Fryerns School was the first 'new' secondary school to be opened in Basildon. This was in 1956
when Basildon was a new town and very much in its infancy.
Scan © Basildon History Collection
The Pattiswick Square site
was built close to the former Fryerns Farm that gave the area and school its name.
originally opened as a Grammar and Technical, the first of two in Basildon when Barstable opened
in 1962, and remained so until August 31st 1968, when local education was reorganised, the result
of which saw the school merge with nearby Craylands County Secondary. The reorganisation meant
that from September 1968 the school became Comprehensive though the name Fryerns was retained
in preference over Craylands.
Years later for term 1994/1995 the name was changed to Fryerns Community School, and
despite accommodation for up to 600 pupils, after a number of years of falling numbers the Governments
Secretary of State for Education, on recommendation, approved closure as of 31st August 1999.
The first appointed
Headmaster was Mr Cyril Baggs who previously held the same post at Grays County
Technical School. He remained in charge through to 1968 when he left for personal reasons. He was
eventually succeeded by Mr Sydney Hopewell in April 1969. During this period the schools' 'House' championship was
contested each year between St. Bartholomew, Cornwallis, Botelers and De Vere.
The older building was first opened
on September 9th, 1935 as Nevendon Craylands Council Senior School for Girls and its Boys' counterpart and stood in
Timberlog Lane, Nevendon. From 1st September 1949 the two schools were merged to become Craylands County Secondary, with
pupil intake beginning on 5th September, and this lasted to 1968 and the aforementioned merger with
Fryerns Grammar and Technical. During the mid-to-late 1950s Broadmayne was constructed; initially
as a single carriageway, and this bisected Timberlog Lane and the eastern section through to East
Mayne was later renamed Craylands which it remains today.
1974 Dr. Ken Hunter took over the headship following the departure of Mr Hopewell at the end of
the previous school year. Dr. Hunter remained in the post to August 1980 being followed by an
Acting head in Mr Turner who took charge to the end of the year. In January 1981 Mr Timothy F.
Slater was appointed headteacher through to August 1994. The schools Deputy Head Mr Bob Plimmer
then became Acting Head for the following autumn term and his replacement, Mr Stuart Hayes, took
over in January 1995. He was followed by the last headteacher, Mr David A. Anderson, who took charge
for the final year.
Some time in the late 1980s/early 1990s Social Services relocated (from Essex House, Cherrydown
East) to the original Fryerns site with a new access road - Ely Way - from Broadmayne constructed.
In 2007 plans to
build a housing estate on the site of the school were announced and the development
called Beechwood began soon after. The first phase of properties were built on the school's playing fields
and were in occupation before the buildings had been demolished. The second phase and the demolition
of the school buildings began around April 2011 and continued into 2012.
Notes of interest:
On 12th May 1962 around 500 people
attended a Basildon Council local election count, held in Crayland's school gymnasium. The council at that time comprised 28 councillors. Today it has 42.