Chris Snuggs - 1 June, 2023: Kev. Smith sent us two new photos today, and I have added them to those we already had. These are sights most WHS Old Boys have never seen before - except those who embarked on hazardous and unlawful escapades at times when they hoped masters would be asleep.

Anatole Beams - Berners 75-82: "We got up to the roof that way, but there was a little door-house up there. When the school was being inspected by ILEA with a view to selling it off, some of the years above hung a sheet from the vases on the roof painted with ‘For Sale’. They roped the door-house up to stop the door from being opened by the janitor to stop him taking it down and shinned down the drain pipe. It was on view in the morning for the inspectors to see! The sheet had to be weighed down at the lower corners with a couple of rugby boots!"

Mark Frost: Thanks for posting the photos of the roof. I remember there was a ‘secret’ door next to Room 50 (in my day the domain of Jim Hyde and David Hudson and all things Geography) which gave access to it.

As an ex-surveyor all that leadwork is pleasing to the eye - slates likely to be from Wales. Roofing skills such as shown in the photos are going to be in increasingly short supply unless we train enough apprentices. Already the effects of Brexit/Covid (take your pick) are pushing up prices of building materials. Two guys had a fight in our builder’s merchant over the last bag of cement recently. Wood is up 30% on last year, and hinges are impossible to source locally. These shortages will sort themselves out with time but I suspect we are in for a large dose of inflation.

I don’t remember a flagpole on the roof in my day, but it is a nice touch. Flags are symbols laden with meaning and none more so than ours. Context is everything. Seeing the Union Flag flying from the roof of WH on a summer’s day fills my heart with pride -that’s the patriotic part of me. However, I can quite understand how others may sometimes see it as a symbol of imperialism – that’s the woke part of me. Reconciling those two is, to put it mildly, difficult.

Woke test: When you saw the flags at the top was your reaction ‘Oh no – what’s coming next?’ or did you stand up, hand across chest US style?