When I was at Boarding School.....

Geoff Portas

I often recall summer nights after lights out, listening to Lulu playing Beethoven's Fur Elise on the piano in the hall, which was just below my window. I don't remember him playing anything else, perhaps that was the only tune he knew.

David Harrison

Did any of you make any fruit hooch, I made, kept and drank mine in the model cupboard and can anyone remember who's bottle exploded in their locker as Hodgson was leaving House prayers? Anyone remember listening to Radio Luxenburg on "cats whisker" sets we made in match boxes when we were in junior dorm?

Hugh Bracey

Of course I remember - would still be using one if I could pick up FM ! At least I could work one of them, which is more than can be said of 'them thar noo fangled video contraptions'! I used to hang out mainly with Font and Pug and Derek Newall and in last couple of years we spent a lot of our free time at the Record Rendezvous, round the corner from Lord Mayors Walk, next door to the Ballroom. I still remember climbing up on the book cupboard ledge with Font and Pug regularly so we could listen to Radio up there without disturbing others in the day room. I was a real rock n roll music fanatic then and still am.

Vic Worrall

I do remember Radio Luxembourg, Jack Jackson and Gus Goodwin and having to stand on the cabinet ledge to hear it... and I still have a 78 record which the School Male Voice Choir made in StJohns Chapel Any Boarders remember the weekly Top 20s that we used to compile?

Hugh Bracey

I remember those Top 20s well, and can even remember composing a piece in a boarders magazine that Spike produced with lots of (mainly American) song titles hidden in it as a quiz. I was a real rock n roll music fanatic then, and still am.

Derek Newall

Just read the memories board and references to music. Do you recall how we used to produce out own top ten - each of us would nominate our top ten and our first would be given ten points, second nine etc. Then totals would be calculated for each of the songs and a combined result published. All went well until some tasteless individual put "If I were a blackbird" top of their list with the result that, in the late fifties, it appeared in the middle of our hit parade. Music is still important to me and I'd be embarrassed to count how much has been spent on hifi over the years!

Alan Etherington

All the Boarding House pottery had Mitre on each cup, saucer and plate! Lovely design, lousy food and in parsimonious quantity, I think we Boarders would all agree. How I recall the pangs of hunger. We were allowed into the first bit of kitchen where bread was available in between 2 trays wrapped up in a damp sheet. We could have as much as we needed, provided we didn't need too much, with jam or marmalade out of one of the big stoneware "useful pots" (see Winnie The Pooh for an explanation). Those pots are worth a few bob nowadays. The cloth was an unsuccessful attempt to prevent last week's bread from going rock hard ("with compliments from the stone masonry department", I believe someone once said!). I was hungry! Bryan Milner famously counted the baked beans on his plate with the half doorstep of greasy fried bread one mealtime and found 28. Cleverly, I sat next to Hugh who, for some reason, didn't like meat and I used to take his off his hands so getting double rations but twice nowt is still nowt! Maybe it was the lack of meat in your formative years that caused it Hugh. At one time Boarders were always first for seconds at school dinners (a double-edged sword eh?) until the good Mr Frith came on the scene and made us take our turn which went down like a lead balloon with us, this was our main source of nourishment, Day boys went home for a decent meal later, we had our 28 beans for tea!

Geoff Portas

I remember the fried bread served at breakfast on Sundays. We used to apply marmalade and leave to soak for 10 mins, then it was soft enough to eat. I also remember the hot orange squash served at suppertime. Guaranteed to make you want to pee at 2 am, a practice much frowned upon by those in authority. Before I went to Archie's I was a very fussy eater. --- Not any more!

Vic Worrall

Well remember the piles of bread and making sauce sandwiches with 7 or 8 slices and then squeezing it all together so the sauce permeated through - hardly haute cuisine but very satisfying, as were the waste pastry round buns that you could get from the bakery at the top of Gillygate .. delicious when stuffed with a few pennies worth of chips. I can not agree that all the food was crap and sparse, the treacle stodge was out of this world.. especially if you had it without Mrs Boags thick lumpy custard!!

Hugh Bracey

Vic, I remember your predilection for treacle stodge came back on you - literally - on a Scout Cross Country race at the Knavesmire as you came into the finishing straight in a reasonable position- ruined the image of the superb athlete! (I think you had had 3 or 4 helpings an hour before the race!) I also seem to recall that Alan did that run as a guide for some blind scouts - his excuse for not having to exert himself.

Vic Worrall

Predilection!!!! What sort of a word is that for an Archies boy? I am impressed......but you are right on all counts. I was rather partial to it and it or forces unknown caused me to stumble out in the wilds of the Knavesmire, game boy that I am I got up and finished 3rd I believe. Was Alan a guide? ....lucky him, must of been far better than being in scouts!!

Alan Etherington

The Scout Cross-Country Run was almost true in the details you all recall except that, the way I saw it, was that we were gathered around a blackboard on the Knavesmire with a map on it and were told the course. As there were so many folks in the race I didn't pay much heed, as there would be someone nearby who knew where we were supposed to go. We all lined up, the gun went off and everyone buggered off into the distance, over the hill and out of sight except for me and about 4 other lads. By now we were well into some woods and weren't sure what had happened so I asked these lads where we were supposed to be going. They said they were blind and were following me! Now this was obviously a case of the blind leading the blind so we crashed around a bit in the woods and were getting nowhere quite quickly. Eventually we found a track and wandered along it and finally saw the Knavesmire stands in the distance and made our way towards them. With these others being blind, their minders, who must have thought that it would be good for these lads to get out in the fresh air, were getting a bit fretful at having lost their charges and were starting to feel they ought to be looking for them. No one gave a tuppenny for me, it's been the same for most of my existence really, and we wandered in somewhat behind the leaders. One thing I have never been accused of throughout my long and varied existence is being athletic, skinny - yes - undernourished - also - but athletic - never. Well we all rolled in little the worse for our disappearance and I don't think I was ever asked to run for the Scouts ever again so some good did come from it after all.

Jim Bochsler

Don Nicholson was at school in York before coming to AHGS. He and I left together in 1956 to join the British universities expeditionary force to support Hungary at the time of the Russian invasion of Hungary. He later worked in an estate agents before running his own souvenir and sweet shop near Bootham bar.

Vic Worrall

I actually met Donald Nicholson a few years back, he was then living in Kirbymoorside operating as a major Kleeneeze franchise; previous occupations include Estate Agent, but he is not listed in the directory now. Trevor De Tute did board and then went to Scarborough High I think, seem to remember playing rugby against him/them on the top of Olivers Mount.

Jim Bochsler

If you are in touch with Trevor de Tute [his father was a police detective-sergeant] ask him if he remembers Yvonne and the "tunnel of love" at the Kursal in Southend. He came to stay with me one summer when my mother was resident housekeeper in a hotel at Westcliffe-on-sea.

Derek Newall

Were you there when we paid about one third of a weeks income to watch worms being eaten alive?

Hugh Bracey

I had forgotten about the worms - was it Andy or Mo Watson?

Vic Worrall

I was that worm eater!!

Derek Newall

I can't remember which Watson but it was certainly one of them; there were two chompers and the second would seem to have been Vic.

Alan Etherington

I recall that in the 6th we used to get the key to the gym and go over in basketball gear on a Friday evening carrying out clothes, put all the lights on, get changed into clothes and nip out to the Castle Howard Ox.
When you got to the pub there was a TV in the lounge and as we never got to see TV this was a treat and the landlord, Tom, used to charge us bar prices because he knew we didn't have much money as Boarders!
We once agreed to meet up at the Ox with Derek Newall and were in "going to the theatre gear", he was a bit later than us and when he got to the bar Tom asked him straight out if he was "From The School". This put Derek on the back foot and he had to admit that, yes, he was. "Right", said Tom, "That's 1/3 and not 1/4". He was a helpful soul. Trevor Willison and I used this ploy several times and became hooked on watching an RCMP called Gagner - he always got his man.
Further out of the back were the gates that during Boarders summer timetable (of which more could be written but not now!) were locked and chained and so we had to climb over to get to the school field and Wally Pallant did himself a mischief. This wasn't the worst thing for him that day, he had to let Matron have a look and dress it for him. Just at the gates there was a house, which housed Mr and Mrs Stannard (Mucky Alf) the caretaker, Boarders had to get the keys from him to get buckets of coal for the Day Room. Baggy Eddy lived in that direction too, a bit of rough, I understand.

Hugh Bracey

I seem to remember it was more to get to the shop round the back of Brook St where we bought cigarettes and also attempted to get served in the pub round there at the tender age of 16:) always making sure that Mucky Alf was not around to see us.

Vic Worrall

The shop sold loose ciggies, also in paper packets of two and for the effluent rich 5s and 10s.........Dominos, Black Cat, Turf, Park Drive and Woodbines as I recall.
We also had a hidaway through a broken window in the toilets in front of the old building/gym.

Hugh Bracey

Can anyone remember the name of the " Dolly Bird " cook who arrived at the school in about 1956/7 and for whom I think every boarder had the hots?

Vic Worrall

Are you sure it was a cook and not the dolly bird Matron who disappeared sharpish after some incident in the San.

Hugh Bracey

I thought it was cook but maybe it was housekeeper cos she had room in Heads (forbidden territory) part of building. I had forgotten about the swift departure bit and can only remember lusting after her in the supper queue when she sat at table with Spike, LuLu and Moggy

David Harrison

Things I remember:
Subbuteo, which was normally played, on the dais, in Ebbage's room. If I remember correctly Vic Worrall was always top of the league.
Penny drinks at Ma Parko's usually after the Sunday Minster service resulting in excessive burping during hymn practise. Milligan's train layout and the shelter cinema.
Scout wide games on Clifton Ings.
Trying to get rockets on to the balcony of St Johns on bonfire night.
Playing pop music and Lulu coming in and saying stop all this "beep bop a booping". The full size picture of Bridget Bardot constructed from successive centre folds of the "Reveille".

Ian Leckey

Bob Appleyard, now living in Australia has contacted me. I have also found out that Ted Middleton is living in the same town as me. I remember the old days in the boarding house, the scouts with Sam Lack, the trips to Wales. The film shows by Spike in the old building in the yard, the train layout he had in there as well.