Quentin Letts grew up in a boarding school where his father was headmaster. Fifty years on, it still shapes his character
Gordon Brown is a son of the manse. John Major’s dad was a circus performer who sold garden gnomes. My own father, R F B ‘Dick’ Letts, was a prep- school headmaster at Oakley Hall, Cirencester, from 1962 to 1992. Having a boarding school for one’s home was odd but never dull. We lived with over 100 children and staff. Privacy was rare. One afternoon in my teens, I was taking a bath and a visiting clergyman wandered in. He stayed for a long, amiable chat while my bath water slowly cooled. Family evenings could be interrupted by a knock on the drawing-room door and a dormitory prefect saying, ‘Willoughby’s been sick!’ or an under-matron complaining that Kaminski simply would not stop talking after lights out. Seconds later, we’d hear Kaminski being given three of the best before Father, with a sighing ‘Now where was I?’, returned to his supper...
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