Laindon High Road School

This school provided education for the children of our community for nearly 50 years

By Ken Porter - March 2011

Photo:Laindon High Road School 1955

Laindon High Road School 1955

The school opened on the 7th May 1928, with five classrooms, staff rooms and two cloakrooms for children from five to 14 years of age. Laindon at the time had two other schools, St Nicholas (now Laindon Park) and Langdon Hills - both of which were so overcrowded that many children could not attend school at all. This had occurred because of the rapid influx of population in the years following the First World War. The population in 1901 of Laindon and Langdon Hills was only 641; by 1931 it had risen to well over 6000.

Two hundred and forty four children enrolled during the first two days and to cope with these was a staff of five lady teachers and a headmaster – Mr G. L. Radford. This was the first time that a Laindon school had had a headmaster.

Although there were desks for the pupils, there were no books, no pens, no pencils and no playing field but they got by and it was a happy school. A local owner allowed them to use a field to the north of the school for sports and play.

Photo:One of the class rooms

One of the class rooms

During the month that followed another 60 children enrolled and the numbers continued to rise to such an extent, that the builders, Messrs. Marven Bros. of Galleywood spent the next four years enlarging the school.

Photo:Football team 1931

Football team 1931

In September 1931 the wooden church hall used by St Nicholas School for extra accommodation, was burnt down, resulting in 43 senior children being transferred to the High Road, along with two teachers; St Nicholas became a junior school.

By 1932 the number of children had risen to beyond 1,000 pupils, with a staff of 25. It was therefore decided that a new school was required catering for the juniors. Markham’s Chase was the new school (now Janet Duke) and Miss Duke, Senior Mistress of the High Road was appointed its first headmistress. So in February 1933, the High Road became a senior school with 547 pupils and a commencing staff of 15 teachers and a headmaster.

The Second World War years were difficult with many of the men teachers in the forces but the ladies carried on. For a time the school was down to only ten teachers with over 700 pupils to teach. Although there was a war on, it was an exciting time for the children, who spent many hours in the shelters during air raids.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Laindon High Road School' page

After the war the school took on a new name – Laindon Secondary Modern School, but the locals still called it the ‘High Road’.  Mr Radford eventually retired in 1949 and Mr. J. H. Woodward senior master took over until 1962 when he moved to take charge of Woodlands Boys School, Basildon. Mr Chadband then took over as the last headmaster.

A swimming pool was opened in April 1960 and for many years was open air until finally receiving a roof in 1972.  In the 1980s it was renamed ‘The Laindon School’.  However, with falling numbers it was decided to merge with Nicholas School (built in the 1963 to deal with the increasing population) in St Nicholas Lane to form ‘The James Hornsby High School’. The site chosen for the new amalgamated school was the Nicholas site, so in September 2000, the High Road school finally closed its doors.

For a time the former sixth form block was used for a pre-school nursery and playgroup but by May 2007 the bulldozers started to move in to prepare the site for another new housing development, that’s to bear the name Radford, at least the authorities have not forgotten our history.

This page was added by Ken Porter on 16/03/2011.
Comments about this page (Add a comment about this page)

Early during WW2, a drive was undertaken to tear up iron railings and fences from around parks and buildings and to re-cycle the metal for tanks, guns etc. I remember newsreels showing iron barriers from around London parks being torn out for the "war effort." I do not think it made much difference whether the barriers were public or private property. It was all for the greater good! Despite this edict, the iron fences around Laindon High Road and Langdon Hills schools remained undisturbed. I cannot speak for Markhams Chase but I think Donaldson's also remained intact. The iron fencing at Laindon High Road can be seen in this photograph, barely visible behind the chestnut fencing and foliage.

I wonder why? Was the iron recycling effort abandoned? Was the conclusion reached that the costs involved in removal, transportation, and recycling was not cost effective? Why was this not determined beforehand I wonder? Bureaucracy at work perhaps!

By Alan Davies
On 22/01/2016

Hi.  I am trying to trace Geoff Brown who I believe taught at Laindon in 1980/90s. Any help much appreciated! Thanks.

By J Higgs
On 20/11/2015

From 1958 to 1962 I was a pupil at this establishment. I know for certain that during these years boys did not do needlework classes, but I did! As a punishment for my bad behaviour in woodwork, or it might have been metalwork, I was put into needlework class for a double period, just once. I say just once as it appeared to have had the desired effect on me? Many other lads would have relished the opportunity to be the only male in a classroom full of lovely young ladies, but as I have stated elsewhere, I was not into girls at that time.

I was given a needle and reel of cotton thread, a box of buttons and a roll of ribbon, no I don't remember what colour! My task was to sew as many buttons on to the ribbon as was possible during the lesson. I don't recall how many I managed to do and I really didn't see the point of the exercise, but to this day I'm a pretty mean button sewer on! Haha

By Donald Joy
On 13/09/2015

Hello John Larkins.   I lived next door to you when you were on the corner of Somerset Road, our house was "Maelyn".  I remember your sister Alice who would take me to pick wild flowers when I was little. I was born in 1936 so was a bit older than you, I had two younger brothers Geoff and Derek. I now live in British Columbia Canada. 

By Rich Wood
On 27/08/2014

I was a pupil at Laindon School from 93-98 and I loved every minute of it, we were the last year 11 of the school. One of my favorite teachers was Miss Healy the dance teacher, we use to put on a lot of dance shows they were good times. It's such a shame the school is no longer in the High Road doesn't look the same with the new housing estate.

By Laura Edwards
On 21/06/2013

I am the nephew of Haydn Gay and Helena Gay, both teachers in Laindon and both are now sadly deceased but I would like to hear any reminisces of either or photos. 

As a youngster I can remember my uncles slide shows of his school trips to Europe.

By Nigel Gay
On 02/06/2013

A small point about this page is that in the heading it states it supplied education for our community for nearly 50 years. Surely this is wrong, as the archive also states it opened in 1928 and was renamed The Laindon School in the 1980s.

By W.H.Diment
On 21/04/2013

I am not sure if you ever resolved the question of head teachers at LHR, but I was at the school from Sept 1965 to June 1972. Mr Day was my first head teacher and Mr Chadband started at the school in 1967 when it became a comprehensive. Mr Chadband's nickname was Batman as he used to walk around the school wearing his gown.

By James Cronin
On 19/04/2013

I left the school in 1980 and most of my time there was good. I remember the summer of 76/77 it was so hot! At lunch time none of the students would come back into class claiming it was far too hot to concentrate! We sat there on the school playing field until all the teachers came out and threatened all sorts if we didn’t do as we were told! Needless to say, we all reluctantly went back in. Happy days! 

I remember one teacher more than most she took us for PE Miss Johnson was her name and I would love to know what she is up to now days. Do any of you know where she can be contacted? If so, I would be most grateful! 

By Lisa Kilbane
On 10/11/2012

Hello, the dates for Headmaster Mr Day are incorrect. I attended the High Road in 1962/63 and Mr Day was the Headmaster then (he would serve out his (then perfectly acceptable) corporal punishment by caning our hands, making it almost impossible to write during lessons). Roy Footer

By Roy Footer
On 08/06/2012

This all takes me back! Does anyone remember / keep in touch with any of the old teachers? Mr. Gaynor (English) Miss Sharp (Physics) or any of the others I have forgotten.

I left in 1985 and attended with, Paul Smith, Troy Giles, Darren Graham and a host of others. Has it really been that long.

By Patrick Bunting
On 04/03/2012

I had two happy years at Laindon High Road school and left at age 14 at the Easter break of 1946. In those days schools shut for the 2 Holy days and returned on the Tuesday. I started work in Southend after the 2 day holiday. I well remember Mr. Finch and Miss Pierce. 

I have photograph of the VE day street party held on the corner of Sandringham and Essex roads. In the photo are the Hopper brothers, Annie Allder, Rose Harmwell, Johnny Johnson and about another 50 whose names escape me. 

From school I remember Gwen Leeks, Donald Hartgrove and who was the teacher with dead accuracy with a piece of chalk. Happy days.

Editor: Would it be possible to have copy of the photograph for the archive? if so please contact us at laindonarchive@gmail.com

By Harry Horton
On 14/02/2012

There is no argument Richard, Mr Day succeeded Mr Woodward without any doubt. My reports are the same as yours. Mr Day's daughter Susan could be contacted through Friends Reunited to confirm. She lives in Brisbane, Australia.

Editor: Thanks for the information I will sort out the start and finish dates for all the heads and add an article. I intend to ask for you all to add your memories of the teacher as there have already been some entred elseware on the site.

By Eric Pasco
On 20/12/2011

I was late coming into LHR so my first term report was not until July 1955. This was signed by J H J Woodward. My last report was July 1959 also signed by J H J Woodward (Jack as he was affectionately known).

By Andrea
On 19/12/2011

Ian, there is no argument to settle, firstly the bullet point list above is incorrect. You will see that by simply inspecting the 1956 photo where Mr Woodward is in the picture. Mr Woodward signed my blue report from 1958-1962. In 1963 it was signed by Mr Day. Whoever wrote the publication Laindon School Memories 1927-1998 with respect, was wrong. If we are to contribute to a Laindon District Community Achive we must correct all mistakes like this for posterity. Apologies Ian, for not realising you did not attend LHR, regards Richard.

Editor: Richard I agree totally as there are many inaccuracies in the publications purporting to tell the story of our community. That is why I want you all to challenge these erroneous statements and lets print the proof on the site.

By Richard Haines
On 19/12/2011

Ian, from what you are saying here, Mr Chadband was head from 1967 to 1988. What I am saying is that Mr Day was head from 1962, when Mr Woodward left. This means that Mr Day ruled between 1962 to 1967 when Chadband was appointed. Are you up to speed on this?

Editor: I did not attend the school so cannot verify any of the following information taken from a publication produced at the school just before it closed "The Laindon School Memories 1927 - 1998."

  • Mr Radford    1927/28 - 1949
  • Mr Day          1950 - 1958
  • Mr Woodward 1958 - 1967
  • Mr Chadband  1967 - 1988
  • Mr Newton     1989 - 1993
  • Mr Gilman      1993 - 1996
  • Mr Feehan      1997 - 1998

I think we need to get all the LHR students to dig out all their old reports. We can then copy the names from foot of the reports and settle this argument once and for all. I will also check with Essex County Council to see if they have kept the staffing records.

By Richard Haines
On 19/12/2011

Mr Day must have preceded Mr Woodward (Mr Woodward was Head in September 1956). He was followed by Mr Chadband, who was head from 1967 to about 1988. I had the pleasure of looking after the services within school for Essex County Council from 1975 to 1982 during the period that he was the Head. I also had the misfortune of attending the 1980 arson fire that destroyed the administration block when the school records were damaged beyond recovery. This fire had a detrimental affect on Mr Chadband's health. I was also called in to the second fire in the art block in 1982.

By Ian Mott
On 19/12/2011

In the section on Laindon High Road School above, referring to headmasters it is stated by Ken Porter that Mr Chadband replaced Mr J H J Woodward when he moved on in 1962. However, according to my own LHR Blue Book report it was Mr W Day who replaced Mr Woodward. Certainly it is Mr Day who features in our 5X photograph taken in the quadrangle in July 1963 and he has signed my report for that year accordingly.

By Richard Haines
On 19/12/2011

Its great to hear old school pals still going strong thanks Andrea. So sorry to hear about Ivan.

By Gloria Sewell
On 21/11/2011

Gloria; Tony and Olga have remained friends with us for always! She is still beautiful! I will remember you to her next time we see them. They both came from Kathleen Ferrier Crescent way. Unfortunately Tony lost his younger brother Ivan a few months back.

By Andrea
On 19/11/2011

Does anyone remember a beautiful Greek girl called Olga, who attended the school in the early 50s, she was always seen with a London boy called Tony they were a very nice looking couple beyond that I can't remember, ah yes I think his name was Dallas.

By Gloria Sewell
On 17/11/2011

I am interested to know the history behind the name of the school 'James Hornsby'. Does any one have any information on who he was? Thanks

Editor: James Hornsby was the Last teacher at the First School in Laindon, follow this link to find out a little more

Link

By Scott Hornsby
On 19/10/2011

Ken, yes I recall the rules about no biros, now I can only think - why? All through college and exams afterwards biros proved to be no problem. I have exercise books from LHR neatly written in ink but sometimes with blobs where the pen was either too new or too worn out. Mr Rees has ringed the blobs in red saying HOW DID YOU GET THIS MESS ON YOUR BOOK? Clearly - because I am not allowed to use a biro. Yes we did Topics too. One of mine was on railways and I took ages drawing a signal box one evening only to get 6/10 because the written text did not show enough effort. Obviously my talent wasnt recognised. As for Mr Bear, he thought my maths knowledge was lacking. He was always saying 'your proof doesn't hold water'. Never mind, some things never change.

By Richard Haines
On 10/10/2011

Gday Richard, I still have an old school exercise book, Laindon High Road County Secondary Modern School was the title in 1958, What a mouthful?, no wonder we all called it the High Road. What a place to be educated, life was much simpler then, no biros allowed, either fountain pens or use the ink well and dip pens.  The mess they created and the amount of them stuck in the class room ceilings!! Remember the topics [they are called projects or assignments now] we had to do as homework? I did one on motorbikes once, just cut out pages of photos and bike tests from the Motor Cycle News. Alan Bear told me I hadn't put much effort into it, I thought I had, cutting up my weekly bibles took a lot of angst on my part. My collection of m/cycle mags was huge and I didn't take lightly to cutting them about.

By ken page
On 10/10/2011

To give my former schools their correct contempory Essex Education Committee official titles we have; High Road County Secondary School, Laindon (c)1962 and St Nicholas Lane Council Junior Mixed School, Laindon (c)1958 - or for all others in the know, Laindon High Road and Laindon Park.

By Richard Haines
On 09/10/2011

I remember the day I started this school, I ran up to Mr Woodward and told him my mother had also attended the school, "He said he hoped I would enjoy my time with them", I did, very much.

The first year the new comers (the older ones called us affectionally, I think, the little animals) had a playground to ourselves. I recall one time we were allowed to bring our roller skates to school until too many accidents occurred, this was because we would make long lines and the one on the end often hit the wall ouch!!!! Skipping was a great favorite of mine to do the double twist made you someone and I could do it, big head swell. 

The boys and girls had seperate playgrounds but we were allowed together on the school field.

There are so many names I remember from my school days, good friends and not so good. You had the kids who grew up fast wanting to get out into the big wide world, with big thirst for adventure. I am afraid I was one of those and spent my last year telling teachers I didn't want to be there.  I must say I did learn a lot from the school and as things have turned out I would not do anything diffrently.

Then you had the studious ones whose only goal in life was to study, I did not have to much to do with them. I will never know how I managed to get top marks for exams and stay in the A stream but I did, praise indeed for my teachers. 

Then of course you had the not so intelligent ones these were the ones who were always such a good laugh, great fun to be with confident that thier personalities would get them through and for most of them it did.

All you ex pupils of L.H.S.1950s I for one am proud to have know and still know you all.

By Gloria Sewell
On 09/10/2011

It is strange the little pieces of information gleaned from the archive, as although I attended Donaldson's school for a number of years, until I read Ken Porter's article, I never realised the name was St. Nicholas, although I suppose it should have been evident, as the school existed long before Mrs. Donaldson became headmistress.

By W.H.Diment
On 07/10/2011

Hello William, I would not be so rude as to ask your age I can only guess by your dates above. What I will say is you have such a fantastic memory and I love reading your comments on site. You are a credit to all the Laindoners of your era please keep up your wonderful memories for us, best wishes.

By Gloria Sewell
On 06/10/2011

I too remember the High Road School and was one of those transferred from Donaldsons in 1931. However, it was for only one term, Easter to summer until I moved on. I do remember Mr. Radford, Mr. Woodward, a Mr. Finch and a Mr. Rees whose sister worked at the Labour Exchange but not many more.

By W.H.Diment
On 06/10/2011

Hazel Cuttler's Mum's name - Eileen - zoomed out at me. I will always remember that lady - I went out with her son Barri and got to know the family. I was so impressed to hear how Eileen had helped her husband Ted to build their brick bungalow - true old-Laindon spirit!

By Andrea Ash (nee Pinnell)
On 13/08/2011

I was in Mr Rosen's class from 1958-1959. My friend that year, Nick Logan went on to found and edit The Face magazine for many years. From 1959-1963 I was in Mr Rees's class and I can remember many of the other teachers - Mr Bear, Mr Miniken, Mr Hughes tapping away and Mr Foreman. Women teachers I remember Miss Munt, Mrs Gay and Miss Jolliman. People in my class were Mart Brown, Malcolm Scott, Keith Jackson and Geoff Heather. Girls were Jacquie Sheppard, Vanessa Crew, Christine Thompson, Mary Baker, Josie Beasley, Penny Oliver and Veronica Bridges. Kids in other classes were Jimmy Bird, John Austin, Michael Venables and Terry Stolworthy. Brilliant times, all my best days growing up.

By Richard Haines
On 04/08/2011

I too started in Miss Jollyman's class in September 1957, and she had one big hate for me. After christmas holiday, I was transferred to Mr. Hughes class, far better teacher as well. My sister Marlene was also in Jollyman's class, and one day made the class actually laugh, when she said her name should have been Jollywoman.

By Brian Baylis
On 01/08/2011

I too was in Miss Jollymans class 1st year 1958 - 1963. I remember her favourite phrase ' do you see'. She smoked like a chimney too. Mr Woodward was the head master at the time. It is a crying shame that Basildon Council saw fit to pull the place down. I know parts of it were in bad need of repair but it could have been saved. Given a short amount of time we shall be in bad need of a senior school in this region. So much of 'old Laindon' is being pulled down or badly neglected.

By Valerie Kingsley (nee Boatwright)
On 25/07/2011

I attended the High Road School from 1952 to 56 and have many happy memories, like many other true Laindoner's. It made me feel very sad when I returned to Laindon a while ago to see that the old school had gone and yet another houseing estate was in its place. It would have been nice if some of old Laindon could have been retained by the planners.

So say many Laindoner's

By Jean Rowe (née Pattle)
On 12/07/2011

I started at Laindon High Rd school in 1961 I always remember what a big school it seemed after going to Laindon Park we had such lovely playing fields and we went cross country running. I still keep in contact with my friends Frances Tyler, Eric Stevens, John Earp and Kevin Brown to name a few. I left in 1965

By Keith Nock
On 12/07/2011

I was a pupil of Laindon 'High Road' School from approx 1952 to 1957. Have fond memories of my time there and remember Miss Jollyman very well, she was also my elder sister's teacher. Is there any one around who attended the school during those years?  Some I remember, Jimmy Green, Bruce Bellamy, Alan Jackson and Roger Burroughs. Would love to hear from you.

By John Larkins
On 07/07/2011

I was at Laindon High Road School from 1953 to 1957. Your surname has a place in my memory, did any of your family attend this time?

By Gloria Sewell
On 28/06/2011

For your interest my mother Eileen Cuttler nee Eggleton was the first Head Girl at Laindon High Road.

By Hazel Shrimpton (nee Cuttler)
On 26/06/2011

I was in Miss Jollyman's class in 1950. She was a fastidious lady who liked us to polish the tops of our desks and the brass inkwell covers. To this day, the smell of lavender furniture polish and Duraglit wafts me back to Class 1A. Miss Jollyman specialised in biology and kept an observation bee hive outside her classroom. Sweets were still rationed then and if we supplied some coupons she treated us to some sweets at Christmas.

By Anne Burton
On 15/05/2011

I have some good as well as bad memories of attending this school while under the headmaster Mr. J. H. J. Woodward, of whom to this day, I have had tremendous respect, despite him being in the next world. My favourite teacher during my time there, was Mr. G. Poole who took us for Geography.

By Brian Baylis
On 03/04/2011
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