85 Years - A Journey Through Time

The Early Years

Altrincham Prepatory School was born out of a passion to deliver a good education to boys up to secondary school age.

In the 1930s, the Grammar School on Marlborough Road enjoyed a strong relationship with a primary school called “Bowdon College”, based at College House on South Downs Road. The College was a boarding school with day boys. The owner of Bowdon College, a Mr Smith, died in the early 30’s and in the summer of 1935 his son announced that it was his intention to close the school in Autumn 1935.

Parents at the soon-to-close Bowdon College and also the Grammar School were very concerned about the lack of primary provision in the area, and asked the Headmaster of AGSB Mr Walter Hamblin for help. AGSB was unable to help straight away as the school was full. However, Mr Hamblin asked four of the senior teachers William Crabb, Arthur Hill, Edward Mason and Alexander Sherriffs to found a junior school for 5 to 11 year olds.

It was quickly realised that the creation of the school needed to be formalised, and so with the help of solicitor John Furness, himself an old boy of AGSB, a limited company was formed. This company, Altrincham Preparatory School Ltd, was incorporated on 5th June 1936.

The school opened in September 1936, with a total of 23 boys. The original shareholders included Lord Stamford as well as Messrs Hamblin, Crabb, Hill, Mason and Sherriffs.


The Company set the fees at 1 guinea per term per year of a boy’s life with a reduction for younger pupils. One guinea was 21 shillings, and as there were 20 shillings in one pound the fees were £1.05 per term per year of age.

21 shillings would have the same spending power in today’s money as about £40, so a 7 year old’s fees would have been around £280 in today’s money for one term (source: National Archives)