Attendees at the Opening Ceremony
Newspaper Article for the Opening of the First Instalment of Deal Central School
Newspaper Clipping Tenders Received for the Second Instalment
Recreated Map for Deal Central School 1936
High Quality Original Map for Deal Central School
The School Basement
Deal Central Main Entrance
Front of the School
South West and South East Elevations
Science Room and Quadrangle (Room 07)
Science Room (Room 07)
Art Room (Room 03)
Escape Play and Prize Distribution: Deal Secondary School for Boys
Extracts from Don Arnold’s Letter -
Deal Central School Drama Lesson
Deal Central School Metalwork in the HORSA Hut
Elizabeth Carter School Christmas Party 1957
Elizabeth Carter School Diary Entry 1955
Elizabeth Carter School Planting Trees
Elizabeth Carter Teacher Photos 1
Elizabeth Carter Teacher Photos 2
Elizabeth Carter Teacher Photos 3
Elizabeth Carter Scrapbook 1952
Elizabeth Carter Scrapbook 1952-
Elizabeth Carter Scrapbook 1956
Artefact 1: Original Classroom Lights
Artefact 2: Original Gym Lights
Artefact 3: Original Theatre Lights
Artefact 4: Original Basement Signs
Artefact 5: Original Maths Book
Artefact 6: Original Gymnasium Sign
Artefact 7: Original Basement Tools
Artefact 8: Original School Light Switches
Artefact 9: Timetable Set
In Operation 1936 -
The school was planned and designed by Mr H.M Barker. On the 12th October 1935, it had been reported that the new Headmaster, Mr H Mainwood, had been appointed. The Deal Education Committee held many meetings, some of which were public meetings, around Deal and Walmer regarding the New Senior School.
Half of the main school was built during 1935 and was officially opened, as Deal Central School, by Major the Hon. J. J. Astor on Thursday 2nd January 1936. It was described as "One of the most modern schools in the country.", costing £24,742 to build and accommodating 440 children over the age of 11. A speech conducted by Major Astor, just after the furniture had been delivered for the new school, took place on Thursday, 2nd January in the Assembly Hall of the New School, with many people attending including the Mayor, Mayoress and Chairman of the Deal Education Committee (a full list can be viewed on the left). The opening of the new school, which included a 9.5 acre playing field, marked a distinct step forward for Deal's culture, history and education. The school was opened with a golden key, presented to Major Astor by Mr W. E. Rice, similar to the opening of the South Deal Junior School, also located on Mill Road, 18 months prior. The school opened to students on Monday 6th January.
Before 1921, students could formally leave at 12 by passing a labour examination. The new school followed a new Act of Parliament, whereby students remained in school until the end of term in which they reached 14. A broader and more varied type of education was needed and schools often contained small rooms with inadequate facilities for practical, art and science work and no playing fields. The Central School was the outcome! It had a bright, modern building with excellent facilities and a 9.5 acre playing field. It was organised under a new system where students were organised in three stages: Infant, Junior and Senior.
The plan of the new school was approved by the Board of Education and not a brick was wasted in the plans. The Headmaster was Mr Mainwood, B.A. who gained experience in a school of a similar type; the H.M Inspector for the District spoke very well of him. Staff had been selected very carefully; each member of staff being a specialist in at least one subject, forming a strong workforce capable of carrying out work to the fullest extent. The school would not have cost so much had the Government not withdrawn the 50% building grant which was given to such schools. Only one fifth was actually given. Every aspect of the school was part of a great scheme to bring out the best in students. The H.M. Inspector spoke of the school as being one of the best planned schools of its type and great credit was due to Mr H.M. Barker, the architect of the school. Students were attending the school from all parts of the country.
The site, which was just over 15 acres and cost £5,660, included valuable building land of which the Deal Corporation bought 2.75 acres for £2,820, the net cost of the site being £2,840. Having secured the site, they were fortunate enough to secure the services of Mr H.M. Barker, the architect of the school.
Plans, quantities and sanctions of the Board of Education and the granting of a loan by the Deal Corporation were obtained. The school had complete drainage systems, heating installation, domestic hot water, complete roadwork and fences, electric lights, water and gas.
The first half of the school was built for an equal number of girls and boys; 200 of each. However the completed school was built under 2 contracts and would have 2 quadrangles; one of which had been completed. The building had been erected at the narrow end of the site so it didn't intrude on the large playing field. The administration block, domestic science rooms and handicraft rooms had been built for the completed school of 400 students. The school also contained 5 ordinary classrooms (measuring 24ft. 6in x 20ft 6in), 3 larger rooms, one for teaching Geography and History, one for Art and one for Handiwork, each of which had store rooms attached. The Science room (measuring 40ft. 6in. x 23 ft) had been equipped with the necessary equipment. The Assembly Hall, today's Canteen, (measuring 70ft x 30ft), had a ceiling in celotex of which sheets were overlapped so it had a pleasing appearance. The school also contained offices and cloakrooms. In the portion which was completed slightly later, there was to be a medical inspection room, a waiting lobby, five classrooms, three larger rooms, as in the completed block, a Science room, an Assembly Hall, cloakrooms and offices. On the inside of the quadrangle, there was a corridor with a glass roof and sides, giving access to all rooms and offices. The Administration block was built using sand faced bricks, with Pluckley brick for the plinth and arches. The entrance to this block was of a stone carved coat of arms in colours. There were four entrances for pupils, with collapsible gates which could be closed if needed.
The interior walls were finished with plaster. The heating was provided by a low pressure accelerated hot water system. The boilers were fired using either coke or coal. A separate domestic hot water supply was also provided. The rails in the cloakroom were heated using the hot water system, to help dry wet items. The maximum amount of light was available through the school by the metal windows. Lighting was provided by electricity and power was installed for electric cookers. The contract also included lockers for each child, built in under the windows in groups. Science room fittings, blackboards, shelving, coal cooking range, electric and gas cookers, gas washing boilers, gas iron heaters, glue-
The contractors were Messrs. Rice and Sons, of Margate, and among the local sub-
1936 map of the school
Above: The Main Hall in 1936
Above: Administration Block in 1936
Above: Back of the school in 1936
Above: Science Room and Quadrangle in 1936
The original staff contained Mr Mainwood, five female and five male assistants who had qualifications suitable for the classes they would be teaching. In addition, Miss Newton, for domestic subjects and Miss Jones as instructress in Handicraft had been appointed. Mr Barker was pleased to show visitors around the school after the ceremony was over.
The school was built in 2 parts; the Canteen side was built in 1936 and the Theatre side in 1937. Both boys and girls attended the school together in 1936 whilst the other side was constructed. In 1937, the left side of the school became The Elizabeth Carter School and the right side became The Central School for Boys. The gym and gardens were shared between the two schools. The building was extended further with 3 rooms added on The Elizabeth Carter side and 2 on The Central School side.
The Elizabeth Carter School for Girls was located on the left of the main entrance with the Central School being on the right. Female Staff also occupied the right hand side of the staff room whilst male staff occupied the left; staff from each school were not allowed to speak to the staff in the other school though they shared the same flight of stairs to the staff room.
The school closed for two years during World War 2 as children were evacuated to Merthyr Tydfil in Wales; they were scattered around five schools. Following the war, temporary buildings were built for schools to compensate for parts of buildings lost due to bombing. These were called HORSA Huts (part of the Hutting Operation for the Raising of the School leaving Age programme) as the school leaving age was raised from fourteen to fifteen. They were built to accommodate a larger capacity of students. They typically had concrete walls, metal framed windows and an asbestos roof. In the winter, they were too cold to work in and in the summer they were too hot to work in.
There were 2 HORSA huts constructed for the two schools; one for The Elizabeth Carter School located on the field along Mill Road and one for the Deal Central School for Boys located opposite the library on the southern part of the site. The HORSA hut for the Elizabeth Carter School contained Art, Drama, Science and Maths and the HORSA hut for the Deal Central School contained Metalwork and Technical Drawing. Around 7,000 were built in Great Britain to accommodate 168,000 extra students in the post war period.
1936 map of the school
Mr Barker was also the architect of South Deal Primary School which opened 18 months prior to Deal Central School. Deal Central School was built in the same style as South Deal Primary School as well has having many similar features such as the style of the metal framed windows and the arches in the corridors; even the doors were the same. The housing in the Mill Hill and Mill Road area as well as the primary and secondary school, were built for the miners for Betteshanger Colliery; it was known as the Mill Hill Pit Estate. Images of South Deal Primary School can be seen in the photo gallery below.
Above: Science Room (Room 07) in 1936
Above: Don Arnold’s Glider Club in the 1950s
Above: Art Room (Room 03) in 1936
Above: Dixon Curry in the Gym in the 1940s
Circa 1956 -
A small block of two huts, used for music, were constructed at the front of the school by room 20. These contained rooms 26 and 27 but became condemned; the wood decayed in the coming years. These huts were joined together and were built for music to minimise noise in the main building. These were demolished around 2010 to make way for a minibus shelter; minibuses were previously parked in the technology block but this became a health and safety issue. In later years, the huts were in such poor condition they were only used by the staff as smoking rooms.
A larger block of classrooms (the old Hamilton Block) was built for the school though it used to be a Hamilton Depo (built for furniture); it was built near Hamilton Road. It contained rooms 37, 38 and 39 which were rooms for Maths and Technical Drawing. The block became disused later, which can be explored here. It was named after Hamilton Road as it was the closest building to Hamilton Road.
A bicycle shed was converted to classrooms, situated next to the HORSA hut constructed for Deal Secondary School for Boys. It contained rooms 35 and 36, both English rooms. They contained coal stoves which required the teacher to put coal in throughout the lesson.
A small block of huts was constructed next to the HORSA hut constructed for The Elizabeth Carter School. This originally contained Maths rooms but also contained Leisure and Tourism classrooms in later years. This block was burnt down in a fire which is detailed in the Castle High School page.
In 1958, the decision was made to build another school in the Walmer area as the existing schools, The Elizabeth Carter School for Girls and The Deal Secondary School for Boys, were at full capacity. The new school was built on open fields in Salisbury Road designed to accommodate 600 pupils. The school adopted new building techniques to create bright airy classrooms with a modern feel to the school. The new school contained specialist Science and Woodwork rooms. The First Head Teacher was Mr C.S.Smith and the school was named Walmer Secondary School.
Students from The Deal Central School for Boys and The Elizabeth Carter School for Girls had to attend the new school as the existing school was too small for the number of students attending it, even though it had recently been progressively extended. Since the school in Mill Road was built, it was extended a number of times as the community continued to grow.
Above: teachers at Deal Secondary School for Boys, circa 1959.
Teachers at Deal Secondary School for Boys, circa 1965. Only two female members of staff worked there.
BACK ROW (from left):
Mr Gummer (Science)
Mr Franklin (Music)
Mr Winstanley (RE)
Mr Donaldson (Geography/Tech. Drawing)
Mr Adams (Maths)
Mr Rich (Maths/RE)
Mr Whitehead (Metalwork)
Mr Dixon (English)
MIDDLE ROW (from left):
Mr Bellett (General Subjects)
Mr Peet (History)
Mr Cavell (Woodwork)
Mr Crick (Biology)
Mr Bowman (Gardening)
Mr Selby (English)
Mr Thompson (French)
Mr Miller (Art)
FRONT ROW (from left)
Mr Arnold (Woodwork)
Mr Gill (PE)
Mrs Bowden (English)
Mr Taylor (Headmaster)
Mr Riley (Deputy Head)
Mrs Winn (Secretary)
Mr Gregory (PE)
Mr Easton (Science)
In 1941, the school reopened as Deal Secondary School for Boys and The Elizabeth Carter School for Girls and the students and staff returned to both schools. Air raid shelters were built on the school field for the Elizabeth Carter School and for Deal Secondary School for Boys, next to the playground where the HORSA Hut is now situated. When needed, students and staff “grabbed what they needed there and then” and used the shelters. One member of staff from the Girls School even travelled with the students when they were evacuated and returned as an Air Raid Shelter Warden for the school!
Three air raid shelters were constructed for the Elizabeth Carter School. These have been opened up, searched, but have now been covered over so that the new Sports Hall can be constructed. It is not currently known how many air raid shelters were built for Deal Secondary School for Boys as these have not yet been searched. Entrances to some of these shelters can be seen on a 1946 photo of the site (not currently on our website).
During the school’s earlier years, before either school contained a school kitchen, school meals were cooked and provided in a hut called the Central Hut, located on Mill Road. Meals were cooked here for both schools, as well as for The Deal Parochial School and South Deal Primary School. Meals were delivered in large tin boxes to keep them warm. Two of the staff that worked there were Margaret Herron, Kitchen Assistant, and George Thomsett, delivered the meals.
Prior to the schools merging, a corridor next to the Assembly Hall in the Girls School was converted to a kitchen, and though small, has been used ever since to provide school staff and students with school meals, now run by Whole School Meals. It is assumed that the corridor next to the Boys’ Assembly Hall was converted to a kitchen; however, there are also rumours that it contained a Tuc shop. The Central Hut was demolished for housing along Mill Road.
Left: Cookery in the Elizabeth Carter School on 23rd January 1958. The girls are wearing the caps and aprons they made in their needlework classes.
Right: Image of the Speech Day in the Elizabeth Carter School on 27th July 1960 (from the East Kent Mercury).
Images kindly donated by Judith Davies, former history reporter for the East Kent Mercury.
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Elizabeth Carter (1717 -
Next: Deal Secondary School
The Deal Secondary School for Boys Photos
Image 1 & 2 -
Image 3 -
Image 4 -
Image 5 -
Images provided by Gordon Marsh, former pupil.
A review back on the modern facilities and interesting lessons offered at The Deal Central School in the 1930s and 1940s: click here to read. Provided by Gordon Marsh.
The locks for the school were made by James Gibbons of Wolverhampton, a small lock making business. Most of the locks to the classrooms in the main building are still the original locks, and there are even still some original keys to them. Throughout the school, most doors still have the original 1930s brass handles that were fitted in 1936 and 1937; some of these are used as images on the background to this page.
Naming of the schools during this time (as accurate as possible):
Girls School: Boys School:
1945: Deal Girls Central, Deal County Modern Girls’ School 1950 -
(Circa) 1950 -
1940s Photos provided by past student, Kathleen Horton, attended 1944-
Above: the 1940s photos.
Right: 1944 school report from the “Deal Emergency Central School” shortly after the school gained back the building back from the Military Services.