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News > Heritage > Remembering popular Housemaster

Remembering popular Housemaster

Clive Gimson SCR 1948 - 1963
23 May 2024
Steeplechase 1951
Steeplechase 1951

Clive Gimson joined the Senior Common Room at Bradfield along with Philip Stibbe at the start of the Michaelmas Term 1948. He quickly became a popular member of the staff helping with boxing at Bradfield. Boxing at that time had 2 divisions – Over 16 Senior and Under 16 Junior competitions. Mr Gimson was the Timekeeper for the Boxing Competitions when they took place in November/December 1949 and continued to help with coaching and the organisation of boxing during his whole time at Bradfield.

In January 1950 the Bradfield Chronicle also records his involvement in the Debating Society and the Committee of the Astronomical Society. In May 1951, Messrs Gimson and Ricketts represented the SCR in the Steeplechase and were possibly the first members of staff to do so. It is thought Clive appears in the photograph above.

In July 1954 for the first time in the history of the House, The Close put on a play in their House room which Mr Gimson produced called “Quiet Week-end” which was a great success.

In September 1955 he left Bradfield for a year to teach in Melbourne, Australia on an exchange, returning in late 1956 as a married man to begin teaching again.

In 1957 it was decided by the Games Committee that the nature of the boxing competition should be altered. It should no longer be a House Competition and that there should be no cup, whereby boys no longer felt compelled to join in against their inclination. At the time Mr Gimson said “For boxing almost alone among modern sports requires not only a higher standard of fitness than most (sports), but also enables one to actually learn courage, which so few of us are born with and so many of us need."

He noted in 1959 there had probably not been a better boxer at the school since 1948 than Lewis (Lew) Cowan (E 54-59). He was unbeatable and his “example in the ring and energy in training have been responsible for a very enjoyable and successful season.” Cowan was clearly one of the star sportsmen at this time in the boxing ring and also on the cross-country course.

Clive became Housemaster of D House in January 1958 when Christopher Burton Brown stepped down from the House, continuing in this role until he left Bradfield in 1963. John Hauxwell (G 54-59) remembers “Mr Gimson was an inspirational House Master”. When Mr Gimson left the College, the Headmaster said of him: “There is no side of Bradfield life in which, in the sixteen years he has been here, he has not decisively set his mark. In the Gym, in the CCF, in a host of Societies and Discussion Groups and above all in his House, his influence has been lastingly telling. He ought not to be sorry that he is now to be the Headmaster of another school and the boys at Sebright School have every reason to be glad. His secret (as the boys in his House well know) is a simple one. He gives all of himself all the time to his work. And no man can do this without the support of an equally unsparing wife.”

Clive and his wife Fiona had 3 sons who did not attend Bradfield – Andrew, Simon and David. He died in December 1982 and Fiona in January 2020.

The first 1952 Society Meeting led by Mr Gimson and Mr Stibbe below.

Boxing at Bradfield finished when Mr Gimson left the College with the last team photographed in 1963/4 below.

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