Fan Court School

Class of 1957

Nigel Hutchinson-Brooks (Brooks)

Whilst Nigel is an Old Boy of Fan Court School, his sister Rosemary (Esher, Class of 1960) attended Claremont School. Nigel shares stories of first learning to play the trumpet at Fan Court School, returning as a temporary member of staff in 1966 and restoring an old car into the 'Leo Machanicus':

“When I went to Fan Court in January 1953, the school had 49 students. When I left in December 1957 it had 85 students. It was a wonderful school and I was very happy there. My sister Rosemary Brooks went to Claremont.

In my last two years at Fan Court I started to learn the trumpet – very unusual then as the only options were piano and violin. I continued after leaving and became a bugler in the army. My first Last Post at a public ceremony was Remembrance Day 1962. I am booked to play it at the local cenotaph next month, the 61st anniversary of the first time I played it. I have played it many times since. I have played in amateur orchestras over the years, and for the last fifteen years have been playing Flugelhorn in the local brass band (which was founded in 1892!), and am Vice President, responsible for looking after our home, a heritage listed Court House.”

I came across one of my sister Rosemary (Esher, Class of 1960) and I taken near our then home outside Lymington in Hampshire during the summer holidays of 1954, for some reason wearing our school uniforms!

“In about 1966 I took two weeks’ leave from the Army and spent it at Fan Court as a temporary staff member, helping out in any way I could, (sleeping in the sick bay!). Among the tasks I helped with was dismantling an old car that was in the school grounds, (I don’t remember why). I worked with Martin H, – first picture – (still a close friend), to show the boys how a car worked. And get it working we did. The girl in the seat beside me was a matron but I do not remember her name. Mr Snape suggested the name ‘Leo Mechanicus’ – the mechanical lion – and so we christened her!”