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RGS Revisited (51 years on)

On Wednesday 15th August 2007 my wife and I were travelling home to Torquay after visiting my daughters in Waltham Cross..

At an early stage in our journey around the M25 we learned of an accident on the M4 which was causing tailbacks onto the M25.

The traffic came to a grinding halt just as the turnoff to Rickmansworth came into view so we decided to detour for a sentimental visit to Amersham, where I spent most of my boyhood, and then to continue our journey via High Wycombe so as to pass by my old school.

I had not been in the school since 1956. The last time I had passed by, about 15 years ago, I had been appalled to see a monstrous factory entrance like structure obscuring the vista of the school. My wife was not impressed.

This time I was determined to show her what the school really looked like so we turned off the main road and parked in the visitors car park.

Boldy entering in front of the old library we spotted some workmen removing the window frames from the Headmaster's study.

I was about to exchange in pleasantries with them with a view to asking them for a quick peek inside the school when we were "collared" by a gentleman who introduced himself as Ken Nelson, the Estate Manager of the school.

Ken turned out to be an extremely engaging person and he invited us to see the school with him.

Despite incessant demands for his attention from various tradesmen engaged in refurbishment being carried out during the school holidays, Ken took us on a tour of the school which included:-


Ken Nelson and myself at the main entranceFinally Ken invited us to meet Roy Page, the present Headmaster, but unfortunately he was engaged with a visitor at the time.
It would have been interesting to see how he compared with "Boss" Tucker. The Boss could be a very severe and menacing presence but I always recall how kindly he treated us new boys in our first term when he taught us our first steps in Latin.

I would like to thank Ken once again for his very friendly and informative tour of the school. His commitment and affection for the school comes across very clearly. I would guess that he is a very popular figure and a great asset to the school.

Amazingly Ken says he has only been at the school for five years but he has an extensive knowledge of the schools history.

I would recommend any "boy" passing the school, out of the blue as I did, to have a look in try your luck.

After 51 years I'm glad I did!

Some comments received following this item

John Saunders writes about the Chapel:

I've just noticed that the attached obit answers one of your questions in your recent story about going back to the school - the founding of the school chapel in 1960.
They converted an old chemistry laboratory which was right underneath the clock tower. I confess I never so much as stepped inside it!

Alan Jones (63-68) commented on Wall Bars & H & S

Alan is H & S Officer with Blackburn and Darwen BC: Alan writes:--

As a H&S officer however, I must take issue with your assertion that wallbars and ropes don't fit in with H&S. Oh yes, they do!! No reason not to use them providing they are being used safely, have been assessed and there is sufficient supervision. Poor old H&S - we get blamed for everything! Sense and sensibility and its thoughtful application are what's needed.
Actually there is very little on the HSE website about gymnasia and their equipment. The new stuff on working at height etc is probably what has caused some people to err on the cautious side.














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