Old Uffingtonians Association (1994)

   Willesden County Grammar School                         Ex-Pupils 1924-1967                    


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School Secretary's Memories
(Olive Freeman)

In September 1939 when I was School Secretary we all gathered at the school to be evacuated.  Nobody knew where we were going - we were just given the time of a train to catch.  Some pupils were excited, some frightened.  (I was very apprehensive myself.)  We all marched to Willesden Junction Station via Furness Road and the long footpath by the railway and boarded the train.

Some time after Mr. Newton (Geography), always known as "Pop", came through and said he thought we were going to Northampton as at Roade we had taken the branch line off from the mainline to Rugby.  He was right and there followed the unhappy task of allocating pupils to families - and the Staff.  I was billeted at first with Mr. Lowry (Maths) and his wife in a large house at Weston Favell.  This was occupied by a single lady and her house-keeper, who resented us and scared me stiff but Mrs Lowry was a great ally.

When no bombs fell, many children drifted back home and we re-opened the school for them and pupils from Kilburn & Brondesbury High School for Girls - just in time for the Blitz!

Black Book
My friend and contemporary, Daphne Blampied, wondered whether the "Black Book" really existed?  It certainly did.  The pupils concerned had to report to me (school sec.) and I entered their names.  One boy Willson, was always in trouble.  He would come through the door and every time say "Willson, Miss, double L, Miss", until one day in exasperation I said "I ought to know how to spell your name by now!".  (I wonder if he is still with us?).  Nobody was ever expelled - but after several reportings they would have an interview with Mr. Wallis, Mr. Southam (Senior Master) or Miss Jarvie (Senior Mistress).

School Magazine
Norman Hudis was a very frequent contributor to the School Magazine and later became famous for writing the dialogue for the "Carry On" films.

One of the duties of the caretaker (Mr. Williams, known as "Tin") was to go to the bank every Friday morning to pay in the takings from the tuck-shop, school dinners, morning milk, the General Fund etc.  Off he would go on his bicycle with basket in front and saddlebag behind piled with bags of copper and silver.  How strange it seems now that it never entered our heads that he could be robbed!

Olive Freeman
ex-School Secretary
Old Uff (1930-35)