When was the old Gymnasium built?
When did supervised prep start and end?
When could we choose between Woodwork and Metalwork? And why if you chose Woodwork did you NEVER enter the metalwork workshop?
When could we choose between sailing, cricket and athletics - and how was this decided?
How were Head Boys chosen?
Was the old house system with two junior and four senior ones better, or do we prefer G.H. Bailey's innovation?

The Old Gymnasium

Supervised Prep - Chris Snuggs (Berners/Halls 58 to 64)

Chris Snuggs - Berners/Halls 58-64: Supervised prep! I've always thought this to have been a key element in the academic success of WHS. You had to do it unless certifiably ill; you had no choice but to spend an hour in silence under strict supervision. There were no distractions - especially the electronic ones of today. No, you just had to get on with it in peace and quiet and get it done - day after day, week after week. And it saved, too, such hassle from teachers and for teachers having to deal with missing homeworks. All in all, it was a great institution. Does anyone know when it started and if it continued to the end?

Brian Cooper - Corners 57-62: Can't answer your question but would add to the sentiment by suggesting that the lessons we had on Saturday morning also added something to our education and the discipline of learning.

Chris Snuggs - Berners/Halls 58-64: Indeed, and they allowed us to have two games afternoons a week ... not many secondary schools have two lesson-free afternoons per seek.

Chris Hopkirk - Halls 72-79: It was there in my time 72-79.

Frederick Townson - Corners 52-58: We had prep when Corners moved which was around '54 I think.

Paul Being Paul - Hansons 79-84: It endured through 79-84.

Wayne Sullivan - Hansons 72-79: Remember it well in my time, and it could be enjoyable or not depending on which 6th former presided over it! 1972 - 1979.

Thomas Newsham - Johnstons 54-59: We of the '54 intake had prep from the outset. We in Johnston's house used our common-room which was on the first floor of the main building, overlooking Diana's statue, in the early Nissen hut days and it was tightly supervised. I seemed to spend much time traipsing across to "Butch" Richardson's study which with an open door looked right over at us. The slipperings I received as punishment became so numerous that he gave up administering them; as my choice between lines (invariably in Latin!) or the slipper was always the latter. Later after prep was over we would have our free time and our supper which I looked forward to when either "wet nellies" or Wagon Wheels were available, and those WWs were HUGE compared to those of today!

Frederick Townson: We had prep when Corners moved which was around '54 I think.

Ron Gould - Corners 50-55: Definitely that time Fred. Didn't we have a kind of attic classroom for Corners prep?

Frederick Townson: Yes. Can't remember the detail, but the length of prep time depended on what year you were in.

Woodwork & Metalwork - Chris Snuggs (Berners/Halls 58 to 64)

1) In the late 50s & early 60s, HOW was it decided who would do woodwork and who metalwork?

2) Did we do these for THREE years or FIVE?

3) There were no exams in any of the arts and crafts at "0" Level if I remember correctly, but what about "A"Level? Did anyone even DO any of these in the 6th form?

Chris Snuggs - Berners/Halls 58 t 64:

1) I cannot remember AT ALL (just as for sailing v cricket).

2) I think I did woodwork for the full five years; I don't ever remember being given a chance to do metalwork. From 58 to 64 we did no technical drawing in woodwork.

3) I did not do an exam in woodwork, so is it possible that I only did it for THREE years? I'm pretty sure I did the full five.

Evander Smith: House & Dates unknown: Chris, Answers as follows.

1) We all did Art, Music, and Woodwork for the first two years.

2) In the third and fourth year we had a choice of Art, Music, Woodowrk or Metalwork.

3) In the fifth year the choice was (would you believe it) Art, Music, Woodwork, Metalwork or Biology!!! Woodwork and Metalwork also included Technical Drawing.

David Neale - Corners 60-67: I did a year of technical drawing (fifth year) but did not take O-level; I did four, perhaps five years of Art and took O-level. Can't remember how much woodwork I did, but it was at least two years: certainly up until the coffee-table.