The Latymer Link - page 7

C
harlie was born in Tottenham but as he grew, proved unable to learn to speak. Attitudes were different
then and he was sent to a special school “for the Deaf & Dumb”, leaving at fourteen with no qualifications
and few prospects. He took the only job he could find, as a gravedigger - but of course wages in this “dead-
end” job were extremely poor. However, it proved to be the making of Charlie as the foreman took time and
trouble with him and succeeded where others had failed, teaching him how to form words and make himself
understood by others.
With this life-changing new ability, Charlie returned to education, training as an operating theatre technician, a
job he did for twelve years. He later used his technical knowledge to work as a mechanic by day while acting as
caretaker for a church hall in the evenings
The variety of these roles stood him in good stead for the many odd jobs he was required to do as Site
Manager at Latymer, a post he held for over twenty years between 1972 and 1993, but Charlie’s versatility
is perhaps best illustrated by another of his enterprises, his mobile disco business. Not only weddings, bar
mitzvahs, children’s parties and the occasional staff function at the House of Commons – but of course the
legendary Junior Disco held in the Great Hall twice a year, the social highlight of the school year for any
Latymerian of the 1980s like myself. Mrs Geeves, a familiar figure around the school in her own right, lined up
the records while Charlie manned the decks. I can vouch for many a teenage love affair having been kindled or
heart being broken over those carefully played tunes: George Michael’s Careless Whisper and Chris de Burgh
singing Lady in Red both take me right back there in an instant… Thank you for the music, Mr Geeves.
Emma Halstead (nee Wetherall) 1985-92
Charlie Geeves
Latymer Site Manager 1972 - 1993
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