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School History and Photos

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Hyde Park School opened in 1904 with the first children being registered at the end of May.  The official opening was on May 27th. At this point there were three separate schools or departments. Hyde Park Boys, Hyde Park Girls and Hyde Park Infants housed on three floors.

On the site previously, during the 1590’s had stood Thornhill House which was occupied by Sir Francis Drake. Drake’s Leat also ran past near the site. By 1908 the number of children registered at the school was 1,548 – 475 boys, 465 girls and 608 infants. During the First World War, Hyde Park along with Salisbury Road School, was used as a hospital and convalescent home. At this time trams ran past the school. In the 1920’s and 1930’s the school continued to run as three separate schools. It was common at this time for there to be 50 children in a class.

On March 20th 1941 the school was hit by an incendiary bomb and part of the building was destroyed by fire. The pitched roof has never been replaced and the building still has a flat roof. The children continued lessons in local church halls and also shared half day sessions with other schools - the boys with Montpelier and the girls with Laira Green. Some children were evacuated with their teachers to Cornwall. In 1942  some returned to Hyde Park and a Nissen Hut was erected in the front playground. It was used as a British Restaurant and then later as accommodation for the school. It was eventually dismantled in 1959. 

By the early 1950’s, the rebuilding of the school was complete. An inspection report from 1954 noted that there were nearly 1250 on roll in the Junior and Infant school, and that the building was shared by the two schools.

Hyde Park has continued as two schools up to the present time, with the Junior school being housed on the first and second floors of the building. Nowadays the number of children per class is 30, with 360 children in the junior school and 270 in the Infants.

The Centenary of the building was celebrated recently and we were visited by ex pupils and staff who shared their memories with us.

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