MEMORIES FROM THOSE WHO ATTENDED FRIENDS' SCHOOL, SAFFRON WALDEN

Pastimes 2

Richard Mongar

Richard Mongar: Others have mentioned the Biology Field Trip to Yorkshire – what happy days! I don’t remember Denby Allen’s dormobile breaking down but I do remember discovering the pubs. In fact during my two years at FSSW I discovered quite a few pubs if my memory serves me well. I was in the fortunate position of owning a motor-bike – the school provided me with a nice little lock-up store for it (within the bike shed) and let me keep the key to the store. I would wheel it down the car park after dark and ride it round to a road at the end of the Avenue where it would sit happily until I wanted it. Many trips were made to the Fell’s house in Newport, sometimes with a passenger on the back – or directly to The Coach and Horses.

It’s odd how one’s attitude to things like alcohol can change as one gets older. After my father had given a talk to the school one evening my parents and I went back to JCW’s for a meal at which, I remember, only water was provided to drink (this was actually the practice of my parents until a few years previous to this occasion). I hurled abuse at John Woods for this afterwards back in the dorm. And yet now, I only provide water for my guests with their food and refuse to let them bring wine with them to drink. I wonder if it would have made a difference if I had realised at the time that the reason some Quakers don’t drink alcohol is not because they are being self-righteous denying themselves something nice, but actually quite the opposite – wanting something that is much better  than that experienced by people who drink. It saddens me that so much is lost by the young finding things out the hard way through experience – and many ,of course, failing to find the way at all.

There’s so much to recollect that may not interest others, so I’ll jot down a few phrases in the hope they may stir memories for others:
Pippa and Bron’s jazz group;
Geoff’s party at his aunt’s house with peacocks on the lawn (see party);
music appreciation evenings at Mr Gillet’s;
concerts, possibly at the teacher training centre across the road;
punting in Cambridge;
cross-country running;
Omar Pound’s talk;
film evenings;
Andy Greaves and Nicola Wheate’s talk on the Cyrenians;
the excitement of getting the new Biology lab. Project room.

Shadwell WoodCoppicing at Ashdon (Shadwell Wood) with Cyril Mummery
Photo by Richard Mongar

School catThe school cat on Richard’s bed
Photo by Richard Mongar

Lily PondLily Pond – enough said!
Photo by Richard Mongar

JointSay no more!
Photo by Richard Mongar

Robin, AnnaRobin Wright, Anna ?
with Young Farmers’ Club cow
Photo by Richard Mongar

End-of-term entertainment

Shan Lancaster [Poynder]: Can’t remember their real names but there was what we called the headmaster and headmistress in about 1966 when I was sent there. We had a concert where one of the little kids sang “Thank you very much for Nurg and Flo-oh, thank you very much, thank you very, very, very much.” Remember that cheesy Scaffold pop song?
(Friends Reunited October 2001)

Parties at Peter Clifford’s House

These photographs suggest we were playing at being Bonnie and Clyde.

Fiona, Gus, Nick. Nick. Kate

Fiona, Gus, Nick. Nick. Kate

Fiona, Gus, Kate

Fiona, Gus, Kate

Further ideas for comment…

Angus Willson:
The Scouts, The Guides
More on the Senior Literary Society
Rambling Club
Amnesty International
Sponsored walks for Shelter

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