Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

News > ODs Around the World > Reminiscences of a humorous schoolteacher

Reminiscences of a humorous schoolteacher

After reading the tribute to the late Chris Mann (1965O), Martin fletcher (1965F) wrote in with his memories of Chris and their shared English Teacher, John Gardener (1947G)
Those Bishops English lessons
Those Bishops English lessons

Martin fletcher (1965F) writes: I am stimulated to write this by the article about the late Chris Mann (1965O) and Mr J.B. Gardener (1947G).

English lessons beat all others for enjoyment. Mr Gardener was indeed tall and gangly seemed to crack a joke every couple of minutes. Most were funny, but as he said, 'They can't all be good.'

I remember Chris Mann in the class, although it was as a sportsman playing for Ogilvie in cricket house matches I recall him best. One of nature's nice blokes.

Mr Gardener was a rare teacher. He liked the original and condemned the cliche and the platitude. He let us choose our own subjects for essays and if he liked one, he read it out.

I remember a saying of Aristotle or possibly from the bible (I think) coming up in class:

'Twere better for man had he never been born.' He asked those who agreed to put their hands up. I and one other put our hands in the air.

'The two anti-men again,' he said.

I met Chris Mann many years later, when he had a room opposite my brother at Rhodes University. He was the same, friendly and approachable bloke and we discussed our former English teacher in favourable terms.

I live far away now, but those English lessons were the highlight of my time at Bishops (apart from when Founders won the Rugby Cup in 1965).


Warm regards

Martin Fletcher (1965F)

Similar stories

From Left to R - Brian de Kock, Richard Morris and Rupert Pardoe.

Two Foundershousians Richard Morris (1970F) and Rupert Pardoe (1973F) enjoy their time spent with their Housemaster Brian de Kock (1952). More...

Changes afoot in the UK Branch More...

Looking for ODs in other countries. More...

Sons, James and Euan find out what school life at Bishops was like. More...

Scrumming down front of the boy who started it all — William Webb Ellis

In the 200th anniversary year of the "invention" of rugby, UK ODs visited Rugby School where it all began More...

Most read

Chairman of the SRF for 2023 Nikolaos Augoustatos (2023K)

Nikolaos Augoustatos (2023K) explains how the Bishops Student Representative Forum operates and shares details about their activities over the past ye… More...

Michaelhouse and St Andrews are talking about bringing old boy sides to the 175 Festival. Who's up for it? More...

Sudden passing of family man, Graham aged 77. Pictured here with his wife, Lesley, in Vienna for Lesley’s 70th. More...

Have your say

This website is powered by