Robert Thoroton Secondary School
Imagine you are travelling along the Nottinghamshire stretch of the A46. As you get to Flintham you are asked what you know about the village. What would you say? You could say, with some authority, that Flintham is midway between Bingham and Newark, but the village cannot be seen from the main road. You might point out the imposing building with its glass conservatory which can be spotted across fields on the eastern side of the A46, or the runways of an airfield which can be seen on the western side. However, you are probably unlikely to say anything about the Robert Thoroton School. But why should you? Although the school was housed in ex-RAF huts in woods alongside the A46 from 1950 to 1963, there is nothing visible left to catch the eye. All that remains of the school are a few floor tiles and memories. Hence the reason for these web pages.
In 2003, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), through the Local Heritage Initiative (LHI) awarded a grant to the Flintham Society to research education in Flintham over the centuries. The Flintham Society, an educational charity, was founded in 1991 with two aims: the first was to open and manage a museum which looks at rural life thorough the eyes of a village shopkeeper; and the second is to research and provide 'educational' activities and events for local residents.
The LHI grant has enabled the Flintham Society to research the history of the Robert Thoroton School which has been brought to life through the memories of former pupils and staff. Many people have recorded memories of their school days and in 2005, well over 100 ex-pupils came to an exhibition about the school. For several hours, Flintham Village Hall was a noisy place where the years slipped away as people chatted, identified themselves and their friends on photographs and generally enjoyed remembering their school years.
The Flintham Society would like to thank everyone connected with HLF and the LHI grant for giving the opportunity to so many people to share their thoughts and to ensure that the Robert Thoroton School is not forgotten.
Comments and anecdotes about the Robert Thoroton School have been used alongside a commentary about education in general. The text has not been annotated but go to acknowledgements for a list of sources and acknowledgements. The tapes and transcripts of the recorded interviews are kept at the Flintham Museum.