Headmaster W. T. Marsh, speaking at the Fourth Annual Association Dinner, in January 1928 said “it was proposed to divide the School into four sports houses and the suggested names were Wallace, Page, Cowper and Croft. He had thought the matter over very carefully and he did not think that he could better those four names and, with the approval of the Old Boys, he proposed to adopt them.”
Hale House was added in 1930. The Houses are named after men associated with the School whose lives and characters are examples of the best that education in the widest sense can achieve.
Portraits of these men now hang in the Dining Hall. The Richard Hale Association (the Old Boys) commissioned renowned contemporary artists to paint four of these striking portraits: Cowper and Croft were painted by Graham Jones RP, Page by David Ord Kerr, and Wallace by David Gentleman RID (himself an Old Boy). The portrait of Richard Hale (restored by Ruth Bubb) was copied by Headmaster J.B.Wohlmann BA (1869-1900) from an original presently owned by a member of the Hale family residing in St Louis, Missouri, USA. The sixth portrait is of Bernard Hale, grandson of Richard and another (very) Old Boy!
In 2001 the school introduced house ties, which each pupil would wear. The blue ties continue to feature the school crest, but also bare two simple stripes of their House colours.
When it became necessary to establish a new House in 2007, it was decided that Kinman would be commemorated in its name because in keeping with the men commemorated in the other five Houses he contributed significantly to public life, as well as being associated with the School. In his case, of course, the association with the School was profound, with an outlook surprisingly familiar to modern observers. He also oversaw a significant rise in the School’s population: at his first Speech Day, in July 1906, there were 112 boys; by 1927 there were 180 – a small number by 21st Century standards, but nevertheless a massive percentage rise. If he had had targets he would certainly have achieved them!