Yet another fantastic experience this year has been training with Team England. Not only has it given me the opportunity to practice my debating even more intensively but I’ve also had the privilege of being interviewed by The Times, meeting Princess Anne, and performing in a show debate at Dartmouth House. The opportunity to expand my debating horizons outside Dulwich, and debate with competitors from other schools, all with different strengths, has really allowed me to change the way I think about debating, especially as a team game. Debating with Team England has also made me think about issues in more of a global context and I hope to carry this open- mindedness about the universality of pressing global issues not only to the World Schools Championship in Stuttgart this July but beyond. However, undoubtedly one of the best things about debating this year has been the training sessions within the Dulwich College Debating society. The opportunity to see, and now to help coach, the emerging generations of Dulwich debaters has been an amazing one and it is clear that their success will continue long into the future – even if their social lives continue to suffer. The secrets of the Clock Tower – finally revealed
Striking mysteries – or just a wind-up? Oscar Owen (Year 12) sees for himself. The clock tower: a mysterious structure in the middle of Dulwich College that everyone knows of – but very few know about. Its iconic architecture and unique brickwork make it the pride of the College. But what is inside the clock tower? Who created it? What secrets does it hold? There have been numerous speculations and theories about what the clock tower itself contains. Some claim it to be an established fact – despite the lack of documentation – that Edward Alleyn was a freemason, and that when the tower was built, a secret room was installed. Apparently, the walls of this room were tarnished
fast and efficient internet to all pupils. (Sounds great, right? Wrong. It is also a way for the IT staff effortlessly to entertain themselves by beaming the SmoothWall block – preventing access to websites much-needed for homework completion.) Perhaps these theories are true. Perhaps not. I determined to go to the top of the clock tower to reveal what is truly up there, once and for all. After donning my fluorescent jacket and helmet, I was ready to pass through the double-locked doors, and to explore this strange, secluded place. After a few weeks of waiting, Mr. Yiend kindly granted permission for the expedition. Apparently, if you are still inside when the bells ring, you risk severe damage to your ears. This meant I had a fifteen-minute timeslot to venture up and down – it was literally a race against time. The tower is divided into multiple floors, with each connected to the next by a ladder that seemed to stretch ever-upwards into the darkness. The ladders and floor had recently been replaced during a regeneration project; the old ones apparently presented a safety hazard. I had to climb to the second floor to reach the tower’s heart: the clock. Created by John Moore & Sons, it sits there, like a robotic toy, quietly rattling, whirring, and buzzing to itself. Scattered wires, pulleys, cogs, and bevels all tick, creak, and twitch intermittently. The clock is encased in woodwork, etched with generations of old boys’ names. Gas mantles that have not been used since the
with the remains of an animal, sacrificed to the Supreme Deity.
Others hint at nocturnal sightings of Science teachers, slinking to the top of the tower to carry out strange experiments. (Is it these that routinely cause mist to settle over the school fields on a cool Monday morning?) Indeed, with the rollout – the revelation – of WIFI on College premises, many have decided that concealed within the clock tower is a phone mast, beaming
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