Entering Staff Accommodation

By Malcolm McDougall I do remember that as pupils at Ottershaw, we never, or rarely entered the houses or flats of the resident Masters. Okay, I remember that a group of us were invited to coffee & cakes at Loym White’s, where he and his wife showed their informal and human side to those of us who were in his Tutorial. I cannot remember what Mr. White’s first name was, but that is what we used to call him, which was a reference to his Somerset accent. He was the Biology teacher, before the glamorous and fragrant Miss Barke! The notable exception was upon the assassination of John F. Kennedy, when Mr. Veal, the newly appointed Physics Master; assistant to Mr. Johnson and later an officer in the CCF, ran out of his Flat in West House and accosted John Gibbon & myself ; Sub Prefects at the time; as we were walking up the road from Tulk House, towards the Mansion. “Quickly, boys, follow me !” he said. We glanced at each other, obviously thinking it very odd but soon found ourselves cross-legged on the floor in his lounge, watching the television, which was covering the news of the US President’s assassination. He did explain that he felt that this was a once in a lifetime event that none of us would ever expect to experience again. He was quite right and we were most grateful for his sudden and most generous thought. So, you see: we do all remember where we were when JFK fell.


I too remember hearing the news about JFK whilst at school. At first everyone though it was just a joke but when we went down to Friday evening choir practice we aked Mr Wigram if it was true - he nodded quietly and confirmed that JFK was indeed dead and told us what had happened. We were all very shocked and did little singing that eveing despite Mr Wigrams best efforts to get us to do so.

The Munich air crash and 9/11

Truth is I cannot remember where I was or what I was doing when Kennedy was assasinated but I do remember standing in my kitchen watching the live broadcast of planes crashing into the Twin Towers. It went on and on. I was utterly transfixed, at first unable to grasp what was happening, live in front of me. Then it all became too real and I spent most of the day watching news broadcasts, especially after the first assessment of some terrible air accident had been replaced by the realisation that this was a deliberate and literally aweful act of terrorism. But I also remember where I was when news came of the Munich air crash which devastated the Busby Babs of Manchester United, 1958. I was at school, it was late evening and word went around that there had been a terrible plane crash involving Manchester United players. We gathered around the balcony inside the main bedroom landing listening to hushed repeats of news broadcasts. Does anyone else who was there remember that evening? Fred

I was in the Walnut room,

I was in the Walnut room, first toye on the left as you went up the steps.