OLD TENISONIANS

Est 1875


The Association of former pupils of Archbishop Tenisons School

I put my name and dates of attending Tenisons (1948-1953) on the Friends Reunited website and the names of a few of the others are familiar. I have looked at the various school photos posted on the site but could only recognise Gordon Bell in one of the photos. He and I joined Tenisons from Oliver Goldsmith school in Peckham and I see from the photo of the honours board that he was head boy in 1955. I often wonder what he achieved later in life – we lost touch after I left.

He was keen on science. I remember his family lived in a flat in the Peckham Road, almost opposite Oliver Goldsmith school and I often used to go home with him after school to help him build Meccano models.

I have only recently found the OTA website and looking through the school photos of 1955 in part 4 of 6 there is Gordon Bell sitting on the right of a teacher, who I believe was Mr. Bates, the geography teacher.

Gordon and I won some class prizes in the first and second years – the first year prizes being presented by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Fisher.

I still have a copy of the prize-giving programmes.

Your photos of the 2009 reunion brought back memories of the school hall with those stained glass windows. I remember the organ being installed in the gallery and the music teacher, (name escapes me) giving the inaugural recital.

During my time, Mr. Robinson was the head, Mr. Butler his deputy and others I recall were Mr. Johnson (art) who used to jump off the floor when he was bringing the cane down on miscreants’ backsides. Also Mr. Giles (History), Mr. Laidlaw-Browne (English), Mr. Lewis and Miss. Despitch (French), Mr. Husband (Maths), Mr. Hazelwood (Latin) and Mr. Waddingham (P.E.& physics).

The woodwork room was on the far left side of the playground. About 1950 a new gym was built on the school roof. Showers were installed which you ran through to avoid being whipped with the class bully’s wet towel.

I still have my enamelled cap badge but no longer my Hogarth house brown peaked cap.

Sports at Motspur Park always entailed a train journey from Vauxhall to Motspur Park and a walk to the ground. If the weather was too bad or the ground unplayable, we either watched old football coaching films i.e. Stanley Matthews dribbling round poles or were often walked to the Imperial War Museum as an alternative. I played for the Old Boys football teams for a couple of seasons until National Service, after which I moved from South London to Stratford in the east.

For the past 34 years I have lived in Ingatestone, Essex.  (Sorry have mislaid the name!!)

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