I certainly know Roger [Wagland]. He and I were classmates, but also were Head Boy and Head Girl at the Buckingham Primary School in 1949, but I doubt if Roger remembers that! He and I were also involved in the same Gilbert & Sullivan productions at RLS, but Roger was in the Science 6th, and I in the Arts. He was ace at Sports whereas I only scraped into the hockey team, so our paths didn’t cross a lot. He might remember a naughty end to a cross-country event when the “tellers” – us girls – and the runners finished up in the New Inn for cider. I don’t [think that] I thanked him for his generosity or returned the favour! [ It’s not too late, Rita!] He must remember ‘52 or ‘53, when the senior boys’ annual run ended with the entire 5th and 6th meeting at the [railway] station to progress in formation along Chandos Road at a steady trot. Mr Embleton was not amused. (Though I rather think our much loved Bill (a.k.a. Enoch, i /c Geography) Archer was).
To break off from Rita’s memories for a moment, I’ve received this response to her Cross-Country memories from Geoff Kirk who ran in the infamous formation race:
It was definitely in 1952, as I left school in April 1952. The ‘course’ for the race at that time started at the school gates in Chandos Road – up Chandos Road to the Station – down Station Road – under the railway Bridge and then turn left up Lenborough Road – right to the top and then round the big field in Lenborough Grounds and then return along the same route.
A large group of us who were not quite so good as the first few, gathered at the station and decided to run down Chandos Road to the finish line in a straight line abreast across the road. We got about half-way down when George saw what was ‘going on’ and as Rita says – he was not amused. He ran up the road to meet us – with arms flailing and shouting “Make a race of it – make a race of it!!” George didn’t see the funny side of it at all. We broke up in chaos and did ‘make a race of it’.
I’ll certainly try to find time to send you the photos – very busy with University of the 3rd Age, at present. Mrs Capel would be pleased to know that I’m currently running a Writing for Pleasure group. Some of my short stories do hark back to Buckingham.
George March on Day 1 at RLS in September of '45 or '46
My husband was George March, 1946(?) to 1953, Class Prefect, National Service (RAF), Bristol University, M. Ed Aston University, Birmingham. He taught Maths, and became Deputy Principal of Barton Peveril Sixth Form College, Eastleigh, Hants, 1975- 1990. Sadly George died in 1990 shortly after taking early retirement. My contemporaries would know me as Rita Shaw, but they would remember George as well. Is the Latin School still the dating agency it was then? [ Ed blushes as he remembers the Wedding Suite in Brookfield.]
[I had asked Rita whether she possessed a music copy of Margaret Rose’s original School Song – as the school doesn’t possess a copy of it , so that its present Director of Music, Rob Tucker has expertly crafted a tune tune for the old words. ED]
Rita has replied:
I’ll jot down what I can remember of the tune of the School Song. If anyone can contact Eileen Joel as was, she sang a solo verse and might fill in some blanks, and would Roger have the chaps’ part in his head? I don’t have the technology to hum it to you!
On a personal note, I taught Junior music, then Infants, lost count of the number of choirs and Operatic Socs., a couple of them professional but as part of an amateur chorus. Re Verdi 200th anniversary, I’m a second soprano – used to be alto- with the Southampton Phil[harmonic Choir] in Winchester Cathedral, giving my all on April 27th, 2013 in the Verdi Requiem, without the score. [I] wish Bryn Evans could see me now! I was telling my grandchildren at Christmas about the seminal moment at my first ever school assembly, when Mr Allitt played the introductory bars to hymn no. 576 and the whole school burst into “Lord behold us - – -”; Wow!…that phalanx of [young] men’s voices carrying from behind us little girls.
Lord, behold us with Thy blessing
Once again assembled here;
Onward be our footsteps pressing
In Thy love, and faith, and fear;
Still protect us, still protect us
By Thy presence ever near.
For Thy mercy we adore Thee,
For this rest upon our way;
Lord, again we bow before Thee,
Speed our labors day by day;
Mind and spirit, mind and spirit
With Thy choicest gifts array.
Keep the spell of home affection
Still alive in every heart;
May its power, with mild direction,
Draw our love from self apart,
Till Thy children, till Thy children
Feel that Thou their Father art.
Break temptation’s fatal power,
Shielding all with guardian care,
Safe in every careless hour,
Safe from sloth and sensual snare;
Thou, our Saviour, Thou,our Saviour
Still our failing strength repair.