Print preview Close

Showing 49 results

Catalogue Description
Audio With digital objects
Advanced search options
Print preview View:

Lord Julian Hunt

[00:20] First impressions of Westminster School. [00:38] Masters very nice. Challenge anecdote. [01:09] Day boy in Ashburnham. [01:58] Lushington as form tutor. [02:12] Leaving to have operation. Away for a long time. [02:50] Couldn’t play football. Lots of swimming instead. [03:10] Commute from Putney. [03:30] Masters. John Morton Wilson. Latin prose. [04:30] Enjoyed science. [05:04] Cyril John Crumpler, science Master. Mr Foxcroft. [05:35] Another pupil by the name of Hunt, connecting water tap to gas tap. Fire brigade called. [06:18] Experiments. [06:30] False roof up school. Latin prayers. [07:07] Walter Hamilton. Greek. [07:48] Joined the Corps. War still felt close. [08:10] Mr Brock, housemaster of Ashburnham. Telling stories of war. [08:50] Demonstrations at Hyde Park Corner on Sundays. [09:05] Art teacher. Mr Spore. Wanted to talk about naval history. [09:42] Francis Rause, housemaster of Busby’s. Major in war. Told stories, told back to him in House play at the end of term. [11:10] Matthew Orr, played piano in Busby’s. [11:52] Boys climbing lifts in Busby’s. Used later while stuck in lift in France. [13:22] Noel Picarda, used to go up to Hyde Park Corner with collar back to front and give mock religious sermons. [14:15] Talks at political literary (John Locke) society. C.P. Snow, speaking about Russia. Ted Heath. [16:32] Choice of science. [16:43] Dropped Greek to do science, mother horrified. [16:55] 3 In Maths Sixth. 27 in Classics. [17:25] College scholars primarily classicists. [17:49] Theo Zinn classicist. Did music appreciation. [18:40] Classists saw themselves as the elite in the school. Seemed to be the way things were, no real resentment. [19:45] Labs in Sutcliffe’s on Great College Street. Nothing to compare them to. Not pristine, didn’t feel like it was a disaster to take risks. [20:40] Slide rules for calculations. [21:08] Lack of health and safety. No safety glasses. [21:30] Not too much building work. Felt done. Dorms of 17 in Busby’s. Throwing slippers. [22:15] Fagging. Appalling. Abolished at sixth form. Busby’s first house to do so. [22:44] Sixth formers only ones to use the lift. As prefect, let everyone. [23:40] Football. C.C.P. Williams. Broke a window in Vincent Square. Westminster not particularly successful in sport. Played Chelsea Colts once a year. [25:20] Sanger. Playing cricket. [25:50] Walter Hamilton. Left for Rugby. John Carleton’s takeover. Didn’t have the respect Hamilton had. [26:55] Confirmation, conversation with Head Master. [28:05] Respect for Walter Hamilton. Strong character. Carleton charming, liked by parents. Not by students. Surprising Westminster did as well as it did under him. [29:25] Lushington speaking after Carleton in staff meetings. [30:33] Fisher, teaching mathematics. Had been a bas headmaster of Busby’s, but good teacher of mathematics. Wanted students to go to Cambridge, measured progress by it. Deterministic. Connecting mathematics to the world. [32:27] Adolph Prag. Helped with archives. From Germany. Mathematics as patterns and logic and beauty. Class of three, later four. Had to explain proof on blackboard. [33:35] Henry Christie, master of the scholars. Keen on rowing. [34:05] Reading divorce cases in the Daily Telegraph. Westminster handled change easily. [35:10] Going to parliament. Concerts at Festival Hall. [35:48] Strength of connection between Westminster and Trinity. 10 boys in same year passed up to Trinity. Not much of a Westminster society there. [36:55] Went to Trinity to follow footsteps of grandfather and uncle. [37:20] Dan McKenzie most brilliant in year. One of the discoverers of continental drift. Divinity class. Dan state disbelief in God ‘because I am a scientist’. Became Cambridge professor and Fellow of Royal Society. [40:42] Science as a group. Keeley, gave classes in Urdu. [42:05] Science education post-Westminster. Dropped Greek. Science was a way of connecting things together. Royal Institute lectures. Felt inferior to scientists, decided to go into engineering. [43:45] At Cambridge. Engineering as ‘mechanical sciences’. PhD. More interested in environmental matters. Turbulent flows. Supposed to go to America, but met wife and didn’t want to leave her behind. [47:00] In America during Vietnam war. March on Washington. Science and politics. [48:18] Most Old Westminsters had standard careers. [51:22] The usefulness of scientific ideas. [53:10] More public understanding of science. More media coverage. [56:00] Much wider range of A Levels now, less specialised. [56:40] Far more pupils doing science at A Level. [57:10] Changes in science teaching. Less time to just experiment. Broader syllabus now, but strictly organised. [01:00:05] St Paul’s closest UK comparison to Westminster. Special. [01:10:18] Westminster very institutional. Used to it. Boarding school from the age of nine or ten. One younger brother enjoyed it, but youngest did not.

John Corsellis

[00:25] Move from Homeboarders to College. Two uncles went to Westminster: Philip Manley Bendall and Geoffrey Skeat Manley Bendall. Knew ‘D J Knight’ – teacher or housemaster? (Housemaster of Homeboarders 1929-1936) [01:35] Started in Homeboarders. Allowed to take Challenge a third time once in the school. [02:08] Didn’t believe self to be academically gifted, but was well-behaved and conscientious. Got bottom place in College. [02:42] Big change. Started to board. Had been commuting from Brighton. [03:20] Used to boarding – had boarded at Prep School. ‘Laid-back’ culture in late 1930s Westminster. [03:48] Dormitory one large room. 18th century building. High ceiling. Divided up with wooden panelling into 40 cubicles. [04:55] ‘Degree of promiscuity’, boys sneaking into each other’s cubicles. Too ‘law-abiding’ and frightened to get involved. [05:40] Don’t remember being cold. [06:03] Monitors try to maintain order. Didn’t always succeed. Did lots of reading with a torch at night. John Mason Whiskard in next cubicle. Richard Geoffrey Whiskard, older brother. Was a monitor, Corsellis was his fag. Involved almost nothing. Gave Corsellis inscribed copy of ‘Oxford Book of English Verse’ on leaving the school. Was a role model: ‘modest, decent, fair’. Father was a senior civil servant. [08:50] Tasks as a fag. Whiskard was part of the editorial team of the Elizabethan, Corsellis kept a record of their contemporaries. Doesn’t remember preparing food or drinks. [10:45] Latin Play, still in College Dormitory each year. Never even considered for a part. ‘Soft spot for Terence and Plautus’. Matter of considerable excitement. One year attended by the King and Queen. [13:20] Disruptive effect on normal school life, but ‘most enjoyably’. No one annoyed by it. Prologue and Epilogue great fun. [14:50] Felt involved even though didn’t appear. Roped in to help support. [17:05] School felt like a place full of radical ideas and debate. [17:45] Head Master Costley White, ended up Dean of Gloucester. Pompous. ‘Losing his grip’. Governors decided a strong hand was needed afterwards. John Traill Christie followed. Corsellis ‘hero-worshipped him’ as a boy. Exercised authority. [22:00] Doing gym instead of joining the OTC. Discovered fencing. So few fencers, it was easy to be a high achiever. [23:00] Stand out teachers: Peebles (maths). Hillary (history), good role model. Godfrey-Barber (Classics), organiser of the Scouts, Pacifist, eased out of the school. DC Simpson (Master of the King’s Scholars, Classics Master), approachable and kind. Claridge (Modern Languages, school librarian), ‘feud’ with John Bow. [17:45] Christie as a ‘striking preacher’, good projection. Would have been unfavourable for anyone anti-authoritarian. [28:45] Pacifist leanings even when joining the school. Encouraged by the virtues of Christianity in Christie’s preaching (non-intentional) – Christ seemed to be a pacifist. [29:48] Four pacifists in College. William Barnes, became head boy, ‘striking character’, joined Friends Ambulance Unit. Donald Swann. [31:15] Could argue Friends Ambulance Unit to be a ‘logical extension of Westminster’. Contemporary Norman John Peppin Brown, ended up Catholic philosopher in Canada. Corsellis recruited Swann, possibly Brown, for the FAU. [32:32] John Christie, first Lay head master since Camden, yet remembered for his preaching. Charismatic teacher. ‘Put the fear of God in one’. High standards, intolerant of poor performance. [35:12] Felt like Christie was trying to change Westminster – wanted to introduce more discipline. Some boys resented him for it. Culture of staff common room was already strong. [38:10] Could attend debates in the Houses of Parliaments. [38:48] Not the only good fencer- Pears Brothers (Michael Andrew Pears and David Francis Pears) were excellent fencers. [41:30] Kim Philby (Harold Adrian Russell Philby). Had been aware of his father, reviewed a book of his in the Elizabethan. [42:08] Also produced ‘pillars of the establishment’, like Sir William Deakin (Frederick Wilham Dampier Deakin). [42:24] Westminster in the 1930s was particularly outward-looking. Speakers came in to school. Not there when Gandhi came. Poets. Active literary society. Felt in the centre of things and not cut off. [44:40] Paul de Labilliere, Dean of Westminster. Lovely man. Corsellis went back to Little Dean’s Yard to visit someone after leaving and was invited in for tea at the Deanery. Gallery of Westminster Abbey. [46:15] Abbey a big part of school life. Taken for granted as the school chapel. [47:18] Sang in Bach chorale. Couldn’t sing in tune, but volume was too great for anyone to notice. ‘Marvellous feeling’ performing in the Abbey. [48:05] Was at school when coronation happened, but as Town Boy. Watched procession. Probably saw more of it than the boys in the Abbey, juniors were right at the back and didn’t see anything. [49:15] Ceremonies in the Abbey. Very much part of life. Privileged. School gym. [51:05] Meals in College Hall. Food wasn’t particularly good, even before the war started. [52:00] Women at the school. Matron, allowed the boys to listen to Bach symphonies on the radio in College. [53:10] Suffered from appendicitis. Taken to private hospital looking over Vincent Square. Head Master’s wife (Lucie Christie) came to visit, shared books - 17th century literature. [54:12] Being at school when the war broke out. Evacuated to Lancing just before Munich Agreement was signed. Happy memories of Lancing College, especially scenery. Bitterly cold and fairly spartan. [55:55] Allowed back to Westminster for a brief period. Evacuated to Exeter. Mother decided he would leave the school early, get more practical training experience. Not expected to succeed in competition for scholarships for Oxford or Cambridge and wouldn’t have been able to afford to go without one. Left school and articled to a lawyer at Oxford. [57:50] Shorthand typing course at age 18. Could touch-type and write shorthand. [58:30] Atmosphere among pupils being evacuated. Positive. Challenge. ‘Closed ranks and got on with it’. Learned basic first aid. Fire watching. Most of the boys contemplating post-school life – wanted to do a year at university before being called up. Closer to the teachers. Greater feeling of team spirit. Conscious that it was a big job for the teaching staff to cope. Would Westminster survive at all? [01:01:15] Survival of school in debt to JT Christie. [01:01:58] Partly integrated into Lancing college when evacuated – shared activities. Own identity still preserved. [01:29:56] Staff make conscious effort to preserve Westminster identity. [01:03:25] War felt inevitable, boys were aware. Boys with family members in Europe. [01:05:45] Doesn’t remember talking about the war on a personal level with others boy. Kept a low profile. Aware there were a number of pacifists. Unaware William Barnes was a pacifist at the time, but knew Donald Swann was. [01:07:40] Pick up from where left off with first interview. Orpington, working as a hospital orderly. Classical education in Latin and Greek and adequate knowledge of French and German proved useful. After Orpington, spent time as nurse in state hospital. Spoke German to patients, including a fanatical Nazi who was refusing blood transfusions out of worry his ‘Aryan blood would be sullied’. Little chance of surviving. [01:10:45] Sent to headquarters as personal assistant to Whitworth (Old Etonian), who was planning the to assist refugees that would be created as Allied armies made their way through Europe. Dealt with policy correspondence. [01:11:55] FAU ran a training centre in Hampstead in an old house. 12 week training courses. Corsellis didn’t attend, but dealt with teaching material so learnt from that. [01:12:35] Sent abroad. Two months in Egypt, one month in refugee camp for 25,000 Yugoslavian refugees from Dalmatian coast. Teams of 8-10 relief workers. One interpreter liaison officer. Needed to learn Serbo-Croat, found book for Italians wanting to learn Serbo-Croat. Latin and French education made Italian easy, so taught self Italian and simultaneously learned Serbo-Croat. Quickly acting as interpreter. [01:12:14] Went on to Italy, developed fluent Italian. Up to Austria. Camp for 20,000 Yugoslav refugees. Sent on own to translate. Neighbouring camp in next field, 12,000 Yugoslav refugees from Slovenia, part of anti-communist resistance movement, had been involved in Civil War. Political advisor to army decided they were a problem, told would be sent down to Italy. Intention was to send them back to Yugoslavia under agreement with Yugoslavian authorities. Brutally massacred by the communists. Sent back by deceit and threat of force. Wrote book about it, finally achieved a kind of apology from the British government. [01:23:58] Book published in Slovenia. Outselling Harry Potter. Inspired/encouraged a Slovenian writer to write fictionalised book on the subject, with Corsellis-based character as hero. [01:27:45] Other claim to fame – published poetry of his brother from Second World War. [01:30:40] After the war, worked for 13 (ran for 10) for Education Interchange Council, wanting to open up exchanges with ‘ex-enemy countries’ and then with Communist countries (biggest danger of being opponents in a third world war at the time). Told not to become a modern languages specialist at school, but had since learned many in line of work. Good classical education was good preparation.

Michael Garnett and Will Stevens

[0:30] Joined Under School 1988, up School in 1993. Wren’s and Grant’s, didn’t board. Slept on people’s floors occasionally. Enjoyed breakfast and supper – incentives to stay the night. Boarded during A Levels – came to arrangement with Busby’s House Master. Didn’t want to go home and get asked how exams were doing. [3:00] Carvings. In the Remove. Sense of crescendo. About to break up for half term, had come to same idea. Commemorative things being planned. Plans around Little Dean’s Yard from lots of students. [04:20] Weekday night, got up 1 or 2 in the morning. Staying in the Dungeons in Head Boy’s room. Eddie Smith, Deputy Head, ‘fierce policer’ on patrol. Had to coordinate. Midnight? Would have had more chimes to strike chisel. [06:04] No gate to Dean’s Yard. Laxer security. No key codes on doors. Jumped wall. Preferable to put names on main arch, but needed to be hidden from Little Dean’s Yard. Gate to School locked at night. Took tools and provisions. [07:26] Previous prank. Busby’s students ‘abseil’ into Common Room through window. Take packets of prawns, hide around Common Room. Started to rot three and a half weeks later. Boys had worn ‘SAS black ninja suits’. Garnett and Stevens inspired by dress. [08:55] Meticulous about preparation. Took an elastic band to hold Maglite. Did art and experienced in manual work, but little stone work experience. Garnett practised on red brick in father’s garden. First time carving on ‘proper stone’. [10:52] Showed other people, word got around. Returned many years later, Bursar hadn’t known it had been done. [11:55] Other things going on that night, detracted from the carving. Door slamming and shrieking all night. Spraying silver graffiti in Little Dean’s Yard. Sound of scraping stone above – got porcelain toilet up to corner of the Old Library, above Burlington Arch. Affixed to stone with ‘industrial cement’. [14:40] Chiselling too loud. Brought a mallet, but couldn’t use. Bought chisels from Tottenham Court Road and wrapped in cotton wool and tape so could strike chisels with palms of hands. Still loud – covered by noise of Big Ben’s chimes. Increased as the night went on. Resorted to scraping, not traditional technique. Finished at half five in the morning. Gloves in tatters, bleeding knuckles. [16:50] Took masking tape, chalk, and printed out ‘MG’ in Times New Roman. Marked out between parallel lines. Took rubber to rub out chalk. Stevens’ not marked out. [17:57] Eddie Smith summoned Stevens to office. Had discovered. Stevens’ name was removed. Attempted four initials while Garnett did two. Had planned MG 99 but ran out of time. No punishment. [19:35] Post-Westminster. Garnett to Cambridge, to reach Architecture. Stevens to Ruskin School of Art. Read about ‘night climbing’ tradition, tried some out. Inspired by name carving. [21:50] Post Westminster. Garnett working as architect. Stevens painter, studio in Paddington, in gothic church crypt. Odd jobs. [23:22] Told Andrew Bateman, art teacher. Would have been far easy to carve when originally laid as far softer, but had hardened over time.

Kenneth Redfern

[00:43] Family background and personal history. [03:15] Westminster Under School at Little Dean’s Yard. Description of College post-war. [04:25] Memories of sport - football at Grove Park, Vincent Square, Old gym in the Abbey. [06:14] Westminster at the end of Second World War and post-war years. Memories of science lessons. [11:16] Memories of History Master, and Master in charge of Gym. [12:25] Day boy at Busby’s. ‘Honorary King’s Scholar’, sitting the Challenge. Stayed overnight once, kept awake by Big Ben. [15:00] Rowing successes and failures. [17:02] Transition from Under School to Great School. New schoolmates and teachers. [21:04] Music lessons, piano duets. ‘Far too many plays’. Choir concerts. [24:30] Changeover of Head Masters from John Christie to Walter Hamilton. Dislike of the change. [27:05] Taught a maths class in absence of teacher. [28:14] Elizabethan. [30:29] College Street Clarion. Fisher as Housemaster. [34:28] Latin prayers. [35:38] CCF and Scouts. Scout arrested for dressing up as a girl. [39:40] School food, Free School Milk Act. [42:04] Divide between school subjects, hierarchy. [46:53] Trinity College, Cambridge. Election. Scholarship exam. [51:23] Rebuilding of College post-war. Temporary roof of School. [53:38] Knowledge of other houses. [54:50] Liddell’s. [58:50] Gym display, held in College Garden. Parents’ party. [01:05:40] Rowing, Godsey White’s attitudes to rowing. [01:19:33] Challenge subjects. Languages. [01:22:05] Russian, useful in Navy. [01:25:30] Strikes, walking to school.

Martin Rogers

[0.53] Why he became a teacher. Had worked in industry selling nickel alloys – always had teaching in the back of his mind. Father did not want him to teach – did not pay well enough, and would never see real world outside of schools. [1.53] Taught chemistry. Studied natural sciences, but had broad education which was helpful. [2.20] How he came to teach. Chemistry master suddenly had to leave – sudden vacancy was lucky since he had no qualifications other than degree. Had joined CCF (Combined Cadet Force) but disliked. Enjoyed rowing, tied in well with job. Easier to get there in those days. [3.50] Enjoyed ‘God Soc’, good link to the Abbey. There are now nearly sixty such societies. [4.50] Houses. Originally tutor in Busby’s from 1956. House Master of Rigaud’s in 1964. Master of the Queen’s Scholars in 1967, liked connections with Abbey. At the time Master of the Queen’s Scholars was Under Master. Got to know parents well. Asked to become Master, no application process. [7.30] John Rae. Rogers becomes Headmaster of Malvern in 1971. John Rae became Head Master year before Rogers left for Malvern. Knew him well from Somerset. Extra work with change of Head Master as Under Master. Controversial figure but did much for the school. Always seen on television, helped to raise funds etc. Parsimonious place, ordeal to move out. Jane Rogers had baby in hospital as the House Master’s bedroom was insufficiently private! College much more private. [13.00] House in College much more spacious. Ground floor for music practice and bookbinding; drawing room and upper two floors for them. Top floor is now an additional flat. No ghosts ever spotted. [15.10] Lodged first female pupil at that time in spare room. Had family connections to school – brother there too – but apprehensive to walk out into Yard. In 1970s girls primarily came for supplementary science lessons. [17.40] Science teaching. Mentions ‘Crump’ (Cyril John Crumpler), Geoffrey Foxcroft, Muffet (David William Muffett). Science still considered by older teachers to be inferior (to classics. Subject still developing at Westminster despite its being around on the curriculum for a while. Rogers enjoyed science very much, especially the practical aspect. Facilities not impressive by modern standards, but improved a lot and modernised during his time. Parents came to science open days. Only footage of science then is film of Queen visiting Sutcliff’s – greater event then than now. [23.55] His idea to begin Film Society, based in Busby’s. Started off as Busby’s affair, spread throughout the school. John Carlton at ease with cameras. Contrast with predecessor, Walter Hamilton – though he was nice too, first took him on as a teacher. Resentment (mocking) when he left for Rugby. By modern standards seven years is reasonable. Teachers staying too long has a ‘deadening’ effect. Hamilton returned to Magdalene College, Cambridge after Rugby. [29:50] Under Masters. Now expected to move on and become heads after five years. Not standard in Rogers’ time, but happened on occasion. [31:00] Jim Cogan. Could be very brusque – Rogers did not experience this, but may have been concentrating more on moving. Big decision for John Rae to appoint successor as Under Master. [33:00] Staying at Rigaud’s for only three years was the wrong thing to do – for children and parents. [33:55] Different houses had different characters. College particularly different – special responsibilities. Defining feature of Rigaud’s ‘totally mad cook’ – huge underground kitchens dripping with water, rodents, gas leaks. Many foreign staff, tenuous jobs. [37:55] Spanish cook in Busby’s could be bribed to drop teapot in important moment in prayers, sing songs. One Finnish maid amongst them. Broke hand cleaning early in morning and had to wake House Master up – most dramatic thing to happen. [39:20] Busby’s. Enjoyed working for House Master (‘boss’) as tutor. Had to stand in once for him – would now be called Resident Tutor. [41:00] Could park in Great College Street without a problem – unthinkable today. Unlike other boarding schools, Westminster was relaxed and not isolated. [42:00] Lycée Janson (Lycée Janson de Sailly) used to come each year, once found climbing out of Dean’s Yard to get out instead of opening the gate. [43:00] Footage of one pupil saying ‘there are no bounds’ at Westminster. Provenance unclear. [44:00] Different and freer atmosphere with less security. Used to run out at break to get theatre tickets. [46:00] Much more difficult to discipline – Westminster on doorstep, how to find anyone who has left? This liberalism is generally positive. Academic pressure has forced structure. In past five/ten years this has accelerated; greater risk of failure. Consequent loss of breadth. Sport has improved, if not main attraction. [50:00] Scholars particularly musical, Rigaud’s good jazz band. Can remember Roger Norrington conducting as a pupil. [51:20] Main differences since ‘60s. New buildings are main difference– out of Dean’s Yard makes it less centralised and less frantic. Actual classroom activity largely unchanged. [53:10] Election. Only half school around by the end of Election Term due to study leave. Election Dinner return from School to College Hall. Trying to slim down excess – music in particular: ‘vested interests’. Trying to bring more in from Westminster – had to reduce numbers of teacher as Common Room grew. [58:00] Yard cricket/football controversial since surface is being redone. Conspiracy theory has that surface is being changed in order to prevent Yard games. Cobbled pathways to stay. Rigaud’s has been cleaned and is very bright; some wish it hadn’t been cleaned. New sports’ centre – art deco building, mainly used by Under School. [1:05:00] Much more weekly boarding at Westminster than other boarding schools. [1:06:00] Decline of corporal punishment. Much more difficult to get rid of at Malvern; occasionally used at Westminster. Much more progressive attitudes in city boarding school. Two demonstrations in ‘60s, largely diffused by John Carlton. [1:08:00] Thames flood. Woke up once with loudspeakers bleating ‘danger of flooding’. Barrier erected to prevent floods. [1:10:20] Tyburn constantly dripped in Rigaud’s basement. Now Under Master’s house. Gutter went through house and discharged rainwater. [1:14:45] Commem. Thinking of making compulsory – not same atmosphere without whole school. [1:16:45] London makes big difference to school. New Head Master (PSJD) has much experience but none in London. As mentioned, much more liberal. Head Master and family living in Vincent Square – ‘radical change’. Headmasters have not lived in Little Dean’s Yard since David Summerscale (1986). Much more like normal house than awkward atmosphere of Lord North Street. [1:23:25] School has no longer any property on Eccleston Square. All moved to Vincent Square. Big expansion in property owned by school, especially along Victoria Line. Lord North Street property and 4 and 5 Barton Street have been sold.

Results 1 to 10 of 49