Handside School 1940-1946

Searching for family information

By Emily May

Is this Handside School
Only photo I have of my mothers school days

It has been suggested to me that a reader on this site may be able to help me with the following.  I have tried the Hertfordshire archives, but they have no information on Handside School in this time period.

My parents, siblings and other family members attended Handside School in the early 1940’s.  I have been searching for old school photos from that time period , or school reports etc. 

The family names are Williams, Daniell and Smith.  If anyone reading this has any info I am hoping they will share it with me.

I have added the only photo I have of my mothers school days, but can not be certain it is of Handside School, although it is in the correct time period. It may have been taken at her previous school in London, before the family moved to WGC.


Thank you

This page was added on 22/11/2010.

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  • My father Harry Pickard taught music at Handside School just after the war ….maybe 1946-48?
    Has anyone got any information I could have, or do you remember him?
    My father was a Manxman and returned to Isle of Man to teach music at Castle Rushen High School.
    Any information, or memories of him would be lovely.
    Thank you

    By Fenella Leece (nee Pickard) (21/04/2021)
  • Hi my husband went to Handside school from about 1944 as a secondary school. He says in his days it was called Handside Secondary Borstal, I wonder why?

    By Margaret (27/04/2019)
  • I really cannot believe that no one has mentioned Templewood School !! It opened I think in 1950 or 1 & I was one of the first students along with my sister Elizabeth Robertson. She was three years older than I. I recall that Mr Otter was the first Headmaster . I was in the junior part of the school in the very first class at the end of the corridor. (The colour RED I associate with that particular class.) We had a gorgeous teacher with whom I was enamoured – settle down people, I was only five !! It was in that class I was first introduced to the footlights of the stage which in later times was to become my profession ! The play we performed was called “The Hobyars” by whom, I don’t remember . I was playing ‘ensemble’ and i made a dramatic re-entrance to inform the audience that one of the Hobyars had escaped and we were all in mortal danger. Anyone remember that dramatic entrance ?- No, I didn’t think so. Neither my parents nor my sister Elizabeth attended. Pretty disappointed at the time, but I’ve played to much smaller audiences in my time. I remember receiving a Coronation mug at that school, also a medal for the same. And we all, as a school, had to traipse, in pairs, down to the Welwyn Cinema to watch the Conquest of Everest!!!! I do remember we had a canteen at the school that served lunches as we were still subjected to food rationing. In 1953 I and Elizabeth left at the end of the school year to go to boarding schools. I went to a prep school in Mill Hill, Nth London. Liz went to Goudhurst college for girls in Cheshire !!! My parents were Australian and thought it was the best thing for their children to take advantage of the British Boarding School System. In total had 9 years of boys boarding schools ! At the completion of which I travelled back to Australia and immediately became what is derisively called a “Pommy Jackeroo !!! Look it up in Goggle.) Telling Australians, in a cultured Oxbridge accent that I was in fact a Fifth generation Australian and that we came ‘out’ in 1841 earned me absolutely no respect at all. But I’m still here in Australia and wouldn’t live anywhere else for Quids !

    By Kirk Alexander (28/06/2018)
  • Leah Ward was my stepmother, she married my father Arthur Russell Jones,an early resident of WGC, in 1947.
    My mother,Gladys,died in 1944
    We lived at 131 Handside Lane. I had 4 older brothers Hugh,Arthur, David and Colin, now,sadly dead, they were loved playing rugby and all played for the local team.

    By Maggie Fink (02/02/2017)
  • In my comment sent recently I think I made a mistake, Miss Ward married a local solicitor names, Russell – Jones. I think I may have said Russell – Smith

    By Harry Punter (30/11/2016)
  • I was at Handside School from 1943 to 1947. The Teacher cannot be the Miss Ward I knew when I was there, because Miss Ward left to marry a local solicitor Russell-Smith.

    By Harry Punter (27/11/2016)
  • I attended Handside School (later Applecroft School) in the 1940s, as I was born in late 37. That is indeed Mr Small, the headmaster, sat there since I remember him with those round glasses in 1941. I think it’s either Mrs Ward or Miss Richmond, with one I don’t know.

    By Craig Ellis (03/03/2015)
  • Was there a Handside school Logo, or coat of arms? My grandad was there in the mid 30’s, and I’m trying to find one for part of a 90th gift.

    By martyn jolly (14/10/2014)
  • My mother Patricia Brown and her sister Barbara Brown attended Handside School during the war years having been evacuated from East London. My mother wrote a long diary of her evacuation to Welwyn many years later and if anyone is interested, I’d be happy to share it.

    By mark archer (12/10/2014)
  • I am sure this is handside school as my mother is the third from the right on the front row, her name is Joyce Fairbrother, she had two sisters Joan and Margaret and two brothers Charles and Sidney, they lived in peartree lane, only my auntie Joan still survives.

    By Chris Thompson (22/05/2014)
  • My grandparents lived at 121 Handside Lane, they were early residents of WGC moving there in 1923 firstly to Brockswood Lane I think. They were Arthur and Gwen Smith, he played bridge for England. My mother Gill and her sister Lorna would have been in Hanside Lane at around that time. As I child I had my photos taken by Studio Lisa as my grandparents knew them. They are not in the photo though as this would have been later.

    By mackenzie sorensen (06/01/2014)
  • would love to have any information or a photo of my late dad who attended this school. My dad was Eric Davies and was born in September 1928, he moved to Welwyn Garden City in the early 1930’s along with his parents and siblings

    By Susan Davies (02/02/2013)
  •  I have been trying to find info on Handside School between 1937-1940 which is when my mother attended the school. I eventually discovered that the Handside School was not on Handside Lane as I had eroneously thought but was located on Applecroft Road and was in fact renamed Applecroft School in 1953.

    By Pauline Perry (15/03/2011)
  • We are both pretty certain this photo is of Handside School as we were both students at different times. We recognise the headmaster as Mr Small and the woman on his right hand side looks to be Mrs Ward. Both these teachers stayed at the school and went on to the Howard School before they retired.

    By Jan & Claude Clayden (15/01/2011)