Last month (Apr 2014) Falmouth’s Marlborough School, now 50 years old, celebrated an “outstanding” Ofsted verdict. Stretch the imagination, though, and the school might never have existed but for German bombers, writes Mike Truscott.
Its predecessor, the old Trevethan School, was commandeered in the Second World War. In September, 1939, its pupils had to move into “temporary” accommodation in the then newly-built Emmanuel Baptist Church in Western Terrace. (Another building which, like Marlborough School, still looks “modern” – how time flies!) The idea was that as soon as the war ended and the original premises were released, the children would return to Trevethan.
Instead, a stick of German bombs did their stuff across The Moor and surrounds, with the school building among the victims.
The “temporary” Emmanuel classrooms, comfortable as they were, became more and more “permanent,” with strict finances limiting post-war construction.
Sometimes, the Packet remarked at the time, the long-suffering teaching staff felt as if they would never make it into their promised new school.
Finally, Marlborough came into being, and head teacher Miss Brenda Young, who had already been at Emmanuel for 12 years, welcomed her first intake of 85 children, aged five to seven.
TV cameras whirred (by no means such a common occurrence in those days) at an opening ceremony where the new school was haled as the newest and most up-to-date in the county. It was said to be only the 17th primary school to be built by the local education authority.
Certainly, it was a giant step forward from the Trevethan building, which had “stood guard” over The Moor for many years and whose distinctive clock tower – if memory serves correctly – remained standing long after the bombing before it was eventually demolished.