Class of 1950 Reunion – March 2019

Class of 1950 reunion held at The Five Lamps on Tuesday 26th March 2019
The run up to this meeting saw the sad deaths of David Owen (January) and Allan Squires (March) and these inevitably cast a bit of a cloud on our meeting. However on the upside, attendance was more buoyant than expected – with fourteen of us making the meeting (That is 13 from the class of 1950 plus Barrie Sheard – our adopted friend and the OD Archivist.)
 
As usual, the meeting was totally informal, but overall we all enjoyed almost 2.5 hours of good conversation accompanied by some excellent food and drink. We received greetings and good wishes from six of our number who were unable to join us: John Bishop; John Dring; Tony Holmes; David Hughes and John Williams. John was due to have a heart operation last week-end so we trust he is now well on the way to recovery. Geoff Neaum was planning to attend, but a neighbour needed an urgent trip to hospital.
We were delighted to welcome Neville back to this meeting since he managed to miss both last year because he was out of the country – he brought an interesting report of his trip down the Mississippi River – and came in his pre-war Austin Seven motor – which caused considerable interest in the car-park! A particular feature of this meeting was the amount of memorabilia that were brought for interest and for inclusion in the OD archives. Barrie was delighted and almost overwhelmed.
 
Please put the date of the next meeting in your diary same time, same place on Tuesday September 17th. Hopefully a goodly number of us will be able to make it this time.

Check your Old School – CCF Memorabilia

After WWII, in the 1950’s and 1960’s, when as a member of the Cadet Corps,  hundreds of us were very proud to wear first the JTC and then the CCF uniform.
There were promotions we could aspire to achieve as a Lance Corporal, Corporal, Sergeant, Sergeant Major or even Company Sergeant Major.
What is not always appreciated is that one could also obtain, what was called
1. Cert A – the badge on one’s sleeve in red;
2. Marksman Badge – the badge of a miniature rifle on one’s sleeve;
3. A small brass drum – denoting you were a member of the JTC or CCF band;
4. Cert T – the badge on one’s sleeve in two shades of khaki.
Sadly, we currently do not have within our archives an actual original Cert T and this short announcement is to inquire if out there some past Old Derbeian, ex Derby School pupil or even a family member may have one to donate and to go into our ever growing archives.
Your help and assistance would certainly be greatly appreciated.

In Memoriam – John Reader Blackton MBE

 John Reader Blackton MBE co-Founder of Derby Grammar School, former chairman of RB MacMillan Ltd., the Walbrook Housing Association and the fundraising committee to establish the first Nightingale MacMillan Hospice in Derby died recently on 27th December 2018 at the age of 89. He was a former pupil at Derby School at St. Helen’s House in King Street, Derby in 1937 and 1938, prior to moving to Denstone College. He became a member of the Old Derbeian Society.

 His experience and expertise in education as a fellow of the Woodward Corporation led him to become the driving force in establishing Derby Grammar School as an independent day school for boys between the ages of 4 and 18 and now girls between the ages of 16 and 18.

 With the help of both Old Derbeians, alumni of the original Derby School and others, the buildings and grounds were acquired to establish a new school, primarily for boys which would uphold high academic standards and a strong extra-curricular programme. My Blackton had proven skills which suited him to this new venture. He was the former chairman of RB MacMillan label printers and a past president of the British Printing Industries Federation. He donated the MacMillan Prize for Upper School Mathematics which is awarded each year to a deserving pupil at the school’s speech Day.

 He was a person who immersed himself in charitable works and the consideration of the comfort and improvement of others and their living circumstances.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He later became the chairman of the fundraising committee to establish the first Nightingale MacMillan Hospice in Derby. Today, many gain support from the Nightingale MacMillan unit for palliative care now based at the Royal Derby Hospital.

 A keen sportsman, Mr Blackton played cricket for Duffield, hockey for Belper and was a life member of Chevin Golf Club and was always keen to use the development of sport at the school.

 Mr Blackton’s memory lives on in the form of Blackton House, one of the four houses at Derby Grammar School that compete in a variety of extracurricular activities and sporting competitions. Blackton House is named to honour all that he did in establishing and supporting the development of the School.

 Those at the School will be forever grateful and indebted to him for his generosity of spirit, benevolence and vision. He will be remembered fondly by governors, staff, alumni and pupils.

 Mr Blackton is survived by wife Joan and their daughters, Sarah and Katie. His funeral took place at St. Helen’s Church in Etwall on January 23rd at which the OD Society was represented. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and our thanks to his widow, Joan, whose support of her husband’s work has been invaluable.

 For 15 years, from 1970 to 1985, Mr Blackton was chairman of the Walbrook Housing Association in Derby, a charitable Housing organisation that repurchased properties to provide accommodation for families and individuals who need support with housing. During this time the housing stock increased from 15 to 1,000 properties. In 1964 he was awarded the |MBE for his work.