St Audrey's School


By G. Philip Marris

St. Audrey’s School from Endymion Road (c.1926)

The origins of St Audrey’s School can be found on the London Road School page. London Road School was built in 1850, the year the railway came to Hatfield. It was located on a section of the Great North Road roughly where car showrooms stand today near the junction with French Horn Lane.

By the 1880s, with average attendance of 400, there was great over-crowding. This was eased in 1904 by the erection of a new building at the top of Endymion Road (corner of School Lane). The new school opened in 1905 for the boys only, while the girls and infants remained at London Road. In 1907, the name was changed from London Road Schools to Church of England Schools although, not long after that, the boy’s school was starting to be called St Audrey’s.

In 1913, the infants at London Road moved to the Countess Anne school building in Church Street, leaving just the girls at the old school. On 8th September 1924, the girls followed the boys to Endymion Road where the two departments amalgamated to become a mixed school.

On 12 July 1926, the school at Endymion Road was officially renamed St Audrey’s Mixed School. In the same year, two new classrooms were added, one at each end of the school. It was further extended in 1932 by the addition of science, practical and cookery rooms and a flat.

This reorganisation allowed the school to become a senior and junior mixed school, which it duly did in 1933, although the younger children continued to stay in the Countess Anne School in Church Street until they were old enough to transfer to St Audrey’s. A gymnasium was added to St Audrey’s in 1939.

Disaster struck in 1944 when the school was destroyed by a V1 flying bomb. The bomb exploded around 4.40 a.m. on the morning of Tuesday 10th October, destroying the older portion of the school building along with Police Cottages across the road and a row of dwellings called Primrose Cottages in Endymion Road. Nine residents were killed and many more were injured.

In 1945, St Audrey’s, (still without a permanent home) became a Secondary Modern under the new Act. In 1946, a new building was erected on the old site and, as the Church hadn’t the money, the County Council took it over as a Controlled School.

In 1957, St Audrey’s moved from Endymion Road / School Lane to a new site in Traveller’s Lane. The old site was successively used by Broad Oaks Junior School, Onslow Bilateral and Onslow Secondary Modern, before becoming the home of Countess Anne Primary School when it left its old premises in Church Lane.

In 1985, St Audrey’s moved from Traveller’s Lane to amalgamate with Onslow School in Old Rectory Drive. The amalgamation became Onslow St Audrey’s School and is still there today.

The original London Road School had a bell tower in which a bell hung until 1935 when it was bought by past pupils and presented to St Audrey’s School in Endymion Road. The bell survived the 1944 bomb and was re-hung in the rebuilt school in 1946. It moved with St Audrey’s to Traveller’s Lane in 1957.

This page was added on 28/11/2016.

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  • I attended St.Audrey’s from 1970 to 1975, had some good friends, like Tina Laurence who was one of my best friends and whom I holidayed with in my early teens with my family, Stephen Woods, Mario Davis, Billy Bootle, Debbie Thompson, Liz Allen, Angela Coates, Derek Cook, Kerryn Vincent to name a few. Tina, Liza and myself would often bunk off school and go to Tina’s with a bottle of Cider, had some great times and some wicked parties at Lizzie Allen’s. One of our PE teachers Paul Fairclough was a real dish and most of the girls drooled over him, he went on in time to manage Stevenage Town football club! Mrs Bearn was a great English teacher. Mr and Mrs Adams were formidable as teachers and they didn’t like you they made sure you knew about it! It is sad that St Audrey’s is no longer, but there were many a happy day spent there and and many a tale to tell..

    By Jane Reid nee Lloyd (19/01/2021)
  • Late to the party here but just came across this randomly and saw Ray Pickett’s comment. I was in the same year at St Audrey’s – knew Ray (no relation) as well as Roy Holden. I believe I remember Tina Lawrence too (although I thought you were in the year below us) too. Other names were Richard (Dick) Simmons, Mark Coleman, David Hilburn, David Johns and David Thompson. And some girls – Liz Curl, Gillian Bannister and Joyce Brown. I have nothing but good memories of the place!
    One less than good memory was the Head (Mr Cater???) dying of a heart attack in our form room in about ’73 🙁

    By Chris Pickett (29/09/2020)
  • Hi went to St Audreys around 1970’s remember Gary Dunlop, Mary Smith, Dylan Taylor (hot!) My old mates Atli White, Henry Spencer,Mick Caswell and our class teacher Mr Gatewell ( Gaffer ) ps remember our Art techer playing Mouldy Old Doe on the piano! Charlie Robo

    By CHARLIE ROBERTSON (05/06/2019)
  • I was at St Audrey’s on Travellers Lane in 1966 for my first year. I was in 1A. I moved to California in Dec 1966 at the age of 12. My best friend was Brian Smith. I was 1/76 in Math and 75/76 in Gardening. We used to play a game of chase after school where we picked 1 or more person(s) who got a head start and everyone tried to catch him on their bikes. I had a crush on my neighbor Leslie Clark and remember her riding her horse to school one day.I remember the gym with its climbing/swinging ropes and scaling the wall to jump on the trampolines. I remember being given the option of three spankings or writing 100 lines of (I forget what) and finding out I was a coward that day. I remember making a radio out of my ball point pen and proudly wearing the number 11 in a triangular badge. I remember having to polish my desk. I was in Banister House and got a picture of him for doing something right. I remember a board with everyone’s name on it that followed us around and if you got a black mark you had been caught doing something bad. I remember wearing short pants and being shot by a ballpoint pen-blowgun (with a pin as the missile).

    By Pierre Hendricks (16/11/2018)
  • I was at St Audreys in Travellers Lane from about 1968 to 1973. I too know Roy Holden and see him every few years. I thought that both the Adams teachers were very good. Mrs Adams took over our class when we were in the 3rd year. Our class had nearly ‘broken’ one gentle teacher, and we were moved. I hope I was not part of that problem but there were some problem kids at that school at that time. Mrs Adams brought back order and control, a very much needed thing. I had great respect for both of them. Tina, if you were in Roy’s year, you must have been the same year as me. …I too have trouble remembering names! Kind regards to all who remember me.

    By Ray Pickett (18/04/2018)
  • I was saddened to read the negative comments about St Audrey’s and it’s teachers, especially the Adams who both instilled in me and many of my contemporaries with whom I am still in regular contact, a sense of worth, self respect and discipline. I have much to be grateful for insofar as my schooling at St Audrey’s is concerned. I will happily challenge any who say to the contrary.
    For the record, I was at the school from 1959 to 1964. Contemporaries ( with whom I am still in touch) are Keith Tyler, Peter Seeley and Philip Cracknell. Sadly, others ( Derek Lovell and Geoff Spites) have died.
    Nicholas Andrews.

    By Nicholas Andrews (15/04/2018)
  • Very little is mentioned about St Audreys School when on the Travellers Lane site. I attended from 1970 to 1975. Hated it due to most of the teachers but had some good friends.
    Sandra Jewell who sadly died just before her 21st Birthday. The others Jane Lloyd, Azra Patel, Sharon Caswell, Stephen Wood ???? , Mario Davis, Billy Bootle, Debbie Thompson, Liz Allen, Kim, Janet, Richard, sorry can’t remember surnames and many others, I’m still rubbish at remembering names. One person that I used to walk to and from school with every day was Roy Holden from a year above me. We are still in close contact despite him living in Canada for about 38 yrs. I spent 3 weeks in Canada staying with him and his family about 14 years ago and he still visits me in Devon when he visits the UK.
    Mr and Mrs Adams were the main reason for me leaving school at 16. She hated me and stated I was a total waste of space and would never be any good at anything other than popping kids out.

    Well, being a qualified nurse, teacher and Lawyer, 2 children and 4 grandchildren later I happy to say St Audreys obvious gave me a better start to education than I ever thought possible.

    Mr Vanear the geography teacher was brilliant but I understand he died very young. Can’t say I remember many of the other teachers by name but guess they showed me what education should be like.

    Not sure I like large schools there is a lot to be said for the smaller ones. My youngest grandson attends one in Devon with only 49 children aged 5 to 12 yrs.

    Seems sad that St Audreys faded away without too much to remember it for.

    By Tina Lawrence (11/08/2017)
  • I can’t believe this, I have used certain detail as security questions, next thing I know is I get an article about St Audrey’s, my old school appear on my iPad. I went here from 1959 to 1963 not really happy days. In fact it was infested with bigots and bullies teachers that is. Best friends were Denis Custance, Mick Adams, Chris Vallete,

    By Mike Humphrey (30/05/2017)
  • I went to St Audreys in Travellers Lane, South Hatfield from the late 1950s when the hilltop was just being built and all the houses in North Down Rd were not built, just a cinder track and fields each side. Best friends was Pete Williams. Terry Shadbolt. Tom Woods. Mr Gatley was my form teacher, then Mr O’Leary. For gardening, it was Mr Woods.

    By john Monk (28/12/2016)