History | Eastwood Park Training

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Our beautiful Victorian country-house estate began life as a home to the distinguished Jenkinson family of Bristol. Since then it has been used as a training centre by the Home Office during WWII, by the police force, and the NHS. It is still flourishing and improving today, providing a centre for world-class healthcare and FM training.

1865 - Eastwood Park Mansion

Charles Jenkinson, Baron of Hawkesbury and 1st Earl of Liverpool, bought the estate in the 18th century.

His son, Robert Jenkinson began building Eastwood Park Mansion in 1820.

By 1865, it was englarged and rebuilt into what we see today by George Jenkinson, who commissioned architect Samuel Whitfield Daukes.

1871 - The Bell Tower

Mears & Steinback cast the bell in the Bell Tower, which is located in the old stables building, now offices. Benson, of ludgate Hill, London clock-maker to HRH Prince of Wales, made the clock.

1916 - Estate comes up for auction

The estate sold to Mr Charles Tucker, a farmer from Frome. When it first came up for auction in 1916, the Eastwood Park Estate comprised the mansion and its 120 hectare park, ten dairy farms, small holdings and other agricultural land, a pair of modern villas, cottages, a licensed inn, The 'Huntsman's House', a smithy, post office and woodlands. This all extended to 640 hectares in total.

1919 - Mr Edgar Watts buys Eastwood Park

Eastwood Park was bought by Mr Edgar Watts of Bristol, a colliery and shipping owner. The three-storey tower over the parte-corchere no longer has the turret as seen in this photo.

1930 - Auction for the estate held at the Grand Hotel in Bristol

The estate was offered at auction as a whole, or in seven lots. The auction took place at the Grand Hotel in Bristol in 1930. The estate was bought and divided by Harry Collett Bolt

1935 - Mansion and 80 acres of estate purchased

The commissioners of His Majesty's Works and Public Buildings purchased 80 acres of the estate including the mansion house.

1936 - The Home Office opened The Civilian Anti Gas School

The Civilian Anti Gas Schools were provided by the Home Office. The first to be inaugurated was at Eastwood Park, Falfield, Glos.

1939 - The Ministry of Home Security Air Raid Precautions School opened.

During World War II, the Home Office opened The Ministry of Home Security Air Raid Precautions School.

1945 - No 7 District Police Training Centre

The school was loaned to the South Western Police District and became No 7 District Police Training Centre.

1949 - The Home Office resumed possession and Civil Defence course were run

The school had an associated mock village training area, the 'Civil Defence Training Establishment' which was built during World War II. It consisted of a street of houses of varying degrees of war damage. It continued to be used until 1968. It has subsequently been demolished and is currently a greenfield site, although it is possible that some below-ground remains of the camp may have survived.

1963 - The "big freeze"

During the winter months of early 1963, Gloucestershire and other parts of the UK received record snow falls in what would become known as the “Big Freeze”.

Lasting from Boxing Day, 1962 to March, people experienced temperatures as low as minus 15 degrees centigrade, with many villages in the Cotswold Hills and other areas in Gloucestershire being cut off by snow drifts as high as 30 feet.

1969 - The Hospital Engineering Centre established & courses begin

The Department of Health and Social Security acquired the estate and established the Hospital Engineering Centre, delivering residential training for National Health Service engineering staff.

1977 - Northcroft Hall opens

Lionel Northcroft OBE opened the brand new Northcroft Hall in the summer of 1977. He was president of IHEEM (The Institute of Hospital Engineering, as it was then) from 1967 - 69.

1981 - Centre renamed to Hospital Estate Management & Engineering Centre

The range of courses were developed and the Centre was renamed the Hospital Estate Management & Engineering Centre (HEMEC).

1985 - The centre became part of the NHS Training Authority

Following a review on behalf of the DHSS during the early 80's, the National Training Council was replaced by the new NHS Training Authority which took over control of the centre.

1991 - The centre became part of the NHS Training Directorate

The NHS Training Directorate (NHSTD) replaced the NHS Training Authority (NHSTA) in 1991 to meet increasing demands for customer responsiveness and took over control of Eastwood Park.

1992 - The Avon & Gloucestershire College of Health assumed management of Eastwood Park

The Avon & Gloucestershire College of Health assumed management of Eastwood Park. The centre was re-named Eastwood Park NHS Training & Conference Centre.

British computer company, ICL launches PERiTAS, (one of the UK's largest information technology), a wholly-owned subsidiary of ICL, which is itself owned by Fujitsu of Japan.

1997 - Fujitsu Services bought Eastwood Park Training & Conference Centre

Fujitsu Services, then known as ICL, bought Eastwood Park Training & Conference Centre business from the NHS.

1999 - Eastwood Park is re-branded as KnowledgePool

Eastwood Park is re-branded as KnowledgePool, a new education group made from Amdahl's Education Unit, ICL's PERiTAS unit and Fujitsu's Learning Media unit, (all owned by Fujitsu).

2003 - Ownership passed to Eastwood Park Ltd

After a successful management buy-out, ownership passed to Eastwood Park Ltd. Social events were introduced.

2006 - Training portfolio extended worldwide

The 200 acre estate was purchased by Eastwood Park Ltd and the training portfolio was extended worldwide.

2008 - Corporate re-brand to reflect new business structure

Corporate re-brand to reflect new business structure. Work-based Foundation Degree in Medical Technologies launched.

2009 - Eastwood Park celebrated 40 successful years in business

2009 marked forty years since the Department of Health & Social Security set up the specialist training facility as the national 'Hospital Engineering Centre' at Eastwood Park, Falfield.

2013 - Marks 10 years independence and continued growth following the MBO

2013 marked ten years since the management buy-out and continued growth of the company within the UK and internationally. 

2014 - Development begins on our new state-of-the-art training centre

Following successful planning consent being granted by the local authority in 2014, Eastwood Park tendered for development of our new training centre and subsequently Pollard have started the early stages construction.  We look forward to some of our courses being able to move across to the new building in 2016. 

2015 - Contractors move onto new training centre site

Pollard, the contactors, move onto new training centre site and building officially gets underway.

2016 - New high voltage training centre opens

Eastwood Park opens a purpose-built high voltage training facility for both the healthcare and commercial sectors, furthering the drive for practical training. 

2017 - New joint venture with training business in Brazil

Eastwood Park begins work with Dr Christian Dinz of AB Health to establish, through a joint venture, a national training centre in Paraiba, Brazil.

2018 - Eastwood Park celebrates NHS 70th Birthday

Staff and delegates come together at Eastwood Park to mark the 70th birthday of the NHS.

2019 - 50 years of delivering training

Our long-established engineering, estates and facilities management training centre celebrates 50 years of delivering training.

1865 - Britain's first woman doctor qualifies

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, LSA, MD (9 June 1836 – 17 December 1917), was an English physician and feminist. 

1871 - The Albert Hall opens

Opened by Queen Victoria in 1871, it has become one of the UK's most treasured and distinctive buildings. Each year it hosts more than 350 events including classical concerts, rock and pop, ballet and opera, sports, award ceremonies, school and community events, charity performances and banquets.

1916 - Daylight saving time is implemented

Daylight saving time (DST) or summer time is the practice of advancing clocks during summer months by one hour so that light extends into the evening hours—sacrificing normal sunrise times.

1919 - Alcock and Brown complete 1st non stop flight across the Atlantic

British aviators Alcock and Brown made the first non-stop transatlantic flight in June 1919. They flew a modified First World War Vickers Vimy bomber from St. John's, Newfoundland, to Clifden, Connemara, County Galway, Ireland.

1930 - Uruguay hosts the first FIFA World Cup

From 13 July to 30 July 1930 the first FIFA World Cup took place. FIFA, football's international governing body, selected Uruguay as host nation, as the country would be celebrating the centenary of its first constitution, and the Uruguay national football team had successfully retained their football title at the 1928 Summer Olympics. 

1935 - First Penguin paperbacks are published

Penguin Books was founded in 1935 by Sir Allen Lane and V. K. Krishna Menon (Indian secretary of UK), and Allen's brothers, Richard and John. Penguin revolutionised publishing in the 1930s through its inexpensive paperbacks, sold through Woolworths and other high street stores for sixpence. 

1936 - BBC Television begins broadcasting

BBC Television has operated in the United Kingdom under the terms of a Royal charter since 1927, and produced television programmes from its own studios in 1932. The start of its regular service of television broadcasts is dated to 2 November 1936.

1939 - World War II begins

World War II (WWII or WW2) was the most widespread war in history, and directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries.

1945 - The UN is founded

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organisation established on 24 October 1945 to promote international co-operation. A replacement for the ineffective League of Nations, the organisation was created following the Second World War to prevent another such conflict.

1949 - NATO is formed

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4 April 1949. Member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party.

1963 - Martin Luther King Jr gives 'I Have a Dream' speech

"I Have a Dream" came to be regarded as one of the finest speeches in the history of American oratory. The March, and especially King's speech, helped put civil rights at the top of the agenda of reformers in the United States and facilitated passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

1969 - The first man on the moon

American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon. The astronaut stepped onto the Moon's surface, in the Sea of Tranquility, at 0256 GMT.

1977 - The first mass-produced personal computers are made

The first successfully mass marketed personal computer was the Commodore PET introduced in January 1977, but back-ordered and wasn't available until later in the year.

1981 - Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer get married at St Paul's Cathedral

The wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer took place on 29 July 1981 at St Paul's Cathedral, London. Their marriage was widely billed as a "fairytale wedding" and the "wedding of the century". It was watched by an estimated global TV audience of 750 million.

1985 - Microsoft Windows 1.0 is released

Windows 1.0 was a graphical personal computer operating environment developed by Microsoft and first released on 20 November 1985 as the first version of the Microsoft Windows line. Windows 1.0 ran as a graphical, 16-bit multi-tasking shell on top of an existing MS-DOS installation, providing an environment which could run graphical programs designed for Windows, as well as existing MS-DOS software.

1991 - The first website is put online and made available to the public

The first web page went live on August 6, 1991. It was dedicated to information on the World Wide Web project and was made by Tim Berners-Lee. It ran on a NeXT computer at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN.

1992 - The Maastricht Treaty creates the European Union

The Maastricht Treaty (formally, the Treaty on European Union or TEU) undertaken to integrate Europe was signed on 7 February 1992 by the members of the European Community in Maastricht, Netherlands.

1997 - The sound barrier is broken on land

On October 15, 1997, in a vehicle designed and built by a team led by Richard Noble, Royal Air Force pilot Andy Green became the first person to break the sound barrier in a land vehicle in compliance with Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile rules. 

1999 - World population reaches six billion

The United Nations Population Fund designated 12 October 1999 as the approximate day on which the world population reached six billion. It was officially designated The Day of Six Billion. 

2003 - The Human Genome Project is completed

The Human Genome Project (HGP) determined the sequence of chemical base pairs which make up human DNA, identifying and mapping all of the genes of the human genome from both a physical and functional standpoint. It remains the world's largest collaborative biological project.

2006 - Twitter is launched

Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass and launched by July 2006. The service rapidly gained worldwide popularity, as of May 2015, Twitter has more than 500 million users, out of which more than 302 million are active users.

2008 - Barack Obama is elected President of the United States

Barack Obama is the 44th and current president of the United States, and the first African American to serve as U.S. president. First elected to the presidency in 2008, he won a second term in 2012.

2009 - Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest skyscraper, is completed

Burj Khalifa is the tallest man-made structure in the world, standing at 829.8 m (2,722 ft). Construction began on 6 January 2004, with the exterior of the structure completed on 1 October 2009. The building officially opened on 4 January 2010.

2013 - Scientists successfully clone human stems cells

In 2013, a group of scientists led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov published the first report of embryonic stem cells created using SCNT (somatic cell nuclear transfer). Four embryonic stem cell lines from human fetal somatic cells were derived from those blastocysts.

2014 - Spacecraft lands on a comet for the first time

Rosetta is a robotic space probe built and launched by the European Space Agency. Along with Philae, its lander module, Rosetta is performing a detailed study of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (67P). On 12 November 2014, the mission performed the first soft landing on a comet and returned data from the surface.

2015 - Rubella eradicated from Americas

The World Health Organisation (WHO) announce that North and South America are the first region in the world to eradicate rubella, after no new cases are declared in 5 consecutive years.

2016 - Tim Peake completes spacewalk

Tim Peake becomes the first British astronaut to complete a spacewalk outside of the International Space Station.

2017 - Iceberg breaks free from Antarctic peninsula

On 12 July, an iceberg twice the size of Luxembourg breaks free from the Antarctic Peninsula, carrying away roughly 12% of the surface area of Larsen C — Antarctica’s fourth-largest ice shelf.

2018 - England gets to semi-finals of the World Cup

England achieved 4th place in the World Cup, its best result for 18 years. The tournament also saw England score nine goals from set-pieces – the most by a team in a single World Cup tournament since 1966.

2019 - First picture of a black hole

Scientists from the Event Horizon Telescope Project create the first-ever image of a black hole, located 54 million light years away in the centre of the M87 galaxy.