Below are the pages of the Spring
1963 School Calendar kindly supplied by Steve Bacon.
Spring Term 1963
My observations on this edition are:
this point Peter Clarke is not billed with his PhD which must have come a few weeks later as he was certainly Dr. Clarke before
I left in July 1963. I remember the School Assembly where his elevation was announced to a round of applause.
The only females listed on page 1 are secretaries!
Page 1 is a handy reference to the staff of 1963. The only ones who were there on day one in 1955
were Dr. Watson and Messrs. Armstrong, Banton, PLP Clarke, Easom and Plenderleith. By 1963 Mr. James had
left to be head of Christ College, Finchley and Dr. Gosden had left to take up an appointment at Bradford University.
Mr. Lee and Mr. Richardson had also left but for where I don’t recall.
There were more Prefects and Monitors than there were staff!
Quite apart from the huge range
of sports activities which speaks for itself, the scope of out of school clubs was quite impressive:
Junior Gym Club
Junior Christian Union
Senior History Society
Junior History Society
Theatre and Arts Club
Sixth Form Society
Sixth Form Talks by outside speakers
Junior Astronomical Society
The School Play – ‘A Man for All Seasons’
The Prefects and Monitors met
monthly, chaired by yours truly but always under the watchful gaze of Mr. Williams.
The Aquinas Society was a somewhat esoteric group and membership was by invitation only. With an early,
somewhat left of centre view on life, I recall being fairly critical of its exclusivity and recall arguing that all school
societies should be open to all. At each evening meeting, one member of the group presented a paper on
a subject of their choice for the edification of the members. Eventually, I was persuaded to join and presumably
felt that I might be able to change things from the inside! I’m not sure that I did!
My paper was on the psychology of learning – I think I must have been doing some pre-teacher training reading
at the time!
The Sixth Form Talks attracted an extraordinarily high quality
of speaker. I don’t recall which member of staff was instrumental in securing such good speakers,
but we were very lucky to have them. On 31st January 1963 the guest was Marghanita Laski the
well known journalist, radio and TV broadcaster, novelist and author. On another occasion in 1962/3 the
speaker was Ludovic Kennedy, journalist, writer and broadcaster. He had published his book ‘Ten Rillington
Place’ in 1961 which contended that the hanging of Timothy Evans in 1950 was a miscarriage of justice and that the murder
had been committed by John Christie. The publication of ‘Ten Rillington Place’ was largely
instrumental in Evans’ posthumous pardon and the abolition of the death penalty in 1965. I was privileged
to meet both Laski and Kennedy and to give the introduction prior to their talks.
It looks as though the school was somewhat ahead of its time in issues raised during this term:
18 Jan: Geography Society film ‘Changing Coast’
8 Mar: Geography Society film ‘Conservation of Resources’
14 and 26 Mar: Christian Fellowship
‘Food for the Hungry’ and ‘Hunger’
26 March: Sixth Form Talk on
On 2nd April, Mr. Dye, Art Teacher, gave a talk to the
Christian Fellowship entitled ‘The First Easter’. In fact, he had just written an illustrated
book about the first Easter in which he described in dramatic detail the events of the first Easter. I
was privileged to be able to read it at the time but have no idea if it was ever published.
There is a reference to a Parents’ Association Film evening. I am note sure if the films that
were shown were the same as those shown at the school Film Club but I recall seeing ‘The Big Country’ (released
1958), ‘Shane’ (1953), ‘The Wages of Fear’ (1953), and ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ (1952).
Overall, I know that we are all very grateful to the staff for providing such a rich
range of experiences and opportunities outside their normal teaching roles.
A view of the School as it was in