The Masters

"They don't make 'em like that any more..."

LT 'Skull' or 'Oscar' Waddams - Headmaster, 1954-71;

"It may sound like an urban myth, but I remember in my first year witnessing Wadhams walking the length of the old school hall in the High St on his hands and then taking assembly. A young maths teacher (a name like Kinsey) who had been with Wadhams in Hull (?) whispered in a quiet voice "Show-off". It was very hard for us 11-year-olds not to burst out laughing." ...Geoff Howe 59-67;
"I would describe him as strict but fair. It was he, I believe, who insisted that everybody had some training on a musical instrument (recorder or violin) in the First Year, a policy which resulted in the discovery of several unknown musical talents every year. He was a keen supporter of the RAC Junior Driver scheme in partnership with David Bellingham at the Belle School of Motoring in Rochester. We were taught in groups of 3 in the car and also had 10 hours of classroom tuition (and an examination). Everybody passed first time and we all had our licences just weeks after our 17th birthdays." ...Allan Haynes 54-61;
"always took each first year class for a Gym lesson, culminating in the walk through the cold showers. Often wondered about that... was also called Oscar in my time" ...Tony Parkinson 66-71;
"On our 1st assembly after joining the school he always made all the new boys stay behind. We all had to file past him and he would try to remember our names. By the third assembly he had remembered everyones name, and never forgot them. A remarkable and very fit man." ...Bob Morris 55-61;
"No-one ever owned up to it but in the New School someone managed to hang a noose on the stage. Skull took assembly with it hanging down above his head." ...Steve Willis 63-70;
"I had many run-ins with him, and was caned by him at least 4 times. One occasion was very similar to that scene in 'Kes' when the young kid sent to the headmaster with a message gets caned with the true miscreants. In my case, I was one of the despised 3rd Year prefects, or monitors, and had just discovered a coterie of smokers in one of the toilets. I had the evidence in my hand, to wit a half-smoked tab, when a master entered the toilets - presumably on the trail of smoky smells - and I was caught ostensibly red-handed. Skull wouldn't believe my explanation and not only was I given a 6 but also stripped of my monitor armband or whatever badge of office I held. But Skull was usually fair as well as hard..." ...Peter Newnham 64-70;
"Used to take too much pleasure when caning me, say no more." ...Alan Thornton-Pratt 65-69;
"He became a missionary in the Pacific. My brother (not a Math boy) met him at a Rotary dinner in Rochester, probably in the late 70s, after his return. I remember him taking PE and showing us how fit he was. By the time I left some of his enthusiasm had waned." ...Geoff Howe 59-67;
"I remember he got the nickname 'Skull' after someone broke into the new school at Maidstone road, and painted Skull across the windows. He scared the hell out of me, he used the cane liberally and I always dreaded the end of term 'assessments' which always seemed to point out that I needed to put more effort in." ...Bill Harmer 64-70;
"I was in the 5th and it was on a Thursday morning that Skull gave me six and told that I couldn't be man of the world and a schoolboy at the same time. It was at lunchtime every Thursday that my girlfriend picked me up in her car and drove me home for a bit of this and that. There I was, on the job with six red stripes on my backside." ...Paul Howe 61-67;
"Skull was the Head, a bit of a vicious piece of work if crossed I seem to recall. He chilled all of us to the bone even at a distance, and could well have been the inspiration for Freddie Krueger... felt the sting of his cane on more than one occasion and don't remember ever seeing him smile." ...John Currie 64-69;
"Waddams had the Territorial Decoration for military service; so TD was put after his name on the Headmasters' Board. No boy knew what it meant, but some wag pronounced it phonetically ter-der - Turd! He was hated for forcing sixth-formers to wear caps and prefects caps with tassels attached; and for, effectively, removing sixth-form privileges. He got very upset when, at a prizegiving rehearsal, there was rhythmic clapping; I told him it was an old tradition called Kentish Fire - but I think he did not believe me..." ...Dave Campbell 48-55;
"I was very friendly with three other lads in the 4th and 5th forms - Jim (last name??), Joe Blakiston and Alan Dyson. We always used to walk to my home (in The Fairway) at lunchtimes for a cup of tea and a chat. Can't think why this became such a habit, but occasionally we were late back and were eventually seen by Skull as we snuck up the drive (his office, you'll recall, was strategically placed for just such ambushes). Called into his office, all four of us were lined up and interrogated as to the reason for our lateness. After the fourth 'we went to Newnham's for a cup of tea sir', he paused, struggled with his facial expression and said 'You all seem very fond of tea...... how very British', then told us to clear off." ...Peter Newnham 64-70;
"I endured Mr Waddams for my last year. He told me that I would never succeed in life" ...Michael Cleary 47-54 (a very successful chartered engineer).
"Some years after he had retired our roles were reversed and I had the pleasure of employing him as a supply teacher when I was the head of maths in another local school. The man I had loathed and feared was, in fact, a very nice person and my view of him completely changed." ...Mike Sharp 52-59;

Mike 'Butch' Carver - Geography, Cricket;
1941-1976, former pupil. Died on a mountain in Skye during a school trip, 1976.

"Butch" taught me Geography for a few years (I'm a teacher and have been previously a head of geography at two schools). I'm not sure if Butch himself was the inspiration, but I went on a few trips into the hills with him and Roger Smith (Dick Goodwin as well), including the awful trip to Skye when Mike was killed. It was out of sight of most of the group (I was on a low-level walk with some of my yeargroup while the others were up on the ridge with Roger and Mike). I remember crying at the time and not really knowing why (16 year old boys are not really in touch with these things), but feeling tremendously sad as we all were. The teachers were a great comfort and hid their sadness from us, but it was the funeral in Luton that brought it all home to us all: I think that he had a young family who we could see from the pews at the back. Since that time I've led a few expeditions for pupils myself, to places such as the Grand Canyon and Honduras, and even take groups Sub Aqua diving to places such as the Red Sea. Many teachers avoid such things - quite rightly - but the experiences (apart from Skye, where I've not been back to since) that Mike and others gave me were inspirational. I will never forget that Butch gave his life for kids like me." ...Neil Roskilly 71-78;

Eric 'Ekky' Jones - Head of Maths, Astronomy;

"He was head of the Maths department in my day (and an excellent Mikado). He did not take the top stream who were assigned to a good mathematician whose teaching skills were not on a par with his academic ability." ...Roger Stokes 57-64;
"Mr. Jones was the owner of a fine falsetto voice and was much in demand as a dame when the Gilbert & Sullivan season came round. I remember him as being extremely tall (I am 5'6") and I once saw him put a cello under his chin and attempt to play it." ...Allan Haynes 54-61;
"A fantastic teacher, always with a story to reinforce a theory. Also ran the school Astronomical society so went to his garden quite a few times, about 6 doors down from the New school." ...Tony Parkinson 66-71;
"Brilliant teacher with a wicked sense of humour. It was his topological demonstration that his waistcoat was outside his jacket that set me on the path of becoming a maths teacher." ...Mike Sharp 52-59;

Brian 'Chummie' Ellis - Economics;

"Brian Ellis was called Chummie because he was considered too friendly. As I was only doing two A levels, I had plenty of spare time in the Common Room. I would amuse myself by silently removing the spindle in the door where Brian Ellis held his classes. Many a time everyone had to climb out of the window." ...Steve Willis 63-70;
"Had a habit of purchasing a hot chocolate from the common room machine on the way to his last lesson of the day in the 6th Form block. So, we used a sharp pencil to pierce several holes in the next cup in line. Hot choccy everywhere, but my best memory is of his face - it must have taken him at least 5 seconds to realise what was happening." ...Peter Newnham 64-70;

E.C ('Taff', 'Ecky' or 'Eric') Lewis - Chemistry;

"The reason I became a chemist" ...James Petts 71-78;
"('Eric' if you were a 6th former) My inspiration for taking Chemistry at Uni. He was supposed to be writing up a PhD thesis while he was at the school. He'd studied at UMIST in Manchester but I believe progress was somewhat slow. I remember meeting up with him and Richard May who was in my year in a pub in Rochester one evening just before we left the school. I often wonder what happened to him." ...Rick Billingham 66-73;
"Quite often said 'Lets see what happen happens' before front bench experiments. He was completely fooled by an impersonation of the fume cupboard fans at the back of the room - often sent someone to turn them off but they 'stopped' before he got to the switch." ...Dick Turner 67-74;

PGC Green 'Neerg' - French, Speech training, Form master;
Died summer 2009 aged 95.

"...have sort of fond memories of Neerg. Wasn't he also the master who took 'Speech Therapy', during which I recall a class of 30 boys all chanting in unison "Shhh Fhhhh Seeee Haaaa" and "Nimble as a monkey. Strong as a lion". The word was that Neerg had his chest run over by a Bren gun carrier in the Western Desert during WW2 and had to re-learn speech once the physical wounds had recovered. So, he was the expert." ...Peter Newnham 64-70;
"Mr. Green's nickname I always thought was spelled Neerg, being Green backwards. Why backwards? Those who knew him just think about it for a moment... He knew a lot about the Theatre and was indispensable around most productions, and he could seriously frighten a violin. He operated - possibly also built - a wonderful portable stage lighting board which was used for years for productions in the hall at the old school. He had a Vespa scooter which he fell off more than once. He took us on the most wonderful school trip I ever did, a 3-week exchange to Chateauroux in France in 1957. He treated us 14 year olds as adults and was fully rewarded for his confidence in us. The trip changed my whole attitude to foreign languages and travel and I have never stopped travelling since." ...Allan Haynes 54-61;
"He was an old fashioned legend who managed to remain relevant to all of us and held us spellbound with his true stories of WWII. We'll never see his like again in the safe and regulated world of teaching nowadays. Thank you for everything. R.I.P." ...David Pearce
"Peter John Crafton Green taught us French all through those five years. At the very first lesson, he came with two puppets and didn't speak a word of English for the whole period. He made an immediate impact as none of the form had ever encountered French before. I can visualise him now clearly, using histrionics as a teaching tool. I think he remained my French master for the whole five years. I still remember the production of The importance of being Ernest. I also recall that Green played Westminster Hall interminably on his violin with his eyes shut." ...D.C. Pike 50-55;
"Remember him well and that damned slide projector. Decent enough master though. Didn't learn much French, except the numbers - he used to teach by running a bingo session calling out the numbers." ...Bill Harmer 64-70;
"Our well liked and respected form master, nobody minded his strange ways and his lessons were always interesting and entertaining. Generally mild mannered, most miscreants just got his 'pretend that hurt' routine. He did once give me a terrible thrashing in the 1st form - for something I hadn't actually done." ...Paul Nicholson 70-74;
"Took us for Speech Training. He was a kind of square shape and gave the impression of having a huge barrel chest (I suspect he just puffed it out a lot!). Rumour had it that his chest was crushed by a tank in the war and it was all the breathing exercises he did during his recovery that gave him such a powerful voice." ...John Currie 64-69;
"Went on the French exchange twice, in my time it was to Montauban, about a 22 hour rail journey. Learned to smoke 20 Gauloise bleu (untipped) per day by the time I returned. On the train on the way back - 'Sir, sir what's a povercon?' 'Povercon? Oh, pauvre con, that just means a poor c**t'. One of a kind." ...Tony Parkinson 66-71;

'Danny' Kay - Music, Choirmaster;

"He had a crackdown on non-regulation socks (there was a fashion for outrageous colours). 'No-one wearing coloured socks is allowed in my classroom!' 'OK, sir.' 'They will also get a saturday detention.' Socks off." ...Peter O'Halloran 70-77;
"I remember queueing up for sock inspection for Danny Kay. He also tried, much to my embarrassment, to persuade me to sing in the Opera. He would not now! The other boys teased me mercilessly as 'Tone, Tone, Semi-tone'." ...Tony Sparkes 70-77;

Dave Sutcliffe - Head of Religion;

"...Dave also taught French through a bushy dark beard with a kind heart and smiling encouragement. He always marked translations out of 10, taking off one mark for each mistake. The length of pieces combined with my inability to grasp the past tense, resulted in minus scores throughout my first two years in his class. It was quite a triumph when I eventually got 2/10 for a homework. Dave carried on smiling and I was put off languages for life. Genuinely nice guy, though." ...Neil Roskilly 71-78;

Josh Evans - Rugby, English;

"I was playing in an after school match one wet and dark winter evening when my elbow got broken in a ruck. 'Josh' noticed my suffering after a while and checked to see how bad I was by making me move my arm around. Satisfied that nothing was wrong he refused to let me leave the pitch and I had to finish the game. Needless to say when I turned up with a doctors note and a sling it had to change." ...Michael Hewlett 71-78;
"In about the 3rd form we had a lad from Newcastle move in. The Welshman and the Geordie could not understand each other, so we interpreted. Fine chap." ...Tony Sparkes 70-77;
"A boy who I think was called Pollock - perhaps Richard (apologies to him if this is wrong) tied himself up at the back of the English lesson, including a gag, and awaited the arrival of the mighty Welshman. I think Josh left him there for the whole lesson, to the amusement of everyone. He was a fine teacher," ...Neil Roskilly 71-78;

Frank Myers - Deputy head;

"This Deputy Head used to scare the living shit out of ALL the Boys, and most of the Masters too... I never even spoke to the man until we did Pirates Of Penzance ('74 ?) for the annual Gilbert & Sullivan thing. We both had a bass voice so were pirates in the first half and policemen in the second (he being the Police Sergeant, naturally). The opening scene had all of us pirates sitting around the stage in small groups, and I had the (dubious) pleasure of sitting next to HIM. Each night, seconds before the curtains opened, he would quietly say in my ear things like "your flies are open" and "I've just farted". At the time I was furious. In hindsight however, he certainly knew how to cure a spotty youth of stage fright!!!" ...Mike Stephen 71-78;
"I don't think we had a nickname for him, his surname alone was enough to send a chill to the core. With a demeanour that could belong to a hard-nut detective inspector from the Met (you could easily picture him reducing some hardened gangster to tears), he was responsible for the most frightening moment of my young life. Crashed out on the floor one afternoon after a little too much lunchtime cider, I felt someone kicking me. 'F..k off!', I said a few times but the kicking became more insistent. I rolled over and opened my eyes - it was Myers!" ...Paul Nicholson 70-74;
"Frank Myers in my time was only teaching maths and had not yet become Deputy Head, following the late and affable Andrew Reed and Mr. Hadlow. Strangely it seems that all the Deputy Heads were maths teachers. Any theories ? Mr. Myers was also involved in the school's Lodge of Freemasons." ...Allan Haynes 54-61;
"Scared the crap out of me, but since I was in Gordon, not Pitt, I did not have a lot to do with him. My antics should have got me up in front of him several times, but since my parents split up in early 1972 (I joined SJWMS in Sept '71) I got cut a lot more slack than perhaps I should have. Anyway, I remember getting my first ever Saturday D from him (for what, I can't remember), and the experience made me determined to avoid him after that, which I did, quite successfully. Incidentally, that Saturday D never showed up on my end-of-term report, so I assumed that none of them would, as did Ray Monsell who was in D with me the same Saturday. Of course, it was an oversight: all my subsequent ones were recorded in their full splendour." ...James Petts 71-78;
"Frank Myers was my first form-master, very likeable." ...D.C. Pike 50-55;
"I was not good at maths in the 3rd and went into the bottom of 5 sets in the 4th to be taught by Dan Myers. He was so inspirational that I soon came to look forward to his lessons. I went into the top set in the 5th. A few years ago, I spotted in the local rag that his funeral was to be later that day. I had just enough to s,s & s, suit and boot to get to the ceremony where I discovered what his middle initial meant - Freemantle." ...Paul Howe 61-67;
"Joined the school in 1947. He used to return confiscated sweets and Eagle comics to my mother. She was a very pretty florist in the Delce, enough said. He remained a close OW Lodge friend until his demise" ...Michael Cleary 47-54;
"My first form master - always very good to me, though I was a duffer at maths. I sat opposite him as a visitor at an OW lodge meeting in 1999, having not seen him since leaving school. He looked at me and said 'Well, young Baldwin - and what are you doing with yourself?' 'How can you remember my name?' 'You always remember the good ones, and you always remember the ....' was his smiling reply. I recall being very proud of his being our form master at my first Founder's Day parade when he swished along the High Street in his magenta silk Durham University gown - quite the smartest of all the staff!" ...Brian Baldwin 52-57;

DC 'Bogroll' Beattie - Latin, General Subjects, Housemaster;

"I was never taught by him but he was a housemaster. An oddity. Lived in Orpington and was a member of the Plymouth Brethren or something similar." ...Stephen Rayner 66-73;
"Fully understood the use of ears as handles for boys. Fairly restrained but when he blew, he really blew. Once saw a boy hauled out of class by the exploding Bogroll, the unfortunate's foot caught in the chair and the chair somehow got hooked up with the desk - the entire train was dragged out of the room." ...Paul Nicholson 70-74;
"I was very good at Latin, so Bogroll liked me. He used to keep me behind after classes and exhort me not to be so badly behaved. It never worked." ...James Petts 71-78;
"Used to stutter when he got angry, so we always got him angry. Made one boy (I think his name was Michael Preston) stand on top of one of the stoves in the B block huts in the old school (it was on at the time). They don't make 'em like that any more." ...David Magasiner 63-70;
"Attacked me once while I was waiting to get in room for a lesson after lunch - form were playing up, I was merely waving to Bob Paulley - went berserk - scarey." ...Dick Turner 67-74;

Archie ('Rex' or 'Orb') Harrison - Latin;

"I cycled to school from Halling and remember racing the Harrison moped back across the motorway bridge! Two raised fingers from the moped when pedal power ran out of puff!" ...Rob Weller 65-73;
"He was Honourary Chairman of the Kent Archaeological Society also. I went on a couple of digs with him where he was dig director and got to know him quite well. He was actualy a very nice man. He even forgave me for dropping a rather large flint on his head at a dig opposite the Rochester Market site (he had to have something like 20 stitches)" ...Mike Stephen 71-78;
"Former Indian Army Officer, in our day was known as Orb. He lived at Bromley and commuted to school by train. He read to us from a book fictionalising everyday life in ancient Rome, and the schoolteacher in the book was one Orbilius Flagosus (the flogger). Obvious connection... Orb advised us that lame excuses for homework not being done were unacceptable, and he would prefer to hear something like - 'on my way to school an eagle swooped down and took my exercise book ...'. Up to about 1956 there was a large air raid shelter on the corner of Blue Boar Lane just before the railway bridge, now occupied by a block of flats. When they came to knock the shelter down a demolition crane arrived, visible from the school windows, with the name Ruston 10 RB painted on it. This was translated into I ORB with some hilarity. Frequently when the formal work of the lesson ended with a few minutes to spare Orb regaled us with some wonderful tales of the Indian Army. A very nice and well respected man." ...Allan Haynes 54-61;
"Rex Harrison's favourite joke - 'no boy, it's Carthago, Carthaginis which is good for you...'" ...Tony Parkinson 66-71;

Tim Briault - Biology, A-level Zoology, Cross Country;

"Represented England at the Commonwealth games I think - his head went further and further to the right as years wore on" ...Tony Parkinson 66-71;
"Head of the Junior Christian Union. Good biologist, but a weird person. Set us an essay very early on on the limitations of science, especially evolution." ...James Petts 71-78;

'Trog' Haydon - Physics, Electronics, Housemaster;

"Rumour had it that he was discovered in an underground cave (hence the name) when the swimming pool and sports block were being constructed." ...James Petts 71-78;
"Famous for screwing up any practical demonstration he got his hands on." ...Mike Stephen 71-78;
"Trog broke my younger brother's nose. He lined the boys up to demonstrate wave motion. The idea was to push the first boy and they would all move like a wave. Trouble was, he forgot to tell the boys to put their hands on the shoulders of the boy in front! I was in the 6th form common room playing bridge as usual when he came to tell me." ...Tony Sparkes 70-77;
"In the fourth, my older girlfriend would pick me up in her car from school at Thursday lunch time, take me home for a quickie, then back to school always just about on time looking hot and bothered. Trog occasionally asked me if I was OK. It was years later when my lad Chris went to MSR that I met Trog again and told him what had gone on. He beamed at me, shook his head and walked off laughing." ...Paul Howe 61-67;
"He ran the electronics club. I once presented plans for a computer I wanted to build - a fancy thing with lots of TTL. I was pissed off when he told me it was too complicated and I'd probably never get it to work. Years later, with hindsight and knowledge, I realised he was absolutely right." ...Paul Nicholson 70-74;

Rhodes 'Pusser' or 'Pussy' Purle - Sports, Drama;
Former Math pupil, 1930s. Nickname from his schooldays. Died around May 2003.

"One of the best things about doing the Operettas (and the School Plays) was witnessing 'Pussy' Pearl in what I think was his true calling, as Stage Director. As Head of Sports (I think he was about 105 or 6 at the time) he did not realy inspire. In this other role he was supreme. He could get even the likes of me to act. The "ACTORS" however, he could reduce to ashes, and everyone else to gibbering wrecks of laughter through his extremely dry ascerbic wit, which was always delivered with expert timing. One of the true characters of the School during my time. One thing I do remember is the emotional Assembly when he retired. He was cheered long and loud, the "unofficial" School song sung and no-one got into trouble for it." ...Mike Stephen 71-78;
"The fag smoking Head of PE" ...Charlie Bass;
"Mr. Purle was the only master who did not have a degree, but he had been an RAF Officer and that was probably just as good. He was an excellent all round sportsman and was able to tell me that I would never be any use at rugby after my first 15 minutes on the pitch." ...Allan Haynes 54-61;
"As I remember, Mr Purle took significantly less than 15 mins to dismiss my prospects as a Rugby player. I was a very skinny, unathletic sort and I always thought that the insistence on not wearing a second shirt or vest under the rugger jersey in freezing weather, bordered on 'cruel and unusual punishment'" ...Ian Donald;
"I remember signing up for hockey with Pusser one September, and with me was Mike Stephen. Mike gave his name, and since he was particular about the spelling of his surname, he said 'Mike Stephen, Stephen P.H.' to emphasize that the name was not spelt 'Steven.' Pusser entirely ignored the 'Mike,' and wrote down 'Stephen, P.H' instead. Mike and I could never agree whether he was having a joke or just missed the point entirely." ...James Petts 71-78;

Len 'The Egg' Lingham - Maths;

"Was the board rubber shot I feared." ...Rob Weller 65-73;
"Would give Sat morning detention to parts of or whole classes who didn't share his enthusiasm for maths. It happened a couple of times in my second year, then the parents kicked up. There was a confrontation between Wadhams and Lingham and guess who won." ...Geoff Howe 59-67;
"Form master 5c, and a superb shot with the board rubber. Did the dust ever fly when it bounced off an errant head." ...Michael Rowney -65;
"Mr angry, maths teacher who threw the board rubber a lot" ...Jeremy Hall 71-77;
"One afternoon the flying blackboard rubber came my way but I was quick enough to lift the desk lid before the rubber hit me, he then demanded that I let him have it back so I did ,narrowly missing him in the process. Another Saturday detention and trip to the headmasters office!" ...Alan Thornton-Pratt 65-69;
"I saw him get annoyed by a wasp buzzing in the window and tried to kill it with a box file. Hit the window so hard that it was a wonder it wasn't smashed but missed the wasp!" ...Paul Bennington 63-70;
"Lenny Lingham was also a good shot with tins of Old Holborn and plimsolls and would target anyone not paying attention with unerring accuracy. He was also a very good teacher." ...Rick Billingham 66-73;
"If Lenny Lingham had been as successful at throwing darts as he was with the blackboard duster, he would have been a millionaire!" ...Bill Jamieson 63-70;
"Lenny Lingham taught Maths and was constantly sucking on a pipe stuffed full of Old Holborn in the classroom. The sickly smell of it made me feel quite nauseous so I always approached his lessons with some apprehension. He never seemed happy in his work and just mumbled around his pipe stem the whole time rendering his utterances impossible for me to decipher, yet I was soon on the receiving end of his displeasure when I asked him once too often to explain something again. I went from near the top of the class to near the bottom in one year..." ...John Currie 64-69;
"Mumbled and shouted "Wake up England!" Scary and unpleasant." ...Stephen Rayner 66-73;

Dave Lee - English;

"I recall a prefect, from my first year, who, having done the college bits, returned as a master before I'd finished A levels. Always struck me as slightly odd .... " ...Rob Weller 65-73;
"Also gave some good Private Study courses on Cinematography." ...Mike Stephen 71-78;
"During the late 1970s was deputy house master to Alan Skinner for Gordon House. Many a time he would tell stories of the old school in the city; and certainly on many occasions was able to use his own experiences to find the perpetrators for a number of 'crimes'." ...Paul Johnson 79-;
"When Dave Lee stood in the mock elections as an Independent Neo-hedonist his election song was as follows (to guide me oh thou great redeemer)
'Hedonists unite together
united we'll still further be
seeking out all lustful pleasures
drinking, smoking, sex and song
riotous living, riotous living
we will live and love with dave (love with dave)
we will live and love with dave'
"...Malcolm Partridge 63-70;
"Very quick with both hand and slipper..." ...James Petts 71-78;
"Dave Lee, used to live around the corner from me, and I and another lad used to scrounge a lift with him in his Morris 1000. First Christmas he was there, the usual attempt was made at the last assembly to sing the Chant. It fizzled. As he walked out he said loudly, "is that the best you can do?" it was all on second time." ...Tony Sparkes 70-77;
"In the year that I remember, the said Dave Lee went to the real hustings to see Harold Wilson speak and was clearly seen on television being removed from the hall for heckling." ...Colin Mellows -67;
"...remember dave lee standing as Neo hedonist candidate in one of the mock elections in the sixties (was it 1964?) and giving free penny chews to second formers who promised to vote for him - who says political sleeze started in the 80s!!!" ...Ray Woodhams, 64-70;
"I was one of the Second formers whose votes were bought: by the distribution of Fruit Salad chews from the back of a mini van that toured round P block :) He won by a huge majority, if I recall." ...Rob Weller 65-73;
"Once I hit a ball extremely hard at Dave Lee, and it rolled up his stick and hit him in the 'nads. He was not very active in the game after that." ...James Petts 71-78;
"Dave Lee was head boy when I was in the second year, gave two of us a 2,000 word essay on the workings of the internal combustion engine for (persistent) cycling in the lower yard. Parents objected but Skull upheld on appeal. I wrote about 1500 but no one counted. Was only given the penalty after increasing quantities of 'knowledges' were handed down." ...Tony Parkinson 66-71;

PF 'Poof' James - Chemistry;

"Let us get away with some amazing Chemistry" ...James Petts 71-78;
"Very encouraging to those of us keen on chemistry. Would give out hard-to-find chemicals for home experiments. 'I'm having a go at making bakelite Sir, I've got the phenol and conc acids, but can't get the formaldehyde...', 'Have you brought a bottle?' he asks." ...Paul Nicholson 70-74;
"Connecting the bunsen burner to the high pressure water tap in 'Poof' James' chemistry lesson. I failed to realise that, when turned on, the water would hit the roof and splash everywhere." ...Graham Saunders 75-80;

KB 'Jesse' James - Head of Physics, Housemaster (Castle);

"Was in Gordon, then switched to Castle when housemastership offered. Not particularly pleasant in the harsh mid-1960s although I'm sure he mellowed." ...Stephen Rayner 66-73;
"Good teacher, strict and remote. Had a reputation for handing out a 'D' at the slightest provocation." ...Paul Nicholson 70-74;

Bob Foulds - Biology, Wine Appreciation;

"Great Botany teacher with a dry sense of humour... 'Here Norris carry this gas oven across the canal without using the bridge!'" ...Phil Pinder 67-74;
"Had been a Company Managing Director. Then in his late thirties looked for the MDs in their late 40s. I quote: 'There weren't any because they were all dead. So I said Sod this. I'm off' and went to Teacher Training Colledge." ...Mike Stephen 71-78;
"He needed apple pickers 'with a brain' one summer [picking apples for a commercial fungicide trial his former partner was conducting] and recruited the whole A level Botany set. At a very competitive rate, too :)" ...Rob Weller 65-73;

Reginald T Childs - Head of German;

"I remember regularly having to sing a song about tobacco "J'ai du bon tabac etc" - was meant to be a treat never seemed like it. Another treat was splitting the class into 2 teams for a quiz - it always seemed to be a Chris Wick who had to move to the other team." ...Dick Turner 67-74;
"In the 4th or 5th form, we registered our German Master Reginald Childs with the Tufty Club. He failed to find it funny." ...Steve Willis 63-70;
"Mr Childs was generally known as Ernie. He didn't teach the science forms, and I knew him as a rather odd man who wore a beret and rode a bike (no onions so far as I could see). But some lads in 3 L took to calling him a much nastier name, which became fashionable and that caused a huge ruckus." ...D.C. Pike 50-55;
"In Mr Childs class one day we kept parping a squeeze horn which was passed around. Eventually this normally mild mannered man blew his top and his turned from his normal somewhat yellow colour to near crimson and then to white in about three seconds. Then he started Screaming at Malc Patterson, the last man holding the horn, and slapped him across the face, at which time he suddenly became very cross with himself and left the room. There was complete silence for about 20 seconds." ...Paul Howe 61-67;

Al 'Scal' Skinner - Maths, Hockey, Housemaster (Gordon);

"Nice guy. Pretty ineffective, but a decent chap. I think he became Head of Gordon house after Dave Sutcliffe left in 1972 (he went to Eastbourne)" ...James Petts 71-78;

Dennis W Jardin - Head of Physics, Engineering Science;

"Apparently gave up a good paying job to go into teaching. Nice bloke with a slightly short temper (with me anyway!)." ...Graham Ford 73-80;
"Immense respect and appreciation for the man - probably the one with whom I got on best - he took a few of us (2nd years) for a 'field trip' down to Reculver one Saturday (I think chosen from those that were apparently most keen in the class) - but as I remember it, we never quite made it there as the weather was so totally appallingly wet, and we ended up in the local cinema watching the film 'The Battle of the Bulge'. This was probably the first time that I'd had fun in the presence of one of the teachers. He extended to me an almost fatherly understanding and encouragement..." ...Robin Crane 66-73;
"Was also choir master at St. Mary's, Chatham parish church on Dock road. He would recruit Math school boys for the choir, which was one way for them to earn a bit of pocket money. He also persevered at getting me through my Physics 'O' levels, which took several tries!" ...Kevin Acheson 59-67;

'The other' Mr Green - Music;

"My 3rd year class tried to see how many times we could make him shout 'shut-up!' in one lesson (38). He also tried to teach me clarinet ('You're a fool O'Halloran. A very pleasant fool, but a fool')" ...Peter O'Halloran 70-77;

'Dagger' or 'Colonel' Browning - French;

"Never known as Dagger in my time. Usually Don, sometimes Batman - he was one of the last masters to wear his cape in the Swinging Sixties era of capelessness. Scary in the extreme but fascinating." ...Stephen Rayner 66-73;
"Scared the life (and most of the French) out of me: "O'Halloran! Levez vous! Ou est la gare? Asseyez vous!" Anyone remember the strange slide show he used to teach with? The high point was the haunted house: "Je suis le phantome de la maison!!!" Very useful. I was so nervous I used to fall asleep in his lessons and wake up sweating and wondering how long I'd been nodding." ...Peter O'Halloran 70-77;
"Difficult to describe the aura of menace that surrounded this master - probably the most frightening of all the staff. You'd be up to something and the lookouts would cry 'Oh God, Dagger's coming' and we would register the fear in each others eyes. That 'rabbit in the headlight' moment was long enough for Dagger's purposeful stride to cover the length of P block - the chance to bolt would have passed." ...Paul Nicholson 70-74;
"I remember his reading of French texts: it would go something like this:
<French accent> Monsieur
<Upper-crust English accent> Charles G. Wallerman
<French accent> est mont dans son
<Upper-crust English accent> Hotchkiss
<French accent> pour conduire a Marseilles.
all without missing a beat. I found it remarkable." ...James Petts 71-78;
"Don Browning never changed, striking terror into the hearts of generations of pimply youths but getting most of them through French o level. I still admire the classmate who replied to Dons question 'what do we call a female goat?' with the response 'ewe sir'. no-one laughed but Dons moustache curled at one end by 2 millimetres to signify his appreciation." ...Andy Morrison 69-74;
"Nicking my mate, Fat Gut Razzy's bag and locking myself in a trap shouting, 'I am gonna flush it'. Then the voice outside, 'I think you had better come out'. The unmistakable tone of Dagger Browning. Of all the teachers!" ...Graham Saunders 75 - 80;
"Colonel Browning, no more need be said. We consoled ourselves with the rumour that he was only in the Catering Corps." ...Tony Sparkes 70-77;

'Twitch' Knight - Maths;

"Always got his sums wrong on the board when he was trying to explain how to do stuff." ...Ian Brown 67-74;

Bernie Argent - Art, Swimming, PE, Housemaster (Bridge)

"I remember during a pottery class bernie argent saying to me (with a wry smile) 'treat the clay as you would treat a woman... gently but firmly'. I've thought about that a few times since.." ...Steve Rose 72-79;

'Dippy' Derrington - Religion and Latin? French?.

"(amazing hair) actually managed to teach me some French. More importantly, his 6th form general studies classes (based on the works of Francis Schaeffer) taught us how to think and argue logically." ...Peter O'Halloran 70-77;

'Stu' Bristow - Geography;

"A nice bloke, probably too nice to be a teacher." ...Ian Brown 67-74;

George Thornhill - History, Geography, Housemaster (Pitt);

"Was a long-serving teacher at the school. An excellent teacher and a kindly man who genuinely liked the boys he taught. I vaguely recollect George telling us about an encounter he had with the SS on a railway station in Germany during the Third Reich!" ...Trevor Brook 65-72;
"Proved to be an alright person (after all he rode a small motorcycle to school!) - but was pivotal in absolutely destroying any chance that History had with me - by giving me my first ever detention for poor marks in a history test. I already struggled with the subject, and that was it's death knell...." ...Robin Crane 66-73;
"The thing I remember most about George Thornhill was his assertion that if you won a battle you got to pronounce the name YOUR way. Thus, he pronounced Crécy as Cressy, Poitiers as Poytears and Agincourt as Adjincaught." ...James Petts 71-78;
"Navigated his way round Kent on his 'pop-pop' by use of all the pubs." ...Dick Turner 67-74;
"He really knew how to make history and geography interesting. The trick was to devote the syllabus in our first year with him to local history and geography. Fifty years on and I can still remember all about Aveling Steam Rollers and the cement industry at Burham. He was also a stalwart of the school G&S productions, playing a memorable Private Willis in Iolanthe and Sergeant of Police in the Pirates of Penzance." ...Tony Lloyd 57-64;
"History and Geography. A kind and entertaining man who engendered real respect and more than contributed to my love of history and travel." ...Alan Thornton-Pratt 65-69;
"His only navy jumper with a hole and his thumb poking out" ... Michael Cleary 47-54;
"Sometimes George Thornhill took us lesser beings for rugby, joining in himself; it took a lot of us to drag him to a halt. I remember my severe frustration when he declared my only-ever try invalid as I was offside. Bugger it, everyone was always offside!" ...D.C. Pike 50-55;
"in charge of the new building on Maidstone Road when I joined in 1966. Seemed a kindly old boy although I was never taught by him." ...Rick Billingham 66-73;
"Used to take a group of us who had bikes to Burham Downs and explained so much local geography - a brilliant teacher, and a lovely man." ...Brian Baldwin 52-57;

'Ken' Barrington - French;

AR 'Sludge' Hall - Deputy head, Head;
Took over as head after Skull retired in 71.

"A nice chap - and a total shock to the school after the sadistic LT Waddams. His appointment was a deliberate attempt by the governors to bring in a liberal for the 1970s after the bullying Skull." ...Stephen Rayner 66-73;
"Even the Masters called Mr Hall 'Sludge'" ...Mike Stephen 71-78;

'Stan' Braxton - Woodwork, Maths;

"A strict, probably fair, master who ruled with a strong will, total control and fear." ...Anthony Bernthal 60-65;
"AKA 'The Pink Panther!' - remember several comments about some effort at fine woodwork 'I could have done better with an axe', also remember him hitting a boy with a wooden mallet before sending him to run round the field. Seemed very matey with Jesse James they had rooms next to each other in the original 'P' block, had to summon for Mr James when he set the fire alarm off when the boy he tried to hit ducked." ...Dick Turner 67-74;
"Absolutely convinced he was an absolute sadist. Took great delight in rapping my knuckles with a metal ruler, sideways on, for even the slightest mistake when cutting practice joints." ...Alan Thornton-Pratt 65-69;

"I passed an interesting Saturday morning detention under the supervision of Stan Braxton. He assembled our small group of miscreants in the school hall and provided us with sheets of A3 paper, rulers, set squares and other drawing equipment. Our tasks were to produce plan views of designated areas of the old school; in my case I was assigned C Block ground floor.

I don't think he told us why these plans were required but we were all sure that we were carrying out a useful and necessary task. Two hours later we lined up to present Stan with our efforts. He studied each plan with interest and made comments or asked questions. When satisfied with our replies, he simply ripped each one up and dropped it into a waste paper bin!" ...Tony Lloyd 57-64;

Jim Bayliss - History;

"Probably a nice teacher but we never gave him a chance - he could never control the class and was ragged terribly. He did once assert himself for a few seconds: he overheard the term 'sexual intercourse' coming from the direction of one John Parkes. For some reason he exploded - 'What did you say!' he bellowed. For a few seconds the class was stunned into silence by the unaccustomed assertiveness. The quick thinking Parkes replied 'Social intercourse Sir - it means talking', 'Oh, that's alright then' he said, and normal chaos was restored. He disappeared one day and the rumour was that the 4th form had sent him over the edge - drawing christmas trees on the window or something. If only just once he'd beaten the daylights out of one of us..." ...Paul Nicholson 70-74;

'Ben' or 'Tickler' Gunne - English;

"I remember having to do 'Juno and the Paycock' I think, got very nervous as a new starter when the synchronised class 'knee bouncing' made the room (new building) shake in resonance - we all said it always does this when windy!" ...Dick Turner 67-74;

Mr Chiltern - Maths;

"He taught me maths for one year. His technique was to set homework which we marked ourselves in class (you could cheat in this), then he took the marks in and set another homework. If you happen to be a teacher and want to avoid any marking (and real teaching for that matter), then you can't do better than to follow this technique." ...Neil Roskilly 71-78;

Mr Tucker - Maths, Rugby;

"The only thing that saved my bacon at the Math was that I was fairly good at Maths! Useless at everything else. I believe Mr Tucker was the reason for this. He was a fairly fearsome teacher who had pinpoint accuracy with a piece of chalk. Many a piece bounced off my head during a lesson. He was, though, the only person who could make Trigonometry understandable and even interesting!" ...Bob Morris 55-61;

'Scrooge' Macdonald - English;

"The most senior serving teacher of his time. He taught at the Math when my father was there in the 1930's He was by all accounts a very hard teacher in my fathers day. He was apparantly an Ex. Army boxing champ. It was rumoured that he was invalided out of the army during the 1st world war with shell shock. He taught up at the new school when it opened but he had lost a lot of his authority by then and sadly became 'easy meat' for the antagonists in the class." ...Bob Morris 55-61;
"Once you got to the fourth form, good feelings for Scrooge overwhelmed most people's earlier desires to play practical jokes on him. He certainly seemed to pick on people - for example my friend Rufus Meadway, whom he called a liar for apparently no reason." ...D.C. Pike 50-55;

"Scrooge was my English teacher when I was at the 'new' school in 1958. I think today he would have been described as a truly inspirational teacher. He was certainly in touch with 1950s teenagers. In one lesson he cited Perry Como's 'Catch a fallin staran..' as an example of poor diction and drew an unfavourable comparison with Chuck Berry's crystal clear enunciation in Roll over Beethoven. In fact, Scrooge was no stranger to pop music. He was frequently seen at the Rock concerts held at the Rochester Gaumont in the late 50s and early 60s.

I think he retired in 1961 or 62. There was utter pandemonium at his retirement presentation in the Old School hall. Oscar clearly expected a brief formal ceremony and then out the door with Scrooge but the school were having none of it. The standing ovation, the clapping, the cheering and the stamping went on for almost 10 minutes. Scrooge was in tears at the love and respect that were being expressed and even some of the lads in the 6th form were wiping their eyes. A truly great man." ...Tony Lloyd 57-64;

Phil Arundale - Maths, PE;

"Remember him hitting me in the head from behind in the swimming pool changing rooms. We were at our usual towel jousting and he came in without me seeing him. I had a headache for a couple of days - quite a thug; he would have been arrested these days." ...Neil Roskilly 71-78;

BH 'Boring' Bentall - History, Librarian;

"I recall him being a decent enough bloke and not a bad master if not overly inspirational." ...Rick Billingham 66-73;

Brian 'Jack' Turner - Head of English, Careers Master;

"What a nice man - commuted daily by train from Herne Bay!" ...David Gutteridge 64-72;
"My careers interview with Jack Turner lasted seconds. He asked me which University I wanted to go to. I said I didn't want to go to University. He asked me what my father did...worked on the railway. He asked me what my mother did...primary school teacher. He dismissed me telling me to go to Teacher Training College." ...Steve Willis 63-70;

Keith 'Lofty' Baker - History;

"I was never taught by him but friends who were regarded him as outstanding. A friend from my year Peter Knight went on to read history at St Catherines Oxford and attained a double first. Through Pete I became slightly acquainted with Kevin Sharpe. Kevin had been a year above us at school but stayed down for a year to take the Oxford entrance exam. Sadly both Pete and Kevin have now died but Kevin became a world famous historian. A few words in Kevin's obituary from the Guardian refer specifically to Keith Baker's influence during his school years." ...Richard Charles Murr 61-68;
"Known as Lofty and an inspiring master." ...Anon;
"Keith Baker was also the director for a number of school plays, including Henry V in which I played the part of Williams, an English soldier." ...James Petts 71-78;
"I actually still live in Rochester not that far from the school and still see Keith Baker walking about." ...Dick Turner 67-74;

Bob Milner - Maths;
Went on to teach maths at Chatham dockyard college.

"Rumour was that he had a wooden leg - walked with a pronounced limp - had a great sense of humour." ...Malcolm Hodges;
"The only teacher I came top of the year with. We believed he was a Paratrooper and lost his leg." ...Tony Sparkes 70-77;

'Beaky' Bayfield - Chemistry;

"Beaky had rather a long nose with a prominent lump on the end. This came as a gift to anyone who wanted to undermine his authority! I found his chemistry lessons rather exciting as you could mix certain chemicals together and cause spectacular shows of smoke and flames and awful smells. You just had to mix together the chemicals he forbade you to use!" ...Bob Morris 55-61;
"Would get the class to bring in George V sixpences, dissolve them in acid and work out their silver content. I remember wondering if he was able to recover the silver, as he always collected all of the solutions at the end of the class." ...Kevin Acheson 59-67;
"Conductor of the senior school orchestra who passionately believed that you needed music in your life to stop you going mad." ...Tony Lloyd 57-64;
"Beaky was our form-master in both the fourth and the fifth. One day, Beaky was finding it hard to call us to order, so he banged the board-rubber hard on the chalk-shelf at the bottom and then turned to face us. We watched, spellbound, as the long, heavy board peeled off the wall and crushed him to the floor. Somehow we got it off him and he wandered off down the corridor, holding his dazed head." ...D.C. Pike 50-55;

Frank 'Sandy' Sanderson - Music;

"Was my form teacher in the 2nd year. He was a really nice bloke with a warm personality and was certainly popular with his form. When we were in his form it was the first year that the whole school had moved to the new school which had just been finished. He was a music teacher so our form room was in the new music block. I remember playing a lot of table tennis on the desks using books as nets and also much joint playing of the piano." ...Ian Brown 67-74;
"Frank Sanderson was known to us as 'Uncle Sandy' for his kindness." ...Nigel Allsop 67-74;

"Dickie" Avent - Maths and Geography;
An ex pupil.

Fred Smith - Economics;

"I think this man saved me from being a total failure. Not only was he a good teacher, but he was approachable and kind." ...Mike Sharp 52-59;

Ralph Goldswain - English;

"Was South African, I think. I remember him getting very excited at the first time he had seen snow falling." ...Tony Sparkes 70-77;
"Took a vehement dislike to some and looked for opportunities to bully, not a nice person. I was one of those he hated." ...Graham Ford 73-80;

Mr Hadlow - Maths and deputy head;

"Around 1969, we were allowed to have a school dance and I was asked to arrange it. Hadlow's son was a booker in London and he was asked to help out. The phone rang at my mother's one night and a voice introduced himself as Clifford Davis, Fleetwood Mac's manager. He said he was bringing a new act over from Ireland called Skid Row and we could have them for £50. Two days before they arrived at the Math, they were broadcast on the BBC's In Concert programme. Their guitarist was the late Gary Moore." ...Steve Willis 63-70;
"Always known to us as Woldah. Famed for the comment 'The Cathedral at Chatres is large for its size'." ...Mike Sharp 52-59;

'Scratcher' Pearce - French;

"How did he put up with us!! Remember his famous catch phrase, "You scurvey knave, sir". Also being water bombed as he came out of The Blue Boar at lunch time in the entrance at old school in Free School Lane. French was never the same again!" ...Andrew Werendel 65-72;
"I knew him well. My mother happened to teach French, and I was quite lazy so I often got her to do my homework, consequently I got good marks for homework and bad ones during lessons at school." ...Kevin Acheson 59-67;

Mr Catermole - English;

"I remember when Catermole first arrived : in a kaftan coat, in a VW camper van. V. cool." ...Nigel Allsop 67-74;
"We had a hippie English teacher around 1969. Mr Cattermole used to wear an afghan coat. He didn't last long..I suspect because he didn't fit in." ...Steve Willis 63-70;

'Squeaker' Meade - Maths;

"He made me an engineer" ... Michael Cleary 47-54;
"The second-year boss was the old Irishman Squeaker Meade, all I can recall of him is his story about the Garda who put whiskey in his boots in winter. Squeaker used to drink in the Eagle with Uncle Bill" ...D.C. Pike 50-55;
"'Squeaker' was Head up at the new school when it opened. Not doing your homework wasn't an option in those days so I was terrified one morning when I hadn't managed to complete his set homework tasks the night before. In assembly that morning my friends were chiding me on what was going to happen to me when Sqeaker found out I had no homework to hand in. I turned to them and said that the only thing to save me would be if Sqeaker had popped his clogs! After a long wait in assembly one of the masters finally came in and announced that Mr Mead had passed away last night. I had very mixed feelings and wasn't spoken to by my class mates for quite a while!" ...Bob Morris 55-61;
"Was Deputy Head and my maths teacher in the Sixth form. Excellent teacher, I coasted through my college course (spending most of my time in N. Wales with the London Graduates Mountaineering Club) as Squeaker's teaching had given virtually all I needed to pass my maths exams. I do remember that we could not start the week's work until we had thoroughly dissected the latest edition of the Goon Show." ...Mike Sharp 52-59;


The following I haven't identified a picture for. If you can help put a face to the name, please email

'Plank' Walker - History;
Invented a method for enamelling? Spoke Russian.

"Not only spoke Russian, but taught it informally as well for a couple of classes. Can't remember who else took the class. His enamelling method was actually a rediscovery of a previously lost technique, if I remember correctly.
"From time to time he used to completely lose his rag. In a P-block classroom lesson, I hid under the teachers desk once, and tied his laces to the legs of his chair. He nearly fell over when he tried to stand, and started kicking viciously under the desk. I didn't get hurt, as someone (Fergal Monsell, I think, or perhaps Stuart Dale) managed to distract him and I made my escape." ...James Petts 71-78;
"Used to drive an old triumph herald, was pulled out of retirement when a French teacher left (Carter?) Had a war record and was decorated. Very intelligent but well past his sell by date when called back." ...Graham Ford 73-80;

Peter Vokes - Metalwork, Technical Drawing, Form master;

"He was very keen on cars and I think went on to run a taxi firm bearing his name, he used to run an after school slot car (Scalextric) club as well I think." ...Dick Turner 67-74;

NJ 'Uriah' Heap - Chemistry;

"Well meaning but seemed to find it difficult to control the reprobates." ...Rick Billingham 66-73;

'Twiggy' Branch - Maths;

"He was in the old school and taught me maths when I was in yr 3 so about 1968. I never saw him actually hit anyone - but he was a big aggressive looking guy (or was I just weak and skinny?) and you NEVER mucked him about. I remember someone dropping a water bomb out of C block into free school lane just missing him, there was only one exit from C block and he was storming along it, he kicked the form room door open. Jesus was I scared, and I hadn't dropped the water bomb." ...Bill Harmer 64-70;

'Gunga' Thind - Science;

"Mr Thind what walking nightmare he was, I remember when he let someone put potassium down the sink and blew up the drains." ...Paul Johnson 79-;
"'Midda' Thind - couldn't understand a word he was saying. Put me off physics for life, so I did P with C under KB James instead!" ...Mark Harris;
"We asked him if the cat had to be alive when we rubbed an ebony rod with the fur to generate static electricity. He said 'Yes.' 'Nuff said." ...James Petts 71-78;
"Great pal of mine was ole Mr Thind. I remember Mick Cannavina recorded the pipps and replayed them over the tannoy at about 3.30. He fell for it and sent us home early. We also covered his car (Ford Escort?) with snow, and told him that it'd been nicked. He ran out and started looking for it !!" ...Neil Galloway 78-82;
"Had only rudimentary English and apparently sacked after a run in with the law." ...Graham Ford 73-80;
"Flunked physics badly because I couldn't understand anything he said. Favourite phrase (everyone else seemed to find it funny and baited him): 'no refraction today'." ...Matthew Arnold 77-82;

DJ 'Dave' Grey - Physics, Chemistry;

"He could never explain why electrons went one way and the current the other in electricity. I seem to recall that he was always very keen to get out of the classroom without answering questions at the end of lessons." ...Rick Billingham 66-73;

'Ken' Pinder - Biology;

"Taught me Biology and to this day I can still remember the principles of Photosynthesis." ...Alan Thornton-Pratt 65-69;

'Fuhrer' Davis - German;

"Du bist eine esel! Du bist eine hoffnungslose fall!" ...James Petts 71-78;
"Hated me as I already spoke fluent German before starting his lessons in the third year. Clouted me across the head during the mock O level for no apparent reason." ...Matthew Arnold 77-82;
"He told us a story once about his National Service in Germany. Apparently he was dating a German girl, and was having tea with the family. The mother asked if he could come to dinner that weekend, and he was unable to since he was going on manoeuvers. So he told the family that he couldn't go because he was involved in 'scheissen' - shitting - when he really meant 'schiessen', or shooting. I think he just wanted to swear in front of the class." ...James Petts 71-78;

Mademoiselle Moumi - French;

"Used to wear short skirts and you could tell where she had been by the smell of her perfume left behind! She was not particularly tall and was caught out when the blackboard duster was effectively stuck to the wall 7.5ft from the floor (remember? - bang the duster on the wall and push caused the varnish to act like glue)" ...Paul Bennington 63-70;
"Was my form teacher in my first year (yes - remember THAT perfume...), I believe is actually Mademoiselle Malouski whose home town was Toulouse - maybe the perfume was to detract from the garliccy extravagances of Toulouse sausages......?" ...Robin Crane 66-73;
"French, not my best subject ,but I have a real soft spot for her, she used to give me 7% in my exams for spelling my name correctly on the exam paper. I still find the female French accent extremely sexy but that is another story..." ...Alan Thornton-Pratt 65-69;
"It pains me to tell you that certain boys in 2C of that year (I can't recall who, although the name Ray Newman comes to mind) also tried a similar trick: they scribbled all over the blackboard, then put the board rubber on the ledge above the board, forcing the diminutive French mistress to reach for it. Her knickers were both frilly and scarlet." ...Stephen Rayner 66-73;
"2C never tried the board rubber trick on the wall with Madamoiselle Moumi, we developed the art of putting the rubber on the ceiling. Results were much better!!!! What about the guard of honour along the corridors or up the atrium to the staff room." Ray Newman -71

'RAG' Goodwin - Divinities;

"Razor wit." ...Graham Ford 73-80;

'Uncle Bill' Mackie - Physics;

"A genius but a poor teacher." ...D.C. Pike 50-55;

Tom Osborne - Physics;

"Right. The whole class is making a noise, so I'm going to punish Petts!" ...James Petts 71-78;
"Did work in cryogenics. Used to tell us tales of how they would dip rats and mice in liquid nitrogen and then shatter them by throwing them against the wall." ...James Petts 71-78;
"I remember Tom Osbourne's first Physics lesson. He said my name is Osbourne and this is how you spell it. Then wrote 'bastard' on the blackboard. That got our attention. Decent teacher though." ...Tony Sparkes 70-77;

"Osram" Lloyd - Geography;

"Our 1967/68 fifth form Geography teacher was called Osram. This was down to the shape of his head." ...Steve Willis 63-70;
"Taught me English and introduced me to the joys of English literature. A real old style gentleman " ...Alan Thornton-Pratt 65-69;

Mr Morris - Geography;

"I think that Mr Morris's room was BS; it was large and steeply stepped. I recall the large map of the world on the wall and the small man with a long billiard-cue pointing to all of the red bits that he and his like had fought for with utter conviction." ...D.C. Pike 50-55;
"He just regaled his times past" ... Michael Cleary 47-54;

Howard 'Hank' Kent - French, Russian;

"Big and overweight, had a particular dislike of wasps, so guess what people caught and brought into class." ...Bill Harmer 64-70;
"Very large, bearded, taught French and Russian. Always fell asleep post lunch, usually taken in the 'Grapes'" ...Nigel Allsop 67-74;
"Was indeed grossly overweight, with very short hair and metal rimmed glasses. He always seemed to wear the same very old fashioned three piece suit. I think he had some Russian connection (his mother or perhaps he had been brought up there?) He taught French but was completely incapable of controlling the class." ...Rick Billingham 66-73;

John Graddon - Economics;

"I studied advertising because John Graddon (Economics) thought it might suit me." ...Steve Willis 63-70;


Some of the masters in 1972. If you can put names to any of these, please let me know at


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