Weydon History

The earliest reference to Weydon School was in a Surrey County Council Education Development Committee note, Apppendix I dated 20th February 1951. Here a site of 17 acres was originally proposed for what was referred to as, Wrecclesham County Secondary School.

Sketch plans were drawn by 1 June 1954 and 3 months later on 1 September, the working drawings were ready. Then, on 26th October 1954, approval was given to spend £112,063 to build the first stage of the school.

The Education Committee instructed the Council to purchase land in Weydon Lane from the estate of Mr G Parratt for £2,836. The school now stands on what was a hop field. When the school opened in 1957 it was bounded on the south side (where the playing fields are now) by hop fields that were still in use.

On 4th March 1955 tenders to build the school were called for and on the 4th June 1955 it is noted in the records that the winner of the contract was C. Neal & Son Ltd. This family firm was based in West Horsley and built several projects for Surrey County Council including schools in West Horsley, Cobham, Effingham and Camberley. They also built rectories at Wrecclesham, Guildford, Ewhurst, West Horsley, Shipley and Burpham and the Wooden church at Slyfield.

A report dated 4th June 1955 shows that building work had commenced, with completion due by 27th March 1957. This completion date was not achieved and the last reference that I could find on the building’s progress was dated 8th June 1957 with 92.5% of the work completed. So the school was completed sometime between the 8th June and 16th September, which was the day it opened to the first pupils. A day, to quote the first headmaster Mr A H Surman, “When 340 girls and boys came together for the first time and turned a building into a School.”

The school was officially named Weydon County Secondary School on 29th October 1957 and the final cost was £125,688.

Weydon’s coat of arms was designed by Mr D.Lilley, the school’s first art teacher. It depicts hops and hop leaves to represent the connection to hop growing in the area, castle battlements for Farnham Castle and at the bottom, the wavy lines of the River Wey.

I wish to convey my thanks to the staff of The Surrey History Centre for helping me access the reports of Surrey County Council, which are reproduced, with their permission, on this site. My thanks also to the late Chris Hellier of The Farnham Museum who was very helpful in allowing me access to copies of The Farnham Herald from the 1950’s and to The Farnham Herald for giving me permission to publish reproductions of articles and photos about the school. The photos of the school, taken in 1964, were kindly made available to me by David and Anthony Neal, sons of Mr J. C Neal who was head of the building firm when the school was built.

The copy of the first “Weydonian” came to me from Chris Shepheard of The Rural Life Centre who was given the original by Mary Embling (Baker), who was a pupil at Weydon in 1957. The other copies are ones that I have kept all these years. If anyone has issue 4 from March 1962 I would be very grateful if they would make it available to go on this site. Finally, thanks to Mr. D Starmer (The school’s first woodwork teacher) who passed on to me information about the early years, some of which appears on this site.

Article by David Lee