1 - Kingsley Hall School

Photos from Jill Mead and Michael Pain

Jill Mead nee Pain and her brother Michael visited Canvey today bringing with them lots of photos and memorabilia from Kingsley Hall and the Evans family.

Jill and Michael’s grandmother, Ada Harridge was the daughter of Alfred Fitch Harridge (son of Crisp Harridge of the Lobster Smack Inn). Her older sister was Mary Ann who married Thomas Evans who was a vicar, Thomas died in 1904 and Mary Ann and the children came to live with her father Alfred F Harridge.

Kingsley Hall thought to be about 1920 but I think it is earlier

Alfred was a dentist and lived in a house called ‘Kingsley’, in Woking. In 1908 he had a house built on Canvey Island and called it ‘Kingsley’, it was surrounded by 2 acres of land fronting onto Central Wall and going right back to the lake. Alfred lived there with his wife and both daughters and their families, until his death in 1923.

Kingsley Hall date unknown but I would think 1930s/40s

At some point his daughters, Gwen and Irene started the school in the old home called ‘Kingsley Hall School’. It is noted that in 1929 Kingsley Hall School was located in Beach Road, according to Kelly’s Directory. Jill had a letterhead stating this fact.

Letterhead from Kingsley Hall Scool

There is also a plan dated 1924 for ‘Revision of plan 591, Room for school and public meetings in Beach Road’ lodge at the Essex Record Office the building was owned by Misses Irene A. Evans and Gwendoline Evans, KINGSLEY. Whilst the family lived at the house in Central Wall, did Irene and Gwen started the school in Beach Road moving the school to the house sometime later???? Will we ever know the answer. Perhaps the death of Irene in 1938 prompted the move. Jill and Michael did not know about Beach Road, so if anyone can tell us they would love to know the answer.

Miss Gwen died on the 17 Mar 1976 and is probably buried in St Katherine’s as is her sister Irene.

If you have memories of Kingsley Hall School please comment below.

Class from Kingsley Hall School. Miss Gwen is far left

Kingsley Hall School from the 1940’s. Jill and Michael are in the back row far left, second and third child.

1930’s map.I am pretty certain the building circled is Kingsley Hall. It fits the place and the shape of the building and yes Dave it is about where you say

Comments about this page

  • I think Kingsley Hall was on the north corner of Farm Road & Central Wall Road.

    By David Bullock (30/11/2011)
  • Hi Dave you are exactly right. I used to cycle past it every week on my way to Benfleet on my delivery bike [Lewins the butchers] Regards Sparrow

    By sparrow (30/11/2011)
  • I have just found on one of my own pages re Kelly’s Directory 1929 Kingsley Hall School was in Beach Road Miss Irene Evans was living at ‘Kingsley’ Central Wall. I shall investigate further. The same in 1933.

    Just looked at the 1937 Kelly’s Directory and the School is now at Central Wall. So it was moved from Beach Road to the main house between 1933 and 1937

    By Janet Penn (30/11/2011)
  • Great piece about the history of Kingsley Hall, Jan. Re the school in Beach Rd, my second cousin, once removed, Doris Scullard, recalls in ‘her memoirs’ posted on the Archive, that on one occasion visiting Canvey during term time she had to attend a ‘dames’ school near her aunt’s house. The house would be ‘The Settlement’ on the corner of Baardwyk Ave and High St so this must indicate that the school referred to was the one in Beach Rd. Doris was born in 1922 so we can assume this pre 1930, probabably c 1928.

    By Graham Stevens (30/11/2011)
  • My foster brother Tony & I attended Kingsley Hall from 1950 to 1956. The teachers were Miss Gwen (Evans) & Mrs Trott. Mrs Trott lived on the corner of Larup Ave & Mornington Road. I seem to remember that the Evans sisters had a brother who was a radio operator in the Merchant Navy, and used to visit occassionally. He used to give the kids sea shells that he had collected whilst abroad. Gwen Evans told us that her family originally came from Gloucestershire.

    By Harry Mount (Willliams) (20/05/2012)
  • You are correct about the brother you can see his wedding picture here

    By Janet Penn (20/05/2012)
  • i went to this school in approx. 1955?? I was 4 and my Mum wanted to go back to work and couldn’t get me into any state school, not even the Catholic school would take me (scary nuns, I was glad!!) haha so she found Kingsley Hall school and paid. I don’t know how much? I remember the desks being on platforms so you could be seated really quite near the ceiling !! Plus , roaring fires in the classroom!! Don’t suppose THAT would be allowed today? Also, playtime in the garden? I seem to remember running round Apple trees, maybe an orchard? I only went there for less than a year, vivid memories tho’ so it made an impression on me?

    By Lynda Cain (16/08/2016)
  • as I remember, the school was in Central Wall Road, nearly opposite Climmen Road now? Don’t think Climmen Road existed then??Isn’t there a new house there now called Kingsley?? I assumed it had been built on the old houses site? Or part of it, as the old house had huge gardens. I was taken there, by my Mum, from the Barclays Bank area (as of now) it was an unmade road and no thro’ traffic could get down that way (this was in the ’50’s) only pedestrians, bikes etc

    By Lynda Cain (16/08/2016)
  • I lived at Wintergardens on a chicken farm and was sent to Kingsley Hall school in 1958 aged 4. It was just as you say Lynda, fire in the room, hugh garden where we had our playtime. I remember children in there were all different ages, all educated together.

    I have been back a few times to canvey to look at my old house and where the school was. The school does not have the land it did. I can’t seem to find my road and home at winter gardens now. My dad had a poultry farm, and the built brick house himself, he was a builder too.

    By yvonne willingham (24/05/2017)
  • I went to this school on Central Wall aged 4 in 1959. My mum paid for it and took me there on her bike with me in a seat on the back. I remember the classroom, blackboard and slates that we learned to write on. I certainly remember playing in an orchard and also the brother visiting and showing us his collection of souvenirs from around the world particularly shells. It was the first time I had seen a conch shell and we were invited to put it to our ear to hear the sea.
    I shall be forever grateful to this school, it was a happy time and gave me a good start in life.

    By Frances Townsend (18/06/2022)
  • My sister Susan & brother in-law Steve Razzell bought the land next to where the two sisters Gwen & Irene were living at Kingsley Hall & built their first house in 1972 & called it Kingsley Dale.

    By Kerry Hunt nee Bunce (18/06/2022)

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