Housemasters staying in post

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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lonelymom
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Re: Housemasters staying in post

Post by lonelymom » Fri May 08, 2009 10:30 pm

Thanks Philip :D Actually I had sort of guess the 'misfortune' bit would be THAT word, but I didn't understand what the 'rhyme' (twice) bit meant. Maybe I'm just getting too analytical of the whole thing :lol:

We've got it now, haven't we Neill? :)
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michael scuffil
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Re: Housemasters staying in post

Post by michael scuffil » Sat May 09, 2009 6:18 pm

Oh dear...

Buck rhymes with luck (the hard variety) and something else.

He was overfamiliar with a boy (as he admitted to his lifelong friend Edmund Blunden in a letter included in their published correspondence "More than a Brother").

The story I heard at the time was that the boy went to his House Captain, who went straight to the Headmaster. (Bryan Magee has a different version, namely that it went through the boy's mother, but in those pre-phone days, I doubt that the message could have got through so quickly. And it was very quick.)

There are conflicting versions about whether Buck suffered financially. Magee (who knew him) says he did, but in the above-mentioned book, B. says he was paid his salary until the end of the term (i.e. August) and then drew the pension which he was close to receiving anyway. I know he worked in Oxford as a proof-reader of ancient Greek texts, but I don't know whether that was ever his only source of income.

He was reconciled with the school in the end (after Seaman's retirement and, I think, death) and welcomed back on a visit, and when he himself died, a memorial service was held in chapel.

I find it difficult to know what to think about all this. Seaman obviously believed it to be the tip of the iceberg. If the affair was a one-off, the penalty was harsh, because he was undoubtedly a hard-working schoolmaster.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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J.R.
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Re: Housemasters staying in post

Post by J.R. » Sat May 09, 2009 7:24 pm

Thanks Michael.

It get more and more interesting by the minute.

Maybe the Housemastership of Coleridge B became a poisoned chalice at that point, bearing in mind, N.T. Fryer !!!
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: Housemasters staying in post

Post by lonelymom » Sat May 09, 2009 8:53 pm

:shock:
lonelymom :rolleyes:

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Re: Housemasters staying in post

Post by michael scuffil » Sun May 10, 2009 10:35 am

J.R. wrote:
Maybe the Housemastership of Coleridge B became a poisoned chalice at that point, bearing in mind, N.T. Fryer !!!
Buck departed overnight (literally) and his immediate temporary replacement was (of all people) Bill Kirby. (This was a very Old Bluish affair. Buck, Seaman and Kirby were all OBs.) It's a nice thought, Seaman somehow finding Kirby at 10pm, which was, I think, well past Kirby's bedtime, and saying:
"Good evening, Kirby. Could you be housemaster of Coleridge B please?"
"When shall I start, headmaster?" (Actually, I don't know how Kirby addressed Seaman. Maybe he was privileged to call him George.)
"Now, if you would. I've just sacked Buck with immediate effect."

Seaman used Kirby on various occasions for difficult jobs, such as negotiating on disputes with local farmers (he spoke their language), but this one must have been particularly irksome. Kirby preferred to keep himself to himself and hated paperwork. Unfortunately a housemaster has to make small talk to parents and fill in forms.

I remember mentioning Buck's departure in my weekly letter home. In order not to shock parental sensibilities (and not least, because I didn't quite know how to put it) I intimated it had something to do with Buck's (well-known) fondness for alcohol (which in a sense was true; the editor of the correspondence with Blunden says the incident occurred "after some heavy drinking").

The "welcome back" (which I mentioned in the post above) was a dinner at CH to mark Buck's 80th birthday in 1980. This was indeed some years after Seaman's (fairly early) death.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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NEILL THE NOTORIOUS
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Re: Housemasters staying in post

Post by NEILL THE NOTORIOUS » Sun May 10, 2009 12:24 pm

I was, possibly, as usual, up the same tree with "Sex and Travel"

If our colleagus are Innocent ----- should we deprave them by explanation ? :oops:

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J.R.
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Re: Housemasters staying in post

Post by J.R. » Sun May 10, 2009 12:52 pm

I've said on another thread many months ago, that Bill Kirby was, without doubt, the most influencial master during my time at CH.

Without doubt, he moulded my attitude to stupidity; my stance on standing up to jobs-worths and teaching me to speak my mind openly BUT to accept criticism and argument in return. (You must remember I lost my father at the tender and informative age of seven.)

He never actually taught me science but I spent hours of 'free-time' in his lab; helped him endlessly with his beloved bees until it was discovered I am allergic to bee-stings.

When first encountered, he certainly appeared a very frightening character, but once you got to know him, he was a dedicated teacher and mentor. He was certainly a master of the 'Old-School'. Modern schools today could well do with many more teachers of his type.

"Here endeth the lesson."
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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