Hucknall National Schools celebrate landmark 200th anniversary

CARRYING THE NATIONAL TORCH -- at an exhibition to mark the 200th anniversary are (from left) Liz Youngman, head of Hucknall National Primary School, and three representatives from Hucknall National Comprehensive School, Clare Bywater, head teacher Dr Jon Edwards and executive head teacher Chris Pickering -- DISPIC NHUD11-1818-1

CARRYING THE NATIONAL TORCH -- at an exhibition to mark the 200th anniversary are (from left) Liz Youngman, head of Hucknall National Primary School, and three representatives from Hucknall National Comprehensive School, Clare Bywater, head teacher Dr Jon Edwards and executive head teacher Chris Pickering -- DISPIC NHUD11-1818-1

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A UNIQUE place in education history that has been 200 years in the making for the Hucknall National family of schools has been celebrated by a special exhibition.

Back in 1811, the original school became one of the founding members of the National Society — an organisation launched by Joshua Watson and the Church to provide education for the poor by building schools in areas where there were none.

Each of the hundreds of new schools carried the name National.

Now, almost exactly two centuries later, Hucknall National Comprehensive and Hucknall National Primary are just two of four schools in the entire country which have retained the title.

In fact, the comprehensive, on Annesley Road, is the only secondary school to be called National.

To mark the bicentenary, celebrations are being held by the society up and down the country and will culminate in a service at Westminster Abbey in London.

However, the National schools in Hucknall also decided to mark the occasion by launching projects in lessons to research their history.

This culminated in an event at the John Godber Centre on Ogle Street where past pupils and teachers were invited to share their reminiscences.

Displays were put together that included historic school logs, punishment books and even old canes that were used to discipline pupils.

National Comprehensive’s head teacher, Dr Jon Edwards, said: “The position held by the schools is quite prestigious.

“The exhibition confirmed a real sense of National being part of the community. It is very impressive.”

The National School in Hucknall was originally launched in 1788 in the town centre. It moved to the Old School House on Annesley Road and later to Montague Road, where the current primary school stands

National Comprehensive moved in phases from Montague Road to purpose-built premises towards the bypass end of Annesley Road in the late 1970s and early 1980s.