For the first time in history, we bring the inspirational Detweiler Competition to you in the comfort of your home and, in doing so, hope to share the joy of the boys’ creative work with more of you than ever before.

If you have been part of the Bedford School community for a while, you will know that the Detweiler Prize is one of the highlights of our Creative Arts calendar. It is a celebration of the creativity and imagination of Bedford School boys and the competition is named after Dr Alan Detweiler, an enthusiastic and passionate supporter of both education and the arts in general. Until his death in 2012, he always made the trip to Bedford to help judge the prizes he so generously provided.



We are delighted that this year’s art competition was judged by Rob Campbell, who was Director of Art here between 1992 and 2013, and is now a school Governor. His job was even more challenging than usual without the benefit of seeing and experiencing the entries first-hand, as it was for all the judges. Nevertheless, with his experience and knowledge, Rob took on the very difficult challenge, for which we are hugely grateful.

This year the theme was ‘Gods and Goddesses’.  Without the usual references and inspiration available during normal times, the boys faced the immense challenge of finding other methods to stimulate their creativity. However, with the support of their teachers, they rose to the challenge and should be applauded for their tenacity and enthusiasm; the high standard of entries submitted was very high.

You can see for yourself the boys’ work and enjoy the Detweiler experience through this special booklet. It contains artwork, scripts, music and creative writing from the winners and runners up in each of the categories, and you can also hear from the Head Master and Heads of each arts faculty. It is well worth a look.



2D winner:

Simeon Gay (Upper Sixth Form)

“This highly contemporary work speaks aloud of what happened to George Floyd. The narrative is expanded by the script which surrounds George’s image. Emphasis is created by the colour red in some words and the portrait shows real understanding and skill in the handling of paint. The artist handles the entire composition with sensitivity and skill. A very impressive work.” Rob Campbell, Judge.

3D winner:

David Chan (Upper Sixth Form)

“I found this piece enthralling. The female form is alluded to by a skeletal structure. The dress has a mystical beauty about it and conjures the Nike of Samothrace, the Greek goddess of victory. One is not quite sure what lies inside the dress but this just increases its mystery and presence.”

Rob Campbell, Judge.

Drama winner:

Sarmukh Hundal (Fifth Form)

“One of the most moving and mature pieces of writing I have ever read from a drama student. His ability to connect with his reader was utterly amazing- I was hooked from the first sentence!”

Antoinette Keylock, Head of Academic Drama and Head of Creative Arts.

Music winner:

Edgar Cheung (Remove Form)

“We were delighted with the standard of musical entries for the Detweiler Competition this year. Edgar’s piece was a particularly good example of how all of the boys have adapted extremely well in the difficult circumstances of the lockdown and have remained creative and productive.”

Joss Sanders, Director of Music.

Creative Writing winner:

Nathanael Hylton (Lower Sixth Form)

“Nathanael Hylton’s atmospheric short story is a stirring tale, a multi-layered engagement with this year’s Detweiler theme and an expertly-crafted reading experience. It stood out for the superb characterisation, mature use of structural devices and potent ending.”

Nick Hopton, Head of English.



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