Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Old boys list

In 1979 and 1980, Jeremy Lee-Browne compiled a list of Stouts Hill old boys, with their dates at the school and their addresses at the time. John Morris has removed the addresses—most probably out of date by now—and passed me the edited list as a PDF file (thanks to John for this effort).

The list is seriously incomplete. I suppose Jeremy included only those whose addresses he could find, so (for instance) I'm not included myself. Naturally, the early years are under-represented, although it does include some fairly senior old boys.

April 2009: I've now made my own list, compiled from information in the Stouts Hill Magazine. This list is also incomplete and there is more to be done with it, but I contribute it as a work in progress.

You can find both lists here.

June 2011: I've done more work on my list, which has gone from 12 to 19 pages, with a better representation of senior old boys, and also includes more dates previously missing. I hope to add more information later this summer.

December 2011: I've added old boys' info from the 1954 Magazine, and a few minor corrections from John Morris.


Anonymous said...

I am moved, shaken, sad, angry, and unsettled to find this blog.

I was there and I remember you (Palfrey) as a "decent chap".

Stouts Hill has haunted me for many years. I was extremely unhappy there, despite my parents busting a gut to send me there.

I think the thing that made it a Tantalus too far for me was actually being able to see my home, and my parents going about their business in the village. Really Odd to see Dad on his tractor chugging across the landscape.

I realise now in later years that all those teachers that I feared so much were good people with histories and experiences. They were not - as I had thought at the time - emotionless and stern.

I think the experience of Stouts Hill was good for many people who went there, but for me it was a very painful experience.

Despite the fact that I am glad it's all gone now I realise that it had a huge impact on me.

Now as a 51 year old man I visit my Mum and walk around the Uley bury and look down on the buildings with a kind of morbid fascination.

It's a bit like something you can;t quite wipe of your shoe.

Jonathan said...

Hello anonymous, thanks for your comments. I'm glad to be remembered as a "decent chap", but I'm amazed that you remember me at all. You seem to be three years younger than me, which was a big difference back then; and I don't think I was at all memorable.

You seem to have had an unusually bad experience of the school, but I don't think your reaction to it was unique, and it doesn't altogether surprise me.

It was an old-fashioned school and there were good and bad things about it. I came to it, at the age of nine and a half, after two years at Tripoli College in Libya, where I was lightly bullied and unhappy. At first I was no happier at Stouts Hill, which was also colder and inadequately heated. I had a horror of corporal punishment, which was common practice at Stouts Hill. And of course it was my first experience of boarding school, which takes some getting used to.

I wasn't the kind of boy to be happy at any normal school, and I would always have been happier to be back home in Africa with my parents, where life was warmer and easier and more pleasant. But I found that I could at least survive at Stouts Hill and tolerate the life after a fashion.

Going to boarding school is a bit like joining an army and going to war — though of course not as bad.

I have mixed feelings looking back. I admit I have a sort of affection for the place. However, if I imagine myself transmitted back in time and finding myself again in a child's body facing another term at Stouts Hill — my reaction is utter horror. I'm no longer accustomed now to the conditions of an old-fashioned boarding school, and I'd hate to have to go through it again.

Your reaction to the school wasn't exactly the same as mine, but I can at least understand and sympathize somewhat. I don't know if that helps at all.

Anonymous said...

Hello again

I didn't mean to sound down on the whole thing - as I said it just wasn't the place for me. I do remember you and many other people older than me. I was (and still am) an observer.

I think your comments are very balanced and clear.

I've read many other questions and comments in this blog. Some of them ask questions about Cromie. I can say that I saw him in my Mum's house about a year agao at a party. He was extremely charming and smiling, and not at all frightening.

Mid Kemp died I'm afraid many years ago now, but I will always recall the rattle in his mouth as he repositioned his teeth and the very particular way that he walked with a swinging lower arm and a slightly hunched over back.

I went back there to photo the school as part of my MA a few years ago and I will upload some pictures soon.

I spent most of my time there at the end of the drive (as close as possible to not there) or in the fascinating rubbish dump - I was often discovered by Scott-Clark and kicked out.

You won't remember me as I was younger and not ever going to be an achiever in either sport or academics. I was in classes named Remove and games called XL which speaks fr itself.

I was called Roger Fayle, although I am now called Roger Knott-Fayle (reviving an earlier and much more positive family name)

The experiences you describe of the horror of corporal punishment and Africa are balanced by an affection for the place; and you got through it with fond enough memories to build this blog. Good for you.

I certainly do not mean to be negative about anyone's thoughts or memories - I am just adding my own.

Yours sincerely with a weird kind of nostalgia.

Jonathan said...

Hello Roger, thanks for introducing yourself.

I was quite impressed by your Web site, which has inspired me to add Web-site links to the list of visitors in this blog. My own Web site is relentlessly amateurish and somehow I've never been able to make anything of it. I think the trouble is that I was always a science type and not an arty creative type.

You also have the advantage of me in being observant. I've always been remarkably unobservant; part of the reason for my poor memory is that I never noticed what was going on around me in the first place.

It's difficult to explain why I should look back at Stouts Hill with affection. I suppose I can point to three things:

1. The place itself was attractive and pleasant and had character. You may not have noticed if you lived in Uley anyway.

2. The school had a kind of family atmosphere — albeit an old-fashioned family, whereas my parents were relatively young and modern. I think the staff all meant well, even if they sometimes had funny ways of showing it from our point of view.

3. It's inseparable from my memories of my own childhood.

John Morris said...

I remember Roger. I was also an XL sportsman. Equally bad at everything as it were.
I disliked a great deal of my time at Stouts Hill, though there were also aspects I liked. I was one of those weird one’s that liked the food. I liked nearly all the staff. And it was only perhaps a dozen boys over the five years that made life less pleasant.
The trouble about having an unpleasant time at school is that I am left in two minds. I can’t avoid the fact that I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the things that happened in those years, and as far as I can judge I have turned out okay.

If I’m right Roger lived in a really fascinating house in Uley that you had to walk past if heading up to the church or the Village Hall.
And I think Roger had a cousin Richard Hughes who was in my year. And Richard represents another of my biggest problems with Stouts Hill and indeed with the boarding system in general. Richard lived in Southern India, others in my year lived in Brunei: too far away. And indeed simply living in Cardiff or London was enough to make it nigh on impossible to have a friendship with someone that could exist in the holidays. I think the nearest boy to me lived about forty miles away. The nearest boy in my year lived about eighty miles away. I did once meet Richard during the holidays as his parents had a holiday home in Dorset and when I was on the way somewhere else my parents took a detour to go past it, but simply to say hello.
The school doctor in my time Dr Wootton, whose son Matthew was a fellow pupil about my age, also had a holiday home about ten miles from my parents’ house and I met up with Matthew two or three times for a few hours during the five years I was at Stouts Hill.
My school days did not leave me with that promised circle of friends that would go with me though life. I have not even met a single former pupil since leaving other than the one that followed me to Blundell’s.
Yes, Jonathan’s blog has reawakened a host of mixed emotions in me, but the balance has been positive. I think that all ghosts have been laid to rest.

Jonathan said...

Hello John, thanks for your thoughts. I'm rather startled that you seemed to like everything about the school except some of the boys! You were truly unlucky to encounter as many as a dozen different boys who gave you a hard time. I remember being teased a bit when I first arrived (though by whom, I no longer remember), but later on I don't think I had any particular problem with the other boys — despite the fact that I was neither naturally sociable nor athletic.

Of course, as I lived in Nigeria I could hardly complain about being far from the other boys in the holidays. That was understood. If my parents had lived in England, I wouldn't have gone to any boarding school.

But I think people scatter, regardless. I've worked in seven different countries in my adult life. Whichever school I'd gone to, I wouldn't still be living near anyone from my schooldays.

Anonymous said...

Roger, if you should happen to read this, what happened to your brother Patrick, also at the school but a few years younger? A most delightful fellow.

Jonathan said...

Anonymous 2011: You can contact Roger via the contact page on his Web site,

John Morris said...

Just glanced at your list of old boys and noticed that you had transposed a couple of first names.
It was Huw G Williams that went to Blundell's (with me) and Havard Williams that went to Clifton.

Also while I am more than happy to be known as John, but it is actually my second firstname. I am usually referred to by just my initials ="A.J.G.". I was therefore wondering if there may be others in the lists that people may not spot if they were used to them as just being inititals rather than first names. I hardly called any boys by there first names anyway (and had the feeling Cromie didn't approve of the use of first names)

Happy New Year

Jonathan said...

Hello John, thanks for your comments. I've changed you in the list to "Morris, A J G (John)", I hope that's OK. The list on the Web will be updated whenever I next upload it.

First names were rarely used in my time either, but they're necessary to distinguish between names that would otherwise be identical.

The problem with H. Williams is due to the Stouts Hill Magazine, which records that Havard Williams arrived in 1969/3 and Hugh Williams in 1971/2. It also records that H G Williams left for Blundell's in 1973/3 and H Williams left for Clifton in 1975/2. I think there was nothing wrong with my interpretation of the slightly faulty data I had to work with.

Are you telling me that in fact Havard Williams arrived in 1969/3 and left for Clifton in 1975/2, while Huw G Williams arrived in 1971/2 and left for Blundell's in 1973/3?

John Morris said...

Yes that way round sounds right.
Huw Willaims joined me at Blundell's in 1974.
I was form prefect for 4A in 1973 when Harvard Williams was in 4A, so on that basis he would have left in 1975.

Ken M said...

I've only just come across the site having been told about its existence by Christopher Ellis. He and I just reconnected as a result of a reunion of our contemporaries in Holman House, Epsom College.
I have very fond memories of my 2 years at Stouts Hill and owe a lot to the staff and to my contemporaries. I still have and often use my pewter tankard engraved with the motto and kingfisher.
I am really sorry to have missed the reunion. I hope to make the next one.
Ken Merron

Jonathan said...

Hello Ken, thanks for dropping in!