Robert 'Jock' Cromarty    

From the March 2000 WHOBA Newsletter:

Peter Silvey (Hansons 66-73) wrote that he was sad to hear about Bob Cromarty. He went on to write:"He was essentially a kind and thoughtful man, as evidenced by his great patience in teaching me RSA Russian as part of my 6th Form General Studies when I was the only one in the class, driving me to the exam at a college in Ipswich and then loaning me the money to pay for a short holiday in Moscow, which took place after I had left the school, on no more than a promise from a then unemployed, unqualified and insolvent 18 year old that I would pay him back."

Among the many stories which have emanated from his classroom (was it N2 or N3?), Peter recalls one that involved the coconut mat at the entrance to his hut and a piece of magnesium tape, smuggled from the chemistry lab. While Bob's back was turned, writing another piece of unfathomable Latin on the board, a piece of lit magnesium tape was deposited into the said mat with the expected result of bright light and smoke as the matting burst into life! Bereft of any sort of fire-fighting equipment, Bob resorted to a little-known tactic which was to proceed to stamp and jump on the offending conflagration in some sort of "Promethean Highland Fling!" Woolverstone would certainly have been a poorer place without him around.

Hugh Hawkins (Orwell 59-66) echoed the sentiment and described him as a delightful man and a good teacher, from whom he learned a surprising amount of Latin. He also recalls a third form saying, which he believes was brought into use by John Baxter (Orwell 58-64): "Ban the Crom Bomb." Hugh described it as "nonsense but never forgotten by me at least."

Jock also edited "Janus" from 1970 to 1976, and by all accounts was an excellent editor. Some of those editions are the best ever produced. He made a point of carefully recording arrivals and departures, and was particularly gracious to NTS (Non-Teaching Staff).