King Edward VII Secondary School, which opened in 1910, was originally known as the County Grammar School of King Edward VII; the school can be found in Melton Mowbray, on a 56 acre green field site. The first headteacher, Dr Fred Hodson, was appointed in 1909 and thereafter he oversaw the selection of all other teaching staff. In the beginning, however, the schools name was initially challenged, since they had not sought royal authorisation, and the matter subsequently became far more complicated when the King died May 6th 1910. To resolve the problem the school were forced to appeal to MPs before the Board of Education. After much debate and consideration, the new King finally declared that his father’s name was ‘indeed a splendid choice’. By 1912, the school hosted its first ever sports day and also divided its students into houses: Belvoir (Red), Cottesmore (Yellow) and Quorn (Blue). Each of the houses competed against one another in events that included: pillow fighting, needle-threading, bean bag races, skipping races and athletics.
By 1931, plans for extensions to the school were inaugurated and by 1936 the construction of a new assembly hall was set underway. Furthermore, the science block was replaced with a modernised two storey block and more classrooms were built. In the 1940s the Old Grammarians started a memorial fund to construct a pavilion for the school, in memory of those who died during the First World War, and for those who were dying in the Second. After the Second World War, after a period of relative stability and consistency, the school was renamed in 1964 (to King Edward VII Upper School). This change was part of wider plans in the area to close the Boy’s Modern School and the Sarson Girl’s School; both of which were located within the local vicinity. The school continued to grow in successive years and in 1975 a new sixth form was opened, alongside a larger sports hall. The music centre and all-weather pitch were opened more recently, in 1991, followed by the sports centre in 1996. By 1997 the school also gained Technology College status.
As King Edward VII entered the 2000s, it was regarded as both a national and international leader in the use of ICT, since it had networked hubs in every subject area, video conferencing facilities and wireless networking for laptops across the entire site. By 2004, the school had over 500 computers. Nonetheless, despite its reputation, and the fact that the school was designated as a Regional Training School for research and ICT, the decision to close the entire site was passed in 2010 (it closed its doors later in 2011). King Edwards VII was closed because it was predicted that falling student numbers would eventually make the running costs of the school unsustainable. Over the years King Edwards fostered a notable list of famous former pupils; some of these include: Graham Chapman (Monty Python), Paul Anderson (Footballer) and Dave Benson Phillips (Comedian/TV Presenter).
Our Version of Events
Melton Mowbray, the place you visit for the country’s best pork pie: that was the full extent of our knowledge before we arrived at King Edwards. We’ve passed the area a few times on our travels and, as far as we were aware, there was a pork pie factory there. As it turns out, there’s actually a whole town there too. So, still rather stunned with this new found discovery, and with a somewhat nostalgic KM_Punk, we set off in the direction of his old school. Access was novel to say the least, and we had to avoid the sports centre nearby since it is still used by clubs and teams. But, we managed it and there was still plenty to see across the buildings we explored. While most of the tables and chairs have been removed, there’s still plenty of evidence that King Edwards was indeed a school, and hopefully the pictures reveal this. Unfortunately, however, we only managed to access the English, Humanities and ICT classrooms, the photography and design and technology workshops and the arts and drama studio.
Explored with Ford Mayhem, Soul and KM_Punk.