1950. There we were,over a hundred of us potential wonders of the sporting world but to the Staff ,we just needed waking up ,dressing up, feeding up, chasing up and building up . The red and black striped pullovers of the PT I s were only able to get us all in the gym at the same time by lining us up for press ups or on the wall bars or up a rope or passing a medicine ball or dressing up in two giant boxing gloves.etc.and running on the spot begin. The barber had cut off our golden locks so we all had ‘ Samson’s ‘ morning after muscles.
We have to admit that the P T I s did a good job with what they got !
I well remember that one year on the field behind the gym we watched and supported the officers v sgts messes fancy dress football match.This being played with good humoured cheating until the Ref was carried off and they all disappeared to the Sgt’s Mess !
That Gym was a good sport too,because it was home to everything from P.T.,Church parades,Cinema ,stage shows,Passing Out parade presentations and inter school / company boxing nights where we all stood up for our own and enjoyed the overall occasion.
Here I must mention the usefulness of that small outside corner of the Gym used to conceal the Janker wallers and Gate reports awaiting the bugle call for 10pm Staff parade . “Who’s a lucky stick man then ?”
“Do you like the open air lad?” …. That’s torn it , Route march or cross country runs. where you run all the way to nowhere and back wet or fine.
I tried Rugby once but decided that it wasn’t clever being buried under a pile of those heavier than I, with or without the ball.
The phrase “You’re for the high jump” comes to mind,…but I fooled them , I went for the Long jump .It was shorter than the cross country !
This is where the two field sports medals seen here now appear. They were for long jump 2nd &3rd [brass]
On two occasions,1952 just in case you could be thinking that there were only three of us in the team. The winner took the silver leaving me to be known as a “Well done for taking part lad” Those gallant enough to gain School colours would wear a broad platted yellow and blue lanyard to the shoulder of their S.D uniform.
The spectators may be from the permanent staff families.
These medals having suffered years of confinement to a memory box and only my Grandson believes that they and myself are antique.
There must still be many of us who have our [non Olympic] sporting treasures,all germinating from within that Gym and on to the sports field down near the far away MRS at Arborfield.
Never mind that our next event may be with wheel chair or stick, I could still win a silver for getting up into my attic.
So it’s back to the route march and a walk for the papers will do the trick.
Arthur Ward .50B.
Arthur Ward remembers sports and it’s presentations as it was in the 50s. Us relative youngsters were awarded school or company colours for sports, no natty little medals!