To mark the beginning of Dane Court Grammar School’s diamond jubilee celebrations, two former students in 1957 and 1958, Michael Dodsworth and Eric Davies, were invited back on 2 May 2017, to reminisce about their experiences and to see how the school has progressed.
Cameron Dobson and Elizabeth Gibbons, (two year 10 students) gave the grand tour and enjoyed hearing about the school as it was, ‘Hands clean, writing and drawing equipment kept in good order,’ and not being allowed into town without full and correct uniform. The skill of all the former schoolmasters (many of whom had fought in the Second World War) such as Mr Littlefield, Bill Southby, Eric Croot, and the aptly named ex-commando Mr Wood who taught woodwork, were well respected. The first headmaster Mr Drake was formal in every way, but very fair and approachable, whilst a very young Peter Upton introduced newly found Fencing skills, the success of which raised the profile of the “new” school.
Peter Upton with his Dane Court fencing team in 1960
Undoubtedly much has changed since Dane Court’s Technical School days started in 1957, with two forms in each of the six year groups, totalling 360 students. There are now six forms in each year group and a thriving sixth form. Genders were taught separately with designated buildings for each. To prevent mixing, break times and lunchtimes were staggered, although French lessons were not always as productive as they could have been, owing to the girls changing rooms being in such close proximity to the classroom. Zut alors!
One of the earliest class photographs
The resounding message from both sets of pupils, old and new is that they are proud to have attended Dane Court. To mark Dane Court’s 60 year anniversary and its legacy, on 1 of July 2017 at 2:00pm, there is going to be a fun filled celebration, on the school site, for pupils and staff, old and new, and the local community, with bands, sideshows, and food. The fun will continue on the afternoon of 13 of July 2017, solely for former students and teachers. Why not join us?