Evening Telegraph, by Helen Fulcher, 5th October 1992
Town gets first Royal Visitor for 65 Years - School Earns Duke’s Praise
Rushden received its second royal visitor in 65 years last week when the Duke of Kent officially opened the town's newly-merged school.
The last visitor was Princess Helena Victoria, cousin of King George 5th, who came to open the YMCA building in April 1927.
The Duke said: "I am sorry it has been 65 years since a member of my family came here, but when Princess Helena Victoria did come she did not see anything as splendid as I have today.
"It is a school that obviously works to very high standards. I am impressed by the emphasis put on modern languages because there has been a lack in the past years, I have great pleasure in declaring Rushden School open."
The school is based on the former Chichele site after its merger with Pemberton (boys) school in 1991. The merging of both schools was completed in September this year.
Northants County Council invested £4.5 million in the design and building. The school was constructed by Rushden based contractor Marriotts.
The Duke was particularly interested in the design and technology department which is considered a blueprint for Europe, and the language area.
Before leaving the school, the Duke walked over to children lining the car park and chatted to them about their schoolwork.
Year seven pupil Vicki Hart, 11, said: "He asked me if I liked sport. It was nice to meet him but frightening."
Tony Clayton, 11, said: "He asked if this school was bigger than the other school and asked what subjects I liked. I told him it is really good here. Meeting him was brilliant."