ROYAL GRAMMAR SCHOOL, HIGH WYCOMBE
SPEECH DAY PROGRAMME FOR 1958
(Various torn/scribbled-on pages have had to be digitally repaired)
SPEECH DAY 1958
Speech Day took place on Friday, 18th July, and followed the same traditional pattern as in previous years. After Mr. John Hall, the M.P. for the Wycombe Division, who was to present the prizes, had inspected the C.C.F. Guard of Honour, parents and speakers assembled in the Hall for the main function of the afternoon - the speeches and the distribution of prizes.
The Chairman of the Governors, Mr. R. P. Clarke, in a short speech, thanked Mr. Hall and the Governors for their efforts towards the realisation of the school’s new Science Block, which, it was hoped, would be completed by the end of the following year. He then asked the Headmaster to present his Annual Report.
The Headmaster welcomed Mr. Hall and Viscount and Lady Curzon. It had been an uneventful year, he continued, except for the tragic death in October of Terry Trayhorn. He paid tribute to Mr. P. C. Raffety, the ex-Chairman of the Governors, on reaching his 80th year, and to Mr. G. A. Grant on his retirement after 40 years at the school. Mr. Tucker then outlined the outstanding successes, both academic and athletic, achieved by Wycombiensians past and present. In the past year only two schools could claim more State Scholarships than us, and credit was due to the Mathematics teachers in ensuring seven of the ten State Scholarships. Entry into the University had proved exceedingly difficult during the past year and was likely to be so during the next three years. He affirmed that as most parents, when in doubt, conformed with his views on the question of a boy at school doing C.C.F. training, it therefore became a voluntary activity; this coming as an explanation for comments and correspondence made in the local press. He went on to describe the building extensions proposed for the near future. Mr. Tucker was, however, worried on two counts: the first was the lack of responsibility shown by some ex-pupils of the school at University, and the second, the proposal of a major political party to abolish the Grammar Schools, “the finest weapon of democracy,” and set up in its place Comprehensive Schools. He concluded by thanking everyone for their support in “somewhat disheartening times.”
After having distributed the prizes, Mr. Hall rose to make his speech. He opened his speech with congratulations to the school for its academic successes achieved during the year; in view of these achievements, he was honoured to have enjoyed the privilege of distributing the prizes.
Mr. Hall then went on to speak (appropriately enough) on education. Education to-day was both expensive and very important; indeed some £500m. were being spent annually on education alone. But in spite of new schools going up and new facilities becoming available, there were still dangers, and we were cautioned with two warnings. The first was that education must still teach how to think, not what to think - education must be adapted to the pupil and not vice versa. Mr. Hall said that he would be grieved if a school of this calibre were to cease to exist as seemed likely in view of recent educational proposals made by one of the political parties (not his own). His second warning was against over-specialisation in education; the Sciences seemed to be minimising the importance of the Humanities - balanced education, therefore, must start at school.
The rest of his speech was exclusively devoted to the boys themselves, in which he exhorted them to be loyal to both school and country - after all, Great Britain was still the finest country in the world. A vote of thanks was proposed by Alderman G. H. Baker, after various diversions, and seconded by Councillor E. Webb.
The rest of the proceedings followed the traditional pattern and a Commemoration Service was held in the Parish Church at 6.0 p.m. The service was conducted by the Headmaster, assisted by the Rev. A. J. Skipp, and the preacher was Canon D. J. Amies, Vicar of Marlow.