Spring Grove Grammar School

This is an historical reference website covering the years 1923 to 1959 when Spring Grove House at Isleworth was occupied by a mixed-gender secondary school that after two decades transmuted into a grammar school. The house, former outbuildings and surrounding grounds were of special character for a state-funded school and strongly influenced its identity and the memories of pupils and staff. The evolution of the property over almost three centuries is related in the text panel shown to the right. Development of this third-edition website will be a slow process despite the large amounts of data already in stock. Text and picture preparation is a painstaking affair and can only be advanced when the mood is right. Group pictures, names, data and facts are welcome: jb@sggs.uk

South Elevation 1924

West Elevation 2012

View from South West c.1951

View from South East c.1951

Aerial View from South West c.1930

Aerial View from South East 1935

East Elevation from Main Gate c.1951

East Entrance Drive c.1951 with new canteen in background
In 1436 the undeveloped eastern end of the small town of Hounslow was known as Smalborow. The name developed to Smallberry Green and the first mention of a house is in 1647, during the Civil War, when Sir John Offley built a house on this site and called it Spring Grove. Offley was allowed to keep his property throughout the Commonwealth as he supported Cromwell, and the house remained in the family for over 100 years. Elisha Biscoe bought the house in 1754 and then replaced it with a Georgian building. In 1780 the property was let to Sir Joseph Banks who rented land around the estate to grow fruit and vegetables and graze his flock of Merino sheep. On the expiry of his lease Banks bought the estate. He died in 1820. Banks assisted General Roy in the first Ordnance Survey preparatory work which took place on Hounslow Heath, and the instruments were stored at Spring Grove. It was Joseph Banks who wrote of the origin of the name: A spring arises in a small grove within the precincts of Spring Grove, which is no doubt the origin of the name. This spring is carried in leaden pipes into the house; the waste water runs through a small basin and pond in the pleasure ground before it escapes to ‘Smallberry Green’

The estate was sold by the Banks’ beneficiary and in 1830 was left to Henry Pownall who altered the house again. The Pownalls left in 1849 and in 1850 the house was bought by Henry Davies, a member of the legal profession and a speculator in estate development. The London and South Western Railway Company established a station at Isleworth on its branch/loop line from Waterloo to Windsor around 1850. Sophia Bulstrode, who had no children, had left part of her substantial adjoining estate to her sister, Ann Tryon. In 1853 at the Tryon Estates auction Henry Davies purchased a further 228 acres, extending north to Jersey Road, east to Wood Lane and west towards Lampton.

Davies lived at Spring Grove House while the new estates were being developed, and in 1860 moved to the largest property, Thornbury House.   Spring Grove House was then let. In 1886 Andrew Pears bought the house and rebuilt it in the Victorian style, completing it in 1893. This date together with the initials AP can be seen on the Lodge, which was at the main gate to the House. The Pears family moved out from Spring Grove House after only eight or nine years in residence, and after their departure it was never again a private house. The family occupied Mevagissy House on the corner of London Road and St. John’s Road, declaring that they would in due course 'repair to Oxfordshire'. Spring Grove House was used as a convalescent home and military hospital for about a decade, spanning the Great War. It was purchased by Middlesex County Council in 1922, for use as an educational establishment. Spring Grove Secondary School opened there in 1923 and subsequently became a Grammar School as a result of the Education Act of 1944.

Contemporary local state education background
Extract from British History Online

In Hounslow the inhabitants set up a charity school in 1708. It was closely connected with the chapel and chief of the nine subscribers was Whitelock Bulstrode. It seems to have been quite independent of any Isleworth foundation. It was still going in 1716 or 1717 but is not heard of again after that. In 1819 there was only a Sunday school, and a new subscription school was opened in 1831. It stood in School Road and had 245 pupils, both boys and girls, in 1833. It was largely supported by Henry Pownall of Spring Grove, whose wife opened an infant school, apparently on the same site, in 1835 and still maintained it by herself in 1840. An inspected National school at Spring Grove was opened in 1860.

The first council school to be built was the Hounslow Heath school in Martindale Road, of which the original buildings had been burnt down in 1905. New permanent buildings were completed in 1908-9. The first entirely new school was Isleworth Town, in Twickenham Road, which was opened in 1910. The Alexandra School in Hounslow followed in 1915, replacing temporary accommodation nearby. After this the council built the following schools for juniors and/or infants: Berkeley, in Cranford Lane (opened 1930); Chatsworth, Heath Road (juniors 1932, infants 1937); Wellington, Sutton Lane (1935); Norwood Green (1938); and Springwell, Heston (1938). The Busch House open air school was also opened in 1938. In 1925 the Thornbury Road building of the Spring Grove School became a central secondary school with a selective entry. From about 1930 the council reorganized its existing schools to become junior and infant schools only, and opened the following senior elementary schools: Bulstrode, Holloway Street (opened 1931); Heston (1931); Marlborough (1932); Hounslow Heath, Cambridge Road (1934); and Smallberry Green (1939).

London Road Entrance 1924   (Listed: Grade 2)     "Secondary School Girls Entrance"

Main Entrance         Staff & prefects only

Full West Front 1902

Fountain Column

The Hounslow Polytechnic was taken over by the county council in 1892, having first opened as a workmen's club in the Hanworth Road in 1882. In 1922 it moved to Spring Grove House, which from 1923 also housed a county secondary school, and later a grammar school. In 1956 the polytechnic's name was changed from Spring Grove to Isleworth. The changes and enlargements of the Isleworth Grammar School (originally part of the Blue School) and of the Green School in the 20th century have already been mentioned. In 1920 St. Mary's High School, at Gumley House, was recognized as a voluntary secondary school, and two years later moved into new buildings for 120 girls. There had been a private convent boarding school here since 1841 and the high school had been opened in 1890. The boarding school was closed during the Second World War but reopened after it.

After the 1944 Act, Spring Grove Central School and the council senior schools became secondary modern schools. The Hounslow Heath secondary school was closed and its buildings were transferred to the neighbouring primary school when the Woodfield secondary modern school was opened in 1954 at the Great South West Road. The Beavers county primary school was opened in 1951, and junior departments were added to the existing infants' schools at Norwood Green (1954) and Springwell (1957).

In 1958 the numbers at the voluntary grammar schools were: Isleworth Grammar School, 555 boys; Green School, 357 girls; Gumley House Convent School, 371 girls. The Spring Grove County Grammar School had 604 boys and girls. All the secondary modern schools were county ones: they had 3,535 pupils between them. The Roman Catholic all-age schools, St. Mary's, and St. Michael and St. Martin's, had respectively 401 and 386 pupils. The Blue School and St. John's, both Church of England primary schools, had 311 juniors and infants and 65 infants respectively. The county primary schools had altogether 7,600 pupils.

Art Room 1924     Originally:   Winter Garden Conservatory

Music Room 1924

Room4 1924     Originally the Morning Room

Room3 1924     Originally the Drawing Room

Entrance Hall 1988

Alcove Decorations in Art Room 1988

Pavilion 1988

Room1 1924 (Later Room 2)     Originally the Dining Room

Banksian Room 1924

Billiards Room 1902 (Became Room 5)

Staff 1924

Headmaster C A Wood in Study 1924

Staff 1930

Spring Grove Secondary School, 1935.

Form 1A 1937
Top row: Baguley, Frank Barton, Roy Emmerson, unknown, Leo Lewis, John Hunt, Ronald Gray, Ted Pringle, Roy Balderson
Middle row: Peter Hansen, John Blandford, Geoff Ward, Bob Smith, Dulcie Lloyd, Maureen Gilbert, Phil Harris, Ronald Smith, Noel Millett, unknown
Bottom row: Pendress Kennedy, Jean Marshall, Jean Anderson, Joyce Taylor, unknown, Mr R L Callow, Barbara Broad, Daphne Wells, unknown, unknown, Jean Goff

Form 6A 1945

Top: Derek Millett, Roy Macfarlane, Bill Osterburg, David Mitchell, Jim Hughes, Graham Clarke, Bob Goldsmith,
        David Salvage, Reg Lindall, Des Chaplin, Chas Cracknell,   ?
Middle:   ?  , Beth Young, Myrtle Atkins, Audrey Rogers, Mr G T W Barrett, Jean Stark, Anne Lusher, Ena Goddard
Bottom: Gerry Swettenham, Jim Winslade, Norman Dixon, Ray Harwood, Bud Cutting, Alan Burrows.

Form VL Sept. 1945

In no particular order. Names from signed reverse shown at right
Mr W Lineham, Molly Lambert, Vera Swain, D K Graham, G L Stone, A White, G Bushby, Jean Lodd, Douglas G Benham, Eileen Thomas, Pat Salmon, Audrey Whitehouse, Beryl P Green, Edna Davey, Jean Flaney, L J Wright, Daphne Smales,
J Bentley, R W Janes, A D S ly, F Cook, Eleanor J Bilton, P J B Marsh, Pam Jones,

Class 5L 1945

Puzzle picture. Another picture claiming to be of 5L 1945
but looking more like a class reunion in the mid-fifties

Spring Grove Grammar School, 1946.

School, 1948.

School, 1950.

Form 3A 1951

Form 5A 1953

The names below are for 3A1951.   For 5A1953, scrutinise and cross-refer for identities. Good luck with that.
Back row: Brian Taylor, Michael Worsfold, Brian Isles, Michael Philo, David Sansom, Leonard Hillier, Jeffrey Piner, Ray Scott, Malcolm Ayres, Brian Phillips
Middle row: Don Curtis, Malcolm Harvey, Avril Parsons, Joan Lainson, Barbara Brown, Valerie Herrick, Jean Cobb, Audrey Rowlands, Jean Carter, Marie Heaphy, Henry Russell, Reg Day
Front row: Ann Williams, Joyce Higgs, Pat Grice, Wendy Spring, Pat Gompertz, Celia Dargon, Maureen Carter, unknown, Margaret Daniels, Marilyn Davies

Form 3Blue 1951

Back row (L - R): Brian Green, John Stevens, John Young, Peter Adamson, unknown, Derek Hale, Roderick Harris, Colin Coleman, David Rowlands
Middle row: Mr Foss, Ray Pearce, Geraldine Seabourne, Merrill Thewliss, Sylvia Wilkinson, Helen Holloway, Valerie Baynon, Pamela Ainslee, Sheila White, Michael Grassly, Stan Sullman
Front row: Jean Cameron, Pat Nolder, Mabel Spindler, unknown, Norma Childs, unknown, Maureen Drake, Rhona Hodgkinson, unknown, Shirley Butterfield.

1952 Prefects

Standing: Michael Blanchard, Michael J. Power, Tony May, Ken Cutting, Brian Martin, Peter Bush, Paddy Furness, Pete Young, Ian Isaac
Seated: Marion Brunt, Margaret Wilsher, Jean Capel, Brenda Sweetland, Audrey Grubb, Ann Fuller-Sutherland, Jean Ridley, Brenda Stephens

Linguists' Circle carol concert December 1951: featuring costumes from
England, Spain, France, Austria and the Nativity

Standing (background): Angela Osbourne, Janet Lawrence, Audrey Rowlands, Anne Clarke,
Standing (right mid-ground): unknown, unknown, Ian Isaac
Foreground: Mary Ward, Elizabeth Handford, Audrey Grubb, Diana Pratt, unknown.

School, 1953.

1953 Soccer First XI

Standing: (L to R) John Young, Peter Looker, Ron Cotterell, Tom Smith, Don McIntire
Kneeling: John Hore, Ian Isaac, Don Curtis, Stan Sullman, Brian Morgan, Jim Young

Form 5A 1954
Sheila Hornby, Sheila Martin, Lesley Hills, Angela Osborne, Anne Waldron, Wendy Barrow, Sylvia Green, Doreen Hicks, Wendy Butlin, Freda Booker, Leonie Jestico, Brenda Saunders
Pat O'Neill, John Boterill, Peter Sharp, Eric Cole, C. Simmonds, John Frisby, Raymond Howe, Tony McCoy, Alan Darg, Peter Looker, Richard Harris, Tony Evans, Tom Smith, Ron Cotterell
Janet Lawrence, Pat Mailey, Doreen Foley, Gillian Jenkins, Joan Yateman, Miss Barr, Jim Young, Jean McNeill, Susan Clemenson, Ann Johnson.
There are still question marks about many of the girls' names.

Form 2A 1954

Top Row (L - R): Terence Williams, (then dip) Roy Schofield, (then back up) Alan Sabey, Lawrence Richards, Michael Snell, Arthur Angel
Next Row : Colin McKay, Craig McArthur, (then dip) Peter Creed, Michael Roberts, Peter Buckwell, Robert Venables, Reg Addis, John Harbour, David Cogman
Next Row: Rodney Sewter, Val Stevens, Susan Gardner, Jane Redston, Elizabeth Grieves, Gillian Sternam, Maureen Oswald, Cynthia Harvey, (then dip) Mick Shaw, Richard Laurence
Sitting: Lesley Booth, Barbara Roebuck, Doreen White, Miss Hewitt, Jean Ogden, Veronica Willis, Susan Jackson
On the Ground: Lesley Deeming, Valerie Rendell, Marion Bryant, Daphne Kerrison

Form 5Blue 1954 (ex 4Blue)

Top: Pat Whetstone, Marion Moores, Kathleen Pearman, Pauline Mills, Jennifer Bemmer, June Spicer
Middle: Gwen Gribble, Billy Hammond, Alan Moore, Jim Pepper, David Gregson
David Hutchinson, Michael Gardiner, Brenda Reeves
Bottom: Rosemary Higson, Magaret John, John Catlin, Silvia Hills, Ena Hill, Yvonne Ottley

Form 5Blue Boys 1954 (ex 4White)

Standing: (L to R) Robin Drake, John Bloomfield, John Groves
Seated: Barry Gosnold, Alan Gough, Buckingham, John Smith, Eddie (now Ted) Frankland

School choir 1954

Top Row: (L - R) Alan Darg, David Sansom, Michael Worsfold, John Young, Malcolm Harvey, Michael Gardiner,  ?,  ?
2nd row:  ?,  ?,  Pat Mailey,  ?,  ?,  ?,  Janet Griffiths, Jean Taylor,  ?,  ?,  ?,  Jean McNeill, Mary Mylam, ?
3rd row:   ?,  ?,  Wendy Butlin, Margaret Wilsher, Mr KS Hart, Mr WB Howell,  ?,  ?,  ?,  ?

Form 3A 1955

Top Row: (L - R) John Ritchens, unknown, David Osgood, Victor Wryde, Tony Chandler, Brian Kirby
2nd row: unknown, unknown, Tony Hester, unknown, John Harris, David Turner, Brian Morey
3rd row: Sylvia Paris, Jean Billett, Pauline Batty, Hazel Schofield, Miss Richards, Venetia Chiltern, Sandra Waite, Anne Manley
4th row: Leonora Trollope, Benita Cruikshank, Angela Barnes, Eve Cornish, June Clarke, Avril Clarke, Marion Shorter, Kathleen Phillips, Doris Wheeler
Front Row: Sylvia Pryke, Pat Webster, Wendy Burns.                               Suggested names of the four unidentified boys are:
Gordon Sadler, Mike Coleman, ?? Soulsby, Cedwyn Phillips, Robin Littlefield. Five names for four images. Who's who, and who's missing?

Staff 1950s

1955 Boy Prefects

Top row: David Sansom, Malcolm Harvey, Michael Worsfold, Brian Taylor, unknown
Bottom row: Don Curtis, John Young, Jim Young, Brian Phillips

1955 Girl Prefects

Top row: Gladys Parsons, Ann Williams, unknown, Sheila Hornby, Ann Waldron
Bottom row: Wendy Spring, Maureen Stevenson, Maureen Carter, Betty Cook, Jean McNeill

Commercial Form 1955

Top two: Enid Dawson, unknown
2nd row: unknown, unknown, Pam Timms, Mr W B Howell, Jennifer Mayes, Sylvia Hill, Joan Munton
3rd row: Jean McNeill, Margaret John, Rita Powell, Daphne Thornton, June Thornton
The three unknowns were: Eileen Titcomb, Annette Church and Joyce Barber, but which is which is still unknown.

School, 1957.