In full flow...........talks of "pleasant memories and a freedom gone forever....................."
My brother Laurence (1937-1941) and sister Maureen (1940-1943) both preceded me at the School. Maureen recalls Ronnie Abigail well.
My first memory is a visit to Richmond Hospital for the removal of a piece of school chalk that was firmly wedged up my nose. My sister was brought from the the top class to take me. My second memory is another visit to the same hospital for 5 stitches over my left eye after I hit the boys' lavatory wall at high speed during a game of 'chaino or release'
Pea-souper fogs were very prevalent during those early years and I can remember the conductor of a 65 walking in front of it in Kew Road.....it was that thick. Recall also summons up the small businesses under the arches of Kew Bridge and one in particular that made and painted toy bricks of all shapes and sizes, some of which were dumped outside, avidly collected by us young scavengers. I absolutely detested milk at break times and avoided it like the plague. I also recall tearing up and throwing away the permission note for me to have the diphtheria jab. I was terrified but did succumb to the polio-dosed sugar knob later.
Lessons are pretty vague yet I can remember lots of labels from tins of fruit from all over the world and thinking how fantastic they were. I was very fond of Geography and History intrigued me also, especially at Kew, when after a project, a boy or boys in collaboration with one called Michael Barrett (very quiet and studious) came up with the place at Brentford where one of the Caesars and Roman infantry forded the river: whether or not that was why Brentford got its name, I do not know.
Football always took precedence over everything in those early days and I can still remember playing on Kew Green after the shelters had been filled in, carrying the goal posts across from the school. I can remember the majority of the lads who played, Barry and Victor Humphries, Alan Wicks (we used to play table tennis at his house in Mortlake Road next to the car factory - Dodge, I believe), the Hornsby brothers, Graham Tooth, Brian Abigail (he lived alongside the towpath and our parents were great friends, Hugh Williams, I think, Hugh Colley (not sure), David (Taffy later) Richardson. The only one I'm not sure of is sitting at the end of the centre row in the photograph. He must have been from a lower class. Was his name Mann..?
I still support the 'Gooners' (Arsenal).
I can remember having to walk to and from school and home to dinner! (it must have been 1 1/2 miles one way) with a boy from our road (Windsor) called Raymond Monger and his two young twin brothers, Ronnie and Alan. Alan, I recall suffered from bad sinuses or similar and prior to setting off, had to have his nostrils cleared . His elder brother was a wonderful storyteller and kept us entranced all the way to school.
I was also a passenger on the school dinner van if I could get down to St. Luke's School in time as did David Richardson.
Newens, the cake shop in Kew Road is already mentioned in the extract from David Richardson's Mr. Jones From London Town and we took refuge there sometimes when the sirens went......and there were always a few cakes over from the day before.
I also remember Michael Buckley. He came from East London to Priory Road and we were great pals. I went back with him to the East End one week-end on the Tube and met lots of his family living in tight knit 2 up 2 down terraced houses that fronted onto the pavement..something like parts of Kew near the school..but more intense with the local pub at the end of the road. I remember him going into the Merchant Navy and learning to play the clarinet.
With doubt the cleverest boy in our class was Anthony Pearson (he went to Shene Grammar at the same time as myself and David Richardson) and shone there too. He had a younger brother who was very academic also. Harry Martens also comes to mind and he went to Shene as well. I also recall Ronnie Howe.
I also sadly remember the accidental death of Jean Campbell who was unfortunately hit by a car after running out from behind a bus. Her father was the Curator of Kew Gardens, I believe.
Mrs Douglas is well remembered for her expertise with her ruler and tongue. She announced in class those children that had passed their 11-plus. Mine was the last name read out and she said with disdain...."and with just 100 marks, Peter Casey!" I didn't even want to go to the blooming school. All my mates were going to Gainsborough School, just one road away from my house. But I had to go all the way to Sheen. Anyway, at the time my Mum was chuffed. So it was a good result but I've never been exactly thankful to Mrs Douglas.
I can also remember Arthur Williams, a fellow cyclist in later years and an apprentice boat builder at Richmond Bridge who had a lovely mum who was possibly disabled. Arthur was a really nice bloke.
I also recall playing tea-chest bass at a 'do' at the Hotel at the foot of Kew Bridge with Arthur and Michael Goodchild, who if I remember correctly was the boyfriend of Manya Hughes. I think his family were connected to Flanagan and Allen but I can't say how.
Other children who spring to mind are Dorothy Dudley, Joyce Cooper, Peter Middleton, Johnny Collett, Brenda Murphy, Keith Lambeth (a decent cricketer), Brian Austin, Brian Caswell and the Humphries brothers. Also June and Teddy Cronk (good athletes, I remember).
I can also recall going home to dinner one day and, as we reached the traffic lights at Kew/Mortlake Road, we saw American solders absolutely immaculate in white helmets, gaiters and gloves marching along Kew Road to take up residence at the POW camp in Mortlake Road. Many a piece of sugar candy was scrounged from the friendly GIs.
I suppose, all in all, it was quite an idyllic childhood, loads to do, very little danger, many places to explore, including Kew Gardens, the 'ha ha' stream alongside the river, Richmond Park and Sheen Common, North Sheen Rec.... and even a cycle track near the Chertsey Road bridge which was absolutely fantastic.
There was a bus terminus on Kew Green adjacent to Gloucester Road: where they came from or went to totally escapes me but I can remember collecting the spent tickets while the driver and conductor were having a cuppa in the cafe opposite in a parade of shops. There was also a 'Tardis' on the corner.................
I have enjoyed composing a snapshot of my memories of King's School, Kew and hope they will stir memories in others.
Editor's Note: Peter took exception to the editing of his contributions and to my own reminiscences which included a reference to him to which he took offence and which was quickly removed from this page. To set the record straight his reactions, by e-mail, are included here: Any offence is much regretted and was unintended.
YOU'VE LOST THE PLOT!
Many thanks for the long-awaited reply, albeit a conglomeration of ignominious, puerile diarrhoea.
You have no idea of my style 50 or so years ago or now, and until my sister mentioned your name a few years back, I had never given you a second thought, and neither did I after your name was mentioned. You appear to have been the one that has garnered your own self-doubt and loathing, harbouring innocuous childhood memories that seem to have eaten away at you like a cancer all this time. So sad.
I am sorry that you found my childhood memories so crass, or crap as you put it, that you deemed it necessary to alter them so severely, but they were and still are a true reflection of those early years of my life as I remember them, or the were until you bastardised them.
I am sure that the "Michael Barretts and Peter Penneys" of our con-joined early years appreciate your efforts, but that's all it is, appreciation! Don't get carried away, and above all, keep it true, otherwise you'll incur other people's wrath , as you have incurred mine.
Should you wish to print any of the following, please feel free, as long as you don't edit it or sanitise it in any way, shape or form, to your own way of thinking.
Memo to the King's School, Kew website, from PJCasey
I have taken umbrage at the way in which the editor of this website has altered beyond recognition my early memories of those years spent at King's, and he has given me permission to state my case.
Free speech in a democracy, as long as it isn't libellous, is everyone's gift in this country, surely? I don't think that anything that I said in those memories was insulting, made up or lies. I happened to mention that a boy called Harold Maartens, in my opinion, was the most obnoxious boy in the school; I also said that Miss Douglas was, again as far as I was concerned, a nasty, spiteful and vindictive person. These are but two examples of how I saw things then, and as you can read on the site, how they were "sanitised", as the editor put it to me in an e-mail. To my way of thinking, he made my notes very bland, uninteresting and wrong. If you have read the extract from "Mr Jones goes to London Town" you will have noticed that the editor takes time out to castigate me as some little bully, his nemesis as it were, feeling quite free to say just what he wants, yet when it comes to my turn, my thoughts are edited.
Websites on old school history, or anything else for that matter, are fine, and are obviously appreciated by many others, notwithstanding myself, reaching their latter years and having time to surf the net and reminisce.
I am afraid though, that when someone such as our revered editor spouts on about "skippering the football team from centre forward" (How egotistical can you get?), apologises for trying to look up Ms Douglas' skirt, excusing himself for only being seven or eight years old, and then preaching to me about his mastery of the English language (so fine and eloquent that it would appear only foreign students learning English parrot-fashion can understand him), steam begins to rise and I get rather annoyed, that he's had the audacity to question my motives for attacking him personally. This banter isn't about some long-
held childhood grudge you've resurrected or held for so long, or one that you think I've held, it's about principle. So, do the right thing, and apologise, in print.
PS Look out on the 27th April, I might just pop in and bite yer bum!From: Peter CaseyTo: David RichardsonSent:
Friday, March 17, 2006 7:59 PMSubject:
RTT. . . Faux pas, par excellence!
Oh dear! The"skipper" cannot remember the names of his team. How embarrassing! What will the Society think? Not only that, he gets Kings School mixed up with Queens School in the photograph caption, notwithstanding the date and address.
Let's give you a clue, Mr Jones. Victor Humphries was our centre half, pictured in the back row next to his brother, Pat. The other lad was from a class below ours and a young gun, brought in to bolster our weak centre forward!
I must say, I'm extremely disappointed in the non-response from you. It does seem to confirm my earlier thoughts that you are as ignoble now as then.
Criticism and home truths are hard to bear, but we all have to swallow sometimes. Let's hope they keep a welcome in the hillsides for you. I can't see anyone else waiting for you when you step down from the train. Is this adieu, mon brave?