The Goldonian

Summer 1954

Since our contribution to the last issue of the "Goldonian", we have had quite an active time.
The Annual General Meeting was held in May, and although members did not turn up as the committee would have liked them to do, those
present managed to get through all the business on hand.
The committee were re-elected en-bloc, with the exception of John Noble, who gave notice that he would be leaving the district, and so what
more fitting than his brother Terry take his place.
In case any of you hadn't heard, John decided to join the happy band of married Old Boys last month, and I am sure you will all join with me
in wishing him and his wife every happiness and success in the future.

On Friday, 16th May, we held our first Annual Dinner and Dance, at the Mayflower Hotel, Hertford, and it was a great success.
Fifty-two members and friends sat down to dinner. Mr. T. F. Tucker, from Stepney graced the occasion with his presence, and for the benefit
of those who weren't there I might mention he smokes a very good line in cigars Although, for the majority of us, this was our "baptism" into
dinners, all the toasts and "dinner formalities" were dealt with very satisfactorily. The meat was excellent, although George's (Bousfield)
portion of lamb was a bit fat!

On Sunday, 4th July, a party of 27, including friends, went to Margate by coach, and a very pleasant day we had.
Of course we couldn't get through the day without rain, and about 5 o'clock a real "humdinger" of a thunderstorm arrived, and half of us were
soaked to the skin. However it would take more than a thunderstorm to dampen our spirits when we are out for the day, and we soon forgot all
about the rain, with a good singsong on the journey home.

Our first season in Junior League football was quite successful, and we finished sixth in the league. Derek Morgan was top scorer, and
Bob Pegg and Peter Taber turned out for every game. A jolly good effort.
We applied for election into Division I if there were any vacancies, and once again we have been lucky. I am quite sure Mr. Maslin must
have said a good word for us! Thank you very much!
With our promotion of course, the competition will be keener, and the football better, so I appeal now to all members to support us all you can.
Any non-member should become a member, as we can't have too many "signed on" in case of injury, illness, etc. Any members of the staff are
welcome to join too you know, and if you still fancy your luck at kicking the ball around, I am sure we can accommodate you.

We are running two teams this coming season, so any potential "Johnny Leaches" please step forward. George Bous-field is in charge of this
To close, I would like to wish all members and friends of the club, Good Luck and Best Wishes for the future.
J. W. JAMES Hon. Sec.

Library books can now be borrowed for periods of one week or less. If they have not been completed by the reader within that time they can be
renewed for a further period of one week.
The return date is stamped inside the book and it is helpful if boys will take note of the date and make sure the book is returned before it is
The opening days are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 4.30-5 p.m. and on Saturday, 6.30-7.30 p.m. So far eighty-nine boys have used the
library since March, many of these boys being regular readers.

For Book Review this term I have selected two books. The first contains three stories by Victor Gunn, called Ironsides sees Red. The stories
have the same main characters but all are on a different theme. Chief-Inspector William Cromwell, nick-named Ironsides, and his assistant,
Johnny Lister, find themselves on the Cornish Moor to investigate a brutal murder and to track a deadly killer. His next case is in the
Derbyshire Peak District, where he spends Christmas with his assistant's father. Again murder is committed, and the wilful murderer tracked
into the ghostly death room of the old manor. A holiday camp is the set ting for Ironsides' third case, in which an old man is murdered
for apparently no reason at all. But there is a reason and Iron sides is there to solve it.
The next book I have chosen is entirely different. It is a book by G. Rochester, called Sons of the Legion, in which a boy to save his friend's
name, runs away. He makes another friend", and they decide to join the Legion of France, namely, the French Foreign Legion. In the boys'
Company is the cruel, harsh, sergeant Bolke, known in the Legion as Lunatic Maker, After many fights in the hot, trackless desert he wins
through and becomes hero of the fort. These two books are now in the library and I will gladly issue them to you at your request.

On Tuesday, 1st June, sixteen selected cadets and myself with Captain Culver in charge paid a visit to Earls Court, London to see a private
view of the Royal Tournament.
We left Hertford at 12 o'clock and after a very easy journey arrived at Earls Court at 2 p.m.
The performance started at 2.30 p.m. and began with a display of precision drill by the Roy'al Air Force. This was perfect and was much
applauded. Following this the Royal Corps of Signals gave a fine display of motor cycle trick riding.
It was interesting to see the precision and smartness of the naval gun teams, for it showed how much can be accomplished by successful team
The display of physical training was most impressive and here again was a fine example of what can be done when every man pulls his weight
and does his job.
The musical ride by the Royal Artillery and the playing of the massed bands added colour and pageantry and we came away at the end of a
wonderful show feeling quite proud of our fighting services.
We had an opportunity to walk round and visit the Royal Artillery horses and to see the equipment and the preparations being made for the
various displays. It was interesting to go behind the scenes to see what helps to make a successful tournament.



These are reproductions of paintings which are now hanging in the boys' dining-hall. They were painted by Mr. Offord, one of our housemasters,
to interpret the four main aspects of our life at Goldings. The two pictures Leisure and Labour show quite clearly the numerous sides of our work
and play and the close relationship between our trades.
Mr. Qfford takes a keen interest in painting and during his mess he took part in the T.V. lessons in painting. At the of the series he appeared on
the programme to discuss : work which he had exhibited. It was then that he wealth of subject matter which he could find at Goldings
We are pleased that he has expressed some of his ideas






[Another article by Mr. S. C. Johnson—"PoMPEY"—who was a student in the Sheet Metal Work Department at Stepney when Mr. deBoeck's
father was an instructor there.~]


It was customary at Stepney in those days for an occasional tour of the Trade shops to be taken by Mrs. Barnardo in the general interest of the
boys working in them, however unskilfully. On one of these tours she came into the Sheet Metal Work Shop where I was trying to keep out of
mischief and look intelligent at the same time. She asked me what I would like to do when I left the Homes, fully expecting me to say that I
would like to go to Canada or even Australia as quite a large number of the boys and girls had been sent out to these new lands and had done
very well there. Imagine her surprise when I promptly answered "I want to join the Royal Navy, Madam". She was a little surprised no doubt,
but turning to Mr. Elmslie who was in attendance, said, ' 'See that 'Pompey' goes in the Royal Navy! i I", just like that. My shop-master thought
I was quite mad as it was only Watts Boys who went into the Royal Navy and then only after training at the Watts Naval Training School.
However, Mr. Elmslie must have had a friend or some influence at the Admiralty, for very soon, I was summoned to appear at Whitehall and
given several tests, Medical and Educational and to cut a long story short, was sent along with a batch of other lads to join H.M.S. Ganges n at
At a quarter to six on the night of April the loth, 1910, I clambered up the steps of the gangway just as the Royal Marine bugler was sounding
"STILL", for sunset. I received a thump in the back of the neck which sent me flying across the deck and told in no uncertain tones to stand to
attention, face aft and take your cap off! Whether I did all these things or not I cannot remember, but I do know that I felt that I had joined the
Royal Navy on the wrong foot. The bugler sounded "Sunset" and the officer of the watch stood at the salute whilst the signalman hauled down
the White Ensign and the officer then gave the order "Carry On". The bugler sounded it on his bugle and everyone resumed their normal
duties, but not me. I was called over by the great man and asked who I thought I was, coming on board His Majesty's ship like a carthorse.
If I was going to behave like that, I could jolly well go back from whence I came. I felt very humble and my visions of becoming an Admiral
were not quite so rosy as when I left Stepney.
However, the officer seemed to be quite human as he told me to get my hair cut, have a bath, see the Doctor and get turned in, all in the same
breath. I asked if I could have some supper before going to bed! I meant well! First he turned pink and then purple, I thought he was not well
but a kindly-intentioned Petty Officer pushed me down a hatchway before the storm broke and I found myself mixed up with a dozen or so
lads who had all joined the ship earlier that evening. It was unfortunate for me that I should join at Sunset.
I was immediately taken in hand by an older sailor, a real Old Salt, who had been in the Royal Navy three whole weeks, as he told us Nozzers
in no uncertain tones. I was told to "Jump in the bath", cold salt water—in April—me! ! ! I hesitated, but not for long. I was assisted by the
Old Salt rather vigorously and before I was quite ready too, but that made me "get a move on" and very soon was out of the bath and lining up
for inspection, in the raw, and getting by the Petty Officer who was passing the new entries through the bath. I was given a sailor's jumper and
a pair of oddly fitting serge trousers and told to get dressed and fall in for supper or I would not get any! I was ready almost before he spoke.
Supper!! A square lump of bread and a bowl of cocoa', really thick and very hot, no milk or sugar. Ugh! It was not what I had in mind but no
sooner had I received it than my name was called to pass the Doctor. I put my supper down on the floor (I mean deck) and that was the last I
saw of it. The doctor had a good look at me to make sure that I was human, asked me a lot of questions, told me to get some teeth out, my eyes
tested and get vaccinated in the morning. My evening was pretty full. I dressed and went to look for my supper but to this day I have never
found out what really happened to it.
I was then issued with a Hammock, bed and blanket and told to turn in and keep quiet. That hammock was nearly the end of me.
There were two lots of strings, each tied on to a ring and a piece of rope was fastened on to the ring at each end of the hammock.
The idea was to tie the rope at each end on to two hooks high up on the beams, about six feet above the floor (I mean deck). I could just about
reach the hooks by standing on tiptoe but could I fasten the ropes on to them ? Not on your life! And not a soul would help me. All the
satisfaction I got when I asked for help was a retort "You'll learn in time".
Time went on, I was cold and decidedly hungry and at 9 p.m. when the same officer came the rounds (a ceremony carried out nightly to see
that no one is hanging about the mess decks and not turned in) came across me, in desperation trying to wrap myself in a half slung hammock
which would not stay put. He gave instructions to the P.O. to sling my hammock for me and took my name and put me in the report for being
on the mess deck and not turned in my hammock and for having too much to say.
Contrary to the order of Naval discipline. This ended my first day in the Royal Nivy.

When I first came here it was explained to me that there were five trade one of which I could choose to learn; Printing, Gardening, Carpentry,
Bootmaking and Sheet Metal Work. I soon made up my mind to choose Bootmaking.
On the Thursday after I arrived I was asked to report to the office where I said that I wished to train in the Bootmaking department.
I was shown the Bootmaking shop but it was all very new and strange to me on that first day. As Juniors we have only one day each week in
shop and that first day went all too quickly. At "the end of the day I was looking forward to the following Thursday.
Our day is divided between theory and practice. My first practical job was repairing a heel, but when I have had more practice I hope I shall be
capable of a complete repair which will satisfy my teachers.
In theory so far I have learned something of the processes which are needed to change skins into shoe leather but I have much to learn.
I like my trade and enjoy working at it and although I have only been in the Bootmaking Department four months I feel sure I shall always
enjoy working at this trade.


One night during the winter I was lying in bed listening to the howling wind that rattled the window. Suddenly there was a noise of splintering
glass and a chilly draught filled the room. I was just going to get out of my bed when my uncle came in. He eyed the window wonderingly.
then he diver Led his attention to the floor. He picked up a big bird which he said must have been blown against the window and broken the
glass, and then been killed. He pulled down the blind and taking the bird carefully in his arms told me to go to sleep.
I woke up and looked around the room. The sun was shining and as I looked from the window I noticed the glass was broken., I quickly
recalled that it had been broken the previous night. I hurriedly put on my clothes and went down to breakfast. At breakfast my uncle told me
the bird was a falcon. He said it was not dead but had a broken wing.
We decided to keep it for two months until its wing healed. After much restless sleeping, the bird was given a drug from the vet. which,
he said, would alleviate its pain.

After five days the bird recovered and my uncle told me to take it to the downs and let it fly away. I did so, and the bird hovered above me
then flew round in circles and to my surprise it flew back to me and perched on mv shoulder. It did go until one day, long afterwards, it flew
right across the downs and never came back.

I felt Thomas Marcus go limp under my hands as I slowly choked the life from him. I felt no pity for him. I had hunted him for several years
driven to kill by the thought of my father's death several years before.
But let us §LI back to my father's trial. He was on trial for murder and Maniis was the judge. He had money and influence and condemned my
father to death. He died on the stretching rack. I could still see in mv mind's eye my father groaning in agony on the rack.
He was sentenced for killing a nobleman (a friend of Judge Marcus) in the small town of San Cariso in Spain. I knew he was innocent but
could not prove it. It seemed at the trial that he judge wanted to convict my father quickly and I often wondered afterwards if the judge had
had a hand in the murder and needed my lather as a scapegoat. I knew now that the judge was concerned in the killing.
I thought of these things as I ran from the house and the tormenting thoughts which had driven me to kill. I expected to feel satisfied but now I
was not sure. I expected revenge to be sweet but now I was an outlaw. The law would pursue me and although I had killed a murderer I should
never know peace of mind.

It was about n o'clock when I walked along a small narrow road with about five different turnings. At one time I stopped, wondering what road
to take as I had not been in my new house very long and although I was lost I did not seem to realize it. As I was only about the age of twelve I
soon came to the conclusion that I should take a small winding path away from the other roads.
I walked for about a quarter of a mile down this path when it suddenly dawned upon me that I was lost. For the first time in my life I was realty
scared. I began to run but every step I took I seemed to want to go faster. I began to get tears in my eyes but I realized it was no good as it made
me feel worse and besides there was nobody around.
Soon I was exhausted and no sooner had I gone more than five yards when I saw the faint image of a house, an old broken down house with
the door ripped off and the windows broken in.
A: first I felt like going straight in but I wondered whether there was anybody around or not so I gradually worked my way towards it. I
shuddered at the creaking of the door for inside I could see cobwebs and a puddle in the middle of the floor, shown up by the dim light from
the windows. I crept in, being careful not to make a sound. As I was just about to put out my hand to push open another door hanging from one
hinge, I tripped over an old oil can. The whole house seemed to echo as I thumped to the ground and then there was silence. I got up from the
ground and looked all around me. Nothing had changed so I opened the door and to my amazement something fell from above me and fell with
a crash to the ground.
At this I ran not taking any notice of the noise I was making, and as soon as I was out of the house I ran faster than I had ever done before, not
caring what paths I took, just to get further away from the house. I did not even realize after running half a mile that I was on a road which I
knew very well, until I got to the very end and then turned off to my own street.
And even still I often look for that path which I had run along but I cannot find it, and sometimes I wonder now whether my night's adventure
really happened.


Page Compiled January 2021

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