Skip to content ↓

Denmark Road High School

Discover Realise Honour Shape

1933 - 50th Jubilee

The School’s 50th Jubilee

"The School is built of human beings, not of bricks and mortar. The real School is the fellowship of those who have gone before, those who are of the present, and those for whose sake we strive to maintain and strengthen the traditions handed down to us - the future generations".

Taken from the 50th Jubilee edition of the High School Magazine in 1933 written by Miss Penson, Headteacher

To start the Jubilee celebrations there was a Commemoration Service in the Cathedral for past and present members of the school and parents on 24th October 1933. Two performances of ‘The Two Gentlemen of Verona’ on the school hall stage were also held to celebrate the Jubilee on the 25th and 26th.  The girls revelled in the new winches for the curtains and the new extensions to the stage.  The boards, being new, squeaked! On the afternoon of the 26th October the Girl Guides at the school eagerly lined the drive from the gate, to form a Guard of Honour for the Duchess of Beaufort.  After inspecting the Guides the Duchess moved to the Hall.  The leaders of the groups of Old Girls and the Heads of Houses presented purses containing the money they had made or collected for the Jubilee Fund.  Afterwards there were refreshments.  The Guides were given the remains of the tea!

The Planting of the May Tree

It was a grey, damp morning on the Friday of Jubilee Week when the school assembled near the front door to watch the planting of the May Tree.  The May Tree itself was already placed in a hole, but its roots remained to be covered.  A shelter had been erected over it, at the back of which the school grandchildren stood in a single line.  The Mayoress, Dr Finlay, Chairman of the Governors and Miss Penson stood in front of them.

The Ceremony was performed by Mr Bretherton, our Vice-President, who has been a Governor of the School for 27 years.  He was assisted by Members of the Kindergarten who bought buckets of soil to fill up the hole.  After the actual planting Dr Finlay was escorted back into school followed by the Mayoress and Miss Penson.

The May Tree is our emblem because the School was founded on the first day of May in 1883.  One day we hope it will fulfil Alfred Noyes' description: "So fragrant and so still So dusky white".

The most permanent reminder of the Jubilee is the May tree. A May tree was chosen because the school started in May.  Miss Penson wanted a wild hawthorn with white blossom to symbolise the high and pure character of the pupils at the School.  In the sheltered, sunny garden the school tree has grown to a large symmetrical umbrella. The blossom has a shy moonlit silveriness.  The tree is hoped to live for 200 years (still alive in 2020 as shown above), for future generations of Gloucestrians to see and admire.

Prefects 1932-33