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Collegiate School Leighton Buzzard

57 Lake Street December 2008
57 Lake Street December 2008

The following text is taken from Illustrated Bedfordshire its History and Commerce published in 1895: "Collegiate School. Lake Street, Leighton Buzzard. Mr.E.Whittaker, Principal. The Collegiate School, Leighton Buzzard, for Day Boys and Boarders, was established so recently as 1892. Judged by the success which has attended the efforts expended upon it, it has supplied a decided want to the town for an all-round English education. Mr.Whittaker, the Principal, has had over 20 years' teaching experience, and is assisted by a capable staff of tutors. The premises, though of unpretending exterior, contains several spacious and well-lighted rooms, and to the visitor the school-like appearance of the latter is at once apparent. An idea of the useful character of the studies may be gathered from a glance at the General Time Table. The school is divided into three groups, without any reference to age - Junior, General and Special. The Junior is sub-divided into upper and lower. This course includes all the ordinary English subjects, with French, Elementary Science and Drawing. Latin is not studied until a boy reaches the General course. Though not a compulsory subject [it] is strongly recommended and encouraged. The Special course is designed for those pupils taking a limited number of subjects, either for examination purposes or for the requirements of their intended future careers. Shorthand and book-keeping play an important part with the latter. The plan of instruction adopted throughout is to combine the advantages of Grammar School and private tuition. A limited number of boarders are received - homely comforts and constant supervision being the chief features of their regime. The physical needs, too, of all, are well catered for. There is attached to the school a properly fitted gymnasium, in which the boys are regularly and scientifically trained. Mr.Ballet, the resident French master, takes the boys weekly in batches for drill and physical exercises. From the foregoing it will be seen that the Collegiate School, with its roll of fifty boys, is a thriving establishment, and has quite fulfilled the expectations of its founder, whose sincere hope is that it may prove a worthy adjunct to the needs of the district, and that its pupils may become honest and useful members of the community".

Edwin Wells Whittaker's school stood, according to Kelly's Directory for 1894 at 57 Lake Street. It does not appear in the 1898 directory or in the 1901 census (when the house was occupied by David Everett a dyer and cleaner from Plymouth [Devon], his wife and six children). 57 Lake Street, if the numbers today are the same as in 1894 (which is not always the case as Delta House shows) is on the east side of the road, nearly opposite the entrance to Grove Road. It is not a particularly outstanding looking property ("of unpretending exterior"), certainly not as grand as one might have expected as the site of a private school, perhaps that was one of the reasons behind the school's comparatively short lifespan.