Sunday, October 12, 2014

Old and New Schools

Meeting John Lipscomb for lunch last week was very enjoyable and interesting. I knew him first as a mathematics teacher at Beaumont when presumably he was young, though I was even younger being then  only a school boy. Some years later we met again at the home  and church of a wonderful priest of Northampton Diocese Monsignor Gerald Moorcraft   VG now very sadly no longer with us - may he R.I.P.

After leaving Beaumont John became Head at St Dominic's sixth form college in Harrow where again we met on several occasions when he facilitated my hopes of securing some energetic young helpers for HCPT Group 35 some of whom then came as helpers with the group for years.

John and I slightly lost touch for a time when he became principal of the International School in  Wales - Atlantic College I believe. He told me last week that that school was one of the first  in the country to arrange for their students to take the IB rather than A Levels and I gather too that that  was and is a great success.

The annual BU Remembrance Sunday Mass  in the open air at the Beaumont War memorial has been the main stay of my post school reunions with John and long may they continue.

An amusing typically Jesuit educated type of  competitive humour became apparent during our  meeting last week when John upon learning that the headmaster of Donhead Jesuit prep school and I often go for  10k runs over Wimbledon Common  very early on Sunday mornings, remarked that he had almost spoken with the  Head last Sunday when on the  train north to Stonyhurst for some rugby matches there.

However before he could do so the Head went with the Donhead boys into the 1st Class section of the train. John held only a second class ticket but learned that on the train  going  north to Stonyhurst was the head of another South of England Jesuit  prep school also travelling 2nd class so they were surprised to learn that Donhead could afford first class tickets.

Upon querying the  costs with my Donhead running colleague he told me of the deal under which by making an advance booking for their Sunday train journey north, all the Donhead team and masters could travel 1st class  upon payment of a fixed fee of £30.

 As the £30 also included free refreshments for all the team and masters the cost saving prize surely went to Donhead for its first class travel rather than the other school's 2nd class.

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