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Copthall School, Mill Hill:
the buildings, 1936-1950s

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A state of the art grammar school, 1936-1950s

During the Second World War, there was no money for new schools and the years after the war were still ones of austerity. So, as Copthall School was built just before the war, its buildings here held up nationwide as an example of modern excellence. This was even the case when I was a pupil there in the 1950s.Visitors regularly seemed to come round to view the school - not the teaching!

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The main entrance

1950s aerial photograph of Copthall County Grammar School, Mill Hill, north London, small image

1950s aerial photograph of Copthall County Grammar School. Being a professional photograph is has fine detail. Click for a larger version.

In its early years, Copthall was designated as in Page Street, NW7, and this was its main entrance.

The main entrance to the modern school has, however changed, making the school address as Pursley Road, Mill Hill, London, NW7 2EP.

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The appearance of the school from outside

Postcard photographs of the school were on sale while I was there, and I bought copies because I have always prized photographic records. The aerial photograph at the top of the page shows the buildings.

The front entrance of Copthall County Grammar School in the 1950s.

The front entrance in the 1950s

This photo shows something of the imposing appearance of the front of Copthall. Not that we pupils were ever allowed to use it. I, like many of my fellow schoolmates cycled to school, and it felt natural anyway to enter via the side entrance to get to the bicycle sheds. These sheds can be seen by the near tennis courts in the enlarged version of the aerial photograph. (At that time cycling was relatively safe as there was so much less traffic on the roads.)

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Appearance of the school inside

While I was at Copthall, I always thought that I was in an elegant place, and I took the central heating for granted. When I went back for a visit in later life, I realised how much dark wood there was, particularly in the school hall where the floor, unless memory betrays me, was oak parquet.

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This website Join me in the 1900s is a contribution to the social history of everyday life in 20th century Britain from the early 1900s to about 1960, seen through personal recollections and illustrations, with the emphasis on what it was like to live in those times.