Beechholme - 1880 to 1975
Residential School in Banstead Surrey

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I still remember these gates vividly. Even though I was only 3 years old in 1948. The gates were usually locked and opened by the Gatehouse Keeper Mr Eastman (Mr Eastland?) to let the occasional vehicle in or out.
A pathway starting from the gatehouse (travelling to the right side looking at picture) ran all the way to Banstead Railway Station. Along the way there was the Headmaster's House on the right, the perimeter fence on the left, eventually you would come to the back entrance of Beechholme, then there was a disused railway track on the left and the woods and the playing fields on the right
Does anyone remember the beanstalk, the bomb hole or Beaky the Bummer ?
The Gatehouse
The Administration Building housed the Superintendent and his staff during the day. Most of the others kids only visited this building when they were in trouble. I remember many visits and they usually resulted in receiving 'The Cane'. I was one of the very few to attend the building regularly and on these occasions I received Violin Lessons. My teacher was Miss Harris (she got married and became Mrs Something). Miss Harris would come down from London one evening each week to teach her only student in Beechholme. Mr Evans the Deputy Superintendent liked to stay behind on to listen to my lessons (I don't know why - I wasn't very good).
The Administration Building
This was my church. I sang in the church choir for many years. My older brother Leslie was also a member of the choir - I was delighted when his voice broke.
Some years after I left (in 1968) the church was tragically burned down. The church and all of its magnificent stained glass windows was completely gutted.
The Church
The Avenue ran the entire length of Beechholme. At one end there was the sick bay and Rowen House, then there were seven houses each side before you came to the school on the left and the nursery on the right. The Administration building was midway and on the left, the entrance road was on the right. The Avenue continued on with the Church on the left, staff quarters on the right, then there were four more houses on each side finally ending with a large hall across the end of the road.
The houses accommodated about 20 to 25 children (mostly boys), plus the house mother (or house parents). Does anyone remember Miss Wolfe, Miss Cobbles, Uncle Tom and Auntie Dorothy Bray ?
The Avenue
This is the school where infants and juniors attended. There were no facilities for seniors, so when you reached senior school age, you attended one of the schools outside of Beechholme. My brothers and I (and others) attended Tweeddale School in Carshalton Surrey. The senior aged children were distributed to other schools to even the load on the local schools.
The headmaster at the Beechholme school was Mr Kelly a distinctive man with very shiny shoes. I remember a teacher there named Mrs Bell ?
The School
Left: This is the house that I lived in from the age of about 9 to 15 years.
Photo shows the front of the house, viewed from the Avenue. I'm not sure when it was taken, but after Mr Rayner retired and the new Superintendent Mr Banner had the fences around the houses replaced with hedges.
Right: Cedar is located to the far right next to the church. You can see the out-houses at the rear of each house.
Cedar - Front View Cedar - Rear View

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