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Mar 21 2011

Welldon Park School 1910-1985 Celebration (Part XI)

Part eleven in our ongoing series on Welldon Park School…

THE CREATIVE 60’s AND 60’s

After the War the School gradually returned to normal. Led by a progressive, energetic and artistic Headmistress, the staff succeeded in building up a happy community. The children of that time were described as intelligent, hardworking and responsive. Apart from maintaining a high academic standard, the School became renowned for its Art and Craft. Each year an exhibition of this Work was arranged in the School Hall and classrooms. The following extract is taken from a report in the Harrow Observer in 1957:

This being Coronation Year, there were many touching gestures of loyalty ranging from lovingly compiled scrapbooks to vases of flowers placed beneath smiling Royal Portraits.

The Coronation itself was the subject of a tableau built by the six year olds, which owed much of its glitter to countless milk tops.’ Numbers had again risen. A new canteen had been opened in 1942 to meet the increasing need for school meals. A Horsa hut containing two classrooms, added in 1944, had increased the available accommodation for teaching purposes. Even so, U.K. Inspectors, reporting in 1954, wrote as follows:- ‘As there are now 610 children between the ages of 5 and 11 in the six Infant and nine Junior classes, the present building is too small for the numbers of children in attendance. Classrooms are overcrowded, two having fifty or more children in them.’

In spite of these reportedly unsuitable conditions the School received much praise for the quality of its work.

Outings again became an integral part of the curriculum and children went off in groups of various sizes to Hampton Court, Windsor, Greenwich, St Albans and even further afield. On one memorable day a large group took a train from Wealdstone to Southampton where they toured the sheds and docks before cruising in the Solent for two hours. The School Log notes that it was a most instructive and happy outing.

The Todd sisters, Jean, Elaine and Lesley, have happy memories of their schooldays at Welldon Park during the 1950’s. Discipline was quite strict and lessons were conducted in almost total silence. This contrasted sharply with the comparative freedom of the playground where they remember particularly Infant games led by one of the dinner ladies, Mrs Valentine.

Towards the end of the fifties, Lesley remembers taking part in choral and recorder concerts. There were also dance festivals and P.E. displays.

 

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