The oddities of the new school site
A picture of the new school soon after it was completed.
This is an impressive view of the school, however not the view we are used to, but if plans had been put into place this would have been the view of anyone approaching the school by car. But surely this is the back of the school, If you see pictures of the school when it is being built they are all taken from this angle. When I joined the school I was told that the school had been built backwards, but what if the school had been built correctly and the road was in the wrong place?
Now we look at the evidence for this.
The first piece of evidence is the commemorative plaque, this is still situated at the 'back' of the school. It sits behind the plaster wall in the David Jesson Room (old entrance). The plaque at the front of the school lists the governors at the time.
The boiler steps are at the front of the building, in fact the front of the building does not look as nice as the back of the building. The impressive side of the building is set at an odd angle to the road so that it does not give the person walking past or driving past a good view of it. The back of the building is raised up slightly making it more impressive. And the clincher is that the bell is at the back of the building.
Before we tackle the building we need to look at the roads especially the cross roads that do not exist. - Highcross. Nowadays the Highcross consists of Highcross Rd, Longhouse Lane, Staining Road and Normoss Road. The main roads being Highcross Road and Normoss Road. That means that Longhouse Lane and Staining Road join on the left of the main road; therefore it is not a cross roads. But it was never like this. Highcross Road did not exist and the main road used to be Staining Road which ran from Staining to the little road which runs along side the school. These three roads formed the Highcross roads.
Low Cross was never a cross roads, it appears to have had religious links.
When the school was planned in the 30's the whole area around the school was going to be totally different. Highcross Road was not going to be built therefore the school would only sit on one site, not the school site then B field across the road. There was going to be 2 walking entry points into the school, at the old school (stile at the edge of the school and Stafford Avenue) and a gate at the corner of the school site near the little road that runs along the side of the school by the entrance. This was still in place until the cages were erected this century.
The map above shows the planned new road.
Staining road was going to cease at the edge of the new school turn left (with the school on the right) and then split into 3, left to Fylde Farm School, straight on to the main road and right into Baines School. Middle Farm was planned to be removed. The new road would then sweep round past the back of the wood and re-join at Hardhorn Road. (junction of Highcross Road and Hardhorn Road). Highcross Road would not have existed therefore B field would not have been across the road.
The whole school would have been totally different with the 'front' of the school being the back and the view of the hall being an impressive sight from the new road. Remember Stafford Avenue, Northwood, Beckdean would not have existed so there would have been an unbroken view of the school. The gymnasium which was built in 1941 would have been in a totally different place, possibly on B field. The whole site could possibly have been along the course of Highcross Road leaving a school overlooking fields. But we will never know.