Roger Phillips g66


It’s more than half a century since I left Charterhouse, so I can’t say my memory is that clear – but certain events remain strong - such as playing Corelli’s Oboe Concerto (badly) at a concert in Chapel. Also, in Chapel, rehearsing Widor’s Toccata on the Organ so loudly that I was told never to play that piece again! There’s one highlight, in connection with Priorsfield, which the three of us involved thought was totally secret, that I couldn’t decently relate – although meeting up with one of the staff after I’d left, I discovered that they all knew about it! I enjoyed being a drummer and progressed to become Sergeant Major.

The most important memories are of individual teachers. There was Bob Arrowsmith, who taught Latin, entering the classroom and successfully throwing his cap onto the hat stand each day; Dave Summerscale, who, along with Geoffrey Ford, produced plays – he directed me as the Whisky Priest in The Power and the Glory, and Claudius in Hamlet; Bill Llewellyn, who taught me the piano, but whose real talent for me, was teaching me about ‘life’.

After leaving, I went to Cambridge to read Medicine, but switched to English. I’d joined the National Youth Theatre while at Charterhouse and played Zeal-of-the-Land Busy in Bartholomew Fair at the Royal Court, and Caliban in The Tempest at the Scala Theatre (now sadly demolished). I performed in many plays at University, but with all my friends out of work, decided to try my fortunes elsewhere. I was a salesman for a graphic designer and worked in Media Research – but eventually, the call of the theatre took me to York, then Chester, then Exeter and finally Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre. I fell in love with the city and it became, and still is, my home.

I both acted and directed a group called 'Vanload', which included brilliant actors, such as Matthew Kelly, Julie Walters, Pete Postlethwaite, Bill Nighy, Jonathan Pryce and many others.
Having somewhat tired of theatre, I became a black cab driver, but still did the odd play, including a Radio Play for Local Radio in the North West. That led to an offer to present the Morning news and current affairs show on BBC Radio Merseyside, and a couple of years later, the mid-day phone-in which I have presented until now. With a grandson coming up to 3 – and with my two daughters living down south – it seemed like a good time to take my leave of local radio. And so, retirement beckons. My plan is to learn the clarinet (always wanted to, but was persuaded by the Head of Music, George Draper, to take up the Oboe, because there were no oboists at Charterhouse at that time!).

No question in my mind that Charterhouse set me up well for a fulfilling and happy life.