This year the Crescent School celebrates 70 years since it was formally founded back in 1948 and is reaching out to all Old Crescentians (pupils, staff and parents) and asking them to get back in touch to share their memories and memorabilia of the school over the years.
Although the school informally started in 1946, in Troy House, Hillmorton Road, as the waiting house for boys entering Rugby School, the school’s first prospectus notes that it was only formally founded in January 1948 when the school was relocated to the Old School Sanatorium on the corner of Horton Crescent. It is from there that the Crescent School’s name originates.
The school was primarily created to provide a place of education for the young children of Rugby School’s Masters, at its inception it had three classes: Infant I, Infant II and Juniors each with space for 12 children. Juniors were taught upstairs whilst the Infants shared the classroom downstairs. Led by the Headmistress, Mrs Eve Mortimer, together with a few dedicated staff the children flourished and the school’s reputation and numbers slowly grew. Mrs Mortimer believed passionately in education for education’s sake, she ran the school on a shoestring and remained as Headmistress for 25 years retiring in 1971.
During the 1950s and 1960s the school buildings were extended with new classrooms added to cater for the increase in pupil numbers. Thanks to its situation and connections, the school was allowed to use many of Rugby School’s facilities and the children benefited from access to the gym, the music room, the playing fields, the Tosh (outdoor swimming pool) and even occasionally the beautiful Chapel.
Mrs Christine Barratt first joined the Crescent School as a teacher in 1965. By that time the school had five classes and approximately 60 pupils, when she took over as the school’s second Headmistress in 1971 the school had expanded to eight classes.
After 40 years at Horton Crescent and with the lease on the Sanatorium coming to an end, the school relocated out of Rugby town centre to its current leafy location on Bawnmore Road in Bilton over the summer of 1988. That gives the Crescent School a second anniversary to celebrate, as this year marks 30 years at the Bawnmore Road site.
Mrs Barratt retired in July 1992 and the gathering held in her honour was the first recorded reunion of past pupils, parents and staff. She was replaced by Mr Ian Wren who was Headmaster at the school from 1992 through to the year 2000. Mr Wren oversaw the Golden Jubilee celebrations that included a special steam train trip, a Christmas Service and a Golden Jubilee Ball. The Golden Jubilee celebrations were all recorded in a big scrapbook which the school still has in its archives today.
Since the new millennium the school has continued to prosper, Mrs Christine Vickers was Headmistress from 2000 to 2002 and Mr Huw Marshall Headmaster from 2002 to 2017. Mr Marshall, who retired last year, was instrumental in helping to secure the long term future of Crescent School overseeing its merger in 2016 with The Princethorpe Foundation and the school now has a new Headmaster, Joe Thackway. Today the Crescent continues to go from strength to strength, with some 155 pupils on roll, improved facilities, a fine reputation for dedicated teachers, a rich and varied learning experience and success in preparing children for entry to their first choice senior school.
All Old Crescentians are encouraged to get back in touch with the school and to come and join in the celebrations. The school has created a Facebook Group the Old Crescentians which can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/oldcrescentians/ to help connect past pupils, where memories and memorabilia can be shared and details of the anniversary celebrations will be published. Details of events will also be posted on the Crescent School’s website www.crescentschool.co.uk/news.
Here's to the next 70 years!!