Wednesday 4 January 2012

As Any Fule Kno…

The death has recently been announced of the great Ronald Searle, at the ripe old age of 91.


He was a really gifted artist- and over 60 years ago, he drew amazing pictures of his life as a Japanese POW on scraps of paper he had managed to scrounge, and conceal from the guards. He said afterwards that he felt that it would give some purpose to his life, which imagined would be quite short, if he could in some way document the experiences of himself and his comrades.


But for most people who recognise his name, the two great things for which he will be remembered are the wonderful schools and their pupils which he illustrated so brilliantly – St Trinians and St Custards

st t

Who can forget the wondrous exploits of these girls ?? [and the fabulous films with Joyce Grenfell and co – infinitely better than the recent remakes]

Being a grammar school girl, who wore a gymslip and striped tie, and a school hat, how I identified with these girls. There were so many things you could do with a hockey stick, and how we made the history master’s life a misery [and yes, we had a batty spinster headmistress too…]

And as for Molesworth …

st custards

This man was certainly no fule – and he has left a wonderful legacy in his art – both serious commentary on the evils of war, and also enormous fun and warmth in his depiction of schooldays.


  1. Did your school have a year end 6th form review? At my school it was traditionally the time for St Trinian's outfits!
    Jane x

  2. I'm indebted to my next eldest brother for passing on his Molesworth books to me; wish I still had them, but I bet he wanted them back and probably still has them. I always remember Fothering-Thomas (?) skipping about saying "Hullo birds, hullo sky". Must dig up a copy of them. I think it was "Down with Skool" that chimed with me because I LOATHED skool.


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