On 11 March 2003 three old pals from School House, Malcolm Baldwin (S. 1958-62), Rich Beales (S. 1957-62) & Steve Webbe (S. 1957-62), paid a visit to their former Housemaster, Peter Gough, in his Lewes home.
“What really touched us,” says Webbe, “was that he invited us over the day after Mrs Gough’s memorial service. Although it must have been a very sad time for the family, we were welcomed like old friends. Mr Gough was in cracking form and we had a hugely entertaining afternoon. It was wonderful seeing him again. I’m sure Mrs Gough would have approved.”
The School House trio remember Daphne Gough with great affection. “She was a veritable Florence Nightingale when we were confined to the sick-room sweating our way through the Asian flu,” recalls Beales.
After satisfying himself that his former charges had not entirely mis-used their Brighton College educations, Mr Gough regaled them with anecdotes about their alma mater. Who knew that Nick Henty-Dodd of School House had gone on to become Simon Dee, the 1960’s heart-throb DJ and talk-show host? Or that writer, Peter Mayle. once claimed, rather improbably, that all he’d eaten at Brighton College was tripe?
“It was amazing,” says Baldwin. “The years just slipped away. We might have been having a jolly lunch with him in the School House dining hall back in 1960 as he discoursed on everything from the films of Charlie Chaplin to the bombing of Hiroshima.”
The School House trio plan to make a second visit to Lewes before too long. “There was so much we didn’t get to talk about,” laments Webbe. “I completely forgot to remind him of the Three A’s Society which he founded to foster interest in Art, Architecture and Archaeology. It famously combined cultural outings with country picnics and he always maintained its name stood for: ‘Ave ‘Arf an ‘Amburger.”
The trio were delighted to find two of Mr Gough’s sons, Piers and Jamie, at home with their father. “We had a brief chat with Piers but he had to leave on what, I suspect, was urgent architectural business,” says Webbe. “But Jamie stayed on and joined in what was really a lovely reunion.”