11 August 2002

Ernie Gladwell

One master from my era at PSS ('55-'63) whom I remember with affection was Ernie Gladwell. I learnt some German and some of that strange dialect, Scientific German, from him.
I distnctly remember the first words of the first lesson from him: he held up one finger and said, loudly and clearly : "Finger!" (pronounced the German way, like 'singer'). There must have been a lot more afterwards, since I seem to know more German than that, but that's the lesson that stuck in memory.
That and the time when I hiccupped loudly and he told me to clear out before he knocked my block off. He seemed to think there was something insincere about the hiccup.
Oh, and the time he recommended the novel he'd just read: "Limbo '90", by Bernard Wolfe. I got the book from the library and was amazed to find it contained sex. (I can recommend it too: it's about a post-nuclear-holocaust America in which people voluntarily replace their limbs with robotic prosthetics. You'll have trouble finding it, though: the very first link turned up by Google is headed: 'Bernard Wolfe: A Forgotten Writer'.)
I haven't seen much mention of 'Ernie'. Does anyone else remember him? Does anyone know if he's alive and well?


  1. Hello Chris and others..I remember Ernie Gladwell too..his very good intor to German and my O-level achievements certainly stood me in good stead on wrk visits to Berlin 10 or so years ago. Having been provided with an interpreter I was astonished that I could understand much of the conversation some 30 years after O-levels in 1960!   Chris (1955-1962)

  2. Hi Chris Cooper
    Six years on and another devotee of Ernie Gladwell is on site, apart from JLN he was without doubt one who could teach dummies like me, and his management of school trips to Osnabruck and then Lucerne set me up for marriage in Oz to a Viennese some 18 years later. My widowed mum never voiced her disapproval to me but the negative aura she exhibited to my older brother who married a German was not to be forgotten but then she used to turn Gracie Fields off when she was on the radio but then she married an Italian.

    regards John Scott 1948-53 Townsville OZ

  3. Hello, John - nice to have you aboard!   Astonishing that it's over 5 years since I posted that little note about Ernie. Time is speeding up frighteningly ... (Are the dates on these old messages correct?)   I never went on a foreign trip with the school - in fact, I'd forgotten that they happened.   And my Dad was just as disapproving of Gracie Fields!    Best,   Chris

  4. Hi Chris, Presumably the dates are ok I have been reading every post in the hope of awakening my fast dissipating memory and thankfully it is working
    Thanks John Scott 1948-1953

  5. Well, once again, I have NO idea what happened to this one either ... I originally sent it on Sunday 13th April, but, alas, it disappeared somewhere into the ethernet ... will have to talk to Bill Gates AGAIN !!!

    Doug Clews wrote: Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2008 19:48:18 +1000 (EST)
    From: Doug Clews
    Subject: Re: Ernie Gladwell
    To: petersymondswinchesterunofficialnostalgiacorner@groups.msn.com

    Hi Chris and John

    Although I remember and liked Mr Gladwell, I only had him for 1 year for German, after Mr Lowman left ... after that, we had Mr Hammond ...

    Can't imagine a home without Gracie Fields and George Formby in those years (during and just after WW2) !!! ... their comic songs seemed to help relieve some of the pressures of the time, as did programmes like ITMA
    Even in these years, I occasionally listen to Gracie and George, having bought a couple of 'Digitally Remastered' CD's through the excellent quarterly magazine 'This England' (Can thoroughly recommend it, particularly to any ex-pats) ... the magazine has a feature each quarter on English Schools (Spring Issue is Buckland, in Devon) ... haven't seen one on Peter Pips yet !!!!!

    Catch you later

    Doug from WOZ

    Get the name you always wanted with the new y7mail email address.

    Get the name you always wanted with the new y7mail email address.


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