LEISURE AND PLEASURE

If you wanted to be bored Carmel College was not the address. Being a boarding school, the boys were in Carmel for 24 hours a day. Thus there were numerous activities which did not take place during the formal syllabus of the school. These included societies, extra-curricula lessons, sports, outings, films, and use of the school library.

Societies

The first one I will mention is the “Union Society.” Its president was Rabbi Rosen and its officers were elected by the pupils. One of its major activities was debates. During these debates, the audience were informed that they could interject with three words, provide that didn’t overdo it. They were “Question,” “Hear-hear” and “Shame.” For each debate there was of course a motion. First of all, the proposer for that motion spoke and this was followed by the opposer. Then the seconder for the motion spoke and this was followed by the seconder opposing the motion. The motion was then thrown open to the floor. Following this, there was a summing up by both sides. Finally there was the vote. It was stressed to the audience that they must come into the debate with an open mind and they must vote solely on the basis of the speakers.

Whilst I was in the school there were a number of such debates. One of them was “Money is the root of all evil.” The proposer began by holding up a pound note and saying what evil came from it.

Another debate was on hanging. Those opposing it quoted the case of a girl who been hanged over hundred years previously for stealing a teaspoon. Later they brought the case of Derek Bentley who had gone out with Christopher Craig to do a crime and in the course of dong it, Craig murdered a policeman. Since Craig was under 18 years old, he couldn’t be hanged but Bentley who was over 18 was hanged. When the opposition brought this case in the debate, the proposers interjected that Bentley didn’t steal a teaspoon!

There was also a debate on the public school system. Strangely those opposing public schools did not mention fagging. After the debate, the other side said to them that had they mentioned it, they would not have been able to defend fagging. Postscript! There was no fagging in Carmel - not even unofficially!

In a debate on the need for reform in the English language, the speakers were teachers. One of them was Mr. Gertner, whose mother tongue was not English. He commented that one needed “vowels” in English. He brought as an example the word “reading.” One could pronounce it as both “reding” with a short “e” or “reeeding” with a long “e.”

Another form of debate which sometimes took place was a “hat debate.” A whole list of topics were put into a hat and in another hat the names of all those present at the meeting. The Chairman would draw out the name of both a speaker and a topic and he would have to go to the front of the room and speak on this topic for two minutes. There was a panel of judges who would decide on the winners.

In one of these debates, I had to speak on centipedes. I spoke on how many toenails they would have to cut and this could make them late for dormitory inspection!

At another such debate, a friend advised me to walk out the longest way to the front, since this gives one more time to think of what one wants to say. He had to speak on “Picasso” and so he spoke on “Pick cars so.” I don’t remember the name of my topic but somehow or other I spoke on “school food.”

One meeting consisted of the trial of Brutus for killing Caesar. Some of the witnesses were from genuine history. Others such as Dr. Rigor Mortis were fictitious. During the course of this trial, one of the witnesses was ordered by the court to go to the library and look up some facts there. He soon returned with some answer but someone reported that he had in fact not gone to the library. He replied that someone had told him the answer. He was again ordered to go to the library. This time he returned with Shifrin the librarian, who was holding a whole pile of Encyclopaedias - for the “impression” rather than for the facts!

There were several occasions, when the meeting consisted of the reading of “ghost stories” by candle-light! I only hope that the boys managed to sleep after these meetings.

One evening, possibly within the framework of the Union Society, we heard on a series of gramophone records “The Sounds of Time.” These were the original recordings of famous speeches and other sounds which had been made during the previous half century. It included Chaim Weizmann talking soon after the establishment of the State of Israel, and the singing of the birds during the Second World War with the sound of warplanes in the background.

Amongst other lectures which I attended whilst at Carmel was one by a person who spoke on old coins. They were shown to the audience using an overhead projector. The speaker kept saying “be careful you don’t rub them on the machine.” He also showed us a fragment from the Dead Sea Scrolls which was in his possession.

At the time of the Suez Campaign, in November 1956 some of the senior Israeli boys gave us a lecture on the Campaign accompanied by large maps which they had drawn.

A society established in the school by Barrie Schreiber and myself, when we were in the upper sixth form, was a political “Liberal Society.” On one occasion, we brought a speaker and had a joint meeting with the Union Society. This meeting took place in Rabbi Rosen’s study.

However the main activity of this Liberal Society was the bringing out of a newspaper. We had planned to bring out six editions and people paid in advance the sum of 12 pennies - namely 2 pennies per edition. In the end we brought out 5 editions, with the last edition being of extra large size at price 4 pennies.

This was prior to the days of home computers. We therefore had to type the text on to a Gestetner stencil, and correct any mistakes with red correcting fluid. To make a paper look attractive, it is nice to finish every line at the same point. In those days it was not simple like it is today with computer programs. The librarian Shifrin told us of a method on how to do this, although it would involve typing the item twice. Since this method was tedious, I believe we limited it to just the first page of the paper.

We ran off the newspaper in the school office and immediately paid Mrs. Walker for the outlay. On one occasion when we told her that we had run off about 500 pages, she informed us the cost would be fifteen shillings and one penny. One cannot say that Mrs. Walker wasn’t precise!

Included in this newspaper was a guest article, a cartoon, and a quiz. We also left a column blank until just before running off copies of the paper on the office duplicator. This was a “stop press” column and we would get the latest news from the radio which we then put in this column.

In one of the editions, the guest column was written by Mr. Nelson. He wrote about a debate which took place in the Oxford University Union at which the Prime Minister was the proposer and he informed the chairman that if the motion wasn’t carried he would walk out the meeting. As a result the Chairman changed the method of voting and then said that the motion had been carried, even though many of those present thought that it had not. Mr. Nelson concluded that the fact that the honour of a Prime Minister would be wounded were he to be beaten by University students, was completely contrary to Liberal principles.

One of the cartoons was called “The Battle of Trafalgar.” At a demonstration which had then just taken place at Trafalgar Square, there were fights between the Fascists and some other groups and in this cartoon one saw the Fascists waving Nazi flags and the opposing side different flags.

Another cartoon showed a man watching television and in his window was a notice “indoor aerial.” The point was that people not seeing a television aerial on his roof would think that he could not afford a television.

Amongst the quizzes was one asking for the names of the Prime Ministers of a long list of countries and in another quiz the capitals cities of countries.

At that period, there was a motion before the governing body of Oxford and/or Cambridge Universities to drop the entrance requirement for Latin for science students. In our newspaper, we wrote that those science students who were already burning their Latin books should stop. This motion still had to go through one further stage until it was passed, although it was likely that it would get through.

There was a science society in Carmel called the “Haber Society” after the German Jewish scientist Fritz Haber. (In 1918, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the synthesis of ammonia from its elements.)

I cannot remember the contents of any specific meeting. However I do recollect a senior boy giving a lecture on how radios work and it could well have been under the auspices of the Haber Society. For this lecture he had drawn out numerous diagrams which he showed the audience using an overhead projector.

On one occasion I went to attend a meeting of this society. However, just before the meeting was about to begin, Mr. Coles who was dissatisfied with the small attendance, called off that meeting.

He then summoned a further meeting at which the participants would decide whether or not they wanted this society to continue. At that meeting, everyone present voted in the affirmative. Unlike the Union Society, Mr. Coles said that he was not the President but the Master in charge and that the participants should elect a President and other officers, which they then did.

At one period when I was in the school, there was a “Gill and Glee” Society whose purpose was for singing songs. In order to join, one had to go to an audition where one had to sing, “I want to join the gill and glee. Please let me join the gill and glee....” I never even attempted to join this society.

A more serious singing activity, although it could not really be called a “Society” was the school choir. At about the middle of my stay at Carmel, Dudley Cohen, who was the conductor of the Zemel Choir in London, joined the staff, with the aim of setting up a school choir and finally making a record. I, who was tone-deaf was of course not a member of this choir - they only wanted boys who could sing! For most of the school year, the choir was taught a repertoire of songs and there were regular rehearsals. In order to strengthen the soprano part of the choir, some boys from the prep school were co-opted.

As the end of the school year drew near, Dudley Cohen made an appointment with a recording studio in London. A few days before the scheduled recording, he said he was thinking of cancelling it - he felt the choir wasn’t ready. However after some more rehearsals and I would think, some “prodding” from above, there was no cancellation. Off went the choir to the recording studio. I understand they had some trouble with one of the songs, but Rabbi Rosen then turned up at the studio and together with his singing, this song was recorded.

This was still the era of gramophones - (if you today want to know what one looks like, go to a museum!) - and a gramophone record in a nicely pictured jacket of the “Carmel College School Choir” came on the market.

Still on the question of singing, during one of my first years at the school, Rabbi Rosen brought an Israeli singer to teach us some modern Israeli songs. We were given a bound loose leaf book of Israeli songs and were taught among others “alei ayin shoskeka” and “lailah lailah, haruach noshevet.”

A society which I established together with Theodor Fink, when we were in the junior forms was a puppet society. Since we needed funds for the equipment for such a society, some boys set up a shoe-shining service to raise the necessary money. We used the basement of the main building for this purpose. We would insert cardboard in the shoes of people before doing this cleaning, in order that shoe polish would not go on to their socks and trousers. Even Rabbi Rosen once came to have his shoes cleaned there. After we had all worked for several weeks and raised a sum of money, the boys who organised the shoe-shining forgot what the purpose of our enterprise was, and distributed the money collected, among the shoe-shiners in accordance with the amount of work that had done! Thus the puppet society never materialised!

About the mid 1950s, the school established a cadet corps and every Friday, the army under whose auspices this was, came to the school to train those in this corps, by teaching them all sorts of army exercises. At first there was great enthusiasm. After this had worn off, boys wanted to leave but Rabbi Rosen was reluctant to allow them to do so. He held that if you joined a group, you had to stick with it. Finally this cadet corps at the school disbanded. I heard Rabbi Rosen comment that it did not add much honour to the school. Soon after it disbanded (whilst I was still at the school), the Jewish Lads Brigade set up a group at Carmel.

Extra-curricular lessons

Whilst I was in Carmel, I took part in a number of extra-curricular lessons in Torah studies, mainly with Rabbi Rosen. Some of these lessons were voluntary and others compulsory. Rabbi Rosen would hold them in his study.

One of these lessons was Gemara. Throughout the school, this did not appear in the curriculum. The first Gemara that we learned was the perek “Eilu Metziot” from Masechet Bava Metzia. This perek is traditionally taught to children beginning Gemara. A reason I have heard is that children often find things belonging to others and they thus learn that there is not “findings keepings.”

After learning that lost objects are returned on the basis of identifying marks, Rabbi Rosen asked me if I lost my watch, how would I identify it. I answered that one of the numbers was partly eradicated and he replied that this was a very good identifying mark. We continued by learning the principle of “yiush shelo mida’at” and he gave an example of something falling off a lorry without the driver noticing. Incidentally, Rabbi Rosen’s brother wrote that Rabbi Rosen had once won the first prize for talking on this subject, way back in 1922. Amongst others, another Gemara we learned with Rabbi Rosen was the beginning of Masechet Bava Batra.

On one occasion, there was a lady visitor in his study during the Gemara lesson and in order to test whether one of the boys understood the Gemara, he asked him to explain it so that the woman would understand it. After the boy had gone through the explanation, he asked the woman whether she had understood it and she answered that she didn’t but that was due to her ignorance. “No,” said Rabbi Rosen, “He didn’t explain it well.”

Towards the end of my stay at Carmel, Rabbi Rosen gave a voluntary lesson between the end of breakfast and the start of daily lessons. Those attending would eat their breakfast quickly, say Birchat Hamazon and then hurry to this lesson. One of the subjects covered was the Book of Esther. I recollect that he asked why after choosing Esther as queen did the king once again bring more young women to the palace. He said there were answers and he then gave a more amusing reason. In order to process the first collection of young women, they needed a large number of workers from all different fields. Now that Esther was chosen, there would be mass unemployment and so to prevent this, he once again collected in young women!

On Shabbat afternoon, he held a compulsory class to learn Pirkei Avot. Not only was the attendance compulsory, it was also compulsory to learn by heart the various sayings we had discussed, although we did not have to remember the names of the various Rabbis who had made these statements. Rabbi Rosen would test us to see that we had in fact learned these sayings.

Another compulsory class with Rabbi Rosen on Shabbat, was for the boys taking Scripture O-level that following summer. We all went to his study carrying our Bibles and we would read through the set-books. Rabbi Rosen would ask us questions which showed whether we understood the text. One such question was whether the seer (Samuel) wore distinctive clothing. The text as such doesn’t specify this point. However, the fact that Saul approached Samuel and asked him where the seer’s house was, to which Samuel replied that he was the seer, indicates that he wasn’t wearing distinctive clothing.

Whilst on Bible lessons, during one class, Rabbi Rosen told us how to answer alleged Christological references in the Tenach. He spoke about “Kiss the Son” - the Son referring to Jesus - which some Christian “scholars” gave as the translation of the last verse of Psalm 2, by translating the word “bar” which is the Aramaic for son. He explained that it is illogical for a Psalm written entirely in Hebrew, to have just one word in Aramaic. The word “bar” in Hebrew means purity and the correct translation is “Kiss purity.” Another example was their translation towards the beginning of Isaiah “And a virgin shall conceive” - which according to these “scholars” referred to Jesus’ mother. Rabbi Rosen then explained that the translation of the Hebrew word “alma” is not virgin, but “young woman.” I personally found this lesson most useful when I went to University and had to contend with such claims.

Other times when we were in his study, he would discuss various things with us such as the process of adolescence. He might also ask our opinions on various dilemmas. One of these was that when one had the ability to save one person in an emergency situation, which person should be saved? On other occasions he would tell us various chassidic stories.

Whilst I was in Carmel, Cecil B. DeMille produced his film, “The Ten Commandments.” He pledged that the proceeds would go to worthy causes. Rabbi Rosen told us that he took this opportunity to write and ask that some of the proceeds should go towards building a Synagogue in Carmel College, saying that surely this is a worthy cause. He told us that he got a vague reply that they had not yet decided and so on. I never heard of Carmel receiving money from that source. It would be interesting to know who received this money.

Sometimes Rabbi Rosen would tell us humorous stories. One of them was connected with saying “Migdal” in Birchat Hamazon on Shabbat and Festivals and “Magdil” on weekdays. He told us that in one house this difference had reached such an extreme state, that a man who had a maid called Magdalena, would call her Migdalena on Shabbat and Festivals. (When I afterwards related this joke to my brother, his immediately comment was “what about Rosh Chodesh?!)

One could never come off best in an argument with Rabbi Rosen. On one occasion, he asked the class which berachah can only be said on a Wednesday or Thursday? He then told us that the answer was the berachah for Eiruv Tavshillin. I then commented that since the same berachah was said for Eiruv Chatzarot and Eiruv Techumim and in these cases were not limited to Wednesday and Thursday, the question should be phrased as “Which Mitzvah can only be performed on Wednesday or Thursday?” Although my comment was perfectly valid, Rabbi Rosen replied that my chutzpah was inversely proportional to my size. (I was rather on the short side.)

Being in his study often for these informal classes, we sometimes witnessed or heard interesting things. On one occasion a prep school boy came to the study and said that other prep school boys were fighting each other. He told him to send these boys to him. When they arrived, he placed them at different parts of the back of the room and cross examined each of them as what had happened. He then switched from the cross-examining counsel to the judge and decided which two boys were responsible for causing the fight between the boys. He didn’t punish them. He told them to make up with each other there and then.

On another occasion, whilst we were in his study, a parent telephoned to complain that his son had telephoned to say that he had gone to the matron feeling not well and she had sent him away saying nothing was wrong with him. Rabbi Rosen immediately summoned the boy and the matron to his study. The matron answered that she would never give any boy such an answer and that in fact she had given him a pill and also written down for him the times of the dispensary. Rabbi Rosen was then furious with the boy and asked him whether the matron wrote down the times of the dispensary because she likes to write on bits of paper?! He telephoned the parents, updated them on the situation and said they could hear it firsthand from the matron and their son, but they then didn’t feel it was necessary. The boy was punished for causing all this unnecessary trouble.

Rabbi Rosen once related to us on the argument he was having with somebody in the correspondence columns of the “Jewish Chronicle.” He said he was going to begin his answer that most people learn to read before they can write, but that this particular person seems to be an exception!

On another occasion, whilst we were having a lesson in his study, a person telephoned and Rabbi Rosen said that he couldn’t talk too openly since there were people in his study. From what I could understand from this guarded conversation was that the school was interested in buying some property nearby. This seemed to tie up with what his son Mickey had once told me. Apparently, once he had had the option to buy a property near the school for the prep school but he had turned it down. Later he was sorry about this and was prepared to pay even twice the original price, but the owner was no longer willing to sell. The bottom line was that the school never bought any property for the prep school.

Apart from with Rabbi Rosen, I also attended extra-curricula lessons with Mr. Alexander during my last year at Carmel. This took place between breakfast and the start of lessons several times a week, It was on the subject of “Ta’amei Hamikra” (musical notes on the books of the Tenach). Almost all of the Tenach is sung to the same set of musical notes, although the actual tune is different for the Torah, the Nevi’im and the five Megillot. These notes are not put in haphazardly but as we soon then learned in these lessons, there is a definite pattern and one can even sometimes learn Halachah by the way the notes are distributed on a particular verse.

Some notes are disjunctive notes, with the size of the pause depending on the type of disjunctive note. Other notes are there to serve these disjunctive notes. We were taught that one must first recognise where the pauses are in a verse and what size each pause is and then one accordingly divides up the verse. Mr. Alexander would gives us verses for us to practice putting in these musical notes. The course was fascinating and when the end of the summer term came, we were sorry that we could not finish it.

Another course given by Mr. Alexander was the singing of religious songs. He began by teaching us “Rananu tzadikim” which is from the Psalms. This was his favourite tune, and we would begin each lesson with it. He duplicated out the words of the various tunes he taught us and as we finished each sheet, he would add a fresh one. Towards the end of the school year, he recorded us singing all the songs he had taught us on his tape recorder. We began and ended “Rananu Tzadikim” with all the other songs being sung in between.

A daily voluntary lesson, which took place during a number of years that I was at Carmel, was “Perek Yomi.” This was the studying of one chapter of Nach each day. They say “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” How much more should “a chapter of Nach a day” do so!

This “Perek Yomi” began with the Book of Samuel, which was before I joined Carmel. I began to participate daily on the day that they began the book of Psalms. When we finally finished the Nach, with the book of Chronicles, Mr. Epstein, who was then conducting it, made a Siyum - a day when one has a nice feast! We then began again from Joshua, but this round was not successful and soon fizzled out. This was after the walls of Jericho had fallen!

Sporting activities

Although there were games periods within the curriculum, most of the games were outside it. These included inter-house sports and sporting fixtures with other schools and organisations.

The school had extensive playing fields. Included in them were several football pitches, cricket pitches and athletics facilities. There were also cricket nets for the boys to practice batting and bowling. In the gymnasium were a basketball court and a squash court.

When we first came to Mongewell, there was a hard tennis court and a lawn tennis court but they were both in a neglected state. Whilst I was at Carmel six hard tennis courts were laid out behind the back of the main building.

A sports’ pavilion made of wood was built soon after we came to Mongewell. However, during one of the school holidays it burnt down. Naturally, in addition to the loss of the building, all the equipment inside it was destroyed. Amongst the equipment destroyed were hockey sticks belonging to pupils. I know this fact since soon after the fire, boys who lost hockey sticks, were told to come and receive replacements.

At a later date, a new and much superior pavilion was built, this time of brick. In the front of it was a veranda.

When I joined the school, there were two sports houses called Gilbert and Alexander. These were named after two of the original supporters of the school - J. C. Gilbert and Alexander Margulies. Gilbert’s wife was called Carmel and it is quite possible that this is why the school was called “Carmel College.” I was in Gilbert House. At a later date, an additional house was added, which was called Montefiore - after which Montefiore, I plead ignorance. At the same time, the composition of the houses was rearranged. Some boys who were in Gilbert then found themselves in Alexander and also the reverse and a number of boys from both Gilbert and Alexander found themselves in Montefiore. I remained in Gilbert. I saw the dissatisfied expression of one boy who originally was in Alexander, now finding himself in Gilbert.

The members of each house wore a distinctive coloured T-shirt during games As far as I remember, the colour for Gilbert was blue, for Alexander red and for Montefiore yellow. Boys doing exceptionally well in sports would be awarded house colours. This consisted of a binding in yellow down the edge of the blazer.

Every year there was an inter-house sports competition, with the winning house receiving the house-cup on Speech Day. The sports included for this competition were football, basketball, cricket, tennis, squash, athletics, cross country running and chess. The school was divided into two sections for these sports, a senior and a junior. For athletics, it was divided into three sections.

For football, basketball and cricket, the top house obtained 12 points, the next house 8 points and the last house 4 points. For the remaining sports, the points were 8, 5 and 2. The reason for this difference was that these first three sports involved teamwork.

A football game requires a referee and a cricket match an umpire. It was decided that the house master of the neutral house would take on this function for the senior teams and a senior boy from the neutral house for the junior teams. On one occasion, probably the school’s best cricketer was declared “run out” in an inter-house cricket match. He thought that he had reached his crease on time and so he appealed his decision to the umpire. But his appeal was not upheld.

Sports were never my strong point. However, I was once the reserve for my house junior football team. On the morning of the game, one of the players told me that he wasn’t feeling well and so I knew I would be playing. One sport which I always played for my house was chess. Also at one period I was the cricket scorer, for my house and also for the school.

Sometimes the games had exciting finishes. In one senior cricket match, the last over had been reached. Number ten of the opposing side was batting. On the fifth ball he was bowled out. The last batsman went it. If he could survive the last ball of the match, the game would be a draw. If he was out, Gilbert would win. The bowler bowled and the batsman was bowled out, thus giving Gilbert a win.

There was even a more exciting finish in a junior cricket match. About the third batsman for Gilbert was in. The batsmen ran at least two runs and this last run should have been the winning run for the game. The umpire called out “one short run.” So one more run was needed. But it never came. All the batsmen from then onwards were bowled out for ducks. So the game ended in a tie.

It was thought that this “short run” had cost Gilbert the house cup that year. However, due to good tennis playing, which followed a few weeks later, Gilbert finally gained the house cup.

Each house had to put in a certain minimum number of runners for the cross country run, otherwise they would lose house points. Mr. Bunney, who was the sports house master of Gilbert, said that he wanted every boy to run.

On the day of the cross country run, all the contestants lined up outside the back door of the main building and off they went around the course. The winning post for the senior run was at the end of the field by the back road to the school. Mr. Bunney was somewhere on the course giving the runners from his house encouragement. Gil--bert Gil--bert, run faster, run faster - (I don’t think he actually used these words!) The first 50 or so boys to pass the winning post received a ticket with the number of their position. I was about number 55 and so I just missed receiving one. However it was one of the fastest, if not the fastest, runs I had ever done on this course.

One year, it was initially found that Gilbert was just lagging behind another house on this run. One of Gilbert’s cross country runners, who was one of the best in the school, developed a “stitch” and returned to base, thus apparently causing Gilbert to lose the winning points. I said “apparently” because it then came to light that one of the runners from the house which had apparently won, had started his race from the study block, which was a very short distance after the starting line. He therefore had not run the entire course and had to be disqualified, thus giving the winning points to Gilbert.

On one occasion in the junior cross country run, some members of one house were determined to beat the fastest runner from another house. They therefore planned the following strategy which succeeded. Some members of the first mentioned house set a fast pace, which this fastest runner tried to keep up with. This resulted that in the course of the race he tired and other members of this first house were thus able to overtake him and win.

When one has three houses competing, one can sometimes have a situation where by losing a particular game you can gain the house cup. This indeed occurred one year and members of one house were talking about deliberately playing badly to lose. The head of another house heard about this and warned that should this happen, he would immediately call a meeting of all the houses, in order to have the house deliberately losing, disqualified from receiving the cup.

In addition to inter-house sports competitions, the school had many competitions with other schools and organisations. They were mainly in football, cricket, rowing and chess. At the beginning of the year, all the pupils were given a card of all the various matches scheduled to take place throughout the year. Listed were the date of the match, the name of the opposing team and the venue. It wasn’t free - this card had to be paid for.

When it was a home venue, the pupils were told to go on the field and give encouragement to the Carmel team.

An annual event in the school calendar took place on a Sunday during the summer term, when the “Jewish Chronicle” staff would come to Carmel with their families for a programme which included a cricket match. They would begin with dinner and on that day there would be two sittings for that meal - one for the “Jewish Chronicle” contingent and the other for the boys of the school. After this had been done successfully for several years, Mr. Bitner became in charge of the kitchen. Rabbi Rosen related to us that when Mr. Bitner heard about having to have two sittings for dinner that day, he ran to him saying that it was impossible to do this. Rabbi Rosen informed him that it been done for several years and he told us that he had given Mr. Bitner the day off!

For a period, I was the official scorer for Carmel in these cricket matches. I would sit in the veranda of the pavilion next to the official scorer of the opposing team. On one occasion, even though one of the teams had officially won the game, I continued to keep the score but in a different colour ink, pointing out the reason for the different colours. This difference was not just academic but was needed when working out the batting and bowling averages of the various players.

One year, my average for batting was infinity! How did this “world record” come about? played -1; runs - 1; not out - 1; average - infinity. (I should mention that this one game I played was not a inter-school or inter-house match but one which was played on one of our games afternoons.)

When we played another team, a substantial tea would be served in the dining hall for both teams, including the scorers and the person manning the score board. Diets were not fashionable in those days for school boys! I recollect that on at least one occasion, the teams sat around the head table for this tea. They then knew what it felt like to be a school-master - when eating!

Amongst the programme of matches played by the school team were those where the opposing team was the Carmel Old Boys or the Masters. Since all the members of these teams did not all have games kit, they would ask in the dining hall for people to loan a certain number of various items of such kit. Some of the players in the masters’ team were experienced sportsmen but there were other who were very far removed from this and joined in the team as an act of sportsmanship, although their contribution to any possible success of the masters’ team was negligible, or dare I say negative!

Carmel was situated by the River Thames and this gave the ideal opportunity for rowing to be one of its sports. There was also a boat house in the grounds. The top floor of this boat house was at first taken over by the Old Carmeli Association.

As the years went on, rowing as a sport was intensified in Carmel. The players did weight lifting exercises to strengthen their bodies. The rowing teams were allocated to a dormitory of their own and tables of their own in the dining room. The reason for this was that with their training exercises, they might well be eating and sleeping at different hours from the other boys and having separate facilities would minimise any mutual disturbances.

Carmel often did well in chess championships. One competition they entered every year was the “Sunday Times” chess championship. In this competition, the ages of the players were a factor in determining what score was necessary for a particular team to win. For example, a team with a very low average age competing against a team with a high average age might win that round, were they to gain only two wins against four by their opponents. Therefore the organisers at Carmel were busy looking at the ages - (no, they didn’t ask the boys for their birth certificates) - of their potential players.

Another rule in this chess competition was, that should one player want to use a chess clock, his opponent would be obliged to agree. The Carmel team did not like such clocks and so they “hid them away” when an opposing team came. On one occasion the player on the top board brought along a chess clock. Our player on this top board was a very slow player and so he changed over with the second board. I heard afterwards that the player who brought along the clock was almost “timed out”!

On several occasions we played against Eton. Whenever the team came to Carmel, they were not wearing their “Eton suits.” On the first occasion, Eton easily won five and a half against a half. On the next occasion the result was less lopsided - three and a half to Eton against two and a half to Carmel. That night Mr. Bunney announced the result in the dining saying that the Carmel team did very and were narrowly beaten. On a subsequent match, Carmel beat Eton and this reached the newspapers with the caption “Eton beaten.”

One year, Carmel also entered their second team into this competition and they succeeded in getting through at least one round.

On one occasion there was a chess contest between Carmel and a team from Wallingford. I was one of the players in this team. By the end of the evening, my game hadn’t yet ended and on adjudication, the other player was declared the winner.

One year there was an internal chess competition in Carmel. The names of the players were drawn from a hat for each round. I reached the semi-finals and then half-term came. The draw for the semi-final round was made in, of all places, the school train returning to London. They there and then informed me that I was drawn to play a boy, who was probably the best player in the school. When after half term we played our game, as I expected, he beat me.

Entertainment programmes

Whilst I was at Carmel, there were periodically films, theatre performances, and acting both in the school and at outside venues.

In my earlier years, Mr. Coles would project a number of feature films each term. This was done in the main hall, with the film projector being placed by the eastern wall and the screen by the western wall. (No religious significance for these placings - just the topography of the hall!) Mr. Coles once told us that when he borrowed a film to show at the school, he had to fill up a lot of forms certifying that it was only a private performance and was not open to the general public; pupils, teachers and even parents of pupils were part of the school. He added that if anyone else “happened to be present” he “didn’t know about it”!

After a time I learned that instead of sitting in the hall, one could get a better view by sitting on one’s bedside locker by the edge of the railing to the staircase on the first floor - a grandstand view. I don’t think this was officially allowed but I was never caught when doing this.

After all these years, the only films I can recollect are one on Rommel, and H. G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds.” I probably remember the latter because it was rated an X film, a film limited to people over 16. Since the showing at Carmel was a private one, these limitations didn’t apply. The film was extremely scary - that’s why it was X rated!- and I was sitting in one of the front rows. The creatures from Mars would be flying over head spraying the Earth inhabitants with deadly material. Even a clergyman who tried to approach them to talk peace suffered the same fate.

On rare occasions, the school organised trips to the cinema. It was at the end of 1952, that Mount Everest was conquered and the film “The Conquest of Everest” was made. In 1954, it was shown in a Wallingford cinema. The school, or at least the class I was in, went to see this film.

Another film we went to view was “12 Angry Men.” This film took place entirely in a jury room in the United States, in a case of a man tried for murder. At first only one of the twelve jurymen considered the accused not guilty. But by the end of the film, all those on the jury were convinced that the accused was not guilty.

Towards the end of my stay at Carmel, the school took over an entire cinema in London for one evening for the purpose of raising money for the school. The parents of the boys were invited to buy tickets, at a sum which was quite high in those days! Since however it was a fund raising event, this high price was understandable. The film which was shown that evening was “The Diary of Anne Frank.” It was preceded by the film of the school which had recently been produced.

The producers of this film on the school began by filming Havdalah one Motzoei Shabbat. On the following day they continued with their filming. This included filming in each of the laboratories where a series of experiments had been specially set up for the film. I was in the Physics laboratory doing an experiment on the expansion of solids. The camera crew who had to make a tour of the various laboratories in order to film them, first came into the Physics laboratory and asked Mr. Bunney which was the first laboratory to photograph. “This one,” Mr. Bunney immediately answered. His answer certainly saved a lot of waiting time for us! In addition to the laboratories they also filmed sporting events such as bowling in the cricket nets.

For the evening meal that day, we assembled in the dining hall with Rabbi Rosen and as they filmed, he clapped and said, “We will now sing Shir Hama’alot, I will give you the note.” We then began singing but he had already told us that it didn’t matter how melodiously we sung, since the sound of the singing would come from the school record. Finally we went out to the playing fields where we were divided into two groups, who had to march as the sides of a letter “V” who would then meet a point. This would be superimposed over the model of the master building plan for the school.

From all this filming a very nice black and white film of the school was made with Rabbi Rosen giving the narration.

In addition to the films we saw or made, the boys went to see various theatrical performances. One of them was “Let’s make an Opera.” From the price of the tickets, someone commented that it was more like “Let’s buy an Opera.”

This performance consisted of three parts. The first was of pupils planning to make an opera. Then the compere taught the audience how to sing the various songs which they, the audience, would sing during the opera. The final part was the performance of the opera itself.

The Inbal Dance Troupe from Israel was in London putting on a performance which included the “Song of Devorah” from the book of Judges. Rabbi Rosen wanted to take a group of pupils to see this performance and on a Friday night after the meal, a group of pupils, including myself, assembled in his study to study this passage from the Tenach. During this meeting, one of the boys said that that Motzoei Shabbat was the last performance. We therefore decided that we would go that following evening, which we did.

On another occasion, we went to the Royal Albert Hall, to see troupes of dancers from numerous different countries in the world. Included was Israel and the troupe began by a person singing from the Song of Solomon “El ginat egoz.” The evening ended by all the dancers from the different countries dancing, to the tune “Ushavtem mayim b’sason.”

During the weeks after the theatre performance “My Fair Lady” began at Drury Lane, a number of charity groups, many of them Jewish groups, took over the theatre for an evening. One of these groups was Carmel College. The parents were invited to buy a ticket.

Certain of the visitors were to be presented with a bouquet of flowers during the interval and certain boys delegated for this task were told where the recipients were seated. One boy jokingly asked why his mother wasn’t being presented with a bouquet.

Rabbi Rosen told us that we were not to ask our parents to give us packages to take back to school. I had asked my parents to give me a few things and I had hoped that they would be loose and I would slip them in my pockets. My father had however packed up these in a parcel. However I managed to bring them back to school without problems.

During the period that I was at the school, the boys put on some theatrical performances. One of them included a dramatical presentation of the book of Job. Mr. Roston had written the text in English. It was supposed to have taken place one Sunday afternoon - possibly it was following a Sports Day. But as often happens in England, it was raining and since it was planned for it to take place outside on the lawn in front of the gymnasium, it had to be postponed.

The school decided then to buy lighting equipment, so that if, on the date which it had been postponed to, it again rained, it could be held inside the gymnasium. To cover the cost of this equipment, tickets were sold for the performance. In fact the weather was glorious that day and it took place outside. The person acting Job was an excellent actor and on the few occasions when he forgot his lines, he would sigh and groan a bit to give him time to remember them.

A friend of mine had at that period got into trouble. It had started by something trivial but had snowballed. As a result, as a punishment, he was banned by Rabbi Rosen from watching the performance. He then decided on this stratagem. He had an aunt who lived in Wallingford. He would telephone her and invite her along and then say his aunt had arrived and could he therefore accompany her to the performance.

However, to use the telephone required permission. He asked Mr. Carmel for such permission and he answered “Ask Rabbi Rosen.” He then took a chance and tried to use the telephone but before he made a connection, Mr. Carmel caught him and told him to tell Rabbi Rosen what he had done. He decided that it would be catastrophic to go to Rabbi Rosen, after all the trouble he was already in. He therefore decided that should Mr. Carmel ask him what Rabbi Rosen had said, he would say that he told him to miss the performance! Fortunately for him, there were no further developments on this matter.

Another theatrical performance by the boys was put on in the main hall. I was operating the lighting effects. At that time, they were very primitive and consisted of a few rheostats screwed on to a board. For the first performance it was successful, but on the next one which followed straight afterwards to a different audience, it must of overheated soon after the performance began and it suddenly fused. The cast then started again but with the normal lighting of the main hall.

During my last year at the school, the pupils put on a performance of Ansky’s “The Dybbuk.” This time, the librarian Shifrin made himself responsible for the lighting and sound effects. He had a long meeting with Mr. Coles to discuss the construction of a frame to hold the lighting equipment and another one to hold the sound equipment. The materials for these frames came from old iron beds. For the lighting, the rheostats were taken from the original boards and attached to these frames. The performances were put on in the alcove on the southern side of the main hall. Stage curtains had either been bought or borrowed by the school.

The English text for the performance had been translated from the Hebrew - in fact it had been over-translated! Even expressions such as “David Melech Yisrael...” which should have left in the original Hebrew had been translated.” Rabbi Young was therefore asked to go through the script and decide which phrases should be left in the original.

During this play, shofars are sounded. The blowing of the shofar was not done live on the stage (very wise, since shofars don’t always blow when you want them to do so!) but had been pre-recorded and the actors put models of shofars to their lips.

A problem in the production was that the script spoke of taking seven Sifrei Torah out of the Ark. The script was first changed to “the Sifrei Torah” without specifying a number, but even this was not so simple since one could not use real Sifrei Torah in a theatrical performance. To solve this problem, some dummy ones were constructed with the aid of the rods used to hold the daily newspapers. The performance which I saw went very nicely and was most enjoyable.

A story I once heard regarding productions of “The Dybbuk” was that the author died on the day of the first production. Since then, an extra candle has been lit in the scene where the actors carry candles. Accurate or not - I really don’t know.

Field Trips

Most of the field trips I went on were arranged by Mr. Schmidt. On one occasion we had been learning map reading and we had to take our maps with us. During the course of the journey, we got off the coach and had to determine where we were.

I recollect fragmentary details of two of his field trips in my early years at Carmel. One was to the Cotswolds, where we went into some cave and the guide, amongst other things explained to us about stalactites and stalagmites and how slowly they grow. In another trip we visited four places. One of them was Burton-on-the- Water and there we visited the model village which is a one-ninth scale replica of the village. Another one of the places we visited that day may have been some stately home.

Before we went on this second field trip, Rabbi Rosen told us that we all had to write an account of where we visited that day. I wrote quite a detailed account, but since there were boys who did not do this work at all, those who did decided not to hand it in unless asked to do so. We were never asked.

When I was in the upper fifth, there was an exhibition in the British Museum on the excavations in Hazor in northern Israel. Mr. Loewe arranged a trip to London for us to see this exhibition. In one corner of this exhibition there was some crib with the remains of some baby.

A week or so later, Mr. Schmidt took his Economics class on a field trip to London. Before our first stop which was near to the British Museum, we had a short time to spare and so we went in to see the Hazor exhibition, since many of those participating in the Economics trip had not gone in the previous week to London. In fact we saw almost as much of this exhibition on that day as we seen in the previous week, when we had travelled especially to London for it.

Our first official stop was at the Trade Union house where we were given a lecture on trade unions. I remember it was an exquisite lecture hall, beautifully furnished. O to be a trade union leader!

Our second destination was the departmental store Harrods in Knightsbridge. Here in a less exquisite lecture hall, we were told all about the running of Harrods. The lecturer told us that it was almost the biggest departmental store in Europe. He showed us their method of sending information from the various departments to the office via pipes with high pressure air which would speedily transfer the orders, which were placed in metal containers before being inserted into these pipes. In the vote of thanks to Harrods given to the lecturer by one of the boys, he said jokingly said that one of our smaller boys nearly got lost in one of these pipes!

We were finally taken down to the staff canteen where we were given cakes and other confectionary for tea. One of the boys asked Mr. Schmidt whether the food was kosher and he replied “Eat as much as your conscience permits you.”

The School Library

When the school first moved to Mongewell, the library was contained in one room - which was a beautifully wood panelled large room off the main hall. It contained books on a whole variety of subjects. At that time the Judaica books did not include a set of Talmud, neither in the original text nor the Soncino English translation. I think it did then have a Philip Blackman set of the Mishnah. Amongst the secular books was an old edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

The library was open to the whole school. However there was one period in our early days at Mongewell that it was limited to sixth formers and also to fifth formers who had applied to be allowed to use it, and a list of such fifth formers was publicised. The reason for this limitation to the upper forms, was that the boys did not treat the library properly. However after a time it returned to use by the entire school.

At the initial period in Mongewell, or at a slightly later period, Mr. Schmidt was in charge of the library and books were catalogued into subjects by having different coloured stars stuck on their spines.

There was no set of the “Jewish Encyclopaedia” in the library, (the Encyclopedia Judaica was still decades away!) and I once asked Mr. Schmidt when he was getting a set. He thought I had asked about an up to date set of the Britannica and he said it would soon be arriving. In fact the library did soon after also get a set of the “Jewish Encyclopaedia.” Rabbi Rosen had a set in his study and boys were often referring to it and so he decided to put it in the school library.

The up to date edition of the Britannica also soon arrived at the library. Whilst on the subject of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, one of the boys in the school wrote up to them for a catalogue. He also got a bonus - a personal visit by their salesman who came specially all the way to Carmel College. What did this salesman think - he was going to sell an expensive set of Encyclopaedia to a school-boy? Needless to say he made no sale in Mongewell that day. Rabbi Rosen was not very happy with this unexpected visit to the school and he clearly informed the pupils, that if you want a catalogue, use your home address.

Several years after I had joined the school, there was a “take over bid” for the administration of the library, by an Old Carmeli called Malcolm Shifrin. In the initial stages he was assisted by Dr. Tobias. When they began their work, they put out a notice that their aim was to make the Carmel library one of the best school libraries in the country. They then pointed out that this would cause some inconvenience to the boys and “to sweeten the pill” they would explain what they intended doing.

To catalogue the books they used the Dewey decimal system. The appropriate numbers were written with a white permanent ink on the spine of each book and for fiction books the first three letters of the author were written in capital letters. The library had purchased a book giving a shortened version of this Dewey classification system.

[Incidentally, when I saw what the library was doing, I decided to classify my books at home using the Dewey system. I asked my father if he could borrow from the local library the book the Carmel library was using to classify its own books. My father returned from the library carrying a top heavy book, which was the full version of this system. I catalogued my books and I must have taken some back to Carmel with me, since Shifrin noticed my numbering with white ink on the spine. I told him that my local library had loaned me their Dewey book which was enormous. He then told me that he had tried to borrow it from his library but they refused to loan it.]

Since Carmel had a lot of books on Judaica, using the Dewey system was not practical. Many of the books would be classified as 296 and possibly a string of numbers after the decimal point, making it inconvenient to use. Shifrin therefore developed a “Dewey system” for Jewish books. He bound his typed out copy of this system as a small book which was then put in the library. At a later date, a second enlarged version was brought out. All this took time, and during this time, one could not refer to books on the Judaica shelves.

In an explanatory leaflet, he said that a problem was the transliteration of Hebrew words and names into English letters. (For example, one can write Chaim or Haim or Hayyim and so on.) He pointed out that the more scholarly methods of transliteration would be too difficult for some of the pupils. He commented that this question of transliteration was the weakest part of the library’s cataloguing system.

Another record that the library kept was a register of all the books in the library and as a book was purchased, it was entered into this register. A book was never removed from this register. If it were no longer in the library for some reason, such as it was lost, this fact would be recorded in this register.

Unlike most libraries which catalogue their books on cards (in the pre-computer era!), Shifrin decided that they would use loose leaf small files for the cataloguing. The cataloguing was strictly alphabetical with authors, titles, and so on, all mixed together. All the pages had to be typed and even, if for some entries, a number of copies were required to be placed in different parts of the catalogue, the use of carbon paper was forbidden. There were some cases where there was a large amount of material on a particular page of the catalogue and several copies were required. In such a case a Gestetner stencil was permitted.

I once asked Shifrin why he used these files rather than a card type catalogue and he replied that he can see that I have been looking at other libraries. In his answer to my question, he said that the boys were used to using books and this type of catalogue was like a book.

A short while before Shifrin took over at the library, Rabbi Rosen told us that any one giving a book to the library would receive a copy of Kopul Kahana Kagan’s book “Three Great Systems of Jurisprudence.” Apparently this book was not selling and Rabbi Rosen was handed over a number of copies. I bought a book which I gave to the library and in return received a copy of Kagan’s book. When Shifrin took over the library, I saw that this book which I had given was not there. I pointed this out to him but he answered that he could not be responsible for what happened before he started work.

When the reorganisation of the library was complete, Shifrin called each class of the school in turn to the library and explained how the new system worked and potential problems we might find in using the catalogue. He also said that we would probably see how this loose leaf catalogue could be opened and that expulsion would not be sufficient for a boy trying to open it. It, for example, had taken them three hours just to arrange the entries beginning with the letter “e” in alphabetical order.

Shifrin was very strict, to a state of obsession, to ensure that there was silence in the library, even if there were just two boys present. As a saying went at the time in Carmel, “If there are two boys in the library they may not talk to each other; if there is just one boy and he talks to himself, the bogey man will come and take him.”

On one occasion, a boy asked me in the lowest of whispers about a library matter and I answered him in a like manner. But for Shifrin, just the moving of one’s lips was sufficient for expulsion for a week from the library.

The adjacent loggia was the newspaper and periodicals room. The school received daily several serious newspapers, such as the Times, the Telegraph and the Manchester Guardian (as it was then called, and it was Dr. Friedmann’s favourite newspaper). Periodicals such as the Jewish Chronicle, Punch and the Listener were also subscribed to. For the newspapers, there was a long wooden thin pole with a long metal rod attachment. The newspaper was opened at its middle page and the metal rod inserted along the length of the newspaper and then closed. There was a rack for the periodicals.

At a later date, the staffroom transferred to the room which had been the lecture hall and the original staffroom became the fiction library. One summer holiday, the school was rented out to some group. Obviously Shifrin did not want them to “mess up” the library and so at the end of the term, all the fiction books were moved into the original library and the room securely locked up.

As with many libraries, books which were not reference books could be borrowed. Shifrin prepared library tickets for each pupil, on which was written in addition to his name, the school number of the pupil - hurrah! this school number found some use. It is possible that these tickets were arranged in order of the numbers.

Quite rightly, Shifrin wanted that pupils treat the library books properly. On one occasion, I saw a boy fold over the corner of a page to mark his place. Shifrin immediately told him that continual bending of a page will cause it to tear. He then gave him a book mark to mark his place.

Needless to say, the school continually acquired new books. I earlier mentioned that when we came to Mongewell, the school had no set of Talmud. However, in the “Shifrin era,” it acquired a large size Shas (Talmud) and also a Soncino Talmud in English. For decades, Soncino had brought out their English Talmud with thickish pages. At about this period, they brought out a new edition, but on almost “tissue paper.” Shifrin wanted the older version, since it was less fragile, but he told me that he had been unable to obtain it. For some time these books were not in on the shelves for this reason but this couldn’t go on for ever. Books are not paintings to be viewed from a distance. So finally he brought out instructions for their use. He explained that they was fragile and had to be used carefully and with dry hands, and so on.

I once asked Shifrin why there was no “Tikkun” amongst the Judaica in the library. He answered that if it were not for loaning out, boys would be singing all the time in the library. (Have you never heard of “music while you work”?!) If on the other hand it was for loaning out, it would soon become so dog-eared. It was therefore better that the library did not have this book in its stock.

After I left the school, the library continually expanded. It took over the main hall for the general books, whilst the original room became just the reference library; the staffroom which had then moved to the new classroom block became (I think) the junior library, the school office became the newspaper room and the loggia became the catalogue room. As someone commented, that by some oversight Shifrin had not taken over the Headmaster’s study.

Another task which Shifrin took on himself was to build up an archives for Carmel College. He called it “Carmelismus.” I originally saw this expression in an article on Carmel in the British Zionist Federation paper “The Jewish Observer.” I once saw a lot of folders whose contents included news-cuttings. Shifrin once mentioned to me that he wanted a copy of anything that comes off the Gestetner duplicating machine in the office. When building up archives, everything (within reason) should be kept, since today’s rubbish might me tomorrow’s valuable historical material.

School Magazines

Whilst I was in the first year of the school, Mr. Carmel brought out a magazine called “The Young Carmelonian.” Contributions for the magazine were to come from the lower part of the school. It was financed by a number of advertisers and well-wishers who took pages in the magazine.

Included in this magazine were pen-portraits of the teaching staff of the school. Also the pupils in my class were told by Mr. Carmel to write an anonymous article on some topic. One boy wrote an article describing an inter-house football match in which the same player scored all three goals as against just one by the opposing team. He finished up this article stating that [name of scorer] scored again and thus made his hat-trick. Who wrote this unsigned article? The boy who made his hat-trick!

I had written an essay on Yom Kippur and Mr. Carmel wanted to include it. He asked me to show it to Dr. Tobias to check the spelling. I also submitted a poem on “The Jewish Home” and since Mr. Carmel didn’t want more than one item to appear under the name of the same pupil, he gave me a pen-name for this poem - “Moshe Juvenus.” I can still remember some of the lines from this poem:

What’s that on your door?
It’s a Mezuzah you saw.

What’s next to the clock with the tick?
It’s my best Shabbos candlestick.

What’s in the cupboard next to your bed?
It’s my Tephillin for my arm and my head.

The school magazine was called “Carmel” and it came out every year. It began with a summary of the events of the past year, with each event having two or three lines devoted to it. It is easy to overlook an event and on one occasion it indeed apologised for omitting from the previous year’s events, that Mrs. Whitfield had joined the staff.

Each magazine included pupils who had joined or left the school that year. At first it appeared under a Latin heading (I don’t remember the actual words - Latin was my weak subject!) and at a later date they changed it to a quote from Shakespeare’s “As you Like it” Act 2, “They have their exits and their entrances” - (at least that was in English!)

One year there were two humorous articles on how the sixth form arts stream viewed the science stream and how the sixth form science stream viewed the arts stream. In the first of these articles, they commented that matron’s dog Tinker, was not allowed after dark, since the Biology pupils might snatch him for their experiments. They spoke of the Physics laboratory as the “Bloody Tower”; (the reason for this was that once the Physics teacher punished a whole class, when everyone thought that the punishment was unfair, and by this act, he got the reputation of being a sadist!) In the second article, the arts pupils were analysed in a scientific manner - both qualitatively and quantitatively.

There was once an article by Dr. Tobias on Jewish Popes. Someone, with the help of Mr. Schmidt wrote an article on the history of the buildings then occupied by Carmel College. In the spirit of Purim, I wrote a article entitled “Masechet Purim,” which was published in this magazine.

On one occasion, some junior boys decided to bring out a magazine and to do the duplicating using a spirit duplicator. Most of the pages were handwritten although one was typewritten, with them pointing out that typewriting was much clearer and that they hoped that in the future they would typewrite their entire magazine. They used Mr. Coles’ spirit duplicator whilst my class was in the Chemistry laboratory. After they had finished, Mr. Coles’ calculated the cost and found it exceeded their meager assets. Rather than bankrupt them, he waived the difference saying that we must encourage junior enterprise. I don’t think another edition of this magazine ever came out.

There was once an exhibition in the school of past school magazines right back to the time when the school was founded. Included were copies of “The Young Carmelonian” and “Carmel.” Gong back even further in time were the first two magazines dating from the first years of the school in the late 1940s. Only one copy was made of each and they were handwritten and hung on the school notice board at Greenham. One of the articles dealt with a Carmel boy who was very ill and therefore asked his mother to hold his Siddur (instead of writing it with an “S”, they spelled Siddur with a “C”) whilst he davened. However “Siddur” was spelled, it was wonderful to see how a Carmel boy when very ill, was concerned not to miss out on davening.

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