News of past students: 1955

Keeping in touch – with the Alresford County Secondary School

The editors of the Alresford County Secondary School (aka, or later to become, Perin’s) magazine, Volume 4, in 1955, recorded that it was the second time that they had been able to publish news of previous pupils, following a circular sent out requesting this. They write:

“A number of you, like Alan Watmore, have found that leaving school hasn’t meant goodbye to books, blackboards and lessons. He is in the Royal Artillery band, and besides playing the violin and learning to play the clarinet, he is hoping to take the General Certificate of Education. Christopher Robinson is serving with the Royal Air Force near Wolverhampton.

Sheila Kirby, who is a secretary working in Basingstoke, writes:- “Just recently I was chosen by the firm to be on our Lansing Bagnall Ltd exhibition stand at Earls Court – at the largest mechanical and agricultural show in the world. It was great fun,” Valerie Hamilton, working at the Winchester Commercial School, has gained her Royal Society of Arts Advanced 1st class certificate for typing, so now takes a class of pupils in typing. Ann Springer is a shorthand typist in the Hampshire Executive Council, National Health Office, Winchester. She may correspond with you if you have any complaints to make about your false teeth or spectacles!

Also engaged in office work are Shirley King, Ann Tee, Ann Bennett, Iris Giles. Ann Bennett enjoys her work and adds: “The days seem to fly by, but it seems rather strange not having so many holidays.” Shirley King’s first impression of an office was not a favourable one, but she has settled down to it now, and can recommend it to any boy or girl. Ann Tee is awaiting the result of a typing exam, so good luck Ann!

Pamela Hurn writes that she is a shorthand typist at the Alton Urban District Council, and she enjoys the work tremendously. She is now taking the advanced typing exam of the Royal Society of Arts. Good luck Pam!

Working on the land

We have heard from a number of people who are working on the land. Wilfred Joyce is farming. James Smith is a tractor driver. Roger Earp is a gamekeeper. Raymond White writes: “I shall always remember my first day on the farm, getting up at 6am, waiting for my first order – stone pickling. I was at that job all the first week and didn’t my back ache!”

Kenneth Stribling has put his comments about farming in verse, which we had to cut short:

I get up every morning

When mother gives the warning,

Then off to work I have to go

Just as the cocks begin to crow.

The spuds are all growing

The mangolds need hoeing,

There’s the harvest to be done,

So we’re hoping for more sun.

John Etheridge tells us: “In the eighteen months since I left school I have reared nearly 200 claves and I have just achieved my ambition by winning two prizes at the Royal Counties Show.” Diana Forcey looks after 18-30 calves. Stephen Simmons is doing agricultural engineering.

Most of us think that a bad egg is just a bad egg, but Ann Buckman knows that twenty-one different things can be wrong with it. She is an egg packer and candler and adds: “Candling is a process where the egg is held against a bright light, and this enables any fault to be detected.”

Other occupations

Margaret Shaw has now completed nine months of nursing experience. Now she is in the children’s ward, and finds herself reading stories to her patients from morning till night. Maureen Giles too, is at Alton Hospital. Mary Jennings is completing her last term at the pre-nursing department of the Technical College in Southampton. Evelyn and Margaret Underwood are working at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital.

Maud Cain finds interest and variety in dismantling old vehicles and steam engines. She is a metal sorter. Noel Trimmer is at Vickers-Armstrong. He is serving an apprenticeship as an aircraft fitter. Gerald Cornforth is an apprentice painter and decorator.

Owen Philpott has a thirst quenching job bottling beer in the Courage brewery. Raymond Davis is an estate carpenter, Yvonne Read hopes to begin her training in hairdressing at Christmas. Ann Laidlaw is still at the Winchester School of Art. We have also news from Shirley Brown, who is doing domestic work, Alexander Meek, and Alan Harmer. Alan is a bricklayer’s improver.

Best wishes to all old students!

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