Learning 1

Angus Willson: In biology, probably fourth form, John Chapman valiantly demonstrates the mechanism of a butterfly’s folding wings to a less than enthralled class. Simon pipes up innocently, ‘Sir, you look just like a butterfly.’
‘Get out, Colbeck.’
Indeed, one classic ‘Colbeck moment’ among many.

Simon Colbeck
Simon Colbeck in typical pose

Simon Colbeck: I remember resenting his sarcastic ‘put-downs’. If he sent me out for making him look ridiculous then I guess my moment of revenge was worth it!

This photograph shows a more serious group!
Six-one boys

Six-one, from left to right, back row: Kevin Kinsella, Jonathan Richards, Stuart Fell, Huw Gray, Christopher Prince (great jacket), Jonathan Clamp, Julian Hartley, Louis Mair. Front row: Richard Mongar, Steve Pitcher, Jeremy Barker, Simon Colbeck, David Way, David Stuckey, Ralph Berry, Peter Gaussen.
Missing from photo: Angus Willson, Geoffrey Barnard. Anyone know why?

Michele, Paul High, Louise
Michele Wilson [Underwood], Paul High, Louise Harman. Underneath the willow by the grass tennis courts. Photo by Geoff Barnard.

Michele Wilson [Underwood]: Suspended just prior to A level mocks for having half a lager in the pub. Summoned before JCW in his nice new office behind the dining balcony now our form room. He asked if this was the ‘tip of the iceberg’ and I hadn’t a clue what he was talking about. So much for Geography A level!! Spent a pleasant week at home, got my exams through the post and did them the following day. I had an extra day for revising and I DIDN’T cheat……………….

Geography field trip to Yorkshire. Loved Steven Pitcher‘s corned beef hash (we all took turns as chef ). Went looking for a pub one evening thinking we’d never find any in this remote village in rural Yorkshire – we only found sixteen……………

Iceland – brilliant! Stunning landscape and scenery. Camped on grassy knoll in hot sunshine, ventured up icy slopes and over glacier and ice bridge during day – found an old tin of someone’s emergency rations – back to grassy knoll and pools of hot water – excellent for washing and soothing permanently wet feet. Downside when I longed for an armchair by a blazing fire with crumpets, was sleeping four to a two-man bell tent, taking it in turns to sleep in the middle as opposed to bent round the side. Morning, crawling out to put on wet cagoule, wet socks and wet boots which were freezing by virtue of the cold night. Dressed thus eating porridge out of a billy-can, with rain in it – and I actually enjoyed porridge for the first time ever or since! And of course can’t forget clambering over the perimeter fence of the airport with Judy Burrows to get a drink in the terminal building, back in Reykjavik where we were well taken care of.

Apart from all this I did work hard and spent many hours in Centre Library listening to Abbey Road waft through the window when I would have preferred to be outside in the sunshine with all those who were – why are exams always in the summer?

Angus Willson: I do remember the geography trip to Pickering in a cranky Dormobile-type van. It broke down on Spurn Head, miles from anywhere, but the sun was shining and David Stuckey and I passed the time gently with the assistance of some smoking substances.
Cyril, David, David, Angus
Cyril Mummery, David Way, David Stuckey, Angus Willson, Six-two
Photo by Simon Colbeck

Fourth Form classroom
Fourth form classroom
Photo by Simon Colbeck

Ideas for more contributions:

  • Geography and Biology Field Trips
  • More classroom escapades
  • Lessons remembered

New content: February 2012

On 6 Feb 2012, Paul High wrote on the Old Scholars Message Board

Iceland Expedition 1972.

If you were on it, and there were 14 of you from the Vth and VIth Form, then I would like to meet you in 2012 some 40 years on.

Unfortunately the memory is not what it was so the names that come to mind are Geoff Barnard,(who must be an important geographer these days), Guy Busher, now I hope Dr. Busher (whose mum sent me a message delivered to me on the plane as it was about to take off which said simply “Guy Busher is allergic to horse serum”). There were identical boy twins from N. Norfolk one of whom was called Chris Sparke !

There were one or two girls but I would like the list which appeared in The Avenue in 1972 together with a centrefold depicting the 72 mile walked route. I have a very poor photocopy on which I cannot read the writing. Having just retired as Chair of another Quaker School Board I have been clearing out my office and found to my delight a Super 8mm film of the Expedition that alas I can no longer project (no projector). Can it be disced and a sound-track added ?

So how about a reunion 1. In Iceland 2. In Saffron Walden? 3. In Newbury where I live/ or in Brittany where I have a farmhouse.
Now in my 70th year the age difference between us doesn’t seem that great as most of you will be nearly 60 !

In Friendship, Paul High

Angus Willson: I have sent Paul the pages from The Avenue and emailed Geoff, Simon C and Michele.

Download The Avenue 1973 Iceland pages (5MB word docx)

Paul High visited Stephen Pitcher in France in April 2012. Facebook photo:

Steve Pitcher and Paul High
Steve Pitcher and Paul High, April 2013

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