The cellars were accessed by a door on the ground floor, between the sixth-form room and the headmaster's study. Through the door were stairs down to a series of small, dungeon-like rooms, dark and dirty and barely lit (by a few naked bulbs, I think); if you persevered, you came through at last to the exit, emerging up some stairs into the open air just under the library windows.
The cellars were used to store boxes belonging to the boys. I don't remember what they were supposed to contain, nor what they actually contained; but each boy had a locked box sitting down there, like a smallish trunk. I suppose that's why we were allowed to go down there; otherwise, the cellars would probably have been kept locked.
There was also a workshop just to the left a little way from the bottom of the stairs. I remember there being a brace of pheasants, freshly shot that morning presumably by Mr Cromie, hanging up in there.
As well as the Tuck Boxes you mention, we would keep football/ rugby boots and wellies down there too. It therefore stank of mud!
There was only the one light switch to the cellar and that was just inside the internal entrance door. Needless to say, it would regularly be swithched off, with a cellar full of boys screaming blue murder!
I recall collecting Corona bottles and other makes that gave you your deposit back from the cellars
There was a room in the cellars where Mrs Knight taught pottery. It was well kitted out with a wheel and I think a kiln too. It was very dark sometimes which made it quite frightening at times.
Tuck boxes of course and Jackson had mangos from his parents in India which he kept in his tuck box. Ever since I have associated mangos with Stouts Hill.
david mackiinley-woodhall 1946-51
I well remember the cellars.
It was where we did our carpenty lessons,as there was a workshop
in one of the cellar vaulted rooms.
I remember Mr Cromie when he first started teaching at Stouts Hill. Think I must have been in the 5th forms then, and he was the fiercest teacher I have ever come across.
He taught History. Anyone remember him pulling (Peter)? GEE out of the fixed desk, by his HAIR! He wouldn't get away with it nowadays.
David D (er one of the Dawson contingent, at S H on my own, between brothers and nephew). Remember Nick Benn, and Miles Wachter of course, and loads of other names are coming back, later maybe. see you 15 8 10 then.
Hi David, thanks for your comment, but I point out that this topic is about the cellars, there's a different one for Mr Cromie.
Just a suggestion. No-one gets whacked around here for going off-topic. And anyway you must be senior to me...
Mrs Knight was the teacher in 11b when i first started and I recall her pottery lessons down in the cellars. I also recall the tuck boxes and David Maxim with his massive sheaf knife he kept in his tuck box. Someone sneaked a few weeks later and it was confiscated.
You could also access the cellars from outside, down a dingy stairwell / tunnel. Capentry lessons were moved to a place down the hill next to 'Bubs' science classroom. In fact Bubs used to run the carpentry.
I still have a bookshelf at home from my time there. Plus a cupboard, both are still going strong.
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