Museum in Alnwick hosts relaunch of book charting the history of Northumberland school

A museum in Alnwick hosted a book launch of a historic school.

Saturday, 7th December 2019, 4:00 pm
Roy Todd's launch of his book, History of the Duchess's High School 1808 -2008, at the Bailiffgate Museum in Alnwick.
Roy Todd's launch of his book, History of the Duchess's High School 1808 -2008, at the Bailiffgate Museum in Alnwick.

Roy Todd's launch of his History of the Duchess's High School 1808-2008, was held at the Bailiffgate Museum in Alnwick.

Organisers say there was a good turn out of former staff, students, and governors at the event.

After thanking the museum for its hospitality, Roy paid a special tribute to his publisher Bill Grisdale – a graphic designer who had transformed a basic narrative text into an attractive book complete with highlighted details and appropriate photographs incorporated.

Roy emphasised that the first quarter of the book had been written by Anne Littlejohn – a former history teacher at the school, to celebrate the 150th anniversary in 1958.

As for the years 1958 to 2008, Mr Todd detailed the transformation of the school from a selective Girls' Grammar School to a co-educational, comprehensive High School, as it moved from Bailiffgate to Howling Lane, and then back again to Bailiffgate.

The school's history mirrored the country's during the latter part of the 20th Century and beyond – the introduction of GCSE, Ofsted, the National Curriculum, the Local Management of Schools, Specialist College status, and the paucity of funding.For the most part, the book was written in the third person as an attempt to provide an objective account of these years.

The author concluded by reading a final paragraph of his work, where he made it clear that although some students were mentioned by name in the text, there were many more who were not, and yet had been excellent both in school, in their subsequent lives, and careers locally and indeed throughout the United Kingdom and beyond.

Roy wrote: “Let me assure them,” “they have not been forgotten.”

Almost 100 books were signed and sold on the night.

Copies of the book – History of the Duchess's High School 1808 -2008 – can be purchased at post offices in Alnmouth, Lesbury, and Alnwick, at Brands on the Main Street in Wooler, and at Cubbys in Seahouses.

Copies can also be purchased from the author himself by contacting 01665 830898, or email at [email protected]