Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe - 1970 Classical Sixth

Back Row: RPJ (Richard) Staynor, JWR (Jon) Walne, ML (Mike) Hamblin, JM (James) Stonham, PMJ (Peter) Costello, RS (Richard) Lloyd
Middle row: MC (Malcolm) Parfitt, RB (Richard) Simons, DJ (David) Sheridan, AH (Andy) Le Vien, G (Greg) Campbell, AD (Andy) Whittle, I (Ian) Johnson
Front Row: JC (John) Saunders, Mr H R (Harry) Holt, Mr F N (Neil, "Fenners") Cooper, Mr M P (Malcolm) Smith (headmaster), Mr C M (Kit) Haworth, Mr I R (Ian) Clark, Mr P A (Pat) Taylor, SE (Simon) Jones.

I was delighted to discover the existence of this photograph at the 2011 Old Boys' Dinner. Previously I had read of the tradition whereby a photo was taken of the Classical Sixth Form every ten years, and had seen the famous 1961 photo which included the school's one and only girl pupil Helena Ellis (see page 79 of the book by John Mitchell). At the dinner, two old friends David Stevenson and John Tiller surprised me when they told me they had seen me in a photo on the wall of the corridor leading into the Queen's Hall. I was completely oblivious as to its existence, thinking I must have missed out on the tradition. After the dinner I wrote to Isabella Eastham and asked her to get me a copy for the website and I am extremely grateful to her for going to the considerable trouble of getting a scan made of it. Also, to David and John for being eagle-eyed enough to spot it on the wall. I am also very proud that my visage still hangs on the wall at the school to this day!

The Classical Sixth, as we were known, were always brigaded together in the one classroom, given our small number, although we were all at different stages in our education and attended different lessons. At the time of this photo (between September and December 1970) I was in the 4th year of my time in the sixth form, hence my form designation '6C4'. At that time I was studying for Oxbridge entrance exams and attended classes with the eight pupils who were in the third year ('6C3'), five of whom were actually older than me. They too were for the most part engaged on Oxbridge entrance work, namely Peter Costello, Ian Johnson, Simon Jones, Malcolm Parfitt, Richard Simons, Richard Staynor, James Stonham and Jonathan Walne. The second years ('6C2'), Mike Hamblin and Andy Le Vien, would have been working towards their A-Levels in the following summer. The first years ('6C1') had just embarked on their sixth form studies; they were Greg Campbell, Richard Lloyd, David Sheridan and Andy Whittle. (My thanks to Richard Lloyd for identifying his classmate as Greg.)

The photo must have been taken during the Autumn Term of 1970 as I (and several of the other senior boys) left at Christmas after the conclusion of the Oxbridge entrance process. Open scholarships were awarded to Peter Costello (Brasenose, Oxford) and Simon Jones (Balliol, Oxford) while Ian Johnson (Brasenose, Oxford), Richard Simons (Exeter, Oxford), Richard Staynor (Oriel, Oxford) and I (Selwyn, Cambridge) achieved places. Jon Walne (Jesus, Oxford) followed a year later.

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