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Current Comments:
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18th of March 2015 10:18 PM by Paul Wilson
I attended HGSB for a couple of years for the 4th and 5th years from Nov 1966 to July 68.
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16th of March 2015 05:05 PM by Geoff Stoner
Hello John Pike. Well I certainly played cricket, very often in Mid-Sussex, but only in friendlies in a non-league side.
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16th of March 2015 11:44 AM by peter ballantine
In my time I recall there were 4 football pitches but only 3 cricket ones which meant that once a month you were in the nets and went home at 3.45 rather than 4.30.
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14th of March 2015 11:17 PM by John pike
Hello Geoff Stoner, ( anything to do with mid Sussex cricket?) when I supported my brother in the 70s, the first eleven pitch was the bottom east to west and the seconds played on the top east to west. There were two much smaller north to souths where the under 12s 13s etc played. Ten years on when I had followed in my brothers footsteps nothing had changed. I have happy memories of house matches ( super Gloucester) on the smaller north south pitches, but also leading the first eleven to county championships on the bottom east west pitch. Get in!!

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14th of March 2015 07:31 PM by Mick Wright
Pretty sure that looking south from front door, there was an east/west one top left, another e/w bottom right and a north/south top right. However, I know that they changed them from time to time because I also recall a north/south one top left; I took a penalty facing north to the tennis courts and turned my ankle!
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14th of March 2015 01:08 PM by Geoff Stoner
I am trying to recall the configuration of the football pitches on the front field. I think 2 ran east-west on which the House 1st X1s played, but I seem to remember there was only 1 north-south pitch for the 2nd X1s. If so what happened in the case of the remaining 2 teams? Or were there 2 north-south pitches?
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12th of March 2015 06:49 AM by Brian Perrin
Hi, my name is Brian Perrin and I was student at the school from 1947 to 1952 when I left and joined the Royal Navy. In 1966 I migrated to Australia and now live in Toowoomba Queensland with my wife. Looking forward to catching up with old class mates.
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9th of March 2015 08:45 PM by David Morris
Search for Brian Perrin

If this should be the Brian Perrin living in Australia then one of our contributors, John Tester, might be able to help.
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8th of March 2015 06:54 PM by michael robbie
I am trying to trace a cousin Brian Perrin who attended Hove County Grammar School during the period 1948-1954 while I was attending Brighton, Hove & Sussex Grammar School. If anyone knows how I can get in touch with him please email me at www.melmjar@aol.com

Thank you,

Michael Robbie
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2nd of March 2015 02:37 PM by David Morris
Mr Romer's French Class 1953/1954

With reference to post 1181 I need to add a clarification.

At the end of the second paragraph add "apart from Beaumont who is Alan Stenning - see post 1179"
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2nd of March 2015 08:56 AM by peter ballantine
My talk of the delicious Jancis seems to have shut everyone up. I also remember a trip to Stratford to see some Shakespeare (did i go twice? Just not sure here) and of course the famous trip to the Soviet union in the summer of 1964. Went with Malcolm Krohne who later came back as a chemistry teacher and we are lifelong friends.
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21st of February 2015 10:00 PM by David Morris
Mr Romer's French Class of 1953/1954

I believe I have solved the missing name in the photo, I have come across the same photo on a Friend's Reunited schools site. The first lad standing on the left is Waldron but the second is Alan Buckfield ( not Bennett ). The third is C G Withnell - otherwise the names match.

Tony Buckfield reported on this post that his cousin Alan died in a car crash in 1958 with Alan Newman passing away two or so years later again in a road accident

Tony was in the same class as me so if he reads this I send my regards. I seem to remember you as "Billy".
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18th of February 2015 10:02 AM by Peter Ballantine
Thinking of Geography camps. i haveput out a few photos in the Gallery of our camp at Wookey Hole in the Mendips in 1962. I had not enjoyed a scour camp a few years earlier but really enjoyed this. Thanks to Bert Bucket (Playell) Ned (Land) and Willy Pope (the cook!). In the 6th form a few of us went to Juniper Hall for a senior Geography camp not run by the school but one of the national organisations.Met a student from a school in Bedford (Jancis) and we later turned up at the same Geography department at King's London! she was rather nice!
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17th of February 2015 10:19 AM by David Morris
I wonder whether anyone can help me with gallery photograph 110 which I understand was provided by David Lawrence who is in the photograph. This, I think, is the photo for the 1953/1954 French class as Mr Romer left in July 1954 prior to taking up a post at Watford Technical College.

The lad sitting on the grass far right is Alan Stenning who with David Williams came from another class having done well at French in year 1. I have spoken with Alan who confirms that he was a member of the French class.

There is no name for the first lad on the back row. Despite my name I was in 1Z for 4 months and I came up with the name Worley but with little conviction - after all it is almost 60 years since I left school.

I am not the David Morris in the photograph. I was in the C stream. This caused some confusion at a parent's evening when my parents received a report that was not to their liking!

I believe I last met David Lawrence on the 5 June 1958 when you threw the javelin 108 ft and 11ins to win that event at the Hove and Porslade Youth Organisations Sports Day. I, too, had some success that day.
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16th of February 2015 11:24 AM by Geoff Stoner
What has happened to our regular commentator David Langley? It must be about 2 months since he last posted.
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15th of February 2015 08:39 PM by Geoffrey Christopher
Re Post No 1164, David Robertson, I have not logged in for over a month, but am now catching up. You responded to my Post No 1048 about Geography Camps, and I guess that we camped on the same site (Dunscar Farm) as you, although I have no recollection of that detail. We didn't visit a cement works, although I've seen a few, and they all look the same. You mentioned that nobody in your class seemed to have a camera. The one that my brother and I used was a Brownie Box camera, the most simple camera imaginable, and at the time we were using it, it must have been 20 to 30 years old. How times have changed since then!

Geoff Christopher.
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11th of February 2015 10:45 PM by Bill Green
Memories come flooding back prompted by David Gregory's post about the severe winters. Cold linoleum floor coverings in the unheated bedrooms and scratching frost off the inside of our windows and a single anthracite-burning boiler the sole source of heat for the whole house, although it produced great porridge overnight. Central heating unheard of, yet how well and healthily we managed to survive and enjoy those early years.
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8th of February 2015 09:44 AM by Ron Riches
David G. Possibly the misery of the 1947 winter was aggravated by the fact that it came in what was arguably the bleakest period of the decade. The euphoria at the end of the war quickly faded when the period of abject austerity clicked in and shortages of all commodities led to even tighter rationing.

I certainly did have an interview with Mr Norden before starting at the school and my understanding was that there were two grades of pass in the scholarship. Kids in the first grade were interviewed and the remainder had to attend the school for an oral examination. By some almighty fluke, I was among the former but my interview turned out to be pretty daunting. My older brother, who had attended seven years earlier had been a model pupil excelling at all things academic and Mr Norden spent most of the interview singing my brother's praises leaving me in no doubt as to what was expected of me. Perhaps it was as well that Mr N left before he could have realised how far short I fell of his expectations.
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8th of February 2015 08:58 AM by Peter Ballantine
From the very young Peter Ballantine (a mere 68 and about to retire!) - talking to a friend of mine we agreed that the day at the school interview we also had a maths exam in the morning (so 11+ in three parts) but I have no memory of being interviewed by Bouncer but certainly by Bert.
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5th of February 2015 12:34 PM by David Gregory
Ron. A little research shows that the winters of 47 and 63 were two of the coldest on record. February 47 was apparently the coldest on record and from Jan 22 to March 17 snow fell every day somewhere in Britain. Apparently 63 will be remembered more for its coldness that its snowfall. I would settle for an honourable draw. One thing I do remember is that our two bedroomed council house had only one source of heat which was a cast iron coal burning fire and cooker in the living room which was allowed to go out at night. When the coalman made deliveries on his horse drawn cart it was my job to sit at the window and count that he delivered the correct number of sacks.
It was a pleasure to be at school, particularly if you were fortunate enough to sit near one of those large piping hot radiators. On a previous posting I have noticed that the young Peter Ballantine was interviewed, with others, prior to joining HCGSB, by no less than the Headmaster. Ron did you have an interview? I didn't. Was anybody ever turned down after an interview?.
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5th of February 2015 09:01 AM by Ron Riches
The winter of 1963!! Good grief, it was almost sub-tropical compared with 1947. How say you David Gregory? Rationing was far more severe than it had been during the war, including coal. A foot or so of snow fell in February and it stayed until April, it didn't so much thaw as it slowly dried away and where it was undisturbed it turned grey as it became dirty. A snowball fight was organised one day and I shivered all the way home, sitting on the train in soaking wet clothes.
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4th of February 2015 06:49 PM by Gary Gardner
A belated happy new year to all who started in 1953.
Its good to stay in touch even if its not often. Although Im officially retired as I would imagine many of my year would be I dont seem to have much time as Ive a number of projects I am working on with hopefully keep my mind and body active. According to a test I recently did on FaceBook Im only 22 which pleased me no end. Like most people of my age I get tired, but I find a few minutes dozing in the chair helps to recharge the batteries. Im living just outside Ely in Cambridgeshire which is a beautiful part of the Country, and do get down to Sussex to see family from time to time.
I hope all is well with you all who remember me and also those who dont!
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3rd of February 2015 09:39 AM by Peter Ballantine
Seeing the snow lying here today reminds me of the winter of 1963 when the football pitches were out of action for weeks.
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30th of January 2015 10:18 AM by Webmaster
The easiest job I ever had to do Ron.
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30th of January 2015 09:42 AM by Ron Riches
I'll let you make up your own mind Webmaster.

When the masters who had been called upon to defend our realm returned to the school after the war, there was among them a fellow who shall remain anonymous but who I always thought made far more use of sarcasm than befitted his position, a trait that led to the following incident in 1948 when I was in the fourth form.

During a class with this master, I asked what I considered to be a question relevant to the subject under discussion the reply to which was "That's just the sort of stupid question that I would expect you to ask!" The red mist descended and I replied "I'll take that to mean that you don't know Sir". whereupon Mr X turned scarlet and almost bellowed. " You will leave the class boy and take two B detentions!"

Leaving the class did not represent a problem but as I wandered the corridors I decided that two B detentions was a bit extreme and at lunch time I went to the staff room to confront my tormentor and to lodge an appeal. I put my case to him politely and he suggested that he would cancel one of the detentions and that I would apologise to him in front of the class. This represented to me an humiliation that I could not accept so I politely declined the offer and awaited a further outburst.

It was then that a quite odd thing occurred. Tabby and Cyril Baxter turned into the corridor leading to the staff room whereupon Mr X, for a reason known only to himself, turned on his heel and disappeared into the haze of cigarette smoke emanating from the interior of the room. Bemused, I headed for cover and as I passed Tabby, he enquired. "Trouble Riches?" Not without some trepidation, I replied "Nothing that I can't handle Sir". I was sure that Tabby gave a little chuckle and he probably later laughed out loud when we met again as the two B detentions had taken me over the limit and he was able to do what he was famed for.
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25th of January 2015 05:55 PM by David Hitchin
I too remember my interview. Greatwood and another were there. They asked, "How did you know when to come in?" I explained that the sign outside the door (remember it?) lit up, saying "ENTER". They asked how it worked. I replied that the electricity came from the power station, but needed a transformer to reduce it to the right voltage. They told me that it was powered by a battery. I can't remember whether I suggested installing a transformer to save the cost and trouble of replacing batteries.
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25th of January 2015 01:20 PM by Bob Kennett
Me too Peter - I remember it was in Greatwood's office (1953) and he was certainly there. During the interview he remarked that I had dragon flies depicted on my tie - they were in fact ice hockey players so I piped up to that effect - often thought that little incident was instrumental in my getting a place at the school !
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25th of January 2015 12:37 PM by Peter Ballantine
I can remember going up to the school for interviews after the 11+. I am pretty certain that Bert (Playell) interviewed me but have no other recollection of the day which must have been in the late spring of 1958
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24th of January 2015 06:26 PM by David Robertson
I was at HCGS(B) from 1947 to 1952. I can add some detail to Post 1048 re Derbyshire Geography camps. As a fourth former I attended one in 1951 It was held at Dunscar Farm Castleton. I recall that we camped by a stream named the Odin Sitch. I recollect that this was our source of drinking, cooking and washing water. I remember all the visits listed except the flour mill. We did, however, visit the cement works in Hope - a nearby village. Tabby was frequently about in his shorts and slippers. I don't think any of us possessed a camera then - so he went unrecorded by our lot.
Now re Post 1093. In the summer of 1947, those of us who passed the 11 plus test from Portland Road Junior School had to attend HCGS for a day. We all had two lectures in the morning, one before and one after a mid-morning break on subjects we were unlikely to know anything about. These were Geology (artesian wells and the London clay basin) and Astronomy (Orion and other star formations). After each lecture we had had to write a page or two on what we had learned. There were others in those lectures that I didn't recognise. I guess they were from other schools, so my further longshot guess is that every one who had passed the 11 plus that year for HCGS had to do the same thing? In the afternoon, we were all shepherded into one of the quadrangles at the side of the main hall. Then we were called in one by one for an interview. I think we were being called alphabetically as there weren't many of us left in the quad. by the time I was called. It seemed a long wait then! Tabby was one of the two interviewers. Incidentally, the teacher who gave the geology and astronomy lectures was Mr. Laundon. He also took us to the King Alfred small baths for swimming during our first year. I mention this because in the School Staff section of this site, there are no details of subjects that he taught. I have a very hazy, 65 plus years ago idea that he could have been an assistant to Basher Bates?
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23rd of January 2015 02:39 PM by malcolm farrow
I think the years intake was divided into three equal groups regardless of where the breaks came in the alphabetical sequence, hence Firisen 1X - Foster 1Y

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23rd of January 2015 02:25 PM by malcolm farrow
A possible class list for Sep53 1X

Abdy Alderson Allan Attree Azzaro

Baines Bish Bishop Blinkhorn Botting Boxall Bran Budgeon? Buswell

Caldecot Cardy Challoner Cohen Colbourne Coleman Cook

Dodd Draper Dudeny(name change to Jannering, to 1Y) Duncan

Edwards English Epps Evers

Farrow Fenn Firisen

Howarth a mid term addition

Any correction additions comments welcome
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23rd of January 2015 10:06 AM by Geoff Stoner
Why this obsession with classes 1953 1X & 1Y? Isn't it rather parochial? In any event it omits the most important class (and no Mr.Norris, that wasn't '52 1Y).
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22nd of January 2015 11:52 AM by malcolm farrow
I will have a go at doing a list for Sep53 1X
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21st of January 2015 10:24 PM by David Hitchin
I think that Farrow is right, so Bob's conclusion follows. Working still on the assumption that the allocation was strictly alphabetical, then 1Y probably began with Foster. Makepeace should certainly have been included.
It's easier to remember being in the same form as others than remembering whether that was in the alphabetical first year, or later streamed years.
Hyams was a later starter, arriving some time mid-term, and Old Harry referred him to me for advice on drawing - no huge arrows!!!. He introduced himself as Dudley, a name chosen by his mother as it could not be abbreviated, but she was wrong as he was known to many as "Dud". Later in life he became a musician and composer with works performed by local music groups, and teaching at Sussex University. He died of throat cancer, and some of his former students spoke to me of his good qualities.
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21st of January 2015 08:57 PM by Bob Kennett
MF : so that means Jim Duncan ,Trevor English and Mike Epps too so we can safely leave the "M" tail enders in place although I confess I don't remember any other than my co - St Nicolodians sharing the classroom above the boiler room with me (frozen milk and all). Over to you David H for the definitive list . Anyone else prepared to undertake a memory test like this ? It is definitely not as easy as it may seem. I recall having seen copies of the original hand written class lists at some time - what a coup they would be for the archive!
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21st of January 2015 07:31 PM by malcolm farrow
additions to Sep53 1Y

Hyams? Makepeace

Farrow Fenn Firisen were definitely 1X
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21st of January 2015 12:05 PM by Peter Ballantine
David - i am sure you are correct about Mr Holley's nickname - it is an obvious one but never recall using it! I met up with him years later on a course he was involved in at Borough Road Teacher Training college (or whatever it became) where he was a lecturer -not that I was a teacher!
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20th of January 2015 06:06 PM by David Hitchin
Peter Ballantine wrote: "
Even staff nick names did not always last. ... Looking at the staff list it is interesting to note that several started the day as i did (Sept 58) i.e. Mr Ross, 'buddy' Holly to mention but two.
Not just "Buddy Holley" but also "Joe Holley" = "Holy Joe".
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20th of January 2015 03:35 PM by David Hitchin
1Y, list revised after several suggestions on this site and from the webmaster. Pupils were allocated to first forms by name, 1X (A-D), 1Y(D-M), 1Z, (M-Z).

Duncan, English, Epps, Farrow, Fenn, Firisen, Foster, Francis, Fry, Gander, Garbutt, Gardner, Gargett, Gaze, Gilbert, Gooday, Green, Gunn D, Gunn ‘Ben’, Hamilton, Harris, Hart, Hills, Hitchin, Hood, Hornby, Jannering, Jenner (name changed later to Gregory), Johnson G , Johnson M, Jones, Kennett, Lawrence (?), Leslie, Lipman, Mansbridge, McGill(?), McGinn, McNaught, Middleton(?).

The doubtful ones include those not remembered, those who might have come in the previous year, and where the ‘M’ surnames were split between 1Y and 1Z..
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20th of January 2015 11:52 AM by malcolm farrow
Sorry for my inattention, obviously Duncan, English and Epps were also 1X
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20th of January 2015 11:36 AM by malcolm farrow
Sep1953 Iwas in 1X so were Fenn and Firisen
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19th of January 2015 02:07 PM by Bill Lovell
1955 - 1Y - Form Master - Mis Martin
1956 - 2C - Harry the woodwork master - organiser of Harry's Harriers
1957 - 3C -
1958 - L4C
1959 - Lower Fifth
1960 - GCEs
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19th of January 2015 12:14 PM by Geoff Stoner
Re. David Hitchin's list: 'Schnoz' Mitchell ? Geoff McGill?
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19th of January 2015 11:49 AM by Peter Ballantine
Even staff nick names did not always last. Mr Ross was known as Emundo after the dance ban leader of the 50s but don't think it lasted very long. Looking at the staff list it is interesting to note that several started the day as i did (Sept 58) i.e. Mr Ross, 'buddy' Holly to mention but two. Wonder if they were as nervous as us 11 year olds!
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19th of January 2015 08:06 AM by David Hitchin
Prompted by the Webmaster, I have added some names to the list of 1Y in 1953. Any more corrections?

Duncan, English, Epps, Farrow, Fenn, Foster, Francis, Fry, Gander, Garbutt, Gardner, Gargett, Gaze, Gilbert, Gooday, Green, D. Gunn, ‘Ben’ Gunn, Hamilton, Harris, Hart, Hills, Hitchin, Hood, Hornby, Johnson (were there two Johnsons?), Jones, Kennett, Lawrence (?), Leslie, Lipman, Mansbridge, McGinn, McNaught, Middleton.
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18th of January 2015 05:27 PM by David Hitchin
1Y, 1953.
Duncan, Epps, Farrow, Fenn, Foster, Francis, Fry, Garbutt, Gardner, Gargett, Gooday, D. Gunn, ‘Ben’ Gunn, Hamilton, Harris, Hills, Hitchin, Hornby, Johnson (were there two Johnsons?), Jones, Kennett, Lawrence (?), Leslie, Lipman, Mansbridge, McGinn, McNaught, Middleton.

Who have I missed?
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18th of January 2015 01:49 PM by David Gregory
Ron. I would prefer to believe that the absence of nicknames in our years was mainly due to us not being able to remember them rather than the lack of imagination on our part. Although my next offering has nothing to do with nicknames it does show the limits to which schoolboys will go to raise a smile. You may well remember the Bending brothers, one of whom was in our year and I believe were train boys. One was disabled but in spite of his handicap played cricket and was an efficient slip fielder. During the cricket season it raised a giggle when batsmen "caught bending" was entered into the scorebook I hasten to add that I did not appreciate the true meaning of this joke until I was much older.
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18th of January 2015 12:33 PM by Bob Kennett
I was so sure that Derek Hood was a fan of Alma Cogan - so maybe there were two reasons for his nickname - happy to concede to David and Geoff though . Just thought of another - "Bonzo" Swayne ?
Maybe the webmaster should start page giving a roll of nicknames - something a little more lighthearted wouldn't go amiss,methinks.
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18th of January 2015 12:15 PM by Geoff Stoner
I think David H. is correct re Elmer Fudd. Also I think it was 'Spud' Sayers, and Nut's surname was spelt Croke. Also of course, Binge Mansbridge, Sandy Sandford, and Pip Smith.