Dining Block Extension


The new Dining Block Extension


Miss Thorn said that unless she could be sure of having additional accommodation by 1954 she would have to restrict entries in 1952.

The dining block, built in 1955, was the first major extension of the school for thirty years, and transformed the Kent Road facade.

At first, a two storey building was proposed, and this was later increased to three. The honey-coloured brick was chosen to contrast with the main building. The total cost of the dining room extension was £39,000.

"For the next eight months we shall undoubtedly be a little uncomfortable, but when the next school year begins we hope to have a large dining room, a well-fitted Chemistry lab, and two more form-rooms, each capable of taking thirty girls."
from the 1954 magazine


The new dining room in use


"I know everyone was delighted with the dining room because there was much more space. We still had to have two sittings for lunch, but there was much more room. And the ceiling in there had ceiling tiles with lots of holes which was supposed to deaden the sound; it seemed to work. "
from a 1950s teacher



In 1983 the dining room acquired a present from a retiring caretaker - a large mural of the view from Portsdown Hill over Portchester Castle and Portsmouth.


Aerial view of the new dining block



A girl's account of the wonders of the new building


A chemistry lesson in the new lab


The classrooms on the top floor and the dining room are still basically the same as they were then, but the chemistry laboratory on the first floor moved to the new Science Block when it was built, and this room then became Room 16, a large classroom which could be used for functions, orchestra practice, etc. This was later converted to two classrooms, used for History, and later again became one large IT suite.


The IT room which was once a chemistry laboratory