My name is Ralph Crich and I was one of the first pupils at Hockerill when it opened in 1980. I originally went to Fyfield for one year before the amalgamation.
This was me aged about fourteen or so. I think I had just started the third year as I remember peroxiding my hair during the summer holidays. You can just see a faint tint left.
This is how I looked in the year 2000, still as charming and good looking as ever. If you feel brave you can click on the image and enlarge it although I probably wouldn't recommend it.
This site started as I wanted to teach my self how to write websites. I was clueless at the start and had to find a subject with enough information to enable me to write anything. I was also feeling as if life was moving to quickly and thought this would be a good way to get back in touch with old friends. Luckily, my mum kept most of our school photo's so that gave me some content. After building the original site and advertising it on the search engines, I sat back and waited to see if there would be any response. Nothing happened for a couple of months which took me to Christmas time. Then on Boxing Day 1999 I received my first message from Martin Lamb, who was in my year. That made me realise that there were people out there like me who had had similar thoughts as they had found my website. Funnily Martin never did email me again with more details. Anyway the rest is history, as they say. The site has been visited over a thousand times and comments have been very good. For this I thank you.
I now maintain this site so that any information is always up to date. More and more of you have sent photo's to fill the blank spaces and the site has very few default blank pages now. For this I thank you all.
Lastly, I have included my original introduction text below. These words expressed what I was feeling at the time of starting the site. I'm now ready to have a beer with any Hockerill old scholar to toast the future and enjoy life to the max.
I don't know about you but I am beginning to think that life is passing me by just a little bit quickly. It seems like only yesterday we were all down the bottom of the field whiling away the summer and looking forward to leaving school. Well not all of us but you know what I mean.
Back in those days it was only a boarding school but I understand now that they take day-pupils as well.
I, personally, had good and bad times at Hockerill although I have to say there were more good than bad. When I think back I remember the anticipation of leaving school and how I couldn't wait to move on to pastures new in the big wide world. I ignored all those people who said that your school days were the best days of your life and until recently I never gave it another thought.
Now I find myself in my early thirties, too old to play football at a professional level, too old to go on a club 18-30 holiday, wondering where all the time has gone.
I have created this page with the view of helping me and anyone else who is interested to get back in contact with the people we grew up with.