School Friends from my days at Shirley Warren Secondary Modern School
I went to Shirley Warren School instead of the closer Millbrook School in Green Lane, primarily I think because my older brother, Trevor went there before me. He was Head Boy in his fifth year. He left in the summer that I joined in the autumn. We both had the advantage that our maternal Grand parents lived in Warren Avenue, just a short walk away. Lunch sometimes taken there.
I attended from September 1964 to July 1969.
Friends Reunited helped reconnect with some people after I left, until it closed. Today I found a potential replacement, SchoolMates. The primary contact now is Facebook, where there is a dedicated group for Shirley Warren Secondary Modern School.
The School and history
Not very much had changed by the OS Six inch map entitled Hampshire & Isle of Wight LXV.NW, Revised: 1895 to 1896, Published: 1898. A little easier to see Tanner's Brook and Shirley Ponds with the addition of colour on the original map. The pistols sometimes mentioned is the area North of Tanner's Brook, to the rear of the villas on Warren Crescent.
On to 1935 and the Warren is broadly developed on the OS six inch map Hampshire & Isle of Wight Sheet LXV.NW Revised: 1931 to 1934, Published: ca. 1935. Either the school is top secret and left as white space or it was a case of build the homes first and get round to the infrastructure and schools later.
Only a few years later and the school appears on the OS 6 inch map Hampshire & Isle of Wight Sheet LXV.NW Revised: 1938, Published: ca. 1943. The blue circled school, possibly as the u shape is outline only, not block, is under construction at the time of the survey. The green star is, if I recall correctly, the location of the Old Oak tree, one of the congregation points of pupils from the school. The entry point for the 'Pistols'.
Moving on to the 1941 OS 25" Map Hampshire and Isle of Wight LXV.1 Revised: 1941, Published: 1946. Not yet showing the school. That is the next image. I could not pass over, with all these Ordnance Survey Maps, the place on Romsey Road / Green Lane, in the grounds of Crabwood House, the OS Offices. There was a brick Office in the centre of Southampton, but these were a collection of huts joined together with a corridor. Significantly different to the palatial brand new offices they moved into in 1969. For those interested in the long history of the Ordnance Survey, follow the link for an interesting read.
Also shown is the new school on Green Lane, with playing fields. Built to serve the surrounding fields, which were to become the Millbrook Development. My home was built in one of the fields shown.
The same map but showing Shirley Warren Secondary School for Boys and Shirley Warren Secondary School for Girls, labelled 'Schools'.
Zoom in and add some labels.
Key to Buildings
- Mission hall, partly used for Shirley Warren Junior School lessons including Assembly, Music and staging plays and a boys playground for Shirley Warren Junior School.
- Main block of Shirley Warren Junior School.
- Toilet Blocks and cycle sheds.
- Domestic Science & Home Economics upstairs and Woodwork & Metalwork Block downstairs.
- Shirley Warren Secondary Modern School for Boys, Shirley Warren Secondary Modern School for Girls, followed by Shirley Warren Secondary Modern School (Mixed), main school. Assembly and offices at the base of the U with classrooms in the North and South Wings. Girls on the ground floor, with boys above, until it became mixed.
- Nissan Huts for Shirley Warren Junior School and later Terrapin Huts for SWSMS.
- Nissan Huts / Terrapin Huts.
- Below, is part of the Schools land shown on the next sheet or map. empty on the map but with possibly 2 more classrooms block built for commercial classes, typing and shorthand.
- Not labelled but between A and B, the structure by the embankment, was disused toilets.
- Not labelled but Between D and E was a block of two classrooms, block built for Mr Warren. possibly.
- Below, Annexe, near Winchester Villa and the Social Club. Seen it referred to as Woodfield annexe, which may suggest that previously it was Woodfield Villa.
Also on this map, as an aside, is the size of the Seamen's Orphanage a reflection of the 500 Crew form Southampton who lost their lives in the Titanic disaster, or just how risky seafaring was at the time.
K. There was also the Annexe by the Social Club (One time 'Shirley Warren Social and Working Men’s Club') and Bindon Road. Club circled in orange. The annexe was either Winchester Villa or the next house, closer to the club. Sports were taken there in part but we usually bussed to Studland Road, also bussed to Central baths for swimming. Bindon Road also led down to the other end of the 'Pistols'. I think Studland Road gave access to Redbridge School and their playing fields. I seem to remember playing cricket as part of school sports on the green Kendall Avenue and Wimpson Lane. I was not good at any sport, cricket was no exception. Rob Wilson was bowling, he could have gone on to be a fast bowler for Hampshire. I took the ball full in the mouth. A tooth was knocked clean out. Fortunately there was a Dentist just opposite, in Wimpson Lane. He cleaned up the tooth and put it back in, where it stayed for many years. The Dentist asked if he could write up the case for the Lancet. I recall it all being close and convenient, but perhaps it was at Redbridge School, and I just don't remember travelling to the dentist. I continued using the same dentist, wherever I was based in the country, until the day he retired. I recall he used to drive a Morgan sports car at one time, not that that has any relevance.
I also remember going the the Central Swimming Baths, which the council had purposely made just a little short of Olympic size, apparently to keep it as a town facility for the local public, and not a competition pool. I believe Sharron Davies trained there before she preformed at the Olympics, but I have not verified that, and it could be just an old story. I however, especially remember earning my 1 mile swimming badge their. It took me a long time, and thanks to the teacher for letting me continue and finish beyond the timetabled swimming class. I was exhausted afterwards and could hardly stand, but goal achieved.
Another sport recollection, again not relevant, but perhaps recounting. Place unknown, playing rugby. One of the team was the fat guy, always picked last, not into sports, not very active. However, the ball came to him half way up the pitch. He picked it up and started running towards the posts. Not only was he quick, but he was unstoppable. He just brushed tackles aside. Try! Perhaps, the correct size for rugby after all.
Another portion of the map, with another school, an Infant School, St Jude's at the corner of Warren Avenue and Laundry Road.
The rest of Laundry Road, on the next sheet, with another school on it, Shirley Warren Infants, with access from Warren Avenue. One of the orange circles. I looked for the Laundry on Laundry Road, not there, but not far away, Then, the Brough Hospital, once the Workhouse, and now the much changed General Hospital.
The blue circle is the rest of the school plot and the ever important corner shop, with a stream of school children at lunchtime. I can't imagine what it sold to make it so popular.
Layout of main block, including Classroom Numbers.
|2||Geography||Oakley and Upton|
|9||French||Phillips and Wilcox|
|16||Music and Maths||Arnold|
|Terrapins 2||English and History||Firestone|
|Block D Lower 1||Woodwork||Swanson|
|Block D Lower 2||Metalwork||Barratt|
|Block D Upper 1||Domestic Science|
|Block D Upper 2||Home Economics|
Facebook Group Shirley warren secondary school
A post on Facebook by Brian Hart
6 September 2021
I recall that in the early 60's the school was segregated into separate areas for girls and boys. Each had a different entrance with girls on one floor and boys on another. The girls also had a separate playground, the small area behind the assembly halls at the Warren Avenue end of the site. The main playground was also segregated and had a line painted down the middle, girls on one side and boys on the other. A teacher was often strategically placed to ensure that pupils did not stray across the line.
Lessons were also very different for girls and boys. Boys undertook metalwork and woodwork. Girls domestic science, sewing and later typing ( a skill that I have never mastered...pity boys were not taught that back in the day ). After my first or second year there the school mixed girls and boys. I do however recall that different classes for girls and boys continued for a time afterwards.
Together with some of the comments from this post and previous posts;
I was there 1949 1951 girls downstairs boys up stairs
I started end of 58 it mixed the following year, so end of 59.
I did shorthand & typing too, in the huts with a very strict Miss Frost.
It was shorthand and typing. I was in the last class to do this and we left in 1968.
l was at the girls school in 1958 - 1960 in 1958 the whole of the girls school had a panoramic picture taken to mark the school 21st year, which l have put on here. Shorthand and typing was always there for girls who had passed the 11th plus exam.
my Dad went to the school in the 1930’s
From the above, the girls school started in 1947 and amalgamated in 1960. If 1960 is the start Shirley Warren Secondary Modern School and 1969 the end, when following the summer holidays it became Shirley Warren Neighbourhood Comprehensive School, it barely lasted a decade in the form that I knew.
There is a lot more research required to establish the timeline of Shirley Warren Secondary Modern School. There are other schools associated with Shirley Warren which are not the subject of this article, including;
- St Jude's
- Shirley Warren Junior School
- Shirley Warren Secondary Girls School
- Shirley Warren Secondary Boys School
- Shirley Warren Neighbourhood Comprehensive School
- Shirley Warren Primary School and Nursery
History comes from all sorts of little snippets, whether that is the collective mind of the Alumni in a Facebook Group, a School Report, a Prize Day Programme, or an old copy of the School Newsletter.
The next feed of information is from the School Newsletter, Conflict 1969/70.
The following is an extract from the headmasters letter.
Two editions of the news-letter were published during the school year 1967/68 which were well receiver by pupils and parents.
The production was quite an undertaking. We wanted copies to go into every home and some seven hundred copies were typed and duplicated. It was costly and we relied heavily upon the pupils in the commercial course. During the last school year there was a financial cut back in education expenditure. This combined with the fact that the commercial course was terminated at this and other schools in the city, all such courses being centralised at Mount Pleasant Secondary School, made further issues impossible.
However, due to the co-operation of Miss P. Muddiman and the teachers and pupils of Mount Pleasant Secondary School it has been possible to put out another edition and we express our thanks to them and to the staff and pupils of Shirly Warren who have contributed to and edited this issue.
Shirley Warren Secondary Modern School has become Shirley Warren Neighbourhood Comprehensive School. The introduction of comprehensive education in the cite does not mean that overnight every pupil has suddenly developed the same attainment and abilities - all people are equal but some are more equal than others! We do believe that all pupils are equally important and that all have something to contribute to the community and indeed to the community outside the school and when I look back through the governors' reports I think we can say that this school is playing its part in community service, fund raising, etc.
We hope that the new social structure of the school which has made the house system an important element in the life of the school and each tutor group an important element in the work of the house. Each tutor group comprises pupils of all ages and abilities and within it the older pupils should help the younger and the stronger the weaker and this sprit should permeate the house, the school and the community outside.
This combined with the more flexible setting organisation of the school time-table instead of "streaming" should help to make Shirley Warren a compressive unit within the scheme. We are offering new subjects and more recreational opportunities. I feel once we can depend upon the continuing help and co-operation of parents to help us face the new changes and challenges in the world of education - to do the best we can for the community which is Shirley Warren Neighbourhood Comprehensive School.
Further in the same document
St. Andrew's House
St. Andrew's House was one of four houses started when Mr. Claydon was the Headmaster. Mrs. O. Pounds and Mr. A. Falcon were appointed as joint Heads of House. Later when the school was being re-organised Mrs. Pounds was appointed Head of House.
In July 1969 Mrs. Pounds resigned as Head or House and Mr. Faulkner was appointed for September.
St Patrick's House
It was with great regret in July that we said farewell to Miss Hillier, Mr Bellairs and Mr. Oakley - we very much appreciate their support for the House and their deep concern as tutors. Unfortunately July did not see the end of our goodbyes for at half term this year we were saying goodbye yet again to another valuable tutor, Mrs. Woods. We hope these people are confident of our good wishes for success and happiness in their new jobs and in the case of Mrs. Woods, her new role as a Mother.
St George's House
First let us welcome the fortunate boys and girls who have been allocated to St. George's House, as well as our new tutors Mrs. Noon and Mr. Witt.
St David's House
At the time of writing these notes the school is just beginning the second year of the new House-Tutorial System, and it is, perhaps, appropriate briefly to examine the effects of the new organisation on the House. Already it is obvious that the relationship between House staff and pupil members has benefited; it is more intimate and there is a more pronounced 'family' feeling. This is strongly in evidence during school dinners which are now positively pleasant occasions, and during House assemblies which often set a standard that compares favourably with School assemblies. There is a wider understanding between staff and pupils consequent upon sharing of problems and opportunities. All in all the change has been a good one.
There have been changes in staff too. Mr Faulkner has left to become Head of St. Andrew's House, and our good wishes go with him; Mr. Frederick has left the school for another appointment, and we shall really miss him; his warmth of personality and cheerful enthusiasm was a very important factor in the growth of the House; and Miss Lyon has left the school, and we shall miss her a lot. In place of these three House tutors we welcome Mr. Fuller(D1), Mr. Kite (D3), and Miss Handley (D5).
The School Bank
The school back is open in Room 4, Monday and Thursday lunch time at 12.40 P.m. to 1.10 p.m. for all senior pupils and on Wednesday break time for the junior school children.
The school bank is run in conjunction with the National Savings Movement and we were recently paid a visit by the District Commissioner, Mr. C. W. Kocher, of Southampton who expressed his interest and satisfaction.
Headmasters and Teachers
Some of the following table is from memory and my report book, and some with the aid of the Facebook Group comments.
In no particular order, other than in part found within the posts and comments of the Facebook Group.
Another source was the aforementioned School Newsletter Conflict 1969/70, under the heading Staff Notes.
The current school year, 1969/1970, has brought many changes in the composition of the staff room. Gone are many of the old, familiar faces, and in their places has arrive an almost equal number of replacements, doubtlessly with the light of new enthusiasms shining in their eyes.
Earlier this year Mrs. Whitford left to enjoy a well-earned retirement and Mrs. Dowman exchanged teaching for family responsibilities (she gave birth to a son shortly afterwards). Their places have been taken by Miss Reed (from Deputy Head, Mount Pleasant School), and Mrs. Strachan (all the way from Ellesmere Port, in the frozen north).
In the summer we had quite an exodus. Away went the tolerant Mr. Tollerton (to Moorhill Secondary); the friendly Mr. Falcon (to Hampton Park Secondary); the ebullient Mr. Oakley (to exercise his charm and his programmed skills in the wider pastures of Ste. Union Training Collage); the avuncular Mr. Frederick (to Kanes Hill Middle School); the involved Mr. Bellairs (to become Head of Maths, Handley Secondary School); the hirsute artistic trio, Mr. Stockwell (to lecture in Nottingham Training College), Mr, Hayward and Mr. Hunt; the energetic Mr. Hart with Miss Slade (now Mrs. Hart and both to darkest Zambia); the vivacious Miss Hillier (to Montgomery of Alamein Secondary School); Miss Lyons (to an appointment outside teaching); and Miss Lilly. At half-term Mrs. Woods left (also for reproductive reasons!). And at the end of term we shall be losing the athletic Miss Moffatt (to get married and follow her husband's waggon trail into the Midlands), and Mr. Cosslett (to Head of English Dept,. Chatham, Kent).
|Name||Subject||Form teacher||Notes||Known to have passed||Validation|
|Vic Claydon||Headmaster (my 1st to 3rd year)||Conflict 1969/70|
|John C Henton||Headmaster (my 4th and 5th year)||Passed||Conflict 1969/70 (initials and surname)|
|Mr Arnold||Maths and Music||Form 1st Year||Lived in Bellemoor Road||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mrs Firestone||American History||Form 2nd year||American exchange teacher|
|Mr Ray Baldwin||Physics||Form 3rd Year||Radio ham, lived on Ashmead Road||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mr Ted Render||English||Form 4th Year||Lived in Rownhams Lane, North Baddlesley||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mrs P Ingram||Form 5th Year|
|Mr Faulkner||Maths||Head of St Andrews House from Sept 1969||Passed||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mr Herbert Beasley||Chemistry||Elaine Smith's later Chem classes were in the new lab top floor of the ROSLA block|
|Mr Willcox||French and Music||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mr Tollerton||Left Summer 1969||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mr Rees-Evans||English - Boys Deputy Head|
|Mr Upson||Geography||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mr Jack Oakley||Geography||Tutor in St Patrick's House - Left Summer 1969||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mr Gus Barrett||Metalwork||Drove a Messerschmitt|
|Mr Green||Woodwork||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mr Pete Warren||Physical Education, English and History||Conflict 1969/70 (Surname)|
|Miss Whitfield||Domestic Science|
|Mr Eric Baverstock||French||Taught French in Room 10, Blue House tutor room. - Head of St. Patrick's House|
|Mrs Frost||Shorthand and typing|
|Mr Frederick||Tutor in St David's House - Left Summer 1969||February 2019||Conflict 1969/70|
|Miss B M Phillips||Girls Deputy Head||Senior House Mistress St Patrick's House|
|Mr Venn||Music and Boy's PE|
|Mr Bellairs||Maths||Tutor in St Patrick's House - Miss Randall married Mr Bellairs - Left Summer 1969||About 2010||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mrs Carter||English and Drama|
|Miss Lyons||Tutor in St David's House - Left Summer 1969||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mrs Whitford||Retired 69/70||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mrs Challoner / Challinor||Mrs Challoner formerly Miss Richards||June 2020|
|Mrs Edwina / Ethel Elsie Epps||Physical Education|
|Mr Hayward||Left Summer 1969||Conflict 1969/70|
|Miss Randall||Biology||Miss Randall married Mr Bellairs||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mr Swanson||Woodwork and Technical Drawing|
|Mr Brinton||Deputy Head||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mr Lewis||French and German|
|Miss Brenda/ Barbara Della Valle / Dellavalley / Delavali||English and Religious Education||Close to Neil Kite at one time|
|Mr Terry Bevis||Maths||Taught Maths in room 17/18|
|Mr Jim Noonan||Maths||Taught Maths in room 20|
|Mr David Snelgrove|
|Mr Edmondson||English||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mrs Cathy/Kathy Keyes||English||Elaine Smith helped her to run the Library|
|Miss Phillips||Physical Education|
|Miss Noon||English and Drama||Joined 1969/70||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mr Kite||Librarian||Tutor in St David's House - Joined 1969/70||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mr Stockwell||Art||Left Summer 1969||Conflict 1969/70|
|Miss Hillier||Tutor in St Patrick's House - Left Summer 1969||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mrs Ethel Olive Pounds||Needlework and sewing||Head of St Andrews House to July 1969||Died peacefully in her sleep on 15th Feb 2014 aged 101||Conflict 1969/70 (Surname)|
|Miss Sandy Benfield / Benham||Domestic Science and Needlework||Married David Snellgrove.||Sandy passed away aged 64 before 2020|
|Miss Baxter||Domestic science (cookery)|
|Mr Ray Vickery||Physical Education|
|Mr Malcom Wentworth||Technical Drawing (Newsom Studies)||Joined 1969/70||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mr Geoff Angel||Geography||Taught Geography opposite Room 10, near first aid and late room|
|Mr Stent||Religious Education|
|Mrs Mary Leggett||English||Taught English in Laundry Road|
|Mr Roberts||Geography||Joined 1969/70||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mr Witt||PE and Maths||Joined 1969/70||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mrs Finlay||Art||Joined 1969/70||Conflict 1969/70|
|Miss Moffat||Left End of Term 1969/70||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mrs Handley||Tutor in St David's House - Joined 1969/70||Conflict 1969/70|
|Miss Clarke||Joined 1969/70||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mr Brian Bache||Maths||Joined 1969/70||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mrs Strachen||Joined 1969/70||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mrs Dowman||Conflict 1969/70|
|Miss Reed||RE||Miss Reed was the Senior Mistress before Barbara Phillips - Joined 1969/70|
|Mr Falcon||English||Head of St Andrews House - Left Summer 1969||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mr Hart||Left Summer 1969||Conflict 1969/70|
|Miss Slade||Left Summer 1969 - became Mrs Hart||Conflict 1969/70|
|Miss Lilley||Left Summer 1969||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mrs Woods||Left half term 1969/70||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mr Cosslett||Left End of Term 1969/70||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mr Fuller||French||Tutor in St David's House - Joined 1969/70||Conflict 1969/70|
|Miss Claridge||English and Religious Education||Joined 1969/70||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mrs Gould||English||Joined 1969/70||Conflict 1969/70|
|Miss Betenson||English||Joined 1969/70||Conflict 1969/70|
|Mr Philips||French||Used to occasionally send out for ice cream for the class|
|Miss Templeton||Headmistress at Laundry Road|
|Pat Bedford||Girl's PE|
Just over 110 teachers in the list above as it stands. Not all at the same time as there are leavers as well as joiners.
New ... A spreadsheet of the data.
Some analysis of the information, obviously only as good the data input.
I hope this will work for you. It should be interactive. For instance, click F in the Gender box to set the filter to Female. Click the icon with the red x in the top right of the Gender Box to reset filter to all. Want to see who primarily taught STEM subjects, click STEM in the Faculty box. Same for Primary Subject, or Subject A. See the results in the pie chart below. Multiple selections can be made across all three boxes. Please clear the filters before you leave.
Fellow Class members
Form 1/2 to 5/2 through 1964 to 1969
Some of the following table is from memory and with the aid of the Facebook Group comments. I no particular order at the moment.
|Name||Now Known As||Note||Years|
|Marion Lebourne||Marion Lebourne|
|Angela Kingswell||Angela Blatchford|
|Paul Mills / Smith|
|Terry Mills / Smith|
|Mary Dunford||Mary Ann Smith|
Some of the following table is from memory and my report book, and some with the aid of the Facebook Group comments
|Philip Joyce||Head Boy and Sport Captain (my 5th year)|
|Head Girl (my 5th year)|
|Ivan Hurst||Deputy Head Boy (my 5th year)|
|Head Girl (my 5th year)|
|Margaret Fitzgerald nee Boyer|
|Brian Sheath / Sleath|
Apart for the surrounding area of Shirley Warren, the roads and housing built in the xxxx, I remember two particular areas, The Pistols and the Pond.
Both places some pupils congregated after school was done for the day. Between the school in Warren Crescent and Tanners Brook and the Old Thatched House, an old pub on Romsey Road.
A map of 1783 shows that there was originally four ponds situated between Winchester Road and Warren Avenue. They were fed by Holly Brook and Tanner's Brook. Shirley Mill, which was situated near the junction of Romsey Road and Winchester Road, was powered by the ponds. By the late 19th century two of the ponds had silted up; and in 1963 the Council filled in a third. Only one of the ponds now remains.
There are lots of stories about what used to happen in the Pistols in the Facebook Group, which are best left there. To save some blushes. The path along the top of the valley was apparently known as the War Path. There was no evidence that I remember of the road or promenade through the Pistols as the whole area was overgrown and wooded. That is other than the gravel track down from the end of Stoke Road, past the Oak Tree, into the valley of Tanner's Brook, to the bridge, the old Mill (haunted house) and the Old Thatched House Pub, circled in Blue.
I have seen the area referred to as Pistols and also the Mudlings. Another alternative, Pistelles. So far no conclusive reason why that name.
Before refrigerators many large country houses collected ice in winter and stored it in insulated underground chambers known as ice houses, thus making ice available all year round. There were a number of ice houses in Southampton, most connected with large residencies.
The Ice House Inn in Warren Avenue, also known as Ice House Hill, was built in 1912 over a large disused ice pit which had been constructed in c.1850 for Thomas Cozens, owner of the Clarence Hotel on the High Street.
Frederick Leigh fared well in Southampton. In January 1862 he had taken the oath to qualify as one of the Pier and Harbour Commissioners. He owned the leasehold of professional chambers in the heart of Southampton. He purchased a sizeable property in Shirley Warren in c.1850, which became the family home for almost 35 years. Its original name - Winchester Villa - commemorates his native city. The house was renamed The Chestnuts in the mid-1870s. The link with the Andrews family was strengthened by the purchase by Arthur Andrews, soon after his father's death in 1859, of the property immediately to the south (Brook Villa).
Trafalgar Lodge formerly stood to the south of Bracken Lane in Shirley Warren. From about 1850 it was the home of Admiral Sir Charles Bullen, the last surviving captain who served under Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Bullen had the house built in what the Hampshire Independent described as the ‘Elizabethan’ style in about 1850. It remained a private residence until after World War Two when it was acquired by the Poor Clare Convent. It was demolished, despite local objections, in 2011.