Long Barn, Patcham

Photo:Patcham Barn - the home of Carden Junior School c1946

Patcham Barn - the home of Carden Junior School c1946

Roy Grant

Photo:Interior of Patcham Barn

Interior of Patcham Barn

Roy Grant

Photo:Carden Junior School 1951

Carden Junior School 1951

Roy Grant

Schoolboy memories

by Roy Grant

Postwar temporary school
In the post war years of 1946-1947, Carden school had yet to be built, so Patcham barn was used as a temporary school for many of the younger children moving into the new Hollingbury estate. I went to school there as a five year old child, but apart from the original "bull's eye" windows on the doors, the stacks of old furniture in the hallways and a very distinctive and rather unpleasant musty smell.

Out of school activities
I remember little about the building itself. What is more embedded in my mind is the journey too and from school behind the houses in Ladies Mile Road, many of which had apples to scrump and disused air raid shelters to play in. At school we made pom-poms by winding wool round two back to back cardboard milk bottle tops and listened to our teacher read from Enid Blyton's "Wishing Chair." After Carden was completed and the overspill children left, the barn remained as a community building and for some years served as the local youth club.

Demolition problems
Although 16th century or earlier, in those days few of us ever thought of quibbling when we were told the barn had to be demolished because it was unsafe. I later found out that it was so unsafe that the weeks planned for its demolition became months and that the central centuries old oak posts supporting the roof were so strong they had many of the qualities of reinforced concrete. I believe that the demolition company had such a geat difficulty cutting or burning them, they eventually had to tow several of them away almost complete and bury them somewhere.

Added to the site on 08-11-04 
This page was added on 22/03/2006.
Comments about this page

How lovely to see that photo of the class of 51. It brought back some fond memories. I think I am third from the right in the top row or third from the left in the next row down. Not sure because the faces are a bit unclear. The photo cost my mother sixpence old money to purchase. There are several faces I can put a name to in the photo, because I have in my possession one taken in 1950 or 1952 when Miss Watts was my class mistress, oh happy days!! Anybody who is in that photo and wants to contact me, I can be reached on michaelmills453@gmail.com.

By Michael Mills (17/09/2012)

I lived in Mayfield Crescent, Patcham from my birth in '38 until we moved to Highview Way in '54 when I started work. I was in the Boys Brigade and I'm sure there was a company associated with The Barn Methodist Church. My other link was that I had driving lessons and my test with a firm that had a garage up a drive at the left hand side of the Barn. I recall the car; a Standard Eight! On the other side of the drive was a butchers shop and opposite was the Patcham Library.

By John Snelling (21/11/2012)

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