Hitch-hiking (Autumn 1967) by David Hyde
During our first term, and having determined to make the most of my college studies, I set to work hard, especially in Dorothy Amos's education group, being always up to date with her work and active in seminars. Creep! I hear you say! However, I was caught by her leaving my girlfriend's room after 10pm. I knew that being caught by Miss Stamper could result in being sent down, according to her reputation; being caught by Dorothy could result in a severe reprimand; being caught by Queenie Stearn might result in her offering me her flat floor to sleep on, having no transport to my digs in Grantham. However, after doing my best to convince Dorothy that I was truly sorry and promised never to be caught again, she sent me on my way.
Later in the term, someone organized a hitch-hike race to Holy Island, involving camping, so my girlfriend and I volunteered. However, I had to ask Dorothy to be excused from her seminar. I was up to date with my work, so I asked her and, surprisingly, she excused me!! So, one Friday afternoon, we set off, and made excellent progress until eventually, at about 5pm., we were dropped off and no traffic, no lifts!! We waited for about 2 hours, getting more worried. Suddenly, along came a big Jaguar, the type that Inspector Morse drove. The driver, a middle-aged chap, and his wife, cheerily insisted on giving us a lift, when we explained about the race. Comfy leather seats, arm rests, luxury after lorries and opened-backed trucks!! Suddenly, he is off at high speed up the A1, turns right at West Mains and hares down the narrow road and, the tide being out, onto Holy Island for about 7.30pm!!
We put my tent up on the narrow, short peninsula to the south of the harbour, shoved our things in and tent and went off to the pub - as you would! The organizers were there, but no-one else, if memory serves me correctly. We spent the evening drinking cider and eating fresh crab sandwiches, with more students eventually appearing. At about midnight, we went back to the tent, no sewn-in groundsheet then, and small pools of rainwater inside. Two young ladies had asked me to put their brand-new, still-in-its-plastic-bag tent up, they having no idea how to put it up, or so they said!! With a small, dim torch and the plan, I managed to put it up.
I joined my girlfriend and any reader now thinking that certain intimacies were then shared, didn't experience the freezing cold that had us sleeping with everything on, college scarf included! The following morning, I awoke to a shout! One of the girls, exiting her tent, found herself facing a drop into the sea! I had erected the tent, unaware that there was a drop very close behind me! Memory suggests that it was not a short drop, but I don't remember. The day was bright but bitterly cold. We explored the small castle, a welcome respite from the wind, designed by Edwin Lutyens, Gertrude Jekyll and Edward Hudson; the mead centre; sat in some café(?). We then were told to leave the island, as the organizers had failed to check that camping wasn't allowed, so we had got away with it, as the Causeway must have been under water.
NB We sent a postcard to each of our mothers. (Important note)
An old bus, filled with medical students from Edinburgh and one bearded chap playing a fiddle, gave us a lift to Beal, where someone asked the railway signal box man if we could sleep in the waiting room. Against BR rules, he agreed, and we spent a sleepless night on rough concrete, the ground shaking as trains thundered through.
Sunday morning, about 30(?) students headed for West Mains, hoping for a lift. No chance! After several hours and attempts to get a lift in a Thomas Arnold(?) luxury coach -no chance! - we decided to head for the nearest railway station. While I can't remember where or how we got to a station, we landed in a town (Berwick-on-Tweed? Morpeth?). One big problem: not enough money to get my girlfriend and I to Grantham. So, having my cheque book, I had the idea of trying to cash a cheque; but where? The police station? So, we entered the local police station, I knocked on the hatch, which opened to show the sergeant, and asked if he could cash a cheque. He shut the hatch and we waited. Eventually, we heard footsteps and the hatch re-opened. My girlfriend and I must have looked shocked or something; for there stood the chap who had driven us onto Holy Island, smiling! A police inspector!
"Did you win?" said he.
"Yes," we replied.
"How much do you need?" I think I asked for £5, enough to get us all one-way to Grantham. The rest of the day is lost to memory. Given that we won the race and only won £1 between the two of us, if memory serves, not a profitable weekend!
Towards the end of term, I received a tax rebate of £21, so I decided to buy our engagement ring, as we had gone to college together, having been courting since 6th form. On the way home, at the end of our first term, we called in a Sheffield jewellers and bought the ring. The following day, I went to her parents for tea and to ask that we become engaged, which was expected, I think. My girlfriend's mother asked where Holy Island was; was it off Skegness? We replied in the negative and gave her the location. She asked where we had stayed, so I said that we had camped. Assuming that we had gone with another couple she knew of, she asked if the men had shared a tent, etc. My girlfriend, if memory again serves, said that we had slept in the same tent. Silence! Then she said, "You had better get engaged, then!"
At which point …… you can guess the rest
1970s Saturday Night Dances by Chris Gee
Who remembers the night when Medicine Head played at Stoke Rochford? It was 1973 and their single 'One And One Is One' was number one in the charts. The place was packed; way beyond the 400 allowed by fire regulations and a healthy profit (when profit was a very dirty word) was made by the Students' Union for the first and possibly only time in history.
What about the night that Richard and Linda Thompson were booked and didn't turn up? I don't remember the exact reason for their non-attendance, but think it may have been that they couldn't find Stoke Rochford. Richard Thompson went on to become one of the most respected guitarists / songwriters of the last 40 years and has since been awarded an Ivor Novello Award for songwriting, a BBC Lifetime Achievement award and an OBE in 2011 for services to music. I will personally buy him a sat-nav if he will agree to fulfil his long standing contractual obligation and come to our reunion folk night this year.
And who could possibly forget Colin Blunstone (of 'The Zombies' fame) singing 'Say You Don't Mind' and 'I Don't Believe In Miracles' to an audience of swooning females (see video link on right). Don't remember too much about that of course as I was in the bar drinking pints and singing rugby songs with the rest of the men.
An outstanding Welsh band called Racing Cars, who were one hit wonders with 'They Shoot Horses, Don't They?' gave us a great night back in the mid seventies as did the excellent band Upp, who had worked with Jeff Beck, played on BBC's Old Grey Whistle Test a few days after their Kesteven College gig. There were plenty of other lesser known bands like Brewer's Droop, Halcyon, Wisper and The Noys Band who made their living playing the pub, club and small college circuits of the 1970s. Whatever happened to them?
Perhaps the most undeservedly unappreciated act was Ron Geesin (orchestrator of Pink Floyd's 'Atom Heart Mother' album) and Bridget St. John (the 5th most popular female performer in the land according to a Melody Maker survey at the time) who, when they appeared together, managed to boost the bar takings to unprecedented levels as the hall gradually emptied and left them performing to a handful of musos, teetotallers, abandoned handbags and those too drunk to know what was happening anyway. 'Do not …. cast your pearls before swine' (Matthew 7.6) comes to mind.
Great nights and wonderful memories; if only I had invested as much time and energy in writing assignments….
Chris Gee, Students' Union Social Committee Chairman, 1974 - 75
More Bands of the 70s by Keith Jones
I took over as the social chairman from Chris and tried to continue the quality of the bands. I did manage to book Stretch, whose song Why Did You Do It? was is the charts at the time. They told me it was degrading to play such a small venue, but where are they now? I did manage to put on such little known Bands as Stray (who still tour today) but my pride and joy was the booking of Babe Ruth and Stan Webb's Broken Glass, with Bernie Marsden and Ellie Hope in Babe Ruth. Bernie still tours with Whitesnake plus other bands and Ellie went on to have the massive Dance Yourself Dizzy with Liquid Gold. Stan Webb is still touring with his own band.
Yes we had some great nights there; who can forget Shakin' Stevens with the drummer that was so drunk he could not move from his stool but played brilliant drums.
Also the Mick Abrahams Band. A great bloke to talk to. Anyway, I hope many others have fond memories of those Saturday nights in the College Hall. Let us know your thoughts.
Keith Jones (74/77)
KCE Memories by Sue Ellis
I came to Kesteven College by accident. In the summer of 1972, I had just taken my A Levels and, feeling thoroughly fed up with education, decided to find a job. After a few months of being bored senseless as the most junior of office juniors, I realised that education wasn't such a bad thing after all and decided to return to my first choice of career and train as a teacher. My boyfriend of the time was not keen and told me, "You're not going to college!" Then, when he realised I was absolutely determined, told me I could go no further than Stoke Rochford. Of course, by the time I started at Kesteven College of Education, at the end of September 1973, said boyfriend was history but I had become captivated by this beautiful place and embarked on my new life as a student with enthusiasm.
During that first term I went out of my way to get to know as many people as possible, to explore the possibilities not only of the college bar, but of most of the public houses in and around Grantham, to enjoy Saturday evening dances and as many other clubs and societies as I could cram into a week oh, and occasionally to focus my attention on lectures and essay writing!
Many ex-students from earlier years have commented about what a rowdy bunch we look on the panoramic photographs taken when I was a student. Photographs taken fewer than ten years previously show neatly turned out men and women, the former in jackets and ties, the latter mainly wearing skirts and sporting neat hair-styles. By the time I came to college, even the more conservative students dressed comparatively casually, but I admit some of us took things to extremes! I think the fact that we had already come of age at 18 instead of 21 gave us a feeling of freedom not enjoyed by previous generations. Lecturers who tried to tell us to be in our rooms by ten o'clock were generally ignored, and students living on the ground floor of the hostel blocks were naturally expected to let us in through their windows if we arrived back in the early hours of the morning without a "late pass" key. We had the whole of the "swinging sixties" behind us and were probably looking for new and different ways to shock our elders and betters in particular and society in general. Looking back I realise just how immature I was, but I did have a wonderful time in my four years as a student here.
I was particularly interested in the Students' Union and quickly volunteered my shorthand and typewriting skills to take and type up union meeting minutes and to help produce the college newsletter which was, I think, published weekly on an ancient Roneo duplicator. In between all my other social activities, I spent much of my time hanging around the Union office down in the basement. It was situated opposite the college bar, another of my favourite haunts!
Towards the end of that first term, we had our first experience of Teaching Practice. I spent three weeks in a tiny village school somewhere near Sleaford feeling very confused and totally out of my depth. This was nothing like going into my mum's class as a "helper" after 'O' and 'A' levels had been. People expected me to know things! The children even called me "Miss"!
After Christmas, the new Student Union Executive committee returned from their long Teaching Practice and took office. At that point, I decided that I would like to do that! I think it was during the summer term that my chance finally came, and I duly stood for election as "Female Vice President". Although I had consumed plenty of "Dutch Courage" before the hustings, I must have done something right as I found myself elected to office. In the autumn of 1974 I spent the term in Peterborough, staying at the women's hostel there which I think was called "Tall Trees" or "High Trees" and doing my long Teaching Practice in a primary school in Market Deeping. In January 1975 I returned to Stoke Rochford and to my place on the Student Union Executive.
Most of my duties seemed to involve the maintenance of kettles and irons in the hostel blocks and college laundry room, but I had already been involved in more political activities, having marched through London on at least one occasion to protest against proposed education cuts, and we knew that more cuts, including the closure of "Teacher Training" colleges was on the cards. It seems strange to me now that I am unable to recall exactly when we were told that "our" college would be closing and that 1975 would see the very last intake of new students, but I do remember helping to organise various protests in a vain attempt to change the mind of the Government.
My year of office as Female Vice President ended in January 1976, after which I was elected to be one of two student governors. Sadly I recall very little of the meetings we attended, although I do remember only being allowed to be there for parts. I guess we were not party to, for example, issues concerning specific staff and students. What I do remember vividly is being invited to the Principal's flat for sherry before lunching in the staff dining room on meeting days. All very civilised for a scruffy, rebellious student!
Life at college carried on pretty much as it always had following the announcement of the closure. Teaching Practices came and went, assignments were written, handed in and marked, friendships blossomed into romances, third (and fourth) years applied for jobs and went for interviews. I think in some ways we were all pretending nothing would ever change; but of course change it did.
In the summer of 1976, I applied for over 200 teaching posts and was offered one interview. I did not get the job. The Government's prediction that there were going to be too many teachers seemed to have come true. I decided to return to college for a fourth year in order to take the Bachelor of Education degree.
Autumn 1976 saw us returning to a college without first years. It was very, very strange and also extremely sad. For my contemporaries and me, there was little opportunity to dwell on this, though, as working at degree level was vastly different from coasting through three years of the Certificate of Education. Suddenly we knew what work was!
This was, inevitably, a period of change and very little of it for the better. In a way it was probably easier for us students than it was for the staff at the time, as they would face redundancy when the college eventually closed in 1978. Many of them found alternative employment and left before the actual closure of the college. Several were approaching retirement anyway, and some of those who were not quite old enough, I think, were able to take early retirement. Queenie Stearn, my personal tutor for my four years at college, went off to take another degree at Cambridge when the college closed. One of her fellow English lecturers, Julie Tingay, remarked that she just wanted to "get a first", although I don't know if there was any truth in this!
I graduated in 1977 with a "pass 1", having failed to gain honours with my final dissertation. I think I can actually empathise with Queenie over her sense of disappointment. She never did gain a "first" and, in spite of now having a Masters degree, I still regret not getting the honours!
I cannot begin to imagine what college life was like in that final year. The 1975 intake had been able to choose to take either the Cert Ed or the B Ed in three years and they, together with the fourth years from the 1974 intake were the only ones left.
At the end, there was one, final party. For years I claimed I had not known about it or I would certainly have been there. I later discovered that I had tried to attend but, not having paid for a ticket, was turned away at the gate along with my car-load of companions. It was the driver who eventually put me right about this, he being the only one of us sober enough to remember what really happened!
So that is a brief description of college life "at the end". I could have added much more, mainly about the social life but also about our experience of teaching practice and of lectures, seminars and tutorials. It was an idyllic time in an idyllic setting and I still say they were the best four years of my life.
Sue Ellis (Jack) 1973 - 77
Revenge is Sweet by Jane Halle
Coming back in the minibus in the dark to the women's halls of residence at Stoke Rochford, we were alarmed to catch a glimpse of a shadowy figure looking into ground floor bedrooms. Was it a burglar casing the joint? A peeping Tom, perhaps? Would we all be murdered in our beds?
We will never know, however, for suddenly Mike, our trusty minibus driver, put his foot down and we careered across the grass in hot pursuit, in a zig-zag fashion and at a speed caculated to put the very Devil to flight.
We cheered and hooted as the man, running as fast as Usain Bolt, fled into the darkness, trying to avoid the wrath of Mike, the minibus and a dozen hot blooded Kesteviennes!
KCE Football Team 1971 -1974, by Peter Gilbert
On a beautiful Sunday in September 1971 I arrived to enrol at Kesteven College of Education. After having spent the previous three years employed as a civil servant I was dressed accordingly in sports jacket, corduroy trousers and brogues. Needless to say I never wore those garments again….by the end of the week I was kitted out more appropriately in combat jacket, flared jeans and desert boots.
Despite my formal appearance I did get a very warm welcome and was particularly keen to make myself known with the football team. It's all a bit hazy now to me but I ended up having a kick about with a group of fellow hopefuls.
For reasons better known to myself I declined the offer to go for a drink with my new mates, preferring to settle in at Gonerby House and get an early night.
The peaceful night's sleep was rudely interrupted by someone shouting loudly and kicking a dustbin around the beautiful lawns that surrounded my new residence. I remember him well. Such incidents became common place, and although I was initially shocked, it was quite amusing though even for a stuffy ex civil servant.
Luckily for me I had apparently arrived with a particularly talented bunch of lads which was added to in the next year's intake and indeed the next.
By the 1973/74 we had assembled a great team which was flying high in the top Grantham League and doing well in cup competitions. We were seen by the other local teams in the league, maybe quite rightly, as a bunch of over privileged layabouts aka 'stoodents.' Their contempt for us was all too often exhibited by a rattle of leather boots and studs on our shin bones. We were a bunch of softies or so they thought and they were going to dish it out a bit. It became something we lived with and a source of some amusement to us. Casting all modesty aside we usually did not come off second best.
To be honest I only hung on to my place in the team by my desire to be a part of it all. I wasn't an outstanding talent in the team, basically it became my job to win the ball and give it to someone who could actually play. I was I think known for my rather aggressive attitude on the pitch and my verbals. I honed these qualities deliberately knowing full well that I had to do whatever I could to remain a part of it all.
I still have a photo of the team, it was the best I ever played in, and afterwards everything else was rather second best.
I would like to mention them by name and if I miss anyone out I apologise now it was after all quite a while ago.
In goal we had John Dunbavand, he was quite exceptional, could have been playing at a much higher level and was the reason why we kept many a clean sheet and won things.
The defenders: Doug Goodman a very pleasant lad off the pitch but in a game was brave and tenacious. Richard Ingham a big lad but very agile always wore a headband. Stuart Lindemam, always relaxed and unflappable he wore a headband too and was very quick. Glynn Eames - Jones a Welshman (no one's perfect) a bit short sighted but a fierce and dependable defender. Martin Ryves was a qualified referee and could fill in anywhere with great reliability, by far he was the quietest one of us.
Bernie Shannon often played in defence too but was so versatile he could play anywhere, he was also a fantastic table tennis player. Gerry Marillion of French heritage a fiery defender.
Midfield: Stuart Moore (a lecturer) a natural footballer always drove the team forward, very fit. Peter Gilbert all mouth and trousers. Dave Kemp and Mark Rogers played wide and were very skilfull often the victims of vicious fullbacks when they could catch them. Gavin Luya from London also played in midfield was lively and always a handful in the box.
Forwards were usually Steve Barron who was a brave striker very quick, good in the air and more than able to look after himself but with a smile on his face. Nick Redfern was a long haired skinny player but ice cool in front of goal, he could score for fun and often did, he was also very modest but he loved scoring goals.
So the last game I ever played with this bunch was a cup final against Bottesford FC. At half time we were losing 1-0 and we just couldn't get our game together. We all had a go at each other and although we were rattled we settled down and played our best ever half hour of football immediately after the kick off.
Incredibly we ran out 8-1 winners and along with the fantastic support we had on the night we celebrated with great enthusiasm. I remember dancing in a pub singing along to Tiger Feet by Mud.
I was on teaching practice at the time and rang in sick the next morning, my rather limp excuse being an arm injury when in actual fact it was a severe hangover.
I have never forgotten being a part of that team they were a great bunch of lads. On occasions whilst driving down the A1 I have turned off and gone into the college grounds. I always take a little stroll out onto our pitch and I'm taken right back to those halcyon days when I was part of a really good football team. To be honest I sometimes get quite emotional.
Over the years I have often wondered where they all are now, I have met up with a couple of them but I know little or nothing about the rest. Maybe someone will read this article and enlighten me, I'd like that.
Best wishes to everyone who might remember me at college, they were great days and they have never really left me.
Where We Lived Then! by Mike McWhinnie (1962 - 65)
My prospective landlady died the night before I arrived at KTC. I was supposed to be in digs in Grantham, near the railway station but was quickly moved next door with a widow who volunteered to take us. "Us" was Mike Moores and myself. As you can imagine, it was rather chaotic as our new landlady was completely unprepared for us. We shared a crowded bedroom with very little storage space until Christmas, then our landlady announced that her son's marriage had broken up and he was coming home so she needed our room. We were out on our ears!
At this time the Buckminster Hostel had just opened, but there was only one place available. Fortunately I was chosen and moved in after Christmas. I shared a big room to the right of the gate with five others - Ash Pinney, Frank Knowles, Colin Taylor, Neil Stokes and Mick Palmer. After the digs I had been in, Buckminster was paradise; showers, a lounge, a dining area, good food and great company. We had some wonderful times there playing cricket in the courtyard with John Lee Hooker blaring out of the lounge windows, lazing in the showers and so on. Jack Kirkham was in charge, but the place was run by two Eastern Europeans who were excellent. We were there until the summer when again I was moved on.
This time six of us were housed in the pub in the village, the Tollemache Arms. This was not exactly the brightest idea that KTC came up with, but we thought it was wonderful! We were in three bedrooms and I shared with Neil Stokes. On our first night the landlady asked us what we would like for breakfast and it was decided that we would have sausage and scrambled egg, which we did - every day for a year! We had a great year in the pub and I became a member of the darts team.
Finally I moved back into Buckminster Hostel, which was "home from home", to room with Roger Sleath. After another eventful and enjoyable year I left KTC to enter the real world!
The Gonerby House Prankster by Chris Gee, 1972 - 75
Gonerby House situated at Gonerby Hill Foot, Grantham was a hall of residence for male students of Kesteven College during the 1960s and 1970s. It was a large 18th century listed building surrounded by trees and gardens set back from the main road and was the former home of Colonel Henry Brace, a Deputy Lieutenant of Lincolnshire.
Arriving here in 1972 as a student, I was impressed by the surroundings and rather pleased that this was going to be my home for at least the next few months. The following morning, we met Maude and Arthur, who looked after the place, and were treated to the first of many legendary breakfasts cooked by Maude. She referred to us as 'my boys' and believed in feeding us well with massive amounts of food including porridge, cereals, full English and as much toast and marmalade as you could possibly eat. On Sundays, Maude would also cook a huge dinner for the residents who had stayed the weekend, which was in addition to the aforesaid enormous breakfast that would have already been consumed only a few hours earlier. As a result of this, Gonerby students would spend a large part of their weekends sprawled out on their beds or basking in the gardens, digesting their food like lions after the kill; no work was done nor energy ever unnecessarily expended over weekends at Gonerby House thanks to Maude's wonderful cooking.
But Maude was not a well woman, or so she would have us believe. Between bouts of bronchial coughing as she stirred a vat of beans or served the sausages, she would regale us with the details of her many ailments: 'my bloody legs', 'my damn chest', 'my ruddy back', 'my flamin' knees' and so on. If she were to be believed, the miracles of the Lord himself together with the combined knowledge of all medical science would have been hard pressed to get her back into proper working order.
It was usually in the evening when the Gonerby residents began to stir and strange goings on began to take place. Eerie sounds filled the bedrooms, dismembered body parts floated in the night air and screams of terror were heard in the dark! Most of this was down to one particular student who, for legal reasons, will not be referred to by name, but who was very fond of playing practical jokes.
He first softened up his victims by playing a battery cassette recording of weird music up one of the outdoor drainpipes. The distorted sounds then entered certain rooms, via wash basin plugholes, having first been acoustically modified by the 19th century plumbing. A tapping sound would then be heard at the window and when the curtains were pulled back, a pale head not attached to its body would be seen, grinning through the glass. This was achieved by attaching strong nylon thread to a polystyrene dummy head and then dangling it from the roof of the house until it gently bounced against the chosen window panes of the victim's bedroom below. There was a convenient way through an upstairs window out onto the false roof to enable this feat of engineering to be set up, and of course there were accomplices. A variation on this prank involved lighting a fire at the base of the drainpipe; the resulting rush of warm air transformed the drainpipe into a sort of giant organ pipe resonating its unnatural notes through several Gonerby House washbasins.
Another student, known to have an over-active imagination had sworn that he had seen the figure of a woman in his room in the dead of night. He supposed this to have been a female member of Colonel Brace's family who haunted the upstairs rooms and so it was decided the following night to give him a bit of a scare. Firstly, the light above his bed was disabled and then, much later on in the night, another student got ready by backcombing his long hair and covering himself with a blanket from one of the beds. At about one in the morning, the spectre stood at the victim's bedside and started to softly wail and moan until the sleeper awoke.
'Who's there?' 'What's happening?' and 'Go to Hell, whoever you are' were uttered from beneath the sheets. When the apparition finally jumped onto the bed, the terrified victim let out a scream as he sat bolt upright in his bed amid the uncontrollable laughter of his tormentors. Despite this experience, he never lost his belief in supernatural phenomena and maintained to the end that he could see dead men coming through the walls and other such unlikely claims. Perhaps life at Gonerby House had permanently upset the balance of his mind.
Our prankster also operated in other parts of the house and no-one was safe. One night he decided to remove the milk bottles from the fridge in the kitchen and replace the milk with plaster of Paris before putting the bottles back in the fridge. Quite how he managed to achieve this was never revealed as the kitchen was always kept locked and the only key holder was Arthur. At breakfast the following morning, the deed was discovered much to the annoyance of Maude who made her feelings known to every student as she prepared their milk-free breakfasts, with comments suggesting that we didn't have the sense we were born with and 'God help the kids if you lot ever get to be teachers'. Her wrath was short lived though, milk was delivered and calm was quickly restored to the morning routine. Maude and Arthur never found out the identity of the culprit.
Perhaps the masterpiece of all pranks was carried out in the New Hall at Stoke Rochford by the Gonerby mischief-maker. He had in his possession a novelty alarm clock which played a loud and very annoying tune when activated. Being battery operated, it would continue to play this tune until someone turned it off or the battery ran out. Hidden underneath the heavy stage blocks and timed to go off in the middle of an education lecture, it caused havoc as a hall full of students dissolved into laughter and the poor lecturer had to abandon any attempt to maintain order or deliver his words of wisdom.
Back at Gonerby House, our practical joker continued with his jolly japes which included placing a life size skeleton in someone's wardrobe suitably rigged so that its arm would fly out into the face of whoever opened the wardrobe door. Then there were the letters posted to non-existent residents with strange, sometimes risqué names and the hilarity it caused as Arthur attempted to track down the fictitious recipients.
Arthur, as a much younger man, used to work in the service of Colonel Brace and he always referred to the different parts of Gonerby House using their original names: the servants' stairs, the servants' rooms, the breakfast room, the stable yard and so on.
One morning, Arthur arrived at the house to find a group of what could only have been described as shaven headed 'monks' dressed in orange coloured robes. They were members of the Hare Krishna Temple, asleep on the hard wooden floor of one of the downstairs rooms and had been offered a place to sleep by some of the students who had attended a talk given by them at Stoke Rochford the evening before. A resigned Arthur took all of this in his stride though, even though he must have longed for the time when things were just a little bit more predictable and normal, 'in the Colonel's day'. At breakfast that morning he was heard muttering in his South Lincolnshire drawl something about 'them bald 'eaded boggers asleep in the Gun Room'.
What became of those 1970s Gonerby House residents? Our practical joker was sent to an unsuspecting local primary school on teaching practice where he taught his puzzled pupils pounds, shillings and pence a good three or four years after the rest of the country had adopted the decimal system. Did he ever qualify as a teacher or were Maude's worst fears realised?
God help the kids!
Memories From a Member of Staff - former Education Lecturer, Ken Regelous
After teaching English in France, and French in England for about ten years, I got on a year's full-time Russian course (with full pay, courtesy of the then London County Council). This made me realise what I'd been putting children through!
I'd done some practical psychology, so decided to make a change from languages. I added psychology as an "alternative subject" to my degree in economics, then did educational psychology with the Department of Education in London. There were several advertisements for lecturers in psychology at colleges of education. I applied to Kesteven, had interviews, and was accepted.
So it was a bit of a surprise on my first day at the college to find myself in the sociology department with Roy Hopkins and Norman Greaves! Fortunately I'd done some sociology of education with the Department of Education and this was enough to start off with. But I immediately began an external degree in sociology with the University of London, which took about four years. It was the most fascinating subject I'd ever studied and became a lifelong interest.
How the psychology became sociology I was never told - and I didn't like to ask!
Ken Regelous (Member of staff 1967 - 1976)
Don Wright, as many will remember, was a member of staff at the college for a number of years.
Read his reminiscences here from 2016 (link to external website)
Upp with Jeff Beck, 1974 - what a band! Can't believe we had them at KCE.
Racing Cars perform 'They Shoot Horses Don't They?'
Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent perform 'Hold Your Head Up'
This single was played constantly at KCE discos and dances during the 1970s
A taste of what we never got to see: Richard and Linda Thompson perform 'Jet Plane In A Rocking Chair'
Richard Thompson performs 'Cooksferry Queen' - how many of today's stars will still be able to perform like this in 40 years time?
Gallagher & Lyle, performing 'Breakaway' in 1976
See them here
Colin Blunstone, at 60 something, sings 'I Don't Believe In Miracles'. He did this one at KCE....what an incredible voice!
See it here