Page Compiled January 2023

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

MARCH 2023


I was in the engineering school, learning fitting and turning,
and electrical wiring which involved starting and stopping
the large generator which provided the current for the school
and a nearby farm... However at this stage of my life I was
fit and strong - little realising that World War 11 was fast
Old Boy.

The Electricians' Shop is responsible for all electric light required by the establishment, and all the
current needed for running the machinery plant in the workshops.
“The first task on arriving at the workshop, was the starting of the large "Blackstone" oil engine, with a
flywheel of about 7 feet diameter, which drove a generator and batteries supplying power to the
establishment. Sometimes a new boy would be told to stand behind the engine and one of us would give
the engine an extra pump of oil; this would make the engine backfire and frighten the life out of the
unsuspecting victim - dangerous really, considering the size of the flywheel and drive belt to the generator.
The day was then spent manipulating metal, milling, turning, sawing and shaping.
As to the other trade shops, I have no knowledge of their practices.”

APRIL 2023


I’d like to quote an Old Boy, Len Harpin 1940
“When we blacked out the windows we had to stop as we ran out of black paint!” Gas Mask’s were also
issued as the Governments thought’s at the time was that gas maybe used like in the trench’s in the First
World War

William George Battel “POMPEY” 1940
It was in November that Mr. Battell, anxious as always for the safety of the School, left his house by the
main entrance to the print shop during a particularly noisy evening. Bombs seemed to be falling near,
and he wanted to see if the School premises were safe.
Unfortunately, one fell just outside his house (a parachute bomb) as he stood by the door and
he had no chance of saving himself.


MAY 2023


Camp Sept 1928 J. HART, for the Committee.
There was great excitement, as usual, this year when the time for Camp drew near.
Later, the boys found out that the Camp was to be at Dymchurch, in Kent, and also on the coast. The
period for camping was three weeks, from August 25th to Sept. 5th. Saturday the 25th arrived and a
happy party marched, with a very diminished band to the Station, where we boarded a train for Liverpool
Street. From here we went to Cannon Street Station on " Shank's Pony," and on to New Romney. Then,
to everybody's delight, the Camp party boarded The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Miniature Railway,
the smallest public railway in the world, which took us right to Camp. After a well-needed dinner, every
boy changed into his new khaki shorts and shirt. Beyond the continual fine weather, there is only one
day that needs special mention, and that is the second Monday, when everybody went, via The Miniature,
to Dungeness to visit the Light-house. All enjoyed the trip and came away much the wiser after the
light-house captain's fine explanation of the light-house " works." We had a pleasant journey home on the
14th September, and everybody was of the opinion that we had experienced the best three weeks' Camp
we had ever had.

JUNE 2022


The History of the Army Cadets at Goldings
All Goldings Old Boys will be familiar with the main stay of the Cadet force of which I quote the following.
Mr. A. P. Culver.
A man remembered most affectionately by hundreds of Goldings Old Boys, 'Skip Culver'.
He joined the staff of the then William Baker Technical School in 1931, taking the position of storekeeper, after
completing 12 years as a regular soldier, seeing service in India, China and Malta. He re-enlisted on the outbreak
of war, serving a further six years. Returning to Goldings in 1945 to become a housemaster, he formed a detachment
of Army Cadets at the school and very quickly the small squad grew to company size and Albert Culver became a
lieutenant. The Company then formed it's own bugle band, a retired drum-major being responsible for their training,
and that unit also, in its own right, became a very efficient unit, very much in demand to attend functions throughout
the county of Hertfordshire. Albert Culver was promoted to the rank of Captain and Her Majesty the Queen graciously
approved the award of the Army Cadet Force Medal and Certificate for his service to that force. A mild-mannered
man, 'Skip' probably influenced more boys than any other member of staff at the school to become mature and
capable members of society and many of his cadets joined the services when they left the school.

JULY 2022


Mr. Wheatley felt further accommodation was needed for the boys to alleviate overcrowding in
the existing main building, and approached the Dr. Barnardo Council with the proposal to build
a new wing which they supported. It was built by our water tower overlooking top field. The
Patron at the time of Dr. Barnardo’s was Princess Margaret, and she was approached to officially
open it on Tuesday 18th October 1960 as depicted on the image on the left. It housed the boys and
some members of Staff. It was named “MacAndrew Wing” in honour of a former supporter of
Dr. Barnardo Homes. Sadly as it was not a listed building so was knocked down to make an
underground cark park for the present day residents. To the right is the key that Princess Margaret
opened the new wing on that day.



The grey flannels parade -(l to r:) George Brittain, Graham Ferris, Maurice
Munson, Charlie Stephenson, Micheal Maxim and Brian McCarthy

The Wimbledon tennis championship is always a great sporting event. Especially for Goldings Old Boys who were ball boys there between 1946
and 1966. Between 21 June and 4 July, you will have someone in every household in Britain probably watching the television and hoping against
all odds a British player will be the one to win the championship. October 1940 Wimbledon was bombed, a stick of five 500lb bombs had totally
flattened centre court and over 1,000 seats. After the war Wimbledon was struggling to survive six years of bombing, and with rationing and
shortages. Most of the green in London plus the club Grounds were being used to farm small livestock pigs, hens, geese rabbits and the like.
The grounds were being used to accommodate the fire and ambulance services the home guard had also made it their base.
Most of the staff had left to join the services, and a host of problems created by the rationing as lots of things were only available by coupon,
permit or license.
The decision to restart the championship was made in early 1946, although repairs weren’t finished until 1949 when building restrictions were
eased. And so it was that Barnardo's boys came to the championships, at the lowest point in their 130 year history. And they stayed – bused each
day during Wimbledon fortnight from Hertford to London and back - until Goldings closed 1966.
The job of a Wimbledon ball boy was only given to one third of the school and competition was fierce to be selected. For around a month before
each championship, Goldings boys would practice throwing, catching and chasing balls on the staff grass courts hoping to be chosen for a coveted
place. Inevitably, this was also a time when boys were on their 'best behaviour' as any misdemeanour could lead to your name being dropped from
the list. All training was under the watchful eye of a supervisor and trainer. In the 1950s this was the school chaplain, Rev Corbett, a strict
disciplinarian, and in the early '60s it was the Rev Bernard.
L Nixon.