Howe Dell Primary School 1955 -2007/8

By Miriam Gaskin

Howe Dell Primary School in Old Rectory Drive opened in 1955 after the closure of Howe Dell Secondary School the previous year.  The first head was Gordon Mackay followed by Miss Matthews who remained head until 1988.  Then Sally Somerville was head until the school moved, in 2007/8, to an eco friendly, 21st century building on the redundant BAE airfield site which was being developed as a large housing estate and business park. A long way from its origins in the Old Rectory/Parsonage near the Town Centre

This page was added on 07/02/2011.

Comments about this page

  • Hi I went to Howe Dell in 1956, I lived in High Dells
    I remember Colin and Sally Hall, Alan Wright, Phobens?
    Robert Jarman, Malcom Priestly, Angela Knight, and a few others,
    be interested to know if any one can remember me.
    Raymond Power.

    By raymond power (12/03/2021)
  • I went to Howel Dell from 1956 till 1962 my maiden name was Linda Parker then . I remember Miss Mathews first day at Howe Dell how she told us how lucky we all were to have such a beautiful school with lots of green spaces around as she came from a school in London which didn`t have a blade of grass . I remember the hand writing lesson she gave us in assemble every morning and the occasion gardening lesson . May day was a very special day when we could bring in our best clothes to change into for the dancing round the may pole . As far as I remember Howe Dell School was Lord Salisbury`s originally home before Hatfield House was built .

    By Linda Joan Taylor (19/07/2020)
  • My brothers Fraser & Paul Wilson & I ( Mark Wilson ) went to Howe Dell 1958-1959….Iremember Mr Crann had a very sporty racing bike… and I remember learning to play the French Horn. It was a lovely school. We lived at 6 Elm Drive, and the Raby’s lived at 10 Elm Drive. We moved to America in 1960, then Australia in 1964. We still keep in touch with Frankie, Liz and Evey Raby. Pls contact me on

    By Mark Wilson (09/06/2019)
  • Fab memories of teachers and others in my class, some in here too! Miss Matthews taught us everything from pronounciation, gardening, calligraphy to how to eat peas without scooping the fork. Fabulous memories collecting from the beechnut tree, country dancing in the grounds. Our field trips and nature walks in Hatfield park. In class 7?, Miss Owen, an official photo was taken of me in the classroom. Others in the photo are Miss Owen, I.Donnelly, D.Lengyll and J.Bowen. The photo resides in the British Photo Library. #vproud

    By Sandra Aylett (24/11/2018)
  • I went to Howe Dell in the 60s together with my brothers Ian, Gary and myself Mark Meopham , it was a special place and I had the time of my life. Miss Mathews was indeed a little frightening but a great Headmistress, my only complaint was having football cancelled when ever it rained as she did not want boys football boots leaving mud on her path ways.

    By Mark Meopham (23/09/2018)
  • Ahh great memories of this place I went there in late 70s early 80s when Miss Mathews was there. Always made sure I had lovely writing..and would smack me on the back and call me a cookoo lol…also live in High dells so chennels was next road. would love to walk round the old parsonage again one day 🙂

    By Chris Hamon (20/07/2018)
  • I remember Ray Pickett & his brother. Also remember the Vanns from Elm Drive (we lived at 2 Elm Drive), the Bradbeers and Amanda Sawyer. I remember Miss Matthews ( &weeding the crazy paving at lunchtimes. Mr Crann was lovely & had an amazing sports car!
    My sister, Susan, and my brothers Roger & Michael Love all went to Howe Dell-a lovely school & happy memories.

    By Anne Love (07/03/2018)
  • Well I was at Howe Dell, also my brother David. I recall the name Gaynor Moore. I also knew Esther Vann, well more correctly her brother Roderick. The Vann’s lived on Bishops Rise and we lived in Haseldine Meadows. I recall the winding path from Briars Lane, I walked it almost every day for years! I recall joining Miss Trimbles class year with trepidation …however I found her very good and very fair. I recall Mr.Crann, Mrs Gately and Miss Matthews amongst others. I was part of the kids who called ourselves the Spring Glen gang. Our range was from Briars Lane to Roe Green, with the occasional foray to Stream Woods and the water works in Bishops Rise. Back then we were just ‘out’ until meal times. It seemed there was much more freedom then.

    By Ray Pickett (21/11/2017)
  • Hi everyone, I also lived in Chennels at No7 went to Howe Dell between 1957 & 1964 and then to Onslow,
    First teacher was Mrs Gately, then Trimble ( nasty )
    Grant I think and later Mr Crann lovely guy, still got a class photo when in Trimbles class, mostly remember the girls names, Elizebeth Brown, Lindsey Russel, Janet Wilkes, to name a few, fond memories of those days.

    By Gerald Salter (28/07/2017)
  • I was at Howe Dell from 1957-1962 and remember it with great pleasure. 

    By Esther Kay (Esther Vann) (20/04/2015)
  • Yepp, I lived on Chennells at number 21 and I remember you Gaynor. After Howe Dell and Onslow I studied to be a Baker/Confectioner. Worked around Hatfield and Northern London for a few years, then went to Germany for a while. Back to the UK and. more work around Hatfield and St Albans.

    1978 started doing charity work at Bridges in the old Police Station. Then I went to Cardiff where I met my wife. 

    My wife is Swedish so I moved here in 1978, and have 2 children (32 and 30) and 3 grandchildren (12, 3 and 2). For the last 10 years I have been working in IT, but have had health problems the past few years…..

    By Vic Thompson (21/12/2014)
  • Victor Thompson from Chennells? (Bother, Jimmy?) Hello there if it is your comment. I am Gaynor Moore who lived at number 28. I was at this school with you at the same time (same class I think). I still have dreams about Howe Dell and my walks along the winding path to it, which passed around the girls gram. school. I know the teachers you mention and remember all my teachers as follows – Mrs Gately, Miss Leak, Mrs Grant, Miss Wakefield, Miss Trimble (Scary), Mr Crann (lovely gentle, encour and Miss Matthews (who I was terrified of). I also remember that I was scared to go to the ‘sewing room’ which was a room seldom used, reached through dark corridors. Incidently, while at the school, an old painting of a dancing bear was uncovered in this room. Hated Cuffly Camp. Froze under my old grey blanket. Loved all the artistic stuff we did.

    By Gaynor Moore (02/08/2014)
  • I went to Howe Dell School briefly in 1958 aged 6 but left to attend the then Blessed Philip Howard School once it opened, although I was allowed to walk through the grounds to access Wood Lane until Onslow School was built and a new pathway constructed. I think a Miss Matthews was headmistress? I lived in the police houses in what is now Old Rectory Drive and all of us who lived in the road played in the school grounds and in the Council Purchasing Offices alongside, also in the open field where Onslow was built. At Howe Dell I recall being in a classroom in a building called The Arkon, and also in an upstairs room in a wooden building to the front left of the main house. There was a play caravan in The Arkon. The caretaker was a Mr Pattendon, who had a daughter called Susan, who was much older than me. I vividly remember dancing round the Maypole and making cowslip balls, probably an endangered species now …

    By Lin Fee (06/04/2014)
  • Went to Howe Dell 1960 – 1965. Had Miss Greenwood, who late became Mrs Morris. Enjoyed my time in this old building.

    By Vic Thompson (29/02/2012)

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