THE CITY OF NORWICH SCHOOL
This article was first published in the Jubilee Edition of the School Magazine in 1960 and is a compilation of extracts from magazines over the first fifty years of the School. The Editorial team at the time comprised: D. A. Cunningham, D. A. Rankin, J. Brown, E.A.Trudgill, E. Williamson.
The City of Norwich School was formed in 1910 by the fusion of the King Edward VI Middle School, the Duke Street Higher Grade School for Boys, and the Presbyterian School. The preliminary Prospectus announced that the school would be divided into Preparatory and Senior Departments, boys to enter the Preparatory Department from the age of 8 and the Senior at 12. Parents were urged to let their boys complete the four years course. The curriculum would include Scripture, Reading, Wnting and Arithmetic Geography and History, English Grammar, Composition and Literature, Mathematics, Natural Science, French, German or Latin, Drawing, Drill, Vocal Music, Woodwork and Metalwork. The fee would he £2 a term for city boys and for not less than seventy-five county boys attending with the sanction of the Norfolk County Council; for others the fee would be £5 a term, less the amount of the Government Grant, usually £1 13s. 4d. a term.
The buildings, designed by Mr. C. J.Brown, were erected by Messrs. John Hurn & Son.
On September 8th, 1910 the school was formally opened, when Canon Lyttleton, Headmaster of Eton, unlocked the central door, in the presence of the Lord Mayor (Dr. E. E. Blyth), the Sheriff, Sir George White, Councillor E. T. Boardman, and members of the Higher Education Sub-Committee. The following account of the ceremony is taken from the first number of the School Magazine.
THE OPENING CEREMONY
Tremendous cheering greeted the appearance of Canon Lyttleton, accompanied as be was by the Lord Mayor (Dr. E. E. Blyth), our Headmaster, Canon Westcott, Sir George White, M.P., and others. The National Anthem having been sung, Canon Westcott offered prayer. He besought the Giver of all good gifts to bless and prosper the work of the school with the fulness of His Holy Spirit. Grant, he went on, that those who teach and those who learn may ever set Thy Holy Will before them that this city, our commonwealth, and Christs Holy Church may profit by their learning, and they themselves attain to everlasting life. The speeches were then delivered before a large and representative audience.
The Lord Mayor said The City of Norwich School which Canon Lyttleton is about to open has been described as a magnificent block of buildings, a veritable palace, and so far as I know
that is the only criticism offered which can in any sense be construed as adverse, for I cannot help recognizing at the root of that criticism the suggestion that in the ercction of these buildings there has been an undue expenditure of public money. But ladies and gentlemen, as you know full well, economy is not found in the actual saving of pounds, shillings, and pence, and I firmly believe the time will come when all will agree that in the provision of this school the best, truest, and wisest economy has been exercised, for it is impossible to over-rate the paramount importance of education.
Sir George White said:- As Chairman of the Education Committee, I rejoice in having the privilege of taking some humble part in what I regard as the crowning of our education provision, at least, for the time being. I must say, however, that I look forward still to the time when the ancient capital of East Anglia will be a central university college for the district, and thus put it upon the same level as other populous centres in other parts of the kingdom.
The Headmaster of Eton said:- You cannot turn out into the world boys at sixtccn or seventeen who are equally well prepared for any profession, whether the military profession or any profession that has to do with handicraft, industry, or commerce You cannot do it. But you can make it your aim so to teach them that when they leave school they shall be imbued with a love of learning, knowing that learning is a thing that is in itself pleasant and joyful, instead of being a burden and a drudgery. You can inspire them with a wish to go on learning when they have left school. Boys can leave school comparatively young, knowing for life the difference between ignorance and knowledge, knowing when they know a thing and knowing when they do not know it.
Having dealt with intellectual matters, let me touch for a moment upon the important question of recreation. I can say with truth that when you look at England at large the very last thing you would dream of thinking it necessary to exhort anybody about would be recreation. I can say with truth that the best recreation is not that which grows quite of its own accord Recreation requires an ideal just as much as intellectual work. Now we have gone through the long period, certainly thirty or forty years, during which a vast number of people who spent their spare time in running down all education have given themselves the task of trying to crush athletics in schools. We have passed through that period. There was a time whcn those who were engaged in starting a school like this would have hesitated before spending any money on pleasure. And we know that playgrounds are an essential part of any school. It was not long ago when I had occasion to be present at a day school when a most pathetic thing was said by the headmaster, which I am glad not to have heard today. It was that the games, cricket even, did not flourish among th. boys as it ought because many of them preferred to spend their time in loafing about the streets and looking at shop windows. I ventured to remark that when these youngsters grew up to be married men they would not be so keen about shop windows as they were then. I hope these lads will take that to heart. If they want cricket and football to do what it has done and is doing in other schools they must be prepared to take trouble. They must be prepared to light against s1ackness physical, moral, and mental s1ackness and to make such sacrifices as all corporate healthy action demands, and then in a year or two they will find that they have their reward.
THE SCHOOL MAGAZINE 1910-1959
The first number of the magazine appeared in the Easter Term, 1911. From the earliest days, it follows a familiar pattern: accounts of local visits (the Castlc, the Gasworks, St. John Maddermarket), notes on the Norfolk Worthies, pages in French describing twenty-two garçons qui correspondent avec les garcons francais, notes on stamp collecting and other hobbies, original contributions reflecting the literary taste of the time (Georgian imitations, articles on Rupert Brooke, and so on as fashions change, to exercises in the manner of Hopkins, Joyce, Woolf, Eliot, Lawrence, and Empson), and editorial complaints against Non-contributors, Non-purchasers, and Critics. House Notes begin at once, and in the same strain that has prevailed ever since: the Notes describe successes at games, excuse various sporting disasters by looking to the future, and praise the energies of Housemasters. And running stcadi1y through from the beginning is the annual record of sound achievements, academic and sporting, of school functions and ceremonies, and of the activities of Old Boys.
The following excerpts give a picturc of the life of the school up to the present day.
1910-1929, HEADMASTERSHIP OF
MR. W. R. GURLEY
A TALE OF TWO FLAGS
A few months ago Mr Ellis Dean, a member of the Australian Par1iament, wrote to the Lord Mayor of Norwich, explaining a scheme he had for exchanging flags with various parts of the Empire, and was anxious to know whether if a flag was sent from
the chief schoo1 in New Norfolk, Tasmania, his Worship would arrange to hand it over to the principal school in Norwich, and whether such school would like to reciprocate the goodwill and friendship thus intended to be conveyed. The sequel was seen yesterday morning in an
impressive little spectacle enacted in the playing field of the school at Eaton. The first flag to be unfurled was that which the school is sending to Tasmania. It is a full sized Union Jack, made appropriately of Norwich silk. It was saluted bv three ringing cheers for New Norfolk, whilst a forest of little red caps waved wildly over a large space of the playing field. At a signal from the music master (Mr. J. Stribling) hundreds of voices gave forth a verse of the National Anthem.
The schools emblem of goodwill to New Norfolk was then lowered. The next time it is unfurled it will be in one of our most distant dominions. In its place was run up another Union Jack - this time the symbol of unity which New Norfolk has forwarded to Norwich. This was the signa1 for further volumes of cheering.
NEWS FROM THE PREPARATORY DEPARTMENT
On Monday, September 25th, we took a geographical and nature study walk by Bluebell Road. We left school at 1.30 sharp, by the Branksome Road. leaders, Hardesty and Wigg, set a smart pace down the hill, and we were soon in Eaton village. We turned to the right into Bluebell Road, and were delighted to receive the order Go easy, especially as an expanse of common on the right showed some ripe blackberries that really asked to be plucked and eaten. Soon the whistle sounded, and, hurrying to see what was wanted, we found we were ordered to turn down a lane to the marshes. Here we noted the course of the river Yare, and the effect of the currents on the banks, and then we spent some moments examining the construction and action of one of tlic wind pumps, which drained the marsh. We next noted how all the market gardens clustered on the sunny slope, leaving the opposite side comparatively bare. A short walk brought us to Bluebell Hole, near which we rested for a short time before commencing the homeward journey. We then proceeded past Earlham Hall farm, noticing the ash trees that lined the road-side, and quickly reached Earhham Road. Here we fell in and marched as far as the footpath, into which we turneed. A steady walk brought us to Eaton Park, where we bad a short interval for rest and refreshments. We then set out quick march for school, which we reached just before 4 oclock, having thoroughly enjoyed the journey, and with good appetites for tea.
TO OUR CRITICS
We append a few of our readers opinions as to what should be the special features of a paper of this kind, and we leave it to the skilled mathematicians in the school to find out how these views can be reconciled with each other.
To facilitate comparison we place the criticism in parallel columns.
1a.Too much space is given to purely school affairs. Why cant we have more purely literary matter
2a. Does nothing happen in the school but games. Why! there were actually 12 pages on cricket. Only the first class matches should be reported.
3a. It doesnt say much for the editors literary taste to have only two or three small poems in the Magazine. I sent four columns of selections from my poems, and not one appeared.
4a. I object most strongly to personalities being introduced into the Magazine. The remark on Page X, line 940, is an outrageous libel!! ?
5a. Why have pictures in the Magazine? It only means less reading matter. Who wants to see the photographs of people you see every day?
6a. The printing is far too small. It would look much better if the Magazine were printed in larger type, with a wide margin.
lb. A school magazine should confine itself to school matters only. Who wants all this so-called literary stuff?
2b. Why did you miss out all the most important cricket matches? I got four runs in the Walparkham and Bromelson 2nd XI match, and it wasnt reported. (Shame! Editor).
3b. What a waste of space that sloppy poetry is. No healthy hoy ever writes or reads poetry.
4b. Surely the pages of the Magazine could he enlivened by a few spicy personal tit-bits about boys, prefects and m . . (No you dont Ed.).
5b. I think that if every article were illustrated it would be a useful outlet for the genius of our amateur photographers. I could easily supply you with . . . (Not for worldsEd.).
6a. You could get twice the stuff in the Magazine if you had smaller type. It would cost no more, and between you and me the printer is r ... (You cant expect the printer to print libels against himself. - Printer).
GENERAL Criticism. - Jolly fine Magazine ! How the poor beggars who got it up must have worked ! I didnt think there was half so much literary and artistic talent in the school.
The sum of the adverse criticism is therefore as follows
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 +6 -6 -5 - 4 - 3 2 1 = 0. Grand Total 0.
OLD BOYS UNION
About three years ago, that is, somewhere about Easter, 1911, a number of boys who had left, or were about to leave the school, proposed that something should be done with a view to keeping in touch with each other all boys who had been in the school. Naturally; this meant the formation of an Old Boys Union. Considering that the school had only opened two terms previously, the proposal to start an Old Boys Union was somewhat startling. Of course, most of the boys had already begun their comradeship in the other schools which had been merged into this, and to a certain extent this made the position of a new union somewhat difficult. The remarkable way, however, in which the boys from these schools had blended in the City of Norwich School made the difficulties much less, and a good start was made. About thirty boys met in a room in the Criterion Restaurant, and discussed the proposal. Mr. A. Bussey was appointed secretary.
The Headmaster, naturally, was Presidcnt, and the rest of the staff were asked to become vice-presidents. The subscription was fixed at half-a-crown annually, and every member was to receive ~n return a copy of the School Magazine. This meant that with the postage, he received back more than 1s. 6d. of his subscription, the balance being required for meeting-places and secretarial expenses. The objects of the Union were explained at this meeting, viz., to form a nucleus round which all boys who left the school would gather, and, in time that is, when the membership grew sufficiently numerous, to form up a series of activities for the social and recreational intercourse of members. At the very outset, it was pointed out that whereas most Old Boys Unions consisted of Old Boys of various ages, this society would consist for some years to come of very young Old Boys, who naturally would not be able to put down substantial cheques, or occasional half-guineas, for the good of the Society. During the next two years the Union could not offer any very attractive programme to its members. An occasional cricket or football match, a cycle run, an outing to Lowestoft (at your own expense), and one or two jolly evenings at Grixs formed the sum of our activities. The result of this was that boys who were very keen on good cricket and football naturally joined other clubs in the city, that could give them what they wanted. It was felt that if the Union was to develop a big move of some kind would have to be made, and it was decided to drop sending the magazine, and put the whole of the subscriptions to a fund for the purpose of taking some premises as headquarters, with a view to organizing at once cricket football and other activIties. It was decided to continue sending the magazine to all members away from Norwich, who paid their sulbscriptions to the Union. Now, though most of the members who came to the meetings realized the necessity for patience, those who did not saw even less for their half-crown than previously, and this had an adverse effect on the subscriptions. On December 20th, 1913, a meeting was held and a complete reorganization of the Union took place, with Mr. Hemsley as treasurer and Mr. Higgins as secretary; a new committee was appointed, a portion of which was to consist of old Boys who were pupil-teachers, and thus were in constant touch with the school. An energetic start was made, a room was taken, the finances were reorganized, and the subscription fixed at 1s. per term, or 3s. per year.
Hardly had we broken up when war was declared. Very few days later the City of Norwich Schood was occupied by the military. The first to come were a battalion of the Norfolk Regiment, who remained four or five days in the first week in August, and on the 16th and 17th of August the Essex Regiment were in occupation.
SPEECH DAY : HEADMASTERS REPORT
The school is now under normal conditions, and our early difficulties inseparable from the fusion of schools of different types no longer exist. Omitting for the moment the few boys still under the Presbyterian Trust, there is only one boy remaining who comes at a reduced fee ; all others (who are not holders of scholarships) pay full fees, and the recent increase in their numbers is encouraging. We began this term with 487 names on the books the highest number under these normal conditions we have yet reached.
As I have said, the outstanding event of the school year has been somewhat unusual success at the University of Cambridge itself. A wrang1ership, a first class in the natural science honours list, a foundation scholarship for natural science, and entrance entrance scholarship for history, and an exhibition for mental and moral science, is an academic record for a single year of which the school may, I think, be justly proud.
By next term five of the masters of the C.N.S. will he with the Colours : Mr. Williams, Mr. Alsop, Mr. Watling, Mr. Sainty, and Mr. Tate, who joins up in a week or two. The work formerly done by them is now being done by extra efforts on the part of the remaining staff and by the three ladies, Miss Walton, Miss Armitage, and Mrs. Sainty, who have come to us as substitutes.
The past school year has been one of the most eventful, one of the most anxious in the history of the school. The unprecedented demand for boys and the earlier departure of many, the continued absence through illness of several members of the staff, when no temporary substitutes could he obtained, the joining up for military service of other masters, the consequent temporary disorganization of school time-tables and curricula, the greatly increased cost and scarcity of all things connected with school equipment, the diminution of school time owing to the lighting orders, all these and other effects of the war have made it difficult this year to carry on school as usual.
SPEECH DAY: HEADMASTERS REPORT
Last year I had to point out that owing to the shortage of labour the numbers in the upper forms of the school had never in its history been smaller. At present I am glad to say the upper forms are nearly as full as they can be, and most of the boys in them will probably complete the usual school course. This large upper school, together with a large entry in the lower part of the school, has brought up the numbers on the books to just over 600, the highest total we have yet reached.
The Cambridge University Local Examination results obtained last July are in some respects the best we have had. Twenty-one boys obtained Senior Certificates, fourteen of them in Honours, and there were seven First Classes. In the number of First Classes obtained we are bracketed 1st in the United Kingdom with two other schools. First Classes are not easy to obtain. In the July examination only 142 were distributed among more than 2,000 candidates, about 7 per cent. Nine out of ten Juniors passed, six in Honours with two Firsts. Altogether thirty boys gained certificates, twenty in Honours. Nine Firsts were obtained and twenty-live distinctions. In the total number of Senior distinctions we are second in the country with sixteen, one school obtained eighteen. Most noteworthy among the distinctions is that of E. R. Yarham, who headed the list in Physical and Political Geography, and so obtained the Royal Geographical Societys Silver Medal.
SCHOOL PEACE CELEBRATIONS
The school celebrated Peace in characteristic fashion on July 18th. We assembled at 9.30 a.m. and probably more joy was felt over that half-hours grace than would have been felt over a possible two hours later in the day. The opening service was longer than usual. The headmaster sought to impress boys with the great cause they had for joy. R. Services poem The March of the Dead, was read by the English Master, and the school then tumbled into the field to play a great House Match. The teams were chosen from both Senior and Junior Houses. The results were:--
Erpingham beat Crome on the first innings, Parker beat Walpole, Coke beat Browne first innings, and beat Nelson.
At 2.15 p.m. we assembled for a concert in the School hall, and had a most enjoyable time. The ladies and gentlemen who entertained us could have been in no doubt that they were appreciated, the shouting was so intense. The opening was made by Mrs. Gurley and Miss E. White playing two pianoforte duets all too brief. Then the school sang On Britains Roll of Honour High. We all had great pleasure in hearing Mrs. Gurleys rendering of Elgars Land of Hope and Glory, Later she sang Land of my Fathers, and the school took up the chorus. Mr. Winder, with his deep voice and hearty singing, captured the boys fancy in Cowens Border Ballad and The Floral Dance. Mr. B. Steward caused much amusement by his Anglo-French recitation, Alphonse, his patriotic The Lions Cubs and the always popular Norfolk Stories. For the first time Mr. Harris appeared before the school as an artiste, playing the violin, and wearing no gown.
The school also sang The American Battle Hymn, The Marseillaise, and the National Anthem.
In the midst of the concert the civic representatives arrived, with full ceremonial, in the State carriage. Dr. Blyth was present to receive the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, who were accompanied by Mr. D. O. Holme. The Lord Mayor was much moved by the very hearty welcome he received, and the continual bursts of applause given whilst he spoke to the school. In the midst of our joy we were reminded of the severe illness of Mrs. Blvth, and so a solemn moment crept into the boisterous joy of one of the great days of a nations life.
All Hail, Angel of Holy Peace.
SCHOOL WAR RECORD
Members of the school have done their duty in all branches of His Majestys Service, and many have given their lives by land, sea, and air. Of the 600 that have joined, we have to lament the
death of eighty, whilst many have been more or less seriously wounded.
Six of our staff answered the national call, and we deeply regret the loss of Mr. Tate and Mr. Williams, who gave their lives for their country ; while we heartily congratulate those who have safely returned. It is pleasing to record that Mr. Sainty was awarded the Military Medal.
Soon after the commencement of the war, a fund was raised for the maintenance of two Belgian refugees, who were kept at our school until they were able to support themselves. The boys have contributed generously to various funds raised in connection with the war.
The school has supported the local hospitals and the Red Cross in many ways. Yearlv collections have been made amongst the masters and boys. Realizing the need for economy and the requirements of the hospitals, waste paper and waste metals have been collected by the school, and Mr. Fewings has spent much time in sorting out and selling them.
In order to increase the schools contribution to the Red Cross, the boys decided to sacrifice their medals and prizes, usually awarded to successful competitors in the sports, certificates being substituted. Altogether, £70 was given to the local hospitals and Red Cross as a result of these actions.
Gardening was keenly taken up by the senior forms, for the purpose of producing food at that time when the nation was on the very verge of starvation. A considerable portion of the playing field was requisitioned for this object. Over 14 tons of potatoes, besides other produce, have been grown.
The School Scouts have been seriously handicapped by the absence of the Scoutmaster and his assistants, but, despite difficulties, the troop has done useful work in patrolling the coasts and assisting the fire brigade and other ways.
Under the direction of Mr. Braybrooks and Mr. Johnson, in the Manual Rooms, the boys have made a considerable number of tables, crutches, splints, and other articles required for wounded soldiers in hospitals.
The National War Savings Scheme was ardently taken up by the school under the management of Messrs. Harris and Hewitt. They have been repaid for their arduous work by the excellent results obtained. Up to date over £2,190 has been invested in War Savings by the school.
THE RE-UNION OF OLD BOYS
April 7th was the date of the re-union of the Old Boys who had served in His Majestys Forces during the war. The evening opened with supper, served in the School Hall, which was completely filled with our returning warriors, grouped together in their Houses. The period immediately after supper was occupied by speeches. A quartette, consisting of Miss Alice Spelman, Mr. and Mrs. Gurley, and Mr. W. T. Ivimey, contributed some delightful quartettes and solos, accompaniments being shared by Mrs. Gurley and Miss Ethel White. Two violin solos were rendered by Mr. F. A. Points. Mr. Bertram Steward raised roars of laughter by his humorous stories, and Mr. W. T. Watling added also the to humour and enjoyment of the evening by his sketches on the blackboard. Letters of regret for their inability to attend had been sent by Old Boys from almost every part of the world. Messages were also read from Mr. Stephenson and Mr. Hemsley, who were unable to be present.
The Headmaster began the speeches, and expressed his pleasure at seeing so many Old Boys. He was sure that his pleasure was shared by the staff and the governors, and not only his pleasure but also his just pride in the adventures of his old scholars. He then proceeded to outline the share the school had taken in the war. Before Christmas, 1914, eighty-three (all of whom had been taught in the building) had volunteered, and before Christmas, 1915, this number had swelled to more than 200. Upwards of 600 Old Boys had taken some share in the gigantic struggle.
All present stood for a moment in a silent tribute to those who had died, and then the National Anthem was sung.
Lt. Mosby, D.S.O., proposed Success to the School, and thanked, on behalf of the Old Boys present, the Headmaster, and all who had contributed in any way to the evenings entertainment. He reminded those present of the advice Dr. Lyttleton had given them at its opening, how he stated the moral tone of the school was largely in their hands, and the future of the school depended upon time traditions they laid down.
A very enjoyable evening ended with three hearty cheers for the Headmaster and the singing of Auld Lang Syne.
SCHOOL WAR MEMORIAL
On the afternoon of Thursday, March 2nd, the School War Memorial was unveiled by the Lord Mayor, and dedicated by the Bishop of Norwich, before a small gathering of relatives and friends of the fallen, and some of the boys.
The Memorial, a painted and carved oak triptych, serves not only to record the names of our eighty-four Masters and Old Boys, but also to visualize something of the deep personal feeling of love and grief we had for them in their passing, and time great message of virtue and hope which they flung to us in their falling.
The names are incised in gold on a ground of dull red, symbolizing the value of their great sacrifice and the honour with which they are esteemed by the school. When closed, the doors are
held in position by a broken sword, a lasting reminder of their great vision of the final passing of war from the face of the world, and their names will remain closed except on special occasions. By this means it is hoped to obviate the tendency to indifference which a more permanent display might entail.
The inside panels serve to enshrine the names with symbolic renderings of those deeper thoughts we have for our departed ones. In the one beneath the date 1914 Amor is represented by a mother who watches with anxiety her child setting forth into the long night of war. The nude child stripped of all petty self-seeking and prejudice heaves behmind him the setting sun and the homeland suggested by a distant peep of Norwich, and sets forth along a path bordered with wild flowers but obstructed with brambles. He has gathered a bunch of poppies whose superficial beauty typifies for him the anticipated glory and adventure of war but suggests to the mother the real price that may have to be paid. On the other side beneath the date 1918, Dolor or Griet is represented by a mother clasping a bunch of poppies to her breast. She stands with head bowed silhouetted against the night sky and a suggested blood-stained battlefield, but the star of hope shines above her head. For the moment she is oblivious of the glorified form of her child seen in the foreground, with feet immersed in a cluster of blood-red poppies and hands outstretched pointing the way to the dawn.
For the greater part of the year the two outside panels alone are visible and these serve to convey in symbolic form the message which underlies their great sacrifice for us who remain and those who will follow. In the one beneath the date 1914 Virtus (not merely Virtue but all that ancient Roman quality which we most nearly express by the word Manliness) is seen clad in the white robe of purity. In his right hand, exalted is the hilt of the broken sword, a glowing symbol of Christs message. With golden wings proclaiming him a messenger, he stands surrounded by a bountiful harvest. A scythe reminding us that labour carried out in the right spirit brings its own reward, an overflowing jar, suggesting thrift, and a symbolic ship, recall those flourishing, happy times, which our men hoped to restore. An anvil, partially obscured, suggests that the worlds work is for a time thrust into the background. Yet the hope of Peace (the Dove) is never far from his mind.
On the right, beneath the date 1918, the figure of Spes, or Hope is seen with hands outstretched and head erect. He gazes boldly forward and is aglow with eager demand of the future. His green wings outspread, he stands surrounded by a vision of Spring. The anvil and the dove of Peace tell of the worlds work which must he resumed. An earthen jar (the earliest form of storage) awaits the time when the blossoms of promise shall have come to fruition. The aethereal city in the background symbolizes the Ideals, the Aspirations of youth which are to be reached only by traversing the path of Endeavour through the dark valley of difficulties and obstacles which Mans work (the spade) must overcome.
The Memorial was designed by and carried out under the supervision of Mr. W. T. Watling, a member of the teaching staff, who also undertook the painting and decorating. The gun-metal sword and fittings are the work of Mr. G. F. Johnson, another member of the staff, the wood carving has been executed by Mr. Hubert Miller, the constructional joinery by Messrs. J. S. Smith & Son.
MR. W. R. GURLEY
As one who entered the old King Edward VI Middle School in 1902 and left the City of Norwich School in 1912, I have probably been under Mr. Gurley as long as any Old Boy. So I have been privileged by the Editor of the School magazine to make my reappearance as a contributor to comment on the news of Mr. Gurleys retirement. This is one of the rare occasions when one has an opportunity of expressing gratitude for the debt which is owed by all those of us who have had the good fortune to come under a good Headmaster. Mr. Gurley had been in command of the Middle School for several years when I first entered it, and he had, I believe, inaugurated a milder rule than had been customary before he came. We have reason to remember with gratitude the kindliness of his discipline and the close personal contact that he established with the boys. It did not seem to me at the time to he very remarkable that our Headmaster seemed to know personally every one of the three hundred boys under his charge. Looking back at it now, with my own experience of how difficult it is to know anything about each member of a class of thirty, this feature of Mr. Gurleys contact with us seems almost miraculous.
Perhaps the best of all tributes to a teacher is the fact that his pupils leave him, having learned something and not having, at the same time, acquired a distaste for learning. This is, I think, true of Mr. Gurleys pupils, and those of us (I hope they are many) who will remain students all our lives, owe it to our teachers that our spirit of curiosity has survived our schooldays. I remember that, in the Sixth Form, Mr. Gurley himself taught us history and how to write essays, and we had the stimulating experience of finding ourselves in contact with a standard higher than we eould ever hope to reach. No one in that class could have had the common delusion that we should know all about history when we had learned a list of dates by heart and could reproduce without error what was said in our text hook. Of the staff which Mr. Gurley had at that time, I remember two names with particular gratitudc, Mr. Hemsly, who taught me and many others to share his enthusiasm for English Literature, and Mr Mayo, who early unlocked for me the delightful mysteries of the differential calculus.
To Old Boys, the news of Mr. Gurleys approaching retirement comes with something of a shock. Twenty-five years have been added to the age of the young and energetic Headmaster who took me alone to his, desk and gently but firmly insisted that I should sing God Save tbe King, and who listened with real pain but without reproach to the tuneless quaver I produced.
We all hope that for many years of vigorous health Mr. Gurley will be able to enjoy the leisure which has been earned by so much hard work. The position of the Headmaster of a new school must be an arduous one, but it is work of a fruitful kind The character of the City of Norwich School has been moulded by Mr Gurley, and now that it is reaching years of discretion, Mr. Gurley may safely leave it to other hands sure that it will retain the character he has given it.
(Robert H. Thouless, MA , PH.D., Department of Psychology, The University, Glasgow. Formerly Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge).
OLD BOYS, PRESENTATION TO MR. AND MRS. W. R. BURLE Y
A large number of Old Boys gathered together to wish Mr and Mrs. Gurley many years of happiness and to thank them for their devotion and service during the past nineteen years. The Chairman of the Governors, Miss King, members of the school Staff and their wives were the guests of the Union.
On the platform was a wireless set of the latest pattern with a moving coil loud speaker, the cabinet of the latter having been made by the boys of thc school under the guidance of Messrs.
Braybrooks, Alsop, and Watling.
About twenty boys of the school choir sang the spirited School Song, the music for which was composed by Mrs. Gurley, well-known as Joan Trevalsa, who accompanied the singers. They also sang My Bonnie Lass, Thou Glorious Sun, and Good-night. Other contributors to the entertainment were A. L. Bishop, Tom Griffiths (who told Norfolk stories),
Tom Browne, Gordon Ward, H. J. Green, and E. E. Booth. Mr. Gurley, well remembered some little time ago as a tenor vocalist, expressed his disappointment at being unable to sing to the old
boys that evening, but announced that his wife would deputize for him. Mrs Gurley sang The Second Minuet with the grace so beautiful a song required, accompanying herself on the pianoforte.
The presentation was made by Mr. Alec Bussey, one of the 1910 old boys, who has since retained his association with his old Headmaster as Scoutmaster of the City of Norwich School Troop. Mr. Bussey intimated that there had been four hundred subscribers to the presentation and that it was a happy thought of the Committee to have part of the wireless set made at the school by some of the staff and by a number of the old boys as a labour of love.
Mr. Gurley acknowledging the presentation, said he felt very deeply the heartiness of their reception.
In a tribute to his staff, Mr. Gurley said no Headmaster ever had better colleagues, and the success of the school depended on the support they had given him.
Towards the end of a very jolly evening a resolution making Mr. W. R. Gurley President of the O.B.U. for life was carried with acclamation. This was followed by a resolution making Mr. G. L. Thorp Chairman of the Union. The latter was carried amidst much cheering.
A very hearty vote of thanks was given to L. Marchesi for his generosity and personal help in providing the refreshments (Applause). L. Marchesi made a very inspiring reply saying that some old boys were able to help the school by academic distinctions and others, who were engaged in commerce, were able to help with buns.
1929-1940 HEADMASTERSHIP OF
MR. G. L. THORP
Mr. Gurley was succeeded as Headmaster by Mr. G. L. Thorp, during whose Headmastership the social, musical, and dramatic activities of the school made considerable advances. The Library was enlarged in this year.
The first annual School Concert was held, followed by a performance of Laurence Housmans Revellers.
THE PLAY THE REVELLERS
By LAURENCE HOUSMAN
A school play should be played as a co-operative production; there should be an attempt to assess all the work that goes towards success. From this point of view there are certain things which merit great praise ; the final tableau for instance was one of tine best things I have seen on a school stage.
It would, of course, be too much to expect that the acting would reach the same level - after all, the school has many years of sound tradition in arts and crafts behind it, and hardly any tradition of acting. I dont mind saying baldly at the outset that the only actor who knew his job was Lucio, though Franceseo made a valiant attempt at the most difficult part. Paolo and the Podesta I should pick out for second-class honours.
Acting drama is, after all, doing things, conveying an impression with your body, and Lucio was the only one who realized this, though Francescos fake singing was good enough to deceive even the elect. The least successful aspect was the speaking of the lines, though they came over better than I expected.
Our congratulations are due to Mr. Watling and the crew of the Measle, whose effort in winning the Challenge Cup for the best School Tableau in the Hospitals Carnival is indeed a fine one. Their reptile was, without boudt, the most distinctive feature of the mile-long procession.
This year the Preparatory Department was closed.
About twelve hundred masters and boys from English Secondary Schools enjoyed the ten-day cruise of the troopship Neuralia to the Baltic and Northern Capitals, the C.N.S. being represented by three masters and twenty-one boys.
Many an Old Boy has remarked that, although he cannot say in what respect, the field seems somewhat different. The old brick pavilion at the far side of the field has been removed; its site has been turfed, so that football pitches 7 and 8 are at last complete. In its stead, we have a moveable scoring hut, smaller, but much more useful than the old structure. It stands under the trees by the basket-ball pitches, and already seems always to have been there. May it not be a bad omen, for no school success has yet been scored in it.
THE BLYTH BEQUEST
One morning, early this term, Alderman Miss Clarkson unveiled a tablet commemorating the late Dr. Blyth. Before the ceremony she gave a short address to the assembled school.
Dr. Blyth, the late Chairman of the Governors, had been one who had given himself to the service of the world. He had been a great reader of books and he had made his bequest to the school and to the Library in particular, to help the boys to have the same love of books.
She asked the boys, as they read the books, to remember Dr. Blyth, not so much as a successful lawyer, but as the friend of young people, and as one who delighted to spend himself and his possessions in their service.
Miss Clarkson then unveiled the tablet, which is fixed on the Library door and bears these words: ERNEST EGBERT BLYTH, LL.D., CHAIRMAN OF THE GOVERNORS FOR TWENTY-ONE YEARS, 1912 - 33, HE BEFRIENDED THIS SCHOOL AND PARTICULARLY THIS LIBRARY BY LABOUR, SYMPATHY AND BEQUEST.
SPEECH DAY: HEADMASTERS REPORT
In his annual report the Headmaster said that the most noticeable thing he had to report this year was the thorough reconditioning of the school playing field, which had long been necessary. This had involved a change of time-table and of organization. The school now worked on Thursday afternoon instead of on Saturday morning and played games in four sections instead of in two, each section having one morning game and one afternoon game.
Dealing with the dramatic activities of the school Mr. Thurp said they had now acquired their own proscenium, built in the school workshops to the design of Mr. Watling, the art master, and their own curtains.
He referred to the forthcoming pageant play written by the Senior English Master, Mr. Rigby ; to the school societies ; and to the lectures, plays, and educational films they had had.
The reorganization of the library was going on steadily, and they had erected a new set of shelves in readiness for the books from a generous bequest of £300 from their late chairman, Dr. Blyth.
Parents would be interested to hear that the number of milk-drinkers under the Government Scheme was now about 150 daily. One bottle of milk was paid for with one of the celebrated Woods Hapence, which caused a riot in Dublin about 200 years ago, and which called forth one of Swifts celebrated pamphlets. Luckily the waitress spotted that it was something out of the ordinary, and it had been placed in time school museum.
THE SCHOOL PLAY
The presentation of the Spoils of Time marks an epoch both in the schools tradition of drama, and in the history of the school itself. In the first place it is by far the most ambitious thing we have attempted and in the second place, Mr. Rigby has written us a play which is our unique property and of the very stuff of the schools life. As to its ambition - the play contained one hundred and fifteen characters, none of which we allowed to be doubled. Most of these too, required historical costumes and accoutrements, and the span of time ranged over 450 years. Only one interval was allowed for scene shiftingall other changes being masked by lines spoken by the chorusthe Spirit of History or by actors staying behind from the preceding scene, and speaking from the apron.
As to the play itself, the idea is the transporting of present-day boys by the Spirit of History back into the past to learn something of the lives of those eight eponymous heroes after whom their houses are named.
As to the scenesNelsons must carry away the palm, and then the classroom scene- the two scenes which our author supervized from the start. None of the other producers will, I am sure, mind this frank statement. After all T. E. R. is one of tine best actors in the County and has years of experience behind him. After Nelsons I allot 2nd and 3rd places to Coke annd Crome -both oddly enough unadventurous scenes about characters lawyers, little girls, mad painters not usually thought of as dramatic. Nelson himself too, I think, deserves first mention among individual actors of the big parts, close1y followed by Blackwood, Crome, Kett, Hardy, and Brooke and the eldest Miss Gurney. Among the minor parts my favourites were the Herald
in Parker, King James, Coke, and King James messenger, Brownes Mayor, Brookes interpreter (and his doctor), Erpinghams Col. Abinott, Queen Catherine of Braganza, the Duke of York, Capt. Pasco and Ketts three scall-wags-not to mention those popular heroes who defied Decembers wrath in Dyak war paint.
All the boys in the prologue were excellentin a part which boys find very difficult to play their natural selves. One stands out in my memory I have forgotten his name the one who arrived late with a whoopee.
For the herculean labour of dressing the one hundred and fifteen we are mainly indebted to Mrs Rigby and other ladies belonging to the staff, and magnificently it was done. I was glad too, to notice that our former high level of acoutrements was kept up. Our chief armourer sergeant this year was Slaughter (whats in a name !). The helmets and armour of Erpingham and King Harry were rather disappointing.
The scenery was sensibly reduced to a minimum, but very little was needed in the setting of Mr. Watlings fine new prosceniumm. There is still, however, a tendency among our scene painters to fall between the stools of realism and modernism. Nelsons scenery was a long way the best setting in spite or because of the unrealistic opening of the curtains by the servant.
To conclude- it was a great achievement and reflects the greatest credit on all concerned.
G. L. T.
THE ENGLISH SECONDARY SCHOOLS TRAVEL TRUST
In 1932, Major Stevenson, of Tauntons School, Southampton, who had for many years organized school camping holidays at home and abroad, conceived the idea of utilizing a government troopship to take boys abroad without spending money outside Britain for catering, etc.
In order to raise the necessary complement of 1,000 boys, the Major circularized the leading secondary schools with his suggestion and a party of twenty-five from the C.N.S., was privileged to accompany him on the first pioneering cruise to the Northern Capitals in H.M.T. Neuralía, That was an unforgettable experience, notwithstanding the unforeseen difficulties which arose and were easily overcome by the good-natured spirit of adventuresome pioneering which prevailed.
One example of such difficulties will suffice, At the last moment it was found impossible to take stewards for the troop decks, and this occasioned the unexpected good fun of washing up, waiting at table, and clearing up decks, all of which was readily undertaken by the boys with cheerful good huumour. Our smallest member (who is now quite a cruising expert and enthusiast) could not reach the bowls for washing up, so volunteered to keep his table supplied with material from the galley. Our party soon mastered the difficult art of hammock rolling and were frequently mentioned in daily orders for general tidiness, with the result that at the end of the cruise, they were all presented with badges.
We have keen recollection of the incident at Stockholm when two boys (from another school) carried the spirit of adventure too far and decided to leave the ship : we were delayed one hour just before sunset, when it was imperative that we should get away early in order to navigate safely the forty miles of islands in the Fiord. Police stations and hospitals were rung up with no result and a master was left behind to continue the search. Later we had an example of the usefulness of wireless at sea. The boys were found and ordered, from the ship, to proceed to Gothenburg, where they came aboard, had a shamefaced interview with the Commander and being ordered straight home by another boat, were promptly sent ashore again.
Cruising has continued each year and experience has made each cruise run with increasing smoothness. Year by year we have added to our educational experiences and it is no mean achievement for some sixty Norwich boys to have seen Stockholm Town Hall (the finest example of modern architecture in Europe), Rembrandts Night Watch, the Norwegian Fiords, Finlands Parliament building (with their unique electric system of voting), Copenhagen and the Tivoli Gardens (Europes pioneer amusement park), Hamburgs Hagenbeek Zoo, Oslo and its magnificent ski jump, Elsinore (the scene of Shakespeares Hamlet), Bergen and its live fish market, the Kiel Canal, Volendam and Marken in the Zuyder Zee, the Bremen going at full speed in mid-ocean, and the hundred and one matters of interest connected with navigation and ocean travel.
This year we are making a notable change by turning south and it is proposed to visit Lisbon, Madeira, Casa Blanca and Gibraltar.
W. T. W.
DEATH OF MR. W. R. GURLEY
Old Boys will have learnt already that their Life President, Mr. W. R. Gurley, passed peacefully away on Friday, February l9th, He had been in bad health since just before Christmas, and he was unable to attend the O.B.U. Dinner. This was the first occasion on which he had not presided, and all hoped that this indisposition was merely temporary.
When he retired in April, 1929, he had been Headmaster for nineteen years, since the school was opened.
His first task in his new post was the difficult one of combining the masters and boys from the separate schools into one whole. It was very much his policy that a day school should provide as far as possible all the advantages which are usually associated with the boarding schools, and, in pursuit of this, he at once established the House System, and included games inside the normal curriculum. In many day schools to this day. games take place only on half-holidays. His dominant idea was to foster esprit de corps in every way, and one of his early cares was to invite boys and masters to provide a suitable school song. The song chosen, as all will remember, written by a boy who had just left the school in 1915S. F. Cornwelland was set to music by Joan Trevalsa, better known as Mrs. Gurley. He gave very real encouragement to the development of the school games, by playing both cricket and football for the School XIs for many years.
He took the greatest interest in music all his life and frequently sang in concerts, and always at the Old Boys Dinner. He was an active supporter of the Norwich Triennial Musical Festival, and served on the Committee responsible for its organization.
SOME RANDOM THOUGHTS
Toad of Toad Hall was the most ambitious production we have attempted yet. I am not forgetting the Spoils of Time but that stands rather outside the usual run of school plays. The problems of Toad were of a different kindthe almost continual presence on the stage of Toad himself, the rapid changes of scene dictated by the play and not by the conveniences of our stage, and the considerable part played by the chorus of Wildwooders. To Toad it is difficult to give too high praise. I think he has real acting aability and so has Rat in a rather lower key. The most popular scene was naturally the court scene. It was excellently done if with rather too vigorous a sense of farce. So also was the scene in the gaol which provoked roars of laughter.
Hansell was particularly delightful as the washerwoman, such a change from his last appearance as a rough cavalier officer. But I will pass these over because I want to get on to the two chorus scenes in the wood. These appealed more to me because of the real gusto with which the weasels put them across.
I have mentioned Toad and Rat and the judge. Mole and Badger supported him admirably and deserve all praise. Among minor characters, I mainly remember the chief weasel, the clerk, and the gaolers daughterher chiefly for the immense improvement during the weeks of rehearsal. The clothes and masks, the results of weeks of hard work, were most effective in design though they sadly lacked colour. The play did not present any opportunities for interesting stage setting except the one scene of the subterranean tunnel (the solution of this problem was a stroke of genius) but Mr. Watling has painted us a delightful stylized woodland curtain which will be a possession for ever. More and more am I convinced that we must get rid of those chilly grey curtains.
To Messrs. Hardy and Houghton for their dull noble work in the box office, and to our producer Mr. Doe, pars maxima victoriae, the thanks of all of us are due. The pleasantest moments I spent last term were in listening to the strains of Hunsdon House as the lights faded in Badgers House on the evening of the great raid.
G. L. T.
NOTES OF THE TERM
Tree cutting and tree planting have been one of the features of this winter. Eaton Road presents a very bare appearance, and we were very sorry to see the tops come off the onlv big trees in the field, but they were too old and high, and too near the big gymnasium windows for safety. To compensate for their loss, we have planted a shrubbery of flowering trees and shrubs. We have also extended the beech hedge on the drive right down to the fives courts.
The annual expedition to the North of England by second-year boys has almost become a school tradition. When we compare the first journeys of 1932, undertaken by a party of fourteen boys under one master, with the 1939 expedition of thirty-nine boys and three masters we see that a much greater field is covered by the more recent journeys.
Each year has seen some variations in the itinerary. This year we did the journeys by rail and found it both more speedy and less fatiguing than by road transport. We stayed at Ilam Hall for the first six days, before moving on to High Cross Castle, Windermere. We took a number of delightful walks through the picturesque country so recently acquired by the National Trust. We climbed Bunster and Thorpe Cloud, crossed the Dove by stepping stones and again by a fallen tree trunk, walked along the dried-up bed of the Manifold, discovered where it plunged underground, and where it reappeared after a journey of four miles. On Sunday everybody attended a short service in the little church at Ilam.
During the first week the weather was cold and dull with one or two wet days. But when we arrived at Windermere there was a welcome change, clouds gave place to blue skies, and we enjoyed three days of heat and glorious sunshine. Here we carried out our usual Lakeland programmmme, including a thrilling trip on Lake Windermere, and magnificent views of Grasmere, Rydal, Ullswater and Thirlmere. On Tuesday, May 23rd, we made a successful attack on Helvellyn, and were rewarded by the glorious views obtained from its summit.
On our journey from Ashbourne to Windermere we passed through a big stretch of the densely-populated area of Lancashire, and from the carriage windows saw dozens of coal pits and thousands of factorys chimneys discharging clouds of black smoke. On the outward journey on May 16th we visited the L.M.S. Railway Workshops at Derby.
On Ascension Day we were entertained by the Clay Cross Company Limited. In the morning we visited their pit at Morton. Everybody, including the bus drivers, went down the coal-mine and looked round the places of interest above ground. The majority of the boys considered this to be the most thrilling experience of the whole trip. In the afternoon we visited the blast furnaces, the coke ovens, and saw the whole process of making iron pipes both by vertical castings and spinning. On our return return journey from Clay Cross to Ilam we stopped at Tissington to see the well dressing.
When war broke out, the authorities delayed the beginning of the Autumn Term by a week or so and then permitted only the senior forms to return. At halfterm the fourth forms returned and the junior forms gradually began to come up once per week. By the January of 1940 the air-raid shelters had been made and the whole school assembled.
A good many activities ceased with the outbreak of war, and in the shorter hours, and in the unblacked-out buildings, were not revived. The cruises to foreign parts which Mr. Watling used to conduct with such aplomb in the summer holidays, and the occasional French visits under Mr. Hardy came to an end, as did tours to Denmark under Mr. Hopkins, and Dr. Mosbys Pennine trips. Large-scale dramatics stopped But in their place came such war-like occasions as fire-watching and A.T.C. parades.
On April 30th, 1940, the school assembled to bid farewell to Mr. G. L. Thorp. The scholars and old boys had combined to present to the school a portrait of Mr. Thorp, painted by Mr.
W. T. Watling, and this was formally handed over by Mr. Alec Bussey, representing the Old Boys Union, and accepted by the Senior Prefect, D. L. Raffle. Mr. Bussey presented to Mr. Thorp a photograph of the portrait, and wished him happiness and success in his new post.
After the assembly the staff gathered in the Common Roomn and gave Mr. Thorp a fitted box of artists colours as a token of appreciation of his many kindnesses. Alderman G. F. Johnson added a few words of good wishes on behalf of past members of the staff.
Headmastership of MR. R. W. JACKSON
THE WAR YEARS
The early years of the recent world war were eventful in the history of the school.
Our present Headmaster took over his duties on May 1st, 1940 and was immediately faced with many problems. Ought the Education Committee to be encouraged to go on with its plans for the removal of the school to the West Country ? How could the places ot masters going to military service best he filled ? How could the schools standard of work be maintained, and possibly enhanced, in war time ? Could the Governors of the school be prevailed upon to continue with their scheme to take over, and prepare for use as a sports field, the former allotments between the playing field and the golf course ? How long could the Headmaster and his staff continue to fire-watch by night and teach by day ? And much else besides.
Even as these and other problems were being grappled within, fresh anxieties arose weekly, almost daily. Whenever there was suitable cloud-cover we were likely to have long crash warnings, and to stay sometimes for hours on end in our underground shelters trying to continue our studies. Hot cocoa was taken to the shelters in turn ; boys went for meals sixty at a time. We had crash warnings during one Morning Assembly when machine-gun fire was very near. We heard bombs drop on B. & P. in the middle of a staff cricket match. We had one bomb dropped (during the Christmas holidays mercifully) alongside the gymnasium. The clump of trees nearby largely sheltered the gym and the school from the blast and only superficial damage was done. A big crater was left near where the junior hockey goal now stands, and this, we remember, was soon filled with snow.
The remarkable thing is that the schools work did not seem to suffer greatly. Indeed, our School Certificate results improved year by year significantly, while our sixth forms grew in numbers and width of interest. The school at that time, as since, owed much to the able and devoted work of its staff, including at one time fourteen women teachers.
And so, when the war was won and normal conditions began to return, the school was in good heart and ready to build on the foundations it had managed to lay even in these years of great stress. Seventeen new masters were appointed and the school forged ahead.
Mr. Bundey, after rather more than thirty years of service as the school caretaker, retired on February 19th, 1941. He was thee first caretaker, being appointed even before the buildings which he was to look after so long were finished. In the eyes of succeeding generations of boys and masters he became a venerable institution, a sort of tutelary deity, of formidable presence, controlling the internal climate of the premises, not to be trifled with.
A new activity is known as Hobbies. What seems to us especially good about this organization is that boys can change easily from one group to another term by term. No ones prestige is bound up with the success of any particular club and so there is no danger of the various l the recreative qualities of genuine hobbies and becoming merely extra lessons.
The Headmaster had not been here long before he set up what is known as the Careers Bureau for advising and helping boys in deciding what profession or business to take up when they heave school, and for bringing suitable boys and employers together.
Mr. P. M. Houghton is in charge. . . . Our reporter planned to put himself through the routine of Mr. Houghtons bureau in order to write an inside story, and proffered himself in rotation as a would-be conjurers assistant, President of the Bank of England, and an astrologer. Mr. Houghton, who did not co-operate very readily in this scheme, gave information about the second only of these professions.
What used to be the Headmasters house was converted into a block of school-rooms, the two main rooms on the ground floor becoming the main Music Room and the Fiction Library.
The Magazine was not issued during these years.
After a painful illness lasting several months, Mr. Phillippo died in February, 1946. For many years he had been our grounds-man, and several generations of boys who have enjoyed games on the well-tended field could speak of his conscientious labours.
EXTENSIONS TO THE DINING ROOM
Five or six years ago, the school was called on to provide rather more than a hundred meals for boys and staff each day. Now, upon occasion, it may have to produce four hundred and more. As may be imagined, it has not been easy to provide the necessary additional dining and kitchen accommodation during war years. But the Governors of the School, to our great pleasure, decided in 1943 that this additional accommodation was essential if meals were to he cooked and served in reasonable comfort. After the usual number of delays and exchanges of ideas, the Ministry of Education was at last satisfied, and the builders and decorators began. They, in tnmrn, were delayed by a shortage of materials and by other difficulties. But when we began our Spring Term in January 1945, we were able to enter into the possession of our new kingdom. The electric lift has considerably lightened the work of Mrs. Childs assistants.
A lively revival has already been made in the schools journeys to foreign parts under Mr. Watling, one party visiting Denmark during the summer holidays and another visiting Switzerland at Easter. Two post-war generations of third-formers have now sampled the annual trip to the Pennines.
Many other activities have been revived in the past twelve months, in particular the holding of Open Day, the return of Speech Day to St Andrews Hall, and the annual rout of the staff at football cricket and hockey. Though it has not yet been possible to revive large-scale dramatics, an encouraging sign for the future was the informal social gathering of parents in the School Hall one evening in December to listen to the choirs rendering of a specially arranged cycle of carols. The sixth form now have their own society, the Sir Thomas Browne, and scientists their own club.
Among all these diversions the academic side of the schools life has continued to flourish. Although we did not gain quite so many School Certificate successes in 1946, we again had the highest nuniber won by any school entering for the Cambridge examinations. Our number of Higher School Certificates was nearly twice that of the previous few years and seems likely to increase still further.
Yet, though school life now has more variety and is generally more pleasant than in the war years, we still have our difficulties. Our increasing numbers have necessitated a new classroom in the School House. We are still suffering from the shortage of textbooks and writing paper, we still have no swimming pool, and our fives courts are still out of action under the weight of a large quantity of coke.
SIXTH ANNUAL LOWESTOFT DRAMA FESTIVAL
On May 20th, the School Dramatic Society performed Shaws Passion, Poison and Petrifaction at Lowestoft. Credit was given for the acting, the production, the presentation, the dramatic merit of the play, and enterprize ; out of the possible hundred marks we calculated that we might get thirty-two and Mr. Hardy assured us that thirty of those would probably he awarded for audacity.
When the time came for the performance, the actors began to feel rather nervous ; Mr. Court occupied his time by attempting to knock the policemans helmet off with a silver ball, which was to play the part of a thunderbolt. The performance passed off very successfully ; the only two technical hitches being that Salter split his trousers and that the thunderbolt rebounded off the window and so did not strike the policeman at all. The adjudicator said that the play was a riot, and complimented the producer and cast. T. J. Painter, who played Phyllis the Maid, deserves special mention for a display which earned him the applause of the audience. When the trophies were awarded, we won the Class III trophy with 88 per cent.
Five sixth-formers have won Open Scholarships or Exhibitions at the universities ; sports teams have flourished ; parties have visited Switzerland, Derbyshire, Wharfedale, and Filey ; and the wide range of musical experience has extended from the informal annual Christmas Carol evening to the ambitious but entirely successful performance of Hiawathas Wedding Feast in May, from a visiting opera groups rendering of a Dibdin operetta to the final movement of Beethovens Violin Concerto played on Open Day with Paul Doe as soloist. Other outstanding events have been the General lnspection, Sergeant Kemps examination of cycles, the landing of Mr. A. H. Warmingers glider on the School Field, and golf lessons for the sixth form.
The open air seems to have the same effect upon an audience at a play as it has upon a person reading poetry. It gives to both so much freedom of imagination. Certainly this was the experience of the audience when members of the Upper Sixth presented scenes from the first part of Henry VI on the school lawn one fine evening.
It was this free scope given to the imagination, coupled with the vigour of the acting, that made the performance such a success. Of the characters, Falstaff (M. Garrod) stood supreme. Who can forget that great, pot-bellied figure striding across the lawn, a lawn so renowned in normal circumstances for its sacredness ? Prince Hal (J. White) combined the regal touch with his roguery very successfully. Mistress Quickly (D. Wright) greatly amused the audience with her alluring manner. Of the host of other characters one can only mention Poins (R. Dyer), the harassed Francis (D. Allman), and Bardolph (R. Bracey).
THE HEADMASTERS REPORT
The school had Old Boys at every University in England, and one at Edinburgh. The 117 School Certificates and fifty Higher School Certificates were the highest awarded to any school under the Cambridge Syndicate, and five open scholarships, three state scholarships and twenty county and city scholarships had been gained by members of the sixth form. Mr. Jackson went on to speak of the growth of the sixth form, and of the new third-form course in local history, geography, and literature.
THE MEMORIAL CLOCK
On July 2nd, the Rt. Rev, the Lord Bishop of Norwich, assisted by Rev. R. Hurd, Rev. S. Myers, and Rev. T. L. Thomas, conducted a memorial and dedicated the chiming clock and stone plaque in memory of the Old Boys who died in the Second World War.
The Theatre Chub enjoyed a year of varied and very successful activities. During the autumn, Arsenic and Old Lace was presented on behalf of the Lads Club Rebuilding Fund. From the aesthetic and from the financial standpoint this venture proved highly satisfactory ; the production and the acting were smooth and finished, the performances of Rudden (as Mortimer Brewster) and Pearce (as Martha Brewster) revealing great maturity and control of technique.
At time end of the Easter Term we took part in the Lowestoft Drama Festival, and were victorious again in the Youth Groups Open Section with our production of Shaws farce Passion, Poison and Petrifaction. Pearce again gave a most sensitive, intelligent, and authoritative performance, and the production by Burke was skilful and suitably inventive.
The final production this year was Sophocles Oedipus Rex with notable performances by Ruddcn in the title-role, Pearce as Jocasta, and Patrick as Creon. Doar had written special musical accompaniments for the Chorus. The production was by Burke.
THE PARAMOUDRA CLUB
Standing at the entrance to our School House is a pear-shaped mass of flint surrounding a central chalk-filled cavity. This sport of nature two feet tall and two feet in diameter is a paramoudra. It is from this flint formation that the club takes its name. The word comes from the Gaelic and Erse words meaning sea-pear (peura muireach).
The club was formed on ,July 13th, 1950. Its aims as stated in the constitution are to create a greater interest in geology, particularly local geology and to bring together the members past and present of the geology sixth. The constitution is not typical of school societies. It makes no provision for members of staff becoming either ordinary members or officials of the club. This partial independence may prove valuable in later years. Should there be a dearth of geological students within the school, it is hoped that members who have left school will maintain the club. On the other hand it may grow in time to serve as a geological club for the whole Norwich district.
So far we have had very few outside speakers. There are very few available . . At one time towards the end of last century Norwich was the centre for many enthusiastic geologists. This local enthusiasm waned, but already since the club staged an exhibition in the Castle Museum it has received enquiries from local geologists. We are hopeful then that the club will be the instrument of re-awakening this lost enthusiasm.
After the usual rigours of travel, which were much alleviated by the management of Mr. and Mrs. Harvey, the party arrived at Weissenburg. The fortnight was spent in the delightful Swiss counttryside of the Lake Thun area, and we were blessed with exceptionally fine weather.
Enjoyment of the unusual mountain scenery at the valley-head and on excursions was increased by the fun and comradeship of living together. We had opportunities for walking in the district, for swimming in the adjacent glacial pool or at Thun.
Tougher members spent a rewarding day climbing the Stockhorn, which hangs high above the Thun hinterland. Another day found us ascending the Niederhorn by chair-lift, whence to the south we saw the snow-capped Bernese Oberland rasping the horizon.
A journey through the Simplon and high along the wall of the Rhone valley to Italy came as a surprise. The sleepy town of Stresa on Lake Maggiore gave a good impression of the country - palmn trees fronting the lake, the dingy back streets.
Most of the party were seeing Switzerland for the first time, and all were impressed by the beauty of its scenery, which, coupled with the vast knowledge of Mr. Court and Mr. Harvey of the country made that fortnight an unforgettable holiday.
THE WAR MEMORiAL
A bronze plate, the work of Mr. H. A. Miller, has been placed in the school entrance hall. The plate bears the names of 108 Old Boys. The inscription reads In Proud and Honoured Memory of the Old Boys of this school who fell in the Second World War. A short service of dedication was conducted at morning assembly on July 30th by the Rev. T. L. Thomas.
This was by far the most ambitious musical production the school had recently undertaken, and it was at the same timne one of the most successful.
The opera was produced by Mr. A. N. Court, who excelled in the part of Ko-ko. The chorus and orchestra were under the direction of Mr. M. N. Doe, who achieved a pleasing balance between his forces, and had educated the chorus of eighty in the art of sympathizing with the soloists. The orchestra was formed from past and present members of the school, and although some of the inner parts were implied rather than realized, they did much to keep the opera alive.
The outstanding vocal performance was given by M. Allen, who played Katisha. His powerful voice was a joy to hear, and he must be given added praise for his clear diction. Pooh-bah was played by Mr. Mackay who amused and delighted all with his singing and acting. The title-role was played on alternate evenings by A. Green and T. Painter, and although Green lacked the vocal qualities of Painter, his acting was altogether pleasing.
D. Anderson took the part of Pish-Tush, and his voice was particularly useful in the trios and quartets. The Three Little Maids, Bates, Blyth, and McGinnity, blended well and were by no means overshadowed by the more powerful characters. J. Slane, an Old Boy of the school, has developed a voice well suited to the part of Nanki-Poo and his singing will long be remembered.
We must not forget the months of preparation put in behind the scenes. Mr. G. C. Drewitts scenic designs were the best ever to he used by the school. Mr. Walton proved himself to he a imperturbable stage manager, and Mr. Harvey performed the miracle of transforming fifty juniors into beautiful Japanese girls.
Is then no nook of English ground secure
from rash assault ?
In early May, the third annual school assault party worked its rash way northwestwards across England, and obeyed Mr. Spruces commnnd Pile out troops in a Keswick obliterated by Lakeland rain. Rain could do nothing, however, to damp an ardour which had survived, untarnished, the West Riding, which was to subside perhaps with the evenings washing-up water, but re-emerge on Skiddaws lofty summit the next day.
It was difficult to bridge, in imagination, the grim desolation of Skiddaws slate and the equally grim Victorian artifice of red sandstone which was Barrows town-hall tower. It was difficult, too, to believe that Barrow-in-Furnness, built in the best northern tradition of muck and money, could conceive and bring to birth the gleaming hull of the S.S. Carl Schedeman, whose launching we were privileged to witness. Furness Abbey, and the Ministry of Works, showed us what could be done with sandstone before we attempted to do justice to the tea so liberally provided again by the ladies of Barrow Scout hut.
Tuesdays journey took us by Crummock Water and Buttermere, and under Grasmoors crag an old man with a fiddle-drill and a gentle imprecation on all motor-coaches, served to remind us that Cumberland does not eat exclusively the fruits of tourism. Through Honister Pass the sixth form botanists with their junior assistants gleefully plucked the timid butterwort from its hiding place, while the solitary arts man walked with his head in the despised clouds and his feet on the painful ground.
After a free afternoon, when those who had become attached to Keswick could bid her a fond farewell, Friday morning saw the start of the journey home. As the midday sun tried to melt the coach into the Great North Road, there was time to realize that mingled unobtrusively with the study of History and Geography, Science and Industry, had been a modest ednucation in the gentle art of living together.
RETIREMENT OF MR. FEWINGS
(It has not been possible to include the many tributes to masters on their retirement. None taught here longer than Mr. P. J. Fcwings, who was at the school from its opening until 1952, and so we have chosen to reprint the notes written when he left, to represent the gratitude felt towards all those who gave long and valuable service to the school, and whose names can be read in the list of the staff which is printed on another page of the Magazine).
Affectionately known to generations of boys as P. J. or Squash, Mr. Fewings retired at the end of the Sumnner Term, after forty-two years loyal and devoted service in this school.
Following three years at St. Johns College, Cambridge, and six months at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. he was appointed Science Master at Queen Elizabeths Grammar School, Mansfield. Four years later he came to the Norwich Middle SchoolMay 1909, where he taught for four terms - and then joined the staff of the C.N.S. when it opened in September 1910 as a Senior Master teaching Chemistry Physics, and Mathematics with School Certificate forms. Many of those he taught are now members of the present staff, viz. Messrs. Coe, Grout, Debenham, Wood,Denham, and Spruce. Apart from teaching, Mr. Fewings always excelled as an organizer and for many years was entirely responsible for all games competitions including the Annual School Sports, as well as the Norwich & District Thursday Football and Cricket League. Further, no timetable was ever complete without his finishing touches.
As a colleague he was everything to everybody a great friend, thoughtful beyond measure at all timesbrightening the dullest of times with his ready wit, and often springing pleasant surprises with some new gadget born of his inventive genius.
The Yeomen of the Guard paraded in the School Hall each night for a week before Christmas, and in July members of the Upper Sixth invaded the sacrosanct lawn to stage the Tempest.
The School Madrigal Society, under its conductor, Mr. L. A. Hopkins, distinguished itself by broadcasting a selection of Tudor Music during the B.B.Cs second East Anglian Week.
When Gilbert and Sullivan first came in as part of school life, the annual concert inevitably went out. This May, however, we produced a concert as well.
The guest of honour for the evening was Mr. Kenneth Wright, Head of the Television Music Department and an Old Boy. He interested the large audience by his humorous and enlightening talk, liberally sprinkled with reminiscences of his schooldays. His charming wife came along too, and delighted us with three songs.
The School Orchestra was not only bigger, but also better than ever before. The Choir, though perhaps a little bottom-heavy at times, sang each of their items heartily and well. Cecil Forsyths arrangement of Kubla Khan, sung by the tenors and basses, was particularly well received. The Madrigal Singers, conducted by Laurie Wilde, gave their usual polished performance.
Between these choral items we had a flute solo skilfully played by D. J. Townshend.
After we had been entertained by Mr. and Mrs. Wright, there were two well-spoken and highly amusing votes of thanks, by the Rev. Basil Maine for the Old Boys Union, and for the school by Laurie Wilde, who, one felt, deserved a vote of thanks himself.
At time time of writing there are over nine hundred boys in the school, and the Sixth Form, particularly on the science side has expanded at a great rate. However, amenities are keeping pace with requirements ; the new laboratory is finished; a second storey has been added to the New Building and on the new playing field the grass is showing healthy, green young stems. That Cinderella of the school precincts, the House, has been thoroughly rebuilt and re-decorated. Though some older members of the school may regret the passing of its fonncr Gothic charmthose eerie, unidentifiable objects one encountered in the corridors, and the way the whole building shook whenever 1B came downstairsthe new conditions make life much more pleasant.
In his report, the Headmaster spoke of the diversity and richness of school activities, all of which rested on a sound foundation of classroom work. The past year had marked a peak of academic achievement, not only by the sixth forms, but by Old Boys as well. Seventeen boys had won State Scholarships, six had won Open Scholarships or Exhibitions, and four Old Boys had taken Doctorates. The Chairman, Mr. F. C. Jex, said that the time had come for Norwich to thank the Headmaster for his great achievements, and spoke of the high standing of the school nationally.
1955 will probably he long remembered as the most successfull season the School Cricket XI has ever had. Sixteen matches were played, of which nine were won, six drawn, and one lost. Although it must be admitted that the school were fortunate to draw the games against the Old Boys and the staff, the record is a very creditable one.
It was a season of records. Both Mann and Wesley beat the previous highest aggregate of 364 runs. Mann became the first boy to score a century. Schofield took more wickets than anyone ever before, and also became the first member of the school to he chosen for the County while still at school. Finally, it is thought probable that Welsted, by having a hand in 28 wickets, broke the existing wicket-keeping record.
Field work trips for the Geography and Geology Departments are now becoming a custom. A three-year cycle has been evolved. with the result that members of the departments can get a rough idea of the rocks and features of various parts of England and Wales. This year the Weald was revisited. To see all the instructive sights in six days is both impossible and undesirable, but we managed to see the country and the more suitable formations in our travels between Rochester, Folkestone, Arundel, and London. Compared with our other hunting grounds (North Wales and North Yorkshire) the Weald is sophisticated : there are plenty of roads and people ; London always seems near (places like Hastings, Worthing and Brighton are orientated to London) subtopia us seeping over the Kentish villages and the Surrey woods.
With careful book-work, and the experience of the staff at hand, physical and human geography, structural geology and map-work are crystallized in the mind by sensing them in the field. To this end, detailed studies were made of Romney Marsh and Dungeness, Devils Dyke, Leith Hill, and Box Hill, and the incomparable views of tne whole Weald from these points, Brighton and its suburbs, and the drainage pattern of this unique corner of Britain.
Thirty-eight first and secondformers went this year to the International Eisteddfod at Llangollen. The aim of the trip, as Messrs. Doe and Morris hastened to assure over-ambitious
parents, was to learn, not to win and learn they certainly did. They learned, for example, that although they were probably the best choir of their kind in East Anglia, they were certainly not the best choir of their kind in the country. Saturday morning in mid-July saw them in the huge Eisteddfod marqueean edifice shaped somewhat like Norwich Cathedral and about the same size competing with thirty choirs, many of which, it soon became obvious, had something they hadnt got. However, they by no means disgraced themselves, coming twentieth.
This year more attention was paid to the lighting and stage structure. Although parts of it still seem to be held together by string and faith, our stage is becoming more pleasant to act on and much more spectacular to look at, as anyone who saw the brilliant sets designed by Mr. Wood and Mr. Ogden can testify. The actors themselves were by no means overshadowed by their surroundings, however, and a very fine set of principals brought out the best in the score and in the book. Particularly good were Baines and the inimitable Hadley, both Old Boys now but still returning occasionally to the scenes of former glory. It would be invidious to mention other names, since in an undertaking of this kind it is the teamwork which is all-important ; suffice it to say that a truly nautical sailor, a very sweet Rose Maybud and a very, very mad Margaret received excellent support from the chorus, in which the school was delighted to see many members of staff becoming old masterpieces and coming to life as ancestors of the ruthless Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd.
The orchestra, strengthened by some Old Boys, gave excellent support to the singers, and, as always, gave the show a rousing start by their spirited playing of the overture. There are so many people to thank that we cannot possibly mention them all, but our thanks in particular must go out to Mr. Hufton for his work on the stage, Mrs. Folkard for nourishing starving singers at all sorts of odd times, and above all to Mr. Doe, Mr. Court, and Mr. Harvey who made it all possible.
THE SIR THOMAS BROWNE SOCIETY
The flavour and atmosphere of the society, which always attracts about the same number of members, have been particularly evident. This year, members have tried to make these qualities more tangible and durable with the innovation of elective membership, by introducing a small badge to be worn by members on days of meetings, and by vesting each terms most outstanding speaker with the style of Magister Eloquentiae. Five hundred meetings will have been completed by the end of 1959.
This year the Film Society had one of its most successful seasons. Full membership was achieved, and this enabled several interesting and unusual films to be shown.
Well-attended meetings of varied form have characterized a successful year for the Science Society. The large Science Sixth will be well served if future meetings of the society can maintain the standards of this year.
The Paramoudra Club has covered a wide field of activities in the past year. The 150th meeting of the school group was marked by a formal dinner ; other notable meetings included a lecture by the Club President.
The Inter-Sixth Society this year continued to grow in stature under the same chairman as the previous year, John Wright. When Wright left at Easter, his place in the chair was taken by John Clark, also a member of our school.
This April, a party of eleven budding biologists along with Mr. Page and Mr. and Mrs. Field, spent a most enlightening week at Flatford Mill Field Centre. Each day was spent out of doors, and in the evenings microscope work and evaluation of results were carried in the laboratory. In plant study, the work included an investigation into the secret life of Dodnash Wood, and the sight of the procession of struggling ecologists entangled amongst rulers, tapes, quadrants, and food-stuffs, and headed by a sturdv gentleman adorned with a deerstalker hat and engulfed in a highly camouflaged tent-like cape, must have been very reminiscent of the monks who once inhabited the wood.
So the record of fifty years ends, with a profusion of outside activities, with reports of successful seasons in football, rugby, hockey, cricket, tennis, and swimming, with accounts of eight different school excursions at home and abroad and an individualists trip into East Germany, with notices of two operas and a concert, and, as if to emphasize that all these varied activities develop rather than distract a growing mind, the usual long list of Open Awards, of State Scholarships, City and County Major Scholarships, of forty-one distinctions at Advanced and Scholarship Levels, and of 161 successful candidates at Ordinary Level. We are justified in moving into our second half-century with confidence and pride, remembering the words of Canon Westcotts prayer at the opening of the school.