Can you rock Winchester?

21st November 2003 at 00:00
Wykehamists rock while Latymerians row - or so it would seem from vacancies advertised at the two top private schools.

Winchester College is looking for an electric guitar teacher to join four other guitar teachers and a 50-strong team of musicians at school in leafy Hampshire.

Meanwhile, Latymer Upper wants a "head of boats" to propel it into the rowing premier league.

Winchester, which is 600 years old, may have a traditional image but old boys include Joss Whedon, creator of hip TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Next January, the school where boarding costs pound;7,170 a year, opens a state-of-the-art technology centre, complete with recording studio and rock room. "We have had rock music here for a very long time," said one insider.

Latymer Upper (pound;3,550 a year, day pupils only) in west London already boasts Olympic gold medallist Andy Holmes among its old boys. Hugh Grant, another old boy, also famously rowed in the film Bridget Jones's Diary.

The school is hoping rowing will be its secret weapon in recruiting girls.

It wants its head of boats to make it one of the top four or five rowing schools in the country. "We are going co-educational, and rowing is a huge draw for potential girls," said head Peter Winter. "The range of activities we offer would beat any single-sex girls' school," he said.

The school boasts the "best view" of the annual Oxbridge boat race, a fleet of boats, and plans for a new gym and changing facilities. Mr Winter is looking for a first-class rower and "suitably qualified graduate" - male or female - to manage coaching, nurture enthusiasm for the sport, and ensure the school competes in the right regattas and races.

But the successful candidate will have to persuade pupils not take the school motto too seriously on the river: it is Paulatim Ergo Certes, which means "slowly, therefore surely".

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