Vinter family of Cambridge

Charles Vinter, a leading Cambridge Methodist, was born at Godmanchester. Moving to Cambridge at 18, he became a University robe-maker. Influenced by Charles Simeon he joined the Green Street society, becoming a class leader and local preacher. He was the driving force behind the scheme to build Hobson Street chapel and served on the trusts of Hobson Street and Hills Road. He was prominent in the move to build Foxton chapel, but was unsuccessful in establishing a cause at Trumpington. His memorial tablet at Hobson Street was transferred to Wesley Church.

One of his sons, Herbert William Vinter (23 March 1857-19 October 1942) graduated from Cambridge before joining Truro School as a Maths and Science teacher. He became headmaster from 1890 to 1921 and was remembered as a strict but not unkindly disciplinarian, with a fundamentalist view of the Bible. He served on the Cornwall Education Committee and as chairman of its Higher Education Sub--Committee, and was a JP and a Trustee of St. Mary's Methodist Church. His sister Emily joined him in Truro and gave him much administrative support.

Another son Dr. Arthur Vinter (d. 2 February 1915) read natural science at Gonville & Caius, Cambridge. He was W.F. Moulton's second-in-command for eight years at The Leys School before becoming headmaster from 1883 to 1914 of Woodhouse Grove when it was refounded. He was the first lay headmaster to take charge without a ministerial 'Governor'. Though not authoritarian in manner, he had 'a dignified presence, a capacity for hard work and perseverance', and was 'deeply religious, a man of wide interests and a staunch Methodist'. Under him the school prospered despite financial and other constraints and its buildings developed from 'a collection of shanties, fronted by an imposing fa├žade' to 'one of the smartest school buildings in Yorkshire'.

Another son, James Vinter was an alderman on Cambridgeshire County Council. He was instrumental in the sale of Hobson Street chapel and the building of Wesley Chapel. A fourth son Robert K. Vinter became headmaster of Kimbolton Grammar School.

  • Frank Tice, The History of Methodism in Cambridge (1966) pp.27-8
  • F.C. Pritchard, The Story of Woodhouse Grove School (1978)