Ancestry UK

Surrey / LCC Industrial School / Approved School for Boys, Mayford, near Woking, Surrey

In 1887, the Surrey Industrial School for Boys moved from its former site at Byfleet to new purpose-built premises at Mayford Green, near Woking. The new buildings were formally certified for use on August 30th, 1887, with accommodation for 180 boys. The following month, the existing inmates from Byfleet were transferred to their new quarters. Most of the existing staff also moved to the new location. These included the superintendent, Mr and Mrs Ridpath; the schoolmaster, Mr Ellis; and the assistant schoolmaster, Mr W.J. Grounsell. The other staff at Mayford comprised a clerk, tailor, shoemaker, carpenter, labour-master, cook and baker, needlewoman, and laundress.

The School site is shown on the 1936 map below.

Mayford Industrial School for Boys site, c.1936.

Mayford Industrial School, early 1900s. © Peter Higginbotham

An inspection of the new premises in November, 1888, found the buildings to be in good order and were lit using gas made in a patent "Alpha" machine. Gymnastic apparatus had ben installed in the yard, and the grounds were gradually being got into order. A large field in front of the School had been laid down with grass for a cricket ground. There were 29 boys working in the tailors shop, 27 in the shoemaker's, 6 in the carpenter's, and 24 in the garden. Others helped in the kitchen, house, bakehouse and laundry. A brass band had been started. The School stood on 27 acres of land whose quality was described as "poor".

In 1889, control of the School was taken over by the London County Council (LCC) and was then known as the LCC Industrial School for Boys, Mayford. It then took its inmates chiefly from the metropolitan district, but also made provision for up to 50 Surrey county cases.

An 1892 inspection recorded 173 boys in residence. Horses, pigs and poultry were being kept. There was a good band with 24 players. The boys were now being taught physical drill and battalion drill. Fire escapes had been fitted to the dormitories. Six boys had emigrated to Canada and were said to be doing well. The School's water supply was from a well and drawn by a large hand-pump worked by 12 boys. In 1896, a gymnasium was constructed and singing was added to the classroom curriculum. In 1898, a partition was put up in the gallery, and the classroom fitted with dual desks and a gallery. In the same year, the School was connected to the public water supply. In 1899, the School received a party of Jewish boys pending the erection of special Industrial School for such boys. In 1901, a swimming bath, 30 feet by 9 feet, was built and hot water laid on all over the house.

In 1896, the School's estate was said to extend to 28 acres, of which about 16 were now being cultivated and 7 kept in grass. The farm stock comprised 7 cows, 2 horses, and about 30 pigs. Agricultural work formed an important part of the training provided.

Mayford Industrial School farmyard, c.1930. © Peter Higginbotham

Mayford Industrial School — cultivating the land, c.1930. © Peter Higginbotham

An Auxiliary Home for the Mayford and Feltham Industrial Schools was opened in 1902 at Lowestoft.

1903 as a difficult year for the School, with 116 new boys being admitted. It was suggested that with so many young children, an additional teacher, preferably female, was required. Around half a dozen boys absconded from the School, mostly newcomers. All were speedily brought back.

Mr and Mrs Ridpath left on December 14th, 1905, after twenty years in their posts. They were succeeded on March 1st, 1906, by Mr James William March and his wife, who were still in charge in 1923. By 1930, Mr E.H. Horne had become superintendent.

In 1933, Mayford became an Approved School, one of the new institutions introduced by the 1933 Children and Young Persons Act to replace the existing system of Reformatories and Industrial Schools. The School accommodated up to 150 Intermediate Boys aged between their 13th and 15th birthdays at their date of admission. The industrial training included land work, woodwork and metalwork.

In 1973, the school became a Community Home with Education (CHE) under the control of Surrey County Council. The establishment was also known as Kinton House.

The property is now in commercial use.


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