A FORMER Scarborough principal who battled to keep his college open amidst threats of closure has returned for a nostalgic visit.
Frank Wright was head of North Riding College in Filey Road, which later became the University of Hull Scarborough Campus.
He was in the post for nearly 20 years and oversaw a difficult time at the teacher training college in the early 1990s, when Government policy brought it under threat of closure.
Mr Wright is now retired and lives in the South of France.
He was delighted to return for a flying visit, according to his friend, Tom Pindar.
The Scarborough businessman was chair of governors during the formative period of the college that exists today.
Mr Pindar said: “Frank said he was thrilled to bits to see the progress made since the ‘dark days’.
“He felt that the premises and people were great and that the students’ attitude to their work was very good.”
He referred to re-development of the main building as “sensitive and intelligent” and was impressed by everything he saw during the visit.
Mr Wright was shown round the campus by Mr Pindar and Craig Gaskell, the current principal.
During the tour he met with staff and visited the new library, students’ union, cafe bar and recently refurbished lecture rooms.
Mr Wright was shown some of the new computing and communications technology that underpin everyday life now for students at the campus and recalled the time when he purchased the very first computer for the college.
Mr Gaskell said: “During Frank’s leadership the college faced significant threat of closure, but that was averted.
“When he left the college had gone through a significant expansion reaching 700 students.
“We are now at about 1,900 and have developed the estate significantly.”
Mr Pindar was also pleased to be back on campus.
He said: “Great fights were put up by the college, Scarborough Council and leading citizens.
“The combined effort saved the day since when the place has prospered and grown in stature.
“It is attracting ever more able students and has a fine record for graduates quickly gaining employment.”
Teacher training continues at the campus to this day.