November 1865

By the start of November the number of boys had risen to 26 – 21 boarders and five day boys – and registrations were slowly picking up, but in a school designed for 150 they rattled round and the three masters were more than able to cope.  Nonetheless, the School sent notices to several local papers early in the month which claimed since the official opening “a large number of boys have entered the School”.

In some ways it was fortunate there were not more boys. Only 1 South was finished, and throughout the autumn work continued on fitting out the other three South and two East dormitories.   1 South also had the advantage of being connected directly to the Headmaster’s house.  With only the South and East sides of the Quad built, the kitchens were on the ground floor of the East wing, along with the boilers.  Large cellars – which remain to this day – ran the length of the East side, allowing for storage of coal and cooking provisions.

The only forms of exercise available for the boys were walks in the countryside or games of mob football.  The first semi-formal match took place midway through the month when the Headmaster raised a seven-man side – two Saptes, Bradshaw, Bigg, Matheson and Quick – which lost 1-0 to the boys.  The game took place at the bottom of the South Field.

On November 17, John Bradshaw, the high sheriff of Surrey, John Sapte and George Cubitt held a meeting, which the Headmaster attended on behalf of Henry Woodyer, the architect.  They agreed to pay a number of outstanding bills, which included such items as a kitchen range and furniture (£200), road making (£150), crockery (£35) and linen (£53).

There was also the first fight between Charlie Potter and another boy at the gate to Gatley’s farm (near where West house now stands).  James Walder said Potter was “bigger and stronger than the rest and inclined to bully”.  Potter was also the first boy to be birched by the Headmaster.