Contents List Our Memories Rules & Punishment


    Experiences 1957-65
Experiences 1984-91
Snippets
The Spaghetti Incident
Shoplifting
Graffiti
Alcohol
Corporal Punishment
Bullying
Smoking Stories

York Silence
   

The gorgeous Lesley Hammond

Vince Ball
(Norwich House 1972)

Martin Seaman & friends

Experiences 1957-65
by Royston Futter

I suppose that I suffered no more than my fair share of punishment during my 8 years at Wymondham. Actually, considering that I was a smoker who had at least one fag a day from the 3rd year onward, I was amazingly lucky. I was caned by the Head (Metcalfe) just once after being caught smoking by Mr. Marney. This was the 3rd or 4th time he had caught us in the old pump house at the far end of the playing field and he finally reported us to the Head in desperation, I suspect.

The one crime taken seriously, and way out of proportion to its effects, was talking after lights out. Certain members of staff (mostly Mr. Parker) used to delight in creeping around outside the old huts trying to catch us talking. I recall getting two slipperings from housemasters for talking after lights out. Admittedly, these were the umpteenth times we had been caught and were probably well deserved.

Perhaps the most odd memory of physical punishment that I was involved with was the strange case of Dickie Bawden the history teacher with whom I had a rather love/hate relationship for my whole College career, and indeed much later.  On the plus side, and it was a very large plus, he was responsible, through organising trips to the Theatre Royal in Norwich, for my life-long love affair with music, opera and operetta cane(indeed I well recall my surprise at seeing him placing the wreath on the bust of Sir Henry Wood at the last night of the Proms a few years ago).  On the other hand he was, and probably still is, a cantankerous little chap who rather liked to torture his victims by giving them a chance to talk themselves out of a slippering.  He played this game with Richard Sills and myself for two hours one evening before finally giving us four apiece.  This episode had a very satisfactory outcome for us pupils however, since when I eventually returned to the house I was asked where I had been by Ken Bowman (housemaster) who was, I believe, Deputy Head at the time.  On hearing my tale he went ballistic. It seemed that only housemasters and the Head were allowed to administer physical punishment and Dickie was most definitely not!  He was I believe, given a severe roasting.

Perhaps the greatest problems with the non-physical punishment was the mind-boggling wastefulness of most of it, especially that given out by the prefects, who rarely ran to more imagination than 100, or multiples of 100, lines. Since we all knew how to hold two or three pens together, these were simply a waste of time and paper. Attempts to get defaulters to do a bit of good by, for example, cleaning all the shoes in the shoe room or weeding the tennis courts occasionally surfaced, but most of the time it was just wasted effort.

It wasn't always the pupils who were guilty of crimes. One incident in particular comes to mind when, one tea time, a member of staff (whose name escapes me) threw a bowl of spaghetti at Andy Seeley.  He was marched off by a very irate housemaster to one of the best silences I can ever recall.  See 'The Spaghetti Incident' (below).

Drinking was almost unheard of, although there were odd instances when pupils got into Norwich pubs after Engineering Society meetings. I recall once when Wymondham showed its true colours, in that of three pupils caught, the one who played for the First XV escaped with a warning, the one on the fringes of the XV was suspended for two weeks, and the one who didn't play sport at all was sent home for the rest of the term!

Most of the time us smokers went for long walks in the woods until, glory be, we got our own room where, after midnight at least, we could hang out of the window and enjoy the finest experience that Golden Virginia could provide.

Royston Futter

St-Ciers-sur-Gironde
France

September 2001

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Experiences 1984-91

Sitting up at the computer late at night a few weeks back while I awaited a phone call announcing the birth of my twin sisters (it’s a long story), I casually typed the words "Wymondham College" into a search engine and sent them off into cyberspace.  Perusing the results, I saw a bunch of the usual suspects: the official College web page showing buildings and students I no longer recognised, a collection of alumni locator sites, and a bunch of hits from the Greshams web page claiming spurious victories over the College’s sports teams.  Then all of a sudden, out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of Bill’s link.  A few clicks of the mouse and all of a sudden I was plunged back to my days on Golf Links Road.  The stories, the high jinks, and the pictures of bespectacled pupils in damp singlets struggling around the cross-country course transported me back across the Atlantic to the days of my youth.  But wait!  What was all this stuff about Nissen hut dorms, "Westminster" house et al?  This site was mostly about the fifties and sixties.  I attended Wymondham from 1984 to 1991.  A quick exchange of emails with Bill on the subject resulted in this: a new old boy’s look at life at WymCol in the heady days of Mrs. Thatcher.

So what was Wymondham College like in the 1980s?  In the intervening years between many of you leaving the school and me arriving, the College had been organised into six houses: four main school (New, Fry, Kett, and the mighty, mighty Cavell) and two sixth form (Lincoln and Peel).  Brick buildings had replaced the Nissen hut dorms and a few of the classrooms, and the College had become pretty good at rugby and terrible at cricket.  But one thing remained the same: the tradition of Wymondham College students being among the best barrack room lawyers and revolutionaries around.

In my seven years at Wymondham, a myriad of cases presented themselves showing that the spotty, gawky residents of the old American hospital had the common law acumen of a thousand High Court judges.  No matter what the headmaster, housemasters, or Board of Governors dreamed up to increase the regimentation (and lets be frank, often the present-ability) of the student body, some pubescent QC would leap up quoting habeas corpus, the Magna Carta, the UN charter, and the basic freedoms enjoyed by the English since King Alfred burnt the cakes in an attempt to knock the idea down.  If legal argument failed, resistance movements would spontaneously erupt from Common Rooms the like of which put Che Guevara to shame.

As is the way with many articles discussing judicial matters, case law is often cited, and it would be frankly amiss to depart from tradition here.

Example number one: The Case of The Stolen School Song.

Wymondham College celebrated its fortieth birthday in 1991, my last year at the school.  All manner of celebratory events were planned, with the culmination being a special school-wide chapel service in the Sports Hall with prayers, hymns, and songs galore.  All was going well until one sixth former found an advanced copy of the running order and noticed an interesting musical number.  As a student body, we were going to sing "Forty Years On", the school song of Harrow.  All of a sudden, the Sixth Form common room was transformed into the set of "LA Law."

"Why the hell are we going to sing some other school’s song?" demanded one advocate.

"And why does it have to be from that bunch of elitist oppressors?" inquired the obligatory acne ridden teenage Marxist.

Of course, being budding attorneys, none of us were willing to risk individual punishment, so collective action was decided upon.  Come the day, come the hour: as the song was half-heartedly mangled by the College population the line "Forty Years On" garnered the addendum "the khazi", audible enough to visibly perturb the assembled dignitaries and faculty but not quite loud enough for them to be able to discern the culprits.  Chalk one up to the students.

Example number two: The Vow Of Silence.

As it was in the beginning, chapel was compulsory for all students.  A bunch of us, envying the Catholic and Jewish students their weekly minibus ride to Norwich, decided to declare ourselves atheists and demand a ride to our place of secular worship, the snooker hall on Magdalen Street.  Of course, our request was rebuffed with a counter-demand from management that we shut up and clean our shoes.  Therefore, in our second year, a bunch of us hit upon a scheme that sustained us until matriculation.  Our actions would drive first Andrew Seeley, and then Michael Brand into impotent rages, as they knew something was up but they could never pin anything on us.  Each Sunday we would troop into chapel, take our places, and wait for the first hymn.  Little heathens that we were, as soon as the organ swelled, we would wordlessly mouth along, forming our gobs into caricatures of evangelical ecstasy without actually singing anything.  There was only one exception to this self imposed rule: the great Welsh hymn "Bread of Heaven," the last line of the chorus we would transform at great tuneless volume into "Bread from Evan’s General Store." Halleluiah, brother.

Example number three: Golf Links Manoeuvres.

In English Common Law, the principle exists that unwritten custom has the same legal force as statute over time.  So it was that the Sixth Form believed that the unspoken "Morley Two Pub Rule" carried with it the same force as any sanction on the Wymondham College Code of Conduct.  Surely it was known that on Sunday nights teachers drank at "The Buck" in Morley St Boltoph, and students illegally downed pints of Abbot at "The George" in Morley St Peter.

Unfortunately, a zealous member of the faculty seemed unwilling to accept this as a fact of law and was bound and determined to bust all underage ale swillers "for their own good."  Obviously, a lawyerly approach was out of the question as we were on very dodgy ground so instead a novel system of reaching "The George" was devised that would have done the French Resistance proud.

Each week at the appointed hour, a motley crew of beer drinkers and dry roasted nuts addicts would gather beside the blast freeze on the edge of campus, blending in as they best they could with the sparse trees and shrubs.  Sure enough, not long after we had collected, the aforementioned member of staff’s grotty Austin Metro would slowly cruise down the driveway and out onto Golf Links Road in the direction of "The George", on the lookout for student candidates for the temperance pledge.

As soon as the teacher’s taillights passed the school sign, the first wave of "assault drinkers" would hop the boundary hedge into the surrounding sugar beet fields and dodge from ditch to fence, fence to beet pile, until "The George" was in sight.  Concealed in the landscape, they would watch for the staff member to emerge from his search of the saloon bar and regain his car.  As its tatty British Leyland engine spluttered into life and he clattered back onto his patrol route, one by one the students would dart across the old A11, through the pub doors, and breathing sighs of relief would order a beer and slump on the long bench seat by the toilet.

Behind the vanguard, fresh waves of teenage tipplers followed the pathfinders’ route about every fifteen minutes until the pub was as busy as a Norwich police station when Ipswich visits Carrow Road.  The prowling teacher was so obsessed with keeping the road free of wandering bands of beer hungry students he never bothered to go back on campus and check to see if anyone was actually left in the sixth form houses, and not being a drinking man he was presumably uncomfortable with sitting in the snug of "The George", surrounded by the locals while clutching a half of Tizer, to lay in wait for us to show up and thus catch us red handed.  He was not however stupid enough to not occasionally stage a lighting raid on the pub to see if he could catch any of us in flagrante delicto.  Fortunately for us, our Sunday cash infusion was quite welcome to the pub, and so the barman would tip us off whenever his car pulled into the car park.

This is where our final stroke of genius came in.  To an outside observer, we must have looked strange, all crammed onto the one bench under the dartboard, beside the loo.  However, whenever the barman raised the alarm, every drinker, male and female, bundled into the bog and jammed ourselves into the cubicles, with only one pair of shoes visible under the door.  When the staff member strode in, the bar full of half finished drinks, his confident walk faltered under the steely gaze of the landlord and the older denizens of this den of iniquity and he would retreat crimson-cheeked.

So there you have it, a mere three examples of some of the ways my generation of Wymondham inmates continued the proud traditions of bloody-minded bolshevism started by Lincoln Ralph’s pioneers.  Floriat Sapientia indeed......

Dan Bookham

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Snippets

Do you recall an incident when a number of York Sixth formers ( I was one) were on an evening visit to Norwich ( can't remember why) and, because we got back to the coach early, the Master ( I forget who it was) told us to disappear for 3/4 hour ( I think he wanted a quickie with his girlfriend!).  You can guess where we went.  After return to House I got visited in my room by Jack Hawkyard who asked if I had been in the party who went drinking - anyway there were several and we all got gated, confined to house and those that were prefects lost their bands.  Apart from missing sport , this meant we could not attend the evening tutorials that some masters like Cuddly Dudley were fond off.  It was my Mother who went to Metcalfe and threatened him with exposure in the tabloid press because she felt we were missing out on schooling prior to exams and also the Master who had let us roam free had not been sanctioned.  I seem to recall we were suddenly allowed to go to evening classes and do sport!

Kevin Kennedy

Yes - it was a trip to the opera (Porgy & Bess, Trevor Dodd reckons) at the Theatre Royal, possibly at the end of '63.  While you lot were sniffing the barmaid's apron, Merv Boast and I used the opportunity to check out the window displays of the guitar shops (Willson & Ramshaw in Bridewell Alley and a.n. other near Bonds).  We were so smug!  Merv picked up his stripes as a result, but my own elevation would've been a bridge too far for Jack.  If you look at the photo of York House in '64, you'll see the aftermath - with the demoted prefects in the back row and the favoured ones alongside the staff.  I think Brian Perry and Tony Seymour were promoted at the same time as Merv.

Herb Atkins

I have vague memories about a big anti-smoking campaign around the same time (or possibly a bit later).  Whether it's my drink befuddled brain or an accurate memory I seem to recall that after a number of people had been caught one weekend, Muz made an announcement in Assembly that anyone caught smoking would not be considered for selection for a school team - a policy that didn't last long as most of the 1st XV were in the next batch caught!

Charlie Smith (aka Julian)


One day, on the last day of term, the name plate from the New Hall Duty Master board disappeared.  This board was the product of some third former's woodwork project, and Mr Garrard was very proud of it. The whole house was called to order, and he demanded it be returned forthwith or retributions would be severe.  Every Prefect was delegated to search every inch of the house, and every pupil's suitcases before they left, but to no avail.  At the start of the following term, a new nameplate was hastily knocked up, but it didn't really match the rest of the names and wasn't so good quality.  To this day, not a soul knows who the culprit was. Well, I have a confession to make - IT WAS ME!!  I took it home in the secret compartment behind the neck of my anorak, where the hood sits when not in use (I was sweating buckets when my own case was searched).  As soon as I got home I took an axe to it, and felt much better after that.  Mr. Garrard, if you read this I'm very sorry and would never do such a thing now.  But then you would never slipper me now, would you?

David Cook


I recall the school making the National Dailies in '62 or '63 because of a fake measles epidemic.  A few pupils genuinely caught measles and were sent home early for the Christmas holidays.  Many others soon found out that a quick "scrub" with a toothbrush produced a rash that was convincing and earned an early end of term.  The scam ended when one of the Matrons caught one of the juniors refreshing his rash.

Charlie Smith (aka Julian)

Re the above; it wasn't a fake epidemic as the writer says. In fact, is there such a thing as a fake epidemic?

As, I recall the outbreak was quite serious (I'm fairly certain it was after Christmas). Sick Bay couldn't cope, that's why people were sent home. The scam was exposed when two boys were sent home to RAF Swanton Morley and their parents referred them to the MO. He found nothing wrong with them. I suspect that somehow word got back to WC and somebody else tried the toothbrush dodge. The two boys in question were Stewart (or Stuart?) and Hamish Macleod.  They both disappeared sometime later, victims of one of Muz's purges.  At the beginning of term, which one I can't recall now, Muz in Assembly said that some unruly elements would not affect the school again.  No names were mentioned.  In fact, both guys turned out to be very enterprising and they became quite successful businessmen. So much for unruly elements. Let's have some more of them!

Anon & Harmless


 My sister, Felicity 'Flossie' Parrott, served time from 69 - 73(?) and ran away a couple of times in her first year!  She was always caught by the school leopard (Apols. to Palin's Tomkinsons Schooldays)

Jon(athan) 'Polly' Parrott


I left Wymondham to do my A levels at Norwich City College - I never quite adjusted to all the restrictive house rules!  My last year was spent in a room off the matron's quarters with another serial 'talking after lights out' offender, so that at the first whispered attempt to talk she could appear as if by magic in the doorway ready to ban me from the Saturday night dance yet again.  She's the reason I've changed my name from Jennifer to Jennie - I never could get rid of the immediate cringe of knowing I was in trouble when I heard the word 'Jennifer' uttered!

Jennie Sedgley (Winchester 1961-65)


The Westminster prefects in 63/64 are featured heavily on the site [here - Ed.] and in the reunion pictures. I am pleased they eventually became normal human beings.  I still feel a bit sick when I see that photo. They continually gave me punishments all that year.  Standing on the landing for hours for talking after lights out was a favourite, memorising long speeches from Shakespeare, writing 100s of lines, meaningless essays, cleaning their shoes and so on.  I had a virtually photographic memory then and so the memorising of Shakespeare was my personal favourite, but they locked on to this pretty quickly, so I got lines or essays to do when the rest of the dorm got Mark Anthony.  Anyway if Enid, Bunny, Hanny, Wack, Vanessa, Hilary or Ros are reading this - my best wishes!

Julia Nicholls


Sweat periods.  Ah yes, those heady nights of getting caught "talking after lights out": how many times I was forced onto the landing to perform the various routines of a) sitting against the wall, with drawing pin - or pins, depending on the degree of sadism of the particular prefect-in-charge - underneath my derriere; b) arms outstretched with books on upturned hands; c) sit-ups; d) press-ups and other things that I have obviously blotted from the memory banks, I dread to think.

I can remember so many occasions when a teacher would appear on the landing, daring us to hope that the trial would soon be finished and we would be packed off to bed, only for said teacher to ask the prefect what was going on, nod sagely and say "carry on then and let this be a lesson to you" or some such.

Still, it gave me very well-developed thighs and biceps (and an ability to let my mind wander off into other places) and stood me in very good stead for my future employment in the army, when the bed and locker used to go out of the window on cold, rainy nights and I would be subject to a barrage of verbal and physical abuse for having committed some minor misdemeanour.  Apparently.  Oh, how I laughed inside, thinking "if WyColl didn't defeat me, you (insert expletive of choice) never will".  And they never did ....

Another dorm incident .... there was a pillow fight going on twixt two of the year and, for once, I was having nothing to do with anything and merely had my head inside my tallboy locker, tidying it, when a pillow came flying over, hit the door and pushed the spring clip into the side of my head.  Cue loads of blood, someone getting Matron, who tidied me up, put bandages - and probably Wintergreen as well –  on it, then sent me off to see Mulligrubb [Mr Mullenger - Ed.], as I kept saying to her that I couldn’t remember what had happened! Given that I did not want to drop anyone in it and Ol’ Bob was not going to believe amnesia for one minute, I said I remembered running into the room, slipping on the floor and banging my head on the side of one of the bed frames, after which it all went black. For which, I was made to clean all the dining room and common room windows the following day, as I had no business running around when I was supposed to be getting ready for bed etc etc. …Wymondham College justice at its finest!

Baz Hipwell


I had a hilarious time at school despite the amount of punishment I got!  I surely must have been the most punished girl in Wells!  Many of the rules were just rules for rules; I felt it even then.  I was punished for a whole term for getting off the bus on the first day back without my beret on.  Incredible!  This never stopped me laughing about it!

Ann Vockins


Nocturnal punishments meted out by 6th Formers and Prefects.   I have strong recollections of the following from my first two years at WC when I was housed in the West House Nissen huts (I’m having to overrule the Microsoft Word autocorrect. It keeps replacing the ‘e’ in the N word with an ‘a’!):  

Confession time.  When I was a prefect occupying a single room next to a dorm of eight 4th years I occasionally used to punish pupils talking after lights out by getting them to strip and remake their beds three times. I can't remember why it was three times but it always did the trick in shutting them up.

Malcolm Williamson

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The Spaghetti Incident

Royston Futter's story (above) included this: 'It wasn't always the pupils who were guilty of crimes. One incident in particular comes to mind when, one tea time, a member of staff (whose name escapes me) threw a bowl of spaghetti at Andy Seeley. He was marched off by a very irate housemaster to one of the best silences I can ever recall.'

Ian Gomeche and Ken Armstrong recall that the 'culprit' was French teacher 'Fanny' Hill, who suffered some kind of breakdown and eventually left.  Most of the spaghetti went over Ian: 'Hill was sitting at a my table near the window when suddenly he swung his arm, causing the spaghetti to fly past my ear and crash into the pillar just behind me.  I was drenched in the stuff and 'Gusher' [the Matron, Mrs Frowen - Ed.] made a big deal of getting me cleaned up.  Hill disappeared for a few days and when he returned he stood up in front of the whole House and gave a grovelling apology.  He left the school not long after this.'

Someone else has a different recollection:

It wasn't 'Fanny' Hill, whoever that was, but Richard 'Bunny' Long, who taught Chemistry. He had been having a stressful time because his then fiancee had broken off their engagement.  He came late into lunch one day, when almost everything had been eaten, and took offence (not unreasonably) when a boy passed him an empty bowl. He swiped the bowl off the table and walked out. Andrew Seeley then rose from the High Table (where he was sitting with us, his prefects) and went out to calm him down. The subsequent apology was a bit red-faced (of course), but dignified.

I'm pretty sure it can't have been spaghetti as they never gave us that at lunchtime.  It might've been something like roast potatoes.  The bowl was one of those green earthenware ones, of course, and I'm almost sure that the incident happened at the table where I was duty prefect at breakfast and tea.

Richard Long married Miss (Jill?) Wigham, who taught (I think) Biology. I happened to catch sight of them about ten years later when they were sightseeing in the town where I lived, and they seemed very happy.

Anonymous

The spaghetti incident happened in Gloucester House and I was on the table.  Bunny Long arrived late and there was very little food left. Even the first formers had been fed.  Bunny Long picked up the nearest thing which happened to be the spaghetti bowl.  This bowl missed Ian Gomeche but the spaghetti didn't.  I can still see the outline of Ian on the central pillar.  Bunny then stormed out.  He then had to apologise in front of the whole house at evening meal.

Mike Smith

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Shoplifting

The notorious tearaway Chris Baker (Gloucester 1963 - expulsion) organised a mass shoplifting expedition into Norwich for one half term.  Chris and I spent ages organising it as we fancied ourselves as real Great Train Robber types.  On the day, Chris failed to turn up - not being completely stupid I guess - but two others (both Salisbury if I recall) and myself steamed ahead.

Now there is a general rule when on a shoplifting expedition in Norwich; 'never, repeat never, nick anything from Jarrolds, as it is well known that they have the best store detectives in Norwich'.  Having been into several stores, we kept that rule, but we then broke the Second Rule of shoplifting in Norwich; ' when you have carrier bags full of items which are not themselves in bags, having just been nicked and bundled into said carrier bags, do not even ENTER Jarrolds'.

This we stupidly did, although we had decided to stick to Rule One and not even attempt to nick anything from there.  Unfortunately a store detective or assistant saw inside our bags and we were bundled off into some back room where we were interrogated while waiting for the Police to arrive.  I remember that when I hotly denied knowing anything about the bags in my hands (full of purloined goods) I was told that I was an 'arrogant little so and so' - which sounds about right! 

The Police arrived and we were carted off to Norwich nick, if I recall, which is just up the hill.  My mother came to collect me and she was devastated: 'How could you do this to us?' .... 'er, 'cos it seemed a fun idea at the time?'  I think one of the others was staying with me in Costessey, 'cos were were 'best friends' at the time, so she collected him too.

Metcalfe persuaded the stores not to prosecute, provided he dealt with us himself.  Amazingly they agreed.  I always thought it was dead ironic that we were nicked in Jarrolds, even though we had not taken a thing from them.  Metcalfe gave me 6 of the best.

For years after that I was very nervous about even going into Jarrolds and even more nervous about shoplifting anything, so perhaps this whole sorry episode saved me from a life of hard crime.  We never did get the Duke of E. award scheme points for our little 'expedition,' but there you go!

Apropos the above, there was so much stuff nicked on Saturday afternoons from shops in Attleborough, that for a while the whole school was banned from the town.  Anyone caught in a Wycoll uniform (and we had to wear them all the time virtually then) would be in big trouble.

Ian Gomeche (Gloucester 1963-70)

I'll never forgive the fools that raided the record shop in Attleborough on exeats causing the Police to be called while we were at the Dance in Butler, or the pictures elsewhere! The stupid thing was that they completely missed my bottle of Apricot Brandy in the cupboard above the wardrobe! BTW did anyone else hide contraband under the floor of their wardrobe?

David Mills

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Graffiti

Looking at the Rules and Punishment page again, that caption on the bottom reminded me that for somewhere the size of the College there was very little graffitti.  Yes there were names etc. written on desks, but major wall stuff was few and far between.  In fact, I can only recall 3 in my seven years there!

  1. " Muz is a cabbage head" on the Sports Hall wall*.

  2. "The way to God is through acid pigs" on the steps of the old pavilion.

  3. "Come back Ray, all is forgiven" on a sheet hung from the Sports Hall, end of Summer term 1973.

No. 2 was on the flat part of 3 or 4 steps.  All I remember is Norton having us down there in a PE lesson the following morning, scrubbing them to remove/tone down the lettering!  No. 3 was on a white sheet hung from the sports hall, done in brown boot polish.

Is anyone brave enough after all this time to say "I did it?"  I know the name of at least one that was responsible for No. 3, and let's just say that the rebellious streak of Gloucester was heavily involved!!

Colin Farrington

[*  Muz = R.V. Metcalfe; Warden until December 1970.  'Come back Muz, all is forgiven' was another variant.  It also appeared on a few huts - Ed.]

Mr Worrall was Housemaster of Durham (Peel Hall) in the early 60's.  Over a couple of days parts of the grass on his lawn died to reveal a message - written with sodium chlorate (weedkiller) apparently.  Does anyone know what the words were???

Bill Atkins

 There was some graffiti, but mostly with chalk & easily washed off by rain etc.   We used to have quote sheets on our walls in the U6 which were big white blank (to start with ) sheets which Seeley did not like over much as they took the crap quality emulsion off the walls when removed.  Andrew Maudsley had a good quote on his: 'We are the people our parents warn us against' - which I liked a lot.

On the last day of the school year it was common for 'flags' to be hung from the water tower, but I can't remember any actual banners etc., just girls' bras, knickers and such like.

Ian Gomeche

At the end of my very first term (1974), when all the school was converging on the Sports Hall for the Great Assembly, there on the side of the Sports Hall wall was a very simple, but extremely graphic representation of a penis and scrotum (side view). I'm not talking about a little scrawl, but mural proportions. Needless to say everyone was most interested, pointing and giggling etc., then Mrs McBeath turned up almost foaming at the mouth and shooed us all inside. What I always wondered was (apart from WHO?) was how did anyone manage such a huge drawing, given the time it must have taken, as there was always someone mooching around the site all the time (or so it seemed)?

Lois Catchpole

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Alcohol

A group of 6th Formers down the pub in 1962 or thereabouts.  Tom Sumner? Robin Strickland, Carle Tolliday, Clive Catchpole, James Grogan, David Edwards.

I do actually have a print of this somewhere "safe". I have often tried to find it so that it could be scanned and entered onto the web site as an example of our depravity - the fact that this picture was taken, developed at school and then distributed does not say much for our intelligence at that time. I remember that I took my prefect's stripe off at one time in protest about something - can't remember what, but I'm sure it had a profound effect. Looking at this we were all lucky that we did not only have our stripes taken off but also several layers of buttock skin. Clive Catchpole (a huge Norwich City fan) did once get six for playing soccer on the land next to the Head's office.

David 'Eddie' Edwards

One Sunday three of us skipped Chapel to brew some home-made beer.  We decanted the cocktail into lemonade bottles, gathered throughout the weeks from the tuck-shop.  These were to be stored in the attic of Kett Hall.  We had just put the last bottle away and were coming out of the attic when Matron caught us.  This was ten minutes before the dinner bell.  After she went back into her flat, we quickly went back to the attic to reclaim the bottles and hid them throughout the house- in drawers, under beds, in cupboards absolutely anywhere.

After lunch 'Slug' Norton wanted to see the three of us.  "What were you doing up there?  Crossing to see the girls, I suppose."  Instantly I chirped up "No sir, the attic door has been rattling for the past two nights keeping me awake - we simply moved it to stop it rattling" (My dorm was right outside the hatch).  "Oh sorry - but don't go up there again though"  was Mr Norton's response.  I was a hero for five minutes with the other two - we then went to find all the bottles of beer we had hidden.  Six of them were never found !!!

Happy Days - the other two were Grant Needham and John Weston.

Paul Webb

Jenny Perryman and I consumed some home-made wine before a trampoline class once. Needless to say it was the most entertaining trampolining that I had ever done.

Tina Richardson

There were several occasions where I had pleasant drinking experiences at WyCol.

The one that springs to mind was at the school play in 1973. I'd decided that my acting talents should be spotted before I left, so I got the part of the butler in "The Importance of being Earnest".

The Thursday night performance coincided with my 18th birthday, and Thursday nights were the big evening, with staff, press and the rest of the bigwigs. I had brought some home-made wine back with me, which I was busy drinking during the first Act, and I was on in the second Act.

Lynette Cann, who was the stage manager, got to hear about this and when I got ready to go on she was sure that I was drunk/would fluff my lines/create a problem. She insisted that I walked a straight line (plenty of those on the Sports Hall floor!). She was so concerned with watching me that she ended up knocking the cake stand, with fresh cakes, over with an almighty crash!

Needless to say I went on and was word perfect! I actually hadn't had that much to drink, as I saved most of it for a good drink when I got back to the House afterwards!

Colin Farrington

That was one of the privileges that came with the advent of the sixth form Houses in 1978 - we got to have wine with dinner on a Wednesday evening - all encouraged by the staff.

OK, so it's not the same as having a half bottle of Scotch in one's dorm for a dram on a cold night, but still, a drink's a drink, right?

Rick Martin

I don't remember legalised booze in the 6th form Houses, although something regarding this is squatting in the back of my mind taunting me. I do, however, remember the crackers idea that we should, as young developing adults, be able to invite friends along to Dinner in the 6th form Hall (one night per week was put aside for this).

It was so successful that I can only remember it happening once. Julia Symonds (I think) invited one or both of the Fashanu boys to dinner. I don't recall any other details, but doubtless great hilarity ensued.

I do remember in about 4th or 5th year getting a female (day-pupil) classmate to bring me in a bottle of mixed booze she'd snaffled from different bottles in her parents' drinks cabinet. To me it seemed a large bottle, but to the girl it seemed small (yup, seems to be the case with other things as well, guys) and got me feeling rather merry in Mr Woodrow's maths class.

I also had a bottle of Tequila given to me in 6th year as a wee prezzie and it sat on my window-sill (sorry Colin: our window-sill) for weeks. Questioning staff were told it was full of water and never really bothered me about it.

Iain 'Sid' Sidey

My most memorable drinking escapade was when I was in the Lower 6th and some of us cycled to Deopham, to the house of a day pupil, and drank all afternoon. I somehow managed to cycle back, but my condition was so apparent that a member of staff whose name escapes me (young PE teacher in Salisbury from about 1969 onwards) ordered me to bed instead of going to chapel. Nothing more was said about the incident, which I thought rather decent.

I'm still trying to remember the name of the pub in Spooner Row where where used to go most Monday evenings when I was in the Upper 6th. Mr Rutherford (always thought that was a good name for a chemist) made us attend a chemistry tutorial after tea and the CGS contingent, who had all come back to school in the evening in their (parents') cars, would take us to the pub afterwards, which was jolly decent of them. Spooner Row was the nearest pub we thought we could go to without risking meeting a member of staff.

Ian West

I used perfume bottles to store alcohol. I don't recommend it (in fact I no longer do it), as the flavour of Charlie or Cachet, once tasted is never forgotten. When we were in Peel, Sophie Jackson (ex-Fry!) had an orange VW Beetle. She used to take us to a pub (can't remember where, but The George rings a bell). We used to overload the car chronically and then as we drove past Peanut's house we would all try and duck down below the dashboard. More fun on the way back than on the way there! I wonder if he was ever upstairs as we went past? It didn't occur to us that he would see anything. The matron in Peel never did really understand why the girls were always straight to bed when we got in (most of us couldn't be trusted to stand, let alone have a conversation with staff).

Julie Roberts

I've been trying to recall the main pubs visited while at school and am getting stumped after only a few, possibly due to memory loss caused by frequenting the self-same pubs while too young. Those currently springing to mind are:

The George (natch)
The Bell Hotel
The Murderer's/The Gardener's Arms (two official names?)
The Ram (or was it The Ram's Head?)
The Walnut Tree (a quieter pub down some side street "discovered" by Kev Bradley, Dave de Silva and me)

There must have been more, but did trends for pubs move with the times?

(I understand that The George is now a house).

[The George (full name King George V) dates from the the early 18th Century. It was first called the Old Turnpike but was renamed as the King of Prussia by the end of the 18th Century.  It was changed again to King George V during World War I. - Ed.]

Iain 'Sid' Sidey (Camra member 121482)

Pubs we went to were the George (via ditch or field, or the old walking backward trick)! Anyone else do that? Murderer's (obviously). Lamb Ten Bells, in St. Benedicts, Cherry Tree at Wicklewood (reopened in about 1981/2). Deopham Vic, Spooner Row pub name that I can't remember and one at the top of St. Stephens (name?). The George is now as previously said a private house, which is sad, I wonder what today's inmates do for a midweek pint, anyone know?

Gary Johnson

I think different years' groups used different pubs; my group about 72-4 used the following:

Sir Garnet Wolsey (On the market place)
Shrub House (St Johns Maddermarket)
Walnut Tree
Shades
White Lion? (corner of white Lion Street)
The bar of the Berni Inns on Exchange street

I'm away from Norwich now so can't give much info on the current state! Regarding the Murders/Gardeners Arms, this was originally 2 pubs side by side that both closed. When they were reopened in the 70's they took over both properties and kept both names! In fact the pub sign was the Murders if you were going up Timber hill and the Gardeners if you were coming down!

Colin Farrington

Other pubs I used to visit when I was at Wycoll:

The Boars Head (Whores Bed)
The Fruiterers
La Rouen
The Woolpack
Pig and Whistle
Norfolk Tavern

By the early 80's La Rouen had a reputation for being the haunt of men that bat for the other side, if you get my meaning!!

Gary Johnson

I think the George is now a house, with lovely pink walls. I guess it lost all its passing trade when the A11 was turned into a proper road! Either that or too many WyColl pupils got caught!

Morag Muir

In the 5th and 6th year, I seem to recall it being "important" to attempt to stay behind at WyColl during exeats. I also recall the excuses being somewhat on the thin side - parents mysteriously leaving for Scotland without telling me etc. etc. Nonetheless, it created the opportunity for a push into Norwich and a trip around the various hostelries before stumbling onto the late bus and sobering up (ish) only to have report back to the duty master (often with a bit of a flourish) that "we're back."

The pubs frequented included the Fruiterers' Arms (off Gentleman's Walk), now no longer there; the Pig and Whistle, dead posh, all impressions relative to the time though, and the Bell. Names of others, sadly, are too long forgotten, although the temptation to do a re-union pub crawl may appeal to some. I seem to recall the Fruiterers as being the most user-friendly. It was also used for the odd swift pint before and after Norwich Engineering Society Lectures ... with Daish pretending not to notice that we had been down the pub; more evidence (were it needed) of what a star he was! Later in life as a teacher at a comp. school with a small boarding site (100 total), I recall vividly how my weekend "off" would go for a ball of chalk as a clutch of boarders arranged to stay over exeats (parents mysteriously disappearing etc. etc.), so they could "do" the local pubs. Ah well - what goes around, comes around as they say!!

Anon.

While reading some of the war stories about suffering the consequences of consuming alcoholic beverages during school terms, the old brain cells started working. One of those long unused synapses suddenly fired and I recalled a classic occasion when the system was bent to the extreme.

No-one was punished or reprimanded, as this was all done above-board and a full authorised event that I was able to set up. A group of seniors in 1974/75 was excused from lessons one afternoon and taken by bus, with staff supervision, to the agreed establishment, had a great time and were bussed back in time for tea.

A full summary of this event will be drafted and will be coming soon to a well known web site.

Sometimes it pays to be Nerdy

Steve Grant

Like many others I learned how to drink at WC (despite leaving with A levels at 16!).  The landlord of one of the Morley pubs (I can't remember which one) had a thriving back-door take-away trade on Sunday afternoon walks.  He would only serve cyclists knowing that only (Upper?) Sixth formers were on bikes whilst the Plebs walked.  Many of us then carried our purchases on to Deopham airfield where the old Control Tower was the receptacle for the empties.

There were also many pubs in both Wymondham and Attleborough that had a back door trade on Saturday afternoon exeats (one or two allowing a few into the bar).

Charlie Smith (aka Julian)

I remember going to Allyson Hawksworth's (birthday?) party somewhere in Wymondham and being found unconscious in the graveyard of Wymondham Abbey after 8 cans of Carlsberg Special Brew. I think Allyson's parents might have driven me back to College. Matron put me to bed with a bucket. I was in disgrace for days.

Mike Arnott

In 1965 myself and another boy from Norwich House were on exeat on a Saturday afternoon (after sports). On the way to Wymondham we stopped at the pub on the A11 and removing our ties, jackets and caps we went in and ordered some bottles of beer. Unfortunately Dibble Herrington passed us in his car and waited on the railway bridge and caught us drinking from the bottles as we walked along. Needless to say we had a fast trip to Muz Metcalfe on the following Monday!  However the punishment was not as painful as either Ollie Seeley with his 2 x 4  or Ken Bowman with a length of tube!

David Hamilton (Norwich House 1961-67)  "I was given the name Scruff (Scruffy) by Miss Restiaux the Norwich House Matron, bless her!"

I never partook of the evening soirees to the local watering-holes (too young, too small, too angelically-faced to ever get away with it!), but I did manage to disgrace myself on a CCF trip on the How Hill Hustlers on the first Easter break after I left (I believe there is actually an oblique reference to the episode in the 1976 mag?). As a special dispensation from Dick Moss, although I had left, I was allowed back to do the trip, as I had been on it for the four previous years - and I think I also passed for being "experienced" at sailing those boats.

Unfortunately, I betrayed the hospitality bestowed upon me by Mossie and - as a big boy from the outside world now - encouraged several of the guys to drink when we moored up at Potter Heigham. We obtained (from somewhere, but where, I know not) some Watneys Party 7 cans and proceeded to drink this disgusting stuff (put me off anything other than lager for life!) through straws, so as to aerate it and get pissed that bit quicker, as if we needed to do that, of course.

Needless to say, we were wrecked within a short period of time and "amused" ourselves, by behaving like drunken louts, hurling abuse and firing a catapult loaded with stones in the perceived direction of other Hustlers in the gang, moored across the other side of the river. As I recall, Steve Coe and Grant Scott were part of the drinking den; Tim Lloyd, Mike someone and others were on the other boats (and was this also the year when we hoisted Clarkey up the mast, by hooking up the back of his army jumper? Possibly!). A few of the quant poles were ceremoniously launched into the river as well.

Eventually, we succumbed to an alcohol-induced stupor, only to be woken the following morning by an extremely irate Mossie coming onto the boat and rudely kicking us awake, with the local copper in attendance. It turned out that one of the shots in the dark had busted a cruiser window, prompting the family on board to phone the rozzers, as that meant they would lose their deposit (10!), when they took the boat back.

Of course, we strenuously denied any involvement, despite the damning evidence of the Watneys cans strewn all over the boat - and no doubt the stench of alcohol permeating the timbers, us, clothing etc - resulting in our immediate arrest and being hauled off to Stalham Plod Shop.  Steve Coe knew the policeman who'd arrested us - he was apparently well-known to the police in Stalham, for being a bit of a lad - and I have to say that Mr Plod was definitely not a Class 1 driver.  Steve berated him all the way there, swore at him and generally wound him up and I do seem to recall us having to travel behind a tractor and trailer filled to the gunwhales with steaming manure, which, for some reason, we found ridiculously funny and which reduced us to tears, prompting the policeman's anger to increase somewhat.

Anyhow, we were interviewed one-by-one and, through being the proud possessor of a cheque book, I had to pay the 10 (out of my 16 per week wages!) and we all escaped with a caution. And none of the buggers ever paid me their part of the bill, either! We then were driven back to Potter Heigham, to be met by an extremely stony-faced Mossie, who, for some reason, never spoke to me again during the trip.  Or afterwards.  Or ever again.

I wasn't invited back the next year, either......

Baz Hipwell

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 Corporal Punishment

The range of slippers available to Biffo Bawden also had names like Little Whippet & Black Flash. I met him at last years July Wycol reunion [2000 - Ed.] & he was just as objectionable after all the intervening years (over 30!). The "abuse" was still in evidence in the late Sixties and Dick Marney was the main culprit with his cricket bat. He would be locked up for that now!

Phil Robinson

Many are the times I got the slipper from Slug Norton and also from Muz. Mind you, his aim was bad normally. He only used to hit the target one in three. As a boarder I had to stand on the landing for hours, then Slug would come up and it was the slipper as well. So unfair.

Jerry Linden-Ball

I don't remember slippers & canes, but we were certainly targets for chalk, blackboard rubbers (Freeburn, Maths) and the like. If we were caught doing stuff we shouldn't have been doing, I only remember getting threatened with expulsion. That was a huge deterrent for me, as it would have cost my parents a fortune to repay the RAF who paid my boarding fees. I gather that if I had been expelled they would have had to pay it all back. Or was that just a ploy to make sure I stuck it out?

Morag Muir

In 1968, a 5th former of York House was caught after 'lights out' in the Lincoln Hall courtyard by a housemaster.  The said housemaster fetched a cricket bat and administered a beating, to the extent that the lad's arm was broken.  The boy's arm was in plaster for several weeks.  As far as is known, the matter wasn't reported.

Multiple sources

I was in Salisbury from 1964 to 1971 and got slippered by Housemasters (Worley and his predecessor whose name I have forgotten [Thornley - Ed], other house staff (including Biffo Bawden, of course) and a few Prefects more times than I could ever remember.  A group of us even got slippered in the Lower Sixth, having been caught smoking, drinking coffee and listening to the radio in our room.   Amazingly, I never got caned, although I had some close shaves, coming close to being caught smoking in the woods several times.

Ian West

I often recall the punishments dished out to us first and second formers in the early 70's for committing that most heinous of crimes, namely Talking After Lights Out.  Being caught by the duty housemaster was a fairly calm affair, usually involving a bit of a ticking off, but the real fear came from the upper sixth formers, who at that time were still allowed to carry out corporal punishment and frequently did so with glee.  They obviously used to wait with their ears to the door to catch the slightest murmur, and the whole dorm (whether asleep or not) would be blasted into instant alertness at the slightest transgression, with a ka-BLAM as the door burst open, followed a nanosecond later by SNAP of the lights and "WHO'S TALKING?? COOK? PERKIN?" etc. Anyone who had murmured one word since lights out had better own up even if they had subsequently fallen asleep, as to lie to escape the due punishment when your comrades received theirs would involve later being "picked on" - a euphemism for being duffed up by the rest of the dorm, probably more than once. Some of the punishments I remember include:

I recall one night when no-one had spoken at all, but Glen Hipperson was listening to the Radio Luxembourg Top 40 on a portable radio the size of a breeze block (highly illegal but the height of cool) under his pillow. It was completely inaudible to everyone else, but unfortunately "Jean Genie" came on and he hummed 2 notes. Instantly ka-BLAM-SNAP WHO'S TALKING?? COOK? PERKIN?  Of course no-one owned up, except Hipperson who was naturally worried about being discovered with a radio.  The whole dorm except Hipperson therefore got a double whammy of Psalm 19 AND a sweat period for lying about it, whilst "Hippo" was allowed to watch.  Needless to say, Hippo did get "picked on" somewhat for a while after that.

David Cook  (Durham House 1969 - 71, New Hall 1971-74)

This Weal's on Fire (A pun on the Julie Driscoll song of the same period)

Again from a hazy memory: a summer evening when I was in the Annex - 2nd formers from Norwich, Canterbury and Salisbury - flimsy green curtains, probably left over from the USAAF days - and a locker at the end of the bed.  Talking after lights out was "ganz verboten." A concession from the staff was that you could read until it got dark. Lights out, the usual 8:30; bloody hell!  Boys at that age are full of bounce, anxious to gambol.  Anyway, a pillow fight developed, including a Master Thomas Stone and some others whose names I can't recall.  Of course, some kind of lookout had been posted.  The warning was too late.  The dreaded Major (Bowman) had spotted the goings-on from the covered way. Meanwhile, the offenders scrambled into bed and tried to look innocent.

The Major was an expert at finding the guilty at long range - witness his clubbing people with a hymn book during assembly - he would suddenly appear and drag out an offender. Pity he wasn't in the front line during WW2 - he could have faced down the Jerries with no effort at all!

"Who was pillow fighting?" he thundered as he marched into the dorm.  No reply.  Question was repeated. Fearing that the whole dorm would be punished, some of the offenders owned up.  "Stand by your lockers" was the order.  He went into the Annex master's bedroom (Mr. McConkey's) and came out with a leather slipper.  Six of the best, bent over the locker, in pyjamas. There was no grin and bear it - there was howling. Those who didn't own up were given some rough justice the next night.  Curiously, no staff members were about.

Several days later, after an RT (Marney) PE lesson, read "sweat period", he did his usual cursory inspection while everybody was showering - probably to check that nobody was near to death!  Suspecting that some kind of games were going on, he asked "where did you get those marks on your behinds?" - these were not marks, they were a purple blue colour in the centre, gradually changing colour to red on the outside, and still oozing blood.  "Major Bowman" was the reply.  RT said "Oh!" and faded away.  I suspect that RT intended to take the matter up, but when the Major's name was mentioned, he quaked!!!

"Anon & Harmless" (1960s)

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Bullying

 I seem to recall that the fish slice heated beneath the teapot, or the fork jab between the out-stretched fingers was the particular form of punishment for poor unfortunate juniors.

Liz Elfick

I guess that everyone there was at some stage either horrible to others or a victim. I used to get hit with a fish slice if the table wasn't wiped properly. Small boys used to get hung upside down from the top of stairwells. It's not surprising that the Houses are now occupied differently.

I think that the boys were physically subjected to worse traumas but, for us girls, I think that a lot of it was psychological. Ignoring, not being included by peers, discussions about looks, busts, clothes, was pretty traumatising. Trying to "fit in," not having the courage to maintain individuality for fear of not being accepted, etc. etc. I could go on for ages!

Morag Muir

Let's be honest - the school would be shut down now if they found out that the boys got their heads flushed down the loos. No doubt it was called "character building" way back in "our" day ;-)

Tina Richardson

In my first year, 1974, I was deemed to be a bit harder than the rest of the dorm, and therefore came in for special nightly treatment from Mike Sadd and Mitch Brooks (amongst others - usually there was a group of 6th Formers). The evening's fun would start with Sadd or Brooks kicking open the dorm door and saying "Carter get on the landing, who else was talking?"  If one was lucky, Dave Bird would be present - he stopped it getting too much out of hand.  Sadd's sweat-sessions were hard, especially the ski-sitting, but in fact I enjoyed them. Even being thrown down all the flights of stairs one day in a laundry basket was good fun. However, Mike could turn nasty, and I do remember once when I became seriously frightened. He imagined himself to be something of a sculptor, and had created something in Chedgey's art class in Plaster of Paris that frankly could not be described as "good". He told me to stand at attention with my back to the fire door at the end of the landing, and informed me that he was going to ask me what I thought of his sculpture. He said that I must be honest. He asked. I was honest. The sculpture missed my head by a fraction of an inch and exploded into a million concrete-hard fragments. Even Mitch Brooks became very nervous at this point, and tried to end it, but Mike was in a bad mood, and it didn't end until he had punched me a couple of times and half-throttled me. I could forgive Mike Sadd anything really - I think he had played for the 1st XV a few times. Therefore he was "God."

Though I was in Peel, I remember there was a boy in Kett who was bullied unmercifully. This boy - Stephen Edge - was the first person from Wymondham College I ever met: I stood with my mother and father one Sunday in September 1974 at some godforsaken Norfolk village war memorial, terribly nervous, waiting for a coach to arrive to whisk me off for the first time to become a boarder at a school I had never seen.  The bus arrived, the door opened, and out jumped said boy to immediately noisily throw up, though not over the aforementioned war memorial. It was rumoured that a sadistic Kett 6th Former who later became a Naval Officer used his own cat o'nine tails on Edge; and further tormented him by making him spend two weeks of his 4's to 6's trying to climb through a tiny crack in the wall of the landing upstairs. Further horrors were meted out to him by the same person by placing Edge's hands in a glass cage full of red ants. Poor old Edge, whatever became of him?

Ben Carter

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Smoking Stories

Smokers' Wood

Having graduated from the Sunday Crocodile Walks in the First and Second Forms, we were liberated in our Third Form, or so we thought.  Contact with the birds was not possible.  The boundaries between the girls' and the boys' areas were fully explained and they were so far apart it would have been a "beam me up Scottie and beam me down Scottie" job to get anywhere near them.  Even so, the boundaries were zealously patrolled by one or two teachers in clapped out second hand cars.

So what do young lads do when there is no contact with the opposite sex? They turn to drugs, in this case that foul weed, tobacco.  We knew about "Smokers' Wood" in much the same way the citizens of Oceania knew about Room 101 in George Orwell's 1984.  In other words, it was known about but never mentioned.

The Ringleader, who is not the author of this post, finally discovered the place - it was not accessible by motor car.  In we swaggered, full of Third Form bravado.  Lo, and Behold!  Some of our finest - except prefects who were permitted to ride bikes outside the walk area - were puffing away.  These were not your ordinary fags such as Woodbines - one guy, who later got into RAF College Cranwell, was smoking State Express 555!

Anyway, somebody snitched.  An investigation took place.  Us Third Formers were still still imbued with "don't snitch on your mates".  Looking back, the investigators realized this and gave up trying to find the big fish.  Our punishment?  Believe it or not, we were asked for our expectations.  Route marches were suggested and agreed.  Just goes to show there were some enlightened teachers in that bastion of Victorianism.

So, about ten of us were back to the First and Second Form walks in a crocodile. No tears though, even crocodile ones! Smokers' Wood became out of bounds.

Anon & Harmless (1961-68)

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The York Silence

It would have been about Christmas in my first year (1967) that a Lower Sixth former was expelled for visiting a girl in her House at night (I believe she was expelled as well).  The boy’s parents were, I recall, in the RAF and posted abroad, so instead of him going the same day there was a delay before transport could be arranged.

The Sixth Form decided it would be a good idea to hold a silence (I can’t remember if it was one or two minutes) at breakfast on the day he was to leave and so, at the appointed time, everyone sat there in silence, except for those on the staff table and those working in the kitchen.  Gloucester House next door, of course, carried on as normal.

At the end of the time a signal was given; I believe a sixth former asked someone to pass the sugar in a loud voice, and normality resumed. And the repercussions?  The staff in the House pretended it had not happened, except for Flo Hibbert who made us go to bed straight after prep and put the lights out soon after, saying ‘This is how it could be’.  He did also say that he knew it wasn’t us but the Sixth Form.

However, we did get snide comments from certain teachers in the school itself. What did they expect would have happened to us if we had disobeyed the Sixth Form and not observed the silence? It was a case of 'heads you lose and tails you don’t win.' As a result of this I had neither respect for some of the staff nor many of the Sixth Form. I do not know if anything was said to any of the ringleaders, but it was certainly not communicated to us. In all, a pathetic attempt at ‘rebellion’ from the Sixth Form, and a pathetic response back from some of the staff.

Norman Faircloth



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Wymondham College Remembered - we tell it like it was (mostly)