NOW AND THEN: Hatherleigh School, Christchurch, Newport

South Wales Argus: THEN: Hatherleigh School, Christchurch, Newport THEN: Hatherleigh School, Christchurch, Newport

LAST week we visited the former Hatherleigh School, Christchurch, Newport, and received the following replies:

Keith Richards: This week’s Now and Then photographs show the old Hatherleigh Central School, which was accessible up the steep Lawrence Hill off Chepstow Road, Newport. It appears the shots were taken from the Aberthaw Road area.

The origins of this grand house are linked with William Annis, a local shipping magnate who named the house after his home village of Hatherleigh in Somerset, which, it is said, on a clear day, from the vantage point in the tower, can be seen across the Bristol Channel.

Undoubtably, its most illustrious headmaster was none other than Fred Hando (1888-1970), the Newport-born prolific local history writer, who, over a period of some forty years, had over 750 articles printed in the South Wales Argus. He was made an MBE in 1952, for services to education and the community.

To his pupils he was affectionately known as “Nobby”, and was also an accomplished musician, and accompanied the choir when they sang the school song entitled The Sun Shines on the Severn Fair.

Fred’s daughter Margaret was elevated to the peerage in 1974, and became Baroness Margaret Delacourt-Smith of Alteryn.

One of its famous alumni was Johnny Morris OBE (1916-1999), the Newport-born television presenter of Animal Magic, which ran continuously from 1962 to 1983, and also co-presented Tales of the Riverbank. His co-host Terry Nutkins died earlier this month.

Both my sister-in-law, Susan Ann Taylor, and her husband, Brian Thomas, attended Hatherleigh in the late 1950s.They remembered Mr Hill the headmaster, Miss Wiggell the headmistress for the girls, Mr Dunwoodie, Miss Bartlett, Miss Crabb, Mr Rowlands and several others.

David Ross, Cwmbran: The building shown on the picture was Hatherleigh Secondary School, on Lawrence Hill, Cheptow Road. The prefabricated buildings to the right were the first year classrooms and biology lab.

I attended there from 1951-55.

The headmaster was Mr Fred Hando, who was also known as an author of a number of books on Monmouthshire. Other teachers I remember were Jeff Whitson who was also a Welsh international, Mr Rowlands who had an artificial arm, ‘Spider’ Lloyd (science), and a master nicknamed ‘Boxer’ who was a dab hand with the cane.

The building lay derelict for a number of years when pupils went to St Julian’s High School. There is now a housing estate on the site.

Mike Wardle: In 1947 I was a pupil at Eveswell school but one day I had to go to Hatherleigh for one day to sit my eleven plus exam.

● The picture was taken by Bryn May, who is now 81 and lives in Bishpool Avenue, probably in 1946.

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