Memories of former Havant comprehensive school – Nostalgia 

Waste land opposite Oak Park Community Clinic in Havant which had been earmaked for re-developement but which has now been put on hold. 'Picture Ian Hargreaves  (180904-1_oak)
Waste land opposite Oak Park Community Clinic in Havant which had been earmaked for re-developement but which has now been put on hold. 'Picture Ian Hargreaves (180904-1_oak)

In last Thursday’s News we reported on the Oak Park Health and Wellbeing Campus in Havant, above, that was supposed to have been built some years ago. A consortium that was to build the new health facility pulled out in 2014.

It was to be, and hopefully still will be, built on the site of the former Oak Park School, Leigh Road, which opened in 1957. 

The entrance drive to the former boys school, Oak Park, in Havant. One the right is the bicycle shed.

The entrance drive to the former boys school, Oak Park, in Havant. One the right is the bicycle shed.

It was originally two separate schools – Oak Park Secondary Modern Boys and Oak Park Secondary Modern Girls – and the buildings were a mirror image of each other.

In the 1960s I am told there were nearly 700 boys at the school and in 1970 it became a comprehensive and boys and girls shared both of the old schools.

The school closed in the 1980s but the building remained for several years and I managed to take photographs sometime after.

With the assistance of former boys who attended the school, I have managed to name parts of the school that were still standing.

Oak Park School  from Crosslands Drive.''A wider picture of the former school taken from Crosslands Drive. The former girls school is in the left background.

Oak Park School from Crosslands Drive.''A wider picture of the former school taken from Crosslands Drive. The former girls school is in the left background.

All of what you see in these pictures has been demolished and is awaiting development.

The picture, below, is taken from Crosslands Drive, and we see much of the school still standing. The two buildings that have already been demolished are the gymnasium which would have been to the right of the grassed area and the technical block to the left, which would have been in front of the brown shed.

Centre is the main block with three floors of classrooms, four on each floor. The ground floor was for administration.

To the right is the technical block – art, woodwork, metalwork and science. To the far right outside of the school is the roof of the recently demolished Curlew pub.

This massive expanse of land is the former playing fields of Oak Park School now all built on.

This massive expanse of land is the former playing fields of Oak Park School now all built on.

On the left in the distance is the girls main block and a mirror of the one in the boys school.

The brown hut was where the gardening teacher Harry Simpson ruled with a rod of iron.

The picture, below, is the driveway for teachers who could afford cars. On the right is the cycle shed. Boys had to live at least a mile from the school to be allowed to cycle in.

To the left is the main block and the covered area, called a link, led to the dining hall and the main hall where assemblies were held.

Mr Dover, the music teacher, played piano for the hymns and prayers were also said.

Where the tree can be seen in the background was Harry Simpson’s large garden.

Below, are the former playing fields which had two football pitches, two rugby pitches, a hockey pitch, and a quarter mile running track with a cricket pitch in the centre.

There were also long and high jump sandpits. All has been built on now.