Fond memories of school 'japes' with Sir David Frost
A SCHOOL friend of Sir David Frost has shared his fond memories of the late broadcaster.
Donning fluorescent socks, writing fake notes to the local paper and setting up a cress and rhubarb society are just a few of the "japes" for which Par man Richard Adkins fondly remembers the young David Frost.
The BBC broadcaster died from a heart attack on Saturday night aged 74, on the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship where he was due to give a speech.
In his younger days, he joined Wellingborough Grammar School's sixth form when his family relocated to the Northamptonshire area. They moved around often due to his father's job as a Methodist minister.
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Mr Adkins was in the same school year as Sir David, in the mid-Fifties.
"We were both in the sixth form there but he was in the humanities and language classes and I was a scientist," said the 74-year-old, who lives in Polmear Parc, and went on to become a research engineer at Cranfield University.
"He got into a number of japes as I remember. The headmaster was a stickler for uniform and produced a list of what all the boys should wear and where to buy it from.
"David and his cronies discovered one thing not mentioned in the headmaster's list – socks. And so they started the Wellingborough Grammar Vivid Socks Society.
"It started a craze. And I noticed on a number of his television interviews in later life that he wore bright socks."
Mr Adkins also remembers when their geography master told the class that Eskimos in Alaska were going blind because they didn't have enough of the vitamin that was found in rhubarb and cress.
So Sir David and his group of friends decided to set up the Cress and Rhubarb Society, said Mr Adkins, which saw students bring armfuls of the food into school to be sent off to help the suffering Eskimos.
"He also played a joke on the local newspaper, the Wellingborough News, which was part of the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph," added Mr Adkins.
"David and his friends noticed that a rather revealing statue had been put up in the local park, so they pretended to be a spinster of the parish complaining about the nudity.
"Then another of the boys wrote in to say what a prude the 'lady' was."
Mr Adkins said he lost contact with Sir David when they both left school, but that he remembers him fondly.
"I wasn't a close buddy of his but I remember him well.
"I was very saddened to hear about David.
"When he passed away, I thought, 'a light has gone out'."