Science Blocks

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To date the school has had three purpose built science blocks.

First Science Block

The school's first science block photographed in 1998

The school's first science block was in about 1903. It led to a broadening of the school curriculum, and the appointment in January 1904 of John Harold Parkinson, a highly qualified master with BA and BSc degrees from London University, BSc from the University of Wales, and MA and PhD degrees from the university of Marburg in Germany.

The science block contained a "physical" and a "chemical" laboratory and a lecture room. By 1909 only one laboratory was needed, so the physical laboratory was used as a classroom by the headmaster, James William Dyson, who took two or three forms simultaneously in it, although the HM Inspectors didn't consider the furniture suitable for this purpose.. Adequate heating had been introduced into the block, but the chemical laboratory was "insufficiently lighted by the present gas jets".

By the late 1970s the block was being used for the teaching of biology with some of the rooms only occasionally used. Biology master, Patrick John Huston, commented in the 1980s that he considered the stonework over the main door to be in danger of collapse.

Second Science Block

The school's second science block photographed in the 1998

In November 1948 a decision was made to seek the ministry's views on the likelihood of permission being granted to proceed immediately with the building of a gymnasium and changing rooms but it was over seven years before permission was given for the erection of a new science block and a combined hall-gymnasium.

Work began in December 1956 on the major new extension, designed by a former pupil, Frederick Ralph Bozeat, a member of the drawing office staff of Holland's county architect, who was quoted as saying:

They had not attempted to duplicate the appearance of the old school buildings, but, on the other hand, they had tried to preserve the dignified tone of the existing buildings, in keeping with the status of the school.

On 16 May 1957, WL Alexander, chairman of the governors, laid the foundation stone, declaring it was "not just a foundation stone, but a milestone... in the school's history". He inspected the Army and Navy sections of the school's CCF, accompanied by the mayor, Councillor Mrs Bertha Row, and was thanked by head prefect Robert M Sheehan. The new buildings were officially opened on 30 October 1958 by Sir Oswald Giles, who received a presentation from the head prefect Frederick J Allday (1951-1959), and was thanked by William John Ricketts, the headmaster, who said Sir Oswald had:

turned another page in our long history, a page which has taken a long time to write. 1958 will be written in figures as large as 1567 and 1926, for these two buildings occupy an area about three-quarters the size of the existing school, and and are almost as large as the 1926 extension which houses the main classroom block...

The old laboratories, two in number, now very good classrooms, were small and lacking in space, so that we were unable to buy much needed equipment...

In the past, boys laboured under great difficulties in their practical science, and yet we have built up an enviable record of scientific achievement. The now HMI remarked that his predecessor had told him that the standard of science teaching was high, and as evidence we can point to the large flow of boys who go to the science faculties in the universities - thirty in the four years I have been here, and among our comparatively young old boys we can boast two doctors of science, many PhDs, open scholars of Oxford and Cambridge, and State Scholars...

It appears that Sir Oswald Giles was the third choice to perform the opening ceremony, the Marquess of Exeter and Marshall of RAF Lord Tedder having previously been invited and unable to accept.

These images of the programme for the opening ceremony were provided by Karen McGarry.

After a meeting of the governors on 21 May 1959, in the unavoidable absence of Sir Oswald, Mr Alexander unveiled a plaque in the new hall commemorating its opening and that of the science buildings.

The science block consisted of four laboratories, each with a preparation room, and accommodated four classes, each of about thirty pupils. With its completion the old science block was adapted to provide three classrooms, two of which were later converted into biology laboratories.

The interior wall above the stairs, on the Rowley Road ride of the building was visible from the road, the exterior wall being made up mainly of windows. On it was a large mural, painted by art master, Frederick Jack Grimble.

This science block was demolished following completion of the third science block.

Third Science Block

The third science block was built in 2002 on the site of what was previously the Fives Court, CCF store and Caretaker's building, in the school's yard, facing the library.

Archeological work

An excavation was carried out by Pre-Construction Archaeology (Lincoln) in advance of the construction of the new science block.

"The archaeology excavations have arisen from a close working relationship between Hyder Business Services, BGS and the Conservation Services Sept of Lincs County Council" explained Jim Bonner, Snr Built Environment Officer at Lincs County Council. He added "from the outset archaeology was recognised as a significant factor in the development and preliminary trial excavation allowed LCC archaeologists and consultant engineers Waldeck Associates to devise a solution which minimises damage to the archaeological remains."

Previous work undertaken by PCA at the school has produced a wealth of archaeological remains, including the first ever evidence for Roman occupation in the town. Other finds include part of the cemetary from the Franciscan Friary, or "Greyfriars", the site of which is located close to the school. Trial excavations in 2001 also produced archaeology directly linked to Boston's importance as a major port and trading centre. Part of the surface of the Mart Yard was uncovered, which once hosted Boston's annual beast fair. The foundations of Haven House, a prestigious 17th century brick and timber framed house were also uncovered.

Jim Rylott, Snr Project Officer said: "The whole history of Boston is intricately linked to mercantile activity. The Mart Yard was the focus of that activity and Haven House undoubtedly belonged to a merchant." The remains of Haven House and the earlier medieval building were to be removed by hand before the foundation trenches for the new labs were dug.

"Although a small excavation, this is a rare chance to glimpse part of Boston's past," the Boston Community Archaeologist explained, "Visitors to the site will be able to view the on-going excavation and see the archaeologists at work."

External links

See Also