Harvey Grammar School

Under construction

Further information at http://www.harveygs.kent.sch.uk/about/history/

Much of the information below has been supplied by various Old Harveians. More information on that organisation at www.oldharveians.org.uk or https://www.facebook.com/groups/oldharveians

This page shows maps of the school, taken form other maps in this website, indicating the progression of the Harvey Grammar School Cheriton Road site buildings with time.

The main school building at the school’s current home on Cheriton Road was built in 1913. Previous to that the school had been located at:-

  • 1674 to 1846 at Rendezvous Street,

  • 1846 to 1882 at Rendezvous Street (rebuild of the school on the original site)

  • 1882 to 1913 at Foord Road

The school moving to Cheriton Road was initiated by a visit by school inspectors to the Foord Road site in 1909, where conditions were cramped. By 1907 the school governors had identified 4 sites:-

  • Foord, by Reliance & Slaters Laundries

  • South of Shorncliffe Station

  • West of Julian Road

  • The current Cheriton Road site

As we know the Cheriton Road site was chosen.

 

1908: prior to the school being built in 1913:-

1908 Harvey.jpg

In 1908 the estimated total cost was £11200 (~£1.4 million today).

Funds were found, and the building started in April 1912 with the foundation stone laid by Mr Stephen Penfold mayor of Folkestone (buried over the road in Cheriton Road cemetery). The building was opened one year later on 12th June 1913 by Lord Radnor. The new term started on 17th September 1913.

The new building was of red brick with stone facings; of two stories with red tiled roof. Its length (126 feet) was parallel to Cheriton Road and a corridor ran from east to west: at each end was a short wing leading northwards. The public clock (a rare asset for a school) was given by Sir Philip Sassoon, MP for Hythe 1912-1939.

Each floor had three class rooms, for 30, 25 & 20 boys respectively: on the ground floor was an assembly hall-cum-gymnasium 36 feet by 25 feet rising to the full height of the building: there was a science room (38 feet by 21 feet) with benches for 12 students: at the back was a cloak room and a lavatory with six basins, hot and cold. On the upper floor was the art room 39 feet by 21 feet: at the back was the handicraft room , 50 feet by 21 feet. There was a cycle shed and a lodge for the caretaker.

The building used electricity throughout - there was gas only in the laboratory - and was heated by hot water pipes and radiators. It was complained that the upper rooms did not get warm unless those on the ground floor were shut off.

In 1920 an additional field, for junior games, was acquired on the east side of the cricket club. During the 1920s the school gymnasium was added. As I am an Old Harvian I recall that this was supposed to be a temporary structure, but was in full use during my time at the school (1977 to 1984).

The numbers of boys also continued to increase: the average for 1919-20 was 184, and for 1920-21 , 220. There were now 8 forms and to help house these an army hut provided accommodation for 60 in two additional classrooms, as well as for the tuck shop. When the Girls' County School vacated Pelham House (in Bouverie Road East) at midsummer 1921, these premises became available and there school dinners were first served in 1922.

1931: School buildings shown in black. The 'temporary' gym is on the left (west) side of the site, which also appears the same in the aerial photo view from 1940:-

1931 Harvey.jpg
1940 Mark Stammers.jpg

Picture credit: Mark Stammers

During the second world war, Folkestone was extensively shelled from August 1940 through to September 1944. The Harvey was unfortunate to be hit on the last day of shelling 25th September 1944! The picture shows the damage & compares it to a modern day view of the same part of the building:-

 
1944-09-25 Harvey 2.png

Picture credit: Kent County Council

Fortunately there were no casualties from the school being hit: between 1940 and 1944 the School was evacuated to Merthyr Tydfil in Wales.

 

On return from Wales after the war, the School prospered in its newly-designated role as a County Secondary Grammar School.

1945: No new buildings added (compare to the 1931 map above), with an aerial view from 1950s:-

1945 Harvey.jpg
1950s Phil Harding.jpg

Picture credit: Phil Harding

However there are details not shown on maps. Kim Bridgland informs me that during the Second World War the 'BBC hut' was built at the rear of the school and "it was operated under the auspices of the BBC to boost radio broadcast communications to the continent during the war. I believe the four concrete anchors for the mast were in existence into the sixties. I do know the contractors had a bit of fun demolishing it.".

Tony Reynolds adds: "I thought that BBC was a cover for early signals intelligence work carried out as the "Station X" and "Station Y" set up.". Great stories!

For context, here is the BBC hut (obscured by a tree) in the early 1990s:-

1990 BBC hut & tennis courts Phil Hardin

Picture credit: Philip Barraclough

Tony Reynolds also has recollections of this area of the school , possibly late 1960s (Dungeness nuclear power station was built in 1966): "There was also a "Steven's Screen over by the long/high jump pit which contained a weather station. Also at one time, there was an apparatus mounted on top of the BBC hut which measured radioactive fall out; it was thought at the time that Dungeness may have had a local effect."

In 1956 there was a fire in the school hall. A contact Bruce Lloyd remembers: Some one was asking about the fire in the school hall and the date on which it occurred. I mentioned that it was before I arrived. However I now know that it occurred in 1956 (I started 1958) over night on March 3/4th. After the fire of 1956 a new and larger hall (with four new classrooms) was built.

1961: A building added to the rear (north) side of the site. I believe this was a dinner hall / canteen, with a corresponding photo from 1960:-

1960 Harvey.jpg
1960 Google Earth Mark Stammers.jpg

Picture credit: Mark Stammers

From the 1970s onwards the main structural changes were the adding of the portakabins to the rear of the school, on the west side of the site, For the Old Harveians visiting this site, some of the names of teachers may pinpoint the buildings better than a description:-

Mark Harrison information: "A mobile classroom/portakabin appeared for the 70/71 year and was my form room with Roy Dyche. Another appeared the following year and again was my form room, this time with Terry Jones."

From James Overy: "I don't recall any building changes between 65 and 72. In fact, the school was in dire need of basic maintenance such as roof repairs and decorations. I remember later thinking that Cyril Ward, my first headmaster, did a good job keeping the school useable despite the dilapidations. The 'huts' beyond the gym were very cold in winter and starting to fall apart by the time I left but the teaching continued thanks to the determination of messrs Young, Pryor, Botting, Gilbert and others."

 

Some information from Paul Uden:

"Terry Jones was in the single portakabin between the gym and the Dick Young / Ted Pryor double one. John Botting's (also 1C form room) was next to the 6th form common room down the side of the playground and joined as a double to Don Traska's (1975-1982)."

Further to this Max Spiller states:

"I believe the Science block near the public tennis courts was built around 1988-89.. 

 

In January 1992 the larger buildings were severely damaged by fire. By September 1992 a new complex of interlinked temporary buildings had replaced most of the older temporary structures. The exception was the music room nearest the ‘BBC hut’ which survived at least until 1997.

 

The new sports building nearest the Polo Ground was built in 1996. The planned demolition of the old gymnasium was cunningly turned into a refurbishment when the rarity of the sprung floor was discovered."

Further to the 1992 portakabins fire from Phil Harding; "The fire only affected the huts that were used for foreign language teaching - the sixth form common room had later incarnations as a classroom and art room, but was eventually demolished."

Summary photos from the above comments: This aerial view from 1990 puts all the subsequent photos in context:-

1990 Mark Stammers.jpg

Picture credit:

Mark Stammers

Early 1990s. School Hall to the left, old gym middle, one of the many portakabins to the right:-

1990 Phil Harding.jpg

Picture credit: Philip Barraclough

In 2017 Abbott Construction successfully handed over the new gym works. The project involved the demolition of the schools existing changing rooms and old dilapidated gym building and replacing it with a more modern, user friendly education space. This also involved the demolition of portakabins that in 1992 had replaced the fire-damaged 1970's portakabins:-

1992 Kim Bridgland.jpg

Picture credit: Kim Bridgland

2020: The building added top right is the ne new sports hall. Note that the OS Map shows the old gym which has now been demolished:-

2020 Harvey.jpg
2020 Harvey photo.jpg

Picture credit :

all maps pre-2020: Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland. Use of these digitised maps for non-commercial purposes is permitted under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC-BY-NC-SA) licence.

2020 map:  Ordnance Survey

2020 photo: Google