Neil Simms

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robert totterdell
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Neil Simms

Post by robert totterdell »

I have heard today that NEIL SIMMS has passed away. He taught me Economics and Politics and helped to get me an AO in Business Studies.

I always like him and e laughed together on many occasions as pupil and teacher. He was honest and truthful and whilst I am aware of the Ridley Society debates with another master, who is both dishonest and untruthful as proven in the Karin Trial evidence, Simms stood up to corruption whilst his enemies engulfed it.

Many masters at CH in my time were quite useless whilst others were more busy abusing children - Simms stood out - he knew his subjects and taught well and with we now call flair. I therefore simply offer my honour and thanks to him and my sadness to his family - he was a very good man. Rest in Peace and thank you Mr Simms.

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Re: Neil Simms

Post by loringa »

I'm sorry to hear this - he always seemed like a thoroughly decent chap to me. If I recall correctly, he took over Coleridge A from Peter Brotherton at the beginning of 1980 when I was in my final year. I don't think he ever taught me but was always perfectly friendly and pleasant. RIP
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Re: Neil Simms

Post by J.R. »

Oddly, although he appears to be after my time, the name is ringing a bell from way way back.

Could he have started at CH as a young master in the mid-60's ?? Seems unlikely though.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.
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Re: Neil Simms

Post by Mid A 15 »

I am very sorry to read this too.

Like Robert Neil Simms taught me Economics and Politics and thanks to him I managed to gain an 'A' level in the subject. He was a very enthusiastic teacher with a passion for his subject and that enthusiasm and passion was infectious so you put the work in without realising and it never seemed a chore.

He was good on the sports field too and I remember him teaching us Rugby League which was a subversive thing to do in the sixties!

RIP and my sincere condolences to his family.
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Re: Neil Simms

Post by Mid A 15 »

J.R. wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:14 pm Oddly, although he appears to be after my time, the name is ringing a bell from way way back.

Could he have started at CH as a young master in the mid-60's ?? Seems unlikely though.
I would think he was there at the tail end of your time John.
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Re: Neil Simms

Post by J.R. »

Mid A 15 wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:27 pm
J.R. wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:14 pm Oddly, although he appears to be after my time, the name is ringing a bell from way way back.

Could he have started at CH as a young master in the mid-60's ?? Seems unlikely though.
I would think he was there at the tail end of your time John.
Many thanks.

It's terrible at 72 when names flash back to the past, but you can't put a face or memory to the person.
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Re: Neil Simms

Post by Avon »

I also owe an A Level to Neil Simms. A great guy who - by virtue of what he taught - sadly I only encountered in my last few years.

Also, like Vikki Askew and APFA, one of the few teachers I find myself still admiring after the passage of many years.

I particularly admired his laconic and reasoned crusade against Masons, which he unpicked in front of us as the pompous f***wittery and pyramid scheme it actually is. To this day, whenever I get an approach from them, I smile and think of Neil.

He also raced lawnmowers, IIRC.
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Re: Neil Simms

Post by Ever Bluer »

Mid A 15 wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:27 pm
J.R. wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:14 pm Oddly, although he appears to be after my time, the name is ringing a bell from way way back.

Could he have started at CH as a young master in the mid-60's ?? Seems unlikely though.
I would think he was there at the tail end of your time John.
According to Who's Blue 1997, Neil Simms arrived at CH in 1960, remained for 33 years and then became a Governor.
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Re: Neil Simms

Post by AMP »

J.R. wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:14 pm Oddly, although he appears to be after my time, the name is ringing a bell from way way back.

Could he have started at CH as a young master in the mid-60's ?? Seems unlikely though.
Yes JR 1960

An excerpt from The Ridley Society:

In the winter of 1960 George Seaman offered me a post at Christ’s Hospital; initially to teach Geography but eventually to develop the teaching of Economics and Politics; to which was later added Business Studies. In ‘selling’ the post George Seaman made the following observation, which sounded untypical for him, being that “Christ’s Hospital is a wonderful institution save for the occasional serpentine intrusions”. When asked to clarify “serpentine intrusions” he replied “Freemasons”. Thus even before I accepted his offer and joined the staff in September 1960 I was alerted to the presence of Freemasons within the Christian institution of Christ’s Hospital.

This would not have been George Seaman’s first encounter with Freemasonry, that being with the Harpur Trust at Bedford School. George Seaman having been my Head Master at Bedford prior to becoming Head Master of Christ’s Hospita
Last edited by AMP on Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Neil Simms

Post by dsm »

He also taught me Economics and Politics and managed to get me my highest A level grade. I remember him teaching me Geography in LE and even taught me Anthropolgy on a one to one basis as a Grecian. I believe it was the first time it had been taught at the school and was a bit of an experiment IIRC. A honest, fair and funny man who always seemed to have a smile on his face. He could often be seen on the tennis courts in summer evenings. RIP.
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Re: Neil Simms

Post by jhopgood »

He was Junior Housemaster in Barnes B in 1960, along with C J Miller, who replaced Cherniavsky as Senior Housemaster.
He took us for rugby and I believe played County Rugby for Sussex. I think he was a centre.
Being in my second year, I tried to have a little as possible to do with masters, so can't remember too much about him.
He was replaced by Pete Brotherton.
There are Barnes B contemporaries on this forum who may have other memories.
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Re: Neil Simms

Post by Goatherd »

I think he was responsible for the abolition of PE at break (just before my time) as he was fully aware that, administered by people who hadn't a clue what they were doing, it did more harm than good! I babysat once for his children. A welcome respite from the bleakness of the House! I also failed Economics 'O' Level. My fault, I'm sure.
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Re: Neil Simms

Post by sejintenej »

Goatherd wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:25 pm I Ihink he was responsible for the abolition of PE at break (just before my time) as he was fully aware that, administered by people who hadn't a clue what they were doing, it did more harm than good!

That was the crux. For people of that age the exercises could have been useful but as done they were potentially dangerous. At 76 I am still doing some of those exercises but properly (under medical advice).
I also failed Economics 'O' Level. My fault, I'm sure.
Economics was included in my professional exams; I hated the subject, I couldn't understand it as it was taught and the "experts" seemed to be at odds with each other. Getting through the exam was a miracle.
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Re: Neil Simms

Post by gneuss »

John wrote
There are Barnes B contemporaries on this forum who may have other memories.
I remember Neil Simms quite well. I put a house photo of Barnes B taken in 1961 on the site in 2005 see viewtopic.php?f=49&t=687 and he is clearly in it. He seemed quite quiet and not pushy as a junior housemaster but very fair. He was very keen on all types of sport and I remember him discussing the book 'The White Spider' by Heinrich Harrer which describes the history and then the first ascent of the Eiger. It was first published in German in 1959 so I guess it was when the English version came out in the early 60s. I didn't actually take up climbing and mountaineering until 1967 but maybe this is where I first got my lifelong love of mountaineering from as there certainly weren't any mountains in Streatham! My most abiding memory of him though is on the day I left in March 1966. Geoff Russell and I went to the chapel in the morning for the leaving service then went off to the pub in Barnes Green in Geoff's 'Del boy' Robin Reliant to get a pint before returning to the school for our last lunch in the dining hall. We'd just put our order in and the barman had started pulling them when in walked Neil. He started the heavy spiel about boys not being allowed to drink alcohol or visit pubs but when we said we had officially left and we had the bibles to prove it he ended up looking very embarrassed and paid for our drinks.
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Re: Neil Simms

Post by AMP »

By 1980 he had a beard and brown natty health specs and remained thus so for my entire stay.

March was an unusual time to leave?
Last edited by AMP on Fri Nov 29, 2019 8:45 am, edited 2 times in total.
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