This website is "designed" (OK, you'll have to allow some stretch in the meaning of "designed") to form a central collection point of information on the comparatively brief history of "TGS".
We are currently indebted to Jenny Brown and John Hill who both did a great deal of work on providing information for the original "Friends Re-united" site and it is their work that has given us so many names for the 60's photographs. In addition Andrew Tilling, Julian St Clair, Peta Alexander, Imran Ispahani have done much of the naming for the 70's. We also have squinted and had a go at naming others, but we're sure Dear Reader you can assist.
Your photographs, recollections, corrections, email address, even snail mail trail or ephemera are all welcome, though we intend this to be a "history" site rather than a "social" one.
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On behalf of this website - Salacious, indelicate or improper contributions will of course not appear on site, but we do love to see and hear about them anyway.
Twickenham Grammar School
A senior section was added to the existing Newland House School situated in Waldegrave Park in 1944 by Mr & Mrs C Barrington Gyford who ran the school until retiring in 1960.
Twickenham Grammar School - Structure and Culture -
Senior School only as it was back then and not Newland House (junior) School, then or now.
Hard to accurately and carefully describe something that no longer exists, as it was, back in a time that no longer exists and that is informed by purely subjective viewpoints. Some quantum physicists may disagree with the bits about "time".
We should start off by stating that the School was, if not "Deliriously Happy", then at least it was "Kinda Calm". There were no "gangs", no protection rackets, no "fags" (see "fagging" a traditional practice in British boarding private schools). You were expected to behave as a responsible adult in school and particularly outside of it while in uniform and uniform was mandatory.
The Senior School, certainly in the 1960’s could possibly be described as a version of a “Diet Lite" or "Low Cal" Public School. In addition to French, Latin was a standard part of the curriculum and for those who were good at Latin, Greek could be studied as well, so a “Classics” theme existed. The headmaster was an Honours graduate of Trinity College Cambridge in Modern History and Classics, Author of "Latin scansion for Schools". His wife an English Honours graduate of London University.
Art, Art History and also Music lessons were provided but these never seemed to be held in the same regard that was placed on “English” or “The Classics”.
Away from the "Classics", standard Sports - Soccer in the Winter (a brief attempt to introduce Rugby collapsed along with the scrums) and Cricket in the Summer, were for the boys. There was the delightful addition of Cross Country Running, usually on the coldest and wettest days of the year, while the girls were offered Tennis in the Summer and Netball for Winter.
“Incentives to Study” included "Detention" which would involve either writing repetitive sentences or completing one’s own unfinished work for probably 30 to 60 minutes after school had finished. A delicious twist inflicted was the use for detention of the classroom nearest the school exits to provide the added disappointment of seeing, through the window, everyone else leaving.
Being sent to stand outside the class room door for poor behaviour was a Level One incentive. The “standing outside” would have a time limit depending on the seriousness of the transgression. From “10 minutes” to “when the class ends”, which may sound fairly innocuous but the jeopardy here was that if the Headmaster was roaming the school and found you there, then it was down to his study to meet “Mr Plimsoll” for a few short but memorable interactions. Popping off to the loo while “standing outside” was always worth a gamble if you heard approaching footsteps in the hall, but some teachers would creep to the class room door and fling it open to see if you were still there. If you weren’t then the unpleasantness you had sought to avoid, ensued.
Level Two incentive for poor behaviour was of course to be sent directly to the Headmaster’s study. Best of a bad situation was for him to be in the study, or for it to be very close to a class period change so the matter was dealt with (see Mr Plimsoll above) quickly.
Very not best of a bad situation was to be sent there when he was out of his study, but with some 30 minutes or more to go to a class period change. A deep understanding of the phrase “It seemed like an eternity…” was a bonus reward.
While these days some of the above may sound Dickensian or draconian, they were standard practice at this time. No-one wanted to be "incentivised" but we and our parents, who had grown up in similar regimes, thought it was just how things were. Books and TV (Just William, Billy Bunter, Whack-o! etc.) promulgated the meme.
Conduct around the school was also re-inforced by "Prefects", members of the senior forms who were felt to be "Responsible Types". For disobeying "not running in the corridor" rules a Prefect might hand out a set of "lines", as in repetitive sentences to be presented the next day, or merely ask the individual to show greater care in future.
Annual events such as Sports Day, Speech Day, Carols Concert and The School Play all featured. Sports Day in particular highlighted the competition between "Houses".
A feature of most schools at the time, TGS had four houses. Norman - yellow badges, Tudor - green badges, Stuart - red badges and Windsor - blue badges. New pupils were allocated a "House" according to which had the lowest number of pupils. Sports in particular provided Inter-House competition but this could also take the form of winning motions from the Debating Society, essay competitions and other pursuits. Regularly updated cumulative results for each House were displayed on the Notice Board in the main hallway.