Page Compiled June 2008

All images and text copyright © to Goldings Old Boys reunion members

The School Captain has written an article on Wimbledon, telling of yet another successful season for the ball boys. After the first day,
the novices quickly settled down to the job and some of them were as expertly confident as the veterans. The boys endured the heat
with good humour and though we finished late on many evenings, they stuck manfully to their jobs to the bitter end. Galloway's swerving -
run across the Centre Court to retrieve the ball lying at the net, was a joy to behold. In his letter of thanks to the Headmaster, Sir Louis
Greig, President of the All-England Lawn Tennis Association, says: —
"As in previous years their efficiency and keenness contributed a lot to a very successful meeting and it was gratifying to hear so much
praise for their work, especially from visitors from overseas."

For the fourth season in succession, fifty boys from our School were chosen to act as ball boys at the All England Lawn Tennis
Championships at Wimbledon. As in previous years they did their job well, receiving words of praise from spectators, umpires and
players. The glorious sunshine, with no drop of rain during the whole fortnight, made conditions ideal for tennis, but the grilling heat
had its disadvantages for both players and ball boys. Some of our boys were affected by the heat and Stephenson 174 spent a week-end
in hospital. Fortunately, when he rejoined us on the Tuesday, he was quite well again.
One of the players most popular with the boys was Schroeder, the Champion. After every match he said, "Thanks boys." We knew that
his words were sincere, and his kindly manner seemed to spur us on to greater efforts.
An exciting incident occurred on the Centre Court. A grey squirrel, "tree-rat" as we call it, invaded the court and interrupted the game.
All of us joined in the chase and ran two or three times round the court before Johnny Knight managed to grab it. He had to pay for
spoiling the squirrel's fun by being bitten twice on the hand.
"Gorgeous Gussy" Moran's "panties" caused a flutter of excitement and a topic of conversation as popular as the weather at Wimbledon.
Unfortunately, "Gussy" wore them only twice throughout the whole tournament. I must say that I sympathise with those members of the
"higher authority' who had the misfortune to choose the wrong day!
I had the privilege of representing the ball boys in the B.B.C. programme, "In Town Tonight." It was a most interesting experience and
carried with it a certain monetary reward which will stand me in good stead for. the holidays.

School Captain J G JAMES
Goldonian 1949

As this is my third successive year at Wimbledon as a ball boy, and also that I am School Captain, might account for the Editor asking
me to write something in this magazine relating to ball boys at the All-England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon.
This event has been. held annually since before the beginning of this century, and was followed with very keen interest by-tennis
enthusiasts of many countries.
It is with no less interest that the publication of the, Headmaster's choice of boys to attend this ever-popular spurting event is awaited.
Quite apart from the very welcome remuneration we receive for our services, it is not difficult to realise the reason for the boys being so
keen to be chosen to attend. All boys who have any sense of appreciation regard being selected a ball boy ;is a very great and personal
When one considers that only just over fifty boys are chosen for this very important job, and that— out of all the buys of eligible age
attending Secondary, Grammar and Technical Schools mid Colleges in this country our School has for several years, past been asked
by the officials of Wimbledon to provide boys, it cannot be denied that it is indeed a very great distinction for our School,
Few boys have the opportunity to display their ability before Royalty and other distinguished personages, but surely is the luck of ball
boys. All the while the matches are in progress, the ball boys are in full view of the spectators, and also to the viewers of television. On
several occasions we observed Her Majesty Queen Mary sitting alongside the Prime Minister and Attlee, and seated behind them
were the Foreign Secretary, the Rt. Hon. Herbert Morrison, M.P., and the Lord Privy Seal, Mr. Richard Stokes, M.P.
Encouraging and appreciative comments about us were frequently given on the radio and television programmes, and occasionally in the
A short article under the heading "The Boys who love Wimbledon," by Steve Roberts, appeared in the Evening News on Thursday,
5th July, together with photographs of Derek (Snowy) Pain and myself.
The ball boys job, as most readers know, is to retrieve balls and to service the players without delay. Like the tennis judges, they must
stand in certain recognised positions on the courts in readiness for action. A wide red belt distinguishes the ball boys on the Centre
Court from their colleagues on duty on the outer courts.
Last July the journey to and from Wimbledon was made every day by motor coach. Immediately before starting on the outward daily
journey each boy had a shower bath. On arrival at Wimbledon all boys and masters reported to the ball boys' room. Soon afterwards
lunch was taken, alter which we reported to the ball boys' room, where our names were on a chart showing the number of the court on
which we had to report.
At 1.45 p.m. we each collected a card and proceeded to our various positions. Later in the afternoon we went to tea at an opportune time.
Lunch and tea were served to us free of charge by the Wimbledon authorities. The masters in charge of us on different days during the
period 25th June to 7th July were the Headmaster, Deputy Headmaster, Messrs. G. H. White, R. Moss, M. B. Smith and R. F. Leason.
The departure from Wimbledon was usually just after 8.0 p.m. On the homeward journey the master in charge of the coach served each
of us with two or three biscuits. School was generally reached about 10.o p.m., and supper was waiting for us.
Now that our work at Wimbledon is over, I think all can be confidently certain that we. upheld the School motto which is embodied in
the badge on our green blazers, "Finis Coronat Opus", i.e., "The end crowns the work."
LEONARD P. MOTT, School Captain.

Wimbledon Fortnight

A MONTH or two before the Wimbledon Amateur Tennis Championships begin, about one hundred boys train strenuously to be picked
as ball-boys. The numbers are gradually whittled down to around seventy boys who are considered to be the 'cream'.
The list .of the courts to which the boys have been allocated goes up on the notice board a few days before the start of the Wimbledon
fortnight, and there follows a mad rush to see who are on what courts.
Before the actual fortnight begins we go to Wimbledon for two practice days and everyone gets excited at the thought of doing ball-boy
for great tennis stars.
Soon Monday comes round for the beginning of the fortnight, everyone is tense and keen but the journey in the coaches seems to take
When we eventually arrive at Wimbledon we all cram into the small ball-boy room and get changed, then we go up to have our dinner
which is salad. This tastes scrumptious for the first few days but after a week we begin to feel like rabbits.
The hands on the clock gradually creep round to a quarter to two and we all make our way to our individual courts. The players arrive
and start to 'knock up' and we, the ball-boys, start our work. When we first start as ball-boys we feel very conscious of all the people
watching and if we make a mistake we feel embarrassed, but soon this feeling wears off and we soon feel very much at home on the court.
Many of the boys are asked which games they like best, men's, women's, doubles or singles. I think that the men's games are the more
exciting because they are very fast and the placing of shots is much better, whereas the women tend to stand on the baseline and keep
hitting the ball to each other until one of them hits out or into the net. Both men's, women's, and mixed doubles are always fast and
exciting to watch.
A popular male player among the boys this year was Rod Laver, a very fine player (although unseeded) from Australia who did well in
the men's singles, doubles, and mixed doubles. His partner in the latter was Miss Darlene Hard who was one of the most popular female
players among the boys.
As the players get eliminated from the championships so less courts are needed and fewer boys are required each day, until the last two
days when only the Centre, Number i, and a couple of outside courts require manning. These last two days are the most exciting for the
ball-boys who are left, as the semi-finals and finals are then played.
The best of all the finals I think was the men's doubles when R. Emerson and N. Fraser beat R. Mark and R. Laver, all of whom were
And so Wimbledon is over and a tired group of boys make their last journey home for another year, but before we know where we are
we shall be training with boys who have been before and new boys, all who will be trying to get to Wimbledon next year.

Wimbledon Continued