Parents Day, Prize Day or Speech Day take your pick!

Speaker List Prize Day 1947 Audience 1955 boys 50s Audience Parents Organization 1960
Programmes:   1952-53



1961-62     1964-65  


Regarding the prize days, I was always impressed at how Harold managed to get such distinguished guests - Cockroft, Fleming, Mountbatten etc. How did he do it?    Paul Robinson, 1955


It is intended to select years of interest and provide extra information so click on any dates which are underlined.  The selection is eclectic based on:

    Historical bits of information which put the school as we know it in context.

    Identify the speech days in which the 1955 year stood listening at least to grandiloquent speeches (coloured red)

    Provide information and photographs of famous speakers (names in bold).


The school opened its doors at Doddington Rd., in the Autumn of 1930.  There was a  Christmas concert in the School Hall  on December 22nd 1930.  The official opening of the school was on the 11th June 1931.


Dates and Names of Guests of Honour

 Source of this list is an OG book describing WGS - I believe the author was Don Stratton


The first Speech Day took place on 7 February 1935 when the guest of honour was the Reverend R. W. Howard MA, Liverpool College. It was reported that his speech was warmly applauded, particularly as he requested a whole day holiday for the boys to mark the occasion. Subsequent guests of honour are listed below.


By 1945 the accommodation available inside the School hall had become severely taxed and arrangements were made, for that year only, to hold the function in the Palace Cinema in the town. By 1946 the name of the function was amended and it became Parents Day and was held in the School quadrangle. In inclement weather the School hall was used with the audience overflow being accommodated in adjoining classrooms. The proceedings were relayed into these rooms via the School amplification equipment.


1935     Reverend R. W. Howard MA, Liverpool College

1936     Mr S.C.Kaines-Smith MBE, MA. FSA, Keeper City Museum and Art Gallery Birmingham

1937     Alderman Brigadier General A. F. 11. Ferguson JP    First Headteacher Mr.F.C.Lay leaves School

1938     Sir Albert C. Seward ScD, FRS, Late Vice Chancellor of Cambridge University and Master of Downing College, Cambridge

1939     Sir Gilbert Walker CSI, ScD, FRS, FRAS, Late Professor of Meteorology, Imperial College of Science

1940     The Rt Hon the Lord Roche PC, Honorary Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford

1941     The Lord Bishop of Peterborough, the Right Reverend C. M. Blagden DD

1942     Mr G. M. Trevelyan OM, CBE, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, Regius Professor of’ Modern History, University of Cambridge

1943    Mr C. M. Bowra MA, D Litt, FBA, Warden of Wadham College, Oxford

1944    Mr R. G. Routh MA, late headmaster of Bromsgrove

1945    Mr F. R. Salter MA, Senior Tutor of Magdalene College, Cambridge  Old Grammarians Killed in WWII

1946    Mr F. C. Lay MA, BSc, City of Oxford School. The first headmaster of Wellingborough Grammar School

1947    Mr G. H. Stainforth MA, Headmaster of Oundle School

1948    Mr G. A. Kolkhorst MA, Exeter College, Oxford       Old Boys Reading Prizes started

1949    The Reverend Canon W. Francis Smith, Chairman of Northamptonshire Education Committee

1950    The Rt Hon The Earl Spencer        Mr. Wrenn explains why the school plays rugby rather than soccer.

1951    The Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Peterborough

1952    Mr G. R. G. Mure MA, Warden of Merton College, Oxford

1953    The Rt Hon the Lord Luke TD, DL           1953 Programme

1954    Sir Alexander Fleming  "There's no easy easy to success" opening of Chemistry's Fleming Laboratory.  1954 Programme

1955    Sir Gyles Isham

1956    Mr B. L. Hallward MA, Vice Chancellor of Nottingham University    "Dangers of overspecialization"
                                                              Audience 1955 boys             New Biology lab for later this year"

1957    His Grace the Duke of Bedford                    "knowing where they wanted to go was the key to success"

1958    Sir John Cockcroft KCB                                                                   Named the new Biology Laboratory

1959    Sir W. Laurence Bragg OBE, MC, FRS     "to progress in science one had to sit as a pupil at the feet
                                                                         of nature"
  Named the new Physics Laboratory

1960    Lord Birkett     "There is no success in this world worthwhile unless you become a man of integrity" 1960 Programme

1961    Mr W. J. Penn Chairman of the Northamptonshire Education Committee    "Boredom"

1962    Sir William Penney KBE, Director of the Atomic Energy Commission Prog.  "Our living" he said "would be
                                                                                             maintained by the application of science."  
1962 Programme

1963    Sir Compton Mackenzie OBE                                         "If you don't want to do a thing then don't"

1964    Sir Brian Horrocks KCB                                                  Picture

1965    The Marquess of Exeter  NB:  In 1965 Labour Government issued 10/65 circular on Comprehensivization.   1965 Programme

1966    Admiral of the Fleet the Earl Mountbatten of Burma         "Education does not end with schooldays"

1967    Group Captain Douglas Bader CBE, DSO, DFC            "you must be able to look yourself in the eye"

1968    Lord Robert Boothby and Lady Boothby   "Lord Boothby was invited, but Lady Boothby did the work"

1969    Sir Peter Scott CBE, DSC, LID                "three great things confront humanity: nuclear bomb,
                                                                    overpopulation & Boredom

1970    HRH Prince William of Gloucester

1971    Group Captain Leonard Cheshire VC, DSO, DFC         "everybody can contribute to world peace"

1972    Old Grammarian David Frost OBE              "remember my schooldays as one's of great happiness"

1973    The Rt Hon Lord Maybray-King former Speaker of the House of Commons

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