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LG C of E School, Pancake Lane.
Leverstock Green in the 1930's
by Sidney Dollimore.
To find out more about Leverstock Green inthe 1930's generally, click here.

11th January 1930  The Gazette reported on the efforts made by the people of Leverstock Green to raise money for their new school. their new school.  For  further information concerning the school which was eventually built in Pancake Lane, click here [Gazette 11th Jan 2003]




A year or so ago the Leverstock Green elementary school buildings were condemned and the necessity of the provision of a new school became a matter of urgency.
A public meeting was called and pledged itself to support an effort to raise the necessary funds.  But Leverstock Green is a small place and one that, being largely agricultural, is not in anyway overblessed with worldly wealth.  The parish has done admirably and have earned by their efforts the attention and practical support of others.
A sum of £4,600 is required, and it is proving too much for the little community, and therefore now an urgent appeal is made for outside help.
The schools, which date back 70 years, are now too small for the population of the parish which is 722, and the number of pupils on the books is 120.  The buildings cannot be repaired or extended to meet the requirements of the Board of Education, as the site is too small and the buildings are not worth repairing. It is therefore proposed to erect new buildings to accommodate 160 children on a new site, which has been very kindly given the Earl of Verulam, and is exactly what is required, being close to the village and away from motor traffic and large enough for ample playgrounds for boys and girls. A sum of £4,600 is required to carry out the building of the new schools.
The scheme is strongly supported by the Bishop of St. Albans, The Diocesan Education Committee and by the National Society for helping to maintain the Church Schools.
The appeal is made very especially for help from the large business firms in our neighbourhood, who are naturally interested in the education and moral character of their workpeople.  Donations may be sent to:
Tel; Boxmoor 411x

15th January 1930  A sale was held of Reuben Seabrook's goods as shown in the copy of the advert which appeared in the Gazette a couple of weeks earlier. [Gazette 4th Jan 1930]

18th Jan 1930  A  social was held in aid of the nursing fund at the Parish Hall  this raised £14 5s 0d after 7s 6d expenses were removed.  "This excellent result shows how much the services of the Nurse are appreciated in the village." [Gazette 18th Jan 1930]

February 1930  An advert appeared on several occasions in the Gazette advertising  "Building Plots" These were in an "excellent situation on high ground.  Freehold building land having frontage to the St Albans Road and an average depth of 420 ft   Price 22s 6d per foot frontage." [Gazette February 1930]

6th March 1930 - Mr. Ayre made the following note in the school log book:

"Horlick's Malted Milk distribution began this morning - a very good reception."  [S73]

13th March 1930  - The funeral took place of Mrs Eileen Mayo of Mafeking Villas after a short illness.  She had died the previous Monday. She'd lived for 18 years in Leverstock Green since her marriage.  She left a husband and two children and was 40.  [Gazette March 15th  1930]

12th April 1930  The Gazette carried a  report of the funeral of Mrs Annie How, the  widow of the late Mr HARRY How of Corner Farm Hemel Hempstead.  She was buried in the same grave as her husband at Holy Trinity Church.    Mourners were confined to male relatives on the wish of the family.  However there was an exceedingly long list of these. [Gazette 12th April 1930]

12th September  1930  - Mr. Ayre noted the following in the log book:

"Class I Visit to Westwick Farm for Threshing Operations." [S73]
10/11th October 1930  (The doubt over the date arises because the commemorative stone is dated the 11th, yet the Headmaster entered the event in the log book under the 10th October.) -  The children of Leverstock Green School, having spent the morning until 11 am. rehearsing the Ceremony, together with their teachers and parents, and supported by many others from the village, marched down Pancake Lane to see the foundation stone of the new school laid.   By this time the school in Bedmond Road had got into such a state of disrepair that it was condemned by the Education Department. Numbers had also grown too large for the existing school building in Bedmond Road.  As a result a  new Church School was built in Bluebell Wood in Pancake Lane, on land given by Lord Verulam. The money was raised for this new school in various ways by the villagers, including making sweets and marmalade, many jars of which were made and sold by village mums to help raise money for the new building.

Everybody in the village donated time, money and energy to build the school, including the vicar who went round with a black collecting bag, and the Mothers Union, which traded with a shilling. Money was also given by the church authorities. The school  in Pancake Lane eventually closed in 1985 when it amalgamated with the County Primary in the village, then called Westwick School. It is now known as Leverstock Green JMI. and is Church of England Controlled.

The foundation stone for the new building was meant to be laid by the Right Rev. Michael Furze, the then Bishop of St. Albans  In fact he didn't do so as he officiated at the funeral service for the victims of the R100 airship disaster at Cardington.  Instead the Suffrogen Bishop of  Bedford laid the stone.  The stone commemorating this event - but with the Bishop of St. Albans' name - was moved from Pancake Lane to the new Green Lane site were it can still be seen. [ S107, S36 p.108; S46; Gazette, 26/4/85, S73 ]  See the Pancake Lane School webpage for photographs .

The Gazette carried the following report of the event:




Saturday was the day chosen for the laying of the foundation stone of the much-delayed Leverstock Green new Church School, and the ceremony which was favoured with mild, sunny weather, attracted a large proportion of Holy Trinity Church people of the parish and a number of friends.  In Holy Trinity Church absence of the Bishop of St. Albans, who was conducting the funeral of the R101 heroes at Cardington; the Archdeacon (Ven the Hon Kenneth G Gibbs) officiated.
There were also present The Rev. A.L.  Harkness (St. Paul's), The Rev Power (Hammerfield, St. Francis. Rev A.C. Jeffries (Chipperfield), the Rev A. Durrant (Leverstock Green)
The cost of the school building is £4,400  of which, prior to Saturday's ceremony, £600 was required to complete payment.  Congratulations are due to the way in which the Leverstock Green Parish have raised this gigantic figure.  By dint of much hard work in the way of organising of dances, concerts, rummage sales, etc. and the generous help of a number of friends, they have reached within £600 of the desired goal.  £4,400 must have been awe inspiring to the parishioners, but they set about the raising of it in a determined manner, and now they have the satisfaction of seeing the walls of the new school slowly going up, which to them is ample reward for their services.  The foundation stone bears the inscription:

"Holy Trinity Leverstock Green Church School.  This stone was laid by Michael, Lord Bishop of St, Albans, on October XI, A.D. MDCCCCXXX."

Just after three o'clock the clergy donned their robes in the Church, and headed by the school children, the choir, the Cross Bearer and a few Boys Scouts and Girl Guides, they filed in procession down the lane to the site in the Old Pancake Wood.  Here a low platform had been erected and upon this the Archdeacon and the Rev. A. Durrant, Vicar of Leverstock Green took their place with the rest of the clergy standing round.
The Rev Durrant thanked the Archdeacon for his great kindness in coming to them that afternoon to lay the foundation stone in place of the Bishop.  He had received a letter from the Bishop which he read as follows:
"With the greatest regret, I find myself unable to fulfil my promise to lay the foundation stone.  The funeral service of the gallant men who so tragically lost their lives in the air-ship is to take place at Cardington at the same hour, and in the circumstance, I feel that there was no course open to me but to accept, and I ask you to release me from my engagement and feel sure that your people will understand and forgive me" The Bishop's letter went on to say "The future of Christianity within this country laid with the rising generation.  It was surely for those who were old enough to realise something of the debt they owed those who first gave them their faith, and those, who in each generation, had kept it alive, to see to it that the rising generation of today had the best opportunity of learning."
The Archdeacon then laid the foundation stone, and the song; Loving Shepherd of thy Sheep was sung.
The Rev. Power read the lesson from the 40th verse of the 2nd chapter of St. Luke, and then followed prayers, during which the Archdeacon prayed for the souls of the R101's dead, those present then standing in silence for a few minutes.
The Archdeacon in an interesting address said that they might be sure that no light reason would have kept the Bishop away that afternoon from laying the foundation stone.  There was no one ion England who was keener about the Church schools, and who had watched with the utmost sympathy, and he might say great admiration, the efforts that they in Leverstock Green had made to preserve their Church School.  There was one other thing about the Bishop and that was that they saw the inscription on the stone said that it had been laid by the Bishop.  Well he was not there as the Archdeacon, he was there as the Bishop representative or commissary, and what he said, the Bishop said.  There was an old saying, "A man who does something for someone else, really does it himself."   He wanted them to consider that when he laid the stone it was the Bishop laying it by his hand and therefore in his judgement the inscription might stand.  He (the Archdeacon) felt great admiration for the way in which that small parish tackled the immense difficulty of building a new church school.  The parish, he thought, was not 800 people, and it cost them something like £5,000. He thanked them on behalf of the Diocese, and speaking on behalf of the Bishop, he offered his warm congratulations to them.  It was a great achievement to have already raised over £3,850 , and he congratulated them on it.  The Bishop had stated that they had £600, but he had understated it.  They wanted  £600 for the actual building, but there were the very well deserved fees of the architect to consider, and what they wanted was not £600 but £900 .  He hoped that they would wipe off a considerable amount of that debt that afternoon, he was going to ask them to hand their offerings to him sp that he could lay them on the stone.  They were going to see the stone a good many times in future years and he would like them to be able to look it comfortably in the face.  They all knew that religious education was given in the school and they might say "Why Trouble about Church Schools".  However there were limitations in the provided schools and also in choosing a teacher for a Church school, they cold make sure that he was a churchman, and a Christian, but if it was for the provided school, they may make any amount of enquiries and then have no guarantee that the man was a Christian.  He hoped they would be able to write off their debt so that they might say to people who said that they cannot keep their church schools, "Go and have a look at Leverstock Green ".

The ceremony concluded with the singing of the hymn "Once in Royal David's City", and the plates were then passed round.  The Rev. Durrant announced that those who wished could send their offerings to the Bishop, and he himself started the ball rolling with £5.   As a result of this appeal a total of £130  was received.

Note:        £184125.26 in the year 2001 has the same "purchase power" as £3850, 0s, 0d in the year 1930
  £43042.27 in the year 2001 has the same "purchase power" as £900, 0s, 0d in the year 1930
  £239.12 in the year 2001 has the same "purchase power" as £5, 0s, 0d in the year 1930

25th October 1930  A Social was held in Parish Hall in aid of Nursing Association fund.[Gazette 25th Oct 1930]

Nov 7th1930 A Dedication festival was held at Holy Trinity on Friday and continued on the following Sunday. The Festival was held every year and was always well attended. [Gazette 8th November 1930]

6th Dec 1930   OLD KILNS FOUND AT BENNETTS END  ON SITE OF NEW KILNS. An extremely long article complete with several photographs appeared in he Gazette.  It concerned the Lime Kilns at Bennetts End where some very old kilns had recently been found on the site of the new ones. [Gazette 6th Dec 1930]

25th September 1930 – The Fourth Earl of Verulam offered much of the Gorhambury Estate for sale. Nora King in her book “The Grimstons of Gorhambury” states: “…the Fourth Earl had not foreseen the crash of 1929 and the slump which followed it. He found himself needing cash at a time when any asset could be bought for a song.  In 1930 Gorhambury, its contents and the majority of the estate were put up for sale but no acceptable offer materialised.  In 1931 the majority of the farmland was sold………” 

The farmland was eventually sold to the Crown Estate, and is still largely held by them.  The Auctioneers who handled the unsuccessful sale on 25th September 1930 were Messrs Knight Frank & Rutley of 20 Hanover Square London W1.  Still in business today trading as Knight Frank LLP (, details of the sale are still held by them and with English Heritage’s Historic Monuments Commission at Swindon.  Of the many farms offered for sale, four in particular are within Leverstock Green: Kettlewells, Westwick Farm, Westwick Row Farm and Westwick Hall Farm.

The tenant at Kettlewells was given as Mr. G W Pigott, and it was supplied with water from the estate Main.  Annual rental was £235, reduced by Voluntary allowance to £195 p.a. from March 1927.  The property was billed as being:
An important Dairy, corn & Stock holding, adjoining the north and west sides of Gorhambury Park.  The superior modern built Farm  Residence occupies a capital situation and contains:-Tiled  entrance Hall, two good reception rooms, Kitchen with Heralds Range, Scullery, Larder and Basement Cellar, Six Bedrooms, Boxroom, Bathroom fitted with bath & lavatory basin and separate pedestal WC.  Tennis Lawn and Kitchen garden.  Adjoining the Farm House is the Nag Stabling consisting of Two Stalls and Trap House or Garage, coal & Wood Sheds.

The original farmhouse now divided into two cottages with Bothy & Tool Shed, together with the farm buildings, are placed conveniently near and the latter comprise:- A model Cow shed providing accommodation for 32 head with Cooling House and Machine House: Barn, Hen House, six-bay open Cart Shed, Two and Three Bay open Cattle Sheds and Yard, Granary and Engine House, seven-stall Cart Horse Stable with Loft over part, Two Loose Boxes, Four-Bay open Cattle Shed and Yard & Three division Piggery. At Breakspears is a Farm Cottage and at Megdell a Barn.
The farm covered 234 acres 38 perches altogether and obviously incorporated much of what had been both Megdells and Breakspears, and the breakdown of fields etc. Can be seen in the schedule above.

Westwick Farm’s tenant was Mr. W. A. Bothwell paying a yearly rent of £175.  The water supply in this instance came from the Hemel Hempstead Waterwork’s Co’s Main.  The farm description was as follows:

A capital mixed holding adjoining Leverstock Green.  The Picturesque Modern Farmhouse is a brick and tile erection partly ivy clad, the accommodation of which comprises: - GROUND FLOOR: Entrance Hall, Dining Room, Drawing Room, Kitchen, Scullery, Larder & Pantry.  Below is a cellar.  FIRST FLOOR: Four bedrooms each fitted with a fireplace; Large Bathroom with fireplace, and lavatory basin and W.C.  Company’s water is laid on and the Telephone is connected.  Outside is a Dairy with a room over, and nearby is a weather-boarded and galvanized iron Garage.  The House is surrounded by a garden.

There is a useful set of farm buildings (with water laid on) They comprise Granary, 3-bay open Cattle Shed and Yard, two pigsties, Cow shed for 14, Cow Sheds to tie 3 & 6 respectively, Mixing  House, two Loose Boxes, Calf Pen, two 2-bay Barns, three Loose Boxes and an excellent new 8-bay girder and galvanized iron Dutch Barn; 3-bay open Cart and Implement Shed and a good brick and tiled Cart Horse Stable for 8 with Chaff House at end and 2 stall Nag stable.

The farm was just over 205 acres, with part of its land within St. Michael’s and the rest within Hemel Hempstead.

Westwick Row Farm’s tenant was Mr. H Bailey, but he had given notice to quit expiring Michaelmas 1930.  The annual rent was £210 reduced by voluntary allowance to £148 per annum from March 1927.  The water supply was again from the Estate Mains.  The description given was as follows:

A compact Mixed Holding, adjacent to the village of Leverstock Green  and intersected and bounded by good roads.  The Farm House is brick and tile built and stuccoed, and has the following accommodation: Sitting room, Kitchen, scullery, Larder and four bedrooms.  Garden.

There is a useful set of farm buildings which include Cart House stable for 7 and Chaff Place, Wood Shed with loft over, two Cattle sheds, 3-bay open cattle shed and Yard, Poultry House, two 2-bay Barns, 2-bay open cattle shed with yard, 4-bay open Cart and Implement shed, two Cattle Sheds and Granary.

It is uncertain as to why the house was given no mention of being timber-framed but as being as being brick built as it is a splendid (now listed) timber-frame building dating from the 15th century.  Infilling between the timbers is wattle in places, and brick in others.

LEFT: Schedule for Westwick Row Farm, 1930
The largest farm within Leverstock Green’s boundaries which was put on the market at this time was Westwick Hall. It covered altogether over 307 acres and the tenant was Mr. G.D. Little.  It must be remembered that prior to the building of the M1 and M11, access to Westwick Hall was via a track with came out in Westwick Row near Corner Farm.  In present times the farm is completely cut off from the village with access from  Hill End Lane  and is only visible from the M11.  Full details cane be seen in the scan of the schedule (right).
[S20; S415]

© of the photographs and scanned schedules within this section remains with Knight Frank LLP, and I am grateful to them for allowing me free use of them here.
This page was last updated: April 4, 2011
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