Bolton School Former Pupils

J Paul Hodgson (1955-1962)

Paul took a tour of School in May 2014, and afterwards wrote to the Development Office with memories of two particularly humorous incidents during his time at School.

"It was a great experience to have been educated and reach adulthood (almost) in my time at Bolton School. I enjoyed the lower/middle school “broad-based” compulsory mix of classics, sciences, languages (my personal bete-noir), humanities, music and sport/athleticism, whilst still finding time for some art and artisan making (woodwork).   

"Later, I had access to Sixth Form science and mathematics free-thinking personal projects at the same time as A level learning, alongside introductions to a third language (Russian), psychology and art and music appreciation.  I also enjoyed two (vacation) work experience weeks in industry provided via the offices of the PSAB (Public Schools Appointments Bureau).  For me and a few others there was also metalwork and technical drawing.

"All-in-all, a very eclectic mix of subjects, and to a high standard of achievement, where there was enough personal interest and effort.  I had one or two 'struggle' subjects but have many fond and vivid memories, two of my favourites of which, noted below, are associated with the humorous/bizarre rather than the academic:  

"In 1957-58 I was in form 4a and the form classroom was on the Headmaster’s Corridor.   CH (Butch) Ingham taught 4a Latin.   He sometimes taught with the door (and windows) open and he also looked at the reflections in his glasses, when his back was to the class whilst writing on the blackboard.   On 1st April 1958 he saw Dave (?) Powell in the reflection misbehaving in some way or other.   Without pausing and still facing the blackboard he said “Powell, go down to the Sergeants’ office and book yourself a Saturday morning detention!”.  A surprised Powell (with minor protest) got up and went off down the corridor to do as instructed.   A few minutes later there was a pounding of leather shoes on the corridor stone floor and Powell whizzed by the door in a tremendous slide, as he did so throwing a kipper (was it real?) through the door into the classroom and calling “April Fool”.   Apparently unperturbed and without significant interruption, Butch coolly called for the disappearing Powell to go back to the Sergeants’ office to book a second detention - to this day, I suspect that a barely detectable tremor in Butch’s body indicated not anger, but hilarity.

"Not the first organ-playing boy to insert a 'pop' tune into the processional music for the Headmaster at morning prayers, Bateson (a year or three ahead of me) became more infamous during the building of the new chemistry block.   The 'play area' below the Headmaster’s Study window (near the 'under-cloister' which then housed the bicycle storage racks) was being used for a ball-heading game by a small group including Bateson.   The area was fringed by building materials, including a wheel-barrow containing dry cement.   The ball in use had already been high enough to tap on the Study window and, for a second time, it tapped once more.   Mr. Poskitt flung open the window, spotted the boy he thought was responsible and called “Bateson !” in a loud voice.   Bateson looked up and backed away still looking up, with the back of his legs soon colliding with the edge of said wheelbarrow.   He duly fell into the cement ... and the Head closed his window without another word."