Speech Day July 25th 1959

Alastair Carstairs (FN 57-62) writes:

"Speech Day in 1959 was especially memorable as the Guest of Honour was Dr Barnes Wallis of Dambuster fame.

From the left – H.W. Mawson (Chairman of Governors), with his back to the camera was F.C. Geary (a retired Chemistry master at St Bees, one of the Governors at the time and a life-long friend of Barnes Wallis), and - with his braces showing – Barnes Wallis.  Mr Geary proposed the Vote Of Thanks at Speech Day, and I found among my records that he actually retired the following year as a Governor after some 50 years service to the School as Master and Governor.
The Opening of the (then) New Block by Barnes Wallisfrom the left H.W. Mawson, J.C. Wykes (Headmaster), Barnes Wallis and G. Hetherington (Head Boy).

Barnes Wallis watching the Gym Display on the Crease, one of the events that Speech Day.


I was one of the fortunate ones who was presented with a Prize by Barnes Wallis (one of the three Fourth Form Prize Winners) and I recall his amusement at my selection of a prize book – titled 'Engineering Structural Failures'. The reasons for this odd selection were that the choice of possible books was rather poor, and I thought it would be of some interest given that I had by then decided to make a career in Civil Engineering! I am glad to say that I did not have any such failures in my engineering career!

While there is a brief synopsis of Barnes Wallis’ speech set out in the School Magazine in October 1959, what is not recorded is his amusing story about how and why the modern automatic dish washers were invented by scientists – so they could avoid doing the washing up and drying the dishes. I should add that most men (well, husbands perhaps would be more accurate) are the main dish washer stackers!"