Ruth Whiting retires this summer. This page is for Ruth's former pupils (wherever they may be, and not just from the 1975 class). Send text via e-mail to Martin. Click here for advice on how to send scanned photos.
School photo, 1968.
I remember Ruth telling me when I was about 15: "The reason your work is so untidy and your spelling so bad is that you have an untidy mind." I'm afraid Ruth my writing is still messy, my spelling atrocious! and my desk a disgrace. However, thanks in no small part to Ruth's rigorous teaching, my mind is now rather more focussed. I think the most enjoyable lessons of my whole school career, were S level history. I always remember Ruth talking to us about how the real power in the land was the person who controlled access to the ruler (I think it was in relation to Cardinal Wolsey). I found it a revelation at the time and an invaluable insight every since, particularly since I now make documentaries about politics and have been filming with one of Tony Blair's gatekeepers. Greetings to Ruth from me and a whole generation of Cahns - three out of four who did A level history, what more can I say. (Alison Cahn)
Ruth has to be the best teacher I ever had. She was challenging but she made me really want to do the work. I did history A level just to have her still as my teacher plain and simple. She gave an inordinate amount of attention to whom each individual was in the class. I remember an hour or so after my history O level talking to someone - ?my brother Paul? who said that Ruth had said that it was a pretty good set of questions for the areas I was strong in. I remember being so amazed that she had figured that out, and so touched. I have one funny memory that Ruth left her glasses in the library one day. Somehow I had the honor of going to get them which suited me fine as I worshipped her. On the way back I put them on and noticed that everything including my feet looked very far away. Hmm, I thought, that's how she has such good perspective on things. Got to go, I've got a plane to catch, I love you Ruth! Love Diney (Diana Ensor) XXXXXXXXXXXX.
Dear Ruth: in a fit of nostalgia I read all of my school reports (mostly for the first time). After 25 years I think the statute of limitations has expired, so here goes. Your constant attempts to get me to introduce substance into my arguments succeeded only partially but you deserve a lifetime of thanks. I am a better and more rigorous thinker as a result. I feel now that only during my time as your pupil did anyone push me hard enough to line up my arguments in a satisfactory manner. Love from Martin Marris (Bedales 1969-75.)
Bedales publicity photo. The caption says only that this is a 6th form class. That's Jonathan Taylor at the right, so this was probably 1972 or 1973. (From Martin's archive.)
Oh no, it's the RUTHMOBILE! The caption on the back of this postcard says "Bedales Memorial Library 1975. Photography by Christopher Burgess. Printed by the Bedales Press." (From Martin's archive.)
"... my children worship her as a cult heroine, having both experienced her teaching." - Dennis Archer.
On the infamous "Greek Literature in Translation" field study tour led by Ken McLeish (early 1970s) ... Patrick Erdal remembers: "Sunbathing on the beach with Ruth Whiting! (She gets everywhere that lass)."