The Two David Vincents

The Two David Vincents

Just to clear up any confusion we received this from the surviving David Vincent:


Reading through the list of Absent Friends is a somewhat sobering experience, but particularly so when you read what appears to be your own name. An old school friend of mine emailed me last year to check that I was still in the ‘land of the living’ because he had seen my name listed amongst those no longer with us.

It appears that, in the 1950s, another David Vincent attended Cray Valley and, for anyone who might remember me at the school from 1960 to 1965, I can confirm that I am (for the time being at least) still here!

Whether you remember me or not, Happy New Year.

David Vincent

Email David HERE

Article by J C Kingsland – 1949

What incredible vision our headmaster John C Kingsland CBE had? When he was headmaster at Beckenham County Technical School he wrote this article which comes to us courtesy of Andrew Baxter who sent it to us today:



You can get the pdf direct by clicking HERE



Faces from Beckenham Tech – 1948 and 1954

School Photographs from 1948 and 1954

Thanks to Andrew Baxter for submitting these photographs of Beckenham Technical School where there are least three recognisable faces!

Just as we were getting to grips with 2018, someone comes along and changes it to 2019.

We’ve all enjoyed the website, great content, and good to see what old friends like Stan Bond are doing. Sounds like he is doing very well over in America and I bet he thinks of his old school with a fair bit of nostalgia.

Talking of old schools, here are two clips from Beckenham Technical School for the years 1948 and 1954 which came to me via Bob Kingsland.  Who does anyone recognise? I dug these out after looking at Mr Alan Marshall’s post on the blog. Wasn’t that good, a lovely contribution? These clips are from those long school photos of his old school.

Beckenham Technical School 1948

Beckenham Technical School 1954

I think these photographs should really be in the archive unit at Bromley, where all our old photographs are kept. Do you know if they have a Beckenham Technical School archive there? Our archivists might know? I’m sure Bob Kingsland won’t mind if these are sent there. (Ed. Archive committee please note).


I am sure Mr Marshall will chuckle his socks off to see himself and his mates and masters from all those years ago when he takes a look at these photos.

Best wishes

Andrew Baxter

Film Archive 2019

A Happy New Year

Another year passes and the website and blog are already well into our 18th year online. Jan and I would like to wish every one of our loyal supporters a truly Happy New Year and above all a healthy one.

New Film Archive


You will remember from a blog post earlier in the year that the website is now ‘frozen’ and we are in the process of transferring some of its archival material to this blog. The links in the website Film Archive will no longer work but today I am pleased to report that the whole of the Archive is now contained within this blog and can be accessed through the menu at the top of this page or by clicking HERE. Do take a look and let us know if you recognise yourself in one of the school trips and please can you let us have any ‘movie’ material you may still have which we can add to the Archive.

2019 Register

As from today, the Register has been reset for 2019 and as always is looking for new contacts. We now have over 400 old boys on the Register, their current towns and countries of residence and in most cases their email addresses so you can easily get in contact with old school pals. Please remember that if you change your details, especially your email address, do let us know so that the Register can be updated.


Christmas 1959 – Richard Beer

Hi Colin

We are having a ‘clear-out’ in advance of building works in the house and
along with my original school cap, tie and CVTSCC hat, I found the attached
programme for the 1959 Christmas Concert.

Not sure whether you already have the attached in the image archive?

However, it is notable that you have, in distant 1959, already crossed the
trans/drag/panto boundary by performing as one ‘Nell Bracegirdle’, the
Colonel’s daughter!

Come out, I dare you, (said in jest, of course, I’m sure you can handle that.)

Equally notable is the Interval of “(5 minutes)” – can you imagine the
pressure on the ‘bogs’ from the assembled throng?

Best regards and thanks for all your efforts.

Richard Beer





Inventions – Clive Keen


In answer to a request earlier this year for old boys who were responsible for ‘inventing’ something, this was sent in by Clive Keen:

This doesn’t quite count as an invention since it wasn’t patentable, but I did have rather a useful idea in the mid-eighties when I was producing a prospectus for a polytechnic. The place was short of cash, so I was thinking of ways of reducing costs. I noted that copies were to be sent to around 7200 addresses (schools etc), exactly the same as every other university, college, and polytechnic in the country. Around 200 places in all, in fact, would be doing the same mailout. So I thought – why not distribute centrally, using large containers rather than the higher education system posting 700,000 small postal packages annually. I did some sums and realized that the system would save millions each year. I approached the appropriate powers, which of course dragged their feet. Failing to get them to act, I set up a company to do the job. Over the years since, it will have saved the education system hundreds of millions of pounds.

I indirectly got a UK professorship out of it, but shortly thereafter left to help set up a new university in Canada. Reg Mayo would have been happy that I’ve been known here since largely as an essayist.

Clive Keen, 1960-66.


Your Voluntary Contribution for 2019

If you would like to help maintain our website and blog please click HERE to make your contribution.




Happy Christmas One and All


Have the Happiest of Christmases

With only a few days to go before Christmas Day, it is time for Jan and myself to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and above all a healthy New Year.

I am sure Steve Woodward is still with us in spirit and his music certainly lives on.  Here’s another excellent song from him especially for Christmas.

Little Drummer Boy

Stats for 2018

Each year we publish the number of views for various blog posts. Here are the stats for this year:




Please help us – Have you made your 2018 contribution yet?

I hate this bit at the end of the year but as always I have the task of appealing to you for funds to help keep the website and blog alive. Thank you so very much to all those regulars who never fail to pay their way, you have always been there to help and all the others who enjoy the site for free have only got you to thank. So if you are still one of those who maybe take this facility a little for granted, could I please ask you to make your contribution for 2018 (if you are able) as in a few days time we ‘reset’ the Register as we enter 2019.

Your contribution is always completely voluntary and there is no obligation to continue in the future although we do of course hope that you will help us annually. You can make your contribution right now, right HERE. Thank you.

Colin Cadle
Torquay, Devon

Graham Stewart-Jones (1955-1957)

Information from Sir Adrian White


Graham joined in my first year (third form) in 1955 and left early in 1957 to join an Officer Cadet Course in the Merchant Navy.
We were told at Assembly in 1958 that he had died from a fall onto the deck of a ship when one end of a derrick snapped.
Graham was a good friend also of Peter Hobcraft also lost to us but about four years ago. Interestingly Peter Hobcraft, who never married, ran a successful Tentrek Holiday Business, as well as a coach and bus, hire business. Peter helped me organise the ‘Invasion of Hastings Walk’ in 1966 from which we achieved a large sum of money for four charities from 2,100 walkers undertaking the 50-mile walk from Orpington to Hastings! With repeat walks over the following three years we raised over £56,000 – a huge amount in those days! I wonder if any CVTHS boys also took part?

May I also bring you up to date on our ‘90 years young’ history master Tony Bradley with whom I had lunch earlier this month. Tony is still as fit as he was at the Reunion and let me have several volumes on the key innovators and entrepreneurs of our Industrial Revolution which he had taught and inspired me, in a more modest way, to replicate in the water industry over the last 57 years!
With more teachers like Tony Bradley, Brexit will be in safe hands as the youngsters of today are encouraged to take up engineering in its many fields and convert their ideas into inspired products for the future.

Sir Adrian White CBE, DL, C.Sci.DUniv.


Ed. Graham’s name has been added to Absent Friends

Electric Cars – continued

Further to our debate on electric cars, this lady has the same vehicle as Peter Donaldson but clearly has not shared his good experience! Click on the image to read her account.


Would you still vote the same way?


Two years ago, just before the Referendum on leaving or staying with the EU, we conducted a poll on the CVTHS Blog. The results (to date) are as follows:


At the time Cray Valley boys voted slightly more in favour of leaving than the rest of the country voted as a whole. Whilst he realises that we tend to steer clear of politics on our Forum, old boy Neil Gent suggested earlier today that we ask the same question again to see over two years further on, whether opinion has shifted one way or the other. So, as it is such an important course of action about to be executed, let’s ask again to see how the results compare. With any luck, we will get a higher number of old boys voting this time – which incidentally remains completely anonymous. You must have an opinion so please take a moment to vote.



This time Neil suggested that we ask the additional question of whether we would vote for Theresa May’s deal in its present form as it is about to be put to the Commons vote.