Philippa Meikle | King's College Taunton

Philippa Meikle

RT @kingshallsport: The pupils had a brilliant time on the #netball courts yesterday with Ms Kemmish, and lots have signed up for the h… - 16 minutes ago

My two earliest memories of King's are firstly I wasn’t allowed into the sixth form bar for the majority of my first term as I wasn’t 16 until early December and secondly drinking Mrs Kerslake’s hot chocolate in the doorway (not sure why but that is where we always drank it!) between Harestone and their house.

A bizarre memory I have is of the rush to the common room at break on a Saturday morning to watch Tizwoz on tv!

In those days when there were 2 or 3 girls per year per (boys) house Valentines day was a complete nightmare for the girls. In Woodard the post was laid out on a table just inside the door at Briar lea. We never knew if a card was really from a ‘valentine’ or had been written by a group of boys to try and determine who we had our eye on by asking us to say who the card was from!

My most embarrassing moment at King’s was when I was hit on the head by a shot putt – which was referenced in the end of term assembly by JMB who said ‘congratulations to the girls for doing so well in athletics this year even if they had a problem with some of the weapons they used.’ (I was the innocent party)

I wouldn’t say I had a prominent position in the school but I was a house prefect and captained the girls’ hockey and tennis teams in 6:2. I threw myself into everything there was to offer at King's – sport ,music, community service and looking back as an adult spent far too little of my time studying!!

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My greatest achievement at King's was probably organising a 24 hour indoor ‘around the world/country’ bike race on stationary exercise bikes to raise money for charity.

We in the Woodard were exceptionally lucky to have Graham and Patricia Hall as house master and Ray and Pauline Codd as deputy. How sad it is that Graham and Ray have both died recently. The down side of being in the Woodard was that we weren’t permitted to be in a study bedroom at No 48 (chez hall).

I had grown up learning French staying with French families which meant Ben Sykes (Womble)’s French classes teaching us the language and to love all things French were a joy but Mr Rogers (Pinky)’s French classes focussing on grammar and literature were a nightmare for me. We also had a Saturday morning class after break with him which meant keen sports people like myself regularly missed the lesson – to go to away matches - which infuriated him.

After Kings I studied management Science with French Language at Stirling University and then worked in Contracts (exports) at Westland Helicopters before moving to Scotland with my husband in 1989. I worked briefly in the Industrial Liaison office at Dundee University before having our 2 boys. I have not returned to work having suffered from ME since my 2nd year at University.

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We have now adjusted to life as two again given that our youngest left University and started working nearly 3 years ago and both of them live away from home. Memories of being a taxi service and hours spent on the touchline are starting to fade…..!

I have managed to unearth 2 old photographs. The first is of me on the tennis court (my natural environment!) around about the time I was at King's. It might even be on the courts beside Briar Lea but might also have been just before I joined. I can’t remember!

The second old photo is Woodard’s entry to the house instrumental in ‘79/80. In those days each house performed an instrumental piece, a house part song and a house unison song.

The 3rd photo is of me now with my (very tall) family taken in March of this year.

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