Girls Blazer Badge Boys Blazer Badge

Prefects at Work

Playing cards in the Lunch Break

John Bird

The Card Players

IN THE the days of Mr Bradshaw the prefects room was upstairs over the staff-room. There were about a dozen of us and this was our refuge during breaks and other off-duty periods. It had a few easy chairs and desks to keep our books and clutter. Note the Lab coats hanging behind the door and the black curtain to prevent visitors from seeing in. During lesson time the room was often used for tutorials by a teacher and one or two sixth-formers.

It was the custom around 1950 to play cards after lunch. In retrospect one is surprised that we were not assigned to duties keeping order among the lower school. Be that as it may, we developed a taste for cards and played whist and its various derivatives. We did not play for money - we didn't have any! I do not remember any ordinance against card playing but I expect the Old Man would not have approved if he had known. Maybe he knew but chose to not interfere. Protocol dictated that he should never show his face in the prefects room. We were also partial to playing "Liar Dice" using poker dice - a game easy to get going if only a few minutes were available. Cards were reserved for the lunch break.

The photograph was taken in July 1951 when several of those shown were just about to leave school for National Service or Further Education. It was taken, I believe, by Jacques Bounault from Blois who was visiting at the time. It shows the faces (L to R) of Geoff Harris, John Bird, Gerald Purbrook, Ross Wells, Fred Wood, Colin Message, Maurice Hobden and David Sandles.