The Rocket

Revised 22 December,2018

H8Ό" X W6½"

Known to exist:

Vol.1 no.1 December,1945 14 pages, pale green cover, as above
no.2 May,1946 24 pages, pale green cover
no.3 November,1946 22 pages, pale green cover
no.4 February,1947 28 pages, pale blue cover
no.5 January,1948 25 pages, pale blue cover
no.6 Easter Term,1949 18 pages, dark red cover

Forward and Editorial to no.1, December,1945:

"In disturbed times like these the introduction of a new periodical is fraught with all kinds of difficulties and it requires a bold spirit to launch it on its way.
Fully alive to all the problems entailed, yet undaunted by any of them, the editor of the "ROCKET" and his staff offer you their maiden number in the hope that you will welcome and support it.
It is a venture deserving of the highest encouragement and I am sure that you will not only become a regular reader but will also, from time to time, offer a contribution to its pages.
As the restrictions of war-time recede into the realms of the past the editor hopes to increase the size and scope of the magazine, and he will be glad to receive suggestions towards this end. I commend the venture to you as a bold and enterprising effort worthy of all the support you can give it.

by Gordon W G Cass"

"With World War no.2 over, and peace here again, Norwood publishes its first magazine. It has long been the wish of our headmaster to have a School Magazine and we must thank him for his kind support in helping us with it.
It has been a big task but I think it will prove a success. In later Nos. we hope to improve the quality and quantity of the pages, and meanwhile we ask for your encouragement and support.

by Roddy N Barnes, Editor "

And the title, The Rocket? Perhaps we shall never know exactly why but the obvious reference, and indeed the front cover, includes the winner of the 1829 Rainhill Trails for the steam engine on the forthcoming Liverpool & Manchester Railway.

Clearly, Charlie, with his passion for engineering but particularly railways, named the school magazine after the Rocket locomotive that won the Rainhill Trials then hauled the trains on the first inter-city railway, the Liverpool to Manchester.

Other locomotives of the Rocket design which were delivered to that railway included "Arrow", "Comet", "Dart" and "Meteor" all being delivered in 1830. Curiously, reference is always made to the Victoria era when in fact this railway, and many, many others, was opened in Georgian times, Victoria not becoming Queen until 1937.

Whilst George Stephenson was building the railway, the steam locomotive, the Rocket, the creation of George Stephenson and his son Robert, was up against three other locomotive designs. The locomotive obtained its name, apparently, not simply because of its speed, but because of a comment made in an engineering journal that had said passengers would be more foolhardy to ride on a train hauled by this engine than they would be to ride on a military rocket. At 35mph, this locomotive was very fast for its day. The Stephensons took up the journal's challenge and called their engine The Rocket. The Liverpool & Manchester Railway opened for service in 1830. Eight such locomotives were used on this line. George Stephenson, together with a drawing of the Rocket and the Skerne Bridge on the Stockton & Darlington Railway, features on the reverse side of the British £5 banknote.

The engine used for the Rainhill Trials differed from the engines which went into service though superficially they looked very similar. I think that the engine reproduced on Norwood's magazine was the in-service type and not the one used for the trials. But does it matter? Of course not!

With today's laptop and desk computers such a magazine would be all too easy to produce but the Editor obviously had his work cut out in the late 1940s. Having said that, it was routine to use Gestetner or Roeograph stencil-duplicator machines to "roll off" dozens of pages in no time at all.

The content of the magazine would have been typed on to a stencil sheet - holding your breath that you made no typing mistakes which had to be corrected with magenta-coloured correction fluid. This stencil was then fixed to a rotary duplicating machine and the handle turned to roll off how ever many copies were needed. Like Hoover had done with the mania in the USA for "jingles", one of the leading duplicator companies in the USA, Roneograph, tried to get people using the term "to roneo" meaning duplicate copies. This same machine would have duplicated the end of Term Reports, letters to parents, etc.

From The Editor's Chair

The opening page of Edition number 1 bore the School song but for the second edition, a nice drawing started off the magazine.

R N Barnes is shown as being the Editor of numbers 1, 2, 4 and 5 but there is no name credited to numbers 3 and 6.

And from the Humour section,

Teacher: When I was a boy your age I could do sums twice as hard.
Pupil: Yes, but perhaps you had a better teacher.
press here if you really want to read more Rocket jokes!

Extracts from The Rocket reproduced on other pages:-

no.1 December,1945

• arrival of Miss M Hawling

no.2 May,1946

• "News of Old Boys"

no.4 February,1947

• Scout Notes; Performing a play performed was called "Ici on parle Francais"
• Norwood Sports Field by the Fells Quarry
• Driver Earl of the LMS - Lecture to Railway Club

no.5 January,1948

• Orbituary to Mrs Ruth Cass
• departure of Miss M Hawling

no.6 Easter,1949

• Lecture by Mr Ashton, “Far Eastern Problems with China, Malaya and Idonesia (sic).”
• Lecture by Mr Cecil J Allen, "A Hundred Miles an Hour by Rail”,

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