Staff Notes 01 - Founder Members

STAFF NOTES - Founder Members (1956)

WHEN a member of staff joins an established school, it is usual to welcome him in the columns of the school magazine. On this occasion, perhaps a brief note about each “founder member" of the staff might be appropriate.

Mr. R. Armstrong, (City and Guilds of London Teaching Certificate) comes to St. Nicholas after wide experience of teaching woodwork and metalwork in grammar schools. He has worked as a practicing craftsman and, during the war, as a technical officer with the R.E.M.E. His many interests range from campanology to bee keeping, in which latter sphere he is sufficiently expert to have broadcast.

Mr. P. R. Banton, M.A.(Cantab.), a graduate of Trinity Hall has moved far from his native Derbyshire, having taught at Hemel Hempstead before joining the staff. His specialist qualifications were put to good use in the R.A.F., in which he was a navigator engaged on aerial Survey work. A dogged gardener, he still gives sport as one of his interests, he represented his University at the very hazardous game of lacrosse.

Mr. P. L. P. Clarke, MA (Oxon.), went from Brasenose College to Sutton County Grammar School where he taught English for five years. An ardent producer of school plays, he prefers the comic to the tragic muse; his present ambition is to produce a Gilbert and Sullivan opera. He continues to play rugby football, though, in his own words, "long past his prime."

Mr G. Easom, B.Sc. (Hons.) (London), taught for five years at Ealing Grammar School where he specialised in physics. He is a keen chess player and an amateur photographer with a wide knowledge of the technicalities of his hobby. As a cricketer he seems likely to be assured of a place in any future staff team for many years.

Mr P. H. J. H. Gosden, M.A.(Cantab.), taught history at Chatham House, Ramsgate, and Greenford County Grammar School after leaving the RAF. He was educated at Midhurst Grammar School and Emmanuel College, Cambridge, a fact that could account for his interests which may be enumerated as philosophy, agriculture and Sussex. His love of the countryside and open air does not prevent his immuring himself at regular intervals in university libraries in one of which he seems to have been granted a small apartment.

Mr. K. W. James, B.Sc. (Hons.) (London), specialised in mathematics at St. Clement Danes School before joining the staff. His qualifications involved him in what he obscurely, though modestly, describes as "Met. Work" with the RAF. Like many mathematicians, he admits to a liking for chess, but in contrast with his more academic achievements is his deep affection for music which has always claimed an important part of his leisure.

Mr. J. G. Lee, Diploma in Physical Education (Loughborough), came to us immediately after graduating from Loughborough where, even amongst so many accomplished athletes, his record was impressive. Although his feats on the rugby field are best known-he has played for the Army, Hampshire and Wasps, he prefers the description "all-rounder." By no means concerned only with sport and physical exercise, his interests include music and drama.

Mr. T. D. Plenderleith, A.R.E, A.T.D.. taught art at Pinner County Grammar School after leaving the RAF., in which he served as a bomber pilot. Naturally enough, he devotes much of his leisure to painting and other forms of creative art: his work has certainly been exhibited at the Royal Academy and the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers, though he gives little information on this subject. The constant search of the artist for ultimate perfection does not preclude his taking an interest in more down to earth pursuits like sport and interior decorating.

Mr. T. Richardson, B.A. (Hons.) (London), was French Master at Bishopshalt Grammar School after war-time service as a liaison officer to the French Army during the Allied invasion. Apart from an interest in France that extends well beyond the language and literature to include the people and the countryside, his spare time activities seem to be wrestling with the Middlesex clay belt in his garden and serving on committees. He shares with several other members of staff a lively interest in music.

Summer 1956 School Magazine

All these Masters were appointed Head of Department

L-R Back: Mr. P.H.J.H. Gosden, Mr. P.R. Banton, Mr. P.L.P. Clarke, Mr. J.G. Lee, Mr. G. Easom

Front: Mr. R. Armstrong, Mr. J. Richardson, The Headmaster, Mr. K.W. James, Mr. T.D. Plenderleith 

A fine colour version of this photo is available on the Staff Photos page


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