Roy Calvin (SH 79-83)

“I first got to know Bill on Grindal in 1978. He had come from Bahrain I think, or somewhere in the Middle East and I was from Whitehaven, so we had a lot in common at that time! However we soon became good friends, with rugby being the main focus, as Bill and I were never the most academically gifted. We moved over onto School House together to make room for the girls on Grindal. 
We could always rely on Bill to make his presence felt on the rugby field and he made an excellent prop forward with his size and great strength. Since he was quite tall, packing down as a flanker on his side of the scrum was always interesting and there were often some strange sounds coming from the opposition front row as Bill made the most of his talents! These were recognised by the county when he eventually played for Cumbria.
We had some great times in the CCF, where Bill was in the Army Cadets and I was in the RAF. However we did come together for the D of E on various exercises and I do remember one in particular. On our D of E Silver we were based at Warcop, and following a day of instruction and being kitted out by Captain Markbride, we set off into the Pennines for our expedition. One look at Bill's rucksack that day made me think that the army obviously had not heard of silent running. He had cups, billycans, cutlery and all manner of gear hanging from the outside of his oversized rucksack! This must have lit him up like a Christmas tree on radar, as just as we were crossing an electrified fence, Bill was buzzed by an A-10 anti-tank aircraft causing him to fall into the fence and bounce around in agony for a few seconds, much to our amusement! It was probably the only time Bill was mistaken for a Chieftain tank!
Bill certainly enjoyed the driving side of his work with the police force and I would occasionally meet him around West Cumbria on his official duties, when he would always stop and have a chat.”

The St. Beghian Society, St. Bees School, St. Bees, Cumbria, CA27 0DS

tel: 01946 828093