NUMBER 18                        MARCH 2004



Rhoda Windiate-Blackmore, nee Windiate  -  1943-49

Thank you for sending the latest issue of the Newsletter; I am enclosing a donation to Association Funds. Unfortunately, I have a previous engagement on Saturday, 11 May next and therefore regret I shall be unable to accept the invitation to the AGM & Dinner that day.

Regarding Mr Austen's comments in the newsletter about Mr Andrews, the latter was Czech, and obtained British nationality some time during the late 1940's - I believe that Dr Gyngell, the Principal of the College, endorsed his application for naturalisation. If my memory serves me right, Mr Andrew's former name was Rudolf Erik Altschul; ('the surname is certainly correct). I still have a postcard of Prague he sent the office when he made a return visit to his old country in the late 40's. My feeling is that he told us he arrived in England at the time of Dunkirk, when he was serving in the Czech Army.

I was interested to learn that Charles (C L) Harris, went to Australia. In my time at the College/School, (from 1943), I am sure he taught Games and PE - perhaps someone can correct me, that is, if there is anyone left 'out there' who can remember that far back! I remember Mr Harris being a 'terrible tease' and can well imagine his poker-playing forays with Mr Altschul - sorry, 'Mr Andrews' - in the staff room!

I was sorry to learn of the death of Mrs Mountjoy - our being heavily outnumbered by members of the opposite sex at both ends of the spectrum at the College/School, it was certainly refreshing for we three females in the office to have at least someone else in a dress or skirt with whom to chat. (Trousered females in offices were definitely 'not the thing' in those days. Both Mr McBretney (the Principal prior to Dr Gyngell), as well as Mr Wall, would have been quite horrified to see any of us in such attire)!

Miss V Thould and Miss D Moody were also on the staff; they, taught commercial subjects - however, to us, they were positively, ancient - at least in their mid-40's!! Mrs Mountjoy was then Miss Williams and not all that much older than ourselves.

Returning to Mr Wall; it is probably well known that during the last War, there was a detachment of the Army Cadet Force at the school, the commanding officer, being the aforementioned who, on Saturday mornings, abandoning his teacher's raiment, appeared fully attired as an Army Captain to parade his cadets. As you can imagine, he already being very imposing as a teacher, looked absolutely formidable when in 'war-like mode' his peaked cap set at an almost imperceptible jaunty angle and the neatly pressed uniform suiting him most admirably, with the khaki complementing his tawny-coloured hair! If any enemies had been around on those Saturday mornings at Dartford Tech, he most certainly would have put the fear of God into them, their retreat being of the extremely hasty variety.

Is anyone in touch with Roger and Jonathan, the sons of the late Frank Payne, (my son's godfather), the metalwork teacher who lived in Birchwood Road? Doris Payne, Frank's widow, told me some years ago that Roger was a Headmaster, though not at a school in Kent. I have not heard from Doris for about four years - does anyone know her whereabouts?

With all good wishes for the continued success of the Association


Peter Samson  -  1958-61

First of all, many thanks for arranging for ODWA to send email Christmas cards to ex pupils registered with Friends Reunited just before Christmas. I  had only just registered with FR only a couple of weeks before your Christmas mailing was organised, so I am very pleased that I have caught this years mailing rather than having to wait another year. I have registered my details via the ODWA site, but unfortunately I just missed the last update on 8 Dec 2002 and will have to be patient until the next update appears before seeing my name, and hopefully, those of others who have joined since. It's a pity the site can't add updated information immediately, but I am sure it is a matter of time, effort, expertise and facilities, and possibly something that is being looked at as the site goes from strength to strength.

I was at Dartech from 1958 to 1961, leaving at the end of my 3rd year when the family moved with my fathers promotion up to the Wirral on Merseyside. I had a problem registering with FR because they sorted their school dates on the basis of pupils school leaving year. Unfortunately, that meant that my name was listed with pupils who were 2 years older than me and I was not listed in my peer group. I therefore had to enter a false leaving date (ie 1963 instead of 1961) and low and behold, on subsequent searches, my name now appears alongside those of past pupils I now recognise as being in my school year.

The newsletters are of great interest, bringing back many memories. I am sure it is much easier for pupils to remember past members of staff than the reverse. Nevertheless I did make contact with Sam Austen, to say thank you to him, because it is only later in life that one perhaps realises the influence in ones life certain people had. As I went on to spend 30 years working with the Lucas/Girling group of companies in an engineering environment, involving at times a lot of draughtsmanship and Autocad design work, those early days at Dartec bring back special memories of my enjoyable times at the school. I look forward to meeting up with Sam and others at a future reunion as I know he attends the majority of the events.

One of the earlier newsletters made reference to pupils having to have passed their Cycling Proficiency Test prior to being allowed to ride to school. It was probably back in the Spring of 1959, in my 1st year, that these tests first started under the headship of Mr L V Wall. At that time my father was a driving test examiner working for the Ministry of Transport at the Dartford Driving Test Centre. Somehow, it transpired that Dad offered his services to Mr Wall and Mr Peter (Basher) Bates, English and Music. Pupils wanting to take the test were required to come to the school on Saturdays and go through the theory and practice of road sense, including the performing of an emergency stop. My father reminds me that it was Mr Walls practice and insistence to step out of the rhododendron bushes to create the emergency stop atmosphere, a practice that continued for a couple of weeks until one student failed to stop, knocking over Mr Wall in the process. A simple shout of STOP was then introduced!!!

Unfortunately it seems that the 1958-63 intake is not as well represented as other groups of around that time. Hopefully by the time the next update is issued there will be a few more additions to the year group. I have made contact with a couple of past friends, Maurice Edgington and Clive Pannell, via FR and told them to register with ODWA. I have also made contact with Brian Low, who was the one who I am grateful to for pointing me towards ODWA prior to your message. Nevertheless there are many names I can recall missing from the list.


Chris Morrison - 1964-1971

I see my old friend Fred Barker is seeking guidance on the origins of Mr Lawson's nickname (February 2003). I'll give you a clue, Fred. "Tut tut boy, how can you ever forget such a thing"? Admittedly by 1964 the great man had more or less stopped tut tutting, keeping the refrain for only special occasions. What has become of this most wonderful and eccentric of teachers, who taught me the basics of economics between 1969-71? I see from the ODWA newsletter archives that Wally James wrote in similar fashion some while back. I hope old Tutters prospered.

Not that Tutters was particularly well liked by most of the staff. Percy Black found it almost impossible to find him when staff absences needed to be covered. Len Hollingsworth obviously didn't care much for him but between them Len and Tut provided some of the finest social science teaching I ever received. At the 2002 old boys' dinner Len suggested that he was only an average teacher. I disagree. There were many average teachers at Dartford Tech in the 1960s along with plenty of real stinkers, but Len and Tutters were up there with the best.

Len Hollingsworth was young, enthusiastic and passionate. He taught British Economic History, a rarity in those days and the exam apparently had to be specially marked by a London University. From his desk I learnt that the vicissitudes of economic life are endlessly repeated throughout history. What goes up, goes down. In fact it's all in the bible, seven years of feast are followed by seven of famine. During the dotcom boom I valued my publishing company in billions. Well we did have a web site. Then I thought of Len and his tales of the South Sea bubble.

Uncle Tut was a real genuine article fruitcake. Covered in chalk dust, he was one of the last teachers to waft around in a gown. He was a master of his subjects, economics and economic history, and kept bang up to date. It was all Keynes in those days but Tut used to consult a dry American journal and wax lyrical about some of the new economists who were to have such an impact in the years to come. Only Tut would have consulted his economic review in class and declared that Milton Friedman was a "hot potato".

I would say that Tutters was genuinely loved by his students. For two years he would hint about the fleshpots of London and threaten to take A grade students to his naughty "club" after the exams. In fact he did and his club turned out to be the National Liberal Club where he stood us all dinner. Addressing all the sixth formers one day about a proposed extra curricular class in front of Messrs Mogford and Black, he announced that he would be teaching a course on how to put the "apple into apple strudel". One year he sang "Old Uncle Tutters had a farm" at the school concert. For eight long months he put up with Pete Harris describing Arsenal's latest 1-0 victory in more detail than could ever be regarded as necessary during the Gunners double year of 1970/71.

Len and Tut were chalk and cheese. Like so many things at the old school in those days. Take Mogford and Black. The headmaster was young, liberal of view, but distracted by the difficulty of running a school at a time of great social and political change. I know from personal experience that he was a man who was committed to the cause of educating young people. Percy was authoritarian, went around with a face like a Presbyterian minister in Lent, and probably thought the world had gone to the dogs sometime around 1930. One was angular, thoughtful and polite; the other was short, stout and very stroppy.

Percy Black was a member of the physics department, one of the black holes in the academic life of the school. Did anyone ever pass Physics O' level? The science departments seem to have had more than their fair share of men who had had a good war but had developed a collateral drink problem and a tendency to fall off the podium when there was a loud bang.

The English department wasn't much better. Potts was bonkers and outstanding in equal part but sadly died in the mid 60s. Jessie was by all accounts first class. Unfortunately I didn't study under these two grammarian giants. The first two years we sat in silence and looked glumly at a textbook with the saintly John Daley in charge. The young Mr Daley was not an English teacher and after two years he moved on to have a fine career in the art department. Now retired, he spends some of his days teaching art on a voluntary basis to handicapped adults. In the third year we all wasted our time with a young, trendy buffoon, who disliked old-fashioned writers like Shakespeare and concentrated on discussing children's playground games. Regrettably there was not an O' level British Bulldog to be had.

There was, however, an astronomy O' level, and this saw the school at the top of its own form. In the late 1960s and early 1970s we all raised our eyes to the skies as the Apollo missions started to land men on the moon. There was an interest in matters celestial and the chemistry department and Chris Laker offered their time to the Astronomy Society on a voluntary basis. So a number of us, particularly those of us a little light on the science O' level front, did the course after school. I spent a year studying Astronomy and passed with what Tutters would have described as a glorious A. I wasted five years doing physics and failed the mock with about 20%. What a difference a good teacher makes, why does the world so under-value their work?

It was a funny old school. It had centres of excellence in most subjects, but dreadful weak spots that scuppered many pupils' chances of exam success. Sometimes it was good at things that didn't really matter. The woodwork department was excellent but why were 500 boys learning techniques that had last been in heavy demand during the time of Chippendale? Competitive sport slowly withered on the vine during the sixties and I have an abominable memory of playing house cricket in the sixth form where no one got out. The school's later sad decline did not surprise me and I am delighted by its subsequent renaissance.

It's around this point in the proceedings where you, the dear reader, start to think - all this reminiscing is all very well, but what did the old bastard do when he left school?  Well I left in 1971 with two glorious As and a C at A' level and enrolled at Swansea University. Three years later my curate's egg of an education finally concluded with a gentleman's degree, otherwise known as a third. Back to London and I was fortunate to land a job in financial journalism. Ten interesting years as a hack followed until I bought a financial newsletter in 1985. I then started a life as an entrepreneur and grew Evandale Publishing to a point when I sold it to Informa plc in June 2001. By the end we had newsletters, directories and web sites in a number of fields including reinsurance, online share trading and retail.

So all the examination of sources and buy low, sell high stuff learnt in the few remaining uncondemned classrooms at Wilmington Hall did not go entirely to waste. Recently I started a new company, trying to sell information into the food business. I married Valerie in 1981 and we have two children Edward 11 and Harry 9. For the last 20 years I have been living in Wimbledon.

I have enjoyed going back to the old boys' dinner in recent years. It's been good to meet up again with Terry Cole, John "JJ" Jarvis, Paul Swinscoe, Roy Jackson and John Hazeldine and reminisce about the old days in familiar surroundings. Like me I guess they sometimes stop and look around the assembly hall and think about times past and all that was to come.

One time my eyes rose to the dining hall platform and I imagined the Blessed Margaret and Chick Lewis sitting opposite each other, ramrod straight, the only people in the joint using the pudding fork. There they were utterly correct, no doubt discussing weighty school matters, the effect only slightly diminished by the rickety Formica dining table, the bedlam in the rest of the hall and the fact that they were eating a disgusting confection called Gypsy tart. Bravo.

And Fred Barker I see is hinting that all his hair has gone. Which is a shame. When he was 17 he had a splendid Barnet stretching down past the collar of his fetching pink shirts. Every day in the upper sixth this magnificent ensemble was conveyed to school in a Ford Anglia. Not quite a vehicle that as Jeremy Clarkson once wrote "snaps knicker elastic at 50 yards", but it was a start. I mean it had two more wheels than I had at the time, and an engine - allegedly, as we journalists say.




Peter Ferris  -  1963-68

I'm from 1963-68 and now living in Brisbane, Australia. IT work for 20 something years now but traded career and money for sun and lifestyle. Oldboy Keith Richards is here this week - small world innit? I wonder who else is out here?

Just came across the website and found it very interesting. So a 'Grammar' now, eh? And saddened to hear about Ms Mountjoy too. I did like her.

So I thought I'd write to you and see if you'd use any of my recollections which I've laid out as they've come to me and as I remember them, not the expected 'sanitised' version as I was greatly inspired by the February 2003 offering from Ray Scott. And also impressed by 'Fred' Barker in the same issue.

I grew up in Wilmington so knew the area well and occasionally visit the area nowadays, so am aware of modern times too. So I'll sit back and see what I can dig up.

I can remember . . . . . . . .

How ' Maggie' Mountjoy was the one teacher who took the time with me.. Anyway, I rewarded both of us with a 'C' grade ('B' for spoken) in French at 'O' level at age 14.

And of course her delightful student Ms Destiny. It was in one of her classes that I was introduced to the Yardbirds via a portable Dansette which still has far-reaching effects.

How 'Pudding' Gregory, the woodwork teacher, humiliated me in front of the whole class after spending weeks working on a trinket box. Still remember it today and no child should have had to endure such treatment. Ever. And he threw me and Graham McCarthy out of the school on our last day for setting fire to School house ties dipped in Lambretta fuel tanks outside the old building. Happy days.

How 'Tutters' Lawson would spot John Wakeford and I giggling at the front of the class and then slowly and methodically (whilst still talking) walk up one side to the back of the class only to return on our side, steps gradually getting louder on the old school floorboards, until he let the 3-inch thick history book bounce off the top of my head (yes, always my head, never 'Wackers' - maybe 'cos his Mum taught at the Girl's Tech?). I'll never know.

How I actually did get given lines by 'Jacabo' Hughes one day in Nature Study. 100 times - "I must not perform horseplay in the laboratory".

How as a struggling 1st year I was terrified by 'Percy' Black (not just as Assistant Head but also for Maths and also General Science, Physics and Chemistry), especially the time his conjunctivitis reddened one eye and heightened the fear to Hammer Films levels. Enough to make me drop my plumb-bob (yes, gravity) on his shiny black shoe - but did it really warrant that cuff on the back of the head?

How I was playing in a brass band at 9 yo and in a school 'pop' band (on early Vox bass guitar) but was somehow guided into first Art and then Woodwork instead of Music after coming second in the first exam to Lennox Ryan (who came top at most things) and failing miserably at both new subjects.

How in the 'pop group' we sent a deputation into Mr Mogford's office to inquire as to whether we could 'borrow' the school hall for rehearsal - only to be asked 'where do you want to take it?'.

How a group of us were behind the trees way down the bottom of the football pitches with most smoking. And when lined up awaiting punishment outside 'Moggie's' office somebody (who the heck eas it now?) stood up and said "Please Mr Mogford, Ferris wouldn't smoke" and got me off. My hero.

How we used to sneak up to the girls hockey nets on long summer evenings to play football in the smaller goals and popping in to the Forester's off-licence for a quart of cider afterwards as the sun was setting.

How '1st Years' were ceremoniously 'rolled' in the snow. Pity those '2nd Years' who had no snow.

How an anonymous sports teacher could rarely refrain from joining in football matches and usually let fly from 20 yards in an attempt to burst the net and take half a dozen 13 yo's along for the ride.

How a more 'commonwealth' sports teacher tried to get me to 'grass' on A. J. White (who carried more bounty than me by far) for wagging-off early one day. They  even used a prefect from my street to try and pry it out of me.

So 'no', schooldays were far from happy much of the time and not all of us turned out to be success stories as measured by society.

And much of what we did learn at school actually is useless after all in the real world.

However, I do look back with fond memories overall. I expect that's why I still try to grab a glimpse of the old place when I visit the UK.

But will somebody please tell me why the oldboys I see on the current list are not generally the 'shining lights' I remember?

In fact, many of those names seem to be the more 'mischievous' characters, don't they?

Why is that?


Derek Inall  -  1961-1968

Thank you for the recently received ODWA Newsletter 17. I have just visited the ODWA Website and am happy for you to add my home email address to your contact list.

Best wishes to all who may know me, including staff members Len Hollingsworth, Clive Dougal and John Daley. Thank you for your patience in teaching Economics, Geography and English. Their dedication, perseverance and inspiration helped a late developer make a respectable sales career in the tough world of advertising. I studied Marketing and Advertising and have experience in a London Advertising Agency and London based publishers (even the London Evening News for a while). As an Advertising Contractor I helped raise vital revenue for the staff publications of several government departments and for the membership magazines of a number of trades unions. Would you believe I even managed the National Union of Teachers' magazine THE TEACHER for ten years from its launch in 1990. Now I am based just a short drive away in Milton Keynes where I am enjoying the business of producing publications about holidays. My career was made possible no doubt by the knowledge of "The Laws of Supply and Demand", "the volcanic explosion of Krakatoa", and "Conjugation of the verb to . . . . ."

Where are the other contemporaries of mine from the 1968 Upper Sixth year of leaving? Hope to hear from some.


Neil Franks  (1979 - 1986)

Just reading most recent update.  Sorry to learn that Mr Hodgson has passed away. I recollect his name very strongly, but for the life of me I cannot remember what subjects he taught. Can anyone help'? Its great to receive these periodic updates, brings back so many memories.  So much has happened to me since I left in the mid eighties.  Now living in St Louis, USA for next couple of years.  My wifes work brings us here and I am soon to be a father for the first time and play the role of stay at home dad.  Which I am looking forward too.  Since leaving, I've been to university and got a degree in business studies, a few and varied jobs followed, now I run my own successful property business in London.  Somewhere in between all that I got married to my wonderful wife Veronica and we travelled the world.  Home when we are in England is in West London, although my parents still live in Joydens Wood so travel back frequently.

While I am writing this, I've just thought of someone else I have fond memories of, the metalwork Teacher (name escapes me) memory was never  my thing.  Can anyone help with a name?  Is he still teaching?

One of my strongest memories of the school, was when I was standing next to Darren Smart at Choir practice in our first year there. (He was a good friend throughout most of my school life and we both joined the school from Joydens Wood).  For a number of weeks someone had been annoying the music teacher who's name escapes me with singing out of tune.  He got so annoyed one day that he lunged forward and grabbed Darrens hair and pulled him down from the top wooden bench and across the assembly hall for some harsh words.  Anyway he got the wrong guy, he should have pulled my hair.  Sorry Darren. I guess such treatment by teachers these days is not pc!

Anyway keep up the good work and please add my email address to the contact details on the database.  If you have Darrens contact details could you pass them on to me? (Ed. We had Darren Smarts details in Ely, but he has moved and not advised us of his new address, can anybody help?)


Tony Dix  -  1957-59

Tony Dix here. I was at Dartford tech from around 57 to 59 and then for a period around 61-64.

I remember Mr Austen well and wished I had continued my Engineering drawing rather than swan around for decades trying to find something useful, well paid and interesting to do.

Ended up being a Social Worker in the Alcohol and Drug Service in the Tasmanian Public Service. I am planning a trip to the UK this year and I am not sure it will be in time for the Annual Dinner.

That would be fun however if I can make it.

Thank you for the Newsletter. I remember Wilf, loved a cigarette if I remember rightly? I think he was one of those who used to go up to the pub nearby at lunch time too.

I still keep in touch with Trevor Rigg who tells me off for not writing more, but then he is retired now and living a life of roaming leisure.


The following letter was recently passed to us by Geoff Sinclair, 1950-54 and was sent by Mr. Wall to parents of all new Boys in 1950




Wilmington Hall,  Wilmington,  Dartford,  Kent.

Dear Sir/Madam

Because so many serious matters are initially caused by small omissions I take this opportunity of asking your co-operation on four points of training.

Firstly, all boys in this School do homework. They have generally a maximum of three subjects per night which are set. In the first year these homeworks are of twenty minutes each, in the second of twenty-five minutes each and in the third year of thirty minutes each. In the fourth year they are at the discretion of the Staff responsible for the Examination subject and in this year all boys should do at least two hours. Please try to see the homework is done and is not allowed to accumulate towards the week-end which results in poor work and examination failure.

Secondly, because I am convinced that much delinquency has its origin in truancy I beg parents not to keep a boy away for trivial causes, which tend to make him think his schooling may give way for pleasure at your biding. A boy may not be absent unless he is himself ill. Also it is essential that after absence he returns with a note written and signed by you or an excuse 'phoned by you. Even the latter has been 'arranged' by later delinquents. A parent allowing a boy to write his own excuse note (this is very common) is encouraging a boy's later forgery of notes of excuse for truancy. I cannot be expected to accept a boy's verbal excuse, which would mean an encouragement of truancy,

Thirdly, may I beg parents to look askance on any materials or articles a boy takes home on any plea of gift or exchange. Please insist on their immediate return. You would be horrified, I know, to be subsequently told they had been stolen, and, that your boy was knowingly a receiver of stolen property.

Fourthly, if your boy is not to take the normal school dinner, but is either to go home or to have sandwiches, I would be grateful for a letter each term to that effect. This is to prevent a boy's taking money for dinners from you, going without, and spending this money frivolously. This too, is a frequent cause of subsequent serious trouble.

Yours sincerely,





The following is a copy of the School Prospectus that was sent to the parents of Michael Ashpool prior to his start at the School in September 1956




Headmaster: L.V. Wall, B.A.                                    (Tel: Dartford 3090)


The School has a five-year course to General Certificate Level of the University of London and a subsequent one or two year sixth-form, course.

There are two main interests, those of Engineering and Agriculture, which will allow some bias in courses which are of general education.

The curriculum gives a sound general education to Certificate level with an increased proportion of time allocated to handicraft, science and technical subjects as compared with normal secondary courses. This is a practical approach to subjects of normal education, the examinations taken being eventually the same as in other secondary courses.

The School therefore offers a liberal education combined with sound technical training stressing essential good craftsmanship, while the first-hand knowledge of industrial conditions and requirements, which the technical Staff have through industrial experience, is invaluable to those pupils who intend to make a career in industry or commerce.

Although the curriculum is not arranged for any specific external examination, pupils may take during their course such external examinations as those for R.A.F. and R.N. entry of various grades, Ministry of Supply Studentships, Civil Service examinations and General Certificate of Education of the University of London at both Ordinary and Advanced Levels.

A good pupil would be expected to offer eight subjects at Ordinary Level and to continue with sixth-form work at Advanced Level. The standard reached offers opportunities for advanced study by University entrance or through the courses offered at Colleges of Technology.



Careers open to pupils are extremely varied and by no means confined to Industry or Commerce. Half the pupils leaving school enter professions, and courses of study leading to other occupations.

All boys before leaving school are advised on their careers and discussions are arranged with employment officers to which parents are invited.

The School occupies premise's at Wilmington Hall in some thirty acres of beautiful parkland with an additional craft block in Lowfield Street. The new School building, already started, will be at Wilmington and part of the new School will be ready in September, 1956.

New, well-equipped laboratories for Physics and Chemistry have been constructed at Wilmington Hall, and there are additional laboratories in the new School buildings.

The gymnasium is on the Lowfield Street site, but all games and athletics and some periods of physical education are taken on the School grounds at Wilmington Hall. Ultimately all school buildings will be on this site.

Apart from ten acres of playing fields, five acres are cropped, and other land is devoted to course work in horticulture and agriculture. In addition poultry and pigs are kept in the buildings of the School Farm. Eventually cattle also will be kept some five acres being reserved for hay and grazing.

The School is situated in delightful rural surroundings with much interesting timber growth and opportunities for nature study almost unrivalled among school sites.



Entry to the School is in September each year on the results of the County's examinations.

The School year is of three terms, Autumn, Spring and Summer of approximately thirteen weeks each.

The parent or guardian of every pupil who is admitted to the School is required to sign an undertaking to abide by the regulations and to keep the pupil at School for the whole course.



No pupil shall be removed from the School without the consent in writing of the Kent Education Committee, before the end of the School year in which he completes his five year's course of study, except for the reason of his illness or other circumstance which the Committee considers sufficient.

No pupil shall be removed from the School at or after the completion of the normal course of study without notice in writing being given by the parent or guardian at least six weeks before the end of the term.

For the purpose of these provisions the School year begins on the first day of the Autumn Term and ends with the last day of the Summer Term in the calendar year following.

School hours are as follows :.-

Morning      8.55 a.m. to 11.55 a.m.

Afternoon      1.15 p.m. to 4.10 p.m.


The subjects taken include:

      Religious Knowledge, English, History, Geography, French, Mathematics Pure and Applied.

Sciences:      Physics, Chemistry Biology, Botany.

Woodwork:      Carpentry and Joinery, Cabinet work, simple pattern-making.

Metalwork:      Fitting, Benchwork, Turning, Drilling, Planing, Shaping, Milling, Soldering, Brazing, Forging, machine repair and tools.

      (Boys are taught to use power-driven machines in both Wood and Metal shops)

      Geometrical and Mechanical Drawing, Engineering Drawing, Art.

      Agriculture/Horticulture - Theory and Practice - machinery.

      Games and Physical Education.

All boys are expected to take part in P.E. and Games unless specially exempted by doctor's certificate or at the written request of the parents or guardian.

Music.      In addition to musical appreciation and choral work, instrumental classes are arranged for which a small terminal fee is payable of approximately ten shillings.

      There is a school Orchestra and Choir.


1 Fountain pen (not ball point) or pen and nibs.

1 'H' and 1 3'H' pencil.

1 sandpaper block (made at school)

1 set coloured pencils.

1 One-foot rule (inches, tenths and centimetres)

1 India rubber.

2 Set squares (60 and 45 celluloid)

1 Protractor (celluloid)

1 Pair ordinary pencil compasses.

1 Steel rule 6 inches.         )

1 Armstrong scale (graduated in 1/8ths)      )      In

*1 pair compasses    )      "Temple" recommended      )       Third

*1 pair spring bows  )     for Engineering Drawing.      )      Year

4 Terry steel drawing board clips      )

*A set of drawing instruments in a case should be provided especially for examination work.



The Committee disclaims liability for the safe custody of the property of any pupil. Pupils are warned not to leave valuables about or in coat pockets but to hand them in for security. All clothing should be properly  marked with the pupil's name.



Each pupil is responsible for the school books and property lent to him, from the time they are given into his charge to the time that they are returned by him, and he must pay for any loss or damage during the time he is responsible.

Damage to school buildings, machinery or furniture must be made good by an approved contractor at the expense of the pupils causing such damage. In subjects involving laboratory work, students must pay for damage to apparatus due to lack of care in use.



Every pupil must be in attendance on all school days unless prevented by his own ill-health, of which the parent or guardian should immediately notify the School by letter stating the cause of absence. The rule also applies to unpunctuality and the omission of homework. Verbal excuses cannot be accepted. The number of half-days absent is noted on the terminal report.

No pupil may return to school after suffering from an infectious disease other than the common cold until due time has elapsed, and the written sanction of a doctor has been obtained. Parents or guardians are asked, should any infectious disease occur in their house, to give immediate notice to the Headmaster and not allow the pupil  to return to School. They will then be informed whether it is necessary or not for pupils who have come in contact with the disease to be excluded from School for a time.



Boys may for extra study or additional work be required to attend on Saturday morning if their lack of progress warrants' this. Unsatisfactory conduct may similarly be a reason for detention.

The right to exclude any pupil on account of conduct prejudicial to discipline, or of unsatisfactory progress, is reserved.



Hot dinners are provided in the school canteen at Wilmington Hall. The cost is ninepence per meal, payable in advance on Monday mornings. For those pupils holding dinner grants the meals are free.

All boys are expected to take School dinners unless they receive written permission to go home, which is given if the distance is reasonable, or if the parent or guardian has made a written request for the pupil to have sandwiches or other meal which, however, must be taken in the dining-room.

This permission must be requested each term by letter.



All boys are required to wear the School blazer, grey trousers or shorts and the School cap and tie, or a grey flannel suit with the School badges. Boys may wear open-necked white shirts in the Summer. Dark blue mackintoshes are requested. The following articles of clothing are required for work in the School:-

Football and cricket clothing outfits, light canvas shoes with rubber or crepe soles, a pair of dark blue shorts with elastic top, singlet (white), blue overalls for engineering workshops and white apron for the woodwork shops. An apron should be worn in the laboratory. For agriculture work from the third year onwards it is essential to have at School (1) a bib and brace overall and (2) a pair of gum boots.

School clothing, including navy blue blazers, are obtainable at most outfitters, and the School badges from Messrs. Buck, High Street, Dartford. Senior caps and Prefects' badges are only issued on written authority from the School. Boys are advised of their Houses so that the correct cap badge may be obtained.



The School is organised into six houses two Junior and four Senior. Generally a boy will be notified of the house in which he is placed before his first day at School.



Only medical reasons will excuse a pupil from participation in physical exercises and all are encouraged to take a full share in the corporate life of the School. Proper clothing and footwear for Physical Education and Games must be provided.



Pupils pay three-and-sixpence a term into the School Voluntary Fund for the purpose of providing equipment for their own interests, which cannot be met by public funds. Many activities are run including Science, Photography, Games and Athletics, Aeronautical modelling, etc., while the subscription also covers certain travel expenses.



Routine work must be continued obviously beyond school hours and terms. All boys must do their duties in turn even during week-ends or holidays. Neglect in stock-feeding is serious enough to warrant a demand for withdrawal or exclusion.

Application for maintenance grants in necessitous cases towards defraying costs of clothing and travel may be made to the Education Officer of the area in which the pupil lives.


Norman Vincent  -  1955-60

Thank you for forwarding me the latest copy of the newsletter. I note that Jim "Sam" Austen is to be Guest of Honour this year. In the light of this and it being some 40+ years since I set foot in Wilmington, I should like to attend the Reunion and Dinner.

Perhaps you would advise me details of timings, protocol, agenda, etc.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

(Ed. Let's see a good attendance from the '55 Intake this year)


John Mogford - Former Headmaster

We have traced former Headmaster John Mogford (1963-74) who now lives in Pembrokeshire. Unfortunately John has been registered as Blind since 1997.



We apologise for the delay in getting the Website up and working again, but hope that this will be resolved in the near future. In the meantime any contacts to oldboys@odwa.co.uk should be redirected to me with any changes of address or advice as to whether you are able to be contacted on the Internet and if Newsletters can be sent on the net to save postage costs. My appeal for donations to keep the Association and Newsletters going in the recent Bulletin received very few responses so I trust that you are all waiting for this repeat plea to throw your money at us with your Dinner Bookings.

Dennis Wells (Chairman)  dennis.wells1@ntlworld.com



In Memorium

      We have been advised of the deaths of the following members

      Colin Ovenden (1943-45)

      Colin Slack (1954-57)

The Year of 57

If you started at DTS in 1957 that means you.

  This is one of our special years, this is the example year when we celebrate 40 years after leaving DTHS.  If you find it difficult to make the reunion every year then this is the one you have to make.  Our next special year for your diary is 2007 - 50 years since we started. If you are interested in joining other members of your group contact Chris Portwine - tel: 01322 526505 or email: chris_portwine@hotmail.com

  Try to make it - you never know who you may meet!



The Year of '59

We were the first eleven year old intake in 1954

and we escaped in 1959!

  To all members remember that it is 50 years since we first met and it would be nice to get a good attendance this year and welcome Sam back on his own fiftieth anniversary of joining the School.




  on Saturday, 8th May, 2004


  (Member of Staff 1954-1974)

will be our Guest of Honour.


There will be a Dinner and of course a Licensed Bar and a Conducted Nostalgia Tour.

  All ages are Welcome.

If you wish to find former School friends and get more of your own age group together do not hesitate to contact us, as we have the original Intake lists and facilities to make comprehensive searches.

 Visit our Website and check out the names that we have, and if you know any members not listed give us their details

www.odwa.co.uk     email:  oldboys@odwa.co.uk


Your next Newsletter is due to be published in Sept/Oct 2004

but to date I do not have any articles or correspondence.

Comments with regard to your memories while at the School,

experiences at previous Reunions or details of your own life since leaving will be greatly appreciated.


Please contact Dennis Wells,

3 Millbro,  Victoria Hill Road,  Hextable,  Swanley,  Kent  BR8 7LF.

email: dennis.wells1@ntlworld.com

  I am including the application form for this years Dinner within this copy of your Newsletter, which I trust you have found interesting. Should you feel able to contribute an article for the next edition it would be appreciated, see details on back page.

You are invited to join us at our Annual General Meeting and 11th Annual Dinner, with our Guest, who this year is Mr. Jim (Sam) Austen (1954-74), to be held at the School on Saturday, 8th May, 2004. We hope that the demand for tickets will be as good if not greater than previous events so please return the attached form with your payment as soon as possible. Dress to suit the occasion, i.e. not untidy.

We are planning to arrange a Nostalgia Tour of the School and Grounds (weather permitting), at 3.45p.m., with a guide. If you wish to join this tour please confirm on the form.

Tickets are priced at 18.00 per person. There will be a Licensed Bar, which will open at 4.30p.m. and a variety of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will be available. The Annual General Meeting will take place at 6.00p.m. with Dinner being served at 7.00p.m. The evening will end at approximately 11.00p.m.

A Raffle will be organised with tickets at 1.00 per strip.


The Menu for the meal will be as follows:



Duck and Orange Pate with Melba Toast and Onion Relish


Carvery Main Course

Roast Beef with Horse Radish Sauce

Honey Roast Gammon

Roast Turkey with Cranberry Sauce

Red Pepper and Mushroom Risotto (Veg. Option)

Selection of Vegetables

Roast Potatoes with Rosemary



Bakewell Tart and Custard

Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce

Toffee and Apple Meringue Roulade

Double Chocolate Gateaux



Coffee and Mints


* * * * * * * * *


Please advise on the form on the next page if you require the

Vegetarian Option


Provisional bookings can be made by email to:  mariontill@aol.com

but seats will only be reserved and confirmed on receipt of payment by Marion.


Please return to:

Mrs. Marion Miller, O.D. & W.A.,

I would like ............ tickets @ 18.00 each

for the 11th Annual Dinner on Saturday, 8th May, 2004.