Hartpury College celebrated its 60th anniversary with a weekend of celebrations over the 18th and 19th June 2010.
We are very proud and excited to be celebrating 60 years of success at Hartpury. The college has certainly come a long way from its humble beginnings as a small agricultural college in the post Second World War era when it had only 50 students, to the successful college that we have today fulfilling the educational needs of over 3,200 students from around the UK and the world.
The 60th Anniversary Celebrations kicked off with a Celebration Dinner on Friday 18th June with guest speakers Martin Baber and Mike Burton who are both current Hartpury College Governors. Martin Baber was a former student in 1955/56 and Mike Burton is the former Gloucester, England and British Lions Rugby player. The celebrations continued on Saturday 19th June with a variety of tours and events across campus including sports matches between current and former students, farm tours and equine displays.
We have recieved a number of letters and photographs fom ex-staff and students reminiscing about their time at Hartpury.
Read correspondence from ex-students and staff
View a selection of old photographs and documents
60th Anniversary polo Shirts
60th Anniversary polo shirts are available to purchase from the online shop. The shirts are available in a range of sizes and are priced at £10 for mens and £7.50 for ladies.
Purchase yours at the online shop
A history of Hartpury
The seeds of what we know today as Hartpury College were sown in 1948 when Gloucestershire Country Council purchased Hartpury House and Home Farm for £47,000 (approximately £1.12m in today’s money) and opened a small agricultural college the following year.
The first student intake of approximately 50 male students was mainly ex-servicemen looking to gain new skills in the post Second World War era. The Gloucestershire Farm Institute as it was known was led by its founding Principal John D Griffiths, whose memory is still well respected by students and staff alike at Hartpury today. Female students were not permitted to join until some years later in 1953.
Hartpury continued under the leadership of Mr Griffiths until his retirement in 1976. David Henderson was appointed as the new Principal to start on the 1st of September 1976. David, or Jock as he was known, was a familiar sight around Hartpury as he had been working at the College since 1957. One of his first tasks as the new principal was to reapply to the London Authorities to start a course leading to the Ordinary National Diploma in Agriculture (OND) and permission was given to start the course in 1978.
Many other changes took place around this time. A new structure was introduced in the appointment of governors and new methods of financing the College were started. There were also radical changes introduced by the government in Youth Training Schemes for all industries and agriculture, horticulture and equine studies were schemes introduced at Hartpury. The number of part-time students rose dramatically as did the number of staff and grants were given by the government for new classrooms and a new workshop at Laughtons Farm.
Hartpury continued as a small agricultural college increasing its land holdings and courses albeit slowly and yet despite this student numbers had dwindled by the end of the eighties with the college being home to just 60 students.
Hartpury faced a new challenge and was at a crossroads, its Principal had taken retirement and it needed to change to save itself. This change came in the form of the appointment of a new Principal Malcolm Wharton. Under his leadership the small agricultural college underwent a huge transformation.
The journey began with the rapid expansion of its Further Education provision and the introduction of new courses in the areas of small animal care, rural business and further growth in equestrianism as well as the introduction of the Hartpury Conference and Function Centre.
Higher Education was also revamped with the first degree programme in Equine Studies being introduced in 1992, followed by the first degree programme in Equine Science in 1994.
In 1997 Hartpury was awarded Associate Faculty status by the University of the West of England (UWE) and student numbers began to increase year on year reaching 1,000 in only six years.
By the end of the decade Hartpury had introduced its first Master’s programme in Equine Science.
The start of the millennium brought about more new and exciting developments at Hartpury with the founding of the Hartpury Sports Academy to provide elite rugby, football, netball, golf, modern pentathlon and equestrian athletes with both a high standard of education and the facilities and support services they required to train, compete and win at the highest level within their chosen sport.
The academy and its students have achieved a great deal of success, not only within their teams but also as individuals with academy students playing their chosen sport at an extremely high level and many even going on to represent their country.
Hartpury’s facilities are outstanding. In 2007 the construction of the new £4.6m International Equine Arena was officially opened by Lord Sebastian Coe and has been used to host a number of international competitions including the 2007 FEI World Para Dressage Championships.
Hartpury continues to grow its student numbers, courses and facilities through hard work, dedication and an investment of over £40m and has built a vibrant campus in the heart of Gloucestershire for students who share a passion for land-based and sports sciences. Today it boasts over 3,200 full-time students in Higher and Further Education with 130 international students from over 33 countries.