24 August 2001

morning assembly

I don't know whether they still have morning assembly at the College. In the early fifties it was quite an occasion with hymns and prayers.
There was one Collect that stuck in my memory, the one that finishes
"...to give and not to count the cost, to labour and not to ask for any reward save that of knowing that I do Thy will......."
It seemed a bit onerous at the time but at this distance of time I feel a bit warmer to it.
In the School History there are poignant stories about the Head reporting the loss of ex-pupils in action in the war.
Any other memories of Assembly?
jim wishart, list manager,


  1. I arrived in PS in the Upper V in '59 having come from City of Bath Boys School as a result of my father moving to King Alfreds as a lecturer. I remember assembly for a number of reasons, not least of which was the hymnal. We had "The Public Schools Hymn Book" which was a veritable tome compared with the one at CBBS. I also have vague recolections of prefects having the version with words which made it even thicker and heavier ....... a perfect weapon for delivering a knee-crumbling blow to the back of the head of small talking boys!! We used the old hall in the main building when I first arrived which, of course, was also the gym. As a result I think both assemblies soaked up some of the smell of each others activities. Assembly had a definite 19th century feel about it until we moved to the new building. In fact, when I think about it, there was a lot of 19th C feel about many things in PS! Mike

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  3. Hi Jim   My favourite words in assembly were those which the Head Prefect shouted at the close of the proceedings - "Forms Turn, Lead On".   My favourite hymn in assembly was "Lord Dismiss Us With Thy Blessing", which was always sung on the last day of term!  Naturally I did not like its converse - "Lord Receive Us With Thy Blessing", sung on the first day of term.   I still remember each Remembrance Day the vision of Doc with tears in his eyes as he read out in assembly each November the list of old boys killed in wars.   regards   Peter 

  4. message from Brian Ward, posted by Jim Wishart   Hi James! Finding your web site fascinating, receiving lots of interesting tit bits. At the momemt the only way I know of to have any input is through yourself, sure I should be able to post chat direct though, but don't know how, any tips on how to do this would be appreciated, please excuse ignorance.   Your website prompted me to look through what little odds & ends I have retained from the past, not much just my old school cert.& this attached certificate. Thought it might interest a few, honestly unable to remember actually doing it, but must have been one of the last things I did at Peter Symonds' as I left that summer.   Have seen assembly mentioned recently remember that well,also that it became a sort of sport in our later years to miss it, in the early ones too frightened to do so. Not easy as the prefects did a sweep to get every one in & were obviously experts at knowing all the hiding places, no doubt having used them themselves in the past. It was possible though if timing was spot on. The idea was to arrive at school (we always cycled,) just as bell was ringing, but had to make sure you were through gate before prefect arrived to book late comers. Then if enough time was wasted finding place for bike in cycle shed & then putting coat in cloakroom , if lucky the hall doors would be closed.Always a sense of achievement if successful but did'nt happen often.   Does anyone remember Founders Day,when it actually was,how long it went on for,or infact if it still does. I can recall marching into Winchester Catherdral with the whole school, everyone with a red & white flower button hole, quite an occasion, we certainly had a sense of pride, although I can no longer recall what happened inside. Have many more memories that I will recall at a later date, but think above will do for now All the best Brian ward.

  5. Yes, I remember the Organ Fund which culminated in the installation of "The Organ", installed I believe by Mr. Philimore and played by Mr. Cass, (as I recall it his feet barely reached the pedal keys and I think an alteration had to be made to the seat). This event certainly enhanced the singing of "For all the saints" at assembly.   Peter

  6. Hi Jim   I see from a local newspaper supplement published at the time of PSC's centenary that while Founder's Evensong has remained throughout the years the last annual Founder's Day Parade was in 1974.   I attended the special centenary Founder's Service on 3 May 1997, which brought back lots of memories, but not alas a trip to a local funfair which for me and other young ps scholars was a higlight to enjoy after Founder's Day Services in the late 1940s.   Regards   Peter

  7. Yes I remember Founders day. Do you remember all the teachers with their graduate gowns with their pretty colours? The most spectacular one was when the music teacher during 1974 conducted the choir in his white fur lined gown!   Dave

  8. My enduring memory of morning assembly is of one morning when I didn't go. I was in the 6th form in 1970. One morning some of us decided to have a game of cards instead of going to assembly in Varley Hall. Unfortunately we were caught. Out punishment was a detention and we had to sit on the front row of assembly with the 4th formers for a week. Most embarrassing when you're about 6 feet tall. Mind you it was also very interesting to hear the efforts of some of the masters trying to keep in tune when singing the hymns. Founders Day was always eagerly anticipated as it meant an early finish. Everyone used to complain about having to wear a red and white buttonhole until it was pointed out that the Founders will apparently said the boys had to wear red & white nightcaps.


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