110 Stories with Fircroft College

As we continue with our 110 Stories Heritage project, we’ve spent some time digging through the archives (if you’ve not seen our timeline in the college, go and take a look. Or, you can see a snapshot in our blog series here!) to find out more about our beloved college and its rich history.

We were thrilled to find a letter in one of the old Fircrofter magazines from 1987 from Pat Coley discussing, in print - imagine - the Open Day of 1987.

According to Pat’s beautifully written letter, children were given tea and trumpets (the horror!) and an all-night disco until 4am took place! Somewhat different to our Open Days now. 

We wanted to share this with you, as it’s so important to reflect upon our past, but also to look to the future and how we can inspire positive change.

‘We had only four weeks of this summer term to make this thing happen. There were times when we thought it would not, but here we are after the event feeling quite satisfied, and very relieved that all went fairly well.

The weather was terrible, and we were truly surprised and very thankful that so many people turned out to support us. We had, had awful fears earlier in the day, that we, the stall-keepers might be the only people in sight when Brian Wicker made his Opening Speech. 

In actual fact, at only 1:45pm the first visitors started to arrive and at 2:10pm we were starting to panic because a queue had formed! Pattie Jarvis’s voice got higher and higher as she reminded people we weren’t due to open until 2:30. 

By 2:45, the George Breeze Hall was quite crowded with visitors, duly participating in raffles and games, happily rifling through clothes and books for a find. 

The book stall had a large collection of books, with much choice and particularly popular. At 3pm the steel band commenced their first session and soon people were hurrying over to the common room to join the fun. It was most unfortunate that due to the bad weather we had to have the steel band separate from the stalls - we had hoped all would be outside in our lovely grounds. 

The array of goodies in the team room meant that they were doing a roaring trade for most of the day. Thanks to the kitchen staff for that. During the second session, the children were treated to tea of their own, and after the distribution of trumpets and blowers, many adults bid a hasty retreat, but hopefully the children didn't even notice the noise?!

At 5pm, the raffle draw was made and the news that there were 962 peas in the jar produced a winner. The worst and most suspect news of the day was that Peter Bowler won a bottle of brandy on the tombola. Is there any left Pete?!

A BBQ supper was served at 6:45pm, again inside, which is never quote the same as cooked over coals outdoors but at least it allowed some of us to sit down after quite a weary day! 

The disco didn't really take-off until late as usual and the DJ was booked until 4am, and there was at least 6 of us Firkers still standing at that time, though, we’re still trying to work out. 

So, all in all, despite the weather a very enjoyable and exhausting day. A special mentions for the stewards who did a great job showing around guests and new students (good luck next year by the way!)

And thank you to all helpers who came along and spent their money. 

See you next year!

Pat Coley’

You can see the original letter here...

110 Stories with Fircroft College

Want to study with Fircroft but not sure where to start? Attend one of our Open Days. After all, we offer learning that changes lives. 

If you want to chat through your options, call our Admissions team on 0121 472 0116 or contact us here for more information. 

If you want to join in with the Heritage project, we’d love to hear from you! Share your story via the 110 Years link