First term’s report at Stogs

This was the report I took home at Christmas in 1961. The two salient points for me are the liking for Spanish and History (which I went on to study at university) and my distaste for physical education. The first term had marked a tremendous change for me in every sense.

My friend Alan reminded me of the harsh regime instituted by a P.E. teacher who did not last long at the school following a series of complaints. He introduced us to the joys of “circuit training.” When I watch the film “If” I am always reminded of the school gym. Alan also mentioned the bust of Queen Bess that sat aloft the gym. I was always the slowest getting changed and about the same where the exercises were concerned.

I found this picture of the main hall at Stogs (during lunch, 1962) at Southwark History Library. I could be in it. I like it because it shows the lamps, the balcony and the organ at the far end. The wood paneling and balcony were extremely impressive.

The dais was where The Oaf lorded it over us during morning and afternoon assembly. There were hymns, prayers and announcements. The choir sang from the balcony, from where the organ also boomed out. I remember, as an older boy, having to climb the stairs to read the lesson from the huge Bible on the equally huge lectern. I was so nervous my knees banged together. For the Bible reading we were coached by the always lovely Miss “Fanny” Robinson, an aging spinster who wore lots of makeup and had a “tide mark” on her neck.

The organ was subsequently dismantled, restored and installed in the new school at Orpington.

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4 Responses to First term’s report at Stogs

  1. David Hamilton says:

    Hi I attended Stogs also. I grew up in Petts Wood, Kent. I was in the first or second intake after the school moved to Orpington.
    These are great photos.

    My first school report looked about the same as yours!!

    My Dad worked at Covent Garden market his whole working life.

    I have lived in USA since 1979.

  2. thebarrowboy says:

    Hi, David.

    If your dad worked at Covent Garden, did that make you a barrow boy?!!

    Do you get to visit the UK often? I shall be back in Orpington in 10 days’ time. It is always quite an adjustment for me after living abroad for so long.

  3. Brian Watkinson says:

    I was one of the 1st years caned for talking in dinner – twice!
    First time I protested I was talking to the server, but the Oaf fancied belting a few 1st years after lunch, Second time banged to rights! Whole table yapping away not noticing the whole hall had hushed to silence as the Oaf was standing outside his study, “You six boys come and see me after dinner!” Appetite lost!
    We all got one, except one 1st year who said his father sent his regards, he got 2!!

  4. Peter says:

    I guess the Oaf looked for every possible opportunity to cane someone! What a man.

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