LOCAL SCHOOLS - FLETTON & WOODSTON
Woodston Junior School was opened in 1930 and I was one of the early intake – a brand new school, a keen young pupil and exceptional teachers, Miss Muriel Braybrook, Miss Stanyon and headmistress Miss Bessie Chapman come to mind. What a start in life! Whilst there we celebrated the Silver Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary – a party, and each child given a Jubilee mug. Special annual dates were May 29th, Oakapple Day, when we each wore an oakleaf commemorating King Charles 11 who hid in an oak tree taking refuge from Cromwell’s army. May 24th was Empire Day, when as starry eyed innocents, we sang ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ and ‘Jerusalem’ and had pride in our colonies all marked pink on the world map. Where strange peoples were responsible for the supply of our tea, cocoa and rice – not forgetting gold, diamonds, copper etc.
Sadly, now, as the older generation, we reflect on the Civil Wars which have plagued most ex-colonies since self government – internal conflicts are still continuing in some countries.
Old Fletton School was a students' progression, on High Street railway bridge elevation (our idea of a High School!). It was previously known as Fletton Board School and Fletton Council School; a 19th century Dickensian building; and during my time, again served by wonderful teachers- Charles Young, Frank Shaw, Mr Anderson and later a student teacher George Alcock who became a renowned astronomer.
The gifted pupil, either academically or financially!; or both, went to the Fletton Secondary School which was a Grammar School, previously known as Huntingdonshire County Secondary School serving all villages in North Huntingdonshire and Peterborough suburbs south of the River Nene. This was on the corner of London Road and High Street. Among the teachers were G.R. Rumsey (Head), Urwin, Ridgard and Harridge. This site is now a Junior School, the Grammar School was relocated to Orton where it later merged with Orton Comprehensive School under Archie Peters, Messrs Woodcock and St.George.