Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Surbiton County Grammar School

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Established  1920s
Type  Grammar school
Houses  Day Houses: 4
Closed  1965
Ages  11–18
Ceased operations  1965
Location  Surbiton and subsequently Esher Surrey/London England, UK

Surbiton County Grammar was a school in Surbiton on the borders of London and Surrey, that having been established in the 1920s, went through a number of changes, moving location and changing name. The school was attended by boys from the whole of north Surrey. It boasted a number of notable alumni.



Until 1965 the school was on Surbiton Hill Road in Surbiton. The three main buildings were large Victorian mansions called Braemar (where pupils began their school lives), Aysgarth and Albury (School) houses together with their grounds and outbuildings. A stables block once housed a sixth form classroom. In the early sixties Aysgarth and Braemar were demolished and replaced by purpose-built units. It was known for its rugby, chess and bridge teams.

Thames Ditton

Although the new Headmaster, Mr. Waller, started in September 1965 the school did not move to new premises in Weston Green Road Thames Ditton until the spring of 1966. Boys in all forms throughout the school assisted with the move packing crates at the Surbiton site and unpacking crates at Thames Ditton, which took about a week. The form registers had to be "adjusted" to show attendance as if school had been running normally.

The school had always admitted boys from other local schools, which did not have their own sixth forms, into its sixth form and the long-term plan to evolve the school into a sixth form college involved a year at a time expanding the sixth form whilst not taking in new boys at age 11. The first major change was in September 1971 when the school also started admitting girls into the lower sixth. From September 1972 the external sixth form intake was increased over previous years whilst there was no new entry at the bottom of the school. At, or after, September 1972 the school was renamed Esher County Grammar as an interim measure. Being fully sixth form the school was titled Esher College from September 1977.

The old site on Surbiton Hill is now used by Hollyfield School.

Day Houses

All boys were members of one of four day houses which were named after dignitaries in some way associated with Surbiton.:


  • AGF Willis - 16th Sep 1925 to Dec 1952
  • A.J. Doig - Jan 1953 to Jul 1964
  • Eric Waller - Sep 1965 to early 1980s
  • Alumni

    Alumni of the school are referred to as Old Surbitonians. They include:

  • Tony Arbour, Conservative member of the GLA for South West and transport spokesman, and Leader of Richmond Council from 2002-6
  • Michael Basman, chess player
  • Felix Dennis, publisher
  • Rt Rev Anthony Charles Dumper, Bishop of Dudley from 1977–93
  • Philip Head, Chief Executive from 1991-3 of the Welsh Development Agency
  • Prof Brian Juden, professor of French 1970–1985 at Royal Holloway, University of London
  • David Lock, politician (Esher County Grammar)
  • Maj-Gen Rowley Mans CBE
  • Kenneth Miller, Chief Executive from 1989-2000 of Hunting plc, and Chairman since 2000 of Colt Group
  • Martin Parr, photographer
  • Graham Pirnie, Ambassador to Paraguay from 1995-8
  • Prof Peter Pulzer, Gladstone Professor of Government and Public Administration from 1985-96 to University of Oxford
  • Rear Adm Hugh Rickard CBE, Chief Executive from 2004-6 of the Royal Anniversary Trust
  • Andrew Stunell, Lib Dem MP since 1997 for Hazel Grove
  • Ed Whitlock, marathon runner, age group record holder
  • David Wright OBE, Ambassador to Qatar from 1997-2002
  • Derek Yalden, Zoologist
  • Old Surbitonians RFC - Cobham Rugby Football Club

    The club was formed in 1930 as Old Surbitonians RFC by the first group of school leavers from Surbiton County Grammar School for Boys. In 1949, as a memorial to those Old Boys who perished in the Second World War, the grounds at Fairmile Lane, Cobham, were purchased. After the school moved from its original site in Surbiton to Esher as a boys' grammar school, The Braemar Club was created to honour the old school building. The change of name of the school to Esher County Grammar School and more prominently the evolution of the old school into a mixed sixth form college had a significant and detrimental impact on the flow of young players into the Club, which was one of the driving forces behind the club being one of the first in the country to set up a Mini Rugby section, in the Golden Jubilee year of 1980. Mini Rugby spawned a sizeable and flourishing Youth section, which has produced national Champions at various levels. The club was placed in the new 1st division of the new Surrey Leagues when the RFU introduced League Rugby in 1987. Prior to this, the club had enjoyed much success, including a famous unbeaten season of 1963-64, and a Surrey Cup Final appearance in 1976. The club changed its name in 1989 to Cobham Rugby Football Club, to both identify more closely with the immediate surrounding area, and to signify the change to an open membership club. Recent years have seen the clubs' steady progress through the leagues, with four promotions in six seasons in the Leagues since 1987, and success elsewhere in winning the Surrey Shield in 1999. The 1sts now play in London South Division 2 following successive promotions under the stewardship of Head Coach, Billy Davison. Despite its name change, it still recognises its heritage and association with the old school.


    Surbiton County Grammar School Wikipedia

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