CVTS first commenced in September 1954 with just 90 1st year and 90 3rd year boys. A total of just 180 boys plus nine masters.
It was a privilege to be one of the 13 year old boys because the 3rd year progressed through to Upper Sixth without ever having to contend with older boys. A somewhat unique experience and, no doubt, developed leadership skills at a young age. We became School Prefects and School Captains in our first year. The first School Captain was Barry Gould who, when he left school after his O Levels, was followed by Rodney (Ben) Brown in 1957.
Other star pupils included Alan Eaton, who was outstanding in all sports, especially Rugby and Athletics; he returned after completing his University studies to join the CVTS teaching staff.
I struggled with my A level subjects and Joe Kingsland had spotted my dilemma; I was aiming to join BP as a Student Engineer but had little chance of achieving the required grades. Mr Kingsland, one morning after Assembly, called me to his office to discuss my options. He handed me a prospectus from Philips Electrical for a Commercial Apprenticeship scheme. It was my ‘eureka’ moment. The commercial path had not been on my agenda. I had clearly chosen the wrong career path with BP and Joe Kingsland had spotted it.
The five year apprenticeship with Philips gave me the most valuable commercial exposure across all electrical product groups. My career has included varied roles with UK and International businesses; the most notable being the acquisition of Roberts Radio Limited in 1994 by the Glen Dimplex Group. I was appointed Chief Executive and, subject to achieving the profit and loss targets, was given a free hand to invest and develop the brand worldwide. We celebrated our 80th Anniversary in 2012 at St James’s Palace in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales. Very special!
CVTHS continues to leave its successful mark and we should be very proud of our old School.
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