Jim & Enid Hyde    

In 1963 to 64, Enid Hyde gave our
Lower Sixth French class Russian
lessons once a week. There were
four of us, but we weren't very good.
I was interested in Russia and Russian,
but I couldn't get into it - maybe it
was just too difficult, and I had other stuff going on at the time. Anyway,
after some weeks, those lessons
were discontinued, and I have felt
bad about it ever since.

Mr Mrs Hyde were the epitome of class;
we should have done better.

Chris Snuggs - May 2020

Chris Snuggs - Berners/Halls 58-65: "Jim Hyde was a WHS colossus, and not only intellectually. I can't possibly do justice to this man, who gave so many years of complete dedication to the school and boys, both as a supreme teacher of geography and as a housemaster, not to mention his "Young Farmers" and other activities.

I wasn't in his house, but once on the touchline watching a 1st XV game he confided in me his regret at not being able to take on a Headship, given that he was not a practising Christian and would not be able to carry out the religious role and duties required of a Head at that time. I have no idea why he suddenly opened up to me; I was in the 5th form and certainly didn't know him all that well, but I guess this was a matter he felt quite deeply about.

When Peter Brown, Mike Bysh, Jim Atkinson and I organised a reunion at Pin Mill after a 40 absence from school, we were fortunate enough to meet up with him. Sadly, Enid had died a year or so before, which hit him very hard. But he was very pleased to see us and invited us round for tea. I reminded him of something he'd once said, when a boy whose name I forget said to him. "How comes you are so clever, Sir?"

He replied. "I'm not that clever; I'm just 5,000 books ahead of you." But of course he was very clever indeed - and an unforgettable personality. One cannot think of WHS without thinking of his contribution. It will sadly no longer be possible to see him again, but he will always remain a part of what made us."


Bill Kitchen: I found Jimmy Hyde to be an incredibly engaging teacher. He taught me Geography for four years ..... for the latter two to "O" level. He’d read that at least 70% of learning was visual, so virtually every lesson consisted of him lecturing over a series of black and white (actually sepia in reality) images on a film roll. “What does the Gobi Desert LOOK like?" he might ask after several lively suggestions from us. Then he'd say: “Well, THIS is what it’s really like.....!” We hardly opened our books at all. Geography had one of the highest "O" level pass rates.


Louis Parperis - Orwell 63 to 70: Jim was an extremely engaging personality - though initially a little intimidating - and a marvellous teacher, with a seemingly boundless scope of knowledge. His geography lessons were as enjoyable as they were informative and I still hear that booming voice from the top of the stairwell instilling immediate order in the classroom as he commanded that we open our atlases at the map of Keswick. My favourite memories of him both as a teacher and as a man were of the term I spent in the political studies elective he taught to sixth formers on Friday afternoons. He was a prolific writer of surprisingly dreadful novels, none of which ever saw the light of day, drawing rejection letter upon rejection letter from every publishing house in the country. Enid was not only an incredibly accomplished linguist, but a notable botanist specialising in Alpines still revered by the botanists of Suffolk for which she served as the county recorder of flora as well as writing extensively about other flora, such as Botswana, and was a leading Alpinist, spending her summer holidays with Jim as her amanuensis collecting details of plant life in the Alps.
Jonathan Kemp - Corners 73 to 80: Jimbo was renowned for saying 'OK', and would sometimes say it two are three times on the trot and we would sit in class and play 'Jimbo Cricket'. Each 'OK' was a single, a double 'OK' was a four and a treble, a six. You kept on scoring until he asked you a question and then you were out and it was the person next to you whose turn it was to bat.
Chris Snuggs - Berners/Halls 58 to 64: Jim was very authoritative and confident in his comunications. All teachers knew their subject of course, but Jim really made you feel that what he had to say was totally interesting, important, relevant and accurate. We did a lot of practical work: drawing vocanoes, 3D drawings from Ordnance Survey maps. diagrams of weather fronts and so on. He didn't have the range of audio-visual resources available today, which is a pity, as he would have totally nailed their use - but he did a lot with what he had.

He was unforgettable and inspiring - and in a way intimidating through his natural authority, but I myself never knew him to be anything but kind and dedicated to his vocation. (SEE ALSO HERE)

MARY HYDE (1925–2002) Enid Hyde, who died on 5 September 2002, was a keen botanist, serving as county recorder for Suffolk with Francis Simpson from 1986 to 1995. She was born in Birmingham on 18th June 1925 to a radical family. Her father was president of the National Union of Teachers; mother taught classes in the poorer areas of Birmingham. Mother came from Worcester and it was from her that Enid was initiated into a love and appreciation of flowers. She went to King Edward’s High School in Birmingham, where she was an outstanding scholar. She was offered, after her sixth form career, places at both Newnham College, Cambridge and Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. In choosing the latter, she said it was because it had a better rail connection than Cambridge.

At school she had also been outstanding at sport, captaining the school team at rounders and hockey. At Oxford, she read modern languages (German and French) and took up bell-ringing. After this she worked on the Control Commission in Berlin as an officer in naval intelligence. It was a very stressful time. In 1948, she was flown out in the “Berlin Airlift” in a dilapidated Dakota. She was no sooner back home than she applied for a teaching job in Switzerland. For two years she lived in the hills above Montreux. Her love of alpines began here. A stay in England was followed by marriage and life in rural Quebec where in isolation and in an extreme climate, she again encountered flowers. Her son Mark was born there and brought up in a log cabin, devoid of water and electricity. What did that matter when there were Trillium?

She returned to England in 1958 and, with her husband Jim, settled in Woolverstone by the Orwell estuary in Suffolk. For a while in the exciting world of the Suffolk flora, there was regular botanising, but it was not until 1971 that she began systematic recording. For the next 30 years, on every possible occasion, she was recording plants. From Shotley to Burgh Castle to Newmarket, not much of Suffolk got missed. With her son Mark, (also a keen botanist, now living in Zimbabwe), with Francis Simpson or with Jim, she always had her notebook. As a consequence came her herbarium, her annual plant list for Suffolk Naturalists’ Society, her contributions to the Ipswich and District Naturalists Society and to leading the botanical trips of many other local societies.

Her greatest contribution to Suffolk botany was the enormous amount of work she put into getting Simpson’s "Flora of Suffolk" (1982) finished and published. The project had languished for over 20 years with little hope of publication; Enid, with her son Mark brought the recording up-to date. Her patient and meticulous approach to the work was in contrast to Simpson’s (by his own admission) abrupt and cantankerous manner and this was of great help in getting the manuscript completed. It is typical of her modest attitude that her name is not on the cover. During her time as Recorder she established a network of volunteer contributors with whom she corresponded regularly. She was very careful to acknowledge all records sent in and spent a lot of time identifying specimens for others. She co-ordinated work in Suffolk for the B.S.B.I. Monitoring Scheme (1987-88) and spent many hours compiling data for the Scarce Plants Project, including much research in old literature and herbarium sources. Her own recording was, of course, exemplary and you could be absolutely confident that all her records were accurate and properly documented. She passed on to me a brilliantly maintained archive of Suffolk records when she retired as Recorder in 1995.

Although her own publications were few (outside of annual reports) she did publish papers (in Suffolk Natural History) on the inland spread of maritime species, Calamints, Oenanthe pimpinelloides (which she had discovered in 1975 at a site near Ipswich) and Mistletoe. Her study of languages and teaching experience had provided her with excellent grammatical skills and these were put to good use in editing and proof reading many of the publications of the Suffolk Naturalists’ Society. The Society recognised her contributions by electing her as a Rivis Vice President in 1995. She was very keen on the conservation of the Suffolk countryside and looked after a local protected roadside verge which harboured a colony of Orpine, Sedum telephium (illustrated in Simpson’s Flora) . I can remember her consternation when she discovered the plants were being consumed by the larvae of a scarce micro-moth!

As her herbarium shows, she was acquainted with the alpines of Austria, Italy, Switzerland and the Pyrenees. She collected in Spain where she botanised on much of the coastal areas from the French frontier to Andalucia – and Corfu. She also collected vouchers for many of her Suffolk records and of many unusual aliens. The collection has been passed to Cambridge University where it will be accessible for public and academic study - I am sure she would have been particularly pleased to know that her herbarium was being well curated and used. Her last holiday was in the Valais of Switzerland. In the Val d’Hérens, at 1500 m in the mayan of a Swiss friend who, knowing her interest in flowers, had delayed the hay-making. She was deliriously happy. The funeral and burial in the pretty churchyard alongside Woolverstone Hall (where she had taught for many years) was attended by family and friends. Amongst the straight, dark yews I spied a sprig of the cut-leaved bramble Rubus laciniatus, a plant Enid would have appreciated.


Phil Anthistle - Berners 71-78: "Enid Hyde was a teacher (French),and a good one. I remember her telling our class about her time as a young woman in Berlin just after the war finished. Particularly memorable was the anecdote about entering some of the offices of the former regime with Nazi paperwork strewn across the floors, documents bearing signatures of the notorious hierarchy. She said she had gathered some of the papers as mementos. Although we didn't get to see them she did say a couple were initialled A.H."

Mick Wenlock - Johnstons 65-70: "I met her a few times at various meetings in the Housemaster's apartment to watch some significant TV program or for a social call. As far as I know she never taught a class at Woolverstone but she played a very important role for me in my last year at Woolvo. In 1970 it was 'O level" time for the fifth. It was also the time I peaked in my unpleasant attitude. I managed to tick off two of my Teachers (Pete Sadler and Mr Shakeshaft) to the point where they banned me from their classrooms. I, of course, was the one who precipitated the blow by being a supremely objectional twat.

So in that spring term I spent those class periods either wandering aimlessly or studying in the 5th form common room at Johnstons. It took Edith about a week to gently knock on the door of the common room and to ask me if I was ill. I told her what I was doing. She asked if she could help me with the French revision - I had no idea until that point that she was a good linguist. For the rest of that term and then again in the summer term when there were no classes she persisted in stopping by a couple of times a week and taking me through exercises in French. It is because of her that I made my way through "La Chanson de Roland". For that feat alone she deserves my lifelong thanks. My top two 'O' Level results were French and History."