Bob's Latest Interactions
Posted on: Feb 24, 2018 at 9:33 AM
Foxy and I both started in 1949 (1C) and were in the same form every year until Upper vth until I left and he stayed on for several years more. Foxy was small and slightly built, an academic rather than a sportsman but just below that slight frame lurked a fearless devil up for anything. Two particular episodes come to mind; in VB he volunteered to be locked in the cupboard where he banged on the rear wall muttering a muffled "Harry Harry Harry" (Little) resulting in the entire back row of VC being caned.
The girls from Carlyle had strung hundreds of knickers and bras across the school hall (brilliant!) and in revenge Foxy and Goldberger (by this time in Upper Vth) dressed in workmans clothes and turned off all the radiators in Carlyle until being put to flight when they attempted it in the headmistress's room.
RIP Foxy, your appearance and manner belied what hid beneath the surface and I wonder how often you were misjudged in later life.
Bob Johnson aka Dollar
Posted on: Jan 04, 2018 at 9:53 PM
All the comments regarding Aunts and Uncles re-awoke my recollections of being evacuated (many of my era must also have shared the same fate) and for the sake of posterity I will share some of them with you.
The farm that took me in dealt solely with animals and vegetables, no grain products. The farmhouse was huge but had no running water or electricity: water was obtained from a well in the front garden (often with frogs in the bucket) and any light was from oil lamps. There was no radio and I never saw a newspaper other than those placed in the privy which was a wooden shack some 50 or more yards from the main house.
To the right of the house was a very large orchard in which numerous chickens ran loose, the orchard was bisected by the River Pang and there was a small stone bridge across it. There were also four pig sty's which sometimes housed many young piglets. The garden to the left of the house was the size of a football field and was Boogies domain, he grew every vegetable known to man plus berries and currents but I was forbidden to touch even a single current.
There was also a dozen or so cages containing ferrets. You could handles ferrets without being bitten, but it you poked your finger through the bars they invariably drew blood. There was a huge black dog (Bella) and she dwarfed me (aged four) but she was docile whereas the white fox terrier (named Dip, on account of having only one front leg) took every opportunity to bite me, sometimes drawing blood. There were also stables (two horses) and about twenty cats, none of which were pets apart from a large ginger one that sometimes sat on Boogies lap in front of the fire.
We had rabbit stew almost every day, sometimes pigeon but you had to be careful not to swallow the lead shot.
My tasks were to feed scraps to the chickens, look for eggs in the orchard, feed the pigs and muck out the horses.
My life charged when I started school, there were only two classes, five to eleven, and eleven to fourteen, I suppose the school-leaving age was fourteen? I was the only Londoner in the village and had a fight the first day, this continued at the break and every day thereafter. If I won I then had to fight their elder brother or cousin and I had a disadvantage of not being big for my age or fat (which may have helped), I came out of the RAF Regiment at just over 5 foot 9 inches which is still not tall! The locals couldn't really fight, they slapped wrestled and scratched, whereas my dad was a heavyweight boxer and I had been shown how to clench my fist and punch so I didn't do too bad although I somehow managed to get my nose broken twice, the second time probably because it hadn't had time to heal!
The teacher didn't help my cause by calling me "A cocky little Londoner" in front of the whole school. But I was a Londoner and little and I must have been cocky and anyway it's far too late to complain now!
Posted on: Jul 17, 2017 at 9:21 PM
Missing arm! Brian Fernee's memory is slightly awry; the teacher who lost an arm in the first World War was a Mr Purdey
A little bit more on the Mole Morris affair. Dolly Harris was also seen walking with Mole of a lunchtime. Bill Duggan (otherwise known as The Duke) often terrorised poor Dolly and said (in an affected voice) "Oh sir if I'd have known what your preferences were we could have been such good friends". On this occasion the worm turned and whilst I cannot recall his exact words. Dolly shocked us all (Upper vth) by absolutely slaughtering Bill and made him look small. Bill's response was "I'll bring the boys round to see you tomorrow" The following evening Dolly was jostled by about four or five large lads as he left the school grounds. I never witnessed this event but several members of upper vth who were aware what was going to happen did. Bill (William Patrick) Duggan the Duke of Wolverton was something else and probably still is (if he is upright).
I believe the nick-name "Bummer" began in 1953; Mole Morris, Bert Cousins and Wells often sloped off together during the lunchtime. Mole Morris was arrested for importuning down the Cremorne and got put away. As a result the song
Now Mole and Bert went walking out
The cops they had a clue
They caught old Mole, but Bert escaped
We think he is one too!
(sung to the tune of 24 virgins came down from Inverness)
was born and Mr Wells whilst not named in verse was henceforth somewhat unfairly known as "Bummer Wells".
Guy Boas was an excellent tutor, (every English master at Sloane were very good; Mr Pitman, Bailey etc) but in my view Mr Boa's love of literature put him slightly above the others. He once described my compositions as being written by a demented Damon Runyon; I regarded it as a compliment although I'm uncertain whether it was intended as being one.
I learnt The Rape of the Lock by heart, went with him (and others) to see As you like it, at the Old Vic and had Guy's own copy of The History of Mr Polly, which I only recently threw away! I passed English and English Literature without difficulty but sadly never evolved literaturewise and remain stuck in a Damon Runyan time frame and while I read a minimum of four books a week every one is crime fiction.
I have commented somewhere else on this site that I believe that when Guy Boas left Sloane ceased to be Sloane (or words to that effect!)
Guy Boas was Sloane!