John Saunders

12 July 2009: John Comer (RGS 1954-61) very kindly sent me a copy of his book The Old Time. It is an autobiography of his youth, encompassing his post-war upbringing in West Wycombe through to the summer of 1961 when he left the RGS for university. It is sensitively written and captures the essential 'otherness' of the 1950s and early 1960s from a distance. In the mid-1950s he moved out of the area for two years and attended a different school, enabling him to draw a fascinating comparison between life at another 1950s grammar school in Canterbury and the 'Ancien Régime' of Tucker/Morgan at the RGS to which he returned for a further four years in 1957. The aforementioned masters and one or two others are vividly portrayed in the book as are several of John's school friends. As well as depicting our old school at some length, the book evokes High Wycombe at the time, particularly the West Wycombe area where John grew up and received his primary schooling. I found it a delightful, nostalgic read and devoured the book in one sitting. It is replete with drama, subtle observation and humour, and I'm sure other members of the RGS and beyond will enjoy it.   

John Saunders, Courtesy of John Saunders' website which provides a Forum for Old Boys of the High Wycombe Royal grammar school to get in touch. It has a good array of school photographs from the 1950s and 1960s and has a What's New? column dealing with up-to-date issues which old boys have sent in. You can find his website here.

Next  Back to reviews

Next  Back to the Bookshop