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#15 - 1972

According to The Court magazine, the year 1972 will surely go down in the school's history as one marked by very considerable change and development.  

'This was accomplished through the generosity of those who contributed to the 1971 Appeal and through a large increase in numbers. To house these extra boys, we have made various changes in the Main Building; the careers room is now in the main teaching block, where Captain Byng used to teach. The first room in the Flat, which was Mr. Mash's room, and was intended to be the new study of the Headmaster, is back to its old role as a dormitory. When Burr moved to the Red House, it could have only 39 boarders. Thus it was always slightly smaller even with the majority of Day Boys belonging to it. However, in late July, a start was made on an extension to produce 10 bed-sitters and a changing-room.

All classrooms now have modern blackboards, tables instead of desks, chairs which have so far proved 'boy proof', and, above all, modern windows. Not to be outdone, members of the Art Club, under the direction of Mr. John, completely reorganised the Art Rooms, built a 6th Form Art Room, and we now have woodcarving going on as well as Art and Pottery. On the other side of the drive, a new Maths Block has appeared.'

The Sixth Form Society, led by Mr Welsh, was still going strong and in 1972 Gyles Brandreth was Guest of Honour at their Annual Dinner. The event was reported in The Court magazine and also recorded in the Sixth Form Society Minute Book.

'In July 1972 the Sixth Form Society held its Annual Dinner. This was attended by nearly all the current members. Mr Gyles Brandreth was our Guest of Honour, and he gave us what was a perfect example of a polished "after dinner" speech. Mr. Brandreth has already achieved much in a wide variety of fields, ranging from Organiser of the National Scrabble Championship, to having written a book on his research into whether our prison system is effective. Perhaps his most publicised recent venture was to join Lord Longford's squad of investigators into pornography. We were delighted to welcome him, and much enjoyed his visit. We were also pleased that two of our Life Members, Mr. A. H. Dean and Mr. A. G. Ridell, were able to join us for the Dinner, which again demonstrated the culinary genius of the President's wife. For a charge of £1.25 each, she managed to conjure up a three-course meal with wine and port.'

Also in 1972:

The rowing year started with the whole club boating from the new boathouse which was completed during the end of the previous term. In the Spring Term the 1st VIII won the Reading Schools' Head of the River with the 2nd and Colts eights obtaining good places.

During the summer holidays, the Chaplain and Mr. M. W. Mash organised a short holiday for fourteen boys from Dr. Barnardo's Homes in the Southampton area. They were housed in Burr House, and boys who are involved in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme came and helped to look after their welfare. The holiday was made possible by Chapel Collections amounting to £175.

The whole Fourth Form went on a three day trip to York. A steel works, three museums, a battlefield, York Minster and a Shakespeare play were the main features of a hectic visit.

Mrs Edna de la Praudiére retired and became one of the first female members of the Old Viking Society. It was reported here in the The Court.