arwick School, Warwick, England, was chartered by King Edward the Confessor, and so has existed for about a thousand years, although the present site dates from the 1870s. Technically the school is an 'Independent School', but it is generally regarded as being a (minor) Public School (and I should explain for any American readers that have wandered onto this page that 'Public School' in England doesn't mean what it means in the USA, i.e. State School: it means a fee-paying school - although in my time the majority of boys were there on scholarships, and so had their fees paid by (I assume) the Local Education Authority.)
For details of a book on the history of Warwick School click here

he Warwick School of today must be rather different from the period pictured in these pages. From their web site (perhaps they now teach HTML instead of woodwork) I do know that they have expanded their premises considerably. 

I was at Warwick School from 1953 to 1961 (on a scholarship), and the pictures and recordings in this part of my site come from the summer of 1961: on the whole they will really only be of interest to people who were there at the time. 

Now, I wouldn't want you to think that these pages were fuelled by nostalgia (more by happening to have the photographs). Like most people, I enjoyed some of my schooldays, hated some of them, and put up with the rest; and I was glad enough to get out into the outside world. I was a bit of a square peg in a round hole, particularly in a school which in those days placed a great (and to my mind too much) emphasis on sport; and I certainly can't claim any outstanding academic abilities. 'Intelligent but lazy' was the tenor of some of my reports, which was probably true enough; though I would claim that some of the teaching was not quite of the standard the school thought it was (though some was very good - like most schools, a mixture). The best part for me was the music: there was an orchestra and a choral society, and concerts every term. (I see from their web-site that their musical activities are considerably expanded from my day, with a new large rehearsal room, keyboard classes as standard for juniors, and regular activities.)

      It was another world, leaning in many ways back to the pre-war era, with a certain formality of dress and behaviour expected (standing up when the Headmaster entered the room, for example). (I only remembered while writing this that we had to wear stiff detachable shirt-collars - does anyone remember those? - smart, but damned uncomfortable. Incidentally, long hair - long in this context means longer than really quite short - and moustaches were not allowed). 

Sometimes this got a bit silly: in the summer holiday of 1958, when the O-level results became available, several of us went over to get them. I was wearing an open-necked shirt, for which I was told off, and refused my results until I was wearing a tie (someone lent me one) - and this in the middle of the holidays! Boys were forbidden to have their hands in their trouser pockets - actually, that's quite a good rule, because it does look untidy and teaches you not to slouch and how to stand without doing it, but why then spoil the effect by allowing sixth-formers to have one hand in a pocket and prefects two? A touch of artificial elitism there, I feel.

      Anyway, the pictures here give a glimpse of the surroundings and a handful of the staff (those I happened to photograph: I'm not sure if they really liked this candid camera work but they put up with it).

Roger Wilmut


All photographs © R.F.Wilmut