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

From Michael Rice, 1942-46

Tindall was a good man whom I remember with some affection.

Blair Castle

1. The half term break amounted to Sunday afternoon only. Usually tea at the Atholl Arms Hotel, preceded and followed by a very long walk up and down the drive. Often very cold.

2. The long corridor in the South Wing with the bathrooms at the end. Lined with antlers! A terrifying run down the poorly lit and gloomy corridor, particularly during the winter.

3. The long Scottish Summer evenings, and early bed times.

4. The pretty revolting food. Some kind of metallised spam salad on the menu all too frequently.

5. Misbehaviour at meals was punished by having to stand on one’s chair.

6. Walks through the woods! Highland cattle! Mr. Ricardo (arts master).

7. Mr. Rose, who taught boys how to write properly. He used to demonstrate on the big blackboard in the classroom.

8. The big bonfire on V.E. Day.

9. Lying in the long grass one hot summer afternoon and wondering what lay ahead. Now I know!

10. Playing a brown fairy in “Midsummer Night’s Dream.” I lost my tennis shoes on the way to the play, and ended up prancing about in a pair of black walking shoes.

11. The obligatory tartan rug on the bed. The Balmoral tartan – I still use my rug every day during the winter 48 years later! They don’t make them like that now!

12. I started as Rice minor. Delighted when Rice major (?Talbot Rice) left.

Michael Rice