Old Uffingtonians Association (1994)

   Willesden County Grammar School                         Ex-Pupils 1924-1967                    


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Some Final Memories at the School Farewell
(David Swayne)

I went to the final day of the School on Saturday 19th July 2003.

I would never have believed way back in 1959 that one day I would be parking my car in the Quad.  But that is indeed what I did-no longer of course a Quad as there are only two walls there now and the playing area had been extended towards the fields.  I gained access from Uffington Road.

I also never thought I would be drinking booze on School premises but that's what I did-bottles of Stella or Becks for 1.  Poor old Doc Roberts must have been turning in his grave.

I never went all round the school again, having done so a few weeks ago.  There were displays of photos, registers etc in a corridor in the 'new' buildings and video shows in the 'new' hall but I ended up spending most of my time in the 'Quad' or in the canteen part of what used to be our hall.  In the other part of our hall was a free juke box with music spanning the decades and later on people were dancing, but not I think our generation.

Those of us who bought a ticket got a name badge with the years we were there on it, a brochure, a list of attendees and a ticket for a free drink.  There were about 100 on the list of known attendees.  Others who had not paid were admitted but did not of course get a free drink or the buffet.

There was a fair spread of ages and many times someone would look at my badge and say 'oh no, too young'.  There was a gentleman there with his daughter who had both attended WCGS.  He had attended in the early thirties and his daughter, Judith Summers, was in our (my) year.  Obviously there were
many far younger and mostly from different cultures.

Sadly only 5 from my year-besides Judith and myself were Brian 'Mastermind' Wright, and from my class, Pete Moss and Richard Willey.  This was good from my point of view as I had not seen the last two since 1964 and they hadn't seen each other since the sixties.  Judith and Brian of course attend 'school' functions regularly.

The only teacher we knew was Brian Gurden-also a regular attendee.  The only person from the year below was Rosemary Young, but there were a few from two below. The year above had Tony Skellett (sorry Colin-sans camcorder as far as I could see) and the perennial Lesley Wills.  One thing I picked up on was that some time ago, our beloved pink rinse Mrs Halliday fell down the stairs whilst pickled and died.

There was a friendly type gathering in the Quad in the shadow of the Academy, and then the school bell rang-yes it sounded just the same-for the buffet.  This was served in the canteen in our hall and consisted mostly of ethnic type food-West Indian and Indian.  I am fine with some WI food but not Indian and it was quite hot-the weather and the food-and Rosemary kindly obtained some water and beers for myself and her husband.  Whilst eating I saw Pete and Richard in the food queue and we arranged to meet later.  Lesley
Wills then sat opposite me with a girl from Mr Kilgour's year, who showed me a photo of Colin and some others on the school trip to I think Germany?  Sorry Colin I never got her name and I asked Lesley and she didn't know either.  Sorry, Roger - she didn't know you.

I then went and sat with Pete and Richard who were a few seats down from me and then the bell went again for the speeches in the new 'hall', which we decided not to bother with. We actually sat there sipping beer for ages-both said they were going early as Pete lives in Dorset and Richard in Colchester but suddenly the bell kept ringing again and again and again and then the deputy head said 'five minutes to finish our drinks' and we looked at our watches and lo and behold it was 5 to 10.

And that was it-we were ushered out-they had parked in Doyle but I was in the Quad (Incidentally 5Y-they are in favour of a class reunion).

I then drove out into Uffington and then into Doyle and drove past the School turning around at Furness Road and heading back for one final drive by.

Now as we part and go our separate ways etc...I wonder if WHS ever sang the school hymn?