Date Posted... Jul 1st 2022


School Archive

Julys Past

During this month…


130 years ago in 1892

Prize Day

‘On the afternoon of Friday, July 29th, the presentation of prizes took place in the schoolroom. Mr John Doidge presided…At the conclusion the boys were put through physical drill for ten minutes, after which Mr and Miss Vinter entertained the visitors to tea in the grounds.’

Truro College Magazine, July 1892

120 years ago in 1902

Speech Day Tuesday July 29th

‘The Rev. E.D. Green, MA, opened the proceedings with a hymn and prayer, after which the boys sand ‘The Soldiers’ Chorus’ and Mr A Lyne, Mus. Bac, gave a masterly rendering of two of Chopin’s ‘Valses’. R.E. Rigg welcomed the Chairman in a well-delivered Greek Speech, and T. Pryor gave a hearty greeting to Mr Pendarves in Latin.

‘…Mr Vinter presented the appended report:

‘The average number of boarders in the school for the past year is 67, and day boys 32. Though there is a slight decrease on the year, probably owing to the continuance of the South Africa War, we are hopeful as to numbers for the coming term….The new Chemical Laboratory had been highly commended by H.M. Inspectors of Secondary Schools, and he hoped in the course of the year to be able to offer equal facilities for the study of Practical Physics… An application has been made to the Board of Education to be recognised as a Secondary Day School. While it may be necessary to pay more attention to scientific subjects, we do not propose to neglect in any way the literary side our work – in which we have done so well. The two can be conveniently blended and the education made more complete. Every boy will be required to take some practical work in Science, and this we think will be a distinct advantage, as a boy will be taught the importance of observation and reflection…’

The Old Boys’ Memorial

‘At the close of the Prize-giving the ceremony of unveiling the Memorial to the Old Boys who had fallen in the war, was performed by Lieutenant Stanley Smith. The Memorial is an artistic piece of workmanship by Mr F.R. Pool, of the Cornish Hand-wrought Metal Company; it consists of a copper tablet, mounted on a walnut shield, with the College crest and motto, worked in copper, surmounting the tablet. Enclosed in a margin of laurels, and written in embossed letters on matted ground. With the Cornish coat of arms in the centre, are the names of those to whose memory the tablet is erected:- W.L. Champion, of Penzance, Nooitgedacht, December 15th, 1900; G.E. Hosking, of Pool, Vaal Kop, October 24th, 1901; Martin Magor, of Truro, Elandsfontein, March 2nd, 1901.’

*             *           *           *           *           *

‘Arrangements were made for illuminating the College on a noble scale for the Coronation, but everything was of course postponed, and the illuminations took place on Speech Day instead. A select few had seen the Diamond Jubilee celebrations but to most the sight was a novel and unique experience, for the effect of 1,500 coloured lamps, set close and outlining the shape of the building, was beautiful in the extreme. From every point the effect was good, but finest perhaps from the bridge in Lemon Street. The College, in its setting of utter darkness, looked like a fairy palace suspended in mid-air, while the reflection in the motionless tide, which turned the gables and projections into minarets and spires, was yet more weird and fantastic, resembling some gorgeous Eastern temple set in gold and precious stones.’

Truro College Magazine, July 1902

110 years ago in 1912


‘Although bathing had been considerably disorgnaised during the term by the outbreak of measles, the usual races took place on Monday, July 22nd, in Truro Baths. Some good racing was witnessed in the events for novices and boys under fifteen, but the open 100 yards was little more than a procession. Details of the various events are given below.

‘Two lengths for novices – 1 J.P. Michael; 2 J.N. Daniel and F.H. Tregea. Won by two yards; a very hard race for second place resulted in a dead heat.

‘Four lengths for boys under 15 – 1 C.T. Wood, 2 F. H. Tregea, 3 J. N. Daniel. Wood swam in promising style and won comfortably. Tregea and Daniel had another close race, the former winning by a yard.

‘Six lengths (open) – 1 J.B. Tregenza, 2 D. Tregenza. ‘J.B.’ led from the start and was never challenged. Symons, who was easily leading D. Tregenza, dropped out of the race when there was only one more length to be swum.

‘Plunging – 1 J.B. Tregenza, 2 C.T. Wood. This was a very exciting event, Wood, with a fine plunge, just tying with Tregenza’s best effort. The latter, however, won easily in the extra dive which decided the event.’

Truro College Magazine, July 1912

100 years ago in 1922

‘The Magazine has entered upon a new era. It was started in 1891 and up to the present, in addition to being managed by the Staff, it has been written almost entirely by them, and well have they done it as reference to previous editions will show. But it was thought that a magazine could not be the School Magazine under these conditions, so it was suggested that it should be placed entirely under the control of the boys. A meeting of the Staff and the Sixth Form was called, and the proposition was placed before them by Mr Magson. After some feeble opposition on the part of the boys, the proposition was carried unanimously, for the arguments brought forward by the Staff proved to be convincing. Besides the fact that the magazine was principally concerned with the boys, past and present, it was held that great scope was afforded for the development of our literary ability, providing us at the same time with valuable experience. What could we say? ‘Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them’.

‘Probably one of the most difficult tasks in a school boy’s life is to write his weekly essay; how much more difficult for him is it to write an editorial, soon to be read and criticised by thousands of readers who, in the past, have been afforded editorials of exceedingly high standard. Imagine then our state of mind whilst we are laboriously framing our first editorial. The reputation which we have to keep up is enormous and we wonder if it is possible to retain the high standard set by the staff. We can but do our best.

‘The term has been a short one, the Cambridge is at hand, and so the magazine has to be prepared at an early date. This, we regret to say, entails the omission of the results of a few cricket matches and similarly important items of school life which has yet to be encountered.

‘It was hoped that tennis and swimming would be included in the House Programme, but again the shortness of the term intervened. In addition to this we had only one court at our disposal for the tennis, and a tidal river, such as the Fal, is not the best place for swimming competitions.

‘In spite of the treacherous nature of the weather the health of the school has been very good, there having been only a few boys in bed, suffering from slight indisposition. We will admit that the sick-room has been opened, but that was only to accommodate those unfortunates who returned from holidays without health certificates.

‘In conclusion, we have to remind the boys, be they old or present, that the magazine depends upon them for its efficiency. We heartily invite them to send in essays and poems and join us in an attempt to keep the standard of the magazine upon a high level.’

Truro College Magazine, July 1922

The Chronicles of Smith House

‘Surely it was sufficient to strike fire from us when we learnt that Smith House had become the Champions after having taken a high place in most of the activities of the College. On the strength of this success a photo was taken of the whole House, a copy of which was presented to the College, and may now be seen, still intact, in a prominent position in the Sixth Form classroom.’

Truro College Magazine, July 1922

Smith were the first winners of the new House Competition. The Opie Shield was given to the School the following summer and a back-dated plaque was added to the shield to include all the winning houses since 1921-22.

House Competition

(Year ending July, 1922)

          House                       Final Position

Smith                                   First

School                                 Second

Vinter                                  Third

Wickett                               Fourth

The first three winners of the Opie Shield

Smith House 1922-23

80 years ago in 1942

‘ATC Camp at St Merryn RNAS, 25th July – 1st August, 1942. Our own Flight joined with the Technical School Flight to form a single unit under the command of F/O HJ Prickett. He was assisted by P/O Slater and P/O WN Thorpe. Nearly all cadets of Flight 1532 (TS and KC) attended.

‘The camp was in a delightfully picturesque valley some two miles from the Air Station, and the adjoining meadows proved very useful on several evenings when games and camp-fire sing-songs were held. For sleeping accommodation, we had hammocks slung in Nissen huts. Even though such beds proved to be somewhat treacherous we quickly got used to them. Food was served in one of the mess rooms on the Station and the two-mile march before breakfast stimulated the appetite.

‘Working with regular ‘hands’ during the day provided opportunities for learning much about aircraft and their maintenance, armaments and even about folding drogues. Fortunately for us a squadron of fighter-pilots doing their last firing-practice before going on ‘ops’ were visiting the ‘drome, and every cadet had the opportunity of flying with them for half-an-hour. Almost every one went up on one of these trips, which seemed, apart from anything else in the camp, to make the week spent in St Merry well worth while.’


The Truronian, December 1942

70 years ago in 1952

The Gardening Club

‘The Club has been steadily increasing in numbers for two terms; the total number for the year is fourteen, Mr Worthington acts as president, secretary and treasurer, and is always ready to give help. He is always up on Friday afternoons to supply us with potatoes and cabbage, according to the season. This year a great variety of vegetables has been grown, including peas, turnips, beans, Brussels sprouts, carrots and lettuce. The potatoes and cabbage are given to the School kitchen; we have had an excellent crop of potatoes.

‘We have some energetic members of the Club who like digging; these boys have dug a pond which is filled from a tap nearby via a trench; this has proved very successful and is in full use.’


The Truronian, July 1952

60 years ago in 1962

School notes

‘Because the Gymnasium was not available, Trennick Dormitory was used for ‘O’ Level examinations this term and the usual occupants slept in the most unusual places.’


The Chapel

‘Work is due to start on the Chapel on Monday, 16th July. A firm of Contractors will dismantle the interior of the Chapel, so that the Civil Engineering Company, which made the report on the building’s present state, can go ahead with the work of under-pinning the building to the hard rock beneath. I have been told by this Civil Engineering Firm that the work will take them about two months. If we make some allowance for re-decoration after their work, we can perhaps hope to be back in the Chapel in the autumn.’

The Truronian, July 1962

50 years ago in 1972

Royal Life Saving Society – Summer 1972

‘The installation of the new heating system in the pool presented a problem this year in that time in which to train boys for examinations was considerably shortened. Nevertheless this did not prevent three senior boys, NM Pritchard-Davies, ME Newman, and JB Coleman from gaining Distinction Awards nor 24 other boys passing examinations, including two Award of Merits.

‘As a result, this year, hopefully, presents us wit a fine opportunity of doing exceptionally well. Already enthusiasm is evident from not only last year’s members, but also from as many first formers…’

Terraces, 1973


40 years ago in 1982

GBTSC ‘Spirit of Truro’ crosses the Channel

‘It was on 23rd July 1982, that MR Phil Irish made the record breaking flight from Truro to Morlaix. The original idea was to re-trace the route taken by Louis Bleriot between Calais and Dover but flight tests suggested that the VP2 could take a longer route between the twin towns. The plane, built a the school, took off at 10.15am. Looking its best in the bright sun with the school colours proudly borne Mr Irish circled the private airfield once and was away for the channel. The cameras recorded take-off for the showing on evening TV and Mr Ted Groom chairman of the Flying Club, spoke of this further step in the remarkable story of the plane. He was grateful for the help and advice willingly provided by the RN and RAF and the permits provided by the French Director General of Civil Aviation and the Brittany Aeronautical District.

‘The dash was now on for St Mawgan where the civil airways Cessna, 12 seater, awaited take-off to convey the school and city’s accompanying party. British Petroleum made this provision as part of their Challenge to Youth Scheme which has consistently backed the plane. A delay caused by a wrangle with HM Customs on the likely time of our return was resolved, unfortunately, in their favour but then we, too, were up and away.

‘Our arrival at Morlaix coincided with the slower Evans VP2. If our flight had been bumpy then rather us than Phil in his open cockpit, almost at sea level, as without radar and relying on his maps and compass he came to terms with the unexpected mist off the French coast. This was how flying used to be in the pioneering days and now ‘The Spirit of Truro’ had reminded us again. Fuel supply was always a problem and Phil Irish solved it, in the modern world, with a converted bicycle pump as he ‘topped up’ his tank from the spare specifically installed alongside him on the narrow seat.

‘The French press, out in force, was ecstatic. It was reported in the Ouest France that ‘Le – do it yourself – anglaise va loin et prenet meme des ailes. Philip Irish, businessman anglaise et anuen pilote de la RAF vient de le prouveur.’ He had come, they marvelled, ‘dans un miniscule avion monoplane construit par les eleves d’une ecole methodiste de la ville jumelle de Morlaix’. When they saw the plaque recording that the plane was named by ‘Prince Charles d’Angleterre’ the cameras whirled again.

‘We were welcomed by the Deputy Mayor of Morlaix to whom we presented a framed photograph of the plane on its maiden flight over the City of Truro. A visit was made, with the Morlaix twinning committee, to the Hotel de Ville and to some of the older parts of the city. Souvenir shopping and Breton pate bought by those who had remembered currency or were in credit with Mr Worsley White’s bureau de change. We finally left leaving ‘The Spirit of Truro’, as planned, to follow the next day. In the event Mr Irish remained fogbound in France until the 23rd July. It was this return flight that established the record. The time taken was two hours nine minutes at an average speed of 52.77 knots and fuel consumption of 44 litres. Bleriot crossed from Calais to Dover in just over half an hour averaging 47 mph. If speed is the yardstick, the Bleriot XI and the Evans VP2 have quite a lot in common. Without being a fast aircraft it has durability of construction and operational reliability. Both flights by the VP2 were completed without incident and the plane spent the rest of the summer in a busy flying programme at air shows in Cornwall and around the country.

‘‘Spirit of Truro’: The Pilot, Mr Phil Irish. Aboard the Cessna: Mr and Mrs Ted Groom (Flying Club Chairman), Mr John Rogers (Treasurer), Mr Tim Rogers (representing Mrs Shelagh Rogers, Hon. Secretary, who has since flown as a passenger in the VP2), Mr Chris Tromans (representing the Governing Body), Mr Bill Ward (Chairman of the City of Truro Twinning Committee), Mr Guy Bunker (representing Mr Dennis Keam and the pupils who built the plane), Mr and Mrs Roy Coglan (Staff representative on the committee), Mr Worsley White (French speaking), Mrs Olive Irish and Mr Tony Aldwinckle (Publicity).’


Terraces 1983

10 years ago in 2012

The Wind Band Tour, Lake Garda

‘In July 2012, 40 students journeyed from Truro to Riva del Garda, with a short stop overnight in the Black Forest. Our 2nd day in Garda began with a rehearsal before departing to Malcesine, where the Wind Band took a cable-car trip to one of the highest mountains surrounding the lake, Monte Baldo. At one thousand eight hundred metres tall, we were given spectacular views of the jewel of Italy before us. Later after an hour of mischief the Wind Band gave its first concert of the tour, in the sleepy village of Lagolo, hidden away in the mountains. Our 2nd concert, to a large audience in Garniga Terme, was a great success to round off the day.

‘The penultimate day in Garda began with a rehearsal and at two o’clock we took a boat to Limone, a harbour-side town at the foot of the mountains. The old streets disguised excellent ice cream parlours, souvenir shops and wineries. Our last concert took place by the lake, on a small harbour in Vicolo Porto Bianchi. Our conductor Mr Pope thanked our last audience in his best Italian (“Good Evening, everybody…”) and in return the Wind Band was well received by its audience.’

Jack Harvey

Terraces 2013

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