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Spring 2012 Newsletter
Committee : Chair
: Keith Gladden, Secretary : John Gowlett, Treasurer : Ken Thurlow,
Tony Skellett, Curator :
Social : Janet Baggett, John Bottrill,
Membership : Patrick Henson,
Standing Members : Paul Benton, Veronica Lupton-Hird
Secretary : John Gowlett : email :
Membership : Pat Henson (0788 408 5822) email :
Old Uffs Website :
Date of Next AGM/Reunion : Sunday
7th October 2012
Words from the Membership Secretary
Another year passes and once again I am sending out
membership renewal or donation slips to you in the hope of your continuing
support. Even now, we are acquiring new members despite the lengthening
period since The County vanished into history, it lives on in our hearts and
Welcome to Grace Tan nee Cheng (1963-66), now living in Vancouver and Tony
Gowlett now living in Enfield.
Sadly, on the other hand, we have heard of the demise of Brian Fuller (1949-56)
who returned to teach at The County. At present, I have no other
information about Brian who would have been known to a great many of you.
We also heard of the loss of Margaret Rata nee Wiles (1944-51) from her twin
sister, Maureen Titchener.
Following on from Frank Lands suggestion (through his brother Ralph) at the
last AGM, we are contemplating setting up a facility on the website to record
your memories of the school. This will take the form of a questionnaire
and I include the questions with this newsletter for those without internet
access to be sent to me at the address on the renewal slip.
Frank has since sent the following which is quite timely :
The lovely weather reminded me of an ode to spring published in the School
Magazine about 1946 or 47, under the name, if I remember rightly, of Jimmy
Spring is here
The grass is riz
I wonder where the boidies is
The boids are on the wing
But thats absoid
The wing is on the boid
The Committee has been looking at the distribution of
members around the UK and to this end I compiled the following dot plot to
illustrate the ongoing concentration around London and the home counties which
may be of wider interest :
Irene Hough (nee Riley)
Between 1939 and '43 many of us had been shunted from school to school because
of bombing and subsequent evacuation so we came from all quarters. I joined 1c
in 1943 and had the art room as a form room and Miss Hastings as class teacher.
Only one other girl came from my Wembley primary school and I remember being
impressed by what I thought of as an exotic mix in my new environment. In the
second year I was again evacuated up north to a girl's High School housed in the
basement of the local technical college. This contrast made me realise how lucky
we were under the benevolent rule of Mr. Wallis and surrounded by a playing
field. On my return, walking with Miss Edgell from the trolley-bus at Jubilee
Clock she asked where I had been. Upon hearing I had been at a girls high school
she replied, Ah! I thought you were less flighty than before. I was shattered
by this judgment. I thought I was a good girl.
Games, with cold cloak-rooms and no showers were nevertheless enjoyable, and
though we didn't appreciate it at the time, school dinners were a daily miracle.
Supplies were so limited and fuel sometimes intermittent so the dinner ladies
had a thankless task.
Our air-raid drill consisted of going to the front corridor between the hall and
the library where there were blast walls by the outside doors and sticky tape on
the windows but I remember looking at all that glass and feeling not safe at
all. Miss Edgell took needlework as well as P.E. and I remember learning to darn
and patch to such a high standard that it would have satisfied a Victorian
governess. Later Mrs. Smith was our form mistress when her children were small
and I recall her cycling around with a toddler in the baby seat on her way to
some child-care before registration.
Sixth form memories are the most vivid. Miss Moffatt taught Botany and Zoology,
nearly half of my Higher Certificate course and I owe her a great deal. Not only
because of a mutual love of the subject, but also because she made me WORK and
she also made me think about my vocabulary and clarity of expression. (Another
cutting remark:- When I got engaged a couple of years after leaving school her
only remark was What a waste).
Miss Stevenson taught us Geography and I think did all the work for us in that
she made it all seem so logical and easy. The only thing I can remember puzzling
over was map projections. She was also careers mistress and was a great help
with advice about various medical schools. (Her brother was a doctor at St
Mary's Paddington if I remember rightly.) A most cultured, industrious and
School games teams, drama and friends made the sixth form a rich experience.
Table tennis in the prefects room was also a highlight. We did prefects duty
conscientiously, but I'm not sure how effective we were. I followed Margaret
Gibbs as Head Girl for a short time.
David was doing National Service when we married, so after working for the MRC
in the biophysics department at Kings (the spiral helix was being assembled in a
side room at the time), I became an RAF wife. We had been 'marched in' to
officers' married quarters at Scampton two days after we were married, and a
year later joined the occupation forces in Germany. I developed a taste for
teaching whilst doing a bit of untrained emergency supply work on airfields and
we both learned Dutch whilst living over the border for a couple of years. This
made a difference to the way our lives developed. On return to a UK posting I
trained as a teacher and on demob, after seven years, David returned to his
original love of books and languages. (He can tell his own story).
I taught primary and some secondary (mainly general science and biology) but
ended up teaching physically handicapped children. Then Manchester offered a new
degree in Special Needs at the time of the Warnock Report, and Manchester
Education Committee generously let me have a sabbatical to take it. From my
pupils I remember most the extremely bright children trapped in non-functioning
bodies. By 1980 single-switch programmes for computers were being developed at
UMIST and this was a boon for such children. They could not only do their work
by merely rolling their heads, but they could also be naughty for the first time
in their lives by playing games when they thought I wasn't looking.
We brought up three children (I had nine years off) who are all married with
families, and we now have five grandchildren aged from six to twenty-four.
We have had a good 18yr. retirement so far, with many interesting holidays and
are just beginning to slow down a bit. (Walking holidays are beyond me now).
· Where were you born ?
· Years spent at Willesden County Grammar School
· How did you come to attend Willesden County Grammar School ? eg 11+, 13+, from
another Grammar School, from abroad etc
· What were your first impressions of the school ( pupils, staff, buildings,
facilities etc) ?
· Which teachers/Headmaster do you remember ? What were their subjects ?
· Which sports, if any, did you compete in on behalf of the school ?
· Which extramural activities did you participate in (school band, plays, etc) ?
· Describe any sporting or extramural events and achievements you recall.
· Who were your main pals ?
· Describe any notable incidents/memories of events at the school.
· What do you recall going on in the UK and around the World during your time ?
· How did it affect you ?
· Did your education at the school benefit you in life afterwards ?
· What did you do after leaving school (briefly) ?
Old Uffs (1994) Membership
Renewal/Enrolment Slip 2012/2013
Please enrol/renew/me/us/my/our membership (NB : free if age is over 70)
I enclose a cheque for £7/£10 (single/joint membership)
Payable to : Old Uffingtonians (1994) Association
Years of Attendance :
Address & Telephone No. :
EMAIL ADDRESS :
Please send me an invitation to this years AGM on 7th October
Please return to Patrick Henson, 15 Ashlyn Close, Bushey, Herts WD23 2EJ
Tel : 0788 408 5822
EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org
To print the Membership Renewal/Enrolment Slip 2012/2013 &
Reunion Invitation Request, click the image below.