I WAS sorry to hear that my favourite master at Sir William Borlase’s School has just passed away, after some years of poor health.

He was Bryan Welch and his first day in a teaching job coincided with my first day at the Grammar School in West Street.

As well as teaching history he was the Class 1A form master and I remember him as being a bit more “human” than many of the others at the school.

I suppose all pupils like to exaggerate their teachers’ peculiarities but there were some genuine eccentrics during my time at the school. Very little taught to me during those long years has been of much use in later life.

Never once have I needed to know about the square of the hypotenuse, the contents of Virgil’s Aeneid, or the chemical formula for sulphuric acid. Previously at Holy Trinity School in Wethered Road I had always done quite well, but as result of several complicated circumstances I ended up at Borlase at least a year younger than my classmates and things became a bit more difficult, both lessons and sports.

Headmaster William Booth was in his last years before retirement and I remember him being enraged that Bryan played football, not rugby, and turned out for Marlow FC, then in the Spartan League. Bryan also arranged a friendly match with Fulham – a club that had tried to persuade him to turn “pro”.

The school was 100 per cent rugby orientated in those days, but I was very much into football, and even a kick-about on the playing field with a pile of coats as goal posts earned a severe reprimand. Also a keen cricketer, Bryan played for Marlow CC, and in the main picture (I am guessing late 1960s?) he is 3rd from right (and the shortest!) in the second row down, in front of the Pound Lane pavilion. Many of you will have fun putting names to other faces. Amongst those I recognise are Gordon Bissell, Stewart Sinclair and Maurice Oram.

Lower pictures are two lines of masters edited from the 1959 Borlase photograph, one of those where everyone was arranged in a semi-circle and the camera slowly panned around, with the resulting photo coming out straight. I can fill in all the names except one: 1) Messrs. Bailey, Bateman, Williams, Paton, Banner, Pitman, Davies, Peirce, Sage, Robertson. 2) Hazleton (Headmaster), Jones, Davenport, Dewhurst, Welch, Saunders, ( ? ), Wills, Tully, Taylor, Malim. Apologies for being unable to name the “mystery” master: I’m sure someone will put me right.

Contact Michael on michael@jazzfans.co or 01628 486571