No. 200

OSB Logo The Old St Beghian
  January 2022


Toby Tattersall (SH/E 75-82)

As the first in our series of Head Boy and Head Girl reminiscences, Toby Tattersall remembers almost forty years ago:

I remember my schooling at St Bees from 1975 to 1982 as a very happy time in my life. It had been made easier for me as I followed my brother (Luke Tattersall 1974-1980) into what promised to be a very exciting life. My older sister Jane Tattersall (1977-79) also joined the school for the sixth form as one of the first girls.

A year on Eaglesfield with Housemaster David Lyall and Keith Wilson as his deputy was a suitable introduction to boarding school life. My earliest memories include digging potatoes with ‘Bomber’ Harris in the field above School House on a Sunday morning punishment squad, and writing home letters to parents on a Sunday morning. Once I even included the sentence ‘I have sold my bicycle-lock for a prophet’, much to my parents’ amusement. My first summer term at school was the scorcher of 1976 and I remember swimming in the sea at 9pm after evening prep as the weather was so hot.

Heads of School - Toby Tattersall - Eaglesfield House Summer 1976
Eaglesfield House Summer 1976 - Toby Tattersall is directly behind and in between Mr and Mrs Lyall

Progress onto School House followed with David Marshall as Housemaster and Peter Olivier as his deputy. My personal highlights were beating Sedbergh at rugby as an under 16 colt, a trip to North Wales with John Rowlands and Steve Hardman, climbing and gorge walking, although dislocating my shoulder wasn’t quite so much fun, as well as a school trip to Leningrad and Moscow in the winter of 1980, organised by Chris Robson and Keith Walker.


Heads of School 0 Toby Tattersal - School House 1982l
School House 1982
Toby Tattersall is next to David Marshall (Housemaster), left side of centre (3rd row from front, 6th from left)

I became Head Boy in January 1982 for my final two terms at school. My duties were usually very practical. A daily task was organising and filing all the school into chapel every morning in an orderly fashion for the short service before lessons started. Then on certain Sundays I, along with the other prefects, would be seating pupils in the Priory for the evening service. I remember having an audience with the Headmaster Malcolm Thyne in his study on regular occasions as well as being invited termly along with all the school prefects to drink sherry with him and his wife upstairs.



Heads of School - Toby Tattersall - Sports Day June 1978
St Bees Sports Day - June 1978 - Toby Tattersall is in the middle

U14 Squash SH 1977-78 In summer 1982 I remember asking Mr Thyne whether those of us who were eighteen would be allowed to vote in the general election called by Margaret Thatcher after the Falklands War. Of course this was the time before postal votes, but it didn’t happen because we weren’t on the electoral register.

One task I do remember well was the declaration of a day being ‘Officially Hot’. If the temperature rose to 70 degrees Fahrenheit the school would be allowed to remove blazers and ties and go to lessons in shirt sleeves. I would check with the Headmaster and then write it on headed paper and proceed to Foundation and pin the notice to the board.
U14 squash Cup Winners School House 1977-78
Toby Tattersall is front right, holding the cup

I was presented with the Benn Medal on Speech Day before leaving school. I still have that silver medal dated 1796 in a drawer. After leaving school I retook my A levels to increase my grades and was then able to go to medical school at St Mary’s in Paddington.


Heads of School - Toby Tattersall - Benn Medal (Back) Heads of School - Toby Tattersall - Benn Medal (Front)
Toby's Benn Medal - Presented 1982

Heads of School - Toby Tattersall 2012 After graduating I married a fellow doctor and we moved to rural Mid-Wales where we are still working as GPs (admittedly busier during these covid times now than ever before). We have four children, three of whom have left home. I still sing in a local choir and play trombone in the town band, both pastimes I enjoyed at school. I have always enjoyed the outdoor life and have taken to running increasing distances up to ultramarathons as well as road cycling on the quieter rural roads.
Toby Tattersall 2012
Heads of School - Toby Tattersall - Choir
Choir - Toby Tattersall is front row, 3rd from left

 March and Shoot 1979
CCF March & Shoot Champions Warcop 1979 - Toby Tattersall is seated, 2nd from left

Heads of School - Toby Tattersall - 1st XV 1981-82

First XV Rugby 1981-82 - Toby Tattersall is seated, 3rd from left


Also, further photos from Toby feature on the website under the 1970s/80s and may be seen here.






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St Bees School,    St Bees,    Cumbria,    CA27 0DS

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