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News > Archive > Ron Way: Memories from School

Ron Way: Memories from School

After receiving a letter from Ron which mentioned that he didn’t think he would be able to get to the school again, we raided the archives and took the school to him.
23 Jan 2015
When I have the opportunity to talk to ex-pupils it becomes clear that WBS is not so much made from the bricks and mortar that surrounds us but from the memories of those who came here, as pupils and staff. Below, paraphrased by me, are just some of Ron Way’s.

One of the most vivid of his memories was a time when they boys were taken to the Fortescue Hotel in Barnstaple where they were able to watch the coronation of George VI in 1937, the gooey cakes and fizzy drinks made a particular impression on him! In the same year he described the Headmaster Commander R. Westall calling the boys out to the playing field at night where they stood and watched the wonderful northern lights. Westall, who was a submarine commander in World War One made his students choose a topic and then give a twenty minute talk on it to him. Ron, instead of the ‘80% of boys who chose the navy hoping to impress him’ was obstinate and spoke on the first flight over Everest which had happened in 1933.

He remembered listening to lectures on how to use the red winch and harness which was the escape measure from the dormitories in case of a fire; and indeed the fate of the new boys who were made to sleep by the window (always kept open); and who, even if the snow came in, would be disciplined by a prefect if they tried to close it.

Ron still has his West Buckland School blanket, which had to be bought at Harrods, and although faded, it remains in use – 75 years on. 

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