back     next
"....the next day he caned the whole school" Mr Tucker (1933-1965) limited the prefects' authority (RGS History; page 84) but would "not infrequently" make use of the cane. Indeed, legend has it that on several occasions Mr Tucker saw fit to cane the whole school. In one notable incident that must have been in the early 1940's he was part of the team in a Staff v. Old Boys match. The pupils were obliged to spectate. It was a wet day and, as fate would have it, Mr Tucker came down face first in a huge patch of mud. The boys' reaction was predictable. They howled with delight and no doubt some less than sympathetic comments were made. Mr Tucker's failed to see the funny side and the next day he caned the whole school.
On a later occasion in the late 50's the boys had been forbidden to throw snowballs near the buildings. One group made an enormous snowball and rolled it with such force against a door that damage was caused. It was impossible to know who the culprits were, so all the boys on the field were whacked - all 174. It is said that they lined up in two rows along the top corridor and Mr Tucker proceeded to cane one side, while Sam Morgan took the other. Sam later commented wryly that his golf swing was never the same again.

Mr Harry Clark, teacher and old boy also remembers being beaten en masse while he was at school during the 50's. "I was involved in the mass caning as one in the queue being caned by the then head boy [son of Emlyn Jones, head of French. Professor Barri Jones was a renowned archaeologist later in life. He died in 2000] There were at least 3 lines of students stretching the length of the then hall (the library now)."

"See me after assembly!" Old boy Michael Ferguson (1956-63) recalls the following encounter with Mr Tucker: "The only time I was ever caned was when we arrived slightly late from our junior school formroom over at Uplyme for assembly in the old hall and Tucker was just marching up to the stage as we all trooped in. He'd cut himself shaving that morning, as a small piece of tissue attached to his cheek attested, and he was in a furious temper. He bellowed "See me after assembly!" to us (it was when I was in either 2d or 3x in 1957 or 58) and then actually proceeded to give each of us one stroke of the cane on our backsides. That was an experience I'll never forget."
Rock star and enfant terrible, Ian Dury joined the school in 1955. He made the RGS infamous by his accounts of life in the boarding house under Mr & Mrs Tucker. He was by his own admission a less than cooperative pupil and he had a troubled relationship with the headmaster's wife, who ran the boarding house. Following an incident in the dining room, in the course of which a fish was thrown across the room and hit her in the face, Ian was given "six of the best" by Mr Tucker. .... a fish was thrown across the room and hit the headmaster's wife in the face
Dury also experienced punishment of a different nature from the prefects.
back     next