Adrian Appley – 1955 – 1959
I started at Raglan Road school, Bromley in January 1948 and when I passed the 11 plus exam went for an interview at Bromley Grammar school, Hayes Lane but failed it. However, two years later I was selected to attend CVTS and was accepted into class 3A starting in 1955. Each weekday I would catch a 47 or 199 bus to Farnborough then a 51 bus to Midfield Way and the short walk to the school. Fortunately for other passengers, we were much better behaved than children of today. Mind you, Mr Kingsland often had to cane me for my bad behaviour in the classroom.
Mister Mayo was a very professional teacher and taught us English grammar that I was very grateful for in later life. I well recall watching him marching to the front of the morning assembly in his flowing black robe – very impressive. Another teacher I am very grateful to is Mister Trethowan who taught us about electricity including helping us to build crystal sets which we took home to listen to. Because of him, I took an intense interest in electronics and two years after leaving school became an electronic wireman for many years that I thoroughly enjoyed.
The Wright brothers were our physical exercise teachers but several of us were not the least bit interested in sport and so whilst on the playing field moved as close to the main road as possible in order to see the many East Kent and Maidstone and District coaches travelling between London and the coast. Who recalls Mr Selwyn-Smith our chemistry master who permitted us to mix dangerous chemicals in test tubes that would never be allowed in our health and safety obsessed society today?
How about ‘Spud’ Edwards the physics master who taught in the lecture theatre? At the front of the benches was a large metal bunker where the equipment was stored and on one occasion whilst we were waiting for Spud to arrive we started a riot which ended up in my being bundled into the bunker with the lid shut. When he turned up he started reading out our names from the register and when he reached my name I lifted the lid and called out “Yes, Sir”. He went mad and said to us “if any of you misbehave during the lesson Appley will be in detention.” Needless to say, the hooligans did misbehave and I ended up in detention.
am sure the mid-1950s lads remember the frightening SAS Cowell who taught us maths and thought nothing of throwing the heavy blackboard rubber at us. He was a monster who frightened us all.
We used to tell the corniest of jokes and silly ditties. The one I recall most vividly was our own words to Perry Como’s 1958 number one hit “Magic Moments” which went – “The unfortunate cop who told you to stop, you only went faster. It happened last May, I saw him today – his leg’s still in plaster. Tragic moments – should have heard him swearing”!
We used to visit local businesses and the one prominent in my memory is Klinger’s on the by-pass. I cannot recall what they made but I remember the huge vat of boiling rubber we stood next to and the smell was just awful. We could not get away from it quick enough.
They were great times and I do not regret even one minute of my time at CVHTS.