"They were sweet and meant well"

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...

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
Ajarn Philip
Button Grecian
Posts: 1787
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 7:30 pm
Real Name: Phil Underwood
Location: Thailand

"They were sweet and meant well"

Post by Ajarn Philip » Wed May 27, 2009 8:22 am

Someone used this phrase to describe some members of staff at Hertford, and it got me to thinking who would have (or maybe still would!) fit this description at Horsham. Ladies, feel free to contribute with your own memories, but I think you may have had a few more than us!

Teachers only - no matrons, dieticians, nurses, gardeners, etc. allowed!

The only one I can come up with at the moment from my era is John Hall Matthews.
I know exactly what words I am wanting to say, but somehow or other they is always getting squiffsquiddled around

Phil Underwood Ma A Col A Mid B 68-75

User avatar
Mid A 15
Button Grecian
Posts: 2924
Joined: Thu May 19, 2005 1:38 pm
Real Name: Claude Rains
Location: The Patio Of England (Kent)

Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by Mid A 15 » Wed May 27, 2009 1:19 pm

Ajarn Philip wrote:Someone used this phrase to describe some members of staff at Hertford, and it got me to thinking who would have (or maybe still would!) fit this description at Horsham. Ladies, feel free to contribute with your own memories, but I think you may have had a few more than us!

Teachers only - no matrons, dieticians, nurses, gardeners, etc. allowed!

The only one I can come up with at the moment from my era is John Hall Matthews.
I'm not sure if I have correctly interpreted the thinking behind this thread as "sweet" is not a word that naturally comes to the front of my mind when recalling male teachers!

However.... as others have said elsewhere Nell Todd the art teacher was a lovely lady even to those like myself who had little or no aptitude for her subject. A Maine A trade in my first year was to fetch her dinner on Saturday nights and take it to the Art School. I used to try and get this trade for two reasons. Firstly there would invariably be a plate of food as a "reward" - at a time when meal portions were not the largest for growing lads- and secondly she would invite us in to have a cup of coffee and a chat which was always enjoyable.

As regards male teachers there were two I can think of who were quietly spoken and not the greatest disciplinarians in class and thus suffered a certain amount of disruption to their lessons. However when I spoke to them individually about difficulties I was having with their subjects I found that they were only too willing to help and were extremely patient with my inability, general thickness call it what you will. Those teachers were Roger Biddick (French) and Rex Roberts (Maths with Statistics).

I appreciated the time they gave me but am unsure as to whether the adjective "sweet" is apposite!
Ma A, Mid A 65 -72

User avatar
jhopgood
Button Grecian
Posts: 1711
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2004 6:26 pm
Real Name: John Hopgood
Location: Valencia

Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by jhopgood » Wed May 27, 2009 2:08 pm

Mid A 15 wrote:
As regards male teachers there were two I can think of who were quietly spoken and not the greatest disciplinarians in class and thus suffered a certain amount of disruption to their lessons. However when I spoke to them individually about difficulties I was having with their subjects I found that they were only too willing to help and were extremely patient with my inability, general thickness call it what you will. Those teachers were Roger Biddick (French) and Rex Roberts (Maths with Statistics).

I appreciated the time they gave me but am unsure as to whether the adjective "sweet" is apposite!
Curious, when I saw the heading, Biddick's name came to mind.
He tried to teach a bunch of us Russian in our Grecian's year,(an optional subject). We learned nothing, probably because there was no pressure to learn anything, but Biddick seemed uninterested. We had the double lesson that started at 1055 in the classroom that Pop Massen used to have on the top floor at the end of the Maths block near Big Side. Biddick always arrived after 1100, so one day, when he was even later, we escaped, going down the stairs, round the end of the block and through the New Quad back to House. As I left, I looked back and Biddick was standing under the arch watching us all.
Nothing was said, ever, which I thought was a bit weak of him.
Another name was Bibby, whose mere name and quietness led to a fair bit of mickey taking. He had a blackboard that could be flipped over, and someone put a whole load of pictures cut out of a Playboy type magazine on the backside of the board.
Bibby duly filled up one side of the board, flipped it over, flipped it back and cleaned the front side, and again, nothing was said.
We would never had dared to try anything on with Rae, Massen, Rider, etc, but we certainly seemed able to pick on the "sweeter" ones.
Barnes B 25 (59 - 66)

User avatar
englishangel
Forum Moderator
Posts: 6955
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 12:22 pm
Real Name: Mary Faulkner (Vincett)
Location: Amersham, Buckinghamshire

Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by englishangel » Wed May 27, 2009 2:55 pm

You 'orrible lot.

Our 'sweet' teachers brought out the best in us, we were all very protective.

Mrs Betterton springs to mind and I don't think anyone would disagree. There are some others who some liked and some didn't, but Mrs B was generally considered a darling.
"If a man speaks, and there isn't a woman to hear him, is he still wrong?"

michael scuffil
Button Grecian
Posts: 1363
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:53 pm
Real Name: michael scuffil
Location: germany

Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by michael scuffil » Thu May 28, 2009 6:08 pm

I suppose one could add Peter Austin Jones and Michael Cherniavsky and David Herbert. All three were "sweet", but to say they "meant well" suggests they were ineffective, which was not true.

Whether Biddick even "meant well" I don't know. He was certainly known to be lazy. Someone once took a French essay to Arthur Rider, who went through it at length making lots of helpful comments. When they got to the bottom, somewhat to Arthur's embarrassment, was the comment in Biddick's handwriting: "This seems to be along the right lines."

There was a music teacher called Malcolm Drummond to whom this description could apply.

(Amazing: I never knew there was a Maine A trade to take Saturday evening dinner to Nell Todd. As a woman, she was barred from the Common Room.)
Th.B. 27 1955-63

User avatar
Ajarn Philip
Button Grecian
Posts: 1787
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 7:30 pm
Real Name: Phil Underwood
Location: Thailand

Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by Ajarn Philip » Fri May 29, 2009 5:09 am

michael scuffil wrote:...to say they "meant well" suggests they were ineffective, which was not true.
Yes, I should have spelt this out. I intended the interpretation to be "genuinely had the best of intentions" without implying any ineffectiveness.
I know exactly what words I am wanting to say, but somehow or other they is always getting squiffsquiddled around

Phil Underwood Ma A Col A Mid B 68-75

chaosriddenyears
Deputy Grecian
Posts: 366
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 9:06 pm
Real Name: Lynn Ammerer-Ford
Location: Austria

Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by chaosriddenyears » Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:02 am

This is interesting - does "sweetness of temper" (this makes me think of Jane Austen) necessarily mean lack of forcefulness?
Does someone have to be nasty in order to have a lasting influence?

User avatar
Mid A 15
Button Grecian
Posts: 2924
Joined: Thu May 19, 2005 1:38 pm
Real Name: Claude Rains
Location: The Patio Of England (Kent)

Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by Mid A 15 » Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:22 am

chaosriddenyears wrote:This is interesting - does "sweetness of temper" (this makes me think of Jane Austen) necessarily mean lack of forcefulness?
Does someone have to be nasty in order to have a lasting influence?
No.

Immediately off the top of my head I give you Christopher "Bomber" Nicholson to make my case.
Ma A, Mid A 65 -72

User avatar
Ajarn Philip
Button Grecian
Posts: 1787
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 7:30 pm
Real Name: Phil Underwood
Location: Thailand

Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by Ajarn Philip » Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:47 pm

Mid A 15 wrote:Immediately off the top of my head I give you Christopher "Bomber" Nicholson to make my case.
Yep, and Bob Hailey, to boot.
I know exactly what words I am wanting to say, but somehow or other they is always getting squiffsquiddled around

Phil Underwood Ma A Col A Mid B 68-75

Angela Woodford
Button Grecian
Posts: 2880
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:55 am
Real Name: Angela Marsh
Location: Exiled Londoner, now in Staffordshire.

Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by Angela Woodford » Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:59 pm

Nobody could forget the sweetness of darling Mrs Betterton.

I always thought that Nutto could have been perceived as a dear lady if she had been treated with more kindness. The awful sadness that was etched into her face - I've posted before that she seemed to have no friends.
"Baldrick, you wouldn't recognise a cunning plan if it painted itself purple, and danced naked on top of a harpsichord singing "Cunning plans are here again.""

fra828
Grecian
Posts: 547
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:54 pm
Location: Bournemouth

Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by fra828 » Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:12 pm

Angela Woodford wrote:Nobody could forget the sweetness of darling Mrs Betterton.

I always thought that Nutto could have been perceived as a dear lady if she had been treated with more kindness. The awful sadness that was etched into her face - I've posted before that she seemed to have no friends.

I agree about Nutto, I think we played her up as she was an easy target, which is awful to think of now, even if it was 'only' quite minor things like flicking ink. I never remember seeing her smile either; I believe that under that sad exterior, she was kind-hearted. I wasn't taught by Mrs Betterton, but can see her scurrying across the playground, a petite figure, books tucked under her arm, she always seemed to have what I can only describe as a caring, contented look on her face.

Euterpe13
Button Grecian
Posts: 1287
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 1:55 pm
Real Name: Barbara Borgars
Location: close de Saffend

Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by Euterpe13 » Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:01 pm

I did German with Nutto, before I had to give it up because it clashed with one of my O-levels - she was indeed a very sweet lady, good teacher and very involved with her subject - she not only taught the language but culture and customs as well - and to this day I am still complimented on my Heidelberg accent ( very upper class, hochdeutsch, apparently!)
I don't think that the other teachers bothered with her.
Hertford - 5s/2s - 63-70
" I wish I were what I was when I wanted to be what I am now..."

Angela Woodford
Button Grecian
Posts: 2880
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:55 am
Real Name: Angela Marsh
Location: Exiled Londoner, now in Staffordshire.

Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by Angela Woodford » Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:56 pm

I was always aware that Nutto seemed so lonely, and nobody seemed to like her much.

I know I've written about this lots before - sorry! - but the story about calling Nutto a "Nazi" was just awful.

Goodness, I wish now that I'd done some German. I was brought up on "Little Women". Remember how Jo March learns German with dear Professor Bhaer? German, from then on, had a sort of romance to it for me!

Hochdeutsch indeed! Sigh.
"Baldrick, you wouldn't recognise a cunning plan if it painted itself purple, and danced naked on top of a harpsichord singing "Cunning plans are here again.""

fra828
Grecian
Posts: 547
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:54 pm
Location: Bournemouth

Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by fra828 » Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:29 pm

I was thinking that maybe as it was only just over 20 years since the end of World War 2, that this was still fresh in that generation's minds-the staff's generation . Nutto could have been alienated for that reason. My grandmother very sadly lost a son in the war, and was horrified when I wanted to write to and possibly visit a German penfriend.

Kim2s70-77
Grecian
Posts: 659
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:02 pm
Real Name: Kim Elizabeth Roe (nee Langdon)

Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by Kim2s70-77 » Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:48 am

I had a fearful crush on one Ms Copley, scripture teacher in the mid 70s. She was sweet and kind - at a time when that was 'Manna from Heaven' and , needless to say, I won the Scripture prize that year!!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 2 guests