Thursday, November 8, 2012

Looking Down on Moredon in the 1950s

A hundred years ago Moredon was a hamlet in the parish of Rodbourne Cheney.  William Loder farmed at Moredon House and Charles Pitman Staight was landlord at the Red Lion.  At the time of the 1901 census the population of the whole parish numbered just 1,639.

Then in 1948 the corporation purchased farms at Rodbourne Cheney and Moredon towards the north west of the borough boundary.  Just ten years later, at the time of this aerial photo shoot, Moredon estate was up and running. It even received a Royal seal of approval when Princess Elizabeth visited the town on November 15, 1950.  The Princess was in Swindon to officially open the Garden of Remembrance at Groundwell Road.  During her visit she viewed the newly opened council houses on Akers Way and called in on Mrs Willmott at number 22.

Moredon Infants, pictured, opened in 1952 and the junior school opened a year later.  In 2006 the new Moredon Primary School opened on a part of the site of the former school.

Hreod Burna Secondary School, named after the reed stream tributary of the River Ray which runs through the site, was built in the 1960s alongside the infant and junior schools. By 1983 the school, renamed Hreod Parkway, occupied two sites either side of Akers Way connected by a footbridge.  In 2007 a new state of the art secondary school named Nova Hreod opened on the south site of its predecessor while the old north side site became a new housing development called Nightingale Rise.  In 2011 pupils at Greendown Community School were successful in naming one of the new streets Edith New Close after the Swindon born suffragette who served several prison sentences during the campaign for Votes for Women.

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