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   Ray Knowles


Raymond Hugh (Ray) Knowles

House: Nicholson
Year: 1952-1956
  • Many weekends filling the bamboo security wall encircling Intermediate house with sand during the Mau Mau emergency.
  • Getting caned for whistling at a pretty girl walking along the road outside Intermediate house
  • Getting caned for "bunking" and visiting the boma.
  • Getting caned for getting caught smoking.
  • Digging an underground "hideout" with Dick Wheeler and others on the edge of the top playing fields at Nicholson/Rhodes.
  • Horrible lumpy porridge and foul green/grey beans cheerfully dished up by Mrs MacDonald??? who was i/c Nicholson/Rhodes house kitchen. I still don't eat beans!!
  • The foul-smelling rags they used to give us to wipe the dining room tables when we were on kitchen duty.
  • Doing push-ups for walking with hands in pockets. This was a favourite punishment from Johnny Riddell, the Gym instructor. Met him many years later. Turns out he was a Commmando in the war.
  • "Bootroom" I'm sure everyone remembers that and the stentorian yell....."RABBLE"!
  • A very pretty biology mistress teaching us about the sex life of a frog. Now that WAS interesting. Poor lady.
  • Climbing to the top of the water tower at nights to have a smoke with Tom Whitehouse, Dave Horley, Edward Sulkowski, Dave Parker, Dick Wheeler, Victor Crease and others.
  • A few of us found a favourite place to safely have a smoke. Down a path leading off from the road past Percy Fletcher's house, which lead to a huge old fig tree behind the Cricket Oval. Up the tree, nobody could see or smell you and gave a good view for keeping 'cave'.
  • "Bunking" next door to the Cable and Wireless station and generally making a nuisance of ourselves much to the annoyance of the night staff.
  • Vague memories of studious activity along the line.
  • The foul smells that used to emanate from the Science Lab.
  • "Satis Cards" Neil Chadwick the history teacher who delighted in handing out "Vix" or "Non" satis so you couldn't go out on the weekend. If you were among his favourites you were OK. I wasn't.
  • Miss Campbell??? teaching us Macbeth for the whole year for School Cert. Excellent teacher. Dare to be Free was the other set book. The author came to the school to give us a talk during that year.
  • Winning the English prize for something or other.
  • Vague memories about The Importance of being Ernest. Had it as a set book sometime, or did we put on the play in the school hall?
  • Being generally average and like most of us average people, not really excelling at anything in particular.
  • The great fun during the very last term when we knew that at last it was all over........then finally being actually quite sad that it was.
  • End of terms. The joyful rendering of 'Lord Dismiss us with thy Blessing'
  • Beginning of terms. The more subdued rendering of 'Lord Behold us with Thy Blessing'.

    Post School:
    Apprentice with EAR&H for a while. Kenya Regiment Lanet 1957 then the usual 4 yrs TF service. Motor and other trades. Marshalls, Amazon Motors, T.O.M (Simca agents) EA Extract Co Arusha, own garage. Very active in motor sport and the Safari for a few years. Loved the bush life. Spent time in Somalia with an oil exploration company, then in Tanganyika!! on the Same river on a monkey project that Alec Noon of Noon and Pearce was involved in. Did a bit of hunting over the years.

    Married Valerie Sheldrick, David's daughter of Tsavo fame. Divorced in 1974. Lived in Zambia, Malawi, and for 21 years in South Africa. Remarried in 1989 and relocated to the UK in March 2002. Currently working for Airbus in Broughton.

    (Registered - 29th March 2003)

  • If anyone wishes to contact Ray, please e-mail webmaster@oldcambrians.com to obtain his contact details