Why do more Stradbroke OFs go to the London Suppers?

James Ruddock-Broyd (G46-52) writes :

I have studied the subject and come up with a ‘logical’ conclusion but first need to go back into history.

Rather surprisingly it was not until Stocks’ first year as Headmaster in 1914 that Houses were designated and that was by colour: Blue, Green, Maroon and Scarlet as recorded in “The First Sixty Years” by John Booth. Bob Gillett in “The Second Sixty Years” records that four of the Founders “imperishable names” were adopted formally for the Houses in 1927.

I now need to describe the sort of people the houses were named after and follow it through with the selection of certain types of boys of similar character and connections who passed through the respective houses particularly in 40, 50 and 60 decades of the 1900s.

GARRETT – Green – Frank Garrett was Chairman of Governors for 3 years between 1895 and 1904 and George Herbert Garrett was similarly for 7 years between 1913 and 1921. Richard Garrett was Honorary Secretary of the ‘pilot’ Executive Committee formed in 1862 and was a founding Governor. He was said to be most hardworking and untiring in his duties. The three Garretts were, of course, from the family who owned and ran Richard Garrett & Sons of “Leiston Ironworks.”

Hence many boys selected were from Suffolk farming stock or related trades as Garretts was a major manufacturer of agricultural machinery and steam engines for many years. Furthermore, there is a strong line of hardworking boys from this house.

KERRISON – Blue – Sir Edward Kerrison proposed the erection of the College at the initial meeting and was largely the driving force on the financing of the building and management of money affairs. He was Chairman of Governors in 1867 and 1877. He was said to be liked in London clubs as much as in Suffolk and was a judge of livestock.

Many of the selected boys have the gift of astute money management and are generally friendly and goodly minded locals with some from London and of various amenable types.
One boy has been a livestock judge at the Suffolk Show for 50 years.

RENDLESHAM – Maroon – The (fifth) Lord Rendlesham was Chairman of Governors for 10 separate years within the period 1874 to 1910. He was an Old Etonian and was the most widely known and best loved man in Suffolk for several years.

Hence the brainy boys are selected from Suffolk and further afield like 3 brothers from Sussex, one of whom was often quoting Latin sayings. In the early years of the house there were many “all-rounders” according to Gillett (ibid) like the noble lord himself.

STRADBROKE – Scarlet – The (second) Earl of Stradbroke became the Patron of the College in 1865. He was Chairman of Governors for 7 years between 1868 and 1893.

The Earl of Stradbroke owned large estates in Suffolk and was the premier Earl of the county. Such landed gentries often had residences in London hence the boys selected were of good breeding and would land up living in the expensive area of the country, which of course is mainly the Metropolis and its vicinity.

Chris Shaw (K50-56) writes :-

First and foremost, the hypothesis, the numbers/percentages/statistical analyses are taken as a given, that more Stradbroke OF’s do in fact attend more London Suppers than OF’s from other Houses. It is taken on trust that this is so.

The ‘why?’ is now fairly simple if you know a bit about the world, the personalities contained therein, and the wisdom of the ages as practised by our forebears at the college.

Importantly, first came the colours. James Ruddock-Broyd (G46-52) tells us in his, (to my view,) spurious account that Mr. Stocks, in his capacity as Headmaster in 1914, introduced the four colours representing the four Houses. My opinion is that Mr. Stocks was an extremely wise man, knew his colours and their relevance to personality types, which then served to separate the Houses in character.

The four houses he designated had four colours: three being primary colours, Red, Blue and Green, with Maroon being a mixture of Red and Blue. Only later, did someone, who obviously had no idea about that wisdom, or lack thereof, assign names of people to those colours, thus trivialising the importance of the wisdom of colours.

Framlingham College’s equivalent to the Hogwarts’ Sorting Hat has done a thoroughly brilliant job over the eons, placing like-minded students together in Houses that complement and foster their innate abilities. Imagine the influence on a natural Kerrisonite, a grounded, loyal, introverted gentle boy being thrust in to Rendlesham, known for its individual, inspirational but somewhat aloof characteristics. It could sweep the legs right out from under him.

Thus, to understand the reason for Stradbroke’s magnetic attraction to London, we must therefore look at the personality of the average Stradbroke student in comparison to the personalities of students from the other Houses.

As I said earlier, it is the colours that are important as they are fixed points of personality description. (As above, names associated with the colours mean nothing in this respect, but probably made the namées feel important at the time.)

According to the Wisdom of the Ancients, the Rendlesham colour Maroon/Purple relates to imagination and spirituality. It inspires ideals and allows them to get in touch with their deeper thoughts. Being a mix of Red and Blue, it has some leeway in interpretation, which is especially optimistic when referring to wine and the plethora of varieties available. (See Australia, 19th April 2015). Maroon is the colour of Royalty and endows Rendlesham students with an impression of aloofness, occasionally bordering on arrogance. When such a charge is levelled at them, their reply is usually of the, ‘Certainly not, you idiot!’ variety.

The Kerrison colour Blue is one of trust, loyalty and honesty, reserved and quiet, bordering on introversion. Blues hate confrontation, yet can be relied upon to take control and do the right thing in difficult times. A Blue seeks peace and tranquillity; reducing stress being a major component in their lives.

Garrett Green is the colour of balance and harmony. It creates balance of the heart and the emotions. It is also the colour of growth and re-birth, as in Spring. Green is a sanctuary, a positive colour that gives us the ability to love and nurture ourselves, and others. Garrettonians are observers, and relate to counselling and social working, do-gooders and all-round good eggs.

Red is the Stradbroke colour of energy, passion, action and agitation. Confrontation is the bread and butter of a Stradbroke student, and with passion comes rage and they tend to carry the flags and banners at marches for perceived injustice. They love noise, movement and action. If you want to find a Stradbroke student, look for the nearest disco or ‘Ban the Bomb’ march. Red is the colour of sexuality and lust, being associated with Valentine’s Day and Red Roses. They love attention; no shrinking violets, these people. (See? Violet = Maroon.)

From the foregoing, it will then become obvious why there are more Stradbroke OF’s at the London Supper than OF’s from other Houses.

ϖ Maroons, with their imagination, spirituality and deep thoughts have no place in the essentially venal philosophy of the average Londoner.

ϖ Blues, with their dislike of confrontation, their reserved introversion and their honesty, likewise have no place in London society, with its turf wars, distrust of the police, and lack of words to describe the way most Londoners make their living.

ϖ Greens like balance and harmony, conspicuously absent in London, a city that cannot be described as a sanctuary either. The reverse of the loving and nurturing nature of Greens is the cut-throat competition that is found in London at every level of society, from the barrow-boy to the Little Old Lady of Threadneedle Street.

ϖ This brings us to the Reds, who are almost groomed for London society, which demands energy, passion and action. The more confrontation the better, the more passion in belief systems the better. There is sin and lust aplenty; negotiable affection abounds.

Gentle Blues, like myself, shrivel up in city environments, but we come in to our own during the last kilometre up Everest, or defusing the huge bomb in the High Street.

Aloof Maroons stay alone with their thoughts and want nothing much to do with society, London or otherwise.

Nurturing Greens also have no place in London society since Londoners are so busy they are never sick, until they keel over with a heart attack in their mid-40’s, wondering where they went wrong. There’s no candle left; that’s where you went wrong.

Thus, it is self-evident as to why more Stradbroke OF’s go to the London Suppers than OF’s from other Houses. Conversely, it’s amazing that any Stradbroke OF’s go to Suppers in Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex or the West of England. These are designed, subliminally, for the Greens of natural harmony, the Blues of gentle introversion and the Maroons with their introspection and deep thoughts.

The logical conclusion to this is that the London Supper should be a Stradbroke Supper only, although guests should be allowed, leaving the rural Suppers for the gentler of heart and soul. Everyone would be much happier.

And if you think that after reading this you were put in to the wrong House then blame it on the Framlingham Sorting Hat. In my mind it didn’t make many mistakes: hence the preponderance of Stradbroke OF’s at the London Supper.

Quad erat demonstrandum.

Original article : Dr Neville Marsh (S53-61) an academic Professor of some distinction, writes in with a fascinating conundrum “I find it interesting if not surprising that at every London Supper in recent years, the number of Stradbroke OF’s far outnumber those from any other house. Does anyone have an explanation? A quick perusal of recent Yearbooks reveals that over the last four London suppers, Stradbroke Old Boys made up nearly half the turnout whilst Garrett, Kerrison and Rendlesham Houses contributed less than a 1/5th each (I have discounted the newer houses for the sake of simplifying the arithmetic). Equally interestingly, when you look at the Suffolk Suppers, the turnout is much more even: Garrett is slightly ahead at 29% and Stradbroke slightly behind at 21%.

Does this simply mean that more ex-Stradbroke folk live near London and if so, why? I offer as a prize for the most logical and/or amusing explanation, a bottle of South Australia’s finest shiraz wine!”


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