Oakwood School history

The birth of Oakwood Primary School reaches back to the mid-1930s when land was being acquired by Hertfordshire County Council for future schools. From 1938 its site was being used by the girls of Beaumont School.

The publication of the 1944 Education Act included a requirement to raise the school leaving age from 14 to 15. In preparation for this thousands of concrete HORSA classroom huts (Hutting Operation for Raising School Age) were constructed, and Beaumont received three of these, one on the girls' field.

Meanwhile, at Fleetville School, which had its own temporary huts, as well as classes in the nursery building (now the Community Centre) several classes rose to 50 or more children. Parents complained vociferously and the authority launched its Fleetville Extension School: children living east of Beechwood Avenue attended the spare HORSA hut for the first time in 1957.

The new buildings for the permanent school were taken on in two phases from 1958, and at that point the new name, Oakwood, was announced.


All HORSA huts were basically the same, and although this one is not any of the Beaumont ones, you may be able to spot the Fleetville Extension School one in the background of a photo on this page.


Photo courtesy Herts Advertiser.

Oakwood fete in 1969
Fleetville 4A 1959 girls

Photo courtesy Chris Neighbour.

Oakwood was one of the new schools whose parents' associations raised money to build a swimming pool.  No doubt the proceeds from this fete contributed to its construction, improvements or maintenance.  The girl in this photo, wearing the spotted dress, is Sally Collins.

Oakwood fete in 1969: thrown with passion!
Fleetville 4A 1959 boys

Photo courtesy Chris Neighbour.

The main subject in this picture is Nicholas Osborne. 

An infants class in c1966
Fleetville infants Miss Randall 1950

Photo courtesy Mike Neighbour.

This photo was probably taken in 1966 or 1967, according to Anthony Meyrick who had, by then, left the school.  He identifies Nigel Morgan (front row 5th from left), brother of Simon Morgan in his own class. The Infant Welfare Helper, back row left, is Mrs Winifred Neighbour.
BACK ROW L-R: Winifred Neighbour, ? , Lisa Denholm, ? , ? , ? , ? , ? , ? , (teacher)
THIRD ROW L-R: ? , Tessa Sharp, ? , ? , ? , ? , ? , ? , ? , ?
FIRST ROW L-R: ? , ? , ? , ? , Nigel Morgan, ? , Caroline Gardner, ?

An infants class in c1968
Fleetville 3A 1957

Photo courtesy Mike Neighbour.

Mrs Neighbour appears here too, on the left of (possibly) Mrs Dalby and Mrs Hobbs. Of the children, Janet Thrussell is back row extreme right. Third row: 2nd from left is Helen Osei-MensahCould, and far right Valerie Miller.  Could we have some more names please?

An infants class in an unknown year
Fleetville football team 1951/2

Photo courtesy Mike Neighbour.

Apart from Infant Welfare Helper Mrs Winifred Neighbour and the same teacher in the earlier photo, we don't know who any of the children are.

An infants class in 1970 or 1971
Fleetville football team 1948/9

Photo courtesy Mike Neighbour.

This was the top infants class of Mrs Scott (right) with Mrs Winifred Neighbour as the infants welfare helper (as the post was then termed).  Just look at the hightly-polished floor! 
BACK ROW L to R: Timothy Fraser;  Arpita Bhose; ?; Sharon Barton; Richard Collins;  Karen Willan; Simon Drew; Richard Chandler; Gary Blight; John Allen; Simon (or Stephen) Baker or Andrew Pincock**; Christopher Page. 
THIRD ROW L to R:  ?; Kevin Smith; ?;  Ian Drake; Janette Dollamore; Olivia Argent; Janet Thrussell; Helen Osei-mensah; Alison Mills; Paul Winch; Timothy Bowen. 
SECOND ROW L to R: Susan Ferguson; Jennifer Johnson; Sarah Street; Andrew Denholm; Simon Pointer; Valerie Miller; Sally Humphreys; Caroline Wood; Jacqueline Harris; ?  ; Amanda Miles. 
FRONT ROW L to R: David Curran, Stephen Harman, Roy McGowan (or McGoohan), Gary Anscombe.

** please confirm.
It is thought that Peter Hughes might be in the picture. Please confirm.

Y6 class in October 1961
Fleetville School Empire Day

Photo courtesy Janet Lang.

A full set of names was written on the back of this photo.  Hooray!
BACK ROW L-R: Terry Hill, Andrew Richardson, Stewart Andrews, John Kane, John Way, Trevor Eastwood, Peter Garvin, Stephen Oliver; one name missing in this row.
THIRD ROW L-R: Ian Noble, Valerie Parsons, Janet Thorpe, Diana Marsh, Sally Carter, Sally Towler, Linda Crotty, Ann Newton, Mr David Sidnell.
SECOND ROW L-R: Rosemary Smith, Toni Marim, Susan Final, Marilyn Twigg, Susan Green, Marion Peck, Elizabeth Byers, Angela Argent, Lona Facey.
FRONT ROW L-R: David Williams, Mervyn Farmer, Robin Brown, John Davies, Nicholas Storer.

Year 4 or 5 between 1965 and 1967

Courtesy Tim Dain

BACK ROW L-R: Stephen Clark, ? , Timothy Smith, ? .
THIRD ROW L-R: PETER JENKYNS (HEAD), ? , ? , Gary Booker, ? , ? , ? , …. Potts, ? , Andy Curran, ? , Mrs Wiseman.
SECOND ROW L-R: ? , Gillian Facey, ? , Janet Crawley, ? , ? , ? , Tina Sharp, ? ,
FRONT ROW L-R: possibly Hugh Hornby, ? , ? , ? , ? , ? , ? , ?
SEATED L-R: Gills? , John Scales
Tim writes: "It would be wonderful if the unknowns could be identified, and perhaps to hear from anyone who remembers me (Timothy Smith)." Further updated by Andy Curran Dec 2018.