Uplands Middle School

Uplands Middle School
Uplands Middle School

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Sad News...

From The East Anglian Daily Times:

Uplands Middle school will be bulldozed in April despite buds to retain the building for community use.

A redundant middle school is set to be bulldozed next month despite failed bids to retain the building for community use.
The future of Uplands Middle School in Sudbury has been in doubt since it closed last July as part of the county’s schools organisation review.
Town councillors were keen to see the York Road building, which was the former Girls High School, retained as an educational facility or base for local charities.
But this week, people living in York Road received letters from Babergh District Council instructing them that the building was earmarked for demolition.
Last night, Sudbury town council was unaware of the plan but Gary Starling, Babergh’s corporate manager for building control, confirmed the district council had received a demolition notice from a county council contractor and had subsequently informed the relevant authorities and people living close to the site.
However, he said no plans had been submitted for future development on the site at this stage.
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said the work would be carried out in April once a full asbestos survey has been completed.
She said: “The decision has been taken to demolish the main school building and the works have now been commissioned.
“The works will be carried out with all health and safety requirements met and the demolition notice has been issued as required.
“We will be looking to sell the site for redevelopment in due course. However, the playing fields on the site will remain in use and will be used by Tudor Primary School and Ormiston Sudbury Academy.”
A number of local charities looked at taking on the Uplands building, including Autism Anglia which wanted to use it as a Suffolk base. The Befriending Scheme also put together a proposal for using the school as a training centre.
The county council agreed to give the charities more time to come up with a viable business case and even offered to provide a short term funding package.
However with running costs of around £100,000 a year, this was always going to be a long shot, according to Sudbury mayor Adrian Osborne.
He added: “Community facilities in Sudbury are getting scarcer and the school would have made an ideal base for a number of organisations to share.
“We were hoping to get a community group to head up the bid to use the school for community purposes but it has a massive footprint and we simply haven’t got enough organisations that could afford to take on even a share of that cost.
“I feel it’s very disappointing that the county has taken the decision to demolish the school and it’s a sad loss for Sudbury in terms of what it could have offered.”

Saturday, 29 March 2014

School Dinners...

I don’t recall very much about school dinners, other than ‘chocolate crunch and pink custard’. The chocolate crunch was lethal – so hard that when you eventually split it with your spoon the pieces flew across the dinner hall. The pink custard was thick, lumpy and usually cold by the time we got to eat it.

This picture (taken from google streetview) shows the back of the kitchens on the left, with School House on the right and the roof of the P I Block just visible in the middle.


I don’t remember the actual lessons, but I do remember we had to choose French names for ourselves, and make a paper nameplate for our desks! I ended up being Jean-Marie (or something similar).


I was never destined to be another ‘Delia’. I only remember two of the cookery classes; one where we made coconut pyramids and another where we made vegetable soup.


Mr Gregory used to throw a blackboard rubber at anyone misbehaving (yes, we had proper blackboards and chalk back then). He also often used to slap a ruler over your knuckles if you weren’t paying attention!

We had to use well-worn copies of ‘Science for the Seventies’ text books, with pages missing and doodles on the human body diagrams.


I remember Mr Johnson reading us The Day of the Triffids. He was so good we were all spellbound.

I’m not sure if it was part of the English class, but I do remember that I entered a school poetry competition on the topic of Christmas one year. I won, and had the horrifying task of having to read out my poem in assembly to the entire school. My prize was tickets to an amateur dramatic performance of A Christmas Carol in a local hall, and I got given a Parker pen and was taken backstage to meet the cast afterwards. I went with my mum.
The poem began: “C is for the carols that are sung both far and wide, H is for the holly found in the countryside…..”. (Can’t remember the rest).


I remember banging rows of nails into a piece of painted wood, painting it with emulsion (mine was pink) and then having to tie cotton thread around the nails to create interesting geometrical patterns. I also remember trying my hand at enamelling (I created a crescent-shaped pendant with very sharp, pointy ends, which I made into a necklace), and engraving wood using a very hot burning device! No sign of any health and safety back then.


I remember having sewing classes in a room full of ancient Singer sewing machines (operated by a foot pedal). The teacher had pre-cut enough dark blue and white checked material (nylon) for all the girls to stitch together smock tops. We also made glasses cases (just hand-stitching the sides of two pre-cut oval shapes together) and we also made little school bags, just big enough for a couple of books.

Most of us gave away the glasses cases as gifts, but we all turned up for school wearing our smocks and carrying our identical cloth bags for most of that term.

School Plays...

I had to make some strange outfit resembling a vest with a torn skirt attached, as I was some sort of sea urchin in a play once but have no idea what the play was called. Maybe it was The Water Babies.

I do remember being in the audience watching various stage productions, in particular I recall watching Oliver.

School Trips to France...

The trips I remember involved a hovercraft on one occasion and a ferry on another. We had no passports and were ushered, en masse, through customs (presumably or teachers took care of any paperwork). The hovercraft was all very peculiar, especially when it ‘deflated’ with a bump on the embankment on the French side. On the ferry, I remember being told (by one of the teachers) that there were some soldiers on board (I don’t recall seeing any so I assume they were wearing civvies at the time).


I remember when I first went to Uplands, my classroom was in a portakabin and my teacher was an American man called Mr Davies. Each portakabin housed two classrooms, with a shared cloakroom in the centre. They weren’t the warmest places to be during the winter.

The P. I. Block...

Not entirely sure why it was called the P.I. block but at some point it was used for music and arty things. It was situated right opposite my home (as my father was caretaker and we lived on school premises).


Mr Robert Hewett (Headmaster)
Mrs Mary Teece (Deputy Head).
Mrs Rush (P.E.)
Mr Tyler (P.E.)
Mr Davies (An American)
Mr Roger Bigg
Mrs Gillespie
Mrs Topper
Mr  Bob Thurlow
Mr Johnson (English)
Miss Nancy Dear (Sewing / English?)
Mr Malcom Crowe (Art / P.E?)
Mrs Auld (Cookery)
Mrs Gregory (Cookery) – before my time there.
Mr Norman Gregory (Science)
Mr Dolan (Science?)
Mr Brian Swallow (Music)
Mr Mason
Mr White (Part Time Fireman)
Mr Iliffe (English / Humanities?)
Mr Roger Bellamy
Mr Wright
Mrs Palmer (Physics) – before my time there.
Mr Smith
Mrs Pat Collinson
Mary Long – after my time there.
Miss Nicholls (French?) – after my time there.


I attended Uplands Middle School, Sudbury, Suffolk during two separate periods. Great Cornard Middle School wasn’t quite built, so several of us were bussed to Uplands approximately 1973. Great Cornard Middle School was finished approximately 1974, so we all left Uplands and attended our local school instead. I’d only been at Great Cornard Middle School a few months when my father was given the job as school caretaker at Uplands …..so back I went! I’d now like to share some of those memories with you…..

This photo taken from google streetview shows School House (the caretakers house) 
where we lived.

Just behind it you can see the P I Block.

If you have any additional stories, photos etc you'd like to share just email me