Thirteen Formative Years

EDUCATION – Saxonwold Primary School: The final months of 1956 were an exciting time. First, I can remember how we discussed the Hungarian revolution and the Suez crisis (which occurred, almost simultaneously, in October) in the school playground. Second, my years as a primary school student ended in mid-December. Third, Tom Lovegrove, a friend of Bobby and Lilian’s (whom we’d initially met on the Pretoria Castle in January 1949) offered Stuart and me a job. We had to help him and a small team of cricket fans run the large manual scoreboard at the Wanderers cricket ground. This photograph of the Wanderers scoreboard was taken on 24 December 1956 – the first day of the first test between England and South Africa. England opened the batting and initially performed miserably. As you can see, when this photo was taken, England had scored only 48 runs but had already lost 3 wickets. The English captain, Peter May – who was my cricketing hero – had just been dismissed for only six runs. However, England’s opening batsman, Peter Richardson, went on not only to save the day (he scored 117 in the first innings), but also to help win the test. From memory, Tom Lovegrove and his wife were childless, and he thus had no clue as to what to pay a ten-year-old and a 12-year-old. He gave both Stuart and me far too much money. Looking back on those halcyon days, I think I’ve never again been as comparatively wealthy as I was during the summer of 1956-57!