Newsletter Autumn 2003 President's Message

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Newsletter Autumn 2003

President's Message
A good method of finding out roughly when old Collyerians attended Collyer's is to take them round the buildings and ask them which part of the site they think of as the New Block. During the last 100 years Collyer's must have had at least half a dozen New Blocks. Indeed in the late 1970s there was not only a New Block, but also a New New Block and a New Science Block!
Over the last year Collyer's newest New Block has been taking shape. Externally the Learning Resources Centre is an impressive addition to the architectural mix. Inside it will give great opportunities to students as well as easing the pressure on library accommodation. Even 25 years ago when the college had rather fewer students than now, the library seemed crowded. Old Collyerians have made significant contributions to the Learning Resources Centre; thank you all.
Many other parts of Collyer's have been upgraded recently. The chemistry labs and music rooms have been refurbished, and two recording studios have been constructed for the new Music Technology course. Several teaching rooms have also been redecorated, and photography rooms are being fitted into alcoves formerly occupied by the library.
Students starting this autumn will then have the advantage of many new or enhanced facilities. They also have traditions to live up to, traditions now stretching into the twenty-first century. Details of the College's exam results this summer are given elsewhere in this newsletter. Congratulations to students and tutors whose hard work achieved such excellent results.
For the committee this autumn is a time of farewells. Nick Rose and Bob Smith are retiring from the committee after a number of years filling many roles between them. David Lees is also leaving the committee and this newsletter will be the last he edits. Thanks very much to Bob, Nick and David for the time and effort they have put into the Association.
I've very much enjoyed my year as President. It's been a great honour and pleasure to attend functions as President and work harmoniously with the other members of the Committee.
Hope to see you at the Winter Reunion.
Nick Weller

Appeal for new committee members
We urgently need new members to help with the general running of the Association, and also to fill certain committee offices. The commitment is not heavy; six committee meetings and one Annual General Meeting a year. interested?
If you can help, you will be playing a major role in ensuring that the Association continues to operate as successfully as it has in the past.
If you are interested in joining the committee or want to find out what's involved. please contact the President* or Secretary, Please also come to the Annual General Meeting on 15 November. We very much need your help.
(* I'm on holiday for the last ten days of October, but will be around for the rest of the period before the AGM.)

Annual Winter Reunion Dinner 2003.
This year's Winter Re-union Dinner will take place on Saturday 15th November, at the College. The committee look forward to welcoming as many members and guests as possible to the dinner and to the AGM beforehand. A ticket application form is enclosed with this newsletter. Ticket prices have again been held at just £18.00 - no increase from the last four years! The timetable looks like this:

  • 4.00pm: AGM (In the Duckering Room. The committee is in urgent need of new members - see articles).

  • 5.00pm: The old College buildings will be open so that members may wander around! for a little reminiscence.

  • 5.30pm: Licensed bar opens in the Duckering Hall. This early part of the evening also provides an opportunity to look over selected~ memorabilia from the OCA archives that will be displayed in the Duckering Hall as well as meet and greet old friends in an informal atmosphere over a drink or two. It is also a good idea to purchase your wine from the bar now to avoid the last minute rush!

  • 7.00pm: Take seats for dinner in the Students' Common Room.

  • 10.00pm: After dinner there is usually time to return to the bar! It closes at 11 00pm.

Please note: the College now operates a no-smoking policy on the campus.

Meeting one fine early morning in North Street, Gates and Richards reflected that it's been a few years since a sizeable gathering of 60's lads made it to the OCA Annual Dinner. So this year it seems right to try to get together a large group of us and those we have contacted so far agree.
Whilst some are checking or trying to reorganise their diaries at the time of "going to press", others have given a commitment to do their best to be at Collyer's on 15 November for the Annual Dinner, including Malcolm Bailey, Dave Picknell, Tony Collins, Malcolm Gates, John Mann, Mick Polley, Martin Burgess, Steve Hurry, Chris Winckworth and Richard Richards. More friends and contemporaries will be contacted over the next few weeks to persuade them to come along, so hopefully it will be a night to remember.
Now, if you're an OC from this era, come along, and if you know someone else from the 60s - member or not - why not give them a call and see if they wish to join in.
For more information contact Richard Richards on and don't forget to complete and return your Dinner Ticket Application Form enclosed with the newsletter!! Hope to see you there.

The Newsletter
Who would like to help produce the OCA Newsletter?
As mentioned in the President's message, this will be the last Newsletter that I will be editing - having served for three years on the committee, and now finding that a young family and a busy career are demanding more and more of my time.
The twice a year Newsletter is such an important part of the OCA, it has been an honour and a pleasure to be involved, and I'm certain that others would enjoy it equally. Someone with writing, editing and Desktop Publishing skills would be ideal for the position, but all that is really needed is an interest in the OCA, a little bit of time, and a computer to load the software onto. The OCA has bought its own copy of Microsoft Publisher - this is what we use to create the layout. I'd also be happy to offer advice or assistance to anyone creating the next edition if they were new to Publisher.
Everyone in the committee helps out by providing articles and sharing correspondence, so you're certainly not on your own as the Newsletter editor.
If you're interested, please contact one of the current committee members, or come along to the AGM.
David Lees

Your President
The Autumn 2000 newsletter's lead story, 'OCA in crisis' grabbed the attention of Old Collyerian, Nick Weller. Nick joined the committee soon after, initially as Archivist, but very quickly also accepted the role of Honorary Treasurer. This year has seen Nick become President, while still continuing as Archivist and Treasurer. Your current newsletter editor asked Nick to provide an autobiography for the interest of members who haven't had the pleasure of meeting him personally. For those who can't make the annual dinner to meet him in the flesh, here is a potted history of Nick Weller...

"I was born in Horsham in 1963 and arrived at Collyer's in 1974 after attending Trafalgar and Greenway schools. I was at Collyer's for seven years and one term, witnessing the change into a sixth form college.

Thanks to the teaching I received from Alison Winters, John Hamer and Mike Tillbrook, won a place at Merton College, Oxford to read History and Economics. After graduating, I qualified as an accountant. A couple of years after qualifying, I moved into the technical and training side of the Accountancy profession where I have been ever since.
These days I work in Business Education, writing study and revision material for accountancy and other business exams. I have been able to put some of the lessons learnt at Collyer's to good effect in the study material I prepare, particularly what I learnt from Alison Winters about structuring answers and revising for exams.
Outside work I enjoy reading books unconnected with business. Favourite authors include Anthony Powell and PG Wodehouse and I also keep up my history reading. At weekends I like to watch cricket and football; I'm a member of Sussex County Cricket Club and will admit to possession of a season ticket for Crawley Town football club. I also enjoy walking but prefer the valleys to the hilltops.
I still live in Horsham, off Ashleigh Road these days. This means I see Collyer's every day, passing the college on my way to the station."

Thanks Nick - Ed. It is only with the hard work and dedication of volunteers like Nick can the OCA continue to exist and to produce regular events and newsletters. If you can help the OCA avoid another crisis by volunteering a little time to help on the committee, and have some fun too, please, please step forward - Ed.

College News

  • The new Learning Resources Centre is due to open in November, and, (if ready!) it may be open for a tour when the OCA AGM is on.

  • Enrolments for 2003/4 were 1221 when the Principal reported to the last OCA committee meeting in September.

  • During the college summer holiday, the chemistry lab was refurbished, two new rooms for photography were built in the old library alcove, and several social sciences teaching rooms were upgraded. The music department has been refurbished and two new recording studios built for a new Music Technology course.

  • Collyer's students again produced outstanding results this summer, with an overall A level pass rate of 98.2%, a new college record. There was also a further increase in the proportion of higher grades, with 73% of all entries being graded A, B, or C (compared with 70% last year and 68% the year before).

Douglas Coghlan (1940 - 1946) wrote last November to inform of a change of address. Unfortunately with a busy Spring edition of the newsletter, his jottings didn't make that one... but how could we not find space for news from an old scholar and a staff member too?!
Douglas was intrigued by the articles letters and reports on Collyer's in the war years and the doings of HGLM Kinloch and Freddy Fisher and others. He was there as a scholar from 1940 to 1946 and again as a staff member 1954-1956, so thinks he can add more to what has already been said - he plans to write with his thoughts once he's settled into his new house.
Douglas retired from lecturing at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, at the end of 1990 and has been in Knysna, "in paradise," ever since, and was moving to a retirement village at the time of writing.
When he retired he was mad keen on golf but damaged an elbow and took up bowls seriously about 7 years ago. He did quite well and won the club singles twice. Having coached all his life, mainly athletics as Old Collyerians will remember (he hopes), he took coaching courses in Bowls and has ended up as a Level 4 coach (only the 10th in SA) and has coached the Southern Cape teams with success, two of them gaining bronze medals at the SA Champs. He visited UK in 2000 as his daughter now lives and works in Oakham, Rutland, and visited Horsham briefly where his friend Shirley Glaysher had arranged to meet some of his Collyerian friends, such as Bill and Dick Tidey, Ted Palmer and others. He even managed to slip over the road to see Marjorie Lee.
His daughter wants them to visit again this time for Christmas so it looks as though he could be over in 2003, and if so, would like to fit in the OCA dinner if he can. The last one he attended was with Norman Garner in 1972. Norman married his cousin Vivien Holmes whose two brothers, Rex and Andrew also went to Collyer's.

SS Neuralia
In last Autumn's newsletter we mentioned that among AA Henderson's collection of photos were pictures of a school holiday on the S.S. Neuralia, and we asked if anyone could tell us anything about this holiday. We received two very interesting responses, and because they clearly both refer to different holidays, we've reproduced them both below. Thanks to both the Rev Reginald Fuller and Ron Osborne for their information. Did holidays aboard the Neuralia prove so popular that they became an annual event?

Referring to your question about AA Henderson and the School trip on the Neuralia mentioned in the OCA newsletter which has just arrived, this took place in August 1931. The Neuralia was a troop ship, taken over for a cruise for boys from a large number of schools.

The cruise set forth from Immingham, crossing the North Sea, proceeding to the Kiel Canal to cities in the Scandinavian countries. We first visited Copenhagen, then up the Baltic to Stockholm, next round the Peninsula to Gothenburg, and finally to Oslo.
I have a number of memories of this trip. First, every one in our party was seasick on our outward voyage crossing the North Sea except yours truly. However, after we visited Copenhagen and were fed on chocolate eclairs, first in the Tivoli Gardens and then in the City Hall, I alone was terribly sick the following night. The discomfort was made worse by the fact that we all had to sleep in hammocks.
Two things I remember about passing through the Kiel Canal. First, I was quite convinced that the ship's mast was going to crash into one of the bridges as we passed beneath them. Second, after we left the canal we were told that there had been a big explosion in Kiel caused by the German Nazis (it would be nearly two years before Hitler came to power). Apart from the four royal palaces in the centre of Copenhagen, I remember being very impressed by the number of blonde girls riding on bicycles on the special bicycle tracks all around the city. (Remember - I was 16 years old at the time!)
The leader of the whole adventure was a ferocious headmaster from a school in Hereford, as I remember. After our visit to Stockholm he assembled us all on deck the next morning and delivered a furious harangue about the way we had littered the streets of Stockholm with the debris from Eskimo pies which we had devoured in large numbers.
All the pictures I took were of historic landmarks and none of my fellow Collyerians, alas! Altogether it was most enjoyable since foreign travel was not common in those days and for some like me it was the first trip abroad.
In most years "Hendy" took a group of boys to France, but I never was able to join them.
Rev Reginald Fuller (1925 -1934)

I was on such a holiday with A.A. (Gags) Henderson. I have no recollection as to the name of the ship - it might or might not have been the SS Neuralia.

My trip was in 1961 or 1962, or thereabouts. We (about 10 to 12 of us) went from London to Edinburgh by train and sailed out of Leith, as I recall, stopping along the east coast of Scotland. I particularly recall Aberdeen. We eventually visited the Orkneys and Shetlands. All in all about 10 days.
It was a super trip and Gags was a wonderful, tolerant leader who seemed to enjoy himself immensely. While it was easy to make gentle fun of his eccentricities (handkerchief in the mouth etc), it was also easy to have the utmost respect and affection for him.
As I say, this may not be the trip you are asking about, but it was likely typical of any other such trip.
Ronald W. Osborne (1957 -1964)

From the Archivist
A walk in the Black Forest
Donald Slyfieid has donated to the archives a very interesting photograph from the 1930 journey to Germany - the very first Collyer's' school trip abroad.
The trip was led by AA Henderson, assisted by his friend Mr Robbins. The Channel crossing and 24 hour rail journey to Aftersteg in the Black Forest went very smoothly. Unfortunately after a couple of days of ideal weather, the party had to endure rain and strong winds which lasted for the remainder of the stay in Aftersteg and the whole time that the party was in Todtmous. Still the bad weather did not impair the views of the scenery, and the mountain air generated healthy appetites. On one occasion everyone had to run 5 miles back to their accommodation in order not to miss supper.
The party suffered one scare when one of its members went white and, not surprisingly perhaps, whiter still when fed upon a milk diet However the report on the trip in the Collyerian noted that soon all was well. Our fears suddenly dispersed when it leaked out that he'd had a bath'.
Donald was able to identify all bar one of the boys on the photo, and the Collyerian supplied the complete list of names. The boys on the trip were: E L Bedford, A H (Titch) Cagby, C Goben, R C Champion, D (Doug) Durrant, A K French, F (Frank) Newcomb, A R Petley, D J Rimmer, H M Rimmer, D W Slyfield, G N Slytield, S F Standen, C Stone, S (Stan) Swain, 0 E Wild, L Woodhouse and W A Williamson.
Thank you to Donald for donating this photo. I would be interested to hear from anyone else who has memories of school trips abroad.
Nick Weller

Anthony Freeman (1955 -1965) was prompted to write by the obituary of A.C. Hull in the Spring Newsletter. "Thank you for your appreciative obituary of A.C. Hull, which brought back happy memories of that- most gentle of masters. Three things in particular I remember him for.

  1. The weekly "red spot picture", which introduced us painlessly to many of the world's great paintings.

  2. His enthusiasm for modernist architecture. He not only introduced us to the great names like Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, he was also a true ambassador for modern domestic building by local authorities. These days, when with the benefit of hindsight most people deride the municipal tower block of the sixties, it is good to recall the high ideals of healthy open living spaces - even for those at the bottom of the housing heap - that inspired those buildings as replacements for back-to-back slums.

  3. His sessions on poster design (always timed to coincide with the term of the school play}, where he taught us (a) how to fit the words on to the paper, and (b) the golden rule that unless a notice gave priority to the date, time, and venue of the event it was advertising, then it was a bad poster, irrespective of its artistic merit. Over the years I have found those just about the most useful and practical things I learned at Collyer's!

Anthony also shared his thoughts on David McDowell's article, The Old Lady.
He enjoyed the whimsical piece on the Old Lady but wondered whether David was not a bit too quick to dispose of the idea that she was originally the Virgin Mary. Anthony says, "I have always taken the combination of the crown on her head and the clouds often shown underneath her bust to indicate a depiction of Mary as Queen of Heaven."
As to why they kept the symbol at the time of the reformation, Anthony is wary of teaching an historian his trade, but thinks that surely it was only with the Elizabethan settlement that the reformed Anglican tradition became sufficiently established for anyone to be certain that the Catholics would not regain the upper hand in England. (And even then it not entirely certain.) So a conservative city company with strong links to leading Catholics like Thomas More might well have preferred to keep its traditional crest.
As for what happened later, some versions of the Mercers Maiden (e.g. the 1669 one on the company website) bear a striking resemblance to contemporary portraits of the young Elizabeth I with her flowing hair. So maybe as the religious and political tide turned, so the Virgin Mary became transformed by degrees into the Virgin Queen, and safely Protestant.
"Well, it's a point of view..." says Anthony.

Andrew Gardner, the late 'Duggie' A.C. Hull's grandson, also wrote about the obituary in the last Newsletter. He was given a copy by OCA member Jack Puttock.
"I would like to take this opportunity of thanking you for your kind words In tribute to him and especially interested to hear about him as a teacher, as I have known him all my life as a grandfather."
They shared interests in art, music and architecture. Andrew recalls several times while walking in the town with his grandfather, an old pupil would come over to say hello, and often they would be 'old men' themselves!
"I loved and respected him greatly, and know how much his enthusiasm for the subjects he taught had a lasting effect on many people.
My grandmother Joyce Hull, who had been his constant companion since they were married in 1936, passed away in May, only five months after him."

Shrewsbury and Mills: some Old Collyerian tales:
Brian Slyfield (1953 - 1960) has kindly submitted an ar1icle he researched when looking into the time when his father, Donald Slyfield (1924 - 1931) was a pupil at Collyer's. The article, which was published earlier this year in The Horsham Society Newsletter, is longer than we would normally print in the OCA Newsletter, but your editor thought it too good to 'chop down', so here it is in the full, and we hope you enjoy...

J B Shrewsbury and. J Mills were both Old Collyerians - one a master and one a pupil - and while I knew a little of the former from my father, who was a student under' Shoo', as he was known to that generation back in 1920s Collyer's, I knew nothing of the latter until I unearthed an article about him in a 1936 issue of the West Sussex County Times. In that same year, when the retirement of Shrewsbury was reported, James Mills, then into his 90th year was recounting anecdotes to- the local press that dipped well back into the previous century - and indeed beyond that, based on his father's recollections, so it seemed a good idea to link these two characters together, and to retell now a little .of what they had to tell then.

Shrewsbury was a long-serving and much loved master at Collyer's, who taught French and Art. He lived at 'Claremont', 20 London Road, next to William Albery, and. had. a son who. was also- a pupil at Collyer's. My father remembers him as 'a genial old boy', and one who invigilated at his entrance exam in 1924. Such are the details that stick in the mind, are they not, even after nearly 80 years? He was one of a group of masters that included Robinson, Hart and- Bob Grennop with- his one sound leg, who have now become part of the early. 20th century folklore of the school, and in the remembering seem to become larger. than life as is the way of things, of course, with schoolday recollections. But it is clear that Shrewsbury was also much admired in his own time, judging by the ceremony that accompanied his retirement.
On 27 November 1936 the local paper reported on the AGM of the Old Col1yerians' Association, and on its first dinner at the Black Horse, now demolished but once opposite the Argos- showrooms at the bottom of West Street. Ever a conservative' bunch, this change of venue must have been a radical experiment by the OCA, and goodness knows what could have dynamited them from their usual meeting place at the King's Head or some similar venue. But the new location seems to have stuck, because I can remember attending a similar annual function there in 1960, twenty four years on.
Shrewsbury's retirement presentation was at the heart of the dinner, and he was the guest of honour. He had been at the school for 30-odd years, since 1905, and had seen it develop from a fairly low ebb to become one of the best schools of its kind. He had worked under four headmasters: George Thompson (1890 - 1917), William Major (1917-1922), Wilfred Peacock (1922 - 1926), and PA Tharp (1926 -1956), and had himself held the post of Second or Senior Master from 1927 until his retirement, which he now richly deserved. Ever a modest man, he quietly scotched the OCA's plans to present him with a 'pretentious' leaving present, and settled for the gift of a humble wireless and a cheque, rather than the originally intended radiogram ('certainly not that'), which he felt to be far too flashy. In the course of the speeches, headmaster Tharp was pleased to claim that 'the school's average exams result was 79.1%, far better than the national average of 67.7% (what these statistics mean I am not entirely clear, but isn't it interesting to note that the concept of analysis and comparison was alive and well in 1936), and he also noted the rapid development of the school this century'. The OCA ran a Centenary Fund, designed to help 'boys with brains' (no beating about the bush here), and the meeting also reported that a number of boys, who through necessity had to remain anonymous, had been helped - those who 'would not otherwise be in a position to take advantage of opportunities'.
'Shoo' was honoured with Life Membership of the OCA, and in his own speech avoided the hard academic sell, and instead opted for a little light relief by dipping in to past volumes of the school punishment book, and producing suitably distanced extracts. So we learn that in the previous century one particular boy was caught drunk in the street at election time. (Remember that candidates splashed money and alcohol around in liberal quantities in those days in their search for votes, and maybe: this particular young Collyerian took full advantage, along with the rest of Horsham). These days a wringing of hands and a spot of counselling would have been the order of the day, but then six of the best would have probably been the short, sharp outcome. Another later, and stranger punishment book entry concerned a lad who apparently chalked, obsessively, 'Billy Major', a far too over-familiar public expression of his head's name, all along the pavement between Hurst Road and the station. Now this is really odd behaviour, but again I doubt very much whether counselling was the outcome. Shrewsbury's speech, and others, were followed by a programme of entertainment by 'Raoul the Conjuror', ably backed up by Mr B Sainsbury from London.
James Mills, our second Old Collyerian, also appears in the pages of the West Sussex County Times in 1936. At the age of 90, he relates an all-to-brief clutch of stones about the Horsham of his youth, coupled with a few anecdotes gleaned perhaps from his father, who in turn may have reached back into his parent's memory. I so wish I knew more about James Mills, and that someone like William Albery had sat down and recorded what he had to say. The fragments that I have picked up from his interview in the local paper provide some information that I have not seen before, and there must have been much more to tell. But never mind - let's make sure at least that the snippets that are available are brought back into the light.
First of-all, a-little detail- as to his background. His address in 1936, when he was 90, was,'Silverlea', Richmond Road, and so he was born back in 1846. The 1851 census gives a 4 year-old, James Mills, son of William Mills, master blacksmith, father of seven other children, the eldest of which was aged 18 (George, a 'fell monger', or dealer in hides), all living on Horsham Common. This is probably our man.
People born in Horsham still refer to any location around Trafalgar Road and Rushams Road as 'back of the common', and this is where James would have been brought up, and his father practised his trade. The latter would have been a young boy in the early years of the 19th century, and would have retained memories and tales from his own parents, who themselves would have been young in the 1770-80's. Whereas Shrewsbury taught at the Hurst Road school, Mills would have attended the earlier Collyer's in Denne Road, on the same site as the original 1541 establishment.
James' second eldest brother, William, was a 'brewer's porter' in 1851, and James himself worked for Michells' the brewers in later life. Perhaps doors were opened through family contacts. His uncle, Charles Mills, held the position of town constable, at a time when there was just the one, backed up by a superintendent. Uncle Charles used to parade about the town, resplendent in tall hat and frock coat - the epitome of Dickensian law enforcement.
According to James, his boss Mr Michell was the founder of the town's first waterworks. This may be stretching the truth a little, but we do know that Henry Michell was an early investor in the Horsham Waterworks Company. The custom had been since time immemorial for residents to rely on private wefts for their supplies, and indeed it was while Michell was boring for an improved source at his brewery that his workmen discovered an unexpectedly generous supply. Water gushed out so strongly from the bore hole that all tools had to be abandoned and a rapid retreat took place. But the future opportunity was not lost on the canny brewer; not only was he able to abandon the cumbersome practice of piping up water from the Arun to his brewery via his private water pipe, but he could now also see the value to others of a more regular supply.
Tales of smugglers are never far away from Horsham's history, and while Shrewsbury made an imaginary sketch of members of the notorious Hawkhurst Gang praying in Horsham Church before their execution in 1749, for inclusion in neighbour Albery's Millennium (page 475), Mills had family stories to tell. Brandy, highly taxed in England, was a popular contraband item, smuggled up from the coast, and Mills recounts that there was still a house in Robin Hood Lane where supplies used to be purchased, almost under the noses of the excisemen, as it were. Even more daring, there was once apparently a man called Waters (inappropriate name, one might think) whose habit was to proceed through Horsham bearing two buckets suspended on a yoke. The top part of each bucket was filled with 'hogwash', while the, bottom contained the precious cargo of brandy. Let's hope they did not get mixed up. The other commodity to come up from the coast was fresh fish, transported, legally, in carts which were harnessed to dogs. Unlikely as it may seem, this practise has also been recounted by William Albery, and really did take place - until, that is, it was made illegal at a more humanitarian time.
Old names and locations are always interesting, and while many will know that New Street used to be known as Pest House Lane, due to the isolation facilities that were based at the top end, I did not know of Miller's Corner, the junction at the bottom end of West Street - now, all paved in - so named after a shop keeper there. The Mills family also remembers the Carfax as Gaol Green (the north side of the Carfax was the site of more than one prison) and James Mills tells of the gaol there, in a memory that must have been passed down from his grandparents, as it was out of commission by the late 1770s, to be replaced by a building that stood where the Iron Bridge is now. His Gaol Green anecdotes are fascinating. His family held drawings of the old gaol, and one intriguing detail, handed down from his father, tells of 'a large kind of windmill' on the top of the building, which was activated when the prisoners in the cells below were busy sweating it out on the treadmill. When the wind was against them, and blowing against the sails, their task was made doubly difficult.
His father also spoke of prisoners being hanged 'in St Leonards's Forest' (by this he no doubt meant established sites on the edge of town), and of their bodies afterwards being taken down and transported to a place called The Playhouse in Denne Road, for dissection in medical research. This latter was a common practice of the times, of course, but the Denne Road detail is interesting, as is the black humour which surely must have been responsible for the naming of the mortuary.
On a lighter note 'a pleasure fair' was held every year on Gaol Green, and young James helped to build a 5 November bonfire on the green - another important annual event for the town. Interestingly it was also the site where a stage was set up whenever travelling players came to Horsham, and in another specific, we learn that the Duke of Norfolk, no doubt in his capacity as Lord of the Manor, gave his permission for the Beeneys', a family of local horse dealers, to take a stand on the green. One gets a real feeling from these fast few brief anecdotes, as to how this large patch of grass was, in a very real sense, the heart of the community in those days - and if we substitute the words paving and tarmac for grass, we can say much the same now, can't we?
Brian Slyfieid

Civic Guild of Old Mercers
The Installation Dinner for the new Guildmaster, Old Dauntseian Angus Macpherson took place at Apothecaries' Hall on 20th May. 80 Guildmen, Apprentices and guests enjoyed an excellent dinner. The official guests included the Chief Commoner of the City of London and the Master of the Mercers' Company. Students from the Guildhall School of Music provided a delightful interlude. Guildmen and guests have recently been on guided tours of the Old Bailey and Goddard & Gibbs, stained glass manufacturers.
Anyone interested in joining the Guild can obtain details from the Guild's Old Collyerian representative: Bob Smith, 95 Whitebeam Avenue, Bromley, Kent, BR2 8DN, tel. 02084675217.

A New Service from the OCA
You're in a crowd - or even in an important meeting. A mobile phone starts ringing. Can you be sure it's yours?
Well, now you can, with the SCHOOL SONG RING TONE, exclusive to OCA members! The School Song Ring Tone is compatible only with Nokia mobile phones at present; but if there is sufficient demand, I shall find out how to download it to other makes.
Contact Nick Rose on for details.

The OCA Committee would like to thank all those who contributed to this newsletter and encourage others to submit their memories, anecdotes, experiences, and topics for discussion to ensure future editions are full and interesting. Please send contributions for the newsletter to a member of the committee, or e-mail us from
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