Name: zNucX
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk
Years_at_school:
Date: 15 Oct 2014
Time: 14:00:31

Comments

-


Name: Peter Vincent
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1966-1972
Date: 03 Oct 2014
Time: 02:48:49

Comments

Chris - the thing I remember the most about this experience was that in the first match I went to see, Darmstadt Exiles hammered the opposition, which was a German team. But the Germans were big enough to cheer and applaude the Exiles off the pitch which the Exiles then did for them. Afterwards all players and supporters adjourned to the bar and mixed. Now that was sport - even if it was rugby (or should it be Rugby?).


Name: xPhVqtF
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk
Years_at_school:
Date: 02 Oct 2014
Time: 06:49:34

Comments

ultram overnight no prescription - ultram 319


Name: Chris Atkinson
Email: christopherdotatkinson43atntlworlddotcom
Years_at_school: '48 to'53
Date: 01 Oct 2014
Time: 05:19:07

Comments

Don't get me wrong Peter, I quite enjoyed playing Rugby at School, But then I was in the School Scouts and the CCF and I quite liked Biology as a subject - so perhaps I had a major masochistic streak from an early age. Rugby in the RAF was fun; the small station I was on in Germany didn't even have enough former players to make up a team. We recruited the rest from the MT Section - those who had grazed knuckles (from where they dragged on the ground) in order to make up the numbers. Got my comupance just before demob up in Gloucestershire, playing against a team of local young farmers. Silly me, had my hands open and seized the ball - fatal mistake, as about ten young heifers all jumped on me at once.


Name: Martin McCluney
Email: martin13945atgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1955-1963
Date: 30 Sep 2014
Time: 03:09:13

Comments

Terrific website, Jeffrey. Such a mine of information. It stirs up memories of carved names on ancient padlocked desks, Simpson administering a thrashing for three examples of my name in Golland's English room, paying money into the Pavilion Fund for years and never a sign of such a building - was it ever built at Watford Road? What happened to the money? Tapper and Higgs playing some great rugby for Middlesex. and later for Wasps I think. Our own 1sts beating Harrow soundly in 1960 and 61. Our pipe band winning the McBrayne Trophy at the Harpenden games every year with Don Allen keeping us company. Touch rugby in the quad, buns and doughnuts too, truncated prefect gowns, totally inadequate careers advice ( "Oxford and Cambridge are both good buy personally I prefer...") and oh yes the woodpecker shoes...


Name: Peter Vincent
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1966-1972
Date: 30 Sep 2014
Time: 03:01:36

Comments

Chris has it exactly right. For years I played lots of different sports and loved them all and continued playing football at a decent "park" level well into my 30s. But one sport I never touched again was rugby - which HCS gave me a hatred of just as Chris describes. When you did get to the fields after a whacking from one or more prefects on the way, the PE staff wanted you to stand around for ages in the freezing cold while they lectured about something rather than just letting us get on with a game. In the 1970s, I worked in Germany and some of those I worked with were in a rugby team "The Darmstadt Exiles". I reluctantly went to watch and was amazed by the passion and enthusiasm - and high levels of sportsmanship during the game and comradeship between the teams after. I realised that without the HCS experience I could easily have played it myself and enjoyed it despite not weighing a ton - as seemed to be the main requirement for the HCS teams.


Name: Chris Atkinson
Email: christopherdotatkinson43atntlworlddotcom
Years_at_school: generally enjoyable
Date: 19 Sep 2014
Time: 06:36:45

Comments

I'm paying the price now for indulging in my youth in a 'contact sport' - or so the surgeon says. My main re collections are of a frozen Watford Road field full of ruts that played havoc with the ankles, and of trying to do up fly buttone with frozen fingers after a cold shower in the pavvy. Rugby in the RAF was so much more civilized.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwheseratgmaildotcom'
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 18 Sep 2014
Time: 06:36:20

Comments

Richard Buckley's recollections of rugby run close to my own. Cross country running was not an option until about 1946 when Crinson organised it so we had no alternative to rugby. Whatever heated water in the pavilion had broken so we used one of the Harrow School facilities. After an hour or so of puffing up and down the field and getting thoroughly mired we all stripped off and trooped in for the communal hot bath - twelve of us at once. With a waive of his magic wand, Swanny directed each of us in turn to stand under a cold shower where we stood shivering until our private parts were judged to have shrunk sufficiently. This event effectively finished my interest and participation in the game for all time.


Name: Peter Garwood
Email: peterdotgarwood777atbtinternetdotcom
Years_at_school: 1953-61
Date: 17 Sep 2014
Time: 06:52:43

Comments

I did not see any meaningful movement.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 17 Sep 2014
Time: 05:43:29

Comments

Slight correction. Can obits be active?


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 17 Sep 2014
Time: 05:42:36

Comments

Cab obits be active?


Name: Peter Garwood
Email: peterdotgarwood777atbtinternetdotcom
Years_at_school: 1953-61
Date: 17 Sep 2014
Time: 01:01:55

Comments

Yes, The Arsenal football club after last night's pathetic showing.


Name: Jeff Maynard
Email: jeffrey at jeffreymaynard dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-69
Date: 16 Sep 2014
Time: 20:16:25

Comments

Laurence is quite right - I need to update the obits. Does anyone have any sad news of recent deaths? - Jeff


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957-
Date: 16 Sep 2014
Time: 00:29:56

Comments

Jeff, does that include the Obits?


Name: Jeff Maynard
Email: jeffrey at jeffreymaynard dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-69
Date: 13 Sep 2014
Time: 19:41:49

Comments

To Joseph Gertner - Yes - this site is active! - Jeff


Name: Joseph Gertner
Email: j.gertner at rcn.com
Years_at_school: 1953-1960
Date: 13 Sep 2014
Time: 11:52:54

Comments

Great pictures bringing back amazing memories and old names Is this site still active?


Name: Richard Buckley
Email: richardatspaceplanner.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1959-65
Date: 13 Sep 2014
Time: 04:29:32

Comments

I vowed never to again post on this site because surely everything to be said about the Simpson regime has been said many times over and there's nothing new to add. Just old gits (myself included) reminiscing about things that should now be forgotten or laid to rest. We all turned out OK didn't we? However, my wife said something over EMT today which reminded me of something I haven't seen mentioned on this site. She bemoaned how when at school (a top North West London girls' grammar school at least the academic equal of HCS she insists I say) she and the other girls had to run down a main road in their little wrap-a- round skirts and airtex tops to play netball on the school playing fields. It reminded me how I utterly loathed having to get changed for rugby in that malodorous and antiquated pavilion on the school field and then having to run the length of Watford Road in the freezing cold to get to the playing fields opposite the foul smelling Harrow School Farm (funnily enough, I now live in the country and rather like 'good country smells' although this year they are particularly pungent in my part of Gloucestershire). I never ceased to be astonished when I got to the fields how so many boys absolutely loved diving in the mud and getting filthy and enthusiastically scrumming down with other boys to chase the stupid funny shaped ball. I hated it. When I was bit older, I joined the 'shadow' cross country group, boys who were meant to be playing rugby but simply joined the cross country runners and followed them around Northwick Park as far as the gap in the wire fence surrounding the site of the proposed new hospital (not knowing that in a only few years time I would have four children born there). Then we'd wait by The Ducker for the proper runners to complete the course and catch us up and we'd follow them back to school. For some reason we were never caught and only now does it occur to me that perhaps Amos, Underwood and Neuff turned a blind eye to what we were doing. It meant they didn't have to bother with boys who didn't want to play rugby in the first place and we were getting at least a modicum of healthy exercise. As I have long suspected about Simpson, perhaps they were craftier than they let on.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 13 Sep 2014
Time: 03:05:19

Comments

See previous three contributions. And wasn't there also a St Swannie's Sports Academy run by an ascetic old monk who cut down birch twigs from nearby trees and religiously set about his young novices?


Name: Paul Phillips
Email: paulatbrianpau.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1971-76
Date: 11 Sep 2014
Time: 23:51:38

Comments

I believe the school to which Peter and Chris referred to has a sister academy about which several film documentaries were made firstly in black and white and latterly in glorious technicolour. To which I refer St Trinians


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondAT yahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 11 Sep 2014
Time: 01:46:13

Comments

Yes, Peter, I well recall that place, or at least the lurid tales about it...All pupils over the age of 16 were forced to spend at least 45 minutes of the lunch break in The Havelock Arms, with a dozen or more teachers at the bar noting both the number of pints drunk (the required minimum was three) and how many cigarettes smoked (at least four) per boy. Then there were the daily Art and Self-Expression classes, where desecrating walls, windows and, of course, the cricket sight-screens, was absolutely mandatory. We heard that the Head's harangues on "wishy-washy, pseudo-respectable, so-called 'middle-class' pansies who wouldn't dare to paint an obscene cartoon of myself or any of my staff" were legendary, indeed a regular feature of the morning assemblies - to be followed by mass wild dancing to one of the school's many rock bands, at maximum volume, of course. Those few unfortunates who couldn't fit in to the free and easy regime were made to feel like criminals, often paraded in front of the school by the Head, who lambasted them as examples of "petty-minded little bourgeois conformists" who needed "to grow some balls and stand up for the free spirit of humanity", shouting that they "shouldn't have been here in the first place", they belonged "with the rest of the goody-goody wasters who'd passed the 11-plus" and thought they'd "therefore got it made!" Oh yes, that was a living hell-hole all right....


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58 to 63
Date: 10 Sep 2014
Time: 16:20:00

Comments

I think, on the other side of Gayton Rd and opposite the private Harrow High School, was St Square's Academy. There, boys were discouraged from wearing school caps whilst shortie raincoats and winklepicker shoes became mandatory uniform. Standard, dark blue gaberdine macks and toe-capped shoes were strictly forbidden. Flouting the rules by wearing these provocative garments triggered automatic canings. Smoking in the street, school toilets and on buses was much encouraged; the Headmaster, a hopeless nicotine craver. It is well known that the same gentleman insisted boys should wear what he termed 'woodpecker' shoes. I remember, with my mother, spending a hot, tiring and fruitless Saturday afternoon in Harrow High St searching for the alleged woodpeckers. Puzzled shopkeepers silently shook their heads and courteously suggested we might try other more specialist emporia, in London for instance. With no success we eventually found, to my relief, a woodpecker shoe manufacturer in Dunfermline.


Name: Chris Atkinson
Email: christopherdotatkinson43atntlworlddotcom
Years_at_school: ages ago
Date: 10 Sep 2014
Time: 11:17:42

Comments

I think the Girls School was Peterborough and St.Margarets which was part of the E.Ivor Hughes Foundation as were Buckingham and Atholl. My wife, Heather, was the School Secretary at Atholl and then at Buckingham until we moved away in 1999. What interest me, now that we live in a village near to Peterborough, is why were there all those references in Harrow to Peterborough? Any connection eludes me. I haven't found any references backwards from Peterborough to Harrow.


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957 -
Date: 10 Sep 2014
Time: 09:26:38

Comments

Is the Obituary Column dead? RIP.


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957-
Date: 10 Sep 2014
Time: 09:25:17

Comments

Is the Obituary Column dead? RIP.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 10 Sep 2014
Time: 01:21:49

Comments

Buckingham College...I actually had a temporary teaching job there in '91, can't remember much about the place except the Head seemed ok but wondered why I wanted to work in the UK instead of abroad, where he'd spent much of his career. Strange thing to say really, to one of his staff... As I'd hardly ever been back to the Harrow area since leaving HCS in '66, and then only very briefly, it was a rather odd feeling to wander around those once familiar streets, playing a role so different to that of 25 years before....


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colinddotdickinsatblueyonderdotco.douk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 09 Sep 2014
Time: 04:03:31

Comments

Quite right, Peter. It was Quainton Hall's uniform I described, and they are still in Hindes Road. As are Buckingham College, who also have premises in Rayners Lane in what used to be Athol House School. I'm now stuck to recall anything about Chester College except the name, but I enjoyed your account of your later brother-in-law's ingenuity.


Name: Peter Garwood
Email: peterdotgarwood777atbtinternetdotcom
Years_at_school: 1953-61
Date: 08 Sep 2014
Time: 11:25:55

Comments

I remember two schools in Hindes Road, Buckingham College and Quainton Hall, I believe they are still going. I stick with my suggestion that Chester College was halfway up Sheepcote Road on the left. My brother in law, sadly no longer with us, blagged his way into a very well paid job by saying that he went there and obtained 2 A levels and 6 O levels, had lost the certificates and couldn't remember which university exam board it was. He knew that the College had closed.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colinddotdickinsatblueyonderdotco.douk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 08 Sep 2014
Time: 08:49:24

Comments

Well spotted at a great distance, Brian. I live in Northwood and we are apprehensive of an even greater traffic jam during the school run. Small women driving large 4x4's unpredictably. I think Chester College may have been in Hindes Road, Peter. Their blazer may have been stripes of black, pale blue and white. If I remember correctly, Peterborough was a girls school and their uniform included brown blazers. There was a girls school called Harrow College whose colours were sort of aquamarine blazers and hats with mauve tassels on their hats. ((Very becoming! Had two transient girlfriends there.) They were located somewhere near Roxborough. Harrow High School (boys) was on the opposite corner from us. Their colours were navy blue and gold quartered caps (actually six panels). Up on the Hill was Purcell Music College (now located in Bushey) and I have a sneaking suspicion there was another girls school nearby. Could that have been Peterborough - or Harrow College?


Name: Brian Hester
Email: Write brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 08 Sep 2014
Time: 06:04:02

Comments

Heathfield girls school is probably the only one of the many private schools we knew that has not slid off the map. Heathfield was held in great esteem by my peers on account of its reputation for having the best looking girls. The school occupied a prime site close to the station so the owners sold it off and moved the school to the former Pinner County school. Now I see the school is to merge with Northwood Girls School and the name is to be dropped. Perhaps Reg Dwight aka Elton John can be persuaded to buy his old school.


Name: Peter Garwood
Email: peterdotgarwood777atbtinternetdotcom
Years_at_school: 1953-61
Date: 07 Sep 2014
Time: 08:51:18

Comments

The school halfway up Sheepcote Road, on the left was Chester College. I think their blazers were blue with white stripes or was it black and white.... long time ago.


Name: Chris
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 07 Sep 2014
Time: 07:00:14

Comments

I remember two other schools on Sheepcote Rd, one with brown unifirms and one with blue


Name: Brian Hester
Email: ntianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 07 Sep 2014
Time: 04:53:21

Comments

The school on Sheepcote Chris refers to might have been the 'High School for Girls'. The uniform included a blazer of a lighter shade of green than HCS and a wide straw boater that was very unpopular.


Name: Chris
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 04 Sep 2014
Time: 17:22:44

Comments

Unlikely to be confused but wasn't there also a Peterborough High School nearby on Sheepcote Rd?


Name: Dave Buckley
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 04 Sep 2014
Time: 14:21:06

Comments

I think the school Derek might be refering to, is the High School which was on the opposite corner from HCS. As Brian Hester stated in a previous post concerning the name of HCS....'The 'High School' name could not be used until the private Harrow High School across the road went out of business and was demolished.'


Name: Chris
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 04 Sep 2014
Time: 09:57:41

Comments

Randall Williams was Headmaster 1919-45. No Headmaster was named "Cave" Nor was such a person Headmaster at Harrow School. There were a number of relatively small private schools that could have been the one he attended. Harrow Weald County opened in 1933 but no idea who the Headmaster was. Possible that Harrow Archives might be able to help Email: localhistory.library@harrow.gov.uk Address: Harrow Museum Heritage Centre Pinner View Harrow HA2 6PX Tel: 020 8861 3074


Name: Derek Camp
Email: derekcampatbtinternet.com
Years_at_school:
Date: 04 Sep 2014
Time: 05:39:12

Comments

My father attended the Boys High School, Harrow - probably in the 1930's. He was born in 1916. His name was Abbott James Camp. During his time the headmaster was a Mr Cave. Is this your school? If so, I would like to find out more about the school at that time. I have some photographs with a cricket team. Many thanks for any help you can give.


Name: Graham Wilson
Email: grahamdotwilsonatucddotie
Years_at_school: 56 to 63
Date: 31 Aug 2014
Time: 00:31:07

Comments

Just catching up


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 26 Aug 2014
Time: 08:45:19

Comments

Margaret Thatcher was the Education Minister 1970-4 so presumably she signed off on the closure of H.C.G.S.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colinddotdickinsatblueyonderdotco.douk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 25 Aug 2014
Time: 15:27:14

Comments

Thank you for the Paul Nurse link, Brian. I knew the story but I hadn't heard him tell it. Well worth the listen. For others looking for it the link is themothdotorgslashpostsslashstorytellersslashpaul-nurse I have heard him speak, though, at the excellent Centenary Lecture he gave at the School and also on TV from time to time. [Para] On the topic of the School name (your earlier e-mail), the full name was originally Harrow County School for Boys and the word Grammar was interpolated in, I think, the 1940's (HCGSB) but it was frequently abbreviated to Harrow County or Harrow Grammar. When it was put to the sword by Harold Wilson and Shirley Williams in 1975 it became Gayton High School taking pupils from 12 to 16. In 1998 it became co-educational and, as it is now, Harrow High School. It now has a flourishing VIth form.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 24 Aug 2014
Time: 18:14:14

Comments

For an interesting piece about Sir Paul Nurse talking about his background see Themoth.org


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 24 Aug 2014
Time: 06:35:11

Comments

My recollection is that the school became Harrow County Grammar for a short while after the Harrow County name was dropped. The 'High School' name could not be used until the private Harrow High School across the road went out of business and was demolished.


Name: Peter Vincent
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1966-1972
Date: 23 Aug 2014
Time: 10:01:03

Comments

In a family discussion, it was claimed that between Gayton High and Harrow High, the school was briefly called "Harrow Grammar". Any truth in this?


Name: Jeff laporte
Email:
Years_at_school: 1978
Date: 20 Aug 2014
Time: 00:47:40

Comments

I loved the swiming at lunchtime good old days


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1956-64
Date: 19 Aug 2014
Time: 10:12:24

Comments

Michael and Brian do have some nostalgia for the gowns. My contention was that they were used to make an excellent Grammar school to have the appearance quasi-public school. Michael gives the example of Ken Waller, I will respond with Bernie Marchant, both of whom could wear the gown by right. On the other hand, many wore the gown for effect, one of these was Clarkson, a vicious man, who meted out corporal punishment for pleasure. That the school gave many social mobility is not disputed, it has my thanks for that. The school that is present on the site of HCS, is not even a shadow of the one lost to the lowest common denominator of comprehensive education. Those few remaining Grammar schools seem to attract the brightest pupils, and their results match many of the best Independent schools. The large number of pupils from the Indian sub-continent and the far-east, have made the Grammar schools a target for the latest immigrant section of our community. Local lads no longer get a chance to pass the entrance exam, tiger mums see to that! Worth not birth, still applies even if you have to move home to get within commute to a school of excellence.


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 18 Aug 2014
Time: 10:08:37

Comments

Yes, I watch Foyle's War as well, thanks to TV Ontario. Its author, Anthony Horowitz, grew up in Stanmore. i have recently enjoyed another local connection: I reviewed two CDs by Canons Park's mot famous composer, Handel, for Toronto's WholeNote magazine. On occasion, I have found myself in the local pubs enjoying fish and chips and dark beer while reading the solidly British Motor Sport magazine. AndI tell myself I have emigrated...


Name: Roy Goldman
Email: roygraceatbigpond.net.au
Years_at_school: 1943 - 1949
Date: 17 Aug 2014
Time: 20:03:47

Comments

Hi Brian, Apart from HCS and a shared Professor of Geostatistics we now share re-runs of Foyles War. The BBC obviously believes in giving our two fsr-flung outposts of the empire an occasional dose of decent drama. I suspect though that in our case, an episode of FW is swapped for a few hundred Skippys or Prisoners or Home And Aways.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhsteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 17 Aug 2014
Time: 06:50:38

Comments

You make some good points Michael. To me, having the masters wear gowns was just part of the scene, but having prefects wear half gowns was a bit out of place. The comprehensive schools that were supposed to replace the grammar schools have not maintained the academic standards we took for granted. On the whole I enjoyed life at HCS although I accomplished nothing to justify my name being inscribed on a wall somewhere. The school was a failure in not providing career advice. What little I got was wrong. Just how distant my time at school was has been emphasized by a re-run of Foyle's War on TV here. A lot more has changed than the education system!


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: Papyrus is more my style
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 16 Aug 2014
Time: 13:44:32

Comments

I am picking myself up from the floor. I am in disagreement with Lawrence Lando, who appears to see gowns as a way of creating a minor public school. I never had strong feelings about gowns - they were just gowns and that was that. Certain individuals would never get through today's teacher training and, looking back, were not fit to wear them. Then there was Batman (Mr Waller) and if anyone had the right to wear a gown it was he. And then there is one P Fowler, who has written, "...despite my own views on the flaws in that system, we had our greatest ever period of social mobility: the message of that terrible song was very, very important. There's ample data out there now to show that the 1945-75 period was the only time in UK history when the gaps between the richest and the rest narrowed significantly; we have now reversed to 1920s levels of inequality." We agree on something, Peter? I believe Peter's views were borne out a few years ago when the LSE concluded that if you were born into a poor area then you were doomed to stay within it or a similarly poor area, as social mobility is lower in the UK and the USA than anywhere else in the developed world. Michael.


Name: Chris Atkinson
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 16 Aug 2014
Time: 13:03:10

Comments

Aaaargh Sorry about that. Finger trouble or incipient insanitary - don't know which.


Name: Chris Atkinson
Email: christopherdotatkinson43atntlworlddotcom
Years_at_school: '48 to '53
Date: 16 Aug 2014
Time: 04:01:13

Comments

Got a strong feeling that,yes, when I was at HCS it was a different country. In recent posts I seem to detect a frisson of discontent with time spent at HCS. Years on from me, and I don't seem to see too many from my years making any comments - perhaps too many have already dropped off the branch ;^) I hereby confess to having enjoyed my time at HCS; I got on well with the teaching staff bar one. It would be invidious to mention names (but I still managed to get decent biology results). I didn't then fret about the School song - and I don't now, it was as Pete Fowler has said 'of its time'. As far as I'm concerned 'worth not birth' summed it up very well for my generation. I'm also eternally grateful for all the non-scholastic 'education' and other opportunities that the HCS environment nurtured in those days. It came as a pleasant surprise to me to find out how far the HCS 'network' extended when I was in the RAF and on overseas tours and,yes, I took full advantage of it. So I'm sad that later inhabitants found HCS lacking in so many ways. It was, in a sense, elitist in my time insofar as I believe you had to achieve 11+ plus results in the upper quartile to get in. Anyhow, is there anyone else out there from the dim and distant past? Come on and tell us if an introduction to Mechanical Drawing and the Afro-American Music Society had any sort of impact on your post-HCS years.


Name: Chris Atkinson
Email: christopherdotatkinson43atntlworlddotcom
Years_at_school: '48 to '53
Date: 16 Aug 2014
Time: 03:58:41

Comments

Got a strong feeling that,yes, when I was at HCS it was a different country. In recent posts I seem to detect a frisson of discontent with time spent at HCS. Years on from me, and I don't seem to see too many from my years making any comments - perhaps too many have already dropped off the branch ;^) I hereby confess to having enjoyed my time at HCS; I got on well with the teaching staff bar one. It would be invidious to mention names (but I still managed to get decent biology results). I didn't then fret about the School song - and I don't now, it was as Pete Fowler has said 'of its time'. As far as I'm concerned 'worth not birth' summed it up very well for my generation. I'm also eternally grateful for all the non-scholastic 'education' and other opportunities that the HCS environment nurtured in those days. It came as a pleasant surprise to me to find out how far the HCS 'network' extended when I was in the RAF and on overseas tours and,yes, I took full advantage of it. So I'm sad that later inhabitants found HCS lacking in so many ways. It was, in a sense, elitist in my time insofar as I believe you had to achieve 11+ plus results in the upper quartile to get in. Anyhow, is there anyone else out there from the dim and distant past? Come on and tell us if an introduction to Mechanical Drawing and the Afro-American Music Society had any sort of impact on your post-HCS years.


Name: Type your name here
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 13 Aug 2014
Time: 10:01:23

Comments

Should have written: " Then, when at 16 I and an HCS friend made OUR (not "my"!) first, anxiety-ridden forays into the world of 'boys and girls' (!)


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondAT yahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 13 Aug 2014
Time: 06:45:54

Comments

By the way, that friend of mine, written off at 11 as an academic 'no-hoper' eventually got into a private school, thanks to his parents' sacrifices (father was a taxi-driver) and did pretty well there.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 13 Aug 2014
Time: 06:32:49

Comments

Interesting dialogue this, thanks to both of you. It was absolutely true that many in the lower streams at HCS felt they weren't really valued by the meritocratic elitist regime of the late 50's - mid-60's (my time there), the huge respect given to the very few teachers who showed they cared for these pupils - Lafferty (English) being a prime example - serving to confirm the general, negative rule. Even now, I personally know two 'old boys' of that era who still bitterly resent such discrimination (as well as other oppressive aspects of the school), one even refusing to discuss his schooldays, regarding them as an utter 'nightmare'. Such disrespect for young people is rightly described as 'criminal', Peter Ward making a telling point that, most paradoxically, it created another flawed system of 'winners' and 'losers', under the guise of ambition to challenge the pre-existing unjust educational and hence social status quos. Re the similarly divisive, resentment-generating Grammar-Sec. Mod. set-up, this was well evident to me on a daily basis, the usually quiet road I lived in at the time being a main thoroughfare to the local Sec. Mod., whose pupils tended to give out a tangible sense of general negativity, resigned resentment at their lot, which essentially stemmed from being branded as 'failures' - at age 11, for God's sake! The concerned parents of a friend of mine at that time and later were actually reprimanded by our primary school head for questioning their son's impending 'relegation' to that level with the classic, "Some people have to be dustmen"! Then, when at 16 I and an HCS friend made my first, anxiety-ridden forays into the world of 'boys and girls' (!) at my local Church Youth Club, I found my peers to include a group of the 'educationally unprivileged', ie 11-plus 'failures', who, shall we say, were not exactly 'welcoming' of me and other more fortunate lads, in fact it was clear that they were boiling with resentment, incipient violence when they encountered us. There was no meeting point, it seemed - and no club leader to bring us together. Not a lot of fun there then.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 57-63
Date: 12 Aug 2014
Time: 04:40:26

Comments

Peter, good to have dialogue. You rather misrepresent me as I never stated the class system did not exist. Born on Merseyside and raised in industrial South Yorkshire before landing in leafy, suburban Middlesex, my eyes were immediately awakened to the North-South divide. Never mind the more commonly defined divisions of social class and background. What I am trying to put over is that I never personally believed in class (not its existence but its authority.) The Randall Williams ethic fails on two points. Through the words of his song, he reveals to his brand new pupils that they are relatively less advantaged and low born. This can foster dangerous feelings of inferiority and subsequent under performance (rife at the HCS of my day.) Herding eleven year-olds immediately into A,B,C and D divisions works against his clamoured ethos; a contradiction he would not have spotted. RW then goes about encouraging a Meritocracy which unthinkingly creates its own social and economic divisions over those eg who attended Secondary Modern schools. The Meritocracy would become its own elite - a notion much promulgated in the Fifties, Sixties. I would be more impressed with Randall Williams' thinking if he had addressed the state and private educational argument right across the board. This, like the politicians of his day, he signally failed to do. RW, Simpson and their like were ultimately swept away by the reforms of later decades. Just for the record, a far higher percentage of today's young people enter and achieve Higher Education than at the height of the mid-twentieth century Grammar School era. What does this tell us about HCS's failures with the alleged less academic portion of its pupils? The As and Bs but not the Cs and Ds. It was the competition ethos of conventional, unoriginal minds of Randall Williams and Simpson and Co. that skewed the argument. Young people can be encouraged to bring out their talents and energies without making it undeclared warfare between inevitable winners and losers.


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/62
Date: 12 Aug 2014
Time: 03:12:58

Comments

Peter, we simply differ. You write as if there were no class system in this country, no need for the immense changes that occurred in 1945 and with the 1944 Education Act. With the Grammar Schools, despite my own views on the flaws in that system, we had our greatest ever period of social mobility: the message of that terrible song was very, very important. There's ample data out there now to show that the 1945-75 period was the only time in UK history when the gaps between the richest and the rest narrowed significantly; we have now reversed to 1920s levels of inequality. The idea of the meritocracy, the heart of the Williams message, led to tremendous leaps forward both here and in the States. Incidentally, I have never, once, heard the school song on this site and only realised a while ago that it must be that Jeff forgot to code it for Macs.


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1956-64
Date: 11 Aug 2014
Time: 09:45:58

Comments

Most interested to learn how so many were reviled at the 'Worth not Birth' ditty. The problem with it was it was so overly pompous, and trying so hard to equate our school with the many grand Public Schools. The wearing of gowns by the staff was another attempt to make a power house of learning, into a minor Public School. The one thing we must never forget is that the grammar school system, did allow many of us from disadvantaged backgrounds, to use the system for social mobility. In my time at the school, HCS for boys was a throw back to the inter-war years, violence a plenty, glittering staff among the many awful masters. Yet life-long friendships were made and the examination results achieved, resulted in a better life for ensuing generations. I am still grateful for having attended such a school, despite its many foibles.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 57-63
Date: 11 Aug 2014
Time: 05:49:19

Comments

With respect, I think Peter Fowler misunderstands me. My point being that the toffs on the hill bowled along without giving us a moment's thought. Thus, the implication that we were from the lower orders came from words of the foolish school song, itself. Joining HCS as a lively thirteen year old from South Yorkshire, I had not the slightest feeling of alleged inferiority and perceived status. It was the initial singing of the silly verses of the song that first introduced the possibility of my lowliness. Forget the boys up on the hill. No wonder the dreadful thing was finally dropped and swept out of sight. But not out of mind and certainly not out of hearing. I am sure that Thorn was the composer, surely that is well established. Such a pity that we have to put up with Thorn's grotesque when we opt into the HCS site. I generally keep my audio jack out of the PC but occasionally get caught out before ripping it from its rightful place. I have the same feeling for The Archers sig. on BBC Radio Four. It doesn't do too many uninvited dumty-dumty-dumty dums before being silenced. My idea of Hell would be to sit in a darkened cell, in chains, subjected to alternate playings of the HCS song and The Archers sig. plus episodes. 'Oh God, is that Brian underneath the tractor and is that Melissa with him?' Etc.


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/62
Date: 11 Aug 2014
Time: 05:21:40

Comments

Peter Ward misunderstands me - my use of the word 'scum' might be an exaggeration, but it seems entirely appropriate to me when discussing the attitudes in a school song so overtly defiant. Its very first words ('Our pride is not..') mark it out as a mission statement and the whole lyric is surely concocted as a response to 'Forty Years On", with the HCS emphasis on the future juxtaposed with the Harrow School's emphasis on the past. We, our song says, are the future. Sure, Peter, you may find it a silly song and I don't think it's ever occurred to me to want to sing it since I left school - but what I said, and what I stand by, is that the song was extremely appropriate for the mood of the country in 1945; and entirely resonant with the rise of the meritocracy in the 1950s and 1960s. True, my own view of public schools echo exactly those of Alan Bennett; and I have been saddened to see the crushing of the meritocracy since the 1970s - but my reason for 'defending' the song (though I'm not even sure I did) was that it stands as a perfect historical reflection of a key moment in the development of this country. The fact that it's yukky is besides the point.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 10 Aug 2014
Time: 17:52:29

Comments

HCS enjoyed very close relations with Harrow School during WW2. We used the school's laboratories for physics, chemistry and biology as well as one or two classrooms. The ATC used the shooting range on Saturdays. Williams was close to the Headmaster and had him address us at assembly. Our sixth for was invited to hear a famous speaker address Harrow School in the Speech Room. We saw very little of the Harrow boys and when we did, they ignored us. Randall's had an unsuspected medical problem that caused him to give up school work and take a job elsewhere. Williams did not enjoy the same relationship with the successor. I cannot imagine Simpson continuing an relationship with "the hill". Williams seemed happy enough to sweep the school song under the rug but was pressured into the revival which Simpson was happy to perpetuate. I would like to know more about e music. Did Thorn really compose it or was it something performed at pep rallies for an American college football team?


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 57-63
Date: 10 Aug 2014
Time: 16:31:06

Comments

Saddened, even puzzled, by Peter Fowler's defence of the long-abandoned HCS school song. What evidence do we have that the boys 'on the hill' looked down upon us as scum of the suburbs? I doubt if our existences ever crossed their minds. Just as we didn't worry about them. As it happens, on a Scouts' exercise we bumped into some of them, fully robed, and they were entirely pleasant and civil. Surely, the weakness of the ditty, apart from Thorn's foul music, is the ill-founded notion we were expected to think of ourselves as of low birth. Then to rise above it. Personally, I never gave a hoot about my own origins. Like most others at HCS these were perfectly respectable. It seems to me that Randall Williams' foolish words were trying to brainwash us into thinking we were inferior to those above. Thus, the battle cry and Virtus non Stemma and all that stuff. The notion stems direct from RW and his kind. Sorry, Randall,I think you got that one wrong. Some of us are born without inferiority complexes.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-47
Date: 10 Aug 2014
Time: 09:44:33

Comments

You are correct Peter about the 'song' becoming outdated. Attitudes and values in Post WW2 years in UK were very different from those of today. The writer and composer of the song acquired their values and standards in pre- WW1 days. The ways societies express their values change, as most of us must admit.


Name: Pete Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/62
Date: 09 Aug 2014
Time: 08:33:35

Comments

I've always found the school song a marvellous and exact summary of the HCS ethos of the 1940s and 1950s. It has, basically, two target audiences: the snobs and over-privileged good for nothings at the top of Harrow Hill; and the boys of HCS itself. Come on, it says: if we work hard and play hard - and it'll be damned hard, needing the 'strength of men' - we can reach the very top ('win life's glorious meed') despite the fact that we've come from nowhere. 'Tis worth, not birth' - a brilliantly precise two fingered gesture to the old boys' network 'up there' that looked down on us, in every way, as the scum from the suburbs. The fact that the song is quite awful, with its over egged pomposity, is, I would argue, part of its nostalgic charm. Nobody could sing those words now, but then we lived in Another Country. Incidentally, I always thought 'meed' was the alcoholic beverage and thought it rather odd, even as a fifteen year old, that our aim in life included getting plastered.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 09 Aug 2014
Time: 07:31:30

Comments

Brian, it was way past its sell-by date even by my time at HCS (59-66). I hadn't a clue what many of the words meant, it just sounded like a load of pseudo-posh gobbledegook, frankly - still does, now that I can decipher the nonsense.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 09 Aug 2014
Time: 07:02:14

Comments

Thorn is only credited with the tune of the school song. Randall Williams provided the words. Use of the song had been discontinued when I joined the school. It was only in the mid-forties that several boys 'discovered' it and asked for it to be revived. Williams agreed reluctantly and we were all handed copies of the words. It suited the times but is out of place today. I wonder whether the music was of Thorn's creation or was 're-cast' from somewhere else.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 57-63
Date: 09 Aug 2014
Time: 04:01:33

Comments

Shame on you Chris Esmond! George Thorn was one of the great musicians of his era. He played his organ with relish and enthusiasm.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 09 Aug 2014
Time: 01:48:08

Comments

Yes, the school song still rings out loud and clear - and I make sure the volume is off when I enter this site. I mean, what a load of unspeakably meretricious, sanctimoniously moralistic old cobblers! Not surprising, I suppose, given its author.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-56
Date: 08 Aug 2014
Time: 15:53:12

Comments

It still does open with the School song, Ken. Did you have the sound turned on? (How are you? Long time no hear.)


Name: Ken Spedding
Email: ken at kenspedding.com'
Years_at_school: 1946 to 1952
Date: 08 Aug 2014
Time: 09:06:04

Comments

Great site - have not looked at it for several years and lots of new stuff. It used to open with the school song - I miss it!


Name: Chris Atkinson
Email: christopherdotatkinson43atntlworlddotcom
Years_at_school: 1948-53
Date: 05 Aug 2014
Time: 05:31:14

Comments

Harry really was something else. In 1971 I came back to UK and took over as GSL of the 4th. I think my main management task at each year's Camp on the School Field (COSF) was directing other Leaders to stop Harry trying to lug around all by himself the telegraph poles we used for the aerial runway. Just as Jack Beet's middle name was 'Rover', I suspect Harry's was 'Pioneering'. My son picked up the 'Harry' effect in later years ... "Roight young Atkinson, oi taught your father and now oim here to teach you". What a character, he'd probably have roared with laughter to have heard the surgeon who carved my back apart ask - accusingly - if I'd ever played a contact sport in my youth. Chris A.


Name: Chris Whitehouse
Email: crtwataol.com
Years_at_school: 1957-62
Date: 31 Jul 2014
Time: 14:52:06

Comments

What a guestbook. I hardly expected a response to my enquiry about Harry Mees. Certainly not so soon. Hello Chris after all these years. I remember you. Cricket, I think. Your comments are of interest but somewhat circumstantial. It seems Harry may have made subsequent oblique references to the incident in the pool that famous night. His rescuers debated whether or not to call for an ambulance but two of the first aiders took charge. After poolside emergency treatment Harry was carried to the sick room close to the back of the New Hall. We organised two hour stints through the night to be with him. In the morning Harry was apologetic yet grateful. He begged us not to inform his wife regarding the incident and we honoured his request. One of the lads recovered his pipe from the bottom of the pool. Unbelievably, Harry Mees put in a full day's teaching behaving as if nothing had happened. I can't help wondering if the staff at the new school are made of Harry's stuff. Probably none of us were.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 31 Jul 2014
Time: 12:37:37

Comments

About halfway down I should have written "...but don't go telling that..." (not "...but don't telling that..."!).


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 31 Jul 2014
Time: 11:20:49

Comments

That classroom was A6, not A2.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 31 Jul 2014
Time: 11:03:54

Comments

I was at the early 60's Scout camps on the school field, ie '60,'61 and '62, and I can't recall having heard about this incident - at the time. However, 'Chalky', I did have the privilege of being taught by Harry in the 6th form, '63-66, and your story has almost certainly cleared up a peculiar 'mystery' of those faraway, yet sometimes strangely ever-present years. It's evoked a memory of one of his lessons in that gloomiest of classrooms, A2, in Advanced 6th, I think it must have been, where, in what context I've no idea at all, he referred to "late-night illicit swimming" as one of the "greatest joys in life", continuing, in that gruff would-be threatening manner that was very much part of his persona, "But don't you fellas dare telling that to the powers-that-be - or the Chief Scout!" No one seemed to know what he meant, of course, until someone asked him, to which he almost hissed - utterly lugubriously - "You heard me - and you can put that in yer pipe and smoke it!" Then he, somewhat uncharacteristically, exploded in mirth, shaking with laughter for about 10 seconds, before muttering to himself rather than to us, "I swam rings round 'em - ha!" Or something like that. No one had a clue what he'd meant and as far as I know, never asked him about this again. I guess we just put it down to the 'eccentricity' of a remarkable character. Which, of course, it was!


Name: 'Chalky' Whitehouse
Email: crtwataol.com
Years_at_school: 1957-1962
Date: 31 Jul 2014
Time: 04:19:13

Comments

Have recently discovered this remarkable archive and find myself most moved by accounts of Harry Mees, my old History teacher. Alas, but inevitably, Harry has passed on. My own memory of the great man was his midnight swimming feat in the outside pool at a school camp. 1961 possibly. Does anyone recall this? Harry swam just over two lengths of the pool underwater but had to be hauled out. There were about half a dozen of us present and for a while we feared for his life. He had earlier claimed to be able to blow smoke rings from his pipe, underwater. This was not possible to verify that night as it was so dark. A remarkable man and greatly missed.


Name: Alan Springford
Email: alanspringfordathotmail.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1967-1973
Date: 28 Jul 2014
Time: 13:35:58

Comments

First time I've looked at the site!!


Name: LYNN MCEWAN
Email: lynnatyahoo.co.uk
Years_at_school: 0
Date: 27 Jun 2014
Time: 08:12:14

Comments

.My reason for leaving a message is that I am a niece of Ernest Amor ( past Chairman of Kodak ) I was so interested in your site when I discovered Uncle Ernest was Head, boy, had won a county scholarship Had a 1st class degree and was notably Chairman of Kodak. Fascinating reading . Thank you.P.S I think my cousin, Ernest son was also at Harrow and Eton. Will now check your site. Brian Amor.


Name: PJkZyB
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk
Years_at_school:
Date: 26 Jun 2014
Time: 23:15:47

Comments

-


Name: Dave Buckley
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 19 Jun 2014
Time: 05:02:40

Comments

In reply to the post before last, Jeff has disabled the forward slash to stop 'spam' postings. That is, you cannot copy-paste a URL straight in to thenguest book or post a message containing a website address, but you can put most of it in but adding 'forward slash' where necessary.


Name: Peter Vincent
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1966-1972
Date: 18 Jun 2014
Time: 13:01:20

Comments

Great to see Hugh Skillen's name on the roll of honour at Bletchley Park. How ashamed I am that we used to take the mickey out of his Scot's French accent and joke about how he could have survived in occupied Europe with it. However everyone knew that his regiment and rank were genuine, but of course we had no idea what a key roll he played (I think also with Y service?) but firmly our side of the lines. RIP to a great man, and one who could keep a secret.


Name: Chris
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 18 Jun 2014
Time: 07:33:18

Comments

There is now an online honour roll for those who served at Bletchley Park during WWll. Hugh Skillen's entry can ble located at rollofhonour.bletchleypark.org.uk forward slash search BTW I love this site BUT why is it the only site I've seen where the forward slash is prohibited?


Name: Bob Blackburn
Email: With Alex Bateman
Years_at_school: 1943 - 1949.
Date: 08 Jun 2014
Time: 04:02:38

Comments

Thanks Roy, What makes you think I did pass French ? I blame Sorbo, he put me off French for life. Beakey did his best and Harry Skillen likewise, all to no avail.I might have broken the record for the oldest 5th Former. Good to hear from you, Cheers Bob.


Name: Bob Blackburn
Email: With Alex Bateman
Years_at_school: 1943 - 1949.
Date: 08 Jun 2014
Time: 04:02:35

Comments

Thanks Roy, What makes you think I did pass French ? I blame Sorbo, he put me off French for life. Beakey did his best and Harry Skillen likewise, all to no avail.I might have broken the record for the oldest 5th Former. Good to hear from you, Cheers Bob.


Name: Roy Goldman
Email: roygraceatbigpond.net.au
Years_at_school: 1943 - 1949
Date: 07 Jun 2014
Time: 16:31:06

Comments

Bob Blackburn says he started school in 1043. Bob I remember you struggled repeatedly to ger the required credit in French to matriculate but was not aware it took you that long. Cheers Roy.


Name: Bob Blackburn
Email: With Alex Bateman
Years_at_school: 1043 - 1949
Date: 07 Jun 2014
Time: 15:25:56

Comments

Remember well the V2 e3xploding overhead. Pushing my bike past the school gates when it exploded very high in the sky. Few years ago on a 'War Walk' told by a guide that the slave labourers putting rockets together were sometimes able to sabotage the sensors on the rockets to cause them to explode when they hit the denser air on the way down. Do not remember any debris falling near me thank goodness. Brother Ken was one of the prefects who were doodle-bug watching on the school roof, I was in a form room on the top floor and we were told to get under our desks if the bell was rung. Not really a lot of protection.


Name: ANDREW CROOK
Email: acrookatnorthwoodprep.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1974-78
Date: 07 Jun 2014
Time: 13:04:49

Comments

Came across the 3A class photo from 1976 in the archives and have offered my name for inclusion. I had forgotten most of the others but was certainly friendly with Colin Goymer and Ian Grovesnor at the time. Played cricket with Graham Sainsbury and David Gray most break times. Sang in "The Mikado'in 1975. Went to Harrow Weald Sixth Form College thereafter and became a teacher myself so I have a lot to thank HCGS for, not least the teaching of Mr Marchant, Mr Lloyd-Jones and a female History teacher? Kind regards to all my fellow Old Gaytonians and thanks to the archivists. Andrew Crook


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-47
Date: 05 Jun 2014
Time: 13:23:57

Comments

Thanks Chris for the interesting historical snippet about Eisenhower. It would seem unlikely that we'll ever learn the content of Churchill's other speech. Our form took School Certificate exams several weeks after D-Day. Flying bombs (V1) were coming over regularly. The sixth form provide spotters on the school roof whose job it was to ring a bell when they saw a flying bomb coming in our general direction. At that point the curtain were drawn and we all had to crouch under the fold-up desks that were reserved for exams, until the second bell told us all was clear. We did this twice, once in the trigonometry exam and once during the French dictation. We all did well in both these subjects as we discussed the trig paper with our neighbours amidst all the distractions and the dictation had to be gone through again so we had a second cut at it. At a later date, when I was walking towards what was then Sopers, I saw a V2 rocket explode several thousand feet up in the air. Chunks of metal came clanging down all around me but nobody was hit. I suppose the war-head overheated on re-entry.


Name: Chris
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 05 Jun 2014
Time: 09:56:30

Comments

Brian, I think you are correct that Churchill's speech in the event D-Day failed has not been released. However Eisenhowers note has been. It read ""Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops," Eisenhower wrote. "My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone."


Name: Peter Vincent
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1966-1972
Date: 04 Jun 2014
Time: 12:51:33

Comments

James - if my maths is right, it is nearly 45 years since I was a third former and watched the Apollo 11 moon landing live on TV in the middle of the night (I think we still had a few days of term left). Six years later I was working in the operations centre of the European Space Agency in Darmstadt (West) Germany and part of the team for the COS-B mission (and slightly involved with Apollo-Soyuz).


Name: brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-47
Date: 04 Jun 2014
Time: 08:18:44

Comments

One of the 'where were you when' days I my life was seventy years ago on June 6th when George Thorn announced at school dinner that 'boys who can behave themselves' would be allowed to hear the speech that Churchill was to make. We all sat in rows on lab stools in what was then the 'New Chem Lab' and heard the news of the D-Day landings. Many years later it transpired that Churchill had two speeches ready - one was for the successful landings, which we heard, the other was in the event of failure. The text of the second speech has never to my knowledge been disclosed.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school:
Date: 02 Jun 2014
Time: 12:08:25

Comments

Yes, the Royal Free is very good. A mate of mine, suffering from cancer, spent his last days there. Another friend who has just suffered a stroke was well looked after at UCH. However, you still have to engage with the doctors and nurses if for no other reason, to thank them for their efforts on behalf of your loved ones. I wish your dad well.


Name: Jeff Maynard
Email: jeffrey at jeffreymaynard dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-69
Date: 01 Jun 2014
Time: 20:16:51

Comments

My father (age almost 91 with pneumonia) came out of hospital on Friday after a four week stay. Very impressed with the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead and the National Health service.


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: michaelwritesforyouatyahoo.ca
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 01 Jun 2014
Time: 10:17:46

Comments

In reply to Brian Hester, I was indeed sorry to read that Jeff and his family are going through a period of difficulty. I can bring some good news - last Monday I became a Canadian citizen. Yes, I am very proud. Michael.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcouk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 28 May 2014
Time: 15:12:34

Comments

An interesting reminder, Chris. Bang in the middle of my time at HCS, and I clearly remember introduction of the rule about headmasters or nominated teachers only to administer corporal punishment. I never heard of the catch-all "any forms of correction likely to affect adversely mental or physical development" - just as well perhaps; there were one or two knuckle-rappers, Twink had his own special trick of running knuckles up the back of a recalcitrant's head, Cob Webb would administer a quick, light slap on the face, saying with a friendly smile, "The quickness of the hand deceives the eye, eh, boy?" and Campbell would dot you on the top of the head with his prosthetic right arm. Only the last one really hurt. Incidentally, I think the rule of head teachers admninistering corporal punishment was already widely established, possibly because it emphasised the magnitude of the occasion. I was beaten twice each at three schools (two primary) and it was always the head teacher, and always on the hand. Reference to girls reminded me of my Longfield primary school, in which we had a Jewish refugee called Sarah Doctorzak, separated from parents and family and whose position I only dimly understood at the age of 7 or 8. She was an engaging, robust self-sufficient type and on one occasion was summoned to the stage to have each leg slapped once. She took it with indifference and returned to her place with a slight, amused smile on her face


Name: Chris
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 28 May 2014
Time: 13:06:30

Comments

An interesting find: In July 1950 Middlesex County Education Committee adopted a ten point policy on Corporal Punishment. In part Corporal punishment must be inflicted only by headmasters, headmistresses and specially authorised teachers. Boys can be caned on the hands or buttocks. Girls should be given corporal punishment only in exceptional circumstances, and on the hands only. Punishments banned include boxing the ears, rapping knuckles and "any forms of correction likely to affect adversely mental or physical development." Totally ignored at HCS


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-47
Date: 27 May 2014
Time: 05:58:42

Comments

Our webmaster is currently in UK to see his ailing father. I am sure we all wish them both well at what must be a trying time.


Name: Bill Peter
Email: bncpeteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 60-67
Date: 25 May 2014
Time: 00:54:54

Comments

Sad to hear of the death of Cliff Meyler. We lived around the corner from each other and used to travel to school together. He was a very keen cricketer and played for the school team.


Name: Dave Buckley
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 23 May 2014
Time: 06:14:36

Comments

Only pigeons? What about a traffic cone - as per Wellington's statue in George Square Glasgow?


Name: Chris
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 23 May 2014
Time: 06:02:11

Comments

Peter, you supply the statue - I'll supply the pigeons


Name: Peter ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 22 May 2014
Time: 10:10:36

Comments

I was somewhat saddened to read recent remarks about the alleged behaviour and apparent mindset of Dr AR Simpson. It seems whilst ARS has his followers there are far more detractors. Of course, no sensible conclusion on relative numbers can be drawn from the widespread comments or articles spotted throughout this web site. Like many controversial figures, it can be argued that Simpson was the curate's egg; although perhaps an extreme example. An ex-HCS friend recently pointed out that we had left the school just over fifty years. Time, perhaps, for a Simpsonian rethink? If his ardent admirers are prepared to back their case, I would be prepared to mount an appeal for a commissioned statue of the great man. I am unaware if the small triangular garden at the front of the school exists but, if so, this might be an appropriate spot for dutiful homage. I have close contacts in the sculpture world so am in a position to move the proposed scheme forward. If Dr Simpson's admirers are truly grateful for the positive influence the say he made on them in their early years they might wish to respond generously. Of course, an appeal would have to follow full legal procedures as we would not wish a repeat of the Pavilion Fund debacle during Dr Simpson's reign. Maybe that fund exists in some dusty account? If this is the case, it might be used to get the Alexander Simpson Memorial Appeal off to a good start. My email address appears on this contribution. I look forward with anticipation to a response, yea or nay. others might wish to comment more publicly on the site, itself.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 21 May 2014
Time: 05:48:59

Comments

Simpson refused to announce this achievement, just because Paul Romney didn't receive any money as well? Honestly, I can barely believe such nonsense! Truly, words fail me.


Name: Paul Romney
Email:
Years_at_school: 56-63
Date: 19 May 2014
Time: 07:21:08

Comments

The story which Richard Buckley says may or may not be true is reported at first hand by Jim Golland on this site, and I for one am happy to take it as true. In my own case, Square offered my failure to win a money award as his excuse for not announcing my Oxford admission to the Assembly. This was said on his own initiative during a chance meeting in the corridor afterwards, not in response to any anguished protestations of mine. If it was done to make me feel small, it failed miserably, since I knew how lucky I was to have got into Oxford at all with two mediocre A Levels. No doubt my performance on the Oxford entrance exam had something to do with that, but I've always ascribed it mainly to Harry Mees, who put in a word for me at his old college. What was very characteristic of Square was his resentment of my leaving HCS at Easter to earn a bit of money instead of staying on quite pointlessly until the summer. Of course, nowadays one realizes that school funding may have depended partly on numbers enrolled at the end of the year -- in which case he should have bribed me. I earned 6 quid a week at the London Zoo, and he could probably have bought me for half that.


Name: Dave Buckley
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 53 - 61
Date: 19 May 2014
Time: 03:48:26

Comments

Following on from from the last posting, there certainly is a brick just marked 'Harry'. Apparently, when asked why he hadn't put his full name, Harry replied (to the effect) 'will they forget me that quickly'! By the way, the posting a message earlier about Harry Mees, was from my brother.


Name: Peter Vincent
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1966-1972
Date: 17 May 2014
Time: 22:45:37

Comments

To Chris - there is a 10 minute video about Harrow High School on their home page www.hhsweb.org You will see glimpses of both New Hall and Old Hall in their new guises, students in front of the Sixth Form Entrance and lessons in some of the same ancient classrooms we had as well as some much more modern buildings. If you are in the UK, the school welcomes old boys to have a look around if you phone or email in advance so they know you are coming, and have the head girl or boy show you around. If you get to the performing arts building, make sure you check the sponsors brick for one marked "Harry".


Name: richardatspaceplanner.co.uk
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1959-65
Date: 16 May 2014
Time: 10:30:35

Comments

In response to Brian Hester's post of 29th March, I became quite friendly with Harry Mees in his final years. He had moved to Cirencester with his third wife who, sadly, like the first two, predeceased him. My wife and I moved to a village just outside the town from Wembley Park in 2002. Whilst clearly not an enthusiast for the 'Simpson style' of management, he praised him for never interfering in the running of the History Department whilst he headed it. He thought this was quite something. As he said, "Remember, in those days, not only did you call him 'Sir', so did I, a Head of Department!". He told me how he had set up an extra Scout troop as a 'home' for boys desperate to escape belonging to the Cadets. Simpson knew that this was the purpose but didn't object. He said how he had heard on the last day of his term as Headmaster that Dr. Simpson was about to leave without saying goodbye. He had dashed up to Simpson's study to wish him well because there didn't seem to be any sort of leaving ceremony. Which, I guess, is how Simpson wanted it. As I have said elsewhere, even allowing for the way things were in those days, Simpson was a very peculiar man. Whilst he never tried to be a Mr. Chips, there is something not entirely right about a Head who is not given a farewell dinner by his Common Room. The story that he reduced to tears a boy who had unexpectedly got a place at Oxbridge because he had failed to get a scholarship or an exhibition may or may not be true; the point is, we find it believable. But I do think he was a good picker of men. There were many superb masters on the staff who could have taught anywhere. He may even have been a very good manager. But he really was extremely odd! Harry also told me the full story, complete with the Board of Trade Railway Inspectorate's report, of the time his brother was the guard on a train running amok up and down the Severn Tunnel, that he told to uproarious laughter at a meeting in the mid '60s of the Sixth Form Society.


Name: Chris
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 16 May 2014
Time: 08:35:38

Comments

I was at HCS 1953-60. Obviously things have changed a good deal. If, sometime in the future, somebody has the time and opportunity I (and I suspect many others) would really appreciate a photo or video tour posted on the website.


Name: John C Green
Email: jomogreenATbigpond.com
Years_at_school: 1947-1954
Date: 30 Apr 2014
Time: 05:04:04

Comments

Greetings, Congratulations on this fine website, discovered by chance. It has brought back many memories, particularly those refering to Dr Simpson's reign. After graduating at UCL I taught Maths and coached distance runners and sailors until the end of '99 at Eliots Green GS, Watford GS, Lenana School in Nairobi and Brisbane GS in Queensland, where I now live with my wife Moira. Regards, John Green


Name: Jon Grunewald
Email: jongru(at)btinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1967 to 73
Date: 07 Apr 2014
Time: 13:52:02

Comments

Sadly Cliff Meyler, who was at the school about 7 years before I was, died on Monday 10th March at the age of 65. He will be much missed, not least by his many friends in the Pinner Players Theatre Company where he was an outstanding actor.


Name: Callum Kerr
Email: ckerratskorpionzinc.com.na
Years_at_school: 1970-77
Date: 03 Apr 2014
Time: 03:14:09

Comments

Photo of Class 2A, 1971 submitted by Pete King - a few more names to go with it - some I am not sure of others definite... Back row, third from left Phil Zeligman, then Loius Pilgrim then Packer - he sadly died not long after this, ill with something?cancer?. 3rd Row 2nd from left - ?Downing? then after Steve Bird, Chris "Titty" Allen, Karl Smol and I think ?Lawrence Levy? 2nd Row behind the teacher Emsleigh on the left and Geoff Maynard I think and is the lad beside Simon Pithers ?Robinson? Front row third from left the name Martin Hall comes to mind, but I'm not so sure, and second from the right the names Russell David or Lithgow come to mind... my word but it was quite a time ago!!!


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-47
Date: 29 Mar 2014
Time: 06:00:17

Comments

It amazes me that Simpson's history of achievements and failures as headmaster should continue to prompt as much animated discussion as it does. His first year at school as my last so much of what he did happened after my time. Presumably for perceived talents he has hired away from an obscure school in Scotland. A free hand to run a school with a reputation for excellence and one that was about to be expanded - what an upward step in his career. The many members of staff who had performed well under the previous heads, were now ready for retirement and the core of younger masters, many of whom were old boys, did not adjust to the new order so moved on leaving Simpson able to choose his own staff and impose his own style of management without resistance from the Common Room. His remote and autocratic style of management brought Simpson into direct confrontation with the massive social changes that followed the war. 'Adjustment' was not a word in his dictionary but he got results and did build the school. In the process he provided the role model for the Doc Martin of television fame. I doubt the man had friends. He certainly kept himself remote from his staff. Exposed to Simpson as youths, we experienced a shock but it was good training for life's experiences. In my working life I was exposed to several managers who. in comparison made Simpson, look like a rabbit.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 28 Mar 2014
Time: 03:36:50

Comments

I have privately corresponded with a former HCS friend accusing him, in a mild way, of being the originator of the mythical or misunderstood Zach Rose. He denies this and I have no reason to disbelieve him. Whilst no fan of Dr AR Simpson, I think it's a shame if an apparently honourable person rises to his defence to praise a dead man for his perceived good works in life. Dr Simpson and his cronies have been greatly vilified on this blog so it seems unfair when someone bravely leaps to his aid only for that bold person to be accused of spreading mischief. Admittedly, Mr Rose's alleged email address appears unsafe or unknown (I have checked) but, in the interest of free speech, I do believe we should encourage Simpsonophiles to speak up. Only by this means can the true reputation of Dr Simpson be made secure and accurate for final judgement. Dr Simpson was a Headmaste, the old word, out of his time and might have been an educational sensation in ancient Athens. 1960 AD was arguably a few historical bridges too far for him but only by about two and a half millennia.


Name: TChris R
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 26 Mar 2014
Time: 10:46:23

Comments

I must say that I automatically assumed that Zach's comments were pure satire from a fictional person. Realistically that is the only possible assumption if the message is read attentively.


Name: Pete Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/62
Date: 25 Mar 2014
Time: 09:14:10

Comments

'Zach Rose' is fiction, surely. Placed there as an act of mischief. If he isn't, it would be nice for him to post an actual and not a made-up name.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 24 Mar 2014
Time: 17:39:49

Comments

Oops, the name in the second line should be Rose, not Roae! Profuse apologies for one or two other minor errors, totally inexcusable of course, for someone who endured 6 years under Square's (sorry, also, for offending your delicate sensibilities, Geoff Fisher!) regime. Perhaps I, too, "should never have been" there "in the first place"....


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondAT yahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 24 Mar 2014
Time: 17:19:18

Comments

Just remembered, the classroom was A6.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 24 Mar 2014
Time: 17:17:56

Comments

In response to Zach Rose's post of February 18, expressing his gratitude for Dr Simpson and his regime, citing how much he owes to the teaching of Classics by the former Head, not least in terms of the heights of scholarly achievement he, Mr Roae, attained, I'm reminded of one of those incidents for some reason etched in my memory, that I can clearly recall, even nearly fifty years later. It was in a 6th form History period, in room A2 (or was it A1? Anyway, in that particularly small, rather claustrophobic place at the dark end of the A corridor, entered via swing doors). Harry Mees - first-class honours degree at Oxford, head of department, chief of the school Scout group, major figure behind the scenes in school drama productions, ie a major presence in the institution, respected by all, even 'loved' by many - responding to an informal discussion of DR Simpson's latest reactionary statement or measure, declared, with barely concealed passionate contempt, "Hrrrummphh!" (approximately). "A classical education sends you up the creek!" It was a moment of no little drama, appreciated by the small number of students present. And one that in recalling here, I commend to you, Zach Rose, as worth bearing in mind. AS the ancient Greek aphorism, often discussed by Plato and others, says, "Know Yourself"... And to use the current vernacular, 'I hope this helps'.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 09 Mar 2014
Time: 04:02:02

Comments

WW Eagars as a conjuror? I think not. This offered explanation fails to take into account the fact that both players used the same ball. To my knowledge, no other Subbuteo player managed to curve the trajectory, followed by a sudden dip under the bar. Eagars' great feat was hugely advantageous as the back of the goal allowed for the passage of a wire attached to the back of the goalkeeper's base. The gap was restricted in height so it was impossible for goalies to fly into the top corners. Thus, Eagars' shooting predominance. To my knowledge, he was only beaten once. WW was arguably the Real Madrid equivalent of his day. Certainly, he was our sporting idol. Perhaps he was in the wrong job but I do not know if Subbuteo ever went professional. He may have operated under a pseudonym and I recall in the European Subbuteo Championship a French ace, M.Oeufy. This may be pure coincidence. Oeufy developed a rather cynical, bruising team that intimidated opponents in the subsequent fashion of Don Revie's Leeds Utd. One may postulate that Revie's childhood and embryonic footballing ideas emerged on the green beige cloth of the tiny Subbuteo pitch.


Name: Dick Worsfold
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1951-1959
Date: 08 Mar 2014
Time: 11:26:54

Comments

The inimitable Eagers indeed. Interesting to hear of his skill at desk games. Teaching French was certainly not one of them. The brilliant move of appointing a man with a speech impediment as a language teacher was excelled only by the lunacy of the lower forms in each stream receiving his ministrations. They really needed the best teachers. He was also skilled in smoking a cigarette down to the last quarter of an inch and saving the stub in a Swan Vestas matchbox. Happy Days indeed


Name: Peter Vincent
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1966-1972
Date: 08 Mar 2014
Time: 07:41:07

Comments

Hmmm Might he have also been an amateur conjurer and had a special ball which he substituted then removed? Just a little weight on one side...


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 07 Mar 2014
Time: 11:29:39

Comments

Subbuteo was perhaps a more dangerous game than P. Vincent suggests. I trust his brother recovered from a severe blow from a ball in the eye. One HCS player had to retire with a sprained wrist only ten minutes into a game. Sadly, there was also a degree of corruption associated with these hard-fought matches. I later discovered that a small betting ring was in operation and that the game between Bolton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion had been fixed in WBA's favour. I previously failed to mention Mr Eagars' curled free-kicks from outside the box. No-one came up with an adequate scientific explanation of the parabolic flight of the ball into the top corner of the net. The nearest modern equivalent in the main game is Luis Suarez, at Liverpool. WW Eagars may have been several decades ahead of his time.


Name: Peter Vincent
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1966-1972
Date: 07 Mar 2014
Time: 11:14:05

Comments

And... my younger non-HCS brother holds the record of retiring injured from a Subbuteo game when the ball him in the eye!


Name: Peter Vincent
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1966-1972
Date: 07 Mar 2014
Time: 11:12:09

Comments

Interesting that when I played for the IBM team one of our opponents fielded 12 men and were not only thrown out of the league but also kicked out of the FA (not first time apparently)!


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 06 Mar 2014
Time: 13:26:15

Comments

Responding to Peter Vincent, the Subbuteo non-shooting line, as he describes it, is no doubt correct. Just for the record, I am not quite in the army blanket and chalk generation but I think I now recall this extra line stretching from touch line to touch line, half way inside each half. Of course, this does not invalidate my account of Mr Eagars' disputed goal. Although it suggests that he was definitely in the wrong. Maybe he tried things on, a little, having extra authority. He once fielded twelve players on the pitch which was spotted late in the second half when his Brentford were 4-1 up against Queen Park Rangers. The match was re-played after a heated exchange and QPR won 1-0. Justice was served. Mr Eagars never played again and gradually the Subbuteo games faded out in these Civics-type sessions for non-cadets or scouts.


Name: Peter Vincent
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1966-1972
Date: 05 Mar 2014
Time: 08:49:11

Comments

In Subbuteo football you can only score when the ball is inside an additional line half-way between centre line and goalline. This is probably the line you are thinking about rather than halfway? However if this is pre-printed pitches era, when the norm was to chalk a pitch onto an army blanket, then it might have been different. Many years ago, "soccer" in the USA used this same "Subbuteo" line but someone realised that this prevents them ever playing on the world stage, so was abandoned (as far as I know).


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 05 Mar 2014
Time: 08:06:24

Comments

I must apologise (see previous) as I failed to enter my name on the WW Eagars soocer report. Mr Eagars was equally adept at tuppeny hapenny football. I don't think we played competitive matches, only friendlies. 'Eggie' used worn, polished Victorian coins, still in legal circulation in 1962. They had the advantage of sliding over wooden surfaces with great ease.


Name: Type your name here
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 05 Mar 2014
Time: 08:00:25

Comments

Interested to see the footballing reference to WW Eagars, formerly of Chiswick GS. Our Eagars, if we are talking about the same person, was a dab hand at Subuteo table football during his alleged Citizenship lessons. I remember he got very cross after scoring from behind the half way line as the great goal was disallowed by the boy ref. This brave young person claimed Subuteo rules did not permit such a possibility (perfectly legal in real soccer.) I can no longer recall the correct ruling. Mr Eagars' team played in Brentford red and white stripes and my own Doncaster Rovers lost to him in the quarter finals of our mock 'FA Cup' competition. Brentford went on to lose to Watford in the last minute of the Final. One of Mr Eagers' players came unstuck and fell out its plastic base. No substitutes were allowed in those far-off days. Thus, handicapped Brentford went down 1-3. Eagars shook hands with victor and took his defeat well.


Name: Type your name here
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 05 Mar 2014
Time: 08:00:23

Comments

Interested to see the footballing reference to WW Eagars, formerly of Chiswick GS. Our Eagars, if we are talking about the same person, was a dab hand at Subuteo table football during his alleged Citizenship lessons. I remember he got very cross after scoring from behind the half way line as the great goal was disallowed by the boy ref. This brave young person claimed Subuteo rules did not permit such a possibility (perfectly legal in real soccer.) I can no longer recall the correct ruling. Mr Eagars' team played in Brentford red and white stripes and my own Doncaster Rovers lost to him in the quarter finals of our mock 'FA Cup' competition. Brentford went on to lose to Watford in the last minute of the Final. One of Mr Eagers' players came unstuck and fell out its plastic base. No substitutes were allowed in those far-off days. Thus, handicapped Brentford went down 1-3. Eagars shook hands with victor and took his defeat well.


Name: Type your name here
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 05 Mar 2014
Time: 07:59:08

Comments

Interested to see the footballing reference to WW Eagars, formerly of Chiswick GS. Our Eagars, if we are talking about the same person, was a dab hand at Subuteo table football during his alleged Citizenship lessons. I remember he got very cross after scoring from behind the half way line as the great goal was disallowed by the boy ref. This brave young person claimed Subuteo rules did not permit such a possibility (perfectly legal in real soccer.) I can no longer recall the correct ruling. Mr Eagars' team played in Brentford red and white stripes and my own Doncaster Rovers lost to him in the quarter finals of our mock 'FA Cup' competition. Brentford went on to lose to Watford in the last minute of the Final. One of Mr Eagers' players came unstuck and fell out its plastic base. No substitutes were allowed in those far-off days. Thus, handicapped Brentford went down 1-3. Eagars shook hands with victor and took his defeat well.


Name: Chris Atkinson
Email: christopherdotatkinson43atntlworlddotcomWrite word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 48 to 53
Date: 05 Mar 2014
Time: 03:58:00

Comments

Mr Eagers?? He also taught 'citizenship' on Friday afternoons if you weren't otherwise engaged with the Cadet or Scout activities. Somehow the thought of him playing in a football team doesn't gel. But who knows, stranger things etc etc...


Name: Robert Paige
Email: roberttpaigeataol.com
Years_at_school: A Visitor
Date: 04 Mar 2014
Time: 22:15:17

Comments

Re: Edmund S. Ions and "Sherlock Holmes In Dallas" Once again my apologies for the intrusion and thanks for getting me on the right track. I am sorry but I must have confused Harrow when it was really Heaton. Best wishes to all and again thanks for letting me visit. I would still be interested in knowing if anyone else has ever read the book.


Name: Steve Grimes
Email:
Years_at_school: 1958-64
Date: 04 Mar 2014
Time: 15:05:03

Comments

I came across this photograph of Chiswick GS 1st XI Football Team 1944-5 showing a "Mr. W.W. Eagers" back row 2nd from left. www.flickr.com slash photos slash finlandia_175 slash 8748559125 slash in slash set-72157632250250334 Can anyone hazard a guess if this the same W.W.E who used to teach French at HCS in early 1960's (with the aid of a form secretary, egg noise and red book)? Herr, hum?


Name: Robert Paige
Email: roberttpaigeataol.com
Years_at_school: A visitor
Date: 04 Mar 2014
Time: 14:06:13

Comments

Thank you very much for the information, Peter Fowler. They really do clear up a few points. Really , this had nothing to do with this website except for the connection with the Harrow student and Mr. Ions. I had been exchanging contacts with Mr. Ions but apparenly fell out with him after I made some critical remarks in a review about his book "Sherlock Holmes In Dallas" about having some curious errors. The curious thing is that York have no records of Mr. Ions . I have contacted them by e-mail. Once again I am indebted to this website for allowing me to post these questions. My apologies if this has been too trivial and off-topic. Mr.Ions is still alive and well and has posted several lengthy rebuttals to the critical remarks of his book. In short, they were to the effect in regard to the critical remarks that there wasn't much of the "Sherlock Holmes" and from my point of view there wasn't much of the "In Dallas" in the book. Also some of the readers expressed their opinion that the title was just used to attract readers of Sherlock Holmes and perhaps readers from Dallas to buy the book. And that is the reason for the method for my madness. It is really just a bit of a tempest in a teapot, but thanks for "filling in the blanks." It was I who had written to the webmaster to have that "snobbish Edmund Ions" remark removed (at the request of Mr.Ions.) If you should wish further details IMHO it would be best by PM to my e-mail address. Thanks again for letting me visit the website. It is most interesting to read the comments. A lot of them are a lot like life in the USA while a lot of them are quite different. LOL.


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56-63
Date: 03 Mar 2014
Time: 11:19:55

Comments

Robert, just play around with Google. Edmund Ions was at Heaton Grammar School, Newcastle, before WW2; he taught at York University where one of his students, a contributor to the Heaton old boys' site, was taught by him (a John Charlton). Charlton says that he was 'taught by an old Heatonian, the very snobbish Edmund Ions.' The date reference - ie when this Charlton was at York - is given as 1967. So we know that Ions taught at York in the 1960s. We also know - Amazon - that he wrote Sociology books at the same time. Therefore, contact York if you want to take this further (though it is quite likely he is dead) and say he was a Sociology lecturer in the 1960s. I'm not sure why this has got anything to do with this site.


Name: Robert Paige
Email: roberttpaigeataol.com
Years_at_school: A Visitor
Date: 02 Mar 2014
Time: 21:36:07

Comments

Thanks for the information, Chris R. But at the present I would like to find out what year the student attended York . I'm not sure of the year. Unfortunately, that comment has been deleted.: In his first letter to me Mr. Ions stated that he found the comment of "the snobbish Edmund Ions" to be offensive and requested that I write to the webmaster (I assume it was Mr. Maynard at the time) and have it removed, which was done. The thought was that if I could find the year in question this might help York in their search for Mr.Ions.It does seem a bit odd that they would not be able to -quote- "Go back that far."- unquote. My High School in Dallas,Texas, USA has records of faculty, students and notable visitors going back to the first records dating back to 1925, when the school first opened. (Mostly from the old annual year books.) It does seem odd that nobody at York had ever heard of Mr. Ions. The reason I asked if anyone has read Mr. Ions book was that I might get their comments on it from the British point of view. Thank you again for your reply. As a last resort I may go to the reference you supplied. Mr.Ions might even be residing elsewhere now.


Name: Chris R
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 28 Feb 2014
Time: 19:45:39

Comments

Robert, 192.com claim to have full contact info for Edmund S. Ions living in Oxford. Of course they want a small fee for giving this info.


Name: Robert Paige
Email: roberttpaigeataol.com
Years_at_school: A Visitor
Date: 28 Feb 2014
Time: 12:35:00

Comments

BTW. Have any of you have ever read Sherlock Holmes In Dallas by Edmund Aubrey ? Or, as we say in Texas have any of y'all ever read the book and have any comments ?


Name: Robert Paige
Email: robertttpaigeataol.com
Years_at_school: A Visitor
Date: 28 Feb 2014
Time: 09:25:14

Comments

Some time ago there were some comments from a former student that he had -quote-Studied Political Science (?) at York (?) under the snobbish Edmund Ions - unquote.Would you have any information as to what year or date the student in question was at York (?) ?. I have been trying to write to Mr. Ions but have been unable. Also I have written to York and they have no records of Mr. Ions ever being at York. So perhaps if the year and date were known it might narrow down the search. Thanks. Details later if you are interested.


Name: JOHN WELLS
Email: johnseagullsathotmail.co.uk
Years_at_school:
Date: 24 Feb 2014
Time: 09:22:17

Comments

I am th son-in-law of Reg Gigney, joined 1929, and was an enthusiastic sportsman desite havig health probblems. while he was welldocumnted about hs rrugby and cricket and football interest he also claimed to have been cox to the boat Crew. Do you heany photos of the boat rew betwen 29 and 33, or any other mentions of hi please. he ws mentione in a Ruby prgrammme i think thank you john wells


Name: Peter Vincent
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1966-1972
Date: 23 Feb 2014
Time: 00:37:06

Comments

Anyone spot Andy Kelso former teacher at HCS's successor Gayton High on the BBC News today? See http:SLASHSHLASHm.bbc.co.ukSLASHnewsSLASHuk-northern-ireland-26305837. A few years after my time but I am pretty sure it is him - I believe he was a drama teacher?


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/63
Date: 21 Feb 2014
Time: 04:17:08

Comments

A guy called Paul Vernon has set up a rather wonderful Facebook site on Paul Oliver's writings, a great tribute set of pages. I'm writing this just in case someone like Bob Garrett is not aware of it...and I do wonder if Paul knows.


Name: Geoff Fisher
Email: gfisher7atg.mail.com
Years_at_school: 1950-1957
Date: 18 Feb 2014
Time: 23:56:56

Comments

I guess Zach meant 1950s and 1960s but I entirely agree with him about the puerile name calling.


Name: Zach Rose
Email: zachroseatbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1953-1960
Date: 18 Feb 2014
Time: 08:43:30

Comments

The story told of HCS in the 60s and 70s by some contributors to this site is a travesty of the truth. I thoroughly enjoyed my years at the school. Under the stewardship of Dr. Simpson it had an outstanding academic record and was acknowledged to be one of the best two grammar schools in the country.It also had an admired CCF and a thriving scout group. I would not have gained a double first in classics at Oxford without the wise tutelage of Dr. Simpson. Yes, George Thorn was musically illiterate and 'Swanny' Amos was a bully but every school has its bad eggs. It was no secret to those of us who got on well with the headmaster that he held them in little regard. I can only surmise that the serial moaners on this site achieved little at school and went on to modest jobs in teaching and commerce. But would they have done better under a less demanding regime at, say, Pinner County? Anyway, bitterness at one's lot in life is no excuse for besmirching the reputation of a fine man.


Name: Chris Atkinson
Email: christopherdotatkinson43at ntlworlddotcom
Years_at_school: 48 to 53
Date: 17 Feb 2014
Time: 10:50:05

Comments

There's another HHS video,full of high spirits, on YouTube 'HHS Final Day Tribute video'. Not quite as polished and professional as the PR one. Chris A.


Name: Brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 194-47
Date: 16 Feb 2014
Time: 16:12:47

Comments

You are rightly amazed Peter. This page reflects the changes that have taken place in society during our life-times. When I started at HCS the older part of the building was still lit by gas and the staff were largely veterans of WW1 and imbued with Victorian values. Regard for our general health was such that the toilets had no hand washing facilities. You had to walk about 150 metres for that. Perhaps the arrangement has led to us all developing a resistance to infection not to be found among present pupils.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63 last century
Date: 14 Feb 2014
Time: 16:09:15

Comments

I checked out the Harrow High School video previously mentioned by Chris Esmond. Well, OK it's PR, but I once worked in a mixed ILEA Comp and Primary Ed so feel I would detect falsity. Lots of really good youngsters at HHS by the look and sound of it, many of whom will contribute positively to our future. A great advert for coeducation and ethnic mixing, so good luck to them all. What would Old Simpson make of it? I can picture the stony expression forming on his grim visage. All that success and cooperation without ranting, threatening and caning. How does HHS manage? Worst of all, keep it a secret, the senior soccer team has recently won the Borough Championship. Soccer? Tush. Tush.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 13 Feb 2014
Time: 18:17:54

Comments

Have just chanced upon the 10 minute promo video introducing Harrow High School, a successor of HCS. My God, the contrast between now and 'then' - it's almost like another universe! I've been a teacher and I know this isn't necessarily typical, but it's a reminder of so much that was lacking in my time at school. What a comparatively primitive place that was - not intellectually, but in other respects, especially socially. rom this perspective, HCS of the late 50's-60's seems, in many ways, a total bloody madhouse.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 13 Feb 2014
Time: 17:53:06

Comments

Ah, summer 1968... To borrow Wordworth's immortal lines, "Bliss was it in that Dawn to be alive, But to be young was very Heaven!" Two years liberated from the cramped confines of HCS, as a uni student I was spreading my wings across America and Canada, having a remarkable few months solo adventure. The 'youth culture' was flourishing, almost everywhere I went people asked me if I knew the Beatles - at which I played my trump card: "Well, I had an English teacher who used to teach Paul and George at the Liverpool Insitute" (ie the memorable Fred Billson). My questioners were well impressed by that revelation. In no particular order, I recall just a few contrasting highlights... From cheap hotels to private flats, from hippie caravan in Nevada to Salvation Army flophouse in Toronto (totally broke), from two full days on a Greyhound bus to an 'acid high' at Lake Tahoe, Nevada, from Ontario tobacco farms to driving around the Chicago suburbs selling ice-cream, from the conservative quietude of small-town Ohio to the chaotic violence of the Democrats' Convention in Chicago, from Skid Row to strolling across Golden Gate Bridge one sunny day, feeling almost literally 'high as a kite', from eating alone at the end of a day's 'hard travellin' to the wonder and social fun of an all-night mescaline trip after work, travelling from sedate New England and the meditative solitude of Thoreau's Walden Pond, via an attempted mugging in Times Square ("He's English, he has no money!" explained the friend I'd met on the bus), to a final two nights at a crazy New York flat, peopled by all sorts, most enjoying their drugs of choice, including a local radio DJ... Amazing what can happen when you're young and deciding to 'go with life' rather than trying to impose yourself on it, as it were... Forget "the troubles" - the US was at war, inside and out - for many of us that was surely a summer to treasure!


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: michaelwritesforyouatyahooca
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 13 Feb 2014
Time: 07:46:17

Comments

Bonjour, Monsieur Fournier - I very much enjoyed French in the year 1967-1968. Merci! I too was surprised by your achieving a suntan in England! But then, the sunshine climate was probably better in England in 1968 than the political climate in France in 1968. You even cancelled the Le Mans 24 Hours race because of the troubles. Best wishes Michael.


Name: Ted Mansfield
Email: tg.mansfield.109atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1954-1959
Date: 11 Feb 2014
Time: 03:40:36

Comments

Hello again. Great to see all the memories of the 4th Harrow. I was in fact a member of 2 troops; I was initially "persuaded" to join The Foresters, where Faerie was the scoutmaster, and was there for 2 years, including summer camps in Guernsy and Scotland. Then, as most of my greatest friends were in The Merrymen, I transferred, initially Tony Cresswell, then Chris Lee were Scoutmasters. On through the Seniors, and to the Rover Crew, then took an Assistant Scoutmaster's warrant along with Richard Lee, back with the Merrymen with Johnny Springall as SM, and his brother Dave another ASM. Re Bob Garratt's comments, Richard Lee was another often seen on the 114 bus as a member of the "Stanmore and environs" group, though as Bob says, there weren't many of us. There were a few HC Girls School members, and schools like John Lyons, but we were heavily out-numbered by The Blackwell Secondary Modern lot. And another Stanmore candidate was Ken Childerhouse, by then a prefect, who was useful in times of delay to the service, in preventing George Thorn from handing out detentions to the rest of us who had arrived late, through no fault of our own. Can everybody remember the 6 week bus stike in 1958? Those of us with bus passes were granted permission to cycle to school, and what an array of machines ancient and modern were to be seen in all their glory in the cycle racks. It was almost a disappointment when the strike ended and we all reverted to the scrum of schoolkids boarding buses every morning! I remember with sadness when we heard one day at morning assembly of the death of Graham MacFadyen, some 2 years behind my year, the previous afternoon. A vehicle had mounted the footway on Watford Road, ploughing into a group of HCS pupils en route to or from the rugby pitches with which we are all familiar. Several boys were injured, and Graham killed. Then in my own 5th form class in 1959, we lost our colleague Chris Ellor, who had died in a road accident over the Easter holidays. Chris was a leading light in the cadets pipe band, and I recall we had a collection for an annual award in his name to be added to the cadet force trophies; I wonder what became of it, and all those trophies? For now, all the best all, keep well, hope you're OK in the floods.


Name: Chris Atkinson
Email: christopherdotatkinson43atntlworlddotcom
Years_at_school: 48 to 53
Date: 10 Feb 2014
Time: 08:12:59

Comments

Just out of interest, as of end-January Charlie King has now passed the 80-mark. There's a bit of a celebration about to take place, which should be interesting for all the old faces it will root out. I may be going down, but I now live in North Cambridgeshire and it's a bit of a long trip for this ole git. Chris A.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 09 Feb 2014
Time: 15:37:25

Comments

Both Roger Annan and Charlie King were scoutmasters in my few years with the Pioneers, Roger being an assistant, Charlie the main man, as it were. They were ok guys, as were Martin Hook and a man called Mac (not from the Lower East Side, NYC, btw). Charlie's day job was in selling and when I told him my father had given me a choice between going on a scout camp to Denmark and a new bike, and I had chosen the bike, he fancied himself to persuade him to relent and let me have both. I knew he'd fail as my father was a stubborn so'n'so once he'd made up his mind. Charlie came to our house and made his pitch. I wasn't allowed to be present - of course not, they were discussing me!! I listened from upstairs, curious and fascinated, yet thinking how dare they talk about me behind my back. But I well knew the outcome, of course... I got the bike, had a good time riding it, but missed the trip to Denmark. I didn't really mind, I was told it was for financial reasons, although I suspect a wish not to 'spoil' me also came into it. Fair enough, I could respect that as a worthwhile value and still do.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16at btinternet.com
Years_at_school: 59-63
Date: 08 Feb 2014
Time: 11:55:25

Comments

Roger Annan, indeed. One of the good guys, as I remember, who had a younger brother in my year. Sadly the brother, again very pleasant and liked, suffered a terminal illness and died, aged 15. I recall Amos humiliating him in PE and Games. The boy could hardly run although he did his best. Our Gayton Rovers unofficial soccer team played the school where Roger taught, Abbotsfield. Roger refereed and we won 3-1. A good result as Abbotsfield had a good footballing reputation. Harry Levine scored a fine goal from my assist (note the jargon) whence I collapsed with cramp. I always sympathise with footballers on TV when they go down in cramped agony.


Name: Peter Vincent
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1966-1972
Date: 08 Feb 2014
Time: 05:56:53

Comments

Roger Annan, a science teacher at another school I believe? In my time he ran the Venturers, which was the pop version of seniors but which I got bored with very quickly (although later served on a ship HMS Venturer!)


Name: Dick Worsfold
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 07 Feb 2014
Time: 06:10:50

Comments

Brian filled the role of group as opposed to troop scoutmaster. In my time, as well as Tony running the Merrymen, Jack Kirkland was troop scoutmaster of the Pathfinders. The inimitable Charlie King took over from him I believe. Glad to hear he is still in circulation. Pass on my very best.Harry Mees was with the Foresters and I cannot immediately recall the Pioneers scoutmaster although Roger Annis?? rings a bell. Brian acted on behalf of all the troops in district matters and camped with each troop alternatively. Two weeks in Stradbally county Waterford proved his adage "Rain before 7 fine before 11" to be totally wrong in the summer of 1955 ( I think)


Name: Chris Atkinson
Email: christopherdotatkinson43at ntlworlddotcom
Years_at_school:
Date: 07 Feb 2014
Time: 02:39:38

Comments

Thanks Dick, I did notice that the spelling was wrong, I can't recall if anyone (e.g. Jack or Norman or Faerie himself)ever explained what the Spenserian connection was. I've just spoken with Charlie King, and he has no idea either. And I don't recall that Faerie was ever running the Merrymen, unless it was for a short period when I was abroad. It was Tony Cresswell when I joined in '48, and Chris Lee when I went into the RAF in '56. Not too sure of the chronology in later years, certainly Johnny Springall and Philip Levi at times. Funnily enough, having started in the Merrymen I ended up running the Pathfinders. Andy Wright had to give up for work reasons and I resigned as GSL and promoted myself to SL ... much more fun. Chris A.


Name: Ian gawn
Email: ian.gawnatorange,fr
Years_at_school: 1955-62
Date: 06 Feb 2014
Time: 11:38:20

Comments

Saw an item on The One Show on BBC 1 tonight about Cash's Name Tapes going into receivership. Am I imagining it, or was there not an OG involved with the company. If so, or if not, many commiserations - I guess I was not alone in having their products sewn into my clothes, and we have just found a load for our youngest son when he was at school not many years ago.


Name: Dick Worsfold
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1951-1959
Date: 06 Feb 2014
Time: 09:43:29

Comments

Just to set the record straight, Brian Stanford used the spelling Faerie a la Edmund Spenser. He was an excellent group scoutmaster in the time when I was in the 4th Harrow.


Name: Chris Atkinson
Email: christopherdotatkinson43atntlworlddotcom
Years_at_school: 48 to 53
Date: 04 Feb 2014
Time: 10:52:12

Comments

My apologies. I didn't mean to turn this into the School Scout Group forum. My own background is that I was already in the Scouts when I joined HCS, so I translated myself into the 4th Harrow. In due course I also joined the cadets and managed to cope with the RAF Section as well as Scouts. After spending quite a few years abroad I took over as Group Scout Leader in 1972. I also wrote for the national magazine 'Scouting' for some eleven years, and was a founder member of TSA's first website 'ScoutBaseUK'. So,yes,Scouting has always suited me fine and opened many doors for me through the various contacts made. And I've always known that Scouting was not for everyone, although I'd like to think that most of those I had contact with down the years did get some fun and even perhaps benefit from being a Member. Chris A.


Name: Pete Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56-62
Date: 04 Feb 2014
Time: 05:59:15

Comments

Chris, I don't want to sound like a misery-guts and acknowledge the fact that you had a good time with the Scouts. I think the problem was this: the compulsion at the school to join one of two institutions. Sure, you could get out of the Scouts later on (I did myself, the only 'penalty' being not being made a Prefect, which was more than OK for me); but in the early years it was a hard and fast rule, the breaking of which, if I remember rightly, could only be obtained through a parental plea. What I do know is this - there were kids in my scout troop who should not have been there. They should have been playing chess, or in a reading club, or learning Bridge or whatever. And I stand by, completely, my memory of one or two of these boys who went through hell even in the 'slackest' troops. It was the compulsion that caused this; not the nature of scouting.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 04 Feb 2014
Time: 05:34:32

Comments

Sorry, I forgot to put my name to that last post re the Scouts. Should also have added various 'wide games' to the list of enjoyed scout activities. Those days off normal schooling, chasing around London, or nights trekking around the countryside around Rickmansworth.


Name: Type your name here
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 04 Feb 2014
Time: 05:29:16

Comments

Pete, perhaps we can read too much into that 'Fairy' nickname, the guy was a pretty large chap so the name was almost certainly humorously friendly, wasn't it? You know, par for the course for those days in that somewhat rarified all-male environment... I enjoyed a thoroughly mediocre scouting career in the Pioneers, which was an ok outfit, including the likes of Dave Godleman and Barry Williams, to name but two older-than-me er, 'role models'! I dropped out, unable to motivate myself, let alone others as a patrol leader (in retrospect, depressed) at 15, but have no regrets about those 3 or 4 years, especially the various camps and the crazy football games in the tiny Scout hut after the Friday night meetings. But I admit I was terrified before and during my first summer camp by the warnings about probable 'initiations' for the first-years, known as "being done". Lurid tales of being stripped and having boot polish smeared over your, er, 'private parts' didn't exactly fill me with delighted anticipation. But I needn't have worried, nothing ever happened. And I tried to make sure it didn't by feigning illness on what was supposed to have been 'the night'. Cunning little devil I was!


Name: Pete Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/63
Date: 03 Feb 2014
Time: 14:15:27

Comments

Even I was a Merryman. But my memories are somewhat different. The bullying on the wide games, the way one of our troop was subjected to non-stop abuse by someone seen as a hero by the sporties of the school. A patrol leader. I remember his name but would never dream of stating it here. The oddness of our 'scout master' being called by the nick-name of 'Fairy', a name that even seemed weird to boys who knew next to nothing of cultural and moral contexts. The Scouts were fine for some; but nightmares for others. I got by, easy; but others went under.


Name: Peter Vincent
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1966-1972
Date: 02 Feb 2014
Time: 10:55:19

Comments

Merrymen - in fact to get my navigation badge I now remember that I had to navigate Philip Levi to Oxford so we could visit Mr Blann in college residence, who happened to have been my form prefect in the 1st form. A rather beautiful room in the old part of his college - but no doubt freezing in the winter.


Name: Peter Vincent
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1966-1972
Date: 02 Feb 2014
Time: 09:34:06

Comments

Peter - you must mean Johnny and Dave Springall? Dave was in charge when I joined in 1966 (and when I was a PL in 4th form handed over to the illustrious Philip Levi) although Johnny did come to some summer camps in my time. When Philip took over, he insisted on some badges if you wanted to be a PL (I think I did navigation if I remember correctly) and ended up receiving 1st class scout badge on train back from summer camp in Switzerland as I left the troop.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter,ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 02 Feb 2014
Time: 09:11:27

Comments

Chris, I never mean my words on this guest book to be taken too seriously. My time in the Merrymen Seniors was huge fun. The term 'unscouting' refers only to badge obsession. Neither Juniors or Seniors were keen (that funny old phrase, now outdated.) But the social element was excellent. Friendly, no bullying. My comments are meant affectionately even with regard to the former, tatty stable and its jumble sale furnishings. The Senior Patrol Leader was Michael Portillo's brother, Charlie. Relaxed and amusing. Bob Garrett made good company as did (see previous)Alan Sorkin. Our two enjoyable barging trips were well organised by Richard Lee. The Senior Scout Master, in my day, was Tony Cresswell who rarely attended meetings although always liked and respected when he came along. He organised Senior trips to the Swiss Alps. Possibly his only contribution. Thus, we were pretty well allowed to run ourselves. The juniors were run by motor-biking twins, Johnny and ? Outgoing, friendly guys who ensured everyone was happy. The success of the Merrymen was its relaxed attitude, implying good social experience. What better? A youth club in scout uniform, although one suspects Robert Baden-Powell might not have been impressed. Nor the ultra-keens desperate to crowd their green-sleeved arms and shirt fronts with colourful badges. It may be that certain individuals required two, even three shirts.Both Merrymen Juniors and Seniors would have lamentably failed any 1960s equivalent of a scouting OFSTED. I therefore award them great credit. Mr Gove would have been in the Pathfinders.


Name: Chris Atkinson
Email: christopherdotatkinson43atntlworlddotcom
Years_at_school: 48 to 53
Date: 02 Feb 2014
Time: 03:59:17

Comments

Peter, you said the Merrymen was a very 'unscouting' troop, but you say you joined as a 'senior'. Were you talking about the Scout Troop or the Senior Scout Troop? I was scouting abroad in Germany and Libya during your time, so I don't really know what things were like. I know the corner den in Scout Park was pretty tacky, but it was all we had at that time. I didn't get involved again until 1964 to 68. Who was running the Seniors in your day? Chris A.


Name: Ian Gawn
Email: ian.gawnatorange.fr
Years_at_school: 1955-62
Date: 02 Feb 2014
Time: 02:10:06

Comments

Just googling around found this obituary for Chris Westerman, a great friend at HCS. His wife Christine grew up 100 yds up the road from me. Does not seem possible it is 20 years since his tragic death. A helicopter crash on March 24 claimed the lives of Robert Hewton, 47, and Christopher Westerman, 49. The well-known Canadian exploration geologists died in Ecuador where they were evaluating mineral properties. Robert Rivera, a mining engineer born and educated in the U.S., also died in the crash, along with two Ecuadorean pilots. Christopher Westerman received his B.Sc. degree in geology from London University, England, in 1967, followed by an M.Sc. degree from the University of British Columbia in 1970 and a PhD degree from Ontario's McMaster University in 1978. Westerman worked for several major mining companies in Western Canada during his early career, where he gained familiarity with porphyry copper, sediment-hosted lead-zinc-silver, and uranium deposits. From 1987 to 1992, he advised Pegasus Gold on several advanced projects. He also completed a geological audit of the production and exploration activities at all of Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting's operations in northern Manitoba for Minorco (prior to its planned corporate investment of more than $150 million). Westerman was a member of various mining organizations, including: the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia; the Geological Association of Canada; the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum; and the Northwest Mining Association. Westerman is survived by his wife Christine, sons Robert and David and daughters Julie and Lynn. - Ian Gawn


Name: Peter Ward
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 01 Feb 2014
Time: 05:00:23

Comments

The Merrymen were a remarkable non-scouting Troop. I joined as a Senior from the very 'keen' and competitive, badge-collecting Pathfinders. Snooker and table tennis were high on the list in the slum of a hut at Scout Park with ancient sofas. Exposed springs and horse hair stuffing. Sadly, no Scout badges were awarded for these high endeavours on Friday nights. Nor for smoking. But an annual visit to the Swiss Alps was a great bonus. I remember Grindelwald, opposite the Eiger mountain. A narrow gauge railway got us up to the village. Merrymen also went barging up the Grand Union canal at Easter. In 1963, we tied up outside Filbert St., Leicester, and went to see Leicester City v Man Utd. 3-4. Dennis Law hat-trick; Bobby Charlton, Harry Gregg - all my favourites. Once again, absolutely no badge scouting took place. It wasn't necessary.


Name: Chris Atkinson
Email: christopher dot atkinson43 at ntlworld.com
Years_at_school: 48 to 53
Date: 29 Jan 2014
Time: 08:40:11

Comments

Eek ... Teddy Mansfield, now Bobby Garratt. It's getting to look like a Merrymen Troop meeting. Michael P. was talking at some festival thingie here in Peterborough a while back. I thought I might embarrass him by asking if he thought that his interesting life might have been down to worth rather than birth, and that if he needed a battlecry would that be the one. However he was totally booked out so I didn't get the chance to see how he responded to finding an Old Gayt in his audience. Best laid plans etc. Chris A.


Name: Chris R
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 29 Jan 2014
Time: 04:49:38

Comments

To Bob Garrat. I don't think the question of the border between HHarrow and Barnet altho' I think it was Hendon in those days I remember several from the Harrow side who went to Hendon County,girls to Copthall and some to Haberdashers which was even in a different county


Name: Bob Garratt
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: garratts@btconnect.com
Date: 29 Jan 2014
Time: 04:18:26

Comments

I remember Teddy Mansfield as a member of that select group who had passed the scholarship to HCS and made daily the 'long-haul' bus journey from Stanmore on the II4 from Marsh Lane. It took me years to realise that as we were nearly in the London Borough of Barnet we had only just scraped in geographically. I remember Alan Sorkin and Tony Golden were regulars on the bus and all of us were members of the 4th Harrow Merrymen. The Portillos were at the other end of Marsh Lane and took the 18.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondAT yahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 28 Jan 2014
Time: 14:18:55

Comments

I'd also like to hear what became of Vic (not Richard, ie 'Dick', by the way!)Hartley, who was one of the more recognisably 'normal' members of staff, brightening up my 6th form days with a few tall tales of his student hitch-hiking years, including a terrific talk to the 6th Form Society, inspiring three of us to do likewise in summer '65 (and beyond), each of us going our own way and sharing our own tales when we returned in September. 4 weeks solo hitching to and from the wonderful Dalmatian coast of Croatia - one of the best things I ever did as a teenager, aged 17 at the time, mostly thanks to Vic Hartley. He was always good for a laugh, helped us feel life 'out there' was well worth living, didn't 'keep his distance' from the older lads and helped to make the place bearable in those final 3 years, including coaching a 6th form basketball team to a fair standard, culminating in a game v another school (forget which one). Pretty good left-arm spinner as well, I recall. I guess he must be around early to mid-70's now - my God, how time flies!


Name: Fournier Jean-claude
Email: fournier.jc at gmail.com
Years_at_school: 1966 1968
Date: 28 Jan 2014
Time: 03:10:08

Comments

I was the French assistant at harrow grammar school from sept 1966 to july 68. I really enjoyed the 2 years I spent at the school and in England at large. They are among the best memories of my life. I remember the swimming pool and giving conversation classes there in june july 1968. The weather was very nice and sunny. When I went back to France, everybody asked me where I got my beautiful suntan. when I told them I got it in England nobody believed me... Does anybody know what has become of the PE teacher, Richard Hartley ? Is he a member of your association ? I would like to get in touch with him. thanks for your help


Name: Dick Worrsfold
Email: rjworsfoldatgemail.com
Years_at_school: 1951-1958
Date: 27 Jan 2014
Time: 17:53:45

Comments

As I recall the red light meant the gin bottle is out on the desk, the amber meant I am putting it away, and green meant I am not actually having a drink at the moment so come on in. Seem to recall the Bone brothers from Primary school also!!


Name: GERRY BONE
Email: bonegerry7atgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1951- 1958
Date: 27 Jan 2014
Time: 03:38:28

Comments

Was given link by Edward Kerr, born 1949 who went to HCS and same primary school. I was at HCS 1951 FORM 1B, 1952 FORM 2A, 1953 FORM 3A, 1954 FORM 4A, 1955 PROB SIXTH SCIENCE A, 1956 ADVANCED SIXTH SCIENCE A, 1957 SCHOLARSHIP SIXTH SCIENCE 1957 PURE MATHS, APPLIED MATHS, PHYSICS, CHEMISTRY A LEVEL 1958 PURE MATHS, APPLIED MATHS, PHUSICS, ENGINEERING DRAWING A LEVEL AND STATE SCHOLARSHIP. COMPANY SERGEANT MAJOR CCF CHAMPION CCF DRILL SQUAD WHOLE OF UK. UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL 1958 -1961 REMEMBER GORDON LEWIN, TONY LATHAM, ANDY MACKIE, MC EWAN, PHIL SCOTT, MANY MANY OTHERS. BROTHER DAVID WAS 1 YEAR OLDER AND WENT ARTS ROUTE. PAUL OLIVER ART TEACHER INTRODUCED ME TO JAZZ ONE OF MY ABIDING HOBBIES IN 1858 OWNED UP AT FULL ASSEMBLY, WITH JOHN WALTON, TO REWIRING THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS OUTSIDE DOOR OF HEADMISTRESS AT GIRL' SCHOOL SO RED BECAME GREEN ENJOYED MY YEARS IMMENSELY GERRY BONE


Name: Andy Colhoun
Email: colhoun.whiteriveratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1950 to 57
Date: 27 Jan 2014
Time: 00:33:49

Comments

Amazing memory Les Capstick has. Of course, in Form 1 we had no knowledge of each others first names. The first boy on the list, Archer, died tragically at school by choking after afternoon swimming. This led to a ban on swimming first period after lunch


Name: Robert Tabb
Email: robert.tabb73atgmail.com
Years_at_school: 56 to 63
Date: 25 Jan 2014
Time: 10:29:29

Comments

Ooops -forgot to put years at HCS!!


Name: Robert Tabb
Email: robert.tabb73atgmail.com
Years_at_school:
Date: 25 Jan 2014
Time: 10:27:42

Comments

Thanks for finding the web site Ted Mansfield. It is quite amazing what is kept on it! I looked at your Form Photos and do remember you even though your were 2 years behind me!I also recognise some of your compatriots Bush, Williams, Spring & Hyde as they were in the CCF - I believe you were in the Scouts. You'll see some of my Form mates are regular contributors here Messrs Fowler & Backer All the best from a wet & cold West Midlands


Name: Norman Gilliland
Email: normanjgatsky.com
Years_at_school: 1960-68
Date: 21 Jan 2014
Time: 14:06:24

Comments

Good to see OG on FB!


Name: Ted (or Teddy) Mansfield
Email: tg.mansfield.109atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1954-59
Date: 21 Jan 2014
Time: 08:52:01

Comments

Hello I'm a rare visitor to this guest book, but I thought to put in an appearance as we ('er indoors & me, 45 years married)have discovered all my HCS form photos in a box of her stuff! Some of these have been added now to the archive, namely form 1C 1954, form 4C 1957, and form V2 1958. Thought you'd like to know. It's now 10 years since we had the Golden Jubilee "Class of '54 Reunion", which seems like only yeterday, are there any plans for a Diamond Jubilee repeat? If I can help, do please say, contact by the e-mail above if so. To those who remember me, sorry about that, to those who don't, that may be to your advantage! Keep well, one and all.


Name: John H Ternouth
Email: JHTernouth at bigpond. com
Years_at_school: 1947-1952
Date: 14 Jan 2014
Time: 18:21:36

Comments

I have come across this website almost by chance and on this third attempt hope to make contact. I write from Australia where I have been based ever since emigrating with my parents in 1954. I was no scholar in those days and my main interests were in the CCF and the orchestra. I joined the navy section as soon as it started and became a PO. However, because I played in the band I also had the rank of Cpl and an army uniform too. In the summer of 1952, I went to both the annual Pirbright and Portsmouth camps. I remember george thorn (music), Crinson, (geography) and Bingham (biology) in particular. I dont known that I met ever Dr A R Simpson. He appeared to be an aloof figure who we only saw at morning assembly in the Gym, which was doubling as the school hall. I do remember the piano almost jumping off the side stage as GT,s big hands thumped out the Hymn of the day. This email is exploratory and I hope it gets through the ether. A reply would be appreciated and then i could write more. Regards John


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyondercouk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 13 Jan 2014
Time: 15:23:48

Comments

Taffy Roberts' funeral The funeral arrangements are as follows :- 14.00 hrs Friday 17th January. at St. Johns Church, Great Amwell, SG12 9SR Family Flowers only. Donations to the R.A.F. Benevolent Fund. I understand that Amwell is a mile outside Ware. I hope to be there.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 10 Jan 2014
Time: 16:52:06

Comments

So sorry to hear from OG Chairman Geoff Spring of the death of Taffy Roberts at the age of 97. Taffy, a lovely man, known to his wife as Ioan - but Taffy to all OG's - was a founder member of the OGRFC and had a notable career in bombers in WW2 and was as loyal to his service as he was to the OG's, an unfailing supplier of information about both. His two sons David and John, who sadly died of cancer aged 59 last year, who were both at the School. His funeral is scheduled for Friday 17th January. More details later as they become available.


Name: Arthur Douglas Andrew D.F.C
Email: euni580atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1927-1932?
Date: 01 Jan 2014
Time: 03:35:58

Comments

I am his daughter, Eunice Andrew. My father was in the football team. I was wondering if there is anyone still alive from this time? My father died in April 1975.


Name: Chris Atkinson
Email: christopher dot atkinson43 at ntlworld dot com
Years_at_school: 48 - 53
Date: 01 Jan 2014
Time: 02:58:37

Comments

Well,well here we are in a new year, and it's nice to see some of the 4th Harrow 'anciens' emerging. Happy New Year Tom, hope you're well, and following a strict Amos routine to keep those joints moving. Can't say it works for me; it gets a bit tiresome having to confess to accusatory back surgeons that 'yes, I did play a contact sport as a youth':-( A happy and healthy New Year to all. Chris A.


Name: Tom Backer
Email: tab at cwgsy dot net
Years_at_school: 1956-63
Date: 31 Dec 2013
Time: 06:56:40

Comments

Thank you Dave for pointing out that Sir Paul Nurse appeared in The Royal Institution Christmas Lecture broadcast on 28 December. I didn't see the original transmission, but watched it later on iplayer. He also appeared in The Code of Life broadcast yesterday (30 December) on BBC4. Intrigued, I searched this website for more references to him. I came across a link in 2001 to an article written by him in the 1968 issue of Enquiry, the school scientific magazine, and found from the contents page that I had also written an article in the same issue when I was in my final year at Oxford. Although the 1966, 1967 and 1969 issues are available to view, unfortunately the 1968 one isn't. I wonder if anyone has a copy which could be scanned in, it would be interesting to see what I wrote 45 years ago!


Name: Dave Buckley
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 29 Dec 2013
Time: 08:05:03

Comments

Don't know if any one watched the show, but Sir Paul Nurse made an appearance in the Royal Institution Christmas Lecture yesterday evening, talking about 'yeasts'.


Name: Richard Buckley
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 28 Dec 2013
Time: 07:34:38

Comments

I cannot resist adding to Peter Ward's comment about 'ugly' Northwick Park Hospital because NPH has played quite a major part in my life. NPH may be an ugly, brutalist '60s building but it has a footnote in British architectural history in being the first major British building to have its structural elements positioned by computer. It also got a mention in Reyner Banham's book 'Megastructure' [Thames and Hudson, 1976]. I used to be one of the cross country skivers who would start out from school with everyone else. When we got to Northwick Park we'd peel off from the others and crawl through a hole in the fence surrounding the site of the future NPH. A leisurely stroll brought us out on to Watford Road by Harrow School's swimming pool, the Ducker [now long gone]. We'd wait for the serious runners to catch us up and we'd tag along behind them back to school. I am ashamed to say this is the only act of rebellion I ever took during my six years at HCS. Then Charlie Crinson, the master in charge cross country,[who's personal copy of Trevor May's History of HCS turned up in my stocking one Christmas] allegedly started going up on to the roof of the Harrow Tech College with binoculars to identify the malcontents. Or is this an urban myth? In later years, my four children were born at NPH and my mother died there. Only a few weeks ago [now safely resident in Gloucestershire where the NHS is excellent], my wife and I took my 91 year old mother-in-law to A&E at NPH with some trepidation but could not fault the care she received.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 22 Dec 2013
Time: 04:33:53

Comments

Seasonal Greetings to all who frequent this site, and, by way of an antidote to any pessimistic tendencies that might tend to creep into us oldies, or semi-oldies, even at times of good cheer and celebration, may I offer this little ditty, to be found at youtube.com... http: youtu.be j0e10baH6cE (nb: 2 forward slashes after http: and 1 forward slash after be) As Harry Mees often used to declare, 'Never let it get you down!'


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondatyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59=66
Date: 18 Dec 2013
Time: 02:14:56

Comments

I certainly didn't, but I certainly do now, Peter!


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email:
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 16 Dec 2013
Time: 19:28:01

Comments

Mrs Nott-Cock did indeed serve Harrow Council, for twenty-two years as elected councillor and then Aldeman. One veteran Harrow councillor said that Mrs Nott-Cock would indeed sit in the committee room wearing her hat - and expected the other ladies to do the same. If her son is anything to go by, she was not a fearsome person. Owen Cock was elected in 1964 and was deputy leader of Harrow Council when I was around (1982-1986). Very much a gentleman and respected for his dignified and genteel manner. He stood down in 1990 after 26 years. All the details are on www.harrow-elections.co.uk


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: interminable
Date: 16 Dec 2013
Time: 17:29:21

Comments

Hi Chris Esmond. Do you refer to Dr Thorn's Patent Medicine, available at all good chemists? Gives you go and keeps you regular!


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondatyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 15 Dec 2013
Time: 16:30:54

Comments

Re Chris R's 'doctoring' Thorn's tea scheme... "A powerful laxative whose taste was masked by tea. Stage 2 was to lock his office from the outside (the key was always left in the door) Ultimately we bottled it as we could not see any way we could remain undetected." If you'd really "bottled it" and sent it to him by post or other means, perhaps that might have produced the desired end! (Sorry, couldn't resist, late Sunday night etc.)


Name: TChris R
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 15 Dec 2013
Time: 05:58:20

Comments

Mrs Nott Cock is indeed "late". She died in 1969 aged 71


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 14 Dec 2013
Time: 16:55:33

Comments

I must put the record straight and apologise to the memory of the much missed and presumably late Mrs Nott Cock. Far from being Edna or Mirabelle she was in fact Mrs D A Nott Cock SRN and other letters. A state registered nurse, and more, although perhaps not working at the time of her association with HCS? On Harrow Council she was an Alderman, or possibly an Alderperson. Were there madam aldermen? There was a touch of pre-Thatcher about her. Posh accent, smart hats and assertive in manner. A Simpson admirer, through and through. I wonder, with her nursing interest background, if she had anything to do with the planning consent for Northwick Park Hospital built around the late sixties. And slicing up a valuable piece of green belt land. The ugly edifice still stands and can be evaluated from expresses out of Euston.


Name: Dave Buckley
Email:
Years_at_school: 53-61
Date: 14 Dec 2013
Time: 10:58:11

Comments

Probably Simpson referred to her as 'Madam Chairman'. The nonsense of calling the head of a committee 'Chair' (which is actually something you sit on) didn't come until much later!!


Name: Paul Romney
Email: seek and ye shall find
Years_at_school: 56-63
Date: 14 Dec 2013
Time: 04:24:40

Comments

In my day Alderman Mrs. Nott-Cock was Chairman of the Education Committee of Harrow Borough Council. I'm sure she must have been Chairman because I can't imagine Square uttering the neologisms "Chair" or "Chairwoman".


Name: Peter Barnes
Email: barnsie40 at hotmail.com
Years_at_school: 1951-1956
Date: 11 Dec 2013
Time: 21:14:08

Comments

Born in Bow evacuated to Harrow 1940 during the Blitz went to Vaughan Road Primary West Harrow passed the 11+ and joined HCS in Form 1B Sept 1951(Northwick House, light green shirts)in the wooden huts by Sheepcote Road 1st caning of many from Square for bus spotting 183 and 140 Routemasters during class (Ian Alan books) we used to train spot in the corner at Northwick Park Fabulous schooldays, wonderful school, walked 5 miles there and back everyday with Ollie Jones (that's when we weren't jumping rides on the 183) Blond, blue eyed, cheeky and mischevious always in the shit, think I held the under the clock all time record Did well in every subject, great teachers from "Backs to the Wall" George, Swanny Amos, Twink Bradley, Ubi Lane, Bernie Marchant, Killer King, Capt.Morshead, Stein, Major Bingham, Charlesworth, Whitehead, Rawnsley and who could ever forget "Arry Mees and his mesmerising history lessons Square wasn't so bad I had quite a relationship going to his study for frequent canings and the two letters home He wasn't very frightening he was actually quite cute once you got to know him LOL He never expelled me but threatened to a few times I think he liked me really LOL There's a couple of names here I recognise Clive Pigrim being one but whatever happened to David Springham, Ollie Jones, David Bone, Laurence Burbridge, David Petit and my long time partner in crime Johnny Buckle Joined to CCF and tranferred to the Naval Section had fabulous times on board HMS Hedingham Castle amongst other camps Boy Scout with the 8th Harrow St Peter's Troop with David Springham and Bob Smith also Old Gaytonians If the school taught me one thing it was survival skills and I went on to be a full time rogue, heartbreaker, world traveller, entrepreneur, adventurer and vagabond Made and lost several fortunes and had a great time doing it 74 next birthday (still fit as a butcher's dog and sharp as a razor)retired in Asia wishing I could do it all over again HCS the best education a boy could get it set me up for life I am proud to be an Old Gaytonian and I can still sing the school song (unofficial version that is) word for word LOL I would love to hear from anyone reading this from my era 1951-1956 who remembers this rascal and wants to email me to swap yarns


Name: Steve Grimes
Email: Rfere Jeff
Years_at_school: 58-64
Date: 11 Dec 2013
Time: 11:38:16

Comments

Talking about George Thorn and the Alderman Mrs N C here is a clip from an appendix to a meeting of the Harrow Education Committee held on 27th January 1954 attended by the said Mrs N C: EDUCATION RESOLVED - 83 - Harrow County Secondary Grammar School for Boys - Chief Assistant - RESOLVED - That, on the recommendation of the Head Master, Mr G Thorn be appointed Chief Assistant Master at the Harrow County Secondary Grammar School for Boys as from the 1st September 1954 vice Mr H W Brister who is resigning with effect from the 31st August 1954 and that the County Council be recommended to grant a Special Responsibility Allowance amounting to (pounds) 210 per annum to Mr G Thorn from that date until the end of the financial year 1955 The full web link to the minutes is www dot harrow dot gov dot uk slash www2 slash Data slash Council slash 19540213 slash Minutes slash 006_Education%20Committee_27%20January%201954 dot pdf


Name: brian hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmailgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 11 Dec 2013
Time: 05:18:57

Comments

The only act against Thorn that was actually pulled off to my knowledge was by the boy, whose name I now do not recall, who managed to drop several cubes of sugar into the petrol tank of Thorn's Vauxhall car. The result was a severe loss of power and the ultimate need for a decoke job. In hindsight, this was a very cruel thing to do but at the time we all thought it appropriate. Thorn was a strange person in several ways. I don't recall seeing him relate to the other masters. All through the war, when there was severe petrol rationing, he managed to get coupons so he could drive to school from his home at Watford. Other masters who lived there, travelled by train. I never was aware of any sharing, even on wet days. It was rumoured he had a heart condition, but then so had Hartland, who used the station.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 11 Dec 2013
Time: 03:45:34

Comments

Mrs D A Nott-Cock was not an Honourable, but she was a substantial Conservative figure in local government in Harrow, first on the Harrow Urban District Council. When Harrow became a borough she ascended at some stage to the post of Chairman. She had two sons, the elder Owen, whom I hardly knew, and the younger Trevor, who was at Harrow County and in my form (which, I can't remember) for one year. He was a very pleasant, gentle boy who, without disloyalty, showed no awareness of his mother's "celebrity" nor received any special attention.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 10 Dec 2013
Time: 15:59:52

Comments

For Brian Hester and Chris Rickwood. First, Brian. I think you may have misread my account. Our planned guests were very prestigious indeed. The lovely The Hon. Mrs(Audrey? Edna? Mirabelle?) Nott-Cock was chair of the governors at around that time. Merely a local busybody of no great importance. But she had a fine name and now lives on the internet for all time. Re-Chris' story. Surely a Health and Safety issue here? Not so much the tea. More George Thorn.


Name: Chris R
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 10 Dec 2013
Time: 06:32:28

Comments

I can report on another plot which was not executed. Each day George Thorn had two choirboys pick up a large pot of tea from the Dining Hall and take it to his study. The idea was to ambush these boys and rough them up a little (these acolytes were not populaar!). During this process slip a number of Senna Pods into the tea pot. A powerful laxative whose taste was masked by tea. Stage 2 was to lock his office from the outside (the key was always left in the door) Ultimately we bottled it as we could not see any way we could remain undetected.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 10 Dec 2013
Time: 05:25:51

Comments

Top marks for creativity Peter but, as you acknowledge, difficult to execute given the technology of the time. I would have thought Simpson would have attracted a more important speaker than someone from the local council. Randall Williams always pulled in someone from 'outside' with a good cv.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 09 Dec 2013
Time: 16:33:42

Comments

Sorry Brian. Wild horses and all that. (See previous.) But I can reveal a second plan that also was not put into action, purely for the lack of ability to create ersatz headed notepaper. Today, with WPs and design and downloading, it would be only too easy. Simpson's Speech Days were awful, in the same league as school dinners. It was time to boast and show off. In my day, the event was presided over by the curiously named The Hon. Mrs Nott-Cock, some kind of self-appointed Harrow Borough dignitary. Mayoress around 1963? The plan went as follows. As Speech Day approached, we thought of writing to about half a dozen nationally known people eg the Prime Minister (Harold MacMillan), Hugh Gaitskill, The Archbishop of Canterbury, Malcolm Muggeridge, Fred Trueman etc. Each was to be invited by the good Doctor to be HCS guest speaker at Speech Day. One could imagine the effect. Six replies from top celebs, hopefully some agreeing to appear. We were sure all would reply, one way or the other. Unquestionably, chaos would have ensued behind the scenes. But, with a week to go, we intended launching a second raft of star candidates, all agreeing to speak and looking forward immensely to meeting the good Doctor and his stalwart men. Including the officially nominated speaker, we estimated that Simpson might expect a good turnout of top guest speakers all coinciding on the school steps at the same time. Meanwhile, we also planned to write on behalf of the officially booked speaker (the name was always known) and send a false late letter of apology. Illness or called on important business, something to that effect. Maybe exams got in the way. Certainly, we were concerned that our amateurish attempts at typing would be swiftly seen through. So it all became and remained theoretical. The resulting anger would have permeated the whole school and the crime a 'gating' offence. The best laid plans of mice, men and HCS interns.


Name: brian hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 08 Dec 2013
Time: 07:28:15

Comments

Oh Peter, do tell. I am sure that by now no matter what you were up to is protected by the statutes of limitations. Planning a 'defenestration' down the dumb waiter shaft is not same as actually doing it.


Name: Chris Atkinson
Email: christopher dot atkinson43 at ntlworld dot com
Years_at_school: 48 - 53
Date: 08 Dec 2013
Time: 07:26:32

Comments

I must admit to being in awe (and shock?) at the descriptions of school in the years after I left. Perhaps it was the proximity of the war years - I lived in Wembley and we did seem to get a disproportionate amount of daily disruption. I don't think I've seen any comments from my peer group, so perhaps I was just an insensitive young git (working my to becoming an insensitive old git). Yes George Thorn did give me creepy feelings - and at the time I didn't know why, and yes, I did know it was time to leave when square passed me in the upper corridor and murmured " ... aaah, Eightkinson isn't it ...". Bigham I didn't like, taking copious notes for Biology lessons was not to my taste - but, heh, by memorising Maude Jepson I sailed thro' exams. And, like many others I got thro' the French oral with my Skillen-inspired Scottish accented French. Came in handy on a subsequent posting to Belgium when folk couldn't quite work out where my non-Brit French came from. Bulldog Hayes dished out many lines ("... something about casting pearls before swine...)when Willie Allen (oops, sorry, Col.Tony Allen) and I used to muck about. But,I did my National Service with the RAF in Germany and was forever grateful to him. Although I was in the School Scouts, I was also in the RAF Section of the CCF - having been well prepared my two years National Service passed very pleasurably playing rugby, Scouting and flying model aircraft. A bit of HCS background also came in useful in a posting to Libya - there was an old Gaytonian in the Embassy, and we managed to unload an unwanted kitten on to him. So, all in all I owe an awful lot to my few years at HCS. Now, let's hear from anyone else who was around at that time? Was it as bad then as you all seem to be saying, and that I just didn't notice?


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 08 Dec 2013
Time: 06:58:00

Comments

Come on Peter. Do tell. I am sure the statute of limitations has long since come into effect so you can reveal all without fear of retribution.


Name: Peter ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 06 Dec 2013
Time: 16:49:53

Comments

Most kind, Chris! The only Palace I have visited in the last couple of years was Crystal Palace when the home time dared beat my Doncaster Rovers in their relegation year. I don't think adrenalised bravado played any part in our night-time activities. It was all for the laugh, cocking a snoop, if you will. Quite adolescent but that's what we were. There was no other effective way of challenging the regime. Rudeness and crude defiance were too easily put down and unsatisfying. Poking fun was a more potent weapon against the humourless. Most boys simply kept their heads down and slogged like zombies through their studies before liberation to higher education or the outside world. The most daring anti-Simpson scheme was never carried through and is too dodgy to disclose on the net. This was hatched up in the secret enclave above the prefects' common room (former school kitchens.) We bottled out. Maybe one day I'll tell you, personally.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondatyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 06 Dec 2013
Time: 05:15:52

Comments

Wonderfully entertaining stuff here recently, you're right, Peter, true comic material. Carry On Up the Common Room! What amazes me is the extent of you and your confederates' clandestine activities. I mean, excursions into the sacrosanct environs of the Masters' Common Room and Deputy Head's study - extraordinary stuff, I salute your daring, sir, and I assure you I shall be recommending you for the New Year Honours List. I imagine the sheer adrenaline rush was enough to overcome any trepidation you might have felt during such hazardous enterprises? That, plus the sense of 'victory' over the forces of daily oppression in, as you rightly say, a version (albeit somewhat watered down) of a Stalag Luft camp (or anyway, along those general lines). Was there ever any realistic chance you lot might have been caught, eg by the caretaker, staff working late, or even by cleaners?! What time did you make your after-dark assaults? I guess what such authoritarian regimes fail to grasp is that their approach automatically, as night follows day, necessarily engenders an equal and opposite response of the 'disempowered victims', exemplified, of course, in such episodes you recount, and also in a general festering resentment pervading the affected community contaminated by fear. At the risk of getting too pretentiously serious about it all, such rebellious exploits are actually evidence of the strength and irrepressibility of the human spirit. As I said, be prepared, like the er 'good scout' (?!) you were, to shortly receive a call to the Palace....


Name: exitoubobinty
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk
Years_at_school:
Date: 06 Dec 2013
Time: 02:18:30

Comments


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: far too many
Date: 05 Dec 2013
Time: 14:24:35

Comments

Just occasionally, this guest book takes off. One thing leads to another. The school dinners saga being a current example. Dave Buckley has moved things on. As a former owner of a nearly complete set of HCS keys (Simpson's study excepted)I can only bow in the direction of those who attempted to manufacture such (forgive me) key items. I had no idea of this, at the time, but these efforts are to be greatly applauded. We always regarded Simpson's Emporium as a kind of post-war Stalag Luft. Run by 'goons' of course. Immensely laughable and well worth defying. A kind of Colditz in miniature. Now, we have revelations of secret passages and dumb porters transporting prison-like food to the reluctant inmates. It couldn't be funnier and is the stuff of fiction. In our own case, on one of many night-time raids on the school, we happened upon a set of master keys in a locker in the Staff Common Room. At the time, we were attired in mortar boards and academic gowns previously hung on pegs in the adjoining toilet. The keys were passed on upon leaving so I don't know what eventually became of them. At this juncture, given that what one writes becomes part of the across the cross-global historical record, a description of the HCS masters' toilets, 1963, adjacent to the Common Room seems necessary. The urinals, that is. A set of long-legged wooden stools was parked immediately behind the urinal stalls. This meant that masters in need of relief could opt to sit down in order to perform. Presumably in full robing. Never have I seen this repeated even in august institutions, such as the BBC. But returning to the keys. We had access to Deputy Head Billy Duke's room above that of Simpson. I regret to report that this permitted us to sample Duke's plentiful supply of sweet Amontillado sherry although we were careful to only take smallish sips as an empty bottle might have aroused suspicion that the school security system had been breached. But I return to the Colditz mentality of the key-makers. This is unsurpassable and worthy of the highest accolade. Or six strokes of the cane before deserved expulsion.


Name: Dave Buckley
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 04 Dec 2013
Time: 08:52:03

Comments

Peter Ward's comment about a set of school keys reminded me that I had written an item for this website about school master keys and had sent it to Jeff together with a photo. However, I can't find it on the website so I thought I would add it here: During the 1950s, there was a craze (which upset the Doctor)for making school master keys to fit the mortise locks at the school. It was general knowledge that only two master keys were required to open nearly all the locks around the school - one for the old school buildings and the other for the post-war areas. Although they looked very similar, the keys were definitely not interchangeable. On the new school master, the length from the top of the key to the bottom of the notches was around five eighths of an inch - about 16mm in foreign currency, while for an old key this measurement was nearer three quarters of an inch - 20mm. Some boys made keys from blanks, but not having this skill, I made one from a 'standard' key which had the correct dimensions and notches but with some extraneous metalwork just above the notches. All I needed to do was to file off the unnecessary metalwork and open out the notches slightly. Attempts were made to make a dual purpose key, but they all failed. One idea was to make an old school key first then file down the top of the barrel above the notches so that, when put in a new school lock, the key would ride up to take into account the difference in length. A couple of try-outs were broken in the lock of the door at the bottom of the spiral staircase leading up to the Prefect's Common Room. The other method was to take a new school master and file down the underneath of the barrel - the theory that the key would 'push down' to take up the difference in length. But this didn't work either. During my time with the Old Boy's Dramatic club, and in school getting productions ready on a Saturday, there were occasions when I needed to get material to Jim Golland. I found the easiest way was to leave it in his pigeon hole in the Master's Common Room. The new school master also came in useful when I worked for a time at the Harrow Arts Centre as it opened quite a number of locks there (probably as the school was of a similar age and design).


Name: Chris R
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 04 Dec 2013
Time: 07:52:58

Comments

Yes, Peter but from George Thorn - after the cane a cuddle, which was even more dreaded


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 04 Dec 2013
Time: 07:43:53

Comments

Please, I have better and more urgent things to do! But the combined school dinner and secret shaft saga is not to be resisted. The sealed up shaft may possibly be filled with skeletons, but more likely ghosts. The ghost of Simpson, mortar board, gown and all? The spectre of George Thorn, cane in hand, beckoning to his victims with a crooked, bony finger. 'This will hurt me more than it hurts you!' (Quote.)


Name: brian hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotvom
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 04 Dec 2013
Time: 04:18:06

Comments

Perhaps the old dumb waiter shaft was sealed off when it became filled up with skeletons. What an archaeological opportunity! News of a locked room above the former kitchen came as news to me. I assume the room provides access to the roof. During the war there was a period when incendiary rather than explosive bombs were dropped. These were small devices which could be extinguished easily if sprayed with water right away before they could light the structure of a building. All households were issued with stirrup pumps and everyone instructed in their use. Places such as schools that were unoccupied at night were now manned by volunteer 'fire watchers'. A school, these were recruited from the sixth form. At a memorable morning assemble, Randall Williams produced a letter from a nearby resident complaining about a 'minstrel show' on the school roof at 2 a.m. "This behaviour must stop immediately" he thundered in his usual style. Boys were posted to the roof during the day during the flying bomb (V 1) attacks. Their job was to press an alarm bell if such a bomb was seen approaching and we would all crouch under our desks. This was great fun during exams as it gave us the opportunity to exchange comments about the questions. The French dictation was interrupted in this same way so had to be repeated much to our advantage.


Name: David Jackson
Email: david at jack-son full stop co full stop uk
Years_at_school: 58 to 64 ish
Date: 04 Dec 2013
Time: 02:02:35

Comments

Any skeletons would probably have ended up being served as lunch ....


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 03 Dec 2013
Time: 17:42:49

Comments

HCS school dinners the subject of internet frivolity 50 years on! Whatever next? I was taken aback by the revelation of a secret vertical passage that led to the room above the dreaded clock. (See previous entry.) The spiral staircase mentioned wound up to, in my day, the prefects' common room. There was a smaller, dusty room above that, kept locked. This room we sometimes inhabited, unofficially, as a set of school keys happened to be in our possession. The only room we failed to enter was Square's study which had its own special Yale. Very disappointing. I still find it hard to believe about the vertical passage used to transport food, presumably on some kind of pulley system. Also the revelation that the prefects' room had been the former school kitchen. But I do not challenge the correspondent. Yet it does sound odd to have a kitchen high above the school, as it were. And what had the secret room above originally been used for? Unfortunately, it contained no skeletons.


Name: ye min
Email: yeyeye63athotmail.com
Years_at_school: 1963-70
Date: 03 Dec 2013
Time: 10:26:28

Comments

how well I remember lunchtimes until I managed to escape..I always thought it was a way for the head, dhm and others to 'inspect' the pupils and weed out the long hairs, elastic sided bootees wearers, Spanish sideburns and other unacceptable uniform infringements..how I remember pupils filling their plates up with the gorgeous lunch, pay for it and then immediately tip it into the swill bowls.. how well I remember the cutlery graveyard in the flower beds as we made our exit..and when years later I was a teacher and the chocolate sponge and chocolate custard tasted exactly the same as I remembered it I told our school cook and added that 'this wasn't cookery, it's alchemy.' then she hit me with her ladle..


Name: Type your name hereChris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondatyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 02 Dec 2013
Time: 14:09:42

Comments

In my time at HCS, Square used to sit at a table in the middle of the canteen hut, along with the deputy head and the c-in-c of the crucially important NATO military unit stationed at the school. An extraordinary juxtaposition that spoke volumes about the prevailing ethos there. And that during the 60's of a social revolution led by the new youth culture! As Peter Ward says, the no talking during lunch rule was an utter absurdity and well I recall the self-important barking at each 'sitting' of the prefect on duty: "I remind you that there is to be NO TALKING in the dining hall!" The only possibly valid reason for this rule was that the staff needed a measure of peace and quiet to talk amongst themselves, but if we could hold conversations amid the din I don't see why they couldn't. My God, what a way to grow up!


Name: Geoff Taylor
Email: geofft33attiscali.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1942-1949
Date: 02 Dec 2013
Time: 09:56:31

Comments

One master (Dr 'Twink' Bradley, if I remember correctly) asked the class what punishment he should mete out to a miscreant. As one, the class roared "Give him a school dinner!"


Name: Chris Atkinson
Email: christopher dot atkinson at ntlworld dot com
Years_at_school: 48 - 53
Date: 02 Dec 2013
Time: 08:15:05

Comments

Do I get banned from the site forever if I admit to quite liking the tapioca? When using the canteen for evening meal at Camp-on-the-School-Field (COSF), we used to put our own personal 'cut' on potatoes before they went into the mechanical potato peeler. First recognisable one out was the winner - a sort of mechanised pooh sticks. And then there was Eddie Kerr's spagbol for the first night - never knew for sure how many campers were coming - highly elastic meal ... quantity not quality:^). Can't recall many complaints about COSF food, but then I was always too busy trying to stop Harry Mees lugging telegraph poles around by himself when building the aerial runway ... happy days.


Name: exitoubobinty
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk
Years_at_school:
Date: 01 Dec 2013
Time: 23:25:06

Comments


Name: David Jackson
Email: david at jack-son dot co dot uk
Years_at_school: 58 to 64 ish
Date: 30 Nov 2013
Time: 03:35:43

Comments

Aaah - School Dinners. For the first couple of years I suffered these, until we were allowed to escape to the ABC in Harrow to buy hot sausage rolls and pies. That was before the Royal Oak days. Anyway, I do remember two GOOD things about school dinners. The sausages and onions, usually served on Fridays, I think. (pah, Friday fish - forget it!) Such wonderful spicy sausages. I've no idea what was inside them, but even if it was road-kill, they still were lovely. And, a bizarre dessert, always served in green Bakelite cups. No idea what it actually was, but it had the consistency and taste of completely melted ice-cream. Maybe it was only served after the freezer had given up! The BAD things, tapioca, lumpy mash and the like, I will draw a discreet veil over.


Name: Brianwhesteratgmail.com
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 27 Nov 2013
Time: 12:58:36

Comments

For many years, school dinners were cooked in the kitchen situated over the clock. The room was reached by spiral staircase. Plates were prepared in the kitchen and put on trays so the food could be transported by dumbwaiter to the dining rooms on the floor above the war memorial. The shaft extended to the basement floor and was used for hoisting food deliveries to the kitchen. Boys would sometimes use the shaft as an alternative to the stairs but you could never be sure who would be standing there when you lifted the hatch ready to emerge. Randall Williams never found the escapade amusing. When I was last at the school I noted the hatches had been covered over on each floor leaving the openings impossible to detect. There is thus a secret passage extending from top to bottom in the old part of the building.


Name: Graeme Young
Email:
Years_at_school: 1947 to 1953
Date: 26 Nov 2013
Time: 11:34:34

Comments

Many thanks to Chris R for the information about Square's spot for lunch. My memory is not THAT good, I regret. Although HCS was not, for me, an entirely good experience I have to admit that my education was first class and I remain grateful, even 60 years after leaving, for it.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 25 Nov 2013
Time: 17:28:03

Comments

School dinners are hardly a pleasant memory. They were awful but I shall not go into detail. In my day, the masters, incl. Square I believe, sat at side tables but pretty well attempted to eat the same stuff as issued to the boys. The difference was that they were offered a slight choice. Many of these men would have gone through the services in wartime, or National Service immediately after. One suspects they may not have been critical or fussy, given what they must have been served up in military cookhouses. They would have known rationing, too. Both during and after the war. One feature, in my time, was that we were forbidden to talk to each other. Any defiance resulted in a prowling prefect who took names and set lines. Inspiring stuff such as 'I must not talk in the dining hall', times 100, to be handed in the next day. Imagine. Bright boys in education not being allowed to communicate, socially.


Name: Chris R
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 25 Nov 2013
Time: 10:53:02

Comments

To answer Graeme about where Square lunched. He at in the same dining hall as we did. A special table in the middle of the Hall. He was often joined by his wife and (I think) daughter(s)


Name: Graeme M.Young
Email: No thanks
Years_at_school: 1947 to 1953
Date: 25 Nov 2013
Time: 10:08:37

Comments

The subject of school dinners always provokes some unsavoury memories in those who had to suffer them. In my first winter in 1947 at HCS I, too, underwent the dubious pleasure of dining at school, but in the following year resorted to sandwiches. Besides the unappealing fare on offer the quality of the cutlery sometimes left much to be desired and enterprising youths who happened upon a bright chromium-plated spoon would publicly lick it to ensure no-one else hi-jacked it. To be fair, the foodstuffs the catering staff had to magic into a meal was probably not that great, it was not brilliant at my private primary school from 1941 to 1947 despite the considerable fees my parents had to find. Even now, at age 77, I can see in my minds eye the HCS dining hall on it's grassy mound that sloped away to the playing field. I wonder where Square went for his lunch, probably the King's Head? One could argue that school dinners prepared one for the cookhouses of National Service.


Name: ye min
Email: yeyeye63athotmail.com
Years_at_school: 1963-1870
Date: 23 Nov 2013
Time: 06:52:29

Comments

Brian Hester's message reminded me of when we visited my wife's Belgian relatives and I wanted to visit Ypres and Tyne Cot cemetery and they wondered why we would want to go there and be reminded of the war. I was struck by how beautifully maintained the cemetery and the museums to the First War were..fresh flowers on some of the graves. I suspect for the local population such devastating events can leave them ambivalent about being reminded about it Things is it will never go away.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 1940-47
Date: 23 Nov 2013
Time: 04:30:48

Comments

Ye Min covers a lot of subjects in a few words. Isn't it strange how we remember where we were when some historic events occurred yet do not for others? I remember exactly the events in my life on the day of Kennedy's assassination but nothing of the Berlin Wall coming down, which was more important. People's attitudes change too. Now, fifty years after the event, Dallas is observing the assassination and placing a plaque somewhere. When I visited the city a while ago and had spare time, I tried to visit the site but the locals were very dismissive and trying to forget. "It was over there somewhere". The whole area has been re-configured. I can't imagine where they put the plaque. Meanwhile, the grandchildren watch Dr.Who.


Name: ye min
Email: yeyeye63athotmail.com
Years_at_school: 1963-1970
Date: 21 Nov 2013
Time: 22:44:34

Comments

with all this stuff about the 50th anniversary of the assignation of President Kennedy and of course the first episode of Dr Who I am reminded that it is also 50 years since I trembled my way into HCS.. and if you ask do you remember where you were when the first episode of Dr Who was shown I have to plead innocence and say I was in my living room sitting on the sofa watching it. It was exciting and later when the Daleks appeared..they also appeared in HCS form at breaktimes. It was a difficult time in fact HCS felt like an alien planet to me. all those irrational seeming behaviours of teachers, prefects, cadets to my young mind which had been used to a more nurturing environment and the worlds of Alan Gsrner, CS Lewis etc and by the 6th form Tolkein and Mervyn Peake. I didn't enjoy HCS but it shaped me to want things to be better than that.


Name: Brian Thomas
Email: tommobpa23athotmail.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1946-52
Date: 13 Nov 2013
Time: 05:11:39

Comments

First visit to your remarkable site. I recall Dusty Miller's glass eye. He once placed it prominently on a master's desk whereupon it was ejected to the waste bin. Dusty also conned a boy into popping it into his mouth claiming it to be a gob stopper. I well remember the incident on the rugby field when the match was stopped for several minutes as the eye had been lost in the mud near the opponents' 25 line. On retrieval, after the eye had been wiped down, Dusty grabbed the ball and ran the wrong way, scoring a try for the opposition. This was put down to impaired visibility, but the try stood. HCS U14s lost the match by two points. Such days.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 12 Nov 2013
Time: 16:24:08

Comments

Noted Tony Arkey has made contact. Is this the TA of infamous Gayton Rovers fame? (The HCS rebel soccer team 1961 to 1963.) If so, a very fine player and goal scorer. Will Tony confirm? Any more ex-Gayton Rovers out there? This was a fairly outrageous venture that infuriated Head of PE Gordon Underwood when he found out. The team's finest games were vs Harrow Weald Grammar School where we won 2 nil. And Harrow technical College, a 6-3 win after being 3-0 down. I remember we won all eight matches in the second season although the arctic-like snow and ice spell of Jan to March 63 wrecked the season as a whole.


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1956 -
Date: 11 Nov 2013
Time: 02:04:20

Comments

Interesting to read the message from Tony Arkey. Having known him since we were in the first form at HCS, despite him living in Hong Kong, it has been a pleasure to renew our friendship many times. I recall he was also quite an athlete, and won a cup or two!


Name: Tony Arkey (via Jeff Maynard)
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 30 Oct 2013
Time: 20:03:27

Comments

(Tony Arkey, who lives in Hong Kong, emailed this message:) Sorry to read of this sad news. Another couple of my old school teachers has passed on. Mr Waller was a good man. He started me off in the Latin classes and even though I struggled with it I have had reason to use his teachings ever since. I was educated at Harrow County School for Boys there from 1956 until 1963 and recall him as one of the best. I was also musically blessed with a Soprano voice and was vocally tutored by him and the late George Thorne in singing the solo bits for the Hallelujah Chorus amongst many other classics. Those were joyous moments for me. I have recently 'threatened' to join the HK Welsh Male Voice Choir but time and circumstances have prevented me from relaunching my Tenor tones on the public! Rest in Peace Ken. May I also say how sad it was to read that Major Maurice Venn passed away recently ; another good teacher and one I have good memories of. RIP . Condolences to members of both families. Whilst writing I discovered another OLD GAYT; , G Scott Malone who has some similar background connections to mine in the Resort - Hotel - Hospitality Industry. No doubt he will join the Association in due course now he is aware of the existence of the sites etc. Scott tells me he attended HCS during the 70's so he may be dismayed to hear that one of his era has abruptly passed away recently. Regards. Tony Arkey


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwheseratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 28 Oct 2013
Time: 08:13:04

Comments

Bernie Marchant sounds like the sort of teacher of Latin I wish I had. No matter what his intentions, I would doubt ARS would have tolerated the dispensing of wine on school property. I was glad to see Bernard G come forth to corroborate the glass eye story. For the record, the boy's name was Miller. At the time of the glass eye incident, school dinners cost six pence and were supervised by Hackman, Dyer, and in charge, George Throne. A great scene opened one day when a boy having discovered that the lowly farthing was legal tender for debs up to and including sixpence,chose to pay for his lunch with 24 farthings and to inform GT of the legality. Thorne's sense of humour was even less evident than usual.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 28 Oct 2013
Time: 04:54:45

Comments

Urban legend. As I have said before, Bernie Marchant was very kind to me whilst I was at school( probably because I was Catholic) but he never tried to engage me in the faith at any depth. Many religions impose an obligation on its adherents to proselytise the faith but this is often no more than a theoretical obligation to do so by way of good example. Bernie belonged to that part of Catholicism which is profoundly intellectual and has much in common with the "High Church" of the Church of England. You will recall that when he passed away, I compared him to the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins. Bernie was intellectually rigorous and pushed me hard at Latin A level.


Name: Chris R
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 28 Oct 2013
Time: 04:09:19

Comments

I've been intrigued by the earlier postings suggesting Bernie Marchant supplied wine for communion and heard confessions. I spoke to a friend who is RC and very active in the RC Church. He made some inquiries which confirmed his initial reaction. Under no circumstances could a lay Catholic have been allowed to do those things (in fact such a person would have faced severe sanctions up to and including excommunication) He mentioned the possibility that he may have been a priest "without the care of souls" but looking at his CV there is not enough time for him to have ever entered the priesthood. So, I wonder if those reports of him performing those activities are correct or a sort of urban legend?


Name: Paul Romney
Email: same old
Years_at_school: 56-63
Date: 28 Oct 2013
Time: 03:02:52

Comments

Perhaps everyone's been trying to figure out how passing your glass eye around on a spoon might win you an extra dessert. Was it by turning someone's stomach and putting him off his food? Surely nothing could have beaten the food itself for doing that.


Name: Bernard Gillespie
Email: bernardgillespieatrogers.com
Years_at_school: 1939-1944
Date: 27 Oct 2013
Time: 07:32:35

Comments

.your message of the 17th, Brian, about the boy with the glass eye (whose appearance I remember well but whose name I totally forget) has brought the message board to a very unusual ten-day standstill ..... where are all the usual suspects who customarily add to the old school's never-ending saga ?


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 17 Oct 2013
Time: 09:29:50

Comments

The pleasures of dining at our particular table were sometimes enhanced by a boy who had a glass eye which he would remove and pass around on a spoon in the hope of getting an extra dessert.


Name: David Jackson
Email: david at jack-son dot co dot uk
Years_at_school: 58-64 ish
Date: 16 Oct 2013
Time: 10:50:23

Comments

Potato? POTATO? And I thought it was just crap ice-cream. Wanders off, muttering ....


Name: Steve Grimes
Email: Refer Jeff
Years_at_school: 1958 to 1964
Date: 15 Oct 2013
Time: 14:51:45

Comments

Don't for get the mashed potato powder. Two dollops from an ice cream scoop on a plastic plate. Yuck! I can still taste it now.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 10 Oct 2013
Time: 16:22:15

Comments

Brian Hester's revelations about the properties of (vile)semolina perhaps prove the point that George Thorne was not a remarkable scientist. Not everyone knows he was originally a Chemistry teacher before he successfully ruined Music at the school. According to Brian's account, it appears that war time semolina, upon an inverted plate, defied gravity. A better scientist, such as Newton, would have come up with a theory, one suspects. Inverted semolina, used against the panzer armies, might have shortened the war by many months, with numerous lives saved. George Thorne missed his big chance to shine. Thank God for Major Skillen who personally won the war at Bletchley Park.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school:
Date: 10 Oct 2013
Time: 09:42:57

Comments

Yes Peter. soon after leaving school I became familiar with the life style of the lowland Scot both literally and figuratively in depth. Whatever menu changes the restaurant might have made to suit the good doctor s requirements are unknown to me because none of has had the temerity to visit the place whilst he was running the school. It is unlikely that the eccles cakes were replaced on the menu in favour any variety of 'piece'. A fish paste piece would not go well with coffee. The dessert of rice pudding with a dollop of jam was a menu item of school dinners from time immemorial, as was its alliterative name that was not in polite use. For a few years during the war when rice was in short supply, we were fed a variety of semolina instead of rice. This commodity had an incredible affinity for the plate which could be inverted without anything falling off. This excursion into the practical study of properties of material was regarded by George Thorne as an indictable offence not to be tolerated. This response might be duplicated as I received a message that I had used one or several of the offensive symbols |Jeffrey warns us not to use.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 09 Oct 2013
Time: 17:09:24

Comments

Thank you, Brian Hester. Your first hand and intimate knowledge of Scottish working class culture does you proud. Are you suggesting Ann's Pantry, in Harrow, offered kippers and an accompanying jam piece? Why were these delicacies never offered as school dinners under Simpsonian rule? We all recall fat-excessive spam fritters and appalling rice pudding and black currant jam for which the common and schoolboyish term I tactfully refrain to mention. The good Doctor missed a trick, here. I do not recall him addressing the haggis followed, for dessert, by deep fried Mars bars.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 09 Oct 2013
Time: 11:27:18

Comments

Haggis was seldom seen south of the Border in those days although the constituents were never rationed. Arbroath was noted for its fine kippers. When I worked in a coal mine near Simpson's birthplace of Dunfermaline, standard fare of the miners consisted of a jam piece (sandwich) and a meat piece. Haggis, along with tatties and neeps was reserved for Burns night.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 09 Oct 2013
Time: 08:41:11

Comments

So disappointed to learn that the great DR was no war hero. Another illusion dispelled. Did Ann's Pantry switch over to haggis and butterscotch with Simpson's post-war appointment? Or were these still subject to rationing? I was only about two at the time, and living on The Wirral, so am unable to comment.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 09 Oct 2013
Time: 05:40:03

Comments

First, a correction. Roland Birch was plain 'Mr'. To the best of my knowledge Simpson spent the war years as head of the school at Arbroath from where he was recruited to replace Crowle-Ellis during 1946-7. Crowle-Ellis, incidentally a bachelor, spent the war with the RAF as CO of various airfields. He came to school right out of the service and likely got the job under a policy of placing ex-servicemen. As a family man over the age of forty, Simpson would have been 'reserved'. The enigma that remains is why Crowle-Ellis was moved on and how Simpson was recruited. Perhaps there was an ad in the 'help wanted' column of the Whackers Weekly (Scottish Edition). A possible explanation for Crowle-Ellis being pushed out is provided by what I'll call the Ann's Pantry Affair. This affair occurred during the waning days of Williams' rule when the decision to hire Crowle-Ellis would almost certainly have been made. At the time, the sixth form used classrooms in the old Harrow Tech and Harrow School abd well as school. This gave them carte blanche to wander all over town. In the process, we used to drop in at Ann's Pantry on Station Road for coffee and eccles cakes, production of which had just started again. On the one day of the week when I was unable to be so refreshed, Williams took the governors there for coffee after a meeting and found the seats all taken by his 'boys'. Williams amusement was reported to be distinctly tested. I can appreciate one of the governors declaring 'we need someone tougher than Crowle-Ellis to pull this place together'. All speculation of course.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondatyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 09 Oct 2013
Time: 04:53:38

Comments

Just checked - at his obituary on this site - and yes indeed, he was head of Arbroath High School '39-45.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondatyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 09 Oct 2013
Time: 04:34:17

Comments

I seem to recall I read somewhere, probably here, that Simpson remained on these shores during the war, involved with education in Scotland. Might be wrong but that's the picture I have.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 08 Oct 2013
Time: 16:11:58

Comments

The Mosley correspondence is interesting. I had no idea of Sir Oswald's alleged Harrow and possible (slight) HCS connections. Poor Dr Birch. If only he had joined the school after the war. One suspects his views would have been applauded and promoted by the regime that was to take over the place for the next quarter of a century. Incidentally, what exactly did Dr AR Simpson do during the Second World War? Does anyone know? Did he fight for his country, as did members of his subsequent Staff? As Simpson was progenitor of the Combined Cadet Force, and made such play of it, he may have been hiding his light under a bushel. Possibly an SOE agent parachuted into France, organising resistance against Nazi tyranny. Or risking life and limb with Tito and his brave brigands in The Balkans? One suspects there is a great, untold story here.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-47
Date: 05 Oct 2013
Time: 14:35:57

Comments

The details you give are very convincing Bernard. I don't recall seeing them before. Our class was not exposed to the pictures.


Name: Bernard Gillespie
Email: bernardgillespieatrogers.com
Years_at_school: 1939-1944
Date: 05 Oct 2013
Time: 09:01:55

Comments

the story that was current after the departure of Roland Birch to the nick was that Dr Hartland had shopped him to the authorities ......... true or not I don't know but his detention under 18B was more than justified. on one occasion my class , 2C or 3C had to sit through a Birch lecture downstairs in the epidiascope room during which he showed us pictures of himself in Hitler Youth togs with his arm raised in the Nazi salute ........... none of his Nazi leanings rubbed off on any of my classmates who were inclined to be a bit bolshie when it came to indoctrination.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyondeerdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 04 Oct 2013
Time: 16:16:27

Comments

Yes, I think you're right, Chris. There used to be a photo displayed somewhere of Mosley when he was local MP attending some function at the School - Speech Day possibly. In my post-war days I was surprised that it was given currency.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 04 Oct 2013
Time: 09:24:19

Comments

Wasn't Mosley MP for Harrow after first world war, first as Conservative, then Independent and then (I think) Independent Labour?


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahooddotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 04 Oct 2013
Time: 07:05:14

Comments

I see in today's Times an obituary for Albert Hunt who attended school in the mid 1930s. Anybody know him?


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 04 Oct 2013
Time: 04:54:18

Comments

You are foregiven Chris. I was there too when Birch left the scene and have always believed the story Bernard relates. It just does not fit well with the reference in the book I am reading. There was certainly an active group of Oswald Moseley supporters in the Harrow area. All through my time at school the bridge over the railway close to the station carried graffiti in support of Moseley and there were Fascist 'lightening flashes' daubed all over.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 02 Oct 2013
Time: 07:27:10

Comments

My apologies - it is of course Bernard Gillespie not Brian.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 02 Oct 2013
Time: 07:18:46

Comments

Brian Gillespie seemed pretty certain about reason for Birch's detention. He says: My recollections of the 2nd and 3rd form years seem all to be about the activities that a form master was trying to promote. Roland Birch was, as I later learned, a member of the British Union of Fascists and an admirer of the Nazis, but it came as both a shock and a relief when one day he was no longer there - he spent most of the rest of the war in Wormwood Scrubs as a detainee under regulation 18B of the Defence of the Realm Act.


Name: Derek Edwards
Email: dejodelatgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1947-1952
Date: 01 Oct 2013
Time: 00:37:12

Comments

It was good to see 'Beefy ' Henderson mentioned and brought back to me memories of when we both played in the first XI. Best Wishes to you 'Beefy'


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 30 Sep 2013
Time: 08:00:32

Comments

An interest in the role codes played in WW2 prompted me to buy a copy of 'Secret Listeners' which was referred to by a contributor to this page. I was long gone from HCS before Hugh Skillen appeared but it is interesting to learn of his role during the war. Readers of this page might recall reference some time ago to Roland Birch who taught German at school until the early years of the war. According to the late Roy Denman (ex-HCS and author of 'A Mandarin's Tale') Birch was an inspiring teacher. Birch disappeared from our world literally overnight and was reputed to be incarcerated in Wormwood Scrubs prison for his Nazi sympathies. After the war, he is said to have become a priest in the Catholic church. Early in the 'Code Breakers' mention is made to this same prison being used early in the war as a listening post etc for code breakers. Many of the 'listeners' were chosen because they understood German. This poses the question - was Birch incarcerated for his symphathies or was he a patriot interpreting enemy messages?


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyondeerdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 16 Sep 2013
Time: 03:09:16

Comments

Well captained, Peter Garwood. If Jimmy "Beefy" Henderson has read Peter Ward's fine tribute to Bruce Langrick he will no doubt recall a match for the OG 2nd XI against Chiswick in the late fifties. He had taken 9 wickets, but the skipper did not think to make such a suggestion. Fielding at silly mid-off I snapped up a catch off the other bowler to dismiss the last batsman, a reaction catch, and spoilt Jimmy's potential tenfer. As he never fails to remind me on the rare occasions we meet, I realised too late what I'd done and immediately turned to him and apologised.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 14 Sep 2013
Time: 14:33:07

Comments

Let's talk cricket. Bruce Langrick who graced the 1st XI in the late fifties and early sixties, has died. Presumably, Angus Fraser must be the No. 1 bowler to come out of HCS (or was he later?) Bruce was the bowler who chose to go into agriculture and not pro. cricket.Like a few others. He was by far the best of his generation. I should know as I was one of the other ones. Like my splendid performance vs. St Marylebone GS. 0-31 or thereabouts. Langrick 10 for 10! We were so pleased for him. But there's an odd tale to tell. After captain Peter Garwood took me off he did two things. First, he put on a gifted younger bowler, Al Fine. And when Bruce had got up to about seven wickets, Garwood gathered us together and suggested we worked together to get Bruce his 10. Everyone was up for it. Al Fine could not help but bowl well and contrived a neat caught and bowled. With a smile on his face, he let the ball slip from his fingers and fall to the ground. From that moment, the quest was on and Bruce gained his due reward. It should be appreciated that I do not tell this story against Bruce. It emplifies the measure of the respect in which he was held that the team focussed on getting him past the tape, as it were. I believe, in the same season , Bruce took an 'eight for' and a 'nine for', in the current jargon. His bowling represented immaculate control of line and length, aided by the wearing of a red cravat and silver bracelet to distract the opposing batsman! The old charmer also had the appalling Simpson round his little finger. Bruce was the only person in the school to flout the rules on the wearing of suede shoes - Simpson's great anathema. He actually explained to Simpson (himself no mean cricketer) that his bowling feet suffered so badly that suede was the only material acceptable to permit them to heal between matches. Simpson bought the explanation and no more was said. RIP Bruce. A magnificent cricketer for the school and Old Gayts.


Name: Pete Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: Forever
Date: 13 Sep 2013
Time: 14:25:53

Comments

This is for Paul Ware: yes, that is the way we played that game in '61. Two people per team. Did you have the corners rules we had? Or had they slipped away? And, to anyone before the 60s: did you play this game with two players per side? Or was it a solo operation? We didn't use protractors or whatever, we used combs. But then I was in the Arts streams where protractors were a symbol of an alien culture....


Name: Chris EsmondType your name here
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 29 Aug 2013
Time: 12:59:25

Comments

FAO Bernard Gillespie... My friend with the catheter problem thanks you for your input (to coin a phrase) and will bear it in mind. Although he feels at present he ideally needs another solution, if possible, as he still wants to pursue an active lifestyle.


Name: Peter Garwood
Email: peterdotgarwood777atbtinternetdotcom
Years_at_school: 1953-61
Date: 29 Aug 2013
Time: 00:08:43

Comments

Have just heard from his son Nick, that Bruce Langrick has died. The funeral will be at the Oxford crematorium on Monday the 9th. of September at 11-30 and afterwards at The Randolph Hotel.


Name: Paul Ware
Email: paulunderscorewareunderscore77401atyahoodotcom
Years_at_school:
Date: 23 Aug 2013
Time: 12:51:35

Comments

Michael, regarding shove-ha'penny football, there are some action photos of it being played if you look under Photographs > 1970: Physics Lab C8 1970. I disagree with those who claim a 6" ruler was best--I was always a proponent of the 180 degree plastic protractor.


Name: Chris EsmondType your name here
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.comWrite word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 19 Aug 2013
Time: 00:35:08

Comments

Thanks, Bernard. I've forwarded your message to him and will get back to you.


Name: Bernard Gillespie
Email: bernardgillepieatrogers.com
Years_at_school: 1939-1944
Date: 18 Aug 2013
Time: 13:27:58

Comments

Chris, your friend, I assume, has a Foley catheter and a bag strapped to the leg..... is he a candidate for the "Clean, Intermittent self-catheterisation for men " procedure ? no 24 hour a day catheter and no bag. as a good friend of mine once said "Works for me "


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 11 Aug 2013
Time: 04:03:59

Comments

And now for something completely different... An old friend of mine is having quite severe health problems, leading to having to use a catheter to urinate. Due to high blood pressure they won't operate as there's a danger he might have a heart attack or stroke, apparently. An alternative would be to fit a prostatic stent, which might well be more comfortable than a catheter, allowing greater freedom to move and take light exercise. If anyone has any personal experience of this, or knows someone who has, your feedback would be very much appreciated as he's keen on finding out more facts before committing himself to something completely new.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 08 Aug 2013
Time: 11:16:02

Comments

I think Brian Hester may be onto something here. See his previous suggestion about Dagenham Girl Pipers. It ties up with the point made by David Jackson (also previous) re-Jimmy Shand 78s. Of course, the CCF boasted a splendid pipe band led, in my day, by Pipe Sergeant Martin McCluney. Perhaps Simpson played a Scottish medley in the car, to and from HCS, to remind him of home? Och the noo, however spelt, or words to that effect.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 08 Aug 2013
Time: 08:29:40

Comments

Could it have been the existence of the very popular Dagenham Girls Pipe Band that persuaded Simpson to buy a car manufactured in that town?


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 08 Aug 2013
Time: 03:46:31

Comments

To Peter Vincent. My comment re-Ford UK was written ironically. Are you suggesting the Henry Fords 1, 11, 111, 1V etc were not pure British gentlemen? How many Henry Fords were there? Did they compete with the Georges 1 - V11?


Name: Peter Vincent
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1966-1972
Date: 08 Aug 2013
Time: 00:56:37

Comments

Fortunately, the relatively gentle Joe Avery was in command by my time. However, Ford a British institution? Yes, at that time they were being manufactured to British designs in British factories from raw materials (rather than just assembling as now) but hardly British. This was mainly a result of US cars of the time being gas guzzlers and rather too big to fit on our roads or even get into a parking space.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63 (19 not 18)
Date: 07 Aug 2013
Time: 15:40:11

Comments

Recent submissions to this illustrious web site possibly go to explain Dr Simpson's choice of vehicular transportation. As I remember, he owned a beige-coloured Ford Sedan coupe ie with a foldback roof. Really a Ford Consul flashed up. If anything, a little unsquare and out of character. He clearly made the decision not to purchase Volvo or Saab. A true patriot, Ford being a thoroughly British foundation. As to 'hobbledehoys' (see very recent)this was indeed a Simpsonian expression of great bile. Alas, it was never addressed personally to me. The worst I got was 'complete waster'. Correct in every degree. Such a pity that the Ford Sedan did not sport Highland colours. Sir Walter Scott would have approved. Is there a Simpson clan? The McSimpsons of McSimpson. Was it they who bore Bonnie Prince Charlie across the sea to safety? There should be a song about it. Any offers?


Name: David Jackson
Email: david at jack-son dot co dot uk
Years_at_school: 58-64 about
Date: 07 Aug 2013
Time: 08:07:47

Comments

Don't forget that in the sixties things Swedish had a different connotation to now. Then it was associated with nubile young things, and a free attitude towards lurve and stuff. Now it's flat pack furniture and long queues. Actually the dear Doctor was also influenced by a half term trip to London, made in order to buy some Jimmy Shand 78s to replace those that Mrs S. had unaccountably sat upon. Several times. Having purchased his records from HMV in Oxford Street, he remembered that the gramophone needed some new needles, and decided to cut through Soho, an area he was not familiar with, in order to reach Charing Cross Road. To his horror, upon reaching Old Compton Street, Dr. S. spied an unholy clump of youngsters from Harrow County, also on a day trip to London, and also enroute from HMV, from where they had been ejected having exceded by a mile the number of booth listens of obscure Sue and Stateside 45s allowed by the store. They were now on their happy and noisy way to the 2 I's Coffee Bar to investigate the jukebox there. Luckily the gruesome crowd failed to spot him, engrossed as they were in reading the postcards pinned to the doorways, and wondering why this area had become the modelling centre of London. Not wanting to spoil his day off by remonstrating with them, and seeing that he was outnumbered anyway, the good doctor ducked into a handily placed cinema entrance. Feeling reassured, as his fellow patrons were sensibly attired in long raincoats, he purchased a ticket and sat down to enjoy the film, the title of which he had not noticed during his swift entrance. Not five minutes had passed, when the shell shocked headmaster exited the cinema, the main feature, "Swedish Au Pair Girls Seduction", having barely started. This episode resulted in a lifelong distrust of all things Swedish, an obsession with raincoats, and following his panicked escape via the Soho streets, past the famed Hungarian bistro The Gay Hussar, and the spaghetti emporia of the Italian quarter, things both Hungarian and Italian were added to his catalogue of aversions. And hobbledehoys? Well, that's another story.


Name: Richard Worsfold
Email: rjworsfoldatgmail.com
Years_at_school: 51-59
Date: 06 Aug 2013
Time: 17:18:48

Comments

With the greatest respect to the previous correspondents the original expression of the good doctor's was third rate Swedish Tourists and was firs coined in 55 or 56. None of us were quite sure what he meant or to whom he was referring.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16datbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 06 Aug 2013
Time: 16:16:55

Comments

Don Reid's reference to Simpson's phrase 'third class Swedish travellers' I had forgotten, but now recall. Why Swedish? Volvo or Saab reps. possibly. Little wrong with that. Square was presumably europhobic (besides being anglophobic ie detesting us.) In our year, we had an interesting dress and hairstyle rebel named Joss Matthews. Matthews was occasionally hauled out in front of the assembly for severe verbal abuse. He was ordered out to stand underneath the clock with the anti-European insult 'You remind me of a Hungarian renegade from Soho smelling of spaghetti.' Two things here. Are the Hungarians famed for eating spaghetti? And do they smell of it? Strikes me Simpson ought to have travelled more. Note also 'third' class travellers. The original railway companies differentiated between First, Second and Third Class passengers. Around my HCS time, the nationalised British Rail got rid of Second so only offered First and Third. A very odd marketing strategem? Today, of course, the railway companies provide First and Standard. Oh, and Standing, of course. As an aside, I travelled to York, recently, with Grandson One on the Gresley A4 Pacific Bittern. We travelled First Class, the only option. Bittern hit 92.5 mph, confirmed by various nerds with woolly hats, stopwatches and calculators. This is a world record for a preserved steam loco. For those who have managed to struggle this far and not dropped off to sleep, the world record remains at 126 mph (Mallard 1938) thus infuriating Hitler's Germany who previously held it at 125 mph. When at York, we saw the Sir Nigel Gresley 60007, of the same class, and this still holds the post-war steam loco record of 112 mph. Three Gresley A4s with their own private records. You can wake up now. Lecture on Doncaster (writer's town of upbringing) designed and built locos, over.


Name: Don Reid
Email: donreidyatbtinternetdotcom
Years_at_school: 60 to 67
Date: 06 Aug 2013
Time: 09:08:23

Comments

I have just discovered this site and spend some hours reading the anecdotes. I was in awe of the regime and tried to keep my head down. Academically my education was very good despite the somewhat bizarre rules. I too remember the "shortie coatie" assembly with its "third class Swedish travellers" and that the new coats of choice would preferably be "gaberrrrdeeeeeen". I also remember an apoplectic outburst after there had been a motion passed by the debating society "better red than dead" the previous day. There was also the philosophical observation that "this door is locked whether it is locked or not" response to the fact that someone had dared to enter the inner quad via the door below square's stairs. I had some excellent teaching in science from Dave Thorne, ? Bevan,? McEwan, et al. The options system allowed me to (inadvisedly) drop many subjects and concentrate on maths, physics and chemistry with French and English as being necessary for university entrance. In the sixth form there was something of a rebellion when some of us declined to do "Use of English" which had become necessary for Oxbridge. This group included (Sir) Paul Nurse. Paul and I were in the same form all the way through. He often gave me illegal lifts home on his motorbike and I remember playing cricket with him, Andy Middleton, Peter Sadler and no doubt several others in impromptu games at Northwick Park. I also remember an RAF camp where we did an overnight expedition and Nigel Morley and I getting separated form Paul and another. Nigel had to hobble homeward with an injury picked up on a geography field trip playing "splits" with a knife. I think I had been bullied into the camp having been humiliated by "the colonel" the previous year . I was in his house group, that experiment in vertical pastoral care groups referred to earlier. As a scientist, I apologise for my writing having hesitated to post on this site but as I found previous postings so interesting I thought I ought to make some contribution myself Don Reid


Name: Peter Vincent
Email:
Years_at_school: 1966-1972
Date: 02 Aug 2013
Time: 11:49:08

Comments

The only Latin book most of us lesser mortals remember is "The Approach to Eating" in the first form ;-)


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56, 62
Date: 02 Aug 2013
Time: 05:40:45

Comments

I missed out on the Bernie Marchant stuff, just read it. Bernie was a quite excellent teacher and could be really supportive (in my time, he doubled up as Careers Master, where he basically tried to force reluctant boys like me that Oxbridge was the only real goal: with me he failed!). But he could be really, really nasty. He definitely had a blowing point, at which moment his face would turn almost purple. His eyes would then, through those austere glasses, penetrate the boy targetted to a degree that induced genuine fear. I remember a class in the huts on the school field, our lesson being in a hut with an old stove used for heating. He came storming in with our homework (this was a 4th Year Greek class) and threw it in the fire, screaming his head off at each of us in turn. A disgrace to the school and all that. But his worst moment with us involved Geoff, Bert Weedon's son. We were in C1, a third floor classroom with its windows facing Sheepcote Road. It was a boiling hot day and we begged Bernie to open the windows, which he did. Then, because of the noise of the traffic, none of us could hear him. Naturally, we exploited this: 'sir we can't hear' followed by 'sir we can't breathe' became the ritual of the whole lesson as he opened and closed the windows in sequence. He then turned purple and we knew he was going to blow: and, quite outrageously, he turned on Geoff and said, 'I would have thought your father with all his wealth could have helped contribute to an air conditioning system for his son's school'. Even at the age of 14 or so, we were simply gob-smacked at the sheer inappropriateness of this remark; and Geoff was visibly shaken. I think Bernie apologised afterwards, I can't remember. Now, over 50 years later, my memories of him are much more appreciative than they then were; and I can balance the sheer professionalism of his approach to the vocation of teaching against the mad moments that lie deep in his character. He was, after all, one of the very best teachers we had in our generation.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyondeerdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 02 Aug 2013
Time: 03:19:30

Comments

That would have ben Kennedy's Shorter Latin Primer, Peter, the green one - nice and slim, but firm. The full Kennedy's was red and would have been heavier to use. Both were wonderful swotting sources; all the irregular verbs, which one learnt by heart, both for their conjugation and for vocabulary. Sixty years on I can still recite the conjugations when I come across one of them. It was self elective learning by rote and confirms my conviction that times tables recited ad nauseam are still best learned that way. [Para] Room 1A. Was that the one over the archway? My Upper VI Arts form was the first to occupy it in 1952-53 after he extensions, started pre-war, were finally finished. In 1951-53 Lower VI Arts was in the lower corridor opposite the "New" Physics Lab.


Name: serial offender
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 02 Aug 2013
Time: 02:04:16

Comments

Best (flattest) pitch: Charlie Crinson's desk in A6, as it was new. Gave full pitch with game having 3 per side using half pennies for men and sixpence for ball & 6 inch rulers for propulsion. To make goals definitive, goalposts that could not be moved were 2 inch optical pins from physics lab driven into the desk (existing holes - carefully measured): small rubbers were used for when need for quick breakdown: thow-ins & goal kicks taken with palm of hand offering hardly any control. Punishment was masters detention (20 mins at best) or prefects full detention of 1 hour. Nasty people - played it themselves.


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: michaelwritesforyouatyahoo.ca
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 01 Aug 2013
Time: 19:45:23

Comments

Shove halfpenny even survived decimalisation. Some of its adherents, however, did not survive Bernie Marchant's denunciation during one match when the damage to the desks "by you or one of your kind" was eloquently if forcefully pointed out. Any subsequent sightings? Michael.


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: Forever, apparently
Date: 01 Aug 2013
Time: 14:43:53

Comments

I really need to look at this guest book every day! Brian Hester, we, in 1960, did not call the game 'twopenny halfpenny', though it was clearly the same game: the teacher's desk top used as the pitch etc. Peter Ward, fascinating to think you played this game at precisely the same time as us when all of us probably thought we had invented it, and were not aware of others in other rooms playing the same game. And yet, reading the contributions here, it was clearly in the HCS DNA. In our class, we had quite sophisticated procedures (this was Lower Six Arts, 1961, Room A1). First,we definitely had a number of players, even up to four a side: each of these had a halfpenny, this was our player's conventional coin - the 'ball' was a sixpence (maybe this is why we wrongly called it 'shove halfpenny' because, with our combs, that's precisely what we were doing: shoving the halfpenny). So, three halfpennies faced another three halfpennies, with a penny coin used by the goalkeeper (who did next to nothing apart from sit between the goalposts). We had etiquette for corners (won when the sixpence span off one of the opposition coins and landed behind the goallines), in which the attacking side had two shots - one from the corner flag, and a subsequent one from any attacking player. Hence, the defending team tended to crowd on the goal line. Throw ins (won when an opposition player banged the sixpence out of play) were just one shot from the sidelines. Fouls were committed when an attacking player hit an opposition player and missed the sixpence altogether; penalties were awarded when a foul was committed in the 'box'. I must have spent hours playing this game in A1, and its rival, the only real alternative, was table tennis on the same teacher's desks with books used for bats. Kennedy's Latin Primer was perfect as a bat - firm, hard covers, a decent weight and just the right size.


Name: john Mahaffey
Email:
Years_at_school: 1960-1968
Date: 01 Aug 2013
Time: 12:33:39

Comments

Further to Mark Lashmar's note of his brother Joh'ns death. John was my brother-in-law, he attended Harrow County in the sixth form having transferred in from Roxeth Manor. John played rugby for the School and rugby and cricket for the old boys. He is survived by his sons Felix and Charlie and by daughter Hollie, his sisters Wendy (my wife), Carol and Mary (who is also married to an Old Gayt's player)all of whom provided rugby teas together with brothers Mark and famously Christopher who have also played for the Gayts.


Name: Mark Lashmar
Email: mark at lashmar.co.uk
Years_at_school: N/A
Date: 01 Aug 2013
Time: 06:44:52

Comments

Sad to report the demise of an Old Gaytonian. John Stephen Lashmar Dubai, 02:02:1952 - 31:07:2013.


Name: Keith Palmer
Email: palmerdotkeith57atgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 1968-1975
Date: 31 Jul 2013
Time: 07:49:50

Comments

"I doubt if Wayne and his friends play too much tuppenny ha'penny football", remarks Peter Ward. My immediate thought on reading Peter's article was that I doubt Wayne and his friends repair too many broken water pipes either!


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 30 Jul 2013
Time: 05:16:05

Comments

Tuppeny ha'penny football played, as correctly reported, with large old pennies and a ha'penny stood, in one sense, for the rewards of footballers of those days. The wages and employment conditions of even great internationals were a scandal. The great Tom Finney having played in on a Saturday a 50s Cup Final for Preston was called out, on the Monday, by his Chairman to fix his domestic broken water pipe. Finney arrived on the doorstep in full plumber's gear. Jimmy Hill, of Fulham, was the driving force to ban the maximium wage and I believe his fellow club player, Johnny Haynes, captain of England, became the first beneficiary. I also recall that, in 1960, Billy Bremner, Leeds and Scotland, hit the 100 pounds a week mark. Compare Wayne Rooney (half the player but twice as fat) at his current 220000 per week. I doubt if Wayne and his friends play too much tuppenny ha'penny football.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 1940-47
Date: 29 Jul 2013
Time: 15:10:47

Comments

Thanks for the clarification of the coin game. I see it as a derivative of the ancient a respectable game of shove groat.


Name: Dave Buckley (53-61)
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 29 Jul 2013
Time: 11:34:45

Comments

Regarding the size of an old penny - for everyone's information - the diameter is one and three eigths inches, or 30mm in non-English! A half-crown is 1 and a quarter inches or about 34mm.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyondeerdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 29 Jul 2013
Time: 10:46:23

Comments

It might be worth mentioning for the younger - middle-aged, even - followers of the learned discussion of tuppenny ha'penny football that these were pre-decimal coins. The ha'penny was exactly a useful inch in diameter and the penny (twice as heavy, of course) rather larger. I might have measured it once, but I can't remember that it had a useful dimension.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 26 Jul 2013
Time: 10:24:46

Comments

(See previous entry) Tupenny-hapenny football was the name of the game in my time. 'Time' as in 'penitentiary'. The game was fiercely contested. Did the winner take all? For example, the opponent's players (coins.) I don't think so, as often these represented the bus fare home. A playground game, played up against a brick pillar, was Table Tennis Ball Cricket. This was possibly the most pathetic activity ever, reflecting on the negativity of Simpson's regime that would not allow proper cricket at Break or Lunch Time. I recall prefects Phil Cook and Ben Lentham being noteworthy exponents. The batsman batted with a twelve inch ruler. Perhaps 5 yards away (note Imperial units pre-1970) the bowler threw (yes, threw) the ball from chest high. It had to bounce on the ground before hitting the bat or wicket (the pillar.) Try it some time, in a high wind, with the grandkids. It's really hard to hit a table tennis ball with a thin ruler. One could be bowled, LBW'd or caught. Running was between the wall and a school bag cast on the ground. Maybe there was the occasional run out. Inevitably, the poor ball often got dented, or even crushed. This made things even harder for the batsman. I suspect scores were generally very low. I don't think we played as teams but only as individual batsmen. Part of the fun was the merry quipping and banter that went with the shots and general excitement. It all sounds a bit sad, really. Current Australian Test players might be advised to transfer to this less recognised form of the great art before their reputations plummet even further. Five - Nil? Could be, but let us not count our chickens before we inwardly smile at their misfortunes.


Name: Bob Blackburn
Email: With Alex Bateman
Years_at_school: 1943 -1949
Date: 26 Jul 2013
Time: 02:10:33

Comments

Sorry lads but the game was called tuppenny- happenny football, ie Two penny-half penny football. long before my time at HCS. Pitch was the desk top, two pennies for the players and a half penny for the football although a sixpence was preferred for the ball. A comb or a ruler was used to propel the players around the pitch. In trouble if caught by the masters because it was assumed we were gambling. Kindest regards to all. Bob


Name: Robert Mills (Bob)
Email: robert-mills5atsky.com
Years_at_school: 1947-1952
Date: 25 Jul 2013
Time: 15:34:09

Comments

Thomas Duncan Foster and Philip Brian Kershaw, are you both still alive and well? I would love to hear from you if you are.


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/63
Date: 25 Jul 2013
Time: 08:42:18

Comments

Someone here suggested, a few posts ago, that Geoff Woolf possibly converted to Catholicism as a result of Marchantising. I must tell Geoff. Nothing, I assure you, could be more absurd: Geoff, the Marxist in our Midst, would be horrified at the very idea. A sidenote to Stan Rogowski (I haven't looked at this site for a few weeks): Stan, we called that game 'shove halfpenny',though it obviously was not the game played in pubs. As you said (I think) it involved a comb used as a coin flicker, a few coins and a couple of sets of goal posts at either end of the table. Two people played, sometimes four. And, I'm sorry, but I remember you playing that game in A1 with me, David Griffiths and Laurence Samuels.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondatyahoo.comWrite word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 21 Jul 2013
Time: 05:33:28

Comments

Re the 'bastards' quote, here's what Albert Finney said in 'Saturday Night and Sunday Morning': "Don't let the bastards grind you down. That's one thing you learn. What I'm out for is a good time. All the rest is propaganda."


Name: Ray Parnell
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1967-1974
Date: 16 Jul 2013
Time: 22:16:59

Comments

That fount of all knowledge 'Wikipedia' has it as dating from WW2, albeit that they refer to the mock Latin 'Illegitimi non carborundum' version which, along with 'amo, amas, amat' is probably the extent of my own first form Latin skills nowadays!


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 10 Jul 2013
Time: 18:33:18

Comments

Thanks for the translation into Latin of the useful phrase. I had not heard previously of the comedian you refer to as using the English version but it was certainly not his invention. I recall receiving comforting advice in the form of the phrase in 1962 from an octogenarian Australian gold miner who had lost a leg during the Klondike gold rush. His intent was to help me at a time when I was experiencing difficulties with my employer. I doubt the expression was invented by my mentor. Does anyone know of an earlier use?


Name: Type your Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondatyahoo.comWrite word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 10 Jul 2013
Time: 15:00:26

Comments

Forgot my name again at that last post. Too busy dancing - I mean, writing.


Name: Type your name here
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Years_at_school:
Date: 10 Jul 2013
Time: 14:58:54

Comments

Hello Colin, well, I enjoyed his crazy antics, he was clearly deliberately exaggerating his 'mad' persona, to the point where the 'totality' of his performance was simply too much for me to resist! As you say, a parody of himself indeed (or his persona - surely he can't be like that away from the 'stage', can he?), but simply so utterly, absurdly overbearing I just found myself laughing a lot, despite my 'normal' dislike for the guy. There's something powerfully, magnetically attractive about a person being 'total', obviously seen in the likes of musicians, dancers, singers, athletes - and children, of course. Mick Jagger, for instance, even approaching 70! And Hitler would be another example... It helps if the person has talent of course... Yet even if one has little or no such ability, hopefully, even as we age, it's possible to at least simply dance freely for a few minutes or longer, to keep alive that feeling of 'totality'. I've done a lot of that in my time and it's been very therapeutic.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-53
Date: 10 Jul 2013
Time: 13:37:53

Comments

I saw the Have I got News for You edition with Brian Blessed in it, Chris, and I thought he was absolutely ghastly. Stole the show - to its detriment and his self-destruction. He has become a parody of himself. What ever became of Fancy Smith?


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.comWrite word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 10 Jul 2013
Time: 09:45:26

Comments

The actor whose name I forgot is Brian Blessed. Didn't like him really until he chaired a fairly recent edition of 'Have I got News for You?', where he was fairly outrageous and basically 'stole the show', as they say. Reminds me of someone else...Can't quite recall his name though....


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.comWrite word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 10 Jul 2013
Time: 05:07:15

Comments

Sorry, didn't sign the last post!


Name: Type your name here
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 10 Jul 2013
Time: 05:06:11

Comments

Noli nothis permittere te terere! Thanks again, Bernie!


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.comWrite word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 10 Jul 2013
Time: 04:48:50

Comments

I was never taught by Bernie but from the contact I did have with him he came across as a pretty circumspect type of chap, someone who wouldn't care to 'take undue risks' in the normal course of things. So I imagine he would have chosen any 'targets for conversion' pretty carefully. Yet, as I've already indicated, there was also something about him that wasn't quite as 'balanced', not quite in such a state of equilibrium as he would have liked or liked to present to the world. How profoundly ironic then, that he should have chosen a route so demanding of a fine sense of balance, both inner and outer, to make his 'bid for freedom' (as it were)! I find I have a rather complex response to this: Admiration amounting to awe at such daring, such determination, perhaps even a certain empathy to some extent - yet combined with a sense of pathos, of the almost tragic absurdity of a man in his position struggling to assert a fleeting moment of what - a sort of 'freedom', 'transcendence' of petty rules keeping him and everyone else 'earthbound' as it were? I recall the catchphrase of a famously overbearing (and overweight) actor (whose name escapes me): "Don't let the bastards get you down!" Although he might not have framed it in the same fashion, in this ultimately small, yet extraordinarily vivid way, Bernie Marchant, on that tightrope, made a similar plea, a similar stand. At least, that's how I see it.


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email:
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 09 Jul 2013
Time: 13:10:47

Comments

Surprised at all this speculation about Bernie Marchant's possible conversions. He taught me Classics for two years to A Level and never once discussed religion outside the classical deities.


Name: Chris R
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 09 Jul 2013
Time: 11:13:21

Comments

I think Twinkletoes had, at that time, not yet morphed into the connotation it has today.


Name: Brian Goldfarb
Email: goldfarb.ashkernazyatbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 55-60
Date: 08 Jul 2013
Time: 16:52:51

Comments

I would not have mentioned Mr Marchant's kindness if I had known it might lead to sinister suggestions on your mail box. He always acted appropriately and his motives were above board. I would wish to make this clear. My Jewish counterparts would corroborate this, I have no doubt. Trawling back through the years, I recently spotted that Harry Levine had contributed. I remember Harry as a very good playground footballer and Spurs supporter. If he sees this, would he care to comment? I do not know if Mr Marchant singled out particular boys for conversion or whether he offered the service to all those of the Jewish faith. Maybe he was taking a risk. He once mentioned that it was bit like walking a tight rope and hoped his religious activity would not come across the Headmaster's desk. Dr Simpson would have been unforgiving despite his Christian upbringing. Maybe he was atheist and conducted the religious part of school assemblies out of duty.? Not being present, I am not properly qualified to comment.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 08 Jul 2013
Time: 11:35:55

Comments

I find the recent postings about Bernie Marchant utterly fascinating. I was (and am) a Roman Catholic and in my day our informal service was conducted by him and interestingly, by Jock Lafferty. Bernie taught me Latin at A level. I was not a diligent student but for some reason he favoured me throughout my years at school. I always assumed that he was a convert to Catholicism and certainly his attitudes to the faith were quite different to my own, coming as I do from an Irish background. Those of his background would feel compelled to seek converts particularly from those of the Jewish faith. I know that some Jewish boys of my time felt uncomfortable with him because of that intensity, but I really do not want to say more on that topic. Nihil nisi bonum.


Name: Type your name here
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Years_at_school:
Date: 08 Jul 2013
Time: 08:51:54

Comments

What's even more disturbing, Chris - and certainly would be for BM! - is your persistent use of the wretched "off of". Did you learn nothing in your years at HCS?


Name: Chris
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 08 Jul 2013
Time: 08:29:36

Comments

There was indeed a little room off of the old Gym. It had a stove and sink and was about 2 meteres square. Off of that was another room containing a toilet. The idea of BM (or any other master) taking boys into that room to "hear confession" is rather disturbing as is the giving of wine to boys. It would be really illuminating to hear from those RCs who left assembly each morning with BM.


Name: Bill Peter
Email: bncpeteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 1960-67
Date: 07 Jul 2013
Time: 20:36:17

Comments

Just one memory of "Teacher Hambley". Didn't he wear a huge hat to protect himself from something or other?


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondatyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 07 Jul 2013
Time: 11:55:12

Comments

That's true, Chris. Why not ask Michael Portillo, who also happens to be a great admirer of Bernie Marchant, describing him in glowing terms in an obituary at this site? (He also happens to have been a near neighbour of mine while growing up, our mothers being on friendly terms, although that's of no consequence of course, especially as I never spoke to him, being of a different HCS generation).


Name: Chris
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 07 Jul 2013
Time: 10:20:52

Comments

I seem to recall that both Portillo boys were RC. Either one would be a reliable source


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 07 Jul 2013
Time: 05:17:50

Comments

I think we can exclude any possibility of Bernie Marchant ever having taken Holy Orders of any kind as his career from University onwards was pretty well documented. I'm also intrigued about converts - presumably that would have to have been done through a local RC Church for baptism, first communion etc and not done directly by BM


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 06 Jul 2013
Time: 17:11:57

Comments

I go along with Chris Rickwood. Total confusion. But there's no smoke without fire. Was Bernie Marchant, a teacher of Classics in my day, a de-frocked priest? I have only loose connections with the Catholic Church and therefore do not know the ins and outs of their ways and regulations. Having been an avid reader of Graham Greene whilst at HCS I seem to remember that in 'A Burned Out Case' the whisky priest was able to offer the eucharist to peasants deprived of direct contact with their church. But I don't remember if he had actually been de-frocked or not. It seems to me that we need more authoritative comment direct from an authentic Catholic source. There's little point in playing at guesswork. The school has produced many distinguished people in differing walks of life. Do we know of a top Catholic? A bishop, perhaps? Sadly,I suppose any such individuals of our day may now be retired, or passed on. It would be of interest to get an official view.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 06 Jul 2013
Time: 16:11:12

Comments

This Bernie Marchant stuff is confusing me. I find it almost unbelievable that he would risk his career (as well as his neck) with the tightrope stunt - but I don't doubt the word of those who seem to confirm it. But I'm certain that he most certainly could not and should not have heard confession nor could he consecrate the Eucharist and administer communion. This really is odd - unless one of our RC Old Gayts can correct me


Name: Brian Goldfarb
Email: golfarb.ashkernazyatbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1955 - 1960
Date: 06 Jul 2013
Time: 15:07:37

Comments

Sorry Chris Esmond. Maybe I misunderstood but Mr Marchant was in the habit of handing out wine to certain boys, mostly the Jewish converts. Perhaps I assumed he was conducting Holy Communion. I would not wish to make any claims that falsify the image of Mr Marchant so I withdraw my previous comment. It is a long time ago and my Care Home in Tel Aviv is a long way from Gayton Road. Please do not think he was weird in any way. I am certainly not saying that. Are there any Catholic boys of around that time who might illuminate what went on in Mr Marchant's services? I know he did not use incense.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondatyahoo.comWrite word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 06 Jul 2013
Time: 13:39:55

Comments

So if Bernie did indeed take confession then all those who confessed to him might perhaps be on their way to Hell by now? And what about him - where would he be? I neither believe it, nor wish to believe it.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondatyahoo.comWrite word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 06 Jul 2013
Time: 12:39:35

Comments

According to Wikipedia, confession ('reconciliation') may only be taken by a bishop or priest and is "invalid if done by a layperson or by a priest without faculties (which the law provides for any priest absolving someone who is in danger of death)". I await your response then, Brian.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondatyahoo.comWrite word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 06 Jul 2013
Time: 11:44:12

Comments

Bernie Marchant "heard confession"?!! You gotta be joking?!!


Name: Brian Goldfarb
Email: goldfarb.ashkernazyatbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1955 - 1960
Date: 06 Jul 2013
Time: 11:16:02

Comments

A friend got in touch here in Tel Aviv. I have not really thought too much about HCS since leaving. As a Jewish boy I was given a bit of a hard time. But it was nothing like Nazi Germany. In my last year I converted to Roman Catholicism more out of defence than anything else. It was a teacher called Marchant who took me aside and suggested it. I was called a turncoat by a few of my Jewish brethren but most took it well in the circumstances. Mr Marchant heard confession in a little room off the Old Hall. I expect it is still there. There was a gas stove in it and a sink maybe for hospitality purposes before the school built its new hall. The Old Hall was also used as a second venue for PE and had benches and wallbars. The Catholics used the benches for Holy Communion. Unfortunately I have not continued in my second faith although have not reverted to Judaism. But I would wish to place on record my appreciation of Mr Marchant's personal kindness to me. I was not his only convert. There were two or three others. Geoff Wolf and Lenny Stanton, possibly The communion wine was stored in the gas stove. It may seem a bit underhand but I always suppose it was necessary to keep things from Dr Simpson. I had little time for him as he seemed to be a vengeful sort of Christian. Anyone in 4B 1959 and 5(1) 1960 I say hello and good wishes.


Name: Stan Rogowski
Email: stanrogowski23atgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1956-63
Date: 06 Jul 2013
Time: 09:01:50

Comments

Wow.What with these Julie revelations we seem to be heading towards serialisation in The Mail on Sunday.Hope they accept as they were photographs.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondatyahoo.comWrite word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 06 Jul 2013
Time: 08:59:42

Comments

Julie, thanks so much for writing here and please convey my thanks to Malcolm Bingley (whose name I don't recall, but perhaps he was of a later or even an earlier school generation?). Could you possibly ask Malcolm to get in touch with me, please (at email address you'll see here) ? Thanks again.


Name: Type your name here
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 06 Jul 2013
Time: 08:49:25

Comments

OK, Peter, as I said I can easily understand any scepticism, I was that way inclined as well. Well, let's hope some ex-cricketers of '66 vintage turn up here - better still, of course,any of Bernie's secret band of tightrope walk helpers. By the way, does anyone know whether his wife is still alive? He certainly was married and I recall him famously declaring that it was "for social rather than sexual reasons"! Quite an extraordinary thing to say to adolescents and something we had a good laugh about - behind his back of course - at the time. Resonating with 'Catholic guilt', the conditioned repression of a 'respectable' man from a certain time and background. After all, as has been noted at this blog already, he was much younger than he looked, and there was considerable energy in that rather large frame... Which brings me back to that overwhelming need he felt to somehow 'let go'....


Name: Jukie Archer
Email: julie34atgmail.com
Years_at_school: none but living
Date: 06 Jul 2013
Time: 03:11:58

Comments

malcy has been in touch again, he says on your web site my father vick is reffered to as stan. i should know vick wasdefinitely my dad but uncle stan his twin osme times come round to the school to deputise for my dad at weekends and holiday relief.i expect this is the confussion. uncle stan was always very kind and took me and my brother swimming in the pool. he had the key to the pool shop and we used to get free iceceam and wagonweels. i always wanted to marry a harrow county boy but it never worked out.he was a bit of a roge but ok.thankyou.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 06 Jul 2013
Time: 02:52:53

Comments

Whoops! See previous. I missed out the word 'cricketers' but feel confident readers will insert it in the appropriate place.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.wardat16btinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 06 Jul 2013
Time: 02:50:27

Comments

Chris Esmond, after all these years, I apologise. Unlike you, I was not present in the changing room when Bernie revealed his great secret. So I must bow to your authority. We must get the old (I use the term with some accuracy) together. To the rest of the Bernie Marchant fans - ought we begin to think of forming an Appreciation Society?


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondatyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 05 Jul 2013
Time: 18:00:18

Comments

But I wonder whether Bernie was ever able to integrate that adventurous, 'rebellious' (one might say) side of his nature into his 'normal' personality, or whether, following either or both the tightrope and dressing room episodes, it sort of 'took a back seat' in his psyche, overcome by the previous decades of social conditioning and 'adjustment' into presenting and even becoming what he deemed an 'acceptable' persona (however ultimately absurd, in many ways, that was). Unfortunately, I suspect the latter took precedence and that he might never have attempted to 'break out', to 'spread his wings' again. If so, I find that rather desperately sad, as he was potentially far more 'alive', more 'real' even, than he allowed himself to appear, or to be. I know, I witnessed that about him.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.comWrite word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 05 Jul 2013
Time: 17:41:02

Comments

I can understand people being a little sceptical, I certainly was myself - until summoning the nerve (and it took some, believe me) to ask the man himself. But if you were there, in that changing room, that summer Saturday evening, early July '66 (World Cup very much in the air, I recall), and witnessed Bernie's somewhat stumbling yet heartfelt response, you'd know neither I nor he was kidding. It just had that unmistakable 'ring of truth'. It was enough for me to see him in a completely different light, those moments cementing him in my memory as not only a desperately shy, socially awkward, deeply conventional man, covering up his unease with an assumed aloof and occasionally rather fierce 'front', but also, most astonishingly, as even something of an 'unconventional iconoclast'! At the very least, a bloody good bloke. But don't take my word for it, those who were there at the tightrope escapade and my fellow cricket team mates will confirm it all.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 05 Jul 2013
Time: 14:38:09

Comments

What with writing books for children and singing in two choirs in Tunbridge Wells, I do actually have better things to do than glue myself to this blog. But have to confess the Bernie Marchant revelations are riveting. Or are they? I truly don't know what to make of them. Recalling Chris Esmond at school as a decent sort of guy and promising left-hand opening bat, I have difficulty in accepting his very full account of Bernie M's alleged high wire achievement in the Inner Quad. But maybe, as some have suggested, it was all a Bernie jape. After all, he was very funny so maybe he's looking down and having the last laugh. Who knows? I just about remember the caretaker and confirm Dave Buckley's piece that the man's name was Stan Archer. If we are correct - except it's an awful long time - then what are we to make of his (alleged) daughter's contribution? Julie clearly refers to him as Vick. Was this a familiar name used only by those closest to him? Finally, my only contribution to the debate hardly counts for anything but I do remember Bernie M was occasionally referred to as Twinkletoes. I always put this down to his funny way of scurrying off the stage from Assembly to conduct the Catholic service. An earlier correspondent suggests BM's arial feat was a protest about there being insufficient wine. Does this mean that Bernie performed the Mass on school premises and behind Simpson's presumably Protestant back? Like I said, this is all good reading and has enlivened an erstwhile dull blog but, whatever the outcome, the name of Bernie Marchant must now be approaching legendary status. In his modest way, BM would have borne the burden with dignity and perhaps a quiet smile before blushing.


Name: julie archer
Email: julie34atgmail.com
Years_at_school: none as pupil
Date: 05 Jul 2013
Time: 13:01:38

Comments

My friend jill married malcolm bingley who was at your school. jill died last year butmalcy got in touch and said to look at your site because my dad was vick archer who was caretaker at the harrow county school for boys for fifteen years. Me my mum and my brother lived above the perooms and had this balcony. I remember my dad vick said something about doing a tight rope walk with a teacher but I don't know his name. hegot given four bottles of bass for doing it. thank you. julie


Name: Type your name here
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 05 Jul 2013
Time: 10:41:44

Comments

That's an interesting point, Dave. I can't actually recall anything about the caretaker(s) during my time at HCS, even the names you have given don't ring a bell in the memory. I wonder though, whether Bernie & co. might have sort of 'made it worthwhile' for whoever was the caretaker to 'turn a blind eye'. After all, it would seem that no way would he have wanted this utterly outrageous scheme to have been thwarted. He was no pushover, Bernie Marchant, a quietly determined chap, - except, of course, as Michael Schwartz has noted, when he allowed himself to explode in mirth!


Name: Dave Buckley (53-61)
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 05 Jul 2013
Time: 07:18:44

Comments

Chris Esmond's recent post about Bernie Marchant walking a tightrope makes very interesting reading. However, what I find even more interesting is the comment that it was done with the school caretaker in the know. When I left in 1961, the caretaker was Stan Archer, and from what I remember of him, I doubt if he would have agreed to such an event taking place. However, could the caretaker by then have been Mr.Cook? Can anyone remember when he took over from Stan Archer? Also, I doubt if the safety net was supplied by the OG Dramatic Society - more likely the Naval Section (Scrambling net say?)


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1965-72
Date: 04 Jul 2013
Time: 19:30:02

Comments

Peter Ward writes, "I cruelly bowled him with a 'Yorker' first ball in the Staff Match 1963." This was reported to 4th form Latin set in 1969 by Kenneth Waller: "I remember the time Mr Marchant went out to bat and was out first ball." The tightrope incident I find hard to believe and I think it was part of a wicked sense of humour. That Bernard's frame shook vigorously, that his face went bright red and that the volume and tone of his laughter would have outdone the orang-utang cage at London Zoo is not in doubt.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 04 Jul 2013
Time: 09:52:27

Comments

I don't for one moment doubt Chris Esmond's truthfulness but I wonder if any eye witness has ever come forward. To do this in the school, on a weekend, with the compliance of the caretaker and at least enough boys to deply a safety net of sorts is incredible.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 04 Jul 2013
Time: 07:07:35

Comments

Stunned by Chris Esmond's revelation on the great Bernie Marchant. I had raised this 'rumour' earlier on the blog, hardly expecting it to be confirmed. So sad that Bernie M died before we could ask him about the extraordinary feat. Looking back, as a cricketer, I only ever thought of him as the 'one-legged umpire' as this was his habit. It never crossed my mind, whilst fielding at cover point, that Bernie was in serious training. He once accused me of ungentlemanly conduct when I niftily ran out the captain of Purley Grammar School who was 'gardening' in the middle of the wicket. It was the only time we ever crossed swords as I liked him and was appreciative of his big contribution to the cricket - himself no cricketer. I cruelly bowled him with a 'Yorker' first ball in the Staff Match 1963. He was wearing black plimsoles. I have never been very happy about this but now hang my head in shame. What a hero!


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmond AT yahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 03 Jul 2013
Time: 21:48:31

Comments

This Bernie Marchant story is one of the most extraordinary anecdotes of my time at HCS, unbelievable really, unless I'd heard it confirmed, not only by perfectly reliable witnesses, but also by Bernie himself, during the summer term of my final year. Several years before, maybe '62 or '63, I recall hearing rumours that he had let slip to a couple of his A level Greek students that at Cambridge he'd once managed to climb up a drainpipe in the early hours of the morning and so get access to his college room, following a night of rather heavy drinking celebrating a college cricket victory. It was, he'd apparently said, the first and last time he'd ever done such a thing, but he hadn't regretted it, in fact he'd at times wished he could have 'spread his wings' a bit more in his younger days but he'd always tended to feel too inhibited, even after alcohol. I and a few others I knew who'd heard about this weren't in the slightest surprised to hear that, it fitted our impression of him to a tee: as Peter Ward has said here, he always seemed very "locked-in", uptight, 'serious', yet away from the classroom, at cricket matches, for example, there was at times more of a sense of a genuinely humoruous man in there, just itching to get out and enjoy camaraderie with us players, yet unfortunately never really managing to. Looking back, I feel rather sad about that somehow, he was, I reckon, a victim of his 'conditioning'.

Anyway, to get to the point: One day, I heard from a good friend of mine - in total confidence as he'd been sworn to secrecy by one of those involved - that over the previous weekend Bernie had actually, quite unbelievably - and I still can't get my head around this - with the help of several boys and another member of staff, and with the school caretaker 'in the know', set up a tightrope at the far end of the Inner Quad, quite a way above the ground, but not too long, just a few yards, and proceeded to walk along it, unaided, from one end to the other! A stunt he'd been practising for, at home in his back garden, for a couple of years, as a way of, well, 'spreading his wings', I suppose... No wonder he went, I was told, into an uncontrollable fit of giggling, almost losing his breath, when he reached the other side, gasping, " Don't tell the Head, whatever you do!" OK, it wasn't deadly dangerous, as a safety net had been provided, possibly by a CCF, Scouts or even Drama Society source. All the same - can you imagine the scene, or anything more ludicrously outrageous?! Apparently, it had also been filmed, although that might well be open to question as it's never materialised since, as far as I know, unless Bernie decided to keep it all under wraps, fearing the 'consequences' as he might well have done afterwards, being the sort of person he usually was. What a terrible, dreadful, appalling shame! He'd have enjoyed instant 'school hero' status, immediately elevated to those dizzy heights (if you'll pardon the phrase), having once and for all 'blown his image', shown unusual daring and a totally unexpected rebellious spirit, and thus earned our appreciation and respect of a more admiring kind than he'd usually commanded. But I never really knew what to believe, despite my informant's total trust in his source. I mean, it was third-hand information, 'Chinese whispers' and surely far too ludicrous a tale to take seriously, Especially as the man concerned betrayed no visible signs of ever having been recently involved in anything 'untoward'.

Until a year or two later, summer '66, my last year, when, playing for the school cricket team in matches umpired by Bernie (for which I'm still grateful to him and all similarly dedicated teachers, who played their part in enriching our lives by volunteering out-of-hours) from my vantage point in the field, at cover point, I began to notice something rather odd about him: When umpiring at square leg (at right angles to the pitch) he would often stand for a whole over (6 balls from the bowler) on one leg! Not switching from one to the other, just on the one leg. Then next time at square leg, he might be on the other one...For a somewhat large, slightly overweight and occasionally clumsy looking man this was no mean feat (if you'll pardon the pun!). And sometimes, even while standing at the bowler's end, he'd do likewise, but usually just for a ball or two, not the whole six. This was so utterly unexpected, absurd even, Bernie Marchant standing like a flaming pelican or something, that I couldn't keep it to myself. Others had also noticed and much sniggering ensued. What the hell was going on with this extremely held-in beacon of habitually conventional behaviour? And how could he manage to stand on just one leg for minutes on end? And why? I wasn't in the habit of talking informally with him - none of us were, he wasn't the type to invite that degree of familiarity - but I decided to ask him after the match, in the dressing-room where he would come and attempt to be part of the after-game banter (usually not too successfully as he seemed in conflict between his 'responsible adult' role and his wish to be, even fleetingly, 'one of the lads' - poor chap, I do feel for him, I really do). So I did, in front of the whole team, while we were getting changed. His reply stunned us all: "I'm keeping myself fit for the, er, 'tightrope', Esmond. I'm not just a cricket umpire and Classics master, in case you and others might not know" (at which point he began to snort and giggle in familiar fashion when amused, releasing at least some of that large amount of accumulated tension he seemed to always be carrying in the very cells of his body). What? Bernie telling me and the whole team he was a tightrope walker? You couldn't make it up! So it was true, after all?! I couldn't stop myself, I had to know, finally, this was probably my only chance to know. Throwing caution to the wind, not caring about confidentiality agreements, I heard myself asking: "Sir, is it true that you once walked on a tightrope in the Inner Quad one weekend?" The rest of the team began to titter, one or two laughed quite loudly... Bernie stopped giggling and said, rather fiercely: "Who told you that?" "I just heard it a few years ago, sir". Silence for a moment, followed by more snorts, more giggles, then, as if releasing the burden of half a lifetime he said yes, it was "indeed the case", that in fact he'd been secretly training for that 'event' for the previous two years, receiving private tuition from a former gymnast and circus performer until he felt confident enough to do it. He described being motivated by a tremendously strong drive for doing at least something 'improbus' (Latin for 'outrageous') in his responsible adult life. And if that made him 'eccentricus' (he used the Latin word) then "so be it!" We were transfixed, astonished at what we were hearing from this normally rather uncommunicative man, normally so 'uneasy-in-his-own-skin', but for a few moments transformed into a hapily less inhibited, more alive, inspiring, almost 'rebellious' figure When he finished speaking there was a moment's silence before we all burst into a spontaneous round of applause, genuine appreciation for this formerly rather aloof character who had trusted us enough to reveal something of the reality behind that habitual mask. And who was now clearly moved by our response, flushing deeply (as usual), but looking somehow years younger... A great moment, one I'd forgotten in the unremitting busy-ness of the days and years, but which I'm glad to have pieced together at this late stage. PS: Many years later, working in Brunei, S.E. Asia, I went to a travelling circus and met some of the performers afterwards, which was a total privilege. One of them, a brilliant female high-wire acrobat said that she'd learned her trade from childhood and so it had come naturally, it seemed 'no big deal' to her. Whereas, she added, someone who takes it up in later life deserves huge credit. Today, I remembered that while recalling this episode about Bernie.

RIP Bernie Marchant. Thanks for the inspiration!


Name: Stan Rogowski
Email: stanrogowskiatgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1956-63
Date: 03 Jul 2013
Time: 11:25:16

Comments

Hello Peter Fowler.I remember you as well.We both started off in 1D.Memories are strange things.I never played table tennis or shove halfpenny in A1.We played a kind of subetteo.Two players,a piece of chalk,combs,a couple of pennies and a sixpence.But this is just nit picking.Who cares.Its nice to kmow you are still alive after 50 years.Did you ever continue the Arthur Murray dancing lessons in Harrow High Street.I did'nt.Would you know what happened to Martin Scott from 1D who also formed a pop group.Fancied himself as a Laurence Harvey type.Cigarettes,booze,and women.Regards.


Name: Stan Rogowski
Email: stanrogowski23atgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1956-63
Date: 03 Jul 2013
Time: 09:53:31

Comments

John Holmes-its true.I think Bernie Marchent did it to protest against the lack of bread and wine at the Catholic morning assemblies. Well,not such much the bread.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 02 Jul 2013
Time: 21:28:55

Comments

Well, I do recall that Bernie Marchant story, although it was long forgotten until returning here after a long absence the other day. Will write about it later on today.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 02 Jul 2013
Time: 06:13:38

Comments

I think there was more than one barge incident. I seem to recall three from Probation 6 Modern were involved in the other incident


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 01 Jul 2013
Time: 17:13:52

Comments

Very interested to see Chris Rickwood's comments, previously. I was responsible for raising the issue, on the blog, of Spargo's barge being cut loose on the Grand Union Canal, sort of in the Ruislip area. But I have since been corrected by Peter Woollard and Mike Regan who were on the raid. I should have been present but went down with flu the night before so missed a week end Scouts' 'Night Game'. Woollard and Regan were on this and tell me they threw stones at the barge, thus arousing the wrath of the ancient Spargo. He spotted them through binoculars which was why they got into furious trouble the following Monday. All teaching of the Fifth Year was suspended until miscreants of this and various other crimes were admitted. Apparently, they did not cast off the narrow boat. Of course, a concurrent crime at that time was the gradual removal of 200 spoons from the dining hall and how bunches of these appeared on Simpson's car as he drove out of the school after a memorial service to the previous Head, Randall Williams. This incident took place the day after the Spargo's barge catastrophe. Quite a week end. One other item Chris Rickwood raises is to do with flour in George Thorn's organ pipes. Again, I raised this on the blog, a few years ago, asking for confirmation. None came. I only heard it as a rumour and that it took place two years before I joined the school. The story goes that as Thorn thundered away at the organ a spume of flour descended on the boys below. Sadly, I was not a witness. Is there anybody out there who can confirm? I'm pretty certain it is a true story and if so, deserves the highest place of the many japes that were exacted upon the major players in Simpsonian Regime. Please could Chris enlarge on the lowering of Yogi Bear upon the stage? This would have been just after my time. More please.


Name: Ian Gawn
Email: ian.gawnatorange.fr
Years_at_school: 1955-62
Date: 01 Jul 2013
Time: 07:11:51

Comments

Watching Wimbledon tennis I came to wonder if anyone knows what became of Guy Wannop - my (dim) memory is that he played at Junior Wimbledon, but wondered if he enjoyed tennis success as an adult. Incidentally, on a different topic, some will remember me as an aviation fanatic - well I am still at it, and after a gap of 45 years I am gliding again - now solo, and working for my bronze badge. Regards to all Ian


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 01 Jul 2013
Time: 06:27:04

Comments

Oooops should have said Yogi Bear on Speech Day


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 01 Jul 2013
Time: 06:26:24

Comments

John, Never heard of that Bernie Marchant story but otheres I know to be true: Spargo's Houseboat cut loose in "commando raid" True Flour in Organ Pipes - True Inflatable Yogi Bear descending on stage on Sports Day True Hovercaraft hit by gunfire from Cadets - True


Name: John Holmes
Email: jpgholmesatgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1956-1961
Date: 01 Jul 2013
Time: 03:56:50

Comments

I never know what to believe when I read stuff on this site. Stan Rogowski hits the mark. For instance, is there even a grain of truth in the story that Bernie Marchant once balanced on a high wire across the inner quad? It is rumoured but I have my doubts.


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email:
Years_at_school: Joe Avery's first seven
Date: 29 Jun 2013
Time: 14:38:09

Comments

Pete - is the audition why Tony Hatch and Jackie Trent emigrated to Australia? I hope that Tony Jackson of the Searchers never found out who knocked over the drum kit. He did time for threatening a woman with an air-gun over a dispute as to who had the right to use a public phone box. The said Mr Jackson also announced at a concert that The Searchers had overtaken the Beatles in the charts. Someone called out "Flash Bastards" and that same someone was decked by Mr Jackson who bounded off the stage. Taught by Messrs Groombridge and Lane, maybe?


Name: Pete Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56 62
Date: 29 Jun 2013
Time: 14:27:18

Comments

Well, Stan, how could you? Memories are strange things, and sometimes I remember things with a crystal clarity from school days and yet barely remember something significant from ten years ago. For example, I remember you absolutely - you were one of those who dropped into the A1 classroom that we inhabited in Lower Six Arts; and you played either the table tennis that went on in that room, or the shove halfpenny: it was one or the other. Have you forgotten that? And I'm sorry, Stan, but I can't see a word of make-believe in what I wrote on the Keith incident, though I'm amazed you can't remember him. Sure, it took me a good ten years to realise that the rock group in which I played was actually rather ridiculous (the Harrow Observer, reviewing one of the school concerts, referred to us as a 'local group who will stay that way'); but I sure as hell remember the incidents of which I wrote. No fantasy there whatsoever; just an awful truth. It's Keith's funeral on Wednesday and I'll certainly be referring to it....


Name: Stan Rogowski
Email: stanrogowski23atgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1956-63
Date: 29 Jun 2013
Time: 02:13:58

Comments

Please ignore my previous comment.Extremely drunk at the time


Name: stan rogowski
Email: stanrogowski23atgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1956-63
Date: 28 Jun 2013
Time: 13:26:29

Comments

Write Never heard of Keith Christie. Lot of E-Mails here are make-believe.Are you making this up Peter Fowler.


Name: Pete Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56 62
Date: 25 Jun 2013
Time: 05:01:09

Comments

I was very close to Keith in the years immediately after school, even sharing a quite insane flat with him and a couple of others in Kilburn, 1970 or so. But my most celebrated memory of him wasn't at school, it was at the Pye Recording Studios in central London. Our joke of a school band, The Soul Brothers, somehow managed to get an audition with Tony Hatch in about 1964. We didn't need to rehearse, as you can imagine, because we had 'soul' and this trumped any need to be tight and organised; and we didn't see any problem, either, in asking some of our mates along. Because the session was delayed by a couple of hours, we, fatally, decided to drop into the nearest pub where Keith, for one, had a skinful. We were eventually ushered into this very posh studio (after all, lots of hit records were made there), with Hatch clearly visible behind a glass screen controlling the mixing desk. Keith, on seeing him, said, in that loud but rather cultured voice, 'who's the guy with the fat arse over there?' He then, on realising that his voice could be clearly heard, turned round to apologise to us, but, because of the drink in him, turned round far too quickly. He could not stop himself falling over and knocking over the entire drum kit of The Searchers, who were in that studio after us. After about three numbers, Hatch called me and Geoff Weedon, the leaders of this motley crew, into his office and told us that he had never wasted so much time in his life. Looking back, Keith did us a favour that day: it broke the dream, a dream that needed to be shattered. But I can't say I thanked him on that day. In fact, I think I might have punched him.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58 - 63
Date: 24 Jun 2013
Time: 17:47:33

Comments

Peter Woollard uses the word 'feisty' about Keith Christie. He's right. Christie was an individual we didn't know well who had a wonderful habit of getting across authority. I seem to remember he regularly took on masters with attempted logical argument on the rights and wrongs of particular issues. It got him nowhere, of course. But he was never rude, bravely sticking to his guns, prior to the inevitable slippering. I also recall he was one of the sloppiest naval cadets of all time and punished, on Fridays, for forgetting to wear his uniform, or bits of it. And did he suffer a problem about wearing his school cap? If worn at all (not to do so was a punishable offence) Christie perched his very crumpled head ware at crazy angles, attracting attention and generating automatic 'one hundred lines' from zealous prefects keen to be recognised by the regime. His death caused me to ponder that perhaps a good number of our compatriots were rather dull and conventional. Christie stood out as a refreshing one-off. Does anyone remember doing prefects' lines with five pens held in the hand at the same time? This took a lot of skill as each pen had to operate at exactly a single line's distance from the next. If successful and undetected, it cut down the workload enormously. If detected, however, the punishment was doubled and left one feeling very foolish. Today's students might have difficulty in believing this. At my previous Grammar School, at Doncaster, it was 'legal' for prefects to use the slipper. I'm talking c.1956 and not 1856.


Name: Peter Woollard
Email: peterewoollardathotmail.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1955-60
Date: 24 Jun 2013
Time: 08:07:43

Comments

So sorry to hear about Keith Christie. He and I were in the same form a couple of times. I cannot claim we were close friends but I seem to remember him as a feisty individual who, although of fairly small stature, was not afraid to stand up for himself. The loss of independent characters like him should always be mourned.


Name: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 22 Jun 2013
Time: 16:52:59

Comments

Yes, Billy Duke was a gentleman, as was his close associate Joe Brister. Both were excellent teachers of maths and wrote a geometry book together. He was quite an actor and gave a famous class in calculus when he crept across the room to demonstrate how you had to stalk dy by dx and catch it just before it disappeared. During the war years, Billy held substantive rank of flight lieutenant and was in charge of the ATC. That corp was disbanded overnight following an edict from Simpson and replaced with Bigham and the army cadets.


Name: Andrew Carruthers
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1961-8
Date: 22 Jun 2013
Time: 04:33:09

Comments

The talk of bullying reminds me of my own experiences of that, which were pretty bad in my early years, but also how good Billy Duke was in helping me (and Ken Waller)sort it out. Nobody seems to talk about him on this web-site but I thought he was a real gent.


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 20 Jun 2013
Time: 07:01:56

Comments

Pete - have just read your words about Keith Christie. Sorry to read this news. What a character! I would have loved to have met him.


Name: Pete Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56 62
Date: 19 Jun 2013
Time: 04:59:04

Comments

For those of my generation: Keith Christie died yesterday morning. He'd had a tough time since suffering a really debilitating stroke and had lived, on his own, with Social Services help, in a flat in a tricky Vauxhall estate. I saw him just a few weeks ago and whilst he found it difficult to talk, there was still umpteen evidence of the light that once shined so brightly. He was the only guy I knew at HCS who managed to jump from D stream to the A stream, only to fall down the entire ladder again. He never really found himself, just kept acquiring degrees (5 of them) and A Levels (an almost silly eleven). But, what the hell - he was huge fun, a mountain of a mind, and never gave a toss for conventional career success. I'll miss the buggar like mad.


Name: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 18 Jun 2013
Time: 06:10:05

Comments

It always surprised me that Simpson junior attended HCS. I would have thought it prudent for a head to send his son somewhere else. The lad figures on some of the photos on this page. I believe he died at a young age but have no details.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 17 Jun 2013
Time: 17:08:18

Comments

Have just read Colin Dickins' rather extraordinary piece re-the bullying of a boy called Dare (before my time.) He relates that the boy's father came to the school and asked his son to point out fellow pupils who bullied him. Further, that Simpson's son rather rescued the situation and became a bit of a local hero. I wish my father had come into the school and berated the bullyish thugs on the Staff who set about me! And I wouldn't have been alone. Far from it. Well done, Mr Dare. Good for you, sir. RIP.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 17 Jun 2013
Time: 06:16:02

Comments

So Simpson had a son. That is certainly news to me. I knew he had at least one daughter but never heard of a son. It must have been interesting to be in the same form as he


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 17 Jun 2013
Time: 02:58:25

Comments

Strange man, Heaton. I never did quite know what to make of him. He did, in fact, have a bad moment with the board duster, hitting a boy called Dare (not in my year) and splitting his head open. We expected serious consequences for him, but not long after he was appointed head of Belmont Secondary School. A Geography teacher, it was his lot also to teach RK and on one occasion he left the room for a while and when he came back observed that some boys rapidly closed their bibles - because they had been scouring them for the rude bits, he said. He once gave me directions how to get somewhere (can't remember where) and said, "There's a pub near there called the Ruptured Duck - No it isn't actually, it's called the Timber Carriage."[Para] On the subject of Dare, he was the spoilt son of a local hairdresser and one morning his father brought him to School in his car and instructed him to point out boys that had been bullying him. He then set about them. Jimmy Simpson, son of Square, a prefect, was in his classroom in the lower corridor and witnessed this. He jumped out of the window and accosted Dare senior, saying, "Here, you can't do that." Sadly I didn't see it, but the story went round very fast and Simpson junior was something of a folk hero for a time.


Name: Chris Atkinson
Email: no.thanks.ialreadygetenoughspam.com
Years_at_school: '48 to '53
Date: 15 Jun 2013
Time: 05:07:31

Comments

Amongst all the 'interesting' habits displayed by the teaching staff, I don't seem to have seen a mention of Harry Heaton. Lift your desk lid whilst he was talking and he would hurl the board duster at it. Looking back that could have been a tad dangerous I suppose. But then so was our seeding Harry Mees' chalk with ammonium iodide - we got worried when he started tossing it around in his hands. Can't say that Twink ever bothered me, but then I did rowing which might have kept me in his good books. One of the first 'lessons' I learned was from the older boys who sang out 'backs to the wall boys, here comes George'; I hadn't the faintest idea what this meant - but soon was parroting along with them. I've got Paul Oliver to thank for the fact that I'm still playing folk and blues (despite osteoarthritis which makes fingering a guitar hell); didn't find out that he was a world authority until a long time after I'd left HCS. Ah well, time for another nap - nurse where's my blanket.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 14 Jun 2013
Time: 16:57:27

Comments

Brian Hester mentions Randall Williams' appearances at the Head's window overlooking the Inner Quad. Simpson, too, made occasional vocal contributions from this vantage point. He particularly hated boys playing football and would shout down from the window for all activity to stop. As we knew his eyesight was poor (God knows how he drove to and from work) miscreant footballers fled like true cowards. He stood no chance of recognising us. Sadly, he succeeded just the once and about half a dozen boys were named and shamed in front of the school Assembly. One was a large lad, Atkinson, in the Upper Sixth. He, like the others, was caned. The proof is in the Caning Book. Yes, aged seventeen or eighteen, shamed and caned for playing football at Break. Would Hitler (see Hester's contribution) have stooped so low? I regret to confess I was one of the runners who got away with it.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhestreratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 14 Jun 2013
Time: 16:18:33

Comments

There was nothing like a good rant from the headmaster first thing to alleviate the tedium of the day. Randall Williams, generally a rather benign chap, had his moments. While we quivered in straight lines in the inner quad under the eagle eye of Amos, the sash window of Williams' study would fly open - 'one moment Mr Amos' would be followed by a tirade on the irritating subject of the hour - concluded with ' this practice must stop immediately and any boy found doing it will be severely punished'. Thump went the window. Rather than a comparison with Hitler as has been suggested for Simpson, RW, with his round, face and bald head, looked more like Mussolini who was given to deliver oration fro windows and balconies. .


Name: Graeme M Young
Email: No thanks
Years_at_school: 1947 to 1953
Date: 14 Jun 2013
Time: 09:23:02

Comments

Does anyone remember the era when Speech day was held at The Harrow Coliseum? At one particular event someone launched a paper dart from the balcony. It flew gracefully round the auditorium, did a fly-past under the noses of the great and the good assembled on the stage and came neatly to rest in the stalls. I do not recall ARS reacting to that afterwards! ARS's famous rants during assembly we likened to Hitler addressing a political rally - the one about wearing coloured trousers and coloured shirts remains a classic with me. He was a hard man to understand. Greetings to everyone.


Name: John Howes
Email: j
Years_at_school:
Date: 10 Jun 2013
Time: 05:30:12

Comments

Thanks for the site - first art master George Neal was my great uncle. We never met however. I've added some links and quotes from the memories of him here to my family history website www.cutlock.co.uk Trust that is OK.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 07 Jun 2013
Time: 04:22:53

Comments

I have just heard the sad news of the death of Bob Mackenzie, HCS 1947-1954 last Monday 3rd June. The funeral will be at St John's Church, Harrow, on Thurday 13th June at 11.15 am, followed by cremation at Breakspear at 12.45. Donations in lieu of flowers to Macmillan Cancer Support or St Luke's Hospice may be sent to funeral directors J A Massey & Sons, 142 Station Road, Harrow HA1 2HR. Contemporaries at School will remember him as a briliant scholar, top of the A stream in every term examination except one. He was also an engaging companion with a higly developed talent for wry humour. A classicist, he was offered State Scholarships to both Oxford and Cambridge. He chose Cambridge, where he read Russian. He subsequently joined the Foreign Office where he made his career.


Name: Richard Worsfold
Email: rjworsfoldatgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1951 -1959
Date: 06 Jun 2013
Time: 16:31:54

Comments

This talk of physical abuse baffles me somewhat. Yes, ARS applied the cane in standard fashion. Other than that one can recall only Johnny Carr using bunsen tubing whenever required and occasionally the fist when riled such as the time I made a stink bomb in the classroom across from the chem lab. His fist caught me in the stomach, but as luck would have it it was Friday and I had my scout uniform on. This caused him to bleed profusely. One up for the Fouth Harrow. Mr Campbell had a nice take on punishment. He dropped his prosthesis on your head but only for serious offenders. Devenald used the plimsoll on rare occasions but much else eludes me.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 06 Jun 2013
Time: 02:56:26

Comments

I wonder if that master was right, Brian. My father recalled him rushing off to Dublin from school one day because his father had been "murdered by Sinn Feinists". That would have been between 1918 and 1922 - definitely a fate more likely to befall a Protestant at that time. And Twink was always present at morning assembly. In my day the Catholic boys were not in assembly but in the care of a charming little master called Ciano in what was then Room 3.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 05 Jun 2013
Time: 04:58:22

Comments

Bernard's recollection of Bradley rings true. I recall him as being good at shaking. He is a prime example supporting my observation that we were largely taught by eccentrics. He had a kind streak and was good to me on several occasions. On a school trip somewhere the subject of Roman Catholicism came up. The master in charge asked us if we knew who the staff member of that faith was. We were seventeen at the time but had no idea that it could be an Irishman called Patrick Brendan Bradley and debated the question without reaching a conclusion. How naive we were about such matters!


Name: Bernard Gillespie
Email: bernardgillespieatrogers.com
Years_at_school: 1939-1944
Date: 01 Jun 2013
Time: 13:03:09

Comments

I witnessed only one case of physical abuse by a master during my 5 years at HCS ... ... Doc Bradley put his closed fist to the side of Schofields face and, without striking a blow, sent the boy reeling across the room with a mighty shove ..... .. a propos of Dickie Dyer I don't think he had a teaching style .... he was completely incapable of keeping order in the classroom and we, little rotters that we were, made his life intolerable .


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 27 May 2013
Time: 01:58:30

Comments

I suspect the worst era of abuse at HCS was around 1955-65. Before that,judging from most correspondents of the previous decade, the potential abusers had not got fully into their stride. As some grew older and established, they began to behave in increasingly unacceptable ways. Other abusers joined the staff, later eg Hambley. In answer to Brian Hester's point about parents, it was not practice for boys to go home and complain. First, they were likely to receive a second telling off, or worse. And secondly, boys tended to 'take' corporal punishment, however delivered, as the norm. Perhaps it harks back to historical discipline in the army or navy. Adult teacher offenders in the mid-20th century presumably sensed they were safe, banking on connivance or support from the top. An unhealthy situation not unrelated to the problems faced by today's whistle blowers in the NHS, or wherever. Thank goodness for the HCS masters who behaved decently enough, although some of these must have been aware of what was going on. As far as we know, Simpson's crazed rants on the stage, representing the repressive school mores, went unchallenged.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: Write brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 26 May 2013
Time: 10:28:24

Comments

I'll settle for 'abnormal' Chris - but how many of them were normal? With all the many tales of abuse, I am surprised parents did not bring pressure to bear. Social attitudes change I suppose.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 24 May 2013
Time: 10:43:43

Comments

I'm by no means certain that the "eccentricity" to which Brian refers wasn't, in several cases, pathology. Bum patting, cuddling, lurking in order to trap miscreants to receive corporal punishment, the desire regularly to apply corporal punishment (like Bigham) would these days incur dismissal and possibly criminal prosecution. I think it would be very fair to say that several staff members were "abnormal" by any objective criteria even by the standards of those days and most certainly by today's standards.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 23 May 2013
Time: 11:45:56

Comments

These recollections of the teaching 'styles' of Hambley and Dyer emphasise my contention that we were taught by a bunch of eccentrics. Some of them were,( not including these two) benign and took their jobs seriously.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 23 May 2013
Time: 07:25:42

Comments

Sorry, my apologies. On entry for 22 May I forgot to type my name. Mostly likely a senior moment. Or even post-senior moment. Thank you to Bill Harrison for a swift response. Signed Peter Ward


Name: Bill Harrison
Email: billdotharrisonatbtinternetdotcom
Years_at_school: 1961-68
Date: 23 May 2013
Time: 03:22:13

Comments

I too have "fond" memories of the maniac Hambley. He was violent and had some extremely weird ideas for the time. I recall him commenting in my History homework book that we would all do well to live like native American Indians, using stone tools and living off the land as hunter-gatherers. He got his just rewards rather more quickly than he might nowadays!


Name: Type your name here
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 22 May 2013
Time: 16:49:02

Comments

Following on from Chris Rickwood, does anyone remember a peculiar individual in the guise of a teacher, called Hambley? He would have been at the school 1961-62. Moustachioed, Canadian and Hitlerian in manner. Hambley took it upon himself to patrol corridors during lunch in order to capture interlopers for corporal punishment. Chris Rickwood's piece reminds me that he, too, was directed to teach RE. One verse at a time to be read out by a particular boy. No comment, no discussion. To my witness a senior prefect and sergeant in the famous pipe band, unwittingly dropped a pencil on the floor and ended up being taken to Simpson for a caning. What was Simpson thinking about? Hambley continued these practices but lasted less than a year. About six months later, his visage, moustache and all, appeared in a half-page article in The Daily Mail (when it was a newspaper.) He starred in a High Court case, taking his next Headmaster to law. Sadly for him and the nation he lost, the Mail reporting the judge's lacerating comments on the man's persona. It was reported that Hambley was immediately issued with a ban preventing him, from that point on, teaching in any school in the UK.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 20 May 2013
Time: 03:27:00

Comments

I remember RK with Morrie Venn who I suspect was not thrilled at being stuck with an RK course. He had everybody in turn read 5 verses from Leviricus. No commentary, no explanation. Unbelievably boring. Lesson seemed to last forever.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school:
Date: 11 May 2013
Time: 10:56:02

Comments

I stand corrected Bob!Until my third year in sixth form we were not required to take RK. Suddenly it was on the menu and being taught by Lane. He told us that the Act required us to have one period per week of the subject He started off with the book of Mark but soon switched to comparitive religion which held our attention. By that time the Rev. Dr. Dickie Dyer had ceased to be part of my life.I was told he was recruited from being vicar at St.Alban's church in North Harrow. It was not a good move for him as he was clearly unsuited to be a teacher. When did he leave the school?


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: WhackingonarsbyARS
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 10 May 2013
Time: 15:33:13

Comments

Brian - we have something else in common - being taught by Mr Lane. It is so strange to see him described as a newcomer! And a teacher of comparative religion - I always thought he taught Greek, Latin, the Great Western Railway and the beauties of cricket. Remembering a much-loved teacher.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 10 May 2013
Time: 08:43:38

Comments

I stand corrected Bob. We had one period a week of 'RK' with Dyer when I was in 5th form but were relieved of this in the sixth until my lastand third, year. Under Simpson, or was it the new eduction act?, were were required to have RK again. We were instructed by a Mr. Lane, whi wa a newcomer who kept us under control by talking about comparitive religion. I cannot imagine Dyer lasted long under Simpson. With RK not being treated as a School Cert subject at the school, it never was taken seriously.


Name: Bob Blackburn
Email: With Alex Bateman
Years_at_school: 1943-1949
Date: 10 May 2013
Time: 00:38:52

Comments

Sorry Brian but your memory for once has failed. Dicky Dyer was still trying to teach when ARS arrived at the school. Dicky Dyer could always be distracted from his theme. Our Form Room, top corridor, overlooking the quad, furthest from the clock, high ceiling with iron stays going across it. Dicky taking us first period after lunch and we were going to prove to him that the form room was haunted by tying long threads of cotton to bits of paper in the waste paper basket, passing the cotton over the iron stays in the roof and having the bits of paper flying round the room. To pass the cotton threads over the iron stays we had to pile desks and chairs into a tower, climb up to reach the stays. I was on top of the chairs when the door opened and in walked ARS, obviously something was going on, he then asked who was taking us for the first period, we all chanted Mr Dyer sir, ARS simply said I see and walked out shutting the door behind him. Dyer was an awful man, thrashing about with his foot long ebony round ruler. All his classes turned into a riot. Best wishes to you all. Bob


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-47
Date: 09 May 2013
Time: 07:10:31

Comments

By the time of his arrival, the majority of our class wer taller than the Rev. Doctor Richard (Dickie) Dyer so we never suffered the indignities EA Smith recounts. Dyer was probably the last hire made by Randall Williams. I always understood he came to the school from St Albans church in North Harrow. He was not suited to teaching. His classes in religious knowledge were a riot in every sense and he had no control. We spent the time quizzing him about sex which at least kept us quiet. He was only at school for a few years and was gone by the time ARS arrived.


Name: Smith (E A)
Email: aquabiol at AOL.com
Years_at_school: 1943-7
Date: 07 May 2013
Time: 06:03:13

Comments

I think this website is marvellous and most valuably compiled. Thanks to all. Unfortunately, one of my most indelibly memorable recollections of life in the 2a pre-fabs is of being groped by Dicky Dyer on the pretext of just checking I had the right number of balls. Are any of my contemporaries similarly afflicted?


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash 70 pan at yahoo dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 28 Apr 2013
Time: 08:09:37

Comments

Very enjoyable dinner on Friday night. Steak & kidney was first class. Mention was made however, of the new Old Gaytonians website so I thought I would take a look. I gave my search engine (Yahoo) the parameter ' old gayts' but it seemed to want to drop the t. Got the shock of my life. Not what's wanted chaps.


Name: Type Bob Garratt
Email: garrattsatbtconnect.com
Years_at_school: 1954-62
Date: 25 Apr 2013
Time: 09:21:56

Comments

Good news about Paul Oliver, he's finally out of hospital and back to his Queen Anne house in Oxfordshire but weak and needing care. However, he was immediately back to writing and correcting fallacies in Blues magazines. Regarding Peter Ward's comments on the Merrymen scouts and the Portillo Garratt connections, the picture was quite different from some of our fellow HCS students as it involved large quantities of girls ..... the Garratt household in Stanmore was a hugely sociable open place, with my two sisters bringing in their friends and somehow Phil Saunders, Chris Westerman, Charlie and Justin Portillo and Derek Minor seemed to have lots of connections not so much to Harrow County Girls but to the Royal Masonic, Sacred Heart, Lascelles etc, etc. From Friday to Sunday evenings there was always music, lots of joking and a big cream tea for whoever was around on Sunday afternoon. When we finally had access to our parents' cars it was even more hectic. So Friday evenings with the Merrymen at Blawith Road was often the start to a very social weekend, especially if my two sisters came on the 114 bus from Stanmore and brought some friends. It is true that Charlie married my elder sister, Linda, but he was never a BOAC , or even a BEA pilot. He became a redcap, went into senior BA management and stayed until recently along with his HCS friend Pete Hoggan. Our approach to scouting was mildly sceptical yet amused and aware of its usefulness to many. As to the mentioned 'council estate' at Stanmore this is worthy of a social documentary in itself. It started as a private estate immediately before WW2 but was only half completed when war broke out. Immediately after the war the rest was completed as a council estate. The inhabitants came from all walks of life, officers, bank managers, and horny handed sons of toil. The common denominator was that everyone desperately needed housing. The social mix was then compounded by the arrival of a large Jewish influx as three differing synagogues opened in the area in short order. This, combined with the opening of the avant garde Aylward School, led to a stimulating social and educational environment which helped me cope with the very different, rigid and difficult emotional climate I encountered at HCS for my first year. Paul Oliver saw me through this and let me take-off educationally for which I am always grateful.


Name: Dick Worsfold
Email: rjworsfoldatgmail.com
Years_at_school: '51-59
Date: 18 Apr 2013
Time: 10:07:09

Comments

Sad to note the passing of Clive Pigram. He was one of the Woodcock Warriors who were mostly pupils of Uxendon Manor and like Brian Raiment who also passed away recently honed their sporting skills in Woodcock Park next to the school. One wonders how many HCS people (of both genders) came from that school. I can recall at least five in the year that I went. It seems that it has kept going more or less the same since those days, and was blessed with an exceptional teaching staff who were able to push even me through the dreaded 11 plus.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 11 Apr 2013
Time: 15:03:03

Comments

Glad to learn from Peter Ward that C-E's reign at Harrow Weald was so successful. I felt the man combined an air of authority with the ability to be familiar as the time required. I detect his hand behind the joint HWCS and GCS joint trip to Switzerland at east 1947.One of our group was a Nigel Swallow whose father I believe was senior master at HWCS. We had two very successful, and fun, farming camps with HWCS boys. Nigel became a doctor but died very young.


Name: Edward Kerr
Email: edward-kerr(at)hotmail.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1960-66
Date: 11 Apr 2013
Time: 04:59:52

Comments

Interesting that there has been some recent discussion about Gethin Williams - Economics Master at HCS until 1963. He was very much "one of the good guys" amongst the staff. I have unearthed a picture(c. 1996) of Gethin and the similarity between the image and my recollections is very clear to see. Of course, that picture is now seventeen years old, so it is by no means current. If anyone wants a copy of the picture, send me an e-mail. I will send a copy to Jeff in case he wants to use it. I presume that Gethin's departure led to the arrival of a man called Whiteway - a man cast from a very different block. But that is another story for another day.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16at btinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 10 Apr 2013
Time: 16:04:12

Comments

I strongly suspect Crowle-Ellis (see recent contributions) was HCS' great loss. I happened to move to Harrow Weald when my family came down from the north in '58. Nearby Harrow Weald GS had a splendid reputation, much of it due to the success of its Head who had apparently been ousted from HCS. The school seemed humane. I learned this from people I knew there. C-E was respected and liked. The other advantages of Harrow Weald GS were that it was co-ed and played football with the correctly shaped sphere. It's my personal regret I did not go there but ended up at 'Simpson's Emporium' (quote George Cast.)We did slightly make up for it when we started our renegade soccer team at HCS, much to the Head of PE's disgust. In 1962 we drew 0-0 but in 1963 we beat HWGS on their own pitch, 0-2. It says much about C-E's school that they were even prepared to play us, unofficial as we were. Thank God Simpson never found out.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: Brianwhesteratgmaildotcom'
Years_at_school:
Date: 10 Apr 2013
Time: 04:53:20

Comments

I agree with Bernard's assessment of Randall Williams. Both he and his wife, the famed 'Lady Alice" immersed themselves in the life of the school. While Simpson seems to have concentrated efforts on grooming the 'best of the crop; for scholarships, Williams concentrated on the welfare and education of the average boy. An indication of this was his interest in remembering our names. From my recollection of Simpson's first year, he simply referred to us all as 'boy'. Williams last years concided with the war so were not easy. In his last year or so he took holy orders and left to become a parish priest. Huge changes were about to take place - the first was the removal of all the gas lighting! Crowle-Ellis, a batchelor, had spent the war as C.O. of airfields and came to HCS upon being demobilised. He was very pesonable and actually had conversations with us sixth formers. While walking around the playing field with him, he disclosed to a group of us that, much to his surprise, he was being moved. I believe he went to be head at Harrow Weald County. C-E seemed to pick up on the school spirit of the Williams era but all that went with the arrival of Simpson who brought in a lot of different ideas. I 'lived' under all three headmasters and must say I agree with Bernard.


Name: Steve Grimes
Email: Refer to Jeff
Years_at_school: 1958 to 1964
Date: 09 Apr 2013
Time: 14:36:49

Comments

Bernard Gillespie mentions that life under Randall Williams was good. Unfortunately, that was before my time, and the only headmaster I experienced (for my sins) was Dr Simpson. I too found the good doctor a very boring person! However, I recall that Mr Donald Crowle Ellis came between Randall Williams and Simpson, yet I can find very little comment on this website regarding life and times under Mr Crowle Ellis. It would be interesting to read some reminiscences. In addition, what happened to the search facility on this website? I may be going blind but I can no longer find it.


Name: Martin Lansdell
Email: mlansdellathotmail.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1961-63
Date: 08 Apr 2013
Time: 12:40:53

Comments

Thanks to Peter Ward I was able to trace the whereabouts of Gethin Williams,economics master,back to Wales where he was at the University of Wales College in Newport.He was there from 1963 until retiring in 1996 as Deputy Principal.He seems to have had a successful career there and left his mark with a long list of published research.Good luck to him.I guess he must be in his mid-eighties by now.


Name: Bernard Gillespie
Email: bernardgillespieatrogers.com
Years_at_school: 1939-1944
Date: 08 Apr 2013
Time: 08:54:10

Comments

Yes, Brian, I am still in the land of the living, 85 and counting . I read the guest book often but write rarely , principally because you and I are the only ones who read and write on this platform who are ancient and lived the good life under the great Randall Williams. I get a bit bored with all the chatter about Dr Simpson Bernard


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 08 Apr 2013
Time: 07:14:14

Comments

In response to Martin Lansdell, try googling Dr Gethin Williams Cardiff University. I am ninety nine point nine percent certain that's your man. I was in contact with Gethin a few years ago when I tried to get a London dinner together for ex HCS cricketers. Sadly I could not raise sufficient enthusiasm. Gethin would have attended and been very well looked after. He was a fine voluntary cricket coach who gave of his time and energies. Also a good violist in orchestral concerts. I have forgiven the fact that when bowling against me in a Staff cricket match he appealed LBW to a ball edged from bat onto my boot toe. It was not LBW but the ball rocketed off to second slip where a young master dived and caught it brilliantly. So I had to go anyway. Had intended making a ton that day but it was not to be.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 08 Apr 2013
Time: 07:14:10

Comments

In response to Martin Lansdell, try googling Dr Gethin Williams Cardiff University. I am ninety nine point nine percent certain that's your man. I was in contact with Gethin a few years ago when I tried to get a London dinner together for ex HCS cricketers. Sadly I could not raise sufficient enthusiasm. Gethin would have attended and been very well looked after. He was a fine voluntary cricket coach who gave of his time and energies. Also a good violist in orchestral concerts. I have forgiven the fact that when bowling against me in a Staff cricket match he appealed LBW to a ball edged from bat onto my boot toe. It was not LBW but the ball rocketed off to second slip where a young master dived and caught it brilliantly. So I had to go anyway. Had intended making a ton that day but it was not to be.


Name: David Fleming
Email: sueanddaveflemingattiscali.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1958-65
Date: 07 Apr 2013
Time: 11:00:26

Comments

Derek Tomlin mentioned Fred Bilson falling from a canoe into the Thames at Ravens Ait. You couldn't really imagine a bigger mismatch than Fred Bilson and a canoe! I remember that it gave rise to two problems - getting him out and finding dry replacement trousers that were anywhere near his size. I have many fond memories of the Naval Section. Peter Ward recently referred to Mick Udall. I think it's fair to say that Mick wasn't the keenest member of the Section. On one occasion he arrived on parade wearing his naval uniform and brown suede shoes resulting in Reg Goff becoming almost apoplectic and dismissing him immediately. Suede (Swede) shoes seem to be a recurring theme over the years.....


Name: Brian Hester
Email: Brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 06 Apr 2013
Time: 17:39:30

Comments

Good to hear from you again Bernard and to find you in full recollective form. Cast taught me chemistry for three years in the sixth form. He was without doubt a good teacher but I thought him moody. One day he would have us doubled up laughing at a joke about a diabetic horse while the next he would be sounding off about the evils of Pelican books. The sixth form science department had a lot of academic success. In 1947 there were three state scholarships - a record that I thought would have warmed Simpson's heart but nearly all the staff quit - including Cast , Blythman (physics), Evans (maths), Lacy (maths), Webb (biology). Webb was a serious loss. We'll never what happened.


Name: Bernard Gillespie
Email: bernardgillespieatrogers.com
Years_at_school: 1939
Date: 06 Apr 2013
Time: 08:36:33

Comments

Yes Peter I remember Jerry Cast very well but not in the same way as some of you ...... although I gave up chemistry after a couple of years I recall him as helpful, instructive and in no way desiccated ........ quite the reverse... even amusing on occasion perhaps his attitude towards some students reflected their attitude towards him ... Bernard


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70pan at yahoo dot com
Years_at_school:
Date: 05 Apr 2013
Time: 11:51:37

Comments

I attended the ig Nobel RoadShow at the I.E.T. in Savoy Place last night. The key speaker was Chris McManus whom I mentioned a few days ago. Chris is a fine public speaker and engaged the audience of 400 very well. We adjourned to the Coal Hole pub next to the Savoy afterwards and caught up with old times. We both wondered what has happened to John Dando?


Name: Martin Richard Lansdell
Email: mlansdellathotmail.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1961-1963
Date: 04 Apr 2013
Time: 08:49:45

Comments

I looked up this web-site to see if there were any traces of myself at HCS in the brief two years I spent there in lower and then advanced sixth modern class.I had originally come here from The King's School a couple of streets away. I lost all contact with any of my contemporaries as soon as I left in the summer of 1963( to go onto Sheffield University to study economics). It was pleasant to find two photos which included myself.The accounts of Dr.Simpson's time there as headmaster ring so true.I cannot say it was a happy two years but I got excellent teaching from Reg Goff,Harry Mees and Gethin Williams.Whatever became of Gethin after I left? I know about Harry and Reg.


Name: Barry Nickels
Email: bknickels at tiscali.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1956-59
Date: 02 Apr 2013
Time: 11:15:09

Comments

I've just been looking at the form photos. Although correctly identified in years 1-3, I'm just an X in 4B! So, 1959, 4B, I am extreme left on the back row. I left at Christmas that year as the family moved to Epping, and I attended Buckhurst Hill CHS. Thence to Birmingham University to read German, and a career in teaching, which finished in 2004. Mr Attridge would have been amazed!


Name: Dererk Edwards
Email: dejodelatgmail,com
Years_at_school: 1947-1952
Date: 01 Apr 2013
Time: 22:37:17

Comments

I am glad to catch up with the news. Best wishes to all who remember me. Have tried to find Russell Hill without success.


Name: Derek Tomlin
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 59-65
Date: 28 Mar 2013
Time: 08:02:37

Comments

Had lunch today at Hart's Boatyard opposite Raven's Ait. Haven't been here for 50 years since visiting regularly for Naval Section Field Days. Anybody else there that time Mr Bilson toppled into the water from his canoe ?


Name: John B. McNamara
Email: scrum.half 'at' kabelmail.de
Years_at_school: 1957-1958
Date: 25 Mar 2013
Time: 12:12:54

Comments

At present I'm compiling a history of my family. My Brother Stephen Reginald James McNamara was at Harrow County Grammar from 1957 to 1958. He entered Harrow County following his O-levels at Headstone Secondary. At Harrow County he was a member of the Combined Cadet Force (Naval Section), played for the 2nd cricket XI in 1958 (photo is available) and I think he might have played rugby and chess. I also have an unmarked photograph of him in a 6th(?) form class group. He mentioned the names Major Bigham and Mr. Yelland(?). Friends of his were Neil Shaw and the Oliver twins who I believe became pilots in the RAF. I would very much appreciate it if anybody could provide me with any further information upon him and his school contemporaries (photos, reports, stories, anecdotes, sports details, documents of any sort etc.). Thanking anyone in advance who may be able to provide any information whatsoever. All my best wishes to you all. Yours faithfully, John B. McNamara PS: I myself went to Pinner County Grammar.


Name: Simon Kearey
Email: simon.keareyatoxfordshire.gov.uk
Years_at_school: 1971-1976
Date: 25 Mar 2013
Time: 04:04:59

Comments

Can we purchase old school ties or blazers anymore and if so where from? Thanks Simon


Name: Laurence
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957 -
Date: 24 Mar 2013
Time: 10:13:34

Comments

Oops, or maybe he was...


Name: Paul Romney
Email: at
Years_at_school: 56-63
Date: 24 Mar 2013
Time: 03:07:30

Comments

Talking to himself, was he, Laurence?


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957 -
Date: 24 Mar 2013
Time: 03:01:28

Comments

Henry, reminds me of the Morcombe & Wise sketch, when Ernie says 'It's nice out today?' and Ernie responds 'Well I'll leave it out then!'.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70pan at yahoo dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 23 Mar 2013
Time: 06:29:55

Comments

I see from page 23 of today's Times that Chris McManus is at it again. The matter is somewhat delicate and revolves around the question asked by any good tailor: On which side does Sir dress? It would appear that the vast majority of us ( including myself) favour the left. Chris suspects that it is because the heart is on the left but produces no evidence to support his theory.PARA. You will recall that Chris is the proud winner of an ig Nobel prize for his ground-breaking (nay seminal) work on scrotal asymmetry. Doubtless you will join with me in encouraging Chris to go forward with his research into this important area of the human condition.


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957 -
Date: 21 Mar 2013
Time: 10:08:12

Comments

Just had the pleasure of meeting Peter Rapaport for lunch at the Royal Society of Medicine, last time we met was over 50 years ago! It strikes me that we might extend this to a meeting of alumni of 1957 - 1964. RSM is situated in Wimpole St, London.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 17 Mar 2013
Time: 18:41:58

Comments

Hymnals - Was thinking there must be a fair number of them knocking around in Harrow in used bookstores or charity Shops. Around 140 purchased each year. I'd crtainly like to lay my hands on one


Name: Peter ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 17 Mar 2013
Time: 05:23:00

Comments

Portillo for Pope? Possibly. My own candidate would have been that fine English Catholic, Monseigneur Bernie Marchant. I was always grateful for the kind LBW decision he gave me when bowling for the School vs a Middlesex CCC representative XI, at HCS. Such generosity of spirit. Plenty of space in The Vatican for indoor cricket nets. St James Regan to be in charge but keep a close Swiss Guard on the altar wine.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 13 Mar 2013
Time: 11:27:59

Comments

I switched on BBC2 a few minutes ago to watch Michael Portillo's Continental Railway Journeys. I expected to be transported to Vienna but instead found myself in St. Peter's Square in Rome with white smoke billowing from the Vatican. Technically as I am sure you all know, any Roman Catholic may be elected pope; one does not even need to be a priest, far less a cardinal. For one glorious moment I thought that our man had pulled it off and that 'Habemus Papem.' Sadly, some Argie has pipped us to the post but I have hopes for a recount. I do think that Jerry Lafferty would have approved..


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 13 Mar 2013
Time: 10:00:14

Comments

Peter Ward's recollections of Cast opens up a flood door of my own. For years I have maintained we were taught by a collection of eccentrics unabashedly encouraged by the head masters of the time. Cast must have been close to the end of the spectrum.Of his private life, all I ever was that he lived at Surbiton and travelled to school daily by a circuitous route and the had a side line dabbling in antiques. He used to maintain that chemistry was the simplest of simplest of subjects as it could all be written 'with a fine crowquill pen on the back of a postage stamp' which he claimed to be able to do with the periodic table. Every year he sent boys to universities to take chemistry. Many went on to stellar careers.He evindently held policital views are variance with most. In his latter years he regularly sported a red tie covered in yellow hammers and scyckles. It had prominent yellow tassle. This piece of sartorical splendour almost certainly got him off on the wrong foot with the dear doctor.


Name: Colin Dickims
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 12 Mar 2013
Time: 16:29:00

Comments

Yes, Peter, I knew Jerry (as he was called in my time) Cast - just about. He never taught me and I cannot remember ever speaking to him - although a sense that at some time he reproached or cautioned me for something lingers. But "desiccated" describes him exactly.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16at btinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 10 Mar 2013
Time: 16:23:33

Comments

Interested to see Brian Hester's mention of Cast. I assume he refers to George Cast who was possibly Head of Chemistry when Simpson arrived, after the War? My reason for interest is that, along with Mike Udall from HCS in 1963, I went off to the College of S.Mark and S.John, Chelsea, to do a joint Hons degree and teaching qualification. Marjons was outstanding and did us both proud thanks to some fine lecturers (not to mention Mike's elder brother, an Old Gayts rugby player, David Udall.) He lectured in Degree Zoology. But back to Cast. He was the fly in the ointment of a great College. A miserable, dessicated man who somehow got to be Head of the Science Dept. Loathed by his regular students. Thank God, Udall and I managed to avoid him, academically, as we sensibly opted for Geology rather than his subject for our extra Part One subject. Cast was notorious for failing student teachers on Teaching Practices. Somehow, Udall and I managed to get the dreaded man for our final and crucial 6 week TP, in hard North London Sec. Mods. We were horrified at our bad luck. However, when we went to meet him he had discovered we were formerly HCS and was fascinated to know we were from, as he put it, Simpson's Emporium. Well, at least we were on the same side. It was clear that he detested Simpson and had either moved on, or had been encouraged to move on. Curiously, Udall and I just about managed to get on with him and he did not spoil our chances of qualification despite making things difficult. Is there anybody out there who remembers George Cast at HCS? I'd be interested to hear any anecdotal stuff. Or was he too boring and indeed forgettable?


Name: Brian Hester
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 10 Mar 2013
Time: 13:36:35

Comments

I am fuilty of exaggeration Michael. There were only five OGs who were on the day when ARS arriced. Four of them - Cast, E.A.S. Evans, Street,Robinson- all went on to pursue other interests while R. S. Killer King stayed. King was an accomplished teacher of mathematics.When he entered a classroom of unruly boys, he would say nothing but simply bend over and grip the leg of a chair near ground level He would then with this one hand, lift chair and put it on the table top. After a few moents, he would reverse the procedure. There was no need to do more to subdue the class!


Name: REG LITTLEY
Email: reg_littleyathotmail.com
Years_at_school: 1947----1952
Date: 09 Mar 2013
Time: 03:09:55

Comments

A long time ago


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email:
Years_at_school: some good, some bad
Date: 08 Mar 2013
Time: 16:25:03

Comments

The Reagan and Gorbachev summit? Nothing compared to the chatting that went on at the mining show in Toronto earlier this week. Brian Hester and I swapped mining stories before going in for Gaytonian nostalgia. I was intrigued that six Old Gaytonians who had joined the teaching staff at HCS under Randall Williams left when Dr Simpson took over. With one exception - and his nickname was "Killer." What does that tell us? Anyway, Brian. Is there any part of the globe where you have not practised geology?


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957 -
Date: 03 Mar 2013
Time: 12:42:14

Comments

Peter, How cruel...but quite true!


Name: Peter Rapaport
Email: pbrapaportataol.com
Years_at_school: 1959 -1963
Date: 02 Mar 2013
Time: 07:09:32

Comments

Should I be shocked that having not visited this site now for a couple of years or more probably through either boredom, old age or both, I still find Laurance Lando in full swing, involved and upsetting you folks. He was the same in the early '60s. Have a nice day to you all and maybe I'll revisit again in a few more years to see if any of my contemporaries remain on this earth - including me of course!


Name: Peter Rapaport
Email: pbrapaportataol.com
Years_at_school: 1959 -1963
Date: 02 Mar 2013
Time: 07:09:31

Comments

Should I be shocked that having not visited this site now for a couple of years or more probably through either boredom, old age or both, I still find Laurance Lando in full swing, involved and upsetting you folks. He was the same in the early '60s. Have a nice day to you all and maybe I'll revisit again in a few more years to see if any of my contemporaries remain on this earth - including me of course!


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 27 Feb 2013
Time: 08:42:25

Comments

In 1949 it was the "practice" (how long established and how long it lasted I never knew)to award scholarships to Harrow School to two boys at the end of our second year. They were inevitably selected from the A stream, but the two in my year were not the top of the class. They were Michael Tubbs and Peter Foster. I think Tubbs went on to read music at Oxbridge. I have no idea what Foster did. Perhaps his cousin Tony Foster (same year) knows. Apart from watching the annual rugby match, my only experience of the school on the hill was with the chess team. I played up there twice and found my opponent pleaant and hospitable (for some reason we were taken to our opponent's study briefly before the match) but I have no recollection of the conversations.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 27 Feb 2013
Time: 04:43:47

Comments

Roy, I have vague memories of the school being offered places at Harrow School but was too old at the time to have been considered. I wonder if anybody took up the offer and if so what became of them? In the sixth form we were sometimes invited to attend scientific 'demonstrations' such as one of the properties of liquid nitrogen, that was attended by boys from Harrow School. Both sides kept to their own. There was no conversation.


Name: Roy Goldman
Email: roygraceatbigponddotnetdotau
Years_at_school: 1943 - 1949
Date: 26 Feb 2013
Time: 12:48:05

Comments

Brian, that ties in nicely with my recollection circa 1944, of a form to be taken home to parents informing of a scheme for boys to transfer across to Harrow School at the age of 13. Our form master of the time remarked somewhat cynically that as educational standards were higher at HCS it was an attempt to infuse brains into blueblood and that we were better off staying where we were.


Name: Brian
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 40-7
Date: 24 Feb 2013
Time: 12:51:47

Comments

All is now clear. Thanks Chris.The head of Harrow School that I remember came after Norwood and was called Ralph Moore. He was frequently in the company of Randall Williams of HCS reknown. Moore stepped up to be among the first to be X-Rayed when a scheme was offered to the public. He was found to have an unsuspected condition of some sort that could be treated. Quite an issue was made of this at the time. He was a good friend of HCS. At the time our sixth form used labs and class room at Harrow School and the ATC used the shooting range for .22 target shooting one Saturday morning each month.


Name: Chris
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 24 Feb 2013
Time: 08:14:05

Comments

Brian, more accurately the wrong Harrow in the case of Norwood the Headmaster. Headmaster of Bristol Grammar School (1906 to 1916), the Master of Marlborough College (1917 to 1925), Headmaster of Harrow (1926 to 1934) and President of St John's, Oxford, from 1934 to 1946.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 40-47
Date: 24 Feb 2013
Time: 04:52:46

Comments

Our contributor Lisabeth Lawson appears to have the wrong school. It would be interesting to read the newspaper report she refers to.


Name: Peter Sims
Email: peter270357 at hotmail dot com
Years_at_school: 1983 - 1987
Date: 24 Feb 2013
Time: 03:25:08

Comments

Time marches on ....................


Name: lizabeth newson
Email: lizabethnewsonatgooglermail.co.uk
Years_at_school: n/a
Date: 21 Feb 2013
Time: 09:37:37

Comments

Apologies for not responding sooner, Reference Banks Mawson I have since seen a newspaper cutting relating to prize day on 22nd July 1939. Dr. Cyril Norwood (I beleive was the head master and Banks Mawson a tutor at the school and not as i first thought acting headmaster)After the war Bank Mawson was the principle at (Not a hunderd percent sure but the school may have been known as St.John's school for boys and Girls, at Valkyrie House, in West Cliffe, Essex. Thank you to those who did respond to my last request. Liz Newson lizabethnewson@googlemail.co.uk


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 18 Feb 2013
Time: 16:03:21

Comments

I did get it wrong. It was Charlie Portillo (Actually Carlos on Marriage Cert) who married Linda Garrat in 1966 not Michael.


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957 -
Date: 18 Feb 2013
Time: 06:04:19

Comments

On a mission! I have been contacted by a fellow pupil of HCS, who was at the school from 1957- 1962. His name is Tony Arkey, and at present he lives and works in Hong Kong. His problem is that he won the School Senior Sports Championship. However although he took the cup home for a year, he did not get it engraved. The late Mr Underwood came to his home to collect the trophy. He will be prepared to pay for the engraving, even after such a long time. So my friends, who can verify his claim to fame, and arrange for the cup to acknowledge the victor. Laurence


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 16 Feb 2013
Time: 16:38:37

Comments

Chris Rickwood, following on from your comment, I was in the Merrymen (Seniors) that ran themselves as a non-scouting Youth Club, on Friday nights. This was in a cheaply furnished former stable at Scout Park, Blawith Rd. We didn't do badges or tie knots but played snooker, table tennis, some smoked, others drank brown ale to a small extent, generally loafed about, camped in Switzerland and went on Easter barge cruises up the Grand Union canal. On the second of these, 1963, we ended up outside Leicester City's old ground, Filbert St., and paid about three shillings to see visitors Man Utd. Bobby Charlton, Dennis Law and, opposing them, the great Gordon Banks. We were utterly scorned by the other keener Scout troups. The senior patrol leader was Charlie Portillo, several years older than Michael. I believe he became a senior BOAC pilot. Charlie was always very relaxed and did not concern himself with the official tenets of scouting. Also in the same crowd was Bob Garrett. He, too, appeared only mildly concerned about Baden-Powell type activities. The two were good pals. Thus, your previous comment on Michael Portillo's marriage is explained. Returning to the Merryman non-scouting troop, I have no reason to think no-one did well post-HCS. In fact, very much the opposite. So what does that say? I suggest the likes of Simpson and B-P would have found it totally inexplicable, disturbing, even perplexing. PS Leicester City 3 Man Utd 4 (Law hat-trick including an overhead bicycle kick.) The match was repeated as the Wembley FA Cup Final, later that season. And Utd won. It was the start of the great team that emulated the earlier and much-lamented 1958 Busby Babes.


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email:
Years_at_school: One after Portillo
Date: 16 Feb 2013
Time: 09:44:41

Comments

Regarding Michael Portillo's wife, she is Carolyn Eadie - they married in 1982. The Eadie family lived or lives in The Ridgeway, a very attractive road in Stanmore. There were some rather grotty flats in that road but the Eadies definitely lived across from them. I was Conservative chairman for the ward in question, Wemborough, from 1981-1984 - Mr Eadie was one of our subscribers. "Polly" Portillo was a real toff - he done English an 'istory. Us whar done Classics, we knew our place, guv. Michael.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 16 Feb 2013
Time: 08:27:26

Comments

Peter, just as a matter of interest I think Michael Portillo married Bob Garrat's sister who, at that time did live on a Council Estate in Stanmore.


Name: ye min
Email: yeyeye63athotmail.com
Years_at_school: 1963-1970
Date: 16 Feb 2013
Time: 07:23:32

Comments

I was a special needs teacher for 17 years and while I wsa training an enlightened tutor said that if more money and resources were invested in the early years perhaps we wouldnt see so many problems in secondary schools. In my current job I still visit and observe in schools and I am glad I am no longer a teacher. If any of my children ever said they wanted to be a teacher or a social worker I would have done all i could to talk them out of it!


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 15 Feb 2013
Time: 16:40:29

Comments

In response to Pete Fowler, I am very much of the view that Primary teachers, most especially those working with the very youngest ie fives to sevens, deserve medals and serious salaries. For those who scoff at such a notion, I suggest they try it for a day. They'll soon be running back to their banks and legal chambers, pleading to be let in on personal sanity grounds. I once put the idea to a close relative who advises very wealthy clients on legal (perjorative) tax avoidance schemes. Having rubbished folks who take on such menial tasks he declined my offer. I recall our friend Michael Portillo once spent a whole week on a council estate trying to run a family of about three children on reduced income. Brave chap. So how about the saintly Mr Gove spending a term in various classrooms up and down the land? He would be able to demonstrate to his new colleagues the benefits of his well thought out ideas. Go to it, Michael. (Gove that is!)


Name: Pete Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/62
Date: 15 Feb 2013
Time: 05:29:52

Comments

I wasn't meaning to be mean to the present staff - I have utterly no idea what they are like and I would not presume to know. But I want to add one other factor that's always struck me in education (and yes, I spent a lifetime career in the game). I was at an RSA event in the early 1990s and in a discussion group talking about staff student ratios. It was a big issue when the Polys were becoming Universities and numbers were rocketing. A guy called Sir Christopher Ball jumped into the conversation and said, 'let me propose an idea....let's take the age of the learner and multiply it by two....let's use that as our basis for ratios....oh, and let's pay those who teach the youngest the most...' I have often thought of this; and I've often thought how much wisdom there was in those remarks. A long, long way, Peter, from Michael Gove: but then most places are.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16at btinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 14 Feb 2013
Time: 15:59:33

Comments

Peter Fowler's comments on the brightest not necessarily going into teaching is controversial, although interesting. Speaking from experience, I strongly suspect that this has been the greatest long-standing problem of British education. So nothing new. Certainly some of the characters who taught my generation at HCS could hardly be classified as 'bright'. Another problem is that if and when 'bright' people go into school teaching they often don't last long, finding it repetitive, maybe too hard, unrewarding in all senses, life-cramping, too parochial etc etc. As a result, these people often leave after only a few years and develop other skills and talents. The knock-on effect in the schools is that amongst the remaining staff only a diminished pool of true talent becomes available for headships. This applies at both Primary and Secondary levels. In other words, some poor quality and over-ambitious teachers end up as Heads. Believe me. I've worked with them. The consequences do not have to be stated. Pete's comments are not especially kind with regard to the current teachers at the present school. One suspects that, in general, standards are rising although there is always much room for further improvement. If only (Utopia) it were possible to equate a teaching career with the rewards and prospects of banking, law, insurance, medicine et al. Dream on, but it might do the trick. Which political party would pick up that hot potato? I'm sure the especially bright and cocky Michael Gove will come up with all the answers. He's doing brilliantly so far.


Name: Paul Romney
Email: Yes
Years_at_school: 56-63
Date: 13 Feb 2013
Time: 11:35:39

Comments

Pete, your equation of the spirit that won the war with the spirit that built the welfare state seems to have reduced another guest to incoherence. I would add that even among the younger teachers most had presumably done National Service.


Name: Pete Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/62
Date: 11 Feb 2013
Time: 09:26:55

Comments

Reading Bob's paeans of praise to some of those teachers made me think of two factors. First, many of our best teachers had fought in the war and came out of that war with a still burning passion to serve the community. It was the same underpinning driver that led elsewhere to the creation of the welfare state that influenced the decision of so many of the brightest to teach in schools. There was a new world to be built; and where better to do that in a school for the next generation? Second, these teachers taught in a Middlesex borough where they all seemed to be able to buy rather nice houses in places like Pinner, Northwood and Kenton. I would hazard at a dangerous guess that neither the supply of the brightest into teaching, nor the ability of young teachers to find suitable housing in the South East, is as robust as would have been the case in the post-war peeriod.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 10 Feb 2013
Time: 04:29:49

Comments

Laurence Lando...a similar thing happened to me and my older grandson, in Tonbridge. I suggested the horse that came in last, that day, in the 2.45 at Doncaster. (It probably happened anyway.)


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957 -
Date: 09 Feb 2013
Time: 01:48:41

Comments

Fast food restaurant asked me if I wanted anything on my burger,'how about 5 pounds each way?'


Name: Bob Garratt
Email: garrattsatbtconnect.com
Years_at_school:
Date: 05 Feb 2013
Time: 10:31:24

Comments

Please God we pick up Laurence Lando's proposal and stop the bickering over events some fifty years ago! I found HCS hard going in my first year having arrived from a very "modern" primary school in Stanmore. However, it became much clearer as an organisation in year two, and then very easy to understand and use. Simultaneously I enjoyed my time in both the Scouts and the Cadets whilst learning to glide and fly. I found some of the teaching brutal (by today's standards) and yet paradoxically often remarkably flexible and encouraging. I was hopeless at French and Maths and was surprised that a combination of Harry Mees, George Yelland, and Paul Oliver propelled me to the sixth form without these O levels. I ended up with middling A levels and never got Maths until I left. I was hoping to go on to Cranwell when my eyes went slightly off and I was much too arrogant at 17 to fly anything other than Lightnings so was suddenly adrift in the world and without a univeristy background. But HCS had taught me how to handle large organisations and, using also the proverbial evening classes, I became very involved in organisational change, community development during the troubles in Northern Ireland, the development of Action Learning, the ending of the Cultural Revolution in China and the subsequent early development of management education there, and wrote some of the basic texts for the emerging field of corporate governance. After much international work I am currently involved in developing this across Africa whilst also helping develop a City Livery Company in London - to give back through pro-bono help to charities. Ironically, for such a non-scholar I now hold two Visitng Professorships and have had simialr positions at Cambridge and Imperial College. All of this stemmed from HCS's personal development help through building my confidence and intellectual curiosity whilst adding some rat-like cunning as to how you handle complex organisations. Square and Bigham were put into perspective by the time I left HCS, which has proved useful in handling bullies from then on. There are so many good stories of what has happened to so many people ex-HCS that we should concentrate on them - at least for a couple of years.


Name: Keith Palmer
Email: palmerdotkeith57atgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 1968-1975
Date: 05 Feb 2013
Time: 10:13:52

Comments

Thanks to all foregoing contributors to the "Golden Years" debate for a most interesting discussion. Apart from the fact that they certainly weren't the final seven years prior to the ending of the grammar school (precisely my own time as a pupil), I believe it was probably the period prior to WW2, remembering this was when, as Betjeman wrote so frequently, the suburbia that would later supply the school was actually being developed. The area was booming and the School was already well established in a time prior to post-war austerity and then the changing times of the 50s and 60s. However, I did have personal experience of the Portillo-Sheinwald-Anderson group, and for me the key word is "group". You can certainly add Geoffrey Perkins and Francis Matthews to their number too. It was clear, even at the age of 18, that all were destined to be high achievers in whatever their chosen field but I suspect the ultimate hierarchy at the school can take little credit. Michael Portillo has already publicly acknowledged the help given to him by Ken Waller, but I suspect all would give massive credit to Jim Golland, who has written his own piece on the 1971 leavers elsewhere on this site. Jim was, of course, Head of English and all the above were involved for some years in A2 (the English Department bookroom). I was in the group that overlapped with, and then succeeded Michael et al, so had first-hand experience of Jim's abilities. He, no doubt, considered himself fortunate to be able to work with such a talented group of individuals and I'm sure he would have taken that pleasure to his grave.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.wardatbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 03 Feb 2013
Time: 15:34:59

Comments

Match of the Day. AR Simpson XI vs OFSTED U15s. No contest. (Bigham, Amos and Thorne all sent off for bad behaviour.)


Name: Pete Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56-62
Date: 03 Feb 2013
Time: 03:59:42

Comments

From what I've read on the Golden Years thread, I go with Brian: that sounds like a good time. A more open field, less fanaticism. The England of the 4th Harrow and not the CCF. Blake and not Kipling. Williams not Simpson. When thirteen year olds weren't forced into a really narrow group of subjects. When the Colonel was not a blot on the landscape. Sure, you can hold up the Anderson and Portillo years as the brilliant climax of Simpson's ideals, but that year was symptomatic of the times, the liberating culture of the late 1960s. They happened to be a bunch of really gifted youngsters who went to the school when the dreams of the young seemed so achievable. An accident of history. And they themselves witnessed, I think, the ending of the Simpson and Bigham Ice Age. But, all in all: I stick with Brian.


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957 -
Date: 02 Feb 2013
Time: 05:51:06

Comments

Well we have been given the challenge for starting something new! So rather than what went on at school, how about what you did afterwards. Whether it be Higher education, profession or other work, or maybe prison ;-) Laurence


Name: steve manning
Email: s.manning attalktalk.net
Years_at_school: 63-67
Date: 01 Feb 2013
Time: 21:55:41

Comments

I remember waiting outside Mr.Avery's office for my daily dose of corporal punishment and listening to Mrs. Chase and Cyril Atkins joking about my illegitamacy. Golden years indeed. Like Eric Clapton & Jack Nicholson I, too believed my parent wasn't who I believed her to be.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 01 Feb 2013
Time: 07:36:35

Comments

Chaps, I'm pleased to see these matters being discussed in a somewhat less vitriolic manner than heretofore. There were remarkable experiences both good and bad which define what we have become. It is a fact that I always feel somewhat edgy in the presence of Old Gaytonians. You never know when some clever b****r is going to say something perceptive that you've not considered.


Name: Andrew Carruthers
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 31 Jan 2013
Time: 15:31:36

Comments

Comments noted, my reference to "silly" was directed to the headmaster to whom Laurence Lando had spoken, not to him. Certainly I did not intend any offence to Laurence. As to whether I had "problems", had I done I would have been a far more prolific contributor to this web site than I have been. The good, and I had plenty, was very good, but on the whole most of my junior school experience was pretty depressing, but I hardly think that unusual. Enough said.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 31 Jan 2013
Time: 15:19:57

Comments

Laurence. It was gracious of you to apologise to Andrew, but your earlier contribution expressed so succintly and precisely what I have striven to convey that I think you should wonder whether Andrew has a problem. You did say yourself "despite problems", and I can hardly imagine anyone passing through any educational process without "problems" from time to time. I know I had plenty, but even then I rarely felt that they were the fault of the School, the staff or other pupils. Andrew. While the idea of "golden years" may be a bit silly, it is an idea put into Laurence's mind by someone else, and there are clearly several of us who find it not "silly" but interesting food for thought. To throw in the note - after all these years - that "more than half of my time at the school was miserable and unfulfilling" suggests an enduring resentment that most of us have long cast aside. But then, you do say (against a common tenor of criticism) that "whatever Dr S's faults, and they were many, I clearly remember him saying the focus of the school was A Level success, and that was not a bad objective. I don't think it is fair to castigate him for neglecting those who did not make it to Oxbridge". My experience and recollection precisely.


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957-
Date: 31 Jan 2013
Time: 10:31:06

Comments

Andrew, apologies if my question has irritated you, as it clearly has, I suppose your golden years came later? I do recall being in the lower school in assembly, and looking behind and up, to see the seried ranks of the sixth-form. Wondering if I would ever make the leap heavenwards! In 1963, the moment arrived and that October we were in the balcony listening to the events occuring around Cuba. My thoughts were clear then, and I still remember them now, with a wry smile! Made the balcony just in time for WW3! Laurence


Name: Andrew Carruthers
Email: ajcarruthersatbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1961-8
Date: 31 Jan 2013
Time: 07:10:11

Comments

I don't often contribute but I must just say, with respect, that the "golden years" idea is pretty silly. I did well academically in the end, but more than half of my time at the school was miserable and unfulfilling, the sixth form much better. Which years exactly do I select? The same must apply to others, there can be no golden generation if their school experience is the test. If you mean to identify those who succeeded either at school or later in life, then it is meaningless, because chance plays so much part. There will always be achievers and it is entirely a role of the dice where they emerge, even at a selective school. Moroever, many have gone on to do great things but because nobody knows, they seem to be excluded from the debate. By the way, whatever Dr S's faults, and they were many, I clearly remember him saying the focus of the school was A Level success, and that was not a bad objective. I don't think it is fair to castigate him for neglecting those who did not make it to Oxbridge - but will the interminable debate never end!?


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957 -
Date: 31 Jan 2013
Time: 05:49:13

Comments

Brian, Colin et al. What wonderful responses to my question of the 'Golden Years'. I consider myself very fortunate to have been a pupil at HCS, despite the 'problems'. It gave a youngster from a family of moderate means, the chance to use his adequate sholastic ability to improve his cicumstances and that of his family to be. What always amazed me at the time, and even more so now I look back in retrospect, is the sheer excellence that came from the school, whatever decade you seem to choose. What a pity we cannot see what it might be producing in this generation. Laurence


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: michaelwritesforyouatyahoo.ca
Years_at_school: 65-72
Date: 30 Jan 2013
Time: 19:40:29

Comments

"Improved rants opened up university aspirations..." Did they involve third-rate Swedish commercial travelers in shortee raincoats, Brian? Regarding golden years I would combine the 1964 intake of Michael Portillo and co with the 1963 intake of Richard Salter, Michael Woods, Stephen Games and many others such as the classicists like Geoffrey Egan, Michael Woods again, etc. My own year, 1965. Most seem to have become an accountant. Michael.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 40-47
Date: 30 Jan 2013
Time: 13:22:51

Comments

A feature of school life in the thirties that I did not mention was the way families were involved. There were several fairs and other events held to pay first for the pavillion and then the swimming pool. I believe the pool was excavated by volunteers drawn from parents and boys. Mothers operated the tuck shop in the front hall and at the pool. A large group of mothers met on Thursday afternoons under 'Lady Alice' in the main hall to sew athletic shorts and sports bags in house colours and there was an active trade in secondhand uniforms. The family spirit these activities engendered deteriorated quickly in the early forties under wartime conditions and were never seen again.I suggest that these activities contributed to making a culture of community spirit that made the period 'golden years' for everyone.


Name: Colin Dickens
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 29 Jan 2013
Time: 16:46:38

Comments

Golden years, or golden lads?  I suppose the question put to Laurence Lando was, as Laurence interprets it, about the golden lads produced in a certain period, but there were always “golden lads”  Just glance through the obituaries in this site.  Without doing that, I can think of such as Ernie Amor CBE FRPS (who joined the school in Ernest Young’s time) and who became Chairman of Kodak, John Boothman, Schneider Trophy winner 1931, Professor Sir Charles Dodds, who led the team which discovered the first synthetic hormone, stilboestrol, in 1938, Vic Senior, double MC in WW2 with a notable career in the Foreign Office and charity work to follow,  Len Taylor, of my generation, who co-founded Logica, and made it a world-leading software house, Professor Kel Fidler, former Chairman of the Engineering Council, the Michael Portillo, Sir Nigel Scheinwald and Clive Anderson years, and, of course, Sir Paul Nurse, Nobel Prize winner and President of the Royal Society.

 

Brian Hester has it pretty well. Perhaps he’s right to choose the 1930’s; the twenties and thirties were harder and more difficult times to excel.  But I would prefer to regard all the HCS years as golden years.   Having edited the Magazine for nearly 20 years I came across so many men who had achieved distinction and reflected the quality of the education from which they benefited.  And, even more, I never cease to wonder at the success achieved in so many fields by those who gained no academic distinction – including many who never had a “career” at school.  Maybe something just seeped into our bones from the ethos which pervaded the place. 

 

I was given to much philosophical thought as I read the preceding contributions, which I have compressed into the above.  For anyone who cares to pursue it I would commend a reflective reading of Cymbeline Act 4, Scene 2: “Golden lads and girls all must, As chimney sweepers, come to dust . . . “  But don’t let it bother you.

 


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 40-47
Date: 29 Jan 2013
Time: 09:53:42

Comments

'When were the school's golden years?' is a great question but an impossible one to answer. All we have to go on is our own memories and an incomplete record of achievements. Old codgers of my generation wont achieve much more in our lives while the later ones are still in the act of 'producing'. As a place that produced lots of pleasant memories, I would think the school was the best place to be at during the thirties. Those were years of simple pleasures when nobody had any money so there was a lot of communal activity. The staff of that time were deeply involved. Quite a few were beginning to age by 1940 when I arrived and the war was in progressed so activities declined. By 1947 when I left. Randall Williams had retured, and Crowle Ellis had filled the headship for one year, and Simpson had arrived. ARS's first year was too full of axe swinging in the common room for cane activity. The elderly staff who had stayed on past retirement were leaving and the OG members of staff left along with others. The whole culture of the school was changing. Until the education act of 1944 or 5, compulsory schooling ended at age 14. Household incomes were low for most of us so there was pressure to join the work force. Williams got most of his pupils through what was then School Certificate at age 15 plus, a year ahead of usual. With this certificate, you could join, Glaxo, General Electric, Kodak, or others at entry level and work part time towards a degree. The certificate was also entry to accounting and banking among other jobs. Lifting the leaving date to 16 opened up 6 th form possibilities so in 1945, there was a huge influx to 6 th form. Improved rants opened up university aspirations for many. This was the situation ARS inherited and built on. Williams measured his achievement by the numbers of school cert passes, rather than oxbridge entries the Simposn found dear. Williams designed the schoola ctivities around the masses while Simpson had a narrower view. For that reason, I believe the thirties were 'golden', although I di dnot experience them.


Name: Peter ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 29 Jan 2013
Time: 04:21:49

Comments

Laurence, I take your point. But I'm not sure of the logic that judges a school by the later journeys of its pupils. In my own case, I performed poorly (except at cricket and the unofficial soccer team.) Hardly surprising. Bigham for Botany and the inept Steed for Chemistry. A toxic combination of hopeless teaching at 'A' Level. However, I flowered at my subsequent College thanks to the influence of outstanding lecturers. But it is not the violence (you mention) I judge Simpson by - that always amused me in a ludicrous way. It was his inability to connect with the non-Oxbridge potential pupils. So many were laid waste, at least in academic terms. And I speak as one who has been in education in one form or another all my professional life. This is Simpson's ultimate failure. In my view, it was no Golden Age unless judged by the narrow criterion of Oxbridge awards. There's more to education than that - even in the 1960s.


Name: Type your name here
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 28 Jan 2013
Time: 10:09:37

Comments

Peter, the violence was undoubtably encouraged; Waller, Beauchamp and Keith Neil, all of whom also taught me, were part of the exception. My question about the Golden Age, is judged by the eventual journey that the pupils made after leaving the school, some made good even though they didn't attain academic excellence. How did the pre-1939 cadre of pupils compare with the 1950s. Did the number going to Oxbridge increase with Simpson? Did the selection at 11 plus give the school the best choice during the baby boomers generation. Laurence


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 28 Jan 2013
Time: 02:46:35

Comments

In response to Laurence Lando...one swallow does not make a Summer. With the greatest respect to Sir Paul Nurse, even he does not 'make' a school. That particular era, as we all know, was full of faults, and it was just fortune that the likes of Sir Paul turned up. That said, I must be fair and recognise he was inspired by two gifted teachers. One was my old form master (Rod?) Beauchamp, a chemist and botanist and clearly no sympathiser of the Simpsonian Regime. The second, Keith Neal, went on to do big things at Manchester Grammar School (son of E S Neal, the great badgers expert.) These teachers were also, in their way, 'swallows'. However, they taught in a grim, repressive time of the school which, for reasons discussed elsewhere, was no Golden Era.


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957 -1964
Date: 28 Jan 2013
Time: 02:01:57

Comments

Out to dinner with the Headmaster of my grandson's Prep School. I have known him a long time, as he was the jumior latin master, when my son was a pupil at the same school in Oxshott Surrey. I was telling him about HCS and was asked when did I consider were the Golden Years of the school. Well I suppose those when I was there! In the same era as Paul Nurse etc. Was I correct? Laurence


Name: Graeme Young
Email: No thanks
Years_at_school: 1947 to 1953
Date: 25 Jan 2013
Time: 08:11:15

Comments

Hello again. As a survivor of the Simpson+Amos+Bigham years, I really only want to send greetings to all those steadfast souls who suffered under that regime. I am facing my 77th birthday in a month's time AND 51 years of marriage. If beaten (and we were, frequently) try again!


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 24 Jan 2013
Time: 19:07:05

Comments

Brian - by coincidence I found myself on the Cambridge University website. Alan Reece was an outstandingly generous benefactor towards the university. When you are next in Toronto, Brian, the kettle is on!


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesrteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 24 Jan 2013
Time: 06:22:04

Comments

Thanks Michael for drawing our attention to Reece's obituary. What an incredible career. I remember him both from his days in the Air Training Corp and for what was at rhe time an amusing incident. During the war years the dining rooms at the head of the stairs opposite the clock were abandoned and those of us who took school dinners ate from a series of tables in the basement corridor next to what was then called the New Physics lab. George Thorn was in charge and insisted on complete silence while we ate. One day he called out "Rees you were talking, stand up'. The two Rees brothers together with Reece all stood. In case you were wondering - the food was cooked in the attic kitchen and brought down by dumb waiter.


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email:
Years_at_school: Good when I dropped sciences.
Date: 23 Jan 2013
Time: 18:40:01

Comments

From Wednesday's Daily Telegraph: The son of a soldier, Alan Richard Reece was born in London on March 7 1927 and educated at Harrow County School.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 22 Jan 2013
Time: 08:00:45

Comments

I thought he looked rather well in it. I wonder whether anyone enquired of its origin and significance. [Para] Did anyone notice mention of another notable OG in Saturday's Times, Spitfire historian Peter Arnold? He was interviewed in connection with the so far unsuccessful search for buried Spitfires in Burma. Peter has a long history of seeking out Spitfirs in Burma, particularly four known to exist (above ground). He mentioned the present treasure hunt, from which he seemed to be keeping his distance, when we met at the School in October. He clearly thought the much-hyped "imminent" discovery was something not to be missed, and, although nothing was found last week, he does say that the hunt is not ended.


Name: Dave Buckley (53-61)
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 20 Jan 2013
Time: 04:15:48

Comments

Ref the last post - I thought the same thing myself. Maybe he was not far from home and could change quickly for the rest of the journey!


Name: John Clark
Email: jmclark dot two at virgin dot net
Years_at_school: 1954-59
Date: 17 Jan 2013
Time: 15:39:33

Comments

Did anyone else see Michael Portillo's latest railway journey on Wednesday 16th. January and notice that he appeared to be wearing an Old Gaytonians blazer, instead of his usual pale pastel shade? He was passing through central London so I wondered if he was going to stop off at Harrow before heading north, but this proved not to be the case. I didn't hear him make any mention of the blazer or what it represented, but it certainly caught the eye!


Name: Bob Garratt
Email: garrattsatbtconnect.com
Years_at_school: 1954-1962
Date: 03 Jan 2013
Time: 08:40:04

Comments

What tragic news about Clive Pigram! I have just heard that Paul Oliver is in the John Radcliffe Oxford with a broken hip. More news as I get it.


Name: Dick Worsfold
Email: rjworsfoldatgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1951-1959
Date: 02 Jan 2013
Time: 18:29:39

Comments

As a further comment about Mr Butler, Jon should be very proud of his father, as a fine teacher and a very good person he was one of the best at HCS and one who helped me along the way. I remember him with great affection.


Name: Steve Grimes
Email: Jeff has it
Years_at_school: 1958 to 1964
Date: 27 Dec 2012
Time: 13:45:28

Comments

Idling away over Christmas, I came across these interesting old Episode 6 clips on You Tube featuring Roger Glover. Apologies if they have been posted on here previously.

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whKCktnLfMw  Roger Glover 1968 Episode 6 - A Hazy Shade Of Winter

2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDwg5WLY7ak  Episode 6 - Morning Dew 1967

3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zE8rqjlwsFk  Episode 6 - I Hear Trumpets Blow 1967


Name: Dr Graham Clingbine
Email: graham at moneymakers dot go hyphen plus dot net
Years_at_school: 1961 to 1969
Date: 26 Dec 2012
Time: 08:59:42

Comments

Greetings to any staff and pupils who may remember me, and to former members of the Old Gaytonians cricket club.... I played in the 2nd and 3rd teams with the Pinfields, Howard Collins, Deryk Pepperell, Ian Park, Martin Flack, Alan Able,John Alderman, Graham Cutts, Graham Carter.....plus my friends of the time Oliver Burrows and Tony De Vletter. A special hello to Fred Bilson who taught me English (and Don Kinkaid for French).I remember most of the staff of the time (1960's) and many of my classmates. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then so I won't go into hours of historical memories. Very briefly, having gone through University I ended up with degrees in Biological Science and Neurobiology and later a PhD for memory research. I married twice and have one grown up daughter from each marriage. I became a good badminton player and eventually was our college team captain being awarded colours. I have indulged a passion for angling all over the UK and Europe and caught all kinds of big and small fish species in rivers, lakes and at sea. I had a brief spell in a pharmaceutical company but have spent most of my life in school teaching and am a qualified teacher.I moved into Further Education and enjoyed a fantastic job as a Course Manager and Lecturer at a large college Ofsted grade 1 (outstanding) in north London...my subject area was Anatomy and Physilogy, and Biochemistry. I decided to do a voluntary early retirement a couple of years ago and now am chilling out on the internet, fishing and having fun. If anyone wants to know more or would like to get in contact,feel free to email. Wishing everyone a happy Christmas and great 2013. Graham Clingbine


Name: Fred Bilson
Email: fbilso at gmail.com
Years_at_school:
Date: 24 Dec 2012
Time: 08:49:19

Comments

Hi all Have just seen Don Kincauds Round Robin Bente has had tto have a couple of operations, but otherwise they seem fine, travelling between Britain and Demnmark. Bente reviews exhibitions and plays in London for her Danish newspaper, and Don has written a concerto this year Best wishes to you all Fred


Name: Robert Tabb
Email: robert.tabb73at gmail.com
Years_at_school: 56 to 63
Date: 19 Dec 2012
Time: 08:33:18

Comments

Thanks Jon Butler for your comments here. Your father was certainly inspirational for me & introduced me to the Chemistry Lab!I went on to Bristol Uni but those lecturers were not so inspirational & my degree proved it! However I got into Plastics & did much better at Loughborough doing a MSc & spent a further 35 years in the industry!Did he persuade you to study Chemistry?


Name: Jon Butler
Email: jon at jonbutler.net
Years_at_school: I wish
Date: 17 Dec 2012
Time: 16:43:11

Comments

Thank you for an excellent website. I know HCS meant a great deal to my father, Charles Butler, who taught Chemistry in the late 50's. To fill in a couple of blanks, he was the master in the cricket team photos for IVth eleven in '57 and '58. I always wanted to be a pupil at HCS, but he sent me to Watford Grammar...


Name: Alan Turing
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 17 Dec 2012
Time: 08:57:51

Comments

To Chris Rickwood. Kind of you to offer help. We've been busy at Bletchley, what with the War on, but I consulted a Major Skillen. Clever man. He cracked the clue in no time. Ah well, back to the Enigma Code


Name: Robert Tabb
Email: robert.tabb73at gmail.com
Years_at_school: 56 - 63
Date: 17 Dec 2012
Time: 00:37:18

Comments

Thanks Esmond abot Cultybraggan comments. I too remember that Camp especially the open sewer pipe we had as toilets & the high winds blowing your cornflakes away from your bowl! You had to walk to the catering tent with your hands holding everything down!


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957
Date: 15 Dec 2012
Time: 06:27:42

Comments

May I wish you all a wonderful Xmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year. Laurence


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 11 Dec 2012
Time: 16:50:15

Comments

Alan, No luck with your clue. I'm dependent on a friend Emailing the Xword and I can't even find that clue. Wondering if they Emailed right one or if your date of 10 Dec is right?


Name: Esmond Sanders
Email: esmond.sandersatualberta.ca
Years_at_school: 56-63
Date: 10 Dec 2012
Time: 16:55:15

Comments

A few years ago on this board there was a discussion of the CCF camp held at Cultybraggen in the summer of 1958. A photograph of one of the appalling huts was posted by John Clark and there were some reminiscences of that week spent in Scotland. It was widely believed at the time that Cultybraggen had been a POW camp in the recent past. I have just finished reading a book titled: Churchill's Unexpected Guests. Prisoners of War in Britain in World War II, by Sophie Jackson. In it, the author covers Comrie Camp, as it was called during the war. It turns out to have been a POW camp used for particularly passionate Nazi POWs, because it was considered a difficult camp from which to escape (those of us who were there would all agree with that!). Indeed, it was used to hold Rudolf Hess after his plane crashed in Scotland. In the book there is considerable detail on a murder that occurred there in December 1944 when Nazi POWs strung up a non-Nazi German POW in the lavatories. That would account for the bad feeling that I had every time I used them - or maybe it was just the cookhouse food! The murder was the subject of a detailed investigation at the time. If you go to You Tube and type in Cultybraggen, you can see the camp today. It is little changed from 1958, or indeed from when it was a POW camp.


Name: Alan Turing
Email: ash71panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1949-54
Date: 09 Dec 2012
Time: 18:14:53

Comments

Times Crossword 10 Dec. Clue 1 across Drown RC dossers.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 07 Dec 2012
Time: 05:30:42

Comments

Oh no, what have I started?.


Name: chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 06 Dec 2012
Time: 17:50:03

Comments

Anagram of Champion Many Nymphomaniac


Name: Pete Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/62
Date: 06 Dec 2012
Time: 16:04:46

Comments

Devils in a burning square? (1,1,7)


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 06 Dec 2012
Time: 14:10:40

Comments

OK Chris. Now what did you make of 26 across today? If you've solved it, well done. It's clever, amusing and slightly startling. For non-Times readers, it's a 12 letter word and the clue is,"Woman who loves the other champion, many having failed."


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 06 Dec 2012
Time: 08:21:18

Comments

I got the Times 8 Down as Bradshaw just because of the nail and timetables connection. The "wood" part defeated me but now I have the explanation which I post without comment BRAD,SHAW. A shaw is an archaic forest. ORIGIN, Old English sceaga, of Germanic origin related to shag. George Bradshaw, the eponymous publisher of railway timetables.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 05 Dec 2012
Time: 01:34:35

Comments

I am very pleased to report that yet again the editor of the Times crossword has come up trumps for Old Gaytonians. This time Portillo has worked the oracle with today's 8 down ... Nail on wood a collection of timetables (8).


Name: Peter Leeson
Email: peteratpeterleeson.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1951-8
Date: 04 Dec 2012
Time: 15:21:58

Comments

Thanks Brian-as you say there's some fascinating detail on the web. I also discovered a musician known as "Twink" who once played drums for "The Fairies. He actually did derive his name from the home perm kit and his hair resembles an hilarious exaggeration of Dr.B's. Now that my memory has been jogged, I do recall"Twink" Bradley's "dry cleaning service" as well as his strange love-hate affair with window mechanisms that lead him to perch on window sills like an inverted bat. He would boast of "a string of degrees from top universities" and ensure us that we were not fit to be taught by him. Although from the on-line references he had certainly distinguished himself in academia, I don't recall ever actually learning anything from him - unlike Msssrs Heafield and Hall wo thankfully got me through O-Level Lang.& Lit. I am also now convinced that the home perm product was in fact named after Dr.B. rather than the reverse - probably via some Old Gayt who ran Unilever.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-47
Date: 04 Dec 2012
Time: 12:07:27

Comments

Type the name 'Patrick Brendon Bradley' into your search engine and you'll find several interesting entries about the man. One from Friends Reunited appears to be posted anonymously and has a photograph of Twink teaching. There also some interesting photographs of the school that I had not seen before. A note gives another explanation of the derivation of the name 'Twink'.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 04 Dec 2012
Time: 05:52:47

Comments

I find it difficult to remember Twink with any affection having been the recipient of two of his favourite punishments. What he called "dry cleaning" - an incredibly violent shaking leaving one dazed and his hair pulling, where he'd reach across a column of desks, grab the alleged miscreant by the hair which he then would round his fingers and hauled the unfortunate to the front of the class. I recognise that norms have changed over time but I cannot regard these behaviours as "normal" by any standards. Today of course he'd be facing jail time - and it would be well deserved.


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: michaelwritesforyouatyahooca
Years_at_school:
Date: 03 Dec 2012
Time: 20:03:11

Comments

I am intrigued by this name Twink. In Toronto a twink is a boy who is old enough to get into a club but not old enough to buy a drink legally. I am assured of this by my friends in the Toronto Gay Village where I am the only straight in the village (sorry Little Britain fans).


Name: Peter Leeson
Email: peteratpeterleeson.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1951-8
Date: 03 Dec 2012
Time: 14:22:23

Comments

Never mind the "literals" Colin. Its a wonderful story. It may seem unkind to laugh if you don't remember the man himself. I can imagine the drama that he must have put into the gestures and the sense of inevitability in the onlookers. By the way, I was quite pleased with the "literal" in my earlier email as it seemed to provide a new word for the Uxbridge if not the Oxford Dictionary i.e. "maaintain - to look after ones hair".


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 03 Dec 2012
Time: 10:40:28

Comments

Dammit! How these literals do creep in. "Ireland's", not "Irelanc's".


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 03 Dec 2012
Time: 10:37:37

Comments

I'm sure Paul's right, Peter - mainly because he's Paul - but Twink did profess to be "Irelanc's finest swordsman". He was givem to such extravagant claims, many unsupported by evidence but others surprisingly true. Brian Spencer told me an amusing story about Twink: he stayed in touch with him and would visit him (Brian), at his home in Kenton. On one such occasion, I think for a dinner party, Twink had invented a quick-release sword scabbard (no, I don't know) and brought it round to demonstrate. After several lightning withdrawals and returns of the sword to its scabbard he managed to miss the return and drove it into his leg casusing profuse bleeding and an urgent visit to hospital. I seem to remember that the blood took some removing from Brian's carpet.


Name: Peter Leeson
Email: peteratpeterleeson.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1951-8
Date: 03 Dec 2012
Time: 09:06:55

Comments

How quickly and cruelly beliefs held since childhood can be shattered! But "twinkle twinkle little star" is also disappointing and does little justice to the confirmed and accomplished eccentric that the dear old doctor had become by the fifties. Paul Oliver writes that he carried a sword-stick in the staff room! Thanks for the suggestion of a hair transplant Colin but in this cold weather I think I will continue to wear my cap - after all I've been properly trained.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 03 Dec 2012
Time: 06:16:45

Comments

Twink was already so named when I first arrived in 1940. As I recall, there is an explanation for the name buried in this Guest Book. The author claimed that Twink had his Speech Training class reciting 'Twinkle twinkle little star' but there must have been more to it. Under his direction. we all took Speech Training in our first year but I do not recall this recitation. Of all the staff, many of whom I see in retrospect to have been eccentric, Twink was by far the most inclined in that direction.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 03 Dec 2012
Time: 02:57:00

Comments

Sorry, Peter. He was Twink when I arrived in 1947 and had been for some time. Good luck with the hair transplant.


Name: Peter Leeson
Email: peter at peterleeson.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1951-8
Date: 02 Dec 2012
Time: 11:23:31

Comments

"For everyone who longs for shiny soft waves-Twink is here!" Apparently 'Twink' was a home perm kit available in the 50's (not just the late 60's and 70's as claimed by Wikipedia). Surely this is the origin of Dr Bradley's nickname . Come to think of it how did he maaintain all those curls? OK I'm jealous.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-47
Date: 30 Nov 2012
Time: 04:35:42

Comments

For the benefit of those of us who do not subscribe to The Times, may we ask Henry to provide the clue?


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 27 Nov 2012
Time: 01:36:54

Comments

The chaps will of course recall the recent correspondence between myself and Colin Dickins over the merits of ante and paene. Well, I am pleased to report that the editor of The Times crossword has today obliged with 12 down. The influence of this site marches ever on!


Name: PJR Phillips
Email: pandgphillips12athotmail.co.uk
Years_at_school: 53-60
Date: 25 Nov 2012
Time: 18:16:49

Comments

I have in my possession the last authenticated moustache of Col. W.M.Bigham OBE.I am hoping to auction this rare and collectable item for charity. Is anyone out there interested in starting the bidding and nominating a suitable good cause? I would prefer to go through your channel as opposed to Amazon. I suggest a starting figure of $25.


Name: Kevin Gough
Email: kgoughatbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1967-1974
Date: 23 Nov 2012
Time: 13:18:49

Comments

Good to find the site after so many years and recognize some names once familar. Wonder where we are all now. I am in Hereford having escaped the SE twenty years ago and enjoying life working and volunteering in the Third Sector.


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1956 -
Date: 20 Nov 2012
Time: 09:38:59

Comments

Hello guys, just a request that you visit my Movember website to help my scrappy 'tache stay after this month, my wife of 42 years has said she will match the donations for growth, if she can shave it off! So come on guys, at lets make madam's pleasure expensive. My moustache can be found on Movember laurence lando 6297145, and many thanks in advance. Laurence


Name: andrew mcalister
Email: andrew.mcallisteratporcelanosa.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1974-1977
Date: 19 Nov 2012
Time: 05:30:53

Comments

hi just been on site,i was their at browndown camp when we "shot" at that hovercraft.just bad shots Im afraid


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 16 Nov 2012
Time: 17:27:52

Comments

You didn't miss just Brian Hester in Ontario, Laurence, you also missed my old friend Phil Chesterman in Calgary. Others I have been (and mostly still am) in touch with in the OG diaspora live, or were living, in the USA,Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Norway and Ireland. (Do Wales and Scotland count?)


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1956 -
Date: 16 Nov 2012
Time: 09:00:54

Comments

So Brian lives in Canada, set me wondering how far OGs have strayed from Harrow. I have been in touch with Tony Arkey, who runs an investment company in Hong Kong. Laurence


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratmail.com
Years_at_school:
Date: 15 Nov 2012
Time: 14:53:07

Comments

Glad to learn you enjoyed Canada, Lawrence. You literally drove past the end of our street on your way to Niagara. Always interested to meet other OGs so next time you visit the colonies, drop in. The same goes for other OGs.


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1956-
Date: 15 Nov 2012
Time: 10:49:33

Comments

Phil. My wife and I visited Canada this summer. Landed in Toronoto, did Niagara Falls, that were awsome, despite the mass tourism trying to spoil the area. The town of Niagara on the Lake, was beautiful, a bit like rural Surrey. We then flew to Calgary, my idea was of cow town, but we were surrounded by oil men at an enormous convention! Went by bus tour to Banff, Lake Louise, and wonderful Jasper, where there were black bears on the golf course, certainly didn't look for my wayward golf balls! Boarded Rocky Mountaineer to Vancouver, great trip despite being over hyped. Vancouver, was just beautiful, no wonder it is supposed to be the world's number one city. Next trip to Tokyo and Kyoto! Retirement is great... Laurence


Name: Phil Chesterman
Email: philconnieatshaw.ca
Years_at_school: 46-51
Date: 13 Nov 2012
Time: 20:18:51

Comments

Sorry about that Dr Lando, as I remember from your contributions of yore. No, not California; just fly north over two states and turn right before you get to Alaska. Then cross one provincial boundary. Don't bog down in the ill-named tar sands (try bitumen), simply turn south, drive for 4 hours and "welcome to Calgary". We all make errors, some big some small. After stating that I was 'closer than most' to George Thorn I felt that an explanation was in order. I played not one but two stringed instruments in what was his very pathetic orchestra; neither was a violin. But to get in George's really good books involved his musical appreciation society and I was proud to join. It was an excuse to avoid the cadet corps. However Dr ARS found a way to shut that down too.


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1956-
Date: 13 Nov 2012
Time: 12:01:52

Comments

Phil, I was nearly worried, as you could have called me Laurence Rambo! I see from your email address, ending in dot ca, that you are in California, maybe that's wrong as well! Laurence


Name: Phil Chesterman
Email: philconnieatshaw.ca
Years_at_school: 46-51
Date: 12 Nov 2012
Time: 15:59:33

Comments

Further to the question about child abuse, please remove Brian Hester's name. Should read Laurence Lambo. Sorry for that.


Name: Phil Chesterman
Email: philconnieatshaw,ca
Years_at_school: 46-51
Date: 12 Nov 2012
Time: 15:54:00

Comments

Answers to a couple of questions: -'Eggy' Webb was so 'nicknamed' due to his initials..E.G. - Brian Hester inquired about any instance of 'child abuse' at HCS. Immediately comes to mind is George Thorn. Being one of his apparent favourites I did get to know him a little better than most, and the only time he ever laid a finger or hand on me was use of his 'trademark' arm around a boy's shoulders. I have read insinuations over the years that he became a brute being in charge of corporal punishment, but that was after I left school. Another insinuation was homosexuality; never.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-47
Date: 12 Nov 2012
Time: 15:53:46

Comments

I quite agree with you Peter. Arriving as most of us did from primary schools which were dominated by women teachers, I believe we were over-awed by all those eccentric men running around in black gowns. Face it, they nearly all were eccentric but they were also, for the most part, devoted teachers. The violent element came to the fore under Simpson who was never backward in telling his listeners that just about every malfeasance a boy could commit was 'a clear case for corporal punishment' followed by his conclusion that 'boys respond well to the short sharp shock of the cane'. Little wonder that some of the staff adopted the same attitudes.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 11 Nov 2012
Time: 10:17:10

Comments

Perhaps it is time to praise old masters? Let us not forget(appropriate on Remembrance Sunday) Old Spargo. Or Wing Commander Rawnsley, I believe highly decorated for heroics during the First World War. Spargo was apparently a true flying ace in primitive planes and may have joined, not the RAF, but the Royal Flying Corps. By my time, he was a kindly old Physics teacher. Boys took advantage of his age and eccentricity until they discovered he was a good and amusing person, deep down. He thus commanded respect and affection. In the Second World War I seem to remember he was in charge of the air balloon defence of South East England. Some contribution. We admired him and would egg him on to tell a truly risque joke about how he broke his glasses whilst kissing his girlfriend. I shall leave the apparent circumstances undisclosed although these were the actual point of the joke. God bless him!


Name: Steve Grimes
Email: Jeff knows it
Years_at_school: 1958 - 1964
Date: 10 Nov 2012
Time: 13:15:04

Comments

Amusing quirky stories are fine but ......... Indeed, and there's more historical analysis of Mr Schofield courtesy of Martin Cutter available here: www.jeffreymaynard.com/Harrow_County/mcutter.htm 


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 09 Nov 2012
Time: 09:32:30

Comments

Alan Schofield joined the OGCC during the mid- to late-1950's and I played with him in the 2nd XI. I found him pleasant and agreeable, a competent cricketer. As did the Rugby Club, when a team was short we would often recruit boys from the School. Unfortunately, Alan did not feel comfortable playing with them and - I believe for this reason - dropped out before the end of his first and only season. Perhaps a character flaw, but I have to say that I never heard until this correspondence that he was called Runt. [Para} Incidentally, he may well still be alive, probably aged around 80, and it might be well to remember this in any further mention of him. Amusing, quirky stories are fine, but . . .


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 08 Nov 2012
Time: 15:26:13

Comments

Having initiated the Runt Debate, I did not expect my mockery of his cricketing prowess to be taken seriously. The famous 'rocking action' (one arm goes up as the other goes down rather like a windmill) implies little control or accuracy. He had no idea whatsoever. Pete Fowler is right, however, about the run into the corridor prior to a slippering. Runt, though creepy, was no more violent than many others. As a product of two Grammar Schools I can confirm similar practices at my former one 'up North'. On the abuse theme, having worked at the Beeb all of the 70s and 80s, with J.Saville working once a week in a nearby studio to my office, I never caught any rumour about him. He was deeply in with the BBC commissionaires. They were smart, switched-on Cockney and Hackney-type characters and through them I would have heard of things if his crimes had been known within the organisation. It may be that a tiny group of Beeb people (fingers on one hand) suspected him but I do assure readers that 99.99% of employees had no clue to his awful behaviour.


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56-62
Date: 08 Nov 2012
Time: 09:22:40

Comments

I wouldn't have thought so, Laurence. What we have learned these past few weeks is that child abuse and paedophilia were at least as rife in the conservatively romanticised years of the 40s and 50s as they are now: there's a quite extraordinary piece in the current edition of The London Review of Books which will change forever any lingering warmth some of us may feel for iconic figures like Uncle Mac and Gilbert Harding. Those days contained very dark secrets. And we know, at a much more mundane and trivial level, that sadism, child abuse and even a very definite (though I don't think ever realised)sexual leaning towards pretty young boys were endemic in institutions of that time; but never really spoken of. And exactly as those at the BBC might mutter, 'it's just Jimmy', so we, at the lighter level, would have made similar remarks about the slipperings. Even though it is abundantly clear, with the benefit of hindsight, that some of those slipperings gave a quite disproportionate pleasure to the provider of the pain.


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1956-
Date: 08 Nov 2012
Time: 07:53:21

Comments

With all the current news of child abuse, despite the evident violence used by several of the staff, was there ever any such incident reported at the school?


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56-62
Date: 08 Nov 2012
Time: 06:30:55

Comments

The reason that the chant was used in the corridor was, no doubt, due to Schofield's constant presence there. When slippering someone (a regular feature of his pedagogic practises), The Runt would invariably open the classroom door of the lab in which he was teaching and walk, slipper in hand, out into the corridor. This would allow him the required space for a 'run up' back into the lab (presumably using the overarm method that he taught his cricketing proteges) so that the slipper could be used with a much greater force on its intended target. Unfortunately, since his deep understanding of bowling techniques was not matched by even an ounce of common sense, his momentary absence from the classroom allowed just enough time for the victim to place his 'rough book' under his trousers at the point of impact. Not so much leg as 'rough book' before wicket, as it were.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 40-47
Date: 08 Nov 2012
Time: 06:21:07

Comments

I suspect the product to have been 'Andrews Liver Salts' which was always advertised as 'good for inner cleanliness'. It was a white powder that when water was added produced a clear fizzy drink with great laxative effects.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peterward16at btinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63 or was it 1858-63?
Date: 08 Nov 2012
Time: 05:05:13

Comments

Steve Grimes has hit on something here. Faint memories and echoes. I believe there was a cleaning product advertised on ITV at the time. Can't get its name but the ad. spelt out the brand eg A.N.D.R.E.W.S. ...'for inner cleanliness.' A musician can make it work rhythmically (dotted crotchet on 'D' and quaver on 'R'.) Thus (although I had forgotten) R.U.N.T.U.S. ...for inner cleanliness. In this case, minims on 'N' and 'S', others straight crotchets and it works. The last part of the phrase has to be quavers and emphasised. Whilst this may not be clear to non-musicians, it does prove that both the Andrews example and the Runtus work perfectly. Lecture over.


Name: Steve Grimes
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 07 Nov 2012
Time: 09:19:04

Comments

Just seen Pete Ward's mention of Mr Schofield. I seem to remember a chant that used to echo down the corridors whenever he was around. It went something like this: "R....U....N....T....U....S... Runtus, Runtus, for inner cleanliness". I have no idea what that meant, but I recall it being popular at the time.


Name: Steve Grimes
Email: Jeff knows it
Years_at_school: 1958 to 1964
Date: 07 Nov 2012
Time: 09:11:12

Comments

A few weeks ago a small packet floated through my letterbox and I have just spent a remarkable few hours viewing the contents, "A Year to Remember", (the DVD celebrating the School's Centenary). I instantly recognised many former pupils and staff and even places within the school grounds even though it has been almost half a century since I last set eyes on them. The highlight for me however, must be Michael Portillo's after dinner speech in which he gave a very lifelike and amusing impression of Doctor Simpson ranting about elastic sided bootees. What a treat that was! I suspect Michael will not repeat this any time soon, so the DVD was well worth viewing just for that performance alone. Many thanks to the OGA for producing this magnificent programme of nostalgia.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 06 Nov 2012
Time: 06:19:40

Comments

Peter Ward on Schofield brings back a faint memory. As I recall Schofield left suddenly in mid-term with no explanation. Inevitably there were rumours but I will not repeat them. There was another similar incident a new Math master called Downes who simply disappeared after about three weeks - again no explanation or even announcement


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 05 Nov 2012
Time: 17:02:45

Comments

Let us not forget the immortal 'Runt'. An unfortunate title for a not very pleasant little man who ran the Scouts on Fridays, at School. Alan Schofield. A bespectacled Chemistry master with a wierd expression, a twisted smile, and alleged hairy knee caps (as in the Goon Show.) The Dreaded Spon. Very visible and large 'Runt' signs appeared scratched onto the concrete wall at the edge of the playing field, bordering the Kenton Road. Runt was once known to ask a confidant, 'Who is this Bunty?' I last saw him at Bromley High School for Girls GPDST Speech Day circa 1986. My younger daughter won the Doubles Tennis U13 and was presented with a trophy by the newly married middle-aged Headmistress, a Mrs Schofield. My daughter had already told me her Headmistress was about to be married to a Chemistry master who lived at Wembley. And sure enough, there on stage was the by now considerably middle-aged but recognisable Runt. His claim to fame other than hairy knee caps was his cricketing excellence. He coached the U14s and 15s in my time although never dared appear in a Staff Match (very wise.) He advocated the 'Windmill Action' in bowling. As the left arm went straight up, the right hand bowler's arm went down behind his back. Then both arms whirled at enormous pace keeping the same distance between each other during the delvery. In effect, it was a 'slinging' action now prevalent in Test Cricket. Runt was therefore ahead of his time. When I later qualified as an ECB Coach, the Windmill Action did not feature in the copious training manual. England's loss. Poor Runt. His new although not young wife soon developed Alzheimer's and had to retire. So he could not have spent a very happy retirement. On a happier note, Peter Woollard, Mike Regan and I will shortly meet in London for lunch. It will be a pleasure to reminisce with Regan, the very bane of Dr Simpson's declining years. We shared numerous canings. Although Woollard and I meet regularly, we have not seen Regan since 1962. A mere half century. Thank you the HCS web site as it brought us together.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 40-47
Date: 05 Nov 2012
Time: 04:37:56

Comments

Interesting comments by Colin D on nick names given to masters. R.S. "Killer" King was an old boy but before returning to HCS to teach maths he spent several years in the same capacity at Lord Williams Grammar School at Thame in Oxfordshire. There he was known as "Rex" which seems appropriate for Reggie King. I suspect the "Killer" name is possibly a hangover from his rugby playing days at school. He was an inspirational teacher and was the only 'old boy' on staff to stay on under Simpson.


Name: Colin Dickims
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 05 Nov 2012
Time: 04:06:14

Comments

Hugh Skillen was indeed always known as Charlie. I never knew why. But then I never knew why Whiteside was called Suzie, although I assumed it was because he had fair, curly hair and pink cheeks. On the subject of nicknames, Walter Lane (Latin) was called "Hubie", after William Brown's (as in the Just William stories) regular adversary Hubert Lane. (I see he often appears erroneously in these entries as "Ubi". Perhaps boys long ago gave up reading Just William.) Nicknames do change. "Jumbo" Jones, a large and benign Maths and Latin teacher was known to earlier generations as "Hippo". I think I prefer the alliteration of "Jumbo". Perhaps "Killer" King was so called for alliterative reasons. He was actually a very nice guy. "Whiffey" King was named after a brand of small cigars, King's Whiffs. And D J King was always called "Dee Jye" because of Simpson's pronunciation of J. "Cob" Webb is obvious; but why was "Eggie" Webb so called? Or Twink" Bradley, for that matter? "Swanny" Amos was obvious because of his long, narrow neck. Simpson was christened "Square" by Len Taylor, because, as he says, of "a square mouth in a square face in a square head." It was exactly right for him. Just one more: I cannot omit my dear old friend,"Beaky" Fooks, presumable named for a fairly distinctive proboscis. He did confide to me in later years, "I never much cared for it." I wonder how some of the others felt.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 04 Nov 2012
Time: 16:21:36

Comments

Dave, Suzy Whiteside taught economics I think he left about 1955-6


Name: David Fleming
Email: sueanddaveflemingattiscali.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1958-65
Date: 04 Nov 2012
Time: 05:00:21

Comments

Hugh Skillen has been a frequent topic of correspondence in the Guestbook over the last few years. However, wasn't he universally and affectionately known as "Charlie" during his time at the school? I've no idea why - can anyone throw any light on it? A few months ago someone referred to a master as "Suzy Whiteside" who liked caning boys. I've not seen this name elsewhere on the site. When was he there and what did he teach?


Name: Dave Buckley (53-61)
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 02 Nov 2012
Time: 04:31:10

Comments

Ref last posting - here we go again with someone with a strange sense of humour, although I did get a bit of laugh out of the comments! I would suggest whoever it is reads........ www.jeffreymaynard.com(slash)Harrow_County(slash)wmbigham_early.htm


Name: Heinz Schiller
Email: hschathotmail12.com
Years_at_school: Nein
Date: 01 Nov 2012
Time: 13:52:38

Comments

EDITORS NOTE - This was obviously written as satire.  the author has chosen to stay anonymous and I have not edited it out - but PLEASE do not include this information as serious history of the school! - Jeff

Please to forgive me. I have heard about about your Major Skillen. If my researches are correct was he not resident at Bletchley Park near Tring in Southern England? The Hitler years have long passed and we Germans must now view the Second World War in a historical perspective. Although it goes without saying that we do not condone, in any shape or form, the atrocities carried out in the Nazi period of the 1930s to 1940s, across Europe. I have hit upon your web site as I am currently researching W.M. Bigham as he was known in your country. I believe I may be correct in asserting he was a teaching colleague of the great Major Skillen? I am most curious to know why Major Skillen was not aware of 'Bigham's' true origins. On your web site it is claimed that W.M. Bigham was a serving British soldier with a distinguished war record. Indeed, that he performed heroically behind German lines at the time of the Fall of Tobruk in the North African Campaign. What evidence is for this? I can find none. In fact, quite the opposite. Unless I am mistaken this 'British' soldier was in fact a senior operative in German Military Intelligence. It appears his codename may have been 'Schwok'. But I am yet to confirm this. It is possible that 'Schwok' played the role of double agent, passing on military information from British sources to Rommel's Desert High Command. This is yet to be confirmed. What is certain is that after the War, and interrogation by American Army officials in occupied Europe, this individual was secreted into UK where he provided valuable information on Nazi conspiracies, to the Allied War Commission. He was rewarded with British citizenship and later an OBE, passing himself off as a member of a distinguished Scottish family. With his liguistic skills he had little difficulty in enacting the role of a Lowland Scotsman of high birth with a fervour for education. He was a great admirer of the Scottish regiments that fought so bravely against Axis forces in North Africa. I have managed to track down that W.M.Bigham may be Karl-Heinz Zimmerman, Iron Cross First Class. Further, that on post-war transportation to England, he enrolled for teacher training and taught at a North West London Grammar School for Boys. Correspondence with Major Skillens's son in New Zealand suggests this school may be the one to which your valuable web site is dedicated. I would be interested to hear from those more expert than I as to the accuracy of this possibility. At present, I remain doubtful but attempt to keep an open mind.


Name: Ian Gawn
Email: Write word 'at' ian.gawnatorange.fr in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1955-62
Date: 01 Nov 2012
Time: 12:08:23

Comments

Not sure what Bill Harrison's gripe is - I was merely inviting attention to the parts of the book about Hugh Skillen's contribution to the "Y" Service, not the author's sources. But if reading the book, and not all the notes, is a "crime", mea culpa. I enjoyed the book, and doff my hat, or school cap, to the Major.


Name: Bill Harrison
Email: billdotharrisonatbtinternetdotcom
Years_at_school: 1961-1968
Date: 01 Nov 2012
Time: 06:17:20

Comments

I can't help wondering how thoroughly Ian Gawn read The Secret Listeners. The author lifted much of his material from books Hugh Skillen wrote and gives appropriate credit for this in the book! I worked this out from a simple browsing in a book store.


Name: Alex Bateman
Email: via Jeff
Years_at_school: 1980 - 1984
Date: 30 Oct 2012
Time: 15:32:37

Comments

Apologies, last message by me...


Name: Type your name here
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 30 Oct 2012
Time: 15:32:00

Comments

All, I had an email from Jeff today to say he is well, and pretty much escaped the storm today that swept across New York. Power is down at his home but is on in the office. His home and family are pretty much unscathed too


Name: Peter Vincent
Email: peteratvinntecdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1966-1972
Date: 30 Oct 2012
Time: 09:55:11

Comments

Ian - sorry to say that Major Hugh Skillen died on Sunday, 4th January, 2004.


Name: Ian Gawnhere
Email: ian.gawnatorange.fr
Years_at_school: 1955-62
Date: 30 Oct 2012
Time: 02:11:47

Comments

I apologise if this has been mentioned before, but being on holiday in Denmark seeing No2 son, daughter-in-law and the grandsons, I have more time for reading (we have rented a house, not staying with them - cannot do the early mornings these days!). Have just read "The Secret Listeners", about the wartime radio "Y" service which listened in to enemy (and I suspect some other) radio transmissions. Ome name that keeps coming up is that of Hugh Skillen. Very interesting, and even more so had we known of his exploits when at school. The book was oublished this year, so the interviews of him by the author must be fairly recent - is Hugh still around? If so would anyone in contact please pass him my kindest regards. Regrettably I canot make the Remembrance Day service but thoughts will be with you who are Ian Gawn


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: The usual - keep the scams coming
Years_at_school: Character-building
Date: 29 Oct 2012
Time: 17:18:45

Comments

Colin - I was wondering about that, too. MY opponents - silenced? Surely not, Sir!


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 29 Oct 2012
Time: 10:15:43

Comments

Nothing new for a fortnight. Is it something you said, Michael?


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email:
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 15 Oct 2012
Time: 09:46:13

Comments

I will contribute to this linguistic debate by demonstrating my knowledge of Arabic. I know very few words in Arabic but one describes when I will actually reply - bukhra. It is the same as manana in Spanish - but without the sense of urgency. I hope this is a humorous contribution to "this disappointingly serious website."


Name: Robert Sanderson
Email: rob.suesandathotmail.com
Years_at_school: 1962 - 1967
Date: 14 Oct 2012
Time: 18:10:37

Comments

Yes,thank you Chris Rickwood. I still have the old Pete and Dud LP in possession. The 'silent 't' in 'fox' joke is one of their greatest lines. Its inclusion was an attempt to inject a little mirth into this disappointingly serious guestbook. Some items redefine the term 'tedious'. Simpson's effect was far reaching. The Simpson Effect? Now, there's a thought!


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratmail.com
Years_at_school: 40-47
Date: 14 Oct 2012
Time: 08:14:23

Comments

On that vexing 'penultimate' question - I believe the Swahili language has a contribution to make. With its intriguing mixture vocabularies of Arabic and Bantu languages, combined with the grammatical rules of Bantu languages, it has some interesting twists of usage to offer when referring to time. One of these is the range of words not just for 'tomorrow', 'today', and 'yesterday' but 'the day after tomorrow' (kesho kutwa) and 'the day before yesterday'(juzi).


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 13 Oct 2012
Time: 14:12:43

Comments

For Robert Sanderson "Frog and Peach" by Peter Cook and Dudley Moore Source: live at the Plymouth Theater, 1973 (on the lp Good evening) Synopsis: Sir Arthur Strebe-Greebling (er... Sir Arthur Grebe-Streebling) has opened a rather unique restaurant in the middle of a bog, in the heart of the Yorkshire moors. Only 2 dishes are on the menu: frog a la peche, and even worse...peche a la frog. Interviewer: "I'm speaking tonight to Sir Arthur Strebe-Greebling..." Sir Arthur: "Oh no you're not." Interviewer: "Pardon?" Sir Arthur: "You're not at all. You're speaking to Sir Arthur Grebe-Streebling. You're confusing me with Sir Arthur Strebe-Greebling. My name is Grebe-Streebling. The 't' is silent, as in 'fox'..." Interviewer: I'm terribly sorry. I would like to ask Sir Arthur about his rather unique restaurant, the "Frog and Peach." Sir Arthur: "Well this seems like an ideal opportunity really, what with me being here and you being there. Marvellous opportunity. Seize it!" Interviewer: "Yes I certainly shall..."


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/62
Date: 12 Oct 2012
Time: 11:23:16

Comments

What the fox does that mean? Penny Penulimate begins to sound like a buxton wench when the shivering town in which Shwartzus formerly resided still included its silent 't'. (And, before you hit the roof, 'buxon', for us Old English scholars - those who denounced the Ubi Lane smash and grab raid on our history - was an acceptable alternate spelling. By the way, I wonder if Ubi, long gone, I assume, can still see, from wherever he might be, that his beloved Gloucestershire are actually bottom of Division Two these days....ubi est Tomus Graveney nunc, Ubi?...)


Name: Robert Sanderson
Email: rob.suesandat gmail.com
Years_at_school: 1962 - 1967
Date: 11 Oct 2012
Time: 16:16:33

Comments

Fascinating to read the erudite discussion between learned Latin scholars. I envy them as I was never any good at classical languages. If memory serves me correctly the first 't' in 'paenepenultimate'is silent as in 'fox'. I believe it was a master called Marchant (Merchant?) who told me this. I have never understood what he was getting at. Can someone explain?


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: michaelwritesforyouyahoo.ca
Years_at_school: Seven (who said seven was a lucky number?)
Date: 11 Oct 2012
Time: 09:27:19

Comments

Reggie Gough. Not my guru, Colin. I do remember a piece of graffiti which appeared on a classroom wall. Someone added the letter G to the second word, making Goff. The first word remains a four-letter obscenity. Last but two - how very logical, correct and sensible.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 11 Oct 2012
Time: 03:13:18

Comments

Michael Schwartz has made a substantial contribution to this important discussion and I am very happy to concur with his opinion. I must confess that the Anglo Saxon in me (which I'm sure exists notwithstanding my surname) does hanker after Brian Hester's definition.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 10 Oct 2012
Time: 03:07:13

Comments

What an interesting question, Brian. Now that you mention it, I realise that Beaky never did smile in class, although something like a smile was often in his voice. On the other hand, he never scowled. We were close throughout his retirement and I visited him regularly in his Winchcombe idyll. He would "smile" often then, but I now realise that his smile was not an upturn at the corner of the mouth, rather an opened mouth with a lift of his head and raised eyebrows.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesterat gmail.com
Years_at_school: 40-47
Date: 09 Oct 2012
Time: 19:39:24

Comments

Glad to learn of your appreciation of Beaky Fooks - a great teacher and a good man. Did you, or anyone else, ever see him laugh or smile?


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 09 Oct 2012
Time: 15:48:01

Comments

Latinist that he is, Michael Schwartz is prcisely right when he says, "paenepenultimate could literally mean almost penultimate" - and in his ellargement of that. Henry used the word at me in an e-mail exchange and, while I had never come across it, Latinist that I too am, I knew what he meant. I looked for it in vain in Chambers and the Shorter OED. And I have now looked, also in vain, for Michael's "propenultimate". (Antepenultimate does appear.) We all have our gurus; Michael says Reggie Gough was his source, Henry blames Ken Waller. Mine was Beaky Fooks - although he would never have used any of these words. He would have given Brian Hester a quiet nod of approval, gently pointing out that he should have said, "last but two".


Name: Dave Buckley (53-61)
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 09 Oct 2012
Time: 08:39:56

Comments

Perhaps it isn't a good idea for anyone to put their address and phone number on an 'open' forum, but I doubt if there has been any damage done. To be fair, it's not immediately obvious from the website that Jeff lives in NY! For info, as soon as I saw the post, I emailed Alex Bateman who has already been in touch with Mrs.Neal. Dave B.


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: michaelwritesforyouatyahoo.ca
Years_at_school: Like the curate's egg, good in parts
Date: 09 Oct 2012
Time: 07:18:17

Comments

Moderator - that means you, Jeff! A recent contributor has left her address and telephone number on the guest book. Should this not be removed, with any would-be writers directed to you? (Hi - I have removed it! Jeff the Moderator)

Regarding the one before penultimate, is not propenultimate not an accepted word? Propenultimate was used by Reggie Goff to explain a point during an exam at school. In theory, paenepenultimate could literally mean almost penultimate, ie, it could be three or even four before the penultimate - it is insufficiently accurate. Yours in acute pomposity Michael.


Name: Mrs Winifred Neal
Email: winnienealatntlworld.com
Years_at_school: None but widow of Peter George Neal
Date: 08 Oct 2012
Time: 16:00:44

Comments

Dear Jeff
I have a collection of Old Gaytonian Dramatic Club programmes etc from 1933 -1938 and am sorting through a number of The Old Gaytonian magazines to see which you may already have. I also have a few photographs and a water-colour painting of the back of the school painted by George Neal (my father-in-law) late in 1937 from the playing field. We have had clear-out of the loft and found these items. If you are interested I will get in touch with you again when perhaps you will be able to collect them as I don't have a car now. Regards Winnie Neal (address and telephone number removed by Moderator - Jeff)


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1040=-47
Date: 08 Oct 2012
Time: 14:59:51

Comments

As an unrepentant pleb might I suggest the better words would be 'last but one'?


Name: George Angermot
Email: gang27athotmail.com
Years_at_school: 1962 - 1969
Date: 08 Oct 2012
Time: 13:51:44

Comments

Regarding Henry Wyatt's latest. A plea for help. Are we missing something? Eg the actual clue itself. Merely a small point. The 'dispute' appears to harp around 15 or 16 letters. Someone's got to be wrong by default. A reflection on inadequate Maths teaching perhaps?


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: q1962-9
Date: 08 Oct 2012
Time: 09:08:14

Comments

Colin Dickins and I have recently been engaged in a correspondence of some considerable import but we have stumbled upon a problem for which we require erudite guidance. I used the word paenepenultimate to describe my second from last answer to today's crossword puzzle but Colin feels that the term antepenultimate would be more appropriate. We are both genuinely perplexed as to the correct usage and I therefore feel that an appeal to the readers of this log would be apposite. No finer body of men. ..................What say you, chaps?


Name: Keith Palmer
Email: palmerdotkeith57atgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 1968 - 1975
Date: 02 Oct 2012
Time: 02:06:15

Comments

Yes, Dennis Orme, very sad news of the passing of Derek Wolfe. I didn't know him personally, but I felt I knew a little about him through his athletic achievements and the fact that he was (of his time) the best at what he chose to do. Taken far too soon. R.I.P.


Name: Dennis Orme
Email: dennis_orme at msn.com
Years_at_school: 1967 - 75
Date: 25 Sep 2012
Time: 02:09:59

Comments

It is with sadness that I have to report the sudden death of Derek Wolfe (HCS 1966 to 1973) yesterday 24th. He had just turned 58. Derek will probably be best remembered as one of the schools top athletes in the early 1970s. He was Cross Country Captain 1972 to 1973 and competed in the English Schools Cross Country in 1973. He served on the Old Gaytonians Athletic Club committee for more than ten years before work took him away from the London area. During his time at school and with the club he did a lot to encourage and coach the younger athletes. Indeed three of his athletes from that time made up three quarters of the Harrow AC team which won the South of England over 50 Road Relay title at Aldershot just last weekend. Derek had a number of jobs during his career. After leaving school Derek initially went into accounting. He soon switched to local government serving in several borough education departments including Harrow, Hammersmith and City of London. By the mid 1990s he was taking up Town Clerk positions and the places worked in included Bicester, Helston, Portland and Barry. He took early retirement from Barry at the end of last year but had been working part time as an acting Town Clerk in Marlborough. He is survived by his wife Lynette and two step children.


Name: Keith Palmer
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1968 - 1975
Date: 23 Sep 2012
Time: 05:09:54

Comments

Henry Wyatt, with whom I clearly overlapped at HCS during my first year, names his chosen "Teaching Stars". I would not disagree with a single name, most taught me and I am certainly aware of how revered others were even though our paths did not cross academically. I note, however, an absence of mention of the Maths and Physics departments, so would offer the names of Groombridge and McEwan to give balance. I certainly can't think of anyone after Henry's time, up to the end of the school as we knew it, who merited inclusion in this select group.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 20 Sep 2012
Time: 10:35:56

Comments

Chris, There were an awful lot of stars. I know one looks back with rose tinted spectacles but even so.In my earlier post I hesitated to name names, knowing that I ran the risk of omission, but here goes. In Classics, Ken, Ubi, George Cowan and Bernie; in English Jim Golland, Fred Bilson and Jock Lafferty; in French, Hugh Skillen, Don Kincaid and Don Wilkey; in History Harry and Geoff D'Arcy; in Russian Ken again; in Science Norman Tyrrhitt & Keith Neal; in Music Arthur Hailey and Ken Waller; .................. I know that those of you of earlier and later generations will have their favourites whom I have omitted........By the way, did I mention Ken Waller?


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 20 Sep 2012
Time: 08:18:31

Comments

Henry Wyatt's comments about the quality of staff he attracted was interesting. True there were stars but it is worth remembering there was also complete dross. There were masters who taught next to nothing and who could not control a class. I won't mention names because I would not wish to distress any descendants since several of them were apparently thoroughly decent men - just hopelessly incompetent.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 20 Sep 2012
Time: 05:30:11

Comments

My old friend Andrew Carruthers hit the nail on the head a while ago when he said that there was something odd about Simpson in his later years at school. This may have been an increasingly desperate realisation that the Times were a changin'. Those who were at school during the fifties seem to have a different, more favourable opinion of the man compared to those of us of a later vintage. In any event, it is quite common for a man to be thought of very differently by his family. As Andrew says, it would useful and indeed, possibly redemptive, for us to have access to the Doctor's papers, if they really exist. Incidentally, you may be interested to know that Ken Waller felt similarly about Simpson, as told to me in a conversation a year or so before his death. For the present, the only good thing I have to say about Simpson was his ability to attract staff of so high an intellectual calibre and so varied a range of personalities.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 19 Sep 2012
Time: 17:55:55

Comments

Nice try Ross but ARS style was truly inimitable. I can remember numerous assemblies when there were genuine debates "Does anybody have any idea what he was talking about?" It was often entertainining to watch the staff during one of his less intelligible or more outrageous rants learly desperately trying not to show amusement or complete contempt.


Name: ANDREW CARRUTHERS
Email: AJCARRUTHERSATBTINTERNET.COM
Years_at_school: 1961-8
Date: 19 Sep 2012
Time: 17:32:05

Comments

IF ROSS SIMPSON IS THE GENUINE ARTICLE, THEN I WOULD ENCOURAGE HIM TO MAKE AVAILABLE THE FAMILY PAPERS TO WHICH HE REFERS TO THE ARCHIVIST, WHO MIGHT BE ABLE TO CAST A DIFFERENT LIGHT ON DR S, AND PERHAPS HIS REPUTATION. ONE CANNOT BUT ADMIRE HIS LOYALTY BUT I DO HAVE TO ASK IF HE KNEW HIS GRANDFATHER. THE WORDS HE QUOTES SOUND PRETTY TYPICAL OF AN EFFUSION AT SCHOOL ASSEMBLY!


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: Grateful language student at Joe's diner
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 19 Sep 2012
Time: 14:52:18

Comments

Nick Salisbury - How is your brother? Simon and I were in the same English class in 1969-1970. Hope you are both well. Keith Palmer and Pete Fowler: the commas did seem strange. In addition, both effects and affects could be used although effects probably wins out. "In which" is not exactly a crime so I absolve you, my child. Regarding Dr Simpson and his grandson's comments, while I was never taught by Dr Simpson, entering Harrow County immediately after his leaving the school, I have read every single entry made on this site. Dr Simpson had an effect on many pupils. Ross G Simpson has encountered a number of people who did not enjoy his headmastership and yet there were very high academic standards. Is it not time for those who did enjoy HCS to record their comments on this site?


Name: Ross G Simpson
Email: randvsimpsonatbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: NA
Date: 19 Sep 2012
Time: 05:28:36

Comments

I have read with some sadness the somewhat detracting and petty comments regarding the writing ability of my grandfather Dr Alexander Simpson. It seems that there is a destructive element repeatedly returning to your site to harm the reputaion of an erstwhile fine man. In searching through the family papers I happened across a letter Alexander wrote and copied to all members of his teaching staff shortly before his retirement. I quote the middle section which proves his undoubted intellectual command of language and his deep down concern for the young: 'The mind of the adolescent boy, unfurled, myopic, untramelled yet decorous in its juvenile vivacity reminds us of our temporary grasp of ancient realities unexamined and unsieved through the intellectual process of time that only the nebulous dimension of non-understanding beyond recall can explain. To my mind, the complexity of direction is diametrically opposed to the parametrical concept of metaphysical interaction between the forces of light and darkness. This may be regarded as a simplistic view although based on many years of experience, linking the great classical authors to knowledge so profound that we,in our feeble forms,stand in awe of the greater mysteries. From the tiny seed of the oak, the very symbol of our school and emblazoned upon the badge, emerges an explosive potential of tumultuous activity destined to journey along the prescribed railway of truth. It is upon that frail belief of certainty and uncertainty that I tentatively founded my philosophy of approach with the undying support of a loyal and gifted staff dedicated in their different ways to the forwarding of excellence par excellence. Olympic was our aim and we achieved.


Name: Nick Salisbury
Email: nwsalisbury at yahoo.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1968 - 1974"
Date: 18 Sep 2012
Time: 12:55:34

Comments

Fascinating to look back and very interesting to see music programmes from 1970s. Very touching tributes to Ken Waller - perhaps the most inspirational teacher I knew.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 18 Sep 2012
Time: 11:37:05

Comments

Even more unintelligible (at least to me) was Simpson's tribute to Bigham: Conclusively and on a higher plane I believe the timely yet untimely emergence of the Combined Cadet Force and Colonel Bigham, against indeed the many contradictory factors in the time, the place, and the action of their happening, each with its adverse complexity of the improbable, so specially familiar to myself, to have been both paradox and providence. Why such a conjunction? Why then? Why there? Whence and to what being and purpose? For it is to my mind in such spectacular manifestation that providence is best seen to exist - - in the reversal emergence of the opposite unlikely, the improbable, and the seemingly impossible. This is the context in which I would very deliberately place the Colonel's great work and achievements.


Name: Keith Palmer
Email: palmerdotkeith57atgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 1968 - 1975
Date: 16 Sep 2012
Time: 16:33:30

Comments

Pete Fowler, I cringed not only at Dr. Simpson's use of the comma but also the spelling. Should it not have read "Travel affects" rather than "Travel effects"?


Name: Pete Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/62
Date: 16 Sep 2012
Time: 12:29:07

Comments

And before Michael and Paul shoot me down (and I curse at the lack of an edit button), please delete the 'in which' in my last sentence below.


Name: Pete Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/62
Date: 16 Sep 2012
Time: 12:25:26

Comments

As we ponder the general inadequacies of language and learning nearly forty years after the demise of HCS, may I slip in a sentence I have just read by our esteemed old Headmaster, Dr Simpson. It is the very first sentence in the Foreword from the Headmaster's Study written for Hugh Skillen's Makers of Men film: "Travel, effects at first hand by degrees, what drama does at second, in a single dose - a cleaning and freshening of the mind and emotions". That is exactly as the Doctor wrote it. Read it and weep at his control of the comma and read it and gasp at the sheer obtuseness of the way in which the Great Man wrote.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 14 Sep 2012
Time: 10:30:51

Comments

Does anyone know anything of a lawsuit (1934-6) Sorrell v. MCC in relation to the construction of the swimming pool? That leads to a wider question, has anyone trawled the records in relation to the school at the London Metropolitan Archives?


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 13 Sep 2012
Time: 12:36:26

Comments

Elizabeth Newson, Are you sure you aren't confusing HCS with the Valkyrie Prep School near Southend? Sometime ago you posted this message " Re: Valkyrie School 1940's to 50's. by newson on 10 Jul 2011 Hi I would be interested to know if you have any recollections of the prinicple Mr.Banks Mawson who I belevie was head sometime in the mid-late 40's many thanks "


Name: Ian Johnson
Email: igjohnson at btinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1942 to 1948
Date: 10 Sep 2012
Time: 02:18:59

Comments

I see my old mate Alex Copeland has dredged up a skeleton from our past life in Kodak (9 August 2012). I did not realise then how great a genius George Eastman was, so much missed when he took his own life with the words "My work is done. Why wait?" Sadly, Eastman Kodak was just another victim of its own success, too confident of its own film and paper technology which was immensely profitable. So it may well be true that they discovered digital photography and failed to exploit it. Yet, for many Old Gayts Kodak Limited was a good and loyal employer, without the inequalities of reward common today. On the other hand, the writing on the wall was pretty clear when I left in 1982 and Rochester was firmly in charge.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 09 Sep 2012
Time: 05:35:49

Comments

Banks Mawson is not a name that springs out of a corner of my memory. Are you sure Liz that you have the right achool? Perhaps he was appointed when a gap in succession of headships appeared imminent but a permanent candidate was found. Williams was head until 1945 when he retired. Crowle-Ellis who followed lasted only a year before being moved to Harrow Weald. Simpson arrived in 1946.I remember all three well and have never understood why C-E was moved. He actual spoke informally to the senior boys and I recall his telling us he was being moved, and how surprised he was. Simpson was recruited from an obscure school in Scotland. How he was found remains a mystery. All I can suggest is that your B.M. was to be stop gap that was not needed oce Simpson was recruited.


Name: lizabeth newson
Email: lizabethnewsonatgooglemail.com
Years_at_school:
Date: 08 Sep 2012
Time: 13:42:07

Comments

I would love to hear if anyone recalls "Banks Mawson" acting headmaster date unknown, but might well be sometime in the forties. Many years ago I came across a newspaper cutting from a newspaper (since lost) regarding this post. Many thanks, Liz Newson Nee Mawson


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 04 Sep 2012
Time: 09:12:02

Comments

To get at the NY Times article on Sir Paul Nurse simply Google using: A Redoubt of Learning Holds Firm should link you


Name: Paul Romney
Email: paulromney03a taim.com
Years_at_school: 56-63
Date: 03 Sep 2012
Time: 16:45:23

Comments

That was me, by the way.


Name: Type your name here
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 03 Sep 2012
Time: 16:44:31

Comments

The New York Times is currently carrying an article on the Royal Society, featuring our own "Dr. Nurse". I can't post the URL because the whatsit won't accept some of the digits.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 02 Sep 2012
Time: 05:15:43

Comments

As I recall the display in Eastman's house in Rochester, he alone dreamt up the Kodak name. What a pity to see a company like Kodak end up the way it is. The cause seems to have been unimaginative, but still well-compansated, management. Many of us from HCS owe the company something. In my case Kodak gave me my first job when I worked one evening a week as lab assistant for a photo class at Harrow Tech. This was a plum job that several of us got when U6Sc.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 02 Sep 2012
Time: 05:14:52

Comments

As I recall the display in Eastman's house in Rochester, he alone dreamt up the Kodak name. What a pity to see a company like Kodak end up the way it is. The cause seems to have been unimaginative, but still well-compansated, management. Many of us from HCS owe the company something. In my case Kodak gave me my first job when I worked one evening a week as lab assistant for a photo class at Harrow Tech. This was a plum job that several of us got when U6Sc.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 31 Aug 2012
Time: 15:25:01

Comments

The Yellow-Red colour combination for Kodak dates back to the 30s but I think the "K" was much more recent and I don't think occurred until the 70s


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 27 Aug 2012
Time: 04:19:49

Comments

It is interesting to note that the word Kodak is quasi palindromic and I believe that this was consciously copied by the people at Xerox for the same kind of memorable reasons. Kodak's graphic design was also very strong with the stylised letter K in red on the yellow background. They were very fussy over the correct pantone numbers for the two colours and enforced their copyright rigorously. The company was often cited as a good example of the benefits of international graphic design. It made it possible for a punter to go anywhere in the world and easily buy film for his camera just by pointing to the product on the shelf. It's a shame such a great company has fallen so far so fast..


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 27 Aug 2012
Time: 03:51:07

Comments

Good luck to Keith Palmer with his genealogical research. I had a recollection that the name Kodak came from the sound the shutter made, but a bit of Googling produced the following: NAME: The letter "K" was a favorite of Eastman's; he is quoted as saying, "it seems a strong, incisive sort of letter." [13] He and his mother devised the name Kodak with an Anagrams set. Eastman said that there were three principal concepts he used in creating the name: it should be short; one cannot mispronounce it, and it could not resemble anything or be associated with anything but Kodak.[14] It has also been suggested that "Kodak" originated from the suggestion of David Houston, a fellow photographic inventor who held the patents to several roll film camera concepts that he later sold to Eastman.[14] Houston, who started receiving patents in 1881, was said to have chosen "Nodak" as a nickname of his home state, North Dakota (NoDak).[15][16] This is contested by other historians, however, who cite that Kodak was trademarked prior to Eastman buying Houston's patents.[17]


Name: Sarah Palmer, aka Peter Ward, aka, Spliggins, aka sloggett
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 24 Aug 2012
Time: 13:38:50

Comments

I agree with the poster below, I hope we don't hear any more. It's a boring joke already...


Name: Type your name here
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 24 Aug 2012
Time: 13:33:19

Comments

Did someone say that lunatics frequent this guestbook? They are taking to stealing identities now! Someone better tell the real Peter Ward. Someone has far, far too much time on their hands...


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peetr.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 24 Aug 2012
Time: 12:27:35

Comments

My apologies to Alex Bateman. In my recent missive I inadvertently used the name 'Alex' in the second line when it should have read 'Clive'. I trust this will not result in litigation and that the apology will be taken in good grace.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 24 Aug 2012
Time: 12:20:50

Comments

Reading Alex Bateman's rather unkind comments on the exploits of the great Clive Sloggett DFC (and bar) I would ask how he claims the gentleman had a brother named Spliggins. I suppose it is a possibility that they may have been half-brothers. Mr Bateman also makes the assumption that Alex and his lady lover intended returning to Blighty by Hurricane, despite the obvious lack of storage space. Is it not possible that they were passed 'down the line' by French resistance workers? In my researches, equally concscientious to those of Alex, I have discovered that a cafe owner named Rene (don't know how to do accents) hid Flight Lieut. Sloggett behind a pair of antlers hanging on the cafe wall. Sadly, it appears that things did not work out. His lover betrayed him to a certain Herr Flick of the Gestapo offering services in return. This was prior to her entry into a nunnery. She later became Abbe at Toulouse. I suspect this now lays the mystery to rest and we shall not hear of the old heroes' exploits again. God bless them. They don't make them like that any more.


Name: Keith Palmer
Email: palmerdotkeith57atgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 1968-1975
Date: 24 Aug 2012
Time: 09:02:57

Comments

Going off at a slight tangent from the recent Kodak discussions, I have spent much of the past year initially finding and then starting to sort through much paperwork belonging to my late father. Amongst all of this is a family tree going back (so far) to the mid 19th century and various letters. There were several cousins of my paternal grandfather (b. 1874) who bore the name "Eastman" and many were in the photographic business from its early days. One (I can't recall the name right now, but it may have been John, I'll be able to confirm another time), emigrated to the United States where he met a Polish gentleman, and they went into business together. The Polish gentleman's name was Kodak, hence the beginning of the company which, I believe, is still registered as Eastman-Kodak. Although I have no reason to wonder, other than the name, could Linda Eastman (later McCartney) be descended from this branch of the Eastman family, she was a photographer herself. I have much research to keep me occupied during the long winter evenings!


Name: Martin Goodall
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1959 to 1966
Date: 24 Aug 2012
Time: 08:09:20

Comments

I greatly enjoyed the recent contributions from Messrs Spliggins and Sloggett. Their colourful (if somewhat imaginative or, dare one say, imaginary) reminiscences considerably enlivened what was becoming a rather boring recital of inconsequential trivia. Is there perhaps a sub-text here? - a possible suggestion that this site is the venue for a load of boring old farts. Old Gayts boring????? Perish the thought! (P.S. Can that dreadful song, which rings out every time one visits the main site be removed to a separate page of the website, so that only those who really want to hear it can indulge their fetish privately? My irritation is not lessened in any way by the recollection that my own piping voice was one of those contributing to the dreadful dirge on this recording.)


Name: Alex Bateman
Email: via Jeff
Years_at_school: 1980 - 84
Date: 24 Aug 2012
Time: 04:50:49

Comments

As I said, many lunatics... A remarkable man Mr S, his RAF signals training being sufficient to enable him to pilot front line fighters. Being as he pinched a hurricane, I wonder where he was going to stow his beloved, as its a single seater. I can see why he was so highly decorated, was it for ingenious use of small space? I guess he avoided the court marshal upon his return? He doesnt have a brother does he? A Mr Spliggins?


Name: Alex Bateman
Email: via Jeff
Years_at_school: 1980 - 84
Date: 24 Aug 2012
Time: 04:50:27

Comments

As I said, many lunatics... A remarkable man Mr S, his RAF signals training being sufficient to enable him to pilot front line fighters. Being as he pinched a hurricane, I wonder where he was going to stow his beloved, as its a single seater. I can see why he was so highly decorated, was it for ingenious use of small space? I guess he avoided the court marshal upon his return? He doesnt have a brother does he? A Mr Spliggins?


Name: Sarah Palmer
Email: sarah.palmer3atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: HCS Girls 1968-75
Date: 24 Aug 2012
Time: 03:51:17

Comments

How very kind of Mr Bateman to respond. I am happy to confirm that my great grandfather, though frail, is still with us. Mr Bateman is in one way correct in doubting GGD's RAF credentials. It is true that he was over age at the start of the Second World War and was initially turned down for active service. He was, however, permitted to join the Signals Section and it was from there he 'borrowed' the Hurricane ( a plane I believe)that was shot down in France. His aim, it appears, was to attempt to rescue his first lover, Mme Amelie de la Rose, but found she had entered a nunnery just prior (no pun) to the outbreak. I suppose, quite justfiably, the RAF was right to expunge his name from the record despite his lifetime friendship with Wing Commander Rawnsley, who later had some connection with your emminent school. After repatriation, GGD lived with the WingCo and his wife, Connie, on their barge on the Rickmansworth Canal. This kept him out of the way of the authorities. Later, when it was safe to emerge, GGD joined the colour printing department at the Kodak factory, Wealdstone, Harrow. He would welcome visitors at his current residence but can only communicate via his ancient ear trumpet which has been remodelled from his old Hurricane's landing gear. Visitors (Wednesdays only 10.00 to 13.00 and not during the Jeremy Kyle Show)please contact The Matron, Rest Home for Old Spammers, Funny Farm Industrial Estate, North Hoaxers Lane, Wendover, Bucks HP67 OAP. It would be wise to carry body armour as GGD can grow violent and lash out with his ear trumpet inflicting terrible damage. Thank you for your interest and that of other correspondents to your valuable site. xx


Name: Alex Bateman
Email: via Jeff
Years_at_school: 1980 - 84
Date: 24 Aug 2012
Time: 02:41:18

Comments

To Sarah Palmer. Please dont be offended by the comments regarding your grandfather. I dont see them as insensitive, just sceptical. The guestbook has been the target of spammers and other lunatics in the past, which occasionally raises suspicions. Im afraid your recent post does little to allay the thoughts however. To begin with, aside from his current age (which is remarkable) we have no record of a Clive James Sloggett having ever attended the school, and he appears on no record (the same can be said of Mr Spliggins). As archivist to the school and Old Gayts Association, I find it odd he has never made himself known to either before. Also, it is odd that you reply on his behalf now, but his original post was written under his own email address, which is very commendable for someone of 108, who is deaf and blind. You continue that he was a much decorated fighter pilot who was shot down. It just so happens that I am also a military and aviation historian, and have just had a quick look at two RAF related records. Aside from the fact that he was over the age during wartime to have been considered for pilot duties of any sort, there is no record in the London Gazette of a man of that name having ever been commissioned in the RAF or having received any decorations between 1914 and 1950. Allied Prisoner of War records also confirm that no man of that name was ever incarcerated during World War Two. I am close to Wendover, perhaps you can tell me which home he is in? I would love to speak to an HCS veteran of such a vintage.


Name: Sarah Palmer
Email: sarah.palmer3atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1968-75 HCS for Girls
Date: 23 Aug 2012
Time: 14:38:16

Comments

I am somewhat taken aback by the insensitive remarks about my great granddad, Clive James Sloggett, who is alive and relatively well going on 108 in his nursing home at Wendover. Granddad Clive lost his sight several years ago and is now hard of hearing. I have kept from him the doubts raised about his age - possibly his very existence. One small tremor could be harmful, possibly fatal. This much decorated war hero, serving in the RAF as a Hurricane (a plane I believe) pilot, was shot down over France and taken prisoner of war. He was on the run for nearly a week before the Germans finally caught him. Granddad Clive claims he was betrayed by a French nun but we have no way of verifying this.


Name: Dave Buckley (53-61)
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 23 Aug 2012
Time: 13:21:11

Comments

Ref two posts ago - and what about Mr.George Spliggins (6th August)who says that he was at school 1912-1916! That would make him about 115!!


Name: Alex Bateman
Email: via Jeff
Years_at_school: 1980 - 84
Date: 23 Aug 2012
Time: 11:16:10

Comments

We were very much a Kodak family. My Great Grandfather began working there about 1897, with an employee number of 67!! Sara (Pilkington), nice to see you! Your dad and mine (Dave Bateman) were both Kodakids together, another scheme that was heavily influenced by Ernest Amor (sending children of UK Kodak familes to stay with US Kodak families for the duration of the war). I remember Ernest Amor very well, although by the time I became involved with the OGA he had sadly long since passed.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 23 Aug 2012
Time: 04:57:27

Comments

Congratulations to Clive Sloggett. Let's see, if he joined school in 1916 at 11 that would make him 107. Hmmm!


Name: Clive Sloggett
Email: sloggoathotmail13.com
Years_at_school: 1916 to 1921
Date: 22 Aug 2012
Time: 10:46:03

Comments

My great grand daughter helps me with this. She has recently drawn my attention to your blog. What a funny word. She is typing this. As a boy, I lived on my father's farm in Harrow Weald. I believe it is all built on now. I distinctly remember hearing the 5 am Kodak hooter as I helped milk our pedigree mixed herd of Guernseys and Jerseys. Very chilly in Winter I can tell you. I believe the milk went to the local dairy that supplied the school. I later farmed ostriches in East Africa. Keep up the joly good work and thank you.


Name: Bob Blackburn
Email: With Alex Bateman
Years_at_school: 1943-1949
Date: 22 Aug 2012
Time: 02:46:09

Comments

Peter Hammond. I should have mentioned that the Memorial Service for Peter At St. Peter's Church, Berry Lane, Mill End, Rickmansworth, WD3 7HQ will be at 11 AM.


Name: Robert Paige
Email: roberttpaige (at) aol.com
Years_at_school: None
Date: 21 Aug 2012
Time: 12:25:48

Comments

I am an outsider from the USA and maybe searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack and my apologies if this is the wrong website. I am searching for a former student who made some remarks about studying at York in later years. He might have posted his comments on this website.


Name: Bob Blackburn
Email: With Alex Bateman
Years_at_school: 1943-1949
Date: 21 Aug 2012
Time: 00:21:34

Comments

Paula Hammond has let me know that there will be a Memorial Service for Peter Hammond on Saturday, 8th September at St. Peter's Church, Berry Lane, Mill End, Rickmansworth, WD3 7HQ. Bob Blackburn


Name: Bob Blackburn
Email: With Alex Bateman
Years_at_school: 1943 - 1949
Date: 20 Aug 2012
Time: 02:54:06

Comments

PETER HAMMOND. Peter was a truly remarkable man, we came together in Upper 5, a small form of about 10 of us in the small room, on the left, up the stairs opposite the clock, over Cyril Atkins office. We were both pretty good at tuppenny hapenny football. We again joined forces at Sudbury when playing in the great Jack Herman's B fifteen and also in the OG Athletic Club. Peter set up the Green Diamond Ski Club, also the Green Diamond Sailing Club, he also won the 10,000 pounds Daily Mail Civilian Prize for the race between the top of the Post Office Tower in London and the top of the Empire State Building in New York. The Fleet Air Arm won top prize. All his profits went to charity. Peteralso reinstated the OG Swimming Club. His biggest venture was the organisation of the sailing facility for disabled people on Ricky Aquadrome. A small army of volunteers, several single adapted sailing dinghys for disabled people and a few double seated boats for a disabled person and a helper. A motorised inflatable to check that the sailors were OK and a jetty with a hoist to lift disabled people out of wheelchairs and into the boats. Altogether a brilliant organisation. A photo of Peter can be seen under his nickname Wally Hammond in the 1949 School Swimming Team, 4th from the left sitting down. It just happens I am standing back row, 6th from the right. Peter, you were a great character and a thoroughly nice guy, will miss you. Bob


Name: Bob Blackburn
Email: With Alex Bateman
Years_at_school: 1943 - 1949
Date: 20 Aug 2012
Time: 02:03:27

Comments

Paula Hammond has let me know that there will be a Memorial Service for Peter on SATURDAY 8TH SEPTEMBER AT ST.PETER'S CHURCH, BERRY LANE, MILL END, RICKMANSWORTH, WD3 7HQ.


Name: Alex Copeland
Email: alexccattelus.net
Years_at_school: 1941 to 1948
Date: 09 Aug 2012
Time: 11:34:17

Comments

Interesting to read about the Kodak Hooter, which revived,some memories. My first full time job was with Kodak,I cycled in from Kenton.It was on one of these journeys that a great number of emergency vehicles drove by,there had been a horrendous rail crash at the station.A very good friend and colleague at Kodak was among those who were killed. A more happy memory was the time when Ian Johnson and I attended the Christmas party at the Head Office on Kingsway in London. After entering the building we walked up a very grand marble staircase, at the top of which was a large bronze plaque of the much revered George Eastman, Founder of the Company.Upon seeing this Ian and I knelt and made our obeisance, not realising that the Chairman and Secretary of the Company were standing close by,they were not amused!! Too bad what has happened to such a great company.Must be because Ian and I are no longer working for them! I played rugby for Kodak as well as the O.G. club, and can recall one time at a sevens tournament playing for Kodak, I believe at Merchant Tailors in a prelim. to the Middlesex sevens, that we won a couple of rounds but then came up against the mighty Wasps with at least three internationals on their team Sykes, Stalder, and Woodward. Trying to tackle the latter was akin to trying to stop an express train.I do not recall the score but I do know that it was a very humiliating experience. A change of topic, but I must say that we are very much enjoying the Olympic games and all in the U.K. deserve congratulations for the quality of the venues and the excellent organisaion. A job well done. Cheers to all Alex Copeland.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 07 Aug 2012
Time: 07:44:53

Comments

Talk of the Kodak hooter and its importance for timekeeping reminds me of the whole issue of being late. Prefects were positioned at both entrances assiduously taking names of all latecomers. Being late once equalled a detention, twice a caning from George Thorn. I had a solution. Getting off the bus near te Granada I would walk via Bonnersfield Lane then Northwick Park Avenue to Gayton Road just East of the school. I'd wait for passing traffic to impede the view of the sentries, make a dash across Gayton Road and into the front garden of the nearest house. From there, I'd cross garden fences until entering scholl grounds over the fence next to the 5th form entrance.


Name: George Arthur Spliggins
Email: gaspliggins47at hotmail.co
Years_at_school: 1912 to1916
Date: 06 Aug 2012
Time: 17:00:06

Comments

I remember the old Kodak hooter shattering a window in our house in Headstone Lane. My grandfather had to wind up the old mechanism to force steam through the hooter's patented American valve system. He told me it used to frighten the horse trams that passed the factory carrying commuters to the old Harrow and Wealdstone station. Do they still run trains? The hooter also sounded when the first zeppelin passed over London dropping its bombs on an ice cream factory. Rev Randall Williams,the school's first Headmaster, set his gold pocket watch by the hooter which is why he always started assemblies precisely on time. Break,lunch and home time bells were also synchronised with Kodak time.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 03 Aug 2012
Time: 08:55:24

Comments

That Kodak hooter must have been really loud. I could hear it quite clearly in Edgware through closed windows.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 01 Aug 2012
Time: 08:35:50

Comments

Colin, on reflection I'm sure you are correct about times.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindickinsatblueyondercouk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 01 Aug 2012
Time: 02:48:51

Comments

7.40 and 7.45 in my day, Chris. Maybe they worked longer hours then. But you have brought back a strong memory.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 31 Jul 2012
Time: 13:57:23

Comments

Kodak was SO important to me at HCS. The hooter which sounded (as I recall) at 7:55 & 8am told me whether I was going to be on time or get yet another detention.


Name: Sara Pilkinton ( nee Hall)
Email: sara.aberfarmatbtinternet.com
Years_at_school:
Date: 30 Jul 2012
Time: 07:07:30

Comments

Hi there message to Dave Buckley, my great-uncle Ernest Amor that I mentioned in my last post was indeed the Chairman of Kodak UK and a great many of the social support ideas that are still in use today for many of the past and present employees came about because of him. He was a marvellous man and in fact many of my family worked for Kodak in Harrow over the years, especially my father Lionel Hall. (Ernest Amor was his mother's brother.)


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 27 Jul 2012
Time: 18:04:31

Comments

I heard from Peter Garwood (1st XI Cricket capt. 1960 and 1961?)that Bruce Langrick, opening bowler, is very seriously ill. Does anyone remember Bruce's bowling? Shortish run, white necktie, quick pace. Outstanding control of swing, length and line? He made Middlesex Grammar Schools XI but chose not to go into pro cricket. I guess the two best cricketers produced by the school were Ramprakash (just retired) and Angus Fraser - judging by their excellent records. Bruce, however, would surely have made it at a higher level if he had had the inclination. He once took 10 for 10 vs St Marylebone Grammar School whilst I bowled at the other end! So, once again...does anyone remember Bruce? We wish him well although not with great optimism.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 25 Jul 2012
Time: 02:17:00

Comments

I have just returned from Wealdstone railway bridge where I supervised the passing of the Olympic torch on behalf of the Old Gaytonians. I was supported by my wife Asheeta, my daughter Hazel and some of her friends from Bentley Wood school. I am pleased to report that all went well. The Torch was preceded by the sponsors tour buses and we received a Union Jack from Samsung and a free bottle of Coke. Sad to say, the TSB was not giving out free money. In a spirit of Entente Cordiale, I wore my trusty kepi to keep off the sun. I find that our French friends sometimes have difficulty in pronouncing my surname WYATT so I teach 'em the following mnemonic Waterloo, Ypres, Agincourt & Trafalgar. Usually does the trick. And our boy won the Tour de France. I see from the Times that Gordon Banks will be one of today's torch bearers so that's the Germans sorted as well. The sun's shining, we're gonna win lots of medals so all's well with the world. All the best.


Name: Dave Buckley (53-61)
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 21 Jul 2012
Time: 09:11:59

Comments

With regard to the last posting, the Ernist Amor refered to was Chairman of Kodak Ltd. during the 1960s and was of great assistance to Hugh Skillen when he was producing the various school films which were made under the overall title of Makers of Men. As OGs are aware these films are now available on DVD.


Name: Sara Pilkinton ( nee Hall )
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 17 Jul 2012
Time: 14:48:02

Comments

My brother David Hall and my great uncle Ernest Amor were both pupils at the school. I had contact with the school as well when I was at Heriots Wood Grammar School and the 2 schools had a drama group called Convergence.


Name: Ian Gawn
Email: ian.gawnatorange.fr
Years_at_school: 1955-62
Date: 15 Jul 2012
Time: 05:59:11

Comments

Just to record the meeting today of the Fontenay-le Compte (Southern Vendee, France) Chapter of the OGA, held at Fontenay-le-Comte Aerodrome. Present were Ian Gawn and his wife, Jane, who drove 20 km from their home in St Hilaire de Voust, and Peter Mansfield, who travelled rather further, flying the 450 miles from Gamston, Notts, in his light aircraft, in 3 hours. Also present was Liz (formerly Ross) who had been Peter's Practice Nurse in Grimolby, Lincs, 30 years ago. The meetining was concliuded with the flypast and landing of the replica three-quarter scale Mosquito aircraft build by 5 Frenchmen over the last 15 years.


Name: Stewart Gillies
Email: stewart.gilliesatntlworld.com
Years_at_school: 1956 - 1965
Date: 07 Jul 2012
Time: 03:43:37

Comments

Rather belatedly I'd like to add my memories of the late Mory (Maurice) Venn. I recollect his Friday afternoon geography classes when I must have been in the third or fourth form. Friday afternoons' were of course when the weekly CCF parade was held. Mory would continue teaching by talking rather casually as was his style whilst he gave his boots a perfunctory polish with a brush & then put them on. He made more of an impact on me from his activities in the CCF. A kidnapping of one of the senior NCOs who was judged to be rather bumptious was planned by Mory to take place at the annual camp. The intention was to deposit him 50 miles away in his underwear. However the alarm was raised after the kidnapping & before the victim could be transported away. The perpetrators including me were all rounded up & put in the guardhouse. I can remember having to shuffle around the highly polished floor on squares of felt to preserve & enhance the shine - that was the British Army guardroom in action. In the morning we were all paraded in front of Colonel Bigham who carried out an enquiry. I don't know Mory's military background but he was a phenomenal shot by CCF standards. I can remember twice when we were at the ranges & he shot ten out of ten bulls eyes at 200yds from a standing position. Most of us couldn't achieve that prone. At Easter 1963 Mory organised a 10 day expedition in the Brecon Beacons. This was a required achievement activity for some boys who were working towards their Duke Of Edinburgh's Gold Award I & a couple of other boys including the German Assistant were brought in to bring the numbers up to ten - army standard squad size. Mory organised the procurement of proper military kit for this - high quality jackets & sleeping bags, carrier man packs & SLR rifles which were then the current rifle in service rather than the WW 1 & 2 varieties held in the armoury. Also a three ton truck driven by Captain Herbert was obtained to carry additional supplies between the nightly rendezvous points We were well loaded up - the Carrier Man Packs weighed some 50lbs & because they sat eshigh, partially above the shoulders one had to be careful not to bend forward too far as there was a risk of getting to the point of no return bent double. After the first day Mory decided the SLRs were too much for some members & they were deposited in the truck for the duration. We camped each night, it was quite chilly at times. Late one Sunday afternoon our actual position did not appear to be where it should have been on the map. We were up high, it got darker & colder & we had to proceed with great caution which was wise as eventually we encountered a cliff edge. At this point a few of the team were showing great concern at our situation. Mory was tremendous at keeping spirits up & required us to all rope up to minimise the risk of losing someone. Eventually we encountered a pub in the middle of nowhere. Being a Sunday in Wales in the sixties it was not open. However Mory hammered on the back door & a most welcoming beer was produced for us all Overall quite a character building experience. Thank you Mory, you added much to my experience at school. Stewart Gillies


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957 - 64
Date: 06 Jul 2012
Time: 06:53:53

Comments

Peter, I must agree with you that there was a culture of violence in the school that was probably endemic. Square did not appear to counter this punishment, and indeed by his actions probably condoned it. Clarkson was one of the worst masters in this respect, the PE masters were adept at corporal punishment and others at Colonel punishment. Ken Waller et al being the opposite side of the coin. Having said that I still remember many good aspects of the school, and it was a pleasure to have met some of my class-mates during the recent events. Big thanks going to Keith Baker and his team. Laurence


Name: Alex Copeland
Email: alexccattelus.net
Years_at_school: 1941 - 1948
Date: 02 Jul 2012
Time: 11:25:01

Comments

I read, and very much enjoyed Ian Johnson's comments.I have a few notes to add. I very much admired Randall Williams, however my introduction to him was a little different. One day, as new pupil, I had finished an Art Class, on the way back to home room I ran my ruler along the metal radiator, which I learned was outside the Head Masters room.Randall must have been constantly interrupted by others doing the same thing, because he rushed out and caught me redhanded, at least I was red handed after he had adminstered a few strokes with his cane!Ah well a little discipline never does too much harm. I also recall, having eventually received my Rugby Colours, that on the few away games to which we went by coach, that we would seranade Swanee Amos with some enthusiastical verses of Swanee, how I love you. His expression changed very little but a small smile would appear. After completing the sixth forms, well described by Ian, he along with Sam Weller,Brian Lewis, Gilbert Cunningham and I, all went to Exeter, at that time a College of London University, where we earned our London Bachelor's degrees as external students.We had great times at Exeter, and I for my final year was treasurer of the Student Union, or Guild as it was called in those days. I would be delighted to hear from any of my old classmates or University Colleagues who may read this. Greetings to all Old Gaytonians from Vancouver B.C. Alex Copeland


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 59-63
Date: 01 Jul 2012
Time: 03:51:38

Comments

Well Mr Dickins...Colin...all good stuff! In my previous, I did add the rider that I had only consulted Wickipedia re-the status of Monmouth. Not a thorough academic research. But I didn't go as far as actually stating Swanny Amos was Welsh. Being from that area, he had a distinctive Welsh influence in the voice and one could detect this. With respect, one did not miss your point. More disagree with it...cultural changes, old men falling behind etc. etc. I later went to College with Grammar School boys form different parts who had not been beaten up by thugs. It would appear their masters had coped well with the 50s-60s 'changes'. The truth lies nearer to the deep down character of the HCS individuals concerned. We shouldn't try to find excuses for them.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email:
Years_at_school: 1947-53
Date: 30 Jun 2012
Time: 20:34:15

Comments

Well, Peters both.  What a reaction!  To deal with the trivial matter of Swanny's nationality first, it was he who insisted he was English.  Peter Ward's Wikipedia research must have been less than diligent. It deals quite extensively with the ambiguity of Monmouth's English/Welsh designation and it refers to the "Make Monmouthshire Welsh" campaign which was launched in August 1961 to gain parliamentary recognition that the county was in Wales.  The index of my Phillips School Atlas of 1961 does, in fact list "Monmouth, Eng." - although more recent Atlases such as the Times World do place it in Wales. Both of you, regrettably, overlook the real point of my contribution, which tentatively concludes a cultural change and the old establishment's difficulty in coping with it. Finally, I did have some difficulty submitting my offering and sent it to the blessed Jeff, who kindly inserted it - as it happened mis-spelling my name.  (It is Dickins, Mr Ward, but you may call me Colin.)

 


Name: Eric Driver
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1950s
Date: 29 Jun 2012
Time: 20:03:52

Comments

Mention of Twink Bradley brings back memories of English Lit. tests when he would write on the blackboard the chapter and page the particular quote could be found. We all would have the book open under the desks and came up with almost 100 percent accuracy. On revealing the results he complimented us all on how well we had all done. All was undone however when someone obviously mentioned this to a parent who then wrote in to complain -and that was the last we saw of Twink. At least we didn't suffer corporal punishment from him -unlike a number of other (in)famous names already mentioned in these columns, which require no repetition from me.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 29 Jun 2012
Time: 17:48:53

Comments

I'm afraid we all gave the poor Rev. Dr. Dickie Dyer a bad time. Somehow he had been persuaded to give up holy orders (I believe C of E at North Harrow) to become a teacher of religious knowledge to a bunch of rebelloius schoolboys. I doubt he had any formal training as a teacher so was completely overwhelmed by us all. The law of the time required us all to have one class each week in R.K. but getting teachers in the subject was clearly always a problem, even at a school such as HCS. Twink Bradley used to take us rowing on Saturday mornings so we saw another side of him but wasy always eccentric. He marched us across Oxford Street on one occasion by stopping the traffic with his furled umbrella extended as "hurry up boys". Some of the drivers were not amused.


Name: Bob Blackburn
Email: With Alex Bateman
Years_at_school: 1943 - 1949
Date: 29 Jun 2012
Time: 06:04:06

Comments

Dickie Dyer used to lash about with his foot long ebony round ruler,terrible man and supposed to be a man of the cloth. Georgie Neil gave me a huge clump round the back of my head when he did not like my art work, sadly not saying what was wrong with it. In the huts with the stoves, Johnny Armstrong lost his rag with us, picked up a poker and brought it down on a desk lid, splitting the lid. In the middle corridor, first form room up the stairs on the right where we had gas lamps, just stepping out into the corridor at the end of a period when we had to step back very sharply out of the way of a lad being pursued by Randy Williams waving a slipper. Best of the lot, Twink Bradely was taking us in that same formroom and telling us the story of when he was standing by the window he saw a shadow through the frosted glass to the corridor, this shadow came to the door, stopped and bent down to look through the keyhole. Whilst telling us the story Twink had moved across toward the door, he continued with his story by saying he had opened the door telling the form that it was the height of bad manners to look through the keyhole only to discover that it was Joe Brister who was standing there. Whilst he was over by the door looking toward the room all the boys saw this shadow coming along the corridor, stop and bend down to look through the keyhole, we were all agog, who could it be? There was a tap on the door and a student lady mistress came in, of course all the boys collapsed in laughter, Twink went mad, shouting how dare we laugh when a lady entered the room, laughing bodies were being thrown all round the room, impossible to stop. Sad thing was that Twink never knew what had caused the uproar. Tongue in cheek, could I suggest that in 1943 with the state of the war that we were a hardy group who could take the rough with the smooth, did not tend to complain!


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: 1962-9
Years_at_school:
Date: 29 Jun 2012
Time: 04:54:36

Comments

I am not an expert, but I believe that Monmouth enjoys a unique status in that it is neither fully English nor Welsh. Indeed, did I not recently see on the telly a programme which insists that the county is still technically at war with Germany?


Name: Keith Palmer
Email: palmerdotkeith57atgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 1968-1975
Date: 28 Jun 2012
Time: 22:58:00

Comments

It is often said that a singer has "made it" when they are recognised purely by their first name, e.g. Frank or Dean from a few years back through to the likes of Whitney and Kylie in more recent years (I make no comment on the musical output of any of the above!) In a few walks of life one's initials take on a relevance when referring to an individual (cricket, in particular, springs to mind). Consequently, I thank Pete Fowler for reminding me of the initials of one man, the memory of whom was stirred in his most recent posting, namely JSG. At school, I was probably typical of thousands of students, went through the seven years, got a couple of A-levels, and left without a fond glance backwards (and haven't been back since that day in 1975, although I hope that may change one day.) I must have made an impression on Jim Golland, though, as although our paths did not cross academically in my final two years, he sought out my last report in order to leave a "good luck" message. One noteable thing about the internet, as we are all aware, is the ability to make contact with people from years gone by that previous generations did not have. So, when I found this site circa 2005 and saw pictures of Jim from only a couple of years previously, I thought how good it would be to make contact with someone who made a lasting impression on me (and who might just have remembered me). Sadly, all too quickly, I found his obituary. I would have loved the opportunity (which I understand he fully embraced even in his last years) to have discussed a plethora of matters relating to my time (and his) at HCS. However it wasn't to be, and it will always be a regret of mine that such exchanges did not happen.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 28 Jun 2012
Time: 11:27:50

Comments

By implication, Colin Dickens corrects me over the origins of Swanny Amos. I hinted at the PE master's Welsh accent in a previous blog. Only to be corrected by Mr Dickens that Amos was English having been born in Monmouth (England?) Well, swipe me. And there was I thinking that Monmouthshire was a County in SE Wales. I have checked Wickipedia, not necessarily known for its total accuracy. Monmouth appears to be in Wales as it always has been. Certainly in Swanny's birth time. Shades of Owen Glendower the well-known English Nationalist? Perhaps Mr Dickens went to a far superior school than we did with excellent Geography teachers. He certainly attended a different ethical school. His comments refer to the 40s to early 50s. Ours to the late 50s to early 60s. Things had moved on and in a not very pleasant direction. Trying to explain the Late Simpsonian Period as a reaction to the Swinging Sixties, laissez faire, anti-authoritarianism etc will not do. There were professional thugs in the school and their actions should not be conveniently air-brushed out of history. Let then stand by their deeds.


Name: Pete Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/62 (I keep getting that wrong, it was 62)
Date: 28 Jun 2012
Time: 10:10:02

Comments

I can only assume certain people from my period did not have certain teachers - since my years nearly exactly overlap with those who talk of a brief slap or its equivalent. What about the chemistry teacher who opened the door of his lab in order to take a long run up before the slipper found its target over his desk? Do you think that was acceptable behaviour? What about the English teacher who lifted you by a few strands of hair whilst twisting your ears at the same time? What about the Biology teacher who caned a boy because he wrote incorrectly a word dictated from the Biology text book? Which the teacher had to use because he did not appear to know any Biology? Harrow County in those years was built on violence and the threat of violence - a regime seen as entirely legitimate by its leading staff (I had very constructive email ding-dongs with JSG on this in 2001) until its ruthless expose in the late 1960s.


Name: Colin Dickens
Email:
Years_at_school: 1947-53
Date: 27 Jun 2012
Time: 21:37:42

Comments

Returning from holiday, I find violence has once again been a hot topic. I have said before that I experienced all forms of punishment (mostly deserved) including the strap, cuffs round the head, thrown chalk, being sent from the room, rapped knuckles, lines, detentions and once (briefly and unfairly) suspension. I found the “violence” the least of these. It was generally brief, instantaneous, quickly over and forgotten - and usually no more than to get one’s wandering attention or dismiss a momentary foolishness. What’s more, it rarely hurt – except when history master Campbell, who lost part of his right arm in the war, would dot one on the head with his gloved metal prosthesis. (To be fair, I don’t think he realised how much it hurt.) The only serious violence I encountered was by a poor, hopeless academic called Dixon who could not control a class, was ruthlessly bullied by the boys and flailed around with a heavy ruler in incompetent desperation. We knew we deserved it.

To deal with specifics, the only physical attention I ever saw from George Thorn was the opposite of violent and I can only conclude that the reference to violence by him was when, as Deputy Headmaster, it was his duty to administer the strap or cane. I saw quite a lot of Simpson both as Headmaster and as a Latin teacher and the only time I ever witnessed violence by him was when he administered the strap in his study. Swanny Amos, as Peter Garwood says, was never hard on anyone who tried – whether or not they succeeded – and his physical ministrations seemed to me trivial, although perhaps more frequent in the physical environment in which he toiled. He was certainly not in any way a sadist; it was just the “rough and tumble” of his job.

In my attempts to understand the periodic obsession with violence in the Guestbook I have come to the conclusion that there may have been a cultural crossover which developed in the late fifties, early sixties. (“Years at School” tends to support this.) Traditional discipline was questioned, rights were arrogated (often without responsibility), laisser faire became acceptable, authority ceased to be automatic, political correctness was born and we saw the “swinging sixties” and eventually student riots. It now seems likely to me that violence by authority in HCS did in fact increase in uncomprehending reaction to this zeitgeist. Whether it was as bad as anecdotal accounts have suggested I suppose I shall never know. 

By the way, Swanny Amos would let anyone know who cared to listen that he was not Welsh, but English. He was born in Monmouth.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 27 Jun 2012
Time: 16:22:21

Comments

Chris Rickwood voices a view held at the time and, so it appears, by some ever since. However,in the case of Deputy Head and Head of Music George Thorne, whilst his bum-patting, cuddling and gross caning rituals were beyond reprehensible his real sin was his lack of musicianship. That was his greatest crime as far as we musical ones were concerned. Only when Mr Waller played the organ did it sound like the fine instrument it was (defunct, now, I gather.) Shame on those who let that happen. Please will someone advise? I joined the school late ie in the middle of the Third Year (today's Year 9.) Just before my time, I understand that the pipes of Thorne's Organ (no schoolboy jokes please) were filled with bags of flour. Thus, at the Assembly, when he played the first strident chord, a great cloud of white powder emerged from the loft and descended on the bemused audience below. Is this apocryphal or true? I really don't know. It sounds too good to be a figment of the imagination. There were certainly sparky anti-Thorne elements who were capable of pulling off such a stunt. The Great HCS Organ Flour Incident. True of False? We need to know. Also, was plain flour used or self-raising. There's a second joke there somewhere but I'll let it pass. Talking about jokes - whilst some regard HCS as the equivalent of Stalag Luft 32 or Colditz, we must remember that for many of us it was huge fun. And on a daily basis. Just as cheeking the 'goons' was for captured, interned and bored RAF types. I remember laughing at Simpson and Co.'s antics far more than resenting them. Very character-building. Thanks Doc.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 26 Jun 2012
Time: 08:34:51

Comments

I agree with Peter Fowler but I'd take it further. I'd suggest that the behaviour of some Masters went beyond personal idiosyncrasies into much more sinister country. For instance George Thorn's cuddling, bum patting and the ritual he made of caning - Normal? Bigham, those cold, cold eyes and his obvious pleasure in caning a handful of boys every single lesson. Normal ? Suzy Whiteside patrolling the area around the Lecture Room between periods on the off chance he could find somebody talking who he could slipper. Normal? There are more examples.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 26 Jun 2012
Time: 07:39:28

Comments

I agree with Peter Fowler but I'd take it further. I'd suggest that the behaviour of some Masters went beyond personal idiosyncrasies into much more sinister country. For instance George Thorn's cuddling, bum patting and the ritual he made of caning - Normal? Bigham, those cold, cold eyes and his obvious pleasure in caning a handful of boys every single lesson. Normal ? Suzy Whiteside patrolling the area around the Lecture Room between periods on the off chance he could find somebody talking who he could slipper. Normal? There are more examples.


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/63
Date: 25 Jun 2012
Time: 06:00:19

Comments

It really makes me cross when it is assumed that those who criticise the Simpson days are written off as embittered failures (more or less the phrase Bill Peters used on a Facebook tirade). It is simply not the case; many of us who have subsequently had happy, successful and fulfilling lives look back agog at the antics that were endemic in the Doctor's School. The casual violence, sometimes extreme, of more than a few teachers; the single aspirational focus - Oxbridge for as many as possible - mollified only for those with particular abilities in sports, or on the stage, or as soldiers heading for Sandhurst; the crassness of the fourth form cramming which allowed those like me to skip the fifth year but have an almost perverse curriculum (no science after the third year? what lunacy was that?); the single sex aspect of the school which meant, as a sixth former doing arts subjects, no female comments on writers like Jane Austen and George Eliot, let alone Keats and Shelley; the awful treatment of those with special needs, with those like me, born with a heart defect, forced to sit in a freezing gym changing room for two hours whilst you lot played rugby. HMI tore the place to pieces - and they did this when HMI was still a byword for utter integrity, a respected group of gifted ex-headteachers who could smell the whiff of fanaticism from the Sheepcote Road.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 24 Jun 2012
Time: 21:39:44

Comments

School Field in 1926 - Aerial View from English Heritage http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/image/epw018761?search=harrow&ref=14  Lots of photos of Harrow & Environs in 1926 http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/asearch?search=harrow  Stunning quality considering taken with hand held cameras from open cockpit biplanes! Planes flew from Hendon Aerodrome - later RAF Hendon now RAF Museum.


Name: Keith Palmer
Email: palmerdotkeith57atgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 1968-1975
Date: 24 Jun 2012
Time: 17:16:15

Comments

The thoughts and further thoughts of Peter Garwood and Peter Ward respectively are largely accurate, but don't forget we all speak as we find (or found, to be grammatically correct). Bearing in mind I attended the school post-Simpson (indeed, I've learnt more about the man from this site than I ever did at school) my comments are based on the Avery era. I cannot agree that a willingness to work resulted in better teaching, though, certainly not in the earlier years. If you had a good teacher in a subject the likelihood was that you would thrive but, sadly, the reverse was also true. In my day this was epitomised by the Geography department, I did particularly well in the first couple of years under one teacher, then had a change in the third form, a man incapable of controlling the class, let alone teaching the subject. With regard to the streaming, I never understood why the C and D streams automatically took on more science (when it could have been poor marks in the science subjects that significantly lowered a pupil's average mark) and the A and B streams automatically took on another language. In my case, I was given Ancient Greek, the only good thing about that was I spent an enjoyable year in the company of Ken Waller! The point made about confidence is also very valid, I distinctly remember being relegated to Set 2 for French in the third year, where I did well enough to be promoted back to Set 1, only to struggle again. Going through the fifth form certainly did me no harm and, in the following year, I encountered the wonderful Reggie Goff who set me on my way to being an accountant from where, in 1988, I started my own business. However, with this last particular exception, I have always felt that I set out on life's rich path despite HCS, not because of it.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 24 Jun 2012
Time: 16:20:23

Comments

With great respect to Peter Garwood, I detect a contradiction in his logic. He claims HCS, under Dr Simpson, to have been a fine school, implying perhaps that those who disliked it may be embittered. That may be true in some cases. But the thrust of the debate is actually about Education and its values. Peter writes: 'to get to HCS we were the cream of the local crop.' And goes on: 'Accepting the fact that those in the 'C' and 'D' Forms were probably written off by Simpson...' Well, let's examine this. C and D Formers made up half of any one year in the first 4 years. Peter therefore admits that Simpson wrote off half of the local cream that came to him. Some school. Some waste. And confirmed by HMI the year after Simpson left. So much of good school teaching is about motivating, giving confidence and inspiring young people to believe in themselves. This is where Simpson let himself down. He wouldn't know what that means. HCS was the Curate's Egg. Good and bad in parts. It is not accurate to describe it as all good or all bad. In my own case, I write not out of feelings of bitterness or failure (a former 'B' Former who went on to gain a London Science Hons. Degree and 4-Year Teacher's Certificate.) I write as someone who has been in education, professionally, all my life with experience at both Primary and Secondary Levels. Young people should never be written off. If schools fail their pupils eg the 'C' and 'D' Formers or their equivalents, then examine the ethos. And let those in charge take the consequences. That's how schools are today - the irony being that many poor or failing Heads are encouraged to resign, some gaining re-employment as Ofsted Inspectors!


Name: Peter Garwood
Email: peterdotgarwood777atbtinternetdotcom
Years_at_school: 1953-61
Date: 24 Jun 2012
Time: 04:12:34

Comments

As one who went through the fifth form I cannot agree that we all felt 'vilified failures'. Accepting the fact that those in the C & D forms were probably already written off by Simpson, or certainly so by the end of the 3rd form, as making up the necessary numbers, a bit like the metalwork & woodwork shops. At the end of the fourth form most of us knew, to some extent, where our future lay. Don't forget that to get to HCS we were the cream of the local crop, so fairly intelligent. Some were obviously brighter than others and possibly more to the point, they were prepared to work and as a result, probably in receipt of better teaching. The school was what you made of it, if you accepted your limitations or weren't prepared to put the work in, then why should you feel vilified, disappointed perhaps but then life isn't so different from school. HCS was a fine school and in my view gave you a great start in life no matter what level you came out of it or where you went on to. This is borne out by the fact that those of my era, who are still in touch, have all been successful and more importantly seem happy with the way their life panned out, certainly not bitter, the school has to take some considerable credit for this.


Name: Keith Palmer
Email: palmerdotkeith57atgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 1968-1975
Date: 23 Jun 2012
Time: 17:48:21

Comments

Peter Ward is quite correct in his statement that those who went through the fifth form were "vilified and made to feel failures". Even 10 years after his attendance at the school, my parents were led to believe that skipping the fifth form should be regarded as the norm, consequently when I failed in this regard I received a parental ear-bashing when all I was doing was following a timetable as laid down nationally. I took 2 O-levels at the end of the fourth form, one of which was French, and passed both. However, for reasons that escape me now, I had to continue with the subject and take the exam again at the end of the fifth form, a waste of time that would have been better utilised on other subjects.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16at btinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 23 Jun 2012
Time: 14:29:35

Comments

Brian Hester misses the point. I suspect he was not at the school when Simpson's policy of 'O'Levels in the Fourth Year, thus missing ut the Fifth Year, was firmly established. The purpose of this policy was to produce an 'elite' that would jump a year and have two years to 'A' Level and an extra year for Oxbridge awards. Not standard entrance to Oxbridge but hot-housing the ablest pupils to gain special scholarships to enhance the Honours Board. To anyone at the school at the time, it was clear that the regime took great pride in a policy that included only a small minority of the most academic. The majority, who had to go through the Fifth Year, were vilified and made to feel failures (not necessarily borne out by their ultimate achievements.) This was the point made by HMI. A school is for everyone, not just the most academic. That is how we see things nowadays. Simpson's Greek view of education was myopic and two and a half thousand years out of date.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 23 Jun 2012
Time: 06:43:50

Comments

We must not blame poor old Simpson for everything. The policy of 15+ O-levels, or School Cert as it was then, was put in place by Randall Williams. At that time, schooling was compulsory only to age 14 and many homes welcomed the prospect of an additional worker in the household. Earnings prospects were greatly increased when that worker held a School Certificate. Parents might have been persuaded to leave a son at school for one more year but not for two. With the prospect before them of having to join the services at 18, boys tended to stay on at school longer during the war years. This tendency accelerated with passage of an education act around 1944. Where previously few boys entered the sixth form, about 40 of us entered the science 6th in 1944 and there was an immediate problem in providing staff and classroom space. Increased use was made of existing arrangements to use facilities at Harrow School and the then Harrow Tech building and for a short while some maths classes were provided at the Girls' school. Those of us in the sixth form during this time often spent less than an hour a day in the schol building and could wander around town with impunity. Towards the end of the war, when food became more plentiful, a restaurant called Ann's Pantry opened up on Station Road. We would pause here each morning for coffee and Eccles cakes. On the one morning I missed this regular activity, Randall Williams showed up with the governors only to find all the tables occupied by boys. Repercussions of this event were far reaching but I was forrtunately in the clear. I sometimes wonder if it was the Ann's Pantry Affair that prompted the governors to conclude 'something radical must be done to straighten out the school' and led to the recruiting of Simpson. Apart from that incident, I neither saw nor heard anything of the governors.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 23 Jun 2012
Time: 06:43:49

Comments

We must not blame poor old Simpson for everything. The policy of 15+ O-levels, or School Cert as it was then, was put in place by Randall Williams. At that time, schooling was compulsory only to age 14 and many homes welcomed the prospect of an additional worker in the household. Earnings prospects were greatly increased when that worker held a School Certificate. Parents might have been persuaded to leave a son at school for one more year but not for two. With the prospect before them of having to join the services at 18, boys tended to stay on at school longer during the war years. This tendency accelerated with passage of an education act around 1944. Where previously few boys entered the sixth form, about 40 of us entered the science 6th in 1944 and there was an immediate problem in providing staff and classroom space. Increased use was made of existing arrangements to use facilities at Harrow School and the then Harrow Tech building and for a short while some maths classes were provided at the Girls' school. Those of us in the sixth form during this time often spent less than an hour a day in the schol building and could wander around town with impunity. Towards the end of the war, when food became more plentiful, a restaurant called Ann's Pantry opened up on Station Road. We would pause here each morning for coffee and Eccles cakes. On the one morning I missed this regular activity, Randall Williams showed up with the governors only to find all the tables occupied by boys. Repercussions of this event were far reaching but I was forrtunately in the clear. I sometimes wonder if it was the Ann's Pantry Affair that prompted the governors to conclude 'something radical must be done to straighten out the school' and led to the recruiting of Simpson. Apart from that incident, I neither saw nor heard anything of the governors.


Name: Jeff Maynard
Email: jeffrey at jeffreymaynard dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-69
Date: 22 Jun 2012
Time: 16:31:24

Comments

Fellow Old Gaytonian Below is an email from Christopher Swan re Bill Swan's Memorial Service. If you are able to go, please contact Christopher directly. Geoff Spring Association Secretary Old Gaytonians Association Subject: W H Swan - Memorial Service Hello Geoff, The Memorial Service for my father will be held at St George's RAF Memorial Chapel at Biggin Hill, on Thursday 28th June at 15:00. Any Old Gaytonians who wish to attend the service will be most welcome to the service and to tea afterwards. The postcode for the Chapel is TN16 3EJ. Would you please circulate this information as appropriate. We would appreciate an indication of the number of people who will attend (for the catering arrangements!). With kind regards Chris Christopher Swan 32 Westfield Avenue Sanderstead South Croydon CR2 9JU United Kingdom Phone: +44 (0)20 8657 4757 Mobile: +44 (0)7500 116 928 Email: swan.chris at yahoo dot co dot uk


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 22 Jun 2012
Time: 15:30:49

Comments

In response to Brian Hester, HMI would have inspected HCS, at some stage, although I am certainly not aware of that in my time. However, I gather the school was inspected almost immediately after Simpson retired and was castigated, esp. his established policy of force-feeding 15 year-olds to take 'O' Levels and jump the Fifth Form. Five years being the norm in most Grammar Schools of the time. I have tried to check into this but cannot penetrate the World of Ofsted which appears to have taken over the old HMI - well beyond my computing powers or patience. Of course, the old-time HMI was a toothless puppy when compared with the present Ofsted. How do I know? I have been inspected by both in my time. HMI in 1968 and Ofsted in 1999. Chalk and cheese. Or British Rail ticket inspectors and the Gestapo! Simpson vs. Ofsted? No contest. He would have been 'offered retirement' by the otherwise complacent Board of Governors. Does anyone recall the Alderman Mrs Nott-Cock? (I kid you not, cock.) At Speech days in the 60s, she would spiel out as Head of the Governors, sycophantic nonsense about the supreme excellence of Simpson's elitist Academy. He had people like her eating out of his hand. It was another world.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 22 Jun 2012
Time: 15:30:48

Comments

In response to Brian Hester, HMI would have inspected HCS, at some stage, although I am certainly not aware of that in my time. However, I gather the school was inspected almost immediately after Simpson retired and was castigated, esp. his established policy of force-feeding 15 year-olds to take 'O' Levels and jump the Fifth Form. Five years being the norm in most Grammar Schools of the time. I have tried to check into this but cannot penetrate the World of Ofsted which appears to have taken over the old HMI - well beyond my computing powers or patience. Of course, the old-time HMI was a toothless puppy when compared with the present Ofsted. How do I know? I have been inspected by both in my time. HMI in 1968 and Ofsted in 1999. Chalk and cheese. Or British Rail ticket inspectors and the Gestapo! Simpson vs. Ofsted? No contest. He would have been 'offered retirement' by the otherwise complacent Board of Governors. Does anyone recall the Alderman Mrs Nott-Cock? (I kid you not, cock.) At Speech days in the 60s, she would spiel out as Head of the Governors, sycophantic nonsense about the supreme excellence of Simpson's elitist Academy. He had people like her eating out of his hand. It was another world.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 21 Jun 2012
Time: 13:51:07

Comments

I am sure Chris Rickwood is right about the rules governing corporal punishment being codified. That was why Simpson kept a record, incomplete though it might have been. I was never aware of inspectors visiting the school although I suppose they must have. What surprises me is the change in attitudes. You would think some of the parents would have raised a fuss. Putting canes into the hands of men like Thorne and Bigham was unforgivable.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 21 Jun 2012
Time: 08:39:20

Comments

I believe that in 50s & 60s each County Council had its own set of rules about corporal punishment. I suspect, at this late stage, there is no way of discovering what rules Middlesex had in place. However, I would be very surprised if HCS obeyed or even acknowledged such rules existed.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 21 Jun 2012
Time: 00:57:43

Comments

Last night I was pleased to attend the premiere of The Time Traveller a comic opera in one act at the Grimsdyke Hotel, Old Redding. Music by Bryan Kesselman,words by Philip Barnett who both also performed. Chris Coote played the piano and a lovely lady by the name of Alexandra McPhee sang. I was with my wife Asheeta and we sat with Keith Adamson and his wife Hazel. I am not sure whether there were any other Old Gayts in the audience but the event was well attended. Anyway, well done to all concerned and I am sure that we all wish Philip and Bryan well when they take their creation to the Gilbert & Sullivan festival at Buxton kn August.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 20 Jun 2012
Time: 17:19:15

Comments

Interested to read my old cricket captain's comments on old Swanny Amos. Other than the one incident (see a previous 'blog' if that's what this is) I generally got on OK with him. But it was a huge advantage being good at sport (like Peter.) It was also wise to keep out of the scrum in his Third XV in which I played Fly Half. I had to watch him swinging his metal whistle on a chain into the arched spines of the 'scrummers'. 'Get your back down, boy!' in that husky Welsh voice. Whilst Simpson was an awful snob, I don't suspect that the woodwork, metalwork, gym and caretaker's flat were deliberately sited away from 'academe.' These were planned just prior to the War and the building held up (there are interesting photos in the Archive.) This would have been pre-Simpson. It also makes sense to place a gym, woodwork and metalwork complex away from normal classrooms. At my first Grammar School at Doncaster (circa 1350) the Music Room and Woodwork were in adjacent Victorian buildings. We had a gifted and splendid Music Master (the antithesis of G. Thorn) and it must have been murder for him trying to work through all the biffing and banging next door. This arrangement had one advantage. The Music Master, one Cyril Busby, one day raced into the Woodwork Room and wrestled a piece of four by two from the bully Woodwork man's grasp. He was heavily engaged in clobbering one of my friends for no good reason. Cyril Busby was also our caring Form Master.This goes to show, of course, that Grammar School bullying in the 1950s was not restricted to Simpson's inglorious 50 year-old academy. In the case of the HCS arch-hitters;slappers;caners;slipperers;chalk throwers etc. I suggest that some of these brutes were at the school for far too long. In terms of overall society they held very minor professional positions. But in the microcosmic Grammar School context they gradually assumed the mantle of big fish in a rather small pond. How would they have got on in the big, outside world of adults? They were hardly fully-formed and rounded human beings. Also, I believe that institutional thuggery by somewhat inadequate individuals became the accepted norm under the Simpson regime. A culture of violence developed and possibly grew to a head during my own time there. At Doncaster Grammar, I enjoyed an amusing moment when my Geography Master, also Cricket master, hurled a piece of chalk at my head for daring to talk. Being a useful cricketer (aged 13) I caught it one-handed and returned 'over the top of the stumps'. He took this well but whether or not I would have dared do such a thing to the likes of Bigham, Swanny, Clarkson, Thorn etc is open to doubt.


Name: Peter Garwood
Email: peterdotgarwood777atbtinternetdotcom
Years_at_school: 1953-61
Date: 20 Jun 2012
Time: 07:50:19

Comments

Interesting to read peoples' comments about Swanny Amos. Apart from one occasion when I got whacked by him for swimming the length of the pool underwater during a swimming lesson, I did get the house points for it, I got on well with him and Gordon Underwood. They like all of us had bad days but as has been said you were fairly safe if you tried your best at whatever it was. Also bear in mind that they, unlike most of the other members of staff, had to work a six day week supervising sport on Saturday. I'm sure it's fair comment that they, Harry Webb and Hervie Collins probably felt a bit isolated from other members of staff. Did Square ever talk to them. As far as I'm concerned they were better teachers at their subjects than many other members of staff Do you think it was a coincidence that the new gym,caretaker's flat, the metalwork and woodwork shops were as far away as possible from the rest of the school, housed in the extension that abutted the main building.


Name: Brianwhesteratgmail.com
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 19 Jun 2012
Time: 19:48:37

Comments

In retrospect I have come to wonder if Amos had a mental health problem. His popularity clearly declined over the years. He was stuck in the same job which must have been fun when he was young but not when he got older. I don't suppose he had much in common with the rest of the staff all of whom were 'gowned' and presumably earning more money. He also got to take the morning and afternoon line ups so had to stand out in the cold while the rest of the staff were having a last smoke in the warm common room. By the time we got to know him, I believe he felt trapped in a job he hated. Hence his behaviour problem.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16at btinternet.com
Years_at_school: Far too many
Date: 19 Jun 2012
Time: 16:42:20

Comments

Poor Swanny Amos. He does come in for stick - yes, 'stick's' the word. Those that live by the stick perish by the stick. Or words to that effect. Peter Woollard's account is curiously close to my own. Having received a TB jab the day before, my arm swelled a little but did not prevent my doing PE. As the crowd of boys pushed through the gymnasium door, Swanny slashed out at me and swung a heavy hand across the plaster protecting the superating injection. Really painful but a good shot. A man amongst boys. What a hero.


Name: Peter Woollard
Email: peterewoollardathotmail.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1955-1960
Date: 18 Jun 2012
Time: 00:35:41

Comments

My recollections of Swanny Amos invariably contain some form of brutality. It could be making overweight boys run an extra lap of the school field or using a knotted rope on those unable to perform an exercise. An example from my own personal experience is when I produced a letter from my mother requesting that I be excused from PT as I had a large and painful abscess on a delicate part of my anatomy. 'A note from Mummy eh Woollard' said Amos disdainfully as he tore it up. 'Get changed, exercise will do it good' He was also witheringly contemptuous when I opted for cross country rather than rugby as my failing sight was causing me to grab boys' heads instead of the ball. He clearly felt that cross country was for cowardly wimps.


Name: Martin (Bogue) Humphrey
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1947-1955
Date: 14 Jun 2012
Time: 07:43:47

Comments

Fascinating! Particularly the posting by Gerry Freed since we were together in the sixth form and he mentions several occurrences which have awakened long forgotten memories. Leonhart was one although I do remember an occasion after school when the grand piano had been left unattended on the stage of the new hall and 'Split' as he was known to me, sat at the keyboard and played one of the classic piano concertos. Whilst I cannot remember which it was I can remember 'Split' imploring me not to tell anyone that he could play the piano for fear of it coming to the attention of GT. Another piano related memory is a concert given in the new hall in which three boys played six hands on the piano. The piece was Qui Vive by Ganz but who were the players? Possibly two of them could have been the brothers mentioned by Gerry Freed and the other might have been Hayward. Has anyone any suggestions? Going further back in time before the new hall was opened there was a film event which has left a permanent impression on me to this day. The film was 'Metropolis' and because of its great length we were allowed to start during the last period of the afternoon. This film and its history has intrigued me ever since and due to the loss of much of the original I have often wondered what became of the version we saw all those years ago. It was undoubtedly 16mm and would have been safety film. Can anyone throw any light on where it came from and what happened to it? My closing comment goes back to Gerry Freed where I remember him making his own transistors by poking phosphor-bronze wires into germanium diodes. Very much hit and miss.


Name: Brian Hester
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 13 Jun 2012
Time: 19:30:54

Comments

The level of violence was much lower in pre-Simpson days. I sometimes wonder what the masters were really like. I was in awe of them until the sixth form.What would they have been like as neighbours for instance. What other job might they have been capable of? Many of them were very eccentric. Simpson condoned violence far more than Williams did but both kept their staff on a tight rein. Simpson's job description was clearly to shake things up. This is why five of the six old boys on staff left shortly after Simpson's arrival. The staff room must have hosted some interesting conversations but we'll never know.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 13 Jun 2012
Time: 11:21:30

Comments

Ooops - posted before I intended. Was going to add that Glyn Johns and Gerwyn Williams were nice enough individuals but both very free with the slipper. As an aside, I imagine many of the masters today would face jail for their violence - and that includes some we all lionised. Harry Mees for instance was quite happy to smack somebody hard around the head (in my case once hit 3 times hard enough to cause a concussion)


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 13 Jun 2012
Time: 11:11:46

Comments

It seemed that violence was a requirement for PE teachers


Name: brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 13 Jun 2012
Time: 05:30:45

Comments

I agree 'Swanny' was never moted for abstinence from violent behaviour but suspect he became more so in his later years when the Simpson regime actively encouraged it.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 12 Jun 2012
Time: 19:52:13

Comments

Sorry, but I cannot agree with the exculpation of Amos. Routinely he would take a slipper or a rope end to some unfortunate whose only crime was a physical inability to perform one exercise or another. Additionally, I can't forget the runs down to Watford Road rugby fields when he'd cut a switch from the hedge and joyfully whack any laggards across their bare legs, leaving marks that were still there days later.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 12 Jun 2012
Time: 15:07:42

Comments

Sorry to learn Ken is not in good shape, Bob. He looked much as ever when I spotted him 'across a crowded room' at the school's 90th but I did not want to interrupt what was obviously a deep conversation, I think with Hugh Metcalfe. I recall Ken's, and that of Peter Bellamy. athletic prowess. We were all in the ATC together. Please remember me to Bob. I believe your assessment of Amos to be fair. He needed to know you were trying and I cannot fault him for that.


Name: Bob Blackburn
Email: With Alex Bateman
Years_at_school: 1943 - 1949
Date: 12 Jun 2012
Time: 07:42:55

Comments

Tops of Post Boxes were painted in a yellowy-green colour to change back to red if there was a gas attack, no-one said how long the process took ! Well done Alex for the OG Magazine and to all the contributors. Lots of golden names from the past. I was inthe great Jack Herman's B 15 in the 1950's, best team. Also concur that Tony Rhoades deserves accolade of best ever OG, a perfect gentleman. Quite unhappy with comments about Swanny Amos, if you were prepared to work he gave all the encouragement needed to better sporting performances. Missing trophies, have not heard of the 'Victor Ladorum'cup awarded to the best all round athlete, Peter Bellamy I believe had a monopoly of winning during the 1940's, but my big brother Ken Blackburn also won it in about 1946. Sorry to say that Ken is in very poor health. Best wishes to all who remember me, Bob Blackburn


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 10 Jun 2012
Time: 05:37:22

Comments

I'd forgotten about the removal of signposts but now recall it was done with the intention of confusing paratroopers in the event of an invasion. Drivers of cars were required to remove the rotor arm from their cars' distributors so the same paratroopers could not hot wire them! Place names on railway stations were also covered with paper labels bearing the name in small print. All serious stuff at the time and based on experiences of the invasion of the Low Countries. We were all required to keep 'iron rations' in the form of chocolate biscuits or similar item in our desks. Such items become unobtainable but we kept them for several years. We all ate them in a single orgy one afternoon when told they were not longer needed.


Name: Roy Goldman
Email: roygraceatbigpond.net.au
Years_at_school: 1943-1949
Date: 10 Jun 2012
Time: 00:07:37

Comments

There were many secrets in those days Colin. All signposts were removed from road junctions for example, to impede wicked German spies in their travels. Paradoxically as every 4th Harrow scout knew at the time, Ordnance Survey maps could be purchased in Woolworths for a few pence!


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyondercouk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 08 Jun 2012
Time: 03:04:41

Comments

I remember it well, Brian. It was scheduled for 4th June, but the meteorologists advised the later date. My most puzzled recollection is of my mother (my father served abroad most of the war) telling me on 4th that it had been put back - but not to tell anyone. Even at the age of eight, I wondered how a timid housewife knew such a momentous secret. I never did ask her, and it's too late now.


Name: brian hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 06 Jun 2012
Time: 06:00:34

Comments

The D-Day invasion of Europe was 68 years ago today. After school lunch we all trooped into what was then the New Chemistry lab to hear Churchill's speech in which he reported the landings were successful. He is reported to have comitted to making the speech whatever the outcome so he must have had a 'failure' speech ready as well, but text has never been disclosed. It was a big day in world history but receives little note now.


Name: Kathie Hulley
Email: kathiehulleyatgmail.com
Years_at_school:
Date: 03 Jun 2012
Time: 20:48:02

Comments

Michael - I did get a rounded education at HCGS. However, typing was not one of the subjects, neither was proof-reading. I wasn't THAT bad at history though! Kathie


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: Same as ever
Years_at_school: Seven of Joe Avery
Date: 30 May 2012
Time: 16:27:50

Comments

I was at HCGS from 1952-1058. Kathie - did anyone tell Edward the Confessor? Michael.


Name: Kathie Hulley
Email: kathiehulleyat gmail.com
Years_at_school:
Date: 30 May 2012
Time: 14:29:29

Comments

I was at HCGS from 1952-1058. My brother was Alan Bray who went to HCBS from 1949. I went out for a short time with the pipe major from CCF pipe band, one John Franklin. I believe he is the "X" on the far right of the W.O. photo from 1958. BTW Major Bigham lived at the corner of the road where we lived.


Name: Kathie Hulley
Email: kathiehulleyat gmail.com
Years_at_school:
Date: 30 May 2012
Time: 14:29:28

Comments

I was at HCGS from 1952-1058. My brother was Alan Bray who went to HCBS from 1949. I went out for a short time with the pipe major from CCF pipe band, one John Franklin. I believe he is the "X" on the far right of the W.O. photo from 1958. BTW Major Bigham lived at the corner of the road where we lived.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 28 May 2012
Time: 05:14:55

Comments

I had a marvellous afternoon at the 4th Harrow reunion yesterday afternoon. I met Tony Horne for the first time in many years. His dad owned the timber yard in Edgware and was a great pal of my father and indeed myself. Also great to see Tom Backer. Thanks also to both Edward Kerr and Philip Levi. They have digitised an enormous archive of 4th Harrow films. My wife was delighted to see film of a smart young man on the Paris -Switzerland trip of 1967. As I told her, Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose. Edward was also kind enough to organise a dinner in the evening. Well done to him and everyone else concerned.


Name: Angela Jones
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 27 May 2012
Time: 10:05:33

Comments

Looking for any information I could find in relation to Mr Alan Somerset - I am compiling a Life Book on his behalf - he attended Harrow Grammar School in the early 1930's. You have some wonderful photographs on your site! Kind regards, Angela Jones angela.jones@age-concern-cardiff.org.uk


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 140-7
Date: 27 May 2012
Time: 09:32:59

Comments

Over the years, the temptation for the holder of a cup has always been strong, especially for a 'leaver'. When I started school,caps were still being worn even by senior boys. Prefeccts qualified for special caps bearing a metallic silver badge. Colour caps had a ight blue segment at the front. The school captain had a cap bearing an oval badge of enamel in black and red with gold trim. There was quite a strom in a tea cup when one cpatain failed to return the badge at the end of his term. By the time I reached the exhalted status of prefect, none of the senior boys wore school caps and the silver badges had all gone. Not one seems to have found its way to the archives.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 27 May 2012
Time: 08:37:47

Comments

The temptation to keep cups instead of returning them on the 'due date' has always been strong and especially so when the culprit was a leaver. When I started at school, the prefects all had special green caps with a school badge made of silver. Those boys who had earned school colours had caps with a light blue segment at the front. The school captain had a cap with an elegant school badge in red and black enamel with I believe, gold lettering and edging. The badges were supposed to be handed back at conclusion of tenure. The whole system fell apart about 1944 when there was a 'storm in a teacup' about one head boy retaining his badge. The prefects must have followed suit as the practice of silver badges had ceased by the time I made the grade in 1946. None seems to have its way into the archives!


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 26 May 2012
Time: 04:02:06

Comments

A number of 'cups' appear to be missing, incl. the Cricket Batting and Bowling in which I have a personal interest. Likewise the Charles Darwin Spirogyra Gold Medal, awarded in 1963, to the late and great Biologist Lt. Col. W.M. Bigham. Even Sir Paul Nurse has missed out on this but the Nobel Prize for Science may have brought consolation. Keep trying Paul!


Name: Dick Worsfold
Email: richardworsfoldathotmail.com
Years_at_school: 1951 1959
Date: 24 May 2012
Time: 10:16:46

Comments

Browsing through the site to catch up on any new stuff, I noted the absence of the Chandler trophy in the trophies section. It was for the most improved athlete Did it get nicked or just forgotten. It was not very big as I recall.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 24 May 2012
Time: 05:03:47

Comments

Bit of a disaster last night since our speaker was caught up in that shambles on the Jubilee line. Still, he got out safe ly eventually. The event was saved by Jeremy Krause who paid a fulsome tribute to the late Maury Venn who inspired Jeremy to pursue his career in Geography.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school: Harrow County Items on Ebay
Date: 22 May 2012
Time: 17:05:34

Comments

Two items on Sale now School Cap Card and - very puzzling to me: HARROW COUNTY SCHOOL IN CAMP AT RUSTINGTON NEAR CHICHESTER


Name: Edward Kerr
Email: edward-kerr at hotmail.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1960-66
Date: 13 May 2012
Time: 10:13:49

Comments

Some OGs will be attending the 4th Harrow's event on the 27th and may be interested in reviving another old tradition. In days gone by, we often ended Sunday afternoon activities with a curry - in those days at the "New Taj Mahal" on the corner of Blawith Road and Station Road. Sadly, the New Taj Mahal is long gone. In order to revive the tradition (and, also, because we will be hungry !!), a number of us are proposing to have a curry at the Kasturi Restaurant in Kenton (very close to the Masonic Centre where the OGA Dinners are held). I have talked to the Restaurant Management and suggested that the numbers could be "between five and twenty-five" - they are quite happy with this. They normally open at 18.00, but would open earlier if they knew that numbers would justify this. You can decide on the day, but it would be much better if we had some idea of numbers beforehand. You are most welcome to send me an e-mail, as above. Obviously, partners are very welcome and children would be fine. Regards to all EDWARD KERR


Name: Derek Edwards
Email: dejodelatgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1947 -1952
Date: 12 May 2012
Time: 02:58:24

Comments

Good to catch up on some of the new additions. Best Wishes. Derek


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58063
Date: 11 May 2012
Time: 17:33:11

Comments

Pete Fowler is to be congratulted for bringing to our attention the significance of Simpson's sister who later made royal connections (not to mention dubious assignations of a similar nature with the then Nazi German Ambassador to Great Britain.) But Fowler fails to mention Simpson's brothers who, for many decades, ran a successful gents outfitters in Picadilly. Simpson Brothers, as they were known, were responsible for bringing out brown suede shoes, 'shortie' raincoats and 15 inch trouser bottoms. And more notably the infamous 'woodpecker' shoes much loved and fondly referred to by their revered and more academic brother. The family appears to have been multi-faceted and talented. I understand a later member captained the Australians at cricket, following his Third Cousin's fine example in representing Scotland at the sport. Dr Simpson's fine Test batting average is of interest. I believe it is somewhere in the 4.1 region. That said, he was responsible for a number of catches behind the wicket and stumpings. No mean feat. Perhaps we should open a file in Wickipedia on him.


Name: Paul Romney
Email: paulromney03a taim.com
Years_at_school: 56-63
Date: 11 May 2012
Time: 08:10:04

Comments

Naturally Bert Weedon's death was noticed in the UK, but I was surprised to see a "celebrity" (as opposed to local-interest) obituary in the Baltimore Sun (recycled from the Chicago Tribune).


Name: Pete Fowler
Email:
Years_at_school: 56/63
Date: 11 May 2012
Time: 04:02:05

Comments

I think Simpson had a sister who seduced our glorious King and nearly brought down The Empire: he kept this very quiet, but was forced, as a result, to give a job to an army corporal who knew the dark secrets of Dunfermline. On another point, and as a new paragraph, Bert Weedon's son Geoff was, indeed, in a band. This was The Soul Brothers, in which I pretended to be a blind black singer. The group was described, in a Harrow Observer review of one of the school concerts, as a 'local band who will stay that way'. When we performed a tortuously long version of What'd I Say, waifs and strays used to get on the stage to sing the grunts required in the call and response sections of the song. These included, on at least one occasion, Harvey Schildkraut and Roger Glover; and I remember saying to Roger 'you really ought to get out more and do something with your life. Perhaps you should learn the bass, it's only got four strings and is therefore cheaper than a normal guitar'. The Soul Brothers, in the meantime, had a stunningly memorable recording test at Pye Records. The producer at the session was Tony Hatch who was a bit miffed from the beginning because one of our hangers-on knocked over the drumkit belonging to The Searchers. When we had completed - somehow - four numbers, he called me and Geoff to his desk and told us 'he had never, ever, had his time wasted so badly'. Geoff, by the way, had a really successful advertising career and now lives near Exeter. He was gutted about his Dad, of course, he was a really great father to him. (WARNING! There may be some inaccuracies in this entry for which the Editor takes no responsibility)


Name: Ian Gawn
Email: ian.gawnatorange.fr
Years_at_school: 1955-62
Date: 11 May 2012
Time: 01:58:04

Comments

I saw or heard the other day that Bert weedon had died, aged around 92 as I recall. Did he not have an input into one or two the school pop bands - indeed I seem to recall he had a son who played in one of them. I think Bert was also a speaker at VIth Form Society.


Name: Richard Buckley
Email: richardatspaceplanner.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1959-65
Date: 10 May 2012
Time: 04:50:26

Comments

As I may have posted before, we named our first born Alexander Russell in complete ignorance that these were the hated Simpson's first names. We only found out many years later. We were always set on Alexander but had we known I somehow think we would have found another middle name! How sad that I feel it proper to call Simpson 'the hated Simpson'. Not much of an epitaph is it for a man who, for all his many faults, I suppose did his best?


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 09 May 2012
Time: 06:50:30

Comments

Brian, I'm sure you are correct. A little research (which I SHOULD have done BEFORE posting) shows that Alexander Russell is a pretty rare combination of names in England, it is much less rare in Scotland


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 58-63
Date: 08 May 2012
Time: 16:15:23

Comments

I know of no connection with the former, distinguished Scottish knight (see previous correspondence.) However, recent research reveals that Dr A R Simpson, the popular and well-loved Headmaster of Harrow County County School in the mid-20th century, was descended from an historic line of Gaelic despots, the McSquares of the Outer Isles. Family motto: (they had no Latin at the time)'Boys should be caned and not heard.'


Name: Brian Hester
Email: Brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-47
Date: 06 May 2012
Time: 17:38:31

Comments

An interesting speculation there Chris but I suspect if it were true we would have heard of it long since! I had never heard of the gntleman in question.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 02 May 2012
Time: 18:02:29

Comments

I suspect this has been asked before but I cannot find the answer. Was our Dr Alexander Russell Simpson descended from SIR ALEXANDER RUSSELL SIMPSON, Kt., M.D., D.Sc.(Hon. Causa), LL.D


Name: Ian Park
Email: ianparkathillwooldridge.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1962-1968
Date: 12 Apr 2012
Time: 01:12:51

Comments

I enjoyed the Centenary Dinner very much.Seeing Martin Flack in his Barbados cricket tour blazer was amazing.Mine was much too large for me,so I ditched it !!That was the tour when Flacky broke the 24 hour rum punch drinking record,mind you he passed out at 11 in the evening,and had to go back the following morning to beat the record. Happy days,the cricket was of high quality,we played against several West Indies cricketers,including Collis King,Albert Padmore,Desmond Haynes and Malcolm Marshall,to name a few.Keep up the good work on the website Jeff.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 09 Apr 2012
Time: 09:34:03

Comments

Very sorry to hear of the passing of Bill Swan at the grand old age of 90 after a brief illness. A wartime fighter pilot, he became a test pilot and flew more than 50 types, including nearly every marque of Hurrican, most Spitfires and early jet fighters - and a Lysander at one stage. And a Tornado in his eighties! I once asked him whether preferred the Hurricane or the Spitfire. His reply was, "The Spitfire for flying; the Hurricane for fighting." After the war he joined the Foreign Office where he was a contemporary of Ted Blundell. A regular and loyal attender at OG functions, he just missed the Centenary Dinner. He would have been the first to rise at Roll Call. Much missed.


Name: Callum Kerr
Email: ckerrATSkorpionzinc.com.na
Years_at_school: 70-77
Date: 01 Apr 2012
Time: 00:55:27

Comments

Saddened to belatedly note the passing of Maurie Venn last month, coming after I also belatedly learnt of the premautre death of the other inspiration of my geological career (a university lecturer). I dont think I can say Maurie Venn was a great teacher, to be honest, though as I try and remember specifics of all those years ago in the mid 70's it is somewhat vague. He was intimidating, i think, but not in a nasty way - more aloof I think. Certainly a pretty unique character at the school, and the source of some great quotes. I did get a chance to see him at the school when I had started my career, but found him just as intimidating then!


Name: Robert Tabb
Email: robert.tabb73atgooglemail.com
Years_at_school: 56 - 63
Date: 28 Mar 2012
Time: 22:08:52

Comments

Just seen BasketBall Video 2011-2012 on NEW items. The team looks fantastic. Never had BB in my day at HCS although I should have done it at 6ft 5ins. Tennis and Badminton was my sport


Name: ian sanderson
Email: iansanderson2209atgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1981 to 1984
Date: 26 Mar 2012
Time: 13:26:18

Comments

i was in mr stanleys form from 1981 to 1984


Name: Bob Garratt
Email: garrattsatbtconnect.com
Years_at_school: 1954-62
Date: 26 Mar 2012
Time: 05:45:39

Comments

Just had a message from Paul Oliver who has been ill but wants to come to the OGA Centenary at Kenton on Friday. Is there anyone driving down and back from Oxfordshire (Wotton)on Friday who could give him a lift, please? Be careful, sadly he's not even sure that he will be fit that day: and i found that he seemed to be having a bit of memory problem. Thanks for any help that can be offered. Bob Garratt.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 19 Mar 2012
Time: 04:19:37

Comments

Referring to Alf Wallbanks' comments (6 March 2012) I note fresh input to the never ending Simpsonian Debate. The embers burst into flames every now and again. He provided interesting insight into the Doctor as a teacher of Classics. As a mere 'scientist' I was not subjected to the great man's classroom attempts. Just an aside...I am surprised that, before now, the distinct connection between Homer and Simpson has not been made. The Doctor would have made a memorable cartoon character in his mortar board, academic gown and blue suede 'woodpecker shoes.'


Name: Ian Gawnhere
Email: ian.gawnatorange.fr
Years_at_school: 1955-62
Date: 17 Mar 2012
Time: 08:05:58

Comments

Sad to read of the death of David Ogilvie. He lived a couple of hundred yards from me on the corner of Pamela Gdns in Eastcote. If I remember correctly he and his family were the "family" in a 1950s National Savings poster. Used to make model aircraft with David and a guy called Tribe (Mike?) who became well known in national model aircraf circles. RIP


Name: Paul Danon
Email: paul at danon.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1966-73
Date: 17 Mar 2012
Time: 04:56:16

Comments

John Ling taught maths to form 2A in 1967 and 1968 and then became form master of 3A and 4A in 1968 to 70. He and his wife Mary (who as Mary Hughes also taught at HCS) have offered to host a lunchtime reunion of that form in Harrow on Saturday 30 June. If you'd like to attend, please email paul@danon.co.uk Partners also welcome but, if you bring children, bring something to keep them amused as the Ling children have all grown up.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 14 Mar 2012
Time: 19:40:08

Comments

Was Tom Dimmick the one who wrote the "threefold Amen" Being totally non-musical I was always intrigued by the phrase "we'll close with Dimmicks three fold amen" I just could not fathom what could be difficulkt about writing an Amen - no matter how many fold.


Name: Adrian Kerridge
Email: adrian_kerridgeathotmail.com
Years_at_school:
Date: 12 Mar 2012
Time: 09:25:30

Comments

I am looking to get in touch with Tommy Dimmick he was at the school in 1951 I found his picture on your site Form 3b 1951. At that time I was at Ealing Grammar, Tom was a friend of mine - perhaps you can help me to locate him. Adrian Kerridge p.s. a great website I wish Ealing Grammar had one like your one.


Name: Peter Garwood
Email: peterdotgarwood777atbtinternetdotcom
Years_at_school: 1953-61
Date: 09 Mar 2012
Time: 00:57:46

Comments

Alf, good to see you are still around and as feisty as ever !!!!


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 08 Mar 2012
Time: 06:08:15

Comments

Paul Nurse has written to the Times today (headline 'Unsatisfactory'), dealing with one of the topics which he raised in the Dimbleby lecture last week, namely the lack of support by government for R&D in science and engineering. If you believe that he is right (which I do), it doesn't take two minutes to bang off a letter to your local MP drawing the issue to his her attention.


Name: A Wallbank
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 07 Mar 2012
Time: 01:20:25

Comments

Oop,s! Far too many "wrong notes." Apologies, especially to Aul' Reekie. Regret eyesight not what it was. However,problem with privilege deeply unalterably genetic. A.W.


Name: Jeremy (Jerry) Krause
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 06 Mar 2012
Time: 21:45:47

Comments

Maurie Venn

I'm saddened to hear of the death of a brilliant teacher. I quote from my article about Harrow County which, ironically I've just submitted to the OGA.
When the option choices were presented to me I chose Geology. Maurie Venn inspired me with his innate ability to turn complex ideas into accessible strands of knowledge, skills and understanding. Dry humour, a twinkle of the eye and a deft touch of anthropomorphism could turn the highly idiosyncratic study of graptolites into the ‘must have’ piece of knowledge! The greatest gift the school bestowed on me was Maurie asking me to write field guides for Geology society field trips. I got to grip with research ideas and planning the visits so that others could have a ‘good day out’ and also learn something! The ability to write and plan and think coherently has never left me.


Name: Alf Wallbank
Email: A.Wallbankattesco.net
Years_at_school: 55-61
Date: 06 Mar 2012
Time: 03:57:18

Comments

I have only just become aware of various comments concerning Dr.Simpson and his regime and perhaps I can offer an explanation that I as an Aberdonian brought up in England have known from the the moment I met him in the classroom. Simpson was a 2nd rate Scots "Dominee" who could not teach, so depended on being a bully and using the stick. I too had the privilige of being taught by the superb, memorable Bernie Marchant,and the inadequate ARS and was probably Simpson's only pupil who was accustomed to hearing Scots and London accents every day of my life. Simpson's pathetic efforts to sound "not Scots" in England and "Oxford" to Scots are a treasured memory, but showed his total insecurity. Hons, Phd. etc. are hardly uncommon in Scots education and Arbroath and Dundee are very worthy; but he had reached his limit. Dr.Simpson of a great Scots Academy? Professor Simpson of Edinburg, Aberdeen,St Andrews? No! He was a also ran who had emigrated to England and found he needed to fight Culloden in Harrow every day. Every time he ranted on about Oxford Failure, he was talking about himself. In Scots, terms he was "not even a bit special" and he knew it.


Name: Peter "Min" Vincent
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1966-1972
Date: 04 Mar 2012
Time: 08:19:00

Comments

John - if you google your father in law's name you will see three or four places where his name is mentioned on this site. Then you need to look at the photo collection for around his time at the school particularly rubgy related, and see if you can spot him on any of them.


Name: John Wells
Email: johnseagullsathotmail.co.uk
Years_at_school: researcher
Date: 04 Mar 2012
Time: 07:47:57

Comments

I am researching the " Harrow " life of my late father in law REG GIGNEY and wonder if anyone has any photos of him at the school. thank you john wells son in law


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: 1962-9
Years_at_school:
Date: 03 Mar 2012
Time: 06:14:51

Comments

I watched the first episode of Class and Culture and thought it quite good but the second last night was a bit too wide ranging. I was in my usual Friday night semi comatose state when I too noticed the familiar portals and sparked up a bit. My father was a printer by trade who then chose to become self employed. My mother left school at 15 with no qualifications. Both, however, believed strongly in education and found the means for me to go on, even though money was tight. I was only vaguely aware of issues relating to class whilst I was at school, due largely I feel to the efforts of those teachers whose names recur here so frequently. I chose the arts route; I think Paul is wrong to conflate issues relating to class with the pursuit of knowledge, although obviously he speaks from his own experience.PARA. Like Paul and Colin I have recently had a triple by pass on the NHS(at Hammersmith). The medical care was absolutely marvellous anf reinforces my absolute belief in the superiority of our way of doing things, not least the way in which it binds the nation together.PARA. I recently lost an old friend of mine, Dr Albert Manning who was one of the first GPs to sign up for the NHS after distinguished service in the RAMC during the war. Albert had a strong belief in the NHS and spent 50 years of devoted community service as both a GP in Burnt Oak and a member of innumerable NHS committees, the bane of several Prime Ministers and Ministers of Health. It was due to Albert's campaign that we managed to prevent the closure of Edgware Hospital a few years ago. Anyway, Paul Nurse is right. These things matter and ought to be the subject of continuing public debate with recourse to polemics.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 02 Mar 2012
Time: 16:19:50

Comments

And here he is again! I watched the second of 3-part series "Melvyn Bragg on Class and Culture" on BBC2 this evening. It's not a great oeuvre, but pleasingly nostalgic and deals much with the progress of Grammar School pupils from a modest background (like Bragg himself) to acceptance and often distinction. Ring a bell? [PARA] Suddenly the familiar un-"carved portals" jump into focus and he's interviewing Paul Nurse in his old school laboratory (much changed, notes Paul). He was as engaging as ever. For the record, he remarked that science was easier than the arts for someone of working class background like himself because there was less inherent class about it. Bragg, who, of course, took the arts route, made no comment on this.[PARA] Reverting to the excellent Dimbleby Lecture, the other popular and recently much televised scientist Brian Cox was among the luminaries in the audience. I think Paul's readiness to engage in so much TV and popular exposure is his mission, as experessed in the Lecture, to promote science to the advantage of us all, including economically. Among his themes was medical scienc: he had a life-saving quadruple heart bypass in January and allowed himself a glancing blow at the American right which is so opposed to the human research on which it was based. Having had the same op sixteen years ago I concurred warmly - perhaps vehemently, since I seem likely to undergo a bit more plumbing shortly. (I'm being a bit flippant here. My conviction that all medical research is utterly justified, including animal research, has been fiercely held for many years preceding my own benefice. I am sure the same is true for Paul Nurse and his own recent experience is cited only to emphasise the argument.)


Name: Ian Gawn
Email: ian.gawnatorange.fr
Years_at_school: 1955-62
Date: 29 Feb 2012
Time: 07:47:03

Comments

Great guy. Not many may know of his contribution to Chris Westerman's wish to become a geologist. The school did not provide a geology course, but MGV got a text book, and for 2 years was about a page ahead of Chris. CW got his A level, and a degree and then went to Canada on a student lectureship, and went on to become a very respected oil geologist, with two scholarshiops in the Canadian Oil Industry named in his honour.He was also a great support to me in my qust to enter the RAF College Cranwell. Finally, just to avoid 2 postings from me - thought Sir Paul Nurse's Dimbleby Lecture last night ws absolutely brillian. Can smoeone (Kel Fidler?) get a similar platform to promote engineering in the UK


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 29 Feb 2012
Time: 01:27:39

Comments

Last night I watched the Richard Dimbleby lecture given by Sir Paul Nurse. He spoke about the role of science in society. He started in a low key manner but laid out his argument most clearly, step by step. He dealt with all the key issues including food security, climate change, the relationship of science with religion, the development of energy resources and political & economic policies. As he spoke, he demonstrated a good knowledge of the history of science.PARA. As he went on, it dawned on me that each sentence had been crafted with care and was redolent of meaning. He managed to cram in so much in forty five minutes with not a word wasted. Although he spoke in a low key manner, he was not afraid to deal with politically controversially topics and although he gave balanced arguments, he came out with some very firm conclusions.PARA. I was particularly pleased to hear him acknowledge and name Keith Neil as an inspirational teacher. Altogether, an intellectual tour de force. For those who missed it, I strongly urge that you watch it on catch-up.


Name: Ray Parnell
Email: via Jeff or Alex
Years_at_school: 67-74
Date: 28 Feb 2012
Time: 09:16:22

Comments

I was saddened to learn earlier today via the OG Facebook page of the death of Maurice Venn. <para> Our paths crossed regularly during my latter years at HCS as a result of my taking A level Geology (my poor result was my fault rather than his - I can still draw a trilobite from memory!), and my involvement in the CCF. I wonder how many others he influenced in their career choices? At least two of my contemporaries into the world of Gelology (I suspect there are more that I am unaware of), and many others like myself into the forces. Albeit the RAF in my case but I suspect he admired that, given his own background. <para> I always found him to be a fair man with a good sense of humour (though admittedly I never crossed him!). I was even more impressed when he bought me a beer during one CCF camp at the infamous Browndown.


Name: Andrew Wright
Email: andyat4thharrowdotorgdotuk
Years_at_school: 1968 to 1975
Date: 19 Feb 2012
Time: 08:27:36

Comments

4th Harrow (County School) Scout Group Celebrated its centenary on 16 November 2011, second event of the the year to be held in May 2012 - details from www.4thharrow.org.uk


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 01 Feb 2012
Time: 09:03:04

Comments

As I mentioned before, I lived and worked in Chester for a time. The Grosvenor family's seat Eaton Hall is just outside the city and they own large chunks of real estate within the city walls, including the Grosvenor Hotel and the Edwardian 1960s shopping centre. They take a long term view of their investments and exercise a benign influence generally. The city is a wonderful place to visit with Roman, mediaeval and Victorian influences clearly visible.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 01 Feb 2012
Time: 05:31:59

Comments

I grant you the point, Colin. Anyway, the Grosvenors got there first!


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyondercouk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 01 Feb 2012
Time: 03:37:36

Comments

Well, Brian, I've always thought that the Grosvenor family chose the motto as a caution to themselves - especially, perhaps, their descendants - that it was not the nobility of their birth which counted but how they behaved and what they did. With that view, I've always rather admired and respected it.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 31 Jan 2012
Time: 19:27:56

Comments

I agree with you Colin about the merits of reference books. The copy of Cassell's Latin dictionary that I have owned for a long time defines 'stemma' as a- "a crown or capulet" (Seneca) and b- "a genealogical tree" (Suetonius) and by Valerius Mart. as "nobility, high antiquity". Given these meanings, the school motto appear appropriate but I dont quite see how the Grosvenor family justifies it.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyondercouk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 27 Jan 2012
Time: 03:08:00

Comments

" . . it has come to symbolise monarchy in the sense of the Crown." Ah, metonymy lives! Thank you, Michael. I know you are a Greek scholar and I'm glad to be enlightened. And, Jon, enjoy your new purchase. Google notwithstanding, I still get much information and satisfaction from old-fashioned things like reference books.


Name: Jon Grunewald
Email:
Years_at_school: 1967 to 1972
Date: 26 Jan 2012
Time: 11:14:08

Comments

If Stemma is a laurel wreath, I think a better translation would be "hard work, not medals". Or perhaps "Look to your laurels". However, I'm wondering whether the Greek word, if there is one, would necessarily be synonymous with the Latin word. I'm going to buy a Latin dictionary now. My copy of "The Approach to Latin" which I purchased out of nostalgia has "why did they not attack the sailors with arrows" but doesn't include the word "stemma". I have little Latin and less Greek.


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: Seven, three on hard labour, ie, scicnce classes
Date: 25 Jan 2012
Time: 12:13:49

Comments

Glad Colin owned up to his mistake about PE departments. The mission statement of Vivian Edwards, head of PE for several years, was, "Any boy who does not bring his rugby gear will be crucified." Such compassion and humanity. Stemma does indeed mean a wreath used in a crowning. In Modern Greek it has come to symbolise monarchy in the sense of the Crown. Michael.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 24 Jan 2012
Time: 09:56:04

Comments

Oh, dear! That should have been "PR department".


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colinddotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 24 Jan 2012
Time: 08:42:21

Comments

"Broadly" eh, Jon? I confess to having checked my recollection before rushing into print (discovering in the process that the word comes from the Greek meaning "a garland" - but never mind). I think I would plead for "precisely, if succinctly". The motto is, of course, that of the Grosvenor family, as in the Duke of Westminster, for whom it resonates rather more than for us. Never mind - again. And I don't mind the use of Latin: it does allow conciseness, and 59 years on from my Latin 'A' level exam I still enjoy dabbling in the language. [Para] I was tickled to read Brian Hester's recollection of the resurrection of the School Song and Williams and Thorn being slightly uneasy about it. I think I would have been too. [Para] Oh, I do go along with your oblique cringe at the idea of a "mission statement", Jon. This ghastly fad came up in the nineties (presumably originating in some American corporate jargon machine) and many a company CEO or chairman succumbed to the pressure of their PE department to introduce one into their annual report, as well as their website. It's unlamented demise came with somewhat less than a whimper.


Name: brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com'
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 23 Jan 2012
Time: 10:03:00

Comments

I was interested to read Jon Grunewald's recollection about the school song which has clearly had a checkered history. When I joined the school in 1940, there was no mention of a school song to be heard. It was not until about 1945 that a contempory learned of the song's existence and organised a move to have it peformed again. Copies of the words were circulated one morning at assembly. Rather than displaying pleasure at hearing their work performed again, Williams and Thorne seemed resigned to the revival. The song was popular at the time but I am sure it is never heard these days except at OGS gatherings. I suspect school songs along with mottos in Latin and school caps have passed into history. .


Name: Jon Grunewald
Email: jongruATbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1967-72
Date: 23 Jan 2012
Time: 06:25:02

Comments

I think Colin Dickins is broadly correct, though "stemma" has connotations of aristocracy and coats of arms. Translating it as "birth" reminds me of our German lessons with Bob Tyler, an excellent but rather shouty teacher. If someone prepared an inadequate translation, based on a misunderstood dictionary definition, Mr Tyler would shout "Ah, you've been using COLLINS LITTLE GEM again, haven't you?". He knew that boys were usually too lazy to use a proper dictionary and generally preferred a tiny book with concise translations that did not give examples of context. Anyway, in my day nobody ever sang the "Worth Not Birth" school song, and most boys forgot the meaning of the Latin motto within minutes of being told what it was. Do schools nowadays have Latin mottos? Perhaps plain English might now be the order of the day. A long and tortuous "mission statement" could be placed below the school's badge!


Name: Pete Lawson
Email: plawson.collinsonatbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1969-74
Date: 20 Jan 2012
Time: 15:58:55

Comments

In response to Jon Grunewald's query, the Inner Quad was for the first three years. It was given over wholly to football with blazer pocket-sized lattice balls. Masters surrounded that space, not least in their Common Room, but I don't remember their presence, despite regular fights and an awful lot of swearing. I was disappointed to have to move to the Outer Quad in 1972, though the all-new Menu B did, at 12p, soften the blow.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 20 Jan 2012
Time: 06:57:13

Comments

"Stemma" in Rome was the recorded genealogy of a family and translates best as "pedigree". Pretty good choice of word, given the intention behind the motto. "Birth" is a very reasonable synonym for "pedigree" and allows a handy expression.


Name: brian slater
Email: b123atgmail.com
Years_at_school: 57-61
Date: 19 Jan 2012
Time: 16:57:41

Comments

I see that Flower's passion in line with Portillo's predeliction has caused him a quandry. Has the school motto virtus non stemma been correctly interpreted from its Latin origins?. We all knew it as "worth not birth" Does it now mean you only get the education for your kids that you can pay for?


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 17 Jan 2012
Time: 02:10:18

Comments

Due to the large number attending, the funeral service for Ken Waller has been transferred to the larger West Chapel at Golders Green and the time postponed to 2pm. I repeat, 2pm. H


Name: Jon Grunewald
Email:
Years_at_school: 1967-72
Date: 16 Jan 2012
Time: 06:58:11

Comments

Browsing this site, I was struck by a link to Stemma Enterprises, a school project in 1998. The link is on the first page of this site. Keen to read more, I found the page. Was this a rearguard action to assert the benefits of an aristocratic background compared with our lowly origins? Seemingly not. "The name Stemma was chosen from the school motto. Stemma means birth, and this was the birth of a new company, which like a newly born plant would mature and grow into a successful business". Oh, I see. But Stemma doesn't actually mean birth, does it? I suppose that without a classics master on board, there's no way they could have known. I'm guessing that Stemma Enterprises, like an old and once great grammar school, is now mouldering in the great civic amenity site of history.


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957 - 64
Date: 15 Jan 2012
Time: 08:01:11

Comments

Over the past few weeks I have had the sad experience to learn of the 'passing' of four of my elderly patients. I have known them for over thirty years, and have tried my best to care for them throughout these past many years. The news that our dear Ken Waller has died makes me especially sad and whilst I only saw him once recently, at the 50th Celebration of his coming the HCS, he was always my special person from the teaching staff at school. It's not because of his teaching; Latin and my brain weren't well matched. He was my first form teacher in Class 1B, in September 1957, and quite frankly he was a star! He was the epitome of all that was good about the school. Always kind and to see him in full flow, with gown billowing and mortar-board in place was great. Indeed he was shown on the very recent 'Grammar School' TV programme just as I recalled his passage. At the reunion, he was kind enough to remember the boy who chose science rather that the Classics. RIP Ken. Laurence


Name: Michael H Jones
Email: michaelharoldattiscali.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1945/47
Date: 14 Jan 2012
Time: 02:50:12

Comments

I was prompted to look for the web site after seeing Michael Portillo on the Grammar SCHOOLS TV programme. I joined the school in 1945 - perhaps the first intake after the 1944 Act. I was in forms 2c and 3c before leaving with my parents to go to Ipswich (Northgate Grammar School). My memories are a bit faded (now nearly 78) but I have a very clear recollection of the buidlings, the"ruins" and the prefab. huts for the second forms. Some staff names I remember, "Jumbo" Jones as I think form-master and namesake. I also recall two women teachers whom we were instructed to address as "sir". I would be interested to know what happened after I left - were the "ruins" rebuilt and what was constructed on the playiing field ?.I have not been back to Harrow since 1947 ! If I can help with any more memories I would be pleased to do so


Name: Brian Hester
Email: BrianWHesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 13 Jan 2012
Time: 19:34:10

Comments

Jon Grunewald writes of 'those doors that were never used'. In my 'pre-new buildings days' this was the opening through which we entered the school until we were in the sixth form and were allowed to use the front door. We were brought to positions of attention by a swift 'peep' from Amos' whistle. At the second 'peep' each form formed into two lines in order.I never found out what miscreants actually did to deserve Amos' attention but when they did, he ran through the parted ranks to haul the miserable boy out who was then required to stand with a row of earlier offenders at the front until the end of term. On the third 'peep' we would all file into school. When he had something urgent to tell us about, Randall Williams would open the window of his study with a slam 'one moment please Mr. Amos' would be followed by a tirade usually containing phrase such as 'certain boys', 'this practice must stop immediately'and finish with 'boys found doing this will be severely punished'. Thank you Mr. Amos and the window would be slammed shut. It was a memorable show! I always liked and respected Randall Williams but his peformances at the window were a bit like Mussolini addressing the mob.


Name: Jon Grunewald
Email:
Years_at_school: 1967 to 72
Date: 13 Jan 2012
Time: 09:59:34

Comments

Can anyone remember what the rules were about which quad you were expected to use? The inner and the outer? When I was in the first form I remember a prefect barking at me to "get back in the quad" and pointing in the direction of the inner quad, a sort of prison exercise yard where people played football with the plastic balls with big holes in them. There were majestic steps going up to a doorway that was never used. Or was it? I think older boys were allowed to use either quad. Were the oldest not allowed in the inner quad? In the outer quad, some boys gathered at the front railings where the pavement was above our heads, and hoped to look up some skirts. And that memory in turn reminds me of Mark Phillips in class, telling a rather startled Ubi Lane that at our age we were terribly sexually frustrated. I think Ubi found a polite way to change the subject and get us back onto the fourth declension.


Name: paul Phillips
Email: paulatbrianapul.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1971-76
Date: 13 Jan 2012
Time: 05:22:19

Comments

thanks Dave. That corridor makes sense now. Not one that would use much but I do not remember a ban in the Avery days. I know we were not supposed to use the stairs by the war memorial till year 5


Name: Carol Turnham for mother Joan F. Vernon
Email: brookfarm.fisheryatbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1937? to 1944
Date: 13 Jan 2012
Time: 03:21:38

Comments

Wondering whether anyone can remember my mother Joan Frances Vernon b.1926 who lived in North Wembley and attended Harrow Girls School up to matriculation?


Name: Dave Buckley
Email:
Years_at_school: 53-61
Date: 13 Jan 2012
Time: 02:22:53

Comments

In answer to Paul Phillip's post, the corridor in question was the top one which ran along the side of the hall, between the library and the art rooms (the inner quad is on the right of shot). In my time, anyone lower than sixth (or maybe fifth) form couldn't use it to get round the school. The shot in the film was specially set-up by Hugh Skillen in 1960 or 61.


Name: paul Phillips
Email: paulat brianpauldotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1971-1976
Date: 12 Jan 2012
Time: 23:45:31

Comments

Watched the second part of history of the grammar school last night and it brought back memories. Wish I had taken that bet that one day Bernard Marchant would be on TV. para. How right Michael Portillo was about the opportunity taken away in 1975 from those that could not afford to pay for education. I well remember that last assembly in July 1975 when Mr Avery paid tribute individually to each teacher (and then of course himself) who were "scattering" themselves around other institutions. That assembly was long and I am surprised I am still not sitting there. To this day I resent not having had the opportunity to go into the HCGSB 6th form and to be taught in an environment where learning and understanding appeared to be nurtured. para Looking at the Makers of Men film and the crocodile of new boys walking down the corridor with a master (was it Ken Waller?)made me wonder which corridor it was. It seemed so narrow and my memory was that corridors were wide and that apart from the A floor reasonably bright and airy. para And then I thought of those doors which went into Jock Lafferty's room. Could you imagine swing doors in a school nowadays? Health & safety inspectors would probably close the place down. Enough of my ramblings but i feel better now. PAUL


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: michaelwritesforyoutyahoo.ca
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 12 Jan 2012
Time: 18:40:40

Comments

Replying to Jon Grunewald. You will certainly find the HCS history worth reading, Jon. The inspectors were indeed critical of the physical conditions of HCS, describing them as squalid, but they also said they were surprised that the standards were so high despite that same squalour. I do not remember which aspects of the curriculum they disapproved of, but I agree with the conclusion that jumping the fifth straight into Lower Sixth was wrong. I found the fifth form a very enjoyable year, reading Richard II with Jim Golland and passing geography in the fifth in one year (Mr Haines). Any disappointment at not going into Lower Sixth Arts disappeared when I met my fellow fifth-formers who matured and went onto achieve whole strings of O levels. Someone who did do the jump told me that he had asked everyone else who had done the same whether they would have benefited from a year in the fifth and they all said they would have. We are not rewriting history - and certainly not because of a set of conclusions by the inspectors. One such inspector did turn up to monitor a Russian class by, yes, you've guessed it, Kenneth Waller. The inspector did not know a word of Russian... Michael.


Name: Jon Grunewald
Email:
Years_at_school: 1967 to 1972
Date: 12 Jan 2012
Time: 05:16:34

Comments

I've now received my copy of The History of the Harrow County School For Boys, published 1975, which was just as it was being transformed into a comprehensive. I am looking forward to reading it. I see that Ken Waller is listed as BA, LRAM,LTCL, AKC. I don't think there is anything about any individual members of staff, though. In 1971 there was a report by HM Inspectors that was very critical of Harrow County. They disapproved of some aspects of the curriculum and they particularly disapproved of the bypassing of the 5th Form by brighter boys (with the result that the 5th Form was a form for the less able). I had forgotten all that, but I think my parents were aware of it at the time. None of it was helpful when considering a year or two later whether this grammar school should be preserved as a centre of excellence. But if we assert that Harrow County's curriculum and customs (the streaming into arts OR science for example) were to be admired, will we be rewriting history?


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 11 Jan 2012
Time: 14:52:00

Comments

Clicking on "new" on the Home page, I came across the photos of the 1978 Review. Noticeably, the scruffiest soldier on parade was the nameless inspecting officer. And sad to see that dress of the day for the Naval Section was no longer square rig. It is only now that I realise how much I enjoyed wearing that uniform, bell bottoms, big flappy collar, black silk scarf and the white lanyard with nothing on the end of it.


Name: Pete Lawson
Email: plawson.collinsonatbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1969-74
Date: 11 Jan 2012
Time: 14:27:08

Comments

I went to Romania in 1974 with Ken Waller and John Ling. The trip was the start of a life-long interest in Eastern Europe for me. I have a feeling I wrote it up for The Gaytonian. Both men were outstanding in their guidance of us in terms of what to look for and what questions to ask. Proper schoolmasters.


Name: martyn glencross
Email:
Years_at_school: 1984-1988
Date: 11 Jan 2012
Time: 05:51:55

Comments

Hi its been nice looking around even found pics of my form. My form teacher was Mr Green (mike) he was a good man and our head of year was Mr cavnagh he was a bit of a bully , would love 5 mins in a room with him now lol .


Name: Jeffrey Maynard
Email: jeffrey at jeffreymaynard dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-69
Date: 10 Jan 2012
Time: 19:58:14

Comments

Ken Waller's funeral will be at 12.30 on Monday 23rd January at the East Chapel, Golders Green Crematorium, Hoop Lane, London NW11 7NL. In his Will, Ken stated that his body be cremated and his ashes spread in the Garden of Remembrance. His ashes will be scattered alongside those of his sister, Irene Wilson, who died two and a half years ago. Ken's nephew, Steve Wilson, has asked me to post this information so that former pupils and colleagues may be informed. They are very welcome to attend and to meet afterwards somewhere locally (place to be confirmed) to share memories of Ken and further celebrate his full and varied life. If you wish to attend, please email Steve at maryandsteve at ntlworld dot com.


Name: Paul Phillips
Email: paulatbrianpauldotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1971 to 76
Date: 09 Jan 2012
Time: 05:40:38

Comments

Very sorry to hear of the passing of Ken Waller who was my form tutor in 3rd year. A true gentleman. Who can forget his translation of Gogol's Government Inspector from Russian and then its production? Added to his musical talents a very able man passes. I also remember the quality of the gowns he wore. He always said if i have to wear one of these things to keep the chalk off my suit then I may as well wear a decent one. Condolences to the family


Name: Jon Grunewald
Email: jongruATbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1967-72
Date: 09 Jan 2012
Time: 01:50:44

Comments

The Facebook page for Old Gaytonians can be located at : www.facebook.com[forwardslash]groups[forwardslash]2215577660 if searching for Old Gaytonians doesn't work...


Name: Dave Buckley
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 08 Jan 2012
Time: 15:44:34

Comments

With reference to the mention of the OGs being on Facebook, could someone please post the URL, as a Google search doesn't come up with a site, at least one that is uptodate (and I've tried various permutations!) Thanks.


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/63
Date: 08 Jan 2012
Time: 15:21:43

Comments

A quick note to some of the regulars here who may not know: the Facebook pages of the Old Gaytonians (registered there as a group) have become extremely active. As an old hand on this site, I have said,'over there',that people ought to be contributing 'over here', but social networks tend to ignore such niceties. So: Peter Ward, Paul Romney, Michael Shwartz, Colin, Laurence and a dozen others, it's all happening at present on Facebook. Looking at the comments, though, for someone of my vintage is like Groundhog Day...


Name: Keith Palmer
Email: palmerdotkeith57atgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1968 - 1975
Date: 08 Jan 2012
Time: 10:53:59

Comments

Fellow correspondents may like to know that the BBC Radio 4 Programme "Top of the Class" featuring Michael Portillo and with contributions from Ken Waller, first broadcast on 19th July 2011, is still available on the BBC Radio Player.


Name: Bill Harrison
Email: bill.harrisonatbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1961 - 1968
Date: 08 Jan 2012
Time: 04:32:43

Comments

If I recall correctly, Ken Waller's synthesised name was Quintus Valerius Murifex (maker of walls - geddit!). I was far from a classics scholar but his hard and patient work got (scraped) me through the O level. May he rest in peace.


Name: Keith Palmer
Email: palmerdotkeith57atgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1968 - 1975
Date: 07 Jan 2012
Time: 17:46:09

Comments

I would just like to add my own feeling of sadness at Ken Waller's passing. Our paths did not cross too often during my seven years at HCS, but he taught me both Ancient Greek and Latin when I was around 13 and it was clear, even to a boy with limited ability in the subjects, what a first-class teacher he was. But, as Andrew Carruthers has previously identified, his contribution to music was fantastic. In my opinion Carmina Burana (circa 1969-70) was his finest hour, followed closely by The Bartered Bride a year later. The passion he was able to generate, even to those of us in the chorus, was extraordinary and I suspect neither production would have happened at all were it not for Ken producing them. The big Opera House in the sky has a new conductor, and a first class pianist.


Name: Stephen Frost
Email: sftankathotmail.com
Years_at_school: 1963-70
Date: 07 Jan 2012
Time: 07:43:54

Comments

I agree very much with Jeff Maynard's comments of January 3rd. Grammar schools offered many of us from modest backgrounds opportunities that we would not otherwise have had. No,the system was not perfect. But it should not have been thrown away with such indecent haste as it was. And I feel proud to say that both my sons attended one of the few state grammar schools that are left. Paragraph. Jonathan Gathorne Hardy has written an interesting history of public schools. Who from amongst the hundreds of old boys would be interesting in writing a history of grammar schools in ther post war period? I would be willing to help.


Name: Stephen Frost
Email: sftankathotmail.com
Years_at_school: 1963-70
Date: 07 Jan 2012
Time: 07:25:56

Comments

Very sorry to hear of Ken Waller passing on. Paragraph He took me for Latin for two years during 1963-65. A highly intelligent man, in 1966 he took a Russian course and returned to HCS so that this subject could be offered at O level to sixth formers. Remember going to the dentist once in Burnt Oak and spotted him on a 140 bus. I think he lived in Mill Hill. Most masters wore gowns, but he was the only master in the 1960s who still wore a mortar board occasionally. In Latin classes, he would fix me with his beady eye and ask me to translate: - Frost, si vis - . Ken also made up a Latin version of his own name: Quintus Valerius Maximus, or something like that, and for soccer fans his translation of - Up the Spurs - was sursar calcares. All subject exercise books were bound in different colours, Latin being red. And how I remember copying out verb conjugations and noun declensions. How many of us can still remember these, memorised by heart? Amo, amas, amat; mensa, mensa mensam, mensae, mensae, mensa. Paragraph. For 1960s Gaytonians, Ken's passing means that the Classics Department consisting of Ken, Bernard Marchant and Ubi Lane has now disappeared. As has the History Department, and much of the English, Modern Languages and Science Departments.


Name: Andrew Carruthers
Email: ajcarruthersatbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1961-8
Date: 07 Jan 2012
Time: 01:59:04

Comments

It is indeed sad to year of Ken Waller's death. For me this is the real passing of Harrow County. Ken was my form master for my first four years and I remember him vividly from my first day. He was a rare combination of intellectual quality, dedication, efficiency and kindness. He could have had a distinguished career as an academic but when circumstances meant that could not happen he devoted his career to teaching, which continued despite many frustrations at the changing atmosphere in the education world. His contribution to music at Harrow County was also immense. Those of us who attended the dinner to mark his 50th anniversary of joining HCS saw him, despite the advancing years, as bright and amusing as ever. A sad loss.


Name: Graeme Young
Email: under review
Years_at_school: 1947 to 1953
Date: 07 Jan 2012
Time: 01:36:08

Comments

Just to add to that I have written already, my years at HCS were fruitful but that reward came later-on in life. I was asked to teach basic electronic principles to members of the Armed Forces on re-settlement courses at Aldeshot Garrison, and then from the depths of memory came the physics lessons of Spadger Heys. My Maths, never very brilliant, proved better, even so, than the capabilities of many of my students. Thanks, HCS! I remember cycling to school one morning behind the School Captain. Like me he was bareheaded despite the orders of Square to wear the School Cap on such journeys. As we neared the School he reached back into the saddle-bag, pulled out his cap and donned it about 200 yds from the school gates. Now at age 75 and with a full head of hair, I still hate hats of any description.. I have never been back to Gayton Road as I went to Johannesburg immediately after leaving HCS and after a three year stay there returned, did National Service, and moved away from The Home Counties, finally ending up in a village near Mansfield, Notts. HCS was a good school despite the Simpson-Bigham-Amos rule of terror, I am still proud of having been there and gaining so much from the experience.


Name: Graeme young
Email: under review
Years_at_school: 1947 to 1953
Date: 07 Jan 2012
Time: 01:32:55

Comments

Just to add to that I have written already, my years at HCS were fruitful but that reward came later-on in life. I was asked to teach basic electronic principles to members of the Armed Forces on re-settlement courses at Aldeshot Garrison, and then from the depths of memory came the physics lessons of Spadger Heys. My Maths, never very brilliant, proved better, even so, than the capabilities of many of my students. Thanks, HCS! I remember cycling to school one morning behind the School Captain. Like me he was bareheaded despite the orders of Square to wear the School Cap on such journeys. As we neared the School he reached back into the saddle-bag, pulled out his cap and donned it about 200 yds from the school gates. Now at age 75 and with a full head of hair, I still hate hats of any description.. I have never been back to Gayton Road as I went to Johannesburg immediately after leaving HCS and after 1 three uear stay there returned, did National Service, and moved away from The Home Counties, finally ending up in a village near Mansfield, Notts. HCS was aa good school despite the Simpson-Bigham-Amos rule of terror, I am still proud of having been there and gaining so much from the experience.


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email:
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 06 Jan 2012
Time: 20:49:43

Comments

Like Henry Wyatt and Dave Buckley I too am very upset to learn that Kenneth Waller has died. I was taught by Ken for six years at Harrow County, both in conventional Classics and in Russian. I will prepare an appreciation - it will take a little while because Ken's achievements were so many - but I hope that someone else will also write some words of tribute. I was surprised when I was the only person on this site to write a tribute to Bernard Marchant a little while ago. Michael.


Name: Dave Buckley
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 06 Jan 2012
Time: 15:05:23

Comments

I am very sad to hear of the death of Ken Waller. This is the second death I have heard of today of someone I have known, the other being Bob Holness who was President of Pinner Players, a local amdram group I was a member of for some years before moving north of the border. Dave B.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 06 Jan 2012
Time: 14:19:51

Comments

Those of you on Facebook will have learnt from Alex that Ken Waller died earlier this morning. I have been in contact with Ken's nephew Steven who tells me that he died apparently as a result of a fall at home. There will have to be an autopsy which will now not take place until Monday. Steven will let us know as more information becomes available. I am still in shock not least because I received a chirpy e mail from him on Wednesday morning in which he told me how pleased he was at the award for Carl Jackson. Requiescat in pace.


Name: Paul Romney
Email: paulromney03a taim.com
Years_at_school: 56-63
Date: 06 Jan 2012
Time: 10:24:32

Comments

Let's not get all sentimental here. Surely the rationale of the 20th century grammar school was to keep the middle classes happy by affording their children an education that would permit them at least to maintain their social status and offer some hope of upward mobility, while supplying the modern state with the necessary supply of pen-pushers. And isn't it true that the Eleven Plus rankings were biased to ensure that not too many girls passed?


Name: ye min
Email: yeyeye63athotmail.com
Years_at_school: 1963-70
Date: 06 Jan 2012
Time: 03:46:30

Comments

My mother rang me on Thursday 5th Jan to say this programme would be on as she had read an interview with Michael Portillo in the Daily Mail! She quoted him as saying there had been no drugs at HCS. as my wife said to me, 'How would he know?' and I laughed as my 84 yr old mother said,'There was drugs there, you had some.' I looked forward to hearing Michael, but alas he must be in part two..Must admit I do admire his jacket shirt combinations on Great British TRain Journeys, tho with all the cuts, are they the only train journeys we can make? Looking forward to more train journeys and part two


Name: ye min
Email: yeyeye63athotmail.com
Years_at_school: 1963-70
Date: 06 Jan 2012
Time: 03:40:45

Comments

My mother rang me on Thursday 5th Jan to say this programme would be on as she had read an interview with Michael Portillo in the Daily Mail! She quoted him as saying there had been no drugs at HCS..as my wife said tome, 'How would he know?' and I laughed as my 84 yr old mother said, 'There was drugs there, you had some..'


Name: Peter ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 05 Jan 2012
Time: 16:28:06

Comments

After a whole life based in professional education, in one guise or another, I watched the first of the two BBC4 progs. with interest. I'll comment more after the second when we shall have a complete picture. Meanwhile, just to pick up on Jeffrey's comments...early 60s Comps and, indeed today's Comps, are not quite as he represents. Whilst intakes were and are of mixed ability, it should not be assumed that teaching necessarily followed, or follows, that pattern. My Monday morning at Eltham Green school (ILEA SE London 1967)began with 35 minutes of 1C4. These were 11 year-old segregated boys and labelled ESN (educationally sub-normal- a perfectly ridiculous and insulting description.) In our First Year (now Year 7)there were no less than 16 groups separated by 'ability'; 1A-6, B1-6, C1-4 The following 35 minutes were spent with my 'A' Level Botany set all of whom would have come up through the segregated A classes of former years. recently, on collecting my 13 year-old first grandson from school,he proudly announced he had been moved up to the second to top set in Science out of 5.In other words, many of today's Comps continue to set by ability and performance. For that matter, when I was in Primary Education(1991 - 2000)we setted for Literacy and Numeracy. Where things went particularly wrong for some Comps was when certain Inner City schools, notably ILEA, experimented with mixed ability classes. But this did not apply always to Comprehensives, countrywide. The decisions were left to local Councils or even the schools, themselves. What the ratio was I do not know and it probably fluctuated as fashions flitted in and out. Making generalisations about either Grammar Schools or Comps is hazardous and often based on lack of actual inside knowledge or, dare I suggest, a degree of prejudice one way or the other? Poor old Education. It can't win. Perhaps the sainted Michael Gove has all the answers. Most politicians do -until proved wrong.


Name: Jeffrey Maynard
Email: jeffrey at jeffreymaynard dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-69
Date: 03 Jan 2012
Time: 20:40:39

Comments

BBC4 is broadcasting a two part programme: ‘Grammar School – A Secret History’.

Programme One will air on Thursday 5th January 2012 at 9pm on BBC4
Programme Two will air on Thursday 12th January 2012 at 9pm on BBC4

In this two part series we hear from a mix of less well known ex grammar school pupils and a cast of some of Britain’s most well-known and well-loved house hold names, all from humble working class or lower middle class backgrounds, many of whom passionately believe they owe much of their success in life to their grammar school education. They include Michael Portillo. Alex Bateman (our Old Gaytonians Association Archivist) has helped the producers and supplied some footage from "Makers of Men".

This is the story of Britain’s grammar schools. They have been regarded as Britain’s most illustrious schools, amongst them many can boast a long and successful history; their founding principle was based on providing otherwise unattainable opportunities of a top class education to the very brightest pupils from some of the poorest families in the Country. From the early days of grammar schools they were seen as a vehicle for upward social mobility and continued in this vein until their demise in the late 60s, early 70s. Programme one looks into the history of these landmark schools and how they paved the way for many children from less advantaged backgrounds to enter into top professions and for some to reach the very peak of their professions.

In the early sixties the grammar schools were at the pinnacle of their success. They were the pride and joy of the nations and regions, where schools and education authorities vied with each other for the top spot, usually gauged by how many pupils won university places at Oxford or Cambridge each year. However the grammar schools were of course far from perfect. There were not enough of them. There were far fewer places for girls. The eleven plus was an imperfect means of selecting the best pupils. The first comprehensive schools were introduced after the war- but nobody ever imagined that the grammar school system, the pride of Britain and her democracy, would be killed off so quickly and so brutally. The second programme focuses on the swift and brutal fall of Britain’s best loved schools. By the late 1970s three quarters of the old grammar schools were gone, despite their proven record of success as an instrument of social mobility for working class children. They would be replaced by the untried, one-size-fits-all, non-selective, mixed ability comprehensive school which were pioneered in the post-war years.


Name: Clare Greenall
Email: clare.greenall57 at gmail.com
Years_at_school: none
Date: 02 Jan 2012
Time: 14:09:07

Comments

Very interested to visit your pages again after quite a long break and also interested to see discussions and reminiscences of Mr. Birch. Mr. Birch was my late uncle's form tutor for two or three years in succession and my uncle and father went on a trip with him to Paris (just the 3 of them!) before the outbreak of war. My Uncle remained friends with him after Birch left the school. It seems unlikely that he ended up in the Scrubs as one person on your site suggests as my uncle went to stay with him after the outbreak of war and they wrote to each other until my uncle was killed in 1944. The final letter I have from Birch was written from a Seminary though he was anxious he had begun his training too late and might be called up into the National Fire Service. The letters chiefly discuss matters of philosophy and religion and do touch on Birch's interest in National Socialism.


Name: Jeff Maynard
Email: jeffrey at jeffreymaynard dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-69
Date: 01 Jan 2012
Time: 13:48:49

Comments

Carl Jackson (HCS 1970-77) received an MVO in the New Years Honours List (Congratulations Carl!) ... has anyone spotted any other names in the list?


Name: Dave Buckley
Email:
Years_at_school: 1953-61
Date: 01 Jan 2012
Time: 05:11:50

Comments

There is another series of Great British Railway Journeys with Michael Portillo running from Monday 2nd to Friday 6th January on BBC2 at 6.30pm........then on Thursday 5th January on BBC4 at 9pm - The Grammar School: A Secret History with Michael, Sir Richard Attenborough and Edwina Currie. This appears to be the first of two programmes. If you have access to the Daily Mail's Weekend supplement for 31st December, there's a short article on page 13. After the usual repeats and rubbish on the TV from Christmas to the New Year, these programmes are a breath of fresh air. I would be interested to know if a future series of the Great Railway Journeys will cover the line from Gretna Green to Glasgow via Dumfries. If so, there are a couple of Old Boys in Dumfries who would be very pleased to meet up with Micheal while he is in the area! Dave B.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 31 Dec 2011
Time: 07:15:43

Comments

You raise some good points Paul. I believe the decrease in the sense of bonding by more recent students and that which us older types feel is due to racial and cultural differences. In my time at school, we were all 'wasps' dressed in the same uniforms, and very strictly controlled - for good or bad, that is how it was. We were naturallymore disposed to bond that later generations. There were abuses but generally I have pleasant memories of the staff. Not only was English our first language, it was our only one. I don't recall hearing people speak another language until I was about nine and did not see a black person until I was ten. Times have changed. Just look at the old photographs! Since those days, the whole world has become multi-racial. Attitudes have changed as we came to realise that people who dont look alike share many values and opinions. All this does not dissuade us 'Old Gaytes' from take adantage of this site to revel in remeniscences and nostalgia for the 'good old days' much as old folks have done since time immemorable. Whatever our origins, the school was generally an improving influence and I salute all passed and present students in hoping the year 2012 will be kind to them.


Name: Paul Phillips
Email: paulatbrianpauldotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1971 to 1976
Date: 29 Dec 2011
Time: 08:47:32

Comments

Happy new year to all. Andy's comments made me respond! I wonder whether the lack of contributions from us younger ones has something to do with the throw away society we now live in and the sense of belonging and respect in general. A school now seems to be somewhere you pass through whereas reading contributors from earlier years who would have suffered the deprivations of the war and after know how to feel part of a society. That feeling of comaraderie would be strengthened on the realisation that HCS pupils had to stand together to fight what would appear to be an oppressive minority band called the teaching staff. PAUL


Name: ye min
Email: yeyeye63athotmail.com
Years_at_school: 1963-70
Date: 29 Dec 2011
Time: 02:02:44

Comments

first of all many thanks to jeff for maintaining this site. it has helped me put into some perspective the years i spent at HCS, not a success in the same light as those high flyers who shone, but I agree with Michael Schwartz, we need to hear more from the school underclass, the rebels, the marginalised. I certainly see myself in that group. I felt that my academic potential was wasted and misundertsood at HCS. It was not a system I could fit into nor understand. But in its own way it shaped me. I made sure my own children were supported through their education. I became a special needs teacher and now work in the NHS with children and families and yes, the kind who would have been overlooked and bypassed by the system at HCS, but that was then and this is now..cheers


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957 -
Date: 27 Dec 2011
Time: 11:10:33

Comments

Energy restored following the Xmas break! May I wish all OGs etc a Healthy, Happy and Peaceful New Year. Be careful what you wish for!! Any anecdotes that we might all enjoy. I seem to remember putting the skeleton from the Biology lab into Square's car, but have forgotten who my fellow hobbledehoys might have been, time to own up? Laurence.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: The Later Simpsonian Period
Date: 22 Dec 2011
Time: 03:31:21

Comments

Dr Simpson, Bigham, Thorn, Swanny Amos - RIP? Fat chance! There's life in the old theme yet. Are some people missing the funny side?


Name: Andy Colhoun
Email: colhoun.whiteriveratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1950-57
Date: 21 Dec 2011
Time: 23:04:34

Comments

I have been reading the letters over the years, the debates about all the people whose names do not need to be mentioned yet again. I am coming to the conclusion that the contributors are like the attendees at Rememberance Day services, fewer, older, only of a certain era and soon to be no more.The school still exists but in a form few of our time would recognize. How many contributors do we get from Gayton High School pupils or later.The only interest comes from HCS former pupils. Let it rest guys.


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/63
Date: 21 Dec 2011
Time: 04:36:20

Comments

Michael, as someone who's had ding-dongs with you over the years, I would never presume even to think of a 'finality'. I think what I was saying - and it was in response, remember, to someone who had noticed the diminishing number of entries on this forum - was that the central arguments that have involved a group of us have gone as far as they can. I mean, how many times can you call me a commie rat? And how many times can I scream UKIP abuse at you? How many times can Laurence raise his grumpy head and get pilloried by others? And how many times will he have the energy to respond? Our positions on issues like the role of the Grammar School, the regime of Simpson and the iniquities of The Colonel are rather set in the stone of the school entrance - and it's hardly conducive to the development of this forum when one of us, seeing an entry by a latecomer, blurts out that this point was rather well covered by Gerry Freed or Mike Smith in 2002. We begin to sound like one of those jumped-up prefects we always hated in the third year, all pomp and no panache. I worry sometimes that I start to sound like George Yelland, right eyebrow raised, withering eyes and wuthering gown, chucking the exercise book from his desk to the culprit's, pontificating, in that magisterial BBC baritone voice, 'Not bad, Newcomer Two: but it is rather evident that you have not read Richard Buckley's splendid polemic on Simpson from 2004....I suggest you do a little more reading next time!....' (I can still moan, though, that all these years on, I am not able right now to begin a new paragraph). No, Michael, this is not a finality (or even an ending!), it is simply an evolution; and the corollary of those like us not arguing incessantly, is two-fold: first, as the someone noticed, there are less entries on these pages; but, second, that a space is created in this strange cloud we inhabit for other voices to emerge. As they will continue to do so, since this site is here for ever. (PARA) Have a good Christmas, and ditto on the good wishes to Ken Waller.


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: Oh Gawd, it's him again
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 18 Dec 2011
Time: 13:08:39

Comments

First, may I add my good wishes to those extended to Kenneth Waller. Get well, soon - and that's imperative (second person singular present active, to be precise). I understand that Ken's neighbours include the actress Emma Thompson. if I lived near her, I would never leave that part of London. There was an air of finality to Peter Fowler's comments. I know it is said that history is written by the victors; in the case of the school the history has predominantly been written since 2000 by the successes. The history of Harrow County can only be classed as "fully written" when those who did not enjoy Harrow County tell their story, but then there is little chance of that happening. People are embarrassed, traumatised, humiliated. Very few of the latter have come forward. Does this mean the end? I don't know - but I haven't half enjoyed it! Thank you, Jeff. Best wishes to all Gayts for 2012. Michael.


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957 -
Date: 18 Dec 2011
Time: 09:38:05

Comments

Henry, thanks for the information about Ken Waller, please be kind enough to pass my good wishes to him for a return to good health. Peter mentions the possibility of running out of fresh ideas, and this is more than possible. It seems that recent students of the new school have little or nothing to say. I must say how impressed I was with their new Headmaster, and to learn from him, that he is seeking a place for his offspring in the private sector! I must also add my thanks and congratulations to Keith Baker for all his hard work in the Centenary Celebrations. Laurence


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahhodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 17 Dec 2011
Time: 08:33:17

Comments

I have just been speaking to Ken Waller who tells me that he has spent some time in hospital and is still in some pain. I did not know of this in advance and therefore did not visit him. I will try and ensure that this does not happen again. Ken tells me that his experience in hospital was not entirely positive. As I am sure you know, the workload on hospital staff, particularly those caring for the elderly is such that some patients can be overlooked. In order to overcome this, it is necessary to convey to such carers that a particular patient is highly regarded and has a good quality of life which needs to be conserved. I am sure that there are plenty of Old Boys capable of conveying such sentiments cogently, if needed. I will let you know if it happens again.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcoukuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 14 Dec 2011
Time: 07:20:43

Comments

A perceptive and well-writen piece, Peter. Not just "old chums" but new ones too - as you and I have become through the ether without ever having met. Others include Jack Walters, the son of an American USAAF oficer who believed in exposing his son to English education rather than the inward-looking American schools. Jack was only with us for a year (slightly ahead of me) and I remember him throwing himself into many activities, excelling in athletics and at rugby. He browsed the website and made contact - and adopted the e-mail address "virtusnonstemma". It says a lot for the impact that the HCS environment had on thousands of us. There have, of course, been many old friends and contemporaries I have rediscovered through this site. It is all that you say of it, and will one day become a very serious historical document. It's on its way there now. Well done, Jeff.


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/63
Date: 12 Dec 2011
Time: 03:30:04

Comments

I would suggest the lack of input is because the story's very largely played out. True, new voices have appeared over the years and these have added great value, but, at heart, they have added a slightly different melody to the same underlying themes, replaying the old tunes from other angles. The Simpson Debate was, as an example, comprehensively explored nearly ten years ago and was, perhaps, more forceful at that time because some of the key players (like Jim Golland) were very much alive and kicking. Nevertheless, what we have here is a marvellous resource which is endlessly fascinating, and hangs in the ICloud for eternity. And a resource to which people will still add, stories and photographs, in the endless build-up of a quite superb historical document.If we then add the important factor that it keeps a community of old chums together, a perfect way of keeping in touch, that, surely, is more than we could ever have dreamed of when Jeff started this in 2001.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 04 Dec 2011
Time: 06:55:38

Comments

I have just listened to a very good programme on Radio 4 by Michael Portillo on the English Armada of 1589. After the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, Drake was sent on a mission to fully destroy the Spanish fleet in Santander and San Sebastian. Unfortunately, Drake being the freebooting entrepreneur that he was, decided instead to raid the port of Corunna in pursuit of loot and booty. Things went badly wrong and he had to return home having lost half the English fleet.PARA. In the programme Michael mentioned that the historical reality of Drake's doings was a tad more nuanced than that which he was taught at school. I am sure, though, that Harry and Geoff D'Arcy would have have approved of this revisionism.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-1947
Date: 02 Dec 2011
Time: 05:38:15

Comments

You are not alone Bill in noting how things (like schools and people) change with time. Remember the old place as it was and be done with it. I went back once and found the corridor floors carpeted no less! That plus the presence of girls. Changes in the use and configuration of rooms has changed so much that the first comment old mates make is "I managed to find our old form room (which in our time was lit by gas)". Apart from all these changes, just about every bit of open space that I recall has been built on. This is presumably what you noted when you 'zoomed in'. All this is in keeping with the times. There is hardly a building left that I remember along my walk between station and school.


Name: Bill Peter
Email: bncpeteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 1960-1967
Date: 01 Dec 2011
Time: 18:03:08

Comments

I left London in 1979 to "travel the world", and have not been back to HCS since leaving 1967. Imagine my suprise, whilst doing some randon Internet "pottering", to come across this map; http://www.londonspovertyprofile.org.uk/indicators/boroughs/harrow/.  On zooming in I found a VERY different school to the one I left. Well, I'm a very different person to the one I was in 1967. BTW, why aren't links allowed in posts? (editors note - slashes are not automatically allowed in posts because we kept getting spammed by people posting links selling things plus a few pornographic ones.  However, if you put a link in using "slash" I will fix it!)


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: The Simpson Years
Date: 01 Dec 2011
Time: 10:08:42

Comments

Well done, Brian Hester. You are showing the way. Just one point on Simpson as a 'good manager'...in my years of Secondary and Primary teaching I wouldn't have got away with promoting only the elite and rubbishing the less academic. Picking up on your biblical quotation...Good Shepherd? Certainly not. I write as one of the sheep. BAA!


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-47
Date: 01 Dec 2011
Time: 09:07:33

Comments

As the eldest old lag who contributes here occasionally I am delighted to see that there are still contributors to this page who have not been overcome by the impairing evils of various geriatric conditions that would prevent further participation. I am prepared to forgive, but not condone, errors of spelling and syntax. As the son of the Jewish carpenter of yore is credited with saying 'let him amongst you who has not sinned cast the first stone' For my part, I continue to find comments on this page an absorbing read. Here we are now in advanced years, with opinions on our beginnings modified by an incredible range of experiences since we left school. For the large majority of us, the background was the same - Protestant - Semi-detached, NW Middlesex, primary school - capped by the HCS experience. The distant observer would expect us to all fit a single mold but this did not happen. In retrospect we see our schooling differently to the extent it is coloured by experiences of later life. Both Williams and Simpson developed the school through times of social change. Controlling a group of adolescent boys as well as a sometimes-unsupportive staff, is a task that each undertook in their own way with greater or less success. Most of the products emerged to achieve fair success in life. Williams and Simpson may not have been always 'nice people' but they were appointed to produce results, which they supplied in good measure. After many years in, under, and of management in various sections of industry, I see them both as 'good managers', sometimes with touches of inspiration but at others, especially in the case of Simpson, displaying a lack of understanding of social attributes.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 30 Nov 2011
Time: 17:21:41

Comments

Colin Dickins is right. Having started a few hares running on the site, for fun, I've been deeply disappointed by the general lack of inspiration, or response. Many contributions are minimal, uninformative and hardly a good read. A surprising number are poorly punctuated. (Roll over Jims Yelland and Golland.) Surely, ex-HCS characters can do better? I forgive their successors as there was not probably as much to write about - at least in controversial terms. So come on, Old Lags of Simpson. Make us sit up and (preferably, although not necessarily) laugh. Or RIP ( not forgivable for those still alive.)


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 30 Nov 2011
Time: 04:53:04

Comments

Well, Brian, the old axiom is "if you've nothing to say, say it." The exchanges do tend to fly thick and fast when there's a new event or someone starts a hare runnning - often contentiously.

I have to say, while writing, that the School Centenary celebrations have been a triumph and I've enjoyed all the lectures and the Dinner. Keith Baker and his team, with enthusiastic participation of the School, have done a brilliant job and I'm sure Keith is looking forward to a well-earned break - except that next year is the OGA Centenary and he's got a few events lined up for that. No rest for the . . . . Oh, never mind!


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-1947
Date: 29 Nov 2011
Time: 14:14:00

Comments

This usually active site has become vey quiet of late. Has everyone become exhausted after the centennial exercises?


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-1947
Date: 29 Nov 2011
Time: 07:43:38

Comments

The site has been remarkably quiet for over two weeks. Is everyone suffering from post-centenary exhaustion, or what?


Name: Roger Busby
Email: rogerjnbusbyatblueyonder.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1949 -1956
Date: 14 Nov 2011
Time: 09:25:00

Comments

Ashamed to say that this is my first visit. Will send some CCF photos and must spend a bit more time having an in depth look at what seems a most interesting website.


Name: Edward (Ted) Mansfield
Email: edmansfield43atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1954 to 1959
Date: 09 Nov 2011
Time: 04:21:59

Comments

Just another hello to all who might remember me, fondly or otherwise (take that how you like). I've had to change my e-mail address to that as above, due to certain problems with the old one. Be good to hear from any old friends who remember those far off days. I recall in our first year being somewhat amazed at the antics of "Twink" Bradley, our English teacher, good at his job, but very eccentric. Ray(?) Boardman was another good (maths) teacher that year. Later, I was to encounter Mr. Saunders, responsible over several years for my futher maths education, and the unpredictable Colonel (?) Bigham, with his almost pathological dislike of those of us who had the temerity, in his view, of joining the School Scout Group. There was one lesson, I think when I was in the 4th Form, where he sprang a spot round the class random question session (he had all the questions and answers on the desk in front of him, of course). Those who answered incorrectly were lined up, and in the ensuing caning of each, he split several canes brought to the class for the purpose! Teachers I recall with thanks, and respect are Messrs Skillen, Golland, Tyrwhitt, Wilkie, Mees, Busfield, Beer, Turnbull, Pritchet, Crinson, Charlesworth, Venn, Fishlock. There are others, but I have forgotten their names, but can remember faces; getting old I suppose. Keep going everyone, it's a great life if you don't weaken!!


Name: Ian Gawn
Email: ian.gawnatorange.fr
Years_at_school: 1955-62
Date: 02 Nov 2011
Time: 01:28:13

Comments

Just a quick post to say how pleased I am to see that one of the Centenary lectures will record the then Flt Lt John Boothman's achievement in winning the Schneider Trophy outright for Great Britain in 1931.


Name: Ian Gawn
Email: ian.gawnatorange.fr
Years_at_school: 1955-62
Date: 01 Nov 2011
Time: 06:00:13

Comments

I regret that I cannot be at the scuool on Friday 11.11.11. In France even the smallest commune has a ceremony at the village war memorial (usually 3 sides covered with names from WW1, a few from WW2, then the odd one or two from Indo-China and N Africa), usually at 1000, followed by a service in a local church for a dozen or so communes at 1100. The chuch is always full to overflowing. Each year we have recived an invitaion from M le Maire, but this year, because we have to be in Bordeaux on 10th for a medical appointment for Jane we shall be in Saintes on 11.11.11 at the invitation of the French Air Force, with others, laying the RAFA wreath. I have no doubt but that it will be a most moving occasion. However, I will also think of the School Memorial, tha names on it, and other friends lost, particularly during my RAF service. They Shall not Grow Old. Ian


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ashseventypanatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 24 Oct 2011
Time: 01:00:18

Comments

Paul Nurse has received many honours during a distinguished career (Nobel prize, knighthood, presidency of Royal Society etc) but at last comes the big one. 56 across in Saturday's Times' Jumbo crossword!


Name: nigel morley
Email: nigel_vinathotmail.com
Years_at_school: 1960-1967
Date: 21 Oct 2011
Time: 08:06:55

Comments

Wonderful dinner and evening .well done everybody on saturday, what would have square thought of 51 first languages! Exhibition on sunday brilliant.keith neal well preserved.remember being taken by him on a Moral Re Armament meeting with other six formers,not politically correct today.also a field trip to see badgers with his dad and paul saw boys from 44 years ago on the sunday.trev,rob,john etc please get in touch. george the gown cowan still unnerved me esp as he still pokes his finger at you. couldnt get out of the habit of calling the masters mr or sir loved the moment during the film where we all booed or hissed sang along with be honest tell a lie to all old boys across the decades and miles well done!!!!!!!


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 19 Oct 2011
Time: 13:17:50

Comments

As one of the 'far flung' old boys I was unable to participate in the centenary activities so appreciate the comments and reports that are now beginning to appear on this page. Richard Buckley's comments about the showing of photographs of past headmasters surprised me in that Crowle-Ellis was not included. Where Randall Wiliams knew the names of many of the boys, Simpson referred to everyone as 'boy'. I dont recall either ever smiling. Crowle-Ellis not only knew boys' names but actually conversed and joked with senior boys, of which I was one. It was while walking around the playing field with him that he disclosed to us his surprise at being replaced. I don't suppose we'll ever learn the circumstances of his replacement by Simpson.


Name: Richard Buckley
Email: richard at spaceplanner.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1959-65
Date: 17 Oct 2011
Time: 23:25:44

Comments

Many thanks and congratulations to all those who helped organise the event at school last Sunday. I hadn't been back since I left nearly 50 years ago. Whilst not overly nostalgic for the place I cannot deny its influence. I was shocked to learn that 70% of current pupils do not have English as their first language but very impressed at all the new developments and facilities. Although I am a fan of the digital age I was delighted that the school still has a library. There is something about the serendipity of browsing through books that the electronic media cannot match. Something very interesting happened when we were watching the short film made for the Centenary. Up came a photograph of Ernest Young which was received with affectionate oohs and aahs. Later a photograph of Randall Williams which was similarly received. I realised what would be coming next - a photograph of Dr. Simpson. What would be an appropriate response I asked myself. I decided on a hiss. I was thrilled that when it came I and a few others hissed and everyone else booed. And later there was a clip of 'Colonel' Bigham who was also booed. All very satisfying on a pleasant autumn Sunday morning fifty years on. Well done and many thanks to everyone concerned.


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: michaelwritesforyouatyahoo.ca
Years_at_school:
Date: 16 Oct 2011
Time: 07:20:28

Comments

Laurence Lando? Eating humble pie? What is the world coming to? Michael.


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957 -
Date: 16 Oct 2011
Time: 02:43:44

Comments

Centenary Dinner - May I add my congratulations to Keith Baker and his team, for a truly wonderful evening. Haven't you all got so old; whilst I have remained as young as ever!!! One highlight was to meet Mr Neil, again, he also has maintained his youthful looks. David Barnett, Brian Bilgorri and Keith Simon, local lads still, reminded me who was who. I also met the current Headmaster, who was most impressive, so pleased to see that despite 51 languages being spoken at the school, a stream of young people are entering higher education and University from the school. Obviously my concern of years gone by are no longer pertinent, delighted to say. I do hope that photographs will be downloaded on to this website. Laurence


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter,ward16at btinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63 (The Nurse Years!)
Date: 11 Oct 2011
Time: 03:28:33

Comments

If people missed the BBC Radio 4 programme, this morning (09.00 - 0930, 11 October, British time) I suggest iplayering it from the BBC web site. 30 minutes devoted to the life and work of Sir Paul Nurse. Unmissable. I,too,'studied' Zoo, Bot and Chem at HCS but didn't get quite as far as Sir Paul. Possibly because I thought yeast was stuff that went into Marmite. We should be proud to be, however distantly, associated with him.


Name: Jeff Maynard
Email: jeffrey at jeffreymaynard dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-69
Date: 05 Oct 2011
Time: 20:21:29

Comments

Chris Finill, who is running from California to New York, just emailed to say that he has reached Iowa! He should be in New York in November.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 28 Sep 2011
Time: 08:21:13

Comments

I did A level French with Hugh Skillen Don Kincaid and Don Wilkey. My abiding memory of Hugh Skillen was the utterly outrageous manner in which he conducted the dictation part of our A level examination. It was done so slowly and so distinctly that I am sure we all passed with flying colours.He has my grateful thanks and affectionate memories as indeed does Don Wilkey who attended last week's lecture. Mr. Wilkey made a valiant attempt to interest me in Proust's En recherche du temps perdu, but sadly to no avail. Still, I acquired a passion for Flaubert which has never really left me. The best French scholar of my era was a chap by the name of Stephen Kon. He was absolutely fluently bilingual. Anyone know what happened to him?


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colin.dickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 27 Sep 2011
Time: 15:52:54

Comments

Hugh Skillen, whose first foreign language was German, incidentally, although he never taught it at HCS, spent most of his war in the Y (wireless intercept) Service. The Y Service was the source of much of the German coded signal material which supplied Bletchley Park. He wrote the (now) official history of the Y Service and several more books on it. He also founded and ran the Enigma Reunions at Bletchley Park. He was a prodigious writer, particularly in this field, but also on educational exchange visits and film - an early passion. Some of his films form part of the School archive. The exchange trips were orginally with France, then with Germany. Later he extended them to Spain and became fluent in a third European language. His energy and leadership in this work were instrumental in the national and international development of student exchanges. He also found time to study law and form the School's "law society", which was summarily and inexplicably terminated by Simpson (he ws incensed by this). He wrote many pieces for me in my time as editor of "The Old Gaytonian" in the eighties and nineties. When a heart attack and several strokes interfered with his output he moved into "writing" using computer voice recogniyion - with, of course, the help of a grandson. He was still writing in his eighties.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16at btinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 27 Sep 2011
Time: 13:25:38

Comments

Bletchley Park is one of the greatest stories of the Second World War. Or is it the greatest? (Not that the Soviets didn't do a good job pushing back the Nazi hordes.) That said, the Soviets benefitted directly from Bletchley Park Intelligence. So well done Major Skillen and Co. Did he appear in BBC 'Allo, Allo'? I think not but he would have made a wonderful character as a French teacher of English if the German occupiers had allowed such things. Maybe they should re-write this excellent comedy. Col. Bigham as a Double Agent in full SS garb but bravely filtering stuff back to SOE in Blighty. 'The Spirogyra has hatched with spiral chloroplasts, a single nucleus, and cellulose cell walls.' The signal for the French Resistance to rise up and support the june 1944 Invasion by blowing up railway bridges and German air bases. Spargo Rawnsley letting go his East Coast Defence air balloons and bombing the German defences. The mind boggles.


Name: Peter "Min" Vincent
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1966-1972
Date: 27 Sep 2011
Time: 11:47:49

Comments

Been reading the "Secret Life of Betchley Park" and was humbled to see a quote included from one "Hugh Skillen" who was a teacher of French at HCS. He wore his intelligence uniform on Fridays and I remember we couldn't understand how he could have survived in occupied France with his Scots accent - of course he was instead much more usefully involved in the interception of enemy signals and clearly spent some time at station X as a result. It is amazing that he could at any time have said that he was involved in code breaking, but this remained secret for some years after I left despite some 10,000 people working at Station X at its peak. I raise my hat to - Major H Skillen HCS 1946-1975.


Name: Paul Romney
Email: paulromney03a taim.com
Years_at_school: 56-63
Date: 26 Sep 2011
Time: 03:24:29

Comments

The Montreal Gazette of 4 November 1943 contains the following brief report. 'Harrow, England. The average woman's vocabulary is 750 words, said Sydney Walton, the author. "It's a small stock, but think of the turnover," he added.' An odd item to find cheek by jowl with the latest war news.


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1956/63
Date: 25 Sep 2011
Time: 15:17:21

Comments

What a fascinating question, Michael...and there must be classics scholars reading this who could answer this question better than me. Nevertheless, I'll have a guess: the generally accepted translation of 'virtus' includes the word 'honour' - it refers, usually, to the idea of living in a state of virtue, of doing the right thing, of acting with an appropriate sense of grace. But, if you follow the Google links (and we never had anything like these resources when we were young learners), you fall upon the Iranian prophet Zarathustra (most of us are only aware of his name because of Nietzsche) who, very clearly, uses our present-day noun of 'worth' in the context of the Latin word 'virtus'. He even contrasts 'worth' with 'birth'. (PARA) I wonder. Who came up with the school motto? Did Sydney Walton have anything to do with it? His presence seems to hover over the school from its inception right through to the Golden Jubilee of 1961: he was the one, according to Major Skillen's testimony, who persuaded Simpson to 'think big' about the 1961 celebrations. (PARA). Walton was an oddball- wasn't he very small? I seem to remember him on the stage in 1961 - and had strange links all over the place, including India and countries in the Middle East. He would certainly have known about Zarathustra, he was that kind of man - think of a Stephen Fry in the imperialist days. (PARA) What was his relationship to Randall Williams? Or, more pertinently, Ernest Young? Who came up with 'worth not birth'? A quite brilliant description of the Harrow County of Simpson's meritocratic years; and a motto, I would suggest, unparallelled in the Grammar Schools of that time. (PARA) I propose Walton; and I suggest he twisted the Latin to fit its intended ends.


Name: Michael Dover
Email: michael.dover at btopenworld.com
Years_at_school: 1956 to 1962
Date: 25 Sep 2011
Time: 09:09:19

Comments

I recently came across John Clark's comments of 17 July 2011 and like him I have often noted the Virtus non Stemma motto on the bridge at Chester which quite obviously preceded the formation of the school. My curiosity was aroused by John's comments and without any expectation of a result I put Virtus non Stemma in my Google search engine which pumped out an amazing list of references. Having browsed through these it would appear that the School Song has translated the motto incorrectly as the literal translation of Virtus non Stemma is apparently Virtue not Birth although I understand the Duke's family says it means Virtue not Lineage. If the references are indeed to be believed for a motto of Worth not Birth the latin should be Excellentia non Stemma. Alternatively the school song should have been Virtue not Birth. Would any of the latin experts out there care to comment.


Name: lorette Rutter-Gaffie
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1975-79
Date: 24 Sep 2011
Time: 01:29:11

Comments

Congratulations to all Gaytonians who come and visit this site periodially, like me. Well done Erica, for a full life, and if you were my pupil (French), I wish you to know that I was quite inexperienced in matters of gays and that I hope I showed all my pupils that I loved them and cared for them, and wished to teach them with fun ! do you remember the Snoopy posters in my class ? Best wishes to all....Lorette Rutter (as was)


Name: Brian Hester
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1940-47
Date: 17 Sep 2011
Time: 12:00:08

Comments

Colin Dickson's metnion of Ken Bagshaw's attend Paul Nurse'slecture prompted me to re-visit the photograph taken in 1939 during the school's visit to Switzerland. Ken B is identified by Jack White as well as several others. One extra identification I can make is that of Roland Birch who is sitting between Webb and the hotel proprietor. Birch was the German master (in addition to Attridge) whose inspiring teaching is extolled by (Sir) Roy Denman in his book 'The Mandarin's Tale'. I remember Denman but don't see him in the photograph. Birch was taken out of circulation early in the war and confined to one of London's famous prisons because of his facist sympathies. Once released, I believe he became a Catholic priest. He certainly did not return to HCS! I was with the school group that went to Switzerland in 1947 and stayed at the same hotel but there was no group photograph taken. About half of our group consisted of boys and girls from Harrow Weald County. The trip lasted ten days and cost our parents seventeen pounds! We were all shocked after nearly nine years of austerity in Britain to see the living conditions in Switzerland.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhester at gmail.com'
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 15 Sep 2011
Time: 06:16:04

Comments

Thank you Colin for the quick report on Paul Nurse's speech. I wonder whether it was recorded in some form or other for the benefit of those unable to attend. If so, I would be an interested purchaser as I am sure so would others. Such a sale could be a good money raiser. When I was very much a junior at school Ken Bagshawe was my 6th form idol. I was glad to read that he is both alive and well.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70pan at yahoo dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 12 Sep 2011
Time: 03:30:16

Comments

I was very proud to be there on Wednesday evening. I was particularly pleased to hear Sir Paul publicly acknowledge Mr. Neal his old biology teacher. Although he did not teach me, I do well remember him as one of the good guys. Incidentally, on the list of attendees I saw the name of Jerry Krause. Although I kept an eye out for him, I did not spot him. Mind you, after forty years......... If you're out there or if anybody has e mail for him, please get in touch. Thanks


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 11 Sep 2011
Time: 08:32:51

Comments

Paul Nurse's lecture was absolutely brilliant. He managed to tailor it to a diverse audience, recognising how limited the grasp of some may have been, yet putting some real meat into it for the many seriously informed guests who came. (Among them Professor Ken Bagshawe, who was at School from 1936 and was the first "cancer specialist" and former head of the Cancer Research Campaign. He wears his 86 years very lightly.) At one stage Sir Paul realised that it was appropriate for the benefit of some of the audience to explain exactly who he was. He reeled off many of his great distinctions without pride, yet without false modesty - difficult, but perfectly executed. Questions later were treated with courtesy, empathy and friendly seriousness. Not only has he an outstanding mind; he is also an outstanding communicator. As his theme he chose four great discoveries which marked the advance of biology and then speculated on a fifth (roughly, life as an information system). The dawning awareness of this concept has been there for years, but the formalisation and demonstration of it could be the next great leap forward in understanding the enormous complexity which is life. I hope I paraphrase him correctly - and that I am there to see his work on it published and recognised.


Name: Jeff Maynard
Email: jeffrey at jeffreymaynard dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-69
Date: 05 Sep 2011
Time: 21:36:48

Comments

Just a reminder - the Gayton Centenary Lecture - Wednesday 7th September 2011 Sir Paul Nurse, Old Gaytonian, Nobel Laureate, President of the Royal Society, will lecture on Great Ideas of Biology. The Lecture will start at 7.30pm at the School in Gayton Road, in the School Hall (The New Hall). Tickets cost five pounds each at the door.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 05 Sep 2011
Time: 02:13:12

Comments

The chairman of the Stanmore Society, John Williams, has agreed to come on Wednesday evening because of his interest in the Boothman window. I am going to be a bit involved looking after Ken Waller and working on the door. I wonder if one of you 'fly boys' would be able to help out, please?


Name: David Fleming
Email: sueanddaveflemingattiscali.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1958-65
Date: 04 Sep 2011
Time: 08:51:28

Comments

A couple of weeks ago Ian Gawn referred to the Army camp at Lydd. I would guess taht it took place in 1960 as, at the beginning of my third year I moved across to the more relaxed environment of the Naval Section. I remember getting off to a not very promising start by fainting on the parade ground before we even left the school. At the time the camp was curiously described as our "first self help" camp. I never undrstood why as I assumed that we'd have to do a certain number of things for ourselves - it wasn't supposed to be a holiday camp. I wonder now whether "self help" was an attempt to put some positive spin on the administrative shortcomings (aka cock-up) which led to Ian being put in charge of the cookhouse.


Name: David Fleming
Email: sueanddaveflemingattiscali.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1958-65
Date: 04 Sep 2011
Time: 08:51:27

Comments

A couple of weeks ago Ian Gawn referred to the Army camp at Lydd. I would guess taht it took place in 1960 as, at the beginning of my third year I moved across to the more relaxed environment of the Naval Section. I remember getting off to a not very promising start by fainting on the parade ground before we even left the school. At the time the camp was curiously described as our "first self help" camp. I never undrstood why as I assumed that we'd have to do a certain number of things for ourselves - it wasn't supposed to be a holiday camp. I wonder now whether "self help" was an attempt to put some positive spin on the administrative shortcomings (aka cock-up) which led to Ian being put in charge of the cookhouse.


Name: Ian Gawn
Email: ian.gawnatorange.fr
Years_at_school: 1955-62
Date: 03 Sep 2011
Time: 07:51:58

Comments

Not only did I have the Boothman link from school, but for the last 12 years of my working life I was on the Solent, so was reminded almost daily of John Boothman's achievement and those of his colleagues on the High Speed Flight


Name: Hussein Badakhchani
Email: ...husseinb01---atooogmail.com((
Years_at_school: 1986-1990
Date: 01 Sep 2011
Time: 16:08:59

Comments

The unidentified photo 103 is the class of 1d from 1986. I can identify most of them and I'm the 3rd from the right on the front row between Desmond (sitting next to Miss Schick) and Jason Baxter. I like to think Miss Schick would be slightly please to know I now work for a German investment bank now, even after the incident in 4d when I threw my report back at her and declared education to be irrelevant...I was right and it was ;)


Name: Peter Garwood
Email: peterdotgarwood777atbtinternetdotcom
Years_at_school: 1953-61
Date: 01 Sep 2011
Time: 01:23:36

Comments

I see that I had a senior moment and used the wrong sort of sought


Name: Peter Garwood
Email: peterdotgarwood777atbtinternetdotcom
Years_at_school: 1953-61
Date: 31 Aug 2011
Time: 10:15:15

Comments

Ian, you are not the only one who is in awe of Sir John Boothman's achievements and Mitchell's magnificent Spitfire, which you may have gathered from my diatribe in this year's OG mag. I did approach the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight to see if they would fly over the school during Centenary year as a tribute to him and our war dead. They were sympathetic but there are liabilty and regulation issues regarding single engine aircraft flying inside what is known as the Heathrow Zone as Alex Bateman and I found out when we sort permission to take an up to date aerial photo of the School, which just falls within the Zone.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70pan at yahoo dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 31 Aug 2011
Time: 09:32:50

Comments

A couple of months ago I met John Williams the chairman of the Stanmore Society who was very interested in Boothman and the Schneider Trophy and knew about the window. I invited him to the Sheinwald lecture but I will remind him of next week's event.


Name: Ian Gawn
Email: ian.gawnatorange.fr
Years_at_school: 1955-62
Date: 31 Aug 2011
Time: 05:46:34

Comments

I take it, therefore, that the anniversary of John Boothman's achievement is passing without notice.


Name: Brian J. Burgess
Email: bburgess2atkos.net
Years_at_school: 1950-1954
Date: 30 Aug 2011
Time: 19:28:52

Comments

Great site.Brings back many memories, mostly good. Was a member of the 4th Harrow Foresters scout troop. Served as patrol leader and troop leader. I suggested the name Foresters for the new troop. Played the dual lead role, Brian Whitley, in the Story of Mike. At Ralph Reader's request, I particpated in The London Gang Show for 5yrs, and then appeared in his Saturday Night Spectacular TV shows. Wonderful experience. Moved to Ontario, Canada in 1970 to work at the new McMaster University Medical Centre in Hamilton, Ontario. Retired since 1998.


Name: Jeff Maynard
Email: jeffrey at jeffreymaynard dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-69
Date: 28 Aug 2011
Time: 19:09:05

Comments

Chris Finill (HCS 1970-77) has just started his 3,000 mile Run Across America, raising money for Help for Heroes.  You can follow his progress on this website: http://www.runacrossamerica.co.uk.

Chris was born in Harrow in 1958, went to Harrow County http://www.jeffreymaynard.com/Harrow_County/Chris%20Finill.htm, and has been a competitive runner since the age of 12. After moving up to Ultra distance (races longer than the Marathon) he won the English Championships at 100 kilometres and 24 hours in 2003 and 2008 respectively and has represented Great Britain 8 times in these events.

Chris is the only person in the World to have run all 31 London Marathons in under 3 hours, a feat which was recognised by the Guinness Book of Records in 2009.


Name: Paul Romney
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56-63
Date: 28 Aug 2011
Time: 12:48:18

Comments

I feel for you, Jeff. I've just downed my first cup of PG Tips after a 9-hour power cut. It was delicious ...


Name: Jeff Maynard
Email: jeffrey at jeffreymaynard dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-69
Date: 27 Aug 2011
Time: 20:53:57

Comments

For those who have asked - this website is hosted in California and will not be affected by the hurricane (currently heading right for us here on the south shore of Long Island). Yes we are OK, supply of bottled water and tinned food laid in, windows taped up etc. - but I am out of tea - I forgot to buy more PG tips.


Name: Paul Romney
Email: paulromney03a taim.com
Years_at_school: 56-63
Date: 27 Aug 2011
Time: 07:48:30

Comments

Glad to hear I wasn't the object of Peter Ward's tirade. Not that I supposed I was -- for one thing I wasn't engaging in pedantry. (Oops!) But what I'm really writing about is Dick Worsfold's posting (remember you from the Pathfinders, Dick). The well-to-do mother-in-law certainly explains Bigham's fancy wheels, and she probably explains the rest of his improbably successful career, including the gong that so vexed Square. Money equals connections. As to the man's well-documented brutality, I wonder if he was one of those teachers who wanted the boys to like him but had no idea how to connect with them. My only personal encounter with him came when I forgot to bring in the stubs of some raffle tickets my parents had dutifully bought. Bigham made me go home after school and get them (all the way to Wembley and back). A day or two later, I had to go and see him again to lug home the electric blanket my parents had won in the raffle. He was, in his terrifying way, joviality personified -- absolutely delighted that his insistence had been vindicated. Perhaps he sensed the contempt aroused by his pedagogical ineptitude and his harshness was an unhappy reaction to that.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70pan at yahoo dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 27 Aug 2011
Time: 03:08:06

Comments

As one gets older so one really does not give a damn. However, I recently succumbed to a bout of utter recklessness when I upbraided Ken Waller for the use of the expression 'gob smacked'. The great man rocked on his heels, almost apologised, but then said ' No, wait a minute.' We then spent the rest of the afternoon consulting various dictionaries including one on ancient Welsh before tracking down the etymology of the word gob. We eventually concluded that the expression was properly valid but it was somehow somewhat unsatisfactory but we could not quite say why. An honourable draw.

Now the point I would like to make is that all research, all scholarship is worthwhile and we ought not to apologise for pursuing such arcane matters. The English language is a wonderful, flexible thing capable of the most nuanced of meanings not found in any other language on earth (Ken's opinion of course to be considered.


Name: Richard Worsfold
Email: richardworsfoldathotmail.com
Years_at_school: 1951-1959
Date: 26 Aug 2011
Time: 07:32:55

Comments

One had rather hoped that Bigham bashing was over and then I read Peter Ward's otherwise delicious memoir. Personally I was always treated well by the man who generally greeted me when we encountered each other in the corridor with a smile and perhaps a gentle punch on the shoulder. I am not certain why this was, except, perhaps, it followed the events of Bob-a-Job week in 1954 or 1955 when I knocked on the door of a stylish detached house on the corner of Trevelyan Crescent and Bouverie Gardens as I recollect. A pleasant Scottish lady welcomed me in and took me into the back garden where I encountered the Major (as he then was). He was resting from his school masterly exertions of the preceding weekend it was clear that his passion for botany had not spilled over into horticulture. Frankly the garden was a mess; all along the back fence were brambles that Br'er Rabbit would have loved. It was to these that I was directed and handed a rather blunt sickle. While I set to work his delightful children played and his well-to-do mother-in-law kept an eye on my efforts well wrapped up in a mink jacket against the cool spring weather. On the second day of work, the good lady alas, collapsed with some kind of attack and in the absence of the Major who must have been attending to some important matter, I helped to carry the poor soul into the house, and while the ambulance was being summoned, I attempted rudimentary first aid recently acquired from the 4th Harrow Pathfinders classes. Despite, or possibly because of my efforts, the old girl never recovered and passed away shortly after. I believe it was a month or two later that the Major traded his Ford Popular for a Consul or was it a Zephyr? Clearly he had a good side, and perhaps that we should remember.


Name: Type your name here
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 24 Aug 2011
Time: 15:49:46

Comments

Colin, no disrespect. I think you are missing the point. Firstly, no-one has made any 'pedantic' criticism of the lengthy piece I wrote on the Simpsonsonian Period. Quite the opposite. So my discourse had nothing to do with that, wahtsoever. What I don't like is that, in the past, I have noted contributions from much younger contributors than ourselves that have subsequently been lambasted for their poor grammar etc. These have been written in a different age - the age of texts , Twitter and Facebook. We 'golden oldies' may shudder at their poor expression, by traditional Grammar School standards, but it seems to me a great pity if the contributors are then put off making further comments fearing they will get hauled up in public. We receive so little material on this web site from post-HCS students. I would wish to encourage them, bad grammar, punctuation, or not. Otherwise, the web site contributions will fossilise and stem only from the ancient past of which I am a small part. This seems to be the case and is hardly healthy. I'm sorry you rose to the bait on split infinitives. Perhaps that was a mite unfair and I apologise.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colin.dickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 24 Aug 2011
Time: 04:04:18

Comments

Who on earth said what to - or about - you to provoke this outburst, Peter? I was disturbed and surprised at its vehemence and went back through all entries since your piece and could find nothing pedantic - indeed, you received much favourable comment. Surely Paul Romney's not unreasonable expression of opinion on bowdlerisation doesn't constitute pedantry?

As for split infinitives, I generally find them clumsy and unnecessary, but there are occasions when nothing else will do. It's a rule, which, like all rules, should be regarded as "guidance for wise men and the obedience of fools." What grate with me more often are the tortured constructions of writers who timidly follow the rule by using the adverb (usually) so ineptly as to jar. They cannot see that an adverb may modify a clause, not just the verb from which they fear to wander too far.

Since I have mentioned your piece, Peter, let me say that I enjoyed reading it without necessariily agreeing with everything you said. More, I was enlightened. I have been known (if anyone has noticed) to be somewhat dismissive of previous rants about violence in the School. In my day it was common but mostly trivial. Sadism and bullying were rare and a light clip round the figurative ear was preferable to toilsome "lines" and detentions. I regarded the later reports as a generational thing. I had not realised how extensive and severe the violence had become as you record it in your piece. Perhaps, as others have intimated, it was the last desperate fling of an ancien regime which found its authority and traditional methods diminishingly effective. Incidentally, it was Randall Williams who introduced rugby to the School, not Simpson. My father, who was at school in the soccer (and Ernest Young) days and a devout member of the OGFC, never forgave him and used to delight in getting me excused from rugby on grounds of severe short sight.

Oh, and if you find my brief dissertation on split infinitives pedantic, let me remind you that you started it!


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958 -63
Date: 22 Aug 2011
Time: 13:46:02

Comments

Does this web site really need pedants? I have have spotted their occasional and unproductive contrubutions before now. It seems to me poor manners when guys bother to make sensible contributions only for these to be berated for less than perfect English, grammar or punctuation. and we all make tiping and speling errers in the heet of the momant. I'm very much a stickler for the best of English usage, and do my best to apply it, but find pedants a bore (I'll resist the other spelling.) I don't know if Dr Simpson reads this site from his Perpetual Purgatory (if so, he will be a disappointed, restless soul.) But at least he will discover his unique brand of Pedantry was not entirely wasted upon infertile ground. Wouldn't it be more interesting if HCS pedants actually had something to positively contribute rather than than the puny, carping criticism of others? PS Don't pick me up on the splitting of the Infinitive. This was a totally acceptable practice in 19th century writing, Dickens for instance. Its 'abolition' was a voguish fad introduced some time early in the 20th century. (See Burchfield, former Professor Emeritus, English Language, Univ. of Oxford.)


Name: Paul Romney
Email: at
Years_at_school: 56-63
Date: 22 Aug 2011
Time: 05:12:45

Comments

I can't help noticing that Ian Gawn, in his latest posting, has made a right cock-up of the word cock-up. I hope it wasn't done on purpose, Ian. I hereby propose that all mealy-mouthed bowdlerizations of "bad" language be prohibited on this site. I have lately taken to streaming video from the hulu.com web site. They have a few exotic British TV series ("Coupling", "The Office", "The Book Group") which are invariably prefaced with a warning that the show is intended for "matoor" audiences. And then, after that, they bleep out the ruder words anyway, just in case the immatoor (or their mummies and daddies) didn't heed the warning. I look for higher standards on the HCS web site.


Name: Ian Gawn
Email: ian.gawnatorange.fr
Years_at_school: 1955-62
Date: 21 Aug 2011
Time: 07:01:12

Comments

A thought - has the school done anything to mark the 80th anniversary this year of the then Flt Lt John Boothman (later Air Chief Marshal Sir John) winning the Schneider Trophy outright for Gt Britain.


Name: Ian Gawn
Email: ian.gawnatorange.fr
Years_at_school: 1955-62
Date: 21 Aug 2011
Time: 06:54:20

Comments

Just been having a nostalgic look through the CCF section - well remember the camp at Cultybraggen. Was it the following year we went to Lydd in Kent. Cannot have been 1961 as I did my flying scholareshp followed by Outward Bound that summer.I have a vague meory of an organisational c@ck-up by the grown-ups that meant we had no civilian staff to run the cookhouse. My memory is being stitched with the job of organising the cookhouse for the week, being handed over very many boxes of compo, and getting fresh bread and potatoes, and a few cadets allocated each day to do the work - am I dreaming or did it happen like that.


Name: Keith Palmer
Email: palmerdotkeith57atgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 1968-1975
Date: 19 Aug 2011
Time: 18:18:18

Comments

Just making one of my regular visits to this site and memories starting to stir again ...... Sports.........oh the making of some, the dread of other small boys of the time. In 1968, "Games" was simply about rugby (and a certain Welshman in particular). I was one of the smallest boys in my year, keen but hopeless. For some reason (I assume my lack of height had something to do with this) I was scrum-half for Northwick in the first year. Quite an honour (or so I thought at the time). We traipsed down Watford Road, past the new Northwick Park Hospital, eagerly anticipating our game against Kenton House. All I can remember is the first moment I put the ball into the scrum, out it came, and I grabbed it. I didn't have time to pass to my fly-half, Anthony Wilkey (son of Don Wilkey) was onto me and hammered me to the ground. Nothing personal, of course, he was just much better than me and I think played for the School Team in his year). In the summer, of course, we played cricket. Apologies if the initials are wrong but Mr. T.H.W. Jones was in charge and there were signs that I could have been a Geoff Boycott-style of opening bat, stubborn without actually going anywhere. After that, Rugby was something to be endured, although I still remember the satisfaction of scoring a couple of tries (in 3 years!) But then came the choice between Rugby and cross-country running (I think in the third year) and I jumped at the chance. Now, I was no athlete, possibly the slowest in my year at 100 metres, but I found I could sustain a pace over a couple of miles which surprised everyone. And that was the start of my being taken seriously in School sports activities. I played for the School Team many times at Tennis, particularly in the Sixth Form, partnering Steve Doo. After I left the School, I joined St. Georges Tennis Club in North Harrow and had many successful tournaments with Sean Stone as my Doubles Partner. We entered tournaments as the "third string" and somehow always managed to win the crucial set against players much better than ourselves. But it was the Sixth Form golf that gave me the best memories. The old 9-hole Par 3 course at Greenford that we used to go to, and with Mr. Wilkin in attendance. One day he was almost in a stream, borrowed my sand wedge and hacked his way out. He obviously hit a sharp stone along the way and, nearly 40 years later, my club still bears the scar. From dreading Double Games, both Summer and Winter, to sports I enjoyed and was actually good at....well it took a while, but I got there eventually.


Name: Bob Blackburn
Email: With Alex Bateman
Years_at_school: 1943 = 1949
Date: 19 Aug 2011
Time: 12:22:46

Comments

Do not know how I became Mr.Anonymous. However I remember Mr. Snowdon ( must be Snowdon ) quite well. A very quiet kindly man, not involved with sport at all. Fairly bald. Not included in the staff lists. He gave me a superb hand written final report , countersigned by Simpson,which was in my possession before I had a major disagreement with Simpson and walked out of the school Christmas 1949. With Roy Goldman visiting from Brisbane we have just had another 1943 2C Reunion. Sadly our numbers had dwindled to just seven. Roy Goldman, Bill and Brenda Bowley, Wally and Yoshi Vandome, Eileen and Bob Blackburn. Best wishes to all who remember me, Bob Blackburn


Name: Phil Chesterman
Email: philconnieatshaw.ca
Years_at_school: 1946-51
Date: 18 Aug 2011
Time: 20:49:54

Comments

Thank you Mr Anonymous. Yes, I do remember the name Snowden (or Snowdon) but I find it very difficult to understand why I can't remember him over a period about 4 years. Perhaps he never hit or insulted anyone. But Charlie Crinson didn't either, and everyone seems to remember him and not just for his involvement in sports. People like them are the ones who deserved awards, rather than the Big-Ham and his sycophants


Name: Type your name here
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 18 Aug 2011
Time: 12:01:14

Comments

Possibly Mr. Snowden


Name: Phil Chesterman
Email: philconnieatshaw.ca
Years_at_school: 1946-1951
Date: 16 Aug 2011
Time: 15:21:28

Comments

Is there anyone out there who still has a clear memory of the years 1948 to 1951 (or later)? After comparing notes with Peter Nice, now located in Vancouver, Washington, (or WA) we came to the conclusion that there was a master who taught English with the initials "J.S.", and seemed to have had more success than most, according to the remarks in our Report Books. His writing was tiny, but it did allow him to write something sensible rather than other teachers who simply wrote 'bad' or 'lazy'. He taught me in 3D from January to July 1948, and continued in the 4th and 5th forms up until July 1950. Peter Nice was taught by him in 5D until July 1951. Both Peter and I left HCS in December 1951, therefore we have no further news. (He does not appear in any sports teams photos). Thanks to him I did get an 'O' level in English; something which must have astounded Square and the other English masters of the day. He could have been a Mr Skinner, although the name Stimson rings a bell. However that cannot be as he would have been dubbed 'Saint Impson' and ARS, 'Sinner Impson'. Perhaps in later years?


Name: Tom Backer
Email: tab at cwgsy dot net
Years_at_school: 1956-63
Date: 08 Aug 2011
Time: 02:32:27

Comments

Peter Ward's account is fascinating. It brings back many memories (both good and bad). The Grimsby gasworks story is amazing. To correct Peter, the head of science was Tom Busfield, who helped me to get to Oxford to read chemistry. 'Faerie' was the nickname of Bryan Stanford, who as well as being the Group Scoutmaster of the 4th Harrow was Scoutmaster of the Forester troop, which I joined in 1956. After his retirement, he moved to Wymondham in Norfolk, and I and several friens visited him on a number of occasions, to listen to his never ending moans. Finally, the Eagers saga reminds of an occasion when he interrupted a Maths lesson we were having with 'Smiley' Saunders. Asking Smiley whether he 'could have a few words', he (Eggy Eagers) went on to harangue the whole class about 'The Noise' and how often he had heard it, asking for information on the culprits, and threatening the ultimate sanction, namely exclusion from participating in the 'School Revue' (Christmas Entertainments) of which 'Eggy' was in charge. The whole class (3A or 4A I think) could hardly contain themselves trying to hide their giggles, meanwhile Smiley himself was hiding his face in his hands trying not to burst out laughing. Does anyone else remember that occasion? Best wishes to all my former colleagues. Tom.


Name: Paul Romney
Email: at
Years_at_school: 56-63
Date: 05 Aug 2011
Time: 13:58:07

Comments

Sounds like a bit of a thug.


Name: Martin Goodall
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1959 - 1966
Date: 03 Aug 2011
Time: 12:08:33

Comments

To quote the late 'Swanny' Amos, when a boy protested at his proposal to beat the whole class because some unidentified miscreants were talking in class. "If you talk, boy, you get the 'crack'; if you BREATHE, boy, you get the 'crack. If you don't breathe, you die."


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 02 Aug 2011
Time: 10:26:50

Comments

No, Paul, I wouldn't say that "everyone would expect regular beatings", but even the most well-behaved conformists would occasionally find themselves included in whole-class punishments during the first few years. I recall Messrs Clarkson and Amos were particularly fond of such noble means of retribution. Besides, the threat of physical violence was always there, a major factor in the barely-concealed atmosphere of fear and authoritarian intimidation that pervaded the wretched place.


Name: ye min
Email: yeyeye63athotmail.com
Years_at_school: 63-70
Date: 01 Aug 2011
Time: 10:13:14

Comments

I think it was more of a case of avoiding being caught. I recall my first year class being asked, 'Who do you have for geography?' Someone foolishly called out, 'Boggy.' He was told to 'go to the staffroom and fetch my slipper..' The tearful boy returned, was made to bend over in the centre of the room, the master took a run up and hit him hard, the boy fell forwards across the room into the door. I certainly didnt want that to happen to me. I also witnessed enough of the colonel to scare me, he could change from friendly (and that too was scarey} to terrifying in an instance. I left the school with bitter memories, now i see it slightly differently. Some people were able to cope by being bright and oxbridge material. like many others who fell below that standard i felt that the school didnt value people like me.I became a special needs teacher and now work with young people in a child and family mental health department, so in a funny sort of way my time at HCS did influence me eventually in a positive way, impelling me to work with less fortunate in our society.


Name: Paul Phillips
Email: Paulatbrianpaul.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1971-76
Date: 01 Aug 2011
Time: 05:30:40

Comments

A very interesting last month. The Gaytonian centenary mag was excellent and especially the 2 historical articles. Then I read Peter Ward's tour de force. From his writing one can almost feel the forces at work at the school. How glad I am to have been 10 years younger (approx). One thought though - in an average school life in the simpson years would everyone have expected regular beatings (recorded or not) or is it that contributors to the guestbook were simply more lively characters? I have tried many a time to remember my school days but they seem a blur. Even Ken Wallers voice sounded nothing like I thought I remembered it. Was a bit disappointed by the interview (or are we supposed to call it a soundbite now) as I thought it was going to involve KW more rather than simply a further glorification of our re Minister of Defence


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: no.goodatscience.cockup
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 31 Jul 2011
Time: 07:19:32

Comments

Peter - a brilliant piece of writing. Social history in its own right as has been pointed out. When you found Simpson in his study and had to beat a hasty retreat I was soiling my underpants. You should have been a writer of mystery and suspense novels. Best wishes to all who survived Simpson. I'm glad I was not there. Michael.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 25 Jul 2011
Time: 11:57:28

Comments

A fine Centenary Offering too, by the way!


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 25 Jul 2011
Time: 11:54:18

Comments

Well done, Peter Ward - a most entertaining read indeed, not just a few scattered memories but a slice of social history, I reckon. Quite incredible it is to think that we lived in such times, in such a place...(No wonder 'Monty Python' etc. emerged a few years later)....


Name: Jeff Maynard
Email: jeffrey at jeffreymaynard dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-69
Date: 24 Jul 2011
Time: 21:50:38

Comments

Peter Ward has written an essay "Life Under the Doctor" about the Simpson years.  Read it here:
http://www.jeffreymaynard.com/Harrow_County/new.htm
It can also be reached from the index page:
http://www.jeffreymaynard.com/Harrow_County/index.htm


Name: steve manning
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 63-68
Date: 24 Jul 2011
Time: 21:46:48

Comments

Don't remember ever seeing a mortar board.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: The Sixties
Date: 22 Jul 2011
Time: 11:48:05

Comments

Well, Pete, we'll have to agree to disagree as even from an unbiased viewpoint I don't really think the programme "worked" that well at all, it was just another fairly bland 'remembrance of things past' set-up. Not saying it was a 'bad' programme, just that it was all fairly predictable, giving little insight into the school itself beyond, perhaps, that image of the younger K C Waller, hurrying along the corridor, gown flowing behind and mortar board squarely on his head! Funny though, I can't recall him ever wearing a mortar board while teaching us....


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1956/63
Date: 22 Jul 2011
Time: 11:23:35

Comments

Chris, it was a fifteen minute programme. It was only on at all because of Michael Portillo, who I happen to think is very much more successful as a broadcaster than he was as a politician. What do you expect in fifteen minutes? Think of the audience, almost none of whom had even heard of the school. A couple of anecdotes and a nice touch in inviting Ken Waller into the studio. I really don't think you could have asked for more: for me, trying to listen as a non-participant, I thought it was a neat little programme; and, as a participant, it brought back not A2 but the equally-dingy A1 in which I spent my year in Lower Six Arts. The programme worked - it just didn't happen to be the one you would have made.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.com ,
Years_at_school: More than enough, thanks!
Date: 22 Jul 2011
Time: 10:42:44

Comments

Well, I and one or two ex-pupils I know went out of our way on Tuesday morning to catch the Great Return of Portillo, hoping that he and one of the finest, most gifted teachers of our time there, Kenneth Waller, would offer an interesting, hopefully even somewhat 'controversial' - or at least slightly more than mildly revealing - discussion about the place during (and maybe even before)those mid-to-late 60's years.

Alas, for us it was a let-down, a most disppointing 15 minutes that served mainly as a means to add further lustre to MP's already brightly-shining ego (or 'halo' even, it seemed at times!).

No criticism at all meant of Mr Waller, now 78 years old - and I'm pleased he's happy to have appeared on the programme - but really, his contribution amounted to little other than praise of the Great Man, when I and my friends had been hoping for something perhaps a bit more, er, 'juicy' from such an intelligent man.

Likewise, of course, but more so, from Portillo. For example, a reminiscence or two of the 'Simpson years', a reflection on the authoritarian nature of the regime, a mention of any contrast between the HCS of Simpson and the school under Avery (in charge from Portillo's second (or third?) year, and my thoroughly unmemorable last).

But on reflection, we were surely rather foolish, naive even, to have imagined such a programme could have ended up any different from what it turned out to be. You know - 'Centenary Year' (which I still think is a thoroughly bogus concept, as some here have stated, eg Martin Goodall, a fellow Greek student with me under Waller), a 'VIP' ex-pupil with strong media connections, who, crucially, of course, is hardly known for his er, 'iconoclasm'!!

Some mirth was generated by the tale of the 'Great Scam' of hiding out for years with other talented and subsequently rich-and-famous celebrities in an almost subterranean room down in the half-light of the A corridor (oh, I knew it well in those final 6th form years),on the pretence of covering English text books - but really, was that the limit of the man's 'rebelliousness'?!

I'd wanted him, as a pretty solid-seeming, intellectually-strong character with considerable initiative, to have been far more critical of the institution. But instead, he came across as a 'believer' and I should have realised all along that he would, being of such a fundamentally conservative bent.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 22 Jul 2011
Time: 06:00:39

Comments

Sorry about the duplication; thought I'd lost the first one. Anyway, Ken Waller is chuffed about the radio programme and so he should be. It was all nicely done.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 19 Jul 2011
Time: 10:02:10

Comments

John Clark's remarks are very interesting. I lived and worked in Chester some years ago just across the street from the then Midland bank which he mentions. I was aware that the Grosvenor family's motto was Virtus non Stemma and I may have some further information in my papers. The Grosvenor Estate owns a huge chunk of propery in Chester including the Grosvenor Hotel, opposite that bank and the 1960s shopping centre behind the Rows, the mediaeval two tier shopping feature unique to the city. Michael Portillo featured the Rows in one of his railway programmes. The Grosvenor Estate and family exercise a most benign influence on the city, making it one of the most delightful tourist destinations. The Eastgate clock is the focal point of the city and as John say, the bank is right there.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 19 Jul 2011
Time: 09:46:48

Comments

John Clark's remarks are very interesting. I lived and worked in Chester many years ago, just across the street from the then Midland Bank which he mentions. I was aware that the Grosvenor family's motto was Virtus non Stemma and I may have something in my papers on it. The Grosvenor estate owns a huge chunk of property and acts as a most benign landlord in the city. It owns the 5 star Grosvenor Hotel opposite the bank and the 1960s shopping arcade behind the Rows, the mediaeval two tier shopping arrangement unique to the city. Michael Portillo featured the Rows in his railway programme. If you get the chance, Chester is well worth a visit and the bank that John mentions is right in the tourist heart of the city.


Name: Jeff Maynard
Email: jeffrey at jeffreymaynard dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-69
Date: 18 Jul 2011
Time: 22:13:08

Comments

"Top of the Class"  BBC Radio programme with Michael Portillo and Mr. Kenneth Waller - Tuesday July 19th at 9.30am on radio four.  See http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b012l1y6


Name: Stephen Frost
Email: sftankathotmail.com
Years_at_school: 1963-70
Date: 18 Jul 2011
Time: 09:55:06

Comments

Well done, John Clark. Yes it is worthy of further research. It is the Grosvenor family motto.

We have to imagine ourselves in Harrow in 1911. Alderman Carlyon and Ernest Young (who was previously Headmaster of the Lower School of John Lyon linked to Harrow) and others were thinking about the school crest and motto. Google searches reveal that many Grosvenors went to Harrow school. Should we investigate the link between Harrow and the Grosvenors? Where did Alderman Carlyon and others involved in founding HCS go to school? What of Carlyon Avenue in Harrow? Think we need to look at Alderman C's background and those of other founders or early governors


Name: John Clark
Email: jmclark dot (figure)two at virgin dot net
Years_at_school: 1954-59
Date: 17 Jul 2011
Time: 12:56:50

Comments

Whilst on a day trip to Chester recently, I was walking the city walls.  Crossing over Eastgate (the one which carries the well-known clock) I paused to take in the view of the street below and the facades of the historic buildings.  The building immediately to my right, presently occupied by HSBC Bank, was of particularly striking Victorian (Gothic Revival) style which included a row of shields above the ground floor, and then above the first floor windows, a curious looking coat of arms with dogs rampant (makes a change from lions) holding a shield showing a sheaf of corn or wheat.  Then my attention was suddenly drawn to the motto beneath the coat of arms; it read, "VIRTUS NON STEMMA"!  I was amazed to find our HCS motto, which I had always believed to be absolutely unique to the school, in such an unlikely place and resolved to try to find out if there was some obscure connection.

You can view a very good photo of the front of the building at www.flickr.com/photos/lestiverton/3557856028 and if you right-click on the picture and select to view the largest (original) size, the definition is high enough to zoom in on the coat of arms and clearly read the words.  Alternatively, go to www.geograph.org.uk slash photo slash 818081 where the zooming is already done for you, but you only see the coat of arms, not the impressive architecture upon which it is placed. I have since done a bit of elementary internet research into the history of the building and apparently it was commissioned by Hugh Lupus Grosvenor, 1st. Duke of Westminster (1825-1899), designed by a prominent local architect, John Douglas, and completed in 1883.  It was constructed to be the premises of the North and South Wales Bank, with a gentlemen's club, called The Grosvenor Club, on the upper floors.  It is stated that the coat of arms is that of the Grosvenor family, which seems a logical conclusion.

However, I have not succeeded in progressing much further with this.  Quite different versions of the Grosvenor coat of arms are shown on various websites, the only common factor being the wheat sheaf and the motto.  The latter is generally translated as "Virtue, not Pedigree" or "Merit, not Lineage", rather than the more prosaic "Worth, not Birth" which was always quoted to us and also incorporated into the School Song. Can any of you historians out there throw some more light on the matter?  Was there some connection between the Grosvenor family or Duchy of Westminster and the founders of the school, or was the motto already well established in the public domain by 1911, and the founders simply adopted it?

After writing all of the above, I discovered that Alex Bateman has mentioned in his piece about the school badge (on this website), that the motto was chosen by one of the first Governors, Sir Alexander Carlyon.  This worthy local gentleman was a Barrister, J.P., and Deputy-Lieutenant of the County of Middlesex, but it is conceivable that he may have "borrowed" the Duke of Westminster's family motto, knowingly or otherwise!  Nonetheless, I felt that my unexpected experience was sufficiently interesting to bring it to the attention of Old Gaytonians through this medium, as I hope at least some of you will agree.
 


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957 -
Date: 16 Jul 2011
Time: 10:16:35

Comments

Can't quite understand why the tickets for the Centenary Dinner have not sold out, but would like it known that Keith Baker has now put them on open sale. Come on folks, just once in a hundred years can't be that bad!!!


Name: Steve Green
Email: gmachfla at earthlink.net
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 15 Jul 2011
Time: 16:18:39

Comments

jeff, I found some more old rugby photos from the 1930's I think, when my father was playing, either for the School or the Old Boys. If you would like them please e-mail your address to me and I will send them. Regards,


Name: Michael Mendelblat
Email: michael.mendelblat at herbertsmith.com
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 12 Jul 2011
Time: 06:33:41

Comments

I see that Radio 4 has a programme next Tuesday about Michael Portillo's return to the school and his meeting with Kenneth Waller.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 11 Jul 2011
Time: 03:53:06

Comments

In response to the latest, I look forward to the New Year's Honours List in which Rebecca Brookes will be elevated to a Damehood. Andy Coulson for Pope? (Or is that not in the PM's gift?)


Name: Brian Hester
Email: bianwhesterATgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-47
Date: 10 Jul 2011
Time: 20:21:02

Comments

I have always understood that certainly at the MBE and OBE level, awards are made as the result of recommendations made to someone in the prime minister's office. Rather than speculate on how people come by their awards, it might be possible simply to ask. Ultimately all the awards are at the disposition of the pm. I suspect the details of decision making are murky.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: near eternity
Date: 10 Jul 2011
Time: 08:46:27

Comments

I take Henry Wyatt's point but would point out we no longer hand out OBEs for beastliness. Plenty of gongs for corruption are still available, however. Been working on one for years!


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 10 Jul 2011
Time: 03:47:53

Comments

Andrew, O tempora, O mores! We have to believe that today the world is a better place, not least because we know of and acknowledge these dreadful things. I do not believe that the incidence of beastliness is any worse today than heretofore, notwithstanding the evidence before our eyes.


Name: Andrew Carruthers
Email: ajcarruthersatbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1961 - 8
Date: 10 Jul 2011
Time: 01:15:31

Comments

On the subject of the OBE awarded to Bigham, I have just been reading Part 2 of the history of Cannon Lane School, the otherwise excellent primary school I attended, and was astonished to find that another brutal sadistic monster, by the name of Williams, also got the OBE for alleged services to sport and education. Harrow Council were appalled when they heard, so they must have known rather more than I might have imagined - but then why were such people allowed to continue their dreadful ways?


Name: Richard Buckley
Email: richardatspaceplanner.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1959-65
Date: 22 Jun 2011
Time: 10:28:51

Comments

I have just read Stephen Frost's paper on Ernest Young. What an interesting man he was. I vaguely knew this but Stephen's paper brought him to life. I would liked to have met him. Thank you Stephen.


Name: Lt .Col WMB OBE
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 16 Jun 2011
Time: 15:31:07

Comments

I thought all the boys knew it was awarded for "Other Beggars Efforts".


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16at btinternet.com
Years_at_school: interminable
Date: 15 Jun 2011
Time: 17:13:01

Comments

Now, steady on, Chris Esmond. I sense you are taking the p---! Do remember that great men are often not recognised in their own lifetimes. Or, indeed, 50 years on. For goodness sake, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert were quickly forgotten before magificent restorations by eg Felix Mendelsohn (Bach) and Frans Liszt (Beethoven.) Dr. Simpson's time will come. Will you be the person to blaze the trail? It seems not. Who will rise to this great challenge? Let that noble person step forward.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 15 Jun 2011
Time: 03:46:52

Comments

Wouldn't it, therefore, be appropriate, Peter, to create a proper tribute to one who brought such lightness of heart and so much laughter to so many? I mean, that cartoon on the cricket sight-screen was fine in its way, but essentially ephemeral, due to its location (not to mention the innate self-effacing modesty of the Great Man). Perhaps a full-page on 'The Great Comedian' in the Harrow Observer on a date significant to the school this centenary year, to be copied, framed and despatched to all pupils who benefited from his comic genius?


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet..com
Years_at_school: infinite
Date: 14 Jun 2011
Time: 15:30:15

Comments

In answer to Chris Esmond, Dr AR Simpson did not receive any official recognition. But as one of Scotland's greatest stand-up comedians he at least deserved a BAFTA nomination. That line about 'woodpecker shoes'...it still mananges to have me convulsed. I have always felt Billy Connelly stole Simpson's thunder. The great Headmaster's sense of humour was so profound it had most people baffled, including himself!


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 14 Jun 2011
Time: 05:48:03

Comments

'Questions' post below from me, btw.


Name: Type your name here
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 14 Jun 2011
Time: 05:47:00

Comments

16 years after the war? Surely it was for the school CCF? Btw, did ARS ever receive a similar award? IE as the man who opened the way for Bigham to run the CCF?!! So many crucial questions...Can't sleep at night....


Name: David Jackson
Email: david at jack-son.co.uk
Years_at_school: 59ish - 64ish
Date: 14 Jun 2011
Time: 04:23:04

Comments

"let us not forget the OBE granted to the unforgettable 'Lt. Col.' WM Bigham, circa 1961." Very good point. How did that particular individual manage to get an OBE. I guess it must have been his war record...


Name: Graeme.M.Young
Email: No way'
Years_at_school: 1947 to 1953
Date: 13 Jun 2011
Time: 03:11:00

Comments

At age 75 and beginning to feel the encroachment of the well-broadcast aches and pains that old age bestows upon such as I, I thought that I could look back on my days at HCS with a warmer feeling than hitherto. However my memories of the place were never all that good, bullying by staff and older pupils, the general atmosphere of fear, an undercurrent of suppressed rebellion and an oppressive and inflexible set of "school rules" remain my prevalent memories. I tried my best to contribute to the life of HCS and to be a good citizen, but it was never good enough and, like very many others, felt enormously relieved when I finally left and began my working life. The best I can say about those years at HCS were that they were character-forming.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.wardatbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 13 Jun 2011
Time: 02:34:31

Comments

If we are celebrating awards of meaningless gongs to HCS Alumni, let us not forget the OBE granted to the unforgettable 'Lt. Col.' WM Bigham, circa 1961. That said everything about the merits of the Honours System. This year, I was disappointed to find that the Wayne Rooney's services to British public life had yet again been ignored. Not that he is a former HCS Alumnus, of course.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 13 Jun 2011
Time: 02:33:34

Comments

If we are celebrating awards of meaningless gongs to HCS Alumni, let us not forget the OBE granted to the unforgettable 'Lt. Col.' WM Bigham, circa 1961. That said everything about the merits of the Honours System. This year, I was disappointed to find that the Wayne Rooney's services to British public life had yet again been ignored. Not that he is a former HCS Alumnus, of course.


Name: Stephen Frost
Email: sftankathotmail.com
Years_at_school: 1963-70
Date: 12 Jun 2011
Time: 11:48:35

Comments

Kindly Call me God to God calls me God?


Name: Chris Esmond
Email:
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 12 Jun 2011
Time: 03:46:07

Comments

KCMG to GCMG,eh? An advance of just 4 letters... Not quite good enough, I'm afraid, we expect a lot better than that from our alumni. ARS will be turning in his grave... Come on, Sir Nigel, get your finger out, son!


Name: Jeff Maynard
Email: jeffrey at jeffreymaynard dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-69
Date: 11 Jun 2011
Time: 21:47:01

Comments

Here are two from the Queens Birthday Honours - if anyone spots any more please let me know: Sir Nigel Sheinwald KCMG has been promoted in the Order of St Michael and St George to GCMG Richard Boyd, DL, FRSA., Chief Executive Officer, Disability Essex has been awarded the OBE for services to Essex.


Name: Type your name here
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 08 Jun 2011
Time: 14:07:26

Comments

Mildly interested to read the items on Mathematical Pie (no insult to the contributors but only to Maths which I absolutely hated.) However, before being dragged down South from Doncaster Grammar School (1958) I happened to know the man who started the monthly magazine. I believe he acted as Editor or Joint Editor. At Doncaster, my parents were friends of Roland and Grace Collins, kindly people who were especially devoted to their severely mentally handicapped daughter. Roland Collins was Deputy Head of the town's Technical High School for Boys. This was in the days when the Education System took care of the alleged non-top academics, from the age of 11, and trained both boys and girls in all kinds of skilled engineering and apprentice-type courses. No doubt leading to bigger and better things,including valuable employment prospects. Roland Collins was pretty fanatical about this strange (in my terms) magazine that had a small national cult following. I remember taking one look at it and shuddering. Mathematical Pie eventually died a death but I think it was resurrected, temporarily, for a second short burst of existence after his death.


Name: Philip Levi
Email: pjlevi at gmail.com
Years_at_school: 1959-1961
Date: 08 Jun 2011
Time: 05:09:18

Comments

Further to Michael Schwartz's comments on Mathematical Pie, my copy of the May 1960 edition that was posted on the web site in February includes my original pencilled attempts at some of the answers which we attempted during our maths lessons at age 14-15 with Mr Duke. This was in the top set in the 1959-60 Form IV which I remember included the incredible mathematician Tom Lake who went on to get 6 Open Scholarships. The Mathematics Association web site www.m-a.org.uk contains a sample of the Autumn 2009 issue which is apparently suitable for today's 11-16 year olds. From their home page click on Publications, then Mathematical Pie, then Autumn 2009 issue. Mathematical genii of yesteryear may like to attempt the editions of October 1950 to Summer 1984 which are all reproduced on the unofficial site, www.mathematicalpie.com.


Name: Michael Schwartz admitting spelling errors
Email:
Years_at_school: Interminable
Date: 03 Jun 2011
Time: 14:39:30

Comments

Yes. I admit it. Special worlers are in fact social workers. Actually, they sound like something out of Rambling Sid Rumpo from Round the Horne (check him out on Youtube). My maths teachers were Farmer Giles, Grebo (glorious Grebo!) Garrett-Benson, Jack Kaprou, CPOD (Christopher O'Donoghue) and Mr Pearce. They did get me through O Level - but not Mathematical Pie. Michael.


Name: Paul Romney
Email: at
Years_at_school: 56-63
Date: 03 Jun 2011
Time: 10:49:40

Comments

Michael: Who are these "special worlers"? Sounds like something out of Paul Jennings.


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: michaelwritesforyouyhooca
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 02 Jun 2011
Time: 07:30:28

Comments

I have now gone onto the Mathematical Pie page introduced in February under "New" three times. I have failed to get a single question right. H9w did I ever get Maths O Level? How could the editors of the newsletter be so cruel to 14-year-olds? These days we'd have the special worlers round on grounds of mental abuse! Has anyone else tried these puzzles? Michael.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 26 May 2011
Time: 15:57:22

Comments

Below post is mine, btw


Name: Type your name here
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 26 May 2011
Time: 15:55:34

Comments

Just as you did on April 8, Pete! With a bit of help from the ever-willing Jeffrey Maynard, ie he just did it... (Cheers, Jeffrey,you're a 'star'!).


Name: Pete Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/63
Date: 26 May 2011
Time: 14:17:29

Comments

Chris, on a far more important matter - how did you achieve paragraphs?


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 24 May 2011
Time: 13:29:29

Comments

Fair enough, Pete, I see you're more or less a 'kindred spirit', after all!

Including when you say,"I would maintain it was altogether sounder, when the ancien regime was so clearly withering at its roots, to stand on the sidelines and pour scorn on the stupidity of the bullies and cackle at the pathetic pomp of an Emperor who had, in his last years, not only no elasticated booties, but no clothes at all."

But perhaps as you were that much older than me at that point - and just a few years can make a lot of difference at that early age - you were maybe more able to develop an efficient inner shield against the abuses of that era? And or were psychologically stronger?

I wasn't able to 'rise above it all' merely by taking a satirically detached stance, although I tried, of course. Still,as time went by I and others I knew 'managed' the situation, my response being, around age 15, to withdraw into focusing on academic work (and football, both in playground and outside school, playing and as an obsessive fan!), after which the 6th form provided a welcome expansion into the world of literature and history, almost, in retrospect, a 'life-saver' at the time...Coupled with a disenchanted, alienated attitude towards the place, those things saw me through... But really, I rarely, if ever, felt 'at home' there, those first 3-plus years were uncomfortable and damaging, the rest in a way being a reaction to them. "Scared" and "scarred" I was, and mighty glad to leave.


Name: Pete Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/63
Date: 24 May 2011
Time: 12:53:03

Comments

Chris, I don't disagree with a lot of what you say - and, if you read what I've written here (look at 'Now and Then' from 2001), you'll see that I'm hardly an advocate for the return of the schooling we had. All I'm saying is this: you have to look at what we went through and realise that this was the norm for the time - the school was firmly in its own historical context for the 'top rated' Grammar Schools ('top-rated' in the conventional sense, ie number of University entrants). Harrow Weald and Pinner County were much more relaxed; but Harrow County - the 'premier school in Middlesex' as it was described in Simpson's interview with the Middlesex authority - saw itself in an altogether higher league. It was competing at the national level. Of course there were some absolute bastards teaching there, sadists to the core; and, of course, there were those who suffered - and I outlined some of the categories of those in the entry to which you refer. But it was of its time: that's what the 'top' Grammar Schools were like in the 1950s. It was a period of brutality, of austerity, of rigid discipline; it was a period where the Colonels could act like mini-Pinochets and rule the classroom with a well-targetted walking stick. But you were there, as I was there, when the regime was crumbling under its contradictions; when the woodpecker shoes made the tyrant a laughing stock; when the cricket pitch was dug up by lads with suede shoes and quiffs in their hair; when rock'n'roll was stalking the corridors; and you, unlike me, was even there when the Great Man left the building in a flurry of acts of petty vandalism. I would maintain it was altogether sounder, when the ancien regime was so clearly withering at its roots, to stand on the sidelines and pour scorn on the stupidity of the bullies and cackle at the pathetic pomp of an Emperor who had, in his last years, not only no elasticated booties, but no clothes at all.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondATyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 24 May 2011
Time: 10:09:14

Comments

Pete Fowler wrote: "But, this 'scarring' was not a USP of HCS - after all, Simpson modelled his school on Eric James's leadership of the Manchester Grammar School, and there were any number of establishments in the 40s and the 50s with this ethos.

Moulded, yes - but 'scared' and 'scarred'? No more than any other equivalent school at the time."

Hardly the point,Pete. It's rather like saying that living under an oppressive political regime is not really much to complain about as after all, old boy (pun intended!), there are so many lousy regimes, aren't there, so what's the big deal?! Just because other such regimes,schools exist doesn't mean citizens, pupils don't suffer, aren't damaged, "scarred" and it most certainly doesn't imply that such oppression should be minimised or even denied.

As for your minimising the extent to which pupils were "scared", well, I recall, for example, some of those Simpson assemblies where you could almost smell the tension, the fear in the hall.

Also, I well remember how intimidating was the first day at the school, with unfriendly, domineering characters in gowns (including the self-important little twats of head and deputy head boy) throwing their weight around, each and every one on an authoritarian 'power trip'. "Christ almighty", I thought to myself, "What sort of hole have I ended up in?"

These are just two glaringly obvious examples, but they give an idea of the underlying atmosphere, the ethos underpinning the place.

Of course, there were exceptions, of both teachers and circumstances (sport, drama, music) where a greater informality and rapport could flourish - to a certain extent - but fundamentally the place was basically run on fear and an overwhelming wish to control. I mean, what in hell's name was Bigham doing taking lunch every day with the Head and Deputy Head? That alone spoke volumes for the place's ethos and ambience.

Some might call it something like 'necessary and beneficial discipline'. I beg to differ: It was just another institution aiming to mould its impressionable, relatively powerless inmates into the image required by the powers-that-be, who had themselves been subject to similar treatment - not least by service in the armed forces, including during the war.

Just another case of 'the sins of the fathers' being perpetrated upon 'the sons'. Aka one generation 'laying its trip' on another, with all the disrespect and delusion that implies.

Perhaps some thrived in such an atmosphere...I - despite being an academic and sporting high-flier - and a number of others I know, didn't. When I was 16 and started going to a local youth club, the former fellow-pupils at primary school who'd been at Harrow Weald, a mixed grammar school, since age 11, were obviously far happier, balanced, mature than those of the same earlier group who'd had those years at Harrow County.

"Scared", "scarred"? Yes, Pete, quite a lot, in fact.


Name: John Richard Bell
Email: johnrbell40athotmail.com
Years_at_school: 1952 - 1958
Date: 23 May 2011
Time: 15:20:24

Comments

Reading through the comments recently expressed in this guest book makes me wish that I lived somewhat nearer to the school and could enjoy the events that have taken place in connection with the centenary. I did get to the OGA Dinner in April and have booked my place for the formal dinner in October. I also intend to go to the Autumn lunch in November, but that will be about it for this year. Next year I am planning a reunion for the class of '52 and have contacted all of my year for whom I have addresses.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 22 May 2011
Time: 05:25:53

Comments

Well done to everybody involved with yesterday's event. Most interesting to hear Sir Nigel. It was gratifying to hear him acknowledge Ken Waller who was in the audience. I was particuarly pleased to meet up with Philip Levy after all these years. He tells me that he leads a somewhat peripatetic life these days, dividing his time between the UK, Andorra and South Africa. A great night.


Name: Robert Tabb
Email: robert.tabb73at googlemail.com
Years_at_school: 1956 to 1963
Date: 16 May 2011
Time: 11:51:36

Comments

Glad to see the GUEST BOOK has returned. I really missed not seeing any entries for so long & wondered if there were technical problems


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondat yahoo.comWrite word 'at' in full to'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 14 May 2011
Time: 18:26:21

Comments

Laurence, I find your comment hard to understand as a few years ago, finding myself in the Harrow area, I ventured inside the school building and wandered around for 5 or 10 mins. or so - it was a school holiday - revisiting those corridors and the memories they evoked. Inside was much as it used to be, although of course the field has been obliterated and is now a bit of an eyesore. Anyway, a rather weird experience and one I wouldn't care to repeat, especially having been so very glad to finally get away from the place all those years ago.


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957 -
Date: 14 May 2011
Time: 00:26:54

Comments

David, the heart was ripped out of the school many years ago, and now, with the exception of the front entrance and staicase, the skeleton has been so mangled, that the school as we knew it just occupies a small area of the site. I listened to the introduction to 'Any Questions', and was puzzled that so little was said of the venue and its history, after all wasn't that the purpose of the programme being there? Looking forward to the Dinner in October. Laurence


Name: David Fleming
Email: sueanddaveflemingattiscali.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1958-65
Date: 12 May 2011
Time: 12:22:25

Comments

The Guest Book seems to have gone quiet with no entries since 13th April unless there is a glitch. I attended Any Questions on Friday, the first time that I had been back to the school for well over 40 years. The outside has changed almost beyond recognition with the sports field having disappeared. The hall seemed less grand than I remembered, probably because it now doubles up as a gym. The organ had gone along with the Honours Board, not that I had a vested interest, and the balcony seemed to have been boarded off. There must have been a lot of Old Boys there although I barely recognised any. Don Wilkey looked well although I did not have a chance to talk to him. Dress standards were maintained with no shorty raincoats (as worn by 3rd class Swedish salesmen) or woodpecker shoes in sight. It was an interesting evening being part of a live broadcast and well run by the organisers.


Name: Bill Peter
Email: bncpeteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 1960-1967
Date: 13 Apr 2011
Time: 04:53:24

Comments

I was browsing YouTube yesterday for Mr Bean videos for my sons. I came across a Rowan Atkinson sketch, where he is a school headmaster who has caned a pupil to death. The headmaster has a very refined Scottish accent. I wonder.... BTW, I tried to post the link here, but special characters are not allowed.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962=9
Date: 09 Apr 2011
Time: 08:43:47

Comments

I see in the paper this morning that the government intends to institute a biannual prize for engineers to compete in status with the Nobel prize. It is casting around for the name of a suitable esteeemed engineer such as Brunel or Bazelgette. How about Fidler?


Name: Bill Peter
Email: bncpeteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 1960-1967
Date: 09 Apr 2011
Time: 01:42:56

Comments

To Brian Slater; I live "down the road" from you in KL. I tried to find you on Facebook, but was not successful. I'm the only Bill Peter on Facebook holding a small boy, who, I hasten to add, is my son.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 08 Apr 2011
Time: 08:47:39

Comments

Pete...I'm merely requoting actual contributions to this blog. The word 'scarred' has been coined by people claiming this happened to them. With regard to 'scared'...same again. Read back to find people say they were 'scared' of Bigham. Personally, I thought of the bullies more as pathetics or semi-loonies. Anyhow, it makes for interesting enough dialogue. Thanks to this blog, I meet Pete(r) Woollard, tomorrow, for the first time in 51 years. Where is Mick Regan? Does anyone know? He was the star of the anti-Simpson faction (late 50s - early 60s) and very funny with it. Well done Jeffrey Maynard. Your conception has unexpected spin-offs (sorry - HCS English grammar lessons - spins off!) Will I be picked up by the pedants?


Name: Pete Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/63
Date: 08 Apr 2011
Time: 02:02:25

Comments

'Scared' and 'scarred' are the wrong words. I can't remember too many kids being scared, apart from those who were bullied either by other pupils or, on instances, by some teachers, which is the same in any school anywhere. The Chemistry teacher running from the corridor into the classroom, in order to achieve maximum leverage on the slipper he used to whack the boy bent over his teacher's desk, was certainly not a feature unique of the Simpson regime - his predecessors litter Dickens and even Charlotte and Ann Bronte's work, and I would imagine they are still around now, albeit a little hampered in fulfilling their fantasies by present=day legislation. 

And nor is 'scarred' endemic. In these threads, some ex-pupils are rightly bitter - those who were marginalised because their skills set did not equate with the curriculum diktats of the Calvinists and went through school largely ignored, suffering the worst teachers throughout; those who were clever but, in the fullness of time, had a much firmer grasp of the future than those who were teaching them - I'm thinking of the ex-sixth formeer who wanted to do computing at Manchester when Turing was there, only to be told by Simpson that he was both wasting his life away and bringing the school into disrepute; those who were gay - and we've had at least one screech of pain on this site from someone I'm absolutely certain was 'scarred'.

But, this 'scarring' was not a USP of HCS - after all, Simpson modelled his school on Eric James's leadership of the Manchester Grammar School, and there were any number of establishments in the 40s and the 50s with this ethos.

Moulded, yes - but 'scared' and 'scarred'? No more than any other equivalent school at the time.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 07 Apr 2011
Time: 16:18:27

Comments

I think you have it about right, Bernard. Looking through the 'blog' (horrid word) it is clear some people were scared of, and scarred by, the Simpson Regime. Personally, I found it ludicrous. More to laugh at than be frightened of. But that doesn't make me retract my views on bullying. Teaching in a tricky Inner London Comp, only four years after leaving HCS, one was encouraged to find ways of getting on with students. Getting them onside instead of hitting and humiliating. Young people respond to the positive. Simpson and Co. (with honourable exceptions) operated in the negative. If, in those days, they had been 'OFSTED'd' the school would have been placed in special measures. Our generation did not run home with tales to get our parents to come roaring up, next day. If we had, certain individuals would have ended up in very hot water. Some might have ended up 'inside'. I remember seeing an ill-tempered master kick a boy down a flight of stairs because he had inadvertently got in his way. If he had committed that act in a more public place eg the steps at Harrow Met. station, he would have arrested for assault. Imagine if the boy had been seriously damaged...GBH. Today's teachers don't and can't behave like that!


Name: Bernard Gillespie
Email: rgillespieattampabay.rr.com
Years_at_school: 1939-1944
Date: 07 Apr 2011
Time: 10:57:54

Comments

Peter ; I seem to have lead a rather charmed life as I have never been bullied either as a child or as an adult ............. or perhaps I was too thick to recognise it for what it was ....... happily neither have I ever bullied anyone, young, old, male, female .................although I feel that "such and such is not acceptable " comes close to a mental bullying intended to persuade me to change my position on whatever the topic is ........... happily, again, I don't believe that that was your intention ..... to change my position, yes. but to bully, no .......... as always, since I began checking the HCS guest book, I am thankful that I attended HCS during the headship of one of the nicest men one could wish for ....... and sorrowful for those of you who had not that pleasure ....... from many posts on this site it is clear that many of you who lived through the regime of the late Dr Simpson feel very bitter about your school years ...........


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinernet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 06 Apr 2011
Time: 16:59:11

Comments

Bernard...I take your point. We experienced the school in different eras. However, your comment about being 'Bolshie' (a Soviet reference, I think) is wide of the mark. The fact is, in our time, some of us stood up to gross bullying and intimidation at HCS rather than lieing down like passive lambs. Far from useless, it stood me (I can only speak personally) in good stead when I came up against bullies in later professional life. One was a senior BBC Head of Department who bullied her young, black, single-parent secretary without mercy. I took this particular woman(the Head of Dept. that is) to task and got her to back off. Likewise, I was involved, years later, in the removal of a Headteacher bully of both Staff and children, in a State Primary School. It was the early HCS experiences of being insulted by 'men amongst boys' that stood me, and others, in good stead and proved to be a valuable learning ground. Bullying is either to be tolerated or fought against. We make our choice. To dismiss taking it head on as 'Bolshie behaviour' is not acceptable. Are the opponents of White South African rule, Saddam Hussein's enemies and the brave Col. Gaddifi protestors to be dismissed as 'Bolshies'? I think not. Human history is laced with bullies, great and small. Bullying is an unpleasant aspect of Human Evolution. It should be contested at all levels. Our weakness, under the Simpson Regime, was that we were young, relatively inarticulate and lacking the wisdom that comes with age and experience. It took courage to stand up to the Bighams of our teenage world, however naive the manifestation.


Name: Bernard Gillespie
Email: rgillespieattampabay.rr.com
Years_at_school: 1939-1944
Date: 06 Apr 2011
Time: 14:39:23

Comments

Peter, I don't doubt, question or contest your comments about GT and AA, ...... I simply say that your experience was not my experience ......... perhaps during the war we had more things to worry about than the harshness or otherwise of teachers .......... and we lived under the generally benign reign of the great Randall Williams .......... perhaps during my school years they (GT and AA ) took a more grateful and conciliatory approach to each day ......... and perhaps also we, the student body, had a less bolshie view of school life than appears to have been the case in the following decade. ........ not that a bolshie attitude was anything but the right response given the leadership at that time ..... the right response, but largely pointless I suspect


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 06 Apr 2011
Time: 12:46:13

Comments

On further contemplation of my association with George Thorne, I recall a disposition towards unintended slapstick humour that would credit to Mr. Bean. Scenes that come readily to mind include the unsuccessful demonstatration of how to boil water in a paper bag,and his dropping accidentally a large quantity of sodium into a dish of water with the resulting burst of unsurpressable chemical activity. Another occasion which fortunately did not result in a macarbre outcome was when all 35 of us were clustered around the bench watching the conclusion of a demonstation of how a hot iron bar contracted when cooled. Fracturing occurred of the iron nail secured in one end of the bar with spectacular effect with bits of iron nail flying around the laboratory, fortunately missing everyone. Perhaps others have similar recollections.


Name: Doug Edey
Email: dugeliaatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1948-1953
Date: 06 Apr 2011
Time: 06:48:35

Comments

First visit - can't put it down!

(Click for photo of Doug Edey & 4th Harrow Scouts; http://www.jeffreymaynard.com/Harrow_County/Scouts1950.htm  - Ed)


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratcogeco.com
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 03 Apr 2011
Time: 18:19:01

Comments

You state the case well Pete. We did have some excellent,dedicated teachers. I tend to agree with Bernard about Thorne and Amos. Thorne's performance in teaching us general science for four years was anything but inspirational. What always surprises me is the number of his students who went on to scientific careers. Thorne seemed to have a special relationship with Randall Williams but I was never aware of seeing him being social with any of the other staff. He would drive off home in solitary splendour in his Vauxhall car leaving his colleagues to walk to the station in the rain. Of all the staff, he was the only one who was able to justify petrol coupons in those far off days of rationing. I rather enjoyed Amos's classes but then I was one of the more agile ones. The over-weight and less coordinated boys sometimes a bad time.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratcogeco.com
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 03 Apr 2011
Time: 18:19:00

Comments

You state the case well Pete. We did have some excellent,dedicated teachers. I tend to agree with Bernard about Thorne and Amos. Thorne's performance in teaching us general science for four years was anything but inspirational. What always surprises me is the number of his students who went on to scientific careers. Thorne seemed to have a special relationship with Randall Williams but I was never aware of seeing him being social with any of the other staff. He would drive off home in solitary splendour in his Vauxhall car leaving his colleagues to walk to the station in the rain. Of all the staff, he was the only one who was able to justify petrol coupons in those far off days of rationing. I rather enjoyed Amos's classes but then I was one of the more agile ones. The over-weight and less coordinated boys sometimes a bad time.


Name: Pete Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/63
Date: 03 Apr 2011
Time: 14:38:34

Comments

Peter, I agree with you - which is why I taught my last lesson at the age of 39; and stormed out of my-then career as a teacher because I discovered, during the Falklands War, that any empathy I had with 17 year olds was over, finito, caput. But then I also eventually realised, with the benefit of hindsight, that those who were really gifted at the art of teaching, rather than the pretence of teaching, were able to transcend such things. At Harrow County, during our period, those of us in certain curriculum areas were immensely fortunate that there were a handful of those who were born to teach and born to inspire; and that whilst we might have to suffer the neanderthals, we were also given, just on occasion, the life-giving opportunities of the benefits of the real teacher. Some of those lessons are still with me - and this, as I know so well now, is one hell of a rarity.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 03 Apr 2011
Time: 11:56:56

Comments

Maybe what Pete Fowler is saying is that masters such as Amos and Thorn started young and semi-human but ended their days as fossilised old monsters. I once worked in an Inner London 'Comprehensive' (early 70s) and noted the gradual corruption of older male teachers (not all.)It helped me to make my decision to leave teaching as I didn't want to end up like them...cynical, unfulfilled and not very nice. And no regrets. These people were big fish in some small, obscure pond. It is interesting that both Thorn and Amos spent decades at HCS. Possibly a comfort zone in which they could inflict their increasing inhumanity, unchallenged.


Name: Pete Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/63
Date: 03 Apr 2011
Time: 09:55:08

Comments

Bernard, you can probably take my narrative with a pinch of jaundiced and cynical salt: others may take a more positive view. But whilst age may continue, inexorably, to drive me to an anger that is almost certainly unhealthy, I cannot let your opinions on GT and AA stand uncontested: I, too, was summarily dismissed from GT's selections, though I, being a little suspicious - rightly, I admire my 11 year old gut feelings - simply said, on reaching 'Fah' that there was no way I could reach 'so'. And 'so' I was consigned to the dustbin at the back of the class. AA simply seemed to take a perverse delight in seeing me dangling from ropes that appeared to me to be at a quite unnatural height; and, after an inane and seemingly indefinite period of terrified limbo, when I finally found myself once again at ground level, I was then put through one of his 'sweat periods', the memory of which, fifty years on, still leaves me in a sweat right now. Neither GT nor AA leave me with even the slightest memory of anything that might be described as affection.


Name: Bernard Gillespie
Email: rgillespieattampabay.rr.com
Years_at_school: 1939-1944
Date: 03 Apr 2011
Time: 09:10:46

Comments

thank you Pete F for bringing me up to speed on the Academy thing ......... thank you also Peter W for the piece about George Thorn and music ............. as a non-singer I admit to being impressed with your participation in more than one choir ..... tenor, baritone, bass ? ............. Thorn and Amos have got a bad press in recent posts ........ my experience of these two two teachers seemingly is the reverse of others ...... while G Thorn hammered away on the grand in a most unmusical way he was otherwise docile ...... and Swanny Amos was never severe to me or any of my classmates ....... perhaps the C stream during the war was unusually docile and did not raise the ire of GT or AA


Name: Bill Peter
Email: bncpeteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 1960-67
Date: 02 Apr 2011
Time: 21:07:31

Comments

I have been reading the comments about Sir Paul Nurse on Horizon. I was in the same year as Paul Nurse, and the same class in 1963. I am sat next to him in the class photo on this excellent site. By coincidence I am also a Facebook friend of James Delingpole. Recently he has been very ill with an undiagnosed disease. I suspect that Paul's "cancer question" hit a raw nerve.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: Rather too many
Date: 02 Apr 2011
Time: 13:23:26

Comments

So the witty Pete Wollard with two 'ls' is alive and well! Excellent. He claims that as I joined the school, late, I would have had little to do with the obnoxious George Thorn. In fact, I did 5 terms in his awful orchestra as an incompetent second flute. As can be worked out from the raucous school song, Thorn was no musician. I, too, was put off joining his choir. Very sad, as I had been a happy member of the Doncaster Grammar School choir before being yanked down South. But Pete Woollard must not despair. I have recently joined 3 choirs, after decades of non-singing owing to Thorn, and have performed Messiah in Leipzieg and Halle. This June, one of my choirs goes to Budapest and a town near Lake Balaton. We shall take English music incl. Britten, Elgar and the Tudors. In Wadhurst Polyphony, we shortly perform Rutter's 'Feel the Spirit' (Negro Spirituals wonderfully arranged) and the Mozart Mass in C Minor. My point in stating this is IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO START SINGING - even if you have been intimidated and ridiculed by George Thorn. My own personal complaint about Thorn was not simply his cruelty and worse (see previous hints on this blog from other contributors) but that he was a rotten musician. We shan't spin the old joke about Thorn playing on his organ but, musically, the sounds he forced out of thr unfortunate beast were grotesque. A point proved by a young teacher called Waller who, when occasionally permitted to play the instrument, made it sound up to its true quality. I gather George Thorn's organ now lies in pieces or has gone for scrap. Opportunity for more schoolboy jokes!


Name: Pete Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/63
Date: 02 Apr 2011
Time: 12:25:23

Comments

'Academies', Bernard, were introduced by Tony Blair in 2000 or so - their affinity with 'grammar schools' is about the same as 'New Labour's relationship to 'Labour'. In other words, they turn the concept on its head. The present government like them because their rationale includes a break with local authorities - they are centrally controlled; and because they encourage the private sector to get involved. This has meant, for example, a growth in faith schools - madrassahs, perhaps, or creationist study centres. Rarities, admittedly, but all-too-possible and there are, sadly, instances. Our Tony, remember, was never too hot on the unfortunate details that underpinned and span out of his decisions. But then Our Tony is as much the architect of the PR men running the New Conservatives as Margaret Thatcher was the architect of New Labour. (Para) 'Academies' have to identify a 'curriculum strength' - perhaps they are a 'sports academy' or a 'media academy'. Their school curriculum can reflect this and they can ignore any lingering constraints of Kenneth Baker's 1988 National Curriculum. In turn, these switches led to a rash of new GCSE subjects so that it became possible for a student in a 'sports academy' to sit any number of examinations and gain A*s in heaps of them without the student having to sit through the pains of anything as tedious as sums and writing. Or, indeed, of learning any History. Or Geography. I'm not quite sure what the present Government's approach is to these rather central flaws in the systems they have inherited and intend to build upon; but, hey, as Tony would have said, anything's better than Gordon.


Name: Bernard Gillespie
Email: rgillespieattampabay.rr.com
Years_at_school: 1939-1944
Date: 02 Apr 2011
Time: 11:55:14

Comments

"Academy " ? is that what used to be called a "grammar school " ?


Name: Peter Woollard
Email: woollard780atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1955-60
Date: 02 Apr 2011
Time: 03:48:11

Comments

Having recently discovered the excellent HCS site (for which Jeffrey Maynard deserves the thanks of all Old Boys)I have spent a lot, perhaps too much, time looking through it. It has reminded me of the many incidents that occurred during my time at HCS which I have not thought about for over 50 years. I have been particularly interested in the fascinating contributions from Peter Ward who I last saw at a 4th Harrow Summer camp in Switzerland in August 1960 ( I wonder where Geoff Routh and Pete Hoggan are now). As Peter kindly referred to me as 'the splendidly witty Pete Woolard' in an amusing anecdote about our joint caning by Dr Simpson I shall excuse him the misspelling of my surname. I note that quite a lot has been written over the past two or three years about Dr. Simpson (a narrow minded elitist bully who seems to have blighted the lives of many boys who came under his 'care'), Swanny Amos (who I remember tearing up my mother's note requesting that I be excused PT, as I had a large and painful boil on a delicate part of my anatomy. 'Exercise'll do it good Woollard' declared an unsympathetic Amos) and Lt. Col Bingham (a ridiculous caricature of an Army Officer who initially brusquely refused my request to leave the CCF and join the Scouts but cravenly backed down when my father intervened). Perhaps though I could mention George Thorn (Peter W probably didn't have a lot to do with him as Peter joined the School in 1958 and,I believe, George left in 1959). At Primary School I had been an enthusiastic member of the school choir and was looking forward to continuing with my vocal endeavours at HCS. However, during an early music lesson with Form 1A, possibly the first, George auditioned us for the choir. We each had to stand at the piano and then run through the scale. No sooner had 'doh' passed my lips when GT peremptorily exclaimed 'sit down Woollard!' I have never recovered musically from that humiliation. Although I am very fond of choral music I have hesitated on several occasions to join local choirs because of the dreadful expectation of a mass call to 'sit down Woollard' from choir members, as they chortled in amused astonishment at my pathetic inability to master the most basic of musical accomplishments. Does anyone else recall being 'invited' by George to 'sit on my Dunlopillow (the hard wooden floor of the music room) for the remainder of the lesson for some minor misdemeanour?


Name: Paul Romney
Email: at
Years_at_school: 56-63
Date: 29 Mar 2011
Time: 08:31:39

Comments

From what I read, though, it appears that Harrow High Academy, or whatever it might be called, will be passing its "graduates" into severely degraded sphere of "higher" education.


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957 -
Date: 26 Mar 2011
Time: 08:33:44

Comments

Anything to improve the 'standing' of the present school.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 25 Mar 2011
Time: 02:07:37

Comments

You may have read in the local press that Harrow High is one of seven schools in the borough whose board of governors is considering a switch to academy status. This is now an option open to good schools; indeed, my own daughter's school. Bentley Wood, which is doing well under a very competent headteacher is another one of the seven. The proposals are coming from central government and unfortunately, the debate is being conducted on party political lines. As I understand it, the proposals will allow schools greater control over budgets and in particular over those services which they buy in from the local authority. The proposals are under consideration at the moment. Whether all seven schools choose to go this route remains to be seen but it is interesting that so many are at least considering it. I am not privy to the discussions at Harrow High but perhaps somebody who is can give us an update.


Name: Martin Goodall
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1959 - 1966
Date: 24 Mar 2011
Time: 06:45:17

Comments

I think Stephen Frost is being rather unfair in suggesting that Roy Avery did nothing to fight for the boys, staff or reputation of HCS. The school came under threat of reorganisation (as a comprehensive) almost immediately following his arrival in 1965, and he had to cope with this situation repeatedly throughout the 10 years of his tenure. It is very much to his credit that he held the staff together throughout that period and that significant departures by staff (including his own) occurred only when the battle was finally lost and the school finally closed in 1975. I would not blame those staff who felt that they did not want to serve in an entirely different school after that date.


Name: Stephen Frost
Email: sftank at hotmail. com'
Years_at_school: 1963-70
Date: 23 Mar 2011
Time: 07:38:56

Comments

- immensely proud of HCS - ? Many of us think that Roy Avery did nothing to fight for the boys, staff or reputation of HCS, preferring to sail off to his next appointment at Bristol Grammar School. His failure to contribute to this website speaks volumes. Stephen Frost (1963-70)


Name: Martin Goodall
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1959 - 1966
Date: 23 Mar 2011
Time: 04:59:02

Comments

I bumped into Roy Avery in Bristol the other day. He was looking very fit and happy and was eager to swap reminscences. He regrets that family circumstances have prevented his attending any of the centenary events but is obviously still immensely proud of HCS. It was good to find him in such good form.


Name: Peter Gwynne
Email: pengwynne at orangehome.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1945-1951 (Northwick)
Date: 22 Mar 2011
Time: 17:24:11

Comments

I haven't "seen" the school since I left - though I passed it a few times when I briefly played Rugby for the Old Gaytonians. A cartilage op put an end to that. In 1949 I returned to live near The Angel in London, and travelled to Northwick park from Kings Cross each day. (At least I had the season ticket paid then!) Unfortunately, Dr Simpson lived somewhere on the Piccadilly Line, changing at Kings Cross and Baker Street. We tried hard to avoid one another. Me because I would have to put on the abominable Green Prefect's Hat with the yellow stripe which I just couldn't wear around "The Angel" in Islington. I don't know his reason, couldn't often understand his accent. It took a while to realise that when he called us silly "arses" it was really his way of pronouncing "asses".


Name: Phil Chesterman
Email: philconnieatshaw.ca
Years_at_school: 46-51
Date: 20 Mar 2011
Time: 20:10:02

Comments

I am a wee bit ashamed that I don't read the obituaries regularly. Today I noticed the name of John Talbot, seemingly entered about November 2010 after having 'passed away' in March of that year. The entry is very brief and says very little, actually nothing about him. I do believe he was the captain and scrum-half of the Old Gayts Extra A rugby team in the 1950s (if not before and after.) Lots of people can have the same name, but if this John Talbot is the man in question I can add a bit of information about him. I first played against the OGRFC Extra-A in about November 1951, for the HCS 2nd XV. Then played FOR the same Extra-As about a month later while still 'attending' HCS. (Long story)We beat West Herts with another current pupil in the line-up being Ken Spedding. The captain made both of us feel so welcome (considering a couple of 16-year-olds who were not wined and dined after the match, but thoroughly 'beered and cheered')that joining the OGA was a 'must'. But, I'm still not certain that gentleman's name was even Talbot. I can name dozens of contempories from HCS and even Old Gayts who never joined the association.


Name: Robin Moore
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1954 -1958
Date: 19 Mar 2011
Time: 09:42:48

Comments

Very interesting


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 14 Mar 2011
Time: 08:00:21

Comments

Ebay currently has a cigarette card showing the HCS School Cap. What I was actually looking for was a copy of the school hymnal


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 18 Feb 2011
Time: 04:41:57

Comments

Yes, Henry. A great evening. It was enlightening, entertaining and enormously stimulating. I found the following morning that I couldn't concentrate on my Times as my mind returned repeatedly to what Kel Fidler had to say. You have his message to a T. The modest (but quality) attendace reflects the erroneous public perception of engineerring, a misapprehension born partly of its diversity and partly of the tendancy to label every mechanic, plumber and technician "engineer", the "oily yrag" perception. Yes, congratulations to Keith Baker and his team. Their orgnisation and presntation were superb. If they failed in anything it was marketing: no matter how good the publicity, it needs direct contact to engage people in the events, as was apparent in the late rush of attenders following just that. And, Kel, if you should read this website, thank you for a marvellous evening and the pleasure of meeting and hearing another Old Gayt who has brought great credit to the School. If it is not an insult, let me say that there were moments when you reminded me of Dr Simpson, whose passion and enthusiasm for his subject and drive to communicate to his A Level Larin students caused the perspiration to flow. (The analogy stops there!)


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 18 Feb 2011
Time: 02:06:07

Comments

I just want to thank everybody involved in the organisation of the first lecture on Thursday night. Prof. Fidler's talk made us all think hard about the role of science and engineering in our society and system of education. What he said made perfect sense if you believe that there is still a future for manufacturing and design in this country. He asked us above all to realise that engineering is not just the oily rag of science and has its own academic integrity. He is right to point out that this lack of respect for the profession of engineering has fatally undermined the role of manufacturing in our economy. Anyyway, well done to all involved. However, I must point out that the attendance was disappointing. There are tickets available for all future events and as you know, it doesn't take much of an effort to make up your mind to go. In particular, an awful lot of people are putting in an awful lot of effort to the concert in a couple of weeks time.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 14 Feb 2011
Time: 02:35:56

Comments

Apparently not, Jeff!


Name: Jeff Maynard
Email: jeffrey at jeffreymaynard dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-69
Date: 13 Feb 2011
Time: 14:47:32

Comments

This is a test PARA test test


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 13 Feb 2011
Time: 14:31:37

Comments

I am very reluctant to make any criticism of this excellent site. However, is there any way of allowing paragraph breaks?


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 10 Feb 2011
Time: 03:55:42

Comments

Just once in a while, something really interesting comes up on this extraordinary Guest Book (in passing, congratulations to Jeff Maynard who must put in an enormous amount of time and effort on our behalf.) In this particular case, I read, with pleasure, the recent contribution from Hector Surtherland. He tells us his nickname was 'Haggis'. Fair enough but we had him down as 'Hamish'! In the past, I have taken part in discussions of the good v. bad of HCS. The excellence, or otherwise, of the teaching. I fear my weight is mostly on the negative. However, there were positives to be found. Gethin Williams, Gerry Lafferty and 'Uncle Mac' Don McEwen would score highly. And this is where Hamish Hector Haggis Sutherland comes in. He taught me English 58-59 and again, in my 'O' Level year, 59-60. At first, a highly rebellious set attempted to give him a hard time. As I remember, he was splendidly Scottish, red-haired and combative. With a mixture of inspirational teaching and commanding personality he ended up having his English set eating out of his hands. I happen to remember his results were nearly 100% pass with good grades. It was Hamish (I'm sorry, I'm locked into it) who gave me my love of Shakespeare. We read Henry 1V part 1. By coincidence,at this time, BBC black and white tele came out with its ground-breaking 'The Age of Kings' the young Robert Hardy as Prince Hal and similarly aged Sean Connery (little known to the general public) as Henry Hotspur. A piece of luck for us young 'O' Levelists but the ground work, including appreciation of poetry, was done in class. So lots to thank Mr Sutherland for. Sorry, Mr S, I shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition! I'd be pleased if he will contact me as I'd be happy to send him my recently published novels for children on The Vikings (the final part of the Trilogy is due out within weeks from my American publisher.) Curiously, I have always had 'Hamish' at the back of my mind,in the writing, as his Scottishness,flamimg red hair and big personality may well suggest Viking origin? This, however, is intended as a compliment. My Vikings are anti-plunder and pillage and do not play to the usual stereotype, although mighty brave and adventurous. If anyone's interested, just try googling 'Peter Ward Vikings' and the site should come up. Hope to hear from you, H.....!


Name: Jeff Maynard
Email: jeffrey at jeffreymaynard dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-69
Date: 09 Feb 2011
Time: 20:59:05

Comments

So many people have sent in photographs and reminiscences recently that I am having difficulty keeping up - but please check out the list of new pages to see what there is.

I also had an email from Mr. Hector Sutherland who writes:

Dear Jeff

I heard about your photograph collection through my daughter, who lives in Pinner and read about it in the local paper. I don't think you have the attached photo. I taught at the school from September 1958 to December 1960. I can't give an exact date for the photo. I'm the form master in the photographs of Form 1B (1958) and Form 2B (1959). Apparently my nickname was Haggis, for some mysterious reason, which has come as something of a shock to me, but I console myself by assuming it was a mark of the affection in which I was held!

Yours sincerely

Hector 'Haggis' Sutherland


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957 - 1964
Date: 08 Feb 2011
Time: 10:13:45

Comments

It was great to hear from Keith Baker about the Centenary Dinner to be held at the school on 15 October 2011. I have requested to be seated at a table with fellows from either K Waller's Form 1B 1957-58, or Mr Neil's Adv VI Science 1963-64. Hope that won't put off anyone from attending!!! Laurence


Name: bob arthy
Email: bobatarthy.com
Years_at_school: 54-60
Date: 04 Feb 2011
Time: 10:12:16

Comments

Tough but Good


Name: Richard Boyd
Email: Richard.BoydatDisabilityEssex.org
Years_at_school: 1956 - 1962
Date: 02 Feb 2011
Time: 02:26:50

Comments

read Brian Slaters review with amusement - spot on!


Name: Harrow County's own Paul Romney
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 29 Jan 2011
Time: 04:35:55

Comments

Conceivably he's "Harrow County's own Paul Nurse".


Name: Stephen Frost
Email: sftankathotmail.com
Years_at_school: 1963-70
Date: 28 Jan 2011
Time: 06:01:46

Comments

Modest, highly intelligent, an accomplished scientist, a good communicator, is Paul Nurse Harrow County's own David Attenborough?


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 27 Jan 2011
Time: 15:22:29

Comments

Grateful thanks to Henry Wyatt for a very good and accurate summary of the programme and Peter Fowler who sent me a link by e-mail. In fact, a mention of the Horizon programme in one of the earlier e-mails led me to the relatively low-tech solution of using my TV "catch-up" service and BBC iPlayer to watch the programme myself this evening. I was glad to be able to use Peter's link to rehearse several points. I agree that Paul was over-gentle with "Climategate" Jones, who has been cleared of scientiific cheating but did behave outrageously towards his detractors and the public. He was also gentle with the Telegraph (Spectator?) journalist whom he allowed to betray himself - first by changing the subject, then by blustering. There wasn't time, I suppose, but I wish he had done more to demolish the anti-GM loonies. As a matter of benefit to the human race it is so much more immediate and pressing - and certain - than the longer term climate change problem. Paul Nurse has shown himself to be right up there with Brian Cox as a brilliant communicator and we are fortunate to have both of them to do what Paul is so keen on.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 26 Jan 2011
Time: 12:35:06

Comments

Colin, he touched on three issues of scientific condern, namely climate change caused by man, the relationship between HIV & AIDS and the desirability of GM food crops. In all three cases he gave the impression that he personally supported the mainstream scientific consensus but this was not relevant to the main thrust of the programme. He was concerned about ill informed criticism of scientific procedures by individuals who have minimal scientific qualifications (like the idiot from the Telegraph) but are able to promote their views without the benefit of rigorous scientific conduct and in particular without the use of peer review. I thought that he may have given too easy a ride to Prof. Jones from East Anglia who was recently accused of massaging research data on climate change but he felt that the statistical splicing that Jones carried out did not warrant the torrent of abuse levelled at him. He was certainly very courteous to a chap who doubted the causal link between HIV and AIDS and although he did not agree with him, gave the chap the freedom to outline his case properly. On GM crops, he again pointed out the bitterness of those opposed together with their lack of scientific rationale. Anyway, I'm not a scientist so I hope I've got everything straight. All in all, as the others said, something to be proud of.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-53
Date: 26 Jan 2011
Time: 10:18:57

Comments

Re the Paul Nurse interview on BBC TV: Peter Fowler, Peter Ward (in duplicate) and Henry Wyatt have the advantage of me. I didn't see the programme and I have no idea what he said. I've tried to search the BBC website but get only invitations to click on such luminaries as Paul Gambucini amd Nurse Jackie - not very helpful. Could one of you provide me with a link, please? Or, failing that, a summary of the discussion? I don't even know on which side of the climat change fence he sits, although I do have the Royal Society's September 2010 reasoned pronouncement on it and the various views which pertain. (It's very good, but long. Google it.)


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 25 Jan 2011
Time: 04:58:11

Comments

Well said, chaps. The fellow from the Telegraph was appalling. It was very shrewd of Nurse ; he only gave a couple of nudges and it all come out of the the man's own mouth.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16at btinternet .com
Years_at_school: The Simpson Interlude
Date: 25 Jan 2011
Time: 04:47:13

Comments

Absolutely agree with Pete Fowler on Sir Paul Nurse. Looks as though we now have a new combined Science and Media star to present stuff to the public and take on science and global warming 'authorities' such as HRH The Prince of Wales and the dreaded Nigel, now Lord Lawson. These self-appointed, non-scientific bigots are very dangerous when the trash Press gets hold of their prejudiced views and places them before a public that can't be bothered to tune into 'Horizon', or read the proper material. Good for Sir Paul. Lots more please. As President of The Royal Society he has to be listened to. And he's disarmingly logical and charming to try to argue with. We should be very proud of him. Just hope I shall have access to a TV set in the Tower of London when carried off on a Treason charge. (At least I would get in free.) Although watching TV, minus a head, might prove be troublesome. On reflection, lots of people do that already. Especially Daily Express readers etc etc...!


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16at btinternet .com
Years_at_school: The Simpson Interlude
Date: 25 Jan 2011
Time: 04:47:11

Comments

Absolutely agree with Pete Fowler on Sir Paul Nurse. Looks as though we now have a new combined Science and Media star to present stuff to the public and take on science and global warming 'authorities' such as HRH The Prince of Wales and the dreaded Nigel, now Lord Lawson. These self-appointed, non-scientific bigots are very dangerous when the trash Press gets hold of their prejudiced views and places them before a public that can't be bothered to tune into 'Horizon', or read the proper material. Good for Sir Paul. Lots more please. As President of The Royal Society he has to be listened to. And he's disarmingly logical and charming to try to argue with. We should be very proud of him. Just hope I shall have access to a TV set in the Tower of London when carried off on a Treason charge. (At least I would get in free.) Although watching TV, minus a head, might prove be troublesome. On reflection, lots of people do that already. Especially Daily Express readers etc etc...!


Name: Pete Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/63
Date: 24 Jan 2011
Time: 14:15:18

Comments

Have to say that I felt proud to be an Old Gaytonian tonight as Paul Nurse reduced, on BBC TV, a Telegraph journalist to a quivering wreck on Climate Change: it was so good to see the scientific community finally coming out and presenting their case. Not quite sure, mind, how this brilliant guy first learned his Biology from a Colonel who was only able to dictate notes from a text book he used: well, actually, this isn't quite true - Paul was just curious from when he was little. Great programme; great symbol for the Centenary.


Name: Jeff Maynard
Email: jeffrey at jeffrey maynard dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-69
Date: 24 Jan 2011
Time: 05:14:25

Comments

I'm in London for a few days with no email access. Went to the school for the 100th anniversary ceremony - 21st January 2011 was the day that the County School, Harrow opened. The main reunion celebrations are later this year - please, if you have not checked it out, click on the 100 years logo on the first page of this Gaytonian website. - Jeff


Name: Alex Bateman
Email: via Jeff
Years_at_school: 1980 - 84
Date: 23 Jan 2011
Time: 10:07:18

Comments

To see some photographs of the centenary event, please go to one of the three 'Facebook' groups relating to the school. 'Old Gaytonians', 'Harrow High School 1998 onwards' or 'Gayton High School reunion'. To find them, search for 'Facebook' on google (or another search engine) and then type in the group name.


Name: Alex Bateman
Email: via Jeff
Years_at_school: 1980 - 84
Date: 21 Jan 2011
Time: 16:21:10

Comments

To Martin Goodhall - whilst a birthday wish to Harrow County has been expressed here, the 'official' birthday wish (if I can use that term) has been to the building and educational establishment that has stood on that spot for the last 100 years, regardless of name (although many have wished Harrow HIGH a happy birthday as it is the name of the school there now). In the same way Harrow High School is vastly different to the Harrow County School of 1975, the Harrow County School of 1975 was vastly different to that of 1945, 1925 or 1911, although there are traditions and hints from all periods still running through the school of today... To Erica - there are a number of sport, form, CCF and other photos from the mid to late 1970s, although a majority have come from the school archives (which I run) and sadly in those cases we are limited to what has survived in dark corners of the school, or what has been donated. This doesnt seem to include your E form unfortunately, but I hope you'll find something of interest. I joined the E form the year you left, and well remember Miss Kleinlehrer, who took me for 1st Year German, before leaving. I last saw her on Charing Cross Station about two years later!


Name: Alex Bateman
Email: via Jeff
Years_at_school: 1980 - 84
Date: 21 Jan 2011
Time: 16:00:54

Comments

Happy Birthday to the school, which turned 100 today! A fantastic Centenary Day event was held, with photographs appearing on here soon!


Name: Martin Goodall
Email: Square at abc.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1959 - 1966
Date: 21 Jan 2011
Time: 10:18:45

Comments

If a man dies aged 64, the Queen won't send him a telegram on his 100th birthday, nor will anyone else congratulate the deceased on reaching the age of 100, because he didn't. So why does anyone think it is sensible to do the same for a school which ceased to exist more than 35 years ago? Admittedly it is the tradition to celebrate centenaries, but such celebrations lose a lot of their point if the institution in question no longer exists and was thrown on the scrap-heap of history more than a third of a century ago.


Name: Erica Jones
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: sometime in the last 100 years!
Date: 21 Jan 2011
Time: 07:00:07

Comments

Happy 100 years School. I joined the army and then the navy, guess the school did not make a man out of me after all. :) BTW in case you are interested I served in the Gulf and also went to Beirut and joined a ship the day we all set sail for the Falklands..... Virtus non Stemma. Yes I am worth something, I did my bit for Queen and Country as did many.


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957 -
Date: 21 Jan 2011
Time: 06:27:08

Comments

Happy 100th Birthday to a school that gave so many boys the ability to use their God given talents, and to those young men who laid down their lives for others that would benefit from their sacrifice.


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: michaelwritesforyouatyahooca
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 20 Jan 2011
Time: 19:09:26

Comments

Happy Centenary, Harrow County! Remembering the teachers who inspired us. And those Gaytonians who gave their lives in wartime. Here's to the next hundred. Michael.


Name: Erica Jones
Email: ericajonesvancatgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1976-1980
Date: 19 Jan 2011
Time: 20:22:07

Comments

Greetings from Portland Oregon USA. Its been many years since I left school,this year will be 31. I turn 47 in a few days. What a wild ride life has been for me. I went to a boys school a boy and now I am a woman. Funny how life turns out isn't it? Be nice to see some pictures from the mid 1970's when the school was called Gayton. Why does no one seem to care from that time period? I was in E class 1976-1980. Hi to Paul Weiss,Colin Worsnop, Mick Brown, Peter King, Manoj Bulsara, Stuart Ames,Ashley Livingstone, Chris Radette,Mr Cowburn, Miss Jones,Miss Kleinlehrer. Be well friends I know and friends I have forgotten, be well. Congratulations Harrow High School, I will raise a glass to you on my birthday which is the day after your 100th..... Peace.


Name: Pete Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/63
Date: 19 Jan 2011
Time: 13:01:24

Comments

Laurence: you and I may have had our odd spats here but I am surprised that you would ever dream that I was after a flirtation with any pinny brigade....


Name: Paul Romney
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 19 Jan 2011
Time: 05:24:37

Comments

Must be a hook and ladder brigade!


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957
Date: 18 Jan 2011
Time: 23:06:27

Comments

Well done Pete and Peter, you have gained the first rung of the pinny brigade. Maybe that's where Simpson got the name name Square!


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: The Simpson Years
Date: 17 Jan 2011
Time: 16:21:43

Comments

Pete...I think I can help out here. Deep research into the ever reliable and authorative Wikipedia reveals the following: PSGD - Periodic Secondary Grammar Delusions and APGM - Association for the Promotion of Grammar Myths. I believe I have spelt all the big words correctly. That's the benefit of a Grammar Education for which I have always been jenuinly and sinceerly greatfull.


Name: Pete Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/63
Date: 17 Jan 2011
Time: 08:26:56

Comments

Laurence - no more esoterica! How am I supposed to know what those acronyms mean? Sure, I can google them, but I can't believe you are actually referring to the Partei Sozial Gerechter Demokratie in its forlorn attempts to discuss justice and solidarity; or, indeed, to the AutoPrevoz Gornji Milanovac and its undoubted expertise in investment matters. I think we should be told. As you, Laurence, came from the same background as me, and we were allowed, as we have learned, to jump up the old social ladder because of our timely immersion in HCS, I assume that you, like me, were warned by your father never to refer to certain shadowy organisations and their constituent parts, let alone refer to one of their elite. I believe the Colonel is awaiting your presence in his dungeon by the Biology Lab. He has asked me to tell you that he believes you still have lessons to learn.


Name: Laurence \lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957
Date: 16 Jan 2011
Time: 10:33:04

Comments

On another matter, does the OGA have an association with any Lodge? I know some members have or are senior members of the Masonic brotherhood, some indeed are PSGD and APGM.


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957 -
Date: 16 Jan 2011
Time: 07:32:29

Comments

Apologies for my poor typing, but I would prefer my surname being correctly spelt. Not that this alters my opinion that too many students drop out from poor courses at poor Institutes of Higher Education. This results in wasted funds, poor educational expectations and many unemployed graduates. That, after all is what the school is celebrating this years, success for those of worth not birth.


Name: clive pigram
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1950-1957
Date: 15 Jan 2011
Time: 09:08:00

Comments

Good to see Mr Lando is concerned about spelling. For my part I cannot find trace of the words straglely, od or hystionics. Misspent education for him perhaps, what a pity in one so vocal!!


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957 -
Date: 14 Jan 2011
Time: 10:46:03

Comments

Peter Ward - diatribe as expected, no further forward with regret. Perhaps you will do me the courtesy of spelling my surname Lando and not Dando. Straglely I did meet the late Jill Dando, but we could not find an ancestor to share! Many congratulations to the School in this year od celebrations, and to remember the successes without the hystionics.


Gayton Centenary Celebration - Just to remind everyone - the School celebrates 100 years on January 21st.  - Jeff Maynard

The School’s centenary is in 2011,  The Old Gaytonians Association (OGA) celebrates its 100th year in 2012.  To mark these significant anniversaries the School and the Association are working closely together to plan a series of commemorative events over the period January 2011 to June 2012.  We anticipate that there will be something to interest everyone, younger, older, sporting, cultural, historian and diner.
Please click the Centenary Logo or this link http://www.gaytoncentenaries.co.uk to visit the Centenaries website.  It provides a full timetable ents, with details about each event, information about how you can participate and help, and, soon, ticket-booking facilities and a small r


Name: Alex Bateman
Email: via Jeff
Years_at_school: 1980 - 84
Date: 09 Jan 2011
Time: 10:52:12

Comments

In reply to Mr Anonymous - Firstly, if your email address is known to the organisers of the centenary then you must in recent times have contributed to this site openly, be a member of the Old Gaytonians Association, or had some other recent contact as that is where all have come from. Secondly, no one is being asked to bail out the school, the Old Gaytonians Association or anything else. As the Association no longer has a Sportsground to fund, we do occasionally, help the school where we might be asked to. Very few requests have been made and none are agreed upon without lengthy discussion amongst the Association Committee. There is still a very active and increasingly large school upon the site, whose staff and pupils are still eligible for membership of the Association, and this is why we do it. With activities in the school hall increasing and the interest in music and drama also at higher levels than for many years, we have decided to try and help aid this by way of a gift of new lighting. Very few such appeal's have been made in the last 25 to 30 years, but in all cases, those former pupils who have wanted to give have done so, and willingly. I have a feeling I know who wrote this message, which if correct, the tone does not surprise me in the least. But the simple message is, if you would like to give please do, if not, thank you anyway. if you bear a grudge against the school as was 30 or 40 years ago, it bears no relation whatsoever to the school that currently resides at Gayton Road.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet
Years_at_school: Simpsonian Era
Date: 08 Jan 2011
Time: 03:53:22

Comments

Thank you, Paul Romney, for your comments. My Darwin reference was never intended to support my thrust in recent debates ie lack of recognition of genuine achievements by today's young people, many from State Comprehensives. It was simply a specific response to Laurence Dando's general condemnation of 'drop-outs' from Higher Education. This has nothing to do with our on-going HCS-Comprehensives fandango. After all, Darwin is from a bygone era and attended Shrewsbury School! That said, I still hold to my main thrust which is that there is far more to education than schooling. And, today, there are positives to be found as well as the usual recital of perceived negatives. If you have any young relatives, you might like to track down my first book for children, The Adventures of Charles Darwin, CUP, ISBN 978-0-521-31074-1. This was re-issued in 2009. Or google 'Peter Ward Vikings' as the Darwin book is included on the general web site. It's good to debate.
(See http://www.peter-ward.net/ -ed.)


Name: Paul Romney
Email: at
Years_at_school: 56-63
Date: 05 Jan 2011
Time: 14:11:40

Comments

I'm not sure that Charles Darwin is on point here. One needs to know how he would have done if, instead of being well positioned in a highly elitist social order, he had been an ordinary bloke and educated at Gayton High or Harrow High. Or, if you like, how would I, Paul Romney, have done if I'd been educated at GH or HH? Even at HCS I only got two A levels, both mediocre; but I got into Oxford anyway. No doubt I wrote decent papers in the Oxford entrance exam, but it cannot have hurt that Harry Mees spoke to his old tutor, the Master of Pembroke, on my behalf. In other words, I had done well enough in primary school and on the 11-plus to position myself well in a highly elitist system.

How much did the quality of my education at HCS have to do with the outcome, though? I like to think that it helped me write those decent university entrance papers; but if so, why didn't it help me write better A Level papers? I'm inclined to ascribe the quality of my entrance papers at least in part to the calibre of my Sixth Form classmates, but perhaps I also owed something to the quality of other people who had gone to Oxford from HCS and given the school a solid reputation there.

In reality, you can't pursue the Ward-Lando argument on the basis of individual cases, be they Charles Darwin or myself. And here I have nothing more to say, since I have neither data nor the experience of living in the UK for the last 45 years to contribute. But perhaps I may refer briefly in passing to the remarks of the nameless ranter who asks us to respect his or her anonymity. People like us did indeed have a hand in bringing down the old system: i.e., middle-class people who feared that their children would fail the 11-plus and be shunted off into a Sec. Mod.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 04 Jan 2011
Time: 16:44:08

Comments

Just thought that I'd give the HCS web site a trawl before listening to the Test Match live from Australia. Laurence Lando and Bernard Gillespie continue to bang on about the disasters of the 'modern' Comprehensive Education system. Do they speak from intimate, inside knowledge? I do wish they would say but they never do. Laurence writes cuttingly about drop-outs at under-graduate level. Dropping out is nothing new and has an honourable history. So here is your NEW YEAR'S QUIZ question. Name a failure from a top English Public School who crashed TWO University courses, ending up without a degree. This lamentable individual had to be rescued from further embarrassment by a relative who pulled strings to send him on a ships' voyage around the world. At least it got him out of the way. That said, the fellow's subsequent thesis on Natural Selection and the Origin of Species wasn't at all bad. There is always hope.


Name: please respect my anonymity
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 31 Dec 2010
Time: 02:36:10

Comments

Since leaving HCS I have had virtually no contact with anyone. After such a long period I really have no wish to establish any contact (and thus want to preserve my anonymity) however I recently received a "Nigerian Scam" email (how did they obtained my new email address) asking for contributions to purchase lights for the 100 year anniversary shindig. I am not against this commemoration or having lights (at whatever the cost), but believe purchasing equipment as a pseudo legacy to the current establishment is grossly inappropriate. Why should we put our hands in our pockets to provide them with something they will (be incapable) not use? What was HCS is no more. In applauding Laurence Lando, it must be remembered that it is highly possible that OG's were the architects of the changes that have taken place. The raping and pillaging of the education system and building fabric is well documented. Also it would seem that over the years the OG's have severally bailed out the successive incumbents whose success is judged by ever changing standards (again something in which OG's may have had a hand). Now there is a request to bail them out again. It really has to be stopped.


Name: Bernard Gillespie
Email: rgillespieattampabay.rr.com
Years_at_school: 1939-1944
Date: 29 Dec 2010
Time: 09:27:38

Comments

BRAVO Laurence !!!!!!!!!!!!


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957 -
Date: 28 Dec 2010
Time: 08:41:26

Comments

Peter remarks, in response to Bernard's question about current education standards, that it is wonderful how many school pupils acheive the entry into higher education. What he omits in saying, is that the fall-out rate among these sutudents is enormous and that many of the courses that exist, have a very difficult task in showing any added-value to the student's ongoing education. Indeed, it was only the Labour Party's mantra that increased the numbers of students attending establishments of higher education. To call them Universities is a step too far for many of them. The rapid escalation of costs of the increased number of students has resulted in the current increase in student fees. Higher education should indeed be available to all that qualify and to the nation that will benefit from a large group of young people able to contribute to society. That HCS is no more has been commented on by myself and others in the past, much to the annoyance of some. The school, even with such characters as Simpson, and Bingham, and with the scholars such as Waller et al, made its mark on the society we live in today. Perhaps the upcoming Centenary celebrations will rekindle some of the passion for education that enabled many from modest means, myself included, to be grateful to HCS for Boys.


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:   1957
Date: 28 Dec 2010
Time: 08:39:06

Comments

Peter remarks, in response to Bernard's question about current education standards, that it is wonderful how many school pupils acheive the entry into higher education. What he omits in saying, is that the fall-out rate among these sutudents is enormous and that many of the courses that exist, have a very difficult task in showing any added-value to the student's ongoing education. Indeed, it was only the Labour Party's mantra that increased the numbers of students attending establishments of higher education. To call them Universities is a step too far for many of them. The rapid escalation of costs of the increased number of students has resulted in the current increase in student fees. Higher education should indeed be available to all that qualify and to the nation that will benefit from a large group of young people able to contribute to society. That HCS is no more has been commented on by myself and others in the past, much to the annoyance of some. The school, even with such characters as Simpson, and Bingham, and with the scholars such as Waller et al, made its mark on the society we live in today. Perhaps the upcoming Centenary celebrations will rekindle some of the passion for education that enabled many from modest means, myself included, to be grateful to HCS for Boys.


Name: Peter "Min" Vincent
Email:
Years_at_school: 1966-1972
Date: 24 Dec 2010
Time: 01:30:07

Comments

While watching Breakfast on BBC1 this morning recovering from 'flu, did my eyes deceive me or did Carl Jackson's smiling face make a brief appearance during an article about the Queen's Christmas broadcast? Does this mean he will be in the broadcast - if so, well done him!


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 18 Dec 2010
Time: 02:51:48

Comments

Sir Paul Nurse is in the news again, in today's Times page 19. In the article he draws attention to the problems caused by visa quotas for his new UK Centre for Medical Research & Innovation. Since I live in the area, I have drawn the article to the attention of our local MP, together with a note of Sir Paul's local connection.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 16 Dec 2010
Time: 06:33:52

Comments

Thank you, Bernard from Canada! My publishers are basically Canadian although now taken over by a major USA firm, based in Philadelphia USA. I think maybe a little of your thinking is not...how can I put it...too up-dated? We don't talk any longer about chldren 'flunking' the 11-plus. It was (and still is in a few LEAs) a lottery, in many senses. It's not so much passing or failing but rather 'first past the post' That is, if there are (say) 250 places available it's very bad luck on No 251 who 'flunked' it. Especially, if that particular year was a good one. No.251 might have 'passed' the year before, or after. As to the 11-plus exam sorting out, at age 11, the 'intellectuals' who may gain from a cranked-up academic education...that concept is highly debatable. I would suggest the 11-plus was, and is, a very limited examination of a young person's intellectual potential - potential being the keyword. There are plenty of Loonies (I grant them the accolade of a capital letter) in modern and recent past State Education, in UK, who believe rigorous testing as the way forward. In 1997, the sainted Tony Blair got himself voted in on 'Education, Education, Education.' Not knowing the first thing about schools, he presumably meant 'Testing, Testing, Testing.' Now, 13 years on, our schools paricularly Primary Schools are rebelling against and, indeed, even boycotting these enforced procedures. As to the Community Schools... they try to do exactly what they are set up to do ie. educate all children of all abilities. At the top end of their academic range they can do very well, year on year. The results are there to see and be examined. My grandson attends one such school in Tunbridge Wells. Remarkably, this school has 4 local Grammar Schools to contend with (Kent LEA) with others in nearby Tonbridge. Also it has to cope with challenging local Public School competition eg Tonbridge School, itself. Talk about a handicap and cutting off arms and legs before the race. Nevertheless, this school The Bennett (C of E Diocesan) has a marvellous reputation with fine sets of academic results to back it up. (Please try googling it.) It is as genuine a Comprehensive as can be found, given the severe local competition. Other 'Comps' in the country do not face local 11-plus creaming off so they are in an even better position. For them, the only challenge is co-existing with the ultra-creaming off by the Public School system ('Public' meaning 'Private!') In your note, you talk about 'less academic' children having a right to education. So they do. And, outrageously, an enormous number subsequently succeed in getting into Higher Education. This was not the case with the Secondary Modern schools of the old (our) days. The key is not being categorised and written off at the age of 11. Fortunately for you, in Canada, I don't suppose the Daily Mail et al have too big a circulation. Although maybe they are on-line. If you want to get near the truth, please try original sources of information that aim to be accurate and objective. 'Daily Mail-type Think' (and I'm sure you are not prone to it) is best left floating in the gutter where it is well suited before being swept off to the general sewage system. There, it may well meet additional soggy copies of The Daily Express.) Well deserved but not a pleasant thought!


Name: Bernard Gillespie
Email: rgillespieattampabay.rr.com
Years_at_school: 1939-1944
Date: 15 Dec 2010
Time: 05:47:23

Comments

thank you Peter for your response . I got to the Wapedia site by accident, as I said in a post of a few days ago I was having difficulty getting to the HCS site. a Bookmark I have used for years drew the response from the Net that I was giving wrong info . so I Googled HCS and came up with a group of which I chose two at random One was the 1927 entry list which however enabled me to get to the HCS home page and the other was the Wapedia site. my time at HCS was before the arrival of Dr Simpson and my understanding of the high regard in which HCS was held is based on the record before WW2 . from the various posts on the subject of Dr Simpson it is clear to me that his school was quite different from the one I attended and you may well be right that if his tenure has been Ofsted-ed the school would have received a failing grade. In Canada ( where we live 7 months in the year - the other 5 in Florida ) there is an educational entity called a "community college" which is between high school and university ..... its principal function is to train people who don't qualify ( academically ) for Uni in the applied arts and crafts . in this respect it is similar to the principle of the "Senior" schools that existed in Harrow for students who flunked the scholarship exam or who had not been invited to sit for it. the system recognised that not every student had the intellectual talent to go to grammar school and University but was nevertheless entitled to an education ..... is this the role of the "community school" in Britain ?


Name: David Farrell
Email: def at case dot edu
Years_at_school: 1950-57
Date: 14 Dec 2010
Time: 19:10:24

Comments

I moved to the USA in 1964 and stumbled across this fine website just yesterday. I was not surprised to read the lamentations and gnashing of teeth concerning certain larger-than-life "characters" on the staff. However, of more interest to myself are the quiet teachers whose day-to-day work in the classroom made the "climbing ladder" a reality for many of us. I'm thinking particularly of Bill Duke (math) and Cecil (Tufty) Groombridge (physics). I barely squeaked into the school, so started life in the lowest of the low, the frozen outpost called form 1D. But Bill showed me the wonder and beauty of math, and Tufty did the same for physics. Tufty's classes were memorable not just for their theoretical depth, but also for their astonishingly large experimental component; I still have lab books containing the results of a hundred and twenty seven experiments. In all cases, these are compared with theoretical predictions and the write-up personally checked by Tufty. I don't know how the man managed the labor involved. In USA high-schools, serious experimental work has now been essentially abandoned because it is deemed too labor intensive - or at best replaced by computer "experiments"; I suspect that this may also be true in England. But, as with human relations, so with experimental physics - there is no substitute for direct experience. I never did get to thank Bill and Tufty for their contributions to my career, but would be very interested to hear from others who owe them a similar debt of gratitude.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 14 Dec 2010
Time: 17:35:20

Comments

Thank you Bernard. Paul Romney's points are well made. May I suggest that instead of going to 'Wapedia' for your information, you go direct to the Ofsted site? The term 'outstanding' is by no means subjective. The term Ofsted's own and represents the highest of its five categories of attainment. Ofsted may have its critics but I don't think they can ever be condemned as non-objective. The 'outstanding' classification can be applied to a school as a whole, its Management and the performance of teachers and pupils in different subject areas. It is not given lightly. In fact, only sparingly. Of course, the huge irony is that the former Grammar School under Dr AR Simpson would have unquestionably been dubbed by today's rigorous Ofsted force as a failure. It would have been placed on a special list and monitored very closely, on a year by year basis. Recommendations of the inspection would be mandatory. I do know a little bit about this, having taught in both Primary and Secondary sectors, and been 'Ofsteded'! A fairly chilling experience as most teachers will tell you.


Name: Bernard Gillespie
Email: rgillespieattampabay.rr.com
Years_at_school: 1939-1944
Date: 14 Dec 2010
Time: 13:05:06

Comments

thank you Peter and Paul for your responses. the source for my earlier comments was the Wapedia site which quotes the OFSTED figures in two academic performance categories and in both if these HHS is below ( in the second category one might say well below ) the average values for England. That doesn't seem to fit well with someone's subjective judgement of "outstanding" . Reading the " Admission" section of that site it is clear that HHS is fighting an uphill battle and that given the low starting point of some of the students it may well be that HHS is doing a commendable job but the academic numbers do not yet support an "outstanding" rating. You are right, of course, Paul, HCS was shredded 35 years ago . and it was perhaps foolish of me to compare the academic performance of HCS grammar school with HHS community school ...... I have lived away from Britain for more than 50 years and term "community school" is new to me . Perhaps one of you would define it for me. thanks again


Name: Paul Romney
Email: same old
Years_at_school: 56-63
Date: 14 Dec 2010
Time: 11:38:13

Comments

Surely Bernard Gillespie, in asking how a once-great school could have fallen so far, is posing a question based on erroneous premises. Harrow County School ceased to exist in 1975. The two schools that have successively occupied its old premises are completely different entities. One might as well ask how Prince Charles's wife could have changed so much over the past 30 years.


Name: Bill Harrison
Email: bill.harrisonatbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1961-1968
Date: 14 Dec 2010
Time: 08:24:07

Comments

With reference to the recent posts about Sir Paul Nurse, the core information was published in the DT last April. Good to see the Mail is well on top of current affairs!


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 14 Dec 2010
Time: 05:46:04

Comments

As Peter says the story on Sir Paul Nurse is interesting. Possible to take an intelligent guess at his paternity. He write "It?s possible he was a serviceman, perhaps even American. I have a picture of me as a little boy wearing an airman?s hat which Miriam gave me, telling me it was a present from a friend, so perhaps that?s a clue?" In 1948 there was a huge USAF base in Ruislip. An interesting thought that a U.S. Airman may have lived out his entire life not knowing he'd fathered a Nobel Prize winner


Name: Peter ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school:
Date: 13 Dec 2010
Time: 15:56:46

Comments

Maybe I'm going senile. My recently-birthdayed 67 year-old ex-brain has at last atrophied. I have just read Bernard Gillespie's claim that HCS was rated 5th best Grammar School in its time. Fine. By whom? And how scientific? The criteria? (Para) Further, and far more significantly, he claims the current Harrow High School...much more of an socio-economic-ethnic mix without the 'benefits' of County Grammar selection...is 'under-performing.' (Para) Has Mr Gillespie taken the trouble to examine the June 2008 Ofsted Report? I'd be grateful if he will inform us. My reading of it is that the current school is performing outstandingly. In Ofsted terms that's the tops. The Report is full of Grades 1 and the occasional 2. Please, Mr Gillespie, respond to the challenge. Have you done your homework?


Name: Bernard Gillespie
Email: rgillespieattampabay.rr.com
Years_at_school: 1939-1944
Date: 13 Dec 2010
Time: 13:58:14

Comments

I had difficulty getting onto the HCS web site the past few days but thanks to the magic of Google I am back in business ......... while Googling I came across a site which described the present status of the school on Gayton Road ...... to my surprise and horror I read that many years since the HCS was rated among the top 5 grammar schools in England the present school performs " below average" ..... a bit below the norm for the rest of Harrow and a long way below the norm for England .......... is this the result of demographic changes in the catchment area ? or the "Sports College" title ? or poor teachers ? or the best and brightest students being sent by their parents to private schools ? or comprehensivitis ? or something else ? anyone out there have any ideas of what has gone wrong and how a once great school could have fallen so far ?


Name: Peter "Min" Vincent
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1966-1972
Date: 12 Dec 2010
Time: 06:55:46

Comments

Interesting article about Sir Paul Nurse in Mail today - see www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1337908/Revealed-The-Nobel-Prize-winner-discovered-sister-really-mother.html for details.


Name: Angus Barron
Email: abarron85athotmail.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1983 to 1987
Date: 08 Dec 2010
Time: 09:20:55

Comments

Re: names on your page: Form2C1984.htm 2nd from right on top row is Rajinder Sawney 1st on right on top row the correct spelling is Michael Matthews Centre row 5th along is Simon Holman. The mystery person surname was Brambhat or something very like that.  (the names have been added - ed)
http://www.jeffreymaynard.com/Harrow_County/Form2C1984.htm


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colin.dickinsatblueyonderdotco.uk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 07 Dec 2010
Time: 10:37:14

Comments

Reverting to recent references to Mike Hunt, I canot forbear mentioning a blunder yesteday by James Naughtie, presenter of Radio 4's Today programme, when he mispronounced Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt's name when introducing him. He subsequently displayed his ignorance - or ineptitude - in a letter of apology to Mr Hunt when he called his blunder a spoonerism. It wasn't, of course; he didn't refer to him as Heremy Junt. Amazingly, an hour later, Andrew Marr - a rather better journalist - committed the same blunder in his Start the Week programme. (OK, Mike, I'll lay of now.)


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 06 Dec 2010
Time: 11:34:09

Comments

Simpson in drag? Now we're talking! And it explains so much. Does anyone remember that report of a middle-aged, chain-smoking woman in fox fur and high heels teetering down Sheepcote Road with the HCS Pavilion Fund proceeds in her copious handbag? Knacker of The Yard must have known about this. Why was he so silent?


Name: Derek King
Email: derek.king at blueyonder.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1960-68
Date: 06 Dec 2010
Time: 07:46:16

Comments

I saw 'Matilda, A Musical' (from Roald Dahl's book) at the RSC Courtyard theatre in Stratford-on-Avon on Saturday. Do go and see it - reviews should appear in the press in a few days, and it runs until 30 January. Why see it? (1) It's very good. (2) The villain is, facially to an unsettlingly uncanny extent, the spitting image of the late and unlamented Dr A R Simpson. Miss Trunchbull (played by a man in drag), even more uncannily, is (a) a headteacher; (b) represented her country at sport; and (c)shares many of the behavioural traits of ARS. Enjoy!


Name: Pete Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 06 Dec 2010
Time: 03:04:09

Comments

Judt's arguments, as with everything he wrote, are evidenced. And some of us here understand his argument subjectively: those, that is, from working class backgrounds who passed the scholarship, went to HCS, and were given opportunities never available to our parents. I suspect there are many of us here who were given the means of social mobility by HCS. The problem, though, was rather obvious. HCS was geared to its Oxbridge entrants: the rest were failures. Even someone who trotted off to Manchester University to do Computing and Maths when Turing was there was dismissed as an also-ran by the school leadership - let alone the disposable boys in the lower streams, who were fed on a constant diet of the worst teachers in the school whilst the best teachers focused on the A streams (give or take the odd Harry Mees and his quite wonderful pedagogic principles). If you then add, as a further layer, the two thirds of kids who never even went to a Grammar School, let alone HCS, then it is painfully clear why the system at that time was rotten to the core. I know only too well that there are wonderful comprehensives and some really good teachers in them - but I know equally well that the comprehensive system has failed. I'm not sure, incidentally, how you can have a comprehensive system when you have private education at the same time, but that's an argument beyond this discussion. But none of this - the evidence of Judt's thesis, the failure of comprehensives - adds a shred of credibility to those who believe, somehow, that the HCS of its golden years is, in any way, a movie worth a replay. Yes, it gave a chance to a small few of us; but it operated within an overall model that condemned 80% of the children to a sub-standard education.


Name: Bernard Gillespie
Email: rgillespieattampabay.rr.com
Years_at_school: 1939-1944
Date: 05 Dec 2010
Time: 11:21:42

Comments

we seem to have a stand-off ..... two responses, one for and one against the proposition ..... thank you Peter and Michael for your contributions to this topic which I aired as much or its importance for education in the UK as to get the message board to talk about something other than Dr Simpson...... but he seems to have crept in even here ........


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 04 Dec 2010
Time: 17:39:54

Comments

To Bernard Gillespie. Thank you for your response. With respect, I think you may be missing the point. I did understand you were seeking the views of an recent 'Harrow High' type student and not an ancient old HCS buffer like me. But I was making a more general point. My (see previous) challenge to visit a local Comp goes for the 'new' Harrow school as any other. I'll bet my bottom dollar there are huge successes to be revealed and achieved by youngsters who may never have made it into the old HCS. (PARA) I don't fall for the 'so many degrees are down-graded argument.' Whilst I accept that Trout Fishing, Making Custard, Media Studies and Sports Sciences etc may be questionable, it would be interesting to find out if the current Gayton Road-based school gets young people onto seriously-rated courses in accredited institutions. At an educated guess, it no doubt does. Thus, I repeat my generalised point...today's State Comps so often do not get the recognition they deserve. Educationally, many are miles ahead of what the primaeval Dr Simpson understood to be 'education'.


Name: Bernard Gillespie
Email: rgillespieattampabay.rr.com
Years_at_school: 1939-1944
Date: 04 Dec 2010
Time: 15:05:48

Comments

thank you Peter Ward for sharing your thoughts on the grammar school vs comprehensive school system ........ in my previous post I was seeking the views of those who had put in their high school years under the comp system ..... so far I have seen one response from a former student at the school on Gayton Road that met my criteria and a second, yours, Peter, which does not ..... according to earlier posts you were at the Gayton Road school from 1958-1963 and thus did not experience as a student whatever it was that the new system brought with it .......... your present defense of the comp system appears to be spoken from within the system ..... as a teacher ....... ? I don't think that anyone previously has accused Professor Judt of talking "unresearched tosh" ......... as to the degrees that are being doled out in the UK ( although perhaps only in England ) since the post-war proliferation of so-called universities I don't set much store by them ........ Britain has become "Americanised" ........ in the US practically every village boasts it's university where undergraduate degrees are handed out to people who are sometimes barely literate ......... Britain has not yet sunk so far as that but I am distressed by the way that previously respectable non-degree granting institutions have been "up-graded " to university status with essentially no change in the level or nature of the education offered..... instead of a respectable diploma the student ends up with a meaningless BA ............ the undergraduate degree has been "dumbed-down" almost to the level of a high-school diploma...... would you not agree ?


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school:
Date: 03 Dec 2010
Time: 16:47:58

Comments

Grammar Schools vs. State Comprehensives? Only Grammar Schools possessed the ability to liberate deprived children so they might achieve success? I don't think so. I recently heard from an ex-pupil of mine (I taught her, in the 1990s, when she was nine.) She and virtually all our children lived on a very dodgy Council estate, in SE London. Michelle, who left us to go to a 'State Comp', is now taking her M.A. She told me that her whole table (3 boys and 3 girls) in that former Primary class have gained degrees. Two of the boys in Computer Sciences and another girl is now an Underwriter in The City. Those who have never been near State Comprehensives, and presumably wouldn't wish to, so often talk complete, unresearched tosh. It's the kind of prejudicial nonsense put out by the likes of those former newspapers, The Daily Mail and The Daily Express. Some of our Secondary Comprehensives are doing wonders in very difficult circumstances. Visit your nearest one and ask not just about the negatives but also the good news stories. There will be plenty. Guaranteed.


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email:
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 03 Dec 2010
Time: 16:11:04

Comments

Bernard Gillespie: the historian Tony Judt, characterised the "destruction of the selective state schools of England in the sixties" as the "most socially retrograde piece of legislation in post-war Britain" a position with which I agree .......(I left HCS 20 years before it's demise) ...... but do the post-1964 students at the school agree? Yes, Bernard, I agree with you (and Tony Judt for that matter) wholeheartedly. A study by the LSE (crucible of revolution but for once I agree with them) stated that if you are born into an area of poverty you are now likely to spend the rest of your life in that area. One of the reasons for this is the current comprehensive education system with its house-price and post-code lottery (selection on the grounds of wealth) and its lying culture of "Head-teacher, we go to church or mosque or synagogue or temple every week." I have been waiting for 30 years to hear the dulcet tones of Eastenders, Sarf Londoners, Scousers, Brummies etc in senior positions in politics, the civil service, industry, academe etc. It's going to be a long wait. Enough venom and vitriol! Michael.


Name: Bernard Gillespie
Email: rgillespieattampabay.rr.com
Years_at_school: 1939-1944
Date: 03 Dec 2010
Time: 14:45:21

Comments

the historian Tony Judt, characterised the "destruction of the selective state schools of England " in the sixties as the " most socially retrograde piece of legislation in post-war Britain " a position with which I agree .......( I left HCS 20 years before it's demise) ...... but do the post-1964 students at the school agree ? ...... which brings me to my second point ....... next year, 2011, is 100 years since HCS was founded ........ but what are the celebrations about ? HCS hasn't existed for more than 40 years ....... the original buildings still exist more or less but I don't see that alone as a cause to celebrate ..... 2011 might be better considered a "wake" for a long-dead grammar school


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 02 Dec 2010
Time: 03:57:08

Comments

Good to hear from you again, Tony. We did exchange a few e-mails after your last venture into the website, but looking back at them just now I find that some are incomplete because of changes in Windows. So successful was your low profile that I had forgotten that you were a member of the coterie in the back corner. You omitted to mention another member, Bob Mackenzie, who was top of the form every term for four years - apart from one, when a boy called Anton joined us and also sat in your corner. He came top just one term, but Bob saw him off subsequently. I've been very much in touch with Len Taylor over many years and we have lunched together in town frequently. He had a quite severe stroke earlier this year and our lunches and streams of e-mails have dried up, although I have visited him several times and will be seeing him again the week after next. BTW, you and I were, of course, at Longfield together and I have to remind you that Miss Cuthbertson (rather nice, actually) was head of the infants school. Head of the junior school was Miss Holiday, the person you describe so accurately. My most enduring memory of her was the ugly, twitchy grimace as she caned me for something - although I have long forgotten what my crime was.


Name: Tony Youdale
Email: wildlightathughesdotnet
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 01 Dec 2010
Time: 21:14:57

Comments

I found this site just over ten years ago and was pleased to do so and I was interested to find a lively discussion about my headmaster, Simpson. I am amazed to find the same discussions going on some ten years later by the same group of people. Simpson, along with the other masters had little effect on me by design and those who attended Longfield primary school will perhaps be amused as to how this came about. For my last year at Longfield I had a teacher whose name was Mrs. Gotobed, whose name I had a lot of fun with and spent some time outside Miss Cuthbertsons office(Headmistress). She was a dour person, with grey hair and she was a Miss need I say more. Before starting Harrow County there was a parent, student, masters meeting. I was in attendance and after one look at the grim faced men in black gowns in front of me (Simpson was one of them)I decided that Miss Cuthbertson was probably tame in comparison and that I was going to make every effort to steer clear of these men. I was quite successful aided by the fact that with a name begining with Y and the classes sat alphabetically, I had Wise on one side of me and Taylor just in front of me and they commanded most of the masters attention leaving me unnoticed in the back corner. I was in an outside the school scout group and ran cross country which brought me close to only Crinson who was a very nice guy. As soon as I had my advanced levels I left and started work at the Radiochemical center in Amersham and moved on in life unaffected by Simpson and his team. From what I keep reading I think I made the right decision


Name: Tony Youdale
Email: wildlightathughesdotnet
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 01 Dec 2010
Time: 20:45:23

Comments

I found this site about just over ten years ago and was pleased to do so and I was intewrested to find a lively discussion about my headmaster, Simpson. I am amazed to find the same discussions going on some ten years later by the same group of people. Simpson, along with the other masters had little effect on me by design and those who attended Longfield primary school will perhaps be amused as to how this came about.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: !958-63
Date: 01 Dec 2010
Time: 10:07:33

Comments

Good one, Clive. I stand corrected. If I had married Maggie Thatcher I would have devoted myself to methylated spirits. Or something out of Father Jack's drinks cupboard in the wonderful Father Ted. Parazone, perhaps?


Name: Clive Pigram
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1950-57
Date: 01 Dec 2010
Time: 08:26:29

Comments

Peter, please note as a matter of (political) preference, Denis drank gin (large ones) not whisky.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 01 Dec 2010
Time: 03:49:58

Comments

As I'm snowed in, in rural Sussex, there's more time than usual to visit the HCS site. Please, Michael Schwartz, leave Simpson's great grand-daughter in peace. Her original responses were dignified. As for the new Thatcher-Simpson debate...that could go on forever. What a pity they never met. Imagine the spawn they might have sired (if so inspired.) Is there a 'dictatorship' gene? Perhaps we should consult Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society. He may know. It makes me think of Mark Thatcher in a new light. Not half the horror he might have been if it hadn't been for Dear Denis. The world should be grateful to the old whisky-totting golfer.


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: PeterFowlerFanClub
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 30 Nov 2010
Time: 19:57:44

Comments

Do you think we should invite Simpson's great-grand-daughter to visit the latest comments - as she did earlier this year? Just a (wicked) thought. Michael.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindotdickinsatblueyondercouk
Years_at_school:
Date: 30 Nov 2010
Time: 19:12:59

Comments

I think a rejoinder is called for, but for Chris (not Peter, I know he has read it already) I first make a link to my "alternative" view of Simpson in this website: http://www.jeffreymaynard.com/Harrow_County/dickinsars.htm 

I have taken the trouble to re-read Peter's entries there fully and with some pleasure.  Written at greater length than a Guestbook entry, your views seem more measured there, Peter.  I have also carefully re-read this whole Guestbook thread and, Chris, I take your relatively restrained response to my "plain silly" with appreciation.  However, while you call your reference to Thatcher humorous, I really can't see it.  Like her or loathe her, she did what was necessary to rescue this country from threatened descent into third world status.  The second Wilson government was utterly disastrous as, among other things, he put the trades unions above the law in a (contemptuously abused and rejected) attempt to gain their support.  He led the country into an IMF bail-out and jumped ship to leave poor Callaghan to try and rescue things.  All he got was the "winter of discontent".  Just as now, the country knew then that some nasty medicine had to be taken and Thatcher was elected to prescribe it. She did it with admirable effect, and I cannot forbear mentioning that, hard and nasty as she was deemed to be by many, stories about of her personal warmth and kindness privately to people of all political persuasions.

The word "dictator" is much abused (although I do have some sympathy with anyone who protests that words and their meanings evolve in our great living language).  It comes from a very specific Roman practice of appointing one man - the dictator - with absolute power during a political or national crisis.  The appointment would be for three years only, and Fabius Maximus was the great archetype.  Perhaps it would chime with you both if Simpson had been appointed for just such a limited period - although three years would hardly be enough and the School was not in crisis when he arrived.

Brian Hester's observation that "After a career involving exposure to management in heavy industry, Simpson appears in retrospect as rather a mild sort of chap compared with some I've met" amused me.  But, Chris, you dismiss this as you contrast industry with teaching, saying "one is basically geared to making as much money as possible, the other to helping individual young people to fulfil their potential."  You imply vice and virtue, but can you not concede that without the wealth created by the former there are not the means to provide the latter? 

You, Peter and Chris, and I sit on either side of the political diivide.  It has not prevented reasonable debate and regard for each other's opinion - nor should it - but I wonder how much that colours our respective tolerance of Simpson.  For my part, it meant only, I think, that his right wing views did not grate with me - although I found his occasionally vehement pronouncement of them excruciatingly embarrassing.  It seemed at the least bad manners and insensitive, although I do believe that he held his views honestly and decently.  Let me just say that my "alternative" views of him were held without that aggravation.  I still see many vices, but I see more virtues.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondatyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 1959-66
Date: 29 Nov 2010
Time: 11:59:28

Comments

Precisely, Peter. I too speak from many years' teaching experience, at all levels, and confirm what you say about how not to treat the less academic pupils.

We had some excellent teachers at HCS, some average-to-good, a few just dreadful...And, in assessing ARS's achievement, let's also not forget the superb raw material entering his school in the form of pupils of very good calibre indeed, usually from 'good backgrounds' as well, where parental encouragement would not be lacking.

In other words, he was potentially 'on a winner', as it were, from the start, and the record of under-achievement referred to by Peter Ward speaks volumes for the man's limitations, frankly, both of vision and expertise.

His time at the school may even be described, at one level, as a descent from being an exceedingly zealous meritocrat to a 'stone raving bonkers' elitist.

And worst of all - he wouldn't even accept being given out in a Staff v School cricket match...Shocking example, eh?!!


Name: Peter Ward
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: Too many
Date: 29 Nov 2010
Time: 11:32:44

Comments

To Colin Dickins. I'm glad we can agree and disagree in a friendly spirit. I think Chris Esmond and I have the advantage over you. Judging from your stated years at the school, it appears you may have missed out on the time Simpson deteriorated into a somewhat ludicrous figure. He certainly lost control. I well remember him berating a fractionally yobbish colleague of mine as a 'Hungarian renegade from Soho smelling of spagetti!' (The guy was wearing 'condemned' brown suede shoes at the time.) If only Simpson said goulash. I think you missed out on the fun. The serious side of Simpson is not really the autocratic regime for which he was responsible. It was the HCS educational failure. Too much weight is given to 'his' State Scholarship and Oxbridge Exhibition achievements and no account is taken of the very poor results of C and D streams. These 'failures' were not dim. They were humiliated,antagonised, poorly taught and, in more enlightend institutions, may well have flourished. I have some insight into this having taught up to 'A' Level in two Inner London Comprehensives and enjoyed nine years in Primary Education. All three were in deprived areas. We got youngsters finally through to Higher Education who wouldn't have got near Simpson's HCS. The man's PR operation is simply not be believed. When singing his praises, his few advocates normally think only of their own successes and not the disappointments of others less academic. Oh - and just in case Dr Simpson never noticed - there is more to education than pure academe. His own lack of grace and a rounded personality is a good case in point.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondatyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 1959-66
Date: 29 Nov 2010
Time: 10:45:20

Comments

Colin Dickins writes: I think your last two sentences are well worth considering, particularly by Chris Esmond, some of whose comments seem to betray a hatred which seems to be as fanatical as he judges his subject to be. To equate Thatcher with Hitler, Pol Pot et al. is, in fact, just plain silly and greatly diminishes his arguments.

Chris Esmond replies: Take it easy, Colin, you've missed the humour (thus greatly diminishing your argument!) - I deliberately included Thatcher for the fun of it, the irony of it rather tickled me...Although she was something of a 'dictatorial character' herself, was she not? And I don't recall seeing her shedding any tears for the Argentine dead as a result of her Falklands 'adventure'...

You impute 'hate' for ARS on my part. I wouldn't recognise quite such an extreme response in myself, yet rather that than any supine acquiescence to such an individual.

You see, Colin, reflecting upon my experience of the ethos and atmosphere he created at HCS, ARS representing almost an 'archetypal' self-righteously narrow, rigid, 'ossified' mentality, does induce strong feelings, of which I'm certainly not in the least ashamed and for which I see absolutely no reason at all to apologise.

Although my contempt for the man rather tends to dissolve into the sort of ridicule Peter Ward advises, being more appropriate on mature reflection. More of which, no doubt, in due course!


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colin.dickinsatblueyonderdotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 29 Nov 2010
Time: 05:19:52

Comments

Interesting, Peter. You and I have agreed and disagreed in the past (mostly the former) and your comments always ccommand my attention. While disposed to question the earlier part of your contribution, I think your last two sentences are well worth considering, particularly by Chris Esmond, some of whose comments seem to betray a hatred which seems to be as fanatical as he judges his subject to be. To equate Thatcher with Hitler, Pol Pot et al. is, in fact, just plain silly and greatly diminishes his arguments.

I will not rehearse yet again my oft expressed opinions and experience of Square, but it may be relevant to the discussion that I joinrd the School after he had established his position and was embarking on his most effective and successful years - the greatest of which were to come after my departure. His authoritarianism was much less exceptionable at that time. He did, indeed, have difficulty coping with a changing social and political culture, then and subsequently, but the vast majority of us who were there during his "tyranny" - and for some years to follow - benefited from what he created.

And to revert briefly to Randall Williams, he did decline in performance in his later years in office, as he became more interested in the church, and no less a person than Beaky Fooks, to whom I remained close to the end, confided to my astonishment that he was a bully. I think he was referring to him in respect of management of his staff, but it is something to reflect on.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school:
Date: 28 Nov 2010
Time: 16:53:37

Comments

Chris Esmond beat me to it and got it spot on. The fascination (not the alleged 'obsession') of Simpson is the fact that he was, as Chris rightly put it, a dictator. I have long been puzzled by the rise and self-proclaimed achievements of global dictators. Chris named some of the chief culprits. It's how they get there (that's where the energy and drive come in.) Just as importantly, how they fool people who back, appoint or believe in them. And then, horror of horrors, the fact that they stay in power with distorted PR, little challenged, supported by a seedy sub-level of (forgive the pun) ARS-licking underlings! 'People' like Mao, Pol Pot, Magabe, Idi Amin, and the wonderful Hastings Banda etc. kept or keep going, for ages. In his big fish in a small pond way, Simpson applied the same principles. Iron will and fist, fanatical belief in his own precepts and great PR. But he shouldn't be taken so seriously - with respect to some HCS correspondents who claim he scarred them for life. In truth, Square was pathetic and risible; the butt of numerous jokes, japes and escapdes. I have made the point before. He incited schoolboy rebellion, however adolescent. But in adult and professional life, it is sometimes necessary to kick against the traces and challenge the establishment-thinking of out of touch, rigid authority. It's how Society progresses. Few, if any, Reform Movements succeeded with the willing concession of The Establishment of the time. For me, exposure to Simpson's system of mild tyranny was a lesson well learnt. Perhaps we ought to be more grateful to our sad Mentor?


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondatyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 1959-66
Date: 28 Nov 2010
Time: 15:58:09

Comments

Paul Romney writes: The longer I live, the more clearly I see that mere intelligence, however lovingly nurtured, is of little consequence unless it is harnessed to energy and will; and of course there are different sorts of intelligence. Square must have had considerable energy and will and a certain intelligence to rise from the humble origins that Pete's research has disclosed. CE: No doubt about it, Paul, he possessed the energy of a fanatic, driven by a rigidly-held, absolute belief in the total rightness of his cause. Rather like a good old Scottish evangelical, in fact?! Not that unusual he should land the job though, when you think about it - employers like a bit of 'enthusiasm' in a job applicant, don't they? Besides, I hardly think the school governors then were particularly 'enlightened'... Energy and Will - key attributes of all the great dictators, all the great meddlers and poisoners of mankind - Hitler, Stalin, Mao...Thatcher...!


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondatyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 1959-66
Date: 28 Nov 2010
Time: 14:24:36

Comments

In response to Brian Hester, well,your impression of ARS was only from one year, perhaps significantly, your last, when you were on your way out, as it were, so it seems you were almost certainly spared the worst 'excesses' of his tenure. Also, of course, your time at HCS and that of myself and others of like mind here were considerably different in terms of the general ambience of the world we were growing up in, my generation being right on the cusp of far-reaching social changes, notably the burgeoning 'youth culture', the challenging on many fronts of the established social order and its hitherto almost inviolable norms, including the 'sexual revolution'(of which, admittedly, there was little, if any, evidence at HCS). My point being that we sensed very acutely, as time went on, how much of an ananchronism he was, how representative of a very old-fashioned, repressive standpoint, in dramatic contrast to the world that was unfolding outside the narrow confines of the all boys grammar school, presented to us by the music, films, newspapers and magazines of the era, and ever more visible in the streets. I don't think your experience, Brian, was similar in such respects. As for ARS being of a milder bent than you found in heavy industry, well, I'd suggest that management there and in schools are two rather different challenges, demanding very different approaches. For a start, one is basically geared to making as much money as possible, the other to helping individual young people to fulfil their potential. Sure, industry needs to 'keep people happy', meaning relatively 'pacified', content enough not to 'rock the boat',if possible, for the sake of efficiency and profit, but isn't one of the prime goals of education the happiness of the individual, empowering the person to create well-being in themselves by fostering all manner of skills? And respecting that person for who they are? Of course, that happened at HCS, in various ways - but definitely not through the direct influence of the personality of the Head, who for me and many others was an intimidating presence, someone who spread fear all around, someone you simply wanted to avoid, to whom you'd much rather remain unknown and certainly not get to know. As such, stalking around the place in his gown, he emanated a joyless discontent, incipient anger, a sort of miserable 'tyranny' even, which made its insidious mark upon the very young, impressionable (as you say, Brian)and sometimes very vulnerable boys. As I said below, simply pure poison - the antithesis of a happy atmosphere! You say he was there to produce "a string of achievers", Brian...What a very narrow definition of such an important job! What about helping to produce happy, well-balanced, well-rounded, creative, free-thinking people, unafraid to question the status quo, open to the new, open to life? You missed, of course, his infamous, completely mad rants in assemblies against pet targets, eg modern fashions and, notably, in this present context, the for him, academically - and even, socially - utterly unworthy fifth formers. Contrasting, of course, to his veritable paeans of praise for his precious Oxbridge scholarship boys... Do you begin to understand, Brian, the level of fear and consequent contempt we had for this character? Frankly, Brian, humour was the best weapon to have at hand against such an apparently blind, inflexible tyranny (and no, I don't think I am exaggerating using such a phrase). The younger ones, as I recall - if they were lucky - tended to learn it from the more disaffected, resilient older pupils. But it was not a particularly pleasant atmosphere to grow up in, to put it mildly.


Name: Paul Romney
Email: see below
Years_at_school: 56-63
Date: 28 Nov 2010
Time: 04:02:52

Comments

Brian Hester makes some good observations about Square, but I see nothing to justify his opening remark. Most (I hope all) of us spend a tiny fraction of our lives on this excellent web site. The fact that a certain topic relevant to the site tends to crop up frequently on it does not suggest an obsession on anyone's part. There are two good reasons why Square pops up so frequently. One is that, for many of us, our schooldays loom large in our memory (or we wouldn't come here at all), and Square loomed large in that experience. The other is that he was a rather remarkable figure, well worthy of the sort of retrospective contemplation to which Pete Fowler has subjected him. The longer I live, the more clearly I see that mere intelligence, however lovingly nurtured, is of little consequence unless it is harnessed to energy and will; and of course there are different sorts of intelligence. Square must have had considerable energy and will and a certain intelligence to rise from the humble origins that Pete's research has disclosed. I find it interesting that someone so devoid of charm should have been so successful in a managerial capacity, but he was operating in a hierarchical system where a strong will was a great asset. What we lack (or certainly I do) is a sense of how he interacted with his superiors. This would speak to the question, which Brian raises, as to how and why was he recruited.


Name: Bernard Gillespie
Email: rgillespieattampsbay.rr.com'
Years_at_school: 1939-1944
Date: 27 Nov 2010
Time: 15:00:14

Comments

almost every time I log onto the HCS website I thank my parents for conceiving me in March of 1927 and thus ensuring ( given my pretty dismal record of achievement at HCS ) that I would live my high-school years under the benevolent eye of Randall Williams MA ..........


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/63
Date: 26 Nov 2010
Time: 15:42:50

Comments

Stalking? If you write about the past, you have to do research. I was doing some stuff on 60s Grammar Schools and it dawned on me instantly: was there anything more representative than the very Head we had at that time? That's how history is written - digging. Not stalking.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 26 Nov 2010
Time: 14:45:48

Comments

I share Callum Kerr's surprise at the obsession with Simpson that so many contributors here have carried into their adult lives. I can quite see how the average impressionable eleven year old would be overawed by the man. My own acquaintance with him covers my last year at school and his first. He was evidently designing his course of action by 'treading lightly and carrying a big stick'. Before shaking up the boys he tackled the staff. We'll never what happened but there was much blood on the common room floor. For example, of the five old boys on the staff, four chose to leave. For Simpson, it was a plum job. In mid-career he was plucked out of a school in a small, provincial town reknowned only for its kippers and as the birth place of Harry Lawder. (His singature song 'keep right on to the end of the road' epitomized Simpson's position. He was there). How he was recruited, we'll never know but he knew how to take charge, set goals and formulate plans. He was a good manager and managed for results although he clearly made no attempt to make friends along the way. He simply came to work, spat tacks, and then went home to a life he kept entirely separate from work. After a career involving exposure to management in heavy industry, Simpson appears in retrospect as rather a mild sort of chap compared with some I've met. He built on the good standing the school already enjoyed when he took over and produced a string of 'achievers', which after all was his job.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondatyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 1959-66
Date: 26 Nov 2010
Time: 10:31:45

Comments

No wonder the guy seemed so full of anger and ill humour - even his (extremely occasional) smile seemed 'forced', somehow, his face certainly wasn't usd to it - he came from a traditionally repressive background and tried to well and truly 'lay his trip' upon generations of innocent kids. As those of his ilk always try to, neither having known nor being open to accept any alternative. Yes, we can, did and do laugh at this caricature of a human being (as he was in our experience, we know nothing else), but he was dangerous, make no mistake, poisoning the atmosphere around him with fear. I have literally no positive memories of the man, none whatsoever.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondatyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 1959-66
Date: 26 Nov 2010
Time: 09:21:29

Comments

Yes, a 'robot' indeed, Peter! Well, with that background - aspirational lower-middle-class (?), with more than a mere 'seasoning' of a no doubt very Scottish strain of puritanical Christian religiosity...Not to mention a penchant for the Classics... What else could emerge but a 'Robot' - of the traditional Scottish ("How dare ye give me out, umpire!") variety!


Name: callum kerr
Email: ckerratskorprionzinc.com.na
Years_at_school: 1970-77
Date: 26 Nov 2010
Time: 07:20:53

Comments

I am a little alarmed at the post from Peter Fowler in that you go so far as to get hold of a copy of Dr Simpsons birth certificate..... I appreciate the late Headmaster apparently had a tremendous impact on the scholars who passed though HCS, especially in those rapidly changing 50's and 60's...... But to track down a birth certificate....!! Not far removed from stalking, and surely an unhealthy obsession? I enjoy the rememberances and stories and strong opinions contributed, even of those who I never came across, but surely this is taking things a little too far! Or is this a joke that I dont see?


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/63
Date: 25 Nov 2010
Time: 07:29:10

Comments

I realise years ago I never posted the text below, and should have done: I got hold of a copy of the great man's birth certificate and did some rooting round.. Text: He came from a humble background in Dunfermline: his father was a salesman in the local linen trade (the city was famous for its damask linen), and himself was illegitimate. There is no record of his paternal grandfather, but his father's mother was a factory girl; and the young Alexander's Grandfather on the maternal side ran a local pub. They all lived in small terrace properties in the town centre. The family attended the United Free Church of Scotland in the 1840s - they were evangelicals.


Name: Peter Garwood
Email: peterdotgarwood777atbtinternetdotcom
Years_at_school: 1953/61
Date: 25 Nov 2010
Time: 04:42:11

Comments

Play fair, the car registration mark ARS was issued by Aberdeen[City] up until 1944 and as Dundee is not that far away he could easily have bought a car in that area carrying such a mark, without looking specifically. As Michael Caine said... 'Not a lot of people know that'.


Name: Type your name here
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 24 Nov 2010
Time: 17:18:04

Comments

My father, who was taught Latin by ARS in Dundee before the war recalled that he - ARS, not my dad - had a car with his initials in the registration. Duh!!!!!!!!


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 24 Nov 2010
Time: 16:20:23

Comments

Knowledge about Dr.S's background will become public as soon as the census records for 1911 become available, if they are not already so. Is there a genealogist out there watching? Results should be of interest to readers of this page.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 24 Nov 2010
Time: 09:36:26

Comments

So Dr Simpson had human parents? A revelation. I had always assumed him to be a prototype Scottish robot. Remember that peculiar mechanical 'square' mouth? The accent for the voice was clearly a synthesised mish-mash of Low Dunfermline with High Edinburgh. All very unconvincing. Human? Unlikely. No racial slur against the Scots, or Scottish robots, is intended.


Name: Phil Chesterman
Email: philconnieatshaw,ca
Years_at_school: 46-51
Date: 23 Nov 2010
Time: 22:10:02

Comments

No Bill, Mike Hunt and all his also-named were victims of parents who never thought for one second that their choice of names could lead to ridicule. Remember the BBC's Valentine Dyall(?) of speedway's Vic Duggan? The ultimate is of course ARSimpson. Don't blame the offspring for their parents' stupidity, please. At least Dr Simpson didn't move to the USA and change his middle name to Sam, or Sylvester.


Name: Bill(y) Peter
Email: bncpeter at gmail dot com
Years_at_school: 1960-1967
Date: 21 Nov 2010
Time: 19:46:11

Comments

Mike Hunt is the basis for the old schoolboy joke. A joker 'phones a pub, and asks the barmaid to shout out "Has anybody seen Mike Hunt". Chortle, chortle.


Name: Erica Jones
Email: ericajonesvancatgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1975-ish thru about 1980 or so
Date: 19 Nov 2010
Time: 20:55:31

Comments

Hey you lot. Greetings from America. Anyone know the whereabouts of Ashley Livingstone.? Good kid, blamed for everything always bullied beaten and abused. Erica.


Name: Phil Chesterman
Email: philconnieatshaw.ca
Years_at_school: 1946-1951
Date: 18 Nov 2010
Time: 13:26:27

Comments

Welcome Aboard Michael Hunt! I remember you, also at Preston Park School. Moreso your sister Shirley.


Name: David Tomsett
Email: dc.tomsettatbtinternet,com
Years_at_school: 1964 to 1971
Date: 18 Nov 2010
Time: 01:15:47

Comments

Although I did not realise it at the time, this school gave me a fantastic education. It was hard not being a true academic as the school's "real mission" was to generate elite candidates for Oxbridge. Bullying was either tolerated or ignored. Nevertheless, compared to the modern system I would have preferred my own son to have experienced this rather than the politically correct rubbish that he went through.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colin.dickinsatblueyonder.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 16 Nov 2010
Time: 17:18:16

Comments

Indeed he was, Bill. And another lad and I in the first year (can't remember his name - began with H, I think) used to tease him and be slapped around our short-trousered legs by his leather gauntlets. All very amicable, though.


Name: Bill(y) Peter
Email: bncpeter at gmail dot com
Years_at_school: 1960-1967
Date: 14 Nov 2010
Time: 18:40:11

Comments

I trust that Michael John Hunt is not known as Mike Hunt.


Name: Michael John Hunt
Email: mjzhuntatgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1945-50
Date: 12 Nov 2010
Time: 06:48:16

Comments

I only looked for the school out of curiosity. I find to my surprise that I appear in several of the team photos and remember many of the people.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 08 Nov 2010
Time: 18:30:17

Comments

Did you not answer your own question back in 2003? You wrote "My apologies to all concerned at Harrow. It seems I was mistaken and Mr. Edmund S. Ions was a HEATON Old Boy. :-)"


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 08 Nov 2010
Time: 18:26:12

Comments

Did you not answer your own question back in 2003? You wrote "My apologies to all concerned at Harrow. It seems I was mistaken and Mr. Edmund S. Ions was a HEATON Old Boy. :-)"


Name: Robert Paige
Email: roberttpaige at aol.com
Years_at_school: Visitor
Date: 08 Nov 2010
Time: 16:09:44

Comments

Looking for information as to whether Edmund S. Ions attended Harrow and if so any information on him at present.


Name: Brian Hearn
Email: kurrali.brianatipstarmail.com.au
Years_at_school: 1947-1950
Date: 07 Nov 2010
Time: 21:21:59

Comments

My 2nd visit to the site and 2nd entry in the guest book... scored a few responses: Roy Goldman, Geoff Taylor and Dave Buckley giving a contact for Barry Clifton. None yet from Brian Prime or Peter Moffat, if anyone knows anything of them, please get in touch. I knew 2 of the current crop of obituaries... form mate Richard Burnett and 1st XV team mate Lewis Hawken.


Name: Howard Reeve1953 - 1960
Email: halreeve at fsmail.net
Years_at_school: 1953-1960
Date: 03 Nov 2010
Time: 06:12:56

Comments

Pleased to find the site after all these years


Name: Graeme Young
Email: Square Peg in round hole!
Years_at_school: 1047 to 1953
Date: 03 Nov 2010
Time: 01:20:27

Comments

As I live in Nottinghamshire and find rail fares and accommodation so expensive I will not be coming to the Centenary Re-Union. Had employment market forces held me in the area I would have come along because for me the good side of HCS was the fellow sufferers who accompanied me through the D-stream from '47 to '53. I enjoyed their company. My lacklustre performance during those years, not helped by what I felt as an opressive atmosphere, improved dramatically and I did make 'good enough' once on my own in the wide world. My crowning achievement was to be awarded Honorary Fellow of the Society of Cable Telecommunication Engineers - not bad for one Dr S considered to be a no-hoper. To all the fellows who were my friends in those years I send my warmest greetings Worth not Birth indeed! "Youngy"


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: unchanged
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 30 Oct 2010
Time: 07:47:59

Comments

Hello, Toby - yes, believe it or not, there is someone who just about remembers you. I do recall your being transferred to Harrow although the last I saw of you was when you were boarding a bus in Harrow in 1966-67. I think you got 100% in Latin which puts you in the category of Tom Carne who got 100% in maths. I attained a mere 94% in the same Latin exam and then got hooked on Greek. I take your point about the busy teacher - it was probably not Bernard Marchant as he did not teach our year. It was not Kenneth Waller as he was in the Soviet Union. T J Jones was himself busy but that was busy going loony so it may have been Mr Wood who also taught history. The plot thickens (or sickens). Hope the last 45 years have gone well for you... Michael.


Name: Toby Jackson
Email: LapelsToby at aol.com
Years_at_school: 1965-1966
Date: 28 Oct 2010
Time: 15:48:17

Comments

I was only at Harrow County School for a single year after moving to the Harrow area in 1965, so I rather doubt if any former classmates will remember me. I can remember playing Young Macduff in the school production of Macbeth and uttering "Mother, he has killed me" as a dagger was plunged through my heart. Great fun at the age of 12 and an exciting stage debut. I then took a state scholarship and ended up boarding at Harrow School. The lack of streaming in different subjects at Harrow County had prompted my move. I was new to some subjects at Harrow County such as science, but had studied others like Latin since I had been 7. When a busy master gave me the other boys' Latin exercises to correct, my parents decided I needed a move. Nevertheless I enjoyed my year and wonder how I would have progressed if I had stayed.


Name: Stephen Kell
Email: stephen_kell at ntlworld.com
Years_at_school: 1968-1972
Date: 28 Oct 2010
Time: 13:14:33

Comments

Brings back memories of my time at school.


Name: Raymond Saktreger
Email: R.Saktreger at gmail.com
Years_at_school: 1961-1967
Date: 26 Oct 2010
Time: 08:35:03

Comments

It is interesting to see all the old photographs. I may have a large number to contribute.


Name: Ian Gawn
Email: ian.gawnatorange.fr
Years_at_school: 1955-62
Date: 26 Oct 2010
Time: 04:56:31

Comments

Just been looking at the L IV Science B 1960 and U IV Science B 1961, but could not work out why I was in the former, but not the latter. Then the 50 year old clouds cleared and I remembered that the photos were always taken in the first few days of term, and I started the 1961 Autumn term a fortnight late, as I had been on Outward Bound at the Moray Sea School. (I had also finished the summer term a fortnight early to go to Northampton for my flying course on a Flying Scholarship.)


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondatyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 1959-1966
Date: 25 Oct 2010
Time: 15:05:12

Comments

Coming here, I'm always say 'thank Gawd' for the disbelievers, the rebels, the laughing boys, the ones who had the sense to see through the official facade, and the wit to make fun of all the nonsense we were subjected to. Yes, I do appreciate much of the teaching, a lot of the sport, arts etc. But those were like islands of well-being amidst what I largely experienced as a suffocatingly repressive institution. So, no, I wouldn't ever want to attend any sort of 'celebration', certainly not one for its centenary. I'll leave that to the (probably) massed ranks of the 'believers'. But an 'anti-celebration' - that might be something...But there again, hardly worth the candle, probably. RIP Harrow County, good you no longer exist!


Name: Brian Porter
Email: netherbyclose10ataol.com
Years_at_school: 1948 to 1956
Date: 25 Oct 2010
Time: 13:31:38

Comments

Great seeing all the photos, sometimes of long-forgotten faces.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 07 Oct 2010
Time: 04:26:01

Comments

Sir Paul Nurse features prominently in the Times today. The Eureka magazine names him as the country's leading scientist and he is the lead signatory of a letter from ten Nobel laureates published in the main body of the paper.


Name: David Hall
Email: buskeratlive.co.uk
Years_at_school: 74-79
Date: 05 Oct 2010
Time: 14:20:57

Comments

Alex Bateman\Jeff Maynard, a thought. Like many, I like to come to the guest book from time to time and enjoy contributing. However, because I don't have time to visit regularly the problem that arises is the impossible task of trawling back through dozens (hundreds?) of posts to see who has been in touch and what is being discussed. Is there any way to split offerings into indexed specific threads and general postings? It would be much easier to follow the comings and goings and probably generate more contributions because I'm sure I'm not the only one who has to quit trawling out of exasperation or boredom? Nevertheless, it's still a valuable site and those puting their time into it are to be thanked and appreciated. Regards, Dave Hall


Name: christopher keegel
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1976 - 1980
Date: 05 Oct 2010
Time: 07:15:54

Comments

Hi , just a quick thumbs up to the new improved website , very informative . Looking forward to centenary celebrations !


Name: steve manning
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 63-68
Date: 21 Sep 2010
Time: 16:59:39

Comments

Whilst googling my late friend Johnny Irving. He was Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, ( 60's band ) roadie. I came across Hervey Sheild and Jon Glover. They surely ain't the old gayts on the NEW section who just did the reunion gig last year. Wish I'd been there! Google -- Johnny Irving Hervey Sheild.Sx


Name: Paul Romney
Email: etc.
Years_at_school: 56-63
Date: 16 Sep 2010
Time: 07:26:02

Comments

Another triumph for Mees and D'Arcy!


Name: Pete Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/63
Date: 15 Sep 2010
Time: 03:35:27

Comments

A Wolfe in Pepys' clothing, Paul?


Name: Paul Romney
Email: same as ever
Years_at_school: ditto
Date: 15 Sep 2010
Time: 03:03:50

Comments

And who would rather have written Gray's Elegy than take Quebec ... ?


Name: Stephen Frost
Email: sftankathotmail.com
Years_at_school: 1963-70
Date: 14 Sep 2010
Time: 23:45:08

Comments

It is from verse one of Gray's Elegy written in a Country Graveyard. Stephen Frost


Name: Jeff Maynard
Email: jeffrey at jeffreymaynard dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-69
Date: 14 Sep 2010
Time: 15:40:52

Comments

George Cowan has written a "must-read" article in the latest Old Gaytonian magazine, explaining his philosophy, The Plowman Homeward Plods his Weary Way, TRALA and other things. You can get a copy by joining the Old Gaytonians.


Name: Steve Morris
Email: evets121153atyahoo.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1968-89
Date: 14 Sep 2010
Time: 14:40:35

Comments

What were the lines? "The ploughman plods his weary way homeward"? Is my memory correct and if so was there some kind of purpose within the text? George Cowan, wasn't it?


Name: Stephen Frost
Email: sftankathotmail.com
Years_at_school: 1963-70
Date: 11 Sep 2010
Time: 23:40:49

Comments

Senior Service Sam? For me it was 10 Players No. 6 tipped for 1s 9d or 10 Benson & Hedges gold for 2s 6d, if I had the extra. Regards Stephen Frost


Name: steve manning
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 11 Sep 2010
Time: 19:18:47

Comments

Dear Ye, You have a good memory. I seem to remember having to ascend the stairs to receive my handshake from my mates, Joe & George. If I recall correctly it was to quite a lot of laughter from the assembled riff-raff that comprised the audience. I believe I had on, my treasured brown,suede,elastic-sided,ripple-soled bootees. Didn't stop me getting another handful or two of the daily caning ritual and more bl**ding plodding Ploughman.


Name: ye min
Email: yeyeye63athotmail.comWrite word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 63-70
Date: 05 Sep 2010
Time: 12:57:44

Comments

hey Steve, didnt you once win a christmas raffle? Did we see you walking up stage to shake hands with Avery or was it Simpson?


Name: steve manning
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 63-68
Date: 04 Sep 2010
Time: 22:27:58

Comments

I think the fags were Senior Service. I had a dram but I don't think the Col. had one. Sx


Name: steve manning
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 04 Sep 2010
Time: 21:59:00

Comments

Perhaps should have said. Am I the only Old Gayt that had Col. Bigham arrive totally unawares with 200 fags, a bottle of scotch, Black & White, and either 5 or 10pounds to give me? Sx.


Name: Paul Romney
Email: at
Years_at_school:
Date: 01 Sep 2010
Time: 08:41:56

Comments

Rooney I like, and it strikes me that it speaks to Canadians' prosaic cast of mind that doubloony never caught on for the two-dollar coin. I wrote "at" in full to avoid spam. Hope it works.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 01 Sep 2010
Time: 01:58:14

Comments

Have recently trawled this HCS Blog again (sorry, a horrid word.) Graeme Young is right to suggest taking advantage of the visit of the former Nazi Youth to our country viz. The Pope. I am sure he would be the first to recognise the fine qualities of the late 'Colonel' Bigham. Bigham's canonisation is long overdue. Graeme mentions his own diabetic condition and consequent aches and pains - but he should have faith. Following Intercession and suitable penance, the beatification of St. Willie might lead to a miraculous cure. I would be happy to try the new Saint for personal relief to painful knees and rotten right ankle (too much cricket and illicit playground soccer at HCS.)In a previous 'blog'I suggested the fourth and empty plinth in Trafalgar Square for the Colonel's delayed recognition. Now, after Graeme's timely intervention it appears something sanctified would be more appopriate. The Roman Catholic Westminster Cathedral is just down the road. A dull name. So why not St Willie's? A Requiem Mass could be sung to honour the memory. The fact that Bigham may have been Protestant (he never left with Bernie Marchant & Co for the separate Catholic Assembly) should not be permitted to stand in the way. The canonisation of a Scottish Protestant soldier might represent a welcome boost to flagging global Ecumenism. Would Bernie turn in his recent grave? Probably.


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/63
Date: 31 Aug 2010
Time: 09:39:51

Comments

Presumably you'll call a coin that fails to hit the net when thrown at toll stations to be called a Rooney; and maybe you'll call a new coin, all sexy and showing off, a swooney.


Name: Paul Romney
Email: same as ever
Years_at_school: ditto
Date: 31 Aug 2010
Time: 09:28:29

Comments

@ Michael Schwartz: The loony is so called because, when first minted in the 1980s, the dollar coin bore the image of a loon. Hence, too, the two-dollar coin is called a twony (or, for all I know, toony -- it happened after I left). Perhaps the 3-dollar coin, if ever it arrives, will by analogy with the thruppenny bit be called a thruny.


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: michaelwritesforyouatyahoo.ca
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 31 Aug 2010
Time: 06:10:21

Comments

Hello, Steve Morris - good to be in touch again. First, there is no need to apologise. I learnt a great deal from Set 4 in maths (apart from the maths itself) and it removed some of the self-importance I had at the time. My bitterness is reserved for one pupil who purported to be a sixth-former but who had the maturity of a ten-year-old as well as the usual suspects in the Science departments. I believe that Joe Avery lost control of his own school - which is perhaps why the authorities you mention did not intervene. For all that, I would never have wanted to be in a school with ARS at its head. Yes, I have adopted the Canadian Dollar. It does, however, remind me of my wife's family as the Canadian Dollar is affectionately nicknamed the "Loony." No, I don't know why it is called the Loony. It was time in 2005 to make a change - and returning to london and pooling all our resources to end up in a rabbit hutch did not appeal. It may be a Canadian who wanted the euro - I understood it was a Luxembourger. Canada has weathered the recession better than most. The top five Canadian banks who were in the world's top 20 are now in the world's top 15 as the more irresponsible ones have gone under. Michael.


Name: Graeme Young
Email: behind the bike sheds
Years_at_school: 1947 to 1953
Date: 31 Aug 2010
Time: 04:55:46

Comments

I have just learned of the passing of David Sherriff. David and I belonged to the 10th Roxth Scout Group and went to many camps and did many hikes together. He was a great sportman, a good friend, and I regret his untimely passing. I anyone in Gaytonia-land has contact with his family please convey my sumpthies and regrets to them. Requiescat in Pace.


Name: Graeme Young
Email: Behind the bike sheds
Years_at_school: 1947 to 1953
Date: 31 Aug 2010
Time: 04:31:09

Comments

With the impending visit of The Pope, could we not get Col Bigham canonised? I am very happy to note that he was not all bad, it must have been my experiences as a teenage boy that produced my jaundiced views. I ws fair in other directions as I DID learn a lot at HCS and am eternally grateful for the knowledge gained. I still disliked the place and feared some of the staff. Now, as an elderly diabetic with a load of aches and pains, I look back on those days and think "they could have been better".


Name: Steve Morris
Email: evets121153atyahoo.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1968-69
Date: 30 Aug 2010
Time: 15:15:14

Comments

Hi Michael Schwartz, tis interesting that you deem yourself fortunate to have adopted the Canadian dollar. I presumed your canditature here for UKIP derived from an attachment to the British pound and a dislike of the Euro. Not so it seems given that you seem pleased to have eschewed sterling in favour of the Canadian dollar! Interestingly, it was a Canadian economist, I believe, who first concieved the benefits of a single European currency! Perhaps he had in mind something akin to the Canadian dollar when he concieved the Euro. Just some idle thoughts following three pints of (continental) lager down the pub. Hic!


Name: Steve Morris
Email: evets121153atyahoo.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1968-69
Date: 30 Aug 2010
Time: 14:33:44

Comments

Hi Steve Manning, I can confirm that I was the subject of Michael Schwartz's memoirs when he refers to S---- M-----. Moreover, I confess his account of me is pretty accurate, something of which in retrospective I am not proud. It would be convenient for me to characterise my 1969 school persona as "Youth having its fling" but, unfortunately, there was a lot more to it than that. Michael, I apologise for my intimidatory behaviour and for the disruption I caused to Donaghue's Maths classes. It should never have been allowed and the authorities should have intervened decisively, both for my sake and for everyone else's.


Name: Jeff Maynard
Email: jeffrey at jeffreymaynard dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-69
Date: 29 Aug 2010
Time: 21:44:02

Comments

Just a reminder where to find a few things on the website:
For a list of new pages click here 
For the index to photographs 1911 to 2002 click here 
For music and drama click here 
For staff click here 
For form lists 1911 to 1950 click here

To join the Old Gaytonians and to receive our magazine the Old Gaytonian, and newsletters click here (and if you are reading the guestbook, please join and support the Gaytonian Archives which provide much material for this website.)

Finally, to find about all the events planned for the School centenary click here: http://www.gaytoncentenaries.co.uk/

- Jeff


Name: steve manning
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 63-68
Date: 25 Aug 2010
Time: 20:01:41

Comments

Dear Steve Morris, I am so sorry that I mistook the value judgements of a 13or14year old,40 years on so personally. My only defence is that we are in a select group that includes the non-existent, the dead and anybody that believes that the world has changed since the sixties. Sx. Just come back from a 90th birthday party. Jeez, my brow is fevered.


Name: Ian Gawn
Email: ian.gawnatorange.fr
Years_at_school: 1955-62
Date: 25 Aug 2010
Time: 02:26:13

Comments

The memory fades after the best part of 50 years, especially the bad bits. Yes, I too was caned by Mr Bigham the Biology teacher, but fared rather better from Col Bigham, the guy in charge of the CCF. Once he knew I wanted an RAF Commission, and via Cranwell, he left no stone unturned in his efforts to support my cause. The CCF paid a substantial proportion of the then hundred pounds fee for my Outward Bound course (which I am convinced was instrumental in my acceptance for Cranwell)and also the CCF gave me a small allowance to supplement my subsistence for my one month Flying Scholarship course at Northampton. His teaching methods, especially by today's standards, were awful, but there must have been some good in the man.


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: michaelwritesforyouatyahoo.ca
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 23 Aug 2010
Time: 13:27:43

Comments

Steve Manning - the penny or, in my new and happy circumstances, the Canadian Dollar, has dropped. In my "memoirs" I do mention S---- M-----. This is, in fact, Steve Morris with whom I was in correspondence about seven years ago as a result of his correctly identifying himself from my description. However, if you do have any evil exploits to recount, I am sure Jeffrey Maynard will be delighted to offer you space on the site. Do tell! Michael.


Name: steve manning
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 63-68
Date: 22 Aug 2010
Time: 20:10:12

Comments

Dear Michael, Strange that you don't remember mentioning me in 68-69. You seem to remember it in your reminiscences that have been posted on this site for years. And again, your memory and facts are a little flawed, I was never a skinhead. Then again,like me,if you can remember the sixties you weren't there! Just got in again. No fevered brow,tho! Sx


Name: David Jackson
Email: david at jack-son dot co dot uk
Years_at_school: 59-64 about...
Date: 17 Aug 2010
Time: 13:31:33

Comments

The Pickerskill Reports is a sitcom on BBC Radio 4. The episode last night ( 16 Aug ) which was set in a minor public school, referred to a previous headmaster as ARS, and had a Colonel in charge of the cadet force whose surname began with the letter B. The name of the fictitious school was Haunchurst School For Boys, which is very nearly HCSB. I'm sure these are coincidental, but I'll be checking next weeks episode for any further references to the school that we knew and loved. The programme was written by Andrew McGibbon and directed by Nick Romero. I don't think either of them were at HCSB, unless anyone knows anything different. It's available for listening on BBC IPlayer until next Monday.


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: Not the Bank of Nigeria
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 17 Aug 2010
Time: 07:24:38

Comments

Oh, alright, Steve. "Wasn't going to bother but needs must. Mr.Schwartz really should do his homework." Which is more than I did at Harrow County. "According to him, I was the highlight of his 68-69 year, I wasn't even there!" I don't remember mentioning 68-69 but I must have had some highlights from that year- being told by Harry Mees to choose another subject rather than history comes to mind. "The Bank of Nigeria is unfashionable, it doesn't exist!" Email address duly corrected, as above. "And I didn't have the chance to say whether or not Col. Bigham was invited for tea." I had visions, for some reason, of the Colonel inviting you, Steve. So you couldn't have brought your own arsenic with you? "Excuse punctation etc. but only just got in.4.am. Sx" Very flattered that you are up at this time of the night in my honour. Perhaps you could get one of the HCS dinner-ladies to pop round and mop your fevered brow... Michael.


Name: steve manning
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 63-68
Date: 16 Aug 2010
Time: 20:03:09

Comments

Wasn't going to bother but needs must. Mr.Schwartz really should do his homework. According to him, I was the highlight of his 68-69 year, I wasn't even there! The Bank of Nigeria is unfashionable, it doesn't exist! And I didn't have the chance to say whether or not Col. Bigham was invited for tea. Excuse punctation etc. but only just got in.4.am. Sx


Name: Peter ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 16 Aug 2010
Time: 07:44:34

Comments

Michael Dover is quite right. We should be more generous to the great Colonel Bigham. I,too, passed 'O' Level Biology in 1959, actually a year early. This only confirms the excellence of the Colonel's 'teaching' methods and presumably helps explain the justice of the OBE award he received, a year later. It does seem grotesquely unfair that the eminent biologist should be criticised beyond the grave. Balancing up views and opinions is all important. Please see my message of 24 June when I proposed the nomination of the 'Colonel' for a posthumous Nobel Prize for Services to Biology. A world authority on Spirogyra, he deserves better treatment than the mealy-mouthed stuff we have read in more recent contributions. There remains a vacancy for the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square. I can conceive of no more deserving recipient for belated national recognition.


Name: Michael Dover
Email: michael.dover at btopenworld.com
Years_at_school: 1956 to 1962
Date: 14 Aug 2010
Time: 06:50:03

Comments

Criticize Bigham's teaching methods all you wish but in fairness you should counterbalance this with success and here I record that I passed O Level Biology in 1959 whilst in his class


Name: Peter Hamill
Email: peterhamill at tiscali.co.uk
Years_at_school: 'over 30!'
Date: 09 Aug 2010
Time: 04:20:45

Comments

I'm afraid Alex is mistaken in his article regarding the School Organ. The organ was not removed from the hall, merely the console which had become electrically unsafe. The entire pipework still exists behind a facade and can be accessed through a door beside the so-called mock stained glass. Hope this clears up a misconception. PH.

(Peter Hamill is Chairman of the School Governors - ed.)


Name: PeterSims
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1983 - 1987
Date: 06 Aug 2010
Time: 10:35:36

Comments

1986 photo. It was me in the front row next to Connop (credited with the demise of Gayton High School). I was the Deputy Head at the time with Mike Morrell before the psycho other deputy was appointed.


Name: ye min
Email: yeyeye63athotmail.com
Years_at_school: 1963-1970
Date: 05 Aug 2010
Time: 11:29:04

Comments

in response to the last few messages re Col Bigham. Yes I too have memories of being scared and worried about his unpredictable nature. I recall him smiling and joking and then hitting a boy who came top in the exam but who had ink stained hands. but isnt it time we moved on a bit here? My father was of the same generation and i had a difficult relationship with him. Eventually when I was able to challenge him and it took hours and years, he said, i didn't know any better. and yes I could accept that. I could forgive him and really at 90 years plus he cant even remember what he did. The Col isnt here. He cant defend himself, there is nothing we can do about that except live our lives. I ended up as a teacher and at the back of my mind was I wanted to be teacher so different from ones who taught me. That to me is where we move on. I am now a dramatherapist with the NHS and i often work with young people struggling in schools. HCS and Col Bigham despite my not having too many positive memories did shape how i became and what i wanted to do.. if you had told me i would become a teacher when i was at HCS i would have laughed my head off. And speaking of laughing my head of, how did Steve Manning manage to have a cup of tea with the Col? I may ask him. There's a story there.


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/63
Date: 05 Aug 2010
Time: 05:41:04

Comments

Some years ago, I posted a question here: was there anyone who would defend Bigham? There were no positive replies; so, in the present mid-stream of invective, I might as well try and swim against the tide and answer my own question. Bigham and Simpson were part and parcel of our history. Both were moulded in the freezing fires of Scottish Calvinism; both behaved, according to the codes by which they were reared, impeccably. As the junior partner, Bigham was promoted above his natural station because Simpson spotted something in him that would help develop the CCF, an organisation that the Head saw as central to his mission of creating a micro-polis, the Harrow County School. Many people on this site obviously enjoyed this part of our school history - they, presumably, owe at least some of those enduring memories to the man presently being reviled. Bigham, in other words, carried out, to the letter, his side of the deal he struck with Simpson in 1947. I might have loathed his lessons, I might have despised his pedagogy, and I witnessed his vendettas. But I'm not sure I can blame him any more than I can blame my dead father for his gung-ho racism. That is the way we were; that was Britain in the post war era. That is what we all reacted against; that is our history. Bigham was not only part of that story but, presumably, there are those still living from the genealogical line of which he was a part. I would not wish those to think that he was the devil incarnate, because I'm sure, in his own way, he did his best. He just happened to have come from a generation above us. But, and this needs to be said, he did do something that has resulted in others remembering the memories of the organisation he developed, the cadets, for the rest of their lives. And not that many people achieve this.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: Far too many
Date: 05 Aug 2010
Time: 02:04:42

Comments

It seems a mite harsh that some guy (Steve Manning) is dubbed a Shakespearian caterpillar for daring to share a cup of tea with the dreadful 'Colonel' Bigham. It would make a wonderful cartoon. Presumably, the reprehensible event took place about 45 or so years ago. So time for forgiveness. May I comment that caterpillars sometimes develop into exotic imagos? One assumes this one grew sturdy enough to rebuff such an offensive global barb. We all make mistakes in larval form. Arsenic in Bigham's tea? Far too swift a death. Would anyone care to suggest other options? My own would be to sentence The Great Soldier to a one-way car journey back to Glasgow. At the wheel of a yellowish Ford Sedan Convertible would be the chain-smoking Square, reciting Plutarch. Of course, Bigham could always riposte with exciting word-for-word dictations from 'A' Level Botany by Brimble. I have never been sympathetic to the burning of books but would make an exception in this case.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: Far too many
Date: 05 Aug 2010
Time: 02:04:40

Comments

It seems a mite harsh that some guy (Steve Manning) is dubbed a Shakespearian caterpillar for daring to share a cup of tea with the dreadful 'Colonel' Bigham. It would make a wonderful cartoon. Presumably, the reprehensible event took place about 45 or so years ago. So time for forgiveness. May I comment that caterpillars sometimes develop into exotic imagos? One assumes this one grew sturdy enough to rebuff such an offensive global barb. We all make mistakes in larval form. Arsenic in Bigham's tea? Far too swift a death. Would anyone care to suggest other options? My own would be to sentence The Great Soldier to a one-way car journey back to Glasgow. At the wheel of a yellowish Ford Sedan Convertible would be the chain-smoking Square, reciting Plutarch. Of course, Bigham could always riposte with exciting word-for-word dictations from 'A' Level Botany by Brimble. I have never been sympathetic to the burning of books but would make an exception in this case.


Name: Bill Peter
Email: bncpeter at gmail.com
Years_at_school: 1960-1967
Date: 03 Aug 2010
Time: 19:32:08

Comments

It is interesting to read the comments here on ARS and Bigham. Like many boys, I just drifted through school, without much thought for the future, so regarded the pair more as buffoons than anything else. Everbody knew that Bigham was a rotten educator, who just dictated from a book, and ARS's tirades againsy trivial fashions, where, well, trivial. In retrospect the things that interest me in my retirement; history, geography & travel writing, and cosmology, I either hated at school, or had never heard of. I do remember some very good friends, one of whom is now dead, and the others I can contact via the wonder that is the Internet.


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: michaelwritesforyouyahooca
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 03 Aug 2010
Time: 07:39:20

Comments

Am I the only Old Gayt who had a cuppa tea in his own house with Col. Bigham? I hope so. You qualify as one of those described in Richard II as a caterpillar of the commonwealth (Richard II - attributed to Shakesoeare but really written by Jim Golland). I would have laced his tea with cyanide. Michael.


Name: steve manning
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 02 Aug 2010
Time: 17:30:21

Comments

Am I the only Old Gayt who had a cuppa tea in his own house with Col. Bigham?


Name: Azelle Rodney
Email: susiea7
Years_at_school: two
Date: 01 Aug 2010
Time: 12:25:03

Comments

To all those that went to school in the 90s at Gayton Boys School Does anyone have any class pictures Azelle Rodney also known as Speedy was really good at football and had a big smile


Name: Dennis Orme
Email: dennis_orme at msn.com
Years_at_school: 1967-75
Date: 01 Aug 2010
Time: 02:28:54

Comments

Chris, as I said it was a rather remarkable monologue by Jim considering how different he and Bigham were. Perhaps he was just as shocked as we were at Bigham's sudden death. But Jim did give several lessons on the theme of the impending changes to Harrow County and this did overshadow the early seventies - were we going to finish our education there without disruption? So perhaps Bigham's demise was in some way a support of the changes in values Jim was talking about. Whichever way you look at it, Bigham's cadet force had a huge influence on the life of the school. And of course a number of old boys of that generation had distinguished careers in the services.


Name: Pete Lawson
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1969-74
Date: 31 Jul 2010
Time: 14:45:33

Comments

"I left my Heart in the Civic Centre" by Long Tall Willie and the B12 Combo.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 31 Jul 2010
Time: 14:00:31

Comments

I must admit I have enormous difficulty with the concept of Bigham dying of a broken heart because of proposed changes to the Harrow education system or anything else related to education. Of all the masters I knew, good and bad, Bigham showed the least concern for quality of education.


Name: Dennis Orme
Email: dennis_orme at msn.com
Years_at_school: 1967-75
Date: 31 Jul 2010
Time: 02:55:59

Comments

On the subject of Bigham, I can recall just after it was announced in morning assembly that he had passed away, we had a lesson with Jim Golland which largely consisted of a sort of tribute to him. I don't know if anyone else out there recalls this but a lot of the content was probably motivated by the proposed changes to the Harrow education system which was hanging over us in the early 1970's. Jim's conclusion to this monologue of a lesson was that Bigham had died of a broken heart. It is rather remarkable looking back on it now because in terms of their teaching ability they were at the opposite ends of the spectrum. I've no idea what their staffroom relationship was like. Whatever your view of Bigham, his sudden passing was something of a shock to the school that morning. I was taught by him and by the time I arrived he had become something of a gruff old gentleman who dictated most of his lessons from the text book.


Name: Andy Colhoun
Email: colhoun.whiteriver at gmail.com
Years_at_school: 1950-57
Date: 27 Jul 2010
Time: 01:27:03

Comments

I have followed all the comments about Bigham,especially what a useless teacher he was. In Prob 6 and A 6 I was taught Botany and Zoology by a recently qualified Cambridge graduate called Clarke who was inspirational. I guess he did not last long with Bigham. Anybody remember him?


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 26 Jul 2010
Time: 14:10:38

Comments

Peter Roper asks about Sammy Watson. Between Randell Williams' leaving in 1945 and Simpson arriving in 1946, there was an interregnum occupied by Crowle-Ellis. The old staff adjusted to the interregnum but for some reason, Simpson's arrival was something of a shock and many of the staff left soonafter.I think 'Sammy' was such a one. He was very musical and word had it that he used to moonlight with a dance band at Wembley. Of the old boys on the staff, E.A.S.(Easy) Evans, Robinson and Street all left leaving only R.S.King. Cast, also joined the exodus as did 'Eggy' Webb the biology master and several others. It was quite a shake up. George Neil retired about the same time. Whiffy King did as well but shortly after. This substantial turnover right after Simpon's arrival points to a major revolution in the Common Room but what precipitated it all we shall likely never know.


Name: erroll goldsworthy
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1949-1954
Date: 26 Jul 2010
Time: 12:13:38

Comments

Although I was in the A stream throughout my time there I left at 16 because I found the place unbearable My only achievement was that I managed to avoid joining the cadets i was a scout elsewhere despite the regular grilling from ARS


Name: Peter D.L. Roper.
Email: peter.roperatmcgill.ca
Years_at_school: 1934-1939
Date: 25 Jul 2010
Time: 19:01:57

Comments

A lot of information, but its hard to find old classmates. I did find Ross Salmon in the cricket photo and the names of masters Crinson,(Cobb) Webb for carpentry and George Neil for Art as well as Randall Williams. What about "Sammy" Watson who was my form master in 1934?


Name: Bill Peter
Email: bncpeter at gmail dot com
Years_at_school: 1960-1967
Date: 25 Jul 2010
Time: 18:01:08

Comments

Peter, Many thanks indeed for the info on the Harris Academy site. I just wish that my father was still alive so that I could show him.


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/63
Date: 24 Jul 2010
Time: 06:10:55

Comments

Bill, it's fascinating to look at the Harris Academy site; and even more intriguing to read the history of that school. In the late 30s, when, presumably, ARS was teaching there, the school was led by one Alexander Peterkin. This classics scholar, as you read about him, seemed to act as the very template, the mentor for Simpson's future career. Even down to his leaving ceremony, when it was noted: '(His) qualities were perhaps best demonstrated on his retiral when he chose to depart without fuss and ceremony, making a last request that the retiral should not be marked by the traditional presentation'. Of course I know, from this site, that Simpson's departure in 1965 from HCS was marked by a series of pranks from a group of delighted boys; but his move to Torquay, his subsequent complete lack of involvement in his old fiefdom, and that rather perverse but nevertheless compelling paean to anonymity that he sent to the 1974 Old Gaytonian (also somewhere on this site), all suggest the same Periclesian spirit that so characterised Alexander Peterkin.


Name: Bill Peter
Email: bncpeter at gmail dot com
Years_at_school: 1960-1967
Date: 23 Jul 2010
Time: 18:21:05

Comments

Regarding the use of coporal punishment in schools; I've posted this before, but Dr AR Simpson, who taught at the Harris Academy in Dundee before the war, when such punishments were common, was the only teacher there to use it on girls. Surely that must mean something. Any psychologists care to comment?


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 23 Jul 2010
Time: 10:20:15

Comments

Physical abuse in one form or another was standard, accepted practice in the British school system (and society as a whole) until well after the second war so I don't think it fair to criticise our teachers for the practice. Some of the best practised it while some, equally good teachers, never touched their pupils. Fooks for instance, had a presence and a mastery of words sufficient for any occasion. Brister, whom I also greatly admired both as a teacher and a man was adept at using his copy of "Principles of Geometry",by Brister and Duke, to thump the head of any boy seen not to be applying himself as diligently as expected. I don't think we ever opened the book but always had our copies out ready just in case. Like most eleven year olds arriving at the school, I held the masters in great awe. Not only was I being taught by men for the first time but by men with degrees. After a lifetime of experience in dealing with people in all walks of life, I find it interesting to speculate how our masters might have managed in other careers. Most were probably in the right job but some would have been misfits wherever they ended up. To their credit Williams and Simpson made few mistakes in hiring but a number had trouble transfering their allegiance from Williams to Simpson.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 23 Jul 2010
Time: 10:20:14

Comments

Physical abuse in one form or another was standard, accepted practice in the British school system (and society as a whole) until well after the second war so I don't think it fair to criticise our teachers for the practice. Some of the best practised it while some, equally good teachers, never touched their pupils. Fooks for instance, had a presence and a mastery of words sufficient for any occasion. Brister, whom I also greatly admired both as a teacher and a man was adept at using his copy of "Principles of Geometry",by Brister and Duke, to thump the head of any boy seen not to be applying himself as diligently as expected. I don't think we ever opened the book but always had our copies out ready just in case. Like most eleven year olds arriving at the school, I held the masters in great awe. Not only was I being taught by men for the first time but by men with degrees. After a lifetime of experience in dealing with people in all walks of life, I find it interesting to speculate how our masters might have managed in other careers. Most were probably in the right job but some would have been misfits wherever they ended up. To their credit Williams and Simpson made few mistakes in hiring but a number had trouble transfering their allegiance from Williams to Simpson.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-7
Date: 23 Jul 2010
Time: 10:20:12

Comments

Physical abuse in one form or another was standard, accepted practice in the British school system (and society as a whole) until well after the second war so I don't think it fair to criticise our teachers for the practice. Some of the best practised it while some, equally good teachers, never touched their pupils. Fooks for instance, had a presence and a mastery of words sufficient for any occasion. Brister, whom I also greatly admired both as a teacher and a man was adept at using his copy of "Principles of Geometry",by Brister and Duke, to thump the head of any boy seen not to be applying himself as diligently as expected. I don't think we ever opened the book but always had our copies out ready just in case. Like most eleven year olds arriving at the school, I held the masters in great awe. Not only was I being taught by men for the first time but by men with degrees. After a lifetime of experience in dealing with people in all walks of life, I find it interesting to speculate how our masters might have managed in other careers. Most were probably in the right job but some would have been misfits wherever they ended up. To their credit Williams and Simpson made few mistakes in hiring but a number had trouble transfering their allegiance from Williams to Simpson.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 23 Jul 2010
Time: 07:14:46

Comments

Dross might well have been an overstatement but there was certainly a lot of incompetence. Additionally, even the most talented of masters had their problems. A good example would be Harry Mees. A superb teacher and an admirable person. However, had he been teaching today his prediliction for smacking people around the head would have got him sacked and possibly jailed. The same is true of Reg Goff and several others.


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957 -
Date: 23 Jul 2010
Time: 06:01:39

Comments

Peter is quite correct to rebuke me for calling the majority of the staff 'dross'. It is just that violence that came from some of these individuals was not a substitute for the excellence that was imparted by their worthier colleagues. So I apologies if I offended and teachers either extant or retired. If you were to measure the school's excellence by entry to Oxbridge and perhaps Medical Schools, is there data from Alex to show when the 'golden age' actually shone? Laurence


Name: Dave Buckley (53-61)
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 23 Jul 2010
Time: 04:15:33

Comments

A new book about Bletchley Park - The Secret Life of Bletchley Park by Sinclair McKay - has just come out. On looking through the index I found a reference to Hugh Skillen. His recollection of the operation concerns the card index in the Air Section......... The card index was equally formidable for Bletchley's Air Section, as veteran Hugh Skillen remembers:...'many thousands of cards in shoe boxes along both sides of a long hut. When a new word came up in the message you were translating - a neologism, new type of jet fuel, or machine part - you looked for it and if it was not there, the indexer put it in with a refernce time and a date stamp.'


Name: Bill Peter
Email: bncpeter at gmail dot com
Years_at_school: 1960-1967
Date: 21 Jul 2010
Time: 19:34:02

Comments

I have only just read "Nicole's" posts. To put in my three Malaysian sen-sen's worth; Very few pupils had anything to do with Square. In addition, going back even further, my late father was taught by him in Dundee before WW2, and had similar memories to many of the posts here.


Name: MARTIN FOUNTAINE
Email:
Years_at_school: 1978-1982
Date: 20 Jul 2010
Time: 06:55:38

Comments

The school is turning 100 great to see, would like to now if any old gaytonians are in Australia with me. Would be great to here from you, im in Perth


Name: Brian Hearn
Email: kurrali.brian at ipstarmail.com.au
Years_at_school: 1947-50
Date: 18 Jul 2010
Time: 22:28:47

Comments

As several others say... what a blast from the past! Found this great site almost by accident. I was looking at another school site trying to find out about my father and grandfather, and thought... why don't I see if there's a site for HCS, and there is! I've read though guest book and the photographs, and am suffering from information overload! ... don't know where or how to respond. I was hoping to be able to contact those I knew well, but the only one who has written in the guest book is John Kirby... hello John! Saddened to see both the Norman twins have died... I knew them very well. Nothing about Brian Prime, though he appears unnamed in the 1950-51 Tennis team and Prefects photos... last saw him at his wedding in 1961. and I would love to hear from several fellows in the photographs ... Jimmy Henderson, Moggie Peel, Barry Clifton, Bill Bowley, Peter Moffat, Peter Saunders to name a few. I'm in several photos... 1st XV 1949-50 photo has me incorrectly named O'Malley, and yes, it is Crombie, but Geoff Taylor is not correct to say Pete Hollidge was captain, and he and Gene Styles, Alan Coxon et al had left before the photo was taken. He was captain and they played the previous year... and appear in the 48-49 1st 30 photo (ie 1st & 2nd XVs all in one). I'm unnamed in the 48-49 photo, at the right hand end of 2nd row. From L to R 2nd row should read: X, Davies, X, Norman, Kirby, X, Heap, X, Simpson (head's son), Carrol, Rose, Heslop, X, Henderson, Hearn... 2nd row in photo was mostly that year's 2nd XV in which I played hooker with the Norman twins as props, with the odd game in the 1st Xv when there was an injury, again hooker with Pete Hollidge as prop. In 1949-50 I played blindside wing forward, Tom Missen was captain and scrum half, Norman twins still props, Wayte in 2nd row, Lobb was lock, Cromie was fly half, Peel at fullback, Kirby and Heslop on the wings... if I remember correctly... right fellows? Saddened that the negative stuff about Simpson and Bingham, and Thorne and Swanny, is not adequately balanced by the good stuff about Beaky Foulkes, Joe Brister, Spadger Heyes, Charlie Crinson, Jumbo Jones, Claude Butler. They all get named but not enough said. Beaky Foulkes was the best... gave me the confidence to write and speak. Thanks to wartime disruption my spelling was appalling and my hand writing worse, and until I came under Beaky, no master was interested in what I was saying, just down on me for spelling and writing. He was interested in what I had to say! It wasn't just giving me confidence, it was also seeing the world through his eyes and his values. He outweighed Simpson's negatives. I went into the Science VIth, but Beaky continued to influence me through the one English period we had a week, and encouraged me to read widely and write essays, which I still do in retirement. Not only did I do science, I did biology and encountered Bingham. He had not yet become the brutal ogre that others remember, but was was a hopeless teacher... we dismissed him as a fool, a joke, a buffoon. By this time we had learnt how to study, so we ignored him and taught ourselves. And I remember Swanny Amos warmly, not the tyrant he became... he encouraged me. In 1947 Simpson hadn't become the fascist others paint him. He and Bingham had only just come to HCS. His intentions were good in some respects... it was his clumsy efforts in acheiving them... no inter-personal skills, perhaps even autistic. He had a blind spot regarding Bingham fed by their mutual obsession with the CCF. Maybe he was snobbish and elitist in trying to turn HCS into a Public School clone... but he encouraged me in my choice of a non-classical, non-arts. non-Oxbridge career and in rugby commended my 'fire, and fight and bash' ... I made up for lack of size with an overdose of aggression! There was probably a certain inevitability about Simpson and Bingham becoming as they are described by those at HCS in the 50's and 60's... they were the immovable objects in the path of the irresistable post-modern social forces sweeping the western world. I welcome some of the changes those force wrought, but not all, and Simpson and Bingham would not have liked any and would have resisted. And what a gracious lady his great-granddaughter Nicole is in responding to all the negative stuff about her great-grand dad. I've probably said enough for my first contribution. I'll write more if I any one remembers me, and recount how I came to live in Australia, with stops in Trinidad, Malawi, Yemen, Uganda, Afghanistan and many adventures en route. And thanks Jeff for maintaining this website... note the names for photos... I could give a few more...


Name: Bill Peter
Email: bncpeter at gmail dot com
Years_at_school: '60 - '67
Date: 17 Jul 2010
Time: 22:53:23

Comments

@Peter Fowler; Yes. Paul Nurse's years at HCS did overlap with Portillo et al, but I doubt he knew them, as they were four years "below" "us" (I was a classmate of Paul, and we were in the RAF cadets, where we did gliding together). Even my brother, who was only one year "above" Portillo, didn't know him. Different years tended not to mix unless on a common interest such as the cadets or the Xmas Ents, or, even, the Pipe Band.


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/63
Date: 17 Jul 2010
Time: 13:54:04

Comments

The Golden Age of the School, Laurence, is clear - Portillo's year. A collection of talent unrivalled, I would have thought, throughout its history. And at a time when some of the school's most brilliant teachers - Golland, Mees, D'Arcy - would have been at the very peak of their considerable form. I'm not sure if Paul Nurse was there at that time, but my guess is that his HCS days would have overlapped with theirs. He, of course, must have been taught, for at least some of the time, by Willy Littlemeat, just to play around with the Field Marshal's name in a manner completely unsuited to such a serious topic. But my guess is that you would wish this conversation to enter an altogether deeper domain, given your somewhat intemperate description of the mass of the teaching profession as 'dross'.


Name: Laurence Lando
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1957 -
Date: 17 Jul 2010
Time: 11:46:58

Comments

Having given this site a wide berth for a while, I am more than interested in the Bigham saga. It is most interesting that he demonstrated the violence towards boys that was a common factor from many of the masters during my time at the school. It seems the recruitment of staff of briliance was mixed with the dross of the teaching profession. However if you made it into the sixth form, then the ability of the staff to interact with the senior pupils resulted in those pupils getting extraordinary results in examinations and University entrance places. I have asked in the past about when you consider was the 'golden age' of the school, perhaps this should be refined to when was the sixth form at its best? Laurence


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 17 Jul 2010
Time: 04:22:08

Comments

(Please see previous Bill Peter entry.) I suggest Bigham was 'Our Bully'!


Name: Bill Peter
Email: bncpeter at gmail dot com
Years_at_school: 1960-1967
Date: 16 Jul 2010
Time: 18:26:54

Comments

Surely, being Scottish, Bigham would have been "Oor Wully".


Name: Pete Lawson
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1969-74
Date: 16 Jul 2010
Time: 10:35:06

Comments

Was Colonel Bigham a Willy, a Bill or a Billy, do we know? Wills, even?


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindickinsatblueyondercouk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 16 Jul 2010
Time: 02:24:31

Comments

Re the Hugh Skillen picture with an unidentified class of the 1950's, several faces are familiar, although of a later year than mine. I am almost cetain, however, that fifth from right in the middle row is Ken "Tug" Wilson, a regular attender at the annual Dinner. I haven't got his address or phone number, but Bob Smith might be able to help.


Name: Bill Harrison
Email: billdotharrisonatbtinternetdotcom
Years_at_school: 1961-68
Date: 13 Jul 2010
Time: 08:06:03

Comments

As we seem to be on a Willy Bigham roll at the moment I am reminded of his penetrating intellect and grasp of reality when at a CCF (Army) Annual Camp at Browndown near Gosport in Hampshire. One party had somehow gone out for the day in a Whaler that had been loaned to them by a local naval outfit. They got caught in the treacherous tides and currents in the mouth of Portsmouth harbour and were seriously late getting back to the camp. WMB was overheard berating the leader of this hapless party with the words (amongst others) "Were ye not near a telephone laddie?"


Name: Ray Parnell
Email:
Years_at_school: 67-74
Date: 13 Jul 2010
Time: 03:25:19

Comments

Further to Steve Grimes' research, the London Gazette contains further entries about the wartime and post war W M Bigham, including: <para> Plt Offs (prob.) cnfmd in appts 11th July 1942, and to be Flg Offs (war substantive) 11th Sept 1942: W M BIGHAM (101141) <para> The undermentioned relinquish their commissions under the provisions of the Navy, Army and Air Force Reserves Act, 1954, and have been granted permission to retain rank, as stated, with effect from the dates stated: Flying Officers, retaining the rank of Flight Lieutenant: W.M. BIGHAM (101141) 21st Feb 1954 <para> and <para> Harrow County Boys' School Contgt Lt Col W M BIGHAM OBE resigns his commission, 11th September 1969, and is granted the honorary rank of Lt Col <para> "Captain" W M Bigham's name can also be found on the National Archives website regarding the award of his OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 1962. (Apologies for the formatting, this site does not allow para breaks as far as I can see. Should anyone want a copy of the full list of London Gazette Entries, with web links, please email me - Jeff and Alex both have my address - I think!)


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 12 Jul 2010
Time: 14:03:43

Comments

To Pete Lawson. Very well done - except you failed to include O.B.E.,M.I.Biol. Please try again!


Name: Pete Lawson
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1969-74
Date: 12 Jul 2010
Time: 06:17:38

Comments

Sorry about the error in anagram of Colonel Bigham. An anagram of Colonel William Montgomery Bigham is "Gor Blimey. Hollow, malignant commie".


Name: Steve grimes
Email: Via Jeff
Years_at_school: 1958 to 64
Date: 11 Jul 2010
Time: 10:00:49

Comments

Interested in Ray Parnell's earlier post. I delved deeper ad found more detail on pages 5307 and 5308 of The London Gazette 12th September 1941 which stated on page 5307 "The undermentioned Acting Pilot Officers on probation are graded Pilot Officers on probation - page 5308 includes the name William Montgomery BIGHAM 101141.[Source: www dot london-gazette dot co dot uk slash issues slash 35273 slash pages slash 5307]


Name: Ray Parnell
Email:
Years_at_school: 67-74
Date: 11 Jul 2010
Time: 03:26:47

Comments

You would be forgiven for thinking his first name was Colonel. Are teachers in\in charge of CCF contingents at other schools always referred to by their [RNR\TA\RAFVR] rank at all times? I cannot recall any reference to a Mr Bigham. ps. First names of William Montgomery were mentioned further down the page. A very quick Google reveals several entries in the London Gazette for that name, mainly post-war and ACF\CCF connected. The September 1941 entry may give more clues to his wartime service - I do not have the time to dig any deeper right now.


Name: Paul Romney
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 11 Jul 2010
Time: 01:58:46

Comments

Sorry, I meant "O male bolching". (It's 5 a.m.)


Name: Paul Romney
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56-63
Date: 11 Jul 2010
Time: 01:57:03

Comments

Actually, it's an anagram of "O mole belching." Hope this helps.


Name: Pete Lawson
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 10 Jul 2010
Time: 07:25:57

Comments

An anagram of Colonel Bigham is O male Belching.


Name: Pete Lawson
Email: plawson.collinsonatbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1969-74
Date: 10 Jul 2010
Time: 07:05:51

Comments

Did Colonel Bigham have a first name?


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school:
Date: 10 Jul 2010
Time: 04:29:02

Comments

It would seem that the current spate of Bighammemorabilia has run its course. Any more for any more? I feel I must offer my apologies to the Great Biologist as I have discovered he was made an M.I.Biol. (Member of the Institute of Biology.) I, too, at one time belonged to this august institution. This may have been made for services to, as it were, 'biological broadcasting.' That was what I was in, at the time. The BBC kindly paid my annual membership fee. In Bigham's case, judging from recent contributions on this Blog, his recognition will have been for 'biological pronunciation.' I had forgotten the Colonel's various Lowland Scottish attempts at mispronouncing 'Spirogyra' but am happy to be reminded by the correspondents. 'SpiROGyra' I never picked up and greatly regret not doing so.


Name: Anti Bigamist
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 06 Jul 2010
Time: 08:16:51

Comments

see Feb 08 for early writings


Name: Paul Romney
Email: paulromney03a taim.com
Years_at_school: 56-63
Date: 06 Jul 2010
Time: 01:41:43

Comments

I was approrpriately terrified of Bigham, but my report book reveals that I had seven terms of Bigham of which I remember next to nothing except his teaching us how to mispronounce "bolus" (short o). He got "oesophagus" right, and I don't recall his having to grapple with the adjectival form, which would certainly have defeated him. I don't remember anyone getting caned for anything, let alone for spelling "fertilise" correctly. My one vivid memory of the man is of a school raffle he ran when I was in the first form. My parents dutifully bought the tickets, and I forgot to return the stubs, so Bigham made me go home and bring them back after school, which meant a train to Wembley and back. I don't know that I would have remembered even this except that my parents won the raffle and claimed the prize, an electric blanket. When I went to pick it up, Bigham was strikingly jovial at the thought that fate had justified his insistence that I go home for the stubs.


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: Twentypercentifyougivemeyourbankdetails
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 05 Jul 2010
Time: 21:35:01

Comments

Perhaps for the record. There was nothing amusing abut Bigham; he simply would never have qualified to become a teacher these days. What he would have done, I have no idea. Grimsby Gasworks was a hoax. Two that weren't were a religious meeting called "Tortured for Christ" which sounds horrific and, for the London Underground enthusiasts, a selection of slides from Neasden Depot. Ubi Lane got stitched up when he got the contents of a musical event wrong. Grateful Dead must have been surprising enough to him but Country Joe and the Fish, followed by Quicksilver Messenger Service became Country Joe and the Fish-Quicksilver-Messenger-Service. A round of applause followed. George Cowan specialised in rhetorical questions. "Are you fed up with giving the same old Christmas presents?" resulted in 100 unbroken-voiced cries of "yes" from the first-formers. George even answered his own rhetorical question, "Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf?" "Harold Hobson of the Sunday Times" was the answer (intended to introduce a newspaper review). You had to move in Gollandesque circles to appreciate that one. Michael.


Name: Peter ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 05 Jul 2010
Time: 16:17:08

Comments

Wow! My original tongue-in-cheek suggestion to award, posthumously, the Nobel Prize for Biology to the great Lt. Col. W.M. Bigham OBE has unearthed some fascinating stuff. How deep some of it goes - the hurt and the wounding. I was lucky as I joined the school at 14-plus, coming down from an even more brutal northern Grammar School. Thus, I never suffered the Bighamphobia of younger, more vulnerable boys. I only saw him as a fool, although potentially very dangerous. In response to Chris Rickwood's comments re-Bigham not teaching 'A' Level, I have to say that I suffered two years of his awful lessons in Botany. Of course, he knew absolutely nothing and was a complete sham. One wonders if this 'shamfulness' stopped only at Botany. I gather there are doubts about his military record and, especially, his alleged brave exploits in North Africa, in WW2. Can some one enlighten us on this? I gather we have a Military Historian amongst the ranks of HCS bloggers. I well remember Simpson announcing Bigham's OBE through gritted teeth, at the Assembly. It was very swiftly dubbed the award for 'Other Buggers' Efforts'. More Bighamesque stories,please.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 05 Jul 2010
Time: 13:15:41

Comments

I've enjoyed the stories of winding up Bigham but, in truth, there was little funny about him. I remember as a 2nd former lining up outside the new Biology Lab ready for a double period nervously asking the departing class what kind of mood he was in. In fact, it didn't matter. Almost invariably he'd cane 5 or 6 every lesson. He entered details in his own punishment book (I wonder how legal that was). Those cold, cold eyes. The man was truly a psycopath (except that he lacked the ability to appear outwardly normal) Additionally he was a totally incompetent teacher. Interestingly, if I recall correctly, he was the only Head of Dept who did not teach 6th form (in my day he left this to Anderson)


Name: Andrew Carruthers
Email: ajcarruthersatbt.internet.com
Years_at_school: 1961-8
Date: 04 Jul 2010
Time: 12:07:50

Comments

The Bigham story is fascinating. At the tender age of 11, as a very nervous boy, and one who certainly had no interest in scouts or cadets (thank you for the brave soul description) he caned me for misspelling (as he thought) the word fertilise with an s, rather than a z. I still feel like suing the London Borough of Harrow. How stupid he was. I doubt I was alone in suffering from his malevolent temper. The fact that at the time I was the victim of bullying did not help. Had Ken Waller not come to my help I wonder how things would have worked out>


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 30 Jun 2010
Time: 16:05:02

Comments

Stitching up Bigham? This has been the funniest thing I have read for ages - and well done for getting away with it for so long, Peter! This is very much the sort of thing that would have appealed to Gerry Lafferty who could never accept the pomposity associated with certain of his (fellow Scottish) teachers. Bernard Marchant, too, had a highly developed sense of humour. That Mr Bodiam found it amusing did surprise me - he and many of his scientific colleagues always struck me as pompous and stuffy. Dr Simpson's demise occurred in 1965, when I joined HCS - the two are, of course, connected... Many of the henchmen continued for several years afterwards. They were joined, not to say reinforced, by Mr Bunting. For all that, the more human senior teachers also continued. Their juniors brought their own more relaxed styles of teaching. Whether this made them better or worse is too generalised a question. One view was that of Skillen who in 1971-2 described Messrs Armstrong and Salter and Miss Mitchell as "two beginners and a part-time woman." That was insulting. Michael.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 28 Jun 2010
Time: 16:59:39

Comments

Well done, chaps! Some good, lively stuff on the eccentric times of Bigham, Skillen et al. Did the school become less eccentric and calm down after the demise of Simpson, his henchpersons and all he stood for? I sometimes think our time was a bit like what it must have been like in the French Resistance ie rebelling and undermining outrageous, imposed authority but,in our milder case, with a twinkle in the eye. Are there more Bigham stories to follow? The only one I can dredge up is to do with Friday Assemblies when the might of the CCF turned up uniform and spit and polished boots. Not to mention 250 Scouts in ludicrous corduroy shorts. (We were teenagers for God's sake!) And up in the balcony, the brave souls who refused to join the two big organisations. They wore 'civvies' and Simpson rudely dubbed them 'The Non-Conformists.' Bigham, resplendent and puffed up in military attire, medals of some kind and shining leather cross-belt, always read the Friday Notices. Eg Rugger practice for U15s at lunchtime; school orchestra rehearsal; various societies etc. I slipped in a note, ahead of the Assembly, and left it on the Head's Table on stage, at Bigham's place. The great soldier entered, in full pomp, clutching the notices he had to read, and spotted an extra one left for him. He picked it up without any pre-editorial glance. It concerned the (legit.) School Science Society which I never bothered to attend although, later in life, I became some kind of scientist. In his High Glaswegian accent he announced the following - 'Scientific Society. Today, the Society will meet, at 1.15 as usual, in Room B5. Final arrangements will be discussed and pre-payments made for the Annual Visit to Grimsby Gasworks.' One or sniggers began, followed by others and, to my astonishment, I noted certain rebel teachers chortling happily, on stage, behind Bigham's back. These included Bernie Marchant, a Chemistry master called Bodiam and the splendid Gerry Lafferty. Unfortunately, the matter began to get out of hand as the laughter volume increased. For obvious reasons, I attemped to control my own emotional response but it wasn't easy. Bigham, neither a bright or perceptive man, went apoplectic. He stormed at the audience and threatened to have the whole school back after 4 o'clock including, I remember him saying, 'the Head Boy!' He said he would give us one more chance to adopt a respectful posture in the School Assembly, announcing. 'I shall read this notice again. If there isn't perfect silence you all know what to expect.' With a final warning glance and the menacing threat 'Not a squeak, mind you,' he seriously did go through the spoof notice a second time! I hardly dared look up from my scouting place, but noted a massive effort by all present to suppress their mirth. The lovely thing was to spot masters up behind Bigham, on the stage, squirming in their seats and trying not to catch each others' eye. So the Lt. Colonel's dire threat was never carried out. By breaktime, the Head Boy, Graham Morris, had me nailed. But before I could protest total 'innocence' he told me that he wouldn't report me as he thought the jape quite amusing. Good guy! He said I'd been seen placing the note on Square's High Table and subsequently reported. 'Grassed-up' in Cockney speak. I later worked out, when I did so, some miserable Lower Sixth Former was practicing the organ for the Assembly. I remember his name but will not shame him. Later, in the Summer, I bowled a particularly wild ball in the cricket nets. Our 1st X1 Coach, Gethin Willams, called out, 'That was a Grimsby Gasworks of a ball, Ward!' I was taken aback. 'How did you know, sir?' His reply, 'Everyone knew but we kept it between ourselves!'


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colindickinsatblueyondercouk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 28 Jun 2010
Time: 03:23:53

Comments

Ah, David, someone must have apprised the thick bugger at some time during the nine years which separated our experience of him at school that "spyROGerer" was incorrect. From your representation it would appear that a classicist rather than a scientist got to him first. There is a linguistic case for your version. As for Hugh Skillen, Pete, between starting and finishing an A Level French career with Whiffy King, Hugh was one of my teachers and I found him likeable and competent, if not enthusiastic. His accent was fun then, but we became quite good friends many years later when he devoted himself to recording the history of Enigma and the "Y" Service. His prolific output was impaired for a time by a stroke, but he substituted voice recognition for a keyboard and was hugely impressed at how well the system coped with "my accent". He was clearly aware of his accent; what puzzled me was how much it affected his pronunciation of French, German and Spanish, all of which he spoke (particularly the first two) quite fluently.


Name: Pete Lawson
Email: plawson.collinsonatbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1969-74
Date: 27 Jun 2010
Time: 10:35:55

Comments

I am sorry to come back in so soon, but in connection with my last message, I can't resist mentioning French lessons with Major Skillen. At the start of every class someone would ask him what "soucoupe" meant, just for the delight of hearing him say "sosser".


Name: Pete Lawson
Email: plawson.collinsonatbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1969-74
Date: 27 Jun 2010
Time: 10:23:52

Comments

Many of us have a Colonel Bigham story in us. However, when it comes to a particular and characteristic way of saying "spyrogyra", it is, I feel, that of Mr Bunting which is most noteworthy. I'm doing it now as I type.


Name: David Fleming
Email: sueanddaveflemingattiscali.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1958-65
Date: 27 Jun 2010
Time: 05:17:02

Comments

It's good to be re-acquainted with the Spirogyra, a word I haven't seen or heard for about 50 years. I must have drawn and labelled it a number of times - I think that I still could - without really understanding what it was. I thought that he pronounced it "speero-jeera" but may be wrong. It reminded me of another biology lesson Bighamism when we were doing - I hesitate to say studying - the evolution of the tadpole. Somebody asked - quite reasonably - how the tadpole obtained its food (fud?). The non-scientific reply was "How should I know - I'm not a tadpole". I couldn't imagine Harry Mees responding to a historical question with "How should I know - I wasn't there".


Name: John Parker
Email: parkerjsxxataoldotcom
Years_at_school: 1959-1966
Date: 26 Jun 2010
Time: 14:27:24

Comments

The Bigham dictation story certainly resonates with me. But I seem to remember the whole dictation business was slightly more subtle. The book he dictated from was not the one he issued to us. It was only when we identified which book he was reading from that we were able to produce word perfect text when transferring from rough book to best book.


Name: Roger Bowen
Email: rogerbowenattalktalkdotnet
Years_at_school: 1955-63
Date: 25 Jun 2010
Time: 14:22:55

Comments

To Peter Ward. I remember the incident with Bigham very well, but progressive senility prevented me from naming the unfortunate individual who managed to get ahead of him with the dictation. I think you must have been sitting in the row behind me, somewhere over my right shoulder. You have a more immediate reason for remembering the incident. I always stuggled to keep up with him so I just found it incredible that you were so far ahead of the rest of us. I could never read my scribble in the rough book, so writing it up in the best book for homework I always used the text book for reference. What a brilliant teacher he was!


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colin.dickinsatblueyondercouk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 25 Jun 2010
Time: 03:22:57

Comments

Lovely Bigham story, Peter. I remember the stupid bugger reading this unfamiliar word and optimistically putting the stress on the antepenultimate syllable. (Can't represent it here - the software would reject my symbols.) On another occasion he did the same with "olecranon process". Both words were new to me but sounded wrong, so I looked them up. It seemed imprudent to let him know.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 24 Jun 2010
Time: 17:32:28

Comments

Is there a posthumous Nobel Prize for Biology? I would like to nominate Lt. Col. W.M. Bigham. He should not go unrecognised. Bigham's lessons on Spirogyra, straight from the 'O' Level text book, inspired generations. I well remember him bashing me hard over the head with the same book as I had got ahead of him in the copying out. I was on p.43 whilst he was still back on p.42. It was not until I later took my degree in Zoo and Bot (Joint Hons) that I discovered there were other plants on the planet - like trees, flowers and ferns etc. Three of us once crowded into the old phone box opposite the 6th Form Bio Lab, on Sheepcote Rd. Putting on mock voices and accents, we convinced The Colonel that we represented The Spirogyra Company of South Wales. He accepted our Special Offer of a 'gross' of Spirogyra, promising to pay upon delivery. I hope he wasn't too disappointed when they failed materialise but I guess he wouldn't have recognised them, anyway.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 23 Jun 2010
Time: 23:59:50

Comments

Of course, Paul Nurse is not the only Nobel prize winner to be associated with the school. Does anybody remember a talk given by Sir Peter Medawar in the early sixties? I remember being marched into the hall and expected either a load of platitudes from greeat man feeling pleased with himself or a talk on scientific matters way over my head. Instead, I got one of the most inspiring talks of my life. I felt that the man was speaking directly to me as an equal. I am only sorry that the school's prevailing ethos of Arts and the Classics led me to choose that route, rather than science. Still, mustn't grumble. The old Latin English and History were pretty good too.


Name: Irene Fawkes
Email: irenefawkesatbtconnect.com
Years_at_school:
Date: 23 Jun 2010
Time: 09:11:13

Comments

Final word on the Abbot and Portillo Macbeth - sad person that I am I do have copies of both the Macbeth and the Contrasts programme. Katie is absolutely right - neither Diane or Michael are in the Macbeth programme, both are in the Contrasts one.


Name: Paul Romney
Email: La Diop knows
Years_at_school: 56-63
Date: 21 Jun 2010
Time: 02:39:08

Comments

No truth, then, to the rumour that La Diop is the original of the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo?


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 19 Jun 2010
Time: 15:09:17

Comments

Oh, cruel Henry Wyatt. You presume to put your elders down. How gratifying still to be in the prime of life then to reveal,all along,Doris Diop has been the great love of your life. Permit me to refer you to Peter Fowler's worthy and well-researched piece for which he uncovered evidence that La Diop (I shake as I type) offered her seductive talents to the likes of A R Simpson, the Beast Bigham and,horror of horrors, the possibility she may have dallied with George Thorn's infamous organ. We must think about this. If I am correct, Thorn retired in 1959. Let us assume that La Diop, a well-practiced and experienced artiste was, shall we estimate, beyond her teens? At a round figure (which she no doubt possessed) let us place her, minimally, at 20 years of age when she stalked the HCS staffroom. This implies that Darling Doris was born in or before 1939, the outbreak of the Second World War (for which one cannot hold her responsible.) Or perhaps the Second World Whore, if you will accept the pun. Thus, in your egotistical claim to be the true and preferred love of La Diop you must concede that The Lady is now in her early seventies. Thus we, her rejected suitors over the decades, wish both great happiness with no trace of envy or demeaning bitterness. Enjoy!


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/63
Date: 18 Jun 2010
Time: 14:43:31

Comments

I'm surprised, Peter, that La Diop has faded from your mind - no doubt the sixty six years of hard labour has dulled your equipment. Wasn't La Diop the consummate catcher of the hardest of balls, those that were glanced, with ferocity, to leg slip? And wasn't La Diop the very slip of a fielder who, in the flash of a Dunfermline eye, ejaculated one of these very balls to knock off Simpson's bails? To which insolence the Great Doctor replied, 'Martha Matics is not an eligible player in this match....I am not, indeed, I never will be, out'. (The Doctor always found it hard to see the things that differentiated the girls: he could never tell a Doris from a Martha). (PARA) Wasn't La Diop the very temptress who sat on George Thorne's knee and told him where he could hide the Pavilion Fund? An organ for an organ, as she so intemperately put it.(PARA) So she calls herself 'Doris' these days. I often wondered what became of her, the mythical nymphette who strolled around the B Corridor, cajoling boys to turn the gas taps on in poor old Spargo's lessons; whispering in our ears to suggest we made the 'sound' that reduced Eggy to tears; and suggesting to us, in the subtlest of tones, to turn up at school in elasticated booties. (PARA) No, Peter, La Diop did not play opposite Michael Portillo - she played, if I remember rightly, with him. In a remake of Brief Encounter. In which a distinguished ex-politician made a series of programmes about our railway network, and ended the series focusing on Carnforth Station in Lancashire. Here, the newly-gravitased bystander, the reporter, watched from the platform as Doris Diop, sprawled in her underwear, teased a terrified Colonel Bigham into submission. But, as he withered on the biological vine, on the very point of admitting that he was really nothing more than an ordinary Tommy, a Bernard Miles in a David Lean movie, Doris's eyes were much more taken with the handsome bystander on the platform. It was Michael, she realised, who rowed her boat ashore.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 18 Jun 2010
Time: 00:46:49

Comments

Well, pardon me but I'm heartbroken. There I was thinking at long last it was worthwhile attending Harrow County for the love of my life to come to me and now you tell me Doris is a 419 scam. Perhaps in truth she prefers me to Peter and Jeffrey who are both jealous of my pulling power.Age is nothing to do with; I'm in my prime.


Name: jeffrey at jeffreymaynard dot com
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1962-69
Date: 17 Jun 2010
Time: 16:21:12

Comments

Peter - Doris Diop is a 419 scam - a fraudulent scam. Have a look at this website: 419info dot co dot cc


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1066 to 1073
Date: 17 Jun 2010
Time: 16:06:24

Comments

I have received an exciting piece of Spam (which I foolishly opened rather than automatically deleting) from one Doris Diop. Doris claims to have picked me up from what she describes as the Jeffrey Maynard website and my 'profile' on it. To be honest, I didn't actually know I had received such an honour and probably don't know how to find the alleged profile. Doris kindly writes the following (quote) 'i choosed you as the only one who i can entrust my heart on as far as love is concern making sure i bring satisfaction to your doorstep.' Wonderful news for my doorstep which is clearly in for a treat after a life of neglect. Before Doris gets too enthusiastic with her services, I should point out to her that she is entrusting her heart to a 66 year old. Probably a very good idea from Doris' point of view as she may be hoping, after a little strenuous exercise, I may kick the bucket bequeathing her my worldly wealth. Has anyone else heard from Doris? Or would they like to? I can pass on names in the greatest confidence. It seems slightly beyond its remit that the HCS web site should act as Gratification Agency for the Elderly but I suppose that's just the way of the modern world which I increasingly don't understand. I don't suppose Doris played opposite Michael Portillo in any school production in the absence of Diane Abbott? Is there any archival evidence for this?


Name: Katie Finch
Email: poussinpaintsatyahoo.co.uk
Years_at_school:
Date: 17 Jun 2010
Time: 15:09:35

Comments

Min- the only one of 'our' generation that I know to have been in the earlier stage outing for the Scottish Play was Francis Matthews, he was one of the youngest speaking cast members - the review from the relevant gaytonian is in the Music and Drama section. It was produced by Martin Walker in 1966-.Diane was certainly not in that production as we were in the same year at school and both started at the Girls School in September 1965- the Goff sisters usually provided leading ladies for Boys School plays before the days of convergence, any extras had to be negotiated, very delicately, with Miss Robinson, permission was not always granted and girls always had to be from the 6th form. This only changed with the advent of convergence.I seem to recall that this particular production was rather notorious,with the girls perhaps not having Miss Robinson's blessing, if indeed they were from the Girls School, but those older than me will be better placed to recall it. The Diane MacBeth film that never happened was several years later than this stage version- I'm trying to remember which year it was , but despite designing many costumes for it, I can't recall the exact time- possibly 1970?- certainly it was before Hamlet, but after Romeo and Juliet.I do recall a meeting in the Dining Hall at the Girls' School to drum up interest- an absurdly large number of girls turned up, one look at Francis et al and they were willing to sew countless complicated costumes....


Name: Peter "Min" Vincent
Email:
Years_at_school: 1966-1972
Date: 17 Jun 2010
Time: 08:13:18

Comments

Katie,Dave,Tom,Steve Before we dismiss the possibility entirely, has anyone a copy of the programme from the school's production of "The Scottish Play" in 1966? Was Michael in it - and if so was Dianne also some years before Convergence? Looking at productions around this time the Goff sisters did appear so is not totally impossible (but unlikely). The writeup on the website tells us very little about who was in it, and it was just before my time at the school.


Name: Katie Finch
Email: poussinpaintsatyahoo.co.uk
Years_at_school:
Date: 14 Jun 2010
Time: 15:41:10

Comments

Whoops! Just checked my script from contrasts...yes, both in it...brain addled....


Name: Dave Buckley (53-61)
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 14 Jun 2010
Time: 11:11:51

Comments

The previous posting is confirmed by looking under the Music and Drama heading (by some major pages) then Contrasts 1968.


Name: Tom Fawkes
Email: slender_tomatyahoodotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1959-66
Date: 14 Jun 2010
Time: 09:24:53

Comments

According to the programme, Diane and Michael both appeared in 'Contrasts', in 1968. This appears to be their first appearance together in public.


Name: Katie Finch
Email: poussinpaintsatyahoo.co.uk
Years_at_school:
Date: 12 Jun 2010
Time: 14:08:34

Comments

The MacBeth story is one of those pieces of misinformation that the media grabs hold of and perpetuates, occasionally elaborating, as it just fits the bill for the story they wish to tell. The MacBeth story has been around for years, but is inaccurate... despite the two protagonists going along with it on occasion. There was a plan to film a version of MacBeth, a plan that never came to fruition, Diane was indeed potentially cast as Lady MacDuff.I think Michael was in charge of the money. Nothing came of it.Screen teats were made to cast the play, costumes were designed, plans were made, but the film never happened. Diane and Michael did not appear onstage together in any school production to my knowledge. Diane was in Convergence's first production,'contrasts'. Michael was not. Michael was Friar Lawrence in 'Romeo and Juliet", Diane understudied the Nurse, but did not appear on stage. Michael was the corpse in "the Real Inspector Hound' , Diane was not in the production. Diane was in the (all female) Girls School production of 'Antigone' (pre- convergence). Needless to say, Michael didn't put in an appearance in this production. Michael was in 'Happy Poison"( Chris Ents), Diane was not. Lovely story though!


Name: Steve Grimes
Email:
Years_at_school: 1958 to 64
Date: 10 Jun 2010
Time: 02:26:08

Comments

With the Labour leadership contest under the hot media spotlight, The Times is reporting today that Diane Abbott (ex HCGSG) first appeared in public with Michael Portillo as Lady MacDuff "in a school play". Does anyone have any more information about this?


Name: Graeme.m.Young
Email:
Years_at_school: 1947 to 1953
Date: 09 Jun 2010
Time: 03:52:17

Comments

In past submissions to this website I have not been complimentary about Dr Simpson, Beast Bigham or Swanny Amos. In the case of Dr Simpson I have to say that as he was head man at HCS he must take final responsibility for the morale of the students and the performance of the staff in his care. Although I disliked and even feared the man, I have to be fair and state that despite the draconian regime of discipline and the overpowering attitudes of some of the staff, I valued the education I received there, for it set me up to face the big bad world of work and social interaction. Should any of Alexander Russell's antecedents read this, I hope they realise that life under his headmastership could have been very different from that under his parental functions. His memory lives on, obviously, and the fruits of his period at HCS will not have been totally negative ones. Now at the tender age of 74 my memories of those years are dimming amongst those of a full life, a very happy marriage, and a modestly successful career.


Name: Phillip Fowden
Email: fowdphill at aol.com
Years_at_school: 79-83
Date: 08 Jun 2010
Time: 03:05:37

Comments

It has been great looking through this site bringing back many fond memories. I have also noticed a lack of information for the year that I was in, a search for some photos is required to see if I have any form Photos. It was sad to hear about the death of Harry Mees who was my form tutor for 3 years. He looked after us as an extended family, treating us when we were good and punishing us when required.He was an inspiration and a great man who's love for teaching was always evident.


Name: Chris Esmond
Email: chrisesmondatyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 1959-66
Date: 06 Jun 2010
Time: 04:41:44

Comments

I find the recent comments by Peter Fowler and Peter Ward are absolutely spot on re the limitations of Simpson's school. And I can still clearly recall the powerful sense of relief I felt when passing through the gate for the last time, in summer '66. With a few weeks ahead of European travel on the road and, hopefully, a new, liberated life at university... No wonder there were widespread student revolts in the late 60's; anyone with any real intelligence in our generation knew in our very bones that 'the times were a' changin' and much of the way we'd been brought up and educated, with the outmoded values and beliefs of the past, was now redundant. I have absolutely no nostalgic feeling for that school past, I wouldn't re-live it for anything. Which, btw, is not to say that I don't appreciate the quality of some of the teaching: Messrs Waller, Kincaid, Golland, Lafferty, Billson, Mees, D'Arcy, for example. Without the class discussions in 6th form English and History, plus the school cricket (not forgetting playground football), it wold have been an utter nightmare, frankly.


Name: Carl Jackson
Email:
Years_at_school: 1970-1977
Date: 05 Jun 2010
Time: 11:53:09

Comments

I have yet to see it mentioned on this website, but it is truly good news that the Council of the Royal Society has agreed to nominate OG Sir Paul Nurse to be the new President of the Royal Society. Following consultation with Fellows of the Royal Society, the Council of the Royal Society, selected Sir Paul as its nominated candidate to succeed Martin Rees (currently to be heard giving the 2010 Reith Lectures). The result of the ballot will be confirmed at the Council meeting on 8 July 2010, and if successful, Sir Paul begins his five-year term on 1 December 2010.


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: Givemethe20millionquidandstoptheemails
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 01 Jun 2010
Time: 19:49:28

Comments

Harrow County elitist? It took the son of a Spanish refugee from Franco and the daughter of West Indian immigrants (Portillo and Abbott) and brought out the best in them. Did anyone else notice in the Civil Service rich list that Gaytonians Sir Leigh Lewis and Sir Nigel Sheinwald are on GBP195,000 and GBP175,000 respectively? They brought out the best from the tax-payer. Michael.


Name: Keith Palmer
Email: keithdotpalmerathotmaildotcodotuk
Years_at_school:
Date: 01 Jun 2010
Time: 13:11:37

Comments

I also saw "This Week" when Michael Portillo made his comment about the two major parties having had leadership candidates from the two Harrow County Grammar Schools. I winced at Andrew Neil describing them as "elitist", and it showed his total ignorance. The whole point of grammar schools was that they were not elitist, that anyone with a reasonable intelligence at the tender age of 11 could have that enhanced, without the need to pay fees. Whatever anyone thinks of HCS (and I have put my own views forward here in the past), it offered an opportunity to all.


Name: Tony Knight
Email:
Years_at_school: 1954-1960
Date: 01 Jun 2010
Time: 01:37:45

Comments

Can I leave a message on this website for John West, or anybody who is in contact with him. John also attended the school during the above years, and we have been in regular email contact for the past few years. I have experienced problems with my laptop (hopefully, now resolved) and have lost his email address. Please can you get in touch. Many thanks.Tony Knight


Name: Ian Sanderson
Email: iansanderson2209atyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 1981 to 1984
Date: 31 May 2010
Time: 17:31:00

Comments

i was in mr stanleys form. my memory is of people making penguin noises when mr tyrell was about


Name: Jeff Maynard
Email: jeffrey at jeffreymaynard dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-69
Date: 23 May 2010
Time: 22:20:26

Comments

Stephen Frost, who was at Harrow County 1963-70 lives in Bangkok and has written a report on what has been happening. See
http://www.jeffreymaynard.com/Harrow_County/StephenFrost-Bangkok.htm


Name: Bob Garratt
Email: garrattsatbtconnect.com
Years_at_school: 1954 -62
Date: 21 May 2010
Time: 04:19:01

Comments

Amusing to see Michael Portillo with Diane Abbott on TV last evening pointing out that these two kids from "humble Harrow County School" had been contenders for their respective party's leadership; and to hear Andrew Neill slap them down with "humble?! It was an elitist academy!".


Name: iancobden
Email: iancobdenhotmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 1967-1974
Date: 21 May 2010
Time: 03:57:03

Comments

Watching This Week last night Michael Portillo commenting on Dianne Abbotts bid to become leader of the Labour party said that it was great that small schools such as Harrow County Boys and Harrow County Girls School could produce possible leaders of the 2 main political parties. Andrew Neil (he of the shredded wheat on his head) replied that they were not small schools but high grammer schools for the elite. I haven't been called elite for ages.


Name: Steve Manning
Email: notyet
Years_at_school:
Date: 11 May 2010
Time: 18:30:30

Comments

Dear Jeff, How come you've changed the 'I agree with Nick' icon on Facebook. Would've thought the outcome was beyond your wildest dreams. Granted another seat or two wouldn't have hurt. Ee the Liberals voting for a Tory Queens Speech. Steve


Name: john gilpin
Email: johngilpin_betteatyahoo.com
Years_at_school: 1942 to1947
Date: 05 May 2010
Time: 14:59:04

Comments

I was never an academic so my school years were not a particularly enjoyable time but I must have learned something because I made relatively good progress after leaving to enter an engineering career. I remember Mr Duke for maths, Dr Bradley (known as "Twinkle" for his star decorated ties). The geography teacher who had been a rear gunner in the RAF and the female teacher for French. I enjoyed the swimming pool which was new at that time. Mr "Swanney" Amos was PE teacher, and "Dickie" Dyer RE teacher. He rode a bicycle with a carbide fuelled front light and the frame was wrapped with insulating tape! The new buildings abandoned at the start of the war were still there. Hei -Ho


Name: Jeff Maynard
Email: jeffrey at jeffreymaynard dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-69
Date: 03 May 2010
Time: 20:49:37

Comments

The only Old Gaytonian that I know of who is standing for Parliament this year is Christopher Noyce, who is the Liberal Democratic candidate for Harrow West. Are there any others?


Name: Alun Green
Email: alunjgreen at btinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1
Date: 02 May 2010
Time: 04:08:13

Comments

My brother, David, was at Harrow County School for less than a year, September 1961 to April 1962. He is approaching 60 this month and finding this photograph of him has made my day. He is in th Harrow County School, Form 1a, 1961 photiograph. Back row, second from the left. As you only have his surname at present, you may wish to add his first name. Kindest Regards, Alun. Alun Green.


Name: Steve Manning
Email: dontthinkso
Years_at_school: 63-68
Date: 01 May 2010
Time: 19:23:20

Comments

Any Old Gayts standing for Parliament or local elections this time around? Thanks to people that have e-mailed me. Will reply soon. S


Name: Pete Lawson
Email: plawson.collinsonatbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1969-74
Date: 01 May 2010
Time: 07:37:16

Comments

Andy, to say that the largeness of the number of comments about someone says something positive about them is a bit of a non sequitur, isn't it?


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56/62
Date: 01 May 2010
Time: 07:03:26

Comments

Simpson was a remarkable man, Andy: a classics scholar of distinction, a cricketing international and a formidable Headmaster. Since he was a figure common to the histories of many of those who use this site, it's hardly surprising that his memories engender passions here. After all, in many ways, he is an exact symbol of the changes in this country since we all left his school - the Grammar and the Comprehensive, his Spartan disciplines and the more flexible patterns today; the elitist and the populist; the meritocrat, the aristocrat and the socialist. It is hardly surprising, for those of us who were there, that he resonates. He is still relevant. That is what makes some of us think back to that time and reflect - and this is no nostalgia, and nor is it self-indulgent. It is, simply, one of the continuing hearts of the debates that characterise ethics, philosophy, pedagogy and politics. It is a living argument that uses a past master of his trade as a common reference point.


Name: Andy Colhoun
Email: colhoun.whiteriveratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1950-57
Date: 30 Apr 2010
Time: 06:39:17

Comments

It is astonishing to see how much time and thought is devoted in the guest book to one dead man who retired over 40 years ago.It must say something very positive about A R simpson


Name: Frank Durham
Email: frankdurhamatrabymere.wanadoo.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1945 - 1949
Date: 27 Apr 2010
Time: 15:30:22

Comments

The site passed a happy couple of hours. HCS and Spud Heafield in particular, gave me the tools that have served to make me a living and inspired a life-long love of words. At times, I found the school's relentless pursuit of excellence pretty miserable.


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 1956/63
Date: 26 Apr 2010
Time: 05:58:00

Comments

Dr Simpson's elitism focused on boys who were capable, often despite their background, of reaching the greatest and oldest of Universities in order to study the oldest of courses. This meant an intense concentration on a curriculum that would have been seen as apposite in Matthew Arnold's day - the classics, the great works of literature and occasional forays into what the Doctor laughingly referred to as 'marthematics'. Most of the Sciences could be left in the capable hands of jumped-up Corporals with severe psychological problems. All of the rest was dross. Thus, boys who flourished (in his eyes) in these narrow fields were the indicators of the school's success, Simpson's version of the League Tables. (With, maybe, a supplementary nod - this time towards the armed forces and to sporting achievements). Any pupil who failed to reach his criteria of 'success' was seen as an also-ran, a disposable statistic; those who disgraced the school by entering trade, or enrolling on courses like those in the groundbreaking computing department at Manchester University, or, heaven forbid, becoming entrepreneurs, the very word reeking of a very French degeneracy. Ironically, of course, even those who succeeded in his school left that school with a crippled education; with the 'brightest' (his definition) dropping a whole raft of major subjects at a ludicrously young age. Today's education system might have mind-blowing faults - but to replace it with a re-run of the Doctor's Prescription would be a mind-boggling disaster.


Name: Paul Romney
Email: paulromney03a taim.com
Years_at_school: 1956-63
Date: 26 Apr 2010
Time: 03:50:08

Comments

The utter fairness of the 11-plus was that of the law which forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges. It was unaffected by issues of class in that, if you were an oik and somehow managed to pass the exam, your oikness would not bar from you from going to grammar school and getting an enhanced shot at a second-best position in a society in which the top positions were still largely reserved for public schoolboys. It was, however, class-discriminatory in the sense of selecting for traits that were much more common in middle-class than working-class children. If Henry Wyatt or anyone else is in any doubt as to this, he should procure and watch the first film in Michael Apted's 'Seven Up' series. It was made, I believe, while Henry was in the Second Form.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: Too long ago...and too long
Date: 25 Apr 2010
Time: 11:23:16

Comments

With respect to Henry Wyatt's comments on eletism, I politely venture that he may be missing the point. Sir Paul Nurse calls for an 'elitist' system to bring forth great GB scientists and innovators. Absolutely - we need them. After all, this is how great, young musicians succeed in the UK...Cheethams, Sir Yehudi Menhuin School etc etc. The problem with Dr Simpson's 'elitism' is that he failed to recognise talent in his less than golden pupils. Many fell by the academic wayside. (Check out his 'O' level % pass rates and grades.) He also failed to forsee that many (I am a modest example) came on song, post-HCS. And, of course, not all our 'stars' have to be academic eg smart businessmen and women. These alien notions were way beyond Dr Simpson's lamentably limited mind. On BBC Radio 4, recently, I heard a contributor putting forward the view: 'School got in the way of my education.' I smiled, ruefully, and understood. What a wise woman!


Name: henry wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 24 Apr 2010
Time: 08:09:31

Comments

I see from the Times today that Sir Paul Nurse is to be the new President of the Royal Society. He also featured prominently in the recent programme on his fellow Nobel laureate Sir Tim Hunt. In the article he calls for an avowedly elitist policy in funding scientific research by selecting 100 to 150 scientists for long term generous funding. He goes on to say that he is a complete non-elitist in other aspects of his life including science education up to a certain age. Our school was of course utterly elitist and I have the impression that he was not entirely happy at school but blossomed in later life. Although selection through the eleven-plus exam may have been restrictive, my own feeling is that it was utterly fair and unaffected by issues of class etc. I am not so sure that this is the case today. Middle class parents (including myself) seem to know how to work the system to the best advantage of their children. My own primary school produced two entrants to Harrow County and I certainly did not come from a privileged background. (The other was Alan Wilson; does anybody know how he is getting on?) Anyway, I am sure that everybody will join with me in wishing Sir Paul all the best in his future endeavours.


Name: Chris Rees
Email: gu3tux at cwgsy.net
Years_at_school: 59-66
Date: 18 Apr 2010
Time: 12:42:56

Comments

Just passing by....


Name: Dacre Mogg
Email: dacre.mogg at mac.com
Years_at_school:
Date: 17 Apr 2010
Time: 01:53:55

Comments

Did you receive my email regarding my brother Richrd Mogg. Please reply


Name: Jeff Maynard
Email: jeffrey at jeffreymaynard dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-69
Date: 15 Apr 2010
Time: 21:45:59

Comments

Some people have asked where they can find a few things. Follow these links:

Newly added pages:  http://www.jeffreymaynard.com/Harrow_County/new.htm

Music and Drama: http://www.jeffreymaynard.com/Harrow_County/MusicandDrama.htm

Cricket: http://www.jeffreymaynard.com/Harrow_County/Cricket.htm

Cadets: http://www.jeffreymaynard.com/Harrow_County/cadets.htm

Gayton Centenary Events: http://www.gaytoncentenaries.co.uk/

 

 


Name: Alex Bateman
Email: via Jeff
Years_at_school: 1980 - 84
Date: 11 Apr 2010
Time: 04:37:01

Comments

Its been a while since i last wrote here, and once again it is sad news. I received a telephone call a couple of days ago from Norman Tyrwhitt who told me that former Physics Master Brian Williams (B E Williams), who was at Harrow County from 1957 to 1967 died last weekend. Another former Master, Denis O'Brien who taught Mathematics between 1962 and 1967 passed away last May. On a slightly different note, I am currently putting together the 2010 edition of the Old Gaytonian magazine, and would ask anyone reading this, be they members of the OGA or not, to drop me a line if they have any news, births, marriages or deaths, what contemporaries or themselves are up to, or any other gaytonia. Lastly, to Ted Mansfield, do join the OGA! At the recent reunion dinner I believe our Chairman recruited an octogenarian! Its never too late!!


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: the usual - keep the scams coming
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 08 Apr 2010
Time: 07:14:56

Comments

Name: paul phillips Message for Michael Schwartz - please can you wish David a happy 50th birthday for me. PAUL DULY DONE!, SIR! Name: Tom. C.P.Bartlett our firm and hard Scottish Headmaster he called for two pupils to come forward as he had seen them walking in Oxford Street, London I reckon there is something more to this. It is clear that they were all three of them on their way from Oxford Street to nearby Soho, they were busted during a police raid on a Soho brothel, and the police discovered just how firm and hard the Scottish headmaster really was. Not a pretty sight! Michael.


Name: paul phillips
Email: paulatbrianpaul.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1971-76
Date: 08 Apr 2010
Time: 02:53:22

Comments

Message for Michael Schwartz - please can you wish David a happy 50th birthday for me. PAUL


Name: Edward (Ted) Mansfield
Email: tedmansfieldatbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1954-1959
Date: 06 Apr 2010
Time: 03:04:15

Comments

Hello. As Domestic management and I have only just got into this new-fangled IT thingy, I've encountered this website, great to see. I did attend our Class of 54 reunion back in 2004, met many old acquaintances. I never did join the Old Gayts, almost too embarrassed to do so this late down the line. Keep up the good work. Ted


Name: Tom. C.P.Bartlett
Email: tombartlett40athotmail.com
Years_at_school: 1952-1957
Date: 05 Apr 2010
Time: 16:02:16

Comments

I have only just discovered this site and have already found three pictures where I am included. I was unable to enter my correct e-mail address as it would not accept the 40 in tombartlett40@hotmail.com I saw a, terrible to me, write up about our headmaster "Dr.Simpson" and know the majority of pupils within the period 1952-57 had nothing but respect for our firm and hard Scottish Headmaster. Particularly after we left school and saw what was happening to schools and teachers in the '60's period. I recall how one Monday morning at assembly he called for two pupils to come forward as he had seen them walking in Oxford Street, London wearing School Uniform but not their school caps, something he would not tolerate!!! Needless to say they were given detention.


Name: Dacre Mogg
Email: dacre.mogg at mac.com
Years_at_school:
Date: 01 Apr 2010
Time: 05:31:33

Comments

My brother Richard Mogg was at Harrow Grammar School and some while back wrote an article about Dr Simpson. I have not seen Richard since 1957 as I went abroad and lost contact. If you can contact Richard and let him have my email address or telephone no 01243 582563 I would be pleased to hear from him. Thank you for your help


Name: Steve Hilsden
Email: stephendothilsdenatbtinternetdotcom
Years_at_school: 1969-1976
Date: 28 Mar 2010
Time: 10:33:21

Comments

Spavi That's bad news about Adrian Springsguth. I have wondered for years what happend to him. We pulled his leg so much at school about being Welsh - yet I have lived in Wales for 30 years and have two sons who are Welsh. If anyone has any news please let me know Steve


Name: Simon Palmer
Email: s.r.palmer at virgin.net
Years_at_school: 1969 - 1976
Date: 27 Mar 2010
Time: 13:19:19

Comments

Just heard from Brian Hickley that Adrian Springsguth has died. (We were all in the same year - so he was only 51 or 52. Any more details anyone??? Simon


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colin.dickinsatblueyonder.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 26 Mar 2010
Time: 02:09:59

Comments

All those alliterative 'A's! Well done, 'Aul.


Name: A. Romney
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 24 Mar 2010
Time: 06:53:16

Comments

I acknowledge an altogether appalling aberration, apt to an apothecary. An abject apology alone answers.


Name: Richard Lee
Email: RichardLeeATLeeGlanville.plus.com
Years_at_school: 1954 to 1961
Date: 24 Mar 2010
Time: 06:39:14

Comments

I have been contacted by Peter Pope who was a member of the 4th Harrow from about 1943 and, although he never went to Harrow County, his brother did. He is trying to find out a bit more about some names from the past - Douglas Mann, (usually Dougie or Duggy?) who he thinks was killed whilst flying for an RAF display at Duxford in about 1953, and Bobby Campbell who was also killed whilst in the RAF but, he thinks, a few years later. He asked if I would post something on the message board to ask if there is anyone still around who may have known more about them Jeff - I think there used to be a search facility on the site to put in names and find related bits and pieces - has it gone or did I just miss it or am I mistaken? Thanks Richard Lee


Name: Jeff Maynard
Email: jeffrey at jeffreymaynard dot com
Years_at_school: 1962-69
Date: 23 Mar 2010
Time: 18:52:30

Comments

I think someone is pretending to be Dr. Simpson. The real one is here:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1590904734&ref=ts


Name: AR Simpson Ph D, MA
Email: Square at HCS.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1946-1965
Date: 23 Mar 2010
Time: 17:27:03

Comments

I am making copious notes (in Latin) on the many derogatory comments upon my otherwise unblemished and unequalled record of superlative excellence as Headmaster of The Harrow County School for Boys, Middlesex. The miscreants will not escape, unpunished. I shall leave no stone unturned until each and every Hobbledehoy and renegade from Soho, smelling of spagetti, is exposed to the public gaze. Make no mistake, I watch you all from my Celestial Resting Place. The bamboo twitches. You cannot escape. Retribution will be MINE.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colin.dickinsatblueyonder.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1947-53
Date: 23 Mar 2010
Time: 16:26:42

Comments

Brian, "Square" was coined by Len Taylor in about 1948-9. As he says, "a square mouth in a square face in a square head." The appellation was not critical or malicious, just a perfect description. It was bound to stick.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colin.dickinsatblueyonder.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 23 Mar 2010
Time: 15:37:56

Comments

Paul, Peter, Peter and David. I have loved the excursion into pedantry. And, yes, it is "riveting". But if David had truly wished to be pedantic he would surely have put commas both before and after "Peter". And while I am impressed by Paul's ability to spell onomatopoeic (if not his keying), I have to spoil it by pointing out that that Peter's prolific plethora of 'P's was, in fact, alliteration. So let's hear it in 'A's, Paul!


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56-62
Date: 23 Mar 2010
Time: 08:45:37

Comments

Bill: we don't need an arbitrator, I'm absolutely sure you're right. I loved them all, though, whatever they were.


Name: Bill Peter
Email: bncpeteratgmaildotcom
Years_at_school: 1960-67
Date: 22 Mar 2010
Time: 18:47:32

Comments

@Peter Fowler; I remember jam doughnuts, currant buns, Wagon Wheels and Hoola Hops, but not "iced buns". Does anyone care to arbitrate?


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-1947
Date: 22 Mar 2010
Time: 17:43:36

Comments

What a great discovery it must have been for Nicole to find out so much about her great grandfather, the venerable Dr.Simpson. We cannot choose our relatives but take what information we can get of them be it good or bad, or in this case, widely varied. I wish I knew as much about my own great grandparents. One point I would like to clear up is that of the origin of the nickname 'Square'. This must have been applied several years after his arrival at school. The term used in the sense applied to Simpson, was not in use in 1946 when he arrived at school but was introduced into the language much later.


Name: Brian Hester
Email: brianwhesteratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1940-1947
Date: 22 Mar 2010
Time: 17:42:14

Comments

What a great discovery it must have been for Nicole to find out so much about her great grandfather, the venrable Dr.Simpson. We cannot choose our relatives but take what information we can get of them be it good or bad, or in this case, widely varied. I wish i knew as much about my own great grandparents. One point I would like to clear up is that of the origin of the nickname 'Square'. This must have been applied several years after his arrival at school. The term used in the sense applied to Simpson, was not in use in 1946 when he arrived at school but was introduced into the language much later.


Name: John Pither
Email: john.pitherattalk21.com
Years_at_school: 1954 to 1959
Date: 21 Mar 2010
Time: 09:46:10

Comments

Totally agree with you, Henry. Well done to all those involved in the Reunion Dinner last Friday, great to meet up again with all the old faces (take that as you may!). Fascinating to hear about the charity, Pump Aid, you're working with Henry. Perhaps Alex might include a few words in the next magazine if you drop him a line.


Name: Henry Wyatt
Email: ash70panatyahoodotcom
Years_at_school: 1962-9
Date: 21 Mar 2010
Time: 01:37:41

Comments

Just wanted to rec ord my thanks to the organisers and staff for Friday nights dinner. A great pleasure to meet up with everyone. All the best


Name: Paul Romney
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 20 Mar 2010
Time: 08:00:50

Comments

Perniciouslyonomata poeic poppycock, Peter. Pshaw!


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56-62
Date: 19 Mar 2010
Time: 07:51:50

Comments

Paul, perhaps, prefers pedantry, particularly precise pedestrian permutations. Peter prefers pleasantry, plucking pomposities, particularly pertaining to plonkers, prodigiously. Parabreak.


Name: Paul Romney
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 19 Mar 2010
Time: 04:33:38

Comments

If Dave Fleming had meant to be pedantic, he would have put a comma after "Peter".


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 18 Mar 2010
Time: 03:16:33

Comments

For David Fleming. Thank you. I was unsure about 'riveting' and tried checking in my Pocket Oxford Dictionary, prior to writing, but it didn't help. So I went for the 'double t', perfectly acceptable in the English-speaking world (see modern American literature.) Whether, David, you 'hate to be pedantic' might be a fraction open to debate. In my experience, incl. 20 years in production with BBC Radio 4, pedants absolutely love to be pedantic. But no matter, as it keeps the rest of us on our toes and accuracy is to be greatly valued. (NB split of Passive Infinitive if there is such a thing.) I'd better not go on, at the risk of sounding peddannttic...pedannttic...peddanttic etc (none of these acceptable, even in the USA.)


Name: David Fleming
Email: sueanddaveflemingattiscali.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1958-65
Date: 18 Mar 2010
Time: 01:54:32

Comments

I hate to be pedantic Peter but do you mean riveting?


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63 although it seemed longer
Date: 16 Mar 2010
Time: 16:24:55

Comments

I have only just picked up on the (rivetting?) debate on the use of colons and semi-colons, or the insertion of colons - presumably up the .....! From now on, we should be on full alert for other grammatical abominations that would have sent the good and great Dr AR Simpson to an even earlier grave. For instance, errant split infinitives. I intend to scrupulously maintain a sharp look-out for such outrages.


Name: ye min
Email: yeyeye63athotmail.com
Years_at_school: 63-70
Date: 14 Mar 2010
Time: 09:37:37

Comments

Good Lord..a message from Steve Manning. I have such indelible memories of your time at HCS.


Name: Arwel Hughes
Email: clearwaycarriersathotmail.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1971-76
Date: 11 Mar 2010
Time: 15:27:24

Comments

Was very saddened to learn that Jim Bassett (1k-1971) was no longer with us. Anybody know what happened to him? Had fond memories of nicking golf balls with him, Chris Berge and Dave Brown at Stanmore golf club in the mid 70's.


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56-62
Date: 11 Mar 2010
Time: 11:33:33

Comments

I remember inner-quad footy only too well, Romney, you little sniveller. They were those people that used to make me drop my iced bun on the ground. We knew, of course, exactly how to deal with these parvenus: one dropped bun was invariably followed with one pointed Pepsi bottle, with the liquid inside considerably motivated to leap into the air by the addition of a Refresher. Thumbs were placed strategically over the top of the bottle, to be released when the villain who had wrecked the bun came into firing range. Justice was summary in the Inner Quad.


Name: Mike Townsend
Email: miket1athomecall.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1969-1976
Date: 11 Mar 2010
Time: 04:21:35

Comments

After colonic irritation ... I see that Callum Kerr is trying to provoke an apostrophe discussion (its v it's).


Name: Paul Romney
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 11 Mar 2010
Time: 02:22:03

Comments

I wonder if we'll ever know what Fowler was trying to say when he found himself being shouted at about spaces and slashes and things. Something about inner-quad footer perhaps?


Name: Callum Kerr
Email: ckerratskorpionzinc.com.na
Years_at_school: 1970-77
Date: 10 Mar 2010
Time: 08:09:10

Comments

Gents, I think this conversation (punctuation, in case another threas appears before my comment does)is a good advertisement for grammar school education, in it's own way. Not that I ever shone on the language front. Not sure about the colonic irrigation, I thought that sort of thing was more a public school sort of thing! Pip pip! Great to come back to the site after a few months and see how things have moved on, there are some very astute commentators out there, I feel. Feel proud not to have given into the temptation to add a colon or half myself.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 10 Mar 2010
Time: 05:49:37

Comments

My monitor is fine - the problem was me - as usual. Despite reading "in this sentence" I focused on the first sentence which does have a colon.


Name: Pete Lawson
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 69 to 74
Date: 10 Mar 2010
Time: 03:52:32

Comments

Colonic irrigation.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colin.dickinsatblueyonder.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 10 Mar 2010
Time: 03:24:47

Comments

Agreed, Paul. Maybe Chris should invest in a new monitor? And, Peter, when I really, really want a para break I ask the blessed Jeff to add to his burden and insert one. He does. (Thought of using a semi-colonn in this, but it wasn't quite appropriate to the sense. I'm sure I'll find another opportunity.)


Name: Paul Romney
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 09 Mar 2010
Time: 16:11:53

Comments

You fellows must be looking at it in the wrong font. It's a lovely semi-colon in my font.


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56-62
Date: 09 Mar 2010
Time: 08:44:29

Comments

Yes, but Chris - what I wrote was a semi-colon, it's just not very clear. I once wrote a whole article on my fun when I typed, late 90s, the first page or so of 'Emma' into Word and then applied Microsoft's Grammar Checker. As you can imagine, Jane Austen proved to be a pretty terrible writer, all those sentences longer than seventeen words, all those passive voices. Basically, Word demanded that Jane start again. Sorry, Michael S: I'll clear off now so that person can reply to your question. And Paul, some of us - well, Colin Dickins and I - have moaned for yonks about the para. breaks. Maybe we should have a competition with posts like Peter Ward's, or this one, spotting where we think the Para Breaks should be. The prize, perhaps, could be 5% of the Pavilion Fund.


Name: Chris Rickwood
Email:
Years_at_school:
Date: 09 Mar 2010
Time: 07:05:23

Comments

" : " is a colon not a semi-colon!


Name: Paul Romney
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 09 Mar 2010
Time: 05:32:33

Comments

Actually I'm in Maryland, where 4 feet of snow fell in the first half of February. But it's nearly all melted. Pete: your semi-colon is a thing of beauty.


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: Undertheclockatpainfulcaning.ooowww!!!!
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 08 Mar 2010
Time: 13:41:51

Comments

Locked into Canadian winters, Peter? It is the most beautiful spring day in Toronto. Anyway, someone was talking about a Mr S who is Nigeriaphobic. Please enlighten. Mr S.


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school: 56-62
Date: 08 Mar 2010
Time: 11:42:08

Comments

Paul Romney: You always were, you always are and you always will be a pedantic elitist of Simpsonian dimensions when it comes to the use of English. Still, I'm sure you're right; as I'm sure my use of the semi-colon in this sentence will have you reeling. (Paul, I'm at a reunion with Geoff Woolf and Mick Fulton and a couple of others next week...I'll raise a glass to old friends who are locked into Canadian winter landscapes and remember, promise, to get my singulars and plurals in proper working order. Best wishes..)


Name: Paul Romney
Email: unchanged
Years_at_school: ditto
Date: 08 Mar 2010
Time: 09:54:52

Comments

While we're about it, I can't even do paragraphs. It all comes out as one great big


Name: Paul Romney
Email: unchanged
Years_at_school: ditto
Date: 08 Mar 2010
Time: 09:51:31

Comments

Pete Fowler: Your question was syntactically challenging, but I believe the answer is No.


Name: Peter Fowler
Email: p_fowler at ntlworld.com
Years_at_school: 56-62
Date: 08 Mar 2010
Time: 08:23:26

Comments

Is it only Mac users who are finding it impossible to submit comments without being shouted at about spaces and slashes and things?


Name: Tim Huc
Email: thucattalktalkdotnet
Years_at_school: 1958-1964
Date: 08 Mar 2010
Time: 03:07:38

Comments

Much has been written about break time footy.As one always in the lower echelons and resident in one or other hut - a case of out of sight out of mind perhaps - football was played with bottle tops. No complaints from school authorities but some parents did object to the damage done to expensive shoes. Desk top table tennis was the number one game for some of us. Two or more desks dragged together with rolled up PT towels as a net. Hymnn books doubled as bats - a roll of adhesive tape was never far away.For me this lead onto thirty years of involvement with T.T.on full sized tables firstly as a competitive lower division club league player and later as an administrator, coach and international umpire. Great fun. The relationship with Harrow School has again been much posted about.Although he was never a favourite of mine - nor I his - I can remember being quite taken aback at what I perceived as utter rudeness shown to Dr. Simpson when we trekked up to their fields one year for the inter school rugby. It was lashing down with rain and Simpson seemed unprepared for the deluge. Many Harrow lads had large umbrellas and seats in a stand. Neither was offered to our headmaster. Boo! During the last year or so of my time at HCS my family actually lived right up on The Hill beside the King's Head pub. We were very much paupers on millionaires row but it was fascinating to live amongst 'them' and to go through their throngs twice each day. For a while I provided after match refreshments for either rugby or cricket teams on a Saturday. Cannot remember much about it except that I managed to make a considerable profit on the venture which I honestly, or naievely, disclosed to the master concerned.I think the beneficiary of my skill was the Pavilion Fund, of course. Perhaps that was an early showing of the entrepreneurial skills which led to my being the proprietor of a Ronnie Barker Open All Hours food shop in the English midlands for a decade?


Name: steve manning
Email:
Years_at_school: 63-68
Date: 03 Mar 2010
Time: 19:44:12

Comments

We have never had a reply about the blatant Nigeriaphobic comments from Mr.S. Obviously, Grammar is more important than racism.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 03 Mar 2010
Time: 16:29:29

Comments

John Parker is quite right. I had assumed Swanny and Thorn retired in the same year. Dredging what's left of my school memories, Thorn certainly went in 1959. As the cricket photo John refers to is 1960 then Swanny must have completed the extra 12 months beyond Thorn. Whilst some may have experienced the end of a gymnasium rope, I also remember that, at an advanced age for a Head of PE, Swanny's party trick was to ascend a rope , upside down, with his pipe stuck in his mouth! It was his way of proving to us wimps that if he could do it (his way) we could it the conventional way. The trick always drew admiring applause. Forwards of Swanny's 1960 3rd XV were always advised not to scrummage with slightly arched backs. When reffing practice matches, Swanny would shout, "Get your back down, boy!" before bringing down his whistle, swung on a ribbon, across the protruding spine. I wisely played out at Fly Half so acted only as witness and not victim.


Name: John Parker
Email: parkerjsxx at aol dot com
Years_at_school: 1959 - 1966
Date: 03 Mar 2010
Time: 13:02:00

Comments

In the description of the photograph of Cricket - 1st XI 1960 Peter Ward writes: ....He retired a day or so later so that probably explains it. Swanny and George Thorn both left that Summer, to everyone's relief.... That can't be quite right. Thorn had gone by the time I arrived in 1959 but Swanny was still there. I certainly remember the punish meted out with the leather covered end of a gym climbing rope.


Name: Peter Garwood
Email: peterdotgarwood777atbtinternetdotcom
Years_at_school: 1953/61
Date: 03 Mar 2010
Time: 10:00:53

Comments

.Colin, might I suggest that "Type your name here" is a dictionary salesperson, who aged 52 has only sold half his target figure. I would like to suggest that the OGA help him sell the rest, for a commission, to be paid into the infamous 'Pavilion Fund'. On that subject, is it not beyond the bounds of possibility that the money is still in a dead bank account, accruing interest as I type. In my day the school used the bank at the bottom of St John's Road, opposite Sopers, was it LLoyds or the Nat. West, perhaps one of our retired bankers might accept the challenge of tracking it down ?.


Name: Peter Ward
Email: peter.ward16atbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1958-63
Date: 02 Mar 2010
Time: 12:30:25

Comments

With the deepest respect to the memory of the late Chris Hunt who, a little after my time, seems to have been a good guy and a major Inner Quad footballer...this energetic playtime activity was not only enjoyable but, Simpsoninaly, extremely risky. As late-1950s and early 1960s Inner Quad footballers, we took our HCS lives in our hands. Tennis balls had been banned but plastic 'airballs', with holes, permitted. But after only a session or two of raucous 'footy' these balls disintegrated and became unkickable. A character called Mick Regan came up with the stunning idea that they could be filled with small pieces of stuffed in paper, torn from exercise books. This activity took about an hour, usually during Latin or Applied Maths. The 'solid' ball then lasted for about two weeks, before replacement. The introduction of the HCS plastic (stuffed) Inner Quad ball is actually owed to a character called Lewis, one of Simpson's champion betes noires, who sported a challenging Teddy Boy quiff, tight, nearly drainpipe trousers and...horror of Simpsonian horrors...thick crepe-soled shoes. Thus, on the final day of the Inner Quad Tennis Ball Era, Lewis (not a remarkably good footballer...sort of a pre-John Terry) kicked the ball which headed for a lower ground floor corridor window. The tennis ball struck the pane just as the great (for surely he was great) Dr Simpson passed on his way to morning tea. I suspect it bounced off, fairly harmlessly, but the shoe and its crepe sole shattered the window. Freeze of footballers. The good Doctor then peered through the jagged shards of glass and demanded to know whose shoe had inadvertently delayed his mission to the dining hut. Lewis ('Lou') was brave enough to own up. It was difficult enough not to given he was wearing one shoe at the time, so he was duly caned. The rest of us cravenly slunk away, disappearing into the doughnut queue. Thus, the ban on tennis balls and the origin of the stuffed airball - a far more deadly weapon as any non-footballing boy, whose head got in its way, would confirm. Further canings for Inner Quad football followed. With Dickie Head, I was caned for climbing on the school roof to retrieve a ball pushed high by a remarkable feat of goal-keeping. (This can be confirmed in the Caning Book.) Unfortunately, we had been spotted by a 'keen', on duty, prefect called Dixon. Leter, a joyous moment occurred when the good Doctor leaned out of his study, adjacent to the War Memorial window, over-looking the Inner Quad. He angrily commanded the miscreant footballers, below, to report to him. We knew that distance vision was not his strength so,once again, abject cowardice won the day. Yet the round ball game was to return to the Inner Quad, at whatever the risk. These were the sacrifices that former pupils were prepared to make for those who followed in a more enlightened era. These noble acts have never been fully recognised.


Name: Colin Dickins
Email: colin.dickinsatblueyonder.co.uk
Years_at_school: 1947-1953
Date: 02 Mar 2010
Time: 10:43:58

Comments

Who is "Type your name here", contributing at 10.52 (or was it 10.15?) on 1st March. What on earth are the first three lines about? It seems a cheerful, happy entry, but what is it all about? Is one of the things still to be achieved beyond age 52 a capacity for communication? (Don't bank on achieving everything. I haven't at 74, but I'm still working on it.)


Name: Type your name here
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 01 Mar 2010
Time: 10:52:14

Comments

Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary Search Select another dictionary Select another dictionary... --------------------------- Advanced Learner'sLearner'sAmerican EnglishIdiomsPhrasal Verbs Does your English Dictionary give you the help you need? We publish dictionaries for people learning English all over the world. Find out more... -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Definition curmudgeon noun n [C] old-fashioned an old person who is often in a bad mood curmudgeonlyadjective (Definition of curmudgeon noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary) Well, I guess, pretty accurate description really! The point is that a website like this is thrives on trivia. As such, the website provides a lot of entertainment and amusement. Sometimes though a comment can trivalise when this is inappropriate. I acknowledge that this can happen when not intended. As I've commented before, I enjoyed my time at school, though I know many who didn't. I was lucky enough to form some strong friendships which have lasted over time. At age 52, I haven't done half of the things I'd like to have done. I still intend to do them though! In the words of Chris Rea, "Come So Far, Yet Still Have So Far to Go".


Name: Dennis Harvey
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 01 Mar 2010
Time: 09:29:41

Comments

Nothing wrong with writing about football in the inner quad if that is what you want to do. Just wrong context to have mentioned it.


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: Nothing changes
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 01 Mar 2010
Time: 09:06:28

Comments

Before I knew it my comment was sent! Michael.


Name: Type your name here
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 01 Mar 2010
Time: 09:04:32

Comments

"a irreverent (and also frankly irrelevant) discussion on football in the inner quad" Is this really the Dennis Harvey whom I used to see on the 186 bus WHO WAS OBSESSED WITH ARSENAL AND WHO USED TO KEEP HIS PROGRAMME IN A FOLDER SO IT WOULDN'T GET DAMAGED? Do not be so curmudgeonly, Sir!


Name: Keith Palmer
Email: keithdotpalmerathotmaildotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1968-1975
Date: 01 Mar 2010
Time: 05:36:54

Comments

Geoffrey Plow, you were certainly not the only goal-hanger during inner quad football sessions as I must have been up the other end doing the same! Others, such as Chris Hunt, had way more ability than we had and were able to match talent with enthusiasm. On one day, I was playing in goal and my head collided with the post (yes, the drainpipe) creating a very bloody mess. The following day I thought I'd take a safer option and play up front. The ball was in the air and I decided it was best not to go up for the header so stayed rooted to the ground. One of the opposition, however, attempted to go for the ball but headed me instead, giving me a spectacular black eye. The name of that lad ..... one Geoffrey Plow! As far as I can recall, Chris Hunt and I were never in the same class or set during our time at HCS so our paths did not cross academically although we were at HCS for the same seven years, however I do strongly recall his sporting talent and his sense of humour. There is also a photo of him on this site in the 1972-73 hockey team. To Dennis Harvey, my recollection was not meant to be irreverent nor was it irrelevant, just memories of one aspect of my time at school when there were many from different sets, classes and houses who came together for an hour or so every day. The greatest sadness for me is that there are now at least five people from the 1968 intake who are no longer with us, but their memory lives on.


Name: Dennis Harvey
Email: dennisharveyatntlworld.com
Years_at_school:
Date: 28 Feb 2010
Time: 01:18:26

Comments

I attended Chris Hunt's funeral on Friday, a sad occassion but also a celebration of Chris, who packed an awful lot into his 52 years, of which his time at Harrow County was only a part. I think Chris would he amused to find out that his loss has intiated a irreverent (and also frankly irrelevant) discussion on football in the inner quad.


Name: Timothy (Tim) Huc
Email: thuc at talktalk.net
Years_at_school: 1958 - 1964
Date: 26 Feb 2010
Time: 05:15:05

Comments

Hi from a first timer.It has been quite powerful discovering this site which I rate as excellent.My years at HCS were undistinguished ones.Clearly some masters would not cut the mustard these days. Those who encouraged me included the late Gerry Lafferty, Fred Bilson and a Mr. Beauchamp.Assorted memories :- the religious diversity with Jehovah's Witnesses, Catholics, Jewish and many other traditions heppily rubbing shoulders;the effect of the death of Pope Pius X11 on Bernie Marchant; two pupils dieing,one through peritonitis and the other felled by a lorry whist walking down for a rugby period;blisteringly hot annual CCF parade days when Scouts posted the numbers of cadets fainting onto the cricket scoreboard;discovering Fred was a Liberal and going to an election count with him at Wembley Town Hall; a group of football nuts starting our own club - Barnhill - we lost by a cricket score to Harrow Town on their pitch which seemed VAST;somewhat perfunctory careers guidance; the D of E Award scheme and the comments about my Bronze expedition - despite initial trepidation Timothy completed an excellent expedition!It did take until my mid forties to discover that I was not a complete dunce.Four years at Westminster Theological College in Cambridge did the trick. Isn't it great that changing careers no longer causes raised eyebrows? Regards to any who remember me.


Name: Andy Colhoun
Email: colhoun.whiteriveratgmail.com
Years_at_school: 1950-57
Date: 26 Feb 2010
Time: 00:24:37

Comments

I saw Mike Trigg's comments on the guest book but when I used the e mail address as given, it just bounced back. Mike, try my address.


Name: Pete Lawson
Email: plawson.collinsonatbtinternet.com
Years_at_school: 1969-74
Date: 25 Feb 2010
Time: 15:29:43

Comments

Hi, Geoff. I remember the football in the Inner Quad. Drainpipes for goalposts. I had a supply of those lattice balls (which for some time I thought were lettuce balls). I kept one in my blazer pocket, the resultant mis-shapenness of which once drew a bollocking from Bernie Marchant. I was the year below you. We played rougly in the middle across the quad. Your year was at the far end from the entrance to the quad. We were thrown out of there after 3rd Year. What I didn't realise until after I'd left the school was that the Masters' Common Room window gave out onto the quad and they would have heard all the swearing and seen all the gobbing.


Name: Geoffrey Plow
Email: gaplowathotmail.com
Years_at_school: 1968-1974
Date: 25 Feb 2010
Time: 14:12:42

Comments

Keith Palmer has just revived my memory of Inner Quad lunchtime football - the ball with holes in it, the wave of goal-hangers (oh, all right: me). Does anyone else recall 1971 and all that?


Name: Keith Palmer
Email: keithdotpalmerathotmaildotcodotuk
Years_at_school: 1968-1975
Date: 25 Feb 2010
Time: 08:26:29

Comments

Yes, Geoff, shocking news about Chris Hunt If my memory serves me correctly, one of the stars of Inner Quad lunchtime football circa 1971. My sympathies go to all his friends and family.


Name: Geoffrey Plow
Email: gaplowathotmail.com
Years_at_school: 1968-1974
Date: 25 Feb 2010
Time: 02:13:55

Comments

Sad news: Chris Hunt, who attended Harrow County from 1968 to 1975, died last week as a result of liver cancer that had ensued from previous melanoma. Chris' funeral service is to be held on Friday 26 February at 2.30 pm at St Peter's Church, High Road, Bushey Heath, Herts, WD23 1EA. In memory of Chris a collection for Cancer Research and for a more specific research fund relating to ocular melanoma are being made. Should you wish to donate to Cancer Research, cheques may be made payable to 'Cancer Research UK' and sent directly to the Funeral Directors, Chas. A. Nethercott & Sons Ltd, 20 Aldenham Road, Radlett, Herts. WD7 8AX.


Name: Michael Schwartz
Email: greekmultilingualatyahoocouk
Years_at_school: 1965-1972
Date: 24 Feb 2010
Time: 18:35:31

Comments

"From 3d 1973 picture row 3 Simons, tim Ransome ..... Steve Strauss, David Levy paul" Good to see that standards of English grammar and punctuation are being maintained, Paul. Or is this what 30 years of accountancy can do to people? I did it for seven days.. Michael.


Name: Mike Edson
Email: Write word 'at' in full to avoid spam,eg 'Square at abc.co.uk'
Years_at_school:
Date: 23 Feb 2010
Time: 15:48:54

Comments

I work at the school, on and off, assisting the caretakers. And I would like to know more about the man, I believe, was the first school caretaker. A Mr