Enfield High School (South Australia)
|Enfield High School|
|Grand Junction Road
Enfield, South Australia
|Type||State-run high school|
(Honour the Contract)
|Established||February 10, 1953|
|Years offered||8 to 12|
|Colour(s)||Maroon and gold|
||This section possibly contains original research. (July 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
When Enfield High School opened in 1953 in its present site, but on the eastern boundary, it was the first high school in the northern suburbs. Until then the only options were Adelaide High and Nailsworth Technical School. Even though the school was at Gepps Cross, it was called Enfield High School because it was in the Enfield Council area.
Students travelled from as far away as Virginia and Salisbury. These students came by train to Kilburn and then on to the school by bus or on foot. It has been said[by whom?] that some intrepid students came all the way on horseback and tied their horses up to the water troughs on the western side, where the main building is now.
There were two brick buildings, the old toilets and shelter areas, and two 'temporary' portable wooden buildings. One of these contained the staff room, headmaster's office, sickroom, library, a science laboratory and a canteen in the second unused science laboratory. The other building on the lower level contained four classrooms: each was painted in a different colour. The two wooden buildings, with new cladding, and one of the brick toilets are still there.
On the first day on February 10, there were 95 students – 49 boys and 46 girls – and a staff of six. There were only three classes: 1A had only boys and 1B had only girls. Unusually for those times 1C was a mixed class. Boys and girls came together for subjects like Latin or French. The headmaster, Mr Pyne, had one senior master, Mr Frick, one senior mistress, Mrs Peart, and four other teachers.
The school expected enough students to stay at school to make one Year 10 class in 1955: all the rest would have left for work. But in fact 48 students sat for the Intermediate Examination. Of these, 44 were original students.
Currently[when?] the former Enfield High School site, along with a handful of other sites owned by the South Australian State Government, is being considered for urban renewal. These sites represent some of the last remaining sizable government-owned land parcels within the inner metropolitan areas north and east of the CBD. In earlier days, the round-roofed corrugated iron huts (Nissan Huts) housing camp for migrants, and the iconic Mainline Drive-in Theatre were just a stone's throw away off Grand Junction Road.
Sadly in the early hours of Friday morning (approx 3.20am) on the 24th of March 2017 Enfield High was to suffer another devastating fate with a fire erupting from the top level of the vacated school that was about to be demolished in the following week to make way for a new housing estate, named "Northbridge". The media reported that it was probably squatters that had gained entry to the main building and started the fire which fully gutted the main building which housed the Staff Room, old Typing Room section along with all the top sections of the "E" shaped building.
As all the buildings had their windows and doors secured over with corrugated iron sheeting so as to avoid such break ins, this only hampered the Fire Fighters efforts to get water in quickly to douse the flames and smoke that billowed all over the Adelaide metropolitan area and had approximately 60 Fire Fighters in attendance.
The buildings that escaped the fire were as follows,
1, Technical Studies, Woodwork, Plastics and Metalwork (facing Grand Junction Road) 2, Resource Centre that was built in 1977, which replaced the original upper Centre Wing Library 3, Home Economics (situated directly south of the Tech Studies Building) 4, Gymnasium (in the far North Eastern area of the precinct)
The whole site is now surrounded with high temporary fencing which initially hampered access being gained on the night of the huge fire and appliances being able to get near enough to fight the fire successfully. This fencing was instigated for the demolition process. Security patrols are now actively stationed on the site until the demolition is completed.
A very sad end indeed to a once proud school with a long and Distinguished History.
Notable former students
- Robyn Archer AO CdOAL – entertainer
- John Quiggin economist
- Greg Clarke, Radio Announcer
- Craig Bradley Footballer
- "Editorial". Northern Suburbs Weekly. 5 February 1953.
- "Roma Mitchell Secondary College - Department for Education and Child Development".
- Enfield High School 1965. Annual magazine. Gepps Cross, South Australia: Enfield High School. 1965. pp. 2, 4, 5, 19, 21, 22, 32, 34, 64.