WHS Headmaster G.H. (Bill) Bailey is remembered with great affection, not least because of his humour: intentional AND otherwise!

"He was a lovely man with a sense of humour, which was just as well dealing with us lot!"
(Peter Alexander)

"George Bailey was indeed a wonderful man. I just regret that as a student I wasn't mature enough to appreciate the work that he and the other staff did." (John Dawlings)


A few memorable quotes and incidents:

Robin Skinner:

1) I came out the Science Museum on a sunday, after I'd left school - just bought an ice cream cone when I heard: "Ahh Skinner!" I dropped the cone, stubbed it out with my foot and turned to find Bailey right behind me. it was then I realised it was an ice-cream not a cigarette.

2) Reading a copy of the Beano, having a fag by the tennis courts. Dave says "after you", I carry on reading, finish and pass the said comic to my left......Bailey just said: "My study and bring that with you." Dave and others had seen him coming and crept off quietly.....


Philip Booker: I remember some of his Spoonerisms and similar faux pas.

1) "I don't want to see any of you boys riding back from Chelmondiston without your bicycles."

2) "There's far too many boys walking around with their feet in their pockets".

3) "You need to work harder and not spend as much time lazing around drinking toast and eating coffee."



Peter Alexander: "Every time I open my mouth, some idiot says something." Is that accurate, John Dawlings or is my memory fading more than I think?!

John Dawlings: Accurate but I can't remember if it was GHB or HJR who said it. Quite possibly both!

Peter Alexander: Certainly HJR should have said it, but I remember it was in an assembly and it was Bailey. Don't you still have your notebook of Baileyisms?

John Dawlings: Sadly not, Peter. My book of quotes was used for our 6th form review on the basis that no-one could make up better quotes than the staff themselves. Unfortunately some bastard pilfered it after the review and I never saw it again ....


Richard Hayter:

1) GHB during an assembly in 1969: “I’m sick and tired of seeing boys walking around like capital C’s with their feet up drinking coffee.”

2) "There are some things we do well and some things we do not do so well. One of these things is litter."

Also GHB. Don’t know when but Jean Roussel played the piano at assembly and on that occasion played the Laurel and Hardy song as GHB left the stage. Even the masters were laughing.


Richard Hayter: And Tombs then housemaster at Corners so it must have been in my first year - addressing the morning throng after post before walking across the fields to breakfast:

"Not only do you leak all over the floor but you leak all over the seat as well."


John Dawlings: I remember all of those Plus Rudi playing the funeral march once as GHB left the stage. It caused GHB to stop, turn around and stare at Rudi before walking out!

Also to Graham Syrett who was a pioneer skinhead: "I don't like your boots and I don't like your haircut - so take them off and send them home." - Happy days.

And also from GHB: "A B C D all the way up to 19." - You couldn't make it up.


Chris Archer: “Every time I open my mouth some stupid idiot speaks.” was HJR; he did it in our physics lesson when he turned up late and we would not stop talking; he said it after he told us to shut up for the 3rd time. I also seem to remember Jean Roussel playing the Baby Elephant March at one service when Bailey came on stage.

Louis Parperis; Ramsay repeated the 'Every time...' line at some point in time to every class he ever taught: not everything was as you saw it. I rather liked GHB's, ''I stopped doing History in 1815.'' and "You're 15 or 16; I'm 50 or 60." You can almost hear Frank Carson in the background ...

The greatest tragedy to befall the archive of WH is that somebody nicked the book full of all these malaprops and faux pas that John Dawlings had recorded faithfully for years, nurturing these idiocies for future generations. Perhaps it was the Ghost of Beryl Evans determined that the world and his brother should never learn of her invocation to Ceri Howell at breakfast one morning: "Howell, if you don't start making your bed properly, you and I are going to fall out."