|Guy Back||He was Kathleen Harrison's son (to those who know their post-war actresses).
Mr. Back always wore his robe and walked with a stylish gait that I often
tried to copy. He got me interested in English because he concentrated on
Grammar not learning that rotten poetry and Shakespear off by heart. I had
a brief period due to him near the top of my class in 4Sc.|
|Bill Bailey||It was entirely fitting that he was House Master of Beecham; a lot of
useless boffs went into Beecham (yes, I know, they all turned out to be QCs
..). The exceptions proved the rule, like Vlad Bohata, Pete Dorrell and
Barry Mailes. But those great sportsmen couldn't carry that totally lame
|Mr. Blakeway||He was form master for 2.2 in summer 1950.|
Basil Blakeway was last heard of married late and running a bookshop in Hungerford
The epitome of civility and culture in my young eyes. Shocked a class of unruly lads one day by saying "Now you're all being plain, bloody stupid." and sweeping out. Died recently.
|Mr. Blackburn||He taught English Language and Literature rather
badly and was a dirty old man. He wrote in my Summer 1952 report that
I was "Somewhat idle and inattentive. He has ability but is
very untidy." - David
An inspiring if idiosyncratic English teacher. He wrote a book of poems called, I remember, Clip of steel - referring to the device his parents used to stop him masturbating. - Michael Horowitz QC
Clip of steel is the title of Tom Blackburn's autobiography, not a collection of poems. (It's pretty grim reading, too.) - Prof. Brian Vickers
To Mr. Blackburn, however, you have done much less than justice. He was a fine minor poet (see, for example, his Oedipus in The Faber Book of Twentieth Century Verse) and he was also, in my opinion, a great teacher. He instilled a love of poetry and language in many of us -- me in particular! I remember the first time he taught us. He came into class, and asked what we were doing. We were reading Macbeth around the class. "Show me," he said. So we did. He listened to our dreary performance for about two minutes, then said, "My God! This is terrible! Don't you have any idea what this is about? Here -- give me a copy!" For the rest of the period, he simply read Macbeth to us. I believe that the entire class was enthralled -- I certainly was. For the first time I began to realize what language in general, and Shakespeare in particular, could mean.
We admired his iconoclastic methods. Once, at an Old Boys Dinner quoted Hemingway "The artist needs a cast iron, built in, shit detector." to a shocked silence. A Clip of Steel is much concerned with the anxiety of his cleric father that there was black blood in the family. An uncomfortable book.
I remember Colin Bosely and the gym shoe with which he used to
encourage you to do hand stands. I also remember his catch phrase
"Get'em looow "|
|Francis Warre-Cornish||Son of a onetime head of Eton, they said. A
somewhat effete though decent man. Was the House master of Beecham . I
was in Beecham so I remember him well. Bill Bailey wasn't in Beecham
but Abbott House. Warre Cornish gave an impression of trundling gently
through life without challenging too much, perhaps constrained by his
gentility. I recall a robust science student discomfiting him in RI by
quoting from a theory called Logical Atomism which maintained
that as the position of any atom in the future was unknoweable (after
Heisenberg) there could not be a God.
|Mr. Craddock||A gifted classics teacher.|
|Henry Doughty||Another Beechamite, as I recall. He taught music and was good at it. He
lived in Hamilton Terrace. If he's still there his pad is worth a mint.
Serge Depauw also lived in Hamilton Terrace (for those that remember that
|Like Arty Leatham, a definite queer. I'll put up a 'photo of him
with Form 1H 1955 when I get round to it. He disappeared in about 1956
|Ken Crook|| Tormented deputy to Llewellyn Smith. -
Michael Horowitz QC|
I recognize poor Mr. Crook in the word "tormented" -- he was a good man, but one who could turn a perfectly straightforward situation into a PR disaster. - Rev. Dr. Christopher Bryan
I remember Mr. Crook stalking the corridors like a cross between Hitler and Charlie Chaplin. He was a man out of time. His RI classes just put me to sleep and as for the writing of notes out for homework!
A dour individual, but showed occasional flashes of humour as when he read all our names out backwards on the register one day.
|Colin Davies||Easily forgotten because he could be played up, Mr. Davies taught Applied
Maths. The boffs could do that stuff and passed despite him - idiots like
me failed miserably. When I was in U6Sc for my second attempt, he taught me
one-to-one and that was better. At least I passed Applied Maths with an
|Fred Davis||He was a soft spoken Irishman who taught Latin and Maths(?) I recall. He
was always good for a 2/- loan!|
|He taught the arts
pupils Ancient Greek and Latin. We had him for Religious Instruction
at times. He had rather weird ideas about God. He was a strict
disciplinarian and I was happy that we only saw him occasionally.
- David Taylor|
A distinguished historian. I owe him my scholarship in history at Cambridge. He died recently in Norway in his early 90's. He was married to a Norwegian and involved in military intelligence in Scandinavia during the war. His text book of Norwegian history is still in print and surprisingly radical. He was a very fierce disciplinarian. He was an old fashioned Scots Methodist. - Michael Horowitz QC
Dr. Derry was a fine teacher, very tough, but learned and responsive to effort (though I do recall his ideas about God being a little off the wall, at least from my high Anglican viewpoint!)
I got on with him very well. He taught Latin and History in an interesting way; he gathered the class around his desk in a circle. The person immediately to his left was the current subject boff and the one to his right was the dumbo. He would fire a question at someone and move to his right to pass the opportunity on to a weaker boy if the first boy couldn't answer. In this way, someone who'd done his homework would move up the rank. At month end, when we got our report cards, the position in line denoted one's marks. He also let me off detention when, during the setup for morning assembly, most other boys were messing around but I was reading a newspaper. He punished everyone else but me saying at least I was doing something useful. I visited him in Norway in 1974. He was great.
|A rather unremarkable games master. He exercised us
satisfactorily but I do not rememember him ever teaching us anything
of value. |
An ex army sergeant with a droll sense of humour. We hated gym but liked him.
|Miss French||A dishy blond who taught General Science and encouraged my Astronomy hobby.
I wrote a piece for which I got a STAR from Hughie. The following
week I got caned. Oh well - Miss French left in about 1958 so not
many would remember her.|
|A very experienced and competent physics teacher. It was due to
teachers of his calibre that the school had such a good
A German Jewish refugee with the expected punctilious politeness. I understand he was liked and respected.
I liked Freudenberger the ex German Physics teacher and I often quote him "Sometimes the swine finds the pearl" he would say to me after I did a good piece of homework!
I seem to remember that Dr Freudenberger used to say "Vot do you tink this is a Kintergarten?" when the boys played up.
Another hero of mine. "Get Qviet" was his signature - better than that written by his shaking hand! During school holidays I swept the roads in Cricklewood - he'd invite me in for a cup of tea. Where did they find him? What a treasure.
During my mad days as a science student I found him very boring. His lectures sometimes enlivened by a fellow pupil taking notes in his accent. Cruel but unbearably funny at the time.
|Mr. Frisby||Assistant headmaster
until 1937/8. He was a tall grey weary man with no sense of humour at all.
His word by word analysis of Macbeth put me off the play for years
|Mr. Gibson||Another very experienced and competent teacher. He taught Calculus and Applied Mathematics very well indeed. I liked the system that he had of dictating notes. It is all very well for a brilliant teacher to be able to explain something but it is also vital that it is taught in a way that can be remembered.|
|Mr. Greenwood||He was the junior Chemistry master and form master for 3 Science
in the summer of 1951. He taught Chemistry well and in a way that it
could be remembered. I can still remember him emphasising time and
again "acid plus base equals salt plus water."
A great guy. He was form master of 1S (I was in 1H). He taught us General Science in the first form and Chemistry in the fifth. He was a great friend of Dr. Freudenberger. Mr. Greenwood died of cancer - I forget when, in the 70's I think.
|A Languages specialist, he was form master for 22 in
1948/49. He taught me French and German adequately. I have had to
use French from time to time while in the Royal Navy and later in
business. Today my second wife speaks German at home all the time and
I have never had any difficulty understanding her. Mr. Hands is now president
of the Old Philologians.|
Mr. Hands was splendid. I have nothing but good memories of him, especially in productions of the school play (as I recall, he produced The Critic, and took the juvenile lead in She Stoops to Conquer). (If anyone cares, I was Sir Christopher Hatton in the former, and a rather ill-at-ease Hastings in the latter, desperately trying NOT to get a laugh on "Perish the baubles, your person is all I desire!" -- which I was assured was not meant to be funny.)
|Who would like to write about Mr. Hardman?|
|Mr. Harrison||was a very fine man who was woodwork master -- he was a
Quaker. He was both kind, and a good teacher -- I should know, for I
certainly had no particular talent for his subject, yet still use some
of the skills he taught me. He deserves to be remembered.
Caused deep traumas to my future as a DIYer by writing on my report at the end of the first year, after I had struggled feebly for a term to plane a piece of wood flat "Poor work and effort."
|Mr. Hartshorn||He was Geography Master and Form Master for 4 science and 5
science for 1952 to 1953. He never seemed to appreciate me. I was
confident that I understood the subject thoroughly but he always gave
me really rotten marks. I remember pointing out on one occasion in
class that his understanding of the coriolis effect was faulty
(which it was) and I think that he never forgave me.
I remember the look on George Hartshorn's face when I got an A GCE 'O' Level for Geography. He thought very little of me.
|Mr. Hayes||He was our Form Master for 3 science in autumn 1950 and taught maths and science but I can remember nothing much about him.|
|Mr. Hedges||Duggie was quite a character. An extremely experienced
teacher he taught us Singing, Swimming and Latin. He had a cane
called Caractacus which lived on top of the classroom cupboard.
It was often referred to but very rarely used. He never entered the
water during a swimming class but always instructed from the side.
After swimming he insisted that boys dressing should always put on
their shoes first which I thought was absolute nonsense. I think that
we only did singing during the first year at school but I can remember
singing over and over again "Ours is a nice house ours is and
I have a new pair of trousers".
Duggie was exactly as you describe. He was also organist and choirmaster at St. Mark's, Marylebone Road, where some of us went to be confirmed. A wonderful eccentric! One Sunday evening, when the choir was singing particularly badly, he stopped the service and yelled at them, "O my God, poor little mucks! Come along, then! One, two three," (and then, singing raucously himself) "Enter not into judgment with thy servant, O Lord (or whatever it was)." I had private piano lessons with him, the crowning result of which, as I recall, was that I played some Beethoven, appallingly badly, at the School Concert.
|Mr. Horwood||The Houseman house master. A horrible man, I thought at the time.
But, as I recall, he took in a French guy called Yves Fedida and I
changed my opinion of him. Horwood took Master's detention and was
very strict there and kept behind all but the goodie two shoes until
|Ned Kelly||A gruff Kiwi, he could chuck a mean board duster at anyone talking in class.
He taught me the only thing I knew in O-level Geography: Warm wet winters,
hot dry summers.|
|The Art Master.
He was undoubtedly queer and enjoyed beating boys on the bottom often,
but fairly gently with his large T square. -
I avoided his Art Classes because I came from an artistic background and my mother especially looked down on his methods.
|Mr. Llewelyn-Smith||Head Master from
1954. I remember him for two personal changes which he made to the way
of life of the school and for which I continue to admire him. Firstly
he permitted the boys to swim nude at both the small Seymour swimming
pool and also at the Forest Green pool. Secondly he insisted that
boys wishing to see him should knock on the door of his office then
immediately enter and wait to be acknowledged rather than wait
An old fashioned but dedicated figure. - Michael Horowitz QC
I remember on a winter's day there had been some snow and as third formers we were taking part in a snowwar at lunch time. The old red brick building had a staircase that led to the playground down by the bike sheds and fives court. Trapped on the this stairwell were the opposition. They were hiding behind the wall. We were attacking by throwing the snowballs at the wall behind them so they burst and dropped the snow on to them. All was going well until Llewlyn-Smith, the headmaster during my time, opened the door at the top of the stairs and caught a shower of snow caused by a volley of snowballs.
I remember the sense of rejection and disappointment because I missed out on a star for my work in History because Llewelyn-Smith thought it a good opportunity to tell me that my hand writing was messy. No thought taken about the quality of the actual work. Yes I am still bitter about it.
"I'm going to cane you, Ball" he said - twice. I can't exactly remember why (I seem to remember slipping Campfield an Asthma tablet or something when I was in the 2nd form). By the 6th form, I think he got to like me. His hair was parted on Hitler's side as I recall. A fearsome man.
Thoroughly decent but repressed human being. His 6th form RI classes were adventurous and speculative. He used to take favoured boys to the theatre, but always with a chaperone. Read about him in Eric Hobsbawm's autobiography. - Raymond Berger
|Mr. Manning||Contrary to the commentary on the 1962 Camp 'photo, I can only recall Mr.
Manning teaching Chemistry. He was one of those nutters who wielded the
Bunsen burner, acid, hydrogen jars and other useful substances without a
care in the world. At least I failed Chemistry laughing.
|Mr Mclean||was a very hearty young man
probably from a very good public school and an old university. He taught
English very well (1933/1937). We disliked each other thoroughly, and I have felt
guilty about my feelings since I learned years later that he was the only
Marylebone master to have been killed serving in the Army!|
|Our house master in Moore and also my
form teacher, and unfortunate French teacher. He seemed to have a lot of
time for me, more than could be said for most of the teachers.
- James John Eaton|
The doyen of the OP's. Once a thin, nervy, individual but now more a benign Mr Chips figure.
|Mr. Rogers||Charlie was an amazing language teacher. He conducted the latin class entirely in latin from "Salve Magister", "Salve Te quoque" when we entered the room until the end of the period. "Vale Discipulis", "Vale Magister" I thought that really made latin into a live, rather than a dead language. His classes did tend to become a little rowdy but I do not think that that interfered with learning at all.|
|Mr Rowland||taught biology and
chemistry to the junior school 1933/1937. He was a bulky middleaged man with a slight
speech defect which prevented him from pronouncing the word "alcohol"
correctly hence his nickname Alkoole. He had published a book privately,
"Living Things for Lively Youngsters", and purchase of a copy ensured a good
|He was my form master in 2H and taught English up to O-Level. Sardonic form
of wit and had this awful habit of making you learn Shakespeare or
Wordsworth or some other valueless literature off by heart. The boffs could
hack it (they became House Captains, School Captains etc) - I never made it
to any position of trust!|
|Mr. Snape||One of the older Masters
at the school, Snapper taught mathematics very thoroughly. He always
referred to me as North Harrow which is where he thought that I
boarded the train to school by which he also travelled every day. I
still use his method for determining trigonometric ratios,
tan,cos,cosec,sin,sec,cot even after studying navigation in the
Royal Navy and working for years as an engineering
An excellent English teacher. - Rev. Dr. Christopher Bryan
Snapper(Claude Snape) made a great impression upon me. His classes were always so entertaining. He had a host of nicknames for the various boys: Hubbard was, inevitably, Old Mother, Svoboda was Slobber Chops, Mandelburg was Mangleworzel, etc.
|Who has something to write about Mr. P.M. Spiers?
I remember that he taught 6 form mathematics without checking
the progress of his pupils who had difficulty keeping up.
|The senior Chemistry Master but unremarkable in my opinion.
Passionate about teaching and scientific truth. I can still remember how angrily he denounced the French revolution for executing the discoverer of oxygen, Lavoisier simply because he was an aristocrat.
|Mr Stock||taught French very boringly (1933/1937) - Joe Brindle|
|Dave Udall||He joined the school in about 1958 and taught Biology. He had a good sense
of humour that was a good foil for Bill Bailey (miserable git) in that
otherwise hapless Beecham house. Mr. Udall believed in the slipper and had
the knack of being liked by the boys and yest respected for the corporal
punishment he could mete out.
|Mr. P.A. Wayne||Informally known as Dickie,
Headmaster until 1953. There is a drinking fountain to his memory in
the memorial garden at Forest Green. I remember him as a very learned
and serious head who made frequent references to Goethe and the German
classics. He played I think the Viola and we were on several
occasions required to listen to him and his fellows in their string
quartet, or was it a quintet? I can also remember him stalking the
corridors with a cane on those occasions when a master did not turn up
to a class and the noise slowly rose to an uproar that could be heard
throughout the school. - David
Dickie Wayne was, of course, more important than God -- for one thing, he was more obviously around! He deserves, among other things, to be remembered for his translations of Goethe (still actable), La Fontaine's fables, and his School Service, my copy of which I still have. It has some wonderful things in it, by no means all Christian. Dickie would announce the sports results at School Assembly, always noting, when we had lost particularly badly, that "they are, of course, a much bigger school than we are!" He justified his devotion to the arts -- the devotion he wished to instill in us -- by saying that such devotion meant that, whatever happened to you, you could still say, "I am a friend of Mozart." We laughed at the time, and would leap around the playground shouting, "I'm a friend of Mozart!" -- but the thought has stuck with me, all the same, and I suppose that now I see what he meant -- not to mention that he was, I think, right! He could be fierce, but was also on occasion very kind.
He played the cello. He was a really very thoughtful person, with a great knowledge of the Impressionists. He also fought very hard to get the Forest Green camp for us.
An admirable and learned man, though addicted to the use of the cane. I seek a copy of his School Service book, which employed quotes from secular literature as well as the Bible. But his excessive use of corporal punishment left a lifelong distaste for this kind of thing in my mind, especially as I was once witness to an unjust beating.
|Mr. Willis||The Deputy Head, we had very little to do with him. He
always seemed to me a quiet disciplinarian. I believe that he was in
pain because he died in about 1953. - David
Mr. Willis, great friend of [Mr. Snape] was also very kind, and a splendid maths teacher, especially for those like me with no gift in that direction. He would explain algebraic equations -- "Cabbage squared minus Cauliflower squared etcetera," -- in such a way that in the end even idiots like me got it, at least for the time being! I remember him passing a boy on the stairs who was combing his hair. Mr. Willis said, "How now, Leonidas!" and then, as he walked on, turned round, winked, and said, "Not bad for a science chap, eh?!"
Seemed a crusty old guy but was a softy really. Brought my mathematics from poor standard to a good O.Level, making me full of false confidence so that I madly went on to do A.level maths, an endeavour at which I soon foundered under Mr Spiers, whose lectures flowed over my head like water over a rock.
|Dr Wisdom||(1933/1937) was a mathematician. He was
not a successful maths teacher. The topics were so self-evident to him that
he could not understand our inability to understand them. He too had no
sense of humour.|