Concordia Winter 2023

Chris Roseblade (SCR 1994-2015) recalls the 1990s when the directness and humour of reports reflected a more irreverent era. Trying, very I arrived at MTS in 1994 with a one term contract and the disconcerting but inescapable recognition that I’d


strokes on the off gave him thrills of pure aesthetic joy; but as a master he always made it his habit to regard the manners and customs of the boys in his form with an unbiased eye, and to an unbiased eye Mike... was about as near the extreme edge as a boy could be, and Mr. Appleby said as much in a clear firm hand”. That spirit – a heady mixture of snooker in the cloisters, croquet in the Quad and “the breathless hush in the close” on sunlit evenings – pervaded the school then: one could still stroll along the Modern Languages corridor of a sunny afternoon and see a tutee's bag fly from the classroom and thud into the wall opposite, a prelude to the dazed tutee himself describing the same parabola. “This is”, declared Tim Pender one evening, an expansive wave of his arm embracing both humanity in general, and a pick–up game of cricket on the sun–painted parade ground in particular, “a special place”; and so it proved. The grades system too was set in aspic. You knew where you stood with A, B, C and D. It was α , β , γ and δ for the indie kids. We’d had Hendrix and α – – / β + + they had AB and the Stone Roses. Common Room discussions too were familiar, centring on sempiternal chestnuts such as how an MTS B would stack up against a Habs’ B, although the introduction of effort grades (1 for

gone back to school. Taylors’ then was very like the Wolverhampton Grammar School which I’d attended. That was an MT Company school too and although the school list there had been the Red Book rather than the Blue Book, the magazine The Wulfrunian rather than The Taylorian and my old school tie was worn only by Mulcaster boys at MTS, in virtually every significant respect there was an uncanny similarity between the schools: games and matches on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays; the huge detention book in the Common Room; the Salvete & Valete ; and above all the ethos: work hard, play hard, and wear your learning lightly. That sense of coming home extended to reporting. The MTS system – paragraph plus grade on a sheet of B6 – was the one with which I was familiar from my own Sixth Form days, so much so that it seemed entirely natural to adopt the “voice of the master” from that era, best evoked by P.G. Wodehouse in Mike and Psmith (which I was, coincidentally, teaching the Fourths at the time): “Mr. Appleby was a master with very definite ideas as to what constituted a public-school master's duties. As a man he was distinctly pro-Mike. He understood cricket, and some of Mike's

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