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Over Surtees Club


. . GVeSt(!) Book Archive. . . . John Lyon School. . . . My Memories. . . . Photographs. .

The Lyon goes from strength to strength...


What is The Over Surtees Club?

The Over Surtees Club is a point of contact for Old Lyonians, most particularly those who were my (Martin H. Watson’s) peers and classmates from 1968-1975, during the first seven years when Gordon Villiers Surtees (“GUS”) was headmaster. Gordon Surtees was a new boy in 1968. Its success so far has demonstrated that it is also popular with other Old Lyonians, so I do not exclude others, but I aim it mainly at my classmates, both those who joined in 1968, and the late arrivals in 1970 (or was it 1971?).

I very much welcome any feedback, suggestions, memories, etc. I'd also love to hear from any of the masters who educated me to a standard such that I was able to create this web site!! Please supply the URL of this site to anyone with whom you are still in contact. (Please note use of ‘whom’, and also be aware that I didn’t end the sentence with a preposition. I must have had a good education.)

Why did I start it?

Early in 2000 I was casually surfing the web and I thought I'd search on 'John Lyon School'. Martin Watson 1968To cut a long story short I made contact withMartin Watson 1973 David Brew, one of my classmates from the boys who started in 1968. Somehow this lead to me starting the original website. We exchanged life stories and found we had far more in common than 30 years ago. I then tried to compile a list of our peers and got to about 35. David added quite a few more, so if you were in the same year as this bunch of likely lads, leave a message in the guest book.
The two black and white pictures above are of me, in 1968 and 1973 respectively, ripped off David’s scans of the contemporary school photos. If anyone else from ‘our year’ has the time to cut and paste themselves from the source pictures, I would love to add them here.  The colour picture is about 2000. The beer is Fullers’ ‘London Pride’.

David mentioned in an email that quite a few ‘old lags’ had visited and signed the guest book. This came as quite a revelation to me as I had all but forgotten about the site. I was really surprised at how many entries there were in the guest book, and someone even mentioned that Friends Reunited had a link to the site. (I must get that updated…)

The new guest book

Please do sign in and leave a message.



Your details will not be used for any of the things that people do with lists of names, be assured.... I will not forward any email address to any other person, without prior approval

Where's the old guest book?

Early in September 2002 the company which had hosted the earlier guest book on the site withdrew the service without any warning. Fortunately David Brew had downloaded the contents of the guest book a few months earlier, and thanks to his diligence we have the entries listed below.  We have, however, lost the email addresses of all those who signed, so please sign the new guest book, if only to let me know that someone is reading this new page!

Old guest book entries

These are listed in reverse order, like the prizes on Speech Day, not that I ever saw one of those. The oldest entries are further down the list.  As of September 2002 these are totally unedited, so any spelling errors or grammatical blunders are down to the original authors.  (See me after class!) Here it is.

Roll of Honour, Classmates

This is the current list of boys who started in 1a and 1b in September 1968, plus any others who joined ‘my’ year at a later date.  Having languished alphabetically throughout my school life, these are currently in no particular order, but I’m first.

Martin Watson, David Brew, Barry Thorne, Neil Marshall, Nick Williams, Christopher Bliss, Michael Perman, Peter Spracklen, David Barnard, Nigel Preston, Paul Chapman, Robert Morris, Nick Wilmshurst, David Silberman, David Sluter, Christopher Upton, Paul Madge, Simon Coleman, Simon Ball, David Myers, John Davis, ? Rutherford, Jeremy Geelan, Patrick Butler, Jeremy Weisenfeld, Will Healey, Brian Roberts, Vic Glynn, John Lynch, Clive Solomon, David Ford, Michael Cuerden, Mark Varah, Jim Smith, Ted Pearson, Martin Jones, Martin Bishop, Stuart Ogilvie, Lionel Wiggins, Richard Pemberton, Keith Goozee, Colin Dunstan, Jonathan Shorts, Peter (Spider) Wild, Jeff Johnston, Chris Holden, Steve Dunning, Steve Harris, Nigel Byatt, Bob? Miles, Steve Ashmore, Chris Griffiths, Barry Endean.

Roll of Honour, Masters (and ‘Ma’ Dillon)

This is the most complete list of the teaching staff during the years 1968-1975.

Roger Williams, Music and 1st form; Ian Whybrow, English; Phil Davis, French and German; Ryder, Maths; Bill Warman, Geography; Fred Sibcy, Physics; Vernon, Chemistry; George Weedon, Gym; Clem Read, Geography.

Then in later years, Udall, Biology; Kerrush, Woodwork and Sport; Brian Holgate, Gym; Ken Manning, Maths; 'Ma' Dillon, Maths; David Holton, French; Brian 'Scorcher' Simmonds, Maths; Micky 'Slowhand' Sadler, Latin and God Squad; 'Arty' Allen, Art; George Middleton? French; Ward? Physics;

Some of my memories

Mick Jagger and I were both born in Dartford, Kent, on 26th July, Mick 14 years before me. He once started to write his autobiography, but gave up because he couldn’t remember enough.  I have many memories of life at John Lyon, and these are just some of my recollections, which hopefully will prompt more from other readers here.

Does anyone remember GVS throwing chalk at Peter Bartlett in 2A, and giving him money for sweets by way of recompense? At about the same time does anyone remember (sorry to bring this up Vic) Bill Warman launching an inquest into how Victor Glynn's (quote) 'gym pump' ended up in the urinals? I have a great memory of Bill at the Old Boys' Club, one night when I was working behind the bar.  He came in and ordered a White Shield Worthington, which I proceeded to tip, sediment and all, unceremoniously into a glass.  His face was a picture I still recall to this day, and Alice, my long-time girlfriend loves to hear that story.

I have often thought, over the years, that it was strange that none of my class mates had made it into the public eye, for better or worse. I always imagined Patrick Butler becoming a politician, and I was sure that John Lynch would be a great comedian. I remember something about 'Twit of the Year' at some school event at which he excelled, but my memory is hazy. Several years ago I was interviewed by a recruitment consultant, who probably started John Lyon at about the time we left, 1975.  I've had no other contact since.

Between 1976 and 78 Clive Solomon and I worked on two books of pop chart statistics, long before the arrival of the Guinness Books of Hits. Clive had something to do with the band Pulp, I believe. I recall him planning to be a millionaire by 30. It was good to see that Dave Boxhall had found my site, I remember him from being a year above me in the CCF, along with all the names he mentioned who 'signed up'.

Dave Sluter is a name that I don't recall being mentioned, and it just came into my head, while writing this. I recall him and Nick Wilmshurst collecting the fronts off Camel cigarette packets, and covering most of a 8 foot by 4 foot sheet of hardboard with them in the Red House prefects' room. I remember winning the cross country championship in my last year, crossing the line with Neil Marshall breathing heavily very close behind. I remember at one point in the race, Nick Williams running along side me carrying his shoe which had got stuck in mud. I told him to stop and put it back on. I remember Ted Pearson injuring himself in the race in some way, and about 6 of us visited him in Northwick Park A&E afterwards, taking him lager in the trophy I won. Peter Spracklen is another name that has just come to mind.

Photographs of the school

Sadly there aren’t any here. I would dearly love to be able to include some.  Please contact me if you have any 1968-1975 photographs of the school or sporting events. I do not currently have the facility to scan real pictures, so only digital ones are of use.

Then and Now photographs

This section is currently empty. David Brew, who should be honorary president of the Over Surtees Club for his boundless enthusiasm, scanned the 1968 and 1973 School Photographs and they are here. If anyone is feeling brave or foolish, I would like to add RECENT photographs of my old classmates (and teachers?) I also have the idea of extracting the relevant bit from David’s photograph along side, unless I get inundated with circa 1968 images from visitors. (Hint hint).

These should be heavily touched up and edited, to remove over-forties flab and add hair where necessary. Photographs of me are here already.

The school photographs were taken by Panora Ltd of Clerkenwell, London.  According to The Greater Manchester County Record Office, the Panora negatives were deposited with the DPA (Documentary Photography Archive) in 1986 by the managing director of the firm who had sold his business but retained the negatives. They are dated from 29 September 1968 to 30 July 1985.  It seems very likely that Panora's copyright has probably lapsed.

Links to websites of other Old Lyonians

If you have a web site, commercial or private, and would like it listed here, contact me.  A reciprocal link would be appreciated.

Links to other John Lyon sites

These are just a few that I found from my own surfing. If you know of others, or are the webmaster of a John Lyon related site, and would like it listed here, contact me.  A reciprocal link is almost a necessity.

The new John Lyon website is active here.

The Over Surtees Club mailing list. 

Click to subscribe to The Over Surtees Club

In 2002 I created a Yahoo mailing list so that we could all communicate with each other. Please use the link above to apply to join and add a brief note about who you are to stop spammers applying.  Just mention something that will assure me that you are genuine, if your email address doesn’t readily reflect your name.

When you sign up you can request copies of each message sent to the mailing list or just a summary of the messages from that day. You will need to create a Yahoo ID if you don’t already have one.  They go to great lengths to protect you against spam. Latest topics have included the 40-year reunion. It’s quality stuff rather than quantity.

I think that it will be really good if people remember some amusing incident from school, and can then easily send it to others.

March 2013 - The parts of the history of John Lyon School which don’t include the Over Surtees Club have been documented in Michael Burrell's book, "John Lyon's Dream - A History of the John Lyon School".

Site Policy

It is my policy that this site and the Over Surtees Club mailing list will not refer to any former pupil or master in a detrimental, libellous(!) or inaccurate way.  If anybody feels that this rule has been infringed, please let me know and I will unreservedly and immediately correct the situation.

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