Date Posted... May 27th 2022


School Archive

Mays Past

During this month …. 

140 years ago in May 1882

9 May, Truro School opens on the Trennick Hill site

The school ‘founded a little more than two years ago, with the idea of providing better education for the sons of middle class Wesleyans in the county, was formally opened on Tuesday by the Rev. Dr Osborn, president of the Wesleyan Conference’…

‘The building stands at a considerable elevation above the city near Poltisko Quarry and commands an extensive view of the town and surrounding country. Messrs J.N. Julian and Sons of Truro, were the contractors. The school is divided into three sections, the central portion and the right wing being devoted to the school and administrative purposes, while the left wing is allotted to the head master’s residence, kitchen, and servants’ apartments. The centre recedes a little, and contains the main entrance, approached by three steps and flanked by two square-headed windows of two lights. The frontage of the right wing embraces the end of the schoolroom, which is by the side of the main structure. The school entrance is in this wing under a square tower, which, standing boldly out, is carried twenty feet above the main roof. The front elevation of the left wing differs somewhat from the rest of the building, having large bow windows, although the entrance corresponds with the one in the right section. The extreme length of the edifice is 168ft, breadth 104ft, and height from basement to roof 35ft, while the whole stands on between four and five acres of land.

‘A corridor runs parallel with the front. On the right after entering the corridor is the directors’ room. At the extreme end of the corridor is the door admitting to the large schoolroom, 65 feet by 25 feet, and giving accommodation to 170 boys. On the left of the corridor after leaving the hall is the assistant-masters’ room, adjoining which is the study. Opposite these apartments and running to the back of the house is the large dining hall, 70 feet by 25 feet, and at the other end of the corridor the room communicating with the head master’s apartments. On either side of the front entrance to this portion of the house are the reception-rooms, drawing-room, and at the back dining and sitting-rooms, while beyond all is ample kitchen accommodation, measuring 25 feet by 16 feet. Five commodious class-rooms are placed at the side and back of the large schoolroom, with which they all communicate. On the first floor a corridor similar to that on the ground floor runs through the length of the building.

‘Over the directors’ room and extending from the hall to the tower before mentioned is a dormitory capable of accommodating twenty-five boys, and over the dining-hall is a similar apartment, while to the left and rear are the assistant-masters’ bedrooms. At the rear of the head-master’s apartments are the servants’ rooms, and the tower on each side of the two upper floors is occupied by bathrooms, while over the five class-rooms is ample space for the erection of further dormitory accommodation if necessary. The floor above is precisely similar to the second floor, except that a convenient hospital, carefully isolated from the remainder of the building, is placed to the rearmost of the masters’ bedroom.

‘At noon on Tuesday, the spacious schoolroom was filled by a large number of ladies and gentlemen interested in the work, and the boys were also present…. Hymn 225 was sung, and the Rev Dr Nicholson read the 25th chapter of Job, after which the Rev J Hutcheon offered up prayer…

‘…. In the course of some remarks Mr Kendall said that until recently, Wesleyan Methodism had done but little for general education further west than Taunton, and to the Taunton institution they owed deep gratitude, for under the effective guidance of that veteran instructor, Thomas Sibley, many of Cornwall’s sons had been reared up. Then came Dunheved (and they were glad to welcome the head master, Mr Ralph, to-day) marking out for itself a fresh line and seeking to give high class education on moderate terms. But Cornwall proper remained unprovided for, and children had been sent to Schools where the influences were anything but favourable to the Methodist church. Just three years since the question of a school in Truro was mooted, and it was soon taken up and ripened into a substantial scheme, all regarding it as a vital question that could not be shelved. In little more than a year the school was in working order. (Applause). The directors had been fortunate in securing the site so near the city, while they had country surroundings; and, above all, it was healthy. (Hear, hear) With such a site a noble building became inevitable, and they saw the result to-day. Some difficulties had been met with, but all obstacles had vanished before the committee’s united efforts, and the success of the undertaking might be regarded as certain. Out of 550 shares 545 had been allotted. (Hear, hear). And the directors thought that that day would be a capital opportunity for anyone who so wished to make any presents to the library, science, or other departments of the school. The school opened with 35 pupils and they now had 115 (hear, hear) so that was satisfactory, and as a commercial speculation also the scheme would succeed…’

‘Mr Turner, head-master, briefly glanced at the history of the school as conducted during three terms in the old premises, and showed that they had realised a good measure of success both in secular and religious matters, and several of the boys had passed the examinations with much credit and shown proficiency in Latin, French, Euclid, mathematics, drawing, music etc. There had also been the utmost good feeling among the boys. The prizes to be distributed were not very numerous, simply because the school had only been at work during three terms, and at the commencement they had only a small number of boys which was now increased to 115. They would have been glad to have given prizes to all the boys who had worked so hard, but those about to be presented had been given by the directors.’

‘A public luncheon was afterwards held in the Concert-hall, at which there were several interesting and complimentary speeches.’

From The Cornishman, May 11, 1882 and The Cornish Telegraph, May 11 1882 

120 years ago in May 1902

‘On Whit-Monday [19 May] we had the usual holiday, and our annual visit to Perranporth came off with its usual éclat. In one respect we were more fortunate than heretofore, for while last year the weather was inconveniently wet, and the year before excruciatingly cold, we were favoured this year with a very fine day.

‘We formed a large party, considerably over a hundred. Perranporth was reached at half-past nine, where many began the day with a sea-bathe, followed by a game of rounders. After dinner the heat did not favour exertion, but the evening was most enjoyable. On the return, not the least jubilant was the enterprising youth who carried home an astonished-looking seagull, as a trophy of the chase. All the way home the dwellers in the countryside were scared by the wildly-mingled strains of ‘Clementine’ and ‘Rule Britannia’ and at length a final cheer at the foot of the hill closed a very pleasant and successful outing.’

Truro College Magazine, July 1902

110 years ago in May 1912

Athletic Sports

‘On Friday afternoon, May 24th, a large number of parents and Old Boys assembled on the cricket field to witness the annual athletic sports. The weather was ideal, a cool breeze pleasantly tempering the heat for the competitors. The afternoon’s proceedings were, however, marred by an unfortunate accident; in taking a high jump, JK Peel slipped under the bar and sustained a severe fracture of his right arm. In the opening events he had done remarkably well, and it was most disappointing that he should have been thus prevented from competing further.

‘…The prizes were distributed by Mrs J Jennings, and at the distribution the Headmaster…went on to say that at the present there were three sons of old boys in Truro College, their names being Jennings, Wickett and Rosewarne. The one who could claim the honour of being the first son of an Old Boy to enter Truro College was Jennings, and therefore, he thought it quite fitting that his mother should distribute the prizes on that occasion. The name of Jennings was very intimately associated with the School, and one of his first friends when he came to Truro was Mr Amos Jennings.’


Music Competition

‘The Annual Cornwall Music Competition (for Choirs from Secondary Schools) was held at the Public Rooms, Truro, on Thursday, May 30.

‘In the morning, the test piece was heard. We were the first choir to sing, and the boys, who shewed evident signs of nervousness, hardly did themselves justice, with the result that they were placed two marks below Redruth County School. In the afternoon the sight singing was taken; but the selected test proved too difficult, and so the shield was not retained for the third year, but deservedly passed on to the Redruth choir.’

Truro College Magazine, July 1912

100 years ago in May 1922

Swimming Club

‘Strenuous exertions have been made during the present term to re-establish the Swimming Club, and to a certain extent we have been successful. Although suffering from the handicap of not being able to use the city bath, which by the way we are informed has been converted to ‘good’ use as a ‘dance hall’, Sunny Corner has been a favourite spot for the ‘brave ones’.

‘Our members number about twenty whilst others who wish to join have found difficulty in obtaining the necessary permission from their parents, either because they are abroad or they have serious objections to that terrible art of swimming…


Headmaster’s Birthday

‘All the boarders will agree that the best kept secret, and one of the most welcome surprise packets of the year, was the supper given by Mr Magson on the occasion of his birthday [24 May].

‘The joy of the boys on entering the dining hall, and seeing the tables groaning beneath the weight of a variety of good things, was expressed by loud cheers. After grace had been duly said the Prefects served the various sumptuous dishes.

‘Many of the smaller boys being stuck half-way through were ‘generously’ helped out of the difficulties by the bigger boys. Supper finished, the boys assembled on the Terrace and cheered the Head to the echo! They also expressed their appreciation of the Matron for her kindness in making it possible for them to have such a real school boys feast.’

Truro College Magazine, July 1922

90 years ago in May 1932

Just before the summer half term (14-17 May) Speech Day was held on Friday 13 May. Sir Francis Goodenough, a marketing executive in the Gas industry and an educationalist, was the guest speaker.

The school magazine that term included the text the speech he gave on ‘Earning Promotion’.

‘A young man not infrequently asks in the early stages of his career “How best can I qualify myself for promotion”. And so, when I was asked to say something to the students of this School, most of whom are at the threshold of their life’s work – and had to consider in what way I could best be of service to them, it occurred to me that perhaps it would be helpful to take that question as my subject, and try to indicate some of the essentials to earning the promotion for which all young people worth their salt are constantly looking.’

His speech pointed out that promotion had to be earned before it could be won; ‘Ambition, like other stimulant, is a good servant but a bad master’. In only a negligible number of instances is promotion due to favour or to luck, and the there is no such thing as luck. He went on to describe the qualities needed for success – character, cheerfulness, enthusiasm, curiosity and willingness, education, initiative, patience and determination.

He concluded with

‘Knowledge and wisdom, far from being one,

Have oft’-times no connection. Knowledge dwells

In heads replete with thoughts of other men;

Wisdom in minds attentive to their own.

Knowledge, a rude unprofitable mass,

The mere materials with which wisdom builds

Till smooth’d and squar’d and fitted to its place.

Does but encumber whom it seems t’enrich.

Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much:

Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.’

The Truronian, July 1932

80 years ago in May 1942

‘The annual Speech Day was held on Saturday May 23rd, when Mr A Browning Lyne visited the School. A Service of Thanksgiving and Intercession was conducted by the Chaplain (Rev LE Hickin, BSc) and the Rev FH Pritchard, in the School Chapel.

‘There was a large attendance of parents and friends at the Prize Distribution subsequently. The Chairman of the Governors, Colonel G.E. Stanley Smith, DSO, referred to the difficulties of carrying on the School in these days of war. Twelve Masters had been called up for service, and they were grateful to those who had come forward to help. They were not complaining, as they realised that the war had to be won if they were to preserve their ideals of education, civilisation, and freedom, and it had to be won by young men. Sometimes they were inclined to grumble when some of their masters who were in the war were not being employed in a way of the greatest use to the nation. It was no use taking a man away from teaching Mathematics and relegating him to peeling potatoes. He congratulated the Headmaster upon the Examination results obtained.

‘Dr Magson presented the Annual Report and went on to speak of Religious Education in Secondary Schools. He said there was a confusion in the popular mind between Religion and Religious Instruction. Religious Instruction without practice was empty and profitless and the Schools must provide not only Religious Instruction but also opportunities for communal School Worship and social service. Agreed syllabuses of religious instruction would never by themselves meet the case. The religious difficulty could only be removed by some form of re-union of the Churches. It had been the greatest single obstacle in the path of educational progress in the last 50 years. If it could be removed he saw no limit to the possibilities of co-operation between Church and State in the great cause of education.

‘Mr A Browning Lyne, Chairman of Cornwall Education Committee, said no post-war problem was engaging more attention than that of education. He was not sure that  the spate of criticism which they  were hearing of their educational system was altogether deserved. He thought they could hold up Truro School and the record as an answer to a great deal of the criticism. Many of them had been reading in the Press during the past two months a great deal of correspondence which was started by one of the gifted sons of the county as to the relative place of intelligence and character in education and life. One said that character was all very well but if they had sharpened their brains in school they might be conducting the war very much more intelligently. Another replied that if we had nobler character we should be winning the war by sheer force of moral rectitude. He (Mr Lyne) suggested that the obvious aim of education was to develop both. After all, brains were not the same thing as true intelligence and still less the same thing as wisdom. There should be an inter-dependence between mind and morals, and there was no reason why they should not both be good.

‘The demand for a revolution in education was overdone. A foundation had been laid in their system of education which, he hoped, would never be torn up. They might do something in the superstructure, but the record in the country, the county, and that school was something for which those who had been associated with education in their time deserved more credit. He appealed to parents to support them in their work, and to support their children in their work and not leave it all to the teachers. One of their weaknesses was that the young life of the nation was not being helped in the home as it should be. Optimist as he was, he did not think they would have a millennium when they had won the war. Many mistakes would be made, but he had sufficient faith in human destiny to believe that they were not only destroying but also creating.

‘Mr HJ Prickett, Headmaster of Kent College, said the generation now coming into manhood was called by God to a task that was awful in its responsibility, yet glorious in its opportunity, but they could only fulfil that task if they recognised that evil was evil and know how it could be overcome. There was a danger lest in their enthusiasm to win the war they blurred the moral issue and called evil good and good evil. The entail of evil would not be broken save by men and women dedicated to the bringing forth of good out of this evil. That was the task to which their sons were called, and there could not be a greater one. Unless they were determined to fight against unemployment, poverty, and all kinds of social injustice after the war, those evils would surely return in a worse form than they had ever known. They had accepted, and even demanded, the curtailment of their comforts and the control of private interests for the winning of the war, and they must prepare to face the problems of peace in the same spirit.

‘Mr HW Vinter, a former headmaster, proposing a vote of thanks to Mr Lyne, congratulated Dr Magson upon the way he was meeting the difficulties of the times and keeping the school up to such a high state of efficiency.


‘Truro School. ‘Esse Quam Videri’ PC Pawlyn; General usefulness, JF Bunney; ‘VInter’ prize for Advanced work, EWP Davies, DG Norris, AJF Smith; Higher School Certificate, TWN Besant, TK Bryant, JG Cooper, AS Murch, PC Pawlyn, CI Taylor, FE Taylor, AT Visick; Matriculation, FH Anstis, A Bellingham, DG Brewer, HS Bown, JMK Carpenter, EJ Collins, FH Copplestone, DA Davies, TP Fiddick, KC Gilbert, DF Haslock, HH Heath, WS Hickson, EN Hill, NA Livermore, HT Matthews, CR Old, DEA Pawlyn, SJ Pedlar, A Pye, RJ Rickard, GK Richards, HH Richards, FO Rilstone, GH Sheepwash, WJ Smith, AD Tregilges, PW Watson, WH Williams, MF Trew.

‘Treliske Preparatory School. Form Prizes IIa PG Tame; IIb AV Thomas; I, WF Rice; Special Progress, ME Nugent.

‘Kent College. Higher School Certificate, CR Grey; Matriculation, AV Allen, EL Hichcock, JA Williams, DJW Foster, AW Ware; General usefulness, MS Foster; Tremorvah Preparatory, L Cook, A Darlington, PT Tooms.’

70 years ago in May 1952

Speech Day, 17 May

‘We were fortunate in again having a glorious day for Speech Day. In the morning the Chaplain conducted the Service of Thanksgiving at which Rev. J.H. Rigby, B.A., gave the address. A large number of parents assembled in the Hall for the afternoon’s proceedings and the speeches were also relayed to the Common Room where many parents and boys were accommodated.’

‘…. The Headmaster reported that academically, the past school year was probably the best in the School’s history. Successes had included six State scholarships, 10 county awards, and four open scholarships or exhibitions, and 34 boys had been successful in the General Certificate of Education at advanced or scholarship levels last July. Listing the results, Mr Creed commented that they amply justified the school’s policy of giving all boys the same general education for their first three years and then allowing a boy to have a wide choice of optional subject in addition to certain basic subjects.

‘… Describing how the School had expanded and developed, Mr Creed said that it was 70 years ago – on May 7th 1882 – that the School moved to the buildings erected on the present site. At that time there were 70 boarders and 30 day boys. To-day, the number of boys in the school was about 450, and there had been a corresponding increase in the size of the buildings, the area of the playing fields and other facilities within the school. ‘The pressure for places in the school – and here I include Treliske – both for boarders and day boys, is greater than ever before, and, judging by the applications for the future, the prospects for the next few years appear to be very encouraging’.

‘A school, however, had several important functions in addition to the work done in the class-rooms. There was the spiritual and physical development of the boy, including self-discipline and the right use of freedom. In order to help a boy to live a full life, first at school and then in later life, Truro put before him many interests and opportunities for self-development and self-expression. The spiritual side was emphasised, while opportunities for physical development were ample and varied. Every boy had the opportunity to play games at least twice a week. In sport, the school had again been most successful, with the first teams in the principal games having enjoyed particularly good seasons. The Rugby team represented the school in the Public Schools’ seven-a-side tournament at Richmond and reached the third round before losing to Christ’s Hospital, while the tennis team had done well in the competition among public schools. ‘The many fixtures arranged for all the teams provide opportunities for a great many boys to see something of other schools and their members, and, in a boarding school, that is particularly valuable’, commented Mr Creed.

‘After listing the activities in the many societies and organisations inside the school, Mr Creed went on ‘I sometimes wonder, when preparing each term’s calendar, whether we are in danger of attempting almost too much variety in and out of school life; but provided that each interest is successful it is entirely justified, because by giving boys a considerable variety of interests from which to find one or two of particular appeal, we are encouraging the development of personality. A human being only becomes a real person when he is a member of a community, small or large, and to a boy a school such as this is the community largely responsible for the full development of each boy’s personality, at least during term time. The success of all we attempt outside the classroom should not be measured solely by the number of interests provided, but upon the response of the boys themselves, and as I think of the many activities in the school, I am more than satisfied that each one is justified….’


TSOBA Motor Run

‘On May 26th we were fortunate in having a fine evening for the Annual Motor Run. About a dozen cars followed a coach-load of members from the Car Park to Crinnis. Here, on the beach, the ladies defeated the men at rounders while a few members did a little ‘exploring’ and climbing. From Crinnis we travelled to Fowey, where over 70 members sat down to supper in the Toll House Café. There was time to appreciate the beauty of the Fowey river and town before returning to Truro – a highly successful evening.’

The Truronian, July 1952

60 years ago in May 1962

Band Report

The Band came back from the Easter holidays looking forward to another successful term; and were in no ways discouraged. The Annual Music Festival, this year held at Perranporth, was again a First Class victory, with 90 marks to our credit. This year, however, we received competition from Fowey Grammar School Band, which did very well gaining 88 marks.

Photographic Society

… Recently, the Headmaster decided that a photographic record of School events should be kept and for this the Society is producing photographs of general interest, for example the accommodation of Trennick, in the Woodwork hut and morning assembly on the top quad….

50 years ago in May 1972

Ten Tors

‘Two major practices were held, one on Bodmin Moor and the second on Dartmoor itself, the latter providing the less experienced amongst us with foretaste of Dartmoor’s uncanny ability to produce driving rain and thick mist at the most inconvenient moments. These facilities were very useful in making teams out of individuals and, in enabling us to finalise our equipment list which had to strike a balance between lightness and safety.

‘The event itself, held on May 20th, 1972, attracted over 2000 entrants to an Army camp to the south of Okehampton, a camp which also contained over 350 members of the Army and of the Dartmoor Rescue Group who, spread out around the course on the Ten Tors, and ‘armed’ with helicopters and Land Rovers ensured that every possible safety precaution was taken.

‘The start occurred at 7am on the Saturday, and, as the day went on, the weather conditions steadily worsened until, by the evening, thick mist, howling winds and driving rain reduced visibility to a few yards.

‘Due in part to these conditions the Senior team ran into trouble in the evening, and, after one member had had to drop out because of a torn ligament received while crossing a stream, the team deemed it expedient to retire, and spent the night back at Okehampton.

‘The Intermediate team fared rather better, plodding grimly on, aided by visions of hot baths and steaming cups of tea and by shouts of encouragement (?) from behind, where a certain member of the team was attempting to overcome physical and mental disadvantages (too numerous to mention here!) Lavish praise was also heaped on the navigator for his skill in finding bogs (which I utterly repudiate). However, despite all this, we spent a wet night in a disused shelter, and continued on the Sunday, finally finishing at 12.00, 5 hours inside the time-limit.

‘Approximately half the teams either dropped out or finished minus several members – this being primarily due, I feel, to the atrocious weather and not to any excessive lack of preparation, as was suggested by the Press.

‘In conclusion, may I offer our thanks to Messrs Emerson, Tremewan and Heard, who provided the vital transport and who, together with Mr and Mrs Collinge and Mr Lang, also provided valuable psychological support. Malcolm Heard, our manager, has agreed to do the same job for six of us this year, although some of us are beginning to wonder if we are quite sane.’


Terraces, 1973

40 years ago in May 1982

Ten Tors 1982

‘Last May three teams were entered by the school for the Ten Tors expedition – one team for the tough senior 55 mile trek, one for the intermediate 45 miles and one for the junior or 35 mile course.

‘Training started in the first weeks of the spring term with walks around Truro graduating to rambles across Dartmoor and the coastal footpaths.

‘The actual event took place in the middle of May with weather almost ideal for walking.

‘The walk starts at 7 o’clock on Saturday morning and finishes at 5 o’clock on Sunday afternoon. This gives teams on the 45 mile+ routes a maximum possible walking time of 34 hours of which 27 were utilised by the 45 milers. The teams all set off at 7am on Saturday morning with the usual flurry as 2000 walkers streamed out towards their first Tors.

‘The overall performance was good. The 35 mile team being the only one to finish the course as a complete 6-man team. Well done!

‘The 45 milers lost Ian Start on the long walk up to Kitty Tor. This was a great blow to the team as his role in the team had been that of trail-blazer. The team went on to finish at a comfortable 3 o’clock on Sunday afternoon.

‘The 55 milers blazed down to the bottom of the moor with the subsequent loss of Alastair Pilling and Martin Clayton having to drop out due to exhaustion. The 55 milers struggled despite Old-boy Willy John suffering an injury which nearly ended his and the teams attempt at the course. However the remaining 55 milers clocked in at 4 o’clock on Sunday afternoon exhausted but delighted to receive their medals.

‘Ten Tors was a great event for all those involved and everyone would like to thank Mr and Mrs Lang for all their hard work and enthusiasm in organising the teams.’

Terraces, 1983

30 years ago in May 1992


Derelict Shed, Newham - Samantha Dunston

Cornish Beach Debris 1992 - Tamsyn Davies

Treliever Woods - Tamsyn Blackman

20 years ago in May 2002

Opening of Burrell Theatre on 30 May by Sir Tim Rice

The School’s Burrell Theatre was formally opened on 30 May 2002 by ‘one of the most well-known personalities in show business’, Sir Tim Rice.

Sir Tim ‘cut a Cornish tartan ribbon and spoke to staff, pupils and guests…before touring the new building – which houses a 250-seat theatre as well as six new classrooms. He said he was extremely impressed by the exciting new facility as well as the young people he met during his visit to the school.

‘After a buffet lunch in the theatre auditorium Sir Tim, who has recently been elected President of M.C.C., then visited Truro Cricket Club to see three former Truro School cricketers who were playing for Cornwall against Worcestershire: captain Tom Sharp, batsman Ben Price and fast bowler Charlie Shreck.

‘The Burrell Theatre and classroom block has won an award in the Highly Commended category from the Cornish Buildings Group, who have spoken of the ‘wow factor’ in its design and architecture. A plaque in Delabole slate has been placed in the building.’

Truro School Newsletter, July 2002

10 years ago in May 2012


The Truro School Identity

Our school motto, Esse Quam Videri (to be, rather than to seem to be), captures the essence of our identity and is defined by the 5 C's below. Underpinned by strong Christian principles, we are a caring and inclusive community which values, nurtures and develops each individual.

Click on the links below to find out more.