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In Bloom

Exhibition Piece: In front of Impington Village College, there is a large planter of flowers. This represents the maintenance of the grounds, and the importance of the landscaping around the College since it first opened in 1939.

The Village College at Impington was designed to be set in a landscape with minimal enclosure, allowing the buildings to be viewed from a distance through the trees.  Today this has been maintained and the only enclosure to the site is a series of low plinth walls.

The grounds of the College have served many purposes over the years.  The College log books from war time describe the air raid shelters in the grounds, and also highlight the vegetable garden that helped to supply food for the kitchen.  Students who attended the College when it opened in 1939 recall the beds of tulips blooming in spring.  Photos from 1940 show bee-keeping, exercise classes and activities in the grounds with the Scouts, Young Farmers and Girls’ Training Corps amongst others.

Across the years, the appearance of the grounds has changed as the trees have grown, and the planting regimes altered.  One man who has seen many of these changes is Terry Moore, Groundsman at IVC, who retired in 2013 after 47 years of service.  Terry came to work at IVC in May 1966 as Garden Boy on eight guineas, rising to eleven guineas.  At that time, there was also a Head Gardener and two part time staff.  IVC was not new to Terry as he also attended the school as a student before working as a cycle mechanic in Histon.  When he first started working at the College, there were two large greenhouses in which they grew 3500 geranium cuttings each year.  The flowers were an important part of the Village College image, but in later years were replaced by lower maintenance shrubs and plants.  Terry was responsible for planting many of the shrubs and trees around the site, including the vast row of conifers alongside the playing field.  The trees were just four foot tall when planted and now tower over sixty feet in the air!

Today the grounds continue to be used heavily for sports and physical exercise, recreational activities, and the College Orchard produces some delicious apples.