The Goldonian

Spring 1960


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

Page Compiled June 2019





(A Branch of Dr. Barnardo's Homes)



Deputy Headmaster, Mr. L. E. Embleton, N.D.II.

Chief Matron, Mrs. L. E. Embleton

Chaplain, The Rev. B. L. Nixon, B.A.(HON.), Dip.TH.(Dunelm)

OFFICE Mr. J. Maslin, Mr. H. Mitchell, Mr. K. R. Wood

Miss G. Brockman, Assistant Matron. Miss M. Roe, Staff Dining Room Matron
Mr. A. Culver, Housemaster; Mr. Steele, Housemaster. Mr. S. Aldous, Housemaster;
Mr. and Mrs. Jones, Houseparents Mr. H. Cranie, Dining Hall Master
Mr J Sims, Boilerman; Mr. S. E. Hancock, Handyman Mrs. H. Cranie


SICK BAY Miss C. M. Waters, S.R.N., Mrs. D. Halfhide, S.R.N.

KITCHEN Mr. P. Eley, Mr. C. A. Cooper, Mrs. A Stevens


Mr. S. Whitbread, Mr. H. Monk, Mr. W. Gardner, Mrs. M. L. Jennings,
Mrs. F. Darton, Mrs. M. E. Perrin, Miss M. Jeffreys, Mrs. M. Cannings

MAINTENANCE Mr. A. H. Hooper (Chief), Mr. H. J. Wilkins, Mr. J. M. Huxley



Mr. G. H. White, Mr. F. Sheppard, Mr. R. Newton, Mr. W. Wade

BOOTMAKING: Mr. F. Tordoff, A.B.S.I., Mr. W. Nunn, Mr. E. Braddock

BUILDING : CARPENTRY: Mr. H. W. Tempest, Mr. W. Broster, Mr. T. E. Nutter, Mr. L. Farnham

BUILDING : PAINTING AND DECORATING: Mr. A. E. Brooks, Mr. S. G. Moules, Mr. J. Ibbotson

GARDENING: Mr. L. E. Embleton, N.D.H., Mr. L. Wrangles, Mr. V. Saville,
Mr. S. Vinrc. Mr. F. Greenhill, Mr. W. Kuscharski, Mr. R. Catlin

PRINTING Mr. W. H. S. Millar, Mr. R. Stackwood, Mr. Mr. P. F. East.
Mr. N. T. Powell, Mr. R. C. Fox, Mr. F. Stevenson.
Mr. W. Purkis, Mr. R. Purkis. Mr. L. G, Mondin. Mr. . Taylor



Mr. And Mrs. R. Newton, Mrs Cruickshank, Mrs. P. Kemp

APATHY—HOW frequently one hears this word used these days; I sometimes wonder if it is always used correctly, and do we really know
what the word means. According to my dictionary it means 'want of emotion' or 'indifference', which in turn means 'unconcern' or 'apathy'.
Having explained the meaning of the word 'apathy' I make no excuses or apologies for using it to describe what I feel is the state of mind of a
big percentage of our boys, and a smaller percentage of our staff.
Now that statement alone should be enough to astir some sort of emotion in every reader, at least I hope it has, because I am now going to give
some instances of what I consider show complete APATHY on our parts.
Every Saturday there is at least one football match on top field, sometimes if both School teams and the Old Boys are playing, there are three
matches, but how many boys are interested enough to go up and cheer their team, or even go up? Very, very few, in fact I have heard Mr.
Stackwood and Mr. Whitbread say they have spent the afternoon alone on the touchline if it has been particularly cold or wet. That in itself is
bad enough, but worse still is the fact that Mr. Whitbread has to go around and more or less plead with boys who are reasonably good at the
game to turn out and play! Can today's teenagers wonder why some of us 'old 'uns' like to talk about 'when we were young'!
Now for another instance. On Saturday, 6th February, 1960, Mr. Newton, at no mean expense of time and energy, arranged a COUNTY table
tennis match between Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire to be played in the gymnasium. I arrived about five minutes past seven, ready to
apologize for being late, and expecting to squeeze myself into a corner somewhere, but what did I find, of the 200 chairs set out 190 were
empty; and of those occupied five were players! I just could not believe my eyes, and instead of apologizing for my lateness I could only
commiserate (express pity) with Mr. Newton. I stayed until 10 o'clock and watched nine excellent matches, and during that time a total of ten
boys 'looked in' and eventually went out again. Excluding Mr. Newton, there was one other member of staff present with myself.
I have instanced this table-tennis match to show that this 'apathy' is not only rife at our school, but also with the general public, because as we
are all aware, there are many table-tennis teams in the Hertford area, but in addition to the Secretary and Treasurer of the League only two
members of the public from Hertford attended, the others, who eventually turned up, came from Buckinghamshire and St Albans, This, of
Course is, is no excuse for our inability to support an event put on for our benefit.
How many of you take the trouble to go down to the gymnasium when one of our two teams is playing at home?
Now ask yourselves another question, how many of you watch the television every night or attend every film show that is shown. My
conservative estimate is 95 per cent. And there 1 think is the root of the trouble, 'canned' entertainment is making some of us a lazy lot of
no-goods. There are far too many people who want as much as possible for as little effort as possible. I feel bound to say that too much
entertainment is provided by too few people, and that those who should do the running around are those who are content to sit on their bottoms.
I am well aware that quite a number of my readers will think these accusations do not apply to them, and I am quite sure they don't, and so to
cover all feelings I would say, 'if the cap fits, wear it', and if it does fit then for heaven's sake change the cap as soon as possible, and if you
must have corns, let them be on your feet.

Building Aright

THROUGHOUT THE past summer and winter we have all observed with great interest the building of a new wing to our home. We have seen
what coming generations of Goldings boys will never see, for we have watched the digging of the foundations and know that before ever one
brick was laid upon another much work was done underground to ensure that the building should stand fast and true. The first upward growth
was very slow. One day followed another without much perceptible development as though it drew its substance from the earth beneath. Now,
in the spring, we become aware that it has arrived complete and almost ready for our enjoyment. Already it looks part of the landscape and
doubtless before long we shall find it hard to imagine the old house as it was. You may very likely take this for granted, but in reality this
naturalness—the marrying of the new to the old is a wonderful achievement on the part of the architect, to whom we are all very much indebted
for this happy outcome of his thought and skill. The builders, too, are deserving of our thanks, for they have given form and substance to his
When the new wing is occupied there will also be changes in our division into School Houses which will affect us all, especially in our games
competitions and our spare time activities. No longer will a boy have to change his house when moving from the junior section of the School,
for each house will have its senior and junior sections and there will be five houses in all. Of course, we can't all live in the new wing and those
who do may appear to be the lucky ones at first, but section by section the 'Houses' in the old building will be improved and brought up to a
higher standard.
Everyone will welcome the increased comfort and opportunities which these improvements will bring, but we would all do well to
remember that it is the quality and spirit of the boys that makes the School good or bad and not bricks and: mortar and creature comforts. Those
of us who have been at Goldings since the War and some who were here even before know that the conditions of living here in those times
were much harder and rougher than they are nowadays and yet the School produced many fine men of whom we can be justly proud. We are
all painfully aware that there are those who have enjoyed every reasonable comfort which a house can provide and yet have behaved
disgracefully. In a family plain speaking never did any harm. We shall want to feel proud of our School as we show off our new possessions,
but if we want to bring it credit and renown and maintain the prestige which our predecessors established, it is no use just looking to our bricks
and mortar. We must each see to it that our own standards match up to high traditions and what is equally important, we must be prepared to
show plainly our disapproval of any conduct damaging to them.
R. F. W.

Chaplain's Notes
How TIME flies!' As I write I am surprised to find that already I have been a month at Goldings, and overjoyed to feel that the strange,
bewildering sea of faces which greeted me at the first morning's assembly has resolved into a host of many names
(some extremely well known! !) I would also here say how much both my wife and myself have appreciated the warmth of your welcome, and
how quickly you have enabled us to settle amongst you.
I was startled just before I arrived to learn that the Confirmation this year was in March. However, thanks to the diligence of the candidates and
the kind co-operation of my colleagues on the School staff we managed to double our efforts and were well prepared for the Bishop's coming.
The Confirmation service itself, all will agree, was a tremendously inspiring occasion. The Chapel, thanks to the resources of the Gardening
Department, was beautifully decorated and the whole scene will be long remembered by both congregation and confirmation candidates. We
shall not forget the words of the Bishop of Bedford, and indeed they could serve us as a text for the term.
Confirmation services, wherever they take place, are always great and moving occasions, but we do well to remind ourselves that the service
itself is just the beginning. What is there said and what is there done, should always lead on to that fullness, that maturity of Christian life, and
this means paying attention to our Christian calling and teaching and always being resolved to walk the Christian way ... in the steps of the
B. L. N.



MR. S. G. Whitbread

IN FEBRUARY, 1931, Mr. S. G. Whitbread became a member of the School Staff, in the
capacity of boilerman.
He brought with him considerable skills of a sporting nature. His footballing ability was above
average and a great asset to the School's team of that time. Staff and boys combined' in those days
to form a team entered in the Hertford and District Junior League, and League and Cup trophies
came regularly to the School. He proved a very useful cricketer and, indeed, a sound performer in
every form of sport he attempted.
He moved from the boiler house to the dining hall and from there to the Bootmaking Department
as a storeman. This latter move coincided with his appointment as Housemaster of Buxton House.
H.M. King George VI then ordered Mr. Whitbread into the Army in June, 1941, as the nation's
need at that time was greater than Goldings'. He served in the 17th Light A.A. Regiment, R.A.,
until April, 1946.
With this regiment, Mr. Whitbread saw service defending East Anglia, Clydeside, and then key positions in North Africa and Italy.
Even in war, opportunities existed for recreation and Mr. Whitbread was a regular member of the Regimental football team, no mean
achievement this, because most of the team were of professional calibre.
Returning to the School upon demobilization, Mr. Whitbread was soon to take over the duties of lorry driving, and all its attendant extras
transporting goods and personnel. It is as well he is a keen sportsman for very seldom is the lorry idle at week-ends.
Football teams, cricket teams, dancing partners for the boys, Monday dancing classes, recreational outings, vocational visits to factories
and exhibitions; the lorry is always much in demand.
Since hanging up his football boots, Mr. Whitbread has been secretary to the senior football sides and this task he performs very diligently
and very efficiently.
I am sure Mr. Whitbread is remembered quite affectionately by hundreds of old boys and on their behalf, as well as for the School's benefit,
I wish him many more years' association with Goldings.
R. S.

Borneo Bulletin
THE SUN is high in a cloudless sky as I write this bulletin deep in the tropical jungle land which is Borneo. Geographically it is one of the
largest islands in the world, sparsely populated, and where wild life abounds and the dense growth of the jungle is never far away. Crocodiles,
monkeys, giant lizards, and scorpions are no longer things to be found behind the bars of the local zoo. At night the croaking of frogs and the
buzz of the huge but harmless Borneo beetle is never ending and broken only by the dawn chorus of the birds.
Seria, in the state of Brunei, is an oiltown, now a thriving community of 20,000 where once but a few wooden huts were to be found. The
European employees of the company have taken the place of the old colonial administration and lead the community in many spheres. This is
certainly a place where the white man is still welcome and we in return serve the interests of the community by providing revenue, employment,
and above all, security for the local people. 100,000 barrels of oil per day flow through the pipelines to our refinery in Sarawak and the whole
landscape is lit up at night by the flares of the waste gases. Much of the community life is also run by Shell, particularly the sporting and social
aspects, and company grants are made to encourage appreciation of the arts and for the building of new schools.
What of the local people ? The days of headhunting are gone and civilization is well developed in the coastal areas. Kuching, the capital of
Sarawak, has 100,000 inhabitants and there are many other large and small townships, but deep in the interior the rule of the long house is still
supreme. Here you may find as many as 80 families sleeping under the same roof and relying on hunting and rice growing for their livelihood.
These are the Dayaks and Ibans, enemies of old, and still wearing the native dress. Near towns the peoples have become more sophisticated and
the men in particular wear European type clothes, although the women still retain their sarongs. In these areas there is a great racial mixture,
but with four main groups—the Malays, Chinese, Dayaks, and Indians. Traditionally, the Chinese are the artisans and traders and this is going
to become a real problem as Brunei develops. The local born people are mostly Malays and as a sense of nationalism is rising it is naturally
accompanied by a wish that the Brunei Malay should have first consideration. Unfortunately, the great majority are not capable of artisan work
and in its regionalization programme the company has to weigh up local politics against continued efficiency. Internal self-government was
granted in October, 1959, bringing the normal complement of teething troubles aggravated by a lack of Malays capable of doing the jobs
The climate here is pleasant but very warm. The monsoon season is now drawing to a close and we can look forward to many weeks without
rain. At times the humidity has been very high and many houses are air conditioned. Mosquitoes and sand flies are on the offensive all day and
gradually you get., used to being in a permanently bitten state.
My work with Shell is that of Welfare Officer and my main responsibilities centre around the provision of housing accommodation and
recreational facilities for our labour force of over 2,800. Others facets of the job include the negotiation of all messing contracts for jungle
and marine outstations, the recruitment of cooks for our bachelor quarters, the control of the labour pension fund and loans from it, and the
arrangements of any funerals. I spend much of my time out in the field and the company have provided me with a landrover. Our hours are
long and work starts at 6.45 a.m. six days of the week, finishing at 4 p.m. Monday to Friday and at 11.30 a.m. on Saturday. In addition, the
Welfare Department has three housing nights when employees may bring requests to the Welfare Officer and work may go on until 6 p.m.
However, I am soon to have a chance as at the end of March I am being transferred to the Slid! Company in Sarawak to take up the position of
Assistant Head in the Personnel Department. This is a smaller company, employing approximately half the number of labour.
Naturally, I think of my friends at home very much and would close wishing you all a very happy Easter and may God bless all connected
with Goldings which at times seems so very far away.
D. W.
N.B.—-We are very fortunate to receive this 'Bulletin' from Mr. David Wheatley, and if he can make it a regular feature 1 am sure we shall
all be delighted. Thank you David!

Wedding Bells

ON SATURDAY, 27th February, 1960, Albert Hopcroft married the very charming lady of his
choice, Miss Valerie Gardiner, at Holy Trinity Church, Bengeo.
We at Goldings are all very delighted at the culmination of Albert's romance which we have seen
grow more or less from the first 'date', and we offer our sincere congratulations to this young couple,
trusting that their path through life together will be blessed with good health and happiness.
As many of our readers will know, Albert was one of our apprentice compositors, and at the
completion of his apprenticeship decided to do his service in the Grenadier Guards, although this
meant three years instead of two in the employ of her Majesty.
As can be seen from the photograph of the happy couple (by the way, Albert is the taller of the two
'guardsmen') he is n credit to hiss regiment, as indeed he is to the School.
Valerie wore a white ballerina lace dress embroidered with mother-of-pearl sequins, short veil and
coronet headdress, and her bouquet was of lilies-of-the-valley and carnations.
The smart young guardsman in miniature is Valerie's young brother, Geoffrey, who carried out his
duties as page-boy with great dignity. Best man was Albert's brother Peter, and the young bridesmaids
were the Misses Jacqueline Gardiner (sister of the bride) and Josephine Hopcroft (sister of the bridegroom),
so both parties were equally supported.
Also present were Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, bride's parents, Mrs. Hopcroft, bridegroom's mother, and
Mr. and Mrs. Brampton from Abingdon, Albert's old 'home'.
N. T. P.