Nissen Huts & Football    -    Chris Snuggs et al

Chris Snuggs - Berners/Halls 58-65: “THIS PHOTO we already had, but its significance had never before stuck me.Was soccer or hockey played on the main field in the 50s? I can't recall ever seeing goalposts like the ones in this photo? And this pic shows a lot more Nissen huts than I thought there were."

Frank Lee - Orwell 58-60: “We were forbidden to play soccer at all during the rugby season. If you were caught, you got a sore backside. We could kick the round ball around during summer, however.”

Chris Snuggs: “There was in my time from 58 to 65 no formal interdiction that I was aware of from kicking a football around, but that happened as I recall only on Sundays and only on Orwell Side, and I do not recall ever seeing a master wandering about on OS, either officially or casually. Whether we refrained from soccer activities on the main field at other times because of an official Verbot or not I don't recall. I think we just assumed it would not be approved of, almost certainly correctly - but neither do I ever recall a boy being punished or even spoken to because he infringed the unspoken rule - possibly because nobody ever did infringe it. It may just have been a rumour handed down by senior boys. I wasn't personally the slightest bit interested in soccer, even on Sundays on OS. Some of us used to play 'the kicking game' with a rugby ball there!”

Frank Lee: “I was in Orwell 58-60. Perhaps it was a house rule but I clearly remember it. Whether or not it was officially promulgated or merely ‘understood’ I cannot now say. And of course Prefects and Monitors could punish in many different ways at a whim. I received the slipper, headraps and pummels at the hands of our dorm monitor, one Bicknell who was lucky I never met him later in life.”

John Tuddenham - Hansons 53-57: “We played hockey when the rugby fields were frozen hard and therefore dangerous!! - Didn't like hockey!”

Steve Johnston - Johnstons 60-64: “That is remarkable. I remember soccer played as a pastime in the evenings, with jerseys used for goalposts in the field behind the Hall, whatever it was called.”

Roger Evans - Corners 68-??: “No posts in my day, (68-75). Any idea when the pavilion was erected? Looks to me soccer was being played where it now stands.”

Ray Hitchins - Halls 62-69: “I had a football until one games day people took it out, despite my protests, and started a kickabout on the field in front of Halls. Taffy soon put a stop to that, confiscated it for the whole term. I protested that the ball had been taken despite my protests, but as usual he didn't listen to me.”

Chris Snuggs: “Well, he was out of order. Rugby school perhaps, but that was IMPO unacceptable - though nobody dared say so apparently, including the school management until Mr Richardson I assume. I value freedom that does no harm to anyone else as a Human Right and above almost anything else, and kicking a football around in your spare time harms nobody. Also, almost all the boys had been used to playing football at primary school and while having no formal soccer activities is one thing - and I guess acceptable in the circs - a complete denial was another, showing no sensitivity to young boys' withdrawal symptoms - or the general freedom principle. What was also wrong was in having no clear and formal rule about it; it should not have been left to an individual teacher's whim. However, as I said, there was no problem on Sundays on OS in my experience.”

Jim Hayter - Corners 69-76: “We used to play football Sunday mornings in the front garden at Corners without any problems. There are stories over at the school though of Taffy Evans stabbing footballs with a shooting stick or confiscating them forever.”

Dennis Alexander - Orwell 57-59: “The posts were gone by 1957. However all those Nissen huts were there until 1958 at least. The one on the left was my dormitory for the first year.”

John Tuddenham: “I remember, when a rugby ball went onto the cricket square, one had to remove footwear to go and retrieve it!!!! A headmaster directive, I believe!!”

Malcolm Hughes - UNKNOWN 51-56: “We were also discouraged from playing football. It was jumpers for goalposts behind Berners for us.”

William D. Rees - Berners 64-68: “We used to play every Sunday exactly like this at least up to 1968 when I left.”

David Lewis - Halls 55-60: “I started in 1955 but never saw any football posts ever anywhere.”

Kevin Cooper - Orwell 80-85: “No football 80-85. KBY said if you want to play football there are some skirts in The old changing rooms. Even the Gym had no five-a-side markings.”

Gary Miller - Orwell 69-73: “I arranged a football match between Woolverstone and I think Holbrook? We used the green striped shirts of Halls if my memory serves me well. Taffy was not impressed. We won 4 nil?”

Michael Handley - Hansons 51-56: ”Could the photo be re earlier ? Say pre 51 when it was London Nautical School. I also slept in those Nissen hits (51-56).”

Chris Snuggs: ”Well, I don't recall where that photo came from. OR whether I labeled it "mid 50s" in the assumption that it was, but IF I did so label it then it could indeed be wrong and from an earlier era as you suggest. Were there REALLY that many Nissen huts in the early 50s?”

Michael Handley: “Yep!”

William Bauer - Halls ??-??: “I recall this area being used for athletics and cricket. Rugby pitch was down by the church near Corners. I slept in a Nissen hut in 1952 before moving to the new build residences to the left of the main building.”

John Tuddenham: “I slept in those Nissan huts (Hanson's) from Sept 1952 until end of summer term 1957, then moved to the new buildings Sept 57...I left WH in Dec 1957. Loved every minute.”

Anatole Beams - Berners 75-82: “This looks to be 50s judging by the radio hut still mounted on the crown roof of the main building.”

Julian Cobbing - Johnstons 56-59: “I slept in the Nissan huts September 1956 to July 1957. Hut monitors were Sterling and (Pepsi) Kola.”

Ron Gould - Corners 50-??: “In the very first year (still LNS) We played football on lots of pitches; rugby came next year with Taffy. He and I never got on. He always knew I preferred football. When I was 15 I played for Woolverstone United. Taffy told me that even though I was a good rugby player, I would never play for one of his teams. That included cricket. I played for Corners and The OB's at both. When my brother was at W H, Taffy told him, ‘You're a very good rugby player Gould, but you will never be as good as your brother.’"