The Old Wordsworthians' Association

Bishop Wordsworth's School is located in the Cathedral Close of Salisbury Cathedral, in Wiltshire. It was founded in 1889 by the then bishop of Salisbury, John Wordsworth (from whom the school takes its name). 

Old Boys of the school are known as "Old Wordsworthians", and the Old Wordsworthians' Association was founded in 1913. It is a registered charity, and relies on donations from its members. Any former member pupil or member of staff is eligible for membership, and it runs a number of social functions, issues a Magazine and Newsletters and has a range of ties, mugs etc for sale. Founder’s day is the traditional focal point of the year with Old Wordsworthians coming far and wide for lunch before the Cathedral service and for the Association’s AGM afterwards.



Every pupil of Bishop Wordsworth’s School (BWS) is, upon leaving BWS, an Old Wordsworthian. On leaving the school pupils are invited to become members of the Old Wordsworthians' Association. Old Wordsworthians are, however, welcome to join the association at any time.

The annual membership subscription is currently £15, and for "Young OWs" under the age of 25 there is an option to make a one off payment of £15 for membership up to the age of 25.

To find out more click Joining on the bar above.


Group News

BWS Another 60 Years - Through the eyes of those that were there!

By Sebastian Stuart on 6th October 2013

Briefly, an introduction. I am Martin Holloway an OW 1955 - 61. I have taken on the project to edit, design and create the publication that seeks to chart the passage of the school in the decades following on from F. C. Happold's book, BWS the first 60 years..
I am only just beginning to realise what a monumental task this is, especially as it has been promised by the OWA Committee to be available for the Centenary celebration in February 2014.

Thankfully it is not intended to be a learned work, more a story about the school gleaned from the available archives, but more importantly from recollections, anecdotes and lively narrative that I hope to glean from willing contributors. That's you by the way! It won't be a vast tome, but something for all with a possible interest to 'dip' into.

So, following earlier requests in the OWA newsletter from your President Ian White, this is a real call to action. Please can you consider putting pen to paper (fingers to keyboards) and tell your tale of life at Bishop's. Perhaps a single amusing anecdote, your hatred of cross country (or love). Swimming in the river! Masters that helped. Sports you enjoyed. The quirky buildings. New achievements in your time. Friends at school with whom you shared activities. Catastrophes. Music. Exams. The ethos of the school. Well just about any piece that might strike a chord with another OW or family member or any pupil past or present.

It's a chance to record, before these things are forgotten, what BWS meant to the thousands who were there in the 1950s | 60s | 70s | 80s | 90s | 2000s

Returning to the previous mention of TASK, it needs planning as well as creating, so I would love to hear from ANYONE who thinks that they might just be able to cobble something together, no matter how simple or elaborately crafted it might be. Then I can get a feel for how to develop the structure of the book..

Some points:

  • Acknowledegemnt of contributions will be made on a seperate page, with no attribution to a particular piece unless you wish it. Or your name can be witheld completely. So anonymity is guaranteed if preferred, or full acknowledgement equally if you hope to appeal to the recognition of your peers who may have shared in the story you recall.
  • My deadline for receiving items for inclusion will be mid December, so plenty of time to fit it in or to work out how to phrase your recollection(s)
  • A contribution could be as little as 100 words or indeed 10+ times that much if necessary.
  • Contributions are needed from ALL the decades mentioned. I realise that those who are more recent leavers may be very actively engaged in building careers and families etc. but your memories are every bit as important as those of us who were pupils in the earlier decades and now have just a little more time to spare.

Please give this your consideration and think about the poor old editor who is now throwing himself at your feet to ask for help with this task.

So if you think you might be able to come up with something, please let me know as soon as you can.

Thank you

Martin Holloway OWA Book Editor

PS If anyone has any pictorial items they would be prepared to loan for inclusion, that would be super!
Photos, posters, plav bills, concert lists etc.


The Association has the following objects, as stated in the constitution:

(i) To assist persons who have not attained the age of 25 years and who are in need of financial assistance and who are preparing for, entering upon or engaged in any profession, trade, occupation or service, by providing them with outfits, or by paying fees, travelling or maintenance expenses, or by such other means for their advancement in life or to enable them to earn their living as the Trustees think fit.

(ii) To advance the education of the pupils of Bishop Wordsworth's School by providing and assisting in the provision of facilities for education at the School (not normally provided by the Local Education Authority).

(iii) To relieve poverty amongst persons who are in conditions of need, hardship or distress. 

The Association aims to meet these objectives whilst providing opportunities (social, professional and charitable) for its members.

"I should like to see Salisbury a great educational centre. I should like to found a school which shall be equal to the greatest and best of our public schools." - Bishop John Wordsworth

Founded 1913
Registered Charity No. 1000819

The Old Wordsworthians' Association

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