Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Date the photo

John says this aerial view of the school is pre-1967. I reckon it's probably pre-1963. Have a look at it at a larger size (it goes up to 2184 × 2080) and tell us if you know better.

Aerial view pre-1967

Monday, 21 January 2008

Photos 1969-1974

I'm in the process of adding a large batch of photos from 1969 and onwards, kindly contributed by John Morris. John scanned these from fairly small prints, so the quality leaves something to be desired.

At the same time, I've reorganized the photos into three separate time periods. Please use the link in the right panel to reach them.

Friday, 11 January 2008

Mr Flood

John Flood had a room at the bottom of the hill near the shooting range, and as far as I remember we always went there to be taught by him, instead of staying in our normal classroom.

According to the 1968 Stouts Hill Magazine, he taught science, geography, and scripture, thereby covering a considerable amount of ground. I don't remember whether he taught me scripture, but (coming from a non-religious family) I was never very receptive to that subject. I do remember that we touched on the subject of biology once — and we went to the lake to look for specimens — but I think that was only for a short period of time.

He was mainly memorable for taking us sailing. On Sundays he would take a few senior boys in his car to Frampton, where we sailed on a lake that was part of a wildlife sanctuary. The lake wasn't very large, but it was larger than the school's own lake, and had a couple of islands in the middle, which made it more interesting. We used to hope for bad weather, because in good weather there was no wind and we'd have to paddle slowly around the lake.

Apart from the sailing, the other attraction of Frampton was the packed lunch, which was different from regular school food and therefore greatly enjoyed.

Mr Flood had a small printing press with movable type, which was used to print some notices for the school. Boys who felt interested could participate in using it.

It was kind of him to give up his Sundays to take us sailing, and we appreciated it as a treat at the time. I was a bit wary of him because he came down rather sharply on any misbehaviour; but I suppose that's fairly normal for schoolmasters.

I wrote to Mr Flood in December and received a long and pleasant reply in January, most of which I've added as a comment to this post because it seems too long to add as an indented quotation. He seems to have prospered well enough over the years.

Mrs Flood

It's clear from the Stouts Hill Magazines that Mrs Flood was teaching at the school during my time, but I'm afraid I don't seem to remember her. Perhaps she taught only the younger boys.

I was already nine and a half when I arrived at the school in autumn 1963, and with my poor memory I remember very little of the early years.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

The Kingfisher Society

John has sent me a copy of the letter that announced the founding of the Kingfisher Society.

On the 27th April, 1970, the above society was formed independent of the school, by the “Old Boys” with the object of taking over from the school all functions and meetings of Old Boys, maintaining contact between former pupils, past and present staff of the school, and to take an interest in and assist with the progress and development of the school in all its activities, to give the school where possible both financial as well as moral support, and in time to create bursaries or scholarships for sons or daughters of old boys to attend the school.

The system was that boys would pay for lifetime membership either on leaving the school, or by termly installments during their time at the school; all payments being voluntary.

I was never a member of the Society nor aware of its existence, because it was formed several years after I left the school. John wonders whether it ceased to function after the school closed, or whether it's still operational in some sense. Does anyone know?