TIMES PAST Looking back to the days that used to he. GOLDINGS
After Dr Barnardo' s took over Goldings in 1922 people from the school soon became involved with the village. Several of
the masters sang regularly in Waterford Church choir. On a Sunday afternoon all the boys used to go for long walks with
the masters in charge, like a regiment of soldiers. On a Friday evening the village children used to be invited to the
gymnasium and see the pictures (films) with the boys. During the interval they used to be given a mug of cocoa and a bun,
this being a weekly treat.
Dr Barnardo s School at Goldings sent a couple of lads twice a day down to the village post office to deliver and collect
the school mail. In the Summer months some of the older lads hired out their services as gardeners to some of the villagers.
The village children gained permission from the headmaster of Dr Barnardo's to attend film shows, held in the gymnasium
each Wednesday night, and also boxing on Friday nights. A new swimming pool was built there and we were eventually
allowed the use of it, after the boys had finished. Many a happy couple of hours were spent in the warm sunnier evenings,
just swimming length after length of the bath for the sheer pleasure of it. It was much less crowded and more private than
The marsh. The village has changed a great deal since Barnardo's closed.
HEATHER FOGG Local Historian


I don’t remember the Deck café, I used to use the café in the town called Dr Syn named after the Doctor who was a smuggler

Pop (staff)

Joe Patch had this knack of throwing his voice and you would be up to no good, and suddenly hear the words “stop that right
now” as if he was right there behind you. Everyone had so much respect for him.

Reg Howitt 45-49 Cairns

I remember being out with the boys somewhere we weren’t supposed to be, when we were challenged by the local farmer
who recognised the Goldings boys by the blazers they wore. He then turned to me and asked the boys who were older than
me who I was, and their answer was “We don’t know him”, were they protecting me or denying they knew me, so as not to
get themselves into trouble.
“I think the former”
David Wheatley

When you first came into Goldings dining room as a new boy by the time they had passed the butter down to you there would
be none left, you soon became wise as you moved up the table
Alan Dearman 55-59 Pelham

If you had a mate who worked in the kitchen you were made, as he would lay the table he would stick you a great
nob of butter under the table for your bread. I dread to think what those tables at Goldings were like

Jimmy James. 45-49 Mt Stephen

Bob went on a trek to Lydd Airport from The Camp at Dymchurch round trip of about 10 miles, when he got back to camp
he’d no sooner sat down in the chair to rest when a knock came on the door “Mr Newton can we do this” or “can we do that”
and up he’d get again

Mrs Newton (staff)

I can remember going for the cane, and I don’t know who but one of the lads said put a book down your trousers it wont
hurt so I did! On bending over for the cane Pinhead said “Oh right Blower take that book out now” I should have known
he meant a soft thin comic not a book for that escapade I received eight not six. “I must have been b*&*dy stupid!!!”
Dave blower 62-65 Somerset

Have you ever thought of writing a book Mrs Fordham. “yes David I have and I’d call it “a nedache”, When I worked in
sickbay there was this boy and every Monday morning he would be there waiting, and I would ask him what’s wrong with
you , and every morning he would reply
‘I’ve got a nedache’ every morning”
Mrs Fordham (staff)

I was in the bath at Goldings and suddenly heard this boys voice say “you’ve made me climb all up here just to look at him”
who ever it was must have been expecting someone else.
David Wheatley

Mr Nixon used to come after you to recruit you for church service on Sunday, and confirmation. I always used to run off .
I never got to go to Wimbledon either.
Micky Gay 62-65 Cairns

No matter what decade you were at Goldings 60s 50s 40s 30s and probably the 20s too, everyone has a story about the slide,
everyone remembers a slide it started just outside the dining room and ended at the Rec hut this is my story.
It was Winter 1962 freezing cold, and the boys had spent a long time making the slide and then everyone
having a go on it, I wouldn’t have a go scared I would make a fool of myself. Then I don’t know where I was
going to, or where I coming from, but I was on my own, and I can remember why, and there it was and I
thought I’ll have a go now so I took a run up and was sliding down the slide and found myself flat on my
back banged the side of my head, and cut my ear, that was my experience of the slide.
Dave Blower 62-65 Somerset

When I worked at Goldings I used to have two young boys and they used to sit on the wall outside the Tin Smiths waving to
the boys through the window, and distracting them. Mr de Boeck came out and confronted me and told me
“you ought to get those boys under control”
Mrs Fordham Staff

I remember finding some baby ducks and taking them back to the dorm and keeping them in the bath, I must have taken
them back later I can’t really remember what we did with them! they were probably never lost in the first place.
Tony Angell 62-64 Somerset

I remember those ducks in Somerset bathroom I didn’t know the story leading up to why they were there
I just remember them being there
Bobby Mac 63-66 Somerset

I went to Dymchurch and was already on report, a few of us were spying on the girls in the showers when we heard Joe
Patch coming we got away but he mistook me for our Henry, so our Henry took the punishment for me. (I asked him to
cover for me, I told him he’ll kill me I’m already on jankers, our Henry said alright that’s a brother for you
He was great Joe Patch was, but then I loved Gym.
Bill Roe 51-56 Mt Stephen

I was in the Carpenters Shop Dave, but I was kicked out I think they thought I was weird, every time we were told we could
make something what we liked out of a piece of wood, I made a little coffin
Alan Sibbons 62-65 Aberdeen

At Dymchurch we acquired some cigars and was smoking them in the tents I shouted these are f$%*&^£!
Strong just as Corbitt walked by, he caught me swearing and belted me with a wicket he picked up of the cricket
Bill Roe 51-56 Mt Stephen

I tried a couple of trades but when I went into the paint that was for me Mr Ibbotson was great, and Skip in the Cadets they
were two of the best
Al Sibbons 62-65 Aberdeen

Me and Rudgie used to plan our escape we would save food and everything to last us a couple of days but we were always
caught and brought back. Can’t keep away now!!
Paul Walkeden 63-66 Somerset

That bl***y Walkeden was a pest he was always up to something. Running off and then somebody having to fetch him back
Jimmy James Staff

I remember in Somerset there were 2 lads used to do a bunk they would climb out of the corner window and shin down the
drain pipe, and I remember always thinking they’ll be back by morning and they always were. I never remembered their
names or who they were until I met Paul Walkeden at my first reunion and I’m sure now it was him and his mate Rudgey
Dave Blower 62-65 Somerset

When you first entered paint shop Mr Ibbotson would tell you take a penny put it on you forehead then you had to bend
your head forward and get the penny into the funnel, I thought this is easy being a bit of a jack the lad, and thinking I was
clever. When I was asked to do it blind fold, un be known to me the funnel was removed and a pot of paint put in it’s place
and then because I was a bit of a bighead a bowl of cold water down my back as I was bending over!!
Alan Sibbons 62-65 Aberdeen

There was a guy in Cairns name John Mason, when we were sleeping in the dorm he would go from bed to bed, and just
catch the tip of your nose with a fag, next morning on parade there would be a row of Cairns boys all with an
identical red blister on the end of his nose, and you could see Mr Wheatley looking at us all with a puzzled look
on his face
Tom Hill 62-66 Cairns

I was doing some gardening for a family down Goldings Lane, and as I finished they asked me if I would like to watch T. V.
they rang Mr Wheatley, and asked if it was alright for me to stay and he said yes I could. After the programme was finished
I walked back to Goldings, It was quite late and as I reached top of Goldings Lane I bumped into Mr Corbett who
immediately asked where I had been and why I was late, I was punched right in the face. I was given no time to explain.
John Hunt 49-51 Aberdeen

One day we were taken down to the Gym with a view to painting the ceiling, I hadn’t been in the paint shop long, and we
were told to scrape the ceiling first, all day we spent scraping that ceiling my arms were dropping off, later that afternoon
Mr Ibbotson came back to take us back to the shops, and on the way back he said “don’t worry lads you’ll be painting
tomorrow” So the next day we went back to the Gym with Mr Ibbotson to paint the ceiling, We climbed the scaffold with
the paint and brushes, he gave me a 7 inch brush which I had never used one before, I dipped it into the paint and lifted it
up to paint the ceiling when it all ran down my sleeve and over my overalls, at that Mr Ibbotson stopped me and said
“No no you have to wipe the surplus off on the tin”, this was one of the first lessons he gave me on painting and I promptly
started to paint the ceiling, but I noticed I was getting splashes all over me when I looked behind me
Mr Ibbotson was purposely flicking paint all over me at that I thought I’m not standing for this so I started
to flick him back consequently we had a paint flicking fight.
He was all right Mr Ibbotson he was good for a laugh.
Alan sibbons

I always remember coming back from leave in the Winter, walking up the North Road I’d be on my own, and I was so
scared, don’t forget there were no lights it was pitch dark, no houses at one point I used to run all the way back in the
middle of the road so no one could jump out on me. You know I always felt safe when I could see the lights of Goldings
Brian Perrier 62-64 MacAndrew

There was a group of us out the carpenters shop walking past the school block when one of us, not me kicked this little stone,
and it hit the windscreen of a staff car parked to the side, we all just scarpered
It was probably Peter Drummond he was with us!!
Dave Blower 62-65 Somerset

I always remember in the carpenters shop playing about with chisels with another boy I couldn’t remember who it was,
anyway we were sword fighting with these chisels and I stabbed the boys hand and he was obviously cut quite deep. At the
2005 reunion Chris Horsnel turned up he was a carpenter the same a me and I told him this story, he showed me his hand
and said what on earth were we doing messing about with chisels he can’t remember and neither can I but there was the
scar on his hand from all those years ago.

Dave Blower 62-65

Jimmy I read your story about Wimbledon and the black pumps, and it reminded me of a story I heard about Johnie A,
when he was a ball boy at Wimbledon, he was on one knee at the net, and his opposite partner at the other end of the net,
saw some young girls laughing. and what came to pass was, his b***s were hanging out of his shorts.
Maybe he was hoping that one day he would meet ball girls
Tony Angell 62-64

hi folks, does anyone know what happened to the rev Nixon. can anyone remember when he through a bible at john mason
whilst reading the lesson in church? mason was doing something which sent him over the edge, I have never seen such a
shocked congregation
Chapman 1960--1963

Just been through the messages what a group Brian McCarthy Charlie Stevenson and Terry Davies brings back memories
of this lot tying bangers to a bit of page cord then pining it to Reg Purkis overall plus who was it that put a fag end in Regs
pocket and who was it that nailed Terry Davies work shoes to the running board of the Mehlie ??? Arthur (Bob)Robertson
in sunny Aus
Bob Robertson 50s

I only knew Jim myself from the last few years, which is strange really because he was a Print Master when I was at
Goldings, and one time we did re-call when in 1964 when I was in the team that played the annual match up top field
between boys and staff we pondered over both our photo's from that year in the Goldonian, and he looked me in the eye and
said "Was you in the team that year" I said "Yes Jim there's me in the team photo" he quickly replied "If I knew that was
you then, I would have kicked you all round the pitch!!"
Dave blower 62-65

I climbed to the top of the Water Tower but when there I couldn’t get down they had to call out the fire brigade.
Even better Scoffer climbed up there and was swimming about in it and then couldn’t get out of the water!!
Les Greenough 40s

At my previous home in Lichfield the House parent used to take me to one side in the snooker room and would say “David
there are two roads in life the good road and the bad road, at the moment you are on the bad road, and we have to get you
back to the crossroads and get you back on the good road” and I used to think what a load of twaddle what is he talking
about then I was sent to Goldings and that was the crossroads and I was on my way but I didn’t realise it until I was much
much older
Dave Blower 62-65

There were 2 boys who climbed to the top of the tower and pelted us with coke and conkers while we were on parade
Dick lang 45-49

Someone in Somerset had broken into the petty cash box, so the whole of Somerset were called onto the landing.
Mr Embleton informed us we were not going to bed until who ever the culprit was owned up. No one did we all stood there
tired out with blankets around us, then at about 5 o clock Mr Embleton told us “you can all go to bed now my shift is
finished” and so off we went to bed
John Burr 62-64

'We were very fit already as we were on the go all day from morning to night,' recalled John 'Sammy' Sansom,
former ball boy. 'I didn't see a sofa or easy chair until I was I 6.'
John Sansom 45-49

I ordered secondary glazing for my flat, and I wasn’t happy with the fitters work, when challenged the fitter told me he'd
been a carpenter all his life so knew what he was doing. I quickly retorted that I too had trained as a carpenter at Goldings
Barnardos and that's when the penny dropped. The fitter recognised me from the BBC films and realised we had been
together at Goldings. The fitter was none other than Barry Hyland and the pair of us trained in the same carpentry shop.
From that point we got on great. 'We reminisced about the carpentry tool boxes we made Barry still has his and most of his
tools about being Wimbledon ball boys, pinching apples and anything else we could get away with!' At the end of the day,
I was very pleased with the job Barry did for me.
Mike Justice M. B. E.

Do you remember the Prefects room, we used to sneak into the prefects room and just mess about, when we heard Skip come
around on his rounds we would be very still and turn off the lights and hide.
Skip would come to the door and say “If there is anyone in there who hadn’t ought to be in there they had better go right now”
and he would go away to let us go un noticed he always knew we were there even though we were being ever so quiet

Many a Goldings old boy and Staff would remember winters at the big old mansion , snow and draughts blowing Under the
bottom doors by the kitchen, coke and then later oil to try and warm the place with a fast ageing central? Heating system,
snowballing each other on the way down to the trades or school block, arriving cold and wet to start The day, and later to
repeat the same on the way back to the house at the close of day. Rival snowball fights between The various House’s to see
who ‘s house was top dog, as the opposition quickly dispersed up the spiral staircase To the dorm to seek protection, chased
by the snowballers until our house parent appeared to offer us some protection Until another fall of snow perhaps? And the
top entertainment of the day “The Slide” from the top of the Parade Ground, right down to the Band Hut.Forty, fifty,
maybe sixty feet long, perhaps even longer who can remember, until “Embo” spoilt our good work?
John horn 42-45

All images and text copyright © to Goldings Old Boys reunion members

Page Compiled March 2007

Click for more

Those were the Days