Yesterday, I had the honour of renewing acquaintance,in person after almost 55 years, of "Gus" Cullingford. It was also a pleasure to meet, for the first time, his charming wife, Connie. I appreciate that this may be of interest only to contributors from my own era as Tony's tenure at KGBS was brief,extending from Sept.1958 only until Dec.1960 when he departed for Africa. During that couple of years, however, and as my form-teacher in 1C, I recall him as an energetic and inspiring individual.
I re-established contact a number of years ago with a former classmate, David Rhodes, and have met him and his wife, Liz, on a number of occasions since. Yesterday was one such occasion, when we were privileged to be accompanied by Tony and Connie on the Severn Valley Railway. Although now 80, Tony still retains interest and memories of his KBGS days and some of his colleagues and pupils. He still enjoys a twice-weekly 9 holes of golf and composing poetry. He assured us that his African mountaineering exploits didn't prove fatal!
I enjoyed Latin lessons with Gus, though not the tretament we got when forgetting to do corrections ! He used to march into class with the pile of books he had marked. Sitting on top would be 'Adenae' the name he called his plimsoll !! Those who hadnt done corrections were hauled out to the front to receive a couple of whacks. He also started some Greek classes after school which I attended for a while.
Gus, on being consulted about the name of his implement of chastisement, claims no recollection! He thinks, however, that this must have been "Adoni", short for Adoni-bejek, a king who dared to oppose the Israelites and had his thumbs and big toes severed as a consequence.
Gus remarked that we got off lightly!