Last updated: 1 Oct 02
“Plug” or “Slug”
1942 – 1968
1964 School Photo
1962 School Photo
Mr Powell was the ‘Maths Teacher’ and was nicknamed ‘Slug’ by the pupils. Unfortunately Mr Powell was diabetic and would frequently doze off during class. On one occasion during the last lesson Mr Powell fell asleep and all the pupils left him and the cleaners awakened him later on in the evening.
Although he was known as “Slug” to the older Wodens, the 1A entry of 1966 knew him as “Plug”. Ernie was easily distracted from his teaching and liked to regale us with stories of schooldays long gone. He wrote on the board the “words” of the Siamese national anthem and had us sing it to the tune of God Save The Queen. Those words were:
Oh wa ta na Siam
Oh wa ta na Siam
I recall clearly him telling us that when he was called up for military service, he joined the RAF and served as a tail gunner in Lancasters. He would also give us lessons in “etiquette for young gentlemen” one example of which was, and I quote. “Never ask a lady how old she is. Always ask her how young she is instead”!
Ernie would take boys who did well in tests to caddy for him at Brandhall Golf Course. It was quite a treat and we always went in pairs. One time he allowed us to take a few practice shots on the target range. Tim Phillips took the 5 iron and never having hit a ball in his life before hit the thing out of site as straight as you like. The Rolls Royce spoken about in the newspaper piece about his retirement was in fact the Vanden Plas 1300 which he was rather proud of. He never stopped telling us of its Rolls Royce heritage.
As one of the seemingly few who went home for lunch, I was often lucky enough to have a lift in the aforementioned Vandas Plas. Jim’s right, he was very proud of it!
I also recall his kind gesture in calling in to my home to wish me well, the day before I left for university, even though he had not taught me for two years.