Mechanical trees, Mechanical dragons, 300 chairs to stand up for a life time! These were a few
things for which an "Improvisor in-Chief" was Required at Goldings some 25 years ago. We had
the very man for me task, Mr G. H. White, engineer, housemaster and cinema projectionist,
To give a pen-picture of Mr. White it will be necessary for me to go back a good many years.
Mr. White came to Goldings as an engineer in June, 1924. In the early days of Mr. White's service
at Goldings it was customary for the Barnardo Helpers' League to have a big day in the Royal
Albert Hall, at which all Branch Homes were expected to contribute something by way of a
performance in the large arena. We here at Goldings on three occasions gave performances of the
Toy Soldier, St. George and the Dragon, and an Allegory, the two latter plays requiring a dragon
and a tree. Mr. White got to work and produced not only a gigantic dragon which could move
speed, but a large tree which everyone in the audience could see growing! (Incidentally, the Toy
Soldiers act received public acclamation throughout our daily newspapers and has been copied
by many kindred and other organizations.
Mr. White has never sought the limelight, but has given most valuable service to the School.
For years he was our cinema technician and did much to build a really up to-date machine, so
that we could have performances of films once a week. He was one of the first house-masters to
he appointed and only relinquished this particular post when it was decided to reorganise the School and to have resident house parents. He has
taken part in most activities of the School, including dramatic acting, cricket, football, billiards and has given valuable service in out-of-school
activities wherever he could lend a hand.
In 1945 Mr. White transferred from the Engineers' Shop to the scholastic side of the School, in which his heart was set, and for the past two years
has been Head Teacher of the School.
Mr. White can be classified as a modest man, sincere in all his efforts, and a colleague I am sure we are all proud to be associated with. Truly
Mr. White is a shining example of our School motto:
"Finis Coronat Opus".
The Goidings Exhibition
This exhibition was devised by the Headmaster to show the public something of the work and hobbies of the boys and staff of our School.
It was officially opened on Thursday, 2nd October, 1958, by Mr. H. K. Fowler, Deputy Education Officer for Hertfordshire. Mr. Fowler was
introduced by Mr. L. B. Keeble, chairman of The Goldings Sub-commitee,who also welcomed visitors to the exhibition which included the
Mayor and Mayoress, Councillor and Mrs. W. L. Foster.
It was the first time the school had been open to the public for three successive days, and it should be recorded as a great success, How many
People actually came see our work is difficult estimate but is generally felt that the numbers were between 400 and 500. When one appreciates
that the actual hours available to the public were only eleven-and-a-half, and that torrential rainfell for a great deal of that time, it makes the
Response seem all the more wonderful.
I was hoping that some of our photographic enthusiasts would produce some really good photographs, so that I could reproduce in our Magazine
for the benefit of those readers who were unable in attend, but alas, I have only the two appearing, which which were kindly sent to me by the
chief photographer of the Hertfordshire Mercury. (See page below.)
Briefly let me try and put the scene of the exhibition into words. The old schoolroom was the centre of attraction, having been exquisitely
decorated by our Painting and Decorating department, and set out with three stands made by the "Carpenters—to show the work of the
Sheet-metal Work, Carpentry and Woodwork, and Boot and Shoe-making departments; a double-sided seat was the centre piece, so placed that
our older visitors could just sit and look ! Through the east door and in the old library the Gardening and Letterpress Printing departments had
their main exhibition, the Printers occupying the walls with a varied selection of their printing, and the Gardeners occupying the centre of the
room with their home produce.
The hobbies of boys and staff were magnificently displayed in the staff dining room. What talent we have ! Oil paintings, sculpture, basket work,
embroidery, models, cake decorating, in fact something of everything. Who was responsible for the layout I do not know, but to the person or
persons I say well done!
Apart from the actual exhibition of work, there were always other things happening. Twice daily, members of the Junior School gave a stage and
screen show on the Life Work of Dr. Barnardo. Once again one can only congratulate producers and actors on a truly wonderful effort. Never
once was a prompt needed. In the gymnasium the gymnastic team untiringly performed for any visitors who looked in.
At the end of the official printed programme of the exhibition appears a single line, "Light refreshments on sale". Not a very conspicuous line,
and the people who produced those refreshments were equally as inconspicuous, but what a debt we all owe them. To staff and visitors that
welcome "cuppa" and a sandwich was the crowning glory to a first-class show.
On the Sunday the exhibition was at the disposal of all the Old Boys who had turnd up at the annual reunion.