THIS WEEK IN 1989: Crowded and temporary school needs to find a new home

jpns 260518 retro may 2018''School - Leaving for home, the crush of pupils in the small lobby of one of the temporary classrooms
jpns 260518 retro may 2018''School - Leaving for home, the crush of pupils in the small lobby of one of the temporary classrooms
The Coronation all lit up. A passing trolleybus gives it some scale.

NOSTALGIA: When Portsmouth really knew how to push the boat out

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Every day almost 300 children crowded into what had become one of the worst makeshift schools in the Portsmouth area.

Solent First School, at Drayton, was developed more than 30 years previously on the same site as the then existing middle school, which was built during the 1920s.

The first school, which catered for four to eight-year-olds had only three permanent classrooms and no indoor toilets. All the remaining seven buildings on the site were temporary ply-wood units, including the small main hall, which had to be used for assembly, gymnastics and a dining area for the 298 pupils.

All the makeshift buildings had long since reached the end of their useful lives and leaking roofs became a common problem, particularly during the winter months,

Headmistress Sylvia Hunter said: ‘Our days are spent facing constant battles just trying to create space.’

The council set aside cash in its 1989-90 budget for a new first school to be built but the only site available in the catchment area was part of Zetland Road field.

However residents objected to loss of green field behind their homes.