visual of the proposed new
buildings. More can be seen at
the Barnsley LEA website.
The past few years have been a period of change for Penistone, a significant amount of it controversial, not least because some of the old had to give way for the new.
When it was announced that Penistone Grammar School was to become an ALC and relocate to a brand new, state of the art building, and that part of those plans included the demolition of the old school (or at least part of it), I thought it might be interesting for future generations to see a record of all the buildings before they were gone.
The more people I mentioned this idea to - and not all were ex-pupils - the more it became apparent that there would be some
interest in this as an serious project and what started a whimsical notion slowly became a reality.
With funding from EPIP (East Peak Innovation Partnership) and invaluable help from Kevin Neil (and caretakers and cleaners) I was able to shoot all the rooms in every building of the school in the month and a half leading up to its relocation at the start of the 2011 summer term (coincidentally the centenary year of the Fulford building).
There was no political motive behind this - it's simply a record of the school at the end of a particular phase in its existence. After all, PGS is no stranger to change. Since its formation in 1392 it's moved to and from several buildings and after the move to the purpose-built Fulford in 1911, extensions and new buildings have been an integral part of its development as it moves with the times.
There will be over 850 scenes in the tour (although the current count in May 2012 is around 60). Many will feature "hotspots" that will reveal additional information about the school and its history. New scenes will be added on a fortnightly basis.
Barnsley Library have also granted access to their main archives for this project along with the Dransfield collection in Penistone Library. Over time this will evolve into a comprehensive history of the school. It will also be unique: there is currently no local history in the country like it.
An essential part of the development of this website will be the inclusion of comments and photos from ex-pupils and staff. Everyone has a tale to tell and all of them, no matter how seemingly inconsequential, will help provide a broader picture of life at the
school and also an insight into Penistone itself. This is a social, living history.
With this in mind, Facebook and Twitter accounts have been set up for people to easily add their contributions which will then be included as hotspots throughout the site. Other socail networking sites will be included when appropriate.
Audio and video clips will also be included as the main body of the work nears completion. Even when all the scenes from the tour are added I hope that people will continue to contribute.
"New" archive items are also uncovered once in a while and these will be added when they're available.
Funding was generously provided by EPIP (East Peak Innovation Partnership) for all thel photography necessary for the virtual tour, construction of the first scenes, scanning of archive items and the launch of this site.
However, from now on everything has to be done on a volutary basis when time and work permits. Updates will be made on a fortnightly basis, and it'll probably take around 2½ years to complete...
Although I was granted full access to the buildings by PGS, this project has no connection with the school itself beyond the intial photography and consultation with staff.
Therefore if you have any comments (or complaints!) about
anything you see here, please use the form on the contact page here rather than getting in touch with the Penistone Grammar ALC.
Stuart Gibbins May 2012 (attended PGS 1975 - 1982)