The Change from Wellingborough Grammar School to the Wrenn School.

 

An "In Memoriam"  was first put in the paper by David  Wilson with the motto:   
"Men, not walls, make a city" It was repeated, as on the right, by Howard Buchanan between 1977 and 2001

IN MEMORIAM

WELLINGBOROUGH GRAMMAR SCHOOL,

DESTROYED 1975,

REMEMBERED BY ALL OLD BOYS AND FORMER STAFF. 

"QUOMODO SEDET SOLA CIVITAS"

See also:  The Bengal Lancers

Placed in the Evening Telegraph the day before the summer term ended.  David Wilson was both a teacher and an old boy at the school.  Howard taught at WGS in its final years.   In Memoriam quote and translation in full

 

Comment

The change from grammar to comprehensive made a dramatic change to the life of many of the "Masters".  In many ways, the most crucial change was the appointment of the Head of Wellingborough High School, Miss Hubbard, as head of the new Wrenn School.    The organisational centre of the new school, with the Head's office, was based at the London Rd. - old High School - site.

 

From the  Grammar school's staff perspective there was surprisingly little pre planning, "going comprehensive in the seventies was always on the cards, in the air, but pressure did not build up".   Staff had to apply for the new jobs and a number of the Grammar School Heads of Department, failed to obtain the HOD post in the new school.  "The change was badly handled, it was high jacked by the High School.  Excessive numbers of  HOD jobs went to the new Head's staff.... David Wilson, for example, lost his position and an awful woman became Head of English...."   Geoffrey Dean

 

In many ways, the change in management style was just as fundamental to the grammar school staff as the massive change in intellectual ability of the children they now taught. 

 

It is evident that Harold Wrenn ran a tight ship.  At an autumn terms examination meeting Geoffrey Dean, an English teacher, put forward a proposal to the staff , via the head, that there was excessive examining in the school and proposed a reduction.  Mr. Wrenn said "Dean's put this proposal up, any one in favour?  No, well next item...."  Generally speaking, Harold Wrenn used to raise issues at staff meetings, listen to the views expressed and then decided on what he thought was the best course of action. 

 

Miss Hubbard had a totally different management style.  She wanted the staff  to agree with her decision.  One issue that she raised was that the school should  take part in the "County Cruise".  Parents paid for their children's places and those payments included amounts which covered the costs of a large number of education department staff.  Mr. Wrenn had always refused to allow WGS to take part, he felt that the financial cost and the junketing that took place was highly questionable.  After a long discussion - to which the old Grammar school staff continued to disagree - Miss Hubbard finally pleaded with the staff to agree to the cruise.  Johnny Hyde, turned to the Head and stated "If you wish to make a school decision that we will go along with the cruise, then we'll support your decision.  But, don't expect to persuade us against our better feelings."   Howard Buchanan (Teacher)

 

In Memoriam Quote

"In Memoriam"  was first put in the paper by David  Wilson with the motto:    "Men, not walls, make a city" It was repeated, as on the right, by Howard Buchanan between 1977 and 2001.   Placed in the Evening Telegraph the day before the summer term ended.  David Wilson was both a teacher and an old boy at the school.  Howard taught at WGS in its final years.   Full "In Memoriam" quote and translation:

 

 

Full Quote

Translation

 

quomodo sedet sola civitas

How doth the city sit solitary,

plena populo

that was full of people!

 

facta est quasi vidua

how is she become as a widow!

 

domina gentium

she that was great among the nations,

 

princeps provinciarum

and princess among the provinces,

 

facta est sub tributo

how is she become tributary!

 

See also:  The Bengal Lancers