Remember When?

This page, set up in February 2012 at the suggestion of Old Secundrian Richard Taylor, is designed to provide a facility for former pupils and staff to include brief snippets of their memories of the school, its staff, pupils etc. Please feel free to include memories of anything that catches your fancy - humorous or otherwise. Items for inclusion should be sent to Bob Hawthorne who will edit them (and censor where necessary!).

So, do let us have your recollections. We look forward to hearing from you. Here are a few to start the ball rolling:

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TOM MCCANNA

Extract from school diary 1964:

Messrs Mills and Houldsworth were standing in silence at the Stanley Avenue bus stop. Suddenly, Henry said "I know your face - Secretary in the city Treasurer's Department?"

"No" came the reply, "actually, I teach English at the school up the road. Do you know the place?!"

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RICHARD TAYLOR:

  1. Mr Cummins did not subscribe to the concept that the occasional 'good-thrashing' kept the blood circulating in the brain, which made for enhanced performance! Homework errors or such were treated with "Not in my class boy; out here; now what don't we do?; we don't translate 'the is's, the am's, the are's, the do's and the 'duzze's' (sic)". All the time, while chanting this mantra, he was beating one's buttocks with a bunch of five or six one-foot rules, held in a 'fan' pattern. On more than one occasion I was the recipient of this attention. Painful ? No. Hilarious - most certainly. A wonderful way of getting his point across, and certainly effective. The fact that it has stuck in my mind for almost 60 years says it all. I remember him to this day, teachers of his calibre come around rarely, and when they do they are worth remembering.
  2. Who remembers a lad who turned up, at the start of second-year, resplendent in two-inch stripes of gold and royal-blue. Pocket badge proudly proclaiming ‘Simonstown High School? Looked like a kingfisher in a huddle of sparrows!! Brian R.J. Simpson was the boy in question. Brian ‘marched’ with me through Highland Road school, and then through our time at SGS. Fortuitously I ‘found’ Brian through the reader’s letters page of the Portsmouth News. After almost 60 years we now chat on Skype most weeks. I managed to hide 13,000 miles away, Brian only got as far as Gosport. I am sure that a brief mention will find others that remember Brian, and his ‘coat-of-many-colours’. (January 2015).
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PETER HIGGINS

  • On my first day at the school, I vividly recall the audible gasp from virtually all new boys as Mr Mills swept into assembly, his cloak billowing behind him, deep black hair across his forehead and with that fearsome set expression on his face. Here was a man not to be messed with.......
  • The memory of a certain languages master's bubble car being removed to the top of the CCF hut by 6th form leaver
  • John Jenner's escape from "Bertie" Blake's detention after he was locked in room B5 at the top of the Baffins building one lunchtime. John had shinned down a drainpipe at great peril to his future health
  • Derek Schulman telling Mr Rogers, careers master, that he planned to become a pop star and being told not to be so stupid! [NB There is an entry in the Summer 1968 Secundrian magazine under the heading of "Visiting Scholars" which records "Derek Sculman works under the group name 'Simon Dupree and the big sound' six months after leaving school"]. ( Ed: Those of us of a certain age will recall that the group were successful, especially with the hit tune "Kites". His group also had the distinction of hiring the then unknown Elton John (at that time known simply as Reginald Dwight) as a keyboard player to fill in for an ill member of the group - and subsequently turned down opportunities to recruit him permanently and to record any of his compositions!!! Wow!!). Derek later became Senior Vice-President of PolyGram Records.

See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Dupree_and_the_Big_Sound

ALSO http://www.michaelcooper.org.uk/C/dupree.htm (photos)

ALSO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yjj8jLS8XM (Kites)

  • Art Master, "Buller" Jeffries' extraordinary (to say the least!) stories of his supposed many and varied careers (especially as part of each of the Services in the War!!)
  • In a physics lesson (a subject that I could never grasp for some reason) doubting that electricity was travelling the length of a piece of wire ("How do I know that it is travelling along the wire" I asked) and being invited to hold both ends (which I did!!).
  • On cross country runs (when the sports pitches were unplayable) boys who thought it would be a good idea to go for a swim in the freezing sea and others who caught the bus on the way back!
  • A sudden interest from both boys and staff in having to go to the secretary's office when a particularly attractive lady was appointed!
  • As a 15 year-old, donning my school cap some 200 yards before arriving at the school gate (and hence avoiding a detention for not wearing it).
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DAVID BROWN

  • 15th February 1950 when the school bell went missing on the afternoon of a 5th round replay in the FA Cup, Portsmouth versus Manchester United? The bell was already cracked, which seemed apt in view of the result (1-3).
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