An ongoing strength of Pangbourne has been preparation of young adults in leadership and taking responsibility. All Lower Sixth undertake a week-long ‘Taking Responsibility’ course at the end of their academic year, preparing them to lead the school and work as a team when they reach the Upper Sixth and beyond.

 

The Marching Band is not the only aspect of the College’s musical life that thrives. Here the choir accompany the rest of the College and parents at the December 2015 Christmas Carol Service in the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel.

 

The year 2016 sees an OP as The Lord Mayor of London for the second time. The Marching Band were invited to participate in the Lord Mayor’s Show in November 2015 as part of the celebrations, and OPs were also able to attend a glittering reception at Mansion House in London in early 2016.

2010's

Outdoor pursuits have always been part of the Pangbourne philosophy. In recent years, outdoor expeditions may be slightly less regimented than in previous decades, but they retain popularity. The majority of pupils complete their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award and many continue on to Duke of Edinburgh Gold by the time they reach Sixth Form.

 

The first few years of the 21st century have brought a spate of construction to Pangbourne as we gradually update the infrastructure and facilities. In 2004 the new drive and entrance was completed, changing the main drive into school from the original Prince of Wales Drive onto Bere Court Road. Then, in 2005, work was completed on a new Junior House, our existing Dunbar.

2000's

The 2003 Princess Elizabeth Cup-winning crew at Henley Royal Regatta, marking the fourth win in this event for Pangbourne.

 

After years of fundraising, ground was broken on the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel at Pangbourne on 2 October 1998. This is the national memorial to all those who fought and gave their lives in the Falklands Conflict in 1982. Here, former Headmaster Anthony Hudson drives the digger to get the project started.

 

Pangbourne has been lucky to welcome many royal and high profile visitors over the years, from the first visit by royalty in 1927 through to the fourth visit of Her Majesty the Queen in 2007. In 1997, John Major started his re-election campaign at Pangbourne.

 

Rugby, along with rowing, has been a major sport at Pangbourne for decades. This picture comes from the 1997 First XV, featuring a younger James Frost (93-98 and now Head of History at Pangbourne) in the front row.

 

The mid-1990s brought a modernising new innovation for Pangbourne College: the introduction of girls right the way through the school. Here an early intake sit on the steps of what was then St. George Division.

1990's

Pangbourne’s third win in the prestigious Princess Elizabeth Cup at Henley Royal Regatta came in 1992. It also represented the first time a father-son duo had both won the Princess Elizabeth Cup for the same school: Rob Hamilton was part of the 1963 crew, and his son Mark was in this crew.

 

All those earning full College Colours whilst still pupils are entitled to wear the Paravacini blazer whilst still at College. This 1986 official photograph of the College First Cricket XI includes Andy Sumner (79-86, front row centre), still a stalwart of the OP Cricket Team in 2016 and most recently a maths teacher at Pangbourne College.

1980's

By the 1980s a rounded creative programme flourished at Pangbourne, with College Choirs travelling to places like St Paul's and Salisbury Cathedrals to perform, the production of annual College musicals, and Art offered as an academic course. Drama expanded to the point where a full-time teacher and expanded venue was required. Amongst other uses, the construction and opening of Drake Hall in 1985 by HRH Prince Andrew provided that space.

1970's

By the 1970s the college had been renamed Pangbourne College and transitioned from a merchant navy training school to a public boarding school. OPs played a part in the life of the College then as now, seen here in the 1977 Jubilee Year Admirals Cricket Match. The pavilion in the background no longer exists.

 

One Pangbourne tradition which does not change includes the Marching Band, seen here in a photograph from the early 1960s on the Parade Ground. The buildings in the background occupy the space where Illawarra and St George Divisions and the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel now stand, but the band itself closely resembles the Marching Band of today.

1960's

The Boat Club came into existence just over 60 years ago. During its short history, the record of wins is impressive: in fact, only two other schools in the country have won the Princess Elizabeth Cup at Henley Royal Regatta four or more times. Pangbourne's first win (as The Nautical College, Pangbourne) came in 1963, and this very same crew were on hand at the Boat Club dinner in 2015 to donate a rowing VIII back to the College.

 

By the late 1950s and early 1960s team sports were flourishing at the Nautical College. Here is the official photograph for one of the younger hockey teams. The photograph includes, on the far-right in the front row, a very young Roger Lane-Nott (58-63), the current Chair of Governors.

1950's

In the 1950s many new buildings, including the current Hesperus and Macquarie Divisions, came into existence. The educational programme was still focused on the nautical. The inscription on the back of this caricature shows that it was presented to the Instructors' Mess by I.A. Darling (28-31) "with apologies to Mr Sewell and Mr Paterson" for Christmas, 1953.

 

The second royal visit to the Nautical College was in 1943. King George VI came to inspect the troops on Founders’ Day, and brought his eldest daughter for her first visit - the then Princess Elizabeth. Sir Philip Devitt is on the left side of the photograph, accompanying the royal visitors.

1940's

Several characters have been very influential on generations of students at Pangbourne. One of these, Jackie Finch (seen here on the far right) taught, amongst other things, fencing to students from the 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s. Many OPs have mentioned him as inspirational and a real influence on their time at Pangbourne.

 

Some aspects of Founders' Day don’t change, others are completely different. During this era, physical displays and acrobatic formations were an important part of the proceedings!

 

The Founders' Day 1936 parade contains many features still recognisable today: Devitt Tower, boys in No 1s, and a marching band at the front. However, the Mess Hall had not yet been built, and Devitt Tower was nearly completely covered in ivy.

 

Training on the water did not include just learning how to sail. The College sailing boats and Thames frontage were put to use to stage re-enactments, including Viking battles, Roman invasions, and, as in this photograph, pirate raids.

1930's

In the first decades of its existence, work at the Nautical College, Pangbourne was mainly aimed at seafaring and the vocational. Compass and sailing training, for example, were some of the mainstays of the daily programme.

 

The first of many royal visits to the College happened in 1927, with the visit of then King Edward VIII for Founders’ Day.

 

For decades until 1959, Harry Sykes was one of the most influential teachers at the Nautical College, Pangbourne, and also went on to serve the OP Society as its Secretary for many years. When he retired, over 400 OPs and colleagues wrote to wish him well – those letters are now in a volume on display as part of the '100 Years of Pangbourne' photographic exhibition. This image, from 1922 Parramatta Term, also shows J.M. Rayner (OP 19-22), whose son Merrick (68-73) is the current Chairman of the OP Society.

1920's

The Nautical College’s early history was nautical in every sense of the word: until 1927 there were no beds; boys slept in hammocks strung up across the dorms every night.

1910's

The very first whole school photograph, taken in 1917 and showing the first intake of pupils, staff and support / domestic staff.

 

The back of Devitt is still the same, with early 20th Century dresses and bicycles on display: this from one of Clayesmore School’s early files.  Note the rougher grass on the lawns below, where Macquarie now stands.

 

The back of Devitt is still the same, with early 20th Century dresses and bicycles on display: this from one of Clayesmore School's early files. Note the rougher grass on the lawns below, where Macquarie now stands.

Pre-1917

In 1901 the Tower Estate near Pangbourne was put up for sale by then-owners the Donaldson Family. It was eventually sold to become a school: Clayesmore. The Nautical College, Pangbourne did not come into existence until 1917, when Clayesmore relocated to its current location in Dorset, and the Devitt & More Shipping Company purchased the estate.