Conservative Party Archive: Published Material: Conservative Party Training Colleges

Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

Catalogued in EAD by Jeremy McIlwaine, 2014


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Table of Contents

Philip Stott College, Overstone, Northamptonshire, 1923-1930
The Bonar Law Memorial College, Ashridge, Hertfordshire, 1930-1948
    Ashridge Journal , 1930-1948
Swinton College, Masham, Yorkshire, 1948-1978
    Swinton College Journal ,1951-1975

Conservative Party Archive: Published Material: Conservative Party Training Colleges, 1930-1975

Journals published by the various Conservative Party Training Colleges.

Shelfmarks: PUB 187-188

Extent: 11 shelfmarks

Restrictions on Access

Available for research.

Preferred Form of Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Library, Conservative Party Archive [followed by shelfmark, e.g. PUB 187/1].

Corporate names (NCA Rules)

Philip Stott College, Overstone, Northamptonshire, 1923-1930

The first of the Conservative training colleges was was the Philip Stott College, established at Overstone, near Northampon, in September 1923: It having been decided to accept the generous offer of Sir Philip Stott, Bt., of the use of Overstone Park, Northampton, for the purposes of a permanent school for the study of Economics and Constitutional History, the first Session for Students commenced there on the 28th April last, and fortnightly courses have continued until the 29th September. During that period over 500 Students attended the College. They have been drawn from all classes, and from all parts of Great Britain, the majority being working men and Trade Unionists. Very encouraging reports have been received of the working of the College, and of the results achieved, the splendid efforts of the Lecturers and Tutors being greatly appreciated. Gifts of books from supporters of the Party and donations to be utilised in the purchase of books for the College Library have been thankfully received and acknowledged. The College was officially opened by the Prime Minister on the 27th September last. [Source: CPA shelfmark NUA 2/1/39].

Note: [No material from the Philip Stott College is known to have survived]

The Bonar Law Memorial College, Ashridge, Hertfordshire, 1930-1948

[5 shelfmarks]

The Bonar Law Memorial College, known as Ashridge College, was established by Trust Deed in 1929. The Conservative MP Urban Hanlon Broughton provided the sums necessary for JCC Davidson, Chairman of the Conservative Party, to buy Ashridge House for the purpose of converting the building into 'a College or Institution for the study of political and social science and political history with special reference to the development of the British Constitution and the growth and expansion of the British Empire and other subjects and as a Memorial to the Right Honourable Bonar Law, PC, MP., sometime Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.' Broughton, who was in line to be elevated to the peerage, died on 30/01/1929 before the trust was formalised, but his eldest son Urban Huttleston Rogers Broughton became the first Baron Fairhaven and was appointed under the Trust as one of the four 'Founder Governors'. Completion of the purchase of Ashridge House for this purpose from Thomas Place was made on 28/08/1928 for £26,000.

Throughout its existence the College was dogged by financial difficulties, which were only partly alleviated by the re-location of the House of Citizenship (for girls aged 18-24) from London to Ashridge in 1949. Eventually the Governors concluded the necessity of applying for an Act of Parliament to change the terms of the Trust Deed in order that the College should become a charity in order to be able to accept covenanted subscriptions, and that the political appointments made under the Trust Deed had resulted in an unjustified belief that Ashridge was a Conservative Party College, which had prejudiced enrolments from students with trade union backgrounds and potential funding. This Bill, the Ashridge (Bonar Law Memorial) Trust Act, received the Royal Assent on 4th July, 1954.

Related Material: [The minutes and papers of the Bonar Law Memorial College, Ashridge, c1928-1954 have recently been deposited with the Conservative Party Archive and are in the process of being catalogued. Please ask for details]

    Ashridge Journal , 1930-1948

PUB 187/1 Nos. 1-8 Feb 1930-Dec 1931
PUB 187/2 Nos. 9-16 Mar 1932-Dec 1933
PUB 187/3 Nos. 17-24 Mar 1934-Dec 1935
PUB 187/4 Nos.25-28; Nos. 33-36 Mar 1936-Dec 1936; Mar-Christmas 1938
PUB 187/5 Nos. 40-150 and Ashridge Quarterly , No. 1 (July 1947) Aug 1940-Apr 1948

Swinton College, Masham, Yorkshire, 1948-1978

[6 shelfmarks]

Swinton College near Masham in Yorkshire, was the third and final Conservative College, a national, residential centre of education for Party workers established in 1948, which held over 50 courses and conferences each year in conjunction with the Area and national sections of the Party. It was financed partly from Party funds but its Board of Directors was independent of Conservative Central Office. It was closed in 1977. Its papers deal in the main with the administration of the college and include correspondence between the Principal and the Governors, various committee meetings, course scholarships, and copies of its published journal.

Related Material: For the minutes and papers of the Swinton College, see the catalogue of Swinton College papers [S].

    Swinton College Journal ,1951-1975

PUB 188/1 Vol. 1 No. 2-Vol. 3 No. 4 Sept 1951-Dec 1955
PUB 188/2 Unnumbered issue for Aug 1956; Vol. 4 No. 1-Vol. 5 No. 2 Aug 1956-Oct 1959
PUB 188/3 Vol. 6 No. 1-Vol. 9 No. 2 Apr 1960-Sept 1963
PUB 188/4 Vol. 10 No. 1-Vol. 13 No. 1 Mar 1964-Summer 1967
PUB 188/5 Vol. 14 No. 1-Vol. 16 No. 4 Spring 1968-Winter 1970/1
PUB 188/6 Vol. 17 No. 1/2-Vol. 21 No. 2 Spring/Summer 1971-Oct 1975

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09 June 2014