Archive for the 'Plummer' Category

Jasper Plummer

It is difficult to give an impression of Plummer’s face. It was an unfortunate one – plain rather than ugly. As if the doctors had been forced to use abnormal strength with their forceps to save his mother’s life. I remember a cartoon in Punch where a motorist leans out of an open window and asks a pedestrian ‘Leatherhead?’ to receive the reply ‘Fishface’. Plummer was about my age and came to Stowe in 1923 at the start of Grenville House, as I did tool We had not had time to develop uncivilised behaviour and Stowe had a Headmaster who was resolved to see that strange habits did not develop amongst his charges. I regret to say Plummer’s face did not encourage friendships and I guess his was a lonely life, but with plenty of kindness from all of us. He was not much good at lessons or sports. But Providence had not finished with him yet and we were soon to realise he possessed a super-human gift for mimicry. At times it was uncanny. A new master would arrive and within a few days Plummer had every mannerism summed up. I will never forget the moment when a new History master, Ian Hunter, came to Stowe; he had a glass eye and this would ‘bore into you’ when he talked to you. A few days later and Plummer would look at you in exactly the same way – he did not need to say a word – in that instant he became Ian Hunter. He had a quick wit as well: We had all been splashing about a lot in the bathroom when our housemaster looked in and addressed Plummer with “Where did all this water come from?” “Out of the tap Sir” was the immediate reply” “That’s cheek Jasper” he said followed by a slap on the face. Plummer enjoyed using this God-given gift amongst his fellows, but he was naturally a shy boy. But his reputation spread and at an end-of-term concert he received a deputation from all the masters to give a demonstration of his gifts – but nothing would make him do so. The last I heard of Plummer was that he was a vicar of a village in Cornwall. I wonder if he is still amongst us, but if not, he will have left this world a happier place by his presence.

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