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Headmasters, Teachers, Prizewinners and Prefects

A leaving address from Mr Welburn in 'The Rambler' July 1949 gives credit to Mr H.R. Carter for the construction of this monument.

R.S. Purdie BA, Headmaster 1919 to 1939

Paul Cooper Archives

Hamonds Masters and Organist just before World War 2. Front row centre is Mr T Welburn MSc Headmaster

Paul Cooper Archive



Staff Photo 1961 
Back row (L-R): Seth, Bilko, Abdul, Mr Ridgeway, Mr Ilman (music), Mr Francis, Cyril.
Front Row (L-R) Wangles, Bim, Harry, Chad, The Major, Micky, Gabby, Mr Chick, George.
From Ted Heath


 1962 Staff

Back Row: Abdul, Seth, Mr Ilman, ?,  Mrs Jinks (School Secretary), Mr Ridgeway, Bilko, Cyril, Robbo

Front Row: Wangles, Bim, Gabby, Chad, The Major, Mickey, Harry, Mr Chick, George

Paul Cooper Archive

I.E.N. Besley MA (Oxon) (Hon. Major, retired), Headmaster 1949 - 1964
Extracts of military commissions, promotions and transfers from the 'London Gazette'
Commissions January 1936
Ian Evelyn Napier BESLEY, next below 2nd
Lt. M. A. F. Cooper.
2nd Lt. Richard Ged Muir BATHGATE, from
Gen. List, T.A., next below 2nd Lt. I. E. N.
The undermentioned 2nd Lts. resign their
commns. 27th May 1936: —
M. A. F. Cooper.
I. E. N. Besley.
Recall to Active Duty of Reserve Officers
Ardingly Coll. Contgt., Jun. Div.—2nd Lt.
I. E. N. Besley, Supp. Res. Off.
(R.A.S.C.), is attd. for duty with and to
comd. the Contgt. 1st Aug. 1938
The undermentioned 2nd Lts. to be Lts.:—
W. J. Skilton, B.Sc. 4th July 1939.
F. R. J. Williams. 4th July 1939.
I. E. N. Besley. 6th July 1939.
J. McDowall. 15th July 1939.
K. C. Hincks. I5th July 1939.
A. H. D. Prior. 15th July 1939.
D. Tittensor. 22nd July 1939.
 Order of Battle British Army Officer Training Corps Junior Division
3 September 1939
Ardingly College (Haywards, Heath.)
In Command: CPT  I.E.N. Besley R.A.S.C. (S.R.)
Post War 
Lt (War Subs Capt) I E N ,BESLEY (66218)
from Supp Res of Offrs, to be Lt (War Subs.
Capt), 20th July 1948, and is granted the hon.
rank of Maj.
Cambridge University Careers Service
Assistant Secretaries (later known as Careers Advisers)
I.E.N. Besley 1964-78
Harry Carter
Harry around 1960. Photo courtesy of Paul Cooper (1959-1966)

In 1929 Harry Carter, nephew of Archaeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter made

this town sign out of seasoned english oak.

Harry later became a much loved and respected Art and Craft master at Hamonds,

He continued to make village signs until his death in 1983

by which time he had carved over 200 town and village signs

For a short while during the filming of the TV comedy series

'Kingdom' there was a temporary change to the town sign!


 Of lasting significance to the Association is the school lectern, designed by Harry and executed mainly by himself.
Every boy then at the school had a hand in its construction by being entrusted to remove a chip of wood from the carving under Harry's watchful eye! The lecturn is currently housed in the Town Museum.
Dr. Tony (Seth) Adams
September 26, 1933 - September 03, 2008
A Memorial and Tribute Site to one of our teachers who went on to pioneer new advances in
the Teaching of English in an international context at the University of Cambridge; Faculty of Education
Mr G.L (Bim) Dimock MA (Cantab)
A tribute by Paul Cooper




 Why, today, February 28 2002, do I have an overwhelming feeling that heaven just got really lucky?


Bim died this week. Spike died this week. The bastards. One was bad enough, but both, in the same week. If there is a God, he’s getting really selfish in his old age.


Let me get Spike out of the way the only way I can – I’m not ready to face up to that one yet, but his influence on my whole life since the age of 15 (thanks mainly to Dicky Wife and his Dad for having all those Goons tapes) is too big for me to handle yet. I’ll get round to it after the world finishes its tributes, usually about the wrong thing.


OK, Bim.

How many times do people look back and say that they had a wonderful teacher? Thousands and thousands of times, so it doesn’t really mean that much does it?

OK, now how many times do people say that they have a wonderful teacher when they are still at school? It’s a hell of a lot less, and several hundred of them went to Hamonds. And we all mean Bim.


When I started at Hamonds in 1959, the Major wouldn’t let the first year waste Bim’s time. We got Cyril for History, and he was pretty good on the ancient Greeks and Romans, even Egypt. It was only when we got into 2 Alpha (not allowed A & B – political correctness hit Hamonds early), that Bim started to lead, herd and sometimes follow us through the maze of stories vaguely linked to a historical context. Why didn’t he do the ancient bit? Well, I think it was because there was a lot less opportunity to create a world of discovery, fewer quotes, and no cricket.


Personally, I didn’t learn much history from Bim, but that wasn’t his fault. I never really took to it, and only just scraped an O level by writing faster and more copiously than anyone else. Of course there was also the issue that Bim rarely responded succinctly to deep intensive questions about the Civil War, Henry V or George III. I learned the word pontificate around this time.  He always, however, responded brilliantly to questions about how England were doing in the Test, or what a googly really was. His in-depth character analyses of Barrington, May, Cowdrey and even Trueman were, let’s face it, really meant as ideal models for the essays he expected from us on Watt Tyler or Mary Queen of Scots. And we didn’t care a bit.


Now I accept that the above is a little over-stated – he was a wonderful historian of the true professor kind – flowing, lyrical, theories of what, how, where, when, and why England was (rarely Scotland, Wales or Ireland of course), and is, and always will be great. Of course it just helped that, at the time, England had a great cricket team too.


Hamonds was a football and cricket school. We had tried rugby one year, and sometimes other silly field games, but no. Then Bim asked why didn’t we play hockey? And suddenly we did. By the Lower VIth a real team got together under the captaincy of Dicky Wife. Bim was the trainer, and Dormobile driver! For myself, having easily gotten into the first XI football team  in the Vth year we looked down on hockey somewhat. Somehow though, although I was a year older I couldn’t get in the football team now! I reflected on it and realised that perhaps my football career had been enhanced a little by living so close to the school. On Saturday mornings, when someone else didn’t turn up for the team, Huffs would run across and "pick” me! 


But I really liked sport, and I was proud to play for the school, so I spoke to Bim. Vague phrases about the “Road to Damascus”, and “Seeing Sense for once in your life” swirled around him, and so began a fabulous eight years or so of enjoying the really wonderful winter game. What you may not know though is that he wasn’t above a little chicanery! He knew that I used to come home from College quite frequently, and he knew that I was captain of hockey there. There were several Saturdays when a slightly older boy than usual played centre for Hamonds Hockey team, especially against the really tough teams, like RAF Marham, or Dereham High School!  Thanks Bim.


In summers, he was even more difficult to avoid, though who would ever want to. Not only did we do history and school cricket together, but he also played cricket for Swaffham (until the age of 70!), and so he persuaded (conned) both Bud Mitchell and I into trying out for the team. We both got in, Bud of course a lot easier than I, though I think I compensated a bit for that in the drinking after the games. This was a marvellous time of my life. Scoring 0 (frequently), 10, 20, or even 50 (just twice), taking catches at forward short leg (or at least pulling them out of my belly button after they arrived there without me seeing them), or even just standing around meant such a lot. Bim bowled tweakers. Don’t knock it unless you’ve faced one. He was also incredibly quick, and a little erratic, between the wickets. It was an honour to play on the same side, and a surrealistic privilege to bat with him. I ran myself out only twice in these encounters. You couldn’t blame him really, the glasses did mist up sometimes, and my calls may not have been that distinct, or even considered.


I will leave for now any thoughts of Dormobile experiences, the pipe, and his genius as an umpire to personal reflections of you all at this time. Perhaps you would like to take a few moments. I did, and something happened to my face and body akin to watching or reading Spike.  


In the thirty-five years since I left Hamonds I was lucky enough to keep in contact with Geoff, to a greater or lesser extent. He lived opposite my mum, in London Street, for many years, and we have been privileged to have his marvellous support to the Old Hamondians Society, and especially our lunches. He was universally adored amongst us all, and therefore it was too easy to let the years roll away.


When I heard the news last week, I was on holiday in Italy, skiing with Huffs, a dear friend and fellow old Hamondian. We went straight to the bar and had several. We reminisced of course, and toasted a bit, laughed and cried.


“So why was he so good?”

“Because, at whatever age we were, he always treated you as an adult”

It doesn’t matter who said it – you all would have if you’d been there.


Lovely Man. Thank you sir. Geoff, you were a true gentleman. I’m really going to miss you, and so are a lot of others. Lifetime heroes don’t come along every day.


Paul A Cooper

Hamonds 1959-66

 George 'Mickey' Moore R.I.P.

Image from Neil Haverson

Gabby (Mr Boardman, Physics 2nd on left) explains the workings of a Newtonian Reflecting Telescope

Paul Cooper Archive