was with many misgivings that in August 1958 1 agreed
to Mr. Rowan-Robinson's request to take over the running
of Eshton School Tuck Shop. My misgivings were entirely
unfounded and I have thoroughly enjoyed the seven years
I have spent with you all.
I estimate that during that time I have travelled to Eshton
or Flasby at least 1,000 times and I feel it is quite
remarkable that I have never once missed opening the shop
when I should have done. I must have sold some 40,000
sticks of licquorice, enough Crisps to fill the Tuck Shop
and enough 'pop' to float a sizeable ship during that
In the past seven years we have seen many changes at Eshton.
Only one member of the teaching staff was there in that
capacity when I came, and I think that probably Mrs. Straker,
Frank, Harold, and the ubiquitous Mr. Savill are the only
other people who have been at Eshton longer than I. The
Chapel, The Coulthurst Hall, the Squash Court and the
Hard Tennis Courts have all been built and the Studies
(with the resultant increase in the consumption of baked
beans) came into being. I expect that many Old Boys cannot
now look a baked bean in the face. The amount that Keith
Baker's study consumed has never ceased to amaze me.
The frustrating pastime of "Watching the Clock"
is surely peculiar to Eshton. I shall never forget the
first time I experienced a boy engaged in this 'inactivity'-a
certain Lancastrian, Bradley I think, having incurred
the wrath of "The Colonel" was told in no uncertain
terms not to be such a fool and instructed to stand in
front of The
Clock "until I tell you to go." He stood
there for at least an hour and I suppose he would have
continued to stand there if the Bell for "Prep"
had not rung.
I have found, are peculiar animals, though having been
one myself I shouldn't really be surprised. For some four
years Mrs. McKell baked countless Pasties, Iced Buns and
Bread Loaves. Suddenly tastes changed and kitchen bread
became popular, much to Mrs. McKell's joy as it meant
much less work for her.
A succession of head boys and prefects have been a very
great help to me. It is strange but nevertheless true
that I know many more boys by their nicknames than by
their correct names. I suppose that at no time have I
known more than a dozen boys by their own names. It always
pleases Mrs. McKell and me when an Old Eshtonian calls
to see us in Gargrave. We shall be pleased to see any
of you at any time and I look forward to "Old Boys
Matches" and if I am told when they are taking place
I will do my best to be present.
It was a charming gesture by all of you when, on my last
night at the Tuck Shop, you gave me an elegant Table Lighter.
The gift was entirely unexpected and because of that,
all the more delightful. I shall value it always.
Thank you all for Seven Happy Years.