14 August 2005

New member - Bill Harrop

Came across this website almost by accident and have just joined. This is my first attempt to get onto the notice and to see what happens if I succeed.
I started at the old school in 1966 or 1967, becoming a boarder at Kelso House (under Richard "Pog" Adams) together with Andrew Morris, Bill Cumming, Paul Megson. Steve Jones, Simon Adams and Nick Allerston. Any of those names out there and listening? It would be fantastic to hear from them, or indeed fom anyone who recognises my name.
I will keep an eye on the mesage board and start the process of learning how to get the best out of this website.
Regards to all.
Bill Harrop


  1. Hehe Bill,

    You must have reached that age too, where you stop for a minute & look back!

    I remember you, I was in the year above you at Kelso.

    Didn't you come on one of those jaunts we used to make in the middle of the night, when we used to tramp about Winchester or canoe on the swimming pool.
    Pity we got caught!

    Tim Cheevers

  2. Hi Tim,   Yes, I remember you well. I do recall thinking it was smart to get up in the middle of the night, while cleverer people slept soundly, and go wandering about in the dark, thinking what great guys we were! What was that all about? Didn't we call it "going out"?   I'm sure you were friends with Richard Gash, weren't you? Do you kmow anything about him or hear from him?   I think this website is great. I can see myself spending a bit of time on it in the future.   Hope you're keeping well. We'll no doubt keep in touch.   Regards   Bill

  3. Hi Bill
    yeah u r right we called it "going out" till we got caught and Pog had us all facing the wall in the dining room, all questioned individually, MI5 style! If I remember we managed to keep you dorm 5 guys out of it! Anyway we were gated for a nummber of weeks!

    Yah Rich Gash was one of our crowd, & my friend, his dad was in the navy and I spent some half terms with him & his family up near Ipswich. I tracked him down on
    friends reunited a few years ago and we exchanged emails, but he seems to have disapeared since. I stay in touch with Dave Jackson and that is about it.

    I remember that you and Andrew Morris were best friends, or so it seemed.

    Seems hard to believe that it is 40 years next month since I arrived at PS!
    I wonder if the boarders bogs still exist!


  4. Hi Bill   I would also like to welcome you to the 'Group' ... there is much to be seen and I am sure, MUCH to be added !!! ...   I was at 'School' from 1944 til 1950, but I look and listen to all who add to this site ...   I have made contact with several 'contemporaries' since joining the site and sincerely hope that you make contact with some 'old' freinds ...   Cheers from  West Oz   Doug Clews (Assistant Manager) (1944 - 1950)

  5. Hi Bill   I cannot see in 'Messages' where you make comment about 'down-loading' piccies and being able to 'enlarge' in order to see who is in the 'pic' ...   I just open the picture from the site and then 'right click' and save 'picture/image' as a file in 'My Documents' ...  I then open them in my 'Photo Editor' programme and view them as required ... (certain versions of 'Windows' automatically open them in 'Windows pictures or Fax Viewer' and you can 'enlarge' from there) ...   Regards   Doug Clews   West Oz

  6. Hi Bill... I remember you also... was in Wyke Lodge a year behind.....  Wyke Lodgiites from your year were Nigel Herriott, Hugh Maisey and Steve Denison I think...   I always marvelled that sharing the same name as Pog was not as bed as it could've been.....   I also think i remember High Maisey's sister was called Tina Maisey.....  which casued huge mirth to all when spelled backwards

  7. Could only have been a 'Border' and a 'Wykelodgeite' in particular, who
    could have been so unkind to a poor defenceless young lady !!! ... I
    mean, you would never have found a 'Day-boy' even thinking that way !!!

    I guy I used to work with here in Perth was an Arthur Nutt ... he had a
    son called Phillip (P.Nutt) and a daughter, Hazel !!! ... just imagine
    what those kids went through at School !!!

    Smiling, as always !!!

    Doug Clews

    Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com

  8. My work led me to have dealings with the Northamptonshire Police Traffic department and particularly a PC [pre-cast concrete] Bollard who was later promoted to a chief inspector [cast iron!]   jim   

  9. Hi Bill,   I'm Nick's sister Mary.    Just thought you may like an update on Nick although it's not good news I'm afraid.   Nick passed away two years ago.  He had a breakdown in 1988 and never really recovered.  He committed suicide on 15 August 2002.   He never married but had a quite a few girlfriends along the way but none that he'd ever bring home.   He qualified from York university back in the 70's with a degree in Politics and Social Studies...or some such like.  Always a loner but then he was an accountant :-)  Worked for a couple of firms in Basingstoke before he became ill.   Not good news I know but thought you may like to know.   Kind regards   Mary Stevens (ne Allerston)    

  10. Hi Mary,   Only just seen your message.   Thanks for letting me know the news, awful though it is. I am really upset to hear about Nick, known affectionately by us as "Joe", a reference to the fictional character Joe 90. The thought of one of those lives that were so intertwined when we were younger coming to such a tragic end brings me up with a start. I can only pass on my very real sympathies to you and those he left behind. I will not dwell on his unhappiness at the end. I would prefer to remember Joe as he was when I knew him, selfish perhaps but far more preferable.   Kind regards to you.   Bill

  11. Bill,   I'm not sure if I was in your year or the year above of below. I left in 1973.   I was in School House in the same year as Mark Anderson, Paul Guy, Tom Dasteur, Adrian Little and Jeremy Mitchell.   Do you remember us ?   Regards     Dave 

  12. Hi Bill,   Yep the name "Joe" stuck for Nick all through uni I believe....several of his Yes LP's have etched the words Joe all over.   I'll try and dig out some old photo's of him if I have any and maybe the most recent too and stick them on here.   Although I was a lot younger than Nick (10 years)  I do remember being driven up in the car to the Iron railings outside Peter Symonds to meet him by my parents.  From what i remember he borded there whilst we were in Bahrain as my father was in the RAF.    Nick was a bit of a brainbox to say the least.   Trivial Pursuit was definitely a non runner if Nick was playing.  He'd have the whole counter filled with cheeses before anyone had been asked a question.    Also cards were a no no.  He knew every card game going and knew exactly what you had in your hand before you did.   He was certainly a one that's for sure.  Most sentences started with "Right said Fred"..... and he'd analyse everything puntuating his sentences with A, B, C etc.  I'm sure teh fact that he was such a brain was an indication of his Scitzophrenia (however you spell it!).   More seriously though.... he was in quite a bit of turmoil...drifting from one place to another.....obsessed with the NHS and how they had caused his illness and certainly on a mission to self heal himself.  None of which worked....and well it was his only option....at least he's no longer suffering.                    

  13. Hi Dave,   Aaargh!! Can it really be 2 weeks since you left your message? I'm so sorry not to have replied before now.   Yes, I do remember you. We must have been in the same year, because I do remember sharing a german class with Mark Anderson. Were you a school house resident? I was a Kelso / Barton Seagrave man myself.   I think this website is wonderful when it enables you to make contact with people from so long ago and share a few memories. It is not always a source of pleasure though. You might have seen the messages on my page about one of my Kelso colleagues, Nick Allerston. Shattering news, I almost wish I had not read it.   Hope you are well. I will keep an eye on the message board. Maybe others will turn up, who knows?   Best regards,   Bill

  14. Hi Bill   Long time no hear. Just happened to be surfing and stuck my name into Google and up came MSN. You should be on Friends Reunited - all the names mentioned in here are there in one form or another!!     I was sorry to hear about Nick Allerston - nice guy. Sadly not the only one from our year - Mick Aldam also died a few years back. I had a few mails from some of the guys in our year from Friends Reunited but in general I have been awful at keeping in touch. Which is weird really because i have always had good memories of Symonds - despite the regular beatings.......   I kept in touch with Pete Heugh for a few years but then we both moved at about the same time and we lost the addresses. Havent seen or heard from him for years now. In fact I asked him to be my best man at my first wedding (whoops), but he actually got married the same day! He married Christine Angel ( the girl he started going out with when he was about 12 as I remember). Hope it lasted longer than mine! Still second time round for me worked OK - older and wiser I guess!   As for me - currently working in London at an Investment bank - (not as glamourous as people think) and commute from Hitchin (Herts), which is just the right distance to skim the Daily Telegraph and complete the moderate Sodoku between Finsbury Park and work....   Reply!!!!     Hugh

  15. Hi Mary,

    I have just re-read my reply to your e mail about Nick's sad death.

    I am appalled at the possibility that I may have unwittingly caused offence!

    I finished my e mail by saying that I would not dwell on Nick's problems at the end but that I would prefer to remember him as he was when we knew him, "selfish but preferable".

    I am appalled at the double meaning of what I said. I meant that it was selfish of me to remember Nick as he then was and that it was preferable for me to do so. However, having re-read that e mail, I can see that those words might have been interpreted as referring to Nick, as he was when he knew him. If that is the way you read it, I can only apologise profusely for the offence which would undoubtedly have been caused.

    I really am bothered by this and it would help me greatly if you could come back to me just to confirm that, even if only now, you appreciate what I was trying to say - even though I made a right horse's butt of doing so.

    Kind regards,

    Bill Harrop
    (with Nick throughout his stay at Kelso and Barton Seagrave)

  16. Hi, Bill!   Just joined the webgroup. Not sure how this works - how many people are reading this?!   I'm in Muscat, teaching English to the Royal Air Force of Oman.   I'm still in touch with Bill Cuming and Paul Megson - although not too recently, I confess. (Also, when I go back to the UK I sometimes see Paul Tickner - my quondam school brass band chum - who has the Flowerpots at Cheriton.)   It was a real shock to read about poor old Nick Allerston.He was at York, as I was - he went up a year before me - and I occasionally bumped into him. He was the only person I know outside of the 'Beano' who said "Wotcher!" (which I mean with some affection).   SIMON   PS Going out in the middle of the night wasn't called "going out", it was "Midnight Ops" - at least, this was Rich Gash's term for it. (What drama, eh? No wonder he joined the parachute regiment). I remember such sophisticated pleasures as he and I wandering down to Winchester city centre at 2 in the morning and jumping up and down on those rubber doodad bumpers set into the road surface in front of the traffic lights, trying to make them change from red to green, green to red, red to green (you get the idea).

  17. Hi Simon   Great that you have posted something on the message board so soon after joining ... I wish everyone did that !!! ...   The way it works, is that, in theory, all messages on the Board, as yours is, are open for all members to view, but obviously not all members view the board regularly, or some, not ever !!!   Your antics at 2 a.m. in Winchester, trying to change the traffic lights, brings back memories of me doing the exact same thing on Winchester By-pass, as it was then, also around 2 - 3 in the morning ... it always seemed to me, that whenever I had dropped off my girl friend in Kings Worthy after a Winchester Art School Dance, usually at the Audrey (or was it Awdrey) Tea Rooms in the High Street above W.H Smith & Sons on the corner of Parchment Street, the lights at Twyford Road were ALWAYS red when I got there on my weary way back to Chandler's Ford ... my antics
    would have been envied by any follower of African War Dances, but I am sure would be considered 'eccentric', to say the least, these days, but then you just DID NOT drive through a red light back in the 50's !!! ....   Keep up the postings Simon and take care ...   Doug Clews Glen Forrest Western Australia
    On Yahoo!7

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  18. Bill!   What do you mean - you joined "in 1966 or 1967"? You joined in September 1966, as I did, very early in September too, as that term broke some kind of record - it was about 16 weeks' long. What an introduction to Symonds!   We all arrived the night before the first day of the Michaelmas term and I was the last of the seven of us to arrive. Was shown up to Dorm 5 and there Ma Pog went through the introductions, prestissimo: "Harrop, Cuming, Jones, Allerston, Megson, Morris." Then she did it again with first names (as if that were a big help): "Bill, Bill, Steve, Nicholas, Paul, Andrew." I remember looking at the future Mr Porridge with some bewilderment not just because he was the biggest (whch he was) but because he had a crew cut, a thing I had never seen before, not even on the telly.   Of course that night, after Lights Out, we all talked our heads off. You told some whoppers about living in Aden,  remember? Still, you kept us entertained.   I last had an email from Bill Cuming a couple of years ago. He's married with two daughters, working as a project manager, living in West Wellow (a bit to the left of Romsey).   I last saw Paul Megson when he came to a concert of mine at the South Bank in 1997. We last emailed when I was in Saudi in 2001 (there isn't much else to do in Riyadh except email and browse the Internet - I even emailed Porridge I was so bored (through Friends Reunited) but got no reply!). Paul was then still a tax accountant with KPMG, also married with children, living somewhere near Guildford, I think. (A tax accountant?! - What happened to our schoolboy hippy ideals, eh? Mind you, we never did manage to grow any dope on the top floor of Barton Seagrave.)   Nick Allerston you obviously know about from this page.   I last saw Steve Jones when I visited Paul when he was at Keble. Paul and I went over to Steve's rooms, didn't have much to talk about to be frank. I heard later that he had given up Oxford to go to Reading to do Ecology or Environmental Studies or something. Since then, as far as I know, he has disappeared right off the PS radar.   That takes care of our own year. Of the year above, you'll remember, I'm sure, Ali (now Alistair) Walker. We exchanged a couple of emails a while back. Funny concidence, he is in the TEFL business, as I am. He has been running his own language school in Southampton for some years.   I stayed friends with Peter Robinson for a long time. There was the usual gap around the university years but I got in touch with him after York. When I moved to London in 1979 we spent a good deal of time crawling on our hands and knees out of - and occasionally into - any number of hostelries in the City and Holborn (forthcoming memoirs: "Simon Adams - The Wine Bar Years"). We quite often used to meet Bruce Paul (not Kelso but School House, but you might remember the name; he was in the brass band with Tickner and myself). Bruce was working for Esso, and Peter and I worked for the finance company that ran Esso Chargecard. I last saw Peter over 10 years ago. He was still working in banking, although he did seem to get made redundant an awful lot. Mind you, to give him credit (pun intended) he always got back into work again - sometimes rather lucrative work.   My memory gives out at this point. Maybe more another time.   Best   SIMON   PS Actually, I'm kidding about the memoirs.

  19. Hi Simon,

    Just read your contribution to the message board - absolutely fantastic to hear from you, after all these years. If the internet does nothing other than enable people to make and keep contact it will all be worth it.

    Fairly hasty response at this stage but hope to come back with more time in the future.

    Now 51 years old (aargh!), still got my hair and the sort of looks that Tom Cruise would kill for! Have also developed the most wonderful sense of self deception.

    Married, 2 kids, although both now adult, living in Stoke on Trent, been a solicitor for 26 years now - feel I am just beginning to get the hang of it!

    You seem to have done really well with keeping contact with others. Perhaps you can provide contact details to me so that I can surprise a few people.

    I recall our "lights out" discussions. The bit about living in Aden was true, the rest of it was probably hormonal schoolboy fantasy - but I enjoyed it anyway.

    Keep in touch. My very best wishes.

  20. Bill!

    Actually - although it evidently doesn't seem that way! - I haven't particularly kept in touch with Old Symondians, except for Paul M and Bill. And as you may have gathered, I have moved around a fair bit. There was Italy, Finland, Sweden, Azerbaijan, er ...

    However, I did see John 'Jack' Woolmoore (Kelso housemaster from, I think, 1970 to 1972 - we had Biffer for that last year) about ten years ago in Thetford. He was headmaster there after Ermysteds in Skipton, where he moved after Symonds.

    A great pleasure to hear from you after all these years. Do you remember when we last met? It was after school (?1974) and I think a bunch of us met in 'The Vine'.

    Mail me direct if you want: .


    PS Didn't we call Cooksey 'Toad'?


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