Wilshere-Dacre School gets its name from William Wilshere and his good friend Thomas Brand, Lord Dacre, the founders of the Hitchin British School who became acquainted in the early 1800s. Rightfully the two men are commemorated in the present Wilshere-Dacre School, as Wilshere-Dacre is the direct descendant of the Hitchin British School.
The date 1928 is clearly visible on the front of Wilshere-Dacre School, but this is rather deceptive, as the pupils did not arrive at their new school until 11 February 1929. On that date pupils of the Hitchin British School in Queen Street willingly helped with an historic move to their brand new school, Wilshere-Dacre. Pushing trolleys full of books, the boys walked from the old to the new.
Wilshere-Dacre has seen a number of changes in its 70-year history. It started as a co-educational school for juniors and seniors, taking in infants as well for an 11 year period from 1938 to the opening of Strathmore Infants School in 1949; when all the infants moved to the newly opened infant school. All the senior scholars moved on to Old Hale Way School when it opened in 1940. From 1940 Wilshere-Dacre housed only juniors and infants; and in 1949 it settled to its present status as a junior mixed school.
There have been eight heads at Wilshere-Dacre: William H. Corbett 1929-1932, Herbert Victor Ferrier 1932-1940, Russell L. Bryant 1940-1957, Bernard A. Moles 1957-1981, David W. Guess 1981-1996, Amanda Godfrey 1996-2001, Susan Sheffield 2001-2013, Chris Kronda 2013-2014 and Sarah Smith is the current headteacher.
Numbers on the school roll have varied greatly over the years, currently standing at 254. It's hard to believe the same school could possibly accommodate over 600 pupils, a feat achieved several times over the years.
Hats off to the Past, Coats off to the Future published in 1997