Old Uffingtonians Association (1994)

   Willesden County Grammar School                         Ex-Pupils 1924-1967                    


Whos Who




Old Uffs





For more info', email


Some Memories of the School in the Thirties

Walking to school included several important stop-offs on the way in those days.  There was the abattoir in Crown Yard at the back of Milton Hearsant's butchers shop and, just along from there, right on Jubilee Clock corner, the blacksmiths, where the farrier would shoe horses.  There was a large horse-trough just past there towards Acton lane.  At Craven Park or at the Clock Tower there was almost always a tram (and later a trolley-bus) with its arms off the wire.  Sometimes a tram took the bend at the "Royal Oak" too fast with the same result.  When the Anti-vivisection League took over a shop at the bottom of Park Parade they caused a bit of a sensation with their display of pictures.

Haycroft Farm (United Dairies) was out of bounds but the short-cut round the back to the stables was such an attraction that the risk of getting caught was never considered.  On the way home, the field, where Cardinal Hindsley School now stands was another attraction.  The Post office tug-of-war team used to practise there.  They had an ingenious shear-legs of three telegraph poles rigged up to a large cistern full of rocks and they would tug away for hours, frequently with a County School audience.  Later in 1938/39, on the opposite ground where "The Hub" was eventually built, there were demonstrations of how to erect an Anderson shelter, put out an incendiary bomb, operate a stirrup pump and put on a gas mask.  All these skills came into use shortly after.

I suppose the most enduring memory of schooldays was the contrast in punishment systems between Stonebridge Junior and Willesden County.  At Stonebridge all teachers implemented corporal punishment in varying ways.  These ranged from a size 14 plimsoll, a yardstick, a knotted rope and the "fairy wand" - a frayed cane with a choice of ends which raised black wheals across a hand.

At Willesden the range was lines and/or detention.  The most unforgettable was the day I was sent to Mr. Wallis by Mr. P.J. Smith, the maths master for an unappreciated wisecrack.  Mr. Southam, encountered on the way, heard the whole story and said "On you go then".  I recited the story to the secretary (Was it Miss Ives?), who told me to wait.  Mr. Wallis eventually emerged, heard the recital and said "Come back at break".  This reception was repeated by both of them at break, lunch and at the end of school, where, at the seventh account of my crime Mr. Wallis said "Off you go Hargreaves".  And that was that; no boasting to my friends, no feelings of being brave; just a sixty year memory of my humiliation.  I never did it again.

Edward A. Hargreaves