Sunday, 13 March 2005

The Duke of Edinburgh's Visit

One of the highlights of my First Year was the day the Duke of Edinburgh dropped by for a visit. Some of my memories were jogged recently when I was browsing through the 1964-1965 edition of The Symondian magazine, and came across an account of that day written by "R.D.W.". So why am I posting this message? Well, here's the closing sentence at the end of the account - "This memorable occasion was marked by beautiful weather, which assisted the work of King and Bailey who made a cine film of the visit". OK, King and Bailey - please step forward - I'd love to see this film - if anyone out there has any knowledge of it, please get in touch!
Thank you, and Hello to all Old Symondians out there!
Bernard Webber
 
 

20 comments:

  1. From what I remember, the Duke came to re-open the swimming pool and we lined up across the school field to receive him.  He stopped now and again to say a few words and my mum made me buy a photo of him stopping near me - I wasn't in the photo as I was hidden by the big lads (my first year too) but she was so proud that I stood near to the Duke of Edinburgh!  Unfortunately I cannot find the photo.  Didn't we have a Princess visit the year after and land by helicopter on the cricket pitch or sports field? Of course, my memory is so poor that maybe it didn't happen quite like that!  I remember names but unfortunately not faces, so I remember your name Bernard, but not your face. regards Rolf Bachelor

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  2. Hi Bernard and Rolf !!!
     
    Well, all this (Prince and Princess) was after my time at Peter Pip's (1944 til 1950), but I am sure that SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE, must have photos taken at the time, as the event(s) would have been of such significance to all proud parents... I ask that anyone out there who has such records, share those moments with us all please ...
     
    Take care all ...
     
    All the best from Glen Forrest, West Oz ...
     
    Doug Clews
     
     

    Find local movie times and trailers on Yahoo! Movies.

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  3. The Duke of Edinburgh's visit was before my time,
    but I remember Princess Margaret landing in a helicopter on the outer
    field.
     
    The whole school was lined up and Johnny Ashurst had to run to greet her, I never saw him move
    so fast.
     
    I don't think she visited the school, but rather
    came to open something in Winchester, and used us as a convenient landing
    spot.
     
    Tim Cheevers

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  4. Hi Tim   Thanks for your memory of Princess Margaret's visit to the 'outer field' ... do you have any dates for that event, as I am sure the Hampshire Chronicle, if no-one else, would have something on record ...   Cheers !!!   Doug Clews West Oz

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  5. Hi Doug,
     
    My memory is not that good I am afraid. I was at
    school from 65 to 70, and am sure it wasn't my first year.
     
    Tim

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  6. Hi Tim   Thanks for your reply ... I am sure your memory is O.K., but the Hampshire Chronicle should be able to narrow it down as I can't think that Princess Margaret came to 'The Outer Field' by helicopter that often between 1966 and 1970      Thanks again ... all these things add to the 'history' of the School and are most certainly of interest to ex students (and their families) of the period ...   Doug Clews West Oz

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  7. I'm fairly sure that Princess Margaret came in 1966, the year after the D of E's visit. I seem to remember though, that her helicopter landed on the main playing field, not Outer Field? I remember the D of E's visit in my second year (when Bill Webb was our form master) and, as Rolf says, we all lined up across the playing field and were instructed to clap as he walked past. He stopped and talked to someone next to me (Martin Gardiner I think) and several people replied at once, just to say they'd spoken to him! Not sure if he was re-opening the swimming pool - I can't remember any improvement to it in my time. On the other hand, he couldn't have been going across the field for many other reasons (certainly not for lunch in the canteen!) Perhaps they de-commissioned the refrigeration system! Mike Hedges  

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  8. The helicopter did land on the outer field - on the middle of the cricket pitch.  I clearly remember thinking that it was a mortal sin for a boy to walk across the pitch, and here they go landing a sodding great helicopter there.  I went to look at the wheel marks later in the day.   David Jackson

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  9. But David, it was a 'pretty' helicopter and besides, think of the poor Air Cadets ... they probably hadn't seen a helicopter with a real live Duke in before !!!  
     
    Seriously though, I think those would have been my feelings too ...
     
    I am still hopeful that SOMEONE out there has photos and actual dates of both the Duke's and Princess Magaret's visits !!!
     
    Regards to all
     
    Doug Clews
    Western Oz

    Find local movie times and trailers on Yahoo! Movies.

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  10. The Duke's visit was on Wednesday, May 12th, 1965.  I'm emailing you the three pictures I have of the visit (from The Symondian of the following year). I don't seem to be able to post them to the site - maybe you could take care of that technical task! Bernard Webber    

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  11. Hi there all For the benefit of the Group, I thought I would let you know that I did receive the 3 photos from Bernard and I will endeavour to post them to this site shortly ... Thank you Bernard for the pics and also the date of the visit ... does anyone know the REASON for the visit (there was speculation at some stage that it was to do with 'The D of E's Award') ...   Will post the photos a.s.a.p.   Doug Clews Western Oz

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  12. Hi again to all !!!   Well, as you have probably seen, I managed to post the photos from Bernard Webber ... It seems Bernard is still having problems, so he has asked me to post the following e-mail that he sent to me, to the site, so here it is below ... Thanks Bernard !   Doug Clews   The reason for the visit was for the Duke to inspect the progress that we (and several other local schools) were making in our participation in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme. Most of his visit was taken up watching displays of hobbies, gymnastics, musketry, cycling, lifesaving at the pool and a first aid display on the Outer Field. After leaving Peter Symonds he flew to Brockenhurst where he watched orienteering, camping and teams competing on an obstacle course. Some of our boys had gone to Brockenhurst to compete against other schools: apparently we came in second place in that, but I'm relying on The Symondian for my information.   I'm having trouble posting to the Site so go ahead and display those pictures, plus any other information I'm digging up!   And I repeat ... King and Bailey, wherever you are, let's all see that cine film you made on that day!   Bernard Webber

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  13. So there is still life out there - pleased to see it - the site seemed to have gone quiet for a bit.
    I remember parts of the Dukes visit quite well - he stopped and shook hands with an unknown 6th former standing a couple of feet away from me and cracked some joke about how people using the sports field would have to have one leg longer than the other due to the slope across the oval. If I am correct he got into the pilots seat and flew the Westland helicoter off the the field - whch impressed me no end. References to Bailey and King - they were house prefects at Whyke Lodge at the time - maybe Tim Renton may have kept in touch with them since he is around the same vintage and I know he is on the OS site if not on this one . . .
    So hows the weather in Pom-land ? we have just had the first of our cool days after the long hot summer and a bit of much needed rain over here in Perth - its now settled into a very pleasant run of 27deg blue sky pattern days as we move into autumn.
    cheers again from West Oz

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  14. Looks like I was a year out when I said the visit was in my second year - in May 65 I was still in the first year.   On the second picture - pretty obviously - is Tom Pierce behind the D of E, then John Ashurst with 'black eye'.   On the third picture - master in the left foreground is 'Biffer' (Ha! Wretch!) Smith. In the distance on the left the tall gangly master with folded arms is Stapleton (Maths). On the right side in middle distance, behind the cadet sergeant (corporal?), is Ken Redmore (Chemistry).   Mike Hedges

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  15. Just to complete the details, Princess Margaret landed her helicoper on the Outer Field on June1, 1966. She was on her way to open the new Police Headquarters in Winchester (Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary). As usual, we'd all been put on alert (clean shoes, combed hair, "if she speaks to anyone she is to be addressed as Ma'm" - you know the drill). But on the big day she climbed out of the helicopter, took two steps into a car and was driven away. I'm not sure she even looked at anyone, let alone stopped to talk. Still, it gave us something to discuss for the next few weeks! Bernard Webber  

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  16. Hi Bernard and All ...   I have just re-posted the 3 photos that Bernard kindly supplied back in 2005 of the Duke of Edinburh's visit to School ...   I respectfully refer you all to Bernard's original messages about the photos, in this discussion, back in April 2005 ...   By the way, we don't seem to have heard anything from messrs King or Bailey yet !!!   Keep smiling All   Doug Clews

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  17. Yes, I was there. One of those dilligent DofE participants on the Outer Field doing a First Aid demo. I rmember King and Bailey and also have one of their photos somewher at my parent's house that I'll dig out and get posted on this site.

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  18. I was there too, flat on my back beside the swimming pool "being resuscitated" - my recollection is of his shoes very near my head! I have the back numbers of the Symondian with reports and photos from my time there.
    "Rog".

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  19. I have two photos from that time as my grandfather taught at Symonds' then.  They are both of him with the Duke of Edinburgh near the swimming pool.  I will try and add the photos later.  My grandfather was Raymond Cox if that helps :)

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  20. I was interested by the message from Mr Cox's grandaughter. I did Biology for a year, I think in the 4th form, He was a crack shot with the blackboard eraser. With all the glass cupboards round the room I often thought there might have been a catastrophy, but it never happened, he must have been exceedingly accurate.

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