The school was housed in temporary accommodation until 1931 when the W.T. Curtis designed building on the Great Cambridge Road was opened. The official opening date was 28th November 1931. The first six photos on this page date from the early years of the building.
In the July 1936 issue of the school magazine (published twice yearly) the Old Scholars' section tells members that a set of six photos are available from anyone at the school for 7 1/2 d. It seems a reasonable assumption that these are they, so this suggests a publication date of 1936. See the discussion of the Library for more dating evidence.
The photo of the front of the school would be immediately recognisable to today's pupils though there are a few more trees and shrubs around now.
One minor feature that shows up well is the arched window under the south staircase. For some years this was pretty much obscured from view by foliage but as of 2013 it, and the one at the north end, are again clearly visible.
Graham cannot recall if he ever knew what was down there or how to get there but there always did seem to be an abundance of doors with hidden secrets behind.
This view of the back of the school will be new to anyone who is only familiar with the school since the 1960s. The two storey Science block will have hidden most of the north wing on the right. The walkway linking it to the main building at high level hid the first floor of the north side of the building. The Sixth Form "hut" will have obscured the ground floor of most of the right side of the photo. Over on the far left the gymnasium will have jutted out.
The view today will be even more different as a three storey building seems likely dominate the whole right side of the photo.
This view of the school hall is presumably still pretty much recognisable to today's pupils, though a view in the reverse direction would look different as the first floor gallery has had to be sacrificed to the need for teaching space.
The open doors on the right led into the gymnasium when this photo was taken.
This photo of the gymnasium looks like it might be rather posed! The doors leading into the main hall can be seen in the background. When the new gymnasium was built in the 1960s this room became the Library.
Talk of the Library leads onto this photo. The Library was the first room on the left on the north corridor.
Graham feels the shield and spears are vaguely familiar but isn't sure where he'd have seen them in his time. However the interesting thing about their appearing in the photo is that the July 1936 magazine has a report from the Library where they thank "J. Pilling for giving us spears and shields of native African work to decorate the walls". So this dates the photo as 1936 at earliest and the earlier mention of a six of set cards places them at 1936 at latest, so 1936 seems like a pretty accurate date!
The last photo shows the Art Room which was the room above the Gymnasium and reached by a short flight of steps up from the first floor east corridor. In the late 1970s this room acted as the Lower Sixth common room as well as the art room. It was one of several rooms that many of the pupils might never have had occasion to visit.
The photo has been reduced in size and compressed and is now a little fuzzier than the original. The writing on the wall in the right hand background actually says 'Character before cleverness'.
This photo accompanies a contribution by Ken Young to the Spring 2002 newsletter and is taken on Ostend quay in 1936. Ken wrote in the text 'I am sure you will recognise the handsome features of Jack Long. The caps we are wearing were part of the Dinant school uniform. What made this trip so memorable was the return of the Rhineland to Germany. This resulted in quite a lot of martial activity, bridges having been mined and endless marching and counter-marching.'
The text might be referring to the militarization of the Rhineland by Germany on 7th March 1936.
This photo is identified as 3A in 1936 and as the pupils are in summer uniforms that suggests the school year 1935-1936 (confirmed by Ethel having started at the school in 1933). Ethel identified a boy in the back row second from centre as H.E. Mayncord (who died in November 2000), and the boy second from centre in the middle row as her brother F.J.F. (Jim) White (1932–1938). The girls in the front row are Beryl (Townsend) Dewhurst, Joan Tanner and Ethel White herself.
Beryl dates this photo of the staff to around 1936 and has named all bar one of them. The photo above is linked to a larger copy.
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