- GB 2014 WS-02-ABY-01-01-08-01-2008
Order of Service for the 2008 Westminster School Carol Service, held in Westminster Abbey on December 15th.
Barnard & Westwood Ltd.
Order of Service for the 2008 Westminster School Carol Service, held in Westminster Abbey on December 15th.
Barnard & Westwood Ltd.
[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.
[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.
[00:55] Why Westminster? [02:15] John Christie. [02:30] Why teaching? Substitute teaching at Eton. [04:40] 17 Dean’s Yard. [05:17] Teaching Latin and Greek and English. [05:50] Westminster pupils. Keen to learn. [06:25] English teaching preferable – element of choice. [07:28] Classroom up School. [07:55] Pupils. Anthony Howard. [09:35] Directing plays. [10:00] Anthony Howard living nearby. [10:50] No objection to plays from Common Room. [11:05] English respected by other members of staff. [12:05] Common Room colleagues. [13:05] Hugo Garten. Adolf Prag. John Wilson. Lawrence Bird. [14:22] Walter Hamilton, tutor at Eton. [14:50] Differences between Eton and Westminster. [14:50] James Peebles. Fisher. John Carleton. David Simpson. Francis Rawes. Denny Brook. Theo Zinn. [17:20] Walter Hamilton as Head Master. At a disadvantage. [18:45] Senior Housemasters (David Simpson, Fisher, Francis Rawes, John Wilson, James Peebles). [19:35] Time as Housemaster. [20:10] More interesting position. Wide age range of boys to be responsible for. [21:45] Pupils. Bright. [22:30] Successes of past pupils. Interesting. [23:20] Simon Gray writing about the school. Corin Redgrave. [23:50] Reappearance of drama. Medieval Everyman. Macbeth. Twelfth Night. Hamlet. Performed up School. Hired scenery. Running for four or five nights. Attended by most of the school. [27:10] Balancing jobs at school. [28:40] Rationing and bomb damage following Second World War. Teaching not more difficult. [31:20] Classrooms. [32:50] Rebuilt College Dormitory. Wren’s. [34:50] Play rehearsals. [36:40] Tough reputation. [38:00] Latin Play. [39:20] Parents very involved in the school. Many living in London. [40:50] John Christie’s wife keeping chickens on the roof of Liddell’s. [41:50] Reasonable food. Meals eaten by house. [44:40] Not many women at the school. [45:10] Accommodation at school. [49:30] Old Westminsters on the staff. Feeling of importance. [50:39] Charles Keeley, senior history master. [52:45] Proximity to the Abbey. Abbey services. [53:00] Coronation. [56:55] Rebuilding war damage. [57:47] Royal visit from the Queen. [58:10] John Carleton. Didn’t get on. Thought him a bad Head Master. [01:03:30] Might have stayed at Westminster longer under a different Head Master. [01:06:05] Appointment of John Carleton. [01:08:19] Walter Hamilton leaving Westminster for Rugby. [01:08:18] Got on well with John Christie. Walter Hamilton was an old friend. [01:10:32] Carleton lived above Liddell’s during rebuilding of College. [01:11:47] Leaving Westminster. Sad to leave. [01:12:35] John Rae. Tristram Jones-Parry. In touch with the school again.
[0:13] Why interested in teaching. Past teaching experience (Sherbourne) before Westminster, and why drawn to Westminster. Interested in somewhere more academic. Stayed for 12 years. Teaching Physics. House Master of Dryden’s. Didn’t miss having so much marking. [03:20] What defines a Westminster pupil? More demanding. Impolite – students correct mistakes on boards. Asked questions you don’t know the answer to. [04:24] Appointed Under Master. Working with senior management. Dr Spurr ‘runs a tight ship’. Changing of relationship with pupils – have a different view. [06:13] Moving on to Manchester Grammar School to be Headmaster. Different to Westminster. [07:00] Sport at Westminster. Took up climbing, had been a station with 12 pupils. Wanted to raise profile – now has 50 pupils and new climbing wall and expeditions across the world. [08:47] Changes in Westminster across career. More civilised. Pupils more polite. Just as interesting and academic. Now a nicer place to teach. Head Master sets the tone. Societal changes – intake of pupils and where they’re from. Westminster has always reflected the London society. Cosmopolitan. [10:12] Science in the school. Always been strong. Conversations on advanced science in common room at Hooke. Government influence (Michael Gove) pushing STEM subjects, national increase in science. [11:57] Working with the Common Room. Interesting conversations. [13:13] Token memory from Westminster. Experience in class room, teaching bright Remove sets. Ask the questions you want to be asked. Challenging and want to learn. [14:09] Wouldn’t change anything about time here. Never found time boring. Wouldn’t rule out returning. [15:00] How does Manchester compare to Westminster. Used to be pupil at Manchester. Encouraging students to make the most of their talent. [15:55] Involvement with Abbey and Collegiate body. One of the things to miss most. First year as Under Master – met Barack Obama, the Pope, and attended a Royal Wedding. Unexpected. [17:45] Led international applications. US university applications used to be written by hand, ended up writing 30-40 as House Master. Learnt a lot in the experience and used knowledge more widely to help students wanting to go to US universities. More Westminster students may be interested in accessing a wider range of US universities. [19:57] Most controversial time as Under Master? Most testing parts are behind the scenes – disciplinary matters with students or dealing with staff. If done well, no one knows what’s happening. Auction Scandal. Why became a news story. Internships for partner schools. [22:00] Influence of Westminster School on the wider community. Changed in last few years. Westminster House. Growth of civic engagement. Positive change. [23:20] Partnership with Harris Federation. Share expertise in teaching very bright pupils. [24:10] Most miss the once in a lifetime events at the Abbey. Meeting Royal family. Time in the classroom.