Vanbrugh Castle School

The Vanbrugh Chronicle - Christmas 1964

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The Vanbrugh Chronicle


I want to make this Chronicle as good as any that have gone before, and it's not going to be easy. But I would like to thank all the boys who have helped to bring out this edition, especially those who have sent news from other schools.

Already I must look ahead to the time when I too shall leave, and I hope it won't be difficult to find a successor who will keep the magazine alive.

Keith Huxford Editor

Letter from the Headmaster

Dear Mr. Editor,

I wonder how many boys have understood what a very important term we are now ending. It has been the first term in the life of the school when it has been really independent. Until now, with senior boys out at other schools, we have had to plan everything with them in mind; but now the staff have only to do what they believe is best for our present flock, without fear of protest and criticism from outside.

We can sleep, eat, work and play when we like, arrange our own school holidays, knock off for a day if it seems a good idea and enjoy the sort of freedom that ought to be good for us all, provided we deliver the goods. And in our case the goods are hard work and hard play.

Perhaps it would be wise to put the thing round the other way, and say that if the boys are loyal to the standards that they know quite well we demand, there is nothing to stop the school showing its pleasure in ways that were not possible before.

I suppose this sounds a bit like bribery, but I don't mind what it sounds like, as long as we produce boys of whom parents, the Royal Air Force and the School can be proud.

Yours sincerely,

J. H. Corner.

T. Maynard and N. Grayston

This term the staff has been the same. But we are very sorry to be losing one of our Matrons, Miss Vince, and our soccer master, Mr. Payne. Both are going to larger schools. Their places are being taken by Miss Smith, from Christ Church Choir School at Oxford, and Mr. Michael de Weymarn from the King's School, Canterbury.

Among our part-time teachers we still have Mr. Purcell coming three times a week, the Chaplain of the Royal Naval College, the Reverend Donald Young, R.N. , for Scripture, Mrs. Spiers to teach weaving, Sergeant Taylor of the Royal Marines for P.E. and now Mr. Chamberlain who comes on Sundays to teach Art. The Head­master has a part-time secretary called Mrs. Fox. In January Mr. Chessman will have an assistant, Mr. Tappenden of Marshall Andrews, who is retiring from the firm, but has asked if he may come here for a few hours weekly. His first job, we hear is the building of a duck-pond!

An old friend of the Headmaster, Mr. Stanley Hickson, gave us a series of five art lessons at the beginning of term.

Kieth Huxford

Much work was done at the school in the summer holidays. The decaying turrets and brickwork were restored, a wash-room converted into W.Cs, wash-basins put into the dormitories, Gibson converted from a class-room into a new dormitory, and all the buildings were re-wired for electricity. Gibson Dormitory is now so brilliantly lit that the boys who sleep there are getting a splendid tan.

The R.A.F. Benevolent Fund has bought the house next door and called it Knollys Wing after the Chairman of the Fund.

A new store-room has been added to the Games Room, and our musical instruments and P.E. equipment can now be kept there. As the piano now lives in it, it is a good place for choir practices. We were surprised to find that its plastic drainpipe caught fire on November 5th for one reason or another.

The Quiet Room has been redecorated and we have been given a carpet and some nice chairs to make it very homely.

Jonathan Clelford

On Sunday, September 13th, about seven boys came back to school early to help at a cricket match organized by the Greenwich Round Table to help pay for our new Games Room. Two well-known stars who played were Sir Frank Worrell and Ted Dexter.

The Brass Quartet has played at Catford on September 24th, at Otford on 17th October and at Pett's Wood on November 7th.

The Headmaster took Cull, Maynard, Patten and Clelford to watch a rugby match between Reed's School and a local side on October 27th; and Solomon, McCann and Haigh to Kingham Hill School on November 28th to watch another rugby match. It had been decided, though, to play the match elsewhere, but the visitors were very pleased to see this lovely school.

On Visiting Day the boys who did not go out with friends were taken by Mr. Morgan to see 'Goldfinger' at the local cinema.

Three separate visits have been made to the Whitehall Theatre to see 'Chase Me, Comrade' with Brian Rix, so that the whole school has now seen this show.

On Monday, November 2nd, the whole school visited the British Aircraft Corporation works at Weybridge, and saw, among other things, the VC. 10 being built.

Two parties of boys have been to the Bowles Mountaineering Gymnasium in Sussex with Mr. Payne during the present term.

Certain boys went to Kingham Hill School on November 9th with their parents for interviews.

The Chaplain and Mr. Bottrill took a large party from the school to see St. Paul's Cathedral on November 7th.

J. Elliott

Among others we have had the following to lunch with us this term:

Mr. Hickson, Sir John Whitley, Mr. Cutting, Mr. John Gledhill of Southern TV, Mrs. Croome, Mr. Davis and Mr. Williamson of the staff of the United States Air Attache, and Mr. Dudley Perkins, General Manager of the Port of London Authority.

T. Maynard

David Rodgers and Raymond Pendleton left the choir last term, but Brian Tyekiff has now been admitted. The present members are Martin Cull, Terry Maynard, Peter Banbury, Jonathan Clelford, Jeffrey Maynard, Robert Campbell, Geoffrey Meace, Colin Thirsk, Christopher Owens, Richard Haigh and Brian Tyekiff.

Some carols have been recorded on tape for use by Mr. Morgan in the Nativity Play on December 8th.

Immediately before singing at the Carol Service at the Royal Naval College on December 15th the choir-boys are to be given supper by the officers of the College.

P. Banbury

Three of our boys are playing regularly in the London Youth Band at their various concerts. They are Peter Banbury, Jonathan Clelford and Jeffrey Maynard. They have all had two auditions lately, one for Southern TV and one for the Home Programme of the BBC Sound Service. On Friday December 11th the Band goes to the Star and Garter Home at Richmond to play carols and other music to the patients.


D. Patten

During our first visit this term to this climbing school we were awarded a trophy by the owner, Mr. Walters, as the "best-behaved and best-disciplined school of the year". For the last visit this term Mr. Payne is choosing six boys from among those who have already gone there. The cost of these visits is paid from a generous gift from the Royal Air Forces Association.


At Kingham Hill Whittaker and Shorter are school prefects, and Whittaker is Head of his house. Many Vanbrugh boys are playing rugger in school teams, three of the soloists in the School Concert came from here, and so did five out of the cast of 14 in the School Play 'A Man for All Seasons'.

At Reed's David Pafford is Head of the School, Captain of his House, Captain of Rugby and Captain of Cricket. Andrew McCulley and Donald Taylor are both forwards in the school rugby team. Chris Pafford has twice broken his arm this term, and Smith plans to become a teacher, MacFadyen a doctor and Longhurst a civil engineer. Taylor also plays for the school teams in cricket and squash.

From Salesian College at Chertsey we hear that Nigel John is again top of his form, and Peter Elliott comes 18th.

P. Banbury

This term we have watched:

Summer Magic
Merrill's Marauders
Jason and the Argonauts
Carry on Cruising
101 Dalmations
Witness for the Prosecution
Son of Flubber

Keith Huxford

Carol Service

Huxford is reading the First Lesson at this Service.


Once again we would like to thank Mrs. Westell, Cookie and Notta for the excellent food we enjoy.


We now have two ducks and a drake (Doris, Daphne and Donald) who have become three of the family and show no signs of flying off yet.


The seniors have all left, and the Headmaster has been elected a member of the Incorporated Association of Preparatory Schools. We now have three prefects: Maynard, Patten and Huxford.

Weather Station

For two months this term Huxford and Richardson have been keeping a weather station in the grounds, and we have also been receiving daily detailed reports from the Meteorological Office.

Sir Winston Churchill

It is proposed to have a tape-record made of our carols during the Party as a Christmas gift to Sir Winston Churchill, who has agreed to accept it.

The Old Boys gave the present boys a party early in the term at which there was fancy-dress competition and an entertainer.

A guest recently noticed that few boys here seemed to be called by their own names. It may interest parents to know that the following printable nick-names exist here.

Jones Boner
Richardson Pie
Cull Skull
Banbury Bun
Elliott Jelly
Maynard (1) Malgret
Clelford Fanny
Webber (1) Duck
Webber (2) Tadpole
Meace Mouse
Fowler Chicken
Clarke Click
Huxford Huck
Grayston Pinkie
Mulligan Gully
Haigh Hag
Sanders Sandy
Kendall Chuck
Rodgers Dolly
Maynard (2) Monkey

Twenty Questions we asked the Headmaster to answer

1. Which is your favourite play? Macbeth
2. Author? Guy de Maupassant
3. Musician? John Sebastian Bach
4. Sport? Rowing
5. City ? Vienna
6. Village ? Fordwich in Kent.
7. Dish ? Hungarian Goulasch
8. TV Programme ? The National Anthem
9. Pastime ? Sailing
10. Shop ? Woolworth's
11. What is your pet aversion ? Idleness
12. What do you like most ? Enthusiasm
13. What job would you like to do if you were not a school-master ? Watchmaker
14. What makes you laugh most ? People
15. When was the happiest time of your life? Now
16. The unhappiest ? When I was your age
17. How many letters do you write in a year? About 2,200
18. Which political party do you support? I trust none of them
19. What is your ambition ? To die healthy and sane
20. What is wrong with the world ? Selfishness

Martin Cull


Ravensbourne College v Vanbrugh Castle Lost 7-1
Carn Brea v Vanbrugh Castle Lost 5-2
Westminster Abbey Choir Sohool v Vanbrugh Castle Lost 3-1
Westminster Under School v Vanbrugh Castle Won 1-2
Carn Brea v Vanbrugh Castle Lost 5-2
Ravensbourne College v Vanbrugh Castle Lost 4-2
Westminster Abbey Choir School v Vanbrugh Castle Lost 3-2

Under 11 XI

Christ's College v Vanbrugh Castle Lost 6-1


Maynard 4
Cull 3
Richardson 2
Rodgers 1

First Team