Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Happiest days of Your Life (School Play) by John Dighton

The Happiest days of Your Life (School Play) by John Dighton

Thanks to Stuart McDonald for this contribution.

This play was performed at the City of Coventry Boarding School about 1965 and produced by teacher Terry Walker.


The Cast and Credits

Autographs of the actors



THE HAPPIEST DAYS OF YOUR LIFE by John Dighton

On the Original Play (From http://www.bawds.org/happiest_days5.htm) 
"Directed for Bawds by Colin Lawrence, this play was first performed in 1948 at the Apollo Theatre in London. John Dighton, who is perhaps best known for writing this well-loved farce, also co-wrote (with Frank Launder) the film adaptation in 1950, which starred Alistair Sim as Mr. Pond, Margaret Rutherford as Miss Whitchurch and, in one of her best-remembered roles, Joyce Grenfell as Miss Gossage - one of the most unforgettable films ever. Did the play appear dated and how ever would I be able to avoid those film performances colouring my view of this stage presentation?

The story is set at the end of WWII. The pupils and teachers of a South Coast girls' school (St Swithin’s) are relocated to alternative accommodation as their own school has been a casualty of wartime bombing. Thanks to a bureaucratic mix-up, they wind up sharing the quarters of a boys' school (Hilary Hall) in Hampshire. The harried headmaster and headmistress, together with both sets of teachers, try to keep visiting parents from discovering the dilemma as the whole thing turns into a battle of the sexes. These problems are forgotten however when news is received that a third school is to join them and all unite to repel boarders.

The essence of farce is timing and this was a confident, well-paced production. After the scene setting Act 1 came the frenetic mayhem of Act 2 with heads and teachers of both schools trying to keep the two sets of parents apart and Rainbow back and forth exchanging netball posts for cricket nets with grumbling reluctance. This all worked very well but I would liked to have seen the moment held at the end of Act 2 when Pond and the two masters came bounding in dressed in gymslips, rather than running straight on and off. Great visual curtain line that. Act 3 of course degenerates into total chaos. This was handled with such noise and energy that some of the dialogue was lost and I am not certain the ‘proposal’, of Dick Tassell to Miss Harper, was heard by many in the audience."


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Cleobury Mortimer Pics














Tuesday, March 5, 2013

1964 Panoramic School Group Photo - City of Coventry Boarding School

Previous attempts to put this very long photo on line is sections have resulted in 'missed out' bits.

Here, thanks to Dean Revell, is the photo in 7 sections and some additional zoom-ins on the staff.
Each sections is a little bit overlapped at each side to avoid missing anyone out or only showing half of them!

Pic 1
Back Row L to R 1? / 2? / 3? / 4? / 5? / 6 Frank Dutton / 7? / 8 Ian Woolridge

2nd Row Down L to R 1? / 2? / 3? / 4? / 5? / 6 Brian Duynstee / 7 Stuart O'Halloran / 8 ? / 9 Christopher Burrows.

3rd Row down L to R 1 David (Texas) McGarry / 2 Hamish Wilson / 3 David Partridge / 4? Terry Hobson / 5 Alfred Novak / 6 Graham Baker / 7 Martin Lumley / 8 Roger Andrews / 9 David Allen /

Botton Row L to R 1 Martin Pickering ? / 2? / 3? / 4? / 5? /

Pic 2
Top Row 1 L to R Frank Dutton/ 2? / 3 Ian Woolridge/ 4 John Hesketh / 5 Dragan Gajic? / 6? / 7? / 8? / 9? / 10? /

2nd row down L to R 1 Brian Duynstee / 2 Stuart O'Halloran / 3 Chrisopher Burrows / 4 Charles Joyce / 5 Richard Clarke/ 6 Bosworth? / 7 David Mansell / 8 Julian Starling (Spadge) /

3rd row down L to R 1 Martin Lumley / 2 Roger Andrews / 3 David Allen / 4 Wallis / 5 ? / Robin Hemer / 7 John Owen / 8 Mrs Judith Chopping School Nurse /

Bottom Row L to R 1? / 2 ? / 3 Keith Wallis? / 4 Paul Stanislaws  / 5 /  / 6 ? /

Pic 3

Back Row L to R  1 ? / 2 ? / 3 Stephen Hymer / 4 Paul Tranter? / 5 ? / 6 ? / 7 Jerzey Dziubek / 8 Donald Worsley / 9 ?

2nd row down L to R 1? / 2 Terrence Woods / 3? / 4 Michael Rowsell / 5 ? / 6 Alec Hudson/ 7 Omerick /

3rd row down STAFF L to R 1 Mrs Chopping Nurse / 2 & 3 Mr & Mrs Webb (Bursar) / 4 Mr Hudson (German)/ 5 Ronald mathews Maths and Biology & Scout Master / 6 Mr Harper English / 7 Rev. D A Williams Divinity, English, History, Librarian, Deputy Housemaster.

Bottom Row L to R 1 ? / 2 ? / 3? / 4 ?/ 5 ?

Pic 4

Top Row L to R 1 Donald Worsley / 2 ?/ 3 Michael Storer / 4 ? / 5 Malcolm Carroll / 6 Stuart Cochran / 7? / 8 Roger Taylor ? / 9 Roland Beresford / 10 ?

2nd Row Down L to R 1 Omernick / 2 ? / 3 Peter Lund / 4 Glen Marsh / 5? / 6 Lech Wicikowsky / 7 Dean Revell / 8 ? 

3rd row down L to R STAFF 1 Rev. D A Williams  / 2 Rev Michael Lovett Divinity & Music & Cross Country / 3 Kenneth Williams History & Deputy Head/ 4 George Parker HeadMaster/ 5 Gordon Place Woodwork Deputy House Master / 6 Alan Thorne Maths Physics Housemaster - later Deputy Head/ 7 Gus Roberts PE/ 8 Terry Walker Art

Bottom Row L to R 1 Chrisopher Appleby / 2 ? / 3?  / 4 Stephen Tearse/ 5  ?

Pic 5


Top Row L to R 1 Peter Land? / 2 ? / 3 Richard Ward / 4  Mick Lovatt / 5 Anthony Rogers / 6  Trevor Teasdel / 7 ? / 8 ? / 9 ? / 10 ?

2nd Row Down L to R 1 ? / 2 ? / 3 Peter Wan / 4 Nigel Underwood / 5 Phil Stevenson / 6  Trevor Williams / 7 ?/ 8 Ralph Aldhous / 9 ?

3rd row down L to R STAFF mostly 1 Terry Walker Art/ 2 Taffy Powell Geography / 3 ? / 4 Matron Mrs Richardson / 5 Mrs Williams / 6 Cook / 7 Colin Eades headboy / 8 ?

Bottom Row 1 ? / 2 ? / 3  ? / 4 Alan Packham / 5 Francesco Fasulo  / 6 ?

Pic 6


Top Row L to R  1 ? / 2 ?/ 3 ? / 4 ? / 5 ? / 6 ? / 7 ?

2nd row down 1 Mick Bridgewater / 2 Stuart McDonald / 3 Peter Shepherd / 4 Michael Burns / 5  Anthony Shuttleworth

3rd Row Down 1 Colin  Eades / 2 ? / 3 David Hayden / 4 John Thomas / 5 Michael Holland / 6 ?

Bottom Row  1? / 2? / 3 Roy King? / 4? 

Pic 7

Top Row L to R 1 ? / 2 ? / 3 John Vark? / 4 ? / 5 ? / 6 ? / 7 Mark Mattocks 

2nd Row Down 1 Anthony Shuttleworth /2 Ian Jefferson? / 3 ? / 4 ? / 5 ?  / 6 ?/ 7 David Woodward / 8 ?

3rd Row Down 1 ? / 2 ? / 3 David Knight / 4 Adrian Gatterell / 5  ? / 6 ? / 7 Michael Berry / 8 Roger Mason

Bottom Row 1 Graham Jones ?/ 2 Paul Stanislaws / 3 ? / 4 ? / 5 ? 
.................................................................................

Additional shots of the Staff etc.