100 years of high school on show

Upper and lower sixth-formers at Kettering High School with Miss Woodrow in 1947
Upper and lower sixth-formers at Kettering High School with Miss Woodrow in 1947
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Former pupils will be able to reminisce at a series of events later this year marking the 100th anniversary of the opening of a high school.

The Kettering High School for Girls opened at its Bowling Green Road site in 1913, in the building which now houses the borough council offices.

A Latin class with Mr Cooke in 1947 or 1948

A Latin class with Mr Cooke in 1947 or 1948

An exhibition at the town’s museum opens on Saturday, March 30, and will run until Saturday, June 8.

There will also be reunion lunches on June 8 at the Corn Market Hall and at Southfield School for Girls – which stands where the High School moved to after leaving its Bowling Green Road home in 1964 – on October 26.

On Saturday, May 18, there will be a reunion day, with more details to be published in due course.

The school opened in September 1913, sharing the building, and facilities like the library and laboratories, with the boys’ grammar school. There was space for 400 pupils in total.

Kettering High School in Bowling Green Road

Kettering High School in Bowling Green Road

Marguerite Stephenson, who attended the school between 1950 and 1958 and who now acts as chairman of the Kettering High School Old Girls’ Association, said she was excited by the forthcoming programme of events, which she said had been long in the planning.

“We have been thinking about it since last autumn,” Mrs Stephenson said. “We have been liaising with the museum.”

She has encouraged anybody who has memorabilia to contact the museum to arrange for items to be put on show in the forthcoming exhibition.

“I have got a school satchel that a lady brought in as well as a deportment girdle,” she added.

The building in Bowling Green Road which now houses council offices

The building in Bowling Green Road which now houses council offices

“It’s quite interesting to see what people have kept. My daughter produced my old tennis skirt.

“The Kettering High School archives are at the Northamptonshire Record Office, and we have got quite a lot of things to see.”

Ellie Baumber, from Kettering museum, is in charge of piecing together the exhibition – any items which could be shown in the exhibition should be given to her as soon as possible.

“We have got quite a large collection of items from the high school, things like photos and school programmes which we have collected over the years,” she said.

“It’s a local topic. We have had a fantastic response, I am delighted. I have been so pleased with how enthusiastic people have been about it.

“We will be taking in a range of loaned items, but there is limited space so we can’t have too many duplicates. Something I am very keen to do is to capture people’s memories so the stories can tell themselves.

“Rather than just presenting a photograph, I ask people their memories about that photograph.

“There won’t just be labels, I am hoping people will provide a memory as well, which can be quite personal.”

She added: “Obviously the exhibition is just one of a really nice range of events over the spring. We would like people, whether they are former pupils or not, to come along, reminisce and share memories.”