charters part two
1970-1989 page 5
To begin, Paul continued to live in his parents' converted outhouse, The Folly but now, as a resident employee, he needed his own space. He built an extension to The Folly on land gifted from his parents and proudly boasted that he had completed the build, including carpets, with a mortgage of only five-thousand pounds. His misguided thriftiness was reflected in it only having a two-brick wall thickness - it was freezing in winter and, with a flat roof, hot in the summer! We include this diversion because student accommodation was then at a premium and very scarce. St Paul's, as it was named, had been designed to include a small self-contained connecting flat on the ground floor with a separate entrance to the side. One day, Noreen, somewhat insouciantly said to Paul: "Darling, you know that little flat you have, how many bodies can we get into it? We could board-up the connecting door, couldn't we?" That little flat had been earmarked for John Harrison, but no more; it became a dormitory! We wonder if anyone remembers using it? Of course, when new student accommodation did become available in the shape of Leoville, beside the tennis court, it was vacated. But, still not for John. A married couple, employed for maintenance and cleaning, were quickly installed and brouhaha ensued. Broom handles were banged on the ceiling, expletives abounded and generally an unsavoury atmosphere developed. The couple were dismissed but remained as squatters. They changed the lock, never left the flat at the same time and barricaded the connecting door; they were in for a long haul. Word of this had permeated the school and the prefects, quite independently and gallantly, organised vigilant demonstrations with placards shouting, "Out, Out, Out!" and much else. Eventually the couple left, with an indignant student escort.
St Paul's became an essential focal point of the school; relaxed social evenings with prefects and other students which demanded careful personal preparation by them - and how well they 'turned out'; entertaining guests; company board meetings; relaxed evenings, but always a meeting, with Noreen and Victor; and very importantly where John was able to quietly create music recordings for the school shows. It was also home to the unofficial school mascots, Petra the rescued Great Dane (see photograph in Your Space) and her little spotted pal, Leopold.
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