As I have said, The Boys Club was into the Arts as well as sport and games, to that end the NABC held the southern area Arts Festival in which Chandlers Ford Boys Club would take part, the first one we attended was at Winchester at St. Swithins School The club did quite well and I got six First Class Certificates for paintings, the club was determined to do better at the next one which was held somewhere in Guildford, I thing it was a school but it had a good sized hall with a stage and all the necessary equipment. We entered every section of the Festival which included a Play with our own sets, Choir and singing solo, Drawings and paintings, a model of a proposed future Boys Club and Photography. I was very keen on playing my part, not for self glorification but to help the club to succeed, thus I did the stage makeup, acted, built the set, sang in the choir, sang solo, built most of the model, including a tiny telephone on the leaders desk and six paintings.
The Club out-shone all the other clubs taking part, collecting Certificates in every section although not all firsts, I got six Firsts for my paintings and a Second for my solo singing, the choir got 1st, Duck Morris one of our members got a 1st for his solo effort, he had a beautiful baritone voice and the right sort of song to show it off which was ’Devon, Glorious Devon’ which I also had to sing which definitely did not suit my unbroken voice, where as the song ‘ Come see with joy, laughing everyone’ by Mozart which was for the younger boys and which I would have done much, much better had I been able to sing that rather than the one I was stuck with.
I think it was sometime during the afternoon that I was taken to a room where there was a Photographer wishing to take my picture, it turned out that he was from the ‘The Sunday Graphic’ a London and National Newspaper, I was also interviewed by a reporter. All this was totally unexpected and I did not know how to handle the event so I kept ‘mum’ and never told anyone about it. During the evening the Hall was packed to hear the views of the Adjudicator of the day’s events. Much to my embarrassment, I was asked to stand up, whilst stood, the Adjudicator sang my praises about how much I had done and achieved, rather than standing proud I wished the world would swallow me up, although deep down I was excited.
It was dark when we came home by coach and I remember looking at my reflection in the window, thinking of what had occurred that day but I still had not mentioned to anyone about the interview and photo, I can’t even remember telling mum, Rod or Pat when I got home and thought that was the last of it, but it was not the end of it, in the ‘Graphic’ there was a small piece, about three column inches and a head and shoulders picture of myself, I can’t remember what it said and I’ve lost the cutting. From that small item the ‘Hampshire Chronicle, the ‘Eastleigh Weekly and the ‘Echo’ enlarged on the subject in to a lot more column inches, which I have also lost, even so, I personally, was unimpressed, after all it was just kids stuff. When Dr. Dawson learned of the article he told me off for not advertising the Art School.
This was the first but not the last example of me shunning the spotlight and not promoting myself.