The Downian Society

Welcome | News | Membership | Archives | School visits | Contact


The Downian Society is the old pupils society for The Downs Malvern and of the three schools which eventually merged to create it:

Honorary membership is also offered to members of the teaching staff when they leave.

The enduring strength and popularity of the Society is unusual among preparatory schools and testifies to the very special qualities of the school and its ethos.

The Downs Malvern is now well established and has strong links with Malvern College. The current Headmaster, staff, pupils, Governors and parents are keen to build on the history that the three founding schools and their communities have established, whilst continuing to innovate and improve. The Downian Society has a recognised part to play in maintaining these historical links.


Downian Day 2021: Postponed

Downian Day and the Friends of the Downs celebrations can, unfortunately, no longer go ahead on 26 June 2021 as announced below. This is of course because of yesterday's extension of pandemic restrictions. Our apologies go to those who have made travel arrangements.

We are instead hoping that an alternative date in early September can be arranged, so the event is at present postponed rather than cancelled. We will of course keep you up to date with developments. — 15 June 2021

Downian Day is back, COVID restrictions permitting. This year's will be on Saturday 26 June 2021. Please come along, partners and family are welcome too.


12:00 - 13:30 Cricket match: The Downs 1st XI vs Downians/parents/staff
13:30 - 14:00 Lunch
14:00 - 15:30 Cricket cont’d
16:00 - 16:45 Downian Society AGM in the Old Library
17:00 - 20:00 Summer Celebration on Brock Meadow

The DLR will be running throughout the day and the Summer Celebration.

Cricket: You are invited to join a mixed team of Downians/parents/staff in a friendly game against the current 1st XI. All ages, standards and abilities welcome. Please email by 12 June if you wish to play.

Lunch: Lunch will be served on Main Games. Please email by 21 June if you wish to have lunch provided. Alternatively you are welcome to bring a picnic if you prefer.

Summer Celebration: This is a family-friendly event organised by the Friends of The Downs. See flier below for details.

Summer Celebration flier

— 21 May 2021

Dermot Hope-Simpson

It is with great sadness that we receive the news that Dermot Hope-Simpson is no longer with us. He was a pupil at the Downs before becoming a teacher here. When his father brought him to look at the school as a seven year old, he experienced a sense of coming home. The Downs would remain always in his heart. His retirement still saw his wisdom and compassion brought to the Downian Society meetings and Committee. Active to the end, after a short illness he has recently passed away at the age of 91.

If you have any memories of him that you are willing to share, the Hon. Sec. would be very pleased to receive them. — 3 Sept 2020

Downian Day 2020 and AGM postponed

It can come as little surprise that this year's meet-up has had to be postponed. We had had hopes that the virus would ease back in time but this is clearly not happening fast enough. We remain hopeful that it will let up in time for the Autumn term, but setting a firm date would be premature. — 20 June 2020

Anne Cadbury

It is with much sadnes that we report the death of Anne Cadbury. She was a great benefactor of The Downs throughout much of the mid-twentieth century. She died on 1 January this year at the age of 95. A memorial service will be held in Tewkesbury Abbey on 4 April, at 2:00 pm. More about the arrangements and other news about her is provided in this note.

If any of you is also an Old Bryanstonian and remembers anything of her patronage there, I would be grateful if you could get in touch, as that school has no formal record of her.

Committee meeting

The committee apologises for the very short notice and late agenda for its end-of-year meeting. Our Hon. Sec. is overloaded and is hoping that someone else might be able to step in. There has similarly been no newsletter this year.

Downian Day 2020 is set for Saturday 20 June. We are hoping to set up a parents vs. Old Downians cricket match once more. Please do get in touch if you are interested!

Copies of the reprinted memorial booklet Harvest of Two Wars are also now available from the school office.

The Society's finances remain sound. Even our Facebook page is getting more attention than it has for a long time.

Our archives are currently housed in a lock-up in a damp shed, in which the dehumidifier struggles to keep pace while we wait for the opportune moment to contribute to its planned new home. Some emergency maintenance is looking likely.

The school and the railway are both thriving, with the new railway facilities, in which we hope to find a corner for our archive, progressing slowly but steadily. However deputy head Andrew McKay will be retiring soon. He will be a hard act to beat, so headmaster "Sam" Cook and his governors are sharpening up their angling skills.

It was with much sadness that the committee received news of the death of Anne Cadbury. The committee and the school agreed to collaborate on a memorial presence in the Memo Hall.

The next committee meeting will be on 14 November 2020.

Downian Day 2019: report

Downian Day was a great success.

The AGM saw more than a dozen attendees. Things are going well with school, railway and the society. We have two new Committee members, bringing the number back up to a more sensible level. The Jones & Hoyland Bursary Fund, supporting pupils experiencing financial hardship, grows slowly but could always grow more. The proposal for widening Honorary Membership turned out to be consistent with our current constitution, though the discussion brought to light a single word change so that it is now overtly a discretionary honour. One new Honorary Member was elected.

The Downs Light Railway Trust has its own website at with sign-up email news list, and a regularly updated Facebook page.

A facsimile edition of the memorial booklet "Harvest of Two Wars" is now available at £5 plus postage, and five copies were sold on the spot. Reprints of two more books written by the wife of an Old Downian were also offered for fundraising and are being looked at. Surplus copies of The Badger are available to buy, for the years 1960-62, 1966-76, 1978, 1980, 1989-90, 2000-01, 2004. And if you have a copy of the Badger from Spring 1934, 1944, or 1946, we would be very keen to hear from you.

Outside, a warm sunny summer's day awaited, with the railway in fine steam and the odd guided tour wandering around. Brock Meadow awoke at tea time for the evening festivities organised by the Friends of the Downs.

Harvest of Two Wars

Harvest of Two Wars book

A booklet commemorating the Old Downians who gave their lives in two World Wars was produced many years ago. The Downian Society has now published a facsimilie edition.

The price is £5.00 each, with any profits going to the Society. Copies may be obtained from the school office.

Copies may also be ordered from Guy Inchbald, guy "at" For UK delivery allow £2 p&p (£7 total), for overseas please check before ordering. Payments accepted via PayPal, cheque or cash. Delivery may take a few weeks, as individual copies are printed on demand via the Internet.

Old news

See the News archive.


Membership is currently open to all past pupils who attended the school and/or its predecessors for at least one academic cycle (three terms). Past members of the teaching staff are also eligible at the Committee's discretion.

A proposal has been made to to expand eligibility for membership to the many past parents, governors and non-teaching-staff who also contributed significantly to the wider life of the school over a period of time. See the draft proposal for more details.

Past pupils or teaching staff may contact the Society secretary as below and he can arrange for you to join.

The Society currently has well over a 1,000 members, details of whom are held by the secretary.

See also our Members data protection policy.


The archives are extensive and cover an enormous amount of the school history. We always welcome additions, particularly Badgers as we no longer have a complete set. We do not have any copies of old Downian Society newsletters at present and this could form a useful addition.

The archives are temporarily housed in a cramped wooden hut on the main school site, while we try to find a more suitable permanent home. Visits can be arranged by appointment.

School visits

The school always gives a warm welcome visits to former pupils. If you let the School Secretary know beforehand she will happy to arrange for you to be shown around school. Please contact Pam Hill on 01684 544104. Queries about The Downs Malvern can be addressed to the Headmaster ( during term time.


Hon. Sec.: Henry Winstanley (OD 1978-84)


Facebook icon

You can leave messages and contact other Old Downians on the Downian Society Facebook page.

All other queries about the Society and Old Downians should be addressed to the Downian Society Secretary, Henry Winstanley. He may be contacted via email at the "downiansociety" mail address "at"

Postal address: The Downian Society, The Downs Malvern, Brockhill Rd, Colwall, Malvern, WR13 6EY.

The Downs Malvern: For information about the school, or to contact it for any other reason, you can contact Pam Hill on 01684 544104. General queries about The Downs Malvern can be addressed to the Headmaster during term time via. asc "at" You can also find out more on the The Downs Malvern web site.

Website: To contact the Downians webmaster for this site, please use the "admin" email address "at"

Updated 21 May 2021