Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Recognise the girl in this shot taken at a wedding in 1975? It's our very own Val Macdonld no less with her husband Mick (right) and a family friend. Val admits to being 29 at the time (you don't look a day over 21 Val), so that puts her at 15 when I "knew" her at PRS in 1960. Love the wide lapels and flares!
Incredible though it may seem, it's over a decade ago since the Newbury reunion (1995), where Drake girls Val MacDonald (left) and Heather (Evvar) MacQueen met each other for the first time since their school days in the early sixties. Evvar kept goal in the school hockey team at one stage of her years at PRS. Interestingly, the tradition of 'a safe pair of hands' ran in the family. Her father became the keeper of Stirling Castle when he retired from service life.
When indeed? Perhaps at the Stoke reunion? Actually, we've already met two of these three Drake girls before on the blog, namely, Pauline Wall (centre) and Trixie somebody (left), but who is the girl on the right of the picture who must have been behind the camera on the previous sandpit photo? And what's with the foliage? And is that an improvised maypole (high-jump post) they're posing beside? Hopefully not an attempt to bewitch the athletes of the other houses!
Monday, May 29, 2006
Haydn Smith - Howe 51 - 53 has found these pics from his days at PRS - as you can see he was bit young at the time - and can't remember the names of the lads on the pictures with him - can anyone out there help?
It is the one's with arrows pointing to them he is after of course - he knows who he is!!
We've had PRS Barbies, now meet PRS' very own Action Man! Freshly emerged from the ice floe he fell into in 1960, Alan (Adamant) Fidock looking hardly any worse for wear some 46 years later. The old-fashioned underwear is a dead give-away of his real age though. With some encouragement from his friends, we hope to have him in a thong and wellies to do his party piece at the next reunion.
A boyish-looking Alan Fidock snapped outside Rodney Boys in 1959. Alan has long suffered (mostly at my hands I have to admit) for his advanced state of preservation, which has defied the ravages of time. Please take it as a compliment Alan and thanks for being such a good sport. We are only jealous mate!
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Diane Kerwin with her mother and younger brother at the top of the ski jump in Winterberg in the early fifties. We were told a story about a well-oiled Canadian who for a bet had gone down the jump on a bicycle with tragic consequences. Being probably no larger than Diane's brother at the time, it seemed incredible to me that anyone would want to go down even on skis without some kind of parachute.
We doubt if Diane Kerwin's feet would have reached the peddles in this early fifties shot of her at the wheel of her Dad's VW. Just like the ones the Army put at our disposal in Herford when we arrived in 1957, the Beetle was for many the first taste of motoring. The windscreen being right in your face didn't seem to matter in those days either!
Friday, May 26, 2006
This view helps to position the tennis/netball courts shown in an earlier posting (see Idle On Parade). Presumably the helicopters brought some VIP to visit the school, unless there was some emergency about which we haven't yet heard. And yes Babs, it seems bunker No.1 was still in its old spot, at least when this photo was taken!
We have been so obsessed with the Mainsite and Fliegerdeich on this blog that we have totally neglected our Bonteheim friends and overlooked the fact that not a single photo has been posted of the Bonteheim houses. How tolerant of our Howe and Rodney (boy) readers, who were no doubt feeling a trifle left out. Never having been to 'the other side' (even during the '97 Wilhelmshaven reunion) I'm assuming that this is Rodney or Howe Boys. No doubt someone will confirm which (Alan, Bob)!
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
The official PRS postcard from the midlife of the school. Designed to show parents that we were hard at work learning and praying, while showing off our facilities for keeping fit. Little did they know! I think sailing must have been purely for the seniors because I certainly never got anywhere near a dighy. Neither do I recall ever going swimming, even in the summer term. Too busy playing cricket anyway.
Those Drake girls certainly got up to some shenanigans when a bunch of them got together. Here outside their house are Drake girls Maureen Knowles, "Dotty" (surname unknown) and Brigitte Rees (reclining), with possibly Val MacDonald sat on step. Photo circa 1960.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
We can't imagine what poor old Ted did to deserve this, or who he is supposed to represent, but he certainly picked a right lot to get involved with on this clearly winter's day in the midlife of the school (circa 1960). This not-so-cuddly Drake rabble, whom we have bumped into before on this blog incidentally, are (left to right): Val MacDonald, Kathy Magee, Daryl Chatterton and Pauline Wall.
This view was very familiar to Drake lads passing through the gates of the Fliegerdeich complex every day, except in my day (1960) there was no sharing and it was just the Collingwood Boys sign we saw. And it was Mr (Gabby) Hayes' sleek Sunbeam Talbot parked outside the house instead of these rather sad-looking jobs (VWs Bob?). I presume sharing lasted until the numbers of pupils started to increase? Collingwood became the biggest house in more ways than one during the mid-life and heyday of the school.
I don't know why, but it seems more photos exist of the Drake Boys entrance, like this one taken around 1956/57, than any other house. Were we a load of posers, or just proud to be in Drake? Maybe we had more cameras than other houses, or took better care of our photos over the years. We shall never know the real reason, but as a former DB (without a camera I must add), I am grateful to those snap-happy lads who enable me and others to enjoy our walks down memory lane. Recognise anyone Norm, or was it before your time, too?
Monday, May 22, 2006
There was indeed a sea view from the uppermost floor at our house, but no time to gaze out of the window with a vigilant prefect or monitor watching over us. I seem to remember a master being present from time to time. No doubt the one who happened to have dining-room duty on a given day. But I think that was just if there were any announcements to make.
Looking at Andy Renou's artistic impression of the view from Bonteheim across the Grosser Hafen toward Fliegerdeich made me think how lucky Drake and Collingwood boys are that their houses should be the ones to survive all of the bulldozing and rebuilding. According to Anja Sieg (a German girl who was intrigued with the school and its inmates as a teenager and lives not far from Wilhemshaven), they were even being renovated when she passed them recently. Cogs I the one on the left!
The stairway to the junior dorms on the upper floor at Drake Boys. This photo adjoins the one of the Drake Boys gong published a previous posting (see archive for April). The striker for the gong can be seen hanging just in picture on the extreme right. Photo circa 1956/57, courtesy of Graham Print.
This looks as though it could have been taken from my dorm window in my last term at Drake Boys. What a pity the Deich height prevented us from enjoying uninterrupted sea views! The high fence makes it look as though we were all interned in a more secure type of school. PRS wasn't a secure prison for young offenders, honest kids!
When I first noticed this reunion photo of John Drury's, I mistakely thought it was a photo of staff taken in 1974, but on re-reading the caption, it actually said 'Stafford Reunion'. However, isn't that our old PE master, Mr. Swainson, on the extreme right, 3rd from front? And Dai Davies, back row right with moustache? Anyone else identifiable?
The PRS hall of fame would surely not be complete without the former pupil who, as toastmaster to almost everyone, including the Queen, has probably met more celebrities than we've had hot dinners! John (he's the one in red by the way) was a Collingwood lad in the mid-life of the school. This is one of my favourite pics of him cribbed from his website. Mind you, the one with Caprice did have me in a bit of a quandry which to use! :)
Drake prefect, Judy Aitchinson, looking pretty as a picture outside the house in or around 1959. I don't know if she made head of house, but my sister will know. A girl called Claire Whistler (a brigadier's daughter apparently) was head of house in my year at school. I wonder what happened to Judy and Claire? Babs, surely you must have known them?
Sunday, May 21, 2006
At the risk of this seeming like the Pauline (Wall) and Val (MacDonald) show, here's the pair again at a sheltered yet unidentified spot (perhaps the south-facing side of the wall separating the school from the railway track?). Can't quite make out what Val's holding, but no doubt Helga can tell us. Looks like a spare rib to me!
Friday, May 19, 2006
Just in case readers who were pupils during a warmer period find our claims of cold weather a bit far fetched, this artistic rendering of an authentic Fliegerdeich photo gives an idea of what we experienced. The winter of 1959 was certainly the first time I had ever seen sea water frozen over!
Seems a topical headline (Eurovision song contest tomorrow) as Babs Magee waves a piece of paper in the air at the Newbury (1995) reunion. Just in the picture on the right is Peter Hirst. Left of Babs are, Heather McQueen, alias 'Our Evvar' (standing), and I'm sure Babs will let us know who the other two are, won't you Babs?
Pauline Wall posing for a snap on a Deich walk during the midlife of our school. We must have collectively clocked up thousands of miles making circuits of Fliegerdeich. And one person who is still upholding the tradition to this day is Pete (Rees) Dieckmann, who we are told takes a regular constitutional on Sunday mornings. Mind you, it's not too difficult for him, living in Wilhelmshaven. It's also handy for us. Pete keeps us up to date with all new developments on the site and in the town (see previous postings, 'Fings ain't what they used to be', about the building of a new Holiday Inn and, 'The Hotel Loheide Now').
This photo was definitely not taken during Miss Tebbs' era. Skirts far too short for that! In fact, the clarity of the photography tells us it was taken during the latter life of the school. In fact, during Terry Barker's era (see previous posting, 'Our Man in Oz'). Presumably this group is sitting below the staff room with the school playing field in the background? In which case, I don't recall those two trees being there.
Personalised spare-wheel covers are a novelty these days and this one is truly a spare with a difference. Snapped outside Babs' former Hampshire home, it belongs to Cas and Mac (Hilary Caswell and John Mackie). Any anecdotes about former pupils who have flagged down our couple after seeing the advert Babs? Vehicle clear enough for you on this one Bob?
Babs has sent in another aerial view taken in 1949 showing Fliegerdeich from a different angle. I presume the causeway was a man-made structure linking to the mainland what must have formerly been a small off-shore island? Or was it simply reinforcement of natural silting? Maybe our senior members can recall?
Babs has sent in this excellent bird's-eye view of our old stomping ground, which sadly for our male Howe and Rodney readers doesn't cover their specific 'Bonteheim' neck of the old woods. The condominiums (top left) are the most significant building developments since my PRS era(1960).
Thursday, May 18, 2006
There are no prizes for guessing who this is. In a pensive mood for a change, it's our Val of course. It's an unusual, early sixties view of the mainsite I've not seen before. No doubt our resident car buffs are already trying to identify the white car in the background. Looks like a right-hand-drive Beetle to me. Can't quite make out the registration though. Big cringe from Babs! :)
Obviously not taken at school, but there is a PRS connection, honest! Meet Christopher and Prince Chadwick. Chris was Val's very first boyfriend at PRS. No idea of his house, but we must assume this photo is from the late fifties era. Does anyone remember Chris?
When not wearing billowing dresses in the sixties, the gals looked something like this, white socks and all. Later on, skirts got considerable shorter and jumpers longer, a trend that Miss Tebbs was quick to stamp on apparently. But our model on this occasion, Drake's Lorne Young (as if Norman needed telling), would have met with her full approval.
In Di Wray's comment just added to the recent 'Howe Girl' posting, she gleefully recalls the 'billowing' dresses as modelled here by out very own Drake babe, Val MacDonald. The photo was taken in1961, just outside the house. Maybe you even remember her in this dress Di! Sadly, the non-regulatory-blue mac is all I remember her in!
Can anyone identify where this shot was taken? A young German girl (Anja) who knew a few pupils during the lifetime of the school casually mentioned a weir in Wilhelmshaven on exBrats. She said it was used as a meeting place, so I sent her this photo for identification. However, it was taken in the late fifties, which was before her time, and she can't place it. If it isn't in Wilhelmshaven, somewhere on the Weser perhaps?
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
This is where it all began for me, on January 9, 1960. A final photo with my sister at 5 Goethestrasse, Herford, before leaving for the train to Wilhelmshaven. My first term at PRS and the beginning of a great new adventure! I had intended this photo being my last posting on the PRS blog (I'm almost at the bottom of my personal photo barrel), but at this rate we'll be on the air for some time to come, thanks to your great support. So, keep digging and who knows!
There's definitely a sixties look about this photo of the mainsite showing either very senior pupils (or maybe even staff?) strolling back to lessons, no doubt after taking a breather. Photo courtesy of our man in Oz (Terry Barker).
Reclining Drake beauties, Carol Weeks and A.N. Other, showing little regard for the photographer in this shot deliberately reproduced upside down to save neck injuries! It was taken in the midlife of the school (circa 1961). Anyone recognise the other girl?
You'll have to enlarge this to recognise her, but there's a big clue in the title! It is Lorne Young, a Drake girl and former crush of Norman King. Who knows, maybe he took the photo. Do you also recognise this shady spot on the mainsite with the Church (I presume) in the background?
On the subject of reunions, ...Newbury in 1995 was not one I attended, but if this picture is anything to go by, I really missed something! Left to right: Babs Magee, John Topper, Val MacDonald, Peter Hirst, (please fill in the next four someone), finally, our Evvar (Heather McQueen). I presume this an impromptu sing-song Babs? I remember JohnTopper at Drake when he was an intermediate. He hasn't changed a bit!
We had a request from a distant land for some cars to identify. These shots, taken in Winterberg around 1958/59 show the old bobsled hut and an old Opel (Bob?). One of the two lads on the upper photo is probably me, 'cos that's my mum on the right. I tried to identify the facade of the Snow Inn on a return visit to Winterberg a couple of years ago, but without success. Naturally the town has changed beyond recognition over the past 40-odd years!
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
This rendering by Andy Renou of the view looking from the mainsite to Fliegerdeich will no doubt serve to remind us of how harsh the winters could be in Wilhelmshaven. I remember playing football on a snow-covered pitch at the Sportplatz and it being such a novelty (to me) that I wasn't bothered about chasing after the ball. However, someone (no doubt on my side) was quick to point out the objective of the game :)
If I remember correctly, Drake lad, Dennis Hall (who I believe was unrelated to Cpl. Rodger Hall) was in my intake of first-year juniors in 1960. We had at least one thing in common: between us we must have driven the profits of Brylcreem to new heights. He seemed a live wire, but I didn't have much to do with him during term. Maybe we saw too much of ourselves in each other. I do recall, however, having a friendly chat with him on the bus as it took us to the train on my final day at school.
While on the subject of Drake Boys, here we are on our way from the House to our dining room. The icy wind would almost take your breath away as you emerged at the top of the steps and were exposed to the full force of winter gales sweeping in across Jade Bay. Collingwood Boys would have had a mirror image of this view on the other side of the dining-room block.
Happy looking Billy Mottram (younger brother of Ron) who was in Drake in the late 50s to early 6os. No doubt dropping a few lines to his girlfriend (who, as she has sent in the photo, was probably Val) before turning in for the night. Writing and reading under the covers with the aid of a torch was punishable by line writing (usually 100).
Recognise this Howe Girl from 1963? It is in fact Viv Fisher, who was a big buddie of Val's and lived in Celle. Further details are unknown, but somebody can enlighten us for sure. Val? Anyone? Dig the backcombing! When did this become popular because I don't remember it being in vogue at school in 1960?
Monday, May 15, 2006
While we are on the subject of showing pictures of our school chums during and 40-odd years after the event, here's one of our Eileen no less than 50-odd years after she attended school. And how well the years would appear to have treated her. Are you on the same secret formula as our Alan by any chance? No doubt pleased she was not at school when Dexie's Midnight Runners had their big hit, Eileen was in Raleigh in the early fifties before it became Drake and now lives near York.