1867-86 | 1887-1902 | 1903-32 | 1933-1947 | 1948-72 | 1973-2003 | 2004 -

The Sherwood Experience: 
(A Brief History 1867 - 1886)

The Diocesan school comes into existence:

Sherwood was born in July, 1867. It grew out of a need for a good school in a salubrious climate for the education of European boys of modest means. This project was the brain-child of a Dr. Condon, Mr. H.S. Reid and others and under the patronage of the Rt. Rev. Robert Milman, DD, the seventh Metropolitan of India. The idea took shape as the Naini Tal Diocesan School, as Sherwood was once called.

Early Successes :

As was to be expected, there were financial problems, but  the response to appeals to the public for funds was overwhelming and it was not long before a mixed school under Miss Bradbury was started at 'Petersfield'. The success of this early beginning was reflected in the large-scale rejection of applications for admission, and the direct outcome of this pressure on the school was to separate the girls from boys, the later shifting to 'Stoneleigh'  in the vicinity of the Ramsay Hospital.

Honourable Mention in 'The Himalayan Gazetteer':

Here under the wisdom and guidance of its first Principal, the Rev. E. Baston (1869-1880), who gave to the school its identity and philosophy, the school rose to new heights. To  quote that authoritative work, E. Atkinson's 'The Himalayan Gazetteer' of 1882: 'In 1872 the number of pupils increased to 100, but still many applications were refused in consequence of the want of accommodation: The Committee then appealed to the general public for aid in erecting proper school buildings and met with generous response.... In 1873 the Sherwood estate with house and magnificent grounds was purchased by the committee for the boys school and is perhaps the finest site and establishment of its kind in India. The report of the examiners show that both in the internal economy and in the character of the instruction imparted, the Diocesan schools thoroughly fulfill the designs of their founder's.

The Sherwood Sojourn :

And thus did the school acquire the luxurious surroundings of 'Sherwood ' Estate, the property of General Huthwaithe. While one part of the school under Mr. c. Duggan was accommodated at 'Longview', the other was housed at 'Sherwood', now part of the Government house complex.

Never before or since in its history has the school enjoyed so magnificent an estate with its wide open spaces, rolling lawns, huge orchards and a shooting-range (now the Golf Links) offering a range of over 600 yards.

Those were idyllic days when life moved at a leisurely pace. The chief examination was the Calcutta Entrance which consisted of 4 sums, a piece of dictation and some reading. Boys who got the sums right and passed in dictation and spelling were promoted to the next class ! A far cry, indeed, from the grueling demand on the children of today.

At this point of time in 1880 the whole school was accommodated at 'Sherwood' and the establishment consisted of 100 boys, 8 staff, and 2 'pakhal' ponies used to carry up water from lake!

This was the year of the great landslide. Sherwood Estate, situated in the South of Nainital was unaffected, but the following year (1881) a violent cyclone tore off the roofs of the buildings and for some weeks some of the boys were farmed out at the Military camp while the others lived in tents on the school grounds. It is strange how history repeats itself. By a strange co-incidence, a hundred years later, during the Easter weekend of 1981, a similar cyclone brought devastation of a similar kith disastrous consequences on the school budget.

1881 is memorable for another reason : The school colours, Maroon, bottle-green and white, borrowed from the Sherwood Foresters, and 'elite regiment of the British Army',  was registered by a sports committee under Mr. Hancock. 

1867-86 | 1887-1902 | 1903-32 | 1933-1947 | 1948-72 | 1973-2003 | 2004 -

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