Madeley College of Education was a centre of excellence.
Opened by Princess Margaret, the college specialised in training home economics and physical education teachers.
Top level athletes from schools throughout the country came to study at Madeley and their successes in national and international events enhanced the college’s reputation. In 1978, the college became part of the North Staffordshire Polytechnic giving it a third campus. The polytechnic established a Department of Physical Education and a Department of Education and Teaching Studies on the Madeley campus.
Shortly afterwards the government told the polytechnic to stop training teachers. Teacher training courses were run down. When the Madeley campus closed in the early 1980s, students and staff were transferred to the Flaxman Building on the polytechnic’s Stoke campus.
A few weeks ago, “Super Breed” an anonymous tribute to Madeley College was discovered on a sheet of paper that had been used as a bookmark in an old college prospectus.
“Super Breed”, which we publish below, seems to have been inspired by the popular television series “Kung Fu”.
“TELL ME, O Wise One, is it true that we have squatters on the Fourth Floor of the Flaxman Building?”
“No, my Inquisitive One. These people are the remnants of that fine and noble race that once inhabited the land out yonder known as Madeley.”
“But why are they here, O Wise One?”
“They are here because of the harsh and cruel treatment given to them by the Lords of Westminster.
“They belonged to that institution older than the Polytechnic itself, namely Madeley College of Education where laboured long and hard a group of people whose prowess and wisdom once spread to the four corners of this fair land. Visitors entered its doors from Europe, Africa and North America to study the workings of this great race and return home with the message that enlightened the minds of the inhabitants of those countries. From the deep south, however, there came the twin-headed monster Williams-Joseph wielding the great axe and it did attack this fine race without mercy.”
“Does that now mean, O Wise One, that their great skills have disappeared for ever?”
“Oh no. The remnants of the race have found a new and wondrous resting place in College Road and from there they will continue to spread their message and knowledge.”
“But how can we recognise them? Are they not cowed and bewildered and browbeaten?”
“Never! The men are handsome, husky and of muscular appearance and the women have a bearing and beauty that is the envy of all that see them. They also walk straight and with a purpose and show strength of character quite beyond their years. Their number, alas, is now but 250 but do not be fooled into thinking that they now can be easily forgotten and ignored.”
“I would surely like to know more of this race. Where can I find their leaders and their dwelling places?”
“They call themselves the Department of Education and Teaching Studies and like oppressed peoples before them, they have retreated to high ground in the Flaxman Building where under the leadership of Jim White and his lieutenants they now dwell”
(Copyright Betty Cooper/David Martin – The Phoenix Trust 2010)