The "Michael Suter" Letter

From: Sandra Suter (On behalf of Michael Suter)
Date: 26 July 2015
To: Derek Corlett
Subject: Bevins

Hi Derek,

Thanks for your note about Tony Bevins. I remember him very well, not only because he had a quite famous father, but also because he was so bloody good-looking! - and always so smartly dressed, as if his school uniform was made-to-measure. I wrote to Tony about 15 years ago and he sent me a nice letter by return, reminding me that he never shone academically and referring to himself as one of Fat White's rejects.

On the subject of school uniform, do you remember the fad we had of turning our school pullovers back to front and then putting our school ties on the outside?

And what about our teachers, do you remember them? Here are some from the "A" stream

English G A Tyrell
French Falconer, Clarke
Latin  Morgan, Evans, Hankey, Gain
Greek  Evans, Hamilton, Kaye, Crofts
Physics  Ma Hill
Chemistry Jennings
Art    Grosvenor, Miss Muir
Woodwork  Sydney Chalk
Maths Gillespie, Monzybowicz
History  Bertie Banyard, Tubby Truman
Ancient History  Kaye, Gain
Spanish   Bradbury
German Howarth (he once told us that he was with the British Army when it liberated Brussels)

Talking about Norman Gain (Nippy Jim), he wrote to me in the mid 70's, sending me his translation of Euripides' "Electra" (which I had studied for "A"level in 1961) he said that he had followed my career through his old friend Alfred Stocks who was then Chief Executive of Liverpool City Council . It was kind of him to remember me and the memory of that has stayed with me given that at school, the teacher-pupil relationship was, I thought, cold and distant .

I hope that you're keeping well and are taking your pills

Best Wishes

Michael Suter


From: Derek Corlett
Date: 27 July 2015
To: Sandra Suter
Subject: Re: Bevins

Hi Michael,

Glad you were interested in the Bevins article. I can remember his father as Paymaster General when such titles existed. I also remember Tony but had little connection with him at School. He was a year or so older than our group.

I still remember all those masters who you have mentioned but the following never attempted to teach me:

Morgan, Monzy, Kaye, Bradbury, Howarth ( not to be confused with Duckworth! ) Hankey, Crofts, Grosvenor.

I cannot confirm the subject taught by Biddy Jennings.

Other names of masters include:

Tommy Hanley and Fryer, the gym masters, Barry -Peters, J F Jones, Fat White, Music White, Dickie Darton and the lab assistant Dickie Hewitt. Dickie was the scoutmaster of the 26th Fairfield troop who met at 7pm on Friday evenings at Holly Lodge.

My father attended the old Oulton School and remembered Bertie Banyard as one of the masters there. He had an artificial leg as a consequence of the war and passed his strong feelings of the war to the pupils. I seem to recall that your father was sadly a war casualty.
My two children and the four granddaughters seem to have a closer and less formal relationship with their teachers than we experienced. Our masters with their robes and the inhospitable surroundings of the School were not very comforting and this contributed to the cold and distant relationship you mentioned.

I left in 1960 and started work exactly 55 years ago yesterday. Consequently I did not enter the sixth form where I suspect the relationships and mutual respect were much better. I spent my final year in Trans with Bill Thomas and Ray Krausse under Mr Slater and the caring guidance of Mr Gillespie. He died several years ago in his late 90's. Another master has just come to mind - Johnny Gawler. Yet another is Woodward. He looked after 5A for a day or so and asked me for my name, I said Corlett and he asked me to repeat this several times. At the end and in frustration I said " Call it what you like". He was not impressed and I am sure he would have liked to have given me a good hiding!

All in all there is no doubt we had a good education and the grounding stood us in good stead for our future life. Not the happiest days of my life but on reflection I really treasure my time there and the knowledge and respect that I have acquired.

Heart problems seem to be under control and will join my golfing colleagues at Childwall tomorrow where we have a friendly fixture.

Meanwhile I will continue taking the tablets. I have just returned home having walked from Seacombe to New Brighton when the rain started! Exercise has never done me any harm,

Thanks for writing and best wishes,

Derek Corlett


Hi Michael & Derek,

very interesting, reading these letters. I'm not sure whether my memory could manage to span a time period of such a long time ago :-(

I do remember having Banyard for most of my History classes, but never was aware that he had a war wound. I must admit that he did tend to get emotional about various topics. One example would be the torturing of Guy Fawkes.

Biddy Jennings taught Physics – He only taught us, for one year – He was pretty easy-going  - I remember him for two things :-

One was his haircut – he was more-or-less completely bald except that he had about 15 strands of hair along one side of his skull and these were combed across the bald pate with a slight gap between them, in an extremely old-fashioned style.

The other thing was that, for that year ONLY,  I came top in Physics! – It wasn’t that he was such a good teacher, but that because we didn’t have Ma Hill, that year, everybody else relaxed and didn’t bother to make any effort at all – I just did the minimum amount of work that I always did.  I had no other speed of working.