Blackburnian Lent 1984, page 6, From the Study Window

The Headmaster in command of a Ferret Scout Car during the visit of the Royal Tank Regiment Dr. M. A. Cantrell having left the Biology department, to our regret, in order to return to Africa, Mr. W. D. Jennison (London University) came to replace him after serving for over ten years at the Royal Grammar School, Lancaster as biology master and C.C.F. officer. There were two appointments to the English department: Mr. P. R. Kent, who undertakes his first teaching post following his studies at the Universities of Sheffield and Liverpool; and Mr. R. Stowell, a former Scholar of St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, and an Old Boy of Burnley Grammar School. Mr. Stowell has had considerable experience of teaching overseas, and now joins us following a spell at his old school. The two vacancies arose largely from the impending departure of one man—Mr. W. H. Proctor, who was to retire at the end of term, exactly forty years since this distinguished Old Boy started to teach here. We were happy to have as guests at the beginning of October the Headmaster and some of the governors of St. Bede's School in Manchester; they were intending to introduce co-education at St. Bede's, and were interested to see how it was working here. During the week before half-term, the Christian Union organised a mission; it was led by the Rev. Eric Townson, to whom we offer our gratitude. At the Junior School Speech Day on October 21st, Mr. David Waddington, Q.C. and M.P. for Clitheroe, presented the prizes. November's particularly arduous task was the drawing up of a short list from over a hundred applications for Mr. Bury's post, from which he retires in October 1984. Towards the end of term, I attended as a representative the enthronement in York Minster of the new Archbishop of York—an unforgettable experience. Speech Day was on December 15th, when the prizes were presented by the Master of St. John's College, Cambridge—Professor Harry Hinsley, O.B.E., M.A., F.B.A. The unusual, even novel exuberance of the Professor's speech dispelled any notion that distinguished academics, the writers of long and learned books, necessarily lack wit, humour, panache and joie de vivre. The Old Blackburnians' Annual Dinner took place without the hindrance of bad weather, and we were further cheered on our return to school by the news of the award of twenty-two places at Oxford and Cambridge. It having been recently announced that Blackburn was to lose all its sixth forms except those at St. Wilfrid's and Darwen Vale, the gift of £1000 from the Bradford and Bingley Building Society to enable sixth formers to move here from other schools was very welcome. We also record with gratitude a most generous gift of £25,000 from the Wolfson Trust which will certainly help to stimulate interest in the provision of new buildings for the school. Fresh challenge, fresh direction, but still the same school: the school which, since my last report, has so benefited from the combined efforts of parents, Old Boys, and the academic and ancillary staff as to produce excellent results in so many walks of school life. I thank them all. P. F. Johnston