[Christopher Howell was at Caldecott from 1961 until 1971. Of musical fame, he now resides in Italy. In January 2016 Christopher was browsing through some recently added website photographs donated by David Carver. We were grateful to receive comments on some of the photos and his comments are recorded here with links [CURRENTLY BROKEN] to the photos.]
Memories of some Staff by Christopher Howell in relation to photos on the website: Pat Meara
The lady between Pauline Hilton and Audrey Watson in DCR-02-85 is almost certainly Pat Meara (pronounced “Mara”).
Pat Meara was Australian, or at any rate had lived there. She didn’t have much of an Australian accent but didn’t quite sound pure English either. For a time (in my later years at CC) she looked after the upstairs dormitories in the West Wing. She was small, slightly dark-skinned and, I would say, a very strong-willed personality. I don’t think there was much messing about when she was in charge. As a senior boy, it sometimes fell to me to “babysit” for her on Friday evenings. “Babysit” in this case meant sitting in her room while she attended staff meeting. I was there just in case anything happened but as far as I can recall, nothing ever did. I just sat there reading and helping myself to her instant coffee. I suppose my temporary young charges were fast asleep. If they had known I was in the room, not Pat Meara, I’m sure a few energetic pillow fights would have been the least I would have had to contend with. When Pat Meara came up from the dreaded drudgery of the staff meeting, I was usually invited to have another cup of coffee and we talked a bit. My principal recollection is that she was something of an expert on recent translations of the Bible. She introduced me to “The Jerusalem Bible”, this at a time when “The New English Bible” was still stuck at the New Testament and was making such slow progress that many people despaired of ever reading the Old Testament in modern English. I remember I made a trip to Canterbury just to buy my own copy of “The Jerusalem Bible”. I think it was also Pat Meara who introduced me to “The Bible as History”, a book that showed with archaeological evidence that far more of the Biblical events had demonstrably happened than was normally supposed. Presumably I didn’t only talk to her about religion but that’s what I remember and it’s the particular door she opened to me.
As I recall, Pat Meara later married and settled down a stone’s throw from Caldecott but without having anything further to do with it. Maybe she’s still there?