Mr. Lawrence. E. Embleton N. D. H
LIKE ANY sound master of his craft, Mr. Embleton first served his time as an
Apprentice-seven years in the public parks of the County Borough of South Shields. In 1931
he rose to be general foreman to the Borough Surveyor's Department and after six years in
this post moved to Plymouth as general foreman and head forester. In 1941 he returned to his
native county as general foreman to the Parks Department. In 1943 he began his teaching
career as senior horticulture instructor at Herts. Training School and later was appointed to
a similar post at the Aycliffe School, near Darlington. He holds a Senior Certificate (1st Class)
of the R.H.S., a Teacher's Diploma in Horticulture and a National Diploma in Horticulture.
For his distinction in winning first place in the British Isles in a Teachers' Examination in
School and Cottage Gardening in 1942 he was awarded the 'Banksian Medal'. It will be seen,
therefore, that when he joined the staff of Goldings in October, 1945, as principal teacher in
charge of the Gardening Department, he had a great deal to offer in expert knowledge and practical experience. The
present condition of the Goldings estate, justly admired by hundreds of visitors each year, is evidence of the energy and
skill with which Mr. Embleton has directed the work of his department. It would be characteristic of him to wish to share
the credit with his staff as well as with the boys, who have made their contribution to the beauty and productivity of the
gardens whilst benefiting from the instruction they receive. In 1952 Mr. and Mrs. Embleton agreed to take charge of
Waterford Verney and for six years made this house into a real home for fourteen apprentice boys. At the pressing
invitation of the headmaster, they then moved back into the main house, Mrs. Embleton becoming Chief Matron and her
husband taking responsibility for routine and management of the home life of the boys. In April, 1959, Mr. Embleton was
promoted to his present post as Deputy Headmaster of Goldings. The foregoing brief sketch shows how our subject has
played an increasingly important role in the life of the School, but an image of the man himself is not so easy to evoke.
Brought up and trained in a sphere of life where industriousness was demanded and slipshod work not excused, he has
little sympathy with the casual approach. He has the traditional northerner's dourness on the outside and warmth and
understanding within. In duty hours there is rarely time for anything other than the job in hand, but in the cricket pavilion
he can be vastly entertaining with his dry northern humour, amusing narratives and occasional caustic wit. He knows how
to enjoy both work and leisure. Nowadays his chief recreation is golf. Incidentally, retrieving the ball is the only exercise to
which his dog 'Andy' will condescend, so that one might expect his master to be a dead shot on the middle distances.
At one time he was an expert trumpeter. Even now he is no mean performer on this instrument and in the past worked
hard to keep going the Goldings Brass Band. When young he played in a very good class football until a serious knee
injury caused him to give up the game. Happily he still enjoys a game of cricket, though his famous off-strokes do not
sizzle to the boundary quite like they used to do. Many a time when the regular 'straight up and down' bowlers have failed
to dislodge an obdurate batsman one of his sly old 'donkey-drops' has tempted the enemy to a hasty stroke and an early
doom. Though billiards and snooker have now disappeared from the scene at Goldings, older members of staff will know
him as a keen player on the green baize, very difficult to beat at either game. Our school has done wonderful work for
Barnardo boys, mainly because it has attracted to its ranks men of parts who have given devoted service. Of such
Mr. Embleton is an outstanding example, and it was a good day for us when he and his family threw in their lot with ours
and became part of the larger family of Goldings.
R. F. W.
Goldonian Summer 1962