|Posted by newells on June 7, 2018 at 7:00 PM||comments (2)|
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|Posted by Chris Matthews on April 5, 2018 at 11:05 AM||comments (0)|
Age and sport has caught up with me and I am currently convalescing after a knee replacement , so though it was about time to delve into the memories of Handcross Park.
In no particular order some of the staff that left a lasting impression.
Mrs Vellacott who taught Scriptures ,( alas we were not that kind to her). Her face would glow and she wriggled her body onto the hard wooden seat before she would illuminate the room with a biblical story. We would often, before her entrance, rub chalk on the seat and she would leave with the tell tale signs on her skirt. She never queried how this had occurred!
After the move to Handcross, she gave each of us a bible to replace the burnt ones at Newells. I still have mind and it was dated late 19 century. I was also part of the boys who carved a map of the British Isles in the grass, near the swimming pool at Newells. . A nice woman, think she may have been a missionary in China?
Captain Stokes RN, was a great pipe smoking maths teacher. He was calm and patient and only occasionally alluded to his wartime experience. I was captivated, (and still am, as I know can fully comprehend the magnitude of the event) of his description of the torpedoing of the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle in the Mediterranean in 1942, which he served with . He recounted that as it had a wooden deck, the crew that slid down as it keeled over, received huge amounts of splinters. Very evocative. Does anybody know of his military career and which ship he became Captain of?
Colonel Wreford was one of my favourite masters. He appeared on the outside to be somewhat gruff, but really had a heart of gold. He gave me a love of Geography, which I continued to A levels. He also gave me a love for carpentry and I was fortunate that my parents "paid extra" so I could attend his cold workshop one evening a week. He taught you how to plane and cut wood. You started by making a bench support to hold wood as you cut it. I also made a locked box, book shelf and a shoe box, all I still have!! I do believe that Nader Salour was in the same class and recall he was always beaming and smiling. Do seem to recall that he planed a piece of wood so far down, that Wreford exclaimed "For God's sake Nasser, what are you doing!" It is a credit to Nader how he survived and has commented how much he liked the school, can't have been easy being sent to a foreign country not knowing the language.
I also believe Wreford supervised the shooting, but can't be sure? Remember well going to a small hut in central woods, where in the winter an oil stove blasted out heat. I think there were 3 portholes to this .22 rifle range. Recall that all the rifles had names, Savage is the only one I now recall. This was a bolt action rifle that as a lefty was awkward to handle. Thankfully he had some "Martini" action rifles, (reminiscent of the "wild west") where your pulled down a lever to reveal the chamber, much easier!
I continued shooting at Hurstpierpoint "graduating" to ,303 ex WW2 rifles, with a huge kick!
Believe he was in the Indian army during WW2, again would anybody know his military history?
Mr Bean, the music master always wore a black suit and chain smoked! I believe he also taught at Sandhurst? Gave me a love of classical music as we would sit and listen to vinyl from a small stereo set up.
Mr Coombes I believe, used to captivate us with stories he would read in class, always looked forward to this?
Mr Hoskins participated at sports day. He coached the tug of war teams and wore a mask of glasses, nose and moustache.
Charlie always seemed to wear a brown coat, was totally bald, small in height and immensely strong. A gentle person. I think he may have been in the artillery in WW2, possibly in North Africa and may have served under the Headmaster, hence him being here. Always loved going to his shed and talking to him. I recall that a group of us wanted to try to play golf so got permission to make 3 or 4 holes near the perimeter.
I spoke to Charlie and he let me take his ride on lawn mower to make each of the putting holes!! Remember will glee riding it to the location and being careful as the undulating ground would force the bar of the mower to press down on your knees. Mad the required putting holes and returned the machine and myself intact! Didn't have a safety helmet, ear plugs or gloves, just common sense at the age of 12!! Can't imagine being allowed to do that know, without cotton wool!! ( I believe the current pupils aren't allowed pen knives!! I valued my Swiss army knife, still have it!)
Major Gamon, who in my opinion, was sadistic and liked to beat boys at the slightest excuse. You knew that if he took morning assembly, anybody with a "stripe" would be beaten by him. He also. I believe used the dreaded night cane, whereas Headmaster Hope Lang would use your slipper. I remember when it was time to buy new slippers I would "try out" to see which was less painful, as knew I would succumb! I recall one day as you waited on the raised step of the shower at Newells for Matron to confirm you were clean, I looked back and saw what I thought was dirt on my bottom. I quickly went back to the shower to try to wash it of. It was in fact bruising from being slippered the night before!! Surprisingly it didn't hurt, whereas my current bruising form my knee operation does indeed!
Thankfully after the move to Handcross Park he did not follow and the frequency of corporal punishment almost ceased. When Iwas fortunate to become head boy, never had to enter in a bound book, the crime and punishment metered out, which was the responsibility of my predecessors at Newells.
Mrs Clifford I believed taught piano at Newells. Remember she travelled on a Honda 50 scooter, which in those days was not common for a woman to do!
Other memories was the flags of the houses at Newells that were daily flown, think the prefects were responsible for?
Remember the weekly letter writing time. My parents were in Kuwait when I was at Newells so they welcomed the weekly letter, as I did from them and others. Always a joy to receive mail, shame it is a lost art! On a side note found my old Parker fountain pen and some kind person has restored it to it’s former glory!
Interesting to note that I believe it was only 2 weeks from the tragic fire at Newells to finding the current Handcross Park, a remarkable achievement. At the start there was a separate classroom block adjacent to the main building. My father on seeing the classrooms commented that he though it had been a Jewish school as there were Jewish signs above the door. would be interesting to know the history before we occupied it?
Would welcome other views of the staff and corrections to my faded memory?
|Posted by newells on November 15, 2017 at 5:55 AM||comments (1)|
|Posted by newells on July 22, 2016 at 6:40 AM||comments (0)|
Jeremy Varcoe and I , Tony Potts ,(Both Seafield Park at Endsleigh and Newells) met up at Endsleigh on Monday 4th July 2016.
Had a great day wandering down memory lane . We were well received by the Staff and , as ex pupils of Endsleigh, were given a 20% rebate on an excellent lunch. On Sunday 10th September 2017 we both met up again at Endsleigh, this time accompanied by Nigel Osborn (Endsleigh & Newells) who had travelled all the way from Australia. The staff very kindly gave us a guided tour and we were able to recognise the dormitories and classrooms etc. We had an excellent lunch ( No rebate this time). I have added some photos both of Endsleigh and us from both occasions in the relevant sections.
A continued good summer to all. Best wishes Tony Potts.
|Posted by newells on May 23, 2015 at 3:35 AM||comments (0)|
It has been especially pleasing to be able to have contact with the present Headmaster of Handcross Park school resulting in a successful reunion for Old Newellians held at Handcross Park school on the 23rd of May 2012. After the meeting at Handcross Park some participants were able to visit the grounds of Newells farm.
I have also had contact with the present owner of the house standing on the Newells site.
A special 'Thank you' to Chris Mathews for his piece on Alexander Parker and the tragic fire. In reference to the fire, it was also interesting to read the 'Blog' by John Harrison and his memories of it, not as a pupil but a neighbour to Newells.
To those who wish to contribute any of their memories of Newells or Seafield Park please add your comments to this blog, open your own blog or add photos to the relevant section . You can contact me direct at [email protected] , send me your contribution and I will put it on the site for you.
Michael French has commented on the Swimming Pool situated at the far end of the Sports pitch. I recall it was a converted concrete Fire Service water tank. Before this conversion took place Mr Lang had acquired for use as a swimming pool a canvas affair filled with water . I found out later that it was called an ' S tank' and was originally designed for use by the Military to temporarily store fresh water. I would actually call it a rather small pond and it was situated by the Sand pit.
The freedom we had playing in the woods, climbing trees, building dams, sploshing about in the stream, cycling and creating roads on the terrace banks for Dinky toys, all bring back very happy memories.
I would like to conclude by saying that I originally started work on and published this site in order that people who attended Newells and Seafield Park would have a forum where they could refresh memories, add comments to the blog section or publish photos of their time at the school. However, although I am delighted to be contacted by them, I did not mean that ex pupils who only attended the school at Handcross Park should add their photos and comments . To include their input would take up much more space than I have available. These ex-pupils have the excellent Handcross Park school website to cater for their needs. http/www.handcrossparkschool.co.uk
I have recently moved this blog to the top and amended it slightly. There were several comments added to the original and they are still available to be read in the original position at the end.
My thanks to all for your help and contributions .
(Updated 10th August 2016)
|Posted by newells on August 22, 2013 at 5:20 PM||comments (0)|
I've just been looking at Ad Perpetuam Memorium regarding the tragic death of Alex Parker.
My name is John Harrison and I thought, you would be interested to learn that I have a very clear memory of that dreadful night in January 1968.
At that time, I was seven years old - living with my parents and grandparents in a very grand house called Cisswood (virtually opposite Newells school).
I was woken up by my parents who told me they were going to see if they could help out in any way by offering our home as a sanctuary for all the boys and staff. Of course, I had to stay in bed - but I distinctly recall blue lights flashing around my bedroom ( I thought this was rather exciting !)
In the event, it would seem that alternative accommodation arrangements had been made - and my family's help wasn't required.
The final outcome had a dramatic effect on my childhood. I'd grown up at Cisswood - and even at the tender age of seven - had formed a very strong attachment to the place. However - my mother was horrified that the ashes from the blaze had blown across our grounds and (because of the tragic death)refused to live in the house any more. It was subsequently sold in April 1968.
Since then it has become a rather tawdry Hotel / Spa. To this day - I resolutely refuse to set foot inside it - so tarnished has my memory become.
I have never forgotten the tragedy of that night - and I'm sure that those who were close to poor Alex will have even more poignant memories than my own.
John S Harrison.
|Posted by Nader Salour on January 28, 2013 at 3:40 PM||comments (5)|
I was at the school from 1968 to 1972. I have read the blogs with great interest. I am amazed by your vivid and accurate memories. Reading your comments have brought all the memories back to me. I only have good memories of the school. The photos on the site were a surprise. Actually saw myself in a few of them! Thank you to the people who posted them. I know I have some photos somewhere, I will dig them up and post them.
When I arrived at the school I was 9 and came from Iran and could not speak a word of English! Everything was very strange to me. I remember when I got there the other boys were not interested in who I was or where I was from. They really wanted to know which football team I supported! Hence my life long addiction to Man Utd!
Would love to hear from anyone who was there at the same time as I was.