The All Saints Choir School
1869 - 1962
Many boys in the families of those attached to the church gladly gave their services to assist with the singing, but the requirements of daily choral Mattins and Evensong naturally clashed with educational and other arrangements. These boys long continued to be most useful on Sundays but the Precentor and Organist were determined to form the nucleus of a choir on a surer basis.
A house was taken in Alma Road, and there they went to reside themselves. They took in boys with good voices, and trained them, procuring besides the help of an efficient school-master. The Sacristan and his wife assisted in the attendance and the cooking until the school became further developed by the advent of Mr. Walter Smith from Oxford, bringing with him an additional number of scholars.
During the time of Mr. Cedric Bucknall the school was housed in what is now the Parish Hall, and consisted of about thirty boys, all choristers except two. In 1884 a house in All Saints' Road was bought and here the school flourished for many years.
The number of pupils rose to approximately 160, all being day-boys. Those in the choir numbered about 15 and by a rota system they sang at Evensong on most weekdays, as well as for the two services on Sundays.
Regrettably, the school did not see its centenary. After increased financial hardship it was forced to close at the end of 1962. For about two years the number of boy choristers was maintained with outside help.
The choir is still in operation. No longer provided by the Choir School, but consisting of a very capable group of singers - volunteers and bursary students. With the Director of Music they add real strength and quality to the worship at All Saints.