Peter Stern 1948-52

1) Under School Documents 10, page 2, Inventory of Sherborne Park Nurseries in the Miscellaneous List, there is an item, 350ft x 4" of steel pipe.

I think this must have been the heating pipe from the 2 Bay 'Dutch Light' tomato greenhouse. I helped the on-site plumber and heating engineer, Bill Thomas, install the last sections of the heating pipes, which required cutting the pipes to length and then threading the cut ends. During the school holidays, I lodged with Bill and his family who had a flat on the first floor in the South West corner of the Stable Block. Later, I was tasked with, on a rota basis, stoking the greenhouse heating boiler late in the evening to protect the crops in the early Spring and late Autumn!

2) the Sherborne Nurseries inventory, a 15cwt Morris van is listed. That van was used as the school 'bus' when wooden benches were added along each side - health and safety? I spent a year in the Nurseries until Summer 1952 and the van was used, by Mr Hill, the manager, for Nursery business during the week such as taking flowers to Cheltenham Market.

3) Christopher Marx - in his reminiscences, he thought he changed at Cheltenham for the branch line to Bourton-on-the-Water. In fact the change was at Kingham, Oxfordshire - the branch to B-o-t-W no longer exists. Bourton-on-the-Water was a terminus with no branch connections between it and Kingham, which was on the 'Cotswold Line' from Oxford which branched north-west from Reading. Cheltenham Spa was reached from Reading via Swindon and Stroud on the westerley Golden Valley line.

4) I can remember Chris Marx coming back to school, after he had left, in what I believe was a WW2 Volkswagen Schwimwagen Typ166 amphibious vehicle (thank you Wikipedia). He must have driven it from Switzerland. When he took someone for a demonstration ride, the exhaust noise could be heard from the other end of the village!

5) There was an intercom to the right of the fireplace which JHM frequently used if we got a bit too rowdy during 'prep'. JHM's flat being directly above. Reference Alwyn Hawkes comment on class room discipline! As regards a Library, I believe the bookcase in 5B held a pre-war set of Encyclopedia Brittanica. I am not sure, but I think we were forbidden to touch them - they probably belonged to the Dutton Family.

6) In 'Buildings and Environs' (cycle hockey) the back of a pre-war Morris 8 saloon car can be seen. I believe this was Mr Thompson's. The lorry behind it is a pre-war Bedford series M lorry (thanks again to Wikipedia) that belonged to the Sherborne Estate. There was also a general repair workshop accessed from the archway. The driver and his family lived in a 1st floor flat, in the stable block, to the left of the picture. On the first floor to the left of the car just visible on the left of the photo, the Scouts, of which I was one, had access to a very large and very dirty room for Scout use. There was also a small room for use as an office. I think the large room was only used as for storage of Scout equipment as no matter how many times we washed the floor, as soon as it was dry it was dirty again - no modern detergents then!

7) While at school I went down with German Measles and spent about a week in the sick bay. I don't remember anyone else catching it, although I must have caught it from someone. I can still remember the classroom, which was one facing the lawn, when another boy said 'what are all those spots on your face?'. One of the nurses I can remember, was called Eileen but I have been unable to find either her name or photo on your site.

8) At some time after Albert Isseyeh left I took over the role of projectionist for the Saturday evening films. I used to edit and repair/splice damaged films on the Great Hall table! The original projector was made by 'BTH' (British Thomson-Houston) and later JHM purchased a second standby 'Victor' projector. I can remember that the manual film winder had been made from a hand-cranked grinding machine!

9) One other thing I can remember being involved with was to do with the school's fresh water supply. This was pumped to the school by a small engine in a hut in the field between the road and the brook. A member of the maintenance staff, Max, required assistance to replace a steel water tank that had been set in the ground adjacent to the pump-house. Max had rigged what he called a 'Spanish Windlass' to lift the old tank out of the ground and the 'assistants' were needed to dig away the wet sticky soil from around the tank as it was being lifted.

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