Burghley,Newton,Sargent and Tennyson

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Thread Topic: Burghley,Newton,Sargent and Tennyson
Topic Originator: Mike Laughton
Post Date October 17, 2016 @ 9:47 PM
 Burghley,Newton,Sargent and Tennyson
 Burghley,Newton,Sargent and Tennyson

Mike Laughton
October 17, 2016 @ 9:47 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

During the 1950s (from 1954 to 1958) I attended the old Stamford Boys' Secondary Modern School located at the bottom of Recreation Ground Road. The school had formerly been known as St Michael's and most townsfolk still used the old name.
(Most of the schools in the town were Church of England Schools during this period. St John' and St George's were infant schools. St Martin's (boys) and All Saints' (girls) were junior schools)
We had four houses at the secondary school - all named after prominent Lincolnshire men.  Burghley (Lord Burghley), Newton (Isaac), Sargent (Malcolm) and Tennyson (Lord Alfred the Victorian poet). The houses all had their own colours -  blue for Burghley, red for Newton, yellow for Sargent and green for Tennyson.
The four houses used to compete against each other in a series of sporting and academic challenges throughout the school year.
When I first arrived at the school, Newton house dominated everything but by the time I left my house (SARGENT) were champions.
At this time the Stamford Mercury sponsored inter-school cricket and football competitions. We at Stamford Boys Secondary Modern would take on the might of teams from the secondary schools in Oakham, Uppingham and Casterton. But we got slaughtered by the three Rutland schools in every sport every year. The three Rutland Schools were all housed in modern buildings with top class sports facilities on site. They all had cricket and football pitches, athletics tracks showers, changing rooms and sports halls all on site. But here in Stamford we were housed in an antiquated Victorian building that was hardly for for purpose. Indeed some classes were held in church halls. And when it came to sport, we had to walk a mile and a half from the school to the Empingham Road sports field every time we had a cricket or football match and athletics was held at the same venue although we had to help mark out the track ourselves.
Thinking back, we in Stamford really were the poor neighbours when compared to the Rutland Schools at the time.
Of course it was great for the kids who had passed the 11 plus and won a place at Stamford Schools or Stamford High School. They had access to top class sports and academic facilities, teaching and coaching.
But we 11 plus failures had no more spent on our education than was absolutely necessary for the most basic of lessons.
However, because they were not classed as academically gifted, many of the school leavers from the Secondary Modern School took up apprenticeships as plumbers, electricians, carpenters and went on to become some of the leading builders and businessmen in the district -  amassing a nice amount of wealth in the process. So at least some of us from poorer families probably had the last laugh.

Roger Partridge
October 21, 2016 @ 9:34 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I think the replacement school - the Exeter in Empingham Road, opened in 1960 - had a playing field behind the school. With the exception of the Fane all of Stamford's state schools prior to the 1960s were housed in cramped Victorian building and I think it was the 1970s before they were all replaced.

Although Stamford School had playing fields, some were on a slope. When I started in 1961 the changing facilities were primitive being in the old stone building fronting East St. New facilities were  built in 1962 for the juniors and 1964, seniors. But the classrooms ranged from brand new to ancient. Even in 1968, some VI form classes were taught in dilapidated attics in an 18th century building.