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, unknown, unknown, ..... Johnson.
THIRD ROW L-R: No names yet identified.
SECOND ROW L-R kneeling: unknown, (gap), Ken Payne, Charles Parrott, ..... Prior, unknown, unknown.
FRONT ROW L-R: Alan Nason, unknown, unknown, ..... 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, unknown, unknown, ..... Johnson, Fred Feather, unknown (behind), ..... Metcalfe.
FRONT ROW L-R: Sid Wright, ..... Jones, ..... Adolph, ..... Naseby, Mr Alexandra, Alan Nason, Peter Miller.


St Albans Philharmonica in c1964
Verulam St Albans Philharmonica 1964

Photo courtesy Joyce Yendole.

These two pictures, above and below, show members of the St Albans Philharmonica, thought to be principally drawn from the Girls' and Boys' grammar schools, and photographed c1964 before a concert held in the hall of the Boys' Grammar School.  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 and Hilary Belcher.  If you recognise anyone else do let us know.


St Albans Philharmonica in c1964
Verulam St Albans Philharmonica c1964

Photo courtesy Joyce Yendole.


Air Training Corps in 1942
Verulam Air Training Corps 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 School a 1958 class

Photo courtesy Mr Norton.

Many thanks to Mr Norton and to Friends Reunited.  And to Philip Miller for recalling names:
BACK GROUP 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 Brownhill; ?  Mallinson; Michael Crawley; ?  Kerrison; ?  Cantle; Bob Bills; John Liles; ?  Shuttleworth; Keith Tomlin; ?  Bromley; John Spicer.
FRONT ROW L-R: Michael Hunnan; Philip Miller; ? St John Hooper; ? Molynieux; Harvey Rutt; John Whittell; Robin Moore.


Sixth Form in 1963
Verulam School Sixth Form 1963

Photo owner unknown.

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


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 School rugby squad 1955/6

Photo courtesy Peter Tapper.

The only player so far identified is Peter Tapper (middle row extreme right).


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 was 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 seated: ?; ….. Macklin; ?; ?; John Wood; John Prime; Robin Browne.