School's former head boy is still number one now

REUNITED: from left, John Rudge, the director of FRD Associates, presents former Wells House head boy Richard Snell with his peg.

REUNITED: from left, John Rudge, the director of FRD Associates, presents former Wells House head boy Richard Snell with his peg.

First published in News by

NEARLY 50 years after escaping boarding school life, Malvern Wells resident Richard Snell has been told, “We’ve still got your number.”

The shock message – bringing back images of cold baths and hill runs before breakfast – was delivered by John Rudge, a director of developer FRD Associates, which is turning Mr Snell’s old prep school, Wells House, into luxury apartments.

The pair bumped into each other and Mr Rudge revealed that he had saved a number of old peg numbers from the clutches of the builders.

It so happened that one of them was No 1, which used to be Mr Snell’s peg, so the memento was formally presented to him.

Others are available to be claimed by former pupils who might be interested.

Mr Snell, aged 63, a farmer, attended Wells House in the late 50s and early 60s.

“We all had our specific pegs,”

recalled Mr Snell. “You had a little number in cast-iron form and a hook on the bottom.

“I can’t remember what we used it for now – probably our games bags and maybe our jackets.

You had boxes for your shoes too.

“It was a pretty tough existence.

As soon as you woke up it was into a cold bath where the water had to come up over your shoulders, all supervised by matron.

“Then you were running up the hill and back down before breakfast.

“There was the odd lesson or two and you were into PE. We were pretty fit. We didn’t lose a rugby match in the five years I was there.”

Despite the regime, he remembers happy days once you had got over being torn away from your parents for 14 weeks at a time.

Many former pupils still live around the Malvern area and, with the pegs used by successive waves of children, Mr Rudge is hoping others will come forward.

He said: “It’s a bit of fun which is also of historical interest.

“We haven’t got all the pegs but if we are asked for particular numbers, and we have them, then we are happy to pass them on.

“It helps us too – highlighting both the wonderful heritage of Wells House and these fine new properties which I am glad to say have generated a great deal of interest.”

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