Demolition stirs up memories

12:03 22 December 2011

The Budleigh Drill Hall which is due to be demolished. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exb 0046-50-11AW. To order your copy of this photograph, go to and click on myphotos24

The Budleigh Drill Hall which is due to be demolished. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exb 0046-50-11AW. To order your copy of this photograph, go to and click on myphotos24


I have noticed, with sadness, that the old drill hall beside St Peter’s Primary School at Budleigh Salterton is being demolished.

Sadness, because it was occupied during the war by the London County Council Beofoy Technical Institute School, known as an evacuated school, and the last I attended - leaving in 1945, age 14 - as I was returning to London at that time. It was a good school, the headmaster being a Doctor Scott.

I was an evacuee, at Lee Ford, Knowle Village, who never went back. There were a dozen or so ‘Budleigh Boys’ who also attended.

It was an engineering school and I still have the last school photograph taken in what was ‘our’ field – now built over with bungalows beside the hall.

It was also used at that time by the Budleigh Salterton wing of 299 (Exmouth) Squadron Air Training Corps.

If there is any digging carried out on the site, maybe they will find the remains of a Spitfire engine that was broken up and buried by the north wall of the hall at that time!

Another evacuated school I attended was in Trefusis House, Trefusis Terrace, Exmouth.

I hope this may be of some interest to your readers.

P Sandell

Otter Bank, Otter Close, Tipton St John.


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