Contents List College History Emergency Training Colleges
There was a great demand for teachers after World War Two, so the Government set up a number of emergency training schemes. In 1946 the Ministry of Works began the task of converting the vacant USAAF 231st Station Hospital site into two training colleges, but work was slow due to the severe weather conditions in the winter of 1946/7. However, on 23 April 1947 the Wymondham Emergency Training College for Teachers (Men) opened and received the first batch of 252 male students, mostly ex-servicemen. The Principal was Mr A.J. Price. Courses lasted for thirteen months and the third entry left in December 1950. The men were housed, and the lectures took place, in a cluster of nissen huts, to the east of the site, that were referred to as 'Butler Court.' Wilkinson Court (between the present Lincoln and Kett Halls) was used as overspill accommodation.
On 16th May 1947 the Wymondham Emergency Training College for Teachers (Women) opened in 'Tomlinson Court' with 237 students. The Principal was Miss P.H. Whitaker. Most of ladies' dormitories were in the Tomlinson (west) area, but some lived in what later became the boys' and girls' gym and changing room huts (called 'Much Binding in the Marsh' after a popular radio show). The women's college closed after two courses and the men took over the buildings, allowing their third and final course to comprise 400 students.
On 17 June 1947 the two colleges were officially opened by Mr D.R. Hardman, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Education. They were administered jointly by the Ministry of Education and Norfolk Education Committee.
The colleges closed in December 1950 having processed a total of around 1500 future Headmasters, Heads of Department and Education Advisers.
The friendships formed over sixty years ago were sustained through the 20th Century; informally by the ladies and more formally by the men through the 'Old Wymondians' Association. The latter held reunions at the College each year until dwindling numbers made the event unsustainable.
Click thumbnails to enlarge
If you have a copy of this 35 page booklet, which is apparently loaded with photos and facts, do please get in touch as we do not have a copy in our archive. Please contact email@example.com
The Women's College badge was designed by Mary Muir (nee Orchard) and comprises two open books on a green field above a gold dragon (the gold of Knowledge). The dragon was the symbol of the ancient inn at Wymondham thought to have been a pilgrims' rest for those visiting the Abbey. The Men's College badge was designed by Allen Smith and includes:
- a wooden spoon and butter patter from the Wymondham Arms
- the Book of Knowledge
- the Torch of Education
- the Sword (fight against ignorance)
Presentation Ceremony programme for the second of the three men's training courses, dated 9th August 1949. Programme signed by Dr Lincoln Ralphs (click to browse PDF file).
A happy group photographed in 1950.
The Ladies Training College 1948-1949
The following photographs have been sent in by Rosey who is in New Zealand. They are of her mum Edith Baxendale and other ladies who were at the Training College in 1948 and 1949. If anyone has any other names we love to be able to add them to this page.
This is a summary of Edith's story:On 25 August 1922 at 251 Munition Cottages, Coventry, Annie Edith Laura BAXENDALE was born to Samuel BAXENDALE (Carpenter & Joiner Journeyman) and his wife Laura Emily née WELCH.Mum's first passport dated 16 March 1949 gave her profession as "Student" living at 6 Nethermill Road, Coventry. She signed her passport "E Baxendale" as by this date she had chosen to be known by her second name, Edith.
Edith trained as a teacher at Wymondham Training College (WOMEN), Morley, Wymondham, Norfolk, from August 1948 to September 1949.Her testimonial letter, typed on NORFOLK EDUCATION COMMITTEE letterhead, dated 12 September 1949, and signed by the principal of the women's college, Miss P. H. WHITTAKER, M.A, gives several insights into the teacher training provided at Wymondham.The letter notes her special subjects were Social Studies, Art and Craft, and that she had followed a basic course which had "included the elements of English Usage and Arithmetic, Principles and History of Education, Health Education and Physical Education", and that during her training she had practised in both town and country schools.
Edith was also a member of the Current Events Group, and the Old Time Dance Club, and was a House Representative on the Student Council.After completing her training, Edith taught in England, followed by a year as an exchange teacher at Arbor Heights School, Seattle (USA), then at 3 Canadian schools; Wideview School, (Mankota, Saskatoon), Bralorne (BC) and Central School (Cranbrook, BC), followed by 10 years at Richmond Primary School (Nelson, New Zealand).
So her Wymondham training set her up for a great career.
No names known
Handwritten on the back "Some of the girls I live with taken outside the dormitory Sept 1948"
Centre back, Edith Baxendale
Back row, third from right, Edith Baxendale Back row, third from right, Edith Baxendale Letter from Principal P. H. Whittaker, M.A. Sept 1949. Wymondham Training College - Certificate of completion of course Copy of postcard showing Wymondham (Morley St Botolph)
Wymondham College Remembered