Parades and Pupils
(find parade pic)
Parades and Pupils
Parading before meals gave us regimental existence. That we as a school could all fit into the main quad at one time was unique.
Each meal necessitated 'house' line-ups in the quad.
Alerted by the bell five minutes before and finally summoned on the hour, we would rush into position, a position dictated by a ranking drawn up by the house prefect on a termly basis. Slowly one moved up the ranks - awarded by one's year position in form, and certainly tweaked by one's sporting prowess, a colour, or team place, leaving the average boy having only a dabble in a sport way down the pecking order. Quite possibly ending near the bottom of the table and getting fewer 'extras' at serving time.
Sometimes parades were thin, with boys 'playing away' or on a Sunday when many were on 'leave', so a junior 3rd former might occasionally move well up and end next to a 5th former.
Parades were led by the duty prefect, bringing everyone to attention, reading out any notices, then, in the same military manner, he dismissed us to wend our orderly and noiseless way, two by two, to the dining room. The other senior prefects would gather and head the pack, and Gordon, head prefect 53-54, would be a conspicuous figure as he slouched across the quad.
There was a desperate need to get down to breakfast on time at eight o'clock, as missing any parade and being late was a punishable offence.
If you found it difficult to get up - illness or sloth was not forgiven - jumping muster at breakfast parade was quite easily possible. As luck would have it, the stone stairs from the senior dormitories fed straight down into the passageway to the dining hall, so any laggards, even junior prefects (John Rawlinson was a notable sinner) hurriedly adjusting shirts and ties, would crouch low, and quickly slip in the moving queue - a skill that need to be perfected well, if only to avoid the eyes of prefects already in the dining room and the prefect on duty. Not unnaturally, collusion with your peers was a must, and it was unheard of to slip into the wrong house queue.