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It was at a farm strip at Park Farm, Kirby Bellars near Melton Mowbray. It was a difficult landing as the strip undulated. I knew I wouldn’t make it so I decided to go around and try again. Unfortunat

There are probably very few who are temperamentally suited to the religious life...and not all of those will actually be religious!   The expectation that Irish families...and even Australia

The Becket School closed its two/three? former premises and moved to the new Becket School at Gresham Fields in Wilford in 2009, Rob. The original sites are marked for redevelopment. The new school wi

On 12/3/2016 at 4:13 PM, The Engineer said:

Mr Carberry had two sons I think.  One was a doctor (in Bulwell) and the other a dentist?  He was average height, elderly and bespectacled.  Mr Williams taught English; his nickname was 'Junky Bill' (can't imagine why!).  Don't recall him being tall either.  There was Mr Mattocks (PE) - think he was tall (well taller than the other PE/geog teacher Mr Ford).  Also for geog or history was Miss/Mrs Brent.  There was another female: Mrs Ackfield (Granny Ackers) - can't remember what she taught, probably history or geography.  Mr Bagguley was woodwork in that loft above the wood shed, Mr Stanley for music (upstairs, near the library).  Arrogant Mr Jacques for French (poseur with a gown).  Mr Koch (Polish?) for maths.  Mr Faulkner for French.



One of the 'fathers' (Aquinas?) taught biology - told us on Day 1 that he was deaf in one ear and couldn't tell which direction sound came from - cue my music box mechanism (Old Macdonald had a farm) in a 2oz tobacco tin that we passed from one boy to the next!  Another of the 'fathers' was the bursar - always smoking a pipe - what was his name?

Fr Roger Killeen (aka The Horse) was Headmaster.  Bit of a history of being over-the-top disciplinarian (it's out there if you look at Hitchin College website).

Deputy head was John/Jack Douglas (lived in Rivermead flats, just up Wilford Lane).

Latin was from a course of booklets, 'The Cambridge Latin Course', all kept in a plastic wallet bearing the words "Quid Novi" (what's new).  Main character was Caecilius and there was Grumio, the cook (anyone who watches 'Plebs' will know that name).  Our Latin teacher was Mr Coxon but there was also a Mr Quinn (Latin and/or Greek?).



Dear Engineer

i think you must be similar vintage to me 70-75.

Miss Brent (Liz) geog was only there a couple of years.

Heather Ackford. Biology lab. Did you have George "short" Woodhall for history...he couldn't control his puipls

Mick Turney Latin and Mr Mollinson and Ian Wells English. And Mad Meef Mr Smith..gawd!

Fr Edwin was the Bursar.

i have fond memories of the Becket but I think it thought it was a public school respect..especially the likes of Jaques...what a twerp.

Another priest was Fr Gregory....ran off with the new French teacher madamoiselle Coquelle..good trade-in for the dog-collar..

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  • 4 months later...
  • 8 months later...

I was at the Becket in the early 1970s.
Engineer and others  above got it pretty much right.

Some adds and a few repeats: 

Mr. Harrington, Physics and a much younger Physics teacher whose name eludes me -- Mr. Moore?

Fr. Aquinas wasn't the partially deaf Bio teacher it was another man... his name escapes me but he was bald, tall and I remember a nickname "Shiner" -- Mr. Mollison?

Vic Taylor for history -- he left and went to Christ the King comp.

Mr Rayner (short term) for history.

Ken Fearon for Greek (and chess)

Mick Turney for Latin

Brian Quinn for Latin

Mr Coxon for Latin -- 

John "the stick" Stanley with his house points for neat notes on the musical stave.  He had a name for the stick.  Corporal punisher.

Junky Bill for English -- he made me read The Hobbit as a punishment instead of detention.

Pete Ford for Geography -- a brutal corporal punisher who humiliated and beat kids w a shoe and who played winger for a non-league footie team.  He and Maddox went to Loughborough and both wore their purple tracksuits to work.  Geography upstairs near the Green Hut.
Mr Jacques -- nickname "Pick" for French and Faulkner for upper years in French.

Mr Woodhall for History (nickname Joe 90 -- always had his brief case)

Dave Flatt for chemistry (after Joe Carberry retired -- I had him first... he was proud of his role in the chem lab w Rutherford, complete w photo in the lab... pen, pencil, ruler, excercise book, jotter.. no horseplay!)

Another chem teacher -- just can't get his name but he was younger and a barrel chested guy.

I remember Horse as someone who caned kids (had a red light/green light outside of his office, you waited and then went in to get whacked) -- redeemed perhaps by his work w homelessness after the Becket.  How many did you get? was the question when you got back to class.

Douglas used his hands to punish.  He was also the first aid person.
Dead right on Heather Ackford for Bio.

Tom Chamberlin for Art in that weird house near the BI/Physics labs.

Mr. Rodgers for mathematics -- I think his first name might have been Neville.

George Koch for mathematics (he came to visit me in the hospital when I had an operation) -- also chess club guy.  

Also for maths a younger guy from Oxford who wore a corduroy jacket made by his wife... just can't get his name...

Fr Gregory -- another corporal punisher who hit kids on the head pretty regularly during XD classes.

Left the school -- maybe w the French teacher noted above.


One crystal clear  Becket memory:  some kid (whose name I won't say) got about a pound of sodium from one of the labs and threw it over the wall into the Trent -- boom, water thrown high up in the air.


Another:  The staff had a basketball team called the something  Pedagogues.


Another:  Plays in Latin... 


That's enough for this trip down memory lane.... I've got to get back to work.






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I was there ages before you 1959-65  but recall some of those names.

Fr. Aquinas fact when I started school most teachers were wearing habits some brothers some priests.

anyway Aquinas was quite a nice bloke as I recall.

Vic Taylor was a new master and taught English.

I remember Carberry and Chamberlin. It was a very weird education when all said and done. We had brilliant music and drama with strong emphasis on creativity .  All screwed up at a later date by the likes of Douglas.


They were all happy to belt you either privately or publicly .


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What was the bursar's name? He was one of the Augustinian fathers; I can picture him with his specs and pipe.  Had his office upstairs along the corridor from the Horse.  He controlled the issue of exercise books and those rough 'jotters'.  He also issued the tickets for free school meals.

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The Engineer, what a fascinating and incredible man John Douglas was.  I’d never heard of him until now but I’ve just read through the obituary and found his life so interesting.  

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Ironic that the former site of the Becket School on Wilford Lane is now occupied by a massive McCarthy & Stone retirement complex.


All the former teachers - and maybe pupils as well - could be living where their school used to be.

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Lizzie, yes indeed.  I never knew of his background until I happened upon the obit.  He was a quiet, benign member of staff.  I was never taught by him and my only recollection is that he caned me after I refused to write why we should keep quiet in the classroom (my argument was that it was not I making the noise but apparently that is being insolent).

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It was quite common some years ago for schools run by religious people to inflict corporal punishment on the pupils. I think the Roman Catholics were the most vicious. A friend of mine boarded at Ratcliffe College near Leicester and he said the punishment administered there by the monks was virtually sadism. Even at Mellish, a non religiously affiliated school, the headmaster, who professed to be a god-fearing man, seemed to take delight in caning. His method of delivery was to run across his study each time he delivered a blow. Not to me though, I hasten to add!

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I've mentioned previously a colleague from many years ago, now deceased, whose parents sent him to St Joseph's Prep School on Derby Road. I don't know what the sisters did to him but he had very real problems as an adult if he saw one in the street. I've seen him cross the road to avoid passing a nun, or walk well out of his way to do so. He told me he couldn't bear the sight of them!


His family were not Roman Catholics. Their reasons for sending him to that school were merely to give him a good start to his education. In doing so, they appear to have caused him some damage.

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There are horrific tales told of ‘The Sisters of Mercy’ in Eire and their treatment of children in their care. No doubt the psychologists would look towards assuaging their sexual frustration as the cause. There has been, and still are, a lot of dreadful deeds done in the guise of religion.

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There are probably very few who are temperamentally suited to the religious life...and not all of those will actually be religious!


The expectation that Irish families...and even Australian families...who were Roman Catholics and had produced a tribe of offspring, was that at least one son would enter the priesthood and at least one daughter would take the veil. The pressure exerted on those poor souls who were railroaded into a 'vocation' they did not actually have must have caused resentment, frustration and anger. It is a life against nature in many ways and the resulting abuse was bound to happen.  Such is the grip religious dogma can have on some societies.

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I mentioned in an earlier post that our headmaster at Becket, Fr. Roger Killeen (aka 'The Horse'), had a dubious history at Hitchin College.  This link includes one pupil's account of what happened to a boy who hid in a stack of bricks.

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@The Engineer  that story makes me feel so sad and angry.....those teachers were certainly not following the teachings of Jesus!   But I  believe God will ultimately be the judge of the people who did these evil things .

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  • 2 months later...
On 11/29/2016 at 9:43 PM, The Engineer said:


I remember Mr Chamberlain.  Think he was my form tutor in 1x.  Called us by first names and we called him Tom.  Most odd at the time in a very formal disciplined establishment.

I remember Tom Chamberlain. Taught French when I was there!

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A BIG Wecome Andrew C  from myself and I think I can speak for our Members so A Very Big Warm Wecome.

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  • 6 months later...
On 2/12/2021 at 6:39 PM, WAY_BACK_IN_TIME said:

I was at the Becket in the early 1970s.
Engineer and others  above got it pretty much right.

Some adds and a few repeats: 

Mr. Harrington, Physics and ....

@WAY_BACK_IN_TIME I was at Becket 1967-74 and what you write all seems about right to me. In fact I'm pleased that you posted as I couldn't have recalled half those names.


One omission from many Becket School memories is a pupil called Simon Murch. He was there around my time and I wonder if he's the same person as the current Professor of Paediatrics at Warwick who had been a participant in the MMR vaccine affair.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We blew up the senior chemistry lab when I was in the lower 6th. at Mellish. I could smell coal gas and I lifted up the window of the adjacent fume cupboard to turn a gas tap off. I switched on the extractor fan and there was an almighty bang. I ducked and felt the shock wave pass over. All the glassware was shattered. Nobody was seriously hurt but a few haircuts were singed. The chemistry master said 'I will expect a full written report from you in the morning Mayfield!' I gave my theory that what should have been a flameproof fan motor had sparked. They couldn't pin it on me! The lab was out of action for months and we moved to the lecture room. That was one of the many disasters I've been involved with throughout my life!



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