Soham Grammarians : Publications

Publications about Soham Grammar School or by those who were there. Images are not to scale.
If there are others please
contact the editor.


by J. B. BROWNING, M.A. formerly Senior History Master; Headmaster of Heartsease School, Norwich, with an additional chapter by R. J. Abbott, B.A., Senior History Master.

INTRODUCTION The writing of this History began after the discovery in the Soham Parish archives of a great many documents relating to the school. The classification of the material was undertaken by the Senior History Master, Mr. J. B. Browning who, after a large exhibition of the documents as part of the school's Festival of Britain celebrations in 1951, further undertook the writing of the History of the School.

His departure for another post in 1951 made subsequent publication difficult, but the impending merger of Soham Grammar School with Soham Village College seemed to present the last opportunity, though a very apt one, of publishing the work. Mr. Browning's story has ended with the Second World War, so it has been necessary now to complete it from 1939 to 1972: this has been my major contribution and represents "The Final Chapter" of this book. One or two slight emendations have also become necessary elsewhere mainly relating to the personal history of former members of staff. These have been made with Mr. Browning's co­operation. For any mistakes that remain I apologise and plead pressure of time.

My personal thanks are due especially to Mr. C. J. Ford and Mr. T. L. Riley some of whose reminiscences have been added to the penultimate chapter.

R. J. Abbott, Soham, Easter 1972

The School Magazine - The Soham Grammarian

HORIZONS I June 1965

The non-appearance of the Spring Grammarian has not occasioned too audible an out-cry; perhaps our readers decided that it had fallen victim to the Credit Squeeze, or was simply later than usual - like the weather. In fact, it has been suffering "a sea-change, into something rich and strange," eventually emerging in the shape of the first number of Horizons, glossily elegant in Mr. Askem's new cover-design. Henceforth, it is intended that the Grammarian shall be an annual publication, recording the events of the school year, and appearing probably at the beginning of the Autumn Term; while the original work, which shared somewhat uneasily the pages of the Grammarian, forms the basis of this new venture, which we have sub-titled The Literary Magazine of Soham Grammar School.

How has the material for Horizons been collected? Some of the pieces - perhaps half - are products of the normal English teaching of the school, written in class or for homework or even under the stress of examination.

Editorial Committee
Mr GE Hemmings, Mr J R O'Toole: ND Brown, FW Haslam, GC Holbrow, DJ Nicholas: Art Editor Mr PJ Askem

We make no apology for this: teachers of English increasingly recognise that good writing must be linked with enjoyment - for writer and reader - and the best of such work cries out for a far wider audience than the covers of an exercise-book provide.
The rest of the poems and prose-pieces - and they came in sufficient quantity to involve real selection and the doubtful joy of rejection - are voluntary contributions. They come from an encouraging range of writers: from Form One through the Sixth Form to the Staff. We are especially pleased to include in our first number three poems sent with characteristic generosity by Mr. L. G. Johnson, who taught English at Soham from 1922 to 1953, and whose School Song suggested our title. To him, to all our writers and artists (selected and rejected), to our patient printers, and to the Headmaster (whose financial wizardry has backed this project), our warmest thanks are due.
(Mr Hemmings notes "I was proud of this but it begot no successors!" )

List of written contributed items:
Geoffery Johnson - St Audrey's Fair, Trance, Degrees of Importance
GC Griggs 5 Alpha - Abblesfield
TJ Sandham LVIA - The File
ND Brown UVIA - Pets, The Car
JD Fellows 1 Alpha - Conkering Hero
I Cox 1A - Prickwillow Playground
SF Ayres 1A - Snow
P Coxhead LVIS - The Cabinet of Life
CA Royal-Dawson - We Pass Each Day
JR Harding 3A - The Night It Rained, A Christmas Dinner
P Leslie LVIA - Unnecessary Death?
S Parkinson LVIA - Passing Time
CH Shaw UVIA - The Writing's On The Wall
JR O'Toole - The Newspaper
MF Wilkins LVIA - Archaic Criticism
P Jefferson 1 Alpha - The Lizard
D Morgan 1 Alpha - Snake
GD Audus 4 Alpha - Hue and Cry
PM Ellis 4 - A Short Poham
S Quicke 5A - A Landscape of Memories
Form 1 Alpha - Tree-Mare
J Harper UVIA - Noir, Noir
FW Haslam LVIS - Psychology by NL Munn, book review
GD Audus 4 Alpha - review of Lord of The Flies, by William Golding
GE Hemmings - review of the Peter Brooks' film Lord of The Flies
GA - UVIS - view on North London Sunday, painting by Alfred Daniels
ANB 2A - view on Vltava, tone poem by Smetana


This was the last issue, Summer 1972, of the Magazine of Soham Grammar School. "The Editor, representing in his person all his predecessors, records his thanks to contributors, past and present. And, representing those contributors, he wished the very best of fortune to the enlarged Soham Village College and to the Magazine which will, in future, be the voice of all."

Some of the text from this issue is provided via the History pages.

THE WAY WE LIVED THEN - Recollections from four centuries of British Life, by Edward Armitage (Robson Books, 2001: hardback ISBN 1 861053894) £16.95. Drawings by Peter Askem. "The Way We Lived Then is a fascinating anthology of memoirs chronicling British life in the seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The wealth of material from people of all classes provides an enthralling and detailed portrait. All aspects of existence are covered, including life at home, at work and at school, in towns and villages, and within all social groups. These captivating first-hand accounts of life in Britain have been gathered together to create a unique and wide-ranging compilation of historical sources. Subjects include the following: harsh discipline in seventeenth century schools, city slums in the 1880's and the treatment of suffragettes in prison during 1910. An entertaining anthology, essential for those interested in British social history."

this book is available via good booksellers or

image from page for this book

Scrap Book of the Isle of Ely is the title of a collection of references to the 'forgotten isle'. Many SGS boys and EHS girls lived in that part of Cambridgeshire. Mike Delanoy (SG48) with his wife Lorna (née Freeman, EHS 51) have collected memorabilia over the years and have produced this little book. It costs £4.50. All profits go to East Anglian Children's Hospices. It can be bought from Burrows Bookshop in Ely or ordered direct from 01353 777691.
April 2015

This page was last updated 19 Apr 15