Aireborough Grammar School

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Aireborough Grammar School
Ags logo.jpg
Motto Discipline for Service
Established 1910
Closed 1991
Type Grammar school
Location Yeadon / Guiseley
West Yorkshire
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Houses Cavendish, Coverley, Fairfax, Forster
Publication The Bridge

Aireborough Grammar School was an English state Grammar school situated on the Yeadon / Guiseley border in Aireborough, West Yorkshire. The school was founded in 1910 and closed in 1991.


In January 1906, a meeting of Rawdon, Yeadon, Guiseley and Menston councils discussed a proposal to create a secondary school for Guiseley. The following May the first meeting of the governing body of Guiseley Secondary School took place. In April 1907, a site in Yeadon was decided upon and the school name was amended to become Yeadon and Guiseley Secondary School. Plans were agreed in October 1907 and construction began.[1]

The school opened on 14 September 1910 with 71 pupils, and the official opening of Yeadon and Guiseley Secondary School took place on 4 November 1910. In 1937, the townships of Rawdon, Yeadon and Guiseley were amalgamated to form the Aireborough Urban District, at which time the name of the school changed to Aireborough Grammar School.

When the Butler Education Act 1944 came into force in 1945, the school became a county maintained secondary grammar school, and only admitted pupils who had passed the Eleven plus exam. There was considerable building extension work undertaken in the early 1960s which was accompanied by significant increase in pupil numbers and, from 1974, facilitated the school's evolution into a comprehensive school. The Jubilee Review in 1985 alluded to the fact that "the future may well be uncertain".[2] This prophecy became true in May 1991 when the school closed, following which it was demolished and the land was developed as housing. There is some link with the old school, however, as the boundary wall incorporates the carved Rawdon, Yeadon, Guiseley and Menston stones from the facade of the school, and the street names of Coverley Rise and Fairfax Grove in the development pay a passing homage to two of the school houses.

School Houses[edit]

The school was divided into three houses in 1921, these being

  • Coverley (Purple and Gold). The Calverley family once owned the school land. Dobson [1] suggests there is some link from this family to Sir Roger de Coverley.
  • Fairfax (Green and Yellow) named after the Fairfax family who once owned the village of Menston
  • Forster (Dark- and Light Blue) named after William Edward Forster who lived at Rawdon and drafted the Elementary Education Act 1870.

In 1937, at the time the school name changed to Aireborough Grammar School, a further house was introduced. This was Cavendish, named after the family name of the Duke of Devonshire, who owned land at nearby Bolton Abbey.

At some time before the early 1960s the house colours became:

  • Cavendish: Red
  • Coverley: Yellow
  • Fairfax: Green
  • Forster: Blue

Notable former pupils[edit]

The School alumni includes:

Notable staff members[edit]

  • Ernest Tillotson MSc. FRAS. FGS. (1904–1981) was Physics teacher from 1927 to retirement. He was an authority on British earthquakes, a member of the Seismological subcommittee of the Royal Society and represented the United Kingdom at meetings of the European Seismological Committee.[6]


Two reunions have taken place since the closure of the school, both of which have been on Nunroyd Park, which is opposite the former school site.

  • The first reunion was in 1992
  • The 2002 reunion is reported in the Keighley News archive. The school's opening and closing dates in this report are inaccurate.

Related information[edit]

Aireborough RUFC was established by former pupils of the school in 1970.


  1. ^ a b Dobson, A (1961). Aireborough Grammar School, a History 1910–1960. Leeds: Aireborough Grammar School.
  2. ^ Mathers,C. Chaplin,S. Molyneux,S. (eds.) (1985) Aireborough Grammar School Jubilee Review 1910-1985. Leeds: Aireborough Grammar School
  3. ^ Royal Navy website. HMS Hurworth [1] Retrieved 28 November 2006
  4. ^ HMS Hurworth (M39)
  5. ^ Royal Naval Museum website. Trustees [2] Retrieved 28 November 2006
  6. ^ QJRAS (1981). Ernest Tillotson (Obituary). Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 22, p.468 03/1981. [3] Retrieved 7 September 2007

Further reading[edit]

  • West Yorkshire Archive Service, Leeds - Aireborough Grammar School, Yeadon, records [1908-1991] - ref. LC/ED [4]
  • The E. Tillotson Collection now in the possession of the British Geological Survey. The BGS E. Tillotson Archive
  • The Aireborough Grammar School section of Friends Reunited

Coordinates: 53°52′04″N 1°42′06″W / 53.86778°N 1.70167°W / 53.86778; -1.70167