Wednesday, 20 March 2002

Girls at the school and other stories

I recently swapped emails with Bob and I thought the message might interest the whole group so here it is with his permission:-
Hi, Jim,
Thanks for the message. I can't remember how I first came across the list - I think was invited, but couldn't log in because I'd forgotten my Microsoft Passport password.  So many of the flippin' things!
My family has quite a long association with Peter Symonds'.  I went there between 64 and 70 and my brother, Ian, was part of what I think was the last full intake in 71.  More controversially, my mother attended between 45 and 48 when Doc Freeman was Head, Priestland taught chemistry, Tanner taught physics and Pongo Cox taught biology.  Pongo was still teaching when I was in the 6th, and lived across the road from us in St Cross.  My grandfather was a governor for many years, and also served on the Education Authority.  When he died, a memorial service was held in the Cathedral and it was a bit of a kick to be welcomed by the Headsmaster ('Jake' Ashurst) and ushered to my seat by the head boy.
Yes, I enjoy browsing the messages.  Some things bring back memories.  I remember being taught by Mike Batt's mum for a short while.  I also remember him breaking a wrist, I think it was, at sports day.  A year or two later and again at sports day, he caused quite a commotion, turning up in a flash car with a flash suit and a flash girl (or two)!
I never thought I'd want to remember those days!
Robert (Bob) Crocker
A postscript:
Mum came to Peter Symonds' to study science because she wanted to be a doctor - not very fashionable for women in those days - and St. Swithuns didn't offer the science.  Obviously Grandfather was able to pull some strings, which helped.  Many years later, Mother and Father attended the meeting for parents of prospective pupils when I was due to join.  During Mr. Ashurst's address, he assured parents that 'Peter Symonds' is a boys school. Always was a boys school, always will be a boys school' (which was disproved in Mr. Ashurst's own reign, as there were two or three girls in the sixth form during my time).  This assertion caused a little amusement on the platform behind him, because at least two masters (Pongo Cox and Tom Pierce) were teaching at the school when Mother was there, and one or two more were pupils at the time.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jim   "Cozy's" niece, Jill Cozens, was possibly the first girl to board at ps, while she was at Winchester County High in the 1950s.    My wife Muriel was at wchs in the same year as Jill, and she remembers Jill lodging with her "Uncle Chris and Aunt Daisy" for a year or so.   We still meet Jill from time to time, and she lives near Shepton Mallet, Somerset, not far from us.   Glad to have you back again, Jim   Peter Smith  


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