South Walks House

1 - South Walk (sic) House in 1888. The open area to the left was the Cattle Market.

History: South Walks House was the first of the twentieth-century boarding houses, being opened in 1929. Headmaster RW Hill was the first South Walks Housemaster. Mr John Hale took over in 1946, and upon his retirement in 1959 the position was taken by Mr Peter Lewendon until 1975, followed by Mr Neville Lord until South Walks House was closed in early 1978.

By 1981, South Walks House had been demolished and the site redeveloped into apartment dwellings as Acland Court.

The Old Hardyeans Newsletter of Sept '91 records:
"John Hale was born in 1915, one of eight siblings. His father was killed in 1918. Following a scholarship at Taunton School, he gained an Honours Degree in Biological Sciences at Bristol University in 1936. He was at Hardye's from 1937-9, then served as an officer in the Royal Corps of Signals during World War II, and was awarded the MBE. He returned to Hardye's in 1946 as Head of the Lower School, Sixth Form Biology Master & House Master at South Walks. In 1959 he left Hardye's, and following other Head Master posts, retired in 1977. He died in May 1991. He had 3 sons and a daughter."
More South Walks history required please - e-mail me

John Hanna has written an article on life at South Walks in 1958-63 - Click Here

In July 2023, I visited the Dorset History Centre in Dorchester, where I was able to photograph several documents relevant to the history of Hardye's, and which now appear in this and other pages of this website. Where they do, I also give the Centre's document reference number in brackets as 'DHC' followed by their reference number should others wish to inspect them.

First, a photo of South Walks copied from the History Centre (DHC D-2739/4/1) which it suggests was taken arond 1900. However, comparing this photo with the map shown as 1 above, it would appear that by 1888 the house had been extended on its east side, so I believe that this photo dates from before 1888.

2 - South Walks House before 1888.
(It is interesting to compare this photo with numbers 29 & 30 below.)

In 1918, South Walks House was put up for sale. Below are copies of the sales brochure (DHC D-HDS/SP/1918/2) for that time:





In 1926, South Walks House was put up for sale again. Below are copies of the sales brochure (DHC D-HDS/SP/1926/7) for that time:





11 - The earliest photo to date of South Walks Inmates. This photo is from the Lancashire Collection (see under the Southfields House section) and is dated September 1943.
Back row, left to right: Mr RW Hill (Headmaster & Housemaster at South Walks), Mrs Hill, Mrs Lancashire, Mr Lancashire (Housemaster at the newly-opened Southfields House);
Front row: Michael Parsons, Roger Rowland and brother Bob Rowland.

12 - From John Rawlins: 3rd Dormitory, South Walks House, taken at the Senior School 1947:
Left to right: J Foster, J Newman(kneeling), & J Rawlins.
"Long cricket trousers! At the time we were only allowed long trousers for cricket if over 14---boarding house rules."

13 - South Walks House 1949.
Back row: Tilney-Basset, Skinner, Rodney Bugg, Roger Rowland, John Rawlins, Jukes, Peter Bugg, Barrie Burke, John Foster, P.Phillips, Viv Hancock, Rees or Reiss?, Bacon, Reiss or Rees?;
Middle row: PWG Smith, John Newman, NAT Marsh, Peter Shore, Shardlow, Bob Rowland, Harry Pouncy, Bernard V. Heathcote, R. Mundy, Vinny Dean, D. Mundy, Paddy O'Riordon, Michael FH Dennis;
Front row: Cowper, R.Dean, Eric Davies, Mrs Hale (mother of HJH), Mr HJ Hale (holding baby Lance), Mrs Hale, Mr Johnson, Gaunt, Dell, Les Tite.

Notes: Back row - I seem to remember that there were two Buggs whose father was serving with mine somewhere on the south coast.
Middle row - I think that Harry Pouncy was from a fairly local farming family. Bernard Heathcote, my particular pal at school, went on to work with Boots Chemists in a fairly senior capacity. The Dean brothers were sons of a doctor and lived (I think) in Shillingstone. I met O'Riordon in the Army some years later, either in Catterick or Northern Ireland.
Front row - Eric Davies was the school high jump champion for a number of years. May have been Head Boy and was certainly head prefect at South Walks. I think that the lady on the House Master's right was his mother? I can vaguely remember that H. John Hale came out of the Army and became house master, married the young lady on his left and who had fairly recently had the baby. I can remember Mr Johnson's face but absolutely nothing about him. I'm certain that Les Tite was another local farmer's son.

Photo & Notes courtesy of Bob Rowland.

Four photos from John Rawlins' collection, taken at South Walks in 1952:
14 - Left to right: J Rawlins, J Foster, K Jukes, J Dutot; 15 - Left to right: J Rawlins, K Jukes.

16 - Left to right: J Dutot, J Foster, K Jukes, J Rawlins; 17 - Left to right: J Rawlins, K Jukes.

18 - This photo and identification courtesy of Mike Morgan. It shows the South Walks House complement, 1954. From left to right:
Back Row: Mike Lindsay, Chris Borries, Peter Warrick, Lindsay Davidge, John Kerswell, Tony Robertson, Jeremy Hywell-Davies, Roger Newton, Brian Gill, John 'Luke' Townsend.
3rd. Row: Gordon Davey, Dave Phillips, Tony Donnley, Martin Partridge, Burgess, Paul Bowen, Billy Beal, John Moore, Peter Burke, Peter Neale, Willie Marshall, Tim Bowen.
2nd Row: Peter Smith, John Dillon, 'Jacko' Jackson, Dick Mundy, Mrs Hale (with Infant Hale), Mr Hale, Mrs Morse (Matron), Rodney Bugg, Brian Skinner, John Neville, Peter Warren.
Front Row: Rodney Partridge, Dave Borries, Lance Hale, Katrina Hale, Mike Morgan, John Morley.

19 - This next one I copied from an original at the 2004 Reunion, but I've forgotten who brought along the original - I think it may have been John Pearson.
Faces I can recognise are as follows. Please e-mail me if you can identify others. From left to right:
Back Row: John Townsend, Dave Borries, RHS Revell, Peter Warrick, WH 'Ginger' Edwards, Dennis "Gogs" MJ Turner, John Kerswell, R Davies, John Pearson, Mike Morgan, Rodney Partridge, RD Dundas-Thomas.
3rd. Row: Charlie Bradford, Brian Gill, Mike Thomas, David Phillips, Tony Robertson, John Donley, Peter Burke, Roger Newton, Gordon Davey, Chris Borries, Mike Lindsay, John Morley.
2nd Row: Willie Marshall, Billy Beal, John Moore, John Dillon, Mr Brookfield, Mrs Hale, Mr Hale, Mrs Brookfield (Matron), Paul Bowen, Graham Saunders, Anthony Tewson, Tim Bowen.
Front Row: David Wood, Nigel Lindsay, ? Hale, Lance Hale, Katrina Hale, Michael Barker, BM Gunstone.

20 - The Tennis Court and Swimming Pool at Southwalks House, mid 1950's. The pool had been converted from an old air raid shelter.

From Rev Canon Derek Bugler: "I was at South Walks House from 1938 to 1941 and helped to dig the air raid shelter that you mentioned in reference to the picture of the swimming pool. We were given picks and shovels and dug away for a few days after school, but showed so little progress that the Headmaster, Mr. R.W. Hill, gave up on us and hired a couple of "navvies" to help the maintenance man finish the job. The shelter was long and narrow, with benches along each side and nothing else except a cupboard of emergency supplies. We didn't go down into the shelter for every air raid alert; they were too frequent. But as well as the sirens there was a secondary alert when German planes returned our way after attacking Portland. Chased by Spitfires from the Warmwell base, they sometimes jettisoned their bombs in this area. The only damage around Dorchester that I remember was one bomb on the outskirts of the town that killed a cow, and an oil bomb that dropped outside the Plaza Cinema that made quite a mess. We probably used the shelter five or six times, and emerged at the "All Clear" disappointed that nothing dramatic had happened. The headmaster appeared at the beginning of these raids, hurriedly dressed but with not a strand of hair out of place. He insisted on orderly single lines across the lawn to the shelter. The only disorderly thing that happened: one of my friends stole a tin of chicken from the emergency supplies. When this was found out it caused a seven-day grilling and accusing that drove everything else from our minds. We were threatened with loss of vacations, eternal detentions, etc. The culprit said to the headmaster, "What a dastardly deed; I can't imagine anyone could stoop so low!" Although most of us knew who did it, no-one told. Eventually the headmaster gave up, but not without a long lecture on the guilt and remorse the culprit would feel for the rest of his life."

Regarding the wartime bombs mentioned in the previous paragraph, Nigel Newbery adds: "I recall my parents pointing out the crater from the one that fell just outside the town and my mother was inside the Plaza Cinema when the bomb fell outside. She always said that it did not go off and how lucky she was. From Derek's comments it seems likely that it was not high explosive. Must have been 1940 or 1941 as I was born in 1942 (or nearly wasn't if that bomb had gone off!)."

From John Rawlins: "I was in South Walks House where Johnny Hale came as assistant to the Head (RW Hill). Johnny married the matron and the Old Man moved out but remained headmaster with Dunc [Lidbury] as deputy. Johnny got us labouring to dig out the air raid shelter in the garden which became a very cold swimming pool in '50 or '51."

A couple of mid-1950's photos from the Mike Morgan archives:
Left: 21 - L to R: Standing centre "Luke" Townsend, Peter Smith, ?; In front Rodney Partridge, Dave Borries.
Right: 22 - L to R: "Jacko" Jackson, Dick Mundy, Rodney Bugg, Joe Dillon, Peter Smith?
- taken on a House outing to Church Ope Cove on Portland, probably on the bridge over the approach to Rufus Castle.
Photos courtesy of Mike Morgan.

23 - South Walks House 1958.
Back row: Nigel Lindsay, Tim Pullen, 'Rollo' Reid, Tim Whittle, Mike Grigsby, RD Dundas-Thomas, RHS Revell, David Barker, "Boggo" Robbins, Brian Gunstone, Tim King, David Wood.
3rd. row: Mike Morgan, Rodney Partridge, John Townsend, Roger Davies, WH 'Ginger' Edwards, Peter Warrick, Dennis "Gogs" MJ Turner, John Morley, David Borries, John Pearson, Michael Barker.
2nd row: Chris Borries, Brian Gill, Mike Lindsay, Tim Bowen, Matron Jackie ‘Beaky’ Cresswell, Housemaster John Hale (with Hale Junior on knee), Mrs. Hale, House Tutor?, Mike Thomas, Tony Robertson, James Robertson.
Front row: Ricky Rogers, Tim Perry, Katrina Hale, Lance Hale, ?, Nick Baker.
Photo courtesy of Tony Robertson.

24 - South Walks House 1960.
Back row: Andrew Luckham, Pete Bedingfield, Mike Yarram, Daryl Bristow, Jonathan King, John Hanna, John Barratt, David Pinnell, Chris Pearson, Ernie Leaf, Digby Guy.
3rd. row: 'Spud' Dolby, Tim Whittle, Tim Pullen, David Barker, David Wood, 'Kit' Cattell, Brian Gunstone, 'Rollo' Reid, Tim Perry, Tim King, 'Boggo' Robbins, Hugh Morley.
2nd row: Mike Grigsby, Dennis Turner, John Pearson, Matron Jackie 'Beaky' Cresswell, Housemaster Peter Lewendon, Mrs. Lewendon, Carey & Elizabeth Lewendon, House Tutor David Lacey,
Peter Warrick, Peter Stevenson, Roger Davies.
Front row: Anthony Copaz, Kenneth Vlasto, Steve Perry, Dermot Hanna, Robert Hayes, Andrew Lowes.
Photo courtesy of John Hanna.

25 - Some South Walks House inmates, 1960.
L to R: Martin Perry?, Steve Dolby, Tom Pennington Legh, Hugh Morley, Andrew Moore, John King.
Photo courtesy of Steve Dolby.

26 - South Walks House 1964.
Back row: ?, Peter Taylor, James Priddle, 'Kit' Cattell, Colin Turner, Frederic Waite, Andrew Figgins, ?, Andrew Whittle, Michael Young, Robert Hayes.
Middle row: Andrew Lowes, 'Bluey' Horne, Brian Hayes, Nicholas MacArthur, Paul Baker, Andrew Moore, Tom Pennington Legh, ?, ?, ?, ?, Kenneth Vlasto.
Front row: Michael Lind, Robi Das Gupta, S Gwilli Jenkins, David Pinnell, Nurse Jackie Creswell, Mr & Mrs Peter Lewendon, Mr Harvey Easton, Christopher Pearson, Jonathan King, Mick Yarram, John Barrett .
On ground: David Berry, Norman Cobb, Carey Lewendon, Elizabeth Lewendon, Brian Butler, Gavin Perry.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Kibbey.

27 - South Walks House 1965.
Back row: Nigel Trotter (Matron's son), David Dodd, ?, ?, Michael Young, Andrew Whittle, Nicholas Haine, Brian Butler, Peter Taylor, ?, Gavin Perry, Norman Cobb, David Ferrett;
Middle row: French exchange student, Jeremy Figgins, Kenneth Vlasto, Kit Cattell, Bluey Horne, Colin Turner, ?, Paul Baker, Nicholas Hayes, Andrew Lowes, Richard Priddle, ?, Robert Hayes;
Front row: Peter Stone, Andrew Moore, John King, Michael Yarram, David Pinnell, The Lewendons, Mrs Trotter (Matron), Christopher Pearson, Michael Lind, John Barrett, Das Gupta, Andrew Wardell.
Photo courtesy of Colin Turner.

28 - Andrew Moore at South Walks, 1966.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Moore.

29 - The front of South Walks House, 1967.
Photo courtesy of Colin Turner.

30 - The garden of South Walks House, 1967.
Photo courtesy of Colin Turner.

More recent swimming pool scenes: 31 - 1973, Mrs Lewendon supervises.
Photo courtesy of Terry Exell.

32 - Mr Peter Lewendon supervising swimming at South Walks House 1974.
Photo courtesy of Terry Exell.

33 - South Walks House 1975.
Back row: ?, ?, ?, ?, Mark Kley, Jonathan Easterbrook, Peter Van der Plank, Bruce Williams, Steven Ganney, Jonathan Harris;
Standing: Chris Higson, George Rawlinson, ?, Geoff Caulfield, Andrew Gough, ?, ?, Alex Stringer, Graham Gamlin, Steve Peck, John Phillips;
Seated: Rod Van der Plank, Sean Riches, James Sneddon, Nigel Bolding, Mrs.Lewendon, Mr. P Lewendon, Mr J. Oakshatt, Rupert Meaden, Jon Petersen, Nick Burns, Peter Hancock;
Front row: ?, ?, Lucy the dog, ?, ?.
Photo courtesy of Sean Riches.

34 - South Walks House 1976.
Back row: (all unknown);
Standing: Graham Gamlin, Alex Stringer, Mark Kley, Andrew Gough, ?, ?, Geoff Caulfield, ?, Chris Higson, Jonathan Easterbrook;
Seated: Peter Van der Plank, Peter Hancock, me, Mr N Lord, Mrs. Lord, Nick Burns, Rod Van der Plank, Steve Peck;
Front row: (all unknown);
Photo courtesy of Sean Riches.

35 - The site of South Walks House as it is today (2020).
Photo courtesy of Google Earth.

Other Boarding Houses