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In compliance with the EU e-Privacy Directive, 2014, I'm obliged to tell you - in fact I'm happy to tell you - that COOKIES are placed on your computer every time you visit this site. Cookies provide website owners with information about what people do on their computers. They can be limited to wholly benign purposes, like mine, or can be used for unethical or downright sinister purposes. I am required to explain why I place cookies on your computer.

TYPE OF COOKIES: They are just session cookies, not permanent ones. They are deleted from your computer when you leave this site.

INFORMATION THEY COLLECT FOR ME: They tell me that someone (you are NOT personally identified by my cookies) visited the site and they give me the dates and times you entered and left. They give me certain technical details about your computer, eg what browser and operating system you were using and what resolution you had your computer set to. If you found the site via a search engine such as Google, they tell me what word or phrase you entered in order to find the site. They tell me what country you were in at the time of visiting the site and whether you were a first-time visitor or were making a return visit.

WHAT I USE THE INFORMATION FOR: The information listed above is extremely useful for anyone running a website. We need to know how many people visit the site and what times of the day/month/year are most popular. We also need to know what operating systems, browsers and resolution we should mainly be aiming to cater for. The search engine information is very useful for getting an idea of what attracts people to the site. We also need to know how many people return, having found the site.

CONSENT: In the case of the kind of information I collect, which is not regarded by the law as personal, I am allowed to say that just visiting the site, having read this notice, is tantamount to giving consent for the cookies to be placed on your computer. Ah, you've spotted the snag ! It's obviously true that you had to enter the site in the first place in order to see this notice. The law recognises this conundrum and allows me to place the cookies without your consent just once so that you can read this notice. Unfortunately I can't offer you access to this site without putting cookies on your computer, as it's done for me automatically by the Web hosting service. If you don't agree to the cookies decribed above going on your computer, you should simply not visit this site.

Since just about ALL websites place or want to place cookies on your computer, for one reason or another, you should always ensure that a statement similar to this appears somewhere on every site you visit.

HEALTH BULLETIN / WEBSITE DELAYS 17th August 2017 As those of you who have been on chemotherapy or know someone who has will know, it's an up-and-down business, with reasonable periods and bad ones due to side-effects, which can mean going back into hospital for a while. That's where I've been again for a few days, after a downturn. I'm now out again and rather better. I'm hoping to catch up with your messages eventually but I'm afraid there will once again be long delays. This may make it look some people are jumping the queue. They're not1

WEBSITE EDITING CAUTIOUSLY RESUMED 17th July 2017 Yes, it's me this time, not my son Peter. For those who didn't know, that 'RSI' I merntioned in message of 14 May turned out to be lymphoma, which eventually completely paralysed (presumably only teporarily) my entire right arm and hand. Having spent 3 weeks in hospital, I'm now home but have started chemotherapy. People keep trying to impress upon me how bad the side effects are going to get, which is why I say 'cautiously resumed'. In the event it may be that not enough will get done to catch up and, indeed, the long-term future of the site is in some doubt. However I shall do what I can. Heartfelt thanks to those of you who, having received emailed info about my condition from Angela, have replied with messages of sympathy and support. (It may have been only those who sent messages for publication over the past few weeks who got the info from Angela). The first messages I'm putting up in this shaky resumption of service have been queueing for several weeks but I hope slowly to close the gap.

WEBSITE EDITING SUSPENDED (from webmaster's son) 30th June 2017 My dad has asked me to add this note to the website. He is currently indisposed and is unable to update the website or reply to messages for the next few weeks. Things will return to normal as soon as he has returned to health, so do please keep coming back.

Thank you.


14 May 2017 No, it wasn't my idea of an improved layout - it was a tiny bug (a lone comma) in the coding that caused the changes some of will have been dismayed to see between about 11/05 and the evening of 14/05. I'm afraid that due to various commitments and other problems, I hadn't checked the site between those dates but as soon as one of you complained about the 'new layout' I was able to track down the problem pretty quickly. Apologies for that and also for the extended time it's taking for some of your posts to appear at the moment. That's largely to do with fairly severe RSI in my right arm, forcing me to use my left hand only (I'm right-handed).


13 May 2016 Reuben's address is: 4807-46 AVE BEAUMONT AB T4X 1G5 CANADA His phone numbers are 780-929-6963 and 7809296989 His email is owner@100MEGSWEBHOSTING.COM Why am I breaking a golden rule of websites that we never publish anyone's personal contact details? Because Reuben is responsible for the fact that very old versions of this website and my personal website, neither of which have been edited for about ten years, are still out there and are causing confusion and embarrassment. Reuben, I've asked you several times, by email and letter, to remove the directory 'coughtrey' (which contains the directory 'stapyltonfield') from your website at but have not even received the courtesy of a reply. Only when you remove the directory will I remove your contact details. For the benefit of mystified contributors and other visitors, in its early days this website was just a directory on Reuben's site.


17 April (updated version of 16/03 message) 2016 I scrapped the idea of making a duplicate of the site on yet another server (see my message below), as the original hosting service suddenly improved greatly in just the right ways. I decided to celebrate by undertaking a huge task - that of converting the file format of all Main Board and Wider World threads from html to php. The purpose was to make it much quicker and easier for me to make alterations across the board (as it were) to features that all the threads have in common. It shouldn't affect what you the viewer can see in any way

That being the case, why am I bothering to tell you about it? Well, the biggest part of the task has been to alter all the links on the site that link to threads on the two boards. Believe it or not, there are about 2500 of them! When you consider how good I am at making mistakes, you will see the problem - it is inconceivable that I got every single link right!  PLEASE inform me of any link that doesn't work, using this form. Links with actual mistakes will throw the dreaded Error 404 ('page not found'). Less seriously, where I've simply overlooked a link it should produce the message 'This thread has been moved', with a handy link to the new php version. You don't need to tell me about the latter message.


04 February 2016 Well, so much for my optimism in the previous message! Everything seemed fine until I discovered that a high proportion of your messages for publication were being deleted by my email service provider without my ever seeing them. It was because the email provider strongly suspected the hosting service of being 'compromised' by spammers. I'm afraid those messages are not recoverable and I'm really sorry about that. Please send them again! I've put the site back on the original hosting service and we shall have to put up with the relatively minor problems mentioned below - for the time being. An exact copy of the site is currently being put in place on yet another hosting service and after six months or so I shall decide which is the better of the two. I may even keep both and hang the expense, as it's good to be able to switch from one to the other if there are problems. I'll release the address of the new site when it is an exact copy of the present one.


26 January 2016 Some of you will have been aware that the problems caused by the Web hosting service's changes to its server system in October were not quite all over following my message of 22/10/15 below, despite the crossed fingers. There was, for example, that outbreak of the dreaded black diamond disease. Every time someone with a partially non-standard keyboard sent a message, some or all of their punctuation and, occasionally, symbols such as '' were rendered as black diamonds containing a question mark. In the end the only way I could remedy this was to put all the affected characters in manually from my own very well-behaved keyboard. The other problem was the awkward time lapse between my uploading an edit to the site and its public visibility, varying from a few minutes to several hours. This made it impossible to continue to be certain of co-ordinating the posting of your messages with the sending out of the "your reply is now on Stapfield" messages; also it often put the editing log out of synch with what was actually happening. In the end, I made the decision to migrate my three sites (there's a fine transitivisation for you Thread W16 fans to mull over) to a new Web host. This was a difficult decision, as this is a change that takes a long time to complete and is usually fraught with difficulties and dangers. In the end my son did it for me and I suspect it went so smoothly that no-one noticed the changeover. The new host's system appears to accept stuff from any old keyboard and - more importantly - the public appearance of edits has so far been simultaneous with uploading, as it always used to be. But if you spot anything wrong, please let me know. Most likely that would be missing images or even whole pages that went astray in the move. I have copies of absolutely everything and could easily replace anything.


22 October 2015

It's a bit of a shame that the first message to go on this board for ten months has to be about the massive technical problems of the past 7 days (14th - 21st of October). It was caused initially by the Web hosting service's decision to move websites to a new server. They omitted to tell me until after the event that I needed to point my domain name to the new server. This meant that when I uploaded pages I'd edited they went to the wrong place. Then, during the redirecting some error on their part caused all three of my sites (the other two being my personal site and the one for my Rhaglan Welsh-speakers group) to disappear altogether for 3 days.

The sites have been restored but the original problem of not being able to edit pages persisted for a while for just a few pages (a number of threads in the 'Wider World' section). With fingers firmly crossed, I'll say that it does rather look as though everything is almost back to normal, but please let me know if you come across anything odd, such as finding that replies mentioned in the editing log or the 'latest replies' list are not actually there in the thread.

This was the first breakdown of any of my sites since the first one - my personal site - was established in 1998. Let's hope we go at least another 17 yeas before the next one. Mind you, I'll be 90 by then, so perhaps not quite so capable of dealing with such a catastrophe. Many thanks to all those who sent emails of moral support and good wishes. Thank you also for your patience.

28 December 2014

Spurred into action by Thread 159 started by Andrew Hersom, I've introduced a feature I meant to set up years ago - a 'where are they now?' list. Even without the list a number of people over the years have discovered this site by googling themselves and some have contributed to it. It worked simply because they happened to be mentioned in some context or other on the site. It made me think that a list, which would inevitably be tracked by Google and other search engines, might result in more Old Boys finding the site.

I've started the thing partly with a list of names supplied by Andrew, partly by memory and partly by adding a few names from around the site which appear on images only, and are not therefore be picked up by search engines. They are all people who have never contributed or even been in touch. Of course, it's quite likely that some on the list already know about the site but choose to stay in the background. Fair enough!

As soon as people contribute a message to the site or just get in touch, they will disappear from the list (or, of course, they can ask to be removed from it). You can suggest names for the list by using this form. Although you can only submit one name at a time, you can go straight back to the form from the usual automated acknowledgment by using your browser's back button. You can then wipe the slate clean with the 'reset' button on the form and start again, but please don't submit too many names in one session!

11 June 2014

Nick Dean responded immediately to my plea for better info regarding the dates of school drama productions in that section of the museum, filling in most of the gaps. If anyone has further info and/or photos for ANY play staged at QE over the decades, please use this form.

06 February 2014

I got rid of the internal search engine as part of a purge of script code on the site. However I've suddenly remembered that there's no script in that gadget anyway! What a clown! Although it was very little used, at least a couple of people who found it useful were rather fed up when it disappeared - so it's back! You'll find it right at the top of most pages of the site. It serves both this site and my personal site, but the search results page makes it clear which site it's referring to. As it was way beyond my abilities to construct an efficient search engine, I'm using the FREESEARCH service. It really does seem very good, even though you have to put up with adverts when using it (I Can't afford the ad-free version). I would recommend it to any webmaster wanting a good site search facility. See their site for more info.
THEN-AND-NOW: new feature

23 January 2014

Contributor David Selway-Hoskins suggested that there should be a 'then-and-now' photo feature on the site, matching recent photos of contributors to much earlier pics, perhaps from schooldays. Well, the skeleton of such a thing already existed. In a few cases (3 to be exact), the photos of contributors that you can bring up from those thumbnail images at the heads of many of the messages already contained links to 'then' pics; but David's suggestion got me thinking that all the sets of then-and now photos should be collected together on one page, without doing away with any of the separate now-only pages arrived at from the thumbnails. I hope those of you who already have now (or now-ish) photos on the site will send some 'then' pics. I also hope that those of you with no pics at all on the site will send both 'now' and 'then' pics (but just 'now' ones would be a lot better than none at all).

'Then' pics don't have to be from your time at the school, but they should be from a long time ago! 'Now' pics should be pretty close to now! Ideally, the 'now' pics in the new Then-and-Now feature would not be the same as the ones arrived at from the thumbnails, so if you already have a 'now' pic on the site, a different one for the Now-and-Then page would be good. By the way, I've increased the maximum file-size of images you can attach to a form to 3Mb.

29 July 2013

Further to my comments in the 16th June message below, regarding what is relevant to this site, I've come up with a couple of ideas that go some way towards segregating messages that are specifically about QE school from those that are not. One of these ideas is now up and running, the other will have to wait a bit longer. The one that is already on the go is the Wider World board. It works just like the main board but the original messages that trigger the threads are 'announcements' about (or reviews of) events unrelated to the school. This is the board where the original message starting the thread can be unconnected with the school or, indeed, education. The threads stemming from the announcements will no doubt wander by natural progression, just like the ones on the main board, but I shall try to remain relaxed about that! Applying the guidelines described in my message below, the connection with QE will be maintained by the fact that only people with past or present links with the school will be able to post there. An additional feature of that board is that contributors to it can build up a small photo gallery (not sure how small yet!) with images related to interests they've mentioned in their original messages or replies. Photos should not be subject to copyright (in relation to which I already tread a knife-edge on this site).

The other idea - the one which isn't operating yet - is the construction of a board on my personal site on which non-QE topics and opinions (reminiscences of Barnet or Borehamwood, for example) can be discussed - things that are not announcements or reviews. The difference will be that on that board, if it ever happens, people having no links to the school and nothing to say about education, would be able to join in. On the main board nothing will change. People with QE links will still be able to drift by natural evolution into non-QE territory and people without QE links will still be able to contribute if they have something to say about education. However, I may copy (not tranfer) non-QE stuff onto the proposed new board on my personal site. Lost? You'll get the idea and hopefully enjoy it, once it's all on the go!

16 June 2013

Several contributors have recently asked if it's alright to post replies that appear to have no relevance to QE. The answer is 'yes and no' ! It depends on two things: firstly, the thread in question. I try to keep some more specific than others (the Sam C0cks one is an nexample of a specific one). Secondly, it depends on your definition of 'relevant'

There are two kinds of postings that may seem irrelevant at first glance but are not, when you think about it. There are those from Old Boys who wish to talk about things that were outside of school life or things that happened in their lives long after they left; or they may just wish to express opinions on things that have nothing to do with the school. Well, one part of the original purpose of this site was to get an idea of how ex-pupils had got on in life after leaving and what their outlook now was. So, in most threads, it's fine for Old Boys of the school to talk about anything (well, almost anything) they like, provided the discussion has evolved naturally (if tortuously) from the original message that started the thread (which must always be in connection with the school).

The other kind of posting that might be considered outside the scope of the site consists of messages from people who didn't attend the place, have never known anyone who attended it and possibly have never even heard of it before. Well, if it's about secondary eductation, that would certainly be relevant in many threads (although I probably wouldn't allow such a message as a new thread). It must, of course, be relevant to the thread it's intended for.

The only attemps at posting I've discarded as not relevant are messages from people who, having no connection whatsoever with the school, wish to talk about things unconnected with secondary education. So far, the only submisssions in that category have been automated form-spamming attempts, the aim being to sell something. These rarely get through to me, due to technical tricks with the way the forms are constructed. But even when they get through, there is no chance of their appearing on the site, as the message board is not automated.

So don't worry about your messages being irrelevant if you have or have had some connection with QE or you haven't, but at least wish to respond to comments connected with secondary schooling.

I'm talking here about irrelevance, not unsuitability, which is a wider topic (and includes irrelevance, of course).

29 October 2012

Ever since Chris Mungovan started Thread 32 as a quiz nearly 5 years ago, it has been a central plank of the site, attracting 160 replies. Of course, it soon drifted away from being a quiz and has since encompassed a very wide range of topics. My policy has been to accept (in fact to enjoy) the gradual and natural 'morphing' of topics one into another in certain threads, while never allowing totally unconnected leaps. That's not the problem I have with 32. The problem is simply the unwieldiness of it from a management point of viwe - it's getting more and more complicated. So rather than start yet another new page of the same thread I've decided to close it, no doubt to the horror of quite a few faithful contributors. However, not all is lost - not quite! You can still to reply to messages in Thread 32 because I will now use your reply either to start a new thread cross-referenced to 32 or I will put it in a thread already linked to 32. You'll see what I mean, I hope, when the next 32 reply comes in. It'll give the Thread 32 fans a bit of continuity.

06 September 2012

Many contributors and other visitors to this site will already possess 1950s and '60s collections of the QE magazine The Elizabethan. However, when Roger Nolan volunteered to scan and send me the entire contents of three issues (1960 / 66 / 67) with the suggestion that they should go in the site 'museum', I thought of all those who would have lost their collections somewhere along the rocky road (I no doubt burned mine as soon as I received them) and decided it was a very good idea.

All three issues are now on the site [see museum] and they certainly bring back a strong flavour of the school at that time. They also reminds me of certain things about some of the boys in my forms, such as their interests, sporting prowess and litereary abilities. For example, seeing CR Brand mentioned as secretary of the Christian Union reminded me of the time I volunteered to lead a CU meeting in his absence, despite being a devout atheist at the time. I can still hear his furious voice laying into me the next day: "It has been reported to me that you failed to close in prayer yesterday. This is intolerable! It is VITALLY IMPORTANT to close in prayer!

Well many other things were to become intolerable to Chris in subsequent years, as one may deduce from his website. Is Chris in some way a product of the school - either by conforming to its values or rebelling aaginst them - or did it have no effect at all on the controversial course of his career? This is the sort of question that can be inspired just by reading one issue of the old mag. The 1954 issue I borrowed from Nigel Palmer years ago will follow. I really will give it back one day, Nigel!

Please note: I have put the mags up as PDF files, because that enables you to zoom in or out at will. Most people will have a PDF reader (usually one of the Adobe versions) on their computers these days, but the latest Adobe version can be puzzling for people new to PDF. By default It comes up with no toolbar and no thumbnails of pages down the left-hand side of the screen. If you can't work out how to get these features, ask me for advice!

15 August 2012

I'm sometimes apalled by the number of little mistakes (mine, that is) I discover on this site. I correct them as soon as I spot them but I'm surprised that people don't draw my attention to them earlier. As they're usually very minor slips causing no confusion, you probably think they don't matter, and you're probably right. However, they do bug me just a little bit, so I'd be very grateful if you could let me know. I'm not talking about mistakes contributors make in their messages but coding errors of mine, such as repeating a line (or repeating a whole message on one occasion recently), or a link that goes to the wrong place. Simple typos (if mine) are fair game too. There are sometimes problems that are not my fault, such as links to external sites no longer taking you there because the site has disappeared or a page address has been changed. Please draw my attention to that as well.