by H.St V.Beechey

Felix Hull was a music teacher, a trainee teacher it would seem, for surely one so lacking in the first idea of how to deal with a class of thirteen-year-old boys it would be hard to imagine, They gave him hell. Teacher baiting is an art, and a skilful practitioner would know exactly how far he could push a teacher. The teachers too had their levels of competence. We knew that baiting Gledhill, the Geordie Maths teacher, was a perilous procedure. Once past a certain point, he would become violent, as was often the case with teachers from the North. It was possible to get away with a lot with Highmore, the history teacher, by playing on his vanity. Edwards, the genial geography teacher would allow a certain latitude, but no-one would dare to try anything on with Mr Horne, the English teacher who could quell us with a glance. The unfortunate Felix, God knows how we discovered his laughable first name, was quickly exposed as an absolute Tyro and, like a pack of feral dogs, class 4A fell upon him.


The more responsible among us, an elite of recognised ringleaders, felt embarrassed at the situation. It was too much like bullying a toddler. We could see that the poor man was close to tears. He was a musician, not a schoolteacher, with a sincere and honest love of his music, and we, the class leadership decided to offer him our protection. So was formed “The Felix Hull Protection society” and it was made known that henceforth, he was under our protection. From that day, Felix’s class was remarkably quiet and well behaved. But even with our help, he only lasted one term. I think, in his heart, he knew he was in the wrong profession, and he escaped, perhaps to the more disciplined back row of a symphony orchestra. I like to think so.


© 2004 H. St V.Beechey