About 50 former pupils of Tavistock Grammar School, from the classes of 1946-1952, recently came to the college to watch a fascinating film of life at the school during the reign of Mr Anderson, headmaster 1947-1954. Sports Day, Founders Day, swimming (at Bannawell Street pool), dramatic productions, the cadets’ visit to Warminster and cross country running featured in the film, taken by Mr Anderson and passed on to the school this year by his daughter Mrs Hilary Richardson. It was a time for memories, reminiscences and meeting up with old classmates, while we were all struck by seeing a steam train pass by on the horizon – a real insight into the changes that time has brought. Sporting activities during those days brought several sharp gasps from the PE staff there – Mr Forster said he was surprised so many had survived shot put and javelin practice then! Visitors were served refreshments by current Year 7 students and memories recorded by Year 10 History students, to be kept for the archive in due course. Mr Forster produced the old house shield and was able to tell the visitors that the winning house in 1950 was Drake which brought loud cheers from the audience. Tavistock Grammar School then was situated in what is now Tavistock County Primary School so at the end the visitors went out onto the field to get their bearings and there was much that was still familiar.
Altogether it was a wonderful experience for the current staff and students to meet up with so many alumni, such as the Head Girl for 1953 Jennifer Stephens (now Sanders). They were all delighted to be able to turn back the clock and remember their schooldays, which by all accounts were highly disciplined but also great fun.
Helen Harris, who organises these days, said: ‘The College is planning to have more such Archive Days and while we do have an extensive collection of photographs we would welcome any film or video footage. Even if it is on old film reels, or VHS tapes, our technical experts can transcribe such footage for a digital age. Please do get in touch if you can help.’