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A History of Giggleswick School by Bell

Sergeant Major Cansdale gladly seconded the change


Masters and Boys were quick to recognize the sincerity of the man. He was often impetuous but he was always candid. His decisions were firm, but he never shirked an argument. His sermons in Chapel were not steeped in oratory but the directness of his appeal, the persistent summons to the standard of Duty and the obvious depth of his emotion gave them power. Largeness of numbers never appealed to him, and he did not in any way strive to call the attention of the world to the School. He wished for success in Scholarships and in Athletics but he regarded the School as he regarded the individual. Distinction in work or games was no passport to his favour, but he continually looked only for the right use of such capacity as each one possessed. Frequently he would take boys from the lower part of the School and himself give them private tuition. Character was more than intellect. The boys learned to know him as their friend and he would go into their studies in the evening and be gladly welcomed. The unity of the School was much increased, the Hostel had no special privileges and at the close of his Headmastership the six years had witnessed a steady growth in the effectiveness of the School. No one ever forgot that he was Headmaster but at the same time he never failed to encourage others to act for themselves. He had a single-minded desire for the good of the School and he inspired others with it. His contempt for outworn conventions, his sincerity, his generosity of heart, even his
impetuous nature impressed all alike with the feeling that they were dealing with one, who was essentially a man.

A successor to Mr. Vaughan was soon found in Mr. Robert Noel Douglas, who after having had a distinguished Academic and Athletic career at Selwyn College, Cambridge, had been appointed Assistant Master at Uppingham in 1892. There he had acted as a House Master for some years previously to his appointment to Giggleswick.

[Illustration: R. N. DOUGLAS, M.A.]

Soon after the new Headmaster had been appointed, Mr. Philip Bearcroft retired from his work as Bursar. Since 1878 he had been a Master at the School and had acted as Form Master, Dormitory Master and later as Bursar. The older generation of Giggleswick boys look back with peculiar affection to the days when they were in his form--The Transitus--as it was then called. They remember his enthusiasm and his loyalty and his conscientious devotion to the School. Many had hoped that his retirement from active work would prelude some years of life released from anxiety, but death has claimed him with the hope unfulfilled. In May, 1912, he made his last visit to the School and two days later he died.

During the two years since 1910 the progress of the School has been very steady. Almost every term has seen the numbers increase, until they are at the present time just under one hundred-and-fifty. The Officers Training Corps has flourished, an Athletic shop has been opened, and in every respect the development of the School has continued. A great loss however was suffered when Sergeant-Major Cansdale retired in April, 1912, after completing twenty-five years of work. He had originally come to Giggleswick in 1887 as an Instructor in the Gymnasium, but when Mr. Vaughan instituted the practice of Swedish Drill, Sergeant-Major Cansdale gladly seconded the change, and the improvement in the general physique of the School bears tribute to his skill. The year 1912 also marks the four hundredth anniversary of the opening of the First School, which had been built under the guidance of the Founder, James Carr. The importance of the anniversary is being celebrated by the raising of a fund, from which entrance scholarships of good monetary value may be established, and so a sound educational step forward will have been taken, and one true to the best traditions of the School. The four centuries that have passed by have witnessed many changes in the world of education. New ideals have prevailed and have altered the bases of the past. But Giggleswick may look back upon its history with a consciousness that it has seldom failed to do its duty. It shall not fail to-day.

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