ROYAL GRAMMAR SCHOOL, HIGH WYCOMBE
SPEECH DAY 1957
(I don't have the programme but most of the relevant detail appears in the September 1957 issue of The Wycombiensian))
SPEECH DAY 1957
After inspecting the guard of honour, which was as usual extremely smart and efficient, Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, D.S.O., M.V.O., the principal speaker this year, together with the Headmaster and Mr. Clarke, entered the school and took their seats on the stage. The proceedings were opened by Alderman R. P. Clarke, the Chairman of the Governors, who referred to the changes in the School during the past year, mentioning the fact that several senior masters had left or were about to leave.
The Headmaster then presented his report in which he stated that this year was a high-water mark in the flooding tide of progress of the School. He compared the tiny trickle of boys doing advanced work twenty years ago with the “mighty flood” this year of 108 boys taking G.C.E. at Advanced Level. Nearly all of these boys, he added, intended to go on to university either this year or next year. During the year the School had gained five State Scholarships and three Open Awards at Cambridge.
He expressed hopes that present difficulties would be eased by the provision of a new laboratory block which should be well on the way to completion by next speech day. The laboratories being used at present were those provided in 1914 when there were only 200 boys in the School and sixth-form work was non-existent. The Ministry of Education inspectors had found that the School had only a quarter of the laboratory space it needed.
The Headmaster added that owing to the overcrowding the School tended gradually to expect lower standards in all sorts of departments. He then spoke of the continuing importance of the Cadet Force even though national service was to come to an end. During his speech he referred to the unprecedented feat of the School cricket captain, Alan Harvey, in scoring three centuries. The vice-captain, E. M. Squires, had also scored a century.
At this point the prize-winners came up on to the stage to receive their prizes from Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher. In addition to the normal prizes there was a special prize of a cricket bat for Alan Harvey.
Sir Henry then spoke of the School’s eminent position in the county, saying that, although it was not the oldest school, it was distinguished from the others by its Royal Charter from Elizabeth I. He said that its growth and development in recent years was due to its two most recent headmasters, Mr. Arnison and Mr. Tucker, names respected in the schools of the country. Sir Henry praised the Combined Cadet Force for the guard of honour with which he had been greeted. A vote of thanks was proposed by the Right Reverend the Bishop of Buckingham, and seconded by P. C. Raffety, Esq., J.P.
After tea in the School many guests visited an historical exhibition in the library presented by the Historical Society in conjunction with the Schools Museum Service of the county. Later everyone gathered at the Parish Church for the Commemoration Service which was conducted by the Vicar, the Reverend A. L. Evan Hopkins. The preacher was Canon N. G. Matthews, M.A., who spoke of the social, educational and moral sides of the Christian Faith. An anthem, “Let the Bright Seraphim,” from “Samson,” by Handel, was sung by the choir.