Southfield House

The Southfield House Reunion Dinner on Wednesday 9th July 2008, held at the King's Arms Hotel, Dorchester, was a great success. Full marks to organiser Chris Etherington. See Southfield Reunion

History: Originally, the building was two semi-detached houses, that to the south being 'Southfield House', and can be seen on the Ordnance Survey map for 1888 when the houses were only a few years old.

1 - Southfield House in 1888.

The north half was originally called 'Ingleside', but this was changed at some later date to 'Crossways' and became a private junior school for girls; among its pupils was a Miss Gravener who was later to become Assistant Matron at Southfield House in the 1950's. The 1888 map shows the area that was latterly the dining room as being much smaller, with perhaps a conservatory covering the area that later became the extension to the dining room.

Southfield House was first partially opened for boarders at Dorchester Grammar School in November 1943 and fully opened in January 1944, and was run by Mr & Mrs Lancashire. In 1950, Crossways was acquired, and following extensive redecoration throughout was incorporated into Southfield House, access being obtained by fitting extra doors between the two halves. Various improvements both inside the house and in the garden areas continued through the 1950's. At some time after 1970, the triangular area within the corner of Prince of Wales Road and Southwalks Road, and which had included the main entrance to Crossways, was removed from the house grounds.

Following the retirement of Mr & Mrs Lancashire in 1961, the position of Housemaster was taken over by Mr Hamilton, who was also Headmaster of Hardye's at that time.

As the demand for boarding places at Hardye's School gradually diminished over subsequent years, the Governors eventually decided to close Southfield House on 26th March 1986. The building was later demolished, and the site redeveloped into the apartment dwellings which stand there today and still bear the name 'Southfield House'.

The Housemasters at Southfield House were:
1943-1961 Mr W Lancashire
1962-1971 Mr AN Hamilton (Headmaster)
1971-1977 Mr D Caldicott
1977-1986 Mr Applegate

We seemed to have quite a turnover of House Tutors in the years I was there. House Tutors that I remember between 1953 and 1960 are: Messrs. JE Saunders ('52-'54), C Allsop ('54-'55), D Shorney ('55-'56), AA Lambart ('56-'58), & DAS John ('58-'61).
They were followed by Mr Lash ('61-'65), Mr J Dibb ('65-'70), Mr P Grundy ('70-'71) & Mr J Winpenny ('71-?)

[More history required please - e-mail me]

To read extracts from the Southfield House History, as written by successive Head Prefects, click here.

To read personal recollections of Southfield House 'Inmates', click here.

To view plans of Southfield House, click here.

As well as the photos shown below, there are also some private collections which their owners have kindly made available. These collections may hopefully become more numerous and larger in the future. Links to these are shown immediately below.

The Lancashire Collection                         The Jammy Mathews Collection

2 - A still from the 1945 movie "Children's Charter", showing Southfielder Cleary just to the left of the window, and sitting behind "Hooty" Lambert who has a small speaking part in the film. The extract from the film, showing Dorchester Grammar School, can be seen by clicking here.

3 - Southfield House July 1955
Back Row: Sid Collins, John Witt, Kevin Donnelly, David Gibbons, Willy Caselton, Robin Graham, John Saville, Peter Millward;
Third Row: Brian Rees, Ian Birch, Stuart Shelton, Robin Wallace, Chris Etherington, Peter Sedgwick, John Reiss;
Second Row: Edward Davies-Brown, John Ratcliffe, Peter Zealley, Tony Pitcher, Lindsay Love, Graham Allen, Richard Loveys, Tim Reiss, John Perry;
Front Row: David Perry, Nick Boultwood, Mike Hardie, Dickie Duckett, Roger Ballard, John LeQuesne, Roger Birch, Dudley Taylor, Andy Beaton.
Photo courtesy of Chris Etherington

There was a formal House Photo taken around 1957/8 which showed the Inmates and the Staff. I used to have the negative, but it is now lost. Does anyone out there have a print? If so, please e-mail me

Here is an arbitrary collection of photos taken of Southfields House inmates during the mid- to late fifties. They were originally shown on my first website, and comprise some groups, plus individual contemporaries and the year ahead of us. As elsewhere, if you can correct any errors or fill holes, please e-mail me.

4 - In the late 'fifties, Mr John formed a group of singers (definitely not Pop stuff!). The location of this photo is unknown - any ideas?
L to r: Davis, Eric Taylor, John Perry, John Ratcliffe, David Perry, Mr John, Graham Allen.

Left: 5 - Dickie Duckett; right: 6 - Richard "Jerry" Loveys.

Left: 7 - John Perry; right: 8 - John Ratcliffe getting to grips with Latin.

9 - Richard Loveys.

Our "Group", called "The Bandettes". The late 'fifties saw the ascendency of Skiffle and (revival) Traditional Jazz, so we had a group that played something of a mixture of the two, and (10 - left) starred (l to r): Tim Reiss (clarinet), John Ratcliffe (guitar), Graham Allen (cornet - belonging to Geoff Moffat, I believe), Mike Hardie (tea-chest bass), John Perry (guitar), Richard Loveys (guitar), Dickie Duckett (washboard - although here playing the House Shove Ha'penny Board with great dexterity).
11 - right: A year later (Autumn 1958), I had saved enough money from a vacation job to buy a trombone, so John Ratcliffe switched to trumpet.

The next four photos have kindly been provided by Richard Loveys.
12 - Take 2: Same group. 13 - right: A sub-group.

14 - At the back of Southfield House in the late 1950's. Left to right: Richard Hole, David Rider, Roger Birch, Richard Loveys & Chris Witt.

15 - The residents of Dormitories III & IV, 1957-8.
Standing: P Davis, J LeQuesne, D Taylor, R Enestrom; Seated: D Beaton, R Loveys, J Perry, N Boultwood.

16 - Peter "Frank" Zealley.

17 - Mike 'Buddha' Hardie. I was saddened to hear from Mike Morgan (South Walks House 1953-8), who was also at primary school with Mike, that Mike passed away in the late 70's.

18 - Dickie Duckett.

I don't know why I took so many passport-like photos - perhaps I just wanted to use up film, and offered a cheap portrait service to all comers. Many of the individuals here were in a lower year. Those shown in a tennis setting were taken very early on (perhaps 1954) by Nick Boultwood.

Left: 19 - David Perry (he didn't really play the cornet); right: 20 - Roger Ballard working on a model in the Shed - which could absolutely freezing in winter.

Left: 21 - Roger Ballard again; right - 22 - David Ryder.

Left: 23 - David Perry again; right: 24 - John LeQuesne.

Left: 25 - Andy Beaton; right: 26 - Roger Birch.

Left: 27 - Rae Tugwell - Ron Enestrom on right; right: 28 - Ron Enestrom again.

29 - Eric Taylor.

30 - Southfield House Autumn 1960

I must have taken this, but I really don't remember it. I must have been asked to take it during my first year at university. It shows Tim Reiss as Head Prefect. Other names that I remember are:
(Back row, left to right) Walters, Brown, Garside, Bolton, Henrickson, Roughton, Pallett, Munden, Knight, Firshman.
(Centre row, l to r) Ballard, two Witt brothers, Lewis, Enestrom, Beaton, Reiss, Ballard, Taylor, Ryder, Clark, Perks, Tugwell.
(Sitting, l to r) Drew, Stockman, Godfrey Lancashire, Mrs L, Mr L, Mr Dai John, Miss Elizabeth Garrett (Matron), Fyfe, Murray, Duckett J.
(Sitting on ground) Holmes, Bohnel, Smith C, Mundy, Elford, Hume.

31 - The school leavers Summer 1960: (l to r) Mike Hardie, Dickie Duckett, John Perry, Graham Allen, and John Smith.

32 - This was the Lancashires' Farewell Party in March 1961. The venue is clearly the dining room at Southfield House, and those present, from left to right: Nigel Clarke, Tony Lewis, Eric Taylor, Roger Hole, Eddie Davies-Brown, Godfrey Lancashire (at back), SJQ Robinson (one of the first inmates in November 1943), Graeme Browne, Robin Wallace (face obscured), Brian Rees, Mrs L, Chris Etherington, Mr L, Ian Birch, John Saville, Tim Reiss, Alan Sully, WG Webb, Ron Enestrom, Mr Dai John, Roger Birch, Roger Ballard, David Perry, Mike Hardie, Andy Beaton (at back).

33 - The presentation of a farewell gift, March 1961. The venue is the Lancashire's private lounge.
From left to right: WG Webb, Graeme Browne, Alan Sully, Robin Wallace, Mr L, Godfrey L, Mrs L, SJQ Robinson, Mr Dai John.
Photo courtesy of Godfrey Lancashire.

34 - An aerial photo of Southfield House, taken some time in the 1960's?.
Notice the big chunk of the plot taken off the corner of Prince of Wales Road and South Walks.
Photo courtesy of Godfrey Lancashire.

35 - New boy off to school, proudly wearing his new school uniform - John Critchley, 1962.
Photo courtesy of John Critchley.

36 - Dorm 5 (probably), 1962. Note that bunk beds now replace the single beds of earlier years.
From left to right: FJE Critchley, Robert Cowley, Richard Stringer, JP Adams (in front of bed), John Paul behind, JJ Ramsbottom, ?.
Photo courtesy of John Critchley.

37 - Southfields House 1968.
From left to right, back row: W Bryson, Jonathan Cowley, Dave Perris, Jonathan Withey, Keith Hider, Peter Cowley, Peter Wolf, Paul Farley, Polhill, Bolton, Ray;
Middle row: Mathews?, Keith Bell, Nigel Gilmour, Rooke, Simon Smith, ?, ?, ?, Steven Chapman;
Front row: JP Adams, R Stringer, Miles Harris, Robert Cowley, ?, Nigel Smith, M Smith, FJE Critchley, JM Mountain, JJ Ramsbottom, ?.
Photo courtesy of John Critchley.

38 - In its twilight years: Southfields House 1983.
From left to right, back row: Ivan Borg, Paul Sykes (Eric), Carl Pettitt, Chris Hartfree, Sean Newman, Nick Slocombe, Ian Smith, Geoff Hunt, Sean Trent, David R Perry;
Front row: Head of House Richard J Caine (with child on lap), Mrs Caine (also with child), John Lineton (in cricket whites), Mr Best (with beard, Biology teacher);
Rest unknown.
Photo courtesy of Sean Trent.

39 - An aerial photo of the redeveloped Southfield House as it is today (2020).
Photo courtesy of Google Earth.

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