Mr Wheatly’s retirement

Princess Margaret at the official opening of MacAndrew
Wing Tuesday 18th October 1960.
One of the many improvements Mr. Wheatley instigated
at Goldings.

An article wrote by Mr Wheatley for the Goldonian this is an abridged version of the original text


It is Saturday afternoon, groups of people stand along the side lines, “boys” are running towards top field.
There is an air of expectation upon us, the real business of the day is about to begin. They are like aimless open scenes of a film.
The audience makes themselves comfortable and wait for the drama to be revealed. Ten figures in red and black one in green file
up the hill. At the edge of the pitch a ball is kicked ahead and all break into a run; self discipline, control and skill in every movement.
We thrill we shout we cheer! "Come on the school" We're proud of them; they give us pride in ourselves. They look so smart, we
know they're fit we know they're skilful, we know they are sportsmen and will play the game. They are playing for the School in
more ways than one.
Whether you want to or not you cannot help playing for the School; the only question is whether you are playing to bring us all
credit or let us down. When you go on leave in town, do you look like a boy from a first rate school? Are your manners, speech and
general behaviour a credit to us? If a stranger wandered into the grounds and you were the first person he met, would you give him
a good impression of the school? Do you play for the School?
During the football season which has just ended several fine footballers who left during the term came back to play for the School
on Saturday afternoons. When you leave School and become an Old Boy, you will not stop playing for the School. In fact your
opportunities will become greater, not less. An Old Boy who falls from the standards of common honesty and integrity not only
disgraces himself , but strikes a blow at the reputation of all. All those who show true manliness and resist the temptations become
good workers and honest citizens and continue to play for the School in a very real sense.
One Old Boy, a fine craftsman and exceptionally good footballer who left the School during the past year, has written to say how
well he is getting on at work and that he is proud to be able to tell people where he learned his skill. I'm sure there are very many
who have the same regard for Goldings. The School owes much to the many Old Boys who have made a success of life and amply
repaid all that they received here.
It is your plain duty to see that the reputation of the School is safe in your hands, at work or in your leisure hours while you are
here with us and also when you go out from us to prove your worth.
Ask yourself, "Do you play for the School?"
Headmaster R. F. Wheatley, B. Sc. M. R. S. T.
Goldonian Spring 1948

Mr. Raymond Francis Wheatley, B. Sc, M. R. S. T. Dip. Ed, Dip. Social Studies.

Presentation of prizes

Mr R F Wheatley, B. Sc, Dip. Ed, Dip. Social Studies
(Former Headmaster of William Baker Technical School)
Barnardos School of Print Mead Lane Hertford
The 50th anniversary of the opening of Goldings 23 September 1972
One of the many Students receiving their prize Ron Porter (credit)
With Mr. Ron Stackwood in the background Principle of print
at the school.

The Headmaster and his dog

Throughout the life of the school there was only it appears four men that controlled
the school life from the top, Mr Garnett, Mr Macdonald (formerly Suckling)
Mr Wheatley, and finally Mr Embleton The first two carried the name of
“Governors” of the school, but Mr Wheatley became the first “Headmaster” on
April 1st 1945.
Of the list of Governors / Headmasters, Mr Wheatley will without doubt be the
man that improved the conditions for the boys, and the staff beyond belief, as we
look back on his life and time in charge at “Goldings”
Born 1905 in Birmingham, he was the third of four brothers. His father who was in
his early twenties was killed in a road traffic accident. He was the first in his family
to gain a place at University, and achieved a degree in metallurgy. In the Second
World War he was a home guard, as he was classified as a reserved occupation being
a teacher. He was a father to two children Celia his daughter, and David his son,
who is four years younger than his sister.
One of the first improvements he did when he arrived at William Baker Technical
School (commonly referred to as Goldings) was to vacate a large portion of his
living quarters to the boys to ease overcrowding in the sleeping arrangements within
the school. The next task was to alleviate the problem that dogged the school from
it’s early inception, the problem of the “Spare” This was a boy who had no place in
the trades due to overcrowding, so was expected to while away his days without
getting into trouble until a place was found for him within the trades. This word
was still in use even in my days (1960s) but now described a boy who had recently
entered the school, but was no longer related to the original reason for the word,
but as you read the history of the school certain words were associated with the
school (read on the site “Was it English”) which was one of the many Goldings
slang words used within the school Without a doubt Mr Wheatley was an
outstanding headmaster and resided over the school for virtually half its lifetime. I will quote Mr de’ Boeck the Tinsmith –
Sheet Metal work teacher “He was 20 years ahead of his time” “Do not look for the bad in the BOY but try and look for
the good,” a truly remarkable man of his time from David his son, please read on.

Headmaster 1945-1966

Gift of a New Printing Machine

A simple and pleasant ceremony marked the handing over of a new
Heidelberg Automatic Platen to the Printing Department.
Mr. E. T. Maddox, Chairman of the Heidelberg Printing Machine Co., Ltd.,
who was accompanied by Mr. T. F. Ross, Managing Director,
Mr. T. D. Curtis, Public Relations Officer, and Mr. W. A. Myles, District
Representative, told the boys and staff, who were gathered in the Platen
Room, that the Company had decided to mark the occasion of the 10.000th
installation of these machines in Great Britain by giving it to the School.
Mr. Maddox said how pleased he and his directors were to know that the
boys of Goldings would have a Heidelberg Platen for use at the School.
Our Headmaster, Mr. R. F. Wheatley, B. Sc., thanked Mr. Maddox on
behalf of the Council of the Homes, and added his own appreciation, both
as Headmaster and personally.

Mr. W. H. S. Millar, Head of the Printing Department, added the thanks and appreciation of all members of the Printing Department,
and handed over to Mr. Maddox and Mr. Ross one or two specimens of printing which had already been produced on the new machine.
Goldonian Winter 1959



Despite the fact that 'Time and tide wait for no Man' it always comes as a shock when
the age of retirement is suddenly just round the corner. I, with many others, have still to
receive this shock, but for Mr. Wheatley the moment of truth is at hand, and he has
decided to declare his 'innings' closed at Goldings after 'twenty-one overs'.
I trust I will be forgiven for the rather weak parallel of cricketing terms, but as all readers
are well aware, cricket has been, and still is one of Mr. Wheatley's greatest loves in the
field of sport; and Bottom Field will he the poorer when he no longer takes middle and
off, or pounds up to deliver something unplayable from the bowlers' crease.
However, to make a few points on the more serious side of this unhappy but inescapable
event, Mr. Wheatley has been responsible for practically all the great (and small)
changes that have taken place during the post war years, and many of us are aware that it
has been a dedicated plan that Mr. Wheatley has carried out, not allowing hold?ups of
any proportion to deter him from his ultimate goal? better conditions for boys and staff.
There have been difficult times, especially in the more recent years, but even so certain reforms have taken place, which are
necessary for the school’s long-term survival.
Let us just look for a moment at some of the structural improvements that have come about: the new and recently re - equipped
dining hall and kitchens; the new ablution block; sitting rooms for all houses and modern comfortable bedrooms; the Mac Andrew
wing for senior boys and bed sitting rooms for staff; the new General Subjects building and the extension to the Printing Department.
This isn't all of course, but definitely something that is a visible record of achievement. We all appreciate that no man could have
brought about these improvements on his own, and I know that our Headmaster never fails to acknowledge the help and backing he
has always received from his staff here at Goldings and from those who control the purse strings at our Stepney Headquarters.
During Mr. Wheatley's headmastership the Goldings Committee has been enlarged to include friends of Barnardo's resident in
Hertford, who by reason of their interest in social problems and special knowledge of trade and industry have made a great
contribution towards putting into effect his forward? looking plans. The Advisory Committee for Building Trades, which meets
termly, has been of incalculable value to boys training for these trades, as have also the Special Committees, comprised of experts
from the field of Printing, in advising on the modernization of equipment in this department and the complement of staff required
for efficient instruction.
We know that Mr. Wheatley has been especially pleased by the formation recently of a Goldings Development Committee to plan
for the future needs of the School in respect of staffing, buildings and equipment, as well as steady and suitable recruitment of pupils,
as this decision is taken by all of us at Goldings as an earnest of the determination of Barnardo's to keep the School, as ever, the best
of its kind and ahead of times.
I trust that someone far more qualified than I will write a true appreciation of Mr. Wheatley’s services in the Winter edition of The
Goldonian, when I imagine Mr Wheatley will be sending his farewell message to all his old friends.
Mr. N. T. Powell
Goldonian Summer 1966

Page Compiled March 2007

All images and text copyright © to Goldings Old Boys reunion members

Mr. Wheatley died 10th of March 1975

Mr. R. F. Wheatley, B. Sc.
It is with deep regret we record the death at 69 of Mr. R. F. Wheatley, B. Sc., former headmaster of the William Baker School,
Goldings, Hertford.
He joined the School in 1945 as its first headmaster, the previous principal officers having been governors, and he brought
with him an enthusiasm and vision that lifted the standards and improved the conditions for staff and boys. His endeavours
in this direction were continuous throughout his service.
Faced with postwar shortages and rationing of materials his plans were often frustrated, but never did he accept they were
not possible and gradually new buildings appeared and the dormitories in the mansion achieved a new look.
Living in the mansion he was constantly in contact with the boys and had little time for personal pursuits. A keen cricketer,
he was a member of the school team, commanding his place on ability.
The boys of his time are now mature men, scattered throughout the world, in diverse occupations: businessmen, teachers,
missionaries, craftsmen.
All, I am sure, have affection in their hearts for the man who was always striving to improve the quality of their lives.
The decision in 1966, the year of his retirement, to close Goldings the following year made him very unhappy.
However, the young men who passed through the school during his twentyone years' service are still living proof of the
school's motto: Finis Coronat Opus "The End Crowns The Work".

R. Stackwood
Principal, Barnardo School of Printing

Many thanks to David Wheatley for his help with information on this page

March 1945
— Mr. R. F. Wheatley, B. Sc. (Chem.), Lecturer to the Technical Institute, Burton-on-Trent, is expected to
arrive at Goldings on 28th March, and will commence his duties as Head Master on 1st April.

The Aim of The William Baker technical School by R. F. Wheatley

Mr Wheatley writes

Mr. R. F. Wheatley, B. Sc.

Mr. R. F. Wheatley

Please click on the photograph for
a more personal insight into
Mr Wheatley by his son David