The History

The Famous TowerThe Northampton Technical College was opened in 1932.  One part of this new college consisted of a Junior Technical School with an initial entry of 31 boys and 9 girls.  The Junior Technical School was abolished under the 1944 Education Act and was replaced by the Technical High School, which opened in 1945. 

The first meeting of the new school's governors took place on the 28th January 1946 when they approved the appointment of P.J. Harris from the 3rd December 1945.  The next governors' meeting took place on the 4th July when they decided to call Mr L. J. Gould, Mr B. S. Howard, Mr A. B. Moffat and Mr J. F. Topping as candidates for the post of headmaster.  They also appointed Percy Tompkins as second master for the period from 1st April 1945 to 31st August 1946 with an allowance of £90 per annum on top of his normal salary.  They appointed Mr J. E. Linnell with an allowance of £50 per annum for responsibility in handicrafts.

In September 1946 H. C. Perrin, M.B.E., Chief Education Officer for Northampton County Borough, produced a schools development plan, which stated in Para 113: -

Technical High School

At present this is housed in the College of Technology. It is proposed to transfer T.H.S. to a new site at the earliest opportunity. The school is to be for 660 i.e. 495 boys and 165 girls approx. (4 form entry with 30 in each form, with one form of girls, whose curriculum would centre round commercial subjects and more practical subjects such as Domestic Science and Needlework).

In 1956/58 this part of the development plan was implemented when the school moved onto its current site with the brand new buildings including the famous tower.  The first pupils moved into the new tower block in September 1956, but as the remainder of the buildings were still under construction, other pupils remained at the Technical College until September 1957.  The final few buildings were brought into use by the end of that year.  The official opening was performed by the then Education Minister Geoffrey Lloyd.

At the time of the official opening, headmaster B.S. Howard wrote an article for the programme, which gives much more detail of dates and the construction.  You can read this and the programme from the links below

The school was officially opened by the Minister of Education, Mr Geoffrey Lloyd.  In his opening speech he talked about the ambitious school building programme and the important role of the new technical schools.  You can read the Press Release about his speech [here]
In December 1960, the Town Council finally agreed a change of name, after much debate, and the school became Trinity High School.  The name was to change again in April 1969, when, after years of debate, it became Trinity Grammar School.  The 'Grammar' was dropped in 1973 when it evolved into a 13-18 co-educational comprehensive Trinity School.

Two interesting articles appeared in the Northampton Independent in the late summer of 1977, written by journalist Lou Warwick, who had a son at the school and who was a member of the parent teacher association.  The articles document the history of the school, records the battles over its name and discusses its conversion to a comprehensive.

This long battle over the school's name was sparked because of concerns over the name "Technical High School" which many saw as "second-rate".  The change to Trinity High School was a compromise and the battle continued to rage on until just before the dawning of the comprehensive system when it finally became Trinity Grammar School.  "Buzzer" Howard was very much the driver of this debate, as he tried to get the school Trinity Grammar right from when he was first appointed.  [Read the Articles]

The Building Work in 2004In September 2004, following the completion of part of a £19m investment, the school became Unity College, a Church of England Secondary School with 1,700 pupils.  The much larger site incorporates the old Girls Grammar School (later, Kingsley Park).

The development includes a new teaching block for science, maths, English and IT as well as a county standard sports hall.  There will be access to a million pound all-weather surface for outdoor games.

Until the major reconstruction moved inside the old school in July 2004, a lot of it was still very similar to our day.  There are some photos taken in 2003 and the early part of 2004.  In particular the hall still looked the same, with the old University Admissions boards in place, but no longer in use.  There was also the large organ that had been dismantled from a church in Weston Favell and rebuilt in the hall by the staff.  To read a newspaper article on the organ, click [organ].

The building work to convert the school to a CofE school started at the beginning of October 2003.

The Final Staff Party

Friday 2nd July 2004 was the final party for the staff of Trinity School.  Many members of staff were transferring to the new Unity College, but some were not.  There was also a sprinkling of staff from the past.  Gary Grimshaw was there along with Mr Cummings, but it had not been possible to trace many of the others.  The party was held in the school hall, and there was a jazz band on stage, but there were few speeches to mark the end of an era.  John Dawkins, a former pupil, reminisced with some tales of the old days, but it was a quiet affair.

Still Making News Until the End

On Monday 5th July 2004, Trinity School was featured on BBC Look East:-

Students sit exams online

A school in Northampton is one of the first in the UK to allow pupils to take exams online.  Trinity School is one of just a few schools across the country to take part in the pilot scheme.  On Friday, Year 10 pupils were able to write answers to exam questions on a computer and obtain the results within minutes.

The Last Day of "Trinity" as a School

Friday the 9th July 2004 was the final official day of the last-ever term for Trinity.  Shortly after that the builders moved in to the main building, and then the demolition of the old bridge between the tower and the science and arts block began.  The era of Trinity School had ended.

More details on these events can be found from the links below.

The Tower Revisited  - The website for former Pupils of the Technical High School, Trinity High School & Trinity Grammar School, Northampton