|16 Jun 2021|
I started off in New House (Basil Wright) with all other new boys, a day earlier, to undergo some orientation. We were sent on a "hunt" around school / town, and one of the questions was to find some "elbow grease"! When Blackford (John Tyndall) was opened, I was moved across, and remained there until I left at the end of summer 1962. John & Mary had a cat and when asked its name, the reply was; "We just call it Cat". They were great years, I was not an academic, but greatly enjoyed all sport and outside activities. Those years helped me in later life.
On leaving school, I, Stephen Jenkins (L56/61), and John Graves (N56/61) sailed in "Oriette" from Poole Harbour across to Cherbourg and Alderney. The boat was owned and skippered by John Rutter - a School Governor. I was recruited in London at Rhodesia House to join the British South Africa Police Force (BSAP) and flew out, with some twenty other recruits, from Heathrow on 10 April 1963 arriving at Salisbury Airport (Rhodesia) the following day, via Nairobi.
I followed in the footsteps of OB's; Robin Harvey (N52/56), Graham Freeman (O56/60) and Robert Traill (N55/59) (Robert died in Cape Town on 28/8/2014).
My first two weeks in New House was spent learning the School Song that I had to recite to; Richard Cadman (N55/59) and Robert Traill in the back study!
I went on to marry a Rhodesian girl in Salisbury; Valerie, and have two daughters both born in Salisbury; Michelle and Amanda. I retired from the force as a Superintendent in the Criminal Investigation Department at the end of 1981, and we emigrated to South Africa, driving to Cape Town in January 1982. I then worked in retail security, and for my last twenty years, carried out investigations as part of the Internal Audit department, for a national motor corporation, retiring at the end of January 2008.
During June-August 1979 we visited the UK, and one day was spent on a visit to King's, meeting up with Basil Wright, a conducted tour and lunch. I enjoyed Basil's article in the 1989 OB magazine, on his retirement trip to Africa. I doubt very much he would have known I was in Cape Town.
Our next visit to King’s was in 1995, when Valerie and I attended an OB's Dinner on 1 July (Richard Smythe). We were put up in Blackford House for the night, being placed in separate rooms! A very strict Matron! The following morning after Church and Breakfast we called in to see John and Mary Tyndall at their home. At the time we were staying with Peter Gwyn (N/B59/62) on Court Farm in Banwell (Weston Super Mare).
I wonder how many people remember P.C. Hawkins, the local Bobby who looked after a few villages. He was 6' plus, an imposing figure, who stopped me once on my bicycle, for crossing over a stop street, at speed. I was in a hurry to get to Sunny Hill.
I have enclosed some photos. R.A. Ball (O55/59) was the Drum Major on parade. The picture in track suits is the school swimming team.
In retirement, we were running Park Runs until Lockdown. Avid birder, make model wooden ships, gym, beach walks, gardening and of course being a vast wine growing area - Wine. Covid 19, lockdowns, restrictions, like all countries, is a major challenge. I would not like to be at school now or looking for work. Take care. I wonder what Boris has got for you now?
If you would like to submit your memories to the King's Bruton Community, or the OBA Magazine, please do email firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you!
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