History of DSS and DGS
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The following paragraph in italics is a copy
charity school was erected first at
Palgrave, in Suffolk, in 1711, and
two years after removed hither. Mr.
Briars, rector of Diss, preached a
sermon, which was published at the
first meeting of the gentlemen and
clergy for encouraging this school,
which he dedicated to Charles Bishop
of Norwich, (whose chaplain he was,)
in which it appears that the rector
of Palgrave began it, at whose request
that parish set apart a large room
belonging to the town for that purpose,
and subscribed with him 10l. per annum
for its maintenance, the neighbouring
gentlemen and clergy had then subscribed
between 20 and 30l. besides casual
gifts, which then came to about 12l.
The school was opened the January before.
Ten boys of that parish were taught
and clothed, six more taught but not
clothed. This school is now 
kept at Diss, where the master hath
his dwelling in part of the late Gild-hall,
and keeps his school in another part:
there are now  ten boys clothed
grammar school is kept above, in the
same house, where the master hath lodgings,
and 10l. per annum; but this is at
the voluntary contribution of the parish.
Diss Secondary School (DSS) was preceded by an establishment
know as Robinson's Ladies School. It was opened ca1850
and was run by Miss Elizabeth Robinson and her sister Rose. At
the time of the 1881 census, Miss Elizabeth was still
in charge, at the age of 70, but 2 years later her
very much younger sister Mary Ann had taken over†8. (?
more info needed, where was this school)
the pupillage varying from
considered†8 (?) ?
school was built on
donated by Francis
A.H.Taylor †1 (?) in
Shelfanger Road, adjacent
factory †2. It
was called Diss
Miss Dixon was the Matron of 'Uplands', a large house
in the 1920s on Walcot Road for boarders. Uplands
Way is one of the entrances to Diss High School, the
former secondary modern and comprehensive school. 'Uplands'
was also used in those days for the domestic science
The Uplands was a hospital for mentally disturbed
German prisoners of war during WWI.
6th forms. it
cricket pavilion constructed
In 1936 there were just over 200 pupils. The school
was co-educational and some pupils paid fees. Most
of the intake came from the Church
School or Council School(?).
Uplands in 1939 was used for schooling of evacuees †4,
8-11 year olds from Edmunton and Gravesend. Later
on it was used as a nursing home for WWII injured personnel (?) and
an anti aircraft battery during (?).
In 1946/47 post The
1944 Education Act the school changed its name
from Diss Secondary School to Diss Grammar
hardcourts were established between the tennis
courts and the canteen.
Uplands in the 1950s was converted into flats†9 for
teachers at the Secondary
Modern School that was constructed during 1954
and 1955 †14. The
boys and girls schools both opened on Tuesday, 26th April
In 1953 a new classromm
was added above the boiler (furnace) room and in
1954 a new laboraory block was built adjacent to
the tennis courts.
In the early
1960s there were still about 200 pupils but in 1965,
with the closure of Eye Grammar School the number
rose to 350(citation
needed ?). Not all Eye pupils came
to Diss some went to Stowmarket. A major extension
to the school was built, covering the well-loved
grassy area and adding another two storey block and
a covered walkway to the original Victorian style
group of buildings. A new grassy area to the south
of the school was purchased †11(?) and
this led to an escalation in detentions for boys:
'stone picking '†6.
When the comprehensive school was formed, the grammar
school became an anachronism, fell into disuse and
was finally pulled down to make way for 'up market'
the 1980/81 school year pupils and teachers started
to transfer to the now-renamed Diss High School or
to the Sixth Form College both in Walcot Road. DHS
operated on both sites for existing pupils and the
new 1st years were the DHS proper. The old DGS buildings
were called 'Taylor Hall' for this short period. According
to current anecdotal information the merger was not
DSS / DGS survived for 70 years. Plans
to turn the building into a community centre came to
nothing and it was demolished in 1991. Amazingly
Grammar School buildings still survives
as the town's primary school.
†2 - Aldrich's
brush factory - remember that whistle.
†3 - Louis
1929-35, The Old Dyssean, Issue 21, Jul 2011 , Pg
George Tilby, The Old Dyssean, Issue 2, July 2001,
†5 - Kath
Bass nee Pipe.
†6 - Seth
Reeder DGS 1962-67.
†7 - Majorie
Watts DGS 1921-21, The Old Dyssean, Issue 3,
Jan 2002, Pg 14.
†8 - The Old Dyssean,
Issue 6, Aug 2003, Pg 3.
†9 - Sally
Lee (nee Pollard) DGS 1969-76, lived there in
†10 - It's
true, the houses are north of the market. <g>
This may have already still have been owned by
the education authority, see 1950 overlay map
The Annual Speech Day programmes for 1946/47 reflect
Speech Day 26th Nov 1946 DGS
Speech Day 2nd Dec 1947
on images to view).
Diss Express, 22nd April 1955. (Click
on image to view).
thanks to all the contributors.
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The map opposite shows an actual
Diss Town map dated ca1950
laid over the Google Map 2011.
anyone has an old map of
the area to verify this
please contact the Webmaster.
The map opposite attempts to show
crudely the outline of the school
grounds in green and the buildings
in blue just before closure.
The area to the north and east of
the water towers, was the original
'well loved grassy area' and
the area to the south of the map
was acquired pre 1965 to replace
the well loved grassy area once it
had been built upon to extend the
on map to enlarge
is a map of the sport's field to
the north of the school along Shelfanger
Road c2011. Louis Carr in his
memories (see above) refers to
the boys building a wooden pavilion. That
pavilion was I suspect still there
in the 1960s(?)
I can remember at green wooden
building. The pavilion shown opposite
looks much more substantial, the
hard patch to its south could be
the site of the original(?)
The sport's field was used for
athletics, hockey, cricket, football,
softball, rounders and occasionally
touch rugby never rugby(?)
you didn't 'do' sport because of:
injury, punishment or a note from
your mum, you probably spent countless
boring, cold, hours rolling the
cricket pitch with Reggie
his whistle and bellowing from
afar 'Don't dig your heels in
" Tennis and basketball
were reserved for grass and hard
courts within the school grounds.
on map to enkarge
For more pictures
given in main gallery.
There is a 5 minute video of the school in
our Film Theatre taken
just before it was demolished in the 1990s.