On this day, exactly 50 years ago, a fire broke out at the North End of the Brooke Wing of Founders House. It occurred at about 3pm, and the fire brigade responded commendably. When the clock tower struck the half hour, the fire was under control, the tension released, and all present broke into a spontaneous burst of applause. Considerable damage was done, but fortunately no one was hurt. Today, half-a-century later, the cause of the fire remains a mystery. The March 1969 Diocesan College Magazine reports a rumour that the Junior House Committee were being over-zealous in the exercise of their fagging rights, but the rumour was soon disproved. John Gardener (1947G) is as elusive in his Bishops 150. The only clue to the cause stating that 'electrical works were re-examined and the fire regulation and escapes looked to throughout the school'. The Founders Housemaster at the time, Brian de Kock (1952O), was absent due to a bad bout of jaundice. If his stand-in, Michael Fisher (Bishops staff 1958-1995), knew the cause, then he has taken the secret with him to the grave. Despite the chaos caused by the infamous fire, the Founders House pupils pulled together and won the Relay and Athletic Sports, as well as the swimming and the senior tennis cup - a truly remarkable feat! If any ODs feel the need to add further comment, please feel free to contact the OD Office. 50 Years is a long time. All is surely forgiven?
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