CH in the Forties

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postwarblue
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CH in the Forties

Post by postwarblue » Sun Jul 08, 2007 1:41 pm

I know I'm late on this but I have just caught up with, and finished reading 'Growing Up in the War', Bryan Magee's fascinating tale of CH 1942-8.

I was only five years behind Magee but one or two things about my experience were completely different. Unfortunately I seem to have missed David Miller's review so these may already have had a mention; but here goes:

1. By the time I entered LF in 1947 the top three forms were started on Greek (with Fred Haslehust), not Latin, and did this for GCE. When and why did Flecker introduce this change? The bottom two sets (LFD & LFE) did mechanical drawing or something instead.

2. For Modern Languages LF A, B, C did French and again D & E did German. I imagine Pop Massen as head of department must have set this up.

3.We started science with Physics and did not start Chemistry until two years later, in UF. Presmuably this was a dispensation of Van Praagh's. I only had one term of Biology (with Tommy Archbold) so know little about this except for 'abdominal breathing' for which I remember drawing a picture of an armchair in my exercise book.

Both Massen and van Praagh had been away in uniform for the War - were either there before 1939?

Re illicit liaisons, I was told at an Old Blues Day not so long ago that a senior boy in my own house had been sacked after being caught with one of the house maids ca.1951 but I never heard of this at the time! Half asleep as usual .. A friend of mine in Barbnes B had something going with one of the Dining Hall staff but how far it went I know not.

Magee's note about Buckie is slightly at variance with what I heard on going back to CH a year or so after I had left - I was told that a senior boy had gone to Flecker and that AHB was out immediately.

RJH Griffiths, Py B & Col B 1946-54
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Re: CH in the Forties

Post by Doctor Smellcroft » Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:12 pm

postwarblue wrote:Both Massen and van Praagh had been away in uniform for the War - were either there before 1939?
Yes – Massen was appointed in 1928 and Van Praagh in 1933.

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Post by postwarblue » Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:05 pm

Thanks. Some other variances from Magee:

1. Boom MacNutt took me through Herodotus in UF 1949-50. I have not the least recollection of him being a violent man in any way! More that he would set us work in class and then sit silently at his desk, I suppose composing his Ximenes crossword. Indeed he took so little interest that I got clean away with having all the Greek prepositions listed in biro on the cover of my grammar as I couldn't remember them all to order. MacNutt was then not a housemaster. He always wore a tweed plus-four suit, which looked most odd with his round figure perched above two spindly legs.

2. Then Flecker took me through Plato in GE 1950-1. Again I have no recollection of him being other than calm, detached and Olympian. Maybe Magee had some secret power to upset these two. I have a vague memory of some Euripedes with somebody else - C O Healey? so maybe I didn't have a whole year with Flecker who I think was talent spotting for future Classical Grecians. I was too slapdash for him so was allowed to escape!

- other classics trivia - Fred Haslehust (started me on Greek in LF 1947-8)along the corridor from MacNutt wore plus-twos, a rather less pronounced type of golfing trouser.

Chinky Buck (next along) (LE 1948-9) used occasionally to climb out of his classroom window and pinch a rose for a buttonhole out of the Headmaster's garden. He had a deep hatred of Flecker (Buckie was also alleged to come tight out of the Common Room at night and urinate on the brass plate next to Flecker's front door) and even more so of the recently departed Dr Lang - for the latter I could never get to any explanation.
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Post by michael scuffil » Mon Nov 05, 2007 1:07 pm

Chinky Buck was removed by Seaman, not Flecker, but the circumstances were otherwise as described above. Buck had been fined for being drunk and disorderly in London about 3 weeks earlier, an incident reported in the national press. It was put around for public consumption that this had something to do with his dismissal, which happened near the start of the summer term. For a few weeks, as a result, I was taught by a Grecian, Jasper Griffin (PeA), who has recently retired as Public Orator of Oxford University.

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Post by sejintenej » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:15 pm

michael scuffil wrote: For a few weeks, as a result, I was taught by a Grecian, Jasper Griffin (PeA), who has recently retired as Public Orator of Oxford University.
which takes us back to the 1800's system of using monitors to teach.
They would be taught one week and the next week they each had a class to teach what they had just learned.
I know CH tried the system and perhaps that is where the term "Monitor" comes from.

Yes - I remember grecians being sent to invigilate classes occasionally when the master was not available - a rare occurrance
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Post by Euterpe13 » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:25 pm

Not only at Horsham, David - I can remember several occasions in my UVI having to take a IIIrd form french lesson, when the teachers were unavailable ( probably during strep-throat or flu periods).
We also took junior prep as a matter of course.
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Post by Katharine » Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:07 pm

I also remember sitting with classes when I was a School Prefect. I think it was on an ad hoc basis rather than a regular thing.

I also had to help invigilate an exam one day, when it was also my turn to ring the school bell. I rang the bell and went straight to the School Block only to be berated by the member of staff for being late - I was not amused! I can't remember who it was.
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Post by cj » Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:24 pm

michael scuffil wrote:I was taught by a Grecian, Jasper Griffin (PeA), who has recently retired as Public Orator of Oxford University.
I have a Classics book of his upstairs. Never realised he was an OB.
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AH BUCK

Post by Foureyes » Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:21 pm

Concerning Buck, it so happens that I am reading "More Than A Brother," the letters exchanged between EC Blunden and AH Buck over many years. Endnote 134 states that Buck offered his resignation, which was accepted with alacrity, on 7 May 1956. According to that source he had been drinking heavily (by no means for the first time, apparently) and on his return was "over familiar with a boy in his house. No sexual impropriety occurred..." He left immediately, but was "rehabilitated" at a dinner at C.H. in 1989 in honour of his 80th birthday.

I left in December 1955 which was the end of Seaman's first term, so it is quite right that it was him that dealt with Buck, not Flecker.
:shock:

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Post by michael scuffil » Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:40 am

Grecians taking classes happened not infrequently. I took a class for Jack Massen when he was ill for about three weeks. And when John Bullard died suddenly in 1961, his classes were taken over by Grecians for the rest of the school year. They were paid quite well for it.

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Post by sejintenej » Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:58 am

michael scuffil wrote:Grecians taking classes happened not infrequently. I took a class for Jack Massen when he was ill for about three weeks. And when John Bullard died suddenly in 1961, his classes were taken over by Grecians for the rest of the school year. They were paid quite well for it.
That actually makes a fair amount of sense. If you have struggled to come to grips with a subject then having to teach it not only improves your own understanding but you can also appreciate the pupils' problems and perhaps use other methods of getting the subject across.
OTOH if you have been teaching the same thing for the past 20 years it gets a bit stale......

I didn't know that grecians were paid for doing that. In GCE exams the invigilators had a deputy grecian not taking exams as a "gofer". I remember having to cycle over to the infirmary to take exam papers to a grecian who was ill and in bed there. I nearly got into trouble because I cycled in full uniform with my coat rolled into my girdle - something allowed only to full grecians in my day. The explanation got me off a nasty rolloicking
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Re: CH in the Forties

Post by NEILL THE NOTORIOUS » Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:40 am

I regret to confess that I have not read Brian Magee's book, How to obtain ? since he was obviously a contemporary of mine, although younger, My somewhat dubious claim to fame is being at CH with Sir Colin Davies and the chap who was on TWTWTW ---- Sic transit gloria (Gloria's been sick in the Transit !)
Another claim to reflected fame --- I captained a Team that Sir Bobby Charlton couldn't get in to ! He was doing his National Service at Nessclif, Salop, in 1958-9 and I captained the RUGBY Team !
Apropos riding bicycles --- how the blazes do you ride WITHOUT your coat tucked up in your girdle ? we all did it that way.

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Re: CH in the Forties

Post by michael scuffil » Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:51 pm

NEILL THE NOTORIOUS wrote:I regret to confess that I have not read Brian Magee's book, How to obtain ? since he was obviously a contemporary of mine, although younger,
I suggest Amazon, it's a fairly recent publication. [Bryan Magee, Growing up in a War, Pimlico, 2007]

He was in Barnes A.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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Re: CH in the Forties

Post by NEILL THE NOTORIOUS » Tue Sep 23, 2008 11:58 am

Thanks Michael Scuffil,
I shall try to get the book, and find out what I was doing !
I was Barnes B 1940 t0 1946.

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