Picture Past; School mergers, leading ladies, and hospital woes
PUBLISHED: 16:00 16 November 2019
The switch to the comprehensive school system in 1971 saw Somerset County Education Committee propose a merger of several Weston schools, 50 years ago this week.
The committee recommended the town have three comprehensive schools, the new one under construction in Worle and two others formed by merging the two grammar schools with Uphill Secondary, and Winterstoke with Walliscote.
Chief education officer Robert Parker, speaking to parents at a meeting at Winterstoke Girls School, said: "We have not yet finally decided what we are going to do, we want to hear your views before we do anything definite.
"Some years ago the county council agreed it would be in favour of having comprehensive schools in Weston.
"As part of this policy the county council embarked on the establishment of a comprehensive school in Worle.
"The education department had to consider what effect this would have on the other schools in the area and decided there should be comprehensive education for the whole of the borough at the same time as we open our first comprehensive school here.
"In other words all our schools should be comprehensive by 1971.
"I am convinced the council made the right decision."
* The medical officer for Burnham warned there was no hope of a new district hospital being built in Weston for six or seven years.
The revelation came at a meeting of Burnham District Council's works committee by Dr RH Watson when answering questions on medical facilities in the area.
He said: "The provision of a new general district hospital in Taunton or Weston is anybody's guess but it will certainly not be before the next six or seven years.
"in the meantime there is pressure on the Regional Hospital Board to improve facilities in existing hospitals to bring them up to better standards.
"There are shortcomings in the hospitals throughout the country."
* Weston actor Geoffrey Collins was to take up his first leading role in a BBC Radio 4 play Variation On A Theme opposite Margaret Lockwood.
Earlier in the year, Collins had won the BBC drama students competition in which he was awarded a six-month contract with the BBC Drama Repertory Company.
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