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September 13th, 1939. The Village College Impington was opened today – a week later than originally intended owing to the outbreak of war. The senior school serves the following villages: Chittering, Waterbeach, Landbeach, Milton, Histon, Impington, Girton, Madingley, Dry Drayton and Coton.
The opening of Impington was both delayed and overshadowed by the outbreak of the Second World War but Impington is the best known of the colleges outside of the county.
The village colleges were in some cases works of art themselves and Impington was designed by Bauhaus movement founder Walter Gropius and British modernist architect Maxwell Fry. It has been described by architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner as “One of the best buildings of its date in England, if not the best.” The original buildings are Grade I listed and this is why Impington is so well known outside of the county.
Like the other village colleges, Impington combined regular school activity by day with community learning and leisure in the evening and at weekends.
During the Second World War however, all the village colleges made their contribution to the war effort and were used for civil defence training and drills. Post war, the college was able to find its peacetime rhythm and secure its place at the heart of its community.
Today, Impington Village College continues to provide a vibrant programme of community learning and activity.
All images courtesy of Impington Village College
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Image from the Impington Village College archive, part of the Cambridgeshire Village Colleges project
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