Unlike the impressive sprawling campus that it now is, the original Rushcliffe school on Boundary Road was a much more modest affair. A two-storey quadrangle comprising classrooms at first floor, with hall, offices, dining rooms and cloak rooms on the ground floor, complemented by a science, art, and library block to one side, and a gym, changing rooms and Dutch barn, open to one side, on the other.
Opened in September 1961, with teaching staff adorned with their black university robes, The Rushcliffe Boy’s Technical School catered for those pupils who had passed the 11-Plus examination but not sufficiently well that it would enable them entry to The West Bridgford Grammar School. In the mindset of our then educational establishment, it was to be a school for the workplace technicians, not the doctors and lawyers. Prior to this, pupils were bused to the technical school in Bramcote.
In September 1961 the first-year pupils were the new intake but there existed a second and third-year cohort to join them. Starting in 1959 these two intakes had been schooled as a separate entity at the Lutterell Secondary Modern School on Stanhome Drive (latterly South Notts College, now demolished), a mixed establishment catering for pupils not so successful in their 11-Plus exams. One memorable by-product of this brief lodgement was the introduction of rugby as an additional sporting activity for all and the creation of a resoundingly successful under 13’s team, undefeated all season, and, to the delight of the headmaster, West Bridgford Grammar School’s nemesis!
It is interesting to recall, given the volume of traffic currently appearing on Boundary Road at the beginning and end of the school day, that in September 1961 the bridge over the railway was only sufficiently wide for one vehicle at a time!
To the delight of the boys now busy settling into their new school, and in much anticipation, September 1962 saw the opening of the sister establishment next door, The Rushcliffe Girl’s Technical School. The new headmistress however was keen to thwart any opportunity for fraternisation, so longing glances at break times whilst playing five-a-side on the adjoining tennis courts was as good as it got! A slight thaw was eventually negotiated but comprised only well chaperoned, mixed, extra-curricular music or drama classes.
All history! The two schools soon merged and became The Rushcliffe School and much new building has enhanced the campus and curriculum. Along with the old grammar school, now The West Bridgford School, our two senior schools have forged an excellent reputation for offering the area outstanding educational opportunities.
Written by West Bridgford & District History Society.
The Society meets in the hall of the Musters Road Methodist Church, on the corner of Musters Road and Patrick Road. At our meeting on Monday 6th March, David Dunford will be telling us about “West Bridgford’s Cinema(s)”.