1956 Jeremy Barham
SCHOOL YEARS AT CRANBROOK SCHOOL (1952 – 1960)GeneralThe fabric of the school when I was a pupil was simple enough. School House was the residence of the Headmaster and it also housed a study for him and his Secretary as well as a small Sanatorium. The main building at the top of the forecourt incorporated the dining room at ground floor level with the Assembly Hall above. This was known as Big School. The teaching block was located to its right and behind both these buildings in the direction of the church there was an area of lawn and some wooden huts used as the staff common rooms. Another area on the town side of School House included the school shop, tuck shop, the Horsley Block (changing rooms for day pupils), a fives court, the gymnasium and, above that, the library. The three boarding houses were Crowden (opposite School House), Rammell (along Golford Road nearly opposite the windmill) and Cornwallis (further along Waterloo Road). Behind Crowden was a second fives court and storage rooms used by the Combined Cadet Force (C.C.F). Along Waterloo Road a drive led to Barham House, which contained music rooms and, on the upper floor, a stuffed bird collection! The three games areas were Rammell Field, Jaegers and Bigside. A small shooting range lay below Cornwallis Gardens by the River Crane. Practically hidden behind Rammell was a duckpond of a swimming pool containing seriously dank water. The school had a fairly conventional uniform which consisted of a brown sports coat of regulation pattern, a pullover for winter wear, grey flannel trousers and the school tie. A black coat was worn (with the grey flannels) on Speech Day, Sundays and for school entertainments. Special clothes were worn for games and P.T, and a straw hat with its band in the school colours was to be worn on special occasions in the summer. The straw hat was optional for day-boys.No tuition fees were payable for me as a dayboy but other charges included a C.C.F Entry Fee of £ 2.10.0.and a related termly subscription of an additional ten shillings. Dinners (Note: they were not called lunches) were charged at 7 d per day. Another consolidated charge of 9 shillings per term, which was voluntary, covered the school magazine, library periodicals and swimming. Finally parents were asked to pay a termly contribution of One Pound to a fund which had been set up “to provide for the upkeep and extension of the school buildings”. To set the scene more thoroughly it is worth noting that the Headmaster, Mr Charles Russell-Scott, had been in residence since August, 1929. Under his guidance the number of boys at the school had increased from one hundred and fifty-six to over two hundred and sixty with approximately half of those being boarders. The VI th form had grown from fourteen to ninety boys in that period and the number of assistant masters from nine to seventeen. The ethos of the school was focussed on a serious education with strong discipline based on tight rules about behaviour at all times. In a speech at an Old Cranbrookians’ Association (OCA) Annual Dinner, when he was presented with gifts to celebrate his twenty-five years as Headmaster, Mr Russell-Scott outlined his philosophy. “I regard the root of education as a matter of morals, in spite of all that has been said about self-expression, and indeed partly because of that. I use the term morals both in the sense of honesty, fairness and kindness, and in the wider sense that every school activity should aim at improving standards, whether intellectual, athletic or artistic, and that behind it all should be the motive of service to others. The criterion of a school's success is whether boys are taught to do their duty, whether they come to realise that life confronts them with many serious tasks, problems and opportunities, and whether they acquire the capacity to face and conquer them and their own shortcomings.” I think these remarks are quite forward looking in their way and I am thinking that they could have been words uttered in 2010 by Dr Anthony Seldon, the current Master of Wellington College and a highly regarded educationalist.Indeed, there were very strict rules about dress and personal behaviour. No shirts were ever seen hanging outside trousers, no hands rested in pockets (or were the prefects allowed to do this as a special privilege?). Eating in the street was definitely “verboten”! We were not allowed into the town of Cranbrook unless it was for the purpose of getting to and from the school on public transport. 1952 - 1953So I started at Cranbrook School as a day pupil on September 18 th., 1952. I was one of twenty-eight new boys in Form II and was to be known as J.G.Barham ii as there was an older boy with the same surname, who left at the end of that school year. I am still in contact with about ten of these first term contemporaries. The routines of the school day were very established. Assembly was in Big School at 8.45 a.m. when all the pupils took their places in seniority order. A short hymn and a shorter reading from a school prefect were followed by notices given out by the Headmaster from the stage. Then the teaching day began immediately afterwards – three periods of forty-five minutes each before a twenty minute break then two more periods before lunch. Lunch was basically taken between 1 and 2 p.m. On Monday, Thursday and Friday afternoons there would two more teaching periods. On Tuesdays, the single afternoon period was followed by C.C.F. activities. On Wednesday and Saturdays teaching took place in the mornings only. Games activities were scheduled for every day bar Tuesday. Boarders in the three lowest forms had one hour’s preparation time and all others had a second hour, although Wednesday evenings were used for non-academic occupations. On Sundays Boarders had the option of attending an early Holy Communion Service or a Sung Eucharist (or was it Matins?) at 9.40 a.m. and they would also attend Evensong at 8 p.m. Not much was arranged to amuse the boarders at the weekends. There were occasional films shown on a primitive projector in Big School on Saturday or Sunday evenings. There were rarely any visiting speakers and only very occasional trips outside the school, to London for the theatre or some sporting event, for example. Boarders were allowed home, after Saturday morning school, twice each term.I can still just about describe a typical classroom from those early days at the school. A large square room with a high ceiling and generous windows would contain nearly thirty old fashioned desks with lift up tops arranged in neat rows. Along the front edge would be a groove for pencils and, certainly when I started, a hole containing an inkwell, into which we would dip our wooden pens with replaceable nibs. Blotting paper too? I don’t remember. Blots and smudged handwriting? Certainly. The desks would be covered with the carved names of earlier incumbents, who would have kept the desk for at least a term. Each pupil was assigned a position according to his ranking in the form, which was based on his academic performance in the previous term. It was certainly not egalitarian. The teaching staff would be able to walk around the outside or through the middle of the arrayed desks to monitor the “less bright” pupils who always sat in the back rows. Sadly, I have found a photograph which shows a certain J.G. Barham ii in the back row (next to Hugh Pike)! It is a Divinity class taken by the Reverend Westrup and the most amazing thing about the picture is the fact that we all seem to be reading intently. My memory of his classes was his utter inability to keep any control! Perhaps it was taken during the school inspection, to which I refer below.My first form master, Mr Morgan, was also in charge of music. He was an irascible man and, as music did not feature in my school life until my last year, he and I did not have much in common. Mr Anthony Congreve was the Housemaster of Horsley, the day pupils’ house. He was a short, balding man, an archetypal schoolmaster, who taught history, refereed junior rugby and was master i/c Colts Cricket. Amazingly in the Easter Term 1953 the School, which by that time had Voluntary Aided status, received its first full inspection by the Ministry of Education since 1936. A touching entry in the School magazine for that term shows that the Headmaster was so pleased to receive a complimentary preliminary report that he granted ”an extra half-day holiday….and allowed the School to visit the Regal cinema” (to see ”Laughter in Paradise”). It took me quite some time to adjust to the environment of the day house changing rooms, crowded with boys of all ages and crammed full of dirty sports kit. I behaved in a very shy manner for quite a few terms, avoiding taking a shower after games whenever possible. There was quite serious bullying in the day house. Senior pupils would “capture” smaller boys and in some dark corner of the changing rooms subject them to electric shocks from primitive equipment. I also remember having a very big playground fight with another dayboy (with the appropriately sounding name of Savidge), who was older than myself. I managed a “win” on the basis that he stopped fighting after I had banged his head on the asphalt surface of the playground several times. I think this helped establish my “street cred” or whatever the expression was at that time for the concept of being accepted by one’s peer group.Sport was compulsory – either playing (imagine how awful it was for some to be made to play set cricket on hot sunny afternoons on a dire pitch) or worse, being made to watch. The whole school was obliged to watch school matches, lined up on one side of the rugby or hockey pitch or all round the lower boundary of Bigside for cricket matches. The one concession granted for the latter was the permission to eat sweets (probably sherbet lemons) and take bottled drinks (probably Tizer). Boaters had to be worn for such occasions, which inevitably led to much manic chasing as they were carried away by the wind that frequently inhabited Bigside. Mr Evans, master i/c Cricket would position his old fashioned car adjacent to the old scoreboard (manned by unwilling junior boarders) at the top of the ground near the Windmill pub and from there he would train his field glasses on the assembled onlookers to check on incidents of “ragging”. During my first year we newcomers to the School had football on Rammell Field in the two winter terms. 1953 -1954In the second year I was in Form III, working under the general guidance of Philip Hawkins, who was a much softer character than Mr Morgan, both in overall manner and speech. At this time he taught me Latin but later he would encourage me on the games field. At some point I realised that boys could form relationships with each other. Although these could become quite close, in no way was there any practice of extreme homosexuality. Rather the relationships were what girls in their school days would probably call “crushes”. 1954 -1955For this academic year I was in Form IV b under the general direction of Robert Overy. Robert was also master i/c Art and was almost certainly the 1950’s equivalent of “gay”. Balding and smiley he was always encouraging. I always got on with him quite well and he did teach me to draw and paint to a reasonable standard as the years passed. Mr or Major Lampard (as he was generally known) was in charge of the C.C.F. and taught woodwork (otherwise known as Handicraft). Beatings by Mr Russell-Scott were carried out in a room adjacent to his study with the unfortunate boy, bent over a sofa, usually receiving “six of the best”. I narrowly escaped this traumatic experience after two unrelated incidents – both (in my view) of a trifling nature. The first occurred when, emerging from his study, the Head told me to stop playing yard cricket in the rain. Somewhat stupidly, I started playing again shortly afterwards. This was deemed to be a deliberate affront to his authority. Yard cricket involved a tennis ball being bowled from about eighteen yards down the slope of the yard next to the Horsley (day boy) changing rooms towards a wicket marked in chalk on the wall adjacent to the Headmaster’s study. A few fielders would be posted in the general area and runs would be scored by means of hitting the ball onto denominated walls of the surrounding buildings. Wickets could only be taken by hitting the “stumps” or by fielders taking catches (perhaps including “one hand one bounce” dismissals). Some big hits, which usually resulted in the ball being lost, would be classified as “six and out”. We would play at any opportunity – even in the rain! Interestingly, at another school, St Lawrence in Ramsgate, the prevailing pursuit in all playground areas was yard hockey – no wonder they were always so good at the game!My second escape was some terms later after the School Catering Manager (Mr Hover) reported two of us for taking oranges from a table laid up for a match tea. Mr Russell-Scott took this minor misdemeanour very seriously, gave two of us a frightening lecture but stopped short of giving us a beating. In the Easter Term of 1955 I think I was introduced to Hockey for the first time. We played with old fashioned “English” sticks (mine was covered in a white plastic protection) on old fashioned, muddy pitches. The boots we wore were a particularly strange mixture of rubber and canvas, designed to vaguely protect the ankles. Even then we looked stupid! In that term, as a member of the C.C.F., I passed my Certificate “A” which was a general test with a military flavour, taken in two parts (I and II). Successful completion allowed a badge to be worn on the uniform sleeve. This certificate was presumed to indicate that the cadet was ready for a ‘call to arms’ should World War III ever start, and assuming the Enfield .303 was still in use. In fact, Certificate A’s were important to the CCF because financial support came from the War Department and the size of each school’s budget was calculated by the percentage of cadets who passed the tests. A thought – perhaps state schools today should receive central funding based on the percentage of pupils who pass nominated exams to a specified standard. 1955 - 1956For the Christmas Term 1955 I was in Form IV a. The curriculum was extended now to include German, which I clearly liked, and Chemistry and Physics, which also went surprisingly well in that year. I was being taught Latin by Frank “Joe” Evans for the first time. My House Master, Ubaldo Gianetti, otherwise known as “Spag”, was a rather random man, who also taught me French right through my school years. On March 21 st., 1956 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother visited the school and I was proud to be one of 24 cadets who formed the official Guard of Honour led by C.S.M. David Westmoreland. In the photograph I think I am the cadet, who is just visible next to the Queen Mother’s forehead. Just look at those shiny boots and razor sharp creases in the uniforms – apart from that being worn by Major Lampard!On July 14 th., the School XI played the annual cricket match against the Old Cranbrookians and during the day the BBC took pictures for a television film about cricket. The film was subsequently shown on August 7 th at 9.15 p.m. in a programme called “Hail Cricket”, which was introduced by Peter West (one of the better known alumni from the school. The part of the programme which had been filmed at the school had a mini story line of a schoolboy (me) looking anxiously (that bit was easy) at the notice board to see if he had been selected to play for the XI and then it continued with some shots of the actual game being played on Bigside.For the last two and a half weeks of term the school was in quarantine owing to a case of poliomyelitis. Fortunately the pupil involved made a complete recovery.1956 - 1957The new school year began in September with Mr Fox Linton as the master responsible for Form V a. “Foxy” was a rather laid back gentleman, who taught English and produced the school plays, squeezing good performances out of limited resources. By now my brief flurry of learning something about the sciences was over as we had made our choices for the GCE (General Certificate of Education) Ordinary Level examinations scheduled for the Summer Term 1957. I somehow found myself in the Signals Section in the C.C.F. and had to take some proficiency test, which involved learning the silhouetted shapes of aircraft, the morse code and other aspects of military life that we were unlikely to come across as cadets at school. In January, Mr Russell-Scott offered my parents an unexpected boarding place for me for the Easter Term and so I became a boarder in Crowden House. The boarding fee was then £ 195 per term. Crowden House was a three story building with a mock tudor beamed front and ill fitting windows located very close to Waterloo Road. The large front door opened to a hallway, from which you could access Frank Evans’ study and a junior boys’ day room on the right or the senior boys’ day room on the left. This led to a separate study for house prefects. Straight ahead were changing rooms and stairs which led up to two floors of dormitories, bathrooms, another small room for house prefects and Frank Evans’ own bedroom. Frank Evans was our equivalent of Mr Chips. He had come to Cranbrook immediately after getting his degree at Oxford. He was a serious man whose sense of humour rarely showed unless he was somehow “off piste”. As a teacher he stayed within the strict confines of the syllabus and the conventional teaching practice of the times and yet he could motivate. His cricket coaching was old fashioned, as were the vellum bound bats which he used to propel cricket balls high into the sky in fielding practices which lasted until every boy had caught his quota of steeplers. The result – his teams rarely dropped catches. His manner, his clothes, his study, his car, the invitations he extended to Crowden House prefects to enjoy (?) Sunday afternoon tea at Sedlescombe, his handling of House Meetings were all conventional in the extreme. Yet, underneath he wanted boys to perform academically and on the games field and he made sure they did. Many generations of Old Cranbrookians still recount their favourite stories about “Joe”, mimicking his unfortunate stammer, but in their hearts they know he was a huge influence on their early lives and set them certain standards which they still try to live up to. He gave me lots of encouragement from the beginning of my time as a boarder. Later he became quite friendly with my parents and appreciated their hospitality. After I left the school I worked closely with him in the administration of the Lynxes Cricket Club. School food was pretty ordinary. In the dining hall boys would sit at two long tables for each boarding house in seniority order with a house prefect at the head of each table. School prefects would sit at an oval table near the entrance doors with the Headmaster and his wife. One of the School prefects would say grace at the beginning of the meal “Benedictus Benedicat” (May the Blessed One give a blessing) and again at the end of the meal “Benedicto Benedicatur” (Let blessings be given back to the Blessed One). The kitchen staff, marshalled under Mr Hover, would bring food into the hall. We would refer to them as “skivvies”. Very few of the younger females would excite the pulse of any of the assembled boys although one or two may have “tried it on” with Doreen, who was relatively top heavy (if you get my meaning). Breakfasts were quite substantial with cereals usually followed by eggs or very poor quality bacon. Sausages were popular and, for some reason, we would typically eat them with marmalade. Lunch and supper would be characterised by various forms of stew, overcooked greens and substantial puddings. “Dead’s Man’s Arm” was the name given to one baked jam roll. I do not remember feeling hungry or looking undernourished so I suppose the diet was good enough for growing boys. Boarding opened up many new avenues for me – for example, the Art and Craft Club. “The small but select band of artists who meet on Wednesday evenings proceeded to convert the art room into a hive of industry in the hour allotted to occupations. Our membership has risen to the extraordinary heights of seven this term”. The Summer Term 1957 was all about the GCE examinations. The GCE results came through in August.1957 - 1958The Lower VI th year began on September 19 th., 1957. I was a House Prefect. Now the focus was on GCE Advanced Level choices. In my case these were French, German and, after much deliberation and eventual caving in to the persuasiveness of Frank Evans’, Latin. This is perhaps an appropriate point to touch on the subject of “fagging”. Fagging was a traditional educational practice in British boarding private schools and also many other boarding schools, whereby younger pupils were required to some extent to act as personal servants to the most senior boys. Fagging originated as a structure for maintaining order in boarding houses, when schoolmasters' authority was practically limited to the classroom. Fagging carried with it well-defined rights and duties on both sides. The duties undertaken by fags, the time taken, and their general treatment, varied widely. Each school had its own tradition but would probably include such humble tasks as blacking boots, brushing clothes and cooking breakfasts, and there was no limit as to hours but fagging could be restricted to such light tasks as running errands. At many schools, fag-masters were expected to reward their fags for their efforts at the end of term by giving a monetary 'fag tip'. As far as my own experience is concerned I think I certainly required my fag to clean my shoes and run errands. Fagging was an established part of the ethos of the boarding house and tasks were always set and carried out in a friendly spirit. At around this time the Old Cranbrookians formed the Lynxes Hockey Club with which I was much involved in later years.1958 - 1959As this school year began I was Vice-Captain of Crowden and a School Prefect. I was also promoted to Sergeant in the C.C.F.During the term there was a huge outbreak of flu, with something like 80 cadets missing from one parade, equivalent to more than a third of the pupils in the school. Although we were forbidden by Mr Evans to play tennis during the cricket season I did turn out for the house team.I passed my GCE Advanced Levels in French, German and Latin and even managed a Scholarship Level pass in German. 1959 – 1960I started my last year at the School with new responsibilities – as Captain of the School. It was an important year for the School with new buildings in the shape of the New Horsley House and Gymnasium and the impending retirement of Russell-Scott. In the C.C.F. I was promoted to C.Q.M.S. (Company Quarter Master Sergeant). This was a bit of a “doss” role – offering the rank of Sergeant but with no real responsibility, certainly not for a platoon of cadets. It involved the administration of the “stores” and little else. However, looking back, I had enjoyed my time in the C.C.F. in all its respects. At times I had been quite fanatical about preparing my “kit”. This included “spit and polishing” my heavy, black army boots until they showed a truly brilliant shine and even polishing the under soles, “blancoing” all webbing, shining all the brass and producing razor sharp creases in the battledress uniform. The trick here was to smear soap on the insides of the trousers or sleeves before ironing the outsides. We even used lead weights, threaded with string, inside the trousers to ensure they looked properly turned down over the gaiters at all times. All this effort took place before cleaning our personal .303 rifle, whose serial number we could surely recite at the slightest provocation.Parades to pipes and drums were moving affairs and drill competitions equally stimulating. On the other hand, preparing bedding (with specially folded corners) and other equipment for a “line inspection” at camp was boring and food on such occasions (always stew served from huge metal containers) was dire and the tea was worse as it was always supposed to be laced with hormone dulling Bromide. Field exercises, which took place once a term on local farms or in Angley Woods were rather simple simulations of army manoeuvres (using well taught techniques of the “leopard crawl” and manual signals, which today would be interpreted as rude gestures, but then instructed distant cadets to “close in on me”). Sometimes at the Annual Summer Camps, where we worked with regular army personnel, the exercises were much more real. I remember being really quite scared on a night exercise when, in the still darkness, the imagination runs riot as it multiplies up the slightest sound. Perhaps the best Annual Camp was based in Ashdown Forest when some of the School staff were basically in charge of the whole arrangements and discipline was very slack. I was a pretty useless shot with .22 rifle (on the school range) and worse with a .303 rifle (at Bisley, for example). I may well have been the first age group not to do National Service but I think I would have enjoyed it (probably because I would have hoped for lots of sport). Amazingly, I was offered a place at Cambridge on the strength of my A Level results and without the need to pass an entrance examination. I cannot remember how I would have reviewed with my parents and the Headmaster whether I should leave at the end of the Christmas term. I am sure I would have quite liked the idea of being top dog at school, with the hockey season looming and cricket to follow, with no real need to take further examinations. Deep down I must have known the right thing to do would be to leave, taste the outside world, learn more French and German in the respective countries and generally grow up. Obviously, I stayed on at the school for two more terms.On Monday evenings a group of senior boys attended dance classes, which took place in Big School. On the stage, a famous character called Doris Pullen played an upright piano. When playing with her band at local dances it is not clear how she stayed upright as she consumed large quantities of gin and smoked while she played. Her husband played a battered trumpet. The music was always simple but upbeat and it was all we knew. Anyway, the dance classes………….I cannot recall who taught us but we slowly learnt the basics of the waltz, quickstep and maybe even the foxtrot. A few local girls were invited to help us in this endeavour. This was exciting in itself even though they would not have won any awards for beauty or fashion sense. We may have even been introduced to some Scottish dancing. The whole objective was to prepare us for an end of term dance with (we would have used the term ”against”) a local girls school such as Lillesden, Bedgebury or, (could it have been possible?) Benenden. Having been effectively locked up for a term we were pretty much “on heat” by the time these dances came around but even so the whole concept of the Paul Jones was absolutely terrifying. This was the dance, often played early in the evening’s programme as a “ice-breaker”, whereby an inner circle of girls moved in one direction and the outer circle of boys moved in the opposite direction and when the music stopped………………..the boy was obliged to dance with the girl opposite him – which could be either good or bad news ! The challenge was how to say the right things (or anything at all) while concentrating on the few basic steps one could remember – to hell with any complicated routine! The only time which was worse was the manoeuvring that was required to ensure the last dance was taken with a worthwhile partner! All of this drama would take place in the Dance with Lillesden on November 30 th., that year. At the end of term I was among the Crowden prefects who performed in the Annual Sing Song. I would have much more at ease with all that male company.The School hockey season was rather spoilt by bad weather preventing a lot of practice and providing poor pitches when matches were possible. On wet days we would play Gym Hockey – a rather primitive five a side game with a tennis ball played on a slippery surface and in a very limited space. The alternative was a road run. The possible routes for these were either via Swattenden returning past Rammell House, or out to Golford Corner and back via Sissinghurst or out to Whitewells and returning via Willesley Pound – each of them quite demanding, especially given our simple (probably Dunlop) gymshoes for footwear. Thinking about the demands of education today it is amazing to think that we were able to play so much sport in my time at school. Games were scheduled for five days a week with two periods of PE also fitted into the timetable.At the end of term The Public Schools Hockey Festival at Oxford was an opportunity to play better opposition on college pitches, which were all of a high standard. Dale Pike and other staff at Cranbrook had done their best to coach us in the basic techniques of hockey on terrible pitches. However, I remember being quite shocked when meeting other players in the Kent Schools teams and seeing how their skills were at an entirely different level as a result of being coached by ex International players. At my final Speech Day I was presented with the Lewis Hardy Prize for the Captain of the School. Speech Days were something of an endurance event. At 10.30 in the morning the whole C.C.F. would march from the School to Bigside to be formally inspected, on this occasion by an Old Cranbrookian, Brigadier F. Kentish Barnes O.B.E. This was actually the 100 th year of the Cadet Force. At 12.15 a Commemoration Service was held in St Dunstan’s Church with the whole school in black jackets and admiring parents dressed to kill. This involved several upbeat hymns, some thought provoking prayers, a recitation relating to the benefactors of the school, a specially rehearsed rendition from the choir and finally the National Anthem (first verse only). All concerned then retired for lunch – our family’s venue being the Star and Eagle at Goudhurst. At 3 p.m. it was time for Speeches and Prize Distribution in Big School. The Chairman of Governors at that time was Sir Reginald Rootes and after his introductory speech the Headmaster gave his Annual report. Then Mr W.F. (Bill) Deedes M.P. gave a brief speech and presented the prizes. Tea was then served in Cornwallis Gardens while the Kneller Hall Band, conducted by an O.C., played accompanying music. At 7 p.m. The Choral Society Concert was held in Big School. For my final year, as part of my self imposed “mind broadening programme” I had joined the School Choir. I still could not really read music but I did have a passable tenor voice. So I muddled along in copying mode and really enjoyed the experience of practices and eventual “on the night” performances. On this occasion we sang Stanford’s “Revenge”. Now, of course, the whole Speech Day programme at Cranbrook School, including the extensive prize giving, takes place in the church and is much more impressive in a way. Certainly the standard of music is truly remarkable. It was a very special Speech Day as it was the last for Mr Russell-Scott after thirty-one years as Headmaster. My mother and stepfather organized a collection from the parents of most senior boys and presented some gifts to “CRS” after tea in Cornwallis Gardens. Some weeks later, in the last School Assembly of the term I made a brief speech and presented him with a mahogany coffee table, a silver cigarette lighter engraved “To CRS from the School 1960” and a seal skin tobacco pouch. This was also rather a special occasion. The post A Level Course was intended to usefully occupy the unaccustomed spare time with which VIth formers found themselves in the last three weeks of term. There were visits to the BP Refinery, Reeds Paper Mills, the County Show, The Police Driving School, British Gates and a day trip to London (which included visits to the Houses of Parliament and the Stock Exchange). In the school magazine thanks are given to Donald Vear, the organizer, and other members of staff who assisted at various times – “not least in the forbearance they showed towards some of the less orthodox items in the research programme !” On re-reading this I now wonder what they knew……………….It was time to say farewell to Cranbrook.