Monday, September 8, 2008
Wolverton County School
It seems hard to imagine now but at the beginning of the 20th century Wolverton was the second largest population centre in Buckinghamshire - the largest being High Wycombe. Wolverton then was an obvious place to start when the county tried to address secondary education.
The school was established in January 1902 with 32 pupils at the Science and Art Institute. Two years later the County approved a grant of £2000 for a new school and with additional grants of £1750 the project was initiated and buildings were erected on a site at Three Bush Field at the south end of Moon Street. However, the final cost was £6000.
The new school opened in September 1906 under the energetic headship of a man described by Sir Frank Markham as "the bristling E.J. Boyce". The fees at the time were £6 a year. My mother recalled her parents paying fees of £3 6s. 8d. per term in 1930, or £10 a year. In addition pupils (really their parents) had to buy all their text books and exercise books. So it was a significant expense.
There were scholarships and I understand that my Aunt went there on a scholarship in 1920. My father, who was not academically inclined, did not. My grandfather was then earning £250 per annum as a clerk in the railways works, so I imagine school fees placed a significant burden on family finances.