It has been an eventful year, this first year under our new Headmaster. In December 1955, in order comfortably to accommodate parents, boys, and friends, two prize-giving ceremonies were held; one, in accordance with tradition, at the Plaza Cinema for the Main School, and the other at the Corn Exchange for the Lower School. 'Speech Day' was unobtrusively replaced by 'Commemoration Day', but without special significance until July of this year, when morning Commemoration Services were held in churches in the Town, and prizes for the current school year were distributed and speeches made, in the afternoon.
The House system has been emphasized in an attempt to foster among day-boys the same spirit that is always so much in evidence among the boarders. Tea parties at Wollaston House for parents of boys up to the Lower Vths to meet the Headmaster and their son's House masters, have been attended in gratifyingly large numbers, forging a link between home and school which should prove of immense benefit.
Our C.C.F. so impressed the Inspecting Officer that he asked for a whole day's holiday. Incipient cynicism as to when this day would be, was stifled at once by the announcement that it would be Friday, July 13. There is no record of superstition having taken the edge off anyone's enjoyment of the holiday. Apropos the C.C.F., congratulations are due to Mr. Roussel upon his well merited Territorial Decoration.
The fine old oak screen has been removed from the robust attentions of the medicine ball, and is now in the Library, imparting to that place of study, a dignity that age alone can give.
Tuck shops now operate with great success in both Main and Lower Schools, but the Main School has ice cream, while the Lower School has not. If only the suave and opulent commercial gentleman who made certain rash promises last Easter could hear Lower School comment upon the injustices of life!
C. Etherington produced Sherriff's 'Journey's End' at the Corn Exchange, treading, many at first thought, where angels would hesitate to do; but the production, to quote from a Lower School boy's report, although 'rather an ambitious aim for a school play .... as it was produced entirely by a schoolboy, was a commendable effort'. In a dignified way, highly praised indeed, and deservedly so.
P. Bowen, with his pianist F. Southerington, trained the Choir to school concert pitch, and, with considerable flourish, entertained an invited audience in the Corn Exchange at a Choral Concert. The House Rugger Final was played in a snowstorm, but the high standard of play kept warm those who were watching from the touchline.
Mr. West and Mr. Shorney have left us. Mr. White, who left the ranks of Industry and relieved a Staff shortage in the Lower School for the Summer Term, goes to Clifton Preparatory School, and Mr. Adlam leaves the teaching profession, temporarily perhaps, to join the great I.C.I. combine. We wish them all every success.
Great things are planned for the future — Memorial gates for the School entrance for which a fund has already been opened, and an impressive new Science wing — but there is a cloud on the horizon, moving to overshadow the pleasure of our anticipation. It has been officially announced that Mr. Lidbury will be leaving the School at the end of next Easter Term.
As a result of a new policy by the Headmaster, the Lower School has developed as a separate entity within the main framework of the School, and has had its own functions. Prize Day 1955 was held in the Corn Exchange, and our speaker was C. R. Wordsworth, Esq., Chairman of the County Education Committee. His theme of 'be a doer, not a viewer' was put in a forthright and cheerful way, and taken to heart by all concerned. Our Carol Service in All Saints' Church was well supported by parents and friends and was a great success. The Lessons were read by D. G. Wood, P. F. Vallance, R. J. A. Edwards, Mr. Hale and the Headmaster. Sports Day was combined with an opportunity for parents to see the School. We were fortunate in having exceptionally fine weather, and everything went with a swing. Mrs. Hamilton presented the trophies and the event was graced by the Mayor and Mayoress. Each Form attempted to make something of its form-room and subject work was illustrated as much as possible.
The year culminated with Commemoration Day. In the morning we went to St. Peter's Church where the Service was conducted by the School Chaplain, and a very forthright address given by the Reverend P. W. H. Isdell-Carpenter. In the afternoon John Haynes, Esq., Chief Education Officer for Dorset, spoke to the School and presented the prizes.
We are sorry to lose two masters who have given of their utmost to the School. Mr. Adiam leaves us to try the hustle and bustle of Commerce; Mr. White, an old boy, goes to Clifton College. We thank them most sincerely, and wish them success in their new ventures.
As to the main function, so to speak, the age of the Junior Colts was lowered in Rugby Football, so that most of the team came from the Lower School. An account of their activities is given elsewhere. We contributed a number of useful members to the Junior Colts cricket XI, and had three games of our own, one versus Forres and two versus Thornlow. The former was lost, the latter a draw and rain stopped play.
As a finale to the School cricket season we held an enjoyable match between two Lower School teams in which the members of the Staff took part—a successful innovation, and one very nearly accompanied by the tinkle of broken glass!
Finally we said good-bye to Mr. Diffey, who had been caretaker since the Lower School started. He has not gone far, but has taken a post with Weymouth Grammar School. We welcome Mr. Treadgold from the Main School, and hope that he will have many happy years with us.