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.

4 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

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