Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Photos 2004

Emile Farhi has contributed eight photos of Stouts Hill taken in December 2004, and I've added them to Flickr with the others—please use the Stouts Hill photos link in the right pane.

These are relatively small photos (640 × 480), but nice to have. I don't have many modern colour photos of the place. You can also see Emile here, looking quite recognizable from forty years earlier.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Mr Bruce

Stephen Fry mentions a Scottish master called Jim Bruce who taught history with a Scottish emphasis, and divinity. He had been a prisoner of the Japanese during the Second World War, and died in about 1995.

According to the 1966 Stouts Hill Magazine, he was due to arrive at the school in September 1966, so he was there throughout my final year; but I don't remember him, I suppose because he never taught me.

John has provided this link to a 36-page PDF file written by Mr Bruce about his experiences as a teenage prisoner of the Japanese. He was apparently born in about 1926.

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.

Reginald Sawdon

Reginald Sawdon was one of Mrs Angus's two brothers, who lived at the school throughout its existence until he died suddenly of a heart attack on the 12th of June 1967 (according to the 1967 Stouts Hill Magazine).

He was almost completely deaf and dumb, and David remembers that masters used to communicate with him using sign language.

David also remembers that he was very fond of his red motorcycle (around 1950), although later on he acquired a car and seems to have been equally fond of that.

Julian says he was said to have made the two model battleships that were displayed in glass cases outside the blue dining room.

Unfortunately I seem to have no memory of him. Sigh. My memory is like a colander.