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This page can be used to contain reminiscences posted by former pupils and staff, where the story is too long for the guestbook. Just send them to me and I'll post them here. Thanks.

Rod Wilkins
rodwilkins@hotmail.com

For instance, here are some extracts from emails I have sent to other ex-TVGS-ers recently:

I was in 1R (Miss Read), 2M (Mr Morley), 3M (Miss Marmoy), 4E (Miss English), 5B (Miss Bland), L6S (Mr Strover) and U6M (Dr Mumford). Other teachers I remember were Miss Williams and Miss Hubart (French); Mr Wiles and Mr Lewis (Physics); Mr Manders and Mrs Kyle (Chemistry), Mr Lynham, Avis and Boucher (Maths), Miss Frampton (English); Miss Salter (Senior Mistress, Biology): Dr Mortimer (Headmaster), Mr Jeremy (Senior Master and German); and so on!!

And here's another one:

I have another memory of TVGS girls. Every day on the way back from lunch (I was made to go home for lunch, unlike normal people) I had to pass the girl's entrance on the way to the boy's entrance, and the girls would hang around and embarrass the hell out of me. Before I reached the corner I'd pray fervently that no-one would be there, but then to my horror there they would be... I'd race past as quickly as I could and someone would make a smart comment or call out "Kiss me, Wilkins" and I'd go crawling into the boy's entrance, red as a beetroot!

And in response to someone who mentioned Helena Richardson:

I especially remember Helena - who could forget. I remember her running up the stairs outside Miss Salter's office one day wearing the shortest of mini skirts (with me not far behind/below). Miss Salter arrested her at the top "Helena - your skirt is almost indecent - take off that pursebelt". Helena removed the pursebelt tightly scrunched around her waist and the skirt dropped two inches. (Where are you now Helena?)

Nicola (nee Ettridge) submitted this on "School Dinners":

I thought a little on school dinners and the memories they evoked!! Remember the Roast beef and roast potatoes? Butterscotch tart with soapy whipped cream!! Cheese flan with cold spaghetti, spotted dick and custard, cabbage - not necessarily together! Then the 'buffet' with corned beef and rolls, grated carrot and coleslaw. I am sure there were many other delicious meals we eagerly waited in line for!! Walking through the upper 6th smoking room to get to the canteen, Mrs Brown collecting your tickets for lunch.

There was also the privilege of serving the teachers dinner which meant as many servings of chocolate pudding as you wanted and serving your favourite teacher - was it Mr Hounsfield or Mr Eames and who was the handsome P.E teacher? (Mr Gummer? - Ed)

Older sister Susan (nee Ettridge) has followed up with this contribution:

I remember my first ever day at the school - feeling terrified at the assembly, all the teachers in gowns and mortar boards, and so many students. I was assigned to Miss Williams class (1W) and sat next to Heather Drummond, in front of Pat Farris and Heather Fuller. Later on in the year, Liz Cowley got whacked round the head with a blackboard rubber (WHAT are those things called?) by Mr. Lynham for fooling around. We were all a bit scared of him then, but many years later, on a Geography field course in Scarborough, discovered he was a really nice 'bloke' and we played darts with him in a pub against a local team and WON!!! All the girls had crushes on Mr. Iddon, and loved the way he used to toss his long blonde hair back.

In that first year I did really well and won a prize at Speech Day ( little swat, I hear you all say), but as the years wore on, I became worse and worse, going from 2nd in my class to 31 or 32. There must have been lots of distractions!!!! I was in a highly intelligent class though, headed by John Saville and David Murphy who were always 1st or 2nd - we used to place bets!

A few people in my class that I can remember - Geoffrey Banham, Roger Bilton, Dennis Chapman, Andrew Downs, David Johnson, Colin d'Angelo, Peter Rix, Robin Knight, Russell Dean. Margaret Coombe (no s.) Wendy Evans, Anne- Maire Lupton, Annette Rising, Susan Godwin, Pat Farris, Marion Gilliland.....

I remember Liz Cowley, myself and Pat Farris annoying these older boys in the lunch hour on the far - field where they used to play cricket, day after day. I don't know their names but we used to have nicknames for them - one was "Fat Carcass", one "Your Highness" and one "Shrimp". The "Fat Carcass" one (thin as a rake) was so called because he used to yell at us at the top of his voice - "Get your fat, lazy carcasses out of here"! They used to chase us with their cricket bats and REALLY whack us the back of the legs if we didn't run fast enough. I don't think I've ever laughed so much in my life, as at those moments, when we had escaped, again! Many years later, when I was a bit more grown-up, I saw "Fat Carcass" on the tube, and he looked absolutely horrified to see me, hid behind his newspaper, and got off at the next stop!!

Like Nicola I have fond memories of the School Canteen, and enjoyed taking Mr. Iddon his lunch. I especially enjoyed the spam fritters with tomato sauce and chips, followed by chocolate pudding and sauce. My children have no such Canteen, and take sandwiches to school to be eaten in the classroom. What a shame!

I remember being so useless at History (we had Mr. Eyre) that I was allowed to give it up a year early. I was so pleased with myself, walking past my class queuing up to go into History, with me waltzing to the Art classroom with the older year. I remember two Simons being in that class who were real characters, and exceptional at Art.

In the U6, Alison Edwards, Robert Livingstone, Kim Harding and myself decided to form an 'Entertainment's Committee"! We did a couple of discos and then later on a band called "Amity". Sort of like "Steel Eye Span". Anyway, one of the speakers blew up about half way through the evening, and we had absolutely no backup plan like music to put on, so everyone sat around and got thoroughly bored until the speaker was fixed. We called it a day after that, but the Head Master did call us into his office to say thank you for our efforts and I remember he called us 'financial geniuses'!! I think it was the only time I had ever spoken to him in all the 7 years I was there!

(Anyone know where Mr Iddon is? He might want to read some of this!! - Ed).

More from Rod:

Anyone remember Simon Buck? He was a brilliant lad who didn't really need to study at school - he just got top marks anyway. During the fourth or fifth form Mr Avis was teaching us for maths, but Simon preferred to draw! One day in class Simon drew a great ship and a cannon in his maths book (remember the thick 'rough' books with the cheap paper - Simon called them 'chunkies') and at one point Mr Avis passed behind him, looked over his shoulder and paused.

"Dear Examiner" said Mr Avis, in a mock quote, "I can't answer this question, but I can draw a galleon and a gun!"

Later, in the sixth form, we entered a limerick phase. Simon produced this for Mr Ellis who took us for applied maths:

There once was a teacher called Ellis
Whose face was just like a trellis
And on it grew roses
From which we picked posies
He said "Teaching the L6 is what hell is"

Mr Ellis read it reluctantly. "That'd be right" he admitted.

A group of us used to go to Twickenham Tech for computer classes. A teacher would drive us there and one day it was Mr Lynham's turn - just after he'd bought a new car. As he turned out of the car park, unused to his new vehicle, he just clipped the gatepost. "Damn" he said. He inspected the damage, got back in and said "I'm a silly teacher".

By the next day I had the limerick ready:

Our tall maths teacher, a Mr Lynh-AM
Hit his car on the gate and uttered "damn"
On viewing the dent
Saw the bumper was bent
And said "What a silly teacher I am"

Simon tried to get me to show it to Mr Lynham in class the next day. "Get on with your work" exploded Mr Lynham. Simon assured him it hadn't been written in class so he read it through. When he got to the end he said sadly "He did too!"

A couple of weeks later it was Mr Boucher's turn to take us. He too had just bought a new car. As we left, Mr Lynham stuck his head in the window, still sore from the recent dent incident, and said "Now Rodney, I want a list of every sound and rattle". It was the first time I had ever been called anything but 'Wilkins' at school, let alone by Mr Lynham. I had arrived!

One more - fourth form this time. We had Miss Frampton for English and I sat beside Stephen Hunter. He was arguing with her over the words 'possible' and 'probable'. "Same thing, Miss" said Stephen. "Not at all" said Miss Frampton, "For instance, it's possible you may one day become Prime Minister, but when we consider the probablilty...."

Miss Frampton hated her colds. One day in English Lit. she was extolling the virtues of a Robert Frost poem. "What I enjoy most about this poem" she began, but then added "Not that I enjoy anything when I have a cold..."