W H Rhodes Educational Tour to Canada


It was fifty years ago that  48  young men  from London, Birmingham, Bradford, Manchester and Glasgow and two school masters set sail to Canada for a month’s tour of Quebec and Ontario, by the generous courtesy of the W H Rhodes Educational Trust.

It was a magnificent experience and I formed  friendships which are still vibrant today. The years have passed and the educational trust no longer exists. Mr Rhodes, a Bradford manufacturer and merchant, set it up and it benefited hundreds of young men.

I remember the catch phrases of those times:

“Twenty years ago today Wally Rhodes taught the band to play”

“Why are you all wearing the same ties”

“Oh, the ethnic groups”

“Come on, train”

This was the stuff which dreams were made on and those dreams are now the stuff our memories are made on.

21 Responses

  1. I was on the 1956 Tour. Are there any other survivors out there? Would love to hear from you, especially if you are still compos mentis.

    • I don’t know anyone from the 1956 tour and unfortunately have lost touch with most of my tour year – 1967. Let’s hope that these pages will bring us back in touch.

    • G’day, from Downunder, Robert. Thank you for your prompt response.

      A few years ago I expended some time and effort in trying to track down some 1956-ers. No luck. I had also hoped to locate some ‘artefacts’, such as photos, diary entries or the 16mm film that was made. Again no luck. However, I managed to locate the lawyer who purportedly was managing the affairs of the Trust in the years following its demise. He was, to put in mildly, quite unhelpful and was even reluctant to offer any advice on the subject. So, frustrated, I gave up.

      Over the years, after several major moves, I have managed to lose the few small souvenirs that I had, so my lack of progress in finding anything (or anyone) is disappointing, to say the least. I have one formal group pic taken inside the Ottawa parliament and nothing else. You would expect that somewhere there must exist a substantial archive of Rhodes Trust mementos from multiple years. Perhaps someone is hogging them? Also, by the law of averages, some 1956-ers, apart from myself, must surely still be extant, albeit a wee bit decrepit, as am I these days.

      Anyway, it was good to hear from you. If you have any useful suggestions on the subject, please let me know.

      Meanwhile, the season’s greetings and best wishes to you and yours for 2018.


      (Sunshine Coast, Queensland.)

  2. I’m researching a building in Lambeth which, from origins as a Victorian ragged school became the Borough-Beaufoy School, teaching high level technical subjects to boys. The Lambeth Archive has a handful of school magazines, and in the final one, from December 1962, I found a paragraph saying “for the third year in succession, we can record that a Borough-Beaufoy pupil was chosen to be one on Britain’s representatives on the W H Rhodes Canada Education Trust Tour”. The pupil in question was the School Captain, M. D. Gwynn. Naturally in that era they didn’t give first names. But you might like to try a bit of googling for him. The school was in a very poor area of London but evidently achieved remarkable results. Good luck.
    Judith Martin

  3. I was on the 1955 trip — an experience never to be forgotten. Still compos mentis !!!!!

    • Hello, Mike King

      Have you any pics, especially of the ‘Indian camp’ at Lake Wanapitei (?) where the lovely, if oddly named, Little Running Water Mackenzie charmed us all? Keep up with the monkey glands.


  4. I am trying to contact any members of the 1960 group which i was proud to be part of. I still have many memories of that trip over on the Sylvania when we worked our passage due to a “Seaman’s Strike”. I also have photos and souvenirs of our party. Anyone out there from 1960 ?

  5. Hello, Robert. It’s amazing what you stumble upon by accident! Do you remember “Kilt” from Glasgow? That’s me, now happily retired in Uruguay. I still have the Cunard booklet with the list of 1967 tour members, and autographed by nearly all of them, including you. I still have “the tie”. Happy days. I went to the last ever reunion dinner held at the Rachael McMillan College in Manchester some time in the early 70s but I lost touch with everyone after that.


    • Remember you well. I too was on the 1967 tour, part of the Birmingham group. I was best man to Gerry Griffin (London) in 1974 and have remained friends since. Been watching a travel programme on Canada and looked up Camp Wamapitei, looks just the same. Found Rob’s blog and then your comments. Very best wishes across the miles, still wear my tie occasionally. Barry Poultney

    • Hello, Barry

      I remember you too and Jerry Griffin. Say hello for me next time you see him. Camp Wanapitei was not my favourite moment of the tour. Chateau Laurier was much more my style! Rob may have started something here. We are all, slowly, creeping out of the woodwork of time. I wonder if he will eventually get a 1967 (nearly) full house.


    • Nice to hear from you Barry. Best to Gerry when you next see him. Rob

  6. Good to see you guys from the 1967 group catching up. But where are the chaps from ’56? You must, like me, be about 80 now. So perhaps most of you have already been carried off by the Grim Reaper? Anyway, good luck to you all – wherever you are.

  7. Have a newspaper-clipping of the “boys” group of 1952 (photo of group) and files a family member kept from 1952 to 1970. The person whose file this is was on the 1939 tour when war was declared after landing back at Southhampton or Liverpool I think. ( would have to check the info I have)Anyone or society interested in the correspondence and planning of the trips before I decide to dispose of the files?

  8. Thank you, Robert. Those years would probably include the 1956 group. I would certainly be interested in seeing whatever has survived from that year. Apart from the Ottawa parliament photo, I have nothing else, so anything would be welcome. You can email me at: forestwalk6@gmail.com. Best wishes, JOHN.

  9. Hello

    My father was on the 1968 tour. I have just finished scanning in “The W. H. Rhodes Canada Educational Trusts – An Introduction to the Twentieth Tour to Canada 1968” as well as a number of photos that he took on the trip.

    I would be more than happy to share anything that is of interest and am sure that my dad would be very keen to hear from the 1968 group.

    Kind regards


  10. Hello Gentlemen, I am enjoying a ski trip to Big White in British Columbia and seeing some of the places reminded me of my participation in the 1982 WHR visit to Canada – Salmon Arm, Lake Louise etc. I am not a Facebook user but wonder if there are any other members of that tour around. I still have my maroon, maple leaf crested tie!!
    Richard Pavitt

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