Memories of Staff from the 50's & 60's

Jenny Knight (Jenny Heard at school, 1958-64) remembers Mr Houghton with good memories.  She writes:

Mr W D Houghton (Derek) was my maths teacher in about the third or fourth year, so that would have been the early 60’s. He was known as “Pop” Houghton - no idea why - and he was a good teacher.  In fact, he was the only maths teacher who ever got me to understand anything, and under his regime I went from almost bottom of the maths class  to 7th position in the exams. The following year he was no longer our teacher (my maths stream changed to Mr Jones) and I immediately went back to the bottom of the class….

Patrick Whitehead was at the school from 1949 to 1955, and is new to the website.  He remembers:

By far and away my favourite was ‘Pip’ Harris, who fostered a love in me of geography.  Alas, I let him down by failing ‘O’ level in the subject but, unbeknown to him, redeemed myself by following a career in town planning, including lecturing in the subject at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne for 19 years.  My main comment on him is that he wrote a book ‘Northamptonshire its Land and its People’ with P.W.Hartop, published in 1950.  I still have a copy, with a note that I acquired it during my time in Form 2A.  A more light-hearted comment is that ‘Pip’ carried a cardboard map roll around with him and ‘punished’ misbehaviour by hitting the miscreant on the head with it, producing a hollow sound known as ‘pobbing’.
 
Mr Duckett fostered my love of drawing which helped me through the mapwork associated with my chosen profession.  As well as being known as ‘the admiral’ we used to call him able-bodied seaman Duckett behind his back.  He used to regale us with storied of his life at sea, invariably starting with “When I was out in China...”.  A favourite phrase was “there will come a time when we will all be digging trenches for the Chinese, mark my words”.
 
Mr Mullinger knew he had a hard task teaching music to us lot and once said that a pupil had coined the phrase ‘Mr Mullinger’s melodious music makes Monday mornings more mellifluous’.  Of course we did not believe that at all and paraphrased it as ‘Mr Mullinger’s mouldy music makes Monday mornings more miserable’.
 
Nogger James Nortney was once asked to read a Scottish poem (possible Burns?) to us (he was Scottish).  At the line: “The proof, the proof King Jamie cried”.  He, and we collapsed in laughter and he could not continue.

Geoff Winckles is also new to the website.  He was at the school from 1952 - 1958 and remembers some of the teachers.

I think “Buzzer”  did come from his usual pose in front of the Clock and buzzer, as we occupied part of what was the technical college we had no school entrance as such just floor “B” and “A” a sort of “L” shaped corridor and Buzzer stood at the joint of the legs of the “L” proudly (maybe) watching pupil shambling in, as I remember it he would address you, if the need arose with “small boy there…….” As a Head Master his role seemed to be “admin” as we say now. Discipline was always left to the deputy head Percy Tomkins and later the dreaded “gunner” Wright, fear and loathing at THS. Interesting to read Alan Wrights   contribution, I did meet one Gunners sons. Maybe Alan? Who joined British Timken as a trainee while I was there and was amazed that his dad was human underneath.

Compared to the Tower the school had the issues of shared space with the college, morning assemblies where held in a tiered lecture room. B16 (the largest space available) the master plan was that forms would meet in their form room and be escorted to assembly, one year we had Taffy Newall as form master, punctuality was not was not his thing and we would, 9 times out of ten, miss assembly (great for catching upon homework) Buzzer tried to get us to get to assembly without a form master to marshal us, but as you can imagine it was doomed to failure, Taffy seemed unconcerned and we rarely made assembly that year.

Miss Clegg was a school boys dream she taught us geography before the scandalous affair with the captain, she would enter the class room sit on the front raised desk with her legs crossed, it kept our attention, geography was never the same with Pip Harris.

Jack Linnell  was a great teacher, had left wing views which have stuck with me ever since, he also ran the lost property, in this period caps and ties were to be worn outside school, no cap reported, it was see Gunner next day, hair styles in the late Fifties incorporated an Elvis “quiff” carefully brycreamed in place, imagine the effect a cap would have on a young mans pride and joy. Small cap delicately perched on the back of the head in our view met the uniform criteria, I suspect Gunner had different views, we “lost” caps and went down lost property and there selected the smallest cap amongst the collection, Jack would say “are you sure that’s your cap?” Yes Sir. He knew and I suspect smiled.

 
The Tower Revisited  - The website for former Pupils of the Technical High School, Trinity High School & Trinity Grammar School, Northampton