Boxmoor House Special School

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Boxmoor House Special School was close to the village of Boxmoor, near Hemel Hemstead.

In 1958, Boxmoor House was the senior-school equivalent of Epping House, the senior school for the ‘malads’ as the maladjusted boys were known.

Progression from Epping House

Many of the boys there had been fellows of Susan’s brother at Epping House, so going to Boxmoor was in some ways, for him, taking a step back in time and reviving painful memories. Not all patients were ‘malads’ – there were some who boarded because of difficult home circumstances, ranging from physical neglect to problems with parents, step-parents and ‘lodgers’. Other boys had criminal records which were not serious enough to warrant being in an Approved School or a Borstal.

The boys slept in dormitories, in three separate groups: Ages 11-12, 12-14 and 14+.

Progress towards Adulthood and Work

At the age of 15, they would move out to their own accommodation, and hopefully started work full time, with maybe night school for the cleverer ones. That was what the education policies were geared towards. Unfortunately, the reality usually fell short of those laudable aspirations.

Nevertheless, there were successes. The headmaster, R. A Carrington (later awarded the M.B.E.), proved to be a hugely positive influence in the life of Susan’s brother.

James Marinero
Author