The Downian Society

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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.


Proposal to expand eligibility for membership in 2019

Many past parents, governors and non-teaching-staff contributed significantly to the wider life of the school over a period of time. A proposal has been drafted to put to the AGM on Downian Day (22 June), extending eligibility for membership of the Society to such past supporters. See the draft proposal for more details.

Committee meeting 1 December 2018

Alastair Cook, the current Headmaster, reported a thriving school in which Ofsted struggled to find any recommendations for improvement. This contrasts to a dismal future predicted for many private schools outside of the home counties. The railway featured as one of the school's strong points.

Indeed, railway hobby is thriving and a new building is planned to replace the ageing collection of huts which struggle to contain all that burgeoning enthusiasm. The Society is hoping that a corner may be found for its own archives, which have yet to find a permanent home. It has a small surplus of funds which it hopes can help oil the wheels, as it were.

A suggestion was put forward to open the Society to wider membership, such as staff and parents who have shown great support for the school over the years. We hope to have a concrete proposal for the next AGM.

Talking of which, that will take place on Downian Day 2019, scheduled for 22 June, so please put that in your diary now! There will also be the usual railway in steam, sports matches - and a free lunch for those attending the AGM.

We are also looking to expand the committee a little, as several members had to retire last year. We have one or two people in mind, but if you too would like to help keep our very special contribution to the life of the school hale and hearty, please do contact the Hon. Sec. Henry Winstanley, as below.

Downian Day 2018

The Memo Hall
The Memo Hall feeling shy behind its landscaping

James Boyd engine in steam
James Boyd in steam

A memorable Downian Day took place on 23 June.

A good turnout of Old Downians were greeted by the most perfect Summer's day we have caught in a long time. The morning assembly was the only function in the Memo Hall after all, as its official opening had to be postponed because Philip Hoyland, who was to preside, was unable to make it. The customary walkabouts through the day, open or guided to choice, demonstrated that hobbies, the railway and the like, indeed the whole school, were all in fine form.

Even the AGM attracted more interest than it has in a long time – thank you all for your support. Three main items stood out:

Afterwards, lunch was available in the dining room and it was a great pleasure for those of us from that era to welcome Andrew and Mrs. Auster back on their first visit since leaving the Downs for even greater things. Hugh Nicklin, back on the railway in boiler suit and beaming grin, was of course one of their main ports of call. Meanwhile, down on the playing fields, little can yet beat a lazy picnic lunch on manicured lawns under a glorious June sun, to the accompaniment of a cricket match in white flannels and, dare I say it, nostalgia for one's own bygone days.

The DLR was in steam well into the evening, with JB pulling loaded passenger carriages around Brock meadow. Yeoman work from the hardy railway hobbyists, who will have deserved a Sunday lie-in. We expect others also needed a lie-in after the Friends' Summer Celebration, which was an expanded version of previous Pig & Jig events including fairground stalls and attractions. The ODs present seemed to grace the drinks marquee more than the ceilidh, leaving that and the bucking bronco to the children and some of the gamer parents. The mix of Downians old and current, parents, balmy evening sun, and JB chugging merrily around Brock meadow made for an idyllic scene and a memorable event.


Facebook icon

The Downian Society now has a Facebook page where you can leave messages and contact other Old Downians.

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 5 Dec 2018