Bullying & Abuse - Take II

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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White Flag
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Post by White Flag » Wed Nov 21, 2007 2:56 pm

Actually even though it was a long time ago the scars are still there. Not that I think about it everyday, however what type of person would I have been IF life at CH had been somewhat easier? Not that I was a model pupil...far from it. I think that the school turned me into a fairly hard person who does not trust other people easily. Imagine having kept your mates at home that you grew up with. Imagine not going through the anguish of everyday working out how many seconds were left until you met your parents on a leave day...then on that day working out how many seconds were left until they left again. Imagine not having nightmares during the summer holidays trying to convince your parents that there was amonth left and then waking up sure that today was the day to go back to school.
Could do better !

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Ajarn Philip
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Post by Ajarn Philip » Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:02 pm

Aside from anything else, WF, welcome to the forum. When I saw your first post, I thought you were having a one-off (and probably long delayed) rant and would never be heard from again. I'm glad you followed up on the original, and I hope you stay with us.

I also hope you've had time to plough through the whole of this thread and to have a good look round the rest of the forum; there are a lot of postings very relevant to your situation. It's more than just a CH lovefest. Many members of varying backgrounds and from different eras had all sorts of issues resulting from their time at CH, some of which haven't faded much with time.

Fortunately there doesn't seem to be too much bullying on this forum. I'm on two others, and this is the only one where (as far as I know) the moderators very rarely have to intervene.




Sej/David, your Post Office experiences sound more like incompetence than bullying. If you want a 'demanding' experience of bureaucracy you should come and live in Thailand - that would really try your patience. One of these days I'll start a thread on it!
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Post by cj » Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:22 pm

White Flag wrote:Imagine not going through the anguish of everyday working out how many seconds were left until you met your parents on a leave day...then on that day working out how many seconds were left until they left again. Imagine not having nightmares during the summer holidays trying to convince your parents that there was amonth left and then waking up sure that today was the day to go back to school.
I'd echo what Ajarn Philip says and hope that you keep posting on the forum.

I remember only too well that feeling of the anticipation of leave days but once it had arrived, the anxiety of knowing that the countdown 'til it was over was on and not being able to enjoy myself. I had my last CH dream only a month or so ago. For years the recurring theme was that I was back as a pupil, frantically trying to explain that I didn't need to be at school because I was 35 and no, I hadn't done my Maths homework during the holidays. Then it changed to my last day and Retreat and utter despair and sadness at being wrenched away from my cohort. How bizarre. In retrospect, I have come to accept that despite the unique opportunities afforded me there (the band & theatre, the pomp and pageantry, which I loved and am eternally grateful for), CH generally was not the right environment for me to grow up in. I know that there is no way of changing it and I'm not to know how I may have turned out elsewhere, but having spent years analysing it I think I understand myself and my needs a little better, and know how they ought to have been met then and now. Boarding school was not the right place for me as a youngster.

This is a lot of wiffle so I shall depart to cook the tea!
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Post by J.R. » Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:35 pm

White Flag mirrors a lot of my thoughts about the school.

My days in Prep B were pure absolute hell, with no help from a my Housemaster.

After a year up the other end of the Avenue, growing taller and stronger, I became the Champion of the bullied juniors.

I could go on and on, but then that we be a sensible post from me - Almost something unheard of !! :roll:
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Post by Ajarn Philip » Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:45 pm

... but interesting 'wiffle'...

cj wrote:
I remember only too well that feeling of the anticipation of leave days but once it had arrived, the anxiety of knowing that the countdown 'til it was over was on and not being able to enjoy myself. I had my last CH dream only a month or so ago. For years the recurring theme was that I was back as a pupil, frantically trying to explain that I didn't need to be at school because I was 35 and no, I hadn't done my Maths homework during the holidays. Then it changed to my last day and Retreat and utter despair and sadness at being wrenched away from my cohort. How bizarre. In retrospect, I have come to accept that despite the unique opportunities afforded me there (the band & theatre, the pomp and pageantry, which I loved and am eternally grateful for), CH generally was not the right environment for me to grow up in. I know that there is no way of changing it and I'm not to know how I may have turned out elsewhere, but having spent years analysing it I think I understand myself and my needs a little better, and know how they ought to have been met then and now. Boarding school was not the right place for me as a youngster.
Aside from my first year, my time at CH was generally positive, but I still remember dreams (well, more like nightmares, really...) during the holidays that suddenly it was time to go back to school, then waking up to realise that there were still two weeks to go...

More recently, when I was acting I'd have all sorts of 'insecurity' dreams about realising that tomorrow was the opening night and I still hadn't learnt my lines - appear on stage with script in hand, or do a runner? Or walking on stage naked. But they were always set at CH, and usually in the circular 'ring' stage DNP used for 'Indians', my first appearance in a school play, and probably the last school play in Big School. I've also had a number of dreams where I'm back at CH, as a pupil in uniform, as a (very) mature student.

I don't know how I would have turned out if I hadn't gone to CH. I do know that it created a distance between me and my immediate family that probably wouldn't have existed if I'd gone to the local grammar. I also know that, although I wasn't given a choice first time round, if the situation arose again I would definitely choose to go, hoping that I would take even better advantage of the many opportunities presented to me (of which I was pretty much unaware at the time).

And you thought you were 'wiffling', cj... :wink:
I know exactly what words I am wanting to say, but somehow or other they is always getting squiffsquiddled around

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Post by sejintenej » Wed Nov 21, 2007 5:26 pm

Ajarn Philip wrote:...

More recently, when I was acting I'd have all sorts of 'insecurity' dreams about realising that tomorrow was the opening night and I still hadn't learnt my lines - appear on stage with script in hand, or do a runner? Or walking on stage naked. But they were always set at CH, and usually in the circular 'ring' stage DNP used for 'Indians', my first appearance in a school play, and probably the last school play in Big School. I've also had a number of dreams where I'm back at CH, as a pupil in uniform, as a (very) mature student.
I still occasionally have nightmares about CH. It was Kit Aitken who forced me onto the stage in a house play - a play I considered rubbish and a (non-speaking) part which didn't suit the plot and was created for me. As a result I studiously avoided such public situations, even meeting people. It was about 20 years later when my employer forced me to address a group of ragamuffins and tell them about the City of London and the financial arena (a subject I even knew about). The reason I was chosen? they were from CH!

Ajarn Philip wrote:...
I don't know how I would have turned out if I hadn't gone to CH. I do know that it created a distance between me and my immediate family that probably wouldn't have existed if I'd gone to the local grammar. I also know that, although I wasn't given a choice first time round, if the situation arose again I would definitely choose to go, hoping that I would take even better advantage of the many opportunities presented to me (of which I was pretty much unaware at the time).
One can never tell. Grammer school was never a possibility - even education after the age of 11 was doubtful. As for relations with my family - there were almost none to start off with - but my original mother had decided what job I would do even when I was 2 (and I have the photo to prove it!!!) and it didn't really need the three Rs in those days.

As for the oportunities, were there any? My mother had to pay for piano lessons but my housemaster would not give me the pass necessary to go to the Music School to practice. Hence that money was wasted, I got hell from the teacher for not practicing and even more from my mother who couldn't afford the music fees in any case. Everyone says that CH is good for music; maybe but my only exposure was Daddy Dor's indian club for being off key (whatever that is) and being forced to sit through interminable raucous sounds in Big School with no understanding that there even existed pleasant music. No, so-called music at CH was a definite turnoff. Of course in those days the radio was on for the Archers and the news and nothing else. As the Daily Sketch remninded the nation, even pop music was banned at CH
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Post by cj » Wed Nov 21, 2007 9:14 pm

:offtopic:
Ajarn Philip wrote:... but interesting 'wiffle'... :wink:
Wiffle and me are bfs.
sejintenej wrote:Of course in those days the radio was on for the Archers ...

Sounds like bliss to me. I haven't had an uninterrupted listen to The Archers for months, nay years.

Prithee, sirs and mistresses, continue. :backtotopic:
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Post by blondie95 » Wed Nov 21, 2007 9:29 pm

I certainly think the school has improved on its stance and action towards bullying. Having heard and seen many occasions to prove so.
Isnt bullying etc like so many other things you learn from error as to how to deal with it. Just like im sure many of us have learnt how to deal with certain characters we have to work with from doing it time and time again.

I was bullied at CH for reasons beyond me ever knowing. to the people doing it I tried to show them i was not bothered and didnt rise to it-behind closed doors it hurt and got me down. But i had a group of very good close friends who i knew liked me for me and that got me through.

Its a very tough thing for schools to recognise and deal with (bullies can be very clever).
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Post by icomefromalanddownunder » Thu Nov 22, 2007 4:13 am

sejintenej wrote:There is bullying in various forms everywhere and the authorities are perhaps the worst; we just have to live with it.
No, sorry to disagree, but we don't have to live with it.

We may choose to live with it because we don't wish to invest the time and energy needed to oppose it, but we do have that choice, and should, perhaps, consider that bad things happen when good people choose to do nothing.

Best wishes

Caroline

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Post by michael scuffil » Thu Nov 22, 2007 7:03 am

sejintenej wrote:even pop music was banned at CH
It was indeed, pop and "rock and roll" [sic]. Though of course there was always Radio Luxembourg to listen to under the sheets -- don't we all remember Horace Bachelor (K-E-Y-N-S-H-A-M)?

But what David says reinforces a point I made somewhere else: it depended very much on the housemaster. ColA was thought of as a "fascist" house in our day, and that wasn't because the boys were any different, but because the housemaster was. What the very decent junior housemasters (Corks and David Herbert) thought about it, I can't think.

I have often thanked my lucky stars I was in Thornton B. As John Page told my parents on my first day: "This is a happy house." The clear implication was that there were others that weren't. (PeB under Matthews was another bullying house.)

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Post by sejintenej » Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:43 am

michael scuffil wrote:But what David says reinforces a point I made somewhere else: it depended very much on the housemaster. ColA was thought of as a "fascist" house
which reminds me of another weakness in the CH system - lack of English vocab and history lessons. Even though I know the word stems from the ancient Roman fasces or bundles of rods signifying authority and was used by Mussolini (and CH didn't tell me even that) to this day I don't know what Fascist really implies!!!
michael scuffil wrote:in our day, and that wasn't because the boys were any different, but because the housemaster was. What the very decent junior housemasters (Corks and David Herbert) thought about it, I can't think.
They kept well out of the way. We had absolutely no contact with them except that I went drinking with him after Corks left and I think it was Herbert who arranged my Spanish lessons. Their successor did have contact with the boys in that he had a Scottish Dancing class in one of the dormitories each week.
michael scuffil wrote:I have often thanked my lucky stars I was in Thornton B. As John Page told my parents on my first day: "This is a happy house." The clear implication was that there were others that weren't. (PeB under Matthews was another bullying house.)
Yes, I heard about Thorn B from one of the very few CH boys I would be happy to see again; although I know where he lives and works ( Newton Abbott area, Devon) he seems to have decided to have no further contact with OBs (even those in ThornB) and CH. As for PeB, bullying seems to be an understatement. Matthews also had a reputation for being a hard caner and slipperer (if those are proper words). In terms of strokes received the school leader in my day hailed from PeB
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Post by huggermugger » Sun Nov 25, 2007 8:30 am

icomefromalanddownunder wrote:No, sorry to disagree, but we don't have to live with it.

.....but we do have that choice, and should, perhaps, consider that bad things happen when good people choose to do nothing.

Best wishes

Caroline
Amen to that. I am firmly of the belief that it should be challenged at every level. Acceptance of bullying in any form is tantamount to taking part in it.

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Post by postwarblue » Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:40 am

In about 1949 in Col B bullying of a certain boy after lights out reached such a pitch that his glasses broke and cut his face. The hullabaloo was such that AH Buck came into the junior dormitory. I heard him say 'This is the culmination of years of disgusting bullying'. 1. Proves he knew all about it all along and 2. did NOTHING about it.

The victim, who had originally been fast-tracking, left at 16 and I have never heard of him in OB circles, unlike the perpetrators, whom I could name but don't fancy a libel suit.
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Re: Bullying & Abuse - Take II

Post by Jude » Mon Apr 14, 2008 3:41 pm

well that took over an hour to read through - and I am no better feeling than when I saw the title...

CH has, and sadly always WILL have a record for bullying... I believe this adamently. Why?? Because of the broken families that the children often come from, because there is ALWAYS someone who thinks they are better than someone else, and because there is always someone who HAS BULLIED before and not BEEN PUNNISHED.

AT Hertford I was bullied mentally, verbally and sometimes physically - how has it left me? Much the same as when I was there I think - I put on a brave and hard front to repel all boarders and in a way to preserve my inner self which I have to admit is as wobbly as a blamange. This means people either bounce off my armour and think I am horrible, or harsh and so they bully me, or they see through the armour and bully me for being a whimp.

My position was between a rock and a hard place - I wasn't sent to CH for education, I was sent to get me out of the house, because I was a child from the previous marriage, I was a girl where he (my blood father) only wanted boys, and from the age of 10 years he sexually abused me - I was beaten regularly - and I mean several times a day not once a month.. Anything at home that I could be blamed for I was and duly punnished. It flowed over to CH, and I got bullied there - but it was safer there than being at home

I sent my son the CH hoping things had changed - he was "out of the ordinry" as he was a year ahead, and intelligent - and guess what - he was bullied from day 1..Lamb B has possibly the worst reputation for bullies. In the 3rd year he threatened to hang himself by his belt (see those girdles were useful after all) - he had phoned his best friend to tell him, and to say goodbye, within 4 hours I was in the school - with my son, the headmistress, and the house parents - the house parents couldn't give a toss - they didn't care, they were rude, and they said that my son was the bully not the victim...Even AFTER the head had read out written and verbal reports about my son being bullied and NEVER striking back... I removed him, and for 6 months he had no education. He went on to Millfield, but he had lost the worth ethos, the I can't be bothered attitude became his - and sadly I see today that he hasn't really learnt that much more since leaving CH - he says he thinks he is stronger -but I am not at all sure he is..

And ME????????? Well I have finished 2 years of psychotherapy for attempting suicide x 2... reasons? I felt unworthy to be a parent - after all I had gone through, then my son, then trying to tell my step brother of our fathers behaviour, I was squashed, chewed and spat out - it was all a nightmare - and to me dying was the only way to go... I am a little better - I will always be on anti-depressants, I see bullying going on all around me - my neighbours are vile to their children - but I can't intervene - as they are just as vile to me - so I am still that stupid pink blamange - I haven't really grown up from the day I was ripped away from my foster parents at nearly 6...and now at 44 I guess there are things that you cannot change - and that is your inner being...

Bullying should never be tolderated
Staff need to deal with it there and then not later
Everyone should be aware of bullying and how is should not be tolerated
Everyone should be aware it still goes on.
Jude Comber (nee Kelynack) 5's 5.38 1975-1980 Herts.
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Re: Bullying & Abuse - Take II

Post by rockfreak » Wed May 07, 2014 9:02 pm

Anyone with doubts, thoughts, agonised memories, etc should read Alex Renton's piece in last Sunday's Observer (4 May) about
his truly awful experiences as Ashdown House, a prep school feeder for Eton in the 60s where, astoundingly, Viscount Linley was
a young contemporary. Physical abuse, sexual abuse, bible bashing, humiliations and general nastiness. Apparently, boarding schools
are on the rise again because today's generation think they're a sort of fun version of Hogwarts! I'm aghast reading some of these
recollections from former CH pupils. What seems to stick out from all this is that you're lucky if your housemaster is on top of things,
and in any case I don't believe that boarding is for everyone. Children should have the last word on their situation.

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