester. We were served by a black lad in the restaurant and I longed to ask him whether he went to Ashcombe School, but didn't. How multicultural is my old school? I haven't a clue. I am so out of touch. I insisted that we drive up Ashcombe Road past the school. It hasn't changed much on the outside and I was surprised to see that it still has playing fields. I assumed they'd have been built on. Schools here in Germany are lucky if they even have an outdoor basketball court. Most sport is dealt with by clubs at local facilities, so there are no Saturday morning games, which means no laughing at the giggly girls from the all girls' school and the coy boys from the all boys' school as we Dorkinians sit them next to each other to eat their currant buns and drink their tea after the matches. Plus, of course, no pints in the Star and Garter afterwards either.
I have been back to the Grammar School once since I left in 1967. In 1997 we came back from the US for a holiday and were sitting on the top of Box Hill looking down at the school with Brenda and Neil Aldred who are also Old Dorkinians and lo and behold it was school fete day. So we went down to join in. Neil and my husband headed straight for the beer tent while Bren and I wandered round the school oohing and aahing at all we saw. We remembered the front door being reserved for our first day at school and then not to be used again until we were sixth formers. We remembered how grown up we felt as Lower V1 formers being allowed to use the front stairs and how humiliated we were as weedy but developing second formers being made to sit in vests and knickers plus a mac waiting outside the clinic to be inspected by the school doctor. The musty smell in the cloakrooms was all too familiar and we laughed at the memory of the boys coming out of their cloakrooms after school still in very muddy football kit, including boots, to go to Room F where we were being "Kept in". Unfortunately they didn't reckon on being seen by Mr. Hayter who took over the "Detention" and issued us all a very long and powerful lecture on appropriate dress.
My children have been in the American school system and then fought their way through the German system which takes no prisoners, and now only Joscelyne is still at school in the European School here in Munich. We often compare schooldays. She hated David Copperfleld as much as I did in lc. I loved it when I reread it in 5a using the copy from the desk I was sitting at for RI. She has Protestant religion where as far as I can see they only ever go to the bakery or discuss sex. Poor David Copperfield! At my suggestion she volunteered for the part of Cobweb when A Midsummer Night's Dream was to be studied. I knew from experience that "And F' three times was sufficient. The English master, surprised at anything positive from Joscelyne, agreed but she, just like her mum, was no wiser about the plot even after a whole term's study. Her maths master is similar in many ways to Mr. Eradicate but I am quite sure he won't suggest that the girls in his applied maths class do not have to learn about gears "Not necessary for ladies". Also I cannot imagine '"Sam" Johnson agreeing to the combination of Chemistry, Philosophy and Music as main subjects for the European Baccalaureate. Joscelyne certainly can't imagine having to wear a hat. "Didn't you protest?". Well yes actually we did by losing them out of the train window at every opportunity. "Didn't Grannie ring up and complain?". Alas no. I think my mother sent us to school when we were 5 and collected us when we were 18. She went once a year to see the teachers and that was that. I seem to be at school every week for one subject or another.
Maybe I was a model pupil. Get real Derry! Ho hum.
Hilary Orrom (Barton, 1958‑65) waives her right to free membership!
Strictly speaking I am eligible for free membership of the association! I have been a full‑time student at Sussex University since 1997, and will be until 2004. I have paid my subs in the past though as I felt that I wasn't really the sort of hard‑up student you were aiming to assist!
I decided to study for a first degree when my children were doing theirs (on the basis that they seemed to be enjoying it). I have always enjoyed the out‑of‑doors so my degree was in Ecology and Conservation. When I finished I was invited to apply for a postgraduate position, so I am now halfway through a D.Phil. Broadly speaking, I am looking at aspects of the ecology of a number of plants that grow on the chalk grassland of the South Downs, and on similar habitats across Europe. It is hard work, but enjoyable. Life is hectic at present, but I hope to tell you more in time for the next Newsletter.
Sue Roberts (Wilson, 1964‑71) ‑ a 'younger member' supplies many memories
(New email address:‑ firstname.lastname@example.org)
I read 'The Dorkinian' with interest to see if I can find out about memories and people relating to the time I was at school. Alas no. I think I am too young, although at 50 it doesn't seem like it. So here are a few of my memories
I attended Mowbray County Secondary School between 1964 and 1969 and then transferred to the Grammar School in the autumn of that year.
I clearly remember my first day at school. There weren't the child friendly induction days that happen now. No visiting the school for a few days prior to going there. Oh no. It was all or nothing. I lived on the other side of town to the school and it involved a walk of I 1/2 miles, or a bus ride of 4d. Not knowing the bus times, and not being given 4d, I walked. It took ages and I wasn't even sure of the right way ‑ whether to cross the 'Rec' or go through the town.
All first years were gathered in the hall and spoken to by the head, Miss French, a very fierce looking, angular woman, steely grey hair fashioned in a French pleat, and glasses perched on the end of her nose. I was allocated to class 1: 1, and there met people who would be friends for the next 5 years. Margaret Macer ‑Wright, Lynn Elliott, Frances Bridges, Susan Evard, Susan Uwins, Susan Jones, and many more besides. I cannot remember my form teacher (!) but others were Miss Jackson, science, Miss Wagstaff, geography, Mrs Ray, history, Mrs Lamb, music, Miss Godsall, domestic science, Mrs Townsend, maths, Miss Secretan, P.E. advisor and owner of a dinghy called 'Wet Pants'. We didn't even get a tour of the school on that first day and it took me ages to pluck up courage and ask where the toilets were.
Two main events come to mind during my time at Mowbray. The first was that I was the person who started the sandwich revolution! My mother, God rest her soul, was a very forceful woman, and decided it was a waste of time for me to eat school lunches as she always cooked a meal at night. A letter was written to Miss French requesting that I be allowed to eat sandwiches. After a period of time and no reply I was duly despatched to school with my packed lunch in my brief case. Question ‑ where would I sit to eat if I did not technically have permission? I couldn't go and sit in the dining hall, so I sneaked into the P.E. changing rooms and read and ate there. This all went swimmingly for a while until Miss French did one of her periodic (scary) sweeps of the school to cheek that all was as it should be. I nearly choked when she found me eating my lunch. When asked what on earth I thought I was doing, I had the courage (or foolishness) to say what my mother had said. 'As you didn't answer the letter we assumed it was ok!' Oh dear. Shortly after that packed lunches were the order of the day for a lot of pupils and we also had the freedom to sit outside in the warm weather.
The second event that was fairly important was that I was the first person ever to swim in the pool that had been newly constructed in the grounds. My father was the designer of the pump room and filtering system, and all things electrical, and I remember being coerced into selling homemade fudge and coconut ice to all and sundry at school, to help raise funds. What a lot I sold! When the pool had been finished and filled with water my father, mother and one or two other dignitaries went along to have a look at their handy work. I tagged along too as my father said it would be ok for me to have a swim. Imagine the look of horror on the face of Miss French as I dived in and swam a few lengths. It was not what she had in mind at all for the first event at the pool, and I don't think I was the first person she had in mind either! Oh well.
in September of 1969, having achieved sufficient '0' levels, I transferred to the Grammar School to study 2 years of 'A' levels. I must confess I did not find it easy as everyone had their friendship groups well established, and also, I suppose, at 17 one is starting to stretch one's wings and rebel a little bit. I recall the dress rule of 'no knee length boots to be worn in school.' That didn't apply to me; especially on the day I walked on to the stage in assembly to receive my prefect's badge!
I remember dark corridors, high windows, large radiators to sit on in the winter, old fashioned desks, mini AND midi skirts, the library (shh), a fire in the school roof, badminton club and Geoff Pearce, rebelling against having to have a 'sign out slip' for leaving the school over the lunch hour (well we were 18 weren't we?), careers interviews ‑ 'What do you mean you don't want to apply for Oxbridge?‑ and most of all Doe Morgan's music lessons. They were a joy to behold and partake in. I cannot confess to have the greatest of singing voices but it didn't seem to matter as he would bash out the loudest possible music in the piano and we would squeak and squawk to the best of our abilities. Sometimes we would be reduced to helpless tears of mirth as the whole lesson became louder and louder and more incomprehensible than before. I still enjoy singing loudly in the car now ‑ thanks Doc.
Friends were few but very loyal ‑ Barbara Windsor (Windy), who had a burning desire to join the police force, Lesley Jones, gorgeous red hair and a flair for languages, Genevieve Thompson, a very talented artist, Sandra Bell, and Joanna Wolff Members of staff that come to mind were Mr Galbraith and Mr Pentecost who struggled to impart the ins and outs of geography to me. Marginal lands are still a mystery. Professor Wolff with his amazing tapes and slide sequences for our German lessons, shades of 'Emil and the Detectives'. And our English teacher, whose name I cannot recall but he read Chaucer's 'Troilus and Cresade' in the most beautiful old English.
I left school in '71 and attended Bishop Otter Teacher Training College in Chichester for 3 years. I taught for 6 years and during that time met my future husband through a mutual interest ,in Scuba diving. We lived at Bosharn first then moved to Chichester and finally to the Midlands. We have been married 25 years and have 2 children.
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WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MOLE VALLEY NOW? Robert Miller reports
Royal stamp of approval for The Ashcombe Volleyball and Sports Centre
When the Earl and Countess of Wessex visited The Ashcombe School in April, the day after the Queen Mother's funeral, to perform the official opening, of the £ 1.1 m volleyball and sports centre they were so impressed that, a few days later, the school received a letter from the couple's Surrey home, Bagshot Park, expressing how much they had enjoyed their visit and how delighted they were with the sports centre project.
The Ashcombe Dorkinian Association was well represented by John Hayns, John Gent, Maureen Meier, and David Mountain who were impressed by the enthusiasm shown by the Earl and Countess in meeting and speaking to virtually all the 200 or so people present. They had lunched at Denbies, where we are having our Reunion Lunch in October, and this was their 4th official function of the day ‑ at one of the earlier functions, Maureen's husband Robert (Bob) was presented to Prince Edward!
Climb to fame
Brian Daves of Church Walk, Leatherhead, the tour guide of the world's most famous clock, has died at the age of 67. He rose from humble beginnings to become the world‑renowned guide to Big Ben's Clock Tower, and is entered in the Guinness Book of Records after climbing the 334 steps of Big Ben 6292 times ‑ a distance estimated to be the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest 30 times!
When a 'dead tree' is not a tree at all!
A mobile phone operator applied for planning permission for a 20 metre telecommunications mast, disguising it as a dead tree ‑ to contain six antennas, a microwave dish, and three radio equipment cabinets within it, at Raikes Lane , Abinger Hammer. The application was thrown out in disgust by the District Council.
Historic horse trough is back after 50 years
A historic horse trough has been returned to Leatherhead more than 50 years after it disappeared. The 100 year old trough recently came to light and has been restored to a public position in the town. It became part of the town's history in 1905 when a Mrs. Baybrook donated it to provide drinking water for horses on Kingston Road, prior to which horses drank from Bradmere Pond on the site of the Shell garage on Kingston Road.
Big boost for the Dorking Halls
Bosses at the Dorking Halls are patting themselves on the back after recent increases in ticket sales of 30% over the previous year. The success has been linked to the cinema that now shows hits like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars on release instead of weeks after the initial release elsewhere.
Bright idea is off the Council menu!
A new brightly coloured fast food outlet in Dorking has caused such offence that the District Council insists that it must be toned down. The High Street restaurant 'Chickenlands', formerly known as 'Marshalls', has recently been renovated, but the Council objects to the brash exterior, large lettering and illuminations, saying it is not suitable in a traditional market town such as Dorking.
Former pupil, David Ford, dies
David Ford, who was a pupil at Dorking County School from 1939 to 1944, has died in the Isle of Man at the age of 75. He was known locally for his vast collection of wartime memorabilia. The collection, which includes uniforms, radios, medals, bombs, and ammunition, was seen by many people by invitation, but it is now housed in the Musee Royal de I'Armee et d'Histoire Militaire in Brussels.
Couple killed in High Street horror crash
An elderly married couple from Horsham, shopping in Dorking, were killed by a lorry when crossing the High Street near the Dorking Halls, in June. A witness saw the couple crossing the road when the lights changed, and the lorry just went over them. Firefighters used airbags to lift the wheels to release them, but they had died instantly.
Leatherhead Ahead (or not?)
Since the reference in the previous Newsletter to Leatherhead Town Centre getting the green light, there has been further controversy, essentially over whether or not the High Street should be opened to regular traffic again. This has been brought to a head by the preparatory work starting for a new water feature, at the lower end of the High Street, which will restrict access to a large extent. A protest group, 'Leatherhead Ahead', has been formed to oppose the feature, and to campaign for opening the High Street and other routes. Currently, the High Street is a mess, and Leatherhead's problems continue!
Ashcombe Dorkinian Association Golf ‑ A Convincing Victory!
The challenge from Raynes Park Old Boys to a match at Pachesharn Park Golf Club in Leatherhead on Saturday 27th April was successfully met, with the ADA team winning 7 matches, losing just 1, and halving the other 2. We have to admit that, as with the OD Cricket and Football Clubs, we were not all former pupils of the School! However, we were unlucky in choosing a date when several of our usual players were either celebrating their 70th birthdays, or were involved in the celebrations! (and these events tend to be organised in some secrecy, so that the 'birthday boys, or girls' are not aware until late in the day!). Those who were allowed to play golf included Roger Griffiths, Harold Child, David Mountain, and Bob Moodie, who all won their matches.
Harold Child, on 01306 885831, hopes to arrange one of our usual ADA Golf days in the Spring of 2003, and will be in touch with 'the regulars'. Newcomers, please contact him.
There is just a small chance that we might have a return match with Raynes Park OB later this year, when those who played in the first match and those who were celebrating will be contacted in the first place.
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OLD DORKINIAN FOOTBALL CLUB Peter Mills, Press Secretary
"New era kicks off for Old Dorkinians"
The Old Boys' Football League ‑ founded in 1907 ‑ has been officially dissolved following a merger with the Southern Olympian League. Negotiations have been satisfactorily completed, after 3 years of discussions, to allow the merger to operate from the start of the forthcoming season.
The new league will be known as the Amateur Football Combination, and will be affiliated to the Amateur Football Alliance who will retain their county status as approved by the FA.
The Old Boys' League was originally formed to enable pupils of the County Grammar Schools to continue playing football under the Corinthian ideals of fair play and sportsmanship. Since the introduction of the Comprehensive School system, many former Old Boys' clubs have found relations with their successor schools becoming increasingly tenuous, and many have been forced to become 'semi‑open'.
The new league rules will allow clubs to operate under a fully open policy which the Old Dorkinians are likely to follow. The reconstituted league will be composed of 128 clubs covering 34 divisions, with one premier division and six senior divisions, with the ODs senior side competing in the second senior division.
The likelihood of senior sides such as Pegasus, Hale End Athletic, Parkfield, Mill Hill Village, Ulysses, and Wandsworth Borough visiting Pixharn should add to the interest of enthusiasts who follow the fortunes of senior amateur football.
ODFC Annual Meeting and Early Season Fixtures
At the Club's Annual Meeting in June, Tony Wright was re‑elected Club Captain together with Hugh Cannon as Club Chairman and Richard Sharpe as Secretary.
The David Holdridge Cup for the Club's top scorer was awarded to Josh Miller with 15 goals, followed by Chris Phillips, 10, and Liam Nugent, 10.
Congratulations are due to David Williams who continued as the Old Boys' League first choice goalkeeper in their representative side, gaining a Club record 20th cap with his appearance in the 2‑1 victory against Oxford University at Oxford.
Earlier in the season the Club was honoured to be invited to host the Representative Match against Cambridge University at Pixham with David also starring in a 2‑1 victory. These results seemed to confirm the relative strengths of the University sides who later drew 0‑0 in the University Match at Fulham's Craven Cottage ground.
The Club welcomes supporters especially to their Saturday fixtures at Pixharn Lane ‑ come and enjoy the football and the after match hospitality! Fixtures so far arranged are as follows:
21 September 1 st v Kings Old Boys (L)
28 September 2 nd v Tiffinians Res.(L)
05 October 1 st v City of London*
12 October 2 nd v Paulines (L)
19 October 1 st v Grammarians (L)
26 October 1 st v Economicals (L)
02 November 2 nd v St. Mary's College Res.
(L) League *LOB Senior Cup ** LOB Inter Cup
You are invited to visit the Club's website www.odfc.org.uk for the latest news. Results of our Senior XI can also be obtained on LWT Teletext p477 on Saturday evenings after 10.30pm, or on Sunday, or in 'The Times' on Monday.
It is with much sadness that we have to report the recent death of Roy Tunstill. Roy joined the ODFC on leaving School in 1951 and served as Club Secretary from 1954 to 1965, and was elected a Vice President in 1965.
Our sincere condolences are conveyed to Pat and the family, and to Roy's brother Denis, who was also a staunch member of the Club.
OLD DORKINIAN CRICKET CLUB ‑to 3rd August ‑ Dave Wilcockson, Hon. Sec
The season has been interrupted by rain as well as difficulties in fielding full sides on Sundays. Two wins in the first weekend against Bletchingley and Old Rutlishians augured well for a successful season. However the Saturday side has won only two more games v Chipstead and the return game v Old Rutlishians, plus six draws and one defeat. The Sunday side has lost three times and drawn twice. On several occasions the opposition has held on for a draw with one or two wickets in hand.
At the end of June the Club had a three day tour along the south coast in dry weather and some sunshine. In three high‑scoring games draws were recorded against East Preston and Worthing, but the final game at Crowborough we lost narrowly.
Despite the results the batsmen have been producing good individual scores with newcomer Dave Gange leading the way with an unbeaten hundred at Oakwood Hill. Dave Brook hit his highest score for the club with 90 v Reigate Priory, and others to bat well are Tim Hodgson (78* v Old Ruts), David Miller (73 v Old Ruts and 66 v Ockley), John Bird (62 at Chaldon and 63 v Riverside), and Tim Beer (81 at Oakwood Hill and 74 at Crowborough). The best bowling figures have come from Andrew Culton (6‑40 v Reigate Priory), Andy Leopold (5‑28 v Old Ruts), and four wicket returns from Richard Bennett, Dave Wilcockson, and Dave Brook.
One OD who has been playing well, taking wickets, scoring run s and holding catches, is the oldest member of the side David Culton (Editor notes 1943‑46 ‑ Bravo!)
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CHAIRMAN: John L Hayns VICE‑CHAIRMAN: David H. Mountain
SECRETARY: Miss Sheila Sandford, 73 Copthorne Road, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 7EE
TREASURER: Mrs. Maureen Meier, Old Forge House, 318 Lower Road, Bookham, Surrey, KT23 4DU