Podcast - Premises to 1965

Premises to 1965

25 Nov 2020 (2:51)

Download this podcast (mp3, 2mb)

Premises to 1965 - an extract from Chapter 1 of 'Examining the World: A History of the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate', by Elisabeth Leedham Green.

As part of a special series of short podcasts, Cambridge Assessment's Group Archivist Gillian Cooke shares a unique insight into the history of exams.

Find out more about our Archives & Heritage

Podcast transcript

Alana Walden: [00:00:07.34]

Hello. Welcome to the Cambridge Assessment Podcast. I'm Alana Walden, and I'm here to introduce a special series from Cambridge Assessment's Archives and Heritage. In each episode, our group archivist Gillian Cooke shares short extracts from Examining the World: A History of the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate, our publication that shares a unique insight into the history of exams. 

Gillian Cooke: [00:00:36.76]

Premises up to 1965, from Chapter 1, Examining the World by Elisabeth Leedham Green.

Gillian Cooke: [00:00:43.38]

Initially all Syndicate business was managed in the Secretary's rooms.

Gillian Cooke: [00:00:46.98]

St Catharine's College allotted the first long term Secretary, George Forrest Browne an extra room, which must have relieved the situation but the college porters, if no one else, must have been very well aware of the Syndicate as part of the University with the dispatch and receipt of examination papers.

Gillian Cooke: [00:01:03.99]

An application to the Museums and Lecture Room Syndicate for the use of rooms by the Secretary and his clerk was turned down in February 1871, and it was suggested that rooms be found in the town.

Gillian Cooke: [00:01:15.04]

It was not until 1886 that the Syndicate moved into their first purpose-built premises, designed by W. M. Fawcett, in Mill Lane.

Gillian Cooke: [00:01:23.24]

The premises comprised a two-storey building with cellars,  a ground floor back room, 36 by 21 feet, chiefly for the preparation of parcels of examination papers, unpacking and sorting answers, and a ground floor front room, 18 by 26 feet, for around four clerks.

Gillian Cooke: [00:01:38.44]

Above were three rooms, a back room for meetings and two front rooms for the secretaries.

Gillian Cooke: [00:01:43.44]

The whole was described as being 'of a simple domestic character'. 

Gillian Cooke: [00:01:47.54]

The Syndicate now had a visible presence, adjacent to the Press.  

Gillian Cooke: [00:01:51.34]

The expense of the building was met from the Syndicate's own funds, and Keynes reported that in August 1886 he showed his opposite number, Lockhart, Secretary of the Oxford Delegacy for Local Examinations 'to see over our new buildings, and I fear filled his soul with envy’.

Gillian Cooke: [00:02:07.34]

Half of one of the two houses purchased in 1885 had been retained as a caretaker's house; this was demolished in 1893 to provide more rooms, and a further extension was mooted in 1938.

Gillian Cooke: [00:02:20.02]

In the event it was not until 1965 that the Syndicate moved to New Syndicate Buildings on the site of the old Perse School for Boys at 1 Hills Road.

Alana Walden: [00:02:28.84]

Thank you for listening to the Cambridge Assessment Podcast. You can find more of our podcasts on our website, just search for Podcast Gallery, or you can find us on YouTube, Spotify and Apple Podcasts.


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