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#39 - 1996

1996 was a memorable year for the College's Combined Cadet Force. There was a family connection when the CCF held their biennial inspection as Group Captain D M Jones, the Officer Commanding RAF Valley, in Angelsey, inspected the cadets’ guard of honour, which happened to include his son, Cadet W O Richard Jones. Three Cadets achieved particular success that year, Sgt Joanna Brown gained a prestigious university cadetship into the Royal Navy to become an engineer. JUO Paul Scade gained a scholarship into the Army and WO Richard Jones was one of five cadets in the RAF to be interviewed as a finalist for the Sir John Thompson Memorial Sword for best RAF cadet in the country.

See this report from Major P J F Webb O/C taken from The Court:

"Our Biennial Inspection took place in March with Group Captain D M Jones RAF, ADC, as the appointed Reviewing Officer. He happened to be the father of pupil Richard Jones of Skipwith House who was the Senior Cadet in the RAF Section and the Parade Commander. The inspection took place at noon and the Reviewing Officer was complimentary about the cadets' turn-out and their march past. He met the senior cadets over a drink in the JCR and then joined our other guests in the Art Studio before lunch. Parents of cadets were invited to the occasion and over thirty attended. My sincere thanks to them because it adds an important ingredient to the day, that of showing an interest in the activities of the Corps. The competitions were won by Orchard House (drill and turn-out) and Welsh House (competition shield)."

Inspection Day: W O Jones gives the salute to Group Captain Jones – his father!

In February our pupils’ public speaking skills came under the spotlight at the annual rotary club ‘Youth Speaks’ Competition. Seven teams from four schools and colleges entered the contests, speaking on a variety of subjects. Shiplake College came out top of the poll in the junior section, with a talk entitled ‘The New Bronze Age’.


The squash team had a triumphant season with an impressive haul of 13 victories for the first team out of 14 inter-school fixtures.

The College’s U15 hockey team also had reason to celebrate, as they went the whole season unbeaten. Richard Dodds, chairman of the Great Britain Hockey Association and captain of the gold medal winning side at the 1988 Olympics, was the visiting speaker at the club's dinner, and in his speech made reference to their impressive unbeaten record.

Speech day took place, as usual, on a hot summer's day. Broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald was the guest speaker. Seen in this photo with Head of College Alex Hambrook, he presented the prizes and then spoke about the world of journalism and media in the modern world and told some amusing stories based on his experiences.

Also in 1996:

- Shiplake celebrated its best ever A-Level results with a pass rate of 88.4%

- The College hosted a meeting for several head boys from various local independent schools. They enjoyed a meal while discussing some of the challenges and problems of being in charge of their respective institutions.

- The summer tradition of outdoor musical performances continued with a production of the Broadway version of The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan. The audience were invited to picnic down on Skipwith lawn.

- The College caught the attention of the local press for having quadruplets join the 5th form. The Sturges brothers came over from Switzerland and each became a member of different houses.