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Society membership has reached unprecedented heights. The initial boost, no doubt, was given by a meeting in October, 1958, when Mlle. Chabord told us, in company with girls from Walthamstow and Woodford High Schools, about life in a French lycee. A flood of membership applications poured in, and emergency supplies were rushed off the duplicator to try to satisfy an insatiable demand. This meeting was the highlight of the term.
Later in the year two jazz Club members, Gowar and Nyman, each gave a talk on jazz, both "traditional" and "modern." This proved most informative and enlightened the surprisingly large numbers of "squares" present. In a debate, the School defeated the motion proposed by the Romford Royal Liberty School that there was no solution to the Cyprus problem. A colour film about the Lambeth Conference was shown at another meeting and the Rev. K. H. Druitt, vicar of St. Mary's, Walthamstow, answered questions that arose from the film.
That old perennial, a Staff discussion, was held with Messrs. Chapman, Jones, Marshall and Wells on the panel. Answers brought varied reactions, especially those to the question, "What would constitute the ideal Staff room?" Replies included mention of a heavy barricade between Staff and Boys, no boys, comfortable armchairs, magazines, plush carpets, wallpaper, hot running water and an Ascot heater that worked in cloakrooms, endless mugs of tea (Mr. Jones's influence), a kitchen, a bar with licensing hours from 8.30 a.m. to 4.5 and 4.10 p.m., the five minutes allowing the barmaid to relax, a clock that worked, a large coal fire that warmed the whole room and not just the hearth, curtains, plenty of clean ashtrays (Mr. Marshall's influence), real dancing girls or enough time to dream about them. A truly comprehensive list !
At another meeting the topical question of British unilateral nuclear disarmament was debated and its advocates lost gloriously. A short time later, Marks organised a Cultural Session in which Hubbard presented some stimulating music with a commentary and Marks himself valiantly read some poetry to us.