The City of  Coventry Boarding School c 1967
The City of Coventry Boarding School

The school has a fascinating history as a wartime Evacuation camp and Pioneer centre outlined below, but its the middle period as boys boarding school from the 1950's to1980 that we are mostly concerned with here.

About This Blog
This blogspot was created by Trev Teasdel (a former pupil) in order to organise some of  the discussion and research that has been going on a school Facebook page I Survived Wyre Farm School and hopefully to stimulate more research. The Facebook page was created by Mike Godwin and much of the discussion has been led by Michael Billings and Rosemary Webb Rehill with valuable contributions by the other members. If you were at the school, do go over to Facebook and join in.

The History of the City of Coventry Boarding School
(adapted from the Coventry Telegraph article "The End of an Era" )

From the Shropshire Star
" The former City of Coventry Boarding School began life as Wyre Farm Camp School just before the start of the Second World War when a government quango, the National Camps Corporation, was set up to investigate the poor health of city children.

It decided to establish boarding schools around the UK to offer youngsters, who often lived among the filthiest industrial practices of the time, an opportunity to live and study in a more beautiful environment.

Building work began in 1939, but only a few sites were completed before the outbreak of war. Among the first intake of boys at Wyre Farm were evacuees from the Coventry blitz. In 1957 the school was taken over by Coventry City Council and became the City of Coventry Boarding School and took a large proportion of boys from military families (but not exclusively!). During the summer, when the boarders went home, junior school children from Coventry were sent there for short holidays.

Two new modern blocks were added to the cedar wood wartime buildings at the end of 1965. This was to be the first in a series of new blocks that would eventually replace the old school but in the end, no more were built. The two new blocks were arrange in a T shape. The stem of the T (more recently known as the Forest Lodge) originally consisted of the new physics and biology labs with the new school library beneath. This block has now been replaced by a new block by the Pioneer Centre. The other block consisted of pupil bedrooms on the top floor with showers / changing rooms / prep room and class room and a large recreation centre below. At one end of the block were the flats for the House master and the deputy.
The Pioneer Centre today

The school closed c 1980 and eventually fell into decay. But in 1984, after extensive renovation work, the site was reopened as a Youth for Christ residential centre by the late Harry Whittaker, founder of the Northampton Association of Youth Clubs. NAYC then took over its day-to-day running and opened it as the Pioneer Centre in 1991, spending millions of pounds on refurbishment which included the installation of solar power.

The Pioneer Centre today caters for groups of any age and from any background and ranging from in size from 12 to 300 people. There are seven lodges with en suite bedrooms and hundreds of led activities are offered from archery to rafting.


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