Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lobster

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: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lob

Post by postwarblue » Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:12 pm

Well there was Mr Terry in the Music dept who wore blue sunglasses. And Fallic Matthews teaching chemistry who wore a sports jacket patterned with the fallout of his trade. Sometimes he would reach into the inside pocket for something and out would come his private office - wallet, chequebook, wodge of letters etc etc. inches thick. He had some sort of astigmatism (possibly from the war) so when pouring from one test tube in to another they tended not to be aligned leading to a tricky situation for those in the front row. And Boom Macnutt and Fred Haslehust teaching Classics who always wore plus fours. And when I was in LF, Fanny Hurst with her hairnet into which one could pea-shoot small chewed up balls of paper. And Mr Pink in the Prep with his small rubber dog's bone that he would throw at the inattentive, but whose weird shape made for unpredictable richochets. And boring, pedantic Kit Aitken with his tin leg and bike with one pedal removed. And Corks Cochrane who occasionally threw up on his way back from the Common Room in the evening. And Pongo Littlefield peering into his hanky after blowing his nose so as to assess the result. And somebody teaching cardboard work to the Prep in the Manual School who roamed round the class reciting bits from the Bible to himself. And Man Sargent as Dining Hall Warden giving forth mantras like "Every man must eat a herring". And Chinky Buck climbing in and out of his classroom window to pinch one of The Oil's roses for a buttonhole, and in summer getting fourteen boys into his car for a lift to Early Baths (into which he joined). And the Chaplain CAC Hann telling us about Red Indian woman tied up to a tree to give birth. And Mr Mackerras keeping a boy back so as to show him a picture of June Whitfield doing a star jump. And David Farrar who had been in the Navy but couldn't manage boys taking the gymshoe to two complete rugger teams because of the chaos they had brought the game to. And Mr Everett in Physics spotting a boy in Col A picking tiny globs of mercury off the bench on his finger and eating them. I could go on ..
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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lob

Post by michael scuffil » Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:18 pm

And Mr Tyson (who'd been with the successful Everest expedition) skiiing to school from ThB, and AL Johnstone who had a predilection for helping juniors with handstands at PT, and Tom Keeley who fell asleep in pretty well every lesson when he wasn't actually talking...
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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lob

Post by bluegrunt » Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:17 am

Thanks for these posts - they cheer me up! Nice to see the reference to THK and falling asleep in class. He was still doing this 10 years later. Uncle Tom introduced me to The Lord of the Rings, reading from the chapter dealing with the trip through the mines of Moria. I can still hear his deep voice booming, "Doom, doom went the drums".
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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lob

Post by pierre » Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:00 pm

Pongo Littlefield with just the one blue suit all term and his nervous habit of giving a twitch of the gavel block in dining hall before banging the gavel for grace. Story goes that some wag had at some time attached a pile of gun caps to the base with explosive results!!
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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lob

Post by michael scuffil » Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:00 pm

pierre wrote:Pongo Littlefield with just the one blue suit all term and his nervous habit of giving a twitch of the gavel block in dining hall before banging the gavel for grace. Story goes that some wag had at some time attached a pile of gun caps to the base with explosive results!!
Like!
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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lob

Post by J.R. » Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:52 pm

postwarblue wrote:Well there was Mr Terry in the Music dept who wore blue sunglasses. And Fallic Matthews teaching chemistry who wore a sports jacket patterned with the fallout of his trade. Sometimes he would reach into the inside pocket for something and out would come his private office - wallet, chequebook, wodge of letters etc etc. inches thick. He had some sort of astigmatism (possibly from the war) so when pouring from one test tube in to another they tended not to be aligned leading to a tricky situation for those in the front row. And Boom Macnutt and Fred Haslehust teaching Classics who always wore plus fours. And when I was in LF, Fanny Hurst with her hairnet into which one could pea-shoot small chewed up balls of paper. And Mr Pink in the Prep with his small rubber dog's bone that he would throw at the inattentive, but whose weird shape made for unpredictable richochets. And boring, pedantic Kit Aitken with his tin leg and bike with one pedal removed. And Corks Cochrane who occasionally threw up on his way back from the Common Room in the evening. And Pongo Littlefield peering into his hanky after blowing his nose so as to assess the result. And somebody teaching cardboard work to the Prep in the Manual School who roamed round the class reciting bits from the Bible to himself. And Man Sargent as Dining Hall Warden giving forth mantras like "Every man must eat a herring". And Chinky Buck climbing in and out of his classroom window to pinch one of The Oil's roses for a buttonhole, and in summer getting fourteen boys into his car for a lift to Early Baths (into which he joined). And the Chaplain CAC Hann telling us about Red Indian woman tied up to a tree to give birth. And Mr Mackerras keeping a boy back so as to show him a picture of June Whitfield doing a star jump. And David Farrar who had been in the Navy but couldn't manage boys taking the gymshoe to two complete rugger teams because of the chaos they had brought the game to. And Mr Everett in Physics spotting a boy in Col A picking tiny globs of mercury off the bench on his finger and eating them. I could go on ..

Some of those you mention were still there in my day Robert.

We knew Mr Matthews as PHALLIC Matthews, not FALLIC. One can't but help to wonder why !! I remember many a 'chuckle' in his science lessons !
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lob

Post by eucsgmrc » Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:22 pm

postwarblue wrote:... boring, pedantic Kit Aitken with his tin leg and bike with one pedal removed.
And his skill of peeling and eating an orange on a plate with a knife and fork without getting his fingers messy. Of course, his neighbours at table got frequent eyefulls of juice.

It was safer when he was served a piece of cheese for dessert. Except once, when he was given some blue cheese which he did not fancy, and he gave it to me. It was one of the few good decisions he ever made. The cheese poisoned me spectacularly. Even that, though, had its benefits. I've had a very strong stomach in later years, with the resistance that I built up at CH.
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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lob

Post by bluegrunt » Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:57 pm

eucsgmrc wrote:I've had a very strong stomach in later years, with the resistance that I built up at CH.
Heh heh. I sometimes think that the ability to eat just about anything was one of "the great benefits" I received at CH!
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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lob

Post by sejintenej » Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:42 pm

J.R. wrote: We knew Mr Matthews as PHALLIC Matthews, not FALLIC. One can't but help to wonder why !! I remember many a 'chuckle' in his science lessons !
ISTR AC and DC - one was a science master and the other his brother who made occasional visits. Nods and winks, their nicknames were allegedly not related to electricity. Never was taught by him (whichever one was the master)

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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lob

Post by PeteC » Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:22 pm

I've come to this Topic a bit late, I see the last contribution was over a year ago. But "Uncle" Kirby: what a man! I suppose my main interaction with him was through the Signals platoon, as someone said a loosely organised bunch of subversives and people who couldn't quite make it as conscientious objectors. Scruffy he was indeed, but on one occasion he was briefing us on parade for inspection by a visiting VIP in the Science Quad, in his best Major's uniform, and he stepped backwards into the goldfish pond. A single syllable "F**K!" escaped his lips as his shiny boots, neatly pressed trousers and immaculately Blancoed gaiters splashed into the water. The moment was electric: we'd never before heard a swearword, especially that particular one, uttered by a master. He quickly recovered his composure and continued his briefing.

He wore dark glasses in those days, and had a not very well controlled tenor voice, a bit like Harry Secombe.

Oh yes, and he gave a lot of us nicknames. Mine was "Henscold", a sort of antonym of my name, in fact you didn't really feel you were one of his group unless he'd got a name for you.

But the main thing was Signals Camp. I think it was held at the end of the Summer hols, in a field just up the hill from Amberley. We slept in a round bell tent, with our feet to the middle. Geoffrey Cannon was there (Hi Geoffrey, I'll eMail you soon with some more stuff) The diet was extraordinary: we were introduced to such delicacies as Pigs' Trotters; and the sanitary facilities were, well I couldn't even call them basic. You took a roll of paper and an entrenching tool and off you went up the hillside. Some of us, myself included, were a bit embarrassed to perform these functions in full view, but if you came upon Uncle there, he would roar with laughter at your embarrassment. We took enormous backpack No18 walkie talkie sets and wandered about the Downs passing messages to each other. Those primitive valve sets, which weighed over 30lbs including a heavy HT/LT battery, would keep going out of tune and had to be re-netted, a complex procedure to ensure everyone was transmitting and receiving on the same frequency. I think we managed to lug the things as far as Chanctonbury Ring and back.

He seemed to be in his lab all hours of the day, and he had a lot of communications equipment there, and he would be networking with people all the time (not sure whether by voice of in Morse).

There were Morse practices for the Signals people: he's tap out messages for us on a buzzer, like:

Bring me six density Bottles
And put them all down in a row,
Bring me six litres of POISON
To tie up my tripes in a bow.

There! and I've remembered it after nearly 60 years.
Peter Cockshott. Prep A/Peele A 1948-1956

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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lob

Post by michael scuffil » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:59 pm

Cockshott -- Henscold: like it! That's the best one I've heard.

A *roll* of loo-paper? At the ordinary CCF camp, the RSM would hand out three sheets and say: 'One up, one down, and one to polish!' (or so I was told -- perhaps that's a 'friend of a friend of a friend' myth).
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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lob

Post by PeteC » Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:12 pm

Well perhaps it was only 3 sheets, I can't remember. After all it was nearly 60 years ago. (Probably 1955).
Peter Cockshott. Prep A/Peele A 1948-1956

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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lob

Post by LongGone » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:41 pm

bluegrunt wrote:Thanks for these posts - they cheer me up! Nice to see the reference to THK and falling asleep in class. He was still doing this 10 years later. Uncle Tom introduced me to The Lord of the Rings, reading from the chapter dealing with the trip through the mines of Moria. I can still hear his deep voice booming, "Doom, doom went the drums".
He read exactly the same passage to us (about 1959) and it lead to an undignified scramble at the library.
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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lob

Post by sejintenej » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:23 pm

michael scuffil wrote:Cockshott -- Henscold: like it! That's the best one I've heard.

A *roll* of loo-paper? At the ordinary CCF camp, the RSM would hand out three sheets and say: 'One up, one down, and one to polish!' (or so I was told -- perhaps that's a 'friend of a friend of a friend' myth).
I don't recall that at our CCF camps but I had heard it was standing orders during WWI.

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Re: Strange old man dressed in WW1 army gear / dog named lob

Post by eucsgmrc » Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:04 pm

sejintenej wrote:
michael scuffil wrote: ... the RSM would hand out three sheets and say: 'One up, one down, and one to polish!' ...
I don't recall that at our CCF camps but I had heard it was standing orders during WWI.
Standing orders? That would not have made it any easier.

Still, that kind of experience continues to come in useful in modern life. For example ...

In Scotland (and, for all I know, in England too) people in a certain age range get sent, every three years, a kit of poo-sticks to sample our own faeces and post them off to a lab for analysis. It's an awkward and disagreeable procedure, or it would be, if Housey and CCF camp and heavily glazed Bronco paper hadn't inured me to worse. I have even coped with the loo in a Chinese train (although not yet with one of their public toilets in the street).
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