Making Memories at Clayesmore

Our memories of Clayesmore grow every day – and with such a rich history behind us, there are plenty of amazing stories to tell. We’re looking forward to all of our present and future students writing their stories; but for today, let’s reflect on some of the most memorable moments at people at Clayesmore.

When We Were on Only Fools and Horses

It was one of the most beloved shows ever to air on British television – and while everyone knows its most famous scene, another iconic moment on the show was filmed right here – at Clayesmore School in Dorset.

In what has become one of the funniest moments in television history, the infamous chandelier scene in the Only Fools and Horses episode A Touch of Glass has become part of the Clayesmore story.

When looking for a suitable venue to film the chandelier scene in A Touch of Glass, the show’s producers were looking for an elegant building to represent the fictional Ridgemere Hall – and they chose Clayesmore to play the part.

It was a risky shoot – the fake chandelier was still very expensive, and only one was made. If anybody made a mistake during filming, it would have been impossible to try again. The stars on screen at the time (Sir David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst) were under immense pressure not to laugh – and they managed to stay cool for a successful shoot.

The rest of the crew however were barely able to contain themselves in the aftermath of the shot, making the fact that Jason and Lynhurst kept their heads all the more impressive. And with that, a classic comedy moment was born.

Remembering Some of Our Students

For more than 120 years, our school has been helping children become the best that they can be. So many of our students have gone on to achieve brilliance and make a positive impact on the world, that listing them all would be completely impossible!

But there are always standouts – and plenty of household names who’ve become part of the Clayesmore story.


Nicole Faraday

This award-winning actor has starred in British TV staples like Emmerdale and Casualty in leading roles – as well as the groundbreaking drama Bad Girls. Nicole joined Clayesmore when her parents moved back to the UK after her father’s deployment in Germany. It’s where she picked up the acting bug – and decided to become an actor.

Her skills extend to the stage, too. She has completed three UK national tours of Over the Rainbow, as Eva Cassidy, has been nominated for a award and has won the UK Theatre Award for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical.


Shannon Falcone

Shannon is former Head Boy of Clayesmore, and one of the brightest stars in competitive sailing. Shannon has competed in multiple America’s Cups, and has lifted the Auld Mug twice in his career.

Shannon and his father competed together at the 1998 Star World Championship, just a couple of weeks after Shannon’s 17th birthday. Since then, Shannon has been involved with some of the most successful and prestigious racing teams in the world. During the 2013 America’s Cup, he sailed in all 19 races for Oracle Team USA 17. Shannon has since returned to Luna Rossa Challenge.


Nicholas C. Handy

Before attending Cambridge and completing his PhD in theoretical chemistry, Nicholas Handy was a student at Clayesmore – where his aptitude for science was allowed to flourish.

Handy wrote 320 scientific papers during his lifetime, published in physical and theoretical chemistry journals. His work has greatly contributed to the field of quantum chemistry and he was awarded the Leverhulme Medal by the Royal Society in 2002 for his enormous impact on chemistry and molecular biology.


Tony Hart

Norman Antony Hart, creator of the mischievous claymation character Morph, was a beloved children’s television presenter. He presented art shows for youngsters, including Hartbeat, where he’d demonstrate fun ways to be creative. He also designed the original Blue Peter logo.

Tony was interested in drawing from a very young age and took art at Clayesmore – where it quickly became his best subject. He wasn’t just an accomplished presenter and artist – before his life on TV, he served in the British Indian Army, the Territorial Army and the Royal Artillery.


Brian Epstein

The Beatles changed modern music forever, and transformed what it meant to be a star. But they may never have been discovered if it wasn’t for one Brian Epstein – the band’s first manager. He encountered the band at The Cavern Club in Liverpool, where he was instantly impressed – convinced that the band would become internationally famous.

Epstein convinced head of Parlophone, and subsequent “fifth Beatle” George Martin, that the band was worthy – when all other labels had rejected him. His conviction to the band and drive to make them heard resulted in history’s most famous band becoming known.


Sir Howard Panter

This former student rose to become a titan of modern theatre. Sir Howard is a founder, co-owner, joint chief executive and creative director of the Ambassador Theatre Group Ltd, and was Chairman of the English Shakespeare Company.

Sir Howard and his wife, Dame Rosemary Squire (Lady Panter), ranked top among the 100 most influential people in UK theatre for seven years running between 2010 and 2016. Sir Howard was knighted in 2013.


Making Your Own Memories at Clayesmore

At our private school in Dorset, we encourage and support everyone – to help them become their best. Making memories at Clayesmore starts as soon as students join, and we can’t wait to see where our next stars come from.