"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...

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chaosriddenyears
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Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by chaosriddenyears » Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:44 am

englishangel wrote:
Kim2s70-77 wrote:Isn't it funny how age is meaningless to a young person? I had no more idea of Miss Griffith-William's age than I did Betty Juke's! I think that, for me as a youngster, the position of authority totally outweighed any objectivity. They were all teachers - with little regard to any real life they may have had outside that! What a little snot I must have been!
I remember Mrs Oliver - I think I had her for A level biology. I also had a total B***h forPhysics A level - name long since blocked out - with whom I had such a fierce personality clash, that I quit Physics A level at the end of LVI and crammed so that I could switch to Geography for UVI. That woman was the reason I never applied to Medical school - which had been my intention since about the age of 4 - asI no longer had the required 3 science A levels. I ended up going to read Microbiology, which I lost interest in etc etc Actually I guess at this point in my life, I am very glad I didn't become an MD - I much prefer what I do - but at the time, it was yet another grievance I felt (unjustly) toward CH and the 'unfairness' of it all!!
What DID you end up doing Kim (Elizabeth)?

I had a similar experience, DR had put on my UCCA (as it was in those days) form that I would nor be a very good doctor as I was not caring enough. (as if she knew) so I did a Joint Honours Biology and Chemistry, then became a midwife which I did on and off for over 20 years.
This was so typical of DR - she told me I didn't have it in be to be a musician. In spite of that I went on to study music.

Mrs. Oliver was very nice indeed, really kind. Or wasn't she Miss Oliver, becoming Mrs.Frearson? It seems to be that Mrs. Frearson was a name-change due to marriage, just as Miss Marter became Mrs. Roxburgh. Can someone help out on this?

Mrs. GW never seemed really young to us, she was so dowdy and dull somehow, although in view of what has been said on this thread she may well have made this impression because she found CH difficult. We were well aware of the hierarchy that existed, but at least it was somehow a "Them and Us" situation. Younger teachers must have been caught in all sorts of cross-fire and being possibly more enlightened on the subject of modern teaching methods, incredibly frustrated as well.

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Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by fra828 » Wed Jun 24, 2009 1:29 pm

I am sure it was Mrs Oliver - not Miss- when she started in Spring term 1971. Mrs Frearson was slightly older I think, and possibly started after this time.

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Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by Jo » Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:34 pm

fra828 wrote:I am sure it was Mrs Oliver - not Miss- when she started in Spring term 1971. Mrs Frearson was slightly older I think, and possibly started after this time.
That's interesting - I remember Mrs Oliver after Mrs Frearson. Perhaps there was more than one biology teacher and they were both there together.

I can't remember when Mrs Frearson came but I definitely had her for O level so she would have been there at least 1972-3. I have a feeling she left to have a baby.

Likewise, I can't remember when Mrs Oliver came but I know she was there when we were in the VIth form because she was good to a friend of mine who was doing Biology A Level. So she was there at least 74-75. She was definitely Mrs because someone has already described visiting her and her husband at their home.

The only one I'm not sure about is Mrs Beck, although I distinctly remember the name. Is it possible that Miss Lewis (who was there in the late 60s) became Mrs Beck?
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Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by englishangel » Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:31 pm

I did Biology A Level (70-72) and all these names are a complete mystery to me. Oliver rings the loudest bell.
"If a man speaks, and there isn't a woman to hear him, is he still wrong?"

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Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by MaryB » Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:42 pm

Jo wrote:
fra828 wrote: Is it possible that Miss Lewis (who was there in the late 60s) became Mrs Beck?
Mrs Lewis taught biology in the 60s - Munch and I were in the back row for O level in 1969.
Mrs L can be seen in the Hertford Mercury photo posted by MKM in the Hertford photos thread. I seem to remember she left to have a baby, causing endless ribald remarks about reproduction not being only for the rabbit.....
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chaosriddenyears
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Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by chaosriddenyears » Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:20 pm

englishangel wrote:I did Biology A Level (70-72) and all these names are a complete mystery to me. Oliver rings the loudest bell.
I think Mrs. Oliver started in about our second year - we did O level with her. I'm still trying to place Mrs. Frearson - I must have known her but can't find a face for the name! Mrs. Lewis must have gone before my year started, or soon after as I don't remember the name at all.

Rabbits indeed....

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Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by Jo » Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:04 am

MaryB wrote:
Jo wrote:
fra828 wrote: Is it possible that Miss Lewis (who was there in the late 60s) became Mrs Beck?
Mrs Lewis taught biology in the 60s - Munch and I were in the back row for O level in 1969.
Mrs L can be seen in the Hertford Mercury photo posted by MKM in the Hertford photos thread. I seem to remember she left to have a baby, causing endless ribald remarks about reproduction not being only for the rabbit.....
I thought she was Mrs Lewis, and I remember the picture of her, but since I could remember only Mrs Beck's name but nothing else about her, I was starting to wonder if she and Mrs Lewis were one and the same but that I had mistaken Mrs Lewis's marital status. If that makes sense :roll:

So it still leaves Mrs Beck. I'm sure there was a Mrs Beck. Does anyone else remember her?
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Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by Kim2s70-77 » Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:59 am

I've just remembered an incident from about 4th form, I think. You know how some teachers want to start out giving a certain impression - ie that they will brook no nonsense etc -, well - Chemi T (Ms Thompson) must have left and this was probab;y her replacement, but the new teacher waltzed into the chemistry lab, where we were all assembled around the old polished mahogany benches and strode to the front. It was her first day - and she clearly wanted to convey that she was tough. There was a girl in our year (Claire Gathard, I think) who was about 4'10" tall. We all stood as the teacher came in - but all she did was stand on the dais and stare at us. This went on for a very uncomfortable 5 minutes or so of silence - before she boomed out "we will remain here until THAT girl shows some respect and stands up!!" Poor Claire walked around the bench and into the aisle and demonstrated that she WAS in fact standing up!! Of course the whole class collapsed into giggles and the poor woman had to extricate herself. Aren't first impressions great??!! It was actually a salutary lesson for me on trying too hard!

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Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by englishangel » Thu Jun 25, 2009 7:43 am

I did something similar about a year ago 0oh the embarrassment. We went to take something to my husband's boss who had had an accident. He answered the door and showed us into the sitting room where hos wife was. I saw her as on her knees looking for something under the sofa and said, "you don't have to curtsey to me." YOu've guessed it, she had dwarfism.

Now where did I put that hole in the floor?

I immediately realised, apologised and she said it often happened. A very nice lady (in ICU nurse) and we got on like a house on fire.
"If a man speaks, and there isn't a woman to hear him, is he still wrong?"

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Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by Jo » Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:20 am

Kim2s70-77 wrote:I've just remembered an incident from about 4th form, I think. You know how some teachers want to start out giving a certain impression - ie that they will brook no nonsense etc -, well - Chemi T (Ms Thompson) must have left and this was probab;y her replacement, but the new teacher waltzed into the chemistry lab, where we were all assembled around the old polished mahogany benches and strode to the front. It was her first day - and she clearly wanted to convey that she was tough. There was a girl in our year (Claire Gathard, I think) who was about 4'10" tall. We all stood as the teacher came in - but all she did was stand on the dais and stare at us. This went on for a very uncomfortable 5 minutes or so of silence - before she boomed out "we will remain here until THAT girl shows some respect and stands up!!" Poor Claire walked around the bench and into the aisle and demonstrated that she WAS in fact standing up!! Of course the whole class collapsed into giggles and the poor woman had to extricate herself. Aren't first impressions great??!! It was actually a salutary lesson for me on trying too hard!
We had Chemi T's replacement as our form mistress in the 4th form, I think. I never had her as a teacher as I gave up Chemistry after the 3rd form. Her name was Miss Kerr, and she made the opposite mistake, trying to be too matey and then struggling to keep order when we failed to respect her authority. She professed to like pop music but I remember laughing about her with some pals because - shock horror - she referred to Slade as "The Slade". How desperately uncool :shock: :lol:
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Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by Kim2s70-77 » Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:03 pm

I know EXACTLY why I never went into teaching!! Kids are tough!!

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Re:Mr Upton

Post by Jo » Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:36 pm

Going back to Mr Upton, I'm just doing an obit for the next Old Blue and wondered if anyone had any reminiscences they would like to include. I remember him but he never taught me. All I've managed to glean so far is that he was at CH from 73 to 80 and was rather a gentle soul who was well liked.

Apart from the anecdote about Latin & German groups swapping classes once (which I haven't included as it is slightly poking fun - however gently - at him), does anyone have any other tales, memories, etc? Or does anyone else know anything about him - was he married & did he have kids for example?
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Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by chaosriddenyears » Mon Jun 29, 2009 7:13 am

I don't know anything about family - I remember him reading out Catullus to us. It was important to him I think that we should think of Latin as a living and not a dead language and I can still hear him saying "Da mi basia mille deinde centum" (have to check spelling here) and thinking back, he really did read it beautifully. In fact I still remember alot of Catullus which is probably due to this. He was the Voice of God in Noye's Fludde and sounded exactly right - he stood on a ladder behind the scenery so the Voice came from above. We also did an easy, potted verson of Aeneas which had pictures in it and they were very relaxed lessons. (in fact we coloured in the pictures during the lessons which he never noticed and I was amazed to hear that these books are still being used at CH! Not something for the obit perhaps).
Will try to think back if anything else occurs to me. I'm afraid most of my memories of him are about playing tricks on him.

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Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by Jo » Mon Jun 29, 2009 7:34 am

Thanks Lynn, that's useful. I'd forgotten about him being the voice of God in Noye's Fludde, though it has been mentioned before.
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Re: "They were sweet and meant well"

Post by fra828 » Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:04 pm

In LV1, a small group of us visited Mrs Oliver and her husband in their home in Ware- and Mr O, long-haired and hippyish- sooo cool! 8) - played Leonard Cohen's 'Suzanne' on his guitar. I think Mrs O sang. I can't remember much about Mrs Beck except she was a likeable teacher. She was probably in her 30's; I think she had shortish dark hair. Mrs Frearson-I can remember her name, but can't picture her at all.

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