A View from the Red House

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: A View from the Red House

Post by Katharine » Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:45 pm

Mary, I wonder whether Applied Maths classes ever went very well. We were a set of 2 all the time, with a new teacher who had no idea how to approach teaching the pair of us. I remember lots of questions in Quadling & Ramsay (did you have that book?) on pile drivers. I had no idea what was meant, and neither did the teacher. Later I met Douglas Quadling at a Maths Conference in Ghana, it was quite a surprise to meet someone whose books I'd used for two years.
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Re: A View from the Red House

Post by bgw » Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:27 pm

Yes, Mary, I'm sure you're thinking of the right person. I had a vague idea that Miss Stokes had lived in India, and, now that you mention it, I remember that she had an elderly father, too. And I can imagine her using the car jack - she always seemed a very practical, down to earth person. I don't think I ever heard about her meeting with Gandhi, but I certainly wouldn't have asked who he was!!

Another (non-resident) maths teacher I remember was Mrs Thomas, the local Methodist minister's wife, who worked at CH part-time. In those days, when 'clergy wife' was virtually a profession in itself, it was quite unusual for someone in that position to have a real job, and some of her husband's congregation disapproved.
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Re: A View from the Red House

Post by bgw » Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:28 pm

englishangel wrote: Interesting though that you describe yourselves as 'inmates' of the Red House. Says it all really.
You're so right!
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Re: A View from the Red House

Post by midget » Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:27 pm

I don't remember being on anything like friendly terms with any of the staff- I suppose there was much more of a "them and us" mentality at that time. On the other hand there was a tradition of being given coffee once a year by your 6th form teaching staff, and some of the younger once acted like human beiings on those occasions. But people like Miss Pye-Smith were always very stiff anf formal, and the evening was always an embarrasing time.
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Re: A View from the Red House

Post by fra828 » Sun Oct 11, 2009 9:27 pm

bgw wrote:
I got to know Jill and Veronica as fellow residents of the Red House. The other young colleague there was a biology teacher, whose name I'd initially forgotten, but from other threads on this website I think she probably became Mrs Beck. She must have got married between my first and second years, because she moved out and I took over her rooms. In my first year I had an attic room - small but cosy, which I liked, but then I 'graduated' to two rooms. I remember buying a standard lamp for my new sitting room from a furniture shop in Hertford. I couldn't carry it back on my own, so I got some of the girls to help me. (Isn't it strange how some of these trivial memories stick in the mind, while more important things are forgotten?) Miss Morrison was very much in charge of the Red House. I agree with those who saw her 'better' side; she wasn't spiteful or bitter, like some of the others. And she had a sense of humour :!:

Another Red House inmate was Miss Stokes - does anyone remember her :?: (I can't find her on the site.) She taught maths, but despite being a 'junior' in teaching terms she was probably in her 50s. I don't think she had any particular friends on the staff, and perhaps she wasn't there all that long.
Spiteful and bitter? Now who could that have been?! Could hazard a few guesses! :) Very interesting to get perspective from 'the other side!'

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Re: A View from the Red House

Post by MaryB » Sun Oct 11, 2009 11:59 pm

bgw wrote:
Another (non-resident) maths teacher I remember was Mrs Thomas, the local Methodist minister's wife, who worked at CH part-time. In those days, when 'clergy wife' was virtually a profession in itself, it was quite unusual for someone in that position to have a real job, and some of her husband's congregation disapproved.
(Hello Brenda - it's a long time since Crouch End! Congratulations on your PhD.) - I remember Mrs Thomas as human, gentle and realistic. She taught me maths to O level - a thankless task as we were the lower set (Munch, were you there too?) and I knew I needed to get it but had no idea how this could come to pass. In the end it was down to Philippa Winter, a year above me in 3s, who showed me how to do calculus. I had no idea what it/they was/were for but the process was simple and enabled me to get a C, which sufficed.
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Re: A View from the Red House

Post by englishangel » Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:20 am

I was the year below MaryB and Munch but in the top set and Mrs Thomas taught us. I think she got us all good grades (I for one got an A and am still a 'maths' person) but she didn't think it pushed us hard enough so some of us did Additional Maths as well, MKM of course, Judy Furnival, and probably Penny, Ailsa, Carol and Valerie. If anyone on here did it and I have forgotten I apologise but it was almost 40 years ago. she pribably left after our O Level year, (hence Miss Stokes) as Methodist ministers get moved on after 3 years, although I think she was with us for 4 as I think they had a child our age who was allowed to stay in Hertford to complete O Levels.
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Re: A View from the Red House

Post by Jo » Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:35 am

I vaguely remember Mrs Thomas - I think perhaps she taught me in my second year. I was in the B stream for maths, although after I'd repeated the second form and ended up with my own age group, I went into the A stream, where we had Mr Mulholland.

I also remember Miss Stokes though I'm not sure she taught me. But she was our form mistress in the third form - or so my end-of-term reports tell me (I'd forgotten). My most abiding memory of Miss Stokes was acute embarrassment when I dispatched to Hertford County Hospital for a morning of diabetes testing (without my parents being informed :roll: ) and Miss Stokes was deputed to drive me up there (I guess she must have had a free period and drew the short straw!). She was very kind, and booked me in at the reception desk, but I remember the sheer horror when they asked for my urine sample and I had to hand it over in her presence. I wouldn't be embarrassed about that now but I was mortified then :oops: :oops:
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Re: A View from the Red House

Post by J.R. » Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:42 am

Not being pedantic, but would this thread not be better off in the Hertford Forum ?

I'm quite prepared to move it.
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Re: A View from the Red House

Post by MKM » Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:35 pm

Katharine wrote:Mary, I wonder whether Applied Maths classes ever went very well. We were a set of 2 all the time, with a new teacher who had no idea how to approach teaching the pair of us. I remember lots of questions in Quadling & Ramsay (did you have that book?) on pile drivers. I had no idea what was meant, and neither did the teacher. Later I met Douglas Quadling at a Maths Conference in Ghana, it was quite a surprise to meet someone whose books I'd used for two years.
Applied maths just didn't interest me the way pure maths or physics did. I don't think it was the teacher's fault, it was the syllabus. But I only remember doing mechanics - perhaps there were more interesting parts that I've forgotten. I don't remember which text book we used, sorry. But I'd have been amazed to meet one of the authors - most of our school textbooks were so ancient I would never have expected the authors to have survived into the 20th century.
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Re: A View from the Red House

Post by Kim2s70-77 » Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:06 pm

J.R. wrote:Not being pedantic, but would this thread not be better off in the Hertford Forum ?

I'm quite prepared to move it.

No offense, J.R. - but that comment is one of the biggest reasons that I, for one, feel marginalized and not a part of the 'real' CH. This thread is for reminiscences of pupil and teacher memories. Here we have a dialogue between former (I nearly said 'old'!) pupils and a former teacher - very appropriate, n'est-ce pa??

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Re: A View from the Red House

Post by Jo » Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:35 pm

Kim2s70-77 wrote:
J.R. wrote:Not being pedantic, but would this thread not be better off in the Hertford Forum ?

I'm quite prepared to move it.

No offense, J.R. - but that comment is one of the biggest reasons that I, for one, feel marginalized and not a part of the 'real' CH. This thread is for reminiscences of pupil and teacher memories. Here we have a dialogue between former (I nearly said 'old'!) pupils and a former teacher - very appropriate, n'est-ce pa??
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Re: A View from the Red House

Post by Mid A 15 » Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:40 pm

It goes against the grain to defend JR in any shape or form :wink: BUT back in the early days of the forum the Hertford Section was created at the request of Hertford posters.

I (and JR too I expect) don't give two hoots what is discussed where. The veering off topic and back (ish!) again is all part of this forum's rich tapestry.

I think JR was asking in a "would you like it moved" rather than "it has been posted in the wrong place" tone.

Just my opinion *dons tin hat ducks*

viewtopic.php?f=34&t=748

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Re: A View from the Red House

Post by CHAZ » Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:41 pm

Kim2s70-77 wrote:
J.R. wrote:Not being pedantic, but would this thread not be better off in the Hertford Forum ?

- very appropriate, n'est-ce pa??

N'est-ce pas?!
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Re: A View from the Red House

Post by Kim2s70-77 » Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:02 pm

CHAZ wrote:
Kim2s70-77 wrote:
J.R. wrote:Not being pedantic, but would this thread not be better off in the Hertford Forum ?

- very appropriate, n'est-ce pa??

N'est-ce pas?!
Thank you! Where was Ms Griffith-Williams when I needed her! ( Perhaps this would be more appropriate on a Pedant's thread!! :lol: )

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