(I don't have a programme for this but have scanned the Speech Day report from the May1964 Wycombiensian and university entrance details from the May 1963 issue)
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On October 25th [1963] the annual Speech Day and Prizegiving was held in the Queen’s Hall, in an atmosphere of spaciousness which must have impressed all present. The guest of honour was Professor H. A. Harris, Professor of Classics at St. David’s College, Lampeter.

Alderman R. P. Clarke, in his customary preamble to the proceedings, reminded his audience that Mr. Tucker had just completed thirty years as Headmaster of the School, an achievement which an appreciative audience acknowledged with warm applause. Alderman Clarke also had something to say about the lamentable state of affairs by which the swimming pool had not been included in the contract for the major construction work just completed.

In his report, Mr. Tucker said how gratified he had been by the dignity that had attended the Quater-Centenary Luncheon, at which the School had entertained the Mayor and Corporation. He felt that this particular Speech Day was important for two reasons: first, because of his personal friendship with the guest speaker, and second, because it marked the end of an era of expansion and mounting success which had so distinguished the School. He was happy to report of the continuance of academic attainment during the previous year; there was no reason, in his mind, why the advance should not be maintained, with a university place awaiting every meritorious candidate. There were even greater opportunities awaiting boys than ever before ; he looked forward with the greatest confidence to the continued success which the School should by right enjoy.

Professor Harris then spoke engagingly on issues recently raised by the publication of the Robbins Report on Higher Education. He remained sceptical about the possible effect of it on education generally. The important issues which faced universities today lay in the selection of suitable undergraduates ; the method of selection was not infallible, but it was susceptible of improvement provided attention was paid to the personal reliability of the student. Addressing the assembled Sixth-form, he advised them to choose an exacting course up to Advanced Level; thereafter, the despised “red-brick” university afforded an education which would be just as valuable as Oxbridge. The student had the opportunity of expanding his horizons in a new and challenging environment, advantages which far outweighed the attributes of a settled atmosphere of tradition which Oxbridge inculcated.

The annual service of Commemoration, held in the Parish Church, was well attended. The preacher was Howard Ensor, Esq., M.A., Principal of Newland Park Training College.



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