Verulam School history

There was a time when free education meant attending the senior classes of an elementary school. Beyond that, St Albans Grammar School or High School for Girls provided a secondary route to further education. And as girls had traditionally left school a year earlier, Central schools nationally extended elementary provision. The Central School in St Albans, begun in Victoria Street, and gained a new building in Fleetville in 1931. Secondary provision was limited, but free education through scholarships, was provided, eventually being made free for all.

The education authority created two Modern Grammar schools.One would replace the Central School (now Fleetville Junior); the other was on a constrained site on the Spencer building estate between Brampton and Jennings roads. Because girls were deemed to required less playing field space than boys, the Modern Girls Grammar would go here, while the Modern Boys' School would go to the former Central site. Rather late in the day the authority realised it would be cheaper to convert the Fleetville Central premises into the Modern Girls' school – as it was already functioning as a girls' school. To make Brampton Road adequate for boys the extra playing field space was acquired by using the site already reserved for the future Marshalswick senior school at Sandpit Lane; today still known as the Grammar School Playing Field.

The St Albans Modern Boys' Grammar School opened in 1938 with a fee element. The 1944 Education Act enabled all pupils selected at eleven to be educated for free. With that move came a change of name to St Albans County Grammar School for Boys.

With the conversion of many secondary schools from secondary modern and grammar status to comprehensive, the school dropped its grammar title and adopted the name Verulam School in 1975, the name the school still bears. Although it is still a boys' school, it has a mixed Sixth Form, and is part of a Sixth Form Partnership with Sandringham and Beaumonts schools.

Just as it never used the term Comprehensive in its title, it does not use the term Academy in its title either, although it does have "academy status".

Boys' Modern School building 1938

Photo courtesy Herts Advertiser.

Class 1A in 1947
Verulam School class 1A 1947

Photo courtesy Alan Nason.

BACK ROW L-R: …..Stuckey, ….. Eames, Michael Mycock, Keith Potts, ….. Robinson, ? , ? , ….. Johnson
THIRD ROW L-R: no-one identified so far
SECOND ROW KNEELING L-R: ? , [gap] Ken Payne , Charles Parrott, ….. Prior, ? , ?
FRONT ROW L-R: Alan Nason, ? , ? , ….. Weigang, ….. Lewis, ….. Oakley, ….. Hill [behind the tear]

Class 5A in 1952; the same pupils as above
Verulam School class 5A 1952

Photo courtesy Alan Nason.

BACK ROW L-R: Keith Potts, …..Wheatfil, Ged Stone, Trevor Knight, Michael Mycock [behind], ….. Hill, ….. Green, Stan Parrott, Monty Axon, ? , ? , ….. Johnson, Fred Feather, ? [behind], ….. Metcalfe
FRONT ROW L-R: Sid Wright, ….. Jones, ….. Adolph, ….. Nasty, Mr Alexandra, Alan Nason, Peter Miller

St Albans Philharmonica in c1964

Photo courtesy Joyce Yendole.

The two pictures, above and below, show members of the St Albans Philharmonica, thought to be drawn principally from the Girls' and Boys' grammar schools, and photographed c1964 before a concert held in the hall of St Albans Grammar School for Boys. Among the players shown here are Edward Chance, Kevin Nutty, Alison Morton, David Morton, Colin Beak [or Bean], Joyce Osborn, Philippa Green, Rachel Stone, Libby Gough, Hilary Belcher.

St Albans Philharmonica in c1964
SA Philharmonica 1964 2

Photo courtesy Joyce Yendole.

Air Training Corps in 1942
ATC 1942

Photo courtesy Colin Wilson.

BACK ROW L-R: Cadet Ruck, Cadet Raper, Cadet Over, Cadet Rivers, Corporal Little, Cadet Hopkinson, Cadet Watford
MIDDLE ROW L-R: Corporal Spence, Corporal Hattersley, Corporal Twigg, Corporal Smith, Sergeant Becker, Sergeant Wells, Sergeant Hollins, Cadet Baynham
FRONT ROW L-R: Corporal Gramson, Cadet McDonald, Cadet Pinner, Cadet Blain, Corporal Bishop

A class in 1958
Verulam 1958

Photo courtesy Mr Norton.

BACK ROW L-R: Alexander Thornhill, John Calcraft, Alan Morton, John Hill, Alan Parsons, David White, Michael Cook, David Clark, Alex Henderson, John Wilkins
MIDDLE ROW L-R: ….. Keech, John Sears, Bob Brownhills, …..Mallinson, Michael Crawley, ….. Kerrison, ….. Cantle, Bob Bills, John Lives, ….. Shuttleworth, Keith Tomlin, ….. Bromley, John Spicer
FRONT ROW L-R: Michael Hunnan, Philip Miller, …..St John Hooper, …..Molynieux, Harvey Rutt, John Whittell, Robin Moore

Many thanks to Mr Morton and to Friends Reunited; and to Philip Miller for recalling names.

Sixth Form in 1963
Verulam School Sixth Form 1963

Photo owner unknown.

BACK ROW L-R: ? , Chris Crawley, David Bevan, Peter King, ? , ? , Mike Kellard
THIRD ROW L-R: ? , John Brook, Colin Blunstone, Brian Baldwin, John Ranscombe, ? , Stephen Fuller
SECOND ROW L-R: ? , Martin Montague, Alan Marsh, ? , Bill Burrows, Ralph Evershed, John Smith, Howard Jackson, ? , David Stokes
FRONT ROW L-R: Keith Joiner, Peter Myers Jones, Rodney Gladingbowl, Stuart Bullock, Graham Brooker, ? , John Robins, Richard Dolling, John Oakley

New names added June 2020.

Verulam Colts in 1958
Verulam School Colts 1958

Photo courtesy Mike Rawlins.

BACK ROW L-R: Mr Mitchell, ….. Thorpe, ….. Spooner, ….. Busby, ….. Rosser, ….. Freely, ….. Fowler, Mike Rawlins, Dennis Shroeder, ….. Crabtree
FRONT ROW L-R: ….. Aylmer, ? , ….. Saunders, ….. Gibbs (Captain), ….. Russell, ? , ….. Gregory, Arthur Crick

Rugby squad in 1965/6
Verulam rugby 1965

Photo courtesy Peter Tapper.

BACK ROW L-R: ? , ? , Mick Baldock, ? , Peter Bonnell, ? , Neil Bromley, Mr Thomas
MIDDLE ROW L-R: Doug Taylor, Graham Upton, Robert Hulks, Charlie Lower, ? , Peter Tapper
FRONT ROW L-R: Godfrey Butland, ? , ? , ?

Some of Form 5 in 1954
Verulam School Form 5 1954

Photo courtesy Tony Hayward.

The commentary alongside this former Friends Reunited image states that it was taken by "Jimpy Richardson's dad." Presumably, therefore, his son is in the line-up. The recollection was posted by Tony Hayward, who is likely to be one of those pictured.

Rugby squad in 1955/6
Verulam School rugby squad 1955/6

Photo courtesy Alan Skull.

This image, formerly appearing on an iteration of Friends Reunited, identified the following:
BACK ROW L-R: none yet identified
SECOND ROW L-R: [both standing] ? , ….. Heath
FRONT ROW L-R: ? , ….. Macklin, ? , ? , John Wood, John Prime, Robin Browne