House Memories
Wednesday 30 June 2021
Thank you to Peter Watson-Lee (AOBA 1962- 1965) for sharing his memories of the room use at Aldwickbury during his time here. Do look at the previous news item to see the image of the house with the room numbers.

1) The School Library. Access was allowed to sit and read quietly and look at the daily newspaper that was placed there.

2) Mr Chidell’s sitting room and never to be entered. Mr Chidell was Headmaster throughout my time. His Study was on the first floor next to the dormitories.

3) Front Hall. The grand staircase was out of bounds for the boys but we could sit in the Hall in the evening and play board games (Buccaneer was the favourite) or sort our stamp collections (a major pastime in those days)

4) Mr Chidell’s Maths room. All maths’ lessons took place here and we were on best behaviour in the Headmaster’s presence.
7) Mr Thomas’s class room where Latin was taught. He was known to us all as ‘Tommy-Gun’ and he was the strictest of the masters and we were very well behaved when he was about. At the front of the class was a full-sized billiard/snooker table and in the day the wooden cover was on so it could be used as a large desk, but in the evening the top was taken off and snooker or billiards could be played.

9 and 10) Our changing rooms

11) Women’s staff room – strategically placed so that any ‘running in the corridor’ down 12 was instantly spotted

12) The Long Corridor. No running allowed, but buns were served on a table in the window alcove after games in the afternoon.

13 – 16) Kitchen areas and off limits

18) The Games room. Tuck boxes round the walls and a table tennis table. It was here that Eric Morcombe once came and played table tennis and amused all the boys with his jokes (he had a nephew or other relative in the school).

20) Dining Room. All meals served here. Silence reigned once the bell had been rung. You were not allowed to leave the table until all food on the plate was eaten (vegetables included). On the other hand, it was also the venue for your Birthday tea as on your birthday your parents could arrange for a cake that you could eat in the afternoon with selected friends. [The building of the new Hall meant assemblies and school plays no longer took place here]

24) I am sure this was my first classroom in Form IV in 1962, with the standard school desks.

25) The Yard contained the boot-room where the football/rugby boots lived and at certain set times in the week (rain or snow included) attendance was required to clean one’s school shoes and boots under the watchful eye of the school prefects

26) History Classroom. Many a long lesson undertaken here.

27) This small room hold memories – it was ‘Tommy Gun’s’ office. A gym shoe punishment would be quickly delivered here if a breach of the no-talking-at-the-table-after-the bell- had- rung rule had been transgressed.

Whilst I cannot match the comment of another old boy about being told of George V1 death, I could tell you the bed and dormitory I was in when Mr Chidell told us of the assassination of Joseph Kennedy in 1963.

Peter returned to Aldwickbury to celebrate the 70th anniversary and found 'bed'. You can see him proudly standing by it in the photo.

Thank you again Peter. We'd love to hear other memories if you'd like to share them.
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