2016 was a year of celebration of all that City College Norwich has meant to students, staff and the wider community over the last 125 years. We’ve loved hearing your stories and memories. Here’s a brief look back at our CCN 125 Years celebrations, and a look forward to what’s next. Thanks for sharing all of your stories. Stay in touch!
2016 – A year to remember
2016 was certainly a momentous year. There were so many big news events in the UK and on the world stage. Closer to home, it was also a landmark year for City College Norwich as we celebrated our 125th Anniversary. From humble beginnings in 1891, our college has grown to become a key part of the life of Norwich and Norfolk. The number of students who have learned with us over the years runs into the hundreds of thousands.
To mark the anniversary we held a number of events during the year, for students and staff, past and present. These included our Back to the Future-themed stand at the Royal Norfolk Show. Staff and students dressed up and put on events linked to different decades from our history.
This was followed shortly after by our Summer Fair. The weather was not kind to us, unfortunately, but this did not dampen spirits as the below picture of our principal Corrienne Peasgood and deputy principal Jerry White shows! It was lovely to welcome former students and staff back to CCN to reminisce about their college days.
An amazing 125 Years Anniversary Dinner
Another highlight of the year, to mark our actual birthday of 13th November, was the CCN 125 Years Anniversary Dinner. Top chefs who were former students – including Richard Bainbridge (see video below) – teamed up with current staff and students to put on an amazing 5-course dinner for more than 80 VIP guests. These included past and present students and staff. They were joined by former principals, governors, the Lord Mayor and the Sheriff of Norwich, and other friends and supporters of the College.
Thank you for being part of our 125 Year celebrations
One of the things that made the year so special was the sharing of so many memories and stories by former students and staff. These spanned the last 6 decades, with stories from the 1950s, ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and 2000s.
Some of these stories are truly inspirational, showing the life-changing impact that the college has had. Others brought back memories of fun and frolics from people’s time at college. Many reflected on how the college has helped them get to where they are today. Thank you so much to all who shared their stories.
If you have been following our subject by subject blogs, you will know that the college has constantly been adapting and changing. With such a strong focus on vocational education, our courses have changed in line with wider changes in the world of work.
For much of our 125 year history, Boot & Shoe and Printing were two major departments within the college. As some courses have been phased out, many others have been added – courses in property services, our media learning company, and aviation engineering are just some of the more recent additions.
Continuity and change
As well as all of this change, there has also been lots of continuity. The college retains strong links to local business and industry, in all sectors, to meet the skills needs of the region and to prepare students for employment. Apprenticeships have always been a big part of this picture, and remain a key and expanding part of our offer to this day.
When students Connor Mather and Jake Burton interviewed our principal, Corrienne Peasgood, they asked about future plans for the college. Corrienne answered that there are always plans to further improve our facilities and how we teach and learn. The principal also emphasised the importance of continuity, saying:
People don’t leave school saying ‘Do you know what I really want to do with my life? I want to go to the college and be a student’. There’s no purpose in that. What we’re here for is to take people from school and get them into the workplace, whether straight after college or after Higher Education or an Apprenticeship. Sometimes there’s time out in between, for having children, or all of the hiccups that happen in our lives. But that’s the journey. That’s what we’re here for. So it’s about even more of a focus on that, to make sure that we get those pathways through as seamlessly as we can.
Here to stay
What will education look like when the college reaches its next big milestone in 2041 (our 150th anniversary)? Will our classrooms look radically different? Will students spend less time in classrooms and more time gaining experience in the workplace? Perhaps there will be more virtual and distance learning as technological developments reduce the need for classes to happen in the same place at the same time. Will our students be seen travelling up the Ipswich Road on hover boards?
Whatever the future holds, given the long history of our college, its ability to adapt and change as education and skills needs have changed, CCN is sure to still be here. So, here’s to the next 125 years!!!
Stay in touch: join our alumni network!
Sadly our formal 125th anniversary celebrations are drawing to a close. However, we want to stay in touch with all of our alumni and former staff who have taken the trouble to get in touch.
The exciting news for 2017 is that we will be launching a CCN alumni network! Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would be interested in finding out more.