First Day.....Last Day

Share your memories and stories from your days at school, and find out the truth behind the rumours....Remember the teachers and pupils, tell us who you remember and why...

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NEILL THE NOTORIOUS
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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by NEILL THE NOTORIOUS » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:06 pm

Demonstations in Chapel ????

I think that under Oily Flecker, that would have resulted in MASS FLOGGINGS !!!! :lol:

We were so used to blind Obedience, interspersed by mutterings (Sotto Voce !) it would never have occurred !

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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by J.R. » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:33 am

sejintenej wrote:
J.R. wrote:It didn't change much between the 40's and 60's then. Neill.

I believe that the major changes and relaxation came after C.M.E. Seaman left as HM, and have nothing to do with the onset of political correctness and pandering to the social workers that we seem to live (and die) by today
I agree that the major changes came after you and I left but Seaman did institute some changes like assembly in Big School on Wednesdays instead of Chapel (Further to walk and a waste of time IMHO). I think it was he who got rid of the old dining hall superintendant which meant a major improvement in nutrition. There must have been a few more changes but nothing too important I don't think.

Do you remember the demonstration in Chapel against Seaman's reforms? I was amazed that it was carried out so universally - not that it did anything to deter Seaman.

Remind me, David. I must admit it does ring a very distant bell somewhere in the very back of my mind. Being the 'radical' I, and Trevor Mayes were, we must have got involved somewhere along the line.

Year and reason, if you remember.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by jhopgood » Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:37 pm

J.R. wrote:
sejintenej wrote:
J.R. wrote:It didn't change much between the 40's and 60's then. Neill.

I believe that the major changes and relaxation came after C.M.E. Seaman left as HM, and have nothing to do with the onset of political correctness and pandering to the social workers that we seem to live (and die) by today
I agree that the major changes came after you and I left but Seaman did institute some changes like assembly in Big School on Wednesdays instead of Chapel (Further to walk and a waste of time IMHO). I think it was he who got rid of the old dining hall superintendant which meant a major improvement in nutrition. There must have been a few more changes but nothing too important I don't think.

Do you remember the demonstration in Chapel against Seaman's reforms? I was amazed that it was carried out so universally - not that it did anything to deter Seaman.

Remind me, David. I must admit it does ring a very distant bell somewhere in the very back of my mind. Being the 'radical' I, and Trevor Mayes were, we must have got involved somewhere along the line.

Year and reason, if you remember.
As a JR contemporary, I can't remember a protest.
Must have been before my time as CMES was already in situ when I arrived.
Last edited by jhopgood on Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by sejintenej » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:49 pm

J.R. wrote:
sejintenej wrote: Do you remember the demonstration in Chapel against Seaman's reforms? I was amazed that it was carried out so universally - not that it did anything to deter Seaman.

Remind me, David. I must admit it does ring a very distant bell somewhere in the very back of my mind. Being the 'radical' I, and Trevor Mayes were, we must have got involved somewhere along the line.

Year and reason, if you remember.
Year; shortly after Seaman arrived
Reason: disagreement with the proposed changes in school routine
Method: in Chapel (can't remember if it was Sunday or weekday) the entire school apart from a designated part of the choir remained silent for a complete verse of a specified hymn (could have been verse 2 of the second hymn for example). Apart from the very few authorised, no boy made a sound!
Effectiveness: absolutely none
Retribution; none that I am aware of

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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by kerrensimmonds » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:08 pm

Gosh, how influential (I don't think)l!
But what a testament to communication if everyone knew they had to stay silent in that verse. Sorry it didn't have much effect, but good on you all for trying.
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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by michael scuffil » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:18 pm

I started the same term as Seaman but don't remember any of this demonstration. Seaman's reforms were mostly welcome. These are some of them (the first eight years)

no marching to chapel
weekly assembly in Big School (Clarence's Crusade)
realizing there was a sex problem and doing various things about it (removing one or two dodgy staff, getting in a professional sex educator (Doctor Matthews) to give lectures on a regular basis)
streamlining the end of term
introduction od senior and junior chapel
greatly expanding deps/Grecians to take account of modern realities (by far the most important) and allowing the now numerous 2nd-year grecians most of the privileges of button grecians
pushing through senior and junior houses


The new Lady Superintendent (Mrs Johnson) arrived some time before Seaman and oversaw the modermization of the kitchens (by all accounts a huge improvement). Seaman had nothing to do with it.

The only "demonstration" I remember in Seaman's time was at the prize-giving in the summer term of 1962. He announced the resignation of AL Johnstone as housemaster of Lamb A, whereupon there was audible cheering. In front of the guest prizegiver (a policeman, I think), he said: "I think the behaviour of the school at this moment is quite appalling", and at the monitors' meeting at the start of the next term, he described the incident as "shaming". This was probably why the presenter at the next prizegiving was not a guest, but the retiring Derrick MacNutt.
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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by sejintenej » Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:14 pm

michael scuffil wrote:I started the same term as Seaman but don't remember any of this demonstration. Seaman's reforms were mostly welcome. These are some of them (the first eight years)

no marching to chapel
weekly assembly in Big School (Clarence's Crusade)
realizing there was a sex problem and doing various things about it (removing one or two dodgy staff, getting in a professional sex educator (Doctor Matthews) to give lectures on a regular basis)
streamlining the end of term
introduction od senior and junior chapel
greatly expanding deps/Grecians to take account of modern realities (by far the most important) and allowing the now numerous 2nd-year grecians most of the privileges of button grecians
pushing through senior and junior houses.
Most of those were after my time (June 1961). Welcome? you hadn't experienced the previous regime and it is normal to be resistant to "change".
-Assembly, yes,
-Dr Matthews - lectures were only for certain chosen boys - not everyone. From what I heard the two lectures were a total waste of time and those who spoke of them in my hearing reckoned they learned nothing.
-Expansion of Grecians? Not sure what you mean by that; previously those not likely to benefit from A level work went into the 5th Form to try and get a few more O levels before leaving. That existed before I got to the upper and after I moved from the 5th Form to Dep Grecians (a very rare move but I was particularly young in any case!). 5th Form was a single class - perhaps 20 - 25 pupils
-2nd year Grecians getting the priveleges of button grecians - not in my time. In Col A there was what was described as a special case. There were 8 house monitors with privileges plus a separate Trades Monitor* without. In my case Kit gave me full monitor privileges and the ability to delegate most of my duties. (Kenneth Brown to whom I was able to delegate (and he was very reliable) recently died. (*Trades Monitor: You have to remember that Col A ran itself and the housemaster had very little involvement. Almost everything in the house was organised and done by the boys - cleaning throughout, getting beds properly folded and later made tidily, ensuring shoes and clothes were clean/polished - evening inspection -, setting tables, serving food, clearing tables and general tidying, enforcing punishments. swabbing (fagging in other schools), evening roll call, sorting out disputes etc etc..............The Trades Mon was responsible for allocating duties to about 40 boys and overseeing that they all were carried out quickly, efficiently and properly and at the proper time and was responsible for settling associated disputes. Quite a job for which you got up early and finished after everyone else. I suppose it was an equivalent of an RSM.
michael scuffil wrote:The new Lady Superintendent (Mrs Johnson) arrived some time before Seaman and oversaw the modermization of the kitchens (by all accounts a huge improvement). Seaman had nothing to do with it..
OK and yes, a huge improvement
michael scuffil wrote:The only "demonstration" I remember in Seaman's time was at the prize-giving in the summer term of 1962. He announced the resignation of AL Johnstone as housemaster of Lamb A, whereupon there was audible cheering. In front of the guest prizegiver (a policeman, I think), he said: "I think the behaviour of the school at this moment is quite appalling", and at the monitors' meeting at the start of the next term, he described the incident as "shaming". This was probably why the presenter at the next prizegiving was not a guest, but the retiring Derrick MacNutt.
After my time. I think that there might have been a large but not organised walkout from one of the "compulsory" occasional Saturday films in Big School. I wasn't part of that but I did walk out in disgust one evening and got beaten with a slipper for not having good taste. Since those experiences I suppose I have been to less than 12 films since I left CH - 8 under protest and I can remember good reasons for seeing the other 4.

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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by kerrensimmonds » Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:24 pm

David.. I can't believe that you have only seen 12 films (whether or not under protest) since you left CH? I too have not been to the cinema that often, over the years, but when I have been, it must add up to over 12. And then there are the multitidudinous DVDs which I have purchased since these were invented. I have to be honest. I own probably getting on for 50 DVDs, and probably 40 or more of those are still in their cellophane wrapping. AArrggh. But my reasons for not watching them at the time are nothing to do with restrictions I experienced at CH. They are to do with showing an interest when the film comes out on DVD and then hoping that one day, maybe in retirement, I shall have the time/opportunity for the viewing of these films................ Having said that I have been at home for three days this week, because I had a fall on a slippery paving stone in my garden last Saturday (and if you are large, and arthritic, and have a fall, that is serious stuff). Once I got myself indoors again, half an hour later, and sorted myself out, relieved that though I was bruised and sprained, nothing was broken - I have had to take three days off work until I felt ready to apply my bruised/sprained knee to the clutch pedal. Ho Ho. Friends assumed that I would take some of that time out to watch some of those DVDs... no, sorry, I didn't! I have arisen late each morning, taken a necessary long time over my ablutions, then when I did get downstairs and managed to sort out my personal breakfast and lunch etc., I then continued hour by hour checking up on work e mails and phone messages. In the interim, I was happy to sit in my reclining chair with a book and... then.. a bit of a doze!
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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by michael scuffil » Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:57 pm

To Sejintenej

Doctor Matthews was compulsory for everyone. There were three sets of lectures: for the first year, for the O Level year (GE), and for leavers. They took place in school time, and occupied four double lessons each set. There was no suggestion that they were for a few boys only. (Before him. sex education was entrusted to housemasters; the mind boggles.)

The expansion of the sixth form was by far the most important of Seaman's reforms. It was fundamental. Before him, almost the only people allowed to stay on to A Level and beyond were people deemed to be capable of getting an open award at Oxford or Cambridge, and these would get their buttons more or less automatically when they were 17. The recognition that there were other universities (and indeed, other post A Level careers) brought CH into the modern world. It vastly increased the number of deps and grecians (and incidentally made the change to senior and junior houses an urgent matter). It also meant that button grecians weren't the only grecians over 17. The most important practical privilege they had previously enjoyed (riding bicycles around the school, and not just for country trips) was extended to all 2nd year grecians in, I think, 1960. The term "2nd year grecian" crops up a lot in the school-rule book of the time, and was in fact quite new. Previously there had been 1st, 2nd and 3rd parting grecians -- but these were only full (i.e. button) grecians. The recognition of "2nd year grecians" as a category (including all probationary grecians and not just 2nd partings) was an important step. Exclusive button grecian privileges (apart from the buttons themselves) became largely symbolic: reading grace, using the grecians' path, and wearing civvies at the beginning and end of terms.
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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by sejintenej » Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:50 pm

kerrensimmonds wrote:David.. I can't believe that you have only seen 12 films (whether or not under protest) since you left CH? I too have not been to the cinema that often, over the years, but when I have been, it must add up to over 12. And then there are the multitidudinous DVDs which I have purchased since these were invented. I have to be honest. I own probably getting on for 50 DVDs, and probably 40 or more of those are still in their cellophane wrapping. AArrggh. But my reasons for not watching them at the time are nothing to do with restrictions I experienced at CH. They are to do with showing an interest when the film comes out on DVD and then hoping that one day, maybe in retirement, I shall have the time/opportunity for the viewing of these films................ !
I can understand where you are coming from with the DVDs - there must be a lot in this house but it is just not my thing.

To give you an idea of voluntary ones:
Sink the Bismark; about 1955. my mother's employer was involved and he took me so that he could see how the battle compared to what he read in the UK.
"something" early 1960's - possibly about D - Day, because a girl wanted to be taken! :x
Cape Canaveral Visitors Centre - their publicity film
The Malta Experience in Valetta - the history of Malta
A demo of some newfangled all-round vision

To give you an idea I had to go two weeks ago; no idea what it was about but the quiet bits must have been 120 decibels - my tractor is 108Db and being 8 feet from a Le Mans car whilst racing was quieter.. Hell on earth. The seats were also uncomfortable.
I suppose the Bucket List had a good plot but again, too much screen sound. How those actors can shout for so long and so loud beats me (I don't have a hearing aid!)
Currently on TV in this house there has to be Falconcrest, Eastenders, some Aussie soap and I don't know what else. With one exception I have always HATED SOAPS. They are so unrealistic. The exception? Pantanal; this is the opening scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NN9mcay4HlI
It had an estimated 80 - 100 million audience most nights before being shown on Sky satellite some time ago.
The challenge for the less young: this music was also used by a UK pop group in a film; who? what?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8llC8HzCJE
kerrensimmonds wrote:Having said that I have been at home for three days this week, because I had a fall on a slippery paving stone in my garden last Saturday (and if you are large, and arthritic, and have a fall, that is serious stuff). Once I got myself indoors again, half an hour later, and sorted myself out, relieved that though I was bruised and sprained, nothing was broken - I have had to take three days off work until I felt ready to apply my bruised/sprained knee to the clutch pedal. Ho Ho. Friends assumed that I would take some of that time out to watch some of those DVDs... no, sorry, I didn't!....................!
Nasty things, those falls and when you already have problems then they are a nightmare. I can only sympathise.
(A friend of ours - 73 and seriously overweight - was a passenger which came off the road on black ice. She broke her arm and after a few weeks they decided to put a plate in. Fine, she woke up from the op feeling good but somehow her O2 level was slightly low and her blood pressure was similar to mine - in her case that was enough to keep her in for an extra couple of days. 120 over 72 seems pretty good to me but not them! She is now home and as on top of the world as usual.)

Trust you are now OK. I hope you have got some Arnica - sorts out bruises fast.

The Pantanal answer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jusahXnlMII

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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by DavidRawlins » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:38 pm

First Day September 1946. We all arrived by various trains (I can not remember the journey at all). Then all new boys and their parent(s) gathered in Dining Hall; each boy's name was called, and the house that he was to go in. One then went , with parent, to that house's table. The most frequently called houses were the Prep, so those of us not going there became a little anxious (we had no idea what the houses were called).
Three of us were going into Col A. We next went to the House, met Kit Aitken, pocket money was handed over, were taken to the wardrobe and kitted out in brown jacket and grey shorts. At that stage only the UF and above had Housie clothes, one can see this in the old house photographs. We were introduced to our nursemaid, and then walked down the PO path with our parents, on the way back to the station. We were not allowed out of the gate. Then we had a lonely walk back to our House. We shuffled into tea, and discovered that we were the lowest of the low. Those who had come up from the Prep had acome back 3 days before us, and were thus senior to us.
The next day was St Matthew's day, and most of the school disappeared. After that it is mainly a blur for most of the rest of term.

Last Day 1953. Leaving service. This was the only time christian names were use.

When I left I was a probationary Grecian, and therefore no buttons. However I had been in the Grecian's form for two years, and took my A levels, as did many others. Those who were reckoned to be capable of getting a scholarship or exhibition to Oxbridge were given their buttons. Flecker never thought much of those going into medicine.
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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by sejintenej » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:51 pm

michael scuffil wrote:To Sejintenej

Doctor Matthews was compulsory for everyone. There were three sets of lectures: for the first year, for the O Level year (GE), and for leavers. They took place in school time, and occupied four double lessons each set. There was no suggestion that they were for a few boys only. (Before him. sex education was entrusted to housemasters; the mind boggles.)
.
Sorry about the delay - I missed that paragraph.
Sorry, Michael, but you are wrong. The "first year" might have come in after my time because they started in my last year. Yes, they were during school class time - I don't recall how long they were for obvious reasons. I reiterate that they were for the chosen; I was one who escaped them and had to learn "on the job". However, the stories I heard made me thankful that I did miss the two lectures which certainly took place in my time.

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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by michael scuffil » Sat Apr 24, 2010 4:50 pm

sejintenej wrote:
michael scuffil wrote:To Sejintenej

Doctor Matthews was compulsory for everyone. There were three sets of lectures: for the first year, for the O Level year (GE), and for leavers. They took place in school time, and occupied four double lessons each set. There was no suggestion that they were for a few boys only. (Before him. sex education was entrusted to housemasters; the mind boggles.)
.
Sorry about the delay - I missed that paragraph.
Sorry, Michael, but you are wrong. The "first year" might have come in after my time because they started in my last year. Yes, they were during school class time - I don't recall how long they were for obvious reasons. I reiterate that they were for the chosen; I was one who escaped them and had to learn "on the job". However, the stories I heard made me thankful that I did miss the two lectures which certainly took place in my time.
If they started in your last year, that may explain the discrepancy. I think the first term he came, the only lectures he gave to whole blocks were the (mainly biological) lectures to the first two years. They started in my LE (i.e. 2nd) year, and we (all of us) got the same lectures as the LF (1st year), but thereafter this set of lectures was given to the LF. The next set were for GE (4th year), and introduced relationships. The last set were for leavers, and were designed to prepare us for the heterosexual world. The first time Doc M came, Seaman came to all the lectures, and Doc M dined at his table with the house captains. After that he was left to his own devices, it being assumed he knew the way to the Science Lecture Theatre by then. (I think he stayed in the Headmaster's House, he came 3 days each time).
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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by postwarblue » Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:15 pm

Weird. I also arrived in September 1946 but have absolutely no recollection to match David Rawlins'. The first thing I recall was being in Prep B dayroom and a couple of bods introducing themselves.

Also, my recollection is that anyone who was 3rd Parting or higher automatically got their Buttons on reaching the age of 17, even if, like me, they were headed elsewhere than University.
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Re: First Day.....Last Day

Post by sejintenej » Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:49 pm

postwarblue wrote:Weird. I also arrived in September 1946 but have absolutely no recollection to match David Rawlins'. The first thing I recall was being in Prep B dayroom and a couple of bods introducing themselves.
.
I went straight into Prep A; introduced to Mr Jones (rude comment that I spoke a dialect - which he already knew about), name taken, pocket money handed over and parent summarily removed from the premises. Tuck (such as it was) removed for the benefit of older boys. Then it was a case of the nursemaid helping dress in full uniform and marching practice. Eventually pushed into formation and "marching" to dining hall for supper. Back from supper (no idea how I found Prep A!) and then it is a blur. If you couldn't do your own bands straight in 3 adys all sorts of bovver. I think nursemaids were around for about a week but I am going back 58 years!

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