School at Burymead c.1917

By Owen Welch

Burymead School, Stevenage
Owen Welch

This photo shows a class at Burymead School, Stevenage, c1917 with my father, William Charles Welch, in it. He is marked with an x. I attended this school 1943-1947 and I can assure you nothing had changed. It was still lit by gaslamps and we had slates with chalk to write on them with.

One incident I remember was a teacher looking into my mouth and saying something to the effect that I would always be very talkative because my tongue is joined at the front not at the back.

This page was added on 20/12/2010.

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  • I have been fascinated to find this page while looking for info on the area. My father was Brian Batson who was a teacher at the school, who subsequently became deputy head after the move to Six Hills Way. I was delighted to see his name mentioned by Tony Latimer whose name is familiar. I wonder if Tony played the French horn and went to Alleynes the same year as me, 1963ish. And yes, Dad was good at pretty much everything!

    By Paul Batson (12/03/2024)
  • Thank you, Owen, for your photo and stories. I started at St Nicholas in 1958 and transferred to the new school when I was 9. I was a reluctant pupil and remember being very miserable on my first day in Mrs Pattenden ‘s class. However, I do remember happy times too. My teachers were, in order from Class 7 to Class 1 (remember the classes were numbered backwards?): Mrs Pattenden, a lovely lady who fluttered her eyelids; Mrs Livingstone, an outwardly hard northern woman with a surprisingly loving heart; Mrs Pattenden again, who would apply a scented salve to your brow if you were feeling poorly; Mr Batson, who was good at everything, but never did show us how to peel a banana without touching it; Mrs Warner, who had a fierce reputation but brought The Borrowers to life like no other; Mr Batson again, who was a great parent substitute at Cuffley Camp and Mr Leverton, who, with his soft-top MG and knitted tie brought Lady Plowden’s child-centred learning to an ill-prepared class of traditionally- taught children, but opened our eyes to art.

    I would love to hear memories or see photos from others who attended the school.

    By Tony Latimer (21/10/2022)
  • i seem to remember the surname Briers and the Christian name Alma.  I was there at the same time.  i learnt more there than i did subsequently!!! because this school did what it set out to do thoroughly grounding and informing its pupils in – i don’t want to say the basics, because it was much more than that .  it was the last time i understood maths well, until i resumed study of it as an adult.  the teaching was so good you didn’t even realise you were learning it was such an enjoyable process; even though it was ‘rote learning’ and we didn’t have the same facilities; the teacher then was everything and my goodness they knew their jobs and they did their jobs very well.

    By Gwen Allen (26/03/2015)
  • Alma & Margaret were friends with my aunt Beryl Tyler nee Chapman. My Dad Derrick Chapman also attended the school.

    By L Rooney nee Chapman (24/05/2013)
  • I think this is about the time my Mother attended the school, her name then was Alma Beeching. Her friend also attended a few years earlier. Her name was Margaret Briars.

    By Amanda Coney (01/10/2011)