Straight Outta Dumpton – 8th June 2022

All the pretty boys tucked up in bed
Curfew imposed on their father’s behalf
Fingers for guns, hide behind the pillows
Dying the best to make your friends laugh
Six months of schooling in the forest
You must make enemies into friends
The kind of which you’d die for
And on who your life depends
The hierarchy is understood
Cigarettes smuggled in by sir
Dirty mags and your dirty rags
A room of raging hormones stir
No belles allowed to distract
Weekend casuals made from tweed
The only hunt is on for foxes
The only entertainment a boy should need
A world apart outside the fence
The stinking farmer chuckles
A future built on manors born
On shiny boots and polished buckles

Dumpton was a boarding school near where I lived as a teenager and it was a place of some mystery to all us hooligans in the village. I think Murray befriended someone there one time but information was scarce on what went on there. I assumed it was a place for the toffs to send their kids for an education in preparation for a life of shooting pheasants and marrying princesses.

Very occasionally the gate was open onto the school estate and we risked being chased by angry masters and irate snobby teenagers as we rode our bikes through the grounds just to be nosy and as a shortcut to the main road and the streams that fed into the river.

Checking maps on my old haunts it looks like the school has since moved a few miles closer to town (Wimborne). Thinking about these times brings back the smells and emotions of them. The innocence of youth; open minds, enquiring into anything and everything curious.

History (via Wikipedia)

The school was founded as a boys’ preparatory school at Dumpton Park in Kent in 1903 and evacuated to Cranborne Chase in Dorset to avoid bombing raids at the outset of the Second World War, (as were many schools from south-east England).

In 1945, the school moved to Gaunt’s House, near Wimborne, and flourished under the Headmastership of Colonel Trevor Card. Unusually, the dormitories were named in memory of former pupils who had died on active service; (these included Cock, Pollard, Brown, York, Dutton and Fanshawe). Trevor Card was succeeded by Messrs Carter and Monkhouse as joint heads in 1958, and subsequently by Major General Frank Thompson.

In 1988 the school moved again to its present site at Dean’s Grove House nearer to Wimborne.

Well, this shows that the school moved whilst I was still living around the area although by then most of us kids had moved on from hanging around the village now we were old enough to ride motorbikes and drive cars.

If you don’t respect the way China has been able to pull so many of its people out of extreme poverty, and don’t get why such actions would cause such unified support for their government, it’s simply because you lack and adequate understanding of the anguish of extreme poverty.

Caitlin Johnstone

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