When I Was Noddy


This is the middle section of a panoramic photograph of the pupils and teachers of Colchester Royal Grammar School in 1962. (If you click on it you will see it in greater detail and you can use the + facility).

About three-quarters toward your right, I am the round-headed boy immediately behind and between two teachers, one thin with glasses and the other quite plump – Mr Richards (Eric) and Mr Isherwood (Thunderguts).

I have scoured the whole photo for Michel Parry (editor and writer of fiction) who was a contemporary of mine at the school, but have failed to find him.*

Today, upon exploring this photo for the first time after many years of having forgotten about it, I found myself wondering what has happened to these people. Do they all look as old as me? Do they have a whole lifetime to tell about? Just some random names I remember of people shown in this photo:  Dave Headley, Chris Pegg, Philip Dick, Hoss Newton, Barry Langston, Leslie Francis, Yan Ledu, Martin Wilcox, Mike Werb, Trevor Brooks, Norman Ridgeway, ‘Reb’ Pearson, Martin King, John Watts (a friend from Junior school), Laurie South (with whom I later went to University and shared a student flat), David Welham (still a close friend)…but most of the time during which we were at CRGS we only knew each other only by the surnames… (Speakman, Sparrow, Healey, Larne,  Tomkins, Lomas, Rolls, Siggers…) Me? I was Noddy Lewis.

And some of the teachers: Baron Casey, Jack Elam, Leggie Lamb, Wearie Wallace, Packo, Uncle Bob, Algy Batt, Ted Cunningham, Basher Bond, Hairy Daniels, Auntie Arthurson , George Young … Fancourt, Isaacs, Hargreaves, Crittenden, Wilkinson, Utting, Donson, Curry et al (where appropriate, RIP).

The other two sections of the photo:



(Edit 20.12.12) *please see third comment below.


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7 responses to “When I Was Noddy

  1. Photobucket

    SCHOOL SONG from the CRGS wikipedia:

    First Verse:

    Now hands about for Colchester
    And sing a rousing chorus
    In praise of all our comrades here
    And those who went before us.
    For to this lay all hearts beat true;
    The loyal hearts that love us;
    So fortune fend each absent friend
    While there’s a sun above us.


    Sing! boys, sing!
    Floreat Sodalitas
    Little matter, well or ill,
    Sentiment is more than skill,
    Sing together with a will
    Floreat Sodalitas
    ‘tas Colchestriensis

    Second Verse:

    By mullioned panes the ivy climbs,
    On Tudor masks and faces.
    So mem’ry adds an evergreen
    To well remembered places.
    And grave OC’s still dream besides
    Of days long since departed;
    And some have expiated crimes
    For which their backs have smarted!


    Third Verse:

    Tradition gives us pride of birth,
    Brave hearts and gentle manners,
    For we are sons of men who marched
    Beneath the Tudor banners!
    So as we pass the torch along
    Aglow with high endeavour,
    One kindly mother we acclaim
    That she may stand for ever.

  2. The four Houses in 1962 were, I recall, Parrs (mine), Harsnetts, Shaw Jeffreys, Dugards.

  3. Having scoured the photo again, I am reasonably confident that Michel Parry is – in the third extract shown above – the boy sitting in the third row from the front, the eighth along from the left. If it is him, then he is coincidentally sitting next to John Watts (the ninth along) who was then my friend from Junior School before going to this Grammar School!

  4. Wonderful – many thanks for this. I was trying to remember some details and the phtos and comments have brought back quite a lot.

  5. OMG…I’m in this! Wow…never thought I’d see this photo again. Thank you.

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