Memories from Ivor Nicholas (SH 44-48).
“As an Old Boy of 87, and one who spent nearly five formative years on School House, I cannot express appreciation enough to the lads of Foundation and Grindal, who made me so ‘at home’ on their table at the Armathwaite Hall, Cumbria dinner on May 3rd 2019, not least because of the contributions made by the ladies present to the general conversation and reminiscences.
For health reasons and having voluntarily packed in driving a car, I hadn't planned attending the reunion, when our wonderful lady secretary, Pam Rumney, emailed to say Joe Fecitt (SH 44-48) would be there and was keen to meet me again. The first time we met was at entrance to school tests in February 1944; we both started that summer term (our D Day) that eventful war time year! Darryl Davies kindly arranged a late booking and Pam offered to drive me there and back. Regretfully, at the last minute, Joe was not well enough to attend. I kept the date and couldn't have enjoyed an evening more. I returned safely home at midnight.
On the following Saturday I met with Joe and his daughter and son in law at the school for a tour of some of the buildings. Joe and I with Tim and Vicky Hope thoroughly enjoyed our chinwag as Tony Reeve showed us relevant school records before escorting us round the buildings. Thanks a million to all involved for setting this up.
For more than sixty years, Cumbria and the Lake District has been my life, a record I claim for having no other job other than that as a full time freelance photographer for industry, newspapers, house magazines, television filming, mining, farming, tourism, or whatever requested. I chose not to move from this county. I always stayed here apart from two years National Service as a General Service photographer with the Royal Air Force in Gibraltar (1953-55).
No greater inspiration or reviver if I needed one, however, was the opportunity to wander round my Shangrilla - St Bees School followed by a headland or beach walk. A major recollection from my schooldays was seeing the school 1st XV engage other schools at rugger in the cold winter months. My hero was Richard Postlethwaite (AC 88-92), a name imprinted in my memory, as the St Bees player who was loudly cheered as he kicked the winning goal to beat Sedbergh by a point in a low scoring encounter on the crease, sometime in the late 80s or 90s. I met Richard in May at the Cumbria dinner at Armathwaite Hall for the first time. His mother I knew as a receptionist at Sellafield Nuclear Visitor Centre. She heard I was educated at St Bees and let me know her son was there. I introduced her to others at the centre as ‘Marianne Postlethwaite, mother of the St Bees star who kicked the goal to beat Sedbergh’. Rarely defeated in those days, the rivalry with St Bees was maintained over many, many years. Even in the difficult times of survival for St Bees in the late l930s, the Cumberland school held its own against its rivals, and produced international players.”