The town’s old boys have officially passed on the baton to the youngster generation after a ceremony backed by the Queen.
Members of West Hartlepool Grammar School Old Boys Association (WHGSOBA) unveiled a wall sculpture and a plaque at Hartlpool Sixth Form College.
The college, in Blakelock Road, was once the site of the old grammar school, and the old building has been incorporated into the extension of the college.
To mark the relationship of the two, the old boys held a special ceremony and invited the Queen’s local representative Sue Snowdon, the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, along to unveil the sculpture.
Created by Brian Anson, one of the old boys who was a member of the GB relay squad at the Rome Olympics, the sculpture depicts two hands handing over a baton, with the West Hartlepool Grammer School logo on one side and the Hartlepool Sixth Form College logo on the other.
Underneath it reads ‘Passing the baton of educational, sporting and cultural excellence’.
We are very proud of the sculptureMalcolm Donnelly
Malcolm Donnelly, chairman of the association’s committee, said: “The theme is continuity, for the youngsters that are now educated in this building.
“We are very proud of the sculpture.”
Duncan Graham, a member of WHGSOBA, who helped organise the event, said: “There were so many talented people came out of that school and we want to inspire the youngsters to do well.”
Alex Fau-Goodwin, principal at the sixth form college, said: “As a college we are very proud to carry on the baton.”
A blue plaque was also unveiled telling a history of the building.
The plaque was paid for by a donation from a former president of the association, Terry Arthur, a Cambridge graduate who played rugby for England, and the sculpture bought from a bequest in the will of another old boy, Philip Tomlinson, who would be celebrating his 100th birthday next month.
More than 60 guests went along to the unveiling, including old boys and members of the college.
Hartlepool Sixth Form College’s educational roots can be traced back to 1902, when West Hartlepool Secondary School was created in Lauder Street, later becoming West Hartlepool Secondary School for Boys.
In the years leading up to the Second World War the boys were transfered to the new building at Brinkburn.
Following the Butler Education Act of 1944 the school became West Hartlepool Grammar School for Boys and then part of Brinkburn Comprehensive School in 1973.
In 1983 it was decided to create a sixth form college and by 1993 it was well established and became a futher education college.