One of city’s most famous schools shut down

Saint Roger's halo didn't slip when he gave me interview

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On this day in 1966 the decision was taken by the governors to close one of Portsmouth’s most famous schools – Chivers Independent Grammar School for Boys.

In the inter-war years Chivers was considered by some to be on a par with Portsmouth Grammar School.

Founded in 1881 by William Chivers in Abingdon Road, by 1904 it had relocated to Esplanade House in Cottage Grove, Southsea, until the bombing of 1941 forced another move.

It set up at St Bartholomew’s Hall until the site was sold for housing.

In 1959, following the death of headmaster Mr Ashton-Caine, the school found more temporary premises at Buckland Congregational Church Hall in Queen’s Road until space at St Mary’s Institute was secured. There it was hoped the school would rekindle its former glories.

But by the time of the governors’ decision, the school roll had fallen to 19 boys and it was no longer considered viable – from John Sadden’s The Portsmouth Book of Days.

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