Issue No. 20 Spring 2002
















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Editorís Odds and Ends


Doc Morgan Award Fund still open

From our (new) Chairman, John Hayns

John Gent's Bits - including his new Membership Secretary Hat

ADA Remembrance Day 11th November 2001

In Memory of Francis Albert Collins - contributed by Colin Burgess

Leslie Maynard

Miss Barter ‑ David Sheppard's thoughts from South Africa

Peter Newman -close friend of Gordon Fisher

lan Taylor ‑ "a family man with many friends and passions"

Forbidden Areas ‑ as remembered by Peter Bond

Hebe Morgan ‑ no longer 'hors de combat et de e‑mail.

Peter Gardner explains how he became 'Gertie', but not Col. Gertie

Nick Ridley on how to be an Expatriate

Chris Smith enjoyed being back in School after a gap of 36 years

Robert Miller reporting on Mole Valley today

ADA Golf

Old Dorkinian Football Club ‑ Peter Mills

Old Dorkinian Cricket Club ‑ Dave Wilcockson







The Remembrance Day Ceremony on 11th November 2001 was attended by about 20 members, and very sensitively conducted by our new chairman John Hayns and his predecessor Mike Dobson. Later in this issue is a list of those remembered whose names were spoken, and below the list the photograph shows John and Mike in front of the Memorial Gates.


Thanks to a very observant Esme Weller noting the celebration of the 50th year of theatre at Polesden Lacey, we can congratulate Andrew Glass on making the opening speech as "the imposing figure of Mr. Bumble" in a production of 'Oliver' at Polesden Lacey last summer, just 50 years after he opened 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' at Polesden with the lines "Now fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour draw on apace‑‑‑.


Jackie Cunningham (Wild, 1948‑54) has received well deserved coverage in our local press on retiring from nearly 40 years with one school in Fetcham. where she taught arts and crafts, and badminton, and organised all sorts of sports and outings. However it seems that Jackie is still continuing much of her activity there!


At the age of 81, former Headmaster John Hamilton has written his first book, which has a foreword by the Duke of Edinburgh, entitled "War Bush", an account of the service of the 81st (West African) Division in Burma between 1943 and 1945, reputedly some of the best jungle fighters.


Paul Mills would like to see more team photos, so please oblige him, as we are happy to include such items if there is space within our budgeted number of pages ‑ the number is dictated by our wish to keep the postage below the next level!


Sheila Sandford thanks all the members who, in January, declared an interest in the October Reunion Lunch. This has been most helpful and they will be given priority when booking opens in the summer.


David Mountain March 2002

65 Broadhurst, Ashtead

Surrey KT21 1QD

Tel: 01372 273227 Email:





ADA Golf Saturday 27th April versus Raynes Park Old Boys Golden Jubilee Tea Saturday 8th June REUNION/AGM ‑ Saturday 5th October 2002


COPY for next Newsletter to the Editor by 1st August 2002, please.


This site has been established just over a year now and has over 5.4 million

members! It is certainly worth a look if you haven't already discovered it!


We have had quite a number of enquiries as a result of the entries under

Ashcombe School and Dorking 6rammar School and have been delighted to

welcome a number of new members to A.D.A. consequently.


Where are they now?


If you can help with the following enquiries, please contact Sheila Sandford in the first instance ‑ e‑mail or telephone 0 13 72 ‑3 7293 6.


James Harwood who started at DCGS in 1968.

Pauline Margot Owen who was at DCGS between 1943 and 1950. She was Head Girl.


The person enquiring for Pauline Owen also asked about Deirdre Wootton ‑ Deirdre's address is known so, again, please contact Sheila Sandford if you would like to renew contact.




just 50 years after he opened 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' at Polesden with the lines "Now fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour draw on apace‑‑‑.


Jackie Cunningham (Wild, 1948‑54) has received well deserved coverage in our local press on retiring from nearly 40 years with one school in Fetcham, where she taught arts and crafts, and badminton, and organised all sorts of sports and outings. However it seems that Jackie is still continuing much of her activity there!


At the age of 81, former Headmaster John Hamilton has written his first book, which has a foreword by the Duke of Edinburgh, entitled "War Bush", an account of the service of the 81st (West African) Division in Burma between 1943 and 1945, reputedly some of the best jungle fighters.


Paul Mills would like to see more team photos, so please oblige him, as we are happy to include such items if there is space within our budgeted number of pages ‑ the number is dictated by our wish to keep the postage below the next level!


Sheila Sandford thanks all the members who, in January, declared an interest in the October Reunion Lunch. This has been most helpful and they will be given priority when booking opens in the summer.


David Mountain March 2002

65 Broadhurst, Ashtead

Surrey KT21 1QD

Tel: 01372 273227 Email:





ADA Golf Saturday 27th April versus Raynes Park Old Boys Golden Jubilee Tea Saturday 8th June REUNION/AGM ‑ Saturday 5th October 2002


COPY for next Newsletter to the Editor by 1st August 2002, please.


This site has been established just over a year now and has over 5.4 million

members! It is certainly worth a look if you haven't already discovered it!


We have had quite a number of enquiries as a result of the entries under

Ashcombe School and Dorking Grammar School and have been delighted to

welcome a number of new members to A.D.A. consequently.


Where are they now?


If you can help with the following enquiries, please contact Sheila Sandford in the first instance ‑ e‑mail or telephone 0 13 72 ‑3 7293 6.


James Harwood who started at DCGS in 1968.

Pauline Margot Owen who was at DCGS between 1943 and 1950. She was Head Girl.


The person enquiring for Pauline Owen also asked about Deirdre Wootton ‑ Deirdre's address is known so, again, please contact Sheila Sandford if you would like to renew contact.





Proposed Doc Morgan Award


I am delighted to say that, following the distribution of the Winter NewsSheet,

we have received some more donations for the Doc Morgan Fund.


We intend to try and finalise this Fund before the end of the school year.

In the meantime, we would be grateful to receive more donations,

sent to me at the address below no later than the end of April,

because we need time to purchase any equipment and present it to the school.


Please send your cheques (made payable to A.D.A.) to

Mrs. Maureen Meier,

Old Forge House, 318 Lower Road, Bookham, Surrey, KT23 4DU


From the Chairman March 2002


At the AGM last October the chairmanship passed to me and at the same time three other "new boys"

joined the committee, replacing three who had contributed so much to maintaining an active

Association over a number of years. Characteristically, the replacements were not acquired without a

certain amount of playground bullying! Interestingly the average age of the committee has now fallen

a few points as the new members are contemporaries of mine. Our retiring chairman, before

relinquishing his post was instrumental in creating a further appointment and promptly volunteered to

become the Association Archivist.


Your new committee has met twice this term. Our usual venue, the Watermill, has been put out of action by fire so our first meeting was at the White Horse in Dorking, where the management was persuaded to let us use their meeting room for free provided we finished sharp at 7.30pm. This need for a prompt finish has set a precedent and our second meeting, at David Mountain's house, finished at 8pm. in order to secure a sit‑down fish and chip supper in Ashtead Village. Using the "guillotine" on these occasions is fine in principle, but of course can render an even longer agenda next time.


The principal issues consuming our time are generally the Treasurer's report, the Membership Secretary's report and the Doc Morgan Award. The common factor in these is money. The hard commercial facts of the matter are that annual subscriptions are virtually our only source of income and it cost almost all this to produce two newsletters per year. Indeed the autumn newsletter is produced on the strength of anticipated income from subscriptions in September! Although not a profit making concern, we cannot run at a loss and perhaps we should rearrange the timing of the newsletter or even reduce it to once a year, which would be a pity having built up a considerable momentum.


Our "paid‑up" membership tends to fluctuate for a number of reasons ranging through forgetfulness, sloth and unreasonable objection to an increase in a subscription which, it should be said, has remained constant for ten years. Maintaining accurate membership records is not as straightforward as it may seem and we are grateful to successive Membership Secretaries for their considerable effort in keeping matters under control thereby keeping the ADA solvent. Only by maintaining accurate records, with your assistance, will we be able to award the Bursaries mentioned in the last Autumn newsletter and consider further commitments to the school.


The Doc Morgan award fund is still open and will remain so until such time as an appropriate 1.1 award" can be identified. It will fall eventually to the committee to make "difficult choices" on behalf of our members. If you have any further suggestions or strong views on the matter, please let us know. While acknowledging that many former pupils owe their appreciation of classical music to Doc's enthusiasm for his subject, today's pupils might not enjoy such good fortune. What might have been regarded as an appropriate tribute fifty years ago may not be so regarded today. In taking soundings of the school, we should not be surprised by their response reflecting the changes which have occurred in the intervening years; not least in technology which, for example, provides new ways of examining, analysing and studying the composition of music. The school is currently suggesting a "Sampler", which can cost in the order of 900. Dinosaurs have difficulty comprehending such matters, but it appears that "Samplers" have a useful contribution to make in the music syllabus.


Before winding up I would mention two further matters. The first the tremendous growth in the numbers registered on the "Friends Reunited" web site. A large proportion of these registrations are from more recent pupils and your committee will be considering, perhaps, how best to recruit these as members of this Association. Increasing our membership would allow more time to be given towards realising the precepts of our constitution rather than worrying about the next meal. The lives of would‑be younger members of course carry a different emphasis and perhaps we are being unrealistic in our expectation of them wanting to join the Association. However, we are bound to keep trying. The second to remind you of the next AGM on 5th October when we shall be taking lunch at Denbies. If you would like to enjoy a rather special lunch, and as seats are limited, please let our secretary know.


Meanwhile please help to keep our newsletter alive by letting our editor or secretary (if you are writing to her on other matters) have any items for inclusion in the next issue. 1 imagine that few pupils completed their school career without escaping punishment of some form. Perhaps, if they are not too gruesome, we could have some recollections!


With good wishes to you all,


John Hayns



John Gent's Bits, including his new Membership Secretary Hat


Sports Hall: Official Opening by the Earl and Countess of Wessex


The Sports Hall received 'Practical Completion' in the middle of November having been finished on time and on budget. This meant that it could officially be entered with a view to equipping it ready for use.


The Hall has been in full use since January and there will be/was a formal Opening Ceremony on the

April 10th by the Earl and Countess of Wessex. I anticipate giving a full report in our next Newsletter.


Sports Hall Community Plan


The School is currently working with Mole Valley DC to allocate the 'non‑volleyball time' to local junior groups. They have been hosting a series of 'drop‑ins' for potential users, parents, students and neighbours so that they could see these wonderful facilities prior to the mass use in January.


The Joint Management Committee has met on 2 occasions and a number of other Sports Halls in the county have been visited in order to help gain a clearer picture of how they might manage this facility.


The Ashcombe Dorkinian Association Prize


Last December's ADA Prize for services to the School Community was awarded to Stephanie Connor.


Ashcombe School Gains Special Recognition


The Chief Inspector of Schools has singled out The Ashcombe School as being particularly meritorious in its teaching of Business Studies.


As I understand it, it was not a specific "competition" as such but quite a few schools were selected to gain an indication of their status and ability. In the event Ashcombe came out on top.


It's good to know that Ashcombe is as highly thought of now as the old Dorking County School was in its day.


Ashcombe School Activities


The School still has a full calendar of events and is continuing to forge overseas links.


Visits to/from abroad include Germany, Romania, Tanzania and China. All came back, safe, sound and wiser! Staff commented on the good behaviour and co‑operative nature of students both young and old.


The China visit has undergone much refinement since the initial visit 3 years ago and next year will mean yet more improvements, particularly in the quality of teaching at the University in Shanghai which Anne Martin (the School's Chinese teacher) is taking charge of. The China connection is a twoway affair and the School welcomed visitors from Changzheng: the headteacher and some of his senior staff and a local councillor. There was also a visit from the Chinese vice‑minister of education Mr. Zhang Tianbao, accompanied by a delegation of senior Chinese officials and Mr. Song Bo, the First Secretary (Education) at the embassy (Mr. Bo was the Guest of Honour at the 2000 Awards Evening).


School's Production of 'Return to The Forbidden Planet'


The annual production attracted a bumper number of pupils wanting to take part this year and while some dropped out there were about 240 pupils in the cast with another 40 working backstage. The principals and singers were extremely strong and led the rest extremely well.


Colourful costumes and fighting complemented a production full of humour and loud rock songs with the audience joining in with actions and clapping. Technically difficult, it was a real challenge to the senior pupils who rose magnificently to the tasks. Of its type it was one of Ashcombe's best productions.


Maths Department Competitions


45 sixth form students recently took part in the national Senior Maths Competition run by UKMT at Leeds University. Congratulations to Alice Thompson who scored the highest in the school and qualifies for the next round.


In October, 6 students (a Year 8 team and a Year 11 team) took part in the Guildford maths competition which is an inter‑school competition run by a consortium of local schools. The Year 11 team did particularly well and were placed 3rd.




Over 80% of the Upper 6th have applied to University this year and most have had the reassurance of writing their good AS grades on the application form.


Students have applied for a very wide range of subjects but the most popular are Natural Sciences, Psychology, Sociology and Business Studies. (N.B: the video‑conferenced psychology course was introduced last year).


Community use of language college facilities


The School has attempted to attract local companies and met with representatives from UNUM and Biwater earlier in the term. Whilst companies are very impressed with the facilities it is difficult for them to commit themselves to using the technology. However Biwater has made contact with the School with a view to one of their staff having Spanish lessons with a teacher from The Ashcombe.


'Flyers' were sent to parents inviting them to a 10 week intermediate French course from January to March as well as inviting parents at most local primary schools to come and learn basic French, Spanish and German with their son/daughter.


... and with my Membership Secretary Hat On ...


Membership is somewhat fluid at the moment as we still haven't received renewal subs from several members. This is an on‑going problem and it takes quite a bit of time phoning around ...


We also have the problem that quite a few members haven't updated their Standing Orders with their bank.


Just to remind you, subscriptions are due on September 1st each year, unless you pay by Standing Order, in which case we give a 3‑month's leeway until 1st December.


John Gent







It was a Canadian, Lieutenant‑Colonel John McCrae, who made the poppy emblematic, in May 1915:


"In Flanders fields the poppies blow/ Between the crosses, row on row, /That mark our place;

and in the sky/ The larks, still bravely singing, fly/ Scarce heard amid the guns below."




EJ Arthur

A Lipscomb

ML Arnold

AJ Holden

SG Boorer

W Jeal

EG Baker

RE Holt

BP Collins

HT Nicklin

RD Baple

RJ King

AN Cousins

PJE Pierce

DA Bond

W Luff

WEF Curror

PR Nicklin

GA Brett

C Maynard

DH Denham

OJ Pullen

JI Byrne

MF Mills

FJ Eveleigh

SE Reeves

FA Collins

MJ Norgate

RTG Farindon

HN Verrells

BR Cushing

D Northfield

LT Furnival

E Vialls

IR Fraser

PV Read

S Gardiner

0 Withers

AG Gardiner

R Teede

RJ Harman

F Woodman

J Gorsten


G Jerome

AM Thompson

GM Head


WH Kay






They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old,

Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,

We will remember them









In Memory of Francis Albert Collins


Colin Burgess (1933‑40) writes about Flying Officer Francis Collins, RAFVR, who was born on November 15th 1922 and died on 19th November 1943, and whose memory is recorded on the Malta Memorial (for those airmen who fell in raid or sortie in the Mediterranean area, and have no known grave), standing outside the King's Gate, the main entrance to Valletta.


Francis was the fifth and last child of Harriet and Albert Collins ‑ a master carpenter and house builder in Dorking. His eldest sister, Sylvia, had been married to William Burgess on June 1st that same year and they had their first child, Colin, on March 22nd 1923, just 4 months after the birth of Francis, which made Francis Colin's uncle. Living only one street apart they spent a lot of their boyhood together. They became entirely familiar with the open spaces Milton Heath, Monkey Hill, and the Nowers, out of doors, while for indoors both lads owned Hornby trains which were frequently played with jointly. Before marrying Eleanor Walker, Francis gave his Pullman coaches and loco to Eleanor's young brother, Tom ‑ now The Venerable Tom Walker ‑ who still has them!


Both boys joined the I" Dorking Scout Group. Both became choirboys of St. Martin's Church where the choirmaster and organist was Dr. William Cole, who was also music master at Dorking County School, attended by both lads, though a year apart. Dr. Cole did tell Tom Walker later that Francis had been an excellent head choirboy.


World War II broke out on September 3rd 1939, and very soon Francis had volunteered for the RAF. He went to a Flying Training School in the United States, gained his pilot's wings and returned to the UK as a Pilot Officer. By 1943 he had grown closer to the Walker family, in particular to Eleanor, with whom he had been at school. Francis was posted to 179 Squadron; there is a strong suggestion that, with a desperate need for aircraft back in the UK a number of aircrews were sent to the Middle East and North Africa to ferry home just‑serviceable aircraft. Francis seems to have had a premonition about this, and he and Eleanor were married on May Ist 1943. He confided his misgivings to his new brother‑in‑law, Tom Walker, just before what was to be his last flight. The telegram was received at the Walker family home in Dorking soon after November 19th, 1943:


"Regret to inform you Flying Officer F A Collins missing, presumed killed".


Eleanor continued her job as an executive officer with the Admiralty at its wartime offices in Bath. Sometime later Bath was heavily bombed and Eleanor suffered severe injuries to a leg, all over from flying glass, and nearly lost the sight of one eye, but after a time in hospital eventually made a full recovery. By now Colin's younger brother Derek had begun to get to know Eleanor before himself joining the RAF and commencing training as a pilot. With the war ending in Europe, Derek was posted to India as a "Driver, Motor Transport", but before leaving England he asked for Eleanor's permission to write to her while he was away. With the war over in the Far East, Colin and Derek found themselves in the same huge transit camp in Bombay.


Derek married Eleanor on 18th September 1948. Sadly she died from cancer in 1986.


All five people named in this commemorative report were former pupils of the original Dorking County School.






Leslie Maynard (1934‑39)


We are sorry to report, very belatedly, that Leslie died on 3 1st March 200 1. Leslie was a keen supporter of the Association, and attended AGMs armed with old school photographs ‑ no doubt at least one including himself as a boy when he was the youngest member of the football team looking very small in the middle of a group of burly older lads. He played regularly for the ODFC 1st XI in the 1930s and 1940s. On the day he died Leslie was at a dinner, appearing well and happy, telling shaggy dog stories to everyone's amusement, when he collapsed. We have sent our condolences to his wife Mary.





David Sheppard's Thoughts from South Africa, November 2001.


As a person who has spent his life writing what has been expected to be clear and understandable English to be read by clients, other lawyers and judges, I realise the huge debt I owe to Miss Barter and the other English teachers. I am very conscious of her teaching of punctuation, sentence analysis and how to abstract a document, all of which I still use on

daily basis.


However, a unique teaching was how to read in public, i.e. her instructions on how to read the lesson in Assembly. As a voluntary exercise, I coach others in how to read the lesson at St. Alban's Cathedral, Pretoria. They now also read slowly, do not drop their voices at the end of sentences, address the person at the back and not the book in front of them, and pause at commas, full stops and the end of paragraphs. Yes, Miss Barter's English teaching has spread far!





Gordon Fisher (1938‑47) writes to Sheila about Peter Newman (1941‑46)


Mais, tu es une vraie francaise aussi. I must come to the AGM/Reunion because October 5th happens to be my birthday!


October 5 was also the birthday of the late Peter Newman whose death was announced in the recent ADA Newssheet. He and I were great friends and he persuaded me to go into economics as an undergraduate. He had quite a distinguished career. Having followed me to the University of Michigan in, I think, 1962 (I left for the University of Glasgow in 1960), he then moved to the Johns Hopkins University in 1965 and stayed there until he retired to Dorset. When Trefor Jones wrote to me in 1964, to congratulate me on my elevation to the Leverhulme Chair of Econometrics at Southampton, he was under the impression that I was the first Old Dorkinian to become a professor and I wrote back to say that Peter had (rightly) beaten me to it.


There have evidently been several since. It is interesting to note also that I had an MA student at Queen's (in Kingston, Ontario), Caroline Betts, from The Ashcombe School, who went on to get a Ph.D. at UBC. I see her from time to time and she now teaches at the University of Southern California. I wonder how many economists there are now among us?


Here in Quebec, there is no mandatory retirement age which explains why I am now at

Concordia University and still going strong!





lan Taylor (1946‑50) ‑ "a family man with many friends and passions"


This time last year lan was looking forward to a further term as President of the Uxbridge Rotary Club, having held the post previously in 1986, but sadly he became ill with cancer of the colon in May, and died on 1st December at the age of 70 ‑ as briefly mentioned in the December Newssheet. As incoming President, Ian was due to nominate his charities for the coming year of office, and one of them was to be the Jubilee Sailing Trust in which he had had a long term active, fundraising, interest. It was typical of his thoroughness that he should check the continuing worthiness of the charity by joining one of their 2 barques on a week's round trip out of Alicante (visiting Ibiza and Cartagena) as one of 18 helpers in addition to the 10 professional crew, with 6 persons confined to wheelchairs plus 8 other people whose conditions ranged from blindness to cerebral palsy.


lan qualified as a pharmacist in 1954. After 2 months at the RAF School of Dispensing at Warton, he was posted to Aden to look forward to 16 months in "one of the hottest and most uncomfortable places on earth"! A British military presence was required there "to prevent skirmishes amongst the various tribes from upsetting the imperial lines of communication". Having been a scoutmaster, he helped out at the local scout troop in his spare time ‑ and in later years helped found the Risborough Scout Troop, and became a Sea Scout.


After National Service, lan joined May & Baker in Romford, working mostly overseas including 3 years in the Sudan (where his wife Jill opened a school in the absence of any such facilities for their young family, and others) followed by a spell in Cairo. The family returned to the UK in 1974 when Ian bought a pharmacy in Ickenham, selling it in 1993 and doing locum work until May 200 1.


lan and Jill married in 1959, and had 3 children, Catherine, Jane, and Richard, and there are currently 5 grandchildren with I on the way. lan's brother Michael, who was also at DCGS, qualified as a GP and emigrated to Canada in 1972 where he is hoping to retire as soon as a replacement can be found for him!


Much of this appreciation has been taken from articles which lan had written for Rotary and the Pharmaceutical Journal, which he thoughtfully forwarded last autumn, and which showed some nice touches which readers can share if they care to ask for copies. One relates to the summer of 1997 when lan and Jill walked the length of the Thames from London to its source over 15 separate days and 185 miles ‑ many interesting observations and tips for anyone wishing to try it.


lan lived his life fully almost to the end, despite considerable pain in the last few months. The church in Ickenham was overcrowded for the Memorial Service, and there were moving tributes from family and friends to his involvement in many local issues.


We admired his determination to attend the AGM in October, and were grateful to be able to see him for the last time. Sadly he did not feel well enough to have lunch, but he enjoyed the afternoon being driven by Jill around all his old local haunts, a grand tour of Mole Valley.


David Mountain



Forbidden Areas


For as long as I can remember, I had always been interested in aeroplanes so when the Air Training Corps (ATC) came into being in 1941, I joined the Dorking Squadron (No. 1408) as one of its founder members.


Training took place at the school and when fire‑watching volunteers re ask for from the seniors, I used to do a number of nights each month. Apart from the seriousness of the job, it always seemed to be a great privilege to be able to go up on the roof or anywhere in the building, especially those areas like the lower part of the main staircase normally restricted to staff or prefects.


Then, when the police approached the ATC to see if anyone would join their Auxiliary Message Service (PAMS), I put my name down and after various lectures we were ready they said ‑ "for an exercise or invasion": the Idea being for the PAMS to carry messages, should normal means of communication become disrupted.


I have recollections of two exercises. One required me to go from the ARP Headquarters in Pippbrook to a house in Milton Street (a location, as many will know, about a mile westwards out of the town) where the occupant took me round into the back garden‑ Suddenly there was a flurry of beating wings and, with a sort of 'crash', a carrier pigeon arrived in the loft with a message from Guildford which had to be conveyed back to Dorking. Suddenly seeing a bird like that at close quarters was a surprise, but the great thing about the morning was being able to ride a bike along the Willow Walk and another footpath we used to say was by the black fence, and both clearly marked "No Cycling". Choosing to go that was a ploy to avoid the main streets and the risk of being spotted by an Exercise Marshal which would have meant you were a casualty and unable to continue!


The other exercise involved going out of town the same way to reach Westcott and on up Coast Hill to pick up the lane to Abinger Common, an overall distance of about five miles which, being mostly up hill, took some time to cover! Finding the designated Policeman near the Post Office, I was told to report to an old sand‑pit at the back of Milton Heath where, on arrival, I found it was to have ten rounds .303 rifle shooting which was great fun after all the tedious arms drill the ATC had been having. Free wheeling back down all the hills from Abinger had been enjoyable too!


Peter Bond



Hebe Morgan (Blake, 1939‑47) ‑ no longer 'hors de combat et de e‑mail'


That time of year again! How quickly it comes around. This has been a strange year for us, with our boundaries shrinking because of Doc's health. But we have not been short of visitors, cousins, niece and nephew ‑ all back in England for a 'proper' Christmas with all that snow and stuff.


We shall be very quiet this year. Most members of the family will be in other places for the festive days, and we shall enjoy the peace of Christmas time together, with short car trips down to the lagoon ‑ the Indian Ocean stretching away on the horizon to Africa, the next piece of land ‑ and to the Yanchep National Park, where kangaroos and cockatoos and water fowl abound, only five minutes away by car, and a haven of peace and quiet except when public holidays fill the place up with families.

While terrible things are happening in other parts of the world, comparative tranquillity reigns here in Yanchep. Major crimes include the odd burglary ‑ unavoidable anywhere these days (but so far, thank heavens, not to us) ‑and the brain‑dead delight of knocking down speed signs. The shops have been full since September with all the traditional northern hemisphere things ‑ tinsel and cards and mince pies and so on. 1 complained once to a shop manager about the mince pies being out so early, and he assured me that whenever I buy them they will have been made months in advance. (Yes, I know ‑ make your own!) I suppose the major news from 6 Nautical Court this year was my badly broken leg, which many of you will have heard about, so I won't go into details. This took place in July, and I am happy to say that I am now walking well and have very little trouble from the offending member. I shall try not to do that again. But I regret, if only slightly, that the skills I developed in handling a wheel chair are now redundant. Still, who knows...?


We love to hear from all of you old friends, so don't hesitate to write or email. And we are always very happy to see you. Everyone should see Western Australia (Oh, all right Australia!) at least once in a lifetime. If you have already been out here you know what I mean. If not, come and try it. You won't be disappointed. So many visitors only go Sydneywards. WA has something of everything. And cities are cities anywhere. (And no, I don't get a commission from the tourism industry). Beds available, approx 1 star, but a warm welcome.


We wish you success in what you undertake in 2002 ‑ and peace in a troubled and unhappy world. God bless!


Hebe and Doc



Peter Gardner (1944‑52) explains how he became Gertie, but not Colonel Gertie!


I have read with interest the recollections of Miss Rigby that have appeared in past editions of The Dorkinian. I found that doing so stirred memories very different from the ones I was reading. I can clearly recall standing in the dark, 'recessed, entrance to her office with its cold, green, smooth marble walls, slightly damp with condensation. It must have been soon after her appointment, following the death of her predecessor Miss Robinson, as she was leading a revolt against the long established school tradition of calling all staff "Sir". I was there with a message from another member of staff. The message must have been benign, as I do not recall the anxiety usually present in such a situation, but the subsequent exchange would have a long lasting sequel. I delivered my message, but in doing so used the dreaded "S" word. She pounced on me and said ",If you ever call me "Sir" again I will call you Gertie Gardner" Humbled, I returned to the classroom, where I made my second mistake by recounting events to my peers. Game, set and match to Miss R. as thereafter the name stuck!!


From Dorking I went in 1952 to Bristol, qualifying in Medicine in '58, and marrying Celia soon afterwards. I followed my one year's Pre‑Registration jobs with six months' Obstetrics, and six months' Neonatal Paediatrics, all in Bristol.


Out of the blue came something I had overlooked, thinking that it had passed me by National Service! I reported to the RAMC Queen Elizabeth Barracks in Crookham near Aldershot in August 1960, four months before National Service was discontinued! The intake consisted of seventy somewhat disgruntled Doctors, now Lieutenants, who went through six weeks' indoctrination into matters military. One, immediate problem soon became apparent in that the Army took no credence of National Servicemen being married. There was no entitlement to marriage allowance, or married accommodation. A way round this difficulty was to take a Short Service Commission of three years instead of the eighteen months. This I did. There followed at once marriage allowance, the eligibility for married accommodation, Regular rates of pay, and promotion to Captain!


We were asked where we would like to be posted. To my surprise all but four of the intake asked to stay in London. My thoughts were, if the Government was paying, that I would go as far as I could, and asked for the Far East. A month later I started a fascinating 3 years in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the Alexandra Military Hospital in Singapore. That such a department existed in a Military Hospital usually causes astonishment, but it was one of the busiest. One third of Servicemen were married, and pregnancy boomed. The hospital had 1300 deliveries a year from the wives of British and Gurkha Servicemen, and locally employed Malay, Chinese, and Indian personnel, and also looked after their gynaecological problems and those of Servicewomen.


We had a great social life in Singapore, and holidays in many parts of the Malaysian Peninsular. We arrived with one child and went home with two.


I had no clear plans for our future, so when the offer of Higher Professional Training was made I took a permanent commission and served for 26 years. We stayed in the UK for the next few years while I completed the qualifying training posts required for examination and Membership of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, which I took in 1966. We then moved around military hospitals in the UK, Hong Kong, Cyprus, and finally Germany where I was, as a full Colonel, Command Consultant in BAOR. By then, at the age of 53, I found the constant moving had become less attractive, so when the prospect arose of a consultant post in the District General Hospital in Aberystwyth I applied and was appointed in 1986. When Trust Status started in the 90's I became the Medical Director in addition to my OG work. In 1997, by when I was 64, the fun started going out of leaping out of bed in the small hours to deal with heaven knows what emergency, and I retired. Many people have asked how many babies I delivered. It is not something I have recorded, but a rough estimate would be 10,000!


We have two daughters and two sons, all married and solvent! and currently ten grandchildren. We live in a 300‑year‑old farmhouse with a dog and a cat, with two acres of garden and 23 acres of pastureland, and (the usual complaint of retired people) remain very busy! The garden is open on behalf of the charitable National Garden Scheme for one day in June ‑ visitors welcome.


Apart from the exchange of cards at Christmas I have had few direct contacts with ODs, the exception being Peter & Margaret Rogers who as a naval family had a similarly disrupted life; we were rarely in the same country, or even continent. So the word didn't spread there never was a Dr., or Mr., or heaven forbid, a Col., Gertie Gardner. If that had happened Miss really would have triumphed!


I don't think that I'll tell the grandchildren. (shame! ‑ Ed.)



HOW TO BE AN EXPATRIATE Nick Ridley (1952‑59)


In 1997 I sent you a piece on my life as an Alien, according to George Mikes ' definition. That told of my Europhile years in Switzerland and Denmark (and was published in Issue 12 ‑ Ed.)


In the five years since then we, my Danish wife, Marianne, and myself, have lived in Penang, an island off the west coast of Malaysia.


Today is New Years Day in Penang, the Year of the Horse, and a good day to tell about life in this old outpost of the Empire, founded by Francis Light in 1792. As usual it is very hot; this is our dry season when temperatures rarely fall below 30C, even at night. This can go on for two/three months but the rest of the year brings plenty of rain. The expats lie out in the midday sun whilst the locals (70% Chinese) hide under umbrellas just to walk from their car to their house.


Whilst Penang is mainly Chinese, the population of Malaysia is predominantly Malay. This has resulted in a daily dialogue in the media on How to be a Malay. The Prime Minister for the past twenty years, Dr Mathatir has always been less than tolerant to extremists and has done a great job in keeping the country stable and safe. And safe it is, so do help the poor Penang hoteliers, who have had empty, but low price hotels since Sept 11. This country has so much to offer the visitor. whether ifs sun, golf, adventure sports, great food or Asian culture you prefer.


Our lifestyle changed a lot when we moved here. We live in a condominium with swimming pool, squash court, gym in the complex and a Chinese maid three times a week. Our neighbours are expats from Europe and Japan as well as many Chinese locals. The whole population is very friendly and this rubs off on everyone. It is not the hectic race you find in Singapore or Hong Kong but laid back, provincial and conservative. Just the job for a slow ride into retirement.


Chinese New Year is the last of our year end celebrations. In November the Indians kicked off with Deepavali (Festival of Light), then the Malays with their month of fasting ending in Hari Raya. Then Christmas and New Year, after which the Hindus have their 48 hour Thai pusam processions, which have to be seen to be believed The whole Indian population from Northern Malaysia descend on our quarter of Penang for this religious ceremony. Young men, Devotees have their cheeks pierced with 12 inch skewers and hooks set in the skin of their backs (for friends to pull on). This is accompanied by frenzied dancing and amplified chanting whenever a Devotee passes by. A few hours in the mass of sweating bodies is enervating.


As most of our visitors arrive in the European winter there is enough for them to see and do. Included in our visitors have been Doug and Valerie Constable from the year of 52. It was great to have them here. More recently, I have through your newsletter and Friends Reunited, made contact with three other OD's of my year John Lewer (we went to primary school together) Roger London and Arthur Murray who like me has a preference for Scandinavian women. I hope to catch up with them on my next visit to the UK, sometime in August. I have also seen Charlie Kennedy from the same year a couple of times. He lives in Bangkok


When we came here nearly five years ago, I worked for Maersk Medical, a division of the shipping company. A return to HQ in Denmark, after my three‑year contract was up, did not appeal so I persuaded myself and not least my wife that I should start my own venture. So Fieldman was born (Man in the Field) and I wrote my own job description, working hours etc. Twenty months later, I find it was the best decision I ever made; I travel a lot throughout Asia representing European manufacturers in the Medical business, but when in Penang have little to do as my Chinese administrator looks after things. A lot of time for golf on these wonderful golf courses ‑ we have 8 within an hour's drive ‑ or otherwise keeping fit. This is done by a weekly ascent of the 800 metre Penang Hill, whose summit offers the best view and beer for a long way round. We also do a lot of jungle trekking as most of the island is mountainous jungle and by now we really know the hidden trails of the island. Apart from the odd cobra, which soon slides off when it hears us coming, it is all very safe.


Marianne has settled into the tropical life and after a two‑year career dragon boating with Penang Ladies now finds the Bridge table more relaxing.


We have visited most of the neighbouring countries including Vietnam. Having emerged from Cu Chi tunnels built during the war the first thing that caught our eye was the book by OD Tom Mangold on life in these tunnels in the Vietnam War and mentioned in the Lonely Planet. Tom is a much‑respected journalist in Vietnam, a most fascinating country. I make my third visit there next month.


The slow ride into retirement began this year when both our children announced our first Grandchildren ‑ one in March and one in May. So Grandma will be in Denmark for three months this year to stay in the summer cottage we bought in South Zealand last year.


What will our next stop be? So far I have managed to get through life without planning anything much and swimming with the stream. But approaching middle age has its limitations and so, rather than a few years in Papua New Guinea or Sulawesi, which appeal, I might well have to think about settling down somewhere closer to the rest of the family. But that decision can wait a while yet.


I get a lot of pleasure in receiving your Newsletters, so please keep sending them to this Penang address until further notice.



Chris Smith (1958‑65) enjoyed being back in School after a gap of 36 years!


Dear Sheila, I thought I'd drop you a line having been to the School Reunion a couple of weeks ago and having enjoyed it so much. It was good to meet you, Rosemary, and other Old Dorkinians ‑ most of them for the first time, as there was no one there from my year, although there were some who were quite close. I'm very glad to have been there, there was a lot to talk about and many memories to share


In a way it seemed strange being back in the school for the first time in 36 years. The old part seemed a little smaller than it did years ago. I went for a nostalgic walk around the building, downstairs and up, just before the AGM got started. It was pretty much the same as I remembered it, though now of course there are doors and corridors leading to new parts that did not exist when I was a student.


It was good to see Norman Bradshaw again. He wasn't a youngster when he was my form master in 1964‑5, and it was amazing being able to talk with him in the old school hall 36 years after I left! I also enjoyed meeting those who had been at the school in the 1940s and 1950s. I do hope that more from the younger generations will join ADA ‑ I think that now Friends Reunited has taken off so well, more of the younger ex‑Dorkinians will want to find out about old friends from the past. I hope to contact some of those from my year. Thank you for the work that you and the other committee members are doing ‑ it's quite special being able to get together at the school and to read the very high quality Dorkinian newsletter.


I enjoyed listening to Headteacher Arthur Webster's talk outlining some of the current projects and interests. I feel the school is in good hands.


You may have seen from Friends Reunited that I have posted the 1964 school photo on the photo board, having borrowed a copy for scanning from Debbie Thomas (thanks to her note on the FR memory board). I too now have it on my computer. Just a couple of days after I put the 1964 photo on, Marian Toogood posted one from 1974 ‑ a different generation of pupils of course, but a number of the staff from my time were still there, so that too was of great interest.


I hope that more ex‑ Dorkinians who come across the DGS area on Friends Reunited will get to hear about the ADA and want to join. I shall certainly encourage any that I'm in contact with to do so. Already through FR I have got back in touch with my ex-sister in law Roberta Wilson who was in the same year as me and who left in 1963.


and here are so~ later details about the photos!


School Photographs


Were you at Dorking Grammar School in the 1960s? Do you remember that March day 38 years ago when the man from Panora visited and the 1964 photograph was taken? I must confess I don't remember it too clearly, and much less do I remember what happened to my copy of the photograph. I believe it disappeared 25 years ago when my wife and I moved with our two young children to West Sussex. So I was delighted when a few months ago I noticed on the Friends Reunited website that Debbie Thomas had a copy in good condition. Debbie very kindly tent me her copy for scanning, and it's now on the Dorking Grammar School page on It was good to see once again the faces of classmates from years back, and it's been great to be in touch with a few via Friends Reunited. (I'm not being paid to plug Friends Reunited! But it's a great site for finding out what your old classmates have been up to over the years and getting in touch with those you want to contact. Scores of ex‑DGS students have already signed up).


Sheila Sandford and I talked about possibly printing the photo in The Dorkinian, but because of its sheer size ‑the original is over a metre long ‑ this would have been impractical. So this is just to let you know that if you too have misplaced your copy, you can see it online. And if you are not online yourself, you almost certainly know someone who is, who might be willing to print it off for you. I had to display it in seven sections because of its length, but it has come out quite well. The copy on Friends Reunited is not really suitable for enlarging because it's a low resolution scan, but if you'd like a better quality copy with more detail, drop me a line ( and I'll email it to you.


Other photos, including a panoramic one taken in 1974, have also appeared on Friends Reunited. A few of the staff I knew in the sixties were still there, and of these some showed very little evidence of the passage of time. For those, teaching was obviously the right choice of profession! If you have any school photos from days gone by that you would like to see displayed, I'll be glad to scan them and put them on for you.


Chris Smith





Robert Miller reports


Giant Dinosaur's remains found in Ockley


During the summer of last year a nine metre long iguanodon was found at the Chelwood Brickworks in Ockley by a palaeontologist who saw a bone sticking out of the ground. It was thought to have been part of the dinosaur's ribcage, and led to the discovery of more bones and the beast's head. This find is only the latest in a series of discoveries in the area, after the claws of another species were found back in 1983. The iguanodon from the cretaceous period was a herbivorous beast that could easily have weighed in at a massive seven tonnes.


Watermill Restaurant is damaged by fire


As mentioned in the December Newssheet, the Watermill suffered a disastrous fire last October, just a week before we were due to hold our Reunion/AGM there! Some 40% of the roof and 3 bedrooms were badly affected, and the restaurant may be closed for some time causing us to hold our committee meetings elsewhere!


Double Whammy


Four teenagers helped themselves to a bottle of beer each from an Ashtead convenience store, and returned 2 hours later to take some more! (yes, we have problems in our quiet village to the extent that the store now has to employ security staff at times! ‑Ed.)


Proposals for a new Sainsbury's store unveiled


The long awaited proposals for a new Sainsbury's development at the rear of St. Martin's Walk in Dorking went on show last November, with representatives of the development present to answer questions.


The ambitious proposals from Thornfield. Properties, which are being opened to consultation before they reach the planning application stage, are based on excavating land between the Pipp Brook and the edge of St. Martin's churchyard. As well as a 25,000 sq.ft. new store there would be parking for more than 500 cars, and an extended Marks & Spencer store.


Land above the car park and supermarket would be a landscaped area, and the existing Friday market and farmers market would be moved to South Street.


Leatherhead Town Centre gets the green light


A new era for Leatherhead may be finally beginning after radical plans for the town centre were given the final seal of approval by Mole Valley District Council last November. The proposed scheme by Allied Developments Ltd. will provide an 83 bedroom hotel, a restaurant, some shops, and 78 flats (with basement parking), many of which will be designated affordable housing built above and behind the Swan Centre.


Bronze Dog Statues bite the dust!


A scheme by the Dorking & District Preservation Society to erect 2 bronze dog sculptures outside the Dorking Post Off‑ice has met a mixed reception. Despite £2000 having been collected with a similar amount pledged, the scheme has been shelved as it would take too long to meet the total £14,500 cost.


Man admits murdering boy 33 years ago


A 33 year wait for justice came to an end sensationally last November at the Old Bailey when Brian Field was sentenced to life imprisonment after he admitted murdering Brockharn schoolboy Roy Tutill at Mickleham in 1968.



Popular Beauty Spot at risk


Homeowners in Yew Tree Road in Dorking have been asked if they wish to buy a field that lies at the back of their homes on the north side of Keppel Road. It belongs to Lord Ashcombe, but has been used by the general public for years and left to grow wild. This beauty spot could be at risk unless residents are successful in a bid to buy it.


Dorking Sports Centre taking shape


Work started last May on the new sports centre next to the Dorking Halls, and is expected to finish by the end of this year. The new facility will boast a 6 lane 25 metre pool, and a sports hall the size of 6 badminton courts.








Ashcombe Dorkinian Association Golf


We have received a challenge from Raynes Park Old Boys to a match at Pachesham Park Golf Club in Leatherhead on Saturday 27th April. Their players range from about 12 handicap to 28+, and they like the idea of handicaps of numbers well above 28, so some of our occasional players might well make a case for similar treatment if pride allows!


Provisionally it will be 10 a side, playing 4 ball better ball, and the usual ADA golfers have already been invited. However, the numbers may be flexible, so if anyone who would like to play has not been contacted, on this occasion please let David Mountain know ‑ address etc, under 'Editor', of course!


Harold Child, on 01306 885831, hopes to arrange one of our usual ADA Golf days in the Autumn, and will be in touch with 'the regulars'. Newcomers, please contact him.









Peter Mills, Press Secretary


At the time of preparing this report in mid‑March the Club is approaching the climax of the season.


The Senior XI, competing in Senior Division 1 of the Old Boys' League, are within sight of a promotion place but need victories in all of their last three fixtures to be certain: a tall order.


Highlights of the season include home and away 2‑1 victories over Glyn OB, a 4‑2 away victory over Old Isleworthians after a home defeat (both of these teams are currently in the promotion race), and a 4‑4 home draw against Old Minchendenians after being 0‑4 down at half time, followed by a 1‑0 away win.


The Reserve Xl, competing in Intermediate (South) still have 7 matches to play, but with impressive double victories over Shene OG Reserves 6‑1 and 1‑3, and Old Suttonians Res. 3‑ and 1‑2, are heading for a top half finish.


The Third M need victory in their final fixture of the season to achieve the championship of Division 3 (South) after relegation last season, but the Fourth X1 seem destined for relegation from Division 5 (South), while the Fifth M head for a mid‑table finish.


The Veterans' XI led by Paul Etheridge and Martin Hewish reached the quarter finals of the Veterans' Cup for the first time but went out to Old Meadonians, twice winners of the trophy in the last decade.


The OD's goalkeeper David Williams continues to be first choice for the Old Boys' League representative side. He gained his 18th cap in a 2‑1 win over Cambridge University which the ODs hosted at Pixham Lane. In the same game OD Alec Rodgson was awarded his 0' cap. Subsequently David gained a further cap against Oxford University at Iffley Road where the 0Bs won 2‑1.


Next season sees a complete reorganisation of the league following amalgamation with the Southern Olympian League, and the resulting effects will be reported in the Autumn Newsletter.


You are invited to visit the Club's website for the latest news. So far this season we have recorded an impressive 960 enquiries! Results of our Senior XI can also be obtained on ITV CarIton Teletex p477 late on Saturday evenings or on Sunday, and in 'The Times' on Monday.


Younger members of ADA may recognise some of these 1st and 2nd XI players 2001‑2 in pic following.










Dave Wilcockson Hon. Sec


Assuming the pitches dry up, the new season will start on the first weekend in May. The fixture list is similar to last year but we have new matches against Old Rutlishians and Old Manhattons. Practice at the indoor nets of Epsom College will continue until the end of April. This season's tour will be in England either at the end of June or the end of July.


Fixture List 2002


May 4 Bletchingley H May 5 Old Ruts A

11 Old Man'tns A 12 tba

18 Chipstead AC H 19 Bookham H

25 Reigate P 26 Blackheath H

June 1 Old Cats. A June 2 tba

8 Blindley Hth H 9 Nutfield A

15 Chaldon H 16 Whyteleafe A

22 Oakwood Hill A 23 Leigh A

29 (Tour?) 30 (Tour?)

July 6 Leigh H July 7 Ockley A

13 Old Ruts. H 14 Newdigate H

20 Chaldon A 21 Nth Holmwood A

27 (Tour?) 18 (Tour?)

Aug. 3 Reigate P Aug. 4 Woodmansterne A

10 Graveney H 11 Bookham A

17 Holmbury St. M A 18 Southwater A

24 Uplands H 25 tba

31 Old Cats. H Sept. 1 Aussies H

Sept. 7 Hth A 8 Wimbledon Utd. A

14 Warnham. A 15 Churt A

21 Bletchingley A 22 Kenley A

28 S.Nutfield A 29 Bookham A



(The ODCC still produces its remarkable annual booklet, with plenty to interest those of us who stopped playing for them over 30 years ago, when Dave Wilcockson was a lad! Thanks to the latest booklet we can report that "the ODs' metronome was back on form this year (i.e.2001) taking 59 wickets at a much improved average of 18.36." Dave also contributed a valuable 2 not out in a win by one wicket against Selsdon, but his career batting total of 1518 runs from 636 innings (of which 339 were not out) falls well short of his 2497 wickets at 15.81 from 14,134.3 overs! That other old warhorse, Sandy Hughes, scored 1423 runs and took 1517 wickets in his time ‑ glad to hear that Sandy is recovering from his recent spell of poor health).