Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Word verification

In July I turned on word verification for this blog, forcing people to type in a random word before adding comments.

The purpose of this is to prevent spammers from using programs to add automated comments to the blog, which has become a real nuisance.

I'm now turning word verification off again for a trial period, because Blogger has implemented a new spam-filtering system. I'll see how it goes.

27th of October: I've turned word verification back on, because the blog is receiving about 20 spam messages a day, and the spam filtering system doesn't reduce the nuisance much. I still get all of them arriving in my e-mail inbox, and still have to delete all of them. Much better if they don't get onto the blog in the first place. I'm sorry it means a little extra trouble for anyone wanting to post messages on the blog; blame the spammers.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Stouts Hill Reunion 2010 completed

The Stouts Hill Reunion 2010 was held as planned at Stouts Hill on the 15th of August, attended by at least 25 people, who all seemed to have a good time chatting and wandering around the house and grounds. The weather was dry and pleasant throughout.

At ease 2

Alan Davis and his sister Lesley arrived early with an abundant supply of good cold snacks and soft drinks. The bar (in the former headmaster's study) was unmanned but open; we could help ourselves to drinks and drop payment into a box.

I am gradually adding photos of the reunion to Flickr: click here. Please be patient: I have other things to do, and you can expect more photos to appear here over the coming weeks. You're welcome to contribute your own photos.

Although the reunion was a success, the turnout was lower than expected: quite a lot of people expressed interest but never appeared, including all of the eight people who originally requested a reunion in 2010; so Alan and Lesley brought too much food and had to take most of it away afterwards. Alan received advance notice from Emile Farhi, Charles Llewellyn, David Mackinley-Woodhall, Ian McKellan, and Miles Wachter that they would not be coming; and Derek Hulme left a note on this blog.

Anthony and Sue Cromie sent a brief letter to Alan that he read out at the reunion:

Sue and I are very disappointed that we are unable to attend this reunion. We are particularly impressed with your organisational skills and congratulate all on the great success last year.

If you feel it appropriate please ask the Old Boys to carry on setting the example in life of decency and fair play. And I refer to Kipling's poem 'If'. “If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance, run etc...”

My own thanks again to Alan and Lesley for their efforts.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Stouts Hill 1960s video

From a correspondent who wishes to remain anonymous, I've received a video made from various pieces of cine film shot at Stouts Hill in the 1960s. The video is four and a quarter minutes long, and shows what seems to be a masters versus old boys football match (probably September/October 1962), plus some sports day races.

You can find the 30-MB MPEG-4 file here. To download:

  • In Firefox for Windows, right-link the link and select Save Link As.
  • In Internet Explorer for Windows, right-click the link and select Save Target As. IE changes the file extension to .htm, so you will have to change it back to .m4v manually in order to see the video. Thanks, Microsoft.
  • If you have a Mac and can't right-click, control-click instead.

Considering the age of the film, the quality is good, although one section of it is damaged and double-exposed.

I haven't tried to put this on Flickr, because Flickr limits videos to 90 seconds.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Stouts Hill Reunion 2010

Following the successful event in August 2009, David Mackinley-Woodhall told me that he knew of a group of people interested in a reunion in the summer of 2010, some of whom were unable to come this year; and Alan Davis bravely volunteered to arrange another event.

Since then, others have expressed interest, and I hope to join in myself if I can make it to England at that time. If you think you might like to come, please leave a comment here or get in touch by e-mail, to give us an idea of numbers.

The reunion is now planned for the 15th of August 2010. Roll up, roll up for the mystery tour!

Later: I've now booked a flight to England in August, so I seem increasingly likely to be there.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Photos circa 1950

Recently Charles Hamilton (Stouts Hill 1946-53) has contributed 15 photos from his time at the school, and I've added them to Flickr as a new set: you can see them here.

More information about these photos would be welcome, if any of you can remember!

Later: he's also sent scans of the school play programme from 1947, and a photo of the wedding of Anthony and Susan Cromie (1960).