William Ewart TINGLE (aka Billy) [1900-1977] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

William Ewart TINGLE (aka Billy) [1900-1977]

Names
Given: 
William Ewart
Family: 
Tingle
Alias / nickname: 
Billy
Sex: 
Male
Status: 
Deceased
Birth
Date: 
1900-11-01
Death
Date: 
1977-02-11

These last few months I keep bumping into the name 'Billy Tingle'. Ok so it's an easy name to remember, but I'm also struck by how positive everybody's memories of him are.

Here's the most recent example, when I read Mary Bloch's memories of life in Hong Kong [1]:

Almost everyone in the expatriate community during the fifties and sixties had heard of Billy Tingle. He was extremely popular, and organized a number of extra-curricular activities for the expatriate children. They went to him for swimming lessons at the LRC, and cricket at the Cricket Club on the green in the heart of Central.

What made him so memorable?

I spent some time googling his name, and he certainly led a very interesting life. Here's what I've found so far:

The early days: boxing his way around the world

Amazingly, his records as a boxer are available online [2]. He starts off quietly, with only one bout each in 1916 and 1917. He lost both times to the same opponent, Jackie Green, and would lose to Jackie twice more in 1919.

1919 and 1920 are his busiest years, with a total of 25 bouts. He keeps on boxing through 1921 and 1922, rotating between stadiums in Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne. He was winning much more than he lost, and his success gave him the chance to travel overseas.

From March to September 1923 he fights several bouts in the Philippines, winning the Far East Flyweight Title, and then the Bantamweight Championship of the Orient. Then the end of the year sees his first contact with China, as he fights in Shanghai in December '23, then again in June 1924.

In 1925 he's moving again, fighting in California, and next year in Texas. But now there are more lost fights than wins. He fights once again in Liverpool, UK, in 1930. It's another loss, and by then he must have realised it was time to move on to something different.

On horseback to China

There are lots of gaps between the bouts listed above, so what other skills did he have? His size gives a good hint: a flyweight boxer weighs 108-112 lbs, and later we'll see an estimate of his height at around 4ft 11ins. Just right for a jockey, and there's a mention of him racing at the Kiangwan racecourse near Shanghai in 1929 [3].

The switch to education

The story so far doesn't suggest a future in teaching, but that's where we find him next. (And as we'll see later, it was the job he was made for). There's a one-liner in a 1936 newspaper article [4] about the 'Public and Thomas Hanbury School in Shanghai', which mentions 'the present sportsmaster is a Sydney man, Mr Billy Tingle'.

War years and the move to Hong Kong

During WWII, he was still in Shanghai, and was interned there by the Japanese:

  • I knew Billy Tingle during WWII and was in Lungwha civilian POW Camp with him from 1943 to 1945. He taught me boxing and rugby, sports that I played at school in England and in the British Army after the war. He was a great sportsman and gentleman and many of us owe a lot to him. My father once saw him box professionally before the war and, I recall, was impressed by his speed and agility in the ring. - Robert Read

It's not clear whether he just stayed in Shanghai after liberation, or left and returned, but several students in the Shanghai British School remember him as their sports teacher in the late 1940s. [5]

The 'Billy Tinglers'

Billy was part of the exodus from Shanghai to Hong Kong after 1949. He didn't waste any time getting back to sports and sports teaching, as in 1950 he's reported as the 'Chief of the Physical Department pf the Kowloon European YMCA'. The occasion is a speech he gave to the Kowloon Rotary Club  [6]:

He referred to the under-privileged children who, because of the shortage of space have received no physical education which, he said, is the most important part of a child's development.

Although several schools were fortunate in having well-equipped gymnasiums and playfields, only a minority of the thousands of school children could enjoy such equipment.

Mr Tingle suggested that in the future, after-school physical education classes should be conducted in various parts of the Colony in oder to enable those school children who did not have these advantages to have the proper kind of physical education.

As the following 'Billy Tinglers' prove, he went on to conduct those after-school classes with great success:

  • I was taught to swim by a man named Billy Tingle who was like an uncle to all the children – he used to get young children to put their heads under water by asking how many fish they could see. In the summertime, when children would fly to Hong Kong to spend the long holidays with their parents, there were swimming galas, often sponsored by Coca Cola, with notepads and pencils as ‘freebies’. The notepads were yellow with ‘safety first’ slogans written on them, like “Wear something white at night”, relevant but easy to remember. - Maggie Black.
  • Not only did I attend Billy Tingles Saturday Morning at the Cricket club, where we invariably ended up having lunch as well, but I was also taught to swim by Billy at the LRC too. I had the misfortune one saturday morning to have one of those corner flag spears put through my right foot. - Kevin Phillips
  • He looked, in 1957, much like a spry, elderly, weight-trained and cross-countried version of that other Billy, Bunter. At the age of nine, when I left Mr Tingle's academy of self-defence, I could look him straight in the eye, so I deduce he must have been about 4ft 11ins tall. Mr Tingle was physical intructor and character builder extraordinary by appointment to the children of the expatriate gentry. He taught the Nobel Art to a select few after lessons had finsihed at Quarry Bay School and the Peak School. On Saturday mornings droves of red and white capped boys took over the grounds of the HK Cricket Club [...], in what was known simple as Billy Tingle's. - Timothy Mo [Worth clicking the link, as I've just shown part of the much longer piece: 'One of Billy's Boys: A Memoir'.]
  • Billy Tingle taught me to swim ! Rule #1 - put your Head Underwater and Breathe Out ! - Annelise Connell
  • As a young boy growing up in Hong Kong, I had the privelege of learning to play many different sports under the tutelage of Mr. Billy Tingle. That was in 1960-67. Mr. Tingle founded the Billy Tingle Institute that met each Saturday morning on the grounds of the Hong Kong Cricket Club. Under his guidance, we learnt how to play games competitively but fairly, and to look out for others less able or less fortunate than ourselves. [...] I am looking for any information on Mr. Tingle that can shed light on his remarkable achievements and to help me in locating former students of the Billy Tingle Institute so that the good deeds that he was dedicated to might be continued by his grown-up pupils. - James Alderton
  • Billy Tingle coached me in HK 10 years later and on; but after a stroke died in the early 70s. I remember him fondly for swimming, boxing, rambles, and lessons in life: a truly great man. - 'hardendl'
  • My brother and I were taught boxing, swimming and cricket by Tingle in Hong Kong in the early 50s ! We subsequently both boxed for Bedford School and my brother captained the 1st Eleven so Billy was quite effective ! - Tony Banham [Not the "Hong Kong War Diary" Tony, by coincidence there are two Tony Banhams with Hong Kong connections.]
  • I was also a Billy Tingle boy. I do not recall him doing any of the training when I was there. This was in about 1969 to 1973. [...] Saturday mornings were much enlivened by his sports games and he did make a good contribution to health and sport. I also remember there was a high standard of fair play. - Gavin Shiu

Later life

The June edition of the 'Pinkun' magazine [7] has a good article about the Tinglers at the Hong Kong Cricket Club. It ends:

Although [Billy Tingle's] Institute's activities continued after the Club moved to its new premises at The Gap [in 1975], attendance dropped considerably, due to problems of location and access. Parents and Institute teachers were less inclined to make the journey and parental income dwindled.

The majority of new General Committee members grew less sympathetic to the Institute's cause, fearing that the beautiful new premises and much reduced ground area would suffer at the hands of too many children. But Laurie Roberts and I, both on the Committee at the time, felt strongly that the Club should continue to support the Institute and what it stood for and we persevered in helping Nan Hooley to run things.

Sadly, Billy had a severe stroke shortly after the Club moved from Chater Road and he could no longer take an active part in the Institute's affairs. Nan Hooley brought him up to the Club on the occasional Saturday morning but, having lost his speech and mobility, he got progressively worse.

With a lot of help from some of us, Nan ran the show on her own for a few months until Billy passed away, aged 80 in 1978, I think. Billy Tingle was active as a sidesmanat St. John's Cathedral where the funeral service took place. A lovely man whose unfailing loyalty to children and their physical well being was sorely missed by all who knew him.

There's also this memory that he was granted an MBE in 1986, but I can't find any other confirmation of it:

Billy Tingle died some years ago and his funeral service at the cathedral was attended by many of his old Tinglers. I was pleased to be at Government House when he received his MBE for services to the youth of HK in 1986. - 'Mo' Morgan

Can you add more?

He obviously led a remarkable life, and there must be many more stories and memories out there. If you've got any to share, please leave a comment below.

Regards, David

References:

  1. Page 45, 'Hong Kong Remembers'.
  2. Billy Tingle's boxing bouts.
  3. The Straits Times, 12 June 1929.
  4. The Sydney Morning Herald, 4 Apr 1936, page 6.
  5. British Expat Forum, threads #1 and #2.
  6. China Mail, 16 June 1950, page 4.
  7. The Pinkun, June 2009

Photos that show this person

1937
1949
1960

Comments

The name does ring a bell.

Here are photos of Billy Tingle at the Hong Kong Cricket Club from the Magnum Collection:

http://www.magnumphotos.com/Archive/C.aspx?VP3=ViewBox_VPage&VBID=2K1HZO...

I think the man in that photo is probably one of the helpers - he looks too young (Billy would have been in his 60s in 1961), and too tall! It's a great shot of the boys in their caps though - if you were a Billy Tingler in 1961, see if you're in the photo. (If you have trouble with the link above, just go to the Magnum Collection's homepage, type Billy Tingle in the search box, and click the search button).

There's also a good page of photos of him on page 54 of the July/August 2009 issue of The Pinkun magazine.

An update from Moddsey - if you search for Hong Kong boy 1961, you'll see several more photos of the boys in their red & white caps, plus one photo of Mr Billy Tingle himself (he's standing behind the table with the Union Jack on).

Billy Tingle ran sports for primary school kids at the old Hong Kong Cricket Club gounds during the winter months. In the summer you may recall we had to go to school on Saturdays.

He also was a constant presence at the LRC, where he would teach swiming and diving to everyone.

He lived on may road in the flats  (Clovelley Court I think) just above the old kids playground (although not in the front lot, but a smaller flat in the second block). He welcomed us kids as visitors at his flat too, and always seemed to have time to talk to us, and provide an orange squash on those hot Hong Kong days.

The protestant Cathedral College was Shanghai's most prestigious public school.  Billy Tingle, a  legendary Australian China hand dating back to 1921, was sportsmaster at Cathedral College and swimming coach at the Shanghai Country Club.  He also taught boxing and rode as a jockey.

Australia's China: changing perceptions from the 1930s to the 1990s
 By Lachlan Strahan

The Hong Kong government Tuesday refused promoter Billy Tingle permission to show heavy-weight champion Rocky Marciano in two exhibitions.  Hong Kong authorities said they thought it unwise to encourage professional boxing.

The Milwaukee Journal - Dec 1, 1953

Billy Tingle was a close family figure to the four Hooley Boys, three of the brothers attended Shanghai British School. He remained in Shanghai after the Japanese occupation and was the Physical Education Teacher at Shanghai British School and occupied the residence on site. He left for Hongkong in 1949, and established his footing at the H.K. European Y.M.C.A. he taught boxing at various schools, Kowloon Junior was one of a number  of schools. His teachings emphasised the importance of developing the young minds and to treat sports as a science whether  be boxing, swimming or many other sports he taught he also stressed good sportsmanship and dicipline. His patience and love of young people made him a very sort after and well known identity of Hongkong. He later extended his physical activities to taking groups of young people on bush and mountain hikes. my brother Dan went on many of these hikes.

Billy Tingle unfotunately suffered a stroke in the latter part 1960 but with great determination he was able to walk and improve his speech. Our mother Nancy Hooley took over the running of The Tingle's Athletic Institute and continued it's operation until his death. Billy Tingle recieved an MBE for sevices to Physical Education, he trained some 30,000 children during his career spanning over 40 year. Billy Tingle died at the age of 76.

 

Frank, thanks very much for sharing your memories. Again, he was obviously a great influence on many, many people.

I've managed to track down his MBE, announced in the London Gazette, Issue 46593, published on the 6 June 1975:

William Ewart TINGLE. For services to sport and the community in Hong Kong.

Regards, David

I got my first bloody nose boxing under the tutelage of Billy Tingle when I attended Quarry Bay School in 1961. The Saturday sports at the Cricket Club was where I learned rugby and cricket. He also must have had some involvement with the The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, as I recall him being in charge of the swimming test I took at Shek O Club a few years later.

I also heard he took a spill off the veranda at the Jockey Club, after celebrating a little too much, and broke his arm. All in all, an unforgettable fellow.

Hi Peter Kolding

Just spotted your comments re the Billy Tingle feature. 

Are you Martin's son and Wendy's brother?  If so, would love to hear from you.  If you are who I think you are then we were all at Stanley at the same time. 

I was another Billy Tingler  -- LRC Swimming!

Peta Smith

I am one and the same. I know your name: Did your dad fly helicopters?

Hi Peter Kolding

So pleased that you responded.

Yes - my Dad did fly helicopters for the Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force (RHKAAF) based at RAF Kai Tak.

If you would like to contact me, my email is: infopicea@aol.com

Peta Smith

Yes, I read the Mary Bloch article as well! I went to Billy's Saturday morning classes in c 1960-ish - the thing that stands out for me was the red and white striped caps! Always looked forward to the sessions - fresh air, competition and a Sunkist Orange or Coke to finish!

A memory of the Saturday morning athletics was a visit from some Royal or another (possibly Princess Alexandra) in the early-mid 60s.  Billy had us all lined up to wave as her motorcade swept past the Hilton.  I enjoyed the Bar Six (chocolate bar) after our exertions more than the games themselves.

Billy also taught me to swim.  The move from the shallow end to the deep end of the LRC big pool filled me with terror, and I recall to my shame, running away to avoid the prospect.  He talked me round, and I was fine.  Years later, after he'd suffered a stroke, he would still wave from the terrace as I flew off the high diving board.  Lovely man.

I was a devoted Billy Tingle sports' participant in the mid 1950s:   cricket on Saturday mornings at the Cricket Club oval - I still have my red/white cricket cap!)  and I was taught swimming at the LRC  (although during a visit to the LRC by the 1956 Australian Olympic Team John Konrad singled me and a friend out and taught us how to tumble-turn - they definitely had one over Billy there!) My Mum wouldn't let me take boxing lessons though!  And yes, those chilled kit-kat bars you could buy at the club pavillion there!

 

Yes I think it was Princess Alexandra and I think Billy Tingle had been told she would be looking down from a room on a high floor in the Hilton, which of course overlooked our beloved Saturday morning sports ground! We never did actually see anyone, nor did I ever see a photo of our creation taken from above! I loved Billy Tingle, and everything he stood for. He was a huge influence on me, not only in his instruction to swim, play cricket and box, but my brother and I both became PE teachers- and I am sure was in no small part because of this wonderful guy, Billy Tingle. It was so sad to see him trying to desperately keep his movement going after his stroke, working his arms in the shallow end of the LRC Pool! The life guards erected some steps for him to get in and out more easily. His passing was a huge loss, my father ( who had been taught to box by Billy as a boy in Shanghai!) was a pal-bearer at his funeral, and we all missed him as a family.

I think the lad in the front (of the Magnum Photo link- see above) turning around is my brother, Steve!! The chap in 'cricket whites' is definitely not Billy Tingle, must be a visiting instructor? Or he may have been a 'Dad' who was about to play cricket, once our Billy Tingles session was over. There was always Saturday League Cricket at Chater Road - someone should be able to recognise the colours on his sweater. They are not HKCC colours.

Many of the instructors were young chinese men and women, who may have been trainee PE teachers?  I do know the photo was taken against one of the cricket site screens. If you look through the pictures on the Magnum site, there is a very good one of Billy Tingle, standing proudly behind his home-made rostra, with the flags of Nations displayed!

I attended Quarry Bay School in the early fifties and received boxing tuition from Billy Tingle. In my first bout I took up my boxing stance, looking down to make sure my feet were in the correct position; the next thing I knew was a left hook right on the nose, putting me out of action for quite some time! I still have my Tingle Special gloves.

Billy Tingle's grave is in the Hong Kong Cemetery. Here's the inscription on his gravestone:

16---/04/12-R.I.P./ William Ewart Tingle M.B.E./ born 1st November 1900/ died 11th February 1977#11947

See: http://gwulo.com/node/8740

I have already added a comment to this thread about the great man Billy. But I wanted to add that Billy taught my father to box and swim when he was a boy growing up in Shanghai. My father was born in Shanghai in 1929. When Billy died, my Dad was a pall-bearer at his funeral and Nan Hooley - a life long friend of our family kindly presented my father with a pair of Billy's cuff links, which I still proudly own!

William Tingle, former bantam-weight champion of the Orient, and sports director of the Shanghai municipal council before his internment, put his athletic and organisational skills to use in his camp. He acted as sports director of the interned youth in his Chinese internment camp.

Christina Twomey, Australia's Forgotten Prisoners, 67 (citing the Australian newspaper The Age, 11 September 1945).

BTW, Timothy Mo is a distinguished novelist who's set one of his works in the first Opium War and early Hong Kong:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Insular-Possession-Timothy-Mo/dp/0952419386

 

 

Hi David, Billy Tingles MBE was given to my mother Nancy Hooley she subsequently gave it to me and I had it framed, after mum's death I passed it onto My brother Dan Hooley who is an Orthopaedics surgeon in HongKong. Dan was the most appropriate person as Billy Tingle regarded Dan as a son.

I have just completed a book about the history of rugby in Shanghai. A history in which Billy Tingle played a very large part. You can find more details about Billy Tingle on my website at this location 

http://www.treatyportsport.com/tingle--w-e--1927---1949-.html

I will be in Hong Kong on 21st May launching my book at the Hong Kong Football Club. I would love opportunity to see the M.B.E.! 

The link to the June 2009 issue of the Pinkun magazine given above no longer works. If anyone can give us an updated link (or a scan of the Billy Tingle pages), please leave a comment below.

The July/August 2009 Pinkun is online at:

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/78419415/Pinkun_july-august09

and has more photos and memories of Billy Tingle, starting from page 52.

Regards, David

The China Mail dated 14 October 1949 reports the arrival of Tingle on 12 October on the Marechal Joffre from Shanghai. The newspaper mentions that Tingle who has made it his life's work and interest to inculcate the basic and finer points of all branches of sport in children, intends to carry on the good work in Hong Kong. There is a mention of his former days in Shanghai in the article.

I can add very little except that, buried in the Mission to Seafarers (new title as of 2001) archive in Hull, UK, there are some handover notes from the departing Senior Chaplain of the Hong Kong Sailors' Home and Missions to Seamen, Revd. Bob Precious, to his successor. Among the details he feels it incumbent to brief his successor about is who uses the gymnasium that used to be in the basement of the old premises on Gloucester Rd., Wanchai. Apart from the very occasional merchant jack, regulars from the Royal and US Navies and thrice weekly judo classes for or by (the notes don't say which) the Hong Kong Police (as they then were), Bob Precious notes "Mr Billy Tingle rents on occasions." Did anyone take boxing classes in the old Wanchai Missions to Seamen?

Stephen D

Here is a picture of Billy Tingle from October 1949 when he was about to leave Shanghai.  The North China Daily News published a feature article on him. 

Billy tingle picture.jpg
Billy tingle picture.jpg, by Doug C

The text:

"Billy" Tingle, Famous Shanghai Sportsman

When the French liner “Marechal Joffre” leaves Shanghai this week-end, it will have amongst her thousand-odd passengers many old Shanghailanders, representative of all walks of life and interests.

Amongst them will be a man who can look back upon his stay in this city with particular satisfaction and pride and whose influence upon thousands of children of various nationalities whose formative school years have been spent here, is today widespread.

He is William Ewart Tingle, more popularly known as “Billy” Tingle, and one of the best-known sportsmen in the Far East. “Billy” Tingle, an Australian by birth, has made his life’s work and interest that of inculcating, the basic and finer points of all branches of sport in children. He has had the agreeable experience of witnessing much of this guidance and instruction mature — many of his pupils have made their mark in the sporting arena.

Successful Ringcraft

It has been in the boxing ring that “Billy” can justly claim greatest personal success. When he arrived in Shanghai in September, 1923, he held the bantamweight crown of Australia and it was not long before he was establishing his superiority in ring-craft in this part of the world. A glorious succession of victories proclaimed him undefeated bantamweight champion of the Far East and lightweight champion of China and Japan.

His appointment in October, 1924, to the position of physical instructor and games master at the Public School for Boys gave “Billy" his long-awaited chance of imparting his valuable earned knowledge and proficiency to others. Boxing became a “must" in the curriculum of the school. The result was that over 5,000 pupils of all nationalities passed through “Billy’s” hands. Not all earned renown, but there were many successes, one of the pupils winning the All English Public School Championship.

Coached Chinese Team

On the coaching side, “Billy” has not only consistently been in demand, but has at all times given willingly of his knowledge and experience. Amongst other groups, he coached the Chinese boxing team to the 1936 Olympic Games, units of the British Army stationed here since 1927, including the Scots and Coldstream Guards and since 1945 has coached units of the British and U.S. navies.

His versatility is immediately reflected by the fact that “Billy” Tingle has coached in athletics, swimming, tennis, hockey, rugby, soccer — in fact pretty well all outdoor and indoor games except baseball.

Interport Rugger

He has himself represented Shanghai at interport rugby several times and has consistently played football and cricket with local representative teams. Racing also came within "Billy’s” purview. He was an amateur jockey for some years and old racegoers may recall that in 1929 he rode a pony named “Don Robledo” for Mr. Harry White, winning the race which was run at Kiangwan, and collecting for his backerrs what is today still the world’s record dividend of 3,037 to 1.

In the amateur dramatic world. “Billy” Tingle was also a known factor. He performed many times for the Jory Tait productions, the American Players and the A.D C. Whilst he was interned by the Japanese, he turned his attention with much success also to play producing. He was a member of the former local defence force, serving with the Armoured Car Company and the Light Horse of the Shanghai Volunteer Corps. He was Sergeant-Major of the Public School Cadet Corps when that was in existence.

“Billy’s" connections with youngsters naturally brought him into contact with scouting activities. Here again he applied himself with such enthusiasm and zest that it seemed natural that he should be cub-master of the Public School Pack and later of the British School Pack. His zeal was rewarded last year when he was appointed District Cub Master.

Since the formation of the Shanghai British School after the war, “Billy” has been physical instructor and games master there. He now leaves for a well-deserved holiday in his native Australia— stopping over in Hongkong where he is equally well-known and welcome in sporting circles. His friends, particularly his young friends, will wish him every success and reward in the future and there is no doubt that wherever he goes, he will always be coming up against some man or woman who will gladly recall that “Billy” either taught them football, tennis, hockey, boxing, swimming. athletics or some other healthy recreational activity in the 26 years he has been in Shanghai.
—S.S.K.

Have been enjoying reading about Billy Tingle.   He taught three of my children to swim at the Ladies Recreation Club.   I note that one subscriber said he was 4 ft 11 in height.   I think that must be a guess, as I am 5 ft, and would have noticed if he had been shorter than me.

My eldest son Patrick used to go to Billy's Saturday sports classes on the Cricket Ground, we parents were delighted the children had such disciplined times.

I too have enjoyed reading the comments on Billy.He was indeed a character but I remember not always so popular at the LRC by regular members as he monopolised the pool during his lessons there. I was taught cricket on Saturday mornings at the HKCC in the 1950's - finishing off the morning with a bottle of milk and a KitKat. I also boxed for the Peak School and have a cup I won at the HKCC. It's engraved Tingle's Boxing 10/05/1957 and it for losing against Anthony Tebbut. Somewhere in my collection I have an SCMP photo of Anthony and I during the bout.

Billy Tinglers
Billy Tinglers, by Chris Hall

Billy Tingle and I.

Billy Tingle and I. 1960 Hong Kong

 

I have come across this cup, which was in my box of memories with various others. It’s a bit difficult to read but the inscription says:

Tingle’s A.I.

1st 1957/8

 I was only 6/7 then and loved going to Billy Tingle’s on Saturday mornings. 

Does anybody else have one of these?

A cup from one of Billy Tingle’s competitions
A cup from one of Billy Tingle’s competitions, by Anne

 

Any idea what A.I. stands for?

Stands for Tingle's Athletic Institute.

 

Yes I have a little cup also - see my previous comments.

I was in Billy Tingle’s swimming class in the late 1940s and he taught me to swim in the Shek Club pool. I think he also taught in the Salisbury Road YMCA indoor swimming pool as I seem to recall having swimming lessons with him there too. It would have been interesting to know why he was named after Gladstone, a family connection or parental admirers?

Billy Tingle taught my sister and me to swim at the LRC.  I think I was around 4 or 5, so very late 50's (probably 1959, as we were on leave in the UK for six months or so in 1958!), and I have vivid memories of being divided into thrushes, robins, and starlings in the "bird bath" - the splash pool alongside the main pool - and Mr Tingle encouraging us to bob our heads under water like the birds.  He demolished any fear we had of being in the water, and we all became expert swimmers.  My brothers, nine and ten years younger than me, unfortunately did not have the benefits of his continued tuition, and to this day, my sister and I swim far better than our brothers!

Link is to a YouTube video of the April 4, 1934 - Rally for "Children's Day" in Shanghai, a period when Tingle was active in schools in that city. Watch the first two minutes and you will see what may be the origin of his famous caps. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFQZE151ObQ