Post #93

Foster’s School

2nd January 2004, early evening | Comments (14)

In 1991 the grammar school that my brother and I both attended was closed and knocked down amidst a reorganisation of secondary education in Sherborne. Foster’s School had been open since 1640 (though the building we attended was only built in 1939) providing first class education to boys for 363 years.

With a total of roughly 150 pupils at any one time, and the pupil to teacher ratio hovering around 12:1 it was no surprise that my GCSE year achieved the highest pass rate in the country (100%).

I mention this because recently our old headmaster laid the school’s original foundation stone (rescued from demolition) in the new residential development that now sits on the site.

I had such a wonderful time at that school, it’s nice to know it hasn’t been entirely removed from this world.

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Comments (14)

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  1. Craig Morey:

    Not many of us old fosterians about in the big wide world - I left only a few years before Dunstan, and as I only lived around the corner, it was more than a little sad to see it torn down.

    Good to hear that at least some part of it will live on in the buildings that replace it, I should make the effort to shock myself back into reality by going to visit it (next time I'm back in Sherborne) as I still have a mental image of it at the end of Tinneys Lane...

    Posted 55 minutes after the fact
  2. Damian Kelly:

    I was very annoyed when Fosters and Digbys closed down. I am certain I would be stuck in some dead end job if I hadn't gone there. The teachers were all fantastic. Does anybody know what happened to Mr Williams?

    Posted 1 hour, 27 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Dunstan
  3. Dunstan:

    We were all very annoyed, it was a big shame.

    I know that I'd have failed my secondary education had I gone to another school - the teachers (and Mr Williams was certainly one of the best) were wonderful.

    I don't know what happened to Mr W. but I've played tennis with Jack Crouch a few times at Sherborne Club - he hasn't changed a bit :o)

    Also Mr Allen, do you remember him? (He was a teacher at St A., but his girls went to Digby's.) He's a good player.

    Posted 2 hours, 9 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Damian Kelly
  4. Damian Kelly:

    When I went to Preston I was going to drop French. I don't think I went to a French lesson between the end of the first year and the end of the third year. I moved to Fosters, where French was compulsary at GCSE, at the start of my 4th year. I was resolved to having to struggle and probably fail French. Mr Williams had other ideas. I think I got a B in French and studied in France for part of my degree.

    All the teachers at Fosters were fantastic but Mr Williams was incredible. Frankly the people who shut Fosters down must have been mad.

    I remember Catherine(sp?) Allen; she was in my year I think. The Allens lived down the road from James Balls parents. James didn't go to Fosters but he lived in the common room for the two years I spent in the sixth form.

    Posted 2 hours, 58 minutes after the fact
  5. Peter (Bill) Bailey:

    I have just discovered this site. One of the very few that I have found in my search for some indication that there are a few people in this world who remember Richard Foster's school - which I attended from 1937 to 1943 - ending with a mediocre Cambridge School Cert.

    I was the only full time border, so always lived at Hound Street. I had two years there before we moved to Tinney's Lane (late, because of the outbreak of war.)

    I left the UK in 1948, on loan from the RN to the RCN, to which I transfered. In 1953 I started a civilian career that took me around the world (I have lived in 8 countries and now am long retired in Vancouver, B.C., Canada). Whatever I have achieved, I owe to Foster's.

    I am trying to get in touch with some vestige of an Old Fosterian bunch. This wed site is as close as I have come!


    Peter H. Bailey

    Posted 3 months, 4 weeks after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Mark, ↓ Paul Heuduk
  6. Mark:

    Peter : you could try one of the community sites (need to register), or email Mike Goode and ask for contacts

    ...There are links for this on my brother's site [ ], and to the official OFA site

    Hope that helps

    BTW : "Fosters Field" development :

    Posted 4 months after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Peter (Bill) Bailey
    Inspired: ↓ Ivan Beveridge
  7. Paul Heuduk:

    Dear Peter: I was a border at Hound Street about 1946. We were a German family living in Leigh and can remember my mother asking the headmaster, Mr Lush, to keep an eye on me incase of any anti-German feeling. There was none. It was the first time I had been away from home and I cried non-stop for the first week. After the initial breaking-in period I mixed into bording school life well. Although not a bright student I was now well prepared for the ruff and tumble of post-war living. I have very happy memories of being a border at Fosters but tainted with the news of its closing. If any past boys read this, I send you my best wishes.
    Paul Heuduk, now in Hastings.

    Posted 7 months, 3 weeks after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Peter (Bill) Bailey
  8. Will Harding:

    Well I am glad that you all loved the place. Personally, (and I attended from 1977 - 1984 and boarded at Hound Street) I loathed the place. Narrow minded teachers with a lack of flair and imagination and no way to equip someone for the modern world. Yes high academic standards but there is more to that in life!

    Posted 1 year after the fact
  9. Neil Powers:

    Jeez..... What a small, interconnected world this is!

    I was googling for an answer to a thorny css issue, came across meyerweb and an entry mentioning dunstan. 'That name rings a bell' i thought.

    Came here and found myself reminiscing about school days at Tinneys Lane.

    I have mixed feelings about the place. The school did a great job teaching the basics but was to small to provide the opportunity to explore niche subjects.

    Ten years working in the steaming metropolis that is London, has brought home to me the benefits of the slower pace of life back in Dorset. Now with a kid of my own i would love for him to have the same standard of education that i received in Sherborne.

    Posted 1 year, 4 months after the fact
  10. Ralph Lane:

    I'm trying to trace Francis O'Dell (Odell?) who MAY have been a pupil at Foster's. He would have left in about 1970? I think he may have taught there subsequently, and I believe his father, who presumably had the same surname, taught there in the 60's? 70's?
    Francis was into sports - tennis and cricket. I think he was captain of tennis at whichever school it was, and was head-boy for a while.
    I met him at King Alfred's College Winchester 1971-2 and had sporadic contact after that, but nothing at present. I thought he had been to Sherborne School, but they don't acknowledge him.
    Can anyone please shed any light at all?

    Posted 1 year, 4 months after the fact
  11. Jasper Knight:

    hello to all as well; another OFA out in the big wide world. My memories of Fosters arent all rose-tinted, but i think it did well with what it had - a good ethos and encouragement to work hard, even if it was a bit old-fashioned (to say the least).....

    Posted 1 year, 5 months after the fact
  12. Damian Kelly:

    Oh my lord, just reading through some old threads and stuff and I find Dunstain has become friends reunited for Fosters!

    Just for the record I saw Craig Morey a couple of days ago and Alan a few weeks but these are the only old boys I know about. Has anybody else from the early 90s (ie the last days) stumbled on this?


    Posted 1 year, 8 months after the fact
  13. Simo Palmer:

    I was at Foster's from 1957 to 1963, when I went to Yeovil School because they offered German. MY father was a Master from 1948 to 63. I'm looking ofr photos of the Tinney's Lane "Campus" (you don't think of taking them while you're actually there, do you?). Can anyone help?

    Posted 2 years, 3 months after the fact
  14. Ivan Beveridge:

    This is just to say that I'm not renewing the domain (so the website has or will stop working soon). I had intended for it to be used for <whatever> webstuff, mailing lists, photos etc (as I think most people either look for "OFA" or "Fosters"), but there didn't seem to be much interest.

    I've just noticed a referral from this page in the web logs, and don't like breaking links, so this is the closest you get to an apology ;)

    The 'official website' is: but it's not been updated in a couple of years ... so at least you have a link to the main site :)
    There are some photos of my/our year here, for the moment (hopefully I'll put in a redirect so it'll work):

    Sorry for using this blog as a bit of a 'dump' for links etc, Dunstan :)

    More on-topic, I haven't visited Fosters' School site in a number of years. It looks like the link for the "Fosters Field development" that Mark mentioned no longer works - this appears to be the replacement:

    The photos there make it look quite nice, but it's difficult for me to get an idea what it's like. Maybe one day I'll take a camera down there, when I'm in the area.

    Take care all


    Posted 2 years, 3 months after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Mark

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