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Glengyle School (Glengyle Preparatory School for Boys)

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Glengyle Preparatory School for Boys was in Putney, south-west London. It was founded in 1907 by Leonard Augustine Chope, and was originally in Cambalt Road before moving to 4, Carlton Drive in 1914.

Glengyle Preparatory School for Boys
photographed in the Summer Term of 1965

Walter Vivian Wallace was appointed as Assistant School Master in 1938 before purchasing the lease from Mr Chope and becoming the proprietor and headmaster of the school.

He bought the freehold of the property in Carlton Drive in 1960. His wife Winifred taught at the school and took over its running following the death of her husband in 1981. Mrs Wallace retired in 1986 and the school was sold. It is now the Merlin School.

The building was one of those huge Victorian villas, probably built in the 1860s for a large and prosperous family with many servants.   The ceilings were high, the rooms spacious. The large garden had been turned into a gravelled playground, complete with climbing frame. A skeletal medlar tree stood in one corner near the conservatory, which was now Form Two.

In the 1965 photograph, the whole school is shown: it had about 60 pupils.
From L – R the staff are:  Mrs Helen Jordan (music); Mrs Joan Mensing (Form Two); Mrs Winifred Wallace (Form One); Mr Vivian Wallace (Headmaster); Major Peter Williams (Form Four); Mr Smith, and Mr Davies.

Mrs Mensing had started out by being Mrs (or Miss) Walker, but intrigued us all by remarrying and changing her name in 1964. She was a good amateur watercolourist.

The Wallaces, with their three children, Peter, Juliet, and Adrian, lived upstairs. The school occupied the ground floor and the basement, which also housed the kitchens and the dining room.

Mrs Wallace ruled Form One, teaching just about everything to little boys mostly new to school. Basic arithmetic was introduced and I have a clear recollection of large sheets of dark yellow paper with red spots drawn on them to show the way numbers increased. Five (two spots at top and bottom, with a central one making up a pleasing pattern) and then the favourite of all ‘Lonely Six’ – a repeat of Five, but with poor old Six stuck out to one side.

Easter and Christmas were significant in that we beautified the classroom a couple of weeks before the end of term with specially made decorations. Paperchains and cotton wool snow at Christmas, and bunnies at Easter. The paperchains were made from strips of coloured paper, gummed together into loops, and the bunnies were carefully cut out by Mrs Wallace, who then gave them to us to exercise our artistic skills with brown powder paint. A small lump of cotton wool was then added for the tail. The rabbits were arranged round the walls along with cut-out Easter eggs and bright flowers. I don’t think the Easter message was mentioned. That would come later, in Scripture lessons with Major Williams.

For me, Christmas was immediately exciting because of the promise of the ‘School Concert’ – an end-of-term entertainment in which our histrionic talents were put on show. From a classic nativity play with angels and shepherds and three wise men, to a number of songs in French and English, short dramatic interludes – again, some in French, some in English, and some even in Latin. I once scored a great hit as Mrs Noah in a French version of the Bible story. I had a blue and white striped frock, which I think had originally belonged to a neighbour of ours, and a neat apron. I had to bully the animals. In French.

Mr Noah – played by Carlos Munday, who was Spanish – eventually lost patience and ordered me into ‘l’arche’ with the warning that if I didn’t obey at once, I would drown. I think we were better than the extract from ‘Macbeth’ which followed, but I coveted Peter Wallace’s magnificent blue gown and wimple, and wished I could have been Lady Macduff. I can still hear Guy Whitehead groaning ‘He has killed me, mother’. He had a naturally gruff voice, and was lying on the floor, dressed in a sack. His plastic dagger and shaggy red hair lent a certain authenticity to the scene.

The Christmas Nativity Play, c.1963 (The angels' costumes are made of white sheets, the wings of muslin strips, with elastic bands to loop over our fingers. Joseph and Mary of course wore tea-towel headdresses, as did the shepherds, who aren't in this photograph.)

The Christmas Nativity Play, c.1963
(The angels’ costumes are made of white sheets,
the wings of muslin strips, with elastic bands to
loop over our fingers. Joseph and Mary of course wore tea-towel headdresses, as did the shepherds, who aren’t in this photograph.)

Music was provided by Mrs Jordan, who one year composed ‘The Glengyle March’ which involved a lot of stomping about, all of us pretending to play musical instruments. The stage, which wasn’t a stage at all, but just the space in front of the longest wall of the room used for assembly, always seemed enormous to me. It was made spectacular by a huge gold curtain – provided by the generosity of Michael Bogod’s parents. Three very large floodlights illuminated it and us, courtesy of Jimmy Koenig’s father who ran a photographic studio. It wasn’t subtle, but it was bright, and I loved it.

Willing volunteers were roped in to help get us ready and to make sure we didn’t miss our cues or get involved in squabbles. Our housekeeper, Dorothy Buck (always known as ‘Dolfie’) was very good at looking after those of us in her charge. Fortunately she didn’t mind when I insisted that she join the staff for Morning Prayers, and also be put at the head of one table for lunch.

Glengyle’s cook was a South African by the name of Frank Jermy. He had a permanently grubby white apron, and greasy trousers. He produced endless quantities of chips, every day. Ham and peas and chips, fish and peas and chips, stewing steak and chips, a slice of spam and (probably) peas – and chips, pie and peas – or sometimes carrots or cabbage – and chips, the menu didn’t vary very much. Except at Christmas.

The morning playtime discovery of a headless grey squirrel lying on the gravel outside the kitchen doors caused endless speculation as to how it had met its fate. The verdict was unanimous: Mr Jermy had beheaded it, and the squirrel would no doubt be on the menu the next day, complete with chips.

Every lunchtime, between the main course and sweet, Mr Wallace would take his dessert spoon and hammer the formica-topped table in front of him. This brought a pin-drop silence to the room so that the daily register could be taken. As there were only about sixty pupils in the school, it didn’t take very long, and lunch then continued with jelly and custard or apple pie and custard.

Next to the kitchen and dining room was the place where we hung our coats and caps on hooks until going-home time.

This area was also the place where small bottles of milk (one third of a pint) were dished out from a crate every morning. It was a perk to be appointed a milk monitor. I never was. In winter, the bottles were stood in plastic bowls of hot water to take some of the chill off. Winters in the 1960s seem to have been spectacularly cold.

Next to the dining room was the Maths Room, which was the domain of Mrs Hawkins. It smelt of blackboard chalk and the paraffin heater that steamed the windows up. The walls were an acidic yellow, covered with educational posters and bits and pieces to do with mathematics. The room also carried a faint smell of its incumbent: a smell of perspiration in an age when deodorants were far from common.

Mollie Hawkins – who arrived in around 1964 – ruled the Maths Room by fear. She was a bully, given to outbursts of temper with occasional violence thrown in. Had she behaved in a similar manner nowadays, she would not only have ceased to be a teacher within a very short time, but would probably have been arrested into the bargain. She remained on the staff for twenty years, and died in 1993 at the age of 76.

(I remember my best friend being the victim of one of her more brutal attacks, in which she grabbed him by the hair and shook him backwards and forwards to punctuate a tirade levelled at him.  Of course we never said anything. At home, complaining about a teacher was virtually useless, the usual response being something along the lines of ‘Well, I expect you asked for it.’)

My dislike of Maths has remained undimmed to this day.

The playground was at the back of the school, and its rear wall overlooked the playground of Putney High School. At break-times, the vigorous shouts of amazonian young girls at play could be heard, providing – for some – a tantalising hint of desires and pleasures as yet unknown and undeveloped, but frequently spoken of with much hilarity and absolute disbelief.


In 1967, the school held a Diamond Jubilee celebration, marked by a fete in the school grounds, and also the production of felt pennants, printed with the school’s name and dates – in the characteristic grey and white of the uniform.

I was there from 1963 – 1967, leaving just before the celebrations, and returning as a visitor for the day. It all looked very strange. And very small. For many years the prospectus continued to declare that the school provided a fitting background for those wishing to enter “the colonial or diplomatic services”.

In 1967 the staff are Helen Jordan, Joan Mensing, Winifred & Vyvyan Wallace, Mjr. Peter Williams, and Mrs. Mollie Hawkins

In 1967 the staff are Helen Jordan, Joan Mensing, Winifred & Vivian Wallace, Mjr. Peter Williams, and Mrs. Mollie Hawkins

To be continued …





Written by Francis Wright

December 15, 2011 at 9:45 am

Posted in Uncategorised

152 Responses

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  1. Oh dear!
    Mum was a dragon all right.

    Philip Hawkins

    November 28, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    • I attended Glengyle school from the autumn of 1957 until 1959 or 1960. I think I was the only American in the school at the time although there were several of us “foreigners” including one Canadian and two Pakistanis, all of whom were good friends of mine. Our Maths teacher was a Mr. Davies, a red faced tyrant who loved to terrify little boys. No class was complete until he had applied a plimsole to some poor lad’s ass. For languages and literature we had Mr. Smith who detested me and all Americans and made that sentiment known on a daily basis. “You’re like all your countrymen, Frymire–you’ve got a big mouth.” Whether true or not, can you imagine a teacher expressing a sentiment like that today? Smith presided at my lunch table and regularly bullied me and others whose accents betrayed foreign origins. To escape him, I volunteered to be a “server” meaning I could eat away from Smith and in the safety of the kitchen. Attending Glengyle was a bit like a Disneyland trip to Charles Dickens Land, complete with dip pens, freezing classrooms and daily brutality. Thank God for Major Williams, a brilliant, funny, and worldly gentleman who made a geography lover out of me–a passion that continues today.

      And the facilities–I can’t imagine a dirtier place. The kitchen was filthy. The bathrooms were unspeakable–I only used the masters’ loo and never got caught. I suppose the place made me tougher and God knows I’ve been dining out on Glengyle anecdotes for over 50 years–I guess that’s worth something.

      Bruce Frymire

      June 18, 2013 at 2:35 pm

      • Bruce – the wonder of the internet. My name is Robie Macdonald – I was one of those Canadians and I remember you, along with John Lefevre, another Canuck, who had red hair. I seem to recall you were from California. Well, time flies and I could not agree with you more about Major Williams, who I believe did geography and history. Cannot say I remember much except the battle of Agincourt, which was 1415, The questions, which were asked for that particular test, were “Questions 14 and 15, who fought in the battle and what date was it – 14 and 15. I don’t think I got the right answer. And as for cookie – well ahead of his time; he had that perennial 3-day heavy beard, and a cigarette hanging off his lip. I’m at if you are interested.


        Rob Macdonald

        February 10, 2014 at 1:55 am

      • Small world story. Between 1959 – 62 I attended Glengyle. My two best friends were Jameel and Heckmath Khaleeli, Pakistani brothers. Heckmath had had a mild case of polio. (Other friends were William Orgill from Perth, Akira Uchiyama from Okinawa, Kasper Mettler from Switzerland (Basel?), Adelmann (sorry can’t remember his first name) to name a few. Then my family left the UK to return to Rhodesia and I lost contact with the brothers. I was 13. 22 years later, in 1984 my wife and young son and I visited London to holiday with friends there. On a whim I looked up the name of the brothers in Putney. There were two H Khaleelis. I phoned the first number, asking for Heckmath. This is not his number, but I’m his cousin. Here’s his number. So I phoned that number. Heckmath (who had now reverted to the more usual Pakistani spelling of Hikmat Khalili) answered. Wow, my lucky day. I explained we went to school 22 years earlier. He needed a hint or two to recognize me and then suggested I drop by his house. Which I did. A huge mansion. With no furniture in it. He’d just bought it, for 400,000GBP (about $645,000 in those days but that’s another story.) We went for a beer at the local pub, caught up on the 22 years in a haphazard way. He told me Jameel (now spelled Jamil) had returned to Pakistan in the early 70s. After laughing our way through a stream of weird memories, Hikmat drove me to the tube station and we said goodbye. I lost contact with him.

        A decade later, in 1995 I was playing really bad squash in a hotel in Kampala, Uganda. I missed a shot and looked up at the gallery hoping no one had seen me. But one person had. Later I walked down to the Speke hotel for a solitary curry dinner. A man sitting alone said “unlucky shot I’d say” and laughed. He was the person who saw me flailing away. He invited me to join him for dinner. Why not. He told me he was from Pakistan, a banker, looking for business prospects. I said my best friend at school in London 30 odd years ago was from Pakistan. What’s his name? I told him. Well, he said, if Jamil lives in Karachi, I know him. He is one of my clients! Small world we both said and laughed. He gave me his business card. We finished our meal and parted ways. While I meant to, I never did follow up with him because I lost his card.

        A few months ago I was in Karachi for a short work visit. I was having an introductory chat with a Pakistani colleague in our office. Been in Pakistan before have you? She asked. Once, but I do know there’s an old school friend who lives here somewhere, telling her Jamil Khalili. Khalili? She said. Not a very common name. But I have a very good friend who is married to a Khalili. Should I see if she knows of him? Why not? (Really!!). Thirty minutes later I got a text message. My friend is married to your friend. Here’s his phone number. Jamil phoned me a short while later and invited me for dinner. I’m having a few friends over anyway he said. He sent his driver. More than 50 years after saying goodbye in London. We met again on that weekend, when he and his wife took me to the Sindh Club for brunch. There are 182 million people in Pakistan. 38 million in Uganda. And 10+ million in London. What are the odds?

        Peter Roberts

        October 7, 2015 at 2:11 pm




        October 7, 2015 at 4:58 pm

      • Hello Francis, Thanks so much for your quick reply and information about Kaspar’s reply. I have a small problem: When I go to his comment there is no place to reply to it, yet there is for most other comments. What need I do to respond to him? cheers, peter


        October 7, 2015 at 8:09 pm

      • Hello Kaspar, I have taken the liberty of forwarding your email address to Peter. Best wishes, Francis

        Francis Wright

        October 8, 2015 at 8:33 am

    • Mrs. Hawkins God Bless!
      I was doing quite well in her Maths class in the basement. Guess so strict I had no choice but to do good back then.She taught me the basics of Maths, thaks to that I was way ahead in Maths
      when came back to Japan. There were few other pupil from Japan besides my younger brother back then in late 60’s.She was the one who gave me confidence in learning since numbers are same all over the world.

      Masaru, SUZUKI

      September 5, 2013 at 7:03 am

    • Hi Philip

      I remember one of Mrs. Hawkins son/s came on the annual school trip one year probably around 1968. Was that you?



      Tariq Syed

      March 4, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    • Does anyone remember the jam pie with custard? I have been craving that for the past 50 years and would like to have it again before this life is over. I was also imprisoned at Glengyle from 1965 to 1967. i still have that 1965 original class picture. I have to find it to figure out which one I am. Now living in British Columbia Canada since 1970.

      Douglas Williams

      December 21, 2014 at 3:10 am

      • OK Doug Williams here. It has taken me a while but now I know which one I am in the 1964 picture. Far right 3 up.

        Douglas Williams

        April 1, 2015 at 5:13 am

      • Sorry 1967 Picture

        Douglas Williams

        April 1, 2015 at 5:14 am

  2. That’s me in the 1967 pic, back row 5th from the right! I was there from around 1966 – 1970 and then went off to Emanuel.

    Yes. I remember Mrs. Hawkins classes…much to be feared. I remember a new Japanese boy called Abo put the words ‘The End ‘ after every homework sum he did once and Mrs. Hawkins went a bit ‘ape’….mainly because he’d spelt ‘ The’ as ‘Teh’! LOL.

    What became of Major Williams. I know he left a year or so after I did?

    Some of the people I used to hang around with:- Hari Tahil, Trevor Morgan, Hiashi (yeh japanese), Abo (another japanese), Suh (korean), Keizo Sakurai (japanese) and loads of others!

    Tariq Syed

    December 9, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    • There were many pupil back then who had either younger or older brother under same sir name. My family name SUZUKI. My yonger brother Nobuyasu (Nobby) and Masaru myself. Ibelieve Japanese ABO was already there when me and my younger brother went to GB from Japan in 1967. Also other Japanese Sakurai, Usui I remember. Definetly Trevor Morgan, we played football together went we were invited to his house. Mr. Matthews who won a lottery pool and bought a camp beetle. Became friends with many through playing football together at school ground. During winter season, took a ride on a coach to a football ground nearby every Monday & Wednsday afternoon and played football all afternoon. I remember playing a match with Squirels,another school close by. Cricket during summer season, orange juice lying on the turf all afternoon. Friday afternoon a ride swimming pool, and routine was to get a bag of chips from a vending machine. One day my mom bought us a Frisbee, with my brother practiced,
      Other names I remember, N Smith, M Gould, K Syed, D Sighn, A Middleton, A Bolton, G Martin, J Wallace, A Wallace,

      SUZUKI, Masaru

      December 9, 2013 at 11:51 pm

      • Hello, and thank you very much for this. The football ground was the Harrodian Club (belonging to Harrod’s Department Store) in Lonsdale Road, Barnes, almost opposite where the new St Paul’s School was to be built. The Wallaces were sons of the headmaster, and they were Peter and Adrian. J. Wallace was their sister, Juliet. They lived upstairs.

        Francis Wright

        December 10, 2013 at 6:57 am

      • I believe Sports Day Event in Summer season also took place in Harrodian Club. I remember getting a book for a 1st prize in running. One day I found a pellet in that tree at the far side of the playground by the girls highschool, caused by either Peter or Adrian’s airrifle shot from a window upstairs. Talking of upstairs, one time few of us did something really bad, were called to go up to the head master’s room, somehow I came just that close, but few actually got called inside and came out with face down, believe got smacked in the butt. I still recall our head master Mr. Wallace back then, a man with a generous heart and big thought. A great Head Master that you will never forget.

        SUZUKI, Masaru

        December 10, 2013 at 7:58 am

  3. Yes, Sports Day was certainly at the Harrodian Club as well. An egg-and-spoon-race was open to the mothers attending. James Whaley’s mother usually won it – for two reasons: 1) she wore large skirts that enabled her to stride/run far faster than anyone else, and 2) she always chose the wooden spoon that had the deepest hollow in the bowl, so her egg remained in situ throughout the race!
    I love the story about Putney High School and the air rifle. Many thanks.

    Francis Wright

    December 10, 2013 at 9:46 am

  4. Ahh the gold old days at Glengyle. I was there from 81-84, great school ! I remember going to barnes for football and round Mrs Hawkins house for Maths (live in southfields). Some names I remember are Paul Jeffs, Martin (cant remember surname), Mr Bromfield (Science), Mrs Lewis (French).

    Umar Ahmed

    January 13, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    • My time at Glengyle was significantly earlier–late ’50s! I think I was the only American at the school then, though there were some other foreigners I used to hang with–one Canadian (Robbie, are you out there?), a Danish kid and two Pakistanis. Leaving California one day and a few days later finding myself playing (soccer) football in 30 degree temps (Fahrenheit) in semi darkness with nothing but a shirt and shorts on–talk about culture shock. I loved the fact that we all got on a bus in the middle of a school day and rode all the way over to Barnes. I was less enthusiastic about the communal, luke-warm-at-best bath available at the end of play. No way I was getting into that muck. So I just turned and left and made my muddy way back home on the same bus we’d taken to the fields. I think you had to change buses going back to Putney–at a pub called “the Boileau” (pronounced “boiler” by the conductor. All a great adventure and education for me. Leaving a ten year old to find his way home in the dark in 2014–well, it wouldn’t happen in the U.S. today–can’t speak for London. In spring and summer it was significantly different. All dressed up in whites, lying around on the grass all afternoon waiting for a chance to bat. Very pleasant memories. And by then, I was a bit better oriented and merely rode my bike to Barnes and home. Major Williams was always the umpire–what a kind and charming man he was.

      Bruce Frymire

      January 13, 2014 at 6:20 pm

      • Hello there!

        Thanks for the piece, below. I think that more or less sums up my memories of sports at Glengyle. The Harrodian Club sports ground. ‘Harrodian’ because it belonged to Harrods, the Knightsbridge department store. Do you remember the annual sportsdays ? Mothers in ‘hats’ – and always much older than they are these days. The obligatory egg-and-spoon race for parents: Mrs Whaley always won it because she chose the spoon with the deepest bowl, and wore big skirts so that she could stride like a heron.

        I never used to ‘do’ the bath or shower either. Much better to go home.

        We lived just down the road from the Harrodian Club, but a trainride away from the school. One stop: Barnes to Putney. And then a short stroll up Putney Hill to Carlton Drive.

        Happy New Year, mate.

        Best wishes again, Francis


        Francis Wright

        January 13, 2014 at 6:35 pm

      • We lived in a duplex (we’d call it that in the US–two flats in one building) on Chartfield Place in Putney just a short walk from Glengyle. We then moved all the way out to New Malden. I still mostly rode my bike except in extreme weather, including the slog up Kingston Hill. I dreamed I was going to be the first American to win the Tour de France–doesn’t look like that’s going to happen now…

        Bruce Frymire

        January 13, 2014 at 8:07 pm

      • Hah, yes indeed. It is Robie – see my earlier posted reply typed before I got down to this. And I think that infamous Mr Smith, who taught Art and maybe French, was in that top picture as well as Major Williams. And Mr Davies, yes I remember algebra and geometry. Somehow over time his face and shape have merged in my mind with Nikita Kruschev.


        Rob Macdonald

        February 10, 2014 at 1:58 am

    • Hi! I was there from ’83-’84. Just one year before heading off to another school. Memories included: awful milk during break times, maths (I was good at it not because of Hawkins but because of what I learnt before arriving), school x-mas play and having to act about three parts courtesy of the French teacher, Putney Girls next door (went out with a girl from there a few years later at uni), putney swimming lessons, fights in the yard to protect my cousin who was also there for a year, school bully (Kirk Still? I think) and a hilarious kid called Menon (from Mauritius) who I lost touch with. Mixed times but overall fun and a great experience for after.



      July 22, 2015 at 9:21 pm

  5. I attended Glengyle Preparatory School from the autumn of 1967 until 1970 I was the only the Norwegian boy in the school along with my brother who went there for one year until he continued at Emanuel School. “Look at the Ceiling” Now look at me” It was Mrs Wallace attending the class.
    Behind the Climbing frame there was a yellow brick wall with a broken glass cemented on top. We used to play climbing on the outdoor pipes.

    Yes I remember Mrs Hawkins who had a serious bad temper at times. I cold sweated when I entered the classroom. One day she folded her hands and took a firm grip behind Matthew`s head and smashed it against the wooden desk lid with a Bang!. That certainly stuck me with fright! It didn`t help telling about the incident at home, though my Parents contacted the School. Mrs Hawkins made a laugh of me in front of the class and later accusing me for telling lies at home. However she had her light moments which I remembered with ease. May her soul R.I.P

    I was a lively and quite active boy at times and we did get black marks for bad behaviour and red marks for exam scores or other noticeable positive achievements. There were other bullies. This Mr Sedden (sorry if for my spelling) He gave me 20 ruler strokes over my fingers followed by a 5 minute detention.

    It was Major Williams who had the responsibility for corporal punishment, I kind of liked him along with Miss Morrent who came from Australia. There were Prefects wearing badges which indicated what House the belonged to. Some of them were Bullies. I remember Emit who had asthma, many did pick on him. Once I got chased by an American boy who was a Prefect.

    “Harrods Games” It was usually Major Williams who gathered us for sport (Cricket in summer and Football in winter. We also got swimming lessons – starting with “Dog Crawling” However there were competitions/levels were you could achieve Bronze-Silver or Gold standard. Some friends I remember. Matthew Thomas, Richard Dalmonty, Michael Cumberland, and Paul Mansfield.

    Lars hornslien

    January 23, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    • Yes, we all had to wear house badges. I was in ‘Purple House’ and had the regulation tin badge pinned to my lapel. And did you maintain the sparkle of your grey and white blazer by embellishing the trimming with chalk ? A good use of breaktimes, I recall. Though the dust could make matters far worse.

      Francis Wright

      January 30, 2014 at 6:22 pm

      • What a surprise to find this blog, I attended Glengyle Preparatory between 1979 to 1983, I remember Mrs Hawkins with her temper however it was that temper that kept my focus during Maths lessons any mistakes made she would say no, no, no, no, no, with a firm grip on my ear, I still think of her she really put the discipline in me.
        Mr Wallace (would teach French) passed away during those years and Mrs Wallace took over.
        I forget the music teacher’s name who would play the piano for our morning hymns.
        I wore my “Purple House” badge with great pride, at times we would have small sporting completions in the playground such as high jump on the tarmacked surface, cut knees and torne trousers.
        On extremely cold days I would hide in the coal storage by the boy’s entrance on the lower ground level while everyone boarded the bus to the Harrodian Club then walk around the empty school while Mr & Mrs Wallace were upstairs.
        Also remember Jeremy’s greasy kitchen, you could have whatever you wanted so long as it was sausage.

        Arin O'Aivazian

        February 18, 2014 at 4:33 pm

      • I too was in Purple House. A few years before you! I am very glad you found my blog.

        Francis Wright

        February 18, 2014 at 8:36 pm

      • Arin,
        the music teacher’s name was Ms. Milcryst (sp?). I left 6th form about the time you came into the school so it would be interesting to learn how those last few years were. I remember I was one of the few boys who was actually asked to go play outside during choir as I would sing so out of tune.

        Michael MacVean

        August 7, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    • Hi Lars

      Yes, I vaguely remember you! Also Emit and was the American boy, Gregory Martin?



      Tariq Syed

      March 4, 2014 at 11:50 pm

      • It may be your younger brother that I used to sit next to during the class held by Mr. Wallace.
        Name Gregory Martin or Martin Gould, Griffith sounds familiar but not sure. I was given a badge and a membership.
        Recall a stink bomb, a little glass flask toy, let off an odour by someone during a class.

        Masaru, SUZUKI

        September 18, 2014 at 6:47 am

    • Paul Mansfieeld name sounds familiar to me. Few more ames I remenber, Nigel SMITH, Martin Gould, Adam BOLTON, Sighn DALIP?, Kawver SYED, IROKAWA, ABO,

      Masaru, SUZUKI

      September 18, 2014 at 7:14 am

  6. Wow, I can’t believe I found this terrific write up of my Glengyle School days. Sounds like not much changed, particularly when it came to Jeremy, the cook, and Mrs. Hawkins, the maths teacher, who had some similar outbursts whilst I was there from 1975-1979 leaving after 6th form.

    I remember one occasion in particular where she calmly but insistently asked the entire class that if anyone didn’t understand to please speak up now and raise their hand. She promised she wouldn’t be angry, would be happy to explain the formula again but threatened to be extremely angry if she continued the class and someone later didn’t understand. What a quandary! I, like the rest of my class, just froze, not looking up or saying anything. Foolishly and naively, my classmate to my left sheepishly raised his hand whereupon she lunged at him, grabbing his hair and repeatedly smashing his forehead up and down against the table! All the while, screaming, “Why don’t you understand? You stupid boy!” etc etc. After the mocking and looking up in a rather dazed stupour with a very bruised head, she was still so cross she actually ordered us all out of the room and blamed the entire class as all being idiots! We were to be shown a lesson– each one of us had to line up outside the classroom and come in one by one, bend over and get smacked on the bum with her ruler! (I’ll have you know, it was the one and only time I was ever disciplined in school!)

    The teacher that really took the biscuit, however, was Mr. Rogers who taught science. He was actually mistaken by a local vicar once as a tramp until dear Mr. Mathews pointed out he was in fact our science teacher! When I describe to others how he was I don’t think anyone believes me! Not only was he terribly unkept with tape between his lenses to hold his glasses together, usually wearing the same dirty nasty black collared stained shirts, trousers and chalky long black cape, he also must have surely been the inspiration for the sadistic teacher in Pink Floyd’s “The Wall!” After having already scrawled notes over three backboards which we were then expected to quickly copy over the entire class period, he would sit there and groom himself, literally running his fingers through his long greasy thin black hair, posing in front of his hand held mirror, and pulling his socks up and down slowly as if admiring his stick long legs. You’d think it was a joke but far from it! When the fancy took him, he’d pick on the handful of students he particularly enjoyed tormenting, I being one of them. I remember one time he pulled my hair and had me crawling on the floor through and under tables and chairs, knocking them over as he led me up and down the room for a good 5-10 minutes or so, twisting his grip harder and snarling cruelties galore.

    On a more positive note, I actually LOVED Glynglye school even so, amazingly enough! My favourite teacher by far was Mr Baines and Mr. Mathews. My sister went to Putney High during this time too and yes, I so get what you wrote there about looking over at the girls across the way. How true indeed.

    I was sad when I learned Mr Wallace had died a few years after leaving and then when the school finally closed, leaving me to wonder whatever happened to Jeremy and Mr Rogers in particular? There was a side to Mrs. Hawkins I actually liked and even missed her, weirdly enough, but I suspect she must have retired. How wild to hear from her son here. Interesting indeed!

    A few of the Glengyle kids went on to Emanuel School where I attended but not until Uni did I ever enjoy my school days as much.

    I would love to reconnect with a few others fromm that time, in particular, Giles Wilson, who I have no idea whatever happened to him. If anyone ever reads this they can find me on LinkedIn.

    Thanks for this reminisce, Francis!


    Michael MacVean

    Michael MacVean

    February 25, 2014 at 4:56 am

    • A superb contribution, and thanks!

      Francis Wright

      February 25, 2014 at 7:03 am

    • Michael, it seems I started just when you left, could not help reading your comments about Mr Rogers with the very accurate descriptions and remembering the torment, unfortunately Mr Rogers did not last much long after that I suspect after many years of intolerable behaviour led the students to do an unthinkable. I remember on a sports day at the Harrodian, we were playing rugby and we were all worked up about what was to follow, at half-time you can imagine the look on Mr Rogers’ face when he realised there were twenty kinds charging across the field towards him with all the worst intentions, when it was all done and dusted he got up on his feet and walked away quietly. Two days later he was called in to Mrs Wallace’s office and we never saw him again.
      Now as an adult when I look back it was a regretful action to take.
      Stange how one can forgive Mrs Hawkins and not Mr Rogers.

      Arin O'Aivazian

      February 25, 2014 at 7:48 pm

      • Thanks, Arin, for your reply. What exactly happened to Mr Rogers? He got beaten up by a gang of school kids? Surely not! If so, regrettable I’m sure even with his own beatings. I would never wish that upon him or anyone. Although he was undoubtedly the most conceited person I’ve ever met and quite sadistic, I always thought it would be fascinating to have had the chance to talk to him as an adult. Who knows what mysteries in his own life (or Mrs. Hawkins, for that matter!) compelled them to act as such. Forgiveness? Never really thought of it as needed as I always realised, thankfully, it wasn’t strictly personal, they were just that way with most kids. In fact,even as school boy I felt distinctly sorry for Mr. Rogers and wondered how his own personal life might have been. Anyway, thanks for the update. Wouldn’t you just love to talk to them all now? Do you know whatever happened to Mr. Mathews?

        Michael MacVean

        February 25, 2014 at 10:20 pm

      • Mr Rogers wasn’t attacked. It was a playground myth. He did look like mr snape out of Harry Potter though.


        July 7, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    • I remember Mr Rodgers well, He was a vicious hair pulling bastard, we called him “Fleabag”.
      Once he detained me after class and accused me of some misdemeanor. I was having none of it and threw a chair at him. Never heard a thing about it.

      Richard Fraser

      December 28, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      • Yes indeed, “Fleabag” was his name. Hhard to believe he was ever allowed to teach. Sadistic and with awful hygiene issues. Anyway, wonder what ever drove him to teach and what came of him?
        It is lovely to hear from Mr. Mathews though. Always liked him and Mr. Baines the best, must say.
        Richard, I think I remember you as I also went to Devon on a trip or two. Weren’t you quite tall and skinny and ended up at Emanuel?
        Thanks for the memories. I cherished my time at Glengyle overall. Am STILL friends with one of the boys form back then–Richard Laljie, all these decades later!


        December 31, 2015 at 5:45 am

  7. I was at glengyle from 1980-83. I remember the 6th formers had the privilege to travel to the harrodian sports club for footy and cricket in mr Mathews Capri, on the way he would drive down ferry road where the youngest, an unsuspecting 5th former would get a beating from the others, sometimes we would forget but mr Matthews was on hand to remind us, he would say “ferry road” which was the trigger, it only lasted until the end of the road, he would slow down to make it last longer. It was mrs Hawkins that managed to get us into emanuel, a few made it to kings college. I can’t say the money was worth while but we had great times at the school.

    Chris phylaktis

    March 13, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    • Chris, I think you were a year above me, were you not the one that did well in most sports events, although we lost almost every match against our rival schools? I recall a Simon Bisset would have been in tour class and the drives to the Harrodian Club in Mr Matthews’ Capri. They were definitely very good days.

      Arin O'Aivazian

      March 14, 2014 at 10:55 am

      • I wa sok at footy! I bumped into Simon just before xmas in Kinsgton, his son was playing footy on the pitch next to my son. I still keep in touch with Ebney, we work for the same company now, colt telecom. A few months back I bumped into Santanna de Alwis at Raynes Park station and we reminised the good old glengyle days, he was in the year above me.

        Perhaps we could do a re-union, Ebney, Simon and Santanna live very close to me (Wimbledon) and I am sure we can find Mathews, last I heard he worked for the conservative party in Wimbledon.


        March 14, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      • Chris, that would great to see you all(+30yrs), I often do reminisce about Glengyle days and I do remember Ebney as the one most prone to the “ferry road” treatment. Who would have imagined Matthews as an MP. Please drop me a line on I live in Parsons Green so I’m few stops away from you.

        Arin O'Aivazian

        March 17, 2014 at 3:30 pm

  8. Wow ‘ this is really interesting! i attended Glengyle from about 73-77 ‘in fact the silver Jubilee happend during my final term ‘sadly my final year there was less happy than previously ‘as i started truanting and got social services involved eg ‘ an then went on to boarding school for a few years ‘where i also absconded from at first on a few occasions. My memories of abuse were from my own class teacher during the last couple of years at this school in form lower and upper 3 ‘who would dish out slaps for the most trivial of things such as being slow which i was as i had ADHD ‘unknown at the time. (Think her name was unusual ‘like french sounding ‘mayby german is more likely judging by her victorian like personality) wish i could remember her name ‘but 37 years is a real long time. I do remember Rogers the science teacher and Mr Mathews who would sit on the bench in the lower playground section on break duty chain smoking! he also i think fired the starting pistol during the annual sports day race at that place in Barnes ‘where we also went for recreation afternoon once a week ‘remember the year before i left was the drought of 76 ‘the harrodian sports field turned brown in a few places. Anyone remember the sack races ‘think i came second one year. I wonder where some of those teachers are now ‘didn’t realise Mr Wallace died just four years after i left ‘i always had a deep respect for him ‘anyone remember the old video recorder with exciting narrated stories on reels of tape he used to put on during the odd class with him.

    Diarmuid Kuhle

    April 26, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    • Yes, I remember Mr Wallace’s tape recorder – I think most of the tapes were of BBC radio schools’ programmes. There were also ancient Linguaphone discs (78rpm) of Latin classes played on the record-player. ‘Salvete, pueri.’ … ‘Salve, o magister …’ Remember those ?

      Francis Wright

      June 9, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      • Would love to know what happened to some of the boys i attended with ‘ i recall a Richard Marlin ‘ Paul Murphy who i sat next to in form 3 and Giles Wilson who i used to stay over with sometimes ‘ he lived in this i think upmarket high rise in Chelsea or mayby Kensington. I recall the school Christmas concerts at this chapel off the Upper Richmond road ‘ the last one i did was i think the Snow Queen (1976) where i was one of the roses when she goes into the ground to look for her assumed dead brother ‘ i remember having to sort out my costume which was a nightmare trying to match green an red. Mr Baines was one of my favorite teachers ‘ he got me reading the Tolkein books like the Hobbit ‘ and i think mayby even Watership down ‘ firm but fair kinda guy ‘ amusing bout the tale of Mr Rogers being mistaken for a tramp 1 time at the chapel ‘ i don’t recall that’ must have been after my time( i attended 1972 to 1977 which seemed an absolute eternity back then) ‘ remember a trip to Westminster Abbey with my class teacher (I wish i could remember her name) in my final term during the Silver Jubilee celebrations. Remember the green pole cricket net at the end of the playground on this elevated bit of ground ‘ i think 1 of the large oak trees came down on that soon after i left cos i rember visiting and seeing it ‘ ( that must have made a hell of a racket when it came crashing down) Remember Mr Mathews who took the 5th and 6th formers who did break duty every day (Good thing i never got a ride in his Capri to the Harrodian ‘ i recall the mysterios bloody noses which used to emerge at the sportsground some afternoons complete with bruises from the back of the car beatings) Who remembers an certain Arron Capel or something who was a tough bully 5th former as i recall and a Martin Miller who got beaten up by him late one afternoon as school was finishing. I would love to know whatever happend to everyone and how they made out like nearly 40 years on.

        Diarmuid Kuhle

        July 22, 2015 at 5:58 pm

  9. I have just been to visit the school as it is today – no longer Glengyle, of course. I found a very happy and lively establishment, still a school – with roughly 200 pupils. The building was immediately recognisable, with additions, but now has an air of cheerfulness that was not there in the 1960s. Merlin School is obviously very well run, with friendly and enthusiastic pupils who asked lots and lots of questions about my time there fifty years ago. I had a superb day, and was so pleased to have been invited.

    Francis Wright

    June 9, 2014 at 7:36 pm

  10. Hi All

    I was in Glengyle from 1979 to 1982. Some familiar names and stories on this blog such as Chris and Arin. I had mixed fortunes at this school – some teachers were okay others not so, especially Mrs Hawkins and Mr Bain. Mr Bain used to shout and humiliate me in front of the class. It was the new school year, 5th year I think, and I was dreading this as he was going to be my form teacher. However, on the first day I was pleasantly surprised as I found out he had left and went back to Cornwall (hooray!!) and the form teacher who replaced him , Mr Campbell, was so much nicer. I sort of felt sorry for Mr Rogers as he had a hard time with the students always taking the mick out of him and calling him fleabag – wonder what has happened to him.I remember a Japanese boy called Kuniyaki was leaving and going back to Japan – Mr Rogers gave him his 2 addresses – one in Wimbledon and the other in potters Bar relying on him not tell others – Kuniyaki ran out of the Science Lab up the front basement stairs and told everyone in the playground. Soon afterwards, Mr Roger’s addresses were stuck on the walls all over the school!. I was one of the victims on Ferry Road Chris, I didn’t take too well to it fought back and then was attacked! So Arin now I know how you bunked games! If you ever meet up again let me know – it would be interesting to meet you all as adults as I’ve still got you as children imprinted on my mind. It would also be good to meet Mr Matthews. Until recently I was living in Morden but have now moved to Scotland, but I will visit London several times a year.

    Zaheer Qamar

    July 8, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    • I went to Glengyle from ’79 to ’82 some of the names ring a bell. After Mr Rogers left I think his replacement was a Mr Kirby (Kirkby), had a beard. Mr Rogers was always trying to schmooze with the Art teacher – Mrs Hall??? (drove a brown mini estate from memory). I was the shortest one (even hung up by blazer on the school peg outside dining room) and if walk into the dining room / class room on the right by the disused kitchen hatch there 2 benches one on top of the other. The gap created one afternoon playground session I hid there and Mr Rogers walked in “smooth-talking” Mrs Hall. OK might nor sound good / juicy now but when you’re 10 years old it was something. Also anyone travel with Mr Wallace to away games – his style of driving was accelerate brake accelerate brake accelerate brake – the car literally had the hiccups. Apologies not funny now but finding this blog I was laughing so loud at the memories of Mr Rogers & Mrs Hawkins. Mrs Hawkins most certainly was a case of cruel to be kind. Friends back in the day Mark Ellis & Peter Freeman, there were more!!! but can’t remember the names.

      Hari Ramachandran

      October 4, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      • Thank you for this. Perfect!

        Francis Wright

        October 4, 2014 at 7:08 pm

  11. i am david blake-wilson- i attended glengyle much earlier,the early 1950’s-some names of boys i remember are asquith and greatorex for instance
    i remember major williams giving the plimpsol very regularly-i also remember on the final day ,i boy throwing a tomato at the head and the contents rolling down his face as he stood at the front.
    happy days

    david john blake- wilson

    August 7, 2014 at 8:35 am

    • I was there in the late 50s, but do remember the names Greatorex and Asquith. To a California boy in 1957 a name like Greatorex was odd in the extreme. Since then I’ve learned it carried some sort of Etonian, upper class clout. Vaguely recall a conversation between an Asquith and the hated Mr. Smith in which a connection was established between the pupil and a former PM. Or maybe I’m dreaming. I’m relatively glad I attended Glengyle, if only because it provides endless material for dinner party conversation. No one believes the antics and disciplinary measures of the school staff. I laughed out loud when reading the Hawkins story of head banging a student. I’m sure it wasn’t funny at the time but in retrospect reads like an excerpt from Fawlty Towers. John Cleese? We had bunches of Cleeses.

      Bruce Frymire

      August 7, 2014 at 3:47 pm

      • Oh, it’s all true … and the head banging wasn’t remotely funny. The recipient was terrified. So was I.

        Francis Wright

        August 7, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    • Hello David; I’m Rob Macdonald, who also was at Glengyle in the mid 1950s. Bruce and I have already reconnected, and I certainly remember the names Asquith and Greatorex, although I’d not be able to put a face on either. I think I also remember you from that time – if I have it right you were a slight, fair-haired boy. I would really like to get a class photo or two from those years. I don’t have a print of such, but I do remember them being taken. Other names that have since come to mind include Cyril Newton, the Rettie brothers (I think), and there was also a Hardy and a John Lefevre. Major Williams is unforgettable; other teachers included Mr Davies, Mr Smith and of course Mr Wallace. The gym teacher’s name I don’t recall, although I can still imagine him – he seemed definitely to have cut his teeth in boot camp.


      Robie Macdonald

      August 7, 2014 at 5:16 pm

      • Thank you for this!

        Francis Wright

        August 7, 2014 at 5:36 pm

      • how kind of you to respond- i was as thin as a rake but not very fair
        i used to travel from shepherds bush on my own and very young- i remember john christie being arrested on putney bridge,which i regularily crossed on my way to school- how things have changed
        the trouble is trying to remember these things at aged 70-i can’t even remember last week!
        i was very happy there though-i do remember getting the slipper for lobbing apples at the girl’s school behind the garden
        asquith was related to the former p.m
        has any one looked at the stuff left at the local library?
        very interested in wallace being connected to moseley-never knew that til i read the site
        best wishes

        david john blake- wilson

        August 8, 2014 at 8:00 am



        February 19, 2015 at 8:27 pm

      • Hello Francis, thanks for all this! I’m Andy Selfe, from Elgin, Western Cape, South Africa. I was at Glengyle from 1956 to ’58. Dad was stationed at SA House in Trafalgar Square and we lived in Howards Lane on the other side of Putney Hill. I remember Mr Wallace, a Mr McLeod (I thought he was Mc Cloud!) and a Miss Lane. I remember the classroom which was a conservatory, particularly hanging Christmas decorations in it. Assembly in a big room, darkly painted corridors and staircases and the playground which must have been a large garden but there was not a blade of grass in it. By strange coincidence, my neighbour here is also a Glengyle boy, Pieter Silberbauer, a few years younger than me. We’ve just had an Old Boys Meeting! I still have my grey-and-white scarf!

        Andy Selfe

        July 31, 2015 at 10:13 pm

      • Andy I don’t think I ever had a scarf, but my mother kept my first blazer as a kind of precious relic. It lived in a plastic wrapping in a large chest for more years than I care to think of. My regret is that the Jubilee pennant went missing, and I have never managed to find it. Even e-bay has failed me on that one!

        Francis Wright

        August 1, 2015 at 9:39 am

      • sorry rob
        i over-looked your reply
        i really enjoyed my time at the school
        i remember we backed the girl’s school and seem to recall apple raiding expeditions
        i wish we had some school photos of the time- my mother could never afford to buy one!i think
        do you recall a canadian/american boy [i think his name was jefferson but i maybe wrong]who used to wield the cricket bat like a baseball bat and was very successful
        what are you doing now and living where?
        the slim almost skinny boy is now very portly and 71 living in pinner middlesex
        lovely to hear from you
        best wishes

        david blake-wilson

        August 1, 2015 at 10:07 am

      • His name was Sweeney, aka Swiney

        Anthony Ferney

        April 20, 2016 at 5:01 pm

  12. Thank you, David. A visit to Wandsworth Library to look at the archive is on my ‘must do’ list.

    Francis Wright

    August 8, 2014 at 9:34 am

  13. I was there from 60-62. I remember so many little details – having to wear shorts all winter long because I was in 1st and 2nd form; the time some students threw the ball over the wall to the girls school so they could go retrieve it; playing “conkers” on the playground; getting a gold star for doing a flamenco dance (a 6 year old version) after going out to dinner the previous night with my parents at a Spanish restaurant; my brother getting a black star for giving an attractive woman a wolf-whistle…
    I was American and unused to the regimented life at school – I have hated wearing ties ever since.
    While looking Glengyle Schhol I came across this website: The principal was a Mosley supporter, but even more – he and Mrs Wallace were not married! He had a wife in Yorkshire but took a new name and lived with “Mrs” Wallace but never married her.
    Those were wonderful years for me, moving from the American suburbs to Putney. We lived on Wimbledon Parkside, and sometimes in the autumn when the leaves are damp they give off a smell which takes me right back to Wimbledon Common!

    Malik Jeff Haig

    September 17, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    • “Conkers”, yes, threw a small stick branch up the tree. Very strong conker, found out that he had kept it over a year to dry it up to harden. I recall drilling a hole with a drill bit.
      Same here, sometime during the seasonal change now and then, I also time slip back to SW15.

      Masaru, SUZUKI

      September 18, 2014 at 6:57 am

    • See the link in my original post: This claims Walter Wallace was originally Walter Johnson. Walter Johnson married in Yorkshire, then he changed his name to William Wallace and took up with a woman who was styled Mrs Wallace, though they never married. The article says both women knew about the other. I can not verify that the information is accurate, but it seems likely as the rest of the info in that article is part of the public record. I guess officially its just hearsay, but seems likely to be true.

      Malik Jeff Haig

      September 18, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      • Ah, I see – you are not referring to Vivian Wallace, the headmaster when I was there in the ’60s, but to his father. Important to make that distinction. Thanks again.

        Francis Wright

        September 18, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    • I too was an inmate at Glengyle in the early sixties! I got lots of red marks but the black ones got me taken downstairs and paddled by one of the upper classsmen (6th form?) I remember Adrian Charles Hamish Alderson Hicks and when we went back to London I went to his house. A neighbor informed me he and family had immigrated to Australia where he might have gone in the film business, My mom was Eleise Barnsdale and helped out, About all I have left is a Ladybird book I won in a Sack Race in the third form. I Miss Putney Commons, the Wimbledon Windmill and Wimpey burgers with some cold Tizer!

      reginald barnsdale

      September 2, 2016 at 4:52 am

  14. Francis , what a wonderful website..such great memories..i had the pleasure to attend between 1978-80..
    I was in the very loveable Mr ‘throw a boardcleaner at your head ‘Mathews class..hehhe
    and the crazy but weirdly clever Mr Rogers Science class, and the super strict Mrs Hawkins for maths..cant remember but was also fortunate to have that super sexy french asst lady for French who always had her white shirt half she the hotest thing a 11 yr old will ever meet?
    Had the pleasure to meet chris a few months must be destiny for us all to meet up with our kids?!

    Santanna Satindra de Alwis

    December 8, 2014 at 4:42 pm

  15. ps.hi are ol buddy

    Santanna Satindra de Alwis

    December 8, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    • Hello – yes, I remember the jam tart very well indeed. Mr Jermy’s finest. Great custard.
      We seem to have survived.
      Have a very happy Christmas and New Year!

      Francis Wright

      December 21, 2014 at 9:44 am



        January 18, 2015 at 6:02 pm

      • Wilkin. The Chinese boy? Ring any bells?
        I hated the chef who was distributing the spag Bol using his hands and leaving the horrible thumb prints on the plate lol


        September 25, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    • Hello, sorry just seen this, bit slow off the mark. How are you? Post Glengyle I thought I used to see you in the Wimbledon area, was that you. Still in Merton Park, life as with all others on this blog, has moved onwards – wife and 2 daughters. How about yourself? I still drive past Glengyle as its a way to avoid Putney Hill traffic. Still smile / grimace / laugh as I drive past.

      Hari Ramachandran

      March 22, 2015 at 9:50 am

    • I am writing to respond to the message below from Kaspar Mettler. I remember you well. I am Peter Roberts, then from Rhodesia, but now since 1965 in Canada. You always called your father Sir, which I and a few others found quite strange. You were good at everything. We were friends along with Jameel and Heckmath Khaleeli, William Orgill from Australia, Uchiyama from Japan, wonderful guy whose few English words were all swear words that he liberally flung around at soccer games when he got angry (and got punished for too) and others you name. But it is Adelmann, not Alderman. I visited Hikmat (as he had changed the spleeing of his name, as well as Khaleeli to Khalili) in London in 1986. Jamil by then had returned to Pakistan (I happen to be in Karachi at this moment writing this email, but only by coincidence, doing some project work.) I visited Hikmat’s house in Putney then we went to the pub, got quite drunk reminiscing, and then staggered over to the school which was in the midst of being torn apart to make it into the new Girls’ School. We asked the foreman if we could wander through the school for a few minutes. He could see we were a little drunk and thought we were up to some kind of scam, but then the new owner said OK for 10 minutes. So, being carefully watched throughout, we wandered through the building remembering where we had classes, where the gym equipment went in the basement and hung from the ceiling at a slant in what was normally the dining room. so many memories. But I also have a much darker interpretation of some of the teachers–even Major Williams, and Mr Smith, and some others not named. e.g. a Mr Francombe was math teacher for a while. He and Mr Smith led a school trip to Alsace in about 1959 or 60. Very uncomfortable trip. Francombe was a really abusive vicious man. if we made him angry for any reason he would hit us across the knuckles with a cricket stump as we help up the opened top of the desks in self defense. But all that’s for another time. I also have many fond memories, mostly to do with the very international group of kids who attended Glengyle. Let’s stay in touch. cheers, peter

      Peter Roberts

      March 23, 2015 at 8:53 pm

      • So glad to see the Khalilli name again after so many years. They lived just down Putney Hill from me and the whole family was warm and welcoming. I vividly remember being well behind the other boys in maths and having to catch up as best as I could. Think it was Jameel who served as the life saver on more than one occasion. I can see him now saying “It’s quite simple Bruce, you merely convert all the pounds, shillings, and pence to pence. Do the division and then convert the remaining number back to pounds, etc.” All pretty bewildering for a clueless 10 year old from California.

        i rented a car on a tip to the U.K. a few years back and drove from Central London to the old school. Both it and the neighboring school were locked up tight as drums, but it was fun to view the place–home of so many tales and not a few nightmares. I guess Glengyle made us tougher? Hope so. Bruce

        Bruce Frymire

        March 30, 2015 at 1:42 am

  16. Mr. Jermy cooked a sausage with lots of spices that was awsome, also “Minced” ? a ground beef kind of a soup with mashed poatatoes also was one of my favorutes. Yes, custard on a pie was awsome, also simple cheese sandwiched with crackers had a taste.

    Masaru, SUZUKI

    December 22, 2014 at 5:50 am

    • I think it was called ‘savoury mince’ … or just plain ‘mince’ – the emphasis being on ‘plain’ …

      Francis Wright

      March 22, 2015 at 5:02 pm

      • I remember seeing large quantities of tinned dog food in Mr Jeremy’s kitchen. The school had no dog …
        He also had an old silver “London Gangster” Jaguar car.
        His custard was the stuff of legend as was his jam roll.

        Richard Fraser

        December 28, 2015 at 7:57 pm

      • … and I think we’ll assume that the tins of dog food were for a use – canine or otherwise – unconnected with the school! I recall that stewing steak was one of the staples from the kitchen … you don’t see it around much these days.

        Francis Wright

        December 28, 2015 at 8:03 pm

  17. I was at Glengyle from 72-79..was good mates with Michael Macvean who has posted aove….and very much fancied his sister Laura as well. Loved Ronnie Matthews (nicknamed Penguin – no idea why but it wound him up) and went on one of his summer holiday trips to Devon. 7 kids in that Capri…2 on front seat, 4 on rear and one in the boot….can you imaine even thinking of it today?

    Mr Jeremy’s food is the stuff of legend…those sausages, a shepherds pie with a live spider, disgusting semolina that I was made to sit downstairs for 2 hours until I ate it and the certain knowledge that every day when we lined up for lunch, he would emerge from the toilets without having washed his hands.

    My friends Grant Morton and Omar Ali joined me in setting out to make Mr Rogers life a misery but really liked Mr Bain, Mrs Wallace and the wonderfull Mrs Tassell. Being good at maths must have helped as Mrs Hawkins was always ok with me, although she was a dreadful driver and drove into my mums car on the last day of term one summer.Mrs Ledecker taught me Enlish and calligraphy…I found her srangely attractive…not bad for an 8 year old!

    Happy memories of the playground ncluding conkers,, the old climbing frame and games of marbles. I also had a good punch-up with a kid called Simon Birkinshaw…blacked both of his eyes…Ronnie Matthewws came out to check the fight, turned around and said “my money’s on Burden” and walked away and left us to it That was Friday onday, it was all sorted ad we were mates again. Common sense.

    Mr Wallace cracked me over he back once with his walking stick for talking in French lesson….for an old boy he moved fast and quiet…never saw or heard it coming! I attended his funeral in a church down Putney Park Lane..took the morning off from my secondary school to do so as I had a lot of respect for him and for the genuinely happy and informative years I spent there.

    Edward Burden

    March 21, 2015 at 3:09 am

  18. Ah, the Christmas Nativity play – one of my family’s enduring laughlines. Apparently angels have different subspecies on either side of the Atlantic ocean, characterized by which way their wings point. I forget which way is which, but my mother sewed my costume in the way she saw fit, and dropped me off for the final performance (I guess we did rehearsals in ordinary clothes?) and when we came out on stage, all the angels wings pointed down except for mine which pointed up (or vice-versa – I can never keep it straight to this day). I was oblivious to the difference, being 5 years old and naturally angelic, but my parents were mortified at how their “Americanness” showed thru and caused them to lose face..

    The uniform and the “shorts all winter long” were both culture shocks to me. I learned to pull up the long socks above my knee, and have held my hatred of ties to this very day. The food was abysmal, but became the stuff of legends. My older brother John went to Glengyle one year, then to Coombe House School for the second.

    When we moved back to the US after two years, both my older brothers were put back a year in school, given that they had spent two years in an “inferior school system”. Within a month, both were moved up a year to their normal class, and a month later my oldest was moved a year ahead since he was so superior to any other boy in his grade. Maybe the British school system wasn’t as bad as the Americans thought…

    Malik Jeff Haig

    March 22, 2015 at 2:45 pm

  19. Gentlemen, thank you for these wonderful anecdotes and bits and pieces. They are what keep something like this blog alive and well.
    On the continuing subject of angels’ wings, the American system sounds rather more sophisticated and ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ than the regulation Glengyle butter muslin, measured to arms’ length, and cut by Mrs Wallace, the middle being sewn to the back of the sheet we were dressed in. Best to all!

    Francis Wright

    March 22, 2015 at 5:04 pm

  20. I am Ronald Matthews, the teacher who took over from Mgr Williams in September 1971 and left in 1983.
    I remember many of the names in the blog and have only fond memories of Mr & Mrs Wallace and my time at Glengyle. Much of what has been written is very true!!
    Teaching was very different in those days and much has changed since then.
    I am still living (just!) and reside in Southfields, March 29th 2015.
    I would welcome contact with staff and students who knew me.
    Phone: 07931 223878

    Ronald Matthews, now retired, aged 70

    March 29, 2015 at 10:41 am

    • Dear Mr. Matthews, what a delight it was this morning to read your comment here. I remember you so well and Mr Baines. You remain to this day, my very favourite teacher I ever had. I have often thought of you and wondered whatever happened to you so it is lovely to read this. Yes, next time I fly back to England and am in London I would dearly love to meet you for coffee or tea or what have you. The only person I remain in touch with from Glengyle now is Richard Lajlie, having become friends at 9 years old. Whilst our paths have gone radically different directions, we are fiends to this day..across the pond as I now live in Colorado..and have for a very long time actually. I’m am quite sure he would love to see you too. Please give me your email address to mine at Wishing you all the very best and thank you for being a wonderful teacher and example. I cherish many good memories of you.

      Michael MacVean

      March 29, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    • Mr. Matthews, it was a nice ride back with few of other pupil from football fields back to school in your volkswagen beetle one time. I do not remember why we ended up in getting a ride back in your car, since we usually take a coach ride back to school. Anyway, I do remember you told us that you won a football pool and got extra expense to purchase yor beetle back then.
      I was born 1960 and studied at Glengyle in late sixties, but the strange thing is, from the calculation I got, your age will be around 16 years old back then? I’am aged 54 going 55 this October 2015.

      Masaru SUZUKI

      April 2, 2015 at 3:02 am

      • OH NO! wait aminute! I did a wrong calculation, I forgot to add 11 since were already 11 in 1971.
        My mathmatics, though I was not so bad in maths back then. Apolozige for the confusion.

        By the way were you with us when we went to Belgium for an excursion, when we took a train under the Dover Channel to Europe?

        Masaru SUZUKI

        April 2, 2015 at 3:10 am

    • Last night I had a dream about Glengyle. It prompted me to look into the internet (as I have before with little success) and I find this.
      I was there from ’73 to ’80 (ish).
      I remember it being filled with Diplomats sons and come the sixth form I think I was in a minority of about three white British guys.
      I remember Mr Mathews very well. (There were two silly gangs in the playground, the Mathews and the Anti Mathews. I think there were three summer trips down to Four Winds cottage in Devon with six of us crammed into Mr Mathews Capri.
      I’d love to see some photo’s of the time. If anyone wants to contact me it’s

      Richard Fraser

      December 28, 2015 at 12:54 pm

  21. Wonder what happened to Richard Marlin ‘ this boy I was friends with or Giles Wilson (We used to stay over at each others homes a lot) and Paul Murphy.

    Diarmuid Kuhle

    July 21, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    • Thanks for refreshing my memory here ‘ Mrs Lardecker was the name of my class teacher ‘ I been tryin to recall her name (It is pretty unusual) what a fiesty dragon she could be ‘ I spent 2 years in her form in the mid to late 70s ‘ I must admit she always put the fear of god into me ! Mr Baines was far nicer I thought like more of a role model figure ‘ Miss Tassel took the first formers as I recall I learnt to read in her class at age 6 ‘ remember this bald chap who took French class an would come in sometimes smoking these small cigars before class started (anyone recall his name?) morning assembly in the big room on the right wing ‘ (also my classroom) at the end of term the monitors would cheer for Mr and Mrs Wallace!! Great memories any feedback welcome ‘ final term Summer 77 anyone remember?

      Diarmuid Kuhle

      September 30, 2015 at 11:55 pm

      • Dear old Mr Jeremy the gruff talking cook ‘ I used to enjoy his sponge puddings with custard ‘ but most of it was horrible like the sausages and mash with lukewarm gravy or the heinz macoroni UGGH!! I ended up taking a pack lunch towards the end!!! Recall this balcony ledge outside my classroom above a 20 foot drop down to the basement level where the dining room-kitchen and Mrs Hawkins class were ‘ where you could jump across to the lower play area (if you missed it you would be killed as it was solid concrete at the bottom as I recall) I was always envious of the bigger pupils being able to do this ‘ I finally managed to achieve this myself near the end of my time here. Mrs Wallace ‘s classroom was if memory serves like a former conservatory where it could get unbearably hot in Summer. Remember the old metal climbing frame (got a few scrapes and bruises on that in the earlier years at Glengyle) Wonder who lived in the caretakers lodge and if they still use it for that purpose ‘ I think it was an elevated space above a forecourt where you entered the playground from the front drive. Line up after break time all assigned to color code like green or orange line eg ! Who remembers the grumpy coach driver who used to take us to the Harrodian one day a week ‘ would tap his pipe on the window if he saw any of us fooling around in our seats and call us silly asses ‘ he must surely be dead by now he must have been 60 back then. Would love to hear from anyone especially Mr Ron Mathews who sadly I never made it to his class as I left at age 10 and a half ‘ but would love to hear any shared memories!! Thanks.

        Diarmuid Kuhle

        October 1, 2015 at 12:46 am

      • Ahh I remember Mrs (was it Miss?) Ladeker, she had an odd way of teaching decimal multiplication with what she called the “Magic Dot” and I used to babysit for her some evenings when I was a little older (12/13).

        Richard Fraser

        December 28, 2015 at 8:01 pm

  22. Hi all,

    My brother and I were at Glengyle in the late 50’s for a couple of years ..we were Platts Major and Platts Minor!

    I can remember the football (and rugby too) along with the bus ride to Barnes fields.

    I also recall Major Williams, and Latin lessons?

    We lived in Victoria Drive up near ‘Tibbets Corner.

    Teddy Platts

    October 3, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    • Thank you for this! By the time I was there (1963) I think rugger had disappeared. As far as I recall it was football only, unless the 6th Form did rugger. Major Williams taught us History and Scripture, and Latin was the domain of Mr Wallace, and possibly Mr Smith – though I was never taught by him.

      Francis Wright

      October 4, 2015 at 7:35 am

      • Francis, you have jogged my few remaining grey cells! indeed it was Mr Wallace for Latin. I also seem to remember a boxing ring?? down stairs near the dining room. Who could possibly forget the cook! he had nicotine stains on his face and fingers, always had a fag with ash hanging from his mouth, although during those times accepted as normal!!

        Before being sent to Glengyle my brother Michael and I were at another local prep school called St Michaels, I believe it closed down for some reason and that’s when we went to good old Carlton Drive.

        Teddy Platts

        October 4, 2015 at 4:00 pm

  23. I was at Glengyle too, and it must have been the same time as you, Francis. Given that I was born in July 1961, I figure I was probably there from 1966 or 67 to 1968 or 69.
    I’ve looked at the school photo from 1967, and comparing it to a photo of me at about the same time, I believe that’s me sitting cross legged on the ground at the far right
    But I have very few memories from that time, (although this web page has brought back some) and I commend you that you have recalled and written so much in such vivid detail.
    I was very shy as a child, and so I probably didn’t make a memorable impression on anyone. (I’m quite different now!)
    I remember the name Abo and Emit who had asthma.
    I remember Mr Seddon with his ruler on the knuckles, though I don’t think I ever had that punishment.
    I remember a female teacher getting very angry because I misread the word “women”. She kept making me read it again and I kept saying woe-men, and this made her very angry and me very confused. Even when I started crying she didn’t change her tone. And curiously I recall this lesson happening in the playground and not indoors. I now teach English as a Foreign Language and I sometimes tell this story to my students in sympathy with their uphill battle with English spelling.
    I remember a lady pianist and learning songs which had probably been popular during the war, like Teddy Bear’s picnic and British Grenadiers.
    And I also remember sitting on the floor of the downstairs front room watching the moon landings on tv… although I’m not sure if this really happened, because I believe the actual landing didn’t happened during UK school hours… so maybe it was the first moon walk.
    Another memory I have from this time, although not directly related to the school itself, was something that I doubt would happen today. After I had been at the school for a term or two, I began taking the bus by myself from Wimbledon, where I lived, to Putney. One day, on the return journey, I couldn’t find my sixpence and as I was getting upset, searching in every pocket, a kind lady paid for my ticket. I later found it in the pocket where it should have been all along.
    Thanks for the memories, Francis.

    George Usill

    December 9, 2015 at 5:11 am

    • George, if that’s you in the photo, yes we were definitely there at the same time – in the same photo. Many thanks for your superb memories. The lady pianist was Mrs Helen Jordan, who is also in the same photo.
      I had left Glengyle by the time of the first moon landing, but only by a couple of terms, I think. Best wishes, and thanks again.

      Francis Wright

      December 9, 2015 at 6:54 am

      • From Wiki: “Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that landed the first humans on the Moon, Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, on July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC. Armstrong became the first to step onto the lunar surface six hours later on July 21 at 02:56 UTC.” [UTC is equivalent to GMT but is, apparently, a bit more scientific.]

        So perhaps it was the LAUNCH we were sat down to watch, as that took place on July 16, 1969, at 13:32 UTC I wonder if anyone else remembers?…

        Also… does anyone else remember having reading lessons outside?

        This trigggering and sharing of old memories is one of the most amazing benefits of the interweb thing (and insomnia) isn’t it?

        I have sent you, Francis, a side-by-side image of me at that age and the boy in the Glengyle ’67 photo, and now I am 100% certain that’s me. Zooming in close I see a plaster on my left index finger… and is it a false memory or do I actually recall sticking it out so that it would be in the photo in childish pride for my bravely suffered wounds?!

        George Usill

        December 9, 2015 at 1:44 pm

      • Lovely posts chaps, always a pleasure to read.

        Teddy Platts

        December 9, 2015 at 2:50 pm

  24. Yesterday, in clearing out my late Mother’s house, I found my Glengyle reports. I was at Glengyle from 1956 to ’58 while my Dad worked at South Africa House for the Department of Foreign Affairs. I said before that I remembered a Miss Lane. I see that the reports over the years are signed by Alice A Lane (Class 1b), J Walker (Class 1a) and GA Kew (Upper 1) as the years went by. Each is signed off of course by Mr WV Wallace. It’s a relief to see the comments are reasonably good, eg Stars = 60, House Points Gained 15, Lost 0!

    Andy Selfe

    January 10, 2016 at 8:18 am

    • Thanks, Andy. And congratulations on your exemplary record. It’s always good to realise one’s memory hasn’t played tricks! Happy New Year!

      Francis Wright

      January 10, 2016 at 8:58 am

  25. I very much enjoyed reading these – I was at Glengyle from 71-76, when I left to go to Latymer.
    I got a governors free place after the Latymer entrance exam, and realised this was a really good thing and when The Wallaces and Mrs Hawkins literally jumped with joy and excitedly announced the result in assembly!

    I have many happy memories from that time, and quite a few others that I still make me chuckle.
    Mr Matthews, as many have said before, was a star – always good humoured and somehow remained pleasant and still able to get on teaching despite the somewhat lively class. I particularly remember the Flatulent Kevin Westley (who used to appear as an extra in the Sweeny as his father worked on the series), the Morris Minor with extra switches that made it look like an aircraft cockpit inside, then replaced by the Capri after his pools win, and lifts to the Harrodian.

    Mrs Hawkins – she did have a fearsome reputation, but I remember there was no choice about the maths – every pupil in the class had a question in turn, so there was no class swot putting hands up and the rest keeping quiet and hoping not to be noticed! I think I quickly figured out it was better to learn the maths and be able to answer your question than to be picked on and shouted at! I can’t say I remember anyone having their heads bashed on a desk, but it certainly helped my maths and I think I was passing the 11 plus papers at 9.

    Mr Jeremy – well… not sure that I can add anymore to what has already been said, but I still fondly remember the custard and macaroni cheese, and to this day mistrust any sausage I haven’t bought myself!

    Mrs Wallace and Miss Tassel I remember as being very sweet and kind teachers for the younger kids, though I remember a horrific outbreak of knits after the hats were distributed for a school play from the costume box in Miss Tassels room! My mother also remembers a school play at the Group 4 (was it?) former church on the upper Richmond road, were I had a solo as Mozart’s mother, singing a lullaby to a baby Mozart in a crib. I think I had been told to sing the song and occasionally rock the crib, but in the heat of the moment had decided it would be easier to stay in the rocking chair I was sat in, and just kick the crib every now and then. Anyway, I have no memory of any of this except singing the lullaby, but my mother remembers the parents around her in tears of suppressed laughter at the sight of ol’ ma Mozart practically launching the worlds greatest composer into orbit!

    I remember Mr Wallace as a mostly kind old gent, though I did get the cane I remember for adding in inappropriate swearing to some of his beloved french teaching books. I still maintain it was friend David Wilson’s idea, but as usual he got away with it and I got the punishment. The lesson learned however was diminished as Mr Wallace was not a young man then, so the caning was lacking in any force, and I returned to the class with a hero’s welcome for being so rebellious!

    The science teacher I remember the most was Mr Leper, or Leaper? An insane scotsman with a passion for physical punishment and beating children who got an answer wrong. I remember a class test where we each in turn had to put a disassembled microscope back together and everyone who took too long was caned with a metre rule on the hand, and he was a young man and it HURT! The other side of him bizarrely was quite playful and he did make lessons quite practical and interesting – I remember a lesson where he demonstrated making gunpower. We all gathered a safe distance to watch him make a good half a pound of the black power. He kept making us get near, laughing saying it wasn’t going to be that loud or powerful. In the end he set this stuff off, having told us the right proportions and how to get the mixture nice and smooth, and all of the boys nearest the bench had their eyebrows singed as the power went up with a huge bang and filled the little downstairs lab with thick back smoke!

    There were a few others I remember less well, Mr Hislop would tried and failed to make the rules of grammar stick in my mind, Mrs Mackechnie whose arms used to swing madly as she played piano and tried to direct us to sing, a very trendy Art teacher who used to bring in Beatles albums to listen to while we made a model village in the dining room, and Mrs Clarke – a very young and gorgeous Australian teacher who used to get upset when boys hid under her desk.

    I remember the conkers too, the famous climbing frame with inevitable accidents, the girls from Putney high the other side of the fence, and I seem to remember a fire started in the downstairs boys loo that nearly burned the school down. I vaguely remember they found out who did it and they were expelled.

    All in all rather mad, and trying to describe it now sounds like something out of Tom Brown’s schooldays, but actually a pretty good school and on balance a very positive experience. Amazing about the Oswald Mosley connection though!

    James Allen

    January 11, 2016 at 12:21 am

    • A very good read James, my recollections are nearly 20 years earlier and somewhat vaguer. However it is quite interesting and enjoyable to read of others experiences. Thank you.

      Teddy Platts

      January 11, 2016 at 5:17 pm

      • Francis, how about putting up my ’58 photo, maybe Teddy will find himself in it? 🙂

        Andy Selfe

        January 11, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    • Great memories James…hope you are well…all the best!

      Michael Jordan

      February 12, 2016 at 3:51 am

      • Hi Michael!
        Long time no see!
        All well here, thanks, and have just become grandparents!
        How are you all doing over there?

        James Allen

        March 6, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    • James ‘ you would have been there during my time (1972-1977) I share many of the same memory experiences tho I was obviously a bit younger than yourself ‘ don’t recall Mr leper tho ‘ I guess he was replaced by Mr Rogers and as many recall he was a bit of a human freakshow with his unkempt appearance and fiddling with his person in science class’ egI would guess he was single’ he used to call me little ……and I hated it but I guess he was right back then as I was only 10 when I left Glengyle! I remember a few boys from those days like Giles Wilson ‘ Grant Mortimer ‘ Justin Brown (who we used to tease and call fatty cos he was quite overweight) a coloured lad in my class called Clifford or something who used to wear specs’ and a Patrick O Donnovan who I think I sat next to in Mrs Tassels class in the beginning of my time at this school ‘ remember a time when he beat me up for drinking his can of pop ‘ recall he got caned for that ‘ then we made up and forgot about it ‘ (common sense) this was a a few years later when we were in Mrs Ladeckers class ‘ what a bully she was’ got many backhanders from her during the 2 years I was in her class (75-77) glad I never made it to Mrs Hawkins class ‘ she was much older as I recall’ she used to shout at us to line up after morning and lunchbreak ‘ do you remember how we all had to join a certain line we were assigned to like orange or blue eg ‘ remember once I joined the wrong line and got detention and a black mark ‘ talk about Dickensian and this was only the 70s ‘ seems more like a throwback to Victorian era ‘ liked Mr Mathews who took the sixth form who I would often chat to when he was on break duty sitting on a bench smoking one fag after the other ‘ surprised he is still around +he was overweight and Mr Baines who would read us Lord of the Rings eg and take us for geography ‘ I always respected him as a good role model no nonsense but fair sort ‘ my Mom liked him a lot as I recall!!! Lived in Putney back then (Montserrat Road) later lived off West Hill for a time before spending time in the States ‘ currently lived in Wales for past 24 yrs!!! The year you left 76 was a scorcher I were 9 ‘ yea Glengyle holds many great memories ‘ not forgettin Mr and Mrs Wallace (spent time in her class and always found her very helpful) she also had a son and daughter who lived upstairs with them as I remember!!!! Any reply greatly appreciated.

      Diamuid Kuhle

      February 17, 2016 at 10:41 pm

      • I was at Glengyle from 1957 to 1959 until I managed to persuade my parents that a move to a U.S. Airforce school in Bushy Park was a better idea (it wasn’t*). So I was only at Glengyle for a bit less than two full years. But a pack of memories remain, of course–Glengyle will do that to a boy.

        Milk: Who in the world would drink luke-warm milk at mid morning? Glengyle boys. If the milkman didn’t put a piece of slate over the basket of milk the birds would peck their way through the paper tops and drink the cream that had floated to the top. I tried it once but when i saw the dirty little birds climbing all over it decided to do without.

        Bullying: Lot of U.S. attention these days on the topic. Had the authorities stopped by Glengyle on a mid day break in the late ’50s they would have seen bullying at all levels, starting with the masters. Strikes me that anyone at Glengyle who could bully someone did. This was a true pecking orderand few individuals were left out. Whoever was at the top no doubt went on to become a neo-Nazi in Chile or somewhere. I remember one poor lad who literally brought his mother to eat lunch with us all to escape the daily tyranny. Davies (maths) was like the gruel server in “Oliver”, all bent and filthy and sneering. I wasn’t subject to harassment as much as some because I was a fairly large (though skinny and a bit wimpy. I moved in terror of Davies and prayed for his imminent but slow death.

        Meals: To escape Mr. Smith’s constant harping about my nationality I volunteered to become a “server.” Servers got to eat in the kitchen and were rarely beaten down by masters . Plus side of that was extra custard. Downside was seeing “Cookie” serve chips up with his tobacco stained hands, especially if they were picked up from the floor. On one memorable day a female master asked one of the servers to “return” the chips to the kitchen as they were “inedible.”Cookie came running out, plate in hand, and said “Wot’s a mattah wif moy chips? Hilarity ensued followed by corporal punishment all round.

        Overall: Seen from a 50+ year distance, all this seems pretty innocent. I didn’t feel that way at the time though.

        * The USAF school was certainly easier than Glengyle (one of my objectives–do less work) but it was also a pretty tired and mediocre lot. French and even Latin at Glengyle were useful pursuits. At Bushy Park they seemed almost exotic.

        Bruce Frymire

        September 2, 2016 at 11:07 pm

      • Bruce, By the time dad was stationed back in London (after Glengyle) the British Gov’t had “taken” Bushey Park and given us a closed WW2 RAF base two hrs north of London,Bushey & Oxey, I believe. Imagine a two hour bus ride each way to get to nothing but Quonset huts. Lots of good memories, lol , but nothing like 1961 Glengyle getting your knuckles whacked with wooden rulers by Smith, or being severely paddled by an upperclassman for too many black marks, (I had lots of red (good) marks but that was of no matter! lol Latin in 2rd grade (form) was a rush, I still remember conjugating I love, Amo amas amant amamus amant amabunt, and of course geometry, American elementary school didn’t have me prepared!!

        reginald barnsdale

        September 4, 2016 at 1:45 am



    September 2, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    • Hi Kaspar, my brother Michael and I were at Glengyle in the 60’s, mostly happy memories! We may have been there at the same time?
      Aside from that my wife Celia went to school in Chateau D’Oex !
      Wishing you a Happy Christmas and peaceful New Year.

      All the best

      Teddy Platts

      Edward Platts

      December 18, 2016 at 3:46 pm

  27. Wow , just read through all these comments and it has brought back lots of fond memories. I recognise a few of the people who have posted and I will never forget my time at this school ( 72-77 ).

    Keith Walker


    July 26, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    • Thank you, Keith, So good to have your comments.

      Francis Wright

      September 14, 2017 at 8:43 am

  28. Dear all,
    I just came across this blog very recently and was delighted to read all your memories of Glengyle (mostly positive, I think, and certainly character-building 😉 . Thanks in particular to Francis for initiating this.
    As the younger ‘Wallace’ I thought I would add a few memories and comments of my own.
    I was literally born into the school and joined Mrs Kew’s reception class at aged 3. When she left, my mother took over the class. This seemed unnatural to me at the time and I used to misbehave in my mother’s class. As a result I got moved up to Mrs Mensing’s class slightly early. Throughout my time at Glengyle I don’t think I was given any particular privileges being the Headmaster’s son (and I remember at a very young age having my ear nearly twisted off by sadistic Mr Smith for some minor misdemeanour). There was also occasionally a conflict of interests though (I couldn’t get involved in some of the naughtiest conspiracies against the teachers). On the whole though, it was very convenient to be able to walk downstairs to school in the morning, and great being able to have friends over to play in the school grounds at weekends and holidays.
    As for the various staff I remember:-
    Major Williams was highly regarded – a quite inspirational and popular teacher of History, Geography & English as well as sports (especially cricket). I remember being quite sad when he retired, although my parents kept in touch with him afterwards for years.
    Mrs Hawkins was indeed a scary (and sometimes violent) Maths teacher but on the whole, I think a very good teacher. She could also be very kind.
    Mr Matthews (so nice to see your post!) was a really nice and popular teacher. I remember the Ford Capri and prior to that the customised Morris Minor. It reminds me of a couple of trips including one to Margate with Tony Collingridge (now OBE – well done mate!) , Gordon Fordyce (?) and others. There was also the Blankenberg , Belgium trip (I think someone else referenced it) where it rained non-stop and several of us 12 year olds got drunk for the first time (alcohol freely available in the shops to minors!) .
    Mr Anthony the science teacher who sometimes used to wear dark glasses all day if he had a hangover from the night before. He once bought me half of shandy when I bumped into him outside the Prince of Wales pub at the top of Oxford Road. Mr Anthony taught us how to make gunpowder and enjoyed demonstrating various explosive chemical combinations, or simply the effect of dropping a chunk of sodium into a bowl of water. (I vaguely remember the name ‘Leper’ or ‘Leaper’ but I am pretty sure it is Mr Anthony that I am thinking of). Anyway – completely against health & safety regulations nowadays but seemed like innocent fun at the time.
    Mr Jermy – quite a character and overall likeable despite his dodgy political views. His lunches were legendary (if not universally popular), but his ‘jam and custard’ was great. The dog food, by the way, was for his Dobermans (I am 99% sure).
    Miss Dorchy – the young art teacher who was only there briefly , but many of us fell in love with (quietly singing her name to the tune of ‘Georgie Girl’).
    I had left Glengyle by the time of Mr Bain and Mr Rodgers , but I believe Mr Bain was generally well regarded and Mr Rodgers not so (I vaguely remember hearing that Mr Rodgers had gone to work in Libya after being ‘asked to resign’ from Glengyle).
    I remember sports against other schools. We could usually beat Squirrels but were regularly thrashed (usually by 10 or more goals) by e.g. Willington and Ibstock Place. We had a sports master, Mr Sellars (I think ) who was a nice bloke and for years I was convinced was actually Bobby Charlton (he had the same comb-over hair-do).
    Also on a sporting note, in about 1969 one of my Japanese friends (I can’t remember the name) got me in to supporting Chelsea.

    It’s great to see names that I remember (e..g. Lars , Masaru and Kaspar – although I think you were more contemporaries of my brother, Peter). Also names from after my time but names that I remember my mother mentioning (in a good way, mostly :-),
    I made lots of friends of various nationalities when I was at Glengyle. My father was a true internationalist and loved having boys from various countries at the school. As a keen (and excellent) linguist it gave him an excuse to dabble in learning new languages such as Korean, Japanese, Urdu and Icelandic (to name but a few). My sister, Juliet, inherited this knack for languages. I also remember his tape recorder (he was quite interested in ‘new’ technology) and I particularly remember the ‘How Things Began’ radio series.
    Glengyle was my father’s ‘life’s work’. It was of course a terrible shock when he died suddenly. My mother kept Glengyle going for a few years, but approaching 70 she decided to call it a day. I think my father would have liked one of his children to have taken on the school but we have all gone on to do ‘our own things’. In any case, my parents were keen that 4 Carlton Drive would be kept as a school and it is nice to see it still thriving as the Merlin School. The new owners were able to invest a lot of money in to improving the fabric of the building and making the entire building (my home for 27 years) a much larger school, and I still have fond memories on the odd occasion that I drive past it.
    My mother thoroughly enjoyed her retirement and passed away in 2007. Mrs Tassel only died recently (my sister went to her funeral).
    As for the Oswald Mosley connection: yes that was apparently through my Grandmother and Grandfather. I never knew them, or anything about this until sometime after my father died. The article, while interesting, contains quite a lot of inaccuracies.
    I still have one or two souvenirs from Glengyle, including the felt pennant Francis referred to, a desk, and a white cricket cap.
    My sister, Juliet, put together a ‘Glengyle archive’ with some photos and other memorabilia which is now held by the ‘Wandsworth Heritage Service’ reference S6, we think at the Battersea Library.
    Anyway, thanks again to all of you for your memories of Glengyle . I am glad they are mostly fond ones.
    Best wishes to all.

    Adrian Wallace

    August 3, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    • I was at Glengyle between 1958 and 1960, we lived in Army Quarters in Portinscale Road and like most children in those days walked to school. I was friends with Robert Briggs who also lived there. I remember Mrs Kew, a very pleasant lady, and of course Major Williams who was brilliant we used to travel back from sports at Harrods grounds piled into the back of his open top Morris (I think) with all our cricket gear. Mr Smith was a different and I never felt comfortable in his class especially after he very roughly rubbed my nose into my Latin exercise book, telling me that is what you do to dogs when they make a mess on the floor ! I remember you Kaspar and you were brilliant at everything, and had a unique way of diving called the Jack knife. Kell and Farmer were a couple of other names I remember. If you were there in 1962 Bruce and were standing at the extreme right of the school photo then I remember you too.
      Happy days

      Mike Andrews

      September 11, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    • Hi Adrian – you would not likely know me because I attended Glengyle between 1957-1959. I would dearly like to get a class photo from any or all of those years. I remember them being taken, and I may even have gotten them, but I no longer have such. Do you know if there is an archive?

      Rob Macdonald

      Robie Macdonald

      October 13, 2017 at 5:39 pm

      • Hello there – I believe Wandsworth Library has an archive for Glengyle School. I can’t remember the website, but I think you have to visit in person. I’ll forward the web address to yiou tomorrow. Best wishes, Francis

        Francis Wright

        October 13, 2017 at 7:48 pm

      • Thanks Francis; I did get a picture of the 1958 Class picture, which Andy Selfe sent me. It is a bit fuzzy and hard to recognize my old classmates. I have been able to make out a few- but am still not entirely sure about myself. Living in western Canada, I won’t be making it to Wandsworth anytime soon. But if you have access to one or more of the class pictures between 1957-59, I would sure appreciate it. As you probably know I did make contact with Bruce Fryemire, but that’s about it. In the picture I have, I think I can recognize John Lefevre, Cyril Newton, George Rettie. Also Hazelhurst (don’t remember first name), and perhaps David Balsam. It is also easy to identify Mr Wallace (Fr, Lat, Eng), Maj Williams (Hist, Geog), Mr Smith (Art) and Mr Davis (or Davies: Math). Thanks for putting this website together; it has brought back some very old but vivid memories.


        Robie Macdonald

        October 14, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      • Have a look at this – the National Archives website.

        At least it tells you where the Glengyle stuff is.


        Francis Wright

        October 14, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    • Adrian ‘ I recall you used to live upstairs with your dad an mum and sister ‘ I was forever curious to explore up there even though it would have been naughty being your private space ‘ but as you do when your a kid of that age! I have some great memories of both your dad an mum (R I P to them) I was in your mums class as a 7- 8 year old in the 1970s ‘ and found her to be one of the best teachers I had there an indeed at any school I attended ‘ with the patience and time she always had for everyone an her fair but no nonsense approach ‘ I was completely unaware that your father (Mr Wallace ) passed while I was still living in the area back in the early 80s ‘ just found out recently on the blog ‘ don’t recall hearing the sad news at the time which was a shame otherwise I would have visited to offer my sympathy!! Have some nice childhood memories of my time at Glengyle ‘ remember a few lads from the time like Giles Wilson who was one of my best friends (Don’t know what became of him) recall he had a stammering issue ‘ remember my teacher for the last 2 years at this school a Mrs Ladecker who was similar to Mrs Hawkins with a feisty temper smacking him round the face once for stammering in class when we were reading out an essay we had all written an making his mouth bleed ‘ if that happened now she would be prosecuted and banned from teaching but in the 70s this seemed to be normal ‘ it was no good complaining to your parents because they would say oh you probably deserved it ‘ recall a Mr Bains who I recall introduced me to the Hobbit lord of the rings stories who was one of my fav teachers ‘ and Mr Rogers the science teacher who was a bit of a weirdo and had a passion for hair pulling (tho I don’t recall him ever hitting anybody) very bad hygiene ‘ had stained teeth and bad breath too’ is a wonder he was allowed to teach with such low standards!!!! Would love to see the archive photos one day see if me an a few faces I may recall from my days there ‘ was there from 1972 to 1977 (left just after the Silver Jubilee ‘ remember doing pictures of the queen an royals eg ‘ now living in Wales am planning a visit to my old area next year so will mayby come by what is now the Merlin school to see how much things have changed since my time here!!!! All the best Adrian ‘ and Happy Christmas.

      Diamuid Kuhle

      December 12, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      • Thank you very much for this, Diamuid.

        Francis Wright

        December 12, 2017 at 5:59 pm

  29. Adrian, thank you so much for your wonderful insider view on Glengyle, especially that tidbit about the possible Libya connection with Mr. Rogers! Just last night, of all things, I was adding a link to this site when referencing Glengyle and whilst looking for anything else came across the “Wandsworth Heritage Service” documents. That would be fascinating. Thank you to your sister for doing that. One day perhaps I will get to see them.

    I’m continually amazed at how much people here remember, even those who were there in the 60’s. As it is, I barely remember anyone but those already noted above! Some names do seem to ring a bell though. Funny, I never even realised the Wallace’s had children who lived with them upstairs at some point.

    Really, other than Uni, I have to say that my days at Glengyle were by far my favourite.

    Thank you, Francis, and others who have contributed here! I’ve gone back and read the ones missed with relish. Colourful and funny recollections! Speaking of which, in case not mentioned yet, one of my favourite memories that I still recall with glee and much laughter was one school Christmas play where the vicar asked Mr. Matthews to please remove the tramp in the back of the church to which he replied, “That’s our science teacher, Mr. Rogers!”

    Michael MacVean

    September 13, 2017 at 11:50 pm

    • Excellent, Many thanks for this one!

      Francis Wright

      September 14, 2017 at 8:37 am

  30. Ha Ha I remember that Christmas play.

    Keith Walker

    September 15, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    • So do I! It was, after all, unforgettable.

      Francis Wright

      September 15, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    • Can’t say I do ‘ do you recall the year? Did the snow queen in 76 my final Christmas at Glengyle ‘ I played the part of a rose’ had to wear a green an red costume ‘ the venue was a church come theatre on the Upper Richmond road going west ‘ remember we all walked there from the school for rehearsals ‘ think one year we performed Christmas carols only at a different church/chapel off Putney hill somewhere ‘ not sure where though.

      Diamuid Kuhle

      December 12, 2017 at 4:23 pm

      • Hello! The church-cum-theatre was/is known as Group64, I think. It was set up as an amateur theatre some time in the late ’60s, as far as I remember. I think the church was ‘redundant’ by then, so this was a good use for the building. I remember giggling uncontrollably through a performance of ‘Murder in the Cathedral’ there, and being told very sternly by the man in front to ‘shut up!’ Which made matters worse, of course.

        Francis Wright

        December 12, 2017 at 5:56 pm

  31. Thank you for this write up, I attended the school between 1970-1978. Your blog describes my experience with almost pinpoint accuracy, especially the crazy science and math teacher.


    September 25, 2017 at 10:26 pm

  32. Thanks to everyone for their contributions so far – delighted that this blog has worked. Taking this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy Christmas and New Year!

    Francis Wright

    December 12, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    • Hi Francis, one other lad I recall from my time at Glengyle is Rory Hogg, don’t know if this will ring any bells! All the best for a peaceful and Happy Christmas.
      Teddy Platts

      Edward Platts

      December 13, 2017 at 4:23 pm

      • Hello Teddy,
        My apologies, but no – RH doesn’t ring any bells. If I come up with anything, I will of course let you know.
        Best again,

        Francis Wright

        December 13, 2017 at 5:06 pm

  33. […] Our Nativity play would have looked something like this photo from 1963. ( Photo is of Glengyle Preparatory School for Boys was in Putney, south-west London, from Francis Wright’s blog: […]

  34. My name is Graham Orgill from Perth Western Australia. I attended Glengyle Preparatory School for 2 years, I think 1960 -61 period. I am delighted to have discovered this blog and although my memory in general is not as sharp as it used to be, I recall much of my time at Glengyle as though it was yesterday. I got on well with my school chums, the academic side of things however presented quite a traumatic experience, a very different level and system of education from that in Australia. I struggled badly with latin but worst of all, maths, taught by someone who frightened the hell out of me and the other lads and was always sucking Foxes Glacier mints and he was teaching the subject before Mrs Hawkins arrived! By the sounds of it, they should have married so they could beat up on each other. I have forgotten his name but suspect it is the same person mentioned in other posts on the blog.
    My chums were Uchiyama, Peter Roberts, the Khalili brothers Jamil and Hecmath, Kasper Mettler and others whose names I have forgotten. Another with the surname of McKenzie (he was learning guitar) whose home I visited in the Kingston Vale area. I remember being invited for tea at Uchiyama’s home and also Jamil and Hecmaths home in Gwedolyn Avenue just off Putney Hill. I recall the exotic food delights on offer being a totally new experience for me. My own mother footed the bill for me to invite a big group of Glengyle chums to a Chinese restaurant off Putney High Street but I cannot remember who came along.
    My favourite teacher was Major Williams, I carry a lifetime affection to his memory. His personality and demeanour was so different from the 2 other horrors on the male teaching staff I had the misfortune to encounter for latin and maths. After my two year stay in England we returned to Australia but in 1967 my family emigrated to England and so here I was (still are) back in the UK again. We lived in Barnes, quite near the Harrodian fields where our sports days were held. I decided to wander over to the upper field to find Major Williams umpiring a cricket game. He remembered me instantly with a smile, 7 odd years down the line….Orgill isn’t it? I was seconded into helping as an umpire! We used to get to this sports ground by train from Putney to Barnes Station and then by bus to Washington Rd. Fulham Football Club also used to use the Harrodian grounds for training and frequently they were there when we arrived. We were suitably awe struck seeing the famous Johnny Haines with the rest of the Fulham first team doing their stuff. Many other memories remain, I excelled in running and swimming winning prizes for both on competition days. I recall one prize was a splendid book on the history of the Daimler motor car presented to me by Mr Wallace. I also recall we used to have a gym activity in the basement room at Glengyle with some sort of trapeze arrangement erected on gym days that was suspended from metal hooks in the ceiling! The guy in charge had an aura of old school army and he had a strong resemblance to the actor William Hartnell, one of the early Dr Who actors. I forget my house colour but I was given some prefect status that had me lining everyone up after breaks to march in an orderly manner back into classes. On reflection I must disclose with some feelings of guilt, I was not worthy of the responsibility of such awarded status. I participated in endless prancs, some of which in my fast approaching 70th year, I still feel an element of guilt. Mr Wallace had an old black vehicle in which he would transport some of us boys to sporting fixtures at away venues, it may have been a Riley but I am not sure. It was always causing him problems of one sort or the other coughing and spluttering. No wonder!! We used pour orange squash into the petrol tank and I remember seeing a hot cross bun going in as well. On another occasion he lost his bearings and somehow was directed by one of the boys in the car to arrive outside the gates of Wandsworth prison. There is more! Leering over the back wall at the girls playing tennis, blowing raspberries every time they threw the ball into the air to serve. Attaching an extremely long slow burning wick (aquired from god knows where) to a very large fire cracker so it went off when we were all seated back in class….it did! School assembly singing very loudly and heartily with piano…Mrs Jordan playing ? ” Whilst Shepherds watched their flocks at night” changed to ” Whilst Shepherds washed their socks at night all seated around a tub, a bar of Sunlight soap came down they all began to scrub” , we were never found out!
    Around 13 years ago the school was undergoing major renovation, I took the opportunity to ask the builders if I could have a look around with my ten year old daughter. It really was a trip down memory lane. I told her about my time in the front class room that we were standing in with Major Williams, his was the best teaching memory. I remained silent concerning the above shenanigans.
    Peter Roberts recalls my name as William Orgill, as written at the commencement of this write up my name is Graham Orgill…I forgive you Peter, it is all a lifetime away now but perhaps I should remain semi incognito as William!

    graham orgill

    April 11, 2018 at 3:43 pm



      April 12, 2018 at 11:39 am

      • Hello to any Glengyle ‘alumni’ out there. I am John Haig, and my younger brother Jeffrey (now a.k.a. Malik) enlightened me the other day about this blog. As Malik noted in an earlier entry, I attended Glengyle for one year (60-61) and he stayed for another year. I recall that we were the only Americans in the school, which seemed to be good news in those days, as we were an oddity.
        I live in Annapolis, MD now.
        I have many, many vivid memories of that year (and of the following one when I went to Coombe House with our older brother). Most of them are very positive, and relate either to the odd characters/masters that we were being ‘led’ by, or to the shenanigans that we sophisticates engaged it. But some of them that relate to the cruelty of certain masters are still unsettling.
        I remember you, Kaspar, but I think you were a bit older, in one of the higher forms/grades, and I don’t think we became close chums. I also remember paling around quite a bit with Peter Roberts, who I think was in my form. I’ve read Graham Orgill’s blogs with great interest, but I can’t conjure up an image.
        I do remember the Kahleeli’s and also a strange, animated guy named Georgio, who could recite amusing verses to the ‘dirty’ song, Parlez-vous (or something like that). He was probably a Brit, but my visual memory of him makes him into a Greek: gorgeous curly black hair and twinkling eyes that were always on guard again being caned for his latest transgression. I think it was Georgio who named me Yogi — after Yogi Bear, the cartoon character, which was apparently the only knowledge he had of the U.S. Accordingly, my younger brother became Boo Boo — Yogi’s younger sib in the cartoons.
        Mr Wallace was a gem. He seemed to have had a heart of gold, and was often a pushover in terms of finagling a ride to or from afternoon sports — instead of buses. (I’m amazed at what travel we 10 year olds
        did on our own then; no school or parent would happily allow that these days.) The Latin teacher, I think Mr. Smith, was crispy and seemed to loathe his job. I think being American, we were probably given some extra slack in terms of getting disciplined. He could rap a knuckle with a ruler as good as anyone could. The monster, however, was Mr. Francombe (in my mind, his name was always something like Frankin/Franken — probably because I never saw it spelled out, and partly because it was always being pronounced by those with British accents. I thank Peter for clarifying in his blog entry.). He looked and acted like a modern day Neanderthal. He seemed to live just to find fault with our math skills, and was quick to pick up the cane. His favorite target was a terrified kid name Paul Bell, who was guilty of crimes such as wetting his pants in class or messing up a math problem. [Ironically, I witnessed Paul having some sort of accident getting on or off a bus on Putney High St, and Francombe was frantic in his efforts to make sure this kid was not hurt. It was a truly bizarre reaction, given their history.] Major Williams was clearly the best of the lot. I’ve enjoyed reading your blogs, and am jealous of not having been able to interact with this gifted man years after being in his classes. He was patient and clearly wanted us to do some real learning. My parents were amused that one of this essay questions on a history test was something along the lines of “was the American revolution a good thing or not?”.
        The food was probably mediocre at best by any objective standards, but I generally loved it. My favorite in any pub now is bangers & mash. I seem to recall that all deserts were covered by the ubiquitous “custard”, which I could not explain well enough to our mother to enable her to make at home. We also ate something called “steam”, which was probably a tasteless gruel of sorts, but with custard on top, was a delicacy to my sophisticated 10 year old palate.
        My memory of gym class is right in line with other blogs. A gruff teacher who simply barked out orders to periodically rotate thru each of 4 semi-ridiculous activities. A low balance beam? An inclined plane that we slid up and down in our Harrods suits? Rings that we just hung from? Ah, those were the days.
        I also have fond, vivid memories of the activities in the back yard. Certainly, the spying on the girls’ school and the giggling. Also, I was into the various marbles contests and the conkers showdowns, where small fortunes (in marbles and horse chestnuts) were won and lost everyday. The most amazing thing is that there were so many varied activities in that relatively small, dusty ‘playground’ that overlapped and intersected with each other with so few injuries. Cricket games and soccer/football games raged on in the same space as kids playing tag, marbles, conkers, swinging on swings, etc. I loved that it mattered not how dirty I got that day, I would be wearing the same clothes the next day — and for months on end. Drove my mother nuts.
        Anyway, thanks for sharing your stories above. I’ll be curious to see who may be out there and able to respond — even if only to clarify my errors in memory.

        John Haig

        April 13, 2018 at 7:57 pm

      • Thank you for this, John – another lovely piece, and it’s what keeps this blog alive and well – and still kicking!

        Francis Wright

        April 14, 2018 at 8:19 am

    • Hi Graham, thank you for such an interesting write up, a really good read! I think that my younger brother and I (Platts major and Platts minor!) had probably just left Glengyle by the time you started there. However your memories and reflections certainly resonate with me. I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of Major Williams, a thoroughly good egg and indeed my memories of him in particular are ones of fondness and appreciation. Wishing you all the very best from rural Suffolk.
      Teddy Platts.

      Teddy Platts

      April 13, 2018 at 9:19 pm

      • I think we were all very fond of Major Williams. He was – as we seem to agree – a good schoolmaster, and an extremely decent human being.

        Francis Wright

        April 14, 2018 at 8:21 am

    • Graham, humble apologies for getting your name wrong. No wonder I could not find you in my google searches for William Orgill of Perth! I have the same memory of seeing Johnny Haynes, with the Fulham team and then the captain of the England team I believe, at the Harrods ground. and many others that you mention.

      I know you and me and the Khaleelis formed a breakaway group that decided we hated the school food and so started going to the Chinese restaurant at lunch times. We were regulars, and started being ushered into the back room for meals. they were very kind and seemed quite happy to have this noisy gang of schoolboys blabbing away every day. They knew exactly what we wanted every day. We did that for quite a long time as I recall. I was given a nice set of chopsticks when my family left in 62. I’m sure everyone else in the group was too.

      Do you or anyone else remember a trip to Alsace probably in the first year I was there, maybe 59 or 60? Mr Smith and the torturer Mr Francombe were our “guides”. And hopeless at it. I remember one day we all had to struggle up the side of a very steep hill, fighting our way through bracken and sharp bushes and ferns to get to the top where Francombe, the moron, had decided there was a a nice lake to swim in. Well, no #$%^ing lake in sight. Then we realized we had to get back to the railway station to catch the last train back to where we were staying–some farm building as I recall. We scrambled back down the hill and raced to the station to be told we had missed the last train. So we had to walk along the tracks for a couple of hours in the dark to get back.

      Many other stories which are only fun to recount many years later. I always wanted to get back in touch with Uchiyama. I remember he taught us all the Japanese words for a very popular Japanese hit song. Sukiyaki was the song. I remember most of the words to this day, but won’t attempt to write them here. We also taught him all the worst English swear words. He would scream them out on the football field and got kicked out of the game at least once. Fierce competitor if I recall. My son lived in Tokyo for 10 years as a musician. I should have had him try to find Uchiyama for me! Anyone else been in touch with him?

      If I’m in the UK I should look you up. What city are you in?

      Peter Roberts

      April 23, 2018 at 9:54 am

      • Peter! Great reading your recollections, the missed train episode on tour with Smith and the monster made me roar with laughter, always funny in hindsight. I was not on any of those excursions/ tours that I can remember. The same with Uchiyama swearing all over the footy pitch with words taught to him by us, that made me roar especially if the poor bugger got punished or sent off for it. I was the goal keeper you may or may not recall, likely let in a bucket load of goals in that position, footy was not my game but I am a fan now. Going by memory, Uchiyama was a model of good behaviour in the presence of his mother. Other guys recollections have sparked my memory as well concerning marbles and conkers, fierce competition over them during break times. London in those days seemed always to be freezing and covered in a thick fog, especially Putney area due to so much use of coal I think. Coming from Australia I found it hard to adjust to the cold and dark by 4.00pm winter weather. I hated playing football on freezing winters days at some distant venue in shorts. There is an extraordinary range of experiences recorded throughout this web blog, it just goes to show how much our formative school years impact on our lives and memories for better or for worse. I remember your smiling chirpy face and even though I recognise many of the boys in my school photo, there is only a handful that I can name. You, Kaspar, Uchiyama and the Khalilis are those guys but other faces are very clear but nameless in my old memory. Oh yes and of course Georgeo. Likely Georgiou. You are quite on the money in what you said about him being our sort of grown up guru. I found the hilarious masturbation advice interesting, cant remember getting that lesson from him but disturbingly I do remember him saying none of us would be able to ” stick anybody”, by that he meant put a knife in someone…eeek! The things you remember! Well nice to know you remembered me Peter, I think there is a film to made with the contents of this website. Would be happy to have a pint some day with you in a nice English pub. Hopefully other old boys will discover this site and make us laugh.

        graham orgill

        April 24, 2018 at 2:58 pm

      • Graham, great to hear from you. I now remember the Georgiu advice on how to stab someone, but he was correct, I never got to try it out. I did once shoot a friend of mine in the head when I was about 9 yrs old, living in Rhodesia. But it was only with a pellet gun and all he got was a small bruise on his forehead. And anyway he started it, firing at us with his pellet gun pistol. True. Stupid kids. I have never handled a gun since!

        We used to ride to Harrods Ground regularly, regardless of the weather, and buy orange freezies on the way back. They were in the shape of a twisted pyramid and we’d tear off one corner and suck them as we rode our bikes. We got them in a particular sweet shop near the grounds.

        I remember my mother being both proud and disgusted that we had to buy our uniforms at Harrods. Nice for showing off but hard on the budget.

        Can you remember Uchiyama’s first name? We all just call him Uchiyama I think. Let’s stay in touch.

        Peter Roberts

        April 25, 2018 at 11:54 am

      • I can remember my mother saying my blazer with the shiny white (for a while) binding on the edges had cost £5, which was a lot of money in 1957!

        Andy Selfe

        April 25, 2018 at 12:12 pm

  35. Hello Kaspar and John Haig, just great reading your memories and touching base as old guys. Kaspar I have that same photo stored up somewhere of the cricket team we were in and another photo of the school in my year, similar to the one on this web site. John we were obviously at Glengyle at the same time and no doubt we are both in the same photo. Probably just as well that you didn’t hang out with me since so much of my memory involves shenanigans! A common recollection with other contributors concerns the behaviour of the monster maths teacher, that name Franklin/en certainly rings a bell. Huge man always sucking Foxes Glacier mints. Strange how I even remember that. He would not get away with his terror tactics today and the breed should be nowhere near young minds in any capacity. I dreaded going into his class, we all did.
    Smith the Latin teacher, another bundle of joy oozing love of profession. My memory of Mr Wallace however is that of a sweet old academic, but I don’t think I was ever in any class with him. We obviously all thought the world of Major Williams and the many kind words from other guys is testimony to that. I am extremely glad to have come across this website, thank you again Francis for its existence.

    graham orgill

    April 16, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    • Fabulous – thanks again, gentlemen.

      Francis Wright

      April 16, 2018 at 12:20 pm

  36. John having read your blog again, I remember Georgeo very well, he was a Greek Cypriot. He taught us how to say F….Off in Greek ! I think it was something that sounds like ” Scudda Fudahh I have certainly never said it to a Greek or asked its meaning anyway! He was quite plump and there was a touch of the thug about him….so hope he turned out ok! There was another Greek Cypriot boy there as well whose parents owned a restaurant and I went there once with him. I recall him showing me a tray of Rum Babas that had a covering over them to ” stop the cats jumping up and licking them”. I think the ” steam” you mentioned that was covered in custard would have been ” steam pudding”, still quite popular in the UK.

    graham orgill

    April 16, 2018 at 12:44 pm

  37. Forgot to thank Teddy Platts for his kind acknowledgement above. Nice to hear from you Teddy, incredible as old boys that we all remember with affection Major Williams. No doubt more memories will be jogged, all wonderful to hear.

    graham orgill

    April 16, 2018 at 5:27 pm

  38. Hello Francis. Thank you for keeping the blog for all of us who attended Glengyle Preparatory School. I attended the school from 1968 to 1969 between the ages of 10 and 11.

    I remember watching the Apollo 11 moon landing during Major Williams’s hymn class in a large room on the right side of the main entrance.

    I was lucky not to get the holy spanks from Principal Wallace, but when he was giving one to someone else, the sound gave me a fear as if I was getting one.

    We had lunch in the basement. The dark sausage and the desert rice pudding had a distinct texture and taste.

    I was playing with fireworks in the school backyard one weekend. I was living close to the school. When I lit the fire to a rocket, it went into Principal Wallace’s second-floor dwelling window. There was a curtain and I thought it might catch fire. I made sure for a few minutes that there was no smoke coming out of the window, but I didn’t have the courage to confess to the Principal. Instead, I went home. Next day, I was nervous about the school getting burned down, but it was there intact. No news of any fireworks either. It was such a relief.

    The school was a fun learning place. There were many international students of varying ages.

    Utaro Hayashi

    April 23, 2018 at 4:34 am

  39. Hello Francis. Thank you for keeping the blog for all of us who attended the Glengyle Preparatory School. I attended the school from 1968 to 1969 between the ages of 10 and 11.

    I remember watching the Apollo 11 moon landing during Major Williams’s hymn class in a large room on the right side of the main entrance.

    I was lucky not to get the holy spanks from Principal Wallace, but when he was giving one to someone else, the sound gave me a fear as if I was getting one.

    We had lunch in the basement. The dark sausage and the desert rice pudding had a distinct texture and taste.

    I was playing with fireworks in the school backyard one weekend. I was living close to the school. When I lit the fire to a rocket, it went into Principal Wallace’s second-floor dwelling window. There was a curtain and I thought it might catch fire. I made sure for a few minutes that there was no smoke coming out of the window, but I didn’t have the courage to confess to the Principal. Instead, I went home. Next day, I was nervous about the school getting burned down, but it was there intact. No news of any fireworks either. It was such a relief.

    The school was a fun learning place. There were many international students of varying ages.

    Utaro Hayashi

    April 23, 2018 at 4:35 am

    • Hello! Thank you very much for this. Much appreciated. I had left Glengyle just about the time you started, but it obviously didn’t change. All good wishes, FW

      Francis Wright

      April 23, 2018 at 6:01 am

  40. Hi Francis, I want to reply to John Haig’s comment above but there is no reply button. I have a vague memory of knowing John. And he brings back the memory of Georgio, who lived in Fulham, I think. Really funny guy and a bragger, very streetwise. He had all sorts of advice about being “grown up”. I believe he told us how to masturbate using a pillow! Handy advice for a 12 year old. (I hope that doesn’t exceed the weblog limits of good taste!)

    Peter Roberts

    April 23, 2018 at 10:24 am

    • Your reply is superb and I will make sure it gets passed on. Not sure why you can’t on the site – I will investigate. Great advice about the pillow, by the way! Everyone will have a go now.

      Francis Wright

      April 23, 2018 at 11:01 am

    • Reply button sorted, I see. Good man.

      Francis Wright

      April 25, 2018 at 6:08 am

      • Francis, this is a great service you provide for all of us. Nostalgia can become obsessive, but this is great fun, realizing that so many of these bizarre stories are actually real!

        It seems I can reply to a post I receive, but still cannot seem to get to my wordpress account and change any settings. anyway, I seem my reply to Graham Orgill showed up, so I’ll just carry on. Thanks

        Peter Roberts

        April 25, 2018 at 12:03 pm

  41. Francis, by chance surfing the Web I have come across some explosive and somewhat disturbing history. I googled Glengyle school putney and one of the sites that comes up in response is, the fascist Brit who supported the Nazis. Bit of a shock! The history under The Man With Two Membership Cards on that site shows that the Wallaces bought the school in 1937, as you point out in your history of the school. But what’s disturbing is that the Wallaces are reported as strong supporters of Mosley, and cheered him on at the rallies in London. Intriguing, to say the least. I don’t remember their political opinions ever surfacing at school. good thing too!

    Peter Roberts

    April 25, 2018 at 12:27 pm

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