OLD TENISONIANS

Est 1875


The Association of former pupils of Archbishop Tenisons School

I bet you don't get many missives from nonagenarian OTs . . . !


I was delighted to find the Tenisons site when looking to refresh my memories of the 'thirties for a different reason - and have so much enjoyed Mumblings and other news that I venture to offer browsers a glimpse into somewhat farther away times.

One of your correspondents mentioned having been at school in the era of Dr Robinson, Joe Butler and

Miss Kenyon-Stowe. They were all there in my day. Dr Robinson's predecessor was Mr Ratcliffe, a

kindly man with an austere presence, who prowled the corridors in full cap and gown regalia. Gowns

were de rigeur for all staff. Gaston, the porter and confronter of late-comers through the front door when

the school gate clanged shut, was smartly uniformed though bent of back. Perhaps the latter was due

to his habit of sharpening knives for the kitchen staff on the front step.

I don't think I profited much from the teachings of Messrs Ratcliff (chemistry), Gill (physics) and Gibson

(German), but I must have listened attentively to Messrs Gallimore (English), Field (art) and Parrot

(printing, an after-school option). Their collective influences steered me into a career of writing and

publishing which continues today. Gallimore appointed me editor of The Mitre, the school magazine, the first student to hold the post. Then, it was the earnest chronicler of academic and sporting goings-on, with

not much light-hearted stuff; no doubt, it has changed with the years

Sport was my passion and I have many happy memories of Motspur Park: 1st X1 football; cross-

country (two firsts and a second in the senior, fourth in the junior); tennis.

The names of school mates are still clear. Many were members of the Cadet Corps, joined the

Terriers and, sadly, didn't surive Dunkirk. I played 2nd Xl football (and still have a shirt) for the OT's for three years before being called up as a Militiaman in December 1939. Serving in both the Gunners and the Sappers, I had spells in the War Office and in Nigeria.

Demobbed, I joined a weekly newspaper in Brighton, then spent a couple of years the tourism dept of the local council (writing and designing guides and ads), before becoming publicity manager of an international travel and package holiday firm.

Then I joined another chap to found the world's first weekly newspaper for the international tourism and travel industry. We had no money but believed in our idea. That was the start of an exciting a 25-year job which took me to many parts of the world by land, sea and air. I was lucky enough to be involved

in 'discovering' and promoting new holiday destinations and in inaugurating air routes to serve them.

By the time I retired as managing director and editor-in-chief the paper published separate editions for six European countries and regions and in North America and Asia. I was also a director of several publishing companies, one of which owned a string of local newspapers in Kent and Sussex

For a complete change of occupation, my wife and I bought and ran a country house hotel in Cornwall -

an interesting experience but the call of printer's ink was still strong, and we returned to Kent, started

another tourism publication and set up a public relations agency specialising in tourism projects

on both sides of the Channel. I sold the magazine but have kept beavering at such bits of the PR job which

interest me and where clients have become friends. Retirement doesn't suit me - and slowly down-sizing

is difficult.  (Have no name, sorry)


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