• When staff at break would rush to a mass of boys in a circle on the playground who were shouting Fight! Fight!Fight! When they managed to get into the `ring` there would be two of those small (pre-Thatcher) milk bottles sitting next to one another, usually but not always, empty.
  • Colin Guest was a fellow pupil with me in the mid Sixties.I think he went on to be a jockey. We were in a Physics class taken by Mr Tooze and Colin had not done his homework. Mr Tooze berated him and gave him a detention for the next day saying something along the lines of "You may feel you have won today but tomorrow is my day". Quick as a flash Colin replied, "Yes sir, its Tuesday tomorrow"...and it was! [ Ed: "Toozeday" - get it?].
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  • Buller Jefferies and his wonderful stories!
  • Holy Joe (Mr Webb) and the Jungle Doctor books. Ugh!
  • The power of Stan Davies' cane - only once though
  • Not completing the cross country run - hiding on the shore line of Langston Harbour
  • Dr King falling asleep in his Geography lesson while we wrote notes from the board
  • Forging Mr Watson's signature on the inside page in my Physics text book
  • Senate Detention
  • Understanding calculus with Commander Smart
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  • Dizzy Winter who took us for scripture (as it was then called) had a particular problem with Bill Robbins [or, according to Bill Robins it was 
    Foxy Rayner who took us for latin]** . at almost every lesson, Dizzy/Foxy had bill out to stand behind him at the front of the class. on one occasion Bill silently left the room and returned later without Dizzy/Foxy noticing his absence, much to our amusement.
  • The next week Bill performed the same feat except that Dizzy/Foxy suddenly turned around to discover that Bill was missing. We had Dizzy/Foxy looking in some very likely places but eventually we all sat silently awaiting the nomad's return. Bill's face was a picture as he peered cautiously around the door.
  • It was also Bill who told our Headmaster and Captain of the School's Army Cadet Corps , G.B.H.Jones M.C., that his puttees were on upside down when he stood before us on parade (this whilst he was telling our Platoon about the necessity of accurate observation!). To be fair to Bill, he only revealed this ill dressed state of affairs when the Headmaster insisted on knowing what he was sniggering about.

[**Note from Ed: Here's a challenge for everyone of Peter & Bill's era - who can resolve whether it was Dizzy or Foxy from whom Bill did his disappearing act?!!!]


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  • Having an older brother in the school I was prepared for many things such as teachers nicknames so I didn't fall into the trap of asking for teachers by names they may not necessarily have appreciated. I can't think of any teacher who didn't have a nickname.
  • It was also strange to see boys several years older than me whom I remembered from primary school years before.
  • It was very odd being called by my surname by (all male) teachers and other boys but, my brother being already in the school, many of the teachers were able to pronounce correctly my slightly peculiar surname.
  • I think the biggest early impression was when Henry Mills took assembly. Not only was he a very imposing figure but he also wore a gown. I was a bit disappointed he did not also wear a mortar board but I was always slightly in awe of him. I never spoke to him until the fourth year when those in 4K had to see him. I never was really sure of the point of the interview but I imagine it was because we were about to take our O Levels. We had another interview shortly after which seemed to be exactly the same.
  • When I was in the first year I had to see the School Secretary and was waiting outside her office when Henry suddenly appeared and put his hand on my shoulder in a rather paternal way as he wanted to go in first. I didn't dare say anything. At that tender age, for me it was a bit like standing next to a celebrity
  • Speaking of the secretary, I seem to remember she had been a tennis player of some distinction in her younger days (not that she was old then). Someone in my class tore his trousers and she sewed them up for him. I wondered whether he had had to take them off in front of her and how embarassing that would be. Sort of thing you'd give up a week's pension for now.
  • The only other females we saw were the school librarian, the dinner ladies and, for one year only, the German Assistant, Regina Steinwand. Her nickname was Frau Doris. She was invigilating for some exams in the hall once and I reckon some of the male teachers had been scrapping outside to decide who would sit next to her. I started doing German A Level the next year which included sessions with the German Assistant but, of course, by then she had gone. Ach, das Leben ist schwer!
  • I remember when Henry retired and the way he walked through the hall shaking hands with boys and said "cheerio" to us all. I also remember when he had to announce that one of the boys had died. He said it was a moment he had always hoped he he would never encounter in his career. He seemed very upset. I think that showed his very human side.
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  • Buller Jeffries (art) cry of "Go to the Head" (Mr Mills)
  • "Come her laddie boy, I am going to beat you!" I can still feel the impact of Brian Naysmith's dreaded slipper.
    Dr Traynor (English) would frequently cry out in genuine anguish: "Barbarous, Portsmouth-English pronunciation!" after being subjected to grotesquely mangled efforts which would have made even television's Officer Crabtree (of Allo Allo fame) cringe!
  • Craig Barlow's (History) favourite imposition was "Punishment for conduct prejudicial to good order and scholastic discipline". So impressed was I by this magnificent example of the English language that I actually imposed it myself at times upon pupils in my charge when - for my sins - I entered the noble profession.
  • We were encouraged not to waste writing paper during Jack Thomas's history lessons: "Concise and small writing, boys, save paper - write Gy for Germany...."
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