Queens Road schools

At the start of the 20th century Royston had many schools covering different age ranges and denominations. There was the school for infants in Market Hill built in about 1837, the Church of England school also in Market Hill, a Roman Catholic school in St. Mary’s Park.

There was also the “British Mixed” school in Fish Hill which, from 1905, was run by the Hertfordshire County Council. With the expansion of the population of school age children and with some of its existing buildings proving to be inadequate, the provision of a new school was proposed and in October 1909 work began on the buildings in Queens Road. 

The buildings


There were two main blocks of buildings. The main school buildings were set back from the road and a small range of buildings fronting onto Queens Road itself. Between these was a large playground fenced off from the road.

The school catered for both boys and girls but the entrances for each and outside areas used for play were separated from each other.

The original target date for the opening was the begining of the new term in September 1910. However, interior works took slightly longer than planned to complete and the schools finally opened their doors to pupils on 21st September 1910.

The staff

The staff at the old “British” school transferred to Queens Road schools.

The head master was Mr. C.A. Preston. Male teachers were Mr. Jeavons, Mr. Hewett and Mr. Woods. Female teachers were Miss Cooper, Miss Howell and Miss Davies. The head of the infants part of the schools was Miss Daisy Clark with assistance from Miss Preston, Miss Sheperd and Miss M. Preston.

In November, two months after the opening, Mr Preston announced he would be leaving the schools to become a pastor in Watford and in December he was suceeded by Mr. Mark Hewett, a Cornishman who had joined the British school staff in 1905.

Mr. Hewett was on active army service in the 1914-18 war and, while away, was replaced by Mr. J. Lockwood. Following the war Mr Hewett resumed as headmaster, serving in that role until he retired in 1949. He was succeded by Mr. V.E. Colgan and, in 1964, by Mr Smerdon who was headmaster until the school closed in 1969.

Other members of the teaching staff during the lifetime of the schools included Molly Feast, George Stevens, Harold Kirkham, Miss Onyons, “Polly” Mann and Clara Cane.

The auxiliary hospital

In 1914 the schools were coverted for use as an auxiliary hospital to help with the recovery of wounded soldiers returning from the front lines. 

You can find out more about its use and the staff who gave their time to help the men recover by following this link.

The soldier's hospital