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Maltonians' Memories

Vic Wilson: Yorkshire and England cricketer

Memories sent in a letter from Vic in 2002.

I was very lucky to be born with a lot of natural talent for football and cricket. My father recognised this, and one of his ideas to further my progress to be a professional sportsman was to pay for me to attend MGS after leaving Norton School at the age of 14.

Istarted at MGS in 1935 and stayed for 2 years until 1937. The thinking behind this was because of the tremendous sporting facilities at MGS and equally important that at MGS was a brilliant sports master there called Bruce Rolls. He was a very fine sportsman himself, both at football and cricket. He not only did a lot for me but also enhanced the name of MGS more than any other person. I think everyone who attended MGS during his time there will agree with me he really was Mr MGS.

He was exceptionally good to me, although he also taught Latin and found me pretty hopeless at it. But as regards sport he laid the foundation for my future career as no one else could have done, and I can never speak too highly of him.

One other person I must mention was Sir William Worsley of Hovingham Hall who was very closely connected to MGS, a Governor I think. In any case he was a great help to me, and a very kind person too. He was himself a former Yorkshire County Cricket Captain, and afterwards became President of the Club.

During my time at MGS we had a very good and successful football and cricket team. Although my memory never was very good the two names still outstanding after 65 years are Steve Megginson and 'Sally' Lunn who both travelled into Malton every day on the train from Driffield which I think they called the Wetwang Express, they were both very fine footballers and cricketers.

The MGS gymnasium was excellent, the cricket pitches and nets very good. I am certain it was an excellent move all round, and with Bruce Rolls there to supervise, and show the interest he did, I really did benefit greatly.

Regarding my academic progress, I am sorry to say this was, in comparison to my sporting achievements, very poor. Having started doing French lessons two years later than the rest of the form I was struggling dreadfully, and I am afraid the French mistress we had, a certain Miss Orr, took a very dim view of me. I didn't care very much for her either.

One of the other members of the staff was Mr Barty, a rather sarcastic man. I still remember one of his sarcastic comments to this day. At MGS we had a school canteen, but those who could not afford it took their own dinners and had them in a classroom on their own, about 8 or 10 of us. We were having dinner one day when Mr Barty poked his head round the door and called out 'I see the pigs have their snouts in the trough'. I don't think he was very impressed with me as a scholar either, but strangely enough 25 years later in the early 60s we were playing Sussex at home, the attendant on the dressing room door came to me and said there is a Mr Barty outside who would like a word with you. I went out and low and behold it was my former MGS master Mr Barty after all those years. He told me he was living in Worthing and would be delighted if I would spend an evening visiting him, which I did. How the wheel of fortune had changed full circle.

During my time at MGS I cycled from Scampston and was joined at Scagglethorpe by John Feasby and we have maintained that friendship every since. He went on to be Headmaster of a school near York. Other school pals of 35-37 I have remained in touch with were Denis Raines, Les Harrison, Cyril Hornsey, and the Megginson Bros, Phil and Steve. When I toured Australia in 54-55 I met up with John Mason who was living over there.