Stanley Bloom (HDS 1946-53)
Stanley Bloom was born in London and educated at Hackney Downs School and the London School of Economics and Political Science. Resident in Sweden for many years, he has been working as a radio journalist and producer, author, editor, translator and lecturer. His books include the Blue Guide, Sweden.
30th July 2015
We are grateful to Stanley who has provided the following addition to his page:-
I started in form 1B in 1946. Our form master was Mr Lyons in room T, which he called the Lyons T(ea) room. What I remember most vividly from that period, apart from going to the school sports ground on Fridays in a fleet of small buses, is the warning we were given in verse the first time we entered the chemistry lab. It went something like:
Little Jimmy’s gone to heaven,
Little Jimmy is no more.
He drank what he thought was H2O,
But was H2SO4.
The many other memories from my seven years at the school start with the admission interview with TOB. It was not so long before term was due to start and most of the places were already filled, but he was impressed by the fact that I had been playing the violin since the age of eight and said he would accept me as long as I joined the school orchestra. This has always mystified me as there never was one during my time there. However, I did play in a couple of school concerts much later and also on one occasion, a school dance, together with other boys on piano, bass and drums, plus a saxophone plied by someone who wasn’t a pupil at the school. I also played in a highly unusual quartet, with Ralph Blend on clarinet, Tony Raeburn piano and ? Levinson (who joined the school in the Sixth Form) on bass. Seldom can a movement of a Beethoven symphony, for instance, have been tackled by such an ensemble!
However, I spent very much more time playing cricket and football at and for the school, than playing the violin; also badminton in my final year. But I was never caught up in the wave of enthusiasm for athletics which came with the arrival of Leslie Michell, partly because it would have clashed with my first love, cricket.
My final two years were in the Sixth Economics, where very much of our time was spent with Jimmy Marr, who took us for three out of four subjects. I subsequently went to LSE, but without any clear idea of what I wanted to do in life, something that was still true after graduating. By pure chance, I was eventually offered an opportunity to go to Sweden for eight months. Although I returned to London at the end of that time, I went back to Sweden a year or so later and have been resident in Stockholm ever since, having worked for many years as a broadcaster for Radio Sweden, before turning freelance. For some time I also contributed to Radio New Zealand’s then Viewpoint programme.
These days I stick to writing, and travel a lot – to London, California and New Zealand, mainly during the seemingly endless Swedish winter. I also retain the interest in photography which began in my early years at HDS after being fascinated by a book on the subject in the school library. It led me to process my own b&w photos in the kitchen at home – as long as I could keep on the right side of my mother. Nowadays, all my processing is done in the computer.
After decades during which I lost all contact with former HDS friends, I am now in touch with Gerald Bernbaum (in London), Michael Teitz (in San Francisco) and sporadically, with two or three others. Gerry I usually see when I am in London, and as my son lives in California, I have met Mike there a number of times.
Published: 2004; edition: 2; pages: 400
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