So, the underground tunnels...

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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Tommy
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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by Tommy » Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:36 pm

John the main tunnel is fully lit along its entire length; the spurs will require torchlight.

All the water pipes that feed the school run down there along with phone wires, broadband etc etc. According to the guide (a knowledgeable guy called Neil who's worked there for many years), when there were contractors working at the school, one found a large copper cable and thought he'd have it for scrap. he attached his JCB to it and pulled. And pulled. Said cable (about 3 inches in diameter) popped all its clips from the roof of the tube and fell down, smashing straight through the large plastic water pipe. They literally had to swim down the Tube to isolate which part of the was broken so they could shut the water off.

Apparently the lad with the JCB was dismissed...

Also when the water tanks were removed from the Water Tower, the first set of contractors thought it's be a good idea to drain the last of the water out of the tanks by drilling a hole in it. They flooded the bottom of the tower and were not asked back. The second set realised they needed to cut the tanks to get them out. They promptly set the Water Tower on fire. The Fire Brigade put it out...
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J.R.
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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by J.R. » Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:46 am

Irish contractors, perchance ????


:lol:
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Tommy
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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by Tommy » Thu May 01, 2014 10:24 pm

The JCB driver was...
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ColeridgeA40
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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by ColeridgeA40 » Thu Apr 02, 2015 6:39 pm

I remember as a swab in Col A having occasionally to do coal duty - one went down the tube to the coal hole and loaded scuttle from the heap, sometimes you had to bash the big bits with a pick-axe to get the smaller bits off, then you lugged the scuttle to the dumb waiter and put it on the platform. The other swab would haul it up and take it to Kit Aitken or the other other housemaster's study ( being very careful not to make a mess on the carpet) and also to take scuttles to the two studies at the end of the dayroom for the house captain and his deputy ( in my day that was Paddington & Hiner). Was it easier to load in the tube, or carry to the studies?

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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by sejintenej » Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:45 pm

ColeridgeA40 wrote:I remember as a swab in Col A having occasionally to do coal duty - one went down the tube to the coal hole and loaded scuttle from the heap, sometimes you had to bash the big bits with a pick-axe to get the smaller bits off, then you lugged the scuttle to the dumb waiter and put it on the platform. The other swab would haul it up and take it to Kit Aitken or the other other housemaster's study ( being very careful not to make a mess on the carpet) and also to take scuttles to the two studies at the end of the dayroom for the house captain and his deputy ( in my day that was Paddington & Hiner). Was it easier to load in the tube, or carry to the studies?
My condolences; that was one job we didn't have when I was a swab or trades mon only a few years before you. In fact I don't think the monitors ever had fires lit
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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by jhopgood » Thu Apr 02, 2015 11:17 pm

sejintenej wrote:My condolences; that was one job we didn't have when I was a swab or trades mon only a few years before you. In fact I don't think the monitors ever had fires lit
My first year I was swab to Laucefield (Trades Monitor) and my second to Robbins (Second Monitor), who had a study, the same that I later had, and for whom I had to make a fire in the Michaelmas term, ensure he had bread for his toast (which he toasted with a fork made in the Manual School), and clean out the fire.
Fortunately we had a coal fire at home, so I was used to making a fire.
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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by eucsgmrc » Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:29 pm

sejintenej wrote:In fact I don't think the monitors ever had fires lit
Hmmm. Curious. I was in Col A at almost exactly the same time as sejintenej, and I remember nothing of coal carrying in my early years. However, I do think the two studies had their fires lit. Certainly, when, in later years, I occupied one myself, I would enjoy a roaring fire on cold winter's days. We had a large carefully shaped sheet of metal with a handle, which could be held in front of the grate to create a forced draught. That got the fire going quickly and fiercely, and it could be almost too hot to squeeze past the fireplace and get out of the study door. Traditionally, each year's occupant of the study would burn his initials into the wood of the study door in pokerwork. I saw my own initials still there years afterwards, just before one of the big refurbishments.
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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by DavidRawlins » Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:45 pm

I was in Col A, as a swab, in 1947. I used to clean the fireplace for the second monitor, Ian Murray, but never hauled coal for him.
Col A 1946-1953

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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by ColeridgeA40 » Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:42 am

Hi John Wexler
I remember you very well as you used to read to us brats in the Junior Dorm before lights out - each monitor would read on a different night. You introduced me to books I still have, and I'm sure I have a photo of you in The Pirates of Penzance (unscanned as yet) performed by Col A at the Prep Hall.

I was lucky in that I didn't have to swab until year 3 ( LFb); I swabbed for Colin Pinch, senior dayroom Monitor, who'd have not even been a top-tabler. when you were in your final year.

I did actually enjoy coal duties, though sometimes people from Col B would come and empty the scuttle you were filling and take it themselves, as the coal hole was shared with Col B. Others of your year were I think Blythe, Paddington, but I could have been mistaken when I said paddington was the other study holder with Hiner P(?) ...

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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by J.R. » Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:49 pm

I honestly don't remember coal-scuttle duties when in Coleridge B.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by eucsgmrc » Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:27 pm

ColeridgeA40 wrote:... you used to read to us brats in the Junior Dorm before lights out - each monitor would read on a different night. You introduced me to books I still have, and I'm sure I have a photo of you in The Pirates of Penzance (unscanned as yet) performed by Col A at the Prep Hall.
Hello Robin Wild! I'm a bit disturbed to think that I might have influenced anybody's literary tastes. My ignorance and insensitivity was monumental in those days (and I can't claim much improvement since).

I do have faint but fond memories of the Pirates of Penzance, and I still have the Major General's hat. I also have a few photos, which you'll find in this set of pictures:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jandsw/se ... 099253537/

This bulletin board has a section for photos where new offerings are always very welcome.If you've got Pirates of Penzance or anything else, do please post it so that we can see.
John Wexler
Col A 1954-62

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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by jhopgood » Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:09 am

eucsgmrc wrote: I also have a few photos, which you'll find in this set of pictures:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jandsw/se ... 099253537/
Just looked at the photos of the band 1962 and actually recognise people. P Ledeboer on bass drum, Noel Abel and Paul Barnes on trombone (second row of trombones, (they both went on to play in the NYO)), and the top of my head.

Amazing and thanks
Barnes B 25 (59 - 66)

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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by ColeridgeA40 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:28 pm

Re Pirates of Penzance - John Wexler, I arrived in Col A in 1960 which was probably your last year. I also remember Fantle who changed his name to Wade after leaving CH. You read us short stories like "Ali the terrible turk" a one eyed wrestler, and "Neither man nor Dog". I do have the photos of Pirates but not scanned so I'll have to try to get them scanned sometime ( soon).

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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by eucsgmrc » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:05 pm

ColeridgeA40 wrote:... You read us short stories like "Ali the terrible turk" a one eyed wrestler, and "Neither man nor Dog".
Ah yes. Gerald Kersh. A debased taste, and not very suitable for 11-year-olds. I think I discovered him because Kit Aitken had read us those books in earlier years, but I may have misremembered that. Certainly there were several volumes of Gerald Kersh among the "house library" books that were kept on top of the dayroom lockers.

In those days, Kersh was not very highly regarded, rather as airport novels are seen as easy and trivial nowadays. I gather that critical opinion nowadays takes him much more seriously. So, if it really was Kit who put me on to Gerald Kersh, it leaves the question: was Kit lowbrow and unimaginative, as I thought then? Or was he far more discerning and thoughtful, as I now suspect?
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Re: So, the underground tunnels...

Post by Ajarn Philip » Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:59 am

eucsgmrc wrote: So, if it really was Kit who put me on to Gerald Kersh, it leaves the question: was Kit lowbrow and unimaginative, as I thought then? Or was he far more discerning and thoughtful, as I now suspect?
A third possibility exists: you now realise you have more in common than you imagined, therefore he cannot possibly have been lowbrow and unimaginative! :lol:
I know exactly what words I am wanting to say, but somehow or other they is always getting squiffsquiddled around

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