Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

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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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by J.R. » Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:53 pm

It was certainly when I was in Coleridge B David, so I reckon 60/61.

Any rogue swarms reported to him, and he usually came to find me with his old van, and off we'd trot to 'capture' them, then quaranteen them. I must have helped him for well over a year before sustaining two stings on my lower right arm.

I remember feeling suddenly drunk after the stings were removed then awakening in the sicker with Dr 'Tommy' Scott on one side of my bed and 'Rip' on the other and then a week off. Bill told me that unfortunately that was the end of my bee-keeping. Incidently, I have never been stung by a bee since !

I found Bill a totally different character out of school on our bee collecting missions. Much softer. Although he never suffered fools gladly, as I don't, he NEVER talked down to me and I learnt so much about life from him.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by sejintenej » Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:31 pm

J.R. wrote:It was certainly when I was in Coleridge B David, so I reckon 60/61.

Any rogue swarms reported to him, and he usually came to find me with his old van, and off we'd trot to 'capture' them, then quaranteen them.
Hardly surprising - a queen and a very small colony is now £65 upwards at specialist beekeepers' auctions. I'm waiting for a swarm at the farm.

BTW JK: I hope you keep a pen with you in the summer and that your friends know to rush you to A & E. if you get stung
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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by jhopgood » Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:52 am

I have just read through this thread again and find it remarkable, that despite all the good feelings that writers had for Kirby, he would probably never have been allowed near a school in this day and age.
A sad reflection on the way the education world has gone.
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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by J.R. » Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:08 pm

You're probably right John.

I was petrified of him at first, but when you got to see his other side, he genuinely cared for his charges.

Incidently, I NEVER felt ill-at-ease with him on our trips out collecting bee-swarms.

Surely if it was today, he would only have to pass an enhanced CRB check ?
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by Angela Woodford » Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:56 pm

sejintenej wrote:BTW JK: I hope you keep a pen with you in the summer and that your friends know to rush you to A & E. if you get stung
Just to divert for a moment from the strange old man... a year ago I was doing some deadheading when two (cross and bad tempered?) bees alighted on my ring finger and stung me. I'd never been stung by a bee before - ow! ow! I was glad I took the ring off my finger; it swelled and swelled and turned a very horrible colour and stayed that way for days. I now treat bees with very great respect.

Buzz, buzz, buzz!
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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by J.R. » Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:33 pm

Bees that are coming to the end of their days can be very cantankerous.

Incidently, even though I'm allergic to bee-stings, (honey variety, definitely), I'll still quite happily pick up a bumble-bee very gently, between thumb and fore-finger to demonstrate to Grand-Children just how docile they are.
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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by huntertitus » Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:45 pm

My daughter strokes them!

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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by sejintenej » Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:42 pm

sejintenej wrote:
J.R. wrote:It was certainly when I was in Coleridge B David, so I reckon 60/61.

Any rogue swarms reported to him, and he usually came to find me with his old van, and off we'd trot to 'capture' them, then quaranteen them.
Hardly surprising - a queen and a very small colony is now £65 upwards at specialist beekeepers' auctions. I'm waiting for a swarm at the farm.
Ever said something and it come back against you?

I posted that comment in February; this spring I didn't get one swarm - there were 4 in the house! Two local beekeepers shared them because I didn't have a hive available. Thjere's words for things like that.

I helped both of them - they in full protective gear with me in jeans and teeshirts and occasionally gauntlets. They got stung; I had bees on my face, in my hair and on unprotected hands and didn't get a single sting. I wasn't too worried - after having at leats 20 wasp stings in one attack last year with no adverse effects the odd bee sting wasn't going to be a problem (famous last words!)
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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by J.R. » Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:13 pm

I remember Mr Kirby telling me that it is the scent of adrenalin in perspiration that incites bees to sting.

Swarms of honey-bees are prized today because colonies are dying through some sort of mite infection.
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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by jhopgood » Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:18 pm

J.R. wrote:I remember Mr Kirby telling me that it is the scent of adrenalin in perspiration that incites bees to sting.

Swarms of honey-bees are prized today because colonies are dying through some sort of mite infection.
Could it be that the scent of adrenalin also makes dogs turn dominant to people who fear them?
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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by J.R. » Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:34 pm

Yes John.

I interviewd the late John Aspinall at his Kent zoo, not long after one of his keepers had been killed by one of his tigers.

I extended the view that the tiger jumped onto the keepers back probably, to 'play', thereby surprising him. The body's immediate reaction is to release masses of adrenalin, to aid 'running-away'. The big cat sees, (smells), that as a threat and goes for the killer bite on the back of the neck.

Many years ago, before the advent of the Dangerous Animals Act, I used to help exercise puma's on a private estate not far from here when closed to the public.

You were taught from minute one 'NEVER turn your back on a big cat', or allow yourself to become cornered.

Yes Kerren - They are just lovely BIG pussy-cats !
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by sejintenej » Tue Sep 23, 2008 4:06 pm

J.R. wrote:I remember Mr Kirby telling me that it is the scent of adrenalin in perspiration that incites bees to sting.

Swarms of honey-bees are prized today because colonies are dying through some sort of mite infection.
Yes - the Varroa mite. It has been suggested that there may be no honey bees in the UK in 10 years time.

By contrast we have anti mite preparations over here which are effective but there is now a fear that the mites may also carry viruses.

Seems stupid; we can but you can't use proven remedies against varroa. Equally when we get termites (OK so I have sprayed against them) they can be killed over here but in the UK the only acceptable solution is to burn the house down (as happened in Cornwqall a few years back). It's all to do with not bothering to get type approvals
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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by huntertitus » Tue Sep 23, 2008 4:23 pm

I was glad to see a fair number of bees in my tiny Battersea garden this summer

They love the broad and runner beans

It will be worrying if the population goes down critically as it will be hard for plants to propagate

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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by J.R. » Tue Sep 23, 2008 4:58 pm

huntertitus wrote:I was glad to see a fair number of bees in my tiny Battersea garden this summer

They love the broad and runner beans

It will be worrying if the population goes down critically as it will be hard for plants to propagate
No, it's the flowers they fancy, I fancy.

Sorry - Just me being peda.......

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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

Post by huntertitus » Tue Sep 23, 2008 7:38 pm

MY broad beans and runner beans DID have flowers

White ones on the broad, red ones on the runner

I thought you'd make a joke on the word "Broad" as in lady! You missed that one JR!

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