Norwich House 1972
5th row: Ralph Purvis, Philip Legrove, Patrick Dawson, Hughie Alston (must've been on his knees - wasn't that short), John "Andy" Crawford, Simon "D'Abbot" Abbott, Jimmie Alston, Phil Dawson, Simon Marfleet, Graham "Tickle" Hitchcock, Vince Ball, Glen Barry, Christopher J. Wigby
4th row: NK, Neil "Jim" Christie, Adrian "Wiz" Wisbey, The legendary Jonathan Rump, Bob Pinkett, NK, Adrian "Urch" Church, Mike Sadd, Steven "Hornbill" Nugus, Glenn Bradley, NK, NK, Adrian "Glob" Gleadhill, Mitchell "Mitch" Brooks
3rd row (standing): John Churchward, NK, NK, Robin Marfleet, Jeffrey "Jiff" Kew, Steve Pegg, David "Dickie"--The Golden Plonker--Bird, David "Spock" Scotton, Bob Hopkin, NK, NK
2nd row (seated): NK, NK, Janet "Buster" Warren (Matron), John "Tank" Wilson, Frank Laughton ('Colonel Ping'), Roger "Larry" Noble (Housemaster), Eileen Noble, John Harradine, Alan Metters, Mr. John Pountain, Kevin Hathaway, NK
Front: Guy Edward Wilmshurst-Smith (Wilbur), Robert "Ding" Golding, Mark Newman, John "Wedding" Skene, Michael "Pluto" Carroll, Matthew Paines
The person giving the appropriate 'V' - sign treatment was a gentle, totally non-conformist giant by the name of Vince Ball. A likeable soul, who, it seemed, would get bollocked by Gink (malevolent Trotskyite Housemaster of Peel and subsequently Kett - if he had it in for you; you were screwed) who seemed like he had it in for poor ol' Vince.
Vince and girlfriend, Chris Harding, along with Adrian Church ('Urch) and another oft-misunderstood, and troubled one-of-a-kind, 'legendary' figure, Jonathan Rump (Paul Weller look-alike, who, half the time, used to go around mumbling in a seemingly surreal fog, 'I'm Dil the Dog, I do my knitting') were all suspended just before their 'O' Levels in 1973 for assorted sexual misdemeanours - I think condoms were discovered or something like that. But the underlying reason, I suspect, had more to do with non-conformity.
I loved Wymondham and have so many fond memories of a wonderful place in many ways, but sadly, it tended to suppress people like Vince Ball who never quite fitted in.
[one of those] ... involved in the 'sexual misdemeanours' incident .... was hauled up for masturbating into a condom (which was reused) in the local church as I remember. One has to be that young to be able to get excited in that particular environment.
Adrian Gleadhill ... introduced me to the delights of sarcasm when the day and boarding schools amalgamated.
Stewart Wigg (1969-76)
Certain of those on the photo will live in my memory forever:
Andy Crawford and Simon Abbott were the 7th years on our landing as "Hebes." Both were essentially good blokes and could have been a lot nastier than they were. Simon Abbott was "The Enforcer" of the two, but even he dished the abundance of "bops" that he did, more it seemed, as an obligation rather than as if he took great pleasure in the exercise. Andy didn't have a malevolent bone in his body.
Glen Barry, who was a member of the notorious "54 Knife" along with the likes of Jimmy Ditch and Neil O'Shea, was probably the hardest on us Hebes. Underneath it all I think there was probably a really nice guy there, but he did seem to take rather sadistic pleasure in the meting out of the obligatory aggro and grief.
Mike Sadd was a ridiculously good-looking, larger-than-life figure who crafted some of the most absurdly inspired nicknames which always seemed to have a brilliant visual component. Yet my lasting memory of Mike was a 20 yard majestic slide across the dining room floor with blakey-heeled brogues which came to grief (literally) as he plunged into the oncoming malevolent bark of Chris "Gink" Sayer, our housemaster at the time, at the double doors. "Saaaaaaaaddd!!!!!! In my office, now!!!!!" came the blood-curdling roar that will stay with me as long as I live.
Chris Wigby had probably the broadest Norfolk accent I can recall, and a pair of legs as though he had lived his entire life on a horse. He was Mike Sadd's side-kick and came up with some brilliantly convoluted nicknames of his own. He was really very genial and constantly made us laugh. He would have made a great Wurzel Gummidge if Jon Pertwee hadn't been available.
Everything in those days was interlaced with sarcasm. But it really didn't appear to be the lowest form of wit when practised by the likes of John Rump, Mike Sadd, Adrian Church, Chris Wigby et. al. Or perhaps it was just that we were hapless Hebes who found the slightest things amusing.
Probably the person I adored more than anyone; was David "The Golden Plonker" Bird. This despite the fact that he walloped me mercilessly on the backside, with a cricket stump one day. "Dickie" along with Nigel Chalk (Fry) and Rich Lund (Cavell) was an urbane and sartorially elegant legend. His flair was in his understated outrageousness. Exemplified by what he did with lipstick to certain parts of XXXXXX (a real hottie) anatomy [edited to prevent a lady's embarrassment - Ed.]. Bob Hoskins performed the same manoeuvre several years later with Cheryl Campbell in what became a legendary scene in the TV series, "Pennies From Heaven." Dickie Bird, as many could testify, was simply years ahead of his time!
There appear to be a number of people missing from the photo who should be there from the fifth year. Perhaps they had gone home after O levels. Those who come to mind are Giles Bignold, Dudley Christie, Alan Close and Steven Shayes.
The "unknown" member of staff alongside John Pountain, is Alan Metters who joined the staff in 1968 to teach History. I started at CGS at the same time and I believe he was still on the staff when I left at Christmas 1972.
Dorothy Pymer (nee Mann) - Maths department
I taught at the County Grammar School and Wymondham College from 1968 to 1972, 'cutting my teeth' in teaching so-to-speak, as it was my first job in the profession. From Wymondham I went on to Norwich City College, where I stayed until 2003.
A feature in the EDP prompted me to look at the website and the gallery of old photographs brought back many memories. I think I can help with the identification of some of the 'not knowns', where I see that my own identity has now been more firmly established!
The person sitting to my right is Joan Harradine, who taught Physics. The person to his right, next to the housemaster Roger Noble, is Roger's wife Eileen. Roger incidentially returned to Norfolk after his retirement, and so did John Wilson, who is also in the picture and with whom I still have occasional contact. And the student sitting to the left of John Pountain (who is still active in the Christian ministry at St Peter Mancroft Church in Norwich) is Kevin Hathaway, an accompllished musician who is still a percussionist in one off the major London orchestras and, I believe, a professor at either the Royal Academy of Music or the Royal College. I have bumped into him from time to time too.
Contents The Gallery Houses - 1970s Norwich (1972)