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Available atThe Core Library Solihull
Ref NoD105
LevelCollection
TitleEvans family papers relating to Tudor Grange Special School, Solihull
DescriptionPhotographs, scrapbook and letters kept by Robert Idwal ("Bob") Evans (1916-1994). Includes newspaper articles relating to milestones in the school's history, and photographs of the staff and children. Also includes a brief history of the school, compiled by his sons in 2014.
Date1949-2014
Admin/Biographical historyTudor Grange, Solihull was built in 1887 and purchased in 1901 by Sir Alfred Bird, MP for Wolverhampton West. During the Second World War the house was used as an auxiliary hospital by the British Red Cross. The house was sold by the Bird family to Warwickshire County Council in 1946.

As a result of efforts by Mr Michael Wainwright, of Warwickshire County Council's Education Office, in enforcing the principle of the 1944 Education Act that authorities should provide their own special schools, Tudor Grange was one of the first special schools in the country.

Tudor Grange Special School was officially opened on 17th October 1949 and took in children from ages six to sixteen, often from deprived backgrounds and with physically disabling conditions such as polio and cerebral palsy. The first Headmaster was Robert Idwal Evans, who lived in the house along with his wife, Caroline (née Hughes), their own children, and up to 40 boarding students. The school provided residential and day accommodation for up to 50 pupils from across the country and from the local area.

From 1st April 1964, the administration of Tudor Grange Special School was taken over by the new Solihull County Borough Council when the authority took over responsibility from Warwickshire County Council for education in the borough.

The school, by then known as Tudor Grange Day and Residential Special School, closed in the Summer of 1976, replaced by the purpose-built Swanswell School, which was built on the Langley School campus, Kineton Green Road, Olton. Swanswell opened to pupils in the Autumn of 1976, with 51 of its maximum 80 pupils. Swanswell School closed in 1988.

Mr Evans, founder Headmaster at Tudor Grange, also moved with the school to Swanswell, retiring from there in July 1981 at the age of 65, having served as the school's headteacher for 32 years. He was awarded the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977. He died in April 1994.
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsNo restrictions on access.
Creator_NameEvans; Robert Idwal (1916-1994)
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