RN School Magazine 1953 contributed by Heather Marriott
The Rivals Sports House Notes Scouting School History
Royal Naval School
Midsummer, 1953 Volume 2 No. 1
FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK Page 3
HISTORICAL Page 3
SCHOOL NOTES Page 5
STAFF CHANGES Page 6
EXAMINATION SUCCESSES Page 7
TAL HANDAK CONCERT Page 7
VERDALA JUNIOR XMAS PLAY Page 8
THE SCHOOL SOCIAL Page 8
PRINCESS JU JU Page 9
THE SCHOOL PLAY Page 9
R.N. DRAMA FESTIVAL Page 9
OCEAN IN DRY DOCK Page 10
INCOGNITO Page 11
'TRIP TO TARANTO AND BARI Page 11
THE STORY OF A SCAMP Page 12
MY GARDEN Page 12
I WONDER Page 12
NIGHT Page 12
TWO LITTLE BUNNIES Page 13
SPRING Page 13
WHAT THE WIND SAW Page 13
THE MALTA WEAVING INDUSTRY Page 14
LEARNING TO ROLLER SKATE Page 15
RASPBERRY PICKING Page 16
THE REFUGEES Page 16
RIDING TO SCHOOL Page 16
SWIMMING SPORTS AND LIFESAVING Page 17
FOOTBALL Page 18
RUGBY Page 19
CROSS COUNTRY RUNNING Page 19
HOCKEY Page 20
NETBALL Page 20
SEA SCOUTS Page 20
BROWNIES Page 21
VERDALA CUBS Page 22
GIRL GUIDES Page 22
DRAKE HOUSE NOTES Page 23
nElson house notes Page 24
STFPHFNSON HOUSE NOTES Page 25
WHITE HOUSE NOTES Page 25
Lino-cuts appearing on pages 21. 23 and 25 are by Hazel ANSELL, Form VG. Anne DART. Form IVG.
and Brian HUMBLE. Form IVG. respectively.
printed in the office of the commander-in-chief. mediterranean station
From the Editor's Desk
once again we have been faced with a difficult task in selecting for publication the best of what we might call the "literary" contributions for this issue of the magazine. We thank all those who wrote for us, whether their efforts are published or not.
It appears that in some cases would-be contributors hesitate to write for want of something to write about. Very understandable ! We should like to say, however, that we should welcome for publication reports on any of the numerous events of the school year. These could be written and given to the Editor at the time of the event, a procedure which would save him much exasperation just before publication date, when he has to badger people to write about this and that when memories are no longer fresh and when everyone is very busy with other things. So here is a chance to get in a little practice as a news reporter !
Again we are pleased to congratulate Jacqueline Bills of 4G on winning the magazine prize for a scrap book of Malta. Well done !
Since our last issue we have had a letter from Mrs. Miles, the School Secretary up to March of last year. She writes from Lowfield House. Lowfield Heath, near Crawley. Sussex. We are delighted to hear from her. and send to her and to Commander Miles our very best wishes. Here is what she says :
We are now living in a very pretty part of the country, on the Surrey-Sussex borders midway between London and Brighton. A few weeks ago the London-Brighton Walking Race took place. Can you imagine anyone choosing to walk 52 miles ? The competitors leave Big Ben on the stroke of 7 a.m. and the first man reached Brighton at 3.35 p.m. The last weary stragglers were 3 hours after that. We had a most entertaining time watching them pass our house-after which we motored to Brighton to see the finish. Today has been the OldCrocks' Race - or to give it its proper title The Veteran Car Run' for cars built before 1904. It was a most amusing spectacle and one couldn't help admiring the wonderful condition of the cars. They went at a quite surprising pace too, but they were apparently not equal to the return journey - we saw several of them being towed home on special trailers - back to their museums, we surmise, until they're taken out and got ready for next year's race.
We have had a very busy time since last June getting our new house straight and trying to cope with the garden, which is large, and has been neglected for nearly two years. However, it is all great fun. and we're making progress. I hope if any of you ever find yourselves in this direction you'll come and see us. We shall always have the greatest interest in the Royal Naval School and we shall love to hear all about the things that are happening there. The silver Gozo boat you gave us - and which was such a complete and delightful surprise on Commander Miles' last day as Headmaster - now adorns our new home, and very fine it looks. I'm sure that no other job that either of us has will ever be as fascinating or enjoyable as our five and a half years at the Naval School -and any of you who can spare the time to come and see us will be very welcome.
Commander Miles and I send you our best wishes.'
Royal Naval School. Tal Handak, Malta.
I am frequently asked by visitors to the school, as well as by parents, how and when the Royal Naval School came into existence. The Service population of Malta contains a considerable number who received their early education at the School in pre-war days (two old pupils are now on the teaching staff) but for the majority who know nothing of our history, this excursion into the past may be of interest.
The education of the children of people whose work takes them away from the U.K. has always been a problem. In many colonies the answer lies in the private school. Long ago, however, the Admiralty realised that not everyone could afford private school fees, and some sort of provision was made by them as long ago as 1880, when a Dockyard school was started in an old Dining Hall, just inside the main gates of the Yard. Here some 30 to 40 children, mostly Maltese or Anglo - Maltese were taught the rudiments of Arithmetic and English. The Dockyard Officers who were sent out from England continued to send their children to private schools and in those days few Naval people brought their families to Malta. Most of those early pupils neither spoke nor understood much English when they entered the School, but they were taught so well that many won their way to good positions in the professions or in Government offices.
Even fifty years ago there were problems concerned with the growth of the School. By 1904 it had outgrown its room in the Dockyard and new premises (an old prison ! )were taken over in Prison Street, Senglea. About this time one of the School staff ( and later its Headmaster) was Naval Schoolmaster W. Candey. In fact, the Education Service of the Navy has always provided the School's head, and, until recently, all the male teaching staff.
In Senglea the School grew steadily to about 250 children. Children entered, as now, at the age of 5 and left at 14, when the boys took the examination for entry to the Dockyard. The School's troop of Sea Scouts started about 1910, very soon after the movement began. The old records show that up to 1918 most of the children entering the School were Maltese, but from that time the proportion of English children grew appreciably, and as they increased the character of the School changed. In 1925 the level of instruction went beyond the Apprentice Examination and an 'Oxford Junior class appears in the records for the first time. This was the beginning of a serious effort to run the upper part of the School on Secondary School lines as opposed to a preparing ground for Dockyard apprentices. By this time, too. the School had ceased to cater for the children of locally entered Dockvard employees and had assumed its present function of providing education on English lines for children who would normally have gone to English schools. There were now many Naval, as well as Dockyard children.
Verdala appears on the scene in 1929. By then there were once again too many children for the Senglea bilding to hold and an old Royal Marine Barracks and ex-prisoner-of-war camp at Cottonnera in St. Clement s Bastion was taken over. This we now know as Verdala School. Here were buildings which would hold 350 children, but the records for 1932 show only 150 boys and 70 girls attending. This number increased steadily to 530 in 1938, when there were three classes of infants, five of juniors, and six secondary. Boys and girls were taught separately in the secondary school in those days. The School also catered for the schooling of the Dockyard apprentices-in-the evenings. Top storeys were built on the main Verdala blocks in 1938. In those days school lunches cost 6d, and the tuck shop sold lemonade at Id a bottle. The houses for the boys were the same as at present, but the girls had their own houses, named Anne, Victoria and Elizabeth.
The School entered its first School Certificate candidate in 1932. He failed, but in 1938 ten certificates were won. This story of growth and development was sadly interrupted by the outbreak of war in 1939, and eventually all English wives and children were evacuated from Malta. The School struggled on in yet another home at St. George's Barracks, but eventually shut down completely in September 1942.
During the war the Verdala buildings were badly damaged and the main hall was destroyed. Part of the School was used as a prison, and another part became H.M.S. Euroclydon. and was used to house the crews of submarines.
After the war English families started to come back to much damaged Malta and education again had to be provided for their children. Early in 1946 the old Headmaster was sent out to see how much was left of the old School equipment, after the bombing. He found seventy-five desks (we still use them) and some mouldering books, most of which are now museum pieces, but this was not a very encouraging start for the reopened School. Re-open it did on 16th May, 1946. with 55 children, in two requisitioned houses on the water's front at Ta'Xbiex.
The staff was two Instructor Officers and their wives. Children under seven couldn't be accepted because no one could teach them. Boon after the School opened it became clear that the two houses in Ta' Xbiex would very quickly become inadequate and another search was made for a new building. Various country houses, hotels, etc., all proved unsuitable, but in September 1946, a disused Army Barracks at Tal Handak was discovered. This had been built during the war to resemble a Maltese village, in order to give camouflage from the air. However this unpromising and remote spot had room for lots of children and so work began on it to fit it out as a School. So in January 1947 the Dockyard School (Children's Section) came to Tal Handak: and ever since there has been a continual race between the Civil Engineering Department of the Dockyard in preparing new rooms and children coming along to occupy them. -In 1947 the name of the School, now completely separate from the Apprentices' School, was changed to Naval Children's School.
The Headmaster's report for 1948 said that no more children could be crammed into Tal Handak (150 extra have been put in somehow since then!) and in 1949 the old School at Verdala was repaired and restored as a School. The rebuilding of the hall was not completed until 1951 and meanwhile the present hall had been built at Tal Handak.
The School's record year for growth was 1952 when 300 additional children were absorbed, the total number reaching 1470 by the end of the year. This year also gave us our new name "Royal Naval School" -a more dignified and inspiring title for an organisation which is unique among schools. Now it would seem we have reached the limit of growth in our present buildings. Where next?
A. J. B.
Our Head Boy and Head Girl during the school year have been John Mallon and Sheila Hall.
Other Prefects have been: — Dorna Bayliss. Jennifer Cock. Shirley Deacon. Ann Henderson, Hazel Ansell, Michael Cooper. Anthony Overton, Keith Livingstone.
The following have been Assistant Prefects: — Anthony Baylee, Michael Slater, David Peters, Christopher Cockshott. Barbara Rogers, Susan Stoneham, Peter Evans, Anthony Bull, Frances Buley, Bridget Flinton.
We have been pleased to see a number of distinguished visitors during the year. The Countess Mountbatten of Burma honoured us by walking round Verdala School on March 18th. She took a very great interest in all she saw, and left us having made several hundred new friends. Unfortunately. Lady Mountbatten's visit to Tal Handak, planned for 25th March had to be postponed on account of Queen Mary's death. We are now looking forward to seeing her during the Summer Term.
During the Autumn Term, the Secretary of the Admiralty, Sir John Lang, visited Tal Handak. In one classroom, he saw Class 4AJ making Christmas Cards. These were admired by Sir John, and the class subsequently sent him a handsome card of their own design to remind him of his visit.
The Flag Officer, Malta, made his annual inspection of both Schools in February.
Brigadier J. T. Burgess, the Chief Army Education Officer. Middle East, came to see us when he visited Malta in February, as did Colonel Ward, the Chief Inspector of Army Schools.
Other old friends who made return visits were Dr. Newman, who came to lecture on the Middle East, and on World Food Supplies, and Major Max Vivier who again delighted everyone with his racy accounts of Life in the French Foreign Legion and of the French Resistance Movement.
Those who remember the old and forbidding Prison Block at Verdala will be interested to hear that its conversion to classrooms is now complete. It now houses seven classes of infants. The old Caretaker's house behind the block has also been converted into a classroom.
At Tal Handak the old shed in the middle of the yard has been converted into what someone described as "the best classroom in the School." Class IBM has taken over the tenancv from the 'Red Terror'.
As a result of these building operations Tal Handak now houses some 700 children and Verdala 750. Only during the last three months has there been any slowing down in the rate at which children have come into the Schools. Once more we say with confidence "The Schools are full", and we really mean it this time.
A sum of £23 was subscribed by the children of the combined Schools to the King George VI Memorial Fund. There was also a fine response to our Flood Relief Fund and as a result a cheque for nearly £60 was sent to the Vicar of Felixstowe. Some 40 people in his parish lost their lives in the flood, and a large number lost their possessions.
The Fleet Royal Marines Band under their Bandmaster, Mr. Ough, gave a concert to the Junior School and the first year of the Secondary School in February. The musicians demonstrated the sounds made by their instruments, and then gave a delightful performance of music which was very greatly appreciated. A similar concert took place at Verdala the following week. We hope these will be the first of many visits by the Band to the School.
We now have within a stone's throw of Tal Handak the Coca Cola bottling plant. Two parties of children visited the plant in the last week of the Christmas term, and surprised everyone by their capacity for the free samples so kindly provided by Mr. Spiteri, the Manager.
Visits have also been made to H.M.S. Ocean in dry-dock, to H.M.S. Indomitable, to the Pipe factory at Marsa, to the Palace and Cathedral in Valletta, and to the weaving industry and potteries in Rabat.
An Open Day was held at both Tal Handak and Verdala in November. On these occasions the children were sent home at lunchtime and their parents took their places in the afternoon. We are pleased to see as many parents as possible and hope that all will make the effort to come to at least one Open Day a year. This is their big chance to find out for themselves what really happens at Tal Handak and Verdala.
We congratulate the following ex-members of the school staff: —
Mrs. White on the birth of a son. Mrs. Britton on the birth of a daughter.
Mrs. Duly on the birth of a son. Mrs. Hobbs on the birth of a daughter. Mrs. Seaward on the birth of a son. Mrs. Clinkard on the birth of a daughter.
Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Green on the birth of their second son; and to Instructor Lieutenant Blarney on his successful Captaincy of the R.N. Hockey XI.
Congratulations also to Miss Leppard on her marriage to Lieutenant Eve. We are glad that she will retain her connection with the R.N.
Since we last went to press, nearly half of the staff of the School has changed and we have lost a number of very familiar faces, and teachers who have given service of immense value to the School, and are very hard to replace.
At the end of the Summer term, farewells were said to Instructor Lieutenant and Mrs. Wren, who had been towers of strength at Tal Handak since September, 1947. They had seen Tal Handak grow from a small school of some 200 children to its present size, and throughout this time, Lieut. Wren had been the Senior Assistant Master. Many hundreds of children will remember with affection their Maths, teacher. Perhaps more will remember him for his organising genius on the Sports field. Not content with organising the School games, Lieut. Wren was also largely responsible for the founding of the Malta Secondary Schools Sports Association and its activities. For some years too, he did much for Navy Cricket and Rugger in Malta. We can safely say Tal Handak (and Malta) is not the same without him. Good luck to him and Mrs. Wren in his new appointment at the Boys Training Establishment. H.M.S. Vincent.
Miss Gee who left us at Easter, spent nearly 3 years at the School and was in charge of the Infants Department at Verdala for most of this time. Miss Leppard left at Easter to return home to marry. Miss Farmer also left us at Christmas. These ladies were some of the first to be sent out under the scheme for seconding U.K. teachers.
Other departures from Tal Handak include Mrs. A. Smith of the Infants Department, Mrs. Duly, Mrs. Carey, Mrs. B. Smith, Mrs. Eaton and Mrs. Roberts. From Verdala we have lost Mrs. Randall, Miss Davenport, Mrs. Forse, Mrs. Clinkard, Mrs. Seaward, Miss Seaward, Mrs. Wynne, Mrs. Plumb and Mrs Winterbottom. All have given most valuable service. We hope that, together with our good wishes, they took away some happy memories of the Naval children and their School.
Newcomers to Tal Handak, to all of whom a warm (if belated!) welcome, include Instructor Lieutenant Blarney, b.sc., to teach Science, Mr. Lett, our first specialist P.T. teacher, Mrs. Clay, b.a., from the British Institute at Milan. Mrs. Hill, Ph.D, from Reading University, Miss Knowles. b.a., Mr. Storm, b.a., Mrs. Fisher, Miss Woodward, Mr. Bletcher, Miss Storey and Miss Bell.
At Verdala the newcomers are Mrs. Hartley, Miss Prudames, Mrs. E. Smith. Mrs Kelly, Mrs. Owens, Mr. Willsher, Mrs. Dempsey, Mrs. Storm. b.a.. and Mrs. Eaton, to take charge of the Infants. May every one have a long and happy stay at the School.
We have now reached a stage where half our staff is seconded from U.K. schools and half recruited locally, and we number 51 in all.
Hearty congratulations to the following on their successes in the General Certificate of Education, summer and autumn examinations, 1952.
Rosemary Davenport, passed in English and History. Raymond Fewtrell, passed in Applied Mathematics.
Joseph Palmer, passed in Art. David Palmer, passed in Pure Mathematics.
Anthony Overton, passed in 9 subjects. Ann Henderson, passed in 8 subjects. Angela Norman passed in 7 subjects
Peter Davies passed in 6 subjects. Cyril Dudman Michael Cooper Michael Slater passed in 5 subjects.
Ann Goodger David Peters Garry Cave passed in 4 subjects. Anne Bikerstaff Prudence Morgan Keith Livingstone
Robert Bellingham Joan Gilbert Barbara Rogers passed in 3 subjects. Angela Small Gillian Trenhaile Joan Hopkins, passed in 2 subjects. Margaret Davenport, passed in 1 subject.
For the benefit of those who are not familiar with the new examinations, the Advanced level papers correspond to the old Higher Certificate papers. A pass at Ordinary level is now equivalent to a credit in the old School Certificate
It is also pointed out with pride that our percentage of passes was considerably higher than that obtained by the overall total of candidates from all schools.
Tal Handak Juniors and Infants Concert and Prizegiving
The Infant and Junior Concert on December 17th began with a delightful musical and dramatised version of "The Elf and the Dormouse" in which every infant took part. This was followed by the First Year Juniors who presented a very colourful and topical play, "The Christmas Tree".
The next item was a Prizegiving Ceremony, the first of its kind in the history of the R.N. School. Mrs. Hollis very graciously presented prizes of books for good work and progress. She was presented with a bouquet of flowers by the youngest junior, Rosemary Bellamy.
The last item was an impressive and reverent Nativity Play, presented by the Juniors who had attended the Drama Class held during the Activities period each Thursday afternoon.
We were very pleased to welcome so many parents to out concert which everyone enjoyed.
The list of prizewinners was as follows :-
IVAJ Michael Page Diana Baker Penelope Brockman
IVBJ Geoffrey Williams Valerie Payne Grace Peattie
IIIJ Valerie Rhodes Jill Burton Daphne Astin Douglas Chadwick
IIJ Christopher Coleman David Brown David Palmer
IJ Peter Page Penelope Tole Mary Churcher Judith Wilkins Susan Goodridge
Verdala Junior Christmas Play
The 1952 Junior Christmas play, "The Christmas Star" tried to portray the association of Christmas festivities today with the origin of Christmas on the first Christmas night.
Christmas jollity was attained through a children's party where dancing, games, carols and all the fun of such an occasion were experienced.
From this gaiety, through a dance by the stars, all were spirited to the manger in Bethlehem. The atmosphere was now one of calm and wonder.
Here the children invited the large audience to join them in singing "O come, all ye faithful", which concluded the play.
All the children of the twelve Junior forms played their parts in the production whether on the stage or as singers in the body of the hall. Together, their efforts produced feelings which ranged from hilarity to reverence.
Well done, Juniors !
The School Social
The Senior Prefects of Tal Handak began the Christmas holidays in the true Christmas spirit by entertaining some of their fellow pupils to a social evening at Floriana. It was unfortunate that the size of the hall severely limited the number of guests but it is hoped next year to remedy this fact.
Being a Naval School it was appropriate that they should have given it a naval atmosphere by coming in Pirates costume. The disguise in many cases proved to be so realistic that Cdr. Bellamy was heard to remark that he often had difficulty in recognising the true person !
It would be wrong to continue without first mentioning Lt. Page and Mrs. Colsell whose invaluable help ensured the success of the social. Not only did they both help in the organisation but also with regard to the entertainment, for Mrs. Colsell with Cdr. Bellamy provided a most novel song concerning the activities of the Head Girl and Head Boy - as a punishment for which they were forced to kiss under the mistletoe by "Pirate Cave". Lt. Page, on the other hand, proved very versatile for not only did he sing a duet with Pat Gerry, but he also had the house convulsed with laughter with his novel rendering of "The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God", in which he was admirably assisted by Lt. Blarney.
After a number of team games for which prizes were given, everyone was ready to sit down and relax for a short time whilst the "Pirate Crew" brought round light refreshments which had been tastefully prepared by the London Confectionery.
Further entertainment during this enjoyable evening was provided by the School's two budding comedians. Robert Allen and Michael Nettlefold, who were duly rewarded for their skit on American Broadcasting with two toy trumpets presented at the end of the evening by Mrs. Colsell!
The box of chocolates so kindly presented by Miss Yule for the raffle was much appreciated, no doubt most of all by the lucky winner!
After more team games and dancing the evening was brought to a close by the National Anthem, and the good ship "Tal Handak" dropped anchor for another year.
Princess Ju Ju
At the end of the Christmas term Lt. Page and Mr. Walker most successfully produced the operetta Princess Ju Ju.
The title role was filled by Patricia Gerry whose voice carried extremely well. She was ably supported by a chorus of Japanese maidens.
True to tradition, the part of the Prince was taken by a girl, Jennifer Page, who was both charming and convincing. Her companions, especially Shirley Kimber as Prince Fu Shu, caused much amusement.
Michael Nettlefold and Robert Allen as the Emperor Hokipokitippitoptop and his adviser Ching Ching respectively), added both mirth and life to the production.
An atmosphere of mystery was produced by the Goddess of the Night, Margaret McVey and her attendant spirits, while Keith Livingstone as the magician instilled fear into all hearts.
The cast was ably supported by the chorus and dancers (from IVAJ) while praise must be given to the Art and Woodwork departments for very effective scenery.
The School Play
The play selected for presentation by the School this year was Sheridan's "The Rivals". For sly fun, conversational wit and cheerful high spirits this play had everything to commend it and the producer, Mr. R. A. Colsell, realised this to the full.
The actors and actresses thoroughly understood the characters which they had to portray so that none of the play's pleasant subtleties of humour was lost.
The easy nonchalance of Fag (Robert Allen), the casual gallantries of Jack Absolute (Tony Overton), the jealous fears of love-torn Falkland (Keith Livingstone) and the vigorous expostulation of Sir Anthony Absolute (John Wilson) secured the attention of the audience from the start. And this promise of good things to come was maintained by the splendid portrayals of the romantic Lydia (Jill Martin), the long-suffering Julia (Hazel Ansell) and the irrepressibly garrulous Mrs. Malaprop (Dorna Bayliss).
Honest Bob Acres (Michael Nettlefold) with his odd oaths, and the eloquent O'Trigger (Peter Evans), with his attractive Irish brogue, added greatly to the fun of the play and the audiences' pleasure.
Lucy, the maid (Suzanne Buick), David, a servant (Donald Alder), Thomas, a coachman (Anthony Baylee) and a Boy (Peter Elliott) were played with just as much polish and care as were the others, and they contributed greatly to the success of the production.
The delightful period-costumes were very cleverly conceived and convincingly carried out by Miss Shaw and her classes of willing and skilful helpers.
The many changes of scenes presented some difficulties to the Stage Manager but these were ably overcome by Mr. Green and his backstage workers.
As for the scenery itself one can only marvel at the ingenuity and skill of Miss Leppard and her scholars who brought 18th Century Bath to life.
One Act from the play was entered for the Naval Drama Festival and gained fourth place, the British Drama League's adjudicator, Mr. Frank Newman, giving a very sympathetic and helpful criticism after seeing the Act.
Three scenes were also played at a Concert in aid of the Flood Relief Fund held at the historic Manoel Theatre in Valletta, where they were very well received by a large audience.
Royal Naval Drama Festival
On February 19th the staff, assisted by four members of the School, gave a performance of the first act of Thornton Wilder's three-act play. "Our Town". The action of the play begins in 1901. in a small town called Grovers Corners, not far from Massachusetts. The main characters are representatives of two of the local families. A running commentary by one of the cast as stage-manager nrovirips q Hnir hot-nr^^^ audience and actor. His part increases the dramatic tension since he is outside the time limits of each scene and can speak with knowledge of both past and future. The production of one act only of the play made this device less effective.
No scenery is required. Though this apparently makes the actor's task easier by giving him greater freedom of action, in fact, it calls for very skilful mime and very accurate production.
Mr. Page's previous experience with the play helped him to conceive it as a whole. This was less easy for the cast who knew only the one act. In spite of this drawback and the limitations imposed by the stage and the lighting, the production was very creditable, and gained fifth place in the Royal Naval Drama Festival held in Malta.
Mrs. Colsell and Mrs. Martin gave convincing performances as the Doctor's wife and her next door neighbour. The children of the two families, played by Bridget Flinton. David Peters, Sheila Jackson and Michael Page, acted well and had obviously worked hard at their parts. Mr. Ruoff's quiet underplaying of the stage-manager was very pleasing.
It is to be hoped that a staff entry for the R.N. Drama Festival will now become an annual event.
"Ocean" in Dry Dock
It was on Thursday 19th February that Miss Vasey took the boys in our form (4AJ) on "Ocean". She was in drydock. Now I think you know enough for me to start my story.
We were standing on the quay at Customs House, waiting for the boat. Miss Vasey was continually worried every time a boat came in by boys wanting to know whether it was the boat. Eventually the boat came and we climbed aboard. I was told by Miss Vasey to see that when we came alongside the dry dock all the hands belonging to children were in the boat, so that they were not crushed between the boat and the dry dock.
We started up the steps to the top of the drydock without mishap. When we first reached "Ocean's" quarterdeck, we were divided into two parties.
I was in the party with Miss Vasey. First of all we went to the hangar, where the Petty Officer in charge showed us the engine to a plane. He also showed us a propeller and where it fitted on the engine.
He showed us the small cars, that are used to pull the crashed planes clear of the runway, helped by Jumbo the crane. There were two kinds of planes that the Petty Officer told us about, Fireflies and Seafuries.
One thing I was most interested in was the Arrester Cable which, when a plane lands slows it down by means of a hook on the tail of the plane.
After we were satisfied that we knew everything there was to know about the hangar and the things in it, the Petty Officer showing us round the ship suggested going up in the lift. We all immediately agreed to this and so we all steeped on to the after lift. The Petty Officer pulled a lever and up we went.
When the lift arrived at the top we all stepped onto the Flight Deck. The Petty Officer told us about the two barriers, into which the plane will crash if it overshoots the Arrester Cable. He also told us it would take approximately five minutes to change one of the barriers.
After that he took us to the bridge where he showed us the Captain's seat when sailing at sea. He then showed us the Operations Room where they control the landing and taking off of the planes. Afterwards he showed us the three kinds of guns used by "Ocean" - Pom-pom, Bofors, and Antiaircraft.
We then heard our boat was waiting for us. As we were walking along the drydock the crane running on rails passed over our heads. We walked down the steps and as we walked towards our boat we saw "Ocean's" propellers, one of which was being changed
The Petty Officer explained that they are trying an experiment by having three blades on one propeller and four on the other each weighing about eight tons. They hope that this new idea will lessen the terrific vibration on the ship.
We climbed into the boat, bade our farewells and we were off. As we landed at Customs House we said good-bye to each other and made our way home after spending a most interesting afternoon.
ROBERT PAYNE Form 4 AJ
There was a young lad of Paceville
When asked to play hockey said 'I will'.
But his girl friend said "No,
I won't let you go,
Let's tell 'em your Mother's been ill."
This plan she did weave
The team to deceive.
From this verse 'twill be seen
We're not half as green
As these young folk would have you believe.
Trip to Taranto and Bari
In September of last year a number of boys, including myself, were given the privilege of going to Southern Italy in H.M.S. Rifleman, a minesweeper of about 1000 tons. The boys who went were Anthony Baylee, Brian Humble. Geoffrey Smith, David Peters. Brian Streets and I. We were accompanied by the Scouters but on board ship a Leading Seaman was in charge of us.
We went on board the ship on a Friday afternoon and were immediately informed that Leading Seaman Nixxie was in charge. He showed us how to put up our hammocks. We were told to be cooks in pairs. On Saturday morning the ship left Sliema in pouring rain. Outside the harbour the ship's four inch gun fired 24 rounds at a target which was being towed by a tug. The noise was tremendous and the smell of cordite was terrific. Every morning while on the ship we were rudely awakened by
"Wakie. Wakie. Wakie! Rise and shine! The morning's nice and fine!"
This was at 5.30 and generally it was raining. However we were hardlv awake when around came the watch for the second time saying
"Heave-o! Heave-o! Heave-o! Lash up and Stow!"
Hammocks were supposed to be lashed up in three minutes, but we took easily ten minutes. Immediately after this our Leading Seaman would come in and tell us to get up on top and fall in, in shorts only, whether raining or not, after which we had to scrub down decks. The cooks however generally got off this job but had to scrub out the mess. During the mornings we worked; we generally did brass cleaning, chipping paint and painting, though every two hours a boy went up to the wheelhouse and did two hours steering, which was jolly good. In the afternoon we did what we liked and could go on the bridge when we liked. On the Saturday afternoon we were all shewn the radar and how it worked. On Sunday afternoon we went for a swim, as the ship stopped for half an hour. Later on, Rocky, one of the Scouters, obtained a bren gun and showed us how it worked and also how to dismantle it. After this each of us had an opportunity to fire three shots from a revolver and ten from a rifle. In the evening we went to the pictures.
On Monday morning we arrived at 'Taranto. It was early and raining. When we looked out of portholes, for we were not allowed on deck, we saw many ships and a couple of battleships but what amazed us most was the size of the harbour. We went ashore in the afternoon to have a look round. The buildings and buses were very clean, the buses were streamlined and looked extremely comfortable. While looking around, an Italian Scout Master met us and wished to show us his headquarters, and we made arrangements to meet him. However, we met one of his boys while in a shop and he showed us around the Headquarters which was excellent. They had every room decorated with Scout Mottoes and pictures and they even had a totem. On the Wednesday we went to Bari. The bus was late but it came and was off. It soon made up for lost time! The bus was extremely comfortable with fifteen passengers. When we arrived at Bari we went straight to the Trade fair which was an Exhibition, and a Fun Fair where we were met by the Consul and Italian Scouts. We were immediately introduced and then we began to mix with the Italian Scouts, but alas they could only speak Italian and French, so we had a lovely time remembering the French which Mrs. Colsell taught us. One boy, a Norwegian, who had lived in Italy for six years, could speak both Italian and English, so he was our interpreter. But before we could go into the Fair we had to pose a dozen times for photographers. We stayed until dinner-time at the Exhibition. We had dinner at a nearby school, where we were also going to sleep. After our six course dinner, and wine, we went to visit places of interest which included two churches and a castle. The roads were very smooth and they had particularly clean gutters The countryside was wonderful. We passed vineyards and fields covered in olive trees, and many orchards. The roads were straight for miles on end. Towards evening we went for a swim. Afterwards we went back to the Exhibition and spent an hour there. After supper at the school we attended a camp-fire which ended at eleven-thirty. The Italian Scouts had the national characteristic of good singing. When the camp-fire was finished everyone prepared themselves for a third visit to the Exhibtion which closed at 3 a.m. ; we came back at 2 a.m. in the morning, after breakfast, we went to the Grotto Di Castellana which was one large cave going for miles under the ground. We left for our ship after dinner, in a beautiful streamlined bus which arrived at Taranto at 4 p.m. The following day, our last, we had twenty Boy Scouts from Taranto. We showed them around the ship. The following Saturday morning we left Taranto with two other minesweepers. We arrived back at Malta on the Sunday morning after a wonderful time in Italy.
I. P. BALDWIN, Form 4G.
The Story of Scamp
Once upon a time there lived a dog named Scamp who belonged to a little boy named Billy. Scamp liked dog biscuits. He liked milk but he loved cakes, big cakes and little cakes, fat cakes and thin cakes. Scamp loved them all.
One morning Scamp ate all his dog biscuits, he drank all his milk. He was still hungry, so he sat up and barked. Billy patted him. He opened the cake tin. The tin was empty. "Sorry Scamp," said Billy, "No cakes". Scamp was sad. He went to Molly's house, up the road. He scratched on the door. Molly came. She already knew what he wanted, so she said, "Sorry Scamp, no cakes". He went and sat under a tree in Molly's garden. He was very sad. Soon he got up and ran down the street. He could smell cakes. He ran and ran and ran as far as his legs could carry him. He went round one more corner.He was right in the middle of the smell. He barked but the men were busy baking cakes so they did not hear Scamp. Soon a van came up, and a driver came out. Scamp barked and the driver gave him a cake. The driver then took him to the police station where Billy and his daddy were waiting.
Not very long after he was at home asleep in the garden and can you tell what he was dreaming? Yes?
About big cakes and little cakes, fat cakes, and thin cakes.
Irene ILES, Form 3AJ, Verdala.
I love to dig my garden,
For it is my very own,
I've planted peas and carrots,
And lots of flowers I've sown.
I do so hope they all come up,
Each morn I wait to see
The first green shoot come popping through—
One day I'll grow a tree.
Susan SALMON Form 3AJ, (Verdala)
I sometimes sit and wonder About the near and far, About the glistening petal, And the distant star. I love my pleasant garden, But yonder o'er the hills, I picture distant splendours, While touching daffodils.
W. BEVERIDGE, Form 3AJ, (Verdala)
Now the night is drawing nigh, And the darkness fills the sky, I can see the shining stars, Jupiter, the Plough, and Mars. Though the night is almost here, Jesus Christ is always near. Through the night He'll watch my sleep, While the bright stars wink and peep.
Jennifer COBLEY, Form 2AJ, (Verdala)
Two Little Bunnies
Two little bunnies sitting on a hill, Heard a noise and sat quite still. Somebody saw them and popped a
gun, Off went the bunnies, run, run, run.
Form 1AJ, (Verdala>
With the months of Spring, The birds begin to sing. And pretty flowers each day Spring up by the highway. The little squirrels in trees Come out into the breeze, Because winter has gone at last, And the Summer's coming fast, And all the world is gay, When. Spring comes that way.
Ann BRADBURY Form 1G.
What the Wind Saw
Some people curse me! and just because I do my duty. I blow, howl, whistle and scream, according to how I feel and where I am. And I also sigh softly in Summer.
Well, I'd like to describe some of my adventures to you. for I really do have fun.
Whistling over north Canada it thrilled me to see the Eskimos toddling around enveloped in furs, and crawling into their snow-built igloos. The natural dogs of the Arctic, the huskies, I saw burrowing deeper into the snow for warmth. I flurried some more snow on them all and then left them to their eternal nights.
As I howled and lashed off the coast of Labrador I watched the various species of sea-birds nestling precariously on small ledges jutting out over the cruel grey sea. They do not mind me because their life is centred around the weather and they are continually battered by the wind.
I coasted down gradually to Florida and cooed through the palms, slightly ruffling the long grasses and ferns. Emerging from this tropical copse I found myself on a long white beach, where I gently touched the wavelets giving them a little white majestic crest. But this was soon gone when they rolled to form the booming surf which the people like to play in. Hovering a while I watched them, ^railing at their playfulness, then I glimpsed a school of porpoises frolicking out in the bay. Joining them I dashed and splashed them till they dived for shelter in the cool green depths, sparkling though with the slanting sunrays. Finally I decided that I had had enough and so had they, so I left them becalmed.
Whipping out across the Atlantic I saw a small fishing trawler at work. I tried my capers on her, leaving her rudderless, then I whirled over to the hot, dry, dusty atmosphere of Morocco.
In the shimmering haze, I saw in the distance a white shiny oval-domed building which I took to be a Mohammedan Mosque. Sighing softly around the old world of camels and evil-looking Arabs I gently rustled the yellow sand and left them to their musty peace.
Next I passed sedately over the Red Sea and whistled through the tall Arabian palms where I still saw sand; blustering on I came to India. I like India. Whenever I blow there I always feel that what I see is new to me. As I flitted down a wide but untidy looking road I came upon a weird and mystic procession of Indians. On a lumbering grey and wrinkled old elephant was perched a lustrous howdah, richly hung with velvets, silks and many gold tassels. Between the rather amiable-looking animal's ears squatted a young Indian boy, so richly clad. He was gently goading the elephant with his feet which were tucked behind the animal's massive ears, the most tender part of an elephant: thus he was directed. On all sides similar elephants plodded but none so grand and pompous as this one.
Leaving this colourful but rather monotonous procession I turned to blow North-West, crossing hot Iran, mysterious Constantinople or as it is now called, Istanbul, the Black Sea. which I whipped to a restless frenzy, then I reached Austria.
Here in the mountains. I saw tiny cabins nestling under over hanging bluffs, spread-eagled forests with gigantic trees stretching skywards, ever up. Towering mountains with crevasses and abysses treacherously placed for the unwary traveller. I frolicked here in the world of heights, whistling through passes, howling through caves and black caverns, and I whirled the powdery snow into a panic-stricken frenzy.
From Austria I blew to Germany where I saw people having a different sort of fun, using apparatus provided by nature's weather, snow and ice. Skiers, tobogganers, skaters and climbers all enjoying themselves immensely. Giving them a helping puff I followed on to very foreign but picturesque France. Then I whipped white horses on the North Sea. I saw a liner ploughing through this now tossing commotion, unconscious of my existence as myself, but cursing me for my interference.
Well, I have flown around this now windswept world and have had some fun, now I think I shall whistle up to Scotland and settle on some wooded slope that is evergreen.
Whoosh ! ! !
Valerie ATTRILL, Form 3G.
The Malta Weaving Industry
The Malta Weaving Industry is situated in Rabat. It is very small compared with the English factories.
The first room we come to is the Winding Room, where each person has a frame made of cane with the skein of cotton round it and as the person winds it in, the frame goes faster. This cotton is for use on the looms the next day. Now we must leave this room for the next room.
Here we see the looms. Everyone is busily working. Some are throwing the shuttle, some are evenly tying up the threads. But we must realize this is very much slower than in England where it is done by machinery. The principle of weaving consists of two rows of cotton threads, one going up and one going down. The shuttle is sent through these two rows and then the heddle is banged down to keep the threads close. It is then that the rows of cotton threads change places and again the shuttle is shot through. This process continues and thus the pattern is made. Now we must leave the bustle of the room to go upstairs.
When we reach the top the first girls we see are the beginners working on the belts in the corridors. Our guide calls us away so we must leave.
The next room we visit is very fascinating. Inside are two big "Winders", one in use and one not. There is a girl sitting on steps gradually winding in the cotton from about ten reels on to the "Winder" and as the cotton is wound higher the girl steps higher on the steps. Alas! we must leave this interesting room to go into a yet bigger room where the teacloths and curtains are woven.
These are bigger looms than we saw in the previous room and instead of throwing the shuttle the girls pull a string which is tied on to the shuttle.
We see in the corner two who are not working. What are they doing? They are setting up the loom. They have nearly finished. It takes two women two whole days to set up a loom of this size. Every thread has to be tied separately.
We must now leave the weaving and go and visit the shop.
As we are going downstairs we hear the noise coming from the room where the looms are working. We don't want to leave this interesting building.
We have now reached the shop, the windows of which are filled with sweet little babies' pinafores and aprons, little animal egg-cosies and children's toys.
Inside the room is packed full of different articles. The first articles we see on the right as we walk round are the materials for the skirts, the bags, belts and purses which are of the same colour and pattern, woven on the looms we have just left. Then next on the shelves come the teacloths, serviettes, tablecloths, aprons, pinafores and on the bottom shelves are the animal egg-cosies and the children's bags.
Next come the children's toys and egg-cosies laid out on the table. Here is a pretty selection of lace hankies and mats.
The next we see are the bigger things such as the cushion covers, curtains, mats and lots of other goods
We have now worked all the way round the room and we have no more to see.
Our mistress now gets us in line and ready to go, and must leave this lovely place. But it will stay in our memory for a long time.
Diana BAKER, Form 4AJ
A Journey from Kohat to Peshawar in September, 1949
Kohat, in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, has always been a garrison township. It is situated in a pleasant well-irrigated little valley, surrounded by bleak, rugged mountains. The cantonment - that is, the area where the British and their families lived - is surrounded by barbed wire, and the gates, which are locked every night at 9 p.m., are closely guarded by armed sentries. The Pathans, the tribesmen who inhabit those dark mountains, have been known to raid Kohat cantonment at night, and carry off leading British officials or members of their families, holding them for ransom.
Forty miles away, over the mountains, lies Peshawar, the nearest large town, with better shopping facilities. One day we decided to visit Peshawar, and a Pakistani friend agreed to drive us there by car.
Leaving Kohat, and arriving at the foot of the mountains which are crossed by the Peshawar road, we passed a large notice board which read :- "You are now in Tribal Territory - Go carefully". The road was becoming very steep as we climbed upwards - it was very narrow in places, and twisted over and round the mountains. It is cut out of solid rock; on one side there are large rocks overhanging the road at dangerous angles , and on the other side a steep drop of several thousand feet. The tribesmen were forced to build this road, as a punishment, supervised by British engineers. Not so very long ago it was dangerous to venture off the road, for tribesmen, hidden among the rocks, would shoot. Even motor cars were always convoyed by armoured cars.
At last, we reached the top of this steep winding climb, feeling quite giddy, owing to the twisting and turning of the road. We came to a large fort, still maintained by the North West Frontier Province Police. We passed through an archway with iron gates, known as "Handy's Gates". A plaque stated that the gates were erected to the memory of an Englishman, Eric Charles Handyside, once Commandant of the North West Frontier Province Police, and famous for his daring encounters against tribesmen and outlaws. He was killed in action on May llth 1926, fighting tribesmen. Here we stopped awhile, feeling secure enough to stretch our legs and take . snapshots. Then we continued. The road had improved and was fairly straight, with a slight downward incline. The land on each side of the road was cultivated, and dotted with strong, fort-like houses, built of stone, with narrow windows, and a very high watch tower to each house.
We then approached a fair sized village, and noticed that each tribesman there carried his own gun. These arms are manufactured by hand, in this particular village, and are identical to the .303 rifle as used by the British Army. We sped on through the village, and did not stop! Along this road we noticed a few women, with proud bearing, carrying water pitchers on their heads. They looked straight ahead, and did not appear to notice us; tall, handsome and strong women, not dressed in purdah like the women of Kohat, for they need have no fear of their own tribespeople.
We came to the outskirts of Peshawar. Here another notice told us that we were "Out of Tribal Territory". We drove into the town, did our shopping, and prepared ourselves forr the journey back home to Kohat, through the Tribal Territory, and along that unforgettable winding road known as the Kohat Pass.
Jacqueline BILLS, Form 4G.
Learning to Roller-Skate
I began, skating on one skate from one bed-post to another. My parents made many rude remarks about my so-called skating.
At last, I managed to skate very well with one skate and. ambitious as ever, I put on my other skate and began struggling along on two. In between the two beds in case of accidents. I placed a mat. Miraculously I had only two falls and I did not hurt myself in either of these. It took me about one-third of the morning to learn to skate properly.
The next evening found me skating along the sea-front with some of my friends. We played trains down a hill, in and out of posts and had really good fun. Then we made arches and skated along whilst the other couples skated underneath. Whilst going underneath one of these arches, unluckily I tripped over one of the couple's feet and fell headlong, whilst my partner fell on top of me. I grazed my elbow and bruised my head but otherwise I was quite whole.
After many such episodes resulting in further interesting injuries to my person, eventually I mastered the intricate art of roller-skating.
Julie OWENS, Form 2AG.
One day at home during the summer holidays my friend and I decided to spend a day on a couple of farms.
Next day about seven o'clock in the morning we set out for Gillesfaulds, a raspberry farm near Cupar.,, We arrived, put our bikes against a wall and went in search of the farmer. After a time we found him issuing string, luggies and buckets. We collected our string, bucket and luggie, which is a small pail which you tie round your waist with the string and fill with berries. When it is full you empty its contents into the bucket. The farmer told us on which row we were to work.
Gillesfaulds is one of the largest fruit farms in Fife. It has more than a thousand rows of raspberry bushes and each row is about a quarter of a mile long. The bushes are planted in double rows separated by a thin wire fence. Between each pair of rows is a big platform at which you get your bucket weighed. The buckets are then emptied into barrels and sent to jam and dye factories.
We began to pick the berries as fast as we could, working with both hands. It is hard work because you have to clean every bush. The more berries you pick the more money you will receive. We worked on, singing and talking. Sometimes we had competitions to see who could get their luggies filled first.
After about two hours I had a bucket filled so I stopped work and took my bucket down to the platform to get it weighed. I was pleased to hear that my bucket weighed fourteen pounds and I received the sum of two and eight. I returned to my row and started to work again. By the end of the morning I had filled two more buckets. For them I received the sum of five and ten. My friend did well too.
After lunch we cycled to another farm where we met a few more friends. About one o'clock we started in the potato field. We each had a section of about seven feet to cover. It was much harder work than picking berries because you had to stoop all the time. You also had to pick hard there because the tractor never stopped. I shall never forget a certain potato which was rotten and had a large worm in it, and it always seemed to appear every little while.. We worked till five o'clock then we all piled into a lorry and tore back to the farm, washed under the farm tap and waited by the term-house door for our pay. The farmer gave us all five shillings which I thought was jolly good for four hours' work. We cycled home, had tea and went to the pictures and squandered some of our money!
Vivienne GUTHRIE, Form 2AG.
It was three o'clock on a cold wintry night in the heart of the country. Everywhere was silent, and we were sleeping, as people do sleep on a cold winter night, warm, among all that cold. Then there came a rapping at the door, a rapping that could not be denied. I got out of bed and went downstairs to open the door. There were three soldiers on the threshold and they informed me we were to move out of our house by morning, taking with us only what we could carry. Then they passed on to the next house. Immediately there was panic and confusion. The labourers got the farm cart ready to take mother (who was a cripple) and the children. After we were all settled, the farm cart set off with many other families to go to one of the big towns. After that we just wandered from town to town. We were refugees like hundreds and thousands of others.
Delphine SPENSLEY, Form 1G.
Riding to School
The way was long, the wind was cold, The handle bars I could not hold. Into my coat I popped my hands And put my feet where the basket stands
The fog was thick, I could not see, I nearly bumped into a tree.
A policeman whom I didn't see Came round the corner and saw me. "Come here at once, my lad,"he said, "Ride better or you'll be in bed." And ever since that windy day, I always ride the proper way.
Barbara SPARKES, Form 2AM.
The seaside is a lovely place.
With golden sands, on which we race.
There's a Punch and Judy by the sea,
There's lots of fun for you and me.
We sometimes swim upon the waves,
Or go exploring in the caves.
We sometimes make a paper boat,
We rig it up and watch it float.
And when it's time to go away,
We pack our things and wish to stay.
But now we have to say goodbye,
And sometimes we could almost cry.
Michael SHARP, Form 2AM.
Swimming Sports and Lifesaving
The Annual Swimming Sports were held as usual at the Fleet Bathing Centre, H.M.S. Ricasoli, on Thursday, 24th July. The usual large crowd of parents and friends watched a long programme of events, in which children from 8 to 18 took part. There was an exciting struggle for the House Championship. Drake started off very well indeed only to be overtaken by both White and Stephenson who fought out a close battle, White nearly being caught and finishing only one point ahead of Stephenson.
Diving, Standing and Running
(Boys under 14.5) 1. D. Wicks; 2. P. West and D. Cooper
Free Style (Girls under 12) Tal Handak 1. Ann Bradbury; 2.Carol Scott; 3. Judith Malpas
Free Style (Boys under 12) Tal Handak 1. D. Wicks; 2. E. Walton; 3. H. Brill-Edwards
Style (Girls under 12) Verdala
1. Merle Gahagan; 2.
3. Linda Page
Breast Stroke (Boys Open) 1. P. Baker; 2. P. Carr; 3. M. Livingstone
Free Style (Girls Open) 1. Prudence Morgan; 2. Ann Mitchell; 3. Elsie Roberts
Diving, Standing and Running (Girls under 14i)
1. Susan Southwood; 2. Carole Buick; 3. Wendy Cooke
Back Stroke (Boys Open) 1. M. Livingstone; 2. R. Allen; 3. J. Todd
Back Stroke (Boys under 14.5) 1. P. Emmitt; 2. P. Flynn; 3. W. Suckling
Breast Stroke (Girls Open) 1. Doreen Anderson; 2. Margaret Brill-Edwards; 3. Sheila Stocks
Breast Stroke (Girls under 14.5) 1. Jean Todd; 2. Sheila Stocks; 3. Margaret Brill-Edwards
Free Style (Boys Open) 1. M, Cooper; 2. P. Baker; 3. R. Allen
Diving (Boys Open) 1. M. Slater; 2. M. Cooper; 3. K. Bowen and A. Overton
Diving (Girls Open) 1. Sheila Stocks; 2. Pat Rhodes; 3. Prudence Morgan
Free Style (Boys under 14.5) 1. P. Emmitt; 2. C. Bowyer; 3. C. Turpin
Free Style (Girls under 144) 1. Ann Mitchell; 2. Wendy Cooke; 3. Elsie Roberts
Breast Stroke (Boys under 14J) 1. P. Baker; 2. P. Young; 3. G. Wood
Verdala (Under 10) 1. Drake; 2. Nelson; 3. Stephenson
Handak (Under 10) 1. White; 2. Drake 3. Nelson
Boys under 14.5 1. White; 2. Stephenson; 3. Nelson
Girls under 14| 1. Stephenson;2. White;3. Drake
Verdala (Open) 1, White; 2. Drake; 3. Stephenson
Boys (Open) 1. Stephenson; 2. White; 3. Drake
Girls (Open) 1. Stephenson; 2. White; 3. Drake
Boys 1. Handak
Girls 1. Verdala
Champion Girl Prudence Morgan
Champion Boy Michael Cooper
Life Saving Cup
1. Drake 132 points 2. Nelson 107 points 3. Stephenso 100 points 4. White 57 points
Overall House Championship
1. White 73 points 2. Stephenson72 points 3. Drake 57 points 4. Nelson 20 points
The prizes were presented by Mrs. A. R. Kennedy. They included a handsome cup for the Champion House. This has been most kindly presented by Instructor Captain H. S. Oracle, who had just left the island on completion of his appointment as F.I.O.
As usual the hard work in organising the sports fell on the school staff and we are most grateful to all who helped in training and in organising.
Again during the Summer term an immense amount of hard work was put in by Miss Leppard and Mr. Green in training children for the awards of the Royal Life Saving Society. Many thanks to them, to the Army for allowing us the use of St. George's Lido for training and to Dr. Cauchi Inglott for acting as examiner.
The awards won were more numerous than in 1951 and reflect great credit on all concerned. Space does not permit a full list, but the higher awards only .are included : —
Award of Merit (1) A. Overton
Bronze Cross and Bar to Bronze Medallion (6)
A. Overton, J. Todd, C. Syms, D. Wilson, Y. Stoneham, M. Kerr.
Scholar Instructors (3) C. Syms, D. Wilson, Y. Stoneham.
Bronze Medallion (22)
H. Ansell, S. Cooke, S. Buick, J. Burridge, A. Chandler. M. Starr, J. Lutman, V. Attrill, A. Bulbeck, H. Marriott. A. Mitchell, E.Roberts, J. Lyons. R. Fogden, M. Livingstone, K. Williams, I. Baldwin, R. Allen, M. Williams, K. Bowen, B. Humble, K. Livingstone.
In addition the following were awarded :-
31 Intermediate Certificates 31 Unigrip Certificates 19 Elementary Certificates
Rather belatedly we learn that we have won the Inter-Schools Life Saving Trophy for our successes in 1951, and we are hoping that the Trophy for 1952 will also come our way.
During the winter season the School has fielded two teams, one senior and one junior, against other schools on fourteen occasions. This rather full programme has meant the postponement of inter-house games until the end of the season.
Whilst not having covered ourselves with glory we need not hang our heads in shame because of the results of the inter-school games. The football has not been of a high standard but those boys who have turned out for the School have played manfully right up to the final whistle in each game, usually against teams with far more experience.
Three games were won, two drawn and nine lost.
This year, the Schools' Sports Association put on a friendly game, Schools v.
Colleges. Bull and Wilson are to be congratulated on having been selected to play for the Schools.
A game was organised between two teams captained by K. Livingstone and Plater, in order to discover if there were sufficient interest to warrant the game being played regularly. The forty odd enthusiasts who turned out proved conclusively that there was sufficient keeness and plans were made for more games. However, the following week saw the closing of all grounds. The season was over. It has been unanimously agreed to begin at the beginning of next season instead of waiting until two weeks from the end !
Cross Country Running
Training commenced early in October, with a burst of enthusiasm which lasted until Christmas and the unofficial inter-house competition, the results of which were : —
First Nelson 456 points
Second Drake 443 points
Third White 319 points
Fourth Stephenson 296 points
After this, only a few keen spirits maintained their interest and despite the approach of the Inter-House and Inter-Schools Championships, torpor was noticeable throughout the "School. Other School activities took up much time and interest during the following weeks, until long past the time when serious training should have started. As it was, teams consisted mainly of boys who had put in very little practice. It was unfortunate that in order to field the best teams, mediocre runners who had trained hard in some cases had to give place to better runners who had done nothing to improve their standard. A good thing to remember is that to be a good team member requires the maximum effort before as well as on the day of the race.
However, two good races were run in the Inter-House Championships on Wednesday. 26th February 1953. over the usual Senior and Junior courses. The going was rather slippery. but the first three men home all beat last year's best time. David McVey was first home in 20 minutes 54 seconds with John Mallon two seconds behind and Taffy Thomas a good third in 21 minutes 15 seconds The team results were : —
1. Nelson 26
2. White 31
3. Drake 39
4. Stephenson 60
The Juniors got off to a handicap start, in and out of manoeuvring buses. However this must have acted as a spur to Burden, who arrived home in the very fine time of 16 minutes 49 seconds. As the timekeepers were not expecting him until later in the afternoon his unexpected appearance caused them some surprise Fourteen seconds later the spectators were treated to a thrilling neck and neck finish by Bull and Noble, with Bull just getting home a fraction of a second ahead of Noble. The team results were : —
1 White 26
2 Nelson 30
3 Stephenson 36
4 Drake 52
The following Wednesday saw the School invaded by the visiting teams entered in the Inter-Schools Championships, and hordes of spectators^' The course had dried nicely after the rain and everything was set fair for a good day.
With 12 schools competing and many extra buses to block the way the races were run with surprisingly little chaos.
The Seniors went away first. Up to the half way mark Mallon and McVey were close on the heels of Schranz of St. Edward's, who led almost from the start. However, on the turn he put on pressure and gradually drew away to win in 19 mins. 46 sees. He ran a grand race and deserved the roar which greeted his arrival at the finish. Second and third were Calleja, (Technical) and Bonello (St. Aloysius). Then came Mallon our first man in, and his time was 20 mins. 18 sees., 36 seconds better than the time for the inter house competition. A few seconds later Thomas arrived in 8th place. The next three were a little longer in appearing. but when they did arrive they were bunched well at 20. 21 and 22. These were Humble. Cooper and McVev. Our final team placing was third with 53 points. First was St. Edward's with 25 points, second St. Aloysius 30 points.
The Juniors' start was in steeplechase style, across the Held and over the wall. Within hall a mile Burden had established a comfortable lead of about 40 yards, which he maintained comfortably, to come in first. Unfortunately, we have no record of his time, but the 16 mins. 5 secs, published by the "Times of Malta" could not have been far wrong. After Burden came two St. Edward's runners, Gialange and Bajada. Everyone was now on tiptoe, as with only the first four from each team to count, the next three or four men home were likely to decide the winning team. The next three did as a matter of fact decide the issue, being Reynolds, Noble and Palmer of School. This was really good running, but to cap it, all our team of 8 finished in the first 18, which is a very praiseworthy effort.
Trophies and medals were presented to the Juniors by Lady Creasy, whilst His Excellency the Governor made similar presentations to the Seniors.
School now holds the Junior, and we can live in hopes of winning the Senior Challenge Cup as well, next year.
The School XI have had a number of fixtures with various teams this season, including Naval and Sailors' Wives, but owing to strong opponents we were defeated quite considerably. The team played an interesting game against Lug a Ladies and after a good struggle won 5-4.
The girls showed enthusiasm and regularly turned up to practices and we hope that next year the team will be really successful in their matches and will continue to show their keeness in this sport.
There have been 3 netball matches this year. In the first, an away match for 1st and 2nd teams at the Sacred Heart Convent, both our teams were defeated. The second match was a home one for the first team against the Wrens and our team won easily. In the third match, when the Sacred Heart Convent's 1st team only visited us, our 1st team was again beaten by them.
There was quite a difference between writing this report and the last one. Last time it was difficult to find sufficient to put in as the Troop was "young". Now, the problem is what to leave out.
First and foremost, a word of welcome is due to Mr. A. Storm, our new scouter. During the war he saw service with the Royal Navy, and this experience should prove invaluable in the training of our Scouts. Talking of Scouts, the Troop is now 35 strong with 3 Scout Cords, 4 First Class and eleven Second Class Scouts. Of the holders of the Scout Cord, special mention must be made of Harry Brill-Edwards who, by sheer hard work and keeness, gained this award before his twelfth birthday. Well done Harry !
The first activities of the year began with our seniors being entertained aboard H.M. Minesweepers, by courtesy of Captain Kennedy, on their Second Summer Cruise. A fuller report of their stay in Italy will be found elsewhere in this magazine. There were also two camps, one at Tal Handaq and one at Luqa as *,he guests of Luqa Home Group.
Probably the greatest activity was the production of the Sea Scout Pantomime— 'Sinbad the Sailor' at Verdala. This was a great success and was thoroughly enjoyed by cast and audience alike.
Since its production, our efforts have been devoted to the "commissioning" of our latest acquisition, the Sea Scout Guardship H.M. M.L. 2882, now berthed in Lazaretto Creek. One dinghy has been fitted with an outboard motor and there are two other dinghies and a whaler available for rowing or sailing.
Saturday, February 14th, was a memorable occasion, as it was the date of the first Sea Scout 'Cag' in Malta, held at Fort Ricasoli. The 'Cag' opened with a visit to H.M.S. Eagle - the new aircraft carrier. How fitting it was too, to discover during a yarn around the camp fire that our host, Captain Gibbs, had been Chief Gunnery Officer aboard the H.M.S. Eagle which was sunk while on Malta Convoy work, after a glorious career.
Our future programme is a heavy one. There will be Island competitions in Scout-craft and Camping. Training in seaman-
ship begins in real earnest on March 7th. Admiralty recognition has been applied for and that means an inspection of the Troop. A high standard of efficiency is necessary to achieve recognition.
Before closing this review of the past few months, we must say how sorry we were to lose Mrs. Kennedy as the leader of our excellent Parents' Committee. In appreciation of her services here, she was awarded the Scouts "Thanks Badge", and our good wishes go with her, wherever she may be. We have a very worthy successor in Mrs. Turpin, and promise our wholehearted support in all her ventures.
Lastly we must say farewell to our Sea Scout Commissioner. Surgn. Lieut. Wyndham R. Davies, whose interest and enthusiasm have done so much to enhance Sea Scouting in Malta. Known so familiarly to all as 'Doc', he will be greatly missed from his place around the camp fire.
So much for the past. Now there's plenty of work ahead boys, so shoulders to the wheel and
GO TO IT Scouts.
The Brownie Pack has been maintained at full strength during the past year, despite the usual periodic loss of enthusiastic members to U.K.
The enthusiasm to pass tests has been at times overwhelming and a very high percentage of the Brownies have achieved the Second Class (Golden Bar) and First Class (Golden Hand) Badges.
A very entertaining time was had at Christmas when the Brownies attended several parties. We wish to thank the School Guide Company for inviting us to their party and for looking after their 'younger sisters' so well.
During the Easter Term a new pack has been formed at Verdala under the leadership of Miss Rowe. We wish them every success for the future.
Tawny Owl (Miss Jocelyn Cock) has been running the pack single handed since the departure of Brown Owl (Mrs. Roberts) at Easter. We hope a hew Brown Owl will be coming forward soon.
The 2nd Royal Naval School Wolf Cub Pack continues to meet every Wednesday afternoon at Verdala School and strength is being kept up to a steady 24 cubs.
The weeks during the Autumn term were given up entirely to First and Second Star work ending with a Treasure Hunt in the School grounds; the 'treasure' in this case being a box of sweets, which was greatly appreciated by the winner!
F.acvc meetings were not restarted until the end of January and one of the first activities was to decide on an entry for the Handicraft Exhibition to be held at scout I.H.Q. during the visit of the Travelling Scout Commissioner, Mr. Dahl. It was decided to attempt a model airport, and so a collection of cardboard, matchboxes, lollipop sticks, etc., began in earnest. Much good advice and interest was given to the Cubs in their project by Mr. Willsher and the culmination was a very much admired "Verdala Airport" at Scout H.Q. during the School's Easter holidays. A model aircraft and castle were also exhibited by Robert Peatman and Christopher Booth respectively.
The pack took part in a Grand Rally held at Floriana to welcome the Travelling Commissioner, and on the following Wednesday were honoured with ,a visit and inspection by Mr. Dahl, together with their brother pack from Tal Handak School and the Sea Scout Troop under Mr. Knight, our Group Scout Master.
On Sunday April 26th the pack took part in the annual St. George's Day service at St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral and afterwards in a parade and march past taken by the Governor's deputy, His Honour Mr. Trafford Smith.
With the summer months ahead it is hoped to organise outdoor activities including picnics, tracking and swimming parties.
Good Hunting Cubs. Akela.
We wish to thank all friends of, the School for their interest and support, and particularly the parents of guides for their forbearance on various occasions.
You will be interested to know that our numbers have doubled during the in two sections on separate days of the week. Since last summer 43 Guides have been enrolled and there are now 60 guides divided into 9 patrols. Strength does not however lie in numbers alone, but in achievement. Training has resulted in the gaining of one first class badge, 13 second class badges and 83 proficiency badges. We hope there will be camping this summer to provide more practical experience.
All Round Cords Heather Marriott 1st Class Badge - Heather Marriott
2nd Class Badge - Caroline Ansell, Hazel Ansell, Margaret Boyd, Patricia Cunliffe, Anne Dart, Eileen Henwood, Ann Lester, Heather Marriott, Jill Martin, Margaret Mayhew, Patricia Rhodes, Anne Sutherland, Helen Wakefield.
Alas the constant stream that carries our members away! Amongst the many whose departure we bewail are Susan Stoneham our Senior P.L., Margaret Davenport, Anne Dart and Patricia Rhodes who all served faithfully as Patrol Leaders. It is good to hear that all are continuing the good work in U.K.
We have earned a place for the School in many corporate guide activities on the island. At the Boxing Day outing to Verdala we won both the prizes: at the Easter outing to Ghajn Tuffeiha we again won two prizes; at the annual Guide Handiwork Exhibition. Anne Dart and Patricia Cunliffe won 1st prizes for Art: but we were sadly outclassed in other sections of the competition. A demonstration we gave at this exhibition on the meaning of The Trefoil was specially commended by the Island President.
To the Guides,
I should like to place on record a special word to you. For 10 months it has been my privilege to work with you. A few stalwarts have been with the Company all or most of that time: to your loyalty the Company owes a great deal. Some of the younger ones have seen later but older recruits arrive and eventually take senior places, this had to be, so that the Company might become a balanced unit, and I am glad of the sensible way everyone has reacted, and the real Guide spirit which has been shown. I must mention especially the unstinting work of the Patrol Leaders who have done so much in their own time to train and encourage their patrols.
My hope is that what you learn as Guides may be carried into your daily life. so that parents and teachers will find themselves saying "What a difference joining the Guides has made to you". You don't need to study the Guide Law for very long to know what sort of difference I mean! In that spirit I wish you
Good Luck and Good Guiding. Joan M. Crofts (Captain)
At the beginning of the school year the House had three main male additions, namely Evans, McVey and Bull. Evans was made House Captain and the House did very well under him. At Christmas, however, he left and we had to look to Bull for leadership. Drake's achievements are better this year, but we failed to earn a better reputation in the crosscountry. The Senior race saw McVey run a brilliant first place and a few places further back Humble arrived. Unfortunately the rest of the team was too far back to help in the Championship. In the Junior race Bull ran second but again there was not very good team work.
The football team has some very strong players. McVey and Miller (JJ) in the forward line, Bull at centre-half and Flynn in goal, formed quite a formidable block for the other houses, and nowhere in the team was there a real weakness. Early in the season we beat the other three houses quite easily. In the Championship matches we met White first and beat them without too much bother. Then without Sutherland and McVey and also with only nine players we lost to Stephenson. Finally when the team was without Bull we beat Nelson and drew for top place. A replay resulted in a draw and so Nelson won on a higher goal average.
Concerning Drake's hockey there has not been so much success as in football. We have lost both friendly matches, and the house match with Nelson, and have drawn with Stephenson and White. At the beginning of the season, bad weather and the loss of M. Davenport, P. Beamiss, A. Norman, M. Fyfe and J. Lutman have retarded progress in both hockey and netball. Nevertheless, we welcome Jane Skinner, who arrived at the beginning of the year, one of our main-stays in hockey and Christine Owen, Frances Buley and Carol Turner in netball.
Unfortunately the netball team has been unable to practise during many lunch breaks on Wednesdays owing to bad weather. This showed during the recent inter-house netball matches. Although the team managed to beat Nelson in the first match it lost both the other matches against Stephenson and White. With constant practice the team should do better next season.
Nelson House Notes
G. Cave (Captain)
K. Livingstone, J. Wilson. (Prefects)
Jennifer Cock (Captain)
Ann Henderson. Bridget Flinton.
After having been so successful in Athletics we were looking with keen interest to the Cricket House Matches. We lost all three of the friendly House Matches, and when we lost the first House Match to White our hopes of Championship honours seemed rather remote. However we succeeded in winning the other two matches and so became joint leaders with Stephen-son. In the replay we just managed to win by four runs after a very exciting finish. Our thanks are mainly due to Fewtrell who was top of the batting averages for the season and who did much towards dismissing Stephenson's batsmen.
Here again our hopes ran high, but on the actual day of the swimming Gala, five of our best swimmers were unable to take part. Our reserves swam very well, but we only managed to gain a few "thirds" and in the House Relays we were unplaced so that at the final count we were placed a very poor last.
At the beginning of the football season we started with practically a new team. In the Friendiy Matches it soon became apparent, that with Wilson leading the forward line, and Alder a tower of strength at back, that we had a very good team that was quickly setting down to play well together. Wilson, Alder, Cave and Livingstone were regular players in the Senior 1st XI and Thomas, Colwill and Nicholson in the Junior 1st XI.
In the House Matches for the Championship we easily won the first two matches but lost the last one against Drake. Drake had also won two matches so that meant a replay. This resulted in a draw even after extra time, but as we had a better goal average it was decided to award us the Championship.
For the first time for several years, we achieved and have maintained first place. At the moment we are only 40 points ahead of Drake, and we must make every endeavour to increase this lead in the Summer Term.
Practices have been very well attended, particularly by the younger members of the House. This shows great promise for the future and we hope that next year we shall be more successful than we were this year.
Keeness. turning up regularly for practice on Saturday mornings as well as a good deal of hard work by the team have shown excellent results. In the House Matches there was only one goal scored against us and we easily won all three matches. Looking forward to next year we are sorry to say goodbye to our Captain, Jennifer Cock, and to Yvonne Stoneham and Christine Howarth. We hope that the enthusiasm and keenness will remain so that we can retain the Championship next year.
Stephenson House Notes
Before this year's House notes are begun some mention must be made of last year's cricket and swimming.
We came second in last year's cricket competition, losing to Nelson by only three runs in a very exciting flnal match, and last year's team (most of whom have now left) had reason to feel satisfied with its performance.
We were equally unlucky in the swimming sports, but though we possessed no outstanding swimmer, we did well in team events. By winning several of these we managed to keep everyone guessing as to who the final winner would be - only to lose to White House, by the extremely narrow margin of one point.
With the advent of a new School year we welcome Lieutenant Blarney as a new House Master, and no doubt he will prove to be a great asset in the training in sports, which Stephenson badly needs.
The house football team has not done well this year, and we will probably be bottom of the table. The need for team training is sadly felt by our house team, and it is to be hoped that this fault will be remedied next season.
This year's inter-house cross country race did not bring any particular honours to Stephenson, as we gained fourth place in the Senior race and third in the Juniors.
However, Noble and Reynolds must be congratulated on being chosen to run for the Junior School Team in the inter-schools' race.
With regard to netball, of the three house matches played this term, we lost two, and won one. We lost 8-2 to White, 4-3 to Nelson, and beat Drake 7-3.
A certain section of Stephenson girls have shown keen interest in hockey this season, and despite the loss of last year's good players, such as Jean Elford, Rosemary Davenport and Ann Mitchell, we have done quite well. At the beginning of the season we played some friendly matches, but had the misfortune to lose Susan Stoneham (one of our best players) just before the real house matches began. However, in both cases fielding a depleted team, we managed to beat White 2-0, and draw 3-3 with Drake, having only nine players in this match! Well done Stephenson! As in football, the need for team training is evident.
Let us hope that there will be a brighter story to tell after next term's athletic and swimming sports, and remember the school motto Stephenson!
Meanwhile there is an opportunity for everyone in Stephenson to play his or her part in helping the house by working diligently throughout the term, and doing well in the exams. Let us see Stephenson at the top on the school mark board in the hall - not only top, but up to the top of the board !
White House Notes
The chief events to report in this number are of course the Swimming Sports and the Cricket. We succeeded in carrying off the Swimming Championship and the shield awarded was duly hung on the House Trophy Board.
The advent of cricket found the House .ready to meet all comers. It must be admitted, however, that we came third although we did defeat the 1st XI of the ultimate champions, Nelson. However a batting collapse in one of our matches sealed our fate. A number of our players played for the School Team. Among the more promising younger members of the team were Livingstone, an indispensable wicket-keeper, Bedford, a good if sometimes erratic opening batsman and who, as opening bowler, put the seal on many a batsman's hopes. Among the seniors Slater was invaluable as a change bowler and also a good batsman, whilst Cooper could also usually be relied on to push the score forward. One might ask how one House Captain fared, so, dispensing with modesty, 1 admit to making a few runs and taking a few wickets. All in all we had a sound team and the prospects for the coming season are quite bright.
We are now nearing the end of the football season but due to the demands made on the Houses for players for the School teams, we have been unable, so far, to play many full house games. The weather, too, has been adverse. Livingstone, Woodacre, Taylor, Slater and Mallon have played regularly for the School teams. Slater and Mallon captaining the 2nd and 1st Xl's respsctively.
In this year's Cross Country, our Junior Team won the trophy, Burden coming in flrsi, while the Senior Teams came in second to Nelson with the House Captain securing second place and Cooper fourth. Six members of the House were selected for the two School Teams in an Inter-School Cross Country Race.
This year has seen a number of changes in the House. The new sports master Mr. Lett, has been appointed to White House and on behalf of the House I should like to extend to him a hearty welcome with the hope that he will enjoy his stay with us. Already he has proved himself a valuable asset and with his help, in conjunction with other members of our staff. Mr. Colsell. Mrs. Cplsell, Miss Leppard, Miss Knowles (who is herself a welcome addition to White House and to whom the House likewise extends a hearty welcome) we hope at the end of this summer to be able to look back on a successful year.
We said goodbye at the end of last year to the Senior Girl Prefect in White House, Joan Hopkins, who has returned to England in order to take up Hotel Management as a career. We wish her all the best in her new venture. Another departure was that of Prudence Morgan who was likewise ,a valuable asset to the House and will always be remembered for her brilliant high jumping, swimming and diving. Yet another loss has been that of Pat Hughes, one of our star hockey players.
To replace these, however, we have a newcomer to the House, Shirley Deacon, who has shown herself fully capable of taking over the responsible position of Girl House Captain. Shirley is not really a newcomer as this is her second period at Tal Handaq, she having been here about four years ago.
One thing remains to be said and that is that some evil hand has removed the Cock from above our threshold and deposited it over Drake's doorway. We are unanimous in the opinion that without the cock our House looks unfurnished and we will endeavour to remedy this matter in the coming competitions.
Unfortunately this season our hockey has not been all it could have been, mainly due to lack of good team work. We had some good individuals, some of whom have now gone, but we did not have enough practice together to put up a really good show. For this reason we lost to Stephen-son 4-3 although we drew twice with them previously. To Nelson we lost 3-0 and to Drake. These games, however, were thoroughly enjoyable and could have been far worse but for the excellent work of our new goal keeper, J. Vine, VG.
In the netball world we have been far more successful, thanks to the help given us by Miss Knowles. Our practices every Friday have been enjoyable but hard; however it was worth that little extra effort to be able to beat Stephenson 8-2 and Nelson 4-1. We still have Drake to play, but we should not have much difficulty in obtaining that netball shield.
With the good individual hockey players we do have left next season and with a little more practice together we should be able to do as well in hockey then as we have in netball this season. Let us see if we cannot have both those shields next year!
Shirley Deacon. House Captain.