Old Morganians Dinner 2019

61 Members of the Old Morganians (ex pupils of Dr Morgan’s Grammar School for Boys) held their Annual Dinner at the Wembdon Village Hall on Saturday the 21st of September 2019. The catering for the sit-down meal was provided by Vagabonds Carnival Club and a convivial evening was enjoyed by all.

Entertainment was in the form of an excellent, and very amusing, speech by local Author and Historian Roger Evans. In his speech Roger referred to some personal experiences from his own time at Dr Morgan’s and why he thought it an excellent School.

One example was when he was on a cross country run and got detached from the other runners in a local village. A lady driver stopped and asked whether he wanted a lift, which he accepted. However, she dropped him off right in front of a PE Teacher at the School who said: ‘Well Evans, I must admire your creativity, but you will definitely be in a lot trouble if you do that again’!

Another was when, after having left the School for several years, he met a Teacher and, in the conversation, Roger said that he wondered why he and other pupils got away with being able to go behind the cricket pavilion to smoke cigarettes. The Teacher explained that all the Teachers knew what was going on but thought that if they banned them from going there the smoking pupils were most likely to go outside the School to smoke and that would upset the neighbours and create a rubbish problem!

To counteract any idea that there was a lack of discipline in the School he also said that Dr Morgan’s, maintained order on a graduated series of punishments. Minor infringements were most likely to be punished by having to write out, by hand, a copy of the School Rules or write an essay on a subject relevant to the infringement. 

At the highest level corporal punishment would be used by methods which thankfully would be illegal in modern days, but were used by all Schools in those days. The application of this type of punishment was a rarity and the School Rules were very well understood by all pupils.

 

Depending on where they lived all pupils and teachers were allocated to ‘Houses’ named as Cromwell, Fairfax, Hopton and Wyndham. These provided the basis for all kinds of both physical and brain use activities, essentially everything from Athletics to Chess. The friendly rivalry between the Houses was still apparent at the Dinner!

Roger explained that the names of the Houses originated from famous historical people dating back, in some cases, to the 17th Century. The School itself dates from 1723 and had premises at Mount Street and then, from 1935, in Durleigh Road. The Grammar School became a Comprehensive School in 1973 called Haygrove and is now known as the ‘Quantock Education Trust’.

Roger was one of the founder members of the Dr Morgan’s Association (with Bill King and Mike Dodden in 1998) which amalgamated with the Dr Morgan’s Society in 2012 to become Old Morganians;

He was the youngest ever Councilor to serve on Bridgwater Borough Council; He was the Chairman of Bridgwater Carnival Committee;

He worked for 33 Years as an IT Specialist for Courtaulds and then became a Lecturer at Bridgwater College; He has written and had published multiple books, mostly on Bridgwater and Somerset topics.

Thanks to Roger Richards for these