News Items and Site Changes
12th August 2018
In June a group of dedicated Members set off for a three-day visit to France by coach to see and experience some of the tunnels excavated by the Allies as part of the WW1 offensive on the Western Front. A Report by Ian Mather of the visit and its outcome, together with a series of photographs by several participants, can be seen here
4th July 2018
A splendid "blast from the past" has surfaced recently in an unexpected source - the July 2018 edition of the monthly chess magazine CHESS. In 1963 former World Chess Champion Vassily Smyslov took part in an exhibition match in Bristol where one of his opponents was Richard Myers (Thornley 1948 - 1955). Richard played the game of his life and succeeded in beating Smyslov, as the game record, signed by Smyslov, shows. This was truly an epic performance. The article in Chess is reproduced here
with the kind permission of the publishers.
Richard's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and he would like any or all of his old friends and/or chess associates to contact him, to renew auld acquaintance.
3rd July 2018
The annual golf and bowls tournaments, and this year's visit to the school, all took place as planned but so far no reports are available. Maurice has uploaded pix of the school visit - see here
13th April 2018
The AGM took place as arranged, at the Moor Park Sports and Social Club. A somewhat diminished number of Members attended and the proceedings passed off smoothly and quickly. A splendid buffet, provided through the medium of James Goring Mass Catering Unlimited, was consumed with remarkable speed and enjoyment, and the raffle (for a bottle of whisky) was won by Trevor Sergeant. Maurice's photos here
18th March 2018
Last night a goodly number of Members and their guests enjoyed a splendid evening at the Association's Annual Dinner, at a new venue - the Leyland Hallmark Hotel. The "Beast from the East 2" tried to disrupt the event but failed - only a couple of Members failed to arrive. Photographs of the occasion can be seen here
, courtesy, as always, of Maurice Barker.
9th March 2018
We have received this week an email from David Barrett who is a teacher at Dartford Grammar School and who is researching pupils and staff of DGS who served in WW1. One result is the identification of a Benjamin Harold Rayner who taught at DGS before his death in France in 1917. Rayner was Preston born and bred and was a PGS pupil before becoming a teacher at Moor Park (Methodist?) School and subsequently at DGS. His name has now been added to the Records pages and also to the Roll of Honour. Our grateful thanks go to Mr Barrett for unearthing this forgotten sacrifice 100 years on.
He has also discovered some info about a William F Norris - also a teacher at DGS and also apparently a former pupil of PGS. This info consists of 2 entries in an autograph album kept by a member of staff called Olive Lamden. She worked as a voluntary nurse in a local hospital for wounded soldiers. The book is now kept at Dartford Library and it includes poems and drawings by soldiers, and also by staff at the school. Norris's entries in the book denote either a recent rejection by a favourite lady or an innate misogyny.
Pictures of both men, and pages from the album, are in the Gallery's Miscellaneous album.
7th March 2018
In preparation for the imminent handover of webmastering responsibility efforts are being made to ensure that the site is as simple and clutter-free as possible. To this end most of the individual pages are being re-coded - the first of these are already in place - see the Events and Excursions pages (one hopes that readers are not using Google Chrome, as this is the only browser which currently doesn't recognise updates!). Comments please (favourable or not) to the webmaster.
22nd February 2018
It is with deep regret that the Association has to announce the passing of David Roulston, at the age of 88, on Wednesday 7th February 2018. He was a pupil at Preston Grammar School from 1941 to 1946 and was in Thornley House. Despite living in Portsmouth, 'Dave', a Life Member of the Association, attended whatever events he could and he was probably an ever-present at Annual Dinners, certainly in recent times. Indeed, he was the Guest Speaker and a Benefactor in 2008 and his presence will be sadly missed next month.
The Association is indebted to his son Greg for providing an overview of David's life, which will be published in the forthcoming edition of the New Hoghtonian, currently in preparation. In the meantime the thoughts and best wishes of the Association go out his family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time.
15th February 2018
It is with deep regret that the Association has to announce the passing of William Barry Shorrocks, at the age of 75, on Monday 5th February 2018. Barry was a pupil at Preston Grammar School from 1954 to 1961, and it is believed that he was in Miller House. He had lived in Toronto for many years, joining the Association during his final illness, a very noble and touching gesture.
Jim Nix (Goodair, 1953-58) befriended Barry (who was brought up in Colne) when the latter transferred from Burnley Grammar School in 1954. His mother and stepfather took the Windsor Castle in Egan Street, Preston. The two friends remained in touch on leaving PGS, and Jim believes that Barry studied at Durham University before working for A Reyrolle & Co in the North-East and then IBM. He moved to Canada to where he returned with Ann, his wife of 52 years, following a stint in Saudi Arabia as an IT Consultant. Sadly Ann, who was an ordained minister, became ill and died from Alzheimer's Disease, but Barry used this experience to set up and run a support group for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's sufferers and their carers. It was through this that he met his second wife Karen, whose husband had died from Parkinson's. They married only a fortnight before Barry's passing but Jim and his wife Pat had the fortune to catch up with Barry and meet Karen late last year when they were visiting Harrogate with a choir as part of an exchange programme.
The funeral service will be held at 2.30pm on Saturday 17th February 2018 at St Margaret in the Pines Anglican Church, 4130 Lawrence Avenue East, Toronto, followed by a reception in the Church Auditorium. In the meantime the thoughts and best wishes of the Association go out to his wife Karen and his family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time.
30th January 2018
Following a series of comments, from some Members whose computer systems appear to be unable to cope with complicated page characteristics, a programmed update has been brought forward, in order to ease the difficulties. If this new simpler layout doesn't please, email the webmaster.
27th January 2018
It is with deep regret that the Association has to announce the passing of Canon R C Craston, at the age of 95, on Thursday 25th January 2018. Colin attended Preston Grammar School from 1934 to 1941 and was in Harris House. He was a lifelong Member of the Association and well-known particularly amongst older Members, and he was an occasional contributor to our Newsletters. He was a living link to the Cross Street Grammar School, having been taught, amongst others, by D G Martin (French) and P G Coles (Maths) in the 1930s. He was always very generous and enthusiastic with his help and support. We have no further details at present.
The thoughts and best wishes of the Association go out to his wife Brenda and his family, friends and colleagues at this very harrowing time.
26th January 2018
Yesterday evening a goodly group of Members, accompanied by some invited guests from the Preston Historical Society, visited the newly-revamped Museum at Fulwood Barracks, for a conducted tour of the re-designed exhibition. An interesting evening was enjoyed by all, enhanced as it was by a delicious assortment of sandwiches and liquid refreshments. An evening visit does not allow sufficient time to do justice to this splendid Museum.
Photos of the occasion, from Maurice, can be seen here .
24th January 2018
From 1956 to 1963 the School was privileged to have on staff Mr Charles Malyon as a History teacher. He was also Housemaster of Harris House, very successfully apparently, as Harris is alleged to have won everything during his tenure. When he left he was presented with a shield, as a memento, also apparently the only such award ever made. This shield has now been presented to the Association by Mr Malyon, for inclusion in our archive of memorabilia.
23rd January 2018
The Executive Council meeting originally scheduled for 10th January took place successfully yesterday afternoon, chez Goring. The results will eventually percolate.
19th January 2018
It is with deep regret that the Association has to announce the passing of Dr Alec Geoffrey Thompson OBE DL, at the age of 91, on Friday 5th January 2018. Geoff was a pupil of Preston Grammar School from 1937 to 1944 and he was in Thornley House. The funeral is at Beetham Church on Saturday 20th January at 11 o'clock and then Leighton Hall. There is a brief note of Geoff's life here
, provided by his son John.
19th January 2018
The Executive Council meeting planned for the 10th January had to be postponed, for personal reasons. The Meeting is now planned to take place on Monday 22nd January, at 2.00pm.
27th November 2017
Paul Dodd recently supplied a revised version of the names of the prefects in 1967/68. The photograph, with list of names attached, is now on the Gallery page, under "Miscellaneous pix". Eventually this will be transferred to the "Prefects" folder. (NOTE: this has now been done, courtesy of Jim McDowall, 29/11/2017)
25th November 2017
The 2017 Annual Hot Pot Supper took place last night (24th November) at the Moor Park Sports and Social Club. Although the attendance was not as high as was hoped (the particularly vile weather was largely the culprit) a convivial evening was enjoyed by the rugged revellers who did make it. These hardy souls can be seen on Maurice's photos here
12th November 2017
The 2017 PGSA Annual Service of Remembrance took place today at Preston Minster. Bishop John Goddard led the service, following the retirement of Canon Tim Lipscomb after many years of meritorious service on behalf of the Association. Pix of the congregation here
from Maurice, as always.
27th October 2017
The long-awaited presentation by Adrian Warrell on the trench warfare in WW1 finally took place this evening at the Moor Park Sports and Social Club (formerly the Fulwood Conservative Club) on Blackpool Road, Preston. A most interesting and informative presentation was well received by a participating audience, followed by a splendid buffet arranged by our President, who clearly has a taste for these things.