Top Picture: The School Choir which sang The Messiah
Second Picture: Pedal boat at Hilsea
Music at School
I was never very musical; in fact I have been known to find it difficult at times to just strike a chord. This, however, was no deterrent as whilst at Solent Road Junior School it was decided that the whole class would learn to play the recorder. To me this was a nightmare, my mother bought me a brand new recorder and off I went to school with my copy of the green coloured Recorder Tutor with music (the second book, which I never progressed to, had a blue cover). Well over the weeks I sat in the music lesson trying my best to play the scales and individual notes and only succeeding in making a terrible row. Even with hours of practice at home things never got any better. It got to the stage where when the class tried to play the March from Skippio my attempts let the whole session down. I was told to practice more but what ever I did I could not master the beast but then I realised that I knew the fingering and if I did not blow I did not make the terrible squeaks and whistles; so her was the answer every lesson I sat there at my desk and whilst everyone else blew away happily I held my breath an just fingured the notes and guess what it worked. Suddenly I was not being pick out by the music teacher and life seemed much better and what’s more the managed to keep this pretence up until I moved onto another class. Wow
My second contact with school music was at Court Lane but this was purely vocal. Here John Stevens, the music master, had high standards but he knew how to instil the love of music in pupils and to bring out the best in them. I know, because I have spoken to many of you with the same memories and they all revolve round such productions as Trial by Jury and The Pirates of Penzance. Each year we, as a school choir, were entered into the Portsmouth Music Festival where we competed against other school choirs and very often came away with a cup or some prize. Who remembers going to the Central Hall in Kingston Road for the competitions? And in one year the competition was actually held in the Guildhall. Great fun and an afternoon off school.
This all paled into insignificance when we moved to Manor Court and Mr Stevens decided we would perform The Messiah. What a performance it was with semi professional soloists, the whole school choir, parents and friends and relations all rehearsing for weeks for the big day. The orchestra came from somewhere in Portsmouth and was augmented by good local amateurs, I remember that much to our amazement Ray Dopson was spotted playing the violin. (incidentally many years later Ray’s son Paul spent many hours in his teenage years making his father a violin which, after it had matured, played very well).
The great day came and we all sang our hearts out and the performance was a great success and we all went home feeling a great sense of satisfaction. Now I have a question. On the day in question the whole performance was recorded on a reel to reel tape recorder and on occasions later in the year parts were played back to us but the recording seems to have totally disappeared. My question is does anyone know what happened to it?
All this was a wonderful grounding in the wonderful world of music both pop and classical. I understand that Mr Stevens moved off to Somerset after he left Manor Court, does anyone know what happened to him? I think there are many ex-pupils who would like to thank him for kindling their life long interest in music.
Stay in touch,
All the girls wore ugly gym slips
It took five minutes for the TV to warm up
Nearly everyone's Mum was at home when the kids got home from school
Nobody owned a thoroughbred dog
You'd reach into a muddy gutter for a penny
Your Mother wore nylons that came in two pieces
You got your windscreen cleaned, oil checked, and petrol served, without asking, all for free, every time.
It was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents
They threatened to keep children back a year if they failed. . . And they did it!
When a Ford Zephyr was everyone's dream car...
And people went steady
No one ever asked where the car keys were because they were always in the car, in the ignition, and the doors were never locked
Playing cricket with no adults to help the children with the rules of the game
Bottles came from the corner shop without safety caps and hermetic seals because no one had yet tried to poison a perfect stranger.
And with all our progress, don't you wish, just once, you could slip back in time and savour the slower pace, and share it with the children of today.
When being sent to the head's study was nothing
compared to the fate that awaited the student at home
Basically we were in fear for our lives, but it wasn't because of
drive-by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc. Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat! But we survived because their love was greater than the threat.
As well as summers filled with bike rides, rounders , Hula Hoops,
and visits to the pool, and eating sherbert with liquorice sticks.
Didn't that feel good, just to go back and say, 'Yes, I remember that'?
I am sharing this with you today because it ended with a
Double Dare to pass it on. To remember what a Double Dare is, read on.
And remember that the perfect age is somewhere between old enough to know better and too young to care.
Send this on to someone who can still remember the Lone Ranger and Sgt Bilko
How Many Of These Do You Remember?
Coca Cola in bottles.
Blackjacks and bubblegums.
Home milk delivery in glass bottles with tinfoil tops.
Hi-If's & 45 RPM records.
78 RPM records?
Do You Remember a Time When..
Decisions were made by going 'eeny-meeny-miney-moe'?
'Race issue' meant arguing about who ran the fastest?
Catching tiddlers could happily occupy an entire day?
It wasn't odd to have two or three ' Best Friends'?
The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was'chickenpox'?
Having a Weapon in School meant being caught with a catapault?
War was a card game?
Cigarette cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle?
Taking drugs meant orange - flavored chewable aspirin?
Water balloons were the ultimate weapon?
If you can remember most or all of these, Then You Have Lived!!!!!!!
Pass this on to anyone who needs a break from their 'Grown-Up' Life.
and send it to youngsters that have "never lived"
I Double DareYou
News and Views:
Al DeLory, who gave us 1970's "Song From M*A*S*H" and co-wrote "Please Mr. Custer" died on February 5. He was 82 and Davy Jones lead singer with the Monkees died Wednesday (February 29) after suffering a heart attack at his home in Stuart, Florida. He was 66..
On this day 9th March 1960-1965
On 09/03/1960 the number one single was Why - Anthony Newley and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was The Larkins (ATV) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 09/03/1961 the number one single was Walk Right Back/Ebony Eyes - Everly Brothers and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was No Hiding Place (AR) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 09/03/1962 the number one single was Rock-a-Hula Baby/Can't Help Falling In Love - Elvis Presley and the number one album was Blue Hawaii - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 09/03/1963 the number one single was The Wayward Wind - Frank Ifield and the number one album was Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & the Shadows. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 09/03/1964 the number one single was Anyone Who Had a Heart -Cilla Black and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 09/03/1965 the number one single was I'll Never Find Another You - Seekers and the number one album was Rolling Stones Number 2 - The Rolling Stones. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was First public talking computer.