OLD HUISH ASSOCIATION

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1950's

MEMORIES

A Reunion for the 1953 -54 entry

There was a reunion of Huish lads planned for the Kings Arms, Staplegrove Road, Taunton on Saturday the 13th November 2004, for the year that started at Huish 1953/4.

Surnames for Mr Branton's class included :
Adams, Barham, Barker, Barton, Bishop, Bovey, Charlton, Darch, Dougal, Edwards, Forsyth, Headley, Hunt, Keates, Lord, Lovel, Marrow, Phillips, Quick, White.

Mr Harewood's class included:

Oliver, Rousell, McCarten, Horne, Gimblett, Rockett, Beattie, Tucker, Callen, Truckle, Evans, Bawden, Bray, Porter, Brace, Manning, Lang, Burrows, Moffatt, Sydenham, Sutton, Sansom ,Lawrence, Hardy, Cottell

Mr Greave's class included:
Brown, Rice, Aitken, Marks, Boyle, Woolen, Gommo, Lee, Marks, Creed.

THE 1957-ers REUNION

JOHN SKELTON submitted this to the Bob Pendleton site:

The 60's Reunion of Huish's Grammar School for the 1957 intake who left 1962 (5th) and 1964 (6th Form) took place at the Castle Hotel, Taunton on Friday 14th July 2006. A beautiful sunny day showing off Somerset at its best allowed us to gather outside in the gardens for a drink or three before retiring to the Moat Room for a buffet. The event was precipitated by the coincidental visit to Taunton of two old boys who live overseas (Alan Williams from New Zealand and Dave Magson from Indonesia) and the painful realisation that our intake, part of the baby boom generation born in 1946, had now reached the big six zero - 60 years old. Frantic chasing up of direct contacts, by internet and by advertising in the press in less than a 4-week period resulted in 30 positive hits - 40% of the total Fifth Form - 5A, 5B & 5C! The final party list was 29 strong, including partners/wives. Attendance and Apologies list at the end. So now the end of party report......

The first prize for the most recognisable face after all this time [44 years since we had all met for many of us] was shared equally by Chris Dyer and Alan Williams with the rest of us all coming equal bottom: by and large unrecognisable - "go on then tell me who you are". Although I could make an exception for Charlie Stone and elevate him to the lofty heights of second from bottom, just like old school days really, if he had bothered to have a shave over the last 40 years. My vain attempt to lay claim to the travel prize by arriving at Gatwick from Dubai at 7.20 a.m. on the morning of the party was easily outclassed by Dave Magson who had to leave at 5.00 a.m. the morning after the party (ouch!) to get a plane from Heathrow to return to Indonesia.


The Mystery Prize from the names of the "Where are they now?" went in his absence to Terry Studley who no-one at the party or any of the contacts had sight or sound of, since the day he left school. A great lad and a strict disciplinarian who always firmly believed in keeping......teachers under control!


The music prize was always going to be a competition of one with our own lead guitarist Alan Boobyer attending and still playing around to this day! Brought back happy memories of dance nights held at Bishop Foxes Girls GS when Alan B always played at his best - can't imagine what the inspiration was. Although Jim Scott did remind me of the invite to the Ilminster Girls GS end of exams dance, which turned out to be one of life's more memorable events - a belated thanks to the Ilminster girl who won their bet and all the other girls who tried just as hard to win it. Well, we were meant to be part of the Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll generation although in all honesty I can say I never saw even a hint of drugs all the time I was at Huish's. Still to quote the latter day pop star Meatloaf - "Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad".


The most memorable event of the time was also an unanimous dead cert winner, seeing The Beatles at the old Gaumont Cinema in 1963. Just in case there are a few young whippersnappers out there reading this and thinking that our 60's teenager generation continually go on about how ours was the best decade, Hey! We had The Beatles playing live at the Gaumont - you've got a Mecca Bingo Hall - how sad is that.


From the apologies list we got phone calls from Gerry Licence and Barry Cramp. Gerry has escaped to Spain and the rumour that he didn't want to come back to England because of fear of meeting up with the ex-Huish Old Bill contingent for debts to be paid to society for his LSE demonstrative days in the 60's are safe with me, not to mention Dave Quick & Terry Reid who did attend with their notebooks! Big thanks to, the now Rev., Barry Cramp whose heavenly duties prevented him attending but who paid for the wine at the buffet - almost a good enough gesture to turn even me to religion. On that subject by the way, alcohol that is, not religion, the late attendee's money who only telephoned me as I drove to Taunton on the day - Gerry Pothecary - paid for the extra bottles of wine after Barry's ran out; fair do - Gerry had been eating our food all evening!

The enthusiasm for sport remains with cricket to the forefront - Tony Wardell's story of bumping into Allan Breese in Calcutta supporting England in a Test Match takes some beating - pity the same can't be said for our footballers but then maybe we secretly all kind of like being the only generation to have won the World Cup!

So by the time we had run out of talking about Girls, Pop Music, Alcohol, Food and Sport - the essential education needs we learnt at School - we were desperate enough to talk about Teachers. Another unanimous decision, by the 6th Science stream anyway, that Paddy Brooks (Maths) was genuinely inspirational and someone to whom many of us owe a large part of our livelihood to this day. It was great to hear Paddy moved on to a Headship back in Northern Ireland after he left Huish's. Charlie Rutt, probably came second out of respect for his guts (pun definitely intended!) to stay on as Deputy Head after the war when he had been appointed acting Headmaster. Respectively, the best Head Huish never had and the best Head Huish did have but didn't fully appreciate afterwards. Which brings us to Peel-Corbin and the story told by Gerry Abley (another apologist for absence) of the day many years after he left school and Peel-Corbin had retired when he had a job at Peel-Corbin's house building an extension. After introduction and one and a half bottles of port later, the first half Gerry assumes having been consumed prior to his arrival, his view had changed - mainly to horizontal I think. Worth the cost several times over of a phone call to Gerry to hear the full tale! The prize for the worst teacher was gratifyingly easy for our year with the teacher who not only had the misfortune to try to teach us Latin but the equal misfortune to be caught (allegedly!) embezzling the school savings fund; still maybe he was the inspiration for Terry Reid, Dave Quick and others to join the Police, who must have thought catching thieves really couldn't be that difficult!


I was asked to send details of our achievements - being here I think is the answer. One of the lady guests was kind enough to say at the end of the evening that 60 was the new 40 in age groups if our class reunion was anything to go by; flattery will get you everywhere as they say but if my childhood memory is half way accurate, probably 45 in comparison with our fathers generation. Everyone who attended looked fit and well and there was in general a thankful absence of any discussion of health complaints. The thorny subject of future pensions did raise its ugly head with either a carry-on working spirit or a part-time commitment by the already retired. Gerry, you better come back from Spain and lead a new protest movement and get on the telly again like you did in your LSE days - your Old Boys need you now!


And so to our departure. Did Eric Rowe ever remember his daughter's home address where he was meant to be staying and which caused him to cancel the waiting taxi? Did he make it there safely walking? Did he dig a couple of graves on the way to earn his pocket money like he did in the schooldays? Did....oh well, we will all just have to meet up again in 5 years time to find the answers to these questions and more.


JOHN SKELTON


In attendance:
Philip Bacon, Alan Boobyer, Martin Bye, David Chedzoy, Chris Dyer, David Magson, Alan Philpotts, Gerald Pothecary, David Quick, Terry Reid, Eric Rowe, Jim Scott, John Skelton, Charles Stone, Richard Totterdell, Tony Wardell, Alan Williams and lady guests!

Apologies:
Gerry Ableys, Allan Breese, Barry Cramp, Ted Ewens, Brian Hooper, Gerald Licence, Tony Payne, Ken Potter, Tony Sloley, Paul Temlett, Pip Whiston, Chris Woon

The 1957 - 1964-ers REUNION 2011 - pt 2

RAY HANDFORD has just sent in this update, together with a photo of the police line up

On the 19 November 2011 the year group which joined Huish's in the first form in 1957 and left in 1962 after 'O' levels or 1964 after 'A' levels had another successful reunion in Taunton. Following what was obviously a fun get-together in 2006, which the present writer unfortunately did not attend, this time we met in a club in The Crescent, Taunton for a lunchtime buffet and drinks, the idea being to allow greater mingling than is afforded by a sit down meal. We were all just around the statutory retirement age of 65 and this seemed a good peg on which to hang a reunion. Partners were invited with 17 'old boys' attending accompanied by 6 lady guests. In the process a data base of 30 from a cohort of about 78 has been compiled for future reference.


Naturally at school you get to know some fellow pupils better than others and would expect to recognize your closer friends of the time all the more easily. It did not always work out like that however especially when you take into account those wearing spectacles, those now more follically-challenged, those sporting moustaches or beards and those who have changed shape as part of the growing up and maturing process!

I greeted people at the door. "Hello. Who are you?" "I'm Booze!". Of course, once he had said his name the penny dropped and I saw it immediately. It made me feel pretty daft as I had only sat with this chap for 3 years during Bob Pleass's physics practicals - Fletcher's Trolleys, chasing mercury around the bench top (health and safety?), ROY-G-BIV (once learnt never forgotten), all came flooding back. All these experiments done in tandem with 'Booze', and this is to say nothing of having engaged him and his group, 'The Popeyes', to play at the Sixth Form Annual Dance held at Bishop Fox's School on 31 January 1964.

We mingled and circulated well and talked for hours though at the end it seemed all too short a time. We tripped down the school memory lane the most. 'Do you remember....?' We reminisced about and dissected the foibles of most of the teachers of our day - the enigmatic Froggy Trevett with his black cloak, Wicko Wickenden the famous chalk bomber, the avuncular Dicko Dickenson, Ginger Rutt who post punishment invariably said with a smile 'remember me to your parents', Nat Allen who always sported the classic teachers' leather patches on his elbows, Major Polley with his Army Cadets and Stamp Club, the inspirational Tom Hunt who not only taught history but gave wise counsel as a bonus, the popular George Bennett who bashed you over the head if your 'rough book' was less than fully utilised when seeking a replacement, Mr Junker 'snapping' his leather belt to focus effort and overseer of Pirates in the gym at Christmas, Bunny Greaves who clipped your ear if you failed to remember a French word set for prep to say nothing of his alleged sleeping in the gym and cooking breakfast in the lab, and all the other teachers including, of course, the venerable be-gowned Headmaster. Not forgotten were the tuppennny Chelsea buns and sugary doughnuts sold by Mr Porter from the Tuck Shop.

We remembered, too, the never-ending long walks to the Corporation swimming baths, the even greater trek to Rose Meadows for games with buckets of cold water in the toilets back at school for washing off the mud, and later the constant walking just prior to the opening of the new school in1963 between Elmfield House and the old school built in 1892/3.

On reflection it is interesting that we did little exploring of what we achieved in our eclectic mix of careers and how the intervening 47 years had been spent in terms of hobbies, sports and pastimes. Careers were mentioned but not really expanded upon - Headmaster, Police Inspector, Financial Advisor, Businessman, NHS Management, Director of Human Resources, Consultant Engineer, Draughtsman, Industrial Chemist and so on.

We had a thoroughly enjoyable reunion but missed those unable to attend or unable to be contacted. Some people brought memorabilia along and fun was had poring over old photographs, programmes and artifacts.

Attendees were Philip Bacon, Allan Boobyer, Martin Bye, Les Coates, Barry Cramp, Tony Duke, Ray Handford, Alan Parsons, Allan Phillpotts, Dave Quick, Jim Scott, Ian Stiff, Charlie Stone, Terry Reed, Eric Rowe, Tony Wardell and Chris Woon.

Apologies and greetings were received from Allan Breese, Roger Bryan, John Dibsdall, Chris Dyer, Ted Ewens, Dick Henley, Gerry Licence, Dave Magson, Barry Phillips, John Skelton and Dave White.

The party broke up because arrangements had been made for later in the afternoon for those interested for a conducted tour led by the Principal, Dr Peter Avery, of Richard Huish College. We were warmly welcomed by Peter who patiently answered all our questions and then explained as we went around how the College now functioned and the purpose of all the new facilities built since the initial opening. "Gosh!", I heard someone exclaim, "I've not been in here since 1964". That said it all really.

There was a consensus that we should reunite to recognize the 50 Year Anniversary 1964 - 2014. Accordingly arrangements have been made to meet again on 7 June 2014 in Taunton for a lunch time and afternoon reunion. We are anxious to make contact with those who are currently under the radar, whereabouts unknown. If any old boy from our cohort of 1957 - 1964 not already in contact who would like to know about this reunion, other events in the future and be kept abreast of any relevant news please do click here to email Ray directly : he would be delighted to hear from you.

Rock Around the Clock

In 2001, Ken Edwards wrote :

I came across your very interesting compilation by chance. But I couldn't resist replying. I was at the old grammar school from 1953 to 1960. And well remember rushing to my form room in an old hut with George Bennet as form teacher on my first day. I sat next to a chap called George Toller and we remained friends for the five years up to School Certificate.

I think one of my most vivid memories was coming into school the day after Rock around the Clock had been banned from being shown in Taunton to join amazed and delighted crowds of boys gazing up at the open e-shaped roof with We want Rock around the Clock inscribed on it in huge green letters!

I had a great time in the sixth form from 58 to 60 with people like Mick Berry, John Branchflower, Clive Wainwright and Eric Beer and from the long-haired arts sixth, Tony Jappy. We used to dash down to La Ronde at lunchtime to meet the girls from Bishops Fox's. I should have mentioned that I travelled from Minehead every day on the old West Somerset Railway. What terrors we Huishers were on that train. Dear old Don Wedlake used to do his best to avoid us and no doubt thankfully got out at Watchet with his eyes firmly turned away from our part of the train!!

In the third year I took up Chemistry as 'Bomber' Eel had only managed to give me 2 out of a hundred for Latin. Dear old Rutt took me on. He was deputy Head then and was always being called away from class and we were always impressed that he knew exactly where he was when he returned. Bob Pleass taught us physics and George Bennett inspired us with his maths teaching. Rupert Harewood (we used to mock his furry gown I remember) gave me a lifelong love of English Literatue and 'Froggy' Trevett tried with numerous games to interest us intelligent peasants in a foreign tongue.

The school drama was a great element in my life. I debuted in a French Farce called the Pie and the Tart. I was the tart. I well remember a deeply embarrassing session in the old school library (a hut in the entrance playground which then doubled as the music room) Froggy tried to teach me to sing the opening song and could not believe I was tone deaf. He struggled manfully but eventually he regretfully agreed I would have to be dubbed.

Well one can go on and on. I wonder how many of class 1A 1953 are still out there? The only person I kept in touch with for a period was Clive Wainwright who enjoyed a distinguished career at the V&A in later life. (Editors note October 2012 - I have recently been directed to a valedictory obituary to Clive, who died in 1999. I hope to be able to post it here soon)

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed your reminiscences. I returned to Huishs in 1961 after an unsuccessful attempt at a Chemistry Degree at Queen Mary College and had a great year being taught by Basher Hunt and Nat Allen. I will always remember Mr Rutt's kind support for my coming back to take some more A levels even though he despised the Economics that I eventually studied with much more success at the L.S.E.

JOHN EDWARD PILLER 1953 > 1957

Happy Birthday, John !

We have been contacted by a lady named Pat, from far-away Alice Springs, Australia. She is the daughter of John Edward Piller and grand-daughter of Ronald Edward Piller, both Old Huishers. John is 70 in a few days time and was with us from around 1953 > 1957. He, his parents and his sister left England to emigrate to the warmth of Oz when he was 15 years old. They were on the Assisted Passage Scheme (the "10 pound poms") and they travelled out on the Orontes. They settled in South Australia. John has been back to Taunton a couple of times to visit family, and did catch up with a former friend, who possibly ran a toy shop.


Pat is hopeful of sending us her father's and grand father's school photos from January 1928 and November 1955.

ROGER DAINTON

My name is Roger Dainton and I was at Huish from 1957 to 1961, in Tone House. I was taught History by Mr Wickenden, who wrote the seminal (?) History of Taunton of which I have a signed copy - still browse it occasionally. Latin gave me Mr (Nat) Allen who said I was responsible for the decline of the Roman Empire due to my inability to master that language. "Froggy" Trevett taught French - a dear man, often taken advantage of by the class unfortunately. I had, (usually unpleasant) encounters with Mr Rutt involving application of the cane. And of course there was Mr Junker for PT! Looking through your pictures of the buildings brings back memories - it all looked so much bigger then. The assembly Hall looked much smaller! I was disappointed to find they had been demolished as I was quite fond of them in a way. Does anyone know how old they were? Were they built as a school or a Barracks? The view from the street in my time was blocked by a board fence, (to prevent outsiders looking in?), not wire mesh as shown.

My memories although mostly pleasant do not put schooldays as "the best time of my life" as some feel, possibly as I am an introvert (I know that now). While the school was probably typical for it's era I remember a lot of bullying went on. And the one way corridors! The challange was to get to the next class going the wrong way, without getting caught by the Hall Monitors!

The other members of my class I remember are Leonard Veale, Martin Waters, Mounter (1st name forgotten), Davidge (also 1st name forgotten) Other names come to me sometimes but not while I am doing this.

I emigrated to Canada in 1966, and currently live in New Brunswick, where, as I write, we are expecting 40cm of snow (Feb 2014). I will be visiting the UK in March of this year to see the members of my family who are still vertical (C'est la vie!).

In conclusion I would like to thank the Webmaster, and whoever set up this site. So many web sites are poorly designed and hard to use. This is easy to use and encourages browsing. Thanks!

Roger Dainton.

We were emailed by Peter Ward from Canada initially in December last year, and then a series of emails that ran through to March, with Peter and then with his brother Michael

Peter's initial email said "I have a 6 x 4 photo of our class, taken outside the school in about 1956 or 1957. I am in the back row. In the front row are Lt Col Peel-Corbin, headmaster, and Mr "Barrel" Rutt the deputy headmaster, together with some older boys who may have been prefects." (BARREL ? not heard that before. Ed.)

Christmas intervened and then Peter came back with "I have scanned the photo, which I believe was the Lower 6th form class, taken in about 1956 or 1957. I left Huish's in July 1957, because my parents emigrated to Africa, so the photo must have been earlier than that. I am in the back row, third from left. I don't remember many names, but of course most of the faces are familiar. I do remember Pritchard, as I used to compete with him for the best marks. He is in the back row, second from the right. He used to do better in Arts subjects, and I used to do better in Science.

Lt Colonel Peel-Corbin , the headmaster is in the front row, and next to him Mr "Barrel" Rutt, the deputy head. Mr Rutt was very popular with staff and students alike. He was approachable, always knew what was going on around the school, had a good sense of humour, and generally was a huge asset to Huish's Grammar School.

My family lived in Pitney, and I used to travel to school every day by bicycle and bus, rain or shine.

I have lived in Africa, and now in Canada for many decades. I have travelled widely, and had a successful career in Engineering. I have always looked back on my time at Huish's as a privilege, and realized how lucky I was to go there. I enjoyed the emphasis on academic excellence. My brother Michael Ward, about 3 years younger than me, was at the school for a year or two in 1956-57".

Then in March, Michael joined in:
What a lovely memoir, and thanks for the picture. I remember you so well from those days. It is very useful to have the OHA to share these with! I have so many memories, even tho I didn't stay there long. Not ENTIRELY sure how accurate they are! It was, as I remember, a very close knit school, without being in the least stifling. There was a sense of purpose and possibility there.

Taunton, you may remember, was twinned, in a system aimed at promoting cooperation, with the French town of Lisieux in 1955. I remember this because I was the first form lad from Huish's chosen to present the mayor of Lisieux with his freedom of the city scroll when he came to visit Taunton! "

Click here to email Peter and here to email Michael


STEPHEN AUBERT WROTE TO US :
THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I HAVE VISITED THE OHA WEBSITE AND I CHUCKLED WHEN I READ SOME PEOPLE'S REMINISCENCES. I WONDERED WHETHER OR NOT MY NAME MAY HAVE BEEN ON THE METRE RULE PRESENTED TO MR RUTT AS I WAS A REGULAR RECIPIENT OF A WHACK ACROSS THE BACKSIDE FOR GETTING CAUGHT SMOKING IN THE TOILETS OR BEHIND A BIG TREE IN THE SCHOOL PLAYGROUND. I WOULD BE SENT TO WAIT OUTSIDE HIS OFFICE BY A TEACHER OR PREFECT, USUALLY AT LUNCHTIME . WHEN HE RETURNED FROM HIS LUNCH HE WOULD SEE ME WAITING, "SMOKING AGAIN MR AUBERT?" HE WOULD PUT ME IN A GENTLE HEADLOCK AND LEAD ME INTO THE OFFICE WHERE I WOULD RECEVE THE CUSTOMARY WHACK.

MY MOTHER WOKED AS ASSISTANT HEAD COOK AT THE SCHOOL (FOR xxxxxx MONEY). HAVING YOUR MUM WORKING IN THE CANTEEN ENSURED OUR TABLE ALWAYS GOT GOOD SIZED PORTIONS SO I ALWAYS ATE WELL AT SCHOOL. I LEFT SCHOOL TO JOIN THE MERCHANT NAVY AS AN ENGINEER APPRENTICE BUT THAT WAS SHORT LIVED. I NOW OWN MY OWN BUSINESS , CORNER SHOP/CONVENIENCE STORE IN PLYMOUTH AND AM LOOKING TO RETIRE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AS I AM NOW OFFICIALLY AN OAP. IT WOULD BE NICE TO HEAR FROM ANYONE WHO REMEMBERS ME.


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