Stapylton Field
WW Board
former staff
Vic's notes
hot threads
All threads MAIN MESSAGE BOARD Number list
< Thread 97   Thread 98 (11 replies so far)    Thread 99 >


NAME: Roger Nolan  Roger Nolan

DATE: 07 August 2012


I left QE in 1967 but I remember going to a concert given by Ralph McTell (he of Streets of London fame) which was held in the QE refectory in 1968 or possibly early 1969.  The concert was open to members of the public generally and I remember being surprised at the time by the unorthodox and uncharacteristic use of school premises.  I can only assume it was a scheme by Tim Edwards to make some money for the school.  Does anyone else remember this or is able to shed any light on it?


NAME: Nick Dean  Nick Dean Nick Dean gallery

DATE: 28 November 2012


I don't have a definitive answer to the Ralph McTell question, nor did I attend his concert. However, I do recall being told (and have occasionally related to others over the years) that, after he was initially booked, his fee increased considerably - presumably because he had become a bit of a star in the meantime. (I think the album containing Streets of London was released in 1969). So, it's conceivable that the gig was opened up to others to help recoup the cost of a larger than anticipated outlay. The management of such concerts - and there were several - was in the hands of an enterprising group of senior boys (with practical support from various masters, who acted as bouncers, etc); therefore, this may not have been a TBE wheeze. So far as I recall the only 'official' gig at the school in my time was when the Pretty Things played after the fete in 1967 in aid of a roof for the swimming pool (mutterings about a girl turning up wearing only a rugby shirt belonging to a member of the First XV).


NAME: Martyn Day  Martyn DayThen & Now

DATE: 28 November 2012

CONNECTION WITH QE: Inmate 1956-63

I've had the pleasure of working with Ralph McTell - do any of you reprobates remember a children's TV series called Tickle on the Tum ? It seems unlikely that having agreed a fee for a performance he would have suddenly increased it. More likely the promoter, whoever he or she was, realising that Ralph was suddenly a big star decided to put up the ticket prices and invite a larger audience. It's not very 'grammar school' I admit - but that's 'show-biz' !


NAME: James (Jas) Cowen  James & Ayleen Cowen James Cowen galleryThen & Now

DATE: 03 January 2013

CONNECTION WITH QE: pupil 1956-63

I enjoyed listening to Ralph McTell recently on the radio. He was a guest on Good Morning Sunday with Aled Jones, who welcomed him very warmly as he does with all his guests. Listening to him and indeed looking at his biog on Wikipedia it is interesting to see how much he was not just a one-hit wonder. There are so many other regarded as one - hit wonders who continue to appear in the news such as Chesney Hawkes and whether he was entitled to an appearance and fee to switch on christmas lights. Of course he is. He is the one and only.


NAME: S J Hersom

DATE: 07 January 2013

CONNECTION WITH QE: pupil 1964-71

The concert [original message & 1st reply] was held in the Refectory. A less salubrious place would have been hard to find, or one with dodgier acoustics. It was chaotic: I'm not sure whether the venue was swapped late or what, but there was a late call in the afternoon for some lights. We got the 500w fresnels from the main hall with steel and rose gels and lashed them to the roof beams in the Refectory. Then unscrewed a couple of dimmers from the lighting board and wired the whole thing up. I could put lighting designed on my CV! It went well and was jammed in there. The extra payment is certainly true - there was a frantic search around for cash at the end while we were de-rigging the place to turn it back into that odd-smelling hall. The cash went to McTell direct.


NAME: Nick Dean  Nick Dean Nick Dean gallery

DATE: 29 June 2015


I see adverts appearing already for a concert by Ralph McTell at the Albert Hall on 16 May 2016. Quite a step up from the school refectory. It seems the streets of London really are paved with gold.


NAME: Stafford Gage  Stafford Gage

DATE: 09 January 2016

CONNECTION WITH QE: pupil 1961-67

I was very surprised to see [in reply 5 above] that Ralph McTell appeared at the school refectory in the late sixties. Despite being a fan and follower of the man, I don't think I would have gone there to see him. Too many memories of Mrs Bullas and the food she was in charge of - gristly, fatty meat and rock hard bread pudding, for example. I survived on school custard and mashed potatoes mainly. I first saw Ralph McTell at the Black Bull in Whetstone which has now been demolished. Also saw him at the Salisbury in High Barnet which I believe was demolished to make way for a Waitrose supermarket. Ralph has written, recorded and performed hundreds of fantastic songs and I have seen him in many different venues including Leamington Spa for his silver anniversary concert tour, Theatre Royal Drury Lane for his 70th birthday concert where I sat next to Nerys Hughes (she of Alphabet Zoo fame!). Indeed, I have tickets for his forthcoming concert at the Albert Hall this year, where he has appeared before!


NAME: Vic Coughtrey  Vic CoughtreyThen & Now

DATE: 09 January 2016


Sad to hear that the Black Bull is no more, Stafford (see my rather tenuous connection with it here). I was very fed up when the Salisbury was demolished. I used to go there for Barnet Jazz Club sessions, after the club lost its Assembly Rooms venue in Union Street. The irony is that Waitrose quite soon aferwards moved to its present site in The Spires. Even worse (and earlier than} the destruction of the Salisbury was that incredible act of vandalism, the demolition of the mediaeval Star Inn, a few doors down from the Salisbury. Can't remember what '60s monstrosity replaced it.


NAME: James (Jas) Cowen  James & Ayleen Cowen James Cowen galleryThen & Now

DATE: 18 January 2016

CONNECTION WITH QE: pupil 1956-63

I too feel sad to hear about the demolition of The Black Bull in Whetstone. I note too from "The Lost Pubs" website that other pubs in the vicinity are now also lost. In the High Road the Green Man is now used as a tyre centre and also in the High Road the Bull and Butcher is now a bar called iBar. The Blue Anchor and The Hand and Flower are also lost. Just a tad away The Rising Sun, formerly at 248 Oakleigh Road North, is now a Tesco Metro and The Woodman is also gone. The Griffin, The 3 Horseshoes and The New Inn would appear to still be there. I did work at BRS HQ at Northway House in Whetstone for over 6 years from 1971 to 1977, when I was not travelling round the country for them as Financial Planning Manager, and remember many of these well, especially The Black Bull. I should like at some time to revisit the area to see the changes. I especially remember the restaurant (by Totteridge & Whetstone station) where I enjoyed many splendid lunches. If that was the The Waiting Room Jas, it's still there!


NAME: Nigel Wood  Nigel Wood

DATE: 20 January 2016

CONNECTION WITH QE: pupil 1957-64

"I should like at some time to revisit the area [Whetstone] to see the changes" says James. As a Totteridge boy, I knew Whetstone well, when small accompanying my mother at least twice a week to visit some five shops simply to buy food (as one did), and later catching trolley buses to Barnet, as a change from the tube. I formed quite an attachment to the less well known bits, such as humble Victorian houses built of yellowy brown London stock brick which still survived, Redfe(a)rns and GLS radio repair shops and Stocks' secondhand furniture shop on the same side of the road as the Bull and Butcher and more or less opposite the Green Man Garage. Unlike James, I have no desire to revisit. I'd only be saddened by the changes. I remember talking to an old lady in South London some forty years ago, who told me that she was brought up in Turners Hill, Sussex and, three quarters of a century later, never went to sleep without thinking about the place . "Oh, I know Turners Hill", I piped up, pleased to be able to join in. I was told in no uncertain terms that she didn't want to hear the slightest morsel of news about the present day Turners Hill. I thought her a bit eccentric, but now I perfectly understand ...

10th REPLY

NAME: James (Jas) Cowen  James & Ayleen Cowen James Cowen galleryThen & Now

DATE: 21 January 2016

CONNECTION WITH QE: pupil 1956-63

In regard to the restaurant/café in Totteridge Lane the one I mentioned is a predecessor to The Waiting Room, which is not surprising as I am talking about 38 years ago and more. I am always a bit double minded in regard to whether to call a place a cafe or a restaurant. The one I used to go to charged lunch time cafe prices but served soups, main course and deserts and was definitely a cut above greasy spoon types. I was always asked if I wanted custard or ice cream with their tasty cherry pie and I always opted for both ice cream and custard. On two different occasions some famous soccer players ate there. The Waiting Room would appear to have more a café menu but I am intrigued as to what posh egg and chips consists of. It looks worth popping in to, if visiting around there and I usually like chatting with mother and daughter duos running places. Often the cafes are to a good standard. Maybe othere have visited and could report.

11th REPLY

NAME: Nigel Wood  Nigel Wood

DATE: 24 January 2016

CONNECTION WITH QE: pupil 1957-64

I wonder if the café (replies 8 and 10) was there in the sixties, when I was still living in Totteridge. One of the many things that puzzled me as a small boy was a notice on a wall or on an out-building at T&W station. It read 'Coal Of ice'. I assumed this to be some weird fuel, and felt rather let down when demystification came. Compare and contrast with 'Trespassers w', or - coming almost up to date - 'Dai y Mirror'.

Back to top
Add reply
All threads
Threads post-2012