|The early years of this
period are lost in prehistory as far as anything specific is concerned.
In retrospect it seems that soccer must have been very important to myself
and others judging from the amount we played. There was practice
after school on Thursdays, interschool matches on Saturday mornings, and
for Ken Fletcher's Old Uffs team on Saturday afternoons.
In addition, on various summer evenings,
some of us played for he Harlesden Odeon Cinema Club. Although we
didn't belong to the club itself, knowing the manager got us in to a few
The worst result I remember was when
we played Isleworth Grammar for the first time. We lost 10-1,
despite the best efforts of our goalie, Len Woodford. Latterly Len,
John Hayes, Ben Storkey and I played for the Middlesex County Schools XI,
as did Tony Marchi who later played for England and Spurs. We also
spent every break and lunchtime in the Quad, kicking a tennis ball about.
To the 'delight' of our parents we wore out a pair of shoes about every
In addition there were the
normal curriculum sports activities, Country Dancing practice followed by
dancing at Cecil Sharp House on Saturday evenings, and the other major
winter sports - Table Tennis. Two of the school team, Bernstein and
Shorrick would later play for the RAF.
Almost forgotten now because it was
mostly considered a real pain, there was cross country running around King
Edward's And Roundwood Parks. The winter season ended with the girls
v boys hockey match, which we generally lost.
Summer meant cricket and it was out
to the nets at lunchtime and after school. The most memorable match
was always that against Kilburn Grammar, where despite the tension, our
results were nothing spectacular. They did have a very good fast
Having been taught to swim in the
Gladstone Park Baths, many of us were cajoled into the Inter-House
swimming competition at King Edward's. I swam for Danes rather
reluctantly, because I wasn't very good at it. I was disqualified
from the breaststroke heat for turning my head to the side. This was
called the side-stroke apparently!
Summer also meant Athletics-School
Sports Day at King Edward's, Inter-Schools County meeting at Alperton and,
if selected from there, the All-England County Championships. Those
of us who were not members of athletics clubs, trained by miserably
pounding round the King Edward's track in plimsolls for a couple of laps.
There were not many exceptional athletes at school then, although David
Presland regularly did shot and discus for the All-England team. We
all thought Schwartz phenomenal as 8-foot stride fairly gobbled up the
track in the Mile race. My best long jump was 18ft 6ins, and running
in the 440 at Alperton I came 4th despite the elastic breaking in my
The netball match against the girls
ended the term and we usually won that. I apologise for not
mentioning girls sports but they were not something I noticed much.
I recall though they had a pretty good tennis team.
G. Bernard Ward