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The Carlton Hill circle

Started in the old building

I went to St John’s School when it was in the old building, then moved up the hill about one hundred yards to the brand new infants school, before going to the ‘big’ school across the road. I always remember the headmaster’s huge study where one would get severely berated before getting a whack with a strap or cane, I think his name was Mr Hambridge. He was followed by a very meek and mild Mr Avery. Talk about chalk and cheese.

Playing on the building site

As soon as the bell rang at the end of the day, it was a quick run across the road to explore the building site which is now the police station. There was usually a couple of lorry loads of sand delivered where the entrance is now, it was a huge pile, like a pyramid. I remember that we used to see how far up the scaffolding we dare climb, before launching ourselves out into the void. At the time it must have been about fifteen feet, but in the playground the next day, retelling and pointing across at the nick, it got higher and higher.

Going full circle

After leaving St John’s juniors, it was the next move up the hill, ‘the really big school’ which was Queen’s Park. Everything stemmed from Carlton Hill, all education for anyone from that area. I went full circle; I was in Tarnerland Nursery, St John’s infants, St John’s juniors, up the hill to Queen’s Park, then back down the hill for five years at Art and Design college. My whole world evolved around that hill, for a while anyway; happy days.

Do you remember?

Did you attend St John’s School? Do you have memories of the Carlton Hill area? If you can share your memories with us, please leave a comment below.

St Johns Church, further up Carlton Hill, was consecrated in January, 1840, and the school opened soon afterwards. It was to some extent replaced by the modern St Johns School, which opened, on the other side of the road, in October, 1914, but for many years afterwards it remained in use for scholastic purposes.
Image reproduced with kind permission of The Regency Society and The James Gray Collection

Comments about this page

  • I went to St Johns infants and juniors and so did my father. I remember sleeping on little camp beds also lining up in the hall in the infants for a spoonful of cod liver oil and orange juice. We had a school lady called Miss Yendeal not sure spelt right. Then in the juniors I remember three of the teachers names: Mr Taylor, Mr  Allan –  he used to take the boys up to the gardens near the St John’s church for gardening, and then there was Mr Barnwell who took us for maths – he was very strict. His classroom was up the top of the school. About 15 plus years ago, I went to the school to a party when Amex was using school as a social club and it was like going back in  time. It would nice to be in touch with some of the people that were there when I was, 1948-1952.

    By Kathleen Catt nee Cornford (20/07/2014)
  • Does anyone know anything about or have records of my great aunt Doris Jacklin (known as Dot) taught there around 1932. She lived at 19 Queens Park Terrace. Her married name was Moore.

    By Frances Hymas (03/03/2021)

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