The School Drive


The school drive used to stretch all the way down to Castle Street until it was cut in half by the road building programme of the 1960s. Some of our old boys reminisce…

“Few of us had been there before; we passed the Hart on the War Memorial with trepidation and reached the bottom of the Drive near the ‘Gladstone’. “That’s not a School, it’s a palace” and most of us never recovered from this feeling of awe. We crept up the long drive, climbed the front steps, clattered into the Hall by the great door and were confronted by silence and men in gowns.”
David Kemp (1951-58)

 I recall the Drive in Spring with abundance of pink blossom from an avenue of flowering cherry, and there were other fine trees beyond the enclosing wooden fence. On some Saturday mornings we approached the School, clad in smart JTC uniforms, we might meet the gaunt figure of T H Bunt, clad in trilby hat, fawn raincoat and with furled umbrella. We mustered our smartest salutes and 1 still remember my surprise when he raised his hat in elegant response. The Drive was a fitting beginning for all our entrances and exits. From Castle Street it provided a tunnel like focus on the School and then, passing beyond Sergeant Major’s house, there was the broad spread of the lower fields with the well kept Junior Square and, to the left, the ancient wall of Alderman Purkiss Girm’s Nut Walk. It possessed an ambience and was a dignified approach for civic dignitaries in procession, as well as for visiting academics and for our parents on evening visits.
David Kemp (1951-58)

I remember when a ban was imposed on cycling up and down the Drive and on the short drive to the side gate; we felt very hard done by. I last saw the School in 1977 and was surprised to see how the Drive had been shortened by developments. It seemed to have lost some of its elegance
Ralph Sutton (1934-38)