GRANGE HILL TIMELINE
Grange Hill has undergone the most radical changes in its 25-year history, with production moved from London to Liverpool. But surprisingly, the series is no stranger to changes. In the past several different schools were used as "Grange Hill" itself and the move to Elstree studios was set in concrete by the merger of Grange Hill with rival schools. On this page we look at off-screen changes over the years and what this meant for the viewer.

DATE OFF-SCREEN ON-SCREEN
1978 Production of Grange Hill begins at Kingsbury High School, North London. First episode of Grange Hill broadcast 8th February 1978.
1980 Series 3 is produced at a new school, Willesden High in north London. The move is caused by fans disrupting filming On-screen changes not explained in the storyline. The school interior sets are largely the same with some new classrooms, corridors etc.
1981
(Xmas Special)
Grange Hill moves again, to what is now Fulham Preparatory School in Greyhound Road, Hammersmith. The new school appears much smaller than the previous two and is set in a more run-down area. The interior set looks completely different. Again, no explanation of changes in the script but Mrs McClusky explains her office has moved "from the other building".
1984 The BBC decides to move production of Grange Hill to a closed studio set. The corporation has just purchased Elstree studios from Central Television - with the main aim of producing its new soap there, but Grange Hill is the first BBC production to benefit from the new facilities. The start of an elaborate storyline in which it's announced Grange Hill is to merge with rivals Rodney Bennett and Brookdale. Pupils and parents are worried about the change and want answers.
1985 Production part-moves to Elstree but interiors continue to be shot at Television Centre, Shepherd's Bush. Final year of exteriors from Hammersmith. The Elstree set becomes Grange Hill's "lower school" and the former Rodney Bennett building. The old school is the new Upper School building. Several characters from Series 7 disappear, to be replaced by new ones such as Mr Bronson and Gonch and Hollo.
1986 All of Grange Hill now shot at Elstree. The show is made as an outside broadcast with taping taking place off-site. The Upper School (old Grange Hill building) is gutted by an asbestos fire; temporary classrooms at the Lower School (Elstree) replace those destroyed. Grange Hill has a new rival, St Joseph's Comprehensive.
1989 Building of a new school frontage begins at Elstree - previously the entrance to Neptune House (a large glass-fronted building at Elstree) doubled as the school. Playground scenes filmed at a nearby school. The storylines made no mention of any building work at the school. Occasionally you could see the builders at work in the background!
1990 The new purpose-built school frontage is unveiled. A new interior featuring a new staffroom and office for Mrs McClusky, and crossways corridors leading to both, is seen for the first time also. A panning shot of the new playground opens Series 13. Viewers aren't supposed to notice the radical new insides though. When Calley tries opening the door of a science lab she comments the handles "haven't been fixed from last year"!
1991 Builders move into Mrs McClusky's outer office, giving it the look that would last until 2002.
1994 Modifications made to the playground set, including the addition of direction signs and a walkway between the two buildings.
1999 After fourteen years of being produced as an "outside broadcast", Grange Hill switches to single-camera digibeta production under new producer Diana Kyle. A new filmic look for the show is adopted, but is erroneously omitted from the first two episodes of series 22.  
2001 The school is painted with pastel colours inside. A bigger school set is unveiled with more corridors and a new assembly hall. Frankie Abbott and his bungling builders are renovating the school. A series of disasters hits them including drilling through a water main!
2002 The grey panels on the school exterior are painted jade green.

Bulldozers move in to demolish the exterior set in November, but the "school gates" are left and are sometimes still seen in EastEnders or Holby City.

An explosion destroys the school at the end of the series. No indication of who lives or who dies.
2003 Mersey Television takes over production of Grange Hill at their Liverpool studios. The new Grange Hill frontage is unveiled; similar in layout to the Elstree building but wider and surrounded by greenery. "Classrooms" are exactly that - no longer studio sets. Building work continues after the fire; much speculation as to what happened by pupils. The old GH badge is readopted.
2004 Grange Hill's "renovation" is complete and the tarpaulins are thrown back to reveal a tuck shop and seating for customers.
2005 The CLC building was constructed on the site of the former Brookside Parade at Mersey TV. Too wide a shot and you would see the SU Bar from Hollyoaks which sits right next to the CLC! Creative Learning Centre and exterior "ampitheatre" is introduced.

The New Grange Hill
Grange Hill timeline
OTHER CLOSE UPS