Sunday 21 October 2007

Mr Birchall

Mr Birchall taught English in the 6th form. He seemed rather elderly to me at the time.

He evidently liked me, as he lent me books from time to time, ones I wouldn't have thought of reading on my own initiative. I think he lent me, among others, A high wind in Jamaica (Richard Hughes, 1929) and perhaps also Alan Moorehead's African trilogy (non-fiction, about the Second World War in North Africa).

I'm embarrassed that I seem to remember nothing else about him now. It must be rather discouraging for schoolmasters that most of their pupils, even their favourites, leave school and are never heard from again.

Jonathan Marler adds:

I did not care for cricket and was allowed to play tennis with Mr Angus and Mr Birchall instead. Mr Birchall also coached running. He never raised his voice or sent anyone for the cane, but commanded total respect by the weight of his personality and intellect.

Stephen Fry thinks Mr Birchall looked like Roland Young.

1 comment:

Richard Darell 1964 -69 said...

Mr Brichall taught me English in 3a, i remember him for being quite a stern fellow. Noone would play up during his lessons that was for sure.

I went to 4b after this year and never came across him again.