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Replies 141-160
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141st REPLY

NAME: Adam Lines  Adam LinesThen & Now

DATE: 22nd December 2011


Poker Pearce (that man of Holy Orders) [see replies 138, 140]  was appropriately named not only for his stature and facial characteristics, but for his cold hearted and icy detachment that enabled him, without any visible sign of emotion, to beat a child with a stick until it screamed in pain and then participate in assembly prayers with the beseachment (Romans 12:17) 'recompense to no man evil for evil'.  Hmmm ...

142nd REPLY

NAME: Paul Wright

DATE: 11th January 2012

CONNECTION WITH QE: Taught Latin 1963-69

Here are some more Sam C0cks stories [see also 139,140 & many other replies in this thread and the special RMC thread...

When I taught at QE in the '60s they used to serve afternoon tea for the masters in the refectory.  Only a few of us ever attended.  One afternoon I found myself sitting opposite C0cks.  He asked me what university I had attended.  I answered "Swansea".

He stared at me, sniffed, and said "Uhhh! They're building universities on every street corner nowadays", as he scraped some jam off his tie and put it into his mouth with his knife.

Another young teacher (John Curry, I think) asked him what college HE had attended. "Magdalen", he replied.

"That's a very good college", John noted.

"Well, it used to be", came the reply, "but it's getting very lower middle class nowadays, I'm afraid".

When C0cks did his reports, he only ever wrote on six from each class.  He used to say, "Praise the top three; kick the bottom three".  From memory, his top three were 'Excellent', 'Very good' and 'Good'.  His bottom three were ' Poor', 'Very poor' and 'Unsatisfactory'.

The use on this site of the term 'former staff' reminds me of the time Sam C0cks overheard me asking a student to take some books to the staff room.  He drew me aside and said, 'We are the MASTERS.  The staff CLEAN the school.  It is called the Masters' Common Room'!

The problem with all these old teachers was that they had never received any training - a degree was enough to get you a teaching job in those days - and they taught as they had been taught.

143rd REPLY

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

DATE: 14th July 2012

CONNECTION WITH QE: pupil 1956-63

At last I am able to read the massive Thread 32.  Vic, you may or may not be interested to know or may already know that this thread and others are censored by Wiltshire County Council and maybe other organisations in the public sphere.  I use my local library in Ludgershall in Wiltshire and get a message that this is not available as it is filtered by Wiltshire Peoples Network (SWGfl Filtering).  Big brother is watching and is protecting us from some abuse or other, although looking through I am perplexed as to what has upset them.  Now I am staying with some of my family at Butlins, Bognor Regis and am able to access a non-public sector PC.  I am able now to enjoy the real treat of access to this thread as well as enjoying other treats at 66 years of age such as riding the dodgems with my wife and having a go at archery.

I was especially pleased to see some correspondence from past pupils other than the 57-64 gang.  Messrs Bennett and Calverd I certainly knew well as part of my year's entry.  Seton Bennett used to come top of the class 1B and subseqent years.  It wasn't until we had the split of forms at 4A/B time that I managed to sqeeze into first place in Form 4B, whilst Seton went in to 4A.  School prizes were given as the result of that Michaelmas term placing and I still have my copy of Pepys of Seething Lane awarded that year.  I never received it at Speech Day, as I was ill at home then, but during one of Frosty Winter's history classes.  I never knew why he was called Seton.  I never used to ask people too many questions in those days.  In fact I was quite shy and overawed by many in the class when first there.  Alan Calverd was from Boreham Wood like me and sat by me on the Harrison House lunch table.  We both went to Cambridge University the same time along with Michael Coleman, who won a Scholarship.  Best wishes to all.  I was intrigued by the full naming of the class 1B of 1957 elsewhere including first names and House assignations.  I used to be able to remember all of our 1956 class 1B from the constant reading of the register (surnames only) but feel there are gaps in my memory after 56 years.  Some I am not sure of as maybe they joined at the 4B stage such as Brian Pettit and Messrs Kendon and Newton.  For a starter I recall the list as Amos, Bennett, Blackmore, Blake, Cowen, Dawlish, Edwards, Fawdry, Hawkins, Jeavons, Leonard, Matthews, McDonald, Merridale, Owen(or Owens), Paget, Pearson, Pritchard, Rowe, Sanders, Saunders, Siegler, Sloss, Turner, Warboys and perhaps also a Wright.  I remember the Houses of most also.

Since school I have not met up with many and do not know of any who have died.  Tim Fawdry I have met up with for many years.  He went to Dubai in recent years to be a Christian bookshop manager and has now returned to live near Ilkley in Yorkshire.  John Dawlish I met up with often at Welwyn Garden City station.  It was odd meeting up with him again living nearby after all those years sitting next to each other in class.  He was in advertising and I liked hearing about his business.  Billy Blake I saw again at an OE dinner debate I attended in the 70s.  I have also seen some of the others for a brief chat.  It would be splendid to hear any news from any if they could type news on line.  I fear, though, we will never attain to the frequency and closeness of those from 1B of 1957 days.

144th REPLY

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

DATE: 19th July 2012

CONNECTION WITH QE: pupil 1956-63

I note that earlier on in the thread [reply 106] Seton Bennett says he can name the class of 1B for 1956, just as class 1B of 1957 is fully listed by your other correspondents.  Please do, Seton, as I fell a little short (C- for effort).  I think in addition to the names listed there was also an Allen and Croker.  Just 8 more to go.  Whether this is worth pursuing I am not sure.  What about other 1Bs and for that matter 1As,1Cs and 1Ds -reference to these are in short supply.  They certainly seem a close knit lot in 1957 form 1B.

145th REPLY

NAME: Brian Seal  Brian Seal

DATE: 19th September 2012

CONNECTION WITH QE: pupil 1957-63

55 years ago today (19th September 1957) was my first day at QE, the first day that the infamous class 1b of that year (mentioned by Nigel Wood in reply 17) convened. I remember on that day we started mid-morning and queued in Queens Road. 120 new boys were ushered into the main hall where we were allocated our classes - 1a, 1b, 1c or 1d. At some stage we congregated in the raised area next to the fives court and I remember the school vice captain, McLeod, shouting and ordering us about - not sure if I knew the word "officious" at that stage! Eventually we made our way to the new classrooms where we met form teacher Ken Carter and given our timetables. Lessons commenced followed by 6 years of oblivion. Perhaps QE was not suitable for me, a bright but lazy 11-year old, but I usually languished in the lower reaches of the class and felt pretty much ignored. With a couple of exceptions, my recollection is that the teaching was pretty poor. Whenever I am motivated I can achieve but sadly, that didn't happen too much at school.  However, I'm still here and must care otherwise I wouldn't be writing this !!

Anyway, happy anniversary to all the 1957 1b class.

146th REPLY

NAME: Nigel Wood  Nigel Wood

DATE: 20th September 2012

CONNECTION WITH QE: pupil 1957-64

Thanks, Brian, for remembering this anniversary. I suppose stark actuarial facts make it prudent to acknowledge half as well as whole decades at this stage!  Our memories of that first day tally exactly. It seems odd to me now that we were made to queue in the public highway, even though it was on a pavement and the road ended in QE. I remember saying something inane in the queue, following it by "Thank you, fans", and receiving the expected reply: "You ain't got no fans 'ere". Ah, the catch-phrases of my youth... As a swot with few interests outside school, I enjoyed most lessons, but now wish I'd been pushed harder, especially in the sixth form. Obviously some teachers had remarkably laid-back attitudes, as whole rafts of bright boys failing RE/RS/Scripture or Geography O-levels testify. A scandal. Extraordinary that it was tolerated, and that so few parents complained.

147th REPLY

NAME: Mike Cottrell  Richard Dilley & Mike Cottrell

DATE: 21st September 2012

CONNECTION WITH QE: pupil 1957-64

On behalf of this 1b pupil thanks for your anniversary wishes Brian [reply 145] and well-remembered. Do you have all these keys dates written down somewhere? I must admit the historic day had passed me by completely. I do remember standing next to you in the queue in Queens Road nervously waiting for the gates to open. I cannot recall McLeod acting as a sergeant major on the day but it does sound like him, he was a nasty piece of work. Surely the 1957 intake consisted of about 90 boys and not 120. I thought that the extra class, 1d, was not added until 1958 in what was to become known as the 'bulge year' intake. Can anyone else confirm that?

148th REPLY

NAME: Stephen Giles  Stephen Giles

DATE: 21st September 2012

CONNECTION WITH QE: Sept 19 1957 starter!

I don't remember anything about that first day, other than ending up in 1a with Alfie as form master. I do however remember McLeod and the equally hideous school captain Filer, both behaving as if they were 38 years old instead of their probable 18 years!

149th REPLY

NAME: Brian Seal  Brian Seal

DATE: 23rd September 2012


Nice one, Stephen! You may be correct about the 1d situation, Mike [reply 147]. If so, apologies. However, the other recollection about being allocated a class which I omitted was that after 119 (or 89!) boys had been allocated, one was left classless - you!! The reason being that we had all taken our eleven plus exam in Hertfordshire but you had very recently moved to the area having taken your eleven plus in Middlesex. Obviously, the admin had not caught up!

150th REPLY

NAME: Adam Lines  Adam LinesThen & Now

DATE: 6th October 2012

CONNECTION WITH QE: 19/09/57 Starter

Greetings from a 1C boy. You lads had it easy with likes of Ken and Alfie - we had ERIC to welcome us!ensp;I have often wondered whether the classes were allocated on the basis of academic ability with 1A being the elite and 1C the also rans. I think this is quite likely bearing in mind my subsequent grades. Perhaps someone can give me solice by confirming that a 1D, presumably populated by some real thickoes did actually exist (with apologies to any such).

151st REPLY

NNAME: Vic Coughtrey  Vic CoughtreyThen & Now

DATE: 6th October 2012


There was certainly no 1d when I was in 1c ('54 -'55). I don't think academic ability came into it when allocating forms, as there were some high fliers in 1c, such as Forgan.

152nd REPLY

NAME: Ian Sadler  Ian Sadler

DATE: 7th October 2012

CONNECTION WITH QE: pupil 1951-1958

Vic is correct.The assignment to classes was made by listing the entire year intake in alphabetical order. First named went into 1A, next in 1B and so on. I think the only exception was when they put twins in the same class. Similarly assignment to houses (except if a brother or father had been in a particular house, then the sibling/son went into the same house). I have recently discovered that the reason my 1A class moved into 2B was that the exam results that year for 1A were so much better than the 1B class that they didn't want it to look as though the A stream was better. By the time we arrived at the 3A/3B split into 3 and 4 (which was done on ability) it had sorted itself out and the 4th form had roughly equal numbers from 3A and 3B. (I said in another thread that my entry (1951) was the last year with only 2 first year classes). There was no 1D in my time.

153rd REPLY

NAME: Stephen Giles  Stephen Giles

DATE: 7th October 2012

CONNECTION WITH QE: inmate 1957-64

I don't think academic ability came into it either. Being from 1a, I remember that Alfie as form master could be quite fearsome at times, but have no recollection of Ken's antics at all. He may have stood in for Johnny Hoskison once or twice, during the first year at QE. Having confronted the Argentine ambassador earlier this year, telling her in no uncertain terms what I thought of her "Malvinas" rantings, I think I would now be a good match for even Eric !!

154th REPLY

NAME: Brian Seal  Brian Seal

DATE: 8th October 2012


If the class grading WAS on ability, they surely got it wrong in my case!!!!  However, I am guessing Adam had part of his tongue in his cheek. Still, we are no nearer ascertaining the year when 1d was formed. Whenever, I seem to remember Derek Fry was the form master. Re: Ken Carter, he was a decent teacher who commanded respect. Not a lot of messing (word used advisedly to protect the site's integrity!!) about.

155th REPLY

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

DATE: 11th October 2012


Form composition was done as has been described above in my time and not on any supposed ability up to and including the third form. Then redistibution was made into 4A and 4B with the rest going elsewhere, presumably staying on an extra year. Seton Bennett, who generally topped the class went in to 4A and I who was often second went in to 4B and so on. Similarly with 3A and 3C. Hence a lot of the new 4B were new challengers for position but only for a short time as there were no class positions in the 6th and 7th forms. In going in to first classrooms I do not remember the palaver of lining up in the street. Maybe we were told our form number and given a map of the school. Perhaps other years can relate their experience.

156th REPLY

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

DATE: 15th October 2012


When I mentioned 1d in an earlier posting [reply 144] I did not know definitely if such a form was created after I joined in 1956. I was not trying to create a hoax and rewrite history. I just suspected one was created, or was it my sub-conscience remembering it. Mike Cottrell [thread 147] thinks that one was created in 1958 due to bulge intake. Certainly, if one was not added until the school went comprehensive in 1971, I should be surprised. Of course now they are not first forms but Year 7 along with the rest of the country. In respect of the period when the school was comprehensive the Good Schools Guide says that QEs opted out of council control and became fully selective in 1995. The last paperbace edition I have for 2005 says at that time there were 180 year 7 admissions, which if 30 per class was maintained woul mean 6 initial classes rather than the 3 of 1956.(I can still do simple maths!).

157th REPLY

NAME: Nick Dean  Nick Dean Nick Dean gallery

DATE: 17th October 2012


I was in 1C and my parents, who had asked if this were a reflection on a mediocre performance at 11 plus, we're assured (or told) that there was no initial streaming. I don't recall a 1D, but three further entry forms were added in 1971 when the first comprehensive year was admitted.

158th REPLY

NAME: Brian Frost-Smith

DATE: 20th October 2012


It's nice to make a second contribution to the thread well over three-and-a-half years since my first [reply 110]! And nice too to be able to end the debate on when class 1D began. Mike Cottrell [Reply 147] is right, it was September 1958, although I don't personally recall the 'bulge year' connotation. I do remember that there was no such form when I arrived in 1B in September 1957 and that it definitely existed when I left (then) 2B in July 1959 Perhaps I can claim a slightly sharper focus on events as these were my only two years at the school! Greetings again to all I knew who still contribute to the thread.

159th REPLY

NAME: Brian Seal  Brian Seal

DATE: 21st October 2012


Thank you Frostie - we will accept your reply as definitive!!!

160th REPLY

NAME: Nick Dean  Nick Dean Nick Dean gallery

DATE: 29th October 2012


Another example of C0cks' "physical" side came the morning after the first moon landing (and can thus be dated precisely to Monday, 21 July 1969 !). A boy (now no longer with us) sitting across the aisle from me was relieving the tedium by tapping on his desk a popular tune from the hit parade. All of a sudden RMC rounded on him angrily; denounced his rendition of "your jazz songs" and quite literally emptied him out of his chair and onto the floor. All the more alarming because most of us had been up half the night and were thus more asleep than usual. Somewhere on this thread Simon Hersom makes a perceptive observation about the lacklustre teaching of RE and German to our form. Having several other O-level subjects on the go, I largely gave up on these two. However, it was somewhat galling that, having been entered for the Acts of the Apostles, we found that the RE questions relating to the Gospels - which we were not permitted to attempt - could largely have been answered with reference to general knowledge (eg the parable of the sower).
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