On Tuesday 14th November, we had an incredible visit from two OBs who returned to see the School and their old House, Talbot’s. This was not your ordinary visit however as we were lucky enough to receive the Allingham brothers, Jim and Robin who were in the House from 1947-50 and 1955-58 respectively. The connection came as Jim is the Great Uncle of Will and Robin is the Grandfather of Ted, both current pupils. It was fantastic for the boys to hear about how different House life was but also to hear about the things which have remained constant. Of particular interest was the timelessness of the barn which was the hub of House social life in the 1940s and 50s – just as it is now. It was also interesting to hear how the hatch to the kitchen had been opened up in the early 1950s, which seems like a great idea now! Jim was also able to help us make a note for the archive about Tony Jordan, who was his head of House in 1947, and Tony Morton, who was the head of House who started the Talbot’s head of House handover book, which we still have in the archive today. The boys showing our guests around also managed to find an old House photo, featuring Robin, in the House books.
Jim told us how the senior boys would have a side table to sit at in the barn and there was a table tennis table squeezed in. They also recalled that, what is now the 25 side of the House, was, in fact, a girls’ boarding House before it was purchased and made part of Talbot’s. It seemed that the element of community and depth of friendship gained were similar back then to what they are now and that the routines of House life underpinned everything, as they continue to do. Something that was definitely very different, was the food…our two guests were in the House when rationing was very much still part of life and their recounting of green fish and slices of beef hearts were not something we hoped will return to House life.
Such visits remind us all how lucky we are to be in a community with fine traditions and strong values and it was our absolute privilege to share part of our day with two such amazing men. The boys who showed them around were, as ever, fantastic and their stories were hugely valuable to us.
Photo left to right: Matt Gracie (Housemaster), Will Ramply, Ted Allingham, Robin Allingham, Jim Allingham.