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Huthwaite Education
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A Hucknall History

Historic Schools

Barker Street / Huthwaite Secondary Modern

Erecting a modern styled CLASP building far top end of Barker Street, finally fulfilled Huthwaite's basic educational requirements from 1960. This County Secondary Modern School was destined to become main stream destination for most senior pupils coming through New Street John Davis Junior School.Secondary Modern


Using the CLASP method of construction took twelve months to erect the school at a cost of £103,120. Design for 360 pupils initially required just three staff members to greet that first years intake of 62 senior students on May 2nd.

Mr R A Amos continued being Deputy Head throughout this schools 17 years. Mrs E Straw did retire from Senior Mistress position in December 1972, but temporarily returning twice to cover staffing difficulties.

Founding Headmaster of Huthwaite Secondary School was Mr C A Richardson MBE, who designed the school crest symbolising:-
Beacon: represents height; this being the counties highest sited school.
Book of Knowledge: for learning - or Christian Foundation if seen as a Bible.
Black Chevron: represents steep hill sides, coloured by underlying coal.
Chevron Castellation: alludes to siting where Cromwell shelled Hardwick Hall.
Miners Lamp & Shuttle: the two main local industries being Mining and Textiles.
Crescent: heraldic cadency denoting second, for post war built Ashfield schools.

The Huthwaite Secondary Modern School motto "Aim High" was themed in murals depicting early flight adorning main assembly hall. They featured Daedalus and Icarus. A bemusing example from Greek mythology, but less outrageous than some local beliefs.

Professor H C Dent performed the official opening dated Friday 30th June, 1961. Councillor J D Bonser chaired the ceremony in the company of Deputy Director of Education Mr W Lawson, the Divisional Education Officer Mr W Bainbridge, the Rev W Boulton, Mr J Dobb, Mr Bayliss, Mr J Buxton, Mrs P E Bonser, Mr M Warby, Mr & Mrs Marson, Mr R Mail, Mr H Juain, and Mr E Lincoln.

Mr J A Potter, MBE BA Dip Ed took over the headmasters office at the end of 1967. He heads a final list of teachers upon which to add more with personally recalled subjects ending 1976 5th form.

Mr Amos - Rural / French
Mrs S Battison
Mr S Bones
Mrs J Chambers
Mrs W Davis
Mr R Hilsdon
Mr K Jenson - English
Mrs B Leake
Miss P Marriott
Mr J W Naylor - Science

Mrs M Walton - Senior Headmistress
Mrs C Rose
Mr D M Smith - Humanities / History
Mr J Southall - Geography / PE
Mrs G Walsh
Mrs M Wass - Religious Knowledge (C-of-E)
Mr L M Woodfield - Tech Drawing/Woodwork
Miss Clemment - Arts and Craft
Miss Race - Mathematics / PE
Mr Mawkeye - Temp Metalwork

Morning assembly in the main hall was fronted off a stage from which to also regularly present artful play productions. Mr David Smith offers this reminder of our 1975 performance when playing a front narrator introducing scenes entitled "The Way We Were". Admittedly, my youthful years held more interest in future employment. But his topic was very much applauded by an older parent audience. Sentiment is better appreciated through age, especially after aiming higher in a quest to best clarify our local history.

Way We Were1976
1968 The Nosebag by Louis MacNeice
1968 Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs
1969 Death Under the Trees
1969 The Second Shepherd's Play
1970 Firebird
1970 Flight of Fancy
1970 Journey Into Light
1971 Alpha & Omega
1974 Shadows
1975 The Way We Were

Raising school leaving ages to 16 added a fifth form term for those destined to leave in 1974. They'd been allocated space for a top floor leisure room, helpfully equipped by the Parents and Teachers Association for use between lessons. It seems the year following us would be last to enjoy those adult facilities, because 1977 term also ended run of Secondary Modern education.

Senior Huthwaite scholars participated in various community projects, some being shown in a class years gallery. Environmental interest extended beyond school ground plantations. Sponsored walks, hush in and swims raised money for several charities, plus helping equip the Huthwaite Health Centre. Exhibiting the schools craft work found public appreciation from regularly displaying woodwork. Talented artists were invited back to Nottinghamshire Playhouse with 1972 honour in presenting a gallery exhibition.

Nottinghamshire County Council announced mass school closures with plans dictating transfer of all their remaining educational establishments into a full comprehensive system. Some secondary teachers were integrated along with all future Huthwaite pupils into a vast Ashfield School at Kirkby-in-Ashfield. Decision to close smaller and older Huthwaite New Street schools had assumed favourable future use of this larger Barker Street complex. Adopting their John Davis name, this continued teaching younger pupils.


21 May 12     by Gary Elliott       Updated 29 Oct 13