The Grey College Tuckshop 12 February 2017 08:02

There was great excitement during the past Monday’s assembly when our swimming team received their sponsored clothes and equipment from Speedo for the highlight of the swimming season, namely the annual relay gala at Westville High School in KwaZulu-Natal. The top swimming schools are invited to this prestigious event and at the end of the evening the final results will determine the unofficial ranking list of the top swimming schools in South Africa. Our boys arrived in Durban well-prepared and they certainly did not disappoint on Friday evening by losing out on the top spot by a mere 11 points! Not only was this close margin of coming second by a mere 11 points the school’s best finish in recent times but if it was not for a contentious disqualification in a race, Grey College would have finished the night a mere three points behind the eventual winners, Westville High School. I would like to thank Brand Identity, and Mr. Eugene Brown, in particular, for their generous sponsorship as well as the swimming team for their fine effort on the night, the staff members for their commitment and parents for their support this past weekend.

 

Die afgelope paar maande het daar verskeie gerugte op sosiale media oor die beplande opgradering van die Grey Kollege Tuckshop die ronde gedoen. Die Tuckshop is volgens die geskiedenisboeke kort na die verskuiwing van die skool vanuit die stad na sy huidige ligging aan die westekant van Bloemfontein, in 1907, in die skool se isolasie- hospitaal geskep en het vinnig die sosiale fokuspunt van die skool geword. Die Tuckshop was volgens oorlewering juis so gewild gewees weens die kontrasterende boustyl daarvan veral wanneer dit met die Hoofgebou, wat deur Sir Herbert Baker ontwerp is, vergelyk word. Selfs nadat die universiteitskollege gestig is (deesdae die Universiteit van die Vrystaat) het studente steeds terug na die Tuckshop gegaan om die bekende ‘Coke en Bun’ te geniet.

 

Many generations of Grey College boys frequented the Tuckshop to sit around tables reading the local newspaper, enjoy a cup of tea, and in contemporary times, the now famous ‘Coke and Bun’ combo. The interior of the Tuckshop in the 1920’s consisted of wooden floors and two-tone walls painted in ivory and green with dark brown picture rails with photographs on the walls. The counter was constructed with shelves that almost reached the ceiling and in which sweets and other food stuffs were kept. Very little is recorded of the activities in the Tuckshop but some of the stories told by old boys and teachers give a glimpse of the passion and enthusiasm that this facility kindled in those associated with the school. The Tuckshop was even rented by university students in the 1930’s to host parties there!

 

Toe Eunice in die laat 1970’s ook na die westekant van die stad na hul huidige posisie, en langs Grey Kollege, verskuif het, en grond aan Eunice gebied is, moes daar ’n plan met die Tuckshop gemaak word aangesien dit toe op Eunice se grond gestaan het. Die besluit is toe deur passievolle oud- leerders, personeel en leerders geneem om die Tuckshop na die Fischer-tuin, en dus sy huidige posisie, te verskuif. Op daardie stadium is daar selfs planne gemaak om die Tuckshop deel van ’n groter ontwikkeling, naamlik die Jock Meiring Sentrum, te maak wat om een of ander rede egter nooit gerealiseer het nie. Die oorpsronklike Tuckshop is egter nie verskuif nie maar slegs die sinkplate daarvan - selfs die binneste gedeelte van die oorspronklike Tuckshop is nie na sy nuwe ligging verskuif nie. Die huidige Tuckshop is dus glad nie ’n replika van die oorspronkilke een nie - iets wat baie min betrokkenes by die skool besef. Die Tuckshop is in 1986 as ’n nasionale gedenkwaardigheid verklaar maar nie omdat dit die oorspronklike struktuur en boustyl weerspieël het nie maar juis weens die betekenis van hierdie gebou veral vir vorige generasies van oud-Greys.

 

According to the architect, Anton Roodt, who has drawn up the plans for the current upgrade and renovation that are planned, these plans still envisage the Tuckshop as being the recreational heart of the school and these initiatives are very much part of the vision dating from the 1920’s. The proposed new development includes the construction of a new coffee shop adjacent to the Tuckshop, and the redevelopment of the Fischer Memorial Garden by adding a wall for privacy and quietude. It is proposed that the existing Tuckshop be repaired by repainting, refinishing and repairing the external finishes and that the interior be upgraded by adding modern kitchen equipment, as unobtrusively as possible, upgrading the kitchen and replacing floor finishes to make provision for the more than 2000 boys of both Grey College Primary and Secondary Schools who be will frequenting this facility on a daily basis. The Tuckshop will still display memorabilia as had been the case in the Tuckshops of yesteryear and will allow new generations of Grey College boys to make their own memories here.

 

’n Gedeelte van die verklaring gemaak deur die argitek, Anton Roodt, lui soos volg: “Die herstel van die Snoepwinkel (sal) aan die buitekant presies bly soos dit is met slegs die opknapping van verweerde elemente. Intern sal die Snoepwinkel heeltemaal opgeknap word met nuwe toerusting en afwerkings. Die memorabilia sal behou en selfs uitgebrei word. Die binnekant van die Snoepwinkel is in ieder geval nie oorspronklik nie en verdien ‘n verjongingskuur. Beter terreinbeligting, ’n geplaveide voetgangerroete met sitplek, ’n informele tuinamfiteater op die gras en ‘n leliedam wat terselfdertyd die stormwater sal hanteer, word ook beoog". Die beplanning is dat hierdie projek aan die einde van Februarie, 2017, sal begin en teen die einde van Mei, 2017, voltooi sal wees. Ek vertrou dat hierdie skrywe meer lig op die onderwerp sal plaas, aan alle oud-Greys die gerusstelling sal bied dat die Tuckshop steeds ’n uiters belangrike deel van die skool sal bly en inderdaad die sosiale hartklop van die skool vir volgende maar ook bestaande generasies van Grey-belanghebbendes sal wees. Die regte prosesse word ook gevolg ten einde die nodige toestemming van die betrokke owerhede te verkry ten einde aan hierdie nasionale gedenkwaardigheid te mag werk en nie afbreuk daaraan te doen nie. 

 

You are welcome to comment on this blog.

 

Kind regards

 

Deon Scheepers

 

  

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