Things Teachers Say

Fred Legg

I have many fond memories of Loughton School, particularly in the sports category. However, there were odd occasions when a teacher made a definite impression on a child like me who wanted nothing more than to get off home and play with my friends.

One day, my teacher, Fred Legg, Loughton School’s own Mr Chips, was talking to us candidly about adult life outside the school environment. He explained what we would come up against in the workplace, and the types of people we would probably meet. He got onto the subject of human qualities and one topic was that of “leadership”. I put up my hand and asked how he would describe leadership. He replied with a sentence that has stayed with me for nearly 60 years, and I, in turn, pass it on to other youngsters.

He said “Leadership is like handling string… you can pull a piece of string but you can’t push it”.
Andrew Kaye

This is no time for levity boy!Chris Plant

Well I’ll go to the bottom of mey stairs“. Presumably in astonishment Fred spoke in a west country come gentlemanly old fashioned way ,often referring to “RUMFORD” (Romford). Chris Plant

Being a goody goody, I had just been made a prefect, i was scutterling past ol Fred by the dining hall door, a strong hand grabbed my left shoulder, “Plante Major, a word of advice, givemm an inch an they will take a yard”. I hardened up though that got me into more trouble.

These were the days of the skiffle groups on the 6 5 special on telly, the older lads got with it and started rehearsing , Fred Legg referred to them as “Those boys with the big banjosChris Plant

If Fred detected an untruth “That’s all my eye and Betty Martin” (An expression first heard in 1781, but hardly known today) Chris Plant

Don’t be obtuse boy ! Chris Plant

Should a lad have the temerity to stand up to sir and plead his innocence to some dastardly crime he had not committed, he would be in for a sharp shock, “desist, desist, don’t bandy words with me boy! Chris Plant

“Hi ,Hi, you’ll feel the back of my hand lad” Chris Plant

Fred always addressed me as Etienne (French for Stephen/Stefan) for some reason. Most of my school life is a vague memory, but Fred was an unforgettable character! Stefan Sheriden

“Well bless my soul” Rod Davey

Involved in a scuffle with a classmate in the gloom of big school, I hadn’t noticed the begowned master standing right beside us under the serried ranks of chained martini henry rifles. “You’ll feel the back of my hand lad” and I did. Chris Plant

“My dear boy, you would talk the hind legs off a donkey!” Fred talking to a chatterbox while on playground duty. Chris Plant

With his index finger pointing, Fred would say “These boys Quietly, (small pause) I mean Quietly”, and with the flick of his finger “OUT” John Potts

Fred to a clever dick, “You’re too clever by half my boy!” Chris Plant

Major Mallet

“Good Morning Mugs One And Two” whilst sweeping his swagger stick over our heads walking into Remove. David Hood

Mr Allan

Mr Allan took 3 upper in 1955. Should a lad behave like an Ass, Sir would be on him like a ton of bricks, and twist the asses ear round and round, the cries of “Oh no sir ” were ignored whilst Sir repeated his well known mantra “I am the Donkey man and you will be creackled and thrashed IN THE PLACE of PAIN”. Unfortunately, Sir frequently picked on a totally innocent lad. Such was the laughter and hubbub in the classroom, these moments of hilarity set the pace and timbre of Loughton School for us lads of the fifties. Chris Plant

Mr Clutterbuck

It was a warm day, I was drowsy , Sir took exception to mey staring out the window a piece of chalk, or was it a board rubber whistled past my head. “Are we keeping you up boy?” Chris Plant

Basher Brooks

Mr Brookes was a very nice passive gent, who expected boys to sit quietly and learn, his war cry, when they didn’t was, “That’s it I’m calling the Head!” Chris Plant

Mr Gibbons (science master)

The wooden ceiling was covered in small fires of burning phosphorus, Sir was leaping over wooden desk tops frantically trying to scrape them off.
“Get back boys , get back! Oh God, and your no help” Chris Plant

Mr Houston

A lad came into biology class with dark rings under his eyes, looking for all the world as if he spent the night out on the tiles, Mr Houston confronted him with a very stern rebuke “You’re smoking to much lad !” Chris Plant

Mrs Houston

“Boys from now on will be required to take a shower after assembly and the run round the grounds before going to their appointed classrooms!” Chris Plant

Mr Sykes (art & drama)

During school play rehearsals “I’m going to show you lads how the mind is stronger than matter by bringing the palm of my hand down onto this upturned dagger blade” Mr Sykes cut himself badly and had his hand clenched for the rest of the lesson. Chris Plant

Mrs Williams

Elegant silver haired Mrs Williams explained to first year boys “At your age your brains are soggy like blotting paper!” Chris Plant

If you have any favourite “teacher- sayings” that made an impression on you, please let us know and we will include it here.

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