Monday, August 18, 2014

Coventry Telegraph Feature on Wyre Farm Camp School

I think some of this information came from this site. It's part of a feature on Coventry's Lost schools and Colleges by Lucy Lynch. Thanks Lucy.

"Coventry Boarding School

In the 1930s government ministers were worried about working class children living in cramped accommodation in polluted industrial cities.

The National Camps Corporation recommended setting up a series of boarding schools around the country to give children a chance to live in the countryside.

But soon after war broke out and only a few were ever finished. Coventry got one which was Wyre Farm Camp School in Cleobury Mortimer in Shropshire.

By the time it was finished the Second World War had started and the first pupils were evacuees from the bombing.

In 1957 Coventry City Council’s education bosses took charge and the camp became Coventry Boarding School. Many of the children were from military families whose parents were serving abroad.

Among the memories pupils have are swimming in an unheated outdoor pool, long cross country runs through the hills and long walks to church every Sunday.

For many it was their first time away from home. Some cried and some tried to run away but with few buses and no trains for miles they didn’t get very far.

Once a month there would be a visiting day when relatives would arrive in a fleet of buses from Coventry. And once a week pupils were allowed into the village to spend their pocket money on sweets and cakes.

The school closed in the early 1980s. Coventry City Council bosses were funding most of the places and said it was too expensive to run, citing a high staff to pupil ratio. It is now a outdoor activity centre."

The full article can be viewed here -

Thanks to Charles Joyce for sending the actual cutting from the Coventry Telegraph

List of Pupil Intake Between 1940 and 1950

Lynn Tiltman whose father Lionel John Aubrey was at Wyrefarm School between 1946 and 1949, has
contributed a great excel document showing the intake of pupils between 1940 and 1950. You can read more about Lionel's early memories of the school in the 1940's here

And there has been some analysis done from this sheet on the above site -

"Wyre farm was a boy’s school and records show that the first intake of boys from Coventry was in June 1940 increasing in intensity through to 1942. Records show that the boys were mainly from schools in the town and factory areas of the city and by December 1942, 283 boys had been relocated to Wyre Farm. It is assumed that most of the boys had lost their homes, or parents, or both. By the end of May 1945, 584 boys had moved through Wyre Farm.

Through the post war years in to the early 1950s as the city was rebuilt and food rationing was eased the intake of boys continued and by April 1948 over 100 boys had been accommodated at Wyre Farm. By January 1950 this number had increased to over 1200. From 1950 onward the records show that boys were accommodated for shorter periods of time perhaps out of term time to give them a change from city life and chance to enjoy the fresh air and countryside of Cleobury Mortimer. Later the school name was changed to the City of Coventry Boys School."

Here is the the Excel Sheet as a PDF file. To view it full size on Google drive click here