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Author Topic: Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School  (Read 16846 times)

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Offline CHANTALIAN

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Re: Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School
« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2011, 11:49:08 »
My time served at the Math was from 1960 to 1965 and that was enough, a five year sentence. I basicaly enjoyed the frioendship and bonhomie but hated the schoolwork, seemed to interfere with my social life.

Bridge house (green) for the whole period and I can remember the very first day when we were organised into houses. Each form had a mixture of houses, unlike later when my brother went there and the whole form was one house. In organising our class "Bill" Stone (history), form master, first asked who had siblings at the school or fathers who had attended the school and which house they were in during their time. Those that admitted it were then placed into that house.

As an aside "Bill" Stone was one of the masters who had been evacuated to Wales, with the school, during the war.

Have noted one or two mentions of my personal nemesis namely "Stan" Braxton. A man who had all the old world charm of a hungry Doberman, or so I believed at the time. He seemed to hate all boys but had his own pet hates and one of those was me. A strict disciplinarian he ruled with a fist of steel but occasionaly he showed another side of him which was quite pleasant. It appeared infrequently. As I recollect he was one of the masters who would do the Saturday morning detentions although I cannot say for sure as I managed to get away without serving time on a Saturday which I believe was miraculous. Perhaps fear of "Oscar" explains this as a Saturday morning detention included a beating from him.

Returning to SJB (Stan Braxton) in the third year I was put into 3A along with a number of close friends. On day one we turned up and went to the form room where we found Stan waiting for us as Form master, a bad sign. He then revealed our timetable on the blackboard; Woodwork SJB, Mathematics SJB, Physical education SJB!!!! IO think certain members of staff had the measure eof our group. Came the first PE lesson dear old SJB arrived and told us the lesson would consist of running round the school field and if we were late for the next lesson (Maths) we would have detention. He also announced that the first boy home would get a commendation and the last one home would get a detention. We set off and the more astute of us made sure we stuck strictly to the borders. Those not quite so fly cut the corners. When everybody was back SJB announced the names of the boys who would get the commendation and the detention. Then came the bombshell, "The following boys cut the corners and will go round again and don't forget those late for the next class get a detention." They all were late.

Enough ramblings for the moment.

grantidge

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Re: Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2011, 21:12:54 »
My brother was a prefect and Mum proudly sewed the tasselled mark of distinction on to his cap.  He donned said article and I said in tones of withering sarcasm "And you look a right twit in that!"  We always did scrap and still do from time to time.

Fred the Needle

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Re: Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School
« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2011, 12:25:01 »
Sorry I didn't reply to you earlier Megapack. I pre-date you by a bit as I left in 1971.  By 1977, I was married!

One thing I do remember was the yearly Gilbert and Sullivan Opera with all the girls parts taken by boys with unbroken voices.  I remember Mr Purle muttering under his breath one day about a suggestion from the local paper that REAL girls be used.

How times change  :)

Offline Megapack162

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Re: Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2011, 19:12:30 »
I liked the prefects caps as they had a tassell hanging from the middle.    How were prefects defined when caps didn't have to be worn anymore?

When I was there (77-84), they wore plain dark blue ties.

Offline seb

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Re: Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2011, 16:43:36 »
I liked the prefects caps as they had a tassell hanging from the middle.    How were prefects defined when caps didn't have to be worn anymore?

Offline Megapack162

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Re: Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2011, 18:53:25 »
I have no idea how I did it, but I managed to miss all the Founders Days up until I was in the 6th form.  My memory of the 2 that I did attend was of walking aimlessly around and chatting to my mates.

I also managed to miss the annual cross country race.  Every year, ALL the boys had to run over this course that went from the "new" school on the Maidstone Road, into Borstal and around the prison.  There were teachers stationed at strategic points on the course to ensure that we didn't get lost.  There was a practice (which I think was on a Tuesday afternoon) and the race proper was (I think) on the Friday afternoon following that.  So only 2 days to recover.

I managed in my first 5 years at the school to only do one practice "run"  :) and one race.  And these were in different years.  My parents always wrote a note as to why I couldn't be allowed to take part.  One year I recall it was because I had hurt my finger!  It was bandaged up but, I ask you......

Finally, and I think it was in 1968, over 80% of the boys bought notes from their parents asking to be excused - my note said that I'd had my left thigh x-rayed because of a mysterious pain...it was true, but the pain and x-ray had been 8 years prior to the run...it's not what you add that makes a good lie, it's what you leave out  :).  So the school changed the procedure and only 20 (?) boys from each house took part.  The rest of us did normal lessons.

Speaking of the "House" system, I was in Pitt and our colour was yellow (throughout my school career, I was always in the team with the yellow colour - odd).  The other houses were Bridge, Castle and Gordon.  I understand there's a few more "Houses" now.

Hi "Fred the Needle",

When were you there? I was there between 1977 and 1984 in Bridge, we were in Green. I believe that the newer houses are River (Purple) and Thetford (Light Blue)?

Ah, Cross Country, so many whispers about how terrible it was, cruel, etc... I loved it although I wasn't very good at it until the third year when I finished 4th out of 120ish. No surprises that I ended up as Bridge House cross country captain - nobody else really wanted to do it.

By the late 70s we ran around different combinations of the school field and Priestfields, 1st year was probably just the school field, 2nd year was both, 3rd was school field, Priestfields and school field again, 4th year and upwards was probably 2 of both alternating.

I started running again in 2003 and still love cross country to this day, the season started last Saturday and we get to run on all sorts of different courses, my favourite being the water filled ditches of Minnis Bay http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw0mGTUEgW8&hd=1

Cheers,

Fred the Needle

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Re: Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2011, 09:40:40 »
I have no idea how I did it, but I managed to miss all the Founders Days up until I was in the 6th form.  My memory of the 2 that I did attend was of walking aimlessly around and chatting to my mates.

I also managed to miss the annual cross country race.  Every year, ALL the boys had to run over this course that went from the "new" school on the Maidstone Road, into Borstal and around the prison.  There were teachers stationed at strategic points on the course to ensure that we didn't get lost.  There was a practice (which I think was on a Tuesday afternoon) and the race proper was (I think) on the Friday afternoon following that.  So only 2 days to recover.

I managed in my first 5 years at the school to only do one practice "run"  :) and one race.  And these were in different years.  My parents always wrote a note as to why I couldn't be allowed to take part.  One year I recall it was because I had hurt my finger!  It was bandaged up but, I ask you......

Finally, and I think it was in 1968, over 80% of the boys bought notes from their parents asking to be excused - my note said that I'd had my left thigh x-rayed because of a mysterious pain...it was true, but the pain and x-ray had been 8 years prior to the run...it's not what you add that makes a good lie, it's what you leave out  :).  So the school changed the procedure and only 20 (?) boys from each house took part.  The rest of us did normal lessons.

Speaking of the "House" system, I was in Pitt and our colour was yellow (throughout my school career, I was always in the team with the yellow colour - odd).  The other houses were Bridge, Castle and Gordon.  I understand there's a few more "Houses" now.

Offline sharmuk

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Re: Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2011, 03:57:51 »
Science block used to have a small and oddly shaped single-room wooden satellite where rats and mice were kept for dissection in the zoology classes. It was at the end of a short corridor extending towards the Maidstone Road from the prep room situated between the botany and zoology labs. Pupils doing zoology used to feed the animals but by the time I got to the sixth so many rats had escaped that it was no longer used and was sealed off. The walls were full of holes from attempts to catch the missing beasts. It has been replaced by a larger single-storey brick building.

Attendance was compulsory for Founder's Day which took place on a Saturday with the school closed on the following Monday and Tuesday. One of the morning assemblies soon after would always involve the headmaster declaring that the days off were a privilege not a right and would be revoked if such-and-such bad behaviour were repeated. Eventually the threat was realised and the Tuesday off got dropped, though in those pre 'Baker day' times it must have been more of a hardship to the staff than to the pupils.

After the morning cathedral service on Founder's Day the school used to be open in the afternoons for visitors with displays in the art and science areas and a cricket match. Some time in the 90's I went back with an old school friend and we were surprised how little there was to see. The displays had been dropped and sports day, which previously was separate, had been merged into it so all the activity was outside on the fields.
"He's the hairy handed gent who ran amuck in Kent"

Fred the Needle

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Re: Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2011, 11:46:44 »

Pussy Purle taught sport, PE and art.  Don't recall him teaching woodwork. 

You're right, it has come back to me now. 'Stan' Braxton taught us woodwork and Purle was always sloping in for a cup of tea with him (and probably discussing scenery for the next show) while we played with chisels.

Don't mention Stan Braxton and chisels to me.  I got double homework from him for not doing a good enough drawing of a chisel.  I thought it was woodwork, not drawing (we weren't allowed to use a ruler to draw straight lines for some reason).

He was also the guy who stopped us wearing slip on shoes rather than lace-ups.  Took a list on Friday of all the boys in the class who had the slip-ons and said he would come round to the classes on the Monday morning and give a Saturday detention to anyone who wasn't wearing lace-ups.

My parents did their crust with me as they'd only just bought the slip ons after I assured them that the rule had been relaxed.

Can't remember if he did come round or not on the Monday.

Offline sharmuk

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Re: Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2011, 11:16:18 »

Pussy Purle taught sport, PE and art.  Don't recall him teaching woodwork. 

You're right, it has come back to me now. 'Stan' Braxton taught us woodwork and Purle was always sloping in for a cup of tea with him (and probably discussing scenery for the next show) while we played with chisels.
"He's the hairy handed gent who ran amuck in Kent"

Fred the Needle

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Re: Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2011, 10:47:18 »
What was the cap pattern? Rochester Tech was dark blue with light blue crown.

The school colours of alternating dark and light blue segments with gold piping in between if memory serves.

Correct.  And when I was there it was compulsory to wear one up until the 5th form when you could dispense with it.  Looked daft with my long hair (wish I had hair now  :))

Couple of things.  Bogroll Beattie didn't teach Latin as far as I recall, he taught English.  Had very little control over the class but I do recall him throwing himself across 2 rows of desks to grab an unruly boy (and yes, I can recall who it was - no, not me).  He missed his target, however he did disrupt the rows he lay across much to the "distress" of the boys sitting in them.

Pussy Purle taught sport, PE and art.  Don't recall him teaching woodwork.  He could however play one hymn on the piano.  Once when there was an epidemic at the school, he was the only pianist available so he played it and we sung it.  Can't recall exactly which one it was, but it was a carol.  And it was summer............

Thanks for the link sharmuk.  A few I'd forgotten there.  Glad to see that all the views of Mr Lingham were bad.  He really was (in my opinion anyway) a most unpleasant man with a very high opinion of himself.

Likewise Mr Green was one I never took to.  Tried to be funny but wasn't.

In the second year I was in 2B and our form master and Maths teacher was Mr Jessop.  Nice guy but he did have a tendency to throw board rubbers at people.

Also recall Mr Gray who seemed perennially to have me in either his Physics class, his Chemistry class or both.  In the 6th form, he took me for Physics and my Chemistry teacher was Mr Heap (Uriah, we weren't too inventive).  Mr Heap had a lisp and a rather attractive wife.

Offline sharmuk

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Re: Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2011, 22:18:32 »
What was the cap pattern? Rochester Tech was dark blue with light blue crown.

The school colours of alternating dark and light blue segments with gold piping in between if memory serves.
"He's the hairy handed gent who ran amuck in Kent"

Offline peterchall

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Re: Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2011, 18:13:22 »
What was the cap pattern? Rochester Tech was dark blue with light blue crown.
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

Offline Megapack162

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Re: Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2011, 18:12:50 »
They must have stopped all that cap nonsense soon afterwards because I didn't get bought one in 1977, my mum would definitely have got me one if it was available. I still have my junior school cap, the kids look at it and laugh....

Offline ChrisExiledFromStrood

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Re: Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2011, 17:37:35 »
...a cap that I was made to wear on the first day and which stayed on until I was out of sight of home, never to be worn again.

My cap lasted slightly longer than that: just until I got there on the first day, when I realised it was optional and no-one else had one!

 

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