Carlton Approved School
Near Turvey Bedfordshire

For all the staff and boys who were there in the early 1960s

Carlton Approved School Located near Turvey and Harrold Bedfordshire now demolished as far as I know.
I visited the location round 1996 and most of the buildings as I remembered them had gone.
The hall, kitchens and engineering blocks remained, as did the cricket pavilion and the masters homes.

It was a very strange feeling walking free with my wife around the location where I had been detained under her Majesties pleasure as they say for 12 months as a 15 year old.

Strangely enough I felt sad that it was all being pulled down, at the time of my incarceration my release date could not come soon enough, but now all I could think of was the kind masters who did there best for us and the young men who I spent my time there with.

Dave T the head boy, Ron C, James who always had tobacco to sell, Stumpy my friend, on the short side : ) but interested in radio & electronics as I was.

Carlton Approved School Near Turvey Bedfordshire

If you were a resident or master at Carlton at that time please post memories using the form Click Here.

I would suggest only first names for residents, but leave that up to you.

Others may have different views on the matter so best to use only first names please when referring to others : )


Hallo John lovely to hear from you again, a belated Happy New year : ) As you say it was such a long time ago but seems just like yesterday, I also would not have missed it for the world. Surprised to hear that Mr Elwell was a fencing master, I remember him as a well built gentleman and steady smoker, I cannot quite imagine him swinging from chandeliers : ) Should you wish to contact me direct or in case the site went down, I have just created an address, it is the name of the school plus the at sign them It will be live in an hour or so of this posting. That way we shall not loose contact : ) God Bless Allen and Alanna


Hi Allen Further to my previous posts. Thought I would check the site to see if anybody had posted anything since. The reason I am thinking of Carlton is it's 56 years since I appeared in court and was remanded on the 21/12/1960. This was the start of my journey to Carlton at which I arrived in February 1961.So long ago and yet I still have such strong memories. I often wonder what happened to everyone? I moved recently and discovered my Duke of Edinburgh log book with names of the teachers who were also instructors, your old housemaster Mr Elwell was my fencing instructor. Mr Fletcher took us camping in Wales. All these things I would never have done if I had not gone to Carlton it really did set me up for life. Well if anybody is out there it would be good to here from you. Allen and Allana have a great Christmas From a fellow ex Carlton boy......John.


Hallo Ian, I was sorry to hear that you had such a bad time at Carlton, John and I were very fortunate to be there at a time when the school had been restarted after a riot.

Please see link below about the riot. :-

You sound to have turned out a decent gentleman.

I do have some more pictures from the time I visited Carlton with Alanna, they are on slides, I now have a slide scanner 

Quite an achievement getting the school closed as you did : )

Kind Regards Allen.


hello.. I was at carlton a while after you. i was there in 1982 when i was in care. I can say that it was a truly awful place essentially used as a dumping ground for kids in the care of bedfordshire. i agree though alot of troubled teens that had developed issues mostly as a result of life's traumas, usually made worse by a care environment that was set up to fail them. whilst i would say some staff did indeed have a desire to enable the system to address the kids troubles, most staff were there for the free ride or power trip? harsh words i know but i'm sure in part you may relate? i have no doubt the further you go back the harder it may have been? ie the 80's were not as tough as the 70's which were easier than the 60's 50's etc? In any case carlton boys home/school as we knew it was closed in 1982. i had been let out for the day and went missing, ended up in police cells and would not tell the police my name or where i was from because partly i did not want to go back and also because of carltons reputation? anyways eventually i admitted where i was from. Staff had not reported me missing and as a result my story ended up in the beds times. This prompted an emergency meeting within the council and because of its previous reputation and the bad press from my story Carlton was closed. I was sent to a youth trust in Oxfordshire called Turners Court which in stark contrast was a wonderful place. For years Carlton was used by the council to store out of use buses? and although alot of it has been demolished it now has a different role in that it provides accomodation and support for homeless people wishing to rebuild their lives? you may have heard of the Emmaus charity? I now myself work in socialcare and have worked with the charity referring people for placement. In 2008 i even took a lad up there for a visit. first time i'd been back since 1982!! And just for old time sake i also had a meal there with my wife as there is also a restaurant on site now as well as a charity shop? Soo perhaps you would like to visit? and maybe have a wee smile at what has grown from what it once was. much love people.. kind regards Ian O'Connell


Hi Allen thank you for the reply and photos the picture confirms my thoughts its you, surname begins N. I donít know if you remember you taught me how to play chess, which thanks to you I have passed on to my Wife and three children, they all beat me once they learnt. I remember Tim I used to work with him as a Kitchen boy under Mrs Jones in the kitchen behind the staff room and below the sick bay. Then I went to the building department under Mr Banks. I have a photo I will try and find it, Stumpy and me on top of mount Snowdon during our C of E award. I think that you and I arrived on the same day from Redhill ? I may be wrong! your number was 43 mine 42. Such a very long time ago, I never thought I would ever hear from anybody from that time in Carlton. It is very strange after a lifetime behind me. The more I think about my time there the names come flooding back. I remember that you got into special grade after a year and released a few months before me I was in for 16 months. I made a visit with my Wife and small Children in 80s while it was still an approved School. It seemed strange going back as an adult very like visiting your old School, some of the staff were still there, look forward to any more photos and memories Regards John.


Got there at last, two pictures below : )

Great to hear from you John, I have some more pictures I took when Alanna and I visited the location round 1996.

They are on slides so I shall have to dig them out.

As with yourself John Carlton is often in my thoughts, the payment system you mentioned was very fair, you received points for effort so that even if you were not to good at your chosen vacation, pay was there : )

The Minibus with the car radio fitted for us.

I recall on one occasion at morning parade a boy had absconded and the boy at the front of the line Jim I think, said and " boys name " some where in London, which caused much chuckling : )

Happy days yes they were, home sick as you said after leave but more inspired to do ones best to obtain an early release.

I think your incarceration was due to protecting a youth club you ran, am I correct there ?

Image one is of course a group of the boys, I am second from the left, the boy to my left was Tim and Jim is far right.

Image two is myself in evening wear with my Mum and Dad during a visit, they stood by me through it all : )

The images are thumbnails so just click on them.

I will get the rest of the pictures online soon.

If you have any pictures I will give you an email address to send them too.

God Bless.

Kind Regards Allen



Hi Allen thanks for the reply it would be interesting to see the group photo, I still remember the School the memory of Carlton will remain with me forever, I meet some good friends but after leaving I lost touch it was 50 years ago and it seems like yesterday


Hi Allen thanks for your reply sorry its being a long time posting my reply. I remember all the names of the masters, I was in Red house Mr Pratt was my house master. I remember evening activities I did fencing and took the Life saving course run by the Bedford police (ironic) I also did a Civil defence course as part of the Duke of Edinburgh award.I first arrived January 1961 I think? I was released June 1962. Carlton has remained in my memory and will never leave although 50 years have past it seems like yesterday, I remember the morning parade, the grade system having to get into special grade before you could be considered for release. Home leave was bad as you had to come back the points system which determined your pay at he end of the week, so you could then buy cigarettes or sweets I had fun all in all no drugs or bad bulling, I imagine that modern young offenders establishments are a significantly different from Carlton, which was more like a boarding School. Speak again soon John


In reply to John. Sorry for the long delay in replying.

I think my number was 45. Mr Fute the cook yes I had forgotten his name, a large gentleman : ) Mr Bustin Gardening, Mr Carter woodwork you mentioned, I also recall them.

I have a group photo Mr Erlwell took, I will look it out.

In reply to Gordon it looks as if things had changed by the 1970s, sorry to hear of your troubles, it was a very decent place given why we were all there in the 60s.

God Bless Allen


Hi I am very interested to hear about the Carlton School. I was there around 1971/72? not to sure. I was sent there through the system from a very disturbing ADS sickness. the house masters i.e., sexually abused my person. There for I terminated my stay( disappeared ) and found my own way in life .I have many memories of Carlton and the masters but no recollection of their names. Have you had any contact to residents around this period. Today I am a very successful international company but still carry at times the cell blocks in my thoughts. Regards to you and all the best.


Hi Allen thank you for the reply, do you remember Mr Bustin Garding, Mr Carter woodwork. As I said before I did the D of E award. We went fishong at Captains Staires house. As you know we all had numbers mine was 42 what was yours so that I am sure who you are I am almost sure but your number would help. I was in red house and I believe that you were in Green house. We both arraived at the school around the same time you were released a feww months before me.I also remember Dave T Jim P many I knew only by their secound name as this seemed be the norm for both inmates and staff. regards John


Hallo John just spotted your post, I remember you, a good looking lad : ) It was great to hear a good memory of Carlton. I often think of the kindness of the masters, my house master Mr Erewell would let me telephone home from his house : ) Stumpy was my friend, we were both interested in radio and electronics so the masters found old equipment for us to mess around with . This was stored in the ark welding section of Mr Lafurie's workshop, one evening Stumpy and I went in there to work on an old radio chassis only to find some so and so had welded it to the bench : ) I am very happy to hear you stayed out of trouble and went on to succeed in life . The club house with it snooker and billiard tables was great, I often wish I could be there, not permanently though : ) Yes Mr Banks a nice gent as were they all, fishing in Turvey with My Laflurie, all great times. I am happily married with two daughters and live in Mullion Cornwall. I expect too much time has passed for any of the masters to be with us, but if they are any, I would love to hear from them if only to say thank you for all you did for the boys at Carlton back in the 1960s : ) If you get time to reply John it would be great to talk more. God Bless Kind Regards Allen.


I was at the school from Feb 1961 to June 62. I remember all the guys who were there then I did the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, my nick name was Tiny i went camping with Stumpy and two others I could name names but just in case. I went fishing in the Village Carlton and in a big house some ware we had assembly every morning, I was in the building department with Mr Banks a lovely old guy.My house master was Mr Pratt. I remember Mr Flute the cook. Sunday was a bad day that long walk to Turvey and Church and a ride back in the old lorry if you were lucky.Saturday night we a film, the snooker room was great. I have some good memories I learnt a trade and went on to run and own my own company allowing me to travel the world.I stayed out trouble after leaving a few close ones but I grew up. I often think of what happened to you all. love to hear from anyone through this blog John Maitland


Hi Allen and Alanna We do know each other, but Allen does not ring a bell at the moment. I too was in the engineering workshop(Mr Laflurie) I was the kid that everyone was warned about, ie: fight with me and you would be sent to a Borstal I walked out of there in 1964, (still have my release paper somewhere) 20 min after my mate who was released on the same day, he came from Liester.They dare not let us leave together. I too remeber the terrible winter of 63 where we slept in all out clothes, and were cut off for 6 weeks. Difficult to remember all the boys, but Elvis (carved the chapel pews) and Sully(tall stocky lad)spring to mind. I to went back there yrs after, when it was all changed, ended up in tears. That bastard Price beat the shit out of me and if I could I would gladly ring the bastards neck. I came to the conclusion years ago that none of the boys were bad, most just lacked love, a decent home and family.I made damn sure my kids never went through the life I had back then. Niether of them know about back then. We are all old men now, so many years have flown by, but I often think about that place and the lads. I trust you are well, and life there did not affect you to much. Douglas 1961 - 64


Hallo Alan I was there 1961 just after the school had re-opened after a riot, it had a totally new regime Mr Erwell was my house master, Mr Laflurie was in charge of the engineering workshop, I took engineering. They were all very kind to us at that time, Mr Erwell even used to take me to his home and let me phone my parents from there. He also took me for a job interview in Eastcote Middx some way from the School, just before I was released. Mr Laflurie had us make reels for fishing rods and took us fishing at the weekends. I am sorry to hear that you had such a bad time, it almost does not sound like the same place. Is it possible that you recall the dates incorrectly and were there prior to 1961 before the school re-opened ? Kind Regards Allen


since finding the site there dos not seem to be many boys who wish to remember those days also allen you seem to have different recall to me when was you there ? regards alan.


was there late 62/63 during the bad winter was a run away at the start of 63 till they had enough cannot say i have any good memories being beaten for escaping only bloke i remember had an eagle on his back who had to watch me not a good time for me


Ok all up and running would love to hear from any former pupils : )

I will be adding some photographs taken in 1961 and much later round 1995.

Kind Regards Allen