OLD DEVONPORT . UK
www.olddevonport.uk
 

  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: September 24, 2018
Webpage updated: September 24, 2018

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TAMAR HIGH SCHOOL

In 1981 Mr F Hill BSc DFC, the Headmaster of Tamar Secondary School, persuaded Devon County Council, who were the Local Education Authority at the time, to make it Tamar High School.  It is not clear when the new title became official, at the start of the Easter Term 1981 or at the start of the new school year in September 1981.

Another event that took place in 1981 was the amalgamation in December of the Cornwall Wing and Plymouth Wing of the Air Training Corps.  The Wing's headquarters became Royal Air Force Saint Mawgan, in Cornwall.  In February 1982 Flight Lieutenant D Hind took over charge of the Tamar Squadron from Flight Lieutenant F Fifield.

But the Devon County Local Education Authority, in other words, Devon County Council, had been devising plans to completely change the education landscape in the City with the introduction of "comprehensive" schools.  The first indication had been in 1976 when the Chief Education Officer had written to the governors, parents and staff of the School about this reorganisation.  The so called "consultation" rumbled on until in December 1983 the Area Education Officer, Mr John Wright, finally stated that Tamar High school would be closing in 1988.

In the meantime, German  was introduced as a subject as late as 1982, when the services of Miss A Bridgman, were secured.  At the same time metalwork was phased out and replaced by Technology.

1985 was a big year for retirements: Mr R Davies, who had taught Art for 16 years; Mrs L Stone, Domestic Science; and Mr J Trenerry, teacher of Mathematics, Physics and Careers, for 35 years, all retired along with the Headmaster, Mr F Hill.  Because the School only had a short time to live, the Deputy Headmaster, Mr R J L Rose BA, filled the vacant post.  He introduced a School Concert to be held on the last day of term.

Yet another one of the consultation meetings took place in June 1988 but as the Headmaster wrote in 1996 in his history of the School, 'Before the evening was half over, it was patently obvious that the County representatives had made up their minds about the future of the school for although there were many and thoroughly articulate speakers from the floor arguing against closure, their cogent comments fell on stony ground'.  Naturally, the School was repainted at this time, always an ominous sign.

For the final year, commencing September 1989, there were 91 pupils in Year 5 and the Upper Sixth, with 14 full-time and 3 part-time staff.  Thos last members of staff were: Mesdames Barton, Bridgman, Cunningham, Davies, Richards and Ruberry; and Messrs Rose, Roberts, Bennett, Chatting, Lee, Mason, Padfield and Ruberry.

A special Thanksgiving Service was held in 1990 in Saint Andrew's Church, with a former pupil, the Reverend Anthony Macey, taking the service.  Finally, once the School had closed, a Reunion was held in the Plymouth Guildhall, in the presence of the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, which was attended by over 600 former pupils and friends of the School.