Harrow County Staff

Dr. P. B. "Twink" Bradley

Dr. Bradley, who taught English from 1920 to 1955 was given his nickname because he liked to use the phrase "Twinkle, twinkle little star" to illustrate parsing.   Was the first Twinkle an adverb or verb?

Mike Smith, who was at Harrow County 1941-48 writes: "The other 'Dr' on the staff was Dr Patrick Brendan Bradley who used green ink and signed his name with very large P.B.B. and a flourish.  He taught English but not to me.  He took our form in the first year for Speech Training and always talked in a breathy voice Ensuring That He Was Enunciating And Projecting Correctly.  If he heard some indication of misbehaviour he would say, "Who was that?  Come on own up, bhoy.  I never hit a bhoy who owns up."  The boy who was foolish enough to own up was grasped by the tie and a handful of shirt and was jerked backwards and forwards as Bradley's arm was bent and straightened in time to A State-ment Of Ex-act-ly What Sort Of a Nuis-ance The Mis-er-ab-le Fel-low was."

Graham Haigh, who was at Harrow County 1952-57 writes: "What of Dr Bradley ("Twink")? He was Irish I believe and on more than one occasion likened teaching us English to "casting pearls before swine".  Twink always wore his black gown and would sweep everywhere through school at a furious pace like some reincarnation of Dracula. Occasionally he would climb on a classroom windowsill to deal with the complicated window closures, for all the world looking like one of those early attempts at man-powered flight."

Dr. Bradley was the driving force behind the school Boating Society, which foundered after his departure.

The following is from a press cutting from the Harrow Observer for 10th February, 1933, found by Jim Golland:

"Congratulations are extended to Dr. P. Brendan Bradley, an English master at the Harrow County School for Boys, who last month had conferred upon him at the University College (National University) Dublin, the degree of D. Litt.

"The degree was awarded for historical research and for a published work entitled "Bantry Bay Ireland in the Days of Napoleon and Wolfe Tone."  In June, 1932, the work was awarded the silver medal in the prose section of the Tailleann Games (Irish Olympic Games) an international contest which takes place every five years.

"Since its publication the work has received many favourable reviews in the press of several countries, and it is of interest to learn that it is among the books recently placed in the Congress Library, at the Capitol, Washington.

"Mr. Bradley in 1922-23 did a postgraduate course at University College (National University) Dublin.  He gained an M.A. degree with first class honours as the result of an examination in Medieval and Modern European History, and a Naval History Thesis, based on research work done in Ireland, England and France.   The research work engendered by the writing of his book was spread over a period of nine years - 1922-1931.

"The book has been described as a scholarly and comprehensive contribution in a field of history which has been but little explored.  Written in four sections, it deals with some of the most thrilling chapters of Ireland's chequered history: how Wolfe Tone induced France to plan the invasion of Ireland and how England escaped a peril greater than any since the Armada; how Holland was drawn in and the British and Dutch fleets met for the last time; how General Humbert's expeditionary force set Connaught ablaze; and how finally the French once more planned an invasion and the dramatic life of Wolfe Tone was ended."

return to main staff page

return HOME