Studies 1961 - 1966


Towards the end of the Summer Term, 1960, the Vth and VIth and those in the IVth who managed to work hard enough to move into the Vth in the following term, were confronted with a pleasant surprise. They were to be "put away" at the top of the school in studies miles away from everybody (not seen and not heard). Top Deck as it used to be called-and still is to this day amongst the prime of the school-consists of nine studies each with an average of 4.77777777 (recurring) persons.
When we first entered the studies they were sparsely furnished with four desks, and four chairs, unpainted walls and uncarpeted floors. In the course of the next two weeks remarkable transformations were to take place. Furniture vans rolled up to the School and unloaded anything from a television set to a tin of Baked Beans.
By the way the staple diet in the studies is Beans and coffee (it was reported that a few were going to take Cookery '0' level this year). One study remarked that they had consumed 5 million coffees ; in another they had eaten so many tins of Baked Beans that Mr. Mckell remarked on the similarity between the occupants of that study and Baked Beans !
At the beginning of the Autumn Term there were two televisions, four Record players and numerous radios but the number dwindled to one record player and a few radios, owing to the speed at which the G.C.E. was bearing down on us. "Papers are delivered every morning to the studies." When this first started it was the Daily Mirror and Sketch, now it is The Times and the Daily Mail. N.B., The News of the World not allowed.
The fuses frequently blew during the first term but Mr. Savill has devised a method of cutting down the number blown. The first time the fuse blew it would be mended the same day; the second time it would be mended in two days, the third time it blew it would be mended in four days, and so on until the fuse had blown so many times it would be the end of the year before it would be mended. Two of the studies have wash basins ; they are still trying to work out whether it is an asset or a hindrance as there is a regular stream of people going to and fro from the basin.
The studies certainly keep the occupants occupied as there are hardly any Vth or VIth formers downstairs. just a last word of thanks to Mr. McKell, who has kept us well supplied throughout the year.

The number of people in the Studies has risen this year. Last year each study had four boys ; this year there has been an extra boy in each one to cope with the growing Fifth Form. Total of study-holders is forty-five.
While last year nightly bean feasts gained publicity for the studies this year there appears to be a lack of interest in beans and also in food generally. This drop in consumption is probably because fewer studies pool their food in order to redistribute on an equal basis.
Study decorations have improved. Last year few studies had posters or wallpaper. Now there is an all-out drive to stick up brightly-coloured posters and other wall decorations. Large advertisements are obtained and then pasted on to the walls. The favourite ? One that advertises a brand of beer. Perhaps this is symbolic of wishful thinking ! Three studies have been wallpapered, with the woodwork neatly painted; in one study the Headmaster provided lino. These studies could almost be put in the luxury bracket, for they certainly put in the shade the Ideal Homes Exhibition.
Stamp collectors flock to a certain study, one wall of which is covered almost completely with stamps of all nations. Upwards of fifteen hundred stamps-many 3d. British-covered this wall. The labour and attention to detail is to be commended.
Most studies have either a radio or a record-player. Televisions are declass6 this year. The music from the disc-jockeys can be heard during every moment of spare time. Coffee goes well with music, but this summer term it was superseded by Orange Squash. A secret method of making it having been introduced ("The formula has been in the family for generations), it is now sold at a reasonable price to other study members. An average of two gallons is made each week ; "wildfire" sales are reported.
I would like to thank Mr. Savill and Frank for fuse-mending and Mr. McKell for regular supplies of daily newspapers, which help to keep us in touch with the outside world.

On Monday, 17th September, 54 ex-fourth formers arrived back at school laden with tuck, to start their year in the studies. This meant another increase in the studies population, making it approximately 4:083 persons per study.
The first half of the term consisted of a continual lending of paintbrushes, paper, paint and paste, and towards the end of the term, some of the studies began to look like luxury flats. (This is what one of the old boys called them). Posters were not so popular this year, and the occupants decided that wallpaper was just as good; they also found that it could be obtained easily. Our study had a fitted carpet, which made the place very "cushy," while another had gaily-coloured linoleum, brightening the room up a great deal. But really, the first one and a half terms were just a novelty to the occupants; beans were "out" this year, and instead it was "ceufs sur le plat."
Record-players were fewer and this year tape-recorders took the lead in musical entertainment. The people who had taperecorders recorded their favourite songs off the radio, in order to save their valuable money for Mr. McKell in the tuck shop.
But then people suddenly realised that the G.C.E. was bearing down on them, many of the tape-recorders vanished., and people got down to some hard work. This year, during all our time in the studies, it was the fuses that presented the difficulties. Then we were told by the expert fuse mender, Mr. Savill, that we could cut down on the continual fuse blowing, by not using six-inch nails, and also by not using so much electricity. This was taken to heart, and as a result cut the blow-outs down by half. until the amount is now negligible.
This year in sharp contrast to last, newspapers were in fashion, being taken in four studies daily, so that we could find out what went on outside our little self-contained world.
However the G.C.E. is now behind us and we are making-or at least those of us who are staying on-plans for next year, when instead of luxury flats we intend to have a "Versailles" up on the old Top Deck.
We are all very grateful to Mr. McKell for supplying our newspapers, and also to Mr. Savill and Frank for continually mending our fuses.
The Eshton Studies were once again inhabited on the 13th September, 1963, after two months' emptiness, and began their fourth year of existence.
The new occupants together with the old were quick to move in and soon settled down. Wallpaper, brushes and paint suddenly began to appear, and the old paper and posters were torn down, and quickly replaced by new and more varied sorts.
Carpets and furniture together with many gadgets arrived. They were varied: record players, tape recorders, cookers, typewriters, and toasters, were all introduced into the studies. In fact by the end of the autumn term, nearly every study was ship shape, and looked most impressive.
At the beginning of the winter term, music once more rang out from the studies as the study occupants arrived back with their newly acquired Christmas presents. The newest addition to the studies in the winter term was the formation of a group in Study 8, called "the Conventions." They consisted of R. Sutherland, P. Edwards, A. Wight, K. Burkinshaw and J. Swales.
At first their music was a source of annoyance to their long suffering neighbours. Towards the end of the term, however, we began to appreciate the group, and their original interpretations of some of the top-pops.
In the summer term the studies began to realise that G.C.E. was approaching, and setted down to hard work.

With the advent of a new school year, a new crowd invaded the studies. A few old lags still remained, and watched dumbly as the new Vth Form moved in with all the necessary junk to make life bearable. The latest records began to blare out, and the smoke and smells of burnt food wafted down the corridors. Things soon quietened down as a bit of the novelty began to wear off, and the new crowd settled down to the routine.
Study 2 exhibited a collection of beer mats, and the fresh air fiends made good use of the balcony. Studies 3 and 5 boasted television, and both studies were like the Black Hole of Calcutta when "Top of the Pops ' came on. Study 5 housed a couple of looneys who practised magic rites. Study 7 became Headquarters of the Prefects Union, and next door in Study 8 lived Bathroom Billy. Kirk and Grundy threw parties in their study every now and then, much to the joy of all study occupants. It was once feared that Smith had been crushed in the rush.
After the departure of Mr. Rowan-Robinson, the studies missed the Monday night prep. check. Instead Mr. Gouldsworthy dropped in periodically to see that the work was being done.
Quietly, the term shot by, and soon it was time for G.C.E. The studies closed down their radio stations, and broadcasting houses, and got down to the long missed work which they had been promising to do all through the year.

The senior prefects lodged in two studies on the top corridor, and had in their midst such notorious characters as Fox and Widdup. However they lived dangerously as Mr. Lewis' room was just down the corridor. The top deck contained nine studies and each had its own peculiarity. Study 2 was noted as a shopping centre while Study 3 was famed for its rat rearing. Study 7 housed some of the prefects and proved to be the favourite haunt of William Bowen and the newly retired Lord Surreton. The bathroom provided an ideal setting for social gatherings which Mr. Gouldsworthy frequently interrupted. Study 8 was distinguished by the works of art hanging on the wall. There was a regrettable absence this year of entertainment, because certain former study dwellers had departed to the safer confines of the lower deck.
The main feature of the Eshton studies has always been the combination of friendliness and industry. Half way through the summer term most boys realised the urgency of G.C.E. and at last began to take work seriously. It is the convivial spirit of study life that most boys will miss more than anything else when the school closes.
D. C. W. RIX, VI Form.