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News > Churcher's Chat > Churcher's Chat - Series 1, Article 1

Churcher's Chat - Series 1, Article 1

We chat to Denis Payne (49) about his memories of Churcher's...

Do you remember your first day at Churcher's?

Yes, I immediately met up with a boy who I had known previously and started a year earlier at Chuchers College. Otherwise a bit hazy...

What was your favourite subject?

My favourite subject was English, both language and literature, although French came a close second. Probably because they were my star subjects. Maths and Science definitely not!

Was there a teacher that particularly inspired you?

The teacher for whom I had most respect was Mr D.W.Dimond, which may seem odd as he was a science teacher, not my best subject. Even so I admired and respected him as he was scrupulously fair, and I felt that more than any of the other teachers his aim was not solely to teach a subject but to give us lads a sound moral base for taking our place in the wide world.  I felt he was much more than just a teacher. He wanted I think to impart the need for honesty, integrity and fair dealing in the big wide world.

Do you have a standout memory of your time at Churcher's?

Small thing, but one day I was on the cricket field by the pavilion and a V1 (doodlebug) came streaking across the sky from a south easterly direction. I think it came down at Froxfield.

What did you do after leaving school?

I worked with my father on the family farm until 1960, then took a big step change (largely due to in laws influence) and moved to a job with Exxon Mobil in Milford Haven in their newly constructed Oil Refinery.

What is your proudest achievement?

Achieving 60 years service as an accredited Methodist lay preacher in April 2019.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Work harder at school. I was not one of the high flyers, but at least it got me through the Cambridge School Certificate!

What would you say is one thing that makes Churcher's special?

An all round high teaching standard, which clearly has been immeasurably broadened to include the whole person since my experience over 70 years ago.

Photo of form V in 1947 taken by G.Pallant. Taken in front of the pub that stood on the roadside in front of Mount House, which if my memory serves me right lay a bit back from the road. I think it was called the "Blue Anchor".

L-R - D.Payne, D.Jackson, J.Wilson, M.Kerridge (front), A.Sawtell (middle), J.Mival (back), G.Benbow (front), J.Davey, D. Flood (side view), M.Poore (back, half hidden), P.Ayling, B.Caws, D.Ingram, J. Palmer, P.Kelley.

Thank you very much to Denis for taking part in Churcher's Chat.

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