I arrived into the IVth form year in September 1959 from a South Bucks prep school that was sending quite a few boys to Bedford School at that time when Bill Brown was still relatively new as Headmaster. Quite a few of us ended up in Sanderson’s with the unique Jack Carlton as Housemaster and the formidable Mrs. Maltby (Hugh Maltby’s grandmother!) looking after the domestic side of things. In those days, all our meals were taken in the boarding house with the food being provided by Cook with a fine group of Bedford-Italian ladies as assistants. My memories of their output are good substantial and tasty food portioned out to IVth formers personally by Mrs Maltby who sat with us at table. A weekly highlight for me, but not everybody, was supper on Cook’s day off when her assistants invariably provided mountains of fresh cooked spaghetti with lashings of tomato sauce and grated cheese; not popular with everyone, but then there were more ‘seconds’ to go round to those of us who loved it!
For me the opportunity to take up rowing rather than play cricket was a godsend – my not- so-good hand/eye co-ordination and inflexible wrists had previously made cricket a bit of an ordeal, though the front row of the scrum continued to be my home in the autumn term. Wonderful coaches such as Pat Wood and Douglas Galbraith (2nd VIII) on the river (plus Bill Maltby – no close relative Hugh assures me – in the Boat House who regularly had to mend my stretcher), and Pat Wood (again!), Owen Bevan and Jim Davidson (2nd XV) on the rugby pitch are etched firmly in the memory. I never made the VIII or the XV – too short for both and, according to Nevil Andrew, just a few years ago, “too ugly an oarsman for the VIII”. Nevertheless, I went on rowing and coaching with some success at University and beyond! I am still always very pleased to meet and talk with Jim D at OB Club summer events. He had been my form-master too in the early days.