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News > INTERNATIONAL ALUMNI > Richard Metcalf (HH 1976-1980) fond memories of Hordle from Australia

Richard Metcalf (HH 1976-1980) fond memories of Hordle from Australia

A home in Tasmania, a love of travel and a career in technology - Richard Metcalf fills us in on his life since Hordle
Richard Metcalf
Richard Metcalf
Where do you live? How did you come to live there?
I live in Hobart, Tasmania with my wife and 14-yr-old son. I've been in Australia for 26 years and we moved to Tassie when our son was born. My wife is originally from Hobart and we wanted him to grow up with family, especially his Nan, nearby. Hobart is a great city to bring up a family - it's relatively small (about 200,000 people) but has a lot going for it with a near pristine environment, interesting convict history and great food and wine.
Where did you study after Hordle House?
After Hordle I went on to Allhallows on the Devon/Dorset border, which was great. Like Hordle, it has closed as a school unfortunately. After school I went to University College, Cardiff where I scraped over the line with a BA in French.
What career path have you taken?
I have a great love for travel and my first 'proper' job was as a tour guide in France - the bloke at the front of the bus taking American tourists around the sites.  In the winter months I was a 'resort rep' in South East Asia. After 5 years doing that I went to Australia, initially on a working holiday visa. I couldn't be a tour guide in Aus as I didn't know the place, but luckily knew a lot about travelling the world so became a travel agent. In that role I was exposed to computer systems for pretty much the first time. While I'm no 'IT nerd' or systems expert by any regard I have spent the last 24 years working in a variety of commercial management roles with large software companies - initially Sabre (a global travel distribution company) and more recently in Enterprise Software.
How do you think your time at Hordle influenced your decisions/life going forward?
I managed to find myself as the weakest member of 1A for a couple of years - a small class preparing children to take scholarship exams at public schools. It was a class of about 5 pupils most of whom were seriously smart. With such a small teacher-pupil ratio we were exposed to some fantastic teaching that really gave me a leg-up. I become convinced that the age 11-13 was a critical time for learning, before other distractions take hold.
What do you remember most fondly about Hordle House?
It was a lovely time. I loved coming to school from the desert (my father worked in Oman) and enjoying the greenness of the place.  I loved the bracing walks along the cliff, less so the icy swims in the sea. I loved playing sport and couldn't get enough. Hordle was all about delivering wonderful opportunities to try things out and in retrospect I'm extremely grateful my parents gave me that chance. The Vernons were, in retrospect, a lovely couple of caring people....although terrifying at the time. I hated Wednesday lunches - the thought of that curry or 'Hordle Hash' is still with me!
Who would you like to get back in touch with?
I'm not a big social media person and have been terrible at keeping in touch.  I remember Ricky Storer who lived in northern Kenya (my family moved to Mombasa in my last year at Hordle), some of the people from 1A (Rupert Adley, Lewis Lewis, Carl May etc)....getting bad at remembering names!  The various Andrew brothers (Stephen the fast bowler who I kept wicket to), Jeremy Smart, Paul Headey (who could forget the 'Headey Hell Jump' on bikes during breaks?)

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