We hope that you appreciate the messages from your classmates and staff and enjoy looking at some of their favourite school photos!
“I wish all of you gathering virtually a happy get together, reliving past memories and comparing what you are all now doing. I retired in 2006, so hopefully a few of you will remember me! But I do go back into the mists of time having started teaching in 1970, at Cheltenham GS and then Pates GS from 1975: some of it a very different era. I took CCF cadets to Berlin, for example, in 1978, when we went through Checkpoint Charlie into the Russian Zone, and travelled to Berlin by the British Military train through East Germany; we were forbidden to take photos of the Russian tanks, but guess what one cadet did! My last years in the CCF were mainly devoted to the Year 9 cadets training and D of E Bronze, and our paths may have crossed then. My last CCF camp was at Crowborough in Sussex in July 2005.
If I may continue to ponder on the changes I have seen for a moment, I’ll turn to Biology: when I did my A level (1966) there was mention of this chemical DNA and it was dismissed in about one lesson: it was the material genes were made from and it had something to do with protein synthesis - ‘one gene, one enzyme’ was the ‘in’ phrase. By 2005 DNA had become a central strand (or even a double helix) in the syllabus and I was able to carry out practical work at Pate’s which transferred a gene for luminescence from a jellyfish into bacteria. Can any of you remember the petri dishes of glowing bacteria which I proudly showed around??
I could write a book of my memories, mostly very happy with myriads of smiling faces, and hope that you too will be as sustained by your memories of Pate’s as I have of been by mine ( mind you I was there for 31years! Head of Biology for 24 years (‘82 to '06), CCF Contingent Commander for 16 yrs (‘77 to ‘93) and a member of staff 1975 to 2006).
Good luck to you all.”
Mr Mike Dray