Issue No. 18 Spring 2001
















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Editorís Odds and Ends


Old school friends' website ‑

Membership Secretary, Rosemary Dale

The Chairman's Report

Memorial Gates Rededication as seen by Sheila Sandford

AGM and Reunion Lunch as seen by Sheila Sandford

John Gent's Bits

     Memorial Gates

     School News

Some more reflections on that Millennium Lunch, from Paul Mills

AGM 2000 & Millennium Lunch pics taken by members

ADA Bursary Winners reporting:

     Elizabeth Thompson (2000) at Cambridge

     Richard Williams (2000) in Northern India, before Cambridge

     Laura Timms (1997) still at Cambridge

     Louise Wootton (1999) at Durham

     Richard Mayers (1999), filming at Bournemouth

Gordon Fisher still needs to publish or perish!

Turville Kille sees the positive aspects of life in Zimbabwe

Robert Miller reporting on Mole Valley today

Ashcombe Dorkinian Association Golf ‑ Harold Child reporting

Old Dorkinian Cricket Club ‑ Dave Wilcockson

Old Dorkinian Football Club ‑ Peter Mills





Josephine Taylor was recognised in the New Year Honours when she was awarded an MBE for services in sport to Surrey schools. So, congratulations to the person most of us recognise as Jo Secretan! Jo has helped children in swimming, athletics, and hockey for 50 years (I suppose it must be that long?) and is widely accepted as having taught most children in Dorking to swim at some time.


Congratulations also to Shane Murray on becoming a father again, the day before his 45th birthday ‑ he seems to think that is remarkable, but he is way behind other members of the Association going by names such as Fox, Everett, Fisher, and even the Editor!


One of the pleasures of this job is receiving letters, phone calls and emails out of the blue from people not seen for many years, and this time it was Gordon Fisher who has now joined us and has immediately reported on some of his activities, past and present! I await a reaction from Geoff Quantrell if he wishes to dispute any of Gordon's recollections!


Another occasion was a phone call from Tobago where Michael Pearson was enjoying great hospitality at David Knott's beautiful residence ‑ David has lived on Tobago for over 40 years.


Turville Kille's contribution from Zimbabwe was not 'out of the blue' as I have been badgering him for some time to tell us how he and his family are coping, and he has provided a surprisingly upbeat report on his life in Zimbabwe. I hope that Valerie Bartlett (Cooper) receives this edition directly, and not via the address she left 3 years ago! Val explained that the Reyntiens whose View she enjoys in Odiham lived locally and is known for having designed the new stained glass window in Coventry Cathedral. She also mentioned having struggled through a 30 week course in Modem Greek ‑ but not looking for another '0' level? (or School Cert.!)


Hebe and Doe sympathise with us for the 'foul weather' we have been suffering, but mention that there are serpents in their Garden of Eden ‑real ones! ‑ and bush flies and cyclones ‑ the worst to hit Western Australia.


Thanks to Paul Mills for his unusual reflections on the Millennium Lunch, and to Colin Burgess for his contributions to the Association as he steps down from his PR job on the Committee.


There is just room for a brief report on the Reunion of the Immediate Post‑War Dorkinians which took place on 28th April at Denbies Wine Estate ‑ we were enjoying ourselves on the very spot where many of us had run cross country many years ago! Some 94 people including a few tolerant non‑Dorkinian spouses, and several slightly older (and privileged!) Committee Members (who had some prefect duties to perform) spent over 4 hours having a splendid meal and talking incessantly. Miss Coney was the Guest of Honour, in very good form as usual (and thanks to Janet Hadgraft for chauffeuring her from Suffolk). We were glad to note that Norman Bradshaw's memory remained sharp despite his recent move into sheltered accommodation! And Jo Taylor was congratulated on her MBE.


The success of the occasion was down to the hard work and efficiency of Sheila Sandford and Lionel Rose who contacted over 100 people. Some were members of the ADA, but many had not been seen for ages, and will no doubt be urged to sign up without further delay.


We may expect some more idiosyncratic views of this event in the next Edition?


David Mountain April 2001

65 Broadhurst, Ashtead

Surrey KT21 1QD

Tel: 01372 273227






The Ashcombe School celebrates 25 years ‑ another provisional date ‑ 29th September. The Autumn Newsletter should arrive in time to let you know more!

ADA Golf ‑ next fixture we hope will, be arranged for the Autumn, thanks to the good offices of Harold Child. If you are not a regular participant in these enjoyable events, please contact Harold as soon as possible



REUNION/AGM ‑ Saturday 13th October 2001 Full details with next Newsletter.


November l1th 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 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 August 2001, please.



Calling all computer owners! Do you have access to the Internet?


If so, have you discovered the recently created website,

aimed at putting old school friends in touch with each other?

This site was only created on 26 February 2001 but,

eventually, it may help us to track down those elusive contemporaries,

so the more who sign on to this site, the better.

Do have a look on


Sheila Sandford



Membership Report


April 2001


Since the last Newsletter, membership has risen again, to a current 352. The majority of the new members joined at the very successful reunion in October. Having enjoyed the meal and the nostalgia, it was the only decent thing to do. We hope they will have a lot of fun out of their membership.


A number of recent joiners have fallen behind already in their subscriptions. Please don't let it happen to you, but make your payments by standing order. Banks hardly ever forget to pay!


New members: Janet Matthews (Kerr), David Boxall, Delma Brazier (Olney), David Sheppard, Colin Ranger, Beryl Willmer (Child), Wesley Hughes, Deborah Michel, Frances Webb, John Bettesworth, Jennifer Bird (Thwaites), Brenda Darby (Grosvenor), Gill Freeman (Thompson), Marie‑Christine Goddard (Greenfield), Nick Goddard, Tom Hamshar, Angus Kerr, Joan Harrison (Berwick), Michael Ranger, Eileen Etheridge (Charman), Gordon Fisher, Betty Diggens (Hall) and Geoff Manning. Details, of course, in the Membership List, which now contains email addresses, so you don't have to look them up separately. (I speak in faith, because it hasn't yet happened at the time of writing, but John Gent assures me he can find room for them.)


A final request: PLEASE let me know of errors or omissions in the List. They won't be corrected if they are not brought to my attention.






From the Chairman


It seems to be my style that everything I write for The Dorkinian is by way of asking for money, so rather than disappoint readers, I thought I would stick with, what is now becoming, that tradition! Firstly the Doc Morgan Award, and you will note that it has become an "award" rather than a "bursary" Your committee has discussed this at length and a number of comments have been received from the membership. The consensus seems to be for a gift to the School rather than a monetary award to an individual pupil. First thoughts were for the presentation of a musical instrument, but generally, costs appeared to be prohibitive. The current thought is therefore for the provision of an electronic device which might be for sound recording or reproduction or perhaps, and this is becoming my favourite, a sound editing studio. However before deciding anything I am currently seeking a discussion with the School when hopefully, we shall be iterate towards a mutually satisfactory item. The December News Sheet talked of closing the fund on 31 March 2001, but our proposed timescale is now that we would like to make the presentation to the Headteacher at the AGM on 13 October. This gives you more time ‑ here comes the crunch ‑ to send in your donations!


This is a double‑whammy, so now for my second bit! Many of you have indicated your satisfaction with both the quality and content of our Newsletters, which are published in May and September each year. The editorial team, backed by the committee, has deliberately sought to continuously improve the quality to arrive at the level now achieved, but this has its price, and our Treasurer tells us that the cost of these two publications is virtually equivalent to the monies received through subscriptions, leaving nothing for other expenses such as bursaries etc. There appear to be two options, firstly reduce the size and quality of the Newsletter to an affordable level, or secondly increase the subscription which, incidentally, has not been changed since the inception of the Association in 1992. Your committee is very much in favour of adopting the latter course by doubling the annual subscription to £10 per year. This will ensure the quality of future Newsletters and the continuation of our other events for some years to come. Such a proposal would have to be ratified at the AGM and it would be good, if before then, we could have some indication of the feelings of the membership. So please, let us have your views.


I can't think of any more ways to get money out of you for the time being, so I'll sign off by wishing you all a pleasant summer despite our current national and weather problems. Hope to see you all at the AGM and the reunion lunch, both on 13 October, and don't forget that, as far as the latter is concerned, the first one‑hundred applicants get the seats!!


Mike Dobson




Rededication of Memorial Gates, Reunion, AGM and Millennium Lunch

on Saturday 14 October 2000


Rededication of Memorial Gates


The day started at 10 am with a short service of rededication of the Memorial Gates ‑unfortunately it rained, but it is estimated that about 150 people were present. The service was introduced by a short speech from Mike Dobson, ADA Chairman, and then conducted by Rosemary Dale, ADA Chaplain (and Membership Secretary). Norman Bradshaw said the sentences "They shall not grow old...." and Gladys Arlett, who had participated in the original dedication in 1949, unveiled the newly re‑furbished Gates. The final blessing was pronounced by the Associate Vicar of St. Martin's. Everyone was then invited to have coffee in the old school hall (now known as the Resource Centre!) before the AGM at 11 a.m. We were pleased to have the Head Teacher and the Chairman of Governors present for this ceremony and for the first part of the AGM.



Reunion, AGM and Millennium Lunch


At the AGM the previous Committee was re‑elected with the exception of Peter Weller who had expressed a wish to stand down. Peter was thanked for his very useful contribution to the Association, and his wife Esme was also thanked for her great support ‑ another invaluable 'non‑OD'! John Hayns was elected to the Committee in Peter's place.


After the AGM we adjourned to the Watermill. Very nostalgic for many who had had their wedding receptions or 21st birthday parties there in years gone by!


The company was great and everyone was very sorry to go so early when, as someone put it, our memories were just getting into gear again! We had a good representation from the 1930s and I think this was due to the effort with the Gates. 113 members sat down to lunch and the top table included former staff members Norman Bradshaw, Dorothy


After the Loyal Toast proposed by John Gent, David Mountain proposed The School. (This was appropriate as he interviews candidates for the ADA Bursary each year and is invited to the Awards Evening.) Following this, a humorous toast to The Association was proposed by Paul Mills who, in more serious vein at the end, remembered those Dorkinians who had fought in the Second World War and were happily with us for the Lunch. After this, Lionel Rose proposed Absent Friends and mentioned our overseas members by name, before referring to someone from Cheam who had sent apologies, thus bringing us down to earth! He too ended on a serious note, recalling those who had given their fives in the Wars and those who had died more recently.


We were fortunate enough to have three people from overseas with us in the flesh at the lunch, Maureen Collins from Sydney, Janet Roodbol from Holland and David Shepherd (one of my own era whom I had not seen for about 40 years!!) from South Africa. He has now been persuaded to join ADA!


All in all, a very good day. We now look forward to the second Saturday in October 2001, namely 13 October, for the next Reunion!

Sheila Sandford



John Gent's Bit:



The Memorial Gates


Well, we did it! Our Chairman, Mike Dobson, laid down a challenge at the AGM in 1999 and exactly one year later the Memorial Gates were rededicated by our own Rev. Rosemary Dale. We managed it with just a day to spare, owing to the torrential rains of the final few weeks.


The Gates themselves were straightened and repaired by Eric Lamprell at his forge in Forest Row near East Grinstead. They were then shot blasted before being returned to Eric for priming and final painting. Committee Member, Anthony Lockwood built the supporting brickwork which consisted of a pair of large piers joined by a brick wall between. The wall was of a lighter colour than the piers to highlight the black painted metal of the Gates. Let into the piers were two stone plaques, the original plaque which had cracked and had apparently been repaired when the Gates were first erected in 1949, now refurbished using current techniques, and a new matching plaque to commemorate the restoration work and the relocation of the Gates to their present position. The masonry work was carried out by Richard Taulbut, through Gumbrills who do a lot of work for Chichester Cathedral.


The rededication on Saturday 14th October 2000, just before our AGM was attended by approximately 100, including the Head Teacher, Arthur Webster and the Chairman of Governors, Mr Martin Jones. The rededication was conducted by Rev. Rosemary Dale, and the Gates were blessed by Rev. Peter Shayler‑Webb. The rain held off just enough for the service to be completed so that those attending did not get too wet. The Gates were unveiled by Gladys Arlett, who had been President of the Old Dorkinian Association in 1949 when she ceremoniously opened the Gates at their original dedication.




Mr Lamprell starting work on the Gates


Rev. Peter Shayler‑Webb with Rev. Rosemary Dale,





List of Names


We already have the list of names of most of those who entered the County and County Grammar School between its foundation in 1931 up to 1976 when it combined with Mowbray to become The Ashcombe School. We have all of Mowbray's intake (from its inception in 1959), and have now been able to gain access to various lists of pupils who attended the Ashcombe School. The intention is to compile a complete list in tabular form so that a search can be made of former pupils according to alphabetical or chronological order.



School News


Once again The Ashcombe School is spreading its influence and enhancing its reputation to the four corners of the globe. Presently it is developing a 'Chinese Connection'. The School teaches Mandarin as many of you will probably know and exchange visits are taking place between The Ashcombe and Shanghai. The Awards to the pupils last December were made by Mr Song Bo of the Education Section of the Chinese Embassy in London, and he emphasised in his speech the development of good relations between UK and China through schools. The speech of thanks was given in Mandarin by two U6th students, Lizzie Gardner and Nick Harvey!


Closer to home, continuing the European links theme, 40 students from Holland paid a visit to the school which included a 'Dutch social evening'. A month later, in November, a party of 28 visited the school from Gouvieux, France as part of a pupil exchange, and more recently (in February), the School's Italian Exchange took with pupils from a school near Bologna. Oh yes!, and a group of Swedish teachers from Karlskrone came over to 'see some English teaching'.


All this of course is to do with the new Language Laboratory.


Visit by Chris Woodhead, Schools' Chief Inspector


Chris Woodhead visited the School just before he left his post as Schools' Chief Inspector. It was a flying visit lasting all of 90 minutes, but he subsequently wrote to the School saying how impressed he had been.


'Highly Commended: David Blow, The Ashcombe School, Dorking, Surrey'


So read the citation following the School's application for an award for David for his work in ICT at the School. Not much we can add to that, except to say 'Well done, David', and to mention that the award was presented by Lord David Puttnam.




It is probably appropriate that the School's Millennium year production should commemorate the life and teachings of Jesus. Although originally written for a cast of 10, in true Ashcombe fashion it was stretched to encompass over 200 players. It was a very colourful production and a strength of it was the opportunity for so many to sing solo: the quality of the singing throughout was extremely high.


Charities Week


This is 5 days dedicated to worthy causes. Everyone joined forces to support a string of excellent events. This included a teachers' Monday quiz which proved their inability to play by the rules whilst demonstrating a worrying lack of knowledge, a Slave Auction, a Fashion Show and a Talent Show. £3,000 was raised in aid of the Royal Marsden Hospital and the School's Romanian charity work.


Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme


This is still very popular at the School, and this year 50 Bronze, 8 Silver and 3 Gold medals were awarded to pupils.




The £1 million Sports Hall, as we reported in the Christmas Newssheet, has finally been awarded funding, and construction has already begun. It is due to open in January 2002.


Pupils continue to excel in all sports in which they participate, having gained recognition and awards in Badminton, Basketball, Cross‑country, Football, Netball, Rugby and Swimming


And Finally ...


The Ashcombe School celebrates its Silver Jubilee later this year, in September. It was in 1976 that DCGS combined with Mowbray to form the new School. Perhaps you could sew in any suggestions as to how the Association may best take an active part: maybe a major drive for new recruits ‑ after all, some of the earlier leavers of the Ashcombe School are now coming up to an age when they probably would like to renew old school friendships.


John Gent





Some more reflections on that Millennium Lunch, from Paul Mills


Well of course I should never have gone in the first place. Normally I quite enjoy reunions but to tell you the truth 1 felt so out of place at this one. You see as soon as got there 1 realised that I just wasn't dressed for it. I mean I went just as I was because absolutely nobody had thought to tell me that the whole occasion was designed to be a party for 16 year olds ‑ so that they could all dress up and pretend to be adults.


You should have seen the outfits. Some people went to enormous trouble; quite a few had bleached their hair and some of the chaps had even had the clippers all over. A number of boys had obviously borrowed their father's best suit although I noticed that one or two had to resort to stuffing a cushion down the front of their trousers. I wouldn't mind betting some of the girls had hired their dresses especially for the occasion they looked so authentic but I could see right through their disguises, to me they were all still 16 year olds.


Alan Fox was there sporting a patently obvious false white beard forgetting that I had seen him streaking down the wing in a house match only last week. Shirley Brewer ‑ I have kept to maiden names throughout in order to protect the no doubt innocent ‑ was wearing that red dress that had caused such a frisson of excitement throughout Pixham, and beyond, only a short while ago. My next door neighbour from Chichester Road, Head Girl Rosemary Blake, was keeping an eye on proceedings ‑ obviously straight from the sports field I judged, as I caught a glimpse of gleaming white trainers beneath her all‑in‑one grey outfit. Actually she needn't have rushed as Miss Secretan and Mr Bradshaw had drawn the short straws and were the obligatory staff on roster duty.


Of course some went way over the top and stretched incredulity too far. For example Tom Walker attempting to look like a bishop on holiday and the ever youthful Frank Kerr desperately pretending to be ancient and curmudgeonly and failing miserably on both counts. John Karn< was spinning a tall story about being the manager in some London hotel or cafe called the Savoy, then promptly knocked over a glass of water to disprove his point.


My close friend Wesley Hughes came in short trousers and woggle ‑ from the 3rd Dorking Peewit Patrol ‑looking freshly scrubbed and immaculate as always. There were a number of other fellow members of the St. Martins' Church Choir there ‑ those rub marks made by the stiff Eton collars were a dead giveaway. Gwen 'can of peaches' Atkin came in off the hockey pitch looking fetchingly svelte in regulation white blouse and short blue skirt. All three Waddington girls were there, Gwen, Katy and Pat, but not everyone had dressed up. Maureen and Wendy Chalcraft for example hadn't got the word either apparently and as a result both looked so absurdly young that just talking to them was enough to make me feel really ancient.


Then to cap it all my elder brother, Peter, had to turn up. Well honestly heredity is so unfair. He got in first and scooped both the family good looks and the talent with the result that all 1 was left with was natural modesty. So all in all you can understand why it didn't exactly make my day when that lady came up to me and said 'excuse me, but who did you use to be?'





AGM 2000 pictures







ADA Bursary Winners in 2000 ‑ just briefly, this time



Elizabeth Thompson wrote to tell us last August that she would be going to Emmanuel College, Cambridge, having obtained 5 grade As and a distinction in S level Chemistry. We will invite her to write again fairly soon!



Richard Williams was accepted by Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge to read. Geography, starting in October 2001 ‑ his grades did not quite meet Cambridge's offer, but his strengths at interview (which impressed his ADA interviewers also!) got him through. In September 2000 Richard joined a 3 month expedition to Lahaul, Northern. India. calling for fitness to be able to climb at altitudes up to 5500 metres. No doubt we will hear about this, also fairly soon!


Laura Timms, ADA Bursary Winner in 1997 is going for M.Phil, and then Ph.D.


Since I last wrote in the summer of 1998 time has flown by and I can hardly believe that it is already nearly a year since I graduated. I sat my finals in May 2000 and graduated in June with a 2.1 in English literature, after three very happy years at King's College. As well as the obvious enjoyment and privilege of being able to spend three years reading, I remain quite overwhelmed at having been able to spend that time living at King's. Its buildings and gardens are so outstanding that I'd happily sit through my finals again for the pleasure of revising on the back lawns and taking a break now and again to go punting! The city of Cambridge was also a great place to be a student, with plenty of museums, galleries, gardens and a great independent cinema ‑ all brilliant ways of passing the time away from the weekly essays.


I enjoyed studying English enormously, especially after finishing part one and moving on to the greater freedom to pursue my own interests afforded by part two. Part one is a chronological sweep through English literature from 1350 to the present day, with some French thrown in for good measure, which, though fascinating, is a slog and allows very little time for reading in any kind of depth ‑ as the time‑span covered suggests. In part two I was able to choose my own papers and dissertation topics which was far more satisfying, as it allowed me to become really at home in the work of my favourite writers. In addition to the compulsory exam papers in Tragedy and Practical Criticism, I chose to study 'Shakespeare in Performance' which involved watching lots of films and spending a week at the Shakespeare Centre in Stratford‑upon‑Avon. I also wrote two dissertations> one on TS Eliot and Joseph Conrad, and another comparing Moby‑Dick with Spenser's The Faerie Queene and Malory's Morte d'Arthur. The term that I spent on the research for both these dissertations was the most satisfying period of time that I had at Cambridge.


I did find time for some extra‑curricular activities, however, including caving trips, canoeing, winning a college prize in an art competition and plenty of sitting on the backs with friends and beer in the summer. In the main though, quite a lot of my time was spent getting involved in college life, where I sat on a couple of committees (gardening and catering!) and was Women's Officer for the student union for a year. I enjoyed getting more formally involved in the running of the college, and the student union proved a satisfying way of acting positively on frustration with the less ideal aspects of Cambridge life. During my time at King's the student union helped coordinate a rent strike which ran for nearly a year in protest at unacceptable rent rises, as well as organising many social events and co‑ordinating college efforts to recruit students from non‑traditional backgrounds. One of the highlights of my time as college Women's Officer was organising a Women's Dinner for over a hundred female students and fellows, at which Jeanette Winterson was our guest speaker. It was an inspiring occasion, though exhausting to organise, and I was very relieved when it all went smoothly on the night!


Just before the Easter holidays last year I was elected Sabbatical Women's Officer for the Cambridge University Students' Union for 2000‑2001, having become keen to get involved at a higher level after my experience within King's College. I'll finish the post in July this year, after a year that has proved a radical change from academic life. I've enjoyed getting to know a different side of Cambridge from the one that students normally see, and it has been useful to develop some practical skills that did not feature in the English Literature degree. Over the course of the year I've been involved with setting up a confidential phoneline offering support and information to students about sexual health, childcare, contraception and abortion, the formalisation of an autonomous Women's Union within CUSU, running a busy week‑long programme of events to celebrate International Women's Week as well as sitting on numerous committees and doing casework with individual students. It's a multifaceted job, which places heavy demands and responsibilities on the officer, especially since the post is always held by a student who almost definitely will not have any previous experience. I've certainly experienced a steep learning curve in life skills, for which I'm very grateful, although come July I will definitely be in need of a holiday!


Despite all the enjoyable aspects of working for CUSU and the miracle of actually having an income rather than an outgo for the first time in three years, over the course of the year I began to pine more and more for studying English. Having found myself rhapsodizing to second years about the joy of revising for finals once too often I applied for graduate study, and have since been accepted back to King's and the English faculty for an M.Phil in American Literature as the probationary first year of a Ph.D. I was overjoyed to receive the offer of a place and am looking forward to spending the months until I start in October reading in preparation for my dissertation, which will extend my research on Herman Melville and Medieval and Early Modern European Romance. I would really like to start immediately, and so will have to coax myself through the working week with the promise of the library at the weekends (or the backs when summer finally arrives)! My time is now also taken up with the tortuous process of trying to find funding for the course, and numerous application forms are being filled in and sent off to various bodies. Fortunately I have managed to save a reasonable amount, and so hope to be able to raise enough money to ensure that I can do one year of graduate study at least. I'm very much looking forward to re‑entering student life in the Autumn.



Louise Wootton, ADA Bursary Winner in 1998 ‑ very busy at Durham!


I was contacted recently by the editor asking how my time at university had gone after being awarded a £250 bursary from the Dorkinian Association in 1998. I am now in my third and final year of my degree in Geography at Durham University. The time has flown by and I have really enjoyed my period at Durham. My course has gone well and I have found it interesting. I have been able to take a wide range of modules in both human and physical geography. Currently I am studying modules on the Geography of India, Climate Change, Coasts, Victorian Cities and Urban Regeneration. My other module this year was my dissertation for which I assessed grazing as a management technique for lowland heaths. I used Headley Heath as my case study and hopefully it will be of use and interest to the National Trust wardens there.


Along with my academic commitments, I have also given a lot of my time to running the Christian Union at Durham. I spent one year as a rep. for my college C.U. and then another year on the exec. for the Inter‑collegiate C.U.. Both of these experiences were challenging and hard work, but very rewarding. The C.U. is an evangelistic organisation and it was thrilling to see many people find out about Jesus. I am also involved in the university aerobics society and I have enjoyed the opportunity that living in college has been to make a wide variety of new friends. Living away from home has taught me independence and a lot of life skills, as well as academic knowledge and I am very grateful for being able to have the experience of going to university.




Richard Mayers, ADA Bursary Winner in 1998 ‑ got his sponsors*


It's been a while since I last set foot in Surrey, so I thought I'd let you know what I've been up to since becoming a member. Bournemouth University has been my home and place of study since I left Ashcombe back in 1998, and I've been enjoying it ever since. I'm now in my final year, completing a BA(hons) degree in TV and Video Production, which is now rated the best course of its kind in the country.


Looking back, I realise that the first two years of study were fairly smooth going. But now it's reached full throttle and my degree is worth 100% from this year alone. Having already completed 15% of it with a four minute drama back in November, I am left with two more projects to do: A ten minute drama and production analysis worth 55% and a ten‑thousand word dissertation worth 30%. It may seem daunting, but I'm actually very excited because I enjoy working under pressure. I also now have the opportunity of letting people from outside the course become a part of my degree.


We independently fund our minor and major productions. My minor project, for example, cost me just under £200; this involved a two‑day shoot whereby I employed an actor from London, paid for crew and cast expenses, film equipment and stock, plus accommodation‑ In the end it turned out to be quite a success. My major, however, is going to cost me a considerable amount more.


My major project, which is a ten‑minute drama, consists of a five‑day shoot with three main actors and crew, plus all the additional costs that come with such a large projectIn total I am looking at around £ 1000 to cover everything. And since it is to be produced by myself, I have designed a way in which people can buy a share of the film, by selling it off in blocks of £10 shares, one hundred in total. Each share, therefore, is worth 1%.


Not would the person be buying a part of the film, but they shall receive a copy on VHS and a certificate of authenticity, plus may even make money back should the film get picked up at a festival, or broadcast on regional or national television. And since I already have three main actors lined up and some professional computer animators on board, things are looking promising. Any members who read this have the opportunity to sponsor my degree piece and help me get a step closer to achieving my ambition of becoming a film director.


If there are any of you interested, don't be afraid to give me a call or write to me at the above address, as any support would be gratefully appreciated at this stage in my degree.


* Since writing the above in January, Richard has secured the sponsorship he needed, but promises to let us know of future investment opportunities which are bound to arise!



Gordon Fisher (1938‑47) ‑ still needs to publish or perish!


Yes I have signed up for the ADA! Yesterday was the first day of Spring, though you would not know it if you were here for there is 2 metres of snow piled up on our front lawn and it is due to snow tomorrow with accumulation of 10 cm. Such is life in Canada. It will not be genuinely warm until the end of May. That is about the time the golf courses open. However the summer is hot and pretty much free of rain, save for the odd downpour which comes and goes quickly.


I envy you your trip up the Nile; I have never done that. It is quite a long way for us and there are seldom conferences to go to in Egypt! Usually my travelling is dictated by the conference circuit which has the advantage that someone else pays. Having said that, I was recently in Seattle for a week, just before the earthquake and then a week later in the Dominican Republic. Seattle was partly on business but the DR was during my young son's Spring Break. He is 10 years old and showing signs of being a good swimmer; he has just been selected for the Montreal Games in April.


I should put you in the picture about the athletic history of Geoff Quantrell versus Gordon Fisher. Before I was 16, Geoff always beat me over 50 or a 100 yards, not by much , but clearly. When I was 16, I joined the Dorking St. Paul's Athletic Club and suddenly became a star performer in the 440 yards and later any distance from 100 to 880 yards. The following Spring I took the 100 yards at the British Games and for the last 2 years at school I was Surrey School's Champion in the 440, the 120 hurdles and the high jump. The last year I was Surrey Junior Champion in the 120 yard hurdles. Geoff never beat me during this period (or since, come to that!}, However, while I was an undergraduate he did join the DSPAC with his brother and so we ran together from time to time when I was home in Dorking.


Please give Geoff my best wishes when you see him next. My sport is no longer running, though I used to jog until a few years ago. I gave up skiing 4 years ago after an unpleasant fall on Mont Tremblant, and now stick to swimming and golf, and walking of course.


I have to go to Halifax to visit Dalhousie University to give a paper and finish another with an old student. One still needs to publish or perish here, even in one's dotage!


(Gordon, who wrote the above notes on 21st March, told us earlier that he was in England last summer for the Centennial Celebrations at the University of Birmingham, and spent a few days in Dorking with his sister‑in‑law, Maureen Fisher ‑ who needs to be congratulated for showing Gordon the Spring 2000 Newsletter, triggering his interest and now his membership. He also met Norman Bradshaw, Peter Mills, and Harold Seward, but was unable to have his usual evening with Bert Randall.


Gordon has lived in Canada since 1975 when he received an offer he could not refuse from Queen's University in Ontario. In 1986 he married a French‑Canadian who lived in Montreal, so took early retirement from Queen's and moved to Concordia University in Montreal. The advantage of the Province of Quebec as far as employment is concerned is that there is no mandatory retirement age, so you can continue until you wish to retire or incompetence requires it ‑ luckily not yet the case!)



Turville Kille (1943‑50) sees the positive aspects of life in Zimbabwe


Upon leaving the School in 1950 I spent a year on my uncle's farm for practical training as part of the requirement for entry into the B.Sc Agriculture course at Wye College, London University.


I was fortunate that the academic entry requirement was Matriculation and not Higher School Certificate. After graduation in 1954 I was recruited in London to join the Department of Conservation and Extension in the Federal Government of Rhodesia and Nyasaland as a Soil Conservation Officer, whose main task was to peg contour drains to prevent soil erosion and construct farm dams to conserve water.


In 1958‑59 I spent a year on a farm in Southern Rhodesia undergoing tobacco training before becoming a Tobacco Extension Officer whose main task was to advise farmers on tobacco growing. This was the start of my ongoing career in the tobacco industry which plays a major part in the economy of Zimbabwe.


Although I lived and worked in Rhodesia/ Zimbabwe I travelled extensively during my tobacco career, particularly to Malawi as well as South Africa and Kenya and further afield to the USA, Canada, Brazil and Western Europe. In 1985 I was seconded as Chief Technical Officer to the Tobacco Marketing Board which regulates the selling of tobacco within Zimbabwe, in which capacity I was responsible for price arbitration and classification. I retired from Government service in 1987 and set up my own consultancy company.


In the mid‑1990's I had a consultancy with a tobacco buying company. Having worked on both sides of the industry‑ growing and buying‑ I have a wide perspective of the industry which greatly assists me in writing articles for three international tobacco magazines. After a boat trip around the world ‑South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tahiti, Panama, Curacao, Trinidad to the UK in 1963, I became engaged to Jean Haddow from Stirlingshire, whom I first met in 1950 on a Young Farmers' exchange visit. We married in 1964 in Scotland and have two sons, Turville and George, both of whom returned to work in Zimbabwe after graduating from the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Affica.


During the late seventies and early eighties, I was Treasurer and then Chairman of the Professional and Technical Officers Association to which government officers in these sectors belong. For the last ten tears I have been chairman of the Federal Pensioners Association which looks after the interests of former civil servants of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. Currently 1 am also Chairman of the Harare Probus Club and also the Tobacco Committee of the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society on which I have served for nearly 30 years.


From 1961 to 1982 I belonged to the British South Africa Police (the Rhodesian Police) Reserve, and saw active service during the "Bush War." Over the years I have become established in Zimbabwe and fortunately made a wise property investment in 1970 which enhances my government pensions which have not kept pace with inflation, now running at about 60 % for the last three years.


One might ask why I still stay in Zimbabwe with all the hardships. There are still positive aspects, such as the weather, despite the summer months, October to March being the rainy season, the remaining six months are virtually rain free with warm days and cool nights. If one belongs to a Medical Aid Society, I think that one receives a better service than the National Health Service provides in the UK, there are no waiting lists, but there can be some shortfalls in the bills. With the Zimbabwe economy in dire straits there are shortages of many items, particularly petroleum fuels, but I must say that my family and I have never yet gone hungry.




WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MOLE VALLEY NOW?       Robert Miller reports


Winter of Discontent


The last six months have not been a happy time for any of us when we recall three major events that hit the country at large ‑ the protests of the farmers and hauliers, continuous heavy rain and flooding, and then foot and mouth disease.


Mole Valley witnessed very long queues at all petrol stations, much because of panic buying, with many garages having to close down temporarily. In October and November the River Mole and tributaries flooded the area seriously, with the bridges at Betchworth, Brockham, and Leigh being inundated, and people having to leave their homes for a time in Brockham, Capel, Mickleham, and Fetcham. Leatherhead was in the national news when it was cut off from Fetcham for a while! Records have confirmed that the autumn was the wettest for 200 years.


To date Surrey has escaped FMD, but in line with the rest of the country many areas were put out of bounds until the end of March and we realised how many dog owners there were when we saw them all walking their dogs along our pavements!


Betchworth Castle Update


The crumbling ruins may soon receive emergency work in an effort to stop the ancient monument from collapsing. Mole Valley District Council is proposing to spend £20,000 before it is too late to save the castle, and some consideration is to be given to making the site accessible to the public.


Night Club for Dorking?


The proposed Night Club for Dorking, in the Curtis Road industrial estate, was given planning permission by the MVDC planning committee in early October, amid a storm of protest from residents living near the site, but the NMC in full council voted against the idea by 23 to 15 on the grounds that it would present management problems, and would cause a loss of income from other tenants and businesses unhappy with the club being there.


A Thirty Three Year Old Murder


Roy Tutill, aged 14, who lived at Wheelers Lane, Brockham, was last seen alive in Hook on Tuesday April 23rd 1968, hitching a lift from Kingston Grammar School after taking a short bus ride. Three days later his body was found by foresters, dumped in a plantation of saplings at Givons Grove ‑ in the area known as the Beaverbrook Estate. He had been strangled and sexually assaulted.


As a result of a further review of the case involving many of the police officers on the case in 1968 coming out of retirement, a 64 year old man from Solihull, West Midlands a former Surrey agriculture engineer ‑ was charged with the murder in February.


Sports Centre for Dorking


The largest lottery handout in Surrey has been awarded to the long awaited Sports Centre to be erected next to the Dorking Halls on the now demolished `Bakers Garage' site.


Ralph Vaughan Williams ‑ statue unveiled


A statue of RVW has been unveiled at the Dorking Halls at the start of this year's Leith Hill Music Festival. He was closely associated with the festival from its beginning in 1905 until his death in 1958. (perhaps we will have a photograph in the next issue?).


Leatherhead Theatre under new management at last


We now have to get used to calling it the Theatre instead of the Thorndike as, after over 4 years of attempts to save it as the Thorndike Theatre, an evangelical group called Pioneer People have taken over and are currently renovating the sadly neglected building. It appears that Pioneer People would like to see the building used by local arts groups at times when they do not need it for their own purposes.


Leatherhead Town Trail


Leatherhead has seen many changes in recent years, but this newly created Heritage Trail celebrates the town's rich inheritance. Key buildings are picked out with wall plaques, which also tell the story of the area ‑ some of the buildings date back to the 11th century. A very good descriptive leaflet is available from the Help Shop in the High Street.


One item not on the trail is the New Bull Hotel which is now boarded up, having been bought by the Lidl Supermarket group. There is much argument over the possibility or desirability of another big store in the town replacing its only hotel ‑ and some speculation about a fire which destroyed part of the hotel!


Ashtead ‑ not to be outdone!


Former Ashtead residents might be pleased to know that The Woodman has recently been expensively upgraded, but a much bigger project has been the rebuilding of St.George's Church at a cost of £2 million ‑ after an 18 month closure, and almost 6 months late. The purpose has been to give the building a new role in the community by providing modem facilities for other groups as well as those connected with the church.






Prior to the onset of autumnal rains, Dorking Golf Club again provided the venue for our second event of the year, on 5th October. Up to a few days prior to the event, it looked as though we were to have the greatest number of participants since our meetings started. Alas, for many and varied personal reasons, players dropped out and frantic replacements were

sought. We were finally reduced to six association players, Ably supported by David Everett's sons Alan and Michael, we set out, with great determination, to play well against the opposition provided by Dorking Golf Club.


Scoring was, to say the least, disappointing. This did not detract from another enjoyable day when we were pleased to welcome Pam Haas (nee Grainger) and trust she will make a companion for Brenda Oliver at future events. Carol Row (D.G.C.) nervously turned out for their team. in what transpired to be her first competitive match. Many thanks Carol; we hope to see more of you representing D.G.C.


Whilst inviting a team from Dorking Golf Club to our events, basically to make numbers sufficiently large to obtain tee reservations and catering at the various venues, their members always enquire about any of our regular players who happen to be missing for a particular match.


Association Results for the day:≠

1st Prize ‑ Bernard Burbidge 30 points

2nd Prize ‑ Harold Child 29 points

Best front nine holes ‑ Roger Griffiths 17 points

Best back nine holes ‑ Colin Burbidge 14 points


Match Result ‑ A.D.A. beat Dorking G.C. 203 points to 189.


ps ‑ the Spring meeting was postponed owing to the wet conditions and uncertainties, but there is every hope that we will meet again in the Autumn. If you are not one of our 'regulars' but would like to join us, please write to me, or phone 01306 885831.




OLD DORKINIAN CRICKET CLUB ‑ Season 2001 ‑ Dave Wilcockson, Hon. Sec


The new season should start on 5th May at Meadowbank but with parts of the outfield under water the prospects are not good. Another tour of Germany is planned for the end of July when it is hoped to repeat last year's record of three wins. Anyone wanting to take up cricket or make a comeback should contact the secretary (01306 883428). The fixture list is set out below:


Saturdays Sundays


May 5 Bletchingley H 2.00 May 6 Westcott H 2.00

12 Burgh Heath A 2.00 13 Nutfield H 2.00

19 Chipstead& C. H 2.00 20 Bookham H 2.00

26 Reigate P. A 2.00 27 Blackheath A 2.00

Jun 2 Old Cats. H 2.00 Jun 3 Burgh Heath A 2.00

9 Blindley H. H 2.30 10 Holmbury A 2.30

16 Chaldon H 2.30 17 Whyteleafe A 2.00

23 Oakwood Hill A 2.30 24 Leigh A 2.30

30 A 2.00 Jul 1 Kenley A 2.00

Jul 7 Leigh H 2.30 8 Ockley A 2.30

14 Warnham H 2.30 15 Newdigate H 2.00

21 Chaldon A 2.30 22 N.Holmwood A 2.00

28 (TOUR) 29 (TOUR)


Aug 4 Reigate Priory H 2.00 Aug 5 Woodmansterne A 2.00

11 Graveney H 2.00 12 Bookham A 2.00

18 Kenley H 2.00 19 Southwater A 2.00

25 Uplands H 2.00 26 Australia H 2.00

Sep 1 Old Cats. A 2.00 Sep 2 Guildford C. A 2.00

8 Blindley H. A 2.00 9 Wimbledon U. A 1.30

15 Warnham A 2.00 16 Churt A 1.30

22 Bletchingley A 1.00 21 Shalford A 1.30

29 S.Nutfield A 1.00 30 Bookham A 1.00




OLD DORKINIAN FOOTBALL CLUB Peter Mills, Press Secretary


Referring to my contribution to the Spring 2000 issue of 'The Dorkinian' it will be noted that reference was made to the completion of the Club's 70th season. The current season is however far from over, and, as of Easter Monday, there are still 20 league matches to play ‑the result of atrocious weather conditions since mid November. Postponements caused by flooded and waterlogged pitches have been commonplace, and unusually the pitches at Pixham Lane were flooded at two successive matches in December, and then in January.


The Senior XI, therefore, still has a quarter of its league programme outstanding, but at this stage appear likely to finish in the upper half of Senior Division 1 of the Old Boys' League and retain their place in the division for a fourth season. Home and away victories have so far been achieved against Old Sinjuns 4‑0, 0‑1 and Enfield Old Grammarians 1‑0, 0‑2.


The Reserve XI, competing in Intermediate (South), have completed their season with the aid of double headers, i.e. two matches each of one hour's duration on the same afternoon. With only 10 clubs in the division this has been comparatively easy to achieve and the side is heading for a mid‑table finish as last season.


The remaining 3 league sides still have a long way to go, but all hope to avoid any threat of relegation; currently the4th XI lie fourth in division 5 (South).


The Veterans' XI led by Paul Etheridge have had their fixture list decimated by the weather, and the Old Boys' Veterans' Cup was abandoned in January. A new venture for the side was their entry into the Dorking Junior Charity Cup, but they fell in the quarter final round to Mickleham Old Boxhillians.


The OD's goalkeeper David Williams continues to be first choice for the Old Boys' League representative side, and will shortly gain his I7th cap against the Yorkshire Old Boys' League. Previously this season he has appeared against the Birmingham and District AFA, and the London Financial League.


Earlier this season the Club was honoured by being invited to host the League's representative fixture against Cambridge University at Pixham Lane on 9th November 2000, but that date coincided with the start of the ' monsoon season' and the game had to be cancelled. To offset the Club's disappointment the invitation has been renewed to stage the game this coming November.


You are invited to visit the Club's website 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 ITV Carlton Teletext p477 late on Saturday or on Sunday, and in 'The Times' on Monday.