Farnborough Grammar School

Prospect Avenue, Farnborough, Hampshire

Telephone : Farnborough 539

Sports Day - 1957, 1958 and 1959 

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Sports Day 1957, 1958 (believed to be May 15th) and 1959 (see foot of page). Some of the faces looks familiar but with one exception I can’t quite place any of them. I can however imagine W.C. ‘Boggy’ Bishop (History teacher and football enthusiast) running around in an old track suit making sure that the javelin didn’t hit anyone, or at least no one who was likely to make a good sportsman. That would not have included me because anything that involved a ball or throwing something in a consistent direction was not my cup of tea. I could however sprint as fast as anyone and was not too bad at the mile and cross country. Indeed I was once selected to represent the school in the 100 yard sprint at the county event. Unfortunately school bureaucracy failed to let me know and I was told there were desperate calls over the Tannoy for me to get to the starting line.

The building behind one of the javelin throwers appears to be the new physics lab block in its final stages of construction.
May 1958May 1958May 1958
I grew too late to be any good as a high jumper. Richard Letford was the school’s best jumper of my generation but unfortunately none of these photographs appear to be of him. Probably he was too fast to keep up with. Richard was skilled in several sporting areas, including football; there is a picture of him in his football kit here.
May 1959May 1958May 1959
Keep well clear of the javelins. Unguided missiles. The discus was another one of which one had to be very wary.
May 1959May 1958May 1959
The silhouetted figure on the left who is caught air-borne is Michael Webb, my travelling companion on the long bus ride from Church Crookham each morning. The middle photo could be of the end of the cross country race if the dirty shorts are any guide, but I do not believe it was held on the regular sports day, so maybe it isn’t. And what would I be doing photographing it anyway as it was a compulsory event and something I always enjoyed taking part in? Though I say so myself I wasn’t a bad runner back then and could come in within the first half dozen of the cross country.
May 1958May 1958May 1957
I never could see a lot of point in a walking race and pole vaulting was too dangerous for my taste. Running the mile in under five minutes was more my scene. Patrick Sheehan takes an early lead.
May 1958May 1958May 1958
Bill Raynor in lurid blazer and Eli Eltringham the chemistry master measuring his not inconsiderable length against the high jump post. Apart from helping on sports day I’m not aware that he possessed any sporting talents.
May 1959May 1959
Cricket was a regular summer event. Lindsey Pratt (right) was a particularly good cricketer and in the school’s team. Luckily, him being a mate, I could usually wangle being on his side and never had to face his fast bowling. We also played together for a boys’ club team outside school, not that I was in his league and never managed a particularly good score.

A comparison of the photograph at position 2 with those at 4 and 6, will show that this collection is not all from the same year. Assuming the negatives have remained in their originally filed positions and the accompanying notes are accurate the dates are 15th May 1958 and May 1959 (precise day not recorded). The year of each is revealed by the ‘hover text’.
The 12th photograph (the mile race) is from Ian MacRae’s collection.

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