Graham’s Funeral will be held on:
It is with devastating sadness to myself & the Armstrong family that I must advise you all that my dear and one of my closest friends Graham Armstrong finally stopped fighting pancreatic cancer after nearly four and a half years. Initially, he was given only six weeks to live. He passed away on Saturday 6 October 2018.
When I saw him for the last time recently he specifically mentioned the wonderful times he enjoyed at the School. With typical ‘Graham precision and organisation,’ he had planned his own funeral. He told me it will be a happy day and that there will be a party after the service where I am instructed to sing one of our rugby songs. (Fear not, if Lesley, his wife, still adheres to that program I suspect it will be “Sloop John B”) not some of the more spicy songs our rugby team were famous for! He particularly asked that anyone who remembered him from CVTHS should be notified. In typical ‘Graham style’, he never forgot those who were kind to him.
Graham was at CVTHS from 1964-1971 where he was a prominent Rugby player and superb sprinter in the School District & County Athletics teams. From the scrawny little whippersnapper at U13 he grew into an athletic, very quick winger, the first guy to play for the 1st XV in the 5th form and eventually a tough tenacious and utterly fearless No. 7 or No. 8. He was Head Boy from 1970-71, won multiple levels of colours in Rugby and athletics and he was a joint winner of the Howard Leslie Memorial Trophy in 1970-71. He went on to get a Material Science Hons Degree at the University of Bath (1971-1975) and from there a career which saw him reach the position of CEO in several companies. His passion for both codes of Rugby stayed with him throughout his life and we enjoyed several trips to Hong Kong together to watch the Hong Kong 10’s & World 7’s events.
He leaves his loving and devoted wife Lesley and two lovely, beautiful daughters Nicola and Rebecca
I cannot begin to explain what this loss means to me, suffice it to say for now that I have lost my brother from another mother. I am numb with pain.
This is Sir Anthony Eden, sometime between 1951 and 1955 when he was addressing parents and pupils but can anyone be more specific? Has anyone seen this photograph before and can they shed any more light as to the occasion?
I just did a bit of internet research using the name Pat Hornsby Smith. It is at Cray Valley 18 May 1955. There is an article in the Daily Mirror for that day but what is not in the article, is the presence of Sir Anthony Eden.
Bloody cheek! ‘Where no sardines could survive!’ ‘Well, I’m proud to be a ‘sardine’. I survived. Perhaps we ought to call CVTHS old boys ‘Sardines.’
Sardine 1954 – 1961
It is with great sadness that we received news yesterday that Phil Granger had sadly passed away earlier this month. Condolences were sent to his wife Joan on behalf of us all and she has kindly replied today with details of Phil’s funeral which takes place in a few days time. I am sure Joan would welcome your support should you wish to attend. This is her reply:
Should you wish to offer your condolences I will be happy to pass these on to Joan – email@example.com
Old Boys’ Stories are rather a delight as the years pass when memories of what we did over the last five decades become less vivid than our escapades of six decades ago. Such tales might even be appreciated by others who were there at the time, so here’s some of mine of CVTS in the early 1960s.
It’s 7:50 am, so it must be time to get up in a rush to catch Route 51 or 229 and get to school on time. Must avoid having to sign in late at the Principal’s Office, a fate worse than death. (7:50 am has been imprinted on my brain ever since. I’ve been retired for a dozen years, but whenever I wake up, I look at my watch and find it’s 7:50 to the minute. Don’t let anyone tell you that schooldays don’t affect you forever.)
Having got to school, Form IN in my case – Auger, Basham, Bates, Beer, Benn, Berwick, Cobb, Collier, Coppard, etc – I can still chant it all – I have to figure out all those timetables. As a result, I’m always in some degree or other of confusion, probably due to the fact that the school has windows. Sensible schools have long since bricked them up, so that people like me don’t spend their time looking outside, leading them to get heavily whacked by Cowell’s blackboard rubber. He has just asked a question on something he was writing out, and my answer, “How should I know?” didn’t appeal to him, producing a spirited response neither of us expected. Someone, not me, had an anger issue, which I suspect could have led to him being sacked if I’d said anything to a Tall Person. But he was conciliatory for weeks. Ah, happy days.
I rather liked most of the masters, actually. Wee Willy Wedlock, who beguiled us with charm and Milligan’s verse. Yogi, the Maths teacher, who didn’t need disciplinary measures because we liked him. Some poor RI teachers who needed those measures in spades and didn’t deserve the misery we gave them. Various female French teachers who tried to teach us French accents but made us speechless instead. “She doesn’t wear a bra!” someone whispered, leaving us all cross-eyed. And fortunately, Reg Mayo was always there, a Rock of Gibraltar, giving us an inkling of what we were supposed to act like if we ever managed to grow up. I got slippered, in a thoroughly civilised way, by Reg Mayo whenever I was out of line, and always felt that I should salute and say “Thank you Sir!” at each conclusion.
I can’t pretend that I ever took schoolwork all that seriously – that was for nerds – but against all my expectations, I really liked both Maths and English. Economics was my third A-level choice, and it was a shame that Mr Brooks didn’t much approve of me, because his dictated study notes were actually very good and interesting, and got me an A at A-level. He might have been too good a teacher. Economics seemed too easy; too much like common sense, so I went for Philosophy at university and took a while to get the hang of it.
Reg Mayo, I’m told, complained to the authorities because I didn’t get an A at English A-level, but I was entirely content with my B. A reasonable excuse was a certain Doug Berwick, who didn’t wake up for the A-level English exam and had to be rescued by me, who knew where he lived, and another brave examinee, who had a car and could drive us there. We retrieved the sleepy Berwick, rescuing his future in High Finance, and got back late and sweaty to the exam, where a grade A was no longer on the cards. I could blame Doug, but actually, the problem was the awful question about Wuthering Heights. I blew it. It’s a fair cop, guv, and I fully accept the B. Doug, you’re guiltless.
Leaving CVTS, on a quiet day with no ceremony, was a strange anticlimax. It had been home for seven pivotal years, and we’d grown into it, and it into us. Perhaps it takes six decades to make it clear just how much those years mattered. For some strange reason, I’m still trying to show that it wasn’t all wasted on a peon like me. That maybe Reg Mayo is still around somewhere, reading this essay and gently explaining where I didn’t get things quite right. An A-minus from him right now would be heavenly.
Prince George, British Columbia
During the past two days, and in line with my suggestions made in the last post, I have been assessing the amount of work involved in actually transferring information from our existing website cvths.com to the proposed new pages on the Blog. Although I created the current site originally in 2015/16 I had forgotten just how much material and useful information it contains and not to mention the five weeks work it took to create it. There are dozens of interviews and School Band recordings, the School Timeline, history, Emails to us, various archives, the Visitors’ Book and a mass of interactive material which I now realise would be very hard to reproduce as simple blog pages. This is quite apart from the loss of aesthetics which the website enjoys over the blog. I must apologise for changing course slightly but quite frankly the task ahead just proved a little too daunting so I have decided on a much more satisfactory course of action all round.
Apart from the removal of a few time-sensitive items and other would-be irrelevant copy, the website will today be ‘frozen’ but there is no reason to actually take it offline now or at any time in the future. After all, the blog serves us well to report on up to date news items, recently submitted images and newly found historical material, whereas the website largely presents ‘static’, historic material and acts as an excellent repository of information relevant to the years when the School was in operation.
So, from today, following those few copy changes, the existing website will remain exactly as it is and will stay online as long as the code it contains remains consistent with current technology and as long as we continue to receive annual contributions from our supporters. Under these conditions, we can continue to enjoy this valuable online resource ‘to infinity and beyond!’
Torquay, South Devon
Just on a personal note, I had a great history lesson yesterday in Budleigh Salterton from one of my favourite presenters. No disrespect to dear Tony Bradley but if I’d had Lucy to teach me history in the 1960s I might well have become a historian by now!
When I heard the news a few months ago I just couldn’t believe it, but it has happened yet again! The last revamp of the website, which involved a total redesign and rebuild using Adobe’s latest programme ‘Muse’ took place in 2016. This was the result of Apple’s withdrawing support for their website programme iWeb. Before that, it was Microsoft curtailing their own programme Front Page. Now, in their infinite greedy wisdom, Adobe is pulling the rug on thousands of small businesses around the world who totally rely on using Muse to create websites for hundreds of thousands of clients. Its online availability will cease in March 2020. No warning, just a cold statement and cvths.com is to become one of its casualties.
Worrying about a solution to this problem has caused me a lot of anxiety since I heard the news but I have decided it was now time I took action to try to limit the damage.
In the past, I have had to appeal to our community for donations to help towards obtaining and learning new software and then redesigning and rebuilding our school website in the hopes that it would continue for many years without further interruption. With this latest shock news, I have decided not to make a similar appeal for the third time as it just seems unfair to the many loyal supporters who have kept us going through those difficult times. I am also loathed to obtain and learn yet another web-construction programme only for it to possibly be discontinued yet again in the near future. It really is heartbreaking as so much time and effort went into the current site.
Adobe will no longer support or permit the use of Muse from March 2020 but I don’t want to wait until then before taking positive action. From today any new material submitted will appear as a post on the Blog and if suitable the information will be added to a permanent page.
The ideas I have for a suitable alternative should allow my eventual successor to much more easily take over the custody of the CVTHS online presence without their need to own or learn a programme in order to do so. I intend to keep everything within the WordPress platform on which this Blog is hosted and here are some of my ideas.
Although the website is quite large and contains a huge amount of information it is, in fact, the Blog which attracts the most interest. With nearly 200,000 visits since its introduction, it has proved extremely popular. After much careful consideration, I have decided that the following course of action may form the basis for an acceptable solution and should work well for us all:
If anyone has any comments I shall be very pleased to hear from you either by email or by using ‘Leave a Comment’ at the bottom of this post so that others may join in the discussion. I very much regret having to make these changes, caused by the thoughtless actions of Adobe, but in the end, it will keep all the information in one place and may indeed actually prove to be better for us all.
Torquay, South Devon