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RGS High Wycombe School Crest

Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe

Old School Photos 1958-1967

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27 December 2011: Over on the forum, I've started up a thread about RGS history. I do urge you to go and have a look. I've read the school history a couple of times and it's excellent, but time has moved on and modern technology gives us the ability to research history online in ways not dreamt of fifty years ago. I've started the ball rolling with a few items of my own and it would be great if others could contribute any snippets of RGS history they come across in their own family history researches or general internet surfing. (2020 note: I put a link into the forum here in 2011 but that has now gone. However, I shall be posting what I wrote back then on the website soon.)

22 December 2011: Roger Tone (RGS 1958-60) tentatively suggests E42 in the 1960 Senior School photo might be AJ Prosser 6S3. Can anyone corroborate? Thanks, Roger.

22 December 2011: John Heygate-Browne (RGS 1960-65) wrote in to identify some names. Firstly, the 1962 Senior School photo: AP Coniam 5SB (D91?), AW Jones 5SB (D83), AJ Frankland 5SB (E61), W Pitchford 5SB (E60), JW Plumridge 5SB (E67), HR Thomas 5SB (E69). And in the 1964 Senior School photo: AD (Tony) Low 6B1 (E37?), DJ Hughes 6S1 (C65). Thanks, John.

20 December 2011: Something rather off the wall - some 1960 O-Level and 1962 A-Level exam papers, sent to me by Martin King. Can be used either to demonstrate to your children or grandchildren just how hard exams were in the (not so) good old days, or perhaps to depress yourself with just how little you yourself are able to remember from that far off era.

19 December 2011: David Young (RGS 1961-64) points out an error in the 1962 Senior School photo. G10 is Tony Dobson of 5UY (and not Peter King 6T1 as had previously been shown). Many thanks, David.

19 December 2011: John Laurie (RGS 1960-66) has helped with some more identifications. In the 1965/66 Cross Country team photo, he identifies John Hudson (tentatively) and Clive Brown (definitely). In the 1964 Middle School photo: CS (Colin, not Chris) Smith 4SA (D14), RJ (Dick) Davis 5SB (G38), RC (Roy) Day 5A (D28), AK (Andy?) Leslie 5Y (F47), NJ Gilson 5Y (F46), RI ("Chubb") Andrews 5SB (G53), BC (Johnny) Johnston 5SB (D45), PR (Paul) Greeves 5SB (G64), DT (Davey) Payne 5SB (D57), TJ (Trevor) Allen 5Y (F70), IK (Ian, "Josh") Parker 5US (G69). Thanks, John. Some further info from John: "In the back row of that picture are Dennis Fowler (bass and vocals) and Tim Widdess (drums) and they with me, John Laurie (lead vocals), played in a band called 'Settee' with a couple of other guys (Batten and Slack and a girl called Sue Anicic) not from RGS for about six years after we left school. Brian Johnston was the roadie for us. Dennis has rheumatoid arthritis in his knees now and I haven’t seen Tim in a long time. Brian and I have remained good friends and he, plus wife, came to my step son’s wedding in Wisconsin recently."

19 December 2011: Tim Wakefield (RGS 1959-64) has supplied a couple of new names in the 1963/64 Rugby 4th XV photo (his brother David Wakefield and Nigel Hampton). Thanks, Tim.

19 December 2011: The Hon. Sec. of the Old Wycombiensians, Ian Clark, recently sent an appeal to Tony Hare and me in connection with the school's 450th anniversary in 2012. He is trying to increase the number of OWs that that the school is in contact with. 

19 December 2011: Derek Prior thinks B15 in the 1967 Senior School photo is probably Mons. C Place but definitely not Mons. Francois Bertaut as previously tentatively identified (he left some time before). Thanks, Derek.

22 October 2011: Peter R Brown (RGS 1954-61) wrote in to identify himself in two photos and also to comment on other identities. In the 1958 Senior School photo: PR (Peter) Brown 5A (D43). Next to him at D44 he thinks might be J Hudson 5A (D44). In the 1960 Senior School photo: M (Michael) Marlow 6S1 (F72), PR (Peter) Brown 6S1 (F75). Many thanks, Peter.

21 September 2011: I took a few photos at the RGS Old Boys' annual dinner on Saturday and you can now browse them here on the forum. If you join the forum (free registration), you will also be able to comment on the photos and correct any misidentifications I may have made. I have also started a thread where you can pay tribute to the late David Jones (see below). I am grateful to OWs who have already commented.

18 September 2011: I had the pleasure of attending the Old Boys' annual dinner last night at the school and met some old colleagues from my time at the school. I also enjoyed chatting with some OWs whom I had only had previous contact with via email whilst editing this website. Before the dinner began the current headmaster Roy Page had the doleful task of telling us some desperately sad news - David Jones passed away a few days ago. David (affectionately nicknamed 'Benny' by generations of RGS boys) had taught history at the school from 1958 until his retirement not so many years ago. He was quite simply one of the all-time greats of the RGS staff - a quiet, mild-mannered, good-humoured, dedicated man who inspired the respect and affection of everyone who came into contact with him and who was a hugely effective and successful teacher. His sphere of influence extended beyond the RGS: in the past few years I have met a couple of people from High Wycombe who had nothing to do with the RGS but who had somehow come into contact with David and fallen under his spell. David was legendary for keeping in contact with his former pupils and he forged lifelong friendships with hundreds of them. He will be greatly missed - R.I.P.

18 September 2011: Paul Rooke, who was a master at the RGS from 1967 into the 1970s, sent me an email confirming himself in the 1967 Senior School photo at B68. There has long since been a link to Paul's website on the links page.

29 August 2011: Malcolm Gibb (RGS 1958-64) wrote in to identify two names from the 1962 Senior School photo: J (John) Grieve 6B1 (D55) and ARO (Tony) Chapman 6B1 (D71). " John and I made contact with each other in January 2009, having not seen each other since 1965.  Something of a shock for both of us.  John is well and we are now in frequent contact.  Nobody appears to know the whereabouts of Tony Chapman, however. " Thanks, Malcolm.

26 July 2011: A former classmate of mine, Trevor Toms (RGS 1963-69), sent me a link to Revamped Jug Stompers - a reunion of a jug band formed at the RGS in 1967 by Trevor, Adrian Broadway (RGS 1962-69), Roger Martin-Fagg (RGS 1962-68) and others. Adrian and Trevor chanced to meet Roger a year so so back and got together for a session. You can see their photos and hear their music there. And here you can see this one from 1967, with Trevor, Adrian, Roger and some other RGS men with names given.


23 July 2011: Just for interest, I have posted a scan of my school report for the summer term of 1964. It features some hand-written comments by RGS legends such as 'Boss' Tucker and 'Taffy' Davies.

23 July 2011: I posted an item about famous ex-RGS rugby players Freddie Hawkins and Clive Ashby on the RGS Forum. Click on the link to read it.

16 July 2011: Paul Bentley (RGS 1957-62) wrote in to identify MR (Michael) Snodin 5UY at G40 in the 1962 Senior School photo. Thanks, Paul.

11 June 2011: Apologies for the long radio silence, which was down to work, holidaying and idleness (in no particular order). Normal service has been resumed, inspired by John Rundell (RGS 1960-67) and the formidable list of new identifications which he has submitted. In the 1962 Junior School photo: BA (Bruce) Rea-Taylor 3Y (E27), BP (Brian) Hills 3Y (B38), JE (John) Floyd 3Y (B41 - previously identified - JR has supplied forename), CE (Christopher) Clark 3Y (B43 - coincidentally, identified a few days ago by the man himself - see further down), and John is fairly sure that B40 is J(John) Alfred 3Y. Moving onto the 1964 Middle School photo: BA (Bruce) Rea-Taylor 5Y (F39), NP (Neil) Macklin 5Y (F42? - "most probably", says John), ADN (Andrew) Havard (F60 confirmed), CE (Christopher) Clark 5Y (F61 - though not identified by the man himself when he contacted me), BP Hills 5Y (F65 confirmed, forename corrected to "Brian), JE (John) Floyd 5Y (F66), JJ (Jeremy) Ward 5Y (F68 confirmed). Many thanks to John for all these names.

11 June 2011: I was googling for information on an old RGS friend Peter Marcan (RGS 1962-68) a few days ago and was desperately sad to learn that he had died nearly two years ago. The page I found was http://www.london-se1.co.uk/news/view/4018 and it seems he died in July 2009. I hadn't had any contact with Peter since he left school in about 1968, when he won a place at Jesus College, Oxford, to study German. He was, as the article indicates, very musical, and an accomplished violinist. His date of birth was 20 May 1951. I believe his parents ran a market garden near Little Marlow. I used to chat to him on the bus on the way back and forth to school. He seemed quite reserved until you got to know him but was very amiable and warm-hearted, and possessed of a brilliant mind. It is evident from the article that he put his considerable talents to good use in book publishing and in the Bermondsey area of London, and numerous references can be found to his publications on the web. R.I.P.

11 June 2011: Back in April, on the forum, I posted a notice of the death of eminent OW Peter Prior (1919-2011). His nephew Derek Prior (also an OW) has drawn my attention to the obituary in the Daily Telegraph. It is a very good read and I heartily commend it.

11 June 2011: Christopher Clark (RGS 1961-66) wrote in to identify himself in the 1962 Junior School photo: CE (Christopher) Clark 3Y (B43). Thanks, Christopher.

1 May 2011: I've put up my little collection of RGS chess team photos, to go with the photo of the 1967/68 1st team already supplied by Peter Burgoyne. Here they all are 1967/68 1st team1967/68 2nd team1968/69 1st team1969/70 1st team.

2 April 2011: Martin King again, with an identification of the same face in two different photos. In the 1960 Senior School photo: JM Goodchild 5X (C71). And in the 1962 Senior School photo: JM Goodchild 6S2 (H54). Thanks, Martin.

29 March 2011: Martin King has had another close look at the photos and come up with some new names. In the 1962 Senior School photo: PR Nixon 6S2 (H47), GD Jones 6M2 (H57). And in the 1958 Senior School photo: GD Jones 4X (A07). Thanks, Martin.

22 March 2011: Sheena Payne wrote in to tell me that her late husband David Payne (RGS 1955-62) is at D92 in the 1962 Senior School photo (he was in 6T1). Sorry to hear that he has passed away. Thanks, Sheena.

22 March 2011: Brian Russell (RGS 1958-65) wrote in to say that he had a spare RGS photo which he is prepared to let go to a good home: "I have a spare 'original' photo of the RGS Sixth Form in April 1964. It shows the name of the photographic company (Panora) in the lower right hand corner, and is complete with the RGS coat of arms in the centre, at the bottom. I would like to donate this to the school, or to anyone else interested." Please email me (JS) if anyone is interested in this and I'll forward your message to Brian.

14 March 2011: Some more names from Brian Harding in the 1958 Senior School photo: DB Coles 5Y (F05), MR Woodhouse 5U Shell (G53 confirmed), GM (Miles) Collinge 5U Shell (G63). Thanks, Brian.

13 March 2011: Brian Harding (RGS 1954-59) has just discovered our website and has identified a few faces (he's at F13 on section two of the 1958 Senior School photo and his other identifications are on there): JF Sadler 5S (F11), MF Turner 5Y (F22 confirmed), PD Bowen 5Y (F23 confirmed). Thanks, Brian.

4 March 2011: David Gostlow thinks (tentatively) that he has found AP Waite 5US at H51 in the 1964 Middle School photo. Thanks, David.

4 March 2011: I've just sent out one of my occasional email circulars to old boys who have written to me at this website or asked to be kept informed. If anyone would like to be put on this list, please let me know your email address and I will add it to the list. Also, there were six emails which 'bounced' (presumably because the people involved have changed their email address) - they were to Arthur Brough, Stephen Clark, Jonathan Everett, David Blythen, Alan Jones and Derek Sharp - if you wish to receive occasional circulars, please let me know your up-to-date email address.

4 March 2011: I had an email out of the blue the other day from the great-great-niece of PL ("Pilgy") Jones who was doing her family history. I was able to tell Jennifer that her relative was something of a legend at the RGS! I put her in touch with Tony Hare who has put up a very informative 'Pilgy' page with information about PLJ gleaned from Jennifer and others. I do urge you to have a look at it and also to get in touch with Tony if you have any stories about PLJ to pass on.

24 February 2011: Julian Capell has been back in touch to identify a couple of faces. In the 1960 Senior School photo: GD (Gareth) Jones 5X (B65). And in the 1962 Junior School photo: RP (Paul) Bullock 3A (E09). Thanks, Julian.

24 February 2011: Dr Andrew Tilling (1961-65) writes in from New Zealand to identify himself and a classmate. In the 1962 Senior School photo: AJ (Andrew) Tilling 5Z (B70), GS Field 5Z (B71). Thanks, Andrew.

24 February 2011: Long silence - been busy with work - Michael Storey (1960-61) wrote in to confirm his appearance on the 1960 Junior School photo at D13. Michael was in 2E and left the school at the end of his first year to move to Coventry. He knows another OW, Geoff Kemble. Thanks, Michael.

12 January 2011: Peter Burgoyne (RGS 1962-69) has sent (via Mark Rivlin) three photos of his form and sports team. Here is form 3SB from 1963/64. Some of the faces still need to be identified. Here is the 1967/68 Cross Country photo. Finally, the 1967/68 Chess 1st team photo. Many thanks to Peter.