MORE Smoking - Chris Snuggs et al

This was a discussion that followed the posting of the late Andrew Szepesy's comments on J.S.H. Smitherman's anti-smoking crusade of the mid 50s, which you can read here.

John Tuddenham - Hansons 52-57: “I do remember a mate of mine and I had Woodbines and matches 'stashed' behind a water pipe in one of the toilets...worked OK for a while!! Aso remember rolling up dead rhododendrum leaves as a cigar!!! Absolutely terrible!!!”

Michael Handley - Hansons 51-56: “Got ‘gated’ two to three weeks before end of my final year after being caught smoking in the heads.”

Chris Snuggs - Berners/Halls 58 to 65: “Where did all you smokers get the fags?!!”

Michael Handley: “I can't remember, but maybe shop in village or around. Was an awful long time ago - 65 years. Crikey!

Chris Snuggs:“Must have been the village shop, but they really shouldn't have sold you them. Perhaps you looked like "adults"? Maybe you took off your school uniforms to buy them? Was there a secret Upper VIth Fag-Baron?!!”

Michael Handley: “No, nothing like that - never bought a fag other than in a shop. No change of gear. I think that buying cigarettes was easier in those days.”

Richard Hayter - Corners 65-71: “The village shop was very happy to take our money and we were happy to buy them. No6 and No10 were a favourite and if you were really skint you could buy Craven A Black Cat filters loose. And of course there were always the pub landlords who were not only happy to take your money for beer but also sold fags too. Just never go to The Foresters as that was Barry Salmon’s haunt - and The Boot, as I discovered to my loss, was Jum-Jar Coulter’s haunt. He just said “Get out!” in that ‘Terminator 2' tone and I did - without fags, without my money back, AND he took the change off the landlord. Dave Waight and I had to go without fags until the next day.”

David Waight - Corners 65-72: “Wow -that brings back some memories!!”

Thomas Newsham - Johnstons 54-59: "I was never aware that there was an active anti-smoking campaign during my time at Woolverstone. It certainly didn't deter those of us who had the occasional puff. As far as I was concerned the rhododendrons, particularly those downhill from the tuckshop, were impenetrable and it wasn't until years later that I realised that if I could see the masters, as they went past, then if they were really looking for smokers they could easily have spotted us. Our main supply of ciggies came to us via the gentleman who spent what seemed forever re-turfing the areas torn up around the extensive building work that was going on. His caravan was sited at the top of the path which led down to the hard, a very discreet spot for a pick-up of what were usually Pall Mall kingsize which he picked up at the American Base - Bentwaters I think. He went to the Saturday hops there and I think some of our hormonally disturbed pupils may have also gone."

Chris Snuggs: “Andrew certainly had a way with words! I wish I had known him better ....”

Mark Frost - Hansons 70-77: “A very interesting read. I didn't know Smitherman, but Andrew has certainly had a go at chipping away at his pedestal. A large dose of reality written in a entertaining way. The 'Sting' being photographed at a Soho hotel with Sister Williams has a great 1950s feel to it.”

Chris Snuggs: “Regarding Mr Smitherman and Sister Williams, it's a bit like Meghan and Harry. We weren't there; don't know what really happened. I only know that I liked both him and sister Williams and prefer to remember that. I hope they found happiness after WHS.”