Historic Hawke's Bay: Twyford

One hundred years ago, Twyford School, Hastings opened its doors to 20 pupils on 7 October 1912.

The land upon which the school was founded was once part of the two large Flaxmere blocks owned by brothers William (1838-1913) and Andrew Russell (1811-1900).

In 1907, William Russell sold most of his Flaxmere block. Andrew Russell's son, Ham (1837-1916), (also called Andrew) however, had renamed his father's Flaxmere block Twyford, after a preparatory school in Winchester, England, where it is likely generations of the Russell family went. And when Ham donated two acres of Twyford land for school grounds in 1912, the school was also named Twyford.

Ham's son Andrew (1868-1960) (known as Guy, and later Major General Sir Andrew Russell, and Russell Street Hastings is named for him and his family) was born in Napier, but was a boarder at Twyford School in England, graduating top of his fifth form class.

It was said that the area that Ham set aside for Twyford School "was an excellent one, and when planted with trees will present a pretty spot". The school building itself was 6.6 metres long by 5.4 metres. The original building was apparently not ideal, and a comment was made that it was "narrow and inconvenient for marching in and out of school".

Today Twyford School has seven classrooms, an administration building, and a library. There is capacity for 180 pupils.

The Twyford School centenary will be celebrated on 19-21 October 2012.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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