So many people have fond memories of where they went to school. This is a guest blog from an ex student of Franklin House boys preparatory school in Palmerston Road. According to British History Online, the school began its life in Wood Green in 1897 before moving to Frankfort House in Palmerston Road 1901. There were nearly 140 boys by 1973.
Does this trigger a memory? Let us know …
There is more about Andrew Ray, 10 year old star of 1950’s The Mudlark, on the website andrewray.co.uk, including this great article by his son on the relationship between Andrew and his father, the comic and local resident Ted Ray.
Bowes Park is an interesting district of North London ‘twixt Wood Green and Palmer’s Green, its name a link to the late Queen Mother’s family, which had sold land in the district as building spread in the second half of the 19th Century. Palmerston was the Tory PM of the day, while the building developer had been Alderman Sidney, hence Sidney Avenue & Sidney Road within the district.
FHS was run by Mr JP Hope whose wife ran the kitchen with her own mother, Mrs Shiplake and one afternoon a week after school, she also ran the uniform shop. The Hope’s house was to one side with a magnificent chestnut tree in the back garden, on the other was the Christian Science Reading Room while across the back flowed the New River from Enfield in towards London. Its banks always had luxuriant verdant edges. The Fourth & Fifth forms were housed in a large, green corrugated-iron clad hut adjoining the New River boundary.
Outside the school gates was a red post box and some 5 minutes walk down Kelvin Avenue along Green Lanes was the celebrated Dom’s Snack Bar, Maxwell Miel an estate agent, ‘Jay House’, Pitman’s College and the Bus Stops for the 29, 29A buses for Southgate, Cockfosters & Oakwood and the 279 for Winchmore Hill, a route that had been a trolley bus line until such elegant vehicles were banished in perhaps 1961 by red petrol buses.
Wednesday afternoon were given over to Sports at Tottenhall Road, occasionally at Broomfield Park. School attendance was also required in the church hall on Saturday mornings for Drill sessions and human pyramid exercises led by Mr Hawtin, a retired-PTI who still terrified one or two fathers who had known him before the war. Mr Hawtin also offered swimming lessons at the Wood Green pool although demand for these sessions was, surprisingly, not keen.
One pupil was Andrew Ray (1940-03), son of the comedian and violin player Ted Ray who became a child star. His brother was Robin Ray, the star of BBC TV’s ‘Face the Music” who may also have attended FHS. Many boys went on to Highgate or other local schools.