My first day at school
Going to Little Furze in 1953
By John Swain
Meeting the Head and my new teacher
How well I remember my first day at Little Furze, March 1st 1953, aged 9, having just moved into Hayling Road from Stevenage, when Dad was posted to the new police station on South Oxhey Estate. I was escorted along to the west end of the building by the formidable head, Mr. Len Curling (6’2″ and about 17 stone): “Come along John Swain! Keep up!” I met the form teacher of B1, Leo Magin, who was also very strict in his horn-rimmed glasses, and well over 6ft in height.
Transfering to secondary school
Although I spent little more than four terms at the school, it proved to be a sound grounding for the transer to Watford Boys Grammar School in September 1954. 27 out of 54 in Ron Gore’s class (A1) passed the 11+ in 1954 and progressed to Bushey GS, Watford Tech, and the newly opened Grammar School at Rickmansworth, as well as to the Watford GS.
Arguably, Little Furze was the leading primary school on the estate in the mid fifties, but it was inevitable that Len Curling was to lose his outstanding male colleagues soon after the school opened in 1952, to run their own schools. I returned to the school in September 1965 and Curling was the only teacher left that had taught me, but he was able to recognise me straight away: “Ah, Swain, isn’t it?”
Destroyed by fire
How sad to think that this fine school is no longer in existence, and that several of the original buildings have been demolished after a serious fire.
Did you go to Little Furze, why not tell us you your memories?