THE recent celebration of a north Essex company’s centenary jogged memories.

Not least retired teacher Don Curtis, who has lived all his life in Stanway.

Don explains he worked at the Heath School in Stanway for 30 years and the article about T J Evers marking its 100th birthday caught his attention.

The project to build it in the mid 1960s was undertaken by the Tiptree firm, which had been established at the close of the Firsts World War by carpenter Thomas Evers.

The fourth generation of his family is still involved in the running of the company.

Don says the Heath School was a special school for boys with emotional and behavioural difficulties aged from 11 to 15.

“I taught there from the mid seventies until my retirement in 2009 when the school closed.

“And during that process I managed to rescue several boxes of slides showing the school construction and opening events,” says Don, who still lives in Stanway.

“The school was packed up in boxes and moved to the old Homestead School in Langham now known as Langham Oaks. “The Heath was boarded up after closure and remained so until it was demolished earlier this year,” adds Don.

The site is now being developed into a new school for children with special needs.

Don adds : “Ironically I now have pictures of the Heath being built and demolished.”

It is not clear who the men are in the photographs.

Some are T J Evers staff during the 1960s while others could be visitors from Essex County Council, coming to check progress on the building of the school.

The Heath school was just one of a number of projects undertaken by the company throughout its history so far.

It also worked on the Mercury Theatre as well as a number of other prestigious schemes.

Thomas James Evers had spent the majority of the Great War building reconnaissance aircraft and at first the work his fledgling company took on was on a smaller scale at that time.

Post-war Essex needed homes and this meant there were opportunities for those with the right skills to build them - and Thomas wanted to be part of that.

Alan explains his great grandfather Thomas was born in the 1880s.

He would have been in his late twenties or early thirties when he set up the business.

Thomas’ son, also Alan, then took over the company in the early 1930s.

“Alan was still there until the 1970s and it was him that transformed it really from being a jobbing building firm to taking on major projects and schemes.

“When he arrived it would have been a difficult time, with the recession, and he steered it through that.

By the Second World War T J Evers was building barracks and pill boxes.

Alan’s father Michael, Thomas’ grandson, joined the company in the mid 1950s.

Alan himself came on board in the 1990s.

He is one of the current directors along with Mervyn Denney, Steve Ewers, Kevin Howell and Simon Cooper.

* Do you know the men in the photographs of the work at the Heath School or do you have your own vintage images to share ? Call us on 01206 508186.