Meaning of colored walls

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khaldrogo
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Meaning of colored walls

Post by khaldrogo »

In a way, the common traits of a senior head of family are reflected in the views of the boys in the house. This happened in the 1940s and 50s and I suspect it is probably still true. Faced with the risk of being offended, I think Peele B is sloppy (P Matthews), Mid A is upright, shrewd and moral (A Rider), Col B endures everything and is sporty (A Buck), Thorn A ignoring the world and did whatever it takes and no more than that (F Haslehust).

A pair of houses in the same building where two high-end homeowners are as much different as can be imagined as Barnes A and B. Michael Cherniavsky (Barnes B) is an intellectual, easy-going, imaginative, indifferent. interested in sports, an unbeliever, he was well-dressed and polite and his politics was certainly left-wing. Eric Littlefield (Barnes A) opposes him in almost every respect: a martinist, a no-brainer, sports-nerd (especially cricket), a micro-manager, religious, politically right-wing, dedicated to the service, dressed very politely and very politely.
William
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Re: Meaning of colored walls

Post by William »

I totally agree with this opinion, so much so that I wish I had said it first.

Whether such influence of housemasters and housemistresses (if they still have these names) is reflected in today’s houses I don’t know. Could someone perhaps comment?
Otter
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Re: Meaning of colored walls

Post by Otter »

Mid A in the 90s was run by a certain Gary Dobbie.

It was certainly known as the laissez-faire house where there were few rules, great freedom, lax bedtimes and no discipline.
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Re: Meaning of colored walls

Post by RobinKinloch »

These descriptions of housemasters seem correct - my recollection of Haslehust is that he delegated discipline to the house monitors and, unlike others, did not impose his views on the house - but whether their attitudes were reflected in those of the house members seems doubtful, and hard to determine.
rockfreak
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Re: Meaning of colored walls

Post by rockfreak »

Here's a quite literal remembrance of coloured walls - or to be more precise coloured curtains. In about 1957 NT Fryer (successor to AH Buck) decided that our dayroom needed new curtains. So, perhaps thinking to invigorate our aesthetic sensibilities, he gave us a swatch of curtain materials to have a vote and decide. I can't remember quite what sort of patterns were on offer but I suppose they varied from slam dunk plain to Laura Ashley (or her 1950s equivalent). In the end there was no definitive agreement so Fryer himself took the draconian decision to go for slam dunk, no-patterned, bright plain yellow. No one could quite understand it. It satisfied no one. I suppose if he'd gone for plain red (the colour of the Welsh rugby team) it would have been more understandable. But there it was. For the next few years, certainly when I left, it was bright, eye-stopping yellow. I don't think it had a political slant to it. Of course some might have said that this was the colour of Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley but I don't think this would have gone down too well with NTF.
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LongGone
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Re: Meaning of colored walls

Post by LongGone »

I feel that the original premise, housemasters influenced the image/actuality of each house, has merit. It has been mentioned several times on this site that bullying varied enormously from house to house. My memory of MaA was that it was rare and fairly random. Both Todd and Barker exuded an aura of humanity that probably influenced us. Certainly, in my years as a monitor, there was never any suggestion that we should crack down on any members of the house.
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Re: Meaning of colored walls

Post by sejintenej »

After 7 years of Kit we had a very good idea of what he would tolerate (not much) or not so that was the tone the monitors enforced. we knew he was looking over our shoulders to enforce "his" rules Bullying was one clear "no no"
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rockfreak
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Re: Meaning of colored walls

Post by rockfreak »

Khal Drogo is right that Col B pupils in the 1950s had to endure under AH Buck. They had to endure his little excursions up to the dorms in the dead of night. I suppose the house was "sporty" under him. It depends what kind of sport you're talking about.
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J.R.
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Re: Meaning of colored walls

Post by J.R. »

rockfreak wrote: Sun Mar 07, 2021 8:11 pm Khal Drogo is right that Col B pupils in the 1950s had to endure under AH Buck. They had to endure his little excursions up to the dorms in the dead of night. I suppose the house was "sporty" under him. It depends what kind of sport you're talking about.
When did N T Fryer take over from Buck ? I believe left rather quickly and under a very "dark cloud". Has this anything to do with your last post, Freaky ?
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alterblau
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Re: Meaning of colored walls

Post by alterblau »

AH Buck left CH very suddenly on the day after the funeral of Hon DS Roberts (a former head of the history dept) in the first week of May 1956. [1] In effect he was expelled by the headmaster, CME Seaman. This was the result of one of AHB’s nocturnal visits to the Col B junior dormitory and its being reported by a senior boy to the headmaster.

For the remainder of the summer term, Col B’s senior housemaster was CF Kirby. NT Fryer took over Col B at the start of the next term.

[1] More than a Brother: Correspondence between Edmund Blunden and Hector Buck 1917-1967. Page 165, Footnote ≠
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J.R.
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Re: Meaning of colored walls

Post by J.R. »

Many thanks.
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rockfreak
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Re: Meaning of colored walls

Post by rockfreak »

People leaving "under a cloud" always reminds me of that exchange in Brideshead where Anthony Blanche is relating to Charles how he left uni under a cloud. "I can't imagine why they call it that," he says. "At the time it seemed like an unwelcome beam of light." But Buck certainly left in double quick time. One afternoon in early May I saw him pacing back and forth along the cloisters with Clarence clearly deep in portentous conversation. That evening he'd gone and Seaman told us that it was for "sexual misbehaviour" and that our parents would be notified. So for him at least the cloud descended mercifully in swirling Tiepolo fashion and whisked him off to a translating job in Oxford offered by a sympathetic Old Blue.
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