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Memories of St Johns School

On the 4th May 1872, the first entry in the Head Teacher’s Log Book was made by Mrs Mary Seaman, the first Head Teacher. _ To view School Gallery Click Here

The Education Act of 1870 required provision be made for all children to have the opportunity for an education. Prior to this date few children, other than those from wealthy families, were able to attend any type of school. At Cromer Hyde there was a ‘Dame School’ run by Miss Archer for about forty children whose parents paid 2d (about 40p in today's money) per week for each child. St Mary’s School in nearby Welwyn had been established some years before but it was too far away for the children of Lemsford. In order that these children should have their own school Lord Cowper, who at the time owned the Panshanger and Brocket Estates, had a school built in 1872 and which he supported financially until 1903. CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE

The first day in 1872

On the 4th May 1872, the first entry in the Head Teacher’s Log Book was made by Mrs Mary Seaman, the first Head Teacher. On that day, seventy-seven children, ranging in age from three to thirteen, were enrolled. They were divided into two classes - one being taken by Mrs Seaman and the other by her husband Walter, her assistant. They were all taught in one room, the room now used as the dining room in the oldest part of the school. The school was approved by the Government on the 16th May 1872.

St John's Stoolball team 1921- Image on the left (click to enlarge)

Dear Andy,

Many thanks for your reply and the school info. How great to hear you have members who remember playing! It would be good if we could find out the history of their playing; were they all at St. John’s? When were they playing and are there any school records

You never know, maybe we could get St John's playing again, schools are always interested in playing something different that's associated with their history. www.stoolball.org.uk/rules/what-is-stoolball Many thanks


Anita Broad

Vice Chair/Education & Research Officer - Stoolball England www.stoolball.org.uk Twitter: @stoolball

Twitter: @AnitaBroad


Stoolball England videos www.youtube.com/stoolballengland

Freelance Oral Historian & Reminiscence Practitioner Middlemarch Ltd

01825 890 773

07941 603 314

Michael Hopprich memories - Image on the left (click to enlarge)

Dear Andy,

Thank you… I had a quick look around your website an found myself in a picture. It is the one linked to one of my former headmasters Mr. Jones. I am the boy directly in front of Mrs. Mann , who these days you would call a teaching assistant. Her daughter Mary also attended St. Johns but was sadly killed when a lorry mounted the pavement on the old A1. Although I can remember quite a few faces I can only put names to a few. The person I cannot see is Jeremy Griffin who I was good friends with and was the son of Bill Griffin who managed Welwyn Department Store as it was then. I lost contact with him many years ago and only found out this year that he was actually “A Jeremy Griffin” (I have no idea what the A stood for) when I tried to see if I could track him down – his whereabouts for the past thirty odd years remain a mystery… I actually had three headmasters whilst at Lemsford – Mr Whittaker, Mr Jones and Mr Temple. My favourite was Mr Whittaker and least favourite Mr Temple…

Dear Andy,

Yes that’s me. In fact I am in front of Mrs Jones and Mrs Mann is the lady of the right (I knew that yesterday but typed the wrong name). Do you know if there any other pictures of that event. I had one for years of myself with Jeremy Griffin (blonde hair) and Roger Gray. Others that have come back to me are Malcolm Plumb (back row wearing a cowboy hat) and Pauline Aldridge (middle front row, no hat). In fact I am still in touch with her brother Stan (the three of us Stan, Jeremy and myself) used to hang about together… I will let you know if I remember any more names/faces and will ask my sister as she is better at names than I am. Interestingly she did not have a high opinion of Mrs Temple (there’s a trend here)…

We asked Michael if he knew The Dance boys (Jean Dance supplied the image) his answer was

Hi Andy,

Now you mention the name I think she has two sons in the image – Chris who was in my class and his brother David (if my memory is working). I am not sure which is which. The last time I saw Chris was in the seventies when I was visiting Stan and his parents. Stan’s father lived in his father’s house (Nairobi – now 86 Brocket Road) until a year or so before his death. Sydney Aldridge (Stan’s’ grandfather) is buried in St Johns)…

We are a happy, caring school which aims high in all we do. Our vision for St John’s is shaped by our shared Christian values and driven by a desire for all at St John’s to embrace challenge and grow.Read More

In 1872, Lord Cowper, who at that time owned the Panshanger and Brocket Estates, had the school built for the children of Lemsford and the surrounding areas which he supported financially until 1903. On 4 March 1872, seventy-seven children were enrolled into two classes. The number of children on role has now risen to over 100 and the Victorian School House has been added to over the years to accommodate more children and modern education. We now have a wonderful new hall and the addition of a new classroom. Read More