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News > Life After Hymers > The Real Cambridge Drinks!

The Real Cambridge Drinks!

Peter Carr (OH 1949-57) and Kevin Gaunt (OH 1960-65) meet up for drinks in New Zealand
Peter and Kevin in Cambridge, New Zealand
Peter and Kevin in Cambridge, New Zealand

While advertising our recent Cambridge Dinks night in March, we heard from Peter Carr, OH 1949-57 who now lives in Cambridge, New Zealand.

You may be interested to know that here in New Zealand (yes all that way from Hull), The real Cambridge alumni met last month. Look up the names Gaunt and Carr. As a result of your diligence last year two OH’s  ‘found’ each other in the town of Cambridge, New Zealand. We met at a coffee shop for a couple of hours and shared stories of life down Hymers Avenue. Small world!

Kevin Gaunt, OH 1960-65, also now lives in Cambridge, New Zealand. His wife, Dorothy and Peter are both Justices of the Peace and serve their local community on matters judicial. When Peter saw the name Gaunt on an alumni list, he phoned Dorothy and ascertained that her husband also attended the school.

They live within 15 minutes walking distance of each other in Leamington, which is a suburb of Cambridge.  The town is very beautiful with many 150 year old trees and public walkways.  It is the centre of the New Zealand horse breeding industry.  In the background of the photo of them, there is Lake Karapiro which has twice hosted the World Rowing Championships.

Peter told us more about his memories of Hymers College:

My years at the school were 1949 (Form 1) to 1957 (Upper 5th). I attended post the 11 plus examination on a scholarship. I was not a keen team sports player and gave up rugby for squash. Like the majority of my peers, I was in the CCF (Combined Cadet Force) for several years including time in the band. I still recall the eerie sound of Last Post as we stood in the archway between the main hall and the Memorial Hall on 11 November with pursed lips clinging to the freezing mouthpiece of the wind instrument.

My earlier years saw the disciplinarian (and bachelor) W C Cavill as Headmaster. He would walk in smartly along the hallowed gravel drive every morning on his way in from his home in Brandesburton Avenue. And the whole Junior School had to press their backs to the wall and raise their caps as he passed. And aside from the Porter (who lived at the front gate), he was the only person permitted to place his feet on that drive.

His replacement, H R Roach, was a very different kettle of fish. A huge supporter of the arts, he lived on the site and walked each morning into his office with his Labrador dog, Dinah.

Much liked was the deputy Head, Mr Bennett who cycled, Winter and Summer, all the way from Swanland. The CCF was under the command of English teacher Major (Sally) Lund supported by Capt. ‘Mo’ Mitchell (French) and Lt. ‘Tigger’ Taylor (woodwork). The gym instructor was Mr Minns whose entry to the gym was always preceded by the loud command  ‘Balls away chaps’, alluding to the heavy medicine balls that we were instructed to heft around at the start of each gym period.

Hymers at that time was a good school for the more scholastic who wanted to achieve and attend university but not for those who struggled.

Kevin Gaunt also remembered Harry R. Roach, his Headmaster while at Hymers:

Peter’s memories of him are accurate as he was very unapproachable.  

The Deputy Head, Mr Bennett was a very different kettle of fish. In my first week at the school, he stopped me in the hall and asked me what my name was and committed it to memory. His aim was to know the names of all the boys in the school. Unfortunately, he died fairly early on in my time at the school.

I was a scholarship student similar to Peter and although there was virtually 10 years difference between our times in the Senior School, we found joint memories of teachers and the workings of the school.

I lived in Beverley at the time and so I used to cycle to the railway station and catch the train to Hull (passing Hymers on the train on the way). Then I would catch a bus to school.  I didn’t think much about it at the time but it was quite a trip each day.

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