East Durham College’s Houghall campus has celebrated its 80th anniversary.
Staff and students of the college celebrated with a special cake featuring the Houghall crest, a part of Houghall since its very beginning.
Suzanne Duncan, principal of East Durham College, said: “We are delighted to be celebrating the amazing 80th year of our Houghall campus.
“I am extremely proud of all of our hardworking students and staff who continue to make Houghall an excellent place to learn and work. We’re very excited to see what the next 80 years bring to Houghall too!”
Founded as the Durham County School of Agriculture in 1938, Houghall has a long and storied history of delivering land-based education to thousands of people from across the North East and dales.
The Durham School of Agriculture was opened on Thursday 20th October 1938 by the Rt. Hon. William Shepherd Morrison, M.C, K.G., M.P and Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.
In 1938, students at Houghall could both stay and study at the college; the prospectus of 1938-39 stated: “Young men and young women, desirous of pursuing a career in any branch of Agriculture, may apply for admission to any one course selected from: General Agriculture, Horticulture, Dairying, Poultry-Keeping Combined and Horticulture and Poultry-Keeping (2 Years)”
Over its 80 years, Houghall has been greeted a few famous faces. In 1959, Prime Minister Harold Macmillan visited the college for a 40-minute tour. In 1966, Houghall was also home to the Italian World Cup squad who stayed in Houghall’s accommodation block. Houghall’s new facility was officially opened by royalty, as Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal opened the campus on Friday 13th January 2017.
In 1967-68, Houghall became the Durham Agriculture College, expanding the range of courses to include such things as Experimental Husbandry and Veterinary Hygiene. The college then changed its name once again to the Durham College of Agriculture and Horticulture in the 80s.
By the end of the 80s, the college had rebranded itself as Houghall College. In 1999, the college merged together with Peterlee College, forming East Durham and Houghall Community College.
In 2008/09, the college received its final name change – East Durham College, Houghall campus.
In modern times, the range of facilities and courses available to students has expanded greatly. The campus was redeveloped extensively between 2014/2016, redeveloping Houghall’s iconic main entrance building and creating modern, state-of-the-art facilities including a brand-new Small Animal Care centre, Agricultural farm and a stunning equine centre, complete with all-weather menage and horse arena.
Students can study many different subject areas at the redeveloped campus, including Agriculture, Animal Care, Dog Grooming, Equine, Floristry, Foundation Studies, Horticulture, Land-Based Short Courses, Tree Surgery and Veterinary Nursing.