Page Compiled September 2007

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

W. D. (Bill) Purkis passed away at the age of 88. He will be remembered by hundreds | of letterpress machine minders as the man
who introduced them to the skills of printing. He was always patient, always thorough, and made sure each young man fully
understood the basic skills upon which to advance to the more sophisticated equipment.
During the First World War Mr Purkis served with the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment, and during the Second World War
he was a Home Guard.

Bill Purkiss Goldonian Spring 1965:
On Friday, 26th March, 1965, the staff and apprentices of the Printing Department gathered round the stone (a metal table used
when preparing pages of type for press and the traditional centrepiece for ceremonials) to bid farewell to Mr. Purkis upon his
retirement after 35 years as an instructor at Goldings.
Looking just a little uncomfortable, Bill, never one to seek the limelight, was presented with a barometer by his staff colleagues,
and a purse and wallet, initialled in gold, by the apprentices. The latter were presented by. Mr. David Lee on behalf of the apprentices,
who expressed their appreciation of the help Mr. Purkis had given them and other apprentices during his 35 years' service.
Mr. Purkis thanked all present for the farewell gifts and detailed some of the changes he had seen in the department over the years.
The Printing Department will be poorer on his departure. His stature as a craftsman placed him among the very best. His attention
to detail and its effect on the finished job won him the respect of staff and apprentices alike. Competently and methodically he would
guide a job along and woe betide a lad who remarked 'that's near enough’. A job was good enough when it was perfect.
Mr. Purkis estimates that 247 boys passed through his department during his service at Goldings. These printers are now scattered far
and wide, in all parts of the British Isles, Australia, Canada, Rhodesia and Africa. Of all the 'end products' of his department, the
craftsmen he helped train must give him the greatest satisfaction. We shall all miss our day-to-day association with Bill, but must
realise he has earned a rest. We trust that he and Mrs. Purkis will long enjoy a happy retirement.
Living within bugle-call of Goldings we know he will be unable to resist the 'Fall-in' occasionally and if he feels disposed to keep
his hand in there is always a box full of jobs in the platen room.
Mr. and Mrs. Purkis live in the delightful new estate in Bengeo His address is: Cowper Crescent, Bengeo, Hertford.
After his presentation in the Printing Department, Mr. Purkis was summoned to the staff room, where all the members of staff were
assembled to witness the presentation by our Headmaster of a cheque and plaque in appreciation of his 35 years' service to the School.
In his remarks of appreciation Mr. Wheatley laid emphasis on the quiet efficiency of Mr. Purkis. In reply Mr. Purkis said he had
enjoyed his work, despite the many frustrations and pitfalls, and promised to look in to see that everything was in order.

Mr. W. Purkiss

Printing Department