In 1955/6 the lower hall was used for performances of Sweeney Todd, partly because it had always been the hall for the boys' school, and very conveniently had a trapdoor in the stage floor to enable a "disappearance" of Todd's victims. Between 1953/4 and 1958/8, when there were only boys, concerts, plays and operettas were performed upstairs.
The need for a new senior school in the Fleetville area became evident soon after the First World War. But in those days you produced senior schools in pairs. The Education Authority acquired land on the south side of Hatfield Road (the present Fleetville Junior School). It was eventually realised that there was only space for one school, and a girls' school (Central, opened in 1931) was put up.
This later became the girls' grammar school, and a search for a non-selective senior building resulted in a site next to Oakwood Drive where it had been intended to build houses. Beaumont Girls' School occupied the upper floor when the buildings were opened in 1938, while the boys occupied the ground floor. But these were two separately run schools. The first pupils came from Hatfield Road School near the city centre, Colney Heath (which allowed it to change to a JMI), Fleetville (already a primary), and Priory Park, a senior girls' school in Old London Road.
The names changed after 1944, from Beaumont Senior Schools to Beaumont Secondary Modern Schools. As the pupil numbers began to exhaust available accommodation shortly after the post-war increase in the leaving age, temporary buildings arrived. In 1953 the girls' school moved out to the buildings in Hatfield Road, Fleetville, after the girls there went to newly-opened premises in Sandridgebury Lane (STAGGS). So opened Beaumont Girls' Secondary Modern School in Fleetville (later renamed Sandfield).
From 1954 to 1959 the Oakwood Drive buildings were a boys' school. In that year many older boys moved to newly opened Marshalswick Boys' School and Beaumont once more became a mixed school (as opposed to a girls' school and a boys' school!). It has continued to be a mixed school, and continues to expand its suite of buildings and facilities.
BACK ROW: Norman Johnson; Cyril Weatherer (Manager); Charlie Kitchener; Clifford Anderson; Michael Williams;
?; ?; Roger Green
FRONT ROW: Keith Chalkley; Brian Weatherer; Roy Day; Greg Evans; ?; Roy Martin
No members of the team have so far been identified. The names of one or two players will also help to identify the year.
BACK ROW: Glenn Rodford; M Edrich; Michael O'Gorman; Jane Kember; M Pendergast; Brian Farrell; Linda Perkins; Neil Parsons; Francs Spokes; Keith Pearcey
MIDDLE ROW: Jane Henman; Brian Rodford; Cathy Ryan; Peter Ward; David Hunt; Colin Bridges; Chris Gautier, Jill Spicer; Arnold Jeffares; ?
FRONT ROW: Derek O'Connor; Ruth Shaw; T Quinn; Jill Spicer; Patrick Campbell; Pamela Farrow; Kevin Hilliard; Sally Towler; John Harris; Lynne Jones.
Was this a combined sports team, A and B football teams, athletic team? No-one has been identified so far.
No members of the camp have so far been identified.
BACK ROW L-R: Mr Holditch, Mr Hawksworth, Mr Luxembourg, Mr Lindup, Mr Bowen, Mr Finnett, Mr Danter, Mr Rayner, Mr Moon, Mr Waghorn, Mr Younger, Mr Wright.
MIDDLE ROW: Mr Chapman, Mr Hodgkinson, Mr Bilk, Mrs Wright, Mrs Chamberlain, Mrs Simmons, Mrs Ireland, Mr Humphries, Mr Costain, Mrs Wykes, Mrs Taylor, Mr Coxall, Mr Longbone, Mr Childs.
FRONT ROW: Mr Eames, Mr Speed, Mr Butler, Mr Evans, Mr Berridge, Mr Cafferay, Mr Hope.
Photo courtesy Andy Lawrence.
A 1939 picture from the Hatfield Road Boys' School, in the year after many of its younger pupils transferred to the new Beaumont School. Though "out of area" some of these students may have lived Fleetville or Camp way.
Photo courtesy Brian Butler.
Included in this picture is Brian Butler (BACK ROW L-R 4). Others are Brian Griffiths, David or Roger Miles, David Woodhead, Gorman, David Wilkinson, Spooner, Clayton, John Hiscott, Christopher Rice and Fletcher, but we are not sure who is where! If you were at BBS from 1955 to 1959 you could help complete our list.
Photo courtesy The Herts Advertiser.
The photograph was taken in the front playground of Beaumont School, Oakwood Drive, St Albans. At the beginning of WW2 the Sea Cadets trained at the school before moving to new headquarters at Verulamium. One recognisable face, in the centre of the middle row, is teacher Mr A Coxall, who was also a Special Constable. He also arranged experience visits to Portsmouth naval and marine bases. Although St Albans Sea Cadets, it is likely that many of the team members lived in the Fleetville, Camp and Colney Heath areas. Mr A C Tuck is in the second row. The lower picture, taken on the front field, is possibly an athletics squad.
Photo courtesy Alistair Robertson.
BACK ROW: flanked by Walter Costain and coach driver Mr Crain; Roger Messer third from left.
FRONT ROW: Philip Jones second from right, and Alistair Robertson extreme right, both in black school blazers.
Do any other photos exist of this or other trips undertaken by Beaumont School, Somerset, Snowdon, Portsmouth and France among them?
Photo courtesy Jean Smith.
It is the teacher in this line-up who has been recognised first. Her name is Miss Tucker.
BACK ROW L-R: Beryl Seabrook; ?; Daphne Spicer; ?; ?; ?; ?; Margaret Martin.
MIDDLE ROW L-R: Ursula Tyrer; ?; ?; Jean Pryke (Smith); Vera Warren; ?; ?; ?; Joan Dougleish; ?; ?; Rosetta Thompson.
FRONT ROW L-R: Barbara Canfield; ?; Betty Kent; Edith Shadbolt; Miss Tucker; Maureen King; Jean Shepherd; Pat Knight; Margaret Martin. Note: Margaret Martin is named twice!
Photo courtesy Jean Smith.
BACK ROW L-R: ?; Ursula Tyrer; ?; Daphne Spicer; Miss Ellis (head teacher); Jean Pryke (Smith); Beryl Seabrook; ?; ?.
FRONT ROW L-R: ?; ?; Edith Shadbolt; Betty Kent; Margaret Martin; Jean Dougliesh. This is thought to be a line-up of prefects with their head teacher.
BACK ROW L-R: Mary Grosvenor, Doreen Blanks, Rosemary Henderson, Jill Sinclair, Mary Silbery, Janet Chalinor, Sylvia Reeves, Pat Saunders, Dorothy Hicklin.
THIRD ROW L-R: Gill Bracey, Jean Myers, Sheila Rowntree, Anne Reece, Audrey Skeet, Josie Lincoln, Anita Gatehouse, Ann Hutchinson, Janet Hathaway, teacher (name unknown).
SECOND ROW L-R: Jeanette Cunningham, Pauline Scott, Diane Browning, Jill Driscoll, Gloria Batson, Marion Howe, Pauline Morris, Sheila Smedley, Julie Baskerfield, Linda Peters.
FRONT ROW L-R: Betty Rowe, Carol Morgan, Irene Robson, Sylvia Lovatt, Pat Dollymore, Valerie Craddock.
Photograph taken in one of the two quadrangles.
Corrections made July 20th 2016.
In the 1950s science teacher Alf Childs constructed a stage lighting control panel above the stage in the upper hall of the original building, formerly the girls' school hall. Senior students L-R Derek Balser, Roger Lane, Bob Browell and David Britten.
On school journey to Somerset in 1958 the beach at Weston Super Mare was visited by (L-R) Colin Hunter, David Kiff, Stephen James, Mr Costain, Mike Neighbour, Roger Edwards, John Wells.
David Hawkins, Michael Turnbull, David Berridge and David Scott in a scene from the operetta.
Photo Mike King.
This production of Sweeney Todd, dating from 1955, was produced by John le F Dumpleton. Although none of the pupils has been identified yet – in spite, or because, of the poor quality image – oddly enough I do remember the scenery being made during my first term at the school.
Photo Graham Lines.
This visit to Wales, based at Aberystwyth, was in 1958. The original was in colour but has been reproduced here in monochrome to help identify faces more readily. Only one identified member of the party so far: BACK third from left is Graham Lines.
© 2018 St Albans' Own East End Mike Neighbour