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News > Alumni News > A Christmas Gift to my Classmates from 1964

A Christmas Gift to my Classmates from 1964

Written by Les Gibbings
11 Dec 2023
Written by Les Gibbings
Alumni News
Class of '64 - Form 1 D.R. Neal
Class of '64 - Form 1 D.R. Neal

A black and white photo of my first year form from 1964 was printed in the old newsletter format a year or two ago, which was then reproduced complete with my previous best attempt at the names on this site [I think one of those lads in it, Terry Gibson, resubmitted it].

I therefore decided to try and give it a bit of an upgrade and colourised it a year or so ago for my own satisfaction. It was particularly tricky, even arduous to get the ties and badges [where they could be seen] sorted. However, given the time of year, it struck me that it might be a nice surprise for those in it to enjoy what I hope they will consider to be an improvement over the original photograph that was taken by Mr George [the former Woodwork Teacher from our era].

So here it is. However, I think I need to add a few comments and an apology about the photo and its content:

·        At least two of our former colleagues in the photo have to my knowledge passed away in recent years. Bob Harness [a well-known Old Owenian who in later years strongly supported the School Quiz nights] is located fourth from the left in the back row [next to Terry Gibson] and also Phil Woolway [fifth from the left in the middle row, next to Vince Sartori]. It will come as no surprise to any of us I am sure that there might be others in view of our individual age as septuagenarians.

·        Despite not having any symptoms, I decided late last year to take the PSA blood test for prostate cancer at my local GP surgery. To my surprise I was identified as having a localised form of the disease and this year has been traumatic for me in terms of trying to get it sorted. However, I think in view of our age and the accepted fact that the older a man gets, his likelihood of having this form of cancer apparently increases (the medical wisdom is that 90% of all 90 year olds will have it). The issue is of course whether it is aggressive or not. I therefore humbly suggest to all old classmates reading this that they might well do themselves a favour if they haven't already done so but to actively seek to have the test which is free under the NHS.

·        For some reason, my original copy of the b&w photograph got damaged and some of the detail 'flaked off' and affected my ability to 'improve' on what was originally there. In this regard, without drawing attention to it, I offer my apologies to George Lee.

Modesty forbids me from expecting anyone viewing this photo to understand why we were the considered to be best looking of the three classes/forms that year, as it must now be self-evident!!

Les Gibbings

[Left 1971]


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