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Farnborough Grammar School

Prospect Avenue, Farnborough, Hampshire

Telephone : Farnborough 539

Geoff Theakston (Memories) - 1948 to 1953

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The JAB was head when I was at F.G.S. and he was a bit odd but his No. 2, Brin Thomas was a legend, he taught us Latin and we were not easy boys to teach. I started in 2b with 18 in the class and moved into the ‘A’ stream the following year as a group of 16. Some classes like Latin, were only eight strong which made things very easy.

I had passed the ‘scholarship’ at Park Junior School and caught one of five school buses from outside ‘The Traco’ (Aldershot & District Traction Co.) building every morning at 8:20. Of all my five years of travel the highlight of the journey was a bra hanging from a tree outside Farnboro‘ Tec. Everyone who did that journey knew about it and speculation about how it got there was rife in those image starved days.

I was more interested in football so Beefy Bullock, and sometimes W.C. (Boggy) Bishop, were most likely to get my attention. Tom Pascoe was the woodwork man -and also in charge of the MT Section of the cadet force, so through him I got to ride a motor bike (a 125cc BSA Bantam) and drive a khaki painted truck. Big stuff at the time. Tom was one of the good guys. Had a pronounced limp. His son Ming was a 5th former then. People like Tommy Junior (PT and Cadets) and Dicky Richards Senior (Geography) are remembered mainly for their bullying ways - the latter claiming to be at university with, and far superior to, Richard Attenborough!

One of the scandals, but satisfying at the time, was when a 5th former punched Tommy Jnr. Can’t be sure of his name but it may have been Sam Savory; someone is sure to remember.

One memorable guy - he didn’t last long, was Fletcher-Thomas (known as Flash Thomas). He was the archetypal WW2 fighter pilot with a handlebar moustache and 3-litre Bentley. He taught English.

Monsieur Duc was a visiting French master who took some of us anxious to escape the harshness of Charlie Sweet. Monsieur Bonbon! Actually, Charlie was OK. He used to go for a pint at the nearest pub - top of Prospect Avenue, turn left 100 yards on the left, almost opposite Bradford’s Garage.

Fritz Barratt took German and music - I still know the words from Brahms Lullaby. In German class he insisted we all chose German names and only addressed each other by them. He would not allow me Adolf so I became Gotz. (mit umlaut). And poor Dickie Richards Junior (RK) did not stand a chance against Form 4a - they know who they are; Bob Sharp, Tony Rayner, Dave Stapleton, Mike Hastings, John Rowell. Probably all doing time now! Nuncs was also called Uncle George so I was surprised to see his real name. Lovely person.

Doc. Nash was another legend. Introduced me to Capt W.E. Johns and Biggles. Well after all that, I’d like to think it made me a rounder person - I went from eight years in the police to the real world and ended up managing an American computer company. I’m now 74, married, two successful kids and looking back on what I’ve just written, pretty damn smug! Delighted to see in Alfa though,that I took 7 for 19 against Cove and top scored in that game. One for the grandchildren… and kids, and wife, and boys in The White Horse on Sunday.

Geoff Theakston : April 2011

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