Issue 18 (2013)
New Penwithian Issue 18 (2013)
As I write this at the beginning of November work is being carried out on the refurbishment of the school war memorial. A fuller report appears later and details of its rededication next year will appear in the Cornishman when a date is ﬁnalised with the school. We record with sadness the death of Roy Smith the last Headmaster of the Grammar School from 1971-80 and there is a full obituary written by Bill Burnett our database manager who served with him on the Staff. Also we remember the death of Gwyn Mostyn, Head of Mathematics and familiar ﬁgure to many of us at school from 1955. Alas they are not the only members who have left us as you will see later in our obituaries. I am delighted that one of our most senior old boys Dr Arnold Derrington has written an article on his visit to the Bomber Command Memorial. Derry suffered a broken hip shortly after completing the article but I am glad to report that he is back in action. Do you remember the “Corals”, the famous boy band of the early sixties? If not, your memory may be jogged by a nostalgic piece on them from Chris Symons. Vivian (VJ) Rowe has kindly volunteered to join the Committee this year and among other things will help with the distribution of this newsletter which we hope to keep distributing for the foreseeable future. Paul Tyreman continues as our Treasurer and has also volunteered to represent the OPA in the project to set up a Humphry Davy Museum in what was Peasgood’s the Pharmacist near HD’s statue – perhaps more news of this next year. Our thanks are once again due to John Richards for editing the newsletter, to the Centre of Pendeen for assisting with the printing, to all those who have contributed and to our advertisers for supporting us. Once again in an attempt to boost our coffers to keep the newsletter going we intend to hold a rafﬂe at this year’s reunion. If you have any suitable prizes bring them along. If not, just bring your wallet! See you there at The Queens on Sunday 29 December 2013 at 7.30pm. May l wish you all and your families a very Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year.
Andrew Coak Association Secretary
Where are they now?
‘By memories chain we linked remain’
We had some email response to the article on the publication of the 2012 Newsletter particularly Mike Moss (45) and Frank Blewett (49) All want it to continue. Malcolm Saunders (62) writes from the Cayman Islands that he would not object to the magazine being e-mailed or posted on a website, especially as the overseas postage costs are high. We will seriously consider this idea. David Mann (46) comes up with a thought for the newsletter: “since most of us enjoy wallowing in nostalgia have you considered reprinting choice extracts from old “Penwithian” mags from the ‘3O’s, ‘40‘s, ’50’s etc? I am sure there must be some good stuff which would appeal.” An idea we may explore next year. Sadly one of the first letters I received was from John Harper (43) apologising for not being able to make the 2012 Reunion because of prostate cancer. He said “l was very interested in the accounts of the ATC in the last newsletter.” We were a detached Flight of No 24(F) Squadron which met in what was Robinsons furniture store in Causewayhead. The main Squadron was at St Ives if I remember correctly”. His obituary based on his letter and John Bottle’s account appears later. Colin Polkinhorne also got in touch to apologise for non-attendance at the reunion but he had had a heart attack. I trust you are back to normal Colin. Also another letter from Brian Retallack (48), known as ‘Potter’ at school who had recently joined the OPA and recalled standing on the same steps with Howard Curnow (article in 2012) waiting for his name to be read out by Ben Batten. Sadly Brian too died in April.
Tony Casey (60) has sent in a photograph (see gallery) given to him by his father. It shows the Under 13 cricket team taken in about 1935. The photograph was published in “The Cornishman” and, as a result, Jimmy White (32) who now must be over 90 years old got in touch with Tony. Chris Semmens (52) turned up complete with flowing white hair and beard on Halloween night (my wife thought it was a warlock at the door). He had brought with him a collection of very old school photos dating from 1911 and 1912 retrieved from the attic, which will be a much prized addition to the archive. They are all named on the back in pencil and probably contain some of the boys who feature in the war memorial. The photos complete with names will be displayed at the reunion on 29th December including one of 1932 with a young Alan Tregenza.
There have been many more emails and letters: John Phillips (55) reminded me that six boys in one year, 1962 l think or was it ’63, got into Cambridge, not bad for the ‘Grammar School at the Edge of the World’. More photos have come in for the archive from Wright Harvey (S4) and Joe Matthews (45) and these will be added. Also letters from the regular correspondents Mike Hunter (44), who was reminded that he played the part of Launcelot Gobbo in “The Merchant of Venice”, and Arthur Meadows (43) who played Old Gobbo and Ian Campbell (44) who continues to play golf in Bournemouth badly. There have been many other visits and contacts but, sorry, there is no room for any more – keep the messages coming.
New Life members: Graham Nicholas (45) Penzance, Dr James Lawrence Staff 1970-80 Florida USA, Chris Pollard (55) Abergele, William Robert (Robin) Hall (58) Swansea, John Michael Lees (54) Penzance, Clive Reynolds (58) Chipping Sodbury, Nicholas Joannou Nicolaou (58) St Erth, Steve Havery (41) Warminster, Rev Canon Ken Rogers (44) Truro, Robert John Hawken (51) Goldsithney, Steven Bennetts (69) New Malden, Alan Bennetts (69) London W12, Howard David Williams (55) Hinckley, Benjamin Anthony (Tony) Williams (49) Cheltenham, Christopher John Dale (64) Breage, Cedric John Appleby (52) Penzance, Michael Sheppard (50) Cambridge, Bruce James Scobie (72) Wells.
If you are not already a life member of the association or know an old boy who is not, it only costs £10 to join and we need the money. An Application form is on the back cover.
On what turned out to be quite a wet and windy Saturday night nearly 40 old boys of the Penzance/Humphry Davy Grammar School turned up at the Queens Hotel on 29th December for their annual reunion. Once again memories were jogged by a computer slide show of all the old school photographs held by the association which had been set up by Bill Burnett, formerly a member of staff at the school. Old boys were also given the opportunity to add missing names. Oldest old boy present was Dr Arnold ‘Derry’ Derrington of the 1933 entry who was accompanied by his son David (57). Another new face was Graham Nicholas representing the 1945 entry. One of the main topics for discussion was the future of the New Penwithian, the association’s annual newsletter which is distributed to life members. It was feared that the increase in printing and postage costs would be too much for association funds to meet over the coming years. Options considered were to put the newsletter on the website www.oldpenwithians.co.uk, to distribute it by email or, the worst case scenario, to cease publication. However, it was unanimously agreed that the newsletter should continue in its present form and if necessary members be asked to make further contributions or donations. Where possible, copies to over-seas members would be sent by email. The next newsletter will be distributed as normal in December 2013. Anyone wishing to advertise their business activities or write an article for it should contact the Association Secretary Andrew Coak. Andrew Coak thanked all old boys for attending especially those who had provided prizes for the raffle, which was held during the evening and realised £145. In the absence of Dr Nick Marston, Stuart Guppy ably stepped into the breach and accompanied the traditional hearty rendering of the School Song.
Those who attended and signed in: Roy Nicholls, Gerald Jenkin, Vivian Rowe, Hedly Nicholls, John Trewern, Perry Johns, Stuart Guppy, Tom Hill, Howard Curnow, Howard Eddy, Brian Richards, Graham Nicholas, Ron Prowse, Roger Cargeeg, Martin Tutthill, Peter Grey, John Coak, David Nebesnuick, Terry Drew, Norman Ampleford, Peter Millar, Reg Osborne, David Mann, John Richards (59), Paul Tyreman, Colin Polglase, John Richards (46), Andrew Newport, Cedric Appleby, Frank Rowley, Julian Keen, Bill Burnett, Chris Jervis, Bryan Cuddy, Arnold Derrington, David Derrington, Justus Hattam, Tony Jasper, Andrew Coak.
School War Memorial Refurbishment
The ﬁrst stage of the refurbishment is now complete and Matthew Channell of Park Lane Restoration Truro has done a great job. The oak panelling has been cleaned and rejuvenated and the brass and gold lettering restored. A low brass rail has also been ﬁtted to protect the memorial. However, the work is not yet complete. In the process of renewing the windows in the assembly hall, or gallery as it is now known, the contractors found asbestos in the area above the war memorial which will have to be removed. While doing this the ceiling, which at present covers the top of the memorial, will be opened up allowing access to the top of the memorial which will enable us to restore that upper part as well and will mean in future that the whole of the memorial will be visible once again. It is hoped that this work will be completed in early February and that the memorial will be rededicated during the summer of 2014 to coincide with the centenary of the start of the First World War. We are very grateful to the War Memorial Trust for the grant hat they have given towards the costs together with all those who made personal donations. Details of the rededication will be published as soon as we know them.
The Old Penwithians Website
Members who have joined in recent months may not be aware, and members of longer standing could be reminded, that the association has its own website http://www.oldpenwithians.co.uk The site is hosted by the webmaster of the community website Picture Penzance. There have been major changes at Picture Penzance over the last few months which have had an impact on our website. Unfortunately they have had technical problems, during the same time, which has meant that it has not been possible to update our website to reﬂect the changes. Hopefully, by the time you read this article these problems will have been ironed out, but just in case members should be aware that the collection of old photographs from Penzance County School and Humphry Davy Grammar School, which the association uploaded to the Picture Penzance website, has been ‘archived’. It is still possible to view the photographs but they are now found by selecting “Archives” from the menu bar on the Picture Penzance home page, then “Archived Gallery” from the drop down list. Scroll down to the “Schools” category and select “Penzance County School for Boys and Humphry Davy Grammar School”. Unfortunately it is no longer possible to add comments to the archived photographs. In the past this is how old boys have added information such as missing names to them. We want that to continue and would encourage old boys to register with Picture Penzance (it’s still free) so that they can post messages or send private messages to other registered users. l have registered on behalf of the association with the user name ‘Oldpenwithian’ and would be pleased to hear from any old boy who can add information to any of the photographs via the Picture Penzance website. Alternatively l can be contacted via the link on the “Gallery” page of our own website, which has lots of other interesting stuff.
Bill Burnett Database & Website Manager.
After possibly just one too many glasses of wine chez Andrew Coak recently, nostalgia got the better of us, and amongst many other ramblings we touched on “The Corals”, and – you know how these things go — before two more glasses had been quaffed, I had foolishly agreed to write a brief article on same. For those of you in the old school in the late 1950s/early 60s, some faint recollection may be forming at the mention of the Corals — that oh-so-innocent boy band which comprised ﬁve PGS lads, whose meteoric and all-too-brief rise to fame culminated in their winning ﬁrst prize in the Southwest of England Rhythm and Blues Contest, a starry occasion held in some run-down backstreet hall in Camborne. Instant riches fell their way, with a muniﬁcent ﬁrst prize of £25; a far cry indeed from the band’s genesis, in the front room of Hilmar Warenius’ windswept house on the Promenade one dark, stormy afternoon in perhaps 1958. These, dear readers, were the days when we youngsters gloried in our new budding teenage: for me personally, social life centred very happily and creatively around two establishments – St Mary’s Church, Penzance, and of course the Grammar School. Both were of paramount importance and inﬂuence, the latter especially. Memories crowd in: the lunchtime fag – Gold Leaf, I recall – with Andrew Coak, Roger Carne and ‘Beefy’ Angove up behind the Penzance cricket ground stand: social cups of coffee and another gasper in a café near the Greenmarket: illicit pints with Bob Quixley, with all the pub singing that implied: hockey matches against local clubs (almost exclusively female, now I think back) with the likes of my dear departed friend and best man, Martin Scrase: young love, so all-consuming and fresh, usually focused on the Girls’ Grammar up the hill . . . Even now the heart quickens! But to that wet and windy front room, mentioned earlier. Hilmar, Tim Jervis and I were there, admiring HiImar’s new home-made guitar. As he began to show off his expansive repertoire (three chords, C, F and G major spring to mind) Tim and I managed to croak along the lyrics of a current Buddy Holly hit – ‘It’s Alright’. Through the storm-wracked clouds above a massive ﬁnger pointed down and “The Corals” were born! Before long, the group had expanded to ﬁve. We were joined by Nico DeNiet, whose Slavic good looks and ﬁne voice produced the perfect vocalist, and Nick Newton on a mean bass guitar (this too being homemade). I graduated to a piano, Hilmar was lead guitar, and Tim the percussionist. Our practice room was Tim’s cellar. Here we would foregather to thrash out our versions of the latest hits, the lyrics of which we would scribble down on paper as we played the records over and over again in Philip Allen’s record shop. We could not afford to buy them. This relative poverty, plus the primitive nature of the guitars, also necessitated the cellotaping of six tiny pickups beneath the six strings, connected by a jumble of wires to a couple of equally unreliable ampliﬁers: their principal characteristic seemed to be an endless succession of unwanted ‘feedback’ screams which a kick would temporarily eliminate. As for percussion, forget any ideas of a Premier drum kit: we made do with the old regimental side drum from Fred Jarvis’ ATC Squadron at school, perched on an old chair or stool. But we got by, and adored every minute. “Six Five Special” was shown every Saturday on TV, and that too was a great source of new material. I remember to this day seeing Buddy Holly singing ‘Peggy Sue’ as l watched the show at Tinky Redmond’s house. We played all the current hits: Holly, Presley, Everly Brothers, Marty Wilde, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, George Hamilton IV, Cliff Richards and on, and on. The weekly venue for the ‘hop’ was a humble affair, no Glastonbury stage or Wembley Arena. It was to the Methodist Schoolroom at the end of Tolver Road that the young fans ﬂocked, cramming into the dimly lit room which still whiffed slightly of Charlie Macarthy’s pipe smoke. We ﬁve lads on stage waited behind the old green curtains, nervous, desperately trying to dampen the feed-back from the ampliﬁers, propping up the drum with a book, last minute guitar tuning and me frantically trying to ensure that all the piano notes would actually respond to key pressure. And then the curtains were hauled back and we were away: ‘Let’s go the hop’, ‘Jailhouse Rock’, ‘That’ll be the day’, ‘Dream, Dream, Dream’, ‘It’s so easy to fall in love’, ‘Hound-dog’, ‘Blue suede shoes’, ‘Bad Boy’. . .Ah, the memories. Doffy Behenna disapproved of my taking part in this, once admonishing me with a pompous ’ Christopher, if you meddle with tar you will get your ﬁngers dirty.’ (l was doing A-level Music with him). For this reason l always used a pseudonym in the ’Cornishman’! (John Lewis, pianist of the MJQ). Tim Jervis likewise: in his case, Connie Kay. (Tim’s dad, a judge, disapproved!) Eventually all good things come to an end, and the approaching horror of ‘A’ levels forced us to retire. An all-too-brief, never-to-be-forgotten phase of our young lives had come and gone with indecent haste, and more serious things took over. But what a phase!
Bomber Command 2012
By Dr Arnold Derrington
As mere boys of 18 or 19 we felt ﬁt and able to do any job that came along. Good employment possibilities for School Cert holders and High School Cert too. The world was our oyster but the outbreak of war in 1939 quenched that. The example of the Battle of Britain boys ﬁred our imaginations and we wanted to serve in some way. An elderly gentleman had given me a ‘credo’ – “Pursue ardently your ideals and they shall become realities”. “Per ardua ad astra” the RAF motto captivated us too. Despite my hope to be a pilot the selection authorities graded me as a navigator — they were wiser than l was and I am grateful I was a bus conductor and not the driver! Unexpected events, despite periods of waiting, worked out wonderfully, beyond my aspirations. An Australian dairy farmer’s son as my pilot chose me with 5 others to be his crew — all with diverse backgrounds — and we were convinced very soon we were the best possible team. We were a close-knit unit of trust and absolute dependence on each other aged 20-22, apart from Tom our wireless operator aged 31. We felt he was our wise experienced grandfather — a bookie’s clerk. Jonah 22, an ex-antiques dealer the bomb aimer sat beside me on the plotting table and the 2 gunners from High Wycombe. Tail-end Charlie, Darby still alive – solid as brass — vigilant and faithful — he rings me up weekly still. Jack was our Flight Engineer -‘oor wee haggis’- had served on the RMS Queen Mary. Les Evans the pilot had been an instructor and was the most experienced aviator. Even after 68 years no relationship was more vital and meaningful. As Navigator my task was to prepare an accurate plan to direct the pilot to steer the right course and speed to strike the enemy at its very heart. Bomber Command was blamed by some authorities for the gruesome damage we inﬂicted but it was the sole means to strike the enemy. Our crew did this 31 times. Until 2012 the only heartening comment we received was from Belgian housewives who felt assured and comforted when they heard us droning overhead. We thank God that we survived up to now. The year 2012 was momentous for aircrew for we shared the Gracious Presence of Her Majesty The Queen at Green Park for the unveiling of the Bomber Command Memorial on Thursday 28 June at noon. In the same year we were awarded a clasp, just like the Battle of Britain boys but this was not announced until December. On the evening prior to the unveiling there was a special reception hosted by the City of London Chairman at the Guildhall, a gorgeous lofty ediﬁce. Outside the entrance there was part of a Lancaster fuselage and visitors could clamber inside to experience the cramped conditions. About 2000 Veterans have survived and about 800 of them with relatives came. My son David (59) and his son Adam were my guests. Inside the Guildhall I met a Mancunian pilot, he had done 13 ops. His daughter and her husband were his guests. University Air Squadron Cadets plied us with long glasses of champagne and tasty nibbles and this was a convivial social occasion for those who were directly over Europe. Commonwealth ﬂyers were there – all expenses paid by their governments. I met a Rhodesian who had known Geoffrey Boswetherick (32) who had been my childhood friend in St Erth. He was instructing at Bulawayo after a Coastal Command tour. One could see how some of the other visitors were involved by their decorations e.g. sons of deceased veterans wore fathers’ medals on the right side of their chest. I had ﬂown with two Australian Squadrons and would see some of their compatriots as well as Canadians and British Latin American volunteers. A good welcoming speech let us know that we had arrived at last. The December clasp award had not yet been announced; the 28 June was the special day for the unveiling. The weather was perfect and as ticket holders we were escorted by UAS cadets to the Saluting Area to reserved seats. There were good catering facilities in a huge marquee and much socialising took place irrespective of rank. Progress to the site was slow due to London traffic but the London taxi drivers gave free rides to the venue. l had found them equally welcoming when attending the St Clement Dane’s memorial to Sir Arthur Harris on an earlier occasion. The Saluting area was composed of some 800 folk — veterans and relatives and those remembering deceased veterans. The Guildhall evening was essentially a socialising time but the Thursday was very reverent, religious and moving. Music played prior to the service included folk songs from Ireland, Greensleeves, Nimrod and the RAF March Past played by the Band of the RAF Regiment. We were issued with a well-illustrated ‘Order of Service’ booklet with a beige cover, RAF Roundel and one of the ﬁgures from Phillip Jackson’s group. Full instructions about the ceremony were given and a full listing of banner carriers and prayers. Twelve members of the Royal family preceded the Queen. They wore RAF uniforms — the Senior Marshall of the RAF, HRH Prince of Wales accompanied by the Duchess of Cornwall preceded HRH Queen Elizabeth. All stood at the glorious fanfare of the Trumpeters of the RAF Central Band as our Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived. After the National Anthem the Chairman of the Bomber Command Association gave a ﬁne welcoming address and the Philip Jackson Memorial statue group was unveiled by Her Majesty. There then followed very suitable prayers by the Chaplain in Chief. He ended with “In praise, remembrance and hope of God’s Kingdom on earth” which the audience all joined in with the Lord’s Prayer. Between two hymns “Praise my soul the King of Heaven” and “O God our help” there was a bible reading from Isaiah Chap 40 —”they will soar on wings, like eag|es” – the memorial was dedicated. The Secretary of the Bomber Command Association (he ﬂew in Wellingtons) said those memorable words and we all replied “We will remember them”. Right on noon there was a ﬂypast of ﬁve Tornado Jet GR4s, followed by the lumbering AVRO Lancaster which dropped thousands of poppy petals. I have saved some. This was a deeply moving, religious time of thanksgiving, remembrance and re-dedication. After the Royal Party left some veterans and relatives met the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. The central band played ’The Shining Sword’, the Bomber Command Processional March and the RAF March Past and we could go to look closely at the Memorial. The words at its base are: FREEDOM IS THE SURE POSSESSION OF THOSE ALONE WHO HAVE THE COURAGE T0 DEFEND IT (Pericles) The Memorial is housed in a ﬁne pillared structure — a great tourist attraction. It is a most moving spectacle and in all reverence l say – “We will remember them”
How prophetic Thomas Gray (1737) was when he wrote: The time will come, when thou shalt lift thine eyes To watch a long drawn battle in the skies While aged peasants, too amazed for words Stare at the ﬂying ﬂeets of wondrous birds England so long the mistress of the sea Where winds and waves confess her sovereignty Her ancient triumphs yet on high shall hear And reign the sovereign of the chequered air
On 28 June 2012 l felt l was representing dear fellows whose bodies were scattered over hostile territory and l was with close members of the families who represented the glorious departed or disabled or aged who could not be at Green Park.
(Sec’s Note: Derry Derrington fails to refer to the Distinguished Flying Cross [DFC] he won for his bravery during the Second World War.)
Old Penwithians Golf Competition 2013
The Old Penwithians Golf Championship was once again held recently at West Cornwall Golf Club. The winner was Simon Pengelley with a score of 37 points. The runner up was Don Ruhrmund with 31 points, in third place, on countback, Roger Dugdale, and in fourth Randall Friggens with 30 points. Nearest the pin was Roger Dugdale. The prizes were presented at a special lunch at the club by Roger Dugdale of Penwithian Wholesalers who sponsored the competition together with the Old Penwithians Association. This year’s competitors: Don Ruhrmund, Roger Dugdale, David Tregenza, Paul Roach, Frank Blewett, Simon Pengelly (winner), Randall Friggens, Chris Roach, Andrew Coak, Phil Thomas, Mike Jose.
Sadly we have to report the death of the following Old Penwithians
Roy SMITH, Headmaster 1971-1980
Born in lrlam near Manchester Roy studied metallurgy at Manchester University and despite an offer of research at Oxford, chose to work as an air crash investigator at Farnborough. He then joined the Royal Navy and saw service in the Korean War as navigation and meteorological officer on HMS Birmingham. As well as running the ship’s newspaper, he also headed-up the ship’s concert-party, the one task for which Roy was not qualified. On his return from the Far East, Roy took on a teaching role at Dartmouth and Manadon Naval Colleges where he trained naval cadets in sailing, navigation, meteorology and chemistry. On leaving the Navy, in 1967, Roy became Head of Chemistry at Exmouth Grammar School and was instrumental, as Deputy Head, in the establishment of Exmouth Comprehensive School. When Tom Craske Rising retired as headmaster of Humphry Davy Grammar School in Penzance, in 1971, Roy Smith was appointed as his successor. Roy accepted the post knowing that Cornwall Education Authority were committed to the introduction of the Comprehensive Education System. However, it was to be almost 10 years before he presided over the change, as the grammar school became a comprehensive school incorporating the former Lescudjack Secondary Modern School. Roy became principal of the newly created Penwith Sixth Form College where he remained until his retirement in 1989. Roy was a keen sportsman; as well as being an accomplished runner, he played soccer, cricket and hockey and he had a great love of rugby. He was a creative and very knowledgeable gardener, he and his wife Mary enjoyed travelling and were actively involved in supporting the parish church and village school, both here in Cornwall and later, in retirement, at Otterton in Devon. Above all Roy Smith was a patient and caring man. He cared deeply about his schools – the students and staff within them and the communities they served and was disappointed that he was unable to attend the Centenary Dinner for the former Grammar School in Penzance held in December 2010, when he would have been one of the guests of honour. Roy fought his ﬁnal battle with cancer with quiet dignity and kept up with the cricket scores to the very end of his life. He will be sadly missed.
Edward Reginald RICHARDS (49) – aka ‘Vard’, 18 April 2013, aged 74. Tribute to one of our ﬁne Old Penwithians by Brian Coak
Three Penzance lads on the cusp of adolescence, A E Pearce aka ‘Pearcie’, Edward Reginald Richards aka ‘Vard’, and B L Coak aka ‘Coco’ true ‘Forty Niner‘ pals marched off to the Penzance Grammar School huts, condemned by the headmaster with the words ” These huts are a disgrace to Cornwall”. Vard became a bright early protege of Harry Otto & MOT and became captain of the school Football First XI in 1957. He was also a member of the school tennis team and played for the successful Penzance Magpies Minors team. All but one player were from the school.
The three Penwithians were inseparable in and out of school until small wars from 1950-1953 led to lengthening conscription by two years under the National Service Amendment Act. At age eighteen Pearcie and Coco received NS Commissions in the DCLI both ending up in Nigeria serving in the West African Frontier Force. Intelligent Vard went on to King’s College University London and studied for a maths degree. His soccer talents continued and he became captain of the University soccer First XI. Edward went on to teach maths at Essex and Bournemouth – where he succumbed to the charms of Lesley and they were married in 1963. They went to Kenya for African sun where Vard taught maths for ﬁve years at the top public school. He was able to enjoy his favourite game, soccer, and play in tennis tournaments. While there Lesley gave birth to two daughters Cathryn and Sally. From his Cornish roots Vard was always conscious of his natural environment and took every opportunity to go on safaris in Kenya. With some Kenyan friends the family even drove to South Africa camping out. After leaving Kenya, Vard worked in Holland, Germany and Brazil as a self-employed computer systems analyst.
For thirty-six years the family lived in Clevedon Somerset and upon retirement Vard and Lesley travelled to the Antipodes, Americas and other European countries. After the travel excitement he was always happy to potter around in his garden and to see his children and five grand-children. Vard the quintessential Cornishman and family man logged out permanently on 18 April 2013 and was cremated on 26 April 2013 at Clevedon Somerset. Dyw genes – God be with you pard! – Coco
Francis ANGWIN (42), 11 November 2012 aged 81.
Francis was twice Mayor of St Just in his 42 years on the town council and also served as a councillor on Penwith District Council. He was named a bard of the Cornish Gorsedd in 1999 for his service to the county; given the title, Gwas Lafrowda, a reﬂection of his work as a councillor. He was highly regarded for his exhaustive local knowledge, partly acquired through his years as a butcher and a farmer, as well as singing as a tenor in both Penzance and St Just Operatic Societies.
Ted (Tommy) CALESS (52), 31 January 2013 (From his brother Bryn CALESS (60)]
Tommy had lived in the West Penwith area most of his life, principally as a beneﬁts Inspector with the Social Services department of HMG, but he was better known as a stalwart of local silver-band music and latterly as a dog owner/walker, which brought him into contact with a range of local people in Heamoor and surrounds.
John ALLEN (47), 20 May 2013, aged 77.
On leaving school John joined the local Police Force and then served 3 years with the RAF. He returned to the Cornwall Police and went on to serve in Camborne, Exeter and Bristol before coming back as the Chief Superintendant for West Cornwall. He retired in 2002 to Ludgvan and was a keen supporter of Camborne RFC, Mounts Bay Sailing Club and a Trustee of the Prince’s Trust.
Kenneth Francis NORTHEY (36) OBE RN, 11 May 2013.
He was Head Boy in 1942 before attending St Luke’s Exeter to train as a teacher. He volunteered for the Royal Navy and was drafted into the Instructor Branch. He served twice in Malta and was headmaster of the Services Junior School. He retired from the RN in 1978 in the rank of Commander and returned to Newlyn where he became the Superintendent Registrar for Penzance and also served as Harbour Commissioner. He was a gifted tenor and, with his wife Barbara, sang with the Penzance Choral Society and was a Life President of Newlyn Male Choir.
John Gwyn (‘Squeek’) MOSTYN, 23 May 2013, aged 91.
John joined the Staff of HDGS in 1955 and became Head of Mathematics. He ran the school chess club and was a member of the staff “bridge school” who played lunchtimes and some evenings in the staff room. A skilled motor engineer/mechanic he worked on many staff cars with his friend ”Slim” (who was anything but) in his fully equipped garage/workshop at his homes in Porthleven then Helston). John and his friend Slim built ‘kit cars‘ and took them to the Castle Cary racing track for test driving and fine tuning before selling them on. This together with the fact that he owned a Jaguar sports car may be what gave rise to the rumour that John had once worked with the Jaguar motor racing team.
Noel PERRY (67), July 2013, aged 57
Noel was born in Winchester on New Year’s Day 1956. Along with his family he moved to Carbis Bay in I963, where his mother ran a popular guest house. Noel was educated at Humphry Davy Grammar School. In 1974 he started work in Truro with the “West Briton” newspaper as a trainee reporter, a job that he loved. In the 1980’s he was given his own district of Helston and the Lizard and was one of the first ofﬁces to be connected via computer, sending the news directly to Truro. Noel became a well -respected figure in the community, well known for his integrity. In 1984 he married Dee and the couple had two children and they lived in Helston for more than 30 years. Noel had a keen interest in films and gained an incredible knowledge of them. He also was an avid rugby supporter following England and the British Lions, he had a keen sporting interest and followed other topical stories but rugby was his passion. He loved spending time with his family and he will be missed by the whole community, but not least his loving family.
John Raymond (‘Doey’) HARPER (43), 2 July 2013, aged 82.
John was born in Alexandria, Egypt (his father worked for Cable and Wireless) and was living in Penzance when he joined PCS in 1943. While at school he joined the ATC with Fred Jarvis and went on to join the RAF and after studying at Cranwell he had a very interesting flying career which included two fighter squadron tours, the ETPS course at Farnborough and a double test flying tour at Farnborough, ﬂying altogether some 30 different types of aircraft. He also worked at the Royal Radar Establishment at Malvern on radar programming for the UK Air Defence. He left the RAF in 1970 and worked for Ferranti in their defence systems programme. He was married to Jill for 58 years, and regularly attended the annual reunions. John Bottle understands that his nickname is derived from early French lessons, where it was stated that verbs ending in ‘er’ are generally ‘Doing’ verbs. Harper was therefore a ‘do-ey’ type of name.
Sid THOMAS (56), September 2013, aged 68.
Sid left school to join the Light Infantry and returned home to help run the family hotel in Marazion. He took a catering course at Camborne Technical College and went on to teach catering and to become the refectory manager at Penwith College. He was Mayor of Marazion in 2001 and closely involved with Mount’s Bay Sailing Club and the Cornish Pirates serving as a Director and Chairman.
Brian John RETALICK (prev POTTER) (48), 27 April 2013, aged 75.
His widow Janet writes: “Brian left Cornwall for Cambridge in 1956. His last 6 years were spent working in the local village school where he was a lunch-time supervisor, a job which he admitted was the best he had ever had and the feeling was obviously mutual as they have inaugurated the ‘Brian Retallick Memorial Cup’ to be presented each week along with a certiﬁcate to one child who has been the most kind, helpful etc during the lunch-time period. Brian was always a Cornishman through and through and over the past 46 years we went ‘home’ many times and he is back there now as l went back and sprinkled his ashes on St Michael’s Mount in May”.
If you hear of the death of an Old Boy then please let me know so that we can include him in the next newsletter.