Mile Oak Approved School

Aerial photograph c1940

By Frank Piner

There has been a good deal of discussion here about the exact location of Mile Oak Approved School.

This aerial photograph, taken in the 1940s, has the location described as Industrial School. I hope that it will help those interested in finding the school's position.

Click on the photograph below to open a large version in a new window. Click on it again to further enlarge.

Photo:Aerail photograph of Mile Oak area: click on the photograph to open a large version in a new window.

Aerail photograph of Mile Oak area: click on the photograph to open a large version in a new window.

From the private collection of Frank Piner

This page was added on 23/03/2012.
Comments about this page

We lived at 222, Mile Oak Rd, from Dec.1938 until 1950, we could see the school from our house. We used to have some of the boys to tea on Sundays. One of my sisters still has a piece of furniture made for her by one of the boys. We had pigs from the school farm raid our garden! They used to have a great Fete every year - the greasy pole being very popular!

By Frank Piner (24/03/2012)

Great photo Frank. I wonder if anyone can supply a corresponding current aerial view!

By Alan Hobden (26/03/2012)

It is good to see more photo's of the old place turning up, I would recognize the Mile Oak approved school from any angle.

By Charlie Knight (26/03/2012)

Mile Oak Approved School. Re aerial photo. I was born at 69 Applesham Way in January 1946 roughly when the photo was taken. Our family moved to 222 Mile Oak Road (coincidently the former home of Frank Piner) in April 1950, when I was 4. The entrance to the Approved School was just north of Brasslands Drive. The teachers’ houses were on the west side of Mile Oak Road. On each side or the entrance was a lodge house. In the mid 50s/early 60s, the house on the north side was occupied by the Wilkes family who had a son, Dave, and a daughter Helen. Dave was a good friend of mine. Next door lived the Yates family who had a daughter Diane and son Doug who was also a friend of mine. Many happy evenings were spent at the Yates’ listening to Radio Luxembourg with Dave and Doug and days wandering the Downs as far as the Adur, the Weald and Devils Dyke. A few doors north lived the Bengers whose son Peter was a friend of my brothers as was the headmaster’s son Steve Kane. Nearly opposite our house was an old farmhouse, at the rear of which were the pig styes where Bert Brundle kept his pigs. A large vat was always cooking pig swill made from scraps collected locally which included cakes which we children helped to unwrap and add to the swill. The heating of the pig swill over a fire may have contributed to the fire which destroyed the buildings (does anyone know when this was – I remember it but can’t date it). The photo shows Mile Oak as I remember it. Very evocative. The “L” shaped copse at the rear of the houses in Mile Oak Road, the cornfield at the bottom of our garden which stretched to Chalky Road and was occasionally planted with clover and grazed by sheep in movable pens and the Downs were our playground. Wasn’t the Girls School rather remote at this time – long before Valley Road was built?

By Roger Dale (07/05/2012)

Hi, I lived in Stonery Road growing up and remember the boys' school and the boys that were there. First the flats (Downland Court) were built and the boys seemed to disappear gradually. I was told it was a school for naughty boys, though what they told me it was pretty minor things. I actually went out with one of the boys until he went home to Crystal Palace. There is a whole load of houses built on the site although the gate houses remain.

By Pamela Homewood (James) (04/08/2012)

Hello Frank Pinner - thought I would come on your page as everyone made comments on the one I started. As you know I know a lot about Mile Oak School, but never attended tea at your house in the 40s as I was fortunate to go home on home leave and the boys who did not have a home life stayed behind, but had good times when the others went on home leave. A boy called Barton was one, do you recall him? Forgot his first name, could have been Dick. Anyway I have been promising myself a trip to the school. So for sure I will go this year (2012) and visit a lad that was there in the 70s as he lives in Brighton. I take it, you are still in France. Trevor 46 to 1950
P.S I have been trying to get to the big gate and the path up to where the school once was. No gates, but I think what I saw were the houses each side of the road which had houses galore. I did not like what I saw. Why did so many people have to live there in a housing estate? But then why did so many people have to be born as, since you and I left the same year 1950 (I left the school and you left your home), 2 billion humans have been born! They were really the good wonderful days. Not because we were young. But we had parents and you have had really unlucky years losing your child. I do hope I can meet some one that has lived there a long long time. Are those flats opposite where the gate are or were?

By Trevor Whitworth (02/04/2012)

Hi Frank Pinner. As I said, or did not say, I was on Google Earth when I could not see any gates where I thought the school might be. But it looked like the two houses, one on the right, one on the left. Mr Wilks on the left going in and Wilson on the right. But then I heard a new collage had been built in place of the grand old school. But what I saw were scabby housing estate just inside. What have they done? Now, as you have been to see it of late, had they built flats opposite?

By Trevor Whitworth (03/04/2012)

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