Bedford Modern School
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(May Bedford Flourish)
|Established||1834 (1566 as The Writing School)|
|Type||Independent day school|
|DfE URN||109728 Tables|
|Houses||Oatley, Mobbs, Tilden, Farrar, Rose, Bell|
|Colours||Black and Red|
|Publication||The Eagle/ The Sports Eagle/ The Eaglet|
|Former pupils||Old Bedford Modernians|
- Bedford Modern School should not be confused with Bedford School.
Bedford Modern has its origins in the Bedford Charity, born from the endowments left by Sir William Harpur in the sixteenth century. Originally it was known as 'the Writing School', teaching copper plate handwriting in what is now the old Town Hall in St. Paul's Square, Bedford. It was originally situated "side by side" with Bedford School and opened in 1566. In 1834 it moved to prestigious mock Tudor Gothic premises, designed by Edward Blore in Harpur Square, the frontage of which is now part of the Harpur (shopping) Centre. The site became increasingly cramped, and in 1974 BMS moved again to its purpose-built premises on Manton Lane.
The School has had four names – the Writing School, the English School, the Commercial School and finally Bedford Modern School, the last change being made in 1873 to reflect the School's modern curriculum, providing an education for the professions. Until the Second World War BMS provided education not only for the locality but also for many colonial and military personnel seeking good education for their young families. Since then BMS has grown considerably. It was a direct grant grammar school until becoming independent in 1976, and became a coeducational day school in 2003.
Following a tradition of over a hundred years the Senior School Houses of BMS were: North, South, East, West, County and United Boarders. This last comprised the combined boarding houses: Culver, Shakespeare, and School House. The day boy houses often, though not always, reflected the parts of the town or county from which the boys hailed and were mentioned in the school song.
Each house has its own tie which consists of stripes of the three school colours and their own house colour. Inter-house sports cover all major and minor sports run by the school, at both Junior and Senior level, and range from rugby and hockey (major sports) to shooting and fencing (minor sports). There are also non-sporting events such as quizzes and Music and Drama competitions.
2012 Olympics and Paralympics
Bedford Modern School has been selected as an official training site for the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. The school has facilities for Table Tennis teams training for the event, and complements other training sites in the Bedford area. The Maldives National Olympic Committee will base its competing athletes in Bedford, while Paralympic athletes from Angola, the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, The Gambia, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Jamaica, Lesotho, Morocco, Niger, Pakistan, Senegal, Tunisia and Uganda will also be based in the area. With the exception of Weymouth (which will host various sailing events) Bedford will accommodate more Olympic teams in 2012 than any other town or borough in the UK.
Notable Old Bedford Modernians
- Francis Penrose (1817–1903), Surveyor of St Paul's Cathedral, 1852–, architect, archaeologist and astronomer
- James Howard (1821–1889), agriculturalist and member of parliament
- Sir William Augustus Tilden (1842–1926), Chemist & Dean, Royal College of Science, London (1905–1909)
- John Holland Rose (1855–1942), Vere Harmsworth Professor of Naval History, University of Cambridge, 1919–1933
- Sir George Herbert Farrar (1859–1915), South African mining magnate, politician and soldier
- W. H. D. Rouse (1863–1950), schoolmaster and classicist
- E. D. Morel (1873–1924), journalist and activist
- Aeneas Mackintosh (1879–1916), Antarctic explorer, commander of the Ross Sea party expedition
- Edgar Mobbs (1882–1917), rugby union player
- Eric Temple Bell, (1883–1960), mathematician and science fiction author
- Gillie Potter (1887–1975), comedian and broadcaster
- Reginald Berkeley (1890–1935), politician, playwright & screenwriter
- Dick Stafford (1893–1912), rugby union player
- Basil Rogers (1896–1975), cricketer
- Sir Charles Oatley (1904–1996), Professor of Electrical Engineering, University of Cambridge, 1960–1971, and developer of the first scanning electron microscope
- Captain Dick Howe (born 1916?), Escape Officer Oflag IV-C (Colditz Castle) 1942–1945
- Peter Grimes (1905–1988), Director, London Museum, 1945–1956, and Director, Institute of Archaeology and Professor of Archaeology, University of London, 1956–1973
- Sir Henry Johnson (1906–1988), general manager, Eastern Region, British Railways, 1958–1962, and London Midland Region, British Railways, 1962–1967, and chairman, British Railways Board, 1968–1971
- Derick Emmison (1907–1995), County Archivist of Essex, 1938–1969
- Christopher Fry (1907–2005), playwright
- Sir Arthur Mooring (1908–1969), British Resident in Zanzibar, 1959–1963
- George Matthews (1917–2005), leading communist and editor of the Daily Worker/Morning Star from 1959–1974
- Ian Mantle (1920–2010), engineer and rally driver
- Gordon Langford (born 1930 as Gordon Colman), brass band and orchestral music composer, arranger and performer.
- Bob Gale (born 1933), Middlesex cricketer
- Sir Keith Speed (born 1934), politician
- John Andrews (born 1936) crime and antiques writer
- Russell Ash (born 1946), author of Top 10 of Everything, etc.
- Professor Sir Peter Knight, professor of quantum optics and Principal of the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Imperial College.
- Patrick Hall (born 1951), MP for Bedford and Kempston from 1997 to 2010
- Michael Crowther (born 1952), wildlife conservationist, founder, Indianapolis Prize (world's largest wildlife conservation award)
- John Sessions (born 1953), comedian and broadcaster
- Lionel Weston (born 1954), England Rugby Union scrum half
- Dr Harry Brünjes (born 1954), Chairman of Premier Medical Group, Chairman Lancing College, former Governor BMS
- Nick Hawkins, former MP for Blackpool South and Surrey Heath
- Andy Gilchrist (born 1960), former head of the FBU (Fire Brigades Union)
- Toby Litt (born 1968), novelist and short story writer
- Tim Foster (born 1970), Olympic Gold Medallist rower
- Ben Anderson (born 1975), television reporter and writer
- Christian Coulson (born 1978), actor
- Monty Panesar (born 1982), England cricketer
- Richard Fuller, Conservative MP for Bedford and Kempston 2010 –
- Jeremy Irvine, actor (War Horse, Now Is Good, Great Expectations, The Railway Man)
- Don Broco Band
List of Headmasters
- 1901–1916 Cecil William Kaye
- 1917–1922, Arnold Powell, later head of Epsom College
- 1922–1946 Henry Weddell Liddle
- 1946–1965 Rev. John Edward Taylor
- 1965–1977, Brian Kemball-Cook
- 1977–1996 Peter John Squire
- 1996–2009 Stephen Smith .
- 2010– Michael Hall
- John Moore, footballer
- 3 March, 18:25:11 GMT 2008. "Bedfordshire to host Olympic training camps". Bedford Today. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
- [dead link]
- Underwood, Andrew (1981). Bedford Modern School of the Black and Red. Bedford Modern School. ISBN 0-9507608-1-1.