At the junction of Beechwood Avenue and Chestnut Drive – still open space with allotments at the far end – was a Nissen hut. From memory it had been pitch-coated at some time, although the ends were possibly painted green. The question of when it had arrived is still open, as it appears on no Ordnance Survey maps. Nissens were first produced cWW1, and it is possible that the Chestnut Drive building was erected around that time to service the needs of nearby Beaumonts Farm, which was managed from a more distant Oaklands Farm.
All I can recall is that builders Tacchi & Burgess (T&B) made use of the distinctive structure for parking its orange trucks and machines during operations to construct houses in Chestnut Drive from 1949 onwards.
|Possibly St Paul's (Chestnut Drive) Sunday School c1944 or 1945|
COURTESY SHEILA ARTISS
It is therefore possible/probable that St Paul's Church decided to undertake some outreach Sunday school classes for the families of the unfinished Beaumonts estate. The photo is thought to have been taken either in 1944 or 1945, but without further research we do not know when these classes began; probably not very much earlier than the photo. The brick external stove appears quite fresh and new, and would have been constructed to provide winter heat for the sessions.
|These homes were constructed on the site of the former|
Nissen hut in Chestnut Drive.
So, the search is on for further information about this centre of Sunday activity on the Beaumonts estate.
Meanwhile over thirty children and their teachers in this picture need identifying! If you are there, or know of others who were, do please comment, or email firstname.lastname@example.org