The History of Bangor Grammar School
The First 150 Years….
Our school has had a long and illustrious history – a history that continues to be written every day by the generations of young men that pass through its halls and corridors.
One of our Grammarians, and a past Chairman, Trevor Gray, is the author of an extensive history of Bangor Grammar School, covering the period from 1856 to 2006, has kindly consented to its serialisation on this new Bangor Grammarians website.
A former pupil of Connor House and Bangor Grammar School (1955-67) and a retired history teacher by profession (albeit at Cambridge House Grammar School, Ballymena!), Trevor was inspired to write the history because of his own long-standing connections with the School. His father, the late John McKenzie Gray, had attended the School (1924-27) and the family home on Clifton Road overlooked the legendary ‘back field.’
Trevor’s research work, which involved reading his way through many years of the County Down Spectator and other relevant newspapers at the Belfast Newspaper Library (off Royal Avenue), commenced in the mid-1980s. Initially he covered the first 50 years of the School’s history, breaking off when he started on his Master’s Degree.
It was only when he retired in 2001 that Trevor returned to the BGS project. Expanding his history of the School to its entire 150-year lifespan, Trevor had completed it in time for the sesquicentennial in 2006. In total, he reckons, it took him around five years to complete, with other key sources including Gryphon magazines and Old Boys’ Association minutes (he was serving as secretary at the time). In addition, Trevor penned numerous letters to assorted government departments and other agencies.
While it would be impossible to list in this brief introduction the many people who provided support and assistance, Trevor was especially grateful to former Headmaster Stephen Connolly, School Archivist Barry Greenaway, who unearthed many gems and offered advice on matters of fact and of style, along with many past members of staff and former pupils, along with numerous institutes of learning.
Our aim is to publish Trevor’s record chapter by chapter over the coming months. Please feel free to download and share it – and do please also share some of your own memories of the School by way of our contact form, the comments area on our website stories and of course our new Facebook page.