Vanbrugh Castle School

The School in 1930

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The school in 1930

This photograph, kindly supplied by Andrew the son of boarder Frank Wheaton, was taken in the centre of the circular driveway in front of the castle.(Frank is 9th from the right in the top row and was then 11yrs 8mnths old).

Captain Slimming, the Controller (not to be called Headmaster) and the only male person to look after the 38 boys, is seated in the middle. At this time he was 42 years old.

All the boys have caps with the Roan School badge, so at this time all the boys were over eight years old. (Otherwise they would have been taught by Captain Slimming at Vanbrugh Castle).

The younger boys are wearing the Eton collars which were despised by some. Note the very shiny boys' boots. Slimming always insisted on clean boots.

It is an unpleasant thought that some of these boys were probably killed in the Second World War.

The oak tree, in front of which the boys are seated, was felled in 1951. When the cut was examined a metal stable was discovered embedded some way in from the outside edge. By counting the rings the boys determined that the staple had been driven into the tree 111 years earlier.

The tree was already a substantial size when the staple was hammered in, so it is not unreasonable to speculate that this oak was planted - (by John Vanbrugh?) - when the castle was built .

It is likely that most of these boys appear in this photograph :

Stanley Peploe, William Stacey, George Andrews, Edwin Hopkins, Albert Edwards

Albert Davis, John McOmie, George Moore, Thomas Butler, Alex Johnstone,

Benjamin Frost (This boy presented Lady Trenchard with a bouquet at the opening of the school.), Ronald Cook, Frank Wheaton

Reginald Cotton, William Johnstone

James Hulford, Harold Colins, Cecil Longman, Charles Webster, Leonard Pascoe

Kenneth Hammond, Leonard Rose, Eric Hollier, Douglas Hollier, Peter Foreman, John Morris, Peter Stevens, Richard Guthrie, John Guthrie, Kenneth Morfed, John Kerr, Denis Sampson, Douglas Rose

Stanley Willis, Gaius Tanner, Peter Anderson, Edward Orchard, Frank Orchard, Geoffrey Williams

These names are arranged in age order (approximately) so the older boys are at the beginning and younger near the end.