Friday, August 15, 2003
I apologise in advance because this trivial
message has little to do with your tribulations; I
wondered whether you have received much support
from fellow ex-pupils at Brentwood
As far as I am concerned, I have been proud to
be able to claim that my schooling took place
during your years there
(same age but vast difference in ability).
I hated the place, actually, so was, among many
others, overjoyed at your (in those days) eccentric
and pointedly obstinate choice of school prize (one
of many, I remember). After you left, my brother
succeeded you as monopoliser of the Headmaster's
Art Prize. He was not, though, as distinguished at
History as I was; my O-level mark was only
expressible in imaginary numbers.
As my life was dedicated solely to music, I must
confess that my non-fiction reading has been
restricted to that discipline; I own shelves of fat
books on various philosophic and scientific
subjects, but confess that many of them remain
virgin volumes. Just as, during one's youthful
quest for amorous and lustful satisfaction, one
became disillusioned with the false mapping of
exterior trappings with the realities beneath, so
it is with some literary works. I hope your books
are not like that because I am about to risk my
admiration for i) your stance and ii) what I
remember of your outstanding scholarship, by buying
(You were not too bad a bass-drummer either
(don't deny it, I have ze pictures). . .
I, too, used to smirk as Col. J.J. Jones'
face turned chalky white when the utterly dreadful
cacophony of the C.C.F. band shuffled past his
pompous salute; it never occurred to him, I'm sure,
that one of our manouevres was nicknamed "The
Ferris Wheel".) [Ferris,
the school caretaker, was the
I remember you from those days as being a
generally kindly, amusing person; quite tolerant ,
in fact, considering you were surrounded by rather
more frivolous -- nay, thick -- mucky "little"
boys. In the Band that is; your academic existence
was, as far as I was concerned, unknown territory.
Because of those memories, I find it galling that
[Ian] Hislop, among others, seem to
have this instinct for guffawing whenever unjust
actions against people (presumably he has never met
you?) in your position come to light. At least you
have, I think, Michael Wharton
["Peter Simple" of The
Daily Telegraph] on your side.
Enough of this, I just wondered whether many
other ex-Brentwoods wrote to you offering support.
Did you ever hear from D'Arcy? He was pretty
bright at history, I believe, and wore the air of a
Your website is -- er -- large enough. So I
suppose I am about to be re-educated -- or perhaps
I never was, anyway. Rennie
[one of the most feared
teachers] would have hated this
uneconomical crap, so, if you have read it,
mock election at Brentwood School; photos of David