The year under review passed very peacefully on its way for the first term, a period of consolidation and steady progress with the building plans. The Lower School left Wollaston House at Christmas and settled down remarkably well in their new quarters as part of a single united School.
The next phase of building started, and the new Hall and Canteen Block is now assuming a very real shape; the mobile huts have been banished to the furthest corner of the field in a very tidy row, to give the entrance to the School a considerably enhanced appearance. Concern, however, is being felt, in certain quarters, rather late in the day, at the prospect of a big schools complex in the residential area adjoining Hardye's. This complex would be created by the extensions to Hardye's and St. Osmund's, the building of a new first school and a car park near St. Mary's R.C. School. Official objections are being made to the plan which would increase the existing l ,250 pupils in the area to near 2,000. But as Hardye's development plans have already been passed and are being implemented there should not be any serious obstacles to our extensions.
While this sector of the School's life proceeded with relative calm, the New Year seemed to dissolve into a veritable Heraclitean state of flux. Retirements and movements to pastures new necessitated the appointment of nine new members of Staff; hardly a week went by without a parade of hopeful young men anxious to join the Staff.
Two long-serving men retired in July, Mr. J. O. Roberts after 25 years at the School and Major Kenion after 20. Mr. MacTavish left to take up the Deputy Headship of Devonport High School; Mr. Rickett was appointed to a lectureship at Ware College, Hertfordshire, and Mr. Clover was accepted for a course of study leading to a M.Sc. degree at Aston University. We also said Goodbye to Mrs. Johns and Mrs. Williams who had rendered most valuable service in the Science Department. The School records its gratitude to all these members of Staff who have served it with such loyalty and dedication and wishes them well, whether it be in retirement or in new appointments.
In consequence several internal appointments were made for September. Mr. Walden was promoted to Deputy Head Master, and Mr. Davies to Second Deputy. Mr. Hawthorne moved from the Headship of the Biology Department to take charge of the Lower School, and Mr. Ryall became Head of Classics.
The following new members joined the Staff at the beginning of the academic year:
Mr. Neil APPLEGATE, B.Ed., of Stockwell College of Education, Bromley comes over to us from Dorchester Modern School as Head of the Religious Studies Department.
Mr. Alan BEST, B.Sc. of Liverpool University becomes Head of Biology. At the time of his appointment he was holding a similar post at Launceston College, Cornwall.
Mr. David BOWEN, B.A., educated at Bridgend Grammar School and King's College, London, succeeds Mr. MacTavish as Head of English. He has had wide experience and comes from Netherhall School, Cambridge.
Mr. Peter GREEN, B.A., ex-Bec School, London and Nottingham University, joins the Classics Department.
Mr. John RICHARDSON, B.Ed., M.A. of University College, Cardiff brings into the English Department a particular interest in Thomas Hardy's works. He will be no stranger to Dorset.
Mr. Brian SAVAGE, B.Sc. of Bristol University, with experience of teaching in Tarawa, Gilbert Islands, takes over the Headship of Mathematics. His most recent teaching experience was at the Westwood High School, Leek, Staffs.
Mr. David STOKES, Uppingham and Peterhouse, Cambridge, B.A. (Cantab), Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, becomes the second Music Masterand House Tutorat Heathcote House.
Mr. John WALKER, who was a pupil of the School from 1961 to 1967 becomes a part-time assistant in Art and Pottery.
Mr. Richard WHEAL, B.Ed., of the Froebel Institute, College of Education, has joined the English department for one year as a replacement for Mr. Brian Clover.
M. VISTE and Herr Hans-Peter HOFGAERTNER have returned to their homelands; we say Bienvenu and Wilkommen to their successors M. le Boulch and Fraulein Bielefeld.
Clearly there has been a very considerable wind of change blowing through the School. Most noticeably, the English Department is almost entirely brand new. A particularly gratifying feature of a number of the new appointments is that their interest in Music and Drama is bound to have a marked impact on the cultural life of the School.
We have also to record the retirement from the Canteen Staff of Mrs. Graham after over 30 years and Mrs. Lock after 22. Those of us who have spent some time at Hardve's have had the opportunity to appreciate fully the enormous value of the dedication of these two loyal friends of the School. We thank them most sincerely and wish them every happiness in their retirement. In addition we have just said farewell to Mrs. Bowen who has been, for 5 years, a most helpful cleaner.
Mr. Lewendon underwent a second successful hip operation during the summer holidays. We congratulate him on the recovery of nearly all his pristine mobility.
In May, after a lapse of 17 years, the Old Hardyeans' Oxford Dinner was held at Exeter College. The School now has enough undergraduates in residence to ensure that this very pleasant function becomes a regular annual event. We are particularly grateful to Colin BAILEY, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Fellow of Keble, for his enthusiastic support.
Tim KING (1955-1960), Captain R.A.O.C., was a member of the Army Everest Expedition 1976 which succeeded in placing two men on the summit in June. He has paid one visit to the School to give a very fine slide-show and a talk on the climb. He has promised to come again towards the end of October.
OBITUARIES: We record, with much sadness, the deaths of three Old Boys in road accidents during the summer; all three were young enough to have been contemporaries at School of many of its present members:
Robert John PALMER, aged 24, in July.
Anthony JESTY, aged 22, in August.
Tony McKENNA, aged 20, in September.
We also remember, with gratitude, Mr. Cecil POPE who served the School as a Governor for many years. His son, Thomas, keeps the family tradition alive on the Governing Body.
The summer was probably the warmest since 1763; it was also the driest and sunniest on record. Unfortunately, the heat had a disastrous effect on the swimming pool when it was needed most.
The School Roll now stands at 627.
I am pleased and privileged to do so, but write in all humility, for there are many, particularly the older members and former members of the Staff, who, through having worked closely with him for many years, know him better than I and therefore are better qualified to write of the many facets of his character. I therefore apologise for denying them the opportunity of doing something which, I know, would give them tremendous pleasure.
It is not so easy writing of someone who is still as active as Jo, but I am speaking for everyone who knows him when I say that we rejoice in the fact that he is so well preserved and we all wish him and his wife, Gwen, a long and happy retirement. We hope that they will remain in Dorchester, and assuming that this will be so, I have taken care to ensure that this is not too extravagant an Eulogy which would cause him to buy hats six times larger in the future.
Jo's service actually speaks for itself, but, for those who are not sure of just what this was, then the plain facts are that he has been in teaching for 40 years, 25 years of which have been at Hardye's School, in the first 13 of which he was Housemaster at Heathcote and in the last 8 of which he was Deputy Headmaster of the School. During those years at Hardye's he also found time to take an active part in the R.A.F. Section of the C.C.F. and to be Vice-President of many of the School Societies.
It is natural that many of the usual platitudes spring to mind, for how can anyone express thanks for such splendid service without using just a few, which are no less sincerely meant through being so commonplace. I left School before Jo arrived, so this makes it easier for me to say these things than it would for those Old Hardyeans of a later vintage who, at some time during their School career, would undoubtedly have come under the influence of his great authority and sense of responsibility and discipline. I am advised that he was a great academic and a good teacher. A disciplinarian, but with a sense of humour. A trusted friend and adviser. Sportsman, raconteur, satirist, benefactor - they all apply to him.
At a farewell party at the School at the end of last term, to be a little different, I expressed my thanks and good wishes by means of the morse code. This is a language well known to Jo and me through our service in Signals in the R.A.F. during the War - he on the ground and me in the air. The unfamiliarity of the large audience with the language, however, caused them to interrupt right in the middle and the look on Jo's face told me that either he thought it would be an anti-climax to finish my message after the applause had died away, or perhaps his morse-code has become more rusty than I thought it would be!! I hope it was for the latter reason, for it will pay him out for the Latin quotations he produces at every opportunity - few of which I understand having dropped Latin at the earliest possible moment much to my relief and that of all those who tried to teach it to me.
As a Governor I came more closely into contact with his work as Housemaster at Heathcote than as a Master at the School. In the same way that he has always dedicated himself to the service of the Boys at the School, he also fought hard and long for the most he could squeeze from the Governors for the comfort and succour of the Boarders under his charge. I know that he is held in very high regard and affection by all the boys who passed through Heathcote, many of whose parents are always ready to acknowledge the debt which they owe him. In this work he was, of course, most ably assisted by his wife, Gwen, who was not only "Mother" to the boys who attended Heathcote whilst she and Jo were there but was also mother in real life to a son, Steve, and daughter, Gillian. You will realise that I am being selfish in expressing pleasure that Jo and his family are remaining in Dorchester, for Steve became Articled to me when he left University in 1966 and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1970. He has always been a most valued member of my staff, having obviously inherited many of the qualities of his parents.
In retirement I know that Jo will keep active, remembering the words of the Bard himself, "If all the year was playing holidays. To sport would be as tedious as to work." Jo has always taken great delight in keeping in touch with former pupils and colleagues on the Staff, for whom, I know, his house has an ever-open door, with a big "Welcome" on the door-mat. His interest in the Old Boys' Club has grown over the years and for a very long time he has been a valued member of the Committee and will continue to pursue his especial interest through his Editorship of the Old Hardyeans' Newsletters. In the October edition of the Magazine of the Parish Churches of Dorchester we read of a new Group which has been formed to study the New Testament and to learn from Jo the meaning of some of the key words in their original language, Greek.
This surely is what retirement is all about - doing the things you like to do, when you feel like doing them.
Happy Retirement, Jo and Gwen. You both richly deserve it.
J. M. KEEPING, F.C.A.
October, 1976 - Chairman of the Board of Governors.
J. O. Roberts, Esq. H. G. H. Kenion, Esq.
Hugh Kenion joined Hardye's in September 1956 after a successful first career in the Army. He 'fired' the imagination of many a boy not only in his speciality of Religious Studies but also in Physics in his early years with us, and latterly in History. He received his introduction to school administration as Master-in-Charge of stationery, but is best known to more than a school generation of boys and parents as Master-in-Charge of Wollaston and Head of Lower School.
Although Hugh suffered as much as anyone from our split site he always had time to listen. He has always shown great respect for people - old or young - and one could depend upon a straightforward and helpful response from him.
The Major's 'Prep School' had an atmosphere of its own - not least on Saturday afternoons in the Rugby season when all guns would be firing with Hugh's loyal, if uncomprehending, wife Kathleen providing brave support. Kathleen has a longstanding association with Hardye's and has welcomed innumerable new members of staff to her homely dinner parties.
Both Hugh and Kathleen have contributed to the School in many ways, but to many a boy, the avuncular 'Peanuts' in the battered straw hat, clowning in a staff v. boys cricket match, was the real Hugh Kenion.
We wish Hugh and Kathleen many happy years of retirement.
During the six years that Andrew MacTavish was a member of the staff of Hardye's School he made his mark on many aspects of school life. As Head of the English Department in succession to Hugh Bax he maintained the high standard of achievement that all had come to expect from the Department; as producer of the Durnovarian and in many other smaller ways the influence of Andrew MacTavish was very apparent, both in the staffroom and throughout the school.
He will be remembered mostly for his activities in the C.C.F. where he devoted a considerable proportion of his boundless energy. He has that unusual combination of a wide range of military knowledge and considerable skill in Adventurous training. He was as happy on the parade ground as he was climbing up a rock face in Snowdonia or creeping down a cave on Portland. He passed on his enthusiasm in these pursuits to all the boys who came into contact with him, and it is through his drive and inspiration that many former cadets from Hardye's have continued to practise these activities in adult life. He loved the physical and mental challenge presented by these pursuits but, as a schoolmaster, he also saw them as creating another dimension in his relationship with the boys of the school. It is difficult not to understand someone when you have trudged across a Dartmoor bog together, shared a windswept bivi in Snowdonia or been dangled by him on the end of a rope over a Portland cliff.
Andrew MacTavish will be greatly missed by boys and staff alike. As a member of staff I deem it a great privilege to have worked with him during the past six years and he will be remembered with much affection by a whole generation of pupils who have had the good fortune to have been taught by him. Inevitably the moment has come for him to move to a post of greater responsibility. He and his family take with them all our best wishes for their happiness and success in Devonshire.
"Ce n'est qu'un au revoir".
HARDYE'S LOWER SCHOOL AT WOLLASTON HOUSE
Wollaston House was taken over as Hardye's Lower School in 1946 to cater for the 11-plus to 13-plus age group.
To-day, I think, people are rather puzzled that a separate Lower School could have been set up. This was dictated, in part, by the shortage of building materials at the time, for the Main School building would only just accommodate the 13-18 section of the school. In part, it was the idea of a separate place for the "small fry", an embryo middle school, in fact. It was seen as a separate entity with its own teaching staff with little over-lapping or commuting between the schools. It ran its own dinners, tuck shop, and the Master-in-Charge was in fact responsible for the running of the whole school.
There have been only three Masters-in-Charge. The first was John Hale, a man of great ability, who established the Lower School as an entity in its own right while, at the same time, engendering a deep loyalty to Hardye's. He was empowered by the Headmaster, Mr. Hill, to run Wollaston as his own unit. For instance, a junior master would be appointed to teach one or more subjects at Wollaston. He would be responsible more to Mr. Hale than to his Head of Department. (I cannot vouch for the truth of the story of the Head of Dept. who tried to muscle in on the act and retired with two holes in his hat!) At least everyone knew where they stood and nobody was serving two masters.
In many other ways John Hale established a very pleasant atmosphere at Wollaston. He got a high standard of games going and formed links in rugger and cricket with surrounding schools, founding a tradition which has always been maintained.
A detached unit in such hands rapidly develops its own individuality. This is not only inevitable but right and proper. Properly handled it is a great asset to the parent body.
This may or may not be the ideal way of doing it, but it had certain advantages. The geographical situation resulted in a small unit capable of developing a friendly "small ship" atmosphere, stable and reassuring to boys of 11 to 13 who, far more than their elders, need the stability and sense of security to be able to flourish.
The organisation also ensured the "on the spot" presence of the staff which greatly added to this, though the importance of it was not realised until later when it broke down, with sad results, as I shall explain later.
It was not entirely a perfect world; there were no facilities at Wollaston for teaching sciences in the approved manner. Staffing was, of course, difficult in the early days of shortages, and the job offered was limited and did not include O-Level or Sixth Form work. Heads of Departments felt rather cut off. There were even dark fears of U.D.I.! Nevertheless, the system worked; even the Inspectors in 1959 did not seem too unhappy.
Hardye's Lower School was never intended, however, to be permanently housed in Wollaston. I remember being told when I joined in 1956 that the Lower School would be moved up "in the near future". Detailed architectural drawings were completed in the early 1960's, but man proposes . . . ! Meanwhile the Lower School stayed at Wollaston.
In 1959 John Hale left to take up a headmastership, and Bernard (Bunny) Lee took over. John Hawthorne handled the rugger, and David Scaife the cricket. Meanwhile, the pattern and tradition carried on until in 1967 Bunny Lee's health broke down and John Faulkner had to stand in until Christmas. In January 1968 Hugh Kenion took over a slightly shaken Lower School and immediately encountered what was termed "a friendly visit" from Inspectors, who demanded that Heads of Departments should teach in the Lower School and the drawbacks mentioned above be put right.
The teaching of sciences was started in the Main School Labs, which meant that the boys had to walk the mile there and back. I am not sure that this did them any harm, and the teaching advantages are obvious.
To solve the staff and Head of Department problems seemed easy. Heads of Departments began to teach at Wollaston and arranged that Lower School Staff had opportunities for teaching at a higher level. An easy gnat to strain out - the camel that lodged in our gullet was not foreseen!
The result of all this was that a resident Lower School staff became a thing of the past. Even those officially allocated to Wollaston spent too much time away from the boys who were, nominally, in their charge. For instance, two subjects previously taught by one permanently resident master, was now taught by five different ones, none of whom taught more than six, or at most nine, periods at Wollaston. All members of staff were wasting time and energy frantically rushing between, two schools. We had been manoeuvred into a position where we were teaching subjects instead of educating boys.
H. G. H. Kenion at Wollaston House Fire Escape at Wollaston House
The effects began to show within the year. The boys were deprived of the stability and sense of security given by their "resident comedians" and no amount of effort and goodwill by the "visiting artists", though generously offered, could replace it. The cats were away and the mice began to play! At the end of the second year a halt had to be called. A cadre of "residents" was formed as a compromise. This, at least, gave a minimum of stability and it was quite surprising how quickly things changed, and a more calm and fruitful atmosphere was re-established. If I have gone into this at some length, it is because there are lessons to be learnt.
No account of Wollaston would be completed without mention of the "background boys - and girls". Mr. Treadgold was the first caretaker with Mr. Cox in charge of the grounds and Icen Way gym and art room - an excellent combination. Mr. Treadgold retired shortly after Mr. Hale left and Mr. Cox took over as caretaker. Mr. Haskins, who is still with Hardye's, took over Icen Way. Mr. Cox was succeeded by Mr. Lock and finally by Mr. Hawker, all great characters in their different ways, who rendered invaluable service. The kitchen, that vital place, was ruled by Mrs. Pearce the original "Cookie". When she retired we felt that no one could really replace her. How wrong we were! Mrs. Turner became, in her turn, a legendary Cookie, and remained until The Move.
This took place at Christmas 1975. The whole contents of Wollaston were packed and labelled in the last days of the Christmas Term. Messrs. Woods moved it all up in the holidays and by lunch time on the first day of the Spring Term Hardye's Lower School was in business again in its new location.
The old house now stands empty and rather forlorn. I went into it at the end of last term. I had taught there for 18 years and the echoes of my footsteps were joined by many others. Big ones like John Faulkner, Jim Bailward and "Long" Wrigley; medium-sized ones like Peter Lanfear, Richard Saunders and Bill Kirton; bearded ones like John Oakshatt; and always by those small ones indicating, like distressed seagulls, that once more Injustice had been done and Basic Injustice had prevailed!
They, thank God, still continue - but in another place.