On arrival - 20.9.62 - age 13 - the first sound to hit my ears was “Ack Ack”. Lo, the great man - Canon G.D. Sweeney. Lovingly known among the boys as Acker Dan due to his throat-clearing cough. Bulldog in appearance but with more grace and compassion than any headmaster could wish to aspire to. After a year, he handed over to Fr. M. R. Swaby (aka Reg). More conservative, a touch less approachable, but on digging further I discovered gold - he played the double-bass. Any man who plays the double-bass deserves a statue.
First year in Grammar .. but what’s this? Who are these people near me? What planet are they from? Good heavens, they’re Northerners. My native London ears had never once heard a northern accent, yet alone the alien sounds of the tribes from Manchester, Leeds, Bradford, or, heaven help us, Ireland. Oh dear, what foreigners.