10 March 2001

remembering Paul Wodehouse

Mr Wodehouse was the careers master and I remember visiting him at his home in 1957. I had just finished my National Service and realised that I didn't want to continue in the same job for the rest of my life. He sat me down and after I had explained the situation he said, "What would you like to do"? I probably mumbled something about not being sure. He asked me if I was good at mathematics, so I lied through my teeth. He he picked the phone up and spoke to the City Engineer and asked if he had an opening for a bright young man. I started work at the Guildhall the next Monday and started an enjoyable life in Civil Engineering.
Times have changed?
jim wishart, list manager


  1. Hi jim   If there was a careers master when I was at ps, it was a well kep secret!   The only career advice I ever had was from my french teacher in the VIth Form telling me after a lesson that I should consider going to university!   (I did, but to read chemistry!).    

  2. Hi jim Do you remember that Paul Wodehouse was nicknamed "Why Not?", because of the rich,fruity-voiced question he put to boys who had not done what he had requested of them!

  3. It sounds just like him Peter, I have just re-read his obituary in The Symondian. I'd forgotten that he was a director of the Hampshire Chronicle where my father worked as a printer's compositor. Perhaps he knew my father and consequently took a special interest in me. Very touching, you don't know what you've got until it's gone!   jim, list manager

  4. I remembered he was called "Why Not" but never knew why! I was also aware that he was careers master in the early 60s but don't remember any conversations on that subject. What I do remember was his analysis of "O" level History papers from many previous years leading to his prediction of likely questions for the current one. In the last few weeks before the exams he would hone these down to his top 5 or 6 subjects ........ which got me an "O" level pass! Mike Minty

  5. Having just sipped a couple or three of the old Black Sambuccas I suddenly recall - I think - it was Why Not who hosted some OS dinners in the Authors Club for undergraduates in London in the early 60s. I remember (through a mist of sherry and red wine) going to one where the sherry and red wine (hence the mist) flowed like the proverbial!! Was anyone else at them - mine was in 64 I think. Mike


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