Issuu on Google+

Introduction When you read history from a school textbook, you are told quite simply and clearly (so clearly it may even be shown as a chart) what happened, who did it, when, where, and probably why. The boys who began researching the History of Sevenoaks Prep found out at once that 'real history' is nowhere near as simple or clear when you try to find out what happened or who did it, or when, or where, let alone why! This little book is really the story of their problems. They wrote to certain men they knew to be old boys, men who had been Prep boys at different periods of history, to ask them for information, for memories and for other old boy contacts. Whether they were quite elderly or quite recent pupils, almost all of them assured us that their memories weren't very good. They are all honest men (which says something for a Sevenoaks Prep education, perhaps) because what they said proved to be only to true and incredibly muddling when we tried to find facts that they remembered in common because no sooner did we excitedly think we had an established fact than somebody who sounded most convincing contradicted it. You'll soon understand what we mean! The reason it was all so difficult is that the history of the school had never been written down and although there are certain documents in existence telling of certain events when they actually happened, the founding of the school and its early years could be written today only from the memories of those who were children at the time and are now senior citizens. We have tried to thank them all, everyone who helped by writing to us, phoning, lending photographs, letting us visit them or recording interviews for us. These have their own special pages at the end of his book, while the boys in the History Option group, who have delved into the past, are named on the front page. It has been difficult to know what to do about names. Of course we mention through the years as many staff as we can. Everybody remembers the staff. But what about the boys? Everyone in their own time at school remembers the special boys - the head boy, sports captain and so on. Every boy remembers his own circle of friends and no doubt still keeps up with them. Every boy remembers that awful boy whose name was synonymous with disaster. But in a history like this, how many of the vast hordes are boys who have been educated at the Prep can we include by name? Well, this is the conclusion we have come to. We'll include everyone we can, although we know that that's unfair. We are not deliberately leaving anyone out, just including those we know about because they have crossed our path in the preparation of this story. Two names I must mention here, however, before we start. The most helpful single assistance in making contacts with Old Boys has undoubtedly been the Sevenoaks Chronicle. Regular articles have appeared, telling the progress of the researchers and each one has brought new information to light, from 'the public'. The secret behind the Chronicle's enthusiasm is that the chief reporter who handled it - Keith Blackmore - , is an old boy. I used to teach him history myself... ... As I did Jeremy Crang, and has joined us on the staff for a few weeks each year during his vacations from Stirling University, where he has been captain of rugby and, during the time this book has been prepared, has come down with a first-class history degree. We have both been eyewitnesses of parts of the story, as boys and as teachers, though his knowledge of sport balances my lack of it! Crang represents the sort of boy whom the first headmaster intended to


school to produce, one prepared for Sevenoaks School. I, on the other hand, represents the increasing number of boys since the time of the second headmaster, who have left the Prep to go to some other place -the City of London School. But we are both come back, to some extent! Perhaps the long association with Sevenoaks Prep that we have between us, equips us in a way, to sort out its history. It is with Old Boys in mind that we have written and it would seem appropriate to dedicate it TO THE BOYS PAST AND PRESENT OF SEVENOAKS PREPARATORY SCHOOL 1919 - 1984



Half and Half in WORD