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The photograph below was probably taken to mark an important occasion in the history of Ladysmith Boy's School.


Heavitree only became a suburb of Exeter in 1913 - before that time it had a separate existence as a very pleasant place to live, outside the City limits, within the County of Devon. When Exeter's new tramway system reached Heavitree in 1905, there was a rash of new building which brought even more families to live in this area. To provide for the influx of residents, a new school was opened on 9 March 1908 on Ladysmith Road with separate accommodation for Boys, Girls and Infants.


By the early 1930s, Heavitree had grown beyond recognition and the Ladysmith Schools were bursting at the seams. This time, the expansion plan was to build a new school for 480 boys, around the corner from the original building, in Pretoria Road (which is where we think the photo was taken). The girls were moved into the accommodation vacated by the boys in the original school which was shared by a newly-created Junior School. The Infants remained in their separate building.


The new Boys' School was opened on 30 August 1937, the year this photograph was taken. Four craftrooms were extensively damaged during the bombing of Exeter in the 1940s but the building was patched up and the school remained open until 1973.


The staff of Ladysmith Boys' School 1937


Front row (left to right):

Arthur Sharland; Harvey Boots; Samuel Soper; George Yeomans; Alan Stewart; Wilfred Ching; James Tucker

Second row (left to right):

Mr. Hedgeland (caretaker); Harry Bryant; John Jago; Jack Godsland; Bill Leaker; Walter Keavem.

Top left (by the pillar):

Albert Chanter. Others at rear not yet identified.


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