Nick Lowe

At last, a private education that wasn’t unmitigated misery

There has been a spate of books recently about private education, ranging from academic denouncements of their malign effects on society, such as Francis Green and David Kynaston’s Engines of Privilege, to Charles Spencer’s grim chronicle of neglect and abuse, A Very Private School. Though technically falling within this genre, 1967, the singer-songwriter Robyn Hitchcock’s diverting account of his formative spell at Winchester College, seems to hail from a rosier era. It is one where matron’s buttered crumpets rather than bullying were the chief topics of Billy Bunter-esque reminiscences that proclaimed schooldays the happiest of one’s life. Indeed Hitchcock even wonders whether his parents got their ‘money’s worth’, since, contrary