Slouched across the desk is Richard Hadland. How could I forget him? One of his pranks broke my
finger and it remains misshapen to this day and sometimes painful. Thanks Richard.
Robert (Jacko) Jackson. I believe he lived in Aldershot and therefore not someone us locals
from Cove were able to meet after school and so little more known of him.
Michael Mackey combing his Brylcreemed hair lived half way between my home and school and a useful
dropping off point en-route. I seem to remember that one of his favourite party tricks was to fix a
cigarette to the end of a vacuum cleaner and watch it burn through in a matter of seconds. I never
saw him smoke one himself, in fact as far as I am aware none of us smoked at that time in our lives.
Michael’s father was a councillor on Farnborough’s Urban District Council and therefore a well known
local figure. I was shocked to read in the local newspaper soon after leaving school (**
See below) that Michael was killed when he lost control of a motorcycle on the road from Fleet to Cove
where it now branches to the M3 interchange. Back then there was merely a small kink in the road and
the branch was little more than a farm track. However there was an inconsiderately placed telegraph
pole in the small grass island that marked the junction. I still cant drive past that spot without my stomach churning over.
Three all of whose names are forgotten.
Kevin Press stands in front of the band hut next to
Tom Pascoes carpentry workshop in the West Field. The band hut was an old barracks building used by the Combined
Cadet Force buglers and the MT section which owned two decrepit motor bikes, one of which was a BSA
Bantam 125cc and the other a 250cc of dubious origin. The latter machine was responsible for
crippling me for the whole of a summer holiday when I rode its front wheel into a goal post socket
in the adjacent field which catapulted me into a wire fence. My knee hit the concrete supporting
post, my head just missed it.
The final picture is of Simms or ‘Otis’ as he was usually called. I cant count
‘Otis’ as one of my
close friends, he lived too far from school to regularly meet outside its confines, however I did
once join him and a gang which told small fibs to get into the Rex cinema in Farnborough under-age
to see the Hammer horror, Dracula. As the hero rammed the stake into Draculas evil heart a
loud expletive rang out through the auditorium. I looked to my right to see who had been so
frightened and saw Otis floating several feet above his seat. The only time I witnessed someone
actually jumping in fright.
** In the Spring of 1963 aged 20 according to official records.