From Flickr: “North Eastern School of Wireless Telegraphy, Otley, West Yorkshire – advert, 1944” by mikeyashworth

I had heard that in the past Ashfield House in Otley had been a school but I’d known of it more as an Hotel and a Tetley’s Brewery Training School prior to its sale in 2002 and conversion into apartments. The Grade 2 listed house dates from 1816 and had been owned at one point by a scion of the well known Otley family of Dawson. Just prior to the Second World War the estate was broken up and it appears that it was then used as the School of Wireless Telegraphy. The School, founded in 1911, was actually based in Bridlington but had been relocated, or evacuated, to what must have been seen as a safer inland location. The schools, there were several of them in the UK, were vital in peacetime as well as wartime given the importance of the Merchant Navy. As the advert notes many of the successful candidates went to work for the Marconi Company who supplied the majority of wireless telegraphy officers to shipping lines. The ‘school is run as a ship’ and the lads had to be ‘keen on a seafaring career and willing to devote themselves earnestly to their work’. The School appears to have returned to Bridlington in c1948 and them Ashfield House began its career as an hotel. The advert appears in the 1945 Lloyd’s of London Calendar.

via Flickr https://flic.kr/p/2ar2g6U

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