A letter from Paul Gibson [Heath 1953–1960]

Paul Gibson writes that the mention of Keith George in the last newsletter brings to mind an incident in the late 1950s.

It took place in, I think, Room H next to the library, at the end of a German lesson. To counteract the tedium of reading Schiller’s Maria Stuart in German script, it was often Mr George’s practice to enliven the proceedings with what we assumed were tall stories of his prowess in various fields, e.g., a round of golf in 17 strokes. They were very amusing and one particular one involved him being an expert in unarmed combat.

Naturally such tales were widely circulated and on this occasion a sixth former, Mark Williams, who was not in the German class, lay in wait outside the classroom and, as Mr George reached the door and turned to make his farewell, Mark grabbed him in a half-nelson. To everyone’s surprise, and delight, Mr George executed a perfect shoulder throw and with an enormous clatter on the wooden floor Mark landed full length on his back. At that very instant, Arthur Holt appeared at the door for the next lesson. Not saying a word, he merely raised an eyebrow and in one continuous move turned on his heel and made for the safety of the corridor. A chastened but unhurt Mark retreated to nurse his embarrassment, to gales of laughter from the half dozen or so members of the class. It was quite some time before Mr Holt could get any sense out of us, but he forbore to make any comment.

Needless to say, in the future, Mr George’s ‘tall stories’ were treated with much more respect.

First appeared in Newsletter dated