Lockers Park has a long and distinguished history. It was founded in 1874 by Henry Montagu Draper to be a foundation school preparing boys for Rugby School, and is thus one of the earliest purpose-built preparatory schools in England.
It is built on the parkland of a significant Georgian house, called The Lockers, which still exists, now divided into apartments. Henry Draper took the opportunity to buy the 23 acres of parkland when the owner of The Lockers fell on hard times, and built a school with facilities to house the sons of gentlefolk who intended their sons for Rugby. He was guided in his choice of location by the proximity of the site to Boxmoor (now Hemel Hempstead) station, and its situation on the route from London to Rugby.
In the following years Lockers Park school established itself as one of a handful of high-quality preparatory schools, sending boys to Eton, Harrow and Winchester as well as Rugby and the nearer schools of Stowe and Haileybury. This is a tradition we are proud to maintain. Its list of distinguished old boys is long, most notably Lord Louis Mountbatten and His Highness Prince Maurice Battenberg – but it also has the less proud boast to have educated Guy Burgess, the infamous Russian spy.
Many traditions from the days of Draper still continue, maintained within the fully-updated buildings and alongside the modern and vibrant curriculum. Tuck and sweets (which Draper did his best to discourage parents from supplying to boys on exeats!) are still known as ‘slatter’, after Mr Slatter who owned a sweet shop in Boxmoor; boys have ‘Sets’ rather than houses, the names being those of famous army and navy captains, Beatty, Haig, Jellicoe, Kitchener, Mountbatten and Roberts; and the forward-thinking system of effort grades, emphasizing attitude and application as the most important elements of education, is the same today as that instituted by the earliest Headmaster.
Lockers Park has a long history of educating boys to the highest standards and of preparing them for the foremost Senior Schools in the land. Why not come and see for yourself?
A History of Lockers Park School by Ruth Barden
Celebrating 125 years 1874-1999
School life at Lockers Park has been going on since 1874. Upon her retirement as a teacher here, Ruth Barden spent many hours cataloguing and preserving the school archives. Her research led to the publication of her book, A History of Lockers Park School.
This interesting book gives an insight into life at Lockers over the 125 years from 1874 – 1999. It includes tales of famous and notorious old boys, Headmasters and staff, the problems of arranging travel home during the Great War and many nostalgic photographs!
Anyone who has connections with Lockers Park will find this a fascinating story.
Copies are available from the school office
Price £10 + p&p