Pedagogy Masonic Style

Like nearly everybody in the school, I came from a state junior school. We sat some kind of pre-admission test which was used to allocate us to streams (2A, 2B or (l’horreur!) 2C) but there was no entrance exam requirement.

So came that 1961 intake: 50 or so nine year olds from schools across the country, from crowded and lively primary classes of 35 or so, to the echoing quiet of (in my case) 2A, to walk in silent lines from Maths to Scripture or Geography, Latin or French and so on. Each master had his own classroom, where the lines of iron-framed wooden desks – chacun son inkwell –  bore the chiselling of generations of Masonic boys and a wall clock marked the passage of time with a deathly slow ticking crawl. Tedium laudamus.

I remember my first Maths lesson well because the master, Bertie Breckons, had us stand and attempt to recite by heart multiplication tables . A test we failed, to his manifest contempt. The exception being Courtenay Hall (I hope he will forgive the mention) who was able to rattle off any table on demand and who, to Bertie’s delight, had come from “Dunstan Hall Preparatory” or some such preppy sounding place. This gave Breckons the opportunity to remark that “At least somebody in the class had been properly educated”.

Unfortunately Courtenay’s prowess with multiplication tables proved illusory and after struggling in 2A for a term Courtenay went down to the B stream although he discovered a talent for the violin, which eventually took him to the Royal Academy. Draw your own conclusions on the limitations of rote learning.

Most lessons were bloody dull, the occasional one interesting and more than the occasional one downright terrifying. This was usually because either the master was a sadist, like the French Master, King, or you didn’t get on with the subject; often both of these applied.

For this reason everybody had lessons they dreaded. For the unathletic PE was a nightmare; lessons generally consisted of being lined up and made to vault over seriously high or long boxes in turn. Derision or contempt greeted failure or refusal. My horror was World Maps in Geography where you had to identify the capital cities from the dots on a map: a task that seemed beyond my particular form of intelligence. A low score meant a detention or even a beating.

Maybe interesting lessons were in fact plentiful and I have just forgotten them but I think not. It was not, you will have gathered, a gentle pedagogy and the stick was preferred to the carrot.

It would be churlish, however, not to acknowledge that I did get a good academic education. Like I said at the outset, I really, really would not want to repeat the whole experience but I doubt I would have fared better at home. So I am grateful for the education, although I got off to a slow start:  after coming 13/13 at the end of the first term my mother promised me a guitar if I came in the first six in the Spring Term. I obliged by coming first and was rewarded by my first and only guitar and enough change to buy the “Bert Weedon Learn Good Guitar in Five Minutes” tutorial. A somewhat extravagant claim as I failed to learn a single chord in six years. I did though finally go on to get a degree in Classics from Exeter and after adventures in Iran and other places fell in to a career in teaching.

Rather have been a Guitar God though.

Ain’t Life a Bitch.

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57 Responses to Pedagogy Masonic Style

  1. Steve Boorman says:

    I remember “sweat Sessions” in the gym…with Bryce Goode (a most innappropriate name) he was evil!!!Took great delight in whacking a hockey ball under your chest to ensure that you raised it high enough during one particularly gruelling exercise !!!

    • admin says:

      Never knew his first name was Bryce. Explains a lot. I was nearly called Quentin St John and I am sure I would have become some sort of psycho serial killer with a handle like that.

  2. Howard Roberts says:

    Just found your website and it is refreshing to read someone s stories that match my memories of the time. I arrived at jston 14 Jan 61 , put in F house class 2A aged 8.In sep 61 i stayed down a year in class 2A.I am afraid although your age , do not have your memory and i cannot picture you….same class same house.My house number was F12 , i remember.
    My nightmare was French because King used to put your leg over his and slap the inside of your thigh , mine was chubby and it really stung…..still is chubby! Nowadays he would probably be locked up for it.

    The other thing i remember about him was the first school football match in my last year when he threw me off the pitch at half time at Bushey Grammer School ( the pitch is still there ) for not paying attention. The next morning he called me to his study in E house and gave me the choice of walking away and not playing for the school again or being beaten…..i took the beating and later made school captain…….but it was the first time i had ever seen Bertie Breckons run up the stairs when he found out what had happened.
    Will read more of your stories and write again.
    Was in Derby House at Ston….now live in Spain.

    • admin says:

      Hi Howard

      That is weird because I can’t place you either but I arrived Sept 61 in 2A F House and ended up Capt of School Cricket in last year.

      Whatever, I am really pleased you are reading it and feel free to push it out to anyonewho might be interested. Never saw BB run for anything so that’s a first but King was an A1 b**tard that’s for sure. He terrorised some kids but left me alone prob because I was good at languages.

      All the best in Spain..

      • Russell says:

        Hi Howard

        My older brother John Morgan was in Devon house until Christmas 1968 and also now lives in Spain near Albox, he does a radio show on Wednesday (Valleradio). Are you anywhere near there or remember him?



        • Peter Ibbett says:

          In reply to your mention of John Morgan I was in his year and Devon house, would love to hear from him if you can pass on my details I feel sure he would be interested

          Thanks Peter Ibbett devon 1968

    • Laurence Wilson says:

      Howard, I remember you from F house. One memory only. We were playing football. One of my few outings as a team member before relegation to the DISH. (Brecons as ref).

      You scored an a truly stunning goal. I remember you hoofing the ball from about the half way line, over heads of the lads in front and then the head of the goalie and into the back of the net! I’m ashamed to say I was intensely jealous.

    • Andy Cade says:

      Hello Howard, I remember you but had forgotten your name. Everton supporter as I recall? Sunday afternoons watching The Big Match. I just renewed contact with Keith Kerslake thanks to this blog. He reminded me we adopted the word ‘Bozo’ to describe those of limited competence. It was frequently applied to one of the ITV football commentators – Peter Lorenzo became Lebozo. Sounds as though you are enjoying life long after Ston. I live in Surbiton, married with a 23 yr old son. Worked in advertising London for 30 odd years. Now teach it at a couple of Unis. Semi-retired. Do a singalong in Soho every week with a pianist. Use it or lose it as they say. All the best to you and yours, Andy (you knew me as Jack, thanks to Dicki Hamlyn) Cade.

    • Brian Cowan says:

      Howard if I remember you correctly, did you play in goal?
      if so I watched you take a goal kick and score at the other end, this in my mind was amazing. I was in wren at j ston and derby at ston.

  3. Chris Stokes says:

    Fascinating stuff about Tony King. I often wondered what had happened to him so did some investigations last year and eventually went to see him in SE London, where he has always lived. We spent some hours together chatting. He’s nearly 90 now but in pretty good health; still very sharp of mind. As someone once said about him, I feared my form-master but loved my housemaster. As one of his E house boys, I can testify to that. He was great in the house and a good father figure; but I always made sure I was near the top of the class in Spanish!

    All the best.

    • Chris Stokes says:

      An update on Tony King (E House housemaster): I’ve just been to visit him in South London. He’s early 90s now and suffering from dementia. This was my third visit to him in four years but this time he didn’t remember me. Nonetheless, he is very cheerful and treats the memory loss as just one of those things.

      • Peter Ibbett says:

        Hi Chris
        Watched you conducting on tv on catch up last week. Alan White told me about it, good to see you are still going strong. We both played a side drum in the band, I enjoyed that very much.

        Best wishes

        Peter Ibbett OMA Archivist

        • Chris Stokes says:

          Hi Peter

          Great to hear from you after all these years. Yes, band was a great skive. Many hilarious times, like when counter-maching went spectacularly wrong on the quad when rehearsing for Beating Retreat. Trombones crashing into bass drums etc – GG beside himself etc.

          I called in on GG a couple of weeks ago on the way back from holiday. He’s in fine form and writing some superb music still. Barbara has just had a knee replacement and is finding the recovery tough going. A very spirited lady, however.

          Alan I see often and also Ege Parker, of course. Would be great to see you again; maybe at an OM gathering sometime.

          All the best

  4. john Ellis says:

    Bit before ny time as I (thankfully) did not attend junior school, however managed 5 years in Lathom from 1968.
    Courtney Hall was indeed as magnificent musician, and managed to take ‘D’ house to success in the inter house music competition, despit having to reort to a choir singing the ‘ lumberjack song’ which at the time was very avant guard.
    Thank you for the memories .J.Ellis d house 1972

    • admin says:

      Yes and I played the triangle to Jerusalem, adding very little but it at least prevented me singing. Thanks for your comment. Talking of avant garde I remember one boy playing Whiter Shade of Pale as the organ voluntary on exit from the chapel. That was seriously avant garde too. If i can summon the Muse I will start posting about the Senior School soon

  5. Mark Lodge says:

    I came across this blog recently and felt that I should let you know how much I appreciate the time and effort you must have spent composing it.
    People who were at J-Ston and Ston (I was in F house 1961-64 and Headmaster’s/Cadogan 1964-68) will understand when I say that reading it was not entirely ‘enjoyable’, but that your accounts have great value as independent corroboration of what life was like at the Schools. Breckons, Goode, Hamelin, and let us not forget the deeply suspect Reverend Stowe, were all put in charge of vulnerable young boys who had recently lost the fathers, and enjoyed their power. Punches, beatings and humiliation were the norms of their regime, yet the human spirit is indomitable and for most of us there were occasionally some good times and strong friendships forged, despite our unpropitious circumstances.
    I do hope that you will return to write more about life in the Senior School. I wonder if you remember:
    • The butterfly (mythically the same one every time) that used to flutter through the air over our heads during Chapel, Assembly and once, memorably, during the School Play, reminding us of Freedom.
    • The removal of Rev Stowe’s five front teeth during the boys-v-Masters hockey match
    • The gassing of the potato crisps by the School Kitchen that allegedly put a quarter of the school sick in bed
    • The Great Silence, when the entire School refused to sing the second verse of the hymn because Mullins had told us to acknowledge the Cross properly when we entered Chapel.
    • The mutiny during the Cadet Force week at Plasterdown Camp in Devon during the World Cup series in 1966
    • The smoke-in on the last day of the G&H toilets
    • The deliberately fatuous enquiry at the end of the O and A Level Examination briefing session: “Please Sir, can Catholics use rubbers?”
    What larks, eh?

    • admin says:

      Thanks for these great comments Mark. Some new memories there for me.

      I will try and return to the Masonic Senior School in due course. Am writing about life in Turkey, where i live, at the moment but will turn my head back all those years when i can stiffen the sinews etc

    • Laurence Wilson says:

      Hello Mark, I trust life has been kind to you in the years after Ston. We were both in Cadogon under Richard’s care.

      Yes, I do remember the mutiny at Plasterdown summer camp, rather vaguely now I’m afraid. Led if IIRC by Nick Warr and Johnny Wardle. No idea what it was all about though and miffed that it was spoiling an otherwise OK time. Especially since this Summer Camp thing was taking valuable time away from my real Summer holidays back home. I think it all ended with a ticking off from Arthur Andrews our Company Commander. In the real Army I’m sure the outcome would have been a little more severe!

      Sadly(!), I don’t remember Rev S having some ‘dentistry’ performed on the hockey field. But living proof (at last!) that what goes around comes around and that a Dog Collar is no defense against Divine Retribution!

      • Etta says:

        Call me wind because I am ablusotely blown away.

      • Leon Pratt says:

        AFA or “Garth (from the cartoon) Andrews as he became known then became house master in A House (Keyser) in 1970. Gave me 3 full pelt on the bare arse with a Dunlop green flash, the zig zag tread and Dunlop was visible in bruises for 8 days. I believe he was running as a consultant in education in Scotland until recently.

  6. Laurence Wilson says:

    Imagine this: September 1959, nice sunny day, Jston, Junior House (B House), day 1, classroom 1, lesson 1 with Perky the Tasmanian Devil of a Geography master. Topic 1: the ‘sawn off hockey stick’ clipped to the black board. The message was writ large, implied if not exactly spoken, and in modern parlance : “Lads get your sh1t together or else!” The man was obviously a gentleman, he had given us a choice!

    I never succumbed to one of his beatings. But allowed my guard to drop elsewhere! I’m sure I’m a little OCD because of that first lesson (in life?). Before each geography lesson I’d run through a pre-class checklist: geography books; check, home work done; check, any ink blobs on home work; check, pens and pencils; check, socks up tie straight; check. OK we’re good to go. Only to repeat this check-list time and again just in case I’d missed something.

    Others were less fortunate. Ossie Osmand, (please forgive the mention) for example, seemed to get clobbered every bloody time. God knows it must of been painful for him, but perhaps almost as painful for each us looking on. This man knew how to torture and fortunately left after a couple of terms to be replaced by Fergie, who by contrast, was a breath of fresh air, despite other comments elsewhere.

    Lesson 2 on day 1 was with with Dicky Hamlin for Latin. Things didn’t get much better! Why anyone thought as a member of Form 1 that I was actually capable of learning Latin is beyond me. I spent many a Wednesday and Saturday afternoon attending Dicky ‘Tea Parties’ standing outside his office in F house facing the wall trying to get my homewok straight. After a year, that’s three whole terms, all I ever manged to learn was to conjugate the verb Amo; to love! I’ll spare you the rendition! After that I was spared the ordeal. Others fared better though.

    Chris, I remember you well in F House where I was assigned after my first year in Junior House, Form 1 (not even 2c!). And I have to thank you for writing this blog. For me it’s cathartic bordering on therapy! So to use the word ‘amazing’ might be difficult!

    I was born with the clever gene, sporty and music genes all deleted! But I could sing a bit, so not a ‘Grunter’ (I will reply separately to your ‘DISH’ post). The Victorians would have called me mechanically minded!

    Fortunately, I discovered myself (and sanctuary!) in the metalwork, woodwork and art rooms at Ston with those amazing teachers: Jeff(?) Walker, Ken Littledyke and Ben Renoir respectively. Other heroes were our housemaster Richard Dilley, ‘Tek’ Kenney our maths master and that lovely chap, Mr Blake. There were many other heroes, and characters there too and, fortunately, I managed to avoid the attentions of the infamous Bill Glover and his like!

    Is it possible that Dark and Mullins were working hand in glove and implementing a single ‘business process’ across the two sites? Mullins would want to take delivery of lads in a suitable ‘condition’ to be taught and pass exams and wouldn’t want a school full of fit, testosterone fueled oafs running amok. Hence discipline at the heart of the solution. Col Dark’s job, as implemented by his platoon of over eager henchman, was to oblige. The stick in it’s many forms being the key weapon.

    I’d like to think that they both knew that ‘engagement’ was a better alternative to the stick, but the guarantee of a suitable level of teaching ability may have made that option too risky. After all, our futures were at stake, and a ‘positive’ outcome had to be ensured! Anyway, that’s my take on it after almost fifty years of ‘perspective’.

    Chris, please do complete ‘the mission’ and recount your days at Ston. I will be passing your blog’s URL on to my two daughters so they have a full ‘understanding’ of their dad. And since you were far more successful than I at Jston and Ston, I will be able to bask in your reflected glory! It will also save me the the job too. God bless 🙂

    • Robert Burgess says:

      Your mention of Latin class and Amo takes me back. I still remember it was the first word of the first lesson. Amo Amas Amat amorum Amis Amis. I was a 3rd former in “G” sitting next to Glasborrow in prep looking over his shoulder bored out of my mind, as a C former I never had a latin class. Funny how things can remain in your mind for the best part of 50 years whilst today I forget just about everything.

    • Leon Pratt says:

      I came across Ken Littledyke making canoes in a redundant cinema in Ramsey, Cambridgeshire in 1981. Very lovely man.
      Was the rumour that Ben Renour was related to the great artist ever proven I wonder?.

    • Leon Pratt says:

      Renoir I meant, forgive me.

  7. clive denham says:

    I was in F house 1960 for 2 terms and was tormented by the sadistic Bert Breckons wielding his sawn off cricket bat and his deputy whose name I forget, whose punishment was bed on silence. I also have memories of Colonel Dark ruling with a rod of iron.
    1961 I Joined ston in headmasters house, the housemaster was D.H.H.Beams who also was a sadistic bastard and until he was replaced by Richard Dilley I spent most of the time avoiding has eye. I managed to survive until 1965 but hated every minute and am left with a morbid fear of toilets with no doors and a hatred of Benjamin Britten courtesy of the music teacher “Drip” Garton I hope this rings a few bells with my contemporaries..

    • admin says:

      Happy Times! “Dickie” Hamelin was the grim one with the fondness for silence fatwas. I got one or two now you mention it.

      I have not actually come across toilets without doors in real life or are urinals hell for you as well? May be worth a class action, if there are enough of us..

    • Trevor Bond says:

      I must have been in headmasters at the same time , I was probably a fourth former!!!!Allowed one hand in my pocket, such a priveledge. I was dormitory reader for some time, and remember reading The Camp on Blood Island , while keeping another book close at hand in case the housemaster came in. I never made Sixth form, but was given a single ticket, no return. My elder brother Peter stayed on.

  8. David Craggs says:

    It is interesting that the level of violence against defenceless children hasn’t claimed more victims.
    I remember arriving at Jston as a distraught, recently bereaved eight year old only to have my head pushed down the toilet by a thirteen year old, muscled thug called West.
    The reason being I spoke with a north east accent!
    The same villain used to insist that a boy called Cauliflower (nick name?) used to sit next to him at prep so he could pick at the unfortunate’s eczema scabs with his compass. The same victim also suffered with asthma and West would hold a pillow over his face to bring on an attack. On multiple occasions he had to be rushed off to the infirmary.
    I often wonder what happened to Cauliflower, I hope he went onto live a fabulous life with a beautiful adoring family. God knows he deserves happiness after what he endured.
    As for West, maybe his own memories are his own torture. As for me, I regret not being capable of standing up for Cauliflower.

  9. David Davies says:

    Curious times. I remember in my first year (C House 1961) being beaten by Col Dark for ‘drawing rude maps’ this did nothing to hamper my creativity since I was later beaten for hoarding sweets to sell at a profit between tuck shop times, for jumping on the house masters hollyhocks (not a euphemism), for sliding downstairs in a laundry basket and so on.
    All this helped temper the pretty brutal regime – I recall the particularly sadistic vicar having the whole house stand facing their lockers whilst he walked round behind us randomly slapping boys legs because no one would admit to throwing a cap on a ledge in the changing room. The senior school largely continued the experience though I do remember Jake Blake, the careers master, with some affection as a hard working very decent chap.

  10. Mark Brown says:

    Hi Chris

    Stumbled across your great blog and well done on covering the school and Turkey.

    I imagine you recall we were in Latham together. I’d love to connect by email. Please feel free to communicate if you want. Just made contact with Paul Pickering. His writing has been really successful.

    There are many people I lost touch with and would love any help finding for example David Jones, Bill Robinson, David Waldren (sp?), Roger John and others.

    I’m in regular contact with Michael Curry who has had a very creative career in the USA.

    I’m in touch with Neville Smith, however I think his health is now not strong.

    Keep up the great writing and delighted to have found you.

  11. Mark Brown says:

    Please notify me of comments. Thanks. Mark

  12. Keith Kerslake says:

    Hi, great writing on your blog. It was Bob Stuart who knocked out Stowes teeth, I was right there on the touch line. It was I who played Whiter Shade of Pale on the organ, I was later banned for jazzing up Onward Christian Soldiers. Great days!

    • admin says:

      Hi Keith. Legend I will never forget the rendering of Whiter Shade of Pale instead of the inevitable Vidor’s Toccata. Bravo!

    • David Craggs says:

      Dear Keith,
      I remember you playing ‘Whiter Shade Of Pale’.
      A brilliant protest. Which year was it?
      I also remember us missing a verse or verses out of a hym in protest against something or other.
      David Craggs

    • Brian Cowan says:

      I remember Whiter shade of pale well Keith.

  13. Keith Kerslake says:

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your kind comment. It was 1967, I was so brave because I was about to leave! Not sure I would have done it otherwise.

    I am still playing the piano, in piano bars on cruise liners. It’s a great way to stave off advancing old age.

    About Tony Renoir, we always suspected that it wasn’t his original name as it seemed too much of a coincidence for an art teacher. I did remember him telling me that his mother was a famous author of detective fiction back in the 1930s, so I got on to Google, and lo and behold there was a well known lady author called Katherine Renoir who wrote detective stories under the name of Moray Dalton. I don’t know if anyone else has more info on that.


    Keith K

    • Louise Mauborgne says:

      Hello Keith et al,
      I’m not a boardingschoolboy – I was a boarding school girl, but that is irrelevant here. I am trying to find Keith Kerslake so that I can ask a particular question. OK – I can see you want to know. I’m looking for the whereabouts of a statue/memorial to Royal Navy sailors which is on a Mediterranean island near the port. But I cannot find any trace of it. I think Keith will know ….
      I remember Whiter shade of pale, and would like to hear Keith play it again!

      PS I f you can’t post this , would you put me in touch with Keith please?

  14. Mike Runge says:

    Great blog and interesting comments bringing back memories!

    I was in F house 1958 – 1963 (Bertie Breckons and “Hairless” Ferguson) then Connaught 1963 – 1968 (Tom Clinton and “Garth” Andrews).

    Seemed life revolved around sport and getting beaten …
    I remember Alfie Reid, former county cricket player, starring for the masters vs. boys in the annual cricket match – then Mike Holborn bowls him 3rd ball or something like that! Still in touch with Mike as of about 4 years ago.
    I remember Bisto (as we called him) getting his front teeth knocked out – I am sure “Buster” Brown of Connaught was involved also.
    For Ston masters, I remember Nick Goodban (school athletics), “Jerry” Jeff Walker (basketball), Neville Smith (Lathom), Jeff Chiles (sp?) – how he ate custard without getting half of it in his beard I have no idea and Tom Clinton, who seemed a decent sort.
    Jston well that was another kettle of fish – “Pig” Richies who lived at the top of the tower between E and F houses, Ferguson – who was more immature than any of us boys, “Ticker” Clockworthy who would tweek you at the slightest excuse …

    If anyone knows the whereabouts of the other 3 boys who were in the Upper 6th Science (doing pure math, applied math and physics) in 1967/1968 – Peter Clayton (Derby), Peter Sage (Connaught) and Dave Livermore (sp? … Lees) I would be most interested. Also Barry Hindmarsh (Devon), Johnny Wardle (Headmasters) in fact anyone who might remember me!

    • Andy Cade says:

      Hi Mike, I am in regular contact with David Jolly, we are almost neighbours and meet up regularly for a pint and a natter. I think he could put you in touch with Barry Hindmarsh. I’ll ask him when I see him next. I remember you doing the ‘declamation’ competition and winning it if I’m not mistaken; you did a visual gag with a piece of paper up your sleeve for the ad-lib ‘off the cough’ section. The brilliantly eccentric and extrovert Packer took the micky out of the Queen and the Royal Family and outraged Percy Thompson. Happy days…kind of. All the best, Andy (Jack) Cade

      • Mike Runge says:

        Hello Andy:
        Declamation, along with the handwriting competition, was one of the most boring events I can recollect at school! True, I decided the best thing I could do to liven up events was to do my “Anthology of Humour”, basically an excuse to string together a load of schoolboy jokes 🙂
        I got the idea from Graham Meek (another Connaught lad) whose speech the previous year was a scathing “People in glass house should not throw stones” ….

        I also read a rather sad item about Roly Brookeman

        Take care

  15. Brent Sadler says:

    Dear All,

    I have just stumbled into this fascinating blog.

    I attended both JSton and Ston, leaving Devon house (led by Bill Glover at that time) in 1969 with a hope that I might make it as a journalist somehow.

    My interest in journalism was borne out of a visit to Fleet Street a year earlier when the careers master, Mr Blake asked if there were any 6th formers in Devon House who wanted to tour the newsroom and presses of the Daily Mirror. I consulted my timetable. The choice was a double history lesson or a day out in London. No brainer!

    Since that time I became a local newspaper reporter, a national newspaper reporter, a regional TV reporter, an ITN Middle East reporter, a CNN international correspondent, a CNN Beirut Bureau Chief, and now the Chairman of a CNN affiliated news network in three Balkan countries.

    My RMS memories are numerous and vivid. My first kiss was at Ston during a dance with pupils from a local girls school. Mr first motorbike (part owned with Martin Gill) was at Ston. My first fistfight, my first school prize (for poetry), my first serious failure in life when I lost my prefect status for secretly going to a Top Rank Club disco in Watford were all at Ston. The list goes on!

    My contemporaries were the likes of Dave Jolly (once bumped into him in Belfast), George Richer, Brookeman, Winckless (sp?). Bingham, Cross, Dracup, to name but a few.

    So many memories. Many good. Some bad. You cannot ever forget the pain of being beaten with a sawn off cricket bat on the backside by Mr. Stuart at JSton’s “H” house. Nor the feeling of humiliation for being singled out at a morning assembly for taking a stealthy bicycle ride to Rickmansworth Girls School.

    Still, I look back not in anger but in triumph at having endured, survived and prospered.

    Best wishes to all

    Brent Sadler

    • Leon Pratt says:

      Brent I know if you and your career and I fully agree with your survival comment.
      I was at Ston later than you from 70 to 76 just before the place closed.
      Little had changed.

  16. Peter Ibbett says:

    Thank you Brent how nice to hear from you again. I think we were last in touch in 1992 when I made the video about the school ‘The Bushey Years” as it happens I am now working on Part Two which will bring the school and the buildings to the end. It’s due out in May this year.

    I had a long talk on the phone with Bingham recently who was also in our house and lives not far from me near Norwich.

    Best wishes for now PS there is a lively Facebook group for all old boys you would be very welcome to join.

    Peter Ibbett OMA Archivist

  17. Brent Sadler says:

    Hi Peter,

    I’ll see you on FB. Thanks for the reference!

    I do indeed recall our previous contact. All your work for the OMA archives deserves praise and recognition from us all. Thank you!



  18. Chris Stokes says:

    RIP Tony King

    Tony King died this week (Monday, 11 April at 9pm).


  19. David Jones says:

    Hi Mark Brown
    Get in touch
    David Jones

  20. Caroline Thate says:

    Hi everybody on this blog.,

    Very interesting, especially from Chris. I was an au pair girl in 1957/58 with the Eastman family.

    We often had teachers come in for coffee and I remember Tony King! He drove a tiny green car, cannot remember the make.

    I used to walk the kids to school with the labrador Buffy.

    The Eastman children were Mike and Jill.

  21. Rodney Paul says:

    I was sad to read the passing in the Gazette of George Burley earlier this year.
    I was Assistant Housemaster in Lathom – working with George from September 1974 to 1976 – and the printing teacher.
    Unlike George, I did not come from an academic background, but our contrasting styles complimented each other, and I very much valued his professional support.

    Regards to all staff and students (at the time) who may remember me.

    • Calum wilson says:

      Hi Mr Paul ,
      I remember you didn’t you used to give us Elton John concerts in the hall and you were really good on the Piano . One of the only good things I remember about the school was your kindness and music . I came to the Royal Masonic as a fee payer in 1975 and left in 1976 after probably the worst year of my life . I hope life has been good to you and wish you all the best and Thank you .

  22. Hi one and all!

    I have just returned from a stimulating day in London in the company of my old(?) school chum Andy Cade (Derby 1969).

    I think there was a little trepidation on both sides as we had not seen each other for almost fifty years, but in the event we got on like a couple of arsonists.

    After an interesting grapple with London Transport we managed to spend an hour at Ston, having legged it from the station at an impressive rate of knots, considering our combined age of approximately 132.

    The old school looked the same, as we got down off the train, and there to greet us was…a nice lady called Sue who allowed us to walk around what now seems to be an exclusive gated community, ie what we lived in fifty years ago.

    It was a strange feeling, as we could not go inside any of the buildings, and I sort of realised that it wasn’t ours any more. But, on the positive side, it was, at last, looking well looked after, unlike during the last couple of times I had been within the last 15 years.

    Andy took a selfie of us under the clock tower, we walked around the grounds and swapped a few memories, and then returned to the station at an equally impressive pace as before.

    The climax of the day was spent in The Coach And Horses in Greek St in Soho, where Andy and his piano playing mate Dave work as a vocal duo called Baz and Dave. They are a great double act and Andy got the crowd in the palm of his hand from minute one. (No Soho jokes please)

    They graciously allowed me to join in, and for a minute it was almost like Congregational Practice on a Saturday morning.

    So, to any Old Boys from the late 60s, (or any other time for that matter) if you by some quirk of fate find yourself looking for a good time in Soho, you could do no better than Baz and Dave.

    They have a web site, which, unsurprisingly is called Baz and Dave.

    We are hoping to meet up again next year, when I return once again from my travels.

    All the best,

    Keith K

  23. Andy Cade says:

    Thanks for the plug Keith and of course it would be wonderful to have any Stonics join me at the BaznDave Soho Singalong sessions. Thanks for a thoroughly enjoyable day. You neglected to mention we visited the utterly fab ’60s Exhibition ‘You Say You Want A Revolution ‘ at the V&A which I thoroughly recommend to my Stonic cohort. The times they were a changing for all us Baby Boomers.

  24. sbfcu says:

    Save the date for Monday, November 14, 2016, for the Youth Speaks h Anniversary Friendraiser at the Masonic in San Francisco.

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