A great read

PUBLISHED: 10:47 15 March 2007 | UPDATED: 11:40 06 May 2010

Richard Whitmore with his book

Richard Whitmore with his book

I have just spent a very pleasant two days over the weekend reading Richard Whitmore s latest book: The Ghosts of Reginald Hine. I was at the Grammar School during the second half of the 1940s as was Richard, although if memory serves me correctly he was

I have just spent a very pleasant two days over the weekend reading Richard Whitmore's latest book: The Ghosts of Reginald Hine.

I was at the Grammar School during the second half of the 1940s as was Richard, although if memory serves me correctly he was a couple of years senior to me. Like him I can recall Mr Hine although as a schoolboy I never actually met him. I did however see him around the town, and do recall him driving his, even then, ancient car with wild abandon! He was well known even to us youngsters as an eccentric.

My wife also recalls Mrs Hine who was the Guide Commissioner for many years, including those when my wife was a Girl Guide. Her recollection of Mrs Hine is of a very formidable lady.

During my years at the Grammar school I was a very keen amateur cinematographer and owned a very old but nonetheless reliable 16mm fixed focus Kodak cine camera.

When the memorial to Mr Hine at the top of Tilehouse Street was unveiled I was given special permission by the headmaster TE Jones to have time off to make a B&W albeit silent film of the event for the town's archives. I have not see it since those far off days nearly 60 years ago and wonder if it survived. Some years later I also made a film of the renaming of Old Hale Way School when it became Bessemer School to commemorate Sir Henry Bessemer's association with the town and the village of Charlton where he lived as a boy. I think his grandson was the town's guest of honour on that occasion.

Richard Whitmore's book has brought back so many memories of my days as a schoolboy in the town and will I am sure bring back similar memories to others of my generation who pick up The Ghosts of Reginald Hine. I look forward to Mr Whitmore's next book with much enthusiasm.

DOUGLAS KING, Grovelands Avenue, Hitchin


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