The Venables family renowned for being involved with the restoration of York Minster and Windsor Castle has donated a beautiful oak framed timbered building to St David’s College.
The building will be used as a motor engineering garage for pupils interested in mechanical engineering, or just simply for those who enjoy tinkering with cars.
Former Head boy Chuck Venables spoke touchingly of his love for St David’s at the Opening Ceremony today (Friday).
The 57-year-old said: “Before I came here I had been thrown out of three prep schools, because I think I just had too much energy for my own good.”
He continued: “I felt like a misfit. But I remember coming to the interview with John Mayor and he asked me what I was interested in.”
“I told him rugby and he said St David’s would find out what I was good at and make sure I’d get the opportunity to be as good as I could be.”
Mr Venables whose company is based in Shropshire, continued: “I couldn’t quite believe that ethos, because before I came to St David’s it was all French and Latin, and I was bottom of the class.”
“But at SDC DT teacher Mr Lennard instilled in me a love for DT and he became a friend and a mentor to me.”
“When he was poorly I came to see him and showed him a video of the work we had been doing at Windsor Castle, and I think he was very proud."
Mr Venables’ two sons Tom and Joe also attended the school, with the latter famously driving an ambulance across Uganda at the age of 17, just after he had passed his driving test.
“Rev Tim Hall looked after both of my boys, and this garage is really a thank you for that,” said Mr Venables.
“My boys enjoyed it here, and for my brother and I, our school days were incredibly happy days.”
“I always told my father, that I looked forward to going back to school as we had more freedom at St David’s than we did at home-you can say that for many schools.”
He added: “I thought a garage would be a good legacy as Joe loved mechanics and the 4x4 club.
“It’s been great coming back to St David’s, it always feels a bit like coming home.”