Arthur Rider

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

Moderator: Moderators

JohnAL
2nd Former
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:49 pm
Real Name: John Fairfield

Arthur Rider

Post by JohnAL » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:41 am

Having followed the thread "Rev W Cochrane. (Corks!)" and its recent diversion, which deals with Arthur Rider, it seems that such an important and influential master deserves a thread just for himself. So now you have it. If you are interested do read the last few posts for Corks to supplement whatever appears in this thread.

Arthur was an excellent teacher of French (and unlike some others I don’t think he ever taught German). I married a French girl and lived in France for a while, so I had to use my “Arthur” French (only taken to O level). I coped well and am grateful to him. One of his methods (unique at CH for lower forms) was to make the whole class start each lesson by reciting in unison the full range of French phonetic sounds and he paid attention to every pupil. Also he encouraged the use of spoken French in class, not taking the easier teaching path of working almost entirely with vocabulary, grammar, etc.

He was a strict disciplinarian and I recollect once my UF class suffered a ’bring up’. (Is that term still used to describe an enforced detention for the entire class, conducted by its teacher?) I never knew him as a senior housemaster (Mid A), being at the other end of The Avenue, but it seemed that the general attitude and behaviour of each house reflected the personality and characteristics of its senior housemaster. For example consider;
Pe A (CO Healey, very strict discipline and inflexible attitudes),
Col A (Kit Aitken sporty, fair and not a powerful intellect),
Ba A (Pongo Littlefield, very sporty, straightlaced also inflexible, very courteous and a micromanager),
Pe B (Fallick Matthews, sloppy in appearance, chain smoker and apparently not interested in very much),
Thorn A (Fred Haslehust, an alcoholic, a hands-off manager, so he let the house run itself),
Ba B (MT Cherniavsky eschewed any corporal punishment, humane and a great intellectual, yet with a very modest attitude),
Ma A (JC Tod, fond of small boys, not an impressive thinker and uninspiring).
Others have the opportunity to express their prejudices on these matters!
Arthur ran a tight ship in Mid A, but seemed fair, in control, his house had many sporting successes, overall good behaviour and a positive attitude, in contrast to some other houses. Bill Armistead (the Second Master) chose Mid A for his two sons who were boarders. Presumably he could choose any house he wished. Mid A may have been chosen because Armistead was a personal friend of Arthur (but to my knowledge this was not so). More probably Armistead realised that Mid A reflected Arthur’s personality and so was a “good” house for them and indeed for anyone else. I hope that Mid A readers agree.

Arthur was a very senior officer in World War Two, ending up as a Lt-Col and i/c of all allied transport in France. He was O/C the CCF in the 50s and seemed capable there too. As an administrator at CH his talents were often applied beyond the CCF. There was a song parodying this (the Arthur Rider song, sung to the tune of “We plough the fields and scatter”). Does anyone know its words?

Kit Bartlett
Deputy Grecian
Posts: 319
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:58 am
Real Name: Christopher Bartlett

Re: Arthur Rider

Post by Kit Bartlett » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:35 am

Arthur Rider on his return to CH in 1946 after war service became Junior House Master in Coleridge A for the summer term. I am sure that it was the intention that he would succeed Blamire-Brown as Senior House Master on his retirement in July. The latter had been charge of school administration. for such events as the St. Matthew's Day visit to London, a duty which was assumed by A.R..
To general surprise however Kit Aitken was appointed to the post and Arthur went to Middleton A.
This may have been discussed in earlier threads but was it the choice of solely the Head Master as to the appointment of House Masters ?
Only six of the sixteen Houses had a married Senior House Master, the remaining thirteen all being bachelors

Kit Bartlett
Deputy Grecian
Posts: 319
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:58 am
Real Name: Christopher Bartlett

Re: Arthur Rider

Post by Kit Bartlett » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:39 am

My arithmetic was at fault of course sixteen minus six equals ten.
One Senior House Master not mentioned in the list was Lionel Mohun Carey once of Barnes B who on his marriage went to Maine B.

Chris T
3rd Former
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:42 pm
Real Name: Chris Tanner

Re: Arthur Rider

Post by Chris T » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:14 pm

I believe Arthur Rider had an excellent French accent (from where?). This was in great contrast to Windy McCracken, an Australian graduate of Melbourne University, who was junior housemaster in Barnes B and taught French and Divinity, to lower forms. His accent was so appalling that even his Lower Fourth pupils recognised this and exaggerated their pronunciation of French to mimic the Australian accent they heard. Windy was soon teaching Divinity only.

Oliver
3rd Former
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:59 am
Real Name: Oliver Underwood

Re: Arthur Rider

Post by Oliver » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:35 pm

The only recollection I have of Rider was his objection to my using a ball point pen for a piece of work that I handed in to him. “Don’t ever use a boot polish pen again,” he said.
Oliver

eucsgmrc
GE (Great Erasmus)
Posts: 147
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:38 pm
Real Name: John Wexler
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Arthur Rider

Post by eucsgmrc » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:50 pm

JohnAL wrote:... One of his methods (unique at CH for lower forms) was to make the whole class start each lesson by reciting in unison the full range of French phonetic sounds and he paid attention to every pupil.
One of my French teachers - and I think it was AR - told us that we were horrid ill-mannered boys for mocking the way that French people spoke English. When we imitated them, he said, we were using more accurate French vowels than when we were trying to speak French. We should pronounce our French in the most comically exaggerated way, and then it might get close to the real thing.

Most of us, I'm sorry to say, found ourselves too inhibited to put this into practice.
John Wexler
Col A 1954-62

DavidRawlins
Button Grecian
Posts: 1032
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:50 pm
Real Name: David Charles Rawlins
Location: Somerset

Re: Arthur Rider

Post by DavidRawlins » Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:53 pm

I posted the Arthur Rider song in its entirety some time ago on this forum, but where I cannot say. You may find it if you hunt. I can no longer remember all the words. If I find a hard copy I may repost it.
Col A 1946-1953

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

Re: Arthur Rider

Post by michael scuffil » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:20 pm

Under Arthur Rider, MidA became known as 'School House'. Someone I knew well who moved from the liberal Maine A under first Tod and then Barker to MidA found he suffered from culture shock: 'Now I know what fascism is,' he said. He meant the very close control of almost every aspect of life (though LaB was far, far worse, first under Archbold and continued without much change under Rae).

Of JohnAL's 'housemaster review', I think he was too kind to Littlefield, who was a sadist in the strict sense, and in that sense a child sex abuser (he wasn't a 'kiddy fiddler', of course, and his form of sexual abuse wasn't recognized at the time).

Whatever Tod's predilections may have been, he ran MaA as a civilized house, and the tradition was continued by Martin Barker.

I still think John Page was the best housemaster of this era.

To return to Arthur, I knew him well when I was a Mod. Lang. grecian, and had also been taught by him earlier. He had the advantage of knowing his subject, in spite of a Cambridge Third (I think). He and Jack Massen undoubtedly were responsible for getting me into Cambridge with an exhibition.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

William
2nd Former
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:59 pm
Real Name: William Devons

Re: Arthur Rider

Post by William » Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:21 am

Thanks David, I found it. Here it is.

The Arthur Rider Song

Post by David Rawlins » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:22 am

The Arthur Song or Riders at CH
By: Pitter, Kidner and others. Written C. 1952-53
(To be sung to the tune of "We plough the fields and scatter").


I'm Middleton A's Housemaster,
And President of the Band.
I have a finger in every pie,
Of everything at hand;
I organise shoe cleaning,
Next term i/c of Corps,
And as I've lots of time to spare
I'm looking round for more,

Chorus:-
All good posts at Housie
Are held by Arthur R.
And now he's looking round for one
Where he can use his car.

Miss Stevenson you've served me
Most faithfully and true
But Lady Superintendent
Is not the job for you
I'll supervise the kitchens
Put figs in every sweet
And give you prunes on Speech Day
An extra special treat

Chorus:-

Chaps I'm quite good at woodwork
That Deakin man must go
Great Scott! The doctor’s ailing,
I'll be the next M.O.
Next term when I'm Headmaster
Then everything I'll change.
I'll chuck out old Pop Beaven
And organise the range.

Chorus:-

I hear that Corks is leaving
Someone must take the choir.
I've heard the art of music
Is easy to aquire.
My organ playing's lousy
Chaps! there's no need to groan
I've got ten quid left over
We'll buy a gramophone.

Chorus:-

I'll take command of swimming,
And run the steeplechase,
The Gym Eight and that Fifteen
And cricket at this place.
The bowlers arm is sacred,
And if you late arrive
I'll run you round the asphalt,
On Sundays (Two till Five).

Chorus:-

I know the Chaplain's leaving
Chaps I'm a Holy man
And now I'm taking lessons
From Charles Augustus Hann.
My sermons every Sunday
Will last for hours and hours;
(Two sermons every Sunday
Will not exhaust my powers).

Chorus:-

And now that I'm Headmaster
And Healey's days are past
I'll make the track my garage
And travel round it fast.
I'll take the bends at sixty!
The straight in perfect style
And knock a minute off the time
Of Housey's record mile.

Final Chorus:-
And now that I'm World Champion
"Sir Arthur" I shall be
And rise to greater glories
Than Flecker C.B.E.
Last edited by William on Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
LongGone
Deputy Grecian
Posts: 283
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 4:17 pm
Real Name: Mike Adams
Location: New England

Re: Arthur Rider

Post by LongGone » Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:02 pm

My memory (getting increasingly unreliable) was that he taught the A and B streams in alternating years. Since I kept being at the top of the B or bottom of the A, I had him every year. As others have mentioned he stressed spoken and even colloquial French, encouraged reading French papers and magazines and told me where to pick up french broadcasts. The result was I had a far better practical grasp of French than an O level would suggest. This was made clear when, a dozen years later, I had to show proficiency in a foreign language for graduate school. I immediately did the French, with the idea it would tell me how much work would be needed to pass, only to find out I had ranked in the 93rd percentile! In honesty, this is probably as much to do with the poor language teaching the the US as my skill.
By contrast my one year of German has never been of use: I do remember having to translate 'Ich bin noch nie so mude' having failed to do the prep, and coming up with 'I'm as knock-kneed as mother'.
If a stone falls on an egg: alas for the egg
If an egg falls on a stone: alas for the egg

User avatar
postwarblue
Deputy Grecian
Posts: 329
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 12:12 pm
Real Name: Robert Griffiths
Location: Havant

Re: Arthur Rider

Post by postwarblue » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:00 pm

Deciphering as best I can the initials in my reports, for French I had, starting Michaelmas 1947:

LF Bl..dy Johnnie
LE Pop Massen
UF Reggie Dean
GE Arthur Rider

That took us through four successive volumes of the adventures of M LePine and his family.

Deps Reggie Dean again
Grecians Arthur Rider, MF Peto, Bl..dy Johnnie in successive years. Moliere and St Exupery I vaguely remember.

German was for sets D & E.

The only ones were I can remember being in their classroom were Arthur and Pop Massen. In GE there were 4 Col Bs in the set and I do recall feeling frightfully smug when for one Prep Arthur noted that the other three all had the same mistakes in their work.

Arthur walked with a sort of crouch and there was some story that he had been shot in the back in the war, but as with so many other folk tales about the staff I have no idea if it was true. Mid A came across as a bit of a Stalag, Mid B under Gad Malins (a master I actually liked), much more relaxed. Arthur used to take Dinner Parade when Sgt Fielder had an off day.

As for using French in action later, I had to resort to it to talk to a Russian at a ballet in Leningrad one evening, and barely at all in France except when one was up against some Fr who had been told by de Gaulle that their mouth would seize up if they spoke a word of English. One of these was a French naval Captain, who, thawed by a good dejeuner, after sticking to French all morning told us in English that he lived in one of only two pre-war houses in Brest.
'Oh blest retirement, friend to life's decline'

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

Re: Arthur Rider

Post by michael scuffil » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:32 pm

there was some story that he had been shot in the back in the war

Back? One of his nicknames, resulting from the same story, was 'brass-arse'.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

Fitzsadou
3rd Former
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:06 pm
Real Name: Tom Barnes

Re: Arthur Rider

Post by Fitzsadou » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:26 am

I don’t recollect the name ‘Brass arse’ for Rider in my days (end of the 50’s). Perhaps this only was used in the early post war days, because of the rumour. In my time he was called ‘Arthur’ or ’Chaps’. Yet he still had the same posture and walk as that already described
Last edited by Fitzsadou on Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
jhopgood
Button Grecian
Posts: 1712
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2004 6:26 pm
Real Name: John Hopgood
Location: Valencia

Re: Arthur Rider

Post by jhopgood » Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:29 pm

Oliver wrote:The only recollection I have of Rider was his objection to my using a ball point pen for a piece of work that I handed in to him. “Don’t ever use a boot polish pen again,” he said.
Oliver
Rider took me for French and I seem to remember that when my fountain pen dried up and I asked for some more ink, he asked whether I wanted "Smink or Smoreink?"
Not having the slightest idea what he was on about nor the linguistic ability to ask in French, I resorted to a pencil until I could fill up back in the house.
Anyone else remember this?

RH alert.
Which reminds me that in Barnes B we had people who used red or green ink, in addition to black, permanent or washable blue. Someone even got brown ink, which could only be bought in minimum quantities of a pint, so I used some for a while.

I still prefer to write with a fountain pen and what happened to the Golden Pen Prize?

Back on track, AR was supposed to have donated all of the maces, hence all the drum majors being from Mid A.
Barnes B 25 (59 - 66)

DavidRawlins
Button Grecian
Posts: 1032
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:50 pm
Real Name: David Charles Rawlins
Location: Somerset

Re: Arthur Rider

Post by DavidRawlins » Sat Feb 14, 2015 7:14 am

In 1953 and prior years, drum majors used to come from any house. There was only one drum major on parade at any one time.
Col A 1946-1953

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest