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   Dudley Williams


Dudley Martin Williams

Nickname: DiM
House: Clive
Years: 1949-1954

My family lived in Dar es Salaam and I was in Clive House from 1949 to 1954.
I was a Junior House prefect in 1954.

After school
  • Brief stint in Navy followed by engineering apprenticeship & degree in London.
  • Career in Manufacturing engineering & Facilities management. Setup plants in a variety of industries – Aircraft, Auto, Toys, Electronics, Computers & components.
  • Recently retired – working and living in South California since 1967.

    Many vivid memories
    Have read and enjoyed those already posted by some of my contemporaries. Here are some of my unorganized memories of “the best days of our lives” in hindsight at the most unique institution we were lucky to attend.

    Fantastic staff – even if some were a little weird due in most cases to their WW2 travails.
  • Headmaster Percy Fletcher - “Flakey”. Strict disciplinarian. Very Pink. Bad teeth. Always smoking pipe. Trilby hat. Had him for calculus – very tough & intimidating – but we learned the subject. Very well educated Cambridge & Princeton. Was rowing blue at Cambridge. Seemed to have trouble shaving – frequently appeared with Band-Aids & cottonwool stuck across his face. Liked to preach at Sunday service.
  • “Storky” Chadwick – Intermediate Housemaster - rumour was he was tank commander & hit his head in a tank during WW2. Hence somewhat erratic but was enthusiastic bushman who used to take us on occasional Sunday safaris to Lake Navaisha & climbs up Mt. Longonot. Memorable encounters with puff adder & leaches in the lake.
  • The “Galloping tapeworm” was Charlie Hurst the bursar – he was very tall & thin & galloped. He controlled our pocket money disbursements for tuckshop, made travel arrangements, kept the school books, ran the school truck, managed the maintenance staff, etc.
  • Mr. Seldon “The missing link” taught biology – he instituted lab sessions where we dissected a variety of frogs, lizards, snakes, rabbits, etc. which we enjoyed immensely. He was into field trips to collect various creatures, insects etc. for classification. Also had an interest in archeology – being most interested in the Leakey family, Nairobi museum etc. (Hence the nickname - apart from his appearance of course)
  • “Whiskers” Watson – Chemistry – very nervous, mouselike appearance – lived in constant fear that we would blow up his lab. His constant admonishments to avoid mixing certain chemicals, water to acid, etc. of course were seen as a challenge to our enquiring minds & encouraged us to experiment. I remember the “electrolysis of ink” experiment which blew the main breaker in the building. Luckily we survived.
  • AK Fyffe – was enthusiastic rugby fanatic & Clive Housemaster. I believe he had played for Yorkshire – had heavy accent – every sentence punctuated with “on thaaat” (as in “On ilkley moor bar that”).
  • “Bungeye” Norman – Physics. I guess his glasseye itched when the weather was hot – he would take it out & put it on his desk. Needless to say it mysteriously disappeared one day while he was at the blackboard. Despite intense interrogations, threats of detention, tackie, etc. it was genuinely lost forever. It did reappear about a week later, found in his jacket pocket hanging in the lab...... Cruel!!
  • Johnny Ridell – PT & Soccer coach – Ex-Marine & boxer – treated us like boot camp recruits. Liberal use of his sawnoff cricket bat to encourage performance climbing ropes, wallbars, pushups, etc. and every thing carried out on the double. He mellowed after he surreptitiously married the luscious art & english teacher Miss Watson.
  • Dougal Gammie - a true “scotchman”, man of letters, thespian & confirmed bachelor- Johnny’s drinking buddy.
  • Miss Wilson – Sanitarium nurse – Embarrassing mandatory “drop them & cough” at the start of every term. She had a green Morris convertible and a sausage dog but no husband or boyfriend that we could tell.
  • “Du Du” Knight – hockey jock – Rhodes Housemaster.
  • “Munya" Cobb – ScottHousemaster
  • Lt.Col Liver(”sausage”)sidge – Grigg housemaster in charge of CCF – (could have doubled for Monty python’s John Cleese!)
  • Renowned Kenya artist R. McLellan Sim taught art, designed & painted scenery for the school plays, etc., etc.

    Lifechanging moments?
  • The intense Cock House competition every term – I understand this was sadly discontinued around 1957 we never understood why?
  • Avoiding being drafted into the choir by Mr. Lockhart by faking & deliberately singing off-key.
  • Playing hooker & suffocating under collapsed scrum in torrential rain & a foot of red mud somewhere in the lower fields. The “hot” showers after the game.
  • Learning to play the bugle & trumpet down in the lower fields. Mastered about (3) tunes including the school marching song, Goodnight Irene & God Save The King.
  • Being caught smoking in my first term – behind the hedge next to the railway tracks, by none less than 'Flakey' himself who suddenly appeared puffing on his pipe & inquired “Watching the trains go by?”. ”Yes, sir” we chorused. “Hee, Hee Follow me” to his office in the main building – we each received six cuts. Much chastened we continued to smoke but in less accessible places.
  • Fear of having to read the lesson at morning assembly – my assignment was never-ending – the one about building on rock versus sand – “and the rains came & the winds blew and beat upon that house” – ad nauseum – at least six times. Such relief when it was over with the magic words “Here endeth the lesson”.
  • Established a new school record obtaining only 17% in my final History exam. I have continued to get into trouble over the years remembering dates including anniversaries & birthdays. Ask my wife.

    Miscellaneous Random Stuff
  • Constant red dust/mud.
  • Crystal sets & aerials strung all over the place in the dorms
  • I remember the famous train buttering incident but I think it was ghee.
  • Remember the makeshift bell for Junior & Intermediate houses? – a large tire iron & truck brake drum
  • Modifying our bikes for speed – no brakes- fixed wheel- dropped bars, etc
  • Sunday bike trips across the valley to the Boma
  • “Tich” Newall & the flagpole incident – a project to fly underwear from the main flagpole in the quad went awry when "Tich" slipped & caught his vitals on the cleat at the bottom. We all felt the pain. Luckily he made a complete recovery (they said Miss Wilson fixed him up) & he left school to join the navy the following year.
  • Brewing experiments – pineapple pombe, etc
  • Prefect privileges – wind-up gramophone in the common room, smoking, getting your shoes polished, bed made by delinquent rabble.
  • Music – Red river valley, Ghost riders in the sky, Ronnie Ronalde – Whistler, Unchained Melody, Elephant tango, etc.
  • I remember the famous Roger Whittaker (Scott House prefect. RSM in CCF), in dorm next door to Clive - always whistling & strumming his guitar at weekends even then.
  • Food – especially runny scrambled eggs, bangers, macaroni cheese, dripping sandwiches, etc. – often fights over the extras!

    Finally – my best memories are of past friends – John “Texas” Hudson, Peter Wurzel, Bruce “Pemba” Kent, Chris Gunn, Reg Vaughan, just to mention a few.

    Dudley Williams in CCF uniform at the Prince of Wales SChool - 1952?
    Dudley in CCF uniform - 1952?

    (Registered - 4th November 2006)

  • If anyone wishes to contact Dudley, please e-mail webmaster@oldcambrians.com to obtain his contact details