Dane Court Grammar gets ready to celebrate 60th anniversary

One of the earliest class photographs from Dane Court Grammar School

To mark the beginning of Dane Court Grammar School’s diamond jubilee celebrations, two former students from 1957 – the year the school opened – and 1958 were invited back to see how the school has changed.

Michael Dodsworth and Eric Davies were given a grand tour by Year 10 student Cameron Dobson and Elizabeth Gibbons.

The visitors told them that the rules back in the 50s were: “Hands clean, writing and drawing equipment kept in good order and not being allowed into town without full and correct uniform.”

Dane Court Grammar School Headteacher Mr Fowler (centre) with Michael Dodsworth (centre left) and Eric Davies (centre right) – both were students at the school during its first few years.

The skill of all the former schoolmasters (many of whom had fought in the Second World War) such as Mr Littlefield, Bill Southby, Eric Croot, and the aptly named ex-commando Mr Wood who taught woodwork, were well respected.

The first headmaster, Mr Drake, was formal in every way, but fair and approachable, whilst a very young Peter Upton introduced newly found fencing skills, the success of which raised the profile of the “new” school.

Changing times

Much has changed since Dane Court’s Technical School days started in 1957, with two forms in each of the six year groups, totalling 360 students.

There are now six forms in each year group and a thriving sixth form. Genders were taught separately with designated buildings for each. To prevent mixing, break times and lunchtimes were staggered, although French lessons were not always as productive as they could have been, owing to the girls changing rooms being in such close proximity to the classroom. Zut alors!

The resounding message from both sets of pupils, old and new, is that they are proud to have attended Dane Court.

Peter Upton with his Dane Court fencing team in 1960


To mark Dane Court’s 60 year anniversary and its legacy, on July 1 at 2pm, there is going to be a fun-filled celebration, on the school site, for pupils and staff, old and new, and the community. There will be bands, sideshows, and food.  Entrance is £2 per head or £5 for a family of 4+. Under 4s go free.

The fun will continue on July 13 with an event solely for former students and teachers. More details of these events can be found here: http://danecourt.kent.sch.uk/sixtieth

Dane Court also has an alumni site for non-facebooks users. On this site you are able to indicate your interest in attending the 60th Birthday Celebration. You can also use the forums to find old friends! http://alumni.dcnet.co.uk