Newells Preparatory School

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Letter from Liam McKeown 14.11.2017

Posted by newells on November 15, 2017 at 5:55 AM
I was at Newells; Newells and Desmoor and Handcross park in the 1960's. I was in the fire at Newells which I remember vividly: I can remember : Crawling along the wooden floor under the smoke, going through the fire doors and descending the outside iron fire escape ladders. Watching suitcases and trunks being thrown out of the dormitory windows by firemen, some of which opened in mid flight. The roll call in the car park, when one boy's name was repeatedly called out with no response. I think his name was Parker and he had reputedly gone back into the building to retrieve his watch, from what I can recall. Spending the night in, what I think was, the school cinema/theatre and the matron belting me with a torch for being too boisterous ! The torch broke and we ended up struggling for light. Wearing ill fitting clothes issued to us by the WI, I think, the following morning as we were all in our pyjamas ! When I was collected to go back home I was disappointed to find that my father had enrolled me in the local comprehensive, at or near, Lee-on-Solent. My father was a serving officer in the Royal Navy. My lasting memory of Handcross Park, was the first moon landing ('69), which we watched on a black and white TV on a high wooden stand. Liam McKeown

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1 Comment

Reply Chris Matthews
10:36 AM on November 15, 2017 
Hi Liam Good to hear your memories, Yes the tragic incident still is fresh in my mind, along with the most uncomfortable night spent on hard chairs in the theatre, with Matron and her torch !!
I also recall watching Winston Churchill's funeral on the same TV.