UPDATE from James Butchart (R51-60) In my first report from Brandeston after the autumn term of 1951, David Kittermaster commented in part “I’m afraid he has not much brain” and John Ferris said “he has made some effort with rather moderate equipment”. Some 65 years later, I have no reason to argue with their assessments.
UPDATE from Mike Craddock (S 1949 –53) We were studying the period of English Literature where the letter “s” was written as “f” (except at the end of words). Mr Winstanley gave us an essay to write. I forget the actual subject, but I took great trouble to write the whole thing in this form. In due course I handed it in, and it was returned, marked and with comment on the contents, but none on the style. I thought “miserable old devil…”, but in my next end of term report, Winstanley, (known to us as “Fouf”), wrote “knowledge of fubject good, prefentation naufeating”! My father, of course, wanted to know what this was all about. (I should add that my handwriting was,and is, pretty dreadful). Somebody once told me that there is a prize at the College for “Humour” in Mr Winstanley’s name (is this true? – if so the above may go some way to explaining).
Further memories of Mr Winstanley – he would walk about the classroom, reading aloud from a book, held in one hand and tossing a half-crown with the other. We tried moving items of furniture, but he never fell over anything or dropped the coin. I remember him with affection – as I do many other staff at the time, especially CE Thomas, our Housemaster (“I was born the day Lavoisier died”).
UPDATE from Norman Mayhew (R48-56) I have just seen the letter from Neil Joy referring to a report attributed to Alan Manthorpe about an unknown pupil, KNOWS NOTHING, DOES LESS. About 1949 I received a music report from Alan Hall, KNOWS NOTHING, CARES LESS.
This was entirely accurate and completely failed to impress my father, who was paying for the lessons, but has impressed my grandchildren for many years!
UPDATE from Neil Joy (R47-51) who writes "Having just read the website news digest I thought the following two school reports deserve some record for posterity. The first was apparently written by "Bert" Manthorpe, the college art master in the late forties, about a pupil (unknown, as far as I heard) who had obviously not shone in class. It read: "Knows nothing, does less." The second was written about me by my erstwhile maths teacher, Major P.L.P.Podd, who I remember as having a great wit, sense of humour and a fine line in sarcasm when merited, frequently having the entire class engulfed in laughter at one of his remarks. In this case he wrote of me: "Has worked quite well without undue risk of strain". I must confess that there have been many times since school days when that has applied to my life in general!
ORIGINAL STORY : The 2015 Framlinghamian is out being delivered around the world and should have landed on doormats in the UK already. Included in the SOF section on page 115 is an anonymous Brandeston Hall report from the 1950s with what can only be described as forthright comments from masters of the time. This has prompted Fred Limer (S56-65) to send in his treasured 1958 report. If you click on the link you will see that this contains such encouraging comments as "His ideas are as ill-formed as his handwriting" or "Too slow to achieve any results to speak of. When he wakes up some progress may be expected". To download the whole SOF section .
Fred tells us that he worked extremely hard to achieve this result and as a result has had the report hanging in his downstairs loo for the last 25 years! Fred goes on to say that the observation about his French led him to a question at the beginning of the following term along the lines of “What is the point of writing faster than I think; won’t it come out as rubbish?”. He went on to achieve a bunch of O levels and 2 A levels.
If anyone would like to share similarly motivating school reports from either Brandeston or the College, please email firstname.lastname@example.org Our thanks to Fred for agreeing to share this.