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.
Roger Shore has written to us to share a panorama photo (PDF, 2Mb) of the school from 1933. Roger writes:
My father was at Bournemouth School between 1929 and 1936. I followed in his footsteps between 1960 and 1967. There were six masters who taught both me and my father, although I can only identify five of them in that photo at present. That would be Messrs Cushion, Dodds (a truly dreadful man, as I’m sure you already either know, or will have heard!) Walker, Williamson and Wiseman. The 6th – Mr. Dixon (who went on to become deputy head) – I haven’t yet identified…
Roger is surely right that this may be of interest to some of you, although as he notes the very youngest in that photo will be at least 90 by now.
The Bournemouth Daily Echo reports that for the first time, Bournemouth School is admitting girls as pupils in the sixth form. Previously, BSG students had been able to study in the sixth form, but this arrangement was ended recently due to timetable clashes. The new girls will be full members of Bournemouth School. In a couple of years we will no longer be exclusively Old Boys. The full story is here.
School historian David Hilliam’s latest book, Tig’s Boys, is a collection of letters to a schoolmaster from the trenches of the First World War. You can purchase the book through Amazon here, and doing so will benefit the OBA.
Ms Betty Samuels writes:
I write on behalf of a friend of mine who was a pupil at your school 1939 to 1946. His name is John Douglas Jones who at the age of 80+ is still very active and living in Clifton, Bristol. Doug has only recently had to give up flying his sailplane at the Bristol & Gloucestershire Gliding Club. In the course of a conversation yesterday about schools we attended, Doug said he can remember the names of all his teachers during his time at your school except the name of the English Literature master.
Doug would be interested if anyone might be able to remember this teacher’s name.
Graham Keeling has found and scanned this photograph of everyone in Bournemouth School at on 31st May 1946.
Graham writes: “They possibly did a photograph like this every few years, because I remember having one taken in about 1994ish, when I was there. It was taken on the field in front of the copse. I didn’t get a copy.”
A full version of the picture can be viewed at Graham’s site.
Kevin Lindsay, who left the School in 2006 having taught there for 5 years and was an Officer in the School’s CCF, writes:
I thought it fittng to mention that there is an article in the Daily Echo today (Saturday 10th April) on page 20, featuring news of three Old Boys, Iain and Nik West (brothers) and Neil Riley who all served in Afghanistan together. They are all back safely after a 6 month tour.
Kevin says that he still follows the success, progress and stories of people I knew and taught at Bournemouth School and very much enjoys the annual COMPO dinners.
Phil Brightwell writes:
In November 2008, we entered a team in the Parents Association Annual Quiz, which was held at the School one Friday night. Our team comprised Neil Bichard, Malick Kudmany, David Bryant, Pat Stokes (I think), my wife Gwen and me – and, possibly, A.N. Other. (Sorry, my memory is not too good at this distance!) In the end, we won from about 12 other teams – by six or seven points, if my memory serves me right, and were rewarded with a bottle of wine each. To add insult to injury (for the other contestants), Dave Bryant won 1st Prize in the Raffle – a magnificent Marks & Spencers’ Christmas Hamper, no less. Before last year’s contest, The Association donated a trophy for this event. Unfortunately, because the 2009 Quiz date clashed with other commitments that Neil Bichard and Dave Sidwick were involved with, and Pat Stokes couldn’t get back from Yorkshire in time, we ended up with a team of just four people – Simon Hird, Bill Brocklesby, Gwen & me. Despite a valiant effort on our part, we lost by a mere one point to a team with about 12 players in it, with a very broad age span. Let’s hope we can win the trophy back, this year.
The Quiz usually happens on a Friday in mid-November – so, if you want to be on our team, keep your eye on the website in early October and let me know of your interest as early as possible. The entry fee is about £6 a head, and that includes a fish-and-chip supper. There is a bar, and soft drinks are available. I look forward to hearing from you budding ‘quizzers’ in due course.
In February 2006 the OBA kindly donated £500 to the School to mark the OBA Centenary. The idea behind the donation was to spruce up the area in the quad outside the Headmaster’s Office. This was intended to include developing the pond with a fountain and waterfall and general maintenance to make the area a useful teaching resource.
However, wildlife had a different idea! Ducks kept arriving each year to breed in the quad, and always at an awkward time of year – namely during exam season! Indeed, during one exam the baby ducklings attempted their first flight. Unfortunately, 6 of the 8 ducklings mistook the windows of the hall for open sky and slid slowly to the ground with broken necks! These 6 ducklings served a purpose, however, and went towards feeding members of the Physics Department the following weekend…
The School took advice from the RSPCA regarding relocation of the ducks, but there were few viable options suggested. Indeed, the School could be prosecuted if the ducks were ‘interfered with’ in any way. Netting was the RSPCA’s preferred option, but the prohibitive cost ruled this out.
The quad therefore continued as an unkempt pond and the OBA donation sat in a bank account gathering interest. During the summer of 2009, the School was selected to participate in ‘Healthy Schools +’, having been the first school in Bournemouth to achieve ‘Healthy Schools’ status. This secured further funding to allow the School to address ‘health inequalities’ and create ‘legacy projects’ that would benefit students over a number of years.
As a consequence of this during the summer holiday of 2009, the pond area was completely cleared and covered in black plastic. A hard-standing for a greenhouse was created and a fence erected, to separate the area slightly from the hall. The OBA agreed that their donation could be put towards this project and a greenhouse is due to be purchased and installed in the quad. The greenhouse will have a plaque installed which will commemorate the greenhouse as ‘The Old Bournemouthians’ Centenary Greenhouse’.
The area will be used with all year groups in lessons – especially with food technology appearing on the School curriculum – and also as somewhere for younger students to pass lunchtimes in a productive manner by weeding and tending to the vegetables. They may even be able to eat the fruit of their labours in the canteen!
The School would like to thank the OBA for their kind donation and apologise for the fact that it took so long to spend the money. However, the resulting project is hopefully a fitting way to mark the OBA Centenary.
Norman Martin (1942-47) has sent in this photo of his form group taken in 1946 and featuring the renowned J.J. ‘Jasper’ Dodds. Norman writes:
My only memento of my time at Bournemouth School is [this] photograph taken in 1946 showing the 5th form of that year presided over by J.J. himself and flanked by two of the veterans of that form, Messers Mudway and Hunt. Some of the members of that form had carried over from previous years and as the youngest member, aged 15, (5th from the left, back row) I recall thinking that I had joined a class of young men. Charles Gray was another member of that form but was apparently absent that day. (Charles Gray was to become a famous actor – perhaps best known as Blofeld in Diamonds Are Forever?)
Jasper Dodds was indeed unlike any other member of staff at that time. He was a strict disciplinarian. He demanded (and got) everybody’s absolute attention, no one ever failed to hand in homework and his was the only class whose pupils always lined up outside the room whilst waiting for him to arrive for a lesson instead of sitting around larking about! And all this without ever having to raise his voice. Fifty years on, I have to say I count myself fortunate to have come under his wing and to have seen him in his prime.
At the time there were very few private cars on the road, Jasper drove to school in a pre-war Morris 8 registration number CEL 57. The fact that, even today, the number comes easily to mind speaks volumes. Everyone’s radar was tuned to this vehicle and it needed to be because to be spotted by J.J. walking along East Way from the bus stop in Charminster Road without wearing the school cap was practically a capital offence. The sight of CEL 57 appearing over the top of the hill as it approached the school was the signal for the bareheaded ones to make themselves scarce.
Of his own time since leaving the school, Norman says:
I left school to work for Preston & Redman the solicitors in Hinton Road. After National Service I joined the Trust Division of Lloyds Bank and managed branches in Guernsey, Ipswich and Nottingham before retiring as head of financial services in the North West region based in Liverpool.