Edition No . 25 . Winter/Spring 2007.
Letter(s) From Reader(s)
Hi everybody. This, my final Mumblings, has perhaps, been the most difficult to complete. In MM24, I reminded you that this would be my last effort and that should you have any outstanding gripe you wanted to get off your chests, this might be your last chance, at least for a while. None of you had a word to say. Fortunately, I had one or two pieces to start with and some of my regulars have rallied round and so there is still a bit for you to read. However, I feel that I have been affected by your apathy and sometimes weeks have passed before my conscience forced me back to the Mumblings editing suite. Anyway it’s almost done now.
As to when you may get the opportunity to read any more OT news is at the moment uncertain. Nobody has volunteered to edit the Mumblings in its current guise but Roger Everitt has put forward a proposal to publish a web based publication, a sort of Motspur Blog. The OTA committee have asked Eddie Boyle and myself to liaise with Roger, together with Ron Condon and Paul Owen, to see how this new venture might be bought to life. Rest assured that those of you that do not have access to modern media will not be forgotten in our discussions. Hard copy will be made available somehow or another.
A busy few months for me and Joan before Christmas, saw Patrick and Siobhan marry late in October on what proved to be a memorable couple of days. The kids had taken care of all the arrangements and everything worked perfectly. Different in form from most of the weddings of my generation, that certainly did not stop all the guests from having a great time. We were delighted that Patrick’s ‘Grans’ were in such fine fettle. Both in their eighties, everybody wanted to say hallo to them. They have been known for years as Gran B(lewer) and Gran C(onnell), which rather makes them sound like a couple of aged vitamins doesn’t it?
Two months later we finally moved. We had been looking for about two years before finding our new place and apart from an early sense of isolation, neither of us have ever been more than five minutes from local shops and pubs etc; we feel pretty settled. A feeling which will doubtless end when the builders move in. Now we just tell ourselves that all the extra walking is doing us good.
Then in March we visited Joan’s brother and sister in law in Hong Kong. A great trip saw us team up with the Browns for dinner. Their cruise ship ( the one that didn’t get passed the Isle of Wight, last year ) docked in the morning, just in time for Mick to visit his tailor for a few suits and shirts etc. before we all met up for drinks. They had to be back onto their floating pumpkin by midnight and I am told that they carried on partying to the small hours. After four very busy days, it was something of a relief to relax on the beach in Langkawi for a week or so. Tough, I know but somebody has to do it.
Recently, our ancient tractor at Motspur Park finally gave up the ghost, there was no possibility of any sort of economic repair. Groundsman Alan Landymore and Alan Baker did all they could to beg, borrow or steal a viable second hand replacement from manufacturers, agents and other groundsman in the area. This again, proved impossible. The tractor is the most important tool in any groundsman’s kit. Basically, you can’t have a sports ground without one. So the Ground Company were forced to buy a new one at the cost of £15,000; which of course, it does not have. To fund this purchase we took approximately £2,250 from our meagre reserve, borrowed £5,000 from the OTA and the balance will be paid by hire purchase agreement.
Three years ago many of you contributed to the Sports Ground’s 80th anniversary appeal. Your generosity on that occasion allowed us to replace all the old original windows of the dressing rooms. No matter how well the Ground Company manages its budget, we can never build the kind of cash reserve that would ever accommodate a large capital purchase, such as the tractor. So it is with some reluctance that we once again call on your generosity. Any amount that we raise would be a massive help as we continue to try to maintain and improve the facilities at Motspur Park. Thanks once again to the generosity of the OTA both the bar and pavilion have recently been decorated. As a charity which serves the School, the Old Boys and other local users, we hope that you will consider this appeal is another worthy one.
Eddie Boyle got the appeal off to a great start at the recent School Dinners by extracting just over £500 from those present. This sum will be enhanced to around £650 after gift aid, So we are on our way! Thank you to all those who gave so generously.
Any donations can be sent to our Treasurer, Alan Baker, at 13 St George’s Road, Wallington, Surrey, SM6 0AS. Whilst making your donations, please complete the gift aid form which follows. Thank you.
Archbishop Tenison’s School Sports Ground
Council of Management.
Gift Aid Declaration Form Name …………………………………..
Using Gift Aid means that for every pound I want all donations I’ve made to Archbishop
you give, Archbishop Tenison’s School Sports Tenison’s School Sports Ground since 6 April
Ground gets an extra 28 pence from the Inland 2003 and all donations in the future to be
Revenue, helping your donation to go further. Gift Aid donations until I notify you otherwise.
This means that £10 can be turned into £12.80 Full name ……………………………………
just so long as donations are made through
Gift Aid. And it doesn’t cost you a thing! Date ………………………………………….
So if you want your donation to go further, To qualify for Gift Aid, what you pay in
Gift Aid it. Just complete this form and return income tax or capital gains tax must at least be
it to Alan Baker. equal to the amount we will claim in the tax year.
We are where we are. I hate this phrase as I hate so many other trite phrases that have entered everyday speech (I really am turning into my Dad) but I thought it was, perhaps, a way to introduce my view on where the Old Tenisonians Association is in 2007.
Firstly, I believe it is quite miraculous that there is still such a formal body, with its’ active Sports Clubs. If there were still such a thing as The Old Boys Football League, older members would recognise the absence of many of the teams that they faced during their playing careers. Our members have fought, tooth and nail, to keep the OTA alive. I hope it does not sound too pretentious to suggest, that one of the reasons that some of our members have continued their efforts on behalf of the Association, is that they still believe that our Association is a force for good in an ever changing world.
School pupils and possibly school management seem to have deemed us redundant/irrelevant for many years now but we should never overlook the substantial demographic changes that took place within the school when it changed its status so many years ago. This, coupled with the massive societal changes that have taken place has meant that the vast majority of our playing members have had to be recruited from other walks of life and from all around both inner and outer London and sometimes beyond, for some thirty years or more. Many of these associate members have helped the continuance of the Sports Clubs in such a way that, had they not, the Associations’ active life would have ceased long ago. However, the School has a new Head Teacher, and we will once again do our best to forge a meaningful relationship with the new Head.
We should not, however, think that we as an Association are blameless for our inability to attract schoolboys to our ranks. It is not just the grammar schools like Wilsons, Sutton, Finchley etc that survive and thrive, many schools that went through similar transformations to our own have made a better fist of things than we have. Peter Langford, in particular, has told us what other clubs do in terms of youth training etc. but having spent half a day of their weekend away from their home and family, to find anybody to donate another half day would be a tough ask. Hardly any of our members have ever lived on the doorstep of Motspur Park.
The ground is both a blessing and a curse in this regard. Many of us would never want to visit another ground were it not necessary but for others it is just too far to go for a game of football or cricket. We have never been a local club and the area is not lacking in other clubs to play for. This is particularly true for cricket.
Before I come to the end of my final editorial, I would just like to say a word or three about some of the people whom I am proud to with serve on the main Association Committee . People like Glen Cain. Glen is our Treasurer and has been for more then a decade and that period has undoubtedly been the most difficult in our history and yet Glen brings an unfailing optimism to what is a thankless task. Brian Lester, a past President who has taken on the Secretarial duties, a truly staunch Tenisonian. Paul Kain and Nevill Perkins are doing a great job with the bar. Mick Keating, still twisting arms on behalf of the 150 Club. Eddie Boyle another past President who if he had done nothing else, would have done his bit but he didn’t stop there. He gave us School Dinners. Thank you Ed. Alan Ewart and Micky Brown have returned to add their counsel as has John Pearce on behalf of the Football Club. Jim Butcher is always there for the Cricket Club. Stalwarts Alan Baker, Pete Langford, Johnny Addlington, who have all given so much over a long period of time and last but not least, our current long serving President and webmaster, Micky Vaughan.
I cannot pass up the opportunity of mentioning the members of Ground Company Management team, Ron Forrest, Chairman; Alan Baker, Ground Manager and Treasurer; Dave Sadler, Secretary; Geoffrey Leberl, Eddie Myers and groundsman Alan Landymore. Their efforts on behalf of the School, the Old Boys and various other users are immense. The Company, which is run as as a charity, had a very fraught beginning, which many of you will recall. However, anybody who has enjoyed a visit to Motspur Park over the last decade or so, have done so entirely due to the efforts of the aforementioned people and their former colleagues and once again, I am proud to be associated with them.
So where are we? Unless we can renew our playing membership with members who are committed to running the Club on proper lines, with due regard to finance and discipline, we could be dying the death of a thousand cuts. It is so important to grow friendships throughout the Club, not just the team you might play for. We should aim to be one entity again, not just an umbrella structure for individual teams. Many of the people I have mentioned above have been working on your behalf for many a moon. Some of them would probably like a break, are any of you prepared to do a stint? New people with new and different ideas are desperately needed.
Many people have done a lot of work to get us where we are now and I’d like to thank all of you. You all did very well! To be fair, at the end of the day, it’s important to take the positives out of it. Yeah? For sure. So I’ll draw a line in the sand under my last editorial. Eeeeeuuuccchhh!
Da Oirish Code.
Before I tell you of the wondrous tour to the top left hand corner of Ireland (also known as Donegal) by The Any Excuse Will Do Golf Society, I must let you all know that The Da Vinci Code is a load of old shite. None of it makes any sense whatsoever and the so-
Why the hell is he telling me all this when I was looking forward to a literary romp through the wilds of north-
And with that, let’s move on to the reason we all joined up at Stansted Airport at 6 in the morning on Thursday the 6th July. Off to Derry City Airport was that reason, with a mini-
Eventually we were all ready to start our mammoth weekend of golf with last year’s winner (Dave English) driving us off. I can’t remember if it was him now or Geoff Brown who drove off well to the left and bounced his ball off some poor local’s newly-
Following the round and a refreshing shower, we met up in the clubhouse bar for the usual post mortem concerning the course and our scores. My only memory of the bar is the wonderful chowder they sold; fantastic.
On the bus back to the hotel came the obligatory fines fiasco as the dictatorial Taffy imposed arbitrary and swingeing fines (5 Euros) on those poor unfortunates he takes a dislike to. Having looked at my notes now I can see that he fined Geoff Brown for hitting his drive onto the roof – so apologies to Dave English. He also fined Dave Clifford (the Muvva) for having a bad hair cut, Terry Smith for wearing a corduroy jacket, Brian O’Leary for wearing ‘Pirates of the Caribbean long shorts’ (he did look ridiculous, it has to be said), Dave English for claiming that he could have been in the Blow Monkeys – but decided not to be; and me for doing the Guardian cryptic crossword!!! Pol Pot would have been proud of him. He was the one who had all the intellectuals in Cambodia killed.
The evening was spent at the hotel enjoying a lovely meal – inevitably involving potatoes. I won’t bore you with what everyone ate, but Terry Smith had the sea bass.
Day 2 found us heading north again for the Ballyliffin golf club. This was on another peninsula but west of the first. I’ve looked at the course planner and my notes but can summon up no memories at all of the course … I wish I’d write this stuff as soon as I get back. Anyway, I can tell you that Terry Palfrey won the day – and probably moaned all the way round – and Geoff Brown won both the nearest the pin contests! At 50 Euros a pop he must have come home with more than he went with! I can’t remember how many Terry scored to win but I remember that I scored 27 points with 5 blobs
On the bus back Taffy fined Reg for what was called “stunt golf”, which entailed him hitting a drive with both feet off the ground at the same time. I remember him doing it but was unable to describe how he still managed to hit the ball. Also fined were Herman for doing something to Taff for an hour, and me for doing something wrong in the hotel reception (my notes are now illegible, sorry).
That night we all had a real adventure in the town of Letterkenny. Our bus driver offered to take us into the town to a “great pub”. It was called The Wolf Tone. Those amongst you who know your Irish history will remember that Wolf Tone was an 18th century nationalist who fought the protestant English for the liberation of his catholic homeland. It was also the name of a 70’s folk band whose most famous song was ‘Up the IRA’. In we go like innocents to the slaughter to find all the bar staff were in Celtic shirts and the walls were adorned with photos of the IRA hunger-
On Saturday morning we were joined by Gary Kedney, who had just flown in from Stansted. We were off to Donegal Golf Club. Another links course but this time on the west coast. This was the only day we all got really wet. The rain started after about 2 hours and, being Ireland, it wasn’t particularly heavy, but it was persistent and we were all happy to get into the clubhouse. Things were so bad for me that when I couldn’t find my ball just off the 18th fairway (a ball I’d played the entire round with up to then) I wouldn’t even look for it! Geoff Brown won the day and one of the nearest the pins, with me winning the second. Geoff claimed that his ball was nearer the hole than mine but it wasn’t on the green. A claim I treated with justified derision. I can’t remember how many Geoff scored to win but I remember that I scored 27 points with 5 blobs.
On the bus home Taffy (the b*****d) fined Bob Blewer for wearing his tweed jacket (he got fined for wearing the corduroy last year! How daft is he?), Ian Lines for dropping his trousers in a bunker – I don’t think it was explained why he did that, and himself for losing his fines notes in the wet conditions.
It was now Saturday night and after a relaxing hour in the swimming pool and Jacuzzi for some of us, it was another fantastic meal in the hotel. Terry had the sea bass.
Sunday was the last day of the competition proper. A number of people could still win the overall prize but Geoff Brown was holding me at bay with a single point advantage – and we were playing together!! One of our number collapsed on the first tee with the excitement of it all (or did I just imagine that?). The day started in the inevitable drizzle that keeps that part of Ireland so green. From the first tee it was impossible to see the green – and not because the hole was a dog-
On the bus back to the hotel Taffy fined Dave Woods (a.k.a. HONKY TONK, because he walks like Dick Emery) for being the last to discover that he’s known as HONKY TONK, Mick Keating for throwing his toys out of the pram during his round, Geoff Collyer for reminding Taff of Fred Couples AND Mr Bean and himself for hitting an iron shot and holding the pose until the ball had come to a stop! He also fined me – and this is where I get really angry -
That night was the world cup final and the hotel set us up nicely at one end of the bar with a telly and a table full of finger food … lovely. Following Materazzi’s well-
Monday found us just a few miles from the hotel playing our traditional Texas Scramble at the Letterkenny golf club. Those of you who are regular readers of this tripe will recall me mentioning a course a few years back that was akin to a building site for about 10 of the holes. That was a pure paradise compared to this one. There was building work going on everywhere and there was more sand on the fairways than in the bunkers. Bob Blewer, Geoff Brown and I were the eventual winners finishing on level par having performed the truly amazing feat of 18 consecutive pars. The three of us were awarded trophies on the bus to the airport but I still feel we deserved more.
Derry City airport just waited for our flight to leave before it closed down for the evening and the short trip back to Stansted brought the curtain down on yet another fantastic weekend. They say that time goes faster when you are enjoying yourself, and for me, the weekend just flew by. My personal thanks to all who went and made it a great time and, I’m sure I speak for all there when I extend special thanks to Mick Keating for his usual magnificent organisation. If I could make just one criticism Mick (if you’re reading this) I’d prefer to have another sachet of coffee in the hotel room.
I look forward to seeing you all (well obviously not all the readers of this, just the golfers) again next year in Athlone.
Your learned friend. Jeff Lamb.
P.S. It was humble me who reached that magic score of 100 points and won the overall prize! ( JL )
Sports reportage and literary criticism in the same piece, priceless and only in the Mumblings. ( Ed. )
Sport is often sited as a metaphor for life and what could have demonstrated the ups and downs of life more than the last year and a half for England’s best cricketers. You really have to pinch yourself. I was one of several OT’s that paid a visit to the Oval to see us secure the Ashes for the first time in yonks but it already seems like a dream. Can you imagine if they still had to travel home by boat, there would be continuous calls of ‘man overboard’!
Clever coach Fletcher turned out to have organised a three month net session all around Australia in order to triumph in the one day series. Strategic genius!
CRICKET CLUB CAPTAIN’S REPORT 2006
We have just come to the end of another enjoyable season of cricket. Although enjoyable, I can safely say that it was the most difficult I can remember for both me and the hard working committee. The difficulty was struggling to field two teams each week due to lack of availability most weekends and a general shortage of players in the club. Committee members have worked tirelessly week after week at meetings, making numerous telephone calls and spending hours of their time contacting old and existing players to avoid having to cancel fixtures. Cancellation of games would almost certainly have resulted in the expulsion of the club from the league.
It is to the credit of the committee that we did not have to cancel any fixtures. That said, we had to play some games with only 10 players (and lost them) and had to juggle players to ensure that we had enough batsman and bowlers in each team. I would like to express my personal thanks to all committee members, particularly Micky Vaughan and John Munden, for making this possible. Not only did they have to do all the donkey work to get a team together but found themselves on the losing side more often than not due to lack of available players.
On the bright side, new players Andy Gordon and Russell Miller have settled in well and are great additions to the membership of the club. They have both been regulars in the First team and have helped us immensely throughout the season by their commitment to play most weekends.
Looking through the league statistics, it is noticeable that only a small proportion of players turned out for more than 10 games during the season. This is not good enough if we want to continue to play in the league and compete. We need more commitment from all players if we are to survive as a club. Our aim should be for us all to play at least 10-
Turning to the cricket played during the year I have been impressed by the attitude and commitment of players selected to play for the First Eleven. All have done me proud as skipper and I have enjoyed the games and the spirit in which they have been played. In terms of individual performances, John Halsey, Gary Parsons, Grant and Toby Hubbard and Nev Perkins all deserve special mention. They have all done exceptionally well and Nev assumed responsibility as skipper during my recuperation period. I would also like to express my sincere thanks to Alan Baker and Brian Lester for giving up some of their precious time to umpire for us during the season. Not only are they both very good umpires, but they take a considerable amount of pressure off me and the players.
The other people who take an awful lot of pressure off me are the ‘tea ladies’. They do a fantastic job and I am very grateful for all they do for me and the club – many thanks. My final thank you goes to Kaino. He has done a fantastic job as Club Secretary, part time DJ and joint Bar Steward!
My final message is to say that I have enjoyed many good years playing cricket for Old Tenisonians Cricket Club and would like to continue playing for the club in the foreseeable future. This will only be possible if you all share my desire and pull with me to make next year better than this one in terms of making yourselves available more often than not. I hope to see you at the Annual General Meeting for an open and frank discussion.
2ndXI Report 2006
A very disappointing season all round. Owing to a number of players moving and leaving the club, our playing resources were quite low. A number of regular 2nd XI players of last season found themselves playing for the 1st XI.
We got off to a flyer, struggling to field eleven and John Munden keeping wicket, we beat Ottershaw. They got 88, we just managed to do it by 2 wickets! Kevin Binns broke a finger and was out for the next five weeks. The positive from this game was the introduction of Neil Cleary who was a welcome addition to the side and schoolboy Troy Webster.
The next two weeks, rain prevented us from thrashing Ewhurst and Stoke d’Abernon,
after which we continued to struggle for most of the season.
We did take some batting points off Hampton Wick Royal, as they were so keen the previous year to rub in the fact w hadn’t.
There was an unfortunate incident at Guildford, which was made much too much of by the opposition. The player involved has not played cricket since because of the unsatisfactory way in which the ECB have dragged their heels in the matter. The Fuller’s league committee also feel, as a club we have acted properly and that player should start the coming season.
We also managed to draw with the top two teams in the league, however one of those results was due to the inexperience of the opposition skipper
Guest appearances, on more than one occasion, from Alan Ewart, Vic Govey, Richard Marshall and assorted friends ensured that we fulfilled all our fixtures.
Our batting proved more brittle than last year, with only Paul Powell and John Munden scoring over 200 runs. On one of the few appearances of John Halsey, he was only the second player to record a 50. Everyone tried to do their bit, however no one was really consistent enough throughout the season.
The bowling was a little better, although on several occasions we struggled to bowl sides out. Barry Mercer took the most wickets with 18, supported by Des Emanaus and James Varney. John Munden bowled well for little reward. Paul Powell kept wicket well, but generally the fielding could have been better. Everybody enjoyed the matches and the banter with the opposition, with just one or two exceptions. Hopefully the coming season will fair much better, with some new players, fewer weddings and holidays, I am sure everyone is up for it! Here’s to the 2007 season.
The Cricket Club are holding their annual BBQ this year on Saturday 30th June 2007 and all are welcome down at the ground.
A little bit of football.
At the last OTA committee meeting I heard that on the following Saturday, the 4th XI were playing in a cup final at John Fisher’ ground. I thought I’d pop along on a lovely sunny if windy spring day. After an early setback the 4th XI dominated large passages of play and ran out comfortable 5-
It was good to see so many old faces both on and off the pitch. For Terry Smith it ended a particularly hectic three months or so which took in The Ashes, his and Dawn’s wedding in Cairns ( beautiful and well worth the wait was Dawn’s comment ), a near death experience on Bondi Beach. Apparently Terry had got caught in one of the notorious rip tides which are common to the area and needed to be rescued by the beach patrol. Who of us would have been surprised if Terry had asked his rescuers to pop back to shore on account of he couldn’t be rescued by men wearing pillar-
I was also delighted to see my old sparring partner Ronnie Byrne, who told me that the 5thXI have become the first team in the Clubs history to have their team talks delivered in two languages. Let me explain. Midway through the season a reshuffle in the club ended with the bottom team requiring an urgent influx of players. One of the existing squad is married to a Polish girl who asked her brother whether he fancied a game. He did and within a few weeks so did a few of his mates, hence the dual language team talks. Who’d have thought it?
The Football Club had a mixed season on the field, with the 4th enjoying a League and Cup double with a couple of the other teams narrowly missing out.
1st XI were 5th in Senior Three
2nd XI were 8th in Intermediate South
3rd XI were 3rd in Two South
4th XI won 10 South, whilst being unbeaten.
5th XI were 4th in 11 South.
Discipline is still a problem. Many of the points that the Club rack up would never have happened in days gone by. At the AGM, members even discussed withdrawing from all cups in order to reduce the intensity that cup runs can bring. I think the meeting well understood Kevin McCarthy’s proposal but the majority felt that the special feel of the cups were integral to any football season. At a recent disciplinary hearing, the Club were informed that unless our record drastically improved, the Club were likely to be suspended from the League from the following season. The Club has done its best to make certain that our teams are playing in the divisions most commensurate with our teams abilities but in the end, discipline is the responsibility of each and every player. It will be up to all of them to determine whether they want to continue playing football or not.
Ground Company Quiz ‘06
1. Who’s autobiography was titled ‘If I don’t write it, nobody else will.’
2. What does the T in James T Kirk stand for.
3. What was the name of the US Senate’s enquiry into the death of President Kennedy.
4. What is the name of a line which joins any two points on a circle.
5. What was the 1976 hit by The Cockeral Chorus.
6. From which country did Iceland gain its independence in 1944
7. Who was Daryl Hair’s umpire partner at the Oval in 2006
8. What was the significance of :-
9. Who wrote The Golden Bowl.
I refuse to tire of telling you what an enjoyable evening this annual event is and with the proceeds going to the Ground Company for its good works at Motspur Park, the evening represents both time and money well spent.
It was the closest contest in the history of the event ending in a dead heat between Susan Johnson’s ‘Wallington Eggheads’ and the ever competitive Byrne/Smith/Moriarty team this year supplemented by former teacher at the School and OT, Julian Hind. Quizmaster Baker was fully prepared with tie-
Unfortunately the Blewer/Brown/Simmons team, who are usually there or thereabouts, finished a distant third. We were missing our leading goalscorer who had double booked us. She will not be forgiven easily or quickly and in Brownie’s case, probably never.
Thanks as always are due the fantastic production team of Alan and Vera Baker and Ron Forrest together with their small army of helpers in front of the bar and behind it.
1. Eric Sykes
3. The Warren Commission
5. Nice one Cyril
7. Billy Doctrove
8. The name of the world’s most expensive painting, by Jackson Pollock ( Jack the dripper ).
9. Henry James
The questions and answers are to the best of my memory on the evening.
Micky Vaughan has been good enough to let me have his copy of the latest School magazine, the Tenison Times and here are some highlights.
The front page is given over to new Headmistress, Mrs.Elizabeth Sims,MA, who was obviously pleased to be able to report some impressive statistics on her scholars examination results. The School intends to build, literally, on their success and Mrs. Sims is looking for both land and funding to give the School the increased accomodation they desperately need.
The School have developed links with the Fulin No5 Middle School in Chonking, China. The School were visited by the Principal of the Fulin school together with an English teacher. I believe this was partly facilitated by the British Council in conjunction with Mayor ( Ken’s ) Thames Festival. Tenisons contributed a banner for the Festival, which depicted the history of the River Thames. The Fulin School bought their own banner with them, with similar themes on the Yangste.
The breadth of activities undertaken is staggering from the days when some of us were at school. Religious studies seems to play a substantial part in School life these days and the opportunity for a group of students to experience a Kosher meal whilst studying Judaism, is something I suspect many of us have never done.
A geography trip to the River Wandle inevitably ended with one pupil who ‘lost concentration’ and got a soaking. One pupil wrote perceptively of a trip to the Rodin exhibition. Sport, drama, debate and music are still much in evidence. I was pleased to read that the School continues to provide choristers to Southwark Cathedral. Dr.John Sentamu, Archbishop of York was the guest of honour at a celebration for the achievements of African students from Lambeth Schools, which was held at the Oval. Trips to Paris-
I know we all wish Mrs. Sims and her staff the best of good fortune in their efforts on behalf of their pupils.
Since writing the above, you will all have read and heard of the deaths of too many young men around inner London. The first four of these poor unfortunates would all have fallen within our School’s catchment area, at least when I was at School. Two of them lost their lives within a couple of hundred yards of my mum’s house in Camberwell, one in Streatham and another in North Clapham. These deaths tragically demonstrate some of the difficulties of being a kid in inner London today. It also makes you realise, once again, what a terribly difficult job Schools and their dedicated staff have.
The Golden Year of ‘56
One of the great things about the OTA website, which Micky Vaughan runs with such dedication, is that it is occasionally visited by a former pupil of Tenison’s who has not been in touch with the School or the Old Boys for some years. One such recently was Albert (“Albie”) Coombes, who was at Tenison’s from 1950-
I recalled the name immediately as a stocky talented left-
This recollection prompted an exchange of e-
The Old Boys batted first and scored 138. Dennis Bartlett top scored with 34. The School used only three bowlers! Derek Hazell (21-
When the School batted Wellman was in great form but wickets fell steadily at the other end. No-
Albie did just as he was told. He scored just a single while Wellman saw the School home and finished on 111 not out. I can still hear the then Secretary of Surrey, Brian Castor, congratulating Wellman over the public address system as the teams came off the field.
Roger Parker took 6-
So, thank you Albie for getting in touch with the OTA after all these years and for providing me with an opportunity to indulge my favourite pastime of ‘nostalging’.
As a footnote, I see from the Surrey scorecard of the match that the “Next Match at the Oval” was Surrey v. Australians on 16,17,18 May 1956. This was to be the prelude to Laker mesmerising the Australians and encouraging 14-
From ‘Les’ Butcher, of that ilk.
I have had a few goes at getting through to you, so here we go again.
I was fiddling about on the internet the other day
and suddenly came across a school photo from my sojourn at
Tenisons,1951/56. I could not believe what I was looking at. It was like being
in a time warp. I can remember the day so clearly and here it was right in
front of me over fifty years later. The names came flooding back. Going from
left to right with a few omissions there is Chris"Nipper"Bowling, Leonard"Greasy Dan"Danbury, Dennis Newman who I read went to Canada, Alan"Arthur"(after the comedian of the day)English, Brian"Lou"Sore who became a very close friend but unfortunately the friendship ended with a silly argument after fifty years. "Eggy"Gaisford a great artist, Alan Tregunno, John Watson whose girl friend had the unfortunate name of Everest and we were all told by John that he had surmounted every peak, I wonder if they ever married? Robert Amphlett, a real brainy git, Roger Metcalfe another close friend who lived near me in East Dulwich. John Pratt, Mr.Logan, the caretaker, nice man. Colin Sales, who I last saw when he came into the building where I worked in the West End of London, never saw him again. Then there is me with my schoolboy glasses and
greasy quiff looking less than enthusiastic about the whole thing, Robert Howard who could not master forward rolls which was unlucky as Harry Waddingham used them as a punishment for infractions of the rules. He called them aspirins as they left the victim with a king size headache after doing them for the full length of the gym. I liked Harry, hard but fair. The next
face I remember is David Elboz, another good artist, Thorburn Frost, a good footballer, a winger if I remember rightly,played for South London. Then the famous Pete Leeds, bet he is hirsutely challenged now. Snowy White, Geoff Uglow, lan"Albie"Baines who I hope continues well with his recovery. Robert Leonard, Leonard Garnish, Dave Harding, Robert Hurrell of the famous ears, Dave Beavis who was also a close mate. He sported a Tony Curtis haircut but was
not allowed the forehead bit in school time. Trevor Grundy, well known fascist and surprisingly a quiet and self effacing guy, Mickey Barrell, another mate who I last saw when my wife was carrying our twenty-
Charlton whose goalie was Sam Bartram. Derek Braddle who lived just up the road from school in Camberwell New Road, No.98, my God, what a memory. Then of course there were the teachers, a motley crew. I can say that now without any fear of comebacks. We were the rebels (another word for lazy bastards)in 4m and later 5m. Our form master was Frank"Innes, a smashing man who didn't deserve the stick we gave out (Ah hindsight), Harry Waddingham who
I met some years after leaving school. We had a chat almost man to man which was quite unreal. "George"Robb, another footballing nickname, Lewis, my first form master who taught French and sprayed everything and everyone with his exact French pronunciation. When the sun shone through the window you could almost discern a rainbow. Laidlaw Brown, my God, who could forget that over perfumed lover of corporal punishment? "Fanny"Fry, Joe Butler, the top of the stairs king, Percy Robinson, known by my form as "Hooky" for his somewhat bent hooter. He gave me four whacks with the old bamboo once. Wow! He could certainly use it. Next comes Miss Desbicht, then Mr.Conacher, woodwork, a nice man. Johnson the art teacher who loved to flex his muscles to us pupils, all in the name of art. I recall that once we visited the Tate gallery and he took the bus after telling us how to get there on foot. I'm sure he binned the fare allowance. Others I have since recognised are "Basher"Bates who would not let pupils go to the loo during class unless they wrote an essay on trees. I remember "Basher" giving me lines once just because I had exclaimed "Cor love a duck". The lines to be written fifty or a hundred times were comprised of the so humorous observation that "Ducks are very affectionate animals but we must
not love them". Ha bloody ha. Well, the rest of the class laughed. The English and French teacher got up my nose somewhat as I had been top in the exams for French four years on the trot. Mr.bloody Grant wrote on my report, and the words are still as clear as the day I got the report, "this creditable mark is against him in fact it betrays his laziness in subjects
he doesn't like". That was for 80%, miserable sod. I might have been a UN translator if it had not been for him.Well, I hope this fourth attempt will arrive, if not then what the hell, I have done my best. Success is not always the thing but attempting to succeed counts, as one of the aforementioned teachers "MIGHT" have said. Ah, but which one?Keeping all my digits crossed, quite painful actually.
By the way, just thought, I had not mentioned John"Mouse"Murdoch and also Robert Clifton.
Anyway,thanks for listening to my ramblings,
Friends from a long long way away….re-
Late September or early October I received an unexpected call from Bob Daws. I was being summoned to a local hostelry to share a pint with Martin Edison ( Arizona ) and Lew Baker ( Nairobi ). Martin and Lew were staying at the Hilton on Purley Way and had already had a few days of general carousing before seeing Roger Parker and Derek Hazell for lunch and then onto The Greyhound in Carshalton. Walking distance for me, poor Bob, Eddie Boyle and Micky Brown all had to drive. I’d seen Martin on a couple of occasions over the years but had not seen Lew for perhaps thirty years but as is the way with Old Tenisonians the missing years count for nothing. Alan Ewart in his appreciation of Jack Hewitt spoke of the ‘timeless Tenisonian’ friendships that he felt his friendship with Jack exemplified. The evening I enjoyed was yet another example of this phenomenon.
Catching up with Lew was both interesting and entertaining. Now retired, he’d spent the last twenty years working for a couple of Arab companies, both of whom eventually decided that they could run their business without Lew. Unremarkable at first except Lew had found he didn’t like Arabs and was therefore compelled to communicate through third parties. Not an easy working relationship with ones employer I’m sure you would agree. But then again, we are talking about Lew Baker aren’t we? Brownie played quite a bit of football with Lew after leaving school and has a handful of favourite stories he will happily relate when the occasion calls for it. I will repeat just one. In one game in which both Stuart Courtney and Stewart Cartwright were both playing, Lew has the ball and is looking to make his pass, both of the aforementioned hove into Lew’s view, Lew passes the ball and calls ‘Stu Courtwright’. I’ve always presumed the pass went nowhere near either of them. When Lew first pulled up in Nairobi, he played the odd game of football and was known as “ManU” to the local talent. He pops down to one of the local bars when he knows the Red Devils are playing.
Martin seems hardly to have changed at all. Sure there is a touch of salt in his 50/60s pop star haircut but in all other respects he remains the same man who befriended a group of younger Tenisonians in the mid late sixties. Our Wednesday night sessions at the Crown & Greyhound in Dulwich Village were unmissable. Martin was one of a group of Tenisonians who made my earliest participation in the Old Boys an education, an adventure and a pleasure. BB.
Will it be Cannes or Cleethorpes, Clacton or the Caymans? Maybe these results will help you with your holiday plans.
Special £50 No.67 J.Smith
1st £25 No.18 N.Tonks
2nd £15 No.36 K.Joiner
3rd £10 No.37 M.J.Brown ( I know, I can’t believe it either. Ed. )
Special £100 No.34 D.Clifford
1st £25 No.41 C.Mannion
2nd £15 No.155 G.Brown
3rd £10 No.56 R.Garcia
Whatever happens to the Mumblings, Mick Keating will continue to administer the 150 Club and all you lucky winners will be notified. So don’t worry your money is safe with us and still going to an incredibly good cause. You can always increase the size of your holdings, Missus. As Max Miller might once have said, ( isn’t it a shame that the only two people I can think of that you might hear saying such a thing these days would be “Taff” and Alan Baker ) by contacting :-
55 Feering Hill
School Dinners 7.n.o.
The 7th annual School Dinners lunch was held at the St.George’s hotel ,Langham Place on Friday May 4th 2007. There were 45 Old Tenisonians present at the start of proceedings at 12.30,and some were still around, 24 hours later!
As usual, the day commenced with a few drinks at the bar as people filtered in. We sat down to eat at 1.30. The food was very good, as always and by the end of the meal most of us were feeling very relaxed.
At this point, as usual I got up to say a few words and welcome the first-
Another highlight was Bob Brown presenting Fred Hoy with a football trophy he should have had some thirty years earlier. Fred was truly overcome and rendered almost speechless on receiving his award.
After the meal , we repaired to the bar. Fernando the bar manager had cunningly reduced the price of beer to £3.20 per bottle so that we’d all stay longer and drink more. It worked! Many of us ended up well tipsy and by the time we got to the pub, there were big chunks of the evening that just seemed to disappear into some kind of parallel universe!
Since the lunch , I’ve had many e-
The event was truly memorable and next year will be better still. If you want to have a great day out, good food, wonderful conversations with drunk people, sleep depravation, memory loss and a very slow weekend then be there or be square!
Thanks for the partial memories!
I’m hoping to arrange next year’s lunch on Friday April 11th but I will confirm later.
Your ever attentive host,
Many of you will have noticed that Eddie has not nominated his annual ‘most pissed’ award, although he seems to have set out a comprehensive list of runners and riders. I do not feel it is within my remit to point the finger on Ed’s behalf, although I was delighted to read that John Johnes and Tommy Rix were maintaining such high standards. I spoke to Ed a few days later, he happened to mention to me that having left home at about 11.00am on Friday morning, he finally got home at 2.00pm on Saturday afternoon. Now that’s what I call a good drink
During a subsequent phone call with Ed, I pointed out his omission. Unfortunately he is still suffering from alcoholic dementia and could not really remember if anybody could possibly have been as pissed as he was himself and therefore feels compelled to accept the coveted award of “most pissed”.
It is perhaps a shame that we cannot present the winner of the aforementioned award with some sort of token but by the very nature of the award, it is very unlikely that the recipient would manage to get his bauble home.
I have recommended this wonderful event to our former pupils on many occasions. People come from as far as Devon, Somerset, Yorkshire, the Kent coast and all stations to Peckham Rye. You can never tell how long these things will last, or more importantly, how much longer Ed will organise everything for the rest of us. So, turn up next year, you might not feel too well the next day but if you don’t enjoy yourself, I’d be very surprised.
Well that’s my lot! I’ve been doing this for about eleven years now and the world has changed massively in that period for which the Mumblings accepts no responsibility whatsoever. To those of you that wrote to the Mumblings, I thank you. Those that wrote twice, truly a rare breed, thank you doubly but without my regulars “Taff”, Gary Kedney, Jeff Lamb, Eddie Boyle, Jim Butcher, Alan Baker and Micky Vaughan, who always responded to the call, I would have probably packed it in a lot sooner. Other than all you contributors, the Mumblings would not have happened without ‘and the list of nominations is’……Derek and David Clark, Brian Lester, Alan Baker and Joan and Patrick. Thank you all.
Ken Langford in MM24 mentioned that his association with the Old Boys had been a life changing experience. I would not attempt to define my own relationship with the Old Boys in any other way. The friendships I made both at school and subsequently through the Old Boys have been enduring and exceptional. My efforts over twenty five issues of Motspur Mumblings represent merely a deposit on a debt which is unlikely to ever be repaid. I now intend to retire to the back benches of Old Boys life but I will do my best to help anybody else who attempts to record the life and times of our great Association.
All best wishes.
Bob Blewer Tel. No. 0208 642 4750
16 The Byway