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#17 - 1974

In September 1974, Orchard House opened with R A Esau in charge of 21 day boys, including 12 who had just arrived. They occupied a two room building and Mr Esau broke with the tradition of having a new house named after its first housemaster. With the majority of the other pupils in School being boarders, the house benefited from having a resident housemaster, to ensure they felt fully integrated.

Shiplake College Whole School 1974

On one of the lovely May evenings in 1974 the catering staff served supper to the whole school on the river bank; the reason for doing so was a bomb scare. There had been many of these in the Reading area and the staff had no alternative but to evacuate the School buildings while the police searched.

We really enjoyed reading this entry from The Court about a Sixth Form Society meeting:

“The first meeting took the form of a discussion on Psychokinesis. It centred itself mainly around Uri Geller whose fantastic powers or tricks have stirred up a great deal of interest. At the end of the meeting a vote was taken to decide whether phenomena associated with Uri Geller are performed by supernatural means or just plain trickery. Six members voted for the former possibility, four for the latter and the rest abstained from voting. The vote expressed the general feeling that most members could not decide what to believe.”

Also in 1974:

- Numbers reached a record 244 in September 1974, requiring five new members of staff.

- The main public service feature of the year was raising the cost of training a guide dog for the blind. The total sum was raised in a very short time, mainly at a fete on the cricket field.

- A summer ball was held to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the College.

- Sir Edwin McAlpine joined the board of Governors.

- The Shiplake football team had an unbeaten season, even beating "arch-rivals Cookham Court".