Thank you to Mr Paul Wigmore who has supplied these fascinating memories of Ashfield School in the 1930s: “Soon after my 10th birthday, in 1935, Ashfield became my school. I stayed until 1939, when I was evacuated to N Devon for fear of the approaching bombing. As you will know, Mr Brothers was Headmaster – a great man in my view, despite the two or three thrashings he had to give me with the cane (on the hand) in his little office. My Standard 5 desk was at the back of the room, with the door to his office over my left shoulder. His comings and goings through that door are clear in my memory, he with his pipe going well and gripped between his teeth and making him look as if he were grinning happily, the sweet-smelling tobacco smoke swirling behind him as he walked and wafting past my grateful nostrils. He and I shared the misery of a stammer. Addressing the whole school at Morning Assembly (the folding screen that divided the room in half would be folded back) he would come to a word that refused to be sounded and he was left, gagging, managing only to say from the back of his throat, ‘Again, again’ – his way of releasing the stoppage. He was a brilliant conductor. Singing was obviously his love. He infected us with the love; our constant winning of the Cup at the annual County Singing Festival ended in its presentation in perpetuity. It stood on top of a glass-fronted book case at the front of our Standard 5 half of the room. Mrs Brothers was a fine accompanist and played with vigour and aplomb at the upright piano, kept permanently at the front of our classroom. I hear now the songs, ‘Shenandoah’, ‘Cargoes’. . . Forgive my meandering. Looking back is my pleasure nowadays. At No 36, Ashfield Avenue (when it was a short road ending two houses past Somers Way) my parents, brother and I had a full and happy life. All good wishes to you and the Staff of my dear old school.” Paul Wigmore.
Ashfield Junior School Heads
2004-present Carolyn Dalziel 1984-2004 Christopher Dobbs 1958-1984 Edwin Halliwell 1954-1958 Ronald Braddock 1932-1954 Herbert Brothers 1916-1932 Oswald Atkin 1896-1916 Ralph Beardmore James 1855-1896 Edwin Bamford 1846-1855 Robert Soar
Ashfield School Rules
See the Rules of the school in 1846 !
Ashfield School History Timeline
5th January 1846
The British & Foreign Society School opened (now Ashfield Junior School) under the Head, Robert Soar with 132 boys aged between 6 and 14. Fees charged of between 1p and 1 1/2 p per week.
Robert Soar retired and opened a drapery shop with his wife in Bushey village (now a restaurant). Edwin Bamford appointed as new Head. Three new classes added each with at least 60 pupils.
A staggering £5000.00 left to the school by Arthur Ashfield.
Edwin Bamford retired due to old age and poor health. Suceeded by Ralph Beardmore James. Due to high pupil numbers at Merry Hill the school was forced to accept girls however they had to be taught separately in St Christophers Hall in Police Station Lane.
School renamed Ashfield School
The Great War claimed the lives of many Ashfield boys and the headmaster who, upon hearing of news that his son had been seriously injured in France, died of shock
Oswald Atkin became Headmaster
Herbert Brothers appointed new Headmaster
Second World War – all young male teachers were forced to leave and the school were obliged to employ female teachers
Ashfield became a primary school
Ronald Braddock became Head and work started on a new School Hall
The new Hall was completed and Edwin Halliwell was appointed new Headmaster. More land was acquired for playing fields.
School became mixed and girls were allowed into the building
Edwin Halliwell retired and was succeeded by Chris Dobbs.
A new building was completed which now forms the main entrance and houses the Head’s Office, School Office and Staff Room.
Chris Dobbs retired and the school’s first female Head, Carolyn Dalziel, was appointed