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27th of November 2014 05:36 PM by Webmaster
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27th of November 2014 02:24 PM by David Gregory
Ron. Join the club. As a fellow "failure" to obtain the necessary number of passes to be awarded the coveted certificate I feel well qualified to say it has never been a disadvantage to my illustrious career. I am aware there are plenty of old students on this site whose successful careers have been based on obtaining high grades at school and rightly so. In all my working life I have never been asked to produce any evidence of my education but I was always proud to mention I had been educated at Hove COUNTY Grammar School for Boys.
I think the whole question of success in life depends on how you measure it. Is it Money, possessions, station, achievement, satisfaction or a thousand other qualities. When I left school I had the choice of several different career paths without the assistance of anyone from the school. The fact I made the wrong choice then was my own fault. I have a belief that when being interviewed a face to face discussion counts as much as any certificates being produced. If I did not obtain the necessary certificate at school I do believe my education at HCGSB gave me some confidence to start real life at the age of 16.
Reading this again I realise I have come over all philosophical (had to look that up and yes I did pass English School Cert). Ron, maybe after all we were better of discussing Aero engines, air raid shelters or even the dreaded train of shame. Don't have regrets about what could have been, just be proud of what you have achieved.
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27th of November 2014 11:56 AM by Bill Green
Quel domage Ron - c`est ne pas juste. From one failure to another!
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27th of November 2014 11:34 AM by Ron Riches
Enough of air-raid shelters, Hawker Harts and the revered Tabby for a while, I would like to air a grievance that I have harboured in my bosom for the last sixty-five years since I sat the Oxford School Certificate exam and in my opinion failed on a technicality. I'll probably be instantly shot down when I suggest that apart from myself, only David Gregory and our antipodean correspondent Frank Langley among you would have sat the exam which was abandoned in favour of the GCE system in 1950.

To obtain the coveted certificate, one had to obtain as I recall six passes including English Language, Maths and the compulsory second language, French and I have to tell you that if I had studied French to this day, I would still have failed. I didn't like the French who had dropped us in it in successive world wars and whose language I thought best suited to a speaker with defective adenoids. So, for credits in English Language, English Literature and Maths together with three quite respectable passes I was rewarded with a document headed "This is not a School Certificate".

That put and end to my life-long ambition to take up a permanent commission in the Army whereas, a year later, six good GCEs would have satisfied the War Office Selection Board sufficiently to assure my entry to the Mons Officer Cadet School. Sandhurst would not have approved of my strong Sussex burr!

Breaks your heart doesn't it!! Well doesn't it?
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25th of November 2014 09:13 AM by Bill Green
On several postings I have written in a complimentary way about Tabby and the photo has done nothing to diminish my great respect for him in spite of his reputation for wielding the cane and his constant habit of calling me "funny face", behaviours which in today´s environment of "do-gooders" and PC nonsense would be seen as unacceptable. He was an excellent teacher who was able to make lessons interesting, albeit fiendishly difficult at times, and I am sure he made a big contribution to the development of those of us fortunate to encounter him in and outside the classroom. The photo shows a man enjoying his job and apparently participating in the true spirit of the occasion.
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25th of November 2014 12:02 AM by Frank Langley
I agree with Geoffrey's and David's view of Tabby. He had a sense of fun. He once conducted a geometry lesson with us, a notoriously ill-behaved bunch, without him saying a word from the moment he entered the room – just chalk, and pointing to boys for answers. He won a bet he had made with Mr Bartlett.
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24th of November 2014 09:42 PM by David Gregory
Tabby was a teacher educated by the principles of his generation. There was no doubt that whilst his idea of discipline was stronger than most it certainly had no lasting ill effect on me. The discipline was a lot easier than most of us had experienced during our initial training in the forces.
I had looked forward to seeing the photo as an opportunity to obtain some sort of satisfaction. However the more I looked the more I saw a man who was obviously enjoying being on holiday with his pupils and showing a side of him which we never saw a school. I say let the photo remain for others to make up their own minds as I have.
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24th of November 2014 06:52 PM by Ron Riches
I'm sure that we can all agree to disagree on the subject using great dollops of the respect for each other's opinion that is so close to my heart.. Great to see democracy at work!
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24th of November 2014 05:52 PM by Webmaster
".... and by indignities men come to dignities..." (BACON. Essays II - Of Great Place)
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24th of November 2014 05:13 PM by Geoffrey Christopher
As the provider of the picture of Tabby, I write in defence of my actions. Although I agree with Ron Riches as far as describing Mr Tabrett as "a strict disciplinarian but one who was scrupulously fair", I totally disagree that it is in poor taste and ought to be taken off. He simply was dressed for the occasion - it was a camp site on a warm summer's day and he was not in private. He was aware of being photographed, and if he hadn't wanted it to be taken, it wouldn't have been. This photo was just one of a number of different photos which, together with a written account, told the story of the Geography Camp in all its aspects. I am sure that if Tabby was alive today he would be quite happy to know it is there. I agree with the comments of David Langley and Geoff Stoner. On the subject of discipline, there was an occasion when my brother wanted to borrow my gym shorts during the dinner break. He came up to my form room, and waited in the corridor while I went to my desk. Instead of giving it to him into his hand I threw it from my desk. and unfortunately, Tabby was passing by the doorway just as my shorts went through. They hit him in the chest, but did he mete out any punishment to me? No! I explained and apologised, and I think he saw the funny side of it, and took no further action.
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24th of November 2014 04:11 PM by Geoff Stoner
I don't think it 'strips him of his dignity'. It makes him more human to those of use who went in fear of him.
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24th of November 2014 03:00 PM by David Langley
"Those who don't want to know the score, look away"?

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24th of November 2014 09:58 AM by Ron Riches
I rather think that I may be about to get right under the skin of at least one regular contributor to this site.

I couldn't wait to have a good laugh at a photo of Tabby in shorts but when I saw it I felt thoroughly embarrassed at seeing him so stripped of his dignity. The snap was no doubt taken with the best of intentions but the end result should have been consigned to the bin.

Some three years or so ago, I was taken to task when I suggested on this site that Tabby, although a strict disciplinarian was unscrupulously fair but to my mind he exercised the perfect blend of authority and it earned him my eternal respect. This even after he had laid into my backside for forging Tommy Leet's father's signature on his detention slips and I'm sure that it is the demise of respect for authority that has made the life of a teacher a pretty onerous task in recent years.

I realise that the photo was posted with the best of intentions but I think that it has turned out not to be in good taste and out of respect for the old lad perhaps it should be removed.

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23rd of November 2014 06:21 PM by David Langley
Peter, thank you, I believe you are correct on both counts.

Red neckerchief?

I was first leaping Wolf [!?] in Hove. Akela had gorgeous legs.

everybody has 15 seconds of fame .......................
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23rd of November 2014 06:07 PM by Peter Ballantine
Wonder if the hall David refers to is the Bishop Hannington church Hall - it was the 11th Hove that met in my time. I was a member for a short time.
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23rd of November 2014 04:28 PM by David Langley
Correction: Hounsom hall was near Grenadier. Cannot name hall on west side Holmes Avenue ''''' 9th Hove scouts and cubs met there.
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23rd of November 2014 04:22 PM by David Langley
David Gregory's ref. to the bomb opposite Bishop Hannington missed mum and I in Tudor Close by 200 yards, and I remember it well.
I believe it was unexploded ............ we were evacuated to the Hounsom [?] Memorial Hall half way down Holmes, RIGHT PAST THE UXB !
On another occasion we were machine -gunned on the way home just north of Aldrington Halt.
My dad eventually sorted out Hitler for me.
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22nd of November 2014 07:30 PM by Webmaster
WEBMASTER : Yes please Peter - you can send them (as .jpeg if possible) to
web@hovegrammarschool.org.uk . Any problems please contact me at said email address.
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22nd of November 2014 05:36 PM by Peter Ballantine
I remember a junior geography camp - we stayed near Cheddar about 1962. It was good time with Ned Land, Willy Pope and I think Bert Bucket. I have some pictures if folk are interested.
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22nd of November 2014 12:51 PM by David Gregory
With reference to the earlier posts concerning the air raid shelters, for those of us who joined the school in 1944 these were a source of "Illegal" activities such as smoking and the odd Cider bevy. However for the pupils from '40 to '44 they would have proved to be a great safety net against the 381 High explosive bombs dropped on Brighton and Hove from 56 air raids. There were 15 bombs which landed within a 1/4 mile radius of the school the nearest of which was opposite Bishop Hannington Church at the corner of Holmes and Nevill Avenue.
Sussex had acquired the unenviable nickname of "Bomb Alley" during this period of the war mainly because frustrated German Bombers who failed to reach their London Targets released their loads on Sussex on their way home, plus the Sussex coast was an easy target for hit and run raids from France. Eastbourne and Hastings fared even worse with a combined total of 1,121 high explosive bombs and 30 V.1.Flying bombs.
Whilst the safety of children was paramount it was inevitable some suffered. In September 1942 a bomb landed on the boys' school at Petworth killing 29 pupils, the headmaster and an assistant teacher. On September 1940 a single raider scored a direct hit on the Odeon Cinema Kemp Town resulting in 53 deaths many of which were children.
As a macabre afterthought it was said that Hitler had given his bombers strict instructions not to bomb the Royal Pavilion. The reason being that should "Operation Seal Lion" (the invasion of Britain") be successful, this was to be his intended British Head Quarters.
As the well known Historian, A.J.P.Taylor once said "The only thing that history has taught us is that it had taught us nothing"
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21st of November 2014 06:50 PM by Bob Kennett
Geoffrey's question about Geography Camps will doubtless bring a flood of memories.
I remember Minstead in the Mud - mainly because I ended up in Lyndhurst Cottage Hospital with a variety of "ituses" having been wandering around the camp in my p.j.s in a state of delirium. I was cared for in hospital by a young Irish nurse and eventually escorted home from hospital on the train by a Nun - but that's another story............
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21st of November 2014 04:52 PM by Geoffrey Christopher
The photo of Tabby in his shorts, which is now in the gallery, was taken by my brother, John Christopher, when he was taking part in Geography Camp. This would have been circa 1949. John was at the school from 1945 to 1952. The picture was taken in a field near Castleton, Derbyshire, where the group was camping. I went on a similar Geography Camp a few years later, in 1953. Memorable features of the trip were the Blue John Caves near Castleton (the only place in the world where Blue John is found), Mam Tor, Ladybower Reservoir, Kinder Scout, etc. In nearby Sheffield, we visited a cutlery factory, a steel foundry and a flour mill; both of the last two places were extremely hot and noisy. I remember we all had to write a long essay about it all when we got back to school. Do any of the current correspondents have memories of the geography camps, which were arranged for fourth formers? I don't know what year they stopped doing them.
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21st of November 2014 10:53 AM by David Morris
John Samuel

As an admirer of the frontline schoolboy article I was saddened to hear of John's death.

The Guardian has printed an interesting obituary which can be found online.

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20th of November 2014 05:16 PM by Webmaster
Thank you Les for letting us know about John Samuel. I had the pleasure of dealing with him at length during his Frontline Schoolboy contribution and we kept in touch afterwards - he answered a request for information about one of his contemporaries as recently as this month . He epitomised the strength of character that seems to be present in so many of HGSB old boys - he will indeed be very sadly missed in many ways.
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20th of November 2014 12:17 PM by les hamilton
Sorry to hear of the death of Frontline Schoolboy John Samuel, an illustrious former student of Hove CGS (B). John was born in Southwick and I can remember him playing for Southwick Wednesday , alongside my father, in the now defunct Brighton Midweek League, over 60 years ago. He was a journalist over a 50 year period and was sports editor of The Guardian for 18 years. His Frontline Schoolboy articles on this website are a fitting tribute to his journalism. He will be greatly missed.
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19th of November 2014 04:19 PM by Geoffrey Christopher
Is there anybody out there who would be interested in seeing a photo of Tabby wearing only a pair of shorts and plimsoles? If so, I have such a photo, and could send it in for the Gallery. I think it might be quite a rare, if not unique, contribution.
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17th of November 2014 11:26 AM by Peter Ballantine
I have now discovered that the bomb shelters were demolished around 1962. Huts were erected for 6th formers and I recall our class being the first in there.
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14th of November 2014 06:59 PM by Ron Riches
The shelters were not used in anger during my time at the school, post August 1944, and during my many smoke breaks spent therein I saw no evidence of any toilet facilities in fact I'm pretty sure they were not provided. Of course, had a bomb dropped on the back field, the need may have arisen but not as a major priority.
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14th of November 2014 05:42 PM by Bill Brock
According to the January 1940 school magazine the shelters were erected during the previous autumn term of 1939. However, they seem not have been functional until the summer term of 1940 when "toilet facilities" became available. I can't believe there were functioning toilets in these shelters. Perhaps just buckets and a curtain?
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14th of November 2014 04:55 PM by Ron Riches
Rest assured David, I was in no way casting doubt upon your goodself but surely with the exposure of historic abuse currently so much in the spotlight here must be another potential case for scrutiny.
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14th of November 2014 02:44 PM by David Langley
Ron, the STAND site is readily accessible online. Before sounding off about imagination [mine, or anyone else's], I recommend that you read it. Teachers there are said to include a certified mental patient and a convicted boy-molester, never mind an impressive line-up of run of the mill sadists and misfits.

Unless you are a conspiracy theorist, Holocaust denier, no moon-landing, "Sinatra had Kennedy shot" dreamer, your eyes will be opened.
The period of grotesque abuse runs well into the 1970s.
I found the STAND site when researching AK Williamson, who is, I gather, reputed to have imported STANDards of draconian discipline to Hove, after my time, thank goodness.

From 1948 to 1955 the recipients perceived the discipline under Greatwood and Tabrett to be proportionate, usually fair, and protected the weak from the strong, the academic from the knuckle-dragger. We had NOTHING like STAND. As to whether this was because of the boys, or the staff, or the sea air, I leave to others.

I apologise to other readers for banging on ..... remember, I did try to change the subject to Darkie !
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14th of November 2014 02:15 PM by Ron Riches
Your quotes relating to Strand Grammar School in Greater Manchester David must surely be the figments of somebodies over active imagination. We are referring to a school founded in 1688 that could boast no lesser personage that Clive of India as an old boy and if these incidents occurred in the fifties they would surely have attracted the attention of the authorities and no doubt the media.

From comments made by my brother of 1937/42 vintage, the air raid shelters were built shortly before the outbreak of the war with some of the groundwork being carried out by a few of the boys.
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14th of November 2014 09:17 AM by Geoff Stoner
To change the subject from bullying and caning, etc. and revert to the question of the air-raid shelters, do we know when they were built? Was this at the same time as the school - with considerable fore-sight - or at the commencement of the war?
PS Those darned 'security codes' are getting harder and harder to read!
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13th of November 2014 10:25 PM by David Langley
Below are quotes from STAND, spanning 20 years.

Quotes slightly mangled by technology, but what a gentle soul was our dear kindly emollient Mr Tabrett!
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13th of November 2014 10:22 PM by David Langley
I attended Stand ยด52-57. "Haggis" lorded it over the gym, forcing poor buggers who had forgotten their kit to do gym naked. Boys who were unfit (anything from a broken leg to a common cold or leprosy) were sent out to pick up waste paper in the yard, if they couldn't produce a current doctor's note.
Ivor Jones was woodwork master. If you dropped a tool in class, you had to stay behind for an hour after school and sharpen chisels. Classroom thrashings were an everyday occurrence. The French teacher, Duckworth, used a gym shoe which he called Monsieur le Frappe.
When someone hid all the blackboard dusters the headmaster, Williamson, responded by having one lavatory door removed every day "until the culprit owns up". No one stepped forward, and after a couple of weeks of open cubicles, the doors were replaced.
and another:
I've read through the letters page, and found myself nodding in assent at everything written there, the themes of brutalisation, degradation and humiliation span the decades along with the names of the usual suspects: Haggis, Britten, Heinz et. al. Although they and the rest of the 'old timers' looked like social workers in comparison to a certain PE teacher called Paddy McCafferty! He made his mark on the arses of all of us there from about '76 onwards, including lining up the entire year on the tennis courts during the Tuesday afternoon games period and lathering each of us sequentially with a gym-shoe six times, and the last stung as much as the first! Other pretexts he employed for dishing out gratuitous violence included
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13th of November 2014 02:16 PM by Robin Phelps
I was able to transfer from HGBS to the newly opened co-ed Haywards Heath Grammar School in 1959 for my fourth and fifth years and found it quite a pleasant change to be able to mix freely with girls. Unfortunately, as we know from Philip Larkin, sex wasn't invented until 1963.
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13th of November 2014 10:43 AM by David langley
Stand GS Manchester.

Hair curling tales.
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13th of November 2014 10:41 AM by David Langley
I agree bullying was not an issue in my time. It certainly is today! One wonders, tongue in cheek, if their is a causative connection between selective single-sex schools with stern discipline and lack of bullying?

There was certainly one on one conflict of course, sometimes settled, under Basher's eye, in the gym.

The debate about co-ed v single-sex rather misses a point, in that nobody has postulated good versus bad, have they? Only those with experience of BOTH types can have any insight in depth, surely? All I know is that the co-ed yoof of today, especially the girls, are sexualised to a shocking degree when they enter their teens.
This may not have anything to do with co-ed, but then again it may. Of my many granddaughters, the majority are/were either fee-paying or grammar single-sex scholars, and they do seem very level-headed and not boy-mad compared with their contemporaries.
In truth, every child is an unrepeatable experiment, one does one's best at the time [or not] and awaits the outcome.
Few on this Forum [or whatever we call it] regret their time at a selective single-sex school, do we?
As an eye-opener, have a look at the website of the Manchester School that AK Williamson headed before Dracula arrived in Hove.
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13th of November 2014 10:23 AM by Bill Green
Ron, my memory about lack of bullying matches yours. The report of the incident at the Knoll was something which did not seem to happen at HCGSB.
On mixed education, I am sure my grandchildren would respond as yours have - what on earth is the issue!
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13th of November 2014 09:34 AM by Ron Riches
I'm becoming convinced that I must have spent five years walking around HCGS with my eyes shut. I can recall only one incident of bullying and it was inflicted upon me. I'd been at the school for just a few months when I was grabbed by a couple of third form boys who threw me from the top of the blast proof porch of an air raid shelter. I bounced once on the grass bank before landing heavily on the tarmac drive. A hole was torn in the sleeve of my almost new blazer and a corresponding hole appeared on my elbow. I was a biggish lad and well capable of looking after myself and waited my opportunity to separately confront my tormentors and was quite satisfied with the result.

I rather think that some masters had reason to find fault with me rather than I with them but on the whole, I enjoyed my time at the school my only regret being that I didn't put in enough effort to achieve a much better result.

One last word on the subject of co-ed schooling. Here in the Swindon area, I can think of nine secondary schools that are all fully integrated and have heard of no serious problem that could be attributed to that status. When I asked each of my three grandchildren if they had found the situation to be a distraction, the two boys, one twenty-three and the other eighteen and at college looked at me with a "what's the old fool on about now" look whilst my charming fourteen year old grand-daughter's was more of an "Ahhh,Bless him". The common answer was a predictable "Why should it"
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12th of November 2014 10:02 PM by Bill Green
As DL has suggested, I hope the recent conversations will continue apace in spite of any "withdrawals", premature or otherwise!
Having exhausted, and indeed solved most of the issues surrounding the aero engine and the wingless fuselage, I believe we have hit on a rich vein of thoughts and experiences of what I remember as a wonderful school which gave most, if not all, of us an excellent grounding to cope with the highs and lows of our adult life, thanks not only to the staff, but also because of the eclectic mix of fellow students, degenerate or not!
Opinions being expressed are interesting , particularly on the controversial subject of corporal punishment and the differing views on whether it was dished out mainly in a fair and justly deserving manner, or whether the sufferance of stinging buttocks for several minutes falls into any politically correct interpretation of brutality or the current buzz word of bullying. I hope these views will continue to be developed on this enjoyable site in a positive way.
Quite rightly we are all aware of the censorship ability of the Webmaster if anyone oversteps the mark, but the muted criticism I have seen to date on this site has been non specific and avoids any hint of character assassination of staff or pupils - long may this continue!
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12th of November 2014 09:40 PM by David Langley
Knoll School contemporary account:
I remember seeing boys beating each other up in the arched corridors that separated the classrooms from the playground, with maybe a teacher looking on, unable and unwilling to do anything. There was a huge bloke in 4E or some such class who was incredibly scary –Pritchard, wasn’t it –and he had a gang of similar-sized youths who did as much wrong as they could. I never fell into their clutches. I saw him and his “team” hoist a small boy to the ceiling of the lavatories and let him fall. In those first weeks, I dreaded break-time –more dreadful than arithmetic, which I began in the bottom row. I was even told that some teachers had been beaten up by pupils in the past. But he of the cruel mustachios, black cape, green ink and heavy tobacco fumes managed to keep himself on top of the situation, scorning those “pansy” teachers who found it impossible to maintain control. So you see, Jim, one could easily come to the conclusion that as the boys were very rough, so the staff also had to be rough. I’m not going to take that route, but I do think we need to qualify our judgements about that whole tremendous experience. As the stick ruled in the classroom (and while ever-present, it was less important in some classrooms than in others), what could the authorities expect but that when their backs were turned (and even when they were not!) it would rule among their brutalized flocks. Violence, which accompanied the institution’s authoritarianism, became a lingua franca –always against those perceived as weak –and it recognized no distinctions of status. Thus, for instance, the most harmless teachers were picked on by our own class leaders, who deliberately goaded them into violence –against us! What were we trying to prove?
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12th of November 2014 05:59 PM by David Langley
I rather gathered from my 7 years at HCGS[B] that conversations close when only one party is left standing,
as opposed to when the first one leaves.
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12th of November 2014 05:36 PM by Peter Ballantine
It's probably correct to draw this conversation to a close. All i would want to say that as one who is slightly younger (retirement looms in a few months) I do see things differently from some of our correspondents. Yes I was grateful to be at the school and had some excellent teaching (A level with Ned,Ken Garland and Ross was so stimulating) and some good other activities (trip to Soviet Union) and made some good life long friends but I am not uncritical.
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12th of November 2014 03:40 PM by Bill Green
In my previous post today I failed to confirm my opinion that, as Geoff has just written, the advantages we at HCGSB had from the all boys Grammar School outweighed, by more than 'on balance', our ability to learn what life was about, and whilst I hope that very many of the so called 'failures' who attended mixed secondary education will have coped well with life's slings and arrows, I would not wish to swop - even with the hindsight of 76 years experience. The environment of being able to concentrate, to admit publicly to shortcomings of comprehension in the classroom without the pressure of appearing less than adequate in the eyes of the opposite sex or to 'show off', is in my view a far more valuable situation.
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12th of November 2014 01:34 PM by Geoff Stoner
I have to say that I agree 100% with Bill Green's posting 1023 re caning. As regards the merits or otherwise of same-sex schools, obviously there are pros and cons. My view, for what it's worth, is that the advantages (ability to concentrate, etc.), outweigh the disadvantages.
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12th of November 2014 12:28 PM by Bill Green
As a recipient of the caning referred to in earlier posts, I did not then, nor do I now , regard it as anything more than justified (to varying degrees) corrective punishment for a range of misdeeds of which some were more serious than others . The corporal punishment inflicted on me, I believe had no long term effect on me and I cannot now recall even who administered it. I can't really imagine how any recipient would be in a position physically to see the look on the face of the master wielding the cane and in particular the reputation of Tabby in my mind remains extremely high to this day . The great respect that I gained for the teaching staff during my time at HCGSB was exclusively the result of their efforts on the sports fields and in the classroom to enthuse me to learn their subject. It was an essential part of their role to maintain discipline to enhance learning and I consider what I see as a most worrying loss of that discipline in todays environment as being a major contributor to what seems a decline in the UK's position in the league table of academic results from our secondary schools operating in the state sector.
By accepting the argument that corporal punishment is barbaric, have we accelerated this decline both in standards and in the attitude of the need for all of us to comply with the good behaviour rules of present day society?
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12th of November 2014 10:00 AM by Ron Riches
I must apologise to you chaps because having urged that we move on I find myself about to take a backward step. Unusually, I did not last night drift immediately into an untroubled sleep but instead allowed the essence of recent thoughts expressed through this site to rumble around in my head until after no less than sixty-nine years it dawned on me that it was both unnatural and unhealthy for red blooded boys to spend the most informative of their formative years in a boys only environment.

Frank Richards pushed back the racial barriers when he introduced Hurree Ramsit Jam Singh to Greyfriars school but I'll bet he never allowed a single carnal thought to enter the heads of Harry Wharton or Bob Cherry and perhaps there he let his readers down.

During the war years, the arrival of Molly McTurk caused a bit of a distraction and investigating the reproductive cycle of a frog was slightly intriguing but we were deprived of the natural association with the fair sex and whilst we train boys faired marginally better I'm sure the "failures" who attended mixed secondary modern schools were better able to learn what life was about and to some degree better equipped to face the world.

Now, having gat that off of my chest I will again urge that we move on with apologies to Bill Lawrence for the length of the sentences used in this effort.
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11th of November 2014 09:08 PM by David Langley
We obviously have nothing better to do.

One inherent problem on this site is the inability to Search back except by steam.

I mention this because I cannot recall if old Darkie has been mentioned in despatches. If not, a great deal might be remembered by some. Darkie was a Great War gas victim who lived as a tramp in an old hut, possibly a wartime Nissen, near to where Clarke Avenue council estate was built on the edge of the Downs ...... west of "Snakey", as KGV Avenue was known.

More if more is wanted.