Appleton School - The Early Days

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Group photo - help needed to date this please.
Mr Edward Haynes, Headmaster. Photo February 1972
© Echo Newspapers
Mr Edward Haynes, Headmaster. Photo November 1969.
© Echo Newspapers

Photos from the 60s and 70s

Of all the pages on our website, our schools section frequently receives the most attention. One visitor to our website, Kevin Oakley, recently sent in a request for information on a photo he had seen on one of the Appleton School pages.

This is Kevin’s original request:

I would like to buy a hard copy of the photograph from 1976 which is wrongly listed as 1966 can any one help me achieve this?

Unfortunately, we were unable to help due to the poor quality of the scan that we had. Further communication with Kevin proved of interest. It seems that a keen new teacher arrived at the school in the  1970s, whose interest was photography.  Kevin recalls….

I remember a young teacher who joined in 1974/5 who headed a new department of photography which never existed before. The school had its own dark rooms and back then developed and printed its own photographs. It later morphed into media studies. The teacher used the school photography as his pet project and took school photographs on the steps at the front of the school.

I just wondered what happened to all the school negatives which he had. We were all given a chance to buy a photograph back then but I was too much of a rebel. Something I have always regretted ever since then. Maybe some other students have original copies to share if asked, I don’t know? Its worth a try if only for school history.

I think it would be a good idea if a new school tradition could be started and a video or yearly photographs taken of the school for the current students and in fifty years from now it will be like us looking at old Victorian school photographs. They become true history as the decades and even centuries pass by. You are making time capsules for the future and it doesn’t cost much money in the present. Besides the pupils will all buy a copy that should cover the cost.

I left Appleton in 1976 and the photography had started in 75 or 74 in the tower block on the second floor I think. I don’t know what happened afterwards.


Lastly, for those who have taken the time to read this page, it is assumed that you were lucky enough to have attended Appleton School in the 60s and 70s, therefore, you may be interested to see a couple of photos of the then Headmaster, Mr Eddie Haynes.  Mr Haynes features in many comments placed on the other school pages on this site and it is evident that former pupils have many happy memories of him and their days at Appleton School.

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  • I attended the school from 1966 to 1968. I have fond memories of my time there. I especially enjoyed Mr Pennington classes and his field trips. I am keen to get in touch with old school mates . My name is Christine Tingey, now Bowman

    By Christine Tingey) Bowman (28/04/2018)
  • My older brother (David Jones) was in the first intake at Appleton when it opened. As he was born in 1954, and would have left South Benfleet Juniors aged 11, this would have been September 1965.  I remember him saying that at first there was just year 1, and at first the school kitchen had not been completed so the children got meals delivered in a van, served on paper plates.  My mum made him bring these home, and in 2010 when we were clearing her house after her death, the paper plates turned up!  I remember my younger sister and I refusing to eat off them as children, because they were marked by the Appleton meal.  In the next year (1966?) they were year 2 and another year 1 joined.  This continued every year  for the 5 years he was there, so by the time he left in July 1970 the school was full.  I can remember, before the school was built, being taken by him to play on the land that the school was built on.  There was a pond with newts in it, so it would never get planning permission today!

    By Stephen Jones (27/04/2017)

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