With thanks to Pat Gritton for the loan of The Pelican, Summer 1964
- and to Robbie Dempsey for transcribing the material


Choose the article you wish to read:

  1. Cross Country & Athletics at The Priory — with a list of Record Holders throughout the ages
  2. The Old Boys' Association 1964
  3. Annabelle - gone but not forgotten
  4. "Another Outing" to the Houses of Parliament - by Sean Hughes (later MP)
  5. Visit to Vickers Armstrong with a spooky footnote for its author, John Strain

By "McKinlay" (Form V) (which one?)
Taken from The Pelican, Summer 1964 - transcribed for us by Robbie Dempsey

Cross-country runs have been a regular feature of the winter and spring terms, whatever the weather conditions.

The Durley route gives a good combination of hard and soft going with a few steep climbs. However, by late November, after some days of heavy rain, the surface became too soft and most of the running thereafter was done on the country roads.

In the inter house cross-country races C. McGuinness dominated the scene and he remained unbeaten throughout the season. Nevertheless the Xavierians were usually last because of poor support from the other members of the house.

In the outside events, the Priory did quite well. At the Eastleigh Cross-country Trophy Meeting in November our A team, consisting of J. Hennebry, J. Madden, I. Netton, gained a bronze medal each. The season ended with a fine win over North End School, largely due to the good team running of Hennebry and Madden who came in together in second place, and Netton and M. Greene. The Athletics season got off to a good start soon after Easter. The 220 yds. track on the football pitch attracted plenty of enthusiasts especially during the recreation after supper.

The first outside meeting was at Alexandra Park, Portsmouth, on Ascension Thursday when we took part in the Inter-Schools Diocesan Meeting. St Mary's Bitterne swept the board in all three sections of the meeting. The Priory had to be content with a few second and third places. At the Eastleigh District Sports P. Maggiore broke the under 17 Discus record with a throw of 130 ft. 7 ins., and R. Dempsey did well to finish third in the under seventeen 440 yds.

Our own Sports Day was held at Swanmore School again this year. The Claverians won both Senior and Junior sections. In the Senior section J. Mills was the Victor Ludorum and in the Junior section W. Bradley, J. Kelly, J. Hennebry and M. Greene tied for first place. Thanks to the research work of Fr. Haigh - our recorder on that day - we are able to give you the following list of Athletics Records. It is presumed that the performances recorded are accurate.

100 yards - S. Hughes (10.8) 1964
220 yards - S. Hughes (25.2) 1964
440 yards - Cummins (58.5) 1962
880 yards - P. Jackson (2.10.1) 1958
One Mile - C. McGuinness (4.56.0) 1964
High Jump -P. Ashby (5 ft. 6 ins.) 1958
Long Jump - P. Dillon (21 ft.) 1952
Javelin - T. Pettit (147 ft. 8 ins.) 1958
Shot - P. McDonald (44 ft.) 1956
Discus - P. Maggiore (130 ft.) 1964

100 yards - P. Shanahan (11.1) 1957
220 yards - P. Shanahan (26 sec) 1955
440 yards - N. Callaghan (58.9) 1952
880 yards - J. Hennebry (2.21.2) 1964
Qne Mile - A. Moran (5.27.3) 1963
High Jump - P. Southall (5 ft.) 1958
Long Jump - D. O'Hagan (19 ft.) 1957
Javelin - F. Smith (134 ft.) 1961
Shot - C.McLaren (44 ft. 11 ins.) 1956
Discus - M. Mearns (127 ft.) 1958

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The Old Boys' Association
By G Penistone
Taken from The Pelican, Summer 1964 - transcribed for us by Robbie Dempsey

In writing about the Old Boys, one finds it sometimes rather difficult. This, I think, is on account of the lack of information available when one needs it. Since its foundation in this country, the association has had its "teething problems", which are still with us. Unlike our confreres abroad, we tend to hide ourselves and not bother about talking about our work and activities.

At the moment I am trying to compile an Annuaire of addresses which we hope to publish in "Fratres", the international newspaper. This work is taking longer than I expected because many Old Boys have changed their addresses.

Thye result of our visit last July to the Priory has been that we are going to make it an annual event. We certainly enjoyed ourselves. I should like to take this opportunity of thanking Fr. Superior and the Fathers for their kindness in allowing us to come back after so many years to a warm welcome, which is one of the outstanding features of the White Fathers.

As regards home news there is, at this stage, not much to relate. We are still young in our foundation but our hopes are great. I received a letter the other day from Pierre Lesbros, the international President, telling me about the "Valley of Friendship." This is a holiday camp in France where Old Boys and their families and friends can go for a holiday cheaply. It happens that this year in July and August more than a thousand people will visit the camp, coming from seven different countries in Europe. I am glad to see that Pierre says that a half dozen English families are going to the camp. If any of the present students at the Priory would like to go, would they contact me at once at 45 Woodside Avenue, London N.12.

In order to help the funds for this holiday camp, there is a concert being given in the Salle Pleyel in Paris on June 5th, where several well known artists will appear, amongst them being the famous choir "Les Petits Chanteurs A la Croix de Bois."

Just recently I received a letter from Berlin from P. McConniry who is stationed there and who is studying languages. He has sent me a very interesting article on the "Divided City." The first instalment will appear in the July number of "Fratres."

Last May I had the pleasure of representing Great Britain at the Jubilee Congress in Brussels. The friendliness and welcome from the other delegates made the visit a memorable one. Our chief guest of honour was his Lordship Bishop Mercier of the Sahara who said Mass for us and spoke to us. We were honoured also by the presence of His Excellency the Papal Nuncio to Belgium, at the concert organised by our hosts, the Belgium Old Boys. The next Congress will be in Germany at which we hope to have a much larger contingent of British Old Boys present. Unfortunately, work and time factors are at the moment our chief worries. Many ideas and projects have been brought up but have not materialised on account of these two factors. At the moment we are waiting to know when it will be convenient, to meet the Old Boys of the Midlands.

In the meantime we extend a warm welcome to any Old Boy to join us, the more the merrier. For further information contact me at the address above. We would be grateful for the address and occupation of any Old Priorian who would like to join us. The annual subscription is 10/6 and should -be forwarded to L. Fitzmaurice, 10 Church Lane, Uondon N.8, or to myself. Added to this we should like any article sent to us which you feel might, be of interest.

News of Former Students

P. Vale-Humphreys (1959-62) is a Cost and Works clerk with the Midlands Electricity Board at Stratford; he is just beginning studies in accountancy.

P. Byrne is at St Mary's Training College, Strawberry Hill, where E. Bleasdale (195257) is also studying.

Mannus McGuire (1950-57) has taken up Probationary work and has been enrolled on the Central Probation Register. He has had to take a year's leave of absence from the Ministry of Labour in order to go on a special course.

During the Whitsun holidays we had visits from several Old Boys including Fr. J. Wallace (arrived 1946) who is now a priest in the Northampton diocese, and A. Quinn, at present living at Ilford in London. Michael Bolan also came down for Whitsun accompanied by another former student, both of whom are at present living near Birmingham.

A fair number of Old Boys helped us to sell tickets for our Annual Christmas Draw. It is to be hoped that they will continue to do this and that next time they return the counterfoils they will also send us some news of themselves.

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By James McKinlay, Form V

Taken from The Pelican, Summer 1964 - transcribed for us by Robbie Dempsey

"Good Lord, imagine if we had to go to school in that... mobile bone shaker. Father, I really think that the Priory should buy such a wonderful bargain. I bet you could whittle down the price to a mere £50."
"Eh, well. ..that is, you see, it's ours."

That was how "Annabelle," the Priory coach, was introduced. Although not exactly a modem model she definitely has certain distinctive points in her favour: there are two buttons for sounding the hooter instead of the usual one; secondly, she is easily recognisable. After her introduction she settled in quite nicely. Although there were several unkind comments on her rather unconventional lines from our fellow pupils at St John's, they were soon dispersed by the airy and somewhat nostalgic statement, "They don't make them like this any more."

Naturally enough teething troubles began to develop; a distinct refusal to start on chilly mornings; no response to the wheel; and a determination not to depend on such trivial objects as brakes. The first real problem occurred when "Annabelle" refused to convey a football team further than the outskirts of Wickham. This little matter was soon remedied effectively but not quickly by installing a "new" engine, taken from an army truck. The next problem arose when she refused to go further than Fareham.

A word might be put in for her since the reader may be receiving the impression that "Annabelle" is of no use whatsoever. The only reason for her showing a marked preference for not taking passengers more than eight miles from the Priory is that she is deeply attached to the place and that she does not like to leave it at all. This last incident was again effectively remedied by having two mechanics bend over her for an hour and a half before re-storing her to normal service.

One last teething trouble is worthy of mention. One evening before the Easter holidays she stopped at the Priory, as usual, but this time with a different effect - smoke poured out of the engine. This was also remedied, but how is yet to be discovered.

One further word might be said about that able-bodied group whose task it is to drive "Annabelle." They have various distinctive qualities. One for instance likes to drive at 40 m.p.h. along the centre of the road; another likes to drive quickly but his defect is that he has an amazing gift for being able to take her between six double deckered 'buses on the "main street" of Southsea.

To close, I should like to mention that "Annabelle," though deficient in the qualities which are normally expected from any vehicle, is quite a loyal and faithful servant to all - although somewhat a rough one in which to travel.

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by S. Hughes (Form VI)
Taken from The Pelican, Summer 1964 - transcribed for us by Robbie Dempsey

The day of the outing was up to expectations - wet, wintry and windy. We rose early to be able to set off as soon as pos- sible not thrilled with excitement, merely sleepy and moody like anyone who has to rise before midday. Breakfast was, like all meals, too short, but soon we were gaily coasting along the road to London in the simple homespun comfort of our "coach" at a cool 20 m.p.h. Not for us the thrills of Bournemouth, the gay lights of Totteridge, the surprises of Dorking or the enchanting scenery of some other Priory haunt; at last we were going somewhere different - the House of Commons.

Routine can set in anywhere and it seemed to have established itself in the Current Affairs Society. Debates, discussions and projects become boring if too frequent, so we were faced with the task of having a change. Unlike the Science Society (which has always London Airport) or the Arts Societey (with Winchester not far away), the Current Affairs Society is forced by its very nature to think big, to think in terms of summit meetings and world capitals. A visit to Parliament seemed therefore the very thing, and thanks to the Chairman's being born in a certain Liverpool constituency, the Leader of the Opposition (at the time of writing) thought it fit, after an exchange of letters, to find places for a group of fifteen in the gallery for Friday, February 14th.

Having parked the coach in the car park labelled "for Peers only," from where it was soon removed on request, we were shown the House of Lords. In the Commons, although it was Friday, we found things far from dead. The debate which concerned benefits paid to redundant workers was proposed by the Labour member who was afraid lest "a new generation of Luddites" might arise.

Arguments, comments, remarks, exclamations, fired across the chamber. There were times when the debate rose almost to the heights of a Priory discussion, but fortunately the members never came to blows. Perhaps the greatest impression made on the Priorians was the comfort in which members listen to the arguments. There was a great deal of sprawling over seats, and the legs of several eminent members could be seen stretched froom the front bench to the table on which lay the mace.

However speeches aren't always thoroughly interesting, and by the time one member had been going on for twenty minutes, speaking incomprehensible political jargon, without showing any signs of fatigue, most of us felt that we had experienced sufficient.

We left London that evening, having first been given ample opportunity to spend the last of our mid-term resources on the many things one can spend one's money on in London. We were all (I'm afraid I must use this traditional way of saying things) very grateful to Mr Wilson who made this visit possible and, if the House of Lords car park attendant does not object, we hope one day to pay another visit.

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J. Strain (Form IV)

Taken from The Pelican, Summer 1964 - transcribed for us by Robbie Dempsey

On February 10th, the first day of the mid-term holiday, a coach-load of scientifically-minded Priorians set out for the well known aircraft works at Weybridge in Surrey. The visit had been arranged by Mr Savage and Fr. Fowles. En route, we paid a visit to *Guildford Cathedral, a beautiful building overlooking the valley of the Wey and the town of Guildford. After seeing the interior of the Cathedral we were shown the luxurious robes and vestments kept in the sacristry.

The road to Vickers passed through many different Surrey lanes, but eventually we managed to find the correct road, and upon our arrival we were met by our guide who led us to Dr Barnes Wallace. Dr Wallace, the famous aircraft engineer and designer, talked to us about his work and showed us a film about the new aircraft he is designing.

After leaving him to get on with his research we were shown around the vast works. In one shop the wings were being made from an alloy, and other planes, mostly V.C.10's, were actually being constructed. The visit to the workshops proved most interesting and entertaining. After completing our excursion through the works, we were given a small refreshment in the workers' canteen before returning to the Priory.

I am sure that more of these trips would be beneficial and would give us an opportunity of seeing the world around us. There is no lack of opportunity. We are grateful to Mr Savage for arranging the trip and to Fr. Fowles for accompanying us.

*Spooky Note:
John Strain was ordained a priest in Guildford Cathedral on 30 June 2001

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