Date Posted... Dec 2nd 2021


School Archive

Decembers Past

During this month…

130 years ago in December 1891

The Christmas Concert

This was given on Friday, December 18th, and was a great success. The schoolroom looked its best with its decorations of flags, evergreens, and mottos, and was full from end to end with friends from Truro and the neighbourhood.

The part songs were chiefly conspicuous for the strange effect given by the basses, who made up in volume what was lacking in sweetness.

The Recital by the Junior Boys was capitally done and deservedly encored.

The topical song with the ‘Vive la’ chorus, the words of which were composed by our resident poet, was rendered by Mr Hunter, and also received an encore. The vocal trio from “The Mikado” which concluded the programme, was loudly applauded and followed by a second from “Patience”.

Mr Vinter then announced the results of the recent Scholarship Examinations :- the Smith-Dunheved falling to J Penrose, and the Bickford-Smith to H.S. Hawkey. J.A. Ball’s Scholarship was renewed for another year.

The Truro College Magazine, April 1892

120 years ago in December 1901

Debating Society

Friday, Dec 6th, Mr Williams in the Chair.

Mr Hunkin proposed “That our English love of Sport is becoming excessive”, basing his views on the evils which, in the present day, were associated with Sport; love of sport should, he argued, never lead to carelessness in duty or neglect of the home as in many cases it did. Mr Beadon, opposing, emphasised the benefits derived from sport, the physical training, the strengthening of character, and stated that many a man was preserved by sport from baser pursuits. A first-class debate followed: Mr Burrow showed that sport promoted international friendship; Mr Fairweather, after hovering for some time on the borderland, finally alighted with some hesitation on Mr Hunkin’s side. Mr Fenton insisted on the distinction between sport in itself, which was good, and interest in sport, which was sometimes evil. Mr Fletcher and Mr Lyne supported the motion, and every member present contributed his share to the discussion. The motion was lost by 7 votes to 9. The meeting was adjourned.

The Truro College Magazine, December 1901

110 years ago in December 1911

King Emperor’s Camp,


                                                                             December 1st, 1911

…Father has managed to get me here as his assistant, and I came up last Tuesday evening. It is a long way from Kamptee. I left Kamptee at 1pm on Monday and reached Delhi Station at 8.30pm on Tuesday. All the way by mail train.

After supper on Tuesday, father took me over the huge tent to be used for the Durbar ceremony and also through their Majesties suite of apartments. The Royal Drawing Room has three large glass chandeliers hanging from the roof, and each has about 20 electric lights. The floor is covered with fine carpets and the furniture is very nice. The King’s bedroom and private sitting room (or tents rather) are lined with pale blue silk, while those of the Queen are lined with rose coloured silk. The whole is a magnificent sight and a wonderful work of art.

Electric light is used throughout the camps, and the whole Durbar is another ‘wonder of the world’. Our tent is only 200 or 300 yards from the Royal tents, and the office is just opposite them, so in truth we are among royalty.

Lieutenant Robert Gilpin (TS 1902-08) wrote back to his old school while stationed in India about his experiences in Delhi where his father Captain Gilpin of the Royal Sussex Regiment, was been attending the Durbar for a second time.

In another part of his letter Lieutenant Gilpin says that it has been ‘an exceptionally hot season. 122ºF in the shade was the highest registered, but the thermometer reading ranged between 114º and 118º for days and weeks’.

100 years ago in December 1921

Cadet Corps

During the term the interest in the Cadet Corps has been considerably revived. We started with only three platoons due to the decrease in numbers, the day boys being in one platoon, under Sergt. Toye. When the House system was made to include Cadet Corps activities, and the 15 recruits were allotted to their respective platoons, we again went back to the old system of four platoons, viz.: – School, under Sergt. Barlow; Vinter, under Sergt. Dixon; Wickett, under Sergt. P.J. Pearce; Smith, under Sergt. Toye. Under Capt. Bray, the able instruction of Sergt-Instr. Trew, and the undaunted Quartermaster-Sergt. E.R. Bennett, the Corps has made rapid strides. All the NCO’s are keen and drill their platoons with marked ability, especially Sergt. Toye, who reminds one of a regular Army sergt.-major. On Friday, 9th December, Lieut. P.K. Martin (D.C.L.I. Territorials) inspected the Corps, and congratulated all on their smart turnout and efficient drill.

The Band has performed creditably on each occasion when its presence has been required. The route marches have greatly improved this term, a fact which augurs well for the whole future of the Corp’s efficiency. Considerable talent has been unearthed at the shooting range, and we should hold our own in the competitions next year.

C.L. Brewer, Cadet Lieut.

The Cadet Corps c.1919

Just over 90 years ago, in 1930

The annual ‘bust up’ to celebrate the end of term was held as usual on the last night of the winter term, 1930. Dr Magson was in the chair most of the time and heartily welcomed the ladies who graced the festive board with their presence. Being very considerate of the varied feelings of the boys the chairman did not keep us in suspense for more than a few minutes. When the first sharp pangs of hunger had been appeased the toast ‘H.M. the King’ was proposed. The senior prefect proposed the toast of the School and sport, and Mr Jones in replying, congratulated the School on being able to afford the boys such unrivalled opportunities in selecting careers. He had, as he said, seen the conditions in Welsh Schools, and urged us to make the most of our opportunities. Barrett then proposed the toast of the Staff and a vote of thanks for their varied services to the School. Mr Ralph of course, “felt a little lost, being a new master”, but nevertheless managed to express his thanks. The toast to the Matron was proposed by the football captain, McKinney.

The Junior House boys gave their play as usual amidst loud cheers. If I remember correctly, Dr Magson once said that a Wesleyan Minister who entertained the boys with a conjuring display, could easily have made a more lucrative career as a professional conjurer. By comparison, Mr Salmon in his role of a labourer could easily have been a millionaire.

The crook thriller was really thrilling. Mr Jones as the injured Dollas and Mr Rowe as the frunk detective passed with flying colours. Mr Stratton made an excellent crook, we hast to assure him!

Community singing rounded off the evening’s entertainment, which was voted a great success. We certainly did not hear the end of the Crook Thriller arguments for some days afterwards.

80 years ago in December 1941

‘It may seem strange to wish anyone “A Happy Christmas” in the present dreadful state of world affairs but there is an inner happiness which springs from the attempt, however imperfectly it may be realised, to translate the dictates of conscience into the deeds of every-day life. Such a Happy Christmas we wish you all and may the New Year bring us the Peace we so earnestly desire’.

The Truronian, December 1941

70 years ago in December 1951

‘The Masters’ Feast was arranged for the last night of the term and in the evening the Masters gave a performance of “See How They Run”. The Day Boys had their Christmas tea on the previous Monday and saw the first performance of the Masters’ play.’


‘There is yet the last week of term, and it promises to be eventful. On Thursday we are to have the Christmas Story in tableau, with carols and appropriate readings, produced by Mr Newton. On Saturday evening we go to Main School for the Christmas entertainment. On the Sunday evening we join Main School in the Carol Service in the School Chapel. On the following Tuesday we hold our Christmas Party. And two days later the holidays begin.

We wish every good thing to everyone’.

The Truronian, December 1951

60 years ago in December 1961

‘The traditional Masters’ Feast was held on the last evening of term and the School was entertained by members of the staff, who presented “Dry Rot”.’



‘The Society has been mainly concerned with arranging the General Meeting of Truro School’s sixth-formers, at which a debate and films are to take place. Due to Circumstances beyond the Society’s control, the programme had to be curtailed, but an interesting afternoon was had by all.

The Society also organised carol-singing in Truro on Monday, 18th December, when funds were collected for African famine relief.’

The Truronian, December 1961

50 years ago in December 1971

‘Carols were sung at the Maternity, Treliske, and City Hospitals on three successive nights, mostly by Day Boys choir members, followed by seasonal refreshments, which are much appreciated after singing in tropical heat for nearly two hours. The School Choir led the singing at the traditional carol service in St Mary’s, which was packed to capacity, with people standing in the aisles.’

Terraces, 1972

40 years ago in December 1981

‘The Annual Carol Service coincided with the blizzard which hit the far South west – suffice it to say that those who did venture out or could reach St Mary Clement sang the Carols accompanied by D. House and Rebecca North (organ scholars) on the pianoforte in the gathering gloom with power failure, flashing lights and the finally the organ was playable for the closing hymns! The three following nights groups of boys sang in the City, Maternity, Treliske and new Duchy Hospitals which restored the balance and compensated for the Sunday experience.’

Terraces, 1982

Staff Christmas Play 1981

Almost 30 years ago in the 1990s

Staff panto 1996

20 years ago in the 2000s


By R. Yearworth


The house turns into a fairy grotto

The carol singers sing like early morning birds

The presents stack up under the tree

The children run to get their Advent calendars

And open them like a kangaroo

Children lie in bed waiting for Santa

With their stockings hanging at the end of their bed

They run down the stairs like a herd of elephants

Then rip off the paper like a gust of wind.

Terraces, 2001

10 years ago in December 2011

From Apparatus Criticus, December 2011