Stuart McPhee & Bridge at WHS   -   Chris Snuggs

From Stuart Keith McPhee - something I would like to have (had) from all former Masters and others but have not managed - and now it is probably too late. With this is a recent photo, and I am looking for one of him when at WHS. THANK YOU STUART!

"I look back with very fond memories at my time in Woolverstone. I taught Biology (and some Chemistry) for 5 years at WHS, which was my first teaching post. I joined at the same time as Richard Woollett and we became good friends. I was very sad to read about the death of Martin Gillott last year - one of my star pupils! I was also Assistant Housemaster of Berners working with Peter Sadler. I remember showing Saturday night films in the Hall and stopping boys smoking behind the curtains! I also ran AV in the days where we had to record BBC schools programmes for use in lessons. I seem to remember being Careers Master for one year while someone was on secondment. I am a keen bridge player and some sixth-formers asked me to teach them how to play bridge properly. We eventually won the East Anglian Schools Championships and went on to play a final at Eton. I myself became a bridge Grand Master and played in several World Championships.

I left WHS to become a computer programmer with BT in Ipswich. I had a successful career in technology and still work as a freelance technology transformation director. I also breed racehorses in the UK, France and Australia - lots of winners but no Derby triumph yet!!

Best wishes to all my former pupils and colleagues - AND everyone else!"

Stuart Keith McPhee - WHS from 1979 to 1984 (Biology, Chemistry & Asst. Hsemaster of Berners under Peter Sadler)

Trevor Prior - Halls 73-80: “I was in that bridge team and the facts are slightly wrong. He found a group of us playing bridge and realised we did not know what we were doing so offered to teach us - that was in the October of our last year. We entered the Daily Mail bridge comp around Jan and did qualify but it was the semi final at Eton, where, per chance, my brother was a tutor. We lost despite my partner and I Mario Chin making a mini-slam because the opposing pair also made it. Stuart advised us that the hands were more suited to Precision Club than the Acol we were playing.

I do not know if you are in contact with him but if so, please pass on my thanks. Despite not playing for years, I am playing again now as I have eventually found others who play. He gave us a love of the game I will forever be grateful for. I recall one time when we were playing in a court yard room when Mr Woollett came in un-expectantly as he was showing some around. Quick as a flash he said “and this is the bridge club”, smiled and promptly left.”

Simon Patterson - Berners 78-80: “Following on from what Trevor said. I was on that bridge team and remember it like yesterday. It is fascinating, looking back, how Stuart McPhee took us from nothing to within touching distance of winning a national tournament, all in a few short months. How did he actually do that? Since Stuart mentions it 40 odd years later, it clearly ranks as something he remembers and no doubt rates in his schoolmastering career. It was a “Billy Eliot” achievement. Not being much gifted at sports, I really enjoyed our moment in the sun, thanks to Stuart. It was especially good fun have Woollett announcing our latest success at Monday assembly, after we had murdered our latest East Anglian opposition (there was an element of irony too, I felt: “Woolvo? Bridge? Eh?”) And it was only the eggheads at Eton who could finally arrest our bandwagon in the national tournament. Anyway, do pass on my thanks for the memories to Stuart. He did something special there.”