“Such an unfortunate accident.”

Mr de’Boecks’ father

Very many of his old boys will be glad to have this picture of the late
Mr Arthur William de’Boeck who was for 38 years the instructor of the
Sheet Metal work shop at Stepney and at Goldings. As mentioned in previous
issues Mr de Boeck passed away on the 15th of November 1933 at the age of
64 years.
Having given always of his best in the service of Dr Barnardos Homes.
Mrs de Boeck survived her husband by only 2 weeks and in memory of his
parents Mr Harold de Boeck who succeeded his father as instructor in
sheet metal work has presented to the school a handsome silver cup.
“The de Boeck Memorial Cup”

1934 The Goldonian

Page Compiled May 2007

All images and text copyright © to Goldings Old Boys Re-union Members

On a personal note until reading into the History of Goldings I was totally unaware of the years that the De’Boeck family
were involved with Barnardo’s and Goldings. It appears not only “Woofy” De’Boeck ran the Sheet Metal Work shop, but
his father before him. How Mr Harold De’Boeck got his nickname “Woofy” that I don’t know, but I’m sure former pupils
of his will no doubt help me out with that one? As most of the masters at Goldings were to earn some form of nickname,
some with affection, and others for other reasons? No doubt this name appears to fall into the first category, of that I am
sure, because many of his former pupils talk of him with such respect. The name De’ Boeck is of Belgium / Flemish origins
and I’m sure there lies a further story to this family. As a former pupil of Goldings, like all of the other boys were aware
Of “Woofy’s” metal false hand, and the pain it could cause at the back of the head if you became “To cheeky” but little did
we know in them days how it came about, and I was quite surprised when I did find out. In the early days of Goldings,
along with Mr Maslin they both played football for the school, Mr Maslin in defence, Mr De’Boeck in goal, as pictured below.

I DO not suppose many of our readers will, but who knows some one may recognize himself from this picture.
This team, which was formed when the School moved from Stepney in 1922 contains two players who are still associated with
Goldings, viz. Mr. De'Boeck and Mr. Maslin. It was comprised of staff and boys and played in Division I
(now the Premier Division) of the Herford and District Football League.
At this time there was only one pitch on top field, and when the team played at home on a Saturday afternoon it was an extra
afternoon's pleasure for most of the boys as well as the players, as only one house had leave each Saturday afternoon. There was
always a crowd of 200 home supporters! since then of course we have all become “players”.
The second player standing carried the rank of “Sergeant Major” which was the equivalent to our present day “School Captain”.
It will be noticed that several of the players are wearing caps, these were presented when a player received his colours,, and as will
be noticed the year of the award was embroidered on the peak.
In case you are wondering who's who, here are all the names, kindly supplied by Mr. de'Boeck, as indeed was all the above
Reproduced from the school magazine Goldonian 1963 “DO YOU REMEMBER”

Mr. Harold De’Boeck
The name of De’Boeck has been associated with the Homes for nearly 70
years, as Mr. De’Boeck's father was in charge of the Sheet-metal department,
both at Stepney and at Goldings for close on forty years before his retirement
in 1931, and his brother was also at one time a Superintendent of a Barnardo
Mr. De’Boeck is the last of the three members of staff still at Goldings who
came down to the School from Stepney in 1921. At that time he was assistant
to his father and took over the headship of the Sheet-metal Work Department
when his father retired. Unfortunately soon after coming to Goldings
Mr. De’Boeck met with an accident on the football field whilst playing
against Hertford Heath. Playing in goal he went down to scoop up the ball
from an oncoming forward and sustained an injury to his right hand.
At the time it did not appear to be a serious injury, but alas it meant a very
long time in hospital for him with the final result he lost the use of his right hand. For some time it was thought Mr. De’Boeck would
never be able to return to his work in the Sheet-metal Shop, but fortunately Mr. De’Boeck thought otherwise and by sheer
determination and perseverance he showed us that what his right hand was now incapable of doing, his left hand would have to be
his right and left hands in one, not only has he been able to continue at his trade with remarkable success, but he also taught himself
to write with his left hand, and even to play billiards and snooker. In this latter sphere he became a much better player than some
of his contemporaries who had the advantage of both hands. Mr. De’Boeck has given yeoman service to the School and many boys
who have done well after leaving the School at their trade taught to them by Mr. De’Boeck have acknowledged they owed much to
his teaching.
J Maslin. Goldonian

Mr De’Boeck pictured along with some of the many boys he
taught the skills of Metal Working. It appears that the unfortunate
accident didn’t long term affect his many attributes, as can be
seen from the Billiards Tournament at Goldings in the late 20’s
without a doubt inspiration to all who witnessed his character.

A BILLIARDS TOURNAMENT was arranged last month by the Hon. Secretary of the Club, Mr. J. Maslin, and members of the
Committee. The Governor defeated Mr. Payne in the final. The Governor, on his day, is without doubt the outstanding player in the
Mr. Gratwick beat Mr. Penny, 100—81. Mr. D. Macdonald beat Mr. Culver, 100—82.
The Governor beat Mr. Cruikshank, 100—88. Mr. Mills beat Mr. Barnes, 100—89. Mr. Maslin beat Mr. Patch, 100—79.
Mr. Tempest beat Mr. Randall, 100—73. Mr. White beat Mr. Battell, 100—87.
Mr. De Boeck beat Mr. Jones, 100—93.
Mr. Payne beat Mr. Whitbread, 100—96. Mr. Gratwick beat Mr. D. Macdonald, 100—61.
SECOND ROUND RESULTS. The Governor beat Mr. Mills, 100—70. Mr. Maslin beat Mr. Tempest, 100—74.
Mr.De Boeck beat Mr. White, 100—68. Mr. Payne beat Mr. Gratwick, 100—73.
The Governor beat Mr. Maslin, 100—90. Mr. Payne beat Mr. De Boeck, 100—40.
FINAL. The Governor beat Mr. Payne, 200—134.
Highest break in Tournament; 23, by
Mr. De Boeck.

The school had many activities, amongst them was the Annual Inter-House Boxing, and also the school boxing team,
which entered many bouts in the area, Cadets, Herts Training School, Haileybury College, and many, many, more.
This was a time many of the boys feared, others enjoyed, but what it did do was that unknown to some, it introduced them
to a skill they didn’t know they had, and helped them to cope and ward off the “School Bullies” Below is a window in to our
preparation’s for “The Event”

Somerset expects
In the essentially masculine society of Goldings, failure to take part in the inter-house boxing
tournaments could lead to being branded a coward. ERIC DAVID ROLLINS, (Goldings 1944-47)
gives this humorous account of his experience of being volunteered to represent Somerset House
some 50 years ago
In the ring at Goldings.
FOR SOME SIX WEEKS before the appointed. time of the tournament, at the twice-weekly gym
sessions, instructions were given in the rudiments of the noble art. They consisted of each
class forming four lines of equal length, then turning inwards to face each other. The boys would
then respond to shouted instructions to lead with the left, deflect with the right, feint with this or
counter with that. Joe Patch was the gym master's name. An ex-army P. T. instructor, it was his
habit to be pulled to the gym on his bicycle by an enormous Alsatian called Wolf — a name more
consistent with the dog's temperament than its pedigree, as the ankles of more than one boy who
was slow to climb the wall bars will testify. Joe was unfailing in detecting any boy conducting the
movements he taught with anything other than the utmost commitment and vigour. A sharp rap on
the back of the head with a short stick would follow. The same implement was used to control Wolf
the dog.
By the end of six weeks the whole school would have learned to lead, deflect, feint, counter
(or combinations of the same) along with the rudiments of footwork. A ring was then set up in the
gymnasium, with chairs taking up the rest of the floor space for the boys and masters to observe the gladiatorial spectacle. More often
than not, Joe's training failed to produce the balletic exchange of his imagination. What took place was more akin to the onset of
colliding windmills.
My first bout was against a lad from Cairns House, whose name has long since slipped from my memory. For the first round, I kept
my gloves well up and circled, slipping in the occasional token left lead. The second round had scarcely begun when I received a
stunning blow to the side of my head. The effect on me was so painful, both physically and mentally, it caused me to forget all
tactics and, through a red mist of rage, seek only to gain some measure of revenge. For the rest of the round I mounted a blind and
ferocious assault on my opponent, sufficient to disincline him from coming out for the third round. My satisfaction in seeing Joe's
barely perceptible nod of approval as he held up my hand as victor was somewhat short-lived. I realised I must engage in at least
one further bout!
This, against another lad from Cairns House, named Perry, resulted in further points for Somerset House at a cost to myself. I am
reminded, each morning as I shave, of the modification to my features brought about by the application of Perry's left lead to my
nose. And so to a third bout, against a boy from Buxton House, Carson I think. He possessed a natural skill, and as I watched Joe
raise Carson's arm in victory I felt relief and gratitude. Carson had at last converted my status to that of disinterested spectator.



No ! There is life in the old dog yet, despite his heavy defeat last year in the Inter-Home Contest. There still exists in the school
some very useful boxing talent, and, thanks to Mr. Gallagan, who has volunteered his services and most assiduously trained the
lads, some doubtful material is being turned into the actual goods.
They have been indulging in some very vigorous training of late owing to the imminent contest with Haileybury College. On
Saturday, February 6th, we witnessed some very interesting contests which were held with a view to the selection of our team,
but unluckily, when the time came all those selected were not able to box. Haileybury was unable to bring down a full team, but
the five fights which were put up were fought with any amount of schoolboy pluck and grit, and no mean boxing talent.
Our thirst for victory was soon whetted when young Howard came into the ring to oppose Reddle, of Haileybury. A feature of
the fight was the constant use of Howard's straight left which did much damage. Howard was declared the winner, although the
margin must have been very small. The second bout between W. J. Tucker and Miller was begun in a very aggressive manner.
Both men were giving and receiving rare punishment, and they both looked none too sorry when the bell rang for the end of the
first round. Miller had rather the better of the second round, finding his opponent's body with some sounding thwacks. The third
round was not so fast, both men being visibly tired. At the end of the fight the verdict was given for Miller, and this left us
"one all." In the next round there was only one man in it, and that was Pat Crowe, our celebrated Irish pugilist. He waded into
Shaw so fiercely that the referee had to stop the fight. We all know that Crowe is somewhat of a boxer and we should have
enjoyed the bout a little more if he had showed us a little more boxing and a little less of the slaughter side of the business.
Shaw was very sporting to stick it as well as he did, and would have continued even then if the fight had not been stopped.
The School lost the next contest. Warren was opposed to Bennett, who fought last year. In spite of the fact that he was up against
one of Haileybury's first team, he did not do at all badly, and showed us that he had by no means forgotten how to box. The last
fight was anticipated with great enthusiasm because now the score was two fights all, and this one would decide the matter. Lyall
was opposed to Turner. Both men were rather wild in their tactics, but some good hearty blows got home and the fight went to
Lyall, thus leaving Haileybury the winner by three fights to two. The evening's sport concluded with a word of thanks from the
Governor to Haileybury for coming down and for all those who had helped to make it a success. I am sure we all very much
enjoyed our second meeting with Haileybury and hope that we shall be able to look forward to this as an annual event.
As for the Inter-Home contests, we wish our team all the very best of luck, and look forward with confidence to the result.

Bill Roe

The school in it’s time excelled at many sports, Football, Cricket, but one
thing Joe Patch was very proud of was his Gym Team , also many of the
boys were too, along with our Marching Band, Musical Band, and later our
Cadet Force.
Joe Patch was a small man, four foot eleven inch’s, but to the boys he was
“ten feet tall”. A former Army Physical Instructor, from the First World War.
a hard task master to the boys, but as many of the boys comment “ He was
very hard with us but very fair” His Gym Teams were very much in demand
around the country and were considered one of the best. So in the next chapter
in our History lets look at the Gym Team, and look further into the life of this
little man that gave the school such pride and later in the fifties to be equalled
by another larger than life character Mr Bob Newton.

Sadly Mr. A. T. H. De Boeck, former sheet metal" teacher at Goldings and who retired in 1965, died on 8th July at the age of 73;
we extend our deepest sympathy to his married daughter.

History continued