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NAME: John Bibby

DATE: 31 August 2004


Thanks Vic for putting this site up.  I found your personal site rivettingly good.  It certainly reinforced my NEGATIVE memories of QEBS (stuffy, bullying, trying-to-be-posh-but-not-quite-making- it).

After leaving QEBS for Hull, I went to a distinctly un-posh mixed grammar, where I was much happier, and FLOWERED and SUCCEEDED.  (I was always mid-range at QEBS, yet the Hull school got me to Cambridge so QEBS can not have been all bad!)

Among POSITIVE memories of QEBS are some good friends (Nick Pollard who died recently, and others I have not seen since 1959 - I'd love to hear from Harry Johnstone, the Sinclairs, Tim Dunningham, Peter Connor, Andy Smith, Jim Bradford, Edward Millar, Stuart Quin and anyone else who remembers me).


NAME: Nigel Wood  Nigel Wood

DATE: 30 May 2006

CONNECTION WITH QE: Pupil starting 1957 in Form 1B

Although my schooldays were not the happiest of my life, I can't blame this on the school or my peers.  More on another thread sometime.  Now a specific point... Did you have an older brother at QE?  For another, older Bibby deserves my thanks...

I was a first- or second-former on the cramped QE stage in the choir in a Christmas concert (Purcell) in 1957 or 1958 when I started to feel unwell.  I made my way towards a door at the back of the stage.  My path was blocked by K W Carter, who clearly didn't understand the urgency of the matter and was trying to minimise the disturbance in the middle of an item.  How can one put delicately what followed?  Mr Carter was faced with a cleaning bill and the bass line must have been one voice short for the rest of the evening.  I escaped back stage, mortified and shaking.  It is here that a Bibby comes in.  I don't know whether he'd been stationed there, had been sent, or had seen what had happened, but he took charge of me and insisted that I put on a huge number of extra layers of clothing including both rugby shirts from my kitbag (combination 9467!).  I protested that I was fine, but he was not to be deflected, and must have stood by for the best part of half an hour.  It was really good not to have been left alone.  His was an act of practical kindness in a not altogether kind environment.  He was, I believe, a sub-prefect (what a wonderful concept!), but free from the vanity of trying to be smartly turned out at all times.  Over almost 50 years I salute him.


NAME: Anon

DATE: 16 March 2008


Sorry to hear about Nick Pollard, he was a good bloke.

Webmaster's note: I put the rest of your message in thread 12, where it's more relevant.


NAME: Adam Lines  Adam LinesThen & Now

DATE: 28 July 2014


I notice from this thread submitted by none other than the excellent John Bibby, that this site is coming up for its 10th anniversary at the end of next month. I wonder whether our esteemed Webmaster has any plans to celebrate the occasion and indeed if he realised what a (tin)can of hopefully not too many worms he was opening at the time?


NAME: Vic Coughtrey  Vic CoughtreyThen & Now

DATE: 28 July 2014


Very well done for spotting that the 10th anniversary is coming up, Adam! No, I had no idea when I started the site as a mere offshoot of my personal site that it was was going to take off and trigger so much discussion, so many anecdotes and so much nostalgia (and occasionally long-bottled anger). I'm hoping to compile some sort of survey of the highlights (and perhaps low points) from this first decade of the site in a special feature, possibly with the addition of some statistics. It will incorporate some thoughts of mine on how the site has developed and will also function as a thread in that all contributors will be invited to add their thoughts about any perceived drifts of tone and function over the years. I may even revamp the Home page, which has stayed exactly the same for 10 years and doesn't really serve much purpose as it is.

By coincidence, I've just returned from a nostalgia walkabout of High Barnet with OEs Nigela Palmer and Brian Hond, which included a ghostly wander round the outside of the apparently deserted school. From that will emerge a new picture or two to replace that 2000 picture on the home page. If anyone has any other ideas for celebrating the 10th anniversary of this site during August and September, please let me have them for consideration.


NAME: James (Jas) Cowen  James & Ayleen Cowen James Cowen galleryThen & Now

DATE: 31 July 2014


Well done, Adam, for spotting the 10th anniversary of the 1st post coming up on 31/8/2014, especially as there is no reminder of events coming up as per Facebook. I know that Vic is not like Father Dougal McGuire played by Ardal O' Hanlan on Father Ted, who had a bright idea for cementing community relations for Father Ted Crilly, who then said: "That's a good idea, Dougal? What do we do next?". To this Dougal said "Hang on, Ted I want out."I didn't know when you had an idea, you had to come up with other ideas." Thank you, Vic, and some others for continuing to have other ideas for developing the site over these 10 years and also for not wanting Out. Sometimes I feel like adding suggestions but feel I wouldn't have any more time to contribute than now and would say like Dougal: "Steady on there, Vic, I want out."

10 Anniversary 6th REPLY 10th Anniversary

NAME: John Bibby

DATE: 31 August 2014


NOTE FROM VIC: To mark the 10th Anniversary of his kickstarting this website with this first thread, John has compiled a handy summary of all the info credited to various contributors in the caption of the Underne 1960/61 photo. Here, he adds some further thoughts in connection with that photo.

If I had not escaped from QEGS's clutches in 1959, I would have been in this photo, as I was in the same year and house as Honeybone, Hills, Dunningham etc.. The last two were also in my class at Underhill Primary School. I sat next to David Hills as a 7-year old and his ears were items of wonder even then. Tim was a great cyclist: I was sorry to lose touch with him. Honeybone was at Cambridge at the same time as I was. His father was a geographer of some eminence I believe.

I remember Mike Hagger as a rare good hooker. There is a story about the Underne 5-a-side circa 1958 which had Hagger as the only person who knew how to play; Bibby & Dunningham were also in the squad. We defeated all the tipsters and got as far as the final! That was my last moment of rugby glory. After that I hung up my boots.
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