Harrow County School for Boys

Reminiscences of Denis Higham (1925-30)

I wonder if many of my colleagues are surviving to date and if they are, perhaps they would be stirred into print. I hope so. I am in the very late 80s now and there may be a near-centurian or two around.

The passing of "Swannie" Amos, who I think was an "elder brother" and there would not be many of his seniority left in retirement. He joined the school as a master when I did in 1925/6 as a pupil, but I left in 1930 and it seems ages ago.

Swannie was a tower of strength and was to take up the rugger which became the school game when the new head Randal Williams made the conversion from soccer on his Welsh debut.

His mental arithmetic with a gym shoe (!) was to be remembered with me as a quick thinker. I was a slow learner after about four years of Maths until Swannie got going and turned one term into a distinction. I can hardly believe it now. He taught me some proficiency in games at the same time.

There must have been an influx of new masters at that time. One I remember was Charlie Wilmott. His entry into a classroom with the remark "open the windows, anyone would think it was bloody well cold" gained him kudos and from then on he could no wrong.

Amongst the older ones, Georgie Neal whom I lived next door to for about 6 years, was a talented artist but a quiet stick who I regarded with awe when he recruited my father to play cricket in the father's match.

Most of the staff had by now got "handles" to their names. I remember H. A. T. Simons, "Wiffy"  King, E. A. S. Evans, "Creeper" Davies (with his spongy soles), and "Doc" Hartland with his little brown book which showed up well at the front of the junior class, particularly ON the desk!

These were only too obvious now.  I also recall "Spadger" Heys, Brevin Buster and a few more not repeatable. There must be dozens over a period of nearly a hundred years.

Please write and give us all a treat.

Virtus non stemma, and all that.

Denis Higham




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