AGAIN we are delving into the history of Weymouth College.

This wonderful collection of photos comes courtesy of Terry Gale, who worked at Weymouth College for 33 years.

Today we turn our attention to sport played at the college. The very first rugby match to be played by the collegiate boys was in 1874 when the lads were defeated by six tries to nil.

In the 1880s association football swept over Hampshire and Dorset and in the spring of 1885, the association rules were adopted by the school.

For many seasons a team was entered for the Dorset Cup with considerable success, as in 12 years the school won the cup three times and three times were beaten in the final or semi-final.

For matches the lads would wear blue and white striped jerseys and 'night caps'. Red and black jerseys and black skull-caps with red tassels succeeded these in 1879. Red and black shirts came in 1893 and the colours were revised in 1894.

As the college records tells us: "During this period no less than 32 college boys played for Dorset on 210 occasions in the aggregate."

It became tricky to get matches with other schools so it was decided in 1907 to switch back to rugby!

College boys would play their games sometimes on the cricket field outside the pitch, sometimes in the barrack field and sometimes in a field above the old Radipole timber pound.

In 1886 and for many years afterwards, grounds were rented on Lodmoor under the old Coastguard Station, but in 1904 the right of use was obtained of the large field lying northwards from the cricket ground.

The advantage of Weymouth's natural surrounds meant that sea bathing and swimming were a great feature of life at Weymouth College.

Aquatic sports were instituted in 1885 and were held each year, usually toward the end of the midsummer term. The chief event was the Quarter Mile, which involved swimming in the open sea in Weymouth Bay.

Smaller events were contested in shallower water off Greenhill. A Champion Medal, instituted in 1898, was awarded to the boy who does best all round in the sports.

There would also be a life-saving competition with a medal awarded by the Royal Humane Society. Each competitor had to undergo a written examination and, in clothes and boots, to put his theory into practice with several tests with a dummy in the Bay.

The college's gym was built in 1887 and was very well suited to the requirements of the college, the records tell us.

The floor was boarded in 1893 and special apparatus for 'Swedish exercises' was fitted in 1912.

The records show some disappointment in the success of this field.

"There were so many other calls on the time of our gymnasts that we have had to content ourselves with moderate success in this direction," it confides.

The college also had a debating society which was inaugurated in 1883.

The first debate was 'That Rugby Union Football possesses many advantages over association.' The first debate was lost by three to five.

The college also had a musical society, with the first record of something musical happening being on December 18 1874. After then there would be a standard music concert every year.

The musical society also provided the choir for the chapel and music for the concerts and 'speeches'.

In other days it produced the Greek plays and the famous 'free and easy' concerts of the winter terms, and by giving public oratorios and concerts, it raised some £150 for the chapel building fund.

Speaking of the chapel, it was dedicated on October 6 1896 by the Lord Bishop to St Michael and All Angels, to the accompaniment of torrential rain!

It consisted of a nave with an eight sided apse and was 26ft wide and 34ft high.

Gifts presented included four stained glass windows, oak choir stalls, a brass lectern and an altar cross.

Thanks once again to Terry for this fascinating insight.