Rhubarb 2020

ST EDWARD’S r h u b a r b


During his Gaudy speech of 1983, Warden Phillips was almost electrocuted by the house lights. They dimmed then produced a dazzling display of red and green lights all over the tent. ‘The age of technology had well and truly arrived at St Edward’s’ ( Chronicle ). A deluge of rain throughout the day may have had some impact!

1975 was the last time Big School was used as the venue for prize-giving. The first time was in 1881. It was moved to the New Hall in 1976.

Gaudy 1970 was described by an outsider as ‘floppy hats and colourful


Quote from an observer in 1980 Chronicle : ‘Gaudy is the day when School and parents pretend that the massive efforts they are making to impress each other is nothing more than an extension to their day-to-day routine!’ dresses, Rhubarb ties and shooting sticks, sticky buns and neat sandwiches, concerts, cars and cricket’.

In 1875 the School Cricket XI first took part in a match against the OSE – called ‘Past versus the Present’ which still continues today.

From 1951 Gaudy reduced from three days to two. Not without its detractors.

During his speech in 1977 Douglas Bader (OSE) began by saying: ‘In my day, you had some old warrior from the Matabele War or the Boer War, or some Bishop, or something else. Well, you’ve got me!’. He ended his speech with a direct plea to the boys present: ‘You don’t lie, you don’t cheat, you don’t sneak’. With that, the great man took his seat.

In 1933 Sir Russell Bencraft (OSE) opened the School’s fourth Cricket Pavilion, which still stands today. During his 1937 Gaudy speech Warden Kendall was able to state that in the past decade the School’s acreage had doubled in size and the Sixth Form had grown from 30 to 120 pupils.

In 1943 Warden Kendall congratulated Guy Gibson (OSE) on his V.C. – he had ‘shown leadership, determination and valour of the highest order’.

A 1961 Chronicle pointed out that changes were being put in place to make Gaudy ‘less hectic and certainly more enjoyable’. As well as no more mass PT, there would be fewer Chapel services and more emphasis on smaller, more dedicated displays.

In 1898 and 1907 Gaudy was cancelled due to influenza. In 1902 it was cancelled as it ‘clashed with the Coronation Festivities’. In 1911 it was cancelled due to Mumps. In 2001 it was cancelled due to a case of Meningitis.


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