My Memories of PRS & Jever
Blue PRS Logo
Len's P R S Home Page
Introduction Why?
Back groundWhat led to my being at PRS
DecisionsEarly decisions that affected my days at PRS
First DaysThose early Days
First YearSept 1962 Getting more settled
Free Time & HobbiesWhat I did instead of Deich & Town Walks
Second YearSept 1963 Settled
6th Form conferanceRepresenting the School in Aylesbury
Third YearSept 1964 More Settled
Other PupilsHow I saw others around me
Brother & SisterThe effect of my Brothers and Sisters
Other Day PupilsOther Day pupils
Other thoughtsOther Thoughts
What of Now My feelings in the present looking back to the past.
   
Why?
I started this page many years ago (1988) as part of a site to celebrate the diversity and variety which I have enjoyed. It was then that I heard about Liz's attempts to bring together (1993) old friends that had shared PRS as a common experience. My aims were then lost as I became more involved in the TWA site. As a result of the book that is being written brought my focus back to why I had started this page and having dug out my notes from years ago I plan to complete these pages.

  • Why?
  • Who is interested in what I have done?
  • What do I achieve by putting these memories to view?
  • What audience do I plan to reach. ?
In a nut shell - the answer is probably no one, but my life has many unanswered questions and probably can be summed up very simply that if I were to die to morrow I feel that there would be no one to miss me. This and all the other pages represent milestones in my life. Why this comment here -- simply because PRS left such a major impact on my life. It is a very unique and positive experience in my life. Probably this paragraph and the next should be on the home page but its my site !!!!!!!!! In the words of Tom Lehrer.... "If you did not like it you should not have let me begin".

Back GroundTop of page
Like all servicemans children I was moved from one RAF Station to another for as long as I can remember. Most of the places had been fun and I had never minded until my Parents, wanting the best for me, sent me to a boarding School in North Devon. I was totally unprepared for the faceless, impersonal life, the bullying and the lonliness - much of it my own making as I had nothing in common and to be such a misfit resulying in my hating every minute of it. Much of my 3 years was spent in attempting to run a way or work out to how to be taken away - I was eventually successful if however ignominiously. During this time I did make 2 very good friends that even now think of them with fondness also it started my love of farming which I was to pursue later in life.

A scholastic history can be found elsewhere in my site but suffice it to say - I moved around when in 1962 when my Fathers posting was to Jever. It was good timing as I was getting over my first experience (!!!???!!!) - which had altered my feelings towards girls, through betrayal, temporarily for the worse - although I laugh about it now.

I was 16 in that year doing my GCE "O" level exams with the N U J M B in the June and this was Feb. The UK was locked into one of the coldest winters since 1946 - even the sea froze in places. The trip to York was frought with problems and we were delayed in getting to York, however, the train at York was held up and still there to take us on our way. From London we flew to Hanover. As we flew into Hanover the plane before us skidded off the runway so we had to circle before it was safe to land. The thrill of being in a different country, catching the train to Wilhelmshaven and the arrival at our first house.

Decisions
My brother and sister presented PRS with no problem and were placed in forms comparable to the UK schooling. Me - well that was different matter. Between Mr Sharp and my Parents it was decided that I should continue with the NUJMB, since PRS was linked to London University, as the corriculum was different. This immediately put me apart since I could not fit into any class.

In a way it was fun sitting at the back of classes - not being a part of that class but being present. It was also decided to keep me as a Day pupil as a result of my previous experiences at boarding school. The aim was for me to self study for my own exams. It did not work out so well as for subjects like Biology, Chemistry and Physics since the N U J M B had a practical exams which PRS was not organised to cope with. The London exams did not have practical exams except in Biology. Also my specimens were different and were not available to me for my exams.

The outcome is a matter of history - surfice it to say I was about to re do my 5th year for the second time which brought its own embarresments since I was now a year older than my fellow students.

First days - Mar 1963Top of page
My first day at P R S... I was assigned Howe... the trip to the Bonteheim for Lunch - no room to go to - middle of the term - no friends. Buddy Holly playing at full volume singing "That'll be the day and Maybe Baby" .. The Flea Rekkers playing "Bitter Rice" - many years later I was to get these records and still play the 7" 45rpm records. During the term I managed to make good friends with Robin Williams (Collingwood?) who left the following year.

  • The day started at 08:15 as we went to catch the Bus in Beton Strasse.
  • The driver who had blue reflective glasses who took delight in driving whilst watching the passengers and not the road. How he never managed to stay on the road and miss the cars beats me.
  • The adult minder who travelled with us to keep us all in order - If I remember was Irish and very friendly - we had many enjoyable conversations to and from Wilhelmshaven - Whatever happened to her?? She was always trying to get the driver to face the front.
  • The bus collected us at the end of the day.
  • Getting home it was time for homework which was only broken by supper around 19:00 hrs.

First Year - Sept 1963
This year I was elevated into the 6th year but most of the time spent in 5th form classes retaking all my "O" level exams - My Introduction to Miss Tebbs and for the first time in my school life being taught English and despite her valiant efforts she was not well rewarded. Miss Tebbs summed me up well in my report of Spring 1964" .... Leonard works keenly and seems to absorb what is said to him. But on paper he is still weak and creates difficulties where there are none. He is not without ideas ....." This made me the oldest in the 5th form which a couple of the teachers took delight in reminding me when I got the answer wrong. In the October I was made a Monitor with duties both on the School bus and limited within the house - such as at Lunch times. Later, I was to be allocated a room so I could take an active part within the house but that was not until 1964.

As we were in the winter term football was the sport of the season but I had only ever played Rugby. To my delight I was told to go swimming - I think that was because I could do less damage in the pool, once my abilites at playing football had been experienced. It was not so bad as it was with the girls but they saw me as an outsider and ignored me.

As I was left to my own devices I made friends with the German teenagers that regulalry visited the pool and eventually made friends with Jutte Lemke. She spoke very little English and I no German but we met each week and kept each company. Eventually I managed to ask her home to Tea. My Father took me to pick her up from her home - her parents were not happy about it from what I can remember and the next week Jutte was not at the pool. The girls had obvioulsy noticed what was going on from the comments they made voicing their disapproval. As a day pupil I could get away from it at the end of each day.

It was about this time that I met Terry. What brought us together I cannot remember but we were inseparable each lunch time as we walked around the playing fields talking to each other, reciting from the Goon Show, talking about our lives.

Free Time & InterestsTop of page
At weekends I was playing Junior League Rugby for a German team - S C Varel. I was never allowed to go to Hamburg when the team played there. We even got to the semi finals in Hanover in the May 1964, however, I was allowed to go on this trip. I was getting on well with the players all of whom wanted to learn English - Many of them were in the last days of school or first year of National Service. One player was a crew member on the E-boats in based in Wilhelmshaven and whilst I was taken around it I never got my trip out to sea. I looked forward to the Saturdays when I played Rugby as it gave me a chance to play the game I enjoyed as well as getting out with lads of my own age. We never got drunk in the pub after the game but on one occasion having had a little to much Jever Pils we lost the car. After about an hour walking around the town (Varel) we did find it - parked right out side the front door of the Pub and our changing rooms but I was not able to see it for little pink elephants.!!!! On another occaision we were drinking on our way to a game, I think in Hanover, when we got fed up at an unmanned rail crossing and decided to cross it only to stall the car across the tracks. We could not get it started as we saw the train approach ... the car did start in time. On another occasion ai remember we made a nuisance of our selves with a couple in a car. Good fun was the order of the day.

Second Year - Sept 1963
  • Socialising with the teachers in the Mess at Jever. Attending meals and dances. Getting into trouble for being on the Mess veranda with a young lady unaccompanied - doing nothing - honest!!!! at the New Year Ball.
  • My entanglement with the Morman Missionaries in Jever - upsetting to my parent but great fun for T and myself. Weekend retreats - meeting other missionaries - Pizza and other goodies.
  • Being banned from an out door pool in Celle for teasing a couple of Frauleins and me in a white swimming costume that looked more like a piece of string - My defence is that it was T's ? fault..
  • Working as a projectionist in the RAF Jever cinema. Since I could not be paid we came to an agreement - getting paid with Bacardi and cigarettes. Private showings at weekends to school chums whilst improving my change over techniques. Getting the 6th Form permission to see Tom Jones as it was a set book for the the "A" level Literature class.
    Having to announce the assasination of JFK.
  • I had got involved with the Patrick Moore and the British Astronomical Association working for its Satellite Observation section calculating the track of the Satellites especially Echo 1 & 2 and reporting my sightings back again. Listening to and recording the of space flights such as from the Mercury Atlas & Gemini Titan flights. Some of which I still have.
  • That year I grew a beard during the summer holidays but was seen by several teachers who voiced their opinions.

6th Form Conferance
11th to 18th July 1964
Being selected to represent the School at the first 6th Form Conferance in Aylesbury and still keeping all the programmes and paper cuttings. On my return being asked to talk about it in the Current Affairs (?) class on the Wednesday and for week after week bringing it all into school but always being told next week. Eventually I had enough and decided not to ask and also stopped bringing my notes - only to find John Meredith saying to day is the day and me saying I had stopped bringing the details in with me. - No one ever knew what had happened.

Third Year - Sept 1964
  • 6th General - Little to do as waiting to go back to the UK. Studies finished I was not allowed to do A levels having failed English at O level. To keep me out of mischief did things like Economics with Mrs Pennington, Economic History gues who with ?? etc.
  • Studying in the Library - being called to stand in on classes when teachers were called for meetings - attempting to keep the pupils quiet.
  • Being asked to find female stickle backs for the Biology class - never found out how to tell the sexes apart - of the fish!!
  • Decorating the 6th form club.
  • House Athletics teams and House Swimming team
  • Assistant Scout Master for the Scout Troop.
In the Autumn term of 64 introduction of Rugby to the School as an alternative but cannot remember if it succeeded.

Other PupilsTop of page
  • What is that I hear - no comments about the pupils you were slowly getting to know - as a Monitor having a room in the house so I could carry out my occasional duties - Mr Batty as House master.
  • Getting caught in the back row off the Cinema with a 3rd former and my arm around her and me in the 6th. tut tut.
  • A trip to a retreat and one of my crushes next to me on the coach trip but I had promised her boyfriend to look after her - so close and so near - my honour stopped me from doing what I had dreamed off.
  • All the girls who were cleverer than I- being too unsure of how to approach to approach them - many received valentine cards - courage anonymous. One young lady still has 2 of them.
  • Being caught on Main site by John Meredith - after erecting the swimming pool is was waiting to be collected to go home when I decided to get my own back on a couple of you ladies who had been taunting me all evening - was it a case of being chased or just water bombs!!!!!!
  • Being warned away from one young lady, my sister was over protective of my innocence, because of the style of this young ladies bra - was it true . I never found out but at reunions still see her and wonder!!!!!!!.
  • Eventually I had a couple of dates I can remember 2 clearly but the 3rd I am not sure if it is imagination. None lasted long. Too shy to get involved with the Mikado and living to regret it. Loving the Boyfriend I now have the Tape to listen to.
  • Going on a sports trip - on our first night and pairing up with a young lady and T and his young lady going to the cinema as a foursome- a little reluctantly on my part. At the beginning of the film it was obvious to me that the projectionist had not done his home work and assuming something was wrong kept re starting the film..Yes you've guessed it I left my date and proceeded to the projector room to tell the projectionist what his problem was and stayed there to help him show the film.

Brothers & Sister
  • What of my Brother and Sister - they seem to have a great time.
  • Having to explain to my mother when she found a letter in my brothers room what a phrase meant in reference to this young lady and why she had liked his attentions so much - I went to my sister to ask -- so naive.
  • The time I arrived home ahead of my brother after a sailing trip to be confronted by my mother and on being asked where he was said "lost overboard and not found" and expecting a laugh was faced with tears - hysterics and an uproar that did not calm when he walked in - the slipper from my father was still sore.
  • My sister seemed to be the darling of eveyone and my brother the joker.
  • The time my sister and I were to do a Cha Cha demo and I got it all wrong - did not help win a popularity contest with my sister. Yet we had done this so many times. I now have my gold Metal in Latin American Dancing.

Day PupilsTop of page
The other day pupils - we all went our own way after school. My Brother and Sister mixed more than I. Next door to us lived the Huntons ( Posted out about 64). The other side were the Bonnies (posted out around 64) and Masons. I have tried to remember all the names but have a few missing
  • No one of my own age and the only suitable young lady was at school in Reading.
    • I remember she did not like my sense of humour but witha few carefully chosen words from her soon changed that.
    • The visits to the Swimming pool in the GAF base
    • My admiration went to more than being with her and eventully summoning all my courage tried to persued her that as she was studying Art at A level she would have no problems getting undressed but no matter what my arguments I could not get her to see my point of view in the depths of the woods at Jever.
  • There were a couple of Americans on the base but never mixed.

Other Thoughts
  • Thus much of my time was spent in the woods watching the F104's from the German Air Force - I still love the sound and the sight of the F104 so much that I am passively involved with a F104 pilots chat room.
  • Going into Jever to get a curry wurst late at night for a mark - I still miss that.

What of Now
What of now - many students I would like to talk to about those days but feel its all behind me and we have all moved forward. Those girls to whom it could be an embarrasment to reminisce - I still enjoy watching from a far. Faces I would like to put names to. The cliques I would like to break into but then as now having nothing in common and nothing to say. So I sit on the outside still keeping the anonimity still but remembering it as my spiritual home.