Sloane Grammar School boy, if you seek your memorial,
look around you.
DON'T FORGET!! -
PLEASE CHECK THE ANNOUNCEMENTS BOARD AT THE FOOT OF THIS PAGE FOR ANYTHING IMPORTANT and, after you Log In, the CALENDAR OF EVENTS PAGE FOR DETAILS OF FORTHCOMING EVENTS.
If you're having trouble logging in because you've forgotten your Password, click on Forgot Password? inside the Classmate Login box that appears after you click Sign In and you'll be Emailed a link to reset it.
You'll find other helpful tips under REMINDERS below.
Hello and Welcome to
Sloane Grammar School website
If I built it I knew you would come
A School that invited loyalty(Quote by Don Wheal)
Gone But Not Forgotten
'Men are we, and must grieve when even the shade
Of that which once was great is pass'd away.'
On the Extinction of the Venetian Republic
You may think you're done with the past but the past isn't done with you!
"The merits of a school are judged as much by the men it produces as by their achievements as boys" -
(Old Cheynean D.J. Cowie, March 1929)
Register and link up with old school friends again and become part of Sloane Reunited.
If you were a pupil or member of staff at Sloane you qualify to register for the website. Click on Missing Classmates at the top of this page to see if we've been expecting you. If you see your name click on it and follow instructions. If your name's not there click on BECOME A MEMBER to learn more and then click the ADD NAME button to start the ball rolling or click Contact Us at the top of the page or the Click Here To Register! button below if you're already sure you want to join us. Read what you see then complete the box at the bottom of that page to ask me to add your name to the list.
It's Free, it's Easy, it's Secure
You're Never Alone As A Sloane
|Self-portrait by Stefan Bremner-Morris|
If you're a member, click on an image ( ) at the top for more.
Here's what you'll find -
= Messages waiting for you. The red bubble shows how many.
= Website activity. Check for things you may have missed.
= Member functions like Profile, Contact, and Password changes.
If you're already a member please remember to keep your Email address up to date using Edit Contact Info, to be found by clicking on the image at the top of the page.
Please don't forget to use the Notify Me page under the image to make selections that will help you keep in touch as well as help you enjoy all the website has to offer.
You may already have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player but your browser no longer uses it automatically and it will not be supported at all after 2020. The Members Online feature uses Flashplayer (as do some animations and slideshows) so if it can't be seen clearly in the bottom right of your Home Page, click your mouse on what you can see and you'll be prompted to run Flashplayer. Agreeing will see the Members Online window re-appear. The same applies to animations and slideshows that don't show automatically. Use your Search Engine to search the web for how you allow Flash automatically in the browser you use.
Please remember to Log Out when you leave the site by using the Log Out button to be found under the image at the top of the page.
AND FINALLY, IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, -
Please let a close relative know of your participation in the Sloane website and show them how to use the Contact Us page to notify me in the sad event of your death. Not only will this allow me to notify other members, it will also put a stop to any website generated emails finding their way to your Inbox. Thank you.
Come on in!
Don't be late!
This is one detention
You'll be pleased to take.
A WARM WELCOME
to fellow Cheyneans and passers-by, from the Official Sloane Grammar School 1919-1970 Old Cheyneans and Friends web site.
Mark Foulsham, at Sloane 1963-70, created this site in August 2008 to record for posterity all that I can, and for all those who attended Sloane or simply have a Sloane connection, to share and enjoy. Feel free just to browse or, if you feel you qualify to join us, make full use of the site by becoming a Registered Classmate. Click on the Click Here to Register button above to start the registration process. It's Free!
I'll also be happy to send a personal invitation to anyone else with a Sloane School Chelsea connection who you think might like to join us. Just enter their Email address in the MISSING CLASSMATES box to your right and click Send Invite.
We may not understand why but memories of our days at Sloane remain with us while others do not. Whether they're good or they're bad, I'd like to give all old boys the opportunity to keep those memories alive.
Aspirations and Objectives
Sloane never had a motto and although our school badge is based on the lion rampant and boar's head of the Cadogan family crest their motto, Qui Invidet Minor Est or He That Envies Is Inferior, is not really appropriate so I'll adopt the one to be found on the Coat of Arms of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea as it suits us nicely -
Quam Bonum In Unum Habitare
(What A Good Thing It Is To Dwell Together In Unity)
It is hoped, in some small way, to be able to have similar objectives to those stated for the first issue of The Cheynean in December 1926 -
"To record faithfully the major activities of the School, to promote and foster a corporate spirit in the School, to excite a greater keenness both in the games and in other phases of its social life, and to serve as a link between present members of the School and the Old Cheyneans". -
and also to bring together, once again, old friends and classmates, and those of us who have outlived the school and share a common interest in its history and its future.
Sadly, I've no memory of having ever sung or even heard a school song but apparently one was written by music Master Mr Seymour Dicker in 1928, and was first sung in July of that year by pupil J E Bush. What became of it after that first performance is a mystery but it contained the lines -
"Salve, the School and its scholars so keen,
Long may they keep its memory green."
If you've any memories of Sloane you'd like to share, use the Contact Us page to send them in and, whilst you're there, register for the site as well.
Once you've registered, you can activate the Instant Messaging feature that allows you to hold a 'real-time' online conversation with anyone else who has logged on to the website. You can also send a message to someone else on the site via the Message Centre or by using their Profile. Click on their name on the Classmate Profiles page then click on the red 'Send ? a private message' at the top of their Profile.
After you've registered, why not take a look at all the Classmate Profiles ? Even if you don't know the person involved, the information they've put on their Profile can be interesting, illuminating and fun, and often brings back memories of something you thought you'd forgotten about.
* * * * * * * *
Why Not Take a Look at Where your Classmates are Living?
Find out the Postcode of a Classmate from their Profile (if they've agreed to let everyone know it) then Click on the link below, enter the details where it says 'Address', then Click on 'Go'. Not every country is covered yet and those that are have limited coverage, but it's worth a try.
Here's the link. Have fun - http://www.vpike.com/
* * * * * * * *
BREXIT EXPLAINED.......simples innit? (continued)
Medical Profession Enter The Brexit Debate
(and why not? Everybody else has put their oar in)
Physicians were unable to reach a consensus: Should Brexit take place . . . ?
The Allergists were in favour of scratching it,
but the Dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves.
The Gastroenterologists had sort of a gut feeling about it,
but the Neurologists thought the Brexiteers had a lot of nerve.
Meanwhile, Obstetricians felt certain everyone was labouring under a misconception,
while the Ophthalmologists considered the idea shortsighted.
Pathologists yelled, "Over my dead body!"
while the Pediatricians said, "Oh, grow up!”
The Psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness,
while the Radiologists could see right through it.
Surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing
and the Chemists claimed it would indeed be a bitter pill to swallow.
The Plastic Surgeons opined that May’s proposal would "put a whole new face on the matter.”
The Podiatrists thought it was a step forward,
but the Urologists were pissed off at the whole idea.
Anesthesiologists though it was all a gas,
and those lofty Cardiologists didn't have the heart to say no.
In the end, the Proctologists won out,
- leaving the entire decision up to the a**holes in Parliament.
* * *
‘Principled’ Brexiters promise to vote for deal they think is terrible as long as their boss promises to resign
Senior Brexit-backing MPs proved their love for Britain by promising to vote for a deal they think is bad for the country if it furthers their careers.
ERG members including Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg demonstrated their unshakable principles by offering to vote for something they have twice opposed as long as their boss resigns.
Johnson, who had already shown his suitability for leadership by having a natty haircut, made another impressive statement of his credentials by quoting the Bible in the Daily Telegraph – although he oddly missed out the bit about not committing adultery.
And Rees-Mogg proved he is a man of the people by giving one of his nannies a Sunday off and turning a crucial meeting on the future of the country into Bring Your Child to Work Day.
“These men are giants of modern politics and the future of government,” said an ERG insider after a group of hardline Brexiteers including Johnson and Rees-Mogg held meetings with the Prime Minister at Chequers.
“They are so committed to the good of the nation that they are prepared to cast their vote for the Prime Minister over a withdrawal agreement they have twice rejected as bad for Britain.
“Because really what is important for the country is that these posh blokes are in charge of whatever post-Brexit wasteland they help to create.
“It is what they were born to and what they are entitled to.”
Supporters of a softer Brexit expressed surprise at news of the meeting between the PM and a selection of Tory caricatures.
One senior campaigner said: “I only made a quick trip to the garden centre on Sunday so I would have loved a visit to Chequers.
“But maybe the PM has lost all the numbers from her phonebook apart from the ones marked ‘madmen’.
“That can be the only explanation for the meeting – either that or she’s more bothered about the party than the country”.
Incompetent leader hopeful alliance with rubbish opposition will secure support for hopeless deal that everyone hates
Theresa May is confident that Jeremy Corbyn is the missing piece in her carefully laid plans for Brexit.
Despite parliament voting three times against her deal, May insists it is not dead and only resting, and could be given a new lease of life from a man she has spent three years denouncing as ‘rubbish’.
A backbench Tory told me,
“This is the state of Brexit today. After having a useless deal that no-one wants roundly rejected by parliament several times, the party seems to feel confident that the missing ingredient is our incompetent leader securing the support of an opposition universally thought of as pathetic.
How could it fail?”
Voters have welcomed the move, saying that at least it gives them something slightly different to moan about for a few days.
A Maidenhead resident told me,
“I just don’t understand why so many people are against Theresa’s deal?
Just because the terms of the deal were horrible, and Theresa was utterly terrible at selling it to the public, and it delivered an outcome that fewer and fewer people actually want – that’s no reason for it to fail. I am genuinely shocked it failed so spectacularly.
But if there’s one thing that could add some credibility to her proposals, it’s involving an opposition she has spent three years publicly insisting is in no way credible.
On the plus side, she might finally be able to tell the DUP where to get off. With any luck, she’ll have kept the receipt for that billion quid.”
Late news on the subject
Jeremy Corbyn walked out of the first crucial Brexit meeting with Theresa May, explaining that he had specifically agreed to come for tea and biscuits and that the presence of Jaffa cakes was an ‘insult to Labour voters’.
Whilst we're on the subject of a Government that doesn't appear to know what it's doing -
Scientists have discovered a new element -
Oxford University researchers have discovered the densest element yet known to science. The new element, Governmentium (symbol=Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.
These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called pillocks. Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact.
A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second, to take from 4 days to 4 years to complete.
Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2 to 6 years. It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganisation in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.
In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganisation will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.
This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration.
This hypothetical quantity is referred to as a critical morass.
When catalysed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium (symbol=Ad), an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium, since it has half as many pillocks but twice as many morons.
Cabinet plotting to replace Theresa May with Thatcher’s ghost
A cabinet plot to replace Theresa May with the ghost of Margaret Thatcher is currently in motion.
Following Mrs May’s disastrous Downing Street address on Thursday, various cabinet ministers have been plotting and now the various different cabals have coalesced into a solid plan to install Thatcher’s ghost as PM, possibly inhabiting the body of Chris Grayling, possibly as just an incorporeal voice echoing through Number Ten.
“I think we are all convinced now that things have got so bad that the only thing that can get this government back in track is the ghost of Margaret Thatcher,” said one cabinet minister who really didn’t care if we used their name or not as all cabinet discipline went out the window weeks ago.
“It seems to me sensible to have it inhabit the body of Chris Grayling as, let’s face it, there’s nothing really of worth in there at the moment.
“The only worry is that he’d find some way to mess up giving up his body to another, more powerful spirit.”
The plot is currently so advanced, that it is expected to be put in motion tomorrow afternoon.
Cabinet ministers will gather in the Pret on Tothill Street, draw a pentagram on a table in mayonnaise and invoke a dark, ancient, Tory rite to invoke the spirit of Thatcher.
They will then install the ghost as Prime Minister leaving nothing but a whiff of sulphur in the Pret. Which most people are used to as it’s Boris Johnson’s favourite sandwich shop.
If the plan should fail in some way, the cabinet will remain committed to replacing Theresa May with back up options to take over being Mr Bean, Russell Grant or some bloke from the pub.
FRONT PAGE NEWS
Mouse dies after working too hard!
* * *
Businesses Taking Drastic Measures As Austerity Affects Everyone
But it affectes the elderly most -
* * *
Loneliness Found To Affect Mental Health As Man Seeks Help Finding His Real Father
* * *
Online Passport Renewal System Found To Be Daylight Robbery!!
I recently had to renew my wife's passport for her (she positively hates doing anything that involves form filling or computers) so tried to use the online system. I was eventually successful but it was becoming very trying.
After paying her £78.50 renewal fee I filled in her details easily until it came to the photograph. She had new photos taken and I uploaded them to the computer. Straightforward enough but when it came adding a photo to the application it was rejected on five occasions. It was rejected for being too small, because they said they couldn't see the outline of her head, because (according to them) it had been adulterated using computer software, because the background wasn't plain enough, and because they didn't think it had been taken with a digital camera! None of their excuses were true.
The man who took the photo, our chemist, has has been taking passport photos for 40 years. I think he knows what he's doing!
As a last resort and not being prepared to give in to them, I reused the photo originally uploaded and lo and behold, they accepted it.
Not only is this a poor system, that they readily admit is in its infancy (so why didn't they wait until they'd got it right!?) it's also one designed to fill government coffers. With each rejection comes a warning - if you don't provided an acceptable photo by the date they give you, your application is cancelled altogether and, your fee is NOT REFUNDED and you have to start the whole process over again with a good chance that you'll lose your next fee as well!
You have been warned!
JOKES OF THE WEEK
An Irish daughter had not been home for over 5 years. Upon her return, her Father cursed her heavily.
'Where have ye been all this time, child? Why did ye not write to us, not even a line? Why didn't ye call? Can ye not understand what ye put yer old Mother through?'
The girl, crying, replied, Dad... I became a prostitute.'
'Ye what!? Get out a here, ye shameless harlot! Sinner! You're a disgrace to this Catholic family.'
'OK, Dad... as ye wish. I only came back to give mum this luxurious fur coat, title deed to a ten bedroom mansion, plus a 5 million savings certificate. For me little brother, this gold Rolex. And for ye Daddy, the sparkling new Mercedes limited edition convertible that's parked outside plus a membership to the country club ... (takes a breath) ... and an invitation for ye all to spend New Year's Eve on board my new yacht in the Riviera.'
'What was it ye said ye had become?' says Dad.
Girl, crying again, 'A prostitute, Daddy!.'
'Oh! My Goodness! Ye scared me half to death, girl! I thought ye said a Protestant! Come here and give yer old Dad a hug!!..
* * *
An elderly man walks into a confessional. The following conversation ensues:
Man: 'I am 92 years old, have a wonderful wife of 70 years, many children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Yesterday, I picked up two college girls, hitch-hiking. We went to a motel, where I had sex with each of them three times.'
Priest: 'Are you sorry for your sins?'
Man: 'What sins?'
Priest: 'What kind of a Catholic are you?'
Man: 'I'm Jewish.'
Priest: 'Why are you telling me all this?'
Man: 'I'm 92 years old . . . . I'm telling everybody!'
* * *
In Catholic schools students are taught that lying is a sin. Instructors are also advised that a bit of imagination is OK to express the truth differently without lying. This is a perfect example of this teaching:
Getting a hairdryer through customs
An attractive young woman on a flight from Ireland asked the priest beside her,
"Father, may I ask a favour of you?"
"Of course child. What can I do for you?"
"I bought my mother an expensive hair dryer for her birthday. It is unopened, but well over the customs limits and I'm afraid they'll confiscate it. Is there any way you could carry it through customs for me? Could you possibly hide it under your robes for me?"
"I would love to help you my dear; but, I must warn you, I will not lie!"
"With your honest face, Father, I'm sure no one will question you!"
When they got to customs, she let the priest go first. The official asked,
"Father, do you have anything to declare?"
"From the top of my head down to my waist, I have nothing to declare."
The official thought this answer a little strange, so he asked, "And what do you have to declare from your waist down to the floor?"
"I have a marvelous instrument that has been designed for use on women, but which, to date, remains unused."
* * *
A thief entered a house in the mid-afternoon.
He tied up the woman and at knife-point asked the man to hand over all the jewellery and money.
The man started sobbing and said,
“You can take anything you want. You can kill me also. But please untie the rope and free her.”
The thief remarked,
“You must really love your wife!”
The man replied,
“Not particularly but she’ll be home very shortly.”
* * *
* * *
A woman awakes during the night to find that her husband was not in their bed. She puts on her dressing gown and goes downstairs to look for him. She finds him sitting at the kitchen table with a hot cup of coffee in front of him. He appears to be in deep thought, just staring at the wall.
She watches as he wipes a tear from his eye and takes a sip of his coffee.
'What's the matter, dear?' she whispers as she steps into the room, 'Why are you down here at this time of night?'
The husband looks up from his coffee,
'I am just remembering when we first met 20 years ago and started dating. You were only 16. Do you remember back then?' he says solemnly.
The wife is touched to tears thinking that her husband is so caring, so sensitive.
'Yes, I do' she replies.
The husband pauses. The words were not coming easily.
'Do you remember when your father caught us in the back seat of my car?'
'Yes, I remember!' said the wife, lowering herself into a chair beside him.
The husband continues. 'Do you remember when he shoved the shotgun in my face and said,
'Either you marry my daughter, or I will send you to jail for 20 years?'
'I remember that too' she replies softly..
He wipes another tear from his cheek and says....
'I would have been released today.'
* * *
THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY
Two good stories- (and both true) -
STORY NUMBER ONE:-
Many Years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago. Capone wasn't famous for anything heroic. He was notorious for enmeshing the city in everything from bootlegged booze and prostitution to murder.
Capone had a lawyer nicknamed "Easy Eddie." He was Capone's lawyer for a good reason. Eddie was very good! In fact, Eddie's skill at legal manoeuvring kept Capone out of jail for a long time.
To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well. Not only was the money big, but Eddie got special dividends, as well. For instance, he and his family occupied a fenced-in mansion with live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day. The estate was so large that it filled an entire Chicago City block. Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave little consideration to the atrocities that went on around him.
Eddie did have one soft spot, however. He had a son that he loved dearly. Eddie saw to it that his young son had clothes, cars, and a good education. Price was no object.
Despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie even tried to teach him right from wrong. Eddie wanted his son to be a better man than he was. Yet, with all his wealth and influence, there were two things he couldn't give his son; he couldn't pass on a good name or a good example.
One day, Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision. Easy Eddie wanted to rectify wrongs he had done. He decided he would go to the authorities and tell the truth about Al"Scarface" Capone, clean up his tarnished name, and offer his son some resemblance of integrity. To do this, he would have to testify against The Mob, and he knew that the cost would be great. So, he testified, saying that Capone's income was earned by being more than the second-hand furniture dealer he had told the tax authorities.
Within the year, Easy Eddie's life ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago Street. But in his eyes, he had given his son the greatest gift he had to offer, at the greatest price he could ever pay. Police removed from his pockets a rosary, a crucifix, a religious medallion, and a poem clipped from a magazine.
The poem read:
"The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop, at late or early hour. Now is the only time you own. Live, love, toil with a will. Place no faith in time for the clock may soon be still."
STORY NUMBER TWO:-
World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander Butch O'Hare.
He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific. One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top up his fuel tank. He would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship.
His flight leader told him to return to the carrier. Reluctantly, he dropped out of formation and headed back to the fleet. As he was returning to the mother ship, he saw something that turned his blood cold; a squadron of Japanese aircraft was speeding its way toward the American-fleet.
The American fighters were out on a sortie, and the fleet was all but defenceless. He couldn't reach his squadron and bring them back in time to save the fleet. Nor could he warn the fleet of the approaching danger. There was only one thing to do. He must somehow divert them from the fleet. Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes. Wing-mounted guns blazed as he charged in, attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another. Butch wove in and out of the now broken formation and fired at as many planes as possible until all his ammunition was finally spent. Undaunted, he continued the assault. He dived at the planes, trying to clip a wing or tail in the hope of damaging as many enemy planes as possible, rendering them unfit to fly.
Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another direction. Deeply relieved, Butch O'Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to the carrier. Upon arrival, he reported in and related the event surrounding his return. The film from the gun-camera mounted on his plane told the tale. It showed the extent of Butch's daring attempt to protect his fleet. He had, in fact, destroyed five enemy aircraft. This took place on February 20, 1942, and for that action Butch became the Navy's first Ace of W.W.II, and the first Naval Aviator to win the Medal of Honor.
A Year later Butch was killed in aerial combat at the age of 29. His hometown would not allow the memory of this WW II hero to fade, and today, O'Hare airport in Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this great man.
SO WHAT DO THESE TWO STORIES HAVE TO DO WITH EACH OTHER?
Butch O'Hare was "Easy Eddie's" son.
* * *
Did you ever wonder if conductors were actually doing anything important? -
* * *
For all those men who say "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?", here's an update -
A survey has found that 80% of women no longer favour marriage. Why? Because they've realised that it's not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage.
Editor's Note: This may or may not be true and my placing the result of the survey here in no way implies that all my readers fall into this category or are, indeed, inadequate in any way, shape or form, or are even married. Just to balance it out a little -
* * *
Just A Reminder That Common Sense Has Died A Slow And Painful Death
Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who was with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, as his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.
He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn’t always fair, and maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. He declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Paracetamol, sun lotion or a sticky plaster to a student but could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
He began to lose the will to live as churches became businesses; creationism vied for equal footing with proper science, alternative treatments became available on the NHS (while cancer drugs were banned on the grounds of cost) and criminals received better treatment than their victims.
The poor bloke took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault. He finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realise that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
Barely recovering from that he was bludgeoned to death by the news that the world's financial markets had been demolished by irresponsible bankers who made a fortune doing so and who the governments bailed out by demanding money from those wise enough to have adopted sensible fiscal policies.
This grand old man was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust, his wife, Discretion, his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason.
He is survived by four stepbrothers; "I Know My Rights," "Someone Else's Problem," "I’m A Victim" and "Work? I'm better off on the Dole," and his stepsisters; "Gymslip Mother" and "I'll have a baby and they'll give me a house."
Sadly, not many attended his funeral because so few realised he was gone. If you still remember him, say a little prayer for his return.
* * *
And finally, with Mother's Day just passed, here's a reminder of what most of them meant to us. Author unknown. I'm an old softie really -
You're Mother is always with you. She's the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street. She's the smell of certain foods you remember, flowers you pick, the fragrance of life itself. She's the cool hand on your brow when you're not feeling well. She's your breath in the air on a cold winter's day. She is the sound of the rain that lulls you to sleep, the colours of the rainbow; she is Christmas morning. Your Mother lives inside your laughter. She's the place you came from, your first home, and she's the map you follow with every step you take. She's your first love, your first friend, even your first enemy, but nothing on earth can separate you, not time, not space, not even death.
I hope you were all lucky enough to have had a mother like mine. This piece helps me remember her, if only in a small way.
* * *
HOME FRONT NEWS
It's been a mixed few weeks on the home front.
I finally got around to using my two Christmas present vouchers before the expiry dates ran out. The first was a voucher for an hour of Reality Golf for eight people at Epsom Golf Club. Most of my mates were either away or had something they'd rather be doing so I took along my two sons.
What a palaver!
Sad to say, virtual reality golf knackered me! We could have played 18 holes but the kid running the Epsom Golf Club Pro shop advised we wouldn't manage more than 9 holes. In the event we managed 5! Good fun but as you do actually have to swing a real golf club to hit a real ball on a virual reality course with muscles you've forgotten you had, it was extremely tiring! I'll use that as my excuse for only coming second out of the three of us. My eldest boy won and the other was third by virtue of the fact that he was more than a little the worse for wear for a late night out. Says a lot about my golfing prowess these days.
We were also denied entry to the club's bar because we were all wearing jeans but were offered the option of using the back entrance to be served in a smaller bar. We declined! We made our way home instead and decamped in the local Wetherspoon's. Much more my scene!
Last weekend, my wife and I ventured forth to use the vouvher she'd got me for Christmas and attend our Medieval banquet at St Katherine's Dock. Once we'd arrived, the evening became one of good fun, good food, good company, good champagne, below average wine, watered down ale and very buxom wenches. Much merriment was had by all.
The journey there, however, was something else! On arrival at Streatham Common Station we were greeted by a notice advising that there were no direct trains to London Bridge, instead we'd have to use the bus replacement service to Tulse Hill and pick up the London Bridge train there. Needless to say, the replacement bus was 20 minutes late and at Tulse Hill didn't drop us off outside the station nor give us any instructions how to find it. It turned out that we were about a 5 minute walk from the station but there were no signposts whatsoever saying where the station entrance was. We were pointed in the right direction by some 'locals' and made our way to the platform having missed the connection that would have got us to our venue in time for the opening. Whilst waiting for the train, I opened my jacket to find that the tickets I had been storing there were no longer there. I had placed them in a plastic wallet along with directions to the banquet but I had somehow managed to lose them. A phone call to my daughter was enough to get her to send the ticket details, that were still on her phone, to my wife's phone. It took her four attempts before the signal was good enough for my wife to retrieve them.
From London Bridge we walked to Tower Bridge and St Katherine's Dock in about 20 minutes but once there were unable to immediately find the building (Ivory House) that we needed. Again, a lack of signage didn't help and on asking a couple directions we found they had the same predicament. After ten minutes of wandering aimlessly we found what we were looking for and duly presented ourselves at the Reception area where the wench behind the counter had difficulty working out that the name on the tickets, Mark Foulsham, was actually related to the name on the booking, Alexandra Foulsham (my daughter) until I pointed out there was a good chance we had the same surname.
Eventually, we were seated at a table with six Roumanians and a copper and his wife. We all got on like a house on fire and the evening progressed nicely. Too nicely for my wife who was more than a little worse the wear for the free wine. After three and a half hours, which included an hour of disco dancing that these old legs shouldn't really have been attempting, it was time to leave so with my wife grabbing my arm to steady herself, I decided to take a different route home and I walked and my wife staggered to Tower Hill Station (again, not well signposted), got the District Line to Victoria and a train and a bus home from Streatham Common. It wasn't long before we were asleep and I had a good lie in this morning. My legs did ache for a few days, though.
It may have been 31st March but it felt as if April Fools' Day had arrived a day early.
Despite all the shenanigans, I'd do it again.
Then there was the frustrating business with my wife's passport application (see above) and a run in with my local council who have re-introduced a charge for removing large items of household waste without telling anyone. We'd been used to getting up to 5 items collected free every three months but they've now decided to charge £35 for the removal of up to three items. Considering I'd been saving up items before phoning them, as I was expecting it still to be free, I was more than a little peeved and told them so on the phone only to be given a lecture by a very young whippersnapper when I mentioned that I'd have to dump the items. He couldn't seem to understand that not everyone drives and/or has a car to dispose of items at the tip. On top of having the items stuck in my front garden for as long as it takes, I emailed my local MP and told her the council's change in policy will encourage fly-tipping. She's a lovely, hardworking lady but she's also a Labour MP so no doubt puts it all down to the Goverment's austere policies that have, in all honesty, led to council cutbacks.
I do despair at the level of staff quality and computer systems that are used by large organisations these days. My daughter has just received a letter from HMRC telling her they were fining her £100 for not completing her Tax Return on time. She doen't need to complete a Tax Return, for God's sake! A phone call from her eventually sorted out the sorry mess but it shouldn't have been necessary.
I also despair at the lack of complete commonsense (See above about its death) found in many of today's younger generation.
I live in a semi rural area. We recently had a new, young neighbour move in and my mate at the local council office said she called them to request the removal of the DEER CROSSING sign on our road. The reason she gave was:
"Too many deer are being hit by cars out here! I don't think this is a good place for them to be crossing anymore.'"
Anothere example came when I was standing at the traffic lights to cross the road the other day when the pedestrian light on the beeped to tell me it's safe to cross the road. The girl next to asked what the beeps were for. I explained that it signals blind people when the light is red for traffic so that it's safe for them to cross. She was appalled by what I'd told her and responded,
"What on earth are blind people doing driving?!"
Finally this week, I was confronted by a very attractive young woman who accused me of wolf-whistling her. She calmed down when I pointed out it wasn't whistling but wheezing.
And there was me thinking my asthma was improving. Things can only get better.
Look after yourselves, and remember, he who laughs is still alive.
* * * * *
The Home We Called Sloane
The Sloane building seen from Hortensia Road in 1908
The Sloane building was 100 years old in 2008, although it didn't actually start life as a boys' school until after the First World War, during which it served as a hospital. It still stands and many memories are, no doubt, ingrained in its walls along with the odd name and ribald comment. Who knows what the future holds, despite its Grade II listing on May 7th, 2002. Grade II listed buildings can be altered, extended, or even demolished, but only with Local Authority consent, so it may be that the building is considered historically or architecturally interesting enough for it's fabric to remain untouched. Some consideration may have been given to it having been the first purpose-built secondary school in London, and it is certainly one of only 3% of all ages of listed buildings that was built in the 20th century. Schools generally are seen as a good investment by developers because they're easy to convert. They are likely to be structurally sound because the authorities will have inspected them regularly to ensure they comply with Health and Safety requirements.
Sadly, Sloane Grammar School for Boys only lasted 51 years, from 1919-1970. John Binfield, in one of his poems writes -
... the school, with
All its past, was sucked into a huge
Turbulent sea of glass in Pimlico
And sank without trace. "full fathom five..
Sea nymphs hourly ring his knell.
Hark, now I hear them. Ding-dong bell".
Should the building survive in the form we all remember, there is still a chance that some of us will be around in 2019 to celebrate what would have been its centenary as a boys' school, had it remained in existence.
|Sloane seen from the rear in 2014|
* * *
Whatever our own personal reasons for it doing so, the school will still haunt most of us even if it disappears altogether. With that tenuous link, here's a poem that I came across in a copy of The Cheynean -
The Ghost of Sloane
When London's asleep and the School very quiet,
No sound of footsteps, no sound of a riot,
No sound of even the shuffle of feet,
No sound of the creak of a pupil's seat,
Out of the darkness the ghost of Sloane
Awakes from rest with a sigh and a groan.
Then up he arises to haunt the School
Climbing the stairs in the guise of a ghoul.
He shuffles and clanks down each corridor
Into the classrooms where stand desks galore.
He examines each desk and checks the boys' work,
Allots ghostly marks in the dark and the murk.
If you ever lose books from out of your desk,
And the teacher upbraids you and calls you a pest,
Just tell him my story, however tall,
Of the white shrouded phantom that haunts the School Hall.
J. Hollingshead (3C)
As for us, the boys who used to attend our Chelsea school, we probably considered ourselves 'Chelsea men' but I doubt that many of fitted the description in this poem, written when he was in the 5th year by one time Sloane Schoolboy, A R Doubledee. I get the impression he didn't particularly approve of the 'Beatniks' of the late 50s and early 60s that he found himself sharing Chelsea with or, as he called them the 'Weirdies' -
The Chelsea man is excessively queer,
He only drinks coffee and doesn't like beer.
He's always "chatting" the girls, and yet
This seems to make him "one of the set".
His unkempt chin and uncut hair
Go with his feet which are usually bare.
If he wears shoes, they've never got soles,
And he's usually found in Bohemian holes.
His outsize sweater is generally black
Contrasting well with his shorty mac.
He wears his clothing merely to show
That he can keep up with the boys of Soho.
To find a girl he doesn't look far,
But into the nearest coffee bar,
Where he's sure to meet a Bohemian "yob".
They're all from Chelsea - what a mob!
The girls with hair right down their backs
Wear irregular clothes that look like sacks.
They walk about wearing father's sweater:
I really don't see why he should let 'er.
Their gaudy clothes of reds and greens
Match up with the style of their men-friends' jeans.
Now that's how it goes with the latest style:
Girls on their faces make-up pile,
The men wear anything they can find -
I shouldn't stare, I should just act blind!
A.R. Doubledee (5b)
* * *
ANNOUNCEMENTS APPEAR BELOW
ONCE YOU'VE LOGGED IN