(9th April 1923 – 19th October 2019)

MCS received word of John Harold McGivering’s death in spring 2020.

John kept in close touch with the Waynflete Office over the years, and the following memoirs are taken from his recent communications with MCS.

“During my time, what is now the Waynflete Office was the sitting-room of Mr & Mrs Davis. It was a pleasant room with a coal fire, and over winter, Mrs Davis would read to the juniors on Sunday nights while the others went to the Debating Society. We played rounders in the summer. Balls which landed in the river were “out”, and we used to dive into the Cherwell to retrieve them.

On leaving school in 1941 I scratched my name on the mullion of the window in Bottom End that looks down to the First Bridge – JHMcG. 35-41 – an act of vandalism for which I apologised some years ago. The Master was good enough to forgive me, putting it down to youthful exuberance, a complaint of which he must have had considerable experience. I don’t know if it is still visible – one stands (carefully) on the windowsill opposite the door and the inscription – if still visible – is on the mullion on the left.

Unlike recent years, when I left school there were no problems for school-leavers getting jobs. Immediately on leaving school I had a month in Blackwell’s bookshop for which I was paid £5. I would have framed the chèque but for the fact that I needed the money! I subsequently joined the navy and had an undistinguished career, mercifully returning to civil life in 1947 with the same number of arms and legs I started with. I then became a pupil/office-boy with E J Brooks and Sons estate agents in Magdalen Street, next door but one to what was then the Super Cinema. Later I worked for another agent in Surrey, after which I worked for two more estate agents in the City, specializing in commercial premises. I later became a civil servant in the Valuation Office at Walton on Thames, from which I retired in 1986 and moved to Brighton.

I never got around to marriage as I was unable to make up my mind between three girls who all married other men. General Decrepitude in this instance is vertigo and defective knees plus deafness. However, I belong to the Kipling Society which is a source of great entertainment.”