Barry Clegg

House and Years at Fettes:
College East, from September 1956 to April 1961 approximately (I left before the summer term).

Qualifications and career:
BA Cambridge (Mechanical Sciences), MSc Aston (Sold Mechanics), Professional Engineer Ontario, Society for Technical Communication (senior member).

Principal stages of my career involved working as mechanical engineer, scientific software designer & developer, IT manager, & communications consultant.

What is your most cherished memory from your time at Fettes?
Playing the organ, which I did frequently, in chapel and in the concert hall. I also played horn in the orchestra and sang in the choir. My greatest musical achievement was playing the Brahms Horn Trio with Mr Simmons (violin teacher) and Mr Lester-Cribb (piano teacher).

My 2 terms in the 3rd year 6th were good fun, working towards Cambridge exams, being a School Prefect, doing lots of music, auditioning for the National Youth Orchestra (I was one of the top 12 horn players, of whom they took 8 - but not me). I was actually sorry to leave school, but there was no reason to stay on, and I went to Birmingham to work for GKN who had given me a valuable industrial scholarship.

I enjoyed Maths (with Mr Brewer) and Physics (Mr Naiff). In an unusual move, three of us in the 3rd year 6th (Douglas Cook, Donald Mason, & I, who all went on to Cambridge) took Messrs Brewer, Naiff, & Lester-Cribb out for dinner. All three teachers were interested in science & music, and showed great enthusiasm for their subjects.

I had three particularly close friends at Fettes: two led to life-long friendships, despite my living in Canada since 1969.

And your least?
The compulsory sports (but see below). I hated having to play rugger, and the disproportionate importance attached to the game. Fettes was a school of jocks, Bigside was far more prestigious than Oxford or Cambridge. The sports I liked best, hockey & fives, were also of low prestige.

If relevant, what did being a scholar at Fettes mean to you?
Being in the accelerated stream gave me the stimulus of being surrounded by smart, self-motivated boys, and allowed me most of a 3rd year in the 6th form, studying beyond the syllabus.

What event or personality left a lasting impression on you?
Three main things come to mind:

1. Unquestionably I got a fine academic education. Thanks to the three teachers mentioned above, and thanks to Fettes.

2. The absence of female contact for 9 months of the year was drastic. This set me back socially for years - but did not prevent me marrying in my 20s and again in my 50s.

3. The compulsory sports. When you couldn't do anything outside because of snow, they organized a snowball fight! But here's the thing: I went on to play hockey at Cambridge (for my college), then for my company and Aston University in Birmingham, and then for many years for the Toronto Field Hockey Club in Canada. I played hockey regularly for 40 years. In my late 20s I discovered the pleasure of running, long before "jogging" was fashionable (though along with almost everyone else I had disliked it at Fettes). In my late 30s I twice ran Marathons, and am still something of a runner. I attribute this continued willingness to exert myself physically to my time at Fettes. Thanks again!

Oh, and I remain rabidly interested in music, mostly choral singing, some piano, and occasionally the French horn.

Were you a conscientious student?
Yes. I never had much trouble keeping up with my studies and homework.

Outside the classroom, how did you spend your free time at Fettes?
Music was my great passion and I was involved in pretty well everything that was going on - except for Pipe Band and Bell Ringing!

Of course I spent a lot of time just talking with a couple of very good friends, with whom I shared a study for two years.

I was and remain an enthusiastic reader, starting a list of books read when I was 12 and maintaining it ever since. Thus I know exactly what I was reading in my Fettes years, and that I have read all but 4 of the 115 works on Mr Roberts' seminal list of recommended literature!