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2016 · ISSUE 5

27

OBITUARIES

She had three children: Elisabeth,

Charles and Antony. Summer holidays

were spent in Pembrokeshire. One of her

children’s lasting memories is of Ruth,

wearing a long, brown mac topped by

an old Dragon School grey hat, sitting

staunchly on the beach on a groundsheet

and dispensing sandwiches while watching

Ewart build remarkable sand castles.

When a resident at Ritchie Court,

Ruth sat on the Committee, catalogued

the library and looked after the roof

garden. While in St Luke’s she directed the

cataloguing of their library too.

Ruth died aged 95, a much loved

matriarch of the Dragon School.

Ruth Escritt; died September 2015

Michael Barrowclough (1950-89)

After spending time in the Navy, Michael

Barrowclough read History at Trinity

College, Oxford. He joined the Dragon

in 1950 and taught Latin, English, French

and History. When he was offered the job,

Headmaster Joc Lynam said, “We’ll try you

out for a couple of years.” Michael retired to

Old Marston in 1989.

Asked about his nickname (‘Putty’), he

explained that one boy had read a story

featuring a man called Mr Barrowclough

whose nickname was ‘Puttynose’. Michael

was known as ‘Puttynose’ for a long time

until the ‘nose’ part was finally dropped.

Michael Barrowclough’s teaching

methods, although often successful, were

not always to modern tastes. His task was to

get Upper 2B, identified as the least bright

boys, through their Common Entrance

exams and in to their favoured public

school. One recalled, “One of the best

teachers of Latin that I ever had. I went on

to my public school and learned very little

in my Latin classes in the first two years

because I had done it all before with Putty.”

He encouraged reluctant sportsmen with

the Snapdragons, a gentlemanly cricket

team where ball-shy boys could enjoy

cricket fixtures that revolved more around

an excellent tea than winning games. He

ran swimming in the River Cherwell in the

summer, organised skiing trips and loved

running the dancing classes and skating.

In 1962 he married Liz, who had become

a School House matron in 1949. From 1963

Michael and Liz ran ‘Putty’s’ at 14 Bardwell

Road. He eventually became senior master

and organised the school timetable, but

never aspired to being headmaster.

Michael Barrowclough; died 26 December

2015

Robin Houghton, known affectionately

as ‘Lofty’, died after a long illness which

he had fought bravely, on Friday 27

May 2016. Lofty was Dragon through

and through. After moving on to King’s

School, Canterbury and St. John’s, Oxford,

he came back to the Dragon in 1959.

Lofty was form master for many years, in

addition to teaching Latin, Greek, Maths,

Science and French. He became Head

of Science in 1962, a post he held until

1997. He ran Charlbury (1969-1974),

and then No. 14 Bardwell Road - Lofty's

(1974-1983) with his wife Andrea,

whom he had married in 1970. During

this period he began organising Prize-

giving and Leavers’ Books, a job he did

with meticulous dedication for 56 years.

After he retired as a full time member

of staff, he became the Golden Oldies

Co-ordinator, maintaining the database

of long serving staff and arranging their

annual lunch with his usual attention to

Robin Houghton (1959-2016, OD 1953)

detail. He maintained close relationships

with many of the Golden Oldies, and his

caring nature shone through in his ongoing

attention to the welfare of numerous former

Dragon staff. He leaves his wife, Andrea,

and two daughters Joanna (OD 1990) and

Frances (OD 1993).

Lofty’s Memorial Service

AMemorial Service will take place at

2.30pm on Saturday, 17 September 2016

at St Andrew’s, Linton Road, OX2 6UG.

After the service, the Dragon invites

you to join current Dragon staff for

refreshments where there will be time to

remember Lofty.

Please email Joanna Remnant (née

Houghton) on

joannaremnant@yahoo

.

co.uk

and let her know if you wish to attend.

Please send your condolences to

Mrs Andrea Houghton, Orchard House,

3 Windmill Lane, Wheatley, Oxon, OX33 1TA