Keighley Boys' Grammar School - History
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KBGS started life as Drake and Tonson School, an 1822 reference describes: 'a Grammar school founded by John Drake, in the year 1715-16, for the parish of Keighley, to teach Latin, Greek, and English, grammatically'.

The school changed to Keighley Trade and Grammar School sometime in 1871. The "trade" referred to the teaching of textiles with pupils being introduced to spinning and weaving machinery as part of this curriculum. This part was hived off and the Grammar School proper started. The rest became part of Keighley Technical College probably around 1900.

A detailed and fascinating history of the school 1851-1951 (scans from 1951 edition of The Keighlian) is in the images below.

See more details of the early history here.

Round the School  - report of King George's death, Jan 20th 1936.

The Keighley Mechanics Institute was practically gutted by a fire in 1962. The move to the Oakbank site was in April 1964. Soon after this event KGBS allowed girls and eventually turned "comprehensive".

A clipping from the Keighley News concerns the original name for KBGS after its move to Oakbank which led to a tremendous amount of protest from the school at the time, led by Brian Hudson (with a placard stating 'A second death to Miles Gale').

Today the school is known as Oakbank. When I last checked, there was still a Drake and Tonson bursary at Oakbank.



Click the column header to sort. Click on item title to view full image.
TitleThumbYearDescriptionCredit
"Recipe Book" 1964 - Keighley School 1964Front cover of a fundraising publication from when the school was trying to raise money for a swimming pool.Shaun Pye
Archives 2014Archives from Oakbank moved to Local Studies in Keighley Public Library 23 July 2014Gareth Whittaker
County Minor Scholarship Award 1943Copy of the award documentMike Nichols
County Minor Scholarship Award 1943Copy of the award document/ Reverse side detailsMike Nichols
Drill Team 1923 - 4 1924The names shown are transcribed from the back of the postcard. Donated by C Greenhough generaldogsbody@f2s.comLister Greenhough archive
Forty Years On 1942Forty Years On Life at school in 1902, written in 1942 
KBGS History Part 1 1951Part 1: Beginnings, up to 1835, founding of the Mechanics Institute. From a detailed and fascinating history of the school 1851-1951 (scans from 1951 edition of The Keighlian)Keighlian
KBGS History Part 2 1951Part 2: The Fitch Report, The Trade School, James Spencer. From a detailed and fascinating history of the school 1851-1951 (scans from 1951 edition of The Keighlian)Keighlian
KBGS History Part 3 1951Part 3: Alfred Barker, building of the North Wing, the use of “Dunce” hats. From a detailed and fascinating history of the school 1851-1951 (scans from 1951 edition of The Keighlian)Keighlian
KBGS History Part 4 1951Part 4: Turn of the century, death of Dennis Barrett, appointment of Thomas P Watson. From a detailed and fascinating history of the school 1851-1951 (scans from 1951 edition of The Keighlian)Keighlian
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Copyright Chris Firth and owner of individual photos where specified 1999-2017
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