House structure

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

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House structure

Post by richardb » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:10 am

This has probably been covered before but here we go.

Talking to JR on Friday, he is a throwback to the old prep days whereas I was a pupil of the 70s.

When I started boys usually joined at 11 and went through to 18. The first three years were spent at the junior end (11-14) and the rest of the time at the senior end.

Houseblocks were split into A and B. The junior end had three houseblocks - Barnes A and B, Maine A and B, and Leigh Hunt A and B.

The senior end houseblocks were Lamb, Coleridge, Middleton, Thornton and Peele.

Can someone tell me the current set up? Which houseblocks are for girls and which for boys? What are the age ranges?

It would help me to understand.

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Re: House structure

Post by Foureyes » Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:19 am

rb,
You are really delving into history! To fill in a few (possible) gaps.
I joined in Summer Term 1948. At that time the block at the Horsham end of the Avenue (later Leigh Hunt) was the Prep School, divided into Prep A and Prep B. The Prep was self-contained for all activities (lessons, classrooms, staff, sport, term dates, and so on) except for meals. (One particular memory is that instead of cricket, we played stool-ball!!) Some boys could spend up to two years in the Prep, although for reasons I never understood, I only spent one term there.

We then graduated to the upper school, where we mixed with other boys who came in on a direct entry at about age 11-12. In the case of my own house, I recall that five boys arrived in the house in Michaelmas Term 1949, two from the Prep and three by direct entry. Within days the differences were forgotten. We then spent the entire remainder of our Housie career in the same house, except on a few very rare occasions when a senior boy was moved to another house to be house captain, because the latter house did not have anyone up to the required standard. This organisation, which to the best of my knowledge had been continuous since 1902, was still in effect when I left in December 1955.

I have never heard of the organisation outlined in your post of 'junior end' and 'senior end' which must have been in force at the time I had little or nothing to do with C.H.

The next meaningful reorganisation that I know of was the institution of the two Grecian houses, but when this happened, I do not know. I believe that the rationale was that it gave Grecians the opportunity to live in a more adult environment and to make the transition to life after C.H. less traumatic. However, I remember having a long and serious conversation with a master, who considered it a most ill-advised step. His belief was that it had removed the most senior echelon from the houses, who were slightly more mature and a bit wiser, leaving the houses to be run by younger, less experienced boys, giving rise to more bullying and bad behaviour. How true this was, I have no idea, but his arguments were very persuasive.

On reflection, the school seems to have undergone major reorganisations about once every decade, but to the best of my knowledge there is no documentation which tracks this. However, I can see that it is relevant to any investigation such as yours, since different organisations could give rise to different environments, atmospheres and behavioural norms.
:shock:
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Re: House structure

Post by Avon » Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:28 am

I always thought it was illogical and purely a numerical exercise to split the UF between junior and senior houses. I’m not sure too much thought went into that.

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Re: House structure

Post by richardb » Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:32 am

In my day the UF was senior house only.

We started on the second form because that was where we would have been in the prep days.

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Re: House structure

Post by marty » Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:12 am

There were different structures for boys & girls houses during my time. The school was about 30% girls and 70% boys. Girls would stay in one house right through 7 years and rarely if ever moved.

Boys would start in a junior B house and then move over to the senior A side of the same house on the UF with the exception of about 4 boys who would “stay down” in the junior house for 1 year as monitors. This was called the Block System. However in 1992 the block system was tweaked and at the end of the LE we were asked to fill in a form giving our preferences for which senior house we would like to go to and 2 boys we’d like to move with. I was lucky in that I got my choices but I remember some seriously unhappy 14 year olds who got moved to houses they didn’t ask for. Why they instigated this change I still don’t know.

Girls houses were

Leigh-Hunt A & B (changed from a boys house in 88 I think - Julian will know)
Barnes A & B
Coleridge A & B
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Re: House structure

Post by Janey Jam-Jar » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:05 am

At the merger (1985) the girls houses, as outlined by marty above, continued as they had done at Hertford, with 2nd form through to Grecians in one house. Junior dorm (2nd form - LE) downstairs, seniors (UF - Grecians) upstairs in cubies. LE might have been junior dorm monitors but otherwise Grecians held positions of responsibility in house. The split with Grecians-only houses happened well after I'd left (1990).

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Re: House structure

Post by Janey Jam-Jar » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:11 am

marty wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:12 am
Girls houses were

Leigh-Hunt A & B (changed from a boys house in 88 I think - Julian will know)
Barnes A & B
Coleridge A & B
Only one side of L-H changed first I seem to remember. My mate departed Col A to furrow the new ground there. 1988 sounds about right. The other side was still a boys house in 1990 I think.
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Re: House structure

Post by Wuppertal » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:56 am

marty wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:12 am
Boys would start in a junior B house and then move over to the senior A side of the same house on the UF with the exception of about 4 boys who would “stay down” in the junior house for 1 year as monitors. This was called the Block System. However in 1992 the block system was tweaked and at the end of the LE we were asked to fill in a form giving our preferences for which senior house we would like to go to and 2 boys we’d like to move with. I was lucky in that I got my choices but I remember some seriously unhappy 14 year olds who got moved to houses they didn’t ask for. Why they instigated this change I still don’t know.
This is also how it was when I arrived in 1998.

I remember the end-of-LE house/friend preferences process well.

I was assigned a house away from my closest friends and along with two others from my house whom I didn’t know well, one of whom bullied me quite badly. I was distraught. I was quiet and shy, and only had a handful of good friends, who would all be staying together in another house.

Incidentally, the house I was assigned to was run by Dobbie. Due to the reasons in the above paragraph, I protested formally and vociferously. Somehow I got my mum, my small group of friends, and my current housemaster involved. It went to the SMT. Looking back on it, it was hugely out of character - I am usually guilty of being too accepting of poor treatment and just getting on with it so as not to cause a fuss. I have never before or since orchestrated anything like this. I must have felt strongly about it.

In the end my protest was successful. I stayed in the house with my best friends, who I’m still in touch with. 3 weddings and counting now. I’m also still in touch with my housemaster (no longer at CH), and see him once every year or two. One of the finest human beings I’ve ever known and a gigantic reason behind me ultimately being very happy at CH after a tough first couple of years.

I believe Thornton has fairly recently become a girls’ house? So now it’s 4 male and 4 female.

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Re: House structure

Post by Leeautemps » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:57 am

LHB turned into girls house in Sept 1989. LHA was later.

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Re: House structure

Post by Bishbashbosh » Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:46 am

It was the block system when I went. Nearly went to LHB as that was were I sat the entrance exam, but I went to ThornB instead. LHB changed to girls while I was still at the school. I had left by the time LHA became girls too.

I don't remember the name of the ThB housemaster, but he had a beard and played a guitar, he was a keen runner and his knees bent the wrong way when he was standing straight. With hindsight I suspect he just had large calves which to an 11/12 year old looked like his legs bent the wrong way. I liked him.

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Re: House structure

Post by marty » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:00 am

Bishbashbosh wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:46 am
It was the block system when I went. Nearly went to LHB as that was were I sat the entrance exam, but I went to ThornB instead. LHB changed to girls while I was still at the school. I had left by the time LHA became girls too.

I don't remember the name of the ThB housemaster, but he had a beard and played a guitar, he was a keen runner and his knees bent the wrong way when he was standing straight. With hindsight I suspect he just had large calves which to an 11/12 year old looked like his legs bent the wrong way. I liked him.
"Hemel" Hempstead?
Paradise is for the blessed. Not for the sex-obsessed.

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Re: House structure

Post by Bishbashbosh » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:06 am

marty wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:00 am
Bishbashbosh wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:46 am
It was the block system when I went. Nearly went to LHB as that was were I sat the entrance exam, but I went to ThornB instead. LHB changed to girls while I was still at the school. I had left by the time LHA became girls too.

I don't remember the name of the ThB housemaster, but he had a beard and played a guitar, he was a keen runner and his knees bent the wrong way when he was standing straight. With hindsight I suspect he just had large calves which to an 11/12 year old looked like his legs bent the wrong way. I liked him.
"Hemel" Hempstead?
I think it may have been. That definitely rings bells.

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Re: House structure

Post by Avon » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:38 am

Bishbashbosh wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:06 am
marty wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:00 am
Bishbashbosh wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:46 am
It was the block system when I went. Nearly went to LHB as that was were I sat the entrance exam, but I went to ThornB instead. LHB changed to girls while I was still at the school. I had left by the time LHA became girls too.

I don't remember the name of the ThB housemaster, but he had a beard and played a guitar, he was a keen runner and his knees bent the wrong way when he was standing straight. With hindsight I suspect he just had large calves which to an 11/12 year old looked like his legs bent the wrong way. I liked him.
"Hemel" Hempstead?
I think it may have been. That definitely rings bells.
Yes, he was Housemaster of Th B

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Re: House structure

Post by Mid A 15 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:57 pm

richardb wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:10 am
This has probably been covered before but here we go.

Talking to JR on Friday, he is a throwback to the old prep days whereas I was a pupil of the 70s.

When I started boys usually joined at 11 and went through to 18. The first three years were spent at the junior end (11-14) and the rest of the time at the senior end.

Houseblocks were split into A and B. The junior end had three houseblocks - Barnes A and B, Maine A and B, and Leigh Hunt A and B.

The senior end houseblocks were Lamb, Coleridge, Middleton, Thornton and Peele.

Can someone tell me the current set up? Which houseblocks are for girls and which for boys? What are the age ranges?

It would help me to understand.
As you are younger than me it would seem from other threads this is probably stuff you already know.

However I set it out in the context of the 'from the forties' quotation referred to elsewhere as it may be relevant and useful 'in the round.'

When I arrived on 20 September 1965 the transition towards Senior and Junior houses was part way through its development.

I entered Maine A and all forms: 2nd, 3rd, LE/LF, UF/GE, Deps and Grecians were represented. The number ratio was more heavily skewed towards what became accepted as the junior forms though given that Maine A was destined to become a Junior House.

Leigh Hunt A and B were still known as Prep A and Prep B in September 1965 and assumed their present names in September 1966. Others on here will be better informed than I as to the exact age range of Prep boys during the 1965/66 academic year. I can tell you that in Maine A my nursemaid and others were ex Prep but new into Maine A and third formers whereas the Maine A squits, bar one, were all second formers. The one third form squit was the older brother of a second form squit.

In September 1966 Maine A became a Junior House completely and comprised of second formers, third formers and LE/LF. The other Junior Houses: Barnes A and B and Leigh Hunt A and B along with Maine B of course had a similar composition from that time on.
Ma A, Mid A 65 -72

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Re: House structure

Post by richardb » Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:11 pm

Very helpful as you were there for the change over from Prep.
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