Maypole School

Over 100 years ago the doors opened in February 1913 to the first pupils . . . .

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More school demolition images and video . . . . . .


This page contains Video footage - just below and towards the end.

It was announced in the South Eastern Gazette on 1st October 1910 that a much needed school was going to be built once completion of the purchase of the land had taken place.

Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath



Video below 2002 - Maypole School from Denton Road side . .







Read Mr Alfred Peters story and it will enlighten you to the early years of the school . . .


Below - courtesy of Michael Jennings - two photos - class from the 1960s . . .

sometime early sixties 1

David Hamid is 'Little Boy Blue' (the lad in the very middle with the hat) whilst 'Ron' Gosling is the lad wiping his nose ! David attended between the years 1960-1963.

David Hamid is now described by Wikipedia as . . . . .


The Rt. Rev. David Hamid (born 18 June 1955) has been the Anglican Suffragan Bishop in Europe since 2002. Born in Scotland, to Scottish and Burmese parents, Hamid holds dual British and Canadian citizenship. He was educated at Nelson High School, Ontario, McMaster University and Trinity College Toronto. After ordination he was curate at St Christopher’s, Burlington, Ontario, and then rector of St John’s in the same city. Following this he was mission co-ordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean for the Anglican Church of Canada and then (his last post before his ordination to the episcopate), the Director of Ecumenical Affairs and Studies of the Anglican Communion. He is married to Dr Colleen Hamid, a medical researcher, and has two sons, Jonathan and Michael.

Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath


class photo early sixties

Below is believed to contain some of the same class a year or two later
supplied by Barry Booth

Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

and the names of the above participants

Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath


Below two photographs courtesy of Barbara JOSS

The photo with the bike in the backgroud and the open school windows is probably 1960. The other with the telephone box is one year later 1961.
So the first one: DK means I can't remember the name...

Top Row: DK ,, DK ,DK(but I did sit next to him all year) Elizabeth Worcester, Jackie Rumble, Jennifer Hankey ,ElainePrice, Nigel ,Richard, Owen Gemmell
Second Row:Lesley Williams, Patrick,Robert Merriman , David, Barbara ,Barbara Thomas(me) ,Sarah Groom, DK ,Rob, Vivien,
Third Row : Judith, DK, Heather,Janet, DK, Judith,DK, Maxime Penny,Christine Russell
Fourth Row: Ronald,Derek,Simon, Alan Parnell, Anthony.

Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath



Here are the names for the second photo, the one with the telephone box.

Back Row: Katherine,Derek,Simon,Ronald,?Peter Hooton,Owen Gemmell,Elaine Price,Jennifer Hankey,Nigel,Christine Russell
Secon Row: Vivian,Barbara Thomas(me) Rob,DK,Patrick,Sarah Groom,David,Rob Merriman,Barbara,Lesley Williams,Jackie Rumble
Seated: Alan Parnell,Richard Wright,Antony Wilkinson, Penny,DK,DK,Keith Walmesley,Elizabeth Worcester,DK,Judith,Janet Hayman,Linda


Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath


Some Pupils names from the registers . . . . 1913-1919 1920-1929 1930-1939 1940-1949 1950-1957 1958-1968


Bus stop outside Maypole School 1935 - courtesy of the London Transport Museum.
Bus/coach passenger shelter at Dartford Heath, showing wooden bench seat, bus route map, and small roundel on exterior side panel. Photographed by Topical Press, 15 Feb 1935 Dartford Heath, Dartford, Kent Image no: U16813

Note the trees in the background - they existed until c1966. Also behind the bus stop an Air Raid shelter was built 1939-1940 - demolished in the 1980s

Random photographs - transport - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

Below - the site as it looks now

Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath
Tony Helyar, Maypole Memories - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath
Below courtesy of Google maps . . . . .
Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath
Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath
Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath
Class of 1923 with Mr SNELL on the right - can anyone name any of the children ??

Maypole School was built in 1912. The Macmillan School Register ( MSR ) of attendance shows that the first pupils filed in on 10th February 1913. The red brick buildings and the high red brick walls around them survived for over 85 years. Nearly five generations of local children have been educated there. Most, if not all, of the children from Maypole Estate were to attend and receive instruction within their formative years. James Frederick SNELL was appointed to be the first headmaster of Maypole School. He was 37 years old upon taking up his post. He was to remain as headmaster for the next 22 years until his retirement in September 1935. He died 29 November 1964 as the below extract from the Wills Register shows



Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath


The contemporary KELLY's Directory of local professionals showed the first mistress was Miss Ida McCURDY. This has not been supported, however, by the Macmillan register or anyone that I have spoken to. It may be just an omission from that register. The first mistress on the day of opening is shown in the register as being Miss Fanny PAYNE aged 23 years. She was accompanied a week later by Mrs Katy BROOKWELL aged 27 years (who only stayed, originally, for two weeks). and shortly after by Gabriel MENDOZA aged 22 years. The following month Miss Beatrice HIGGS also aged 22 years joined the staff - and so it began.

The very first pupil in the register is shown as being Percy BAXTER from 13 Denton Terrace aged 13 years. The next two were his brother Edward aged 10 years and his sister Florence aged 8 years - who sadly died 5 years later in 1918 whilst still registered as a pupil at the school. These were the very first three of the first 111 pupils to be recorded in the register as being welcomed on the first day of opening. On 24th March 1920, Percy and his brothers Edward Rex and Daniel William travelled to Australia. They departed from London on the ship Berrima (P&O Line) when Percy was aged 20 - on the passenger list he is listed as a Fitter. Percy died in Australia aged 83 years in 1983.


Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

Maypole Dancing c 1920 - Can anyone identify any of the children ??

By December in that inaugural year the register showed 187 entries for admission and readmission. There were a number of departures - but it would be safe to say that there were approximately 150 children at the school in December 1913. In that month the following 5 teachers were in their posts; Fanny PAYNE, Beatrice HIGGS, Elizabeth HOLMES, Kathleen PINKNEY and J R HIGGS. They were overseen, as already mentioned, by the headmaster Mr SNELL. Originally, a number of children from outlying areas such as Crayford and Bexley Village also attended Maypole. Manor Gate - a large house facing the heath in Common Lane at Leyton Cross - was another catchment source. Mr MAIDMENT was shown to be the guardian of at least 53 children from Manor gate who attended the school within the first two years (1913-1915). Manor Gate was probably used at that time by the Local Authority as a childrens home. In the 1970s/1980s it was used as a rehabilitation centre for those with psychiatric problems and addictions. It is now a care home for the elderly. Manor Gate is a large detached residence constructed probably in the mid Victorian era.

The O.S. Map of 1869 shows that there is a building on the site named 'Claytons Croat' This may be one and the same or possibly an older house, now demolished to make way for Manor gate. The children from Manor gate must have walked daily, both in file and clusters, across the heath in comparative safety. Motor cars were not so common. The horse and cart and the pony and trap were still predominant along the road to Bexley. Not a sodium street light in sight and not the sound of a car to be heard for miles.


Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

The familiar 'Girls and infants' passageway.
It was a time before motorway drone and before the sound of busy, fractious helicopters flying overhead. It was a time when you could almost hear nature breath. Even in my short time, I now view the heath as a reflection of what it once was . To me, it appears that nature occasionally splutters into life and coughs at season change - but most of the time it wheezes out an existence, manacled relentlessly by the tarmac spiders' web of mother motorway and the tentacles of its' insidious feeder roads. The once dominant heathers that wore a mantle of purple hue to welcome the early summer have all gone. On a sweltering summers day you could once hear the hissing of the broom and gorse or the popping of their seed sacks. Not now, for it is all overshadowed by the sound of the A2.

Below - letter sent to every school child from the King following the end of World War II


Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath



The late Mr Alfred PETERS, (the Fireman's' son who once lived in West Lodge, Bexley Hospital) remembered the heath c 1926. He descibed it to me “as an expanse of heather from the school - all the way down Denton Road to the Crayford side. From the school, vision was interrupted only by the odd silver birch and hawthorn“. He also describes classes in the school at this time as averaging 40 children in number. The school day was 0900hrs - 1200hrs, 2 hours lunch break and then 1400hrs - 1600hrs. The child mortality rate through the decades is reflected in the registers of the school. The following children died whilst registered as pupils at the school and recorded in the MacMILLAN Regsiters:-


Name Address Date last attended and remarks in register

WOOD MILLIE aged 12 yrs of 8 BALDWYNS ROAD 1917/01/8TH - DECEASED

BAXTER FLORENCE IRENE aged 14 yrs of 13 DENTON TERRACE 1918/10/22ND - DEATH

SMITH SIDNEY aged 6 yrs of ROSE COTTAGE BEACONSFIELD ROAD 1919/02/14TH - DEATH

HOGAN KATHERINE aged 11yrs of 30 BALDWYNS ROAD 1919/04/06TH - DEATH


HENN RUBY MARGARET aged 4 yrs of 5 BALDWYNS ROAD 1927/12/23RD - DEATH


GOSLING RONALD LESLIE aged 4 yrs of 24 BALDWYNS ROAD 1929/02/11TH - DEATH


HUNT DOUGLAS HAROLD aged 9 yrs of WOODVIEW TILE KILN LANE 1934/02/02ND - RUN OVER AND KILLED ON THE ROAD.

See extract from St Mary Church burial records 1934

Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

STEVENS ANNIE aged 9 yrs of 26 CLIVE AVENUE 1944/07/13TH - KILLED BY FLYING BOMB see extract from Civilian Deaths register 1944. There were 16 deaths recorded in this one single explosion.

Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath


see below burial register for Crayford


Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

WILSON HELEN LOUISE aged 6 yrs of 10 TILE KILN LANE 1950/07/25TH - DECEASED

LIBBERT (SIBBERT?) RICHARD ALLEN aged 5 yrs of 10 HILL CRESCENT 1951/06/08TH - DIED UNDER ANAESTHETIC 11th June 1951


DENNIS MICHAEL JOHN aged 10 yrs of 153 TILE KILN LANE 1954/05/11TH - DECEASED TUMOUR OF THE BRAIN


MILES CHRISTINE MAVIS aged 11 yrs of 22 PARK VIEW (OLD BEXLEY LANE) 1954/07/23RD - IN HOSPITAL - DECEASED AUGUST

1956 extract from burial record - dates do not easily correlate- could there have been an inquest preventing immediate burial or could there have been a very long hospital stay prior to death and she had last attended in 1954 ?.


Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath






"Death devours lambs as well as sheep" - proverb
The above entry relating to Douglas HUNT in 1934 now bears out a story told to me by Mr Phillip RUMBELOW, a previous resident of the estate. He stated that he remembered a tragic road traffic accident. Two brothers were walking along Old Bexley Lane towards the 'Dip' (A local name for the junction with Baldwyns Park) Their father was a Postman. He had recently been given a Post Office van to drive. The brothers were walking along the top of a ridge of earth that formed a bank against the high wall of the Hospital Gardens. As they were near the vicinity of St Barnabas Church they spotted their father driving his Post Office van. In the excitement at seeing their father one of them slipped (or slid down) the bank and under the wheels. I believe that this was Douglas. Mr RUMBELOW stated that the boys' father never recovered from the tragedy. This is supported by the fact that the School Register shows that the younger brother, Charles, was removed some four months later - having 'left the district'. If the above is incorrect then we offer our most sincere apologies

Another of the above entries relating to Christine MILES refers to a child who had a tragic ailment - in that one side of her body grew normally - and the other did not. She eventually died from this condition. (Wendy SAUNDERS)

Below - programme for 1963 Summer Concert


Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath
Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath
Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath


Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

George Stockford Caretaker c1960-1965

and below same location c2002


Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

and below under demolition 2005

Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath


and below - gone . . . . .

Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

Video below of demolition

From the 'History of the Rolling Stones' another piece of trivia about the school ' Formed in 1962, The Rolling Stones have become one of the world's most recognized and enduring bands. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards first crossed paths at Dartford Maypole County Primary School. A decade later the two had become avid fans of blues and American R&B, and shared a mutual friend in musician Dick Taylor. Jagger and Taylor were jamming together in Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys. Richards would soon join the group and become expelled from Dartford Technical College for truancy '.


The school was demolished in 2005 and is now a housing complex.
Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath
Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

And as it looks now . . . . .


Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

Below from Beaconsfield Road just prior to demolition 2003


Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

Below in 2010

Maypole School - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath





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Video footage of the school prior to closure in it's last summer . . . . .






. . . .
One of the classrooms . . .


Useful links
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