Strutts Logo Run by volunteers for Belper

Belper News - 14th June 2013

The Historical Legacy of Herbert Strutt Schools

In this third article about the Strutts Community Centre in Belper, I would like to outline some more of our ideas for the future. The first three years of the Strutts Community Project have been focussed on the plans for the Herbert Strutt School building itself, with essential repairs and modifications for its new use as a Community Centre. The building is now held in trust for the benefit of the Community of Belper and is a physical legacy for future generations of its citizens.

There is however another side to the Project, which aims to record the history of the site as a school. The building is an ideal location for the permanent display of such material, and, over time this could be extended to include the history of all schools in the area. This activity will make the Project an even more important legacy for the people of Belper and is an opportunity for everyone to contribute in some way.

The building was originally opened as an “elementary school” in 1909. It was expanded and became a grammar school until 1973 when the Herbert Strutt Middle School was created with the introduction of a three tier education system. In the mid 1980's the system changed again and the building became the Herbert Strutt Primary School (and the toilets became smaller) until it moved site in 2008.

We have some material from the Grammar School era but very little from the Middle School days. Hopefully the new Herbert Strutt Primay School on the Parks site can provide us with details of its more recent history.

We all have fond (and sometimes not so fond!) memories of our school days, and this is a way to save them for future generations. We are particularly interested in the memories, achievements and anecdotes of former staff and pupils. Most of us have small items of memorabilia from our school days stored away in our attics that will eventually be discarded. If you have any photographs, items or documents that we could have, photograph or copy, we would be delighted to receive them.

I would like to invite everyone, and especially all local schools and historical research groups, to help with this project of great historical significance to Belper. If you can help in any way please phone Strutts Reception on 01773 599993 or email reception@strutts.org.uk

Thanks

Nick McLeod
Chairman
Guardians of Strutts