DARTECH AND WILMINGTONIAN – Number 4 (May/June 1996)


MIKE WESSON, 1969-95 - An Appreciation

by IVOR JENKINS, - 1943-46 Student, 1970-91 Staff


Mike Wesson retired from full time teaching at the end of the Autumn term 1995, after a long and loyal career at Wilmington Grammar School for Boys.

I have known Mike for twenty five years plus and regard myself as a close friend, therefore it might be thought that this appreciation might earn me a few pints! This could not be further from the truth, he will probably kick my Arris (a woodworkers term meaning a sharp edge formed by two curved surfaces) if he could reach that high.

The reason that I am writing this is because I do not think that enough has been said of his 25 + years service to the school. Probably, in some ways, it is his own fault, He does not like a fuss and in many ways he is a very private person.

Some of the more recent members of Staff, and of course most of the present pupils do not know how much Mike has contributed to the Ethos of the School. Apart from being a first class teacher of P.E., Games and Maths, he has spent a great proportion of his time in un-salaried extra curricula work.

Most of his time as ‘Professor of the Muscle Faculty’ he stood as the only qualified teacher, only supported by enthusiastic ‘amateurs’ like Nicholls, Boxall, Costar, Hollingsworth et al. Despite this he managed to organise thirteen football competitions, and produce seven football teams every Saturday. Coping with referees - dirty strips - pumping up 14 footballs, cleaning up surplus mud from changing rooms and the yard, not to mention fighting a futile battle with plumbers and heating engineers to provide hot water for the showers.

In the summer he organised an enjoyable two-day athletic meeting. The second and ‘finals’ day was a family affair with parents taking teas in the dining hall, strawberries and cream no less - just like Wimbledon! He also organised the district Athletics when the School was host. The teams he selected for the district brought the School no little success, despite competing against bigger and better staffed (PE) Schools.

During the holiday Mike organised trips to the Welsh National Park (Snowdonia) and Ski Trips, both of which he needed to gain leader qualification from K.C.C. He passed on the knowledge he gained to the squads, teaching them the secrets of the Primus Stove and putting up tents in howling Welsh gales. He taught them how to get knotted and how to climb up the (gym) wall. A skill almost all teachers have to learn.

A more leisurely pursuit, during school holidays, he co-managed Inland Waterway trips on Narrow boats on the Middle England Canal systems.

Mike also served the School in a more serious role as one of the first Teacher Governors and also as Chairman of the Staff Common Room Association. Probably his worse job was the organisation of staff cover. He did this for the last ten years, taking telephone calls from staff who were sick or needed time off at the last moment for domestic reasons. How he managed to give cover slips to staff at 08.30 without provoking ripe language I do not know.

I have not finished yet, there are many more aspects of Mike’s career that I have not mentioned, but there is one more that is not appreciated. That is the role of acting, unpaid, deputy caretaker second class!

The burglar alarm goes off - call Mike!

The gates are locked for some function - call Mike!

A window/door is left open - call Mike!

A School party is late back from a School trip

Some ropes/stakes/notice boards needed for a Christmas/Summer Fete - call Mike!

Unexpected vans arrive at 7a.m. for a Boot Fair - guess who!

If all this sounds O.T.T., I can assure that it is not. There are many other stories people could relate. Mike Wesson has helped to form the character of this School. He has helped to shape it as others like Mr. Black; Mrs. Mountjoy; Wally James and Peter Boxall did.

The School will miss him. I hope that they appreciate the work that he has put in over twenty five years of loyal service.


Letter received from GREG  HALL, 1958  to  1965 .

I was at the school between 1958 and 1965.  Leaving what was exclusively a science based sixth form,  I was one of those odd people who went on to art college to take up the comparatively new profession of      industrial design.  I first did an art foundation year at Ravensbourne (Bromley) College of Art and Design before going up to Manchester to do a degree equivalent course between 1966 and 1969.  It was there that I met and married my wife Catherine who was in the same year group as myself and to whom I am still married after 28 years.  In 1970 we went even further north to Preston in Lancashire where I worked for a few months as a designer for a contract furnisher to the Hotel and leisure industry.  However, later on that year, an opportunity arose to do what I really wanted to do, to be involved in vehicle design and so we packed up our growing bundle of possessions and headed south to Derby for me to become a staff       designer at the British Rail Technical Centre for "a  couple of  years ".   This  "couple  of  years" grew into quite a career and after a number of job changes and roles within the BR organisation in Derby including a very interesting spell being responsible for the design and commissioning of the catering vehicle for the ill fated Advanced Passenger Train, I eventually left BRB at the end of 1989 to become General Manager of the Derby branch office of IVM Engineering.  This was a German owned multinational group of engineering design consultants trying to break into the rail industry in Derby.  I think that the current jargon is to say that role was quite challenging!  Actually it went very well and business was prospering very greatly until the recession of the early 90’s began to hit the rail industry hard.  So at that time, realising that running a business was no great mystery and it being easier to feed one lion than a whole pride, I decided to set up as a design consultant myself, which is what I have done ever since from a small studio just off the city centre.

We had the proud parents’ pleasure of seeing our daughter follow us into the design business.  She went first to Loughborough and got a first in textile design and then onto the RCA in London for postgraduate before settling in Essex where she too runs her own business in fashion textile design.

Apart from spending a lot of time moving up and down the A6, I have also spent much of my life in and around engineering design offices and so I have from time to time remembered the DO in the old stable block at Wilmington.  There were two likable things about Mr Austin.  One was the fact that he managed us like a chief draughtsman rather than a teacher which was certainly OK with us and the other was his immaculate Citroen Light 15 in metallic bronze.  I have always thought that to be one of the most elegant production cars of all time and his was one of the best I have ever seen.  However the first prize for cars should probably go to the art teacher of the mid 60’s who drove to school every day in a 1928 Lagonda 4-seat open tourer. "Not much comes past me when I am cruising at 85", he was heard to drawl in his impeccable public school accent.  The thing weighed more than two tons, was probably longer than a modern Rolls-Royce, with headlights like chromed dustbin lids and prewar brakes, at 85 it would have gone STRAIGHT THROUGH any modern car that was in the way!

Apart from mathematics and technical drawing, the subject of major significance to my career was art.   An extremely likable art teacher of the early 60’s was David Jeremiah.  I came across him again when I was in Manchester because he had taken up a post at Buxton in north Derbyshire.  It was terrific to go down and see him again because he and his wife Maureen were very warm hosts and understood the need for impoverished art students to have an evening out and a good meal in a nice house from time to time.  He put on two one-man shows in Manchester during that time which were great fun.  I lost touch with him for a number of years and then met him again when I was doing some lecturing at my old college in Manchester and found that he had a post lecturing in art history there.  You will be pleased to know that he still has his black hair and magnificent red beard.

Of all the end of school stunts, I still like the one our year-group did the best.  I think that I would need assurance regarding a thirty year amnesty and complete forgiveness before I could tell half of the stories,  but this one might have had  something to do with emptying room 3 of all of its chairs and stowing them in the water shed on the roof!

The great thing about old buildings is their architectural quirks. In the old prefects room there was a large cupboard at waist level let into the wall.  In the cupboard there was a large crack in the wall.  If one sat on the chair provided for the purpose in the cupboard one could blow any smoke that happened to be produced though the crack and it disappeared without leaving any trace of smell.  Isn’t that wonderful?  We never discovered where the crack led.  One morning in the upper sixth I was late, too late for assembly.  So I went into the prefects room and thinking I was alone, got some books out onto the table and started doing some revision.  Meanwhile, sat in the smoking cupboard, one of the other guys, who was enjoying his first cigarette of the day had no way of knowing who had come in and so was completely stuck.  I was there thinking I was alone for about 15 minutes before the cupboard door was slowly opened. Also at around that time, Mike O’Halloran and myself got heavily into drawing cartoons of the staff and topical events around the school.  Almost one complete wall of the prefects room was dedicated as a gallery to our permanent display.  However, one particularly rude piece of work disappeared without trace.  I would love to know who took that but it was naive of us not to think that the staff knew all about this developing collection and wouldn’t come in to look at them when we were not there.

I am very sad to hear that Mr P. Pearce died soon after I left.  In the excellent tribute to him in issue No2 of the magazine there is one vital omission. That concerns his strong faith and his fearless proclamation of it.  Since he took us for both RE and English, it was often difficult to know which lesson we were in because they could tend to be somewhat similar!  When I became a committed Christian myself in 1975, I would have liked to tell him his preaching was not in vain.  I am now part of the leadership team of a growing church in my local village in Derbyshire.  Maybe we will be able to discuss it together one day in the place where there are no more class rooms.

I did meet one other Christian mentor at the end of the 70’s.  My A-level chemistry teacher, Mr Lewis was leading a church where my parents worshipped at the Brent and I had a good chat with him there.  I am very sorry to read of his death and of that of Mr Black.  It is odd how one resents firm but utterly fair discipline at the time unyet immensely respects the administrator of it later.

There are many things that can be written and time goes on.  I do not know where anyone is now from my foundation year in Bromley and the only one from my degree course that I still talk to is my wife!  I do know the whereabouts of a few from DTS days but would be very interested to know a little about the rest.  It was a good place to be at school during the time that we were there and for the most part I enjoyed it, especially the upper sixth year which I probably enjoyed too much.  Although things were a little formal in those days, boys only of course and very correct behaviour to staff,  I would thoroughly endorse what several people have said about the friendly atmosphere.  There was the challenge to break the rules and pull spectacular stunts, but it was rarely malicious, more like  a "prank” .

The parkland with the rare trees and large playing fields surrounding the old building could not be surpassed.  I have a lot of pictures that I took of the grounds in the early ’60s and I will make these available to Mr Daley.  I am sorry about the loss of the old building.  Perhaps it was the only way of neutralising the smoking cupboard.  Did they ever find out where the crack led?


Mr. Len Hollingsworth                                                                                                                                                          Dr. Peter Gregory

Wilmington Grammar School for Boys                                                                                                                                   Pfadwiesenstrasse

22 Wilmington Hall                                                                                                                                                             69509 Mörlenbach

Common Lane, Dartford                                                                                                                                                                     Germany

Kent DA2 7DA UK                                                                                                                                          Tel: (T49) 6201 606 246 (day)

                                                                                                                                                                                                March  1,  1996

Dear  Len,

Thanks for your letter from October, it was greatly appreciated and has been maturing on my desk for too long. Sorry for the tardiness of the reply—I won’t bother you with excuses but I hope that the wait was worthwhile.

It was great to hear that the school is still moving forward apace and that it can still count on your enthusiasm and concern for the students and the services of stalwarts like John Daley. I did indeed get a “A, a most pleasant student” report. However, I also seem to remember getting a different grade after presenting John with the umpteenth very similar painting of “an astronaut against a starry background”, paintings probably inspired by the thrill of watching the Apollo missions on TV.

The Old-Boys newsletter project is a great idea and as an Old-Boy and a publisher I really can’t do anything else but support it. A cheque for £100 is enclosed for this purpose. I have also included a potted autobiographical sketch (also on disk) which John, is welcome to use, shorten, or adapt as he sees fit. Perhaps you would pass these on with my address.

I’d also be delighted to help with the work experience placements. Assuming travel costs and insurance are covered by others we would provide accommodation and a two-week project in one of the journal editorial offices. The aim would be that your fifth or sixth formers would end up with a piece in the news section of one of our journals and could say “I wrote that”. Science students, (perhaps those also studying German?) would probably benefit most.

On the topic of combining language and science, I seem to remember that it used to be possible to study chemistry and German. In case it still is, or if not then in an attempt to rescue the scientific spirits of a few arts students, I have enclosed a few copies of one of VCH’s magazines. “Chemistry in our Time” is produced for German students, school pupils and teachers so maybe it will be useful as source material for your colleagues.

Karina and I have bought a cottage in Warwickshire just recently which will need to be renovated. As a result, we’ll be over in Britain a little more frequently over the next year. During one of the visits I’d be more than happy to have a chat with some sixth formers about surviving “Dartford Tech” and pass on some experiences of university, chemistry, materials science, and publishing. When I have the dates of our next visit I’ll tell you.

Please pass on my best wishes to all who remember me and do keep in touch. All the best!



Details from PETER GREGORY, 1973-80

At sixteen I had conflicting dreams. On one side I rather fancied a future life where creativity and an imaginative use of English would fill my working day, and on the other I was fascinated by the opportunity to understand more about the world we live in. The decision whether to aim at becoming, for example, a lawyer, or a research scientist wasn’t easy. My O-Level grades didn’t help—they were almost all the same.

Which A-Levels to study then? I opted for the “arts” trail, starting the courses for English Literature, Economics, and History. Around six weeks later, up to my neck in Othello, the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Community, and the merits of Price Rupert’s cavalry charge at the first Battle of Edgehill, I got cold feet, and switched to a diet of Chemistry, Physics, and Maths. The facts and figures were quite a change of fare but I was certainly happier with physical principles rather than philosophical ones.

The next two years included an undistinguished career as Deputy Head Prefect to Stuart Goldsmith, a Head Prefect and football captain in unbelievably good health—so good in fact that I don’t remember ever being called upon to “deputise” for him. I was also one of Len Hollingsworth’s hockey victims, a long line of students who joined “Len’s team”, Royal Arsenal in Plumstead.

A-Level exams came and went, and by this time it was clear to me that chemistry was for me. It is hard to think of a subject which is a mixture of home economics, artistic endeavour, an appreciation of symmetry, and requires a tolerance of unusual smells, as being so crucial to the development of mankind. The thought of a world without synthetic fibres for clothes, plastics and semiconductors for the Nintendo (I remember getting my first pocket calculator in the sixth form) and all other electronics, synthetic medicines and vaccines for a huge range of diseases, pesticides, toothpastes, detergents, and soaps was what attracted me to chemistry.

Three year’s of study at the Chemistry Department of University College, University of London, were great fun and resulted in a Bachelor’s Degree. Three more years of research at UCL into “The Generation and Characterization of Hydrocarbon Radical Cations” left me with a Ph.D. in chemistry, two more as a “post-doc” at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany left me with a fascination for chemistry and a chemist as a wife (I met her in Erlangen), but also a conviction that rubber gloves were no longer for  me.

In early 1989, browsing through the job section of the New Scientist, I saw an ad which changed my life and lead to the opportunity to fulfil both of my 16-year-old dreams. In March 1989 I left university life and joined a scientific publishing company, VCH. I worked at first as a junior editor of the English-language chemistry journal, Angewandte Chemie, before moving on to manage and edit a journal of my own called Advanced Materials.

I continue to be scientific editor of Advanced Materials, which meanwhile is ranked among the top ten scientific journals worldwide, and now also edit a news magazine for materials scientists called Euromaterials, and manage a talented young team of science and arts graduates responsible for editing, producing, and marketing a wide range of other journals and scientific books, mainly concerned with materials science. A very enjoyable combination of science and arts.

I still play hockey, occasionally, and golf, and spend a lot of a restricted amount of free time enjoying the beautiful countryside around Weinheim (close to Heidelberg). I get back to Britain two or three times a year but, at the moment at least, I am quite happy exploring on a full-time basis what the continent has to offer.


                            THE GENERAL PROLOGUE

                        to the Wilmington Technical Tales

                                 (In the manner of Chaucer)


      When April with his sweet showers of rain

      Has soaked the soil of March again,

      And bathed each stem in creative dew

      From whose power springs the flowers new;

      When the warm West Wind has chased off the cold,

      And brought fruition to woodland and wold,

      Making tender young shoots; and fair it is

      When the Sun has covered half of Aries,

      And small birds sing loud unto the sky,

      That do sleep at night with an open eye,

      (So strongly are they moved by Nature’s sway);

      Then unto the Church people find their way.

      And especially from every estate’s end,

      To the Church of St. Michael they do wend’

      To sing praise to Christ in a voice so clear,

      And to purge those sins of the bygone year.


      It happened in that season on a day,

      In the Dart. Tech. Common Room as I lay,

      Ready to go on our school’s pilgrimage

      To the local church like a holy sage,

      That there came into this our worthy school,

      Nigh five hundred folk, who were pilgrims all,

      Of varied number and also kind;

      A better assembly could no man find,

      For to go to our Church, a mile hence.

      Easy were our chairs, I make no pretence,

      Yet though we were settled and found great ease,

      To do solemn duties would it please.

      And we Prefects at once made forth to rise,

      To shepherd the folk and to supervise.

      And so in a passage the pilgrims met,

      And coats we all donned to keep out the wet.


      But all the same, while I have time and space,

      Lest I should rush on at too fast a pace,

      I think it proper for to stop and tell,

      The condition of each, and it is well,

      For it seems the logical thing to do,

      To tell of their rank, and of what they knew,

      And also of each person’s different dress,

      And also my favourites, I confess.

Tall did he seem, although he was not large.

      His shoes shone like his smiling visage,

      And his chin was shaved to smooth perfection;

      His appearance was beyond correction.

      Most ready was he to stand on stage;

      A noble pillar was he for his age.

      And he was captain of our school team,

      And cups of silver in his hands would gleam.

      A diligent lad, and needless to say

      He was a good student throughout the day.


         With him were three friends, his motley crew,

      A loyal deputy, and Prefects two.


         A lady of the Office was with us too,

      In case of injury, first aid to do;

      To patch over a scratch, or save a life,

      And to pass an hour with the Vicar’s wife.

      Her smile was honest like the day is long,

      And she was gentle and could do no wrong.

      Adept she was at brewing Office tea.

      And her enquiring eyes the truth could see.

      Comfort would she offer to those distressed;

      And solace she gave to students depressed;

      And when a young scholar became unwell,

      Aspirin she gave, or salts to smell.

      Most patient was she in adversity,

      And sent our forms to University.

      Upon the ‘phone a message could she take,

      And type a letter without a mistake;

      All day she worked, and rarely took a rest

      In the art of conversation was she best.

      And when she gave it, advice was heeded

      With a Badminton racket could she pose,

      And she was to many a sporting rose.

      The dress that she wore was smart at the pleat.

      And she was often in the driving seat;

      A Mini had she, and from Dartford came;

      A Lady Fair, and Sheila was her name.


         There were four Games Masters, of bawdy wit,

      Who tracksuits wore and were perfectly fit,

      For they were all gamely fellows of sport;

      Footballers and athletes were their sort:

      Each a manly man who raised a cheer,

      In appreciation of good beer.

      Hanging whistles had they all on a string,

      A shrill note gave they and oft did they sing.

      And as teachers they were fit for us all;

      Well could they tutor and dribble a ball.

      And many times they had ascended heights;

      Mountains by day, and bar stools by night.

      Together they were fine fellows, no doubt.

      For their midday meal they would oft go out.

      Nicknames had each, though meaning nothing bad;

      In truth, our jokes they took, and goodwill had.

      A Ford car had one who carried them all,

      And all inside, they motored out of school.


         There was a fine Mistress, and French spoke she,

      And once helped to teach that language to me.

      Kindly was she, and respect had she earned

      From her pupils, for they surely learned

      All the verbs so far written in Francais,

      For she had the proof that this tactic pays.

      Simple was her smile, yet the warmth came out,

      Sincere with her aims, I have little doubt.

      Of words and stories had she a great deal,

      And with her words might book contracts seal;

      For her delight was to spread knowledge,

      And this would she do with the printed page;

      Of stories short had she a wealth withal,

      Contained in the books by the French Room wall.

      Of these volumes shall I no longer tell,

      They are but one facet on which to dwell.

      The name ‘Mountjoy’ is found in other books,

      And other schools give us envious looks,

      For her typewriter is still going strong.

      Now with such support can the Tech go wrong?

      Stylish her dress as befits her person,

      A cape she trailed, and rode on a Datsun.


                                     Michael Shuff, Upper Sixth, 1979.



Dear Mr. Daley

Thank you very much for your letter of December 7th regarding the Old Boys Association. There must be some telepathy at play since I was thinking about old school days only a couple of weeks ago. I love the idea of an Old Boys Association, though I fear I may not be able to take part in many activities.

My details:

*My first two years at Dartford Tech., in 67/68, were during Mr. Mogford’s and Mr. Black’s tenure as Head and Deputy Head. I was in your form (? - since coming to the States I’ve forgotten the terminology), 1D and 2D.


*Nicknamed “Gyppo” by my contemporaries, because I convinced them I lived in a caravan at Ruxley Corner. Should have gone into politics I guess.

*I recall moving on to 3M, under Terry Moyle, 4 something with Mr. Dougal, and then, as I degenerated into something of a rebel (what about, God only knows) the details fade away.

I do have very fond memories of school though, and would very much welcome the opportunity to do my “time” all over again - I can guarantee the grades would improve beyond measure.

I believe you were the Art teacher at that time, Terry Moyle - Geography, Pat Rudman - English, Dougal - French, Moore - Physics, Gavin Russell - PE (believe he went to Kenya?), Mr. Hodgson for Maths, Tutters Lawson and 'Len' Hollingsworth and I guess the list goes on. Funny how one only remembers the good times.

I recall absolutely living for football in those days (I still play every week - over 30's though) and was, maybe still am, the school's record goalscorer. I also represented the school on the track at 400 and 800 metres and long jump. We had a good track team at that time with Tony Musgrave in the sprints, Mervyn Gunasakera in the hurdles, Any Syres in the shot putt.

About four years ago, on a trip home with my family, I took my parents and children for a drive around Wilmington. I was showing them the school grounds when we bumped into Mike Wesson who I was stunned to see still there. He remem

bered me and told me that my school long jump record still stood, after some 18 years. Believe me, it took me days, if not weeks to come down from the 'high'.

I unfortunately did not maximise my academic potential at Dartford Tech. and left at 16 to join the Royal Navy. In retrospect it was probably the best move since the Navy did me a lot of good and instilled a sense of discipline that was sorely lacking.

I think it is likely that most graduates(?) of Dartford Tech. have done fairly well for themselves. I ended up working for a couple of years for Lord Astor of Hever after coming out of the RN at 21. In 1979 I joined London based Sea Containers in the container shipping business. I spent a few years in international travel on their behalf before relocating, with them, to Charleston. I am currently Director of Equipment Leading with a bulk liquid tank and trailer company, but have recently been interviewing for Marketing Director at the Port of Boston in Massachusetts.

I stay in fairly close contact with a few very long-standing friends from school days and I think it is safe to assume you obtained my address from one of them; Malcolm Gofton. In case not, I attach his and one or two other names and addresses that you may or may not already have. I ran into Simon Grant a couple of years ago in Philadelphia. He subsequently moved back to England but can probably be contacted via his parents, whose last known (to me) address I've also included.

Found some copies of "Gollum" late '72/early '72 which I thought you may enjoy.

Best regards and thanks again for writing. I would very much welcome any Newsletters, especially if they carry some information about any of my former schoolmates, and teachers.


As their has been considerable interest from Members with regard to an Old Dartech's & Wilmingtonian's Association Tie, the Committee discussed the various suggestions for a design and we have agreed on a design similar to the old Prefects Tie.

This is an approximate illustration of the Tie, which will be in Navy Blue with a Gold Lion at intervals down the tie.

Ties will be available at an approximate cost of £10.00 each.

We hope to have a supply of these available at the Barbecue on Saturday, 13th July, 1996.


ROB SUTTON, 1980-85

Dear Mr. Daley,

Thank you so much for contacting me with regard to the Old Wilmingtonians Association. I can’t believe it is almost ten years since I used to have art lessons with you. Along with TC classes with Mr. Message, they seem to have paid off. I’m now working for one of the biggest ad agencies in the world. I’m the head of typography and oversee all the press ads and posters that are produced here. My department is part of a huge creative and graphics studio, with all state-of-the-art equipment. I’m very grateful to my time at Wilmington Grammar and would love to hear from you in the future.

Unfortunately I will not be back in the UK that week for the dinner but only recently booked a flight home for the week after, it’s a shame

Regards Rob Sutton.


Dear John,

Greetings! Thanks for the letter. It certainly was a surprise to hear from you. I hope that life is treating you well! As for myself, I’m currently teaching English at ‘cram’ schools just outside Tokyo. It’s not really a career move as such - more a fill-in until I save enough money to do what I really want.

Ideally I’d like to live as self sufficient a life as possible, growing my own food, etc., etc. Until a month or so ago I was doing just that - living on an organic farm in the Japanese countryside. However lack of money and communication difficulties led me to return to the ‘big smoke’. It was a wonderful experience though, and I hope to find my own place when I return to the UK. Luckily, I have a lot of contacts, having spent time visiting various organic farms/communes in England and Australia.

For the moment though I am saving a bit of money and also studying ‘oriental healing’ in my spare time. One of the reasons for this interest is that my own health has been gradually improving following such practices. For the last few years I have been plagued with ill health following various escapades in foreign climes. I’ll now fill you in on what I’ve been up to since I left School!

Well, I spent three years at Portsmouth Polytechnic studying History (Oct 87 - June 90). I left with a BA(Hons) 2-1 degree and then after a number of temporary jobs (to save money) I travelled alone to India in Feb 91. It really opened my mind - turning me concept of reality completely upside down. I hope to return someday. Anyhow, after 4 months travelling around India I spent 11 months in Australia and 1 month in Indonesia. Whilst in Australia I worked for Greenpeace in Melbourne for 8 months, canvassing for membership/subscriptions and providing information about the movement and environmental issues in general. I also became actively involved in various ecological /peace issues outside of Greenpeace. In Indonesia I caught Malaria and was forced to return home. That and a stomach infection I picked up in India have been the major causes of my health problems. Still I’ll never regret going.

I came to Japan last September, following a 15 month stint in the UK on the ‘dole’. During that time I did lots of voluntary work for Oxfam, a conservation group and an English language school.

That’s my lot John. Take care and good luck with the Old Wilmingtonians Association. Please keep me informed. By the way, how did you track me down to Japan. I’m intrigued. I’ve kept in touch with only two people since I left school - Richard Jeffery and Alan Tearle. Have you contacted them? Rich is currently unemployed, but was until recently, doing voluntary work at an AIDS information centre. He’s also dee-jaying and playing with his band. Alan is in Hong Kong working as a Surveyor. I write to them regularly and even spoke to Rich last week.



Dennis Wells, 1954-59 (Chairman)

The Annual General Meeting and Reunion Dinner on 2nd March was a very successful evening, despite only being attended by 72. Those present were able to enjoy a very pleasant evening with our Guest Mike Wesson (recently retired after 26 years service to the School).

Although we anticipated a drop in numbers from the Inaugural Dinner in 1994, we had hoped for a better attendance this year. The 1997 Dinner will be held on Saturday, 8th March, so please make a note in your Diaries now.

There will be a Cricket Match (Old Dartechs v School) on Saturday, 13th July, 1996, between 2.00p.m. and 6.00p.m., which will give any Members the opportunity of watching a good game of Cricket, or of wandering around the grounds to bring back memories of the past, followed by a Family Barbecue, Wives and Children are welcome to attend this evening. Tickets will be available, priced at £4.50 per person and will include Barbecued Sausages, Chicken Drumsticks and/or Beefburgers, plus the usual Salad, etc., being available until 8.30p.m. There will be a licensed Bar, with a variety of Alcoholic and Non-alcoholic drinks, which will open from 6.30p.m. until 11.00p.m. In the event of inclement weather food will be taken in the School Hall.

As Mrs. Sheila Holden is retiring this year after 28 years service to the School, we have invited her to be our Guest for the evening, which we are pleased to say she has accepted.

S. J. BELL, Head of P.E.

Dear Old Boys

This is just a quick note to express the thanks of myself and the pupils for the help you have been giving the school with its cricket endeavours.

Firstly there was the establishment of the Annual Cricket Match against the Dartechs C.C. with the prize for the most outstanding performance by a pupil. Then came the invitation for any of the boys to attend your net sessions, and finally the Cricket Scoreboard which was purchased with the money you raised.

So once again, and I am sure that the recent successes on the Cricket field are due to your involvements  Many thanks on behalf of the Cricketers



In an attempt to find other Old Boys, Neil McKay has volunteered to start a similar search as he and Stan Frith did with the Class of '59, and has already made tentative contact with a number of hoped for Members that were at the School from 1951-1958. If any other Member or Group of Members would like to attempt to get together a larger section of their age group, we have in our possession the entrance records of School Entries between 1938-1981.  Unfortunately the very old addresses may not  yield present family but it can still be worth trying, as Neil is finding out, especially those since the mid to late '50's. We will be prepared to meet any Member that wishes to try and find more of their own age group and give any help and advice that we can.

Dennis Wells (Chairman)


Letter from DARRELL (Dr.) D.J.R. EVANS, 1967/74

Dear Mr. Thomas,

I am writing to you to let you know how I am getting on since leaving Wilmington Boys Grammar.

As you may remember after leaving the school, I went to do a Biomedical Science degree at Kingston Polytechnic, where I gained an Upper second Class. Whilst I was at Kingston I played in the Kingston Poly Big Band, which improved my Saxophone skills greatly.

You may also remember when I spoke to you at Mr. Boxalls Memorial Service, that I was going on to do a PhD at the University of Aberdeen. Well, I spent three years in the Department of Biomedical Science under the supervision of Dr. Peter Wigmore. My research looked at the development of skeletal muscle, with particular reference to working on a treatment for sufferers with Muscular Dystrophy. The labwork was both hard work but still exciting, and my results have been largely published as papers and abstracts.

Whilst at Aberdeen, I attended several UK Conferences in Edinburgh, Sheffield and Nottingham. I was also lucky enough to go to a muscle development meeting near Salt Lake City, Utah.

My saxophone playing also didn’t suffer as I joined the Alex Sutherland Big Band - a very highly motivated band with a huge following in Aberdeen.

In September, I had my oral examination on my PhD thesis and was awarded my doctorate. I will have my degree officially conferred at a later ceremony next year.

Since early in October I have taken up a two year research job at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York State. I am working with a well known embryologist Drew Noden and researching craniofacial development. The campus here is huge and the labs are very well equipped so I hope it will be an enjoyable time.


It has been suggested that we publish a list of those that have attended or apologised for their non-attendance at our functions so far, here follows the Official Guest List for the Inaugural Dinner on Saturday, 16th July, 1994

John Ransley                             1947-49

Don Nicholson                        1948-51

David Walden                          1950-53

David Nicholson                     1951-54

Adrian Boyling                        1953-56

Alan Gregory                            1954-57

Peter Wright                             1953-57

Kenneth Baker                          1954-59

Terry Whiffen                            1954-59

Donald Ellis                             1954-59

Paul Dudley                              1954-60

Mr. J. Austen                             1954-74

Peter Nickolds                         1954-60

David French                            1954-59

Stephen Yarde                          1954-59

Adrian Hatley                           1954-60

Peter Wright                             1954-60

Stan Frith                                   1954-59

Dennis Wells                            1954-59

David Laken                             1954-59

Terry Wilson                             1954-59

Raymond Kingsley                 1954-59

Roderick Taylor                       1954-59

Michael Mew                            1854-59

Trevor Stevens                          1954-59

Kenneth Smith                          1954-59

Gilbert Simpson                       1954-59

Terry Stevens                            1954-59

Clive Taylor                              1954-59

Robert Saunders                       1954-59

Malcolm O’Hara                      1954-59

James McKenzie                       1954-59

Paul Mason                               1954-59

Terry Hill                                   1954-58

Neil McKay                               1954-59

Ken Prebble                              1954-59

Michael Phyall                         1954-59

Alan Siveyer                             1955-60

John Nunn                                 1955-61

Peter Liddle                              1956-61

Tony Clark                                 1956-63

David O’Neill                          1956-59

Grahame Mole                           1957-62

Julian Gilchrist                        1957-63

Malcolm Green                         1957-63

Mr. I. Smith                                1957-93

Mr. W. James                              1957-89

Michael Bartle                          1958-63

John Meakins                            1959-64

Mr. P. Cartwright                     1959-66

Richard Jessop                          1959-64

John Bristow                             1960-67

Ashley Herbert                         1960-68

Robert Webb                             1960-66

Howard Woods                        1960-68

Mr. L. Hollingsworth

Roger McKenna                       1961-66

Mr. A. Moore                             1962-83

Mr. P. Parker                             1962-72 & 74-76

Stephen Bristow                      1963-70

Christopher Bull                      1963-68

Philip May                                1963-68

Richard Abel                             1963-69

Malcolm Stroudley                  1963-70

Mr. C. Laker                               1963-70

Mr. J. Daley                                1963-92

Robin Wilson                           1963-69

Neal Davis                                 1964-69

Keith Gofton                             1964-69

Terry Wilson                             1964-69

Peter Rolington                       1964-71

John Jarvis                                 1964-71

Mr. G. Russell                           1965-69

Jeremy Barber                            1965-72

Malcolm Gofton                       1966-73

Mervyn Gunn                           1966-71

  (formerly Gunesakara)

Mr. T. Moyle                              1966-72

Jonathon Payne                        1966-73

Ted Smith                                   1966-73

Tony Musgrave                        1966-73

Brian Cherry                              1967-72

Philip Powell                           1967-75

Mrs. S. Holden                          1968-

Vaughn Ashdodwn                 1968-74

Andrew Moon                          1968-74

Timothy Powell                       1968-70

Paul Sparks                               1968-73

Derek Seal                                  1968-71

Andrew Suter                            1968-74

Nicholas Geear                         1968-75

Mr. M. Wesson                         1969-

Roger Payne                              1969-71

Michael Fox                               1969-74

Ian Dennis                                 1969-74

Kevin Rogers                            1969-76

Clive Stringer                           1969-77

Mr. A. Hamerschlag                 1970-84

Marc Ellerby                             1970-75

  (formerly Robertson)

Martin Smith                             1970-76

Mr. G. Nicholls                        1971-

Mrs. M. Miller                           1971-89

Nicholas Aish                          1971-79

Peter Sulway                             1971-77

Philip Hartley                          1972-76

Kevin Tye                                  1973-80

Nicholas Moon                        1973-78

David Cross                              1975-82

Barry Littlefield                       1975-82

Andrew Sawyer                        1975-82

Mrs. J. Barrett                            1976-86

Stuart Jackson                           1976-83

Kevin Cook                               1976-83

Ashley Judd                              1976-83

Matthew Blackband                1976-83

Chris Scofield                           1976-83

Mrs. J. McKay                           1977-

Mrs. D. Burman                         1977-

Russell Barber                          1977-84

Barry Wright                             1977-84

Keith Ewins                              1977-84

Gary Thomas                             1977-82

James Otter                                 1977-84

Neil Bennett                              1977-84

Paul Bennett                             1977-84

Paul Sawyer                              1977-84

Mrs. H. Stevens                        1978-

Mr. R. Campbell                        1978-

Mrs. M. Frankton                     1978-

Jon Hayward                             1978-85

Keith Rickard                           1978-85

Paul Grimmer                            1978-85

Ian Pascoe                                  1978-85

Paul Peppiatt                            1978-83

Steve Hale                                  1979-83

Adam Deal                                 1980-85

Mr. R. Traves                             1981-

Robin Dellow                           1981-86

Neal Hazell                                1981-88

Matthew Stubbs                       1981-88

Tony Pope                                 1981-88

Lee Brett                                     1982-87

Dean Collard                             1982-88

Edward Boyling                      1983-90

Neil Carter                                 1985-92

Mr. A. Wells                              1986-88

Daniel Gray                               1987-92

Mr. K. May                                 1987

Mr. P. McGarvey                      1987-92

Mrs. D. McGarvey                   1987

Daniel Gray                               1987-92

Mr. W. Brunger                         1988-

Mr. D. Oxford-Taylor              1991-

Mrs. S. Oxford-Taylor             1991

Mrs. K. Crompton                    1991-

Mr. D. Crompton                      1991-

Mrs. J. Grover                            1991-

Mr. H. Grover                            1991-

Mrs. V. Arnold                          1992-

Mr. B. Titterington                  1992-

Mrs. P. Bird                               1993-

Miss S. Windget                      1993-

Mrs. R. Wright                          1993-

Mr. K. Wright                           1993-

Mr. J. Mercer                              1993-

Mr. T. Morris                             1993-

Mr. M. Berry                              1994-

Malcolm Gregory

John Stokoe

John McSweeney


    Apologies for Absence were received from

Mrs. M. Mountjoy                   1942-79

Mr. G. Gough                            1953-85

Keith Richards                         1954-59

Mrs. I. Norman                          1958-71

John Frosdick                           1960-67

Mr. C. Dougal                           1960-75

Christopher Proctor                1964-71

Ian Edmed                                  1965-71

Chris Jefferies                            1967-72

Colin Cooper                            1967-74

Alister Judd                               1968-73

David Elcome                           1970-77

Mr. I. Jenkins                             1970-91

Adrian Judd                               1972-77

Kevin Tye                                  1973-80

Mr. J. D. Edgeler                       1974-83

Philip Wells                             1974-79

Mr. S. Message                          1975-86

David Strachan                         1976-83

Ian Maidment                            1976-83

Mr. A. Costar                             1976-83

Robert Sutton                           1979-84

Tony Wright                             1980-87

Mrs. P. Howell                         1981-86

Mr. A. Hewitt                            1982-

Mr. D. B. Thomas                      1983-91

Kevin Growns                          1984-89

Miss K. Gill                              1985-

Bradley Wylde                         1985-92

Andre Arroyo                           1986-93

Mr. R. Cooper                            1987-88

Mrs. M. Marshall                      1989-

Mrs. H. Wilder                          1989-

Mr. C. Hazel                               1991-

Mrs. L. Clarke                           1991-

Mr. H. Bracey                            1992-

Mr. I. Lanceley                          1992-

Miss L. Wake                            1992-

Mr. C. Sexton                             1992-

Mrs. S. Bolton                           1994-


Details taken from the Official Guest List for the


Saturday, 4th February, 1995 at 7.30 p.m.

Mr I. Jenkins            1943-46 & 1970-91

John Ransley                                               1947-49                       

D.W. Walden                                              1951-54                       

Mrs D. Walden

Norman Bennett                                         1952-55                       

Adrian Boyling                                          1953-56                       

Tony Day                                                     1953-56

Malcolm O’Hara                                        1954-58                       

David Rose                                                  1954-59

Neil Mc Kay                                                1954-59                       

Terry Stevens                                              1954-59                       

Trevor Stevens                                            1954-59                       

Terry Whiffen                                              1954-59                       

Dennis Wells                                              1954-59                       

M.J. Phyall                                                   1954-59                       

David French                                              1954-59                       

Adrian Hatley                                             1954-60                       

Peter Nickolds                                           1954-60                       

Mrs Nickolds

Kenneth Prebble                                        1954-61                       

Mr J. Austen                                                1954-74

John Procktor                                             1955-58

Philip Willcocks                                       1955-61

Chris Shepherd                                           1955-62

Peter Liddle                                                1957-61

Grahame Mole                                             1957-62

Michael Bartle                                            1958-63  

Richard Jessop                                            1959-64

John Meakins                                              1959-64

Robert Webb                                               1960-66

Howard Woods                                          1960-68

Mr L. Hollingsworth             

Graham Carter                                             1961-67

Roger Finch                                                 1961-66

Mr P. Parker                               1962-72 & 1974-76

David French                              1972-79

Robert Cottrell                            1973-80

William Woledge                        1973-80

William Wheeler                         1973-80

Mrs J. Webb                              1973-86

Mr F. Webb

Mrs J. Metcalf                             1974-78

Kevin Tye                                  1974-80

Mark Jarrett                                1974-81

Mr S. Message                            1975-86

Ashley Judd                               1976-83

Simon Daniel                             1976-83

Matthew Blackband                     1976-83

Russell Barber                            1977-82

Keith Ewins                               1977-84

Barry Wright                              1977-84

Mrs J. McKay                             1977-

Mr K. White                              1978-

Peter Daniel                                1978-85

Nicholas Daniel                           1981-88

Mr R. Traves                              1981-

Edward Boyling                          1983-89

Mr W. Brunger                           1988-

Mrs J. Hogg                               1991-

Mr M. Hogg     

Mr B. Titterington                      1992-

Mr M. Berry                               1994-

Mr K. May

Mr A. Flux

John Stokoe 

Mrs Stokoe

Jason Allen   

Mrs S. Roots  

Mr  Roots

Mrs Oxford-Taylor

Mr Oxford-Taylor

Mrs J. Grover 

Mr H. Grover

Mrs K. Crompton

Mr Crompton


      Apologies were received from


Donald Nicholson                        1948-51

Alan Gregory                              1953-57

Malcolm Gregory

Stan Frith                                  1954-59

Geof Jewiss                                1958-62

John Frosdick                             196—67

Mr C. Dougall                            1960-75

Roger McKenna                          1961-66

Philip May                                 1963-68

Keith Gofton                               1964-69

Gerry Colyer                               1964-71

Roy Jackson                               1964-71

Bill Stoneham                            1965-72

Chris Proctor                              1965-72

Brian Cherry                               1967-?2

John Fahy                                  1968-75

Roger Isitt                                  1969-74

Michael Browning                       1969-75

Marc Ellerby                               1970-75

  (formerly Robertson)

Glyn Evans                                1970-77

Stephen Mole                             1971-76

Mr G. Nicholls                           1971-

Tony Rogers                              1972-77

David Bateman                           1972-77

Philip Wells                               1974-79

Gary Thomas                              1977-82

Mrs M. Frankton                         1978-

Mr R. Campbell                          1978-

Paul Hopkins                              1981-86

Mrs P. Howeil                            1981-86

Darrell Evans                              1981-88

Mr F. Hewitt                              1982-

Mrs C. Capozzi                           1985-90

Mr D. Corp                                1986-90

Mrs L. Kent                

Mrs  S.  Moss                            1988-

Mrs M. Marshall                         1989-

Mrs  S .  Flux                            1991-

Mrs V. Arnold                            1992- 

Mr C. Sexton                             1992- 

Mr J. Mercer                               1993- 

K.J. Smith

Mr  Golden

Mrs  Golden

Mr D. Jolley