7 Nov 2017

Does anyone know where Mike Smith(Smutt} is now???~~~~I would like to contact him as the last time I saw him was in Derby at a re-union

Sue Waite (C69-74)

7 Nov 2017

Hi all. When do I get the sweets / twigs in my shoes???
What is the history of this tradition please???
Did WBS do this??? Or was it just WGS???


IzzzzI Forbes (E72-75)

8 Nov 2017

Ah, the twigs and sweets! Not just WGS, iZZZZi - it's St Nicholas (Nikolaus) - 6 December. The story revolves around the Bishop of Smyrna (I believe), who supposedly threw golden balls through the window of poor girls who had no dowry and were therefore unable to get married. It is celebrated across Europe - in the Netherlands, Sinter Klaas (which gave us "Santa Claus") sails into Amsterdam harbour with his black servant, Peter - this has caused a few "political correctness" ructions recently! In Germany, you put a shoe on the window sill and Nikolaus will put sweets in. They also have people who dress up and knock on doors - happened when I was visiting my German cousins one year. He comes in with his big book to check if you have been good - he also has a servant, in Germany it's Knecht Ruprecht. Two sacks - one with sweets and nuts, the other with a stick (in case you've been naughty!) Also probably no longer politically correct nowadays!

My mother always sent us a parcel for "Nikolaus", we have always celebrated it in our family, and I continued with the tradition for my own children, although I never gave them sticks ;-)

Pamela Ross (StJ63-68)

8 Nov 2017

Hi Pamela,

Thank you for the great information. I love that story and am glad that you keep up the tradition - so many of them seem to be lost now and I find that quite sad.

The reason this interests me so much is that I still vividly recall being the only kid in the school to twigs. I think some PC is mad but the twigs were cruel and pointless

Did anyone else ever get twigs at Windsor?


8 Nov 2017

The tradition in St James, iZZZZi, was that whichever had been the "naughty" dorm would get twigs - but all they had to do was go and apologise to Matron, and she would give them their sweet ration.

When I was in sixth form, we got some new staff from the UK - fairly young - who hadn't known about the traditions. So, on the evening of 5th December, when Matron told us in evening assembly that tomorrow there would be "shoe inspection" so we must all put a pair of shoes outside our dorms overnight, the new members of staff thought it was hilarious to put their shoes out as well. And we sixth formers thought it was even funnier to put twigs in their shoes!

December brings a lot of memories of things we did at school - co-ed choir practice, carol service at the Paulus Kirche, walking into town to buy Christmas presents, etc.

Next year I will be moving to Scotland, iZZZZi - to a fishing village on the Moray Coast, I'm looking forward to next Christmas in the "new" house, creating more memories.

Pamela Ross (StJ63-68)

11 Nov 2017

In late tonight,so replayed the British Legion Festival, having missed the actual timing earlier. It brought home to me, that we will hopefully be the last children of the Armed Forces with fathers and mothers who fought a world war. I doubt it'll be like that, but this was a fitting reminder and tribute to what our parents went through. Nice too that both English & German football teams wore poppies this week

John Eustace (M59-62)

27 Nov 2017

Hi all. Sorry I have not been here much for a long while. I have had a few health issues, which started with a heart attack in February.
It now transpires that I am to have open heart surgery, a quadruple bypass operation, within the next 2-3 weeks. This will take place at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. Once I recover, I am hoping that I will be less fatigued and more able to read back and catch up. In the meantime, I wish you all a Frohe Weihnachten und ein glückliches Neues Jahr.

Jim Rafferty (M60-63)

28 Nov 2017

St Nicklaus was celebrated in Marlborough house during my time. 73-77. The matrons on both floors would place sweets/tangerines on the ends of our bed while we were in roll call or in class early December. Then mr kitchen would hang a wreath with four candles on at the end of the corridor lighting one candle on the first Sunday of December two on the second Sunday and so on. However we never got to see all four lit as we had departed for Christmas holidays. It was a great way to count down the weeks to Christmas. We also had a natural Christmas tree in the day room decorated by matrons with stunning ornaments and what I can only describe as silver laces that were quite heavy possibly thin lead ribbons but very effective.

Gez (Gillers) Gilmer (M73-77)