Recent Successes

Preshute has enjoyed another successful year; terminating recently in the highly enjoyable (156th) Christmas Supper.

We celebrated another bumper year of results with 9 of the 17 leavers averaging three A grades or better. Most achieved their first-choice university and some are even in the process of upgrading their application during a GAP year. Interestingly fewer have been drawn to the allure of a year out of education which I hope reflects an eagerness to get started; this was certainly a year that enjoyed a good challenge!

Regrettably we also had a stark reminder of the perils of travel in the incredibly tragic death of Ned Sells whilst in Africa helping build and teach at a local community in Tanzania. Ned was a young man of huge potential with a genuine love of words and gloriously self-effacing and wry view of life. His passing has made many of us re-evaluate and we hope that a small part of what we will do from here on in will be a fitting memorial to his short life.

The tumult that is Preshute House has passed through many a triumph and disaster this year but we here all believe that shared experience and friendship keeps us growing and enjoying life. A few trophies have newly adorned the shelf in the House Master’s study; none weightier than the General Knowledge “Geode”. It is interesting to note that Alex Martin is already on the short list for a place in the St Peter’s College team hopefully following on from Jack Ruddy (class of 2011) captained the Queens Belfast team just three years ago. We have our share of sports stars and thespians (Becky Addision covering both bases in this), musicians and madrigals (currently three in the choir) but were particularly delighted to have had our first Head Boy for a number of years. Henry Martin – currently training with the England Sevens Development Squad during his GAP year – achieved this feat and did so in fine style.

The year that has passed saw a large amount of change in the staffing of the House too and we now have two new RHTs. Firstly, huge thanks to the old ones and I hope the students realise how lucky they are to have enjoyed the ministrations of Mr Adams and Mr Baldrey. Two more patient and talented men would have been hard to find and each brought their huge empathy and industry to everything we did. Mr Dennis and Amanda have huge shoes to fill but each are most welcome and are finding their feet; be it cider making or embroidery that floats their boat. Of course, Amanda (also Dame in the House) has had a more exciting Christmas than most of us in that she got married to Will and the evening was a memorable one with a dozen or so Old Preshutians returning to celebrate with the happy couple (The Cooks now).

Where this year will take us, nobody knows, but redevelopment looms large and it could be exciting times ahead for Preshute. Boarding school life thrives on the House community and we are lucky here (in Preshute and in Marlborough) that full boarding is still the norm. Occupancy at weekends is always over 90% and genuinely students only head home when they need to. Weekends are full but there is space to let friendships develop and allow a recharging of batteries. In many ways I find myself watching a not altogether different experience than the one I had all those years ago. That is a good thing by the way!