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Letter: The girls of West Suffolk county grammar fell under Oliver Bernard's spell

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I had the good fortune to attend the West Suffolk county grammar school for girls in Bury St Edmunds in the 1960s when Oliver Bernard joined the staff. Those of us studying English and drama had already been knocked for six by the arrival of Robin Rook, a mesmerising figure who went on to produce, with James Saunders, the book Playforms: Seven Scripts for Secondary Drama. To then have Bernard join the department was almost too much to bear. To call him handsome did not begin to describe his overwhelming good looks. Had the headmistress been aware of his history I have no doubt he would never have been allowed inside the building. Of course, we had no idea of his vivid lifestyle but fell under his spell nonetheless. Surely the English department had never been blessed by such an inspirational pair before – or since.


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