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Radbrook College

March 28, 20192:19 pmApril 21, 2020 9:25 amLeave a Comment

The records of Radbrook College held by Shropshire Archives have now been catalogued (SA ref ED8914)

The records give a unique insight into the beginning of further education for girls in the county in the early 20th century, as well as showing the changes during the century as the college developed. In addition to administrative and staff records, the collection includes a large number of photographs, as well as over 600 books and printed items.

The Kitchen, Shropshire Technical School, Radbrook, Shrewsbury PH/S/13/R/2/8

The Shropshire Technical School for Girls opened in 1901 at Radbrook on the outskirts of Shrewsbury in purpose-built accommodation and was mainly financed by Salop County Council. The college aimed to provide education to enable girls to become efficient heads of households and farmers’ wives, and also provided training for those going into domestic service. Courses included dairying, poultry keeping, cookery and household management.

The development of the girls’ technical school was part of a national scheme to provide technical education for those who had left school. It was mirrored by the establishment of the Boys Technical School in Shrewsbury, later the Wakeman school.

Students in sailor outfits, Shropshire Technical School, Radbrook, Shrewsbury PH/S/13/R/2/13

By the 1940s the college was renamed the Shropshire College of domestic subjects and dairy work and in the 1950s it became Radbrook College. In 1977 the college became part of the wider Shrewsbury Technical College.

A culinary museum was established on the site in the 1980s which managed and collected artefacts, archives and books. In 2014 the college closed and the site was sold for building.

The collections of the Culinary Museum were then transferred to Shropshire Archives, and to Shropshire Museums Service.

Written by sarahd

19 thoughts on “Radbrook College”

  1. Radbrook College was opened in 1901 and was originally to be built at Preston on the Wealdmoors near Wellington. The site was never owned by Shropshire Council or Shrewsbury College but by The Radbrook Foundation a charitable trust which sold it recently. The Trust still exists and uses the income from investments to support students from the Shrewsbury Colleges Group. I am a member of the Trust and a past head of Radbrook College.

    1. Sal says:

      Thank you for this additional information. We were particularly interested to hear that the Trust still exists and supports students from the current Shrewsbury Colleges Group.
      Sal Mager, Shropshire Archives

      1. Jayne Richards says:

        No where does it mention being a teacher training college. It most definately was since I qualified as a teacher from Radbook in 1976

        1. sarahd says:

          Thanks for your comment. There are a few records relating to teacher training within the collection. These weren’t highlighted in the blog post so thank you for pointing this out. The records include photographs of students on the teacher training course in the 1950s – 1970s (in section ED8914/3/4/4). There is also some material relating to the course itself. The photos aren’t online but you could visit and view them or request copies. Thanks again.

    2. Ruth Mitchell says:

      My grandmother Olive Alice South won a scholarship and studies Good house keeping arithmetics and cookery demonstration and Principals House in 1913 Radbrook. Technical School for girls. I still have her work books Miss clover was one of her teachers.

  2. Janet Martineau new Willink says:

    I was at Radbrook in 1953. Mrs King was a principal. I enjoyed my time doing the Combined Course of Dairy,poultry and domestic science. Very useful basic stuff. I still have the recipe book we used for farm style cookery.

  3. Janet Martineau nèe Willink says:

    It was a good year.Bit of a culture shock after private boarding school. The Combined course was interesting and very useful. Dairy and poultry had excellent teaching and I still use the basic cookery book we worked from. Mrs King was the principal. Mrs Beney poultry and Miss Hunter dairy. Many memories and good friends.

  4. Sally Horton says:

    My mother Hilda Latham attended Radbrook catering collage during the thirties she often mentioned a miss Hutton I have just reproduced a book of her favourite recipes going back to this time.
    Unfortunately I don’t have the date when she took the course. But she stayed on to help for a year after her course Do you have anything in your archives from her time there

    1. sarahd says:

      The catalogue to the Radbrook College Collection is at Choose ‘browse this collection’ to view more about it.
      I’ve emailed direct with more details about your specific query.

  5. RUTH MITCHELL says:

    My Nana Olive Alice South (1897-1968) studied Superior Household cookery. & Cookery Demonstration with a teacher Miss Clover as wells Arithmetics in this college in 1913 I have her beautiful hand written books and sewing samples. The family lived in Brockton and had a blacksmith business. Her sister Mable May South also boarded at the school. I would be very interested to know who the head was then because I think she was my Nana’ godmother.

    1. sarahd says:

      From the descriptions on the photographs,it looks like Alexa MacLeod was Principal Sept 1902-Sept 1919 (see ED8914/3/4/7/1). I hope this helps.

      1. Ruth Mitchell says:

        My grandmother Olive Alice South won a scholarship and studies Good house keeping arithmetics and cookery demonstration and Principals House in 1913 Radbrook. Technical School for girls. I still have her work books Miss clover was one of her teachers.

        Yes thank you, do you have any other photographs?


  6. RUTH MITCHELL says:

    How do I find ED8914/3/4/7/1 ?

  7. Pamela Davenport nee Jones says:

    I studied on the Teacher Training course from 1971 to 1974 and was Social Secretary to the Student Union in 1973. I went on to teach at Wirral Grammar School for Girls amongst a number of schools throughout Cheshire and Staffordshire retiring in 2013. I have very fond memories of my time at Radbrook College. I have several social photos and scrap books full of paraphernalia of my time.

    1. Sal says:

      That’s great, thanks for letting us know. If you would be interested in donating any of these at some point please do get in touch at [email protected]

  8. Nigel Saxby says:

    My great aunt, Augusta Paton, was at the school for a year or so during WWI. In her memoir she writes fondly of the headmistress whom she recalls as Fiona MacLeod [misremembering her first name perhaps]. She had less fond memories of another member of staff, as this extract shows:”A cold blue-eyed Irish lesbian, who taught washing, ironing and also cleaning, took a special pleasure in teasing Augusta, giving her the very dirtiest of the linen to wash and always finding fault with her work. One special occasion remained in Augusta’s memory. Having been given a big room to Spring-clean, she put all her energy and strength into her work, determined that at least this time no fault could be found. She polished the wainscoting and floor till it shone like a mirror, rubbed at the brasses till blue in the face, and was really pleased with her work. So was the teacher – one could see it in her face – but with a wicked Irish glint in her eye she whipped out a white handkerchief and passed it through the keyhole, which of course was oily black. Then with a triumphant snort she walked out majestically, saying “This room is not cleaned”.” Any idea who this might have been?

    1. Sal says:

      Thank you for sharing this fascinating account! There are only a few records in the collection which cover 1914-1918 and I’m not sure how we would identify this particular lady from them but you would be welcome to come and view the records once we re-open. You can email [email protected] for further information or to ask about our research service.

  9. Carole Lloyd says:

    I did my teacher training at Radbrook College from 1962 to 1965. Miss Kathleen Gunn was Principal at the time. My group had the privilege to be chosen as the first residents of the newly built block of flats behind Walker House. As part of our final studies we were given the task of equipping and furnishing each flat within a set budget. The best three years of my education was spent here., we had so many clubs and pursuits . I ran the Film Society for two years and was Social Secretary in my final year.. I have remained in Shropshire and taught here for almost 40 years.

  10. Beryl Lewis nee Nicholas says:

    Iwas a student at Radbrook from 71/73 on an OND.course.Fond memories of this time.Sadly I have lost touch with many since.Hard to believe that 50 yrs have gone by.Anyone who knows me may get in touch.

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