Last updated Sunday October 21, 2007
Remember Richard A'Brook
Richard A'Brook 1975
Richard A'Brook 2007
When did you attend Priory
What was your nickname at Priory?
How did you locate the Priory website?
I can't remember, I think Shel Khipple must have put me onto it.
Who were your most memorable teachers?
That's a toughie - I couldn't claim that any of them inspired me to become what I am (and they certainly wouldn't want to bear that heavy, heavy responsibility!), but I think on balance I'd have to point the finger at Andy Rashleigh (drama, and now a fairly well-know actor, writer and director). I didn't become an actor, but he let me wish I could have done.
Who were your best friends at Priory?
David Smith and Shel Khipple. We just seemed to share a mindset (although Shel might dispute that nowadays - I'm a bit too left-wing for his liking!).
Who are you in touch with today?
Shel Khipple almost every day, David Smith when he's not too busy to reply (which isn't that often). I've had contact with David Boothroyd, Charlie Tomlinson and Neil Weinberg, but not on a regular basis, and also my sister Jenny's best buddy, Faith Graham. And, of course, Mrs Gregory.
Who would you like to track down?
How to name a few without unjustly overlooking the many?
What was the wildest thing you ever did at Priory?
Wild? Moi? I was middle-aged by the age of 14. A friend (who I won't name, to spare his blushes) and I did occasionally sneak out at lunchtime for an illegal Red Stripe...
However I did have one or two memorable 'mishaps':-
Number one: one year I was given the job of unfurling the British flag at the start of Sports Day - the flags were rolled up and tied, you were just supposed to pull the lanyard and it would untie and the flag would flutter out. I pulled my rope and nothing happened. I pulled it again, a bit harder, and the nail at the top of the pole bent, the rope slipped off it, and the whole flag/rope combo plunged to the ground. I think it was Mr Gervasio who had to unstep the pole, lay it on the ground, re-attach the unfurled flag, and then raise the pole again.
Number two: I can't even remember clearly if this was the same year, but I think not. Anyway, I was running the third leg of a 4 x 100m relay. Unfortunately, the team was disqualified before the race even started - I think someone wasn't wearing proper kit (could it have been Neil Harvey?). Trouble was, nobody told me - I found out when all the other runners steamed through the change-over zone and I was left standing there with my hand out behind me waiting for my guy to appear. That sort of thing scars you for life!
I'm dead centre holding the pole. That's Patrick Drake doing the shouting, alongside Mr Day and Tammy Bourke. The guy underneath the "R" of "OXFORD" is Peter Chin, half hidden behind him is David Smith (who was actually in McGill house), and in the glasses behind the other pole extreme right is Howard Williams (also McGill). I'm fairly sure the girl on the right background, between David and Howard, out of focus, is Andy Demetrius.
What memories/views do you have of Priory?
I was there less than two years, in between two spells at the same school in Aberystwyth, Wales. With hindsight, I'd say Priory was a more relaxed place to be, you could be yourself rather than trying to be what you thought other people wanted you to be.
Who was the craziest person during your time at Priory?
Stephen Hanna and Thorvald van de Tooren, as a double act. They were wacky, rather than crazy, there always seemed to be a lot of hilarity when they were about.
Where do you live and what do you do nowadays?
I've been living in Carnoustie, Scotland, since graduating from University of St Andrews in 1984. I took a Ph.D. at University of Dundee, and was a research statistician in cardiovascular epidemiology there for almost 15 years, until the funding dried up. Since then, I've been sort-of looking for another career (but not too hard), preferably in the trade union movement, but I've mostly been concentrating on writing - I've nearly finished my third novel, but so far agents and publishers have not shared my estimation of their worth! I'm also a member of the Employment Tribunal, which is basically a sort of lay magistrate dealing with employment law cases.
Tell us about any significant others
I met Tracey Jayne Conway when we were both freshers at St Andrews, living in the same hall. We were married immediately after graduating in 1984, and went to live in her hometown of Carnoustie, where we've been ever since. She's now a paralegal in the local city council. We have no children, but we have shared 20 years of our lives with a now cantakerous old tabby cat called Thisbe.
Tracey and Richard
Tell us about your most unusual meeting with a Priory person
I can only think of three meetings of any sort, and none of them was unusual.
What do you think of the Priory Website?
I'm just gobsmacked by the amount of effort you must put into keeping it going.
ęStephen Smith 2007
Published on the Priory Website Sunday 21st October 2007
This site was last updated Sunday, 21 October 2007 19:43