For 38 years, John Hunt of Everest school was a familiar site along Popley Way.

Popley was expanded in the late 60s as a “London Overspill” area. An agreement was made between London councils and Hampshire County Council. More schools were needed and this period saw the construction of several primary schools and one main secondary school.

John Hunt of Everest School was named after a British Army officer who was best known as the leader of the successful 1953 British Expedition to Mount Everest.

Opening its gates for the first time in September 1970, It was a typical 70s school site of square flat roofed buildings. A shallow moat surrounded the school admin block giving an opportunity for wildlife to flourish.

Former pupil Anthony Pugh recalls walking on the frozen moat in the winter. “If you walked near the reeds you had something to grab if the ice cracked," he explained.

Andy Stewart attended between 1974 and 1978 and was relieved that his birthday was in the holidays as the moat was often an opportunity to give mates a ‘dunking’.

John Hunt was also a community school meaning that even if you weren’t a pupil there, there were endless sports and social clubs to be enjoyed.

Brownies, Boys Brigade, judo, football and one of my personal favourites, the twice weekly John Hunt Roller Skating Club.

Taking over the sports hall on a Wednesday and Saturday, it was run by Mr and Mrs Dawson and their family.

Mr Dawson would be situated in the far corner of the room supplying the music for the various skates – figure of eight, fast and slow skating etc.

The boys toilets were situated on the first floor and climbing the stairs in heavy roller boots was a challenge. It would be a health and safety nightmare in the modern climate, but no one was harmed.

Ron Peploe was a pupil there between 1973 -78. He then ran a karate and kickboxing club up until the 90s. He even had his wedding reception within John Hunt. He said it was a sad moment watching it being demolished as it was a big part of my life for many years.

Next week more photos will focus on the demolition of the school in 2008.