In the early 1960s Basildon's status as a new town was still
in its infancy but with an increasing population the existing schools were often over
subscribed. It was during these times that Springfield County Infants' and Junior School opened
in January 1962. It was the second of three planned temporary schools for mixed children below senior
entry; the others being Bryn (opened 1958) and Chowdhary (opened 1966/67).
The school was
built in Honeypot Lane to serve the Fryerns and Ghyllgrove housing estates erected from the mid
1950s onwards. At the time of opening there were infant and first and second year junior classes
with some of the intake transferring from the nearby Bryn and Manor schools.
The first Headmaster of the junior
school was Mr. Kenneth H. Duckworth and Mrs. F. Patis was the first
Headmistress of the infant school.
The school was predominately single-storey with a single
upper block for the juniors. Additional on-site facilities included a swimming pool and a large
playing field bordering open fields which in the 1970s become the site of St. Anselms (since renamed
De La Salle) Catholic secondary school.
During the first half of 1965 the junior headmaster Mr. Duckworth
transferred to nearby Manor Junior School. His replacement from September was Mr. P.C. Cotgrove who spent 4 years
as head leaving in July 1969 to take charge from September at the new Grange Junior School in
Wickford. Mrs. Audrey Cuerden, who was then Deputy Headmistress, was appointed Acting Headteacher in the interim. A
new junior Headteacher, Mr. E.H. King took over around 1970 followed by Mr. E.G. Grother and in the infant school
Mrs. I.G. Turburville became Headteacher around 1972.
In the 1970s the infants and junior merged to become
Springfield County Primary.
The school closed at the end of the summer term in 1985 as a result of falling pupil
numbers and was demolished soon after. Mrs. V. Williams was Headteacher at the time of closure. Pupil numbers
had been decreasing since the late 1960s which caused the then head Peter Cotgrove to leave because
he wished to take charge of a larger school.
In 1982 a remedial advisory service known as the Springfield Centre
was based at the school. The remedial education adviser was Mrs. V. O'Brien. It kept its Springfield Centre name when
Essex County Council later transferred the service to Fryerns School in Craylands.
After demolition the
site remained undeveloped for a number of years until the 1990s when a portion of the land was developed
as a residential care home for old people called Ghyll Grove. The remainder of the site was then built
over with a new housing development and given the name Ghyllgrove Close.
Teachers known to have taught there
include: Mrs. Revell, Mrs. Margaret Calvey, Mrs. Langley, Mrs. Chapman, who also played piano, Mrs. Wallace, Mrs. Rosbrook,
Mr. Gardiner, Mr. Ainstead, who was also the Deputy Head, Mrs. Warden, Mr. Mabbutt, Mr. Taylor, Mrs. Fester, Mr. Grocer, Mrs. Crocombe,
Mrs. Laing, Mr. Davis, Mrs. Lundy, Miss Root, Mr. Jerry, Miss Thrush and Mrs. Dickinson.
Mrs. Guy was the school
receptionist and nurse in the years leading up to final closure.
The schools' caretaker from the 1960s and possibly
through to closure was Mr. M. Venn, who lived nearby in The Upway.