WEEKE LOCAL HISTORY
Kings' was formed in 1985 by the merging of the previous Winchester Girls' Secondary Modern School otherwise known as Danemark, with the Winchester Boys' Secondary Modern or Montgomery of Alamein School. These schools could trace their roots back to the Wesleyan Day School (1889), St Thomas's School (1893), Danemark Central School (1912) and St Mary's School (1900) which can trace its origins back to the Central girls school in 1812.
The first school to be built in Romsey Road was the Winchester County Secondary School for boys, a boys secondary school, opened on site in Romsey Road 1952. It was based on boys from St Thomas Secondary School in Mews Lane and the boys from the Winchester County Secondary School (previously Danemark), both closer to the town centre (URL27).
Mr Dennis Beacham was appointed headmaster of the new school in 1967. He had been brought up in Bath. At the start of World War II he volunteered and was eventually commissioned as an infantry officer, serving with East Lancashire regiment, part of the 53 Welsh Division; with whom he saw action in Belgium, Holland, the crossing of the Rhine and the battles of the Reichwald and Hamburg. Following the war he returned to education and attended King’s College London, from where he graduated with a BA in history (URL28).
Prior to taking up the appointment in Winchester, he had been the head of Ingram School in South London and before that the head of Bishop's High School in Tobago.
He arrived in Winchester in 1967 becoming the headmaster of ‘Winchester County Secondary School for boys’ and he quickly decided to rename the school Montgomery of Alamein. He approached Montgomery who agreed if ‘of Alamein’ was added to his name. Montgomery opened the renamed school in 1968, on the anniversary of the battle of the Somne. The school was a secondary school and did not have a sixth form. Any one wanting sixth form education had to go to Peter Symonds. In 1973 it became one of the 11/16 year old comprehensive schools feeding Peter Symonds which became a sixth form college (HRO W/C1/7/22). On 1st September 1984 Montgomery was combined with Danemark school . The two schools were on the same site, and provided mixed comprehensive education for 11/ 16 year olds. The combined school was called Kings.
Most of the old Montgomery buildings are now used by Hampshire county council.
St Thomas’s National School was opened in 1856 (HRO 176M87) as an elementary school and closed in 1952 when the new secondary school opened on Romsey Road. Girls and infants were in a building in St Thomas St and boys in Tower St. In 1893 (HRO 37M82W/PJ4) a secondary school St Thomas Higher Grade Senior School was established in Mews Lane. This was closed in 1952 ( HRO 128M96/C3/60) with the opening of the new secondary school on Romsey Road. The girls transferred to Western School in 1897 when it opened in Elms Road. Western school transferred to the present site in Browning Drive in the 1970s.
The building opened for the first time in Gordon Rd in Sept 1912 as Danemark County School an elementary school. It was the first Winchester education authority elementary school in the City. The name comes from the name of a field on the present day Recreational Centre on the other side of the river Itchen called Danemark Meades. This was the area associated with the defeat of the Danes by the grandson of King Alfred. The land, the building and equipment cost a grand total of £5,500. In 1939 following the outbreak of war the school was used for one year as an air-raid casualty station. The pupils were temporarily accommodated in Holy Trinity Parish Hall and the Old Weslyan School St Peters St. The pupils returned to the school in June 1940. After the 1944 Education Act it was place under the Hampshire Education Authority. It became a mixed secondary modern school called the County Secondary school. From January 1953 the boys transferred to new premises in Romsey Road and this left the school to be a girls only school again. The boys went to the Winchester County Secondary School for boys. The girls school continued until 1959 when 1959-64 the girls also transferred to the Romsey Rd site into a new school called Danemark. The roll was by then 889 girls. The Gordon Road buildings were used as an annex during the years of transfer to September 1964 when the second building phase was completed (Dawson, 1988).
In September 1973 as part of the comprehensive reorganisation Danemak became an 11 – 16 Comprehensive Girls School. Finally in 1983 plans were agreed to combine Danemark with Montgomery, the boys school on the Romsey Road site.
The Gordon Road site opened in 1966 as St. Bede Church of England (Controlled) Primary School upon the amalgamation of the two parish schools of Holy Trinity and St Bartholomew's.
The Central School was built in 1812 in Abbey Passage and was had separate schools for both boys and girls. It was the first school built by the Hampshire societry which had been formed in 1811. The girls and infants school was renamed St Marys school for girls in 1920. It became a secondary school after 1945 and then closed in 1952. When it closed girls went to Danemark school in Gordon Road when the boys moved to the new Romsey Road site.
Release 1.0 last update 02/09/08