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09 May 2016

Yes, I didn't really want to be the first to post within a brand new month but I suppose it might make a slight change from all the..........oh, so tedious ....... Mathematics which appears to dominate the correspondence of late. Apologies to those WBS fans of Hearn-The- Hunter ! I note that this peculiar site- dedicated as it is - to acute nostalgia of 'The Happiest Days Of Your Life' variety has now been going since 1998. I read the stuff and occasionally respond to WGS memories but my comment here is all about deaths. I checked back through the posts and WE (i.e. Teaching Staff ) are falling fast and more frequently . I have seen twelve of my WGS contemporaries pass away since the conception of this site. Every morning, I check the obituaries column in my national newspaper and .....if I'm not in it....I get up. At three score years and quite a few more, I continue in the teaching profession but now via the internet, marking exams and teaching English as a Foreign Language in a much more sedentary position by a keyboard and very close to my coffee machine. Best wishes to you all.

Colin Hawthorne (M74-79)

10 May 2016

Apologies Colin that you think there is too much 'oh so tedious' mathematics on this page but to be fair to me I have tried to encourage more contributions of house and other activities. Often with WGS. Mentioning combined activities D of E, Rambling Club, Hockey so on and even the much-maligned maths has had its WGS contribution. However perhaps I should stop posting leaving it to others who have less nostalgic contributions to make. Although all recollections on this 'peculiar' site from those times can't help but contain some nostalgia. Surely one of the reasons for it in the first place.

Geoff Hern (M60-80)

10 May 2016

Colin, like you I was a teacher, in my case for 36 yrs. I'm fortunate to still live in the area of my final school, 28 years at Chichester High School for Boys. I still have close contact with many former pupils who I taught or coached rugby. I'm not surprised that there is so much content to do with Maths or Geoff Hern, he was a major influence on so many of us. (Not just Maths I might add) I'm just a visitor so perhaps I shouldn't offer an opinion, but here goes anyway. A greater range of contributions would be very welcome but let's not discourage people from posting for fear of adverse comments.
As for Geoff, thanks to your Chelsea boys I am still in the clouds!

Dave Hodgson (M63-68)

10 May 2016

Mr. Hawthorne, I survived 5 years at WBS a decade before you arrived at WGS. I detested most of my time at Hamm, even to the point of escaping and walking home the 27 miles to the family house in Dortmund when I was 10 years old. However, now that I'm approaching my three score years and ten I find that I enjoy nostalgia, reminiscence and reading as well as posting on this site (thanks for putting up with me so far people).
Geoff Hern and a few others of the WBS staff including Mr. Hallworth as my English teacher, along with a few pupils had a massive positive impact on me and my life....something I didn't realise until a few short years ago. For that I am grateful.
If it comes across that I look back with rose tinted specs. then so be it.
Now let's get back to the past... and no Geoff, I still haven't done my prep. Just like 1963 again, innit?

Malcolm Graham (E60-65)

10 May 2016

Well, hallo folks - sorry, it's me again. I suppose it's a hang-over from my schooldays, when I kept appearing in the school magazines in some form or another. Not wishing to offend Bill by mentioning "the other place" (facebook# - I'm sure that there are more people who read #and enjoy, despite the maths!# the posts on this site, than actually contribute, whether due to shyness or other reasons. Over the years, I think the posts have covered numerous aspects of life at Windsor - and the school having been in operation for 30 years, that includes quite an age range, many of whom are not interested in t'internet. Anyway, on a completely different topic - I am looking forward to driving to Germany on Sunday. Going Harwich/Hoek van Holland for a change #the route I did by train many times in the 1960s/70s, when the ferries still had first and second class#. Driving to Celle and staying there for a couple of days to explore the area where I lived in the 1950s. And then via Hessen #where my greatgrandfather came from#, through the Sauerland, Warstein and Moehnesee - memories of Mr Hern's walks and Third Year Camp. Hopefully driving past WGS as was on my way to my mother and sister in Krefeld. As to my own time at WGS, there were good and bad aspects. On an emotional level, it was a disaster for a girl like me who was shy with boys, but on the other hand it was the longest time I had ever lived in one place at that time in my life, and it gave me the independence and confidence to develop my interests. My art teacher was brilliant, and told me not to stop painting after doing my A levels - I still paint and get such pleasure from my artistic endeavours. So I have a lot to be grateful for.

Pamela Ross (StJ63-68)

10 May 2016

Wow ! I didn't realise that I was rattling cages ! Malcolm Graham states that he '.....survived 5 years at WBS'. This is hardly an endorsement for 'the happiest days of your life'. This statement would not look good on 'Trip Advisor' would it ? Nobody has made mention of all the dead WGS teachers.....o.k. let's just get back to the Mathematics and football.

Colin Hawthorne (M74-79)

11 May 2016

Have a great trip Pamela. Remember just one off-track uphill walk in the Sauerland for (if I dare say it) old times sake. I always enjoy reading your posts on here.

Geoff Hern (M60-80)

11 May 2016

Since Mr Hawthorne has mentioned the topic - I know of at least one ex-WGS teacher who has died, and I think it was mentioned on this site. Mr Cummings, my old art teacher, who went on to become headteacher, I believe, at another BFES school (Hohne?) - he died a couple of years ago. When we were at school, one of our ex-teachers died. Miss Doak, who had been one of the St James staff, and who taught PE, went to South Africa from WGS where she was killed in a car crash at a young age. We were very upset and shocked. Having gone to quite a few reunions over the years, I know at the first in 1993 I was amazed at how young the ex-staff actually were - some were only a few years older than me, and lots of them were still around. Obviously, both staff and pupils have sadly died over the intervening years - I don't know whether this site or this page should be some kind of obituary, I don't think that was the purpose when the site was first set up. Certainly from time to time people have posted about losing friends on here, as well as on the facebook pages. I'm not sure what Mr Hawthorne is hoping to see on this message page. I presume that those who didn't enjoy their time at Windsor won't bother looking for a site such as this, nor will they normally post any messages (although there has been at least one exception in the past!#. Did you live in the army quarters, Mr Hawthorne? When I was at WGS, male teachers didn't live in the school. I think that also makes a difference to the relationship pupils and teachers had. On the other hand, on one of the reunions I went to, a member of staff who had lived in our house and who taught me for five years #to A level) couldn't remember me at all. Sigh. Obviously, we remember the better aspects of our time at school, even though we may have hated it at the time - perhaps also because as we grow older, we see it in a different context and can compare it with other experiences. I believe you taught English, Mr Hawthorne - I had several English teachers at WGS. One was inspirational - another one I hated so much because she "ruined" literature for me, so that I made sure I read any set books during the summer holiday to make sure I enjoyed them before she got her teeth into spoiling them for me.

Pamela Ross (StJ63-68)

11 May 2016

Sadly there is a long list of staff and students whose deaths have been reported and have provoked affectionate and appreciative postings on this page. Jack Worrall, Peter Kitchen, Harry Cutler, Haydn & Del Jones, Eric Harris, Barry Cummings, Dave Benfield, Ken Thompson, Geoff Farrar, James Bennett, Barry Morris, Ian Potter, Gert Sperling, Brian Kingston, Peter & Sheila Spankie, Gordon Lees, Bert Dunn, Peter Ball, Neil Carrick, .... and that's just from memory. Maybe the fact that the people posting, as their years at Windsor show, did not know them is a possible explanation for them not at making any reference to those on Colin's WGS list.

Geoff Hern (M60-80)

12 May 2016

Strewth, this could get morbid.
Yup, people live and then they die - it's called life.
Today the sun is shining so let's cheer up, enjoy the good bits that were in the past and the better bits to come.

Malcolm Graham (E60-65)

14 May 2016

I note that Malcolm Graham's maxim is , 'Today the sun is shining so let's cheer up, enjoy the good bits that were in the past and the better bits to come '. Some years after my sojourn at WGS, I taught in Hong Kong. One day I decided to treat my tutor group to a bag of Chinese Fortune Cookies . I distributed the small baked morsels and we all laughed at the mottos within. I am sure that Malcolm's statement was one of them. My favourite was: 'Expect the worst and if it doesn't happen, then that is a bonus!'.

Colin Hawthorne (M74-79)

14 May 2016

Yes you are getting, morbid Ihad a great time Mr Hern wasn't my teacher but most of them were great, all the girls were lovely and the teachers did a great job. Don't go on a downer keep the mood up. Love paddy

Paddy McMurray (E66-67)

18 May 2016

Most of my memories from my time at WBS are fond ones. My only regret is that I didn't stay there longer to do my GCEs, as Dad was posted to Malta. Much as I loved the location, the school, Tal Handaq, was on a different syllabus, which was very disruptive to my, and my elder sister's, education. It was very boring sitting through repeats of the lessons that I had had at WBS, and when it came to exams, there were some subjects that I had not covered previously, making "keeping up" extremely hard going! Fortunately, I had the opportunity to pursue further education upon my return to the UK, and grabbed it with both hands. I have no doubt that many children of servicemen can relate to a similar scenario. My sister and I virtually begged our father to allow us to stay at WBS, but the army wouldn't allow it.

Jim Rafferty (M60-63)

19 May 2016

I have just read Jim Rafferty's post and it reminded me of a similar situation with my dad. I wanted to stay at WGS to do my 6th year but it wasn't to be, my parents did try to see if I could stay but they wouldn't allow it as my dad was posted to Fallingbostel and it meant I could go to Gloucester school at Hohne. As I didn't want to go to Gloucester school for a second time, I left school at 16 and that was that. I hope everyone is well, enjoy reading all the messages on the site.

Steph Southall (B78-80)

23 May 2016

Reading the posts from Jim and Steph - my sister and I were luckier. We had been at WGS for three years when my father had two more years to do in the army, and for his final two years was posted to Singapore. My sister and I were very tearful and made a bit of a fuss - and he managed to get it changed, so he was posted elsewhere in Germany instead. Not the best move for him at the time, but it meant that we finished our schooling at WGS. In hindsight, it was actually a good move for my father, too, as he was in the right place, right time, to move straight from the army to go and work for the NAAFI in Germany for the remainder of his working life. In the end, he was grateful that we had been such melodramatic teenagers! (And I only ever went to school in the UK for 6 weeks, aged 6 years old). By the way - I have just got back from a week in Germany. I went to Celle (where I lived in 1957/8), and also went to Hamm to have a look at WGS. It was looking well ke
pt, although I think only Marlborough/Hillsborough had the original windows still - the other buildings have been modernised and altered somewhat. Mr Hern - I would dearly have loved to have gone "off piste" in the woods in the Sauerland, but it was pouring with rain. However, it stopped in time for us to have lunch at the Moehnesee, where we met a lady on the Sperrmauer who had been in Sandringham in 1960/61 - Pip Gamble. She also had a sister "Ronnie".

Pamela Ross (StJ63-68)

23 May 2016

Hah! Sat my 9 'O' levels in June 1965 and then my father was posted home to the UK in July 1965. My results caught up with me in September. I passed 3 of 'em. Too much interest in rock'n'roll and no revision was the reason but I'm glad in one respect - I didn't have to face the teachers whose subjects I failed. Like others I got a second bite of the cherry and managed to get qualified via the wonderful day release employment / education system we had back then. I did pass Maths. ;).

Malcolm Graham (E60-65)

25 May 2016

I thoroughly enjoy occasionally reading this and other sites about WBS and WGS, so please all continue to contribute whatever your opinions

Tony Reilly (M73-76)

29 May 2016

Isn't it strange how our aspirations change as we progress through the education system? At age 11 to 13, I always wanted to follow in my maternal grandfather's footsteps as a marine engineer in Glasgow's docklands. By age 13 to 16, I had decided that I would prefer to be an artificer in the Royal Navy, probably influenced by my time in the Sea Cadets whilst we lived in Malta, however, I finally signed up to join the RAF as an apprentice. Due to my eyesight, I was unable to get into the trade that I dreamt of, air electronics, so did my time in the RAF as an admin supplier, basically a record-keeper! Upon leaving the RAF, I gained a BSc in electronics, then toured in a professional rock bandfor 5 years, and finally qualified to become a driving instructor, which I stayed with for a few years until the education "itch" resurrected itself, prompting me to do my MSc in Computer Studies. None of these qualifications actually bore any relationship to any part of my career, as I then became a professional photographer, which I stayed with until I retired in 2013 :) It just gave me the satisfaction of knowing that "James could do better if he paid more attention in class" actually could! Did anyone actually have a career doing what they thought they aspired to in their first year at senior school?

Jim Rafferty (M60-63)

29 May 2016

I was amused to read Jim's account of how his life has turned out - as the mother of two boys, I know that being a teenage boy can be a difficult time - all this having to go to school and learn stuff you're not interested in, etc. For me - I was always academic - top of the class. But what I enjoyed doing - I did a lot of backstage work at WGS - lighting, sound, I designed and built sets, and I did the theatrical design option when I did A level Art. When I was asked what I would do if I failed my A levels, I said, work backstage in the theatre, which made everyone smile. After all, no one doubted my ability to pass my exams - which I did, and I went to university in London. But after two years (mostly spent working backstage at our brand-new all-singing and dancing university theatre!# I went to RADA and trained as a Stage Manager. A career I loved, and only gave up when/because I became pregnant with my first baby. Sadly, that was the end of that career, especially when my actor husband moved us to Yorkshire, far from my friends and family - but when he died I went back to college, re-trained for other work, and in my "spare" time got a BSc #Hons) in Geosciences and have had a full and fulfilling life, particularly since I have retired!

Pamela Ross (StJ63-68)

30 May 2016

At the age of 10 I wanted to be an astronaut. As previously posted I gave up academia early and wanted to be a rock'n'roller and became a "spaceman" bass player in the late sixties :). Ended up doing day release engineering, followed by chemistry then business management. Final 20 years of my working life as a factory manager / development manager in the specialized paper industry. Retired 6 years ago when I got fed up with 12 year olds in funny suits clutching laptops telling me that I was too old, must change my man management ways and that I hadn't got a clue. Since I retired at the same time as our MD, the business has turned from a serious profit making business to one which is struggling.

Malcolm Graham (E60-65)

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