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

Page Compiled November 2013

History Continued

BORN 4 th September 1905, died 10 th March 1975

As a former pupil of Goldings (1962-65) I have become fascinated in my later years with the story of Mr Wheatley and what
drove him and his Wife with his Family to abandon a life of respectable middle class status for a 100 acre Dr Barnardo home
in Waterford which housed 200+ boys, many with personal problems that would tax any man to cope, let alone succeed, which
he did with many of the boys, as in later years we now all recall. To us he was “Pinhead” due to his bodily shape and balding
head. Little did we realise that once he to was a young man , with “hair” but I’m quite sure we would have made a suitable nickname
for him even so! because to a boy of 13 to 16, and beyond if you were a Printer (21) he represented rules and regulations that we
at the time felt cramped our style, but with the coming of maturity in later years how else could you possibly control 200 young
and fit boys in the prime of their youth without “rules” Like all good teams he was supported by many loyal and dedicated staff,
of which he would have been the first to agree. Below will be the account by his son David, which gives a more personal reflection
of his father, but just before we move on I would like to just mention a few improvements he made to the School of which David
doesn’t mention but I feel should be recorded so a lot more Old Boys are made aware. The first thing he did when he moved into
Goldings was to give up a portion of his living quarters to the boys to alleviate overcrowding. The building of the “New Art Centre”
The rebuilding of a modern washing and toilet block, sitting rooms for the boys to enjoy private recreation, as opposed to sharing
in the dorms with other boys, which gave no privacy for that personal moment. House Parents, that he believed would give a more
Family outlook, bathrooms and toilets in every house dorm, as in the past you ran across the Parade Ground to be showered ,many
a time under cold water in the middle of winter, House Captains, School Captain which made you a little more responsible!
This list could go on and on of his support for us and his hopes for us to when we finally left Goldings as he prepared us for life
after our Goldings Experience which surely for most of us enhance our chances of success.!

My Father grew up in Birmingham within a a family of modest circumstance, the third of four brothers. His father was a skilled
Artisan, and his mother a housewife.

Mother and Father

After Primary School, he won a Scholarship to the George Dixon Grammar
School where he became Head Boy, and also won the Victor Ludorum Cup
for being the outstanding all round Sportsman and Athlete. He gained distinction
in Mathematics and Chemistry at the Higher School Certificate level followed by
the winning of a Full Entrance Scholarship to Birmingham University were he
obtained a B Sc Honours Degree Metallurgy. He was the first person in the
Wheatley family to reach this level.
During these growing up years money was very tight and the position became
so much worse when his father was killed in a road accident whilst riding his
Bicycle. He was only able to stay at the University with the support of his
Older brother Douglas who was employed by Birmingham City Council and
gave my father pocket money for many years.
He graduated in 1926 at the time of the General Strike and jobs of any kind were
extremely hard to find. A committed Socialist, he spent time raising money for
the Miners, and after many interviews finally obtained his first Teaching Post at
Bierton Road Senior Mixed School in Birmingham were he remained for several

My father had met my mother when he was 19 and she was 16. They were engaged for four years before marrying in April

Mr Wheatley, seated extreme right

Mr Wheatley and his future wife, second and third

from the right.

Wedding day, with his brother as best man

The married couple

Group photo on their wedding day

My sister Celia, arrived thirteen months later.

He gained his first Headship at the age of 27, ,and moved in 1933 to the Village of
Byfield in Northamptonshire were he met several Dr Barnardo Boys who were
Attending Byfield County School. Some were waiting to greet many years later
when he arrived at Goldings ( William Baker Technical School)
It was also here that I arrived in early 1937.
During the early years of the war, he moved on to Oundle where he was appointed
Headmaster of the Secondary Modern Mixed School and were he also became active
in the Home Guard and the War effort.

In 1944, for reasons unknown to me, he made a career change and became a Lecturer in Engineering at Burton -on- Trent
Technical College where the family remained until he was appointed the first Headmaster of the William Baker Technical
School, prior to this Goldings had a Governor, and was run on a Military system with the senior boys being Corporals and
Sergeants) which Mr Wheatley dispensed with and replaced with the new system of House Captains and Prefects to each
House, and toned down much of the military system in favour of a more homely outlook.

Taking a well earned rest as he ponders
the task ahead! at Goldings.

This move proved to be the fulfillment of all his dreams and the rest, they say ,
his History. I found my father a kindly and internally emotional person.
He was a real humanitarian who did not like to think ill of other. He always
looked for the best in people. He also believed that Celia and I should grow
up establishing our own interests and boundaries, but always being there to
Give constructive support and council when needed. My father was also extremely
Intelligent, very fair minded and well ahead of his years in pastoral care.

My fathers own personal interests and hobbies were widespread. In no particular
order they included sports activities, painting, photography, classical music, learning
German, reading, traveling to Sweden and Austria, and during his latter years quiet
days with my mother at their caravan.

One of the many improvements he made
The new Macandrew Wing, opened by
Princess Margaret in 1960 which gave
more room for living and sleeping facilities

A renowned Cricketer , outside the Pavilion.

Another of his innovation’s, the getting together of Old Boys and Staff
for a meal together! Which help us understand each other better.

A function at Barkingside

The only time I can remember him not in the chair, leading.

My parents moved to Surrey on retirement where my father
Taught part time at a Local Authority for unsettled boys.
However, his health deteriorate quite quickly and he suffered
A series of strokes before dying in March 1975. He was always
A great inspiration to me and someone I always looked up to
Throughout his life. I still miss him 38 years later and it always
Saddened me that he did not live to enjoy the retirement he had
So richly deserved.

As a footnote from myself ,when collecting my records a few
years back from Barnardo’s, I was shocked to find out
Mr Wheatley was still following my progress twelve months
after I had left Goldings, haranguing my Local Authority in Walsall
that my progress had stagnated and they should pull their fingers out
and involve me in more Education and more Trade Qualification
As I was now their responsibility!!

Mr and Mrs Wheatley a few months before he passed away. R.I.P.

Many thanks to his son David for enlightening us to the man

(The parents of Mr Wheatley)