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Bilborough Grammar School Nottingham, England

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Bilborough Grammar School opened in 1957 with Dr H J Peake as Headmaster. Succeeding Headmasters and Principals were Mr J I Williams (appointed in 1965), Mr E W Bristow (1973), Mr C G Martin (1975), Mr P A Stay (1987), Mr G H Brown (1988) and Mr M J Slattery (1996).

Dr Peake, Mr Williams, and Mr Bristow are present in a school photograph from 1961 and a staff photograph from 1965.

(The school began its transition to a Sixth Form College in 1973 and was Incorporated as Bilborough College April 1, 1993.)

Pale blue on black

Vairé or and gules, being the arms of William Peverel, first Lord of the manor of Strelley and Bilborough, combined with the open book of learning and the winged sword of justice (designed by Mr E J Laws of the Nottingham Castle Museum). This image was derived from a drawing scanned by Mike Robinson from the front page of a BGS Athletics Program in his archives.

Summa Fide ac Probitate
A scholar of the highest honour and integrity

The school was divided for the purposes of intramural competition into four houses. These were named after the great ducal estates of Nottinghamshire: Annesley, Clumber, Rufford and Welbeck. Colours were:

Annesley Clumber Rufford Welbeck

Known reunions

November 2001 - Class of '64/'66, organized by Mick Upton on an idea hatched by Chris Haywood and Glenn Latimer, held the weekend of November 23, 24, 25 -- Glenn Latimer's report may be read here.

August 1999 - A small reunion of scholars graduating in 1968 and one member of faculty took place in Nottingham the Sunday before the eclipse. It was supposed to take place in Land's End on the day of the eclipse but those involved thought better of it.

May 1997 - 40th Anniversary

May 1992 - A small reunion of scholars graduating in 1968, faculty members Robinson and Yarnell, sundry hangers-on, parents and offspring, at The Broad Oak, Strelley.

Though located in the County of Nottinghamshire, The Broad Oak was only accessible by motor vehicle from the City of Nottingham. It was therefore infrequently patrolled by the constabulary in whose jurisdiction it fell and became as a result a favourite watering hole of the sixth form. It was also quite naturally a favourite watering hole of the staff. By unspoken agreement each polarity ignored the presence of the other, preferring rooms at opposite ends of the house.


A history of the grammar school and college, Bilborough 1957-2000, Portrait of a College, edited by Dr. Michael T Robinson, head of the Chemistry Department at Bilborough for many years, was published in November 1999.

The first and only printing of 200 is completely sold out. The on-line version is available here.

Personal recollection

Late in 1998, while he was preparing his history of the school, Mike Robinson issued a general request for recollections, anecdotes, and reflections on what it meant to have been at Bilborough. This was my fluffy contribution. Mike was kind enough to include parts of it with the comment that "the remaining 2000 words will form the nucleus of John's autobiography". We shall see. Fortunately for Mike's readers, most of the other contributions were more intelligent and substantial, and the resulting excellent history is both insightful and informative.

Note on BGS Web Sites and maintenance

In 2005 my ISP made some changes that resulted the loss of this web site at its old address. Though it has since been put back at a new address, and a mirror on Tripod continues to exist, some visitors were inconvenienced. I am also aware that the time I am able to devote to the maintenance of this site is inadequate.

In order to provide continuity, and to encourage greater and freer contribution from the BGS community, I have set up a BGS group on Yahoo Groups.

Yahoo Groups allow members toamong other things send e-mail to the group, and post images and links to web pages of interest to the group.

The BGS group address is


and it already contains links to the existing sites and the Guest Book, as well as one or two pictures. I encourage you to join.


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John Martin
27, 2005