Robert Angus (known as Boss) was the headmaster of the school until 1969: a tall commanding figure who seemed so central to the school that he must have been there forever. Indeed, according to Nicholas Barton's history of Stouts Hill, Mr Angus founded the school in 1935, at the age of about 29.
He ruled from his study, on the ground floor at the back of the school; an old-fashioned comfortable room that most boys visited only in order to be caned. With occasional exceptions, he was the only person in the school who wielded the cane, and so he had to spend a part of each day caning boys. He seemed to take no pleasure in it and presumably regarded it as a necessary chore.
He taught maths to the 6th form, and did so rather efficiently, concentrating on geometry in particular. Strangely, although I later specialized in maths and took three different maths 'A' levels, I don't think I ever encountered the subject of geometry again after leaving Stouts Hill.
He was married to Joan, who seemed not at all well during my time at the school, and they had a collection of quite young and attractive daughters: Carol, Paddy, Sue, and Jane, in that order. I believe that some or all of the daughters were educated at the school, although girls weren't normally admitted.
I never had any idea that he was a poet. But apparently he wrote poetry throughout his life, and there is now a Web site devoted to his poetry, which also reveals that his MA from Cambridge was in English, and that he originally planned to be a writer, poet, or journalist.
He was a man of considerable dignity. On one occasion in the 6th form, he saw a large mug sitting on a shelf above his head. Feeling that it shouldn't be there, he reached up for it. What he didn't know was that someone was growing beans or sprouts in water in that mug. Assuming that it was empty, he up-ended it in the process of removing it, and neatly tipped the beans and the water over his own head.
He stood there dripping and we sat in silent shock, awaiting the explosion. But he took it well, and realized before saying anything that no boy had committed any crime: he had merely made an unsound assumption.
It was Mr Angus who advised my parents, knowing that they were short of money, to enter me for scholarship exams to four different public schools, in the hope that at least one of them would award me something. One of the headmasters of these schools sent my parents a nasty letter when he found out about this: he felt that it wasn't cricket to shop around for the best offer. I don't know whether my parents bothered to reply.
Jonathan Marler says that:
Mr Angus had good connections with several public schools, and some house masters at those schools sat on an advisory board for Stouts Hill. Notable among them was John Lewis of House Number 8 at Malvern, and a number of Stouts Hill students went to Malvern, including myself.
According to Nicholas Barton's book, Mr Angus died in 1985 and Mrs Angus in 1992. Subsequently the bungalow in the school grounds to which they moved in retirement was sold, and some alterations were made to it.