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' association raised money to build a swimming school. 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.

Probably the same event as the first photo in this collection. Trying to win something 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, 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, ? , ? , ? , ? , ? , ? , ? , ?
FRONT ROW L-R: ? , ? , ? , ? , Nigel Morgan or Martine Frost, Gail Blenkinsopp , Caroline Gardner, ?

An infants class in c1968
Fleetville 3A 1957

Photo courtesy Mike Neighbour.

Mrs Neighbour appears in this photo too, on the left of, possibly Mrs Dalby and Mrs Hobbs. Of the children, Janet Thrussell is back row extreme right. Helen Osei-Mensah is in the third row, second from left. Valerie Miller is on the far right of the same row.

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

Photo courtesy Mike Neighbour.

Infant Welfare Helper Mrs Winifred Neighbour is with the same teacher as in the previous picture. But we don't know who any of the children are – except one! Martine Frost, back row, second child from right

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

Photo courtesy Mike Neighbour.

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

** please confirm
It is also thought that Peter Hughes is in the line-up.

Y6 class in October 1961
Fleetville School Empire Day

Photo courtesy Janet Lang.

A full set of names was written on the back; hooray!
BACK ROW L-R: Terry Hill, Andrew Richardson, Stewart Andrews, John Kane, John Way, Trevor Eastwood, Peter Garvin, Stephen Oliver [but 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 Marie, Susan Final, Marilyn Twigg, Susan Green, Marion Peck, Elizabeth Byers, Angela Argent, Lona Faces
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 teacher], ? , ? , Gary Booker, ? , ? , ? , ….. Potts, Andrew Curran, ? , Mrs Wiseman
SECOND ROW L-R: ? , Gillian Faces, ? , Janet Crawley, ? , ? , ? , Tina Sharp, ?
FRONT ROW L-R: possibly Hugh Hornby, ? , ? , ? , ? , ? , ? , ?
GROUND SEATED FRONT ROW L-R: ….. Gills, John Scales

Tim Dain writes "It would be wonderful if the unknowns could be identified, and to perhaps to hear from anyone who remembers me as Timothy Smith."
Further updated by Andy Curran, December 2018

Year 6 class 1965
Oakwood year 6 1965

Photo Stephen Spary

BACK ROW L-R: Martin Williams, Jimmy Dorman, Andrew Busby, Steven Henry, David Molster, Peter Bone, Peter King, Judith Burville-Holmes, Caroline Fuller, Keith Able, Alan Bruce, Penelope ?, Lesley Burville-Holmes, David Sidnell (teacher).
MIDDLE ROW L-R: Peter Bradbury, Peter Scales, Simon Blackwell, Pamela Fryatt, Hilary Wilding, Stephanie Crawshaw, Stephen Spary, Pete Wroe, Valerie Wykes, Michael Willoughby, Susan O'Dell, Barbara Gayle, Marcus Coyle.
FRONT ROW L-R: Nigel Wilkins, Stephen Cooper, Judith Percy, Jane Buck, Andrew Pearce, Patrick May, Anne Wheatley, Valerie Ayris, Mark Beadon, Rodney or Roderick ?, Jane Berry, Susan Baldwin, Anne Gear, Carol Mirams.
SEATED ON GRASS L-R: Jimmy Atter, Peter Fry.