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Shrewsbury School is a co-educational independent school for pupils aged 13 to 18, founded by Royal Charter in 1552. The present campus to which the school moved in 1882 is located on the banks of the River Severn in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. It is one of the original nine "Clarendon Schools" or public schools defined by the Public Schools Act 1868. Originally a boarding school for boys, girls have been admitted into the Sixth Form since 2008 and its mixed gender roll of around 720 includes approximately 130 day pupils. From 2014 Shrewsbury School will become fully co-educational. Pupils are admitted at the age of 13 by selective examination. For approximately ten per cent of the pupils, English is a second or additional language.

Links To Peel

Shrewsbury School

Shrewsbury School

Peel attended the school as a boarder between 1952 and 1956. Amongst his teachers were Alfred Laurence Le Quesne and housemaster, Richard Hubert John Brooke, whom he later described as "the greatest man I ever knew." [1]

Brooke was wise enough to see that John Ravenscroft, to give him his proper name, was enthused only by one subject - pop music - and he left him to play his records, keep his charts and read his pop magazines to his heart's content - though not always to the pleasure of those in neighbouring studies. Peel remained in touch with Shrewsbury and declared his intention of dedicating his autobiography to the memory of Brooke.

School Report

Peel's school report at Shrewsbury School

However, there was a dark side to the school (as with many all-boys' boarding schools at the time and for decades afterwards). In his autobiography, Peel speaks of "systematic sexual abuse" [2] at Shrewsbury School, which he attended from the age of 13, and wrote of the sexual demands made on new boys from "study monitors", who were four or five years older. In the same book, Peel mentions being raped by an older student in a cemetery on the outskirts of Shrewsbury. [3]

Shrewsbury produced a number of people prominent within the emergent pop culture of Peel's early career, including Simon Dee (one of the first DJs on offshore radio - Radio Caroline - in the UK and, as host of a short-lived BBC chat show, the first British TV/pop celebrity with a background in pirate radio, although his career soon faded) and Michael Palin, then a member of the Monty Python team (who joined the school shortly before Peel left, and respected him as one of the few senior boys who treated new boys as equals). It also educated four major figures in the development of Private Eye. Mark Sinker, an influential writer at the NME during the 1980s and The Wire in the 1990s (publications often read by Peel's listeners, especially in the former case), went to the school, as did Tim Booth, singer of the band James.

Mentioned On Shows

  • 24 May 1979: Peel commented that he was "staggered" but pleased to receive what he believed to be his first ever letter from pupils of his old school. A few days later he claimed that for the first time since leaving his alma mater he'd met one of his contemporaries - a chap called Jonathan who works for the BBC in Bristol. [4]
  • 15 October 1979: Peel mentions having attended a school reunion over the weekend just gone.
  • 06 June 1989 (Radio Bremen): Peel talks about his school days in Shrewsbury School, where he bought a couple of records in Shrewsbury town, including an Earl Bostic record to impress people in the High Society, which was a Jazz club at the school. After playing it to them, Peel mentioned that they hated it.

External Links

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