About this book ...

These articles originally appeared in a book produced by former teachers and pupils to mark the passing of Lydney Grammar School and to recognise the achievements and rich history of the school.
Please be aware when reading the material that there may be some mistakes in the transcription, so please double check if you wish to quote names or dates.
We should also be grateful to Marian Burke for seeking out the book and typing it up.
Should anyone feel that any of this material is copyright and/or object to it's appearing here, please inform me and I will remove it from this site.
Geoff Davis
L.G.S. 1965 - 1972

Lydney Grammar School

Early Governors

A Board of Governors was appointed on June 16, 1908 by the Board of Education.

Chairman

Mr. Charles Bathurst, J.P.

Governors:

Sir William Marling
Mr. T Davies
Mr. R. Beaumont Thomas
Mr. S.J. Elsom
Mrs. Margaret Price
Mr. F.H. Gosling
Mr. William Jones
Mr. J.G. Howells
Mrs. M. Jones
Mr. F.A Hyett
Miss. F.C. Ken
Mr. V.F. Leese
Mr. M. Colchester Wemyss
Mr. S. Wilkinson.

Life Governors
Mr. Charles Bathurst, Jnr.,
Mr. R. Beaumont Thomas,
Mrs. Margaret Price and
Sir. W.H. Marling

(after whom the four houses were named.).

The school took its motto “Tenete Fidem” the Latin form of that of the Bathurst family, “Tiens ta foy”.
It is, perhaps, appropriate here to give some information about the background and character of these enlightened people.

Mr. Charles Bathurst, Jnr (1867-1958) was a Member of Parliament from 1920-1918 and during the first World War was Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Ministry of Food. In 1917 he was made a K.B.E. in recognition of those services. He became a Privy Councillor in 1925 and was raised to the peerage, and became a G.C.M.G. on his appointment as Governor-General of New Zealand in 1930, an office he filled with great distinction. On relinquishing his appointment in 1935 he was created a Viscount. In addition to his work for education in Lydney he did much to improve the amenities of the district, providing a Cottage Hospital, a public park and an open-air swimming baths.

Richard Beaumont Thomas (1860-1917) was for many years manager of Lydney Tinplate Works and took a strong practical interest in the welfare of his workers and their families. It was, therefore, not surprising that he should be one of the founders of this school. He took a prominent part in public life, was a Justice of the Peace, chairman of Lydney R.D.C. and a County Councillor. Among his many gifts to the school was the cricket pavilion (1912) recently demolished to make room for access to the new buildings of Whitecross School. He left also an endowment of £2,000 to help support pupils proceeding to universities.

Mrs. Margaret Price, who died in 1911, came of a well-to-do merchant family with strong Radical connections. Her father and uncle were members of Parliament as was her husband, Major W.R. Price. She inherited a strict Unitarian background and a tradition of public service which she carried on after her husband’s death in 1886. In 1890 she came to live in Tidenham and continued to run the family timber business in Gloucester until her death. Her son, M. Philips Price (member of Parliament for this area from 1935-59 and for many years a governor of this school) writes of her in his autobiography “My Three Revolutions”: “My mother was very keen on popular education and, at a time when many shortsighted people thought that one should not spend too much on this kind of thing, she advocated in season and out that every child should have a chance to learn and rise to a high position by the development of his faculties. “ It was in this spirit that she became so closely associated with the new School.


Sir W.H. Marling (1854-1941) lived in Clanna House and was the third son of Sir Samuel Marling, of Sedbury Park. After a distinguished career in the Army he took a great interest in local government, was a Justice of the Peace, member of Lydney R.D.C. and a County Councillor. He was among the first to encourage Secondary Education in Gloucestershire.
Lydney Secondary School grew steadily and pupils were admitted as scholars, fee payers and half-fee payers.

 

In 1920 temporary wooden buildings were erected at a cost of £7,000 and these are still in use (the long corridor from the Commerce Room down to Room 3). The number of pupils rose steadily from 200 to 360 and in 1931 two more classrooms were added (Rooms 1 and 2). Records show that when Mr. J. C. Burch M.A. was appointed Headmaster in 1932 the name was changed between October and December of that year to Lydney Grammar School. It was then that the Tuck Shop was started which was to provide a steady income enabling the school to enjoy many extra amenities and also to assist pupils proceeding to college whose grants were inadequate.

The number of pupils exceeded 400 by 1933 and extra land was bought to extend the playing field beyond the stone wall.
Old scholars tend to move away from Lydney so an attempt was made in 1934 to form an Old Lydneian Society whose intention was to hold reunions at Christmas time. Unfortunately, after a successful dinner dance, support declined and the society ceased to exist.
The present Handicraft Room was built in 1935 so that the old Manual Training Room could be pulled down making way for further extensions- the present Hall and the wing from the Headmaster’s Study to room 11. This was formally opened by Lord Bledisloe in November 1936. The gymnasium was opened in the following year.
By this time the school was well established, with 500 pupils, and so it continued until the outbreak of the Second World War.

 

(R.A.J. Bell and H.T. Pitt)