The Woolverstone Cultural Heritage

It's obvious that most Old Woolverstonians have deep feelings for the school. This is only natural for the place where our young minds and bodies were formed in an unusually close, comradely, intense and stimulating - and sometimes painful - community.

But there is another very concrete reason why our nostalgia is more than usually strong - the extraordinary variety of sporting and cultural opportunities which were made available to us. I say "made available", because it didn't happen by accident, but was down to the dedication, inspiration and perspiration of generations of schoolmasters. Almost every year of the school's existence saw plays, concerts, operas and reviews, quite apart from the sporting events. This gave every boy the opportunity to develop his natural talents to the full, so that many became talented stage performers as well as excellent sportsmen.

These activities gave us the chance to work, play and learn together in the pursuit of excellence. We learned the value of teamwork, of practice, of dedication, of project management, even if we didn't know the term. Very often, with lots of help, we did achieve excellence, and the memory has stayed with us all these decades.

These and the sports pages are a tribute to the teachers and pupils who helped create this special Woolverstone tradition.

Some legendary
producers, players, directors, conductors,
set designers etc are missing: Neil Clayton,
Ernie Green and Ben
Turner for a start.
Apologies to one and all,
but these are all the
photos I have.

Derek Thornbery

Barry Salmon

Patrick Hutton

Merlin Channon

Leslie Johnston

The legendary WHS music and drama productions seemed to us at the time a sort of normal part of the WHS package, but in retrospect their full and astonishing epic ambition and excellence dawned on us. Sometimes it seemed that nothing was too ambitious - if the great producers had put on the entire "Ring" cycle we wouldn't have been surprised. Graham Forster reminds us that even Verdi's magnificent "Requiem" was performed one year.

The Orwell House Concerts: under the inspired vision and leadership of Derek Thornbery practically the whole house became involved in the Orwell House Orchestra and Concerts. For generations of Woolverstone kids the whole image of "classical" music was changed from being one of a rather effete, non-macho activity restricted to "musicians" to one where all could participate and achieve, where all could share the wonderful experience of communal creation. Even unmusical rugger fanatics were in awe, though they might hesitate to admit it in public. It was all quite wonderful.