I visited Newells and the area around on Monday 4th June, and met up with a lady who lives In the grounds and also the owner of Newells with whom , by prior arrangement, I had tea.
My report :
There is nothing at all left of the original main school . It was levelled to the ground and a large modern house built on the site.
The grounds ,as we knew them ,have over the years disappeared completely. The terraces have all been levelled, all the great trees have either been cut down or destroyed by storms or lightning. I saw only two large trees which I was told have survived from our time. The present owner has constructed a magnificent private garden, the like of which I have never seen. The new trees and exotic bushes/flowers etc. , block out the view across to the South downs and Lancing chapel on the ridge. There are numerous statues and water features spread around the area , with neatly trimmed lawns leading from area to area.
The old beech ,we used to climb, was struck by lightning and destroyed several years ago.
The drive is now bordered by a very smart avenue of trees ending at an automatic security gate approximately 100 yards from the house.
The road to the stables now cuts across to the left immediately inside the main gate by the Lodge ( Original )
The stables block is the same except it is painted white and is a private house.
The kitchen gardens and surrounding wall no longer exist. There is in fact a bungalow built on the area.
The concrete construction which in my time was a general store for the Boy scouts troop , a theatre, a gymnasium and was situated just the other side of the stable block on the way to the daffodil fields, has been converted into a very fine bungalow
The upper playing fields are now just ordinary agricultural land, with the swimming pool destroyed and overgrown by scrub and trees.
The owner mentioned that over the years there has been the odd visitor ( ex Newells) found wandering in the garden with whom he chatted, but it is private property and I don't think we would be over pleased to find strangers wandering about in our garden. The garden is never open to the public .
There is of course a public footpath across the very bottom by Newells rough, which leads from Newells farm ( Still there +lake) to South Lodge Hotel, where I stayed the night. The hotel was a private house, owned by a Lady Edith Godman. I remembered it quite well. We were all occasionally taken to the house when she opened the grounds for the annual village fete. The entrance is right over from the Crab tree Inn ( Still there).
I also took a trip down to Lower beeding and had a look around the church. At least twice a term, we were marched down to the church for the Sunday service. In fact the Vicar , the Rev Hunter used to come to the school and teach scripture during the week.
As it is the 50th anniversary of the fire I took the time to light a candle in memory of Parker.
To sum up, there really isn't anything to see of our Newells school, neither the buildings nor the grounds remain
People planning a visit I would suggest take a trip to the new school at Handcross park, where the headmaster seems willing to have a chat and look at the remaining Newells records etc. They can of course take a walk along the public footpath across Newells rough as previously mentioned, between the private gardens and where the .22 range was situated. Now a pond.
I didn't take any photos of the Private house or gardens, but a few of the outer area and South Lodge, which I will eventually sort out and forward.
I hope this has been of interest.