Taken from the Monovian
Since writing the account of the School Fete, we have learnt the result of the Balloon Race. The prize is shared by Mr. Chapman of 55, Abbotsford Gardens, Woodford Green, and Mr. Pluck of 8, Evesham Road, Walthamstow, whose balloons were picked up within a short distance of each other in the North of France, one hundred and forty miles from the School. The first balloon was found by Etienne Deschamps, of Cysoing, Nord, on July 27th, and the other by Machu Noel, of Lille Nord. They have each received a ten-franc note as a reward.
The School wishes to convey its very sincere thanks to Mr. A.E.Sibley of Chelsea, an uncle of J.A.Stevens of Form 1L, for the gift of a number of stuffed birds. The collection will be of great value to the School art classes, and in particular to the Art Club.
G. B. Shaw's romance, Pygmalion, was performed by the Park Players at the Church Hall, Highams Park, on Saturday, October 5th. Roy Davidson, the producer, and the six Old Monovians in the cast bore evidence once again to the splendid training in dramatics which they received at the School. Many Monovians were present and thoroughly enjoyed the performance.
At long last the Lecture Room has assumed an appearance worthy of its name.
The desks are now arranged in tiers by means of wide steps, which rise towards the back of the room. This arrangement is of great benefit to Masters and boys alike, since it enables each boy to observe clearly experiments carried out at the lecturer's bench, and obviates the craning of necks and standing on desks which hitherto have been characteristic of lessons in that room.
We also notice that the piano in the Hall is now elevated on a platform. It is to be hoped that the "altitude", which the grand piano has attained, will prevent its suffering the same fate as the two other pianos, which often require tuning owing to the fact that they are frequently "propelled" round the School by none too gentle hands!
On October 16th and 23rd, two parties of boys from the Upper school paid visits to the Lea Bridge Water Works and were conducted round by the manager.
We were both interested and astonished on learning of the many precautions taken to ensure a perfectly pure supply of water, and our guide assailed us with masses of figures telling us of the daily intake and output of the filter beds. The examination of the pumping machinery proved equally interesting, and we were allowed to inspect minutely the mechanism of the old and cumbrous beam-engines as well as the modern plant.
While the first party was away from the School, Mr. Jennings gave a very interesting lecture on the question of smoke abatement.
The School Ju-Jitsu Team has had a great deal of publicity this term. Photographs depicting the members of the team in divers attitudes, and in many cases wearing expressions demonstrative of the last stages of human anguish and despair, have appeared in newspapers, national as well as local. The boys have attained to the rank of film-stars, for the Universal Talking-News Company made a film of the team in action which was shown, accompanied by a somewhat irrelevant commentary, at two local cinemas.
Mr. Ninnim is to be congratulated on the very high standard of work shown.
This publicity has had a very gratifying result. Photographs of the team were seen by Mr. Gordon Morum of Guernsey, and on Wednesday, November 20th, he visited the School, and after watching a display of ju-jitsu, Swedish drill, and vaulting, presented a cup to be known as The "John Morum" Cup, in memory of his brother; this cup is to be contested annually by the various Houses at the Gymnastic Competition. Ever since this competition was introduced, it has been felt that the existence of a trophy for the winning House would give rise to even greater enthusiasm than has been displayed already. As all who have witnessed the Gymnastic Competition will declare, tremendous enthusiasm is displayed and excellent results obtained in this branch of School activities, and we can only wish that Mr. Morum could be present in order to see for himself how the Houses will vie with one another to be the first to have the honour of holding the trophy he has been instrumental in obtaining for us. As it is, we can do no less than place on record our very sincere thanks for his generosity, and assure him that the next time he visits London, the Monoux School will be only too pleased to be "at home" to him.
At the time of writing, the members of the Courtauld-Sargent Concert Club have attended two of this season's concerts.
The first was given by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by the famous Austrian musician, Georg Szell, with G. Thalben Ball as soloist. After a spirited performance of Rossini's Sinfonia, La Scala di Sieta, a very pleasant little work for a small combination of instruments, the full orchestra gave a very satisfactory rendering of Mendelssohn's celebrated Italian Symphony. After the interval G. Thalben Ball, one of the greatest English organists, played Handel's delicately beautiful Concerto in F with orchestral accompaniment. The programme ended with Beethoven's Second Symphony.
At the second concert, on November 11th, the most outstanding item was the first performance in London of Sir Donald Tovey's Concerto in C major for Violoncello and Orchestra. The performance was conducted by the composer and the soloist was Pau Casals. Although this composition is of great length, never for one moment did the soloist allow interest to flag, and we were particularly struck by the lyric beauty of the Intermezzo which is, incidentally, the shortest movement in the work. The remainder of the programme, which consisted of Brahms' Academic Festival Overture and the First Symphony of Sibelius, was conducted by Dr. Malcolm Sargent in his usual brisk manner.
Through the kindness of Mr. Chittock a small party of boys led by Mr. Brobyn was able to visit the Gaumont-British Film Studios at Shepherd's Bush on Monday, November 25th.
Our guide conducted us through a maze of passages to the block of studios where we saw a hotel corridor constructed entirely of plywood and plaster in the course of construction, and a luxury train rapidly taking shape under the carpenters' hands. In another studio we were fortunate enough to witness rehearsals being carried out for The Secret Agent, under the direction of Alfred Hitchcock, a noted Gaumont-British producer. The set in use represented the foyer of a Swiss hotel, and was complete down to the smallest detail. Reception desk, glass swing-doors, flights of stairs, "marble" pillars, all were reproduced with the greatest accuracy in plywood, glass, plaster, and wall-paper. Batteries of flood-lights suspended from the ceiling made the scene as light as day. A body of secretaries, scene-shifters, camera-men, and electricians hurried to and fro for no apparent reason at all, while bored-looking "stars" and "extras" lounged in armchairs whiling away the time as best they could.
After spending some time here our guide conducted us through the wardrobes, make-up departments, property store-rooms, the carpenters' shops, the two theatres, and so on to the most important part of all, the cutting and editing departments.
In compiling the various shots into a logical sequence of scenes, considerable powers of imagination and sound judgment are essential. Scenery, acting, photography, all definitely contribute towards making a successful picture, but the work done in these departments is always subsidiary to that of the producer and editor. Theirs is "the art of combining the arts of others into one creation"; the balancing of the "values contributed by those other arts so that none of them is out of proportion to the true symmetry of the whole."
It is hoped that other small parties from the School Dramatic Society will be able to make a similar trip.
Speech Day has been fixed for Thursday, December 12th. In the afternoon the speaker will be the Right Rev. Mgr. William O'Grady, V. G., who will also present the prizes. The speaker at the evening meeting will be W.G.Masefield, Esq., M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., D.P.M., and Mrs. Masefield has consented to present the prizes. Mr. P.Astins, Chairman of the Governors, will take the chair on both occasions.
Once again we thank Mr. W.R.Williams for his courtesy in allowing us to reproduce one of his photographs in the Monovian. Our thanks are also due to the Essex Publishing Company for granting us permission to reproduce the photographs of the cast of As You Like It.