A photograph of the members of Hadham Hall - Form 5T July 1972

Hadham Hall School – Form 5T. Last day of school, July 1972. Form teacher Jack Doyle – crouching, center

A friend posted a mnemonic on Facebook for the sequence of the royal houses of England in chronological order — Neighbours Actually Persuaded Lovely Yvonne To Shut Her Window (Norman, Angevin, Plantagenet, Lancaster, York, Tudor, Stuart, Hanover, Windsor. He’s a history Prof., a Brit, an expat, and he has an excellent aircraft blog, so we can forgive him — or should that be thank him? — for a historical/intellectual Facebook post. 🙂 ).

It was a great reminder to me of my uncle John (long gone). Way-back in the late sixties uncle John taught me a totally non-pc and unrepeatable mnemonic for remembering electrical resistors’ color codes. The colors and their order gives the resistance value. I can still recall the order thanks to his little rhyme:

Black, Brown, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet, Grey, White.

As I said the mnemonic is not repeatable in polite company. I hope I got the colors order correct, with green and grey having the same first letter it plays havoc with one’s memory, and I refused to check it online. It’s probably been over 40 years since I last had to recall that!

I also have to thank my biology teacher — Jack Doyle for ‘Kinky Pat’s Crazy Over Fred’s Gumboot Socks’ (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species). He also got me to memorize (I had to pause there because I could remember the text but not whose text it was … ) Archimedes Principle. Which put’s my math’s teacher’s SOHCAHTOA (Sine = Opposite over Hypotenuse, Cosine = Adjacent over Hypotenuse, Tangent = Opposite over Adjacent) to shame.

Mind you I still remember it, so it can’t be that bad.

What mnemonics/childhood memories does that trigger for you?