I had heard the rumour he was born in Czechia. Turns out to be true.
I remember spring of F I was up to him. He was a cantankerous and scathing sort . A bald man with a brusque manner. He was certainly in command. He was an old chap and was visibly irritated to have to teach slow coaches.
He would praise some ”he is a man among boys. A ray of light in a morass of idiocy.”
Commended for good efforts were given to me. He gave one to Prescot. Prescot then irked the beak. Needham demanded it back. Prescot’s mouth fell agape in horror. He misquoted the Bible: ‘Mr. Needham has given, Mr. Needham has taken away – blessed be the name of Mr. Needham.”
Needham read us Latin poesy. He would then tell us the cadences saying ‘tum titty tum titty tum tum” and so on.
I got a Christmas present before I met Needham. It was grass in a bag which had a face on it. I called it Mr. Needham .
It was he who taught me how to spell emperor by correcting my misspelling. Further, I wrote that a patron gave a client money or a sportula. He reminded me that a sportula is money
Paddy K cheated liberally in tests. We knew he was looking things up in the book in tests. But no one ratted him out.
Mr. N expressed a desire to slap an irritating boy. Someone pointed out a copper had been fined for a clip around the ear. Needham said it would be worth it
Needham would do a monkey impression for Prescot – ooga ooga ooga Prescot. As in the boy was dim.
In Greek he ridiculed Harbord for his handwriting.
Such persiflage would be considered quite intolerable today.
Twas Mr. N who told us about the IRA ceasefire. Someone referenced the Ulster Conflict. Needham said one would not find fighting in Ulster now.
I remember the next year I bumped into Mr. N. and Miss A. Mr. N was with his goodwife. We walked along the street. He spoke about me and observed that I was not too keen a grammarian I was frightfully eager when it came to classical history.
In school hall Mr. N had a chap from sixth form select up there. He introduced Hood as buttons. Hood has silver buttons on his waistcoat. I did not get the allusion to panto.
I mourn Mr. N. He was one of a kind.
I knew him not till I took Castilian. In D I turned up to his classroom. Wrong place. He looked me up in the calendar and pointed me in the right direction
He was small and square faced. He spoke in a tenor voice.
In divs he alluded to his views. He castigated Franco as a fascist dictator.
He told us junete – horseman. I recall avoidance of the passive
I did oral with his spouse. I was stuck for words. I was trying to tell a tale about a picture and mentioned la guardia civil.
I introuced muself by my Christian name in Castilian. Uniquely he called me that
I sat beside an earl. tried to look at his paper in tests. Rey reprimanded me for it
I remmeber my waistcoat was tirn. had to wear a horrid green suit fir a week. Rey then criticised this for going on too long
Jewel Clarke got himself into trouble. Irked Rey whose face turned red
when we played up he told us we were like a bottom F div
Rey spoke to Balls. I had to drop French – I could not cope with two languages.
In a report Rey said my grammar may prevent me getting an A. It did not.
In class he asked it it was my piece in the newspaper.
I met Rey at a footer match the next year on Master’s. we spoke about the article on the death penalty that I perused.
He was a decent sort but I did not regard him with great affection.
The only Grenfell I ever heard of besides the tower.
I knew who he was. He was slender and flinty faced. I only once came across with him. Invigilating Latin exam. I decided I might take some paper out with me. He called me and someone to the front desk as we were leaving. He looked at us gravely, and said in a declaratory voice, ”Well the board will have to be informed.”
Later Sagar called me to his study and said ”that was dishonest of you”. But why would anyone care about lined paper?
I had no other dealings with him. He was unobjectionable. But I scarcely heard of him.
Some years later 2006 I met him on the district line. I introduced myself and he invited me to sit beside him. He told me of his time in Uganda. He had been an engineer. We chatted pleasantly but he was not a sanguine type. He was too coldly mathematical for me. He told me of his son who was at Cambridge. We parted courteously. That was the last I ever heard of him.
Grenfell was a decent chap but shall soon be forgotten.
A hideous had grown up in South Africa. He and Hudson had been at the same school. But Welsh spoke RP.
I had no truck with him till B. outside Allington one boy thumped another’s shoulder without malice. what was that about – Welsh inquired
Nothing the perpetrator explained.
It was not about nothing – was Welsh’s judgment
I do not recall the upshot.
He was intense and choleric.
Taught me for Chaucer. A comp that November was a day in the life of the school. I took a snap of him when class was about to begin. He then launched into a moralistic tirade about what I had done. I had to give him the snap and the negative.
I sent it to him. Then in class he thanked me for it. I saw him outside his flat on the high street and smiled contumeliously.
He was supercilious and dislikable.