Paul Richard Fairclough
I joined the school in 1961, two years after my elder brother Ian, who by now was in Grigg. I was sent to Junior House,
due to my small size at that time. The first night in a wooden dormitory with 30 other boys was a new experience for me
and several of the other poor souls, judging by the sniffles and snivels that night. We were soon introduced to the fagging
system, where we had to clean the shoes, make the beds, run to the tuck shop etc. etc. for the elder prefects. Most
evenings we had supper followed by supervised homework in the same “temporary building” which is probably still there
today! My only other recollection of life in Junior was a huge organised pillow fight which had been scheduled at the end
of the third term. There was plenty of fisticuffs as well as feathers flying that night. Looking back on this event,
I think it was some sort of primitive ritual to find out who was tough enough to go directly to their designated senior
houses next term, and which weaklings would spend the next year in Intermediate House. Needless to say a bloodied nose
ensured I was picked for the latter destination.
Sport played a big role for most afternoons. I played soccer in preference to cricket, which was the choice we were given.
This explains why I’m such an awful bowler today, whenever playing social cricket! Away matches with the Junior Colts were
always exciting. Transport was in a covered Bedford lorry, with open sides and a canvass roof. Trips back home were spent
lamenting our loss, or alternatively singing at the tops of our voices after an away win. We’d always end up with the
school song on entering the gates of the school. This normally consisted of three lines of humming the tune, followed by a
resounding GOD BLESS THE PRINCE OF WALES!
The biggest major event I can remember was a trip to the royal show grounds, where Cliff Richard and the Shadows were on a
world tour. That day the Bedford had its seats removed, and we were packed like sardines, standing in the back. I don’t
remember too much of the concert. However, due to the crowds, the lorry had to break suddenly at the show grounds. Twenty
kids came down like a pack of cards, and it felt like 19 landed on my right knee, which swelled up like a balloon. Today
I’m still reminded of that incident. Too much red wine and the gout goes straight to the right knee.
Finished school in the UK at Sir Roger Manwoods in Kent, and then onto Nottingham University where I graduated
in Chem Eng (BSc) in 1970. Emigrated to South Africa in 1970, as a metallurgist on the mines with Anglo American, and De
Beers. Joined Mobil Refinery in 1973 in Durban, where I've been stationed now for 30 years. I play tennis and golf, and
enjoy watching all sports. I'm a widower, with a steady girlfriend, and an old Golden Retriever.
I enjoyed the picture of Grigg House 1962, where I saw a small toto with my name in the front row.
Unfortunately my elder brother Ian, who is also pictured, passed away in Yorkshire in 1999.
(Registered - 23rd Feb 2004)
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