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New Pictures And Facts About Ludlow Road School

Published on: 20 May, 2013
Updated on: 20 May, 2013

By David Rose

We have received some good information following the appeal here a couple of week’s ago about mysteries surrounding two former Guildford schools.

Regular Guildford Dragon NEWS reader Tony Bullen has added some details and sent in two photos of the Ludlow Road school. Click here to see previous story.

He writes: “My friend David Bennett emailed me details of the pictures of Ludlow Road Infant School. Sometime ago I found the photo of the May Day celebrations in 1953. It was posted on the Friends Reunited website by a Michael Bowles, whose surname was then Shepherd, and whose parents had a shop in Guildford Park Road. He identified himself. I recall that day because it was so wet in the morning the event had to be held indoors.

“The school’s three classrooms had folding partitions so one room could be created. The picture was taken in the afternoon at the rear of the building.

Tony Bullen's photo of pupils at Ludlow Road school, May Day 1953.

Tony Bullen’s photo of pupils at Ludlow Road school, May Day 1953.

“My photo is the other way round. I attach it and I am the boy in the front of the post with Barbara Shuttle to my right and Simon Tweddle waving his arms. How do I remember? Barbara and I (aged five) were attendants to the May Queen who was Patricia Finch (I discovered in recent years a second cousin) and the page boy was, I think, called Richard. I can’t remember his surname.

The May Queen and her attendants including Tony Bullen.

The May Queen and her attendants including Tony Bullen.

“I also attach a photo of us four. Barbara and I walked to school and we were probably kept an eye on by one of her six brothers. No problem with parents trying to park close to the school gate!

“I say this, because on a regular basis a tanker lorry would drive up Ludlow Road and then reverse below the school in a narrow passage of about 100 yards to unload heating oil for the then Royal Surrey County Hospital. It was a very tight fit and the driver would, if it was playtime, have an audience. On occasions he didn’t get it quite right so had to start again. No power steering or sensors just skill and energy required.

“The infant school was part of Guildford Park CofE Primary School. The headmistress being a Miss Violet Kemp who was mainly at St John’s in Farnham Road. Does anyone know when this became part of the school?

“I have lots of memories, especially the climb up to Henley Fort to play sport and the route taken to the swimming baths in Castle Street.

“Also David Bennett sent me a leaflet regarding Guildford Lido. William Harvey [who opened the lido in 1933] was, I presume, a Conservative councillor when elected as mayor. We could do with politicians like him today especially at a local level. He didn’t get paid and  like many others of his generation gave freely of his time for the benefit of all the community.

“Finally, David sent me an advert for Bellairs Apartments.Pleased to see the external appearance is how I remember it. What is the history of this fine building?”

David Rose adds: Thank you Tony for your memories and details. With regard to the new apartments in Millmead Terrace, these are being built in what was originally St Nicolas Church Hall and more recently was The Bellairs Playhouse and the former home of the Guildford School of Acting and Dance (GSA).

In my book Guildford Remember When, co-written with Bernard Parke (Breedon Books 2007) we noted that the hall was built in 1885. It was once a favourite venue for local dances and was also the home of the Pope and Pullinger Old Time Dance Club.

Its link with local theatre goes back to 1932 when Claud Powell and Dorothy Owen formed the Guildford Repertory Company at the hall. This amateur company was the proving ground for the actor and playwright Sir Michael Redgrave, who at the time was teaching modern languages at Cranleigh School.

St Nicolas Parish Hall most certainly had other occupants – one being a working men’s club, as can be seen by writing still evident in the brickwork.

To see what the developers are doing, click here for the Bellairs Apartments’ website.

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Responses to New Pictures And Facts About Ludlow Road School

  1. Rosemary Rawcliffe (nee Day) Reply

    August 11, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    I used to live in Ludlow Road and went to the infant school there and to St Johns. Miss Slater and Miss Kemp were head teachers. I have a photo from St J’s. The names of the children are: John Davidge, Graham Tuckfield, Douglas Sheppard, Brian ?, Rosemary Day, Joan Church, Wendy Cole, Wendy Standidge, Valerie Harris, David Blackmore, Tony Wilson, Patricia Edwards, Gerald/Geoffrey ?, Maureen Jacobs, Leslie Wilson, Jean Andrews, Patsy Adlam, Susan Kingston, Valerie Fry, Eileen O’Reilly, Pauline Rose, Godfrey Boxall, Paul Leadbetter, Lyndell Mussell, Richard Harrington.

    [Ed: Email us the photo and we will gladly publish it for all to see.]

  2. Keith Reynolds Reply

    December 17, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    I have some cine film on DVD of a Mayday celebration at Ludlow Road School.

  3. Katrina Marks-Oldham Reply

    April 6, 2014 at 3:02 am

    I was at Ludlow Road School, around 1955-57.
    Mrs Cotton was the top form teacher and there was also a Mrs Ealy and I also remember a Mrs Owen (the last may have been a miss).
    The headmistress I can see in my mind but her name escapes me at the moment.
    Has anyone a photo of the choir when we all sang at Guildford Technical College one evening?
    It’s a memory I cherish, but I have mislaid the photo.

  4. Sue Etherington Reply

    February 23, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    I am currently trying to write a tribute for my sister in law’s funeral.

    She was born in 1925 and I know that she went to Ludlow Road Infants.

    Which schools would she have gone on to? Her family lived in The Chase.

  5. Chris Townsend Reply

    February 24, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Two possibilities are Holy Trinity School (mixed) and Sandfield Girls’ School.

    Are there any other stories of her schooldays which might give us a clue?

  6. Malcolm Wilson Reply

    May 24, 2020 at 11:06 pm

    More recollections of Ludlow Road School…

    I lived in The Chase from 1943-50 and attended Ludlow Road School from ’48. I remember Miss Kemp, though my favourite teacher was Miss Judd.

    I believe that I’m in the centre of the Mayday picture wearing glasses. My class was largely girls, so handicraft lessons focused on knitting and needlework – very handy skills as I found upon leaving home.

    Another useful skill was using public transport, it was ha’penny to ride from the top of The Chase during inclement weather. How many six-year-olds would be allowed to do that in 2020?

    My mother Una Wilson (nee Riddy) also attended the school when she left St Nicolas School around 1930.

  7. John Taylor Reply

    July 9, 2020 at 10:42 am

    Wow, memories. I went to Ludlow Road in Dec 1954, when my family moved to Guildford, and then up to St Johns in ’55 or ’56, leaving there in ’58. We lived in Irwin Road. Of course, it was one school, Guildford Park CofE Primary, but there was insufficient room to house everyone at one site. I guess it was one school at Ludlow to begin with, which actually looked like a school building, but St Johns was obviously a private house, originally. Last I saw, it was a small hotel.

    I remember Miss Kemp who was headmistress the whole time I was there. At Ludlow, I remember Miss Cotton and Mr Kirk, and at St Johns, Mr Pewton, Mrs Chaplin, Mr Makepeace and Mrs Walford. Mr Makepeace was a great guy with a sense of humour. He gave his own time before school to coach us for cricket. I remember a fishing trip to the River Wey from Ludlow, and yes Henley Fort up the Hog’s Back for games and the swimming pool in Castle Street.

    Pupil wise, I remember Bobby Nash, Alan Austin, Michael Stead, Andrew Dopiter, Mavora Harrison, the Liddle twins. George Elliott looked after me when I first arrived and stopped anyone picking on me till I found my feet. And there was Simon Thomsett with whom I went on to Clark’s College when we left in 58, so I knew him for another five years. We both became accountants. Simon’s dad and grandad were also accountants.

    After I had left, my mum took a part-time job at Ludlow. They were great years, with a lot going on including the gradual completion of the cathedral. My dad sang in the choir and was there when it was consecrated in 1961.

  8. Wendy Pilgrim Reply

    November 16, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    I attended Ludlow Road School in 1960. Anyone else out there from that era?

  9. Elizabeth Ecclestone (nee Lizzy Steines) Reply

    June 29, 2024 at 7:41 pm

    I also started at Ludlow Road in 1960 and remember Wendy Pilgrim being in the same class as me.

    I think her friend was called Brenda.

    I was in Miss Irwin’s class (later she married to become Mrs Cole).

    I absolutely loved her because she used to do a lot of singing with us. (I became a primary school music teacher myself and feel she was my original inspiration!)

    Other people I remember in our class were Mark Smith (we both cried for the whole morning on our first day), Linda Norman, Julie Olney, Jill Fisher, Fenella Killeen, Claire Lockyer, Susan Hilder, John Rowley, Celia Ritchie, Phillipa Tier, Caroline Hunter, Andrew Loveday, Iain Clarke, and Ian Chapman.

    I remember Mr Makepeace being extremely strict and general knowledge tests every Friday, the results of which dictated your seating position in class the following week. (That was at St John’s).

    I remember Mrs Cotton had the top class in Ludlow Road and having a class of 44 children.

    I also remember the annual May Day celebrations when we all took a posy of flowers to school.

    Lots of country dancing and learning the treble recorder with Mr Pewton. Cats cradle, french skipping, jack’s and conkers at playtime. Happy days.

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