Swindon 50 years ago was growing fast, as our 1959 photograph shows. A hundred years earlier, 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 10 years later, at the time this photograph was taken, Moredon estate was up and running (1).
It even received the royal seal of approval when Princess Elizabeth visited Swindon on November 15, 1950. The Princess was in Swindon to officially open the town’s War Memorial, the Garden of Remembrance at Groundwell Road. During her visit she viewed the newly opened council houses in Akers Way and called in on Mrs Willmott at number 22. If you remember the day the Princess dropped by we’d like to hear from you.
Moredon Infants School opened in 1952 followed by the junior school in 1953 and the secondary school in 1955 (2).
In 2006 the new Moredon Primary School opened on the same site. The old school buildings stood empty for 18 months before work began on a new development of housing and a doctor’s surgery.
A year later, Nova Hreod, a new state of the art secondary school, opened on the south site of the old Hreod Parkway school (3).
Built in the 1960s the school was originally named Hreod Burna after the reed stream tributary of the River Ray which runs through the site. By 1983 the school, by then renamed Hreod Parkway, occupied the old Moredon Secondary School building and a new build on the south side of Akers Way.
The two buildings were connected by a footbridge, demolished in January 2008. If you were one of the new kids on the block, we’d like to hear from you. Send your memories to us at Aerial Memories, Swindon Advertiser, 100 Victoria Road, Swindon SN1 3BE or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.