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Monday 5 May 2014

Fact 17. Hymers College nearly didn't get built due to a technicality.

John Hymers was born on Ormesby in North Yorkshire in 1803. He went to local school and then Sedburgh and then Cambridge University where he came out a mathematicians. After graduating he became a very conscientious tutor and also wrote mathematics text books. He became a deacon in 1833 and was elected to the Royal Society 1838. In 1852 he was introduced to the Rectory of Brandsburton in East Yorkshire. He remained unmarried and was the rector of Brandsburton for 35 years until his death. 

John Hymers 1803 - 1877

When he died he left a bequest in his will to the Mayor and Corporation "for the training of intelligence in whatever social rank of life it may be found among the vast and varied population of the Town." Unfortunately some part of the will had a fault in the wording so the bequest became invalid. Luckily his brother decided that he would try to honour his brothers wishes and raised £50,000 to establish a school.

The school was built on the site of the Botanic Gardens that had moved there in 1877 from their site in Linnaeus Street where it had been founded long before any public park in Hull. The gardens finally closed in 1889. The winning bid to construct the school was won by local builders Houlton's and was their first big contract. There bid was for £11500 which was £3 and £4 above the second and third placed bids. The school was supposed to have been finished for January 1891 but two severe winters caused massive delays along with strikes by stone masons and bricklayers. An extension was granted and the the school building eventually opened in 1893 as a school for boys.

Original Hymers School.

The first Head Master was Mr. Charles Gore and from the beginning there were bursaries and scholarships for those that couldn't afford the fees. In 1946 the school became a direct grant school and many pupils were paid for by the Government. In 1971 the direct grant system ended and the governors decided not to become a comprehensive school but went down the route of becoming an independent school, as it is today. At this time the Government paid for 25 pupils. This fund was scrapped in 1997 and the school again has bursaries and scholarships available.

Hymers College
The original school is extended.

Hymers School between the Wars.

Girls were admitted in 1970's and 1980's and the College became fully coeducational in 1988. In 1990's the school had 1600 pupils.

The school has had many additions to the buildings. The most recent being a new theatre.

The school has the best results in the Hull area and has a very good reputation for rugby and music. It also has a Masonic Lodge.

Some of the famous people educated at the school was John Fancy who was one of the first pilots to be captured in WWII. He was captured in May 1940. He escaped sixteen time and dug eight tunnels. He got as far as being in a boat off the Baltic coast before recapture once. He finally arrived back in the UK in April 1945 after a flight that should have taken four hours!

Other known people from Hymers College are three rugby players, Tom Biggs, Tom Whittaker and Rob Vickerman, Simon Hoggart a well known journalist who has just recently died, Damian Johnson sports broadcaster and professional swimmers, tennis players, footballers actors and other writers/journalists.

My Dad went to Hymers but didn't distinguish himself as he failed his school certificate as he only managed 2% in his French examination!

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