Farnborough Grammar School

Prospect Avenue, Farnborough, Hampshire

Telephone : Farnborough 539
Class Mates - 1958 to 1959
Slouched across the desk is Richard Hadland. How could I forget him? One of his pranks broke my finger and it remains misshapen to this day and sometimes painful. Thanks Richard. Centre stage is Robert (Jacko) Jackson. I believe he lived in Aldershot and therefore not someone us locals from Cove were able to meet after school and so little more known of him.

Michael Mackey combing his Brylcreemed hair lived half way between my home and school and a useful dropping off point en-route. I seem to remember that one of his favourite party tricks was to fix a cigarette to the end of a vacuum cleaner and watch it burn through in a matter of seconds. I never saw him smoke one himself, in fact as far as I am aware none of us smoked at that time in our lives. Michael’s father was a councillor on Farnborough’s Urban District Council and therefore a well known local figure. I was shocked to read in the local newspaper soon after leaving school (** See below) that Michael was killed when he lost control of a motorcycle on the road from Fleet to Cove where it now branches to the M3 interchange. Back then there was merely a small kink in the road and the branch was little more than a farm track. However there was an inconsiderately placed telegraph pole in the small grass island that marked the junction. I still can’t drive past that spot without my stomach churning over.
Three all of whose names are forgotten.
Kevin Press stands in front of ‘the band hut’ next to Tom Pascoe’s carpentry workshop in the ‘West Field’. The band hut was an old barracks building used by the Combined Cadet Force buglers and the MT section which owned two decrepit motor bikes, one of which was a BSA Bantam 125cc and the other a 250cc of dubious origin. The latter machine was responsible for crippling me for the whole of a summer holiday when I rode its front wheel into a goal post socket in the adjacent field which catapulted me into a wire fence. My knee hit the concrete supporting post, my head just missed it.

The final picture is of Simms or ‘Otis’ as he was usually called. I can’t count ‘Otis’ as one of my close friends, he lived too far from school to regularly meet outside its confines, however I did once join him and a gang which told small fibs to get into the Rex cinema in Farnborough under-age to see the Hammer horror, Dracula. As the hero rammed the stake into Dracula’s evil heart a loud expletive rang out through the auditorium. I looked to my right to see who had been so frightened and saw Otis floating several feet above his seat. The only time I witnessed someone actually jumping in fright.

** In the Spring of 1963 aged 20 according to official records.

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