Summer 1960

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Cover The tragic death of Mr. A. L. Fiddick early in the Spring Term brought great sorrow to the whole school. On his way home from the school Christmas party he was involved in a head-on collision with a motor car and received severe head injuries from which he died on the 29th January.

Mr. Fiddick was educated at Manchester Grammar School and Keele College, Staffordshire, where he graduated B.A. In June 1956. His post here with us at Downhills was his first. In the early days, his colleagues found him a little reserved, and teaching in a London suburb did not come easily to him. Very soon, however, his ready wit, his breadth of culture, his wide range of interests and his great sincerity and enthusiasm won him the warm affection of his colleagues, which remained through his years here. At the same time his great personal determination, his genuine liking for young people, his ready enthusiasm and willingness to give all he had to the tasks before him, brought him mounting success in the classroom, together with popularity and respect among the pupils.

Any colleague who strode from Turnpike Lane Station with Alan Fiddick knows of his great physical energy. With rapid strides and upright carriage he fairly bounded across the Park. This was symbolic of his progress within the school. In a direct, brisk and businesslike manner, in three short years he established himself firmly and happily among us, entering into all our activities. You might find him coaching games on the field or tinkering with the stage lighting, or discussing motor cars over the lunch table, or enthusiastically leading a discussion group in the library, or winning at table tennis in the hall, or, his jacket laid aside, studiously marking in his shirt sleeves, or just drinking tea and talking theatre in the Common Room.

We miss him greatly, and shall do so for a long time. Those of us who knew him so well really need no tangible memorial to bring him to our minds, but I am glad and proud to know that through the generosity of the pupils he taught, there will soon be in the school a permanent memorial to a well-liked colleague and teacher.

J. R. F.


September 1959 - July 1960

At the end of December 1959 Mr. G. P. Cole retired, after some fourteen years at the School. We wish him all happiness in his new home at Seaford and hope that his enthusiasm and skill as a gardener will soon create for him a plot as beautiful as the one he left behind at Bush Hill.

Mr. Cole's place was filled temporarily in January by Mr. L. Williams, who is now leaving us to begin his professional training at Saltley Training College, Birmingham.

Miss S. Stevens, B.Sc. joined us in the Spring term, but will shortly be returning to her home in Jamaica.

At the opening of the Summer term, we were most pleased to welcome our new Deputy Head Mrs. M. Cohen, B.A.. Mrs. Cohen comes to us from the Edmonton Technical School and has previously taught in a number of schools in London and the Midlands.

Our French Assistant this year is Mlle Lucie Borg whose home is in Tunisia.

During the Christmas term, Mrs. J. Denman resigned her post as School Secretary. She has been replaced by Mrs. P. Baldwin, who is assisted by Mrs. J. King.


The annual prize day was held on 4th November last year in the Junior School Hall, which was filled by a large audience. Alderman Mrs. Remington, Chairman of the Education Committee, presided. In his report, Mr. Fisher referred to changes in curriculum, especially in science, due to the addition of two science laboratories. He went on to speak about the out-of-school activities which included a visit to Switzerland and South Wales, Chess and Drama Clubs, a fifth and sixth year discussion group and the choir and orchestra. He also said that he was very pleased but not completely satisfied by the G.C.E. results.

The choir and orchestra then gave a short concert which finished with a solo by Rosemary Kitchen.

The concert was followed by the speech of the guest of honour, a former pupil of Downhills, Ted Willis of "Dixon of Dock Green" fame. His speech was short and in it he identified himself with the average pupil rather than the prize winner or bright one. He paid special tribute to Miss Haas, his English teacher, saying, "Always she had, not only a kind word for my scribbling, but a helpful and critical word." After this, he presented the progress and subject prizes and gave the old scholars their G.C.E. certificates. Rosemary Kitchen proposed a vote of thanks to the guests, and Mrs. Willis, Mrs. Remington and the Mayoress were presented with bouquets. The meeting concluded with the National Anthem.

Progress Prizes 1958-59

Present 2nd Year Carol MorganColin Jarman1N
Janice DesboroughDavid Harvey1M
June AstillAlan Thompson1D
Henry HaggarRichard Taylor1O
Present 3rd Year Anita PotterBarbara Waple2F
Janet BaxterSandra Newman2K
Michael WheelerKathleen Levett2S
Yvonne BanksIan McNab2H
Present 4th Year Valerie BysouthPat Dyer3B
Pat RoweChristine Waghorn3G
David JoyJean Every3J
Present 5th Year Margaret RollingsRichard Bartlett4R
Katherine SegaloffMichael Manlove4C
Eileen Wingfield4L

Subject Prizes

Art: Rosemary Foale, Richard Maguire
Biology: Susanna Strange
Chemistry: Barry Bartlett
Commercial Subjects: Diane Fydelor, Cynthia Page
Domestic Science: Vera Moxon
English Speaking (Junior): Ian McNab
English Speaking (Senior): Richard Maguire
English: Margaret Rollings
French: Ruth Britzler, David Joy
Geography: Margaret Rollings
History: Vera Moxon
Junior Science: Jean Every
Maths (Junior): Kay Gregg
Maths (Senior): Richard Bartlett
Music: Ruth Britzler, Rosemary Kitchen
Needlework: Ann Blayney
Physics: Peter Farren
Physical Education: Patricia Miles, Haig Chimchirian
Technical Drawing: Roger Beckwith
Woodwork: Anthony Cooper

The Remington Prize for Loyalty and Service to the School:

Edna Walker

The Headmaster's Prize for Contribution to School Magazine:

Carole Murley

General Certificate of Education

Beryl Andrews, Pauline Artis, Mary Brittain, Ruth Britzler, Lorraine Bryant, Frances Campbell, Jean Caten, Janet Coe, Jean Coltman, Rosemary Carveley, Christine Crawley, Janet Davis, Brenda Dring, Ann Harding, Patricia Holman, Rosemary Kitchen, Rita Leighton, Diane Minton, Carole Northcott, Dorothy Nunn, Sheila Piggott, Julie Potton, Priscilla Ungerer, Doris Woodman, Neil Bannister, Christopher Brittain, Barry Giggins, Philip Grimsey, Roger Hack, Charles Hadfield, Brian Hodgkin, Robert Holder, Michael Howard, Richard Maguire, James McKean, Keith Pulfer, William Roper, Brian Simpson, John Snelgrove, Christopher Spiers, Peter Turner, Colin Waker.

4th Year Art: Rosemary Foale, Richard Bartlett, Terence Jackson

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The following article did not appear in the magazine, but was in the local paper on 27th November 1959.

NewspaperWell-known dramatist and script-writer, Ted Willis - creator of "Dixon of Dock Green" - returned to his old school at Tottenham, Downhills Central, last week, as Speech Day guest of honour, and among those present was the lady who taught him the art of using words, Mrs. Edith Haas, who was English teacher at the school while he was there.

Mr. Willis told scholars and parents that in Miss Haas he had a "wonderful English teacher" whom he deeply honoured and he was particularly pleased to see her that evening.

"Always she had not only a kind word for my scribbling, but a helpful and critical word," he said.

He went on to say that he had never wanted to be anything but a writer. He owed a great deal to what he called "the average people," one of whom was a school friend who became a Pathfinder and lost his life in 1942. He typified everything that was wonderful and good about average people.

In his job, he said, he met a lot of "glamour," but the truly great people did not boast or put on airs and graces. They remembered their roots and that it was the ordinary people who supported them and they were truly grateful.

"If there is any moral to be learned from my experiences," he said, "it is that you should do your best. If you do that, no headmaster, no employer, nor life itself will complain."


In his report, the headmaster (Mr. J. R. Fisher, B.A.) referred to important changes of curriculum, especially in connection with science teaching, which had been greatly helped by the provision of two new laboratories. He said 45 pupils had gained the General Certificate of Education at ordinary level, four of whom gained passes in six subjects, four in five subjects and seven in four subjects. A substantial number of those who had gained four or more passes were remaining on at school to take the examination at advanced level.

Mr. Fisher went on to refer to out-of-school activities, including visits to Switzerland and South Wales, the Drama Club, the Choir and Orchestra. the Sixth Form Discussion Group, the Chess Club and the Geographical Society, who were taking part in a climatological survey of the Lee Valley.

Once again the boys won Tottenham inter-school sports and had now held the Deacock trophy for eight of the past nine years.

Ald. Mrs. Remington, chairman of the Tottenham Education Committee, presided and among those present were the Mayor (Cr. A. J. Davies) and the Mayoress (Cr. Mrs. A. A. Miller), the Deputy Mayor (Cr. H. Langer), Ald. and Mrs. A. Reed (who were present at the opening of the school in 1919), and County Cr. Mrs. Soall.

A concert was provided by the school choir and orchestra and votes of thanks were offered by the school captain, Rosemary Kitchen, who presented flowers to Mrs. Willis, the Mayoress and Mrs Remington.

The clipping from the paper was preserved by Edna Davies, nee Walker.

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