Officially opened on Saturday 24 June 1995, the new Pavilion and Orchard day house was the final structure in place to create the view of Shiplake we recognise from the roadside today.
Opened by Tim Eggar MP, now the School’s current Chair of Governors, it was to be the much needed day house to around 70 boys, as well as a state of the art Cricket Pavilion.
Everyone had to adapt while the extension was being built, with many lessons being taught in portakabins. We enjoyed reading this poem, by pupil John Skinner, published in The Court.
The College held its first Summer Festival of Drama, Music and Art, timed to coincide with Henley Royal Regatta. The festival was reported in The Court:
The Festival took place over one week at the end of June, starting with the production of Jesus Christ Superstar over the first weekend. Running throughout the Festival week was an impressive Art and Media Studies Exhibition. The work included photographs from scenes as far apart as Italy and Hong Kong, Zimbabwe and the Outer Hebrides. Working storyboards for a 30 minute documentary were on display and the latest film produced by the College was screened along with black and white feature films, several TV ads and short news items. Student magazines, illustrated articles, posters and a range of reportage were also on display. A-Level art work was on show too, with still life paintings, landscapes, abstracts, woodcuts, photography, Batik and ceramics. It was an exciting and varied exhibition reflecting the very high standard of art at Shiplake College. Highlight of the Festival Week was the concert starring Humphrey Lyttelton on the evening of Speech Day. On a balmy summer's evening, the grounds of the College became a Glyndebourne-style picnic, packed by guests who had come to listen to the popular entertainer. Many were parents, others lived nearby, part of the College's wider community and some just floated in after a day at the Regatta. Humphrey and his band filled the air with excellent jazz pieces, interspersed with his inimitable witty commentary. Besides Humph and his trumpet were his team of musicians, all stars in their own right: Kathy Stobart, sax, Jimmy Hastings, sax, clarinet and flute, Pete Strange, trombone, Stan Greig, piano, Paul Bridge, bass and Adrian Macintosh, drums. The evening was universally declared a success and there were many calls for it to be repeated next year. Ticket sales contributed generously towards the Orchard House and Cricket Pavilion Appeal. The week was rounded off with the traditional Summer Ball. It was a long, warm evening, packed with entertainment. There were river boat trips and a carousel; a disco and two bands, one Latin; and the girls of St Joseph's School String Quartet played in the Foster Wheeler Marquee. There was a buffet supper, coffee, champagne... and finally breakfast. A superb finale to this special week of art and entertainment.
This photograph of the festival, also published in The Court, really captures the atmosphere during the outdoor musical evening.
Popular staff member Bob Esau left Shiplake after 27 years having joined in 1968 to teach English. He became a tutor of Welsh House in its earliest days and was instrumental in the forming of Orchard House. In 1978 he became Housemaster of Welsh House, a post he held until 1992. He was in charge of rugby from 1969 to 1978 and after leaving became a very active member of the Old Viking Society.
Whole School Photograph 1995
Also in 1995:
- 60 students and staff abseiled up and down St. Mary's Church until they had completed the total height of Mount Everest to raise money for charity.
- A group of media students completed their thirty minute documentary ‘Growing Up on Barra’, in conjunction with sixth formers from the community school on the remote Scottish island.
- Saturday Night Club was set up, to provide entertainment for 3rd and 4th forms on Saturday nights and involved visiting speakers and 'large screen showings of the latest, most popular videos'.