The Arthur Rider Song

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The Arthur Rider Song

Post by DavidRawlins » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:22 am

The Arthur Song or Riders at CH
By: Pitter, Kidner and others. Written C. 1952-53
(To be sung to the tune of "We plough the fields and scatter").

I'm Middleton Housemaster,
And President of the Band.
I have a finger in each pie,
That's in the school at hand;
I organise shoe cleaning,
Next term i/c of corps,
And as I've lots of time to spare
I'm looking round for more,

Chorus:-
All good posts at Housie
Are held by Arthur R.
And now he's looking round for one
Where he can use his car.

Miss Stevenson you've served me
Most faithfully and true
But Lady Superintendant
Is not the job for you
I'll supervise the kitchens
Put figs in every sweet
And give you prunes on Speech Day
An extra special treat

Chorus

Chaps I'm quite good at woodwork
That Deakin man must go
Great Scott! The doctors ailing,
I'll be the next M.O.
Next term when I'm Headmaster
Then everything I'll change.
I'll chuck out old Pop Beaven
And organise the range.

Chorus

I hear that Corks is leaving
Someone must take the choir.
I've heard the art of music
Is easy to aquire.
My organ playing's lousy
Chaps! there's no need to groan
I've got ten quid left over
We'll by a gramophone.

Chorus

I'll take command of swimming,
And run the steeplechase,
The Gym Eight and that Fifteen
And cricket at this place.
The bowlers arm is sacred,
And if you late arrive
I'll run you round the asphalt,
On Sundays (Two till Five).

Chorus

I know the Chaplain's leaving
Chaps I'm a Holy man
And now I'm taking lessons
From Charles Augustus Hann.
My sermons every Sunday
Will last for hours and hours;
(Two sermons every Sunday
Will not exhaust my powers).

Chorus

And now that I'm Headmaster
And Healey's days are past
I'll make the track my garage
And travel round it fast.
I'll take the bends at sixty!
The straight in perfect style
And knock a minute off the time
Of Housey's record mile.

Final Chorus:-
And now that I'm World Champion
"Sir Arthur" I shall be
And rise to greater glories
Than Flecker C.B.E.
Col A 1946-1953

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Re: The Arthur Rider Song

Post by Mid A 15 » Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:00 pm

Excellent!

The Arthur Rider I remember was elderly (although probably younger than I am now when I first started! :oops: ) and close to retirement. He sat in one of "the boxes" at Chapel across the Aisle from the Headmaster (CMES later DHN) as Third Master and then, after Armistead, Deputy Head.

He did teach me French which I would say was probably the difference between my obtaining a reasonably respectable "O" level in the subject and failing completely.
Ma A, Mid A 65 -72

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Re: The Arthur Rider Song

Post by michael scuffil » Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:27 am

The song contains more than a grain of truth. In my day, given that he was neither head of department nor second master, he wielded great influence (or at least everyone thought he did). Seaman (with whom I think he had quite good relations) sometimes referred to him as "the senior housemaster". I doubt if such a position ever existed, but it gave CMES an excuse for listening to him.

Given his opposition to long hair, it came as a revelation to see a photo of him as one of the St Cath's (Cambridge) 1st XV, where his coiffure was quite luxuriant.

He probably spoke French better than any other teacher (he holidayed regularly in France), but his teaching style was rather academic (and for younger forms, terrifying).

Once a French onion-seller turned up at the school looking for him. He'd apparently met him in France and said, in the way one does, "Drop in if you're in the vicinity."

He possessed a very elegant black Homburg, which he wore on St Matthew's Day.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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Re: The Arthur Rider Song

Post by J.R. » Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:18 pm

AR stayed with CH after retiring from the teaching staff, in an administrative role.

He scared the 'sh1t' out of me during my days at Horsham, but had reason to meet him in later years whilst I was at Housey for a visit, and found him a totally different character.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: The Arthur Rider Song

Post by postwarblue » Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:32 am

Did Arthur not get wounded in the war? One never really knew the details of staff war service, but there must have been some tales that could have been told (except for Rev. CAC Hann - 'I have seen ten thousand men die', 'I have seen camels sliding on their bottoms on the ice'). Oh and the baby-faced Chinky Buck, lined up in the Home Guard, being asked by a visiting general what he wanted to do when he grew up. 'Engine driver, Sir.'
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Re: The Arthur Rider Song

Post by michael scuffil » Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:48 am

postwarblue wrote:Did Arthur not get wounded in the war? One never really knew the details of staff war service, but there must have been some tales that could have been told (except for Rev. CAC Hann - 'I have seen ten thousand men die', 'I have seen camels sliding on their bottoms on the ice'). Oh and the baby-faced Chinky Buck, lined up in the Home Guard, being asked by a visiting general what he wanted to do when he grew up. 'Engine driver, Sir.'
One of Arthur's nick-names was "brass-arse", said to be a reference to a prosthesis to repair a war-wound. This story may be entirely cryptic.

Richard Fry had an M.C. You don't get those for nothing.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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Re: The Arthur Rider Song

Post by jhopgood » Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:31 pm

Just read the song and am a little surprised that it does not refer to ink.

In the days of the fountain pen, if you ran dry and needed a refill, he would always ask, "Smink or Smorink?", which he explained once and I promptly forgot.

One was school ink, made from powder and kept in a brass pouring can, guaranteed to work OK with a quill and to clog up a fountain pen.
The other was a refill of Quink.
Never knew the difference, didn't dare ask, so always carried two fountain pens, one of which leaked in my pocket. Just as well the coat was blue.

BTW, does the Golden Pen competition still exist?
Barnes B 25 (59 - 66)

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Re: The Arthur Rider Song

Post by Sid » Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:06 pm

Arthur Rider had been i/c allied transport in Northern France after the D Day landings, a very responsible position indeed, and he ended WW2 as a Lt-Col, the highest ranking master, I believe. His lessons in French were very unusual (in the 40s & 50s at least, well before the days of language labs) for he insisted that the pupils SPOKE French. No other master did this. The results were amazing. Sid

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Re: The Arthur Rider Song

Post by michael scuffil » Sat Dec 11, 2010 6:17 pm

The reason he could insist that pupils actually spoke French was that he actually spoke French himself in a way that no other master could (with the possible exception of Reggie Dean: I say "possible" because although Reggie's knowledge of French was truly encyclopaedic, I don't know how fluent a speaker he was.)
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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Re: The Arthur Rider Song

Post by J.R. » Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:19 pm

I cannot for the life of me remember who taught me French at school. JH might be able to assist.

I thought it useless at the time, but when I went to France for a few months in the 60's, found the basic education in the language invaluable !
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: The Arthur Rider Song

Post by wurzel » Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:29 pm

What was Mr Fry's middle name as you could then find the actions that got him his MC unless he is this Richard Noel Fry awarded an MC in relation to the Normandy invasion

Unit : No.3 Platoon, "A" Company, 8th Parachute Battalion

Service No. : 62792

Awards : Military Cross

For outstanding bravery and leadership. At Le Mesnil on the 16th June, Lieutenant Fry was in command of a forward platoon which was repeatedly attacked by superior numbers of the enemy for a period of eight hours. When the Platoon position was under heavy mortar and machine gun fire, Lieutenant Fry showing a complete disregard for his own safety, walked about encouraging his men. It was due to Lieutenant Fry's courage and leadership that the enemy were unable to penetrate his position. On previous occasions Lieutenant Fry has shown courage and daring in leading patrols against the enemy.

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Re: The Arthur Rider Song

Post by michael scuffil » Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:52 pm

He was certainly RN Fry, so this is probably him.

John, your French teachers would have been among the following: Peto, Pat Cullen, AL Johnstone, Arthur, Reggie Dean. Pongo Littlefield, Jack Massen, and someone called Biddick.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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Re: The Arthur Rider Song

Post by J.R. » Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:59 pm

michael scuffil wrote:He was certainly RN Fry, so this is probably him.

John, your French teachers would have been among the following: Peto, Pat Cullen, AL Johnstone, Arthur, Reggie Dean. Pongo Littlefield, Jack Massen, and someone called Biddick.

I must have been bored stiff during French lessons, because I can't remember any of them teaching me French ! Although Al J and PC are possibilities.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: The Arthur Rider Song

Post by sejintenej » Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:30 pm

J.R. wrote:
michael scuffil wrote:He was certainly RN Fry, so this is probably him.

John, your French teachers would have been among the following: Peto, Pat Cullen, AL Johnstone, Arthur, Reggie Dean. Pongo Littlefield, Jack Massen, and someone called Biddick.

I must have been bored stiff during French lessons, because I can't remember any of them teaching me French ! Although Al J and PC are possibilities.
I have JR's problem; not only was I bored but I couldn't see any sense in learning a foreign language which I would never hear or see or have any contact with. (Assumptions since proven slightly askew. Worse (and I am repeating a past post) my teacher was interviewed by an expert French speaker (SOE and residence there) who indicated "some caution" as to whether the teacher had any idea about the language.

IMHO the worst failure in my CH language education (and that of my children and grandchildren) is the failure to actually speak and use the language comprehensively. The exception was Mr Bourne whose lessons were 95% verbal in Spanish.

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Re: The Arthur Rider Song

Post by michael scuffil » Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:06 pm

sejintenej wrote:
J.R. wrote:
michael scuffil wrote:He was certainly RN Fry, so this is probably him.

John, your French teachers would have been among the following: Peto, Pat Cullen, AL Johnstone, Arthur, Reggie Dean. Pongo Littlefield, Jack Massen, and someone called Biddick.

I must have been bored stiff during French lessons, because I can't remember any of them teaching me French ! Although Al J and PC are possibilities.
I have JR's problem; not only was I bored but I couldn't see any sense in learning a foreign language which I would never hear or see or have any contact with. (Assumptions since proven slightly askew. Worse (and I am repeating a past post) my teacher was interviewed by an expert French speaker (SOE and residence there) who indicated "some caution" as to whether the teacher had any idea about the language.

IMHO the worst failure in my CH language education (and that of my children and grandchildren) is the failure to actually speak and use the language comprehensively. The exception was Mr Bourne whose lessons were 95% verbal in Spanish.
It wasn't just CH though. I got a scholarship in Mod Langs to Cambridge and found I wasn't alone in having no idea how to actually speak the languages. I still can't get a sentence of fluent French out, though I can read a French newspaper as though it were the Guardian or Telegraph. All English education in Mod Langs was like that at the time -- for boys, anyway. I did notice that the Mod Lang girls at Cambridge were far more fluent.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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