Lydney Grammar School Magazine 1970.
THE MAGAZINE OF LYDNEY GRAMMAR SCHOOL
SCHOOL YEAR, 1969-70
LYDNEY GRAMMAR SCHOOL MAGAZINE
Another school year has ended, and through this magazine we have tried to bring alive again some of its events -in case you didn't notice all of them. We are sorry to repeat the complaint of editors of other years but unfortunately we have found it true that there is not the enthusiasm that the magazine needs and that one of the most disappointing aspects of editing is putting up with broken promises from say-so contributors. Even so we have still managed to fill up the pages, even if they are bigger. We have tried to bring you a better magazine, we've done our bit. ..the rest is up to you !
* * *
Though we know very little about the plans for the new Comprehensive
school, we gather that Phase One includes dining halls, new science
block, library, sports hall, gym and administrative block and this
should be completed by the time the schools amalgamate in 1973. But
Phase One is only part of the proposed development and there is no
firm date set for the completion of Phase Two (to include swimming
pool, Music and Drama block and Sixth Form College). Until Phase Two
is completed the old Grammar School buildings will stay in constant
The authorities say that Phase Two will be completed (and the old buildings demolished), just as soon as there is enough money. Phase One is a "temporary" situation they will tell us no doubt. Meanwhile the old "temporary" buildings of the Grammar School will probably be in even more use than they have been during the past "temporary" 30 years!.
The Open Day was perhaps an appropriate climax to a week when there were more pupils practicing for the choirs or preparing exhibitions than in the classrooms. This was after all the celebration of the 1870 Education Act, but we have come a long way since then. Still, I found it a fascinating afternoon, commuting between the biology exhibition (notable for one lady visitor looking on a dissected rabbit and saying "and I had a cheese roll for lunch!"), the A.T.C. Hut where one could shoot a rifle under the eye of Lawrence Clark (who seems to pop up in every exhibition in multitudinous roles). Then on to the chemistry laboratory where an assortment of smells seemed to confirm that the avid chemistry enthusiast either doesn't notice them or that time has completely numbed his nose!.
The tennis was, well tennis; you either like it or hate it. The annual Old Boys' cricket match, usually the highlight of the decline of the school year (if you see what I mean), often with a captive audience of 500, looked very different with only a crowd of about 20 or so. But pride of place must go to the physics exhibition with its hypnotic Van Der Graff Generator, Test Your Strength machine, performing marble and Test Your Reaction kit. I never arrived at the Art exhibition. Still as I said it was all for fun. The visitors seemed to enjoy it and it proved a welcome distraction from the coming exams. It also proved to the world that Lydney Grammar School is not like a racehorse -it doesn't just sit there and cost money! Lydney Grammar School lives ! ROGER PRICE, 6 Arts B.
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This year we have had three new members of staff -Miss Collins to teach Geography and Games, Mr Williams who teaches Biology and Maths and Mlle Razi for a year as French assistant. Miss Lancastle who taught History and English for six years has left to be married. Her lively personality and helpful, understanding approach made her a very popular member of staff. We hope she will be very happy.
Mr D' Aubyn of course has also left this year but as you can see he still smiles at us from the opposite page (below).
Mr S. E. D' Aubyn, Physics Master at the school from 1927 to 1970. At a presentation in July, Mr D' Aubyn was presented with a cheque for £120, the sum of contributions from present and former pupils. His colleagues on the staff made a presentation of a garden seat.
HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE
Remember the June election ? Most people probably do even if only because it meant missing their favourite T .V. programme. The General Election this year, however, meant rather more as for the first time school children were called upon to playa part in the running of their country. These new adults, as I should call them, although one seems to be treated as a child throughout school however old one may be, were suddenly faced with the problem of whom to vote for. In the case of about a dozen sixth-formers we decided to attend the "eve of the poll" meeting at the town hall. We hoped to be able to form our opinions more easily after listening to the three candidates for this constituency. We went along expecting an enjoyable evening, and we were not disappointed. We listened patiently to a somewhat aggressive speech by the M.P. defending his seat. There were very few questions, partly because any Tory heckler who wanted to ask something, was immediately told to "/ x ? /x" -Well, "Shut up and sit down " by a dear old lady of about 70. Thus Mr Loughlin came and went fairly peacefully. Next on the stage was the Conservative candidate, Mr Hopkins. It was obvious that the Tory strength was in the centre of the hall, directly in front of us, for hardly had the Tory entourage entered the hall, when applause (of such enthusiasm that one wondered if perhaps Edward Heath had been sent by mistake) came from the "Blues" in front. This was when the meeting became really interesting. When the cheers had subsided the vicarial voiced candidate began to outline his policies. Then the audience really got warmed up; there was as much arguing between the opposing supporters as there was between the candidates and the hecklers. Perhaps it would have been better for Mr Hopkins had he adopted a more moderate attitude towards some issues, especially hanging. As it was he left the hall "perhaps to build some gallows" as someone said, leaving even some of his own supporters shocked. Last, but by no means least, was the Liberal candidate -Dr. Svendsen. There followed a most interesting, if somewhat vague talk on the policies of the Liberal Party. Vague only in the sense that we were constantly being told what the Liberals would have done if they had been in power. The whole audience listened quietly to what seemed to be the most logical of the three expositions of policy. Thus the lull after the storm provided a good ending to a very interesting evening. Whether or not we were any the wiser as we left the hall, I cannot say for the rest, but so far as I was concerned, I was simply convinced that politics is a very interesting but vicious game, played by all kinds of people, with all kinds of rules. Personally I enjoyed following this election and am grateful that votes at 18 were introduced whilst I was still at school. The main thing is that it made me "interested" which seems very important today, when there is so much apathy towards politics. SUSAN ROGERS, 6 Arts B.
INSIDE INFORMATION ON THE ART OF JUDO
Judo is a modified form of Ju-jitsu, an ancient Japanese form of self defence. Translated, the name means, "the gentle art", but don't let this mislead you. So far nothing "gentle" has been observed when the victim is hurled through the air to the far side of the forty foot long mat, and, having made a landing not unlike a confused H bomb, is gripped in the quickest, most fatal strangle-hold the "enemy" can think of. To warn you as to whom you should avoid on the mat, or anywhere else, everyone wears a coloured belt to show which grade they belong to. To start with you wear a red belt, then pass on to a white one. Then you take grades for yellow, orange, green, blue, brown and then black. In the very first lesson of Jado you learn to "break-fall." This is the act of throwing your arm on to the mat as you fall and it absorbs about ninety per cent of the impact when carried out properly. In time this becomes an instinctive action but until then you are lucky if you escape with more than three bones intact. As was mentioned before, don't let the name mislead you. .. JACKIE SIMPSON, 3L.
Just after singing our favourite hymn, "Lord dismiss us etc." we sped home to finish our packing, and by 6.30 p.m. we were on our way to sunny Snowdonia. Our party of twelve, headed by Messrs. Hall and Riddy, arrived at our destination at about 11 p.m., all intent on a week filled with commando-daring rock climbing, and muscle-aching hill walking, at the end of which would be breath-taking panoramic views. Personally, I found the walk up the hill itself more breathtaking than the actual view. This is what we got, and more, for the first few days it rained. The climbing party as usual, was led by Mr Hall, who demonstrated the noble art of mountaineering, in the Ogwen Valley and the Llanberris Pass. The walking party however, led by Mr Riddy and his side-kick Sally, pioneered their way through the dense Welsh marshes and windswept heather , and clambered over broad weather beaten boulders, and torrent-like streams, to reach the peaks of Snowdon, which I managed to scive off, Tryfan, Carnedd Dafydd, and a few other Celtic names which all sounded like wheelbarrow to Freda Jenkins, one of our female companions. The other female was wild Welshy Williams, with a smile like a primrose, and a left.hander like Cassius Clay. When we returned to the hut, we cooked the evening meal, and surprisingly enough, ate it. The remainder of the evening was taken up by table tennis, cards (at which Mr Hall cleaned us out, then nipped out to spend it) and the ever popular International Monopoly championship, at which Mr Hall claimed capital gains tax from everybody, every time they collected some rent. This however did not last, as David "Rothschild" Blackmore, on turning up a card saying "Congratulations you have won a beauty contest", charged everybody entertainment tax. Other forms of amusement were a trip to Bangor swimming pool, Bangor fleapit, and a day trip to sunny Anglesey. To be quite serious, one cannot imagine the spectacular sights one can see from the top of a mountain until one has actually gone up for a look. When the cloud and mist clear, and the sun beats down upon the clear lakes, the whole valley lights up, and the shadows on the hills, caused by the rocks, give the silent slopes a mottled effect. These majestic peaks can stretch as far as the eye can see. But why take my word for it ? Next Easter we shall probably be going again, so why don't you come along and see for yourself? L. J. CLARK, 6 Science B.
"YES, SIR. NO, SIR. THREE WARDS FULL SIR!"
Right, ten o'clock. Back from coffee. What's next ? Having just done two hours washing, bedmaking and so on the next thing one feels like doing is going to bed but that's not on my work list for the morning. "Mouth washes, Oral hygiene, change sputum - cartons, clean dentures, bed-bath Mr Jones, urinal round before lunch." First set up the mouth washes trolley, but before that Mr So and So in that bed there wants a bed pan and "Oh, will you give me a hand Nurse Knight, just to make this bed" - "Oh, and nurse, can you reach me that bottle of squash." "Mr Knight, would you like to see this sternum puncture that Dr. X is doing." Bring the fluid charts up to date. "Mr Smith, what have you had to drink since breakfast." "Gin and lime." "Ha, Ha;" "Four cups of tea." Do the bed-bath now, must be careful not to spill any water on the floor. How many towels has he got? -Just the one, give him one of ours. Is the trolley O.K. ? Bucket, two jugs, water at 100° F, necessary clean linen, nail scissors. Reassure the patient that I'm not going to insert a needle into his bottom when he rolls over. Bed bath takes between twenty and twenty- five minutes all in all. Still have to do the round before lunch, "Nurse!" "Yes Sister?" "The Fire Prevention Officer would like to talk to you about the new extinguishers." He gets down a rusty red object covered in two inches of dust and two minutes later. .. "Would you come with me on the medicine round nurse ?" Next fifteen minutes, occupied with analgesics, diuretics and over-grown Asprins. Time for lunch, wonder what's on today? "Nurse!" It's a great life. by ANDREW KNIGHT, (Gloucester Royal Hospital).
THE THREE COUNTIES SHOW
On June 17th I experienced the annual day outing to the Three Counties Show that I had heard so much about from friends older than myself, who had already been there and enjoyed it so much. The cost of 7/6 was very reasonable I thought considering the entrance fee alone was 5/-. We never saw the warm sunny morning that we had all expected, but in the excitement of getting to the back seats first and handing round the sticky sweets which to us were essential, we quite forgot the weather prospect for the day. The journey did not take half as long as I had expected and soon we found ourselves piling out of the coach, annoying the teachers, who by now, had already got headaches. The show itself had everything from day-old chicks to gi-normous thoroughbred heifers; from the shoeing of horses to demonstrations of relaxation by using a vibrating instrument which relieved tension in the muscles; from "Savoury Omelette" competitions to flower arrangement competitions. From every stall or advertisement bureau free pamphlets and leaflets were available. Of course we took advantage of this and everyone from our party could be identified by their armfuls of this stuff. Although you may think we came back with something gained, we didn't -we came back penniless. by JANET GEORGE, 3L.
When my nan was little she lived at Milkwall and went to school at Ellwood. The school was a council school. The ages of the children varied from four to 14 years. There were eight classes, I, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and X7. They used oil lamps for lighting and big, round coke stones for heating. There was a yard and entrance for the boys and the same for the girls. The toilets were outside. To school my nan wore a dress and a white embroidered pinafore with lace-up or button boots. She would make her way to school either running with a wooden hoop or skipping. When she got to school she took off her coat and lined up in the girls' yard for exercises. Then they marched into school. In school they sat at long wooden desks with attached seats. The younger children did not use pencils and paper; they used slates and slate pencils. They did not have school meals but took sandwiches in a little basket. At 4 o'clock they marched out of school. By the side of the roads were piles of stones which men used to break up into little pieces and scatter on the road. Then the water cart came and sprinkled the stones with water. After that a steam roller crushed the stones and levelled them out on the road. Carts made big ruts in the roads from the brakes on them. MARGARET JAMES, IL.
TO SEE AND BACK
"Good morning everyone," the cheerful voice said, "It is now 7 o'clock and I sincerely hope you have enjoyed your cruise." At least I think that was what he said. What was that uncouth remark from that sleepy bundle on the opposite bunk ? " And here is your morning record." A great blare bursts forth from the corridor outside and pierces the silence. The lights suddenly go on and cover the dormitory in a yellowish hue. There is a slow awakening around the cabin and then the first few realise where on earth they are and there is a frantic dash for the wash basins. What's wrong with me ? It's my feet, no, it's all over! Freezing. So cold. Feels as though we're home again. Got to get up, no doubt about it, got is the word all right. There is hardly any time to get ready. Dressed, washed, the bed made, or rather what's left of the bed, for at the door there is a great heap of linen sheets and pillow cases for the laundry. Someone's still in bed. They had better get up soon, it's nearly time for the breakfast call. Next to no time we've had breakfast and patiently braved the queues. Back down in the dormitory we're all seething around with lists of what we have packed. Just one last check and it all seems there. Must see England again! A steady crawl up to the deck, feeling the chill of the morning already, and we looked out onto the grey, bleak sky and dull white customs shed of Southampton dock. There's nothing to do for over an hour; all that seems to happen is a long wait and the top of the stairs until we are called to assemble for disembarkation. There are bags allover the place, people all over the place and we disembark like a long, slow snail down the gangplank, Through customs, we slowly pass a man who produces from a deep cardboard box, plastic bags containing our lunches. Every minute or so people are stopping to put down apparently ton-weight cases, stuffed with Turkish pipes and Maltese crosses. It's like the long distance walk, down some great breezy tunnel, with bright sunlight at one end. On to the coach, cases in the back and we're off! The coach leaves Southampton and drives out into the fresh, green countryside. Everyone notices how clean everything looks here. Looking out of the window, thoughts of our travels flash through our minds.
* * *
Although the weather in Venice was dull and grey, the lagoon city
with the l0th century cathedral of St. Mark and canal highways leaves
an impression full of beauty in our minds. Down the blue Adriatic we
sailed in the S.S. Uganda, passing many Greek islands, until we arrived
at Cyprus, our first encounter with the Mediterranean peoples. Perhaps
the bright sunshine and hot weather went together in making a lovely
picture in our minds. Turkey showed all of its "Eastern Promise" with
its beautiful rolling mountains, some amazingly steep-sided valleys
and fig and cotton plantations on the plais.
Malta left a unique impression with its landscape of rocks and honey-coloured houses, and we will always remember Valetta's harbour and magnificent churches.
Tangier was rather disappointing as for many of us it was the "first foot" on the African , continent. Perhaps it was our guide, who rhymed every sight off parrot-fashion. Or perhaps it was the poverty and filth of a very poor country.
Then a couple of days on our journey stick in our minds as being the unavoidable days on a sea voyage. Most people seemed to be walking around with pale faces and the regulation paper bags stuffed down their jumpers. Those were the days of seeing the ship suddenly tilt at a 45° angle forwards and then back, while at the same time going down to the left and then down to the right.
* * *
Excitement grows as we by-pass Bath, then we're in Bristol. The Severn Bridge, Chepstow. We are soon dropping people off on the road to Lydney. Through Woolaston, Alvington and just as we reach Aylburton a shout from the back of the coach is raised: "Three cheers for Mr Riddy!" We can now see St. Mary's spire. We're home again. "Three cheers for Miss Davis !" And as we near the cross of Lydney the inevitable wit shouts out: "Three cheers for the driver!" ELIZABETH MACASKILL, 4 alpha.
A DAY OUT
The idea of a day out to Tintern Abbey and Chepstow Castle was welcomed throughout the second form, even if 4/9d. had to be paid. Somehow the prospect of scrambling over old ruined walls and running up old spiral stairways appealed to everyone, so it was not surprising that only a few people refused the offer . At 11 o'clock all second forms complete with lunch, pens and guide books collected together in the hall. After a few words of caution from Mr Harlow, we all rushed out to the two coaches that were waiting for us. Once aboard Miss Lancastle gave us a question paper each with a few set questions on it. After a few suspicious glances at them they were put away and we set off. Immediately we were inside Chepstow Castle we ran about everywhere and it was only a matter of a few minutes before Martyn's Tower (which happened to be the only one with a spiral stairway) was over run with kids, counting slit windows and leaning over battlements, shouting and whistling to friends below them. After lunch we set off around the castle walls. When we got to the outer Barbican we discovered a little path which led up to a small hill which overlooked the River Wye. After having a few glimpses at the murky waters we all careered back to the coaches via postern gates and when all were aboard, we set off for Tintern Abbey. Once inside the Abbey most of us made for the Church part where more pacing had to be done (most of us wanted to get it over with) and we had to copy out inscriptions on tombs. Soon the kitchens, cloisters and halls were thoroughly explored and it was not long before an interesting maze of drains were discovered. Luckily they were quite large and we were able to explore them. As soon as thunder claps began to sound we all ran back to the shelter of the Abbey church where we explored once more. Some old stairways we found to be either locked and bolted or barred, much to our disapproval, so we had to be content with counting pillars, windows and tombs. While some people puzzled over Latin and Greek inscriptions on the tombs, others started pacing out distances again. That night I had strange, muddle dreams of climbing over walls, clambering through drains and pacing out distances. WILLIAM FOGG, 2G.
FESTIVAL OF BLUES AND PROGRESSIVE MUSIC
As most of our party had travelled to Shepton Mallet on Friday night our problem when we arrived on Saturday was to find them. This took us precisely twelve hours, from midday to midnight while watching the show at the same time. Some groups who were to perform were late and so the whole programme was re-arranged to go on through the night until 8.30 on Sunday morning. So many people arrived (250,000 instead of the expected 60,000) that the press enclosure was swamped. Steppenwolf, an act from America appealed to the Hells Angels to clear the area which was an easy job as no one argued with a 16 stone toughie equipped with chains and knives. Close up films of the artists, starting with Johnny Winter, were projected on huge screens either side of the stage area. By 1a.m. Sunday, the atmosphere at such a gathering was inexplicable and impossible to convey and you had to be there to realise the friendliness of the people (Hells Angels excluded). After sleeping for two hours during John Mayall's performance (which we should have seen so we were told) we ran down to the stage area to see Canned Heat play an amazing two-and-a-half-hour spot during which the audience were encouraged to go naked (too cold for us !). Breakfast followed this and then on with the Sunday show beginning at approximately noon. Donovan, who only came as a spectator, obliged the crowd with two hours of his old songs while groups were still trying to get through the traffic jams. When the groups did arrive the most exciting were Santana, the Mothers of Invention and Led Zeppelin. In between these Country Joe appeared with his anti-war song "Vietnam Rag". Led Zeppelin created an electrifying atmosphere. During their act practically all of the 250,000 crowd danced, yelled and clapped in appreciation. Fires were lit as night fell and there was an outburst of boos when a fire engine drove through the crowd with its siren blasting drowning out the music. As we left to catch our coach rain came on and groups like Jefferson Aeroplane had to switch from electric instruments to acoustic because of electric shocks experienced by one of the group. The Moody Blues would not appear for fear of damaging their instruments and the show went on with the Byrds and Country Joe who recited a poem lasting 20 minutes. Unfortunately we missed this as we had to leave. Music wasn't all however as there were various groups of London and St. Ives hippies selling psychodelic clothes and leather sandals all around the stage area. Films were also provided although we did not bother to go to see them. Souvenir headbands and badges were available from the famous "Woodstock" festival in America last year . The most striking thing about the festival was the friendly atmosphere. There was no violence at all during the three days that those enormous crowds were assembled there. MARTIN HOARE, 6 Arts B.
If anyone has any memories of Led Zeppelin playing in this festival, or anywhere else, please can they contact Keith Lambert who is researching for a book on Led Zeppelin.
More info in this PDF file (120k).
ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL, 1970
Bigger and in many ways better than the Bath Blues Festival, the Isle of Wight Festival was staged despite local protests. This obviously didn't disturb the fans as 600,000 people attended. Held on an island which naturally isolated it from 'ordinary' life the festival was friendlier and more colourful than that at Bath. Thousands of foreigners from as far away as San Francisco and Japan added to the problems the organisers had to face. Groups were more punctual, they were flown in by helicopter . The highlights were the Doors, Leonard Cohen, Joan Baez, Who, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Ten Years After and of course the late and great Jimi Hendrix. Tiny Tim created a really friendly atmosphere to combat the anarchists' shouting for more sound. But it must be known despite some newspaper articles, that there were no riots. The organisers told the people that the Festival was free as from Saturday onwards and so barricades were pulled down, not ripped down. There was a touching scene on Sunday afternoon when 600,000 people stood and showed their appreciation for the organisers who made a loss. With the crowd swaying from side to side the scene was terrific to say the least. No one knows for sure the number of people who attended the 'Woodstock' festival in America (estimated 500,000) but 'Freshwater 1970' as it has come to be known was a sure sign that not only American youth are creating a culture of their own. MARTIN HOARE, 6 Arts B.
CLIMBING IN THE LAKE DISTRICT
It was late Sunday afternoon when we arrived at Coniston, with rain pouring down and the mountains covered in mist. We had left Lydney at 9 o'clock on, believe it or not, a Sunday morning in the Easter holiday. I'm afraid I could not raise much enthusiasm for climbing or walking in this weather, but however by Monday morning the rain had stopped and it was decided that the whole party of ten, with Mr Riddy and Mr Hall, should walk up the 'Old Man of Coniston' We set off with the sun shining but as we got higher and neared the snow line the ground became icy and slippery to walk on. We were confronted by mist and a freezing, biting wind which, when there was a stronger gust, I found it easier just to stand still against to try to regain my balance. However we survived these arctic conditions and the final trudge across hummocky ground and back along the road to the hut. The suggestion that we should return by the lakeside, adding an extra mile received no support. On Tuesday we split up into two parties, one party climbing with Mr Hall and the other walking, or perhaps I should say, running behind, with Mr Riddy on Langdale Pike. We did not have as many hazards to contend with as on the previous day, the wind had dropped and the mist had cleared, yet one member of the party managed to slip with one leg thigh deep in bog and snow. Mr Riddy's route through a series of bogs convinced us that he must have webbed feet. I think Wednesday proved the most eventful day of the week. I had changed over to the climbing party and was climbing in Langdale whilst the walking party ascended Scafell. I found the second climb that afternoon a little unnerving, for as I was clinging desperately to the rockface and trying to make some progress, I heard someone on the climb next to me tumble down. Luckily she was wearing a helmet and only sustained a sprained ankle. It was not until 9 o'clock that night, when the walking party returned; the walk had taken them longer and further than they had calculated. Thursday we spent in leisurely walking around Lake Coniston and through the forest to Hawkshead, and in a sudden downpour, calling at a cafe for a drink. On the final day the less energetic of us tried our hand at rowing by hiring a boat out on Lake Coniston, while the two members of staff and a couple of the more enthusiastic walkers strolled up a nearby hill. Despite the cold conditions we endured at times, for those of you who have forgotten Easter was earlier this year, we spent a thoroughly enjoyable week in the Lake District. ALISON STEVENS, 6 Arts B.
The person that sticks in my mind the most is my Nan. She's dead now, but I still have a very clear picture of her. She was without any particular shape, fat and very short, and all cuddly. Her face was covered in wrinkles but had very soft skin, which I loved to rub my cheek against. Her eyes were blue and very kind looking and she had very long, white, shining hair which she wore in a coiled bun at the back of her head. She was always wearing one of those old-fashioned pinafores, which you put over your head and tie at the back. When she came to our house she would sit in the chair by the fire -I always noticed that her hands were cold -sometimes rocking gently backwards and forwards, watching my brother and me playing. Very often she would laugh, and the tears would run down her face. Out would come her big white hanky, and she would mop her eyes. Sometimes I would do her hair in a ponytail or pig-tails, and we would both laugh until it hurt, when I put big ribbons in her hair . Other times I would just sit with her and we would talk for hours, with her stroking my head or patting my hand. No, although she was much older than me, I could talk to her much more easily than to most people I know. I very often think of her, and when I do, I always remember the happy times clearest. JOANNE SMITH, 4A.
The Butcher's shop is small and neat,
inside he sells all sorts of meat.
Larged sized chops with liver and lamb,
besides all this some tongue and ham.
Sausages hanging from their strings,
with faggots next in all their skins.
Chunky pieces of bright red beef,
with large pigs heads with all their teeth.
This once was life, some large, some small,
now it's on sale for one and all.
I tried to picture while I gazed, a field of animals out to graze-
S. GWYNNE, 2L.
This year Lydney Grammar School's biggest claim to fame can be that it was the first to explode the myth that Agatha Christie wrote thrillers -of course she meant them to be Pantomimes, and with "Ten Little Niggers" we set out proving it. The first task of each of the actors was to "creep" for the best parts (i.e. those with the fewest possible lines and capable of the greatest possible eclat). The next thing was to adapt your character to suit your own personality; Agatha Christie can insist that so and so is a decrepit old man of 60 for as long as she likes, but your part is still going to be that of a virile young man of 25 ! Thus far happy, you proceed to rehearsals prepared to out-act all oncomers. As you havn't read through the play through at this stage it comes as the first big shock when you find that Sir Justice Wargrave, or whoever, isn't-the man you thought he could be made to be. No matter how hard you try you can't make your James Bond say " At my time of life I've no desire for thrills" without destroying the image somewhat. Soon however boredom sets in, So as General Mackenzie does his monologue he has to do so over the sound of the Led Zeppelin L.P playing over the loud speaker and battle with irrelevant comments from the wings on his left such as "Guess what! I've found 17 pieces of chewing gum stuck under this table" and the reply from his right, "Save one for me!" And so slowly but surely the play/pantomime developes until the big night, the first night, arrives. Who cares if Mum and Dad are in the audience ? Is Hughie Greene or perhaps even Val Parnell ? R. GOODE, 6 Arts B
One inspiringly bright May morning the unassuming feature named Cheddar Gorge had thrust upon itself the presence of four alpha and assorted sixth formers. After a belated start, the trip down was an experience in itself, any boredom being punctuated by jokes, wine gums and (until confiscated) mobile washing-up liquid. We were dropped at the start of the gorge and were immediately told by Miss Collins to ascend a steep hill, and investigate the rock. Once at the top our investigations commenced -"digging a hole" with the aid of a gardening trowel and hand fork, and a toffee hammer. Then we descended with a captured piece of rock, and our walk through the winding gorge itself was taken up with answering questions from a printed sheet, trying to spot "Von Trapp" Handcock and his merry mountaineering men on top of the gorge and playing geologists' Pass the Parcel with our morsel of Cheddar rock. We did not spend as long in the caves them- selves, but they proved interesting; especially Gough's cave, with its numerous stalagtites and stalagmites. As well as this there was a frozen waterfall, the cat (an unusual rock formation) and the Swiss village (a landscape scene produced by the reflection of a section of the cave roof in a shallow rock pool), and last but by no means least an electrically produced 'dawn' effect by courtesy of S.W.E.B on a high rock formation. After that it was time to get out to allow another party of subterranean saunterers in. Mind you the exit was through a souvenir shop, but we survived. After that we split up to wander aimlessly around Cheddar taking in the good country air or the choking stench of Cheddar cheese, if one ventured too near a cheese shop, before re- turning to the bus. Still it was above all a happy trip with escapades ranging from the 'Bulldozer' theory on the formation of the gorge, a yodelling contest, and Master Fox, no 1ess, taking a sixpenny excursion on a wooden Bugs Bunny. The return trip was comparatively uneventful and although the trip might not have been educational for all concerned we did at least enjoy ourselves and it was good value for money, which you must admit counts a lot these days. R. PRICE (from an original idea by R. Overington)
TO BE CONTINUED
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