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

Lest we forget...

Mrs Pallister early 1970s Cookery, Craft teacher - "Sharp as a needle"

Mr Palmer Mr David Palmer The "Farmer" - 1960s to early 90s - "the gentle giant - when he said "dig" you did straight away because of his big booming voice." (only if you're a girl!)
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Geraldo PaylingGerald Payling 1960s-90s - "very strict and not to be crossed, but a dicky bird told me that when you got in the sixth form he turned a blind eye to the ciggies"
"nicknamed 'Bucket', he marshalled the sixth form prefects like a chief constable, regularly checking they were manning their posts...he didn't know (or maybe he did!) that it was common practice to wait until he went out on his rounds and then run like hell to the sentry position, arriving before he got there, wait for him to appear and say "well done" and then slope off back to the sixth form block as soon as he was out of sight..."
"…we also did that when the 6th year Common Room was housed in the Reading Room, on the corridor behind the stage entrances to the Assembly Hall."
"It was Bucket who scratched my copy of 'Octopus' by Gentle Giant (who? no, not Farmer Palmer). His modus operandi was to storm into the room and twirl the volume knob on the gramophone (yes! - gramophone!) with force and a venomous glare round the room. Incidentally how many 6th form Common Rooms did we have before the lucky sods in the year below us got the custom built one!?"

"…when he became headmaster after Mr Fitton retired he insisted that all the staff call him "sir". He was apparently mightily peed off when he went back to being deputy and the teachers delighted in calling him "Gerald" again. He also once told a group of us to get off some snow because it might "have radiation in it". I think Chernobyl had just happened, to be fair!"

"eventually relented and let us vote to allow the wearing of jeans in the 6th form (1980). Thought you were a failure if you didn't want to go to university"
On April Fools' Day:
"You really shouldn't smoke." During a Canasta game (for money) in his office as he puffed on his pipe and Pat Moody and I inhaled B&H's.

"We will pray for you." He and Thwaite-tally-ho PE teacher, after Nyk Hall and I defended an atheist position during a debate.
"How the hell did you manage it?" (Notice the religious implication?) After we'd contributed enough to the VIth Form Fund (and persuaded all to let us spend some) to purchase a stereo system for the common room. He knew that I'd been taking tuck shop and disco volunteers out for Chinese Lunches, but didn't know that I could make a tea bag last for 15 cups and had sold vodka in the orange squash at Xmas.
"BARBARA WANLESS!" On discovering his briefcase padlocked to the banisters and his office furniture arranged on the lawn in front of VIth Form Block. (Credit goes to Nyk Hall, Stephen Tate, Nick Temple and perhaps me)

Gerald Payling passed away peacefully on 16th September 2017, aged 83 years. Fondly remembered.

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Mr Bob ProctorBob Proctor 1960s/80s historian - "Remember, Sir, when you put a little weight on you don't sit on glass top units." Crash!
"Everyone hated him until on the last day of term he let us watch a Two Ronnies Christmas special...!"
"Anyone who remembers Mr Proctor will recall his booming voice and, being in charge, he used it rather a lot on us. In fact he used it so regularly that we found it very easy to imitate. So at a few selected opportunities at a hotel in Vienna in which Miss Barnes could not see Mr Proctor but thought she could hear him I would call out for her to do "such and such" or ask her a question. Not realising that it was fake she duly answered or complied "Yes Bob". It all culminated late evening at the hotel where us WHS boys and girls were moving between rooms and partying in contravention of the strict rules laid down by the two teachers. Needless to say the time came for Mr Proctor to put an end to it but not before the fake Mr Proctor's voice had Miss Barnes running in all directions trying to find the culprits and before the real Mr Proctor took over."
"he used to patrol that section of corridor outside his room in the periods between lessons, when class migration was at it's heaviest with the zest and fervour normally associated with traffic wardens"
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Moira Rahmani 1980s - "why no mention of Moira?"
As for Moira Rachmani - don't you know that she married Mr. Jordan???! And that she IS now Mrs. Jordan?? Living with him in Leeds? She stayed on way after me, and of course, I think Mr. Jordan is still there? Come on, surely you can find out more on that score! the Smartt gauntlet is down! - who can fill in any details here?
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Mr Peter "Rocker" Railton  1960s Games - left in April 1970 but has contacted the archive (November 10th 2001) :
"After leaving WHS in April 1970 I spent a couple of years teaching at a junior school in Darlington - an absolute disaster - except that it was there that I met my wife. In 1972 I moved to Hampshire to a comprehensive school in Fleet where I have been ever since. My current role is as Head of Upper School and I'm involved in teaching History, Humanities and Careers Education. I reach the grand old age of 60 next June and at the end of the current school year I intend to quit the chalk face, at least on a full-time basis. I visited the school about ten days ago and met up with Malcolm Winterburn, who is the only member of staff still at the school who was a contemporary of mine."

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Mr Doug Rawson 1960s Crossley Street - "had a bicycle and clips and used to give you a penny when it was your birthday"
"Back in '65 someone (no names) once swiped my Man From Uncle Car, the 88 Oldsmobile, which I had left for safe keeping on his desk. He was good enough to buy me a replacement on the understanding that I never brought it into school!"
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Barry Sellers Barry Sellers (left)  1960s/80s Artist. "Was he the best teacher WHS ever had? Yes."
"Sorry to hear of his death. Was a formidable teacher, who came across as very strict. He left in the late eighties"
"An inspiration"
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Mr Slimmon 1990s chemist - "Does anyone know what happened to him? He was great and, despite never understanding a word he was talking about, still made lessons fun."
"slightly portly and vertically challenged, had a Birmingham accent (this may be a figment of my memory) and drove a really small car, funny to watch a larger person getting into it, had a real hatred of Lightwater Valley offer tickets (after what we used to do in his class), and he also carried a furry truncheon around the classroom, to hit the people who were not paying attention. He would also often joke about rubber tubing not leaving any marks. Would be good to know where he is now."
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Frau SmarttFrau Smartt Late 1970s German - "The source of many a young boy's dominatrix fantasy as I remember - must have been the leather trousers and skirts. Married to Mike Smartt, local TV news reporter, described recently as 'long-forgotten'. If you know otherwise, please let us know."
"an 'acquaintance' of mine has revealed that Frau Smartt is still teaching German somewhere in London." (ha! some intelligence network YOU have!)
"left in 1980 to take up a Head of Department post at Royds School, Leeds where she stayed 'til 1984, then became Hotel Manager in Glasgow [!]"
SMARTT FACTS: The Frau contacted the Archive in July 2001 to put the record straight:
"This is THE Frau speaking: Guten Tag und Achtung Baby! Since your posting is WAY out of date, I thought I'd quickly give you the latest. Have since become a Professor at Law and Criminology, holding the post for the past 11 years at Thames Valley University, London. So sorry, no German taught ever again (Gottseidank). My specialism now: prisons! Not far off then from Wetherby High. Yes, still married to Mike (nearly 25 years) who is indeed Editor in Chief of BBC News Online and twice BAFTA winner for that!"
Frau Smartt is also a published author, with Grendon Tales, a book based on her prison research, having recently been published by Waterside Press.
The final word comes from the Frau:
"P.S. when you read the first chapter of my book, Grendon Tales, you will also find out that pre-Wetherby High, I worked as a "Waitress" for Peter Stringfellow in his first Leeds Club."
Breaking news 2003 - The Frau is now a magistrate - so watch out!
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Malcolm Spencer Mr Spencer 1970s/80s musician - "He was my first year form tutor and was totally obsessed with ABBA, The Beatles, his mother-in-law and Ready Brek (seem to remember he was particularly partial to butterscotch flavour)"
"…you would be having a great laugh with him but then he would suddenly turn nasty. He did that very "funny" trick of asking a question, fixing his eyes on you but calling out someone else's name"
"Worried about his mental stability. One minute calm and collected, the next blasting you with the force of a gale if you committed the ultimate sin of looking at your watch during his lessons. Was the teacher you got sent to if you upset Mrs Swift Howe. Sported a fine comb-over atop his shiny head and liked to play the Jaws theme on his piano."
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Rex SteelMr Steel 1960s/80s Linguist - "The demeanour of a rottweiler with a sense of humour that could kill at twenty paces. Used to stick his feet up and smoke during lessons and throw board rubbers at Nick Rimmer, Rob Humphreys et al. at the back of the class. Was terrified of him until he realised I was good at French and I realised he was mostly taking the p--s.
"My only criticism of Rex Steel is that he used to allow Radio 1 on during lessons and at that time the hideous Dave Lee Travis was employed by the Corporation. Need I go on? That aside, a splendid bloke who has gone into local politics and if you have a vote, you know what to do…"
"I remember him well. He hit me in the eye with a piece of chalk as I was talking and not giving him my undivided attention. Also clouted me around the ear for talking in the next lesson. This was after the law stopping Teachers punishing children with force was brought in. 1986 I think" this is, of course, an unsubstantiated claim
"by the time we came to do A Levels, we were bored and so was he, so we used to have double lessons of "Steel's reflections of life" instead of French. He used to smoke smelly French fags, and a dozen 6th form girls used to hang on his words, watching spellbound as he made great show of rolling up his shirt sleeves. Poor Mrs Rahmani was the one who had to drum the language into us"
Update Sadly, Rex Steel died in Wetherby on Saturday 6th May 2006.
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Miss Suchland 1980s art teacher - "The subject of mine and most of my friends' fantasies in 1985. May have been a good teacher if you could concentrate on the art. We were all gutted when she married Mr Livesey, who thereafter thought he was John Travolta. (One day in 1987 Livesey turned up to school sporting a ripe shiner. Turned out he'd been punched by a bouncer the night before outside Mr Craigs nightclub in Leeds, no doubt giving it a bit of mouth)."
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D E Surfleet 1970s metalworker, "usually called Des because of his initials. A very good teacher in my opinion and capable of having a laugh with the lads."
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Mrs Swift-Howe 1970s/80s Music - "We played hookey from her lesson, felt so sorry for her - she got upset because she took it personally but we just hated music."
"BARBARA WANLESS!" On discovering that she was trapped in the music room because someone had tied a rope around the door handle and secured it to the door handle of the music cupboard. Yes, I know she was trying to get to an "Oliver!" rehearsal in the hall, but I had to understudy Mandy Rance's "Nancy" and was peeved that I had to play a prostitute. Of course, I was nowhere to be found because accomplice (who?) and I were installed in a classroom in main building, overlooking music room. I did let her out.
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myoldschools > Teachers > Teachers Surnames A to G > H to M > N to S > T to Z
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