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myoldschools > Teachers > Teachers Surnames A to G > H to M > N to S > T to Z

Lest we forget...

Anon: English/Drama teacher, male, crazy hair director of The Fire-raiser by Max Frisch (help me out Mandy - remember, we didn't realize the play was a comedy until the first night?). "BARBARA WANLESS!" When I punched Nick Boschi during our final scene as we were meant to freeze in an embrace in front of a conflagration - Nick had stuck his enormous tongue into my ear.

Mr Arnold 1980s artist..."...who also organised Prog Rock-like operas for the whole school...rumour had it he had actually written Nik Kershaw's hit of the time "Wouldn't It Be Good" but the record company had stolen it from him without poor Mr Arnold getting a penny. When our class asked him about it we were met with a stoney silence.....what might have been!"
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Miss Barnes 1970s/80s social studies - "on one occasion the army came in to talk to us about a career in the forces. Not only did a speaker come but some rather dishy young fit soldiers who we were trying to entertain and flirt with all afternoon. (more rampant sexism!) - Miss Barnes thought that half way through it would be appropriate for us to take a break and as it was a cool day outside the girls go out and cool off. Boy did she put a damper on things, we went to the toilets instead for a fag and Mrs Courchee (qv) caught us smoking"
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Mrs Bathe "the playground duty monitor, All the first years loved her, and there was also another one who was a little bit eccentric and wore some way out clothes. Can anyone remember her name, she loved to talk to the kids, we couldn't wait to see what she'd wear next."

Miss Jill Benson Late 1970s/80s German - "We called her George/Julia after the sex change programme on TV at the time. She sang tenor in the choir and had a passion for dungarees and telling my parents I didn't deserve to pass my exam 'cos I never did any work - too busy taking the mick out of the teacher I guess. Apologies are due I suspect"
"We were 6th formers in 1979-81. Poor Miss Benson came in fresh from college, asking us to call her Jill, which was a bit of a contrast after 3 gruelling years with Frau Smartt. Miss Benson did try though, and made us learn all the vocab from the next chapter of a boring German novel, under pain of lines, if she found a word none of us had learned. There was such a word, and I can remember it to this day, because we had to write it out 100 times - "aufhoren - to cause to stop". We all complained to Head of Languages, Mr Steele, who was not pleased, and offered to do them for us!"
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The Berries  1970s Scientists - "Mrs Berry could sniff a pear drop at 50 feet and identify the perpetrator of the crime without even looking up or turning around". God help anyone dissolving a midget gem within a hundred yard radius. There must be a scientific phrase to describe this particular talent. Ruled over her lessons with a rod of iron and was never absent - except, strangely enough, when we finally arrived at "human reproduction". On the morning of the eagerly awaited lesson, she poked her head round the door, stammered her catchphrase and legged it until we got back onto safer ground - lymph nodes, zygotes et al.
From a conversation in a 1976 biology lab:
The indomitable Mrs Berry : "Some girl has been defacing my new desks! Would Alice Cooper please stand up immediately!"
Laugh? - We nearly fell off our platforms! Especially the gothic miss FB!
Her Catchphrase : "Get the Mackeans out!"
Sadly, Mrs Berry passed away, Autumn 2002
Mr "Old Pa" Berry - "very keen botanist and expert on orchids - proudly announced he had discovered a new one, which had been registered that day"
"Have you girls been drinking?" Just after Pat Moody wookied 4 rum and blackcurrants on the lab floor.
"What did you do to his testicle?" After I'd presented her with my dissected rat (middle of hot summer, rats stank, we'd spray them with perfume), project area: genitals. I'd done a beautiful job on his epididymis (wriggly tube in testicle) and gave Rupert a final rinse over the sink; water dislodged dissected testicle and it vanished down the waste disposal.
"BARBARA WANLESS!" Stumbling down the VIth form block stairs, carrying a flaming, melting, plastic wastebasket. (The cleaners had been on strike and one of the Tinley twins and I had been having a fag upstairs–the Tinley had failed to extinguish her cigarette, not me!)
During an exciting experiment–grass outside of lab divided into yard squares, we soaked turf with diluted washing up liquid to see how many worms popped up–a flock of guard geese attacked Mrs. B. One was brave enough to jam its head up her turquoise overall and latch on to invisible unmentionables. All we could see was Mrs. Berry whacking her skirt with her handbag.
Mr. Berry, VIth form Biochemistry enters lab with pile of books under chin, "Today we're going to be covering poly…" leaves lab, discovers Africa, wrestles with Sheila, re-enters lab, "-peptide chains."
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Mrs Boardman 1960s/80s Cookery "pedantic cookery teacher who made sure you put the contents of your cupboard back exactly as specified. She averted disaster by using 2 tin plates to pick up a burning oven glove that someone had left on the electric hob. Afterwards she had two pink spots on her cheeks and refused to take "it's Friday 13th" as a reason for this accident"
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Mr Boardman 1980s Geographer "Bearded, slightly overweight...a competent enough teacher but dull as dishwater. Did not last long and must have been a real turn-off in the staff room."
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Mr Le BourdonMr Le Bourdon 1980s/90s Spanish - "I also got the 'Hudson' treatment off Mr Le Bourdon...in Spanish lessons, detention, on report, suspended etc.. I am now director of a Tour Operator specialising in northern Spain..."
"Mr Le Bourdon was not Spanish - he taught French as his first subject (with a name like Le Bourdon how could he be any different?!) He married Miss Lawson by the way (Miss Piggy) the games teacher. He was a bloody fine teacher!"
"One of the best teachers in the school. Probably learnt more from him than any other teacher. Didn't need to shout as everyone seemed to respect him, but had two unusual foibles. The first was to bang the desk with one of his distinctive clogs when a pupil annoyed him. The second was an unfortunate tendency to mix his words up at the wrong time. He once burst into a room where we were making too much noise and threatened to give us all detention, finishing with the words "that's not a promise, that's a threat!" Eh?"
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Mr Bowden 1980s chemist - "Taught Chemistry and Science in the Eighties. Not sure how long he was there. We nicknamed him "beefy" because he looked like a bouncer and his suits always looked like they were made for a much smaller guy. Very patient with us as I remember. Never once lost his temper even when we filled up pencil cases with gas from the gas taps to set light to them and threw sodium in the hand basins"
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Mr Bowman 1980s Physical Educationalist - "Anyone remember swooning over this one? (hang on! isn't this sexism? He's not a piece of meat, you know) - I'm sure he inspired my love of football - best legs in school"
"let us not forget that this man used to run to Leeds everyday, there and back, so he could compete in the London Marathon and finished it. It is not sexist to drool over him because it was true!"

Mrs Brooks 1960s/90s - School Librarian "Never missed a trick when you were selecting your books. She didn't like grubby hands on her books!"
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Mrs Bulmer 1970/71 - "I think she was a small red-headed English teacher, another one who disappeared."

Nurse Button  late 1970s General Studies "Old spinster who used to come in and take us for General Studies in the 3rd Year. She warned us against the evils of underage sex, alcoholism, drugs etc. Used to bring a make-up bag in containing a variety of contraceptives to show us (hope she never left it on the bus). Unfortunately, we saw her smoking in her car, so she lost all credibility to talk about any other vice after that. Did advise the boys to join the Merchant Navy if they got a girl pregnant - this was before political correctness had been invented. In 1979 the alphabetically indexed box of careers included a card for 'usherette'!"
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Mr Byrne 1980s what? "Excellent Teacher. One for the lads to look up to. A good footballer, knew his stuff. Noted for his lisp. Commanded a lot of respect. Everyone listened and rarely messed about"
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Mr Charldry 1970s student English teacher - "a great chap - he was Indian and we gave him hell but when his assessor came to sit in with him we did everything he asked, the lesson done in silence...before he went he said "Oh children - thank you, thank you"
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Mr Childs 1980s "Couldn't pronounce his V's. Was another teacher the lads related to. Scouser. Some of the dimmer kids gave him hell, but most gave him their attention"
"A great teacher, helped all the kids who needed that extra bit of care."

Mr Coombs 1980s Chemist "A serious looking teacher who many suspected of having had a sense of humour bypass. Considering he was a religious man he seemed remarkably keen on implementing social control schemes such as the boy/girl seating arrangement he felt would nip trouble in the bud. Why on earth did he think we would cause any trouble?"
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Mrs Corri 1960s/70s St James C of E - "back in '68 she used to send unnamed star pupil out during lessons to go to Mason House Stores for a jar of Nescafe and 20 Benson and Hedges!"

Mrs Susan Courchee 1970s/80s mathematician - really jolly teacher until you played her the wrong way and then you'd wish you hadn't."
"small, round with spectacles - spoke rather posh but was a cuddly sort of teacher - she actually looked a bit like nookie bear. When we used to go into the class room or left it we would always shout "Touchee Away" as in the cartoon Touchee Turtle.."
"What can I say about the brilliant motivator!!?? I have no idea what possessed me to even think I could do Duke of Edinburgh Award....but I did....despite getting lost and walking round a wood for four hours and forgetting the flysheet from the tent we made....I was so close to giving up but Mrs C was encouraging and her words of wisdom, despite forgetting what they were, will remain dear in my heart....she didn't let me give up....and for that I will be forever grateful"

Sad news from the Westmoreland Gazette, 2005:
SUSAN Mary Courchee, who died suddenly of a heart attack during a cycle tour in the west of Scotland, was an outstanding and much-loved teacher. She moved to South Lakeland on her retirement, and became a prominent member of many local organisations.

David CummingsMr Cummings 1970s/80s ? - "Head of year, wore checked jackets and also did.....what?"
well, he wrote a book entitled "Thorp Arch : History of a Township, from which the following has been snipped -
David Cummings lived in Thorp Arch for twelve years and his wife Anne was the head teacher of the village school. David has been interested in researching local history for twenty years, and studied the subject as part of his Master of Education degree in Leeds University. David was a teacher himself for thirty years at Wetherby High School.

Mrs Curby 1990s "she is the new Wetherby High tyrant. Once she's on your back she never gets off. She only remembers bad things you've done - not good. She thinks she is right about everything" (allegedly)
sounds like someone who's suffering at the moment!

Mrs. Darbyshire 1980s Lab Technician - details anyone?

Mr Down(e)s circa 1970/71 - "Games teacher, but certainly no athlete. Baggy tracksuit, 50 inch waist and Michael Caine spectacles. Called everyone by their surname. A charming and erudite companion - not!"

Mrs Downes circa 1973/74 Historian - "Really good teacher, quite humorous, sadly had to leave teaching late 80s- 90s because of MS"

Brian Douglas  1970s Art Teacher - "prototype Austin Powers or Barney Rubble. (not Fred Flintstone, too small)"

Mr Jim "Dan" Dyer 1960s/70s mathematician - "Mr Dyer was the best teacher I ever had. He had been a supply teacher at my primary school and I adored him...... but the day I had my first lesson with him at Wetherby I was in awe. The skinny little 14 year old kid who couldn't add two numbers together suddenly became interested in Maths and although I still can't add two numbers together Mr Dyer left a wonderful lasting impression on me. Thanks to him I had an interest in geometry and algebra and still can get to grips with most algebraic problems. The day the world lost Mr Dyer was a sad one....the teaching profession lost one of the most patient and understanding men. Thanks Mr Dyer."

Mrs Edwards 1970s/80s English - "One of my favourite teachers, why couldn't they all be like her? Understood that teaching is meant to inspire. My sister has fond memories of her classes in the 1980s because she just had to mention my name and it would waste a good half hour talking about how wonderful I was - what a swot!"

Alasdair EnticknapMr Enticknap 1970s/80s English teacher : "He had the room next to Mr. Jarvis and was my form teacher around the third year. Him and Paul Jarvis were good friends. Not surprising considering that they were both the coolest teachers at WHS. (what about Miss Hunter?) I don't think I ever heard him raise his voice, a minor miracle considering the decibel level we could sustain. Instead he would get VERY red and grit his teeth when he spoke, as if trying to draw on his inner strength/karma/whatever, to get him through it"
"I will beg to differ that Mr Enticknap never raised his voice. I was taught by him in the 70s and if I pass him in the street he still won't talk to me. I had several disagreements with him when he taught my son. Well, to get to the point, my mate and myself were in one of his English lessons - she had a Big Ben alarm clock and asked me to hold the alarm things while she wound it up. That was boring so I let go and it began ringing very loudly and the whole class fell about laughing so, because it was funny, I did it again. You think he doesn't shout?? He was that upset the geese took cover in the art block!"
"Noted for his half-mast three piece suits. Nice fellar"
"Had the wierdest sense of humour in the school. Was once asked a question by a pupil at the end of a lesson, which he pretended not to hear and packed up and left. The following day the same class met with him whereupon he turned to the pupil after the class had settled down and said simply "yes." Then he began the class. I had to explain to the pupil after the class that this was his answer to the question posed the day before, and that such bizarre behaviour was quite normal from Sir..."
"Who could forget Mr Enticknapp (I could never spell that bloody name!!) Our constant arguments about Willoughby in A-level English make me giggle even to this day....I still maintain that he loved Marieanne! Having re-read it a couple of times I'm sticking to my original judgement.......I also still maintain that the Xanadu poem is crap!"
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Mr Fox 1970s- "small, sleak and sly as his namesake and had a better porn tash than Mr Le Bourdon"

Miss Franklyn 1980s Games "Games mistress who, like Mrs Thwaites, was also far too old to wear a pleated gym skirt - but she used to put her tracksuit bottoms on underneath, so it looked as if she was only half changed. Not interested in you unless you wanted to do extra training and play for the school. The rest of us were just "also rans""
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Mr Fretwell 1960s Artist "A very good art teacher"
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Mr FrusherMr Frusher 1970/90s physicist, still going strong - "I remember I used to call him Muscles Malone, but I don't know why - maybe because "Physics with Jim Frusher" translated neatly to "Physiques with Muscles Malone" - someone must have a better memory than this of this long-serving pedagogue"
"The man who rescued some of the school's photographic archive through pure good fortune. We might forgive but we can't forget THAT moustache!"
UPDATE: Retired, Summer 2005
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Alain GauM. Gau et la fausse barbe circa 1969-70 "Vindictive French teacher, exchange student type, communist." "Can't remember Alain Gau's beard, though in the (1969 staff) photo he's fresh from home and baffled by Wetherby"





The geese a goose pictured earlier"Let's not forget those loveable geese. Known as The Security, they'd let you in the school but they forgot you were allowed to leave the premises at some stage. It was like a game of hide and seek - you would sneak into the school, look in all corners and crevices and the bloody things would still jump out and get you. The ultimate revenge was the preparation for Xmas in Rural Studies, need I say any more? I do not wish to upset the veggies or animal rights brigade!"
"memorable day was the one when Nick Holmes and Dave Archdale, to name two of the guilty, herded the geese into the ROSLA block. When the bell went to change lessons, chaos ensued!"

Mrs. Isabell Gibson 1980s Biologist - drove an MG
Frau Smartt remembers having to collect toads and worms with her on the way to school.
presumably this was before the staff had their own canteen?
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Trevor Green history teacher, 1970s - early 1980s - a brilliant teacher who not only knew his subject but could teach it too. His lessons were fun, interesting and memorable experiences. He was inspirational and my role model for my own teaching style (minus the derogatory comments about women of course!) He left WHS to teach at an all girls school in Devon. I wonder where he is now?
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myoldschools > Teachers > Teachers Surnames A to G > H to M > N to S > T to Z
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