Undated, but probably Summer 1959

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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 long.

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 were:

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 Segaloff (cello).

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 creature?

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 whole tale.


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.

M. Kelsey

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