Friday, 14 March 2008

Timothy Sawdon

Timothy Sawdon (known as Soggy) was one of Mrs Angus's two brothers. He could be seen around the school but at the time I never understood who he was nor what his function might be. Occasionally he would give a music appreciation class, which would be a disaster because he was completely incapable of controlling a class, and furthermore because few boys (of my generation, and at that age) are disposed to appreciate classical music.

As well as being helpless in front of boys, he had a nervous twitch that boys would unkindly mimic.

He used to come into the library sometimes to play Mozart on the piano. I didn't recognize the music at the time, but years later I was reminded of that library on hearing Mozart. He didn't mind sharing the library with me because I didn't cause trouble: I read my book, he played his music, all serene. Perhaps he imagined that I enjoyed his music, but in fact I was concentrating on my book and wasn't kind enough to think of complimenting him. I was a boy, after all.

John says that he was an Old Blundellian: he went to Blundell's School in Devon, as John and I both did after leaving Stouts Hill.

6 comments:

david said...

I can only remember Mr Reg Sawden as Mrs Joane angus's brother. He was deaf and dumb and masters communicated with him through sign language.
He had a small Red motor cycle and was very fond of it and very often showed it off to us boys. He often came into our class room and we cracked jokes with him. He did a lot of jobs around the school and I think metal work. He dressed in a tweed suit and plus fours for motor cycling. Period 1946-51

David mackinley-woodhall

Julian Williams 1962 - 67 said...

Was his name Mr Sawden? There was a deaf and Dumb brother who was said to have made the two model battleships that were displayed i glass cases outside the blue dining room.

John Morris said...

Soggy was clearly the oddest or perhaps most eccentric person at Stouts Hill, but towards the end of my time at the school I appreciated that there was more to him than met the eye perhaps due to hearing him play some classical music that I did like; he was defintiely a good pianist.
I remember having a long chat with Sue Cromie about all kinds of things including "Soggy" and she told me that he used to be called "froggy" as, because of his swimming skills, he used to swim round the pool catching all the frogs that fell in.
He also used to talk a lot to that colourful parrot that lived near the door to the cellar, and I have an vaguish memory that "Silly Soggy!" was one of the things that the parrot used to say. Perhaps the name got transposed?
I've a few colour photos of various staff etc watching people swimming in about 1972 and Tim is sitting there very smartly dressed in a pair of elegant sunglasses. Not really the way most of us would remember him.

Anonymous said...

I remember him well.He really did get a hard time, but I think he probably played the piano quite well .I'm not sure what his other duties were, but he didn't get on at all with Abby(Xavier?)who with his wife Celia was to me quite the soul of kindness.Also very strong and very smelly,even in those days of aromas which we should nowadays find quite overwhelming.

Andrew Porter said...

I remeber old 'soggy' very well. I was in the main house for several years and Cromie used to talk to the parrot in the hall at night and taught him to say "silly old soggy' if my memory serves me correctly.

Anonymous said...

I think you will find that Timothy Sawdon was Mrs Angus's cousin rather than brother. One summer holiday I drove him in my little A35 to visit his parents in Buxton. He was intelligent and talented under the twitch.