Rodney Edrich: Bayleys Children: A History of Wrekin College 1880-2005

Cover of Bayleys Children:  A History of Wrekin College 1880-2005 By Rodney Edrich

Publication Details

Bayley's Children: A History of Wrekin College 1880-2005 By Rodney Edrich
HB ISBN 0-9547560-1-0 gbp 24.50 304pp 181 b&w illustrations and 16 colour plates

The History of Wrekin College 1880-2005

The story of Bayley's Children begins in 1880 when Wellington College was founded by John Bayley, a formidable businessman and enterprising educationalist, who combined elements of the council board school with private sector 'refinements'. Bayley's creation met with immediate success and the unique ethos of today's school owes much to its founder's vision.

Forty years later Bayley sold the school to the Reverend Percy Warrington, an evangelical parson, who renamed it Wrekin College and used it as a stepping stone to an educational empire. Bayley's Children tells of Warrington's extraordinary shenanigans, when he mortgaged his newly purchased school to buy several others. Using each as collateral for the next, Warrington became the proud owner of nine schools within a decade and was instrumental in founding St Peter's College, Oxford. Such grandiose expansion on the eve of the Great Depression spelt disaster. Warrington's unseemly fall from school proprietor par excellence to social pariah makes fascinating reading.

Fortunately, successive headmasters of differing talents were able to build on Bayley's strong foundations to create today's thriving school. Geoffrey Hadden's controversial introduction of girls into the sixth form in 1975 brought a new vigour to Wrekin, and led, eight years later, to girls throughout the school. The founding of Lancaster as a Junior House ensured record pupil numbers in 2005. Current negotiations with Old Hall School bring the prospect of a new preparatory school to the Wrekin campus.

Bayley's Children is a highly readable celebration of Wrekin College's 125-year transition from Victorian board-cum-public school to twenty-first century success story, through an entertaining, well-researched narrative and many recently discovered photographs. No one is better placed to tell this story than Dr Rodney Edrich, historian and long-serving member of staff.

About the Author

Rodney Edrich was educated at Great Yarmouth Grammar School and the University of Reading where he read History. He studied for his PGCE at Exeter College, Oxford, and in 1977 was elected as a Schoolmaster Fellow Commoner at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, where he carried out the bulk of the research for a PhD awarded in 1984. He has served the school as a Housemaster since 1979. In 2004 he was appointed the Founding President of the Wrekin College Foundation.

How to Order

This book was published in November 2005. To order this book please contact:

Development Office, Wrekin College, Sutherland Road, Wellington, Shropshire TF1 3BH UK

Telephone: 01952 240131



Cover Design

Cover design by Hardcore Design.