Harrow County School for Boys

(James) Roy Avery - Headmaster 1965-75

by Alex Bateman

Harrow County’s last Headmaster was Roy Avery, who joined us from Haberdasher’s Aske’s School in Elstree, where he had been Senior History Master for six years, after almost nine years as Assistant History Master at Bristol Grammar School.  He had been educated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and Magdalen College Oxford, before joining the RAF during the war.  He was still part way through his navigator training in Canada when peace was declared in 1945.

Following such a person as Dr. Simpson was a formidable task, not aided by the fact that attitudes to many areas of school life were beginning to change.  The most notable example of this being the Cadet Force, the CND movement in full swing.  However, while his standards for the school were set as high as before, Roy Avery set about them in a kinder and more gentle fashion.  Gone were the more disciplined days.

The late 1960s and early 1970s saw a great number of changes to the education system both nationally and locally, and Harrow County was often ‘in the thick of it’.  By 1975, the end of Harrow County had come, and with it the end of Roy Avery’s headship.

After leaving in the summer of 1975, Roy returned to Bristol Grammar as their Headmaster, until retiring in 1986.  From 1982 until 1995, he was on the Members Council of Bristol University, and has also written several books.

At the time of writing (January 2001) Roy Avery still lives in Bristol.

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