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   Brian Wakeford


Brian Allan Macklin Wakeford

Nickname: "B" or "Bee" (and a few less-complimentary nicknames)
House: Junior/Scott
Year: 1954-1958

I was in Junior House with "Pussy" Minette, then Scott House with the redoubtable, memorable "Stalky" Chadwick.

Memories of School:
  • The old wooden huts of Junior House
  • Mrs Poppleton, a kindly matron
  • Bradish, the Prefect who tried to engender some enthusiasm in me
  • Having no sports skills, and therefore considered worthless
  • Constantly carrying Prefect Gunn's books down
  • Move to Scott and the yells for "Rabble" and having to do "Trades"
  • Making and hiding a crystal set
  • Teaching by Col ("Lout!") Loftus, "Agatha", "Missing Link", "Toft", "Dougall", "Jonnie" Riddell (coastguards and pirates in the gym), art with McLennan Sim (I won a prize!), and of course old "Jake" (He,he,he!)
  • Sandbags, barbed wire, lookout towers with their sirens on top, masters with revolvers
  • Flag Parade on Saturdays
  • Standing to face the flag when the bugle was blown at sundown
  • That damned bell on the clock tower that woke us up
  • The new chapel being built
  • Young Farmers Club and going to the Royal Show
  • Choral society and Scottish dancing with Jack Lockhart (one of the best ways to associate with the "Boma")
  • Riding around the compound on my old bike that had been a paratrooper's and therefore folding in the middle
  • Getting "the cuts" for riding back up Sclaters Road to school without a tie
  • Listening to records in Matron Cochrane's flat
  • Trifle pudding which was made of stale cake and bits of newspaper from Nairobi shops
  • Those tall enamel jugs they put our tea into
  • CCF and polishing and blanco-ing during rest period
  • The Tuck Shop
  • The San where we were constrained for three weeks with mumps
  • The Polio epidemic when the school was in isolation for weeks
  • Skiving down to the river (we found some bodies there, but couldn't tell anyone because we were out of bounds)
  • "Polishings" (escaped those, luckily, some didn't) and dorm raids from Clive
  • Lazy days at the pool on Saturday afternoons
  • "Charlie" Hurst showing the Saturday film backwards
  • Athletics Standards leading to Sports Day
  • Bloody skin grazes from the murram hockey pitch
  • Rugby on a mud-soaked field
  • The top diving board with Hewlett snarling below
  • Cock house dinners
  • Most of all, splendid fellow pupils and long-lost friends from those days, especially my ol' mate, "Yolly". Whatever happened to him and the rest of them?

    Those schooldays are etched on our memories.

    Since leaving School:
    Left with some good School Cert results, much to everyone's surprise, not least my own, and thanks to the administration of a few "cuts" by Stalky! Worked (skived) for a year in Nairobi. Survived No 14 Kenya Regiment Training Course in January 1960. Consumed a few "Tuskers". Was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship for three years study in Portsmouth, England. After graduation, most of the family had left Kenya, but I returned just in time to experience Uhuru Day on 12th December 1963.

    Completed a three year contract with the Kenya Government, teaching at Molo (arrived there from Nairobi on an old "banana bus", Kericho (appointed Headmaster of the School until it closed in 1965) and Eldoret ("Hilli Schooli"). Bought an old "Beetle" and travelled round bits of East Africa I'd not seen as a boy.

    Returned to England to teach in some rather depressing State schools, then found a position as Housemaster in a private school on the Isle of Wight where I stayed teaching History and English for 27 years, the last dozen as Headmaster of the Prep School.

    After early retirement, bought a book shop on the Island and ran that for five years. Was asked to teach part-time in another private school. Then I decided to travel on a container ship to join my 21 relatives in South Africa (including my younger brother, Hugh, who was also at POWS). bought a bungalow in a retirement village in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal. I have toured around South Africa, and plan to go further afield before decreptitude finally sets in! The younger members of the family have persuaded me to write my memories of "the olden days" in Kenya, so that keeps me occupied.

    Best wishes and good memories to all Old Cambrians!

    Brian Wakeford

    (Registered - 15th August 2007)

  • If anyone wishes to contact Brian, please Click Here to e-mail him