How Different Was Your Home Life From Your CH Life?

Anything that doesn't fit anywhere else, but that's still CH related.

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
NEILL THE NOTORIOUS
Button Grecian
Posts: 2612
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:01 pm
Real Name: NEILL PURDIE EVANS

Re: How Different Was Your Home Life From Your CH Life?

Post by NEILL THE NOTORIOUS » Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:44 pm

The Thread on this subject seems to confirm that the question of "Class" at CH, seems to date from the Post War Years, and the later the "Posts" -- the more so.
I agree , with Spoonbill,about the Pupil whose parents had a Motor Cruiser in Southampton Water, how did he ever get to CH ?? ---- Back to my gripe about Education for the Bright but Poor !

michael scuffil
Button Grecian
Posts: 1363
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:53 pm
Real Name: michael scuffil
Location: germany

Re: How Different Was Your Home Life From Your CH Life?

Post by michael scuffil » Thu Dec 24, 2009 3:04 pm

CH in the 50s and into the early 60s had, not surprisingly, a fairly high proportion of sons of war widows. While they doubtless all fulfilled the means test, some were clearly from much wealthier backgrounds, and there were rich uncles and aunts around. Also some of these mothers married fairly rich men once their children were at CH. I only remember one case where a boy was actually removed to a "posher" school (Rugby) when this happened. But he also double-barrelled his name when his mother re-married, and I think we wished him good riddance.

In a house poll on the occasion of the 1959 election (the only one that took place in my time at CH), the Conservatives got 46 votes, Labour three, and the Liberals two.

Our housemaster John Page, a staunch Tory, admirably drove our Italian-Scottish housemaid Jean to the polling station at Southwater, knowing full well that it would cancel out his vote.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

anniexf
Button Grecian
Posts: 1898
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:29 pm
Real Name: Ann Wilkinson 8s
Location: England

Re: How Different Was Your Home Life From Your CH Life?

Post by anniexf » Thu Dec 24, 2009 3:46 pm

michael scuffil wrote:
In a house poll on the occasion of the 1959 election (the only one that took place in my time at CH), the Conservatives got 46 votes, Labour three, and the Liberals two.
A strange coincidence - we had what was laughingly called "a debate" about politics in the Lower V1, 1959, with DR presiding. I still recall part of her summary: ".. and most people have cars now", i.e. we'd never had it so good and we would be ungrateful, at best, not to vote Conservative. Naturally the vote went her way. My parents never owned a car in their entire lives.

By the way, Michael, do you remember Michael Mills? He and I were in the same class at primary school, and his background was roughly similar to mine. Apparently he was very unhappy at CH at first, until his housemaster got him interested in sports.

Oddly, a senior civil servant I once worked for, Peter Adeane, went to CH - probably in the forties - and didn't speak for the entire first term. His parents removed him.
Last edited by anniexf on Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Katharine
Button Grecian
Posts: 2933
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:44 pm
Real Name: Katharine Dobson
Location: Gwynedd

Re: How Different Was Your Home Life From Your CH Life?

Post by Katharine » Thu Dec 24, 2009 5:56 pm

Unlike most of you, I grew up thinking I would go to CH. My brother started in Prep A when he was 9 and I was just 5, later he was in Thornton B with our Michael Scuffil. My father was an OB priest. When I started at CH he was working as a school chaplain at a minor public school (that's why I didn't describe him as a vicar!). He wasn't really happy as a school chaplain and returned to parish work in my second year.

I had been a pupil at the school Father taught at, but was very aware that most people there had more money than us, and certainly more material goods - a car and a TV come to mind. When I reached CH there was no longer the feeling of being a poor relation and not keeping up with others. My life had turned upside down so much that particular summer, that I don't know what feelings come from school and what from family circumstances. I did not keep any friends from pre-CH days - but did meet up with a couple at University.
Katharine Dobson (Hills) 6.14, 1959 - 1965
Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia!

Pixie
GE (Great Erasmus)
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:11 am
Real Name: Carol Crowden (now Abujudeh)
Location: Cambridgeshire

Re: How Different Was Your Home Life From Your CH Life?

Post by Pixie » Fri Jan 01, 2010 5:37 pm

I came from Islington, North London. My parents were from a working class background but were aspiring to be middle class. We lived in a large, rented victorian terraced house which was comfortable. My father was on his way up through the ranks from apprentice to management by the time I went to CH. He bought his first car the year before and we spent summer sundays on the Kent coast. I didn't feel underpriveleged at all and never dreamed of leaving home to go to school. I didn't really see myself as belonging to any particular class and was just happy as I was.

It was my primary school headmistress who suggested CH because I was 'bright' and my parents thought it was a great idea. I did as I was told but deep down I wanted to go to the local grammar school. I found CH far less comfortable than home but looked forward to my 2 younger sisters joining me. That never happened. Sue failed the maths paper in the ILEA scholarship exams and Jill refused to attempt to enter CH. They both went to the local all girls grammar school and our school holidays didn't overlap much due to our 4 term year. It took quite a long time after our childhood to learn how to fit together as sisters again.
3.8 65-72

kerrensimmonds
Button Grecian
Posts: 9395
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 8:34 pm
Real Name: Kerren Simmonds
Location: West Sussex

Re: How Different Was Your Home Life From Your CH Life?

Post by kerrensimmonds » Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:44 pm

I can relate to your posting, although I think I was a generation before you. My father was a Civil Servant in local government and as a family (5 of us) we lived in cramped quarters (rented) above his offices, in Sussex. My mum already knew of CH because in WW2, before I was born, she had lived in Horsham and had driven the Headmaster's daughters to school in the town - to a small private school called St. George's, where she taught. She had me lined up for CH as soon as I arrived (1948) and she and I were fortunate to find someone prepared to Present me to the school. I went up to London for the entrance exams at the Counting House a month after my ninth birthday, and passed.
When I entered CH in 1957 we certainly had no TV at home and although we had once had a car (an ancient Morris), it had recently died (the back axle had fractured, when all three of us kids were sitting in the back eating ice cream cones. Imagine the scene). The next car arrived many years later. Until then, journeys to and from school were by train - Sussex to Victoria, the Underground, Liverpool Street to Hertford East. On one occasion my poor mum got it terribly wrong and although she got to Liverpool Street, she ended up on the Essex coast and too far from Hertford to get to me on time! At home we got our first black and white TV when I was 14. I had watched TV at school long before then.
On Long Saturdays, my family used to drive up (either in a hire car or in ours, once we had a new one), leaving home at the crack of dawn. They would pick me up and we would then go on to Luton where my mother's younger brother and his family lived (sometimes we would take a school friend with me). We used to spend half the day there, having lunch and tea and being polite, before I was driven back to Hertford and my family then embarked on the long journey home again.
Our summer holidays were spent in South Wales (we went by steam train) staying with my mother's parents and her other siblings and my various cousins, etc.
I would admit that my admission to CH may have caused a rift between me and my two younger siblings. My sister used to exercise her jealousy in vandalising my books and school needlework (left behind when I went back to school) although in due time she herself went to an even more exclusive private school. My brother went to a relatively local grammar school (and rose to the position of Head Boy), where my father had been a generation before him. But at the time both of my siblings considered themselves 'different' to me, and I could say that all these years later, that 'difference' might be seen to be continuing.
One of my school peers (a Vicar's daughter) used to spend her summer holidays in a defunct railway carriage located in an idyllic setting in the South Downs, not far from us, and my parents used to take me there to visit her. My closest friend from school (also a Vicar's daughter) lived also in Sussex and we used to spend long times together in the holidays, either at her house or at mine, but on one occasion, I went to the Isle of Wight with her and her family and spent some time lounging on the beach with them and her older sister (also at school, but who spent all the time sitting in the beach hut writing love letters!).
I never ever thought of myself as unhappy or underprivileged or on the other hand 'exclusive' or better than anyone else, and the people with whom I made friends at CH, on an equal footing, are still the most special people in my life - donkeys years later. In fact, looking back and compared with those of my friends who came from more constrained backgrounds, I would say that had we been discriminatory at the time, some of them could well have thought of me as 'privileged'.
But I am sure that they did not think so then, and I am certain that they do not do so now.
Kerren Simmonds
5's and 2's Hertford, 1957-1966

User avatar
icomefromalanddownunder
Button Grecian
Posts: 1228
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 6:13 am
Real Name: Caroline Payne (nee Barrett)
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Re: How Different Was Your Home Life From Your CH Life?

Post by icomefromalanddownunder » Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:00 am

Pixie wrote: They both went to the local all girls grammar school and our school holidays didn't overlap much due to our 4 term year. It took quite a long time after our childhood to learn how to fit together as sisters again.
Hi Pixie

My sister and I were seriously disfunctional for many years. She is four years younger than me, so moved from Infants to Primary as I started at CH, but was still compared to me (the golden child) by the teachers; which resulted in jealousy and rebellion. Elaine didn't sit the entrance exam (deemed not bright enough), and when my brothers were born and my parents were asked if they would be going to boarding school, the answer was a resounding 'No' from my parents.

The four term year made the summer break so difficult, even for those with siblings at Horsham. Oh dear, I'm starting to hyperventilate ..................................

xx

User avatar
englishangel
Forum Moderator
Posts: 6955
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 12:22 pm
Real Name: Mary Faulkner (Vincett)
Location: Amersham, Buckinghamshire

Re: How Different Was Your Home Life From Your CH Life?

Post by englishangel » Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:07 pm

My sister and I are 8 years apart so it is age rather than anything which made things difficult. We didn't really become friends until we were both married and mothers. One brother who is two years younger than I am refused to take the entrance exam because he was a county level football player and was (still is) totally uninterested in rugby. He went to the local grammar school and became Head Boy and is still referred to in reverential tones in our home town. Other brother and sister were not very academically inclined and were real homebodies.

My best friend from primary school would always call round in the holidays and even asked me along when she went out with her boyfriends. She is still a good friend.
"If a man speaks, and there isn't a woman to hear him, is he still wrong?"

Kim2s70-77
Grecian
Posts: 659
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:02 pm
Real Name: Kim Elizabeth Roe (nee Langdon)

Re: How Different Was Your Home Life From Your CH Life?

Post by Kim2s70-77 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:53 pm

I had three siblings older than me; the nearest being 7 years older - so I always felt like an only child, as well as the youngest. We had moved to London 2 years before I went CH and I had made many changes, including leaving friends, 'home', Catholic school etc behind. My mother started teaching at a boarding school in Kent, so we commuted every morning and I attended a primary school near the school at which she taught. This meant that I didn't live near any of the friends that I made, for my last 2 years of primary school. I was very lonely and read a lot to occupy myself. Starting CH was a relief, in that I had company - but it was always a return to loneliness going home. Both parents worked, as did my siblings, so every vacation from school meant that I was stuck in a flat on my own until 6pm when they came home. School Holidays were always interminable - and I truly longed for the start of term. It was always so strange when the locker birthdays started and the hype about end of term began. I was just as excited about it as everyone else - until I actually got picked up from school and dropped off into an empty house. The anti climax was always HUGE.
For those who may have read snippets of my negative experiences with one particular Housemistress and with an episode of being 'sent to Coventry' for a term - this puts those isolations in context. The climate at CH was not one where we reached out for help, because it wasn't often there. Add total 'aloneness' at home also - it was a sad time for a while. I definitely went from a happy-go-lucky, sunny kid to a moody and morose 15 year old.
You'll be glad to know that I got over it!!

michael scuffil
Button Grecian
Posts: 1363
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:53 pm
Real Name: michael scuffil
Location: germany

Re: How Different Was Your Home Life From Your CH Life?

Post by michael scuffil » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:29 pm

Kim2s70-77 wrote: I definitely went from a happy-go-lucky, sunny kid to a moody and morose 15 year old.
Like the rest of humanity...
Th.B. 27 1955-63

Angela Woodford
Button Grecian
Posts: 2880
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:55 am
Real Name: Angela Marsh
Location: Exiled Londoner, now in Staffordshire.

Re: How Different Was Your Home Life From Your CH Life?

Post by Angela Woodford » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:49 pm

No. Michael, you don't understand about Hertford.
"Baldrick, you wouldn't recognise a cunning plan if it painted itself purple, and danced naked on top of a harpsichord singing "Cunning plans are here again.""

User avatar
gma
Grecian
Posts: 679
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:03 pm
Real Name: Geraldine Sutch (Lord Help me!)
Location: Berkshire

Re: How Different Was Your Home Life From Your CH Life?

Post by gma » Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:33 pm

The most peculiar thing about Hertford was that until this thread, apat from the much trumpeted 'special scholarship' girls, I thought I was, or more precisely didn't know that I wasn't, the only one whose parents had little spare money! I had no awareness at all, everyone else seemed to turn up with new racquets, watches, hockey boots and sticks at every turn. I suspect we had some girls with parents with very good accountants as I know we had a film director's daughter in our year, a oil importer's daughter in our house along and a famous pop band's manager's aughter. Or were there merely daughters adept at 'embroidery'? :?
Gerrie M-A (GMA) - 2:34 71-75

"If you cannot have what you want, then learn to want what you have"
Anon or The Guru or someone worthy like that.
Wasn't DR.
Definitely not.

Kim2s70-77
Grecian
Posts: 659
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:02 pm
Real Name: Kim Elizabeth Roe (nee Langdon)

Re: How Different Was Your Home Life From Your CH Life?

Post by Kim2s70-77 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:47 pm

Wow! We had all that in 2's?? I was there the whole time you were - and I knew none of that! I know Debbie Rice's dad somehow knew 'famous' people - because we had a spate of visits from celebrities for whom we provided tea in the 6th form study. But, beyond that........ ???? I knew Kate's family was wealthy, but her mum wasn't actually married to Sir Kennedy, so they slipped under the radar - but what else was going on?

kerrensimmonds
Button Grecian
Posts: 9395
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 8:34 pm
Real Name: Kerren Simmonds
Location: West Sussex

Re: How Different Was Your Home Life From Your CH Life?

Post by kerrensimmonds » Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:49 pm

My parents certainly did not have any 'spare' money, and apart from rumours about one or two other girls in other houses (and older than me anyway) I was never aware of anyone who was 'better off' than I. In contrast, I did know of at least one girl who came from a very much poorer background than I. But sadly she will not be contributing to this Forum. She was always very bright, achieved an Exhibition to Oxford, took a First, became a Nun, and then took her own life. I always wondered to what extent Christ's Hospital was responsible for that, having allowed her Governor to uproot her from a deeply deprived East End of London background to join our frankly middle-ish class community in Hertford.
Kerren Simmonds
5's and 2's Hertford, 1957-1966

Kim2s70-77
Grecian
Posts: 659
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:02 pm
Real Name: Kim Elizabeth Roe (nee Langdon)

Re: How Different Was Your Home Life From Your CH Life?

Post by Kim2s70-77 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:56 pm

Kerren - how incredibly sad! There is definitely truth to the fact that we were given a vision of 'how it could be' without necessarily having the backing to follow up with that. When I went to Imperial college after CH, I dated, for a little while, a boy who had been educated at one of the more well-known Public boarding schools. While I easily felt his equal academically and intellectually - I was totally intimidated by his upper class family and background. I was completely out of my depth, although CH had given the chameleon-like skills to present an appropriate front. There was just no depth to the presentation!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest