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(Opening comments from Ruislip, Northwood &
Eastcote Local History Society)
The school was opened to pupils on 8th September 1953. It
was planned as a secondary modern school to accommodate 720 pupils between the
ages of 11 and 15, although when it opened there were 402 pupils and 19 staff.
At the time it was viewed as a "school of the future" with its modern architecture and its advanced ideas of sound proofing. These included double-glazing, ceilings of a sound absorbent material and air conditioning. All these fixtures were considered necessary because of the noise from the nearby Northolt airport.
The school was visited by the Minister of Education, the Right Honourable Sir David Eccles, on 2nd December 1955 to view the buildings, although the gymnasium was unfinished still. The official ceremonial opening was on the 14th December 1955 when Alderman Mrs. Crump, Chairman of Middlesex Education Committee, officiated.
In 1983 it was on a possible closure list and although it was reprieved it was again suggested for closure in 1990 because of a surplus of secondary school places in the borough.
These days its future seems assured.
Situated in South Ruislip, at the "bottom" end of Queens Walk.
Queensmead School website
Visit the Queensmead School facebook group
Memories by a former pupil
Queensmead Secondary School: 1952 to 1956
Victoria Road, South Ruislip… Brand new school in 1952. We were the first students to start the first grade. (11 years old).
School uniform was gray and purple……..geeeezz purple would you believe (is it still this colour????) I think the school motto was “Endeavor” if I recall.
Headmaster: Mr. George Harmer. Good Guy, strict but very fair.
Mr. Stapp: Woodwork and Technical Drawing. Good guy.
Miss Fontaine: Art, (see comments below)
Mr Woodall: History...Very intense and taught the subject with passion
Mr Adams: P.E. and maths. (See comments below)
Miss Thomas: Biology. Another of my favourites!
Mr Perry: Science, nearly killed himself…see comments below.
Mr. Rowe: Maths. (Hopeless, see comments below)
Mrs Hart. Music….Poor girl had her hands full dealing with us in our mid teens. Great figure!!
Mr Wicks? Metalwork….SOB…..!!..see comments below.
Mr James: Geography…Nice guy
Mr Edwards: English…Which was ironic since he was Welsh!
Alan Scott: pushed down the stairs and broke his ankle in three places. Carried him home to Primrose Gardens in the lunch hour.
In the metalwork Lab, Peter Grant wrote his name with his finger through the condensation on the window. Wicks wasn’t happy, and Peter wouldn’t own up, so the whole class got a detention. The detentions were held on a Wednesday, and you had to complete an exam paper before you could leave, or get the cane! Since the basketball practice was on that night, and that was my passion at the time, I generally opted for the cane so I wouldn’t miss it. However, they soon caught on to this and it was exams instead.
Another sadistic method of punishment in the metalwork class was to stand straight and hold a bench block with stretched out arms for “ever” it seemed. The bench blocks were about 6 inches in diameter and 3 inches high solid steel. Your arms would ache for several days after that!
Bumped into the English teacher whilst running down the corridor (which was a no-no) He asked why I was running and I said “Because I was in a hurry sir” Sarcastically, he replied “you were in a hurry” So I replied, “Oh sorry sir, I were in a hurry sir”
Mr. Adams, PE instructor would wait until all the guys were in the shower after gym, and then dish out punishments by lining up the offenders bent over with their hands on the wall, and whacking their bare butts with a running shoe in front of all the others. Now if that isn’t humiliating, I don’t know what is!!
Miss Fontaine (Art) Thought I was talented, and wanted me to take private lessons with her after school, to study anatomy…….If I knew then what I know now, I wooddav!!
Mr Rowe.(Maths) Hopeless, never taught a thing, spent the whole lesson, and every lesson, telling us kids how terrible we all were until the bell rang to end the lesson. I swear looking back, that he did that because he didn’t know the first thing about maths!!
Mr Perry (Science) risky. Once made chlorine gas under glass but some of it blew out and he spent the rest of the lesson coughing badly, thought he was going to “expire” I think he did too! Also made a gas bomb from a treacle tin. I also tried it at home when my parents were out and put a big dent in the ceiling! I won’t elaborate!
Basketball “A” team Captain. Never lost a season.
Bullied by Peter Grant on many occasions, even though we were friends most of the time.
Best friend: Raymond Batt. He was nuts, joined the army when he was 16.
I went in for the Christmas opera in the last grade….was a laugh, many of the teachers in it to!
Oh and….. The Gym and the bicycle sheds served their usual service with cigarettes and the girls…..learnt a few things there, but that’s another story!!
Robert Norman (e-mail address held by Ruislip Online)
We used to have a message board for this school on here but it was little used. The messages that were placed on there are below and if you would like to add to them just e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org ) and let me have your comments and I will add them to the page here.
Hi/Hello, to any one who may remember
either me or this period in the history of the school, I remember a few things
about my high school years. Riding my racing bike to school from Manor Gardens
where I lived to Queensmead in the dead of winter and falling off in Victoria
Street on the icy road, ended up against the gutter & having an xray in hospital
on my arm and shoulder.
I had a few close friends, Nigel Kowenhoven who also had a racing bike. Terry Smart who used to live in Wingfield way & told me he had relatives in Australia where I now live and David, whose Dad used to work up at Bedford, in a gears and bearing workshop. I also new Michael Morse & Brian Golding, & Linda Wallbank and Maureen George were a couple of old girl friends back in that era. Some Teachers I remember were Ron Taylor the Headmaster, a really nice fellow, Mr Stapp the Woodwork Teacher, Mr Snelling also a woodwork Teacher, my thanks to them because I ended up being a carpenter in Australia. Mr Webster the music teacher who sold me a harmonica which I loved but could not master. I cannot remember the headmistress, but I remember one morning in assembly, she had a stroke and fell from the lectern and we never saw her again, the poor old lady passed away a few weeks after that. I remember Mr Taff the Welsh PE teacher and I loved all the sports in that big field and the long distance running about 5-6 klms around the perimeter of the school, some got on the 158 bus at the roundabout at the top of Long Street down to Eastcote and cheated a bit. I remember John Litton, he was one of the best at long distance running and Tony Bird was pretty good at it too. Anyway they were some of the best years of my life apart from my teenage adventures in Australia which is not as good with freedom of space now as it was back then. I got into surf board riding and would travel a 1000klms over a long weekend on the surfing safaris with mates of mine out here, we had a ball. They were terrific years to live in too. I missed out having to go to the Vietnam war by 1 day in the Australian conscription ballot in 1972 thankfully.
Cheers to those who might care
I went to Queensmead for a while my dad was in the RAF, I lived in ruislip and went to school at ruislip gardens too. I think it was around 1970 the first time then Queensmead in 1975 my surname was then Green.
Jackie Sanderson Nee Jackie Green
If any who reads this will know the
surname, my father was the very first caretaker of Queensmead School back in
1952. We (Mum,Dad my sister and me) moved from Cricklewood in North West London
in time to prepare the opening of the new school on September 4th with Mr.
George Harmer as Headmaster.
I was a pupil at the school for 5 years from about 1955 to 1960 and subsequently lived in the caretakers bungalow on site until I left home to live in Wiltshire in 1972. I now live a little further down the road in Frome, Somerset where I have lived for the last 4 years. I would be pleased to here from anyone who can remember those days at Queensmead, and perhaps me and definitely my Dad!
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