Trent College

Alan Grant was at Trent from 1932-1935 in Shuker House.

From the school web site. In 1865, Francis Wright proposed the foundation of Trent College at a meeting of the Midland branch of the Clerical and Lay Association. At the time, he intended Trent College to be one of many schools established in the region; in fact, it was the only one of its kind in the area.

The School opened its doors in April 1868 to the first contingent of 53 boys. Four months later, the school roll had risen to 118 and, by 1870, 225 boys were registered as pupils. The School’s initial success was hit by the outbreak of Scarlet Fever in 1873 and the death of its first Headmaster, Thomas Ford Fenn, in 1883. However, the School experienced a new peak of success in 1875 when the Chapel was opened.

In 1892, the Evangelical College and School Company Ltd. (established by Francis Wright’s surviving family) took over as Trustees of Trent College and remained its Directors until November 1966 when the School became Trent College Ltd.

Tucker was succeeded in 1927 by Headmaster Geoffrey Bell. Trent was about to face the Great Depression, which meant that Bell was restricted in the developments he could carry out at the School. However, during Bell’s Headmastership, the Warner Library was opened (1929) as well as the Cricket Pavilion (1933). Bell was apparently held in high regard by the boys at Trent and was seen as a forward-thinking man, even though the School’s finances were less progressive.

Bell also oversaw Trent’s great unbeaten rugby 1st XI sides of 1932-33 and 1933-34, which included the now-famous Prince Obolensky, who went on to play for Oxford and England and is still remembered as one of the country’s finest rugby players.

Bell left Trent in 1936 for a new Headmastership at Highgate and was succeeded by Ford Ikin, who reported being appalled by the dilapidated state of the buildings that greeted him on his arrival at Trent.

Ikin immediately set about persuading the governors to spend money on sanitation, new beds and decoration, as well as removing the gas lighting that had been criticised in an inspection in 1929.

Alan Grant