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Portrait of a College
Bilborough 1957-2000, Portrait of a College tells the story of
the founding of the second-to-last grammar school opened in Nottingham, its metamorphosis
into sixth-form college and its further development to meet the needs of the students in
the new millennium. Here you may read how the Forster Elementary Education Act of 1870
shaped education provision in the city and how, more directly, the Butler Education Act of
1944 led to the opening of Bilborough Grammar School; how the grammar school built a
strong reputation for academic and sporting achievement under the dynamic leadership of Dr
Harry Peake; how Ivor Williams consolidated these strengths in a changing social
environment; how Charles Martin master-minded the transition to thriving sixth-form
college; how Gordon Brown orchestrated proceedings prior to and post Incorporation and
finally how Martin Slattery fine-tuned operations to ensure that the college retained its
Whose Speech Day address was "badly received"? Who* argues
that his appointment was a "fiddle"? Who were the ten "Golden Boys" of
1962? Who* had two haircuts on one day both paid for by the head? Who reminded us to
"Mind Your Head"? Who* served as Student President in two consecutive years? Who
played rugby, and cricket, and hockey for England? The answers appear in Bilborough
1957-2000, Portrait of a College, with its 26 appendices of facts and figures and
As you will see from the list of Contents, over fifty scribes have produced articles for this
history, and while wishing to express my gratitude to them all for their contributions,
may I especially thank those who wrote on particular themes at my request. In editing the
articles, I trust that I have not altered the sentiments which contributors sought to
convey. May I acknowledge too the assistance given by Christine Peake, Lynda Williams, my
wife Judith, Denise Ottewell, Bill Bristow and Derek Dowell, and thank the Principal and
Chairman for their support, and a myriad others who have supplied information.
Biographical details have been collected together in Appendix Z.
Further biographies and articles (and amendments) are invited in the event another edition
or even a second compilation is produced.
Potential contributors were sought via letter to friends and to
friends of friends, and via the good offices of the Nottingham Evening Post, BBC
Radio Nottingham and Pam Eyres on BBC Radio 2.
As one writer reminds us, "Memories are idiosyncratic, often
eccentric, even prejudiced . . ." and it follows that two people witnessing the same
events may, at 30-40 years distance, have different recollections of those events. Perhaps
keep this thought in mind as you read the following pages.
18th September, 1999