Log Book entries from the Regis School and Corsham Secondary Modern School ~ Part 2

Sept 8 School re-assembled after Summer holiday. There are 11 children of 14+ years continuing following the raising of the school leaving age. Had to create extra Infant Class 1B – taken by Mrs Hull. Standard 1A moved to large room adjoining wartime nursery, now vacated.
Mr P.J. Laurence of Cleevedale Road joined the staff as a trainee. He will assist Head with the 14+ group using the 2nd room of the nursery area as a workshop classroom. (Jack Laurence was educated at the Council School and won a place at Chippenham Secondary School, later known as the Grammar School. On leaving school he entered the Merchant Navy and sailed with Harrison Lines of Liverpool. He rose to become 1st Officer on many of their ships and served all through the 2nd World War and was not sunk once!!)
Sept 30 14+ group visited the Corsham Fire Station with Mr Laurence and the Head for the purpose of seeing the firefighting equipment and gaining information on how the station works. The fire station lies opposite to the Methuen School in South Place.
Oct ? Accident to Robin Doyle. Climbed on to the roof to get a ball, broke a window and badly cut his knee. Boy taken to Dr. Wheeler for stitches and then taken home – he broke the school rules.
Nov 20 School closed on the occasion of the wedding of Princess Elizabeth to Lieut. Philip Mountbatten.

Jan 16 Corsham Cooking Depot opened at the end of Paul Street. 144 children taking lunch. Extra staff needed for serving and washing up.
(The Central Kitchen, as it became known, was in operation until the late 1950s)
Feb 25 Managers interviewed Miss M. Farmer of Abingdon and was appointed. (Miss Mary Farmer, passed away in December 2018 at the age of 95)
Mar 11 Lady Helen Asquith HMI for Wiltshire, visited the school and saw the work of 2 students. (Lady Helen Asquith was still HMI for Wiltshire in the mid 1960’s and she had a penchant of nodding off during the teacher’s lessons then waking up and asking a series of questions of what had been taught!!)
Dec 11 33 senior children visited the Theatre Royal, Bath, to see Hans Anderson’s ‘The Snow Queen’. Grant aid of £3 provided by the LEA.

Jan 7 30 5yr old children admitted now chairs have arrived – they were in a dirty condition, the chairs, not the children.
Jan 13 Mr P.J. Laurence left Regis School today to proceed to Coopers Hill Emergency Training College. Mr Laurence has been here since September 1947 and has achieved excellent results. Presented with books from the staff and senior boys. (Jack Laurence returned to Regis School as a member of staff and stayed until transferring to the Secondary Modern School in 1955 where at first he taught Geography then he taught Mathematics until his retirement.)
Mar 30 29 senior pupils with Miss White, Mr Collins and the Head visited London. Conducted over the Houses of Parliament by David Eccles, the Chippenham MP, also visited Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s and the Tower of London.

June 26 Mr Dennis R. Jones, from Burderop Park Training College was appointed as Qualified Assistant Master. (I knew Dennis Jones very well. He was Miss Farmer’s brother-in-law and was for many years the organist at Claremont Methodist Church in Bath. He was a fine musician.)
July 18 Annual Prizegiving. Head reported increasing problems of accommodation causing duplication of all classes. Number on roll exceeded 500 would reach 530 in September and 600 within a year. Of the 31 leaving at the end of term, 25 were continuing education at Grammar and Technical Colleges.
July 19 Patricia Cottle, a pupil from the Rudloe Estate, collapsed on the path at 1.40pm and was unconscious. Dr. Wheeler was called and the child was taken to Chippenham Hospital where she died. Post mortem revealed a blood clot on the brain.

May 28 96 juniors commenced a scheme of attendance at Beechfield House, Bath Academy of Art in conjunction with 1st year teaching practice. Attending every Monday for 8 weeks. (This activity continued for many years and was greatly enjoyed by those pupils attending.) June 4 26 senior boys with Mr Laurence spent an afternoon visiting Avonmouth Docks.
June 28 32 Senior pupils visited the Festival of Britain South Bank Festival.

Jan 8
Mr Brooks, present caretaker becomes grounds man for 8hrs per week and he’s given up work with the School Meals Service. The Senior Girls Class moved to the Community Centre where they are to be housed because of the continual growth of the school and the appointment of additional staff.
Feb 15 A special service was observed in the school hall on the occasion of the funeral of King George VI.
July 3 Senior school outing – 88 children and 21 staff travelled to Bristol by motor coach and enjoyed a sea trip on the ‘Bristol Queen’. (Bristol Queen along with Cardiff Queen were paddle steamers owned by P & A Campbell and were only built 2 years previously.)
Sept 8 School re-opened. HMI report received. (MDR started in this school today and was placed in Miss Munnery’s class. Mr Hull, the Head, and my father spent some time discussing the recent Farnborough Air Disaster in which 31 people died. Mr Hull had attended the show had saw the accident happen.)

Jan 6 School re-opened. 3 classes now at the Community Centre. All the furniture removed from the Baptist Chapel schoolroom.
Oct 26 School re-opened after half term. Form 2A using Baptist Chapel schoolroom were withdrawn from that building. Reports from parents concerned about mental worries of the girls having to pass through the graveyard each day plus the toilets were condemned too. (2A was MDR’s class and he remembers the move back to school, we lost the slide and swings in Arnolds Avenue playing field.)

July 23 H.E. Hull appointed 1st Head of the new Secondary Modern School starting in January 1955. Miss Munnery left – getting married.
Sept 6 Mrs E.I. Hancock took up supply teacher duties during Miss White’s continuing absence. With the reorganisation of Secondary education taking place next January, all senior classes are now mixed. Because of increased senior numbers, the Town Hall is now used for an odd class.
Oct 15 H.E.H. caned 3 boys from the British Legion class who broke down a fence of a private garden, stole fruit and did damage to a young tree – 2 strokes for Hunt, Jenkins & Reilly.
Nov 1 From this date H.E. Hull relieved of duties as Head of Regis School. P.J. Laurence will be acting Head. Miss Sheila Riley, new teacher for the Secondary Modern school, at Regis now until January.

Feb 14 Miss Ann Hale, school clerk 1st mentioned. (She later became Secretary at the Secondary Modern School.)
Feb 16 Mr Shepard asked by the Managers to become Deputy Head.
Feb 18 Mr George Pearce, the new Headmaster, visited the school –takes up duties after Easter.
Mar 9 Presentation to H.E. Hull on leaving as Head for the last 12 years. School closed for the rest of the week to facilitate moving of furniture with the reorganisation of Corsham Schools. Mr Laurence, Mr Williams, Mr Bollen, Miss Oatley, Mrs Hancock, Mrs Weller and Miss Hale all transferred to the Secondary Modern school.
July 8 252 children taken to Bristol Zoo by coach – outing much enjoyed.
July 22 81 children left the school. 15 to Grammar School, 62 to Secondary Modern, 1 to private school, 2 emigrating to Canada and 1 leaving the district. Mrs Tustin retired – 11.5 years at the school.
Sept 5 School re-opened. Head + 15 teachers and 352 children in the Juniors. MDR in Class 1 with Mr Shepard, 21 boys and 23 girls. All classes have over 40 on roll. Infants 176 + 352 Juniors, NOR = 528.
Oct 3 3.50pm. Victor Kaljushko, goalkeeper, the crossbar fell on his head which was later stitched.
Nov 19 Choir of 44 children were entered in the Devizes Eisteddfod and gained 1st class certificate – choir taught by Mr Kilminster.
Nov 23 108 children and 74 staff travel by coach to Bath to see Let’s make an opera.
Dec 14 Punch & Judy show for the Juniors’ Christmas party.

July 13
209 children & 16 staff visited Blenheim Palace, travelled by train from Corsham station. Weather dull and cold – children’s behaviour was excellent.
July 27 School closed for the Summer holidays. 88 pupils left the school, 17 went to Grammar & Technical schools, 71 to the Secondary Modern. MDR left for the latter school.
September 1956 503 on roll.

From the Corsham Secondary Modern Log Book.

March 14
New school opened today with 395 children on roll and a staff of Headmaster and 18 masters and mistresses. Harold E Hull, former Head of Corsham Regis School was the new head of this school. Most of the staff were drawn from contributing schools and are shown as follows: Former staff from Regis School: P.J. Laurence, D.R. Jones, J. Williams. Former staff from Corsham County School: Mrs E. Mara, Mrs E. Heyes
(nee Fortune), Mr. F. Wellman and Mr E. Turner.
Former staff from Box Highlands School: Mr R. Stansfeld, Mr G. Powell Former staff from Westwells School: Mr M. Kinch
New appointments: Miss Sheila Riley, Mr A. Speck, Miss J. Griffith and Mrs J.P. Evans.
Miss Margaret Oatley and Mr B. Bollen, former Domestic Science and Handicrafts teachers at Regis were also transferred.
Mrs E. I. Hancock and Mrs L. Weller came as supply teachers.
Along with the new school building, now H Block at Corsham School, the former Handicraft Centre at Regis School was used, so too the Methuen School building.
Contributory Schools:
Corsham County, Corsham Regis, Lypiatt Camp School, Biddestone, Colerne and Box Highlands. (Children from Box School attended Melksham Secondary Modern, later called George Ward school)
George Dunnings was appointed as gardener/grounds man and Miss Ann Hale as School Secretary, a transfer from Regis School.
May 20 School officially opened and the guest of honour was Lord Methuen. Speeches were made by the Chairman of the Education Committee, Councillor W.E. Stevens, Lord Methuen and Walter J. Light, Chairman of Governors. A buffet tea was served in the Library and Music Room.
May 25 School closed for Whitsun holidays and the General Election.
June 6 School re-opened. P.J. Laurence and a group of boys were absent on a visit to Portsmouth as guests of the Royal Navy. (P.J. Laurence served as a First Officer on the Harrison Lines ships all through the 2nd World War).
Sept 5 School re-opened for the Autumn Term. Mrs S.E. Fladee and Miss A.S.M. Ord-Smith were appointed to teach English & Art respectively. ASMOS were the initials of Adrineme Susannah Mary Ord-Smith)
Nov: 16 Mrs S Tustin began work as a supply teacher. She originally taught at the Regis School.

Sept 10 School re-opened with 534 on roll. Mrs Donavan, Mrs Court, Miss Lawton and Mr H.E. Allen (Harry) commenced their duties. (MDR plus Paul Smith and Edwin Brown, his longtime friends, started school that day)

April 30 Miss Kathleen Elloway commenced duties as Music Teacher (she played the Dam Busters March on the piano in our first lesson with her). Mrs R. Ost started as the English teacher with Class 1A.
June 18 Miss Ord Smith had been absent due to the death of her father and returned to duties one day late due to misreading the bus timetable.
June 24 Mrs Heyes absent: reason to visit Bath to collect spectacles –reason considered unnecessary. Chief Education Officer, Mr John Bradley, notified.
Jan 6 Mrs R. Philips, daughter of Mr Evans, (Fishy Evans of the famous Bath Fish & Chip shop) commenced as teacher of Handicrafts (needlework)
Sept 8 Considerable rise in pupil numbers. First form will consist of 6 classes, 1A, 1B, 1C1, 1C2, 1R, 1R2. Additional accommodation was secured by using the main hall at the Community Centre and arts and craft lessons were moved back to the main school from the Methuen School building. Roll now 622. New staff, Miss Hawker (Rural Studies), Miss P.J. Lewis, Miss Thomas, Mr Ivor Jones (Science) and Mr M.J. Macey.
Dec 19 Mr. J. Wellman, Deputy Head, left to become Head Teacher of Neston Primary School.

June 30 Mr Harry Allen, Woodwork teacher, sustained a serious accident in the Handicrafts room when struck on the head by a block of wood, which broke away from a wooden bowl being made on the lathe by a pupil, Richard Toogood. Dr. Henderson attended and Mr Allen was taken to Bath Hospital by ambulance.
July 21 2nd Speech Day with prize giving in the hall with Major Awdry as the guest of honour. He was Chairman of the Calne & Chippenham Rural District Council.
Sept 7 School re-opened for the Autumn Term and the new staff appointed were Mrs Howarth PE, Dennis Jones (Geography) and Mr Wyatt, Handicrafts. 2 new classrooms were opened at the east end of the main building. Existing scullery, with new extension, opened as a kitchen with Mrs Gardner as cook supervisor. School meals, up to then, had been prepared by the Central Kitchen, opposite the school at the end of Paul Street. Additional rooms were used at the Community Centre because of rising numbers.
Dec 10 -12 School play production. The plot and play produced by Roger Stansfeld, English teacher.

Oct 3
Norman Duckworth, Rural Studies teacher commenced duties.
Dec 15–17 School play performed 12 Dancing Princesses. Script by Roger Stansfeld and music by John Ramwell. (MDR took part in both productions, quite a sell out too!)

July 29
Corsham Secondary Modern School closed for the Summer holidays. From September 1st there will be 2 Secondary Schools in Corsham: one for girls with Miss Simpson as Head, Miss Oatley as Deputy and one for boys with Harold Hull as Head and Mr Gee as Deputy.

The Log Book was transferred from the combined School to the Boys School and Harold Hull commenced entries as the new Head.
Sept 13 The County Secondary School for Boys opened 2 days late due to the late delivery of furniture.

Staffing was as follows:
Head – H.E. Hull
D. Head – A.E. Gee
Head of Mathematics – P.J. Laurence
Head of English – R. Stansfeld
Head of Dept for Retarded Children Mr. F. St. John Davies
Science – I. Jones
Engineering Drawing – E.H. Weller
Handicrafts – H. Allen
Rural Studies – N. Duckworth
Geography – D. R. Jones
P.E. – J. Dix
Mrs P. Macey – Retarded Children
M.J. Macey – Science & Games
Mrs Ost – English & Library.

Michael Rumsey

by | Jan 8, 2021 | Archive