Sometime during the night it began to snow thickly, windlessly, silently, the fall persisting with Alpine intensity throughout the three final lessons of the Friday morning.
With joyful whoops, reminiscent of our shared, inevitably romanticised, memories of childhood, the pupils emerged from their various temples of learning, headed back to their Houses for the brief break before the end-of-term assembly in the Alington Hall. Some overseas pupils were experiencing snow for the first time. With no apparent let-up in sight, the snow continued to fall, no breath of wind to shake it from the branches of the Site’s trees, surprised, in the case of the deciduous varieties, at this sudden extra burden, after having so recently shed their leaves for the winter. Within ten minutes a quarter of the School was engaged in a snowball fight on Top Common. Staff looked on, powerless, and one hopes - secretly or openly - unwilling to stop this explosion of pure joy.
And the astonishing thing is that Assembly started on time, at 11:45 am, lessons having finished at 11:10 pm. One recalcitrant snowball flew across the Alington Hall, a harmless Christmas fanfare for the arrival on stage of the Headmaster; but within the space of a few minutes unbridled excitement had given way to respectful attentiveness, a tribute to the essential decency of the Salopian pupil and to the goodwill that binds the community together.
Please click on the main image below to open a gallery of 'winter wonderland' photos taken at the School over four days. With thanks to photographers Athol Hundermark, Paul Manser, Peter Middleton, Richard Hudson, Kate Bronner, Maurice Walters, Clare Wilson, Debbie Pender and John Godwin.