Private Preparatory school for boys, Wordsworth Road 1898-1966
The school was founded by Miss M Sibley in the mid-1890s in a house in Wordsworth Road. In 1898 it moved to a three-acre plot on the corner of Townsend Road and Wordsworth Road.
Miss Sibley sold the school in 1909, and it was leased to Mr Everett who ran it until 1919 when Mr H B Evington took over as headmaster.
The prospectus for 1929 declared: “The aim of the school is not only to prepare boys for the Public Schools but also to develop character and keep the boys fit and well, by attention to good feeding, rest and exercise. We try to train boys to be mentally alert, and open-minded, and as they grow older, to develop initiative, self-dependence and a spirit of adventure”. The curriculum included the study of current news and the cultivation of an interest in scientific progress and business life. The fees for all this were thirty-six guineas.
Mr Evington’s son joined the staff in 1937, but was on active service during the Second World War. In 1940 a special Summer Term was worked, to keep pupils at a safe distance from air raids (though a bomb fell in Crabtree Lane in October 1940!).
After the war Mr J Evington rejoined the staff and became joint-head with his father in 1952, and it is from this period that former pupils have sent group photos, and comments – see below. Brian Haigh has also contributed his reminiscences of the late 1940s and early 1950s. Roy Clark has written his memories of his time there from 1946-1950.
In 1960 Mr J Evington took over sole control at a time when there were 60 boarders and some day pupils.
Hardenwick boys took part in the 1953 Coronation celebrations, forming an escort for the Fairy Queen.
The school moved to Sandridgebury in 1966, absorbing Aylesford House School, and closed around 1969. It was then bought by the MacIver family from Boston to run a private boarding school for US high school children. This school closed around 1973.
However, Charles Habib discovered this website page in August 2015, and has written his memories of the school at Sandridgebury from 1967 to 1971.