Colin Cadle

It is with great sadness and sorrow that I must let you all know that our friend and founder of the CVTHS web site and blog passed away at 10:25 in the evening on Saturday 13th July 2019.

Colin bravely fought Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma three years ago and made a splendid recovery, but in May this year contracted a gastrointestinal bug during a holiday. Despite the best efforts of his medical team this illness was it seems masking deeper health problems that could not be tackled.

I know our heartfelt sympathy and condolences go out to Colin’s wife Jan and his family and friends.

After leaving Cray Valley Technical High School Colin trained as a pilot at the Royal Air Force College Cranwell flying jets and qualified as a captain on Wessex search and rescue helicopters in the Gulf, but his professional career and future were destined to be firmly back on the ground…

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

Colin lived with his wife in Devon, England and more recently left commercial photography behind to further his creative interests in producing small sculptural assemblages and three dimensional collages as well as creative Limited Edition prints.

We all came to know Colin particularly for his untiring work over many years creating the CVTHS web site and blog. This became a truly mammoth job and now stands as a testament not only to our school but to Colin’s character and perseverance.

R.I.P. Colin Cadle


The Isaacs Brothers


Do you remember the Isaacs?

In 1954, amongst the 13 year old entry, there were two brothers by the name of Isaacs. One was called Richard. Does anyone remember the Christian name of the other?

Barry Jackson’s News

Barry Jackson Writes

Recently received from one our most prolific contributors, Barry Jackson (Warning contains medical references)
Please stop blowing this cold, wet and windy weather my way (editor). Well, the good old NHS or should that be in anticipation the NHUSA cancelled my last appointment on the Thursday before the Reunion so I would have been able to attend after all.

Anyhow, it looks like everyone enjoyed themselves, some even more so because of my absence perhaps. I do expect the landlord at The Bull (my old watering hole) would have been the only one financially put out by my non-show. I did get through my earlier visit to the Dermatology Department, however. they did several examinations of my skin and concentrated a lot of effort on my fingernails which have been steadily disintegrating, they took numerous photos of my hands to use as a marker against future changes. They concluded I don’t have any fungal infections and that the problem is probably a combination of Raynaud’s and my low Thyroid levels. You’re never going to guess how difficult it is to do simple things like pull on socks without complete hard nails. At least it doesn’t look like I’m going to lose any fingers or parts thereof which is great news, as at my age I don’t want to start learning to use a different hand to wipe my nether regions.

Anyhow, the outcome is another load of blood letting, I get the feeling they might have misplaced my earlier results or there’s a market for my blood in some faraway Chinese province. I don’t feel any worse in myself, I’m walking and bowling regularly but just feel so lethargic afterwards. I refuse to accept the theory that this is all due to the numbers on my birth certificate. I don’t know if I’ll get any treatment as I noticed that N.I.C.E have recently concluded much thyroid replacement treatment is either unnecessary or inefficient. I’m more concerned that they locate my missing white blood cells, I’ve personally looked inside the settee and down the back of the dog without success!

I did like the collection of reunion photographs from the CVTHS Archive and I recognised many of them, it’s just a pity some pictures lacked the names of the lads in view, however, many thanks to those who took the time to collect and submit the content.

One of the things raised in the subsequent Comments sections was the ability of many to reel off the names of the colleagues in their class. As you might recall Derek Ash and I have long debated if 1U -1959 consisted of 29 or 30 boys, we can certainly recall 29. I insist there was another but can’t name him. One of the exercises I would be willing to undertake is to collate a list  maybe class by class of all those attended who Cray Valley before, for obvious reasons it will soon become impossible. Well that’s all at the moment as I have get outside and chase the Polar Bears off the lawn before my own keeper returns.

Barry Jackson

Lucky Winner Receives his Prize


No, the bottle has not yet been opened yet but a good bit of photo-styling by Trevor’s wife though!

Trevor Receives His Prize

Carefully laid down since 1963, this bottle of Taylors vintage Port is now with winner Trevor Pilbeam in Axbridge, Somerset. The bottle arrived from Justerini and Brooks on Wednesday morning via UPS and Trevor will be saving it for a special occasion like his 70th birthday or sharing it with family and friends at Christmas!

Trevor says: “1963 was a very good year but 2019 was better because I was able to meet up with ‘old’ chums at the reunion. I will have to find the right time to enjoy it!


Clive Hollis

Continuing from our soccer related post a couple of weeks ago, Clive Hollis writes:

“For me, after football came Hockey and Rugby. I can’t find any rugby ones but here’s a hockey picture for you to have caption fun with”


New Reunion 2019 Gallery

New ‘Reunion 2019’ Gallery



Because of the large numbers of photographs being submitted we have created a new photo gallery with the Image Archive entitled ‘Reunion 2019’. Please take a look as there are around 80 photographs there already.

The CVTHS Archive


For the most part it is Norman Baldwin and John (Greg) Smith we have to thank for their sterling work on the School Archive which is now safely housed in Bromley Library. During the course of the reunion Norman and Greg have acquired more material to be archived which is listed here:

Click to enlarge

Norman writes:

As expected, we received some archive donations during the Reunion last Friday, which I have listed above.  I have also taken some photo of the artefacts, of which two are attached to this email (see the new gallery).  You will see that we don’t know who donated the 4 LPs (3 of which we already have in the archive).  So, who donated the records? The duplicate records could be returned to the donor, or agreed how to dispose of them, e.g. up for auction to provide funds for the website and bog.  It would be nice to acknowledge the donor of this additional LP.
Our original archivist Lucy has left Bromley and her replacement Stephanie had also left by last week and I understand that Bromley is currently without an archivist!  I will keep in touch with Bromley periodically and when they have a new archivist in place I will endeavour to determine what items from the list can be accepted into their archives.  I suspect the bell will not be accepted, especially as it has no identifying marks or dedication. Any suggestions as to what should be done with this item would be gratefully received.
I am indebted to Greg (John) Smith for collecting the selected archive material from Bromley, for helping to lay out the items on Thursday, for helping to pack up the items after the Reunion on Friday and arranging to return the items to Bromley.

‘The Martin Carr Bell’


I suggested to Graham Mitchell, current custodian of the bell, that maybe it should be displayed in one of the vestibule cabinets at the old school. This is Graham’s reply:

Regarding the Bell. I haven’t any direct contact with the school as Kemnal Technology College but at the previous reunions I got the impression that history isn’t at their forefront. Others might see it otherwise. A lot has changed since our time there, for example the industrial themed murals that used be located in the entrance vestibule have gone and, indeed, the area has been structurally altered (as have many of the school buildings). It might be worth approaching the school to see what they think? I’m not aware of Kemnal’s display cabinets but it would be a pity if subsequently the Bell were lost.

I’m pleased the day went so well and is of great credit to Mick and Greg and all involved in the organisation. I’m sorry I wasn’t there in body but I was in spirit.


Mick Abbott Addresses The 2019 Reunion

Mick Abbott addresses the 2019 Reunion


Thank you for the many comments and photos received so far, along with a couple of videos. May we thank Adrian Appley for kindly bringing his portable recorder along to the reunion to record Mick’s address. As material is received it will be added to THIS POST, so please bookmark the page and return to it later to check for any additions.


New Photo Gallery


Because of the large numbers of photographs being submitted we have created a new photo gallery with the Image Archive entitled ‘Reunion 2019’. Please take a look.


Voluntary Annual Contributions

I note that Mick kindly added a quick plug to those of you who have not made their contribution this year, so if you are listed on the Register and have not kindly made your contribution this year, especially if you attended the reunion, we would very much appreciate your doing so by clicking HERE.



2019 Reunion a Great Success

It would appear that this year’s 65th Anniversary Reunion was a total success and enjoyed by all. Mick Abbott and I would like to thank you all for attending and helping to make it such a successful day especially to those who had to make a real effort to get there and in many cases travelling great distances to do so.

Thank you also for your kind comments of appreciation to both Mick and myself and concern and best wishes for my recovery which are all very much appreciated. This is Mick’s third time organising the reunion and he really has done a wonderful job. Most of the credit must go to him. Here’s to the 70th Mick!

Mick Abbott would personally like to publicly and sincerely thank Norman Baldwin and Greg Smith for organising the collection and arrangement of the Archive items for the Reunion. They both came the day before to set everything out in one of the classrooms and the display engendered so much interest.  Old Boys who hadn’t been before were able to find their names in sports event leaflets and in programmes from stage productions held at the school.


Address by Mick Abbott

Listen here to Mick Abbott’s address to the Reunion


Material Wanted 

Please send me your photos, videos and any sound recordings so that they can be published within this post. Please check back frequently to see what has been added.

You can email photos or comments to or text pictures from your phone to 07703 440777

New Photo Gallery

Because of the large numbers of photographs being submitted we have created a new photo gallery with the Image Archive entitled ‘Reunion 2019’. Please take a look.


© Mick Abbott

Looks like the staff had a good time too!

Peter Hider

Peter has sent in 36 photos which are now in the new ‘Reunion 2019’ gallery (under ‘Archive Images’)

“I hope you all enjoyed the reunion as much as I did. I’m really sorry you couldn’t be there Colin”.


Jon Copping

Left to right:Jon Copping – Kevin Storey and Derek Malcolm. Photo © Adrian Appley

Clive Stanyon


The 1966 Intake – 2019 Reunion – © Clive Stanyon

Greg Smith sent us these photographs

MC Mick Abbott © Greg Smith

MC Mick Abbott ©Greg Smith


MC Mick Abbott © Greg Smith



© Greg Smith

New Photo Gallery

Because of the large numbers of photographs being submitted we have created a new photo gallery with the Image Archive entitled ‘Reunion 2019’. Please take a look.

Jed Bailey

Can I join the applause for a great day? You can feel really proud. The thanks and tributes were heartfelt and extraordinary. I spotted a number of welling eyes during the day. Well done.
A couple of observations. Many old boys noticed Mike’s earring and those that gathered in the Bull afterwards chuckled at what a certain M Carr would have made of a policeman so turned out…
The banishment of football is a wound that still hurts. For those that have looked at the team poster and photographs will have noticed Dave Price, who I am in touch with, lives in the area and runs a graphic design business on Bromley Common.
Finally can you clarify what will happen to the archive of materials from the plays and concerts. (Alas) at the funeral of (Martin?) Carbery’s brother a few years ago a number of distinguished guests remarked at the sheer quality of dramatic output in the Woodward/Carbery years. One distinguished critic from a national newspaper saying “could not believe that this could have happened in a state school!”
I wonder if you might ask through the website whether any Old boys pursued a career in music or theatre? I also wonder what happened to the girls who appeared in some of the productions?

Ian Kirkpatrick

Two handsome devils attached, great to meet you today and a lovely do, many thanks to all involved.


Richard Beer

This really was an excellent event and full marks to Mick Abbott and yourself for the organisation. In conversations with Andy Barnard, Paul Bates and Johnny Wakeham it was remarkable how many detailed anecdotes were shared. Apart from the usual classroom episodes that risked severe punishment, sporting events were reported with amazing accuracy.

Best wishes to all and thanks again for making the 65 Reunion a memorable day.

© Richard Beer


© Richard Beer


© Richard Beer


© Richard Beer


© Richard Beer


Clive Hollis and Andy Barnard © Richard Beer



Jonathan Copping

Really enjoyed it, thanks. Photo on its way.

Graham Storey

Your joint efforts successfully delivered a most enjoyable CVTHS re-union. Thank you. While most will have seen a smooth, planned sequence of activities on the day, behind the scenes there will have been many hours of planning, preparation and coordination. Many thanks. (07758 746183)


Peter R Martin-Smith 1957-64

Reflections on Returning to CVTHS… the morning after!

It was indeed a splendid day, thanks in the main to Mick Abbott’s work.  Full of anticipation of a wonderful trip down Memory Lane, it was the first time I had stepped inside the school since July 1964… and what a lot has changed! It wasn’t too difficult, as I walked around, to identify the parts of the building which were once CVTHS, and those which have been added since.

After a conversation with the lady who kindly took the photograph of us in the main hall, it became clear that the aim of today’s Kemsal Technical College differs little from the aim of CVTHS.  So, I found myself asking, why did someone rip out the equipment and fittings we had in those magnificent workshops?  It didn’t “wear out”… those lathes, drills and other machines, the foundry, the beam engine in the thermodynamics lab, the plating bay, the drawing offices, the metallurgy bay, the wood workshops… they would have lasted for generations! Why was it all dismantled?

The fact that the contents of the Workshop Block had all gone was the major disappointment of the day. So what else was significantly different?….

One of my abiding memories of school was, at the end of every lesson in the workshops, five minutes was set aside for cleaning and clearing everything away. Reg Wincott would not allow a speck of sawdust to remain on the floor, or a saw or a chisel left out of place.  In the metal workshops, Messers Davies, Gale and Parsons were equally meticulous. ‘Ted’ Ray, in the drawing office, insisted that everything was put away, the tables were left clean, the furniture left tidy.  Upstairs it was the same in Leo Walmsley’s domain. The sight of rubbish on the flooor, and a degree or two less ‘order’ than I remember suggested that, in today’s world, those standards are a little more relaxed. Although in fairness, the classrooms and laboratories in the main school were, so far as we could see, been left by their occupants in good order. But I was reminded that that great school I attended all those years ago not only taught me the practical skills and knowledge that I have used so often throughout my life, I also learnt much about self discipline and responsibility.

So much has changed… and more than just the material things!  But it was splendid to go back to the place it all happened, and to meet some of my fellow pupils again, to relive and reminisce our experiences. Thanks to all who made it possible.

Sir Adrian White (1955-1959)

My first but most enjoyable day! Many happy memories but wish they had left the School as it was kitted out for the schooling of the engineers of tomorrow!! To see my name in the ‘˜Archived Programme’€™ of ‘Androcles and the Lion’ which was in 1956 (not as notated 1965!) was heart warming. To find other ‘old boys’ with the same reminiscences and thoughts was uncanny. The Lunch was a typical school lunch but the Gypsy Tart a treat not enjoyed for over 60 years! I very much appreciated the meticulous organisation before and during the day so a very big thank you to you both. I found that I was not a founder member of the School in 1954, it was 1955 when our cohort formed the School’s 3rd Year. A fascinating day, thank you! Very best regards.

Mark Hughes

I enjoyed myself beyond any expectations, due in no small part to the work and efforts of Colin and Mick. I can’t say enough thank yous for the pleasure you have given. I’d forgotten just what a magnificent school hall we had, but even better was to see a great bunch of lads. I very much hope to keep in touch. Take care boys, and let’s be careful out there.

Derek Malcolm

Talking to the group of us who started in 1966 at today’s gathering, some of us had difficulties in remembering the names in our classes despite twice daily repetition of them. In an effort to try to collect this information and to share the information with other, it was suggested that those of us who can remember our class lists should submit them to the site as a start. So here goes.

Tonbridge Form for the 1966 entry consisted of:

John Atkinson
Ashok Bhatt
Geoff Burke
Brian Connerly
Don Croker
John Doughty
Malcolm Elliot
Stephen Field
Mike Fryer
John Goodwin
Derek Hudson
Martin Jenkins
John Joyce
Ivor Lewis
Derek Malcolm
Timothy McGill
Chris Monk
John Nicholas
Scott Norman
Alan Sharp
Jonathan Pope
Ian Robinson
Timothy Smith
Kevin Thornton
Julian Turner
Geoff Upton
Melvyn Williams
Michael Welch

As you can see even my grey matter has forgotten two names and a couple of first names so somebody else may be able add the missing.

Hopefully this will trigger input from others. (Updated following information from Derek Hudson in NZ)


Please return to this post as we will be adding material as it becomes available.

Reunion Prize Draw Winner

And The Winner Is………

Number 59

Trevor Pilbeam

Axbridge Somerset

Who wins the fine bottle of vintage Port by Taylors – 1963


Lunch underway at the 2019 Reunion


Mick Abbott reports that the reunion is going very well and sends us this snap of the lads tucking into a typical School dinner!