Flick cards

By the early 1960s, cigarette cards had long gone – ended by the austerities of the War – but tea cards had replaced them. The games that my father used to play with cigarette cards, we learned to play from our older schoolmates with the new tea cards – or, more correctly, trade cards. We collected them avidly, and won and lost great fortunes daily playing the game of flick cards.

Two boys (only boys) would stand some eight feet or so from a playground wall, each armed with a handful of cards. A card was held between two fingers and then launched towards the wall, by each player in turn, by means of a quick flick of the wrist. There were two versions of the game. The object of one was to get your card to land on another already lying on the ground. The first player to achieve this won all the cards previously thrown. In the other – known as ‘Death’ – the aim was to knock down two or more cards that had been lent against the wall. The player that toppled the last card was the winner and, again, took all the cards already thrown.

‘Death’ called for accuracy and a strong wrist, but in terms of rules was uncomplicated. In the other game, however, as with many children’s games, the simple scenario of the one card landing on another was qualified by a number of arcane requirements. Should a card overlap another by only its merest edge – defined by the thin white border surrounding the card’s illustration – this was called “tipses” and did not count. All ambiguous overlaps were anxiously examined at close quarters. If necessary, spectators would adjudicate. If the case was judged to be “tipses” the game continued. Should a card stall in mid flight and flutter down onto another, this was called “flutters” and was also invalid. So too was “undies”, where a card slid beneath another on landing. With these rules, vast numbers of cards could accumulate, and tension intensify, before at last the prize was won.

These tea cards were issued by a range of companies but circulation was dominated by Brooke Bond. At that time, their cards were almost wholly devoted to wildlife subjects. They began in 1954 with “British Birds” and thereafter produced a series or two each year, covering birds, wild flowers, butterflies, fish and animals from Britain and across the world. By the time we started collecting, probably in 1963 or ‘64, cards from the very first series were hardly to be found – occasional and somewhat mysterious relics of some ancient past. However, subsequent sets were still in circulation and new sets kept arriving, providing fodder for our boyish kleptomania as well as for our effortlessly assimilative young minds.

Card swopping
Card collecting, Eastwick Primary School, Great Bookham, Surrey, 1966.

I inherited an interest in wildlife from my parents, but there is  no doubt that Brooke Bond’s tea cards fed that interest and caused it to grow and become knowledgeable. By the age of ten I not only knew my British birds – those illustrated in “Bird Portraits” (1957) and “Wild Birds in Britain” (1965) at any rate – and my butterflies (“British Butterflies”, 1963) and wild animals (“British Widllife”, 1958) – but I was also familiar with the wild animals of Africa and Asia (“African Wildlife”, 1961; “Asian wildlife”, 1962), exotic birds (“Tropical Birds”, 1961) and endangered species from across the world (“Wildlife in Danger”, 1963).

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All these sets were explicitly “issued in the interests of education”, according to the backs of the albums in which we stuck them, and they clearly served their intended purpose. It’s a pity then that although Brooke Bond continued to issue picture cards, they later stooped to trivia – cartoon turtles for example, or anthropormorphised chimpanzees – offered, presumably, in the interests of increasing sales.

To be fair, Brooke Bond continued to return to wildlife subjects, and to other educational topics, including in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund, as they first did with “Wildlife in Danger”. What they did not do, however, was to maintain the pictorial quality of the earlier sets, a feature which was at least as important as the information they conveyed in catching and keeping our interest. Between 1957 and 1966 those early sets were more often than not illustrated by C.F. Tunicliffe, whose both naturalistic and visually attractive style of painting was perfect for our unsophisticated eye – and our desire for facts. Some of his illustrations still rank among the finest examples of wildlife art, those for “Bird Portraits” in particular – the teal leaping from the water; the house sparrow in flight; the barn owl floating cream and white against the dusk :

BP Teal   BP House sparrow   BP Barn owl

Tunicliffe’s work seems to have established a house style during those years, so that when other artists were brought in – EV Petts for “Freshwater Fish” (1960); Richard Ward for two butterfly series (“British Butterflies”, 1963 and “Butterflies of the World”, 1964) – the cards remained instantly recognisable as coming from Brooke Bond.

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I rediscovered how much I had learnt as a child, how many animals and birds had become familiar to me through collecting Brooke Bond’s tea cards, many years later. I was living in South India and I went with a friend to visit the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in the southern state of Kerala. The Sanctuary is set in the forests of the great chain of the Western Ghat mountains, centred around a long and many fingered lake created by the damming of the Periyar River.

We rode up into the hills by bus and then walked from the village into the reserve. The narrow road ran between thick forest on one side and the lake on the other. In the water, or perched on grey stumps of drowned trees with wings held wide to dry in the sun, were thin, cormorant-like birds. I knew at once that they were darters (“Tropical Birds”, 1961). They are not the most beautiful of birds – snakelike, ragged, prehistoric – but they were old familiars and a thrill to see for the first time in the feather.

Shortly afterwards I spotted an animal moving in the trees above us, a brown, cream and enormous squirrel – the Indian Giant Squirrel (“Asian Wildlife”, 1962) – providing for a moment an almost exact image of Tunicliffe’s illustration, before it turned and made off, heavily, through the foliage.

A few yards further on a herd of wild pigs burst out of the long grass and hurried across the road, long snouted and round bellied – indistinguishable in fact from the domestic Indian pig which roots and wallows in every village ditch. However, these were wild and also familiar  from “Asian Wildlife”.

Darter  Giant Squirrel  Wild pigs

The next day we went out onto the lake in a motor launch, together with other visitors to the reserve, and my private adventure continued. There were many more darters, and more wild pigs along the shore. Then we spied a dark line of animals making their way slowly across a hillside, too distant for a satisfactory view even through my binoculars, but instantly recognised anyway. These were Gaur, the largest member of the ox family.

We could not have imagined a closer view of the wild elephants we came upon next. Seeing them at the edge of the lake, the helmsman brought the launch in close. While a huge bull led his herd unhurriedly away into the forest, two cows and a calf plunged into the water towards us. They stood knee deep – or in the case of the calf, up to its chin – and proceeded to threaten us by swaying their great heads and splashing on the water with their trunks, making their indignation at our intrusion  clear. Elephants, of course, are hardly unfamiliar even to those who have never collected Brook Bond tea cards. Nonetheless, the Asiatic Elephant is there among them.

I have continued to meet old friends in the wild in India ever since: Chittal, or Spotted Deer; Nilgai antelope, or Blue Bull; a Tiger in the scrub forest of Ranthambore in Rajasthan; Blackbuck; a Gaur bull, huge and unhurried in the headlights of our jeep, in Andhra Pradesh; Hanuman Langurs, named after the monkey-god hero of the Hindu epic poem the Ramayana; Giant Fruit Bats hung like peculiar fruits by day or rowing soundlessly overhead at dusk; and Mongooses in a back garden in Madras city.

 IMG_0001 IMG_0002 IMG_0003Gaur

  IMG_0005 IMG_0006IMG_0007

Not only animals, but tropical birds as well: the fairy bluebird, the painted snipe and the orange (or scarlet) minivet, the males black and bright red, the females black and brilliant yellow.

IMG_0009         IMG_0008

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I still have my collection of Brook Bond tea cards, won so many years ago, or bargained for “swops”. I add to it occasionally, when an album turns up in a charity shop or on e-bay.  And even now, here in the UK, there are a number of long familiar birds and animals which I have yet to meet – the Natterjack Toad, the Purple Emperor butterfly and the ring ouzel for example.  If and when I do happen upon them, I will, of course, recognise them at once with a very special delight.

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Eastwick Primary School, Great Bookham, Surrey, in the 1960s

Eastwick Badge   Hello Everybody –  Welcome to these Eastwick County Primary School pages. I was a pupil there from 1960 to ’66. This page is available as a home for photos and memories of those years.  For example :


(This was not my badge by the way)

Some of the photos here, and others, can also be found at :

Bookham Residents Association – http://www.datavu.host-ed.me/bookhamhistory/indexeastwickjs.htm

Many thanks to the BRA for hosting this material, and to Ali Kelman who collected it in the first place and arranged for it to be transferred when the School web site no longer had a space for it.

If you have any photos or other material from Eastwick in the 1960s I would be happy to receive copies and post them here.

I would especially like to see any photos you may have from the photo project that was conducted in the first half of 1966 ( I think) by Mrs Harrowell, a part time teacher, as I recall, possibly incorrectly. 

Any comments you may have (as well as photos!) would be very welcome.

Kevan.

 

News !

Hi everyone,

A few of us made it to the Fair [i.e. the Eastwick May fair 2018] and despite it raining from the moment we arrived it was an interesting visit.  We managed to have a look around inside and spent some time remembering classes and teachers.  We were pleased to see that the House names remain the same – although sadly the brick wall along the side of the field has gone and the playground has been built on – but I don’t expect they are allowed to play Kiss Chase now anyway!

All the best,

Joy xx

Eastwick 1 May 2018.jpg

Eastwick 2 May 2018.jpg

Eastwick 3 May 2018.jpg

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Hi Everyone

Sorry I missed it, unavoidable, but see you next time. Very sad that ‘The Wall’ has gone. (Speaking of which, who knew that Roger Waters of Pink Floyd was born in Great Bookham – a bit before our time, in 1943?).

I’ve always been intrigued by the remnants of ‘the big house’ which existed before the school and found this pic:

C:\Users\Kevan\AppData\Local\Temp\image002.jpg

Wikipedia says “Eastwick Park, a beautiful manor in the village, was lost in 1958. The house stood within the area of roads now known as the ‘Eastwick area’, and its very large private estate included Great Bookham Commons, which were saved by the village and given to the National Trust. Since being used as a private house, the manor was used by Canadian military in the second world war, and was also a school called Southey Hall, before being demolished for redevelopment. The original gates to the house stand just west of Eastwick Park Avenue on Lower Road.” I recall my dad saying how the Canadian army used the school as a training ground and how they trashed the house so badly it had to be demolished.

Another page says “Eastwick Park was built by the French Huguenot architect Nicholas Dubois (c. 1665–1735) between 1726 and 1728 for Sir Conyers Darcy and his wife,[1] Elizabeth, daughter of John Rotherham of Much Waltham, Essex and the recent widow of Thomas Howard, 6th Lord Howard of Effingham.[2] In 1801 James Lawrell bought Eastwick Park from Richard Howard, the 4th and last Earl of Effingham (of the first creation). Eastwick Park then passed through a number of different owners before housing Southey Hall Boys Preparatory School from 1924 until 1954 (during World War II the boys were evacuated to Devon and Eastwick Park was turned into accommodation for Canadian soldiers). The house was empty from 1954 until 1958 when was demolished to make way for housing and Eastwick County Primary School (which has since been renamed Eastwick Junior School).

In our time I remember a couple of boys found live-round bullets and a few years earlier someone found a live hand-grenade. Who remembers the black timber shed on the way to the old farmer’s place? Apart from the wall, I think all that remains of the original park estate is the brick stable block (used to be our sports changing rooms, horrid and cold) and any exotic trees that still survive.

Cheers

Bob

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A 1966 class reunion was held on the 16th September 2017 at the Windsor Castle pub in Little Bookham.  Joy Spencer/Taylor, Linda Davies/Scrase,  Martin Claytor, Bob Medland, Chris Scriven,  Ian White and Kevan Bundell attended.  Jessica Perkins couldn’t make it, but sent her greetings.

Miss Bayley, and others, were fondly remembered.  Photos were perused and people identified (see below).  The contents of Kevan’s and Bob’s News Books were amusingly shared.   We all had a jolly good time.

We vowed to gather again at the next Eastwick School Fête/Fair in 2018.  We also agreed to track down other classmates and invite them to join us there.  If you are one of them, do send me an e-mail.  We would all love to see you again.

Kevan  –  kbundell@yahoo.co.uk

 

1965/6

Netball team - 1965-66 - f. Suzanne Weston, Hazel Smoulders, Jackie Russell-Bates, Linda Davies; b. Elisabeth Daulgense, Joanna Woods, Mrs Cole, Leslie Rice
The Netball Team
Front : Suzanne Western, Hazel Smulders, Jaquie Russell-Bates, Linda Davies
Back :  Elizabeth Dalgairns, Joanna Woods, Mrs Cole (Coach and School Secretary), Lesley Rice

Gardening - l to r :  Kevan Bundell, Ian White, Roger Doswell, Martin Claytor, Gregory Able, Robbie Medland
Gardening
l to r :  Kevan Bundell, Ian White, Roger Doswell, Martin Claytor,
Gregory Able, Robbie Medland

Maths lesson - Maths lesson f. Alan Baker, Roger Doswell  m.  Mary Samms, Nicholas Golby, Martin Skinner, Simon Mitchell b. Suzanne Western (with back towards camera), Kevan Bundell, Martin Claytor
Maths lesson
f. Alan Baker, Roger Doswell  m.  Mary Samms, Nicholas Golby, Martin Skinner,
Simon Mitchell b. Suzanne Western (with back towards camera), Kevan Bundell, Martin Claytor

Eastwick football team 1965 - Football Team 1965 - b. -Christopher Glaum, Robert Muirhead,  ? m. - Ian white, Martin Claytor, Gregory Able, Paul Hiscutt, Kevan Bundell f. - Ian Cook ,  Alan Baker.

Football Team 1965 – b. -Christopher Glaum, Robert Muirhead,  ?
m. – Ian white, Martin Claytor, Gregory Able, Paul Hiscutt, Kevan Bundell
f. – Ian Cook ,  Alan Baker.

Dinner in the school hall - School dinner - featuring Nicky Carter (with the fork) and Avril Bundell (with the Alice Band), both aged 5. Yvonne Tomlins and Hazel Smoulders are in charge of the table behind.
School dinner – featuring Nicky Carter (with the fork) and Avril Bundell (with the Alice Band), both aged 5.
Yvonne Tomlins and Hazel Smoulders are in charge of the table behind.

Card swopping - Swopping cards - with a fine display of Eastwick blazers (and badge), raincoats and caps.  And the playground wall.  Left to right : Ivor Bundell, Kyle Ingram? (short hair), Bill Sheldon, Ian Beasley, Johnnie Aldous, David Jones.
Swopping cards – with a fine display of Eastwick blazers (and badge), raincoats and caps.  And the playground wall.  Left to right : Ivor Bundell, Kyle Ingram? (short hair), Bill Sheldon, Ian Beasley, Johnnie Aldous, David Jones.

Class Play  - Clare Milne,  ?  , Tony Stanton, unidentified legs . . .
Class Play – Clare Milne,  ?  , Tony Stanton, unidentified legs . . .

Tony’s family moved to Australia in the late 60s.  The persons that bought their house told me (in ’73) that they had heard that Tony may have died in an accident.  I can believe it.  He was a dare-devil.  Nonetheless, I would happy to hear from anyone that it wasn’t true.

1962 ?

(Photo from Bob Medland)

eastwick-school - b.  Avril Derbyshire, Janice Ashby, Linda Davies, Arthur Evans, Jessica Perkins, Alan Baker, Charles Richardson,  Nicholas Golby, Simon Mitchell m.  ?   Joy Spencer, Ian White,  Phillip Barnes, Julia Heath, Hazel Smulders, Diana Baxter, Elizabeth Dalgairns, Michael Baker, Christopher Scriven, Robert Muirhead, Rona Stockwell. f.  Linda Bannister, Marion Taylor, Amanda Webber, Roger Doswell, Robbie Medland,  ?  ,   ?  ,  ? ,  ? , Jonathan Stevens.Click on this photo to make it bigger and then tell me who you/they are !

b.  Avril Derbyshire, Janice Ashby, Linda Davies, Arthur Evans, Jessica Perkins, Alan Baker, Charles Richardson,  Nicholas Golby, Simon Mitchell
m.  ?   Joy Spencer, Ian White,  Phillip Barnes, Julia Heath, Hazel Smulders, Diana Baxter, Elizabeth Dalgairns, Michael Baker, Christopher Scriven, Robert Muirhead, Rona Stockwell.
f.  Linda Bannister, Marion Taylor, Amanda Webber, Roger Doswell, Robbie Medland,  ?  ,   ?  ,  ? ,  ? , Jonathan Stevens.

Note that Elizabeth has seen something shocking going on behind the photographer.  Diana has noticed it too and shut her eyes – quite properly.  Jessica, meanwhile, has seen it and is still looking !

1965/66

(Photo from Martin Claytor)

Miss Bayley's Class

b. – Mr Taylor, Robbie Medland, Roger Doswell, Hazel Smulders, Joanna Woods, Elizabeth Dalgairns, Avril Derbyshire, Yvonne Tomlins, Diana Baxter, Jennifer Mountain.
m. – Ian White, Paul Hiscott, Mark White, Laurence Robinson, Kevan Bundell, Alan Baker, Gregory Abel, Martin Claytor, Michael Baker, Miss Bayley
f. – Julie Dowden, Julia Heath, Jessica Perkins, Julia Gardner, Mary Samms,  Joy Spencer, Hilary Capeling, Linda Davies, Jackie Russell-Bates, Mary Sturgeon, Lynne Parkinson, Suzanne Weston, Caroline Taylor.


Miss Lorna Bayley

Miss Bayley joined the staff of Eastwick Primary School, I calculate, sometime in 1963/4. I remember her arrival. Suddenly things began to change in our morning school assembly. There were new ideas, new components, creative changes.

She taught my older brother Arnold in his last year at Eastwick in ‘63/4. She became my class teacher in September ’64, and remained so for two years until I left in July 1966.

She had a one-eyed Song Thrush in her garden called Nelson.

She introduced a maths-teaching tool called Colour Factor which was very modern but which I totally failed to comprehend.

It was the time of the Tokyo Olympics. She set maths questions on the board and a race to answer them, awarding Gold, Silver and Bronze stars to the winners . . . I remained starless.

However, she also got us boys gardening (photo above – the girls were busy dressmaking I think) – and she put up a bird table outside the classroom window. This was pioneering stuff. At this time feeding the birds mostly meant throwing crusts of bread out in the back garden or hanging up bacon-rind. She bought proper bird feed. She put up large RSPB bird identification charts on the classroom wall and Robbie Medland and I competed to identify each bird (Robbie always won). We thereby came to know birds which we had never actually seen – and many which I have still not seen.

Miss Bayley also encouraged my artistic leanings – drawing and painting animals and birds. She even set me up with a one-boy show of my work on the corridor wall.

She paid for me to join the RSPB, and continued to pay my subscription for some years after I had left Eastwick and moved away. We corresponded during that time, until I grew into a teenager and probably just stopped writing any more.

I did meet her once during those few years, at an Eastwick School fete in 1968 or ’69. By this time I had been growing for a couple or so years. I towered above her.  As the photo above shows, she was really very short, only I hadn’t noticed when I was short too. Now I was an awkward teenager. I don’t know what I said to her. I hope I thanked her for being so very good to me.

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The Tumbling Team, 1960 :

tumbling-team-c1960    the-tumbling-team-c1960

I don’t know who any of the 1960 Tumbling Team above are, I only remember that from the time I joined Eastwick (in 1960) I watched each year’s team perform at the school’s Summer Fete and yearned to be part of their fantastic gymnastics.  What I loved most was their quick-fire sliding across dining tables in alternate directions routine.   Mr Taylor was the coach.  The team members were selected from the top class only.  I finally reached the top class – in September 1965.  Mr Taylor asked for volunteers.  I volunteered.  We had our first  session in the school hall.

Tragically, that first session turned out also to be our last.

I was (still am !) devastated.

Perhaps Mr Taylor was by then too busy being Headmaster to find the time for training a Tumbling Team.  (I also recall that, by then, he no longer entertained us with the occasional Brer Rabbit story in morning Assembly).  Who knows ?

I could probably have been an Olympic gymnast if only there had been an Eastwick Tumbling Team in 1965/6.

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Bob Medland sent me some pages from his Autograph book of 1966.  You may have to turn upside down to read some of them :

1965

Daily Mail (June’65) :   Jackie Russel-Bates, Linda Davies, ? ,  ? , Paul Hiscutt ? , Michael Baker, Martin Claytor, Diana Baxter ? , Laurence Robinson.

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Cubs and Scouts (1964 ?)

A number of us were members of the 2nd Bookham Cubs and Scouts, together with others from Bookham Primary School :

Row 1 (top) :  ? , Harold Franklin, ? , ‘Akela’ Mr Fournier, ‘Chip’ Bob Mills.
Row 2 :  4.  ‘Bagera’ Mrs Bellet, 6. Mr Bellet ? , 8. GSM Mr Tarrington (‘Tarry’) , 9.  Mr Keeble, 10. ‘Skip’ Jim Bundell, 11.  David Stockwell ?
Row 3 :  3.  Geoffrey Weiss ?
Row 4 :  4.  Andy Franklin, 5.  Simon Mitchell, 6. Kevan Bundell, 8. Alan Baker
Row 5 : 1. Graham Smith, 3.  Christopher Glaum, 6.  Martin George, 7.  Stephen Taylor, 8. Ivor Bundell

Thanks to Graham Smith for sending me this photo.

Please name more names !

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Eastwick News – 1965

Featuring contributions – poems, fiction, reports – from : Ivor Bundell, Susanne Westacott, Rona Stockwell, Alan Baker, Jean Harrowell, Louise Berry, Ian White, Simon Wright, Alan Buckland, Hazel Smulders, Anne Hart,Sheila Roddon, Jessica Perkins, Kevin Stedeford, Louise Berry, Roger Doswell and Linda Davies.

I rather think it may have been the first of only one . . .

Games played at Eastwick Primary School in the 1960s

To all former Eastwick pupils :

Please read the pages under ‘Children’s Games’, and then – if anything comes to mind – please add to and/or comment on the list below via the ‘Leave a comment’ option at the end.  Thanks.

Do you remember any details of how we played these games ? Do you remember any other games/rhymes, etc. Please say if you don’t think we played a particular game or used a particular rhyme, etc :

Chasing games : Terms used for chaser – he or it (different terms are used in different parts of the country). You could also quickly say Baggsy not it !

Kiss chase
Line he – i.e. confined to the netball court lines painted on the playground
Ball he – i.e. throwing a ball to ‘catch’ the chased.
Off-ground he – i.e anywhere off the ground was ‘safe’
Chain he – each child caught then holds hand with catcher(s) to form a chain

– Was there a term and/or a gesture for stepping out of the game for a while so that you couldn’t be caught (e.g. while doing your shoe laces up) ?
– Was there a safe place where you could not be caught ?
– Could those who had been caught be released ?

Counting out – i.e. choosing who is to be it or he, etc :

Ibble obble black bobble
Ibble obble OUT !

One potater, two potater
Tree potater, four
Five potater, six potater
Seven potater, more
O U T spells OUT !

Eeny meeny miny mo . . . etc

Ip dip sky blue
Who’s it ?
Not YOU

– Counting out is often called dipping. Did we use that term ? Or some other ?

French skipping : like cats cradle, but with a long piece of elastic stretched between the ankles (then knees) of two players standing opposite each other a few feet apart. A third player has to jump over, catching the elastic with their feet, a number of times until the elastic is woven into a set pattern. Then they have to undo it by repeating their previous moves in reverse.

Hand-stands :
Get your knives and your forks and CUT IT !

Piggy-back fights : a boys game only I think.

Playing horses : two children grasp each others hands behind their backs and prance around pretending to be a pair of horses.

. . . . . . ?

 

Curdridge myth and legend – Kitty Nocks and the Curdridge Witch.

This is an article I wrote for the ‘Curdridge Parish News’ in 2013 :

For such a small village, Curdridge has a wealth of myth and legend.  Many of you will know the stories of Kitty Nocks and of the Curdridge Witch, although they are often confused together.  The following versions of these tales are taken from various sources, including the archives of the Botley and Curdridge Local History Society.   I am grateful to Dennis Stokes for making these available to me. 

Kitty Nocks.    

Kitty Nocks- or Nox – lived in a big house surrounded by a moat at the top of Kitnocks Hill, perhaps where the present Kitnocks House now stands.  She had a suitor of whom her father disapproved so their meetings had to be in secret.  One day she was found to be missing.  A search was made and her body was discovered drowned in the moat.  It seems she had been trying to join her lover to elope with him, although another version of the story has it that she drowned herself in a nearby pond after her lover abandoned her.

 It was after this event that the hill came to be known as Kitnocks Hill, but quite when the event took place no one knows.  However, since then her ghost is said to have haunted the top of the hill.  Her most recent reported appearance was in 1978 when a lad got off the number 53 bus at Kitnocks Hill and was scared half to death to find himself accompanied by a ghost as he ran home to Gordon Road!  

The Curdridge Witch.

As I mentioned above, there is often confusion between Kitty Nocks and the Curdridge Witch, who is sometimes known as Kate Nocks – or Nox – and it is said that Kitnocks Hill is named after her.  However, what seems most likely is that the Witch was an elderly woman called Kate Hunt who lived, sometime in the 17th century, on Mill Hill, or thereabouts, near Pinkmead and the road to Botley.  There are a number of stories told about her.

One day some trees were being cut down and fell across her garden, making her very angry.  The next day the trees were found lying in the opposite direction, across the road.  She was also said to have ridden to Bishops Waltham and back on a field gate.   A servant girl used to travel regularly by horse taking milk and eggs to Bishops Waltham.  On her way she would deliver a pat of butter to Kate Hunt.  However, when the Witch repeatedly failed to pay, the girl was instructed to stop delivering to her.  Kate Hunt became furious and declared that the girl would get to Bishops Waltham quicker than she had ever done before.  The horse then set off at a gallop and didn’t stop until it reached ‘Clark’s Shop’, where the frightened girl found all her eggs broken and mixed up with the butter.

It was also believed that the Witch could turn herself into an animal, most frequently a large white hare.  It was decided that she could not be allowed to live.  The hare was tracked down and shot with a silver bullet – the only way to kill a witch. Kate Hunt was afterwards found at her home mortally wounded and she then died. 

There is also a ghost story associated with the Witch.   A lady riding in a carriage with friends near where Kate Hunt used to live saw a woman wearing a red cloak, but no one else saw her and it was agreed that such a cloak was an unusual sight.  However, it seems that many years before it had indeed been common for elderly women to wear red cloaks.

 Confusions.

The confusions between these two characters are not just in relation to their names and to the origin of the name of Kitnocks Hill.  One story is that people used to visit the grave of the Witch Kate Knox in a churchyard nearby Kitnocks Hill to seek her advice.   They would go alone at midnight and intone her name three times and then listen for her reply.  It seems clear that this practice must in fact have related to Kitty Nocks the drowned girl and not to the Witch.

There is also confusion as to the identity of the gargoyle on St Peter’s Church tower which faces towards Kitnocks Hill and shows a woman – not obviously old – with her face displaying great distress.  Some say this is the Witch, but surely it was intended to be Kitty Nocks – unless of course those who designed the tower in the 1880s were also confused !

Kitty Noakes.

There is a third tale, not so well known, concerning Kitnocks Hill.  Commander Richard Phillimore, born and brought up at Shedfield House a couple of miles from Kitnocks Hill, told me the following brief story, learnt when he was a boy I think in the early 1900s :

There was a servant girl called Kitty Noakes.  One night, on her way home from work, she was murdered on the hill by a footpad [i.e. a mugger] and robbed of her wages.

I have not found this story written down anywhere before, but if you have heard it, or something like it, I would very much like to know.  Indeed, if you know any other versions of or additions to these stories please contact me so that I can add them to the store of Curdridge myth and legend for future generations of Curdridge folk to enjoy.

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Sources :

Winifred G., Christy, Elsa B., It happened in Hampshire,  Hampshire Federation of Women’s Institutes, Winchester, Fifth edition 1977,  p121  (This was first published in 1936).

Botley and Curdridge Local History Society archives, The Curdridge Witch (1693/1 – 3)and The Legend of Kitnocks (1693/4 – 5).  Taken from material collected by W S J Cooke.

“The Fairy Tale Has No Landlord”: On the Enchantments of Kitnocks Hill ( https://thegrammarofmatter.wordpress.com/the-enchantments-of-kitnocks-hill/ )

Moutray Read, D.H. 1911. Hampshire Folklore. Folklore Vol.22,No.3, p314.

Stevens, F.E. 1934. Hampshire Ways. London: Heath Cranton, p.51.

Summers, M. 1946. Witchcraft and Black Magic , London and New York: Rider and Co., p.192.

Kevan Bundell

kbundell@yahoo.co.uk      

 

Kitnocks – the origin of the name.

 

 

(This article appeared in the April 2014 edition of the Curdridge ‘Parish News’).

You may have seen my article ‘ Curdridge Myth and Legend –  Kitty Nocks and the Curdridge Witch’ published in the March 2013 edition of the ‘Parish News’.   (If not, it is available at www.kevanbundell.co.uk[1] ).   That article tried to sort out the common confusion between the two characters in question. 

This article is an attempt to go beyond the legends and explore the historical origin of the name Kitnocks.  So if you prefer myths and legends to historical ‘facts’, you should stop reading now !

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Kitncoks Hill is a significant feature of the village of Curdridge.  Local knowledge has it that the name of the place derives from Kitty Nocks,  a young girl who both lived and was drowned on the hill while attempting to elope with her lover.  Exactly when she lived  is not known.  The alternative explanation is  that the name comes from the so-called Curdridge Witch, but this seems unlikely as her name was probably Kate Hunt and she probably lived elsewhere in the village sometime in the Seventeenth Century.   Folklore writers appear to have confused the two characters.

Here is what we know  about the name Kitnocks from documents held in the Hampshire Records Office :

  •          In a document called ‘Customs of the Hundred of South (i.e. Bishops) Waltham’, dated 1259/60 there is mention of a Thomas Kutenok.  The implication is that Thomas was a tenant in the Hundred (an administrative area of land).[2]
  •          In the Rentals of Bishops Waltham for 1332, a Richard de Cutenok is listed as the tenant of a ‘1/2 virgate’ of land.[3]
  •          In the Rentals of Bishops Waltham for 1464, under the heading ‘COURDRYGGE’,  we read  : ‘a messuage [house] and 1/2 a virgate of bond land called Kotenokes, formerly Richard de Cuttenoke’‘Formerly‘ here means  that Richard was a previous tenant.   This is the first reference to the land itself being known by a name.  Elsewhere in this document  we find references to ‘the land of Kutenokes’ and ‘formerly Kuttenokes’.

The spelling is all over the place, but it is clearly the same name that is being referred to.   In fact the letters  ‘c’ and  ‘k’ are interchangeable in Anglo Saxon, and the vowels could vary too.

  It seems clear that the name of the place that we have today has come down to us all the way from the name of the tenant family that held the land since at least  the Thirteenth Century. 

As for the name itself,  a little research reveals that ‘Cutte’ means ‘son of Cuthbert’ in Anglo Saxon,  and  that ‘Knock’ or ‘Nock’   is a shortened version of the phrase ‘atten oak’  or ‘at the oak’  (just as the name Noakes is ‘at the oaks’ or  Nash is ‘at the ashes’).   On the other hand it could be ‘atten nock’ , at a hill or knoll.

Be all  that as it may,  if you have read this far and still prefer the legend of Kitty Nocks or the Curdridge Witch, you must not of course be swayed by my research.  Especially if you are in need of advice.  According to one Folklorist’s account it was customary to visit ‘Kit Knox Hill’ at midnight and to circle Kit Knox’s  grave three times,  ‘Then listen for the answer . . . council and guidance will always be given.’   I assume this custom has now died out, but do let me know if you know differently. I will then be sure to let whoever moves into the new houses just built on the top of the hill know – and tell them not to worry.

Kevan Bundell

 [1]https://kevanbundell.co.uk/2014/02/24/curdridge-myth-and-legend-kitty-nocks-and-the-curdridge-witch/

[2] Hampshire Records Office COPY/761/1

[3] 1332 & 1464  Rentals of Bishops Waltham Manors, Harold G Barstow, 1992.

Alan Glynne-Howell – an appreciation.

I first encountered the formidable Mr Glynne-Howell at the too tender age of eleven as he attempted to teach us Latin.  In my case at least, he failed utterly.  In my first year final exam I was awarded a mark of three percent – one for writing ‘amo, amas, amat’, the other two for spelling my name correctly.

  He was a generous man.

 Mr Glynne-Howell was otherwise known to us as ‘Genghis’.  On the one hand this displayed our profound schoolboy ignorance, on the other it was unarguably appropriate.  He would bear down upon us, dark of gown and of physiognomy, take us by the cheek between finger and thumb, and shake us like rabbits; he would steady our face with one hand and slap us with the other, admonishing us to ‘Take it like a man’.  He would then extract his handkerchief from his pocket and fastidiously wipe his hands of our contamination.  This was not at all what we were used to, but we were far too young, and intimidated, to protest.

 And yet there was also humour.  ‘Don’t bray like an ass’ he would say as a victim struggled to translate some incomprehensible passage.  Or more particularly, to myself :   ‘Bundell, you are like an ape staring into space – you see everything, and comprehend – nothing.’

 He was right of course.

 Later on he also taught us ‘A’ Level Religious Studies, by which time we were  a good bit older, and he less intimidating.  Nonetheless, it was only many years later – after I had left school, after I had lived in India for a while, and after I was married to an Indian – that I came to some kind of an understanding of where Alan was coming from.

 He was coming from a world which no longer existed.  India gained its independence from the British Empire in 1947.  The Raj was finished.  Like many others of Anglo-Indian descent Alan, and his wife Tessa, were face with a decision as to where to build their future.  He had done well in an India ruled by the English language and its culture.  He had obtained both Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in English, from the Universities of Bombay and Benares respectively, and won a William Shakespeare Cup along the way.  He had trained as a teacher and then taught at the prestigious Church schools of Bishops High in Pune and the Cathedral School in Bombay.  He had taught the sons of Rajas, as well as the sons of other important members of the Hindu, Christian and Muslim communities.  But the world in which he had been brought up, and in which he had competed, was quickly fading – and England had always been referred to as home.

 In 1962 the Glynne-Howells decided, like other members of their family, to move to the UK.   Alan first taught at an independent girl’s school in St Ives, Cambridgeshire.  One wonders what the girls made of him – and he of them.  Presumably he did not require them to ‘Take it like a man’.   In 1965 he joined Price’s Grammar School for Boys in Fareham, Hampshire.  It was a rather traditional establishment, with something of the English public school about it, and was led by a Headmaster, Mr E.A.B. Poyner, of firm Christian convictions.  These characteristics would no doubt have helped Alan feel at home.

 However, this was the nineteen sixties and England, like India, had also changed, and was changing still.  At Price’s Alan was largely put to teaching Latin, obligatory in the first year, but never a greatly popular choice thereafter, and Religious Studies – of which he was Head – but again a minority pursuit beyond the statutory one class a week.   Meanwhile he was denied the opportunity of teaching his beloved English Literature.  I believe this may have been at least partly owing to a perception that Alan’s approach to the subject was rather old fashioned.  And so it no doubt was.  Yet Alan’s old fashioned erudition and use of the English language were glorious, and I for one have never recovered from them.

At the same time, outside of school, Alan suffered on occasions the prejudice and name-calling that those ‘of a dusky hue’, as Alan put it, had to endure in a provincial town at a time when non-white faces were not at all common.  This must have been particularly unpleasant for a man of Alan’s background and sensibilities.

 Another thing I understood from living in India was that Alan’s assaults upon our eleven year old cheeks were not in fact acts of aggression but rather of affection.  In India grown-ups commonly pinch the cheeks of children or give them a gentle slap while admonishing them for some minor misdemeanour, or indeed for none at all.  And the children grin back at them.

 And yet, as I recall, Alan was always rather serious about it.  He was fearsome of aspect (as he would have put it), and, often, it hurt.

 In fact, he was conflicted.  We were his pupils and therefore dear to him.  But we were also an ignorant and rather ordinary bunch of boys, from very middle or working class backgrounds.

  And above all, we were unwashed.

 Alan’s fastidious wiping of his hands after every contact was not merely a performance.  It was also a comment upon and a criticism of our personal washing habits.  No doubt small boys everywhere are among the least fragrant members of society.  However, Alan was also possessed of a particularly sensitive nose.  In India his pupils would have routinely bathed every morning.  In England in the 1960’s, before the general arrival of domestic showers, a bath once a week was more the norm.  Of course we were also obliged to take showers at school after PE and Games, but it was amazing how quickly boys could rush in and out of the shower room, and then climb back into clothes which had probably already been worn for the best part of a week.

 At some point in 1967 or ’68 Alan fell ill and was away from work for a term or more.  When he returned we were all shocked to see that his formerly coal black hair had turned quite white.  Unfortunately his health was never of the best in his later years, especially after he retired in 1975.

 Shortly before he retired Price’s became a sixth form college and there were not only boys about but also girls.  This gave rise to new opportunities for Alan to express himself in his characteristic and inimitable style.  Tony Johnson, then Head of English, tells the following tale :

 “A phrase that passed into the folk memory of staff at Price’s
College was his. Rounding a corner on his way to the staff room, he
reported to us that he had just seen two students in “amorous
juxtaposition”. Even to this day you have only to mention that
phrase to bring laughter to old colleagues who have met for lunch.”

It was my brother Ivor – also a pupil of Alan’s – who first began to visit Alan at home, and then I joined him.  This was when we first met Tessa.  By this time Alan had clearly forgotten, or chose to ignore, my achievements in his Latin class.   His conversation was always riddled with sage – I assume – remarks, quotes, and aphorisms in Latin.  Sometimes he would translate, but often-times he would not.  Fortunately there was more than enough of the same in English to give me some chance of joining in the conversation.

 Later on my wife and I visited, usually for afternoon tea, sometimes with our children.  Alan and Tessa would also come to tea with us.  I remember an occasion we visited when both Alan and Tessa were, by then, less nimble than they had once been.  My wife, in very Indian fashion, soon took over the serving of the food and tea and Alan and Tessa were obliged to be waited upon, as befitted their age and status.  Alan was flustered and embarrassed at being looked after in such a way in his own house, but at the same time I felt he was also moved by the touch of his old home and culture.

 Alan passed away at the very end of December 1989.  His memorial service was conducted by another of his former Price’s pupils, Peter Hancock.   We continued to have Tessa round for tea until she passed away in 2013.  In any case Alan is still often mentioned and in our minds.   It was a very special experience –  in a variety of ways –  to have had Alan as a teacher.  Although I understood, if not quite nothing, only a limited amount of what he might have taught me, it was a gift to have known him.

 Kevan Bundell
(Price’s 1966 – 73)

Revised Version (so to speak) Feb. 2014

The original posting of this Appreciation can be found on the web site of the Society of Old Priceans at : http://www.societyofoldpriceans.co.uk/Alan_Glynne-Howell.htm

A further appreciation of Allan Glynne-Howell, written in response to my Appreciation (which you should read first), by my fellow former Pricean and classmate, Michael Daysh.

 AGH was one of very few teachers for whom I had great respect. He was a pearl before a load of swines, and I wonder what made such a man want to teach us. Not that I am complaining, but you would have thought that he would have taught in a posh school, where his classical talents would have been appreciated.

 I do give him a thought occasionally, because he was influential and had my respect. I would just tell you a few things I recall:

 Blood red ink in his fountain pen, which he used to write in a masterful, flowing sort of a way. It was a bit like he was painting with his pen. His signature influenced mine, because he always put two dots under his name. Somehow the two dots conveyed authority. My dots have become a line, but with the same intention.

 I took to Latin myself, and failed O level only because the criminally incompetent *****  took over. He (A G-H) was a good Latin teacher, and it’s now part of my kids’ “take the piss out of father” routine to imitate me explaining the meaning of an English word by reference to the Latin derivation. It helped greatly with French and Spanish too. That is in fact Allan’s lasting legacy to me.

 He did teach English at some point. I definitely know he taught me (and therefore you, I assume) because I recall him managing to make Shakespeare quite interesting. Maybe he was just standing in.

 He was one of the few teachers who always wore his gown, and he would have looked better swaying through the cloisters of some ancient public school, rather than the smelly corridors of Price’s. It was part of his public persona, and added to his considerable gravitas. I now realise that the best teachers are great actors, but it works: We would never have mucked around with him like we did with ******, for example.

 The horrible day when somebody had written “Genghis” on the blackboard. He walked in and walked straight out again. I am sure that he took it as a racist insult, and I am sure that it was meant as such. ****** took the blame, but I don’t think it was him at all. I don’t know who it was. I do know that most of us were shocked both by the racism (although we did naively use abusive terminology, I must admit) and by AGH’s reaction. We just didn’t understand about any of that in our 99.9999% white middle class world.

His very Indian way of leaving a long gap before the end of a sentence. I’ll mimic it next time I ……….. see you. It is a good teaching technique. My lecturer at college did the same. It makes you think about how the sentence should …….. end.

 I am glad that others remember him fondly. I always say you only die when you’re forgotten, so he’s got a good few years left!

 Michael Daysh.

Feb 2011.

 

Tessa Glynne-Howell

Tessa passed away on the  31st  August 2013 at the age of 100.  My brother Ivor and I were not aware of her passing until some months afterwards.  This is the message we then sent to her family :

Ivor and I were pupils of Alan’s at Price’s School. We met Tess only after our school days, when we began to visit Alan following his retirement. After Alan’s death we continued to see Tess: she came to our children’s birthday parties; we invited her for Sunday tea, happily ferrying her from Fareham and back; and we arranged to drop in on her at ‘Everest’ whenever we could. She was always wonderfully positive despite the difficulties of her old age. We saw her last in the Spring. My mother and I went round for ‘elevenses’. Tess was rather deaf by then of course and the conversation was occasionally rather odd as a result, though she had always been quite adept at ‘secretly’ lip reading. However, it was, as always, a pleasure to be with her. We remember her with much love and affection and as one of our special honorary Aunts.

Royton, Lancs, 1950s.

The following games were recalled by my sister-in-law Elaine Bundell (née Vacher). She was born in 1952 and lived as a child in Royton, near Oldham, in the general vicinity of Manchester, in what was then part of the county of Lancashire, in the North of England.

1.

Ping pong pee and the P C lantern
My black cat can play the pianer
He can play for two and a tanner
Kerb or the red brick wall ?

“This was a “choosing” rhyme for a running race game.  The children wanting to be chosen stood  in a line with both hands held out, palm up. The “chooser” went along the line tapping each hand in turn.  The child whose hand was tapped at the end of the rhyme on the word “wall” was the challenger and could choose either the kerb or the wall.  (I played this game in the playground at Byron Street Junior School in Royton.  I seem to remember there was an undercover area with a kerb to step up into it and a brick wall at the back.)  If the challenger chose the kerb then she (again, it was usually a girl) ran to the kerb from a chosen line some distance away, back to the line then to the wall and back to the line again.  Meanwhile the chooser ran to the wall first then to the kerb.  The winner was the person back to the line the second time.  I don’t remember whether the winner became the chooser or if the challenger became the chooser.  Even if there were only two people playing, the formality of the rhyming and hand tapping took place.”

This is the game which the Opies[1] call kerb or wall, preceded by a counting out or choosing method commonly used to begin this game. They give the following example of the game’s rhyme:

Bim, bam, boo, and a wheezy anna
My black cat can play the piano
One, two, three, kick him up a tree
Kerb or wall ?

This was reported from Stockport, which is not far from Manchester and Royton. Both rhymes are noticeably nonsensical, especially their first lines, which leads the Opies to add the following disparaging note to their example : `Versions in various stages of decomposition throughout the north country’. It is not clear, however, what the more composed original might have been.

2.

Nebuchadnezzar, King of the Jews
Bought his wife a pair of shoes
When the shoes began to wear
Nebuchadnezzar began to swear
When the swear began to stop
Nebuchadnezzar bought a shop
When the shop began to sell
Nebuchadnezzar bought a bell
When the bell began to ring
Nebuchadnezzar began to sing
Doh ray me far so la ti doh !

“A rhyme for doing “two-ball”.  Bouncing two balls alternately against a wall underhand.  On each rhyming word, doing a different action, eg throwing one ball overhand, bouncing one ball on the ground before hitting the wall (I seem to remember this was called for some reason “tobogganing”), throwing under the leg against the wall and, the hardest of all, behind the back.  Each action lasted for the complete rhyme, saying the rhyme again and doing the next action until the ball was dropped then it was the turn of the next girl (I don’t  remember boys ever playing two-ball).  I also think that when reciting the “doh ray me”  the action was done on every word.”

Steve Roud[2] reproduces the same rhyme, word for word, reported from Kent in the 1940s, also used for games involving the bouncing of balls.

Elaine remembers another rhyme used for playing two-ball:

Lady, baby, gypsy, queen,
Elephant, monkey, tangerine.

“I think it was simply a case of throwing the balls against the wall and doing a different action on the rhyming words.”

Such ball- bouncing games, says Roud, were exclusively girl’s games. They were also `immensely popular’ – which makes it all the more striking that they `seem nowadays to have disappeared’.

3.

Alabalabusha
Who’s got the ball ?
See I haven’t got it
It isn’t in my pocket
Ala-balabusha
Who’s got the ball ?

“This was a ball game where someone threw a small ball over their shoulder to a group of waiting children.  Whoever grabbed or caught the ball put it behind their back.  Everyone then stood in line with their hands behind their backs saying the rhyme and showing each hand in turn.  At the start of the rhyme the thrower turned round and watched the action then at the end of the rhyme had to pick out the child who had the ball.  If they guessed right then they had another go and if not then the person with the ball became the thrower.  (I remember playing this at the Mission Infants School in Royton and the first thrower was often one of the dinner ladies.)”

This is a version of the game Queenie. ‘Queenie is the perpetual delight of little girls aged eight and nine’ write the Opies. The commonest version of the rhyme begins ‘Queenie, queenie’ but the Opies note that` in Scotland and North-east England’ the rhyme begins instead with` Alabala’. They do not specifically give any example from the Manchester area .

`Alabala’ (also, ‘Ali baba’ and ‘Ala wala’) also occurs in examples of what the Opies call Chinese Counting, so-called not only because a Chinaman often appears, but also – perhaps more so – because the rhymes are made up of nonsense. Elaine remembered this one :

Ah-ra chickara
Chickara rooney
Rooney poony
Ping pong piney
Ala- bala-basta
Chinese Sam

“This may have been a choosing rhyme but I remember girls just walking around arm-in-arm chanting the rhyme.”

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  1. “Children’s Games in Street and Playground“, Iona and Peter Opie, 1969.
  2. The Lore of the Playground: One hundred years of children’s games, rhymes and traditions, Steve Roud, Random House, London, 2010.