The Wolverhampton and Staffordshire Technical College was built on the site of the old Deanery in Wulfruna Street, which was acquired in 1912. After demolition in 1921, the first part of the new technical college, known as the Engineering Block was built on the site. It was opened in May 1926 by Princess Mary Viscountess Lascelles, daughter of King George V.


The first part of the new college, as seen from Wulfruna Street.


Casting in the college foundry.

The entry in the 1930 Wolverhampton Red Book and Directory:

In 1931 Prince George laid the foundation stone for the new main building that would be at the front of the college, alongside Wulfruna Street. The building, designed by Colonel G. C. Lowbridge, architect of the Staffordshire Education Committee, was built by Wolverhampton builder, Fleeming and Sons. It opened in 1932, and was officially opened by the Marquess of Dufferin and Ava on 30th June, 1933.

The entrance, known as ‘The Marble’ is named after its marble facing. It has a fine staircase with a wrought iron balustrade, brass handrails, and a stained glass window and glass half dome at the top. Much of the panelling from the ‘Oak Room’ in the old Deanery was saved, and installed in the ‘Board Room’ off ‘The Marble’.


The top of the stairs from 'The Marble', as seen in the early 1970s. Off to the right was the library, which later became the 'Council Chamber'.

There were departments of chemical, metallurgical, mechanical and electrical engineering, and a women’s department with courses including physical culture, elocution, and languages.

In 1933, the Wolverhampton Local Authority annual report stated that:

"The college makes ample provision for the general education of young men and women not privileged to obtain their higher education by residence at a University. Particularly it is the local home of higher scientific and industrial studies."

By 1939 there were 2,921 students. One third of them were women.


An early photo of the frontage in Wulfruna Street.

The entry in the 1936 Wolverhampton Red Book and Directory:


Looking into the front yard in the early 1970s with 'G Block' on the left.


Another view of the front yard showing some of the buildings from 1932. On the left is 'G Block' which was built in 1951.

In the mid 1940s the Music Department was formed, which was unique among technical colleges. It had 135 students in its first year. In 1948 a new refreshment room was built, and in 1951 a new block was added to the north eastern corner of the site. Also in 1951 'G Block' was built alongside the front yard, along with the building in Wulfruna Street that's between the 1930s building and the George Hotel. In 1953 buildings were added along Stafford Street between the George Hotel and the 1951 block.


The opening dates for the earlier buildings on the site.


 The machine room. From the 1953 Wolverhampton Handbook.


The gymnasium. From the 1953 Wolverhampton Handbook.


Wulfruna Street in the early 1970s.

In 1951 the College became Wolverhampton and Staffordshire College of Technology, and in the mid 1950s more buildings were added along Stafford Street, including ‘B Block’. By 1959 the college had 6,236 students.

Its first computer, known as the ‘WITCH’ arrived in 1957. WITCH stands for Wolverhampton Instrument for Teaching Computing from Harwell. It is now at Bletchley Park, in the National Museum of Computing, and is the oldest, still functioning, electronic stored program computer in the world, in original condition.


Part of the IBM 1620 computer at the Polytechnic in about 1970.


Another view of the IBM 1620.


A final view of the IBM 1620.

By 1964 the college began to run degree courses, including English, geography, history, music, and economics, and a year later a degree in computer technology. The first degrees were awarded in 1967.


Looking towards 'B Block' in the early 1970s. 'B Block' and the buildings on the right that run alongside Stafford Street were built in the mid 1950s.

Another view across the site looking towards 'B Block'. The wooden huts and the brick building on the far left were once part of St. Peter's School.

The view from 'C Block', looking towards 'B Block' in the early 1970s. The buildings in the right-hand corner were once part of St. Peter's School.


The primitive television facilities in the Audio Visual Aids department in 'B Block' in the early 1970s.


The Audio Visual Aids department's television studio in 'B Block', also in the early 1970s.


Another view of Wulfruna Street in the 1970s.


A last look at Wulfruna Street and the main entrance.

In 1963 the Wolverhampton College of Art began running a degree-level course in the form of a Diploma in Art and Design. Three years later the college’s Principal, Robin Plummer, oversaw the building of a new college alongside Ring Road St Peters. Work on the new site began in the summer of 1967, and by early 1969 the new building had appeared.

The first degree show was held there on 12th June, 1969 and the first full academic year started in September 1969. The building was officially opened by ex-student, Sir Charles Wheeler on 23rd October, 1970.

On 1st September, 1969 Wolverhampton College of Technology merged with Wolverhampton College of Art to form The Polytechnic, Wolverhampton. It had five faculties: Applied Science, Art and Design, Arts, Engineering, and Social Sciences.


The School of Art and Design alongside Ring Road St Peters in the 1970s.


Looking across the Polytechnic from St. Peter's Church in June 1988.


Another view from St. Peter's Church.


A final view from St. Peter's Church.


The buildings from St. Peter's School that were taken over by the Polytechnic in the 1970s.


'C Block' and St. Peter's School.


On the left is the Robert Scott Library that was built in 1976 on the site of St. Peter's School.

Expansion continued in the 1970s after a merger with the Teacher Training College in Wolverhampton, and the Teacher Training College in Dudley. In 1989 the Polytechnic acquired the West Midlands College of Higher Education in Walsall, and in 1991 work began on a new campus in Telford to cater for 2,500 students.

 In 1992 the Polytechnic was granted university status and became the University of Wolverhampton.


         
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