Alumnus of the Month: February 2022
Chris Crawley is our Verulam School Alumnus of the Month for February 2022. Chris left Verulam School as a student in 1964 and is now retired.
Please tell us a little about yourself – where do you work and how did you get into this role?
I had two “careers” at Verulam. The first took me from the First Year (as it was called then) in 1956 to the Upper Sixth. By the time I left I was School Captain and had been a member of the First Rugby XV for three seasons. I headed for University College London, did a degree in English and started my teaching career in Amersham. Then, in 1981 I rejoined the school as Head of English, taking early retirement on the grounds of ill-health in December 1999. My successor was a certain Mr Paul Ramsey.
What are some of your proudest achievements since leaving Verulam School?
Going back to university as a very mature student, taking a Master’s and achieving a distinction. I am also very proud to be the chair of a local community orchestra.
What advice would you give someone looking to follow a similar career path?
For someone interested in joining the teaching profession, you need three things: a love of your subject; a desire to work with young people by sharing your passion; resilience.
How have your experiences at Verulam School contributed to your life and successes since leaving school?
There is no doubt that at Verulam I found my love of the English Language and Literature, and also my abiding interest in other languages and in the history of language in general. Verulam also provided an important input to my other love, that of music.
What House were you in at Verulam School and can you describe one of your fondest memories?
I was in Park. Our housemaster was a well-known character from that era by the name of “Juicy” Bateman. He never taught me, but I vividly remember house meetings at the beginning of every term in which Juicy would waffle on about something instantly forgettable, but he had everyone’s riveted attention owing to the way he constantly fiddled with his pocket watch, which he had laid on the table before him. Its convex back meant that the slightest touch would send it rotating and wobbling madly. It was mesmerising.
I continue to study at university as an even more mature student than I was previously. I hope a PhD will come of it. My field is Music Composition.
We love hearing what our alumni have been doing since leaving Verulam School. Each month, we are inviting a member of our alumni community to share their story of life after Verulam. If you’re an alumnus who would like to take part, or you’d like to volunteer an alumnus that you know, then please drop us an email.