Contents List College History Timeline


Please help us to build a comprehensive chronology for the College.

8 Jun 1945 231st USAAF Station Hospital closes.
23 Apr 1947 Wymondham Emergency Training College for Teachers (Men) opens.
16 May 1947 Wymondham Emergency Training College for Teachers (Women) opens.
17 Jun 1947 Official opening of the Emergency Teachers' Training College.
Dec 1950 Closure of the Emergency Teachers' Training Colleges.
Apr 1951 Pilot 'Technical Course' starts for 60 boarding students.
Sep 1951 First Technical School and Special Grammar School students arrive, together with the 'Thetford Transferees,' the first Commercial Course and the 'Agricultural Boys' - totalling approximately 300 pupils.
26 Jul 1952 The first Open Day.
Feb 1953 Lancashire Fire Brigade (Volunteers) billeted at the College while clearing up after the East Coast floods.
Spring 1953 The House system (N, S, E and W) was introduced in time for the Athletics season.
18 Jul 1953 Open Day.
Jul 1954 365 pupils in the Technical School, 142 pupils in the Grammar School
Sep 1954
  • A state of quarantine at the College affects sports fixtures - what was the reason? [See below - Ed.]
  • School Orchestra established.
  • First Lower 6th Form established.
  • Rugby Union introduced for 4th form and below.
  • The 54/55 School magazine says 'Inter-house competition ... has become increasingly apparent.  This is as a direct result of the re-organisation of the dormitories into Houses.'  So what was the basis of the earlier system?

As regards the quarantine, the 2002 College Newsletter contains this note from Margaret Blanchflower (nee Gardiner 1951-)  ..... "The vivid memory of weeks of quarantine when Sheila Curson contracted polio and the prospect of our dorm being cooped up with Miss Brunning.  After weeks of total isolation with meals and school work sent down to us we emerged with a much higher regard for Miss B. ....."

16 Jul 1955
  • Peel Hall foundation stone laid by Alderman Sam Peel, Chairman of Norfolk Education Committee.
  • First public performance of the School Song (Floreat Sapientia), written by Dr Lincoln Ralphs .
Sep 55
  • Start of first academic year with a complete school from 1st Form to Upper VIth; R.V. Metcalfe assumes the position of Warden.

  • First all-ages Rugby Union season, in parallel with Association Football's last season.

  • Technical School and Grammar School amalgamation begins, leading to a unified Wymondham College.

  • Thorpe Grammar School (day) pupils begin tuition at the College while their school is being built.

early-1956? Wymondham College badge designed by Mr D.C. Freeman (Art).
Sep 1957
  • 672 pupils (296 girls, 376 boys).
  • North and South girls move into Peel Hall.
  • Use of the original Chapel ceases.  Butler Hall is used as an interim facility until the new Chapel (Hut 35) is ready.
  • South boys 'all together as a unit.'
  • School Orchestra formed this year, starting with violins
Jan 1958
  • East and West girls move into Lincoln Hall.  
  • East and West boys move from the 'Butler' dorms to the 'Tomlinson' accommodation area.  Can anyone confirm this?
  • Start of full school (all years) Rugby season
27 Jan 1958 The 'Morley Hoard' of 885 Saxon silver pennies is found by workmen digging drains for new staff quarters. The estimated date of burial was 925 AD.  Pagan Saxon pottery was also found in the area, dating much earlier than the coins.
Mar 1958
  • At the end of the Spring Term, Thorpe Grammar School pupils departed for their new school and presented WC with a print 'Winter Landscape With Skaters' by Pieter Breugel the Elder. [the print was hung in the Club 1958-59; Ed.]
  • Fry Hall construction begins

Summer 1958

  • Mr Gerald Powell retires (Mr Trevor Terry takes over as East Housemaster)

  • Miss Smith (West Matron) leaves

3 Jun 1958 Roman pottery kilns (end of 1st Century AD) discovered next to Tomlinson Hall.
Sep 1958
  • 706 pupils (310 girls, 396 boys)
  • Those who joined in the 1st Form in 1951 now reach the Upper 6th.
  • Dewey system introduced in the Library.
  • Hut 35 becomes the 2nd location for the Chapel.
Oct 1958 The first Speech Day.  Lincoln Hall opened officially by Dean Acheson (American Secretary of State 1949-53).
Sep 1959
  • Fry Hall completed.
  • The first County Grammar School (day) pupils arrive.
29 Sep 1959 Elizabeth Fry Hall opened by Miss Janet Witney.
May 1961 Construction of the new gym begins, destroying half of the garden (including the orchard) in the process.
Sep 1961
  • 850 pupils (374 girls, 476 boys); includes 138 in the 6th Form.
  • The new House system comes into force; six for boys and four for girls.  The new House names (cathedral cities) were devised by Mrs Rutherford.
  • Salisbury and Canterbury move into Kett Hall.
  • Norwich and Durham assemble in a hutted annexe
Jan 1962
  • Cavell Hall ready for occupation.
  • Worcester and Winchester Houses move from Peel Hall to Cavell Hall (but couldn't use the dining hall until May).
  • Norwich and Durham Houses move into Peel Hall
Summer 1962
  • Romano-British pottery kiln re-opened (adjacent to Tomlinson Hall).
  • In June, the Army Cadet Force was founded by Mr Swann.
Sep 1962
  • 768 pupils.
  • All Houses are now in the 5 Halls of Residence, with some junior boys and girls in hutted annexes ... 'with little prospect of being moved.'
  • Extensions to the Dining Rooms of Peel and Lincoln were completed this coming year.
19 Oct 1962 Speech Day in St Andrews and Blackfriars Halls (Norwich).  Guest speaker Sir Keith Murray.
Jan 1963
  • Severe weather - skating on the pond - the hardest winter for 223 years.
  • 'Flu epidemic.
Summer 1963 New gym comes into use.
15th Oct 1963 Edward Boyle (Minister of Education) officially opens the gym, games hall, swimming pool, Kett Hall and Edith Cavell Hall.
1965 RAF Section of the CCF is formed
June 1965 'Festival of Education' at the College
Nov 1966
  • Wymondham College and the County Grammar School hold a combined Speech Day in the Games Hall.
  • 715 WC pupils; 410 CGS.
Sep 1967 725 pupils (328 girls, 397 boys); 177 in the 6th Form.
Autumn 1967
  • The dyke parallel to the 1st XV pitch was filled in.
  • Mrs Saunders (York Matron) returns after breaking a leg
  • New clothing introduced: Boys' mac, 6th Form girls' cape and Upper 6th umbrellas.
  • Wakefield and Washington Houses formed & occupy New Hall.
  • Radio Club moves into 'new premises behind the workshops' - the old Club common room.
  • Much tree planting (including an avenue of limes in the Park)
Jan 1968 'Flu epidemic & cases of meningitis.  To combat the 'flu, it is understood that the school was fumigated and half-term was extended to 2 weeks.  The term was lengthened by one week to recover lost time.
Summer 1968
  • Mr Mullenger and John Hinchliffe start work on the electronic cricket scoreboard (to be ready 1969).  Brick foundations are laid by a professional bricklayer, aided by post-exam 5th and Upper 6th formers.
  • WC Paper (Roll 1) was published on the last day of term, allowing the main culprits (Upper 6th leavers) to escape.
Sep 1968
  • 697 pupils (317 girls, 380 boys); 162 in the 6th Form.
  • Televisions appear as permanent features in the Houses
Spring 1969 The pond is frozen for the first time since 1963
Summer 1969
  • The new electronic cricket scoreboard was unable to be used until after half-term due to wet weather and drainage problems.
  • Leisure wear for tea is 'an innovation' this term
  • O and A Level students allowed to go home after exams (significant that 'idle hands' produced WC Paper Roll 1 the year before!)
Autumn 1969
  • 705 pupils (334 girls, 371 boys); 154 in the 6th Form.
  • Only Head Boy/Girl and House Captains qualify as full prefects; rest of Upper 6th are sub-prefects with gold braid rings.
  • Berets and caps become optional
  • Library lengthened to make a paperback bookshop
Spring 1970 College switches to mains water; borehole no longer used.
Summer 1970
  • Blue check blouse introduced for girls as an alternative to the summer dress.
  • Shirts with College crest and name are worn by some 6th Form boys for sport and leisure.
  • Some chalets close to Golf Links Road are painted white.
Dec 1970 R.V. Metcalfe retires.
Jan 1971 R. Wolsey becomes Warden.
Sep 1971
  • Wymondham College and the County Grammar School merge.
  • 1351 pupils; 327 day girls, 337 girl boarders, 332 day boys, 355 boy boarders.  249 in the 6th Form.
  • First soccer season since the 1950s.
  • Houses rearranged into 6 'Groups' (see Family Trees page)
7 Nov 1971 Fire in a York 8-bed dorm; affected property and fittings only.
26 Feb 1972 The gym was gutted by fire in the small hours & the whole school was fingerprinted following this.
Summer 1972 College Magazine was entitled 'Amalgam.'
Sep 1972 The term was not more than two hours old when the cricket pavilion was gutted by fire.
13 Nov 1972 The Parent-Staff Association was inaugurated and pinched the acronym of the Past Students Association!
Jan 1973 BBC TV cameras covered the first day of term and scenes/interviews appeared on 'Look East.'
2 Apr 1973 A strong gale caused damage to trees in the Park.
Sep 1973 All boarding houses now mixed.
31 Mar 1974 Sir Lincoln Ralphs' last visit as Director of Education for Norfolk.
11 Jan 1974 Margaret Thatcher (Minister of Education) visits the school.
Oct 1974 The New Block was evacuated temporarily for fear of collapse (high alumina cement content).  Load tests were carried out, fears were not realised and the block was returned to use.
May 1974 Total population 1432 pupils (680 boarders).
Summer 1974 WC Paper (Roll 2) was published on the last day of term.
Winter 1974 Board of Governors formed.
Sep 1975 Entry of the last pupils selected for Grammar School education.
2-3 Jan 1976 Very high winds caused extensive damage to buildings, delaying the start of the new term.
Feb 1976 'Flu epidemic, with over 500 cases.
Sep 1976 Cook-freeze system of catering comes into force.
1977 The Main Dining Hall was used for the last time.
Sep 1978 Establishment of the 6th Form boarding houses (Lincoln and Peel).
16 Oct 1978 Death of Sir Lincoln Ralphs
Spring 1979 Introduction of 'Societies Lions.'
31 Mar 1979 Formal opening of the Lincoln Ralphs Library.
Sep 1981 Wymondham College become a Comprehensive school.  The Warden is re-titled 'Headmaster.'
1982 Sports Hall electronic scoreboard manufactured.
Jan 1984 Norfolk's 1984-85 budget for school buildings was cut, and the College's future comes under threat.
1986 Andrew Seeley retires (1951-1986).
Dec 1986 Sister Godfrey retires.
  • Bob Norton and Margaret Norton (nee Wilkinson) retire (1953-1987).
  • MaxPax machines were a major talking-point!
Jan 1987 Hut 25 demolished.
Spring 1987 The pond was drained and tidied up, with the involvement of the Conservation Club.
Sep 1987 The new Refectory came into use.
Dec 1987 The Refectory was opened officially by Sir James Cleminson; Chairman of the British Trade Overseas board.  It was referred to by the locals as a 'nissen hut with square walls.'
  • The Wymondham College Association was formed, with just over 100 past pupils as members.

  • Movement detectors were fitted in the Halls (part of a burglar alarm system or just to catch creatures of the night?).

  • Roger Garrard retires (1952-1989).

  • Foundation stone laid for the Science Block by Sir Michael Beetham, Marshal of the RAF, on 15th June.

July 1989 Two dinner-dances were held for past-pupils.  "Younger members broke into the swimming pool and caused 100 worth of damage."  Overnight accommodation was withdrawn for future events ....
Sep 1989 6th Formers eat in Houses rather than the Refectory.
Dec 1989 An epidemic/bug did the rounds.
  • Bean bag seating introduced in Houses.

  • Path laid between Peel and Lincoln Halls.

9 Mar 1990 Visit by the Duke of Edinburgh.
Sep 1990 The Science Block was opened, allowing the huts between New Hall and the Staff houses to be demolished (numbers 40-42).
Dec 1990 Evelyn Bird retires from the post of Headmaster's Secretary (she started in December 1954)
  • The brick corridor between the Sickbay and hut 18 was declared unsafe and was demolished.

  • Hut 36 was modified (windowless) as a drama studio.

  • Reunions became biennial.

  • Ken Bowman (1957-72) and C.C.H. Worrall (1963-76) died.

Jan 1991 Wymondham College becomes a Grant-maintained school.
Sep 1991
  • The day-boarder system begins.

  • 6th formers returned to a refurbished Lincoln Hall

  • Foam filling used in Nissen huts

  • Peel Hall converted back to a Hall of Residence

  • Huts 12 and 14 become Maths classrooms

  • Dormitories equipped with fitted carpets

31 Aug 1992 Ronald Wolsey retires as Head, ending with a tour of schools in San Francisco, Vancouver and Japan.
Sep 1992 John Haden becomes Principal.
  • Pipes removed from above the covered way

  • Nissen huts have their own heating systems, green paint and replacement windows.

  • Tomlinson Hall, 14, 20, staff chalets and old gym (latterly Fry Common Room) demolished
  • Technology Block under construction on the site of hut 28 (grant of 500K)
  • Keith and Celia Rutherford retire (Chemistry/Needlework)
Spring 1993
  • Boiler House demolished
  • Morley Hall closed by Norfolk Education Committee & put up for sale.  Was previously the Coraver-Browne family home.
1994 New Technology Block opened by John McGregor, MP for South Norfolk
Summer 1994
  • Adrian and Anne Hoare retire from Cavell House (1974-94)
  • Sister Duckworth retires (1974-94)
  • Mervyn Taylor retires (pupil 1952-57 and teacher 1961-94)
  • Old workshops become the Language Department, allowing 3 more huts to be demolished adjacent to Golf Links Road
  • Hut 24 demolished
Apr 1995 John Worley (Biology) died
Jul 1995 Reunion attendees noted that Lincoln Hall tables had been stripped and resealed (dating from early 1960s)
Sep 1995
  • Peel becomes Junior House (Year 7), Principal's Office and Administration Office
  • Lincoln occupied by Upper 6th Form, with own Dining Hall
  • Lower 6th become House Prefects
  • Planning permission obtained for new Sickbay (by linking 2 staff houses).  Begins use in November.
  • Intention to preserve the old Sickbay as 'a museum of life in a WW2 American hospital and a heritage centre.'  Didn't happen.
  • Mike Poulton (Maths) retires (1969-96)
  • John Paxton retires (1966-96)
  • Sarah Battye died July 1996 (1965-96)
Feb 1997
  • Hut 32 is now the Maths Department
  • Geography moves into mobile classrooms at the back of the workshops
  • Huts 16 and 18 'soon to be demolished.'
  • Phase 1 of the Science extension (2 labs) being erected
  • Grant obtained for the 2nd phase of the Technology Block (Art & Design rooms).  When complete, hut 30 and half of hut 26 will be demolished.
  • All old covered ways demolished
Apr 1997 The first meeting of the Wymondham College Trust (WCT) attended by newly installed trustees Mr M. W. Brand, Mr T.C. Eaton, Mr M.R.C. Fitzroy, Col G.G. Hardaker, Mr R.J.B. Hoare, Mrs A. Richardson, Mr D.J. Spinks. Also in attendance Mr J.D. Haden Principal and Mrs C.J. Arnold Secretary WCT.
Sep 1997 The only remaining huts are the Chapel, 11 (History), 12 (Art, Craft & Restoration), 30, 32, 34 and 36.
1999 Rear section of hut 32 was removed - in 1951 this hut was the dormitory for boys of the Easton School of Agriculture.
7 May 1999 Phase 2 of the Design & Technology Block was opened by Charles Clarke MP (Under-Secretary for School Standards).
Sep 2000 Victoria Musgrave becomes Principal.







Wymondham College Remembered