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Mail Memories: Book recounts school days

Teacher Ray Clifford explains the use of the safety harness to Guilsborough School pupils at Husbands Bosworth Gliding Centre: Malcolm Pask (front), of Lilbourne, Nicholas Read (back), of Welford, and Keith Pratt (left), also from Welford. Belived to have been taken circa 1960s/1970s.

Teacher Ray Clifford explains the use of the safety harness to Guilsborough School pupils at Husbands Bosworth Gliding Centre: Malcolm Pask (front), of Lilbourne, Nicholas Read (back), of Welford, and Keith Pratt (left), also from Welford. Belived to have been taken circa 1960s/1970s.

 

A charming new book which charts the memories of East Farndon school teacher Ray Clifford has been published.

Mr Clifford (1928-2013) gives some fascinating insights of his boyhood school days at East Farndon, Clipston and Market Harborough Grammar schools before recounting his time as a geography school teacher at Clipston and Guilsborough.

A trained Spitfire pilot, Mr Clifford meticulously put together his memoirs using “his two fingers and an occasional thumb” on an old Olivetti 22 typewriter and his daughter Alison, who lives in Wales, recently typed up the notes and added photographs to turn it into a book.

Proceeds from the sale of the memoir, The One Way Journey, are going to the East Farndon Amenities Trust which helps to maintain a field in the village next to the church.

The land is used as a recreational area and provides a pleasant place for walkers to rest as they travel through.

The stories throughout the book show Mr Clifford’s great love of the countryside, of poetry and of the many people he met along his journey.

Neighbour and friend of more than 35 years, Sonya Fraser, said: “Ray was the third or fourth generation of his family to be born and bred in East Farndon and he lived there all his life.”

She explained that sales of the 141-page book have been going well with several of Mr Clifford’s former pupils finding it interesting reading.

About 90 copies have been sold already.

As well as being a teacher, Mr Clifford was the secretary and later the warden of St John the Baptist Church in East Farndon and he was heavily involved with the gliding centre in Husbands Bosworth, where he would often take groups of school pupils to visit. He went on to be the regional aviation safety officer for Wales, the Midlands and East Anglia.

Mrs Fraser, of Main Street, East Farndon, said: “Ray was a very traditional man; a quiet, gentle person.

“He did all sorts of good deeds for people, like going to the shops to pick up their newspaper or taking them to hospital, but he did it quietly.”

To get a copy of the book, priced £5, call Mrs Fraser on 01858 464218 or email sonyafraser440@yahoo.com.

 

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