In the course of wandering around the internet tonight, I found out that Mr Peacock, the headmaster of my old school, has retired! And been replaced by a Mrs Heather Payne! This won't do. Admittedly I'm just jumping to conclusions based on the name, and I might be wrong, but I don't see how Mrs Payne is going to fulfil what I see as important prerequisites for a head teacher, like striking fear into students with an imposing well-over-six-foot frame, full beard and deep booming voice. I tell you, education isn't what it was. Mr Peacock was 'the new head' when I started there in 1987, so this is really quite a significant era for QEGS. It inspired me to have a look at the website, which has had a bit of a revamp since I last checked it out.
The coolest part, for former pupils, is probably the 'Departments' menu, which now has a page for each subject, most of which list the teachers who teach it, and so allow us to see who's still there, after all these years. Even more alarming than the new head, a couple of these pages list the teachers' first names! These modern education methods have gone too far! Apart from Mr "Call Me Steve" Harvey, who came along when I was in the sixth form, such things were unheard of and viewed with great suspicion in my schooldays. I'm sorry, but Mr Edwards is not a Bob. He's "Mr Edwards" to his face, "Taffy" behind his back if you're feeling brave, "R.W. Edwards" on report cards, "My dad" if you're Rachel Edwards in my class, but I'm fairly sure I could never call him "Bob", even if I met him nowadays.
Mr Hull and Mrs Scarborough are still teaching art - she started there when I was in the second year, I think, while he's been there since the year dot. Mr Roger Howard is still deputy head and still teaching English (and, presumably, hockey, unless he's got too old for that, but he was surprisingly passionate about the game). Mrs Boddy, Martin's mum (for some reason, my class had multiple teachers' kids in it) is still teaching maths, but apparently not biology any more. Mr Carr is still head of biology, Mrs Boucher is one of the five names listed under "our four specialist biology teachers".
The ICT department now has six teachers, apparently, one of them my old form teacher Mr Forster (he's just listed as "Mr G Forster", but he was always "Ged" behind his back, which is what you get for having a vaguely silly first name - see also Mr Lester Thompson the geography teacher). When I started at the school, Mr Forster taught "commerce", and IT lessons were taught by Mr Chatfield the elderly geography teacher. They mainly consisted of sitting in the room full of BBC micros and reading books about what could be done with super-computers that were far beyond the school's (and most small countries') budgets.
The PE teachers aren't listed, but it's probably safe to assume the ones who taught me aren't teaching it any more. People like Mr Leach, who kept on teaching PE well into his sixties but must have finally retired by now, are rare. He was extremely cool, though, in his ever-present faded blue tracksuit, occasionally flinging himself to the floor of the gym or changing rooms and doing press-ups just to show that he still could, then bouncing back to his feet again and suggesting that we all go for a ten-mile run through the rain and snow. Mr Sanderson's still teaching history, Ms Boocock still in the geography department. There are now three German teachers (in my day, it was one-and-a-half) and three Spanish teachers (none at all when I was a lad), but the entire foreign language team has been replaced since I left the school. "Bob Edwards" and "Tony Sanderson" are still teaching RE, but there's nobody I recognise in D&T or music.
Still, that's quite an impressive number, even without "Captain Peacock" (as my dad always called him) still at the helm. I just wonder if the chess club's still going without Dr Chambers's guidance. Apart from the fact that he didn't play chess, he was a really great school chess club organiser. Maybe the chess club doesn't even meet in the chemistry lab any more! Change is bad.