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The Rise and Fall of Bramcote Hall

Alumni (OTs)

In 1921 Bramcote Hall, an old Manor House located in the village of Bramcote, Nottinghamshire, was acquired by Trent College and became a preparatory school having previously been owned by two local banking families, the Wrights and latterly the Smiths.

 As a result of a serious fire which gutted the main building of Trent College in 1922 the juniors moved out of Trent and into Bramcote Hall.

Bramcote Hall remained the Prep School to Trent College until it was sold in 1965 and the juniors relocated to Trent College.

In commemoration of this 50th anniversary, two Old Bramcotians (also Old Tridents) Ron Christie and Archie Russell set about planning a reunion event to mark the occasion with the hope of bringing together as many Bramcote Hall Old Boys as they could. What they did not expect was the great number of Old Bramcotians they would reconnect with and the interest in their reunion from the Bramcote History Group, who had recently been studying the history of Bramcote Hall having held a meeting earlier in the year, where doors had to be closed at maximum capacity!

The reunion event, held at Trent College on a sunny Saturday in June, welcomed guests travelling from up and down the Country as well as many who have remained in the local area for a lunch reception during which they had the opportunity to view some historical photographs and memorabilia from the era which spanned 5 decades. Also on display was a fantastic model of Bramcote Hall, painstakingly built to scale by Bramcote enthusiast Richard Upton, who joined Jill Ward and Val Bird of the Bramcote history group at the reunion.

Many of the guests had, earlier that morning, attended the Bramcote Village site for a tour of the now vast woodlands, where Bramcote Hall once stood, and just a few footings and steps remain.

The guest of honor at the event was Colin Shaw, the only surviving Bramcote Hall Master, who attended with his two daughters.

After lunch guests meandered along the school drive to the Trent College Chapel for a service celebrating friendship and where they joined the Shola Cantourum in singing the adapted Harrow School Song ’50 years on’.

Guests then had the opportunity to tour the grounds of Trent and watch some of the tennis and cricket being played before returning to The May Hall to enjoy afternoon tea and speeches from Ron Christie who shared with everyone what a joy it was to welcome Colin Shaw and to have so many Old Bramcotians, their guests and members of the Bramcote History Group present to remember those old school days. He also gave thanks to Bill Penty, Head of Trent College, for the School’s hospitality.

David Pinney, former Trent College head of Biology and now volunteer archivist at Trent and the School’s Arboretum specialist, spoke about the many photographs and other school memorabilia on display.
Ron rounded off the event by suggesting that it is highly likely a further event will be arranged for Old Bramcotians which will include a presentation by the Bramcote History Group, sharing their research of the Bramcote Hall years.

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