Patrick Anderson 1960-1967
At the Southern Grammar I was in 1S, 2F-5F, RemSciB, lower 6thB. I remember often sitting next to Richard Amey (adjacent surnames) and in a lively sixth form with David Pavey, Chris Savage, Colin Bishop, Jim Dallimer, etc. The latter seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth but I am in regular contact with Chris and know of the whereabouts of Colin and David.
RemSciB did not do well at Biology in 1967, for reasons that will be clear to members of the class, but I remember my classmates as pretty bright chaps.
I read Zoology at Southampton University - the only place that would have me! Mr Mills apologized to me for the reference he had written on my UCCA form! Since then I have had an academic career as an anatomist and neuroscientist, mainlyat University College London where I am Professor of Experimental Neuroscience in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology .
I married in 1973 and have one adult son. I have lived in Bromley, Kent since about 1987.
Douglas Arnold 1932-2006
Douglas was educated at the Southern Grammar from the middle 40's until 1951 when he entered Wadham College Oxford University to read history. Tall with a massive presence he was a useful cricketer (batsman) and rugby player (second row).
During National Service he learnt Russian (at the army's expense!!) and he became a keen photographer. He worked for the Financial Times as a feature writer and developed a reputation as an expert in Soviet affairs. In 1966 he joined Eastman Kodak in charge of public relations during which time he developed a very strong interest in the nascent space age - becoming a regular at Houston and Cape Canaveral. In 1974 he resigned from Kodak and set up his own business, Space Frontiers, as an advisory centre on matters spatial - and preferably photographic. His back garden in Havant became a cluster of huts full of amazing kit. He usually had just one carefully trained assistant and this afforded him the opportunity to start writing, once more, for the periodicals. In later life his new contempt for political correctness accompanied the familiar tendency of the elderly to lay down the law!!
Douglas sold Space Frontiers in 2000 and then pursued his interests beyond the claims of a career. His leisure interests ranged from Formula 1 motor racing and the Tour de France to following rugby and cricket. And in his last years he became fascinated by historical reconstructions, notably of the Romans. Indeed, there is in existence (although, alas, we do not have it) a photograph of Douglas in the full regalia of a senior Centurion in the Hampshire Legion, standing defiantly and proudly at the head of his troops in a very English hillock.
Douglas passed away on 27th June 2006. (With thanks to Terence Wheeler, this note has been adapted from an obituary by Pat Thompson [a tutor to Douglas} and which appeared in the Wadham College Gazette).
John Ayre (1950-55)
Having been educated at Milton Primary School I joined the Southern Grammar School in 1950, leaving after "O levels" in 1955.
I joined what is now BT [straight from SGS] and they put me through College. I qualified in Telecomms Engineering and worked in the UK, Europe, East Africa and USA.
I took early retirement from BT in 1991 [based in the City then] and worked as a Consultant in Telecomms / IT / Management from 1991-2006.
David Bailey (joined 1946)
I had an interesting start to my time at the SGS in that I actually failed the 11 plus exam! But, being on the reserve list, I was invited to replace somebody who had dropped out and I joined the school, in the botttom form 1D. By the time I got to the fifth year I was in 5A and top in maths which says a lot about the 11 plus exams in those days. At the end of the first year in the sixth form I decided that I had had enough and left. The Head, Mr Mills, wrote on my annual report, "David is about to make the biggest mistake of his life". I just wish he had been alive when, with just five O levels and after three years as a regular soldier, I joined a bank and eventually became a manager and an associate of the Institute of Bankers [ Ed : he would have been alive, David, so maybe he knew!]. I have been retired since 1992 but am still playing the bass trombone at 78 with the 50 plus Littlehampton Concert Band which, in recent times, has visited the Black Forest (twice), Paris and, last year, a weekend in Antwerp. I am also flattered that struggling local brass bands borrow me from time to time as a bass trombone is a rare beast and in short supply.
Sport was never my favourite subject but, amongst my memories, I do remember having to cycle to the Eastern Road playing fields to play football. Also, I seem to remember that the gym was at the western end of Devonshire Avenue. In my retirement I live in Angmering Village, Littlehampton.
David Bailey March 2013
Fred Baynham (Joined 1945)
I joined The Southern Grammar School when the school evacuation returned to Portsmouth. I joined class 1b and was promoted to 2a at the end of the year. I proceeded through the school until I got to the Upper Sixth. I was the vice captain at cricket (the captain was Geoff Sneddon; we met in later life but unfortunately he has now died), 1st X1 goalkeeper and the captain of blue house.
On leaving school I did my National Service and then joined HM Customs and Excise where I was honoured by the Queen and retired as an Assistant Collector.
Unfortunately due to old age I have had to retire from the sports fields and now sit and watch it all on the television. Because I now have Alzheimers I can't make it to reunions anymore.
John Bishop (joined 1960)
Geoffrey Bolt (1955 to July 1960)
After leaving school, I entered an apprenticeship as an apprentice compositor with W H Jervis and Son in Albert Road, Southsea, and attended both Portsmouth College of Art & Design and Southampton Art College completing my apprenticeship in September 1965 as Apprentice of the Year. I married my first with, Lynda Smith, just two weeks after the completion of my apprenticeship, and had three children, Michele in 1966, Karl in 1968 and Joanne in 1969. The marriage was ended in January 1981. After working at Holbrook & Son and Grosvenor Press both in Portsmouth, for a number of years, I moved into a position of Sales Liaison Controller and then Sales with Grosvenor Press.
In February 1977 I took up a 2-1/2 year contract with the Hong Kong Government Printing Department as Chief Printing Officer. I then moved to the Hong Kong Government Information Services department as Senior Information Officer for another 2-1/2 year contract. While in Hong Kong I learned to scuba dive, and it was on a diving holiday in the Philippines in 1981 that I met my current wife, and we were married in Hong Kong in November 1981. She already had three children, Jerry, 1971, Marienne, 1974 and Bryan, 1976. On completion of my Hong Kong contract in April 1982, we all moved to the Philippines where I was Vice President and then President of Demeter Communications, a small publishing company. When Ferdinand Marcos was forced from power, the country became very unstable and we all left to return to England and it was then that I adopted the three children.
I worked at Design & Print in Shoreham, Newman Thompson in Brighton, Ben Johnson's in Dunstable and Passmore's in High Wycombe. I was a member of the British Institute of Management and an active Member of the Institute of Printing which I had joined in 1969. I was editor of the Institut of Printing's journal, Professional Printer, for 3-1/2 years. One of my colleagues at the Institute of Printing was doing some consultancy work for a company in Bangkok, Thailand, and, to cut a long story short, I went there in 1990 as Plant Manager for a brand new company that was just a patch of mud when I arrived and we had built up to 420 employees by the time I left in 1995.
I was offered a position in printing sales by a Hong Kong company, but the position was based in Los Angeles, California, so we moved there in March 1995. I have moved to one or two different companies in the Los Angeles area, and started my own print brokerage there in 2006, which I will be closing at the end of June 2014.
After 53 years in the printing industry and 45 years as a member of the Institute of Papermaking, Printing & Publishing, of which I am now a Fellow, I thought it time to have a rest! I have also been President of the Long Beach-South Bay Section of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America for seven years and their newsletter editor for eight years. I was Southwest Region's Officer of the Year in 2007. I was an active member of the Cerritos Chamber of Commerce winning the Volounteer of the Year award in 2010 and Ambassador of the Year in 2013. Eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren later, Iin October 2014 we plan to move to Florida where the weather is just as warm as Southern California but the property is a lot less expensive.
Desmond Boswall (joined 1936)
(This note was written by Dorothy Boswall, Desmond's widow in April 2010)
Desmond was born in Portsmouth in August 1924 and passed the 11+ in 1936.
He enjoyed the sciences and chose to specialise in chemistry and eventually became an analytical chemist. At Brockenhurst he saw, on the Common Room Notice Board, a vacancy for a trainee chemist in the Portsmouth Analyst Laboratory. He applied, was successful, and a few weeks later started work there for £1 per week, with the chance to study at Portsmouth Municipal College (PMC).
I don't think he cared for football so did not excel in sport at school but became a very good hockey player while at college and still played for Barnet well into his thirties. It took some years of study but eventually Des gained his Inter and then his Associateship of the Royal Institute of Chemistry, and a few years later became a Fellow (he would never have mentioned this but I am proud of his achievements!).
In 1948 he moved to Kingston and worked for Surrey CC . He married Dorothy, one of the Loud girls, in 1950 a few months after he had moved to Southampton and to a lab in the Civic Centre. Three years later another move, this time into the private sector, took him to London, (for £900 a year!) In the mid 60s the government encouraged firms to move out of the City and his Head Office moved to a lovely village in Bedfordshire where his two daughters grew up. It was a small firm specialising in dried foods and was eventually taken over by RHM in 1979. He was obliged to move to Reading, from where he retired in 1985 and returned to Portsmouth.
Boz loved being near the sea again. He had always enjoyed sailing as well as golf and music. As a young lad at school he played in the orchestra for the G&S productions (he said it was either the orchestra or a girl in the chorus!) However, he must have enjoyed the school experience as he took part in 'Pirates' when at PMC! After 12 years back by the sea we moved to our present home in a lovely friendly village between Bedford and Milton Keynes and just a few miles from one of our daughters.
After almost another 12 good years of retirement, and 58 years of marriage, he died in August 2008 just before his 84th birthday.
[ Ed: there are more images of Desmond on the Evacuation page of the website]
David Brown (joined 1943)
Fortunately, ICT (a forerunner of ICL) had a large presence in Putney and wanted to make it larger. My application was successful and my remit was to define and implement the principles of validating software before it reached the end user - basically, ensuring that it did what it said on the label. That took the next five years and the pioneering work was recognised by the British Computer Society which elected me as a Fellow. Then I was head-hunted to be Director of Programming Studies, a very pleasant task whose major element was training graduate recruits in the art or science of computer programming. After that my posts grew less technically oriented and more managerial, including liaison with Universities and the Department of Trade and Industry.
My CV says, though, that in 1986 I proposed the introduction of new technology allowing all [the company's] libraries to interrogate each others databases and permitting the [local] library to access other databases anywhere in the world. Do I hear whispers of internet and Google? Funding was refused and the idea came to nothing.
For my last few years as a permanent employee I returned to my first love - programming - and in a team of four helped to create a management information system based on PCs. Then, to my delight, the company declared me redundant not realising how much it would cost because back in the dark ages my period of notice had been agreed at one year. I set up in business as a technical author and had a happy four years of contract work in a variety of enterprises but wasn't too sad when the opportunities ceased to appear and in 1993 I retired from employment gracefully.
We moved to north Norfolk to be close to my wife's remaining relatives and have lived here happily now for over eleven years. She goes to Yoga and does voluntary work for the RNLI, I play Bridge, we both help run the local group of the Civil Service Retirement Fellowship and enjoy dining out with friends. We visit Southsea occasionally because some of my family still live there and I wallow in nostalgia looking at my old homes in Highland Road and St Augustine Road and at the old school gate where as a Senator I recorded the names of latecomers every school morning.
If you should wonder what I looked like then, refer to the football first XI photograph for 1949/50. Depending on your age you may remember more clearly one of my two brothers - Peter (P.J.) on the 1945/46 photograph or Michael on that for 1959/60.
Derek Buckle (1957-1963)
I joined the school from Highland Road Junior and Infant School where all of the boys in our class passed the 11+ . Others from Highland Road School who were 1957 entrants included, Michael Stewart, Timothy Julnes, Robert Bradley and Terry Baker. Terry became a Maths teacher, but sadly died in 1988. I am still in regular contact with Michael Stewart.
In the first year my form master was Mr Westfold (Science). Other form masters I experienced were Mr Hitchins, Mr Blake, Mr Butterworth and Mr Rogers. I left the school after O Levels and decided to do A Level studies as a student at the new Highbury College - here I met Mr Chatterton, as my A Level Chemistry lecturer! He asked why I had decided to leave the school since part-time study for A Levels was hard work. He was right. Mr Dunthorne taught me A Level Zoology at the college - and I thought I had escaped from the Southern Grammar staff. I saw Mr Watson in the college canteen. He asked me whether I was sure that I wanted to teach. I said that I was and....I spent my whole working life as a teacher and enjoyed it thoroughly.
After Highbury I went to Leeds and Carnegie College and trained to be a teacher, qualifying in 1969. Chemistry was my main subject but I also studied Physics and Biology. However, although I was expecting to work in secondary schools I missed my interview for a post in a Leeds secondary school as I had Scarlet Fever so took a post in a primary school - intending this to be temporary.
I spent 39 years teaching in primary schools in Portsmouth, Nottingham. Andover and Basingstoke and ended up as a primary headteacher in a 400+ pupil school. I retired aged 59 in 2005, but immediately went back as a peripatetic acting headteacher working part-time for short periods in six Wiltshire primary schools for three years. In 2008-2009 I taught parts of the foundation degree course for primary education as a visiting lecturer in Wiltshire College.
In 2009 I joined many other retired primary headteachers and became a part-time Link Tutor for Winchester University looking after student teachers on Teaching Practice. I am still doing this today (autumn 2011).
I have been happily married for nearly 40 years to Lin, also a primary school teacher (retired) and we have a grown up daughter who lives in Cardiff - where she went to university. We have lived near Salisbury for many years.
The following are snippets from my memory of times at the school:
Buller Jefferies and his wonderful stories!
Holy Joe (Mr Webb) and the Jungle Doctor books. Ugh!
The power of Stan Davies' cane - only once though
Not completing the cross county run - hiding on the shore line of Langston Harbour
Dr King falling asleep in his Geography lesson while we wrote notes from the board
Forging Mr Watson's signature on the inside page in my Physics text book
Understanding calculus with Commander T R Smart, MA, B Sc, OBE, AMIEE
Derek Buckle November 2011
George Butterworth (1960-65)
(With thanks to Roger Harding for drawing this to our attention - Ed)
From the Sussex University website:
George Butterworth , Professor of Psychology, died unexpectedly on Saturday 12th February, 2000, aged 53. George was an authority on infant development, and internationally respected for his scholarship, for his commitment to research and for the energy he brought to fostering infancy work both nationally and internationally.
After completing his D.Phil at Oxford, George took a post at Southampton University, moving to a Chair in Psychology at Stirling in 1985, before coming to Sussex in 1991. He was appointed Honorary Professor, University of East London, in 1996. His contributions to the discipline include founding both the British Infancy Research Group and the Journal Developmental Science, as well as heading numerous groups ranging from the Scientific Affairs Board of the British Psychological Society to the European Society for Developmental Psychology.
George's research interests were broad, encompassing topics as varied as the origins of self awareness in human development and evolution, and children's understanding of geographical features of the earth. But his most distinguished contribution was his work on the origins of thought and perception in infants, a field in which he was a world authority. His work on infant pointing and its role in cognitive development is on display in the Science Museum in London.
A man of strong opinions, pursued vigorously, George could be controversial. But his passion for his subject was infectious, and his warmth and generosity in supporting others' work will be a lasting memory.
The University has lost a distinguished scholar, and a genuine character. Our sympathies go to his family.
Paul Carter (joined 1958)
Whilst studying for my 'A' levels in 1962, I answered an advertisement for aircrew to join the RAF; amazingly, after a 5 day selection process, I was successful! The 'A' levels were exchanged for a course in boot polishing and marching; the aeroplanes came later!
After an 8 year short service commission, I emigrated to South Africa for a job with the national airline; the contract ended after 3 years but I stayed on in the country for another 5 years flying for various companies, sometimes in somewhat dubious circumstances! This was the time of sanctions.
I returned to the UK in 1980, and worked for a variety of airlines both at home and around the globe. During this period I did find time to get married and produce a son, who right now is completing his Masters in Civil Engineering at Surrey University.
At the age of 50, I decided it was time to get a job with a 'proper' airline; shortly afterwards, I found myself in Taipei, Taiwan where I spent the next 15 years as a captain on Boeing 747's (jumbo jet!).
I have been extremely lucky to have pursued a career which was actually a well paid hobby. Retirement sees me spending time both in the UK (home is in Essex), and South Africa where we have a game lodge.
John Cave 1958-60
I attended the school for just two years, but have never forgotten my time there. Halfway through the summer holidays following my second year, my father was transferred from Portsmouth to London with his job and I never saw the Southern Grammar, or my friends there, again. I completed my secondary education at Ashford Grammar, in Middlesex, and followed that by attending the school of architecture at Kingston College of Art (now part of Kingston University).
I graduated from Kingston in 1971 and qualified as an architect in 1972. After a short time in several local architectural firms, I decided that London was not for me and moved to Bath, where I joined a small firm specializing in restoration work. It was there that I met my future wife, a physical therapist student. After we married, we stayed in Bath for a year or so, before moving on to jobs in Swindon and living for a time in Wootton Bassett.
While still living in Bath, a chance meeting with an American student rekindled a curiosity that my wife and I had always had in living abroad. In 1976, we took the plunge and visited our American friend in Oregon. We spent three weeks traveling down the west coast on Greyhound buses, and we fell in love with the country - especially Oregon. One year later, we emigrated to the USA.
We settled in Corvallis, Oregon, where we still live. I spent several early years in local design offices, in order to get the experience and qualifications necessary to obtain my architectural license in Oregon. After a brief period as a sole practitioner, designing houses, I joined a multinational engineering and design firm based in Corvallis, and have now been with the firm for 25 years. Over the years, I have obtained additional licenses in North Carolina, Virginia, Nevada, and Arizona and have designed buildings in each of these States - providing many opportunities for travel.
As I said earlier, I have never forgotten my time at the Southern Grammar. I have a strong recollection of the Baffins buildings, and many staff and pupils. Of the staff, I particularly remember Mr. Mills, Mr. Davies, Mr. Jeffries (Art), Commander Watts (Math), Mr. Hitchins (French), Mr. Roebling (English), and Mr. Naysmith. Some pupils that I remember include David Martin, Timothy Stretch, and Messrs. Cates, Carter, and Hart. David Martin, who lived near me in the Drayton area, is probably the same David Martin that attended the Old Secundrians Dinner in 2008 and 2009.
David Coppard (joined 1956)
After leaving school I was offered 4 jobs, but joined Portsmouth City Council Treasurers Department at the Central Depot (it was adjacent to the Eastern Road Ambulance station) because it meant I still had more or less the same bike ride each day as I had had at school!! Probably not the best reason to take a job! I later transferred to the Town Clerks Department and became a 'time and motion' man. Once qualified, I moved to Bournemouth Borough Council, then Chichester City Council and subsequently Chichester District Council where I qualified as a Personnel Manager (now Human Resources). Although on Senior Officer grade I had had enough of Council work so left at the ripe old age of 40 and took up taxi driving!! I developed a successful chauffeur business which I later sold.
From the Royal Marine cadet band (where I was a drummer) I joined the RM Reserves and attained a commission. I retired as a Lieutenant as it began to conflict with my civilian job in Bournemouth.
In 2007 I had a 3 month holiday in Australia but shortly after was diagnosed with Lymphoma and stopped working in 2008. I officially retired in 2009 and am pleased to say that as of this week (February 2010) I have been given the all clear after only 6 sessions of chemo. In fact, having lost several stones in weight and on an improved diet, I am probably fitter now than I have been for some years!
I have been married to Joan since 1972 and have a son and a daughter in their 30s. I live in Bognor Regis in Sussex.
Alan Cowley 1949-1956
On leaving the Southern Grammar, I was fortunate to win a Portsmouth Major scholarship and was accepted into the Faculty of Physics at Imperial College, London. I needed to fill in the time between the end of school and starting at University and to earn a few pounds to augment the Grant. I somehow found myself on the Isle of Wight for the summer holidays in the role of resident photographer at one of the island's holiday camps. This was good fun and would have been even more fun had I been more worldly-wise at the time. "If youth only knew, if age only could."
Following Graduation in 1959 I was successful with two job applications. One was with the Atomic Energy Authority at Harwell and the other was with the Automation Systems Division of Ferranti Limited at Wythenshawe, Manchester. I chose the Wythenshawe option and have never for an instant regretted that decision. The Automation Systems Division was bent on converting the Bloodhound ground-to-air missile control computer into an industrial process control system. I joined a small group developing the circuit cards and logic for this new computer, called the 'Argus'. I was initially trialled in the circuit design team and found wanting. I was then grilled by Dave Butler, the lead designer of the machine, and found that I had an aptitude for Boolean Logic. I spent two years in this field, designing various sub-system controllers and a monster of an automatic rack-wiring production test system.
Sometime in 1960 a co-worker, Don Whitehead, invited me to make up a foursome with Meg Swinburne, one of his fiancé's nursing colleagues and in September 1962 we married at St James church in Meg's hometown of Whitehaven, Cumbria.
The following March we emigrated to Australia on the ten-pound scheme. This was intended to be the first step in a project to see the world. We had a naïve view of the size of the world in those days and this project is still a work in progress.
After a few short-term problems in getting settled I found myself in the Development Department of International Computers Ltd (ICL) in Sydney. Here I was responsible for engineering and industrial automation applications of digital computers. In 1966 I was able to get ICL to bring the Argus computer into Australia. Our first major contract was with Associated Pulp and Paper Mills Limited in Tasmania and I was Project Manager for the installation of an on-line control system for a counter-current pulp digester and a fine paper machine at their Burnie mill.
In 1969 the Marketing Director of ICL, Ormonde Browne, left the company to form one of the first software houses in Australia - International Programming Pty Ltd. One of the first enquiries that IP received was from a gelatine manufacturer. They were about to build a brand new plant to satisfy a firm contract to supply pharmaceutical grade gelatine to the USA. The industrial engineers who were retained to design and build the plant could not see how the timetable for completion of the plant could be met since the process was still under development in the client company's research laboratories. They rang the newly launched software house to see if it might be possible to use the new technology of computer control to separate the hardware of the control system from its logic, which was not yet finalised.
Ormonde rang me (still at ICL) and asked it I could have a look at the problem. I did so and concluded that it could be done using the recently released PDP-8e mini-computer. In no time I had joined IP. With Roger Worthington, a talented real-time systems programmer who had come out to Australia to work on the paper machine project with me, we were engaged in a five month project to design, build and commission the system. We were successful, primarily due to Roger's creation of a high-level industrial control environment that was in fact one of the first programmable logic controllers in the world.
I became a director of IP in 1972 and remained with the company until it was bought out by Price-Waterhouse in 1982. After a short and unsuccessful stint with Computer Sciences I joined the Industry Marketing Division of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) in 1984. My initial work was related to a major push that Digital was making at that time into manufacturing industry, from resource management to artificial intelligence and computer integrated manufacturing (CIM). From there I migrated into DEC'S management-consulting group from which I took early retirement in 1994.
Once retired from corporate employment I continued to work as a freelance consultant, initially with International Data Corporation and then with the US-based Automation Research Corporation. In 2000 Meg and I finally retired to the Southern Highlands of NSW where we bought a run-down 1920s timber cottage in the village of Bundanoon. We restored this cottage to its original glory and five years later we sold it and bought a half-acre of land just outside the village. We built a new home here in 2006. After five years the gardens and trees are coming along nicely and we expect to be here until the work of maintaining it becomes too much of a burden.
I have happy memories of my years at the Southern. My path through the school was rather erratic, starting in 1d and moving to 2c, 3c, 4b and 5b before moving to Remove 6 - joining a group of students who were a year younger than myself. My memories of names of fellow students are scattered. My final year friends included Derek Shaw, John Monkman, Tony Carr and Tony Hardacre. Derek unfortunately died in 2009 but I am in touch with the others. Other people I remember include Ron Smith, Desmond (DJM) Smith, David (DJ) Smith, JET Townsend, Allan Tuck, Jim Cleaver, Kevin Greene, Colin Dyer, Peter Gallagher (still in touch) and Dave Ellesmere (Sp?).
Of the teaching staff I particularly remember Messrs Fulwood, Tooze, Pallant, Fox, Jeffries, Steed, Hore, Cummings, Thomas and of course HJ Mills!
I well remember Mr Fulwood explaining the research work done in the field of sound waves by the German physicist Cundtz. One of the class (was it Kevin Greene?) asked several questions about Herr Cundtz and his apparatus, the Cundtz Tube. He deliberately used the English phonetic pronunciation, causing us a lot of mirth. Mr Fulwood, completely straight faced, gently explained that the correct German pronunciation was 'Koonts'. Happy days indeed.
I remember my last interview with Mr Mills on leaving school. Three questions stick in the memory;
"Who is your favourite author?" Steinbeck.
"What do you consider to be your greatest strength?" Logical thought and reasoning.
"What is your greatest weakness?" After flirting with the option of saying that I couldn't think of a great weakness (which would have provoked a deep frown) I told the truth: I'm inclined to be lazy, Sir.
Nothing much has changed since that day.
Philip Creighton (1959 -1966?)
I recently received the 2013 Dinner Invitation but living in the USA it really has not been practical to get there. As I get older I looked back over my early years and most of my memories of Southern Grammar seem to be of all the things I did wrong to earn the wrath of Mr Mills, Chatterton and various other members of staff. Between finding places to have a quick cigarette and hiding my Lambretta in the allotments it seemed I was always on their bad side. I remember while waiting to get caned by Mr Mills (one of the times) that he took salt in his coffee which I always felt was strange. I actually remember knocking on his front door as one of a group of young carol singers soon after I went to Southern grammar (I cannot fathom out however why I was in this group) and the stark realization of who came to the door that night (had no idea it was his house).
I enjoyed my time there, found out that I wasn't any good at soccer or climbing ropes, got on the cross country team for one event, probably on the strength of my buss pass on the return run along Langston Harbour. I was on the library committee which gave us a little room to hang out in to cover books or just hang out. Lunch time brought good days (roast potatoes) and bad days (swede) - sitting close to the hatch for seconds and the small bottles of milk if they had any left from the morning. The little sweet shop up the road by the bus stop sticks in my memory too.
I know I was in the CCF as I remember polishing boots etc, rifle range practice, rubber dinghies in Langston harbor and a day out military exercise somewhere on the Downs. Lots of firing blanks on a miserable wet day and more reprimands for ambushing the other side - not sporting I suppose. Although I never was involved in it I remember a mock battlefield in the Rifle Range with plastic model tanks etc in a big sandbox. I think I might have missed the real target on occasion and hit a model tank! The CCF photograph in the CCF section looks awfully familiar and would have been about the right time - just not good enough to see faces.
Somewhere in all that was O and A levels - probably not as good as I could have got if I studied properly and about that point the family moved to Leicester so I ended up at Loughborough College of Technology doing an I.M.I. Motor vehicle course and getting involved in Motor Racing with a group of friends up there. I remember Alan Pascoe at the University up the road and Phil Read but pretty much lost touch with most of the Southern Grammar classmates. I did hear from Roland Clarke (in my class) a few years ago and he is living and working in Birmingham. The rest, I don't know.
From there after a spell in London working for Esso and running racing cars as a sideline I was recruited to run a team in the USA in 1978, packed up the wife and dog and have been here ever since. The dog died and I got divorced along the way - I miss that dog as the old joke goes.
I have stayed with racing professionally as the importer for various English and Italian racing cars and currently own a workshop in Atlanta GA that looks after a number of historic and modern racing cars. Unfortunately the annual dinner is usually just before the Sebring 12 Hour race for LeMans cars that I usually am involved with.
My website is at creightonmotorsport.com and my longtime girlfriend, partner, racing car engineer and driver is at manfrinato.com
Philip Creighton (March 2013)
Colin Dowsett (1960-67)
After spending the first five years at the school in the lowly S form, I somehow managed to make it into the Sixth Form. I think Mr Mills let me enter because he was rather taken with the idea that I would be the first boy in the school to take Spanish to A Level. My teacher was Mr Farrand who amused himself no end by saying "Do sit down Doosit!" whenever I came into class! But the work was serious, including reading Cervantes and Lope de Vega in the original. I also took Economics and had a brilliant and engaging teacher in Mr Horton. Perhaps of greater significance for my future career was that I was able to study Russian with Mr Carrick, which I did to O Level. I have to confess that, while working quite hard on my Sixth Form studies, I wasn’t a naturally brilliant pupil and was, moreover, distracted by the guitar and girls at that stage!
On leaving school with only two A Levels I couldn’t get into University so decided to enter the working world. I joined an insurance broking firm as a trainee but, after four years, decided it wasn’t for me and that I really wanted to resume academic study. I had maintained an interest in Russian language, culture and politics and in 1972 I enrolled in the CNAA BA (Hons) degree in Russian and Soviet Studies at Portsmouth Polytechnic. In 1976, I obtained a first class degree and went on to Essex University to complete a masters degree and then took myself to Canada where I graduated with a PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Toronto in 1985.
I first came to New Zealand in 1986 when I was appointed Lecturer in Russian and Soviet Studies at the University of Otago. Subsequently I moved on to become Senior Lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington. A promising teaching and publishing career came regrettably to an end when the axe fell on university funding and Russian departments were closed. My wife and I came back to the northern hemisphere in 2000 and we ran a chambres d’hotes in a small village near Dinan in Britanny. At the same time, I was studying for and eventually obtained a BSc degree in herbal medicine. We returned to New Zealand in 2006 where I pursue my current career and also work as a musician, playing guitar in a gypsy jazz quartet with my violinist wife Pamela.
I have many vivid and mostly fond recollections of the Southern Grammar School and hope soon to be sending some memories of my time at the school and the teaching staff back then.
Michael Dummer (Joined 1946)
My stay at the Southern Grammar ended before it should have done. It had always been accepted in my family that I would go into the Dockyard and endeavour to become a draughtsman like a member of my family before me. It was considered to be an achievement to do so. There had been numerous precedents to this course at the school as I was to find out, and others would follow. I had never expressed a desire to aim for any other occupation, the truth being that I had tended to let the stream take me where it willed. There was no talk or enlightenment at the school about careers.
I took the Dockyard entrance exam during my first term in the Fifth Form in late 1950 as a trial and was surprised to come top. There didn't seem any point in staying any longer so I told the Head I was leaving. He was not at all happy, told me I would regret it and said that I was not supposed to leave until I was 16, but he didn't stop me. So on the 15th January 1951 I started as an apprentice at the Dockyard (quite a shock) and became a part-time student at the Royal Dockyard School. I found that the headmaster was W.G. Burrell, former pupil of the Southern Sec. from 1900-1902, who was in his last year before retirement. I had barely completed my first year there when I went down with T.B. which kept me away from my tools and books for 14 months. When I went back, the R.D.S. had been renamed Portsmouth Dockyard Technical College and there was a new headmaster, (renamed Principal), John Goss, who had been a Southern Sec. boy 1919-1923. I also found myself amongst other Southern Grammar boys who had followed me, including Brian Andrew who sadly died in 1998. A striking difference to the Southern Grammar was that the staff always addressed us as Mr -, or later used our first names.
A move into the drawing office led to a one-way ticket to the Admiralty/M.O.D. in Bath, where I have remained. I have been lucky to have been involved in some great projects including Polaris, Type 22 Frigates, Type 42 Destroyers, the Navy's first electronic machinery control system and finally Trident. It was during this last project that a desk arrived in our office from store for a new member. In the drawer was a copy of an old book, Portsmouth Southern Grammar School for Boys. “Anybody want this old book?” asked the new member. Lucky me! Also on this project I made the acquaintance of contracts officer Ken Priddy, who had been a lofty Fifth Former in the back row of the 1947 photo when I was a snotty nosed First Year in the front row. Ken had a copy made of the photo which he very generously gave to me. He died in 2009. I retired as a Senior Professional and Technology Officer in 1993.
[JOHN] RUSSELL FINCH [1961-1968]
After not being a spectacular success in sport or games and a late surge academically I went to Queen Mary College, University of London in 1968, graduating with average marks, in 1971. I returned to Hants, was articled to the Clerk to the Fareham and Gosport Justices, and was admitted a solicitor in 1974. I then moved to Aylesbury and worked at the Magistrates` Court there until 1979. I was successful in applying to the Director of Public Prosecutions, where I worked until 1988. The DPP dealt with all the most serious cases in England and Wales and I had a diet of homicides, rapes, big frauds and criminal allegations against the Police (which had to come to us by law).
There was a complete change of scene then in 1988 when I got a job as a specialist criminal lawyer in the Chambers of HM Procureur (Attorney-General) for Guernsey. I had to requalify as a Guernsey Advocate, which included 6 months at Caen University and vivas (viva voce - the continental system of oral exams) in France.
The Crown Prosecution Service came in in 1986 and I was decanted to be the chief prosecutor at Clerkenwell and Thames Courts.
After being designated Crown Advocate with responsibility, in the main, for criminal matters I was then appointed Magistrate and Coroner in 1997. In 2005 a new post was created - Judge of the Royal Court and I was appointed; it is based on an English Circuit Judge. My diet is crime (I`ve had two murder trials, one which went all the way), divorce and some civil cases.
I married my optician in 1991, a Guernsey lady, but Anne is now, very sadly, incapacitated with MS.
My teachers would be surprised to see me up on the bench, rather than crashed out on one. I kept up my interest in history, getting an OU degree and then an external MA from Sheffield Hallam.
In the 2017 Birthday Honours I was awarded the OBE.
John Gibbons (1947-54 [pupil] and 1960-67 [staff]
I was a pupil at the school from 1947 -1954 during which time I played for the First X1 cricket team from 1951 to 1954. I was also member of the senate being pro consul in1954. After university and two years teaching in Watford I returned to teach chemistry at the Southern in 1960 until 1967. During this time I ran some junior cricket teams and also the r ug by side in the last two or three years of my stay.In 1967 with my wife and daughter I emigrated to teach in Canada; however we returned in 1969 and eventually ended up in Dover where we still are today. I taught in a secondary school in the neighbouring town of Folkstone where I was deputy head from 1973 until I retired in 1994.
Alan Guy (1961-69)
Now Director of The National Army Museum: http://www.national-army-museum.ac.uk/
Stephen Guy (1959-68)
Went off to North Staffs Poly to study nuclear physics,
Certificate in hand and having no clear idea of what I wanted to do, I did a variety of jobs whilst, song writing and playing in rock bands and producing jingles for TV ads.
After two unsuccessful recording contracts, I made my home with Italian company Pirelli Cables, first running the mechanical engineering laboratories, and ending up as the Chief Engineer in Pirelli Submarine Cables UK.
Having worked all over the planet for 20 years, I left to set up my own consultancy business, and am now mostly involved with the offshore oil and gas production industry and the offshore windfarm industry.
I have just received a contract to work in Korea, for a minimum of 12 months, probably starting in April 2010.
Paddy Haycocks (Joined 1961)
Over the past thirty years, work in print, radio and television has allowed Paddy to play a variety of significant roles within the industry: journalist, reporter, researcher, scriptwriter, producer, director, presenter, editor and executive producer.
His work, both on and off camera, has included programming for the BBC (both television and radio ), ITV, Channel 4, Five, Sky and a number of digital channels. As a specialist in factual programming, he has had extensive hands on experience in news, features, consumer and documentary output. Having worked on both live and pre-recorded programmes, he has detailed practical and editorial knowledge of studio, location and post produced material. Paddy has also written countless articles and overseen several thousand hours of broadcast programming designed to investigate or illuminate key factual issues. Having left talkbackThames in 2006, where he was Senior Executive - Factual Programming, Paddy now works on a freelance basis across a whole range of broadcast, corporate and training projects.
Peter Higgins (1957-63)
Now retired after 40 years in the Civil Service (HM Customs & Excise) where I spent a very happy and interesting career (on the whole anyway!!). I was Head of National Operations for Detection at the point of retirement and, just previous to that appointment, had spent 3 years on secondment to the Home Office as Director UK Immigration Service.
Now enjoying retirement in a variety of ways; golf (what a frustrating game it is!); as chairman of the Old Secundrians Association; running this website (yes, folks, it's all my fault!); developing my garden; and making toys for my 5 grandchildren (what a delight they are - you can play with them and then hand them back for the not such nice tasks!). After retiring, I did some consultancy re Government Departments and Border Controls which was an excellent glide path into proper retirement but that has now passed me by and I now spend more time with the important things in life such as golf and putting the world to rights (watch out for my fairly regular letters in the Daily Telegraph!!). I live in West Wickham, Kent with my wife Pamela - and my 3 sons all live reasonably close by (but not too close though!).
Jason Hill (1959-67)
After leaving school in 1967, I went to Keele University to read Politics and Economics, graduating with a BA (Hons) in 1971. After a gap year, I spent a year at Madeley College of Education, doing my Postgraduate Certificate of Education. I taught at various schools in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire until 1990, when I went back to university full-time. I studied Special Education (Visual Impairment) at Birmingham University, and gained an MEd, as well as becoming a Qualified Teacher of the Visually Impaired. I returned to teaching, working with blind and partially-sighted children, and eventually became the Advisory Teacher for Visually Impaired Children for the Stoke-on-Trent education authority. I retired in 2007, and now live in Stoke-on-Trent with my second wife Gwyneth.
Throughout my career, I have also worked part-time as a musician, mainly playing with ceilidh bands. I was a Labour councillor in Stoke-on-Trent from 1983 to 1991, and have in the past served on the Executive Committee of the Musicians' Union and the National Council of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
In 2011, the National Union of Teachers presented me with the Blair Peach Award (for exemplary contribution to equality and diversity) in recognition of my work campaigning against far right organisations.
Walter Johnston (joined 1955)
"An "army brat", I attended many schools in my time, some for only short periods. 'Portsmouth Southern' was one such. Because of the many schools, it is sometimes difficult, as old age overtakes me, to be entirely sure that my memory is not playing me false. But down to details:
We came to Portsmouth from tours in Germany in, I believe, November 1955. Immediately prior to this, I had been at 'King Alfred's', a Forces boarding school, and I still wore my green blazer with the red 'Wyvern' badge on the blazer pocket. In fact, I never actually acquired a 'Southern' school uniform because by the following summer, we moved to Southampton and this apparently being 'on the cards' for much longer than I knew, my parents did not kit me out to blend in locally. I forget their excuse[-s!].
The Army dumped us into a flat in an old Navy barracks behind 'Portsmouth Grammar School'. It thus seemed natural that I should attend that particular grammar school, only to find that this institution did not share our view. They appeared to think that we should pay for the privilege. As my parents did not agree with this rather curious concept, I was forced to undertake a daily journey on a trolley bus [a trolley bus!] through Southsea to PSG, with the result that my arrival times were not always by the approved time. But more of this later.
I remember little of my schooling here: the buildings seemed dingy, ( Ed: Unlucky Walter because in the summer of 1956 - just as you left [see below] the school moved to its posh new buildings at Baffins!]) my classmates none too matey [I only remember one, mainly because he too had been abroad, in South Africa, and could speak Afrikaans, which I found very impressive], and the canteen food, after boarding school, dire.
Our move to Southampton must have occurred in the summer term 1956. On the day my parents chose to tell me the news, I was yet again late to school. As I recall, the headmaster had his office on the first floor of a gatehouse over the school entrance and it was his habit to call up any pupil coming late for a swift swish with the cane [am I making all this up?]. On this day, I was delighted to be able to inform him that I should shortly be leaving his establishment for Southampton. Somewhat to my surprise, this made him quite chatty, he recommended that I must attend 'Taunton's School 'without fail, only that being good enough for one of his ex-pupils. [This instruction was to prove more difficult than one might expect and resulted in my being kept away from school for a period until the education authority agreed that I might attend 'Taunton's' which, perversely, was at the end of our road and about three minutes walk away. Clearly the LEA found this proximity disturbing.]
My attendance at 'PSG' would appear to have been from winter 1955 to [early?] summer 1956. Now, given that all this time I was running around in a green blazer, does anyone remember seeing me? Or did I actually attend a completely different school? [ Ed: Must have been pretty distinctive 'cos not too many boys would have been attired in a green blazer surely?!!]
Walter Johnston (November 2012)
Fritz Koerner (joined about 1943 until about 1950)
The following Obituary appeared in The Guardian Newspaper and is reproduced by kind permission of the Newspaper and the author William Barr.
Roy Koerner, more commonly known as Fritz, who has died aged 75, was one of the four members of Sir Wally Herbert's British Transarctic Expedition which, on April 5 1969, stood at the North Pole. It was the halfway point of their dog-sled trip across the Arctic Ocean from Point Barrow, Alaska to the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, a total distance of 3,620 miles. The first surface-crossing of the Arctic Ocean, theirs was only the second confirmed expedition to reach the North Pole. Data collected from Koerner's later work on polar ice characteristics has been used heavily in the recent climate-change discussion.
Back in 1968, Fritz and his companions had left Point Barrow on February 21, and the entire crossing took 16 months. It was supplied by airdrops from the Royal Canadian Air Force that allowed them to camp for the winter on the sea ice at a location where, conveniently, the ice drift carried them steadily towards their goal. For Fritz this was more than just a headline-seeking adventure; as a glaciologist he was studying the sea ice, and the result was the first detailed, continuous survey of its thickness and characteristics.
Born in Portsmouth, Fritz Koerner attended Portsmouth Southern Grammar School, and gained a degree in geography at Sheffield University in 1954. After a brief spell as a teacher, he joined the Falkland Islands Dependency Survey (FIDS; the precursor of the British Antarctic Survey) in 1957 for two years as meteorologist at Hope Bay (now the Argentine station of Esperanza) at the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula. Like almost all FIDS personnel at that time, he learned to drive dogs, and made extensive trips across the sea ice and glaciers; thus, his passion for glaciology was born. It was there too that he first met Herbert.
In 1961 he joined the Arctic Institute of North America's multi-disciplinary Devon Island Expedition as glaciologist. Having spent a reconnaissance season on the island's ice cap (covering roughly 3,600 square miles), he wintered at the expedition's base camp at Truelove Inlet (along with Alan Gill, who would later join him on the Transarctic Expedition), and in 1962 set out a radial network of mass-balance transects, stretching hundreds of miles and covering every corner of the ice cap. Such studies are aimed at determining the ice cap's "budget", whether it is growing, shrinking or stable. He would repeat most of these transects annually for more than 45 years, along with similar studies of the Agassiz ice cap on Canada's Ellesmere Island and much smaller Meighen Island ice cap in later years.
On the basis of his mass-balance studies of another Canadian ice cap, that of Devon Island, Koerner received his PhD from the London School of Economics in 1968. While in London he met his future wife, Anna Kowalczyk, and after she returned to her native Poland, he reached a decision, got on his motorbike and rode to Warsaw, where he proposed to her. They were married in 1964. Anna accompanied Fritz and assisted him on Devon Island.
Having joined the Institute of Polar Studies at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, in 1966-67, he was a member of a team that spent the Antarctic summer season at the remote Plateau station near the summit of the Antarctic ice sheet in Dronning Maud Land at a height of 12,000ft. Here he concentrated on snow stratigraphy, and later received the US Antarctic service medal. He was one of the few people to receive Britain's polar medal with both Arctic and Antarctic clasps.
In 1969 he and Anna moved to Ottawa, where he joined the Polar Continental Shelf Project (PCSP), a logistics and research arm of the Canadian government, to pursue his glacier studies in the high arctic; he became head of the project's ice core laboratory, and later transferred to an identical position with the Geological Survey of Canada.
At PCSP he made oxygen-isotope studies of ice cores, extracted from the Agassiz ice cap, the cores extending from surface down to bedrock. A study of summer-melt layers in the cores revealed summer temperatures from as far back as 11,000 years ago. It is his ice-core data that has been widely used in recent exchanges about global climatic change.
After his retirement in 1999 (although he continued his research as an emeritus scientist at the Geological Survey of Canada), Fritz escorted children on Students on Ice Polar cruises. His wickedly irreverent, iconoclastic sense of humour appealed to his young audiences. In the Arctic he also took the Inuit children of Grise Fiord in southern Ellesmere Island on field trips to one of the local glaciers.
A regular competitor in the Ottawa-Montreal ski race and keen jogger, Fritz was always very fit. Anna died in 1989 after a prolonged illness.
The author of more than 70 scientific papers and chapters in books, Koerner missed only a couple of field seasons from 1961 until 2008, when he felt unwell and returned to Ottawa, where he died from colon cancer just two weeks later. From his hospital bed he consulted with his colleagues to ensure that his various research projects would continue. Fritz is survived by his daughters Eva, Davina and Kristina, and son Justin.
Roy Martindale "Fritz" Koerner, explorer and glaciologist, born July 3 1932; died May 26 2008
Copyright Guardian News & Media Ltd 2008.