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grace

Posted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:18 am
by michael scuffil
Can anyone who was there at the time recall whether there were occasions when even after the accession of the queen, a Grecian still, from force of habit, said 'Protect thy church, the king, and all the royal family' when reading Grace?

Re: grace

Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:22 pm
by 3078260061
I was there at the time, and don't remember anyone ever getting the sovereign's gender wrong when reading the Grace. I first had to read it myself in November 1951 when I got my buttons, so started with saying "King" then and had to change to "Queen" in the following February.
I think there was a card in the pulpit with the two Graces on it, but I knew the words so well from hearing them 3 times daily for 8 years that I didn't have to refer to it, and I doubt if anyone else did either. Whether or not the card was amended I don' t know. However I suspect that whoever was due to read Grace for the first time after the King's death was announced probably got a reminder from one of the staff to change it.

Re: grace

Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:39 pm
by Katharine
Was Grace read by all Button Grecians in turn or did you have those with good reading voices selected? We had School Readers, who could be anyone in the VI form that DR thought suitable. There were also deputies, and in one case a girl who had to repeat her O level year was a deputy, it was very strange seeing the Grace read by someone wearing a pinny.

Re: grace

Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 12:15 am
by 3078260061
As far as I remember all Button Grecians took a turn, starting on your 17th birthday when you got your buttons. I think one got reminded the day before when your next turn came round, though I can't now remember by whom. I suppose once you were on the list you all followed in sequence, but whoever maintained the list obviously had to allow for absences (in the sicker, in teams playing away, at university interviews and so on)
I think there was one exception in my time. One boy in my year had a very bad stammer, and he only had to do it once, on the day he qualified for the duty. Most of the school knew his problem, and we waited patiently while he got through what must have been an ordeal for him, especially "chartitable benevolence".

Re: grace

Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:56 pm
by Katharine
Thanks - I should have said that our Head Girl was always made a Reader, whether she had been before or not. My second year that was Isobel Robertson(?) who had a lovely Scottish accent. There was some glee when we realised that we would be hearing grace read with an accent DR had previously spurned!

Re: grace

Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:54 pm
by michael scuffil
Grace was read by all full grecians, some even before they got their buttons as such (you had to be 17 to wear those). Officially, 2nd Partings read at breakfast, 1st Partings at dinner*, and 3rd Partings at tea. But there were never very many 3rd Partings, so grace at tea was mostly also read by 2nd Partings. The rota was kept by a boy whose trade it was (he was a senior in Barnes A when I was a grecian, presumably to ease liaison with Littlefield the Hall Warden, who was housemaster of Barnes A). He also had to come and get you, and I think he had other jobs relating to running errands for the Hall Warden.

The card with the grace was still there in the early sixties. Although I too knew the graces off by heart (and still do -- I last recited it (the first one) at an OB's wedding feast in Turku in 2002), I always read it from the card, out of nervousness, I suppose.

*edit
Grace before dinner was read by the school monitor who was reading the lessons in chapel that week. But he might have been at the headmaster's table on the dais at the end of dinner, so another 1st Parting was deputed for then.

Re: grace

Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:00 pm
by jhopgood
michael scuffil wrote:Grace was read by all full grecians, some even before they got their buttons as such (you had to be 17 to wear those). Officially, 2nd Partings read at breakfast, 1st Partings at dinner*, and 3rd Partings at tea. But there were never very many 3rd Partings, so grace at tea was mostly also read by 2nd Partings. The rota was kept by a boy whose trade it was (he was a senior in Barnes A when I was a grecian, presumably to ease liaison with Littlefield the Hall Warden, who was housemaster of Barnes A). He also had to come and get you, and I think he had other jobs relating to running errands for the Hall Warden.

The card with the grace was still there in the early sixties. Although I too knew the graces off by heart (and still do -- I last recited it (the first one) at an OB's wedding feast in Turku in 2002), I always read it from the card, out of nervousness, I suppose.

*edit
Grace before dinner was read by the school monitor who was reading the lessons in chapel that week. But he might have been at the headmaster's table on the dais at the end of dinner, so another 1st Parting was deputed for then.
I can only ever remember Button Grecians reading grace.

Turku - Keith Battarbee?

Re: grace

Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:48 pm
by michael scuffil
jhopgood wrote: I can only ever remember Button Grecians reading grace.

Turku - Keith Battarbee?
By your time and mine, it was very unusual for 1st year grecians to be made full grecians (this was usually done on the basis of A Level results at the end of the first grecians' year) so consequently there were few 3rd partings, and the promotion was invariably in the summer term. By then, almost all of the few concerned were 17+.

Your question: Yes, of course.

Re: grace

Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:38 pm
by Fjgrogan
Yes - Turku - Keith Battarbee. My daughter Maria knows Keith and his wife Ruth well. They are all members of the Turku Cathedral International Congregation. I seem to remember that we said the CH Grace at the party following my grandson's baptism there two years ago. There are pictures on the overseas thread of this forum of the CH contingent at that occasion. Also that Easter weekend both the pastor who performed the baptism and my son-in-law were celebrating their 50th birthdays. Keith is now training as a Reader and his wife Ruth has just started ordination training. Maria seems to be spending a lot of time helping out with church admin, so clearly the spirit of the religious , royal and ancient foundation lives on in foreign parts.

Re: grace

Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:48 am
by geoffreycannon
Michael Scuffil and jhopwood are correct, at least at the time when they and I were at CH. As soon as you became appointed as a Grecian you were in line to say Grace. It was not common to become a Grecian before the age of 17 when you got your Buttons, but it happened. I remember. This was my case. The decision to make a boy a Grecian was, I always understood, taken by the master who was the head of department, without further consultation. Different heads of department had different policies. At my time it was Derrick Macnutt, and Michael Cherniavsky, new in post, who placed their bets first. The more prudent heads of department no doubt waited for A level results, but I never took A levels. I cannot remember who told us, but the first two of the year in late 1956, when we were 16 and a half, were Geoffrey Griffin and me, both in Peele A, the house sat central in Dining Hall, which with Lamb A was next to the pulpit and also next to the Hall Warden's desk, mallet and all. I hustled. I asked Geoffrey if I could go first (or I may, shame on me, have told him) and I sidled up to the desk and told the Warden - was it really Pongo Littlefield - that it was my turn. I suppose he had a note of verification. So up the pulpit steps I went, and stood there for a while, hands firm on the rim, and clocked a panorama of the entire 850 masters and boys, felt those who knew me saying to themselves 'f*ck, it's Cannon', and licked my lips, and said Grace. This was a time of my life.

And so a suggestion for a new thread on this site: 'The gentle art of making enemies at CH'.

On Grace. Has anybody heard the story that once, one boy crouched in the pulpit and said Grace, while the boy standing at the pulpit mimed the words? And if so, is there evidence that this actually happened, and who dunnit?

Another suggestion for a new thread. Pranks in Chapel. I was reminded of this by a post saying that Gordon van Praagh played Sermon Cricket, presumably as inspired by PG Wodehouse, as a bunch of us in Peele A did for money, sat under the great Chapel pulpit. There was the Sunday when I drew the preacher whose sermon was on Trinity Sunday, who scored 666 for 1... No no, another time...

Re: grace

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:54 pm
by Tommy
Geoffrey you mentioning "miming" reminded me of the time one of the Girls (possibly Louise Pickett?) mimed reading Grace whilst a lad with a particularly deep tone provided voiceover duties in the late 80s. Twas rather funny; I don't think there was any comeback from it either as I think it was an "end of term" prank.

Re: grace

Posted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:43 pm
by J.R.
Tommy wrote:Geoffrey you mentioning "miming" reminded me of the time one of the Girls (possibly Louise Pickett?) mimed reading Grace whilst a lad with a particularly deep tone provided voiceover duties in the late 80s. Twas rather funny; I don't think there was any comeback from it either as I think it was an "end of term" prank.

I'm sure there would have been serious repurcussions in my day, though there weren't any young ladies at that stage !!