Saturday, 29 March 2003

A child's book

Hello,
This isn't a Peter Pips story but it is pure nostalgia so maybe it's allowable?

In 1943 when I was seven, my brother Peter and I were packed off to our aunt at Overton in north Hampshire for a month or two. I think our mother had to have an operation. Our uncle was a gamekeeper for Portals the banknote paper people and we had a great time helping the beaters on pheasant shoots, picking bluebells and generally running riot. Uncle had a copy of a Boy's Own Paper Annual that he may have had as a present as a boy. We pored over it with delight spending much time studying the pictures and reading the stories. When we left they gave us the book and we treasured it. Then, some years later, the book went missing and since then I have been looking for it. With the advent of the internet I thought that I might have a good chance of tracking it down. I contacted many booksellers without success. Then, feeling fully recovered after an op. last August, I decided to try to find the book in the British Library and yesterday Anne and I took the train to Euston and walked the short distance to the Library. It's an impressive place isn't? After having some trouble with the very clunky computer system we ordered a bunch of the volumes and sat back and waited at our desk. Oh joy, the fifth one, volume 45 of 1923, was the one I was looking for. I recognised every picture and I found the hairs on my neck tingling! When we got home to Northampton I checked on the internet and found a bookseller in Cromer who had a copy for £16. So now I wait with happy anticipation for the postman's knock on the door.
 
jim   

A child's book

Hello,
This isn't a Peter Pips story but it is pure nostalgia so maybe it's allowable?

In 1943 when I was seven, my brother Peter and I were packed off to our aunt at Overton in north Hampshire for a month or two. I think our mother had to have an operation. Our uncle was a gamekeeper for Portals the banknote paper people and we had a great time helping the beaters on pheasant shoots, picking bluebells and generally running riot. Uncle had a copy of a Boy's Own Paper Annual that he may have had as a present as a boy. We pored over it with delight spending much time studying the pictures and reading the stories. When we left they gave us the book and we treasured it. Then, some years later, the book went missing and since then I have been looking for it. With the advent of the internet I thought that I might have a good chance of tracking it down. I contacted many booksellers without success. Then, feeling fully recovered after an op. last August, I decided to try to find the book in the British Library and yesterday Anne and I took the train to Euston and walked the short distance to the Library. It's an impressive place isn't? After having some trouble with the very clunky computer system we ordered a bunch of the volumes and sat back and waited at our desk. Oh joy, the fifth one, volume 45 of 1923, was the one I was looking for. I recognised every picture and I found the hairs on my neck tingling! When we got home to Northampton I checked on the internet and found a bookseller in Cromer who had a copy for £16. So now I wait with happy anticipation for the postman's knock on the door.
 
jim   

Thursday, 27 March 2003

The Fives Courts

Does anyone know what happened to the two "Fives Courts" which were roughly in line with the block that began with the Biology Lab and ended with the room where CANY taught Geography and from which they were just a few yards stroll? In the Rugby Fives Association listing, there are Rugby Fives courts in Winchester (at Winchester College) but no mention of there being any at Peter Symond’s College. There are apparently no Eton Fives courts at all in Winchester according to the Eton Fives Association so I assume those at Symonds are gone.

Did we play "Eton" or "Rugby" fives? Did we play fives at all? During my time at the school I only ever saw the game played once and that was when I was on "Pre’s DT". Meanwhile the two courts just sort of stood there. You could climb on to those wooden platforms and watch nobody playing the game, or you could use the place to experiment with smoking (when one should perhaps have been in Mr Yates’ class). You could also compete at running up the wall and putting a chalk mark to show how high you got and you could use it for practising the harmonica (the acoustics were pretty good), but you didn’t generally play fives. Heck we didn’t know where to put our hands on the special gloves and ball and we had no idea of the rules! So, why did we have Fives courts at all and when were they built? Was it perhaps after "The College" built theirs, a simple case of keeping up appearances?

Peter Churchill

The Fives Courts

Does anyone know what happened to the two "Fives Courts" which were roughly in line with the block that began with the Biology Lab and ended with the room where CANY taught Geography and from which they were just a few yards stroll? In the Rugby Fives Association listing, there are Rugby Fives courts in Winchester (at Winchester College) but no mention of there being any at Peter Symond’s College. There are apparently no Eton Fives courts at all in Winchester according to the Eton Fives Association so I assume those at Symonds are gone.

Did we play "Eton" or "Rugby" fives? Did we play fives at all? During my time at the school I only ever saw the game played once and that was when I was on "Pre’s DT". Meanwhile the two courts just sort of stood there. You could climb on to those wooden platforms and watch nobody playing the game, or you could use the place to experiment with smoking (when one should perhaps have been in Mr Yates’ class). You could also compete at running up the wall and putting a chalk mark to show how high you got and you could use it for practising the harmonica (the acoustics were pretty good), but you didn’t generally play fives. Heck we didn’t know where to put our hands on the special gloves and ball and we had no idea of the rules! So, why did we have Fives courts at all and when were they built? Was it perhaps after "The College" built theirs, a simple case of keeping up appearances?

Peter Churchill