An opinion piece in the Guardian discussed famous novelists and their day jobs, including a mention of William Golding as a school teacher. Golding taught at Bishop Wordsworth’s School in Salisbury, Wiltshire, from 1940 (with a break for service in World War II), until 1961, and was affectionately known by pupils as ‘Scruff’. The article in the Guardian rather unfairly describes Golding as ‘a grumpy and rather unsatisfactory teacher’, although this view is easily countered by reminiscences of Golding by some of his former pupils, which can be found in John Carey’s biography. Golding also led the school’s CCF (Combined Cadet Force), directed school plays, and ran an archaeology club for pupils, for fifteen years.
Importantly, Golding understood children; after all, how could he have written Lord of the Flies if he didn’t?