Mural from the Main Hall

When A Brand New School Gets Its Name (1955)

 Uxbridge & W. Drayton Gazette - Friday 21 January 1955 



What's in a name, especially when it's the name of a brand new Grammar School? Everything, according to members of the North-West Middlesex Executive Committee on Friday.

It wouldn't have been so bad if the new school to be christened was a primary school, or even a secondary school, but a GRAMMAR school...

The members were considering a recommendation from the Schools sub-Committee that the new grammar school at Northwood Hills should be named the "Ruislip - Northwood, Northwood County Secondary Grammar School."

The recommendation was read and immediately a member exclaimed: "This is so ludicrous that I could not support it."

And for the next 45 minutes the business of a name caused excitement, sharp comments, points of order, amendments and fresh amendments.


The first amendment was moved by CIIr. W. D. Charles, chairman of Ruislip-Northwood Council. "I want this executive to make up its mind, rather than refer this back," he said. His amendment was quite simple. He asked that the school be named St. Nicholas' Grammar School for boys, and ultimately the girls' grammar school to be called St. Mary's. He sat down and County Councillor F. S. Tate stood up to say the school should be called, simply, Northwood Grammar School. "The other names are too unwieldly," he said. Another member thought that schools. particularly of the grammar kind, should be named after the place in which they were built or after their founders or patrons. He reeled off THE schools— Eton, Marlborough, Winchester, and members sat quietly for a minute as if in contemplation of their own schooldays. 


Then was the turn of chairman, Mr. John Miles. He liked the idea of St. Nicholas and St. Mary, he said, but up jumped Mr. Tate. "On a point of order, sir. You agreed with the sub-committee's original name and now you are speaking against the sub-committee. "There was hub-hub, and Mr. Miles apologized—"but you have heard me say what I wanted to say"—and members laughed. Mr. Tate was angry, "This is no laughing matter. I will take this further."  Other members gave their views, and in crept a feeling of rivalry between areas: Ruislip against Uxbridge, Uxbridge against Northwood. but the amendment was put by Mr. Charles—"that this school be named St. Nicholas' Grammar School, Northwood." He won. The voting was 9 to 6. 


It was won - but no, Mr. D. J. Davies put another amendment asking the matter to be referred back for further discussion. Again the vote. It was lost.

So that is the name the children of Ruislip-Northwood will get used to, and probably proud of - St. Nicholas' and St. Mary's (probably).

Final word came from Mrs B. E. Beaumont, "I hope we will discuss with the same amount of enthusiasm the education in this school as we have the name of it."

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