TVS

Share your memories of life at the RGS, stories of masters, etc.
PaulBurgess
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TVS

Postby PaulBurgess » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:32 am

Every Christmas I remember going to the hall and practicing Christmas Carols. One master, very old, had initials TVS, so turning the V into U as in latin? we all used to sing: Oh come leTUS adore him, oh come leTUS adore him, Christ the Lord!!

The TUS would be very loud, and he would get very annoyed and tell us off, or some other master would. It was an annual game between the boys and masters, and is a wonderful memory that makes me still laugh today,
Paul Burgess 1964-1969

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John Saunders
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Re: TVS

Postby John Saunders » Mon Nov 16, 2009 2:11 am

Yes, we never sang better than when bellowing out 'TUS!' in our annual Yuletide monosyllabic homage to Mr Sheppard. I mentioned this in a letter to the OW Online newsletter in 2007. Here is the text, together with my take on the '149' story.

Letter to the OW Newsletter, 2007 wrote:'MacT' (Andrew MacTavish) encapsulated the phenomenon of 149 in the latest newsletter with his customary brilliance. There is little to add except that the magic number was still causing hilarity amongst small boys to the very end of the 1960s. It is worth emphasizing that it was only regarded as truly risible when pronounced 'one-four-nine'. For some reason 'a hundred and forty nine' failed to tickle the RGS funny bone to the same degree.

It was interesting to hear MacT's different versions of the 149 story. By 1963, the handed-down story of 149 had become set in stone as follows. 'TUS 149', we were informed by the 'three-bugs', was the number plate of some ancient car formerly owned by Mr T.V. Sheppard (detention for MacT for misspelling his name). But, even as a 10-year-old, I'm not sure I believed a word of it.

It should be added that 'TUS' (derived from Mr Sheppard's initials TVS as if they were Latin capital letters) was far more than just a master's nickname. Like its numeric equivalent 149, 'tus' was a dangerous explosive, possessing sufficient comic force to disrupt the lessons of all but the most stern members of staff. When the school choir was rehearsing a performance of Verdi's Requiem, certain singers would try to emphasize the -tus adjectival endings (e.g. Sanctus) for comic effect. Choir master Derek Watmough showed us how to pronounce and sing the word 'Sanctus' properly. Hearing a few muffled titters as some of us deliberately failed to reproduce his desired pronunciation, he interrupted us with 'No - not TUS - TOOSE!' to gales of uproarious merriment. But it was quite evident from the wicked grin on his face that he was in on the joke.

Another example of tus-mania occurred regularly during Christmastime assemblies when an oft- repeated line in 'O Come All Ye Faithful' would be rendered as 'O Come Le... TUS... adore him' with heavy emphasis on the beloved monosyllable.
John Saunders
RGS 1963-70 (personal website http://www.saund.co.uk)

Gary Davies
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Re: TVS

Postby Gary Davies » Fri Aug 13, 2010 2:00 am

I have very fond memories of TV Shepherd and must confess to some level of guilt at the antics of many of us in his classes.

I recall his great wisdom and his ability to accurately draw whole continents in preparation for a lesson (the concentration he committed to that task was perhaps part of his undoing; one one occasion, while he was drawing North America, all of us except one unremembered soul, quietly moved, desk and all, into the cloakroom at the rear of the class room.)

Despite my complicity in less than edifying behaviour, I attribute in large part my enduring fascination with geography and related topics to this gentleman.

I always admired the enormous pre-war Daimler he drove but perhaps most of all I have great respect for the pioneering work I believe he did during the war with Martin Baker ejection seat systems.

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John Saunders
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Re: TVS

Postby John Saunders » Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:09 am

There's a nice photo of Tus Sheppard (taken by Tony Wood) here: http://www.rgs.saund.co.uk/tonywoodphotos.html (page down to the end)

He had the sort of weather-beaten face, like Sam Morgan, that you don't tend to see in men of that age today. Maybe it was as a result of lots of open-air activity, war service or sport (Tus was a runner, I think). Smoking may have had something to do with it, I suppose. Ian Whitwham caught it brilliantly in a piece mentioning the school on the BBC's 'Home Truths' page (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/hometruths/ ... ning.shtml):

Mr. Sam Morgan, his face scorched by 30 years of whiskey and rage


The School history has an appendix at the back with a brief summary of the careers of long-serving masters. About TVS, it gave:

T. V. SHEPPARD. M.Sc. (London). 1945. Geography. Served with R.A.F. during war. In charge of cross-country running from 1946.


Anyone know anything else about him?
John Saunders
RGS 1963-70 (personal website http://www.saund.co.uk)

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Tony Hare
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Re: TVS

Postby Tony Hare » Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:35 pm

Gary Davies wrote:I always admired the enormous pre-war Daimler he drove


What year did he own a Daimler?
During 1951 -56 as far as I remember he drove a Morris 8 Convertible
Tony Hare
RGS 1951 - 1956 http://www.rgs.tonyhare.co.uk
Many years as an Electronics Engineer and Gift Shop proprietor and now happily retired and enjoying the opportunity for relaxation and travel with my wife.

Gary Davies
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Re: TVS

Postby Gary Davies » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:41 pm

Tony Hare wrote:
Gary Davies wrote:I always admired the enormous pre-war Daimler he drove


What year did he own a Daimler?
During 1951 -56 as far as I remember he drove a Morris 8 Convertible

Tony, I was a 1959 to 1966 model. My memory has been known to let me down but I'm reasonably confident it was a Daimler. Perhaps this era. And black, not the flippant colour in the link! ;)

Nicholas Organ
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Re: TVS

Postby Nicholas Organ » Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:07 pm

A very belated contribution, whose purpose is simply to show the confusion and distortion that the passage of time can bring. I only attended the RGS as a twelve year old, for two terms in 1968. I recall a rather elderly master being pointed out to me and identified as "TUS 149", which, according to my informant, had been the number given him in his captivity as a Japanese POW. I have often reflected on the inherent implausibility of this story (how likely is it that the Japanese would have used the Roman alphabet?), and am now delighted to find that the truth, whilst less dramatic, was kinder to Mr Sheppard. Whether this fully accounts for the hilarity associated with the number 149 (see separate topic) I cannot say.

grahamsmith
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Re: TVS

Postby grahamsmith » Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:58 pm

Another belated contribution. I too fully enjoyed the delights of "TUS 149" but can add nothing to its origins. I remember TVS saying during a lesson that as a young man he had travelled up and down the coast of China and today I decided to see if I could discover anything that might shed light on this. Again the power of the internet astonished me. I have discovered that he was born in Ningpo, China, in 1908, the son of the Rev G W Sheppard, a Methodist Missionary. In 1920 he returned to England with his father, his mother Mrs E B Sheppard and his younger brother George and sister Edith. All three children were born in Ningpo. They travelled on the Nore, a P & O steamer, from Shanghai arriving in London on 28 June 1920. It may be this voyage that TVS was referring to but there is another possibility. I have found some documents relating to a Thomas Sheppard (his full name was Thomas Vincent) a merchant seaman in 1926. It is plausible that at the age of 18 or so TVS was a sailor and returned to the Far East where he had been born, before settling down. However further research would be required to confirm this.

Graham Smith 1961 - 1968

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John Saunders
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Re: TVS

Postby John Saunders » Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:05 pm

That's a great piece of research, Graham, thank you. It fleshes out some research I did a few years ago and posted in another thread here in 2010/11...

John Saunders wrote:I'm pretty sure TVS was 'Thomas Vincent Sheppard' born 13 Jan 1908 [don't know where], died June 1986, in Wycombe. Looked him up on Ancestry.com. I gleaned this from his death certificate info. I've not been able to trace birth info to corroborate, which suggests he was not born in England or Wales.


You've confirmed my theory that he was born other than in England or Wales. I hadn't expected China, though! I suppose it accounts for his interest in Geography.
John Saunders
RGS 1963-70 (personal website http://www.saund.co.uk)