Monthly Archives: April 2016

Stories from the Archive – Leisure Activities

In February 2016 I gave a talk about the archives as part of the Thursday lunchtime Recital Room series (click here for the full programme). I’ll put the talk on the blog in a series of posts. The first installment is below.

Arthur Rowntree

Arthur Rowntree (Headmaster 1899-1927)

Today I’m going to talk about the leisure activities of the school over the years. Inevitably the talk cannot be a comprehensive survey of all the leisure activities that students have taken part in, but hopefully it will give a sample of some of the activities, their development and the stories within those activities.

In January 1915 Arthur Rowntree, the Headmaster at the time, gave a talk to the Friends’ Guild of Teachers about Leisure. He argued that:

“Everyone coming to school ought to learn two things: to cultivate what he likes and to cultivate what he dislikes.”

“The leisure-hours of the modern boys’ boarding school ought to be well filled. If it is a twentieth-century characteristic to plead for leisure hours unfilled, then let me ally myself with the nineteenth century in maintaining that not one percent of the boys needs unfilled leisure time.”

“And let us remember that hobbies, beginning in small ways and developing until they unite with higher interests and involve considerable intelligence, encourage individuality in the boy, and last through life as a part of that true education which is an influence deepening and enriching human life everywhere.”

 

Shakespeare

Saturday 23rd April 2016 is the 400th anniversary since Shakespeare’s death.

100 years ago the school celebrated the Tercentenary Year. The July 1916 edition of Bootham magazine mentions that during the fourth week of May the school marked the event.  A holiday was given on 23rd. On 24th, Mrs Liddiard gave recitations from Shakespeare in the Library. On June 1st Mr Paton, High Master of the Manchester Grammar School, gave a lecture on “Shakespeare’s Boys”.

A Winters Tale 1936

A Winter’s Tale, 1936

Since then the school has performed a number of Shakespeare’s plays. The earliest recorded performance is scenes from A Winter’s Tale in 1936, which was performed on the grass in the school grounds. Over the years plays such as Richard II, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing and Romeo and Juliet followed. Most recently, a production of A Winter’s Tale in 2014 included live sheep!

Romeo and Juliet photo 1973 lr

Romeo and Juliet, 1973