Bridgnorth Endowed School has received a generous bequest in memory of Mr. Joseph L. Barritt, a former Headmaster, and his son, Mr William Barritt, previously a student at the school.
William, who attended the school in the 1940s, had a talent for mathematics and went on to become a chartered accountant and successful businessman.
“The family link with the school stayed with my dad throughout his life”, said William Barritt’s daughter, Kate Williams.
“He fondly remembered his school days and it was at Bridgnorth Endowed that he met his childhood sweetheart, and later wife, Patricia Ealey.”
William’s father, Joseph, affectionately known as ‘Joey’ by his pupils, took up the position as Headmaster in 1930 and led the, then grammar, school for almost twenty-three years until 1953.
During his headship, Joseph experienced a great deal of change. Sporting and academic success were strong in the early years, with a high number of pupils winning places at Oxford and Cambridge.
Development of the school site was particularly significant as, for example, 1931 saw the move from gas light to electricity in the science laboratories, then later in the classrooms.
The Second World War represented a difficult period in Joseph’s time at the school. Pupils and Masters had to play their parts in the war effort, and the post-war years also took their toll.
The Barritt family’s recent gift has been extremely well-received and has facilitated a much-needed renovation of the school’s Pastoral Centre, based in the Memorial Block.
The building, which originally opened in July 1930, was a War Memorial Library and Dining Hall, financed by a Memorial Fund dedicated to the thirty-nine old boys, including three masters, that had lost their lives in World War I.
A tiled memorial tablet bearing the names of the fallen still sits in the entrance with a stained-glass window above, depicting St. Michael, the protector of souls.
The school’s history is very much part of the teaching at Bridgnorth Endowed. In fact, last month, during the annual English and History A-level trip to Belgium, pupils visiting the Menin Gate took time to seek out the graves of past ‘Endowdians’ to lay poppies and hold moments of remembrance.
With this year marking the First World War Centenary, the restoration of the Memorial Building serves as a fitting tribute, not only to commemorate the Barritts, but also to those that lost their lives in the Great War.
In addition to the newly refurbished ‘Joseph Barritt Centre’, the donation has funded some considerable improvements to the school’s on-site leisure centre, both of which will go on to benefit Bridgnorth Endowed School pupils and the local community for many years to come.
Mr Worth, comments: “The generosity of the Barritt family is greatly appreciated by all of us at Bridgnorth Endowed. It has helped us to continue our work to provide first-rate facilities for our students, making life at the school an even better experience.”