Patrick Hutton - Teacher of English
Nigel Fletcher - Halls 53-61: "I did 'A' level English with Pat Hutton. There were 3 of us Mark Golebiovski (who died very young in a road accident) Geoff Smith and me. Chaucer was "The Knight's Tale" (still a puzzle); Shakespeare "The Tempest" (still a favourite). We also did Milton's "Samson Agonistes", which started a lifelong love of Milton. We must have done something modern, but I cannot recall anything. At that time Tom Gunn was just being published, but not on the syllabus. Pat and his wife invited me on holiday with them before my Oxford entry exams (somewhere near Olney?) where we read voraciously and played very competitive scramble. What a lovely, generous couple."
Chris Snuggs - Berners/Halls 58-65: Patrick was a much-loved teacher at WHS who imbued us with his deep love of language, literature and learning, making Chaucer, for example, seem fascinating and even magical. He was such a civilised, erudite, cultured and positive man, yet so easy to get on with: never condescending, always helpful, whether on drama, poetry on on the more practical aspects of life, such as planning a career, finding a job. He had a wry sense of humour, too, and I never remember him in an ugly mood. He was a terrific contributor to culture and general school life at Woolverstone, not least with his massive involvement in school dramatic productions. He was a great purveyor and communicator of quality in all his work and human relations.I'll never forget him setting us a general English question in the Lower VIth. "Why is a rose beautiful?" I think that was the first time I began to think - philosophically speaking. He was a genuine and terrific guy. We were lucky. I left WHS in 1965 to go to Emanuel School in Wandsworth and in 1966 I was debating what to do with my life after messing up my "A" Levels there. I was uncertain about what to do, where to go - Father urging me to 'get a job' and so on. Fate then played its hand. Sometime early in 1966 (how I cannot remember) I was invited to dinner with Patrick and Felicity at their house in Barnes. As Nigel intimates, Patrick (and no less his wife) was exceedingly charming - and really encouraging. Patrick would have none of my obvious defeatism. "You should be at university, no ifs or buts," he said. His encouragement left a big impression on me. By the end of the evening I was convinced, did a year's correspondence courses while I worked as a general dogsbody in Bentalls, Kingston, retook English and German in Belsize Park and got a place at U.K.C. (Canterbury). Of course, I lost touch thereafter as one does, and the loss was mine. He was infinitely more encouraging than my father, who 8 years previously had been so astonished when I told him as he was driving me home that I passed the 11+ that he almost had an accident.
Neil Clayton changed Ian McEwan's life, and Patrick changed mine. He was just the most lovable guy: erudite, interesting, patient, friendly - and one of those fairly rare people who when you were talking to them made you feel he was REALLY listening to, interested in and thinking about what you said."
Glynne Thomas - Halls 57-62: "A charming gentleman and excellent teacher with a gorgeous wife Felicity. Spent many an entertaining hour at their cottage in the village."