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The Debating Society

1945 minutes!
15 Oct 2020

Prior to the donation of three notebooks of minutes for 1945 - 1949 of The Debating Society, the earliest surviving minute book in the archives dates from 1957. What happened to the minute books for 1949 - 1957?

Pictured is an extract from minutes signed by the then Headmaster, C R Allison, on 6th October 1945. One will note that the Society used to hold its fortnightly meetings at 7pm on a Saturday! Would students of today turn up to a meeting at that time on a weekend?

The debates usually focused on a current news topic, and the reports of the arguments for and against give an interesting insight into the schoolboy's perspective. An example is the debate "that this House does not agree with the Olympic Games of 1948". The proposers said that the resources and work-hours diverted to hosting the Games in London would seriously harm to the country's industrial effort - and that the lack of first class British athletes would be detrimental to the UK's reputation. In return, the opposition argued that, as the government supported the Games, it could be "safely assumed" that there was little or no fear of the Games being detrimental to Britain's effort.


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