R V Hughes (Staff 1968-74)

We received the following news from Joe Cloke:

I am writing to let you know that Mr R V Hughes, who was Director of Music at MGS in the 70s (I think), died last Sunday 26 March at the age of 88.

I met Reg in September 1962 when I took up my first teaching post at Gosport County Grammar School and became friends with him and his wife, Peggy.

He was Head of Music and somehow persuaded me to take a leading rôle in two operettas, La Belle Hélène and Gypsy Baron. He also played the organ at my own wedding.

It was an odd coincidence that, when he left Gosport, he joined the staff of my old school!

Sadly, just over 2 years ago he suffered a stroke, which, while not impairing his mind, left him immobile to the extent that he spent the rest of his life in a nursing home. He is survived by Peggy, his daughter Jane and son John.

I am sure that there will be Old Maidstonians who have fond memories of him as I do.

The Society’s archivist, Jeff Wilkinson, writes:

Reg Hughes was at MGS from 1968 to 1974 when he taught English and was, as you say, Head of Music. During his time he played the piano when the school choir entered the Llangollen Eisteddfod, led the Transport Society, was instrumental in creating the Musician’s school tie, arranged concerts and school productions as has been mentioned before. Included in the latter was La Belle Hélène (photos attached) when appears to have been an exquisite production judging by the photos, although I am not too sure about the Victorian bathing costume! Sorry about the quality of the photos – they are scans taken from The Maidstonian (best I can do at the moment).

Kent history

Members may be interested by the information in this email from John Bunyard to the OMS committee.

“I just wanted to let you know that the talk I gave before Christmas at Maidstone Museum, which you kindly advertised in the last Newsletter, was a sell-out. Interestingly, there were some heavy hitters in the audience from the Kent sports scene. It led directly to the start of discussions about the possibility of developing more than one permanent exhibition of Kent sports and social history. Not a bad result!

Needless to say, the Covid crisis has put it all on ice for the moment. Since the public appetite is obviously there, however – 20,400 visitors came to the Maidstone exhibition – I thought we must keep the flame burning. So I’ve been working furiously on a major new website concerning Kent’s amazing history. If I get to the end, it will contain over 800 exhibits; but, as a lot of people are already going a bit stir-crazy, I’ve just posted the first 10%, which ought to keep anyone occupied for an hour or two. It’s now up at https://oldbunyardskentpride.com/

Please do take a look, and by all means share it around.

Regards
John”

John Bunyard Memoir

From the membership secretary

Dear Old Maidstonians,

John Bunyard (1972) has been working on an extensive memoir of his time at MGS in the 1960’s and 1970’s. He requested that we publicise it to the membership, but as it is too extensive to publish it the ‘Old Maidstonian’ we are therefore sending it as a website link. He published the first half of his memoirs under the title ‘Through the Red-Brick Gate’ and which can be read at
https://oldbunyardsmemories.wordpress.com/

He has followed it up with ‘Into the Sixth’ on the same website, and in it he covers both his 6th Form experiences and more recent encounters with the School, including a personal tour conducted by the Headmaster himself. OM’s will be particularly interested on the update on the school and its architecture.

It makes for extremely interesting reading, and I suggest every student, past and present, can relate to at least some parts of it.

Warmest regards,
Graham Belson on behalf of the Committee

William Golding – any reminiscences?

Dear Members,

Jeff Wilkinson, archivist at the school, has requested that this be passed on:

I know that this is a long-shot but I am aware that we have Old Maidstonians who lived at this time and have good memories, so please can you help? I am trying to find any OM who has memories of William Golding, author of ‘Lord of the Flies’, when he taught at the school between 1938 and 1940, or perhaps when he joined the Navy for war-time service. My reason for asking is that Kent Life are intending publishing an article about him next year as a celebration of the time he spent at MGS and I am sure that individual memories would highlight the item.

If any relation of yours was at MGS at that time but does not have internet access, then perhaps you could ask them on my behalf.

Please reply to jeffrey.wilkinson@mgs-kent.org.uk

Thanking you in anticipation,

Jeff Wilkinson, Archivist

John Francis (OM) and the Paralympics

We have received the following from John Francis’ father, which may be of interest to those of you who were at school with him.

I thought you may be interested in the two links below from online newspapers in respect of my son, who is a former pupil of Maidstone Grammar School (2009). An article has also appeared in the Kent Messenger this week.

John Francis left MGS in July 2009 and started studying Sports Science and Coaching at the University of Worcester. He has continued his studies at Worcester and is currently working towards his PhD.

The PhD is in conjunction with GB Wheelchair Basketball. John has been involved with the Wheelchair Basketball for nearly four years and is Head of Performance Analysis for both the Men and Womens teams, and for Rio, he is also the Men’s Team Manager.

With the Opening Ceremony for the Paralympics due for tomorrow evening and the first games on Thursday 8th September I am sure MGS would wish to support the Paralympics and to roar on Team GB.

Regards,
David Francis

http://www.worcester.ac.uk/discover/sports-science-students-heading-off-to-help-paralympic-athletes-in-rio.html

http://www.kentnews.co.uk/sport/maidstone_student_off_to_rio_to_enhance_performance_of_team_gb_wheelchair_basketball_teams_in_paralympic_games_1_4672277

Eric Haslam

I recently made a visit to the OM Website and on inspecting the Register of members noticed that there was reference to our oldest recorded member Eric Haslam who left the School in 1935.

I don’t whether you are aware that Eric died aged 96 on 21st April, 2014.

He was a distinguished Police Officer who was the holder of the OBE and the Queen’s Police Medal for outstanding service.

I served with him at Gravesend in the Kent Force and later followed his career when he became Deputy Chief Constable of Kent and later Chief Constable of the British Transport Police

Best wishes
Denys E. Whatmore
1944 – 1949

Chris Meigh

I don’t know if this information has reached you by other channels, but sadly Chris Meigh passed away recently, and his funeral will be held locally at St. Luke’s Church, Foley Street, Maidstone, Kent ME14 5AW on Friday 26th June at 12.30 p.m.

I know that Chris taught at MGS from 1976 to 2010, so I am sure that many will remember him, and some may wish to attend the funeral.

The wish is for no flowers but donations instead to the Barnabas Fund and Practical Action, care of the funeral directors, who are Family Funerals, 6 Marlborough Parade, Beverley Road, Maidstone , Kent ME16 9JN; 01622 260210

Regards,

Mark Stockham

David Lane (OM 1971-78) wins OR Society award

The winner of the OR Society President’s Medal for 2014, for the submission judged to be best practical, implemented, application of O.R., goes to David Lane (Henley Business School), Eileen Munro (LSE) and Elke Husemann, for “Using Systems Thinking to Undertake a Review of Child Protection in England.” The work formed a central part of ‘the Munro Review’ (Munro, 2010, 2011a, b), a high-profile review of state-managed child protection activities in England, conducted for the Department for Education.

More details can be found on the OR Society website.