Today’s House Championship

Whilst boxing is no longer included in the school curriculum, the house competition still strongly features sporting achievement through our sports day competitions. Our house competition also encompasses academic, arts and literary success via the school general knowledge and library book quizzes and our house music and drama competitions.

Frederick Cole (Headmaster 1909—1930) 

Formerly Headmaster at Banham Grammar School, Fred Cole succeeded Ben Reed as headmaster, bringing with him a number of the boys. The Banham school closed as a result. Cole brought a more ‘friendly’ approach to the school and was reported to have engendered a family feeling. Mindful of the behaviour expected of his pupils, he was considered an approachable man, who made loyalty inherent. Just after the First World War, Cole purchased the London Road playing field site with the help of £500 donated by the people of Thetford. He commented, “If I had done nothing else for the Thetford School, that alone was worth doing”. The Olga bell, situated on the south block of the Fulmerston site, was one of his acquisitions. The SS Olga was the ship that rescued Cleopatra’s Needle after it broke adrift from a Navy destroyer during a storm in the Bay of Biscay, whilst on its way to the UK. During his time, the school cricket team became the only school team to this day, ever to win the Norfolk Junior Cup.

Arthur Gayford Cronshey (1855 –1944) 

Born in Thetford, the son of James Cronshey, he was educated at Uppingham School and in working life became a partner in the family firm, James Cronshey & Sons of Water Mill Lane. 

Arthur Cronshey was a Justice of the Peace for many years and a Mayor of Thetford 1897-1898 and lived at Wereham House in White Hart Street, Thetford. He was an Alderman, Governor of Thetford Grammar Schools and held several other high-ranking positions in the town. He chaired the Governing Body of the schools for many years. Arthur Cronshey was made a Freeman of Thetford.

Frederick Handel Millington (1851 – 1920) 

A native of Lancashire, Frederick Millington arrived in Thetford in 1883 to manage the Mill Lane pulp works of The Patent Pulp Manufacturing Company Limited. He was a staunch liberal and was an active Borough Councillor and a Justice of the Peace (serving for 27 years). He was a Governor of both Thetford Grammar Schools and was instrumental in securing the opening of the Girls’ Grammar School in 1888, later sending his two daughters there. Frederick Millington wrote several books and papers including ‘The History of the Guildhall Thetford’, the publishing of which coincided with the current Guildhall’s opening. He founded the Thetford Rovers Football Club in the 1890s.

Benjamin Reed (Headmaster from 1883 – 1909) 

Once Ben Reed became headmaster in 1883, the school began to prosper. The school had 21 pupils when he began and by the time he left to become Rector of Bodham, the number had trebled. He had voiced his objections for the building of a Girls’ Grammar School, but when the school opened on January 31st 1888 he attended the opening as one of the speakers. 

He improved the standard of education of the boys’ school and in 1889 the school was rated as the best in Norfolk. With only the Old School Hall to use the place was becoming overcrowded. It was at this time that one of the county’s famous authors Christopher Bush attended the school. 

In 1901 Ben Reed was instrumental in getting plans underway for extending Old School Hall and in 1903 the flint faced, two-storey extension was completed.