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Anstey College of Physical Training


The Anstey College of Physical Training was founded by Rhoda Anstey in 1897. It was the second women's physical training college to be established after Hampstead Training College (later Dartford College) which was founded by the Swedish physical educationalist Madame Bergman Österberg where Rhoda Anstey herself trained in 1893 - 1895. Anstey's first location was at the Leasowes a house in Halesowen formerly the home of the poet and landscape gardener William Shenstone (1714-63). In 1907 Rhoda Anstey moved the college to Yew Tree House on the Chester Road in Erdington, where it remained until 1981.
 
It was the second women's physical training college to be established after Hampstead Training College (later Dartford College) which was founded by the Swedish physical educationalist Madame Bergman Österberg where Rhoda Anstey herself trained in 1893 - 1895. Anstey's first location was at the Leasowes a house in Halesowen formerly the home of the poet and landscape gardener William Shenstone (1714-63). In 1907 Rhoda Anstey moved the college to Yew Tree House on the Chester Road in Erdington, where it remained until 1981.
 
From its outset the college forged close links with Birmingham University for students to receive instruction in Anatomy and Physiology and also with local schools where students undertook teaching practice and from where pupils came to the college to be taught physical education and remedial gymnastics. In the early days the college trained women professionals in: ''….Educational Gymnastics, Medical Gymnastics, Anatomy, Physiology, Hygiene, Dancing, Swimming and Games and …. (aimed to) prepare girls to take up the work of Physical Education in Schools'' (Rhoda Anstey, Founder /Principal 1904 , College Magazine 1, p3). The archive is ongoing and further contributions are welcome. More material is continually being added to the collection.
 
From its outset the college forged close links with Birmingham University for students to receive instruction in Anatomy and Physiology and also with local schools where students undertook teaching practice and from where pupils came to the college to be taught physical education and remedial gymnastics. In the early days the college trained women professionals in: ''….Educational Gymnastics, Medical Gymnastics, Anatomy, Physiology, Hygiene, Dancing, Swimming and Games and …. (aimed to) prepare girls to take up the work of Physical Education in Schools'' (Rhoda Anstey, Founder /Principal 1904 , College Magazine 1, p3). The archive is ongoing and further contributions are welcome. More material is continually being added to the collection.
 
The college had to move in 1981 as part of the Department of Education and Science's restructuring and became the Anstey School of Physical Education within the Birmingham Polytechnic on Westbourne Road, Edgbaston. The college finally closed in 1984.
Throughout its history and still with us today there is a dynamic Anstey Association of former students and staff who have lovingly collected and safe guarded the custodial history of the college in this archive and also retained other memorabilia and larger scale items in the Anstey Room in Ravensbury House,Westbourne Road, which is part of the Birmingham City University (formerly Birmingham Polytechnic, then University of central England). Regular gatherings of the Anstey Association continue to foster the ethos of the college to physical educationalists world wide.
 
List of Principals and Heads of Department
 
Principals

1897 – 1920 - Rhoda Anstey
1920 – 1927 – Rhoda Anstey and Ida Bridgman
1927 – 1955 – Marion Squire
1955 – 1964 – C. Muriel Webster and Audrey Hobbs
1964 – 1969 – C. Muriel Webster
1969 – 1975 – Ida Webb

Heads of Department of Anstey in Birmingham Polytechnic

1975 – 1978 – Reginald Howlett
1978 – 1981 – Michael Rowe
1981 – 1984 – Colin Crunden
 
The archive contains the following:
 
MS 2569/1 Records of Anstey College
MS 2569/2 Anstey Association Reports, Newsletters and Magazines
MS 2569/3 Anstey Association/Anstey Old Students Association
MS 2569/4 Principals, College Staff and Students
MS 2569/5 The Ling Association - the Swedish Influence
MS 2569/6 Photographs
MS 2569/7 Memoirs of Former Students and oral histories
MS 2569/8 International Exhibitions and Demonstrations
MS 2569/9 Obituaries
MS 2569/10 Significant Celebrations
MS 2569/11 Related research and conference reports
MS 2569/12 Miscellaneous
 
Photographs and visual images

A number of photographs and certificates from the Anstey collection have been digitised and uploaded. They are openly accessible for the interest and research potential they hold. We hope you enjoy the social and vocational stories they tell of the lives of women attending Anstey Physical Training College APTC (1897 – 1947) which became Anstey College of Physical Education ACPE (1947 – 1984). They are organised by decade.