The Development of Further Education in Newport 1841-1958

Binmore, Keith (1981). The Development of Further Education in Newport 1841-1958. MPhil thesis The Open University.



This thesis traces the development of the main-stream of Further Education in Newport from the commencement of the Mechanics' Institute in 1841 to the opening of the Newport and Monmouthshire College of Technology in 1958. When this joint college was opened, all advanced work was transferred from the Newport College of Further Education, so that 1958 is a natural break in the history of Further Education in the town.

The only other major work on Further Education confined to Newport itself is "The Development of Technical Education in Newport, 1841-1904" by John Brace (M.Ed. Thesis, University of Wales, 1977). The present thesis examines this period in much greater depth, corrects several errors which (2) have occurred in Brace's work, and extends the study until 1938.

Thomas Evans, in his thesis, "The Mechanics' Institutes of South Wales" (Ph.D. Thesis, University of Sheffield, 1963) does consider the Mechanics' Institute in Newport, but not to the depth of this work, nor does he trace its history over the full period of its existence. He has also drawn conclusions which this work has been unable to substantiate.

The aim of this thesis is to find out how and why the development took place in the way it did, to record the highlights and investigate the failures. It also seeks to compare and contrast this development with the national picture wherever possible, and with the patterns in other towns. In some of these towns, some of the same size as Newport, or even smaller, the Mechanics' Institutes and Technical Institutes developed into universities or polytechnics. This thesis will try to show why Newport does not have such an institute.

The first chapter follows the history of the Mechanics' Institute from its start in May 1841 to 1870 when the Newport Free Library came into existence. It is the story of rises and falls in activity, following the pattern of Mechanics ' Institutes in general.

The second chapter deals with the School of Art and Science under the Free Library Committee from 187O to 1891, considering the steady advance of the educational work.

1891 saw Further Education come more directly under the control of the Town Council. The third chapter deals with the work of the Newport Technical Institute. This work was hindered by personality clashes, political differences, and lack of proper accommodation until 191O when a new building was provided at Clarence Place. The formal division of the work into Art and Technical sections and the development of the latter under Mr. J. Stewart are also considered.

Chapter four covers the period from I9IO to 1933. The rapid expansion of work in the new building until the outbreak of war, the brief principalship of Dr. R. Holland, his work and plans, and the period under Mr. G. Bennett, when circumstances caused a stagnation in the work of Further Education in the town, are all considered in this chapter.

The fifth chapter traces the beginning of the revival of the work under Mr. A. Webb, followed by the consolidation under the firm leadership of Mr. F.W.R. Harrison until 1958.

The final short chapter reviews the whole period and draws conclusions from the material presented.

Viewing alternatives

Download history


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions