Now 65. At HCS from Sept 1948 to July 1953, in forms 2D, 3C, 3C again (when 1st form intro meant a one year numbering 'shift'), 4C, 5D. Left with four undistinguished O levels. Have nevertheless earned a living as a journalist for 39 years to date. Have some clear memories of 4th Harrow Scouts, where I became patrol leader of the Ravens in the Pioneers (Air Scout) troop.
Not forgetting the GHS lads. Happy New Year to all those who went to Gayton High and all the best for 2003!
Alex Bateman (GHS 1980 - 1984)
Spent a wonderful night in the company of Max Angliss, Keith Wilson, Chas McCarthey and Kevin Peter just before Christmas. Got extremely p*ssed, seemed like nothing had changed in the last 28 years or so since leaving HCBS! All seem to be doing well despite the fact that we probably amassed around 12 O levels between us and Keith had 6 of those! Just goes to show even though the school only really bothered with the high acheivers we had some latent ability after all. Anyway I'd just like to wish all the intake of '69 a happy and prosperous 2003.
Have just been introduced to the site by my brother.....Thanks,it's great..oh how the years roll by!!Just looking at the 1971 prefects photo...thank goodness I didn't wear my desert boots that day!!!!
Well it's just got to be done (rude not to!!) Anyway here's to a very happy holiday season to all those (Sloan, Kilhams, Knight, Adams, Forbes etc etc) who may remenmebr me ! I look forward to reading the ongoing remininces in 2003
Kind regards Keith
Thanks for this - Did i really have hair like that in the 70's? - I was at HCGS(B) from 71 - 77. Now living in Pittsburgh, PA. Keep it up - more (much more) later.
Brings back memories of good times.
I will try to recall enough to contribute.
Well, hello viewers, let's try and make an effort to reach 100,000 pats ( hits is such an agressive word for us delicate boys. ) I know Michael Schwartz keeps a keen eye on this sort of thing so I say, in best 'PC' 'Happy New Holidays Year' to Harrow Counter School for Boys.
Took me a full minute to realise that the 'point sout' in Paul Ware's note was actually 'points out'. Thought he had learned something clever from Major Skillen before realising that it was just my dementia kicking in.
My copy of Guinness Book of Records 1970 reads as follows:- Bar Billiards Marathon - The duration record for bar billiards is 72 hours by five players from Harrow County Grammar School who scored a total of 772,550 points on 6-9 April 1970.
As Richard Buckley point sout, Steve Mulliner asks how many boys tried to appear twice in the 1971 panoramic photograph. No-one did--or at least no-one made it to the end. As I have probably pointed out more than once in these web-pages, the reason the photo was taken at all was due to Clive Anderson's plea to Joe Avery at a School Council meeting "...it IS the Diamond Jubilee, sir!" which had Harry Mees rolling his eyes and even George Cowan's eyebrows momentarily raised. I know no-one did because May 18th was the day I passed my driving test and I arrived late, waving my pink "pass" slip at my buddies who were on the other side of the semi-circle (I am second to the left in the fifth row in front of the dining hut). Just prior to the photo being taken, Joe told Malcolm Cox (fifth row, just under the pavilion clock) to comb his hair out of his face. It was probably as a reult of this that Victor Mietkowski (his neighbor to the left) decide to flash Joe a V-sign (clearly visible in the photo). It was an unusually sunny day, which is why the photo is so bad--the contrast is much too high--and we spent most of the afternoon basking in the long grass next to the Terrapin huts. Let me join my old friend Benjy Schwartz is wishing y'all Happy Holidays from Texas.
Some names from the 25/6/2002 - Rugby Under 16 XV 1965-66 Front row: Ainley(1),Stagg, Fischer, George Thorne, Ainley(2),?, Farquahar. Middle row: ?, Pete Newman?, (Dave) Gee, (Malcom) John,?, Gary Michaels. Back Row: ?,?,?,?, Devonald,?, Callendar. Anyone fill in the blanks or uncertainties?
Last message was mine.
Wishing all Old Gayts the very best for the festive season.
One or two points on the Sixth Form Society speakers.
Gerry Fitt did have a nephew (son of Gerry Fitt's sister, Theresa Abbott) at Harrow County. The name of the vicar in Dad's Army was Frank Williams (he lived in Edgware, and is probably Edgware's sole claim to fame).
Other speakers were a gentleman called John (?)Glennister who was at HCS and who helped to produce Tudor dramas like The Six Wives of Henry VIII with Keith Michell, and the lecturer Gerald Brooke, jailed by our Russian friends for distributing the "wrong" literature.
Finally - did anyone else see the Economist list of the Class of 2002? Sir Nigel Sheinwald was described as public school educated. Leav' it aht, guv.
John West asks about speakers at the 6th form society c.73.I had something to do with arranging them and Robert Morley stands out as a true eccentric with a wonderful sense of humour. We also had Gerry Fitt, SDLP leader in N.Ireland complete with armed protection officers. I think he had a nephew at HCSB. Vic Feather TUC General Secretary spoke and I interviewed him for the Gaytonian. I think we also had the actor who played the vicar in Dads Army(?).He came to a few Convergence productions as he had a nephew in the school(?) Cat Stevens got the biggest audience most of whom were disappointed that he did not perform, but rather spoke at some length on his new religion. The only one I recall turning us down was John Cleese with the reasonable excuse that he was filming a new series of Python-must have been a tough choice!
The following publications by the late Jim Golland have been showing up in various booksellers lists. However, Jim used to request that people buy them directly fromn the Pinner Local History Society, so that they get the financial benefit.
They are available from Harold Harley of the PLHS Tel: 020 8866 5827
WHEN I WAS A CHILD Edited by Jim Golland; A5; 72 pages; paperback; llustrated; A fourth reprint (2000) of this popular collection of oral reminiscences by people who remember Pinner in the first half of the twentieth century, and who recall their schooldays, relations with the police, poverty, fairs, and other excitements. (£3)
FAIR ENOUGH? By Jim Golland; A5; 140 pp; paperback; coloured and black and white illustrations; index. (1993) The story of the last 200 years of Pinner's 14th century Charter Fair, held annually for one day only in the streets of the village, the last surviving street fair in Middlesex. (£6, post free)
FROM PINNER TO PARADISE By Jim Golland; A5; 124 pp; paperback; illustrated:, index. (1995) An edited collection of letters from his family and friends in Pinner to a young man who emigrated to Australia in 1883. They tell a moving story of a family struggling against illness, unemployment and poverty in an age when the Metropolitan Railway came to Pinner. (£4.95) (A separate detailed index is available for £1.00)
THE FIVES COURT By Jim Golland and Joanne Verdant; A4 landscape format; illustrated; index; (2000) To celebrate the centenary of an Arts and Crafts house in Moss Lane, Pinner, and its architects, with details of its first famous inhabitants. Limited Edition sold in aid of the West House Appeal. (£10 + £l postage)
Late on the 'Bernie' anecdotes, sorry, but picture a pre-o-level lesson, mid '70's, even the most incompetent (me) had by then virtually memorised our set text, so translation was almost irrelevant.
Bernie, goes into his cupboard (sh.t another text?), pulls out a crate of fresh pears, picked over the week-end from his garden. Hands them out. Job done. Nice touch.
Anyone that can get me a 'B' in Latin doesn't need to be 'lionised'. Only John Cleese in the 'Life of Brian' could have got me an A! Cleese's latin corrections to Brian's (the late Graham Chapman) poorly conjugated mural dawbings refer, "Now write it out a hundred times and if it's not done before dawn, I'll cut your balls off"!!
'Sword and fruit', I think.
The sound attached to various items is fascinating! What would be really impressive but extremely unlikely would be to hear a recording of Harry Mees walking past the new hall getting ready for his class in (was it A10) the room next to Bernie's office shouting out "OK you rabble get your books out quick quick quick" Only sound justifies this reminiscence
I can't believe you were misbehaving in School!!
David GHS '80-'83
The reason 'square' blew up at the end of the recording of the school song was the great cheer or rather jeer that went up at the end of it. I know; I was there. Chris Wilson '54 to '62
Does anyone have access to a list of speakers to the sixth form society circa 1972-3? I think I can lay claim to being first person to bring cannabis, cocaine & heroin into the school all at the same time! I recall Robert Morley had signed the guest book the week before me. As a Met. Police Drug Squad Det. Sgt. I spoke on my role and displayed samples to the interest of those present.
I am so glad Phil Chesterman can assure us that the organ is likely to be the organ we all contributed to and I suppose it is really old George at the keyboard. As for accents in the U.K. I have noticed the same thing. People do not sound quite as they once did. I also notice the vocabuary changing. When would try to avoid using what I regarded as North American words, such as "commuter", the reply would come "you mean commuter". After leaving school, two periods of work in Scotland left me very familiar with the various accents there. ARS hailed from Dunfermaline in the West Fife coalfield where miners spoke with a very different accent. He spoke "pan loaf" which is the "received" accent of educated Scots. Pronounciation of the letter "Jay" as "Jye" is common enough, as is 'mingies' for 'Menzies'. Does anyone recall hearing him use this word? The well-known entertainer Harry Lauder came from Arbroath which is where ARS taught for many years. Harry spoke a in sort of Anglicised Fifeshire accent not at all like ARS. I can well imagine that a few years amongst the Sassenachs would modify ARS' panloaf accent.
Steve Mulliner asks how many boys tried to appear twice in the 1971 panoramic photograph. I appear on the left at the very end of the 1960 Golden Jubilee photograph and to this day regret being too timid to run around to the other end when the camera began to turn. I recall that the photographer had a very bad limp, no doubt incurred in some act of extreme bravery during the war, which prompted lots of ungallant schoolboy shouts of 'hoppity' as the poor man ran, or rather lurched, around trying to set the photograph up.
On another matter altogether, having recently moved to a village just outside Cirencester, I looked up Harry Mees in the book and gave him a call. We had a long talk and I'm delighted to say he was in good shape and sounded just like the old Harry so many of us remember. What's more, to my surprise and even greater delight, my recollection of his famous story about the crewless GWR train (the crew having got off the footplate against all the regulations to investigate a broken signal in the Severn Tunnel) setting off by itself down the slope of the tunnel, running up the other side and then running back down again as the Guard wondered what on earth the driver was doing was, more or less, true.
Ref. Phil Chesterman's comment about Virtus Non Stemma - I assume he is refering to the School Song which accompanies the title page. For everyone's information, it came from a radio programme put out in 1960 on what was the Third Programme. The song is only a short clip from about a two minute section of the programme, which I found on a tape made up at the time by the late Jim Golland. (In fact I recorded the actual assembly when the BBC came along, but sadly the tape has gone missing. Pity as it had Dr.Simpson really blowing up at the end of the assembly!) The whole tape is a bit of a treasure trove of sound clips of the school in general, including an item from a House Christmas production from around 1959/60 or earlier (which has ben recorded at a slow spedd which I cannot play at the moment). When I find time I will go through the tape and copy it to Minidisk for the archives and let Jeff have a copy for the web site. I am at present sorting out good quality tranfers of some of the G and S productions from the mid-60's onto CD so that Rod Clark in Wales can make up sound files for Jeff to put direct onto the site.
re: Virtus Non Stemma
To Brian Hester can only say that I have no intention of spoiling anything. I left HCS in 1951, way before the organ era, but in the middle of the George Thorn and Dr. ARS regime. Now, I have no intention of insulting the English nation, but have only spent the odd week here and there in the UK since 1960, but have noticed an amazing change in accents.
To me STRIFE used to sound like STRAIF when old George had his way. In this 1960 (?)recording it's become STROIF. What would it be today ? Is this estuary English ?
Just curious !
Far more earth-shattering was the shock that I was about to hear the voice of the good Doctor Simpson, in my own house in Calgary. Being December, the windows are only open a crack; should I close them in case the neighbours hear. Put earmuffs on the cat to prevent a visit from the SPCA ?
Then came the voice of educated Scotland (we had a master called D.J. King - instead of DeeJAY, ARS called him DeeJYE) but low and behold Dr. ARS sounded 99% English ! The pupils taught the teacher.
My "contribution" to the Guestbook today was, in fact, part of an e-mail written earlier to Jeff Maynard personally. (inserted into the guestbook at Colin's request! - Jeff)
I checked the link above my piece just now and it works, so Paul Romney must just have been unlucky. Try again, Paul. (if you are using a slow dial-up connection, it may take a few moments to load - Jeff)
I find my adopted role as apologist for a man I disliked and feared rather strange. I did respect him, as teacher and headmaster, and my contention has always been that he achieved great things for the School and for those pupils who chose to avail themselves of the opportunities. I'm afraid I availed myself all too little of the opportunities, but I certainly benefited somehow, as did many other "non-achievers". But Paul makes the same point, although I do discern an unwritten "in spite of" in what he says.
As for antisemitism, I have said before that I never discerned it and several Jewish OG's I questioned on the allegation have told me that they were neither aware of it nor victims. I also questioned a senior master I'm still in touch with who loathed the man. He has little good to say of him, but absolutely refuted the allegation. He said that Simpson would "take the best, no matter who they were or where they came from. He only wanted the best."
Unfortunately, the URL in Colin Dickins's message yielded neither sound nor a sound prompt, so I was unable to refresh my memory of the Simpson voice. Surely, though, the Simpson legacy is a matter of remembered words and deeds rather than tone. If indeed his anti-Semitism, and the foibles recorded in Jim Golland's dispassionate memoir, fitted ill with the Zeitgeist of the 1960s, that fact arguably speaks well for the 1960s. As to the supposed decline in educational standards since then, and the merits of the new reforms, I have no personal opinion, having left the UK in 1966, but I find a very different perspective from Colin's expressed in Ross McKibbin's article in the London Review of Books of 28 November.
The past year has given me a fascinating perspective on the Harrow Couunty debate by putting me in touch with most of the Wembley Manor Junior School class from which I graduated to Harrow County in 1956. Most of us seemed pretty much on a par, regardless of how we had fared academically back in the 1950s and '60s, but one stand-out was a man who had never ranked high in the class and had failed the Eleven Plus. He had subsequently become an electrical engineer and the joint owner of a components manufacturer with six factories in the UK, US and China. It was a striking illustration of how far one could get without O Level Latin.
Form 2D 1954 Whilst at the Tuck Shop one morning fighting desparately for a jam doughnut SOME LITTLE TEA_LEAF stole my prized collection of match box and cheese labels.Will the culprit now own up please!! Could be any one of the following:- Portillo(elder brother) Williams G. Simmons Storey McCausland Baker Efford Patterson Copp Bremner Tranter Nichol Allen Neomonitos Marshall(Colin) Tew Gold Silverman Williams Jensen Gardiner Elkins Dann Buckley Simmonds or Young Come on -spill the beans!-otherwise I'll wait another 50 years!!!
What a trip down memory lane - looking at the old photos! Fascinating to discover how people have fared in the past 40 years. Must remember to visit this site more often - now that I've discovered it!
The shock of hearing Simpson's so well-remembered voice quite clouds my judgement on the other sound files. He sounds so measured and reasonable - as I have always insisted he could be (and probably mostly was), despite the scorn poured on him by so many contributors to the site - and I realise I have unfairly heard him in my mind as the ranter he is reputed to be in popular caricature. He certainly had his manic and obsessive moments in my day, as in others, but I think he just fitted ill with the hedonistic, cynical, soft left, nihilistic zeitgeist of the sixties and his qualities and achievements were dismissed. The decline in educational standards and rigour over thirty years would have confirmed his own convictions. He's probably up (or down!) there wryly approving of current belated attempts by recent governments to reverse the decline. He may not have been a "nice" man, but he was a dedicated teacher and headmaster. What a "blast from the past" that was!
Regarding the 1971 panoramic photograph of the whole school - OK, how many managed to appear twice by legging it from one side to the other just before the camera completed its revolution?
Don't spoil it for us Phil. For some of us this is the only time we'll ever hear the sound of that famous organ (if that is really what is being played).
Re: Virtus Non Stemma, or the sound thereof on this site. Have a strange feeling that it was recorded quite recently. Tellya why later.
Reference the correspondence on the bar billiards record which appeared in the Guinness Book of Records. The event took place at the school starting on Apr 6th 1970 and was previewed in the Harrow Observer dated Mar 31st and then reported again after the event. I have the newspaper clippings if anyone is interested. Those who took part were Phil Blenkhorn, Nick Creamer, John Garland, John Lashmar, Tony Usher, Jim Close and myself. I believe the endurance record was established at 72 hours. The event was sponsored and proceeds went to the RNLI.
Thanks to those who answered my calls for information on Episode Six a week or so back, after Roger Glover was on TV.
In connection with something else (a mention of Fred Bilson and the Gayts Association magazine, 'Old Gaytonian' in the Daily Express on Tuesday), I had a call from Russell Newmark, who told me he had just reviewed a new Episode Six album, called 'Cornflakes and Crazyfoam'.
It takes the form of an anthology, and the accompanying booklet has reference to HCS, including a photo of the band (in pre E6 guise)at 'Chris Ents 62'.
Tony Rees was a contemporary of mine. If any body should hear where he is, or have any news of him at all, I should be delighted to know. The expression 'where they are at', reminds me of an expression sometimes heard in Newfoundland "tell me where your're at, and I'll come where you're to".
WHY ARE THEY AT?
and maybe another section for "Where are they at ?"
Tony Rhoades (who once sent me an e-mail from abroad with his daughters help and worried that it might be a bit late in the evening to disturb me) asked if there was a Where are they now? section on this site. (Doesnt seem a bad idea, actually, Jeff.) He wanted to report seeing Tony Rees who turned up at Sudbury a couple of months ago after many years absence, mostly possibly still abroad. He was an educationist with the FCO and went with wife Joyce, sister of the late Peter Miller. Rhoades forgot to ask him where he lived now and hoped to get in touch again. Tony Reess late brother Derek was also at the School.
On the whereare-they-now theme, does anyone remember a chap who rejoiced in the surname Batty-Pratt? He was older than me, probably about 1944 vintage, a tall, slim, humorous character and, though I wondered, I was never aware that he suffered any hardship because of his name.
Which leads me to mention that I discovered yesterday that the new head of Argentinas central bank is Sr Alfonso Prat Gay. Not many people know that.
Everyone knows it lies in Mr A.N. Anderson territory...'home is where the art is'.
Where is the "official home" of Old Gaytonians ? Is it a dusty archive on the corner of Sheepcote and Gayton Road ? An ageing pavilion on the lower, south facing slopes of Harrow-on-the-Hill ? Or a reference of dots, back-slashes and hyphens on a cyber site ?
Yes, Phil I remember Brannan, but not well. He was a nutter, even to his younger brother Andrew who was in my year (1947-53). Andrew was an engaging "Just William" type, scruffy with fingers forever stained by the green ink he affected. He and I used to conspire in decoding Simpson's "unseen" every Monday lunchtime prior to his lesson at 2 o'clock. One Monday Brannan was off sick and the work needed more than one boy/lunchtime. I got found out and was the recipient of cutting scorn - but no more. Simpson was too dedicated a teacher to waste valuable class time castigating or punishing backsliders.
Politics rears its ugly head ! Does anyone remember Brannan ? He could have left HCS as late as 1952, but later that year was found to be on a literal soapbox outside the Granada Cinema preaching the best commie line, such as he had recently visited Poland and watched the happy Polish children, well fed, well dressed and eager to fight the capitalists.
Now, I would be the last person on earth to upset polical sensibilities, but Brannan was about to start his National Service, and how can even HM Government send a communist to Korea to fight......?
Suspect he ended up washing dishes for 2 years instead.
Jeff's question about Jim Higgins is the second note on this site about the famous daubing of "second front now". Presumably the daubing took place before June 1944. I was using the inner quad as it is now known, regularly up to the summer of 1944 and I have no recollection of any message being daubed. I do remember very clearly on D-Day being allowed to join a group in the then "new chem lab" to hear Churchill announce the Normandy landings. There was a very large "start second front now" message on the bridge over the railway just opposite the school. The bridge nearer the station was decorated with fascist symbols and the message "Moseley speaks tonight", but no date given. Can anyone provide 'chapter and verse' of the incident attribute to Jim Higgins?
having just bumped into John Waldron on a flight to Rio and seeing Michael Portillo on Westminster station on the same day I realised there must be a message in here somewhere ... tho' God knows what it is apart from HCS old boys are everywhere....
Steve Mulliners enquiry as to the date of the Marathon Bar billiards it must have been either 1969 or 1970 I remember going to watch.. god only knows that one as well as it was hardly a spectator sport.....
I remember John Garland John Lashmar and Nick Creamer being involved .. I wonder where they are now?
Does anyone remember Jim Higgins, who died in October and was at Harrow County 1943-47? He was well-known as a journalist and revolutionary socialist. His obituary in the online Weekly Worker, published by the Communist Party of Great Britain, says:
"Jims formative experiences on the left were during World War II, when he sympathised with the CPGBs line, famously daubing the slogan Open the second front on the walls of the inner quad of the local grammar school."
Just seen the addition of HMS Pinafore 1967 and its sound bites. However, surely the person singing Little Buttercup was Martin Steele - not Stephen Gilbert? PV
All this talk of Bernie Marchant brings back vivid memories of the trip to Rome and Naples in the spring holiday of 1959. Is there anyone else out there who remembers it?
Bernie's roneo-ed notes, starting with a blow-by-blow account of things to see out of the window of the train to Rome via Basle, told us more than we could ever have wanted to know or had time to read. How wonderful and learned education was in those days!
For many of us the journey was memorable for an encounter with a group from a girl's school in Birmingham on the train coming back. Bernie was - probably justifiably for the 1950s - worried about this, but was courtesy personified when he received a delegation from the girls' group, asking for permikssion to mingle. 'Certainly, dear lady' is a phrase that sticks in the memory, though he can't have approved.
But best of all was the encounter with a Greek sailor on a hill above Naples. (Yes, a Lesbian, or should I say Lesbiote, like all the best Greek sailors, as Bernie commented to us later.) They conversed I think in Greek, and Bernie responded with grave sympathy when the sailor asked him if he knew his cousin in London. He even accepted (or have I invented this??) a pair of boots, with a promise to deliver them to said cousin. Afterwards he explained to us how Greeks treat the world like a village, and how impossible it would be too refuse such a request. A lesson well learned which has stood me in good stead often since.
Thank you Bernie!
Nicholas de Lange 195562
The bar billiards record was done when I was at HCS viz. 1969 - 76. I wasn't involved, (although I watched bits of it) so I'm afraid I can't be more precise.
Wasn't there a daisy chain too?
Were our times at HCS so good or bad to influence the rest of our lives? I still remember the good times and would rather forget the bullying from fellow pupils and the violence from some members of staff. My recent visit to the school brought back more of the good than the bad, and so was worth the trip. What I did not like was the change in the culture of the school. Why did they destroy such a good grammar school?
BTW, great to hear the school song.
Laurence Lando 1956-64
Interesting to read memories of the 'saloon'. I have just got hold of a set of the original plans of the School (1911) plus the later extensions. That room was built as a cloakroom originally. At the end of that corridor on the left was an open 'covered area', while on the right a bike store. I presume the former was for boys to shelter under when it was raining, not being allowed into the School!
It would be interesting to know when it changed uses.
Hallo students of classics past and present, and a special hallo to Paul Phillips.
As it happens, Paul, I am not attending Alan Kershaw's dinner for Bernard. I see Bernard every so often at meetings of the Hellenic Society in London - we are on first-name terms which I would never have believed at HCS!
There are indeed many memories. Political incorrectness was not around in those days. One wonders which council committee would have ticked Bernard off when one boy came into his class and asked him in an impossibly camp accent: "Oooh, hallo, Sir. May I speak to my friend Glynn, please?"
"Get out, boy! You are speaking like a pooove" came the reply.
I will write to Alan Kershaw in confidence in the next few days. I am curently enjoying a few days at the Asian Telecoms Conference in Hong Kong. The Star Ferry service is a treasure.
The first room on the left of the ground floor, starting from the main entrance, was indeed called "The saloon" during 1955/56 (on account of the swing doors). I have often wondered how long the name survived.
Hi Roy, It was experiences such as this that endowed me with an in-built sense of modesty! All I can claim is that Owen Evans wisely tutored me as a bowler! Alas, I suspect that neither of us was ever likely to get the call in Brisbane.In the spirit of self-preservation, we should perhaps be grateful for that mercy! Yours Rob.
Memories of Bernie Marchant are few and far between but he was always the subject of budding Mike Yarwoods'/Rory Bremners - delete according to generation. Michael Schwartz, a frequent contributor to this site and no doubt one of the three going to dinner, had him down to a tee- probably because of his one to one A level tuition in Greek. The other I remember is David Harland who could freeze a class by walking in and asking "What is this tomfoolery?" This was usually followed by Dave being attacked!
For Rob Farley - yes Rob I remember you well. I was asked to bowl at you in the nets circa 1946. You were a year ahead of me and were being groomed for batting stardom. Sammy Watson said to me "We'd like to see Farley's drives Roy - so pitch it up a bit!" I promptly let fly but it was all pace and short. You went forward of course as obviously you had been told to drive, and were clean bowled.
This happened for the next few balls and you must have been fed up with picking up the stumps and re-seating the bails. Sorry about that Rob - the truth is I really didn't know then what "pitch it up" meant. However, next thing I was bowling for the Second X1!.
On the other hand, I probably set your batting career back a year or two. Come to think of it, England could have used you a few weeks ago in the first test here in Brisbane. The fact that in spite of the ongoing disasters, they have seen fit not to make use of my talents is a constant source of disappointment to me. Cheers, Roy.
Chris Ricwood's comments about Bernie Marchant are strange and do not reflect the teacher that I knew in the period 1969 - 1976. Sure he was frightening to young boys - but that was mainly by the power of his voice and his demeanour. I did Latin to O Level and never had a problem. I do remember him being rather embarrassed at one of my coleagues lack of understanding when doing a translation of a particular passage. This referred in typical oblique Latin way to a woman being pregnant - and he was rather red at explaining this. He was also our year head later in the school and he didn't bat much of an eyelid when I wore brown trousers and a purple shirt to school one day - it was accompanied by the regulation tie and blazer. In the sixth form the French group arranged to boycott one of Hughie Skillen's classes in protest as his anticiapted control of teh following year's classes - we though he was a poor teacher. I admit I turned up - as the only one - but Bernie came in to our next lesson with Mrs Rutter and told us off - but did I detect a note of sympathy then.
To Chris Ricwood - please e-mail me with your re-mail address! Thanks!
The twin double doors of room A1 were a boon. Given an unobservant or distracted teacher, The back pair could be used for sneaking in and out during a lesson for a quick puff near the bike sheds. The desk nearest these doors was left unoccupied as much as possible to facilitate this. Alternatively, having been already registered in the class, one could cause confusion and hilarity by exiting rear doors and re- entering main door apologising for lateness. Only the non violent masters such as Ubi Layne would be subjected to these activities.
To be blunt I'm fed up to the teeth with hearing Bernie Marchant praised.
Buy him dinner but please don't lionise him.
I remember the Colin Marshall affair but did not know of Jeff Begley's part in it. Is it known what became of Jeff? The version I heard was that the chemical had been put into a polythene bottle which melted.....ugh.
I see Bernie Marchant in Pinner fairly often and I think he must have a portrait of himself in his attic because he looks no different now from how I remember him 50 years ago.
If Martin Elliott (Dr Elliott) ever tunes in to this site I should be interested to hear his memories of Mr M.
I repeat an earlier request, does anyone know what became of the much abused "Spargo" Rawnsley?
Nice touch there Jeff, putting the school song on the web page. The song had fallen out of use in my early years at the school but was revived about 1944. Randall Williams was inspired sometimes to indulge in a little conducting and arm waiving during its singing. He was generally not an expressive person. With all the creative minds that went through school I wonder were there ever any parodies?
I recall quite vividly 'Ted Efford'having a 'handbags' fight with'Spargo' Rawnsley(1955)and I was in the classroom when Colin Marshall caught fire-thank God for Mr. Begley!very frightening at the time! Embarrassing moment for me 4/5 yrs.after leaving HCS when house hunting I knocked on the door of Bernie Marshall!! I almost went as red as he used togo! Anybody hear from Costa Neamonitos?
Wonderful to read that Colin Dickins got suspended from school by ARS, as I was for causing Boggy Waters a near nervous breakdown, with a much simpler explosion in his lab than we`ve been reading about. And kicked out of the CCF; that`s a real honour. Colin, I have to make a trip from Calgary to Northwood, and drink you out of house and wine.
Can anyone remember when HCSB entered into the Guiness Book of Records through a marathon bar billiards event?
Did anyone see the programme 'Classic Albums' on ITV last night? It was about Deep Purple and featured our own Roger Glover quite a bit.
Can anyone confirm the dates he was at HCS, and also the Episode Six link/line?
To anyone who remembers Bernie Marchant
Bernie was my Classics master and three of us are taking him out to dinner next month, having got back in contact via reunions.
Needless to say we've forgotten all the Latin and Greek (you're supposed to, aren't you, leaving behind just the brilliantly trained logical mind?) so in case the conversation flags - if anyone has a repeatable story or two about him or his Classics colleagues of the time (Uby Lane and Ken Waller chiefly), please send them to me in the next couple of weeks.
Best wishes to all and it's been good to see yet more people stumbling on the website in recent weeks.
Alan Kershaw (1963-70)
Only discovered it from the latest Old Gaytonian and look forward to the odd browse; hopefully to hear news of erstwhile school mates. Was at the School 1942-1946.Played 1st XI cricket and for Northwick House.
Hello everyone - its been a long time!
Just discovered the site today by accident, but what a great site. I was at Gayton High school from 1981 to 1985 and the year head then was Kevin Mahon (I have read that he visits thsi site, I hope your reading). I remember some of the teachers at the time, Mr Sutton an excellent Chemistry teacher, Mr Andrews who was a Watford fan, Mr Radcliffe who seemed like a maniac at times, and the two brothers Mr Viney, one a Maths teacher, the other a Physics teacher. I also remember Mr Smallman, an Everton fan who would listen to the FA Cup round draw on Monday afternoon (Before everything changed draw wise). It would be great to hear from other students and teachers from that era. I am now living in Toronto, Canada where I have been for the last 3 years but lived in Harrow all my life before emigrating.
Thats is from me,
I'm sure you're right,Colin,about Mike B. telling you it was picric acid.I have spent 50 years wondering why the damn stuff didn't go off in his pocket.We drifted apart after I found out that he preferred Duke Ellington to traditional jazz.
It's a bit late butI was glad to discover the proper spelling of Sorbo! I had never heard of the stuff until encountering it as Hartland's nickname. He was a decent chap and a good teacher. It is heartening to learn that the interest in explosives continued after my time. I wonder what young boys do nowadays for thrills.
david wrote "That story was doing the rounds when I was at Gayton....is this the start point of an Urban legend?"
Well, I can certainly vouch for the truth of it, I was sitting two desks away. I also can vouch for the severity of injuries. I know Colin had to endure daily saline baths for the burns.
He did return the next year and repeated 2nd or 3rd form.
Sadly Jeff was expelled later. No mercy granted or credit given for his heroics.
All these lovely reminiscences! Regarding Mike Butler, he told me subsequently that it was picric acid and he was heating it in the sandtray simply "because I wanted to see what would happen." The rest is as recounted, including the tripod bit. He was involved in a fairly catastrophic motor cycle accident some years after leaving school. No crash hats in those days, and I think he sustained brain damage. Sorry, but I can't add to that. I have often wondered whether he survived and what happened to him. He actually had a brilliant mind.
As for Spud Heafield (both sic), I never heard the Fleafield story - probably apocryphal under pressure. He was a very good English teacher and I owe at least as much gratitude to him as to Beaky Fooks.
The potassium/sodium/phosphorus story is interesting. When did it happen? I had my own little adventure with sodium: someone had cocked up the field day arrangements for the CCF Naval Section and our field day was to be rowing on Ruislip Lido, no less. I thought to liven the day with some sodium, legitimately purchased and safely (well, fairly safely) kept in a screw-topped jar full of paraffin. While waiting in the quadrangle for our trip to start I lobbed a minute pellet into a puddle. Unfortunately, it went bang just as Bert Morshead walked round the corner. When he stopped gibbering he asked who had done it and I owned up cheerfully. I was dispatched to the adjutant (Reg Allen), passed to the CO (the prat Bigham), sent to the Deputy Head (Brister) and he sent me to Square. I was then suspended from school (and subsequently reinstated when Square found I'd done rather well in 'O' Level Latin). It was much later that I found out that all the overreaction was substantially because it had been suspected that, despite my open account of how I came by it, I'd nicked the sodium from the chemy lab. I was, of course, ejected from the CCF (for the second time, but that's another story). (Jeff, sorry if this has gone through twice. My first attempt just hung forever, so I had a second go.)
GHS - '80 -'83
Its interesting to hear of the story of the boy who stole the materials from the Chemistry lab & suffered the consequences....
That story was doing the rounds when I was at Gayton....is this the start point of an Urban legend?
I'm sure you recollection of the details of Colin Marshall's accident are more accurate than mine (I once achieved 7% in Chemistry)
But, looking back, Jeff Begley as a 12 year old showed remarkable composure and prevented injuries being much worse. I'd suspect these days he would have received formal recognition. However, Square treated is an embarrassing incident to be glossed over. Jeff never even received a "thank you" from him or even the minor re4cognition of his efforts being mentioned in Assembly.
My recollection is that Colin Marshall had for some reason 'appropriated' a piece of potasium (or was it sodium) - the stuff that had to be kept submerged in an oil to prevent spontaneous combustion. I recall he had wrapped this in his handkerchief and pocketed it for later use. Unfortunately, oxygen got to it too soon and he suffered the consequences mentioned.
alan Thompson's story reminds me of a boy called (Colin?) Marshall.
He concocted some kind of mixture for making fireworks, which he has in his pocket in a plastic flask.
During one of "Eggy" eager's classes (2nd form c. 1954) he bumped his leg against the metal legs of desk and it went off, setting light to his clothing.
Quick thinking by Jeff Begley probably saved his life. Jeff smothered flames with his blazer. Even so Marshall spent the best part of a year as I recall in hospital.
Was Begley given even the slightest recognition for his actions by Square ? Not a chance !!!!
HCS 1943-1947 I have read this website with interest over the past year or so. I am prompted to comment on the nicknames - particularly "Sorbo" - Dr. Hartland. "Sorbo" was a sort of foamed or expanded rubber, a precursor to "Dunlopillo", used for cushions and mattresses etc.
I remember great hilarity on a train journey to a 4th Harrow scout camp, in the mid to late '40s when the train passed the factory at Surbiton, with the advertising placard "Sorbo" in huge letters!
I also remember when "Bud" Heathfield persisted in asking one of the boys in my form about staff nicknames and despite assurances to the contrary became absolutely incensed when told he was referred to as "Fleafield"!
Whilst I'm in a reminiscing mood does anyone know what happened to my friend Mike Butler who left,I think,in 1951 just before exams? One lunch hour he showed me a test-tube full of a pale-blue liquid that he'd made which he said was nitro-glycerine.During that afternoon's Organic Chemistry lab class there was a terrific CRACK from the side bench.When we picked ourselves up from the floor Mike explained he had been heating the stuff in a beaker on a sandtray which was on a tripod-to reduce its volume.Of the beaker and sand there was no sign and only a crumpled ball of metal was left of the sandtray,the tripod being driven half an inch into the benchtop before disintegrating.Many years later I paid a return visit to the school and the holes were still there. Poor Mike,he was 'expelled'although he was allowed to write A-levels a few weeks later.I often wonder if he made as big an impact in his chosen career as he did in school.
Rev.'Dicky'Dyer was my form-master in the 2nd form.Does anyone remember his famous bicycle rides?Each boy in turn was asked to accompany him on a Saturday bike ride ostensiby to 'get to know'him better.Those who partipated seemed less than anxious to talk about their experiences afterwards so I put him off as long as possible but eventually succumbed.I got asked a lot of embarrassing personal questions about my lifestyle-such as it was-whilst eating our picnic lunch but that's all.Hardly surprising but at the end of the year he was ordained as an Anglican priest and vanished from school.
All these names! It was "Billy" Duke and "Joe" Brister. I think "Sorbeau" is enchanting, but in my day we wrote it "Sorbo" because he was shaped, and seemed bouncy, like a sorbo rubber ball. Or did we just no know the correct spelling? Eggy Webb was certainly eccentric and entertaining - but "decent"? His eccentricities included the study of small boys' paraphernalia and it was generally assumed that his sudden departure to the IoM was related to this. (I think this falls short of libel, Jeff. He must be long gone, anyway.)
And, yes, Connolly was there, minus part of his left leg lost in the war. He was one of several who bore pain with fortitude, although it sometimes led to irrascibility. He was the sort of chief catholic for RC's. Never had a nickname to my knowledge. Lovely dry wit.
In the interesting notes posted on the site re the armoury, the following appears. "On the left, in a room which once had twin "floppy" doors and was called 'A1' is the office of the current School Administrator"
Wasn't this room know as "The Saloon" precisely because of the twin doors. And wasn't it superbly satisfying to burst violently through the doors...
An interesting coincidence. We sent our two boys to King Williams in 1975. It was a sort of HCS by the sea. They did well there and enjoyed it as much as I imagine boarding school can be enjoyed. I'll ask them to check up on Eggy. He was not there in 1975. The Isle of Man is a good place to teach because of the advantageous income tax regulations. I remember Eggy best for his yoga performance. He stood on his head with legs crossed in the classic lotus position and stripped to the waist so he could show us how he could wiggle his stomach muscles. He would swim the length of the school pool underwater which impressed me.
If I recall correctly Eggy Webb went to teach Biology at King William's College on the Isle of Man when he left HCS.One of his lessons,I remember,involved him eating an apple entirely,skin,flesh,core,pips,the lot pointing out at each stage the health advantage in so doing.I remember it particularly as I have done that myself ever since.He was a vegetarian,I believe,at a time when such people were considered odd. Does anyone recall an Irishman Mr.Connolly who taught me 5th Form English in 47-48?He had a gammy leg,a war injury perhaps.He threatened to report the whole form to the police for operating our crystal sets in the classroom without radio licences.
How the nicknames arose is an interesting question. Some were clearly based on physical attributes - Beaky Fooks for his prominent, thin nose, Swanny Amos for his long neck, Spadger Heyes was a cruel one as the poor fellow was obliged to walk with the aid of two sticks,there was also Creeper Davis who at some time before mine had been obliged to wear plimsoles to alleviate a foot condition. Another overlooked one is Sorbeau Hartland for his bouncy walk. With the initials E.G., Eggy is simply too easy. by the way, I recall hearing that E.G.Webb went to teach on the Isle of Man. He was a very decent sort of person and a good teacher but certainly one of the more eccentric ones who as a class, appear to have earned many of the nicknames, e.g. Twink Bradley! Good teachers who ran a 'tight ship', like Duke and Brister, were never given nicknames.
Nice thought Phil, but... Even in the early seventies there were enderarments such as 'Gimpy', 'Pea - tits' and 'Bender' - there must be / have been worse. Maybe the boat trip is a better idea..!
Never realised we had two "Eggies" OUR's was E. G. Webb, who taught Hygiene, and was considered a very decent chap, but somewhat eccentric. He wasn't that old when he left HCS, but does anyone out there know where he went to ? Which makes me wonder if we can come up with some kind of glossary, if that is the right word, of all the wonderful (and notso) nicknames of the staff over all these years. For example we could start with, who else ?
ARS = Dr. Simpson Beaky = Fooks Boggy = Walters Charlie = Crinson Killer = King Spadger - Heys
and then cross-refer the whole thing to come up with:
A.A. Amos = Swanny King = Whiff, or Whiffy Simpson = Square, ARS, and lot more
What do you think Jeff, with I assume your boat on Long Island Sound, which you never have time to use because you are so dedicated to this site ?
It's very sad to hear of the passing of the Norman twins,Derek and Roy.I was hoping to meet up with them again when I return to the UK next year. If anyone has a copy of an obituary for either I would be grateful for a copy or a scan.
I visit the site c. once a month and always look at the new items list. The work in keeping this going is much appreciated.
Bob (Robert) Wallace HCS 1963-70
to Cris Young,
"eggy" noise was "Her Hmmmmmmmmmmmm" a phrae he often used.
With Spargo Rawnsley "Cuckoo" drove him wild.
I have just found your website, and think that it is excellent. I'm now making regular visits, and have to admit that I'm quite 'hooked' on it. Some of the comments and anecdotes on the message board have brought about a smile or two.
I attended HCS between 1954-1960, and although I don't remember any of the names sending the emails, I do recognise names and faces in some of the photographs, particularly Class 1D of 1954. Dickie Head used to take the mickey out of Mr Eagers (fondly known as 'Eggy'), mimicking his voice and mannerisms unmercifully. There was a noise that we used to make that was associated with 'Eggy', but for the life of me, I cannot recall what it was. I also remember a certain master from my first year who regularly scaled the windowsills to open/shut the sash windows in a classroom on the Sheepcote Road side of the school. Supporting himself with one hand, Tarzan style, he would regale us with stories of days spent under sail at sea. I don't know whether he was trying to impress us with tales of daring-do, or his physical prowess. Was that really 'Twink'?
I have to say that I'm very impressed with the professions of a number of ex-pupils mentioned on this site, barristers, politicians, television producers among them. I suppose that the school, and masters who taught there (some, I believe, are still around), deserve a lot of credit, not least, our thanks. Unfortunately, I myself, never rose to those 'dizzy heights', having spent most of my working life in payroll administration. All very boring, but it did keep the wolf from the door.
I have lived in Swindon now for 33 years (well, somebody has to), and was amazed to discover that dear old Harry Mees lives just a few miles up the road in Cirencester.
Would gladly welcome contact from any other old reprobates of these times, or indeed, anybody else who would take the trouble to email me.
Regards Tony Knight
Gaytonians - one more vote of thanks to Jeff.
The site has completed its second year of hits. Last year's average to 14 November 2001 was 112 hits per day. In the last year it has gone up to 146 hits.
Thank you Jeff!
Great website, recommended to me by Ken Childerhouse who was at HCS with me from 1951-7? Bingham hated me because I wasn't a cadet. He taught(?) me biology, Amos hated me because I couldn't get over that wretched horse, and Square at least tolerated me as I was a fairly keen scout.(4th. Harrow Merrymen stag patrol.) Many faces in the photos vaguely familiar as they stare out from the mists of time. What days!
Great web site. Found it through Friends Reunited. Brings back a mixture of memories, mostly good. Now living in Worthing.It would be good to get in touch with anyone who remembers me from HCS or Priestmead.
Have just stumbled across this website, having had no contact with either the school or other former pupils since leaving in 1959. This is primarily because I left the Middlesex area as soon as I left school, settling first in Herts, then Bucks, before a big leap to Cumbria where I have lived for the last 24 years. I greatly enjoyed the reminiscences, and long-lost memories have started to come flooding back. Not much material on my period though (1954-59), nor any direct references to any of my closest 'mates', as far as I can see. Naturally, I would like to contribute some of my own recollections, but first, will need to spend a little time dredging the depths of memory to see what I can come up with! I may also have some photographs tucked away somewhere. Thanks for producing this wonderful trip down Memory Lane. John Clark.
Mention of George Cowan and boys' names reminds me of a story I heard about him:
GHC: Good Morning gentlemen
First Form: Good morning Sir.
GHC: Now, I like to be on first-name terms with every boy in the school, so I'm going to try and learn all your names. Is that alright with you, Ian?
Ian Garrod: Yes, George
(sharp intake of breath all round)
Mention of George Cowan and boys' names reminds me of a story I heard about him:
GHC: Good Morning gentlemen First Form: Good morning Sir. GHC: Now, I like to be on first-name terms with every boy in the school, so I'm going to try and learn all your names. Is that alright with you, Ian? Ian Garrod:
I might be able to add a few names to the photographs, particularly "Form Viii - 1954". I don't think that is the correct nomenclature, but then I may be wrong. Sad to hear about Jim Golland, who is in the picture. Malcolm McGregor Monterey California.
Like Ye Min a couple of months ago, I've just stumbled on this site. I was in the same year and sometimes same form as Ye and I don't remember any other non-white face in our year other than Ye until Bharj turned up in my fourth year. I too felt something of a misfit, which I put down to my parents lack of membership of at least one of Conservative Club, Golf Club, Tennis Club etc. as well my lack of interest in the CCF or classics. I certainly blotted my copybook as far as Bingham was concerned. I formed an impression of a miasma of class prejudice rather than anything racial, but as a white chap of working class origin myself, I could have overlooked the latter. I was reminded of Mr. Cowan's memory of small boy's names by John Cleese with his P.A. at the beginnig of the film Clockwise but I don't suppose Mr. Cowan ever got into any similar scrapes as depicted in the rest of the film. Unless anyone know's different [sic].
Alex - I was going to drop you a line about the programme, because I tuned into it accidentally about 15 mins in. You should have warned us that your life's work was going to be on... One thing that's bugging me - right at the end the commentator talked about the 6 targets attacked - unless I fell asleep half way through, I only recall three being mentioned: Mohne, Eder and Sorpe? Regards -- PV
Yes David that was me, and in fact i am more chuffed to have been recognised than to have my name there in the first place!!
I have been researching the raid for some 20 years, starting with some autograph collecting while still at Gayton, and am now the only person (as far as I know) who has traced photos of not only all 147 aircrew on the Squadron at the time, but also 25 or so who joined and left by the time of the raid.
With this one I checked the script, provided all the drawings shown, and a number of contacts and photos. I am sure it will be shown next May (the 60th anniversary), but I am now working on another, a big 3 parter for Channel 4 due out the same time.
A school prize for you dave!
Was I the only person who noticed a credit for a certain 'Alex Bateman' at the end of a programme on the Dam Busters last week ? (It was the first credit that appeared at the end of the Programme - so that is not as sad an admission as it sounds !!)
There can't be too many Alex Batemans with interests in Military Aviation - so ...Alex - own up, was it you? If so - good to see another Old Gayt getting his name up in lights ...well sort of .
What a GREAT WEB SITE and all in the last year or so. The presence of two names prompted me to write. Is that Peter Leeson the former Air Force Cadet WO Leeson (Peter) last seen outside Chester Cathedral with his RAF father in 1965 or thereabouts? The same Pete Leeson who took part in the Advanced 6th trip to Cambridge to check out the worthyness of the place for futhering our education? If so then thanks Pete for pointing out Royston Ellis' history and his website to which I turned with much interest. What a great life the man has led. But wait.....surely this is the same Royston Ellis from the Fourth Harrow Pathfinders Scout Troop? No mention of that on his web site so perhaps my memory is playing me tricks after these years. But his accomplishments are many and my hat goes off to him.
Bits and pieces of HCS seem quite fresh although its 50 years ( and a couple of weeks) that we were called into assembly in the middle of the day to be told of the Harrow and Wealdstone Rail disaster and to be directed on where not to go and how to behave.
Will use some of the increasing long evenings to dig out some photos and add some names to the blanks on some already posted.
Again my compliments to all concerned ... particularly in assembling the photos.
Dick Worsfold 1952-1959
I was at HCS 1969 - 1976, played Rugby, the fool and the melodeon. I was probably the least popular boy in my year - at least it seemed like it at the time. I'm now teaching Biology at Merchant Taylors' School in Crosby, Liverpool.
V. impressed by this website - extensive, interesting and well-contructed. Well done, Jeff Maynard, whoever you are!
I popped in to the old pile last week (my father's in Northwick Park having a series of strokes) and met Alex Bateman, who has taken over the Prefect's Common Room. he was kind enough to show me round. Hasn't it changed!
Memories: Making nitrogen triiodide in our last chemistry lesson and sprinkling it on the floor outside the Head's study. Ronnie Hulman lost his eyebrows in one of the explosions. Drinking vast quantities of Pelforth Brun on the Rugby tour to Narbonne. Being caned in the Sixth Form for 'stealing' a padlock from someone's desk during the late lamented Jim Golland's lesson (I was going to put it back, honest!) and being made a prefect shortly afterwards. Keith Neal getting very embarrassed trying to teach us what we already knew about sex. Chris Temple buying me my first legal pint in the Castle on Harrow Hill, one Friday lunchtime.
Anyone share these?
Remembrance Day - Monday 11th November 2002, 10.30am at School. Please come. Meet in the Library - the Old School Hall. Former Staff and Old Gaytonians join with the present School in their commemoration of Remembrance Day. Remembering Old Gaytonians who gave their lives in the service of their country from 1914 to 1995.
Not having visited the site for some weeks, I was very sorry to hear of the death of Paul Oliver's wife, Val.
Paul was, at the HCS, many years ahead of his time, and I still vividly remember him during an art class holding up one of my "paintings" (around 1958)and saying "and who painted this rubbish?"
I still remember that it was my best effort at a picture of "Romans", and consisted of two hills (ooogh - subtle hint of breasts?) on which stick soldiers fought & died.
Paul - if you ever read this, please remember that there are ex-pupils out there who remember you with a great deal of sincere affection, even if we totally failed as artists !! (I am now a technical environmental manager).
Hello folks, I have a postcard of "The Machine" (SI596) autographed by J N Boothman and G H Stainforth (unfortunately not dated).
I have had the card for about 30 years since a great uncle of mine gave it to me.
I have just found the card in my old stamp collection and done a Google search. It go me to your website. I'm now interested to find out how he came to have the card.
Regarding Derek Norman: I can now confirm that his funeral will be at Ruislip Crematorium (Breakspear Road) at noon on Wednesday next, 30th October.
Congrats to Barry Nickels (22 Oct 2002) for having survived HCS and mastering German. While I was there (1946-1951) the system managed to fail an Austrian (Brandt) and a group from the Travel Club in Schruns-Tschugguns in deep Voralberg learned more German in the locals bars, in 1951, than in the entire history of HCS to date. Where are you Ron Simpson ? And Sheila Humphreys ? Maybe Dave Maddox knows ?
I believe that Chris McManus in his article on scrotal asymmetry that is quoted on this site by John Lever, has overlooked an important religious component. Surely the subjects of ancient Greek statues are all of gods? One would expect them to be different.
I started at Harrow County in 1956, but left in December 1959 as we moved house (during my fourth year). I therefore missed the (probably) more interesting O Level and A Level years. I sometimes think back to the building - is it still the same, with those narrow staircases? I went to a less pressured school,and thence to Birmingham University,where I graduated in German and have been teaching German ever since, for the last thirty years in Harrogate. Moving from HCS actually shaped my career, as I had not been very good at German, but my new school started it in Year 4 and this time it clicked! My first Form Teacher was Mr. Marchant (who once slippered me for arriving late) and then for the next three years it was Mr. Kincaid, a very decent man. Does anybody out there remember me?
Sorry to have to report that I've just heard that Derek Norman died at the weekend. Twin brother of Roy, who died a couple of years ago, he was at School about 1944-51. I believe the funeral will be Wednesday 30th October, although this is not confirmed. Anyone who would like details please e-mail me and I'll come back with more when I know it. This is a notice, not an obituary, but I cannot fail to mention what an extraordinarily nice man he was and how much he will be missed by those who knew him.
Following the recent success of Paul Nurse, on in being awarded a Nobel Prize, some acclaim might also go to another HCSB almunus, Chris McManus (1962-69, I think), who was recently awarded an "Ignobel Prize". (see below, courtesy of The Observer)
The grounds for the award were undoubtedly much less worthy than those for Sir Paul, but much more entertaining. What did a Professor of Psychology have in mind, when embarking on such a study?
"Robin McKie, science editor Sunday October 13, 2002 The Observer
The sight of a pair of testicles on a Greek statue led Chris McManus to his first international award last week. At Harvard University, the psychologist was presented with the 2002 IgNobel prize for medicine after publishing a definitive paper on 'Scrotal asymmetry in man and in ancient sculpture.' McManus had noted a key fact missed by generations of medical experts: that Greek statues' left testicles are always larger than right ones. On real males, the right bollock is always the mightier.
'The right testicle is also higher, and Greeks assumed this meant it had to be lighter and smaller,' the University College London psychologist told The Observer . 'Unfortunately, they were wrong.'
The end result of this observation, backed by hours of squinting at statues of naked men, was a paper published in Nature which led to McManus's IgNobel prize, one of 10 annual awards given for research 'that cannot, or should not, be repeated.'
The prizes, presented in the same week as real Nobels and handed out by actual laureates, are intended to prove there is no limit to the depths of human ingenuity, particularly if there is a chance of a research grant at the end of it."
At my laptop in my attic studio (OK, it overlooks the beach and the Indian Ocean) at my home (for the past 22 years) in Sri Lanka, at 5am (I start work early) I was amazed to find an email from Jeffrey Maynard telling me to check the guest book, and then saw Peter's astonishing recollection of some of my past misdeeds. Thanks, Peter. My version of my career is on www.roystonellis.com
Back in 1957 or 8 I remember hearing that a kid from the year before me had left the school after the fourth form. I knew this guy only by sight. Two years later I saw his photo in the Daily Mirror. He was wearing sandals, a duffle coat and had grown a straggly beard and was described in mocking and disapproving terms as a "beat poet". Forward to 1989. I was working late and was listening to an interview with Paul McCartney. McCartney mentioned our man as an early influence on the Beatles. So thats where the fab four heard HCS words like "grotty" I thought.
Today, for no special reason, I did a Google search and found his website, www.roystonellis.com. Apparently he put the "a" in "beatles" and was the original "paperback writer". His biography states " Royston Ellis was born 10 Feb 1941 in Pinner, England,and educated at state school, until he left, aged 16, determined to be a writer...". The following two quotes also caught my eye "to write first and think afterwards is still his bad habit" (school report 1950) and "he has robust power of expression" (John Betjeman, Daily Telegraph, 1959)
Well done Royston mate. How many of us didn't have the bottle let alone the talent. Personally I was a slow starter, staying on to Schol IV.
On the other hand, I suppose some might argue that even H.C.S dropouts left their mark on popular culture! Thats the trouble with the being ex Harrow County, you just can't dismiss the place or quite sum it up.
Thanks for the website.
Peter Leeson 1953-9
...did you suddenly realise it was rubbish Nick?
Is there anyone out there who would like to write some profiles of staff members (not libellous ones!) for this website? There is a recent photograph of Mr. Groombridge, who taught Science from 1945 to 1970 at http://www.jeffreymaynard.com/harrow_county/CecilGroombridge2002.htm
A profile of Mr. Groombridge would be useful. There were also a number of members of staff who retired 1975-80 when there do not seem to have been any issues of "Gaytonian". Articles about them are needed!
does anybody know the whereabouts of Richard Ewing William Mercer, born 1920. At Harrow in the 30's. He is the son of Cecil Mercer.
Sorry to hear of the death of Phil Carden , he was quite a character, used to be a journalist on The Times, he was very involved in Harrow St Marys Sports and Social Club in Roxborough Road Harrow and lived for a long time around the corner from the Club for many years. When i first joined the club in approx 1984 Phil was the Secretary of the main club committee and he was a great help to me as i was invoved in the Sunday football section that used the club.Phil left the Committee later in the 1980s but was always around the park especially during the Cricket season.I have been Secretary of the Adult Saturday Football Section for some years and many Old Gaytonians have played either football or cricket at the club over the years.Harrow St Marys has been going for even longer than Harrow County having records going back to 1881 and were the 1st football team to play a match at the new Wembley Stadium in 1923 before the West Ham v Bolton Cup Final Remember the White Horse. I last saw Phil in early May when he came into the club for one of the 1st cricket games of the season, he was in good form. Best Wishes Dave Campbell
Not quite Harrow County Mark, but Darren Molloy the Wasps prop was a one time regular for the Old Gaytonians Rugby Club so you must have 'got a whiff'of old boy...
Very interested to see the site for the first time.
It has brought back a lot of memories - good and bad - of my time at HCSB, then Gayton High, then Lowlands 6th Form College.
The last time I mentioned Harrow County in conversation was at the recent Bath v Wasps match... I wonder if any other ex-pupils were there?
Its was good to come across this site and see the photos of the first year when I was there 1971. It seems that there are a few of my vintage that have submitted comments. Would be nice to hear from anyone who were my contemporaries.
I was searching my family name, and found the entry for my Uncle (Peter Barnley).
Hi Keith , Yes I was amazed when I stumbled across this site.Recently I had come across an old photo' of the Vaughan Road football team of 1970 so I was already primed for a bit of nostalgia ! Philip Buck's family moved to Birmingham about the same time I went to NZ. Yes he had a very well-formed older sister , Debra (not sure if she realised the effect she had on the local 12 year olds!) Yes you remembered my sister's name and she is fine, married with children etc. You mentioned your mother and that triggered some memories. I am sure she had grown up in British Honduras and you always had a number of stories to tell the kids at school such as the classic "tarantula under the pillow" tale and other horrors that lurked in the jungles of Central America ! Great to make contact , I'll dig out that old photo at some stage and email it to you .
All the best Leigh
To: Robert Bogin, re Yogi Bear. Well, no, actually I never did feel guilty. Perhaps because on reflection I wasn't actually responsible for launching it at Basil Spence. I just bought the thing.
But how very sad that we had to seek amusement in such pathetic ways. Were we so starved of fun?
Does anyone else remember Yogi? I've found some pictures, so with luck they'll show up on the website some days soon.
Re photo of Cricket 1st X1 1946 from Stan Weary, the master on Sammy Watson's left is K.O. (Knockout) Evans not Charlie Crinson of the cigarette burn in the immaculate silver-grey worsteds.
Knockout was a Welshman who taught history and whose claim to fame was that he had played cricket for Glamorgan before the war. Cheers. Roy.
Great to see you found the website. Mum mentioned you had been on there. I often wondered what happened to you after you left UK. I kept in touch with David Stone until early 80's. He was studying dentistry if I recall right. What happened to Philip Buck (or Book as Taffy Evans at Vaughan called him.) I remember he had a rather attractive older sister !!! Hope Katherine is well - shocked I remembered that name !!
Anyway will write on regular e-mail. Pink Floyd...now you mention it, the visit certainly rings a bell but I don't know where from. Maybe some others will remember.
All best Keith
What a strange website!I was at Gayton from 78 to 82.My memories of the school are very mixed. Many good friends & a lot of laughs but I think it was an unhealthy environment. Looking back there were a lot of unhappy kids & a lot of violence that seemed to be tolerated so that it became the norm. I also remember hating Friday afternoons when we were all subjected to rugby & the subsequent humiliation of "showers boys". Some nostalgic memories - waiting for the 140 bus & the "bundle",the prospect of sex education with Miss Freeman(if only!),the tuck shop, the video club that amazingly screened the Exorcist & Last Tango in Paris- a true education for 15 year olds, some great mates. Anyway I would love to hear from anyone who remembers me--- firstname.lastname@example.org
Just found the site. How recent many of the entries are? My dates at Harrow County are 1938-44 - the days of Randall Williams. Is anyone else there from that era? I remember particularly 551 Squadron ATC, Commanding Officer Billie Duke.
Your early photographs (1923) of the athletics and football teams show my dad. He is still alive, aged 96 this November. I appear in 1D 1960, 2C 1961 and %(1) 1965. I am in the Far East at the moment, but when I get home I can fill in some of the missing names for you. Do you want me to send the names to you?
I was just trawling around and hit on the Old Gaytonians Society. Fantastic. That really got my memory going! I was at HCS from 1929-1933. This was the era of Randall Williams. Teachers were Beakie Fooks, Spadger Hays, George Thorn, Bill Duke, et. etc. Classmates were the late Cardew the Cad, Reg Bright, CeeDee Panchauud, Bert Roberts. Are any of you guys still around???
To: Nicholas de Lange So, all these years of thinking that the 5th Form were responsible only to find that a member of Advanced VI (who should have known better) was the perpetrator. I am sure you feel that a weight has been lifted from your shoulders now and you can enjoy the rest of your life without the burden of this heinous deed upon your conscience. I am proud to have been the catalyst for this noble outcome.
Great to find this site while stumbling around the 'net and even more amazing to find all four class photos from my 1st form year.I went to HCGS from Vaughan Rd Junior School and attended the school in 1971 and 1972.My parents then decided that they would look for a different life in New Zealand , where I have lived ever since.Amazing how many memories come flooding back and my time at HCGS is particularly well remembered.I guess this is because my last childhood memories of the UK are very much intertwined with my time at HCGS. Looking at the old photo of Form 1K in 1971 caused a huge amount of mickey taking from my 13 year old son , in NZ the kids wear shorts and a very casual shirt right through to their final high school years so my tie and blazer looked quite bizarre to his eyes. A few memories and a question: mates that I went through Vaughan junior school with as well as to HCGS- Michael Angus(who lived in the Apollo pub!), David Stone,Philip Buck,Keith Greatbatch. Being forced to play rugby!I was a keen soccer man (and still play at 42 years of age) Even in NZ in the early 70s,schools gave you the option of playing rugby or soccer(though playing soccer in NZ back then,certainly cast doubts on your sexuality!) Fancied myself as a bit of a scrapper , but got a shocking hiding by David stone(actually a good mate of mine)at the front of the school one morning(big crowd in attendance),served me right and certainly ended my interest in pugilism. Lastly, can someone clear up something that has bothered me for years. As an avid heavymetal/rock fan throughout the 70s and early 80s , can someone confirm that Deep Purple visited the school during my time there 71 or 72 ? I'm sure they visited to talk to the 6th Form Society (whatever that was) I'd love to know , or did I dream this and have been talking bull...t all these years.
I switched on BBC1 this morning to catch the headlines. Who do I see taking part in a debate on railways but a certain Michael Woods? There is a sneaking suspicion that this is the Michael Woods mentioned on this website under Some Old Gaytonians.
Well done, Sir!
Having left England in 1978 I often (cyber)visit and was very glad to see the site.
I was at hcgs from 1961 - 1965 and give my regards to all.
and Jeff, thanks for all the work.
To Robert Bogin (17 July):
I think I have to plead guilty tgo the inflatable Yogi Bear. I sent off for him with some tokens from something or other, and he became the form mascot of ... perhaps A VI A 1960?
Rooting around in my personal archive I've come across a spoof form photograph with Yogi as form master. Also various other pictures of him having fun at school. I'll try to send them in or scan them. Just in case anyone cares at this distance.
Nicholas de Lange
There was a celebration of Val Oliver's life last Sunday in Oxford. Paul Oliver sends his thanks to all those who have sent their condolences. Harrow County was represented by Tony Smith, President of Magdalene College, Norman Anderson's wife and son, and me.
I hope to interview Paul for this website in December.
Correct Peter! Although you might if you were 'subterranean' I suppose. Whatever the weather, the board is on the move again!
You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
When I was at school, the Weathermen were 'student radicals' from Berkeley and Columbia Universities - in the US. As much as I knew then, Columbia made records and Berkeley was a Square. What a coincidence...
Interesting to note that Phillip Avery was born at Dunfermiline - Square's home town. Are there deep implications here or simply coincidence?
PS. I'd never heard of him and now I have: who says this site's useless?
I see I am in the Athletics Team Photo 1955,back row second in from the right. I have some other photos of "Richard 11" performance. I will scan and send in due course. Enjoyed the Behind the Scenes Reunion earlier this year.
Following on Alan Taylor's post, the boy in the back row is certainly David Douglas (aka "Dodo"). Also, the christian name / first name / given name / forename for Field in the front row is Malcolm.
Regards to all.
Edward Kerr (HCS - 1960-66)
I think the person between Dave Waller and Clive Maddox on the newly posted photo of 2D 1964 could possibly be "Dodo" Douglas. Never did know his christian name (sorry his first name to be politically correct)He went on the Educational Cruise in 1967.
On a whim, I was looking for any reference to my boss from the 80s who told me he went to HCGSB. He's not my boss anymore, more of a mate! Anyway, I can't find anything about him. Does anyone know of him. His name is Robin Winter. He is about 60, so I guess that puts him at HC around 53-63. More than that I do not know! Any little anecdote with which to pull his leg would be welcome! And, of course, if any of his contemporaries want to get in touch, I will be happy to pass addresses or emails on to him, though I don't think he's particularly computer minded!
Dyb Alex...Seems to be a PC problem as there is a forward arrow, back arrow, cursor arrow but no 4th 'arrow.
To Paul Phillips. Joe Avery is still in the Bristol area, and I think on the board of governors of either Bristol Grammar or Bristol University. I have had infrequent contact with him, and he has been invited to some of the last few School functions, like the 90th, but has not been able to attend for various reasons. As for Avery the weatherman, I have seen that and wondered too... I was at the School about 5 years after Mr A left, so can only go by the photos I've seen of the forehead!
To Richard Lee. Good to see you on site again. I have also had trouble with the 4th Harrow site. Jon Grogan lives about 50 yards from me but there has been no one in when I called. Emails have not as yet been answered either. Can anyone else provide an answer?
I was at HCS from 1954 to 1963 - it brings back a lot of memories reading the guest book - some happy, some not! - and I look in on it quite regularly. Can anyone give me the e-mail address of John Weeks? - he would have been at HCS approx 1955 to 1964 - the last I heard, some years ago, was that he was teaching in Manchester. Also does anyone know if there is a problem with the 4th Harrow web site - I have tried many times to log on to it without success - but perhaps it is at my end?
We often see on this site comments concerning the whereabouts of various teachers. After he left to go to Bristol Grammar in 1975 what happened to J. R. Avery? Also by any chance is Philip Avery, the weatherman on the BBC related? Seems to have the same broad forehead and wavey hair.
Ye Min, you were not the only 'non white' face at the school by any means, and who the hell cares anyway? I was at HCS 1965-72 and nobody gave a **** what colour you were, just what sort of a bloke you were. That was what was important.
I enjoyed your web site, but had trouble viewing certain aspects. I found that I had to download specific requests before viewing them. I would like to know more about your girls sisterschool, and receive an application. My home address is: 7 Old Redding Road Easton, Ct. 06612 USA Thank you in advance, Judy Poley
With the sad passing of Jim Golland, a suggestion was made in this guestbook by Ian Gawn that maybe a fund could be set up, with donations coming from former pupils, staff amd friends, which could in turn be given annually as an English Prize at Harrow High in Jim's name.
As the planned memorial service in October has now been cancelled, several have spoken to feel they would still like to do something.
I'd welcome peoples views on the prize fund idea, which could be overseen by the Old Gaytonians Association or me.
Just a quick Hi to Lincoln Ashong who was in my year. I just remember you particularly because your dad worked with mine for a while at Harrow Council. All those names warmly familiar. I'm still in regular touch with Malcolm Taylor, Mike Castile, Ray Farrow and Paul Dunmore so HCS lives on!
Stumbled upon this site today and have been trawling its distant memories. I'm on the IC photo for 1963 - a shock to the system! Cant say that I have fond memories of the place as an educational establishment. I think mine was the only non-white face in the whole school picture. We all know it was an elitist place etc etc. I feel my education was thwarted there by not fitting into the square hole. Where are the antischool memories? Those who pushed against the system? Do you remember ARS/cOWAN ranting about the theft of cutlery from the dining room and the sound of a fork being dropped at the back of the hall! All those detentions. Cowan asked me how many I had to do and I'd lost count by then. And being shocked by my pal lighting a joint on his way to dentention in 1965. Amazing that Cowan learned all our names in a few days and then our positions on the photo. Scarey man. Ye Min
I really don't think that beats me, does it Graham!?! Anyway, I don't care what they say I won't stay in a World Without Love.....
Cheers mate, hope to see you at a Flagpole gathering soon, Spence
Doesn't really beat me, does it Graham!! Anyway, I don't care what they say I won't stay in a World Without Love....
Can I beat Spence Smiths 'claim to fame'? Back in the late Sixties I was taking piano lessons just four doors away from where I am sitting typing this in Harrow Weald; unbeknown to me at the time, a couple of years earlier a young Gordon Waller was doing exactly the same thing on exactly the same piano; he went on to record hits as part of the duo Peter and Gordon.....I needless to say didn't!! A few years earlier even than this, Gordon used to ride his bicycle near to where my Dad worked in Headstone Lane; quite often he would ask my Dad if he would pump his tyres up for him; that's my Dad's claim to fame! I wonder what happened to Gordon? I recall Peter Asher became a record producer for the likes of Linda Rondstat amongst many others.
Finally I too remember well the concerts that used to take place at both the Granada and Dominion Cinemas and seeing the likes of Marianne Faithfull, The Hollies, Dave Clark Five, Dave Berry, etc. Wonderful days !!!
Bye for now Graham Gall (HCS 1965-1972)
It was a most memorable experience to attend Gayton High school from september 1991 until july 1995. It certainly shaped my character, and i learnt a lot about life. It is without a doubt the fondest memories i have of school life. Experiences from winning awards for everything academic and sporting to being ordered to "Go and wait under the Clock!!". Also the teachers of that time will always be appreciated for all their help!! Virtus non Stemma!!
Joined Harrow County in 1969 from Marlborough primary school along with Robert Bonner, Trevor Moss,Mark Walmsley and Mark Jackson. Left Harrow County in 1976 with 3 unexpected 'A' levels and joined Barclays Bank - I've been with the same company for 26 years now !!! Married with 2 boys aged 16 and 14 who are both taller than me now. Cuurently living in Hayes and working in Ruislip. Northwick house rules.
Attended 1942-46. Remember the "ruins" very well - and that we had to address lady teachers as 'Sir'.
One the subject of extracurricular music, does anyone remember Bill Reid (about 1945-50)? A great devotee of traditional jazz and founder member of Paul Oliver's Afro-American Music Society, he got involved in the scene originally with the Hill City Stompers (ugh!) who played and practised at Pinner County. They subsequently settled on the Trevor Williams Jazz Band as an unexciting but of-the-era name. He was the only Old Gayt in the band - in fact he only became a playing member when double bassist Geoff Williams emigrated and left a hole in the band and his instrument to Bill. For some years in the 1950's they played in Richardson's Rehearsal Rooms in Gerrard Street, before it became Chinatown. I used to do the door with Bob Shave and it was, in fact, where I met my wife.
Bill's particular talent was organisation and he started putting on concerts in Wembley Town Hall about 1956. I remember, among others, the Chris Barber band a couple of times with the delicious but ill-fated Ottilie Patterson and George Melly (slim then) mincing around and singing wonderfully - and raunchily, by the standards of the time. We, Bill's mates, used to help out for nothing in the early days and would get treated to a decent meal later.
Subsequently, Bill progressed his promotional career and opened at least one club in somewhere like Swindon. I would hear of him from time to time, but haven't seen him since the late 1950's.
I'd be delighted to hear any news of him.
To return for a moment to nostalgia about coffee. Up to the time I left school in 1947 I do not believe anybody, including staff, ever drank coffee. A furtive cup of tea would be brought from the kitchen for a master by a helper called Dolly but us boys got nothing. I wonder if instant coffee came later? All I recall was a disgusting fluid called Camp coffee. The real stuff was available at restaurants. As sixth formers we had the run of town while we wandered between classes at school, the old Harrow Tech and Harrow School. There was a coffee shop called Ann's Pantry opposite the cinema on the way to Wealdstone, that we favoured, at least until the day Randall Williams took the governors there for a treat only to find they had to wait for seats. RW was never noted for his great sense of humour and on this occasion lost it altogether. By good fortune I was elsewhere at the time.
Musical nostalgia! It's not what it used to be but no doubt it soon will be.
I was browsing through a biography of Keith Moon, wondering whether there would be any mention of the Railway Hotel where The Who used to play.
I was amazed to discover that Keith Moon answered an opportunity in 1962 to attend an audition at 77 Lowlands Road. This was until about ten years ago the headquarters of Harrow East Conservative Association. One presumes the swingers of Harrow East were NOT present when Moon the Loon strutted his stuff. Mind you, remembering some of the people in Harrow East, it's an intriguing thought...
Mr Moon is no more
The Railway Hotel is no more
77 Lowlands Road is no more
The Conservative Party is on its way to being no more...I got out just in time.
Answering the plea for Gaytonians of a later era, I attended 80-84. Regularly keep abreast of postings and love the nostalgia of my predecessors. As Alex Batemen was in the same year as me, he has identified all the teachers I can recall from our time their, unfortunately the apparent high turnover means we are both unable to identfiy a fair few from two years after we departed. Adding to the great music debate, I can contribute the following; Living in Sudbury Hill, Ginger Bakers mums house was on my paper round at the top of the Hill. Bugger to cycle up to with all the Sunday supplements, but an excellent whizz home at the end. John Burgess lives on Sudbury Hill right at the lights on the Greenford Road. One of the original AIR Studios producers with George Martin, he used to look after Peter & Gordon, Freddie and the Dreamers and probably his finest work with the Pipkins, "Gimme Dat Ding" (?) I used to talk to him when at EMI at we used to discuss the state of live music at the Rising Sun. Loud was my observation, but did see the Glitter Band there once. Those still local can verify the fact, his big red BMW has the plate J8URG.... Rod Stewart was in the nearby Sudbury Tandoori one night after a gig at Wembley. About the only time the place has had a flame red Ferrari outside and bursting with leggy blondes.... Also went out with a girl for a while who flatted with Shelia Carter-Dimmock, ex of Episode Six, from which Roger Glover went off to Deep Purple. He was at a Bar B Q at the flat at the time, but Deep Purple were in litigation with EMI so I was afraid I might blurt out something I wasn't supposed to.... Since my previous postings, David Munns has now progressed to be number 2 in the EMI Music Worldwide. If he reads this site, could he do something about my share price please ?
I still want to know what happened to those HCS musicians suc as:
David Shapiro who went to Italy and founded The Rokes - they were top of the pops for years
Mick Barker who when I last heard of him was one of the great session guitarists
Graham Dimmock of Unit 4 + 2 who went to the US?
Re one nighters at the Granada
Remember going to see Helen Shapiro there in 61 or 62. My first ever live music - I must have been 12
Further to Spence Smith's comment, the harp player on My Boy Lollipop and Hold Me (P.J.Proby) is Pete Hogman who played with Jimmy Powell and the Dimensions, backing group to many of the US blues artists visiting UK in the late 50's and 60's. Pete later was in a group called Calico String Band with John Storey (HCS 1959-1966)- John had played with a group at HCS called Plum Nellie with Keith Sohl and I cannot remember who else. The music shop in Springfield Road (Volume One) was a centre for much of the local group activity. Pete Hogman now lives in the Isle of Wight and plays in a fine group called Hoggie and the Sharpetones. I see him regularly and although in poor health recently, he is still a fine harp player and multi instrumentalist. Does anyone remember the Folk Club at The Target in Northolt which I ran for a couple of years in the late 60's/early Seventies? We had some good people there, Diz Dizley, Malcolm Price, Ralph McTell etc. Following other entries, I remember Bobbie Vee & The Crickets at the Granada (not long after Buddy Holly's death) and also Paul Anka at the Dominion. The Watford show mentioned was the Everly Bros and Bo Diddley plus The Stones with Little Richard as special guest. Little Richard apparently suffered a heart attack during the performance and the cry 'is there a doctor in the house?' went up. A character in a white coat with a stethoscope appeared and examined the patient who suddenly leapt up onto the piano and straight into 'Lucille'. Great days.
Wow, we've really got the bit between our teeth over music venues and such. Like David Jackson I have memories of the concerts at the Granada. To his list I can add Bobby Vee and the Crickets and Jet Harris (very moody!). I didn't take in much of the Bobby Vee concert as I was suffering from an extremely painful whitlow, probably as a result of wearing grey, mock-croc, woodpecker bootees. You see, Square was right to worry about boys wearing the things!
Strangely nobody seems to have mentioned the excellent school dances. Good for chatting up what, if my memory serves me well, we referred to as the "talent". In fact I met my future wife there. (We're still married after nearly 34 years)
Thinking of music venues, there was also a very healthy folk club scene in and around Harrow. My aforementioned future wife and I took over The Two Billion Club held in the Kinkajou Bistro in Lowlands Road. We subsequently moved the club to the Duke of Norfolk in North Wembley. Appearances by Diz Dizley and Shirley Collins come to mind. It was a bit of a struggle as it was run for the benefit of Oxfam and we had to persuade performers to turn out for expenses. Some were pleased to do it and we were particulary well supported by a bluegrass duo called the Strawberry Hill Boys who were always willing to play. They later became the Strawbs.
There was a thriving club, The Herga, in Wealdstone and many others that came and went including one in the ballroom above Burtons. After all these were the days when, as they pointed out on the radio a while ago, Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick could do a two week tour of Manchester!
All the best to you all!
My boy lollipop. You make my heart go giddy-up.
This musical thing is getting out of hand and anyway I can beat you all; Pete Ogman, of Collective Concientious Society (or CCS to the uninformed), who also played the harmonica solo on 'My Boy Lollipop' by Millie, lived directly opposite me in Moorhouse Road, Kenton, so there! Cheers all, Spence Smith (HCS 1965-72)
Bruce Welch's house (detached) was, I think, called "Wonderful Land". 200 yards south of the station, same side.
Typically relevant and literate postings on the Harrow music scene from young Mr Boggis. Looking back on my years at HCS, the music was actually the most important part of the school. Natch, I don't mean the tedious music lessons, but the discussions of the new releases played the prevous night on Radio Lux, by Jimmy Saville (TTDC). I was introduced to Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Chet Atkins (! Teensville), Cyril Davis Allstars, my heart flipped on hearing Shop Around by The Miracles and then it was all Tamla and Soul - Sue label stuff. The memories come flooding back - Jim Smith phoning me one night, so exited he couldn't get his words out, but wanting to tell me he'd just heard an awesome new record - Runaway - Del Shannon. And, you know, I've kept in touch with music, and still read all the magazines, and have 3000plus CDs and a shed full of vinyl (literally) - but that early stuff that got written up in lists on the blackboards at school - hell it still works for me!
That was by far the most important influence that HCS had on me. I barely remember any lessons at all, and slipped through my years there in a daze of crashing guitars and harmony vocals, with a few like minded fellows. The only teacher that inspired me at all was J. Lafferty Esq, who introduced me to a new satirical publication called Private Eye, and for the single year that he taught me, made Eng Lang and Lit the only periods that were actively pleasurable.
Apart from the pubs and British Legion hall, my first live musical experiences were always the one night stand tours at the Granada or in Watford. I'd love to track down more details of which bands played these venues in the early sixties. Certainly remember one at Watford, headlined by The Everly Brothers, with The Stones somewhere down the bill, with possibly Little Richard and a few others as well.
Best - DaviD J
Back in the late '50s, David Sutch and his mum lived just around the corner from me in Wembley. I think they lived in St John's Road. Certainly, we used the same Joke Shop above Barratt's shoe shop in Wembley High Road. What a strange fellow he was and no mistake.
Other musically-connected residents of the area included Bert Weedon, who lived in Sudbury Court Road, and Ginger Baker's mum lived in Bengeworth Road near Bert.
Have read through guest book with interest and have helped identify some faces in photographs. I can remember playing a game called touch-rugby in the inner quad during breaks where two teams armed with a large rubber or sometimes the rubber end prised off a chair leg would compete. I can also remember the prefects common room supplying wine prior to Christmas when Mr Avery and senior masters were invited
I can also recall the senior-prefects common room where we had an old television, with a screwdriver in the aerial socket, where inflickering black and white racing was watched after a visit to Harrow to place a 1 shilling each way bet on a horse.
Coffee was also available at this venue and the occasional cigarette smoked by those who had the habit.
I can also remember trips to the Timber Carriage at lunch time where a manly half pint of bitter was consumed over a game of snooker and a packet of crisps.
To me enjoyable days surrouned by very academically and or sportingly bright or otherwise talented masters and stsudents.
Richard Franklin a talented sportsman who for a back injury would have been an extremely good long-jumper, Tim Rutter an execeptional rugby player, Peter griffiths and Roger Kraushaar exceptional cross country runners. Roger Glover, Harvey Schildkraut and John Orchard diverse musical talents, Martin Walker, a left wing scourge of Fleet Street writing for the Guardian as well as other papers.
I could go on but will end here, too much nostalgia is perhaps indulgent.
Alan, I wasn't in the same era but I played the game for years as a youngster. I'll give you the rules to which I played.
To start the game, you are dealt one card each with the top card left from the undealt cards turned over and the suit of that turned card are trumps for this round. You have to bid as to how many tricks you think you will make. The last person to bid (in any given round) is not allowed to make the total number of tricks bid the same as the number of cards you are playing with. i.e (In the first round) if they're 4 players and the first 3 bid nil the fourth (and last) person to bid wouldn't be able to bid 'one'. In later rounds the total of tricks bid could not be 7 and so on.
The nest round you get 2 cards each, then 3, 4 ,5 ,6 and 7 with the top card left on the deck turned as to denote trumps. From here on in you get 7 cards each. After playing a round with 7 cards (top card turned) you then play a round where there are no trumps. Then the rounds follow with Hearts as trumps, then clubs, diamonds and fianlly spades.
These are followed by another round of No trumps, then 1 round of half blind. This is where you deal the (7) cards. Each player bids then you turn over the top card to denote trumps. This is followed by a round of Full Blind. Full Blind is where each player bids then the cards are dealt and trumps are denoted by the top card being turned.
After this, it was another round each of Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds and Spades being trumps then a round of 'Miz' with (trumps) and 'Miz' without trumps. Here, no bids are made but 7 cards are dealt and each player would lose 5 points for every trick made. Any player not making a trick received a ten point bonus. However, if one person took all 7 tricks then they would receive a 50 point bonus with the other players scores staying the same.
Another 1/2 & Full blind round followed by the reverse of the start of the game. Where 7 cards are dealt to each player, then 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1. The last hand is called 'Lay Down'. Seven cards each dealt on top of one another and then top card on deck being trumps. Each player turned their top card and whoever won the trick (trumping in or otherwise) lost 5 points. Once again it's a 10 point bonus for not taking a trick and a 50 point bonus if you took all 7.
Scoring is 5 points for every trick you make with a ten point bonus for making. You only score points if you make your 'call' though. So if you had bid 4 tricks but you made 3 or 5 then you wouldn't score but if you called 4 and made 4 then it's 30 points.
This may not be the same rules but I am sure you will reconise the game from this message.
Just picked up a message from Mike Wirdnam who had lighted on the site via a reference in my 'reminiscences' to the card game we called Clagg which some of us used to play in the Band Room during what were supposed to be study periods.
He wants to know the rules - which I've forgotten, but I would also like to know. Can anyone help please? Other members of the card school such as Geoff Egan and Mike Robinson don't know either. Steve Leary and David Reast (same generation, 1963-70) were also implicated but we're not in touch with them. Any other offers?
It was the British Legion Hall in South Harrow I knew one of those places was a Legion Hall and S. Harrow rings all the right bells. I thought Jerry Lee Lewis was simply wonderful the night he played there. Others to share: Sam Cooke, Little Richard and the Everly Brothers at the Granada, Harrow; going down to Studio 51 in Leicester Square, on Sunday after Sunday,to see the Stones play from 3 till 6 and then bombing back to Wealdstone for the Whos weekly gig; the Hop Bine (?) in Wembley; the Blues and Barrelhouse in Soho where wed watch Cyril Davies and Alexis Korner, the very cradle of the British Blues phenomenon, and not quite believing, at the age of 17 or so, that we were watching Memphis Slim playing the piano. And, to jump from the sublime to the ridiculous, the Guy Hayward School of Dancing where some of us, never able to master the quick step and the fox trot, would wait all night for the inevitable Jim Reeves waltz and grab the girl wed been eyeing for hours .and then say, just before the attempted kiss, something quite bizarre like Do you like Blind Lemon Jefferson?
Just a suggestion re all your missing blanks in the staff photo of 1986.
Why not visit the friendsreunited site and ask one of the boys from that year to visit the site and give you the names? The only one that looks like anyone I remember is in the second row (from top). Is that Mrs Bowden or is my memory playing tricks on me?
I haven't visited the site for a while now and I'm continualy disappointed to see so few lads from the Gayton era submitting comments. Do you think that it maybe because an overwhelming majority of the comments are placed from the boys who were at the school between 1950-1975 and that era doesn't seem to interest the 'Gaytonians' as I'm sure comments from '75 onwards wouldn't really interest all the HCS lads? Reading all the sunmissions from '50 -'75, the school and the way it was doesn't appear to change that much and it seems that most of the chaps can, in one way or another, relate to each other. However once the school changed to Gayton it feels like a new broom swept away HCS and the boys who attended HSC see Gayton as a different school altogether. Just a thought.....
Keep up the good work (you too Jeffery).
Paul Hymas ('77-'81)
Sorry about the boring double posting. Something's playing tricks on me. The first message refused to appear until I'd posted a second. I'll understand how these things work one day. Wouldn't think I've been in the computer business for over 30 years would you?
Talk of Screaming Lord Sutch reminds me...
The early/mid sixties were the height of the pirate radio era. (For younger readers pre-Radio 1). One of our past-times in the Signals Hut was listening to these stations. One we came across was Radio Sutch. Dave Sutch had taken over one of the old wartime forts off the Kent coast and decided to broadcast from there. (I think the station went through a series of transformations being called Radio Sutch, Radio City, Radio Invicta etc). Anyway we got in touch with the station and, while we did not get a visit from his Lordship, his engineer called in to see us at the Hut after school. A highlight for us! I must still have some Radio Sutch material in the attic. Might even be worth a few shillings now.
Talking of Screaming Lord Sutch reminds me...
In the mid-sixties (the height of the pirate radio era) Lord Sutch had taken over one of the old military forts off the coast of Kent. (I can't remember the sequence of names now but it was variously called Radio Sutch, Radio City and Radio Invicta). One of our past-times in the Signals Hut was listening to the pirate radio stations. having found Radio Sutch we got in contcat with them and to our amazement their Chief Engineer (probably only engineer!) called in to see us in the Hut one afternoon after school. I've probably got some Radio Sutch material in the attic still. Maybe it has value now.
Screaming Lord Sutch lived in the house on the corner of Dudley Avenue & Shaftesbury Avenue. I used to deliver newspapers there in the early seventies. I remember their being a cat, with only three legs, and some kind of parrot. As for the British Legion being a music venue, it certainly wasn't during the late sixties/seventies. My old man was a member there and he would never have tolerated "rock'n roll"! Anyway, I would have thought it was a bit close to the police station!
Oh dear, now Mick Boggis has added to the stream of musical reminiscences and I find that I can't resist joining in again. Yes indeed Screaming Lord Sutch was a South Harrow native. My mother clearly remembers conversations with his mother which mainly consisted of Mrs. Sutch expressing extreme anxiety over son David's mental health. There was a rumour that as a teenager he was often seen in Harrow with a lavatory seat round his neck. Perhaps he was on his way to a gurning competition.
Another resident of South Harrow was Johnny Kydd of J K and the pirates. I never saw him but there was certainly a rather flash house in a side street in S. Harrow that had cannons on the lawn.
Bruce Welch of the Shadows definitely lived in Headstone Lane and would always give us young lads a cheery wave when he was in the garden
All the best
The music venue in South Harrow alluded to by Pete Fowler and others was, I believe, the British Legion Hall, which as far as I know, is still standing, although possibly in alternative usage. I remember seeing John Lee Hooker there maybe twice as well as other blues artists whom I have forgotten. They were usually backed by a British pickup band and gave the impresion they had not rehearsed together before going out on tour, but hey! - it's de blooz! I also saw The Hollies there several times (complete with Graham Nash), and Jerry Lee Lewis, but most memorably, the divine Screaming Lord Sutch, who of course, came from South Harrow, and always gave a good show there. Other musical memories of the era were the Kodak ballroom in Wealdstone every Tuesday night, where we tried and usually failed to pick up girls, but there were some good local bands there, the Beachcombers being probably the best, with one Keith Moon on drums.
To David Foxwell
David, I accidentally deleted your message about Harry Mees, before I had a chance to reply. Can you send me a quick mail or the copy in your out-box, so that I can respond to your address, please?
I had a terrible sense of loss when I read that the Frederick Rothwell organ in the school hall, which George Thorn had fought for over so many years, and on which I learned under Arthur Haley and Ken Waller, had been removed. I am a church organist still, and had the honour and sad duty to play for the funeral of Harry Mees' third wife Pat earlier this year. Harry is a member of the congregation of Holy Trinity Church, Watermoor, Cirencester, where I play most Sundays, and he can be contacted through me, if Old Gaytonians would like to use me as a conduit.
In response to Mike Berquist's question; I am talking of the late 50s and early 60s. The South Harrow venue was where the new Bovis Lend Lease HQ is now. It was some type of local hall, but I cannot renmember its name. Can anyone else?
ps: I meant to put an ampersand between Jules (Driscoll) and (Brian) Auger on my previous message.
I too am saddened by the death of Paul Oliver's wife, Val. Paul was another of the inspirational HCS teachers even for one like me who had abolutely no talent for art. I remember him asking us to decribe what colour the road outside was. When someone ventured that it might be black he insisted that we all rush to the window to use our eyes.
Later I remember him describing teaching students in Africa and trying to explain to those whose greatest ambition was to live in a new concrete box, that their distinguished teacher from the UK lived in a 300yr old house with a grass ( thatched ) roof.
I was interested reading Messrs. Fowler, Garratt and Holmans memories of music venues in Harrow.I am sure I would have enjoyed this era. I am guessing that this was about 10 years before my time but, coming from South Harrow, I am trying to work out where the music venue mentioned was. My guess would be the pub on Eastcote Lane/Alexandra Avenue...The Tithe Farm? I remember seeing Dr Feelgood there in the late seventies. I never did music at HCS, I don't think many D streamers did, but learned to play drums in the late seventies. After 25 years, with a few gaps, I have just hung my sticks up again!
With regard to the comments about Paul Oliver I believe that of all the masters in the school he had the longest lasting effect on me. I still have very clear memories of art classes listening to blues records and Jimmy Smith. My musical tastes were set then and have endured to this day
Having just revisited the site after a long absence iwas very sorry to hear about Jim Golland's death.
My enduring memory of Jim was on the last day of term in the lower 6th when a group of us escaped to the Rest at lunch time, just as we were about to leave a round of drinks arrived from the gentlemen in the other bar. Needless to say we were somewhat surprised and sneaked a look to see who was there. It was most of the English department and from comments made during the afternoon we believed that it had been Jim who bought the drinks. A very decent man who was always fair and understanding when I was struggling - English was never one of my better subjects!
I certainly do remember Sonny Boy's bowler hat and the cane which, I think you will find, was in fact a rolled up umbrella and also his trade-mark pied, light and dark grey suit. Ok. I never meant to suggest that Paul Oliver was single-handedly responsible for the explosion of interest in the blues which I realise was a Europe-wide phenomenon at the time. HOwever, there were a lot of pupils at HCS in the early 60's who were very seriously interested in playing blues-related music and that may have been down to, in part at least, Paul Oliver's influence. I find it strange that there was so much music going on at the school as I can only remember one music lesson. Was it on the regular curriculum? I recall as a nervous first year the class being taught a song by "Bill" Haley and once we had more or less learnt it he went round the class as we sang a line, solo, in turn. (A bit like "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue" really) He then subsequently graded us "A", "B" or "C". I was a "C". End of music at HCS for me. Like many other HCS old boys I still play regularly and get paid for it! (Well, just a bit!)
All the best
I certainly do remember Sonny Boy's bowler hat and the cane which, I think you will find, was in fact a rolled up umbrella and also his trade-mark pied, light and dark grey suit Ok. I never meant to suggest that Paul Oliver was single-handedly responsible for the explosion of interest in the blues which I realise was a Europe-wide phenomenon at the time. HOwever, there were a lot of pupils at HCS in the early 60's who were very seriously interested in playing blues-related music and that may have been down to, in part at least, Paul Oliver's influence. I find it strange that there was so much music going on at the school as I can only remember one music lesson. Was it on the regular curriculum? I recall as a nervous first year the class being taught a song by "Bill" Haley and once we had more or less learnt it he went round the class as we sang a line, solo, in turn. (A bit like "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue" really) He then subsequently graded us "A", "B" or "C". I was a "C". End of music at HCS for me. Like many other HCS old boys I still play regularly and get paid for it! (Well, just a bit!)
All the best
apologies in advance for invading the pages of your guest book but I'm looking for details of a card game called Clagg and found reference to it in "1963-70 - reminiscences of Alan Kershaw" Any information would be gratefully received. Thanks.
My old primary school class at Wembley Manor convened fifty years ago this year, and we are arranging a reunion in conjunction with the school's semicentenary celebration. Among classmates still to be traced is Rosemary Bennett, who it is thought may have gone to Harrow County Girls, starting in 1956. We would like to get in touch with her.
What binds this class (or some of us) together, by the way, is three years under the genial tutelage of Old Gaytonian thespian Reg Bowen, who is expected to be the guest of honour.
Peter Fowler is right about the music being a generational thing. We were privileged to be at the junction of jazz, swing, crooning, rhythm and blues, and the growth of rock. So you could be at the South Harrow Jazz Club one night listening to Chris Barber and Ottilie Paterson, pop around the local clubs Peter mentioned, or go down to the 100 Club, Ronnie Scott's or The new Marquee to hear Georgie Fame, Arthur Brown and Jules Auger etc. etc. It was a good time to be alive, and Paul Oliver helped you enjoy and understand the structure and context of the music. It was a million years away from George Thorn's music lessons!
When I moved on to the Architectural Association School I found to my amazement that Paul Oliver was teaching Art History there. So the succession of Blues singers continued, to be supplemented by various interesting African musicians. At that time there were some riotous AA parties to which various "local" musicians were invited and paid a pittance to play a number of sets. The night The Yardbirds hit their first Number One slot they honoured their contract and played the night away, as did later, Arthur Brown, Pink Floyd, John Williams (sic)and many others. In the mid-to-late sixties we had no idea with whom we were mixing. We just knew they sounded good.
Re Coffee places
During the early seventies we had plenty of coffees in the costumes loft, above Norman Anderson's art room!
I discovered the website for the first last night. I am probably a little slower than most. It has been an amazing experience. Loads of forgotten memories coming back to life but the memory not quite sharp enough to be able to put names to faces. I was at the school from around 1945-1951 - give or take a year either way. I enjoyed my time there but didn't work hard so to some extent wasted an opportunity. I retain no strong feelings about Dr Simpson unlike those of Richard Mogg which I found disturbing. My memories are of a lighter nature.......an English teacher known as 'Twink' Bradley who had a habit of throwing blackboard cleaners (hard wooden things) at pupils - capable of killing I now realise - and getting hold of boys and shaking them vigorously for quite long periods (he wouldn't last today).......a German language teacher known as 'Bulldog' Attridge who despaired of my class...top mark in one exam of 23% and in the same exam a bottom mark of 3%. I got 5% and finished quite high up. I remember him looking witheringly at us saying '...and you are supposed to be the cream of the Middlesex schools'...later on I got married and honey-mooned in Germany and sad to say, my 5% was not much help to me... a chemistry master George Thorn who had a habit of sitting a favoured boy on his lap during a lesson and cuddling various boys as he walked along the lab benches. At the time, we thought of him as just being friendly; times were different then.
Having read the piece by Richard Mogg on Dr Simpson, I am wondering why the headmaster did not leave any such strong impression on me. In fact, until I read the piece, I would not have been able to name him.
I think it was a great school and we were all fortunate to be pupils there.
As much as I liked Paul Oliver, and loved Blues Fell this Morning, I dont think he was responsible for the interest in the blues that surfaced not just in Harrow but across the whole country in the early 60s. It was generational.
The place in Kenton was called the Big Beat Club and Howling Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, Mose Allison, the Yardbirds and the Animals all played there in the mid 60s. Walking the other way from the school took you eventually to the Railway Hotel in Wealdstone where the Who (known as the High Numbers when they first played) played every Sunday night for months; and across town the Stones, Jerry Lee Lewis and John Lee Hooker all played in that place in South Harrow whose name escapes me.
I think it was Sonny Boy Williamson (remember the cane and the bowler hat?) who was backed by the Yardbirds. The visual image of Howling Wolf was so bloody powerful that night that I retain no memory of who played with him.
With all this discussion about the art department, which I viewed as an oasis of civilization in the school, I am surprised that nobody has mentioned Norman Anderson's side-kick, Keith Davis - a thoroughly nice bloke! Does anyone know what has become of him?
"Yes" to David Pearce's question about Howlin' Wolf, both Dave Bugden and I were there. I'm not sure whether the backing band were the Yardbirds but he had his own lead guitarist, Hubert Sumlin, with him. Hubert had a very flashy guitar which was totally covered in mother-of-pearl. He was playing recently locally but I was unfortunately unable to get to see him. I do remember Howlin' getting a bit carried away at one point and starting to jump up and down, causing his spectacles to fly out of his breast pocket and, before he could stop himself, he had landed on them.
At the same venue we also saw Sonny Boy Williamson. His backing band was an outfit called "The Moody Blues" whom he was continually begging to play more quietly. Whilst Sonny Boy was having a break, they played a number, "Go Now", which we thought was rather naff. During his set, Sonny Boy crouched down at the front of the stage, learing at a young girl in the audience and declared "It does a man good to see her lying there with nothing on". Nothing wrong with the sentiment but slightly unseemly coming from someone of his advanced years!!!
Apologies for useing this guest book for musical reminiscences but, as David said, there were a lot of us interested in the blues at the time which must have been one of Paul Oliver's legacies.
It has also suddenly come back to me that Don Kincaid performed on the TV during the sixties with his wife Benti. What a mixed bag the staff were at that time!
All the best to all!
Where have you been all my life ? I feel I have made the most wonderful discovery. Suddenly all those names which I have been curious about - whatever happened to Peter Philip......Philip Chesterman...and so on ? are possibly in reach. Having only found the site in the last 10 minutes, I am now going to settle down and enjoy every moment of it.
Reading all these '60s reminiscences is causing a sever nostalgia rush, although I'm quite incapable of remembering all the names the rest of you do. However, I take issue with Mick Boggis about Norman Anderson, whom I remember very well and with admiration for having put up with my pathetic efforts at fine art right through to A-level (which I passed). The name Caprara was completely lost to me until now, though.
Very interesting the conversation about Paul Oliver. In my days at HCS, Blues Fell This Mornin' was essential reading. We were all very clued up on blues music and musicians and this must have been entirely due to Paul Oliver and his book. The record shop in Station Road did a brisk trade in blues discs and they had quite an extensive selection, as I remember.
And does anyone else remember seeing the legendary Chester "Howlin' Wolf" Burnett perform at the Churchill Hall in Kenton around 1965? Incredible, when you look back on it. Who were the support band? Sounded rather like the Yardbirds.
Good to see that another Simpson-era member of staff - Don McEwan - has found the site. He was another of the good ones, and thus belongs to what I'm afraid to admit is a fairly small minority of the 58-64 staff of whom I have favourable recollections.
I am having some difficulty in deciphering the scrawled initials in my report book, but I am fairly sure that Don took me for Physics in my last year, in V2, on my second pass through the V form. 'Tries hard and works well' is positively adulatory compared with most of the comments I had in the last 2 years. I managed a C at O level as a result of our joint efforts.
Don's comments re Simpson are interesting. But I think it would have been a funny old place if the staff had seen the Head in exactly the same light as the pupils. The staff's perception of him as adults and colleagues must have be vastly different from how we saw him. Having already marked my card by being in the CDE stream most of the way up the school, I then underlined my failure - in his eyes - by entering the V form, and finally committed the ultimate academic sin by failing to get in LVI altogether. Simpson's attitude to those of my ilk - was nothing less than utter contempt. In my view, much of the vitriol that has been expended in his direction in various parts of this site has been entirely justified. The mark of a good teacher is one who is able to encourage the least able pupil just as much as the cleverest, but Simpson's every word and action seemed only to suggest that anyone who couldn't get a scholarship to Oxbridge was little more than detritus.
I don't disbelieve that he had a sense of humour - in fact, I do recall him laughing with other members of staff, crossing the quad or whatever, at various times. I'd be interested to know what sort of thing he found amusing, though! He may have been 'a very fair man' to his staff, as Don says, but he seemed anything but fair to us; dour, severe, authoritarian, inflexible, and above all, completely out of touch with contemporary society. Why else was he known as 'Square'? He was the very epitome!
A word re Paul Oliver. I remember him very well, definitely a member of the staffroom non-conformists with his cord jacket, beard, and interest in decadent forms of music. God, he probably even wore suede shoes! I was pretty appalling at art, but recall Paul encouraging me greatly. His art lessons were always interesting, and he always presaged our crude attempts to put water colours on art paper with an animated talk about what the subject was to be, showing us photographs and so on. I always remember one week when the subject was the LA freeway system; I think he'd been there during the summer and had thought the way the roads duck and dive through each other at all levels in the interchanges had great scope for our efforts to demonstrate perspective. I alone chose to perversely depict the scene from directly underneath one of the roads, instead of the aerial views favoured by the rest of the class. He was quite captivated by this, and held it up to show everyone else, saying something like "Look at this! You don't all have to do the same thing, there's always a different way of seeing things!" This was probably the zenith of my artistic career. But I can remember it clearly over 40 years later, so Paul O. definitely had an impact on me.
After he left, art was all down to Norman Anderson and Andy Caprara, about whom I can remember little, which probably says it all.
End of ramble.
Mick Boggis (hobbledehoy, HCS 58-64)
If I recall correctly the huts boasted:
Signals Room Senior Prefects Common Room Navy Stores RAF Stores Motor Transport Room
I presume all ran coffe clubs. I know for certain the Signals Hut did.
John Parker S/Sgt i/c Signals 1965 (or thereabouts)
Re Mr Mac
Let's not forget that in the mid to late 60's and early 70's, his youngest son Ian was also at HCS!! So the there was Mr Mac, Big Mac and Little Mac!!
I too remember Mr Mac as being one of the easier teachers to approach - maybe it was common interest in all things aviation?
You have included the CCF stores for coffeee but what about the armoury opposite.Myself Thwaites Grogan, Morgan Wood and others used this plus on occassions Lefty Wright. I seem to remember the justification for the kettle was to boil out the barrels of the Lee Enfields.
I am trying to determine how places one could get a coffee at HCS durng the '60's
Does anyone know of any more café's?
In no particular order:
Behing the stationery stores (B12 conservatory) B12 prep room A3 inner "office" Orderly room (A15) Army stores (A13/14) A8 prep room (no kettle, just bunsen & tripod) A7 not regularly open A6 (rear of) A9 (rear of MI room) CCF signals room (huts) CCF Navy room (huts) Swimming pool (tuck shop) Stage (under light tower) Stage (grave, no power but smokers only) frequently raided & shut down B7 (rear of) Switchgear Room (Fatty Cookland by invitation only - not many accepted) A2 Prefects common room
By far the best was in S1/2 and the adjoining wash room. The old cracked crockery was replaced with a virgin box of 250 ml beakers (from C7) which were asiduously washed, dried and returned to there corrugated protection after each outing. Biscuits were 3d. Remember a certain science teacher wandering through with a certainvcuriosity. Instead of admonishing us, he requested a coffee, even paying for it. Was subsequently a regular - some times bringing his "friends".
As periodic observer of this column, it was especially good to see the contribution from Don McEwan.
Don't ever recall him taking a lower school class and those incapable of bum fluff were scared stiff of him. Never smiled in the corridor and always walked with that deliberation that frightens young boys. But when the lab door closed the mask went and when he taught the upper school, boy did you learn - and have good fun.
Maxwell and his corkscrew, Flemings left hand, conversion from cgs to MKS, Nelkon & Parker - it all comes flooding back. Endless anecdotes about his practice putting (golf) in the A3 prep room. Trying to teach us (and ask questions) with no voice - hilarious, would make a good comedy show.
Fond memories too of sharing a workbench with Robert - which must have been difficult for both of them. First practical of the year for the advanced physics set in A4 - which was small - and someone shouted for Mac (McEwan junior) to hurry with a bit of kit. Problem was there were 2 "Macs" in the room but it was the devilish Don who responded first with a rather deeper voice. It broke the ice. From then on it was Big Mac and Little Mac.
Robert was a chatterbox (not necessarily a bad thing), but when you were supposed to be attending to the master, AND its your old man, AND he sees who is making the disruption, the atmosphere becomes electric - and Don blew. He stormed down from the front bench and clipped Robert really hard round the ear.
Immediately realising what he had done and that possibly he should not have done it, he apologised with great humility not only to his son (who by this time had sunk into his arms on the bench with an ear that was already red and starting to puff up) but also to the whole class of 12. He curtailed the lesson recounting that early in his teaching career he had hit a boy and the parents had come up to see him. He had never subsequently used violence until this day - at least he could rest assured that no parent would complain to him. Always wondered what happened when they both went home that evening.
Not generally known that he arranged the school song for Hugh Skillen's Makers of Men film. The notes were from a sine wave generator at half frequency, recorded on tape, lengths spliced together according to value of note and played back at double speed. Such was necessary in those pre-synth days.
What a bloke! Great educator, great personality. Eternally grateful to him for my understanding of physics - apart from "heat" (can use kettle - just!).
Always drove into school parking his sandy colou Austin Somerset parallel with the Sheepcote Road green wrought iron gate - unless Gerry Lafferty got there first in his phlegmatic VW.
They were - happy days. Thanks Don.
My abiding memory of Paul Oliver is of a genuine kindness.
I was totally untalented at Art. Yet at every lesson when he reviewed our creations he ALWAYS found something good to say about everybody's efforts - even mine.
Contrast that with the humiliation cheerfully heaped on first formers when made to sing for choir audition.
The fact the we all had a strong suspicion "Square" didn't like him and, better yet, an equally strong suspicion he returned the feeling endeared him to many of us.
He has my deepest sympathy in his loss.
He is a nice man. Not a given for masters in the 50s !!!
So sorry to read of the death of Paul Oliver's wife. I guess I must have been a great disappointment in his (and Norman Anderson's) art classes - and my second son now earning good money as a graphic designer as well. I well remember meeting a girl at work (second time single) in the late 70's and her being well impressed when I pulled "Blues Fell This Morning" off her bookshelf and told her that Paul had been my art master.
My regards to Paul if he reads the guest book.
I was sorry to hear of Paul Oliver's bereavement. He had already left HCS before I arrived and the first I knew of him was through reading "Blues Fell This Morning" which still must rank amongst the best books on the blues. I only found out subsequently that he had taught at the school.
Has anyone else noticed one Paul Eustice in the Independent Magazine with a road test of the new Range Rover? Could this be our very own "Bernie" Eustice? Nice one Bernie - from woodpecker booteed and danderinied hobbledehoy to life style icon!
All the best to all!
Really sad news about Mrs.Oliver.I only met her a few times but she set our VIth form hearts a-fluttering.She was very gracious and kind to us callow boys.I have never forgotten her though it's been over 50 years now.
The comments on Paul Oliver and the African American Music Society were poignant as I had just been speaking with Paul, now living in Oxfordshire and still working. Sadly his wife, Val, died last week and will be greatly missed.
Paul wished to be remembered to all who remembered him. He wishes me to interview him later in the year for this website. From HCS he went to the Architectural Association to teach Art History, spent time in Ghana on the Volta Dam Resettlement programme, and became progressively interested in the study of vernacular architecture, as well as African Music, ending up as Professor at Oxford Brookes University and spending the last twenty years creating the Encylcopedia of Vernacular Architecture. He still collects Blues music, and is in touch with, amongst others, Don Kincaid, Tony Smith, Hugh Skillen, Jonathan Stedall and Gerry Halls.
I will try and get the interview on screen by December.
Please excuse me for coming back again so soon but in my anxiety to get my thoughts 'off my chest' I did not compliment Jeffrey Maynard on his excellent web site and the great service he does for Old Gaytonians. My son, Robert,ex HCS made me aware of the site.
Keep up the good work, Jeffrey! Long may you and your site prosper.
Just connected by 'broadband' and so able to spend much more time in browsing. I was very sad to read the criticism of 'Doc' Simpson. I was appointed by him to the Staff in 1956. My Head of Department was Cecil Groombridge (now 92/3) 'Doc' Simpson was certainly an unusual man. There were times when he addressed the School at assembly when I wanted to hide and I certainly did not agree with his all his rulings. However on a personal basis I always found him to be a very fair man, not without humour as some would believe. As one of a generation who served in the RAF in WW2 I accepted his authoritarian manner and respected his judgments. He certainly was not everybody's 'cup of tea' on the Staff but I was extremely sorry to see such dislike portrayed after so many years.
Don McEwen - Physics Department 1956-81
I remember having Hugh Skillen for French the first year he was at HCS.He was regarded by many of us as further evidence of the conspiracy to hand the school over to our Northern neighbours.His class control was not fully developed at that time and we took full advantage of it. I see that the Afro-American Music Society has been mentioned a few times here and some may be interested in its origin since it concerns ARS's attitude to such things.My friend Michael Butler and I approached Paul Oliver-then very new-and asked him to sponsor a Jazz Club since we knew thatwas a field that interested him.He used to come in in the morning all bleary-eyed and we gathered that was from attendance at one or other of the many Jazz Clubs existing in London at that time when the New Orleans Revival was in full swing.On his advice we asked permission of Dr.Simpson only to be turned down flat."That is not the sort of music that I feel the school should encourage" is written on my heart. In my naivety I then wrote to the Chairman of the Governors seeking their approval and pointing out that we had a master who would sponsor us.We received a courteous letter back pointing out the obvious but ARS never discussed it with us.Instead poor Paul was hauled over the coals as I imagine ARS thought he was the instigator and could be very unpleasant on such occasions.Not a good start for a young(ish) teacher.Anyway we were told to cool it until the fuss died down and it wasn't until the next year that we formed the Afro-American Music Society naming it so as not to use the dreaded Jxxx word.That seemed to work.We used to play records on the old Art Room radiogram and give little talks but our greatest triumph was a concert given by pianist Pat Hawes of the famous Crane River Jazz Band,and himself a teacher in Pinner and a friend of my brother Don,played to a packed hall on the school Grand piano.ARS did not attend,as I recall.
Brilliant! It was a real blast to see the photographs. I still live in the area.
Fascinating to hear of Hughie Skillen's contribution to the war effort. He often hinted at it during lessons, in between teaching me to speak French with a Scots accent. To be honest, I thought he had too much difficulty operating all the kit in the language lab (I well remember seeing him attempt to play a tape on a record deck), to have had any such talent. Just goes to show....
Incidently if Jimmy Henderson wishes to contact Barry Clifton, please contact me and I will supply his details.
How Dick Worsfold and I came to be drinking beer together while roaring across France on the TGV is another tale but it was then that we discovered we had both attended HCS. I recall he had some great tales to relate and hope that now he has found this site we can persuade him to retell them.
As another member of the cast of Volpone, i too remember the incident. Indeed, I pulled the crit off the web site - my nearly 14 year old found it difficullt to believe that his boring old dad had been on the stage at all, and that anyone wrote about it - amazing.
Incidentally, anyone in touch with Ian Henley? I last saw him at Cranwell in about 1983 - I had rejoined tha RAF in 1980 in the Admin Branch, and was posted to Cranwell in 1982 as an instructor on Initial Officer Training. Ian was the squadron commander of, I think, "C" Squadron, which was a bit of a shock as he had been a Scout, not in the CCF. He went to another job at the college and I was promoted sqn ldr and posted, which prevented me from hatching the evil plot I had nurtured, to produce at his formal Dining Out an enlargement of the photo of him playing St Joan. Serves me right I suppose.
Regards to all
Re Michael Armstrong, see my guest book entry of July 15, 2001, which contains a web-researched precis of his post-RADA career.
John Parker asks about Michael Armstrong's reference to the woodpecker. As a memeber of the cast of Volpone, I can confirm the reference occured during this play and brought the house down. I think it was during his first speech which begins ' Good morning to the day, and next my gold....is this a woodpecker etc. but can't be sure.
Incidentally does anyone know what happened to Michael after his spell as a film director for Tony Tenser at Tigon- Haunted House of Horror etc in the sixties?
I was at HCS 1944-1951.Judging by the comments on this board it is evident that the school went rapidly downhill after I left. After 4 years University(B.Sc.,Post-Grad Cert.in Ed.and a broken heart)I got a 5-year commission in the R.A.F. and ended up a Flt.Lt.and CGI at the Central Fighter Establishment.Then lectured in Physics at Chiswick Poly until 1967 when I came to Canada to teach.I retired in 1995 and now live quietly in Victoria,BC, with a wife and three Siamese cats although I come to the UK frequently. I see Jimmy Henderson is looking for Barry Clifton.I last saw Barry in Ricmond High Street in 1963,not since regretably. I was very sorry to hear that Roy Norman had passed on.I have many fond memories of the time spent with he and Derek and the rest in the 4th Harrow Rover Crew.Last time I heard of Roy Moodie he was still going strong at Exeter U. Anyone out there who remembers me is welcome to get in touch.I plan to write my reminiscences of ARS and the School when I get a moment.
Does anyone remember Miss Gibbs (Christine, I think it was)? She was a Spanish/French teacher in 75/76.
I'd be interested in knowing whether she stayed on at HCS after 1976.
Ref. Hugh Skillen. Thanks for the comments, Ian and Colin, and Hugh's address - I will write to him. I note Hugh is the historian for the Wireless Intelligence group, Y-Troop. It's a small world - my son-in-law has just come back from Afghanistan where he has been part of a Y-troop operation, so maybe there is some more history to be written there eventually.
Jack Sammons' report about Trixie Hackman touches a memory chord. She must be quite an age. (Well into her eighties?) She joined the school as Miss Gower about 1942 and soon formed an attachment for Jack Hackman, a teacher of economics and geography. They were married in 1945 or 6 at Surbiton which was where Jack lived. He was CO of an ATC squadron there but invited the school squadron (no, 551) to supply part of the guard of honour at the church for the marriage. I was a member of the 'guard' and recall the event very well. Neither of the Hackmans taught me but I recall they were both well liked, and she shone by being able to control the mob of youngsters she was given to teach. Not all the women could handle the job any more than some of the men! I don't suppose Trixie will remember me Jack but please give her my best wishes anyway. The two longest living masters I know of are Fooks, who lived to be 104, and W. H. King who lived well into his nineties. I started at HCS in 1940 and recall your name Jack but cannot put a face to it. Which form were you in? (A-D). I likely know some of your mates.
Very interested in the Bletchley Park comments. I have been fascinated by the story since it started to enter the public domain. Wish I had known about Hugh Skillen's involvement when at school; bit at thta time we did not even know about Station X and what was achieved there.
However, two brief stories - since coming to Lymington i have met David Balme, who as a young Sub Lt took the enigma machine and code books off U110. At a lecture he was giving, someone asked if anyone else present had been involved, and several lady members of the yacht club of which I am secretary confessed to having been at Station X. Last year a chap gave a lecture on enigma, with an actual machine, at a local arts centre. At half time the lights went up to reveal to the speaker that David Balme was in the audience.
Most will know of course that the overflow banks of bombes, the machines that processed alternatives in the hope of coming up with the enigma rotor settings for the day, were on the Government site in Old Eastcote.
I suspect that there are still more secrets to come out of the Bletchley and enigma stories. Howver, there is little doubt but that the work there shortened the war. Thanks, Hugh, and your colleagues.
Hugh Skillen has written prolifically about Enigma and is the historian (actual, if not appointed) of the Y Service (Wireless Intelligance Service) which collected the material for Enigma to work on. He has an enormous fund of knowledge and information and has organised the annual Enigma Symposium at Bletchley Park. He's not been in the best of health the last couple of years, but I'll bet he has seen to it that this year's Symposium will take place, with or without him.
If Geoff Lambert cares to send me his e-mail; address (on a strictly non-disclosure basis, naturally), I'll send him Hugh's postal address so he can write to him. I know he'd be pleased to read Geoff's comments on Bletchley Park.
(I shall be off air for about 10 or 12 days from tomorrow, so don't worry if I don't respond immediately, Geoff.)
no comments - just making contact!
On a recent visit to Bletchley Park, the secret second world war code-breaking establishment in Buckinghamshire, I came across a display and books referencing Hugh Skillen, our erstwhile French master. I recall we knew he had been "something in intelligence" in the war, and that he was occasionally referred to as Major Skillen, but I was surprised at the level of involvement he apparently had in this high profile, top secret project. Until the 30 year period had elapsed in the mid-seventies, no-one from Bletchley Park would speak about their work on the Enigma machine and similar activities, so we never heard anything when I was at the school. However, I would be interested to know if more details became known of his activities once the stories began to emerge, and whether he ever talks about them now.
If you haven't yet been to Station X, it's well worth a visit!
I joined 1939 (Wheldon House) & left in 1944 after passing GSC (just). Having read the reminiscences of the time I am surprised to see no mention whatever of those ladies who taught us during WW2. Praise is heaped only on the brave masters for putting up with us in difficult times - but what about the fairer sex having to face the pranks of a class of 100% boys? They are not fully named in any list of teachers as far as I can see. Miss Gower married the late Jack Hackman. Mrs 'Trix' Hackman lives close by and we go down memory lane together occasionally.
This is a great site. I have enjoyed visiting it. I will be back Thank you Ray M. Lyons Esq.
Hi. Inquiring to see if you had a teacher in 1800's, by the name of (Maxwell, WHEATLEIGH) b. & d. unknown. Had a son Dec. 5, 1885 (Eric Hugo, WHEATLEIGH) Apparently Maxwell was married to (Avis Bolton) Maxwell was my GGfather. Any info greatly appreciated. Thanks Ray M. Lyons Esq.
As I live in Africa and have done so for 44 years, it is fascinating to see names and have associations recalled for another world. I shall visit this site frequently. Well done Jeffrey Maynard.
To David Pearce
Try opening the guest book and doing a Ctrl F search on woodpecker. It will throw up previous correspondence from myself, Mick Boggis etc.
There is still an outstanding question from me about trying to date the remarks more precisely. I recall that the remarks were made during a run of the school play and that Michael Armstrong opted to ad lib that night or thereabouts with a line something along the lines "is this woodpecker I see before me". That sounds too much like Hamlet and it certainly wasn't Hamlet (was it?). So what was the play and what year and date? Was it Volpone?
Those who are interested in what the school (now called Harrow High School) is like today can click on this link to read what the headteacher, Christine Lennihan, writes in her weekly letter of news and announcements! http://www.harrow-high.harrow.sch.uk/Friday.htm
Another clock and bull story.
I understand that on the old biblical basis of eye for an eye, that the boy sent under the clock for interfering with the web counter was told that as he had no heart he was to have his ticker removed.
(1) The Gideons' representative was Mr John Probyn.
(2) Thanks to many people for reminding me of the Mmany virtues of JSG ... and greetings to Messrs Bilson and Lafferty, who, together with him, encouraged my continuing love of Eng. Lit.
Who was responsible for the inflatable Yogi Bear that descended on Sir Basil Spence during Speech Day circa 1960?
I agree with all the plaudits to the English Dept.
But I would also like to see George Yelland's contribution more widely acknowledged.
Simply u, he was the best teacher of ANY subject I ever met.
I owe a lifetime love of Literature and Poetry to him.
To John Parker, I have always been known as David Foxwell and joined the Metropolitan Police Force in 1968. I have now left the police and am working in adult education.
I came to Harrow County from Stag Lane School with among others Richard Franklin, Keith Huxley, David Anderson, David Boniface, Robert Teesdale and Henry Hatfield.
I slid unassumingly through school, ran a little cross country with "Chip" Griffiths and Roger Kraushaar but otherwise left few ripples.
i would be pleased to hear from any of you who remember me as I have started to doubt my own early existence.
Interesting to see all the tributes to Jim Golland - I have logged on for the first time in a few months so his death was a complete surprise. The English Department at HCS was certainly something remarkable and with people of the quality of Jim, Jock Lafferty, Fred Bilson and Clive I Anderson (he of the blue suede shoes), it probably isn't surprising that my best results came in English Lit. I can't praise them enough.
For my part, the same could not be said of the Science masters and my results were abysmal. The only lasting impression I have was left by Bodiam's knobbly retort stand.
The only good laugh I remember getting (somewhat obliquely) from the science labs was actually, I think, in a Latin class with Ken Waller. In an attempt to deal with some unruly pupil or other (not me), he strode across the corridor to the Physics Lab, returning with a metre rule which he then proceeded to snap in half across the miscreant's buttocks. Whether he ever explained himself to the Technician, I really don't know.
Interesting to see the contribution from John Holman (yes, I remember you and Dave, John) about the drinking habits of our Hush Puppied English staff and about skiving off, which usually involved nipping over the fence into Gayton Road.
And finally, does anyone remember the infamous Square assembly when some poor soul was paraded in front of the school in "shortie raincoat" and "woodpecker bootees", with the pronouncement that he looked like nothing in the world so much as a "third class Swedish traveller"?
David Pearce 1961-68
As has been mentioned before, if anyone is interested in either the 1932 Book of Commemoration, or the 1975 Official History of Harrow County school, I have copies available in the archive, in particular, the latter
Another Harrow County book for sale:
THE BOOK OF COMMEMORATION 1911 - 1932 EALING: J.G. COCKERTON, 1932 Hard Cover. Very Good/No Jacket. COMMEMORATES 21 YEARS OF HARROW COUNTY SCHOOL FOR BOYS . Bookseller Inventory # 001619 Price: £ 20.00 (approx. US$ 31.04) convert currency Presented by webbooks (Jim and Anne Vogler), WIGTOWN NEWTON STEWART, United Kingdom http://dogbert.abebooks.com/abe/BookDetails?bi=119147520
Notice www.bookfinder.com has copy of History of HCS
1 Stella & Rose's Books via Advanced Book Exchange Publisher: 1st ed 1975; A book in very good condition with no dust wrapper. $23.28 Author is May, Trevor Title is The History Of The Harrow County School For Boys
Many thanks to Michael Schwartz' sharp eye in picking out the obituary for Hugh Metcalfe and reporting it onthis page. Hugh was part of the form B entry in 1939. We were neighbours as children, attended the same primary school and also overlapped at Imperial College. From his career it is clear that he was yet another product the school can be proud of. It is a shame we lost him before he could be persuaded to contribute to this page as I am sure he had a lot to offer. He attended the 90 th celebration last March.
Delighted to see the 'hit counter' on the homepage has been restored to working order, and we are approaching six figures.
However, without us all having watched it tick round these last few months, how do we know it is accurate?
And what happened to the boy sent to wait under the clock for removing it?
Hello Alex - any chance of putting Gayton Times online? (Or send me a photocopy :-)!) I saw a copy of Cadet magazine once - produced without page numbers - just the words left, right, left,right...
In response to chris rickwood's note, i have two copies of 'Gatyon Times' in the archives, one being from about 1953 I think (off the top off my head) for the occasion of the official opening of the organ in the hall. It is numbered something like 56, but only one other issue (from about 1972 has come to light!!
The former, is a very well produced edition, in the style of 'cadet', although in speaking to john Featherstone recently (who worked on it with, or before Geoff Spring)the usual form was pages from the gestetner.
If anyone has any other copies, I'd be very interested in hearing from them, regarding possible copies for the archive.
Incidentally, there were many other short run magazines, like '3rd form News', 'Pomegranetes and Cheese' and of course 'Slime', but does anyone recall the 'Gayton Television Times and Gazette'? A broadsheet sized paper which surfaced at Gayton Fair.
The obituary is even more accessible if people know the address they can get it from...namely, me!
This Tuesday's Daily Telegraph carries the obituary of Hugh Metcalfe, an Old Gaytonian who specialised in guided weapons. He was a key figure in the development of two long-serving British missiles, Bloodhound and Rapier, and held many senior poistions in what became British Aerospace.
I can send a photocopy or fax of the obituary to anyone who would like to read it.
because memory works in strange ways ( not the prison ) I have dredged up the following exchange from an essay of mine on which JSG put ' your writing is illegible. ' Of course in adition to being LHD this illegibility was deliberate on my part as I didn't know anything about the book in question so I thought a bit of caligraphic ineptitude might hide absence of thought. However wishing to be a smart aI raised my hand and said ' sir, i can't re'ad what you've written at the end of my essay'. quick ( as a flash ) Jim said, 'My writing may be illegible but at least it's neat'.
Just a quick word to all that have given up on a Section 11 i.e., insolvent outfit and new address is above.........ARS longa, vita brevis
Chris Rickwood - please e-mail me as I cannot find your e-mail address!
This site brings back a lot of old memories.
Re Jim Golland.
I've been an occaisional visitor to this site, but never thought to contribute till I read the news of [Mr] Golland's death.
I have mixed memories of the man: A wonderful teacher, capable of a delight in literature that has stayed with me (for one) for life, capable of humour that suggested that we were not just kids, but could be adults, too... and a man who had favourites, who was capable of *not* seeing good work from people who he didn't get on with...
But one reminiscence: My last contact with JSG was his final lesson with my (then) english class, all of whom had just selected their "O" level options. Mine were all (or as far as possible at HCS) sciences. He simply said: "You're not a scientist".
And was right.
A difficult man. A challenging man. A good man.
PS Anyone remember Mike Philips, another superb english teacher, around about '75-75??
As well as "official" magazines such the Gaytonian and the Cadet magazine, I wonder if anybody has copies of the "Gayton Times" produced in the 50s by (if I recall correctly) Geoff Spring.
Took a lot of effort in those days, typing directly onto stencils (almost impossible to correct) and then running off on a Gestetner.
I don't remember it having any earth shattering content (indeed since this was ARS's heyday any remotely controversial content would have resulted in its immediate demise!), but I'm sure if anybody has copies it would give some insight to life at HCS in those days.
I just thought that I'd list a few of the things on this website that might interest an Old Gaytonian or "Gaytonite", such as David Wilson, who was at Gayton High School in the early 1980s.
First, in the photographs section, there are 20 form photographs. Some of them need to have the faces identified - any old boys from the 1980s out ther, please work on this. See http://www.jeffreymaynard.com/harrow_county/photographs.htm Then, there are reminiscences by Paul Hymas - http://www.jeffreymaynard.com/harrow_county/phymas.htm and Alex Bateman http://www.jeffreymaynard.com/harrow_county/alexbateman.htm ... and a programme from the School Dramatic Society Dramathon, 1983 http://www.jeffreymaynard.com/harrow_county/Dramathon1983.htm and one from the school play "Ernie's Incredible Illucinations", produced by Harry Mees in 1980. http://www.jeffreymaynard.com/harrow_county/ernie1980.htm
But where are the school magazines and other publications? If anyone has copies, some scans or retyped articles would be welcome!
Brian Hester omitted to mention that more information on Simpsonite can be found at http://webmineral.com/data/Simpsonite.shtml. But perhaps, as a Canadian, he would prefer me to cite the article on "The Crystal Chemistry of Simpsonite" in Canadian Mineralogist, 1992. (The whole double number, by the way, is truly a feast for the mind.)
But hold on, chaps. Dave Wilson has a serious point. There may well have been something lost as well as something gained in the transition from Harrow County to Gayton High. And he (or is it his schoolmates) shows a nice feeling for the difference in using the term Gaytonite to distinguish himself and his contemporaries from the Gaytonians of old.
Simpsonite. Is that not the stuff that used to 'come down upon ye...' during stormy weather? I talk out of my arts most of the time - science and I having parted on different trains long ago. It was a pleasure reading Brian's explanation - everything makes sense now. I could have mistaken gaytonite for an old fossil if I was careless! Have fun.
Ability to follow instructions has never been my strong suit. I completely overlooked the top two boxes hence I inadvertently signed myself "write your name here". Mineralogists tend to be polarised on this occasion my nicol prisms were evidently crossed.
Dear "Type your name here" ref Gaytonite:- Hilarious, thank you! Laugh? I nearly bought a round!!
Had Martin Flack had a mineralogical text at hand when he questioned the magnetism of gaytonite he would have discovered that, in its maturer form, gaytonite is attracted to clusters of its own species which, when immersed in alcohol,emit a low pitched noise referred to in the literature as "reminiscence". Gaytonite has a well developed crystalline form with no apparent cleavage, and is commonly lustrous to luminous. A gem variety is brilliant. Rare varieties have been described as dull and colourless. In less mature form gaytonite displays a grass green coating which disappears as maturity approaches. In very immature gaytonite, this green coating extends to the pinacoidal upper termination of the crystal but this disintegrates almost instantaneously into a cloud of gas (the famous puff of smoke) at an early stage. A variety "simpsonite" has been described which is malleable and can be beaten into characteristic square shapes but these quickly resume their original, idiomorphic, form. I hope this clears up the question.
Re message from David Foxwell....
David, can you help a confused Old Gayt out. I am a contemporary of G H-S and remember a Foxwell at school but am convinced that it was a Chris Foxwell. Is it my memory? Were there two of you? Have you changed your first name? Did you join the police?
John Parker (59-66)
Was at Harrow County School from 1958? - 1964. Was senior prefect when Geoff Haines Styles was Head Boy. Dr Simpson was the original Head who was followed by Mr Avery. Also remeber George Thorne, Col Bigham, Harry Mees,Morry Venn, Robertson the English master, Jock Lafferty, also English and Fred Bilson,Clarkson, John Bodiam, Mr Eagers who taught RK, Swanny Amos and Mr Underwood games and PT etc. Am now semi-retired and feeling slightly displaced in this technological society am finding solace in my roots.
Maybe, but I hear that Superman has upgraded to it!!
Gaytonite. Is that magnetic?
Gayton '80 -'84
Its heartening to read of the obvious respect in which Jim Golland was held.
As a Gaytonite of the early '80s it never crossed my mind to keep in touch with any teachers...have I missed out, or did we just not have the quality of staff that were present in the HC days?
Did any others of my era keep in touch with any of the staff ?
Do any of them read this website?
I have been following the Jim Golland eulogies from Asia and the US and am delighted with the affection with which he is held. I have a personal frustration as Jim had assiduaoulsy read my books, seemd to enjoy them, but constantly criticised my split infinitives.
So for a new book coming out next year I was more rigorous in my grammar and had chatted with him about this. As it is on corporate governance it did not immediately whet his interest, except the political bits. But then I made a breakthrough - possibly the earliest mention in English literature to the relationship between bad governance and turning a blind eye. I reread "The Nuns Priest's Tale" from Canterbury Tales (which I had read for A Levels)and there was the quote about Chantecleer! I was ridiculoulsy keen to tell Jim, but he was gone ....
Unlucky Paul, I would have voted on your side! However, the three letter word in question retains an expressive value in our society if nothing else...'Oh my god, what have I said?'
All this talk of sibilance makes me remember the mindless delight we felt when, on Poppy Day, Ubi was down to read out the section of names of pupils whose names began with 'S'.
I don't remember the Gideon man, but I do recall that one visitation occurred on the very day that I proposed in the Senior Debating Society That This House Does Not Believe in God. The announcement in Assembly must have caused Square some embarrassment; at any rate, he summoned me to his study to ask if I (as secretary) had deliberately staged the debate on that day. As if I knew or cared whether the G-man was coming.
Both Square and the G-man will have been relieved to learn that, despite my best efforts, the House did believe in God.
Like Martin and Michael, I remember the Gideons' Bible man clearly, though I thought his verbal problems stemmed from a sibilant speech impediment rather than an accent or "squeaky" voice.
Which means that nowadays it would--at least where I live--be non-PC to laugh at him. But thirty-plus years ago in a leafy London suburb, he was a source of lasting amusement--at least until the next poor unfortunate came along! (for days afterwards, boys would answer teachers' questions with "Yesh, shir!" and the class would laugh anew at an in-joke that the teacher would have to pretend not to understand).
Incidentally, in case I've got this wrong (I may be getting his and "Ubi" Lane's speech impediments confused) does anyone remember the exact date--or even month--of his visits? I kept copious diaries from 1967-72 (full of the most banal schoolboy mush, as I'm sure you can imagine) but--until I get round to word processing it--it's impossible to find my contemporary impressions of events that are described on this website in any timely fashion.
The man from the Gideons Society? How could we ever forget?
He made at least two appearances. The accent WAS the killer.
He explained how he was not educated at HCS but at Harrow High (the one across the road in Sheepcote Lane).
I am still uncertain whether he was being totally innocent when, after screams of laughter from the audience (and probably not just the pupils either) he declared "Well, we're all cheerful now. We'll get along tremendously well".
On one occasion Joe Avery was absent and so George Cowan introduced him. He must have been fuming at the reception we gave the Gideons man.
Of course, adolescent single-sex boys schools do tend to read double meanings into everything. The Gideons man explained the origins of his organisation. It transpired that two gentlemen needed hotel accommodation - and there was only one room (cue: laughter). One of them had a bible "and got it out and laid it on the bed" (cue: tidal wave of laughter, everything washed away in its wake).
Those of the Kosher persuasion went off to Jewish Asssembly. "Now we're trying to conduct a religious service here", declared the prayer-leader. "We've just had one", came the chorus.
How did HCS ever come to invite him twice? And how did they know we would enjoy the second experience as much as the first?
Martin - my recollection of the Gideon's Man is his squeeky voice, which left the assembled population laughing their heads off. I also recollect that it was the one occasion when people who normally attended a non CofE assembly would stay behind for the entertainment! PV
Thought for the weekend. I was toiling away in deepest London this afternoon when I was struck by a 'thunderbolt'. 'The man from the Gideon's Bible' passed through my thoughts. Does anyone present in that particular assembly remember the man? Slight, with a moustache? Rocking back and forth - part nervous, part jubilant? Was he? Funny name that - Gideon. I first came across it when I watched 'Gideon's Way' on TV - Saturday evening I think. And then there was this student called Gideon who studied graphics at St Martin's when I worked there. Finally, Gideon beer - a penalty for enjoying rugby and cricket at Old Gaytonians! Enjoy your weekends!
The late JSG pointed out to me this gem from an article by Harrow County music master George Thorne in Gaytonian for December 1953, page 17:
"It has been a great joy to us to see that work has at last begun in the School Organ. For some seventeen years the erection of this Organ has been a dream."
On this day when the Education secretary announced the end of the so called education experiment which killed a once great school I come across Martin Flack's comments about our so unworthy successors. All this so close to the passing of Jim Golland. How he would turn in his grave.
I haven't anything very much to add to the Jim Golland valedictories that hasn't already been said (very well) by others.
I agree with Geoff Plow that there developed a certain complexity in relations with him, probably as a result of his own personal handicap system of expectations (I never quite forgave him for somehow contriving to patch through my A level results, better in English than in History, my preferred subject, to Rome where we were on holiday).
Despite all this, I liked Jim for his essential humanity (a quality not necessarily most obvious). A couple of examples spring to mind:
1. IK in C2 c.1968, sitting at a desk towards the back, I made the interesting discovery that it was possible to feed objects such as pens etc through the empty inkwell and into the (firmly padlocked) desk. After a while I had succeeded in losing half my worldy possessions (including all available writing implements) through this lacuna.
Spotting a main chance I approached Jim at the end of the period:
'Please Sir, I've lost all my pens down the inkwell, so i can't do my homework!'
'You mean you haven't a single pen in the world left?'
'Here, have mine....'
At which point Jim neatly called my bluff by offering me his own personal fountain pen.
2. A year or so later: arriving at Gayton Road after a particularly circumnavigatory Hugh Skillen coach trip, my French exchange student promptly throws up all over the side of the coach. We're stranded there gormlessly not knowing what the hell to do. Suddenly out of the blue JSG beams himself in and offers us a lift home.
Apart from these moments, I think it was Jim who awakened me to the power of literature to evoke poignancy. I now know he was born in the same year (1922) as Philip Larkin and still remember the hairs springing up on the back of my neck when we read 'The Whitsun Weddings' the first time in class.
But Jim's sense of poignancy went beyond the merely literary. For example, he recounted a fable about someone's retail career which rose and fell, culminating in a posting to Shepton Mallet! Then there was a story about an old man who got arrested simply for starting a conversation with two young girls. Somehow this anticipates his later career.
As you get older you appreciate more this Larkinesque sensitivity to the poignant...but it was Jim that managed to introduce it to those otherwise too young to understand.
Thanks for that, and eveything else.
I was never taught by Jim Golland, but I remember him well. The most vivid memory I have of him was the occasion when, whilst waiting in A1 for Clive Anderson (the English teacher, not the TV celeb)to arrive to take a lesson, some wag in the class had balanced one of the old metal waste paper bins over the (very rickety) door, in the hope that when Clive entered the room it would fall on his head (funny, huh); however, we were making so much noise that Jim, who happened to be passing by, stuck his head into the room to tell us to shut up; in so doing he almost...almost made the offending bin topple.. I could just see the sharp metal rim of the bin making very painful contact with his unprotected almost bald head....; the whole class held it's breath...... fortunately, the bin just wobbled precariously, but did not fall. Jim left, having delivered his admonishment, and the bin was taken down from it's perch, to our collective relief. I'm really glad it didn't hit him.. he was too good a bloke to deserve such a fate. I liked Clive too, so I was glad that the intended attack was foiled without me having to step in and make myself look a right wimp. Well, there you are, that's the story.. I thought it was worth telling. Spence Smith HCS 1965-72.
To David Barker,
Arthur Haley was at the school reunion in January 2001. His photo is on this site www.jeffreymaynard.com/Harrow_County/staff2001.htm
Just found the site, it will be usefull to try and locate past friends.
Musicians of the 60s and 70s will doubtless remember Arthur Haley, a most gentle and musically talented teacher. When I was on a business trip in the early 80s (I think), I happened to notice his business card in a Norfolk music shop. I tracked him down to the small town of Snettisham where he was in happy retirement, giving the occasional piano lesson. I was delighted to stay overnight once soon after and enjoyed a short musical session. Unfortunately, because of the car crash he experienced around '72 his back would not let him play for long. Regrettably, I have not seen him since then, although Christmas cards were exchanged for a few years thereafter. Although I write all this in the past tense, I have just been prompted by browsing the website to look him up on BT's internet directory enquiry service and I am delighted to find he is still listed at the same address so I have every hope that he is still alive and well although he must surely be well into his 80s by now. I really must write to him! Who else remembers this marvellous teacher and has anyone had contact with him more recently than I?
My band, FLICKER, is playing at the Horn Reborn, Victoria Street, St Albans, next Tuesday. The show starts at about 9pm. It would be great to see any OGs on the night.
Mike Bergquist 69-75
Welcome aboard all you illiterate tossers! May you all make whatever you can of the educational opportunities placed before you, and just remember that there is nothing new under the Sun. Try reading Nigel Molesworth by Geoff Willans and Ronald Searle - how to corrupt language and be clever too! Dis aint no crumbly geezer ritin iver. I know Ali G - shame he's missing the other 25 letters of the alphabet.
Im still at Harrow High and it's very scary to see how much it has changed!! I didnt know it had a swimming pool
hi harrow high is a good school and itisimproving alot
hya old Gayton timers i still attend Harrow High and im in year 9.
hello people of harrow high i was in yr 9 when i made this ok. i did like this school when i 1st came here but now i don't mind it. good luck with who ever you are ok. luv from heeral masru :)
I am 13 and I go to Harrow High. Ashford still teaches here
I Rock ! YEAH
At the risk of repetition, I would like to add to the many reminiscences about Jim Golland, apologising in advance for my lack of writing skills. Not his fault.
My closest and dearest friend at school and for some time afterwards was Stephen Davis, who sadly died a few years ago. He was deputy-editor of The Gaytonian when the format changed, back in the early sixties, from boring and bureaucratic to innovative and engaging. Awards were won and Stephen went to Hamburg on some consequent prize-giving junket.
He was a huge fan of Jim Golland and, I think, the admiration was mutual, since Jim insisted on including many of Stephen's poems in successive editions of the magazine. In our last year, Jim even included a brief note, declaring that Stephen was one of the best poets the school had ever produced. It was a gracious, thoughtful goodbye and Stephen was deeply touched by it.
As Stephen's friend, I was allowed to ingratiate myself into working on The Gaytonian, submitting some - now - embarrassingly untalented cartoons and dreadfully unfunny articles. Jim was tolerant, even stoic. He seemed satisfied that they were the best I could manage and so warranted inclusion.
I was decidedly average at English Literature, struggling to keep up with the bright stars around me and always feeling darkly overshadowed, but he once chose to heap praise on a piece I wrote - a critique of a passage from some novel - declaring it good enough to "secure you a place at any university in the land".
This extravagant comment surprised me, since he had always appeared to judge my presence in his O and A level classes as a necessary evil. I put it down to his quirky sense of humour. He seemed to delight in watching the fabled Ainley twins rush to read what had inspired his excessive plaudits.
My last proper contact with Jim was when he and I worked together on the Old Gaytonian's production of "A Voyage Round My Father". Our relationship was, of course, somewhat different, but his quirkiness remained intact. I remember, he was intrigued by the, admittedly, flashy car I drove at the time and commented how "your education does not seem to have damaged your earning power".
I had never really warmed to him at school, although I benefitted from his teaching, because I found him almost as impenetrable as he found me: if his humour was dry, mine verged on arid. But, working together on the play, I began to appreciate him far more. He produced a wonderful, touching version of the play.
I was sad to learn of his passing. If Stephen Davis was here now, I am sure he would write a moving, memorable tribute to his former mentor. In his stead, I can only manage - on both our behalves - an inadequate thank you to a man who, quirkiness allowed, always did his very best for the boys he was tasked to teach and expected them to do their very best in return.
The Funeral of Jim Golland. A very brief description of the day, for those unable to attend in person.
The weather was cloudy but bright as over one hundred people packed the Chapel in Ruislip to standing room only.
After the Welcome by the Revd. David Coleman, Roger Golland spoke of his father in a style which was very much that of Jim himself and the text of which it is hoped may appear on this site, because it was a brilliant tribute to Jim, both in content and tone. The hymn "The Lord's my Shepherd" was followed by a reading of the familiar second epistle of St Paul to the Corinthians and then the Commital was accompanied by "God be in my Head", which took quite a few of us back to the closing of so many School Assemblies in the New Hall. "He who would valiant be" was the final hymn, with closing prayers and Blessing leading to the exit from the Chapel.
After congregating outside the Chapel, we moved to the Masters Dining Room at Harrow School. Here, Roger introduced Jim's grandson Richard, who, in turn and in fine dramatic style which would have greatly pleased Jim, introduced two speakers.
The first, from the Pinner Historical Society, spoke of Jim's dedicated work for the Society, referring among many other points to his amassing of a card index of Pinner people with over eighty thousand names included. The second 'act' was from a colleague at Harrow School who told of the problems in joining Jim on stage on cue, when she could not hear that cue from where she was waiting. Entering prematurely, she was saved from ignominy by an ad libbing Jim, who showed that the Director of so many productions could cope with potential disaster from the stage as well as from the wings.
Harrow County was very well represented on the day, including the presence of two of our publicly known Old Boys.
There was, of course, sadness but the spirit was more that of a celebration of Jim's life and of thanksgiving for it and we thank Jim's family for adopting that approach.
Jim Golland was the finest teacher I experienced in all my years in education. To a callow youth, his often caustic tongue was more terrifying than a size 12 Bodiam slipper and his comments on school reports could be withering - my parents fortunately thought that 'blissfully competent' was praise. Despite this, he gave me a lifelong love of Shakespeare, Chaucer and Pope and whenever I thought of HCS, it was his lessons that came back to me. His passing is truly the end of an era. Shaw said "He who can does. He who cannot teaches." Jim Golland could and did and taught.
Jim Golland will be much missed, is already much missed. Nobody who was taught by Jim could ever forget him. Frightening to watch when you were a tender first-former, he soon showed his nice side, rewarding effort with encouragement and (sometimes at the same time)fiercely critical of laziness. His invention of logbooks was truly inspired. I kept writing my log book for longer than most, and I have it still, somewhere. I remember well the scholarly wit - I recall an exam paper from years ago where he asked us to dissect and criticise a choice of poems, and slipped in one of his own to see if we could spot it for the (deliberate) dud that it was. Only one of us (not me - Alan Allard) was clever enough to. As I recall, it was "Oh gentle slug with greasy slime, That shows us where you've been, How like art thou to fleeting time, Whose passage swift is seen". And I still remember his Eric Morecambe moments, twiddling the glasses. I don't think I would have ended up doing EngLit at Oxford if I hadn't been exposed to Jim's fierce enthusiasm for good writing nor his intolerance of sloppy thinking. Going to the funeral today and seeing so many people there - so very many - made me realise how many lives you influence when you're a teacher and how there is no more worthwhile career on earth than teaching. I shall always think of Jim when I watch King Lear. I shall remember doing it for A level and how passionately he read the lines about giving one's kingdom away to ungrateful daughters. And how within a year or so of studying that play with him I saw an ungrateful government take our school away, and take from Jim the job that he loved. God bless him, and comfort his family.
I was very sorry to hear about the death of Jim Golland. He was a teacher with an outstanding reputation in the school.
I had the misfortune to only have one year of english with Jim, and it was not a happy year for me. I was one of his poorer students and he seemed to feel that I was beyond redemption at times. However, no one was more pleased than Jim when, the following year, Jerry Lafferty succeeded in extracting some excelent work and an O level pass out of me. The comments he wrote in my exercise book gave me the confidence to write and probobaly enabled me to eventualy get a degree.
He was very pleased to see that I had gone into teaching when we met at the recent back stage reunion.
The work of Jim and his department can be largley thanked for my success today in geting a promotion at work. This was achieved largley due to the written presentation I prpared on the new scince strategy for schools. Without Jim and his department I would not have been able to prepare a document so well.
He will be sadly missed by all the pupils he taught.
My condolences to his family.
Very sad to hear of the passing of Jim Golland. I was not one of the 'in crowd' but did have the honour of being taught by him. I recall that his standard penalty for the late or non appearance of homework was submission of the same piece 3 times over by the next lesson. As a naive child I tried carbon paper, unsuccessfully! I am not sure what the record is, but I recall Barry Weatherly amassing a requirement to complete a piece of work 27 times before the next lesson!! Anyone claim higher? Having just confirmed various spellings in my trusty Collins Contemporary Dictionary (circa 1966)I was going to request that the webmaster added a spellchecker to the Guestbook comments section. Then I recalled the increasing frequency of licence being spelt with an s and felt that JAGO would prefer me to continue using the trusty Collins!
Many have written far greater tributes to Jim Golland than I can ever dare hope to do. I was aimming one day to write some reminiscences of the school and in particular 3 of the teachers who stand out above anyone else - JSG is one of them. It seems strange to be writing about an English teacher, having come into the school not having had a proper primary education in grammar; JSG, Joe Avery and Bernie Marchant somehow helped in this respect. My ability in English was dire to say the least yet JSG always took an interest in me and others who simlarily failed to achieve pass marks. His joy when I reached the dizzy heights of 54% was more than mine - I was probably in shock! However, I do remember the less interesting sides when having to write out chapters galore of "The Chrysalids", a book I still do not understand. JSG's abilities were emphasised even more during O level year in 1975-76 when all of the decent teachers had left - who ever we had was short of dreadful in comparison. JSG had an aura in the school - he was a caring form and house master to whom you could always speak to. He introduced me to local history making it a passion. Who would have thought of studying the demographic explosion of Harrow by studying post boxes? JSG. Who could write a story using the surnames of every single member of our form of 30 on one sheet of A4? JSG. Who could come into a class and talk about any subject for so long and from such a knowledgeable base? JSG Who had a vocabulary larger than the dictionary or Roget's thesauras? JSG. One lesson when we had all yet again failed to achieve he came in asking if he had to thrash, cane, slipper us etc. to make us understand. This is not remarkable- the fact that he spoke for 2 to 3 minutes using differing words which all meant to beat was indeed. The strange thing though is that he was such a gent that I doubt if he would. Having only recently found this website I was waiting for another chance to visit the school at a reunion and to speak to JSG and shake his hand and just say THANKS. Jim, consider your hand shaken and thanks for everything. May you rest in peace
Jim Golland's was a prickly personality. You never knew quite what to expect. It was an essential part of what made him a challenging and effective teacher. It kept you on your toes and made you hit back -- if you dared or cared.
Piers Spencer is not alone in not just remembering, but never having forgotten, our introduction to G.M. Hopkins?s ?Pied Beauty? in 3B. For me, and I?m sure for others, a comparable moment was the time Jim introduced us to Joyce Cary?s exotic use of language in ?The Horse?s Mouth.? In addition to a love of literature, Jim imparted a love of language; but even more important to me at least was the concern he inculcated for the exact meaning of words, a skill which I later found of great value in my work as a historian.
The emergence of Piers and Ben Lenthall from the cyberwoodwork, along with Pete Fowler?s earlier tribute, reminds me that the joy I got from Jim?s teaching was much enhanced by sharing it with such a lively and receptive group of students. The value of Harrow County consisted for me not only in teachers like Jim but in the calibre of the pupils he and they attracted to the school ? a boon which I did not fully appreciate until I found myself among comparative dullards at Oxford.
I believe I have seen it said, somewhere on this site, that Jim took greater pleasure in his years at Harrow County than in his later career at Harrow School because his pupils at Harrow County were more strongly motivated to learn. If so, it is suggestive of how the country was weakened by the prevalence of a system that favoured Harrovians over Gaytonians.
My condolences to Mr Golland follow those of others mentioned previously. Further to Alan Taylor's captioning of the 1967 3rd xv I can only add that it is Cliff Abrons...maybe Dave Berry features somewhere but I have no 'mental picture'...Cliff is famous for having suffered a compo biscuit bombardment one lunchtime in the quartermaster's stores aka 'The Casino'. also, I remember him having very large feet at such a delicate age! Bill Cook was another contemporary - does he feature somewhere too?
I cannot add to the eloquence expressed by others in appreciation of Jim Golland. But I would just like to repeat my own selfish thanks for his lasting effect on my life:
for making me understand that it was fun to think for myself and not be afraid to go against the popular.
for showing that challenging books were good and for leaving that legacy with me for ever.
for persuading me that Oxford was good and for being right.
for imparting a little of the magic of the stage.
for successfully inspiring me to seek employment in publishing and the media
for telling me that because I bit my nails I was like Dr Johnson and because I wrote interminably long sentences I was like Bernard Shaw and being wrong about both.
Goodbye Jim. It was wonderful after to discover you were still alive
Having not visited the site for several weeks I was very sorry to learn of Jim Golland's passing. He looked so well at the last 3 reunions. He did not seem to have changed from my time at school whereas I was very conscious of the passing of the years. It was Jim who introduced me to this site and suggested I submit my memories which I had just sent to him as a result of reading the Old Gaytonian magazine. Must be about 2 years ago now. I think mine were the first reminisces to be posted. Although I was never actually taught by Jim he always seemed to have time for you even if you were not a direct pupil of his. He certainly was a symbol of the "classic" or dare one say "golden" period of HCS and will be sadly missed.
I hope it does not appear crass to mention more mundane items now. In response to the latest additions of rugby team photos can I add some of the names to the Third XV of 1967.
Back row Phil Smith, ?, Alan Taylor(me!), Dave Waller, ?, Kit Crump Middle row Graham Dawson, ?, Chris(?) Abrons, ?, Andy Jackman, Phil Lloyd Front row Webb (younger), ?, Webb (older) Mr Thorn, Steve Fischer, Tony Usher
I bumped into Andy J in the Windows on the World restaurant at the top of the World Trade Centre in the mid-80s. Hope he is still OK. Graham D and I both joined HCS from Priestmead.
Just over a year ago, I dicovered this website and I wrote the following to Jim Golland. In view of last week's sad news, I'me really glad that I did.
30 March 2001
Dear Jim, It's really good to know that you are keeping going, even 16 years into retirement. I always thought that you ran on Duracell, while the rest of us poor mortals had to make do with Ever Ready. If you recall, I did write to you some 30 years ago (in 1970, seven years after I left Harrow County) in response to your round robin asking for reminiscences of our sixth form days.
I have been (and still am) a teacher for nearly 34 years no-w and am painfully conscious that we can only have a dim idea of the long-term effect we have on our pupils. You should count yourself lucky that you escaped the rigours of the Office for Standards in Education who believe that 'Childrens learning' is something that can be observed through inspection and measured through examination results. Some aspects of learning can, of course, but not the really important ones, the ones that cause a permanent change in attitude and understanding.
When I wrote to you in 1970, it was to thank you for your Vlth form teaching. But this time, I want to tell you about something that happened earlier on. It will have been long erased from your memory, but the important thing is that I haven't forgotten it.
It was the autumn of 1958. I was in the Third Year (3B) and, one afternoon, you read us Hopkins' 'Pied Beauty.' The poem (and the way you handled it) opened my ears to literature and left them open permanently. I had never come across such a quirky approach to words. I suppose, for me, it was a kind of 'epiphany.' For you, I'm sure, it was just another lesson, with a bunch of middle-class, middle-of-the road 13-year olds, But for at least one boy in that class; the sheer oddity of the language and the poem's unconventional approach to rhythm touched a nerve. 'All things counter, original, spare, strange.' Well, I've been attracted to the counter, original, spare, strange ever since. Schools have a vital role in introducing children to things they would not meet otherwise and you played your part. I'm eternally grateful.
I've given you some long overdue feedback. I've wanted to say this to you for a long time and the Internet and Jeff Maynard's enterprise have created the opportunity. As I have 'progressed' through my career, my work has become increasingly 'literary.' I edit a journal and I do quite a bit of book reviewing. What I find depressing, particularly in the academic world whose fringes I inhabit, is the disappearance of the adjective as a part of speech. In government documents that arrive at schools and universities by the binful these days, we don't have proper 'describing words' any more: just nouns piled on each other. We have 'Quality Assurance Audits'; 'Mission Statements'; and (this is my least favourite); 'Research Assessment Exercises.' This leaden language, or 'Quahili' as we call it at Exeter exemplifies compression at the expense of clarity, which is something I am sure you taught us to avoid. Wasn't it you who once wrote on the board the headline 'Squad helps dog bite victim'?
Best wishes Piers Spencer
I have just seen Bob Garrat's piece about a lasting tribute to Jim to support English teaching at Harrow High, perhaps for a piec of written English in the final year at school, or perhaps two awards - one for progress in English by a pupils for whom English is not the first langauge and one as aforesaid.
I am certainly "in" for a contribution and I believe that some sort of practical memorial would attract a lot of support
Thank you for organising the flowers for Jim's funeral.
And don't forget the China and South East Asia reps! He was always intrigued that some of us ended up so deep into the Orient.
All of which begs the question - what shall we do to honour his memory through ensuring high standards of English at Harrow High? The obvious thoughts are scholarships or prizes, unless someone has more creative ideas?
I shall be travelling for the next three weeks but hope to pick up this conversation in early July.
As Jim Golland's step-daughter I would first of all like to thank all his many friends and colleagues who have written such superb tributes to him. I would also like to contact John Clark, who I believe is a former member of Harrow County. I think John is currently living in Wales and he was with Jim a few months ago discussing computers. Thank you again for your comments which I have passed on to the rest of the family.
Jim Golland. A token at his funeral.
It would appear that there will be no official tribute from Harrow County to accompany Jim's cortege at his funeral.
Because many of his pupils will be unable to attend but would like their appreciation to be formally acknowledged, a group of ten people has formed to provide a floral tribute with accompanying card.
We are from a wide spectrum of Jim's pupils, ranging from academic high achievers and leading members of the Dramatic Society to very ordinary classroom 'oiks! We also include a member resident in the States, so Jim's 'Territories and Dominions Overseas' are included. For that matter, we also include people with differing views on the virtues of the School!
A sheaf of flowers has been ordered and this will be accompanied by a card indicating that it comes from all Jim's former pupils at Harrow County.
As is stated elsewhere on this board, the Family have asked for contributions to the Aplastic Anaemia Trust, rather than flowers and we will also be making our own contributions there, to comply with their wishes.
**************************************************** We hope that this will enable all those who would like to be associated with this symbol of their presence and thoughts at Jim's funeral, to know that it is there and to feel that they are represented by someone of a similar background to their own. You are associated with it just by wanting to be so. This token is not from the ten of us; it is from anyone who would like to regard it as his own. ****************************************************
Of course, we hope that many will want to make a practical gesture and make a contribution to the Aplastic Anaemia Trust, as requested by the Family. Details are in a previous posting from Alex on this board, in the front page box and from Rod Clarke in a front page link.
Mike Bergquist, Colin Bridle, Dave Buckley, Rod Clarke, Andy Findon, Pete Fowler, Peter Hargood, Martin Kingdon, Anthony Smith and Min Vincent.
I am the above mentioned daugter. Would you be able to forward me information about anything to do with him I.E. [parents names and address's) or the date that he attended Harrow or anything. As far as I know he was born on 21.12.08.I hope that you can help me in this matter??
Jim Golland. Aplastic Anaemia and donations to the Trust.
I spoke to the Aplastic Anaemia Trust this morning.The Trust's website is down at the moment and will not be back up for about a fortnight. For information about the condition, you may like to try http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/lrf-/diseases/aplastic_book.htm Of course, a search engine will find many others.
Donations. Overseas donors and many in the U.K. may like to know that the Trust is linked to an umbrella website at: www.justgiving.com/charity/aplastic I have tried this myself. You will need to register by filling in brief details so that your credit card can be processed. Read their terms - they seem reasonable to me, though our classmates who became solicitors may say otherwise! U.K. donors can have tax recovered by the Trust. Two boxes at the bottom of the form allow them to send you updates on the charity. If you don't want that, watch it if you make a mistake on the form and it reappears showing the error - the boxes will have been ticked again!
Tax recovery on donations. While trying justgiving.com, I realised that if donors sending to the funeral directors do not give the neccessary information, the Trust will be unable to recover your tax. I rang the Trust back and they tell me that we should send an accompanying letter stating: Name, address, amount of donation and stating that "I am a U.K. taxpayer."
I also asked about the charge that justgiving.com make to the charity. This is 5% on the gross value i.e. donation plus recovered tax. The Trust is quite happy with this. On-Line donations work out cheaper for the Trust in admin. costs and they are more likely to be able to receive the recovered tax than when donations are made by cheque, as most people forget to include the tax information (like what I did yesterday. Ahem!). Although there is no tax to recover for overseas donors, losses in admin costs to the banks on cheques and the ease of making the donation meaning that it is more likely that there will be a donation in the first place more than offset the website's charge.
Like so many others who have contributed to this guest book, I was very sorry indeed to hear of Jim Gollands death. He was the best teacher I ever had, in any subject. He knew better than I did what I was capable of, right up to A level English. But this didnt necessarily make things easy. This incisiveness could (especially if you listen to my contemporaries) make for a steely sort of relationship. If, as in my case, you were pretty sure you knew what you were most capable of and it didnt happen to be English, the rest was often silence. The Plow-Golland silence lasted twenty-six years, in fact. I thought he had grunted something disparaging when I got a place at Cambridge; I duly demonised him, enacting and reviving the ritual over the years on Christmas Eve at The Castle. Therefore, meeting him last March and last September at the reunions was a complex business. Here was someone whose expectations of you at Harrow County were so clear that they sometimes became unremitting; it hurt somehow. Im grateful to this website and to last years gatherings for allowing me to go beyond this. My abiding impression of Jim is not of hurt, but of gratitude.
Many thanks to Fred Bilson and Gerry Lafferty for composing appreciations of Jim Golland far more eloquent than anything I could manage. That this should be so is only right and proper, as they were teachers of English and even with all their - and Jim's - combined efforts, the best I could come up with was a Grade E Eng Lang 'O'-level at the second attempt. Considering my apalling record of early-60's academic non-achievement, I suspect they were as pleasantly surprised as I at this result.
Largely courtesy of this technology, the last 18 months has brought me back into contact with a great many good friends - and lesser acquaintances - whom I had not seen for as many as 35 years. I've even visited the school itself twice in the last year! So now, my recollections of HCS between 58 & 64 have been polished to relative brightness again - well, at least the worst of the verdigris has been removed. But I know that in the intervening years, whenever I thought about school and the staff, the master that always came to mind first was Jim. There were many other staff who ought to have been more prominent in my memory for uncharitable reasons; usually what we saw as their idiosyncrasies or accents, apparent failure to be on the same planet, or just inability to control a class. I won't mention any names here, contemporaries will know who I mean. But it was always Jim's Eng. Lang. classes in C2 that came back to me, so I can only conclude that in his quiet, unflamboyant way, he had a far deeper effect on my education than I could ever have imagined at the time.
My non-career has meandered down the Science path over the years rather than that of Arts, and on hat path an ability to use language effectively has not been such an absolute necessity. But I've discovered repeatedly that my own command of English - grammar, spelling, vocabulary - is indubitably superior to most of the people I have worked alongside, and I've - in part at least - been able to eke a bit of a living as a technical writer. Jim deserves my thanks for this.
I remember a special morning showing of Olivier's Henry V at the Granada. The only posible interest this hed for us was that a) it got us out of school for a couple of hours, and b) as several other schools were also represented, there were GIRLS!!! there! For all Shakespeare's and Olivier's efforts, it might as well have been a Western at Saturday Morning Flicks. The place was in uproar, with everybody booing and cheering in the battle sequences, and shouting 'witty' remarks during the 'talking bits'. Later, for some reason I asked Jim how he'd a enjoyed the film. 'Yes, it was a very good football match' he said quite matter-of-factly, and wrapping his gown around, strode off.
I'm glad I was able to make contact with Jim again in recent times. 'It's good to hear from one of my not-so-successful-at-the-time students' was how he put it, and reminded me that one of Churchill's school reports condemned him as a wastrel.
A particular demon I had to lay to rest was to finally apologise for stealing the DramaSocs loudspeakers in 1964. Not the whole things, you understand - just the speakers themselves - unscrewed from the cabinets. We figured we needed them more for our group's amplification than the DramaSoc did for their productions, and thus thought it was just a bit of a crack. When their absence was discovered (would loved to have been there when they plugged them in) it was deemed so serious a misdemeanour that a special assembly was convened the next day by Square, where a long lecture on moral decay was delivered, the upshot being that whoever had taken them ought to reconsider. We did so, and that night crept back into the school long after closing and refitted them in their cabinets. In English the next day, Jim came in and didn't say a word. He just stared at me and Tim LeBlond, my partner in this crime, for what seemed ages, but was probably about 30 seconds. He knew, we knew he knew, and he knew we knew he knew. But that was the end of matter, and he almost certainly dealt with it the right way, and I'm still grateful for that.
He was one of the good ones, of that there is no doubt. You wouldn't have caught me writing something about this about Bigham.
Just noticed from Chris Rickwood: "He had been playing 1st class cricket up until 1934 so is unlikely to have been unfit."
I just had a quick look in Wisden and couldn't find him in the "Births and Deaths ..." section (tried 1956 and 1975) - anybody any idea what team(s) he played for?
Came across site by chance when searching on something completely unconnected. I don't see many references to the group I belonged to (57-64): Malcolm Pyne, Martin Pole , Derek? Ware, Howard Levene, Tony Sturgeon, Graham Anderson ,and only a few of the others I remember.
In the photos for 1961, I believe Howard Levene is the one in V2 and Levine the one in V1.
As for the masters. Bodiam may have been a whack with the slipper, throw chalk or slipper man, but at least he actually managed to teach me something. Not only did I suddenly get good marks consistently in Physics, but for the one term he taught me Chemistry I achieved acceptable marks for that.
Bigham: he read a chapter from the book at you, then you copied one out for homework. Wow, what brilliance! Hamish Sutherland was a likeable English teacher, but he left after short time. Whoever tried teaching me Pure Maths in the lower sixth was another read from the book man that made me lose all interest in the subject. Couple of memories of "Square"; I was within two or three feet of the unfortunate who was wearing winklepickers and drainpipe trousers when Square went apoplectic in the playground at lunch-time. This lead to the oft-quoted "woodpecker shoes" tirade at Assembly with the pronouncement of minimum width of turn-ups. He would go mad if he espied someone leaving the grounds without the required cap, he even asked me to chase after an offender one afternoon - afraid I failed miserably.
Anyone else remember the pipe-band parade, and ceremonial burial of a wellington booted "effigy" of Square in the sand pit, by the top prefects on the last day of term - guess it was 61 or 62? Or, the missing ladders, or the bullet holes in the Hall?
I only found out about Jim Golland's passing today having been in Belgium over the Bank Holiday.
I would have to say that his most outstanding quality from my perspective was his ability to inspire those (like me) whose preferred subjects were Science or subjects other than English to take the subject more seriously.
I was only in the "B" class for English at 'O' Level. Rather than study whatever Bronte novel the 'A' class were reading, he chose John Wyndham's 'The Chrysalids" as our text.
For someone whose first choice for reading was Science Fiction, the choice certainly helped me get a good grade at 'O' Level.
As mentioned elsewhere, he also had us filling out a reading diary. I must admit that mine was full of Michael Moorcock, Andre Norton or Robert Silverberg, but filling out the diary certainly made me think about what I was reading and, in later life, has helped me appreciate more the classic novels.
Jim's passing is perhaps a timely reminder that the teachers from the Harrow County (i.e. pre 1975) generation are not getting any younger. Even the youngest are rapidly approaching retirement age. If a TV programme is to be made about the school, perhaps it needs to be sooner rather than later.
On a happier note, today's (6/6) Harrow Observer, along with a tribute to Jim, has an article in the Metroland section, on one of the school's Olympic athlete Jack Powell.
Both Alex Bateman and myself have made a contribution to this after I alerted them to the fact that it was approaching the 70th anniversary of his run in the 1932 Los Angeles Games. It seems that the current Harrow Observer staff were unaware that he was actually one of their employees at the time and they may well publish extracts from the "Diary" he wrote about the Games when the actual 70th anniversary arrives in August.
As one of the unfortunate or perhaps fortunate intake who on completing my first year at HCS was compelled to spend the balance of my years in grade "C" - (renamed home classroom teachers last name first initial) I can only sadly and belatedly pay my respects to Jim Golland. I was fortunate to be in his classes for a couple of years. I even found my copy of "3C1ders". He was the consumate teacher, but much more, able to extract imagination and poetry from the most obtuse, dragging wit and veracity from unwilling adolescents and then throwing it back at us. It was obvious he loved every minute.
I was never taught by Jim Golland but will always be grateful to him for welcoming my ideas for redesigning Gaytonian in 1964 and giving me the opportunity to see my first significant design project through to completion. It was only a bit of 'modern' typography (and largely Bauhaus / De Stijl influenced so not even that modern) but it was revolutionary stuff in the HCS of the time. He could have played safe but chose not to.
He was a very lucky man. Most of us earn our living in ways which are ultimately trivial and of no lasting worth. But helping shape the characters of hundreds, thousands even, of boys and sending them off into the world as young men who in later years publicly state their appreciation of the efforts made on their behalf is most definitely not a trivial way to spend your life.
Jim Gollands Funeral.
Several people have enquired about this. It will be at Breakspear Crematorium, Ruislip on June 12th at 2.30pm. The family have requested no flowers, instead they would prefer donations to the Aplastic Anaemia Trust. A possible gathering at Harrow School may follow, subject to confirmation.
Anyone requiring further details of either of the above, feel freel to email me or telephone me (members of the OGA will find my telephone number in the front cover of the last Assn magazine).
Regarding the funeral of Jim Golland.
This is to take place on June 12th at Breakspear Crematorium. The family have asked that flowers not be sent, but donations be made to the Aplastic Anaemia Trust. For those requiring further details on either of these matters, please email or phone me. (Members of the OGA will find my telephone number in the front cover of the Assn magazine)
I was so sorry to read of Jim Golland's death. He was one of the teachers at HCSB who left a lasting impression, not least still being able to recite a very long sentence thet began "Contrary to expectation and the general impression I seek to create at every opportumity...! that he set as "lines". Jim gave me a lasting love of boojks and reading, and of being generally inquisitive. He also gave nme some very useful information about my Father's (also an OG)family who lived in Greenhill Road. The house is still there, and is what is now called a "house in multiple occupation". What they called it around the time of the first world war I do not know - Dad, 3rd wife and 14 kids, of whom Dad was the youngest.
Please, someone, pass on my condolences and best wishes to Mrs Golland - if I hear when the funeral is, and can get there I will and try not to behave like a bull elephant (which is where the line mentioned above led to!
Good bye, Jim, and "thanks"
May I, as someone who has been very critical of the school in the pieces I have submitted, say how sorry I am about Jim Gollands death. Jim was the essence of Harrow County an excellent teacher, always probing and always enthusiastic; a high-profile presence in the school, with his huge contributions to drama and to the arts and creativity in general - at heart, a dedicated public servant with no eye whatsoever on the ball of materialism, leaving him, at the end of his life, with a pension that most of those reading these pages would consider derisory. I remember, at this point, an English lesson when I was in 3A: Jim was asking all of us about our futures, what we wanted from life. We went round the class, with the tales of big houses and sports cars echoing around the room. But none of these, he said, are important .what is important is that you are self-fulfilled and that you contribute. That you give back that you are happy, satisfied with what you have done.
That I still remember this with utter clarity, over 40 years on, is evidence of the impact that he could make. And, predictably, when I found this Web Site, with names re-appearing in my life that had faded with the years, melting down into the single filed-for-ever phrase of school days, it was Jim with whom I re-connected, seeing him, still, as the person I should argue with. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed our Site-inspired correspondence, with his wit, his erudition, his charm and his sheer insistence on the virtues of the school simply ringing from the page. At one point, when I suddenly realised that I was seeing him as 40, and he was almost certainly seeing me as 17, I asked, tentatively, how old he was if I were 56, I said, you must be into your 70s or even 80s.
He replied: I am as you say rapidly approaching 80. Time's Winged Chariot is not so much audible as parked on the front drive.
Its now driven away again, with that strong voice that so many of us can and will always hear finally dimmed. I disagreed with him on so many things; and his loyalty to the school, even to the end, was so firm that he relentlessly continued to defend, in our letters, the regime of Dr Simpson. At the same time, he refrained completely from following up my paragraphs of bile directed at The Colonel, never once rising to the bait.
What he wanted to talk about, rather than these, was learning. Teaching and learning. And, ultimately, it is this dedication to vocation that characterised the man; and confronts those like me, who seek alternative educational models, with the supreme exemplar of best practice in a system which we wished to see replaced.
He has left his mark on me, as he will have on hundreds of his ex-pupils. And, as I continue to seek change in the educational system in which I work, my beliefs will not be shaken now by books, by theoretical constructs, or by politicians but I will always remember the excellence of the teaching of this unreconstructed defender of the grammar school system; and always know that he represented something of such value that its very memory can still force me into difficult corners.
Ill miss him.
I searched Google yesterday, Friday, 31 May, to see if I could find my old friend and examining colleague Jim Golland. Imagine my sadness when I learnt from the Harrow County webpage that he had died the previous day. I have no connection with the school, but I hope you will allow me to pay tribute to a man who, as my Chief Examiner, made me not just a good examiner, but a much better teacher of English. It was a privilege to know and work with him. Michael Outlaw, retired Headmaster, Carisbrooke High School, Isle of Wight.
Dave Segal How could I forget you ? You had the locker below me in the corridor outside the artroom in 1N. I remember Viv Edwards Chasing you after you give him a V sign through a window, I believe he slippered you. Did you have a twin sister? there is this vague memory of you coming to school all excited when she got her first bra.
regards Dave Hantman
Reams can and, I'm sure, will be written about Jim but they will be better coming from his literary pupils. As one who went into the science stream, I can still hear that quiet "Oh, dear!" at the mention of the thought. Indeed, when we met at the Stage Reunion last December after a forty-two year interval and I was re-introducing myself, that's exactly what he said again!
Two of the forms I was in were hardly fertile ground for a teacher of English language never mind literature but Jim had a way of inspiring an interest in the subjects that caught our attention. I don't recall any of us being written off as beyond the pale.
His work on the many stage productions is legendary and, as one who tried to get the sound to come and go on cue, I shall always remember the huge amount of effort that he put in. We saw a great deal of it but here must have been so much more done at home in the planning and conceptual stages. I do remember his ability to keep calm when we were making a pig's ear of his carefully conceived ideas and the rare outburst only served as an inspiration to us.
It is worth mentioning that I'm sure all those involved in his extra-curricular work would like to thank Mrs Golland for her forebearance. There must have been times when the Golland family thought that Jim had emigrated.
This is short because it was written within an hour of my learning of Jim's passing and because I am far from the best person to write it. I don't care how hack-proof Jeff's computers are; I still expect to see an ethereal "3/10" at the bottom of this piece if it goes on the website.
We all extend to Mrs Golland and the Family our deepest sympathy and share in their loss.
For me, Jim represented all the qualities of the School when it was at it's peak and that is a high compliment to any master.
Very sad news came through to me this morning, in that Jim Golland passed away last night. (Thursday May 30th 2002)
He had been ill for some time, but was still active right up to the end, and I spoke to him only about a week ago, with regards another article he was working on for the Harrow Observer.
No details are yet available regarding a funeral.
Further to Peter Ware's comments, Reg Goff has two daughters - Mary and Ann. Mary was Head Girl of HCGS in 1967, going on to Nottingham University later the same year. Hence it must have been Ann that Peter upset!
Very sad to hear about the death of Jim Golland.
This website is a great idea!
I was at the school from '61 - '66, starting off as a proud and excited member of 1A and leaving after the final disgrace of a year in the 5th form.
It was great to read Bernie Eustice's recollections but I was a bit disappointed that neither I nor Dave Bugden made it onto his list of "dissidents". Does he not remember the baked bean and toast lunches we used to prepare on the coke stove in Hut B, always providing some idiot hadn't put a rubber in there, which tainted the flavour somewhat. It's OK Bernie, I'm a forgiving kind of chap these days.
Like most who were there, my overiding memories are of the cruelty and abuse of some of the staff and the ritualised humiliation that they seemed to think was a vital part of the process of education. However, I don't recall being particularly concerned about "Square" who seemed to be hopelessly lost during our era. Bunking off one afternoon and running at high speed round a corner, I bumped straight into him, coming to a juddering halt. Bracing myself for what was to follow, I was amazed when he contented himself with a remark about my lack of a cap and wandered off. Similarly, having extricated myself from the dreaded Bigham's army (an act which required more bravery than I have been able to muster since), we were whiling away a sleepy Friday afternoon in the Art Room exercising our craft skills on manufacturing water bombs from cartridge paper. To test them we would wait until we heard footsteps coming round the corner of the building below and drop them. One of our victimes was Square, who looked up vaguely and carried on.
I had forgotten about the woodpecker shoes but I do remember a long rambling speech about tight trousers which he refered to as "danderinis". We were totally puzzled by this until we realised that it was a reference to the tights worn by the Victorian acrobat, Dandini. All that ridiculous business of measuring trouser turn-ups, first to check that they weren't too tight and then too baggy.
Undoubtedly there were some good and inspirational teachers and my list would include the ones that are often mentioned here. Messrs. Waller, Mees, Anderson (both of them - Norman and the other one who taught English) and Lafferty come readily to mind. I would also like to put in a vote for Keith Davis who doesn't seem to feature here, perhaps as a result of not being at the school for very long. Although Harry Mees was an imposing figure (particulary in his huge blue corduroy scout shorts!) one never felt humiliated by his occasional outbursts - he was always just. When I made the decision to leave after the Fifth form, Harry made a special effort to find me and offer me a place on his A level History course, in spite of my dreadful "H" result for O level. He had noticed that I was interested in History and encouraged me in his inimitable style to give it a go. By this time, however, I had been offered a place at Harrow School of Art and the lure of the unimaginable freedom this promised was far too strong. I remain truly grateful to him for this gesture though. I also remember an Australian called (by us anyway) "Bluey" Beeson who was a nice man although I can't remember what he taught!
I have one bone to pick with Gerard Lafferty and Fred Bilson though. Their habit of frequenting the pubs in the town at lunch time made life very hard for those of us in need of a refreshing and restoring pint. It was very stressful having to keep an eye on the door whilst quaffing. Once we ran as far as the Railway Hotel on Wealdstone bridge to find a Lafferty/Bilson-free bar. The run back for afternoon lessons was quite an ordeal!
How good to see the contributions from Mick Boggis, possibly the inventor of the air guitar. I can remember him at the bus stop running through "Long Distance Information".
Best wishes to all of you out there!
In response to Edward Kerr, it's true that HCS Liberal (Democrat) parliamentary candidates haven't had much success, but at my third attempt I did only miss by 528 votes!
Perhaps time has distorted my memory but I cannot remember ever seeing Mees or Goff assault pupils as recalled by Chris Rickwood.
Killer King had a painful way with a ruler and Martin Campbell would drop his false metal arm on you head as an 'aide memoire'. We just thought it was a great joke and learned to duck.
If Pete Wilson (1976-1980) reads this, can you email me? I have a few things regarding OGANA to mention, but your email address is not being recognised.
I was at the School from Sept '33 until summer 1940. I've brosed the site but, alas, there are few contemporaries that I know,tho'I do recognise some names, and I remember well most of the pre-war masters. Has anyone any news of Jimmy Anthony? He lost a leg in the war, and used to live in Pinner. I don't see any mention of the Gang Show which was often previewed at the School. Jack Shephard used to produce it. I live in Dolgellau now, which is Hippo Jones's hometown. I met him here in the fifties before he died. Hope to hear from somebody. Regards to all Old Gaytes. ASF
it is interesting to see the unbounded admiration for Harry Mees and Bernie Marchant. And, now, also plaudits for Reg Goff.
Marchant I had little contact with but I'd certainly concede Mees and Goff were superb teachers.
However, I wonder how all three of them justified their use of violence. I've seen each of the three smack people around the head until they were almost senseless on many occasions.
I'm by no means certain that their behaviour (which today would have at the very least resulted in instant dismissal)can be justified by their teaching talents or by the fact they were "different times"
It may surprise many (esp. Mick Boggis) to know that Simpson took to wearing suede shoes himself in his later years in the school but was vehemently against the pupils wearing them.
Bill Harrison 1961 - 1968
I, too, am pleased to see that Don Kincaid has found the site. He is one of of very few masters from my time that I recall with any affection, though it may surprise him to know this (if he remembers me at all, which I doubt). His obvious interest in popular music went down well me with me at the time and he was always one of the more approachable and seemingly 'with-it' (as we would probably have said) denizens of the staff room. Doubtless this made him an object of suspicion with Simpson - I can almost hear him now saying "I'm not sure that suede shoes are entirely appropriate, Mr. Kincaid", in that oh-so refined Scotish accent.
Do you remember me at all, Don?
Mick Boggis Official hobble-de-hoy, 1958-64
I was sorry read of the religious intolerance described by Paul Kerr. Under Randall Williams, who took holy orders late in his career, only the practicing catholics were excused from morning assembly. Everyone else was obliged to attend but once in the hall you could do what you liked so long as you did not create a disturbance. Stuart Hall, a devout communist, would read Das Kapital and Monty Frey, a non-conservative Jew would read a chemistry book. Nobody bothered either one. I suspect that a newspaper would have attracted attention.
Interesting to see Harrow County's contribution to Parliamentary elections over the years.
We do need to add Fred Bilson, who stood as (a rather youthful !!) Liberal candidate at Birkenhead in the 1959 General Election.
He wasn't elected but, having seen the fate of all of the other Liberals (Democrats or otherwise), that will not come as a surprise.
Interesting to see Jeff has added the profile of Reggie Goff to the website. Goff never taught me and in other circumstances (like, for example, if I had been a mature adult instead of a teenager) I might have respected him. I had what seemed at the time to be several excellent reasons to dislike him, notably because he had once given me a detention for "not praying during Assembly"(!). This so enraged me, actually, that I got my mother to write me a note excusing me from attendance at religious assembly on account of atheism. I can still remember Roy Avery's pained look as he read it. Atheists--unlike Jews and Catholics--didn't have to be anywhere special to go while the Protestant majority yawned their way through hymns, so I used to hang out with Jag Hanspal, Kirit Patel, etc., in C8. The second reason I disliked Goff was because at the start of my Sixth Form existence I had tried to get into Lower Sixth Modern to study History. A tribunal of masters (Goff, Cook and Mees) theoretically decided one's fate but it was Goff who vetoed me (whether on the grounds of atheism or poor O-level results is unclear). So I ended up in Lower Sixth Science instead. Despite the fact that this probably made the difference between me being an employed geophysicist (and author) and an unemployed historian, I never forgave Goff. Rehearsing for Hamlet one late winter day in 1971, I was sitting next to a bored Mark Gilbert and an unidentified HCGS girl, when Goff's name came up (I suspect Mark did this deliberately, knowing my feelings). I vented my spleen about the man, calling him a pompous old fart, etc., and repeating his admonition to me after the non-praying incident that "a detention was all that was in his power to give me but my true punishment would come much later." After letting me sputter to a halt, an amused Mark Gilbert introduced me to the girl (Reggie Goff's daughter, of course). I would like to say this was the start of a beautiful friendship but I seem to remember she avoided me after that!
Yes, David Segall, I do remember you from those days in V4. On one occasion you were wandering around the form-room pretending to have convulsions. I suggested this might have been the Southampton goalkeeper, a Mr Gerry Gurr if my memory serves me correctly. At least West Hammer Jon Silverman thought it was amusing.
Glad Buckinghamshire retains grammar schools.
At HCS 1962 to 69 (didnt get to Cambridge, but went to Bristol) Good website, Ive begun to get contacts. Alan Sadler in Australia sent me an e-mail but I get error messages when replying so I hope something will get through soon. David Rowe also has made contact. I have a number of photos to send (Form photos classes 2A 3A and rugby teams. I remember with affection the Sixth Form Society where we managed to meet the girls from HCS Girls (or was it Heathfield?)and my first girlfriend (which lasted a week or so!) Teachers such as Mr Savage (Physics), Mr Anderson (English who did Zane Gray and other than Shakespeare) Mr Bilson, Mr Golland, Mr Kincaid, Mr Ling, Mr Bilby and O'Donaghue (Maths) all inspired me to become a teacher, which I still am! The memories of Cadet Force (RAF), the Bridge Club (6th form), Duke of Edinburgh Award, helping with productions, and Rugby were all great developers and helped me cope with the difficulties ( a bit of bullying and rough justice from the staff). I am trying to find out how some classmates are doing and where they are- so contact me! I must to work now to earn a crust and reduce my stress levels. I went to Harrow last year and found much had changed (except the wooden fence by the main entrance, which needs repairing, and the loss of the field due to building a new sports hall!
Just made first visit to site and amazed at how many memories were rekindled and how many familiar names and faces I was able to find
My forms were 1965/6 1N 1966/7 2A 1967/8 3A 1968/9 4B 1969/70 V4 1970/71 LVIM
I left in 1971 and subsequently qualified as an Accountant in 1977. I now run a practice in Harrow not much more than a stone's throw from the school
I live in Chalfont St Giles with my wife and two daughters, the eldest of which is just off to Grammar School in September ( yes we still have them in Bucks )
Would love to hear from any of my contemporaries or anyone who remembers me
I was intrigued to find the site when searching for my teenage idol 'Maynard Ferguson' (jazz trumpeter). I have not spent much time reading through the site but notice Neil Forbes is listed, he and I were at Harrow County from 1971-76 just as the grammar school format was coming to an end.
I will return to the site soon. Well done all!
Martin Flack's invitation to join in his quiz is well-placed. What a strange photograph. It challenges the imagination. Without the stick on moustaches, it would in some cases be hard to tell chaps from chicks. Interpeting body language is not my line so I wonder what linguists in this field make of the position of the hands on knees in the front row. All photographs from my day have everyone with hands on laps. Note the one straight face in the centre of the 'chuckle contour' enclosing the smiling faces. People on the fringe clearly did not respond to the remark. Any speculations as to what might have been said?
Quiz for the weekend, based on the staff photo for 1986... Who issued the stick-on moustaches? Ditto the hairpieces? Who cut the sides off that chap's tie? Why did Steve Campbell bring Gerry Adams? What do you think was in the black bag? Did the P.E.master 'just do it' in his tracksuit bottoms? Did Steve Campbell 'moonlight' at Northwick Park Hospital ER? This is just about as sloppy as it gets...
Great to see Derek Edwards is alive and well. Last time we met was in the sixties when we were both peddling drugs. (Barry Tyler was also in the business.) Derek, do recount the story of mad Morris and dissecting a frog.
Was in 1D in 1962 so the missing name next to penn is me.
Can I say how good the webb site is and how many good memories it brings back.
when i get a chance to I will check on the other missing names on 1D as I know I have that photo somewhere with all the names printed on it.
Anything else I might come accross I will forward in due course.
It has been pleasant browsing through the Web Site, bringing memories flooding back. I was at Harrow County from 1946 to 1952.
The guy top right on the back row in the photo http://www.jeffreymaynard.com/harrow_county/Staff1986.htm is Mike Brazier
That photo of Italy tour 1960. Colin Bewick is captain. Saw him in Lomard Street 3 1/2 hours ago. Mike Harrison middle right. Saw him on a flight back from Toulouse at Easter.
I would be grateful if you could pass my email address to Michael Woods, billed as an International Railways Consultant on your site, and also to Gillian Spraggs. I was at the Girls' School from 1964-71 and was known then as Diana Norris. I would like to get in touch again!
I would also be grateful for news of future reunions as I would definitely make the effort to attend.
Regards Diana Catton
Naming names (in photos):-
Cross Country team 1953/54 - I'm sure 5th from left back is McKenna (but was he still there in 1954?), and to the right of Charles Crinson are Green x David Sherriff;
In the 1951/52 photo, correct first names are Nigel Walsh and Colin Gent;
In the Rugby 2nd/3rd XV 1950/51 photo, top left is John Berge;
Rugby 1951/52 Back row: Peter Mettler, French, x, Tom Stanley, Bernard Lord, x, Irving Yass, x, x, x, John Berge; Front row: David Maddock, Alan Wells, Harry Mees, Alec Amos, Roy Tapper, Morgan, Geoff Norman, Roy or Derek Norman (identical twin - not related to Geoff)
I'm sure John Berge can add to this!
Just surfing to find any Hoodless' when I was directed to your web site only to find a Hoodless in the photograph of Form 1E.
I found it interesting to say the least, in that during 1944 - 1953 I was at Buckingham College, Hindes Road, Harrow. The College took part in a Coronation Pageant held on the County School's playing fields, if I remember correctly boys and girls of all the schools in Harrow took part in a Torch Light Parade.
That apart I would be pleased if anyone can put me in touch with "Hoodless", or inform me how I could contact him. You site is extremely good and there is no doubt that I shall re-visit it in the near future,there is so much there.
Paul Murray-Hoodless Commissioner Legion of Frontiersmen Volunteer Reserve.
Saturday April 27th I was best man at Derek Wolfe's wedding to Lynette in Axminster.
I have placed a picture taken the night before (I managed to keep him sober enough to get to the church the next day) on: http://www.orme47.fsnet.co.uk/dw.jpg
Pictured are Gareth Smith, Neil Balderstone, myself and Derek. Ian Barnfather and Andy Wright from the 1967 intake as well as Nigel Sedgley from 1966 also attended the next day.
Our second form tutor was George Geear - a stalwart of the Cadets & legend had it, a former Royal Marine.
Can anyone confirm whether the story of his past was true? I had heard he left Gayton after a car accident which damaged his sight...another 'story'? or is there truth there as well?
Personally, I found him to be an excellent form teacher, disciplined & fair. We wernt the best behaved class if I remember correctly. Handing out lines & detentions for those who incurred his wrath seemed to be limit of his sanctions though.
Our previous Form tutor - Lesley Duke - who seemed very young & inexperienced even to us 12/13 year old boys, was regulaly forced to resort to bringing in the big guns - in the shape of year head John Cavanagh - to keep us under some semblance of control during registration period etc.
Does anyone else remember her ?
As I sit listening to May day anti capitalist demonstrations and other altercations in London and other cities and having only just discovered the guest book and its repartee I wonder whether we should be requesting for the spirit of the late Dr. Simpson as Prime Minister (if MDXP will allow). Perhaps the sturdy henchman could be Lt. Col. Maurice G. Venn??
Ian Gawn's "comment" regarding reunions struck a nerve! (not a chord!). I occasionally (about once every ten years) drive past "the school that was" and thank my lucky stars to have escaped.
Just a thought - er - hang on a minute - er - weren't the years you mentioned precisely those that SQUARE (not ARS, by the way, you young'ns (:-))reigned supreme???
Ian - I think your wife was right! (:-)
Cheers, Mike Unstead-Joss (I have to put all those smiley characters in, otherwise people might think that I was bitter (;,,,-)
I did not "complain" about people not attending reunions, I commented (perhaps I should know better - my wife says I complain when I think I am commenting). Probably get so many peole trying to attend next year we will need the Albert Hall!
Re: the picture of Form 1W from 1964, some additional/amended names are (I think) :
Back row: 3rd form left - Barry Jones 5th from left - John Lacey
Middle row: 2nd from left - David Byrne 5th from left - Michael Horan
Front row: Extreme left - Tony Curtis 4th from right - Bruce Wenham ? 3rd from right - Barry Devine ? Extreme right - Philip Cordingley
Should have remembered to add that I was at HCS from Sept '64 to mid-'71. Arrived from Priestmead in time for ARS's last year and ended up taking the p*** out of Avery's repetitive 'Very Reals'. I seem to recAll sharing a classroom at times with the luminaries - Portillo, Anderson, Sheinwald, Matthews et al. I've got photos of 1P and 2A from that time that I look at when I'm feelin a bit down !
l am very interested in John Boothman and the Boothman window and think he could be a relation of mine and would like to know if l could get in touch with any of his family through e-mail,telephone,or post, l would be so grateful,thank you. James Boothman
Having just found this site, I am amazed by how many memories it has brought back. It is superb in including stories and articles from so many sources as well as the wonderful photographs. I am so sorry that I did not know about the 90th anniversary reunion as I would have loved to have attended. It is far superior to any other site I have come across in the last few years.
Great to see the Schol V1 Sc 1961 photo from Chris W, we did look young then and I recall how we thought the world depended on us!!
Be pleased to make contact with that era, have now lost contact with most
Ah - Don Kincaid how glad I am that you have found the site! You will not remember me, since I am one of the many that have come & gone without making our mark. However - be pleased that I have remembered you with affection, not the least for instilling in me the ability to be able to learn a second and even a third language!, and I will never forget the Italian for "Shades of light and dark"
I'm happy to say that Sandie Byrne and I were married at Oxford on April 15th. Life is good
I feel a right tit on the dancefloor. At least it seems you had a chance for the left one too! Virtus Non Samba...
Congratulations to Peter Fowler on his masterly translation of ARS's tortured tribute to WMB. I think did rely though, on inside information which would not have been available to other mystified readers. Anyway, there will be the prize of a pint for you, Peter, next time your in London. I was also impressed by the speed of response - only a few hours. It must make others concerned about how much time we academics apparently have on our hands.
I recently had a most unlikely encounter (sharing a couchette between St Petersburg and Moscow) with an almost contemporaneous Head-girl of HCSG.
She brought back memories that back in those dark, puritanical days the only (officially!) sanctioned contact between HCSB and HSCG was in the "Sixth Form Society". Meetings on Friday afternoons were preceded by a tea, consisting of Mother's Pride bread, smeared very thinly with margarine and synthetic strawberry jam and doughnuts? Billy Duke always amazed us though by persuading a host of eminent people to address us.
I was also reminded that another permitted activity consisted of Ballroom Dancing, with the classes conducted by Miss Bryden (the Head of PE at HSCG). Gallantry forbids mention of her alliterative nickname, but she was certainly "well-endowed" (An inverted pear comes to mind). Being Secretary of the aforementioned society, I was the hapless male used for demonstration purposes. Even with my arms at full stretch, any sight of my feet was quite out of the question. (and let me quickly add that it was her anatomy rather than mine that obstructed the view!) Though this painful memory was very effectively suppressed for the past 40 years, it has been reassuring to realise at last, why I have two left feet on the dance floor.
To Geoff and David, and others wondering about the recent reunion. this was the Old Gaytonians Association annual reunion dinner (this year being the 90th anniversary dinner).
Details are sent out to members of the Association, while it was also mentioned on the main page of this site, complete with ticket details and contact addresses, just under the main heading.
You have to be in it to win it.
Ian Gawn complains that those of us born in 1944 do not attend reunions. Like Geoff Lambert if I had known about it I would have attended.
I am forever in debt to the aforementioned Mr Tegg. He turned me from a maths duffer to an A pass in the space of two terms - simply by slowing down a bit and allowing me to go at my pace. I owe him a pint if he ever reads this.
The unidentified 1st form photo from 1973 is in fact a 3rd or 4th form photo. It is my form, although I seem to be absent! It is either a picture of 3T or 4T depending on when in 1973 it was taken. The form teacher was one Clement Tegg,who taught maths at the school for a couple of years, before heading back to Leicester.
What's this reunion mentioned in recent comments? I didn't see anything on the main notice board.
Very good web site brought back a few memories - even found a school photo and old chums contacts.
Re. the photo of LV1 Arts (1971) in the school archive. The two blokes on the extreme right of the back row are Neil Brown and Andrew Terry (I think). Neil Brown was involved in photography and his firm produced the photos of my nuptials at St Anselm's Parish Church Hatch End in 1982. The guy next to me,I believe, is Andy Smith. The unidentified OG in the back row was called Jenkins if my memory serves me well, and the chap in the front row is Gareth Davies. I am surprised that Jon remembered the estimable Ian Banfield. He was, I recall, a nice bloke but his attendance was very erratic by this stage. On one occasion , after a prolonged absence, Jago fixed him with a beady eye and asked him his views on a poem by John Donne. Ian gave a plausible reply, hastily constructed from the notes at the back of the book. Ian was totally unfazed when Jago tried, unsuccessfully, to humiliate him by pointing out that the notes referred to a completely different poem. Fine man!
...must be what is meant by "walking with a military gayt" Anyway, I loved the 19 sets in the Signal's hut and used to scour Practical Wireless for the small ads showing such treasure. Load of old Bravo Oscar Lima Lima Oscar Charlie etc, looking back on it I suppose.
Welcome to the site. Perhaps we can generate some Tales from the Signals Hut too.
Great to see Don Kincaid on the site - I recall that on return from honeymoon he was faced by a year 4 (I think we were Yr 4) French class - and a car tyre on the desk. "I see we are all tired" he said, and went on with teaching French in his inimitable (rude French songs) way. If only he had taught me from year 1 I might now have French "O" Level.
Thanks to all involved in the Reunion on Friday - almost missed it due to the fire beside the M3. However, there must be something about those born 1943-45/6. They do not seem to provide many attenders at reunions. My entry at Cranwell and those around it (except for one Entry Sqn that has produced an extraordinary crop of air officers, including the current CAS) are never well represented at Old Cranwellian functions.
Final point - any thoughts on a link up of Old Gayts former servicemen - sort of OG Royal British Legion!
Regards to all
It worries me that I can remember so many names but the 1965 4c photo is as follows for the few still alive and interested:) davies/bradley/howard rankin/lawrence wake/?/chris evans/will buckland/mick soames/terry loveday/?/dave rowe rog gershon/john gardner/steve constant/wright/jones/?/radford/?/not sure but something akin to minge i think/hasilwood/dave farley/steve yates/ neil wallace/?/steve west/wilson/dave sandercock/mr bilson ( fred ) /rabey/mike jacobs/hewitt/rob mc ewan/martin cheeseman. in touch with several, would be interested in contacting john gardner and neil wallace in fact anyone i guess...sad eh? curry next week terry??
Fellow Gaytonians, has a nice ring to it I dare say. I attended Gayton when I was 12 years old, around the 87-88. One of the best times I ever had. I currently am an attoreny in the States, Florida in particular. Konkers, skiping shool and friends made Gayton great. Hope all are well and God Bless. I wonder if Mr. Smallman is still there.
The obituary of Dr. Simpson IS on the website at www.jeffreymaynard.com/harrow_county/ARSimpsonObituary.htm Alex was just a bit too quick for me when he announced it!
Alex wrote "With the recent talk of Dr. Simpson, people might be interested in the obituary that I found in the 1976 edition of Old Gaytonian (reproduced elsewhere on the site). "
I'm sure I'm being dense but damned if I can find it anywhere on the site.
I was introduced to the site last night by Brian Williams and Tony Bevan (both taught Physics at HCS) A great idea. I shall soon be adding some tales from the Staff Common Room...... Don Kincaid(silver surfer)
A wonderful 90th reunion dinner on Friday night, and my congratulations to those involved in organising it. The night was only tempered by the news that many of us had been dreading, that the lease on the sports ground at Sudbury was not to be renewed by John Lyon school, as they have plans for sport facilities of their own on the land. So ends almost 70 years of OGA activity there, and another chapter of the Association closes.
That news was accompanied by the fact that, financially, we might not have been there much longer anyway. That aside, would the Association have chosen to vacate Sudbury? Probably not.
This news is even more of a blow when you consider the recent success of the current Harrow High School in gaining Sports College status. Old Gaytonians were asked to help raise the £50,000 needed to make the bid possible, and did so willingly, even though most, if any will have use of the facilities. Furthermore, there have been references on the site to the fact that acknowledgement has been slow in coming from the School, if at all. Great thanks were rightly due to John Lyon School, who donated £40,000 to the appeal. In return Harrow High have promised to back them in the development of their sports facilities.
Thanks to all who helped make the dinner last Friday, such a great evening, and especially to those who organised it. Roll on 2003!
With the recent talk of Dr. Simpson, people might be interested in the obituary that I found in the 1976 edition of Old Gaytonian (reproduced elsewhere on the site). Dr. Simpson requested that no representative of Harrow County be present at his funeral.
Very much enjoyed Jon Grunewald's remininiscences. Also pleased to see Tim Hills name in the guest book after so many years (all 3 of us were in 2a, 3a, 4a 68-71). A couple of Bernie Marchant related incidents spring to mind from those years. During a Latin "A" level lesson, Don "Savanna" Snow once hid in the cupboard in Bernie's room for some unaccountable reason (he was in the year below us and didn't do Latin). After about 20 mins.Bernie went to the cupboard to fetch a copy of Virgil, and was amazed to discover said pupil in situ. The poor fellow went apoplectic. This however, paled in comparison with the wobbly he threw when one Gareth Bartlett tickled his head with a feather duster from an adjoining classroom via a hole in the studded wall in the old T block.
There was also a temporary maths master in '48 or '49 named Commander Helm. Despite a Naval backgroud he was totally unable to control a class and we responded with the usual brutality of youth. The culmination was that he collapsed in tears during one lesson and left the School immmediatly.
The next day, Joe Brister I think, came and told us of his war record. He had been on the Arctic Convoys and been sunk twice. Joe just looked at us saying nothing further but we were quite unable to return his gaze.
It's not all one-sided.
Peter Barker's story about the demented Spanish student reminds me of poor Guy Ravanat, a French student teacher under the wing of Whiffy King in late 1951. He wore a sports jacket (a major solecism in those days) and an incredible yellow tie which we were convinced was made of rubber. One day, Whiffy missed a French lesson, as acting Deputy Head in Joe Brister's absence, and put LVIArts in Guy's tender (perhaps that should be "brittle") care.
Can't remember why, but he lost control completely and a riotously noisy session, in a classroom opposite Spadger Heys's lab. no less, brought a furious Whiffy hotfoot down to the room from his temporary eyrie. Tearfully, Guy poured out his distress and reproaches of the class to Whiffy in a torrent of French. Whether Whiffy got it all I have no idea, but for some reason he referred to a probably blameless Pitman (Anthony Edward Nikolai Thompson Pitman, that is) as "ce buffon la."
Whether or not Whiffy did, Pitman certainly got that bit, rose loftily and indignantly and demanded that Whiffy tell Guy that he was not a buffoon. Further paroxysms of mirth, and Whiffy had to smooth that over before remonstrating with the rest of us, rather dissipating the vehemence we might have expected. In the end it came down mainly (and reasonably) to the matter of our discourtesy to a foreign guest.
The upshot was the indignity of a fairly new VIth form having to stand outside the room between lessons. I don't recall that lasting very long, and nor did Guy. He was such a nice, harmless, helpless, hopeless little chap and I often wonder what happened to him. I should be sorry to think that we blighted his professional career, however ill-suited he may have been to it.
I missed '.com'from my e-mail address. How wicked!
Can anybody out there confirm the (possibly apocryphal) tale of a Spanish student teacher whose mental state was so badly affected by his experience at HCS that he resides to this day in an institution in Shenley? (Wasn't that a long sentence without commas?) I heard it originally from Tim Hills, and have subsequently had it confirmed from another source whose name I cannot remember. That's age for you. Incidently, if anyone wishes to contact Tim, he is a born Luddite, and has no access to the net. I will supply his address to bona fide enquirers.
Colin Dickins remembers that "other" Waters, namely the French teacher. He used to go crazy to the point, where, we the pupils had to rescue one of our peers. This animal of a Frenchmaster knocked some poor kid down to the ground, kicked and punched him to the point that the entire form joined in, picked up "Mister" Waters, carried him to the door and threw the little bastard out into the hallway. There was never any reaction from from the feldgendarmerie of the day, and the whole incident died. Imagine today ?
Just catching up on the latest messages and I must say I agree with the comments on George Thorn. The others I could live with but he gave me the creeps.
Boogy Waters taught me and I remeber him with delight as a charming and helpful person.
I live in Southampton now and the mob who attacked the paediatrician were in Portsmouth not here
Re the John Lever challenge: herewith translation of Simpson's eulogy to Bigham.
Quite why this has come out in cockney wide-boy language I don't know....must be something to do with all those paradoxes and acts of providence:
(Simpson's on stage, fag in hand. Addresses the school, with Bigham by his side, playing with walking stick)
Just at the time our country was going to the dogs, up pops Bigham. Me and him ad this crazy notion of starting a boy soldiers troop, where we would make real men of these kids who would become right namby pambies if we adnt ad our cool idea. When you think of it, it was an idea that came in from way out there on leftfield, because everybody else was doing the opposite. Its a real shame every school hasnt got a Bigham then wed still have a great country.
Sometimes I think old God imself up must have been looking down on me and the Colonel during this period. After all, it was so amazing that we came together at exactly the time everything was disintegrating - and were able to change this school into becoming something so well sound that it must have been some heavenly intervention that made this possible. Stands to reason.
Yes, Phil, I remember Boggy Waters. Tall, slim, bespectacled, slightly sallow complexion, rather laid back, with a sort of whimsical smile at the ready. Don't know why I remember him so well; he never taught me. There was also a French teacher called Waters. (I dubbed him "Stagnant" - cf. "Boggy" - and was mildly gratified to hear someone refer to him later as "Staggy".) A rather intense little character who used to require the class to recite "y compris ma secretaire" (= including my secretary) - never knew why and he never explained. Used to lose his rag rather readily - great fun!
It has been a great pleasure to have discovered this site. Consequently, much time has been mis-spent in the past week re-discovering half-remembered incidents and names - Peter Mansfield, Bob Garrett, Kel Fidler, Jerry Dicker, Peter Gold etc. Peter Fowler has done a spendid job in translating some of the obfuscations of a well-known Headmaster, but I challenge him with the following, that appears on the site at:
It is the peroration to a tribute to another schoolmaster, also well remembered.
"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."
Phil Chesterman reminded me of "Boggy" Marsh, a youngish master in the 1960s who taught history and geography. Does anyone know where he is now? (the same nickname means different things to different generations!)
Late breaking news from the colonies ! Alberta teachers work to rule and refuse to mark exam papers (as important as matric. O or A levels) (Not even in the papers yet since Lord Black of Kings Cross Station and St. Pancreas sold out).
Disgusting I say ! Even the masters at HCS would never stoop that low. Oh ? How come Harry Mees had me at 22nd place in a class of 19 in 1950, and again in 1951, 18th of a class of 17 ? Even kindly old G. Thorne had me at 23rd of 19, and some SOB of a physics teacher who wouldn't or couldn't print his initials properly, 25th of 19 ? Looks like I.P. WATERS......Boggy ! ARS was not the only person in the world who had nasty parents who took one look at the newly-born and dumped unpleasant initials. Remember BBC actor Valentine Diall ? Speedway ace Vick Duggan; and no wonder W.C. Fields had a chip on his shoulder.
Now, who remembers BOGGY ?
Nothing stupendous to contribute except to say what a great thing this website is, as is Min's theatrical reunion site. On the latter, I was honoured to be captioned as "?" on two photographs so I obviously made my mark in the 60s and 70s. I'd welcome hearing from more contemporaries, including those whom I had the pleasure of seeing at the last reunion. I recently urged Clive Anderson to attend such an event, since I have regretfully missed him on previous such occasions. I just hope people hurry before some of us start to crop up in the obituaries.
A major project, which is being undertaken as part of the School archive collection, has been the recording of details of the School war dead. Initially this comprised obtaining fuller details and photographs of Harrow County lads who had died during WW1 and WW2, including circumstances of death, and units served with. After the war, names continued to be recorded of lads killed whilst on training etc, but this ceased in 1956.
I have tried to trace details of any other casualties with limited success. The casualties fall into three categories:
1) Those killed as a direct result of war or enemy action. 2) Those who died as a result of injury or illness whilst in H M Forces. 3) Those killed training, whilst serving with H M Forces.
As a result, some 12 names are to be added to the School War Memorial, one being pre WW2, and one WW2 who was for some reason never included. The last was lost whilst on a training accident in 1996.
It is quite possible that others have died, either while training, or in actions such as Suez, Malaya, Korea, Northern Ireland, The Falklands or the Gulf. A note in last years Old Gaytonian brought no replies at all. If you know of any contemporary who might have died in the circumstances mentioned above, or if you had a relative who died and can provide further details, please contact me.
It is hoped to add the names for this years remembrance Day Service, so and help will be much appreciated ASAP, as details need to be verified.
Yes Colin, I'll go along with that - I used to like the anticipation of the 'next thousandth hit...' Anyway, judging by the recent comments, it's just as well hit counters weren't invented for canes etc for those that suffered. (Look forward to your sterling efforts Jeff in order that more Cragganmore can be liberated!)
Has the boy told to stand under the clock for resetting the hit counter been seen by the Headmaster yet? If not, why not? I think we should be told.
Well done on the Website. I was an inmate from 1961-68 and my brother David from October 1959-1966,
I wish I had the answer to the query posed by Davis Stokes about maitaining discipline in school. In the far off days of Randall Williams, he did any caning that was called for, and that was quite rarely as I recall. Most of the staff kept order by virtue of a combination of their strong character and our much greater respect for authority - good or bad may that have been. Most of the staff I knew were veterans of WW1 so spent their formative years around the turn of the century in very different social conditions than those we have known. In retrospect, after over fifty years in the working world in various parts of the world, I have learned as much as I ever shall about humanity. From this perspective, I would judge most of the staff I knew as strong characters with leadership traits and fundamentally good humans. Not so George Thorne, who, taken out of his little pond would not have made my short list. Sorry George, wherever you are! As for present conditions in schools, I am eternally grateful that my own children are well out of the nest and avoided many of the present ills.
Forgive me, I am not clear whether your commemnt about George Thorne and caning was meant to be taken seriously; he certainly did cane, I for one was caned several times by him. On one noteable occasion a boy who shall remain nameless but later worked as a journalist for the FT was with me when we were to be caned by GT. This precocious youth was making notes whilst I was being interrogated about my crime; GT asked what he was doing; "making a record of what is being said for future reference" quoth he; GT became apoplectic but was not diverted from thrashing me and later, "deep throat". How I envied my companion in crime for his nerve. I was guilty as charged but what power we gave those Jacks in Office? The sad thing is that now teachers have no power at all and children as young as 7 will tell a teacher to go .... his/herself. This is not speculative or anecdotal. I sometimes wonder whether one reason why teachers are so little regarded (rewarded) is because of the relationship experienced by those who now pay their wages with the teachers of an earlier generation. As an alleged adult I can now see how fallible so many of our teachers were but at the time they just seemed arbitrarily, what? Bullies, sadists, petty tyrants? The ones who had any obvious sympathy stood out, Yelland, Allan, Anderson, Paul Oliver, Crinson. Swanny was OK, I wish I could do at my age what he could at his. Judge not lest ye ....but they had their affect didn't they?
Possibly the the most light hearted view of these times is captured by Allan Bennett in his "Forty Years On". The happiest days of your life? Good for some.
Heroditus: who he?
In reply to the message left by Colin Dickens re former pupil ****** ******** (see editors note below - perhaps the author of this message could please send me a private e-mail to email@example.com to verify his information. In the meantime this subject is terminated!). I would just like to reassure Colin that this message wasn't left by someone from the 'Southampton massive' or any other organisation, I was merely reporting true facts about a former pupil on a former pupils website.
I actually attended this school with ****** and the "Hang him high" comment was simply a reflection on the way I feel as a father toward the sick individuals who carry out these sort of crimes. I assume Colin that you feel the same way I do toward these men and women and the fact that you don't agree with acts of vigil antism is the reason you felt compelled to leave the reply that you did.
Further to Phil Chesterman's comments about 'abusive' masters - Bigham was there only for my last year and he was clearly not in full "swing", Swanny Amos has my sympathies as he was for ever engaged in supervising boys dressing and undressing and trying to get them involved some useful exercise - he was a slave to the clock, ARS will always be an enigma - how was hired in the first place? how did he get away with his obvious abuse? how did he avoid the army? the list goes on, we'll never have the answers - 'kindly old' George Thorn was another enigma. In my day, which was during the war, it was all hands to the pumps, but he never participated in any extra-curricula acitivity at all, such as Air Training Corp or harvest camps. The only job he ever did outsdie teaching was to collect dinner money. I noticed he never seemed to associate much with the rest of the staff. He lived at Watford which was perfectly accessible by train yet he managed to wangle a petrol ration, even in the darkest days of the war. It was hinted that he had heart condition. I don't recall him ever giving lifts to other members of the staff, even as far as the station. He was a great bottom patter. Of all the staff, he was the one I would say I least warmed to. I cannot imagine him caning boys in his exalted role as deputy headmaster any more than I can imagine how he came to be chosen for the role. Duke was a much better choice.
Great to see Mr Dolinski on the site! One of the better teachers of the Gayton era albeit short lived.
You probably don't remember me in Tech Drawing which we took as part of tech in the first two years. I took it for O Level later, but the teacher in question was so poor I lost all interest in the subject, and of thoughts about going into architecture.
Mr D, I run the archives now for the School, and have found a form photo with you as teacher so keep your eyes peeled as it will appear soon...
Re: anon. message March 25th. Was going to suggest to another Old Pupils association on how to run the greatest website, by looking at this one. Then up came the word Child-Abuse, and with the references to Bigham, Swanny Amos, ARS, and "kindly" old George Thorn, in so many messages, am beginning to wonder.......is "abuse" restricted to paedophilia when it could include sadism ?
Thanks to Jeff and all the contributors. It's truly a lift to see some of the old faces (most of whom I don't recog- nize. At least they look as old as I do! Harry, on the other hand, doesn't look a day older (than I expected). The old place has grown, so I suppose the numbers have as well. Too bad that it's been at the expense of the running field I wonder whether they are able to use the playing fields along the Watford Road still. However, they are probably gone now. I do hope to make one of the reunions, one of these days. Partly it's still a matter of scheduling- I am still teaching. All best wishes to whomever reads this stuff! Brian Lowes
Congratulations on your website. I taught at the school from 1979 to 1982 and enjoyed every moment. I also played rugby for the Old Gaytonians but was never quite good enough for the 1st XV.
Mentally, morally and socially deformed as the reported child-abuser may be, the anonymous entry in the Guestbook (25th March, below) carries a whiff of glee and of the ignorant mob (in Southampton, I think) which attacked a paediatrician last year.
Nick Rowe, I thank you for the fine bottle of wine; I trust a real achievement such as this will not escape the accolades it truly deserves. The bottle to be presented with the appropriate golden handshake accompanied by the highest order of plastic smile. Whilst thinking of my acceptance speech for this fine award, I wondered how the pleasure of this award could be maximised. Looking again at the photo posted by Mark Wigmore, I came upon the setting and the company. The wine would have to be a white burgundy, not red. The venue to be somewhere in southwest London last Saturday night would seem most appropriate. To be consumed in the company of Russell David, Roger Evans and a selection of our masters, notably Welsh, who in the early 1970s gloated at the state of English Rugby.
P.S. Any news of what Russ is doing these days?
Just thought I'd let everyone know that former Pupil ****** ********* (1974-1978/9) has just been convicted and jailed for 11 years for Child Abuse..Hang him high!
(Editor's note - although my normal practice is not to censor this guestbook, I have removed the name of the Old Gaytonian mentioned because the message was left anonymously, I have no idea who the former Pupil is, and I cannot risk a legal problem. I have no idea if this is real or if this is just someone playing a prank. I am, of course, totally against all forms of child abuse. - Jeff)
I notice an error in your extract from the 1966 Gaytonian. It should of course read "It has been a record year for VERY REAL achievements..."
In response to Ray Sewell (Gooners at Highbury) Are you referring to the Arsenal ground; the North end which was covered until the efforts of A. Hitler made it completely air-conditioned ? Fond memories of Denis Compton getting rid of his willow stick and pumping in some good ones for the Gunners, in 1950, then winning the "coop". Lovely old memories, playing rugby for HCS Saturday mornings and then off to see the Arsenal in the PM. Never told Dr. ARS of course, but then found out that he would blow himself hoarse at Wembley cheering on the Scots vs. you know who, or whom.
1948-54. Police Career to senior rank. Rugby football Wasps etc. Anyone out there remember me?
Left after A-Levels in 1976. Worked for BT for 20 years and emigrated to the USA. Interested in catching up with lost friends from school.
Apart from Mr. Clive Anderson are there, aside from 'barrel' King and myself ( then known more as Fred Sewell)any more Gooners in the North Bank at Highbury?
REGISTER OF ex-PUPILS
1. My thanks. Many thanks to all those who have joined the Register, either in response to my previous posting here, as a result of seeing Jeff's link on the home page or in reply to my mass e-mailing. I'd have liked to acknowledge everyone personally but the numbers are a bit over the top! Please accept my thanks from this note.
It's particularly good that a number of replies have been from people who have not posted to this message board and so would have escaped my e-mail too. These are people with whom we had no contact and now we have them back in the fold.
There are still over 150 to go, though, so if you haven't replied yet, I look forward to hearing from you.
2. Publishing on the site. I've had one or two replies coupled with questions about when the Register will be published. The explanatory blurb above the form indicates that it won't be published. I'd be very glad to ask Jeff for a page on the site in which to publish at least names, years at School and, ideally, e-addresses of those on the Register. However, when I started out on this exercise, it became clear that there are many people who are extremely wary of supplying their details at all and it was obvious that if there was any risk of such details becoming public, then the response would be almost zero. Therefore, I have given an assurance in the notes above the form that no part of the Register will be published. Apart from anything else, a breach of that assurance would land me in trouble with the Data Commission, with whom the Register is registered (whoops!). Anyone can e-mail or 'phone me (or even send a letter) asking if X is on the Register or asking for all those who joined in 19xx. People are doing that now as they send in their replies to the form. That's fine and is just what the Register is for. I've also spotted incoming replies from people who I thought others on the Register would have known, checked with them and been asked for contact details. So the system is working well, even if it is'nt out on the website for all to see. I think it's better to have it this way and get the numbers up, rather than to go public and get a very much poorer response.
It's working, so keep those replies coming, PLEASE!
A bottle of fine Burgundy to Tom Dennington for remembering, after all these years, how to spell 'Henryk Wawrzonek'.
Heatwave - Xmas Entertainments 1966 (?)
My memory fails me about the date of this but logic says it ought to be Xmas 1965 at the latest. Bob Locker, Gerard Pitts, Les Gilliland and John Sewell were all contemparies of mine. If they did the full 7 year stretch then they would have left in July 1966. I got time off for good behaviour and was let out at Easter 1966.
Have just seen the Advanced VI 3 photo sent in by Mark Wigmore. Full list of names is as follows. Back Row Nitin Shah, Henryk Wawrzonek, Steve Christian,Peter Coles, Mark Wigmore, Mike Lepps, Henry Powell, Martin Coles, Neil Barry. Front Row Tim Saxby, Peter King, Russell David, Mr Khan, Bruce Newbigging, Martin Hall, Andrew Dell.
Have just seen Jim Golland's list of Teddy Hall alumni--you left out my brother Brian or Brain as he was called in the Gaytonian magazine--Brian won an Open Scholarship in 1968 & read English
I'm sorry to say that "Heroditus" has not done his homework (at least 1 1/2 hours a night in the first form); Simp is not "swamp" or "bog" in the tongue (Erse, for the uninitiated) but, literally "sump", a place where water collects.
Simpson's 1948 Address: Translation
I'm very pleased to welcome a really important old Baron, who has a Victorian connection. Victorians are very old, but sane; whereas we are on the brink of a new age, but haven't really decided what it is yet. Now I'm in Education, so I understand this new age, being such a modern chap. But I'm a bit worried about all this freethinking and tolerance and I think we should remember how great those old people were. These young people I see before me are all very eager and very well endowed but they don't know what right and wrong is.
It's my job to tell them. To tell them to be just like the Victorians.
I've just read the newly posted report of Simpson's speech at the 1948 Speech Day. I have re-read it. I have read it again. I don't understand it. It is meaningless nonsense, fit only for reproduction in Pseuds Corner. Talk about the Emperor having no clothes but no-one being willing to say so. The man was barking.
Website - a great idea - I am looking forward to reading it. Heard about it from Mike Spencer in NZ. Me. HCS 1953-1960 - 1st XV (team that beat Harrow School for the first time in History) & Middlesex Colts hooker - acted (St. Joan - Winterset - Othello) - specialised in Modern Languages. Lately lecturer in Linguistics & English Language at University of Kent at Canterbury (74-00)where I still teach part-time with a day job as legal caseworker in Dover. Before Kent in Tanzania. About 1979-80 I met up with Gordon Underwood, our sports coach at UKC, he lived in East Kent where he was head of sports at Nonington College & then at Christ Church College (now a Uni), where he ran the sports lab, having gained a Ph.D in Sports Psychology. Gordon died unexpectedly in early 1997 after a skiing trip. Great loss to me, and I expect all HCS pupils and colleagues of his.
HCS 1953-1960 Great idea - simply amazed!
I certainly loathed Simpson.
One day, when I can bring myself to do it I'll try to express the depth and source of those feelings.
But, that being said, I have to admit I never saw any sign of Anti-Semitism. Maybe I missed it.
In fact I remember one Assembly when he went on a rant against it. His argument that he understood the consequences of it was somewhat facile "Being a part of a minority myself....."
I'm not saying it was not a characteristic of his (I'd believe anything of the man) but, certainly I never saw it.
Having for many years been fascinated by the legend which was A R Simpson (a man before and after his time but a gentleman for all that), I have a few conclusions to offer which may be of interest to future scholars. No doubt when the last trump sounds and we are all called before the highest of courts, when the scales fall from our eyes we shall see the man revealed in all his majesty.
I believe ARS (as I propose to call him) was descended in the male line from one of the ancient kings of Tara, one Simp o' Ltoon; the word "simp" being gaelic for swamp or bog over which the king held sway. Although the use of the word "son" after the surname is a modern invention to indicate lineage, it also suggests a Scandinavian (possibly Icelandic?) root. In the earliest Icelandic sagas (all verbal, of course, and hence now lost)a family of Simp'sons were venerated as foresters. It may be of interest to readers that there are now virtually no trees on Iceland.
ARS' forbears likely made the journey from Erin to Hibernia in a leather boat long before relatives made the much longer voyage to Vinland which arose from a dispute over methods of navigation. Indeed there is some question as to whether the king had such a destination in mind rather than the even more drear climate of Scotland, as it came to be known.
Once esconced in Scotland, his ancestors prospered; one ancestor known to posterity as the D'Arane Piper (actually Jo'hhn Simp'sonson) rose to prominence by discovering the secrets of turning marsh into fertile land through the cunning use of pipes. He was able to charge mightily for his services and henceforward the charging of a drainage rate became known as a "Scot". If he wished to show favour to a loyal manservant or retainer he would allow him to be "Scot free". This did not occur very often as it was considered unpatriotic.
He amassed a considerable fortune but as so often, this he frittered away on such indulgences as spring water and sheeps' intestines, a great delicacy in those days before sheep drove men from the land back to Ireland. His genius might have been recognised to this day but for misfortune; he invented the first Scottish newspaper, a venture which was frustrated by an historic shortage of paper and printers; printing was not to be devised for another two hundred years, he was simply ahead of his time, a family trait.
On his mother's side (and he was frequently to be found there on his mother's side, the relationship being unusually close but with the father known to be more difficult) the line is more obscure.
Because of the marriage practices then obtaining in ancient Ireland in the time of Simp (then less of a country than even Germany), the maternal/paternal relationship was not always easy to establish. It was not usual for an Irish "wife" to cast off her husband ("casting off" is similar to divorce but less expensive and anyway divorce was then in its infancy in Ireland. In fact it never attained maturity before being banned by the Church which also banned snakes and pleasure. An Irish wife who suspected her husband of not being the father of her child would, if the mood took her, cast the luckless man away.
What can be said with some confidence though is that by the time of ARS' mother Rosemary, things had become more straightforward. Herself the sixth and last daughter of a seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, her understandable disappointment at not receiving her birthright drove her to inculcate what, in masculine terms became demonic powers into her son. The tradition of uncertain paternity though continued and many times she denied any supernatural intervention in ARS' conception. A contemporary film explored the theme but no difinite connection was ever established.
What a man was ARS? Never in the field of human education have so many owed so little to so few. Pax vobiscum ARS, whoever you were.
Some of us would love to hear more about the young ARS. Can it be that, in those Dundee days of being a good sport, he was not yet the dour fascist anti-semite he later became? I suppose that, in a sense, "what happened to him" was that he turned from being "a good sport" into being good sport. But why?
Reply to Ms. Sue Anderson Dear Ms. Anderson -
you ask what happened to our dear Dr. A. R. Simpson "down here". The simple answer is that "he failed us"
I admit it, I too was in the band, first as a tenor drummer and bugler, then as bass drummer, and also did a couple of engagements as drum major. High spots: Jewish Rembrance Ceremony at the Cenotaph in Whitehall - when Mick Laban's drum skin broke going round Trafalgar Square and he swapped drums with Laurie Geller; and massed pipes and drums at Harpenden Highland Games - the sound stayed in my ears for about a week!
Another Simpson question.
Just idle curiosity but does anybody know if he was descended from Sir Alexander Russell Simpson who I know lectured on Midwifery and Childbirth in Edinburgh.
In fact it would be interesting to read the Obits that must have been published on his death in Weston Super Mare in 1975
I've often wondered why Simpson with his constant admonitions to duty and patriotism as well as his obvious preference for Cadets over Scouts, never served in WWll.
He would have been 34 at its outbreak. Many men of that age served. He had been playing 1st class cricket up until 1934 so is unlikely to have been unfit.
I came upon this web site in my search for A R Simpson - an old friend of the family was one of his pupils in Dundee before the war and had asked me to find out what became of him when he moved down South. I was surprised to find he was so unpopular at HCS. My mother was also a pupil of his in Dundee and thought he was a good sport! So what happened to him down here.
With regards the two books mentioned below, I have copies of both, in particular a good stock of the Official History Of Harrow County School, available for a minimum donation of £5 to the archives.
Details at this address.
Books about Harrow County for sale - I noticed these two on the www.abebooks.com website - just search for "harrow county".
THE BOOK OF COMMEMORATION 1911 - 1932 EALING: J.G. COCKERTON, 1932 Hard Cover. Very Good/No Jacket. COMMEMORATES 21 YEARS OF HARROW COUNTY SCHOOL FOR BOYS . Bookseller Inventory # 001619 Price: £ 20.00 (approx. US$ 28.56) Presented by ANNE VOGLER BOOKS, WIGTOWN NEWTON STEWART, United Kingdom
May, Trevor. THE HISTORY OF THE HARROW COUNTY SCHOOL FOR BOYS 1st ed 1975 A book in very good condition with no wrapper. Bookseller Inventory # 658561 Price: US$ 21.42 Presented by Stella & Rose's Books, Monmouthshire, United Kingdom
message to all former members of the School reading this.
Please have a look at Rod Clarkes message a few back regarding the register. Those of you who also get the 'Old Gaytonian' (Assn magazine) will have seen a similar piece in the agazine last November.
Please try to help with this very worthwhile cause. Rod is doing this in his own time, and is contacting people at his own expense. The register will be very valuable to people like myself with respect to the archive, not least as we have had any enquiries for details or information on former friends.
If you are in contact with anyone who is not connected to the internet. please ask the to help also. Many records, especially pre-1961 no longer exist, so your contribution is even more important.
Had intended to get into the discussion re: Square, but up came the Harrow/Wealdstone train crash of 1952. I was working for l'Agence France-Presse (AFP) at the time and it came over the wire from the PA like a bullet up the rectum, being so close to home. A southbound commuter train hit one of its brothers, then a northbound express ploughed into the mess. The clock above the station had the decency to stop at that moment. The HCS connection was that the brother of Pollard (3rd XV photo - 1951) was sitting in the train which was hit first. Apparently he decided not to continue his journey.
Will continue the Square saga one day in great length, and thank you Colin Dickins for identifying a "human" teacher of French (? Watson). In those days the bland and the kind, who were rareties, didn't get handled nicknames in their times.
Found my old "Pupil's Report Book" which my dear wife had hidden from the kids, and if she knows it's still around will hide it from the grandkids.
Have about 15 first-hand signatures of ARS which am offering at $100 a pop to later pupils. Come on guys, they're worth as much as real signatures of Adolf, Joe Stalin, Jack-the-Ripper, all the way back to King Herod, and beyond, in a backward manner. Later pupils can only be described as the lucky-ones. No, the unlucky-ones not to know what it was like, which was enough to grow hair in unlikely places.
Harrow County School Register.
Hallo to all.
About four months ago, after no contact with the School for forty-two years, I visited the Friends Reunited website and from there, found my way to Jeff's mighty effort - makes a lot of major international company sites look rather puny.
Since then, I seem to have become involved in Harrow County up to my neck! Having offered to help Min Vincent find people for his excellent Stage Reunion in December (never did know when to keep my mouth shut!), I soon realised just how difficult it is to trace old boys unless they have contact through, for example, the Old Gayts or have placed messages on this board or on Friends Reunited.
What I'm trying to do as a long-term (very!) exercise is to form a register of all the old boys I can trace, to pull the contact details of all of us into one database.
The Register is there to be used by anyone who was at the School; I've already been able to put several people back in touch and it's only just getting off the ground. If you want to find someone, please let me know and I'll try to help.
To protect my own backside and your privacy, I've made a voluntary registration with the Data Commission, so the data can only be used as stated on the registration form. That is, only e-mail addresses (or telephone numbers, for people who don't use e-mail) can be released and then only to someone who is already on the Register himself. No part of the Register will be made public. If you don't want your e-address released, that's no problem; just answer 'No' to the last question on the list. Then if, say, an ex-classmate wants to contact you, I can pass his details to you and you can decide if you want to contact him.
I've extracted the e-addresses of everyone who has contributed to this board into a mailing list and in the next few days I'll send out the registration form to you. I hope that you will help the project by returning your answers to the questions, so that I can add you to the Register.
While trying to find people for Min, I came across several cases where one old boy knew one or more others who had no direct contact with the Old Gayts, this board or any other of the usual means of keeping in touch. Some entries on this board state that "I'm in touch with Tom, Dick and Harry". I'll contact those people separately, after the mass-mailing to ask their help in finding the others they mention but if anyone else knows of other old boys, please tell me.
I've tried to avoid double mailings where people have written several times to this board, but if you do get duplicate mailings, my apologies. I'm also about to start 'spamming' 'Friends Reunited' (with their permission) as several people will have made entries there but not on this board. If I don't completely filter out anyone who has written to both, again, sorry.
For those who come to this board after my mailing and do not hear from me directly, Jeff has kindly provided a link to another page on which you will find the registration form. Please copy it into your e-mail programme, add your details and return it to me.
Rod Clarke. 1954-59
Does anyone have a copy of the "Cadet" magazine from the late '60s with a cartoon entitled "mustn't grumble. how's yourself?" If so, please send in this direction. Also are there any pipers or drummers out there from the old corps. I see Bernie Eustace and Benny Flack have owned up.
I was at HCS from 1940-46 in the D Forms and then V1th. Science.After University (QMC) I worked in the electrical power manufacturing industry (Rugby and Stafford) for 13 years before joining Portsmouth Polytechnic. I came to Australia in 1974 and taught at the UNSW (Sydney) until I retired in 1989. Since then I have continued some research activities associated with industry. We are now living in Brisbane, beginning another interesting phase of our lives! Affy Hilton gave me the address of this site. The original contact was through Friends Reunited
Having been introduced to this site by my brother, I am looking forward to a good wallow in nostalgia! Meanwhile, it has already put me in touch with my old friend Keith MacDonald whom I was able to visit when in Scotland recently. We enjoyed a few beers and lots of memories. But the question we both want answered is - where is our mutual friend Keith Jones? Last heard of as a police officer in the Met, neither of us has heard from him in over 20 years. Does anyone know where he is?
Meanwhile, I will look forward to all the spam emails from Nigeria Keith MacD has warned me about
Will the boy who reset the web counter on the front page of this site go and wait Under the Clock !
Ref the Soul Brothers - seeing the line-up, surely this crew also went by the name of The Lightnings in an earlier gestation.
Also, I can explain the surprise that the RAF still has Halton and, wonderful Halton House as the Officers Mess. In common with the land on which many RAF staions are built, especially those (not Halton on this particular point) built in the late thirties expansion to counter the Hitler threat, reverts to the owner at the price paid on acquisition (NO inflation!). This is why Wyton is still there and with the airfield reopened, for example. Halton was gifted by the Rothschilds, and on disposal would revert to them. Hence the decision in the early nineties not to dispose of it.
See those attending at the Annual Dinner.
I know some people have mentioned the 1952 Wealdstone train crash on the visitors page. The latest Harrow Observer will be doing a piece on it sometime nearer the anniversary (8th Oct) and have asked for any memories or stories about the day. Their number is 0208 4274404, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, snailmail: 326 Station Road, Harrow, Middx, HA1 2DR.
Thanks to Gareth Rees for initiating the get together for the 1967 intake yesterday 28th feb.
Sorry more of us couldnt be there, cos it was nice, even though my insert kept popping out...
Glad to know my spotty face made such an impression John, but not so much as the moped...oh dear...
Lets do it again, before Xmas and get some more out of the woodwork
regards to all.
Sorry, Mike Joss and Phil Chesterman: I had my belief confirmed by chance only yesterday when Len Taylor sent me copy of an e-mail to Mike Dwyer. He may not want to push his case, so I quote: [Our group of four in 3A and 4A] "were notorious for playing up teachers particularly the weaker ones like Whiffy King and "Reg" Dixon and dreaming up somewhat cruel nicknames for them based on some personal characteristic they had. There were many such as "Dog" Mees, "Purp" Heaton, "Rup" Allen, "Weas" Venn", "Puss" Duke, "Sense" Watson, "Oily" Morgan, "Thumb"Campbell, "Paral" Atkins, "Sponge" Brister, "Spiv" Oliver, "Quiv" Parkinson,etc. I was particularly pleased that "Square" Simpson, which was one of mine, stayed around as a nickname long after we left."
I was speaking to Len on the phone about it and he said, "Yes; that square mouth in that square face in that square head."
Had a lovely time at the 1967 Intake Reunion last night, well done all for attending and especially for arranging and for not bringing a camera to take photos!!
We must do this again.
To Alex Bateman...
Alex, have tried to E mail you re an equiry I have but I have a notification telling me that you're unable to accept E mails so I'll ask you here.
Have been trying to trace Richard Kemp for years but all to no avail. It would help greatly if I had his middle name or initial. He would be listed under the 1977 intake and I am sure his birthdate (if it helps) was 01/01/1965. Can you get back to me at my E mail address..Thanks Alex..Paul H
Michael: while the Soul Brothers never did, unfortunately, give a private performance in the Office of ARS, I do have the most wonderful memories of screaming my version of the blues from the school stage, and staring at an absolutely disgusted ARS, sitting in the front row, as I bawled out words about having 'rocks in my bed'; and then bawling expletives at some lighting technician who committed the cardinal sin - to me - of putting a spotlight on me. And, again, seeing the great man's reaction at the f-word being used on the school stage. No wonder I was never made a Prefect.
Peter Fowler of the Soul Brothers - you did have some good times after all! I can not believe you called your group a shambles!
What I envisage was a private performance of the Soul Brothers in the office of none other than ARS. I am convinced that the Square image was all a front and that ARS dressed up in a zoot suit, indulged in a few amphetamines and entertained some of the chicks from the girls school.
Peter - confirm my suspicions!
Commiseration to all on the death of Spike Milligan.
Just a short note regarding Colin Dickens questioning of "Square"'s nickname. My recollection is that he was called "Square" because at that particular time (1950s-ish), the term for someone who was totally unable to cope with modern/youth terminology was someone who was "Square". (I speak as someone who suffered under him!!)
With intials of A. R. S. I still wonder that he wasn't called something else!!! Cheers, Mike Unstead-Joss
Andy Hayes anybody?
Bottle of Chablis on the line......
The 1967 reunion: how will you all recognize each other. Will you each be wearing a chrysanthemum in your buttonhole, as Bingo Little once told Bertie Wooster to do?
Re Jerry Dicker's comments...no, Shapiro and Barker weren't in the Soul Brothers. Loved his description of the band as 'deliciously dangerous'...the Soul Brothers were me (vocals), Geoff Weedon (son of Bert, lead guitar), Martin McCausland (keyboards), Mick Pringle (rhythm), Stuart Lyon (bass - when he felt like it) and Geoff Woolf (drums). We were an utter shambles but were spot on for 1962 in our choice of heroes - Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, early Motown, James Brown. And our stage performances were considerably more frightening than all those 'better' bands.
And Graeme Dimmock's in Washington DC running a pile of internet-y companies.
After days of careful planning (involving as many as 3 e-mails) our mystery 1967 reunion is upon us. Come to The Globe opposite Baker Street Station this Thurs at 7.30pm. All contemporaries welcome. Gareth Rees
Yes, Phil, I wondered about Tony Andrews. If he is the same one he was a good friend of Peter Philip. The latter was a remarkable character who was the leading light in the gambling mania which swept the School around 195/51. He and Tony used to belong to the OGCC and the last time I saw him was just after the Suez invasion. He'd become a stockjobber and had bought a line in Shell Petroleum just before it happened. Often wonder whether (and how) he got out of that!
Also, Phil, I'm not sure you're right about Simpson being called Square; I believed at the time (and I still favour the view) that he was so called because the shape of his head was so totally square.
Following Jerry Dicker's queries: Didn't Dave Shapiro and some of the guys go on to become The Rokes - Italy's top selling rock group for years? I don't know what happened to Dave. Mick Barker was a session man for some of the all-time greats. I think that Graham Dimmock is living in LA.
Hi all I just saw a page called "Whirligig - Christmas Ents 1962". Thank you for the photo. For the music historian, the Lightnings were indeed Graham Dimmock lead guitar and driving force, Lawrie Geller - drums, and me Jerry Dicker on Bass guitar. Pete Reglar joined later and was not HCS. We had a series of rythm guitarists: Cedric Metliss, Dick Crofts (played a mean Chet Atkins claw-hammer style) and Geoff Creamer - cool proficient and modest. Graham's sister Sheila sang with us sometimes and one Diana - but more about her from Graham if he reads this. We were more professional than the Soul Brothers but they were deliciously dangerous for the time. Was Shapiro one of these? and Mick Barker? I remember the Madisons as being rather neat.
I am collecting information for an article on reunions why do people organise and attend them, what do they hope for/fear, what do they feel like when you first enter and would you recommend the idea to others? Not only the large ones on the old site but more especially the smaller groups that tend to spring up unofficially around the country. If you are willing to express an opinion (which could be anonymous if you wish) then I would be interested to hear from you. Thanks, Paul Eustice.
Re: Brian Hester and the bomb shelter. Quite correct the woodwork was still there in 1946. But on the left side of that corridor later became the home of "Upper 4" where all the hopeless cases, including self, educated the new teachers. Some of these teachers actually lasted a whole year. The pupils were in the main, quite independently-minded, and included one Tony Andrews. Is he one-and-the-same who is now a member of the cloth in Kensington ?
The geography of the school has changed a lot since the days of bomb shelters but at the time, starting at the front door of the school, you would turn right. Just before the first flight of steps was a door on the left that led down a curved flight of steps to the basement. You turned left at the bottom. From there right through to where the stairway came down on your right was the bomb shelter. It consisted of vertical timbers measuring about 9 inches square supporting a timbered roof. As you went along the passage, there were rooms on the left that had been change rooms at one time. These too were reinforced. The doors leading from this room into the inner quad were at first blocked off with a sandbag wall that was later replaced with a brick wall the end of which can be seen on one of ATC photographs. It always struck me as stupid to crowd all the boys into a single spot in the basement as a direct hit would have killed us all, while if we had stayed in our classroom only a few would have been affected. Later in the war, when the buzz bombs, or V1 bombs were coming over, the shelters were not used. Senior boys were stationed on the school roof and if they saw a V1 coming roughly in the direction of the school they would ring a bell and we all got under our desks and the curtains were drawn to slow flying glass. We all did well in O level algebra when we spent a lot of time under the desks in semidarkness discussing the questions!
Just read Brain Hester's reminscences of 1940-47. He mentions a bomb shelter in 'the basement'. Does anyone know where he means?
When we were @ Gayton, there was rumour(urban myth as we thought at the time)that there was a long abandoned bomb shelter somewhere under the school - does this mean there was some truth to the story?
Can anyone tell me where it was?
I thought twegolapps were those crunchy marmite flavour stick snacks. That was my gut reaction anyway...
I attended the school from 1974-1978 seeing the school change from Harrow County to Gayton High. I recently returned to the school and had the strange experience of entering through the front door. What a honour. The last time I went through the front door was when Michael Cresswell decked a parent attending a Concert in 1977. Ah happy days! I ran through the front door then at about 90mph in the hope of avoiding the fallout.
My most evocative memories of the school are being beaten by Mr Morell and the slightly happier memory of singing Good King Wenceslas in latin thanks to Ken Waller. He left for his Xmas break in Ulan Bator a few days later. God Bless him.
Interesting acronyms from CCF days. Remember CISTRS pronounced sisters. This one should appeal to those RAF cadets who went gliding at RAF Hendon (closed), RAF Bovingdon (Closed now a market and a prison) and RAF Halton still open surprisingly.
Am interested in the FLAVELL of 1923 football team.
Whatever did happen to the pavillion fund?
I hate to admit that I can put an end to the "TWEGOLAPPS" discussion. Here goes:
Time on and off duty Wind direction Enemy's position Ground to be covered Own troups position Landmarks Action on approach Patrols Passwords Signals
Can't say I've had much use for this since 1970...
Come on Ian Gawn - we fly boys can do better than that! Obviously the brown jobs cannot remember TWEGGOLAPS, and it has been bugging me for weeks as I never took anything the Army did seriously and here the damn thing is lurking around my brain. But deep between what remaining synapses are left something has stirred. Didn't it start Time, Wind, Enemy Position, Ground Between etc.? We must be able to crack it between us!
I have just seen the messages from Knobby Knowles who I well remember as a great fly half & a talented footballer--I loved rugby but was only mediocre & then broke my neck after A levels in1970 & ran the line in a neck brace for the 1st XV in the 1970 season. Was known for my ''impression'' of Viv Edwards which frightened the 1st formers have never bumped into any of the rugby players of that era--Bob Ironton, Graham Rocker, ''Lemon''--
would be great to link up after all these years
Knobby, please get in touch
The reunion in Sept for Harry was great--sadly I had to leave early so wasnt in the Hamlet photocall
Look out for my brother Brians new movie--''The Gathering''--which he is editing at the moment & which should be released later this year
If any old boys of my era--leftin 1971 live near Bury St Edmunds--please get in touch
Following up on Gareth Rees' note about a drink on the 28th February at the Globe opposite Baker Street.7.30 As its getting nearer the time thought i had better put out a reminder and name a few that I have recognised as being registered and others that were around at the time
Ray Parnell Andrew Desmond Paul Lilley Paul Frost Paul Fry William Gee Tony Wright Andy Moore Paul Thomas Paul Logan David Gledhill Barry Taylor Keith and Stephen Green Peter Sayers ( god weren't there a lot of Pauls! dont feel excluded if your not listed more to do with memory than anything else)
The invitation is extended to anyone feeling the desire to make contact.
All the best
Sorry for mangling last message.
Re: Mick Boggis commemts about the glorified circular slide rule.
It was actually called a "Dalton Computer"
I bought one from a surplus store recently for $1.
After more than 40 years I could still do the calculation when you knew your heading and wind speed and calculated rquired heading. Couldn't remember how you calculated wind speed and direction knowing drift after a certain time.
Ref the CCF acronyms and mnemonics to help remember the various facets of military activity, I reckon that as CCF cadet, ATC cadet for three months before going to Cranwell, and two RAF regular careers with an intervening period as Territorial Army officer, I must have as good a selection of mnemonics as anyone, but the one that comes easiest to mind is that for dealing with hydraulic failure in the Gnat trainer. However, the real lifesaver in that aircraft was the briefing given to one student "If I say "eject" and you say "Pardon", you are talking to yourself!". The other was "In case of engine failure, students will eject. Instructors will use their discretion and then eject". However, TWEGGOLAPPS or variants thereon have passed completely from my memory.
To follow up the flying training theme, I am now pursuing a private pilot's licence 40 years after the first successful attempt - and it seems a lot harder. Simple flying is easy-peasy, but the navigtion - must be something to do with having spent several years with talking ballast in the back (navigator for non-flyers).
Hope to see lots of old (well I'm 58 on Sunday- God, did Dad seem old at that age!)friends at the Reunion Dinner
Does anyone have a contact number or e-mail address for Geoff Roberts (1958-64)- please put me in touch if you can.
Are you going to enlighten everyone about TWEGOLAPPS. The coversation that resolved this was held "out of committee".
Re: TWEGOLAPPS - I'm so pleased to see this explained - I hadn't slept a wink since Monday! This is 'Duties of a Sentry', isn't it? I can remember next-to-bugger-all about the Basic section; the map-reading was OK, but stripping antique .303's down and learning different ways of crawling through the undergrowth was tiresome in the extreme.Doubtless there are other acronyms to help commit the parts of a gun or the finer points of crawling to memory.
I thought I had erased everything to do with the CCF from my memory until I studied for my PPL in 1988 or so - the 'flight computer' - a glorified circular slide rule - and 'the triangle of velocities' suddenly transported me back to Room C3 on a Friday afternoon in 1961, when precisely the same advanced technologies were expounded by an RAF sergeant (i.e. some spotty berk in the LVI). If the CCF was teaching these techniques then, they must have been around since before WW2, and it is good to reflect that even in this age of GPS and flight computers exactly the same principles are still taught to would-be pilots today and you have to know them, otherwise you don't pass!
Regards to all, Mick
Dr. Simpson became known as "square" about one day after the word came into fashion as a conventional stuffed-shirt. Would suggest about 1949. Interestingly a cohort of mine, Alistair Arthur "Charlie" King hung the name ARS on him prior to this but the title didn't stick at the time. Charlie and I did plot to paint over IMPSON on the sign in front of the school, but good paint was in short supply at the time.
Origin of "Square"
It originated in one his Assembly rants.
He said "I may be square but............. " that was all it took.
I don't remember exactly when it was.
Perhaps the answer lies somewhere within this veritable continent of a web site, but is it known when Dr. Simpson first began to be called Square?
There has ben odd references to Dr Simpson here and there, and his thoughts on dress sense. I was looking through 'Gaytonian' for June 1912 today, and found reference to coloured socks.
It was along the lines of how ghastly they were, despite drawing a suggestion that socks in house colours could be worn. The end piece was a notice
"All wearers of coloured socks must pay up a commended ticket on each occasion when they are seen in such unseemly attire"
Is nothing new? Still looking for an Ernest Young reference to pointed shoes....
TWEGOLAPPS escapes me for now but SMEACQ...
Situation Mission Execution Action to be taken on approach Commands and signals Questions?
How does one flush this useless rubbish out of the brain.
PS What's the weight of a pull-through?
At Harrow County 1962-68, Forms 1c,2c,3c,4d,5d,L6scC and a member of the RAF section, NCO in charge of Gliding and Aeromodelling
1N Class List 1967/8
Keith missed one name out of the list, Hoare (I can't remember his first name). We were sat in columns in alphabetical order so I ended up sitting next to Hills and Hoare sat diagonally behind me.
Have just spent an entertaining evening with Mick Boggis, Trevor Moore, Rob Thomasson, John Sewell, Pete Robinson,John Clayton and Jim Harris (all of the mid 60's era - or there abouts!). The inevitable subject of schooldays and the loved or hated CCF. The discussion drifted into useless pieces of information we picked up whilst in the cadets, and one such item which stretched our brains - or what was left of them - was the acronym TWEGOLAPPS. We knew the acronym but didn't have the faintest idea what it stands for. Anyone remember? An informative e-mail would be appreciated. Thanks
Most recent edition of Desert Island Discs featured Sir Paul Nurse. Some interesting allusions to HCS without mentioning it by name. Apparently the great man did not manage to gain a French "O" Level though. Would his teacher like to own up?
Having discovering this website, it has come as some relief to find that I am not the only former register monitor to have their first form class list still etched indelibly into their brain.
On my first day at HCS, Nick Gould and myself had the misfortune to be sitting directly in front to the Form Master, Fred Bilson, who promptly appointed us as register monitors.
This was the class list for 1N in 1967-68. I knew it would be useful one day.
Balderstone, Barnfather, Bonner, Constant, Daniels, Darby, Dodd, Finbow, Findon, Gosling, Gould, Harrison, Hills, Jones, Kirke, Macdonald, Munday, Orme, Pieczora, Pielou, Rawlins, Richards, Rollo, Seamen, Secker, Springford, Summers, Tyson, Vine, Wright A, Wright A R.
Where are they all now?
Interesting web site. I was actually looking for references to Deyne Court in Harrow Park Road. I wonder if any old boys from the 1950s remember the girls at the National Institute of Houseworkers there. In particular we are trying to locate one Joyce Taylor (may have been Joyce Coral) who was there in the early 1950s. Its a long shot but worth a try. Thank you.
Here's the piece from the School newsletter which I promised last week:-
Harrow High achieves Gold! I am delighted to share the good news I received today, from the DfES, with all of the school community and the local community. Harrow High has been successful in its bid for specialist status. This is a wonderful opportunity for all our current and future students. We are already a strong community school with a broad curriculum and first class facilities. Our aim to raise academic achievement for all our boys and girls will not diminish but will be enhanced by our new status. We are, indeed, partners in sport and education for life and will continue to promote excellence, sports participation and a healthy life style. Thank you to everyone who has supported our bid.
(The newsletter was as from Christine Lenihan, headteacher.)
Has anyone have any idea where I can locate a certain William Kempster? He attended Gayton from '77-'81. I am trying to find him for a school (Cedars Middle) reunion planned in May 2002. Any help would be appreciated..Thanks PH
The reason I asked about the date of Randall Williams' death reflects a rather macabre incident.
I was reminded of it by the new item "Randall Williams gives a book to the School Library - 1960"
I remember Randall Williams death being announced.
Then about three days later we were all unexpectedly asked to evacuate the buildings for no stated reason. Of course there was much speculation. The favourite explanation was (bizarre though it sounds now) was that RW's body was going to be carried through the school one last time.
The real explanation was much more prosaic. Something (I forget what) had been stolen and there was a search of every desk in school by staff and the police. I don't recall the outcome (ARS wasn't big on downward communication)
But my recollection is that this earlier than 1960. Hence my question.
Sorry to see the anonymous contribution from the sour misanthrope who signs himself Bloody Obnoxious (or some such). Of course the School didn't put its hand in its pocket for the money - it just doesn't have it. But it did raise it itself and Ruth Denison and Christine Lenihan deserve more courtesy and respect than this aimless twit displays. What is he "angry" about, anyway?
Just letting you know a change of Email address
If Q Division really are still looking for Knobby, then I wonder why in fifteen years or so they have not simply visited The Beehive in Edgware. Or is it still a no-go area ?
Good to hear from you Ian.
Although a generation (at least) in front of me, when I graduated to senior cricket and played for Old Gayts, Knobby was in his "Vegas" comeback at the club.
My formative years as a junior playing with Knobby, Phil Miles and Gordon Wallis as role models probably explains a lot....
Now the established captain of Hatch End CC, I can often be found trying to set an example to my younger players....in the Moons, Hand in Hand and Pinner Tandoori mostly.
Knobby, if you still have the battered Grey Nicholls, the sweater your mum obviously knitted you and the carpet (!) you know where to find us. Or maybe just a spot of umpiring ?!
Knobby, don't bullshit, your bat hit the boiler in the old changing rooms, it went 'clank', I was shocked needless to say. Even Parky blushed.
You also queried the parental lineage of certain representatives of the met police force as you were given out in this manner. Not in those words though.
Even Howard (ginger pubes) Collins was bemused!
The chief inspector of Q division, and several of his officers, are still trying to find u!
Good try mate!
Nice to see the School has got the sports College status. Despite the fact that members of the old Gaytonians gave about £5000, and John Lyon School gave £40,000 (leaving the School to find only £5000), Mrs Ruth Denison is quoted in this weeks 'Harrow Observer' as saying how nice it was, and that the school did it alone.
Thank you for nothing Mrs Denison. Gawn AND forgotten it seems, except when they want money.
in answer to chris rickwood. Although i don't have the exact date to hand, (will get it) Randall Williams left the school to enter the Church in 1945, and died 15 years later.
When did Randall Williams die ?
...as in gawn but not forgotten?
Good to hear about the Sports Colleg satus, and that the Old Gayts have contributed so much, but a note of acknowledgement of bricks donated would have been nice! In years to come kids will ponder over Ian Gawn and Reg Gawn, and others.
Regards to all
Saw Roy Avery and Marjorie at a memorial service at Bristol Grammar School on Sunday. Looking well; he has been retired about 16 years.
Nick. Grossly inaccurate! My bat hit the changing room wall 2mins b4 I did! He was a cheat! Like the Sudbury Court umpire who gave me out as we completed the winning leg-bye,to hand the game to his team. Shandy handed to me as I crossed the boundary was sportingly given to the umpire involved.....from 5 yards away as an early shower!
Knobby, good to see you've connected, which is more you ever did with a cricket bat.
I've told my kids about the time you accused the met police commissioner (acting as umpire) of being 'f...ing bent' when he was umpiring, gave you out and your bat hit the changing room's boiler 2 mins b4 you did.
They don't believe me, I couldn't tell them what you said and these things happen,
BRICKS APPEAL (new readers see details in intro to this website) - Delighted to report that the School has heard today that it has been granted special college status as a sports college by the government. The contribution of Old Gaytonians by buying bricks in the new sports hall has been an immensely important element in achieving this goal. I hope to be able to include details from a School newsletter sent to parents today but I'm struggling to extract the relevant item from an "Acrobat" pdf file. More when I can.
Lock up your daughters "The Milkman" is back in town!Love to hear from anyone who remembers the abuse I dished out from behind the stumps (Knock his ed off Parkee Boy!) Also anybody from the school rugby teams that I played in especially The unbeaten !st XV of 1969(?)and the school cricket teams. Roger Powell- I have forgiven you for nearly knocking me block off in a house match!
We have put together a small website to record the December 9th reunion at http://www.vinntec.co.uk/reunion/. It includes the 72 official photographs taken by John Allen - for which prints can be obtained if required.
Any comments, feedback, errors - or if you can name people in the photos which we haven't managed to, please let me know.
Thanks.. Min Vincent
I use a program called mailwasher that allows you to bounce unwanted spam. It takes some time to get used to, but I find it worthwhile. It's free although they ask for a donation to remove a banner. You can find it at:
Mike Bergquist 69-75
'Help with money' emails? I've had abacha them recently.
Following the great bath in nostalgia at the "Behind the scenes" reunion in December, it would be good to see some of the photos taken on the day. Is anyone responsible for putting them on the site, and any idea when they'll be available to see?
The original Nigerian scam that I encountered 25 years ago was bogus bank drafts sent as payment for pro forma invoices. We never got caught but I heard of a British company who foolishly sent £25,000 of goods (in the 1970's) against one of these. Another one was a spate of churches asking for donations of drum kits, guitars or surgical appliances. If anyone collects such curios, I have 2 x $100 notes from a Nigerian customer which Barclays Bank returned to us stamped 'counterfeit'. On contacting the customer, his only response was ' can you still use them?'.
Although it probably will not help with the 'Nigerian' spammers, organisations such as Spamcop (http://spamcop.net) allows you to report instances of spam, which are then collated and fed back to ISPs with the aim of getting the offending accounts closed.
It might not immediatley reduce the amount of spam hitting your mailbox, but it sure as hecvk makes you feel better!!
Having received my $890bn dollars from Dr Umboto whatever, please feel free to visit me, at my expense in either Monaco or the Isle of Man, according to your climatic requirements.
Your donation of $891bn would be welcome to cover expenses.
Seriously I have been getting a whole load of this sh.t and because of regulation I have to report it to the SFA, can we do something about cleaning this junk off a great web site?
New name 4 the site, sounds dramatic?
Note to Richard Bunt - it may be too late to share in Mrs Abacha's 86 million bucks, as I got the email too, and I imagine lots of others did.
What we can do if you're in agreement, Ricahrd, is to reply to another one from a relative of ex-President Estrada of the Philippines. It's not just West Africa!
Having obtained the bucks I will escape to the remote area of Southern Greece called The Mani. Hence my theme song "We're in the Mani".
Five billion dollars a year!!! How can people be so naive?
Greetings , Just a quick line to you all.If you know of anyone living in the States or Canada that used to attend the school,have them contact me.I started a North American Section with the goal that we (the ex-pats) have a reunion on this side of the pond.All new comers welcome.Please email me and not Jeffrey as as you all know he has enough to do. Drink Beer be happy Pete.
(HCS 1950-57)I have just encountered this extraordinary glimpse of the past, and read some of the reminiscences. I must say, I cannot identify with the sadder and grimmer interpretations of that era. Did I just cruise through blissfully unaware of darker undercurrents? I shall visit the web site again. Congratulations on its fom and content.
More than you ever wanted to know about the Nigerian scam is at:
Interestingly, although you may think nobody would be dumb enough - it is the 5th largest industry in Nigeria.
One born every minute !!!!!!
Well I received the following this morning:
I am Dr. Mrs. Marian Abacha, wife to the late Nigerian Head of state, General Sani Abacha who died on the 8th of June 1998 while still on active service for our Country." etc etc.
Anyone want to share the $86,000,000 with me?
I have been getting Nigerian scam letters for 20 years. Before that it was fax directory invoices and carbon paper scams!
Yes, the "Nigerian mail scam" has been around for years. I cannot remember when I first received one of these letters but this is the first time they have got me by e-mail. I must be on a special list because I am hearing from people in Benin and Togo as well!
Although I have not received that specific example, I have had similar requests for my bank details and they are almost always originating from Nigeria,indeed I received 2 this morning.As my e mail address is widely known to friends, clients, other mail-shots it isn't restricted to this site.
It is a well known fraud.
One last piece of advice is if there is an e mail address to which to reply..DO NOT REPLY as this will only show that your e mail address is a "live" address and you are liable to receive other similar offers.
There is always a dilemma in a guestbook of this kind. Do we leave our e-mail addresses? If we do, we may get contacted by old friends. But there is the risk that spammers will send junk e-mail to the addresses. On the other hand, I've received nothing from "Rogers Ponty" and my address is all over this website. Personally, I suspect the fun/joy/satisfaction that people have had outweighs the spamming. If you don't leave your e-mail address you may miss out. However, if anyone wants to leave their e-mail address privately with me, post MY e-mail address email@example.com, and e-mail me yours together with your year of starting school so that I can file it and pass it on if there are enquiries.
Keith Macdonald wrote recently:
(In case anyone else has had a 'Treat as Urgent and Confidential' email from a Dr Rogers Ponty offering the opportunity to launder vast amounts of money, ignore it, as it is a scam. I have seen this one several times before. Apparently, if you give out the information asked for, your bank account will be emptied.
I have a horrible suspicion that this chap got my email address from the Guestbook, as I have not generally handed it out in any public form, until two days ago when I added my comments to the Guestbook, which seems too coincidental to me.)
I can confirm this as i've had two similar messages in the last week.
have just found the site ... with help. Would be delighted to hear from anybody from my years or my brother Alan's - 55 to 61 I think!
To Peter Barker
I know there is a typo - so please be generous to my broken leg and forgive this one at least!
Marco Pirroni was at Lowlands Sixth Form College from 1975 to 1977 - he used to clutter up the common room failing to play a guitar every day. As HCGS became Lowlands perhaps that is where the confusion started. I can't remember where he came from - I only every spoke to him to yell "Shut up"!
Another photo identity: in the 1962 Scholarship VIth Arts pic, I'm the X between Mr Robertson and Jerry Dicker. The other X between Weeks and Ellis is Colin Bailey. The photo is a mixture of 3rd and 4th Year Sixth.
The smug looking geezer sitting between Square and Phil Suanders in the 1961 Prefect's photo is me !
I was told the other day that thge guitarist Marco Pirroni, formerly of Adam and the Ants and Siouxie and the Banshees went to harrow County.
My sister was a fan and confirmed that he lives or lived in Harrow, while web sites I have looked at give his date of birth as april 1959. this would have him joining at around 1971, but he does not appear in the School admissions registers under that name.
can anyone give me anymore details?
I am now reminded that Wheel of Fire was the name of the anthology directed by Nigel Sheinwald. The only thing I remember about it was the comment by one reviewer:
Christopher Logue The rogue Wrote some vomit And then read from it.
Mind you, I shouldn't be sneering. My own career as a theatre critic consisted of a comment in the New Hall that the actors in Romeo and Juliet "were all good, except for Salter, who came on: " ho, ho, ho, see how our daughter bleeds." I wasn't too impressed.
I then realised that Salter was sitting right in front of me...
Does anyone know where Robert Bonner is ?
Any old Benjie boys out there?
What a lot of memories this has brought back! I think it's great for one who has discovered nostalgia "big time" in his early fifties!
Hi, my name is Philippa Goymer and by accident while searching my own name, my father's name (John Goymer) came up. I noticed that John Goymer worked at the school and left in 1983. He worked on the lights backstage. Will anybody have any information on him. Thank You Yours Philippa Goymer
An interesting reminder of names I had forgotten. I was at HCS from 1952 - 1958 approx. I am now retired but have had an interesting career with BBC Television Outside Broadcasts.
Was anyone else caned by 'Square' for buying lovely crisp hot cheese rolls from the workmans canteen?
I am looking for an example of a Harrow County School blazer for the archive, having so far failed to find one. I have examples of the gayton High and current Harrow high blazers, but not the foemer.
Is there anyone out there who has a Harrow County green blazer lurking at the back of the wardrobe that they would be willing to donate to the archive?
Fascinating website, bringing back all sorts of memories! Would welcome contact from anyone who remembers me - 1955-62.
In case anyone else has had a 'Treat as Urgent and Confidential' email from a Dr Rogers Ponty offering the opportunity to launder vast amounts of money, ignore it, as it is a scam. I have seen this one several times before. Apparently, if you give out the information asked for, your bank account will be emptied.
I have a horrible suspicion that this chap got my email address from the Guestbook, as I have not generally handed it out in any public form, until two days ago when I added my comments to the Guestbook, which seems too coincidental to me.
On a more pleasant note, I have already located the whereabouts of several old colleagues since adding my comments. They have also reassured me that JSG still merits the description given to him in various anagrams.
Peter Fowler's translation of Simpson's words is a worthwhile piece of public service. Too bad we did not have the value of hisunderstanding when we were at school! Thank you Peter! I worked out what in the U.S. is called the 'Fog Index' for several of Simpson's longer sentences. In England the device is sometimes called the Clarity Index. The Sunday Times at one time tried to achieve an index of 30, which it claims to be the level of understanding of a 16 year old. In his piece, Simpson tops out around 54. Even his shorter sentences, ornamented as they are with long words, reach the forties. Of secondary interest is the achievement of the author of the supporting piece. His sentences are even more "foggy". One has an index of 89! I wonder who that author was, or did Simpson write that too?
Those who need a translation of Simpson's first Gaytonian piece:
Even though I know I should grovel, I am still very worried about writing my first letter to you. Its bloody weird being a HeadMaster because Im meant to be everybodys Daddy even though I dont know you lot from Adam.
But, fortunately, I can see that youre not only very clever, youre also very kind. I am sure this will help me come to terms with my identity crisis.
When I was at HCS I always thought my inability to understand what the hell Simpson was talking about was due to my own inadequacies.
Then I looked at: http://www.jeffreymaynard.com/harrow_county/gaytonian1946.htm (this is a big, slow file! ed.)
Great to see the photos and other info on the old school. I was at school 1961-1968,in the Merrymen Dad - Taffy Roberts was at at school 1927- 1934 he keeps in touch with others from his era and the Rugby Club I practice as a Chartered Accountant in Hoddesdon Herts. I am in practice with younger brother John 1964-1971
I discovered this website purely by chance whilst looking for something else. It has been a complete revelation, looking at the information on the website has been like seeing 500 ghosts all at once. So many memories of people, events, incidents that I had long forgotten about. After I left school I went to University in Edinburgh and have stayed in the Edinburgh area ever since. Also, my parents left Harrow in 1984 so I have had no contact at all with the area since then - apart from Geoff Kinmond who still sends me holiday postcards! It was great to read about the class of '68 reunion - although I was class of '67 there are so many guys on that list that I knew really well. However I am shocked, stunned, aghast and deeply insulted to find that my 'claim to fame' on the website is courtesy of my old original classmate from 1N, Dennis Orme, in his comprehensive history of the CCC, suggesting that I used to marshall the cross country course as a skive!!! Looking forward to studying the site further.
Can Bruce still play the William Tell overture on his cheeks?- oh boy! Yes he can- as all those at the recent stage staff reunion will tell ( sorry) you- I was thrilled when I managed to track him down and he agreed come along and do it again- and I was honoured with a preview performance on the telephone to reassure me the cheeks were still in fine working order!
As I sit here, on a grey Wednesday afternoon, contemplating matters of statutory and contractual construction, gazing into the middle distance,- one question haunts me, as it has for, oh so long now - "CAN BRUCE BOYD STILL SLAP THE WILLIAM TELL OVERTURE OUT OF HIS CHEEKS?" I think we have a right to know.
And only the other day I took my 13 year old son to the Royal Armoured Corps Museum at Bovington and, on looking at the "Ferret" told him I remembered someone at school having an accident in a Ferret, but could not remember who - now I know!
Dear John Parker I think your recollection is correct. Field days were inmy time spent on Berkhamsted Common or similar and a complete waste of time. I never met anyone who had the slightest idea of what was going on. My squad and I spent a lot of time collecting blank amunition from boys who were even less enthralled than we were and shooting large areas of weeds until some fool threw a thunderflash at us and said we were dead. Not as dead as the weeds though, heh, heh.
One such day Lefty Wright set fire to the common with a Very Light and the rest of the time was spent putting out the flames (so I was told). We never did find where we were supposed to be.
One memorable field day the MT section was sent to the TA depot at Elmgrove. We were shown various vehicles including Ferret Scout cars. The driver of one of these encouraged me, who had never driven anything in my life before, to have a go. After a disagreement between he and I over which way to turn in a confined space we ended up hitting a brand new 3 ton lorry, taking off one wing, hitting the admin block office and "breaking" the Ferret. No one was hurt except for the Colonel whose feelings were bruised at having to be recalled from Berkhamsted. Officially nothing happened, presumably because nothing of the sort could be allowed to.
I suppose someone must have derived a benefit from all that buffoonery? I'm embarrassed to think I ever had anything to do with it.
Nice to see the colour photos of the CCF including the much commented on Col Bigham. I'm still looking for mine.
One thing niggles though. They are described as being photos of Field Day. I don't know if this a change of terminology over time or an error. When I was in the CCF, Field Day was the term used for the day we (in the Army section) went up to Ashridge and spent the day letting of thunderflashes and firing blanks at each other until Maury Venn and the other umpires had decided that either the Blue or the Red Force had won.
The event on the field was the Annual Inspection and Review.
I have arranged with John Dunworth to meet him and others at The Globe opposite Baker St Station at 7.30pm on 28th Feb in the downstairs bar. It is an informal reunion of the 1967 entrants (we were both 1K) but other contemporaries are very welcome. Please pass it on.
The photograph posted on the 14th January must be 4B not Lower sixth as its my year although by then I was languishing in 4D. Names that I can remember are:-
Back row.L to R 1. Chris Andrews 4 Roger Mercer 9 Stephens 10 Metcalf Front row 11 Keith Dockree
I went to gayton high school between 1978 and 1982 do you know of anyone from that era who has been in contact with this site.
Anyone out there know what became of Spargo Rawnsley? I know about his distinguished brother, the night fighter pilot but what about Spargo? Did he have children? Any information gratefully received.
73 and 88 de G0JCF.
Another Undistinguished Scholar of 1937 - 1942
Just to say am back on line after a month due to the fact that Lineone had been taken over by Tiscali Hope to hear from Min and Peter Lawson now
The person on the right of John Abbott in the photo taken at the December 2001 Drama reunion is an exceptionally cool looking Dick Dunmore--proof positive that some of us (like the beverage he's holding) do indeed improve with age! -pw
An undistinguished scholar of 1949-1956!
I received another drenching the other day from the current Web-generated tidal wave of nostalgia when a classmate from my old primary school contacted me. Our main teacher was an OG, a Welshman named Reg Bowen, who was born in 1919 and will have attended Harrow County during the 1930s. Any news of him will be gladly received by my old primary school cohort.
When we knew him, in the 1950s, he was living in or near Carpenders Park. He would occasionally refer to a grandfather who had been manager of Barry Town FC.
Fair enough. It is just that I am in an AVI photo from 1975 and know that I went to many classes with someone in your LVI photo from 1976. A bit of a puzzle. The academic year - 75/76 - could explain one year's discrepancy. Perhaps the person concerned repeated a year somewhere along the line and I ended up one year ahead. Thanks anyway.
I originally sent the photo to Jeff Maynard. The academic year in quesion is 75/76. I know we were in the lower 6th as in the upper sixth we had Archie Foulds as our form master. Geoff Bath, our from master that year was I believe an Old Gaytonian.
I must admit I was unsure of the name of the form and contacted a couple of others in the photo who confirmed it as lower 6th 2. It was in fact the last 6th form in Harrow County/Gayton High as the following year went to the newly formed 6th form colleges around the borough.
Martin Flack, the only reason for the photo surfacing is that my mother could not forget the socks!!
That's nothing - the master doesn't seem to have been given the correct trousers and /or socks!
I'm not very good at remembering names and faces from the past (or indeed the present!) but the following photograph doesn't seem to me to have been given the correct year and/or form. Can anyone confirm the details?
Interesting to see the school as it is today.A lot of the buildings were half built when I went there & just the same when I left.Wonderful thing this e-mail,I just had a reunion with my best man of 49 year ago,Geof Hodson,first meeting for 45 years.
Some of you know I have had some computer trouble. Having got rid of a virus, I got another within a few days resulting in my having to completely wipe everythig and reinstall. Apologies to all who might have received odd messages via email from me.
Regarding Chris Rickwood's message (sorry Chris I didn't receive any messages you sent), the virus sent itself to any addresses I had used regardless of whether or not they were in my address book! Those that were in my address book were warned and apologised to!
Unfortunately I lost my emails so if you sent something to me recently can you send it again?
I am now up and running again, virus free and virus protected! Bloody machines!
Belated happy new year to all who read this.
Excellent; wish I had known about it years ago. Keep up the good work ! Don`t let the ``ca`` in the address confuse you. Am happily retired in Calgary
The older I get, the more I recall of the school...I started in 1945 and this was the first year without any fee-payers. Before I started, there was a meeting with the Head, who was Randall-Williams. But when I arrived, (in the second form)the head was Crowle-Ellis. Next year we had yet another head, Simpson! There were a number of women teachers in my first year, but they were flung out when the war heroes returned. I could not stand hearing teachers calling themselves Major this and Captain that....I was form captain of IID and still remember the class list: when I recite it my children (and grandchildren) are besides themselves with laughter. There were 40 of us in the class. One day I'll write it here for you!
Great site- came to this via "foreverfriends" and just contacted Dave Rowe whom I haven't seen for 33yrs. I attended 62 to 69. via 1C, 2A etc then to Bristol Uni (1969-73), teaching in Bristol & Devon. I was heavily into Rugby RAF cadets and fondly remember teachers Bilby (Maths), JF Ling and Savage (Maths and Phy). Also Mr Cowan Dep Hd.
Great to make contact
I have just been told of your website. A brilliant idea. I will be spending hours looking through it. I attended HCS from 1953 until 1958.I have lived in Sussex for the past twenty years, and have been retired for the last ten years.
Just found the web site.
Fascinating photos from distant days.
Nick Austin...I can't believe you were ever in a DHM detention!! I, however, remember them vividly!! Twice a week minimum for me, during 1st and 2nd form! Every letter had to touch the lines, above and below! I saw George Cowan at the recent backstage reunion and I actually found myself getting on quite well with him. I remember hating him when I was at school. He still remembered me, after 26 years!
Mike Bergquist 69-75
1969-1976 currently Head of Music @ St Crispin's School in Wokingham. Married with 4 kids. Who remembers 'the ploughman homeward plods his weary way' and WHY???
Paul Hymas had the correct response and even added the punchline himself ! Sorry, it was NYEve and I was bored, stuck at work and thought if the Web Master was going to do the "Rudolph the Red knows rain dear joke" it was worth a punt.... Happy New Year to you all....
PS is the OG Association Christmas Raffle result posted on this site - i need to see if i have won a video to go with the TV....
Stuart, you are making an xmas cryptic hard.
No letters, no numbers, my blind guess for 'overloaded postman at xmas' is 'Pis*edman Pat'
Stamp duty? There can't be too many letters as they are mostly cards.
Stuart- How many letters?? Oh yes..Bloody thousands...
Hi Great to be in touch again Very interesting memories I was at school between 1969 and 1971 Took Economics, Econ Hist & pure Maths at A level
Hi Great to be in touch again Very interesting memories
Stuart - 'High tide'? Well, cryptic comments were never my strong point. Happy old Year to all our readers!
Stuart - a clue as to how many words / letters would help - but how about full sack?
Happy New Year
Aside from the christmas cracker humour , a plea for help.... We are stuck on the last clue in the firms Cryptic Prize Crossword; "Overloaded postman at Christmas?" ??
Dick Watson, how are you?
You are one of the people I was hoping to contact through this amazing medium. You won't know this but through visiting your house in Hazeledene Drive I first came to know and like Pinner and have now lived here since 1970 and worked here since 1965. I nearly bought a house in Hazeledene drive but fate decreed otherwise. It is not the road it was when you lived there as it now has a large estate of flats at the far end and much more traffic.
I remember the old kayak having nearly ended my days in it when I paddled it into the weir race at Henley on one of our Thames journeys. I had great difficulty turning it around once into the fast water and thought I was doomed. That was the second one with Mick Betts and the first with Lex Barker. The first trip was just you Mick and me.
I have a bone to pick with you; whatever happened to the toast? By now if you still have it, it would be the oldest cold hot buttered toast in the world and would qualify for the Guiness Book of Records. If you recall it was last delivered to your house in a tea chest off the back of a lorry.
I last came across Mick Betts some 30 years ago living with Jill and two children in Rushden Northants. He was in the RAF flying helicopters.
Speaking of caps, did not you and I ritually burn ours in Oxhey woods?
I must have led a charmed life with Bigham. I once asked him in class (seriously though possibly stupidly)if it were possible to fill the alimentary canal from one end to the other. He was very suspicious that I was being funny but accepted my assurance that I wasn't. I forget the answer.
I also once put on an exhibition of wild flowers in the biology lab. I collected and identified dozens of flowers (not one of which could I now recognise)and had it announced in assembly. No one came. For many years I had a key made in metal work which would open all the doors in the then new part of the school including Bigham's prep room. It came in useful at dances for showing "guests" round the school.
Is this boring? We did so many things together and then here we are after 42/43 years with a big blank. I have just realised I could have sent this whole thing to your email address but it's too late now. Happy New Year to all our readers.
Forgot the tel number for The Royal Oak, Dunsford
It is 01647 252256
Just had a great weekend at The Royal Oak, Dunsford (Dartmoor National Park) which welcomes all visitors but especially Old HCS Boys and Girls and Heriotts Wood Girls.
The Royal Oak is run by Mark & Judy Harrison(nee Saunders).
Mark was HCS 68 - 75 and Judy was Heriotts Wood 67 - 74.
If you want five star luxury then forget it but Mark runs an excellent cellar with a great range of real ales and the home cooked menu is very good as well. They also have 7 rooms for B&B, 5 with on-suite facilites in the converted barn.
Any old boys that turn up also get a drink on the house but don't tell Mark I said so.
Simon HCS 69 - 76
Re comments of John Parker and the Wagon Wheels.
John, in my opinion (and after discusing this point) Wagon Wheels are still the same size! A wagon wheel to a child must seem like a huge treat, my 3 sons certainly think so and the Wagon Wheels look enormous in their hands. Whilst to the like of us they are a mere 3 bite treat. How hard is it to eat just one?? Especially the Jammie ones. I hope this clears up the conundrum you faced.
A Happy new year to all...PH
New to this site, I was most intrigued to read a selection of the comments and reminiscences and compare them with my own memories and opinions of life at HCS. So I'm taking the opportunity to insert my recollections for what they're worth.
I joined in '53 and went through 1B, 2B, 3B, 4C, V2, L6ScB and A6ScB (got this from the school report book which I still have!).
Other than a bit of maths and physics, I clearly wasn't cut out for academic studies but it wasn't till the start of the 5th when I had to choose a subject to accompany applied maths, that I discovered the bit of the school tucked away out of sight of the front entrance; namely the technical/practical subjects department (Tech. drawing, woodwork, metalwork). Yes, OK I'm a bit of a peasant but clearly, this wasn't a part of the school that ARS cared to acknowledge. I was faced at the time with doing biology ("bilge" as it was affectionately referred to) - this being the subject listed as partnering applied maths. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who understood the relationship. Having experienced "bilge" and Bigham in earlier years, I knew this was of no interest to me and was uncharacteristically bold enough at the time to suggest there might be something more appropriate I could take. "Well; you could do woodwork, metalwork, and engineering drawing, I suppose" came the eventual and very doubtful reply. Although being three subjects in place of just the one, I couldn't imagine much homework being involved, so I jumped at the chance. It was only then that I discovered this hitherto unknown part of the building. The other spin-off of taking these 'unmentionable' subjects was that I finally escaped HCS (as that's what it felt like) with five A levels. These were scraped passes and I was always reluctant to admit the subjects.
As to school life in general; I found it largely boring for someone not interested in sport or dramatics (I suppose there were other things) and I got the distinct impression that 'square' simply put a stop to anything that caused any trouble. Hence, no going into the building during breaktimes, no wandering on the school field and certainly, no going off the school premises. Increasingly I felt like a POW, and the spiked railings all around completed the impression. Perhaps as a parting gesture I could have instituted a "Build a machine gun tower for HCS" fund. Bored by this environment, a mate (just who, I wonder) and I, intrigued by what Harrow town had to offer at lunch breaks, would contrive to get out occasionally. Getting out was easy enough as it only needed a quick sighting to determine if anyone was making checks on lunch passes. Getting back was usually OK but when one time there was a gate check in evidence, we had to put plan B into action. My five year older brother had told me it was possible to get into the swimming pool from the road at the back (was this Gayton Road?) though I'd never investigated this. I don't recall the details but sure enough we managed a couple of wall/fence scrambles and dropped down on to the school field. Avoiding the barbed wire and land mines (sorry, I'm getting carried away), we regained the safety of the play ground (was it really called that?).
One other 'jolly' was during one of the school scout troup camps on the field. We were supposed to be attending some sort of meeting/service in the hall but the prospect didn't seem very rewarding compared to shinning up one of the drainpipes and exploring the roof. A few of us (once again, who?) achieved this and we found ourselves looking down on the other unfortunates in the hall via some windows at ceiling level. Why Mees should have chosen to look up at this moment is a mystery. My mental picture is one of him exceeding all known 0-60 acceleration figures as he left the hall in pursuit. Panic set in immediately. Risking drainpipes was nothing compared with the wrath of Mees though no-one felt like descending a drainpipe in a hurry. The windows to the prefects' common room presented themselves and we made a dash across the roof. Clearly, this was how Mees thought we'd got up there and he must have headed in that direction himself. Once inside the building, I guess we just scattered in all directions, some to fall straight into his clutches. For my part, I recall hiding in the navy cadet whaler under its canvas cover. Mees dispensed vicious punishment to the ones he'd caught and commenced an enquiry into who else was involved. I was shit scared - nothing brave about me when it came to thrashings - but luckily I don't think anyone else got caught. Anyone who can corroborate or dispute the details of this - please contact me!
As to the masters and discipline as a whole, I suppose I felt that in general if one broke the rules, or more importantly, got caught, then well ......... One time, having been apprehended for something or other, I was given the choice of a caning by 'square' or detention. Thinking that 'square's' canings were fairly mild and that it would only take five minutes instead of an hour, I opted for the hard stuff. My countenance must have fallen on hearing that he was too busy at the time and referred me to George Thorn who's reputation with the stick was far worse.
I've read many references to Bigham but didn't realise what a demon he apparently was. True, I was gobsmacked when Bigham, having asked one day what colour urine was (during a biology lesson, I should add), hauled out the young lad who answered "yellow", and whacked him. I've wondered ever since whether I shouldn't consult my doctor because I pass yellow urine.
Generally the masters were OK. I guess I learned that if I toed the line, things would be acceptable and the higher up the school I got, the better (slightly) we were treated. However there were some who I agree were probably sadists. 'Suzie' Whiteside was one I reckon (though I've seen no references to him from others), as I have this recollection of him hanging around anywhere where trouble might arise so he could capture the offender and wreak vengeance. He once stopped his car one afternoon along the road between Pinner and Pinner Green to ask me why I wasn't wearing my cap (don't talk to me about b****y caps). I was within a few hundred yards of home and felt I'd finished with school for the day. What really bugged me was that I thought it was a motorist slowing down to ask the way and I only went over to the car to give assistance! The next day, in a feeble attempt to make a point of principle, I told him I'd been at a friend's house and was returning home from there, not school. It was weak but worth a try I thought. Not so - he asked the address of this friend and was triumphant when I couldn't give an answer. I got 'lines' for not wearing my cap, and a thrashing for lying. There was no further discussion. I never had the spirit to stand up to any of them.
On the positive side; Yelland was great and made English interesting; Boreman was great with maths and there was a youngish, trendy type that took French (Kincaid, that was it) who was also good, but French; well I mean! There were other good ones too only I don't recall the names. One though, who I dreaded initially, was Webb, the woodwork master and affectionately known to us louts anyway, as "Heap", probably on account of his size and shape. To start with, we dreaded the sound of his footsteps along the corridor. Then one day, fed up with boring break times, I was brave enough (with Mick Betts) to ask him if we could construct the frame of a canvas covered kayak in his workshop. To my amazement, he was enthusiastic! It was hardly carpentry but perhaps no one had ever shown any on-going interest in using any of his tools for other than compulsory exercises in woodwork. Not only did he produce free bits of timber (shhh) but he almost encouraged us to carry on with the construction during the periods when we were supposed to be doing engineering drawing with him. I often wonder what happened to him. Only recently, in the last couple of months did I finally put a match to this trusty vessel at just around its 43rd anniversary!
I'd be chuffed to hear from anyone who was aware of any of these happenings! Mates I recall:- Mick Betts, Dave Stokes, (?) Barker, Pete Garwood, Phil Copp and sadly, Chris Grubb (RIP) Richard Watson 1953 - 1960
Virus in EMail from Alex Bateman
For the second time I've received an EMail from Alex Bateman with a virus attached.
I'm sure he is unaware of it (altho' I have alerted him)
So if any of you receive an Email from Alex do NOT open an attachment function.bat.
Belated thanks to Katie and Min for the re-union. As Peter posted I later broke my leg and spent 13 days in Northwick Park as a result. And I'd been talking about falling off the stage and not hurting myself! Ooops! Anyway thanks to for the well wishes.
It was really interesting to see the school again after all these years and recognise some people so easily! Regarrsd to all.
Talk of the Tuck Shop reminds me:
Crisps of that era were only potato-flavoured and contained a blue paper screw of salt. Favorite pastime of some was shaking these out in other pupils' hair.
Rather than wasting Refreshers to make the Coke fizz we used to use a piece of chalk which fitted neatly into the neck of the bottle.
Finally, the conundrum, have Wagon Wheels got smaller or is just that we are bigger or both?
Regards, Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year to all.
What a fabulous site; brings back loads of memories, especially the copy of the programme for our 1979 production of "Charlie's Aunt"; yes I am the guy who played Jack Chesney - remember it well.
I would love to get back in touch with any/ everyone who was involved; see the programme for names.
Best wishes to all,
Nibbit, yes! (You're too hard on yourself, Pete. It's good to remember these things -- as long as you can also remember where you put your teeth.) A quick web search reveals that the brand name is still going strong in the Netherlands.
And thanks to Dave Morrison for reminding me about Potato Puffs. I'm going to cap this wallow in nostalgia by taking my son to The Fellowship of the Ring. One imagines that hobbits ate Nibbit and Potato Puffs. (Not Coke and Refreshers, though.)
Nipping off upstairs to escape the mayhem of all the kids coming back home for Christmas, I find myself as the saddest of gits in actually knowing what Paul Romney and David Morrison are talking about...the crispy/curly things that we bought from the tuck shop were called Nibbits (I think they disappeared about the same time as decimalisation came in).
I was one of those nasty little brats who bought a bottle of Coke and a packet of Refreshers: a couple of Refreshers (weren't they disgusting!)were slipped into the Coke bottle (pre-can days, of course); the Coke bottle - with finger held over the end to prevent air escaping - was then shaken violently and promptly pointed at whoever had been designated, in those Inner Quad days, as Creep of the Day. He then basically received about three quarters of my Coke in his face and I was left with something flat and horrible to drink.
Served me right.
I can hear an argument developing downstairs and I better go and remind myself of what it (still) means to be a father.
Hi Paul I believe the packeted product you refer to was called "Potato Puffs". Could be wrong though. My daughter says they're still around, but I haven't seen them for years. Dave.
Look here, Maynard, your server can't read. I wrote "unlike," not "alike"!
In typical Yank fashion, Martin Cutter omitted to mention that Santa Claus is still serving (or servicing, as they tend to say in the US) all of Canada. Here in Baltimore, however, my son received a gift with a jokey message from a certain "Banta Claus".
I trust that the UK is still being served by Father Christmas."
Now for something completely different and much more serious. In the late 1950s, the Tuck Shop sold buns for twopence and doughnuts for threepence. I imagine it also sold potato crisps. But I recall buying another packaged snack there, which I remember as a crisp and curly substance, not alike that which one sometimes gets as a free appetizer in Chinese restaurants. What was it called, and is my recollection of its nature accurate?
A Russian couple were walking down the street in Moscow one night, when the man felt a drop hit his nose. I think its raining, he said to his wife. No, that felt more like snow to me, she replied. No, Im sure it was just rain, he said. Well, as these things go, they were just about to launch into a major argument about the weather when then they saw a Communist Party official walking toward them. Lets not fight about it, the man said, Lets ask Comrade Rudolph whether its officially raining or snowing. As the official approached, the man said, Tell us, Comrade Rudolph, is it officially raining or snowing? Its raining, of course, he replied, and walked on. But the woman insisted: I know that felt like snow! To which the man quietly replied: Rudolph the Red, knows rain, dear.
Seasons Greetings to all Old Gayts!
What a shock, I did not know the website wxisted and came upon it by chance. I was at HCS from 1947 until 1954, Harry Mees was my first Form Master and I seem to recall that he had just arrived at the School as well. Fascinating.
I couldn't possibly compete with Martin Cutter's offering...so I will leave you all with season's greetings and every good wish for a happy and healthy 2002!
Seasonal greetings to Old Gaytonians (and young ones too) from St Albans.
I seem to have run out of polemic in recent weeks but I am sure that hostilities will recommence in the New Year.
Sorry to hear that Gerry Lafferty has been under the weather recently. I will write to him in Lowland Scots...
As for the message from Rick Royston which entered our neck of the cyber-woods, yes I am the man but what on earth is a forensic accountant?
Anyway thanks to Jeff Maynard again for creating this site. I have not found any other local schools with anything like this amount of activity.
Virtus Non Stemma
I gave the wrong URL regarding Peter Mansfield.
It should be: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk_politics/newsid_1726000/1726857.stm
David Coppinger's message has made me realise that I was too general in my comments about NCOs. My memory of the CCF is mostly of being shouted at a lot and sometimes required to do things which I thought, even then, abusive, hence my appearance before the Colonel at the end of my time in the Corps.
A theme of my time at HCS is how innocent/niave I was. Probably I should have understood that the CCF was all a game, pretend, not for real which is why all the posturing and shouting were going on. Then I could have accepted it with good humour instead of feeling resentful at having to take part in what was essentially (for me) a pointless and compulsory activity.
My reference to cushy numbers is probably born out of envy; was there some way in that I was not aware of? So, I apologise to any NCO (and anyone else)who feels traduced or offended, I was refering to the other ones.
I am glad to hear Lefty Wright being described so warmly. I hope he had a better time after my era passed than he appeared to enjoy during it. I can only guess but I expect boys were more street wise in the decades to come. The sixties saw the coming of satire and the decline of respect for authority figures. Anyone care to report on change coming about during this period?
I keep thinking each time I write it is the last one but then something else comes up. I'll keep going even if only to apologise. As John Ebden used to say at the end of his broadcasts (and I paraphrase)..."if you have been, thank you for reading this".
The BBC WEb Site a summary of Dr Peter Mansfield's interview on BBC 4 concerning the MMR vaccination.
Additionally there are links to previous stories about his run in with authorities on this subject.
The URL is: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/health/newsid_1665000/1665146.stm
Season's greetings to all our readers - and now, an important message:
Subject: An urgent message from the North Pole ....
I regret to inform you that, effective immediately, I will no longer be able to serve the Southern United States on Christmas Eve. Due to the overwhelming current population of the earth, my contract was renegotiated by North American Fairies and Elves Local 209. I now serve only certain areas of Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan. As part of the new and better contract, I also get longer breaks for milk and cookies, so keep that in mind. However, I'm certain that your children will be in good hands with your local replacement who happens to be my third cousin, Bubba Claus. His side of the family is from the South Pole. He shares my goal of delivering toys to all the good boys and girls; however, there are a few differences between us. Differences such as:
1. There is no danger of a Grinch stealing your presents from Bubba Claus. He has a gun rack on his sleigh and a bumper sticker that reads: "These toys insured by Smith and Wesson."
2. Instead of milk and cookies, Bubba Claus prefers that children leave an RC cola and pork rinds (or a moon pie) on the fireplace. And Bubba doesn't smoke a pipe. He dips a little snuff though, so please have an empty spit can handy.
3. Bubba Claus' sleigh is pulled by floppy-eared, flyin' coon dogs instead of reindeer. I made the mistake of loaning him a couple of my reindeer one time, and Blitzen's head now overlooks Bubba's fireplace.
4. You won't hear "On Comet, on Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen" when Bubba Claus arrives. Instead you'll hear, "On Earnhardt, on Wallace, on Martin and Labonte. On Rudd, on Jarrett, on Elliott and Petty."
5. "Ho, ho, ho!" has been replaced by "Yee Haw!" And you also are likely to hear Bubba's elves respond, "I her'd dat!"
6. As required by Southern highway laws, Bubba Claus' sleigh does have a Yosemite Sam safety triangle on the back with the words "Back Off." The last I heard it also had other decorations on the sleigh back as well. One is a Ford or Chevy logo with lights that race through the letters and the other is a caricature of me (Santa Claus) going wee wee on the Tooth Fairy.
7. The usual Christmas movie classics such as "Miracle on 34th Street"and "It's a Wonderful Life" will not be shown in your negotiated viewing area. Instead, you'll see "Boss Hogg Saves Christmas" and Smokey and the Bandit IV" featuring Burt Reynolds as Bubba Claus and dozens of state patrol cars crashing into each other.
8. Bubba Claus doesn't wear a belt. If I were you, I'd make sure you, the wife, and the kids turn the other way when he bends over to put presents under the tree.
9. And finally, lovely Christmas songs such as "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and Bing Crosby's "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" will no longer be sung about me. This year songs about Bubba Claus will be played on all AM radio stations in the South. Those song titles will be Mark Chesnutt's "Bubba Claus Shot the Jukebox" and "Grandma Got Run'd Over by a Reindeer."
Sincerely yours, Santa Claus (member of North American Fairies and Elves Local 29)
I have just read David Stoke's comments on among other things the armoury and quartermasters stores. I ran firstly the armoury and then the stores in about 1963/64 and I doubt whether anyone would have considered me a bully. Looking back though the 2nd formers queueing up at lunchtime to be issued with a rifle, oil and 4 by 2 most probably thought different. yes it was a cushy number especially the armoury because once the door was closed the kettle went on straight away. Lefty Wright was the officer i/c the armoury and was one of the nicest guys at the school. I doubt today whether a 16 year old would be given keys not just to an armoury containing Lee Enfields , Bren and Sten guns but to the little room where we kept the ammunition. I enjoyed every minute of it but maybe thats why I was one of Simpsons failures leaving with 3 poor O levels. Fortunately for me someone invented the OU and I was able to reverse the decline of my late teen years.
To Michael (Benjy) Schwartz:
Not a Harrow memory at all, but a Birmingham one. I believe we used to play the occsional game of chess together in the Manor House in the autumn of 1972. You were a friend of Brian Hanney, who studied French with me.
That's about it really. I'm now a forensic accountant practising in the States.
Richard Royston (BA Birmingham 1976)
Have just visited this site via friendsreunited.co.uk. Browsing, I found reminiscences by one Bill Burchell. We used to be inseparable friend when at HCSB. As I read his piece many of the names were familiar to me. Tony Easy (of tandem fame) and I were pulled up by a policeman once for going too fast past a squad of trainee motorcycle cops!
Further to the reunion,Gerry Lafferty would like to say how much he enjoyed seeing everyone and would like to keep in touch. He's not a computer user, but does like to write letters and will get to replying to those he has received since the reunion when he's recovered from the chest infection that has hospitalised him recently and the festive season. Meanwhile if you want to contact Gerry email me at the address above with your snail mail address and I will pass it on to him. Katie Finch
Having finally got round to reading many of the earlier messages (only recently learning of the site)I was interested in Richard Miller's memories of the "Avery Statue" he made for Julius Caeser. I was mooching around the Art Room for most of this time - having escaped Science by convincing the kind-hearted Norm that I knew one end of a paintbrush from the other, even though I didn't - and recall Richard working away on his creation: like Frankenstein lovingly fondling his monster.
Richard - along with Dick Layzell and Richard Elkan - was a hugely talented artist: but always seemed to me to be the last one to realise it.
One morning he was adding the finishing touch to "Avery" - a crown of vine leaves - which he had contrived to mould into a perfect representation of the great man's infeasible hairdo. I remember how this transformed it into the true embodiment of its inspiration. Richard, somewhat sheepishly, asked me if it was too obvious: I suspect because I was laughing in genuine admiration of his artistry.
I was so pleased he received rightful recognition for his talent, when the audience rewarded "Avery's" first appearance with almost as much warmth as they later gave to Francis Matthews. For me, Richard and Francis - in their own very different ways - made the play unforgettable.
One last thing, Richard, if you ever read this: you asked after Abbott? You have to mean the wonderfully gormless Chris Abbott - the "Ruislip Rocker" - who, along with "Plonker" Pinfield, Geoff Willis, Ross Capel and Dallas Banfield, formed the Fifth Form gang of my generation. I'm still in touch with Dallas - now a respectable member of the community (a JP, no less!) - and am sure he will enjoy me reminding him of his more romantic youth.
Sir , I saw a pix of a Roy Secker in the class of Mr Armstring 1971 taken by Gordon Taylor . I wonder if it is possible to contact this young gentleman. I have extensive genealogy files of the Secker family [with gaps] and hope that he may fill or even be interested. Thanks fo your attention Eic John Coppell Secker b 1920 London
i am delighted to learn from Chris Rickwood's contribution that the spirit the house concerts kept going. I like the "cube" idea. I bet it was a good show. Too bad the scripts for all those masterpieces are lost!
Brian Hester expressed doubts as to whether the House Entertainments continued after 1946.
I can't answer for the intervening years but I can attest they did take place 1953-5. At that point they were replace as I recall with a kind of variety show (not House based).
I think the culminating show that led to their demise was one of the shows where "Cube" was worshipped as an idol. Simpson was not blessed with a self deprecationg sense of humour !!!!!
In this timescale they were called "House Concerts" rather than "House Entertainments"
At school we are drawing towards the end of a long, busy term and its time for reflection. Our new year 8 have settled in well as have the new staff. Looking back over the year so many events have taken place it seems unbelievable that they have happened in just a twelve month span. One of the noticeable differences this year, over previous times, is the increased interest in the school from ex-pupils. I feel privileged that so many of you have wanted to come back to school and hope you will continue to keep in contact with us. Your support has been particularly generous with the Brick in the Wall campaign. My grateful thanks to Colin Dickens who advised us and kept our spirits high when £50,000 seemed impossible. My thanks to all of you who individually sent in the cheques (they are still arriving and at last the bank account is opened). The school is through to the second round of the competition for specialist status and the HMI is due in on the last day of term! Needless to say I am looking forward to the weekend and the start of my Christmas break before, what I know will be another hectic year. On behalf of the students, staff and governors of Harrow High School I would like to wish all of you a joyful Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
Ref. Nick Sloan's posting, Gareth Lloyd-Jones played guitar, I believe, with Incubus. The band had Martin Cloot on keyboards and offered a more jazz-infused rock idiom than was general at HCBS. Jon Grogan recalls a rendition of "Rikki, don't lose that number" by the great Steely Dan, fresh off their 1974 Pretzel Logic album.
At this site http://www.jeffreymaynard.com/Harrow_County/FormLVIModern1971.htm
I found my picture. I must say it was exciting to see the picture and the name of my classmates. I moved to Canada immediately after completing my 'A' levels. After completing my BComm., I pursued my career in Accountancy with Deloitte, Haskins & Sells, a CA company. I left to join the family business in Real Estate and hotel ventures. After being bored in accounting related work, I started in automotive business. Passing through several businesses in hotels, motels, travel agencies, Real Estate, Oil & Gas Ventures etc., I have ended up owning and running Automotive dealerships. Presently, I am involved in owning a NISSAN dealership in Calgary. Other related dealership, I am also involved are KIA, Mazda & Toyota.
I am happily married with 3 lovely children.
I would be happy to hear from any of the classmates. I am sure one of you will update the name in the photograph that I was so glad to discover.
JAYMAL P. RUPARELL
In response to Simon and Neil's comments, didn't Gareth Lloyd-Jones play with one of the Chrisents' bands in the mid '70s?
I took an avid interest as it seemed to be a good way of getting out of German during his many rehersals before lunch! and I couldn't afford even bad records at the time!
To my big chagrin, I couldn't make the reunion on December 9. Further to it, I had an email from Rachelle Goldberg, to which I can't seem to reply as the address(es) I have are invalid (firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com). If anyone can help...
In reply to Neil Gill's query about Montana Red Dog - no teacher played in the band. The line up was John Neighbour and Andy Howe (Guitars, Me (Bass-badly!) and John Tygier/Rick Giffiths (Drums). Previous to that line up, we were known as Big Mama with Lee Dean (vocals)and Jeff Hembra(?)(drums).
I discovered this website on the Friday before the last reunion which I then attended. I met only one person from my year that I recognised and who recognised me, Ian "Wal" Wallace. We were in the athletics team together. Since leaving my first comments I have been fascinated to read what others have had to say; their contributions have been illuminating in quite unexpected ways. In my opening offering I said that on the whole I had hated my time at HCS. This is still true but I realise that unlike some people I did not hate anyone, any particular teacher although I liked some less than others. As in my life generally I tend to do best with those who show some interest or kindness towards me. It was the regime that got me or rather (in the modern argot) did not get me. High fliers were well catered for; all the rest were "also rans". It has long bothered me that the masters who were nice were often the ones most abused. I am thinking for example of Spargo Rawnsley and Lefty Wright. I think now that to some extent this may have been a product of the otherwise repressive regime; once "weakness" was detected the pack went for the kill. The Spiv Kings of this world were never troubled in this way. I was unaware of bullying and cetainly was never bullied by any of the boys. The NCO's were another matter; where did their self confidence come from so early? How did they get their cushy numbers such as the armoury or the stores? If only I had realised then what little power they really had. One boy I worried about seemed often, if not bullied, to be the butt of "lighthearted" thumping from time to time. A year or two ago I tracked him down with a view to offering an apology (although I do not recall hitting him myself) for not at least protesting. He had attained some seniority in a major financial institution, was on the point of retiring at an early age and clearly had done very well for himself. Nothing in his conversation gave me the impression that he needed an apology for anything and to have offered one might have caused offence. I left it at that. Caning was a common place and I was caned 6 times myself mostly for having been careless enough to have been caught. My offences were for stupidity rather than wickedness and on the one occasion when I had the good sense to apologise to Square before he beat me, he didn't. I have never hit my children and do not believe hitting people whatever their age is helpfull, even if they like it. It is another age I look back on; can you imagine any teacher today daring to throw a board rubber the length of a room with deadly accuracy and with intent to inflict pain? Chalk thrown, hair twisted, head tapped repeatedly with two rulers whilst being questioned, shaken by the arm or shoulder? But worse in my opinion was the constant message that not to do well was to contemplate a life of failure. And of course this affected different people in different ways. I believed them. I was on holiday in Norfolk during the summer of 2000. We were on the Broads and somewhere north without having to pass under the bridge at Potter Higham for those that know that part of the world. We went to a pub for lunch, the pub being easier to reach by boat than by car so remote was it. As the bar tender was pulling a pint for he asked where I came from. When I said "Pinner" he said he went to school near there, had I heard of Harrow County? I said I went to school there (he was a year behind me) at which at man standing behind me waiting his turn said "did you say Harrow County?" He too had been there although some years after the two of us. Both cheerfully acknowledged what we already know about the place. We had fewer than 10 "O"levels between us. The second chap had been in the SAS (we don't talk about that) and had fought in the Gulf. Visiting the website and the reunion has laid some ghosts for me not least because I see now that some had a worse time that I did. Probably we might have been of help to each other but for the stiff upper lip. Nietzsche (that which does not destroy me makes me strong) is not, as I saw written on a loo wall in Washington DC, peachey. Wars have been fought to help protect the weak from the strong. It has something to do with civilisation. We are hardly a band of brothers but it is interesting to know there are so many of us and the place exerts its hold even now. Thanks to Jeff Maynard for the site and the organisers for the reunion. I would love to hear from Richard "Haystack" Hayward (Haywood?) formerly of Rayners Lane and Daphne Ebbut, a fairy in A Midsummer Night's Dream.
First let me say how much I enjoyed the reunion on 12/9. Well done to all concerned. Considering all the casual, adolescent mischief I caused various teachers, it was disappointing to discover how few of them remembered me. Evidently I missed my vocation as a spy. Even George Cowan had to think for several minutes before he could place me and then said that I always had a judgemental, cynical look as a teenager (certainly true if the photos on this website are anything to go by).
This isn't the Oscars: there were way too many good people there for me to name you all. But you made it worth the trip.
Second, on the subject of bullying, it was as much a part of school life as the bland school dinners. Boys, sadly, will be boys. If Lol Sugar has a guilty conscience about one kid, I have an equally troubled conscience about many. Who remembers Keith Brown who--as a first year--was tortured by Moore, Stanton and Fallon of 2D because he was tall and had red hair? Or Stephen(?) Taylor who was pegged to the ground on a Fourth Harrow Scouts fieldtrip and then left, forgotten, in the hot sun for several hours before a scoutmaster asked after him? Or Jonathan Grunewald (who has written in these pages) who--as far as I can remember--was bullied simply because he was small, studious and innocent-looking? True racism and anti-semitism was--in my experience--rare but verbal abuse certainly included some pretty nasty slurs whenever childish imagination was stuck for better means of intimidation. As I've written before, this kind of behavior was by no means confined to the under-achievers. The same sixth-former who tore the last page out of a first-former's novel was there at the reunion last week, bustling about self-importantly in his topcoat, deigning to talk to the celebrated and the famous and--thankfully--ignoring the rest of us.
But--you know--so what? It's all part of growing up, isn't it? That which does not kill you makes you stronger. I'm sorry for what I did (not much, actually) and I'm sorry for what was done to me but it hasn't ruined my life and if there's anyone out there still bristling about what happened thirty years ago I have two words for you: "Grow Up." -pw
John Dunworth makes valid points in his email to the site.
The problem I have John, is that apart from having a fight at 13 in the New Gym with another kid, I did not witness 'serial' bullying by teachers during the 'Joe Avery' years (ie my years at HCGS). Board rubbers and chalk, the odd ruler, yes.
Perhaps I was wearing rose tinted or sunglasses. I apologise for not spotting it but I can only go by my (limited) experience.
I did see a kid beat a teacher up though (both shall remain nameless) but it is genuinely very unfortunate and sad that many boys seem to have had a rough time but many like me didn't and didn't know it was going on.
I suppose the real question is why didn't it happen to me and my mates, why didn't we spot this happening to others and why couldn't we do something about it?
Perhaps we were teachers pets (don't think so!)
Thanks to Min and Katie for the recent get together. Saw a few old faces but unfortunately only one other from my year. Interesting to see how the school has evolved, the levels of equipment both sporting and academic are quite impressive. Watching the young girl band playing on the stage brought back memories of the Crisents. Does any remember which teacher it was who used to play in Montana Red Dog? It's been bugging me ever since.
Probably like many others I have been following the Andrew Desmond saga as it has unfolded on the website. I do feel that he has indeed hit on a nerve within the collective memory of former pupils. Would just like to follow up on the insightful comments made by John Dunworth regarding bullying and suchlike.
By the time I attended the school 68-75, with the occasional exception, caning had been consigned to the past. Perhaps part of the Avery legacy, who knows? However when I was involved in organising the 68 reunion one name arose frequently on the bullying issue, that of Geoff Kew. This individual was eventually hounded out of the school by our year, as it became impossible for him to continue his education there. My recollection being that he was 'swapped' with Steve Sanders from Harrow Weald Grammar.
Whilst organising our reunion many people had a Geoff Kew story and it brought back to me the cruel and callous treatment this person received. In retrospect it embodied the jungle/macho environment that was all too pervasive at the school. I for one am not proud of what happened to him but like many others was powerless, too unenlightened or excited to intervene.
We never did trace Geoff Kew during our search for people for the reunion. It would be interesting to learn how he emerged from what must've been a harrowing ( no pun intended ) ordeal for him. Perhaps he even checks out this website from time to time.
Having visited Jeff's site for the first time, sneaking in thru the link on FriendsReunited, I'm amazed at how many memories have been rekindled in someone who has difficulty remembering things I did last year. Well done Jeff for all the hard work that's been put in! My tiny bit of input is to name the little runt in the 1963 Form2A photo who is sat right of Mr Bilson on the front row. That's me!
My only disappointment was my absence from the 1969 (official?)graduation list (for the record I went to Bristol with Messrs Sadler, Knight, Smith and Richards)
in all the flurry of emails about discipline, nearly all of which I agree with, nobody has picked up on the other side, namely the pretty severe levels of brutality amongst the pupils, and the bullying of the time, of which I was certainly a sufferer in my earlier days (total attendance 1961 - 68). Are we being a touch hypocritical I wonder?. How are you now, Keith Bogle (my contemporaries will remember this poor chap)?
I was suprised and delighted to discover this website - a discovery apparently made only about ten years after everyone else in the world. Having successfully now missed each and every one of the previous reunions, is there some way that I could be posted about any others? If so, I shall get nurse to dust down the Zimmer frame and endeavour to make a short cameo appearance.
As an infrequent reader of this facinating site I was intrigued to come across Andy Desmonds contribution and the flurry of E mails that followed. I don't want to flog a dead horse here but I felt compelled to respond to the strange subtext that was going on underneath some of these somewhat emotional contributions- especially the responses.
This website (still excellent Mr Maynard) is becoming a collage or montage of memories, dreams and reflections which are making up a virtual history of the school. Like any history, be it of individuals, institutions or societies,it will inevitably contain a seamier, murkier side which, although often unpalatable and painful, is still real and valid and has a legitimate place in the collective memory.And, in the name of truthful and honest accounting needs to be recorded.
( see Mr Mees , I may not have handed in homework or passed exams but I WAS listening)
Like Andy Desmond I also remember the brutality and the darker side of the school, where punishments were metered out for minor infringements of school rules or challenges to authority or the status quo.
As part of these punishments ,canings were given out to some of us with alarming frequency.
I was disturbed to read Nick Sloans response suggesting that those who were caned "deserved it " What exactly does a 13 or 14 year old boy do Nick, that "deserves" a beating from a grown man with a stick that leaves welts on his hands, backside and legs for days after?
This attitude of brutality permeated the school disciplinary code , ( and still exists in some of its former pupils it seems) enforced by Masters and their whims or moods. Masters who seemed to take delight in openly mocking those of us who came from backgrounds which were hardly conducive to study or homework, or who could not afford the outrageously expensive uniforms. ( no, not a sob story but a very ugly fact)
HCBS did contain and perpetuate these values and it is with some relief that a more enlightened approach to child rearing and schooling has been adopted. The era of beating boys with sticks should not be lamented.
The virtues of Harrow County are well sung throughout this site and it is big enough and strong enough to accept and include the more unsavoury aspects of its past.It should do so in the name of integrity and honesty.
Being a friend of Mr A Desmond at school, I instantly recognised his somewhat colourful guerilla tactics that he apparently still employs to make a point.He makes a valid and serious contribution to the collective experience of life at the school during that era. It takes nothing away from the positive experiences of its former pupils but does spread the net wider to include memories of those for whom schooldays wasn't such a life affirming period.
Finally ... Way to go Andy and keep your tongue firmly in your cheek as I suspect thats where its been for nigh on Thirty years!
I want to thank Minn and Katie and their team for last Sunday. Its actually had quite a profound effect on me this week. Jeff Maynard without this web site we would all be ignorant on just how old we have become ! Although one should not live in the past, it is a great place to visit. So if any of the following are reading this, it was great seeing you and lets not wait another 30 years (for some of you) to touch base. E mail is a wonderful medium to send the odd photo and note to just say hi! Here goes Happy Xmas/Chanuka/2002 to Ritchie Milsted, Jane Deal, Richard Bunt, Leon Loberman, John Gershon, Paul Ware, John Abbott, Steve Jones, Paul Danon, Robert Apollo, Nicola Cooke, Lesley Watson, Barbara Gordon, Vivian Lavis, John Tygier, Ron Hulman, Mr Rosenberg (respect for a WWTBAM winner), Katie of course, Paul Lewis, and simply everyone else
I am sorry that I missed the reunion just passed-I had commitments that I just couldn't get out of. The fact that so many lads from 'my era' were not attending swayed me a little also. On that point, has anyone any idea why it is that so few boys (or men should I say)from my era don't seem to visit this site. Surely a vast majority of them have computers. Could it be that from '77 (or thereabouts) onwards the mentality of the pupils attending the school changed? I think not.. I haven't visited this site recently and have just caught up on all the guest book entries. I seemed to have missed the little spat between the former (faceless) pupil and the rest of the world. Was his first E mail supposed to be genuine? If he behaved as he did then what did he expect. If his first (amusing??) E mail was bullchit (typo-I know) then why bother saying it, still trying to win friends after all these years? Who knows.... I did receive the cane and (Morrells) brush on a few occasions but I was mis behaving so I kind of deserved it. I see also that Kevin Mahon visits this site! Hi 'sir'. I still have my old school report and you were pretty harsh with some of your comments! Still, water under the bridge I'm sure. Was Mr Mannion the English teacher who wore glasses and had a Des Lynham tash? Does anyone have any idea how many of the old teachers visit this site? Finally to Alex, any idea of when the later school form pics will be on this site? Merry Christmas to each and everyone of you..PH
It's fascinating to wander down an electronic memory lane, picturing names as the boys we used to be. Some sadness, too, learning of those who have proved even Harrow County couldn't toughen you up enough to survive forever. I look forward to future updates. Ken Elvy
1939-1944 Engineering career. Now retired in Devon.
I've just had my first quick scan of the site following Mother (Beryl) raving about the great do last Sunday. I believe there were a few people there who remembered me as well as my famous Mum!! Yes I know there were many of you who had a crush on the school secretary!! Who was the person who told her I sent them a valetine's card when we were at Priestmead...make yourself known! John Clayton ..how's it going, is Soo well?? Need to get in touch as I've moved as well as moved on. Is there any mention of the Mink Creed on this site?? oh happy days, what happened to Jon Hall & Trevor what's-his-name? And how is Charlie Kreeger? remember John Mayall and the Cream concert at the Marquee Charlie? Are there any Heriots Wood girls still out there? Enough questions for now..special hug for Harry at this time(how can I ever forget his kindness when I was a little girl) Hopefully a few of you lads will be in touch. Debbie
A very good collection of memorabilia from the "old " school which I attended from 1969-71 as a 6th former to do "A" levels. I was pleased to see see many of my peers names and photos; many of whom I had forgotten. Many more were not able to be found. Photos were unfortunatley not evident of my year as a prefect or as member of 1st and 2nd XV rugby teams but I have a photo of 2nd XV that I will try and email to you to add to your collection. (May need some assistance with the names though) Keep up the good works. Keith Jones - Melbourne, Australia
I've just arrived back in New York after attending the truly outstanding school reunion. I've got 700 e-mails, about a third of which are from Gaytonians. Replies will take a while! Be patient. Thanks.
In response to John Parker's query re the 1961 Form 2A photo, I think the missing name may be Nigel Morley - he doesn't seem to be accounted for anywhere else.
Just followed the link to Form 2A 1961 photograph from the Paul Nurse page.
The middle row shows 12 boys but only 11 names. Who is it on the extreme right-hand side of the middle row? I know the one next to him is Whittington.
Thanks to all organisers of the re-union. I did my own tour of those parts of the school which were not locked. Evocative areas were - the library which used to be the old Gym; I remember a kid called Jimmie Smith demonstrating the twist in there; and my first day at the school being assigned to a form teacher, one Adkins, with 35 other nervous boys; and a sing-song led by Jack Tripp (was it?) at the 4th Harrow camp on the school field - the stairs up to the war memorial and the office and Square's room; then as now, it felt unfriendly and far-removed from daily school life - the door to the spiral staircase to what was the sixth form common room - the stairs halfway along the Gayton Road facade which were identical, with stone steps and wooden handrails, to when we fought our way up and down between lessons - the inner quad Most of the rest seemed totally different or gone. Hard to make the link between the school I went to and the one there now. But that's just as well. It was OK then but it's moved on. And so have I. I wasn't overwhelmed with nostalgia. Healthy enough, I guess. But glad I went - then and now.
Many thanks and congratulations to Peter and Katie for organising Sunday's bash. I thought Christmas had come early as face after face appeared that I hadn't seen for so long. I soon got used to mentally removing the ravages of twenty five year's rich living from most of those attending, although I think that some us must have a painting in the attic, if you know what I mean. I for one had a fantastic time, and wonder what excuse we can come up with to do it all again. My day was rather spoilt later when my wife Heather, fell and broke her leg that evening, but that's hardly HCS's fault.
See you all again soon, I hope
At the risk of filling up Jeffrey's server, may I add my thanks and congratulations to those who ran Sunday's reunion. I had a great time with much tugging at heart-strings for various reasons. I've been looking at recent contributions to this guest-book and am again concerned that, in my own pieces on this site, I may have painted too rosy a picture of life at the school in the late 60s and early 70s. For all the interest and fun I got from HCS, there were also many moments of sheer terror and what might now be diagnosed as depression. Other pupils suffered much more, I know, and I was probably insensitive about it at the time and, even, in my recent published recollections. I suppose one wants, if possible, to pretend that it was all an enormous jape with the occasional slightly tedious lesson thrown in. In fact, there was an undercurrent of brutality, though this was nowhere near as brutal as, say, when our parents' generation was at school. I left the place a happy person and am plainly not so intimidated by it as to stay away from any of this year's three large-scale reunions. However, on the mornings of each of those otherwise happy days, I've felt a strange nervousness about going back to the building, maybe because it is still haunted by that institutionalised harshness which could have made some pupils perform at their best but which actually made life more difficult for me. Still. No hard feelings, eh? At least not after 28 years.
Who is to judge what is 'irrelevant' to this great web site?
Mr Leach, I would respectfully suggest, can talk about Oxbridge pass rates during the 1960's, plane spotting in the outer quad or which teacher had the largest bottom in 1971.
I'd still read it, might not agree with him, and if didn't want to visit the site again, I'd 'vote with my mouse' or give an opinion back.
What's his point?
'Festives' to all.
What a delight it was to see so many old -- but many young looking -- faces on Sunday.
"This is your backstage life" to Harry Mees was superb.
Special congrats to Katie and to Mini Vince [and everyone else involved]. A great deal of [sorry ---very real] effort went into that.
I did not notice any thanks to Francis Matthews as compere -- so here is thanks from me. You were great.
(extract from the Barrow Ipserver)
History gets re wrote!...........
In the year celebrating the 90th anniversary of Harrow County School for Boys', "Convergence" with "Contrasts" became Conspiracy and Collusion.
What was probably the finest accolade in the year of reunions was when the steam engines from the GWR were once again heard on Gayton Island as the inimitable Harry Mees (Mr Stage) was hijacked in front of the paying audience to be the subject of "This is your Backstage Life".
With the disposal of zimmers and crutches the new school hall creaked with what was possibly its olders ever audience. The assembley, consisting certainly of a few crumblies, a lot of wrinklies and some near their "remove from display" was augmented by teachers whose cumulative ages must be well into 4 figures - all paying homage to the great man. Harry. He just took it in his stride, even arguing the toss with some of the guests. He even admitted that he was not keen on heights.
1. Many thanks to anyone who had anything to do with organising the backstage/actors reunion. It was great fun, and hugely enjoyable. Many congratulations again to Harry Mees.
2. Ref the Bigham/Rawnsley saga. Bigham was commissioned as a Lt (ACF), holding the acting rank of Lt Col, which in normal circumstances (which I assume applied to him)he would be invited to retain on leaving the Corps. Mr Rawnsley was, indeed, a Gp Capt, and had served in both wars. His brother, CF Rawnsley, was one of the most famous of nightfighter navigator/radar operators in WWll.
Kind regards to all
Dear Graham Leach Please be more specific; tell us whose contributions are not up to standard so that we may know who should write and who should not. I find the diversity fascinating even if I don't agree with all of it. Publish and be damned, to coin a phrase.
I tried to meet jeffrey maynard and pete vincent at the backstage reunion yesterday, but did not succeed. Wanted to say thank you for the work put in to this website and the reunion yesterday.
I log in about once per two weeks and I am sad to observe some of the irrelevant trivia being emailed. I assume we are all intelligent adults who access/use this site...its a pity some of the communication does not reflect that.
If we are not careful newcomers to the site may access once and be driven away for good.
graham leach 59-67
From Ian's mum
Please excuse Ians absence from the reunion yesterday as he forgot his kit.
My apologies for multiple postings Especially since they said nothing!!!
I believe his degree was in General Science.
In relation to Ray Parnell's comments - human beings are complex. I agree with the criticisms of Bigham (although I cannot glory in the manner of his death) but that does not preclude him being a brave man.
I am puzzled that if he joined the RAF he had Army rank.
Taken in its entirety, the comments in the guest book give what appears to be a very fair chronicle of what HCS was like at various times throughout its history. For my part, I enjoyed the school but never shone particularly at anything. I would certainly been content for my sons to attend had there been any assurance that the general character of the place would have remained as it was under Randall Williams. The Simpson's era looks like another matter. One of his initial utterences that "I find boys respond well to the short, sharp shock of the cane" sticks in my mind and was clearly both practiced and encouraged! One is left wondering where the school inspectors were, and the parents too for that matter. I remember Simpson's first school assembly in September 1946 when he introduced us to Major Bigham in glowing terms. He replaced E.W.(Eggy) Webb who was a very competent teacher who controlled his classes well without any 'aids'. I often wonder what happened to him. Perhaps his beard did not fit Simpson's ideals. Beards in those far off days were unusual and attracted comment. With all his devotion to persuit of excellence it surprises me that Simpson tolerated such an incompetant teacher as Bigham who was clearly also a sadist and psychotic. Again, where were the school inspectors? In all the comments in which Bigham is mentioned there is not one good word. His behaviour must have been really bad for men now approaching middle age still to feel so vehement about him, even to the point of delighting in the painful manner of his death. One write up about him mentions that he graduated in chemistry and physics but makes not mention of any training in biology. Strange.
Many thanks to Peter who did an amazing amount of work to get everyone to the event today. It was a truely remarkable achievement. Thanks to Kate and Suzannah for their sterling efforts.
A Special Day! Congratulations to Harry.
Many thanks to Min, Katie , Francis and everybody who made this afternoon's Back-stage Reunion such a success !
But most of all WELL DONE HARRY !!!!
Hated the place, went late 70s. All the senior teachers wanted to do was beat you with the cane. They would be banged up now for assault. "You have'nt tried hard enough in English", two strikes of the cane from someone who was probably getting a kick out it.
Chris Ricwood assumes, as many do that Mr/Major/ Colonel Bigham served in the Army during WWII. The following extract from 'Cadet' Magazine around 1968, as published elsewhere on this site, indicates that he was in the RAF. Not wishing to disparage the author who has recently 'arrived' in the guestbook, but since the source of the information is probably an interview with the subject, this account would be his own and not the official record:
"He volunteered for War Service in the R.A.F. in 1941, and, after training at Uxbridge and R.A.F. Fighter Command, Stanmore, went overseas in September of the same year as a member of a small Enemy Air Intelligence team. He served in Libya, Italy, France and Germany, most of his work being carried out in "no mans land," and on German and Italian airfields. His specialised knowledge of aircraft led to a liaison with the L. R. D. G (Long Range Desert Group) whose main task also lay between the allied and enemy lines, and in raiding enemy airfields at night. During 1942, he participated in the "diving episode" in the Eastern Mediterranean, in an effort to obtain vital information on enemy radar equipment from a German Heinkel shot down in the sea. One experience which the Colonel will never forget was his escape, under cover of darkness with another officer colleague, from Tobruk, after it had been more or less captured by German forces. His service in France and Germany was with the American 12th Army Group, where he trained American personnel in his specialist work. On returning to the U.K. from Nuremburg, Colonel Bigham continued his work on enemy guided missiles, and was "first on the scene" of many flying bombs and rocket incidents in the Harrow, Kenton and Stanmore areas."
"SPARGO" and the Colonel
David Stokes is almost right.
"spargo" was a Group Captain. His history was the RFC and then the RAF.
A huge chestful of medals.
Bigham was a major when I arrived, then promoted to Lieut Colonel.
I never have been able to trace his military service.
Might be interesting if someone in the UK who visits the PRO would check the Army Lists.
Thanks to Keith Adkins for expressing so eloquently some of my own feelings about time spent (sentence served) at HCS. Even the personalities mentioned resonate though for slightly different reasons. My memories of the Colonel (I always understood it was an honorary rank, the rhumour was that "Spargo" Rawnsley would not wear his Flying Corp uniform because he would have outranked Bigham being a real colonel)are rather more benign. I do not remember a biology lesson which did not begin with him asking "have we done amoeba?" When answered yes in our first lesson he wouls ask about spirogira, the subject of the secong lesson. We reckoned he was only one chapter of the text book ahead of us and sometimes not even that. I will never forget though for two things; the first when he was in charge of stationery. We must write on the top line of any sheet of paper, to do otherwise was to waste paper. I remember this whenever I start writing on the second line of a sheet of paper. The second was when after being put on a charge by an over enthusiastic NCO for failing to obey an order (a small mutiny followed) he offered to promote me to sergeant from lance corporal. Asked how would I like that I replied I would prefer to be allowed to leave the Corps. Hell knows no fury like a colonel scorned! It worked though. I went to HCS having been the only child in my primary school to have passed the 11 plus. I suppose I must have scraped in as I was put in 1D. From being a bright child top of his class I became more or less bottom and stayed there. 5 "O" levels at three attempts was my score and a abiding sense of failure. Since leaving I have passed numerous exams some with distinction but nothing takes away that sour experience of being mediocre. What a waste. Thank goodness education has changed and a failing child would now be noticed and taken care of. My son is in his final year at Eton (having won both Junior and Kings Scholarships) and my daughter is at NLCS. I believe their experience of school will be rather different from mine.
It's probably not what this page is designed for, but to those old friends who have contacted me via this website, please call again on this new e-mail address. I lost yours when I caught a bug and had to be purged. My computer did as well.
WAR, PEACE AND WEAKNESS
The issue of physical punishment has been discussed in some depth in recent weeks in this public guest book, with many personal anecdotes. For myself, the years at HCS were not physically an especially bruising experience. But for others it was different...
Mr JS Golland, towards the end of his otherwise most enjoyable memoir, rues the passing of the grammar school and the untimely interruption of his career. It is true that this elitist & militaristic regime carried with it many definite achievements and it is surely right that JSG should now enjoy recognition of his considerable personal contribution.
But let us not forget the less well illuminated side of this matter. Consider those whose education was not served well by that system. JSG remarks that "even the weak" benefited in that "even they" sometimes went on to achieve later what they didn't achieve then. But why not at the time ? That after all is when it mattered most.
Was it right that some of those bright 11 year olds should have to complete their education elsewhere and/or later because of their "weakness" ?
To a first former - fresh from primary school - the experience of a biology lesson conducted by a certain Colonel was not unlike one of those early nightmares where, sliding silently from side to side behind a slightly too small iceberg, you desperately try not to catch the eye of a large & lethal polar bear as it paces back and forth in the icy wastes. Make a wrong move and you will be taken into the conservatory where you will surely perish.
I am unable to erase a very clear memory of JSG slapping a small boy no older than myself (but not myself) quite hard across the face near the Sheepcote Road railings during a break period. His offence had been to receive the gift of a free ice cream cone from a roadside vendor who, frustrated by his inability to sell them to a trapped mass of willing (but warned off) hungry customers.....started to give them away.
And that pile of spilled books blocking the exit from one of the classrooms on the lower ground floor. Why was it OK to use one as a weapon for the small misdemeanour of gingerly stepping on one or two of them as some bespectacled bare-kneed thin slip of heart-pounding anxiety tries to get to his biology class on time so as not to incur the full red bloodied wrath of the military machine standing stolidly in a Colonel's uniform, cane at the ready ?
Mr Golland finds the introduction of the concept of "psychology" inappropriate in these situations. Although this example is undeniably on quite a different level, he should remember that it is "psychology" that now allows us to recognise the awfulness of the execution of those First World War farmhand volunteers whose subsequent involuntary actions resulting from mental injuries sustained by prolonged and interminable shelling were mistaken for a kind of "weakness".
Well of course HCS would not survive today without enormous change. It might otherwise be closed very rapidly amidst a storm of civil and possibly criminal action. But it does not survive in that form and there are very good reasons for it. The world has moved on and there are different ways of achieving success without the involvement of military discipline. Yet in its time the school was mostly within the bounds of law and it is of course true that many did benefit considerably.
This process of change was evident during the period from 1956 to 1963. I can remember many teachers to whom the use of physical punishment would have been anathema, not part of their armoury at all. And teachers also grow and develop, although it is difficult to grasp that notion when you are still in short trousers. Once in the third or fourth form I can remember a slightly older Jim Golland peering distantly at a then proportionately much older Keith Adkins and remarking "Yes, I can remember you from the first form" - evidently quite surprised that I had managed to hang in all that time and by then clearly light years away from any thought of (physically) walloping me with a student edition of Midsummer Night's Dream.
I believe that even our misguided Colonel Bigham should have had a right to a peaceful retirement and it surely cannot be correct to think that he had no claim to have one on account of certain aspects of his behaviour at HCS. Perhaps some wartime experience plays a part here. If it did it is certain he would have received little in the way of counselling in those years. Was he a strong link in a weak chain or a weak link in a strong chain ? Time, as always, will and does tell and yes I suppose we are all trying to do just that here and in our own way....
Mr Golland has undeniably plenty of which to be proud and remains free to bask in that arctic sunlight, yet quite well placed to receive the occasional, although hopefully not too violent pinprick from those of us who don't entirely go along with his views....
Yes, '61 - '69. A full eight years, being one of the few who repeated Year 5 for not getting enough O levels to go into sixth form. I was in the first group to sit a CSE exam (French), where my achievement of grade 5 was more than frowned upon. Class 5(1), I think it was called. Whilst most of my mates were dispatched to the world of black blazers, we were allowed the priveledge of wearing yellow bands on our green sleeves, although I can't remember if this carried any other concessions! Have logged on two or three times previously, but this is the first time I've had a good browse. A brilliant site - so many memories. ' Will return soon.
Hello Mateys! Calling all Old Gayts who have packed their kit and moved onto North America! Pete Wilson here and I am interested in hearing from all old boys who have moved to the US and Canada. I have been in touch with Jeff Maynard and I would like to start a North American "Register" . At this point in time I am trying to gather in put to see if it would be worthwhile to form an overseas branch of the Old Gayts for us that live on this side of the pond. If you are interested please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and NOT Jeff as he has his hands full running the site. Now for a little humor, when I first went to the school I thought that virtus non stemma was latin for "virtually no sense". Now I know its true meaning......"Hey you! Got any beer?" hahahahaha Happy Holidays to all Pete Wilson. PS If Maurice Venn is reading, do you remember the whiskey we (the geology field trip lads to devon) got you? This was a good memory of a fun time at the school. See,it wasnt as bad as every one it out to be. Pete.
I attended HCS for just over a year and the teacher I remember most was G.H.Cowan a good bloke, strict but fair.Glad to see his picture on the site and that he's in good health.
From my memories I can honestly say that I didn't encounter the brutality that some people have written about.Most people including myself knew where the line was drawn (a certain colonel being the exception to the rule)and that if you stepped way over it you would be punished.(I don't think beating is really the right word for caning,makes it sound like the mafia).
I think the people wearing the rose tinted glasses are mainly those who were on the receiving end of this punishment as they didn't realise then and some of them still haven't realised what little sods teenage boys can be.They never appreciated that you got out of HCS what you were prepared to put in.
The biggest mistake in my opinion that the school ever made was the streaming that started in the second year,if you were unfortunate enough to end up in in the D stream this had a real stigma attached to it.I was in 2C when I left due to my parents moving but I still remember you were made to feel that if you didn't make it to the A or B classes you were a bit of a no hoper.
In January 1969 I moved to a Grammar School in Buckinghamshire and those that thought they had a rough time at HCS want to thank their lucky stars they never went to this school.The bullying and oppressive atmosphere that existed made HCS look like a holiday camp.I still remember one pupil who was mercilessly bullied,two teachers who had nervous breakdowns and one male teacher being reduced to tears in the classroom.I left at the end of the 5th year as I hated every minute I was there and still wish to this day that I had been able to finish my schooling at HCS.
Best regards to you all.
Dave 1W-1967 and 2C-1968.
P.S Has anyone still got a list of pupils for these classes as my memory isn't what it was.
No, let's linger on the 'a desmond' subject, as I find this bleating easy for him to do from his mum's bedroom.
In actual fact I reckon he went to Pinner GS, has infiltrated this web site and is plotting his terrible revenge for being made to wear BROWN all his school life. (I always felt sorry for those poor s.ds)
No doubt he would be prepared to go into print on specific acts of abuse, names, dates etc. and as a 'man of resources' he will be able to engage a competent lawyer as well. I am sure he will not lay down and be walked over.
But on the basis that we won't be hearing from him again who really cares? (Bet he does look at the site!)
Still think Richard Bunt summed it up right.
Ps I too have had several 'supportive' emails from several second rows who used to skulk around the bike sheds!
rgds to all, keep the site positive with a bit of humour.
not wanting to linger on the Andrew Desmond subject, I see that no one has written to say "Andy, my great friend, where have you been hiding all these years". Does that mean he never made any long standing friends, or that, with his high ambitions of becoming a carpet fitter, he stays in no ones memory?
I have the admissions registers here in the archive, and can find no trace of him. That either indicates that he was even more of a nobody than we are led to believe, or probably that he never went to the School, but wants to try and convince people he did. People with no lives tend to try and do that sort of thing.
Shame he will not see this as he says he will not visit the site again. He could have given me some proof.
I now understand why 'a Desmond' was thrashed to death at school.
In his words 'nuff said'.
Typo in his last missive as well, hey ho!
Scary what! I'm one of the "Class of '68" who you didn't manage to locate, and it brings back many memories from a long time ago. It was a real shame that I missed the reunion.
I do have some photos which are not listed, so I will get these to you. By the way, the 1971 cricket team is in fact 1973 - I was in the 1st's from '73 - '75 inc.
Using www.streetmap.co.uk/ and putting Northwick Park Stn into the search you can find the school. Click on the school and the camera icon below and you will get an arial photo. This is also usefull for those no longer living in the area, I was able to get an arial photo of the house I lived in in Rayners Lane. Tony Youdale HCS 1947-53
For all Mr Desmond's words on his life at HCS I have to say he sounds about the most warped person who has left a message on the site. I can imagine him sitting in his home (or a room he rents off his mum)with nothing but his computer for company, trying to meet 'friends' over the internet.
For some strange reason he seems to have a problem with people visiting and leaving happy memories of their time at the School, instead thinking that only comments slagging off various teachers should be written. If he is really stupid enough to think anyone would condone beating a young teenager?
If he begrudges anyone leaving happy memories on the site because he didn't, well, don't bother at all mate.
Funny that he talks big on the computer and then mentions how he hopes to see us all at some reunion. yes I am sure he would be the star attraction if he said the same to peoples faces. Obviously HCS was not so bad that he wants to keep visiting the site (and despite what he says, we all know he will continue to do so)or attend a reunion.
Please do mate, and I invite you to say to peoples faces what you write in the guest book as a faceless nobody. And last off, if you think that by being a carpet fitter you earned more than any teacher ever did, you obviously have a low wage (to match his personality) and no idea of HCS history.
Please write again, and remember the phrase, "we are laughing at you, not with you" (That was what us normal folk call a joke)
Thanks for all the home e.mails I've had supporting my observations. This, I'm sure you'll be pleased to hear, is my final appearance, my last hurrah! I won't return to read amy responses, so you'll be writing to cyber space & your other "cronies". I'll check back in about 20 years time when no doubt you'll still be giving each other hand jobs. Oh sorry, I think I missed out the word "blow" in there somewhere!
First,to nameless dictionary reader. It was'nt a rant, & I'm a novice to nothing, but I do own a dictionary, just like you. Two words....You Coward!
Second, Nick Sloan.You need to look a bit more closely at your morals/ethics. Or rather, lack of them. What kind of sicko thinks that someone, a human being, "deserves" to be "beaten". We're not talking about a caning or a slippering here, we're talking about a master totally losing his marbles & punching & kicking a 13 year old as if he were a grown man who could defend himself. Perhaps you have some kind of Final Solution in mind. Please enlighten us, oh ye of huge sympathy.
Third, Richard Bunt. Monty Python springs to mind.You've obviously spelt your own name wrong!
Why is it that I am not allowed my own opinion? Why is everyone being so defensive about the school? I also have some happy memories of school days, but most of them were not inside the hallowed walls of HCSB. Halcyon days for some, but not for all. Is there no such thing as freedom of speech anymore? I doubt there is in N. Sloan's world.It's all,eat your porridge, or you'll be soundly thrashed! Well, after all, it did'nt you any harm did it. Did it?
It may come as some surprise to some of you that I am actually enjoying the site as a whole, but the concilitory remarks of some people are a bit much to take, when you've seen it from the other side!
Last shots to my three admirers. Unnamed. Hmmmmmm amusing & arsehole! Well done! What a hoot! Must've taken oooh what, 3 seconds to think that one up. you must have Monty Python in common with R. Bunt. N. Sloan. Easy to look back & say, oh yes, being beaten at school really toughened me up, made me fit for life outside. Bollocks! there was no excuse or need for the extremes that some of the masters went to back then. Sure,discipline is a good thing, I agree on that one, but mindless savagery is quite another thing. I'm wondering if any of you are teachers yourselves these days, frustrated that you can no longer inflict pain & terror on your hapless pupils. If so, good, I hope it eats you up.
Funny also to see that I did'nt need to raise my game one little bit to your lofty heights (vituperation indeed!). You've just dropped straight down to my gutter level & come straight out with the insults. You've all done very well!
Last, last goodbye thought. I don't suppose anyone actually gives a toss about a guttersnipe like me,what I've done etc. But just for any surviving masters benefit. I find it funny to think that when I got ridiculed by all & sundry for wanting to leave & become a carpet fitter of all things, that within about a year I was earning more than any of the teachers there ever had, or ever would. Still money does'nt maketh the man. Virtus Non Stemma!!!!!!!!
I love you all!!!!!
ps Please don't send the HCSB ninja's after me. They would'nt like it.
GREETINGS. I am impressed with the enthusiasm with which you develop this site. I am sorry to have been unable to join the reunion this past weekend. I was told about it by Jon Gershon. I do know that Kevin Mahon does visit the site also. Today I had the pleasure of having an old pupil of mine, Aaron Gransby, visit my group of Millennium Volunteers at Alperton School to talk about journalism. I remember him as an excellent student who was grerat in English lessons. It is gratifying that we don't do too much damage at least as teachers! He had fond and real memories of Gayton High.
Keep up the good work. Do remember about memories though; they are shaped by our experiences and interests.
Oliver Mannion (English teacher 1980-1993)
Hello Graham Carter! Are you he formerly of Marsh Lane and Old Church Lane, with a brother Philip b. 30.10.56? He was my first friend at Stanburn, and later at HCS.
Picture of 1W 1964 Front row far right is Phil Cordingley
I am really disappointed in Andrew Desmond's rant at others who have visited and commented on the site.
There are many, myself very much included, who agree with many of his judgements. But most have been able to make their points forcefully and intelligibly without character assassination of those who feel differently.
I think Jeff has done a great job of providing an uncensored forum where a very wide range of views have been expressed in a spirit of tolerance and good humour.
I see no reason why that tolerance and good humour should not continue along with a wide range of views.
A wonderful collection that brought back many memories. Keep adding to it
I look back on my time at HCS with horrible fascination; so many people seem to remember the place with affection whilst I hated it for the most part. I enjoyed the dramatic society though and was concerned in A Midummer Nights Dream, Caesar and Cleopatra, Richard 2nd and St Joan as stage hand, curtain operator, prompt and maker of scenery and sets.
Second row! I never got that close to a teacher! Like Richard Bunt, strictly C stream for me - although I now liken it to the underground stream - making the grass above grow greener! Anyway, Nick, where do you want the King Short Shirt tape deposited. In the usual bin on the West side of Soho Square? Seasons greetings and peaceful thoughts to all...
I know A Desmond (whatever a 'desmond' is) is a stickler for typos.
I must then apologise for a mistake in my previous missive.
Please add 'you nonce' after the words 'lighten up' in the final line of my email.
All the best to second rows everywhere, bike sheds 5pm Sat!
Desmond, enough prattle, behind the bike sheds this Saturday, 5pm, if I'm not there (business commitments and the like) I nominate my second row colleague Flack to 'have a little chat' with you.
You think the teachers were 'unpleasant'...
Funny how adolescent malevolence blinds one. Andrew Desmond complains that no one thought his first entry amusing. In my inadvertently anonymous response yesterday I used just that word. I also used another one which I subsequently regretted for its lack of subtlety, but I feel better after reading his second entry. Martin's and Nick's responses entertained me (funny how three second row forwards have taken it on themselves to deal with a troublemaker) and the elegance of Richard Bunt's response was perfect. Incidentally, whatever Andrew claims to have learnt without the help of HCS doesn't include the meanings of "sarcasm" and "lame".
Greetings, Having read many of the stories that have been posted on the web page I get the impression that most of us have done ok in the real world. Yes, there were a few teachers with whose ideas of punishment we may not have agreed with but in the big scheme of things they did their job. They taught us to THINK for ourselves and make us into MEN. The fact that everyone who posts a message either owns or has access (through work) to a computer is testament to the success that we have all achieved in life. Some may have achieved more than others through hard work or luck (or both as in my case!!) but that is just the way life is, accept that and you all be happier men. I thought my first year at the school was awful, but look at the kids who don't have a school to go to, the ones who may not even have a home or even parents. We have all done ok so concentrate on the positive not the negative and live your life to the fullest! Seasons greetings to you all and your families Regards Pete Wilson.76-80
I presume Andrew Desmond's misspelling of a word in his original diatribe is excusable given the 'council house philosophy' perch that he's swinging from... By 'dick' I presume he means Richard, who makes some thoughtful points. Instead of looking to attract attention still - after all these years, it might be better to reflect on one's own 'performance' rather than condemn others who made an effort, however big or small. And, via this forum, reflect a bit more. No-one reading this guestbook will get the better of you opinions I suspect Andrew, but if writing here helps you explain them, it justifies the existence of this site! How else would you have got your message across? It's thanks to idiots like me that you clever people have got something to be irritated about. It must have been my council house upbringing I suppose
Pretty much what I expected. Lame responses from lame twats! Guess I'll see you all at the next reunion, where you can all tell me what you think to my face. Especially the dick who can't spell--awful. All you goody two shoes, teachers pets had no idea what was going on, but then maybe you liked the punishments. It seems that quite a few "old Gayts" went on to become politicians. Nuff said! Come on all you council house dwellers & people who know what that place was really all about, how about a little support? Lively debate even?
Maybe some people still get beaten & humiliated outside in the "real" world & find that acceptable behaviour. I myself manage to live perfectly well without what school may have taught me. One last thought:- None of you seem to have developed your sense of humour much above the level of sarcasm. I thought that what I wrote was quite "amusing".
Ps. I've swapped a couple of pleasant e. mails with J. Maynard, does that make me any more acceptable?
pps Does the term, Get a life, mean anything to any of you?
Love Andrew. xxxxxxxxxxxx
In my time (Joe Avery) the only kids that got beaten either deserved it (and knew they deserved it) or were too bloody awfull to dress themselves in the morning, which were you?
Oh Dear Dear. Andrew Desmond seems a little upset. I am sure that most of what he angrily described went on somewhere and at sometime. I think he misses the point in that a lot of that thing goes on in real life outside school as well. Perhaps therefore the school mearly reflected life then and even now.
The trick as I always saw it was to learn at school, as in life, how to deal with the rubbish that life throws at us all the time. I was in the C stream, a long way from the "rose coloured geniuses" in the A stream yet I was not bullied, beaten, resorting to theft and generally abused as our friend seems to feel he was. Of course we skived a bit and so on, but if you cant hack it out of school you probably won't in school either.
Life at HCS was really what you made of it. Perhaps we all suffered a bit in the 1st year but after that it was really up to the individual how he survived. I suppose if he enjoyed it...........?
Well, of course Andrew Desmond's contribution would be published. He is a mere tyro when it comes to vituperation in this guestbook. As to lame responses, how about two words (one of which may not get past the filter): "amusing" and "arsehole"?
All I really remember about my time as an old Gayt,was being beaten by the tyranic teachers,bullying others & being bullied,sniffing glue over at Thomas's house at lunchtimes,breeding mice for sale in the boiler room at the side of the pavillion,(also smoking dope in there). Stealing(& having stolen)packed lunches & selling them back to their rightful owners.Flooding the washrooms, throwing water bombs out of windows on to the silly cadets heads.Bunking off for 2 thirds of each term & doing something far more worthwhile than being whacked over the head by various assorted weapons of various teachers choices. G****, G****** & both *****. & A******** were particullarly nasty sadists. The list of ritual humiliation & mental & physical torture is endless, also pointless going into here. Anyone who was in the "D" stream in particular will know what I mean quite well. Jeffrey Maynard & his ilk (geniuses)who saw no part of what I'm talking about, are looking at the past through very rosy coloured spectacles.That school was a bloody disgrace on too many levels. The school that aspired to be "the" Harrow school, just because it lived in the shadow of it. How very sad. Sadder yet to make a hobby out of re-livig that cesspits so called former glories. Let's see this printed & let's hear some lame responses.
In the athletics team Circa 1943 picture - the two sitting either side of Ken Blackburn are Kitson, and Ken Groves on the outside. Have had an enjoyable hour looking through the website. Will try and provide some pictures from 1945-46.
Help! Bob Silsby (OGA Membership Secretary) had a message that Roger Curtis rang and was expecting to hear from him. (Well, that was the message.) The name is familiar but neither Bob nor I can track him down. Are you out there, Roger? Or can anyone else help?
Flacky, get me a King Short Shirts tape ( only £1) or I'll set my kids on you and that could b pretty ugly. B prepared with flame proof clothing!
Further to my first post, and having looked thru the photos, the people I recall most are Nigel Williams (Willie), Peter Tribe (Trrub), David Ogilvie (Og), John Coventry (JC) and Mick (?) Fairbairn. If any of you are reading and want to email me, I'd love to hear from you. I've already found Martin Cutter.
Left in Dec 1957, was pupil from 1952, under the regime of ther dreaded Ay-Er Simpson, less than fondly known as "Square". Be great to exchange memories with anyone from that era. Anyonme remember two mad teachers "Eggie" Eagers and Twink?
To answer Jim's enquiry I did bump in to Nick Creamer in the City of London about 20 years ago. He was working for BP then. Not much help as regards his present whereabouts though!!