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THEY CALLED HIM BULL

Mr Coles was the second Principal of Barnes.The students fondly referred to him as 'Bull', perhaps because of his booming voice or perhaps when he put his head down and came for you, you knew it was time to run!! The school was his life and his love and went from strength to strength under his leadership.


Front Row l to r..Mr Fernandes and Mr Coles with Office Staff in the back row


Mr Coles with the Girls Hockey X1 1961. Teachers Mrs Fernandes and Mr King


Mr Coles at home in England after his retirement.

HERE ARE SOME MEMORIES....
Frank MacInnes writes:
For the record...
Coles' nickname 'Bull' originated in the days when the young Englishman
coached the boys in football. At the time, cattle roamed freely on part of
the very large school estate and bulls fiercely charged at boys who ventured
too close when out on their rambles. When Coles got the ball, he would
bellow 'Out of the way!' and rampage across the field, in the boys' minds
just like a bull, scattering them in every direction. Rather than be elbowed,
heaved to the ground and trampled upon (mostly in their imagination), they
would move aside and allow Coles unopposed progress all the way through
their goalposts! It is reputed that 'Bull', as he now came to be known, was
unaware that he was being deliberately offered no or only token resistance
and his delight at scoring a goal, while not quite as exuberant as that of
the present day footballer, was genuine and something to behold! The nickname
stuck and while in later years it lost its association with football, the
term seemed entirely appropriate to many a boy who was 'charged' or
'bellowed' at for some misdemeanour or the other!

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How naive of us to think that the reason Mr Coles was called 'Bull' was because of his booming voice...Ian Creed tells us that the reason he was called 'bull' was more because of his shorts!!!! He also called him Bori.....now where did that come from??
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Noel Jones with a photo of Mr Coles in the background when he visited Barnes in 1991.
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Frank MacInnes solves another problem................................
The Solution to the 'Bori ' Mystery
The Bohras are a Muslim sect descended from 11th Century Hindu converts. In their early development, they were largely concentrated in Bombay where they established themselves as itinerant peddlers who would buy/collect all kinds of knick-knacks and then re-sell them. Students from the Bombay area were very familiar with these peddlers ( needy AI parents probably sold things to them ) and called them boris or bohris.

During the hard, waste not, want not war years (40's), Mr Coles was in the habit of picking up anything of value that he saw while on his daily tours of the estate. Student-lore had it that it was dangerous to leave personal items lying round as bori or bohri, as Coles was called, would take it and add it to the collection that would be later sold to add another drop to the school's meagre financial bucket. The tales of apparel, books, shoes, personal sports equipment etc being taken away by bohri were grossly exaggerated but added to the Coles legend.

The nickname was not current from the 50's onwards though Old Boys referred to it during their visits thus causing it to occasionally surface among later students.

Today, the Bohras are among the wealthiest in Bombay, prominent in both business and the professions, and communities are to be found all over the world

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Mr Coles was always followed by his 'old faithful' Benji.

Photo courtesy Frank MacInnes