MARCH 28th was a red-letter day for the School. On that day a number of workmen surprised everybody by starting work on the new School buildings. Three years of anticipating this day had somewhat lulled our hopes, so that many thought that the authorities were putting off till tomorrow what should have been done today. Whatever the answer, it is of no consequence, for work has begun. So let us look back and give thanks, and look forward and take courage.
Think before you ink is an excellent piece of advice, yet few people follow this maxim. If they did, perhaps the standard of work submitted to our magazine might be increased. This year, by dint of tedious persuasion our Junior contributors have been shown that poetry is not the only means to a successful entry. The dearth of senior articles has been put down to the fact that everyone is working hard for the approaching G.C.E. examinations.
According to the latest gallup poll held in Woolverstone, the bandalore (Yo-Yo) has a clear-cut majority over all other pastimes, in the vogue elections. This game has become so popular that one boy was heard to remark that a special Yo-Yo competition should be organised for Sports Day.
A last bright note for the cricketers amongst us. According to weather men (that is those in the know) this year's weather will be similar to last year's. But after this year we have the prospect of four years of dry weather.
VISITING PREACHERS during the last two terms have been:-
Dec. 5. Mr. C. Gowen, one of the Housemasters at Eton College
Feb. 6. Mr. P. A. F. Mermagen, Headmaster, Ipswich School
Feb. 20. The Rev. K. C. Phillips, Vicar of Holy Trinity, Sydenham
On March 27th, 23 boys were confirmed in St. Michael's, Woolverstone by the Lord Bishop of St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich, who gave a most moving address. The first communion for those boys on the next day was attended by over seventy boys and was a most impressive service.
An innovation this year has been the special Sunday afternoon Church of England services for junior boys. These have been much appreciated, and have a valuable place in the complete life of the School. We are very grateful to the Rector of Woolverstone for conducting the services for us.
OUR CHAPEL COLLECTIONS have ceased. We have decided that our money could be put to much better use if we collected within the Houses each week and at the end of term sent the total collection to a Society deserving of help. By giving a little regularly, a worthwhile sum can thus he collected each term and we can play our small part in helping those Societies devoted to people in one way or another worse off than ourselves.
The Christmas term collection was for the Spastics Society and realised £9 5s. 0d.
The Easter term collection was in aid of Reed's School - a school for boys who have lost their fathers - and realised £10.
During the Summer term we shall be collecting for the National Library for the Blind.
It will be noticed that all of the Societies chosen are in aid of children or young people - the National Library for the Blind of course, supplies books for Schools for Blind Children. We will make this one of the principals to be followed in choosing those Societies we try to help.
John S. H. Smitherman
THE MARIONETTES were the first show of their kind put on in the School. For some boys it was the first rnarionettes' show they had ever seen. Everybody thought it was brilliantly done, especially the excellent scenery and the lights.
The voices were most effective and it was hard to believe that only three people could manage a show of its quality. Some of the scenes were exceptionally good, one of these being the "Fair" scene. There you could see parts of everything in the show.
Taking all the scenes into consideration I think the one the boys enjoyed most, however, was the "dungeon" scene. As do most boys, they enjoyed the rowdy explosion, something making a noise.
And now in conclusion, I must say that I am sure the boys would like another show next year.
"THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR" - by NIKOLAI GOGOL
presented by the Dramatic Society, 25th and 26th March, 1955.
GRIST TO THE MILL!
RIGHT. Now what can I write about?
Oh! There must be lots of things. Try a poem.
No. Too many poems going around now. I think I'd better leave that to the others.
Well, umm ... how about ... er ... er ... Well.. . er... how about sport. Yes, that's exactly what you want. Try sport.
I don't think so, Jo's writing about sport. He's pretty good, you know. We both did the same thing once and his article was picked.
Well, that doesn't matter. There's plenty of other stuff to write on. You only have to think a little and you'll think of something. You can always try ... well ... er ... urn ... you could write on ... no, that wouldn't be advisable ... but you can always try ... urn ... er. . . oh! it's completely slipped my memory. I had it on the tip of my tongue ... yes, try an essay on religion. It's bound to be printed.
Are you sure it will go down well?
Of course. Nobody writes about religion, and there's so much to say.
All right then . . . Hey, wait a moment. I don't know a thing about religion, except that Christians go to Church on Sundays.
Nonsense. There's ever so much to write on. Take this for instance. . . . The ... The . . . Oh, well! perhaps not religion. They'd only make fun of you anyway. Can't you think of anything yourself?
Well, I could write on Holidays.
Perhaps . . . Politics.
You don't know a thing about them.
Well don't sound so uppish. You're not so good yourself.
Well, if you want to be like that, I'm going. I was only trying to help you.
I'm sorry. Isn't there anything else?
Ah well! What shall I call my poem?
Brian Workman (VI)
TUNNEL OF THE DEAD
WE WERE drawing near the tunnel and I glanced at the young lady sitting in the opposite corner of the compartment.
She looked up and smiled. "Do you believe in ghosts?" she inquired.
I laughed, but she suddenly became serious. "Do you?" she persisted "If you like I could tell you of a very interesting experience I once had."
"Very well!" I said. "I'm listening."
She began. "Several months ago on this very train, we were nearing this tunnel. There was only an old man and myself in the compartment, when the old man suddenly told me that he was about to die on the train. Of course I laughed, but as we entered the tunnel the lights went out, and when we emerged at the other end the old man was dead.
"On arrival at the station I told the porter and he calmly informed me that I had seen a ghost. I laughed but he was quite serious, as I found out later when I made inquiries.
"I learned that the old man always appears and dies in the tunnel and that is why local people call it the tunnel of the dead."
"Well, that's an interesting story," I said.
Just at that moment we entered the tunnel, the lights failed and I heard what sounded like a sigh.
When we drew out of the tunnel, in the opposite corner there was an old man slumped in his seat, where there had been none previously. I felt his pulse; he was dead!
"I knew it!" sobbed the girl, "I knew it!"
Barry Condon (IIIB)
FOR FIVE YEARS George and Tom had lived and worked close to each other. Two years ago they had both enlisted in the Royal Engineers and had both become privates. They were very similar in appearance but if anything, Tom was the more intellectual of the two. Their friendship had not been broken up ever since they had joined and the two had contrived to get in the same Division. They slept next to each other in the barracks and during leave they were hardly to be seen apart;
One day, however, in recognition of his talent for leadership, Tom was promoted to corporal. This was quickly followed by promotion to sergeant when one of the existing sergeants was posted. Tom was rather worried for in future instead of receiving orders with George he had to give them to his friend.
But he determined not to worry and he continued to cultivate his friendship with George. As a result he kept away from the sergeants' mess and spent most of his spare time with the lower-ranked George. This action soon began to affect Tom's efficiency. The C.O. began to notice the state of affairs and suggested to Tom, through his Adjutant, that he break off his friendship with George and take his responsibilities more seriously.
The order gave Tom many a sleepless night trying to sort out things in his mind. Eventually he decided that he could not forsake George and their friendship flourished stronger than ever.
This was the existing state of affairs one night when George persuaded Tom against his better judgment to break camp-bounds to go to the cinema in town. Tom did not want to go but, intoxicated by the danger of the lark, he went.
Outside the cinema two military policemen picked them up. That night Tom once again became a private. Gone were his hopes of promotion, but his friendship was secure at last.
Robert Croucher (VI)
HE SCRATCHED, he clawed frenziedly at the wall of coal in front of him. It was this black mass that obstructed his way to daylight and fresh air. His hands were bleeding badly, the blood seeping from underneath the coating of black coal dust on them.
The sweat streamed from his face, running down his chest in dirty black drops. The grime had been washed away where the sweat ran, making his face look dirtier than ever. He was an absolute picture of misery.
He had been trapped there for about six hours, as far as he could tell. The air was now very misty and foul. He was breathing very heavily, gasping for air.
"Help! Help!" he gasped, straining his voice to the utmost. The noise issued forth, but very faintly.
He hadn't a chance, poor devil. Once he thought he heard footsteps in the tunnel outside, but it was only an illusion.
"I'm going mad," he thought as he reflected on his actions. He cursed. But then, "How nice to go to sleep and to forget all this." He closed his eyes, groaned, and fell on his face.
As they heaved at the pile of coal blocking the tunnel, it gave way. They enlarged the opening, and, stooping down, crawled through. They were almost knocked over by the foul air. They saw him at once, lying on his face, dead!
They removed their caps, and bowing their heads, prayed.
Chris Brobbel (IIA)
WITH KNOCKING KNEES and chattering teeth you approach the door in a fearful state of indecision. Finally you pluck up enough courage to ring the bell. The door opens and a voice from within bids you enter. The hall is dark and gloomy, there is a strong smell of disinfectant. You begin to wish you had never come, but it is too late to turn back.
"Would you care to wait in here, sir," says a well modulated voice. You walk into a drab room with unprepossessing wallpaper and dark oak furniture. The faces that you see do nothing to make you feel more cheerful. Some are contorted in agony, others bear a look of patient martyrdom, but all breathe a sigh of relief when another sufferer goes in.
You sit down and try to concentrate on an old copy of "John Bull."
At last it is your turn. The dentist calls you in with a look of eager anticipation on his face. Silently you get up from your chair and follow him into his retreat where he carries out his horrid practices.
Bang! The door shuts behind you, there is no escape. "Would you care to sit here," he says ominously.
"That's right; now open your mouth wide please."
With a deft movement he places a hard metal instrument in your mouth, and carefully adjusts a little screw which opens your mouth twice as wide as it should be.
"Breathe deeply," he says, holding a rubber mask over your face. You struggle, but it is too late, you are too far under. Suddenly everything goes black . . . .
"Now come on, rinse your mouth out," says a voice somewhere in the distance.
You realise with joy that it is all over now and you can go home. A little groggily you rise to your feet and make for the door.
"I'm afraid we will have to see you again next Tuesday," says the assistant.
What's this, are you hearing correctly? "What for," you gasp.
"Well you see," she replied, "You struggled so much in your sleep that all we have done was to cut your mouth."
Trevor Head (IIA)
" FLASHY" FENTON paused in front of the poster outside a tent in Fenton's Fair.
He was slim and as his nickname would lead one to believe, very flashy. His clothes were neat fitting. He wore a bright blue suit, while his tie was of an equally flashy type. With these he wore a pair of green bumpers. He had a gold filling which he loved to flash at people he saw. He was the rich owner of numerous fairs and gambling saloons. The American law authorities suspected him of having a hand in small robberies which were occurring, but as yet could prove nothing against him.
He removed his hat, revealing his wavy hair, and entered the tent of Madame Madolini, the fortune teller.
Five minutes later he came out. On his face was a vague expression of uneasiness. Inside the tent Madame Madolini had told his fortune.
"I can see you driving down a mountain road," she said mysteriously. "The car suddenly goes out of control. You're trying to turn the steering wheel but you can't. There's a bend coming, you're trying to get out but you've left it too late . . . ."
Flashy dismissed these disheartening thoughts as he continued to look around.
It was five o'clock. With the gay music ringing in his ears Flashy Fenton drove out of the fair ground in his brightly coloured car to begin his journey home. Three minutes later he was driving down the narrow, unfenced road through the mountains. As he neared "Death's Corner" the old fortune-teller's words came back to him. He tried to dismiss them with a laugh but the memory wouldn't go. He began to sweat a little and wriggled uncomfortably in his seat. He remembered how her predictions had come true before.
"Coincidence," he muttered. He reached the notice which ordered drivers to take care and gave an involuntary shiver.
"Take hold of yourself, man," he said to himself angry of his fear. "You've driven this way millions of times before. You can't crash."
Thus comforted he drove on. In front of him stretched a straight road which suddenly turned at Death's Corner. His fears returned as he approached it. With his heart pounding he began to slow up. The car did not respond.
"It can't be true," he said hoarsely, "It can't happen to me. I mustn't die." He started sweating as the corner rushed towards him. He wrestled with the steering wheel frenziedly but it wouldn't budge. For a split second he was paralysed with fear. Then he leapt at the door. He twisted the handle the wrong way in his haste and quickly twisted it round again. Just as the door swung open he felt a dizzy feeling. He was too late. The car turned over in the air and he was thrown out. A ghastly scream rent the air for a second, there was a crash; and then a deathly silence.
Philip Kohler (IIA)
THE FORGOTTEN HERO
AS UNKNOWN HORRORS of the deep peered and questioned at the silent form of the man, he worked on alone and unheeded; awed to wonder in his fascination for this strange and beautiful world.
He could not see clearly, for an impenetrable and murky light made the view almost invisible, but what he couldn't see, the diver penetrated with his imagination.
A hundred yards away the slim form of a hammerhead shark glided by, completely unaware of the human which was trespassing in his waters; to the left of the shark a small angel fish darted into the unknown. Coral and anemone showed brilliant reds and blues to the grey and immobile figure.
The large hands of the diver groped awkwardly towards an enormous shell, then receded swiftly as the powerful jaws of the clam snapped closed with a rush of air bubbles. A slow shiver of fear swept through him as he thought of the consequences that would have followed, had his hand been caught in that vice-like jaw. Then, regaining his bravado he pushed his way onward through the swirling currents, seeking his objective. Suddenly through the hazy sea he glimpsed a dark shadow. Either the shape lying ahead was the end - or the beginning! Soon, as he saw the details more distinctly, he could pick out the design that could only belong to the "Sverdlov"! His heart burst with pride and his soul with gratitude, for to luck he owed everything. To find a galley in an ocean, is worse than seeking a needle in a haystack; therefore he wondered at his good providence.
Then he saw it; like a sleeper waking to find his nightmare true, the long, slimy sucker-covered arm that could only mean one thing - a squid! Slowly the tentacle was reaching for him, inch by inch. But the diver could not move for he was almost hypnotised by the heady eyes buried in the pulpy mass which served as the squid's head. But when the black, snake-like arm, placed itself around his throat, his senses returned. Grabbing out his hatchet he tried to sever the tentacle from him, but the rubbery thickness of it was tough and it took time to cut it. In that time the other seven tentacles were around him, and dragging him down to his fate. His eyes dilating with terror, he fought with the strength of desperation while he was slowly pulled towards that hungry beak. Suddenly, when he was a foot away from the hideous mouth, he thrust the hatchet with all his might into the squid's eye. The effect was nearly devastating, for the squid let him go, but in its agony flailed its long arms in every direction, and snapped its beak trying to get the being that had caused its torment. But gradually its strength declined until it sank to the sea-bed, dead with the loss of blood. The man had won; he had fought a terrible foe, and had been the victor. None but himself would hear of his victory, for he wasn't a man to tell of his brave deeds; he would dive again and face the unknown dangers of the deep, to be a hero forever, unrecognised and unsung.
John R. Tweddle (IIIB)
GOLDEN WIND'S LAST RIDE
RIDING HARD and fast across the dusty and plain, the Indian youth arrived at the foot of the Devil's mountains. Urging on his well- muscled pony he attacked the rocky slopes. Golden Wind, his mount, struggled gamely up the treacherously slippery sides.
The youth, Fleetfoot, was heir to the chieftainship of the Blackfoot tribe, the only son of the chief, Moosehorn. His mission was an urgent one, a summons for help to the Crow tribe. The fierce, warlike Apache warriors had sprung a surprise attack on the peaceful inhabitants of the Blackfoot camp. Fleetfoot had run the gauntlet through the opposing ranks, and, having shaken off his few pursuers, was racing to the neighbouring Crow village to gain reinforcements.
The travelling was now extremely tiring and hard. The unfortunate pinto's flanks were heaving and bulging, and rivulets of sweat were trickling down its aching legs.
"On! my beauty," spurred Fleetfoot, "the tribe is relying on your speed and courage."
As though comprehending his young master's speech, the gallant pony broke into a brisk canter up the steepening slopes.
Snorting and pawing at the turf, the courageous animal struggled onwards. Fleetfoot noted, with growing alarm, flecks of blood gathering on the beast's wide nostrils.
They topped the range and immediately Golden Wind broke into a full-blooded gallop down the rocky sides. The Crow reservation was immediately below the rider and steed. The sight spurred them on and they careered wildly into the camp.
Quickly blurting out his story, Fleetfoot soon had hordes of Crow braves racing to the aid of the Blackfeet.
Turning to refresh Golden Wind, Fleetfoot found the pony did not answer to his familiar whistle. Searching for his gallant mount, he found him with an air of calm serenity, beneath a heavily-foliaged tree, lying full-length in the cool shade.
Anxiety rising, Fleetfoot knelt beside his faithful steed's prostrate form, fondly stroking and caressing its great head.
Golden Wind had run its last race.
John P. Williams (IIA)
HIGH up in the wind swept crags another hunter watched, attracted by the cries of the young falcons. Peering over from the shelf above, protruded his long and evil muzzle. He looked down and saw four balls of fluff in the centre of the bundle of sticks. The hunter's eyes gleamed, and he streaked swiftly down the fissure in short, powerful bounds. It was a devilish beast, bear-like in build, skunk-like in progression. This brute was a wolverine, one of the most evil monstrosities of the wilds.
The Peregrine, a wheeling speck high in the heavens a mile away, saw the wolverine descending and hurried to the spot. It was seldom he really hurried, but, now, as he saw the impending disaster, he uttered a piercing "hew." He had often uttered that cry, but never before had it been born of such horror and alarm. It sent his wife hurtling into the air from a high pinnacle nearby, then she too, saw, and together they met the foe.
They met him on a narrow shelf, deep with drift sand from above, and as they came the wolverine backed against the rocks with a screech of warning. Dauntlessly the hawks came on, lashed him with their wings, then rebounded quick as light as those terrible claws slashed out at them. The wolverine backed against the rock, roaring his defiant challenge; his small pig-like eyes were blood red, his claws flailing the air in expectancy. The Peregrine flashed to the shelf, his wings winnowing at invisible speed. Then the hen attacked from the other side, beating up a miniature cyclone in the sand with her wings. He was blinded, stifled, lost as to which way to turn, a slash, as if from a dozen razors, raked him across the face, and laid his scalp open from ear to ear; and all the time the sand blast was going on. Could he face it?, Could he find a way of retreat? No; a wolverine is never beaten, and blinded now with his own life blood, dropping saliva and hatred from his jaws, he charged into the cyclone with lowered head. The Peregrines rose, as though drawn by an invisible wire from above, and again those razor blades slashed the fiendish one across the eyes. He buried his face between his paws and rolled with ready claws, but there was nothing there. Over the edge he went, clutching at the rock, the ledge, a shrub, anything; but down his body went, rebounding off rocky outcrops, screaming with terror. The Peregrines descended too, striking as he fell and uttering aloft their shrill "hee hees" of triumph.
The hurtling mass of carrion hit a spur of rock and landed on the ground with a sickening thud. Then the Peregrines rose, wafted gently on a slight wind, higher and higher, into the air, while already above them the vultures were gathering ready to drop upon the corpse. The Peregrines dashed through the air chasing each other playfully and while the cock swooped off to disperse the vultures, the hen alighted on the nest whispering her comfort to the young and tucking their heads under her down, but still ready to repel the attack of any creature who wished ill of her young.
Ian Coleman (IIIB)
"ANGELS OF MERCY"
AS I PASSED THROUGH the impressive revolving doors, a powerful smell of disinfectant and newly-washed floors assailed my nostrils. I stood for a moment, stunned by the immensity and grandeur of the place; but composing myself, I approached the enquiry desk and as politely as I was able, I asked, "Could you tell me where I may find --- ward, please?"
"Certainly," replied the attendant amiably, "straight up the stairs to the left, you can't miss it."
So, somewhat dubiously, I mounted the stairs, but, sure enough, there was the ward I had asked for.
"Go straight through," said the Sister on duty when I told her whom I wished to see.
So, quietly, for a few patients were asleep, I tip-toed through the ward and it was at this moment that I realised the full significance of the nurses' work. Everywhere I looked, trim, blue and white figures scurried around, bent on their various small but tedious jobs that are a nurse's lot, and as I watched, I said to myself: "What a terrible place this would be without them."
Geoff Smith (IIA)
BEADS OF PERSPIRATION stood out on his forehead as he pulled furtively at the curtain. He looked through the chink. Yes - there they were, waiting for "him."
There was no escape from them, "the watchers in the lamplight." He slumped hopelessly into an armchair with his heart beating wildly. What could he do? He had to leave the house, the message must not be delayed at any cost. He switched on the radio but the music only increased the mounting tension. If help would only come and end this nightmare.
No, there was no escape. He put on his bumpers to make as little noise as possible. Dousing the gas-light, he padded down the passage and cautiously opened the door. After closing the door quietly he paused in the porch for some time.
He hadn't been heard, but as so often happens, his luck deserted him at the crucial moment; they'd seen him - but perhaps not all, There was nothing left but to make a dash for it. But he knew as he hurtled beneath the glimmer of the street lamps that all was in vain. He knew he was doomed to ridicule when he heard a voice cry..
"Look! Jones is wearing long trousers!"
John Dye (IIIA)
"WHAT IS THIS LIFE, IF .... ?"
EXAMINATIONS .... what torturous visions this dreaded word conjures up in the mind of the inexperienced boy, what remorse wells up within his soul at the awful sentence of the calendar. Like a dying man he sees his past life before him and lives once more the shady deals in marbles transacted beneath a desk during "geographical internment." He ponders upon his past follies, and successes, he sighs, a happy sigh, for is he not worth one hundred and thirty-four marbles? Then his mind turns to rosy thoughts of suicide, to all he will leave behind him, one hundred and thirty-four marbles and a broken hearted Rosie next door; that is the importance of examinations and its effect on early life.
After much superfluous worrying the moment arrives, the first day of the Common Entrance Examination. Upon coming out of his first petrified coma the small boy looks at his questions, he stares hard, and finds that unless his sight is failing him the questions are quite easy. The small boy now smells a rat; how could those infernal torturers set such an easy question? There must be a catch somewhere he thinks, and promptly puts down the wrong answer. With a combination of luck and heavenly guidance he reaches the end of the examination. Pale and quaking within, with a slightly puzzled but somewhat relieved expression on his face, the small boy trudges home. There are six months to wait before the final results of the examination are known, six months of nerve-wracking suspense during which the small boy undergoes many amazing changes. It is now, and not as many people think later, that alcoholic stupors, chain smoking, the imbibing of opium and heroine begin.
When the time of judgment draws near you see not playful little boys, but hardened cynics (the only ones who are not hardened cynics by now are the marble millionaires, and they are crooks).
Older now, and much wiser, with a hard shell of cynicism, the boy remains unshaken by examinations and results. Instead he harnesses them to meet his own ends and improves his tennis, cricket or chess during the spare hours provided by the commencement of the summer examinations. It is now that the cold, cunning and ruthless brains begin to appear and this period sees the birth of many future financial tycoons . . . and the appearance of that contemporary scourge, the ulcer. Even now, however, nervousness is not completely absent, as is shown by the number who take up piano lessons. Then comes the greatest change and mark of superiority yet seen, the actual enjoyment of the "end of the year" examinations.
Older still, more wise and yet more foolish, the boy faces the "god", which over-shadows all his secondary school life, the General Certificate of Education. The intense preparation for this, the king of school examinations, is marked by the stooping walk, the pouches beneath the eyes, the paleness of complexion and the hysterical fits of despair which grip that long suffering predecessor of man, the boy. There is now a crack in what used to he a hard protective shell of cynicism, mental fatigue.
Nearing the actual days of examinations another amazing change in this much-transformed creature, becomes apparent; he becomes more cheerful, whistles as he walks (now athletic and erect) and appreciates the non-existent beauty of the grimy galaxy of buildings which form his home town. Alas and alack! This is a sure sign of the sad but unavoidable overthrow of his only friend and protector in this world of woe, cynicism. Rhapsodising blissfully upon the graceful beauty of the ink blot before him, he is unaware of the gloating glances darted in his direction by those doleful demons the examiners. He is jolted and considerably shaken by the magical and sinister appearance of the question paper before him. By the time he has waded through the mortifying list of questions very little of his original good humour remains, and he relapses once more into the abysmal depths of gloom! As paper follows paper, day after day, hour after hour, he realizes what great men Attila the Hun, Nero, Kublai Khan, Hitler and Mussolini were.
The boy's sense of the morbid and horrifying grows as he realizes the unmistakable error he has committed by passing, with one, two and threes and so qualifying to take higher level examinations. As the fanatical gleam in his eye improves so Uncle Adolf approves.
The boy, now almost a man, basks with supreme content and contempt in the sunshine of his achievement in the higher level examination. He thinks now of Dracula, Frankenstein and Hyde merely as old and valuable acquaintances. As he ponders the meaning of his success, he thinks that perhaps Messieurs Ghoul, Attila and Rasputin of the board of examiners are not so bad after all.
Once more "Uncle Adolf" looking down from his heavenly abode (he now takes turns with Big Brother) approves.
Andrew Szepesy (IIIA)
MR. BROWN'S LAST SERVICE
THE DRONING OF THE ORGAN ceased, while the congregation, with the usual bustling and patient resignation, settled down to hear Parson O'Casey upbraiding them for their daily wrong-doings in clarion tones which strongly reminded them of his native Emerald Isle. Among the many uninterested was Mr. Brown, the village store-keeper.
"Usual boring sermon," he moaned, "I wish Martha wouldn't make me come to church, she knows I hate it."
This Martha was his wife, to whom he had been married five long years. She had made him into a regular, though not voluntary, churchgoer. So enthralled was she in the stirring words of the sermon, that she did not notice her husband doze off into a fitful sleep.
He imagined himself in revolutionary France. He was mounting the steps of the scaffold. Above him he could see the executioner, gaunt and terrible in his robe, awaiting his next victim. He was pushed brutally towards that fatal instrument -the guillotine. He had just sufficient time to reflect that the block was rather uncomfortable, when he heard the dreadful swish of the blade ...
just at that moment Martha's attention to Parson O'Casey's torrent of words wavered long enough to register the fact that her erring husband was not attending - in fact he had been remiss enough to fall asleep. Such behaviour was inexcusable, he must be woken up. Quietly but with deliberation, she picked up her fan and, leaning over, she tapped Brown smartly on the back of the neck. Slowly he slumped forward in his pew - dead.
Luath M. Grant-Ferguson (IIA)
CROSS COUNTRY. Phew, what an awful thought, it makes my stomach turn over at the very mention of it.
After eating my fill at the Dining Hall on the great day, I walked slowly back to the dormitory and prepared my kit. On going out of the dorm, I observed that the Juniors were just about ready to go.
I had a good laugh at the "Grand National" start of the Juniors; suddenly my countenance changed when I realised that I would be doing the same thing fifteen minutes later. I walked to the dormitory and changed, putting on my jersey and an old pair of flannel trousers for warmth. A few warming up exercises including a small jog around and I realised that there were only a few minutes to go. Ughh! That horrible feeling again. I quickly strip down as the headmaster approaches.
All the unfortunate Seniors shuffle behind the white line. The headmaster proceeds to deliver a speech on starting orders, course marks and all the rest. Quite boring, as I've heard it all before.
"Are you ready? Go!" The Headmaster brings down his arm in a decisive sweep and we are off with, oh, such a long way to go.
The pace is moderate, just right for adjusting your stride and breathing. Down a small hill to the church, which upsets the motion slightly. Never mind; through the gate and along the stony path to the Cathouse road. I shall now have to keep to the grass at the side because of my "spikes."
The pace here automatically quickens and one can feel oneself being "pulled" by the gentle slope.
This stretch of the course from the church to the Yacht Club is extremely trying and is in my opinion one of the decisive bits. Now through the kissing gate and on through the small area of school bounds (everyone goes faster here).
There was a slight congestion at the stile when I slipped on the wet mud and fell over. This upset the boy behind me who also fell over. Quickly up again, I resumed a slightly slower pace for the long foreshore path, and conserving my energy for the hill ahead.
My second wind has developed and I feel more like a machine than a runner. Over the last stile and up the hill; shorten your pace, I tell myself. I feel very tired and my legs are feeling like lead bars. An awful long grind up to a kissing-gate, I seem to think of anything and everything just to cheer myself up.
Ah, ha, a welcome downhill run to the famous "Butt and Oyster." I wish I could drop in for a "quickie" there, because there is another hilly road before turning right up to the muddy lane. The muddy lane has a certain ill-fame amongst the boys for being treacherous. I think, like many others, that the mud was especially carted to the lane and dumped there, just for us!
It is just a straight route back to the church after scaling a stile, but it is by far the worst from the runner's point of view. The long, undulating, straight course was transversed as quickly as possible, and, boy, am I glad.
Over the very last style on to the church, turn left and up on to Berner's, all thought of fatigue is now forgotten. What a wonderful victorious feeling, down the funnel and I'm home, I'm home! Ah, what a truly wonderful feeling.
Michael Gordon-Smith (VG)
NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY
The winter terms have been spent in preparation of the large ornamental pond in front of the School. Much labour has gone into emptying the water (and varied contents) and in cleaning up the statue and stone-work of the pond. We were all surprised to see how white and clean it does look when the grime of ages had been removed.
We have had a new pipe and valve fitted to enable the pond to be emptied, and will soon have connected a water pipe to fill the pond easily.
We hope this summer then, to be able to encourage the natural history side of the pond - filling it with plants and possibly some large fish. It will enrich the beauty of our premises and be a source of much pleasure and education for those whose interest lies in the atural life in ponds.
The Club continues to attract a reasonable number of boys although only a few of these seem to have the inclination or patience to produce worthwhile results. It is reassuring, owever, to find evidence from Old Boys that the Club has encouraged them in a hobby in which they continue to find interest after leaving School.
A new darkroom has been made at the end of the Physics Laboratory and this is proving to be a much better working arrangement han we have had before. We hope to own shortly a new Voigtlander Vito B 35 mm camera and this should greatly enlarge the possibilities of the Club.
One of the drawbacks of photography as a hobby is the expense of the materials involved. I have managed to find sources of reliable out-dated films which are available to all at considerably-reduced prices.
The Printing Club sold a fair number of Christmas Cards last year, and recently printed the programme for the School Play. The latter, with its unusual Russian names, put a severe strain upon our founts of type. We hope this year to expand in this direction, and also to buy a larger, possibly second-hand, printing press. News of any equipment of this ind would he welcome.
A pleasing feature of last term's activity was an increase in the number of posters produced for School functions of various kinds. These begin to show a grasp of the difference between a poster and a picture. Lettering remains a difficulty. The kind which is easy to do is seldom very good to look at, and the kind which is good to look at is far from easy to do. Here too, however, there are signs of improvement which will, we hope, be apparent this term.
Last Summer, work was begun on the site of a Roman Villa near Hadleigh. Unfortunately the weather prevented us from digging on many week-ends; and we were only able partially to excavate one room of what seems to be a large site. This room was approximately ten feet square and heated by a hypocaust system. We found traces of the pillars of this and also the flue running through the north wall.
Fragments of pottery and a coin of Constantius I indicate that this part of the villa was occupied in the early part of the fourth century.
This year we have been able to make an earlier start and hope to find out more about the site.
The Club is now in its fourth year, which promises to be quite a good one. On May 21st we are taking part in the Young Farmers' Rally at Woodbridge. A crop of peas has been sown and we are hoping to buy a pig in the near future.The Club is entering for about three things in the Rally: backing a two-wheeled trailer over a special course, cattle-judging and Suffolk horse judging. As only boys of over 141/2 are allowed to drive the School tractor, only they will be able to enter the competitions. We are not expecting anything spectacular this year, as there will he many older competitors.
Last year the Club sowed a crop of potatoes, which were harvested and sold to the School for use in the dining-hall. This year we ploughed and harrowed the "spud-patch" ourselves, and have planted a crop of peas.
As former readers of the "Janus" will have seen, the Young Farmers have been expecting a pig for some years. All I can say about this is that we are a few years nearer getting it than since the School first started.
The rabbits are living up to the reputation of their species, and we are expecting a litter by about the 21st May. We were hoping for one before this but someone mated a doe with a doe. Unfortunately the bees died last Winter. This may have been unfortunate, but we were not the only ones, over a hundred swarms were lost in East Anglia alone. We are hoping either to catch a swarm this term, or to buy one, preferably before the open day, when the Club will be giving a bee-keeping exhibition.
The Stamp Club met quite regularly during the Christmas term and its members engaged in the usual Activities of stamp-collecting mania: cataloguing and arranging their collections, exchanging duplicates, examining and buying from "approvals." There were, in addition, however, three special meetings each attended by at least fifty members; at the first, Dr. L. B. Cane brought selections of stamps from his own very extensive collection and gave a most interesting talk on his own stamp-collecting experiences, particularly in the Far East; at the second, Mr. G. W, Dalton, Secretary of the Ipswich Philatelic Society, and a member of the Council of the British Philatelic Society, talked of the early British mail, illustrating his remarks with some rare and interesting covers; at the third, entries in the Club's own competition were judged by Mr. Dalton, the prizewinners being:-
1. O'Loughlin, for a display of Falkland Islands and Dependencies;
2. Vizard, for a display of Canada;3. Byrde, for a display of Queen Elizabeth II stamps.Simon Harris was given a consolation prize by My. Dalton himself for an interesting display which made up in philatelic interest and knowledge what it lost in blots, smudges and illegible writing!
O'Loughlin and Vizard later entered their displays in the Ipswich Society's preliminary competition for the Melville Cup and each won the prize in his age group.
At the beginning of the Spring term we were pleased to welcome Sub-Lieut. Poole, R.N.Y.R. to the Unit. A former Army officer, he is nevertheless a keen yachtsman and a member of the Waldringfield Sailing Club. He will assist the Seamanship instruction.
The Unit has continued to grow in numbers. At present, there are 42 enrolled cadets who are divided for instructional purposes into three classes - Anson, Beatty and Benbow. here are also 20 New Entries - that is boys who are still in their three months' probation, which all must complete before being finally enrolled and kitted up with uniform. When enrolled, these boys will constitute Cochrane and Cunningham classes.
As a result of examinations for the rate of Cadet Able Seaman on 22nd March, the following were rated Able Seamen from that date:
The following have since been rated Acting Leading Seaman: Bass, Gould, Moughton, Vizard.
In addition to the normal instructional programme, activities during the Spring included boat-pulling for volunteers from the "B" classes - and there were always more volunteers han places available, in spite of the weather - and .22 rifle shooting for Anson class on Monday afternoons. The latter activity was by courtesy of the 4th Bn. The Suffolk Regt. (T.A.) whose range we are able to use through the good offices of our Chairman who commands the battalion. Teams have been entered for the Sea Cadet Corps Summer Postal Shooting League and are achieving some quite satisfactory scores on their targets.
The big event of the Summer term will be the annual Admiralty inspection of the Unit by Cdr. Luckett, D.S.C., R.N., the Area Officer who represents the Vice-Admiral Commanding Reserves. The inspection will take place on 21st July. It is as a result of these inspections that Efficiency Pendants are awarded to units which reach the highest. standard of efficiency, and whilst it would he presumptuous to hope that Woolverstone Hall might gain such an award after a first inspection, that nevertheless is the target at which the Unit must aim this and every year.
During the Easter holiday, three cadets went to Portsmouth on training courses - Gordon-Smith and Wilson to H.M.S. Cleopatra on a Physical Training course, and Moughton to H.M.S. St. Vincent on a General Seamanship course. Also Vizard and Hunton went on a ten-day cruise in the Merchant Navy motor vessel Ortolan, which took them to Dunkerque and Boulogne. A good time seems to have been had by all.On 28th May, the Zone Swimming Gala will take place at H.M.S. Ganges. The Unit will be represented here by Cadet Ordinary Seamen Ravenscroft, Tyrrell, Munro, Byrde, McMaster and Sullivan.
It is hoped to include inter-Divisional whaler rigging and racing competitions during this term, and also perhaps some sailing and pulling against Ipswich Unit - our "chummy" Unit - whose M.T.B. lies off Pin Mill and is visible from Woolverstone.
Much of the enjoyment of this term's activities will be dependent on reasonably good weather, "messing about in boats" being strictly a fair-weather occupation.
MODEL RAILWAY CLUB
At the beginning of the Autumn term, the Club had the Hornby Doublo track running smoothly, but the senior room had been stripped. It was decided to build a new layout there using only scale track and rolling stock. A new baseboard was laid and a track layout drawn up, giving terminus-to-terminus running with one high level terminus. It was decided to use Wren track and laying was soon under way. As the track was laid it was ballasted and a very realistic effect was obtained.By Christmas one circuit was completed together with much of the trackwork for the low level terminus. During the Easter term the track was pushed ahead and this meant building the first embankment and a fly-over bridge. This latter was made by O'Loughlin and Dear, and many members co-operated with the brick pillars for the actual embankment. At the same time track circuiting was worked out, and a second controller was installed and two switchboards were made. Lloyd and Pettitt did much of this work.
While this was going on the second and third form members were making a specially designed terminal building - finished just before Easter. Rosen had made a goods shed and apart from the installation of a turntable the main terminus is finished.
Work will now proceed on the high level line and it may be possible to complete the main lines before Open Day. Thereafter there will be a great deal of scenery to construct, together with many more buildings.
Our rolling stock now consists of four engines, three coaches and nine wagons. Three of the engines were purchased and include a scale model of a Royal Scott class 4-6-0. The fourth engine, a small 0-4-0 saddle tank, was made by Cox, and a very realistic model it is. Cox also made the three scale coaches, a kitchen car, a 1st/3rd corridor coach complete with interior fittings, and a luggage van. It is a great pity that more boys do not tackle similar models. The club needs more rolling stock and it is a pity to buy them when so much pleasure can be obtained by their construction. The goods stock grows slowly. Betts has put in some good work here, particularly with the fitting of underframes and couplings to the wagon bodies made last year.
During the Winter period the Hornby layout has given remarkably trouble-free running. The locos have run many actual miles and countless scale miles. They have stood up to their job remarkably well.The Club is looking forward to showing the results of its work on Open Day at the end of term.
John S. H. Smitherman
News of Old Boys is not very prolific, but then there are not as yet many Old Boys of the School. This will rectify itself in due course and in the meantime all Old Boys of the School are urged to keep in touch with the School through the magazine and thus in touch with each other.
W. B. FLYNN, who left the London Nautical School in 1949, finished his training at H.M.S. Caledonia, the R.N. Artificers' Training Establishment. He was for his last term Chief of the School, and the School has 900 students.
J. H. B. ASHWORTH (1953) has finished at H.M.S. Fisgard where he was rated a Petty Officer Apprentice and where too he was captain of the basketball team. He is now at H.M.S. Collingwood at Fareham, Hants.
J. MOGFORD (1953) is doing his National Service in the Parachute Regiment. He has visited the School twice, on the second occasion for the School Play.
R. S. HOPKINS (1953) is in the R.A.F. at Cosford near Wolverhampton, training as an Air Wireless Mechanic. He is playing rugger and basket-ball. With him there are Morton and Fitz Hardy who both left School at the same time. Hopkins has also joined the Boys' Band and has, performed at the Royal Tournament at Olympia.
So much for Service people. We have little news of those waiting to do their National Service. Colin Nicholson (1954) is with a firm of Quantity Surveyors and looking for a trumpet class to join in his spare time. We were glad to see him at School last term.
JOHN COOK (1954) is now settled in America, trying to get used to co-education as opposed to the more austere life of a British boarding school.
These notes are all too short. The day will come when each issue of the magazine will contain many pages of Old Boys' notes. In the meantime we can do no better than publish the addresses of all those who have joined. Will they bring the Association to the notice of their friends from the School? Will they let us know what they are doing so that our Old Boys' Notes may be really full?J.S.H.S.
We gratefully acknowledge the receipt of magazines from the following schools:-
Northgate G.S., Ipswich School, Colchester R.G.S., Woodbridge G.S., Dr. Barnardo's at Parkeston, H.M.S. Fisgard and Ottershaw Park.
The closing date for copy for the next issue of "Janus" will be September 30th.