Bangor Grammar School

Bangor Grammar School is an all-boys voluntary grammar school situated in Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland. It comprises two parts, the preparatory department, Connor House (co-ed) and The Grammar, (boys only). It has around 1,000 pupils from ages 4 to 18.

The school maintains close links with its sister single sex school in Bangor, Glenlola Collegiate. The two schools regularly participate in joint activities, notably the CCF, which meets on-site in Bangor Grammar; the two schools' Scripture Unions who combine monthly; and the Bangor Grammar Drama Department, which presents an annual play by students from both schools.

The school is divided into 4 houses: Crosby, Dufferin, School and Ward. Regular inter-house competitions are held. The House colours are as follows- Crosby (Red), Dufferin (Yellow), School (Blue) and Ward (Green).

chool building plans

A three year campaign to gain funding from the Department of Education for a new school building for Bangor Grammar School came to a successful end on March 1, 2006 when funding was granted. All pupils and staff were called to a last-minute full assembly to hear the announcement. All cheered in joy of the victory. The new location of the school building will be outside the town centre, on the current Bangor Academy site on the Gransha Road. It is estimated that the new school will take at least five years to complete.

Clubs and Societies


Bangor Grammar has won the rugby Ulster Schools Cup on five occasions. During the late 1980s they were a major force in Ulster Schools' rugby appearing in four finals from 1985 to 1988, winning three of them. Former distinguished 1st XV players include Mark McCall (Irish international and former Ulster coach), Jan Cunningham (a member of the Ulster team which won the Heineken Cup), Bryn Cunningham (Ulster Rugby), Kieron Dawson (London Irish and Ireland), Kenny Hooks (Ireland international) and Dick Milliken (Ireland and the British Lions).

Notable Hockey players from the school include Olympic Gold medallist Stephen Martin.

In Cricket, the school has produced Ulster and Irish Schools' internationals.

In 2005, a badminton double was achieved in the Ulster Finals of the Minors Division 2 and the Seniors Ulster Cup. The Minors beat RBAI in the League Final 4-2 and the Seniors won 4-2. The Seniors were also in the Division 2 final but were beaten by Belfast Royal Academy, a Division 1 team.

Current Northern Ireland International and Sheffield United football player Keith Gillespie also attended Bangor Grammar before moving on to a more football orientated school.


The Debating Society is Bangor Grammar's oldest society. The society was established in 1927 by teacher A.L. Hawtin. Providing an insight into past pupil's opinions on current affairs are the minutes of the society, which have been maintained since its inception. Bangor Grammar won the Schools Cup in 2004, and the Best Speaker's Shield in 2006, and has been a finalist on more occasions than any other school in Northern Ireland. The Debating Society is currently run by Mr Sam Wolfenden, head of History (as were two previous chairmen of the society, namely Mr Rodney Jones and Mr Maurice McCord)


Bangor Grammar School employed Mr Ian Hunter as its first Director of Music in 1969; a post that he was to hold for 32 years before retiring in June 2001. He is a graduate of Stranmillis University College in Education, of the Open University in Music and the University of Ulster in Educational Technology. He also holds the LTCL and LGSM diplomas. Ian established a department which has become one of the school's finest accolades.

In 2001, upon Mr Hunter's retirement, his colleague Mr Jonathan Rea was appointed Director of Music. Jonathan is a graduate of Girton and Homerton Colleges, Cambridge (wherein he was awarded the Rima Alamuddin Prize for piano performance). He also holds the LTCL diploma. In his spare time, Mr Rea is a keen composer and arranger

This year, the music department is also fortunate to have acquired the services of Miss Clare Evans, BEd, MA, ATCL (appointed as a full-time member of the school teaching staff this year) and also the services of Mr Mark Fenn, BA(RSAM)who joined the school staff in September 2007 on a part-time basis.

The school has a long and proud musical history, with its concert band playing at many school events throughout the year, including Speech Day, The Christmas Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols and the Spring Concert. The concert band also plays annually at Bloomfields shopping centre in Bangor where it entertains shoppers while raising money for charitable causes. Past charities include MacMillan Cancer Care and Abaana.

A recording entitled 'Christmas Music from Bangor Grammar School' was made in 1990 under the direction of Mr Ian Hunter, which featured the Gryphon Consort, the school orchestra and brass ensemble and various congregational carols.More recently, the department has recorded and produced two CD albums: A String of Pearls (2004) and The Christmas Album (2005), both under the musical direction of Mr Jonathan Rea.

In the 2006/2007 academic year, the school celebrated its sesquicentenary (150th anniversary). Alongside Mr. Rea, Mr. William Cree (B.G.S. German Department) organised a gala concert in Belfast's Waterfront Hall to celebrate this extraordinary anniversary. The concert took place on 14th October 2006.

Notable Past Pupils

*David Trimble - Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (1995 - 2005), Northern Ireland's 1st Minister (1998 - 2001) and Nobel Peace Prize Winner in 1998. Attended the school from 1956 to 1963.
*Keith Gillespie - Northern Ireland Football International with over 70 Caps.
*Mark McCall - Achieved 13 caps as an Ireland Rugby International in the 1990s.
*Adam Best - An actor who has played Matt Parker in the BBC TV Drama Holby City since 2005.
*David Feherty - Former European Tour and PGA Tour Golfer.
*Colin Bateman - Author and screenwriter, creator of Murphy's Law (TV series)
* Dick Milliken - Ulster, Ireland and Lions player.

*Kieron Dawson - Ulster Rugby and Ireland national rugby union team flanker
*Bryn Cunningham - Ulster Rugby full back
*Peter Weir (politician) - Democratic Unionist Party member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
*Garth McGimpsey MBE, Celebrated amateur Golfing Champion, Ireland's most capped amateur golfer, Receiving an MBE for his successes and captaining the winning 2003 Walker Cup team.
*Jason Barlow - TV Presenter
*Mark Hamilton - TV and Radio Medic
*Iain Archer - Singer/ Songwriter and winner of an Ivor Novello Award
*Don Whittle - Ulster Rugby and Ireland national rugby union team flanker
*Maurice Hamilton - Formula 1 commentator for Radio 5 live and journalist for F1 Racingand The Guardian
* Marty Gill- the emporer of the Goose,brief spell at Preston North End. Also known as Marty Tin, Gin, Grill and David Platt.
* David Noble - inspired his own song...noble noble noble has no friends...noble noble noble is so gay

The school song

Bangor Grammar School has a Latin school song. It was written in 1950 by Miss Elsie Patton and set to music by Dr Emery, the school's music teacher. It is sung on major school occasions, competitive events and Scripture Union weekends. It has become the custom for it to be sung at the conclusion of Senior Debating Society meetings, with the full support of the chairman, Mr S. Wolfenden. :"Comgall noster, Columbanus,":"Sanctus noster, Gall, Britannos":"Effecere Christianos.":"Floreat Bangor,":"Deo laus et gloria.":"Sana mens in corpore sano":"Hic quaeratur et humano,":"Quisque sit discipulus animo":"Ne pavidus exeat.":"Laboraturus inter pares,":"Oratorus, oratorus,":"Fidem quolibet lauturus."


External links

* [ Bangor Grammar School Website]
* [ Bangor Grammar School CCF]
* [ Bangor Grammarians]

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