Members’ Contributions

Richard Briggs (4920)

The Summer of ‘68 - The Final Term




Summer 1968 was the second "Summer of Love". Long hair, hippies, beads, kaftans, Hueys and Hue, LSD, pirate radio and pop music at its best. We saw little of this of course. What we did see wasn't even on one of those new colour TV sets. This Summer of Love also signalled the end for TS Mercury. The school closed in July 1968.  Here is a picture of the ships company that final term.



I attended the school from September 1965 until its closure (that’s me, top right). Helped by a calendar for that final summer term (which I still have), these are some of my memories about the various activities we boys got up to that summer....  


The Films We Watched


Every Saturday night we had a film show on a 35mm Bell and Howell projector operated by a couple of the senior boys. Each show usually involved at least one breakdown not to mention the 10 minutes or so to change reels. If, like me, you were in the 6th form you would be privileged to enough to spend your A Level 'self study' periods in 'Noddy' Chambers' office leafing through the film distributor's catalogue selecting the films for the next term. These are the films that myself and other members of the 6th form had some hand in subjecting the school to that summer:



The Cricket We Played


The school had an active sports calendar. Here's the local teams we played that summer. The results are not known and I cannot claim to have played cricket for TS Mercury. I was more a ‘football boy’.



Where The Band Played


I was a member of the T. S. Mercury school band playing trombone. The band was very much modelled on Royal Navy or Royal Marines tradition. One attraction of being a band member were the Saturday afternoon outings to such events as those listed here for that summer. Some were more thrilling than others.



What The Band Played


No doubt the band's repertoire varied over the years. But that summer the following were at the top of the band's 'Hot One Hundred'. How we wanted to give 'Waterloo Sunset' or 'Whiter Shade of Pale' a go!


The Work We Did


Oh yes, at the end of the day we had to do some work! Here were the big exams that were held that summer just to spoil the fun!