Many inspirational individuals have passed through the school, with some ex-pupils going on to achieve recognition for their significant contributions in different fields. Most notable among them: Paul Dirac who formulated the Dirac equation and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics and Cary Grant (Archie Leach) who is renowned as one of the greatest stars of 20th century film. Our school buildings have been named after these laudable individuals, including Edgar Hall (named after the school’s first Headmaster). Click here to learn more about Mr Wallace Edgar.
Cary Grant (1904-1986)
Archibald Alexander Leach was born on 18th January 1904 at 15 Hughenden Road in Horfield, Bristol. In 1908, age the age of 4, his mother decided to send him to Bishop Road School which was within walking distance. He enjoyed sports at school and it is believed be went on to become a good goalie, as well as having singing and piano lessons. He stayed at Bishop Road until 23rd July 1915 when, at the age of 11, he went to Fairfield School. However, at the age of 14, Archie and another boy were found hiding in the girls’ cloakroom about to play a prank and were expelled, ending the star’s formal education.
Archie joined a group of acrobats and eventually moved to America, becoming involved in the film industry. In 1932 he changed his name to Cary Grant.
Paul Dirac (1902-1984)
Next to the tomb of Sir Isaac Newton in Westminster Abbey is a state plaque in memory of the theoretical physicist Professor Dirac. Paul Dirac was born in Bristol in 1902 (the family lived on Monks Road) and our school attendance register shows that he joined in 1911 and left in 1914, having gained three scholarships.
Dirac studied Electrical Engineering at Bristol University, graduating in 1921, before studying at St Johns College Cambridge. He went on to come up with the famous Dirac Equation that encapsulates the concept that an electron can have two different energy states, one positive and one negative. His idea of anti-matter was confirmed in 1932. The following year, Paul Dirac and Edwin Shrodinger shared the Nobel Prize for Physics.
The Silverthorne Brothers, Reg and Ernest
Reg and Ernest were the oldest ex-pupils that got in contact with the school during the preparations for the school centenary project back in 1996. They were in their nineties when they visited for the big reunion celebrations, and even took the time to open Silverthorne hall in a ‘re-naming’ ceremony.