The picture below of me working the trampolene was taken during a gymnastic display given by the school gymnastic team on Open Day in 1965. The school had a very strong gym team and never lost any inter school competitions that we entered.
My memories of the complete team are a bit vague but I do remember Jimmy Waters, Richard Fillery, and Brian Bowman. I will always be grateful to Stan Frankland, Mr. Savory, and John Evans, who supported us throughout. Jimmy Waters and myself went on to join Ilford Olympic Gymnastic Club in Ilford. Stan Frankland boasted that Brian, Jimmy and myself were his Olympic Gymnastic hopes, but sadly that never happened.
One of the perks of Being in the Gymnastic Team was when a competition was coming up, we were allowed to bunk off lessons to put in extra training. However, my first experience of gym could have put me off for life. Form 1B1 were lined up outside the gym for our very first P.E. lesson awaiting our teacher, Mr. Evans, to turn up. Someone opened the gym door and we could see all that lovely gym equipment was out on display. The trap had been set. Boys being boys a few of us ventured in and started to try out some of the equipment, later followed by a few more. Then out of nowhere appeared Mr. Evans. He was furious and singled out six of us (the first six in, funny that) and made us line up against the wall-bars. He then produced an enormous Dunlop slipper and told us to bend over and place our hands on the bars. The blow was excruciatingly painful and, to my horror, he came back for seconds. I think some of the boys were close to tears, I know I certainly was, but somehow we held it together. No wimps in 1B1. At the end of the session I remember John Read running from the gym back to the changing rooms. When I got there I saw him with his pants down, his buttocks against cold wall tiles trying to ease the pain. He then turned around to reveal a very large blue imprint of that Dunlop slipper. We all managed a laugh and the six lads went on to compare who had the best imprint. A painful lesson had been learned and none of us ever went into the gym unsupervised again.
As for Mr. Evans, well he was absolutely right but the punishment was a bit severe. We had him as our PE master for the rest of that year but the following year he left to go to another school. I did miss him as he’d become very influential in my life at school in other sports, such as football and athletics.