NORWOOD COLLEGE (HARROGATE) LTD
1944 to 1976

Updated 15 November,2018

After Norwood had been in operation for about eight years, the school became a limited company, "Norwood College (Harrogate) Ltd". The official records in Companies House have now been destroyed so we are unable to tell the composition of the company. However, Companies House residual records show that it was incorporated as a company in 1944, registered number 389431, and dissolved in 1976 (the year in which Charlie died). This would suggest that no action was taken to dissolve the company when the school closed in 1972, probably simply due to Charlie's age and ill-health. The email from Companies House reads as follows:-

"Mr Eden,

Re : NORWOOD COLLEGE (HARROGATE) LIMITED

Thank you for your recent enquiry regarding the above company
I have searched our archive records and obtained the following information:

      Company number: 389431
      Year incorporated: 1944
      Company status: Dissolved
      Year dissolved: 1976

Unfortunately, as the above company has been dissolved for over 20 years all further information relating to it has now been destroyed.
Regards,
Phil Martin
Customer Care"

The 1939 Kelly Directory includes Norwood in the name of "Norwood College for Boys" so that may have been the title prior to the formation of the registered company.

The deed conveying the property from the former owners, "Edward Numa Butterworth, John Hirst and Eric Gordon Scruton, to "Norwood College (Harrogate) Limited" on 11 November,1944, shows the registered premises as 5 Leeds Road and the Directors as W H Cass and N Bourne; the company Secretary was Charles B Cowling. On the same date Barclays Bank was shown as having a mortgage interest. Note that Charlie's name does not appear at this stage.

Butterworth, Hirst and Scruton, had become the owner of what appears to have been nos.3 and 5 Leeds Road in July,1940. On the 1940 conveyance deed Butterworth is shown as "of Norwood College". Our understanding is that Charlie took on no.5 Leeds Road in 1939. It is unwise to make assumptions but perhaps Capt. Butterworth was a friend of Charlie's from his Army days in 1917/18 and happened to reside at no.5 when the change of ownership occurred, and perhaps, Charlie had had beneficial use of no.5 for a year or so. The story is further complicated by the entry in Kelly's Directory for 1936 and again in 1937 being Walter Aerni, Principal, in what appears to have been Confetta Ltd College. And, in 1938, the entry is shown as G C Cass (not Gordon W G, or William H or Ruth C, but G C - a misprint for G W G Cass?)

Bankrupcy

The London Gazette, of 14 July,1939, recorded that a Receiving Order under the Bankruptcy Acts,1914 & 1926, was placed on "Cass G W G Cass, Norwood College, 1 Tewit Well Avenue, Harrogate, schoolmaster Court Harrogate"

On 29 July,1939, the Leeds Mercury reported:

Extract from the Harrogate Herald of 26 March,1947, (with thanks to Tony Cheal of the Harrogate People and Places web site )

“DISCHARGED FROM BANKRUPCY – Judge’s Comments to Harrogate Headmaster. Extract from the Harrogate Herald of 26 March,1947, “DISCHARGED FROM BANKRUPCY – Judge’s Comments to Harrogate Headmaster.

His Honour Judge W. Stewart, at Harrogate County Court on Friday, in granting a discharge from bankruptcy to Gordon W G Cass, schoolmaster, of Norwood College, 1, Tewit Well Avenue, Harrogate, and said that he was assuming that the petitioner was an honest man, and expressed the hope that he would pay off the remainder of his liabilities as soon as he could. Cass offered 10s in the £.
The Official Receiver, Mr J S Snowball, said that Cass became bankrupt in 1939, and an order was made in July of that year. The liabilities were then £1,883 9s 9p and the assets were stated to be £365 4s 1d of which £187 17s 5d was available for distribution. The college was opened by Cass with ten pupils in 1939, and at the time of the bankruptcy, the number had risen to 56. Causes of failure were given as lack of capital and insufficient experience of the finance, administration and catering of the college.
Opposing the application on behalf of creditors, Mr W E Woods maintained that Cass could have paid 7s 6d in the pound immediately before the filing of the petition.
Questioned by the Judge, Cass admitted that there were now 105 boys at the school, and that his own salary had been raised recently to £500 per year. Cass said that expenses had also mounted considerably, and added he was offering all he could afford at the present time.”


The conveyance of the playground from Norwood College (Harrogate) Ltd to "Tewit Well Housing Society Limited whose office is at 1 Lynton Parade, Cheshunt, Waltham Cross, Herts" shows that Sidney Jones is the Director and Charlie the Company Secretary. This deed is dated 25 March,1968. Sidney Jones may have been appointed as a Director when Mr Cass senior died in 1963. It is understood that Mr Curtis took Sid's place Director in due course.

The company embossing seal still exists and is held by one of the old boys. An impression from that machine is shown - it has been inked as the usual embossing would be almost invisible.

When the company was set up its Secretary was Mr Charles B Cowling; he had worked in Barclays Bank so perhaps Charlie had had contact with him in that capacity, particualry (as you will read) that he had also been a teacher. An article in the Harrogate Herald, of 8 February,1950, reported that seventy-five-year-old Mr Charles B Cowling and his wife were celebrating their golden wedding anniversary the following day; they were well known in Pateley Bridge where they had lived for many years. A native of Farnley, Mr Cowling spent the early part of his career teaching in Leeds. For 36 years, Mr Cowling was treasurer both of the Pateley Bridge Conservative Club and of the Nidderdale Agricultural Society which he helped to found. He was a well-known Freemason and was also a member of the old Pateley Bridge Golf Club. When Mr Cowling retired, after 35 years as manager at Barclay's Bank in Pateley Bridge, he and his wife moved to Harrogate in 1934.

The 1901 Census 28 records that C B Cowling was a Bank Manager, living in the High Street, Pateley Bridge, with his wife Minnie, son Edward. He was born in about 1874 in Farnley, Leeds. They employed a servant, Louisa Wilson.

Trying to piece together the company history, it seems that this is the story:

• on setting up in 1944, W H Cass (Charlie's father) and N Bourne were appointed as Company Directors and C B Cowling as Company Secretary; registered premises were 5 Leeds Road
(note that there seems to be no mention of Charlie being on the Board at this stage. "J Bourne" was a pupil, leaving in about 1945, so N Bourne may have had his son at Norwood)
• at some point time, (probably 1955) and presumably following the death of C B Cowling, Charlie was appointed Company Secretary

• Sid Jones appears to have replaced Charlie's father as (sole?) Director when the latter died in 1963

• in the 1968 sale of the playground, the Director is shown as Sid Jones and Charlie as Company Secretary


On this 1970 cheque, Charlie has written "(Director & Sec'y)" with his signature. Sidney Jones' signature is also included so there must have been at least two Directors.
As an aside, it is interesting that Stamp Duty was still payable on cheques and that machine-readable data was being included. And, that we were still two years away from decimalisation!

Cheque image kindly provided by Alastair Buchan

• at some date after this H W Curtis replaced Sid Jones as the Director. 1953 School photo: Mrs Joan Hammond, Mr H W Curtis, Miss Beisant

• when the company was wound up following Charlie's death in 1976, the only Company official was Mr Curtis who was shown as both Director and Secretary. Mr Curtis, of 27 Ashgrove, Bradford 7, had been a part-time French teacher at Norwood; he visited Charlie at The Metropole following the sale and settlement of Norwood (to discuss same) and this is mentioned in personal correspondence.


28. 1901 National Census, RG13 4037, Pateley Bridge, District 1,
Folio 19, Page 30 Household sch no. 178


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