Brothers' bid to reunite ex-pupils from Wellingborough Grammar School

The school, which went on to become Wrenn, has now been closed for as long as it was open

Friday, 12th March 2021, 7:00 am
This picture from the archive shows Sir John Cockcroft presenting a prize to sixth former David Frost (now Sir David Frost)
This picture from the archive shows Sir John Cockcroft presenting a prize to sixth former David Frost (now Sir David Frost)

Two old boys of Wellingborough Grammar School are trying to reunite as many former classmates as they can.

Dick and Bob Smart were students at the Doddington Road school in the 1960s and 1970s and both went on to successful careers, with Dick in the law and Bob in the police.

Bob told the Northants Telegraph: “Wellingborough Grammar School has been a key feature in ours’ and many others' lives and in the history of the academic excellence of this county.

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Wellingborough Grammar School back in the day

"The school focused on efficiency and honesty of purpose and it deserves its rightful place in local history.”

Bob proudly quotes a former master when he says: “WGS formed part of a system which offered friendships made for life, experiences in the classroom not understood at the time, tyrants who were human after all, but most of all a respect and affection for a school with a spirit which will never die."

Ex-pupils of WGS include TV personality Sir David Frost, ex-England rugby coach Don White, ex-football league referee Brian Hill as well as numerous other alumni who went on to be successful in the arts, media, music, education, Government, military and religion – many in prominent positions all over the world.

Students from Wellingborough, Rushden, Raunds, Higham Ferrers, Wollaston, Bozeat, Irchester, Irthlinborough, Finedon, Wilby, Doddington, Earls Barton, Ecton and surrounding villages were able to progress from relative austerity to some very influentially effective and high-flying positions throughout the business and sporting worlds.

Another picture of Wellingborough Grammar School from our archive

But sadly the grammar school, which was open from 1930 to 1975, has now been closed for as long as it was open.

Bob said: "The ex-pupils are a dying breed.

"The clock is ticking.

"It is a cardinal sin to lose contact with old school friends and we intend to put that right in this digital age.

"We have had a lot of fun reminiscing, though it is clear that not everyone liked their school days.”

The Old Grammarians Association has a clubhouse in Oxford Street, Wellingborough, and sports field on the Sywell Road, and the motto is “Semper Juventis Memor” which roughly translates to “Always mindful of our Youth.”

The school became the comprehensive Wrenn School in an education shake-up in 1975, named after its long-serving headmaster Harold Wrenn, an event which many ex-WGS pupils regret.

Bob said: “During Covid lockdown one has time to think, and it became clear that while some excellent books and websites have been produced about the school, there might be an opportunity to re-contact far flung members through social media.

"I had seen how useful this could be on other groups."

Brother Dick set up a Facebook site “Wellingborough Grammar School Friends” some years ago but it had only attracted 70 members.

Bob said: “So we set a lockdown objective to contact and join up with as many old students as we could.

"Within a month the membership has increased to 230.

"The interest has been quite invigorating in these miserable times.

“We know however, that there are many old pupils of the school out there but many who are not on Facebook yet.

"But we also know that in 2015, some 88 per cent of UK residents had access to a computer, it's just a case of tracking them down."

Bob is really keen to hear from former classmates and added: “Our appeal through various media outlets is to re-establish contact with as many friends or associates of Wellingborough Grammar School as possible.

"Everyone is invited.

"We want to attract as many former school pupils, their families and friends as possible.

"We have a lot of catching up to do.”

Anyone interested in reconnecting with their former classmates can search for “Wellingborough Grammar School Friends” on Facebook or contact Bob direct on [email protected]

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