On 11 July, 2008 five Old Thorntonians (OTs) who had been evacuated with their school to Chichester from Clapham, London, in 1939 paid a day’s visit to the High School for Boys. (The Old Thorntonians Association had been re-formed two years earlier, and both Ron Martin and Graham Fielder (OCs Secretary and Treasurer) had helped them in setting things up.)
The visit had been arranged by Ron Martin and John Child, then Deputy Head, in conjunction with OT Terry Sharp. They were met at the school by eight Old Cicestrians, and John Child had kindly provided coffee, tea and biscuits as a welcome. The group viewed the new sports hall and the group then had, especially for the visitors, a “memory lane” trip through the old school buildings. They were delighted to have had the opportunity of recalling such remarkable former times, and were most grateful for the arrangements made for their visit. Afterwards some enjoyed a convivial lunch in Chichester.
A second party of nine of OTs visited the school on 8 October, 2009 as shown in the photograph below. They were (L-R): Geoff Ainsworth (1940-3); Peter Lawson (1936-41); Keith Weston (1936-43); Terry Sharp (1938-45); Monty Clarkson (1935-42); Doug Ward (1938-45); Harry Spence, OBE (1940-4); Les Garrett (1938-42); Don Appelbe (1938-43).
This visit also attracted the attention of the local press, as evidenced by this cutting from the Chichester Observer. As indicated, the host on this occasion was Richard Porter, Year 8 Learning Director. (The OTs’ names are listed correctly, apart from Keith Weston’s, spelt “Watson”, but randomly.)
Ted Hayward, Secretary of the OTA (www.oldthorntoniansclapham.org.uk), continues to keep in touch with our Association and we exchange newsletters from time to time. See also the Links page.