Bill Buckland recalls:
Mr and Mrs Howells were respectively Art plus PT and History teachers. I have no great recollection of history lessons which is, I suppose, a criticism given my later interest in the subject.
As to Mr H and art, suffice it to say that one of his comments in my report book was “ Wastes his abilities and my patience and time”. Although art was not my forte I did enjoy playing with the Adana vertical bed printing press which Mr H introduced. I for one learned how to set up type, print small items needed by the school and “diss” the type at the end.
As to PE, I remember my favourite was when the fifth and sixth forms were split into two teams, two small exercise mats were placed at either end of the school field and a football thrown into the middle to be scrapped over with the aim of grounding it on the appropriate mat. Mr Howells’ role was to ensure that no actual injuries were sustained and that the mayhem stopped in time for us to be cleaned up for the next lesson. I think it was at PE that Mr Howells took it upon himself to teach us some self defence. To show how to deal with an attack from the rear he asked Beck to grab him from behind. The muscular Beck did so but also lifted the somewhat smaller master off his feet. Without a fulcrum Archimedes could not move the world and off his feet neither could Mr Howells do much to Beck and we had no more self defence lessons. I did fall out with Mr Howells on the subject of vaulting the various horses used in gymnasia as I was not a good vaulter and worried about injuring certain parts of my anatomy. Together we went to get a ruling from Mr Jones the headmaster. Given our personal animosity I was surprised when Jones took my side and thought that my stance was perfectly reasonable.
The Howells lived in Ebrington and indeed came to school at one time on bicycles with strap on small engines with a friction roller driving the front wheel which had a certain popularity at the time. Joining in village life Mr H went to be a bellringer. Apparently he was so good at it that the Ebrington bellringers did not believe he had not done it before and let him swing the bell into the just past upright rest position. However, the bell was just on the point of balance and swung down with the rope catching Mr H and trying to take him through the small hole in the ceiling. His resulting injuries, broken jaw, fractured skull etc., kept him away from school for some time.