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01 March 2015

Ken Gleeson...your name rings bells with me too mate, don't know about you but they were happy days for the most part, I love remembering people and events. Geoff Hern, I was never in your maths classes, maybe that's why I never excelled in the subject but like you I can remember many names, how about other Americans? Ricky Dean, Danny Winters, Dave and Richard Cotty, Bill Galloway, Steve May, ? Myers, Randy Glass (Glazier) et al. Basketball took on a whole new twist when Randy turned up at WBS, what a player! The A Team were unbeatable.

Nigel Hoar (S71-74)

02 March 2015

Sorry to hear about Bailey; he and I exchanged a few messages several years back remembering the times at Windsor. When I arrived at Windsor in 1969 at 11 years old I remember going to the Senior Basketball games and being in awe of Bailey, Tommy O?Barr, Lee Christens and the rest of the team. Years later when I was on the Senior team (with Tommy McPartland, Randy Glass, Greg Oxford, Terry Leahy, Steve Hollis, Jimmy Nichols) I never thought of myself in the same caliber with Bailey and his team mates ? they seemed to be in a different league. And Mr. Dudley was the team coach continuity through all those years. It was all good fun.

Bobby Hoffman (E69-75)

02 March 2015

I cameacross this recently on my computer perhaps it might appeal to some staff and students of his time as head teacher in the 1960s

MIKE WYLIE- his time at W.B.S.

Long before Mike Wylie arrived at Windsor Boys School at the end of 1963 we were aware of an impending revolution. All we knew with a degree of certainty was that one sacred cow was to be slaughtered: Saturday morning prep was to be abolished!! Wow!!

But nonetheless the nervous musings of senior staff affected the newcomers, of whom I was one.

In the first few weeks it was relatively low-key. We heard from the Scotsman Deputy Head, Brian Hodgson, of how he had had to plead for not another twelve hour meeting the morning after Hogmanay, and this should have been a warning to us all. And after the first Heads of Department meeting, the Head of Geography, Ernest Kopcke, emerged to announce;
Talk about a new broom! He's a bloody vacuum cleaner!
Nonetheless at first we were fed with a simple diet the staff sitting at the back of the hall for assembly, for instance; stronger meat followed with the creation of The School Council, which exacted rates from the houses according to the nature of their facilities, the Headmaster, M.Wylie, acting as Clerk to the Council, a pupil, R.I.Stone becoming the first Mayor and then an incredibly long list of enactments being recorded in a short space of time: e.g. a car being made available for school use, house bicycle races being run, grade punishments (whatever these were!) being introduced, and tea dances (the dansant) with W.G.S. at 3.P.M. on Saturday afternoons, sans alcohol, of course, and even sans tea!

The revolution was relentless. Not just those teachers who had inadvertently admitted to him that they enjoyed card games, but boys too, were immediately commanded into both contract and then duplicate bridge; house points were introduced so that there could be a cock-house; Wednesdays were frequently designated to be Fridays that is, until Activity time when there was always some confusion; the service of Compline became compulsory for the whole school on a Wednesday (unless it was Friday) Evening. After an uncertain start the singing of the plainsong
Before the Ending of the Day
Creator of the World we pray..
became a loud but unforgettable experience, I would think, of every old boy of W.B.S. of that time.

Then came the curriculum changes. His Rhythm Setting was a startling yet curious innovation in WBS, but eventually, in Mike's later HMI days it was to become standard practice in many schools, an antidote to those who preached rigid streaming. Mike described the operation in verse, concluding that it was
a timetable whereby the staff, the boys and the subjects
Vibrated together in an alternating pattern
Through a set of rhythms
Totally internal.
If we were to seek an end to all our woes
It would be in just such graphic prose.

No one understood the meaning of such verse, of course, and I suspect we were not meant to. There was much that we, or certainly I, failed to understand at the time about Mike Wylie. Because his many innovations were accompanied with a twinkle in the eye, sometimes accompanied by at least a seven hour meeting with senior staff of housemasters or heads of department, we suspected, enjoyed, and yet were infernally frustrated by his humour! When, having experimented with a school council, he announced his idea of creating an elected staff council which would, on paper at least, reduce his own authority to almost nothing we found the concept too difficult to grasp.
If this council takes over all your authority, asked a teacher (Tony Fox) who had only recently been appointed, then what would you actually do?
The idea of Mike Wylie having nothing to do was, of course, inconceivable. Always he wanted to experiment with new ideas. But his unique achievement was that he valued the individual above anything else and in doing so recognised that sometimes he could be wrong.. In the Summer edition of Concordia of 1966 he wrote that his impressions of life at W.B.S. were sometimes mistaken. He hankered, he said, after a perfection which is not only unfulfillable, but ought not to be fulfilled.

Mike left after only a few years at the school. Inspectors came from the mainland and saw a man of great intellect and warmth. That warmth was felt by the boys he taught and with whom he had many contacts; amongst his many achievements which impressed them was being a headmaster who was also a qualified referee in football. The same warmth was felt by those teachers who knew they were appreciated.

So Her Majesty's Inspectors snatched him from us. On the occasion of the service of thanksgiving for his life held in a church perched precariously on a cliff top in north Norfolk near the bungalow where he and Joan spent their last years there were a number of former H.M.I. They recalled his achievements. On one of the most significant, the COSMOS courses he helped to set up, one HMI spoke to me of his creativity, his goodness, his wealthy of talent. He was the Inspector said, just too innovative to become the chief HMI even though most of us thought he should have been!

But it was significant too that the main speaker at the service was John Fielding, the padre of W.B.S. for those few years that Mike Wylie was the head teacher.
And teacher and leader Mike truly was. He viewed with some contempt the world of American style management, of targets, of OFSTED objective measurements, of SATS or league tables.

In his interview for Concordia in 1966 he accurately predicted that England would win the World Cup. He declared his love of motoring, except where automatic cars were concerned (They change gears at the wrong time!!) He thought that eventually he might become a politician I believe he knew George Brown quite well On becoming prime minister he would then have enacted his great ambition to provide for a really substantial young age pension, from 18-25, and then work until death.

A bit tongue in cheek, perhaps!

I saw Mike in hospital not long before he died. He was tired, but irritated that he could not now go on being creative. We spoke about a common interest we shared in canal travel.. He wanted to go on working, which to him meant fulfilling all he wanted to do. A year or two earlier, after a serious illness he had rejoiced:
I'm alive!! I'm alive!!
With Mike Wylie, as with other great and good people, it is true that his being alive will always affect those who had the good fortune of being involved with him.

Mike Capey (C63-70)

04 March 2015

Thank you, Mike Capey. re: Mr. Wylie, that explains a lot. I had and still have a lot of respect for Mr. Wylie, his ideas and his treatment of me as a human being when I stepped out of line. The new form timetables when introduced were a source of wonder on many levels. Also of interest to me is the comment "He viewed with some contempt the world of American style management, of targets...". Very similar to my own philosophy which nearly got me fired from a global corporation on more than one occasion. Osmosis perhaps?

Malcolm Graham (E60-65)

06 March 2015

I was in the WBS intermediate basketball team for a brief period between 69-70 at a time when both senior and junior teams were dominated by our neighbours from across the pond. The senior team was made up of some really talented players, including Lee Burkett and Bailey Mundy to mention just two. I watched all of their home games, and they were practically unbeatable during that time. I was also very fortunate to get some coaching from Bailey, which helped me get into the intermediate team. I later focused more on football, but I learned to appreciate and love basketball. The Americans' level of skill was truly inspiring.

Sport was a central part of life at Hamm and I learned to play a whole range of sports, including some unusual ones for a wee Scots boy - most notably cricket and hockey. I also had a spell in the choir - mainly for the supper after choir practice - and thoroughly enjoyed all the concerts and events we attended. For me it was an exhilarating time. How Thommo got anything out of me is beyond me and a testament to his expertise - I'm still tone deaf.

Mr Hern mentioned some of the American day boys that he remembers and I remember most of them. The ones I shared classes with were Tom Ritter, Bow OBarr, Paul Nicholason, Mike Kolesar and the Holliday brothers, Carl and Glen. As I recall Glen was very interested in NASA space exploration technology and often brought models to maths lessons. I wonder what he went on to do in later life? If anyone knows I would be interested to hear.

I don't think Mr Hern remembers me, which is not surprising. It was so many years ago and it is not possible to remember everyone, even with a good memory. I was a regular, together with Tom Thorne and Rob Walker, for five-asides during the evenings and weekends when Mr Hern was on duty. Mr Cadby also took us for football, at which he was surprisingly good, but I think he preferred hockey. WBS was a special place and its influence remains with me.

Alister (Alex) Gillies (M68-70)

7 March 2015

Alex, as is often the case, I remember the name well but it is putting a face to the name that is more difficult. You mention the 5-a-side - were you there when we used to organise inter-house competitions on Friday evenings with a broken tea cup as the trophy and certificates made by John Wenn in the Art Dept? I've a feeling that it was probably a little after your time. Crazy idea maybe but the competition for the 'Trophy' was fierce. Yes 'Cadders' was a good footballer but I think that I was the one that preferred hockey and I agree with your sentiments about WBS being a special place. Not everybody's cup of tea but nevertheless offering a great experience for most. I'm often posting on this page, maybe too much, which proves how much it meant to me.
Re Glenn I had an email out of the blue from Glenn about five years ago - he had googled me. He's married but I cannot remember what his job was but it was not with NASA. I answered but nothing since from him. Which often happens I find when someone emails unexpectedly.

Geoff Hern (M60-80)

8 Mar 2015

I also think that WBS was a special place, but special means different things to different people. I was a member of the CCF (RAF section) and enjoyed it very much.The trips to Gutersloh were great but I didn't know at the time that I would spend three years there in the RAF. I remember going on a DofE exped for some reason once. There were four or six of us who set up tents at the back of a pub in the middle of nowhere and got a little drunk on the beer that was stored outside. One thing that I learned was that you should not pitch a tent on a hill with the opening facing down - you will wake up in the morning outside the tent but still in your sleeping bag.
Then there was hockey, I was not a sporting person, but remember fitting huge "toes" over my shoes and playing in goal.
I enjoyed my special time at WBS as it was a break from home for me. My parents never visited on visiting weekends, and would have been quite happy if I had stayed away on half terms too, but I knew where I stood at WBS and the matron was a very kind soul who used to give me DDR mint stamps when her contacts could smuggle them out of east Germany. I spent loads of time chatting with her in German.

Bob Thompson (M69-74)

09 Mar 2015

Just came across this post from Mike Cross... I remember the cellar well.
We had a bar and smoke room in the cellar of the Edinburgh/Balmoral block which was well stacked with beer and fags. Dear old Chris Fulford was aware of it but never caught us. Great days.

Glyn Johnson (E63-68)

12 March 2015

Mr Hern - spelt correctly - I have kept those books as a matter of nostalgia and a tribute to you. It also provides a huge amount of humour to my 2 boys who still cannot understand why I cannot appreciate the BEAUTY of maths.................never will. But of course you always knew that!!

Christine Willmott (M77-80)

12 March 2015

I attended Windsor Boys along with my elder brother Mike and would be delighted to hear from ANYONE who remembers either of us!

John Hill (B59-62)

13 March 2015

Mr Hern I was unfortunately another of your students who never really understood maths although I eventually managed to scrape through GCE. However I clearly remember you cryptic comments all over my work including a drawing of a violin where I had apparently 'fiddled' the answer #one of the benefits of sharing a dorm with someone who understood maths and told me what the answer was# and being accused of UTCWAP which translated as up the creek without a paddle. Regrettably my maths has not progressed over the years but fortunately I absorbed just enough at WBS to get by!

Pat Rowney (E65-68)

19 March 2015

Hello fellow WBS students,just fooling around and came across this site, wow, didn't realise it was here otherwise I'd have been on sooner, idigress, i was a boarder 1962ish to 1964ish, memories, prefect on duty on my first day BOB MOORE, (obviously not me, my dad said they knew i was coming,) working on the farm, helping Caernarvon win a cricket cup (photo somewhere in my house) by bowling out a school cricketing legend, escape by seniors (to the girls school)by digging tunnel on the farm site, which got it closed for a while, growing up real quick, being woken up in the middle because two seniors had had a fight, think it was Flash that showed me a few chords when i was trying to play the guitar, still trying, first dance with the girls school, sorry i dont remember any/many names although reading alot of the posts some names seem familar

Robert (bob) Moore (C62-65)

20 March 2015

I've ummmed and aarghed about the mini meet in York tomorrow, but hey,I live here, so, I'm going along!
It's really great to see that Windsor people still want to get together after so many years,share memories and make mew bonds!
Look forward to the next reunion in Milton Keynes in May!

Julie Preston (E78-81)

22 March 2015

I was a member of the Model Railway Club in Marlborough's basement, and spent many a cold winter's evening pulping paper to make papier mache for moulding onto chicken wire to construct the mountainous scenery. I remember that the locomotives and rolling stock were all high quality, M?rklin brand, and have often wondered how long after I left it continued to exist?
What happened to the model railway when WBS closed? Just curious.

Jim Rafferty (M60-63)

23 March 2015

The model railway was there when I was at WBS. I don't ever remember anyone doing anything with it, but we used to hide down there rather than go to church on Sunday mornings after roll call.

Bob Thompson (M69-74)

23 March 2015

Fantastic mini meet in York on the 21st!
Met lots of old faces, made a few new friends.
Amazing how we can all meet up, form common bonds, chat about anything, feel comfortable in each others company!
The Windsor bond really does count for something!
Look forward to seeing people in May, at the Milton Keynes reunion.

Julie Preston (E78-81)

26 Mar 2015

This is for John Hill.I take it,its Mike Hill,who was in Sandringham house?

George Coughtrey (S61-64)

26 March 2015

I was indeed sorry to hear of the passing of Mr Harry Tovey our House Master. Harry saved me from being expelled when I was caught by Miss Jeans in the Rural Science Greenhouse with Jackie Curtis on visiting day 1956. He administered his size 13 plimsoll a number of times and went in to bat for me with Mr Aspinal, the then headmaster.

Harry you a great man, and an inspiration to many boys and indeed almost a father figure. Harry you live on - in the memory of all who had the honour to know you. Concordia: Richard Footitt Proudly Balmoral Boy.

Richard Footitt (B55-58)

27 March 2015

Well! How many years have I been visiting this site to see any 'progress', never dreaming that I needed to be a 'visitor' for all to be revealed?! I now discover that there's been chat going on for years! So, is the site still 'active' in the sense that someone is 'looking after' it? Do we still need to pay our subs - which I will gladly do, if it means prolonging its life. Can anyone tell me? This is my first message- if it works - but I have so much more to say and potential contacts to make. I especially want to get in touch with Karl 'Charlie' Craddock, who wrote here about 4 years ago. Hi, Charlie. Maybe you remember me. We were in a dorm together, along with, for sure Jimmy Quinn, plus, I think, a lad called Jennings and one called Cutting. I've even got a B&W photo of us all, which I'll be happy to share. Please get in touch, along with anyone else from those times, even if we didn't necessarily know one another. Maybe we had mutual friends. All the best to al
l members, and once again, please can anyone till me about the current status of this site?

Ralph(Roman) Czumaj.H62 (H56-58)

The site is being maintained by me - you do not need to be a member of The Windsor Society to post messages - BillC