School History

1950s & 1960s

Revd Douglas Graham, Headmaster, 1954-1967

The Revd Douglas Graham's date of appointment (1st January 1954) coincided with the abolition of wartime controls and rationing and was the start of a very vigorous decade of expansion and building in all schools. During his time at Dean Close, the School was carried along in a whirlwind of change, expansion and experiment.

The School's facilities were considerably improved. An extra large gymnasium (to allow for a full-sized basketball court) and swimming pool were constructed, together with one of the first all-weather hockey pitches of its kind. A new music room was completed as well as eight small practice rooms. A gallery was added to the chapel so the whole school could worship together, as well as a vestry with a study for the Chaplain and classroom. Laboratories were up-dated and a fine large library added. An additional nine acres of land were purchased to expand the playing fields and Shelburne Hall was acquired. A new 'Beaufort Block', incorporating science rooms, common rooms and studies, was built next to the Chapel. Caynham House was bought as a residence for the Headmaster, which became known as Dean Close House.

Music also advanced in these years, heightening the reputation of the School Choir. The Vicar of Tewkesbury invited the Headmaster, Chaplain and Choir to take complete charge of Evensong in the Abbey on Whitsunday 1956. The impression made was such that this became an annual event, and the School was also asked by the Rector of Cheltenham to do the same in the Parish Church. The Chapel Choir has made a number of recordings in the Abbey; and it sings Evensong there on Remembrance Sunday each year.

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