Old West Downs Society – Memories of the Tindall Era, 1922-1954

From Simon Courtauld, 1948-53

(1) Chapel. Tindall’s insistence in Carol practice, reinforced by banging his black baton, on equal emphasis being given to each word in the line (from “Hark The Herald Angels”) “Pleased As Man With Man To Dwell,” and the same line in the other verses. (I still sing it as he made us sing it – though no one else does!)

Also in chapel: Turner playing “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” after the service; and his ability to stretch an octave and three.

(2) Melbury – making fires on Sunday afternoons with larch twigs and dried cow parsley; “smoking” the hollow cow parsley stalks; and making “dampers” on the fire (a cake of flour and water in an old tobacco tin).

(3) David Howell-Griffith (DHG) – the best master in my time – solidly reliable, brusque but supportive, and devoted to the best traditions of the independent school system. A classic prep schoolmaster.

(4) The daily spoonful of malt – Vimaltol, Keplers, Ovomalt, Radiomalt from surgery.

(5) Making “tanks” with a cotton reel (tracks cut with a penknife), elastic band, drawing pin, piece of candlewax, and a pencil.

Also: making “cheese” during class by continuous shaking of stale school milk in a Parker ink bottle.

As an example of Tindall’s long tenure as Headmaster, he was also Head during my father-in-law’s time (Maurice Hare) at the end of the First War. [The Head master after the War was Brymer. Tindall did not arrive until 1922. Editor.]

Simon Courtauld