The Vale School was a private school in Aylesbury. Founded by DB Hicks and his wife, Crystal, in 1946. The Vale school was originally for just boys, but became co-educational in the 1980s.
A former pupil of the Vale, DA Heffer, who graduated in 1950, became the Headmaster in 1975
Operating as usual
A shining light has just gone out. It is with great sadness I am relaying the news that an old boy has passed away. He was not only a good friend of mine, but also my drawing buddy. Peter Brooks died in his mother's home in Cambridgeshire, earlier today. He was an incredibly talented artist and cartoonist who used to lampoon certain teachers at the school, by creating comics.
Unfortunately cancer makes no concession for talent, vile disease that it is. Peter was diagnosed with spine cancer about a year ago. This started by robbing him of the use of his right arm. That put paid to doing anymore drawing. At first it was hoped the meds would win the day and Peter would live to enjoy old age, albeit with limited use of his limb, but recently he became too weak to take anymore treatment.
Peter joined the school in 1969 and left in 1974. My thoughts are with his family and also those of you who knew him.
Has anyone got a copy of the 1971/72 school photograph? This is the only a lot of boys I knew appeared in, and also teachers such as Mrs Hicks and Mr Green featured as well. It would be great to see it again, after such a long time.
Page 5 of my graphic novel detailing how the school used to be when base at Manor Road. The comic has grown page by page. Had I known I was going to go this far with things I would have written a script first then created the panels to match, I will probably re-vamp everything so it has a real flow to it.
I have just finished the second page of my graphic novel, depicting the old school. I am practically having to re-build the place in my mind's eye to bring these panels to you. I hope you enjoy.
I came across this. Look familiar?
Old boy, Tom Robson recently posted an excerpt of the school rules. This is the one that concerns visiting the cinema etc. I have typed it out so it is easier to read. One thing not mentioned in the rule is that boys who lived locally to the school were not allowed to change out of their school uniforms until 5 pm.
General. Cinemas are forbidden during the week (Mondays to Thursday inclusive) and all forms of social activity in the evening falls under that heading. Boys may go twice a term, if they give their name to the appointed prefect, besides at week-ends, and permission may be obtained for going to the theatre. Parents are strongly advised against letting their boys watch T.V. during the week except for programmes of educational value. The grammar school course is hard, and boys must, in addition have good general reading to be successful, which is why we feel most strongly that restraint must be exercised in the above mentioned forms of entertainment. The School cannot control a boy’s behaviour out of school hours, but reserves the right to ask a boy to leave, should his out of school behaviour, habits or mode of life, be such as to bring discredit on the school or a bad example to other boys. Experience has shown that satisfactory G.C.E. results cannot be obtained when a boy does a “job” as well (excl. Xmas postal) as our boys need all their energies and time to concentrate on G.C.E. The money he earns in such work is more than counterbalanced by the opportunities he loses by loss of G.C.E. results.
Old boy, Tom Robson, has sent some very sad news about Michael Andrew Thorne, ( Vale Boy 1968-73) Michael has passed away, from the vile illness known as cancer at the young age of 63.
Michael was a farmer, following in his father's footsteps out at Eaton bray where they first started as a family with 12 acres and a handful of pigs nd worked to build it into a thriving business. His parenst saw both boys and a sister thru school and M was very decent chap indeed. We were a part of the 61 Gang ( bus route).
I am sure we are long forgiven for removing cats eyes from the roads, playin radios loudly, smoking and a few other minor rule infringements which led to our being on the receiving end of the cane a few times.
As with Robert, I too lost touch with M over the years , his obituary reads that he remained in farming to the end, leaving behind a wife, two sons and a daughter.
Ten axes and a fiddle
Rest in Peace
photo credit to his family/obituary
Colin Michael Ede kindly sent in this image of a shirt with the old school tie. It's been a long time since I saw that tie up close. There's also a prefect badge attached to the shirt. My main memories of prefects were the essays they used to make us write. 'The interior of a ping pong ball' for example. Sorry if that last bit doesn't make any sense, you were obviously at the school in more recent years.
Marcus Wade has sent a photograph of the 1957 school rugby team. D A Heffer, seated, on left, was the games master in those far off days.
It was a year ago today we said goodbye to Tom O'Rourke, who joined the school in 1970. The year has gone frighteningly fast for me. I thought you would like to see some pictures of Tom. These were taken from the leaflet that was presented at his funeral. He was clearly a very happy person.
It is with great sadness I am reporting the death of an old boy. Thomas O'Rourke (Tom) died suddenly on 24th June, 2019. Tom joined the school in 1970. He was a talented artist, had a love of history and possessed a zest for life. He will be sadly missed by all who had the pleasure to know him.
It is with great sadness I am informing you that yesterday I heard the news an old boy had died. Malcolm MacLean was at the school until 1971. A great fan of music, he led an adventurous life. At the time of his death he was in Cambodia and had been living in Australia. He will be sadly missed, by both his family and friends.
Does anybody remember a boy called Gary North?
Does anyone remember the school trip to Wales with Mr Richter? The school hired a mini bus and we set off to a remote farm house in mid Wales for a week long holiday. We made camps out of twigs and bracken and went for walks, visited local towns and a dam. Matthew Golding was definitely there as was Dane Adams.
Who remembers the 1976 trip to France? The coach (similar to the photo) left the school during the Easter holidays and we started off spending a few nights in a hotel in Paris. Then we moved along the Loire valley and spent the rest of the time in a small town on the river. I would love to hear from anyone who can remember the name of the town we stayed in or the name of the hotel in Paris? Does anyone have any photographs from that far off era?
If anyone still has there old Vale School text books, please scan them in and post them here, and tell us about the memories those books bring back to you.
This the text book we had to have for our Physics lessons. I found this on the web. I have looked at modern day physics books and they don't seem to be anywhere near as good as this book. By the way that looks like Concorde on the front cover, which dates this book nicely.
This was originally sent in by Dave Armitage, but with some of the text clipped off I have re - created this editorial from the Bucks Herald, dated December 17, 2003
A letter to Mr Hicks following a visit to the Technical College. It was not 'TC' boys who attacked us it was a bunch from the Grange. Mike Deacock was insenced I had made such a mistake. I told Mr Hicks this to put the matter straight. The outcome? I was allowed to wear an old blazer. End of!
Vale School Photographs
Letters and documents
Pictures of The Vale School, Manor Road
I think this was for Form 2. Mr Hicks used to teach geography. Once you got into Form 3 it was not taught. Mr Hicks had a rule that a boy could only take geography as an 'O' level if he had already passed five of the core subjects. C being the minimum grade of course. A few years after leaving The Vale I met up with an old friend who told me he had got a D for maths. I said that's a fail, to which he replied I was talking nonsence only an F is a fail. Grades A,B,C,D, and E are passes! Not at the Vale the last two weren't!
The full 1976 photograph of the boys and their teachers.
At various times Mr Hicks would send out a note about school fees or an upcoming event, or in one case the sad news he was standing down as Head. When you look at some of the fees the Vale charged, bear in mind these letters were despatched in the 1970s.
effect of thai coup on expats and visitors is zero so far despite media frenzy, the effect of the recent coup in Thailand on tourists is minimal, but with a curfew announced tonight
Mrs Lewinski. She taught russian at the vale and also worked in the secriatariat.
This was one of the text books used to put the fear of God into us back in the early 70s! Put this together with Mr Heffer and you have a potentially explosive combination!
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