The Dean School in the 30’s

Len Strong writes about schools in Alresford in around 1930:

In the 1930’s, initial education in Alresford was at the primary school, located in the Dean – or on the other hand, if your parents could afford to pay, you went to Miss Curtis’s Alresford Preparatory School in one of the Mews off at the north side of West Street. This was known as A.P.S., or as we boys dubbed it, the “Alf Pound Sausage” school. I started school in the Dean at five years old under the watchful eye of a plump little lady, Miss Wiggins. When she noticed I was left-handed, she said, ‘We can’t have that Lennie, try and use your right hand’ but when I declined she tied my left hand to the chair with a scarf. I guess this would not be allowed today. Anyway, as a result of this treatment, I became ambidextrous.

We had mixed classes of boys and girls, although at ‘play-time’ we had separate play areas. We boys had our whips and tops, and played leap-frog and football: the girls had their hop-scotch and skipping ropes. As we progressed through the years, in different classes, under various teachers learning the three ‘R’s (reading, riting and rithmatic), we had periodic examinations – ie those by the visiting ‘nit-nurse’ to see if we had head lice.

I finally reached class six, which was taken by the head-master, Mr Jesty. He was a tall Cornish man and used to tell us of his plans to return to the West country when he retired. I don’t know if he made it, but a local road is named after him, in his memory. He was a good teacher and helped us to prepare for our 11-plus exams, with a view to going to college in Winchester. I passed OK but my parents couldn’t afford to send me. So I ‘progressed’ to Perins Senior Council school, which is another story.

The Dean school was closed when the new Sun Hill school was built and a development of bungalows is now on the site of the old Dean School, which is now known as ‘Mallard Close’.


4 responses to this post.

  1. I was born in New Alresford at 20 Broad Street, in 1947 and went to school at the Dean School and Perins Secondary School plus you have several pictures of my Father And sister but what I would like to get hold of is the pictures of the Auxilary Fire Services in Alresford between 1938 to 1950


  2. Posted by Coralyne Harfield ne hack on January 14, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Hi my name was Coralyne Hack (Carol): I now live in Nottingham, my grandad, Arthur Brown, was a fireman when the station was down Broad Street. I went to the Dean School and Perins: I was born in 1948


  3. Posted by Tessa Dallyn-Roberts on February 17, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    Hi I actually attended the APS with the Miss Curtis sisters in the 50’s. 4 OR 5 different years all taught in the same large 1st floor room. Amazing 11plus results.


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