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217 memories, showing 199 to 209

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Memory No. 19
Robin Stafford
(@WT 1951>53/4?)
just saw the photo of the school camp at the I.O.W. and it reminded me of the school camp at the Isle of Man in about '52 or '53 and quite a few of us went from W.T. as I remember. I remember the trip in a truck to the top of Snaefell and couldn't see a damn thing for the mist!! And I remember some tour guide showing us the marks on a telegraph pole where some motor-cyclist had hit it face-first during the last Isle of Man T.T. races. Us little ghouls loved it of course !!

One more memory has sprung to mind. About '51 or '52 we had a school concert and three of the pupils, whose names escape me, played a classical piece (Rites of Spring ? Sheep shall safely graze ? I dunno.............long time ago !) on bass recorders and this was recorded by one of the major record companies at the time, Decca I think. We were all very proud of this of course, especially the performers. 

My memories are very shaky as after I left William Torbitt I went to three different grammar schools before leaving the last one a year early (under something of a cloud I might add) and since then have travelled the world many times and lived in many countries. Memories tend to blur and merge but snippets do keep coming back.
I think one of those bass recorder players might have been Geoff (Cole?), the same person who took the lead in the school play about the Scarlet Pimpernel........talented sort of cove, wasn't he? I honestly can't remember who the other members of the trio were though.

I do remember the dinner huts though but in my day, I am sure they were made of timber. There again, that might be a different school and different time and even a different me!! I do remember the pig bins out the back of them though and that all-pervasive odour of rotting food that used to emanate from them. I wonder if there is any connection between that and my decision to become a chef in later life? The mind boggles!! 

In '52 or '53, we were all given a booklet entitled 'Royalty in Essex' (I think). It was about 30 cms by 18 cms and either purple or royal blue with the three swords of the Essex coat of arms emblazoned across the front. I remember it being quite an interesting book that told of the association Essex had had with royalty over the years. I kept mine for many years but I guess it got lost somewhere in the shuffle during my wanderings.

I also remember all the balls that used to end up on the school roof that the groundsman later retrieved and that were sold back to us at half the price of a new ball through the sweet shop in Aldborough Road!! He always denied doing it but we all knew different!! 

I'll keep you posted as more memories work their way to the surface if they do !!

Memory No. 18
Doreen Matthews
(@WT Staff)
Mathew Farnes singing "Green Door"

Mathew Farnes ginger hair

Ian Parkes telling Miss Matthews not to bother with a "Cross your Heart Bra" since they "don't work properly". (His mother ran a lingerie shop).

Memory No. 17
Lesley Dilley
(@WT 1953>?)
remember spending, what seemed like, hours performing hand-stands and other acrobatics on the iron bars in the side playground with Janet and Cynthia. 

[I remember the handstands "up the wall" and doing "overs" on those iron bars - so much for safety regulations!! - Pauline]

With shame, I also remember throwing the crusts from my sandwiches at lunchtime under the table (I still don't like the crusts) and being chased around the playground after lunchtime when it was discovered who had been throwing them there! Oh yes, and I remember chasing Andreas Hagland around the playground, but he, alas, was always chasing another girl!!

Memory No. 16
Brenda Graisgour
(@WT >1960?)
I can confirm that the penny bags of crisps came from the off licence (where I lived with my parents!) and that Mr Cowan (headmaster) did ask my parents if they would stop selling the crisps, as they were too greasy.Some kids used to sit on them to make them even more 'bitty', and some mothers complained about greasy clothes! (think it applied more to the boys!) The off licence was called 'The Aldborough Stores' and the sweetshop next door, 'Thompsons'. My parents are still in contact with Vera and Bryan Thompson the owners and David and Janet Thompson were their children and also went to WT. His father first owned the shop before him. At the reunion, the first thing that most people said to me when they heard my connection with the off licence, was 'penny bags of crisps'! What a claim to fame.......

Martin Cook, who was in my class, played the piano very well, and used to do what would now be called 'jam sessions' of Russ Conway tunes (particularly Side Saddle)!

Vivid memory of my last end-of-term concert, where I struggled in with recorder, violin, tambourine, music and music stand, only to drop most of it en route to the stage! Mr Young helped me to pick it all up and get to the stage without any other mishaps.

I have memories of Mr Cowan encouraging everyone to support the school football team at their matches and how proud we felt when we won.

Memory No. 15
David Goodliff
(@WT 1965>72)
The School Dinner Huts: I think these were a precast concrete building with two wings. The wing nearest the garden with the fish pond - was the infants, and the one next to the field - was the Juniors. Was there a section in the middle for the kitchen? - I can’t remember. They’ve gone now. I am interested in building architecture and I would welcome any reflections from older contributors to the website. My class photographs clearly make me the youngster (nearly 40) amongst us. Does anybody remember the dinner huts being erected, as its my guess that they may not be original from 1937. I’d love to know.

The Coat Hooks and the Slipper Bags in the corridor outside the classrooms: I remember one of my first days at the Infants school where our coat hooks were identified individually by an illustrated card on a loop of string - with our name written on it. Mine said ‘David G.’ The illustration on my card was of a baby, and my best friend told lots of others in the Class about it!!!! My first classroom was at the very end - round the corner of the west wing, by the exit doors.

The School Field: and how its Aldborough Road boundary had just begun being intruded by development. When I left the junior’s school in the summer of 1972, building contractors had cordoned off part the field where the Junior’s football pitch used to be with a chestnut pale fence, and then stripped off the topsoil to form a temporary bund inside their site boundary. That was all that had happened before we left to go to secondary school. A sad loss of open space for the children and the school. I remember throwing snowballs on that part of the field down the bank to the railings beside the pavement.

The Garden Gates: When Mr. Cowan retired in July 1970 there were some commemorative gates with a dedication plate erected at the entrance to the Fish Pond Garden. They were black painted wrought iron gates - with a few words of white painted raised lettering about him. Are they still there I wonder?

Memory No. 14
Alan Nichols
(@WT >1959)
Preparing for The Informer - choreographing the dance sequence to the Westminster Waltz in the classroom and taking in my father's copy of "Oh for the Wings of a Dove" on a 78rpm record, though I can't remember where in the play that was used

Not being good enough for the cricket team but bowling a full toss in a practice match which landed right at the base of the middle stump and stopped dead on the spot

1d bags of very greasy crisp bits from the Off Licence across Aldborough Road from the school

Winning a copy of Cautionary Verses by Hillaire Belloc for a poem I wrote which began "The fogs hangs motionless and damp, Shrouding the London taxi cab"…. The book is still in my bookcase

Racing well-oiled Dinky toys and playing marbles and conkers in the playground

Mr Davis joining in a game of playground cricket and skying the ball onto the playing field

The last competitive football match I played in against Napier Road West Ham for the Edwards trophy. Being in tears at half-time when told I had to keep marking the opposition centre-half who was the biggest lad on the field. Then scoring the winning goal near the end of extra time and being in tears again

Going to David Yates house in or near Aldborough Road. I think his father was a vicar so it could have been the Vicarage. Their house-keeper was a German lady I think and she used to catch hold of David somehow so that he did a kind of somersault in her arms

Going to John Cairncross' house with front garden full of dahlias and his mum cooking "fried slice" and popping corn in a saucepan with a sieve over the top which I'd never seen done before - nor since

Making a working (sort of) model watermill with John Beard (I think)

Going to Francis Ives' house and seeing a room full of television sets

Getting caned with several others for going on the playing field when it was wet

Memory No. 13
Margaret Joyce
(@WT Staff)
Geoff Gillon being particular about his hair [to no avail]

Memory No. 12
Many from the years >1959
(@WT )
Visit to the Tower of London

Jennifer Hill’s crewel cardigans

John Fairweather’s " Fair-isle " jumpers

Kay Oubridge’s leg in plaster

Mark Richards deploring the encroachment of television into our young lives [he described it as the "idiot's lantern"]

Mark Richards being interviewed on television’s local news programme

Graham Pfaff playing the oboe

Smell of "Dettol " after music lessons with recorders

Mr. Cowan telling us that the area of the school playing field was 13 acres.

At the end of our time at torbitt, passing round our autograph books for teachers and classmates to add their little rhymes, anecdotes, in particular adding names to the 'wall of friendship'

Memory No. 11
Roger Stone
(@WT )
Roger Stone’s vignette of Geoff Gillon –when asked by a teacher to state his address began with the words – "my domicile is……" [allegedly] and forever etched in Roger’s memory, the name of Gillon is synonymous with vocabulary.

Memory No. 10
Pauline Sims
(@WT >1959)
The sand-pit in a varnished wooden frame in one of the infants’ class-rooms.

The three Paulines [Jennings, Kendall and Sims] crossing the playing field at lunchtime to collect lunch through the railings which formed the boundary of Pauline Sim's home.

Memory No. 9
Mark Richards
(@WT Staff)
Eileen Riches as an exceptionally keen paintbrush monitor

Pamela Dunn’s shoes

Trying to keep at least half a step ahead of Graham Pfaff, John Beard and Ann Pumfrett who found quadratic equations so simple

Everyone – including their handwriting styles and various abilities

Susan Adams’ father entering the classroom in his police officer’s uniform to take her to the dentist and pretending to have come to arrest Geoff Gillon [Never forgotten by Geoff Gillon]

Miss Boot coming into the classroom on an "inspection" and Mark having commented on Geoff Gillon’s work, she asked, " but can he spell 'separate' ? Geoff obliged and Miss Boot, beaming, swept from the room like Lady Bracknell.

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