Gray at grammar school

jpns-22-07-17 retro July 2017

Sea rescue - Leading Aircrewman Diver Chris Crossley winches one of the teenagers to the safety of a Solent search and rescue helicopter.

THIS WEEK IN 1976: Helicopter rescues three from sea

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On this day in 1945 the playwright, author and diarist Simon Gray started at Portsmouth Grammar School.

The son of a Hayling Island doctor, the family moved away two years later.

In a 45-year writing career, Gray published five novels and 40 original plays, adaptations and screenplays.

Among his last books were his diaries, The Smoking Diaries trilogy and Coda, reflecting wittily on his everyday observations, decline and imminent death – from John Sadden’s The Portsmouth Book of Days.