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THE SCHOOL ORCHESTRA
Downhills Central School Orchestra has been in existence for about ten years. At first
it was run by Mr. Langdell and Miss Coda. There were two scholars who contributed much
to its success, Norman Horod and Charles Huffer. It has taken part in numerous school
functions. One of the most notable was the production of Miss Davis' opera in 1956.
Its present strength is 11 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, 2 clarinets, 1 flute, 1
trumpet and 6 recorders. We hope that another flautist will be able to join us before
Form 2K has the largest number of members this year with 3 string players and 1 wind
player. Forms 5T, 4R and 2F each have three members of the orchestra.
Last year a small group of more advanced players accompanied the choir in a
performance of Bach's "Peasant Cantata" at the Prize Day Ceremony. Those taking part
Colin Waker (leader), Cynthia Page, Carol Gore and Barrie Sheff (violins)
Edna Walker (cello), Richard Bartlett (clarinet), Margaret Rollings (flute)
They were assisted by two old scholars, Charles Huffer (viola) and Benjamin
We have been asked to provide some music for next year's Prize Day and we usually give
a concert once a year to an invited audience of parents and friends.
Several of our members belong also to the Tottenham Schools Orchestra and the
Tottenham Youth Orchestra. We also have two representatives in the Middlesex Youth
Orchestra and one in the Middlesex Schools Orchestra. We hope that these numbers will
increase next year.
On the morning of 14th May, a party of 33 pupils and 5 staff started a 600 mile
journey across France and Switzerland to Kandersteg in the Bernese Oberland. Since
much of the journey was overnight, some of us snatched a few hours sleep.
We were to need it! After lunch we set off for a walk on the hill behind the hotel.
For the first few hundred yards some seemed to think that we were on a cross-country
run, but the pace soon slowed. This walk was an introduction to the strenuous
activities ahead, and would have given us a better idea of the scenery we were to
enjoy, but it was rather misty.
We had excellent meals at the hotel, often followed by generous helpings of chips.
There was much rivalry to see who could eat most, and then to see who could drink most
water to quench the ensuing thirst (who was it that drank 40 glasses at one go and was
then horribly sick).
The next day, Saturday, our host organized the first of several trips for us. We went
by chairlift to the Oeschinensee, "perhaps the most beautiful mountain lake in
Switzerland". Most of us agreed with the guide book in this view. That day some
adventurous climbers got stuck on a rock face but managed to climb down before Miss
Brooker, Mr. Dunhill and Mr. Fiddick could effect the rescue they quickly prepared.
On Whit Sunday we went by train to see some quaint villages, where the houses were
like those of the Wild West, but instead of "hombres" we saw some comic-opera soldiers
in red coats and white trousers. We walked to the Blue Lake, in the Kander Valley on
Monday and had a trip on the Lake. We saw the trout hatcheries but were sad to see
that some of the fish were suffering from a fungus disease.
"A rock climbers' paradise" was our verdict on the Gasterntal - a valley near
Kandersteg. Bethell and Brittain scrabbled about like rock apes on bits of scree here.
A small party went ahead of the main party for their lunch. Rumour has it that a knight
in shining armour carried one of the girls across the river - she is a delicate
Having been on a ski chairlift, we went on a cable car for our next trip. At the top,
after a snow-fight, we plodded through snow of varying depths, up to our waists in
places, we had lunch and then sun-bathed in an attractive valley. An adventurous group
wandered a mile or two up the valley before returning. One special party of two
started with them and then "got lost".
On our last full day we entrained to Thun, and after shopping there, went by steamer
along Lake Thun to Interlaken for more shopping. The lake trip was rather disappointing
because of mist and cloud, but even so, Christine Crawley was heard to say
"It is lovely".
Our return journey was without much incident, although on the way back across the
Channel some people were unfortunate enough to be standing to the leeward of Cox!
After this happy event we decided not to condescend to see the Customs man and so,
after sleeping on the train to London, we coached to school where we parted. With
thanks (even if unspoken) to Miss Brooker, who organized the trip, we all returned to
the bosoms of our families where, unlike this chronicler, we were able to tell the
THE CHESS CLUB
The Chess Club was started by Mr. Jenkins and has become very popular. When it began
there were only three full size chess sets, and most members of the Club had to
manage with small sets until six new sets arrived. The Club is held every Tuesday after
school and at the moment the four Houses play on a League basis, the results of which
are very close indeed. Soon, we hope to play other Schools in competition. We have
about eighty members (all boys!) and anyone who wishes to come along on a Tuesday will
be most welcome.
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