Richard Bialy (W 1963) comedian, actor and Polish translator, reminisces about trips to Mull

Richard shares his memories of his great friend 'Gordo'

Richard Bialy Richard Bialy


Richard Bialy, Walhamptonian 1958-1963, gives us an update of where he is now and his memories of his great inspiration 'Gordo':

Where do you live and how long have you lived there?
I live in Konstancin, just outside Warsaw, Poland and have been here since 1971.
 
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Above all I had no wish or intention of 'growing up' and consequently never really did, only recently becoming slightly 'staid' if only out of a sense of propriety. My only real ambition was to be a comedian, and various people over the years have assured me of my succeeding in that endeavour.   
 
What is your current occupation?
Several, but mainly graphic designer, Polish to English translator and voice-over actor.

Who would you like to get in touch with/hear about?
The list is long, but to be brief: George Bernard, Robin Rustom, Christopher Cowper, John Roberts, Nigel Roberts, Trevor Marvin, Nicholas Field-Johnson, Andrew Vinycomb, John Briggs...
 
What is your favourite memory from school… teachers, lessons, friends, boarding, food, trips, events, activities…
All of the above! I could write you on any of these subjects, but for now I shall confine myself to a brief description of Gordo:

I was on that first trip to Mull in the summer of 1963, just as I was leaving the school. I still dream about taking the VW camper and 'doing' the highlands and islands again some day, especially as my wife has never seen Scotland. Below is evidence of the trip in the form of a photo Gordo sent me some months later. 



In it, we are sitting outside the former school house that J.B. bought for our use on Mull, studying the Ordnance Survey in an attempt to decipher the next few hours of hiking mystery.

Superimposed is the next and last photo I had with my beloved Professor of: English, Printing (I still have copies of his work), Sailing on the Solent, Smarties (chocolate sweets for extra marks in Composition), Brass rubbings and Hamsters. This was when I next saw him in 1969 on my one and only Old Boys Day... and so also the last time we met, as a year later I moved to Poland.

As the scanned note from the back of the earlier photo shows, we were very close friends, sharing many interests, such as nature (he allowed me to keep a pet hornet I caught, quite confident that no harm would come to boy or insect) and a similar sense of humour, as well as some amusing adventures, including the pair of us capsizing his yacht Miss Barley.

I wrote an essay on him later in life – I wonder whether I still have it... probably do as I am quite the squirrel. He drove a shiny black ancient Wolseley Eighteen - also called the 18/85 (in production 1945-48, with a 2321-cc 85 bhp OHV Six engine and a wheelbase of 8 ft. 8.5 inches - his had the {optional} sliding roof). His brother was the first one-legged man to ever use a parachute (in WW1) or so he told me; he may have been pulling my leg! Another leg-pull was claiming that his Christian names were Ebeneezer Beelzebub! I hope some of this information will bring back fond memories to other alumni, as I know he was extremely popular with us all.