Letter to Head Master

This section was setup in August 2018 in order to move the existing related discussions from other sections into this new section to group them together, and separate from the other CH-related topics.

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DazedandConfused
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Re: Letter to Head Master

Post by DazedandConfused » Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:23 pm

Thanks for sharing so much Robert. It’s both surprising and utterly unsurprising at the same time, although it should go without saying that not every name connected with the boat should be considered a suspect of wrongdoing
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Re: Letter to Head Master

Post by Vilified » Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:01 pm

AMP wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:02 pm
Not all of these masters overlapped at CH so do we know what the common link was?

Scouts?

Who was maintaining the friendships with the suddenly departed?

Into the early 90s (if other posts on here are accurate)

Assume it was Dodger who invited along Villified for his one and only trip whilst he was a master, with the acquiescence of an intermediary.

And who were the five registered keepers of The Empress?
More assumptions...!
In my case it was not Martin who invited me, and I'm almost 100% certain he wasn't on the trip I was on; if, indeed, he ever did go on the boat, which I don't know.
It would have been one of the other members of CR who invited me, someone whom I would have seen every evening at dinner, and with some of whom would have been drinking pre-dinner on many occasions at the Bax Castle, along with various other masters not previously mentioned and other outsiders who were regulars at the pub. Plenty of perfectly normal socialising.
Not quite sure that 'the acquiescence of an intermediary' is required, merely that X (being one of my colleagues at the time) checks out whether it's OK to bring along this new chap with the regulars next month... or whatever.
All too conspiratorial.
To me it was, as I said, entirely innocuous. This friend of theirs had a boat, did I fancy joining them at, say, half-term for a few days' jaunt on the canals. You can't assume that everyone who stepped on the boat was ipso facto somehow aware of Burr's background or what had gone on/was going on. I knew nothing at all of Burr's dodgy history or what any of the others may have been getting up to. The bachelor element of the CR (regular diners-in) was quite a close and amicable community. There was nothing dodgy about it at all in my eyes; and I took it at face value, as most would.

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Re: Letter to Head Master

Post by AMP » Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:24 pm

Can your remember who X was?

Your recollection of events is otherwise excellent.

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Re: Letter to Head Master

Post by Vilified » Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:41 pm

AMP wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:24 pm
Can your remember who X was?

Your recollection of events is otherwise excellent.
No idea, and to me it wouldn't have mattered at the time or remained in my mind. There were a cluster of people that were more friendly than others, but at this distance they all coalesce. It didn't make any impression on me. There were those who enjoyed the social ambience of formal dinner, some of whom lingered at the table for further drinks once dinner was over, and those who frequented the Bax Castle, and they were just one large friendly group, with any of whom one might have a pleasant chat, rarely one-to-one, usually a little cluster.

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Re: Letter to Head Master

Post by robert totterdell » Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:31 pm

Vilified

You are completely missing the point. No one, least I, is suggesting that you did anything other than go on the boat. What you did do is provide cover for others in the sense of normality to the boat and the trips.

Not much happened on the boat - at least not on the one day trips - other than a bit of touching here and there. Martin would not have invited you by then it would have been one of the younger members of staff.

Martin was on the boat when I had the day trip and the police have been told that. He spent most of his time - if not all - at the front of the boat, with young boys: Shippen made sandwiches with young boys: Burr steered the bl**dy thing with young boys. We were rotated from front to back.

Other people would attend at times - you, Atkinson, McCall and so on. The problem is so did all but one of the perpetrators.

Seaman was happy with it and so was Newsome. It should not have been allowed or very carefully monitored.

I am certainly not suggesting or saying that because of the boat you have ever, at any time, undertaken any sort of abuse activities - I can say that based on what you have told me directly and which I believe is the truth.

I fully understand how the CH and Common Room environment could have led to a young and very inexperienced teacher being sucked into all sorts of things. The CR had it's own cliques - I visited and know - they had their own little areas, chairs etc. It was more seedy than a bar in parliament.

At the end of the day you need to step back because the only vilification that is made against you is is from you (yup your being lectured now).

Step back just for a moment - you feel like everything that you say is being treated badly and you are being vilified; everyone is ganging up on you and accusing you - stop, you were proved not guilty which means that you are innocent whether anyone likes it or not. Think for just a moment of the victims:

If you feel that you are being treated badly just imagine what they feel. CH let those pupils down and as part of CH albeit for just a short time you did as well. You were a teacher and you had responsibilities even back then. You feel vilified what do you think the victims feel having lived their entire adult lives with what happened and was allowed to happen to them? Failed and in some cases destroyed lives, shattered and lonely; trying to speak and tell people but always in fear of the consequences; sad and hurt as when they do come forward they have to go through immense hardship and look at their friends and families and see how they re-act and feel - the collateral damage.

So please stop felling sorry for yourself - you were lucky as, as you have said, got out of the environment - you were allowed to do that - the pupils and victims were not.

Rob
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AMP
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Re: Letter to Head Master

Post by AMP » Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:41 pm

Of course it's only right and proper to assume that persons of good character were ignorant of others' criminality.

What I do know, because I have been told this by a family member, is that a complaint about Webb was made at the time, and West Sussex Police approached the "alleged" victim in the not too distant past.

Whether Webb managed to conceal this from his friends, who knows?
Last edited by AMP on Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:32 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Letter to Head Master

Post by richardb » Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:54 pm

This just gets worse.

Well said again Rob.
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Re: Letter to Head Master

Post by Vilified » Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:58 pm

robert totterdell wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:31 pm
Vilified

You are completely missing the point.
At the end of the day you need to step back
you were lucky as, as you have said, got out of the environment

Rob
Yes, I was missing the point; because I didn't know, until you've told me now, anything about the context of all this stuff.
I'd have hoped you would understand that in wanting to distance myself as far as possible from any association with all the horrible stuff that was going on I am in no way underestimating or failing to recognise that it was a hideous place for so many.
Clearly I was immensely fortunate to have been ejected before I could be sucked in.
I am very sorry that it seems to you that I have been selfishly more concerned with myself than those who have suffered and are suffering.
There's nothing I can contribute. I've done my best to answer your queries privately and publicly. I'm just getting in the way now; so I will shut up.
All the best.

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Re: Letter to Head Master

Post by robert totterdell » Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:29 pm

Vilified
You are not getting in the way - you are making a very valuable contribution - so don't just shut and go away - you are better than that and you know it.
Rob
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Re: Letter to Head Master

Post by LHA » Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:14 pm

Thanks Rob, vey interesting

Does anyone know Hayden's full name, dates etc. When did he leave CH and did he teach elsewhere? Is he still alive.

Who is Reverend Atkinson?

Were these trips before or after Burr left CH? Did people know why he had left? We have talked on the forum about Webb's departure, but not, to my knowledge, Burr's.

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Re: Letter to Head Master

Post by richardb » Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:23 pm

Hayden will have been at the school when I started but I don't remember him.

Burr's nautical adventures started while he was at the school and continued after he was moved on - goodness only knows why.

I remember that there was a photo of his narrow boat in the Blue in about 1973. It had the school name emblazoned on the side.

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Re: Letter to Head Master

Post by AMP » Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:42 pm

Ian Atkinson was an assistant chaplain from 70-85 and a house tutor in MaA under Shippen.

He was memorable for the speed at which he drove his maxi through the "chicane" in front of Leigh Hunt.

He was until about 2015, secretary of the Caledonian Society of Blues.

Shippen is also an active member and Webb attended at least one dinner in the last few years.

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Re: Letter to Head Master

Post by Mid A 15 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:09 am

LHA wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:14 pm
Thanks Rob, vey interesting

Does anyone know Hayden's full name, dates etc. When did he leave CH and did he teach elsewhere? Is he still alive.

Who is Reverend Atkinson?

Were these trips before or after Burr left CH? Did people know why he had left? We have talked on the forum about Webb's departure, but not, to my knowledge, Burr's.
I believe Hayden's Christian name was (is) Ian or a variant thereof such as Iain. I don't recall any other initials at this distance but that is not to say there weren't any. He started and left during my time so '72 or prior. I'd guess at 69 - 71 from memory.
Ma A, Mid A 65 -72

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Re: Letter to Head Master

Post by robert totterdell » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:26 am

Hayden does not appear in the Blue Book '72 - 73.

Burr no longer appears in it for '75 - 76. It is believed that he was removed with a god reference for striking a boy.

The Rev Atkinson is in it for '72 - '73 along with Rev Robson as senior Chaplain. They are both still there in '78 - '79.'s.

I believe a formal complaint was made by a nurse or matron with regards to his driving at speed. Oddly an incident happened concerning Burr in his white Morris Traveler which he had tuned up and it go faster than the 80 on the speedometer. It must have been towards the end of the time he had it. I was doing, along with someone else (John Talbot(?)) one of Plumley's Verrio guide tour things. We had stopped at the statue to look back at the Dinning Hall and I was explaining some architectural crap about how different buildings had been designed to reflect various period of architecture when Burr screamed through the East Arch and nearly hit someone. One of the people on the tour was an OB from Hertford - I remember as she told me off for being rude about their uniform at that time. She said she would make a formal complaint about the master (who of course I happily named. Don't know if she did or not. I seem to remember that the tips were good at the end though! I guess we were supposed to and them in but we never did.
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Re: Letter to Head Master - the boat

Post by bobcrawshaw » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:30 am

robert totterdell wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:59 am

The first boat was called The Empress of Blanding(s). It was a joint ownership with Burr as a part owner. He and other masters from CH used to take boys on day trips (I think it was Sundays). The boat was moored at Slough....

....When Burr inherited from his mother he bought his own boat and had it moored at Napton about two miles from where I live now. The boat was called Belmont after his parents Prep school. He later replaced it with Theodore, again at Napton.
Rob, a quick correction to the names and order of boats. Theodore was the first one, moored at Slough, Burr shared ownership. The Empress of Blandings was the one he bought with his inheritance, later replaced by The Earl of Emsworth.
Ma.A 1968-1971 Col.A 1971-1975

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