Alastair Reid

House and Years at Fettes:
Moredun 1970-1975

Qualifications & Career:
Schoolmaster (at Bedford School, Glenalmond College, Dean Close, Hebron School - India, Ballard School - Hampshire)
Housemaster and HOD History (Glenlamond)
Deputy Head (Dean Close)
Headmaster (Hebron 2002-9, Ballard since 2009)

What is your most cherished memory from your time at Fettes?
I have many but probably the best was running the final leg in the Moredun 6 x 200m relay team in 1975, overtaking Schoolhouse to come in second and to snatch the House Athletics cup by a few points from Kimmerghame, the holders. David McMurray (Housemaster) told me just before the race that if we came second we would manage the feat and this spurred us all on.

And your least?
Getting caught walking on the grass beside the Dining Hall as a short cut to breakfast just before the half-term break when I was in the Third Form. A Prefect then gave me a cold shower - but I had to wait until after the half-term break for the punishment! Also losing in the boxing final in the Third Form to 'slugger' Sloan. It was the most tiring 3 minutes (3 x 1 minute rounds) I can ever remember - and all whilst being hit!

Were you awarded a scholarship at Fettes and if so, what did it mean to you?
No but I won a scholarship in History from Fettes to go to Christ's Cambridge. This was the clincher for me as I had been awarded a Morehead Scholarship to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Tony Chenevix-Trench (Head) persuaded me that the Cambridge honour was better!

What event or personality left a lasting impression on you?
Charles Whittle (my first Housemaster at Moredun) instilled in me a sense of duty, honour and integrity - as well as a love for the eccentric! My second Housemaster, David McMurray, helped persuade me that schoolmastering in the independent sector was my vocation. Richard Gorrie (Chaplain) and Frank Bardgett (History teacher) were great Christian influences, as was David Weekes (chaplain). Many staff became great friends after school - such as Peter Coshan, David Kennedy and David McMurray.

Were you a conscientious student?
I think so! I certainly enjoyed my studies and learnt the value of hard work and independent study.

Outside the classroom, how did you spend your free time at Fettes?
Masses of sport - hockey, rugby and athletics in particular. I enjoyed the Pipe Band (as drum major), the Christian Study Group and the debating society. Also the Octobrists, the History society then which David Orchard and Frank Bardgett organised.