SIR,—Mr, Betjeman's column in your. paper is often infected by
a kind of mischievous silliness of which a good example is his quiz (January 27) about various schools. I do not know why he should want to make so much mystery over the fact that degrees of social ton exist in relation to these establishments— unless it is to trap us into confusing the fashionably with the good. Towards that error he himself leads the way by excluding from his questions Eton and Harrow. One of these schools is certainly the most fashionable in England. Whether it is the best is a matter that might be examined in a number of ways.
Nor need there be anything 'tricky' in appreciating that Winchester, which was born to the purple under William of Wykeham, has a tradition of urbanity which is less present at Rugby—a local school forged by Dr. Arnold into an instrument for converting the sons of the Victorian middle classes to Christian gentility. On the other hand, to me, who was at Rugby, it would be most distasteful to be photographed by the newspapers in the kitchen, an experience endured with apparent equanimity by Mr. Gaitskell, who was at Winchester: which only goes to show that there are aberrations in all systems:—Yours faithfully,