Friday, April 9, 2010

The Craig School in Windermere

Not much time to write today, but here’s another find: Images of a place that up until today I couldn't have been sure existed. Information from Windlesham House told me that "The Craig" in Windermere, Westmorland, Cumbria, opened its doors in 1899. For some reason, though, I'd been unable to connect with anything else about it.

That is until this morning, when I discovered:

The Craig School was founded in 1899 by William Snow in a house which had been built in 1833. The school carried on as normal during the war, with the upper and lower playing fields and the main building in use. There were between 40 and 60 boarders at a time. The School closed in 1966 and a housing estate now stands on the site.

George Mills would have taught there between 1926 and 1933, likely after his stint at Warren Hill School in Eastbourne, according to his dedication to Meredith and Co. in 1933.

I also happened upon this letter to the Cumberland & Westmorland Herald by Penelope Grierson (nee Hewetson) written on 29 January 2005:

"Sir, Many of your readers will remember a boys’ prep school in Windermere, called The Craig, which started in 1899 and closed in 1966. The two headmasters were William Snow (1899-1936) and his son-in-law, Edward Hewetson (1936-1966).

It was located in Lake Road between the police station and Beresford Road. The boys went on to public schools (St. Bees, Sedbergh, Rossall, Shrewsbury and St. Edward’s, Oxford, amongst others), some of them winning scholarships.

Cricket and football were keenly taught and played, and the boys had regular expeditions to the hills, especially climbing Helvellyn each summer to see the sunrise.

Geoffrey Fallows (1950-1955) is writing a book giving the story of The Craig and invites all old boys with memories of their time at the school to get in touch with him."

I hope their reunion went exceptionally well and was very rewarding…

And, as always, if you have any information about George Mills and the time he spent working under Headmaster William Snow at The Craig—or anywhere else—please let me know!


  1. My name is Edward V. Gorog, and attended the Craig School in Windermere. 1959-1962 ( From a fading memory I think these dates might be correct or thereabouts?) I am trying to track down if anyone has kept any old school photographs during that period.

    1. Dear Edward, I've just come across this website about the Craig. My brother Jonathan [Sparey] was there with you, and I remember him mentioning you.

  2. Hi Eddie, I remember you at The Craig. I think I was there from 1961 to 1964. Unfortunately I have no photos. I have lived on the other side of the Atlantic since 1980, but am planning a vacation in the UK for my first visit in 20 years in 2020 and will likely visit Windermere. Jonathan Monck-Mason

  3. My name is James Kofi and I was at the Craig till 1963. I remember our walks up Helvellyn to see the sunrise in the summer term and trips to Scafell , Harrison Stickle and Great Gable. Mr Cockshott our Geography master got me into aircraft modelling, Mrs Jones left me with a love of Latin and Chris Hewetson the Head's son nearly caused me to become a historian. I still remember his classes on the Duke of Wellington and the campaigns at Blenheim Ramillies, Oudenarde and Malplaquet. That's teaching!!!.

    Totally lost touch with everyone there. But I'm distinctive because I was the only African child ever there as I recall. I'm a broadcast journalist with past credits on Radio 5 and the BBC world service . Those were amazing days. Where are: Tim Bleasedale, Robert and George Russell, Roderick and Nick Rhodes , Peter Holloway,Squires, and George Brown ? Please let me know .

    1. Hi Kofi, this is Nicola, the Hewetsons' grandaughter. I attended the school briefly in 1963 and remember you well. I too loved Latin as taught by Mrs Jones, such a kindly teacher. My uncle Chris will be delighted to read your piece, I have forwarded this page to him. He and his wife Alison live in Devon, Chris is approaching his 84th birthday and is in good form, though has lost some mobility following 2 strokes. Chris went into the church and ended his career as Archdeacon of Chester. They have a large family and have just been blessed with a great-great-grandson. Chris organised the Craig reunion in a hotel in Windermere. Of our contemporaries, Archie Russell and Roderick Rhodes were there, what a pity you weren't! Do get in touch, my email is

    2. Hi, my name is Arthur Russell and was at The Craig around the same time as you (older brother of George). I have to rush out the door now for a meeting but you can email me at All the best, Arthur.

  4. Well well well, James Kofi after all these years! I have thought so often about you and wondered where you were and what you were doing!

    ‘Kofi, Holloway and Brown D - find them and bring them immediately to my study’ - ring a bell? Whenever there was any trouble at school - a broken pane of glass, somebody’s missing exercise book, a mess in the changing rooms or maybe the disappearance of that infamous trio into their hidden den deep in the surrounding woods, a search and capture order was rapidly issued by Mr Hewetson!

    Not sure who I am? Please read on….

    There were many happy sun filled days of cricket on the top field and tennis, of winter days of football and sledging down the slope from the top field towards the beck at the bottom.

    Memories, memories, memories, so many fond memories. Here are some people I remember - Dixon from our dormitory, Morris, a day boy who lived just by the rear school entrance, Potter whose family ran the motor boats on the lake, Whitaker (‘wicket taker’) a blonde lad who was a good spin bowler, McKay, Roderick, Archie and Robert Russell (I once spent a weekend at their house near Preston), Simon Turner from Troutbeck whose father I think was the vicar in that beautiful village, Proctor who according to the landlord of a local pub was still living in Chipping near Preston several years ago. Mr Scriven ‘Scroggs’, Mr Cockshott - I also took up aeromodelling at around the same time. Matron Lyons to whom a whole chapter could easily be dedicated!‘Millie’ our french teacher, and of course Mr & Mrs Hewetson senior & junior. Both Mrs Hewetsons always seemed like mother figures to us all, ensuring that we were all bathed and scrubbed clean in that bathroom with the 3 tubs and reading us stories such as ‘The 39 Steps!’

    ‘Resistor pots’, ‘hard chedds’ (only a handful of us would understand!), Sunday exeats following the walk to the local church to sing in the choir, midnight feasts, Albert ‘Albish’ the janitor, the school tennis final in which I was beaten by Bennet. Huddled together on that national day of mourning watching the funeral of Winston Churchill on the black & white TV in the block behind the tennis court.

    I returned to the Craig estate several years ago with my elderly parents and was excited at last to be able to stand on ‘The Mound’ where the flagpole once stood - hallowed ground completely out of bounds to us schoolboys except for during the tactical military style game we sometimes played, wearing woollen armbands to be snatched off by the enemy, attacking and defending the flagpole.

    You’ve surely guessed by now who I am - which one of that infamous trio!!

    I just happened to google ‘the Craig school Windermere’ on my phone a couple of days ago which I have done several times over the past years and was amazed to see your name and text appear! It would be incredible to meet up sometime. Where are you living? With very very best wishes

    1. P H , I must know you? thought it might be R S or P R. 👌

    2. I was at the CRaig 1955-60 -it must have changed after this date as there were no outings during this time except for one to Stickler Tarn .There was also quite a lot of corporal punishment by one or two teachers

  5. Great to recall names!..have kept some photos! Michael Wright c.1959 > RMA Wright @

    1. Hello, I've been doing a family tree and have discovered I'm related to William Snow and his descendants (third cousin to his grandchildren) - would anyone have a picture of him? Or Mr Hewston? Was there a school year book published?