Chairman: J.M. Keeping, Esq., F.C.A.
Vice-Chairman: Lt. Col. D.H.C. Worrall, M.C.

The Mayor of Dorchester      Mrs. M.R. Debenham        G.F. Rigger, Esq.
L.D. Frisby, Esq.        W.S. Best, Esq., J.P.        Lady Warner
R. Fare, Esq., J.P.        The Ven. E.J.G. Ward, M.V.O., M.A.        Dr. C.A. Bailey, A.E., M.A., D.Phil.
C.R. Allard, Esq.      T.C.R. Pope, Esq.      R.L. Parsons, Esq.
W.M. Trewhella, Esq.        A.D.W. Biles, Esq.        A. Birchenhough, Esq.
Mrs. G.G. Powell

Major B.G. Kirby


W.M. Thomas, B.A. Head Master
A. Walden, B.Sc. Deputy Head Master
R.H. Davis, M.A. Deputy Head Master

P.H. Lewendon, M.A.        J.B. Hawthorne, M.Sc., M.I.Biol.       N. Applegate
N.L. Baker, Cert.Ed.       A.W.G. Best, B.Sc.        D.M. Bowen, B.A.
M.J.C. Bowman, A.T.D., N.D.D.
R.J.S. Daniell, A.T.C., N.D.D.        Mrs. B.J.D. Bryant, B.A.       G Driessler
P.D. Green, B.A.       C.L.M. Farr, M.A., Cert.Ed.       M. Gommez
B.E. Lawrence, B. Sc.        A.T. King, B.A.       D.C. Lacey, B.A. Diplôme (Rennes)
B.D. Miller, M.A.       Mrs. S.E. Lister-Hetherington        T.P. McLelland, B.Sc.
J. Painter, B.A.       R.J. Moss B.Eng.
A.G.W. Paul, B.A.       N.J. Lord, B.Ed., B.A.
J.R. Pope, C.Chem., M.R.I.C.        R.W.A. Pontin, A.R.C.M.,L.R.A.M., B.A.
M.N. Shaw, B.A.       J.R. Roberts, M.A.
D.F.R. Stokes, B.A., F.R.C.O., A.R.C.M.       R.E Sims, B.Sc.        G. Ryall, B.A.
D.W.B. Spriggs, B.Sc.       B.A. Savage, B.Sc.
J.J. Waterman, Cert P.E.       D.A. Strong, B.A.
D.R. Wheal, B.Ed.        L. Williams, Cert.Ed.
W.A.P. Vekic, B.A.


'From everyone according to his ability, to everyone according to his need'. This could well be incorporated into the aims of every school and it is a most important idea for Hardye's as we enter our final year as a fully selective School and complete our preparations for the future.

Preparations for change take many forms; no one who now visits the School can long remain unaware of its physical growth. The new areas are being gradually brought into use, the latest being the three newly equipped science laboratories, the two rooms for engineering drawing and the art-craft centre. At present the art department has taken possession of four working areas while the remaining four rooms for wood and metal work will be equipped during the present academic year, ready for use in September 1979. The sports hall has begun to make its contribution to School life and it is hoped that not only the School but the community as a whole will soon benefit from this new facility.

In January 1979 the seven new rooms for English, History and Classical Studies will be available for our use, together with the tuck shop beneath . These new areas will enable us to vacate parts of the old building which will then be remodelled to provide new rooms for Career Education, Geography, Mathematics, extra library provision and increased office and administrative areas. The work within the old building will start in January 1979 and make life quite difficult for a time.

In addition to such physical preparation a great deal of planning has long been taking place in the development of a curriculum which will serve boys of all abilities. The academic courses at present provided in the grammar school will all continue, but the range of activities will greatly increase, particularly on the practical side. Some of these preparations are being particularly made to welcome, in September 1979, all boys in their 14 plus year from the Modern School in Dorchester and St. Mary's School, Puddletown. By offering these boys places at School in September 1979, one year ahead of the main reorganisation, it will be possible for them to have uninterruped CSE and GCE courses.

While change, and preparations for the future, can be seen on all hands, there have been few Staff changes. In January Mr. J.R. Pope succeeded Mr. A. Walden, as Head of Sixth Form, so enabling Mr. Walden to give more attention to his general role as Deputy Head Master. In July Dr. R.G.F. Taylor moved to the Comprehensive School at Sudbury, Suffolk to become Head of the Mathematics Department. His place in the Mathematics and Physics Departments was taken by Mr. R.J. Moss, an engineering graduate from the University of Leicester. Mr. W.J. Richardson also left the School to take up another teaching appointment in Cardiff. His place as second in the English department was taken by Mr. D.R. Wheal who, in turn, was replaced by Mr. C.L.M. Farr, a graduate in English from University College, Cardiff, whose immediately previous teaching expenence was in Barbados. Mr. R.E. Venton retired from his position as laboratory assistant and we welcoed Mrs. M. Spencer as his replacement. In spite of increasing financial difficulties we are again fortunate to have the help of two modern language assistants, Mlle Gommez and Fraulein Driessler. They will, for the first time, have the advantage of the new language laboratory which came into use at the beginning of the Autumn Term.

School life has been as varied as ever. There was particular excitement in the summer term when the Chairman of Governors, Mr. J.M. Keeping and the Chairman of the Parent Teacher Association Mr. A. Grace formerly handed the School the new minibus. Already this has proved immensely valuable.

In many other ways, too, both the Governors and the PTA have contributed significantly to School life. The partnership of those concerned with education, which is so often debated in these days, is a distant reality here at School.

It is perhaps fitting that in its final year as a complete grammar school the School should be very full; the sixth form, at 164, is at its highest; the first year total of 95 is also something of a record for this time of the year. In September 1979 the overall number will be in the region of 800 and will settle at some 850 when the reorganisation is complete in 1981.

We have have again this year lost the friendship and support of one of our long-serving Governors in Mr. C.J. Parsons. For many years his contributions to the Old Hardyeans' Association and the Governing Body have been greatly appreciated and we extend our deep sympathy to Mrs. Parsons, also a very good friend of the School, and to the family.

Doctor R.G.F.T.

Doctor Taylor's arrival in the School was something of a God-send. We were desperate at the time for someone with real professional expertise to take over some of the sixth form teaching. He came to us with a cut in salary of about 50% in order to try to find his way into teaching and to get away from a life in the Civil Service which was taking him away from all those things which he held so dear. His concern for people, his family and his friends, was not appreciated except by those nearest to him, and I know that it was a fearful wrench for him to uproot his family from Weymouth and to move to his new post in Sudbury.

Of course we could not expect to hang on to a person of his calibre, but it is interesting that he may want to return to this area, if not this school in the future.

The "Doc's" work in the Physics Department has been invaluable. His considerable knowledge and in particular his mathematics ability, have raised the standard of all our teaching. We all gained a lot from him, in the same way that we hope he learned from us. I shall certainly miss his boyish enthusiasm for the 'A' level work and his almost prankish delight in finding a blackboard mistake -"I really don't think that's quite right". He was usually correct!

'S'level will never be the same again. The standard of Maths which our 'A' level physics candidates came to use left us breathless. We shall continue with humbler things.

Few people knew Roger as a sensitive person, but his real concern and love for his family is his dominant driving force. Very few people know how much work he put in on modernising his home, rebuilding old bicycles and generally making his family very happy. I shall long remember attempting to get a toy electric train going one Christmas; the two of us spent several hours sitting in the middle of a circle of toy railwayline, trying to figure out why the engine would not go. It didn't, and for all I know still doesn't, but the Physics Department couldn't get it to go.

The Doc never suggested he was a sportsman, but have you seen him bowl a cricket ball! His natural medium-paced off break was experienced in a recent staff match. He confessed he didn't know he could, but his latent talents are legion.

We really wish you all the very best, Roger. We miss you as a friend as well as a fine teacher. All is not lost for ever, because the Physics Department, with Doctor Taylor's help, hope to write a series of 'A' level text books. Contact between us is still there.

John Richardson

The departure of John Richardson is a very real loss to the English Department of Hardye's, as it is to the School as a whole. In a sense, Dorset was privileged only to borrow him for the two years of his stay, for John, separated from Wales, was never entirely at his ease. The Welsh culture was something he believed in fervently, and which he loved and supported. He learned his native language later in life to make up a gap he felt in not having acquired Welsh from birth. He was a man who also loved the sounds and patterns of the English language, and he never ceased to experiment with its textures and meanings in his own creative writing, which he unfortunately usually kept private. This love of expressive language greatly enriched his English teaching and inspired much fine writing from the boys he taught.

John had a particular interest in the lower school and was a considerate and industrious form tutor. Wales has now reclaimed him and we shall miss his small dapper figure about the school. He returns to:

the woods the river and sea
Where a boy
In the listening
Summertime of the dead whispered the truth of his joy
To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide.
And the mystery
Sang alive
Still in the water and singingbirds.


It was in June 1974 that we first saw the hole ... on an aerial photograph that the Naval air base had taken for us. The odd shadow appeared on three of the 40 pictures, the three that showed the highest part of the cliffs, Blacknor Point, 105' and overhanging. It wasn't even clear that it was a tunnel and we argued. We tried to judge it from the bottom, but the undercliff slopes down so sharply that even at the sea edge nothing was obvious with binoculars. And who was going to abseil over with the ropes hardly long enough? We argued and showed the Dorset Caving Group. We mentioned it on and off for months. Then the D.C.G. decided to have an abseil practice; we lent them the pictures. They reported back that Ian Wolff, ex-Sgt of the Section, confirmed it was a solution tunnel about 2' x 2'.

Volunteers were called for on 18 December. N.C.O's and experienced rock men only . And the Signals. Nine of us arrived on the cliff in a gale. Two signallers went down to the sea, way below. They radioed when we were above the tunnel. Holdfasts were driven in. We threw a wire ladder over and the wind hurled it back. Finally we persuaded it to hang down the cliff, only to be told "It's eight feet short". Another ladder was coupled up. Safety rope. All is ready, and we suddenly feel very cold. The cliff is 105', the sea is another 130' down the scree. The feeling of exposure is horrendous. No one says anything. Then David Churcher says very off-handedly "Keep me tight on safety", and ties on. Awkwardly he disappears. The radio is our link. "He's ten feet down, twenty; he's on the second ladder ... he's in the entrance!" The telephone is rapidly lowered and a few minutes later David is reporting all is fine. Now he has proved the possibility, it is easier for the next man. Neil joins him. Easier? Perhaps just a little less appalling. Don't look down ... the ladder swings ... the cliff is 2' away ... the safety line snags ... what in the name of goodness are you doing? You're mad and terrified and you know you are gripping the rungs far too tightly and you must save your energy and thank God for Philip on "safety", he'd hold a horse and I wonder if you can pass out with shock on a ladder, I feel light­headed and there's David, securely tied on and helping me in and whew! what a way to spend a Wednesday.

Three of them started to survey with tape and compass. They reported they had reached the 100' mark. Then they rang, urgently "You'd better come down. It's like Piccadilly here. They're passages everywhere." When we finished that evening, we knew we had something big; our survey showed 400' of tunnel and passage. A week later we had to reduce the scale of our plan as the web was now 730'. Seven more trips and Ariel exceeded the 1200' of Sandy Hole and was the biggest system on Portland. It has still not been fully surveyed. Sixteen senior cadets have been involved in these expeditions, each one a day long, for it takes at least half an hour for a party of six to enter or to leave the dizzy entrance. At the end of each trip, there's the final shock as you swing out of the tunnel, 70' up on the abseil rope, and slide down, rotating gently until you land with relief in the blackberry bush. It is certainly unlikely that any of our N.C.O's will ever be involved in any exploration of greater technical difficulty or demanding such a degree of team-work.

In May the "Dorset Echo" ran a full page feature on the system, and "Descent", the national caving magazine, picked up the story and printed a leading article, noting that this was the most difficult cave to enter in the British Isles. By this time the difficulty had been stressed when a member of the D.C.G. broke his leg in Ariel at the end of June. The Cave Rescue call-out message came at tea time on Sunday and, as one would expect, the 7 nearest N.C.O's who could be reached by 'phone dropped everything, piled the emergency kit into the Landrover and got to the scene within the hour. The whole operation took five hours and went remarkably smoothly considering that cavers, Coast Guard and the R.N. helicopter worked together, and it is only right to say that the main caving problem was solved by the D.C.G. team whose long tradition of safety and regular rescue practices paid off. We paid a supporting role, clearing rocks and paying out safety lines underground, while those who were standing by on the surface distributed copies of our map of the system and clarified the problems we were facing underground to the rescue organisers on the surface.

We obviously intend to pursue our exploration and survey of the system this year, yet at the same time, the N.C.O's involved are aware that in doing so, they may destroy some of the mystique. One of the many tunnels must surely come out to the open air in some cluttered corner of the adjacent quarry. Once a new entrance is found, virtually anyone will be able to visit Grand Canyon, the Stalactite Forest and the other landmarks; and once that happens the remark "I was down Ariel yesterday" with all its implications of swinging spider-like over Blacknor Point will be no more. In the meantime, they quietly walk tall.

A.J. MacTavish.

Other years of "The Durnovarian"