TWO reports in last Friday’sExaminer. The death of Sir Edmund Hillary and the anniversary of the opening of Colne Valley High School may seem to have little in common, but in fact hold a special relationship.

When, in 1956, Colne Valley High opened under the headship of Mr Ernest Butcher, a ‘house’ system was put in place.

These six ‘houses’ were recognised by a coloured stripe on the blue school tie or coloured sash on girls’ tunics.

The ‘houses’ – named after people of achievement who personally or through relatives gave permission for their names to be used – were:

1 Sir Frank Whittle, orange stripe.

2 Dame Edith Evans, yellow stripe.

3 Robert Falcon Scott, silver stripe.

4 Albert Schweitzer, turquoise stripe.

5 Sir Roger Bannister, red stripe.

6 Sir Edmund Hillary, maroon stripe.

I myself was a member of Hillary House, which was led with authority by the housemaster, Mr Albert Marsland.

Friendly rivalry in academic and sporting activities led to a healthy competitive spirit in the school as to which house was the best during each term.

Merit marks were awarded by teachers for good work and penalty marks awarded for poor work. Woe betide anyone having to present a ‘penalty’ mark to Mr Marsland!

anthony dollive