The Robert Farren Shield
On Wednesday 11 October children, teachers and members of the Cowfold Village History Society gathered together to present the Robert Farren Shield to the school. Bob Farren was the instigator of the Cowfold Village History Society and it’s first Chairman. History and its importance in understanding the past and the present was the central theme of Assembly at St Peter’s School, Cowfold .
Mike Burt, current Chairman of CVHS told the children about Bob Farren and his family and their significant contribution to the village. Bob’s family came to the village around 1888, nearly 130 years ago. His grandfather worked initially as a journeyman blacksmith but after some years he and Bob’s father established and operated the only garage in the village up to the 1930s when the Bridge Garage was built by Fowlers. Bob was born in April 1926 and went to St Peter’s school in 1931 when he was five. He was a pupil there until 1940 before going to Collyer’s in Horsham and then enlisting in the RAF in 1944. Bob had fond memories of the school and did well, becoming Senior Prefect in 1940. After the war Bob ran a TV rental business in the village as well as helping to run the garage owned by his father. The TV shop closed in the early 1970s and Bob then ran the garage until its closure in 1988. But Bob continued to make a significant contribution to village life, including serving on the Parish Council and making a major contribution to the local British Legion branch, ultimately becoming their President and receiving the Legion’s Gold Medal for extended distinguished service. His children grew up in the village and went to St Peter’s school in the 1950s. In 2009 Bob was one of the founding members of the Cowfold Village History Society, becoming its first chairman until 2015 and then its Honorary President. Bob died at Homelands Nursing Home in February this year, aged 90.
Mike explained that the shield was to be awarded each year to the pupil who had shown “enthusiasm for history and advanced enquiry skills”. In addition that pupil would receive a £20 book token from the History Society
The shield was then presented to Mrs Rhoda Wilson, senior teacher Year 6, in the absence of the head teacher, Giles Kolter.