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

From The Rt. Hon. The Earl Ferrers, 1936-40

As for memories, at present I am mentally numb – other than for remembering that, if you misbehaved at table and were not sufficiently revolting to be sent to the Pig’s Table, you were made to stand up or, as an even more advanced punishment, were made to stand up on your chair. It was desperately degrading and humiliating.

I remember being asked, on my second day there, whether I had had “a new boy’s squishing” yet. It did not take a vivid imagination to conjure up what that was – and it was not a very agreeable prospect. I was so miserable that I asked KBT for some writing paper and an envelope to write home. I was offered a postcard, but I declined this, as the postman would read it. In my letter, I begged my parents to fetch me back by the first train on Monday – and I offered to refund them my tip. I “knew” that they would come. They did not, but it reduced my mother to tears. She kept the letter, which I still have somewhere!

I also remember Selous, whose nickname was “Sea Louse” leaping over the desks in a Sea Louse bait, chastising everyone in sight with his 99-er which, you will remember referred to the accolade of a particular conker on the end of a piece of string. I have hardly seen him from that day to this, but he is going to marry a friend of ours in a few months time and is coming over to see us next month.

Robin Ferrers