Bond Street Creation

The Friars Walk School had been opened in 1834 for the princely sum of £600. Within a few decades, this was proving to be inadequate and as early as 1861, there was much discussion about the future of the school and the building of a larger one.

Aside from the capacity, one of the principal problems with the old school as some saw it was that there was no adjoining master’s house as was common at the time. This however, became its undoing since there was much opposition to the new development due to the cynicism that it was little more than a ploy to gain a substantial residence by the then headmaster, Reverend Henry Day. The Marquess of Anglesey was anyway approached to allow a piece of ground within Burton on which to erect a school and master’s house. The first proposed site was across the river on the island of Anglesey (which has great historical significance), this was however, rejected because the site had poor access with a simple footbridge, and was prone to flooding.

Mr Abraham Bass, who had gained much wealth from the Town’s brewing industrial growth, pledged £500, his partners offered to match the sum and Mr Henry Allsopp offered an additional £300. There were also lesser offers totalling just over £100, giving the school building fund an initial £1400; a not insignificant sum at the time.

Arguments continued for much time until in 1869, the ‘Endowed Schools Act’ came into being which dictated that among many schools to be founded was an ‘upper school for boys’. There were to be twelve Governors, including a Chairman to manage a single trust fund, including any charitable foundations. The Governors finally had control of a combined trust of just over £3000 and work on a new school to accommodate 120 pupils, double the current capacity, and a residence for the headmaster was to start as soon as a suitable site could be secured.

By 1873, the plans were complete for the erection of a school and headmaster’s house on the Bond Street site. This coincided with Rev. Day retiring as headmaster to be replaced by Charles Tripp who was to oversee the transfer to the new school. Two of the things he was responsible for at the time of the move were the introduction of a school cap to encourage pride, and the design of a brand new school badge to be adopted by the school as its emblem.

It would however, be 1877, after the foundation of the School Board in Burton following the Education Act of 1870,  before the new Bond Street School was finally built and opened as part of a larger school development programme. It managed to include the contoversial grand Headmaster’s house which still caused some disquiet in some quarters.


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