Bolton School Former Pupils

Peter Nuttall (Class of 1965)

Peter wrote recently to share his memories of School in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and his recollection of his first visit back to School as an Old Boy: 

I shamefully under-achieved in my time at Bolton School. I followed the A3 stream, closely avoiding Transitus by going into Science 6C3

At the end of, I think the Third Form, I was given a letter to take home. I made a point of opening this letter, as they often did not bring good news. The letter asked my parents whether they wished me to go on to do O Level German, or the option of woodwork or metalwork.

This indeed looked like bad news. If my dad saw this, he would undoubtedly consign me to a further language. I was already not enjoying French. So I signed the form in my dad's name and ticked woodwork.

Thus followed a blissful couple of years of trooping off to double woodwork while my friends got their heads down to double German.

Sadly, my dad changed his job and we relocated to the Midlands in 1964, and I finished my education at another school. Studying maths, physics and chemistry and changing schools half way through the Sixth Form was made even more difficult for a 17 year old as now half the students were girls, a major distraction! 

However, I scraped 3 A Levels and matured to get my head down and 'achieve my potential'.  

I subsequently gained a degree and doctorate in engineering and had a career in the nuclear industry , followed by six years as a Non-Exec Director in the health service.

But the point of this reminiscence is to tell my story of when I returned to School.

I happened to be in the area for work and thought I would pop in to School. I went to Sergeant's Office (nothing had changed) and I was allowed to proceed to the staff room, where I asked to see Mr Sefton, who taught woodwork.

It was break and we went into the staff room and chatted over a cup of tea. I told him I was married, a house owner and that I had fitted wardrobes, made things and was grateful for the practical skills I gained and the background in technical drawing.

To my astonishment Mr Sefton jumped onto a table and called for silence:

"A distinguished Old Boy of this School has just told me that taking woodwork and gaining practical skills was one of his best decisions and been of be great benefit to him. So there!"

A partially-gowned, teacup-holding common room was stunned.

My first visit to the staff room was very different than I imagined!