OLD TENISONIANS

Est 1875


The Association of former pupils of Archbishop Tenisons School

  

Edition 18. Summer 2003


Editorial: Bob’s bollix


Letter(s) From Reader(s):


Football:


Cricket:


And Finally:





 

Dear All


Tonight, the best that English football has at its disposal, take on Turkey in the Euro 2004 qualifier. I sat through most of last Saturday’s game against Liechtenstein, my mind wandering thither and yon and one of the thoughts that came to me was this.


It would have been around the late mid fifties when I first started following football. The newspapers were the major outlet for match reports, transfer gossip and the like. You might have got occasional news of an international match on the ‘telly’ but the cup final was the only match you would get to see all year. That was all to change within a few years.


The captain of the national side in those dim and distant days was Billy Wright. I always thought he was a bit of a funny looking bloke but then he did come from the north, so you had to make allowances. He played over one hundred times for England, which suggests he wasn’t a bad player in his day. He was also the first English footballer to marry a pop star.


It was a few years after Billy packed up that a young Bobby Moore was made captain. Bobby became a world-class player and also won over one hundred caps. The only things I know for certain that Billy and Bobby had in common other than captaining their country, was that they were both defenders and both had fair hair.


As I watched us ‘batter’ Liechtenstein, I couldn’t help but think how much has changed since those earlier days. Our captain today is the iconic David Beckham. He to has blond hair, although I believe David’s colouring comes from a bottle and for some of our younger readers I feel I should point out that neither Billy nor Bobby had to use a hair band to allow them to ply their trade. Fashion is for some, a compelling phenomenon. How long will it be before sophisticated hair care products and hair bands make their presence felt in the dressing rooms at Motspur Park?


Welcome to another Mumblings.



For me, going to the ground is normally a happy experience. Old friends and faces, football, cricket, it doesn’t really matter. On my first visit to Motspur Park after the last issue of the Mumblings had been circulated, a welcoming party of Ronnie Byrne and Terry Smith greeted me with derision. The reason for this outbreak of hostilities was that I had not reported the result of the 2002 Ground Company Quiz. The quiz was won by a combination of Byrnes’, Smiths’ and Moriartys’; with the Editor’s team once again coming second. Ronnie and Terry felt that I had deliberately used my editorial powers to deny them the accord they justly deserved. I tried to explain that the quiz was held at a later date than previous years and consequently missed the deadline. This explanation was considered to be nothing but a pathetic excuse from a poor loser.


Drawing a veil over this unseemly incident, I would like to thank Alan, Vera and Coddsie for another excellent evening, in which much needed funds were raised for the Ground Company who, together with Groundsman Alan Landymore, continue their efforts in trying to make Motspur Park amongst the best and most welcoming grounds in the south.


Football Club.


Chairman’s Chat.


On the face of it, a fairly successful season. The 1st team winning Senior Division 2 and 5ths and 7ths picking up OBI Cups. However, I can’t help feeling we might have done a bit better. The 2nds certainly had their problems late on, with a bad run of injuries and unavailability of players due to holidays (they're obviously earning far too much money). The 3rds too, were handicapped, but more as a result of the most immobile Chairman in the League playing sweeper for them!

The 4ths, for once, came up empty handed on the cup front, losing the final of the OBI to Old Finchleians, although they did come runners up in their division. The 5ths deservedly won the OBI, beating O Alleynians in the final but were probably a little disappointed in there mid table finish in 6 South.

As I write this on 13th May, the 6th team have still got four game left in division 10 South, which the League insist on them playing by the 18th. Any flowers should be sent to Albins the undertakers in Rotherhithe!

As mentioned in the previous edition, we managed to get a 7th team out in two of the cups this season, and under the stewardship of Dickie Turner they managed to win the OBI against a very youthful and talented Finchley side. It was, by common consent, the most entertaining of the finals played that day.

Final mention must be given to the 1st team for winning their division in the last game of their campaign by defeating Woodhousians 4-0 and moving the club back in the right direction, towards the Premier division.

Thanks to all the captains and team managers who have helped the Club run so smoothly (most of the time!) and Peter Langford, Barry Ashford, Glen Cain, Maria, Eustace and Hayley for all their hard work behind the scenes.


It is at least as much for his work behind the scenes or more correctly, behind the bar, that this years Alan Bowers Award for services to the Football Club goes to Mark Willis. Mark’s constant selfless help in this area over the last few years has made a significant contribution to the way the Club is seen in the eyes of our guests.

See you all next season unless I become totally immobile (it could happen!). TAFF.


1st XI.


The 1st XI capped a successful season with a victory in the final game, sealing the Senior 2 title by just one point from their closest rivals, Woking.


The bulk of the team played the 2001/02 season in the 2nd XI and, by strange coincidence, whilst we remained unbeaten in the league until Feb 23rd last year, this year’s 1st XI’s first loss came just one day earlier, on Feb 22nd. Well, I thought it was strange! And almost a coincidence!


The following 3 months saw mixed form bring us 6 wins and 5 losses, but with Woking cramming their games in, due largely to their cup commitments, it was enough to see us home.


The cups were a different story and there’s a good reason I haven’t mentioned them yet – we didn’t actually last beyond Dec 14th, losing out inexcusably to Centymca in the LOB Cup and Alleyn OB in the OBI, to add to the earlier loss to EBOG in the AFA.


Highlights, as ever, included Jenks’ nerve-jangling keeping. Kieron’s efforts to commute from Aberdeen every weekend. Kenty’s relaxation techniques, Shed’s 9 month-long stretching routine. Dom Caisley’s efforts to reason with the ball-throwing Isleworth centre forward and a fine selection of strange attire worn primarily by Duncs and latterly by Si Brewis with his J Lo tracksuit top.


In football terms, consecutive last minute wins against Kings OB and Glyn stand out, along with a 4-0 drubbing of Enfield at their place with only 9 and a half men. We did suffer post-Christmas from not playing every weekend, but more crucially, from key injuries as the season drew to a close. Fortunately, we could call on several other lads from the club, with Si Putland (3 goals in 3 games), Kevin Sellick and Mike Williams making significant contributions, not to mention Messrs Dinning, English & Scott, who took turns in standing in for Jenks’ on the few days he was unavailable. Mike Williams’ last minute winner against Kings OB, having played a full game for the 2nds just beforehand, deserves a special mention.


Of the regulars, six of us were involved in 24 of the 28 games and another nine managed 15+, so there was some consistency, particularly in the first half of the season. On the goals front, we managed to concede the fewest goals in the league with 20, a mere 12 ahead of our nearest rivals!


At the other end, we scored 47 in the league. On an individual basis in all competitions, Jeff Prevost and Si Brewis led the way with 15 and 10 respectively. Jeff got his in 19 games, which is pretty good going.


So, all in all, a great year and here’s to a miserable summer trailing around shops, making a complete hash of the simplest DIY and even starting to miss the inane email banter.


Roll-on September and Senior 1.


Dave Brewis.


Congratulations to Dave and the lads. A little more luck with injuries and a more consistently available squad should enable you to continue on your trophy laden way.


2nd XI


Finding the determination to complete this article proved almost as difficult as fielding a team of 11 players throughout the season. The heartbreaking statistics, which never lie, read as follows. Bottom of the league (after being 3rd at Xmas), three 1st round cup exits, 35 different players, 5 goalies and a striker named Pickersgill. (Enough said! Ed.)


A 1-0 defeat in the cup is acceptable. To lose 5-4 and 7-6 in your next 2 cup games is farcical, let me run you through the latter. Old Tollingtonians up in Highgate Woods, lovely ground-or it would have been if the pitch hadn’t been waterlogged. ‘under no circumstances must this football pitch be played upon’, come the end of the game we were still unsure if we had broken the groundsman’s rules. Even though we were 1-0 up at half time we knew it was going to be tough going, the highlight of half coming from their striker who started celebrating his tap in only to discover that the ball was stuck in the mud on the goal line (just begging for Parr to scream one into the top corner). With Walton on for Williams to shore up the defence and play the holding role we proceeded to go 4-2 up, 6-4 down with five minutes left and then 6-6. Choice moments include; Nicks ‘coal miner’ impression after heading one in off the floor, Pearse’s ruffling of a 15 year olds hair only to discover his old man was the butch midfielder-‘I’ll take your fucking face off you ****’. Taffy’s post match awarding of the points, with the defence scoring, on average, a point higher than the rest of team (look at the goals they let in!). Having lost 7-6 and to rub salt into muddy wounds we took one hour to find their boozer, only to discover we were banned. (I wonder how you could have been banned before you even got through the doors, no on second thoughts… Ed.)


Down to Phoenix with ten men, did not look too promising but a 6-5 win turned out to be fully justified. Arriving late and with no idea of positions we all wandered out into the abyss. Two down within five minutes, we fought back well and came in 4-4 at half time-smiling our heads off. A good couple of goals from new boy Nick and a blinding winner from Pudsey sealed the win.


Come Christmas we were third in the league and winning as many as we were losing. ‘Hollywood’ John had stood in well for Scotty and put in a blinding display in our only 0-0, he was so good even Pete Langford said he had a good game. Munday and Harding were still arguing about who should pick up who and Stocking was busy nutmegging all and sundry. The results weren’t bad but the clubhouse banter was even better. No player would dare go home knowing they could get ripped to pieces by the old guard of Terry Smith and Brian O’Leary (who both, incidentally, made a guest appearance of much quality in a convincing 3-1 victory).


With the majority of players taking a month off to go skiing and the injury list growing by the week the season began to fall apart. ‘twisted my ankle playing snooker’, ‘dog ate my shin pads’, ‘twisted a nipple dancing too hard’, were some of the more plausible excuses. Getting a team out was proving to be increasingly comical. None more so than when Ian McGibbon helped us out of a tight spot by missing a sitter after five minutes prior to thumping their centre half and threatening to kill the ref. No we didn’t win this one.


Goal of the season goes to Oko with that 30-yard arrow up at John Fisher and player of the season to Kevin Sellick. Individual performance must go to Williams who after playing 90 minutes for us went on to play a full game for the 1st XI and scoring their last minute winner. A big apology to Bungle who came back from injury to help take us down still managing to play well (even when he played centre half), don’t worry you’ll be signed to that record label soon enough!


The season was epitomised with an away game to Aloyisians. We had 7 players at one point, which went down to four by 2pm. I think I spoke to Taff 47 times that morning. He refused to call it off saying that we had to pull the old car crash routine. So up we went (me, Walton, Pickers, Harding) and sheepishly told them we couldn’t play. I think this became all too apparent in the rearranged fixture when we lost 10-0.


Never again.


Lister


Thanks a lot Paul. I know their will be a few former captains out there who will feel that your troubles seem horribly familiar. It could hardly get any worse. Could it?


4TH Eleven 2002/2003


Well another long hard season is over. The team that everyone expects to win, finished runner’s up in the cup and league.


We have used over thirty players this year mainly due to sickness and injuries. I would like to send best wishes to Ray Richardson and Steve Johnson who both

suffered serious. Many others in the squad had a knock or two, which resulted in a two or three week holiday.


I would like to thank everyone for their time and effort and wish the younger members of the team a great future in higher XI’s in the OTA.


We have had many highs and lows this season and maybe I’m too lazy to mention any of them. Some days we played some good football and on others we were very bad. I must mention poor Terry Smith. I have never known anyone like Terry. Each week he would have another ailment to add to the previous weeks. He never would let an OTA side down and it’s great to have people like him in your squad. Mind you, the thing that never suffers is his gob!


My player of the season was Dave English.


I would like to remind players that it is hard enough to get people to run teams within the club. So don’t leave it up to them to cover match fees etc out of their own pockets. Pay your match fees and annual subs early. Or find another Club!


Good luck to everyone for the season 2003/04


Mick Keating.


That’s all from the Football Club. I’m particularly disappointed not to have a report of the 5th XI Cup-Final victory. There are a few young lads in Sean Jones line up but there are also a core of players who have served the Club for years and I was delighted for all of them to get another medal.


The 7th XI victory as ‘Taff’ mentioned earlier was a truly remarkable one. Unfortunately I had to leave at half-time, by which time the opposition could not believe they were not four up at least. Glen Cain has told me that, not for the first time in a Cup Final, Phil Unwin was outstanding, this time as a defender. Dickie Turner, who put the side together, must have been delighted to pick up the trophy, particularly with son Michael in the team.


B.B.



In past issues I have mentioned that quite a number of OTs’ who have done their fair share of travelling but perhaps, none more crucially than Mick Patmore. Here is a copy of an e-mail sent to Ken and Anne Langford.


Dear Anne and Ken


Thanks for the letter and the book. I spent the last four days reading and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have been to most of the places mentioned and have a particular soft spot for Botswana, my favourite country in Africa.


I read you letter with interest; Jack Hobbs, what memories, please give him my regards when you see him next. I don’t think I’ve seen him in thirty years but expect he would still be instantly recognisable although, like the rest of us, the ravages of time will doubtless have taken there toll. Whether he will enjoy the cricket in Oz is a little more doubtful. I think the first Test has already been played, up to date news can be a little thin on the ground here. We do have E mail, although it is a bit more difficult for me, out in the sticks but we do not have access to the web, so the Tenisons website will have to wait until I come home.


Sorry to hear about the bad weather in the UK, but sometimes I would not mind getting some of that here. The monsoons have just ended and although it’s getting mercifully cooler and drier, it is still hot and humid and we are infested with all sorts of flying insects at night. I can often be found on the veranda of the Medicine Sans Frontieres house, quietly enjoying a beer or three while being slowly eaten alive by mosquitoes


Christmas is coming and the geese are getting fat, but not in Myanmar, as it is a Buddhist country and Christmas is not celebrated but Steffan, my German doctor colleague and I will probably rustle up some Christmas cheer. Unfortunately he is a non-drinker and will remain staunchly sober while I slowly succumb to the demon drink as I view the Christmas sunset dip below the palm trees, through the bottom of a glass.


Myanmar (Burma) is a marvellous country, very traditional, lots of culture and I intend to see as much as I can before the tourists start to arrive, as they inevitably will. I arrived here after a sleepless journey from Paris and was immediately whisked off to a gathering of NGO’s in a bar in Yangon. After just one nights rest, I set off on another sleepless 20 hour journey by bus to my mission station in Mudon, a town in Mon state. We had to skirt around some of the worst floods for 30 years and I became quite alarmed when just before I got on the bus, one of my MSF colleagues gave me a life jacket and said ‘Good Luck’. We finally made it after a couple of punctures, crossing dodgy bridges and splashing through paddy fields. At Mottama we had to cross a river on a ferryboat straight out of a Conrad novel that made the Titanic look seaworthy.


Mudon is a typical traditional town, hundreds of bicycles and trishaws, monks, monasteries and Pagodas. Steffan and I are the only foreigners around and thus something of a curiosity but people are kind although communication is not always easy. Our house is both living quarters and office and was, evidently, the Japanese HQ during the war. Not far from here, at Thambuzayat, is the terminus of the ‘Japanese death railway’, also nearby is a war cemetery to the British dead. It is kept in pristine condition and I found it quite a moving experience when I visited it.


We are running a malaria treatment and prevention programme, which is hard work but interesting and rewarding. We travel to outlying villages, sometimes completing our journey by canoe. Our clinic is generally set up in a school or a monastery. The monks will often invite us to lunch, but not before we had been given a grilling by the head monk, who would fire off questions about the way we lived in Europe, whilst making generous use of his spittoon. On one occasion, having been fed by the monks, we were invited by the ladies of the monastery to another meal. As it is considered impolite to refuse and only an hour since we were last fed, back we went for more. I could hardly eat a thing but every time you did eat something, somebody would immediately replenish your bowl. I nearly exploded. Yet with this generosity, particularly in the outlying villages is extreme poverty, which makes you realise just how wealthy we are in the West compared to them.


I’ve not heard one single football result but I have heard that Chelsea are third. Can this be true? (We’re all as shocked as you are, Mick. Ed.)


Anyway, I’ve got a few more E mails to do so I better get on. Take care, and thanks again for the book.


Mick Patmore.


Now, from not quite so far away:


31 Cherry Tree Walk

West Wickham

Kent BR4 9EE


Dear Bob


Firstly, I’d like to say how much I enjoyed this years School Dinners. To sit with the rest of the Class of ’61( Blewer, Brown, Green, Prentice, Simmons and Stone) plus guests, Micky Vaughan and John Miller, was indeed a rare pleasure. The repartee was sparkling and cultured with distinct undertones of Oscar Wilde. The effing and blinding came a little later when the drink had taken hold. Talking of drink, I did my usual coaching session with my junior side the following morning. The first time I headed the ball I had to sit down for quite a long time, much to the delight of the callous little sods to whom I donate my time. I didn’t feel much better the following day either, I can think of no better testament to the power of the human thirst.


Keith Cathcart’s auctioneering skills were much in evidence as he raised money for the Association and a big thank you to Eddie Boyle for organising what has become one of the hottest tickets in town.


Whilst talking about School and the Old Boys, I must recommend Micky Vaughan’s magnificent web-site (www.oldtenisonians.co.uk), I recognised quite a few faces from the choir photo’ of 1964, including two angelic looking choir boys in the back row, seventh and eighth from the right. My good gawd!


I’m really looking forward to the cricket season, I’ve got my ticket for the Test Match against South Africa at the Oval in September. The Last time I saw them was in 1965, just before they were booted out of the game. I particularly remember Colin Bland, perhaps the finest fielder there has ever been (let’s hope that starts a debate), At Lords he ran out both Jim Parks and my hero, Ken Barrington, on separate days. Other stars of that team were Graeme and Peter Pollock, Dennis Lindsay and Eddie Barlow. Peter van der Merwe was the skipper. Graeme Pollock who many think of as one of the best batsman of all time got a duck at the Oval, in what was Brian Statham’s last game for England.


My lad is a Kent supporter and I derive great pleasure in winding him up when Surrey win the Championship. My taunts of, ‘tractor boys’ and ‘carrot crunchers’ seems to cut little ice. He reckons that Surrey are typical city spivs. ( I tip them to win everything this year, including the 200 meters breast stroke. Ed. )


On next football season, I confidently predict my beloved Millwall will DEFINITELY go up. Well, alright, I definitely HOPE they go up. Just imagine if they sign Sheringham, keep Wise and Claridge, we could be in for a bumper sponsorship deal with Saga.


In previous Mumblings I’ve noticed that Barry Mercer and John Halsey, whom I have not seen for 37years, are still playing cricket. I believe the Cricket Club are holding a ‘Cricket Day’ at Motspur Park on the 26th July and I hope to see both them and hopefully a few others on that day.


Best Wishes John Johnes


In Memorium



Kelvin Tyrell 15.1.28 – 29.12.02


It is with much sadness that I report the death of Kelvin Tyrell after a long illness bravely borne.


We were at school together at Reading during the war years. Kelvin played cricket and soccer for the Old Boys; he was a prolific run scoring batsman at No 3 or 4 and a clever inside forward. He later became a useful golfer who will be remembered by those of us who played with him for the OTA golf society.


After leaving school in 1945 he studied at the Brixton School of Building qualifying as a Surveyor. He had a spell working at the LCC/GLC and then with Friern Barnet Council for 2 years before starting his own successful business in Streatham.


When he retired, apart from his interest in golf, Kelvin took up painting and produced some proficient watercolour work.


He leaves wife Jean and two daughters.


Denis Bryant.

69 Mayfield Road

Thornton Heath

Surrey CR7 6DN





Dear Bob


I heard recently of the death of Johnny Johnson, who would have been known to many generations of Tenisonians. His death was not unexpected for he had been suffering poor health for several years and had spent the last two years in a nursing home; he was too ill to be cared for by his wife Margaret and daughter Charlotte.


His funeral service will be held at Taunton Crematorium on Tuesday 15th April. Peter Stone will take the service and Tenisons will be further represented by John Shapter and Bill Giles.


C.J.Johnson A.R.C.A. was appointed to the staff of ATGS by Dr.Robinson straight from commissioned service with the Army in the Far East in the year immediately after WW2. He, together with Edwin Birchenough, Jim Connacher, Bill Giles, Wilfred Hopwood, Tom Neville, Joe Laidlaw-Brown, George Lewis and Harry Waddingham (all appointed at around the same time), came to be the ‘backbone’ of the staff at Tenison’s. Their invaluable and enduring service to the school was instrumental in making ATGS such a successful South London school in the fifties and sixties. They provided the ‘flavour’ to the mix that was ATGS in those days.


“Johnny”, as he was always known to his friends and colleagues was affectionately known to the boys as “Jumbo”, a reference to his solid build (he was a powerful rugby forward) and his ability to remember a good story to illustrate some point in his art lessons. These, of course, were conducted in the art room, which was always a delightful clutter of bits and pieces, enjoyed wonderful northern light, but more importantly, overlooked the Oval Cricket Ground. This enabled Johnny to indulge his great interest in sport and cricket in particular.


His sporting interests spread into the running of school games, and in particular his formidable presence was made use of as Official Starter at all Sports Days. He also took a great interest in the introduction of rugby to the school. He, together with Tom Neville and Les Stockell, was instrumental in introducing many Tenisonians to the game. He was a hard player, and distinguished himself in games between the Staff and the 1st XV; the score of which was not recorded in points but in volumes of blood spilt. In more gentlemanly mode, he enjoyed tennis, and was a member of the Staff team, which annually played against the Old Tenisonians.


In other spheres Johnny’s artistic and craft skills were used in a wide variety of ways; the making of home-spun ties and scarves for sale in support of the Parents Guild, in setting up a school printing service, and encouraging boys to learn the basics of photography. Not least was his gift as a portrait painter manifested in his painting of the late Dr.P.H.Robinson, which for many years hung in pride of place in the main hall of the school. It caught the essence of Dr.Robinson, a kindly twinkle in the eye to offset his rather shrewd expression. In the wider art world, Johnny exhibited at the Royal Academy for several years.


All who remember Johnny do so with great affection. His was a warm and encouraging personality, his gift as a teller of tales and illustrator of stories with quickly sketched cartoons, and his air of bonhomie made him a grand companion and a successful schoolmaster. He was a great asset to the Common Room and School.


Alex Robb.


I somehow lost this appreciation of Joe Laidlaw-Brown in my e-mail. Derek Reynolds, kindly sent me a disk



I was saddened to read about the death of Mr. Laidlaw-Brown. Saddened at his death but also at my own neglect of him. He lived in a small flat in Fulham Road and when he learned that I had started work at The Royal Marsden Hospital he wrote saying that as we were “practically neighbours” we ought to meet. That was in 1984 and although we did speak on the telephone it was not until about 1992 that we actually met and had lunch together. I found him fascinating. Somewhat reluctantly, he told me about his upbringing, which was difficult and touching. I think it would have surprised those of us who had sat in his classes at school and thought he must have come from another planet. He was entertaining and interesting but I came away thinking he was perhaps lonely and that I should see more of him. He told me he was thinking of moving to Chichester. Then I moved across London to Barts and later began spending much of my time working in developing countries and although I did actually ring his bell once, our paths did not cross again. I had been thinking for some time that I must make a greater effort and I’m sorry it’s too late.


At school, I only encountered Laidlaw-Brown in the 6th Form apart from one lesson in about the 4th year when he minded us during someone else’s absence. I had only heard about this man who wore tan suede chukka boots with zips and sat taking pills off the back of his hand while we were supposed to be reading. I also remember him umpiring a cricket match one Saturday morning with that air of wishing he were somewhere else.


Throughout my first five years my form master and English teacher was Farrell and it was he who suggested I should do A-level. There I met Laidlaw-Brown who sat at the head a table in the library teaching us English literature. He sighed a lot and usually ended up saying, “Tell them Smith” (George Smith seemed to know all the answers). About 6 weeks into the term he asked me why I was doing English literature at all? When I told him Farrell wanted me to, he sighed again and said “I’m head of the English Department in this school and in my opinion you should not.” Two years later, when I had passed the exams, I met him on the stairs and he greeted me with the words “And who should I congratulate, you or myself? ”


Laidlaw-Brown with that extraordinary drawl was often outrageous and sarcastic but I felt he cared and he had standards and values that must have made an impression on me. I shall remember him with real affection. He once put a red line right through one of my essays because I had used the word whilst. He told me it was archaic and offered nothing over while. I have never used whilst from that day to this.


Derek Reynolds

1952-59


The School


Undoubtedly the most significant news from the School is the retirement of Headmaster, Brian Jones. Earlier this year the School was named as one of the most improved in the country and there surely could be no better compliment to Mr.Jones and his staff than this accolade.


It has to be said that Mr.Jones relationship with the OTA was not always as harmonious as it might have been. Brian Lester and John Addlington have worked very hard to ensure that the relationship between the School and the Old Boys is once again a cordial one.


Louise Fox, who was Mr. Jones deputy, has been appointed as Head Teacher, the first woman to hold that position in the School’s history. To Ms.Fox we offer our congratulations and best wishes for a happy and successful tenure, in what must be one of the most challenging jobs in inner London education.



Oi, Ginger!


I was driving down to my mum’s one Saturday morning, listening to the excellent Adrian Childs on Radio 5. One of the items that caught my interest was a list of ten famous red headed sportsmen. From the sublime Rod Laver to David Fairclough, who became famous for not being quite good enough to play for Liverpool from the start of a game but became a nationally known as the first ‘super-sub’. Another name from the past was footballer Carlo Sartori who played a few games for Manchester United in the sixties before moving to the land of his father, playing a few hundred games for Napoli. He’s now back in the north of England, earning a living from his family knife and scissor grinding business and if anybody could tell me what the link between that profession and Italy is, I’d really love to know.


I thought, I’ll nick that idea. Not ten but a few O.T. copperknobs and here they are, in no particular order;


Chris Bullen: Chris was in the year of ’61. He was the fastest runner, the best footballer and rugby player of his year. His cricket was not as strong but he was still good enough for the school team. Chris was one of many of his year who joined the Old Boys and he became the first team centre forward for many a season, whilst employing his all round cricketing skills for both 1st and 2nd teams. Chris is also a former Secretary of the Football Club.


Dave Orchin: Year of ’53. I was lucky enough to play with Davy in the latter part of his career, when we played in Roger Parker’s hugely enjoyable 4th team.. I think Dave’s footballing philosophy was to keep things as simple as possible, pass and move, difficult to disagree with. Dave’s other great attribute was that he was a Millwall supporter. He played cricket as well…. but not for us.


Bob Huntley: Year of ’55. I played a little cricket with Bob but not football and so at the recent School Dinners extravaganza, with this article in mind, I spoke to somebody who did. Bob was apparently a natural goal scorer with sufficient ability to occasionally volley one in from 25 yards whilst having that priceless knack of being able to shin one in from three.


Coincidently, as I was ‘doing’ the ‘gingers’, along came this affectionate hatchet job on one of them.


David “Taff” Evans: Year of ’73.


On Friday April 3 this year, I was in my office, attending to some late afternoon admin’, when my phone rang, a certain David Evans was speaking to me from the Old Boys lunch organised by Eddie Boyle. I detected a hint of a gloat. So I listened with dismay as he informed me that he'd been made a Life Vice-President by the OTA. Through gritted teeth I congratulated him and he accepted them magnanimously by telling me that he'd beaten me to the award.


Taff and I were at school together, not in the same year, but in the same 1st year rugby team. Les Stokell saw a loophole in the rules, when he realised that I was the smallest kid in the school despite being in the 2nd year. So I played Phil Bennett to his Gareth Edwards, although it was more like Alan Bennett and Jimmy Edwards. I am doing Taff an injustice here, as he was a very talented schoolboy rugby player, playing not only for the school but also for his beloved London Welsh.


As we got to know each other in the 6th form, I had my first encounter with his talent as a writer. During the first term in the lower sixth, Taff's extended family in the valleys experienced a sort of Welsh SARS and it was left to the willing nephew to go and hold the fort on the various farms during this difficult time. Well this is what the letters’ from his father said, however David was busy grazing himself in the large rural family home in Denmark Hill. He got collared when ‘Doc’ Martin (Maths teacher) wrote to Taff's Dad explaining that he had been missing a lot of school. Needless to say, he had a red ear to match his hair that day.


Neither of us went to college, so we migrated to the Old boys after school, actually we'd both played while still at school. Taff played both football and cricket with some aplomb once he'd straightened a few things out. His football career started as a forward, but being neither a natural goal scorer, nor a Beckham like crosser, he found the going a little tough. On one occasion, Taff was a little anonymous up front, Terry Smith suggested he wear a cowbell, which ought to help in our efforts to find him. So he moved to the left back position, which he made his own in the 1st team for many a year. A very tenacious defender whose aerial prowess defied his lack of height. Now he’s the club Chairman and doing a wonderful job for all us footballers, as well as being a key member of Ronnie Byrne’s 3rd XI.


As a cricketer, he was an aggressive batsman and a superb short-leg fielder. He then dabbled with leg spin bowling, but after most of his deliveries found the boundary rope he ended up as a wicket-keeper and took many a good catch off my long hops.


On football and golf tours, his wit and comparing skills have become legendary. Whether he’s ‘Brucie’, Hughie Green or Michael Caine, Frankie Howard or himself, his whole cast of characters are fantastic. His golf swing is smooth as silk and due to his grammar school education his Arithmetic is far better than his Father’s.


So gone is the carefree strawberry blonde quiff, replaced by the Clive James look. Now a proud Father and responsible partner to Maisy and Kim, however he’s never lost his Celtic passion and hatred for the England rugby team. Two stories spring to mind, when Scott Gibbs scored a last minute winning try to beat England at Wembley a few seasons back, Kim witnessed David in all his glory. He was an inch from the TV, fists clenched screaming directional advice for Dallaglio and co. I think poor Kim got the fright of her life. Finally, this year’s Scottish League Cup Final between Celtic and Rangers, saw the blue side of Glasgow win the trophy but not without the usual high drama these games produce. In the last minute John Hartson (Taff’s football hero – fat, balding Welshman.) (Surely, a coincidence B.B.) had a penalty that would’ve taken the game into extra-time, however he shot wide. The next day I received a call and picked up the phone with my usual greeting, the response was not ‘Hello’ or some other such greeting but a simple piece of blind jingoism and I quote “that was two inches away from being the perfect penalty.”


So many congratulations on your LVP Emrys (middle name, just in case you didn’t think David Evans sounded Welsh enough), a great Tenisonian, a best friend and like a brother to me.

Gary Kedney.



Stewart Cartwright: Former School Master. If I remember correctly, Stewart came to the School in the early seventies. His impact on the Old Boys was immediate, both on the playing field and in the committee room. As well as representing the Club at 1st XI levels, both winter and summer, just as importantly he began perhaps the last golden recruiting age from the School. Stewart was a passionate character and he sadly left the Club after a disagreement over the running of one of the football teams. A great loss to the Club.


B.B


Cricket Club.


2nd XI skipper seen snogging tailender! (Sorry Dolores.) Senior batsman to donate unwanted body part for auction! (No thanks, Horse!) More ungentlemanly conduct reported from Sunday XI! At last! Cricketers behaving badly!


But perhaps the most significant news from the Cricket Club is that from season 2004, our 1st and 2nd XI’s have been invited to join the Fullers Surrey League. The Fullers League will undoubtedly present new challenges to our senior teams, who are thoroughly looking forward to testing themselves in this next layer of the Surrey pyramid of club cricket. The 3rd XI will retain their place in the Fordham/Kookaburra League.


Before the interim reports from the teams, I must write a few words about the almost definite playing retirement of Brian Lester. Brian has been a stalwart of the Club since the late sixties. Like many of the young bowlers of those days, Brian did not always get as much work as he might have liked but has certainly made up for that over the years. I would suggest that his career record bears comparison with any and it is certain that no other Old Tenisonian bowler has ever run further for his Club than Brian. A few years ago, I asked him why he hadn’t cut his run-up down as the years passed. He simply said that he couldn’t. Unlike many bowlers, Brian would always take his batting seriously and never gave it away. A fierce competitor on the field and great social companion off it, it is great news for the Club that Brian will continue to serve, having qualified as an umpire, the 1st XI will have both an impeccable and unflappable official on a regular basis.


Just before handing you over to Micky Vaughan for the solitary cricket report, I am delighted to inform you that this year’s S.E.Hinton award deservedly went to Paul Kain.


2ndXI


The 2ndXI’s season commenced away to Selsdon on the 10th May. In the absence of captain and vice-captain stand in skipper Paul Kain won the toss and invited Selsdon to bat. Some fine bowling by Jeremy Borgust and Richard Marshall made it difficult for the opposition batsmen to get established. John Munden (2 for 36) and veteran Barry Mercer (3 for 31) bowled out the final 24 overs and Selsdon finished their innings on 152 for 6.

An indifferent start to Tenison’s innings saw the score on 44 for 5 after 19 overs. Paul Kain (41) and new boy Miland Bhave (20) took the score to 98 for 6 before Normy joined Paul to take the score onto 129 for 8 with just one wicket to fall. One of the other new players failed to show! Barry Mercer joined Normy and the last wicket produced the 24 runs require for victory. A good win indeed.


The next match was abandoned because the pitch at Motspur was under water.


The next game, away to Rowan, was also abandoned because of an accident to the groundsman and a wicket could not be prepared for the game. Initial response was that Tenisons should be awarded the points. However, after receiving a letter from Rowan, on reflection, the committee decided to try and reschedule the game at a later date.


Hook & Southborough were the next opponents at Motspur Park and were invited to bat by skipper Mick Vaughan. After a wicket in the first over, some very good bowling by Paddy Blewer and John Munden restricted the score to 47 for 2 after 20 overs. Another new boy bowled well on his debut for the club, Denham Martil, who finished his spell of 11 overs by taking 4 for 36. Barry Mercer again bowled well, taking 3 for 31. The opposition all out in the final over for 139. An interesting occurrence towards the end of the innings saw both John Munden and Denham on hat-tricks in consecutive overs. After an early wicket Mick and Richard Marshall took the score to 80 when Mick was out for 45. Denham joined Richard and scored a brisk 23. Richard with 52* batted very well to see the side home by 6 wickets with some 10 overs to spare.


The next match was against Battersea Ironsides, away at Abbey Rec. Micky won the toss and invited Battersea to bat, who struggled to score runs against the bowling of Chris Turner and Deleep(one of Kevin Binns’ mates). After 30 overs the score was 77 for 4. Barry Mercer and John Munden bowled 10.overs each, taking 4 for 36 and 3 for 32 respectively as the opposition were all out for 131. Tenison’s innings didn’t get off to the best of starts. Cortez was dropped first ball and Micky was out on the second(Golden duck for the skipper). Matters did not improve and after 18 overs the score had progressed to just 28 for 4. John Halsey and Mark Steele steadied the ship taking the score onto 62 before John was bowled for 22. John Munden joined Mark and they took the score to 125, when two balls after Mark’s maiden fifty for the Club he was out for 52. No more alarms and we won with 5 overs to spare.


The following week we travelled to Merton, where on losing the toss were asked to field on one of the hottest days so far this summer. Some steady bowling by Chris, Paddy and Jeremy Borgust restricted the opposition to 67 for 4 after 17 overs. Barry Mercer, again, bowled exceptionally well, taking 4 for 29 of his 12 overs and making it very difficult for the opposition to score freely. Paddy (3 for 56) and Chris returned to finish off the innings, with Merton all out for 149. Cortez and Jim O’Dell opened the innings and took the score to 26 before Tez was out. Richard Marshall joined Jim who was then out for 20 with the score on 38. At 54 for 3 Mick joined Richard and between them pushed the score to 86, when Richard was out caught and bowled, 2 deliveries after being given not out in a controversial run out appeal! Unfortunately the opposition’s reaction was not so sporting and some choice comments were heard from some of their players. (Another example of the ungentlemenly behaviour, which occurred in their innings after one of our fielders, had been beaten by a wicked bounce!) Mick batted well for 37 but was out with the score on 131 for 8, still 19 runs short. After a quick 9 from Chris, this brought the last pair, Barry and Paddy, to the wicket and after a few tense moments for the anxious skipper, Paddy hit the winning boundary. A tense win, but four straight wins is a promising start to the season.

Micky Vaughan.




I know the 1stXI have not had a good start to the season and I know they will be very disappointed as they felt that their squad was, if anything, a little stronger than last year.


The 3rds are still finding results hard to come by, I just hope that that they are still enjoying themselves.


Even the Sunday Taverners are struggling for results this season so lets hope that by the time of the next issue appears there will be some better news to tell you.


Please do drop into the ground on 26th July, there is a 1stXI fixture on the day and both the 2nd and 3rd teams are coming back to the ground in the evening for what will undoubtedly be a booze fuelled evening!


B.B.


Bob’s Bollix.


By the very nature of this publication, ‘news’, never comes hot off the press. But I swear to you that I had this idea before the nationals. During the recent conflict in Iraq, I’m sure I wasn’t the only person to find a little light relief from the performance of the Iraqi Minister for Information, Mohammed Saeed al Sahaf, better known as “Comical Ali”. What the Iraqi forces weren’t going to do to the coalition forces was nobodies business. I thought that he had a slight smile on his face as he talked his Iraqi bollocks. But knowing he would soon be out of a job, I thought about contacting him to see if he might re-examine the years when the Club didn’t even have trophy cabinets let alone anything to put in them. To set the record straight so to speak.


He had only managed a bit of research before he had to do a runner but even in the short time available it seems that the Football Club were, in fact, regular winners of the Premier Division and the AFA Senior Cup. The Cricket Club also continually swept the board and apparently once won the Benson and Hedges Cup. I asked him about the game when we played Real Madrid, beat them 2-1 and I marked Gento out of the game. He e-mailed me back saying I was in danger of bringing the Ministry of Information into disrepute and not to be so stupid. Another dream shattered.


Having mentioned the war (and I know I’m not supposed to) I just wanted to share with you my admiration of President Bush. After his recent diplomatic mission in the Middle East, he selflessly and some might say recklessly ordered Air Force1 to re-route over Baghdad to enable him to view his new territory. It struck me, with the American forces record over ‘friendly-fire’, that the President was putting himself at more risk than he is accustomed to doing. Fortunately nothing untoward happened and we can all now look forward to further Arabian Night adventures with our friends and allies across the pond.





School Dinners III.



The third annual reunion of former pupils was held on Friday April 4th, 2003 at the Heights Restaurant in the Saint Georges Hotel, Langham Place. We were blessed with a fine day and so the views over the rooftops of the West End were fantastic.


43 old boys managed to get there, twelve of whom were first timers, i.e. Don White, Stu Courtenay, Brian Carlisle, Roger Walker, Paul Owen, Roger Everitt, Henry Worton, Brian Brearley, Ray Ryan, Dave Hobbs, Alan Ewart and Martin Edison.

The furthest traveller this time was Martin Edison, who came over from Scotsdale, Arizona, dovetailing in a brief tour of southern England with his delightful partner, Stephanie. On the day, Stephanie must have gotten very familiar with her hotel room, as Martin didn't get home until 9.30pm! (At least he got home the same day! That would never have happened years ago. Ed.)


The meal itself, was up to its usual standard, and consisted of Oyster Mushroom Tart followed by Chicken Dijonnaise and then Irish Coffee Mousse with Vanilla Ice Cream.

After the meal, by which time everyone was reasonably well oiled, there were a couple of brief speeches, one from my good self, and one from our esteemed President, The Codmeister, John Adlington.


John presented three Life Vice-President's awards, for services to the OTA, to yours truly, David "Taff " Evans and Stu - "I'm now retired and living on an enormous pension " Courtenay. LVP’s were also awarded to Glen Cain, John Halsey and Gary Kedney who, for a variety of frankly pathetic excuses, could not be with us and have been presented with their awards at other times.


The highlight of the speechifying was an auction - Peter Leberl very generously provided several china plates (emblazoned with the school crest - a Bishop's Mitre) to be auctioned with the proceeds going to OTA funds. The auction was conducted by Keith Cathcart in tremendous style, and was a raging success. Eight plates were auctioned, and £430 was raised. The good news is that Peter has a couple more plates, which can be auctioned next year.


We left the restaurant at around 5pm and reconvened at the pub just around the corner. The drink flowed, the conversation was up to its usual standard (complete bollocks) and a great time was had by all. Alan Baker failed to maintain a vertical posture for the whole evening and did spend some of the time on the floor! (Perhaps looking up girl's skirts?)

All in all it was a great day, and I think everyone agreed that it was the best yet.

If you haven't yet managed to attend one of these events, please either let me know or contact your editor, Bob Blewer, and I'll put you on the mailing list.


See you all in 2004!

Eddie Boyle.



Thanks indeed Ed. I had a note from Brian Brearley to say how much he had enjoyed the day. He included a few snaps he took of the proceedings, although unfortunately not the one of Alan Baker looking up girl’s skirts. I’ve put them on the notice board down at the ground.


Committee Men


I have spoken before about the importance of renewing the places on the various committees within the OTA. Many of the people who are currently serving have done so for many years and fortunately seem to be sufficiently committed to continue to do so. However the status quo can never be enough. To take us forward, we constantly need new faces with new ideas and thoughts about how we both fund and develop our Clubs


One particularly important position that will become vacant in 2004 is that of Bar Manager/Treasurer. Alan Baker has filled this position magnificently for years and has given the Club 12 months notice of his intention to step down. This position is one of some significance, as the profits from the bar look like they will be increasingly needed to supplement the inadequate incomes of the Sports Clubs.


If any of you feel you might be able to fill this position and would like to know exactly what the job entails, please phone Alan Baker on 0208 395 9980 for details.


I serve on a couple of OT committees and when I look at the quality of the people with whom I attend these fairly occasional meetings, I can only say that I am delighted to be associated with such a group. If any of you would care to join us, please, don’t hesitate, let me know. If you don’t, our future can only be very limited.


Website


Those of you that are ‘webbed up’, please pay a visit to www.oldtenisonians.co.uk. Micky Vaughan continues to do a great job for us and would love any of you to contribute to the website in any way you can think of.


150 Club.


As usual, you will find a list of winners for the first half year, on the last page. But never forget, even if you lose, the Club wins and even if you win, Mick Keating might decide on your behalf that he will reinvest or donate your winnings to the Club. It’s that sort of a Club. I’m delighted to see Keith Joiner’s name crop up a few times, that’s because he’s bought more numbers than anybody else and good to see the Dawes’ supplementing their pensions through the Club. So send loads of more £12, just £1 a month, even I can’t believe it's such a give away, to: -






Mick Keating

58 Feering Hill

Feering

Essex

C05 9NL


That’s all from me. I’m off to win Johnnie Isit’s ‘Eclectic Challenge’ in County Wicklow, this entails my drinking a drink of every colour the hotel bar has to offer. Thanks to Joan and Patrick for more of the same, not to mention the beleaguered Brian Lester (who still wants out of the printing job!) and Alan Baker.


I’ve actually kept one or two articles up my sleeve for the next issue but please don’t let that stop you from making a contribution on anything that takes your fancy Enjoy the rest of the summer.



Bob Blewer Tel: 0208 647 4670

286 London Road E-mail: blewerfamily@AOL.Com

Wallington

Surrey

SM6 7DD



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