Cover art from The Bournemouthian

Since contacting us last September to let us know that he was relaunching The Bournemouthian, the school newspaper, Ian Westhead has been busy. The paper now lives again, online, with some very impressive and interesting pieces, such as this overview of the school’s finances.

Ian has been in touch to suggest that some Old Boys may be interested in his scans of previous covers of the (print) editions of The Bournemouthian. It certainly brought back memories for this erstwhile editor.

Resurrecting The Bournemouthian

Many of you will remember the long-standing school magazine, The Bournemouthian. Did you know that there have been no new issues since 2003? Ian Westhead, a current member of the Sixth Form, writes:

Recently, I discovered an extensive archive in the library containing, along with a plethora of other documents, all issues of The Bournemouthian. I was dismayed to realise there had not been a copy published since 2003 owing to the departure of Mr Rixon, an old English teacher who edited it (who has subsequently returned).

There is, however, good news:

I, along with a few friends who share my interest in the history and happenings of Bournemouth School, have decided to get The Bournemouthian back on its feet – to resurrect it. We’ve been discussing the content and the logistics of it, and it seems The Bournemouthian will live again!

To help this rebirth, Ian would like contributions of any information, anecdotes and chiefly pictures that could feature in some of the new copies. Ian is particularly interested in the development of the school buildings, especially the effects of “The Great Fire of 1973”,
(“an anecdote I had heard my father mention”). Pictures of past headmasters and old plans of classrooms would also be of particular interest.

Anything from the evolution of the school buildings to the different subjects taught at different times would be of great benefit to the new editions, as I’m looking forward to writing articles about the history of my school!

Please do let us know, in the comments below or by email, if you can help.

Old Bournemouthians on the Western Front

Will Pyke, one of Bournemouth School’s History Masters, is in the process of completing a study of Old Bournemouthians on the Western Front in the First World War. Mr Pyke’s work has involved building a database of some of the very first Old Bournemouthians, some of whom were in the school’s first intake, and is intended to provide a different approach to David Hilliam’s Tig’s Boys. Originally intended to cover the whole war, Mr Pyke reports that he narrowed the focus when he realised that he had 550 pages on the Western Front alone.

To celebrate the First World War Centenary, Mr Pyke has been invited to to give one of the series of Bournemouth Library lectures, Aspects of War, at 11am on Wednesday 8th July at Bournemouth Library. The talk will last for about half an hour, with tea, coffee and the opportunity to ask questions afterwards. A flyer for the event can be found here.

Obituary: John Hawkins

Mr HawkinsWe are very sorry to announce that John Hawkins died on Monday evening at Bournemouth Hospital.

Mr Hawkins’ career at Bournemouth School spanned more than 40 years, as Chemistry teacher, Deputy Head and latterly examinations officer. During his time at the school, he always supported the Association, serving many years on the committee and as President of the Old Boys’ Cricket Club. However for most of us, we shall remember him for his happy demeanour, livening up lessons or calming pre-exam nerves, to justly earn his nickname of “Happy Harry”.

David Spencer and Paul Beardshaw wish to thank everybody who has written or sent cards and e-mails.

Photos discovered from old school productions

Hugh Walker recently got in touch with the OBA. He had discovered a number of photographs and documents left by his father, Bernard Walker, who designed sets for a wide range of school productions from the 1930s until his retirement in the 1960s.

Mr Walker writes: “They’re a bit jumbled – difficult to identify dates, but at least some of the participants might recognize themselves and have positive reminiscences. I’ve included the stagehands too. I recollect that the programmes were all printed in the art room and particular boys had a hand in this.”

You will find the photographs below. Let us know in the comments if you recognise anybody – or yourself!

Dating the Sixth Form Block

Emeritus Professor Geoffrey J Giles of the University of Florida’s Department of History writes:

Visiting from my home in Florida in the summer, I bought a copy of the excellent history of our town by Vincent May & Jan Marsh (Eds.), Bournemouth 1810-2010: From Smugglers to Surfers (Stanbridge/Wimborne: Dovecote Press, 2010). The photographs in the book are fresher and more remarkable than any other published history of the town. However, I did a double take at the photo of “Bournemouth School on East Way 1950s” on page 162. I’m sure this is wrong, and I’m hoping other Old Boys will confirm this. My recollection from my time at the school (1959-1965) is that there was nothing to the left of the caretaker’s house except a wrought-iron railing (I think!) leading directly to the Copse. But in this photo there are rather large new buildings. Am I right in thinking that this aerial photo in fact dates from much later?

Wikipedia dates the Sixth Form Block to 1966. Perhaps some Members can verify this?

“Schools of War” article

Many of you have been in touch to ask after the article “Schools of War” that was published in the Bournemouth Echo on 10th September. The piece tells how Bournemouth welcomed pupils from Taunton School, who were evacuated from Southampton due to the German bombing campaign. The article was mentioned at the year’s annual dinner. Neil Bichard was kind enough to scan the piece to this PDF file.

Lecture Theatre Appeal

September 2014 marks the 75th Anniversary of Bournemouth School occupying the East Way site. In the intervening years much has changed, but the pressure on the school’s accommodation and funding has remained. The school is now launching a 75th Anniversary Appeal with the intention of raising £75,000 by next September to refurbish the Lecture Theatre. Any donations would be gratefully received (cheques should please be made payable to ‘Bournemouth School Fund’) and sent to the school address.