1961 and 25 YEARS OLD

Page updated 20 March,2007

Norwood was born in May,1936, so 1961 celebrated its 25th Birthday. A full-page article about Norwood's 25th Anniversary appeared in the May,1961, edition of The Leeds Graphic (a monthly society-style magazine) and on the opposite page was an advert for the school. This is how the article appeared in The Leeds Graphic, but if you want to see a larger version (435Kb), click here; alternatively, the full text is reproduced after the image of the article.

The article provides an insight into Charlie's early carreer and setting up Norwood though there is some confusing information about the purchase of the properrty; much of the second part of the article, concerning the curriculum, is taken from the Prospectus.

Celebrates its 25th Anniversary
In 1923, a young man — graduate of Manchester University and formerly destined for the engineering industry, found himself, after a ten month search, without employment. Casting about rather desperately, for this was the depression period following the 1914—18 war, he suddenly found himself with offers of two jobs, both of which matured within three minutes. One was an appointment as violinist in Buxton Orchestra, and the other a teaching position in Harrogate. Circumstances enabled him to accept both, and G. W. G. Cass, B.Sc., as he was then, commenced a career that was to maintain him up to the present day.

It only took a few days to convince him that he had a definite vocation for teaching, and after 13 happy years, he was able to realise the ambition of every schoolteacher—a school of his own. With two pupils under his guidance he occupied a room behind the Old Lion House Hotel, Harrogate. This was only a temporary measure, however, and in the same year, 1936, he took over premises in Tewit Well Avenue, just off the Leeds Road, teaching ten pupils, a number which soon rose to 27; so on May 8th, Norwood College was born.

In 1939, with the onset of war, the tenant of No. 5 Leeds Road evacuated the building, and Mr. Cass requisitioned it. During the early 1940's he formed a small limited company and purchased the entire building and grounds, when the remainder of the property became vacant. As a result, three large private houses and their grounds were transformed into a well appointed well equipped school, and Norwood College really came into its own. Incidentally, the origin of the name is interesting. When Mr. Cass first occupied the Tewit Well Avenue premises, he was badgered by friends and associates to give it a name. Suggestions such as ' Sunnyside School ' were offered, and, happily, rejected. Mr. Cass' affection for London, and particularly Upper Norwood, resulted in the name which has remained unchanged ever since.

Comment: This paragraph says that three "large private houses and their grounds were transformed into a well appointed well equipped school, and Norwood College really came into its own". This would include 1 Tewit Well Ave and 5 Leeds Rd but was number 3 Leeds Rd included or bought later in about 1951? Perhaps Charlie had his eye on further expansion and did buy no.3 in 1944.
Over the years, the number of pupils grew steadily, and consequent developments and modifications were necessary to accommodate them. The number of dormitories were increased and existing ones enlarged. Science laboratories were enlarged and equipped fully with up-to-date materials. Mr. Hall took over the administration of the science block, and has continued to do so with great success. Science and mathematics are probably the College's forte.
Comment: Mr Henry Inchcape Hall. As for the Science "block", well it was hardly a block!
At present there are some 110 boys, 40 of whom are boarders. Although most of them are British, there are a number of other boys from overseas, hailing from as far afield as Pakistan, China, Persia, America, Armenia and Czechoslovakia.

Well appointed classrooms and an excellent dining room all face south — an obvious advantage. The school curriculum is comprehensive and gives the pupils an excellent opportunity to furnish themselves with the ability and qualifications for excellent careers in commerce, industry and the arts. In the lower school, a thorough grounding in reading, writing, spelling and arithmetic is provided. The work of the Middle School is designed to cover more general subjects, and a boy well grounded in these is enabled to take an examination of the standard of the Common Entrance Examinations to Public Schools and also one of the Preceptors' Exams, or those of the London Chamber of Commerce. In the Upper School, boys normally prepare for the General Certificate of Education, while for those who remain at the College after attaining that standard there are special arrangements whereby boys are coached for other examinations, entry for the services, professional preliminary examinations, and for entry to the universities.

Comment: The mention of the Lower, Middle and Uppers schools is extracted from the Prospectus of about 1960 - as is the mention, below, of trips to London etc, Gilbert & Sullivan and the value of games etc

Examination results are, on the whole, very good, passes of 75% and 80% not uncommon. In the past twelve months four boys have obtained firsts and three seconds in Great Britain in their respective Examinations of the London Chamber of Commerce.

However, important as academic qualifications are in this day and age, good manners and an innate sense of responsibility are of equal, if not greater value, and great importance is attached to training in these qualities.

Interest in current affairs is encouraged, and there are lectures given on a variety of subjects. Whenever possible, arrangements are made for the older boys to visit a representative manufacturing concern in order that they may see something of the country's main industries. Excursions to places of interest are undertaken regularly and include London, The Lake District, Liverpool, Newcastle upon Tyne, Salisbury, Exeter and Scotland.

The college posseses (sic) several clubs and in addition to music and the school orchestra, there is the Norwood Operatic and Dramatic Society. This society, which is a member of the National Operatic and Dramatic Association, specialises in the production of Gilbert and Sullivan Operas, and also straight plays, under the personal direction of the Headmaster.

The value of games for developing powers of leadership, esprit de corps and determination, is not overlooked. Association football is played in the Christmas and Easter Terms, and Cricket in the summer term, during which the School athletic sports are also held. Twice a week during the summer term the boys attend the Harrogate Corporation Swimming Baths at times set aside for Norwood. A flourishing debating society, railway club and photographic group are in existence, and also two Scout Groups.

Norwood College is a member of the Independent School Association, and the Headmaster has a seat on the Association's Council. This is indicative of the College's willingness to conform to a high set of standards, and by doing so endow their pupils with a comprehensive education which will enable them to face the rigours of the adult world with confidence and equanimity."

As usual, the Annual Sports Day featured a route march culminating in a design, this year being - obviously - the letters N and C with figures 2 and 5 held up at the rear.
This photo, provided by Hugh Lythall, shows the rehersal with Hugh holding up the figure 2.

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