POSTCARDS OF NORWOOD COLLEGE

Page created 14 February,2008




Only four postcards are known to exist and Tony Cheal of the Harrogate Historical Society & Re-population Study Group has copies of three; a fourth postcard was reproduced in the Harrogate Advertiser (see below). Tony Cheal has kindly allowed images of his cards to be shown here.

Without any doubt there must have been other postcards published as these four titles alone would hardly have represented Norwood.








This postcard shows the Tewit Well Avenue side of the school as well as the Playground. The buildings at left-foreground are the shops in Leeds Road; note the canvas awnings to shade the shop window displays.

Clifton House School is not visible, but is immediately on the right of house at centre-right of the view - this being Stray Road.

Norwood was established in 1936 and perhaps this postcard was published in the first year or so as a publicity item.


The Harrogate Advertiser of 28 October,2005, carried the following story about this postcard:

"Mystery of inter-war period picture

In trying to date photographs, such things as clothing, motor cars, or even key buildings, can be useful, but this week's photograph of Bygone Harrogate is difficult to date precisely, because of the absence of such features. The aerial location immediately suggests circa 1920, as Harrogate was subjected to several aerial surveys by pilots fresh from the First World War. The site shown is easy to identify, being the junction of Leeds and Stray Roads and, as The Stray footpath at top was planted with cherry trees in 1953-4, this view must date from before that time but when?

Close examination of The Stray at upper left shows that the grass has been cut, and as Harrogate Corporation only started using broad-bladed grass cutters in circa 1930, after abolishing the post of Stray Herdsman, the time may be reduced to between 1930 and 1950.

The war years may also be excluded, as aviation fuel was unavailable for such frivolous things as flights to produce picture post-cards. Leeds Road, at the left, is fairly busy, with as many as six cars speeding along its length. The roads at bottom all belong to Isaac Pickard's Tewit Well Estate, and consist of Stray Road, Tewit Well Avenue, Alderson Road and at very bottom, South Drive. The blinds round the shops between Alderson Road and South Drive may be seen at the bottom.

The largest building, the premises of Norwood College, may be seen at centre, below which is the open play area belonging to the college. Norwood College has a very active website, so perhaps ex-pupils may be able to identify the photograph's date with more accuracy.

Before the shops were built between South Drive and Alderson Road, the site was occupied by a building known as the "Lodge", of which no photographs are known to have survived. According to some notes I read recently, one of the men who worked in about 1922 on the demolition of the Lodge, claimed that much of the building had contained medieval materials, including a timber frame.

This raises interesting possibilities, such as the Lodge having been the gatehouse to the medieval Fulwith Park, or to a farm or manor house, but hard proof is lacking."


This postcard bears the title, "The Laboratory, Norwood College, Harrogate" and it is undoubtedly the Chemistry Lab that was in the basement and later made into a Coffee Bar; in the 1940s/50s there were two laboratories, Chemistry and Physics. As a telescope and microscope are visible in this picture and the title is simply, "The Laboratory", perhaps a separate Physics Laboratory was yet to be established.
The postcard picture includes Charlie's brass telescope that he bought from Reynolds and Branston, Leeds, in around 1920; this very telescope is now in the possession of an old-boy of Norwood as the colour photograph shows.



The title is, "Sports Field Looking East, Norwood College, Harrogate". The trees in the centre are those is and around Fells Quarry; the railway line is in a cutting on the left side of the picture. The notice board shown in the next postcard is just visible on the track beyond the goalposts.

Norwood had use of, or probably owned, a field adjacent to the Fells Quarry on the approach to the Crimple Viaduct.

The owner of a postcard, entitled "Corner of Sports Ground from the South West, Norwood College, Harrogate" was puzzled and this lead local histporian Malcolm Neesam to write about it and Norwood in an article, "Reasonable ground for doubt" in the Harrogate Advertiser. The newspaper article assumed it to be of the play ground in Leeds Rd adjacent to the school but the postcard actually shows the field area adjacent to Fells Quarry. The view is looking along Fulwith Mill Lane towards the bridge over the railway - in the 1950s this was a dirt road and not one used regularly by traffic. The signboard says,
- NORWOOD COLLEGE - SPORTS GROUND STRICTLY PRIVATE GWG CASS (then perhaps the school telephone number). However, the follow-up article put things right! See Norwood College Sports Ground for the full account.

Having only a reproduction from the Harrogate Advertiser there is no clue as to the publisher of the postcard.




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