Disappearing South View from Crowland landscape

CHANGING LANDSCAPE: Excavators on sight at the old South View Community Primary School, Reform Street, Crowland, where demolition work is under way.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
CHANGING LANDSCAPE: Excavators on sight at the old South View Community Primary School, Reform Street, Crowland, where demolition work is under way. Photo by Tim Wilson.
  • End of an area for education in abbey town
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Crowland is to lose nearly 140 years of history with the demolition of the old South View Community Primary School.

Work has started on the site in Reform Street where generations of children were taught between 1878 and 2014 before children and staff moved into the former St Guthlac’s School site in Postland Road, Crowland, which closed as a secondary school a year earlier.

Everybody was moved to tears because we had very, very fond memories of South View and the really happy teachers there

Catherine Brooks, ex-teacher, South View Community Primary School, Crowland

But there is the possibility of salvaging at least one souvenir from the old building in the form of a stone plaque in the school grounds which reads “Crowland Board School”.

Philip Jackson (67), who left South View as a 15-year-old in 1963, said: “It was quite a cosy and intimate school then, as it had been since it opened.

“At the front of the playground, there was a dividing wall down the middle which separated the different age groups.

“I also ran an after-school gardening club there, in my role as a member of Crowland Wildlife Group, for about eight or nine years when I had three grandchildren at South View.

“After the school moved sites (to Postland Road), I went round to the old school one afternoon to take some photos as I thought it would be a shame not to have some personal memories of my own to keep.”

Ex-teacher Catherine Brooks (32), who had a 20-year gap between learning and teaching at South View, said: “It always had a very strong community feel to it and when I went back there to teach, all the dinner ladies and cleaners remembered me from the drama club we used to have there.

“It was very strange when we had our last day at South View (in July 2014), walking through the corridors when it felt almost ghostly.

“Everybody was moved to tears because we had very, very fond memories of South View and the really happy teachers we used to have there.”

Approval for the demolition was given last October after Lincolnshire County Council, which owns the site, decided that “no credible alternative use” had been found for South View.

But Crowland Parish Council chairman Coun David Ringham said: “I feel it’s a shame that the school is being demolished because I’m sure there could have been other opportunties for its use.

“It’s another case, after St Guthlac’s, of something that we’re losing in Crowland.”