LHR School Sports Days 1960, 1962 and 1963.

I now have photocopies of the LHR School Sports Day Results for 1960, 1962 and 1963.  Unfortunately they are not really clear enough to publish on the website. However I will type an overall summary of the results from the local paper:-

1960. 12 Records Broken at School Sports. Times & Recorder 13.7.1960.

Although there was a gale force wind and continually threatening clouds, Laindon High Road Secondary School managed to hold a very successful sports day last week.  Twelve records were broken and one equaled.

The first record to go was in the Senior Boys’ 440 yards when Reynolds (Townsmen) finished in 59·7 seconds, nearly five seconds faster than the previous time.

Probably the best performance in the girl’s sections was the magnificent throw by Brenda Holt (Shoresman) in the 3rd year girls’ rounders ball.  Brenda threw a record 193 feet 7½ inches.  The previous best set up last year was 149 feet 6 inches.

In the boys’ 3rd year mile (a new event) Eric Cowell jogged along steadily to record 5 minutes and 13·3 seconds.  Obviously slowed down by the wind, 14 year old Eric’s best time for the event is 4 minutes and 59·2 seconds and if he can repeat this kind of performance, he obviously has a great future.

Land Cup (House with most points in boys’ and girls’ events):  Plainsmen. Cansdale Cup (House with most points girls’ events): Shoresmen. Land Trophy (House with most points in boys’ events): Plainsman. Jumps Cup (House with most points in high and long jumps):  Plainsmen.  Relay Cup 1 (House with most points in 1st year relay races): Townsmen.  Relay Cup 11 (House with most points in 2nd year relay races): Hillsmen.  Athlete Standard Trophy: Townsmen.

Prizes were presented by the School Governors; six of them were present.  Mrs E M Herepath, the chairman, welcomed parents.  She was introduced by the headmaster, Mr H Woodward.

Before the evening athletics, there was a demonstration of model aeroplane flying by boys of the school.

1962.  Girls ‘Too Ladylike’ to Enter.  Times & Recorder 27.6.1962.

Despite blustery winds and discouraging weather conditions, 21 records were broken at Laindon High Road School’s annual sports day last week and there could have been more!

Sports Master, Mr G Munday was pleased with the ‘record haul’.  The number broken he said, was due to the general enthusiasm.

But Sports Mistress, Miss P Wood told the ‘Recorder; “The sporting cream of the senior girls seems to have left the school – hence a disappointing result from the older girls.  What is left of the fifth year girls will not take part – it is most difficult to get them interested“.  She added “Many of them seem to acquire an awkwardness or self-consciousness in front of crowds.  Some think it is not ladylike“.

Nevertheless 11 of the 21 records were by the girls.  One was J Smithers in the discus event.  Star of the day was Maureen Quinn who broke three records.  Her high jump added six inches to last year’s record.  She knocked one second from the hurdles’ time and two seconds from the 150 yards sprint. She also came 1st in the 100 yards.  J White, a second year girl, broke both the long and high jump records.

Boys’ highlights were more evenly spread amongst the separate years but Barry Herridge and Joseph Borowski were well placed in many events.

The House Championship Cup went to Plainsmen as did the “Land Trophy” for the boys’ House Championship and the “Jumps Cup”.  Girls’ House Championship was won by Townsmen. First year Relay Cup was won jointly by Hillsmen, Plainsmen and Townsmen.  The second year Relay Cup went jointly to Hillsmen and Plainsmen.

1963.  Fourteen Records Broken.  Times and Recorder 26.6.1963.

Fourteen tough records were smashed in grand style at Laindon High Road School’s annual sports last week – two of them by THE school sport, strapping Joseph Borowski. 

The cheer that went up as the lad was presented with his medals was tinged with regret however – he will not take part in the school sports again.  He will be leaving at the end of this year and hopes to take a further education course at Chelmsford.  An enthusiastic all rounder the lad who stands taller than 6 feet will leave three records on the school’s rolls.

In 1961 he broke the record for the shot while in the third year.  The 33ft 2ins throw will be a tough nut to crack.  Last Wednesday he cracked the senior 220 yards record which has stood since 1960.  He also broke his own record set up last year for the senior 440 yards.  He shaved three seconds from 25·3.  He also took a medal for discus but failed to touch the record of 138ft 8½ins.

The sports as a whole was a fantastic success.  However a new system of competing which was used, did away with competition between houses and the fun was between classes.  More complicated, the system made point assessment difficult for teachers who were working them out. 

For laymen and parents used to the old house system, it was chaos and took some of the fun from the proceedings.  Nine of the new records were taken by boys and five by girls.  Another two records were equaled.

Note:  Unfortunately it seems that the results of the 1958 Laindon High Road School Sports Day were not published in the Times and Recorder.

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  • I have only just joined this site, but I was at school with Linda Cowell and she was as brilliant athlete an well as her brother Eric…. I always hated being in the same race as her !!!

    By Margaret Read ( nee Wilson ) (10/03/2020)
  • Thank you for this site.
    I am one of Eric Cowell’s sisters. Sadly he died yesterday. Reading about him here has given me comfort.

    By Hilary Moore (nee Cowell) known as Billy (30/03/2018)
  • As I recalled earlier, Joe Borowski is mentioned in these reports as being a superb sportsman and record holder. Who remembers the bitter cold winter of 62/63? I remember walking home in the snow and ice with Joe and two other friends, Martin Brown and Johnny Langton from a night out at The Barge in Vange.

    We had gone over by bus from Laindon, four 15 year old schoolboys with a taste for Brown and Mild. It was ok getting served because Joe was bigger than most of the men in the pub anyway. We missed the last bus, or it had stopped running. Joe was the best joke teller I had ever heard then and now. He would have us in stitches with his delivery, almost professional and we were shouting and laughing all the way home.

    Another brilliant joke teller was Jimmy Bird these were the real characters of LHR. That night we all split up to go to our homes when we got to Laindon, Mart and myself staying together until we reached the end of St Nicholas Lane after walking down Laindon Link. Fabulous times with true friends, brilliant all of them.

    By Richard Haines (22/06/2017)
  • Hi.  Not sure what year it was I think it may have been 60,62,or 63 but I won a medal in shot put by coming first, the medal I still have, but I dont see my name.

    By Jeff Footer (18/06/2017)
  • Well done Jeff.  I’ve just checked through the results list.  The year was 1960, when you were in the third year.  Unfortunately your name is spelt wrongly in the paper i.e. Shot 1st. Foster, 2nd Byatt, 3rd Bronsdon.  It seems you also came second in the high jump –  1st Pratt, 2nd Footer, 3rd Byatt. (They managed to spell your name correctly for that event).   

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (18/06/2017)
  • During my time at the school, 1957 to 1962 each year had five classes.  Divided into upper, middle and lower i.e. Upper A, Upper B  Middle C, Lower A and Lower B.    The leaving age was 15, but those who wished to stay on an extra year to take the extended course (technical or commercial) had to make their decision by the end of the third year.   They were then put into either 4X or 4X2 for the fourth year and 5X or 5X2 for the fifth year.  I stayed on and was in 4X and 5X.  As I was the youngest in our class, I left school a couple of days after my 16th birthday.   

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (18/06/2017)
  • Another viewpoint on the class system. In my first year at LHR (1958-59) I was placed in U1B. My form teacher was Mr R H Rosen. I desperately wanted to be in the top stream but had to do it by hard work. By the end of the first year Mr Rosen said that four children, two boys and two girls would go into U2A. The two boys were myself and Larry Clark. The two girls were Vanessa Crew and Christine Thompson. Our teacher for that second year and thereafter was Mr R L Rees. The class system immediately changed. All classes were to be named after their teachers initials. Our class would be 2RLR, the next year it was 3RLR and then 4X and 5X. Nothing ever stands still, including the class system which I am sure changed due to parents being unhappy about it. I am convinced that my education in that top stream with Mr Rees was as good as at any Grammar School.

    By Richard Haines (18/06/2017)
  • Richard, was Terry Venner a twin? Unless memory is playing me tricks (it happens sometimes) the twins were friends of my young brother Michael. The Venners lived just round the corner from us (2 King Edward Terrace) in the first house on the left in King Edward Road. Probably number 3 but not sure.

    By Alan Davies (17/06/2017)
  • Terry had twin brothers Peter and Derek who were two years older than himself.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (17/06/2017)
  • It seems quite extraordinary that Eric Cowell without coaching or any athletic regimen presumably, (at what — 14 or 15 years of age) should have a best time of 4 minutes 59 seconds for the mile. This was only 6 years after Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile for a world record and Bannister was paced by “rabbits” Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher.

    Can there be a more defining comment to illustrate the difference between that innocent age and the world of today than the statement by the Sports Mistress Miss P. Wood when commenting on the reluctance of some girls to take part. “Some think it is not ladylike.”

    By Alan Davies (17/06/2017)
  • Yes, thanks Alan and Nina, I knew that Terry lived close to me, I was just over the High Road in Nicholl Road. There was a huge concentration of Laindon High Road School children living on the King Edward Estate. Many others lived on the Kathleen Ferrier Estate and I would imagine these and the many children from Langdon Hills, Dunton and Queens Road areas made up the bulk of the catchment. On top of these were the families in the bungalows in all the unmade roads around Laindon, no wonder we were 40 to a class. I believe we were all fortunate to live in the area at the time, it was an era which was relatively short lived with many of us moving away in the mid 1960s. With the hot weather of this week the mind is drawn back to those wonderful days of sports and friendship with our school friends in Laindon.

    By Richard Haines (17/06/2017)
  • Perhaps what I am about to say had changed by the time of Richard and Nina. Perhaps not.

    In my time at LHR, each year was divided into five classes — A through E. Quite how one was initially placed I have no idea. There was no test. Perhaps it was by feedback or recommendation from Langdon Hills, Markham’s Chase etc. I was assigned to the A class. 1A as it was called.

    At the end of the first year, the powers that determine life and death decreed that two boys in the class could not keep up and, when we returned in September, it was to find that they had been demoted to the B level. 2B as it was called.

    I will not mention their names, and I do not remember if another two pupils were promoted to take their places. I have often wondered if they encountered any humiliation or if they took it all in stride. Maybe it was even a relief if they were having that much of a problem keeping up.

    Today, of course, there would be a counselor on the school staff helping them to deal with the traumatic consequences of rejection and “not being good enough”. But in those days, pupils just got on with it and were probably stronger for it,  rather than being thought so weak that they needed a psychologist to help them get over it.

    By Alan Davies (17/06/2017)
  • Well, what to make of these entries. It does seem to me that the climax year was the 1959 one. I certainly can’t even remember the other ones since. It seems that Plainsmen (blue) kept that Land Cup for a very long time. I wonder now what happened to my 1959 heroes Terry Venner and Alan Castle, I wish them the best of luck wherever they are. I see Janet Smithers is mentioned as a discus thrower and Joe Borowski seems to have been the successor to Terry Venner as one of the best sportsmen ever to have come out of LHR. Interestingly it is also mentioned that the mile race was a new introduction in 1960 which means I didn’t actually witness this event in 1959 after all. Anyway, Eric Cowell who I remember very well made this race his own, another great little sportsman. Thanks Nina for keeping us entertained, those days were perfect in every way.

    By Richard Haines (16/06/2017)

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