“Old School Values for Today.”

I shudder sometimes when I look at some of the youth of today with their lack of manners and their ‘snowflake’ attitude to life. I thank my lucky stars that I had good parenting and was so lucky to be educated at Cray Valley. I know most who attended will agree. Here is something I saw today which maybe every young person should read:

 

A young man went to seek an important position at a large printing company. He passed the initial interview and was going to meet the director for the final interview. The director saw his resume, it was excellent. And asked,’

“Have you received a scholarship for school?” The boy replied, “No”.
‘It was your father who paid for your studies? ” Yes.’ He replied.
‘Where does your father work? ‘ ‘My father is a Blacksmith’

The Director asked the young man to show him his hands.
The young man showed a pair of hands soft and perfect.
‘Have you ever helped your parents at their job? ‘
‘Never, my parents always wanted me to study and read more books. Besides, he can do the job better than me.

The director said:
‘I have got a request: When you go home today, go and wash the hands of your father and then come see me tomorrow morning.’

The young man felt his chance to get the job was high.

When he returned to his house he asked his father if he would allow him to wash his hands.

His father felt strange, happy, but with mixed feelings and showed his hands to his son. The young man washed his hands, little by little. It was the first time that he noticed his father’s hands were wrinkled and they had so many scars. Some bruises were so painful that his skin shuddered when he touched them.

This was the first time that the young man recognized what it meant for this pair of hands to work every day to be able to pay for his studies. The bruises on the hands were the price that his father paid for his education, his school activities and his future.

After cleaning his father’s hands the young man stood in silence and began to tidy and clean up the workshop. That night, father and son talked for a long time.

The next morning, the young man went to the office of the director.
The Director noticed the tears in the eyes of the young man when He asked him,

‘Can you tell me what you did and what you learned yesterday at your house?’
The boy replied: ‘I washed my father’s hands and when I finished I stayed and cleaned his workshop.’

‘Now I know what it is to appreciate and recognize that without my parents, I would not be who I am today. By helping my father I now realize how difficult and hard it is to do something on my own. I have come to appreciate the importance and the value of helping my family.

The director said, “This is what I look for in my people. I want to hire someone who can appreciate the help of others, a person who knows the hardship others go through to accomplish things, and a person who realizes that money is not his only goal in life”.

‘You are hired’.

A child that has been coddled, protected and given everything he or she wants, develops a mentality of “I have the right” and will always put himself or herself first, ignoring the efforts of parents, family and friends. If we are this type of protective parent are we really showing love or are we helping to destroy our children?

You can give your child their own room in a big house, good food, a computer, tablet, cell phone, and a big screen TV, but when you’re washing the floor or painting a wall, children need to experience that too.

After eating, have them wash the dishes with their brothers and sisters, let them fold laundry or cook with you, pull weeds or mow the lawn. You are not doing this because you are poor and can’t afford help. You are doing this because you love them and want them to understand certain things about life.

Children need to learn to appreciate the amount of effort it takes to do a job right. They need to experience the difficulties in life that people must overcome to be successful and they must learn about failure to be able to succeed.

Children must also learn how to work and play with others and that they will not always win, but they can always work harder to reach their goals. If they’ve done their best, then they can take pride in all the effort they put forth.

Life is about giving and serving and these qualities should be taught in our homes and in our schools.

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Artist No. 6 – Colin Cadle

My first ‘model’ shoot – 1976 – See comments below for the how and why!

 

In 1976 a chance introduction to Julie Andrews’ husband film producer Blake Edwards really kicked off my interest in photography after he invited me onto the set of the Peter Sellers’ now classic film ‘The Pink Panther Strikes Again’ at Shepperton Studios. Stills photographer David Farrell further fired my enthusiasm when, during a break in filming, I was offered a short photo shoot with leading fashion model and ‘Bond girl’ actress Maud Adams. From that moment on art and photography have always played a major part in my life.

‘Touched by God’ – 2017 (click to enlarge)

In the following 42 years, my photography has not always taken centre stage and even now my preference is often more towards assemblage art and collage but that unexplainable urge to capture the moment has never left me. In the past few years, however, it has taken a slightly different turn.

‘The Tiny Tea Lover’ – 2012 (click to enlarge)

 

Like most people who catch the photography bug I have passed through the portaiture, landscape and even macro stage and have now left those genres behind. There are just so many sunsets and pretty scenes (and people) you can shoot and at the end of the day, there are millions of these images everywhere you look.

 

‘My Ship of Devon Dreams’ – 2017 (click to enlarge)

In an effort to be a little different I started creating scenes using my ‘Tiny People’, placing these miniature figures in small sets and creating stories about them. These series have been quite successful but now even this type of approach can be found all over the internet without much difficulty. I still found them immensely pleasing to create.

 

‘Sisters’ – 2015 (click to enlarge)

Thank goodness for Adobe Photoshop. Combining high-resolution photographs with other images scanned from various vintage source material this weapon of choice has taken me away from the reality of ordinary photography and into the realms of recreating my own imagination through the computer and onto the wall as art.

 

 

‘The Last Exhibit’ – 2012 (click to enlarge)

 

‘Cornish Seahorse’ – 2015 (click to enlarge)

 

The other genre that always excites me is street photography and I will always have a love of capturing the ‘decisive moment’. It is the unwritten rule of the purist street photographer not to tamper in any way with the original, other than a slight crop or adjustment to exposure but nowadays, of course, you never can tell…..

‘The Inflatables’ – 2017 (click to enlarge)

….unlike in 1976

‘Graffiti Boys’ – 1976

 

At least two of our previous artists have images of Albert Einstein and I am no exception…

 

‘Relatively Speaking’ – 2016   –   “The greatest scientists are artists as well” – Einstein

 

To see more images from my portfolio please visit this page

or for assemblages and collage you will find these HERE


Malcolm Davis –  Colin – your techno-art is refreshingly original and intriguing, I had already viewed your website including these and many other of your images some months ago. Very clever stuff to me. So how did you ‘just happen to find yourself’ in Shepperton Studios at the same time as Blake Edwards and Maud Adams were there? Do tell.


In answer to Malcolm Davis

‘The Pink Panther Strikes Again’

I have been ‘self-employed’ most of my working life, however, since leaving the RAF in 1971 I worked for just one company for a little over a year. BMW Concessionaires in Park Lane took on myself and one other as an experiment to see if they could recruit and nurture potential export ‘sales executives’ from outside of the motor trade. My colleague, Jules Wildman, earned a position after working a few years with Rank Xerox and myself having had no previous sales experience managed to persuade the selection board by having established and sold a special effects lighting company in Beckenham and a successful bistro restaurant in Norbury, South London.

BMW in Park Lane, next door to the Dorchester Hotel, had its fair share of celebrity visitors due to its premier location and I was always delighted to meet many such figures amongst them David Niven, Bob Marley, and George Harrison. Our showroom was at street level but the offices where the salesmen and managers lived was in the basement where we were kept like mushrooms with no natural daylight, so it was always a pleasure to be called up to the sales floor to attend a potential customer and once more see the light of day. As an ‘export’ salesman it was my job to sell tax-free cars to those who qualified i.e. people who were domiciled abroad and who were each allowed one tax-free vehicle per year. This tax saving advantage applied to almost all foreigners, with the exception of those from the USA, who famously could buy a BMW quite a bit cheaper in the US than they could in the UK Tax Free. Therefore, it always a complete waste of time when it was my turn to surface above ground only to be greeted by an American accent, whereupon I announce to myself “No sale here then” before politely going through the motions.

‘Never judge a book by its cover’ was a lesson I was soon to learn in early Spring 1976 after I had been with BMW for almost a year. It was my turn to respond to the next call to the showroom and after climbing the big spiral staircase from the basement I was greeted in the reception area by a chirpy young man with a strong American accent and wearing a plain white tee-shirt, blue jeans and sneakers. This set the usual alarm bells ringing – with knobs on! (In 1976 most of my customers at least wore a shirt and tie). Offering the usual BMW hospitality I invited the guy to sit down with a cup of coffee in a comfy chair to discuss his requirements. He introduced himself as Tony Adams and was looking for an American specification BMW 2002 Tii automatic, in silver blue. He didn’t ask me for the price but just wanted to know if we had one in stock which he could get quickly. In the days before computers, we had a large manual Cardex system which kept a printed record for each export car we had in stock and held in our bonded compound in Calais. Knowing full well that the price would be too high I dutifully went downstairs to ‘check our stock’. already knowing there were six models in Calais which exactly met his specification. I returned to him with the loaded sales line “I cannot believe this Mr Adams but we have the exact car actually in stock” to which he then enquired after the price. The man didn’t even blink, but just stared at me. After a long pause, he said “OK, I am also looking for a (top of the range) American specification BMW 3.3Lia as well – in dark blue metallic with leather seats” to which I replied, “I am afraid our customs rules only allow for one vehicle per person per year Sir”. He quickly brushed this information aside and immediately arousing my suspicions. I thought ‘Here we go, another joker like the guy last week claiming his name was Jesus Christ’. I then repeated the earlier exercise, this time returning from the depths with the revelation that we did indeed have the exact dark metallic blue model he was looking for, in stock, in Calais and for $9,000 he could have it delivered in just four days!

The non-blinking stare and long pause were again repeated. This time Mr Adams eventually said “Well Colin, what are you waiting for? Are you gonna write the order for the two automobiles?”. To say I was dumbstruck was an understatement but of course I had to repeat the one car, one person, per year rule to which he replied: “Oh, by the way, neither car is for me”.  Then, following his instructions, I wrote the order. The BMW 2002 was for Julie Andrews and the BMW 3.3 Lia was for her husband the film director and producer Blake Edwards, the man largely responsible for all the Pink Panther films.

Once the orders were written he announced that they were all staying on Cheyne Walk in Chelsea and that he would have a dollar cheque in full payment delivered by hand later that day. Now feeling very pleased with my double sale and not a little star-struck by proxy, I further learned that Tony Adams was, in fact, the Associate Producer of ‘The Pink Panther Strikes Again’ which they had just started filming at Shepperton Studios. I was then very quick to mention that I’d always wanted to visit a live film set and what would be the chances? He said he’d have to have a word with his ‘boss’ but couldn’t see a problem. Less than two hours later I had a personal hand-written invitation from Blake Edwards to visit the studios the very next day which was delivered along with a cheque for $14,000.

On asking my own manager if I could have the following day off to visit the studios he said it would be absolutely OK, provided he could come too. One phone call later to Tony Adams and the invitation was extended to my manager Stan Beesley and we both travelled down the next morning to Shepperton in an open top 633 Csia. We were met by the film’s publicist Quinn Donaghue and after a cup of coffee, we were walked over to the soundstage and quietly ushered onto the set where dozens of technicians were adjusting the lighting for the next scene. I was in heaven, surrounded by all the scenery and equipment and buzz of a full-on production. I was most intrigued by the job of the stills photographer David Farrell who seemed to be clicking away at anything or anybody. Following a lengthy chat with him during which I expressed my great interest in photography, David invited us both to lunch. This was taken in the rather rough and ready restaurant cum canteen where we were eating alongside many of the cast and crew which included Peter Sellers, Herbert Lom and, of course, the director Blake Edwards. David and I got on very well and he generously took me under his wing and taught me how it all worked. I was soon learning more about photography in a few hours under his tuition than I had gained in all my years of interest to date. To my absolute delight, this visit was not to be my last – I returned to the studios three times during the following weeks.

We had already gathered from the script that a few scenes called for the character Jarvis to ride a powerful motorbike which he was to ride to the nightclub where he performed as a drag artiste. On our return to Park Lane, we hatched a PR plan to present the film’s production team with a specially commissioned ‘pink’ BMW motorbike. It was prepared by the technical department at Brentford in just a few days and we delivered it to Shepperton less than a week from our first visit. The team absolutely loved the bike but ultimately thought the colour maybe a bit too ‘obvious’, however, they did accept a replacement, standard-liveried bike in its place which was ultimately used in the film and can, of course, be seen to this day by watching the film.  One of the admirers of the ‘pink’ BMW was the actress and top model Maud Adams (who was later sacked from the film and replaced by Lesley-Anne Down). Maud fell in love with the shiny new machine and was given a pillion ride around the studio grounds by our then Head of Motorcycles, Jeremy Fraser. On their return, David asked Maud if she would give up the last few minutes of her lunch break to pose for me on the bike. What a delightful lady as she immediately agreed and I (rather nervously), did the shoot right there outside the production office with its larger than life Pink Panther display next to the door. What a pro? She just did not need any direction at all for the two rolls I shot of her. When she heard the click of the camera she just morphed into the next pose and all I needed to do was release the shutter and change position for the next shot – I was smitten!

In those days I was also very impetuous (still am) and I decided then and there that I would quickly hand in my notice with BMW and become a photographer. The next day I went to a camera shop beneath Capital Radio on the Euston Road and using my overdraft facility bought a brand new Nikon F2S Photomic and a Hasselblad 500c. Armed with that level of equipment I reasoned that if the photographs I would now be taking were of poor quality it would at least be down to the operator and not the gear!  Within a few weeks of all this and having left the employ of BMW I was drinking wine with the supermodel Cathee Dahman and her husband, actor Leonard Whiting. But that, of course, is another story.

And so Malcolm, that is how my love affair with photography began and that is how it had ultimately been Blake Edwards who was instrumental in kickstarting my professional interest. Well, you did ask!


 

Malcolm Davis – Wow! Only a Cray boy could take a part in that story. Top that!

 


Neil Gent – What a great story? I do remember you from school, mainly as a result of your ham radio activities, but you are just that couple of years older than me and we don’t actually know each other. Having read that story I feel that I have somehow got to know you!


Malcolm Davis –  So Colin, could we now have chapter 2 – drinkies with supermodel Cathee Dahman? I read she was half native American, Chippewa, and died in 1997.

Iconic 1974 image of super model Cathee Dahman by Barry Lategan.

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A Quick Flash – Just for Fun

Over 4000 Images now in use

Since we started the website in 2001 and the blog in 2011 we have amassed a total of 4089 photographs and graphics which are still in use along with several hundred graphics which are now redundant as they no longer apply.

This little video was made a while back after we had published 3000 images but it was never posted. It flashes through a selection of our online material but the reference to ‘here are 250’ is incorrect as the figure is considerably higher. The first person to email with the correct number of images in the video gets a free CVTHS Montage  Limited Edition print,  however,  I can only think of two of our members who may be daft enough to attempt this!

 

Mods or Rockers?

 

A nostalgic look back to 1964

 

 

 

Narrated by actor Phil Daniels (Quadrophenia, Scum) this is well worth watching if you were into the intergroup rivalry of the Mods and Rockers around 1964. Personally, I don’t remember ANY rockers at Cray Valley but I do remember there were several Mods! The name of a commentor on a recent post about one of our Cray Valley artists sparked vivid memories of that time and hence this rather nostalgic post. It will be interesting to see your comments, to hear about your motorbike or scooter and please do take part in the poll – I think I can predict the result already! (The poll is completely anonymous).

                                     

 


Derek Nash – Mod? Rocker? Well, a bit of both. Or neither? Two-wheeled petrol head would be about right.

When I left CVTHS I was seriously into road cycling but that didn’t last once I discovered motorcycles. Again that didn’t last when I discovered the Vespa 150 Sportique, a brilliant piece of Italian engineering. Assuming you always had a spare set of cables and the right tools with you at all times. Oh, and a spare headlamp bulb or two. And you didn’t want brakes that worked all the time. But that engine was an absolutely reliable joy.

Despite its shortcomings (a lot less of those than a typical British motorcycle of the time) I covered huge mileage in the 18 months I had it before it was stolen. During that time and beyond I was a member of an Orpington based group (some are still friends 55 years on) which was a mix of motorcyclists and scooterists as none of us wanted to be either mods or rockers.

Did that work well? No. Both the local rival camps hated us.

Now? I’ve owned a whole variety of motorcycles over the years and currently run an Aprilia 650 Peagaso Trail while one of my good friends became a motorcycle journalist, another a motorcycle adventurer and another owns a collection of both modern motorcycles and 1960s scooters and is seriously into Ska, Two-tone, Northern Soul and Heavy Metal head-banging music.

Just as I never quite fitted into the CVTHS ethos, some people never quite fit simple category choices.


Ian Chalmers – With long hair and my father’s flying jacket, definitely a rocker graduating from an Excelsior 90cc to a BSA C11G 250cc during my sixth form years (1965/66) Never quite made it to Johnson’s café (Jonno’s) on the A20 near Brands Hatch which was the Mecca for Rockers at the time.

Peter Redman – I got my first bike in 1962, a Norton Navigator 350 twin and identified with my leather jacket with the rockers. So began a lifetime on many bikes from 50cc Honda to 1200cc BMW with plenty of British Triumphs thrown in. Still got 3 bikes and am a member of Christian Motor Cycle Ass meeting hard core bikers at rallies. Carefree days!

Peter Hinton I think I was probably a bit young for all the real Mod/Rocker thing and watching the fights on the TV I remember really frightened me. I think Mods sort of morphed into skinheads which was more my time and, while I proudly owned a Harrington jacket, some two-tone strides and Ben Sherman shirts, I’m pleased to say i never got into any real fights. The other, parallel classification was Beatles or Rolling Stones and I confess I was a Beatles fan, probably still am.

Neil Gent – Rocker at the time (’63ish – ’66ish). Had a Tandon (197cc Villiers engine) which I rode to school on, they stopped making them in 1959. Dad bought it for me not working, said I could have it and use it if I fixed it) Eventually the engine packed up and a friend (not Cray Valley) and I shared a bike made up of my bike with his engine (from a James Captain).

I then had an Aerial Arrow Sport, quite a nice 250cc bike, but notable for a total absence of any working front brake as soon as it rained!

My final bike, before taking to cars and horses(!) was a Triumph Tiger 100SS

Mind you, I did rather like the rock music as well.


Adrian Appley – I bought my first Lambretta LD scooter in 1960 and over the next 50 years bought several more as they wore out or I had them stolen. I was never a mod as I considered the male mods too effeminate.


Clive Keen –  If you had a motorbike, which I did (Honda 250, usually but not always in pieces), you automatically counted as a Rocker, which seemed a bit discriminatory. These days there’d be all sorts of trans-classifications. Mind you, separate toilets for Mods and Rockers at Brighton wouldn’t have been a bad thing.


Clive Hollis  – Definitely a Mod, with my Lambretta GT 125 with Scooby-Doos on the handlebars, close-cropped hair, grey round neck jumper with grey trousers, red socks and desert boots.

 

Colin Cadle on his 1953 Vespa – “Dressed like that I definitely didn’t qualify as a Mod!”

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Artist No. 5 – Malcolm Davis (UK)

Wickerwork – at CVTHS 1963

Malcolm Davis – Northiam, Sussex – UK

I have scanned a few of the artworks I have made over the past 50 years!  It may be clear I’m not a true artist in the sense of some of the previous contributors, whose grasp of colour is impressive, but I think I’m more of a draughtsman/forger and prefer using either pencil or pen and ink.

 

Click any image to enlarge

 

Albert Einstein – Spain 2005

 

You will notice that I am very erratic in my subjects!  Drawing was always my thing, both TD and Art were among my favourite lessons.  Leo Walmsley got me entered for A-level art in the 5th form GCEs and I got an A grade which he said was a pretty rare occurrence and I should definitely continue at Art College.   I went into engineering.

 

 

 

Tempus – Spain 2005

 

The Shooter – 1968

 

Shooting – I have had and used shotguns since age 15 and back then mostly shot pigeons and crows, but then turned to clays 25 years ago, preferring not to kill anything.  I have consistently missed many.

 

John Dory – France 1989

 

Blenny Study – France 1987

 

Fish – I am a lifelong keen angler, of all disciplines, so anything fish interested me and still does.  Leo Walmesly and I used to talk a lot about fishing – standing in front of that stuffed Pike in the Art room.

 

Harley Davidson – Spain 2001

Motorcycles – I only had an old BSA 250 C11G in my last year at Cray (1963) and soon swapped that for an E93A Ford Popular.  Cars ever since then until age 59 when I briefly tried a 125cc Trail Bike – but my feeling of vulnerability on modern roads quickly frightened me into selling it.  My eldest son’s father in law in California has two lovely Harleys which he rides and he’s 72.

 

Cormorant – Spain 2001

 

Mallard Flying – at CVTHS 1962 – This was printed in The Rook 1962 edition when I was in the Fourth Year.

 

Seagull – Erdeven France 1987

 

Birds – I love the graceful elegance of larger ‘aerodynamic’ birds and I suppose that loosely links to my current passion for model aviation. I fly radio-controlled planes up to 2.4M wingspan.

Others are just random subjects that took my fancy from time to time.

The Skipper – Spain 2002

 

Dog and Lighthouse – France 1987

 

If you have an interest in making art and would like your work published on our blog please contact us at art@cvths.com 

 

Spring-cleaning The Blog

165,000 visits and 1500 comments since the blog was established – time for spring cleaning!

Following various updates and improvements to our website, I have today been ‘tidying up’ the blog a little. Yesterday one member kindly left a very nice comment about our sites but it was left at the bottom of the page on ‘How To Use The Blog’. Unless others were to view that page comments such as this would never be seen by those they are meant for. (My fault as this facility should have been disabled for that page). On checking further I noticed that there were other comments on that ‘information page’ going back to 2011.

The facility to leave a comment on that page has now been disabled and the comments removed. However, should they still be of interest or remain appropriate they are posted again below in chronological order.

Correct Use of Comments Box

Just a brief reminder. Your comments are very welcome and indeed encouraged but would you kindly ensure that they are made below the post to which they apply? If it is a general point you wish to make then please email it to me for publishing at publish@cvths.com. Unlike a forum, the posts can only be published by an administrator.

Andrew Baxter –  9th October 2011

I went to Cray Valley Technical school between 1954 and 1961, and I am therefore one of the generations that never learned to type. My son and daughter can type at the speed of light, whereas I type at the speed of darkness.

For years I have plodded away using one finger on my right hand. It is painfully slow doing any typing.

But what you are seeing in front of you now is a result of a wonderful piece of voice recognition software. It is known as Dragon and is only a few pounds from Amazon. As you can see from what I have “typed” it makes very few mistakes.
It is very good at spelling and therefore Mr Mayo would have been very pleased with the results. It can even recognise names like Mr Mayo, and even Mr Kingsland. Let’s try your name, Colin.  Colin Adele. Well nearly, Colin. You have to change your name so that Dragon voice recognition software and recognise you!

So, if there are others out there from my generation who are also fed up typing have a go at Dragon. If you’re not convinced go to YouTube on the Internet, type Dragon demonstration in the search box, and have a look at the many examples of tutors speaking into the camera and text appearing instantly on the monitor. Are there any other old Cray Valley boys out there who have this Dragon software?

Colin, it looks like your idea of putting a Cray Valley blog onto your website will be a great success.


Trevor Heywood – 17 January 2012

Thank you, Colin Cadle, for keeping the Cray Valley website alive. Towards the end of November 2011, I managed to meet up with David Turner, Steve strong and Martin Webb. It was amazing after all these years to see these guys and apart from the obvious memory sharing it was interesting to learn about the different career paths we chose to make a living. Although I have been living in Monmouthshire since 1985 I still return to Orpington to visit my parents who live just off Goddington Lane. Without the website, our meetings would not have happened. We met at the Bo Peep in Chelsfield which is close to Steve Strong’s house and my parents. I am sure that we will be meeting up again in 2012 and hopefully, we might see a few more Old Cray Valleyians to share a few stories and pints with. I also enjoyed reading Barry Jackson’s A-Z which was a great memory jogger as we both started in 1959, thanks Barry.


Jed Bailey – 26 April 2013

Trevor,
I have been doing some work on achievers and leaders. You were one of the people I recalled when starting this. Tall, sporting prowess, confident and with red hair. It would help my research if I could contact you with a few questions about how your adult life panned out. (If I have the right Trevor).


Clive Keen – 21 January 2013

I’ve just realized, almost 50 years on, that I’ve spent most of my life still trying to please Wee Willie Wedlock and Reg Mayo. I must have written more than a thousand essays now for various publications, and having just put together a bunch for Amazon, find that they follow almost exactly the pattern required by Willie and Reg. Perhaps I’ve been trying to get an  A+++. The latest bunch of essays are on birding (Birding: A Flock of Irreverent Essays) but I’m not trying to get a sale. If you’re a Cray Valleyan, and would like a copy, let me know (clive_keen@hotmail.com) and I’ll send you a freebie – but don’t share it, or Amazon will get upset.


Richard C0llens – 13 February 2013

I attended the school from Sept 1971 to July 1978. So I experienced the ‘pre’ and ‘post’ Edgebury establishment. I discovered this website today when searching the web for “The Headless Horseman” which (I think) was a piece of music that Peter Woodward’s wonderful band played during my time at the school. Now my own son is starting off in his school orchestra and I am often telling him about the fantastic concerts we enjoyed at Cray Valley…..


Keith Knight – 5th May 2013

Hi everyone, I am Keith Knight. This is a general comment and is not specifically connected to anything before or after.

I attended CVTHS from 1964 – 1969. I can’t remember the form letter. I think it was A or B. Bob Burckett has recently joined the register and I have been in touch with a few old classmates on the friends reunited website. I am not a Facebooker! Wild horses……. etc., etc. I think I finally decided not to join FB when a friend of mine said they had joined an FB (virtual) farm and were cultivating (virtual) crops on it!! (Ye Gods!!!!). I also know a few young people who have been bullied via FB, which is sad. I have been known to tweet (God help us!) but not recently. My Twitter Monica is @KeithPKnight.

Anyway, I have not been well – well we are all getting on a bit – and I am probably about to ask Mick Abbott to move my name to the “apologies” section for this year’s reunion as I live in Wales and it is a long trip. However, one thing that might change my mind for this year and subsequent years is if I could make contact with more of my old form mates. I would particularly like to contact Clive Dean if anybody knows his whereabouts but anyone from the form that started………… Burckett, Charman, Cooper, Dean, Digman, Farrell, Grace, Hall, and included me (Knight), Menhinnick, Scowen, Thompson, Thornhill, and finished I think with Williamson. I can see all the faces in my mind’s eye but cannot remember all the names. Sorry! Sadly not many have yet registered on this site.

I have long realised that the happiest time of my life was spent at Cray Valley, despite the custard skin, semolina and for me at any rate; endless detentions!! My life’s journey has not been very smooth, to say the least, and as it enters its twilight years, I am really missing my friends and classmates from all those years ago.

I particularly remember Martin Carr, who saved my life – literally!! There have been many occasions when I found myself in difficulty when I thought of contacting him again and of course, now it is sadly too late. Also, Frank Hawkins along with Mr Parsons extracted creative juices from within me that I did not know I had and which I still have to this day, Unfortunately Mr Walmsley could not do the same (Art), whereas Colonel Turner forced the slowly grinding wheels of mathematics to work for me and those still turn!

I have plenty more to say and may ask for my own blog page to do it justice and give it some structure. I would love to hear from anyone that remembers me.

kind regards
Keith (Patrick) Knight – aka “KP(K)NUTS”
01656859185
07917010590
keithknight@kpkmail.co.uk


David Baker – 17th November 2017

So sad to hear of the death of Mr Woodward, who was an inspirational music teacher. But it was his predecessor who really inspired me. I think his name was Colin Crabe and I don’t remember mention of him here. Can anyone tell us what happened to him, and maybe supply an email address? It would be good to tell him how much his hard work and dedication meant to this old boy at least!!


Bob Jones – 31st January 2018

I occasionally, when I’ve nothing better to do, go and look at other schools’ websites.  These could be schools in places I know, have some link with or been on holiday to for example.  I’ve never found anything that comes anywhere close to the quality and professionalism of the CVTHS site!  Thanks Colin.

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Clive Keen – from Innovation to Birding

Clive Keen – 1960 – 1966

Clive Keen replies to an earlier call for inventors and inventions and in so doing reveals another interesting side to this ex-Cray lad!:

 

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, who 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.

 

 

 

One of my books (most of the others are more serious) can be seen HERE and there are a number of clickable essays from it. I’ve been a columnist for numerous media – even the Oxford Times while I was working in the UK  – but lately I mostly write for naturalist magazines.

Clive Keen – Prince George, Canada

 

If you are in anyway interested in birds then there is much information available from Dr Keen, do check it out!

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