History

The background of the current former pupils' association is well documented and makes interesting reading. The following is from the book “The King’s School, Tynemouth - A HISTORY” BY JOHN H TAYLOR.
 
“One important aspect of a School Magazine, said Ellison in the first issue in 1934, was that it “should be a strong force in uniting the Old Boys among themselves and to the school”. The Old Boys’ Association had of course existed before this time but it is not until the regular Old Boys’ Section appears in the School magazine that we can piece together something of their activities. Interest seems to have waned somewhat in Wilkinson’s day but the mid-thirties see a revival of enthusiasm.
 
Monthly meetings were resumed in October 1934, followed by an Annual dinner in November and a Dance arranged for the subsequent February. Sporting activities played a major part in the life of the Association. The Old Boys’ Cricket Club had come into existence in the early thirties and by 1936, with a membership of 187 it appeared to be flourishing. Subscriptions at this time were 5/- for a playing member and 2/6 for supporters. Ellison showed a great interest in the Old Boys’ Cricket Club (as did other enthusiasts on the staff, like Messrs. Bates and Darke) and played whenever he was asked. The Golf Tournament at Alnmouth became a popular annual event.
 
A film of the Golf outing in 1936 was taken by Dorman Byers and screened at the Annual Dinner in November 1936 - “this caused great amusement, many rude remarks, and a great deal of back-chat, on account of the curious antics displayed on the screen”. E V Laidlow won the Golf Cup that year and in the subsequent two years.
 
Social events like the Annual Dance attracted much support - 160 Old Boys and guests attended the one held in the Rex Hotel in January 1938 - but the following year, it was noted, attendance seemed to be showing signs of falling off: “Is it accounted for by the fact that February is too busy a month with other Dances”, lamented the School Magazine, “or do the majority become tired of dancing towards the end of the Season?”
 
Things were certainly taken seriously in the pre-war years. Old Boys’ blazers with badges, we are informed, could be purchased from Isaac Walton’s of Newcastle for 39/6 and ties for a mere 2/6. Cricket Club caps and sweaters were also available from the same retailer.
 
The war intervened, and it was not until 1947 that the round of social activities resumed. On the Saturday before Remembrance Day in 1947, Lazenby Pearson unveiled the War Memorial tablet on behalf of the Old Boy’s Association, which was then dedicated by the Bishop of Newcastle. Following an appeal by Ellison at the AGM, the Cricket Club came back to life and acquired a tenancy of Smith’s Park, its first real home base, in 1949. Membership to the Old Boys’ Association continued to grow in the post-war years, topping 400 in 1952, but despite the rise in numbers, attendance at social and sporting functions (with the exception of the Cricket Club), it was noted, was beginning to tail off in the later fifties.
 
The first years after the Woodard takeover seemed to herald what looked like terminal decline for the Old Boys’ Association. 1974 saw an unsuccessful attempt at revival, but it was not until 1987 that the Association resumed its active and flourishing links with The King’s School and it now seems to be going from strength to strength.”
 
At the 7th AGM in 1994, the “Old Boys’ Association” was renamed the “Former Pupils’ Association” because of the increasing number of female ‘Old Boys’. Interestingly, when a vote was taken to change the name, the girls overwhelmingly indicated that they wished the Association to continue under its current name. However the Committee decided that it should move with the times and keep politically correct by recognising the presence of females within the Association with a change in name. In the absence of a more imaginative title, the name “The King's School Former Pupils' Association” was adopted. At that time, with a newly invigorated Committee and dynamic Chairman, there was much enthusiasm for the Association, both from the former pupils themselves and from the School. Over the years a programme of events developed including an Annual Reunion Dinner, various sporting fixtures against the School and Staff, and, until recently, an annual Dinner Dance. As the years passed however, pressure of work and other commitments led to a decline in those able and willing to stand on the Committee which made it harder to both organise the events successfully and maintain the Association’s records. By the late 1990s the School became increasingly involved with the running of the Association under the guidance of a handful of dedicated Committee members and by 1999 it was felt appropriate that the School take a more active role in its administration.
 
With the turn of the new Millennium an Alumni Development Officer was appointed and an Alumni Development Office established within the School. In 2008, the title of the Association was once again changed to “King’s Tynemouth Alumni” to reflect the two names by which the School has been known since its formation.
 
The past 153 years have been ones of constant change for the school.  From its inception as White’s Academy (1860 to 1869), then Tynemouth House Academy (1869 to 1886), St Oswald’s College (1886 to 1895), Tynemouth School (1895 to 1961), King’s School (1961 to 2013),  the introduction of co-education in 1993,  and now we have entered the next phase of the school’s life - Kings Priory School (2013 going forward).