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

From David Potter, 1942-46

Embarrassment and tears on first arrival at Blair Atholl at being the only new boy dressed in a kilt.

Matron inspecting our “jobs” before we could pull the plug, and doling out daily spoonfuls of Milk of Magnesia, Virol Malt and Cod Liver Oil if we had not performed.

The Measles epidemic which kept eight of us in the “San” after end of term.

Catching moths in the dormitory, and midnight feasts.

Awful yellow haddock, and worse yellow “Scrambled Egg” made from powder, and swimming in water. Lovely Black Pudding, but dreadful White Pudding.

Riding deer ponies at a canter through the pine trees.

Learning to fly-fish for brown trout in the Castle Loch with K.T.

The spittle always hanging on the end of his pipe.

Cries of “K.V. K.T. coming down the passage.”

Jumping down the Ha-Ha wall on cross-country runs.

Someone finding a butterfly bomb, which fortunately did not explode in his hand.

Lectures by a kilted and bearded McKenzie, who brought his tamed Golden Eagle with him.

Song recitals by Mrs. Spooner.

Old “Leggy” Ledgard who, when he spilt mince or porridge on the edge of the plate dishing it out, found fun in rotating the plate just as one was grasping it.

The Playbox and Sledge one brought to school.

The total divorce from the Glasgow evacuees housed in the South Wing of the Castle.

The French refugee boy who regularly came bottom of the French grammar exams.

On re-establishment at Winchester, the football matches at Pilgrims in a sea of mud, and the cowshot “four” at Twyford which bounced over the boundary and through the plate-glass window of the Head’s study.

Our Art Teacher suffering from shell-shock and having us all dive for cover under our desks, even though the war was over.

Air-rifle shooting in the swimming pool.

Chess matches and whist drives at weekends.

Summer Scout Camp, and being tested for a Cooking Proficiency Badge on Nettle Soup and Dough Bread wound round a green stick. Every Scout with a stave and a sheath knife. Being Patrol Leader.

Horrible “frog spawn,” but superb “Spotted Dick” and custard.

The wonderful sports facilities and gym at Winchester, after the make-shift facilities at Blair Atholl, and the open-air Shakespeare summer plays in the woods.

David Potter