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Schoolboy trip to zoo and engineering firm left lasting impression

By This is Exeter  |  Posted: July 14, 2009

Pupils from John Stocker School at Pecketts engineering firm

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SCHOOL trips often provide some of the happiest and longest-lasting memories of our youth.

Certainty Exeter's Mac McLaren, of Barley Farm Road, has only fond recollections of a wonderful day over 50 years ago when he and friends from the old John Stocker School set off on a tour that took in Bristol Zoo and the Pecketts engineering firm.

With them on the busy day was their metalwork teacher Mr Tippet.

"I remember it was a great day out, but I can't help wondering what became of all those lads who were there that day back in 1958," said Mac.

"We had some great times at John Stocker and it made me wonder what everyone is doing now.

"It would be a good idea to have an reunion perhaps and swap old memories."

Mac's memory is spot on and he can name most of those in the photograph shown here.

Left to right are: Keith Saunders, Mike Webber, ? Ewings, Graham Sluman, Bernard Hart, ? Morgan, Dave Callard, Andy Gorman, Terry Richards, John Topliss, Laurence Cornish, Nigel Smallridge, Roy Hughes, Richard Selway, Roger Mortimore and Mike Britain.

Standing are: Mac himself and Terry Coles.

Mac, who celebrated his 65th birthday last Friday said: "It may have been 50 or so years ago, but I remember it was a great day.

"We went up by coach and went to the engineering firm in the morning and the zoo in the afternoon.

"It must have made a real impression on me because I was in engineering for most of my career.

"Like a lot of the lads I left school to go to what was then the Exeter Technical College and after that I was involved in all sorts of engineering works with motor firms and heavy plant."

Mac, who was at John Stocker from 1955 to 1959 now lives in Redhills and has two daughters and four grandchildren.

If you spot yourself on our picture, or would like to get in touch, contact Mac on 10392 259824, or Nostalgia on 01392 442238.

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    Tony Tan, st thomas exeter  |  July 15 2009, 3:59PM

    those were the days mike we had some wonderful teachers was old jones still there when you attended johnstocker mike. and do you remember the old prickle bush

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    Tont Tan, st thomas Exeter  |  July 15 2009, 3:42PM

    Yes i do remember mr tippitt he was a hard but fair man i remember his stories of travelling around India and Africa. He was an uncle to all the boys not a favorite uncle but he was a great teacher and is rememberd with a lot of love and respect its a shame they broke the mold. if we had more teachers like old man tippitt the world would be such a happier place.

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    mike, exeter  |  July 15 2009, 3:19PM

    i was a john stocker boy 1969-1973 what a school it was.i can remeber my tippit like yesterday. he was feared by all the boy and caned me on more than one occasion . any one else remeber him?.

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    Tony Tan, st Thomas Exeter  |  July 15 2009, 1:47PM

    what wonderfull memories that brings back. and what a great day we had at The zoo. i remember squirting a girl with my space water pistol and getting told off by the teacher. and having strawberries and icecream and a banana friter. would be great to catch up with the chaps