New views

Gemma Klein Photography

By Keith Budge, Headmaster, Bedales Schools

Saturday morning and I am sitting on a hard bench in the Lupton Hall listening to the music that precedes our Open Day panel.  I am looking up over the stage out of the Oriel window behind the stage at Scots pine branches that are swaying within this stark round frame.  This is the first time I have sat, listened and looked within the newly reborn Lupton Hall.  With the old curtains stripped away and the original stark beauty of the Lupton Hall now evident, its original conception is clear – and it’s stunning.

The New Hall, as it was originally called, is an integral part of Bedales’ founding, being a product of the friendship and early professional partnership of three of the master-craftsmen of the late Arts and Crafts movement, Geoffrey Lupton, Ernest Gimson and Sidney Barnsley.  In 1911 Lupton asked Gimson to draw up plans for new buildings at Bedales – a hall, library, gym and labs around a large open quadrangle.  The New Hall became the Lupton Hall because Lupton supervised the building  and did most of the work himself; it is also thought that he paid for it himself.   The majesty of our Memorial Library, Gimson’s design but built by Lupton and the Barnsleys (Sidney and his son Edward), has overshadowed the Lupton Hall, but the refurbishment of the latter will, I suspect, re-balance matters.

Our architect, Richard Griffiths, has re-captured the original uncompromising conception of the building: the old curtain and the sloping stage have gone, re-capturing the original volume of the room and enabling the stage to be used for music ensemble practices and for concerts across all three schools.  The view I now enjoy over the stage and out that Oriel window hasn’t been enjoyed for a good 90 years because of the curtain.

Reflecting on this I remember another new view: in April 2006, hard hat on, climbing up amongst the scaffolding to the top floor of the Orchard Building site,  I looked across to the Library and could see the Library’s shape from above and the clerestory windows that you wouldn’t know existed without that perspective. Only birds and passing balloonists had seen that before.

It feels just as good to see a wonderful old building restored as it did to see a new one, like the Orchard Building, opened.

Hats off to Daniel Day-Lewis

Hats off to Daniel Day-Lewis whose smile and firm grip on his (record)  third Best Actor Oscar dominate the front page of this week’s Petersfield  Post. The current photo is offset by the softer faced youth of 1974 playing Feste in the Lupton Hall. The article recounts Daniel’s suitably distinctive arrival at Bedales, walking here from Kent where he was at school previously, arriving on Tim Slack’s doorstep and telling him that he wanted to join his sister, Tamasin, at Bedales. Daniel went on to thrive here, having a suitably varied and stimulating career, with success on the football field, with his bike and in Design. Warm congratulations to him on his amazing success from all of us here. Read article.

By Keith Budge, Headmaster, Bedales Schools

Dan Day-Lewis

© Charles White

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Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

Cymbelines and cinema

The weekend is dominated by several Cymbelines and plenty of Cinema: English teacher Diana Walsgrove’s production at Havant is seen by a number of students on Friday and Saturday, some of whom are at the Shakespeare Society’s reading of the play at my house on Sunday. Sunday evening and anyone who’s anyone is in the Lupton Hall at the Bedales Film Festival 2012 where at least 15 films are watched by an appreciative audience and panel of judges including me. Some have been carefully put together over months; some, more Blair Witch Project than high budget, have resulted from the determined and frantic efforts of a wet Sunday afternoon. The range is therefore wide but the standard is impressive and shows a significant tick up from last year. Toby G’s remarkable account of the time he and his two OB brothers spent in the wilds of the Yukon is the  winner. Tarquin R’s sensitive account of an old man’s fading musical powers and the spoof silent melodrama involving Celeste M, Georgie D and Rufus R are also deservedly in the top 3. Entirely student-led, colourfully and cleverly masterminded by Fred A and, now in its 3rd year, the Film Festival is one of many beacons to student initiative and creativity.

By Keith Budge, Headmaster, Bedales Schools


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.