WHAT HAVE YOU MISSED?
Here are my top ten favourite articles from OH Magazine over the past few years.
Check out the list to see how many you remember.
10 in my selection is the article Rousdon Rooms Restored, which takes readers back to the main school building. But the rooms look more comfy than you remember. Barry and Anne Moore, then-owners of part of the mansion, allowed OH Magazine in to photograph the library and other familiar rooms lovingly refurbished by them as part of their new home: 2015 issue, page 24.
9 Watching for Enemy Bombers by Ralph Harding (B 36-43) is one of several dramatic reminiscences by wartime pupils. This one puts WW2 into the context of a family’s long loyalty to the school. Ralph himself had been at Honiton only a year when the shock move to Rousdon was announced. And pupils had barely completed tidying up the new premises when war was announced, bringing fresh demands on pupils’ time. To combat rationing, Ralph had to look after the school’s chickens. 2016 page 18
8 Plans of the Rousdon mansion provided by the late former master Graham Jones were printed in a centre spread. The use of each room in the Peeks’ time was labelled. The following year the ground floor plan was printed again, with a key describing the new use of each room after the school moved in. 2018 page 20.
7 A different sort of layout, this time of the Rousdon grounds. Research by editor Emily showed the course of the meandering farm track later replaced by today’s grand entrance drive. Emily’s research revealed that the well in the chapel quad had been the farm’s well, from which water used to be drawn by a girl aged 12 walking a treadmill. 2022 page 14
6 The headmaster in 1952 appears to have been a perfectionist frustrated by what he considered the school’s low academic performance. Victor ‘Val’ Hill (headmaster 48-65) expressed his dissatisfaction in a secret report to the chairman of governors written in 1952 and revealed for the first time 66 years later in the magazine. 2018 page 10
5 The magazine’s most consistent article contributor has probably been Richard Anderson (M 67-71). One of the funniest essays from the prolific former head of school was his view of the arrival in 1969 of the first girls. 2019 page 14
4 Travel executive Steve Bath (Chu 66-71) brought to life plans for an article about surviving Allhallows buildings at Honiton. He agreed to fly a light aircraft over the town. At ideal altitude and angle, he achieved the perfect aerial photo for a double-page spread clearly showing all the sights relevant to OHs curious about the school’s history. 2014 page 16
3 Everybody loves Mr Allhallows, Derek Blooman. In a fast-paced page about his life, the popular former master squeezes in everything from the school’s demise to his own education, and from 60s hairstyles to 2nd XI cricket tactics. 2011 page4
2 When we were pupils in the grand Rousdon mansion we all marvelled at the wealth of the Peeks, never imagining that one of us was a descendant of Sir Henry. But if you were there in the late 1950s, one of your colleagues was. Alec Crawford (55-60) was a great great great grandson of Sir Henry Peek. Alec was persuaded by editor Emily Banting to tell his story. He hadn’t known the situation himself till he had been at Allhallows a year. His parents had been entertained at Rousdon in the 1920s and 30s and his mother even took Alec around dormitories, telling him how luxurious the rooms had looked then. 2022page20
1 The top spot came during the three-edition tenure of editor Emily Banting. That’s when the mag zoomed to its zenith with a moving double-page from Sean Day-Lewis, the Daily Telegraph journalist and son of the poet laureate. Emily’s scoop was the most perceptive writing about Allhallows I have seen. It’s the main reason I went ahead with this top ten, because at OH events I asked people about what Day-Lewis wrote but it seems many OHs had overlooked his brilliant essay. Provocative, funny, emotional. 2021 page 25
Back copies stacked in your attic or garage are not the only place to see these articles if you want to. You can also find them on the OH website, by clicking on the “news & events” pull-down menu.
Sorry I’m late posting this, my October website comment. I’ll try to get back on time with my next monthly contribution, due November 1st.