Sir George Trevelyan: Attingham Park

1. A hubbub of activity

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Attingham from above, late 1950sGeorge Trevelyan and staff at Attingham
George Trevelyan at the front of Attingham
Dance courses at Attingham
Children's Needs course, 1949
Lecture in progress
Twelfth Night performance
Furniture Appreciation course
Women's Conference
Examining historic buildings


Written fifty years ago, about 1952

ATTINGHAM PARK, Shropshire's Adult College, opened in 1948. It was a pioneering experiment representing something new in English life and education. Its success has been beyond all expectation.

Almost from the start it was quite clear that it responded to a real need. For there has been an increasing flow of students and there has been a continuous succession of courses, one group succeeding another to such an extent that for weeks on end there is not a free day, apart from the necessary times for turning round; and any organisation wanting to hold a conference at Attingham has to make a booking months ahead.

The College was set up under a Trust Deed and has its own governing body containing representatives of the Walker Trustees, Birmingham University and the Education Committee, together with co-opted members drawing on a wide range of experience.

The founders of the College felt that there was a need for a place at which people with common interests from different parts of the county could meet together and carry on studies and activities of value to them in their leisure and work. Apart from the value of the studies themselves they thought it a good thing that Shropshire people from all parts and from all walks of life should have the chance of getting to know each other in the pursuit of common interests, and that in modern times such a college could make a particularly useful contribution in knitting society together and giving people a sense of unity.

The success of the College is largely due to the inspiring leadership of its warden, Mr.G.L.Trevelyan and his devoted staff. Even in its short life of a little over 3 years it has become something of a landmark in adult education, with a national reputation. During the last 12 months 2,500 people have attended courses. Another 5,000 attended single lectures, conferences and concerts [Editor's note:  during the whole of the time that Sir George was warden at the College (1948 - 1971), 1,033 courses were organised].

In launching their project the governors were fortunate to find a house of distinction in a convenient position. It is perhaps especially appropriate that in a new age one of the great houses of the county should have found a new purpose and should serve the people of Shropshire as a home for so many activities connected with their lives and work.

From the Shropshire Star or Shropshire Chronicle

The grounds of Attingham
The Dining Room
George Trevelyan with Ruth Bell (Ruth Nesfield-Cookson)
Mrs Orgill (left) and staff
Kitchen staff
The warden extolling virtues
George Trevelyan with Lady Berwick
George Trevelyan with Prof Huw Weldon
Countryside Appreciation group
Young Farmers' Conference
Dance Festival

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