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Lydney Grammar School Magazine 1968.

Image : Tenete Fidem

SCHOOL YEAR, 1967-68

Editorial Committee
Terry Jones
Kathyrn Laycock
Anne Northam
John Biggins
David Kelsey

The last school year has been much overshadowed and it seems fitting that the magazine should begin with the following tributes.

Geoff Davies, who joined the staff in the Summer of 1959, died suddenly after a three day illness in November 1967, aged 43. He was educated at the Queen Elizabeth's Hospital School, Bristol, and Bristol University. During the war he served with the Airborne Division, landing in France the night before D Day, and fighting right through Europe until he was seriously wounded only a few weeks before the war ended. After two years in hospital he returned to University to complete his degree. He disclaimed his evident physical courage. I moved to Lydney shortly after he did and became his next door neighbour. I believe I knew him well. I found him very rational, cautious, and harshly realistic. He was a rebel by nature and could never resist provoking controversy. He took his teaching seriously and professionally, believing in endless, meticulous marking and scorning exhibitionism. As Head of the French Department he organised every alternate year a school trip to France; his good nature, humour and pleasant company played a major part in the success of these holidays. Outside the classroom sport played a large part in his life. He loved all games and it was a delight to see him coming in to face a fast bowler when he played for the staff cricket team. He was an ardent supporter of the school teams and an honoured vice-president of the Lydney Rugby Club. He is much missed. R.E.J.

There are some people whose contribution to the community in which they serve is so valuable and many-sided that their loss seems irreparable. Such a one was Mrs Winspear whose sudden death early in this Autumn Term dealt the school a stunning blow and caused immeasurable sorrow. This school had been a large part of her life and she served it with unflagging loyalty and devotion. Coming here straight from Oxford University in 1939 to teach Physics and Mathematics, she was appointed Senior Mistress in 1957 and so entered on the second phase of her service here. It is for her work as Senior Mistress that she will be most gratefully remembered. Even those who knew Mrs Winspear well were surprised at the facility and competence with which she undertook her new and difficult duties. After a very short time, it was as though she had been doing the job for years, such confidence did she show. She was equally at home whether it was a question of tending the sick or injured, administering a rebuke for some misdemeanour, or giving advice to the older girls on their future careers. Though the welfare of all the girls was her concern, it is the older ones and those who have left school who best know and appreciate the value of Mrs Winspear's work, and their sense of loss was apparent at the time of her death, in the numbers who attended the memorial service. Mrs Winspear was no stranger to pain and illness. She had during her life undergone several major operations which she faced with characteristic courage, and she allowed ill-health .to cause only the minimum interference with her work. Indeed, the over- riding impression she gave was one of energy and busy-ness. If there was a job to be done she was never one to wait around for someone else to do it. She even found time off from her work at school and running a home for a number of activities outside both, and the numbers who filled St. Mary's Church at the funeral service were a witness to her many friends and many interests. Those of us who survive Mrs Winspear will seek consolation in a feeling of gratitude for the work she did and the example she set. Our hearts go out in sympathy with her surviving relatives, especially her husband and sister.

Mr Cooper, who had represented the West Dean Parish Council on the school's Governing Body since 1953, died early in January this year. Mr Cooper was a conscientious at tender at Governors' meetings and school functions. A man of liberal and progressive views, he had much of value to contribute to any discussion concerning the school and always had its welfare at heart. His interest was heightened by the fact that he had had two sons and a grandson in the school. Any school is fortunate which can call on the service of such a loyal and devoted Governor .

Mr Culton last served as school caretaker in December, 1965, so that to younger pupils he was known only by name. But the Staff and older pupils were grieved to learn of his death last June, all the more so because the serious operations he underwent at the end of 1965 and all his subsequent suffering had gained him such a comparatively short span of life. Until his illness, he had served the school loyally and well for more than twenty years. Those who saw him in hospital or at home during his long illness will long remember the outstanding courage and cheerfulness he showed. Our sympathies are with Mrs Culton and Mr Culton's daughter, Sheila, who was a pupil of this school. E.B.

This year we welcomed to the school two new members of staff, Mr Hall and Mr Lovibond. Mr Hall came here in September as Senior Chemistry Master; he previously taught for two years at Crewe and for five years at Wolstanton Grammar School, New- castle-under-Lyme. Mr Hall is a keen sportsman, and has already, in his first year at the school, begun a climbing club as well as encouraging after-school tennis and badminton. Mr Lovibond had been teaching in this area for four years, in his capacity as French Master at Bell's Grammar School, Coleford, before coming to Lydney last term. Before this, he spent five years at the Henry Mellish Grammar School, Nottingham, and four at a co-educational boarding school, Frensham Heights. Our French assistant this year was Mlle. Annie Frerere from Romans, Drome. We hope she enjoyed the year with us. We are sorry to lose Miss Boulton, who left at the end of the Summer term after teaching French here for ten years. Miss Boulton was always ready to help her pupils, and through her great patience, encouraged even those who were slow to grasp the finer points of French grammar; we shall all miss her. She is now taking up a more senior post at Wolverhampton Municipal Grammar School. Mr Dyal, who has taught Art here for three years, also left at the end of last term to go to St. Edmund's, Canterbury. Mr Dyal was known to us all, even those who did not take Art, and was universally popular; Art lessons will not be the same without him. Miss Davies has temporarily deserted our sports fields to attend Chelsea College of Physical Education, Eastbourne, for a year of further study. We are extremely grateful to Mrs Hale, who is known to many as a former teacher at the Church School, for her help in the French Department. Mrs Durrant, a retired teacher living in the neighbourhood, has also been helping out the English staff in a part-time capacity this year. Congratulations to Mr and Mrs Morris on the birth of a daughter, Susan Anne, last October .

Head Boy: G. BEECH
Deputy Head Boy: G. BAND (Sept.-Dec.) .
P. SELBY (Dec.-July)
Deputy Head Girl: ANNE NORTHAM

Games Captains
Rugby: P. SELBY
Cricket: D. PHILLIPS


Sept. 12- Term begins.
Mr D. R. Hall, Senior Chemistry Master, vice Mr Stevens joins staff. MIle. Ferere French Assistant.
" 27-6th Forms' parents' evening and Careers Interviews of 6th Form.
Oct. 19-Annual Prizegiving: guest speaker, Mrs E. Salter.
" 23-Concert to junior forms by the Lyndon Singers.
" 27-Governors' meeting.
" 30/31-Half-term holiday.
Nov. 8-6th Form visit to Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham.
" 9-Death of Mr G. Davies, Senior French Master.
" 10-School Remembrance Service.
" 14-Funeral of Mr Davies.
" 27-Visit to French Play at Churchdown.
Dec. 11-Dental talk to 1st Forms.
" 12-1st Forms' Christmas Party;
" .14-3rd Form Christmas Party.
" 19-5th and 6th Form social.
" 20-End of term.

Jan. 9-Term begins. Mrs Hale part-time teaching (French). Two Bristol students, Mr Tomkiss and Mr Farmer, begin teaching practice.
" 12-Talk to lst Forms on Smoking by Dr. Hunt.
" 15-Careers Interviews of 5T by Mr Field.
" 18-Visit from H.M.I., Mr Fuller.
" 19-Talk to School Assembly on National Savings by Mr Traynor .
" 29-Visit from H.M.I. (Art), Mr Walsh.
Feb. 8-3rd Form visit to see film 'Julius Caesar'.
" 12/13-Visits to Theatre, 'Macbeth'.
" 22 Concert by Camden Wind Quintet.
" 23-Governors' meeting.
" 26/27-Half-term holiday.
" 28-Two St. Paul's College students begin teaching practice.
Mar. 4-5C visit to Beechams, Colefod.
" 7-5 Alpha and 4A visit to Malvern-Shakespeare film.
" 12-Talk to 4th Form girls by Mr Leaven of West Glos. Technical College.
" 13-4 alpha visit to North Glos. Technical College. 5A and 5TC visit to film of 'Macbeth' at Cheltenham.
" 15-6th Form visit to French play at Bristol
" 19-4th Form girls visit to Standish Hospital.
" 20-3 alpha visit to Caerleon.
26/27/29-School Play, Pinero's 'The Magistrate'.
Apr. 2-Careers Interviews this week of 5th Formers.
" 3-A.T.C. party at Camp.
" 10-End of term.

Apr. 29-Term begins. Deputy Head absent till half-term. Mr D. C. Lovibond takes up appointment as Senior French Master.
" 30-4C visit to Sewage farm.
May 6-- Two St. Mary's and two St. Paul's College students begin teaching practice.
" 7/8-Lydney Schools' Music Festival.

June, 3-7-Half-term holiday.
" 12-3rd Form visit to Three Counties Show.
" 13-Funeral Service for Mr W.Culton.
" 18-Talk to lst Forms by R.S.P.C.A. Lecturer.
" 19-Careers Talk to 4th Forms. 3rd and 4th Form Parents' evening.
" 4C visit to Tewkesbury Waterworks.
" 21-Governors' meeting.
July 2-Visit of 6th Form group to Oxford Department of Metallurgy.
" 3-Conference for 6th Formers at Bristol University.
" 15-18-Various career talks to 4th Forms.
" 19-Swimming Sports.
" 22-School Service at St. Mary's Cburch. Preacher: Rev. C. C. Sykes.
" 25-Athletics Sports. lst and 2nd Form Parents' evening.
" 25-Old Boys Cricket Match and Girls Tennis Finals.
" 26-End of term. Miss Boulton leaving staff.

Image : The 1968 Flood (56k)
Weather which would have taxed Noah's ingenuity gave a splendid opportunity for heroics and paddling this year. On the night of Wednesday l0th July, a torrential rainstorm brought severe flooding to most of the West of England, following as it did days of practically incessant rain. Thus the river Lyd overflowed its banks at Newerne and Lydney's main shopping area was under four feet of water by next morning. In school next day many a strange tale was told. Someone had seen the water rising inside the Chip Shop until the plate-glass window had burst under the pressure, disgorging flood water and furniture. Manhole covers were blown into the air as the water- head built up in the sewers. The damage in Newerne was severe since the floodwaters had not simply risen but poured through the shops in torrents. Thus it was that our champions of the 5th and 6th, lion of heart and iron of limb, came to offer their help to the police for the un-pleasant clearing-up operations. At two o'clock Lydney was treated to the sight of the eleven volunteers, clad in motley, marching along the High Street. Such was one's enthusiasm to join that he completed his three-quarter hour paper round in seven and a half minutes. At Newerne they were joined by a party of girls, who of course couldn't bear to be left out. As the water gradually sank, clearing-up began. Damaged stock and debris were to be removed by sweeping. The volunteers sloshed about in the darkness carrying slime-covered boxes which usually fell to pieces, and piles of ruined clothing. Everything, including the volunteers, was covered in vile water containing a good percentage of untreated sewage and mud. Undaunted, our heroes continued. One of their feats was an ingeniously constructed dam of sacking and railway sleepers, at the back of the restaurant. Its purpose was clear: to prevent water flowing through the building from the back. It succeeded only too well, and reflooded the ladies' hairdressers next door, as the girls, who had just finished there, lost no time in pointing out. One over-zealous second former, who refused to be left out, was put out of harm's, and everyone else's, way by being given a bristle-less broom and instructions to stand in a passageway and sweep until further notice. By five o'clock the street was practically clear of water. Remaining problems were those shops with sunken floor-boards, which would have to be baled out with buckets. A bucket chain was swiftly organised to deal with one floor which was under six inches of water. Half an hour and about three hundred gallons of water later someone observed that the water level had fallen half- an-inch. This was hardly surprising: the floor was afloat. Most of the tasks were really quite uniquely unpleasant. Whilst fumbling up to the armpits in filthy water trying to clear a blocked drain, one volunteer emerged triumphantly holding a pair of false teeth. He spent the rest of the afternoon trying to trace their owner . Most people, especially the traders, were grateful for all the help given, except for the one woman who threw an ice-cream at one volunteer while he was perched on a girder over the river. He had been dumping ruined boxes of soap powder and her ice-cream was washed whiter-than-white. The volunteers obviously enjoyed the whole operation, in a perverse sort of way, and did something useful at the-same time.

It was a lovely afternoon for a flight. The aircraft was a Chipmunk. It was small and frail, but was a very reliable aircraft. Anyway, it came to my turn and I strapped on my parachute, with a little aid, and went out to the aircraft in a posture which I felt was a cross between a chimp and the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Still, I clambered in and we taxied and took off, climbing into the blue sky. The pilot took her over a city pointing out what he could, and we put the plane through a few manoeuvres. Then it happened. I heard the pilot mutter over the intercom. I asked what was the matter. He said it was a little engine trouble. But it got worse. The pilot said he'd have to take her down. As he did I said a silent prayer, hoping I would not have to parachute to safety. We got further down when the pilot told me he would have to take her up so I could bale out, a landing being too risky. I felt my previous confidence seep like water out of a cracked glass. This was the moment I had dreaded. When we got up to the required height the pilot jettisoned the cockpit cover and I had to undo my seat belt and stand up. It was no good asking if we could land, it was too late and, I knew, impossible. I stood up, fear running through my body. I looked back to see my discarded helmet and seat belt in which I had had such confidence. The pilot shouted "Jump head first. Count to ten then pull the rip cord. After three." But I stood and I knew that now, at the most vital moment, my courage would fail me, as it had on a few previous occasions with undesirable, though not horrific results. I knew I could not jump, and if I did that falling through space before pulling the ripcord would surely petrify me. But the pilot put an end to my nightmare thoughts as he shouted "Go on. Jump!" I climbed over the side and shouted that I wanted to jump from the wing. "Hurry up," he shouted, "I've got to get out yet." On the wing it was no better. And then I lost my grip and I was falling. ..The aeroplane was already spiralling towards the earth but all I could hear was a voice inside me saying "Pull that cord!", but I couldn't. All I could feel was blind fear. My hand fumbled vainly for the rip cord. I thought I would deface some field or road with my remains. And what remains after falling so far ? ... Yet it is popularly believed that if you dream you are falling a long way to your death your body experiences It and you die. But I was alive.

It was 9.l5 on a cool, bright Thursday morning in the Summer holidays when our train pulled into Newport station. My father was taking me to London for a day's train-spotting. After boarding the express, we soon left the station, gathering speed past R. T .B. steelworks, and we were able to get a good view of the marshalling- yards on our way to Severn Tunnel Junction. Then we roared through the eight-mile-long Severn Tunnel and through the out- skirts of Bristol. Now we were in the country again. From our compartment we watched fields, bridges, and rivers flash by, and took note of the various goods-yards, engine-sheds, signal-boxes and so on. Soon we passed through Swindon, and later arrived at Didcot, our first scheduled stop. My list of locomotives was gradually getting longer, but the best was yet to come.Our next stop was at Reading, where the passengers for Heathrow Airport changed trains. After a five-minute break our engine Dl907 made up for lost time with a fast run to Slough, where we passed an electric multiple-unit -the first one of the day. As well as this, London-Penzance, London-Swansea and London-Bristol trains were speeding by. Slough was our last stop before Paddington. After another fast run we passed Royal Oak Common Carriage Sidings and Edgeware Underground Station before drawing into Paddington. The train jerked to a halt and we stepped onto the platform. In the warm air voices boomed over loudspeakers, and there was the usual crush of people at a major terminus. We soon left Paddington and began our tour. The first station we visited was Victoria, which we reached after a short journey on the Underground. This station was very busy with suburban electric multiple-units rushing in and out all the time. We stayed here for about an hour and then made our way to Waterloo. At Waterloo, Southern Region suburban trains were occupying every platform except for D825 "Intrepid" which was about to leave with a train for Exeter. As it was now lunch-time, we began to look for a restaurant, but they were all full, so we decided to go to Euston and have lunch there. At Euston, one of the most up-to-date stations I have seen, modern electric trains were arriving and departing all the time. After a meal, we walked to the far end of Platform 2 where I took a photograph of an electric locomotive. A couple of hours later we left Euston and walked to nearby King's Cross, where locomotives D5557, Dl150 and D9018 "Bally- moss" were occupying the first three platforms. We walked to the end of the station and were just in time to see D9004 "Queen's Own Highlander" running over the crossover. Engines of new and unusual classes were arriving every minute and we were lucky enough to see the Yorkshire Pullman leave just before six o'clock. At six we left King's Cross and took the Underground back to Paddington, where we caught the Swansea train hauled by D1936. A disadvantage about this locomotive was that at speeds above 70 or 80 m.p.h. the whole train would start jerking and jumping. It was now getting dark, but I was able to log all the engines outside Swindon Works before darkness made further spotting impossible. The day was now coming to an end; both my father and I had thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and were very pleased with a highly successful day's train-spotting.

Image : Bi-Plane (45k)
We had traveled from the Severn to the Wash and now we were in East Anglia, at West Raynham to be precise. It was only as we were leaving on the following Wednesday as the four large hangars slowly disappeared from view, that the events of a hectic week became clear in my mind. It certainly had been a week with a difference, a week packed with fun, excitement find insane exercise. From the start, the three squadrons present were subdivided into smaller groups, each with a leader who was, or rather should have been, the capable type. He was responsible for keeping his group to its timetable. Our first morning, like every other except Sunday, saw us up at seven and breakfasting by a quarter past -by that time our barrack block was assumed to be cleaned up -and then we were off in our groups to our first exercise. Now, an exercise is designed to test skill and initiative, or lack of it; in either case the officer-umpires are guaranteed a good laugh. At this camp we attempted six exercises, two of them apparently impossible tasks. However, no matter what each individual thought of either the exercise or the master-mind behind it, at the time, everyone later agreed that it was all tremendous fun and a laugh from start to exhausted finish. On 'Exercise Night Infiltration', we were further divided into smaller groups, again each group having a leader, and were de- posited from a truck at dusk. at various places within a three- or four-mile radius of the camp. Each leader had a 'card signing for the purpose of' to be initialed at each capture. The idea was to return to the control tower by half-past eleven without being caught -an impossible task! I and my fearless band of denim-clad commandos -Blaby, Clark and Cook -set out for the airfields with guerilla-like cunning and stealth. One field later we were caught. So much for stealth and cunning. From then on we blundered our way through hedge, nettle, bramble and copse, over fields and roads. All the time we were trying to go towards our objective, but much time was lost by running in a near-opposite direction to escape capture, and lying facedown on whatever happened to be underneath while flares lit up the sky. But at last without further capture we crawled under the perimeter fence. There, half a mile away, lay our goal -half a mile of crawling through sopping wet grass, clumping over runways and getting caught again. Only two groups fared better than we while many didn't do too well. Dunsdon's group had an enthralling time crawling round the station rubbish dump and one group arrived somewhat upset, two hours after anyone else and nine times captured! As we were afterwards recovering in the block, eating supper 'in situ' (a few sandwiches and an odd brew) we thought it quite amusing but on the exercise I, for one, had very different thoughts. This offering was typical. There were a good many excellent visits arranged. At Marham we traipsed over Victor tankers. We saw all aircraft museum, the Air-Sea-Rescue base, and heard rather than saw Lightnings at R.A.F. Coltishall. Perhaps the most interesting station we visited was at Lakenheath which is the base of several U .S.A.F .E. squadrons of Super Sabres. One of the pilots, a Captain Dean Stickell, showed us over his brutish-looking aeroplane. We also visited Norwich Fire Station and spent part of a morning at the swimming pool. As we were in the middle of nowhere, I can see why our programme kept us busy from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Consequently our precious little free time was spent in recuperation, with the exception of Saturday night when we had a late pass into Hunstanton. This was an evening to be remembered by various people for different reasons, for there were some who were determined to enjoy themselves in spite of only one thing being open, and others who spent four hours, sitting in a coach, waiting for the said some to return. In between visits and exercises the groups shot, invaded the hangars and No.49 Squadron and toured the station sampling R.A.F. life. The worst thing at this camp was a futile competition called the 'Cock of the Camp Award', which did nothing but stir up enmity between rival squadrons. (We did win the drill competition.) But I can honestly say that everyone enjoyed that week and as we boarded the train at King's Lynn that was the thought that struck me as the most important consideration.



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