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I often think back to my grammar school days. I started in 2B,
catching the infamous boneshakers from Gale and Polden’s opposite Aldershot bus
station. I remember having my head put down the toilet on the first morning by way of
initiation. Thank you Gordon Lowther and Arnold? We used to get the first
bus so that we had time to play an old school game of kicking a tennis ball to
hit the steps at the junior side of the school, if you missed you were out.
I lived in Gillian Close, Aldershot with fellow school mates Gordon Lowther,
Peter Knoll and Robin May. That first year was a challenge in moving up to
senior school, I enjoyed Nuncs Latin class and the Maths class. We had ‘Charlie’
Upton (2B) and Charlie Sweet (3R) for French, it was time to hide as much as
possible behind your desk with them in the class room.
In the second year I was in 3R, Dennis Clare and Mike Beard were my nearest classmates. Dicky Junior taught Geography, we heard of the death of Dicky Senior, he was often talked about but I never met him. Maths was my best subject. I was given the job of milk monitor, so we missed the last 15 minutes of the first lesson to distribute the milk. There was a music teacher called Barratt, he had an usual gait which we mocked; we all walked the Barratt way. In his class the first two rows of desks were for choir members, we all tried to sing so badly that nobody was in the choir, however I do remember that Ernie Hazell and I had difficulty in getting out. In the third year I was in 4S. Maths, Physics and Chemistry were at last making more sense. We had senior teachers, Mr. Bullock (Maths), Mr. Attree (Geography), Boris Rogers (Chemistry), Mr. Smith (Physics), Mr. Jowett (English) and Tommy Junior (History). A lad called Hewitt fell asleep in Mr. Smiths physics class around 3:30 pm; we all had to walk out quietly when the bell rang and he was left there until 4:45 when the last bus was about to leave.
Mr. Attree arranged the first of field trips to the Yorkshire Dales, we stayed near Malham. Unfortunately I lent my many photos to Peter Knoll, it would be nice to see them again, he now lives at Deddington near Banbury.
I joined the cadet force band. Drum Sergeant Major Baldwin, ex-Coldstream guards, a very professional soldier was in charge. I was a side drummer and enjoyed this immensely. We did many passing out parades on the military barrack squares in Aldershot. On Remembrance Day we were paired off, one drummer, one bugler to attend many of the churches in Farnborough and Cove. The only person I do remember from the band was a bugler called Trotman, he was a sergeant and liked giving orders. The Drum Major was a Greek lad called Paparezzi. He was very good.
I enjoyed the football. We won most of our games but we never beat Guildford Grammar; our best win was against Woking Grammar at home, equal rivals. I was promoted to the first team in autumn of 1958 after scoring four goals for the second team against Farnham Grammar school. Pollard was in goal. Thelland and Fouracre were in defence, Barry Nugent was left half, Letford at right half and Harland was on the right wing. I came in at the same time as Andy Stevens, he was centre forward and I was centre half. The following season a number of good footballers came in to the side. Berni (Butch) Heridge, Keith Hurst, Gaffa Welsh, Terry Sullivan. 1959-1960 1st Eleven was a good footballing side, we got through to the final of the Hampshire schools cup which was played at Aldershot Football club ground. We lost to St Marys Grammar School Southampton. In the same season we sent two six-a-side teams down to Southampton, there were 64 sides, our first six got through to the quarter finals and our six made the semi finals losing by a single point as they had one more corner than us, St. Marys again.
I was one of the few that played cricket as well as football for the 1st Eleven. Bob Jackson was a fast bowler and I remember Jeff Barnes who kept wicket. One Saturday morning we went to Woking Grammar School, it was very wet and humid, the ball was moving all over the place. We batted first and were all out for 11. I topped the score sheet with five runs. Woking lost six wickets before they made a winning score. I went on to play for Aldershot F.C. with John Austin, Roger Mylward, Peter Knoll, Robin May, Malcolm Kerry.
Since leaving school I spent my life in the Automation and Robotics industry. Berni Herridge was best man at my wedding, tragically he was killed in a car crash a few year later. I now live in Kenilworth and after 40 years met Dominic Darling again. He lives in Leamington Spa. We are both bridge players and play at the Kenilworth Bridge Club.
William Pink : April 2011
William can be seen at a Road Safety competition - sitting next to me - and in class in 1959.